Urgent this week:
- Microsoft Windows users: Patch Tuesday is coming this next week. Make sure to run Windows Update if it doesn't run automatically.
- Mac users: Run whatever updates you need to in order to catch up after the Month of Apple Bugs
- Firefox users: Be careful about following links from unknown sources. A new flaw involving the pop-up blocker might put you at risk if you visit sites sent to you by non-trusted sources.
- Microsoft Office users: Yet another set of Office-related security holes have been exposed. If you don't personally know the person sending you a Word or Excel file, just don't open it.
- Take care not to destroy your computer with static electricity. Wear rubber-soled shoes (if possible) when using your computer, try to discharge static before touching the machine, and isolate your CPU from the ground if at all possible.
Important to do every week:
- Run a backup of your important computer files and store it in a safe location.
- Update your anti-spyware software and run it. If you need free anti-spyware software, download Spybot Search and Destroy.
- Update your anti-virus software and run it. If you need free anti-virus software, download AVG Anti-Virus.
Other recommended security measures:
- Set up a limited-access user account on your computer and use it for most purposes. Only use administrator mode when installing and uninstalling programs.
- Use Firefox, Opera, Safari, or another web browser other than Internet Explorer. They're easy to install.
Online crook of the week:
- The following message made it past the spam filters this week:
It's an extremely crude attempt at identity theft. Some idiot who can't even type correctly claims he's a multi-billion-dollar thief who needs your help absconding with lots of ill-gotten dough. And all he needs is for you to contact him so you can work out the details. For heaven's sake, if you fall victim to an attempt at identity theft that's this crudely-made, you'll fall for just about anything. Don't ever, ever, ever reply to a message like this.
- For the record: 2290 spam messages received on Saturday and Sunday combined, for a weekly spam index of 8015.
Other helpful links: