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     March 26, 2008Volume 7 Number 11 Issue 188     

In This Issue

  • From the Editor

  • Secure Your Computers

  • Recommendations

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From the Editor

I think that I have WordPress working. It looks like the problem was two-fold. The theme I used, Airport-10 seems to be plug-in intolerant. It didn't matter what plug-in I used with it, WordPress crashed. The second problem was one of the plug-ins, OnlyWire. It was just finicky and I finally discovered that it had to be installed first or it wouldn't play nice with WordPress. Too much learning for one day two weeks!  *8>)

I am always working to get a higher placement for my sites on the search engines. I am not always successful in getting my sites on the first page of Google. About a month ago I read a new ebook on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and picked up a couple of tips. I was really surprised to find that the three sites where I used the new ideas on jumped from lacklustre placements to the first page on Google, and first place on Yahoo. I ran out and bought the rights to the ebook. If you need some SEO tips for your sites, you can find the ebook on Ebooks and More *8>)

Secure Your Computers

This is excerpted from a presentation I gave last week on How to Secure Your Computers, Protect Your Data and Lock up Your Network.

The first thing that you need to know is that you cannot protect against every possible exigency. By the way, if you can afford to have every computer you own disappear tomorrow and not miss a minute of business or lose a dollar in profit, then you can skip this newsletter. The rest of you may want to make notes.

Determine your tolerance for loss

First determine how much you can afford to lose - be it an hour, a day, or a week, then concentrate on protecting the rest. You should determine the cost of a loss both physical loss and data loss, I mean what a major computer disaster could cost. Then you should budget less than that for protection.

Should You Back up your data?

Back up any of your data that you cannot afford to lose. Depending on your operation, you may want to have your data copied to several disks immediately it's called a RAID or your needs may be met with daily or weekly backups. I've come to the conclusion, that off-site backups are a necessity. I have seen too many clients back up their data religiously and then have a thief steal both the computers and the backup device! Off-site storage is comparatively cheap now days.

Software Protection

Make sure to obtain all of the free patches and upgrades to which you are entitled - especially if it is a Microsoft product. Make a practice of doing these upgrades and patches once a week Thursday or Friday are good days.

Antivirus Protection

Do install a reliable antivirus program. Good ones, both paid and free are abundant. Make sure that you update it regularly at least weekly! Choose the automatic update option for the maximum protection. Run a complete virus scan overnight is my choice every week at least.

Email Protection

Email is the most common way that viruses get spread. Your antivirus program will be a great help here as it will check every incoming email for viruses. Just a side note : Never open an attachment you are not expecting, even if it is from someone you know. It's very easy to falsify the sender of an email.

A good SPAM filter can be useful maybe. I find that a SPAM filter is good if your email always comes from people in your address book. If your email is like mine, and comes from different people all the time, SPAM filters are not that useful.

NEVER put your good email address on the web! Spammers will harvest it almost as soon as it is up, then the barrage of SPAM will really start.

A little trick that I have used to cut down SPAM is to set up a separate, throw away account that will be seen by web bots. Change it regularly.

Now, I prefer to use a support ticket system. Neither users nor bots see your email address they just fill in a request that can either be emailed to you, or held on a server for you to fetch. I use a script that cost me $7 HERE.

Secure Power

Clean and secure power, compared to the needs of a computer, is a rarity in this world. Almost all of us are subject to frequent minor power failures as well as the occasional major one. We frequently see surges and spike, and although a good surge protector can clean out most of the spikes, it is useless if the voltage drops. A better idea is a Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) with Automatic Voltage Control (AVC). These normally change the AC mains voltage into clean 12 V DC then turn it back into clean and well regulated voltage for your computer. A good, single computer UPC with AVC can be found for under $100 here in Canada.

Network Security

Wired networks are usually fairly secure, because of the router generally provides address translation which makes it difficult fo hackers to reach your computer. If you are using a single computer, you should seriously consider installing a router between you and the Internet.

Wireless networks can be a nightmare. You can drive up and down any street in North America and find an open wireless network. Just what the hacker ordered! Your wireless router comes with security encryption. Use it.

If you follow this advice, you should have fairly secure computing.

P.S. Have you seen my new site Mr Idea's Ebookstore. As the name implies it is stocked with ebooks, scripts, websites and more.

Recommendations for this Week

Have you checked out this new site that will give your website a link without requiring a reciprocal link? The search engines love this. It's in the Beta stage right now, so it is free to join. Check it out at: Qassia

If you are interested in working from home, I have a free ebook that outlines five different work at home opportunities. To get your copy just click HERE.

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