Winning the Inbox Battle

An inbox is a term that has changed over the years. When I first went into business, I had an inbox. It was a wood tray whose internal measurement was slightly larger than an 8.5″ by 11″ sheet of paper. It just so happened that I had two similar boxes. One was labeled “Inbox” and the other was labeled “Outbox”. The “Inbox” held all those things that were awaiting my attention. There were bills to be paid, documents to be read/reviewed, mail to be opened… I think you know about the general idea here, even if you are young enough to have not ever had such a box on your desk. The “Outbox” held all those things that had already made their way through the “Inbox”, been handled appropriately (you know, documents read, junk mail skimmed and thrown into the trash, signatures placed where they were needed, mail opened, etc.). I don’t know about you but my “Inbox” had a tendency to have a significantly larger stack in it than the “Outbox”. But, that’s another story all together. Let’s move on. (more…)

Posted in: Managing Your Inbox

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Malware: XP Anti-Virus 2008 or XP Anti-Virus 2009

Recently, there has been an onslaught of malware infecting computers around the area.  Malware is software designed specifically to disrupt a computer system and often include Trojan horses, worms or other viruses.  The term “malware” is just an abbreviated term for malicious software.  So, the big question on our minds is what is infecting our computers and how did it get past our anti-virus software? The most common one we have been seeing is referred to as “XP Anti-Virus 2008 or XP Anti-Virus 2009”.  This software presents itself as a valid anti-spyware program and advertises itself with Trojans and other forms of malware. You will see fake security alerts and warnings on websites that say you are infected or being attacked in some way. If you click on these ads or pop-ups, it downloads the installer for the program and installs itself on your computer.  Another common way it installs itself is through a pop-up that asks you to take a survey.  Clicking anything, whether it is “Yes”, “No”, or even the red “X” that closes the window, installs the malware.  The whole purpose of this malware and many others like it is to get you to buy software to treat your “infection”.  You may also see fake warnings on pages that look like Google or an internet explorer page. All of these “warnings” should be ignored!! (more…)

Posted in: Malware

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Nope, I’m not talking about the Android named “Data” who we met on Star Trek: The Next Generation.  I’m talking about that “stuff” that we all generate on a daily basis.  I could go into a lot of really boring information about what data actually is, but let’s try to keep this out of the “yawn” category.  Data, simply put, is all that “stuff” (there’s that word again) that we generate and collect as we go about our daily lives.  To keep this short, let’s limit this discussion to the data (stuff) that we generate, create and/or collect as it relates to our business, work, or computers.  It could include accounting information, email messages, appointments, letters/documents that we created and need for future reference, presentations, photos (anything from favorite vacation photos, to Uncle Ned dancing on the table at Cousin Tom’s wedding reception, or to the photos of the company party that you are confident will be useful at some point in the future) and the list could go on. (more…)

Posted in: Uncategorized

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Worm Attack Code

It’s out there, but it’s widely thought that hackers have yet to activate the payload of the Conficker virus.

Yep, the threats continue.  There’s a worm that’s spreading through low security networks, memory sticks, and PC.  The really sad thing is that much of this threat could be mitigated by making sure that the appropriate security updates have been applied.  This malicious program, also known as Downadup or Kido, has been spreading across networks since October, 2008.  Although it’s spread appears to be leveling off, the biggest fears are that someone could easily take control of any and all of the estimated 9.5 million PCs that are currently infected. (more…)

Posted in: Malware

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