Most computer viruses are acquired through email, compromised web sites, un-patched software, P2P activity (see Downloading Music, Movie & File Sharing), chatting (MSN, Instant Messenger), and disks that you borrow and use on your computer.
Computer viruses can be avoided by using and regularly updating an anti-virus software like Norton and by keeping all the software on your computer (especially Microsoft’s software) updated with the latest security fixes. Most software vendors include a live update feature in their programs and/or on their web site.
Microsoft’s Live Update feature will scan the Microsoft programs on your computer and alert you if an update is available. Start the live update by clicking on Start then Windows Update (you need to be connected to the Internet for this to work). Updates for Microsoft Office products can be found at http://office.microsoft.com/officeupdate.
Firewall software or hardware helps stop Internet users from hacking into your computer. Windows XP SP2 and Windows Vista has a built-in firewall. Users of other computer operating systems will need to install one separately.
Mosaic offers a fully managed computer protection service called Anti-Virus+. Not only does it take care of virus protection (which is Norton’s Corporate Edition), but takes care of the Microsoft updates (security fixes) mentioned above and includes a firewall. More information about that service can be found here. Mosaic also offers a spam and virus protection service that will scan your incoming email for potential viruses.
Definition: Adware is any software application in which advertising banners are displayed while the program is running. It can be viewed through popup windows or bars displayed on your computer screen. Some Adware includes code that tracks a user’s personal information and passes it along to third parties without the user’s knowledge or authorization, this is called Spyware.
Indicators your computer has Adware or Spyware on it include:
- A sudden and unexpected issue with the performance of your computer.
- Your Internet browser suddenly works slowly, or not at all.
- Your entire computer runs slowly.
- Mosaic has a solution to combat Adware and Spyware. That solution is called
- Anti-Virus+. Anti-Virus+ is armed with Spyware threat detection and removal as well as Internet Explorer pop-up and ad blocking.
- For $4.95 per month you no longer have to remember to run monthly Adware and Spyware scans! Let our Anti-Virus+ take care of it for you.
Anti-Virus+ service not only protects your computer from Adware and Spyware, but it also includes:
- Managed virus protection
- Microsoft patch management
- Monthly email summary & online reporting
- Professional installation
- Free technical support
- Hard drive optimization and maintenance
- Firewall protection
- Parental controls
Internet Explorer: Open Internet Explorer. Click Tools then Internet Options. Type your desired web site’s URL in the Home Page Address field under the General tab. Example: http://www.mosaictelecom.com. Click OK to save the change.
Firefox: Open up the website you want to be your home page. If you want a blank home page, open a new tab. Click on the icon to the left of the web address, drag it to the Home button and then let go.
Safari: Open Safari and navigate to the page you wish to make as the default. Click on the “Safari” menu on top and go to “Preferences.” Under the “General” tab, simply click on the button “Set to Current Page.” Close and that will save your setting. Close your Safari browser and launch it again for it to take effect.
Windows Vista: Go to your Start/Vista icon, right click over the top of Computer, select Properties, then on the left side of your window pane will be Device Manager. You should see a list of devices on you system. Find the item on the list that says Network Adapters and click the + (plus sign) next to it. If it has a – (minus sign) instead, ignore this step. Under Network Adapters, you should see a list of all network adapters installed on your computer. If you have an Ethernet card, it will be listed here.
Windows XP: Click Start, then right click on My Computer and left click on Properties. Click on the Hardware tab (at the top). Click the Device Manager button. You should see a list of devices on you system. Find the item on the list that says Network Adapters and click the + (plus sign) next to it. If it has a – (minus sign) instead, ignore this step. Under Network Adapters, you should see a list of all network adapters installed on your computer. If you have an Ethernet card, it will be listed here.
Windows 7: Click on the Start button and then choose Control Panel. Click on the System and Security link. Note: If you’re viewing the Large icons or Small icons view of Control Panel, you won’t see this link. Simply click on Device Manager and then proceed. In the System and Security window, click on the Device Manager link located under the System heading. You should see a list of devices on you system. Find the item on the list that says Network Adapters and click the + (plus sign) next to it. If it has a – (minus sign) instead, ignore this step. Under Network Adapters, you should see a list of all network adapters installed on your computer. If you have an Ethernet card, it will be listed here.
Macintosh: Look on the back of your computer for a plug-in that resembles a telephone jack. If the jack is the same size as a telephone jack then that’s your modem. If you see a similar, but wider jack, that may be an Ethernet card.
Windows Vista: Click Start/Vista icon, right click on Computer. Under the System category you will find the amount of RAM memory.
Windows XP: Click Start, right click on My Computer, then left click on Properties. Click on the General tab you will find RAM near the bottom of this page under “computer”.
Windows 7: Open System by clicking the Start button, right-clicking Computer, and then clicking Properties.In the System section, next to Installed memory (RAM), you can see the amount of RAM your computer has.
Macintosh: At your desktop, click on the “apple” icon and drag to About This Mac. The number next to “Total Memory” is what you are looking for.
Windows Vista: Click Start/Vista icon, go to Computer. Under the Local Disk (c:) it tells you how much free space you have compared to the total space in your computer.
Windows XP: Click Start then click on Control Panel. Open My Computer. Right click on Local Disk (c:) and select Properties. You will see a pie chart detailing your free disk space in the General tab.
Windows 7: Click on the Computer Icon. You’ll see each drive with a small percentage bar of how much disk space is being used as well as a description of how much is free and the total disk space. If you’re wanting additional information right-click the drive and click Properties.
Macintosh: At your desktop, single click on Hard Disk icon to highlight, then click on File, and drag down the Get Info. The window “Hard Disk Info” will open. Look for Size
A computer cookie is a piece of data which often includes an unique identifier that is sent to your browser from a web site you visit, stores as a file on your computer, identifies you as a unique user and tracks your web usage. Computer cookies can do everything from monitoring your visit throughout web sites, tracking how many times you’ve visited the site, how long you’ve been on the site, your log-in information at a particular page and remembering important information about your computer.
Over time, cookies can occupy considerable space on your hard drive. To delete the cookie files follow these steps:
Firefox: Click Tools and click Clear Recent History. Select Everything in the Time Range and click Clear Now.
Safari: From the Safari menu, drop down to ‘Preferences’, Click the ‘Security’ tab at the top (the lock icon), Click the “Show Cookies” button, From here you can search for site specific cookies if you only want to remove those, or remove all cookies. Click ‘Done’.
Internet Explorer: Click Tools then Internet Options. Click Delete Files under Temporary Internet Files. Click OK twice. Open your email, click Edit then Empty Deleted Items folder. If you don’t find this under Edit, look under Tools.