IE Exploit and Windows XP

Here’s my grateful shout out to Dominique Fruchtman, of Desert Cow Computers, for alerting me to this new exploit!

Take your pick of sources on this report. It is, as the title suggests, a major security hole in Microsoft’s web browser, made worse by their discontinuing support for XP.exploit IE

So long ago, I wrote an article where I recommend a simple solution: Stop using IE. Standards based browsers (Chrome or Firefox) are simply better for users and programmers. Recently one of my clients showed me an online application they use that will not run in other browsers. This application will only run in IE 10, with compatibility enabled! Why anyone would program anything to run with IE in the first place is a mystery to me.

Back to the subject problem…. Using IE on Windows XP is not enough to cause you to get infected or hacked; you have to actually go to a website that hosts the malicious code, or open an email attachment or link that produces the same result. The problem is; you won’t know something is wrong until it’s too late! The same rules apply as always, don’t talk to strangers, know who sends you email, and watch for obvious signs of spam and scam email messages. Here’s something I wrote four years ago now, about how easy it is to get a virus. A brief update to that piece would be; don’t allow anyone from “Windows Support” to remotely access your computer.

One last word: You really should be leaving XP and moving on to Windows 7 (or 8, if you must), so you can get Windows Updates from Microsoft. The majority of their updates are created to plug security holes. Without their updates, you are left to wonder and worry about the vulnerability of your computer. Also, switch to Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, avoid IE as a rule.

Call your local computer support professional and upgrade to a new computer.

OK, seriously, the last word: Here’s a link to a cheeky article from the register, with a catchy title and a dire warning.

Latest Update to WordPress

wp3-9-180x180[1]This looks pretty good to me. There are so many cool new features, I’m sure I could not make sense of them in a list.

The folks at WPBeginner do a very good job with their post.

Here is the official video from WordPress.tv, where you can see the details.

One of the first things I’m going to try is dragging some images directly to this post from my computer. Then, I’m going to edit, crop, and arrange them here on this page!

Angel270X270 Rocky270X270 Randy270X270

The End Of Windows XP

banner[1]Echoing the description of this page from Insurance Journal (Article By Laird Rixford | March 10, 2014 in Insurance Journal), I’m tempted to make some snide remark about Ostriches hiding their heads in the sand. “If you feel surprised by this news, you should know Microsoft actually announced in 2007 they were planning to end support of Windows XP.”

But, I won’t make that comment. Simply note that you can probably find thousands of sources for this information, – actually, About 8,510,000 results – written by many authors in many industries. Why? Because Windows XP was probably one of the best operating systems devised by Microsoft and is still running on millions of desktops and laptops all over the world.

I’ve deliberated on the best way to get this information out to my clients, but now I’ve waited too long and the end is near. Yesterday was “patch Tuesday” and this batch of fixes issued by Microsoft is reported to be the last you’ll get for XP. The next “patch Tuesday” is actually on April 8th – the date they’ve chosen to end support of XP.
It seems to me they should issue one more set of updates, as a parting gift.  But, enough about what I think.

Here is another article, by Kim Komando. I’m not sure she isn’t being facetious with this statement: “If you have an XP computer and just browse the Internet occasionally, without the use of passwords for anything ever, you’re probably fine as well.”

My thinking is a bit more extreme – it goes like this: If you disconnect your XP computer from the Internet and never use it again for any online activity, you’ll be safe from security vulnerabilities. I’m only half-kidding here, because you might run some piece of software that actually has no need for a connection to anything. If all you do is work that is stored on your local computer, you can disconnect and continue merrily on your way.

Call me if you need help with this transition. Windows 7 is two steps up from XP and worth every penny of the upgrade cost. You may need a bit of assistance with learning many of the new features in Windows 7, but for the most part, it is every bit as good and much improved, when compared to XP.

Call me anyway, for any help you need with computing and communications.

Traditional Copywriting is the New SEO

hummingbirdThis is the essence of what’s new in SEO. Write compelling content and people will share it. That’s pretty much everything, except, you should still include links to relevant things in your text. So, if you’ve written several articles that provide further clarification of the topic at hand, (like, What is SEO) you should include links to those posts and pages. It just makes sense. Your readers benefit by easy access to more content, and search engines will still do what they’ve always done; associate those links with the topic and keywords in the phrase. That is how it works. It really hasn’t changed much.

As you know, I’ve been following this topic of SEO changes for some time and here is an article by a successful blogger that pretty much sums up what I am saying here. Brian Clark and people like him simply write good content about the world of blogging, SEO, Social Media, etc. And, people pay for that good advice. So, taking a cue from a professional blogger, it just kind of makes sense that I should chime in on the conversation.

SEO is not dead. It is constantly changing. If things did not change all the time with technology, life would be pretty boring, perhaps more stable.
Without constant change, a whole lot of people would be out of a job. If everyone stops searching, then SEO will surely die. Turn off the Internet, SEO dies. You get my point.

To illustrate, here is an article that’s a bit more current. It can be said in three words, “content is king!” That used to be a catch phrase when Yahoo! was new….
Today, it means something a little different. Engagement, online audience optimization, and authority are the buzzwords today. Produce and market good content for your readers and you win.

Status, Pending

dashboard short urlYour pending custom short domain is: brianl.ee.

To enable this custom short domain, you need to configure domain name service (DNS) settings for your domain.

Setting up your DNS

  • Set the DNS A record for brianl.ee to point to 69.58.188.49

Oooh, I can barely wait!

Product Name Status
brianl.ee PENDING

 

Based on one little article about shortened URL’s I took the leap and got one for my name.

As soon as it’s ready, I’ll have more work to do and I paid for the privilege!
Why do I DO this? I MUST be a geek.

How do I get to number one on Google?

Ask the Best SEO in Palm Desert.

Capacitor Pop and Yet Another Backup Article (YABA)

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolytic_capacitor

A couple of days ago, I heard a capacitor pop. If you know what that is, you probably know what it means. If you don’t, I’ll tell you here.

It means some part of the electronics in the device that made that awful noise is now dead or malfunctioning at best. In my case, it meant that my video display adapter (which had been flaky for months) had now failed. Booting my computer would refresh the image just long enough for the whole thing to freeze up on me. Lovely!

So, after an appropriate grieving period, I simply resigned to the idea that I would have to use one of my other five computers as my primary. The unit that had failed was a refurbished PC from a couple of years ago and I simply had to let it go. If you are in tech support and share my sentiment on such things, you probably have the same ideas about diminishing returns. By that, I mean there is no way I can justify putting any time or money into an old computer, so it will now be spare parts for somebody.

Which leads us directly to the second part of the subject at hand – backup. I did not backup the data on this computer and I don’t feel the least bit anxious about that. Two reasons, one is I use DropBox for all of my important stuff and the other is that the drive did not fail, so it will be almost painless to go harvest the data from that drive. Also, the system was built on a solid state drive, so after I do pull the data, I’ll have a nice drive to use in the next system I build. That’s almost what you would call upside, except I still have that work to do!

My heart goes out to a recent client, who “pushed a few buttons and erased everything in my document” lost his book. He had been working on this opus for the last two or three years, with no backup, no DropBox, and no easy method of restoring his document.

This definitely illustrates what some might see as a deficiency in my service offering. So, I’m going to change things now. All of my clients will be offered the opportunity to work with me to institute some form of cloud storage or backup for their data. Seriously, my heart aches just thinking about someone losing his work that way.

As shown above, if your computer dies, you may be able to pull the data from your drive. But if you are not taking measures to protect your data, through version control and by using cloud based backup and storage, you are exposed to potential catastrophic data loss. Even us tech gurus are powerless to reverse errant keystrokes that erase a document’s contents. It’s just sad.

Necessary Changes

This is tough. I’ve moved things around to accommodate my business, but I do not like having to admit to the need. My current hosting company, who will go nameless in this post, may be losing my business. This is due primarily to two facts. The first is lack of stellar customer service. The second is that my website has recently been infected by a virus.

Often, my clients ask me how they might have gotten a virus. Almost always, I give them an answer that accurately conveys the fact that I simply cannot know how these things happen. You can get a virus through one of many processes. These include going to a website that infects your computer, opening an attachment that infects your computer, or simply engaging in activities that involve downloading software from unknown sources. Note that the first one is what might have happened if you landed on my website while that virus was still active there. This is intolerable and a cause of concern and consternation for me!

So, there it is. Somehow, my website (at my hosting company) became infected. I am still cleaning up the debris left behind by that unfortunate event. I’ve also moved my site’s content to another hosting service. I’m working on revamping the entire site, to accurately represent the growth of my service offerings, which now include SEO services. I’ll keep you posted as I progress through this ordeal.

Thanks for listening.


Palm Desert SEO is the search term I hope you will use to find my service.


Looking for Palm Desert Computer Repair, Rouzell Enterprises, Inc. has what you need. Diligently working toward becoming your Palm Desert SEO Expert; Rouzell Enterprises is a Palm Desert based company providing compassionate care to people who use computers. This includes computer repair and computer support, also computer training and network support, and social media training and support. If you have any need for SEO, or help with computers, networks, or social media, one call to Brian Rouley at Rouzell Enterprises is all it takes to get the help you need. Rouzell Enterprises is your Palm Desert SEO Expert.

                                                                              

If you need to know more about mousy search terms, or mouse help, you’ve come to the right place. Here at mousehelp.org, we can answer all of your mousy questions and even provide results for a long-tailed search, like; help me with my mouse – no pun intended! Here we add a link to computer mouse help, so we can compete with number one.

Holidaze

Funny how the holidays can put a freeze on communications. Seriously, I need to regroup and recommit to this forum for sharing information. Computers continually change and Windows 8 is yet another opportunity for learning. Tablets and Apple devices are also evolving, as people love portability and synchronization. Cloud computing is now becoming widely accepted as something easily understood by an appreciative audience.

These are all good things for the future of your computer use. Call me when you are ready and I’ll be there to help.

Rouzell Enterprises, Inc.
Mousehelp.com is a Rouzell Enterprises owned business. Mousehelp.com is a Palm Desert based company providing compassionate care to people who use computers. This includes computer repair and computer support, computer training and network support, and social media training and support. We are diligently working toward becoming your Palm Desert SEO Expert. If you have any need regarding computers, networks, SEO expertise or help with social media, one call to Brian Rouley at Rouzell Enterprises is all it takes to get the help you need.

                                                                              

If you need to know more about mousy search terms, or mouse help, click any link in this paragraph. At mousehelp.org, we answer all of your mousy questions and even provide results for a long-tailed search, like; help me with my mouse – no pun intended! This is shameless self-promotion, with a link to computer mouse help, so we can compete with number one.

 

Guy says, “Write good shiitake.”

Guy says “Write good shiitake.” Guy Kawasaki on Google Plus

Thanks, Guy! My sentiments, exactly. Did SEO – it works. Writing – way more rewarding.

Searching for Palm Desert Computer Repair? Rouzell Enterprises, Inc. has what you need. Diligently working toward becoming your Palm Desert SEO Expert; Rouzell Enterprises is a Palm Desert based company providing compassionate care to people who use computers. This includes computer repair and computer support, also computer training and network support, and social media training and support. If you have any need for SEO, or help with computers, networks, or social media, one call to Brian Rouley at Rouzell Enterprises is all it takes to get the help you need. Rouzell Enterprises is your Palm Desert SEO Expert.

                                                                              

If you need to know more about mousy search terms, or mouse help, you’ve come to the right place. Here at mousehelp.org, we can answer all of your mousy questions and even provide results for a long-tailed search, like; help me with my mouse – no pun intended! Here we add a link to computer mouse help, so we can compete with number one.


Palm Desert computer repair, Palm Desert SEO, Palm Desert SEO expert, Coachella Valley computer repair, Coachella Valley SEO expert, Coachella Valley SEO

Backup Irreplaceable Data Rewrite

About eighteen months ago, I started working on an article about backup strategies for computer users. A few months after I put the finishing touches on that opus, it was published in the Quorum Magazine. That is a little-known publication put out by our local chapter of the CAI. Local means Coachella Valley and CAI means Community Associations Institute. Neither of those facts has much to do with what I am about to say. What I am trying to say here is that I’ve done this before and it is worth doing it again, with new emphasis provided by recent events. If the CAI is still running the data-backup technology I installed for them, they are about as well protected from data loss as any business in this valley. The only company I know of that has better protection is Rouzell Enterprises, Inc. Yes, that’s me.

Recent events, as mentioned above, include two computer thefts and one computer crash, along with just some strange behavior that is causing some anxiety. The first three result in irretrievable data-loss, while that last one presents a challenge, but will be resolved. Here’s the thing; data backup should be one of the first few things you install and configure on a new computer. Very few computer users will not create data that is irreplaceable. I’ve met a few myself, but I’m on the other side of the spectrum, with tens of gigabytes of data that is important to me. My stuff is protected at least two or three different ways and I’m going to share with you three strategies I use for this process. Each has its merits and each has its cost and return on investment.

Whenever I talk about data backup, I talk about return on investment. It only takes a moment to draw the analogy to data restoration. There is no other purpose to backing up your data, except certainty that you can retrieve it when necessary. This is the bottom line, right in the middle of this article. That being said, here is method one – synchronization.

After a brief review of cloud-based backup services, including well known names like Mozy and Carbonite, I settled on SugarSync. You may already know why, based on the name. The biggest names in online backup are focused on ease of use, “set it and forget it” installation and configuration. For me, I chose synchronization, so I get backup and restore. In essence, that is what happens – my data is backed up to the cloud, then “restored” to a directory on another computer. Actually, there are three other computers. The likelihood of data loss is further reduced by the fact that each computer lives in a different environment. One is at home, one in my office, one is in a home office in another city and one is a laptop. The chances of all four computers being lost, stolen, or dying simultaneously are pretty slim. Even with all of that certainty in my case, I’ll tell you about method two – disk image backup to a local external drive.

I’ve backed up each of my computers (at least once) by creating an image of the entire drive, which creates a file to be stored on another disk. Given that hard drives today hold hundreds or thousands of gigabytes of data and I only have tens of gigs to preserve, there’s plenty of room for this method. I’ve been through a few computers in the last decade and I have images of those drives stored somewhere on other drives. For this, I use a product called ShadowProtect desktop, made by StorageCraft. It’s not cheap, but it’s easy to understand and run and it can be used for continuous incremental updates. The only drawback here is that you really should store your backup drive in a location other than right next to your computer. One of the victims of computer theft had his backup drive stolen along with his primary computer. He will not be restoring his lost data from that drive.  That’s the problem with local backup. Which leads us to method three.

You can get a 16 or 32 GB USB drive with a backup program built into it. This handy little gadget provides the simplest method of protection. You plug it in, answer a few questions, and in a few minutes you’ll have all of your important documents in your hand. The downside is, it is a handy little gadget, which means it’s very easy to lose. You must now protect it with all of the fervor commensurate with the value of the data on it. That means lock it in a safe, or at least keep it as safe as you would your car keys or your wallet. In other words, know where it is and don’t misplace it. Lose this little gadget and your backup strategy is pointless.

That’s it for now. I could beat this up a bit more by telling you how hard it is to put a dollar value on photos and documents you’ve created and stored on your computer. But, I won’t. I’ll simply repeat the basics here. Start backing up your data as soon as you realize it is valuable to you. Use one of the three methods mentioned here. Get a USB drive, use disk imaging software, or subscribe to some online backup service. Just do do something before your computer is lost, or stolen, or simply dies from any number of unnatural causes.