Friday, June 16, 2006
Monday, May 22, 2006
Learn more about the 2006 Microsoft Certification Second Shot Exam offer
Now, you can get a free second shot at any Microsoft Learning IT Professional, Developer, or Microsoft Dynamics (formerly Microsoft Business Solutions) exam.
The above offer from Microsoft has given me a bit of a much needed kick up the arse and I am planning on taking the infrastructure exam by the end of June.
Full details of the off er can be found via the link below.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
A couple of weeks ago at college Big Ron gave us his guide to safer internet usage. If you shop or bank online there are some simple precautions you should take. So after reading a post on Gemmak's blog I have written it up and added some extra advice.
Big Ron's guide to Safer surfing (with extra bits added by Mick)
- Always use a credit card not a debit card. A debit card is a way straight into your bank account, with a credit you are protected against internet fraud. If you have more than one credit card always use the same one for internet shopping. This makes it easier for you to spot any thing odd and makes it easier for the authorities to track if you are unlucky enough have any problems.
- Make sure you have antivirus software installed and running. It's not enough to install your antivirus program and forget about it, you have to keep it updated with the latest virus definitions and you have to regularly run a scan on your system. If you shop or bank online you should run a scan at least once a week.
- Make sure you have a firewall. The windows XP firewall is not enough!. Windows firewall will block attacks coming in but will not stop any info going out of your PC. If you use broadband you should get a router, typically these will have an in built firewall and a hardware firewall is generally better than a software one, (but have a software one aswell). Something else to do is to configure your firewall to block confidential information, I use Norton firewall and you can enter things that you would like blocked e.g account no's, credit card no's, names, addresses. When entering the info you want blocked don't enter the full card number for instance just half of it. This way you are not storing the full number.
- Have at least 3 different anti-spyware programs installed, keep them up to date and run scans with them at least once a week. You can get Ad-aware, Spybot search & Destroy and the Beta of Microsoft's anti-spyware all for free. Use more than anti-spyware product as they all seem to find different things.
- Keep Windows up-dated, make sure you have all the latest patches from Microsoft.
- Never ever respond to or click on links in E-mails claiming to be from E-bay, Paypal, your bank or anything else you might be signed with that threaten you with account closure if you don't update your details. These are Phishing scams intended to trick you into entering confidential info on a fake website. Some of these mails are not as obvious as the threatening ones and can be a lot more subtle. For example last week I got a mail "from Ebay" inviting me to become a powerseller, all I had to do was "click here" to log in. This was to me an obvious fake because, I don't even near qualify to be a powerseller. Here's a good tip to spot the fakes. If you remember that the wording of the link is just text (e.g above where I have linked to gemmak it says "gemmak" and not the actual address of her blog) so anyone can type in https//ebay.co.uk/ login but the link will take you somewhere else (clink on the link to see). If you are using Outlook for your e-mail when you hover your mouse pointer over a link a tooltip should appear and this will reveal the actual web address (this may work in other mail applications , but as I don't use them I can't say). Remember a genuine mail from your bank or ebay or whatever will never ask for your passwords etc or issue you with threats if you don't update your details. To be safe don't click on links in e-mails, go to the site you want by typing it into your browser.
- Don't save passwords or personal details on your computer. If you really can't remember them then just note cryptic reminders that no one esle would understand or know. Also don't allow windows to save your passwords.
- visit http://www.grc.com/ and do their sheilds up! test. This scans your computer for open ports and gives you a rating. Anything less than 100% stealthed (all green) is not good enough. If you get less than this score you need a firewall.
Generally speaking shopping on the net is far safer than handing over your credit card to someone who then walks off to process it.
Don't get too paranoid, unless you indulge in file sharing, P2P or porn in which case you can't be paranoid enough.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Although I don't work in I.T as such, I have to deal with a lot of the clients I.T people some of which are less than impressive.
The I.T girl sent me the following configuration for a new printer, I always ask for the info to be sent in an e-mail so I'm sure it's correct and so that I can blame someone else if it's not,
As per our conversation, pls find below the details:
Monday, August 15, 2005
On saturday I had to load some security and update patches on some of our print servers that run Xp embedded.
The first one went ok but the second and third went completly tits up and started giving the BSOD after applying the last patch. I discovered that somehow I'd managed to delete most of the files from the patch, which was on a memory stick, after applying it to the first machine.
fortunately I was able to restore both servers from back up and only had to reload the extra applications but I was still here 'till nearly 4 o'clock tho'
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Here's something for broadband people that will really speed FireFox up:
1.Type about:config into the address bar and hit return. Scroll down and look for the following entries: network.http.pipelining network.http.proxy.pipelining network.http.pipelining.maxrequests Normally the browser will make one request to a web page at a time. When you enable pipelining it will make several at once, which really speeds up page loading.
2. Alter the entries as follows: Set "network.http.pipelining" to "true" Set "network.http.proxy.pipelining" to "true" Set "network.http.pipelining.maxrequests" to some number like 30. This means it will make 30 requests at once.
3. Lastly right-click anywhere and select New-> Integer. Name it "nglayout.initialpaint.delay" and set its value to "0". This value is the amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it recieves. If you're using a broadband connection you'll load pages MUCH faster now!
I have no idea if this works but I'll be trying it tonight hopefully.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Which web browser do you use? Gone over to Firefox have you, to be safer? Think again.
The Register has an article about the rise in trojan horse programs. highlights include;
Of the 13 vulns affecting IE in 2004, nine were classified as "high severity". Of the 21 vulnerabilities affecting the Mozilla browsers, Symantec classified 11 as "high severity". Firefox users enjoyed an easier ride with just seven affecting "high severity" vulns over the report period.
Symantec says there have been few attacks in the wild against Mozilla, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, or Safari, but the jury is still out on whether these browsers represent a more secure alternative to IE.
The article also comments on the rise in Phishing scams, this is where you get an email asking you to confirm your account details for internet banking etc, I get a lot of these pretending to be from ebay. The email will ask you to click a link, which takes you to a fake version of the website you think you are visiting, and then log in to reset your account, at which point they grab your password etc and steal all your money.
I would imagine that a lot of even fairly web savvy people get caught like this and it is obviously lucrative judging by this statement;
Symantec also noted a marked rise in email scams over second half of 2004. The firm's BrightMail anti-spam filters blocked an average of 33 million phishing emails a week in December 2004 compared to nine million a week in July 2004.
So get yerself a firewall and antivirus software, if you use broadband get a router/firewall, visit www.grc.com and use their "shields up" utility to find out how secure your pc is, and remember no proper company will ask you for passwords etc.
Be careful out there on the interweb because here be dragons, and thieving bastards.
Monday, March 14, 2005
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
I 've done it. I've taken the plunge. I've signed up for broadband. I actually signed up for it a few weeks ago with Tiscali as the provider but I realised afterwards that I wasn't getting the deal that I thought I was and I read a lot of bad press about Tiscali so I decided to cancel my order. I have now signed up with with Bulldog who have got a very good deal on at the moment for an unlimited 4meg connection. I should be up and running in about a week.
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Friday, June 25, 2004
Also at the register is BOFH episode 20 , very funny.
Saturday, May 22, 2004
Saturday, April 03, 2004
This week we covered subnetting and VLSM. Subnetting is the bane of my life, it involves maths, my maths is shite therefore my ability to work out subnet masks, no of networks, no of hosts etc is also shite.
On a plus note the redesign of my website is coming along nicely and by the end of next week I hope to have the design finished and some networking content added as well.