Sunday, March 29, 2009

Secure? Keep your poems safe: part 3

April 1 is approaching, with its usual threats of internet bots and viruses -- this year some particularly grim ones. Please take a moment to make sure your computer is secure.

The three best computer moves I've ever made (and 2 of them are free):
1) Secunia vulnerability scanning. It's free, and it scans all the programs on my computer to make sure they're up to date and not leaving any barn doors open due to known security vulnerabilities. Adobe, Flash, Quicktime and such programs are real hotpoints for that sort of thing, and Secunia will catch them all, monitor as they get updated, tell you where to get the updates, and tell you why each vulnerability is a risk. If you don't already have Secunia, go here now and download it:

2) AVG Anti-Virus free. I walked away from the annual fees and the system-hogging of commercial virus scanners and started using AVG free. It is quick, effective, and has kept me safe. If you aren't convinced a free anti-virus program can be as good as -- even better than -- one of the paid-for heavy hitters, read this article:

3) And, finally, Mozy for computer backups. I started with the free version, and was so impressed I now use the paid version, which allows me to back up bigger stuff -- all of it! I back up photos and my music library now, not just document files. I pay a small annual fee and I control when the backups occur. I can restore a single file or a folder or everything with about 2 clicks. For a fleeting moment I considered a separate hard-drive backup instead, but all hardware fails, eventually, and I wanted something off-site, so if a tree falls on the computer and the backup hardware I can still get to the files and keep working. (Don't laugh about the tree -- the Cherry Pie Press computer has narrowly escaped two very large tree disasters over the last few years, one of elm and one of oak.) MozyHome Remote Backup,

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