Top Story

Two great security tools get free updates

Two outstanding security apps, Microsoft Security Essentials 2.0 and Secunia Personal Software Inspector 2.0, are now available.

The original versions of these programs were great, but the new versions are even better; they’re must-have software — and they’re still free!

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Four free programs to help control Windows 7

Windows 7, like all powerful operating systems, can seem a bit overwhelming and give you the feeling you’ve lost control.

Fortunately, there are some great utilities for taming Windows 7.

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Check whether you’ve been Gawkered — now!

Last week, somebody broke into Gawker.com and stole 1.3 million account names, e-mail addresses, and passwords — and then posted all the booty on the Internet.

Your online security might not be at the top of your mind this time of year, but most likely you’re doing more Internet shopping. In light of the Gawker break-in, take a few minutes to assess your passwords.

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10 great ‘Do these first’ tweaks for Windows 7

It’s that time of year when many PC users are buying new machines and — ready or not — making the leap to Windows 7.

Get off on the right foot: save time, trouble, and frustration by performing these 10 simple Win7 tweaks.

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Set-top boxes match up: Apple TV vs. Google TV

The secret to choosing the right set-top box for your TV is managing your expectations.

Although these devices give TVs access to more of your audio, video, and Web media, none of them provides the one thing we really want — lower cable bills.

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Your next PC: thinking beyond the desktop

With Black Friday a fading memory and Cyber Monday deals still fresh on the Web, visions of a new PC may be dancing in your head.

But before you go out hunting for that shiny new Win7 machine, take a deep breath, sit back, and consider these tips on buying a PC.

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Avoid the security risk of shortened URLs

The compact URLs produced by services such as TinyURL, bit.ly, is.gd, and many others are convenient and save space, but they can also be used to hide the identity of malicious sites.

Fortunately, there are several ways to peek behind a shortened URL to see exactly where the link will take you — before you click it!

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Microsoft TechNet for the rest of us

Microsoft’s TechNet site, dubbed “Resources for IT Professionals,” is a rich repository of high-level geek talk plus tips for enterprise-class IT personnel.

But don’t let that reputation put you off — TechNet is also a gold mine of excellent tips and tricks for individual Windows users as well.

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Windows XP: Looking back, looking forward

On October 22, Microsoft pulled the plug on sales of Windows XP, ending the operating system’s spectacular nine-year run.

With no new copies being sold, support for XP will start to decline. Fortunately, XP’s long run has produced a ton of collected wisdom: everything you need to keep your copy going strong and — when ready — to help you move on.

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Cloak your connection to foil Firesheep snoopers

In his Oct. 28 In the Wild column, Robert Vamosi showed how easy it is to snoop a Wi-Fi connection using a clever Firefox add-in called Firesheep.

If you’re serious about protecting your surfing from prying eyes while on an unencrypted public Wi-Fi connection, the onus is on you to lock down your connections. Using virtual private networking (VPN) is one of the best ways I know to do that.

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