TWT Newsletter, Issue #006 –, Shop Safe and be a Photo-Pro!
It’s that time again, another TWT Newsletter dropping into your inbox. Not only that, but for most of us it’s the time of year when we must think about cards and gifts for our loved ones. Fortunately for us we’re spoilt for choice these days, with both the internet and the high street competing for our cash. This month we have a Christmas shopping special, helping you not only to decide what to buy but how to stay safe when doing it!
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In this months issue:-
1) Stay Safe When Shopping On-line
2) Tip of the Month – Improve Your Holiday Photos!
3) Free Utility of the Month – Paint.net and Roboform
4) Will 2008 be the Year of Vista?
Stay Safe When Shopping On-line
I know we are always talking about security here at Top-Windows-Tutorials.com, so much so that I sometimes worry I will make you all paranoid. However, just because you aren’t paranoid, doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you, as the saying goes. Last month saw one of the most elaborate and devious on-line scams yet. Pity the plight of one unlucky Windows user in Ohio who unwittingly infected her machine when opening an e-mail attachment. The particular trojan managed to install itself in spite of the fact that the user was running Norton Antivirus. Once installed, this insidious piece of malicious code managed to redirect traffic from E-bay and the independent vehicle history check website Carfax, as well as several other websites. Instead of visiting E-bay motors and Carfax, the unlucky user was unknowingly being redirected to spoof copies of those sites. After performing all the usual security checks, the unlucky victim was scammed out of 8,600 US dollars when she bought a vehicle that never even existed. The user (who wishes to remain anonymous) has now closed her E-bay account for good.
What can we learn from this? The moral of the story is, when it comes to preventing malware entering your computer, a sensible and over cautious user is the best defence. Never open an e-mail attachment that you are not expecting. If someone you know has sent it to you, you could always telephone or e-mail back asking for an explanation as to what the file is before trying to open it.
Equally important, when online, be careful what you install. If you are in doubt it is usually really easy to search Google or Yahoo for reviews or comments on the software you want to try. Devious criminals have for some time now distributed fake anti-virus and anti-spyware packages that are in fact the exact opposite, stay safe! Only install the software we recommend or at least do your homework before installing something new.
Tip of the Month – Improve Your Holiday Photos.
This months tip is for all your lucky Windows Vista users. With Christmas fast approaching we’ll all be taking lots of photos and Windows Vista has just the thing for viewing and touching up your family snaps. The super new Vista Photo Gallery is light-years ahead of XP’s. Crop, rotate, organise, even burn to DVD. Need to remove red-eye? No problem! The Vista Photo Gallery has this built in and it works too! Head on over to this tutorial to learn more.
Of course with Christmas just around the corner, we couldn’t forget our loyal Windows XP users either. Pay a visit to the Paint.net homepage to download Paint.net. A super-powerful Photoshop-like image editing program, completely free! Windows Vista users looking for something more in-depth than the editing options available in the Vista Photo Gallery might want to check this out too.
Free Utility of the Month – Paint.net and Roboform
This month we have two free software recommendations for you. You can read about the superb Paint.net in the section above. Finally, since we all have a lot of shopping to do, you can keep your passwords secure by using Roboform. Choose one password and it remembers the rest. Protect yourself from fraud by using different passwords for every site you use. That way a security breach on one site will not reveal your password for another site! Roboform encrypts and remembers your passwords so you don’t have to. The free version can store up to 10 different passwords.
Will 2008 be the Year of Vista?
Windows Vista landed with more of a whimper than a bang this year. Sure, the new operating system looks nice and there are plenty of improvements to security and stability under the hood, but for a great many users, problems of poor performance and hardware compatibility have made Vista a turn off. As my own Windows Vista experience was not all I expected it to be, I particularly enjoyed hearing about Microsoft’s Corporate CEO Steve Ballmer getting heckled by frustrated former Vista user, analyst and mother Yvonne Genovese, last month. You can read the full story by clicking here. In the first quarter of 2008, Microsoft promise to roll out Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista. A service pack is a major update to the operating system that not only includes all the current patches but also a few new features too, as well as some performance improvements. At the same press conference, Ballmer responded to criticism by stating that Windows Vista Service Pack 1 “addresses a lot of the customer feedback”. Windows XP is also going to receive Service Pack 3, which will almost certainly be the last service pack for XP. With the end of support for Windows XP looming in 2009 it seems inevitable that Vista will gain more momentum in the new year.
Of course, Top-Windows-Tutorials.com will continue to cover Windows Vista and Windows XP well into 2009. As a die-hard XP fan myself, I would not have it any other way. If you are a Windows Vista user, how has your experience been? Drop us a message by visiting our contact page. We’ll have tutorials and information on Service Pack 1 for Vista and Service Pack 3 for XP when they are released next year.
That’s all for another month. Here’s hoping that the Christmas rush doesn’t wear you all out. With the unpredictable postal strikes here in the UK, I decided to do all my on-line shopping early. Now, I have a closet full of presents that need wrapping, if only I remembered to buy the wrapping paper! We hope that you enjoyed our newsletter, if you didn’t then please contact us and tell us what we can do to improve it! If you have enjoyed this newsletter, feel free to pass it on to all your friends, family, co-workers or anyone you know, better still, encourage them to sign up for their own copy! Until next month, keep checking Top-Windows-Tutorials.com and enjoy happy and safe computing!