Wednesday, July 13, 2011

14 Reasons To Never Use Internet Explorer; Ever

All Windows Defense vendors, Norton, Kaspersky, NOD32, Avira AntiVir, and McAfee running on XP, have been in my shop within the last 4 months with small variations of a Java Class Malware. This Malware disables Windows Update, Windows Security Center's Firewall, Virus, & Windows Update sentries, disables Window's Firewall. The user's logon profile cannot run any programs and the system tray is disabled

Within a recent review computer protection programs, all vendor's were scored poor on XP. The vendors and testers claim that XP is not as secure as Vista nor Windows 7 rationalizing their lower scoring. All programs will fallback asking the computer's operator when they detect a questionable action, if the operator really wants to over ride the "trip wire" alert; they will allow it.

The main way these systems were infected appears to be poisoned websites viewed with Microsoft Internet  Explorer. In 12 reasons not to use Internet Explorer, ever, ComputerWorld's Defensive Computing Michael Horowitz lays some clear reasons for avoiding this problem by just changing your web browser habit.

I use FireFox, Opera, Seamonkey, and Chrome everyday. I suggest for you to use one as well.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

4 Ways To Set a Webmail As Your Default Email In Your Window's Browser

I thought all my Outlook friends would like this link. Below is cut/pasted from link above; yea, they done a good job.

4 Ways To Set WebMail As Your Default Email In Your Browser

As users are slowly migrating data to The Cloud, having a webmail account has become a given, with Google Mail being the top choice. Unimpressed by these developments, Windows continues to link email hyperlinks (a.k.a. mailto: links) to the default desktop mail client, such as Windows Live Mail or Outlook. Not even the Google browser Chrome challenges this practice.
The only way to stop mailto: links from opening in a desktop mail client is the use of third party applications (global), browser settings (Firefox), or browser extensions (Chrome). This article will show you how you can set Gmail as your default email client in Chrome, Firefox, or any other default browser.

GmailByDefault XP

If you’re running Windows XP, you can use this tool to make Windows open any mailto links in Gmail. Windows will launch your default browser and then open Gmail in a new tab.
gmail default email browser
I had to run the tool twice for it to work, even though it seemed to have installed successfully the first time. Changes were visible under > Internet Options (see below).
To reverse the changes made by GmailByDefault XP, go to > Control Panel > Internet Options, switch to the > Programs tab and select your preferred > E-Mail program from the respective pull-down list.


Affixa provides similar functionality as GmailByDefault. However, it is also compatible with Windows Vista and Windows 7, and comes with a bunch of extra features. Instead of launching Gmail in your default browser, if you are clicking on a mailto link elsewhere, Affixa will log into your account and drop a draft to the email address you clicked.
If your default browser is Firefox, it will first install an extension to handle login cookies. Affixa also supports Yahoo! Mail and Zimbra and you can theoretically add a desktop mail client. The free version only allows you to add one webmail account.
gmail default email browser
You have to make Affixa your standard mail program. The changes will only affect the settings under > Internet Options as described above for GmailByDefault XP. To use the attachment baskets, Affixa must launch with Windows. However if it doesn’t, mailto links will still open in your default mail client (i.e. Gmail) and browser.
To learn more about Affixa’s additional features, read my article How to Send Big Files & Auto-open mailto Links in GMail or Yahoo. Meanwhile, Affixa replaced the cooperation with with its own file server to offer the Drop feature.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

FYI: PC Magazine: The Best Antivirus Software for 2011

We known AVG's malware blocking weakness. We always
install Ad-aware (Free) & Spybot Search & Destory completing the
protection (see summary below).

PC Magazine: The Best Antivirus Software for 2011

AVG Anti-Virus Free 2011 Editor Rating: 3.5 Member Rating: 3

  • Pros: Excellent scores in independent tests. Fast antivirus scan. Above average in my
    malware removal tests. LinkScanner add-in blocks malicious exploits. No false
    positives. Scans and marks Facebook links. Multi-function toolbar. One-time
    system tuneup. Free identity theft recovery.
  • Cons: Didn't thoroughly remove detected threats. LinkScanner missed many phishing sites.
    Below-average rootkit and scareware blocking.
  • Bottom Line: AVG believes everyone deserves free basic protection against Internet threats.
    AVG anti-Virus Free 2011 is better at removing malware than most free solutions
    but not at malware blocking. With the current release it has the full power of
    AVG's paid solutions, and the independent labs give it top marks. Add some
    unusual bonus features and you've got a solid choice for free antivirus

Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0 Editor Rating: 3 Member Rating: 4

  • Pros: Free. Small download. Clean, simple user interface. Starts working immediately.

  • Cons: Poor protection against keyloggers, rootkits, and scareware. Just average protection against general malware. In testing, sometimes erroneously reported successful malware
    removal or blocking.
  • Bottom Line:Installing the free Microsoft Security Essentials will protect your system from malware to
    a degree. But you'll get better protection from one of the other well-known free anti-malware products.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Forcing Internet Explorer 7 & 8 into regulatory requirements by using 256-bit AES

We have a few business clients needing to be Federal compliant. We sometimes need a conviencing argument away from Microsoft's Home Products.

Changing the SSL cipher order in Internet Explorer 7 on Windows Vista by Steve Riley on Security
Formerly of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group.

We configure IE to use shorter bit lengths -- but never shorter than 128 bits, except for the last two that use no encryption -- because it gives you better performance than the longer bit lengths. In almost all cases, a 128-bit key is more than sufficient to protect the information you're exchanging over HTTPS.

However, if you require something longer, and want to change the default, you can. Here's how.

1. Open your group policy editor by entering gpedit.msc at a command prompt.
2. Choose Computer Configuration | Administrative Templates | Network | SSL Configuration Settings.
3. There's only one item here: SSL Cipher Suite Order. Open it.
4. Select Enabled.
5. Now here's where you need to tread carefully. You'll see that the list is the same as above, but rather than formatted nicely with carriage returns, they're simply separated with commas. The first item in the list is:
And the second item is:
Cursor your way through the list. Change that first 128 to 256. Then cursor forward a bit more and change the 256 to 128.
6. Feel free to change other orders, too, but keep your changes within algorithm types.
7. OK your way out, close the group policy editor, and reboot.