Tips and Informational Links


F. A. Dugach Consulting Services


In an effort to keep you up to date, I have provided my NEWS and VIEWS page.  Please be sure to check it out. As with all of my services, I will personally guarantee that you will benefit by the free information!



Backups
When did you do your last backup! Next to power problems, the lack of good backups is the next cause of poor data integrity. And don't forget to backup your web site too!
I can provide an AUTOMATED and OFFSITE BACKUP SERVICE for any company!

Spyware and SPAM
Previously we were concerned about virus threats. Now the reason our systems are slowing down to a crawl is primarily due to Spyware. These little started tasks or little mini-programs are downloaded to our computer from web sites, pop-ups, or e-mail. They are always running and are stealing precious horsepower from our systems. More importantly they are constantly watching what you type and the sites you visit, then report back to the people that created them. This concept is very similar to the telemarketing problems we faced. Once you filled out a registration card, made an "800" number call, bought a car or other large purchase, these companies looked at this information and followed up with several phone calls and junk mail. Now in our age of electronic communications, they inundate us with SPAM and other marketing type pop-ups. Fortunately there are now a couple of very good tools listed below that will help us combat this ever increasing threat, most important of which is keeping your system up to date with the most current operating system security patches, and plain old COMMON SENSE!

Virus Updates
Most clients use virus protection software however they fail to keep the list of viruses definitions up to date. Each day 50 to 60 new viruses are created with the sole purpose of making the lives of business people miserable - update yours at least twice a month or NOW!

Email
There are thousands of ways to get your daily dose of electronic mail and just as many ways to deliver viruses and porn. Make sure your email system is protected by a good anti-virus program like Symantec's Norton. You can even ask your ISP about their anti-spam and anti-virus services.

Wireless Security and WiFi
Wireless security and the lack there of is an extremely hot topic. Be sure and use the higher 128-bit encryption to secure your private wireless networks.

Electrical Power
Many companies and home based businesses fail to realize the importance of good power. A low cost Uninterruptible Power Supply, (UPS or Battery Backup), can easily save the cost of one service call. When shopping for a UPS look for AVR, (Automatic Voltage Regulation).

Software Licensing
This is one of the most confusing issues that plagues businesses. They want to be legal but the high cost drives them to become non-compliant. There are many solutions to this problem.

Training
After all of the above issues have been resolved and monitored, training is the next biggest resource hog. Computer users don't know all of the many simple tools that would make their lives easier, especially when upgrading from release to release.

Domain Name Registration
This is the oldest trick in the Internet. You ask a company to register your domain name and they never transfer administration or billing control to you. When you ask them to leave a few years later, they take your site with them or ask for a hefty fee to sell your own site back to you!

Website Copyright Date Update
Take a look at the bottom of any website to see if your copyright date has been updated!  Many companies still have not yet corrected this simple but truly important change.

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Informational Links
Here are a few links that will save you time and money ...

Electronic Information Policy
 - Here is an example of a policy on the use and abuse of your IT resources.

Fred's Facts on Outlook
 - Many people are unfortunately not paying attention to the growing size of their Outlook and Contact files.  Here is some information on how to reduce and manage this beast.

Fred's Facts on Technology
- Here's a view of technology in general.  Whether it be computer systems, data and network systems, or even voice systems, they are really all the same.
 
Process Explorer
 - A great little tool from Microsoft's TechNet or you can download it HERE.
If you have used Task Manager, you will love Process Explorer.  It's like Task Manager on Steroids - an excellent troubleshooting tool!

www.OpenOffice.org
- Here is an excellent replacement for Microsoft's suite of Office Products with one exception - it's FREE!  However they would prefer that you donate something to their cause.  You really should give them something if you use their product.

www.crucial.com/
- This is a great company that provides memory upgrades for all PCs and Apple Macs.  More importantly they have an online scan utility that will actually scan your PC and tell you how much memory you have, what kind it is and even how many slots you have, all without opening the case.  If you do open the case, be certain to have a can of air ready to blow out all of those dust bunnies!

www.logmein.com
- Most of you have heard of GoToMyPC.  Well LogMeIn is a better alternative and it's FREE!

https://secure.logmein.com/products/hamachi/list.asp
- And another product of LogMeIn is Hamachi.  A great secure network tool especially for the ACT community!

http://www.avg.com/
- AVG has improved Internet Security and Anti-virus coverage over Symantec and has EXCELLENT support which is LIVE!!!
  I am switching my corporate and residential clients to AVG 

Symantec's Norton Removal Tool
This download will help to get rid of all of the old residue from Norton's series of Anti-Virus, Internet-Security, products.  This tool will also help even when reinstalling Norton or any other product like AVG too. 

www.download.com
- CNET's site with loads of great utilities.

www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/default.mspx
- Some very good tools and utilities for Windows XP Pro, including the Image Resizer and TweakUI.

www.winzip.com
- A utility to unzip compressed files. NOT required for Windows XP.

www.pkware.com
- Another utility to unzip compressed files mostly used by the Apple Mac community.

www.belarc.com
- Provides a quick web based audit of your PC.

www.cpuid.com
- A great utility to determine the internal components of your PC.

http://www.auditmypc.com/ 
- Free audit of your local area network and Internet IP addresses.

http://www.adobe.com
- Adobe's Acrobat Reader - a must.  BUT be sure to UNCHECK the FREE TOOLS or APPS!
  Toolbars for Internet Explorer actually "Watch" all of the places you visit then report back to Google!

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/default.aspx
- Microsoft has many great free downloads.  Go to there download center and look for this free product.
Microsoft takes Spyware seriously.

http://www.download.com/Quick-Startup/3000-2086_4-10386377.html?tag=fd_hed
- Quick Startup. Great tool to stop those nagging little started tasks that eat up all of your resources.

www.spamcop.net
- Anti SPAM FAQs and services.

www.linksys.com
- If you're interested, here is some information on how your wired and wireless network actually functions. Be sure to click on "Learning Center" and Basics".

www.analogx.com
- Home of NetStat Live - the utility the shows Internet connection speeds.

www.java.com
- An important utility to allow many web sites to properly display their information.
  BUT DO NOT DOWNLOAD the free Google Toolbar.  They will watch you!

www.DNSStuff.com
- This site provides information on DNS and IP records.

www.dslreports.com
- Tips & Tweaks for DSL and Cable access plus broadband speed tests.

www.internic.com/whois.html
- The master index for all domain names.

www.networksolutions.com
- A reputable Domain Name registry and WHOIS lookup service.

www.cybersitter.com
- The first of three programs that will help parents control and monitor web site activity.

www.netnanny.com
- Another program to protect kids against hate literature, pornography, pedophiles, and other inappropriate information or persons on the Internet.

www.feedreader.com
- And in order to "Read" the orange RSS links, you will need FeedReader or any one of the many new RSS / XML / BLOG readers.

www.nist.time.gov
- Check your system time and date against the USA Standard.

Network Scanning Tools
Two great tools to see the TCP activity on your network and all of the IP addresses Download the NetworkTools HERE.


The Internet Traffic Report monitors the flow of data around the world. It then displays a value between zero and 100. Higher values indicate faster and more reliable connections.
Free Privacy and Security tests at AuditMyPC.com

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