PC – SOS

An Internet Security Blog

Archive for the ‘Misc.’ Category

Happy Holidays!

Posted by Bob Zenith on December 24, 2010

Just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone Happy Holidays!

While you’re preparing for 2011, why not take a moment and make some New Year’s Resolutions? Here are some ideas:

  • Be Safer on the Internet
  • Teach someone how to be safe on the Internet
  • Become active on an online forum dedicated to Internet safety

Or, if you’re addicted to the internet, a good resolution idea would be to try to peel yourself away from the computer and spend more time with family / friends 😉

Anyways, enjoy the last bit of 2010 while you can; the next post of PC-SOS will be in 2011.

Posted in Misc. | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

A wonderful alternative to Adobe Reader

Posted by Bob Zenith on November 7, 2010

Ok, how many of you are tired of all the 0-day adobe reader exploits we’ve been hearing about? How many of you are tired of Adobe Reader altogether?

I’ve just found a great alternative to Adobe Reader, SumatraPDF

What makes Sumatra PDF so great? Well, two things, mainly. First, Sumatra is completely Open Source (source code available here), and it is very lightweight (only 2 MB, compared to Adobe Reader’s 38 MB). It’s final install size is ~4 MB, while Adobe Reader’s ~143 MB.

Although SumatraPDF doesn’t have all of the fancy capabilities of Adobe Reader, it is fine for the average user. The only thing I use Reader for was to open and read PDF files, which Sumatra also does.

I highly recommend giving this program a try – it is a wonderful alternative to the heavily exploited Adobe Reader

Posted in Misc. | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Twitter Placing Ads in our Tweets?

Posted by Bob Zenith on November 3, 2010

Everyday,  more and more companies go over to the “dark” side of privacy. This week, the company was Twitter.

It appears that Twitter is now slipping in “promoted tweets” into tweet streams of those who are using HootSuite. Twitter has said that if all goes as planned, they will soon be expanding these ads to the general population of Twitter users (i.e. those not using HootSuite).

So, what’s the problem, you ask? Well…

[This practice is] invasive and unethical. It is also not uncommon for malicious links to be contained within adverts and I for one do not want to be a hoster for this, knowingly or not.

Source: Spudz (forum post)

This wouldn’t be as big as a deal as it is if it was an opt-in or opt-out scenario. In a perfect world, this service would be opt-in, so unless we choose to do so, ads would not be put in our Tweets. However, even if this was not instituted, there should still be an option to opt-out of receiving these “promoted” Tweets.

Oh, and what’s wrong with putting a little [Paypal] donation box on Twitter? Its much less invasive, and I’m sure they’ll still get a lot of money.

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Africa is the safest continent for web surfing

Posted by Bob Zenith on August 29, 2010

According to a study by AVG, the safest countries for web access are Sierra Leone and Niger (1 in 692, and 1 in 442 web users attacked with malware, respectively). This is probably due to the low level of Internet users in Sierra Leone and Niger.

Interestingly, Turkey, Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan have the highest rates of virus and malware attacks; The U.S. ranked ninth with one in every 48 Web surfers at risk, while the U.K. was 30th with a rate of one in every 63.

You can read more here

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