Foreman Art, Research & Technology
Eureka, CA 95502

Certified Small Business - State of California

Locally Owned and Operated
A California Company for 11 Years

A State of California Certified Small Business


Handy Tips

Malware/Virus


The first thing you need to understand is that you need to be prepared. Even if you have taken all the precautions, anti-malware and anti-virus software; you will still be attacked/infected at some point. One of the precautions usually not taken is an "Emergency Boot" or "Rescue Disk" CD. Many of the anti-virus companies have them available and I recommend the Kaspersky's version as it gives the user the most leeway, and will update software if an internet connection is available.

Should you find yourself infected or afflicted with some malware or virus the first thing you need to do is unplug your internet connection; either via the network cable or turning of the wifi adapter. Many of the newer infections need to contact a "command & control" server somewhere on the internet. If you close this communication link then you stop them from receiving information about you and your computer.

Once you have disconnected yourself, then insert your boot cd (or usb rescue key), and reboot your computer choosing to boot from the cd or usb. Then follow the instructions for the product you use.


Backup


Backup is VERY important, the rule of thumb is only back that which you do not wish to replace or cannot replace. For most people the backup that comes with Windows 7 and Windows 8 is more than sufficient. As to what to back to that will be determined by the quantity of data you are backing up.

There are usb thumb drives in various sizes that are fairly economical (64gb would be good for many people), however you will need to find out the existing capacity of your current storage (your hard drive) and get a backup drive of equal size. As to backup drives I highly recommend ioSafe. The drives are designed to survive flood, fire and earthquake...(dropping) and work with virtually all operating systems. They are good cheap insurance.


Virtual Machines


Would you like to try out the latest operating system without harming your existing installation? Well Oracle has a very nice program called VirtualBox. Download and install VirtualBox, then install in a new virtual machine the new operating system whether it be Windows or Unix or Linux et. al. Instructions and documentation at the website.

This is also a nice way to have a secure setup for doing special tasks. You create a virtual machine soley for the purpose of your online banking, social networking or anything else you wish to keep seperate from your daily online activities.


Non-Microsoft Program Updates


I cannot more emphatically state how wonderful Ninite.com is. Imagine a place you could go, select a few check boxes for pieces of software you use and have them all install from that one place. Well, Ninite does that for you. You simply check the items you wish to install, download the small installation file - run it and it will download and install the software you chose. Depending on your internet connection speed it can happen within minutes. I also use Ninite to keep software updated. If there are new versions of Firefox or Adobe Flash or other software you have, you can easily get the latest verion at this one-stop site.


Data Encryption


How would you like to have state of the art encryption for one of your folders or your computers hard drive? Well you can have that via a program called TrueCrypt. It allows you to encrypt your data so that if someone tries to access your files without the passkey they will be unable to do so. This especially for those with laptops that travel extensively anyone that accesses any important data.


Switch Operating Systems


Many of you are using Microsoft Windows of some sort, and some MacOSX. For the mac people you are pretty much, (but not totally), stuck with your operating system. The PC people however, can install many different operating systems and versions and even try them out without doing any harm to their existing files. Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD are some alternatives you can try. Linux has numerous variations available that can be for very specific applications, distributions designed for science, kids, mathematics, specific languages et. al. You may have heard of some of the distributions, such as Redhat or SUSE. I myself prefer debian based distritbution. I have found over the years that the 'apt' package management good about not breaking other programs when you install new or updated programs. Although I have my preferences, many of the other distros work just as well. Below find a list of and links to some of the distros I can recommend:
Debian Based: Linux Mint; Ubuntu; Knoppix; SolusOS; Sparky Linux.

Other Distros: Mageia; Slackware; Fedora; CentOS; Scientific Linux; Gentoo; Sabayon

You can access the downloads for all of these in one place; Linux Tracker


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