Understanding Spoof Email aka Phishing

When you receive an email from a Citizens Bank directing you to a specified web site and requesting that you confirm your banking information be aware this is Phishing or Spoofing email. Many times these emails will look professional in appearance, may have the same color scheme, and fonts as your bank’s web site. These emails could be asking you to complete a survey, confirm banking information, or sign-up for a news letter. The goal is simple, lure the user to the web site and steal personal information. Any time that you receive an email from eBay, Pay Pal, eCard, Bank or any company beware that someone could be Phishing (“Fishing”) for your personal information.  Remember to never open, always delete them!
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Improve the performance of your computer and remove that junk!

There is not a week that goes by when I don’t receive a question from one of my students or friends asking how they can improve the performance of their computer. Follow these steps in order and you will improve the performance of your computer or laptop, and remove the junk at the same time.  Set some time aside, because this could take a couple hours to complete.
First Step:
Run an update on your virus program, than perform a full scan of your computer. At this point I would suspect that many of you are finding out that your virus program is expired. Your options are to spend the money to upgrade your current program or purchase another virus program.
I recommend that you use AVG virus program from free.avg.com. NOTE: Before you move to a new virus program you must uninstall the old program. You do this by going into the Control Panel and select Add and Remove Programs icon. How search the list for your virus program to be uninstalled, highlight and select uninstall.  After you have uninstalled your old virus program, reboot the computer before installing the new virus program.
To download and install AVG for trail period, go to http://free.avg.com/us-en/homepage
Second Step:  
Once the virus program has completed the full scan, the next step is to download and install “CCleaner”. You can find “CCleaner” by typing the keyword “CCleaner” in Google or select the link provided below.  Once you have installed “CCleaner”, run the program  which will remove all the unwanted files, such as cookies, history, index files, memory, temporary files, old windows logs and more,  “CCleaner” is safe to use and will improve the performance of your computer.
To download and install “CCleaner” go to http://www.piriform.com/
Third Step:
Over the years, I have found that many programs that were installed on a computer can use up memory and eat away at the performance of a computer or laptop. Programs such as Limewire, coupon programs, and so call free games can reduce the overall performance of a computer.
This is the time to search your computer and remove these unused or unwanted programs from your computer. This does take some judgment on your part, as you do not want to uninstall a program that belongs, such office 2003, Works, virus programs or other utilities programs.  After you have performed this task, run CCleaner again as instructed above.



Fourth Step:
The next step is to complete a defragment of your hard drive. I have tested, and like, defraggler from Piriform.   What is defragging?  Think about it this way, if you threw 52 cards all over the room it would take awhile to pickup those cards and read each. However, if the 52 card where thrown on the ground right in front of you, it would take a lot less time to collect those cards and read them. Defragging your hard drive put all your files in one area, and the free space in another area of the hard drive, making it easier for the data or files to be found and displayed. You also will be alerts to any bad sectors on the hard drive. If this happens it could be time to look at replacement drive or new computer. Defragging your hard drive can take some time to complete. I like to start this task, just before I leave the house for work or church.
To download and install “Defraggler” go to http://www.piriform.com/defraggler

Final Word: To keep your computer running great, perform steps two and four one time a week. Schedule your virus program to update and scan every day.