Ian Knowles shares some tips about when and when not to
click, open and reply, in the first of a regular advice column
In this issue: Basic Internet Security.
Premium Rate Diallers,Viruses, Spyware, Junk E-mail (also
called Spam) and Pop-Ups are all problems that can affect
computers; especially those connected to the Internet and
very few these days are not. All very annoying but largely
preventable, if you take a few appropriate measures.
Firstly, install a reputable Anti-virus program. If you
already have one, ensure it is set to automatically update
its virus definition files (check that it actually does so),
alternatively, manually update the antivirus definition files,
in both cases at least once per week, as new viruses are released
all the time. Even if you can't see the effects of a virus,
some will open up a 'back door' to allow hackers access to
Good anti-virus packages include:
- Reliable and effective against almost all nasties you
might encounter. Easy for beginners to setup and use.
It isn't free though and you also have to pay an annual
subscription to be able to keep your virus protection
- AVG offers the same level of protection as Norton, but
is a little harder to setup. Although anyone with reasonable
computer skills (or friend/family member with such skills)
should manage fine. AVG has the advantage of being completely
free for home use.
Secondly, if you are connected via broadband, install a firewall,
either a software firewall, often available as part of a comprehensive
antivirus suite or you can use a hardware firewall.These hide
your PC from the outside world and prevent hackers obtaining
sensitive information that may be stored on your computer.
Firewalls are more use on broadband connections, as they tend
to be on-line for much longer periods.
Good firewall programs include:
- Sygate Personal Firewall is free, easy to setup and
should provide all the protection you need.
- Norton offer a good firewall too, like before it works
well but you do have to pay for it.
Be vigilant when opening emails and when surfing the Internet.
If you don't know who an email is from, especially if it has
an attachment, just delete it, don't open the email or the
attachment unless you are confident you have an up to date
antivirus program. Don't be tempted to reply to spam emails
or request to be taken off their mailing list. Many recipients
are randomly generated and replying merely serves to confirm
If you are tired of the amount of junk mail you get using
hotmail.com or Outlook Express then try:
- Thunderbird is a free e-mail program much like Outlook
Express but it includes excellent junk mail filters. It
also protects you from a lot of the viruses and other
malware which Outlook lets straight through.
When visiting websites, if you see a pop-up for example telling
you your computer is at risk etc, don't click anywhere other
than the X in the top right hand corner otherwise you are
inviting spyware onto your computer.These can be malicious
and install Trojans and premium rate diallers or at the very
least install spyware which tracks your surfing habits and
usually results in an increase in spam. Don't use free file
sharing software such as Kazaa and iMesh etc, as these get
revenue from using pop-ups and other advertising.
If you don't want to have to spend all of your time online
metaphorically looking over your shoulder then try one of
these alternatives to Internet Explorer:
- Firefox is a modern browser which offers better security
online. It blocks all those unwanted pop-ups that drive
you crazy and has lots of other useful features too. It
is easy to setup and use and best of all its free.
- Opera offers much the same features as Firefox. It is
slightly more slick and polished and is available in both
a paid for version and a free one with text adverts displayed
in a thin line at the top of the window. Trust me you
the tiny advert bar is much less intrusive than constant
pop-up windows and virus scares!
Finally, if you use a Microsoft operating system, browser
or email client, ensure that you have the latest updates and
security patches installed. Updates are released regularly
to fix problems and security loopholes that will help prevent
your computer suffering from virus and hacker attack.
Next issue: Basic Data Loss Prevention.
Website Wonders - Must see websites
It's Spring and so my thoughts turned to Easter and all
of its delights.
First of the must see websites this issue is www.happy-easter.com
- a great children's site - clear to view with a good variety
of pages dealing with the traditional side of Easter
gives a great insight into Easter in Czechoslovakia; the Easter
market sounds delightful, whilst the traditions are an eye
opener - on Easter Monday in particular, it would be scary
to be a girl in that country.
there are lots of child friendly, Easter oriented things to
print and further links through the holiday pages on the left
mean that there are many things to help keep the children
amused during the holidays.
is a great mixture of classical art and the Easter message
along with a number of thought provoking questions and further
resources covering the major Christian festivals.
Easter for many means one thing - chocolate! After wiping
the drool from my keyboard and visiting a lot of delicious
sites, I found a site with a slightly different take. http://www.chocolate.org
is not one for children, but explains the science of chocolate
in exacting detail. Once you read this, you may understand
why exactly you ate all of your Easter eggs in a frenzy.
Finally, I couldn't resist a peek at www.bradshawfoundation.com
- a site that made me wish I too could visit Easter Island
and be dwarfed by the statues of MOAI RANO RARAKU.
Bade Newby Display - series on local businesses
ever you want chopsticks or car stickers screen-printed in
Barrow, I know just the place! On a blustery January day,
I visited Bade Newby Display in Melton Road and satisfied
my curiosity about just what happens in that intriguing building
the business occupies.
Bade Newby himself, who began his career painting bingo balls,
started the business in 1967 in his garage at the old bakery
in North Street.
From there, the business moved to Beveridge Street, in the
slaughter shop of what had been Townend's butchers.For the
last 20 years it has been located in what has been an undertakers';
the garage for the Mount, complete with chauffeur's quarters
and Rolls Royce (the inspection pit is still there); and the
meeting place and store for the Home Guard during World War
The family business can print anything from a one off to
over 50,000 of the same item.The range of processes and surfaces
that they can accommodate is dizzying. During my visit, I
saw among other things examples of screenprinting on plastic
shuffle puzzles, on paper and card for point of sale advertising,
on metal for outdoor use and on self-adhesive labels to create
One of the attractions of the business is the variety that
it offers. Every job is different, whether it be producing
tags to attach to wheelie bins in a neighbouring borough,
using the 50" wide digital printer to produce large, highly
detailed promotional boards or heat bending plastic to form
three dimensional promotional leaflet holders in the shape
of removal vans. Also on offer is the facility to create vinyl
cut lettering or even on site screen-printing - a case of'have
screen, will travel'.
The business has its own website www.badenewby.co.uk
which has led to a greater range of orders and national/international
clients such as Nike. This, along with the move to digital
printing is ensuring that even though they may be sited in
a historic building, Bade Newby has an eye to the future.
What are you terrified of?
Everyone is terrified of something - or so I am assured.
Most of us can appreciate the terror of spiders, snakes, or
even something small which most of us wouldn't think about
- like the touch of coat buttons or feathers - but what about
computers? The fear that once they are switched on, you are
terrified you will press a button and everything will disappear
If you are a computer buff then this article is definitely
not for you. However, if you have been given a computer by
your kids, inherited one from work, or the children have told
you to get one so they can keep in touch by email as they
disappear off to the far flung ends of the earth, then your
Barrow library and Rawlins College might be able to help you
get over your terror.
Since 2004 Rawlins College have been running free 'taster'
courses on Thursday mornings at Barrow Library entitled 'Computing
for the Terrified'.The library has three computers so if you
don't have a computer at home, then you can book a session
by phoning or calling into the library. Sometimes you can
call in and get on a computer straightaway without the need
to book.This facility is free, but you do need to have a library
card and a password to do this, but the staff are very helpful
and will give you all the information you need to get started.
The 'taster' courses are run over a five-week period and
are free to anyone who has not attended a computer course
at Rawlins before. The course is designed for absolute beginners
of all ages, but if you have keyboard and mouse skills this
is an advantage, but not a necessity. We use some laptop computers
as well as the library ones, so everyone has a computer to
practise on. Over the five weeks, the aim is to teach students
- The difference between hardware and software
- How to produce and save a simple letter using Microsoft
- How to gain information from 'surfing' the Internet
- Set up an email account and send and receive messages
- Send a letter as an email attachment
So if you think 'hardware' or 'software' is something you
buy for the house, or 'surfing' is what the youngsters do
on the beach in Cornwall, then these courses are definitely
something you should think about. We try to make them informative,
interesting, fun and give individual tuition where possible.
A maximum of eight people are enrolled onto the course at
one time, but if you are interested your name can be put on
the waiting list. Details are available at Barrow Library
and the next course will run after Easter - dates to be confirmed
(why not put your name down at the Library and we will contact
you).If you can't make a Thursday morning then the same course
is held at Sileby Library on Wednesday mornings.
Pauline Green (Tutor & Barrow resident)