Thursday, November 29, 2007

Beating Adware, The Sneakiest Software

Promoters of adware, software that shows advertising on a user`s computer, use some cunning tricks to get you to install their software on your machine. Here`s what to look out for.Adware is, by definition, something reasonable people don`t want on their computers. That`s why malware can`t just come out and ask people to install it. Often, the computer owner is completely unaware of it being installed. But not always.When adware doesn`t want to sneak in through an open window, it will try to trick you into letting it in through the front door. Don`t think you could be tricked? Don`t be so sure until you`ve checked out these most common ways people have been tricked into allowing malware to be installed on their machines.Adware Installation Trick 1: Piggybacking• How it works: malware may come bundled with a legitimate piece of software the user actually wants, such as a game or emoticon. The malware is merely labeled `companion software,` without any indication of what it will do.• How to fight it: be very suspicious of any software that comes bundled with other software. Don`t installed software that comes bundled with other software unless you know everything that the bundled software does. After all, if the bundled program has anything to do with the program you actually want, why couldn`t the software developer just get both programs` functionalities into a single piece of software? Software developers are now very sensitive to malware concerns and will provide a lengthy explanation of just why the bundled software is necessary, in the cases when they actually do need to use bundled software.Adware Installation Trick 2: Bait and Switch• How it works: since people are getting more and more suspicious of bundled software, the malware`s developers may simply label it as valuable software, for instance, a browser plugin that supposedly accelerates web browsing (but in reality only shows ads).• How to fight it: again, a suspicious mind is useful in avoiding malware. Ask yourself some questions:o What will this software actually do? Malware often comes with very fuzzy claims attached. Sure, it says it will improve your browsing experience, but how? Often, this improved browsing experience just means a browsing experience with more advertising.o If the software is so great, why is it being given away free? Most commonly, software is only given out free in two cases: if it`s OpenSource (designed by a community of developers and not proprietary--OpenSource software is always clearly labeled as such); or simply a come-on for a fuller-featured version of the software. If neither case is true, there`s a real chance the software is financed by adware.Adware Installation Trick 3: Outright Lying• How it works: malware may even be labeled as something else entirely, such as a well-known piece of software or a crucial component of the computer operating system.• How to fight it: this is the trickiest malware of all, and requires extreme caution. You don`t want to start deleting any of your program files, much less your system registry entries, unless you`re absolutely sure it`s malware. Plenty of overzealous parasite hunters have shot their own machines to bits this way. This is one case where you want to be using an anti-spyware program, and preferably a second anti-spyware program to provide a second opinion.Getting Rid of AdwareAdware is so tricky that trying to uninstall it by yourself could be like a trip into the Matrix. Luckily, there are good anti-spyware programs that tackle adware as well--after all many adware programs are also spyware since they monitor your internet usage.True, it may feel like adding insult to injury to have to install more software to get rid of software you never meant to install in the first place. But sometimes you just have to fight fire with fire.
By: Joel Walsh

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Antivirus Software – Get The Bugs Before They Get You!

You turn on your computer, and it doesn’t look quite right. Maybe your icons have changed, or the background picture is wrong. Some options are disabled. Even worse, you may not be able to boot your computer up at all. Guess what – it’s probably got a virus.In today’s online world, protecting your computer from all the nasty things online is vital. Viruses can cause obvious issues, as described above, but they can also run silently in the background, propagating themselves across your computer and transferring on to the computers of people you know. Mostly, you only know you have a virus when substantial damage has already been done.Some common signs of a virus include:-Programs working erratically-Computer locks up-Greyed out options-The browser home page has changed-Icons have changed-Difficulties starting up the computerThere is a solution! Antivirus software is readily available, and the good ones are very efficient at dealing with viruses in all their many and varied mutations. Basically, if you’re online, you need this type of software.So which one do you choose? For starters, be careful of using something free off the internet, particularly if it’s one you’ve never heard of. Sometimes these programs are a way of implanting more viruses on your computer. Some of the better known brands give you the option of doing a free scan online, which is useful, but not a long term solution.It’s really important to choose well-known antivirus software. Ask friends, or someone computer savvy, for their recommendations. It may be worth visiting a computer store and buying it there, rather than online – after all, if they’ve gone to the trouble of stocking it, it’s most likely an established and trusted product.There are plenty of good brands available, far too numerous to list here, but some of the best known are from McAfee, Norton and Trend. Check out the support available to you – can you contact someone if you have trouble installing the software?Most importantly, make sure there’s an easy way to update the software on a regular basis (preferably as part of the purchase cost!). For example, my antivirus software pops up a little box every time an upgrade is available. I click okay, and it’s automatically downloaded to my computer. Viruses change and develop at an alarming rate, so it’s vital to keep your antivirus software up to date.Finally, the all-important backup! The word “backup” tends to produce the same glassy eyed response as the word “budget”, but it really is an essential part of being online. Regularly backup your important files to CD or DVD. If you’re a business user, an automated and frequent backup process is vital. Once a virus has destroyed your computer, it’s too late.Being online is wonderful, but don’t let it become a nightmare. Antivirus software will play a vital role in keeping your online experience a positive one.
By : Felicity Walker
Source :

Three Ways To Get Listed In Google

In this article I show you three ways to get listed in Google, including one method that is virtually guaranteed to work.
I'm constantly surprised by what I find when dealing with search engine optimization clients.
One of those "surprises" is coming across sites that aren't listed by Google, even though they have been live for many months.
For most Web sites, Google refers more traffic than any other search engine. So it's imperative that your site is indexed in Google.
As of September 09, 2003, Google claims to index Searching 3,307,998,701 web pages. Yet somehow sites still fail to make it into the Google index!
There are three simple methods to getting listed in Google, but only one of these is guaranteed... well almost. ;o)

1. Submit Direct To Google

The first method is to submit your web site via Google's free submit your site form. Just submit your home page and Google's crawler, Googlebot, will crawl the rest.
However, Google does not add all submitted URLs to their index, and there is no guarantee as to when, or if, your site will be indexed.

2. Get Linked From A Site That Google Crawls

The second method is to get a site that Google already crawls to link to your site. So when Google recrawls the web site, it will find the link to your site and crawl and index it as well.
This is Google's preferred method of finding sites to index.
To get another site to link to yours, simply look for a site that links to your competitors and ask them to link to yours. You may have to offer a link back to their site in exchange.
You may like to read my link popularity article, "How To Quickly Improve Your Link Popularity." In this article I show you how to find link exchange partners.

3. Submit Your Site To The Yahoo! Directory & The Open Directory Project Index

The third method is to submit your web site to the Yahoo! Directory and/or Open Directory Project index, which is owned by Netscape.
As far as I know, this is the only guaranteed method of getting into the Google index.
Google has agreements with Yahoo! and Netscape to include the sites indexed in their directories in the Google index. So submit your site to either, or both (recommended), of these directories.
For more information, visit Yahoo!'s How to Suggest Your Site page and the Open Directory Project's How to add a site to the Open Directory page.
Once your site is included in either of these directories, it will appear in the Google index in about 4 to 8 weeks.
So now you have no excuse for not getting indexed by Google.
By : Michael Wong
Source :

Top 12 Tips To Writing Effective Google AdWords Ads

In this article I show you my top twelve tips for creating effective Google AdWords ads.
I've been testing the Google pay per click advertising system for a while, with much success. These tips will help you create ads that generate higher click through rates, and lower cost per click.

1. Target The Right Audience

Target the right audience by selecting the language and countries that you want to target. For example, I exclude all countries where English is not understood by a large percentage of the population.

2. Refine Your Keywords

Use square brackets "[...]" around your keyword/s.
For example:
[google][google adwords]
Your ad will only show when the search is for the exact keyword phrase you have included within the brackets.
The ad will not show for searches that include other keywords. In our example, this would be for searches such as "google search," or "google news."

3. Test Multiple Ads Simultaneously

Always test 2 (or more) ads simultaneously. This is what is known in the print industry as an A/B split test.
Find out which one produces the higher click through ratio. Then replace the weaker performing ad with a new one.
Continue this process in your never-ending quest to get the highest click through ratio possible.

4. Track The Return-On-Investment Of Each Ad

Google tracks the click through ratio of each ad. But it doesn't track the conversion ratio.
Use a special tracking link in each ad to track its conversion ratio. For example, you could attach each ad with an affiliate tracking system link. Make sure each ad produces a return-on-investment.

5. Include Targeted Keywords In Your Ad

Include the targeted keywords in the headline and the description of the ad. Google will highlight searched keywords in bold in the ad.
When people scan search results, they look for the keywords they have entered. Searched keywords highlighted in bold certainly help to catch the user's attention. For this reason, ads with searched keywords usually perform better than ones without.

6. Sell The Benefits

Spell out one or more major benefit in your ad. For example, make more money, stay younger looking, lose weight, get healthier, live happier, etc.

7. Include Attention Grabbing Words In Your Ad

Start your headline with an attention grabbing word. For example, "Free:, New:, Sale:, etc." Make sure you stay within Google's editorial guidelines.

8. Use Words That Provoke Emotion & Enthusiasm

Use power words or call-to-action phrases that provoke emotion, enthusiasm and a response.
Here are some examples of power words:
free, cheap, sale, special offer, time limited offer, tricks, you, tips, enhance, discover, fact, learn, at last, free shipping, etc.
Here are some examples of call-to-action phrases:* Buy Today - Save 50%* Download Free Trial Now* Sale Ends Tomorrow
Make sure the phrase specific to your business, otherwise Google may reject the phrase.

9. Sell Your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)

What makes your product or service better, or different, from the competition? Spell them out in your ad.
For example, one of's first taglines was "Earth's Biggest Bookstore." That's a powerful USP!

10. Link To Relevant Landing Pages

If an ad is for a specific product or service, create a landing page for the ad. Include relevant and useful information to convert the customer. Generally, a well designed landing page will almost always convert more visitors than if you simply sent the visitor to the home page.

11. Remove Common Words

Remove common words, such as "a, an, in, on, it, of, etc." Remove every word that does not absolutely need to be in the ad. Make every word count.

12. Deter Freebie Hunters

Deter freebie hunters by including the price of the product or service at the end of the ad. This will improve your overall conversion ratio and lower your average customer acquisition cost.
This may reduce your click through ratio, but that's OK. After all, you're not trying to target every body, only potential customers. In most cases, freebie hunters will never become paying customers.


Remember that advertising is a never-ending series of tests. Always track your ads. Never stop testing different keywords and ads to improve your conversion ratio and lower your customer acquisition cost.
Advertising in the Google AdWords advertising system works. It may not necessarily produce as many visitors as Overture, but the click through cost is usually lower.
Master the art of advertising in Google, and you could outsmart the competitor who's always outbidding you in Overture.
By: Michael Wong
Source :

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

How to Remove Spyware

Introduction to SpywareSpyware is a software program that stealthily collects information about the user’s activities on the computer and reports back to the spyware software creator. The most common sources of the spyware are files sharing programs, online gaming, screens savers and downloading software from insecure websites. Once spyware are enters the computer they change the behavior of the computer. A spyware can be installed in a computer by different ways. Sometimes it can be installed with the popular shareware programs. A spyware infected computer may show following changes.Symptoms of Spyware• Web browser’s home page is changed automatically.• New toolbars are installed.• Antivirus and Anti spyware programs frequently complains that your system is infected with the spyware, malware or Trojan horses.• It takes a long time to start or resume your computer programs.• Excessive pop-up ads are installed in the computer automatically.• Computer becomes very slow to response and internet connectivity also takes time.• Unwanted search results appear when you search something.• New desktop shortcuts are created.• If your system is infected with spyware then you may notice bounced back emails or emails being sent without your knowledge.• Keyboard loggers can capture the password and user name and send back to the spyware software creator.How to Remove SpywareA spyware program is very different in behavior and symptoms from the viruses. Following are some of the programs that help you manage detect, remove and protect your system from the spyware.Panda Security SuiteTrend Micro Anti spyware programZone Alarm ProMcAfee Antivirus + Anti spyware programPest PatrolSpyblockerSpycopAdditionally from the following spyware resources you can check if your system is infected with the spyware. some preventive measures you can protect your system from being infected from the spyware, malware, adware and keyloggers. These safety tips include safe emailing, safe surfing, securing browser’s settings, using spyware detection and prevention software, blocking pop-up ads, blocking files sharing applications and regularly scanning your computer with the anti spyware and antivirus software programs.
By B Bashir
Article Source:

Network Administrator Tools

Following is a list of the handy administrative tools and utilities for network administrators, system administrators and IT consultants.MY IP SuiteMY IP Suite combines domain to IP converters, Tracert, WHOIS, website scanner, batch ping and IP to country converter. With MY IP Suite you can lookup an IP address for single and group of domain names perform batch and pings on the multiple servers at the same time. You can also track IP addresses to their destination to find out the problems in the connections. You can also determine the last modified data, name, IP address and the operating system of the remote web server.Desktop AuthorityDesktop Authority utility manages the Windows Desktop lifecycle and reduces the total cost of the ownership by enabling the network and system administrators to manger, control inventory and secure the desktop computers from the central location. With the Desktop Authority you manage printer deployments, registry values, software deployments, drive mappings and perform diagnostic methods from the centralized location.HyenaHyena is designed to simply and manages the day to day network management and administrative tasks. Hyena uses Windows explore type interface to perform all the operations. The most common features of the Hyena are the management of the users, groups, shares, messages, sessions, open files, devices, events, domains, disk space, job scheduling and processes. Hyena is compatible with almost all the Windows based operating systems and it can manage a lot of administrative tasks in the Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 Servers.IP Sniffer & Web TracerIP Sniffer & Web Tracer is a domain and IP tool that combines, domain IP convert, tracert, PING, website scanner and connection monitor. The common features of IP Sniffer & Web Tracer are conversion of domain to IP address, IP to domain name, trace IP address and domain, find the country from IP address and you can obtain all the required information based on the IP address such as domain owner, email, postal address, city, state, country and contact phone.Remote Control PRORemote Control PRO is a handy tool for the network administrators that allow them to view and manage the remote computers without leaving their seats. With the Remote Control PRO a network administrator can launch programs, troubleshoot software applications and devices, install drivers, manage users, domains and change computer settings by using his/her keyword and mouse.
By B Bashir
Article Source:

Sunday, November 25, 2007

10 Sensible Steps to Take When Choosing Your Domain Name

With such a huge growth in the number of websites and the resulting difficulty in finding an available domain name, it is tempting to grab the first one that sounds like it might do the trick. However, a small amount of homework will pay big dividends – follow the ten steps below to obtain the optimal domain:1. AVAILABILITYIf it’s not available you can’t have it – simple!2. COPYRIGHTEnsure that you do not breach copyright or infringe trademarks with your choice of domain.3. EXTENSIONSIt’s widely acknowledged that the best TLD (top level domain) is .com. However, in the UK, web users are more than used to so this is equally acceptable for UK websites. If .com isn’t available and you use .net instead (for example), check that .com isn’t either a competitor or that the .com site content is acceptable! Always try to get the .com, your country TLD or .net in that order. Web users are still not used to .biz or .info.4. BE GREEDY!If more than one TLD variant is available, buy as many as you can afford and set them all to point to your website. This is a form of brand protection and prevents unscrupulous competitors trying to cash in on your hard-earned web traffic.5. BE MEMORABLEMake sure that potential web users will remember your domain name and that they can spell it properly.6. BE PRONOUNCABLETry telling people your web address over the phone – can they understand what you tell them? Or do they give up and try someone else’s website.7. BE DESCRIPTIVEIf you are a new business, very few people will remember or search for your domain name if it is your company name. Try choosing a domain name that is descriptive of your products instead e.g. cheap<>.com. Try testing it with a hyphen as well as using just one word.8. OFFLINE MARKETINGUse your domain name in your offline marketing literature and ensure that it is as visible as possible. However, if your domain name consists of more than one word, that isn’t hyphenated, try using capital letters e.g. which is easier to read – or Domain names are not case sensitive so your clients will find your site whichever version they use.9. BUY YOUR DOMAIN FOR LONGERSearch engines are now looking at less obvious information such as how long you have bought your domain name for. Domain names owned for less than two years are though to be penalised, so buy your domain for as long as possible.10. OWN YOUR DOMAIN NAMEIf you use a web designer or third party for your domain names, ensure they are registered in your name and that you have a signed agreement with the company that they will release all the details (including password) to you, quibble free, if you choose to move to another design or hosting company.
Author : Emma Kalson

How To Upgrade Your PC

Before you upgrade your PC hardware it’s best to search all options and ask for advice. Only after this you can go and buy a new component. It’s also useful to check if you really need an upgrade.Do not upgrade your very old PC because it would cost a lot of money. It’s cheaper to buy a new computer in such cases because they are easier to upgrade later.Upgrading the hard drive:The majority of people do not really need to upgrade their hard disk, unless they use it for playing a lot of music, movies, and games. A 20 GB hard drive is sufficient to keep new office and internet applications, and all your files and data.A medium sized hard drive would be around 40 GB and the maximum would be around 60 – 80 GB.Before upgrading your hard disk it’s best to do a complete disk checkup including disk scan, defragmentation, etc. If you happen to be an average user and need more storage you can add an additional drive to the existing one. Before an upgrade, be sure to back up your files.Upgrading the RAM:RAM or Random Access Memory is the short-term memory of the PC. It keeps data that is being worked on now and may or may not be transferred to the hard drive that represents the long-term memory of the computer.Current processors can perform an enormous number of operations per second. The hard drive, on the other hand, is significantly slower to handle so much information. This is where a high-speed RAM memory comes in. RAM needs a power supply to keep data. Once the power is turned off the data is lost.Almost all PCs have 64 MB RAM and often 128 MB. If you want to run newer applications on your PC then you must upgrade to 128/256 MB RAM.A lot of people who upgrade from 98 to Win 2000 discover that their computers lock up very often. This is because they don't have enough RAM.CPU upgrade:If you choose this upgrade, you will have faster execution of instructions but it leaves the RAM and hard drive capacity unchanged.This sis the most cost effective upgrade and can increase the efficiency of your computerconsiderably. Seek a professional help before you take a decision.Motherboard:Upgrading motherboard is not such a good proposition unless you replace the CPU and the RAM as well to achieve greater performance levels. You upgrade the motherboard either because the current one doesn’t support a faster CPU or the CPU requires a different socket. It could be very expensive. Think about buying a new PC.Ports:Ports are sockets at the back of your computer where you plug in external devices. Older PCs work on “parallel” ports. If you need to work a lot on peripherals such as digital cameras, digital camcorders, CD burners, and scanners then you need to upgrade to USB and Firewire ports if you are not using them already.Both tend to be cheaper than the “parallel” and SCSI devices they replace. Always make sure that there are no compatibility problems with other devices in your PC when you plan to upgrade any hardware on your machine.
Author : Alex Fir