Monthly Main Meeting Highlights

October 2010 Main Meeting

This month we had two presenters Lloyd Borrett from AVG and Aston Mills and Steve Duncombe from Computer Choice magazine.

First up was Lloyd Borrett
These days we need more than just a simple anti virus program. The bad guys are way beyond simply trying to annoy us with Halloween tricks like making your computer say boo.
They want your money and your computer time. Lloyd spoke of the rise of the botnet, or robot network. With a botnet the bad guys infect your computer and use your internet time to skim personal information and funds from other internet uses.
This is very profitable

and with homes now having upwards of three computers connected to the net through a home network, the danger is increasing exponentially.

Your credit card details are big business. Lloyd showed us a simple Google search he did for skim dumps or credit card numbers. He found over two hundred thousand sites offering stolen credit cards.
On the way home I did a search for skimmed dumps and found 35000 hits. It was interesting to note that my Internet security flagged only two of the first ten as suspect. Does that mean eight out ten skimmers can be trusted?

Here are Lloyds six security tips for staying safe online.

Lloyd likened Security to Swiss cheese. As each layer has holes you need more than one slice. You can no longer rely on just an antivirus program.

Use automatic updates. This allows Microsoft, Adobe and others to plug the holes in their own software.

Get a strong password and change it regularly. Remembering passwords is not my strong point. Lloyd suggested writing them on a card and keep it in your wallet.

Set up non administration accounts or users and log on to the net in those profiles. This may help to deny the botnets and spammers access to your computer.

Don’t just click on an attachment. Ask the question ”Where did it come from?”
The AVG LinkScanner, (which is in every version of AVG including the free edition) helps you to identify any suspect link in a search or that you have typed in to the web browser. It is a real time scan so you can know if a botnet is active on that site at the time of the search. AVG LinkScanner, has two parts. Every internet search you make is scanned and a safety rating shows if the site found is safe, and Safe Shield does the same thing to every web address you type in.

Do you need to tell every one who you are and what you are doing? Do they need to know you’re going shopping ? Lloyd recounted the incident in which Paris Hilton told everyone on Twitter that she was going shopping and her “friends” helped her find space for the new goods by removing the old ones.

Monitor what the children are doing. Use parental locks and or keep the computer in the living room where you can see what’s happening.

After the break Aston Mills and Steve Duncombe took the stage to show us Choice Computer Magazine.

Choice Computer won best magazine at the 8th annual IT Journalism awards in 2009.

Computer Choice is a division of Choice, the Australian consumer group, Ashton and Steve ran through the recent held Shonky Awards - Choice Magazines awards for the worst goods and services on the market.

Like Nurofen, which has a range of pain killers for various ailments at different prices! Problem is they all contain the same active ingredient and at the same dosage. Secondly, the climber’s rope that snapped with a 25 kg weight attached. Thirdly there was which charged $149 per year subscription.

Choice Computer also does its own tests, like the ioSafe independent hard drive. It claimed to be fire and flood proof. So what would any good OZ bloke do to test that claim, “BBQ it!”

Then dunk it in a tub of water. Now open the case and plug the hard drive into a computer. The result? All the data was intact.
Heres a link to the video
Ashton and Steve were offering a year’s subscription to Computer Choice and for those who subscribed on the night, the book “Computing for over fifties” and a USB stick.
If you would like to subscribe it is $50 for a year.
Subscribe to Choice Computer.

The Raffle

Lloyd arranged for AVG to donate two copies of AVG Internet Security 2011.

And tonight’s winners were;

Frank Bowman


Robert Israel
The lucky door prize

Nicole Buckley


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