5 Mac Security Tips You Can’t Live Without

So, you’ve bought a new Macintosh, and now you may be wondering how to make it safer. There are several things that you can do which will protect your Mac from viruses and hackers. Macs are already very difficult to hack, but don’t let that fact allow you to become lenient with your security.

1. Download all of the software updates available. This seems like a no-brainer, but some Mac users forget to download the newest updates. You can even set your computer to automatically download new updates. However, some dial-up users encounter trouble when trying to downloaded updates. If you are a dial-up user, the best suggestion is to leave your Mac on overnight and let it download. Apple releases many programs that fix bugs in iLife applications, and in Mac OS X. Probably the most important of these updates are the security updates. Apple periodically offers security updates for its operating systems (Panther and Tiger).

2. Be careful what you download. Some people use P2P downloads for Macintosh (I.E. Poisoned). Be careful when downloading using a P2P because you do not know where the music or file is coming from. Some P2P users specifically make corrupted files to send via music downloading programs. Generally, it is a good idea to stick to iTunes, because those files are ACC Protected and offered through Apple so they certainly won’t have viruses.

3. Choose the best and safest Internet Browser. Safari comes standard on all new Macs as part of iLife. However, some people do not enjoy Safari as much as others. Some say that Safari is not as safe from hackers as other browsers. Safari can also be a problem if you are going to a web page that requires a version of Internet Explorer or Netscape to view it. You can download Internet Explorer and Netscape for Mac, but again, some believe that these browsers are not as safe from hackers. Many people believe that Mozilla Firefox (my personal favorite) is the safest browser to use because of its customizable features. Firefox is available for downloading on the Macintosh.

4. Don’t be afraid to buy anti-virus software. If you have to download files from the internet as part of a job or hobby, then it is probably a good idea to have some sort of anti-virus software on your Macintosh. Apple provides a wide-variety of anti-virus software that is constantly updated.

5. Finally, keep an eye on those e-mail attachments and instant messages. Some hackers have programmed viruses to IM you from one of your friends’ screen names. Don’t click on any link without knowing what it is first. Most e-mail providers use virus scans automatically, but you should always be extra careful when downloading an attachment. If it is from someone you do not know, don’t trust it.

Apple computers are very safe from hackers, but they can always be improved. Keeping a computer safe, and running well requires a great amount of time and energy. Just remember that if your computer is safe, your Apple experience will be much more rewarding.

Paulo Fretowski enjoys writing about computers because he uses them for his job with BizNicheMedia.

How to Backup Your Mac Data With Time Machine

Mac is a line of personal computers developed by Apple Inc. and the Time Machine is the state-of-the-art-automatic backup built into the Mac’s Operating System. It keeps a copy of any kind of file that has been saved on the Mac including photos, movies, music, documents and everything else. It enables one to ‘go back in time’ and recover anything that he/she has lost or needs, hence the name.

Installing the Time Machine to the Mac is pretty simple. On connecting an external drive, Mac asks the user whether the drive is meant to be for backup and on saying yes, everything else will be taken care of by the Time Machine. After installation, all the back up will be done automatically and the user won’t have to worry about this anymore.

During installation, the software copies the Mac’s entire contents to the backup drive. Without compressing anything, all files are copied as it is. After the initial backup, only periodic backups are done and that too only for files that have been modified since the previous backup. Time Machine also creates links to all the files that are unchanged so that you can see the entire contents of the Mac on any given day.

Like every other backup software, the Time Machine also copies every file on the Mac, but there is something that sets the Time Machine apart from all these other softwares. It not only keeps a spare copy of all the files but also remembers exactly how the Mac looked on a particular day.

By searching on the Time Machine browser for missing files, the user can find long-lost files which you might have lost ages ago, but still need. You can also find the most recent changes by specifying the precise date or you can even do a Spotlight search to locate exactly the file you are looking for. As per the user’s requirement, the Time Machine can restore the entire folder or just the required files. Even the entire computer can be restored using Time Machine, if need be.

By default, a backup of everything is saved by the software, but files can be excluded by going to preferences and changing the Options. Files that are to be skipped can be set here. The user can also delete files whose backup has already been made by selecting the files he/she wishes to delete and then by choosing ‘Delete from all backups’ from the action menu in the Folder toolbar, all unwanted backups are eliminated instantly.

Eventually the program is bound to run out of space, as no matter how large the backup drive is, it will one day be filled. Hence, the software will start deleting the files, oldest first, but before doing so it informs the user. Moreover, before deleting anything, the software copies files that might be required to completely restore the user’s disk for future backups.

For more hints, tips and articles visit Mac Tools.

Speed Up Mac OS X

The MAC computers run on the operating system X known commonly as OS X. In this article we shall discuss some tips that can help you to speed up the OS X of your MAC computer.

Clear the Cache.

Most MAC systems either use the web browser Firefox or Safari. Both browsers have a fairly large capacity to store the names and addresses of the websites visited. As this list of records grows longer and longer with the passage of time, the performance of the web browsers starts to get negatively affected. This also slows down the performance of the OS X. Hence, it is advisable to regularly clear the history of the web pages visited every few days to keep the browser working at optimal rates.

Disable Apps & Effects you can do without!

Many people use programs that automatically update their desktop settings from time to time. This involves shifting the wallpaper by automatically picking from the stored files or downloading a new one each month. Even though such functions are a great way to jazz up your computer and seem very attractive because they are extremely convenient, the truth of the matter is that they use up a lot of the computer’s memory space in order to be able to function. This again slows down the working of the computer. Hence it is important to remove any applications that change the desktop settings on their own on a regular basis. It might take some effort on your part, but it’s hardly anything compared to the space and time that you will be saving.

Another attractive function that causes you to use up unnecessary space and thus interfere with the working of the OS X is that of animated desktops. While animated wall papers and folder icons and function buttons might seem like fun and are certainly a great way to jazz up the computer screen and bring it to life, the energy used to sustain these adversely affects the operating system in the form of extra space and battery power, thus resulting in slowed performance.

Minimize the use of Memory-intensive programs.

For those who like their favorite applications to be used, to open up each new file, for example, opening up image files with Photo shop each time, here is a word of caution: resetting the default settings and adjusting them so as to use a more complex application for a relatively simple task each time involves using up more of the computer’s performance power. If you specifically want to work on a file then right click and select the desired application using the ‘Open With’ tab, but for the default settings allow programs like Picture Preview for opening images to function regularly. This way the application takes less time to open and the work is done, without involving extra effort on the operating system to load up all the complicated tools and functions associated with the advanced program.

The Speed Recognition software is an attractive feature of the MAC system but if you do not use it on a regular basis or are not currently employing it then go to the System Preferences option and click on Speech Recognition and turn it off to save disc space and speed.

For more Macintosh tools, resources, articles and freebies visit: Macintosh Tools

Computer Networking For Your Business

Network your computers! Transform your business with computer networking.

So what is a computer network? What does it do for your business?

You may already understand the significance of this, but for all of you that want to know that have computers at home and/or at the office, a computer network is an interconnected group of computers. Networking computers basically maximises the usage of your hardware resources.

For example a printer can be shared amongst users thus avoiding the purchase of another printer.

The other main advantage is the sharing of documents, calendars, meetings, internet access and the ability to send and receive email. But best of all you increase your business productivity!

If you are a small business the minimum requirement is two computers. You only need to network two computers. This is a really basic setup and does not offer any security to protect your files.

The best way to go about it, is to get yourself a small business file server. One of the most popular server operating systems is Microsoft Windows 2003 Small Business Server which is a file, print, email server in its basic form. There is also an enhanced version that provide proxy and firewall features.

There are many hardware platforms to choose from, but through experience I found that IBM, HP and Dell provide that most stable and supported platforms. Servers nowadays are not expensive and can be acquired for under $2k for a basic setup.

Then you will need to add an UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) to protect your server from power fluctuations and black outs, a tape backup unit and software to save your precious data, extra memory to improve performance, extra hard disk drives for fault tolerance and protect your system from storage device failures.

Since everyone is on the internet today, you will be obtaining a broadband service in the form of cable or dsl type connection, add a router, add a modem and you are nearly there.

You will need to acquire an internet domain by registering it with any of the domain registrars available, a web hosting service for your website.

The internet domain is very important because it defines your internet identity. Your email addresses will be setup according to your domain name.

This projects a professional image in comparison to a hotmail, gmail, yahoo or isp account. The email service can be an in-house type which is the best option or hosted at your ISP.

You will require applications loaded on your server and desktops, configure network security, user profiles, logon scripts etc.

As you can understand, even though it may seem a straight forward procedure, there are complexities in installing, setting up, maintaining a computer network. and would be best to employ the services of an IT specialist.

Ipnotech has been providing professional information technology solutions and services for the last 15 years.

Alfred Buatti is the owner of Ipnotech. Alfred has been a Novell Certified Engineer back in the early 90s and has progressively embraced the latest Microsoft business solutions such as Windows 2003 and Exchange 2003 server to meet current business’ requirements.

He is a Microsoft Certified Professional and has worked for clients such as ANZ Bank, Alitalia Airlines, Commonwealth Funds Management, Bankers Trust Australia and was instrumental in the design, implementation and maintenance of the IT infrastructures of Saeco Australia, CMS Coffee Machine Services, Lonsdale Accounting, Regent Finance and Mortice and Tenon.

Whether you need desktop installations or server deployments, you can rest assured that you are getting an enterprise quality solution and service at the right investment level for your business.

We operate in Melbourne and suburbs.

Our in depth experience can help your business in the following IT areas:

Computer networks, IT infrastructure management, Windows 2000/2003 servers, Exchange 2000/2003 servers, Backup solutions, Terminal servers, Local Area Networks, Router configuration, Internet security Data recovery, Desktop management, Wired and Wireless networks, Wide Area Networks, Domain registration, Web hosting, Remote support, Virtual Private Networking.

You can find us at: http://www.ipnotech.com to get more information.

A Stitch in Time Saves More Than Nine

Be afraid… be very afraid! Is your computer running slowly of late? Are files vanishing with regularity from your hard drive? Is your hard drive’s light blinking madly even when you are not accessing the same? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, it is high time that you scanned your PC for malwares.

There are different types of malwares out there in the wild and they are targeting vulnerable PC’s like yours. Most people just install an antivirus program and are contented in the knowledge that their computer is safe from prying eyes. This is a gross misunderstanding. There was a time, a decade of so ago, when a decent antivirus was more that sufficient to protect your PC from various kinds of attacks, but nowadays it is not adequate. While new and dangerous viruses are being unleashed with rapid regularity, some new breeds of malware are ruling the roost. These are generally termed as malwares and consist of adwares, trojans, keyloggers, spywares, etc. Then there are phishing websites that look like a real website, but are a disguised version of the same.

All these things have just a single intent in mind and that is to secure your private information without alerting you. Are you sure that your bank’s website is the genuine? Hid you check out for the ‘https://’ in the url or not? Did you visit your bank’s website by clicking on the link you received, purportedly, from your bankers via an email that threatened that your bank’s account would be freezed unless you changed your password. The email included a link to the password changing section of your bank’s website. You can bet that this link leads to a phishing website that resembles your bank’s website accurately.

Even if you have not received any email and are just checking your account status via online banking, is there any guarantee that your details are not being compromised? If your computer is infected with a keylogger, each and every keystroke of yours is being recorded and is being sent to some unauthorized person via the internet. Yes, these people can easily gain access to your credit card information and even the details of your bank account, including the logging name and password. Does this sound very scary? It should and you should be afraid… very afraid, unless you have taken proper precautions.

There are certain programs available for free on the net and by using them; you can thwart the intentions of these malicious persons. Though no program guarantees to protect your PC from all types of attacks, the level of protection gets enhanced if you install a few of them. You can search and install a few freeware programs like ‘Adaware’, ‘Spybot Search & Destroy’, and ‘Spywareblaster’ to enhance the security of your PC while surfing the net or while accessing your email. Ensure that you download them from the author’s or publisher’s website only. Install them and update their signatures on a regular basis, preferably daily. This will help increase the security of your PC.

I’ll follow up with more articles which will further educate you about these creatures, how to identify them, how they gain access to your PC and how you can prevent them from attacking your PC. I’ll also follow up with in depth articles that will guide you to keep your computer safe and secure.

The author of this article is a freelance typographer and also writes articles. He can be contacted at: parsibagan@gmail.com

How to Manage a Voice and Data Communications Network

In order to build a modernized business, you will need to first practice using a standard computer and familiarize yourself with all the functions that your business requires. Once you know the drill, you can then proceed in building a network of computers and start learning how that works and how a server can manage these units effectively. But work doesn’t end after a network is built because networks require administration to function properly and steps are needed when expanding the functionalities of the network. Mastering this yields a great milestone leading to many new possibilities in making your IT business flourish.

One of the possibilities may lead to that network becoming a voice and data communications network. This is a special type of network that has units that are capable of transmitting both voice and data packets as a form of communication. In order for voice and data communication networks to be properly managed, you as a network administrator must do an assessment and see if all the units and network setup are physically capable for these communications. The network size or components of the individual computers in the network may serve as a bottleneck and hinder the overall performance if voice is used. By complying with the requirements through means of research or hiring a 3rd party to help assess, the network should run smoothly without problems.

Managing it is another story because like any type of network, you should make sure that the entire network is secure and that all known vulnerabilities are plugged. It is equally important to keep up-to-date with the latest tech news and see if there are new threats that may cause harm to your voice and data communications network.

Voice in a network is usually meant for the receiving parties to receive and any unauthorized access may affect the whole network and business in many destructive ways. Never underestimate security concerns even if security has never been an issue in the past. You never know what new harmful viruses and trojans may have against an unprotected network.

If your knowledge in setting up a voice and data communications network isn’t that great, try hiring a company that knows how to implement so both the security and performance are taken into consideration. Some companies can identify problems with the network and fix it right away whilst others evaluate all the components of the network and list down all possible items that need upgrading. Hardware plays an important factor in these kind of networks as insufficient requirements may prevent or slow down all operations involved. Voice contains audio data unlike the standard data which is text only making it weigh more in terms of file size and therefore, requires additional bandwidth.

Should you decide to upgrade the network, do some more testing and see if the voice and data operations still run at top performance. If the performance shows some decline, upgrading hardware should fix the problem. Managing a voice and data communications network is all about keeping your components up to date, observing network security and testing if their operations run smoothly.

Derek Rogers is a freelance writer who writes for a number of UK businesses. For information on Voice and Data Communications Network, he recommends Network 24, a leading UK provider of Communication Networks.

Run Windows-Only Applications on Your Mac

Access key Windows applications from the comfort of your Mac. Run your favorite software on your favorite hardware. Run selected 3D games and graphics applications. Explore a whole new world of Windows-only 3D games and graphics applications right on your Mac.

Use your favorite Windows-only devices. Use your favorite in-demand USB 2.0 devices, even if they’re Windows-only. Connect your phone, camera and MP3 player to your Mac!

Run OS X, Windows and Linux at the same time. Run your favorite applications at the same time, regardless of the OS! No more rebooting to switch between OS to use the applications you need.

Bring your PC with you! Move an entire physical or virtual Windows system to your new Mac in just a few simple steps. No losing data, reinstalling software or re-customizing your computer.
Go full Mac at full speed! It’s an intuitive, easy-to-use virtualization platform for switchers who need to run Windows applications alongside OS X. Made the move to Mac? No other solution makes it easier or faster to take your Windows system with you. Keep your must-have Windows programs, files and settings at your fingertips.

Parallels Desktop is currently the best solution for running Windows, Linux, or any of many other operating systems alongside OS X. With the inclusion of (still limited) 3-D graphics support, Snapshots and Undo Disks, virtual appliances, and many other features, it’s a compelling alternative to rebooting via Boot Camp.

Tech support has improved, although you will pay somewhat dearly if you need an answer via phone. Unless you need full 3-D graphics support, or support for some esoteric hardware, Parallels will probably get the job done for you.

Check it HERE
— Vlad Nik

How to Buy Your Mac Laptop

A Mac laptop is an extremely attractive option for anyone looking for their own way to transport files, music and applications in a stylish design. These laptops from Apple are now even faster than ever, featuring Intel Core 2 Duo processors as well as high levels of RAM as standard in all models. However, they can also come with a big price tag that many of us cannot afford. But there is one way around this – buy reconditioned.

A reconditioned, sometimes known as refurbished, laptop means that the computer has been purchased in the past and used by someone else for a maximum of three months (though often less). For some reason the customer has returned the laptop to the store, which leaves the store unable to resell the product as new. Laptop stores will then return the laptop to its manufacturer, in this case Apple, where they will make sure it is in perfect sellable ‘as new’ condition. This is what you are getting when you buy a reconditioned laptop.

Due to the fact that they were used in the past, reconditioned Apple laptops are not sold as new despite the fact that they will work and look just like a brand new system would. They will still have the same great features, fast processing speeds, a good memory as well as the newest upgrades and technology. But without the price tag.

The reason why reconditioned laptops are so much cheaper than new laptops is due to the fact that most people feel for some reason that their laptop should be brand new when bought, and as such it takes a lot more effort for the manufacturer to sell them on. However, for people that realize these laptops are in great shape, reconditioned laptops can provide a real bargain when it comes to getting a new machine.

A reconditioned Mac laptop will always be in great condition, due to the fact that Apple go to great lengths to ensure the quality and technology of their products. Those who refurbish the machine will always make sure it comes with everything you need, and care is always taken to ensure the laptop is completely up to scratch before they even think about putting it out for sale again.

Now that you know the facts behind refurbished Mac laptops you can start to benefit from this by picking up some real bargains. There is no doubt that you will be getting a quality machine that will have had to pas numerous tests before being sold to anyone. Reconditioned laptops are a popular choice for many who want to benefit from huge savings when buying a new laptop. They are the perfect choice for those who want portability in a computer, but don’t want to fork out the money that most brands require. Simply do some research on the brand you want and find out whether your local store, or manufacturer, has any reconditioned Mac laptops on offer!

Copyright (c) 2008 Kentaro Konika

All About the Apple Desktop Computer

Can you even recall the days when there were no computers? If you can, then you know that back then, a typewriter was just a typewriter. Then IBM came out with the one with the ball. It was a really big deal because you could actually change the font.

The personal computer much revolutionized the way we communicate. Now the rest is history with some many applications, games; how can anyone live without a computer? Sometimes it seems as if there is only one type of computer, absolutely not true.

Like so many of us today, I have virtually been tethered to a computer for about ten years and I also thought that all computers were created equally until I began using an Apple desktop computer or Mac.

An Apple desktop computer is about the same as an ordinary computer as a horse is to a cow. The cow runs, well, like a cow. The horse (and the Apple desktop computer) is sleek and efficient, build for performance. Can you tell that I’m an Apple fan by now? Yeah? It is pretty obvious as it? The cow will do what you want it to with a little encouragement. The apple desktop computer lives to follow your commands just like the horse. The cow needs to rest and often quits working ‘just because’. The Mac continues to go on and on and on because that is what it is made to do.

Daiei may think I’m just talking out my butt here but I became a true believer after a month with my Apple desktop and quickly came to the realization, it never once crashed on me. The ‘cow’ crashes all the time. Sure, if you worked with a PC for a long time, you’ll need a period of adjustment to wean yourself away. Not that the Apple computer is hard; it is just a little bit different.

To open a file from the “finder” known on a PC as the explorer, you can’t press ‘return’ that takes some getting use to. And here is another thing that is not the same with an Apple desktop. No viruses. I do not even own a virus cleaning system because I don’t need it, although I keep a virus checker going in the background on my Apple desktop computer just in case. And what do you suppose it finds? PC viruses that have no effect on my Mac.

Another great advantage of owning an Apple computer is the automatic software updates from the Internet. It actually communicates to the Internet and automatically updates itself. No checking the website, no having to decide what you need. The complete shebang is updated automatically. Pretty cool, huh?

I always tell my pals, my Apple desktop computer is a real computer; the “other one” is nothing more than a pretender.

Morgan Hamilton offers his findings and insights regarding the world of computers. You can get interesting and informative information by visiting Apple Desktop Computer

How Safe Are Mac Users From Spyware?

Currently, it is true to say that any Spyware program targeted at Mac computers would spread at a rather slow speed for one simple reason. And that is the fact that only about 3 per cent of the computers linked to the World Wide Web today are macs using Mac OS or Mac operating system.

What this means is that every time the virus attempts to spread, it will find that 97 per cent of the time they will be facing a PC or non-mac computer.

Unfortunately the result of this has been to give many Mac users a false sense of security that is laving an increasing number of them very vulnerable. The reality is that there are numerous Spyware and Adware malicious software in the market today that are capable of attacking and infecting Mac users.

There has even been talk for sometime now that it is only a matter of time before a hybrid software capable of infecting both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS hits the web. This kind of software ld spread very rapidly and wreck havoc amongst Mac users most of whom are vulnerable to such an attack due to the inadequate protection that most have.

Yet there is really no excuse and every Mac user should take the threat very seriously indeed and take a serious look at Adware and Spyware removal programs available for the Mac. The need for free mac spyware removal programs that are available online is rapidly growing and there is no reason why every Mac user should not take advantage of them and thus protect themselves from a real danger and threat that is capable of causing havoc and serious damage.

Read more on spyware dangers you must avoid for your Mac.