Weekly business rail, with tips on keeping your computer safe, a BBB warning to veterans about an e-mail scam and more.
Tip of the Week
As the new year approaches, many of us begin thinking about our New Year's resolutions. However, we often forget one resolution that is increasingly important - to protect the health of our PCs. From viruses to trojans to spyware inadvertently downloaded while surfing the Internet, your computer constantly confronts malicious software that can put it at risk. To prevent malicious software and poor PC performance from ruining your year, consider these four easy steps to help keep your PC protected:
- Enable automatic update. Keeping your PC up to date is a vital part of keeping it secure. Turning on the automatic update will help ensure you are receiving the most recent security signatures, which protect you from new and ongoing security attacks. Security updates are being issued constantly and the automatic update function can inform you when it comes time to update your system. You don't have to search for software updates or be worried that you are missing a crucial update. Automatic update brings the latest and greatest security software directly to you.
- Don't click on e-mails from unknown sources or open unfamiliar attachments. You should never open an e-mail from someone you don't know. Opening an e-mail from an unknown sender can put your PC at risk to a variety of threats including spyware, phishing attacks and viruses. Be wary of suspicious e-mails from people you do know as well. Phishing attacks are a common occurrence and if you receive an e-mail from a familiar address with a suspicious subject line, don't open it.
- Only install reputable antivirus software. Antivirus software from a reputable company can detect and remove viruses and malware. But sometimes malware can masquerade as security software, tricking you into paying for a product that actually infects your computer. Protection doesn't need to be costly - some of the best antivirus software is available for free - just make sure you only install antivirus or anti-malware software from a website you know and a provider you trust.
- Upgrade your browser. Just like your operating system, it is important to keep your browser upgraded because it can help keep you protected from security threats. Outdated browsers may have security flaws that could make you more vulnerable to malicious software attacks. Also, keeping your browser updated may be the optimal way to view certain websites. Check for updates regularly or sign up for an automatic update service.
The Better Business Bureau is alerting veterans about a potentially dangerous e-mail being circulated by someone claiming to be an attorney with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The BBB warns veterans against using the services of a group called Veterans Affairs Services.
"The BBB Military Line, a complaint resource specialized for the military and their families, has received several inquiries about an e-mail sent from Michael Daugherty. They confirmed with the VA that he is, in fact, an attorney with the VA Office of General Counsel but did not send the e-mail and that no e-mails of this nature are being sent by the VA," said Steve J. Bernas of the Better Business Bureau.
The VA advises veterans seeking the assistance of a VA-recognized service organization for purposes of submitting a claim for VA benefits to search at the General Counsel's Accreditation search page.
For more information about online scams, visit www.bbb.org.
Here are the most valuable hockey teams, according to Forbes.com:
1. Toronto Maple Leafs
2. New York Rangers
3. Montreal Canadiens
4. Detroit Red Wings
5. Boston Bruins
6. Philadelphia Flyers
7. Chicago Blackhawks
8. Vancouver Canucks
9. Pittsburgh Penguins
10. Dallas Stars
Number to Know
100: Number of stores grocery chain A&P plans to close as it deals with a bankruptcy filing. The chain operates about 400 stores in the U.S.
If you own a Kin smart phone, you need to start shopping for something new. The Microsoft’s phone’s carrier, Verizon, will shut off service for the phone on Jan. 31.
GateHouse News Service