Stop using Internet Explorer

I’ve told you before and I’ll tell you again, Stop using Internet Explorer. If you haven’t heard the news from earlier this week read this article. There are huge flaws in Internet Explorer, this one has finally been fixed.
"It's a remote exploit that gives the attacker compete control," said Michael Argast, security analyst for Sophos. "It's the most critical type of flaws that can exist. It's one of those drop-dead scenario's where you've got to fix it."

If you’re looking for alternatives, I recommend Firefox. Others that come highly recommended by my friends include Chrome and Opera.

If I catch you using Internet Explorer on your computer, I can’t quite say what my reaction will be. It will probably something between a strong-worded scolding and kicking your computer down the street and into the trash because it will be better off there.

New version of AVG anti-virus available

For those of you that run AVG Free (free for personal use) there is a major update available. For those of you that don’t run any antivirus software on your computer – SHAME ON YOU!
This new version includes anti-spyware, so if you have AVG’s anti-spyware (Ewido) installed, you’ll have to uninstall it first (go to Control Panel, then Add/Remove Programs.)
Here are a few bonuses of AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition:

  • available free of charge to home users for the life of the product
  • virus database updates are available for the lifetime of the product
  • doesn’t slow your system down (like other anti-virus systems I’ve seen)
  • integrated spyware protection
  • LinkScanner feature that gives users safety rankings for their Google, Yahoo, and MSN searches.

So, go and download it!
The install only takes a few minutes so don’t put it off, do it now!

Biometrics aren’t the answer

Ice DropI never put much thought into it until now, but while biometrics seem like an easy method of security they lack…um…security. This article is specifically talking about fingerprints.

Get your German interior minister’s fingerprint here

I like Bruce Schneier’s comment on this:

” This is 1) a good demonstration that a fingerprint is not a secret, and 2) a great political hack. Wolfgang Schauble, Germany’s interior minister, is a strong supporter of collecting biometric data on everyone as an antiterrorist measure. Because, um, because it sounds like a good idea.”

Google AdWords Phishing

Park SnowI received this email last week from and it almost had me going (until I examined the included link more closely.) That and Thunderbird gave me a nice warning:

Thunderbird thinks this message might be an email scam.

the email says:

This message was sent from a notification-only email address that does
not accept incoming email. Please do not reply to this message.
Dear Google AdWords Customer,
Please sign in to your account at , and update your billing information.
Your account will be reactivated as soon as you update your payment information.
Your ads will show immediately if you decide to pay for clicks via credit or debit card. If you decide to pay by direct debit, we may need to receive your signed debit authorization before your ads start running, depending on your location.
If you choose bank transfer, your ads will show as soon as we receive your first payment.
We look forward to providing you with the most effective advertising available.
The Google AdWords Team

The email looks surprisingly official and doesn’t have any typos or strange wording. The only bad thing is where the link actually took me. As I moused over the link, it pointed to a page on… some server in China. That server has since been taken down, but I’m sure it was a very official looking site where the scammer was saving the login and credit card information given by anyone willing to share it. I can’t help but wonder how many people fell for it.