Quad-Cities Computer Society.

.Members Helping Members: Cody's Tips.


Operating a computer on the Internet can be rewarding.  It can also be dangerous for even the most experienced among us.  Please try to be as savvy and wary as possible when downloading ANYTHING from ANYWHERE.  If you have any doubts about who, what, or where you are downloading; then don't. 

Google can be a wonderful tool for finding just about anything, but even it is only as safe as your typing.  If you misspell any of your search terms you can be taken on a troublesome trip to hacker sites, con-artist, or a complete waste of your time.  Please give a good deal of thought before you hit the enter key.

With that in mind we as a club offer these links for our members.  We do not commercially endorse these programs or have any association with them.  In our club experience we have found them to be safe and reliable for their intended purposes, but as always: Use at your own risk.

Also, remember upgrades are usually pretty frequent for most of the programs listed on the page, so you should keep that it mind.

Here is a link to a good short article that should drive home to all of our members what they need to be safe on the internet.



Suggestions for safe links to common programs for the membership:
Picasa 3:
Google's Photo Organizer

Picasa 3 is a free software download from Google that helps you share and manage your photos. It locates and organizes all the photos on your computer, allows you to edit and add effects easily, and makes it simple to share your photos through email, prints, and the web.

Google's Gmail http://mail.google.com/mail/help/intl/en/about.html

"Gmail makes email easy and efficient. And maybe even fun."
Read Google's 10 reasons to use Gmail and create a free account of your own.

Ad-Aware     http://www.lavasoftusa.com

Protects against spyware. "Ad-Aware-SE-Personal-Edition" is free.

Spybot Search and Destroy http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html

Protects against spyware.

Free download of free Spybot Search and Destroy at cnet.com: http://download.cnet.com/Spybot-Search-Destroy/3000-8022_4-10122137.html

CCleaner http://www.ccleaner.com/

A free program to clean up unused files on your computer

DSL Reports http://www.dslreports.com/forums/all

A forum page where you can find a wealth of informaion about the Internet, their individual Internet service providers (ISPs) or other networking resources to help you get the most from your Internet connection of any type.

Speed Test http://speedtest.net/  

Will test download and upload speeds to and from many of the main servers in the country.  With simple and free registration, this site will also keep a record of your testing.  It also provides a "ping" test to check your line quality.

AVG Anti-Virus
Free version
AVG Anti-Virus Free download

Excellent free anti-virus program from Grisoft. The page above shows a comparison of their products, including both "pay" and "FREE" versions.

To skip those details, you can go directly to an actual downoad page for the free version here:
AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition download page at C/net.com.

Microsoft Security
Essentials Anti-Virus

Another Anti-Virus option that is free and easy to use. (Never install more than one anti-virus program on your computer. They don't get along!)

This security suite from Microsoft is a new, free consumer anti-malware solution for your computer. It helps protect against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. It's available as a no-cost download for Windows XP SP2 and higher, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.

Here is a direct link to a download page that offers help, support and an installation video:
Microsoft Security Essentials

Anti-Virus Comparisons http://www.av-comparatives.org/  

This site does testing on the main anti-virus programs and suites a few times a year.  Checking their latest reports is a good place to start before updating your security programs.  

"Open Office" http://www.openoffice.org/

A free suite of several office programs that are similar to and compatible with all other major office suites, including Microsoft Office.

Firefox Web Browser http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/

This Firefox browser has won awards from PC Magazine and CNET. Enthusiasts at QCS love the tabbed browsing. They also think there are fewer viruses, malware, etc compared to Microsoft's browser, Internet Explorer. And did we mention it is free?

Revo Uninstaller** http://www.revouninstaller.com/index.html

A Google search will show several pages of third party uninstallers on the web. I've only used the Revo Uninstaller. I would recommend it only if you are having serious uninstalling problems. It is a free utility, but it is very good at removing all traces of programs.

**Revo, however, is a powerful utility and you need to take care when using it.
I AM NOT RECOMMENDING IT FOR BEGINNERS and it should be used carefully by even those with more experience. Please read the instructions to use the program effectively.


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