From: Bob Rankin
Subject: TOURBUS - 29 Aug 2007 - AntiVirus / Wifi / Facebook / Getting Sued
In today's TOURBUS, I've got tips on selecting the free anti-virus software that's right for you. Also, some advice on boosting your wireless signal, and a tutorial on Facebook privacy. On the privacy front, you'll find out if you can get sued for searching on the Internet. Read on!
A reader concerned about viruses wrote:
> I've been using the free Norton antivirus package that came with
> my computer, but the subscription will expire in a few days. Are
> the free anti-virus programs any good? What do you recommend?
It's a good question... do you really need to BUY anti-virus software? That depends. Are you or others in your household prone to visiting the dark corners of the Internet, such as peer-to-peer music/movie downloads, adult or "warez" sites? Do you have children that will click and download almost ANYTHING? Do you run your own business?
If so, then you'll probably want a commercial anti-virus package with a very high level of protection, and frequent automatic updates. But many home users can take advantage of the high-quality free anti-virus packages that are available for downloading.
Here's a rundown of the most popular free and commercial anti-virus packages. Find out what you should know about anti-virus software, what product I DON'T recommend, and which option is right for you:
Do you have a laptop that connects to a wireless router? If your Internet connection works great in the computer room, but not so hot when you're in the backyard on your hammock, there are some things you can do to boost the signal and get a better connection.
Where you place your router can make a big difference, and physical obstacles and electronic gizmos can inhibit wireless transmission as well. Sometimes a software setting or driver update can help. You may need to spend some money on a wireless range expander, but some people have solved the problem with a Pringles can or a dumpling strainer. Here are some tips on testing your connection speed (wired or wireless) and boosting your wireless signal...
A reader into social networking asked me this:
> "I've switched from Myspace to Facebook because I was unhappy
> with the privacy controls. I've been told that Facebook lets you
> control this much better. Would you please go over the Facebook
> privacy settings and recommend which ones I should focus on?"
If you've tried Myspace or other social networking sites, I'm sure you'll be very pleasantly surprised at the amount of privacy control on Facebook. There are plenty of options that you can twiddle to make sure you're sharing only the personal information as you want to share, with the people that you choose.
Learn how to control which parts of your profile are public or private, your findability by Facebook and other search engines, and how to block certain users from finding your profile:
I often hear from readers who are worried about the repercussions of downloading music and movies from file-sharing sites or P2P services such as LimeWire and Bittorrent. It is true that some individuals have been sued for downloading and/or sharing copyrighted materials.
But now there's something new to worry about. The MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) is filing suit against TorrentSpy, a search engine that helps people find and download movies. Although TorrentSpy does not host, sell or distribute any files, the MPAA contends that they are violating copyright law by helping people find links to pirated movies.
Read on to learn why this might lead to a knock on your door by the MPAA, and what it will mean to your Internet privacy if the MPAA prevails in court...
And if you missed the companion article, here's the link:
That's all for now, see you next time! -- Bob Rankin