Ounce of prevention... The old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is a huge understatement when it comes to dealing with virus threats. Virus detection programs do just THAT... they DETECT viruses that have already infected your system. Some AV programs run all the time and monitor your files and will detect a virus infection EARLY... and most virus can then be removed. HOWEVER, there are some really NASTY viruses that can NOT be removed and formatting your system and starting over from scratch is the ONLY option you have. In these cases, EARLY is NOT soon enough. Almost every virus strain uses a different entry point to install itself and access your computer so it's impossible for anyone to develop a method to totally safeguard a computer. Most often you have to be "tricked" into executing a program that contains virus code. We know the obvious methods such as email file attachments, cracks and hacks from warez websites. Links to cute little animation cards and such, websites that popup a notice that you MUST download their viewer (or whatever) to access their site, view their media etc. Be smart and evaluate the risk of satisfying your curiosity. Some viruses find their way to your computer through other infected computers on over a network. These are the most difficult to prevent if you MUST be connected to other computers. Ok.. now that I'm scared is there anything I can do? Some of the most nasty viruses use a file they add called winlogonN.exe Notice the extra N. Winlogon.exe is a critical system file that is called at startup... even in safe mode... which makes it a prime target for viruses. Obviously a virus maker would want to activate the virus before the system can get to the point it loads any AV program that may catch or block it. Fortunately the file protection in Windows 7 called TrustedInstaller makes it rather difficult to modify, overwrite, delete or rename winlogon.exe... but I'm not saying it can't be done. Some virus programs use the trickery of using a similar name. A simple way to prevent this is to prohibit the virus from creating/copying a file named winlogonn.exe... but how is that possible? It's possible because the windows file system does NOT allow a FILE ... AND.. a FOLDER to share the same name. If you create a FOLDER named winlogonn.exe in your \windows\system32 folder.... you can not create a FILE named winlogonn.exe in the windows\system32 folder. Is that confusing? Just create a new folder in Windows\system32 and name it winlogonn.exe ...then if a virus wants to drop a file named winlogonn.exe ... it won't be allowed. This method can get rid of a lot of pesky viruses that keep coming back. For example, a common, rather harmless virus uses a file it drops called b.exe in the Windows folder. If you create a folder named b.exe in your windows folder... it can't come back. You can also use this trick to prevent a folder from being created if you create the file name first. Here is some info on a very evil virus you want to avoid at all cost. http://blog.trendmicro.com/virux-cases-escalate/ The damages viruses can cause is another reason to have an extra drive and to keep your clean healthy system cloned to it. And another reason to run StartupMonitor. And another reason to turn off the Task Scheduler. And another reason to be very cautions about running anything you didn't download yourself from a legitimate website. ~~~~~ Problem: I don't like my start menu and All Programs. How can I customize it? Solution: Right click on Start and go to Properties and uncheck the boxes to display recently opened... Now you have a lot of open space in your Start menu to PIN the programs you want quick access to. You won't have to open All Programs unless you want to run something you seldom use. You can also Sort the pinned shortcuts according to your liking. Advanced tip: You can't pin a folder or even a shortcut to a folder to your start menu like you can pin exe files to start menu or taskbar. BUT here is a tick... right click on a folder, use "send to" to create a shortcut on the desktop. Then put the shortcut in a permanent folder. Now open the folder the shortcut is in and drag it to start menu and drop it. NOW it's pinned to the Start menu. ~~~~~ Cool tool If you did a clean install or bought a new computer system, here is an online application that can make installing FREE software easy. Just select the software you want and it will be installed for you. About 70 applications to chose from, including Microsoft Security Essential, Ccleaner, Defraggler, WinRar and many more. http://ninite.com/ ~~~~~ Delete email from server after Live Email runs By default Live email does not delete email from your email provider. Eventually your mail box will get FULL and you will say "WTF, where is my spam?" Finding this option is confusing because it's under individual email accounts. To set it to delete your email after downloading, right click on your email account name -over inbox. Select Properties, Advanced then uncheck the box that says leave copy on server. I will attach an image. Note: You still need to log onto your email server online and delete the email that has been left since you installed Live Email. Flipping the switch only starts deleting from that time forward. ~~~~~ Car finder is an app for the iPhone 3GS that helps you find your parked car. http://www.boingboing.net/2009/11/04/car-finder-app-for-i.html ~~~~~ Super Talent Announces First USB 3.0 Flash Drive, Transfers at 320 MB/s http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/super-talent-announces-first-usb-3-0-flash-drive-transfers-at-320-mbs/ ~~~~~ Smell of Fear Evidence that the smell of fear is real was uncovered by US scientists last year who studied the underarm secretions of 20 terrified novice skydivers and found that people appear to respond unconsciously to the sweat smell of a frighteneda person. Now the Telegraph reports that researchers hope a "fear detector" will make it possible to identify terrorist at check points. ~~~~~ Next time you think you are having a bad day, watch this.