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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What Is A Computer Virus, Anyway?

Combating infections and removing viruses is now big business. Lesson one is 'knowing the enemy'.

THE ENEMY - Crackers and Hackers

Geeks make a distinction between crackers, who break into systems to do damage, and hackers who enjoy taking programs apart just to see how they tick. We'll stick with the more common, though less accurate, term of hacker. (The term 'hacker' originally meant 'someone who makes furniture' with an axe. Crude, but effective - like most computer viruses.)

Viruses are actually a particular type of computer 'malware' - a general term covering all types of malicious software. The most common types are viruses, worms and Trojan horses.

VIRUSES

A virus is usually hidden inside another program such as an installation program delivered via e-mail attachment. (Biological viruses require a host organism to live and reproduce, hence the name.) When the 'host' program is run, the virus program also runs. Once it's in memory the virus is able to do its dirty work, which usually includes infecting other programs.

After the infection stage of the virus, there's a destructive stage. The virus waits for a pre-determined trigger (such as a specific date or a certain number of times the virus has replicated itself) before delivering its 'payload'. Payloads range from simple messages to file deletion commands to destruction of the core operating system.

When first developed, computer viruses were commonly distributed on floppy disks. With the growth of the Internet downloaded files and e-mail are the preferred delivery mechanisms. E-mail can contain attachments which can be any kind of computer file. Any executable file can be infected with a virus, and shouldn't be run unless you're confident they're virus free.

WORMS

Worms are similar to viruses in that they're self-replicating. They reproduce themselves across networks without human assistance, such as e-mail sending. A worm, though, doesn't need another executable program to be distributed.

Worms usually affect networks more than individual computers on the network. Their self-replicating behavior can overload network resources, causing slowdowns in data transmission by consuming massive bandwidth normally used to forward normal traffic. Network systems that route Internet traffic are just specialized computer hardware and software. They, too, can be affected by malware.

Worms can also be designed to carry a payload, using a 'backdoor' installation program. A backdoor is a hidden access point to a computer that bypasses the normal login procedure. They're commonly used by spammers to distribute junk e-mail, for example.

TROJAN HORSES

Trojan horses are the third common type of malware. A 'trojan' is a program that pretends to do one thing but actually does something different. (The term comes from the story of the Greeks who built a large wooden horse in which to hide. Their enemies, the Trojans persuaded they'd receive a gift, took the horse inside their compound giving the Greeks easy access to wreak havoc.) Unlike viruses or worms, a Trojan doesn't replicate itself.

Trojans may be hidden in otherwise useful software. Once started they can do almost anything including erasing data, corrupting files, installing backdoors and logging keystrokes so that hackers can steal information such as credit card numbers and passwords.

FIGHTING MALWARE

Elsewhere in the series, we'll discuss what is and can be done to combat the spread of malware. In the interim, just remember not to be passive and expect the problem to be solved by others. Fighting viruses requires active participation from vendors, webmasters AND users.

New! Ezy-Internet Safety Guide is the perfect blueprint to the truth about Internet safety. Learn everything you need to know about making your computer safer, safety software that works and how to avoid all the nasty spyware, malware, viruses, worms and trojans.

Control Spyware Infection Or You'll Be Sorry Later

A spyware is a malware that monitors the activities on the computer it is illegally installed in without the knowledge of the computer user. The information is sent back to its creator. Examples of information it collects are passwords and credit card numbers.

Some spyware programs are designed to monitor the user's surfing habits, like what websites are often visited by the user and the software used as well as other personal information that the user might consider confidential. Some spyware functions as keyloggers and records keyed in passwords.

The illegally-gotten information through spyware gives the creator a lot of benefits. One of the benefits is a wide database of supposed to be opt in list, a prized asset of internet marketers. Passwords give them access to big amounts of money from e-currency accounts.

Signs Of Spyware On Your Computer

How does a computer user know that there is spyware lurking around, collecting confidential information? What are the sighs to watch out for? Here are some of the strange behaviors of a computer with spyware:

1. The home page changes on its own

2. Strange toolbars that you haven't installed appear on the desktop.

3. More pop ups even inspite of a pop up blocker.

4. Sudden computer crash

5. Navigating difficulties.



How To Control Spyware Infection

You suspect , based on the computer's strange behavior that there is spyware on the computer. What should be the next course of action? Well, luckily, there is free software available to check and detect if any spyware is present.

If there is indeed a spyware, there are also available tools to remove the spyware. To prevent or lessen spyware infection, here are some tips:

1. Have the necessary anti-malware tools installed. There are really effective tools available online for free which could provide protection if checking is religiously performed.

2. Be careful in downloading unverified programs or software and other freebies. Usually, there is a spyware hiding somewhere.

3. Check the programs running in your system. Check the systems tray regularly.

4. Ask for advice from the experts on the subject. There are many forums where members are generous in giving advice to those who need it.

The best way to protect the computer from spyware is to prevent its entry into the computer. It is a must that the computer user educates himself or herself to know how to use the needed tools. Protection is the best way to prevent these malwares from creating trouble.

Choose The Best Password: The Key To Your Account

The password for the various protected internet/computer accounts is a set of characters, in a specific sequence and case sensitive. Together with the unique user name or ID, the password confirms that the user or person trying to access the account is the real one. The user name or ID is normally displayed or shown in the log in box or in the pages of the account but the password is supposed to be known only to the account user or owner and the system that runs the account.

The minimum and maximum number of characters in a password depends also on the system set and it normally consists of letters in upper or lower cases, numbers and other characters.
As the password is entered, it appears only as asterisks in the space provided so that its secrecy is maintained.

The internet has really changed the ways things are done. Very important and secure transactions, like payments for purchases, banking as well as safekeeping and transfer of sensitive documents and other files are processed online. With the increase in online transactions, so are the number of cyber thieves who have developed techniques to crack the passwords. Most of the time, the account owner is to blame because the password isn't strong enough to ward off 'hackers" trying to break it.

Choosing The Best Password

How do you choose the best password that is strong enough to withstand any attempts to access the account? Here are some tips in creating passwords:

1. Don't use a password that is in the dictionary, even the foreign ones. There are password cracking software to determine the exact word in seconds.

2. Don't use passwords that are associated to you like your maiden name, place of birth, Social Security number, children's names, phone numbers. Mix upper and lower case letters with numbers and other symbols allowed by the system like "miG67Ped." This would take a long time to guess and the "hacker" will most likely just leave and go to the next target. However, the account owner should make sure there is a way to remember the password. One way is to associate the words and numbers with easy-to-remember words, dates or names. The password could also be saved on a CD or USB and copied to the log in form. Keep any password record offline.

3. Don't use a password that is used on your other accounts.

4. Don't use commonly used passwords like " 12345678"

5. Use a password generating and auto-filling software. This will solve the problem of keyloggers taking note while the password is being entered and the problem of forgotten passwords.

The password is like the secret key to a secured internet/computer account. Make sure it can really secure the account. 

How To Change The Wallpaper Of Your Desktop Computer

The computer's wall paper is the image or view behind the icons. It fills the entire area of the screen and any computer user sees it all the time unless the windows opened cover it. Some computer users say an interesting and refreshing desktop wallpaper provides relief for tired eyes. So, why not have a variety of wallpapers by changing it as often as conveniently possible?

Sources Of Wallpaper

The image to be installed as desk top wallpaper maybe chosen from the background list in the Display Properties box , from scanned pictures, or downloaded online. There are a lot of choices and photos of loved ones is a popular choice of wallpaper.

Scanned pictures should be saved at the resolution compatible to the computer's setting, which is either 640x480, 800x600, or 1024x768. In downloading online, check also for the right resolution and size. To check the resolution, right click the mouse on any vacant space on the desktop, click on properties and the setting tab in the Display Properties box. Record the pixel size for reference.

How To Change The Wallpaper

Close all windows before starting to change the wallpaper. The following procedure is for Windows users:

1. Click on "Start"

2. On the expanded box, click on "Control Panel" and a window opens.

3. On the control panel window, click on the "Display" icon and the Display Properties box shall appear OR simply right click anywhere on the desktop, then choose "Properties" and the Display Properties box shall also appear.

4. Select "Desktop" and choose from the list of background images. The actual image of each item on the list is displayed in the preview screen. Is the wallpaper to be installed is from a file of photos, click "Browse" and select the photo to be installed.

5. From the Display Properties box, choose to Center, Tile or Stretch to resize the image to fit the screen.
6. Click 'OK"

To change the wallpaper back to the original image, follow the following procedure:

1. Right click mouse on clear space of the desktop.
2. Click "Properties"
3. Click on "Desktop" tab
4. Select former image from the background list or browse if the former image is from one of the files on the computer.

Hours of clicking away in front of a computer will be less tiring and boring if once in a while, as a window is closed, you see a pleasant view, the face of a loved one or a picture taken during a very memorable vacation.

How To Change The Look Of Your Computer Desktop

Your desktop screen is basically where your stares and eyesight will be when you get bored. If you are tired and bored of the same old look on your computer monitor, it is time to ramp up how your desktop looks. By doing so, you will bolster and improve the aesthetic appeal of the device and make it more fun-filled and appealing to the eyes.

Here are some simple ways you can improve how your desktop looks. Before any other initiative, simply make the display property menu appear in the screen by right clicking the mouse without pointing at anything but a blank space in your desktop screen. From then, you could simply choose what actions to take.

- To change the background image, click on the 'background' button on the display properties dialog box. From there, choose a background picture listed underneath a white box. Choose whether you'd like to stretch the image or if you want to put in the center or set is as tile image. Press 'ok'.

- Set the appearance of the desktop screen. To do this, double click the 'appearance' button. Choose a scheme and the type of item you want to modify. You can also set an active color scheme for all desktop and computer applications. Click 'ok' afterwards.

- To set the resolution of the screen and the screen size of everything that would be showed in it, double click the 'settings' button. There will be a bar that you can adjust to set the size of the images to be exhibited on the screen. Move the bar to the right to make images appear bigger. Move the bar to the left to make the screen images appear smaller. You can also adjust the color resolution of the screen using the color tab on the same screen. Don't forget to click 'ok' once your preferred settings are done.

- If you want to set a screen saver so as to further liven up your PC screen, click on the 'Screen Saver' button and choose a design you like. As usual, click 'ok' after the move.

When you have your desktop screen all set; you will enjoy sitting in front of your PC even during a long and winding day. Regularly change the display settings of your PC screen to make your stay in front of the PC always interesting.

Using Desktop Publishing Software For Blogging

Blogging is a popular online activity nowadays. People simply want to share their experiences and outlook on life with everyone on the Internet. Teenagers run blogs to express themselves through an activity that is considered cool and 'in' by peers. Adults blog to share sentiments or to offer advice and guidelines to online readers.

Currently, many online entrepreneurs make use of the Internet for income opportunities. Modern blogs provide earning opportunities for bloggers. Thus, it is logical and practical that almost all regular Internet users are now aiming to have and maintain their own blogs. But the problem is, not all are willing and able to learn how to start up the initiative.

To begin with the activity, experts advise first time and would be bloggers to simply use desktop publishing software installed on their personal computers. Doing so will help make the task easy and less complicated. Here are several ways on how you can come up with blogs using desktop publishing software installed on your PC.

- For starters, aim using the Word processor. If you want your blog to be purely content-focused and really juicy on information, this is the desktop publishing program for you. Use the software normally and then post as a blog once you get your domain.

- For blogs that aren't only dependent on text, use a desktop publishing for page layout. Page layout software facilitates the integration of images and pictures with basic text content. Thus, if you want to pose more photos and other kinds of images, this desktop publishing software is advisable for you. Simply choose the templates you like, fill in content blanks and post the images and photos using the browser menu.

- To use the Web publishing software, select the chosen template or modify existing template designs using the usual commands and programs. Follow instructions on how to include and post photos, audio files and videos. You can edit your initial Web publication output afterwards. What is best about this desktop publishing software is that it automatically converts all files into PDF and HTML formats intended for Web publishing.

To make your blog worthwhile, you should also make sure that the content you will be posting is worthwhile, engaging and very informative. Desktop publishing software is there to aid you create printable outputs. Now, use them to start up your own Website or blog and see how you can make a difference.

How To Block Pop-Up Ads In Your PC

Numerous online marketers and companies are aiming to maximize the use of the Internet. Because most consumers are getting online nowadays, various businesses are targeting catching the attention of prospective clients. Thus, as a sign of desperation, those marketers are launching pop-up advertisements.

Pop-up ads are very rampant and common. There are always pop-up ads appearing on your computer screen. Often, those unimportant and insignificant ads are annoying because they are hampering and blocking your computer usage. Here are some measures that will help you prevent or block pop-up ads.

- There are numerous pop-up ads blockers that can easily and conveniently be downloaded online. Basically, you should install any one of those blocking programs and run them so that on your next Internet log on, you will be spared form the hassles of pop-up ads. Most pop-up ads blockers are offered to the market for free from giant search engines like Google and Yahoo.

- If you are using Microsoft Corporation's popular Windows XP and Windows 2000, you can effectively block pop-up ads by installing on your personal computer Windows XP's Firewall or by updating into Windows XP SP2. Doing so will automatically block messenger service and messenger spam, which almost always constitutes pop-up ads.

- Download an anti-virus software that will at the same time function to detect and block different forms of pop-up ads arising from Spyware and Ad-ware. Such anti-virus programs aren't just helpful in keeping you protected from software virus. They are also effective in blocking pop-up ads that are most likely coming up with embedded viruses.

- Refrain from connecting to the online media without first running your firewall and your reliable anti-virus software. If you have installed a pop-up blocker, it will automatically function upon logging in to the Internet.

- Don't frequent websites that are known to spread and disseminate unnecessary pop-up ads. Usually, porn sites facilitate wide circulation of such ads.

Overall, pop-up ads can be prevented by being vigilant and by being cautious when checking out different Websites. If you can help it, try to block and prevent such online ads from appearing on your PC screen. Pop-up ads not only disturb you from your online task; they also pose security and virus threats to your PC.

How To Protect Yourself From Phishing On The Internet

The Internet is regarded as the best place to do everything such as finding entertainment, shopping, or research, there's still the danger of anonymity. You may find yourself in another persons shoes, literally.

One example of the evils of the Internet is Phishing, which is a criminal method of obtaining your most personal information for the benefit of the evildoers. Some of their methods are stealing your password, credit card details, or even your identity.

It's easy to avoid being victimized by phishing. Here are some helpful advice on protecting yourself from these criminal activities.

Don't Give Your Personal Information To Anyone.

This is the most basic guide in avoiding phishing. This mostly applies to e-mail, private messages on bulletin boards/social networks or chatting with your online friends. They have identity thefts in social networking sites in which the criminal took advantage of the identity to obtain sensitive or personal information from other people.

If an e-mail message asks you to give your name, e-mail, password, credit card number, address, never reply to it, even if it seems like it's important. It might be one step to identity theft. So never, ever, give your personal information to anyone.

Create Strong Passwords

Simple phishing is to crack passwords of accounts. The easier the password you have on your account, the easier it will be cracked. A combination of numbers and letters is the ideal password for those who want their accounts to be protected.

Use Secure Online Payment Services

In shopping online, you have to determine if the payment service is secure. This is easy since you can research about how secure the payment service is on search engines or from friends. Remember that you will give your credit card number and other valuable information so it's better to have some background knowledge than none at all.

Avoiding Fake Websites

Web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Internet Explorer have anti-phishing measures which detect fake websites. These fake websites could lure you into giving them your personal information and use them against you or for their own benefit. Some fake websites require you to which automatically give them your username and password. Double check if the URL is correct just to be sure you're in the right place.

Killing The Spam e-Mails

In most e-mails, there is a spam filter which automatically sends your spam in a different folder to be dealt with later. Spam e-mails are very dangerous and should be deleted immediately. The usual indication of spam is that it entices you to look inside with the subject and is usually from a person you don't know.

The Internet isn't the safest place in the world, even if you think you've covered all the bases. As long as you're lurking in there, the possibilities of crime are endless. So the key is just to be very careful.

When It Pays To Be Paranoid: How To Avoid Keyloggers From Being Installed In Your Computer

Sometimes, real life is better than computer life. In the real world, you can refuse to pick up a hitchhiker. With computers, it's another story. Malicious software and spyware have an uncanny ability to hitch a ride on your computers without your consent. Here's how to avoid these keyloggers from being installed:

Use A Program To Fight A Program.

You can avoid getting keyloggers installed on your computer by installing anti-keylogger software. These are software that can effectively detect, locate and remove keyloggers once they are installed. Some anti-keylogger software can even provide you with certain information about the keylogger, such as the date it was installed on your computer. In case of future encounters with keyloggers, these programs will also prevent any infiltration.

Most computer experts recommend that you use more than one anti-spyware programs. Use at least two to man the gates, so to speak and another two to help you scan for invaders later.

Give It The Boot.

Sometimes you will have to manually uninstall a spyware program. Often, it will try to bargain with you and persuade you not to delete it, showing a message saying that it's not a threat or a danger and that you will no longer enjoy its benefits. Don't be intimidated. Delete it immediately because it will drag your computer down and threaten your security and privacy.

Some keyloggers, especially commercial types, can operate using stealth mode. If you want to bring them out of hiding, learn their keystroke sequence. These are keys you'll need to press simultaneously to reveal the keylogger. Pressing Crtl-Alt-X, for example, will summon XPCSpy. Go to the PestPatrol webpage to see other keystroke sequences of most keyloggers.

Protect And Complain.

Use the log-on restriction on your operating system to keep others from installing keyloggers. Allow access only through a password. If you can't uninstall the program, try asking the manufacturer (if commercial) to help you. Some manufacturers will allow this, especially if the keylogger was installed on your computer without your permission.

Ask your spouse, parent, significant other, etc. not to install a keylogger on your computer.
Yes, a keylogger program can be easily and legally installed. Parents, employers and spouses can do that to you. If you don't want it and have a legitimate reason to have it uninstalled (like your right to privacy), keep that keylogger away from your computer.

Being vigilant and a little paranoid can go a long way to avoid keyloggers from being installed in your computer. Remember that with computers, forewarned is always forearmed.

Practical Ways To Avoid Different Types Of Computer Errors

Errors are not only annoying, they can also cause damage to your computer. Most errors are the result of misuse and mishandling and can generally be avoided by simply taking a few simple steps. Here are ways you can avoid different types of computer errors and keep your computer healthy and efficient:

Avoiding .dll Computer Errors

DLL means dynamic link libraries. These contain the data and codes used by computer programs. DLLs are sometimes shared by the same program to allow your computer to save on memory and run efficiently. A .dll error can occur if a program is deleted and one or several of its DLLs are used by another program.

It can also happen if you have a bad memory or hard disk drive or other problems related to faulty hardware. Malware and viruses can also cause a .dll error.

To avoid this type of computer error, always keep your computer up-to-date. Your anti-spyware and anti-virus software should also be updated and your computer scanned on a regular basis.

Avoiding .exe Computer Errors

The .exe errors are usually related to executable commands. .Exe errors are often caused by viruses and malware. To avoid this type of computer error, protect your computer at all times. Install an anti-virus software and anti-spyware and make sure they are updated regularly.

Manufacturers also create tools that remove new types of viruses. Simply download these tools from the manufacturer's site or a trusted site and run it to zap those nasty invaders.

Out Of Memory

Sometimes your computer will indicate a computer error through the warning, 'out of memory'. This means that you have exhausted your available memory and that your computer is running low. An immediate solution would be to either close some applications you are currently using or delete files you no longer need so you'll have more memory to use. Sometimes, when it's pretty bad, you'll need to buy another hard drive.

Avoiding this computer error, however, is simpler and a lot less expensive. First, plan your memory needs before buying a computer. If you foresee storing lots of files and using several programs, choose a computer with a bigger memory. Start with a 256MB or 512MB and install only programs that you will need and actually use.

Most types of computer errors can be avoided by simply taking care of your computer. Be an educated user and avoid unsafe computer practices. However, if all else fails, seek the help of a professional. There are some computer errors that only experts can correct.

How To Keep Your PC Healthy By Avoiding Viruses

The toughest to fight in any computer is a virus that has already gotten into your system, snooped into your files and multiplied to the point that it hogs your hard disk space and slowly eats at your system. Let's admit it, we're scared of these viruses and we want to get rid of them. Here are very useful tips for protecting your PC:

Making Use Of The Firewall

Windows operating system has the firewall for a reason. For those who are connected to the Internet 24/7, the firewall is the basic way to protect your PC. Check if your firewall is on by going to the control panel of your Windows PC. Firewalls keeps your computer away from malicious software (malware), worms, and Trojan viruses. Also, it prevents other people from snooping in your files and applications.

You can also download firewall software off the net if you want more protection for your system, but the basic firewalls work.

Download A Trusty Antivirus Software

These days, when you have no antivirus software, your PC is vulnerable to virus attacks, especially when inserting your friends flash disks in your USB ports. There are already a variety of viruses sticking themselves to flash disks then automatically transferring it to the PC.

It would be really helpful to have an antivirus which is regularly updated off the internet. It's also good to always have it active all the time to detect virus in real time.

Check If Your Windows Operating System Is Getting Updates

Never ignore the Windows update bubble popping out of the lower right part of your screen. Your Windows operating system will be fully protected by downloading updates. These updates often include anti-malware updates or improvement for different Windows utilities to avoid vulnerabilities in the system.

Though most of the time, Windows automatically downloads updates and let you install them manually or automatically when you shut down your system.

Being Wary Of Suspicious E-Mails And Various Zipped Files

Don't open everything in your inbox. This is almost common knowledge, however, sometimes; curiosity gets the better of us. Inspect the sender and the subject before opening an e-mail and downloading anything off the attachments. Some of the most deadly virus hides in e-mails.

Lastly, if you download files from limewire, for example, be very careful on downloading zipped files. Check if the file is described in the right size and it looks trustworthy enough before downloading it.

The Bottom Line

Being careful and doing the right things will help your PC avoid getting viruses. In the end, it's not up to the PC to do the work, but it's up to the user to configure and protect the PC himself; which is the best way.

Protecting Yourself From Your Mouse

The computer mouse is one of the essential elements of your entire computer using experience, however, contrary to what you think one would have to master the use of the mouse in order to assure the prevention of any musculoskeletal injury. Aside from constantly changing your posture when you are working with your mouse and in this same way you could curtail the risk of ergonomic related problems.

Be reminded that the finest ergonomic mouse should allow you to make diverse positions while using it.

Safety Tips While Using Your Mouse

There are several pieces of advice that the experts have provided for mouse users, in order for them to lessen the threats of suffering from mouse-using problems. The following tips are supposed to give the users the proper ways of using the computer mouse.

1. Gripping your mouse - there is really no need to hold the mouse too tightly because it won't run anywhere. Just hold the mouse mildly over the mouse pad.

2. Use your mouse from your elbow - it is important that you use your mouse from your elbow as your midpoint instead of flicking your wrists. Be sure that you keep your elbow straight at all times.

3. Ideal mouse position - in using your mouse, the best position that you can take is just to sit back in your chair and your arms should be relaxed as you are sliding your mouse on the mouse pad. Remember to pivot using your elbow and never ever use the mouse while extending on the desk or on the side of your keyboard.

4. Keep your wrist safe all the time - in anatomy, it should be free from any surface pressure interaction.

5. Keep away from limiting circulations - pressure on the wrist where our pulse is usually taken might just disrupt the proper blood circulation in our body which might eventually lead to further complications.

6. Avoid using wrist rest - research shows that the wrist rests only amplifies the risks inside our carpal tunnel.

7. Keep away from limiting arm movements - as you are using your wrist rests, chances are you'll rest you entire forearm on a fixed or locking position which in turn leads to the mouse flicking with the use of the wrist instead of the elbow.

Other than these tips, it is important that you educate yourself regarding the other ideal positions for some input devices which you are using, because you might not even know that you are less prone to complications in using your mouse but you are highly exposed for other complications with other devices.

Learn How To Use A Computer Through Crash Courses

So you need to learn how to use a computer and fast? Take a crash course in computers. It's quick, it's easy and it can give you the basic lessons you'll need in order to use a computer for the results you want. Here's how:

Determine The Kind Of Computer You'll Be Using.

Is it a notebook computer or a desktop? Will you be using a Mac or a PC? The basic use of a computer is the same for different types, although certain functions and commands differ. You'll need to learn these things first before you start using the programs.

Decide What You Want To Do.

The most common usage for computers usually involves word processing, spreadsheets and internet browsing. If you want to type a manuscript or write a letter or memo, take a crash course on word processing. If you want to make computations or use a program to produce simple statistical data and graphs, use a spreadsheet. If your main purpose in using a computer is to browse the internet, simply open its browser.

Get Help.

Most computer courses offered at colleges and adult education classes are formal classes and they are by no means considered crash courses. However, some of these classes, especially those offered by smaller schools, may allow crash courses in computer use. These classes can last from 3 days to a week or even three weeks to cover one or two computer programs, enough to allow you to use a computer confidently.

If you prefer, you can hire someone who knows about computer use to give you a crash course. You don't have to look too far, though. Do you have a neighbor, a niece or a child who knows computers better than you do? Someone who's looking for some extra income and willing to teach you about computer use can be a great help. They're cheaper, too.

If you prefer a professional tutor and are willing to spend more, you can also hire one. Simply inform them that what you need is a crash course in computer use and what you hope to achieve. You can skip certain parts in the lessons that you don't immediately need.

Use The On-Board Tutorial And Other References.

Want to get your computer crash course on your own? Most programs contain a tutorial or at least a Help function. This should help you get started independently. Supplement your learning with lots of reading. There are short cuts and tricks you can find in books and magazines that will help you learn faster.

Tips For Finding The Right Computer School

Unless you're living under a rock, learning how to use a computer is an important investment you'll have to make sooner or later. Although you can probably learn on your own, you might want to attend a formal class to help you get started more quickly. Here are ways to find a computer school near you:

Decide Which Course You Want To Take.

It's important to determine the type of computer lessons you want before looking for a computer school because some schools may offer more lessons than you need. Do you need a school that offers only basic computer use or would you prefer a certificate course in a certain computer language?

If you want to make computers your career, you might have to take formal lessons, which usually last from 6 months to two years or more. If you know what you want out of your computer school, you can avoid spending more time, money and effort on lessons you don't really need.

Check With Your Community College Or University.

Computer classes for kids and adults are regularly opened by colleges and universities. Even local high schools might offer basic to advanced lessons.

For formal study, however, it's best to check with the school's information technology or computer studies department. Their program director will be more than glad to discuss with you the kind of lessons you want to take. These schools usually provide you with a certificate of completion after you finish a course.

Go Online.

You can look for schools near your location using sites such as ComputerSchools.com, Computer-Schools.us, All-Computer-Schools.com and InternationalStudentGuidetotheUSA.com.

If you prefer to work on your own and want to take lessons at your own pace, try computer schools that offer online courses. The same lessons will be offered by computer schools for these so you definitely will not be missing anything. There are also online computer schools offering live interaction with the instructor and fellow students, so it's easier for you to clarify lessons and share information.

Go To A Computer Camp.

Instead of sending your child to a computer school, let him attend a computer camp. Most computer or technology camps are residential camps, so expect your child to stay on-campus or in a certain area. Computer camps can be a fun alternative to computer schools because lessons are intensive and there are plenty of other things to do.

Choosing A Computer School.

Choose a computer school that offers the courses you need at prices you can afford. Make sure you are comfortable with the instruction style and format and that the schedule fits your working and living arrangements.

4 Ways You Can Get Computer Lessons

Does the thought of using a computer leave you cold? Don't worry. Believe it or not, there are still plenty of people who don't know how to use a computer. If you're one of them, it's time you started learning how to use one. Here are ways you, too, can start taking computer lessons:

Learn On Your Own.

Using a computer is a lot easier these days, thanks to operating systems and software that let anyone use a computer with ease. As long as you have access to a computer, all you have to do is to find a reference book to guide you.

Get a Computer for Dummies or Computer for Idiots book or other similar references to help you. These books use the simplest terms possible and will walk you through the basic operation of a computer through easy to understand lessons. After a few hours of going through the first few chapters, you should be able to begin using your computer to type, compute or even play games.

If there's a particular program you want to learn such as Adobe Photoshop, Frontpage, Pagemaker, etc., you can use the tutorial feature that comes with the software package. You can also use interactive CD-ROM-based computer lessons. There are plenty of built-in practical tests in these lessons that will let you immediately apply what you've just learned.

Use Websites.

Another great source of computer lessons are dedicated sites. Do a simple search to find the computer lesson you need. Sites also offer lessons and tips posted by their visitors so you'll get to learn some tricks you don't usually get in some tutorials. Use with care, though. Some of these sites don't carry reliable content. Stick to vendor-operated sites or at least those recommended by the vendors themselves.

Get A Tutor.

A tutor can offer you computer lessons on a one-on-one basis or you could join a small group of people for a regular class. A tutor can offer a more personalized lesson so he or she can adjust to your speed. You can also skip lessons if you prefer and learn only what you want to.

Go To A Class.

A formal class is a great way to get computer lessons. If you prefer a more structured way of learning and enjoy working with a bigger group, this is the way to go. Check with your local community colleges, clubs and special computer schools.

Computer lessons can be a valuable investment, since the use of computers is a part of everyday life these days. If you have to start your lessons, start now and reap the rewards of your learning experience immediately.

Why And When You Should Upgrade Your Operating System

Your operating system is the heart of your computer. It is the backbone from which all of your programs work. Without it, your computer is nothing but a gadget made of plastic and metal. Since manufacturers continue to make changes in their products, it's important that you know when your operating system needs to be upgraded.

Why You Should Upgrade

Of course, your computer will continue to work using your old operating system and you can keep using it. You probably won't have any problems if your computer use is limited within your room or house.

The problem is, technology changes quickly. Newer versions of programs, gadgets and software appear. Not only do they make using your computer faster, they also provide access to all sorts of information and functionalities that won't work with your old operating system.

Another reason why upgrading your operating system is important is that most of the applications included in it contain some bugs or certain imperfections in the program. These imperfections often render the operating system vulnerable to damage or threat. If you want access to new programs, want better security and features on your operating system, you should consider upgrading.

When To Upgrade Your Operating System

Generally, the manufacturer of your operating system will let you know about an upgrade and alert you about a new patch you'll need to install. The patch is a supplement or a correction to certain applications and vulnerabilities of your OS. Upgrading it will make it more secure so you are less prone to errors or threats.

If you are working with an older version of your operating system and most of the software and files you encounter are higher versions, it's time to upgrade. A lower version will be unable to 'read' or run files and programs made from or designed using higher versions.

If you've tried opening a file saved using Windows XP, Windows 95 or lower, you will find that it's difficult for your older operating system. If you want to use newer files or exchange information with other people using higher versions, you will have to upgrade your operating system.

You'll also know it's time to upgrade when you want to use gadgets and accessories that will only run using a higher version of your operating system. If that accessory is an integral part of your computing, you definitely should get in touch with your manufacturer or buy yourself a new operating system. Simply check your computer to ensure you meet the minimum requirements for a glitch-free upgrade.

What Browser Is Best For Your Use?

A browser is a computer program that allows you to use the internet to search, download, view and display files on the web that contain text, graphics, video, images and sound. A browser lets you view both internets and intranets, which are closed networks. If you want to know what browser to use, here are different kinds to choose from:

Internet Explorer

IE is the most commonly used browser because it comes bundled with the Windows OS, which many people use. IE has all the necessary components needed to allow users to browse the internet. Its e-mail program is the Outlook Express, which manages messages.

While IE is a browser that does the job well, it is also open to a lot of attacks from viruses, malware and computer hackers because it is the most common. This prompts some computer users to opt for other browsers, such as a

Firefox From Mozilla

Firefox is an open source program so you can download it for free. It is the most common alternative to IE and it has several features. It has a pop-up blocker and allows tabbed browsing so you can open several sites at once without using multiple windows. Firefox also has customizable buttons and tool bars, smart keyboards and excellent security features.

Firefox is quite easy to use and makes browsing the internet convenient. If you download files, for example, it can save these to the computer's desktop, making them easy to locate.

Use Firefox if you prefer a browser other than IE or if you like its extra features.

Opera

Opera is another free browser that allows you to load web pages quickly. It also has plenty of extra features that let you have fun while browsing. Like Firefox, it also uses tabs and a built-in pop-up filter and Google search. If you don't like the way your basic browser looks, you can even change 'skins'.

If you're currently an IE user and are switching to Opera, this browser even lets you import your IE settings and e-mail clients. The user interface is designed for ease of use and secured browsing. Once you start using it, it shouldn't be long until you find you're breezing through the World Wide Web with ease.

Other Browsers

There are other browsers that you can use such as Netscape, AOL and Crazy. How well they perform from your perception will depend on what you expect them to do and what you want out of your internet experience. Consider the type of internet usage you have when choosing your browser. But don't worry. If you change your mind, you can always use another browser.

Ways To Screen Your E-Mail Attachments Before Downloading Them

Sometimes, attaching a file with an e-mail message can't be helped, especially if the file is too big or if it contains images and graphical representations that would be difficult to view with the standard e-mail. While there are some attachments that are usually harmless, there are also some that contain damaging computer viruses and malicious software. To make sure you don't unwittingly become a victim of a virus attack or malware, you should screen all e-mail attachments you receive before downloading. Here's how:

Use E-Mail Security Software.

There are software that can be installed on your computer that are capable of screening any e-mail attachment you receive before downloading. Once it's on board, you can open an e-mail message and use the program to check if the attachment is safe or not.

You have a choice whether you want to open an attachment or scan it first. Choose 'scan' and let your computer do the routine check up. If it gives you an all clear message indicating the file is safe from threats, you can begin downloading the file. Set the security settings to 'high' to maximize your protection.

In some browsers, such as the Internet Explorer, and e-mails such as Microsoft Outlook, security is included as part of their e-mail features. Simply click on the link and your e-mail attachment will be screened automatically.

When using e-mail security software, remember to turn on the auto-protect feature before opening any e-mail attachment. Or you can allow the program to automatically screen e-mail attachments before you download. That way, the program won't forget to scan for any threats even if you do.

Using Common Sense To Screen E-Mail Attachments

Other than e-mail security programs, the best way to screen e-mail attachments is to do it yourself. When checking your e-mail, determine which messages come with attachments. Even if the e-mail came from your friend or someone you know, always be cautious about attachments. The sender may not realize they are sending you an infected file.

Next, find out what the e-mail attachments are about, especially if they contain .exe files. If you are unsure of the content or have no way of knowing what it is exactly, delete the e-mail and its attachment. It may also be prudent to delete e-mails and their attachments coming from people you don't know.

If you prefer, you can also preview an e-mail and its attachment and then decide whether or not you want to download it to your computer. It may seem like a lot of trouble to go through just to view e-mail attachments but this is a good way to protect your files, your computer and yourself.

The Most Important Computer Tools Every Beginner User Should Know About

Your computer can do a lot of things to make your life a lot easier. It can help you communicate with people regardless of your geographical distance, access information, make computations, process and create images, listen to music, view videos, order and purchase things, etc. If you're a new computer user, here are some of the most important tools you should know about:

Word Processor

The word processor is a program that allows you to perform many tasks. Although it is commonly used to type texts to produce letters, memos, manuscripts and research papers, it can also handle simple text manipulation if you need to produce a basic brochure or newsletter.

The word processor can also be used for presentations. You can embed photographic images, photos and graphs and label them with the appropriate texts. If you like to keep a journal or a planning to come up with your own novel someday, the word processor is your tool.

Spreadsheet

The spreadsheet is another important tool for your computer. It accepts texts and figures and is also capable of performing basic and advanced computations. It is often used as a computing tool, although it can also handle text and graphics. Basically, it functions as a calculator so if you don't have one, use this tool.

The spreadsheet page looks like a blank page divided by rows (numerical) and columns (alphabetical), producing rectangular blocks called cells. Within each cell, which is expandable, you can perform certain tasks, such as inputting texts and/or numbers or create formulas. You can then use these formulas to allow the cells to interact and result to an effective mathematical or statistical computation.

Browser

The browser allows you to access the internet. It is a program that downloads data from the World Wide Web and translates them to produce a readable text or image. The browser is an important computer tool, providing you with the means with which to obtain information, view files online and communicate with other people through e-mails or instant messages, although the latter can be a separate tool.

Other Tools

Certain computer tools such as those designed for image editing and publishing and those that allow you to create presentations are also important. Desktop publishing just became easier thanks to these tools, which allow you to do design and layout.

Tools that help you maintain the health of your computer are also important, such as anti-virus software and anti-spyware. These ensure that your computer is safe and secure by protecting it from threats that damage your software and hardware and render your computer useless.

Learn How To Write A Letter Using Your Computer

Do you need to write a letter to a friend? Or maybe you need to construct a business letter to a potential client? Do you want to make sales letters to promote your products?

If so, keep your pen and paper. You won't need your old typewriter either. Instead, turn on your computer and start writing the letter. Your letter will sound and look better using a computer. To start your letter, just follow the steps below:

1. Open The Word Processing Software.

The most popular word processing software today is Microsoft Word. Install it using the Microsoft Office setup disc. If you don't use Windows, don't worry. You have a lot of alternatives to it. Sun System's Open Office is one of your options. And it is free too.

2. Make A Rough Draft Of The Body Of Your Letter.

After opening the software, you should see a clear white page on the screen. This is where you can type your message. Type everything you want to say, most preferably in an outline form so you won't forget anything. Don't worry about spelling. Most word processors nowadays are equipped with spelling and grammar-checking tools. Writing a letter becomes much easier with computers, indeed.

3. Put In The Necessary Parts Of The Letter To Make It Formal.

The essential parts of a letter are the date, the inside address, the salutation, the body, and the closing. If you are writing a business letter, make sure all these parts are included. For an informal letter to a friend, the inside address could be deleted.

4. Save The Letter For Sending.

After finalizing and editing your letter to perfection, proceed save the letter for future reference. If you are going to send it via snail mail, you have to send the file to the printer. If it is going to be sent via email, just copy everything you have written down and paste it on the body part of the email software you are using. Type the recipient's email address and the subject of the email as well. Click send and your done.

These are the four basic steps on how to write letters using your computer. In the absence of word processing software, you can directly type the letter inside your email software, provided that you'll send the letter electronically. Emails are more preferable to snail mail, as they are sent much faster and are free to use.

Do You Know How To Watch A Movie Using Your Computer?

Today, you don't have to go to a theater to watch a movie. You can do that from the very comforts of your home. And you need not get a home entertainment system for it either. Your regular computer can play your favorite movies for you.

If you are asking how that is possible, just follow the instructions below:

1. Determine The Source Of The Movie You Want To Watch.

When watching movies using a computer, you have two options - you can use the regular DVD disc of the movie, or you can download the movie file from the Internet. If you have the disc, all you have to do is to load it in the DVD drive of your computer. However, if you are going to download the movie file from the Internet, search for it using the title of the movie. You might need to pay some registration or usage fees before you can download the file.

2. Launch The Media Player.

After the disc is loaded or the file is downloaded, the next thing you have to do is to open your computer's media player. If you are using Windows, look for Windows Media Player under All Programs, Accessories, and Entertainment. Or you may have an icon for it on your desktop.

3. Play The Movie.

If you are using the disc, the movie should play automatically after launching the media player. If you are going to play a downloaded file, you have to browse for the file so that software can find it. Click on the play button and the movie should start playing.

4. Adjust The User's Control.

Depending on the media player you are using, it will be equipped with a user's panel where you can adjust the volume, stop and pause the movie, or forward and rewind it. It is also possible to enlarge the video screen so it fits the entire screen, instead of playing the movie in a small window. Maximize the use of the panel for your viewing pleasure.

5. Sit Back And Enjoy.

Once all the fine-tuning is done, you can now enjoy your movie as if you are inside the theater. Ask a friend or two to join you. And don't forget to keep the popcorn flowing!

If you follow these steps, you will definitely start enjoying your favorite movies in a matter of minutes. Watching movies from your computer, or even televisions shows for that matter, is as easy as 1-2-3.

How To Use A Webcam To Capture Images And Videos

The Internet today allows almost everything - sending emails, publishing write-ups, and of course, photo and video sharing. The most fun thing to do among them would be photo and video sharing, indeed. And to effectively share your pictures and videos, you have to first learn how to use a webcam.

Webcam is the short term for web camera. It is the device that has the ability to capture images, both still and moving, and save it on your computer. Most webcams are connected to the computer's USB port.

Learning how to use a webcam is fairly easy. All you have to do is follow the steps below:

1. Make Sure That The Webcam Is Properly Installed On Your Computer.

When you buy a webcam from a computer or an electronics store, the package will come with a disc. Run the disc and make sure that the camera is properly detected by the operating system. Load the software according to the instructions so it will work.

2. Determine How You Are To Use The Webcam.

The camera will come with its own software. You can use that to capture images. But it can also work with online messaging services like Yahoo, Skype, and AOL. Using your webcam to share images and videos using these services is free. You might want to check them out.

3. Position The Webcam Properly And Launch The Software.

If you have decided to use the webcam's built-in software, just click on the icon that was created after the program was installed. The camera will work the moment you launch the software. If you want to use the webcam with an online messaging service, sign-in with your username and password. After that, look for the option that will activate and share your webcam.

4. Capture And Save The Images As Desired.

The webcam's built-in software is created with buttons that you can click to save and store the images produced on the screen. Strike a pose. Wear your biggest smile. Then click away! However, with a messenger service, click on the broadcast check box. The images captured by the webcam will then be shared immediately with the users you have approved.

These are the simple steps to use a webcam. You need not be an expert Internet user or computer programmer to learn how this simple device works. Enjoy!

How To Upload Pictures

The Internet is an interactive and reliable venue where people converge and meet virtually. Through the online media, people can do several types of businesses and transactions. You can actually shop, sell products, transact banking activities and find lots of information online.

One of the most popular uses of the Internet nowadays is social networking. Now, there are numerous social network sites that are luring online users like Friendster, MySpace, Facebook, Multiply and many more. These sites are popular because they facilitate real-time and online interaction between friends and acquaintances no matter where they are.

However, there is a basic need to post your picture when you use services of these sites. Uploading photos isn't a prerequisite, but is important in making sure people and friends can identify you. Sometimes, you also need to post other types of pictures to share your experiences and ideals to other people on the Internet.

If you are having a difficult time uploading photos on the Web, here are the basic procedures.

1. Secure or create a picture file in your hardware. You could scan a picture and save it as a file in your hardware. Or you could download pictures from other files and save it in your own folder.

2. When using a social networking or any other form of online site, click on the 'upload photo' button that may be found on the Webpage. A dialog or activity box will appear.

3. Select 'browse' and find the picture file you want to upload from your computers hard drive. Click 'open' or 'save'. After that, a prompt will appear asking for confirmation to complete the process. Get the transaction done.

4. Check if the photo file selected was uploaded. Do the exact same procedure when you upload other photos.

There are different etiquettes you need to observe when uploading photos. As much as possible, make sure the picture you are uploading is appropriate for however it will be used. Social networking sites constantly monitor photos posted by members. If indecent or inappropriate pictures are posted, the account may be suspended. Such sites make sure they are clean and appropriate for their juvenile or minor-aged members.

It is fun and easy to upload pictures. You can easily and quickly upload as many pictures as you like. Such dissemination and sharing process also makes conventional photo sharing less attractive and less used.

How To Surf The Internet

The Internet is one of the most important services ever developed for the use and benefit of the entire mankind. That is because almost any important transaction is dependent on the online media. Nowadays, the Web is a venue where information and entertainment can be attained conveniently and quickly. Banking, shopping, trading and other basic and business transactions are now facilitated in different online portals.

Nowadays, the skill in properly using the Internet is a must. Almost all industries now rely on the online media for basic operations. People constantly need to do research, and there is no other place as convenient for such an activity as the Internet. For people who have 'techno stress' and who are still not familiar with the basic Web surfing applications, here are some basic Internet surfing procedures.

1. Start up with the basic desktop screen setting. Double click the Internet application icons. Internet browsing programs run at either Internet Explorer, Netscape or Mozilla FireFox. Once the Internet screen appears, click on the address box at the top side of the page and type Google, Yahoo, MSN or whatever search engine you like.

2. In the search engine startup page, find the search box. Click the box until there is a prompt, a signal that you could type any word anytime.

3. Formulate search keywords for the subject you need to research. Simplify the keywords but make sure they are concise and are accurate. For example, the subject 'states in the United States' could have an operational keyword of 'states US'. Click search or press the 'enter' key at your keyboard afterwards.

4. A results page would appear shortly. In a page, there could be about 10 to 20 links enumerated. You could double click on any active links if you want to check out the contents of a Web page cited in the results list.

5. If the content isn't satisfactory to you, go back to the results page and check out other sites. If you need to restart a search, simply go back to the search engine page.

6. If you know a specific address of a site, just type it in the address box. Press 'enter' afterwards to initiate the surfing action.

You will find that surfing the Web is an addictive activity. Learning about the basic skill in doing the task will surely prepare you for whatever need you may have using the online media in the future.

The Ways On How To Share Documents In Your Computer

If you have a computer and want to share files with others, there are different ways on how you can do so. Depending upon your operating system, you can share several files with the other users of the computer, or even with other people on the network.

To share files in your computer, follow these steps:

1. Determine What Files You Want To Share.

If you have a single file to share in your computer, copy it by right clicking on the file itself and click on copy. This will put the file in the computer's memory for future use.

2. Look For The Shared Documents Folder.

If you are using Windows Xp, click on Start on the lower left corner of your screen. This will open a small window. Look for "My Documents" and click on it. Another window should appear.

3. Click On "Shared Documents" On The Left Panel.

On the new window that appeared, look at the left panel under "Other Places". Under that, you should be able to see "Shared Documents". Click the link. The window should change.

4. Select The Folder You Want To Put The File In.

On the "Shared Documents" window, there are at least three subfolders. These are Shared Music, Shared Video, and Shared Pictures. If your file belongs in any of the categories, you can simply double click on it. Otherwise, create a new folder by right clicking on the white screen. Select "New" on the small window and click on "Folder". A new folder should be visible on the same window. You can rename the folder if you wish.

5. Paste Your Document.

After selecting the folder that will contain the file, you can now paste it. Right click on a white spot again. Click "Paste". The window should now show your file. The file is now ready to be shared with other users of your computer. If the computer is part of a network that has file sharing enabled, the users of the other computers would be able to access the file as well.

Here are the simple ways of sharing files in your computer. Of course, you can use simpler ways of doing it like using a diskette, a flash drive, or a CD-RW. But if you just follow these steps, there should be no need for additional hardware.

How To Send Emails Fast And Easy

If this is the first time you are going to send emails over the Internet, it is a must that you are well informed about the proper way to do it. Emails are electronic mails that can be sent from one account to another. They have long replaced the use of snail mail for correspondence purposes.

Here are the steps on how to send emails:

1. Open Your Email Account.

If you don't have one yet, better go to Yahoo mail or Gmail and sign up. You will be required to fill out a form and set up a username and password for your account. Once that is done, you can simply login to the system and start creating your email.

2. Click On The "Compose Mail" Button Or Tab.

Look at the left panel of the screen. The "Compose Mail" button is likely to be there. Clicking it will take you to a screen where you are to fill out the important information needed to send your email.

3. Fill Out The Needed Information

On the next screen, you need to type the email address of the mail's recipient, the subject of your mail, and of course, the body of the email you want to send. Type everything in the corresponding boxes. Make sure that the recipient's email address is correct. Otherwise, your email won't be sent properly.

4. Add Attachment Files If Needed.

You can send a photo, a digital image, a document, or any file in your computer should you wish. Most email account providers can send multiple files as long as it doesn't exceed the set limits. This step is optional. If you don't need to send a file to your recipient, you can merely ignore this step.

5. Click On The "Send" Button.

Clicking on the "send" button automatically sends your email to the address you typed in the "To" bar. If the email software had detected no errors, it will proceed to send the email as requested. Otherwise, it will come back to you with an error message.

6. Sign Out Of The System.

After sending the email and no error messages were returned to you, you can be sure that the email you sent will be read by the receiver. He or she will receive it in a few minutes, seconds even. That's how fast emails are. You can then proceed to sign out of your email account. You can sign in again after a few hours to check if the person you wrote to responded.

The Right Way To Search For Certain Information Using Internet

Do you recall the first time you ever used the Internet? You might have wondered where in the world you could find information about computers without having websites to go to. And this might still be an on-going dilemma for many people.

How do you really search information on the Internet? The answer is fairly simple - use a search engine. An example of a search engine is Google and Yahoo. When you go to their website, you will notice that there's a long bar where you can type something. It also has a search button at the end. That's what a search engine looks like.

If you have been using search engines but still can't get the right website, here are good tips on how to search for information using the Internet:

1. Don't Type Too Many Words In The Search Bar.

Search engines rely on keywords. So if you want to know where to find information about auto accident insurance coverage, you can simply type "auto insurance" and go from there. The fewer keywords you type, the more results you'll get. Also, words like "the", "to", and "or" are omitted from the search. It's best not to type them unless you really have to.

2. Be Specific.

Be specific but not too restricting in your search. If you want to know more about litigation experts, don't merely look for attorneys and lawyers. The Internet is full of niches and subdirectories. You'll get faster to the exact thing you are looking for if you are a little more precise in your search.

3. Use The Search Engine Tools As Necessary.

If you are searching for pictures, videos, or groups, specifically select the right tab on the search engine's page. This way, you will be able to get the results of your preference. Understand how the search engine you are using works. They are very simple to use.

4. Consult Web Directories As Well.

Sometimes, you are looking for a certain website more than the information it contains. If you can't find what you are looking for in the search engine results, you can always check out web directories. Web directories are websites that contains the URL's of different sites that were submitted for listing. You'll most likely find what you are looking for there.

These are good tips on how you can find certain information on the web. The web is large and expansive. And it certainly contains anything and everything you are looking for. It is just a matter of using the right method when searching.

How To Save Documents In CD Form

There are numerous ways that documents can be saved. You can save your documents on a diskette, on your hard disk, on a USB flash drive or on a CD. Saving your documents on these different devices and different mediums is pretty easy and can be done with very little trouble.

Things You Will Need

You will need to have a CD or DVD burner installed on your computer. You can't save documents on a CD unless your computer is capable of writing on a CD. You also need the CD or DVD that can be written on or saved on for this purpose. The CD you use can be in a writable or rewritable format. Writable CDs can only be used once and cannot be reused for other saving purposes. Rewritable CDs can be used multiple times where you can write and erase the contents on it over and over again.

How To Save On A CD Or DVD

Saving documents on a CD or a DVD is just as simple as saving on a diskette or on a USB flash drive. Here are the steps:

1. When you click on files you will then need to click on the phrase marked Save As or you can press Ctrl+Shift+S.

2. This will then have a window pop up with the options for saving you will need to save your files to your blank CD.

3. You will need to click on the area where you have to choose the location where you will need to save your files on. In this case, you will need to choose the CD or DVD option in the drop down selection.

4. Click on this and you will then be prompted to type in the file name and the type of document you will be saving.

5. Another way you can save files onto a CD is via the My Computer route. You can click on start then my Computer. From here, you can then open the folder that has your files in it.

6. You then open another window using the same steps, but this time you click on the CD-ROM icon. Place the files you want written on your CD under the files Ready to be Written to the CD heading.

7. Confirm this action by clicking on the write these files to CD phrase under the CD Writing Tasks heading.

You can save your files on other mediums as well, with CDs and DVDs as being only one of these choices. Just make sure that the files you will be saving don't exceed the memory that the CD you will be using has.

How To Post Pictures On Your Social Network Page Without A Hitch

We all know how popular social network sites are these days and how quite a large number of people are registered on them. These social networking sites are often places where people share information about themselves and about the things that they enjoy doing. They also get to meet new people and rekindle old friendships on these sites. Another thing that people love doing on social network sites, like Multiply, MySpace and Friendster, is to post pictures of themselves, whether they be pictures of activities with friends, solo shots or even artistic pictures that they've edited with the use of picture editing software.

How To Post Pictures On Friendster

Used to be, posting pictures on social network pages like MySpace of Friendster involved a process that had you uploading your pictures one at a time. These days, with the constant improvement that social network sites keep on exacting, you can post multiple pictures at one time. Here, we will tackle how you can post pictures on Friendster.

1. On your home page, click on the phrase upload photos under the My Tools category.

2. You can then choose to upload photos for public viewing or you can upload photos for a select few in a private photo area.

3. You can then click on browse and choose the pictures you will want to see on your Friendster.

4. After you choose all the pictures you want to see on your Friendster on the Upload Queue, you can click on the start Upload button to begin the upload of your pictures on your Friendster profile.

5. If your pictures exceed the memory limit of 2.0 mb per picture, you may need to reduce the quality or size of your photos with a little editing before you can successfully upload them.

6. Once these pictures are successfully uploaded to your Friendster profile, you can then add the captions for each picture as you see fit.

Arrange Your Pictures

Since the way you upload your pictures is the way you will see them appearing on your profile page, you can actually edit the arrangement according to how you want them to appear. This kind of a feature gives you the opportunity to see your pictures in the order you want them to appear.

For other Social Network sites, you may be using a different picture upload system or method as compared to Friendster but most of these picture upload techniques are pretty simple and have easy to follow instructions so you won't actually have a hard time uploading your pictures on your personal profile page.

How To Password-Protect Documents In Your Computer From Prying Eyes

There are times when we type things on our computer and save them on our computers yet we don't wish people to read whatever it is we have written and saved. For those who don't know how to protect what they have written from people who might have access to their computers other than themselves, using a password protected system to keep your documents from being accessed by other people is one thing that should be learned.

Create A Password For Your PC

One of the easiest ways for you to protect your documents from other people who might use your computer from time to time would be to create a password for your User profile. Your User profile can be locked so that only you can access it and other people can use the PC from another profile that can be for common use. To password protect your User profile:

1. You should first click on start then on settings and finally on Control Panel.

2. From control Panel, access the User Accounts and click on your User account.

3. Follow the steps for creating a password for your user account and apply it.

Create A Password For Your Word Documents

After you create a certain document you want to keep away the eyes of people you don't want to read it, you can always password protect it after you write it. This kind of a move password protects individual documents that you feel should be hidden from everyone else without having to create a separate user profile on your computer. Here are the steps you can use to do this:

1. You first choose options from the tools menu.

2. You then click on the security tab on the pop-up and you type in the password that is needed to open the document in the box provided for.

3. You will then click on OK after typing in your password and you will need to re-verify this password after you click OK.

4. You can then safely save the document and be secure that no one can read it without the password. You can only open this particular document after you provide the password.

Protecting your documents with the use of either a user profile password or a specific document password will help ensure that whatever you wish to keep to yourself will remain safely away from people you don't want seeing your documents and what they contain.

Creating My Speedy Communication Device

Emails are now as indispensable as mobile phones, especially if you are communicating with people from a location where mobile phone communication is unfeasible. The convenience that it offers in terms of sending your message to people is highly commendable compared to the traditional snail mail, which could literally take you ages before you'd be able to receive it.

Though a many people have been using this system for quite some time now, there are still a few people who are yet to be familiar with the emailing system. All the more with the system of opening an email account.

My First Email Account

Yahoo is among the list of the Web's most dependable and established email providers. Usually, beginners can start with their system due to the fact that they are offering free email service along with its advanced and trouble free set up arrangement. To get started with your own email account you need to follow a couple of simple steps.

1. Drop by the yahoo mail home page to get started.

2. You must click the link which says 'sign up' which is usually located at the upper right portion of the yahoo home page.

3. After that you must type in some of your basic information like your name in the fields provided.

4. In the portion where you have to select your username and password, you have to come up with a username that you will be comfortable with for a long period of time. Moreover, it should also help the other users identify you when you send them emails.

Your password on the other hand must be six characters long and you must bear in mind to remember how you have exactly typed it because the system is case-sensitive.

5. After you completed the fields which are necessary, you may then proceed to the verification process. This step is where you select a question which you need to answer in case you forget either your password or your username.

When you have finished all the steps then you may proceed in opening your account on the yahoo mail home page by keying in your username and password. Now, you can start sending emails to anywhere and anyone on the globe by using your email account. Communicating with other people need not be hard, you just have to be resourceful.

Options For Database Expansion

The computer has permitted us to store files in its hard disk for purposes of easy retrieval, a particular kind of system that you can use to organize files in your computer are the so called database system. However, there are certain instances when these databases need to be managed so as to assured of the correctness of the sorting of the files.

Coping With Database Growth

In some cases, it's not only due to proper sorting assurance that a person has to manage his database. Since you are continuously updating the files on your database, it is but inevitable for the database to grow. This is one incident that the computer user has to manage accordingly, and to do so all you have to do is to follow the succeeding steps.

You ought to be reminded that when you make your database, you must identify the preliminary size which you will allot for your log files and your data or you may just accept the standard size. Seeing that data is continuously added on the database, of course it is but normal for it to become full.

However, you must deliberate if the database will grow and how much will it grow from the primary space that you have allotted. In the event that additional data would be placed on the database than the usual amount that it can contain.

Recommendations

1. In creating your database, it is best that you create your files as large as it could be as grounded from your assumed maximum volume of data that you might store in the database.

2. You may allow your database to grow, but be sure to know the limits of its growth rate by explicitly indicating the maximum growth of the data while leaving a sufficient space on your hard disk.

3. Properly plan to include more disk space on your computer.

4. It is advised that you put in extra file groups or files on your database. However, you should be advised that its volume must not go overboard the primary size of the database.

5. If in case your database gets filled with data, you shouldn't add any more data until the database gets expanded.

If expanding your database isn't a part of your plan, then you might want to settle for the fragmentation of your files with the use of files or file groups into various local disks that you have available.

The Easy Way To Look For Jobs Using The Internet

Job hunting can now be done online and it's so easy you can just relax in front of your computer instead of going out in your business attire and dropping in at every company. Clicks, double clicks, and your trusty resume are the only requirements for this. Here are some useful guides in finding a job using the Internet.

Use The Basic Search Engine Search

Don't ever underestimate the power of search engines. Most companies nowadays post their job vacancies online for more publicity and also to gain more applicants who have the necessary qualifications they need. They also do this in order to speed up the prospective employee hunt process.

Take advantage of this and search for job vacancies with the search engine of your choice. Necessary keywords should be the state or city you want to be employed in and the word job opportunities. You could also put the specific line or specialty in the keywords as well.

Utilize Job Search Websites

There are many helpful websites dedicated for job seekers to make their hunt easier. Take job search websites for example, such as careerbuilder.com and careers.org. These websites operate with the employers and the job seekers. Basically employers will post their job vacancy on that website with the necessary information for the position and the job seeker will apply. If the employer thinks you are worthy of an initial interview, they will send an e-mail or call you. No sweat, isn't it?

These websites usually require free registration in order for the users to upload their resume and provide necessary information.

Join Local Online Communities

Interaction with fellow job hunters will lead you to your dream job. So why not join local online communities such as a forum with a job seeker portion. Some employers also visit these sites in order to gain publicity for their job opportunities. Moreover, some members of these communities also provide information about recent job openings which could help you find that job you're looking for.

Most of these communities require registration without a fee. Interaction and inquiry with the members in the forum about the job you desire will help you get a job, as some of them have valuable information they can share about job opportunities.

No Sweat At All

If all these are covered, your job hunting will be tons easier than personally walking inside companies. This is very convenient and saves you a lot of money, as well as time.

Looking For Free Software Programs Is No Sweat At All

Are you tired of shelling out money again and again for software applications? I bet many people are, since software can be expensive. So, never doubt the idea that the Internet has it all, because it does. The Internet even has free software programs you can download.

However, the real problem is looking for them. Here are some tips to get the free software you need.

Think Open-Source

Many computer experts and techie communities are developing open source programs for the benefit of all without spending a single dime on them. Open-source programs were made as a response to the sky-rocketing prices of most software programs.

Some examples of these open-source programs are Mozilla Firefox for internet browsing, Open Office for office applications, Foxit for pdf file reading, and Pidgin for instant messaging. These are just some open-source software programs, but you'll be surprised at what you can find when you search for them (on Google, for example; or from your techie friends).

Dig In Software Download Search Engines

A simple search on your trusty search engine for the keywords free software download will yield a lot of download search engines or websites dedicated to these free software programs. Most of them are download search engines which direct you to the specific software you need from that website itself. It also has categories on what purpose you need the program for, which greatly helps narrowing down the search.

Most of the licensed software programs are available in trial versions on most of these download search engines. Although there are still a lot of available software programs which have the full version.

Utilizing Torrents

If everything else fails and you need something you can't find using the tips listed above, torrents is the last resort, because torrents are the most diverse and powerful file sharing built. If you have your own connection at home with a good broadband connection, this is absolutely for you.

Torrents are used for file-sharing using torrent programs to download the file being shared. Basically anything and EVERYTHING can be found in torrents. Where can you find these torrents? Searching for torrents in your search engine will direct you to the most popular torrent search engines, which will help you find the software programs you're looking for.

The Verdict?

Looking for free software programs using the Internet is no sweat at all. With the right keywords and the right knowledge on where to get them, you'll be getting that software you need without paying a dime.

How To Listen To Music Using Your Computer With The Use Of Winamp

Listening to music has never been easier with the use of a computer. How you listen to music on your computer requires you to have a few components downloaded and installed along with the songs that you may want to listen to in the format that can be easily read by your music player.

Using Winamp

Winamp is one of your best bets for listening to music since it supports a few different formats like MP3 files and Audio CDS. Music streaming from certain websites can also be listened to via this player. Playing music on Winamp is pretty easy and can be done in a few steps. You can place an audio CD into your CD-ROM and it will automatically access your Winamp player to play it for you. If you want to use your stock of MP3s, you can select what you want to play from your list of songs and you can have them lined up on your Winamp player, ready to play one after the other.

How To Line Up Mp3 Song On Your Winamp Player

Here are a few of the steps to enable you to do this:

1. Open up the folder where you placed your MP3 collection.

2. By using the right mouse button, click on the songs you want to listen to on your Winamp player.

3. From the selection of commands in the box that pops up after your right-click, click on enqueue in winamp. This will enable the song you chose to be listed for play in your Winamp player. Do the same for the rest of your song selections.

4. After choosing your playlist, you click on the play button on the Winamp player.

5. You also have the option to minimize your Winamp player so that it is hidden from view while you work on other things on your computer.

6. You can also adjust the volume on your player with the use of the volume control button that you drag to minimize or maximize the sound coming from your PC. You also have the option to loop the list of songs on your Winamp by choosing to have it repeat the playlist by selecting repeat from the play options.

Playing songs and listening to them is indeed easy with a computer integrated music player and a ready collection of songs that you can choose from.

How To Learn About Computer Use In A Few Easy Ways

These days, it is essential that you know how to use a computer. Writing letters has now been replaced by the use of emails. Telephone calls are being superseded by the more cost effective voice chat over the internet and researching for information is now being done electronically via online encyclopedias or through internet browsing. Reports are also being typed up and printed on these technological wonders and even accounting papers are being made on these things.

Buy A Computer, Learn On Your Own

A lot of people who want to learn how to use a computer often start their quest for computer literacy with a purchase of a unit. Self learning can be done easily if you possess a certain amount of intelligence to grasp a quick understanding of how a computer works and how the contents of a computer can be accessed. You can actually start your path to learning about computers with the set up and installation of your unit by the people you've purchased it from. You can also ask questions from these people about the basic functions and programs their computers have and what they are used for. While this way may be a bit slow going specially for those who are not tech savvy, it is one of the easiest ways you can learn without having to go to a learning center or without having a tutor beside you as you muddle through your computer lessons.

Study It

Most schools these days offer computer usage basics and even advanced computer uses in their curriculum and computer classes are, in fact, they are becoming more of a requirement than an option. If you are beyond the age required for school, there are learning centers that do offer courses in computer literacy. Most of these computer schools teach their students the basic programs they can use on these machines. They also offer lessons on maneuvering through the internet and finding what you need. There are also computer learning courses that teach people the basics of internet use, like opening an email account and sending emails and even the steps to downloading and installing things from sites on the net.

There are so many reasons why you should learn how to use a computer and there are a lot of ways that you can go about doing so. Finding the way that is comfortable for you is also important to help you easily absorb the information you need to be able to call yourself computer and internet savvy.

Instant Messaging: Better Option Than emails And Phone Calls

Communicating with people from all corners of the globe is now possible by way of email, by mobile phone, and now by instant messaging. So now you won't feel that you are too far from people even though you are continents apart.

If you are to assess the capacity of instant messaging, the reality is that you are having a live conversation with someone. It is way cheaper than making international calls but it is faster and more enjoyable than email.

Necessary Preparations

To start with your instant message endeavor, you will have to download and install first an instant messaging software. Then you will need to register on that program, after doing so you may then start messaging your peers and if possible some new ones.

The actual process begins with your selection of which software to use for instant messaging, you can choose from ICQ, Yahoo messenger, AOL instant messenger, MSN instant messenger and of course Odigo or Omni. Also, you need to prepare the other things that you need, which consists of a reliable internet connection and of course a computer.

Instant Messaging Process

As soon as you have chosen the software, then you may download the software to your computer. Typically, you will download an installer program, when you have downloaded it all you need to do is to double click it then it will install by itself.

You will also need to register on the software because it is also part of the entire process. After that you'll accept your own nickname which will be the name that the others need to select when they want to send a message to you. Usually, your email ID becomes your nickname.

Buddy List

Since the very purpose of instant messaging is to be able to send a message to your friends, then you must be familiar with the so called buddy list or more popularly known as friend's list or contact list. You must obtain the instant messaging ID of your friends to be able to send them a message. But before that you need to add them up first and for their permission for you to have them on your buddy list.

By the moment that you have downloaded your software and have added a friend or two on your buddy list then you are now ready to send your very first message. This is possible by simply double-clicking the nickname of the person then a message box appears and that is where you will type your message.

Getting Organized With Your Computer

If you can see the importance of organizing your materials on your desk, then you might have also realized how significant it is to get the files on your computer arranged in order. That is the very function of the folder feature of our computers. Since there usually comes a point when we our hard disk gets full of files which results in difficulty finding our files in it.

Filing Protocol

You must learn to organize your documents so that they won't be scattered everywhere. Now that you are aware of the necessity, the next thing that you need to know is how you can create folders in your computer. To get started, all you need to do is to follow these simple steps.

1. Be acquainted on how the filing system in your computer works. Different computers have different directory trees and systems which you must first learn so that you won't lose your files in the future.

2. Determine which folder you want to keep your files. If you are using the Windows operating system, it has a My Documents folder where you can choose from various directories to store your files.

However, you should be reminded that this directory might encounter some complications from time to time, particularly, when a virus gets attached to any document in it and eventually the document gets sent to everyone in your address book. The reason why this one is advised by me is because most Windows systems save files in this directory by default.

3. Make sub folders within your document storage area. As soon as you have decided where to store your files you may start creating subfolders to further keep your document organized. Nevertheless, the Windows system has some sub folders already which you can also use but if you prefer to create your own folders then that would be fine.

4. Sub folders should be titled by the subject or by its content. Need I say more?

This kind of system allows your files to be accessed easily especially when they are categorized properly. With that goal in your head, you shouldn't dare save your files on your desktop for purposes of finding them more easily because it has the tendency to hamper your computer's memory.

Though you may see it immediately, it is still preferable to have it organized in a folder so that there won't be any hassle in case you want to transfer the files.