This site has been setup to run correctly at a resolution of 800x600 or higher, to check your settings on a Windows computer right click on the desktop and click properties, then click on the settings tab - you can then adjust the size. Be careful to first test the size before clicking OK.
We currently only support Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 and upwards (PC version only), as and when we get time we will add compatibility for Netscape and the Mac.
Firewall software, we recommend ZoneAlarm from Zonelabs which is free for personal use.
A firewall is a special program which should stop all illegal access to you computer from the internet and vice versa.
Recently my father had his PC rendered useless by a hacker on the internet with nothing better to do - ZoneAlarm would have prevented it completely.
Download it now at www.zonelabs.com
To test you computers current security strength a company called Gibson Research Corporation (GRC) provide a free online
test and report at grc.com. Just click on the link and follow the "ShieldsUP!" links. A good test is to run the ShieldsUP or probe my ports tests and print them out, then install ZoneAlarm and re-run the tests.
If you opt for the free version of zonealarm the popup blocking feature is not enabled. Popups can be very annoying a best, to block them for free download the Google toolbar for free at toolbar.google.com. Google is the most powerful search engine on the internet, the free toolbar blocks unwanted popups add easy access to their search and other sites as well as more advanced and useful functions.
The internet is a fantastic source of information and is becoming more and more of a useful tool, however there are also a few sites on the internet I would not like to share with my family. To stop access to these sites we use NetNanny it has a database of all the bad sites which can be updated from the internet for free, you can also add your own sites and block sites that have certain words in them! We also use it to control when the internet can be used. To find out more go to their website at www.netnanny.com
If you don't have anti-virus software on your computer then you obviously don't care what happens to it or the information on it. We use Network Associates VirusScan, more information can be found at www.nai.com
Grisoft also make a good anti virus product that has an added bonus - it's free! It is simple to install and configure and updates automatically from the internet - this means you have no excuses (you know who you are)!
Get it here www.grisoft.com
There is now a sub class of virus called pests, adware or spyware. These do not generally spread in the same way as viruses and normally rely on the user running attachments in emails, downloads of free software or by tricking you to allow them on to your computer. Once on they have a variety of roles including installing more software without your knowledge, showing you adverts and reporting your browsing habits back to the authors.
There are many free products claiming to remove all of this however be very careful as some are actually spyware masquerading as a cure. One excellent free product that is safe to use is Adaware from Lavasoft which can be downloaded for free at www.lavasoftusa.com
The main rules to remember are:
- Never open an attachment on an email that you did not ask for or expect to receive - even if it came from a company or someone you know.
- An out of date virus checker is only marginally better than no virus checker at all - update weekly.
- Whilst using the Internet if you are prompted to install software, click Yes or Agree to something before you can continue - read the question very carefully - you are probably just about to give control of your computer to someone else.