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The following article brings out an important point about maintaining your computer.  I have seen so many computers out of date in the area of updates. This is a serious issue today. Attackers are invading computers at an astounding rate these days. The points Gina bring out about security are so relevant it is scary. Please, if you get only one thing out of this article get "security updates."  Focus on understanding the difference between a software update and a security update.

To your success,

O'Lan Butler
Chief Computer Technologist


WHY CONSULTANTS DON’T TELL ABOUT COMPUTER SECURITY

Author: Gina Novelle

Article:

Copyright 07-2004 by Gina Novelle

Most people refuse to believe they need it. After all, their computer is in their office or home and only turned on by them. They no longer use diskettes and their e-mail is checked with the latest and greatest virus checker.

Just try to advise your Boss, Mom, Dad, brother or sister that someone could hack into their home or office computer and look at their files. Watch their reaction. Most of them will say: "Well if someone really wants to take the time to view my files, let them. I have nothing of value on that computer anyway." This is the same reaction consultants receive from clients.

So nothing of value is on your computer? What about Turbo Tax? If you did your taxes last year, then your social security number is on your computer. If you do online banking, then your bank account is on your computer. What about your financial statement, your genealogy, your passwords? Oh, you have passwords on your Accounting Files! Ha! Check out www.findpassword.com

So now let’s talk about the real world. Okay, a phone line, or DSL or Cable line is a TWO WAY FLOW. There’s a key word here, a TWO WAY FLOW! Now you think in a skeptic way, that this article is going to give you scare tactics so it can sell you on the latest and greatest virus checker. Nope, to plug the security leaks in your computer is absolutely free. You don’t even have to pay for shipping, keep reading.

If it’s free, then why didn’t my computer consultant tell me about it? You wouldn’t believe how many updates will need to be installed. My Toshiba Windows XP system is barely 2 years old, and Windows had 49 + 18 + 2 updates. Why do I list them in that manner? First you must install the first 49, then another 18 are found, then an additional 2 more.

These are not just software updates, these are Security Updates. Now you think there is no way; my machine would need all these updates. Besides how bad could this security stuff be anyway? There’s that "I don’t have stuff of value on my machine attitude again." Okay, with every security patch, Microsoft has issued the following information:

"An issue has been identified that could allow an attacker to compromise a computer running Windows and gain complete control over it. You can help protect your computer by installing this update from Microsoft."

Still don’t believe? Then see for yourself, and go to www.windowsupdate, and view the updates you haven’t installed. But wait, there’s more! You can order the CD for FREE, totally free; no shipping charges. Where? Go to this website: http://www.microsoft.com/security/protect/cd/order.asp

I still didn’t fully answer why consultants don’t tell their customers these updates exist. With each update, a client may experience a change or problem. For example, when we installed the Security Update CD a few weeks ago, we could no longer open e-mail attachments. On the web we discovered that when the update installed, it also changed a setting in Outlook Express under Tools, Options, Security. The update put a checkmark on "Do not allow attachments to be saved or opened that could potentially be a virus." This little checkmark rendered several clients unable to work, because they could no longer open any attachments, On Microsoft’s website, this article appeared: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=329570

On another client’s machine, she could no longer open the database in Versa Check Software. That company also had a patch to fix it. However, our clients had to pay for our research to find and fix the problems the updates created. Then it appears to a client, that their consultant has found a way to "once again" hit their pocketbook. We are no longer heroes in this industry. We have now become the villains in league with Microsoft. This has led many consultants to a policy of "if they don’t ask, don’t tell." But the real truth is: If you do not do the updates, then you become a bigger victim, via a virus, or an identity theft victim! It’s your choice!

About the author:

Gina Novelle writes computer How-To Manuals, is a graphic artist, and program designer for Exclusive Markets in Las Vegas Nevada. Her company sponsors the web site www.thirdpocket.com, a support site for the self-employed. She has currently finished the book, "Business Secrets Men Don’t Tell Women" revealing how women and men view self-employment differently! This book is soon to be available at www.thirdpocket.com E-mail: gina@exclusivemarkets.net