Dealing with Online Public Privacy

How many of us have given up on the online privacy issue? Just when you think you have it under control by using the tools your browser has made available to you, “they pull you right back in!” Some of you may already know that even if you use the preference signal requesting not to  be tracked via your browser choices, web sites can choose not to honor your request.

Recently an article by Natasha Singer of the New York Times discussed the various issues about the privacy of consumers using online services, and what is being done to address this concern.  In her article she advises that Microsoft’s latest version of its Internet Explorer browser coming out in October 2012, which is included with Windows 8, will have a “do not track” option. Below is a summary of that article.  Additionally, you can click the link to the article at the end of this summary to read all the details.

Some topics discussed in the article are:
  What is different about Microsoft’s new “do not track” option?   Answer: The new Internet Explorer 10 comes with the “don’t-track-me” option automatically enabled. Users will have to switch the option off on a customization menu to be tracked. Therefore, with this browser non-tracking is the norm.

This is a radical move for a technology company like Microsoft, which has an ad business of its own.  Here’s why: The prospect of people opting out of tracking presents a risk for marketers. Consumer data fuels the power of the Internet. Ads support “free” content like email services, search engines, as well as social networks.

 If millions of consumers “opt out” of behavior-based advertising many ad-sponsored sites could shut down or put up pay walls for people who choose not to see the ads.

Consumers generally do not change pre-set technology options, which heightens the concern of marketers that this browser could shift millions of people to the do-not-track category.

 The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) an international standards body has created a working group to standardize the technology for do-not-track systems. However,  marketers and privacy advocates are still at odds over the definition of “do not track”.

 In the meanwhile, Twitter users will be interested to know that Twitter has already agreed to honor Mozilla’s do-not-track signal.

What’s certainly true is this discussion will continue to evolve, and as consumers of the Internet, it is a topic that we should continue to watch so that we know how information is being gathered about us.

To read more about this topic click the link below:

I hope this is helpful 🙂

FBI & DNS Changer: What’s it all about?


DNS  – short for Domain Name System (or Service or Server), an Internet service that translates domain names into IP addresses. Because domain names are alphabetic, they’re easier to remember. The Internet however, is really based on IP addresses. Every time you use a domain name, therefore, a DNS service must translate the name into the corresponding IP address. For example, the domain name might translate to via

Malware short for malicious software.  Malware is software designed to disrupt a computer’s operation, gather sensitive information, and/or gain unauthorized access to computer systems. via

Rogue DNS server – a rogue DNS server translates domain names of desirable websites (search engines, banks, brokers, etc.) into IP addresses of sites with unintended content, even malicious websites. Most users depend on DNS servers automatically assigned by their ISPs. via

SOHO Network – can stand for single office/home office network. via

ISP – an Internet Service Provider (ISP) is an organization that provides access to the Internet. The FBI has provided information to ISP’s that can be used to redirect their users from rogue DNS servers to the ISP’s own legitimate servers. DNS-changer-malware.pdf (application/pdf Object).

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Jared Newman, PCWorld,  has written a thorough article about DNS Changer. Below is a summary of that article, and what the FBI wants and warns users to do to be ready for what’s coming.

  • PC Users have until July 9, 2012 to remove DNS Changer Malware. After July 9, the FBI will ‘throw a switch’, which will prevent infected computers
    from accessing the Internet.
  • DNS Changer is a Trojan. Trojans conceal malicious software, and are not good for your computer.
  • DNS Changer redirects computers to hacker-created Websites. It also prevents computers from updating or using anti-virus software.
  • If users do not remove DNS Changer before the July 9 deadline, they ‘ll have to load anti-virus software by disk or USB drive.
    Users who do not have access to a second PC for downloading software will be at a disadvantage.

You can read the detailed article by clicking this link –

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Guidelines for what you should do:

1) If this is all too complicated, hire a computer professional to help you.  🙂

2) Find out if you’re infected by visiting the DNS Changer Check-Up site by clicking this link –  (It checks the DNS resolution of your PC; however, it does not install more software).

3)  Infected users can check the DNS Changer Working Group for a list of anti-virus software to fix the problem.

4) Avira offers a repair tool specifically for DNS Changer. To view Avira site click this link –

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Go directly to the FBI website for more details by clicking the link below

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I hope this is helpful 🙂

Reviewing & Preparing Your Cell Phone Budget for 2012

In these times  of economic challenges for many Boomers,  and their family members, it pays to check what options lie ahead to both save dollars in 2012, and still  have available to us the latest technology tools.

This week’s post provides  a synopsis of the descriptions for Roaming, and for Nationwide cell phone service from a  source I both support and use often: Wikipedia.  If you want more detail than I have given you here, please do not hesitate to click on the link after the Roaming description.


In wireless telecommunications, roaming is a general term referring to the extension of connectivity service in a location that is different from the home location where the service was registered. Roaming ensures that the wireless device is kept connected to the network, without losing the connection. via

Roaming/Nationwide fees are:

  • Traditionally charged on a per-minute basis and they are typically determined by the service provider’s pricing plan.
  • All of the major carriers now offer pricing plans that allow consumers to buy “nationwide roaming-free” minutes.
  •  Carriers define “nationwide” in different ways. For example, some carriers define “nationwide” as anywhere in the U.S., whereas others define it as anywhere within the carrier’s network.

In addition

Check out this  GREAT chart, which compares Cell Phone Providers, with reviews  in a side-by-side analysis at the link below.

Cell Phone Providers: Keeping in Touch

Cell phones keep you connected, always, to best friends and the latest news. Cell phone providers vary as much as your cell phones, offering everything from unlimited minutes to video calls to internet access plans. via Cell Phone Providers Review 2012 – TopTenREVIEWS.

During the rest of  December, 2011, I will try to bring you information that may save you dollars, and may change the way you use the technology tools available to you.  Stay tuned for upcoming posts to get technology ready for 2012!

I hope this is helpful ! 🙂