Tag Archives: internet explorer

Warning: Internet Explorer 8 users

keyboardIf you use Internet Explorer 8, you need to be on the lookout for a security issue that could make your computer and personal information vulnerable. There is a security issue with the browser that could allow scammers to take over your computer.

This is a good reminder to keep your system updated with the latest security software to help spot vulnerabilities like this. You can download a fix for this issue via Microsoft. At this time, the risk is not for users with earlier Internet Explorer browsers.

Microsoft is working on a patch and hopes to release it soon.

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Facebook ads may be rogue

I’m always looking for stories, and told my producer recently about these ads appearing on my Facebook page. Some are borderline pornographic — they are woman in bikinis who want to chat. Who knows what that will lead to if you actually click on it. My producer looked at me kind of odd and told me she doesn’t have these ads all over her page. Then, I realized they weren’t on my Facebook page when I log in at work either. It got me thinking – what are these ads? I found it’s a problem many Facebook users are experiencing, but it’s easy to fix.

Facebook has a help page dedicated to this issue known as adware. The social media site says it likely happened when you clicked on a post with a headline like — click here to see who viewed your profile. If you click on the post, you end up with software installed on your computer that forces it to run slowly, compromises security, and may cause unwanted ads. I can assure you I’ve never clicked on posts like that, but I still ended up with adware. So, be aware.

You know these ads are not legitimate because Facebook ads will never appear as banners in the center, top or left columns. Ads in those locations are indicative of a problem.

If you downloaded the program or just have it on your account, it’s easy to clean up your account.

To get rid of these programs, you need to get into the extensions folder and check the plug-ins. In Mozilla Firefox, go to Tools, Add-ons, and then Extensions.  In Google Chrome, go to Window and then Extensions. If you use Internet Explorer 8, go to Tools, Manage Add-ons, and then Toolbars and Extensions. Sure enough, we followed these instructions and found a rogue plug-in.

Plus, clean your cache before you launch your browser and visit the site again to clear out any rogue programs.

It takes just a few minutes, and will enable you to browse Facebook again without being bothered by annoying ads and putting your security at risk.

Will “do not track” be as easy as the “do not call” list?

“Do not track” — they’re the three words that have been the talk of the Federal Trade Commission since last December. The goal is to stop online tracking, and the FTC keeps comparing it to the do not call list. While it will be more complicated than a phone list, now do not track may be in jeopardy.

According to CNET, a Republican FTC Commissioner suggested a different tactic than do not track. CNET says J. Thomas Roch said online advertising should be investigated and then perhaps regulated.   

“The commission could serve those entities with compulsory process,” Rosch said at the Technology Policy Institute’s Aspen Forum . We could “direct them to answer under oath questions about their information practices.”

Tracking online is a big problem, and individual browsers are creating mechanisms to protect you online. Think it’s not a problem? Watch this story on your digital footprint below.

Click here for instructions to browse privately with Internet Explorer
Click here for instructions to browse privately with Firefox
Click here for instructions to browse privately with Safari
Click here for instructions to browse privately with Google Chrome

–Instructions courtesy of SecureState

Click here for more tips to protect yourself

CNET says Rosch believes the FTC needs to learn more about current business practices before it takes regulatory steps.  He is worried regulators could go too far. According to CNET, Rosch said the potential downsides of do not track would be, “the loss of relevancy, the loss of free content, the replacement of current advertising with even more intrusive advertising.”

Until something is done, get up to speed on what your browser is doing so you can begin browsing somewhat privately today.

Upgrades add privacy and faster browsing speeds

As I loaded up Firefox this morning, a pop-up appeared in the lower right hand corner reminding me that there is an update available. There are lots of updates rolling out for browsers and even programs like Adobe. I got a warning about that this morning, too.

Upgrading can be frustrating because you have to learn about new features and find out where your favorite ones are now hiding. However, you should make the browser upgrades because you will gain privacy and security, while gaining faster browsing speeds.

Business Insider does a great job breaking down all the changes.  One cosmetic change you’ll notice on Firefox is that the tabs are above the address bar instead of below it.  One of the biggest differences you’ll notice is the browsing speed. Mozilla boasts up to six times the speed of earlier versions, and reviewers say they’ve noticed a difference.

With some of these browsers, you need the latest operating system for the browser download to work like Windows 7, Windows XP, or Vista.  Make sure you read the requirements which are usually right next to the “download” button before you click download.

Business Insider 10 best features of Firefox

Business Insider 10 best features of Internet Explorer 9

Business Insider showcases new features for Google Chrome 10
or just watch the video below to see all the changes from Google.

There are also great security improvements as browsers respond to the Federal Trade Commission’s request to increase your digital privacy. I call it reducing your digital footprint. Click here to read about those improvements.

New ways to erase your digital footprint

The Federal Trade Commission testified before a Senate Hearing on digital privacy.  As I exposed in a November report on your digital footprint, the FTC called online tracking “invisible” to the consumer.

The FTC is pushing for a universal Do Not Track option for browsing. Right now, browsers are introducing their own, individual do not track options that go by a variety of names. Your opt in or opt out options vary by browser based on the system they are using.

While the browsers are making great strides, more work needs to be done to make the options consistent and easy to use. I know a bit about this topic, but some of the current options are difficult to understand. They utilize different tools to make the system work, and some of the mechanics of it are technically advanced.

To learn about simple, easy ways to protect your identity online read my report on NewsChannel 5.