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Should you save the environment or your money

June 28, 2011 at 5:12 am

We have all been faced with the dilemma of whether you should leave the computer on while you are sleeping. Some people say to turn it off, as every little bit helps to save the environment. They’re right, every little bit does. However on the flip side of that coin, the argument has been that the power consumed by modern computers is negligable especially when in standby.  They’re right too.

There is one valid point that has been overlooked by both sides. It’s that 90% of all computer failure occurs on startup. When a computer is turned off, all the circuits on the mainboard are dormant. There is no electricity flowing through the circuits at all. However, when the power button is pressed the entire mainboard and everything attached to it are given a massive jolt of electicity to get things going. Now, if any of the components (capacitors, resisitors, inductors, etc) are at or near the tolerance point prior to the power surge, often times that little push is all it takes to put them over the top.

So the question comes down to:

Do you leave your computer on during the evening and extend the life of your system; or Do you turn it off every night, and do your part in saving the environment? 

Nobody can tell you what the right choice is, because depending on the person and his/her circumstances, they could both be the right choice.

Now that you know the pros and cons, you’ll better be able to make the right choice for yourself.

Spear Phishing on the Rise

June 9, 2011 at 11:04 pm

What is Spear Phishing?

Spear Phishing is defined as an email spoofing fraud attempt that targets a specific organization or individual for monetary gain, or access to confidential information, trade secrets or military information.  People that had their confidential data registered with Sony’s Playstation network are now potential targets for a phishing attack as a result of the security breach in April of this year.

According to Symantec, Spear Phishing is on the rise (actually reaching a 2 year high in terms of volume). This comes on the heals of Google’s announcement of targeted phishing attachs directed towards individual Gmail users.

How to protect yourself from phishing attacks:

  1. Question Everything – It’s always better to err on the side of caution. Unless you are 100% sure of it’s validity, assume that it’s not.
  2. Contact Them – If you are truly unsure of the email, pick up the phone and dial customer service for that vendor. Explain what the email said in order to verify the validity of the email.
  3. Use Due-Diligence – When your financial statements arrive whether by mail or electronically, analyze them closely. Make sure there are no fraudulent transactions. If you find something suspicious, contact your financial institution immediately.
  4. Update your Browser – The latest generation of browsers contain integrated phishing protection. They’ll analyze the web site letting you know if it’s suspected of being malicious or not.
  5. Report It – Report any and all suspicious email to your Internet Service Provider. They can take it from there.

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