Facebook Security, Office 365, Sanitizing Hard Disks, Data Sync and Streaming Media – HT022

Home-Tech-Album-125x125_thumb1_thumb1With Christian on his music tour, and Andrew unwell, Jim is joined by Mike Howard and Rich O’Neil for this weeks installment of the Home Tech Podcast.

The guys kick off talking about Facebook changing their default security settings without notifying the user community.  For those of you who had changed your Facebook security settings to use https by default, be sure to check your Facebook security settings to make sure that your settings are how imageyou want them.  To check, log into your Facebook account, go to Account Settings, Settings, (or click here) and expand the Account Security area, to make sure your Secure Browsing setting is how you like it.

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Jim talks about Microsoft’s public Beta release of Office 365 which went live this week.  Office 365 is the Microsoft equivalent of Google Docs, that we use for our show notes when recording.  Office 365 will give you a web interface to the Microsoft Office applications you use on your PC every day.  Pricing is looking to be around $6 per user per month, which when compared to purchasing and updating the Office suite could work out to be great value.


The guys then talk about the recent Seagate purchase of the Samsung Hard Disk business.  Hot on the heals of the Western Digital acquisition of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, the hard disk manufacturer industry is now down to two major players.  The guys talk about their hard disks selection criteria, and where they use them.


Whilst discussing hard disks, Rich tells us about how to truly sanitise your hard disks once you have finished with them, talking about solutions including physical disk shredding, magnetic data destruction, and software Aboutand firmware overwriting.  Rich gives us a real-life comparison of DBAN vs Secure Erase, and his performance observations between the two.  Cleaning your data from your used hard disks gives you a degree of assurance that when you dispose or re-use your hard disks, that your data will not be able to be retrieved by the next user of the disk. Rich talks about his method of choice, using utilities from the Parted Magic suite.  Jim gives us a low tech alternative of taking a hard disk apart, and making it into a clock!

Mike brings us Allway Sync, which his current alternative to Microsoft’s SyncToy, Allway Sync provides a nice alternative to SyncToy, in that it handles large volumes of data, as well as having a built-in scheduler.  The guys go on to discuss the merits of the various methods of moving and copying files.

Scareware features again, in particular the latest wave of XP AntiVirus 2011 being seen on a PC belonging to one of Rich’s friends.  Rich talks about his observations that nearly every time he’s seen this problem, the peer-to-peer software Limewire and variants seems to have been installed on the PC.  Rich shares his toolkit of removing problems such as this, using UBCD4Win and Malwarebytes and/or SUPERAntiSpyware.

The guys talk about Windows Update and the importance of making sure your PC is up to date, and updates regularly applied – to ensure you are protected from “drive-by” attacks, and that your PC is always tuned up.

Jim plays a bit of word association with the guys, picking their responses to “Movies”, leading to a discussion around the media streaming services out there, such as NetFlix, Zune on xbox live using a Zune Pass, and Pandora Radio.

The guys wrap the show up this week, talking about their experiences with their various smart phones, and their possible future phones.

For those of you travelling this Easter vacation, please be safe on the roads, and have a great weekend.

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