Cyber-attacks, Online Security, Wuala goes Mobile, Top Ten Tablets, Facebook Events, 7stacks, Password Management and DNS Benchmarking – HT024

Home-Tech-Album-125x125_thumb1_thumb1Jim, Andrew and Christian are joined by Gordon Schmidt for this weeks installment of the Home Tech Podcast.

The guys kick off with Christian giving a quick insight regarding the change in his development methodologies for his Windows Home Server add-in, Magic Wake-On LAN given the change in technology between original Windows Home Server and the new Windows Home Server 2011.

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Jim talks about the latest news regarding the recent cyber-attack on the Sony PlayStation Network and the steps you can take to make sure your credit card details are safe, such as regularly changing your password on your online services, and using complex passwords.  For those of you who use the PlayStation Network, Sony are providing regular updates on their Blog.

The guys talk about their method of choosing and storing passwords, such as local software options like KeePass, and cloud based password management solutions such as LastPass, which integrates into your web browser, and supports all the common Operating Systems and web browsers both PC based and mobile.

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To protect yourself online, the guys recommend:

  • Never e-mail your credit card details to anyone
  • Check the links in emails that claim to be from online services like PayPal, and your bank, and ensure you are going to the correct site
  • If you are using a secure site, such as your online banking, or any service that transacts sensitive information make sure that your web browser shows you the site is secure, normally this is a padlock somewhere in your web browser, or the full name of the site for the new version of Firefox




Above all, if something looks too good to be true, it usually is.  Remember that Walmart will never send you an email offering you a free $1000 gift card, your bank will never email you asking to confirm your password, and Microsoft will never try to sell you a product that is normally free.

If you think your card may have been compromised, you should:

  • Place a fraud alert with the three major credit bureaus, being: Experian at 888-397-3742; Equifax at 800-525-6285; and TransUnion at 800-680-7289
  • Check your credit reports – US residents are entitiled to one free credit report per year from Annual Credit Report
  • Check your online banking statement
  • Lodge a case with your bank as soon as you notice unusual transactions on your statement

Jim talks about Wuala finally releasing a mobile client, allowing you to access your cloud data on the go.

Andrew talks about the latest ZDNet Top Ten Tablet Leaderboard for 2011, which is supported by the TechRepublic Photos of the 10 Hottest tablets of 2011, bringing us the ZDNet ranking of the current and future tablet offerings from all the major players.

Christian shares his views and experience of buying new brand name versus the same brand name hardware that has been manufacturer refurbished before being retailed, as well as their observations of the differences between the Operating System as it comes installed from the manufacturer versus installing it yourself.

For those of you who use Facebook Events regularly, the folks over at Lockergnome have shown us how to synchronize your Google Calendar with your Facebook Events.

Christian brings us his Deal-of-the-Week, a Seagate 2TB external hard disk from Tiger Direct for $89.99.

Christian’s Tip of the Week tells us how to time the startup of a Windows 7 PC, using a script found over at SevenForums, so you can now quantify and qualify the startup tips from the past.


Christian also brings us a very cool program, 7stacks, that enhances the jump list feature found in Windows 7, allowing you to nest folders, program groups and the likes into your jump list.

Gordon brings us some more chat about LastPass vs KeePass vs RoboForm for password management, and the guys compare the three solutions with the built-in web browser password managers.

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Gordon also talks about namebench, an Open-source DNS Benchmark Utility, which gives you a benchmark of how your ISP DNS servers perform, against services such as OpenDNS, Google Public DNS and several other public DNS services.  Changing your DNS servers can dramatically speed up your Internet browsing experience!

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