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Reverse text works on file names so watch out!

Reverse text works on file names so be on the look out for any files that have exe BEFORE the dot.   For example dXeXe.doc may look like a document but it could also be partially reverted text dXcod.eXe might be the real file name.  If you right click such a file and click properties windows will tell you that it is in fact an application.  Keep a sharp eye out for this trick as I am sure you will run into it one day!

Safer Web Browsing

I have always recommended Google Chrome as the safest web browser for several reasons.  However a recent combination of customer situations has had me searching for something to protect them even further.  I have found Web of Trust’s Google Chrome extension to be a very strong addition to Google’s built in protection.  Web of Trust works primarily on user feedback.  Usually stuff like this doesn’t work out but apparently there is so many Web of Trust users out there that it’s actually very effective.  As you would imagine it is not as effective on brand new fraudulent websites as they need to be up long enough for users to provide feedback on them.  Even with the limited effect on fresh fraudulent websites I still consider Web of Trust to be a very useful addition to Google Chrome.

Links:

Google Chrome: http://www.google.com/chrome

Web of Trust: http://www.mywot.com/
*Make sure you are visiting the download area with the browser you want to install it on.  So if you download it while using internet explorer it will download the internet explorer version, not google chrome.

For advance users that want custom speed dials on Google Chrome, I recommend the Speeddial 2 extension.

Update 8/18/2011:
It was brought to my attention that a recent study says newer versions of IE are safer against malware sites by a massive margin.  I believe these results are taking into account IE’s download process which makes it a hassle to run any unsigned file.  There are far more legit pieces of software that are not signed than there is malware out there.  With that in mind I can not agree with that study as labeling legit software as potentially dangerous and hassling the users when they try to open legit software is not an acceptable method of protection.

Some email providers offer additional security.

There are quite a few e-mail providers out there.  One important feature that some companies offer is to add your mobile phone as an additional security step.   Some use it to verify login… some use it to verify password reset etc.  It is definitely a feature everyone should look into as getting your email compromised is no joke.  It’s not just about you but also the people you know that may be fooled by someone pretending to be you.

Gmail is a very popular service and they have a 2-step verification process that you can read about here http://www.google.com/support/accounts/bin/static.py?page=guide.cs&guide=1056283&topic=1056284 you will need to generate application specific passwords for some things like android phones, outlook, etc.  In the end this is a very important feature to have enabled and you owe it to yourself to look into it.

Yahoo Messenger Crash

Error:

Faulting application name: YAHOOM~1.EXE, version: 11.0.0.1751, time stamp: 0x4cd38198
Faulting module name: d2d1.dll, version: 6.1.7601.17514, time stamp: 0x4d5f61cb
Exception code: 0xc0000005
Fault offset: 0x0003669d
Faulting process id: 0x13bc
Faulting application start time: 0x01cc2019ca9c0f05
Faulting application path: C:\PROGRA~1\Yahoo!\MESSEN~1\YAHOOM~1.EXE
Faulting module path: C:\Windows\system32\d2d1.dll

The above yahoo messenger error is caused by an outdated d2d1.dll.  To update your d2d1.dll simply go to windows update and install the optional compatibility updates.  I do not recall which exact one includes the d2d1.dll update but it’s one of those.  I hope this helps someone.

Update (8/6/2011): There may be more to this error than a d2d1.dll update.  However I have not seen it continue after doing all the optional compatibility updates.  If you have all the optional updates and are still experiencing this problem then please post a comment.