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Guidance on securing your Outlook express!

Written by IT News on 9:47 PM

Still using Outlook Express? why not? Outlook Express is a handy, easy-to-use e-mail client. it just needs a little help in the security department. I try to lists five ways you can boost the security of Outlook Express.

Microsoft Outlook Express is a popular and free e-mail client that comes bundled with most versions of Windows client (except for Windows Vista, which replaces Outlook Express with Windows Mail). It's easy to set up, and it's easy to use.

However, it's also a target for a lot of current and future hacks and viruses . thanks to the fact that it's an e-mail client (one of the preferred methods of virus delivery) and its tight integration with Internet Explorer (the most heavily targeted browser of black hats). But just because it's popular with the bad guys doesn't mean you have to pay for a client to read your e-mail.

You can still use Outlook Express safely: You just need to add a little security and follow a few simple rules. Here are five ways to make Outlook Express more secure.

Prevent applications from sending e-mail

A virus that wants to replicate and share itself with other computers will try to use Outlook Express to get the job done. But it's rather easy to prevent. In Outlook Express, go to Tools | Options, select the Security tab, and enable the Warn Me When Other Applications Try To Send Mail As Me option.

Turn off HTML e-mail

Although HTML e-mail looks cool with all of its pictures and links, it's a dangerous format overall. Web bugs, bogus links, and a host of other nasty problems can do a great deal of damage to your computer. Sometimes just opening an HTML e-mail is enough to launch a malicious surprise. That's why I recommend using text mail instead.

To disable HTML e-mail in Outlook Express, go to Tools | Options, select the Mail Sending Format tab, and select the Text option. To configure Outlook Express to read HTML e-mail as text, which strips away any malicious content, go to Tools | Options, select the Read tab, and select the Read All Messages In Plain Text option.

Give up the Preview Pane

The Preview Pane definitely comes in handy when scanning through e-mails. However, it's actually quite dangerous: The operating system considers previewing an e-mail and opening an e-mail to be the same thing. To get rid of the Preview Pane, go to View | Layout, and deselect the Show Preview Pane option.

Disable JavaScript

The malicious use of JavaScript can pull a lot of information off a computer -- specifically, browsing history and cookies. It can't format your hard drive, but it can help someone steal information without your knowledge.

Because of Outlook Express' integration with Internet Explorer, disabling JavaScript takes a little more effort. Follow these steps:

  1. In Outlook Express, go to Tools | Options, and select the Security tab.
  2. Enable the Restricted Sites Zone (More Secure) option.
  3. Go to Start | Control Panel, and double-click the Internet Options applet.
  4. On the Security tab, click the Custom Level button.
  5. Under Scripting, select Disable under the Active Scripting heading.

Note: This also disables Visual Basic scripts (VBS).

Block potentially malicious attachments

Some attachments are bad; some are good. But sometimes, it's just better to be safe. To disable potentially malicious attachments, go to Tools | Options, select the Security tab, and select the Do Not Allow Attachments To Be Saved Or Opened That Could Potentially Be A Virus check box under Virus Protection.

If you enable this option, Outlook Express uses the Internet Explorer 6 Unsafe File list and the Confirm Open After Download setting in Folder Options to determine whether a file is safe. It blocks the download of any e-mail attachment with a file type reported as "unsafe."

Note: Outlook Express Service Pack 1 enables this option by default.

Final thoughts

Outlook Express is a handy, easy-to-use e-mail client -- it just needs a little help in the security department. You don't need to dump it because of security integration flaws with Internet Explorer; you just need to add a little security and remember to never open an attachment from someone you don't know.

For official Microsoft outlook update and news please click here
also get fresh IT update at TechRepublic

10 mistakes managers make during job interviews

Written by IT News on 9:24 PM

Conducting effective interviews requires a balance of instinct, insight, and some solid preparation. It also helps if you don't make certain blunders, such as monopolizing the conversation, asking leading questions, or applying too much (or too little) pressure.

This article originally appeared in BNET's

Hiring is one of the hardest parts of managing a team. A lot is riding on the initial meeting, and if you're nervous or ill-prepared -- or both -- it can make you do strange things. The following mistakes are all too common, but they're easy to avoid with some advance preparation.

#1: You talk too much

When giving company background, watch out for the tendency to prattle on about your own job, personal feelings about the company, or life story. At the end of the conversation, you'll be aflutter with self-satisfaction, and you'll see the candidate in a rosy light -- but you still won't know anything about his or her ability to do the job.

#2: You gossip or swap war stories

Curb your desire to ask for dirt on the candidate's current employer or trash talk other people in the industry. Not only does it cast a bad light on you and your company, but it's a waste of time.

#3: You're afraid to ask tough questions

Interviews are awkward for everyone, and it's easy to over-empathize with a nervous candidate. It's also common to throw softball questions at someone whom you like or who makes you feel comfortable. You're better off asking everyone the same set of challenging questions -- you might be surprised what they reveal. Often a Nervous Nellie will spring to life when given the chance to solve a problem or elaborate on a past success.

#4: You fall prey to the halo effect (or the horns effect)

If a candidate arrives dressed to kill, gives a firm handshake, and answers the first question perfectly, you might be tempted to check the imaginary "Hired!" box in your mind. But make sure you pay attention to all the answers and don't be swayed by a first impression. Ditto for the reverse: The mumbler with the tattoos might have super powers that go undetected at first glance.

#5: You ask leading questions

Watch out for questions that telegraph to the applicant the answer you're looking for. You won't get honest responses from questions like, "You are familiar with Excel macros, aren't you?"

#6: You invade their privacy

First of all, it's illegal to delve too deeply into personal or lifestyle details. Second, it doesn't help you find the best person for the job. Nix all questions about home life ("Do you have children?" "Do you think you'd quit if you got married?"), gender bias or sexual preference ("Do you get along well with other men?"), ethnic background ("That's an unusual name, what nationality are you?"), age ("What year did you graduate from high school?"), and financials ("Do you own your home?")

#7: You stress the candidate out

Some interviewers use high-pressure techniques designed to trap or fluster the applicant. While you do want to know how a candidate performs in a pinch, it's almost impossible to re-create the same type of stressors an employee will encounter in the workplace. Moreover, if you do hire the person, he or she may not trust you because you launched the relationship on a rocky foundation.

#8: You cut it short

A series of interviews can eat up your whole day, so it's tempting to keep them brief. But a quick meeting just doesn't give you enough time to gauge a candidate's responses and behavior. Judging candidates is nuanced work, and it relies on tracking lots of subtle inputs. An interview that runs 45 minutes to an hour increases your chances of getting a meaningful sample.

#9: You gravitate toward the center

If everyone you talk to feels like a "maybe," that probably means you aren't getting enough useful information -- or you're not assessing candidates honestly enough. Most "maybes" are really "no, thank yous." (Face it: The candidate didn't knock your socks off.) Likewise, if you think the person might be good for some role at some point in the future, he or she is really a "no."

#10: You rate candidates against each other

Mediocre candidates may look like superstars when they follow a dud, but that doesn't mean they're the most qualified for the job. The person who comes in tomorrow may smoke all of them, but you won't be able to tell if you rated mediocre candidates too highly in your notes. Evaluate each applicant on your established criteria -- don't grade on a curve.

Resouce :

Microsoft tries to win over Web developers at Mix07

Written by IT News on 7:49 PM

Microsoft tries to win over Web developers at Mix07

Microsoft executives will introduce the Dynamic Languages Runtime, software that improves support for dynamic, or scripting, languages in Microsoft tools, according to a person familiar with the plans.

The company will release a beta and website dedicated to Silverlight, its cross-platform multi-browser plug-in for writing media-rich interactive web applications.

Although it's trying to break new ground in software services, Microsoft is working from a well-worn playbook. Its overall goal is to build an "ecosystem" of partners and developers which can build applications that tap into the company's online services and software.

Microsoft said it will also detail liberal usage terms for its web properties, allowing outside companies to build mash-up web applications that generate as many as one million unique visitors per month for free.

According to Dave Cotter, chief marketing officer of Mpire, Microsoft "is still working uphill when it comes to wooing Web entrepreneurs who build mashup applications." Do you think the information that's revealed at Mix07 will help Microsoft win over Web developers? If not, what do you think it will take? Join the discussion, and let us know.

What's new:
At the Mix07 conference on Monday, Microsoft is expected to announce expanded dynamic language support for its Web platforms, including Silverlight, and detail more enticing business terms to promote its Online Services Business.

Bottom line:
The efforts are part of Microsoft's strategy to build a technology platform and thriving business that combines Web services and its software products.

For more information about Mix07, check out these other news sources:

20 must-have Firefox extensions

Written by IT News on 9:50 PM

20 must-have Firefox extensions

These plug-ins give you souped-up functionality, better look and feel, and streamlined development tasks. And some are just plain cool.

A freshly installed copy of Firefox is a great software package, but what makes this open-source browser so special is the ability to customize it via extensions and themes to really make it yours. The problem is, there are so many available add-ins, it's tough to know what's worth installing and what's just going to junk up your system.

That's where we come in. We've ferreted out 20 of the best extensions and add-ins used and recommended by hardcore Web surfers, developers and IT pros. Whether you're looking for more streamlined surfing, improved look and feel, cool design tools or serious Web development help, there's something (and more than likely several things) here for you.

And while we've dug deep, we're sure we've missed some gems. So please be sure to share your favorite extension in the comments at the bottom of the page.

Tools for taming the Web
Add-on name StumbleUpon
StumbleUpon lets you "channelsurf" the best-reviewed sites on the web. It is a collaborative surfing tool for finding and sharing great sites. This helps you find interesting webpages you wouldn't think to search for.

First, a warning. StumbleUpon is hazardous to your productivity! StumbleUpon is one of these social networking Web applications that are becoming so popular lately. This one provides a way to find new Web sites that you may find enjoyable or useful.

This extension adds a StumbleUpon tool bar to Firefox. You can get to all the core functionality of StumbleUpon via this tool bar, including setting up an account. You pick some initial categories of the kinds of sites you're interested in (a few examples: Ancient History, Humor, Self-improvement) as part of the sign-up process, and can always tweak these later.

Once everything is set up, you click the Stumble! button in the tool bar to be taken to a random site that has something to do with your categories. If you don't like the site, click the Thumbs Down button. If you do like it, click Thumbs Up. The more sites you rate, the better your Stumbles will match your tastes. If you rate a site that isn't in the StumbleUpon database yet, you can enter some basic information about it so others can stumble onto it.

StumbleUpon isn't all that practical, but it is fun and can transport you back to the days when just idly surfing the Net turned up all kinds of interesting things.

Version tested : Version 3.05 — April 19, 2007 — 187 KB
Change info at:
Install/download link :

Article previousely published at :

Microsoft hires key rival from SuSE Linux

Written by IT News on 10:14 PM

We should wait for a long time to hear this news, in the old days people always hope that Linux will beat Microsoft. Today, that war has been cancelled!

Microsoft has hired one of its worst enemies, the SuSE Linux salesman whose efforts led the city of Munich to adopt Linux and open-source software instead of Microsoft's products.

Karl Aigner, formerly SuSE's account representative for Munich, is overseeing sales of Microsoft's data center products to midsize companies in Germany. He began his new role April 1, Microsoft said Tuesday.

"I think Microsoft sees the European public sector as the vanguard of the fight against open source," said RedMonk analyst James Governor, and hiring Aigner will give the company insight into its foe's methods. Microsoft is a "learning organization, and one of the ways of learning is bringing in different ways of thinking," he added.

Munich, which last year chose Linux for 14,000 computers, already taught Microsoft that it's not invulnerable--despite Linux's comparative immaturity for use on desktop machines, Microsoft's incumbent status there, a lower price and a personal last-minute visit by Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer. While Munich may not have been Microsoft's Waterloo, it was a serious warning shot across the bow.

Aigner left SuSE in late 2003, said Novell spokesman Bruce Lowry. Novell acquired SuSE in January for $210 million.

The new hire will be an asset at Microsoft, Governor predicted. "He's obviously a guy who well understands the dynamics of selling to European public sector organizations, and he understands the huge difficulties that the open-source community has had in delivering on the Munich contract," Governor said. "He will make a wonderful figurehead for Microsoft."

Snapping up competitors' employees is a practice with a long history in the technology business. Storage specialist EMC lured Hewlett-Packard's Howard Elias in 2003; Microsoft in 2000 hired Peter Moore, a gaming executive from Sega; and Juniper Networks in 2000 recruited Yakov Rekhter from archrival Cisco Systems, where the expert had risen to the status of fellow.

Such moves can trigger lawsuits, however. Siebel Systems sued Brett Queener in 2003 after he moved to rival Borland sued Microsoft in 1997 for hiring away dozens of employees. And SANgate systems lost a legal battle with EMC in 2001 to keep Chief Executive Doron Kempel, who came from the storage giant.

But more than the usual corporate barriers separate Microsoft and Linux. Top executives have labeled open-source software a "cancer" and "Pac-Man-like," while open-source advocates often treat Microsoft as a moral as well as technological enemy.

AntiCopy Personal Edition 2.5

Written by IT News on 9:25 PM

AntiCopy provides a complete solution for securing against, managing and auditing the use of portable storage devices on personal computers and corporate networks.

The Idea is very excellent, but is that possible?

How it works?
Blocks data theft by requiring Windows credentials before connecting USB storage devices or PDAs. Can block all access to CD/DVD drives

VolumeShield's AntiCopy Personal Edition 2.5 protects your data against theft by preventing unauthorized use of USB storage devices, PDAs, and CD/DVD drives. It also controls FireWire-connected storage devices such as portable hard drives. This edition is free for noncommercial use—the company hopes you'll like it and tell the boss to get the Enterprise version. But my experience suggests that such a recommendation won't earn you any brownie points.

Test and summary

AntiCopy Personal Edition is free, but I don't trust it. In my testing, it blocked secondary internal drives when it shouldn't. And I hit several "unhandled exception" errors. The Enterprise version may well be great, but you wouldn't know it from the freebie.

Unstable in testing. Confused by U3-formatted USB storage devices. Blocks all access to CD/DVD, not just write access. No protection against copying to digital media cards.

I think it would be nice solution for corporate customer


Review: Adobe Illustrator CS3

Written by IT News on 8:47 PM

While all owners of Intel Macs will be thrilled to finally have an Intel-native version of Adobe’s Creative Suite, Illustrator users typically haven’t had to deal with slow-moving progress bars the way that many Photoshop users have, so performance hasn’t been a primary concern for them. However, upgrading to Adobe Illustrator CS3 is a no-brainer for longtime Illustrator users. Our review finds the Live Color feature alone is worth the price of admission.

What's new in it Interface?

Illustrator’s interface has been updated to match the rest of the CS3 programs’—its tool palettes (now called panels) sit inside of docks that can be expanded or collapsed, allowing you to better manage screen real estate.

The redesigned Control panel further reduces on-screen clutter. Introduced in Illustrator CS2, the Control panel has been expanded to include more options and tools. For example, when a path is selected, the Control panel now provides options for selecting similar objects and aligning those objects. When a point is selected, the Control panel provides all the anchor-point controls that you used to have to access from the main Tools palette. Adobe was very smart about what it put in the Control panel, and you’ll probably find that, after a while, you use it for more of your parameter selection than the customary palettes and dialog boxes.

You can use the new Color Guide feature to automatically generate entire color schemes based on a selected color.
The actual selection process has been improved by some changes in the visual feedback that Illustrator provides as you mouse around your illustration. When you pass the Direct Selection tool over a control point, the control point enlarges so that you can easily see and select it. While this may not sound like much, you’ll get accustomed to the change very quickly, and you’ll soon realize how helpful—even luxurious—it is. Of all the program’s new features, Illustrator CS3’s easier-to-see anchor-point highlighting is the one you’ll encounter most often, and it’s a great idea.

Illustrator CS3 also introduces Document Profiles, preset parameters that allow you to create new documents configured for a specific final output. For example, the Video And Film profile gives you a 1,920-by-1,080-pixel document in RGB color. This feature can save you some hassle when you’re ready to output your illustration.

The interface changes that Adobe has made are significant, but longtime users don’t need to worry about a burdensome learning process or changes to familiar keyboard shortcuts and commands. It’s easy to adopt the new features into your workflow.

Introduce new drawing tools

Illustrator CS3 is the 13th version of Illustrator, and as you’d expect after all this time, its drawing tools are very powerful and refined. Adobe has made a few significant additions to longstanding tools in the program’s toolbox.

A new Eraser tool lets you modify existing parts of your illustration just as you would in a paint program. Pass the Eraser tool over an object, and the tool will automatically alter and reshape it so that it looks partially erased. Like the Paintbrush tool, the Eraser tool makes creating organic, painterly objects easy—you use a simple painting interface, and you don’t have to think about paths and anchor points.

While Illustrator has long allowed you to align objects, the new version also lets you align individual points, a great way to align just one side of a group of objects, for example.

The new Crop Area tool makes it easy to crop down to a specific rectangular part of an image. In the past, you had to draw a rectangle and create a clipping mask in order to crop an image. If you need to quickly output PDFs and other documents that are cropped to a specific size, the Crop Area tool is a great addition.

In previous versions of Illustrator, working on a single object in a complex document required that you perform lots of locking and hiding to isolate the path that you wanted to edit. Illustrator CS3’s new Isolation mode provides a good alternative to this type of housekeeping. The Isolation mode lets you easily isolate a single group or sublayer; all other objects in your document are faded, and you can edit only the isolated element. Unfortunately, you can’t isolate an individual object; you can isolate only groups of objects or sublayers.

All of these additions are great, but I was hoping to see an overhaul of some of Illustrator’s other features, most noticeably its 3-D tools, which have hardly progressed since the old days of Adobe Streamline. And as I say about every version, the inability to create multiple-page documents is a tremendous oversight.

Live color

The most significant additions to Illustrator are new color features. The new Color Guide can automatically create entire palettes of harmonious color schemes; you can choose complementary, analogous, monochromatic, or triad colors, all based on the currently selected color.

There’s nothing better than the Color Guide for quickly creating a color scheme for an illustration. The new, radically advanced Live Color dialog box allows you to quickly apply color schemes to selected groups of objects. The live part of Live Color refers to the ease with which you can interactively try out entirely new color schemes and perform color reductions.

Illustrator’s basic color picker is still a bit of a hassle; picking basic fill and stroke colors requires more clicks than it should. But Live Color is one of the most significant additions to Illustrator in years, and it will appeal to all types of designers and illustrators, as well as to motion-graphics specialists and Flash animators.

Flash integration

Flash users will be thrilled with the new Illustrator’s Flash integration. You can now import Illustrator files directly into Flash and copy and paste objects between the two programs. You can move text between Illustrator and Flash as a vector object or as Dynamic Text, which can be scripted and animated in Flash. This lets you use Illustrator’s far more powerful tools to create content for your Flash animations.

Macworld’s buying advice

Upgrading to Adobe Illustrator CS3 is a no-brainer for longtime Illustrator users. I was hoping that some of the older tools would get some tweaks—especially the 3-D tools and the color picker, and I’d love to see the ability to create multiple-page documents. But the Live Color feature alone is worth the price of admission, and the interface improvements and better performance will make all users very happy.

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