Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fred's Fav Five

In the interest of free I felt it'd be fun and informing to write about my favorite freebies on the web. Some include security tools, another few are office suites, and some others are just cool useful tools that anyone can use. In this economy free is good. So in the next few days I'm going to go over my 5 favorites w/brief explanations on how to use them.
KeePass - Free easy to use password manager.
How many user names and passwords do you have to know? Work, eMail, banking, maybe even a few social networking sites? The majority of security experts will tell you to never use the same user name and password combination. It makes perfect sense too. If someone hacks that password then they have all the other accounts attached to it.
KeePass stores all your passwords and user names in one database. All you have to do is remember one password. Click here to visit the user tutorial.
Google Desktop - Google's desktop/internet/computer search tool. There's more to this than the search tool but it's the search tool I want to spotlight here. Once installed and left alone for a couple days it indexes your entire system. Just about anything you need can be accessed by hitting the ctrl button twice. It will even search words inside of documents if needed. Can't find that email from Bob? Type his name in the search box and it'll pull up everything you have stored with his name on it. You even have the ability to launch programs from it. Hit ctrlx2, type "internet" and it pull up IE for you.

Sure Delete from Wizard Industries - A data erase utility. A new report on data breaches from Verizon Business says hackers aren't paying as much attention to where the data is but where it was. When you really want to delete something Sure Delete goes a step beyond the deletion and overwrites the data. When you delete something in Windows it goes to the Recycle Bin from there most people empty it. The data is still there believe it or not. Windows needs to overwrite it when it requires the space but until then it can sit in memory or other places on the hard drive. Sure Delete overwrites that data several times eliminating the chance for recovery.
The last three of my favorites comes from Comodo.

Comodo EasyVPN - Free encrypted chat/file transfer/and remote desktop application. Setup a private encrypted connection between you and someone else. Transfer files across an encrypted network so no snoopers can see what you're transferring. The remote control desktop feature is my favorite. I use it instead of PCAnywhere or Windows Remote Desktop for customers. The customer logs into my private network (after I issue a password) and once there I can access their desktop.
Comodo Internet Security - OK I'm going to cheat a little and give the last in a 2 for 1 kind of deal. The Comodo firewall is a very user friendly firewall for inbound and outbound protection. You'd be surprised at the amount of programs that were designed to access the internet w/o asking. Personally I don't want random programs accessing my connection w/o me knowing and it's not a very safe way to travel the internet. If a program tried to access the internet you'll be given a warning of what it is, where it is, and most of the time where it's going. Good information to know. I started playing around with the anti-virus about a year ago and it seems very robust, and very quiet. By quiet I mean it doesn't hog a lot of resources on your system. A lot of anti-virus programs are very intrusive and have no business doing what they do in your system. It just isn't necessarry and wastes computing power.

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