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From the Actrix Online Informer December 2008

by Rob Zorn

Readers' Forum December 2008

If you'd like to ask a question or request some help on any Actrix or Internet-related matter. Simply send us an e-mail with the word "Forum" in the subject line. I'll try and get an answer to you by return e-mail, and will also post the answer here for the benefit of others who may have a similar question or problem. By the same token, if you read something here and think you may have something to suggest, please feel more than free. Please also note that questions and answers may also turn up under the Helpful Tips section on the Actrix home page (www.actrix.co.nz).

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Norman writes: Hi, I have my bank's web address saved in my favourites. I have been told this is not secure. Do you have any comments? Regards, Norman

Hi Norman, Having your bankís address saved as a favourite is actually a good idea as long as youíre sure itís the correct address. It means you can always be sure of going to the right site. Always be sure to use it rather than any link that might get sent to you in a spam or phishing email that looks like it might have come from your bank.

There is nothing insecure about this. What would be insecure is if you also set your browser to remember your banking user name and password. If you did that anyone using your PC could log in and get their hands on your well-earned money. I understand the scripting behind log ins at bank sites usually disables the remember password feature which is a good thing.

If your browser ever asks whether you want to save your user name and password at a banking site, you should click the "Never for this site" option. I hope that helps.

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Gilbert writes: Hi Rob, We are plagued by update demands, on our new Vista home basic computer. Can you tell us, are they really necessary as they seem to insist, The latest is 49.3 megabytes and that takes time to download. We are on dial up and only use the computer for home use they really annoy us, popping up all the time. Yours, Gilbert.

Hi Gilbert, If these are Windows Updates, then yes, they are very necessary. One of the ways hackers and malicious websites can exploit you is if your software is out of date and doesnít have the latest security patches installed. It is an ongoing cycle. Internet crims work out new ways to get in, Microsoft releases an update to fix the vulnerability, and the crims work on finding the next way... So it's important always to accept Windows Updates.

The problem will probably improve. If you've just got the new machine, it's probably been sitting around for sometime in the store since leaving the factory and its software may be out of date as a result. Once it catches up, you should see the need for updates decrease. It may be advisable to leave your computer on and connected overnight.

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Gordon writes: Hi. I recently deleted my old Adobe Reader program and installed Adobe Reader 9. At the same time the following were also installed - Acrobat.com, Adobe AIR and Adobe Flash Player ActiveX. The Adobe Reader 9 seems to be OK and so does the Flash Reader which I require for the new Meridian Energy website. However when I am in the website www.UNICEF.co.nz and run the videos the voices or music come out in short jerks, i.e. a few words or bars of music then the picture and music freeze for about 15 seconds followed by a few more words or bars of music and so on. Any clues how to cure this please?

Brian Dennehy from Actrix Support replies: Hi Gordon, Thanks for your email. Has this problem only been happening since you upgraded Adobe Reader/Adobe Flash Player, or has it been happening before that as well? If it wasn't happening before you upgraded, one option would be to try installing a previous version of Adobe's products to see if that helps. Although older versions don't seem to be available on the Adobe website, I have had a quick look around and you should be able to download Adobe Reader version 8 from this link: http://www.fileratings.com/Review/Adobe_Reader_8 (Note: Because this link is not a website affiliated with Actrix in any way, it is advised to scan any files you download from this site for viruses using anti virus software on your computer).

If the problem has been happening for awhile, or if it continues to happen even after downgrading as above, it could simply be the speed of your connection that is causing the problem. Unfortunately, one of the down sides of the dial up technology is that a lot of websites are now optimised for high-speed connections. The videos that you are watching are downloading as you view them, and with a dial up connection you may have problems watching videos online simply because the video is trying to play faster than your connection can download the content. One way around this is to start the video, pause it early on in the clip, and then wait 30 seconds before hitting play again. This will allow your connection some time to download part of the video, and should help reduce the amount of times the video freezes while you are watching it.

If watching videos online is something you are wanting to do quite frequently, then another option might be to consider Actrix CyberJet broadband. As mentioned before, these websites are generally optimised for high-speed connections now days, and Actrix broadband should cope with watching videos online a lot better than your current dial up connection. If you are interested in what we have to offer, more information about our broadband plans can be found here: http://www.actrix.co.nz/page.php?id=144.

 

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