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INSIDE THIS ISSUE

Warning From Google
"Your Computer Appears To Be Infected"

Polar Has You Covered With SecureIT Plus And Password Genie!

You Can Help Save Rural Broadband

Two To View
A Couple Of Amazing Videos You Don't Want To Miss

This Month's FAQ
What Are The Characteristics Of Strong Passwords?

Sites Of The Month
Great Sites To Check Out In September

Short Tutorial
Adjusting Your Pop-up Blocker Settings


Greetings from Polar's E-Connections Team

Back to School September is often associated with the new school year. But beyond that, it's an excellent time for all of us to learn something new. This issue provides a variety of learning opportunities, starting with information about a new Google warning sent to search users about malware that's infecting some Windows PCs. You'll also get a quick education on creating strong passwords, find out how to adjust your pop-up blocker settings, and discover handy resources about fall cleaning, comparing credit cards, and more. When it's time for a study break, have a laugh by watching the adorable Two to View videos featuring baby boys and a talented Terrier.

The goal of each of our eNewsletters is to keep our subscribers informed regarding their Internet connection and to improve their Internet experience. We think you'll find this information interesting.

To see what's inside this issue, simply scroll down the eNewsletter or click on the links within the index to the left. Thanks for reading!

- The E-Connections Team
 

 

Warning From Google – "Your Computer Appears To Be Infected"

Since late July 2011, Google has been issuing warnings to search users whose Windows PCs might be infected with a particular strain of malicious software, also known as malware. The move came after Google noticed some unusual activity on its network while conducting routine data center maintenance. While Google is NOT able to scan users' hard drives, it does see irregular information that is sent to it when a user with an infected computer performs a search.

As a result, certain users might see a warning atop their search results like the one displayed here.

Google Worm

Google says it has already been able to warn hundreds of thousands of computer users that their devices may be infected with the malware, which can result in deleted data, stolen personal information, and a slower connection to websites. The warning includes a "Learn how to fix this" link to a Google page to help users resolve the problem by taking appropriate steps. This link is safe to click on and includes information on:
  • Installing or updating antivirus software
  • Performing a system scan
As a reminder, it's important to carefully research antivirus software before downloading to make sure it's legitimate and not actually a malicious program. For example, Google warns NOT to install "My Security Shield," "Security Master AV," and "CleanUp Antivirus." You can also check with your Internet Service Provider for recommendations on antivirus software.

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Polar Has You Covered With SecureIT Plus And Password Genie!

Download Graphics to View

SecureIT Plus is an automatic PC security solution that takes care of all threats and updates with no work on your part. SecureIT Plus is great for PC users who just want to enjoy their computer with little interruption. Secure IT Plus features include: anti-virus, anti spyware, hands-free updates, pop-up blocker, personal firewall, monthly summary report, online Internet reporting, 24/7 technical support, hard drive maintenance, parental controls and guaranteed protection!

Password Genie is the better way to keep track of your passwords. Save valuable time by automatically remembering your usernames and passwords, even across multiple computers. Eliminate written down or unprotected storage of your online identities while protecting yourself with encryption and backup. You'll never have to use the "Forgot Password" option again!

Sign up for SecureIT Plus and/or Password Genie before September 30 and get the first 3 months FREE! For the ultimate in security software call Polar at 800.284.7222 or e-mail sales@polarcomm.com today!

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You Can Help Save Rural Broadband

Save Rural Broadband The FCC has proposed radical policy changes that could deprive millions of individuals, businesses, and governments of affordable, high-quality broadband Internet access. Rural broadband providers have responded by putting forward alternative proposals that will make reform work for consumers, and that alternative is now before the FCC for review.

Visit www.saveruralbroadband.org to complete a pre-written letter you can send electronically to your senators, your representative, and the Obama administration. The future of Internet access for millions of rural consumers hangs in the balance, so please take action now and make your voice heard.

If you have questions, call Polar Communications at 1.800.284.7222.

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Two To View – A Couple Of Amazing Videos You Don't Want To Miss

Cool Video Number 1   Cool Video Number 2
     
Tricks From A Talented Terrier
This Jack Russell Terrier's tricks are more than just cute; they're quite handy. Take a look as Jesse turns on the light, makes the bed, starts the coffee, closes cupboards and drawers, loads the dishwasher, and more. Man's best friend or man's best housekeeper? You decide.
  Laughter That's Twice As Nice
Four-month-old twin baby boys, Peyton and Brennan, certainly know how to keep each other giggling—not to mention the more than 52 million viewers who've enjoyed this on YouTube. Once they learn how to stand, we predict a career for these boys as stand-up comedians.

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This Month's FAQ – What Are The Characteristics Of Strong Passwords?

Question: I have to come up with new passwords on a regular basis and feel like I'm just guessing at what characters to use. I could use some advice. What are the characteristics of strong passwords?

Strong Passwords Answer: You're smart to be concerned about your passwords. Using automated programs that target thousands of computers simultaneously, hackers can quickly crack many simple passwords and break into online accounts. Once they sign in as you, they may change the password, locking you out of your own account.

Use these strategies to strengthen your passwords for increased online security:
  • Passwords should be at least 12 characters. Researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute learned that eight-character passwords can be cracked in about two hours, but adding just four additional keystrokes to a password could raise that to a theoretical 17,000 years.
  • Combine letters, numbers, and symbols. The greater variety of characters in your password, the harder it is to crack. Choose from all the symbols on the keyboard, not just letters and numbers; consider using symbols such as &, >, # or @.
  • Avoid sequences or repeated characters. Passwords such as "12345678" or "222222" are weak passwords.
  • Don't use dictionary words. Hackers use sophisticated tools that can rapidly guess passwords based on words in multiple dictionaries, including words spelled backwards, common misspellings, and substitutions.
  • Use a sentence as the starting point. While complicated passwords are safer, they're also harder to remember. To make it easier, think of a memorable sentence, take the first letter of each word, mix up lowercase and uppercase, and replace some letters with numbers and symbols.
Once you've created a new password, find out how strong it is by visiting Microsoft's Password Checker at microsoft.com/protect/yourself/password/checker.mspx. It will instantly rate your password from Weak to Best. If yours doesn't rate well, it's back to the drawing board. Keep testing new passwords until you find one that rates highly.

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Sites Of The Month – Great Sites To Check Out In September

Win A Trip To Space
spaceneedle.com  – Seattle's famous Space Needle is celebrating its 50th anniversary by sending someone into space! Visit this site to learn more about the contest and enter for a chance to get a seat aboard G-Force One for a zero gravity experience. Keep exploring to see the view from the Space Needle (including fun videos and a real-time webcam). Fall Cleaning Checklist
realsimple.com – Didn't get to your spring cleaning this year? No worries, fall is another perfect time to do a deep clean. Windows, walls, light fixtures, cabinets, carpets, and computers all get a place on this handy fall cleaning checklist. Once your house is in order, the list will help you move into the yard to finish preparing for winter. Newborn Zoo Babies
zooborns.com – Get your "awwws" out; you're going to need them when you see the adorable baby zoo animals on this site. ZooBorns brings you photos of "the newest and cutest exotic baby animals from zoos and aquariums around the world" including baby bears, bush dogs, crocodiles, and monkeys.
  Best Credit Cards
nerdwallet.com – This site makes the tedious job of finding the best credit card easy by instantly showing you credit cards that fit the criteria you enter. The site considers good versus bad credit, type of rewards, whether you're looking for the best ongoing APR versus best introductory rate, which credit card brands you prefer, and so on. Quick Chicken Recipes
readyseteat.com – September is National Chicken Month and you can celebrate by fixing some of the quick chicken recipes here. Start your search by selecting chicken as the main ingredient. Then narrow your choices by choosing an ethnicity and/or ingredients you like or have on hand. Want something Asian and have snow peas available? Try Asian Chicken Noodle Salad.

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Short Tutorial – Adjusting Your Pop-up Blocker Settings

A pop-up is a small Web browser window, usually created by advertisers, that appears on top of a website you're viewing. Pop-ups can sometimes be annoying or potentially dangerous and other times they can be quite useful. So how do you block unwanted pop-ups and still allow pop-ups on selected websites? Follow the steps below for your browser to adjust your pop-up blocker settings and enter your preferences.

IE 8 Icon Adjusting Pop-up Blocker Settings When Using ...
Internet Browser:
Internet Explorer 8
Computer Operating System: Windows XP
  1. With Internet Explorer open, click your cursor arrow on "Tools" on the menu bar.

  2. Select "Internet Options" from the drop-down menu. The Internet Options window will appear.

  3. Select the "Privacy" tab.

  4. The box next to "Turn on Pop-up Blocker" should be checked by default within the "Pop-up Blocker" section. If no check mark appears, click on the check box to activate this setting.

  5. To allow specific website pop-ups, click on the "Settings" button. The Pop-up Blocker Settings window will appear.

  6. Here you can enter websites that you want to allow to display pop-ups by entering the website address and clicking on "Add." You can also remove previously entered websites if you no longer want to allow them to display pop-ups. Also in the Pop-up Blocker Settings window, you can select which filter level you are most comfortable with by choosing from the drop-downs in the "Blocking level:" section.

  7. Click on the "Close" button to exit the Pop-up Blocker Settings window.

  8. If you made edits, click on the "Apply" button to save your changes and then click on the "OK" button to close the Internet Options window.
IE 8 Icon Adjusting Pop-up Blocker Settings When Using ...
Internet Browser:
Internet Explorer 9
Computer Operating System: Windows Vista and Windows 7
  1. With Internet Explorer open, click your cursor arrow on "Tools" on the menu bar.

  2. Select "Internet options" from the drop-down menu. The Internet Options window will appear.

  3. Select the "Privacy" tab.

  4. The box next to "Turn on Pop-up Blocker" should be checked by default within the "Pop-up Blocker" section. If no check mark appears, click on the check box to activate this setting.

  5. To allow specific website pop-ups, click on the "Settings" button. The Pop-up Blocker Settings window will appear.

  6. Here you can enter websites that you want to allow to display pop-ups by entering the website address and clicking on "Add." You can also remove previously entered websites if you no longer want to allow them to display pop-ups. Also in the Pop-up Blocker Settings window, you can select which filter level you are most comfortable with by choosing from the drop-downs in the "Blocking level:" section.

  7. Click on the "Close" button to exit the Pop-up Blocker Settings window.

  8. If you made edits, click on the "Apply" button to save your changes and then click on the "OK" button to close the Internet Options window.
Firefox Icon Adjusting Pop-up Blocker Settings When Using ...
Internet Browser:
Mozilla Firefox 6
Computer Operating System: Mac OS X 10.6
  1. With Firefox open, click your cursor arrow on "Firefox" on the menu bar.

  2. Select "Preferences..." from the drop-down menu.

  3. Select the "Content" icon. The "Block pop-up windows" option should have a check mark next to it.

  4. To change the Pop-up Blocker preferences, select the "Exceptions..." button. The Allowed Sites—Pop-ups window will appear. Here you can enter websites that you want to allow to display pop-ups by entering the website address and clicking on "Allow." You can also remove previously entered websites if you no longer want to allow them to display pop-ups.

  5. Click on the red circle in the upper left corner to close the Allowed Sites—Pop-ups window.

  6. Click on the red circle in the upper left corner to close the Preferences window.
Firefox Icon Adjusting Pop-up Blocker Settings When Using ...
Internet Browser:
Mozilla Firefox 6
Computer Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7
  1. With Firefox open, click your cursor arrow on "Tools" on the menu bar.

  2. Select "Options" from the drop-down menu. The Options window will appear.

  3. Select the "Content" icon. By default, the "Block pop-up windows" option should have a check mark next to it.

  4. To change the Pop-up Blocker preferences, select the "Exceptions..." button. The Allowed Sites—Pop-ups window will appear. Here you can enter websites that you want to allow to display pop-ups by entering the website address and clicking on "Allow." You can also remove previously entered websites if you no longer want to allow them to display pop-ups.

  5. Click on the "Close" button to close the Allowed Sites—Pop-ups window.

  6. Click on the "OK" button to close the Options window.
Safari Icon Adjusting Pop-up Blocker Settings When Using ...
Internet Browser:
Safari 5
Computer Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Mac OS X 10.6
  1. With Safari open, click your cursor arrow on "Safari" (Mac) or "Tools" (Windows) on the menu bar.

  2. Simply click on the "Block Pop-Up Windows" option from the drop-down menu or select "Preferences..." from the drop-down menu.

  3. In the Preferences window, select the "Security" icon. By default, the "Block pop-up windows" option should have a check mark next to it.

  4. To allow pop-ups, deselect the check box next to the "Block pop-up windows" option.

  5. Close the Preferences window.
Chrome Icon Adjusting Pop-up Blocker Settings When Using ...
Internet Browser:
Google Chrome 13
Computer Operating System: Mac OS X 10.6
  1. With Chrome open, click your cursor arrow on "Chrome" on the menu bar.

  2. Select "Preferences..." from the drop-down menu. A "Preferences" tab will open.

  3. Select the "Under the Hood" link.

  4. In the "Privacy" section, click on the "Content Settings..." button.

  5. By default, "Do not allow any site to show pop-ups (recommended)" is selected within the "Pop-ups" section.

  6. You have the option to click on the "Manage Exceptions..." button where you can enter websites in the "Hostname Pattern" field and choose from either the "Allow" or "Block" option from the "Behavior" drop-down menu.

  7. When your selections are complete, close the "Preferences" tab.
Chrome Icon Adjusting Pop-up Blocker Settings When Using ...
Internet Browser:
Google Chrome 13
Computer Operating System: Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7
  1. With Chrome open, click your cursor arrow on the "Tools" icon on the menu bar.

  2. Select "Options" from the drop-down menu. An "Options-Basics" tab will open.

  3. Select the "Under the Hood" link.

  4. In the "Privacy" section, click on the "Content Settings..." button.

  5. By default, "Do not allow any site to show pop-ups (recommended)" is selected within the "Pop-ups" section.

  6. You have the option to click on the "Manage exceptions..." button where you can enter websites in the "Hostname Pattern" field and choose from either the "Allow" or "Block" option from the "Behavior" drop-down menu.

  7. When your selections are complete, close the "Options-Basics" tab.

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Thanks for your business!

Best regards

The E-Connections Team




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