Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Questions about this site:

“What’s this site all about? Why did you make it? How did you make it?”

See the About page. I just want to help make the Internet a better place. I made it with WordPress.

“I like the design! Can you make a site like this for me or my business?”

Thanks for the compliment! I started with a theme calledSafiTech, then changed and added to it, until I got what you see now. And yes, I do build websites. Or rather, I help people build and expand their businesses online. So think about what it is you want and why, then contact me using the Contact link in the menu above.

And why not visit my hosts,Site Build It!by SiteSell. (The exclamation mark is part of their naming convention - where things end in “It!”. I wonder what they’d call it if they invented a “Free User-Created Knowledge” system…) Anyway if you want to build asuccessful online business yourself, check out this really cool page showinghow people’s lives have changed thanks to Site Build It!

“You say that you don’t like adverts and sales letters, so how come some of your pages look like them?”

Ah yes, but I’m not trying to sell anything. If I use some of the conventions of advertising, it’s because they work. I want people to find this site, and more importantly to take action based on it.

Technical questions:

“My computer is really slow and is acting funny, does that mean I have a virus?”

Do youhave a Mac, or use some flavour of Linux? Then no, you don’t have a virus because there aren’t any viruses in the wild for Macs and Linux. If you’re asking this question though, you almost definitely have aWindows PC.

Did you just download something strange, or clicked OK to a strange message saying you need to download something to watch a video, or that your computer wasn’t safe so you had to buy x? If so, the answer could be yes you do have a virus, trojan or some other type of computer nasty. You see, I can’t answer that without more information. Get some free anti-virus software and check - see my Viruses and malware page for more instructions.

There are many things that can slow down a computer though. For instance, trying to run too many programs at the same time. Quit any programs you’re not using. Look at the bottom right corner of the screen where the clock is, in that grey/blue/black strip - that’s called the Windows system tray. Is it full of strange icons and you don’t know what they are? Right-click on them and quit any you don’t need; while you’re there, change their settings so they don’t auto-start at login. Many people have MSN Messenger/Windows Live messenger automatically start with Windows. Turn it off - it’s a waste of resources and a gaping security hole if you’re not using it.

If someone just has your email address is that enough for them to be able to do something to your computer?

See this comment by “DupontJay” - emphasis mine, with my comments in italics - from this page: [http://voices.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2009/04/digital_pearl_harbor_cyber_911.html]

Yes and no. With only your e-mail address, the only thing most attackers can do is send you a malicious e-mail that either has an executable in it that will compromise your PC, or has a link to a web site that will infect you, or (more unlikely) has a link to an image on one of their servers so that they can figure out exactly where you are when you fetch the image {this last point applies even if you do have a Mac or Linux system, but it’s not a big worry}

If and only if you’re savvy about never executing any unsafe attachments that you receive via e-mail, NEVER clicking any links in e-mail unless you’re positive its a legit e-mail, and not viewing images in HTML-formatted e-mail you receive unless again you’re positive it’s legit, then there’s little the run-of-the-mill hacker can do to you. However, 99%+ of users are not savvy enough to do all of the above (it’s not uncommon for attackers to forge an e-mail that really looks like it came from a colleague/friend, complete with very convincing subject and text based on information about you they looked up on the web), so yes, as a practical matter, you can get hacked if the attacker knows only your e-mail address. {…}

Bottom line: if you’re on the Internet, your computer is only secure if no one is targeting YOU specifically. Once a smart hacker is after YOU (and not just the easiest random target they can find), you’re probably toast if they want you bad enough. {But you can make it virtually impossible for them to get you if you use a Mac or Linux AND you’re careful what you click on. If you use Windows, sorry you’re screwed… }