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Useful info & southernlady's PC tips

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Old 09-19-2006, 11:55 AM   #1
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Arrow Useful info & southernlady's PC tips

This thread is here for all to add useful sites and/or resources which have helped them and that they want to share.

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Old 10-22-2006, 01:35 PM   #2
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Default southernlady's PC tips

You always need a multi layered approach when it comes to keeping spyware off your computer.

Quote:
Using Mozilla Firefox instead of Internet Explorer helps, too. Add Mozilla Thunderbird in place of Outlook Express to complete the package.
It does help but FF isn't perfect either.

Quote:
To greatly reduce the risks? Honestly? Mac 'puters
Neither is switching to a Mac since there IS some spyware out there for that too, just not as much. For REAL protection, go linux.

Normal maintenance

Run regular maintenance on your PC...just as you would keep your house clean, your PC runs better when it's organized as well.

1) Use Disk Clean up and get rid of unneeded files. Compress old ones

2) Go thru your Add/Remove program and get rid of anything you haven't used lately, esp if you have the disk for it and can reinstall it or download it at a later date should you decide you want it again. Just letting it sit on your hard drive taking up space is ridiculous if you aren't using it.

3) Run the Disk Defrag on a periodic basis. If you have Norton Systemworks, set it up so that you can see how degragged your computer is and let it tell you when to defrag.

4) Remember to do a drive check every so often. You do this going to MY COMPUTER then SELECT YOUR DRIVE(C) right click it and go down to PROPERTIES on the pop up box select the second tab along TOOLS and click the top box CHECK ERRORS NOW.

And then ALWAYS. ALWAYS download and install any Critical Updates that Windows lets you know about. If you don't have your configuration set so that it will tell you and you aren't in the habit of checking periodically (like every other day) then set it so that Windows WILL let you know there is a Critical Update. This step is an absolute necessity.

Then go and download these FREE programs:

1) Ad-aware SE (removes all adverts and ad self launch programs,feed up with pop ups get it)

2) Spy-bot (same as ad-aware but always better two have two in this case because they'll double check everything)

3) ewido security suite Ewido Security Suite is a supplement to your current Anti-Virus Program.
NOTE: It will only work on Win2K and XP systems.

4) Windows® Defender (Beta 2) For anyone with Windows 2000 Service Pack 4; Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1; Windows XP Service Pack 2. There is a 64 bit version available.


5) A˛ Free For trojan removal/scanning.

6) SpywareBlaster 3.5.1 SpywareBlaster doesn't scan and clean for spyware - it prevents it from ever being installed.

7) SpywareGuard 2.2 SpywareGuard provides a real-time protection solution against spyware that is a great addition to SpywareBlaster's protection method.

An anti-virus program scans files before you open them and prevents execution if a virus is detected - SpywareGuard does the same thing, but for spyware! And you can easily have an anti-virus program running alongside SpywareGuard.

Then make sure you have an anti-virus and firewall. And as usual, the best ones we recommend are free ones.

These companies also have paid versions:

8) AVG free
Avast Home Edition
Antivir

Free Firewalls

These companies also have paid versons:

9) Zone Alarm Free


Popup Blockers:

10) Ad & PopUp Tools My personal OLD favorite is POW.

IF you MUST use a toolbar, use google and google ONLY. It is the ONLY one we have found that is clean of Spy-Adware totally. There is a version for Firefox.

11) For paid A/V programs,

Norton 2005
Panda Titanium
AVG 7
NOD32 Antivirus System

12) Paid Firewall:

Norton 2005
ZoneAlarm Pro

13) Paid Security Suites:
ZoneAlarm Security Suite 5.5
AVG Plus Firewall Edition (this is what I use)
BitDefender 8 Professional Plus
F-Secure Internet Security 2005
McAfee Internet Security 2005 7.0
Norton Internet Security 2005
Norman Internet Control 5.7
Panda Platinum Internet Security 2005
Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security 2005

14) For making copies of your hard drive (good if you need to transfer your hard drive contents or if your hard drive keeps crashing.:

Norton Ghost

Drive image (a software program that makes a up to date recovery point separate from system restore,good if you know your computer keeps crashing)

15) For fixing Registry and disk problems:

PC Bug Doctor (corrects many problem but not deep registry ones)

PC Doctor Oncall does full system check fixes almost any problems)

Ashampoo WinOptimizer Platinum Suite 2 (Drive Cleaner, Registry Cleaner, Internet Cleaner, DLL Cleaner, Internet Tuner, StartUp Tuner, File Wiper, and File Associator. Free up valuable space on your hard drive. Speed up general system performance.)

Norton Systemworks 2005
wilders.org security advisors
For a good listing of all this, go to: wilders.org security advisors

Now that you are clean, please follow these simple steps in order to keep your computer clean and secure:
  1. Use an AntiVirus Software - It is very important that your computer has an anti-virus software running on your machine. This alone can save you a lot of trouble with malware in the future.

    See this link for a listing of some online & their stand-alone antivirus programs:

    Virus, Spyware, and Malware Protection and Removal Resources

  2. Update your AntiVirus Software - It is imperitive that you update your Antivirus software at least once a week (Even more if you wish). If you do not update your antivirus software then it will not be able to catch any of the new variants that may come out.

  3. Use a Firewall - I can not stress how important it is that you use a Firewall on your computer. Without a firewall your computer is succeptible to being hacked and taken over. I am very serious about this and see it happen almost every day with my clients. Simply using a Firewall in its default configuration can lower your risk greatly.

    For a tutorial on Firewalls and a listing of some available ones see the link below:

    Understanding and Using Firewalls

  4. Visit Microsoft's Windows Update Site Frequently - It is important that you visit http://www.windowsupdate.com regularly. This will ensure your computer has always the latest security updates available installed on your computer. If there are new updates to install, install them immediately, reboot your computer, and revisit the site until there are no more critical updates.

  5. Install Spybot - Search and Destroy - Install and download Spybot - Search and Destroy with its TeaTimer option. This will provide realtime spyware & hijacker protection on your computer alongside your virus protection. You should also scan your computer with program on a regular basis just as you would an antivirus software.

    A tutorial on installing & using this product can be found here:

    Using Spybot - Search & Destroy to remove Spyware , Malware, and Hijackers

  6. Install Ad-Aware - Install and download Ad-Aware. ou should also scan your computer with program on a regular basis just as you would an antivirus software in conjunction with Spybot.

    A tutorial on installing & using this product can be found here:

    Using Ad-aware to remove Spyware, Malware, & Hijackers from Your Computer

  7. Install SpywareBlaster - SpywareBlaster will added a large list of programs and sites into your Internet Explorer settings that will protect you from running and downloading known malicious programs.

    A tutorial on installing & using this product can be found here:

    Using SpywareBlaster to protect your computer from Spyware and Malware

  8. Update all these programs regularly - Make sure you update all the programs I have listed regularly. Without regular updates you WILL NOT be protected when new malicious programs are released.

Follow this list and your potential for being infected again will reduce dramatically.

This advice is reposted from the advice given by Tony Klein, the acknowledged spyware & malware expert who supports many forums on the net.

You usually get infected because your security settings are too low. Here are a number of recommendations that will help tighten them, and which will contribute to making you a less likely victim:

1) Watch what you download!
Many freeware programs, and P2P programs like Grokster, Imesh, Kazaa and others are amongst the most notorious, come with an enormous amount of bundled spyware that will eat system resources, slow down your system, clash with other installed software, or just plain crash your browser or even Windows itself.

2) Go to IE > Tools > Windows Update > Product Updates, and install ALL Security Updates listed.
It's important to always keep current with the latest security fixes from Microsoft. Install those patches for Internet Explorer, and make sure your installation of Java VM is up-to-date. There are some well known security bugs with Microsoft Java VM which are exploited regularly by browser hijackers.

3) Go to Internet Options/Security/Internet, press 'default level', then OK.
Now press "Custom Level." In the ActiveX section, set the first two options ("Download signed and unsigned ActiveX controls) to 'prompt', and 'Initialize and Script ActiveX controls not marked as safe" to 'disable'.

Now you will be asked whether you want ActiveX objects to be executed and whether you want software to be installed. Sites that you know for sure are above suspicion can be moved to the Trusted Zone in Internet Option/security.

So why is activex so dangerous that you have to increase the security for it?
When your browser runs an activex control, it is running an executable program. It's no different from doubleclicking an exe file on your hard drive. Would you run just any random file downloaded off a web site without knowing what it is and what it does?

And some more advice:

4) Install Javacool's SpywareBlaster!
Download it here. It will protect you from all spy/foistware in it's database by blocking installation of their ActiveX objects. Download and install, download the latest updates, and you'll see a list of all spyware programs covered by the program (NOTE: this is NOT spyware found on your computer). Press "select all", then "kill all checked", and you're done. The spyware that you told Spywareblaster to set the "kill bit" for won't be a hazard to you any longer. Although it won't protect you from every form of spyware known to man, it is a very potent extra layer of protection. Don't forget to check for updates every week or so.

Let's also not forget that SpyBot Search and Destroy!
Download it here. SpyBot S&D has the Immunize feature which works roughly the same way. It can't hurt to use both.

5) Another brilliant program by Javacool we recommend is SpywareGuard.
Download it here. It provides a degree of real-time protection solution against spyware that is a great addition to SpywareBlaster's protection method.

An anti-virus program scans files before you open them and prevents execution if a virus is detected - SpywareGuard does the same thing, but for spyware! And you can easily have an anti-virus program running alongside SpywareGuard. It now also features Download Protection and Browser Hijacking Protection!

6) IE-SPYAD
Download it here. This puts over 5000 sites in your restricted zone, so you'll be protected when you visit innocent-looking sites that aren't actually innocent at all.

7) The IE hosts
Download it here. This program file blocks ads, banners, cookies, web bugs, and even most hijackers. This is accomplished by blocking the Server that supplies these little gems. Example - the following entry 127.0.0.1 ad.doubleclick.net blocks all files supplied by the DoubleClick Server to the web page you are viewing. This also prevents the server from tracking your movements. It now includes most major parasites, hijackers and unwanted Search Engines! In many cases this can speed the loading of web pages by not having to wait for these ads, banners, hit counters, etc. to load.

This also helps to protect your Privacy by blocking servers that track your viewing habits, known as "click-thru tracking".

However as time has progressed the focus of this project has changed from blocking ads/banners to protecting the user from the many parasites that now exist on the Internet. It doesn't serve much purpose if you block the ad banner from displaying, but get hijacked by a parasite from an evil script or download contained on the web site. The object is to surf faster while preserving your Safety, Security and Privacy.

Incidentally, another site with an enormous amount of nformation on computer security, and which is well worth a visit is Wilders.org.

Finally, after following up on all these recommendations, try running Jason Levine's Browser Security Tests. They will provide you with an insight on how vulnerable you might still be to a number of common exploits.

If you are using XP or windows 2000 or 2003 then this application will also help a lot to prevent hijacking. Check out Prevx.com.

And make sure your Antivirus and firewall is switched on and kept updated.

How do I know so much of this? I do spyware removal in my spare time when I am feeling up to it but keep up with the latest. I am a member of ASAP (Alliance of Security Analysis Professionals). Liz
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Type II diabetes on pump | PCOS | Fibromyalgia |
Essential Tremor | Restless Leg Syndrome | Asthma/Mold allergy |
Small Fiber Diabetic Polyneuropathy | Motor & Autonomic Neuropathy |
Adhesive Capsulitis, both shoulders | Mild Scoliosis | Arthritis of Spine |
Spinal Stenosis | 2 herniated disks | 2 Nerve blocks: November 2005, December 2005 |
Laminectomy with spinal fusion of L4/L5/S1 and 6 screws for support 13 March 2006



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Old 10-23-2006, 01:41 PM   #3
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Default

Security Help Tools

Best Online Scanners:

HouseCall http://housecall.trendmicro.com/
Panda http://www.pandasoftware.com/activescan/
eTrust Antivirus Scanner http://www3.ca.com/securityadvisor/virusinfo/scan.aspx

Online malware scan Utilizes 8 major Antivirus Scans to analyze individual files. Norman AV "sandbox" component provides detailed analysis.

Libraries and further information:

Symantec http://securityresponse.symantec.com...r/vinfodb.html
Trend http://www.trendmicro.com/vinfo/virusencyclo/
McAfee http://vil.nai.com/vil/default.asp
Sophos http://www.sophos.com/virusinfo/analyses/
Panda http://www.pandasoftware.com/com/vir...oma=EN&pais=63
eTrust http://www3.ca.com/securityadvisor/v...fo/browse.aspx

Multiple Vendor library and informational repository from Secunia http://secunia.com/virus_information/ (Excellent research resource)

Spyware Database and research Links

Parasites (descriptions and removal information from Doxdesk) http://www.doxdesk.com/parasite/
Parasites (descriptions and removal instructions from PestPatrol http://www.securemost.com/articles/trou_3.htm
Spyware Guide http://www.spywareguide.com/

Free fix and removal tools:

Viral:

Grisoft AVG Free Download http://www.grisoft.com/us/us_dwnl_free.php
Specialized Removal Tools from Grisoft AVG http://www.grisoft.com/us/us_ts_removers.php
Symantec http://securityresponse.symantec.com...ools.list.html
Trend Micro Damage Cleanup Services (uses the latest definitions, downloadable) http://www.trendmicro.com/download/dcs.asp
McAfee AVERT Stinger (Stinger is a stand-alone utility used to detect and remove specific viruses) http://vil.nai.com/vil/stinger/

Parasitic:

Spybot Installation and Usage http://tomcoyote.com/SPYBOT/index1.php
Ad-Aware http://www.majorgeeks.com/Ad-Aware_S...onal_d506.html and VX2 Plugin http://www.majorgeeks.com/Ad-Aware_V...-In_d4283.html
HijackThis QuickStart http://tomcoyote.com/hjt/
HijackThis direct download http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/files/hijackthis.zip and Tutorial http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/htlogtutorial.html
SpywareBlaster http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html and Tutorial from BleepingComputer.com http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/foru...howtutorial=49
lspfix (Layered Service Protocols) repairs damaged Winsock2 vxd associated with connectivity problems http://www.cexx.org/lspfix.htm
Winsock fix specific to XP by "Option Explicit" http://www.spychecker.com/program/winsockxpfix.html
SpywareInfo: Detection, Prevention and Removal Tools, SpywareBlaster and others http://www.spywareinfo.com/downloads.php?cat=all#s-p
CoolWebSearch -- Information and Removal Tool Latest version (2.0) http://cwshredder.net/cwshredder/cwschronicles.html
Kazaabegone and other downloads from Merijn http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/downloads.html

Other Tutorials from BleepingComputer.com http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/foru...wtutsection=38

Other Tutorials from Cyberanswers.org http://www.cyberanswers.org/index.php?page=tutorials


Alternate Download Sites for HijackThis, Spybot, CoolwebShredder (and others):

Information, Advice and Specialized Tools from Aumha.org http://aumha.org/a/parasite.php#tools
Lurkhere http://www.lurkhere.com/~nicefiles/
Spybot download and Tutorial at Safer-networking http://www.safer-networking.org/en/tutorial/index.html
Anti-Spyware at Majorgeeks http://www.majorgeeks.com/downloads31.html
Merijn downloads and others at Castle Cops http://computercops.biz/downloads-cat-14.html


HijackThis Analysis

Tutorial http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/htlogtutorial.html

Lists:

BHOs and Toolbars (02,03) http://computercops.biz/CLSID.html

Free Firewalls:

ZoneAlarm http://www.zonelabs.com/store/conten...eeDownload.jsp
http://www.majorgeeks.com/downloads34.html

Vulnerability testing, Information and Fixes:

Steve Gibson's Homepage http://grc.com/default.htm

Are you safe? Gibson's site is a world of its own, with tests and fixes for many Windows security vulnerabilities.

Microsoft Security Information:

Security Updates (Bulletins) http://www.microsoft.com/security/bu...s/default.mspx

Security and Privacy http://www.microsoft.com/security/default.mspx
Understand and Maintain Security with Internet Explorer 6 (includes latest Critical Updates) http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/...y/default.mspx
Understand and Maintain Security with Internet Explorer 7 (includes latest Critical Updates) http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/default.mspx
TechNet Security Resource Center: technical information and security updates for IT professionals http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/default.mspx

Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) Support Center http://support.microsoft.com/default...r=windowsxpsp2

If you have Windows NT/2k/XP and want to check your current update status without visiting Windows Update, this tool has a graphic interface (no command line action required despite the article) which will give you a detailed scan and analysis of your current configuration.

I verified each of these links today 10/23/2006. Liz
__________________
Type II diabetes on pump | PCOS | Fibromyalgia |
Essential Tremor | Restless Leg Syndrome | Asthma/Mold allergy |
Small Fiber Diabetic Polyneuropathy | Motor & Autonomic Neuropathy |
Adhesive Capsulitis, both shoulders | Mild Scoliosis | Arthritis of Spine |
Spinal Stenosis | 2 herniated disks | 2 Nerve blocks: November 2005, December 2005 |
Laminectomy with spinal fusion of L4/L5/S1 and 6 screws for support 13 March 2006



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Old 12-13-2006, 05:33 PM   #4
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Default More about missing bookmarks with Firefox 2 upgrade

Bookmarks missing after installing Firefox 2 on Windows
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Lost_bookmarks

"Lost bookmarks
From MozillaZine Knowledge Base

This article deals with lost or missing bookmarks, recovery methods and future prevention."

Remember I had problems when I upgraded to the new Firefox 2? Well, seems it's happened to a lot of people, not just me. Someone kindly posted this link elsewhere and I thought it might be good to have here in case it is needed by someone else in the future.
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Old 03-23-2007, 10:54 PM   #5
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Default replacement Windows CD at Microsoft.com

this links to a thread with the information-

http://neurotalk.psychcentral.com/sh...ad.php?t=16084
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Old 12-21-2007, 06:15 AM   #6
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Default This is the simple way, at a cost of $0.00

>>>> "This thread is here for all to add useful sites and/or resources which have helped them and that they want to share. " <<<<

OK!!! Good deal!!!! I want to share the following.....



I have run 3 or 4 or sometimes 5 browsers continuosly since early July '07 no reboots no scans no rootkits no viruses, no worms, no trojans, no nothing (& before that from late Sept. '06 until early July '07 when my daughter turned it off). I NEVER turn this thing off, it is NEVER disconnected from the WWW, It has been running and connected full time 24/7 for over 5 solid non-stop months now!!! And I follow NONE of the advice in the parent post, and yet, amazingly I run without issue or expense.

I left this thing 5 browsers running 23 windows and 123 tabs, and 19 programs running 24/7 for 186 hours when we went to Virginia this past summer. We came home, everything was just like I left it. To be able to do that requires you invest a grand total of $0.00 and less than 1 hour.

I currently have running Opera9 5 windows-17 tabs, FireFox 4 windows-14 tabs, and Konqueror 2 windows-5 tabs, Galleon 3 windows-5 tabs, all open and running alongside 5 open and running programs, I rarely close them out either. I have a search engine open under every browser that are never closed from the minute the browser opens until it is closed.

I run ABSOLUTELY ZERO "AV" or scanners or registry mechanics or any other kind of "security" software, ever. Not even a firewall anymore.
My neighbors 14 y.o. amatuer script kiddie can bypass your password, slide right by your firewall and take all your personal information, in less than 10 minutes if it runs any version of MSWindows (including "Vista"). That might help to explain how so many stay gainfully employed in the "security" business

>>>> "How do I know so much of this? I do spyware removal in my spare time when I am feeling up to it but keep up with the latest. I am a member of ASAP (Alliance of Security Analysis Professionals)." <<<<
do you avoid the worries for yourself and run a Linux, a BSD (OpenBSD, if you're really serious about security?) or a hardened MacOS at home?


I listen to music, burn CD/DVD's, watch movies, do mail and groups, play with photo's, learn stuff, draw stuff, write stuff, everything everyone wants to do with neither a worry nor a care.

Much better to get LinuxMint, or PCLinuxOS, or ZenWalk, or my personal has never failed to install for me favorite: SimplyMepis. And Knoppix, never leave home without it. Modern Linux Joe&Jane user-centric distributions are about idiot proof installations, and KDE and Gnome (which I despise but will admit to being some really good stuff) have become many times easier to learn and use than their MSWindows equivalants.....

Go to distrowatch-dot-com and click on all of the top 12 or so at the "top 100" column on the right side of the page.

if you want to waste your time, your money, and your efforts, have an insecure and continuosly subject to all sorts of security and functional issues, then by all means, get a MicroSoft Operating System.

Last edited by Chemar; 12-21-2007 at 12:42 PM. Reason: edits required as per NT guidelines
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Old 01-11-2008, 01:40 PM   #7
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Linux free Operating systems {OS} info and sites

http://www.linux.org/
http://www.ubuntu.com/


Dual Boot set up tutorial- Linux & XP
http://apcmag.com/how_to_dual_boot_w...lled_first.htm
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Last edited by Jo*mar; 02-22-2010 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 01-12-2008, 01:46 PM   #8
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Default

posted by
arthurhlevine

"AssistiveTechnologies" CHECK THIS OUT!!!


http://www.rjcooper.com/
and
http://www.disabilityresources.org/AT-SHAREWARE.html

I never gave a thought to anything like "this" prior to coming to NT/PC.....
I find it rather fascinating, and have starting collecting all sorts of stuff related/relevant to it.
I have way too many bookmarks as it is, but, there is always room for more.....

The above just seems well worth posting,

http://www.assistivetech.com/
http://www.assistiveware.com/pr.php

http://www.ed.gov/fund/contract/appl.../software.html
http://www.closingthegap.com/

More to follow, I'm sure. Gotta go now. Me and Sasha are going to the river, her to play, me to occupy a lawn chair, and claim to be doing something useful.

! but I just thought this sort of stuff should be made easily available for people seeking such things, and thought this might be a good start.

Y'all HAGD!!!
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Old 03-17-2008, 12:41 AM   #9
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Default How to clear your web browser's cache

[In order to speed up web browsing, web browsers are designed to download web pages and store them locally on your computer's hard drive in an area called "cache". The cache contains a kind of travel record of the items you have seen, heard, or downloaded from the Web, including images, sounds, Web pages, even cookies. Typically these items are stored in the Temporary Internet Files folder.

When you visit the same page for a second time, the browser speeds up display time by loading the page locally from cache instead of downloading everything again. This sometimes results in less than current versions of web pages being displayed. When the cache fills up, performance can slow down and your hard drive may run out of space.

You should periodically clear the cache to allow your browser to function more efficiently. If you believe that you have a less than current version of a page, please see the following steps listed below to clear the cache in your browser.]

http://www.bnl.gov/itd/webapps/browserCache.asp

more sites about it
http://www.wikihow.com/Clear-Your-Browser%27s-Cache
http://kb.iu.edu/data/ahic.html
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/...learcache.mspx
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Last edited by Jo*mar; 02-09-2009 at 11:23 PM.
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Old 03-24-2008, 11:58 AM   #10
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Default Sharing your computer ?

Consider making other user accounts or profiles on your shared computer-

http://neurotalk.psychcentral.com/thread40958.html
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