When it comes to anti-virus, I’m a cheapskate. I’m always using the latest highly rated free option. And these days, that’s Avast. I installed it on the little media box I run awhile ago. Today I gave it a reboot per updates and – surprise! – SickBeard refused to start. Port 8081 – the port I configured SB to run over – was in use, it said. A quick netstat proved otherwise.
Avast does a redirect on a number of ports, it turns out. So if you’ve recently installed Avast and have discovered port related problems, here’s your fix:
In the Avast console (obtained by double clicking the Avast icon in your tray):
Choose Settings > Troubleshooting
Expand Redirect Settings
Observe this stuff here and make changes as per necessary.
After you OK your way out give it a couple of minutes for Avast to pick up your changes.
I don’t usually endorse software. I’m not an endorser. However, I’ve been using Novosoft’s Handy Backup for awhile now. I’m quite pleased with it, and think it’s worth every penny. I use it to pull down backups of remote websites, sync local data, and make archives of apps whose settings I would hate to lose in the event of a crash. It’s all automated. It does the job.
This interview really got me thinking about myself. Not simply in terms of scarcity, but also loneliness and enrichment. I have friends and associates that I consider successful (speaking both fiscally and in overall fulfillment) and I’ve always envied what I perceived to be some innate tendency towards success that many of them appear to have. I never thought much, however, about the psychology of failure – especially not pertaining to myself. Hell, why would I want to? But taking it into account while considering many of of the important decisions and actions I’ve taken in my life… well, it’s eye opening. Being Poor Changes Your Thinking About Everything
I was given an old (old!) laptop to rebuild – Dell Latitude D630 – and short of putting Linux on it XP was the only way to go. I dusted off an ancient XP Pro SP 3 disc and got to work. Lo and behold after install I could not get it to run updates (“the website has encountered a problem”). Hitting the site produced an error every time. I downloaded and installed IE 8 to no avail. I downloaded what one site claimed was the latest Windows Update package and it also produced an error. I ran a variety of Microsoft’s “Fix-its,” none of which found any problems.
What I wound up doing is turning on Automatic Updates and then forcing a detection via a command prompt with:
This allowed it to pull enough to update the, er, Updater and get me over the hump. It still wouldn’t pull updates from the site (rather than erroring it spun forever), so I headed to the MS fixit site:
And chose Windows, Install or Upgrade Software or Hardware, and Windows Update and then downloaded and ran the first Fix-it in the list (“Fix the problem with Microsoft Windows Update that is not working”). This repaired 2 problems and allowed updates to begin working.
Online privacy’s been a thing for me for years now. Not because I’m doing anything “wrong,” but simply because I feel it’s my right – and your right – not to be snooped on.
I don’t pretend to be an expert at this (or at anything, for that matter), but here are a few things I use and recommend to try to keep prying eyes away:
Use Firefox. I used to be a Chrome fan, but Google’s a big part of the problem. No organization is perfect, but Mozilla – thus far – seems much more interested in our individual well being than that of any other browser offering. And the very first step in locking down Firefox is to navigate to Tools > Options > Privacy and choose “Tell sites that I do not want to be tracked.”
Next, a slew of Firefox add-ons:
HTTPS Everywhere – An EFF offering (and are you a member of EFF? You should be.) that forces a secure connection to your surfing destination whenever possible.
AdBlock Plus – perhaps not so much so for privacy, but for sanity. Surfing the web without ABP freaks me out.
DuckDuckGo – Make DuckDuckGo your search engine of choice. Simply go to the site, and then click the icon next to the search field (to the right of the URL field in Firefox) and add it.
Other security/privacy conscious items I use include:
TrueCrypt - I use TC for create encrypted containers to store all my sensitive data, personal and client related. It adds a much needed layer of comfort to using sync services such as Dropbox or Windows Live. Granted, it makes it a pain in the ass to sync (the whole container must be resynced rather than just the changed files within it), but with a decent connection and some common sense container sizing it’s worth it. I also use TC whole disk encryption on all my family’s laptops. If someone swipes your ‘top, at least they’re not getting your data!
VPN – Securitykiss is but one of many VPN services. I can’t speak to their effectiveness specifically – I include them only as an example. A Google search will pull up a wealth of free and paid VPN options, along with plenty of reviews. VPN is essentially a tunnel between your computer and a remote gateway, through which your online requests are routed. The theory is that your traffic is effectively anonymized by way of emanating from a shared point of entry to the ‘net (the gateway), meaning it’s undifferentiated from the traffic of everyone else utilizing the gateway. The tunnel between you and the gateway is also secured via encryption. Ultimately the effectiveness of VPN relies on the provider, as they have the ability to log your activity in their tunnel. In other words, do your research and choose wisely.
There are lots of other privacy options out there, like TOR, but the few things I’ve listed above are the simplest ways to start securing your privacy.