Recommended Antivirus Software


As an online instructor, I need to constantly download all types of files made by the students. While I am confident that most files are virus free, you just never know. I use a variety of security software to combat this possibility. One line of defense that everyone needs is antivirus software.

I am not a fan of all-in-one security suite. I prefer to pick the best software for each component. For those who need a simple solution, I say go for the suite. If you are inclined to pick one tool for antivirus and the firewall, for example, here is a recommendation.

Firewall: If you are using Windows 7 and above (and you should), just enable the built-in Windows Firewall. It should be on by default.

Antivirus: I recommend Panda. It is a cloud-based solution that does not need signature updates. The “signature” is a file that contains information on latest viruses. Typically, you or the software needs to download it to keep the protection up to date. Panda takes a different approach, where the signature is always available in the cloud, so it is updated in real-time. The benefit is that the software is light on computer resources, so you don’t even notice it’s running (you see it by looking at the taskbar icon). You don’t have to worry about the signature being out of date, but it is always up to date. Get the free version, as you can get better tools elsewhere than the ones that come with Panda’s paid versions.

Safe computing!

How To Upgrade To iOS 9


iOS 9 is officially out. If you have a relatively new iOS device, it is a worthwhile upgrade. To see what’s new in 9 vs. 8, here is a quick recap.

The biggest advice with any iOS upgrade is to back up your data. You have two options: via iCloud or iTunes on your computer. I prefer the iTunes method because then my iCloud account space not taken up by the backup data. To back up your data through iTunes, here are the steps:

  1. Launch iTunes in your computer (Mac or Windows).
  2. Connect your iDevice.
  3. Select your device in iTunes and go to the Summary tab.
  4. Go to the Backups area and click on Back Up Now.

You may be asked to transfer apps from your device to iTunes. You can either do so or ignore it. You can always re-download any apps, but restoring them from to your iPhone, for example, will be faster if they are copied from the computer. I just re-download them. That way, you will always get the latest version.

iTunes will now have a copy of your data backed up on your computer. You can delete the backup at a later date if you see no issues with iOS 9.

Happy upgrading!

Best Google Chrome Extensions

Part 2 of my presentation on Google Chrome.

When you visit the Chrome Web Store, you see more than 65,000 extensions. Do you find it difficult to separate the best ones from the time wasters? In this presentation, I will go over some of the best and most useful extensions that will save you time and money, protect your privacy and help you be more productive.

Extensions covered:
Awesome New Tab Page
Copy as plain text
Daily Links
HTTPS Everywhere
Web of Trust

And more!

Simplenote As To Do List


Now that I finally have a smartphone, I thought it was time for me to start using a to-do list app. I have never been able to organize any to-do lists effectively, but here was my chance to find one and stick with it. I looked at Wunderlist and Todoist as both have received great reviews.

The problem with me was that, although both are simple and powerful, I still had to learn their ways of things in order for me to use the app fully. I just didn’t have the inclination to learn something; all I wanted to do was be able to create the lists on the fly and have them available anywhere.

Then I heard about Simplenote. It’s available for the web, desktop and any mobile devices. All it is, a virtual notepad. It syncs with all devices and has a search feature. It’s free too! It is the kind of the to-do list manager I was looking for. I make a list, do the tasks, then delete the list. Simple as that.

It helps that the same people who developed WordPress are behind Simplenote.