If you didn’t already know it you should be aware that the password protection on your PC is about as much use as a chocolate teapot. There are things you can do to make it harder for anyone to get at your files, and we’ll come to that in a moment but first, at one time or another many of us forget our logon password. Faced with an inaccessible PC, some users resort to drastic action, like re-installing Windows.

There’s really no need, blanking the password using a special type of Linux boot disc is fairly straightforward. Cracking a password takes a little longer but again it’s easy enough if you know what to do, and one way is to use another Linux live CD boot utility called Ophcrack. Download the .iso file and use a utility like Imgburn to create a CD. Just boot the PC from the CD and watch it hack away at your password. Most times it only take a few seconds to crack a 4 – 6 character password otherwise it might take a few minutes but if you thought your PC was protected, think again, it’s scary stuff. More »

A hotfix is available to users that have experienced problems waking up their Windows 7 machines from hibernation.

According to the Redmond company, customers running the latest iteration of the Windows client have reported issues in which they are unable to resume activity after their computer goes into hibernation.

The software giant explained that in some cases, the computer screen will dim after the users log on to resume from hibernation. This issue is related specifically to Windows 7, Microsoft stated.

“Consider the following scenario:

– You have a computer that is running Windows 7.

– You configure the power button to be used for hibernation on the computer. More »

Adding password to a confidential word document could be required some times when you don’t want anyone to peek and see those confidential details.

You can easily add password to word document so that no one except those who know the password could open that word document.

Adding a password to a new or existing word document is same, and it is same with all the Microsoft office versions. Follow the procedure given below to add a password to a word document.

Open the word document or create a new one, now click File >> Save As option to save that document, this will open a new dialog box which ask you to give the name to this document.

Now enter the password to document, with which it will protected, you can also make this document as read only as shown, this way it can be read but cannot be edited.

This way your word document will be safe and protected with password required to open and view.

What about people who use PCs in public places? Long Beach’s Boccia says a lot depends on what the PC will let you do which you might be able to determine only by trial and error. Boccia states, “Unfortunately, there is no visual cue to alert the user of what type of security the machine is using, unless the person is pretty tech-savvy and knows what to look for.”

Tips for using public PCs include:

- Check how the PC is set up. What operating system is it using? (XP is obviously better for the reasons given above.) It shouldn’t let you poke around in the system settings such as the control panel and user accounts. Ironically, the less you can do on the PC, the better it’s well-locked down.

You might even look behind the machine for any keylogger devices attached to the keyboard cable, where it plugs into the PC. For more on keyloggers, read the Bright Hub article, “Risky business, using kiosk computers.”

- Avoid tasks such as online banking and credit card purchases that might leave sensitive information behind. But if you must do so, uncheck any box offering to remember your information and change your passwords as soon as you are on a PC you know is secure. More »