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What's happening to iGoogle?


iGoogle will be retired on November 1, 2013. The mobile version was retired on July 31, 2012.
How did you come to this decision?
We originally launched iGoogle in 2005 before anyone could fully imagine the ways that today's web and mobile apps would put personalized, real-time information at your fingertips. With modern apps that run on platforms like Chrome and Android, the need for something like iGoogle has eroded over time, so we’ll be winding down iGoogle on November 1, 2013.
Can I save my iGoogle homepage settings?
Yes, you can export your iGoogle homepage settings (including country, language, theme, layout and gadgets installed) to an XML file.
To export your settings:
  1. Click the settings_icon_image Options gear then iGoogle settings.
  2. At the bottom of the page, click Export next to "Export iGoogle settings to your computer."
What will happen to the data stored in my gadgets?
All of your personal data stored in other Google products will continue to be available via those products, including Gmail,Google CalendarGoogle FinanceGoogle DriveGoogle Bookmarks, and Google Tasks. This means you'll still be able to access your emails, documents and events. Instead of accessing your data through the gadget, you'll need to visit the product directly.  
Some gadgets, such as the to-do list, allow you to download your data to a file. To download from your to-do list, click the Download all option under the My List drop-down menu next to the title of your list.
Most iGoogle gadgets are created and maintained by third-party developers. If you’d like to export your data, you should contact the gadget creator directly.
I really like iGoogle -- are there any other alternatives?
There are a number of desktop alternatives available. If you’re a fan of Google Chrome, the Chrome Web Store provides a similar range of options like productivity tools and applications to check the weather. In addition, just like iGoogle, you can personalize Chrome with a theme.
For mobile devices, Google Play offers applications ranging from games to news readers to home screen widgets.
Source:https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/2664197?hl=en


iGoogle Is Shutting Down on November 1, Last Few Users Are Being Warned


Google announced that the customizable homepage iGoogle would be shut down a long time ago. The shutdown has been more than a year in the making, but there are now less than three weeks until the inevitable demise. 

Anyone still using iGoogle is now greeted with a very hard to ignore message warning them that the service is going down on November 1. 

The warning message directs users to Google's help page about the shutdown. The page explains why the feature is going away, it's not very hard to guess, not a lot of people used it. It also explains how to export your data if you plan to switch to one of the few alternatives out there.

"We originally launched iGoogle in 2005 before anyone could fully imagine the ways that today's web and mobile apps would put personalized, real-time information at your fingertips. With modern apps that run on platforms like Chrome and Android, the need for something like iGoogle has eroded over time, so we’ll be winding down iGoogle

Build your own VoIP System

This blog post is the first part of a series of posts, which describe how VoIP works and how the Sipwise sip:provider Platform enables you to start various VoIP business models.
  • Part 1, which is provided in this post, gives you an introduction in how VoIP works.
  • Part 2 shows how you can set up a secure and self-hosted Skype-like VoIP system for free using the sip:provider Platform within 30 minutes.
  • Part 3 is dedicated to the sip:provider Platform acting as an SBC in front of existing VoIP systems.
  • Part 4 describes how you can operate a whole-sale business with the sip:provider Platform.
  • Part 5 shows how to enable Over-The-Top (OTT) services using Apple and Google Push Notification Services.

Introduction

VoIP Systems are seen as complex communication infrastructures even from a high level perspective, but they’re not. Well, VoIP is in fact complex in its details, but it has been abstracted by various projects in order to make it really straight-forward to use it, so it’s easy to start a compelling voice/video communication system or service (which I’ll name “VoIP system” or “VoIP service” throughout the document) from scratch, but it’s important to learn a few facts about it in order to choose the right base system for successfully running a VoIP service.

The Basics

VoIP just means “Voice over IP”, which is a generic term for transporting real-time voice sessions over the Internet. However, it doesn’t define HOW this is done, and even the term “Voice” is a bit misleading, because with the very same concept, you can transport also Video and Fax over an IP connection.
There are a couple of elements involved when you’re talking about a VoIP system:
SPCE environment
To sum it up, there are SIP Endpoints, which are the client instances of your customers. These could be software installed on your customer’s computers (popular software is Jitsi, an open source and cross-platform communications client, or Bria, a commercial multi-platform client for Windows, iOS and Android). Other possibilities are SIP phones like SNOM phones or Polycom Phones.
Beside the customer facing end points, there are SIP gateways which translate VoIP into traditional fixed-net and mobile networks. They pretty much act like customer facing clients, but usually are able to handle multiples of parallel calls. They are usually connected via multiple ISDN E1 or T1 lines, and sometimes an SS7 control layer is used on top.

How does SIP work?

In order to establish a communication session, you need a signaling protocol, which tells the involved parties who wants to communicate with whom, and which media capabilities might be used (e.g. plain voice, voice/video, fax etc.). There are several protocols out there, like Skype (a proprietary protocol) and H.323 (more or less obsolete since 2004) and the most important and nowadays most wide-spread one and the one we’re concentrating here: SIP, the Session Initiation Protocol.

SIP Registrations

A very important part of VoIP is the registration of customer endpoints. It means if a customer starts its SIP client, the client tells the SIP server at which IP and port it is reachable in case there’s a call towards this customer. The call flow looks like this:
A SIP registration call flow
The important part, beside the authentication scenario which is a http digest authentication, is theContact header, which indicates at which IP:port the customer is reachable.
SIP Register Contact
So during start-up, the client tells the server the contact address it’s reachable for subsequent calls.

But what about real Phone Numbers?

Ok, so we learned that alice@example.com can contact bob@example.com if bob@example.com registered up-front (telling the SIP service provider at which IP:port he’s reachable), and vice versa. But what about real phone numbers?
In order to receive calls from the PSTN (public switched telephony network), your SIP service provider needs to map a PSTN number to your SIP URI, e.g. he needs to know that alice@example.com is an equivalent to for example +43 1 1001. If somebody calls 4311001 in the PSTN, it’s routed through the telephony network down to your service provider, which holds ownership of that number. The service provider is now responsible to translate the number to a corresponding SIP-URI, and then route the call to the IP:port where this user is registered.

How about a Video Stream?

The important thing here is that any media stream in SIP signalling is negotiated end-to-end. This means that if alice@example.com calls bob@example.com, alice proposes a list of media sessions (e.g. audio with a specific list of codecs, and video with a specific list of other codecs), and bob compares this list with its own capabilities and then replies with a (potential) sub-set of the offer from alice. So if alice proposes an audio and video call, but bob doesn’t have a web-cam, he’ll reply with a sub-set of alice’s offer, which only contains the audio-part. However, if bob has a web-cam, we’ll reply with an according answer telling alice that both audio and video streams are available.

Conclusion

If you want to work with “VoIP”, you most likely will work with the SIP Protocol. SIP will allow you to do two-way, end-to-end communication, but you’ll need SIP clients to attach to a system like this. Do you need do pay for an external service in order to start a VoIP system? No!

What’s next?

The next post will describe how you can use the open source Sipwise sip:provider CE to build a VoIP system from scratch within an hour. It’ll show how you can create a Skype-like service within your network using IPv4, IPv6, TLS and SRTP.
Follow us at Twitter and Facebook for updates and new posts.

Android 4.4 KitKat release date, news and rumors

Having long expected version 5.0 of Android to be given the code name Key Lime Pie, Google instead handed the 'K' release name to Android 4.4 and in a weird cross-promotional deal it called it Android KitKat.
As part of the deal Nestle is running a contest to win aNexus 7 or Google Play credit through specially branded Kit Kat bars.
So, apart from the fact that the chocolate bar has a space between Kit and Kat and Android 4.4 doesn't. what do we know about KitKat so far?

Android 4.4 release date

Android 4.3 recently arrived on the Nexus 7, Nexus 7 2012, Nexus 4, Nexus 10 and Samsung Galaxy Nexus but is yet to roll out to other devices. It'll also be arriving 'soon' on the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 Google versions, with HTC saying it expects to push it out to developers by the end of September.
So now we can start to look forward to the Android 4.4 KitKat release date. But when? We'll take a guess at late October or early November 2013 for now - which is when we were previously expecting to see Android 5.0 break cover.
Cut to the chase
What is it? A minor upgrade for Android, to follow on from Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
When is it out? The rumors say October 18, 28 or 31
What will it cost? Nothing, it'll be a free upgrade
On September 20 Nestle Germany confirmed an October launch for Android KitKat on its German KitKat Facebook wall, replying to a question with a translated message which reads: "Hi Tim, Android 4.4 KIT KAT is available in October".
A release date earlier tipped to Ausdroid which turned out to be incorrect was October 14, as was October 15 which was a date supposedlyoverheard at Google's October Launchpad developer event.
Writing on his Google+ page on 3 October, Artem Russakovskii of Android Police said that the Android 4.4 release date is actually October 31, a date that was set some time in early September.
"Dates do change, and my information is about a month old, so if KitKat or the Nexus are delayed, Google may not hit the October 31 date," wrote Russakovskii. "I really don't see them finishing everything early, so I wouldn't bet on anything earlier than that date."
Russakovskii added that this date fits with a rumoured October 14 TA (Technical Acceptance) date for the next Nexus, which had been earlier misinterpreted by the media as the release date.
Update: Google seems to be playing a bit of a game with us now after posting a couple of teasing statues on its official Google+ KitKat page which the world has taken to be a series of cryptic clues. Are they right? We'll let you decide.
Our video below rounds up what we know so far.

Android 4.4 features

Android 4.3 came with a few minor upgrades including better multi-user customisation, support for Bluetooth smart technology and an updated keyboard. As a minor release, Android 4.3 didn't even get its own desert-themed name, sharing the Jelly Bean moniker with Android 4.1 and 4.2.
So with a brand new code name, we can expect Android 4.4 to bring some bigger changes, but all Google is saying at this stage is: "It's our goal with Android KitKat to make an amazing Android experience available for everybody."
From this, we can assume that Google wants to get Android onto less powerful devices, something we were previously hearing about Android 5.0 when it was claimed that the new OS would be optimised to run on devices with as little as 512MB of RAM.
We also learned from Android Central back in February 2013 that Google is working with the Linux 3.8 kernel. One improvement that this kernel brings is lowered RAM usage, which fits with Google's goal of bringing Android to more devices.
The source who tipped Ausdroid with the October 14 release date also leaked some supposed details of the new OS, confirming that it would be available for "older phones", adding that it would also bring gallery visualization tweaks, new animation APIs, new notification widgets and the ability to change the Android default blue to other colors.
Leaked screenshots sent to 9to5Google, as well as other sites, show what might be a sneak peak at the Android 4.4 phone and messaging apps. The screenshots show a cleaner design and a lighter colour, plus a status bar that changes colour according to the colour scheme selected.

Android KitKat
Are these KitKat's phone and messaging apps? [Image credit: 9to5Google]

However, Android Police appears to have received the same screenshots, and having taken a close look at them, it reckons that they're actually either full-screen mockups or a custom ROM.
An image that Android Police is more positive about is one of a Korean keyboard that was posted to Google Play. In a small change, that shot shows that the status bar icons have changed from blue to gray. Thoseimages on Google Play have since been replaced with Jelly Bean screenshots.
screenshot unearthed by Myce suggests that Android 4.4 may indeed come with themes as the icons in the notification area for the image that the site found on the Chromium bug tracker (shown below) are blue. Myce adds: "we found references to theming in the log file but are unsure if it will really become a feature." Android Community reckons the screenshot was taken on a Nexus 4 running KitKat.

Android KitKat themes
Does the change in icon colors signal Android themes ahead?

Another set of snaps claiming to show Android 4.4 running on a Nexus 4 reveal that the KitKat update could sport a re-designed settings menu complete with a print function, plus new photo editing tools in the gallery.

Android 4.4 KitKat
How would you like your print? [Image credit: Android Authority]

On October 4, Android Police's Artem Russakovskii floated the rumorthat Hangouts in Android 4.4 will take care of sending and receiving text messages.
"In fact, the Messaging app is gone and is fully replaced by Hangouts, at least on the Nexus device that was being tested. It should be able to handle MMS as well," he wrote.
That rumor was upgraded to a likelihood of "9 out of 10," by Android Police on October 8, which also posted some screenshots to support the rumor. Android Police reckons that video sharing will be integrated with Hangouts as well.

SMS in Google Hangouts
SMS in Google Hangouts [Image credit: Android Police]

Talking of Messaging, Google confirmed on its Android Developers Blog that KitKat will enable people to choose their default app for sending and receiving SMS messages. This suggests that the Messaging app may not vanish, and you'll be able to choose Messaging, Hangouts or a third-party app to handle your messages.
Android Police also reckons that location settings will be getting a refresh, with new Location Mode checkboxes enabling you to choose which methods apps on your handset can use to determine your location (GPS, Wi-Fi and mobile, Wi-Fi and mobile only, GPS only). Apparently, you'll also be able to see which apps have recently made a location request.
As the KitKat release date approaches, it seems the leaks keep on coming. On October 11, a series of screenshots of what is supposedly Android 4.4 running on a Nexus 5 turned up on Italian site Tutto Android. The shots show a less cluttered, flatter interface, with Google Now being given more prominence.
One of the shots posted on Tutto Android also shows a new option under Settings called 'Tap & Pay', suggesting that Google Wallet may be more integrated into Android 4.4.
We also learned on October 14 that Android 4.4 may bring an 'always listening' feature. A leaked build of KitKat running on a Nexus 5 apparently responded to "OK Google" and "OK Google Now" from the home screen.
Find out what other changes we expect to see in Android 4.4 in the video below.

Android 4.4 phones

In a commercial for its new operating system, Google revealed what seems to be the long-awaited Nexus 5.

Android KitKat
Is this the first Android KitKat handset?

Shown off in a 38 second advert, the new Nexus handset looks to be equipped with a large camera and a matte black finish, carrying an LG logo on the back.
Google has since taken the video down, leading to further speculation that it did indeed reveal the Nexus 5.
An Android 4.4 powered Nexus 5 supposedly raised its head again on 16 September where it was seen flaunting its stuff in a bar. 9to5Google posted photos and video of what might be the new Nexus, apparently left there plugged in and unsupervised by a Google employee so that an eagle-eyed bar worker was able to snap some photos and shoot a video.
In Samsung's camp, Android 4.4 will be coming to the Galaxy S4 Mini and the Samsung Galaxy Mega, if supposed internal Samsung documentsobtained by Sam Mobile are genuine. If those handsets are getting the update, it's a no-brainer to assume that KitKat will also be landing on theGalaxy S4, the Galaxy Note 3, the Galaxy S4 Active, the Galaxy S4 Zoom and the recently announced Samsung Galaxy Round.

Android 4.4 tablets

On October 14, Android 4.4 was spotted running on a new Nexus 7,according to leaked photos posted by ZDNet. Changes include round icons for apps including Google Search, Google Settings and Voice Search, while Quickoffice may become a default app now that it's free to use.

An Android 4.4 watch?

Android Police's Artem Russakovskii reckons we'll see a Google Watch - possibly called the Google Gem - announced on October 31, and that the watch will be running Android 4.4. It's been rumored for some time that Google is working on a smartwatch, and if Android 4.4 is indeed optimized for low-powered devices then it could be the perfect OS for it.

Android KitKat may launch on October 28

In case you haven’t noticed, Kit Kat has been going a bit crazy on Google+. Yesterday, the company posted a photo of a dancing Android-shaped Kit Kat bar on the day that some (definitely not all) thought Google would announce Kit Kat and the Nexus 5. That didn’t happen, and Kit Kat is still posting as many cryptic messages on Google+ as they can.
Kit Kat this is it
This time, it was a picture of Kit Kat bars arranged to spell out “This is it.” And, quite literally, that’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. There was no #Android, no Android mascot, or anything else to help rabid fanatics everywhere figure out what this meant. That said, we were still curious to hear your thoughts, and posed the question to you on Google+. The responses? Nothing short of hilariously ridiculous.
One reader, Richard Colon, was the first to suggest Kit Kat was referring to Michael Jackson’s “This is It,” a 2009 documentary that launched on October 28th. This is where the October 28th train got rolling.
Reading further, the silliness really started when user Liam Muller jokingly suggested the following:
If you also look, it takes 16 wafers to make “THIS IS IT” and today is the 16th of October so today might be the day :)
So now we have the 16th and the 28th, but Ed Carter suggests we’re all thinking about it wrong: Michael Jackson’s “This is It” tour eventually got cancelled, which could mean Android 4.4 Kit Kat or the Nexus 5 got cancelled. I know. Just bear with me.
Richard chimed back in a bit later to remind us that yesterdays “Everybody Dance Now” teaser shares the name of the hit song by 28th Street Crew, which he believes lends more credence to seeing Kit Kat and/or Nexus 5 on the 28th.
Android KitKat dancing Google Plus
Finally, Haaris Edhi decided to drop their 2 cents and let us know that there are “8 letters in “this is it” and 2 sentences, meaning October 28.” We’ve all obviously gone off the deep end here, and perhaps that’s what makes this entire thing genius by Kit Kat and Google.
They know how crazy we get over this stuff. They know that one image alone is enough to send the hype meter through the roof, and they know they have us right where they want us — salivating for Android 4.4 Kit Kat just as much as most chocolate lovers salivate for an actual Kit Kat bar.

Android 4.4 KitKat May Be Dominated By The 'Google Experience

The stated goal of the next version of Google’s Android operating system—4.4 “KitKat”—is “to make an amazing Android experience available for everybody.”
What does that mean? It is odd and cryptic … and the only thing we officially know about what Google is going to do with KitKat. If we piece together some of the rumors swirling around what Android 4.4 will entail and combine it with what we know about how Google has been updating Android and its pertinent features over the last year, we get a pretty good idea. 
It leads us to a new Android experience. What some people are calling “the Google Experience.”

Waiting For The Big Android Update

Android 4.4 KitKat is expected to be announced by the end of October. The hype cycle is beginning to hit full tilt as stream of leaks and rumors illuminate what Google will unveil the next version of Android and the flagship smartphone that will accompany it, the Nexus 5.
KitKat will be the first new named version of Android in more than a year since Jelly Bean 4.1 was introduced at Google’s I/O developer conference in the spring of 2012. Google has offered up two updates to Android since then—versions 4.2 and 4.3—that have both been rolled up in the Jelly Bean moniker. Now that Google is almost ready to unveil the “K” desert version of Android (Google normally names each new version of the operating system after sweet treats in alphabetical order), users, developers, manufacturers and consumers are expecting a lot.
The last two versions of Jelly Bean haven’t given us a ton to be excited about. The biggest feature in version 4.3 was the integration of Bluetooth Low Energy to the Android hardware specification along with OpenGL for Embedded Systems. These are good updates for app developers out there but leave much to be desired for users that are looking for a fresh coat of paint and improved user experience. 

The Google Experience

In that vein, the rumor mill points towards a major feature that will change some of the fundamental usability of Android: the “Google Experience.” 
Source: Android PoliceSource: Android Police
The Google Experience Launcher is rumored to be a hub launcher for Google apps and widgets on Android devices. Google Experience will be a form of launcher within Android that will not be tied specifically to version 4.4 KitKat but will rather be an app through the Google Play app store that will be compatible with devices running Android back to version 2.2 Froyo. 
A launcher is also known in general terms as a “skin” but the terms are not mutually exclusive. The Google Experience Launcher is rumored by the blog Android Police to be a widget that live on the Android homescreen in which Google features like Search and Google Now are heavily integrated, can read the data within the widget and update itself. A launcher would also control aspects such as app folders and homescreens (which are rumored to be infinite instead of limited to five as they are in current builds of Android).
What would Google Experience mean for Android users? Speculation is that KitKat 4.4 will enable support for lower-end Android devices. Google Experience would likely be the vehicle for that. 
If you have been following the evolution of Android as an operating system, you will note that the Google has made some pretty significant changes to how Android works on a smartphone. In the past, Google used to tie almost all of the functionality of its own apps to the Android kernel. That meant developers and consumers would need a certain version of Android to get new features. Wanted the latest update to the Google Play app store (formerly Android Market)? You needed to update your Android software. How about the latest APIs and user interface in Google Maps and Navigation? Update Android. Gmail, Calendar, Talk (now Hangouts) or any other Google service? It was tied to the Android kernel.
Google changed all of that with the release of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, decoupling its own apps from the Android operating system. Instead of being tied to Android, features and APIs like Maps either stand alone as their own apps that live in the Google Play store and/or are tied to what is called Google Play Services.

Google Experience As A Front-End Extension Of Google Play Services

Google Play Services is what is known in the computing world as a “shim.” Here is the definition of a shim, from Wikipedia:
In computer programming, a shim (from shim) or shiv is a small library that transparently intercepts an API and changes the parameters passed, handles the operation itself, or redirects the operation elsewhere. Shims typically come about when the behavior of an API changes, thereby causing compatibility issues for older applications which still rely on the older functionality. In such cases, the older API can still be supported by a thin compatibility layer on top of the newer code. Web polyfills are a related concept. Shims can also be used for running programs on different software platforms than they were developed for.
In Android, Google Play Services is a stand-alone app that runs in the background. It updates itself with functionality directly from Google without the user doing anything. It downloads its own code and enacts its own functionality. For example, if there is an update to the Google Play Store or Maps, it is downloaded and implemented through Google Play Services. 
If the Google Experience is really going to be a primary feature in KitKat 4.4, as the rumors say it will, then what Google is doing is giving Google Play Services a front-end user interface for Android devices. 
By extension, the Google Experience can be transported back to older versions of Android. If we look at the definition of a shim in that, “the older API can still be supported by a thin compatibility layer on top of the new code” then it is possible for Google to bring just about all of the Android features and functionality that are not explicitly tied to hardware back to any phone running a previous version of Android. 

Computer Hacking Laws: Are These Laws Really Effective?

The news said that another person had their identity stolen. It happened again. You might even know of someone that had it happen to them. We often hear of percentages - and they are surprisingly high.
Enforcement is taking place, but we have to wonder if computer hacking laws are really having any effect against cyber hacking. This article will show what is being done against cyber crime.
Defining Cyber Crime
Hacking has a rather simple definition to it. Basically it is defined as the unauthorized use of a computer - especially when it involves attempting to circumvent the security measures of that computer, or of a network.

Hacking is not difficult to learn. Unfortunately, it may be too easy for someone that has a little time on his hands. This becomes especially obvious when it is found that a number of the hackers, at least those that are caught, are often only in their teens.

Beyond this, there are two basic types of hacking. Some only hack because they want to see if they can do it - it is a challenge to them. For others, however, it becomes an attack, and they use their unauthorized access for destructive purposes. Hacking occurs at all levels and at all times - by someone, for some reason. It may be a teen doing it to gain peer recognition, or, a thief, a corporate spy, or one nation against another.
Effectiveness of Computer Hacking Laws
Like any other law, the effectiveness must be determined by its deterrence. While there will always be those that want to see if they can do it, and get away with it (any crime), there are always the many more who may not do something if they are aware of its unlawfulness - and possible imprisonment.

In the early 1990's, when hacker efforts stopped AT&T communications altogether, the U.S. Government launched its program to go after the hackers. This was further stepped up when government reports (by the GAO) indicate that there have been more than 250,000 attempts to hack into the Defense Department computers. First there were the laws - now came the bite behind it. One of the effects of computer hacking brought about focused efforts to catch them and punish them by law.

Then, more recently, the U.S. Justice Department reveals that the National Infrastructure Protection Center has been created in order to protect our major communications, transportation and technology from the attack of hackers. Controlling teens and hackers has become the focus of many governmental groups to stop this maliciousness against individuals, organizations, and nations.

How Many Modes of protection from hacking

Modes of protection from hacking

There are most widespread means of account-hacking and ways to prevent them.

The Password-theft
Strange though, most often the account-theft happens because the player himself informs the malefactor of his access-data. You may have given your login and password to your friend whom you have quarreled afterwards. The offended friend can steal your character or hand over access-data to someone another.

Though in internet or in our game it is easy to make virtual friends, you should beware of them. Consider isn’t someone trying to gain your confidence in order to get the data concerning your account?

Sometimes a malefactor addresses to the player on behalf of an official of support service. Remember that the real official of support service would never ask you to tell your password, so ignore such requests.

If you play in a public place (game club or internet-café) ensure that nobody is standing behind you while you are entering your password and always disable the access to your computer while you are off for some time.

The hacking of e-mail box or account on the other site
The malefactor can make an attempt to hack your e-mail box. Getting an access to your e-mail, he would use the “New password” page of our site and intercept the message with password-replacement reference and you’ll be left with nothing.

Unfortunately, often it is far easier to hack the e-mail box than our game-server. Therefore use only approved and trustworthy mail services and never hand over the access-data to your e-mail. We also recommend despite the time-economy not to save the password and always type it and login entering the system.

When you register on the other sites don’t use as login or password your game-data, it also concerns unofficial sites of AWplanet and clan-sites. Not so much because of possible malicious intent of site-keepers as because their security measures might be noticeably poorer than our.

The Password fitting
Some malefactors fit the passwords to accounts that are of interest to them by sorting out. We have the protection from such actions on our site, but the possibility of fitting password and login still remains. And the more he knows about the easier to him would be to find out the data.

In order to minimize the risk do not reveal your account-name to anyone (it shouldn’t coincide with your character name) and use complicated password, which is difficult to fit. Some ideas to invent a difficult password:

Alternate capital and lower-case letters in random order
Use figures instead of letters – e.g. “3” instead of “E” and “1” instead of “I”
Try to type some word with the keyboard layout of other language. e.g. Russian word “Pезультат” will look like “Htpekmnfn”
The ideal password is a random sequence of figures and letters, e.g. 8EHnL4K8

The trojan program
The trojan program is another way to steal your account. Yielding the stranger’s promises you download and launch some useful utility or mini-game. That is the “trojan” settles into action and is able to send any kind of your data to the malefactor or change your game-password. Not to catch up a “trojan” perform the following recommendations:

Do not download and activate the programs from sites that are unknown to you.
Install an antivirus program and update it regularly.
Check on the content of viruses all the downloaded from internet programs.

There are some popular programs which would help you to protect your computer:

The Doctor Web antivirus – http://www.drweb.ru
The AVP antivirus – http://www.avp.ru
The Firewall-program ZoneAlarm – http://www.zonealarm.com
The AdAware program which detects “trojans” and spy-programs – http://www.lavasoft.com

The hacking of computer
The malefactor may hack your computer. His aim is to get some personal data that are stored on your hard disc. He may reach his aim by using the hole in your operating system.

To get into your computer the malefactor must know your IP-address. Each computer connected with internet has its own unique IP-address. It looks like 152.168.0.15. Your IP-address may be revealed if you use programs like ICQ or IRC, launch clients of P2P-nets. Knowing your IP-address, hacker can get an access to the files through the security-hole in your system. To avoid this keep the following recommendations:

Download and install your operating system updates regularly
Install firewall-program which would disable the access to your computer from internet
Allow access only for those applications that your trust completely
For the game you should open of the following ports: 21, 80, 443 or 2049
Don’t leave your computer on for a long time (e.g. during the night)
Otherwise your put it under a threat of consecutive hack

Some hackers scan all the computers throughout on the presence of security-holes and infect them with viruses and trojan programs, the more a computer is in internet, the bigger a risk of infection.

Restrict the net-access to your computer, don’t enable access to catalogs and especially to hard discs.
IP-address protection

In favor of security we recommend to install the IP-address protection. It means that access to the game and site would be permitted only from those IP-addresses that you install. To install this protection use the “IP-address protection” page. Here you can enter from one to four pairs of “IP-address/masks” which correspond to the addresses of computers by which you enter the game or site.

The IP-address of your computer may be changed and you won’t be able to enter the game. After any attempt of access from “dangerous” IP-addresses you’ll get on your e-mail a message with reference to the page on which you can change the protection-settings. This page can be used only by you yourself, the malefactor wouldn’t get on it.

If you are sure that you yourself were entering from the “dangerous” IP-address, add to the IP-address list and continue the game. If you suspect that an attempt of account-hacking took place immediately inform the support service. And, please, do not forget to indicate the IP-address involved in attempt.

How To Avoid Computer Viruses?

Computer viruses are as old as the personal computer. So, in order to prevent computer viruses, every PC user needs to acquire determined computer skills. For example, how to install programs, make software upgrades, configure a firewall or how to setup an anti-spyware program.
All of these skills will help you avoid computer viruses. However, if we want to fight our enemy effectively, we need to know what it is.
What Is A Computer Virus?
A computer virus is a software program that has been created by a human. The intention of the virus is to cause chaos and destruction to the computer. Although most of the cases it is limited to the software, there have been some instances in which a virus had damaged a piece of hardware.

Fortunately, hardware damage is very scarce. The only way in which a virus could damage a piece of equipment is by exploiting a glitch in the programming. For example, it could slow down the speed of the processor's fan. That way the processor overheats and melts down.
How To Prevent Computer Viruses
How can we prevent computer viruses is the big question that millions of users make everyday. The first rule in this eternal battle for computer security is to have an up-to-date antivirus. Notice the word up-to-date. That means that your antivirus software needs to be updated every day. Viruses are always appearing, so do not sub estimate them. In less than 24 hours your antivirus could be obsolete.

The next important rule is still related to actualizations. Although you may have your antivirus updated, that doesn't mean that there are other weaknesses in your system. As a matter of fact, there isn't an unbreachable computer. Even the most expensive system can be cracked by an expert.

So, it doesn't matter if you have a guardian dog tied at the front entrance of your house if your windows are open. That's why the rest of your software needs to be updated. The first piece of software that needs to be actualized is the operating system.

Almost eighty percent of the world uses Microsoft software. Hence, it is the favorite victim of black hat hackers. Configure your Windows configuration so it can make automatic actualizations that can prevent computer viruses.

The same thing goes for productivity software like Microsoft Office or even entertainment software like computer games. All software is under constant changes once it is delivered into the market. Consider the millions of possible configurations that a computer program needs to affront once it is introduced.

Is My Computer Safe From Hackers


Is A Hacker Is Using Your Computer

A good friend of mine called me one day and told me his computer was running particularly slow and the odd thing was it was worse in the evening. I took a look at his computer and found that someone had got into it and was storing large (I mean Large) amounts of Pornography, Stolen Software, Music and Videos, on it. Most "Hackers" are not looking to do something to your computer that you will immediately be aware of. They are looking for what is called "staging areas" where they can store things for distribution or later use. Can you imagine how my friend felt once I showed him what was on his computer! This happens all the time. There are organizations out there who are paid by the Entertainment Industry, the Government, and other institutions who are looking for this type of issue. If they locate these things on your computer, trying to prove that you had nothing to do with it could be a pretty difficult thing to do.

Are My Computers Safe From Hackers? 

The meaning of the term "HACKER" has really changed over the years.  Early on anyone who was considered a "HACKER" was someone who new the intricate workings of computers and various technology.  Someone who was considered to be a guru at what they did whether it be a programmer who wrote software or someone who knew everything there was to know about a particular Operating System.  These day's the moment someone hears the word "HACKER" it conjures up many thoughts and images.  Some people imagine a teenager sitting home writing programs to break into business computers or their school.  Others may imagine someone who attempts to access online computer systems such as Banks or Stores to commit fraud and make off with millions of dollars.  The fact is, all the above are pretty much true images of a HACKER.  It just depends on who it applies to!

What Can Hackers Do?

A few years back I'm sure we all remember hearing or reading about what websites were defaced that given week.  This in itself can be embarrassing for the website owner and was very prevalent.  It's not that this sort of thing does not happen anymore but it is eclipsed but the more serious things that take place.  Banks being defrauded by unscrupulous employees, Online Stores having their patrons credit card information ripped off, and a host of other more serious actions.
The reality is that as network systems become more complex and widespread, the opportunities for those who wish to compromise or HACK computers become much greater.  Take a look at this Threat and Trend graphic.  It will layout just a few entry points and opportunities for hackers!
As a home or small business computer user there are many ways you could be at risk.  Many people store their financial information on their computers using a simple spreadsheet or document, or maybe something like Quicken / QuickBooks accounting.  Many people store all their logins and passwords in plain text documents on their computers.  How many people store information regarding their medical conditions on their computers.  Computers are there to make our lives more simple and provide us with a means to store all of our most important information.  What if this information were in the hands of someone else?  What could happen;
  • Is it possible for someone to assume my identity if they access the above information;
  • Can someone find out what all of my logins and passwords are;
  • As a business owner do I need to be concerned about corporate fraud;
  • Is it possible for a hacker to steal my companies intellectual property;
  • Can an unauthorized person access my company's sales information including clients and prospects;
  • And, as a home user, or small business owner, could I be held liable for something someone else does with my computer?
The answer to all the above is, yes!  If your computers are not properly configured, kept up-to-date with patches, or secured against the most common types of attacks you are at risk!
Take a look at the following Threat Spectrum to get an idea of the potential risks!
There are new vulnerabilities for computers found almost everyday.  If you are not diligent in keeping your computers up to date and secured you can expect (it's just a matter of time), that in one way or another your system will be compromised.
Over the years, we have seen just about everything under the sun when performing small, medium, or large computer security assessments;
  • Home computers being used to relay information and stolen software;
  • Business computers being used to store stolen software as well as distributing it;
  • Employees using their work computers to run businesses such as pornography sites;
  • Ex-employees still accessing their work computers because of the lack of security;
  • People trying to extort or intimidate others using information they gathered from unsecured computers;
  • The potential for civil and criminal legal action against users for participating in malicious tasks;
and that's just to name a few of the things we have seen!
Don't underestimate what can happen to you.  Human beings are very risk adverse however we are also very bad at determining the real risks.  Many people are afraid to fly in planes but have no qualms about climbing up a 10 foot later to change old ceiling fan without cutting the electricity first. You have more of a chance climbing that ladder, getting shocked, falling and breaking your neck than going down on a plane. This seems to apply to many methods of analyzing risks.
Think about this. In testing where we placed out-of-the-box computers on the Internet it takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes before it's hacked or compromised in some way or another.

How Do Hackers Do it?

Although this section of this article could be a book in itself (and will be), hackers have many tools available to them to perform their tasks.  Many of these tools are available free on the Internet.  You just need to know what you are looking for and where to look for it.
When hackers find new ways to break into computers or defeat certain security measures they will often write automated tools they can then use and distribute to other hackers.  Again, many of these tools are available on the Internet and just about anyone can use them.
In many cases, because of the lack of security, many hackers don't need special tools to access your computer.  The Operating System and the commands that are available may be all the hacker needs to remotely access your computer.
Remember, although it is not possible to configure most systems to be 100% secure, there are many steps that you can take, some simple and others drastic, to create a deterrence.  Hackers, unless they have the motivation, no limit on time, and no limit on cash, will typically search for the easiest target!
Don't give them the opportunity!

Why Should I be Concerned?

As you can see above, there are many reasons to be concern.  As a home user or small business, you should be diligent and protect yourself.  This does not mean that you should consume yourself with these efforts.  You should be diligent in your actions.  Taken even the most basic actions to secure your computers can help.
  • Protect information about your identity;
  • Use strong passwords when setting up user accounts;
  • Change your passwords on a frequent basis and don't give them out to anyone;
  • Update you computers Operating System with patches;
  • Install Anti-Virus software and keep it up-to-date;
  • If you do not have a hardware Firewall install a personal Firewall (The latest versions of Windows XP has a basic Firewall built in);
  • Install Anti-Adware / Spy-ware software and keep it up-to-date;
  • Don't assume that since the computer you use at home is just a home computer that you don't need a password to access it.  Especially if you are using Wireless Networking (That's a whole other story).

Conclusion

As you can see, everyone should be concerned about securing there computers against the potential of compromise of being hacked.  Believe me, you don't want to find yourself trying to figure out what to do next once your system has been compromised.  It is not a pleasant experience.

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