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Projects & Passions

Solution to Mal/Ad-Ware

Recently we worked on debugging a client's PC that had been accidentally infected with this Ad-Ware called Solution Real. It is supposed to offer coupons and discounts, but truly Solution Real acted like malware that bogged down browsers and made it impossible to interact with the web. Click here for our article on removing Solution Real (that may be useful for other types of ad-ware too).

Why a Duck?  

In our businesses, we all want to get found on the internet, and we all know the best search engine is Google. No surprise, and they do a lot of great things. Heck, Arrow-SEO would not be around if not for their work and the work of other major search engines, so we owe a lot to them all (we have Google code embedded on this site in fact). That search engines collect data should come as a surprise to exactly no one.

Why a Duck?

However, in your personal life, if you also wanted to guard your privacy, until recently, using a search engine meant sacrificing at least a little bit of anonymity. But since 2011 there's Duck Duck Go, a search engine that makes anonymous, private search its mission-calling. Just click on the the duck to give it a try!

go to StartPage!

If you still want to use Google's results and remain anonymous, give StartPage a try. They return your Google search terms but strip out your IP address for privacy.

Privacy With the World Watching

Internet Security and more importantly internet privacy developed into quite a topic in the last year. We all use the web, but for those who would like a little more anonymity while doing so, we recommend the following plug-ins which can be added to most browsers:

  • Ghostery
  • Ghostery provides an adjustable "teflon" shield against trackers, which are kind of like cookies, that a surprisingly large number of sites slap on you when you visit their site. They allow the site owners to track and monitor your on-line behavior. Yeah, creepy.

  • AdBlock Plus
  • Well this one is pretty self-explanatory; it blocks ads and pop-up windows in your browser. Sometimes you may want those ads, and just like the other tools listed here, you can personalize your settings.

  • No Script
  • Hacking and hijacking of Java and JavaScript has gotten so bad that in January of 2013 the US Government issued a warning that basically everyone should disable Java in their browsers. (Yes, we are aware of the irony of this in light of subsequent events.) Using the web without JavaScript? Good luck. No Script puts you in the driver's seat, allowing you via a simple pull-up menu to allow or block all sorts of scripts quickly and easily. The ONLY drawback is that, as of this writing, No Script is available solely for Mozilla FireFox (or SeaMonkey if you prefer).

Evidon, Inc. maintains Ghostery, while Adblock Plus and particularly NoScript encourage donations. Though offered free of charge, we at Arrow-SEO believe in supporting the open-source and free software movements and we enourage you to donate even one to five bucks if you find these programs useful. Because if everyone gave just a little, it could make a big difference for the continuance of these projects.

McGmail

Today, most people use IMAP eMail accounts to stay in sync on multiple devices, and for business purposes, you have to save every eMail. Trouble is, keeping them gobbles up valuable "cloud" space quickly and slows down your eMail, and if you delete them from the server, IMAP will delete your local copies next time it syncs up. Whaddaya do?

McGmail, a free open-source bash / shell script, saves you the wasted time and money of manually copying eMails to back-up folders by automatically copying all IMAP eMails over 120 days old to a duplicate directory tree. This allows you to then delete those older eMails off your IMAP account, thus freeing up valuable server / cloud space. You can read more details about McGmail here or you can just grab the McGmail script here.