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By far the most frequently asked question I get from people is "How do I transfer a photo from my computer to my cell phone? (or vice versa)".

How to create ringtones for free with iTunes, and upload them to your cell phone with a USB data cable or a Bluetooth connection.

If you spend any time shopping on the Internet or reading email, then the answer to this question is most likely yes.

Most people don't realize just how many spyware programs are currently running on their computers. In fact, I thought my home computers were clean until I ran an antispyware program and found 444 various forms of spyware infections lurking on my system!

The program I used to clean my system was Spyware Doctor. I'll discuss it in more detail below, but first - here's some helpful information about malware, spyware, adware, trojans, and viruses:

What is Malware?
Malware is a generic term used to encompass malicious spyware, adware, Trojans, browser hijackers, keyloggers, dialers and tracking cookies.

Spyware is an application that makes use of your Internet connection, gathering and transmitting information on various activities you conduct on your computer to third-parties. This information is often collected and sent without your knowledge or consent. Like adware, spyware often installs as a third-party component bundled with a freeware or shareware application, which can make the distinction between the two somewhat ambiguous.

Trojans (also known as Trojan horses) can slip into your system and run without your knowledge. However, they are capable of possessing a variety functions. For example, some use your computer's modem to dial long-distance or toll numbers (like a dialer), potentially generating expensive phone bills. Unlike viruses and worms, Trojans do not replicate themselves.

Adware components install alongside a shareware or freeware application, after you have provided initial consent and bring targeted advertisements to your computer. These advertisements create revenue for the software developer. Adware displays web-based advertisements through pop-up windows or through an advertising banner that appears within a program's interface and can be very annoying.

Keyloggers, also known as 'key loggers' or 'keystroke loggers', these are programs that run in the background on your computer and are capable of recording every keystroke you make on your keyboard. Keyloggers can store such information, which could very well include personal details and passwords that you have typed into your computer, such that it can later be retrieved by third-parties.

Tracking Cookies - Internet browsers write and read cookies, which are small text files with small amounts of data (such as web site settings) which are placed onto your computer by visiting certain web sites. In many cases, cookies provide a benefit to users as they can retain settings for when you next visit a web site. In some instances, however, cookies are used to consolidate and track your behavior across different web sites, providing marketers with information about your web browsing habits.

As you can see, there are numerous ways that malicious software can barge into your system and make your life miserable. Some spyware programs can even collect your sensitive logon information, helping spyware vendors gain access to your financial accounts - personally I consider that a very high threat!

Fortunately there are programs like Spyware Doctor that will search and destroy these threats and keep your system protected from future threats. After running Spyware Doctor, it showed me a list of each threat on my system, along with a description of how dangerous it was.

Here's a link to a free Spyware Doctor download, which includes a free scan of your system. You'll be able to see how many threats are lurking around and will learn what kinds of damage they can do if left unchecked.

You might be surprised at what you find, and I recommend taking a few minutes to run the scan to make sure your system is clean.

If you own two or more computers, you can connect them together on the same network and gain some immediate benefits.

With two or more computers on the same network, you'll be able to print to the same printer, which is the set up I have at home. My wife's laptop is downstairs in the kitchen desk, and the printer is upstairs next to my workstation. We can both use the same printer, which means we don't have to keep a printer in the kitchen - a big plus for saving precious desk space.

You'll also be able to copy files from one computer to another if they're connected on the same network, and can even share an Internet connection.

To set up a home network on Windows XP, you'll need to run the Network Setup Wizard on each computer. Click the Start button and then select Control Panel --> Network and Internet Connections --> Network Setup Wizard.

Choose one computer to be the main server, through which the other machines will connect to the Internet. The other computers will then connect to the Internet through this main server.

Run the Network Setup Wizard on the other computer(s), but select the option to connect to the Internet through the first computer.

Give each computer a unique name and description, so they can be identified on the network.

Use the same WORKGROUP name on all your computers - this is how Windows figures out that they need to all be on the same network.


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