Mike Williams

Prevent malware changing your DNS with DNS Lock

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Freeware developer Sordum has released DNS Lock, a free tool which prevents malware (or anything else) changing your IPv4 DNS addresses. Launch the program’s single executable and it prompts you to enter your primary and secondary DNS IP’s.

DNS Lock offers you a choice of Open DNS and Google DNS Servers, too, although it only displays the raw IP addresses without identifying what they are.

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AllDup 4 finds visually similar images

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Freeware duplicate file finder AllDup has hit version 4.0 with some major additions and updates.

The program can now detect visually similar pictures in the image formats BMP, JPG, GIF, PNG and TIF, even if they’ve been flipped, rotated, reduced in quality or colors, or marginally cropped. Enhanced audio file scanning allows the program to find duplicate FLAC and MP3 files, even if they have different tags.

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Automatically clear your clipboard with ClipTTL

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You’re working away in one app, but realize you need data from another. So what? That’s what the clipboard is for: copy here, paste there and it’s sorted in seconds.

But the story isn’t over. The information you copied will remain in the clipboard until it’s replaced, visible to others, consuming RAM (maybe a lot, if it’s an HD image), and annoyingly appearing in other documents if you accidentally hit "paste".

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Screen recorders for Chrome: ViewedIt vs Openvid

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Recording what’s happening on your desktop can help you create presentations, share ideas, troubleshoot problems, or just impress others with your gaming skills.

Getting started is surprisingly easy. There’s no need for complex native clients, just installing a free Chrome extension like ViewedIt or OpenVid Screen Recorder could give you everything you need.

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SoftPerfect File Access Monitor now freeware

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The comprehensive hard drive activity tracker SoftPerfect File Access Monitor is now freeware. The program enables logging and filtering all the file system activity on a PC, including file creations, reads, writes and deletions.

Setup requires installing a service on your system. This isn’t as convenient as portable products, but does deliver more reliable results, and allows logging more of what’s happening as Windows boots.

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jpeg-recompress cuts image file sizes by 50-80%

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Jpeg-recompress is an unusual open-source tool which can cut JPEG file sizes by 50 percent or more.

The program works by intelligently selecting the lowest possible quality setting for your JPEG, which also has the minimum effect on its perceived visual quality. This is still lossy compression, and not something to use with images you might want to edit later. But it’s ideal for shrinking pictures you’d like to share elsewhere, perhaps on social networks, by email, or on your own websites.

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ESET unveils ESET Internet Security 10, ESET Smart Security Premium

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ESET has released two new products for home users, ESET Internet Security 10 ($59.99) and ESET Smart Security Premium 10 ($79.99).

ESET Internet Security 10 is essentially a revamped version of Smart Security, and extends ESET’s NOD32 Antivirus with a firewall, antispam, parental controls and more.

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IObit Advanced SystemCare 10 recognizes intruders with new FaceID

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IObit has released IObit Advanced SystemCare 10, its hugely comprehensive all-in-one PC optimization suite.

Top of the new feature list is FaceID, a clever tool which uses facial recognition to identify unauthorized users of your system, store their image and raise alerts.

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Avira ships all-in-one Avira Free Security Suite 2017

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Avira has released Avira Free Security Suite 2017, a comprehensive bundle of its antivirus, antiphishing, VPN and speedup products.

The package includes four products. Avira Free Antivirus keeps malware at bay, Avira Browser Safety blocks dangerous links, Avira Phantom VPN encrypts web traffic and masks your IP address, and Avira System Speedup optimizes your PC’s performance.

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Stop ransomware infecting your MBR with MBRFilter

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Cisco’s Talos Group has released MBRFilter, a Windows disk filter which prevents malware overwriting a drive’s Master Boot Record (MBR).

This can stop some ransomware variants -- Petya, Satana -- from installing and taking full control of your PC. Installation is straightforward. Well, mostly. Download the 32 or 64-bit version as appropriate for your PC, unzip the file, right-click MBRFilter.inf and select Install. Reboot when you’re asked.

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Lock down any PC with Simple Software Restriction Policy

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Simple Software Restriction Policy (SSRP) is a free tool which gives complete control over the folders where software can be executed.

Program Files, System and other folders are allowed by default. But commonly-exploited locations like your desktop and temporary folders are blocked, instantly protecting you from a host of potential threats.

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Photo-to-painting converter FotoSketcher gets a test Android release

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The popular PC "photo-to-painting" converter FotoSketcher is now available on Android in a very basic, advanced-user-only test release.

This alpha app is only available as a stand-alone .apk file, and if you manage to install it anyway you’ll find there’s only a single painting effect, and even that is a work-in-progress.

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Emsisoft ships Emsisoft Anti-Malware 12 with 3-for-1 license deal

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Emsisoft is celebrating the latest editions of its consumer security suites, Emsisoft Anti-Malware 12 ($39.95) and Emsisoft Internet Security 12 ($49.95), with a limited-time launch deal -- buying one license will cover you for up to 3 PCs.

The new builds aim to keep you safe from even the very latest ransomware with their improved behavior blocking.

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Wise Program Uninstaller removes Windows 10 Universal Apps

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Free cleanup tool Wise Program Uninstaller has been updated to version 1.97 with new support for removing Windows 10 Universal Apps.

It’s easy to use. The interface now lists apps along with your desktop applications, and to remove one you just select it and hit "Safe Uninstall".

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NirSoft's EncryptedRegView decrypts and displays secret Registry data

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NirSoft has released EncryptedRegView, a free tool which finds, decrypts and displays Registry data protected by Windows’ DPAPI encryption scheme.

DPAPI isn’t widely used, even by Microsoft products, but the program managed to find Outlook passwords, Microsoft Edge details and a few other interesting items on our test PC.

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