Those Green Doublelined Words on a Web Page

When you surf, do you see random words or phrases with double underlines? When you move your mouse over them, they display an advertisement related to the underlined words.

This feature, called in-text advertising, turns appropriate words in the browser window into links to the advertiser’s website. These sites work with various companies to link to its advertisers. The browsers support these types of ads and they are created in such a way that most ad-blockers won’t block them. You can try to ignore them by not moving your mouse over them and if you happen to click on one, it will take you away from the current page. Some advertisors will allow you to disable the ads but you’ll have to go company-by-company.  To do so, follow these steps.

Step 1

Point to the double-underlined words, but **don’t click**! You’ll see an advertisement open in a small window near your cursor.

Step 2

If the advertisement is from Vibrant, in the upper right corner of the box, click the question mark button. A new browser window will open pointing to the Vibrant in-text advertising page. If you’re using WOT (Web Of Trust), you’ll get a warning about the site. Continue anyway.

Step 3

Point to the Disable tab. Click “Click here to disable.” It will let you know that to disable, you’ll need to have cookies activated and if you ever clean out your browser cookies, you’ll have to redo these steps.

Step 4

The page should update to now say “Click here to enable.”

Step 5

Close the browser window.

I’ve looked at other advertisors to see how to disable their ads and haven’t found any thing yet. I’ll continue to search though, short of installing a 3rd party program to block these ads.

Is Microsoft Finally Getting It Right with IE 8?

Two separate tests performed by NSS Labs measured protection against phishing and socially engineered malware across 5 browsers: Apple Safari 4, Google Chrome 2, Mozilla Firefox 3, Opera 10 Beta and Windows Internet Explorer 8.

One of the key things to note is that while the other browsers maintained or decreased protection between the two tests, Internet Explorer continued to improve its protection against cybercriminals.

“Socially engineered malware is the most common and impactful threat on the Internet today, with browser protection averaging between 1% and 81%. Internet Explorer 8 caught 81% of the socially engineered malware sites over time, leading other browsers by a 54% margin. Safari 4 and Firefox 3 caught 21% and 27% respectively, while Chrome 2 blocked 7% and Opera 10 Beta blocked 1%.

Phishing protection over time varied greatly between 2% and 83% among the browsers. Statistically, Internet Explorer 8 at 83% and Firefox 3 at 80% had a two-way tie for first, given the margin of error of 3.6%. Opera 10 Beta, exhibited more extreme variances during testing and averaged 54% protection. Chrome 2 consistently blocked 26% of phishing sites, and Safari 4 offered just 2% overall protection. Firefox 3.5 crashing issues prevented it from being tested reliably.”

Making a Web Page Link Do What You Want It To Do

Most people happily go about their web page surfing, left clicking on links as they go, just accepting that the link will either open in a new window, a new tab, or replace the page they are currently on, but never knowing what it will do until it’s clicked. If the last one occurs, and you weren’t ready to leave that page, you’re stuck hitting the back button to return to the page you were on but then you lose the page you linked to. A vicious cycle occurs.

Did you know that if you right click on the link, instead of left clicking, you can choose to open it in a new tab or new window yourself? That comes in real handy if you are doing research and want to keep different pages/tabs open.

Additionally, depending on which browser you are using, you will find other options under the right click menu. For example, you can copy the link, bookmark it, save it, WOT it, email it, etc.

How Can I Shorten Long Website Addresses?

On occasion, you will need to copy a website address into an email, or even worse, into Twitter. I say worse because Twitter only allows 140 characters and some website addresses that you want to share can take up most of that. As for pasting a website address into an email, depending on where you put it, it could wrap onto a second line and then when the recipient clicks on the shared link, it doesn’t pick up the entire link and they don’t get to benefit from the fantastic page you wanted to share.

When those situations arise, there are a couple of sites that will take the long address (URL) and shorten them. The one I use is called TinyURL. Just paste the website address in the top box,  click on the make tinyurl button, and then copy the resulting short url into Twitter or your email.  SnipURL is another site that does the same thing. is another that is really popular with Twitter and Facebook users. Definitely look at it as well.

Once you start using these programs to shorten your website addresses, you’ll find other reasons to use them besides sharing email links and Twitter.

Google fixes severe Chrome security hole | Webware – CNET

Google released a new version of its Chrome browser Thursday to fix a high-severity security problem.

The problem affects Google’s mainstream stable version of Chrome and is fixed in the new version (download). Google has built Chrome so it updates itself automatically with no user intervention, though the software must be restarted for the new version to run.

The security problem, reported April 8 by Roi Saltzman of the IBM Rational Application Security Research Group, allowed cross-site scripting attacks. Such methods can make a Web browser process unauthorized code such as JavaScript, enabling a variety of attacks, including impersonation or phishing.

Mark Larson, Google Chrome program manager, described the problem this way in a blog posting Thursday:

An error in handling URLs with a chromehtml: protocol could allow an attacker to run scripts of his choosing on any page or enumerate files on the local disk under certain conditions.

If a user has Google Chrome installed, visiting an attacker-controlled Web page in Internet Explorer could have caused Google Chrome to launch, open multiple tabs, and load scripts that run after navigating to a URL of the attacker’s choice. Such an attack only works if Chrome is not already running.

via Google fixes severe Chrome security hole | Webware – CNET.

Safe Surfing with WOT

WOT (Web of Trust) is a plugin I use to make sure that the websites I visit are safe. If you use Internet Explorer or Firefox, this is one plugin that you have to install.

Cloudeight Internet recently did a comparison of four different programs that rate the safety of websites, including Norton Safe Web, SiteAdvisor, Link Scanner and Web of Trust. You can see the results here. WOT would have protected you from every one of those sites. Those are sites which they felt are scams or which offer free downloads which they consider to be adware, spyware or malware. (Thank you Free PC Security)

WOT just release it’s latest version 3.5.  From WOT’s website, “Our new version adds protection levels to suit your every need – at every time in your life. Single adults can enjoy “Light” protection while surfing anywhere on the web. You get only a simple alert if you surf to a page with a poor reputation. Parents with young children can choose the “Parental Control” mode which blocks access to dangerous sites like pornography or hate sites.

WOT provides four convenient one-click protection options that can be changed instantly depending on the situation:

  • Light protection suits experienced Web users
  • Basic protection guides the user by giving warnings
  • Maximum Safety stops dangerous Web sites from loading
  • Parental Control blocks access to Web sites with a poor child safety rating and no rating at all”

Firefox users have a new shortcut to the WOT scorecard. Right click on any link and the menu includes the option to see the WOT scorecard. This is especially useful when you are surfing in a site with links but no WOT ratings.

After installing WOT, when you perform a search, the list of links will have a green, yellow, red or clear circle after them. Green means safe, yellow is warning, red is stay out and clear means it hasn’t been rated so you’re on your own. If you hover your cursor over the circle, it’ll further breakdown the ratings. At this time when seemingly innocent websites can wreak havoc on your computer, it’s critically important to have a way of knowing what’s safe and what’s not. With Web Of Trust, you have the knowledge.

You can download the Internet Explorer Plugin here and the Firefox plugin here

Goldstar – 1/2 Price Tickets to Some Great Events

If you live in or near, or are planning on visiting one of the following cities – Boston, Chicago, D.C. Metro, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, San Francisco – and would like to attend an event for 1/2 price, check out Goldstar.

Goldstar works with more than 3,200 venues and producers across the country, and offers the world’s largest selection of half price tickets. Some of the items they offer tickets to are: theater, comedy, sports, music, performing arts and even things like wine tastings, sushi making classes and rodeos. Since not every event sells out, instead of letting seats go empty, venues list them with Goldstar to sell to their members.

Some of the Venues Goldstar Works With:

STAPLES Center – Los Angeles
Madison Square Garden -New York
Cirque du Soleil – National Tour Dodger Stadium Los Angeles
Nokia Theatre Times Square -New York
Ahmanson Theatre -Los Angeles
AT&T Park -San Francisco
Verizon Center – Washington, D.C.
Arena Stage -Washington, D.C.
Steppenwolf Theatre -Chicago
Boston Symphony Hall -Boston

If you find an event you are interested in, you’ll have to sign up for a free membership in order to purchase. By being a member, you get emails with events coming up in your area, events you may not have even been aware of. We’ve seen a couple of plays, and though the seats weren’t front row, they were still very nice seats and the plays were top notch.

Internet Explorer compatibility in Firefox or Chrome

If you use Firefox or Chrome as your primary browser, you may have run into an internet page that works best under Internet Explorer, or actually requires Internet Explorer. I ran into this the other day when I was helping someone with a problem they were having in Yahoo Mail, in which the right-click copy/paste function wouldn’t work in Firefox but worked fine in IE. In researching it, I found that this problem has existed for quite a while. A day or so later, I was logging onto a site and it wouldn’t load, only to find out that Firefox wasn’t a supported browser.

The answer to these problems is a Firefox plug-in that you can find here ( It allows you to right-click a tab and render it as an IE tab. You can designate certain sites to open under the IE tab whenever you need to open them. Most importantly, it allows me to stay in Firefox for all of my other browsing. Really comes in handy.

In Chrome, this extension works wonderfully – (ignore the link to Firefox on this page). With this tool, you right-click on the page to have it rendered in Internet Explorer. Under IE Tab Options, you can set which version of IE you want to emulate, from versions 7 to 9.

Some Cool Technology I’ve Been Playing With

LeapFish is a multi-dimensional metadata search engine that combines the best of the web in a single search. It searches Google, Yahoo, MSN, Amazon, and Youtube. They recently released its new click free search interface that delivers search results as you type. The brand new search engine  now offers one of the world’s fastest search services with instantaneous results as each character of a search term is entered. Give it a try.

YouMail provides you with a free cell phone voicemail service that allows you to better express your personality and be more productive. YouMail users can personalize greetings based on caller ID recording greetings themselves, or easily choosing from a large and growing library of user-generated greetings and away messages. YouMail users can also access their cell phone voicemail over the Web or in their e-mail, to easily share special voicemails and save them forever. The service is free. When someone calls and goes to voicemail, they are actually leaving a message at YouMail. The program notifies you via text that you have an an email, and/or you’ll get the message in an email with a link to the voicemail, which you can listen to online.

WatchThatPage is a service that enables you to automatically collect new information from your favorite pages on the Internet. You select which pages to monitor, and WatchThatPage will find which pages have changed, and collect all the new content for you. The new information is presented to you in an email and/or a personal web page. You can specify when the changes will be collected, so they are fresh when you want to read them. The service is free!*

Tweak Internet Explorer’s Default Search Engine

Tweak Internet Explorer’s Default Search Engine

By default, Internet Explorer 7’s search box taps Windows Live Search–not the least bit surprising given that the latter is Microsoft’s baby. Unfortunately… hmmm, how to put this politely… Windows Live Search bites.

The good news is, there’s an easy to tweak Internet Explorer so it uses the search engine of your choice. Like, say, Google. Here’s how:

1. Start Internet Explorer.

2. Click Tools, Internet Options.

3. In the General tab, find the Search section and click Settings.

4. If Google is listed, click it and then click Set Default. If not, click Find more providers, then click Google and follow the instructions. As you’ll see, Google is just one of the available options.

That’s it! Now, when you click inside IE’s search box and type a query, you’ll get results from Google–or whatever search provider you set as the default.

Want to change it back? Click the pull-down menu on the right side of the search box and choose Change Search Defaults.

via Secret Tech Tips From Hassle-Free PC – PC World.