Category Archives: Tips And Tricks

How to Prevent Your Home WiFi From Being Burglarized

Home WiFi Burglary_HEADER

There is more than one type of burglary that can affect your home. One involves kicking in the door; another involves compromising your computer. And if the intruder in this scenario has compromised your wireless network, you might as well have given them a key to the front door.

Just as home wireless networks can offer you the freedom to access your online data untethered to a physical connection, if improperly configured, that same wireless local area network (WLAN) gives that freedom to an attacker.

Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to make sure your wireless connection is as secure as possible.

Step 1: Avoid Default Passwords
Setting up a router and leaving the default password of the administrator account in place is what in technical terms we call a very, very bad idea. The guest account default settings should be changed as well assuming that has been enabled. Once that is taken care of, the next step is to come up with a strong password to replace the one you just removed. Much has been written about the importance of developing complex passwords in the past. If you need a few tips, start by making sure that you mix letters and numbers into the password so that the password itself is not an actual word. Stay away from birthdays, names, or anything that could be easily guessable.

Step 2: Consider Changing the Default SSID Name
The service set identifier (SSID) is the public name of your wireless network. Many times, manufacturers will use the same SSIDs for all their products. Though this does not directly impact the security of your network, if an attacker identifies a default SSID, they may be encouraged to try to attack it under the assumption that the network may also use a default password and be insecurely configured. While some argue for hiding SSIDs altogether, in truth this has little effect on security. The SSID is not a network password after all, and there are a number of tools hackers can use to discover it.

Step 3: Protecting Access Points With Encryption
Encryption is a must for protecting your wireless network. The best answer for your encryption needs is WPA2 (WiFi Protected Access 2), which is stronger than its predecessor – WPA – as well as WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy), which preceded WPA and has been found to be riddled with security holes. Unlike other versions, WPA2 mandates the use of AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) algorithms for security. Though WPA2 is not supported by some older wireless cards and access points, try to go with the most secure option available whenever possible.

Step 4: Enable the MAC Address Filtering Feature
A media access control (MAC) address is a unique hardware identifier for your computer. By enabling MAC filtering, you can exercise more control over who can connect to your network by setting up a list of clients that will be allowed to join. Once it’s enabled, the router/access point will check the MAC address of any client that sends a request to join the network against that list. Those that are not on the list cannot join. This is not a solution for keeping an attacker off your network, as MAC addresses can be faked, so be sure to take other security precautions as well.

Step 5: Disable Remote Administration
Some wireless networking routers allow users to administer the router remotely from anywhere. If this is not absolutely necessary, there is no reason to keep this feature enabled. Doing so opens up a potential door to attackers who could exploit the situation to gain administrative access to your router over the Internet.

Remember, steel doors mean nothing if they are left open, so following a few basic steps should be step one in defending yourself from attackers.

Article by ZoneAlarm.   Our preferred free antivirus.

Windows XP No Internet After Installing SP3

If you cannot get on internet after you have installed service pack 3,  it might be that your DHCP server is no longer giving your PC the DNS server.   We have also noticed that Symantec Endpoint Protection randomly detects your DNS server as an attacker and blocks access to that IP.  For that this patch will not work,  either turn off the Threat Protection in SEP or configure your LAN IP range as exclusions in the Endpoint Protection Manager.


Try this windows update if your PC is not getting the DNS server settings.


xp sp3 dhcp dns patch

Telkom Fake Warning Email Scam

Received this email from one of our clients today.



This Email is from Telkomsa Communications. We have been monitoring this account through our server's log file and have noticed that this account is been accessed from different distinct location simultaneously as against webmail policy, for security purpose we will be shutting down this Account, unless you verify this account by filling out the outlined Information below or your account will be suspended within 24 hours for security reasons.
Username: …………………………..
Password: ………………………….
Date of Birth: ……………………..

Thanks for your attention to this request. We apologize for any inconveniences.
Warning!!! Failure to update this account after one weeks of receiving this warning will be tantamount to losing this account permanently.




Please not the non telkom return email as the first clue.  Secondly, Telkom or any other service provider will not ask you for your password.  They have no use for it. They can reset the password to anything of your choosing, but most times cannot check your old password. Thirdly, and probably most obviously, this client is not using TelkomADSL.  They are using our i-Connect DSL service. The Icon Era team requests all our valued clients to be vigilant and if the offer sounds too good to be true, it normally is.  If you have any doubt, feel free to phone the office on 0410040002 or email admin to confirm.

Apple I OS 5 (IOS5) Download Links for Download Manager

A few of my clients have been trying to update their Ipads with great frustration becuase the ios5 update keeps timing out.

BACKUP YOUR PHONE FIRST!!!!!! You have been warned!

here are the direct download links so you can use a download manager like Free Download Manager (FDM) from Remember to restart your browser after you install the download manager.

Also, you may have to configure your download manager first to monitor firefox and internet explorer or Chrome.

To do this, open FreeDownloadManager, click Options, click Settings, click Monitoring.

Tick firefox and internet explorer.  You are welcome to try google chrome, but the plugin did not work for me.

Then close all your browser windows and start your browser again for the new plugins to work.

Open this page again and click the correct link for your apple product


Build number is 9A334, these links are hosted on Apple’s servers, if you are having trouble downloading IPSW, right-click and choose “Save As”.

Save the file.

open I tunes put your mouse over the restore button hold the shift button click the right mouse and then click your iOS 5 update and it will up load that way .


All credits go to this site that finally helped me download this massive file


Skype 5.3

Be the first to use the new features

Download Skype 5.5 Beta for Windows

Instant message your Facebook friends from Skype.

Or if you are more cautious

more at

Videobash – More Addictive Than Youtube

I recently had to block find the cause of a high bandwidth usage at a client.  I was suspecting heavy facebook games or music downloading. One of the sales guys opened a site at 8 in the morning and watched video clips all day.  It is now blocked.  I tried this site at home and found out why he couldn’t stay off.  You can;t stop clicking 😉


And warn your spouses that they won’t see you for a few days


AVG 2011 standalone installer

Grisoft in their great wisdom have decided to constantly update the filenames of their downloads


Here is the page to download directly from avg

Slow Windows Because Of Old Drivers

With the rapid changing of technology, often we install new printers etc. We uninstall the old drivers, but most times some gets left behind. This builds up and slows down your PC.

Before you check! CREATE A RESTORE POINT

Here’s how to check

Click Start > Run…

Type cmd into the Open: textbox.

Click the OK button.

Type set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1 at the command prompt.

Type devmgmt.msc at the command prompt.

Click the OK button.

In Device Manager:

Click View > Show hidden devices from the menu.

All your non-existant products will sho up in light grey.

Some need to stay. eg vga, parport, serialport are all part of windows.

Some products like bitdefender antivirus create a new driver every time you boot your PC, making it incredibly slow. These normally are an 8 digit random driver in non plug and play devices.

Hyperterminal For Windows 7

One of the great mysteries of Microsoft is why they remove tiny programs from newer versions of their operating systems without offering any replacements.

Hyperterminal or hyperterm for short has been included in windows since windows 95. It is not used by the majority of people, but for some power users and technicians who need to use the serial port, it is invaluable. It is the only program i know that can transfer files using z-modem protocol over serial. I often need it to repair faulty mikrotik routeros boards like the RB532 that randomly loses its config. After much frustration abd looking for alternatives, hyperterm is now running on my windows 7 laptop. I now share it with you as a new years present.

Download Hyperterminal

Please feel free to comment on your experiences

Google Chrome Standalone Offline Installer

I have often battled installing google chrome on a pc with a slow or dodgy internet connection.  I normally have to take the pc back to the office and use our internet. That is until i found the offline installer. This allows you to download once and keep it on your flash drive to install.  This is also useful for pc’s using google chrome on an ingternal lan that do not have access to the internet.

the link is . This file at time of writing is just over 20MB