How to Use Data Encryption to Secure Your Computer Files

Data encryption is an important means of protecting your computer files. Essentially, encryption converts data into a form that prevents unauthorized people from accessing it. To decode encrypted data you use decryption technology to turn the encrypted data back into the original form.

History of Data Encryption

While data encryption and computer safety may be relatively new, data encryption on its own is not. Encryption and decryption have been used nearly as long as communication. For instance, in times of war communication transmissions were often written in a cipher to keep the enemy from discovering the orders of the troops.

Ciphers come in many forms, from switching around letters and numbers, to alternating letters with other ones, to even scrambling signals by using other frequencies. Some will even utilize complex algorithms to rearrange the information so that it cannot be deciphered by the enemy.

Once an encrypted signal has been sent out, the recipient has to decrypt it to view the data. A key is required to do this, which can be in the form of an algorithm. If someone who doesn’t have the key is trying to decrypt the information, a computer can be used to look for patterns that will allow them to break the cipher. The more complex the algorithm, the harder it is to decode.

Protecting Yourself with Encryption

If you handle any sensitive information on your computer, encryption is a must for you. You can purchase encryption technology that will do the work for you and this will greatly aid in your efforts of halting others from stealing your data.

It is specifically important to use date encryption if you do most of your work via laptop or other portable device. Besides the risks that are associated with transmitting data wirelessly, it is all too easy to have a laptop or other portable device stolen.

If your information is not encrypted on this device, then you have opened the door for the thief to access all of your stored information. Make sure that you store any algorithms or decryption keys in a secure location. Storing that information with the same computer or device that holds the encryption will also make it too easy for others to access the information.

There are two main types of full disk data encryption that you can use. There is the hardware form that is offered by the same company that creates the computer drive, and there is the software version that is sold as an option for laptops and other devices.

Drive-level encryption can be hard to manage, which is why stand alone data encryption software is gaining in popularity. BitLocker, McAfee Endpoint Encryption, and SafeGuard Easy are examples of such programs.

Keep in mind that if you hard drive fails, you’ll have no way to recover your data. Therefore, it is very important that you have a strict backup policy for any encrypted information. You also have to make sure that someone in your company has the ability to access the information even if an employee quits. Therefore, understanding the regulatory issues behind your software is a must.

Encryption prevents one person or transaction from ruining your business. Remember, all it takes is one small piece of confidential information escaping and you could have a disaster on your hands. Data encryption eliminates this possibility and allows you and your clients to feel more secure in your proceedings.

Wireless Communications and Data Encryption

With the advent of the wireless age, data encryption has become more important. Wireless communication is much easier to tap than other types of communication. So, if you are performing any sensitive transaction online, particularly if wireless is involved, you should look into data encryption to protect your information. Remember, the stronger the encryption the more computer safety you will have, but the more cost you will also incur.

The Controversy about Data Encryption

Strong encryption does come with some controversy, however. Strong encryption is any cipher that cannot be broken without the code. While many people view this as a way to keep their computer safe and minimize fraud, some governments are afraid of strong encryption falling into the wrong hands.

For example, terrorists could use strong encryption codes to plan their devious activities directly under the governments’ noses. For that reason, some governments are for setting up a key-escrow arrangement that would require all persons using ciphers to provide the government with the key. The idea would be that the key would be stored in a safe place and only used under court order; however opponents argue that these databases could be hacked by criminals who could then steal personal information.

How to Check Your PC’s Overall Security Setup

Most people who are concerned about internet safety want to know if they have enough computer security to safely access browse the world wide web. But just how much security is enough? How do you really know if you are protected?

Here is some information on setting up and testing your computer security to make sure that your personal information stays protected and personal.

Ways to set up your computer security

Here are some of the tools that you can utilize to help increase your internet safety and ensure that your data remains private:

  •  Anti-malware software – Since anti-virus software generally only deals with viruses, it is a good idea to protect your computer security from other malware by installing anti-malware software. These programs will look for worms, spyware, Trojan horses, and more. Some anti-virus software will also offer anti-malware tools, or you can download it separately.
  • Anti-virus software – A main component to computer security is having anti-virus software installed. This software helps protect your computer from accidentally downloading a virus in email attachments or other files. It can also help you isolate viruses that you already have and remove them before they can cause more damage. You can purchase anti-virus software online, or download a free program that you trust to upgrade your computer security.
  •  Firewall – If your operating system does not come with a firewall, then you should purchase one, and if it does then you should ensure that it is activated and configured with optimal settings. A firewall gives you added computer security when you access the internet. This is because malware can enter any of the many ports on your computer that allows information to pass back and forth, such as your email or when you access online games. A firewall helps to hide these ports, giving you more computer security from hackers who are searching for vulnerabilities. There are plenty of free firewalls that you can download online to use if you don’t have one already on your computer.
  • Patch your operating system regularly. Much of the malware that compromises computer security comes in by way of weaknesses and loopholes that hackers find in your operating system. The companies of these operating systems will regularly put out patches designed to strengthen weak spots as they are discovered. By downloading these patches regularly, you can make sure that your operating system is secure as possible. Often, you can set these downloads to be updated on a regular basis during a time when you are not using your computer, such as overnight.
  • Router – even if you only have one computer, a router can be a valuable tool. This is because a router creates a local area network for your private computer address, causing your computer system to appear as a single machine with a single address. This helps to hide your computers from prying eyes to give you added computer security. At the same time, the Network Address Translation that your router performs gives you a strong firewall to prevent malware from the internet coming on to your system. This firewall works with any type of computer system, so you can effectively boost your computer security.

Ensure That you Possess Adequate Computer Security

Once you have taken the above steps to protect your computer, you will want to make sure that you have adequate computer security to protect your information. This can be easily tested if you know how.

Start by installing your firewall, anti-virus software, and other aspects of your computer security and make sure that they are all functioning properly. Then, utilize any number of computer security test sites, such as http://www.gfi.com/emailsecuritytest/ , and run a test. This will give you a list of results of the test once completed. You will want to first check to see if your ports are shielded or stealthed so that they cannot be viewed from the Internet. This can help offer you more computer security from malware and hackers.

Another important facet to corner yourself with is web browser security. Similar to firewall and port testing, many websites will offer free browser security tests. These tests will look to see if your private information, such as passwords, are protected. Furthermore, tests will scan for a large variety of additional concerns, such as memory corruption, bait and switch conditions, arbitrary code execution and more.

With both of these tests completed, you will have more computer security when browsing the internet. However, you should still be on the lookout for signs of malware to help protect yourself and your computer.

PC Security 101: What Makes for a Solid Password?

Your computer password is imperative as it is designed to protect your personal information. Ideally, a password would prevent anyone but yourself to access your sensitive information. However, some passwords are easier to crack than others, and your computer security could be compromised if you are using a week password. Here’s a look at what makes a solid password and how you can create your own.

Solid passwords: Good vs. bad

Surprisingly, it is not hard to distinguish a good computer password from a bad one. Bad security passwords are the ones that can be easily guessed by another person or computer, whereas good passwords are difficult for someone else to decipher.

How to Create a Solid Password

There are many factors that you can incorporate into your password to give you optimum computer security. Things to consider:

  • Use an algorithm. An algorithm is essentially a procedure that will create a unique and personal password. For instance, you can think of a sentence that is easy to remember, and use the first letter of each word as the password. Or, come up with a trivia question and use the first two letters of the phrase as the password. Ideally, you should use upper and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and punctuation. These variations work well as passwords as they are easy to remember by you, yet appear totally random to computers.
  • Use an image. Do you have a CD or a book on your desk that is always there, or a picture hanging on your wall? You can use that to create a password on its own or using the image in conjunction with the above suggested algorithm technique. Avoid using words or names that appear directly in the image. If you are very concerned about computer security, choose an image that you can lock away in a desk drawer or carry with you in your wallet to prevent someone else from seeing it and guessing your password.
  • Use intentional misspellings. You can use your favorite words, but try spelling them phonetically instead of using the proper spelling. Throwing in hyphens or other random punctuation in the world will also increase the computer security that it offers without making the password significantly difficult to remember.
  • Make it nonsensical. A solid password doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but you. Feel free to use a silly phrase that you can remember. You can also use the shift key when typing numbers, or make up your own jargon that only you will remember.
  • Use a password program. Another available option is to use a password manager program to create a computer security password as needed. The program automatically creates good passwords for you, and you do not even have to remember what they are. However, your password to enter the program should be something that you create on your own and be as solid as possible to prevent someone from hacking in and stealing all of your passwords.

Keeping a Solid Password Secure

It is highly recommend that you utilize multiple methods when coming up with security passwords. If you choose to use an algorithm, for example, do not use one that can easily be deciphered. If you do, and one account is hacked, your entire computer’s security could be in jeopardy. In fact, it is highly suggested that you do not implement the same algorithm techniques for all passwords. Remember to mix it up to keep the hackers guessing.

Keep in mind that different systems may have different limits – not all systems will allow for an alpha-numeric password or your computer security may not allow symbols. Shorten it or adjust it as needed for your system.

Ideally, a solid password should factor in the following:

  • A minimum of 7 characters.
  • Will not contain your account name, your full name, or other words that are easily guessed.
  • Will have at least three of the following: uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbol characters.

Once you have chosen a solid security password, make sure to protect it. Never write passwords down. Instead, write down a clue that will jog your memory. Keep all clues and other login information in a secure place at all times, and never give out your password information to anyone else. A solid password is only as secure as how you treat it – if you write it down on a post-it stuck to your computer, then it is easy for someone to come along and steal it, no matter how complicated it is.

How to Fix a Corrupt Registry

Many errors and problems on a Windows computer can be traced directly back to the registry. While some are only minor annoyances, others can be quite significant. If these problems are not addressed in a timely manner, you can lose the functionality of Windows entirely once the operating system become unusable.

Such occurrences are signs that let you know your registry is terribly damaged or corrupt and needs to be repaired immediately. The purpose is this guide is to provide you with step by step instructions on how to repair the Windows registry.

Fix the Registry with System Restore

We will start with a method that only has a moderate degree of difficulty. System Restore is a Windows function that regularly makes snapshot backups of your configuration settings, operating system files, and yes, even the registry itself. This tool can really come in handy because if your PC crashes, you can restore it to a state where it was working fine by selecting a given snapshot taken before all the problems.

Since System Restore makes backups on a daily basis, particularly before major system configuration adjustments are made, System Restore is certainly worth a shot at repairing the registry.

To use this feature, simply follow the steps below:

  1.  Open the “Start” menu, select “All Programs”, navigate to “Accessories”, then “Tools” and choose “System Restore.”
  2.  On the “Welcome to System Restore” page, select “Restore my computer to an earlier time” and then click on the “Next” tab.
  3.  Next, choose the date on the calendar you want to restore the system to, ensuring that it is a time when the computer was under normal working conditions. After making your selection, click “Next.”
  4.  Verify your choice on the “Confirm Restore Point Selection” page and click the “Next” tab to initiate the restoration process.

Once you have completed the steps above, System Restore will revert the registry, system files, and configuration back to the time of your choosing.

Fix the Registry with Recovery Console

Unfortunately, your registry may be damaged to a point where you cannot access the System Restore feature on the operating system itself. When this is the case, you have to result to other measures, and one of them involves isolating the registry files and replacing the system settings responsible for all the trouble.

The best tool for this task is the Recovery Console, a built-in Windows utility that allows you to fix various problems related to your hard drive.

To access and use the Recovery Console, follow the steps below:

  1.  Insert your Windows installation CD and restart your computer. It is important to make sure your system is configured to read the CD before it attempts to load the default Windows installation.
  2.  When the system reboots and reaches the “Welcome to Windows” screen, press the “R” button on your keyboard to access the Recovery Console.
  3.  On the next screen, you will be prompted to enter an administrator password. If no password was ever assigned, simply press enter and you will be taken directly to the Recovery Console.

The Recovery Console is a command line-based utility that looks quite similar to MS DOS. There are no icons or other options found in the standard Windows environment, so you must enter commands in order to perform actions.

To begin repairing the registry, enter the following commands and press enter after each line:

md tmp
copy c:\windows\system32\config\system c:\windows\tmp\system.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\software c:\windows\tmp\software.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\sam c:\windows\tmp\sam.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\security c:\windows\tmp\security.bak
copy c:\windows\system32\config\default c:\windows\tmp\default.bak

delete c:\windows\system32\config\system
delete c:\windows\system32\config\software
delete c:\windows\system32\config\sam
delete c:\windows\system32\config\security
delete c:\windows\system32\config\default

copy c:\windows\repair\system c:\windows\system32\config\system
copy c:\windows\repair\software c:\windows\system32\config\software
copy c:\windows\repair\sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam
copy c:\windows\repair\security c:\windows\system32\config\security
copy c:\windows\repair\default c:\windows\system32\config\default

After entering these demands, exit the Recovery Console and restart your PC. From here, you want to log into Safe Mode as more adjustments must be made to the registry.

From Safe Mode, you can access critical system files in the “C:\System Volume Information” folder. Within this folder, you will find subfolders that represent restore points. You can repair your registry by copying files from the archived restore points and pasting them over the damaged files, which can be found in the “C:\Windows\System32\Config” folder. From here, save the changes and restart Windows in normal mode. You should now be able to run your computer without all the registry errors and problems that prevented it from working properly.

Use a Registry Cleaner

As you can see, the steps above require you to get hands on in order to repair your computer. While these steps can be performed when following careful instructions, some users just do not feel comfortable tampering with such sensitive areas of a computer system.

The simple solution would be to use a registry cleaner. These programs have the ability to scan the Windows registry and automatically repair any problems that are detected. With a reliable tool, you can optimize your PC and ensure its health for a long time to come.

How to Fix Windows Errors Using a Registry Cleaner

Windows is the most widely used operating system in the world, renowned for its power and user-friendly features. Though it is relatively easy to use, there is a lot going on behind the scenes and many complexities that lie beneath the surface.

Every time you run your computer, several entries are being placed to an important part of the system known as the registry. Over time, significant changes are made to this area and even if you are someone who practices safe computing and tries to maintain a healthy PC, unwanted entries are bound to be left behind.

This is especially true if you have added on or deleted any software applications. Once these entries accumulate, your system might start to experience performance problems and become terribly unstable before too long. Registry cleaners exist to remove these insignificant entries, eliminate Windows errors and restore the natural performance of your computer. Despite their intent, the results you get depend on a number of factors.

How Registry Cleaners Work

The basic operation of a registry cleaner is to scan your entire operating system and remove keys and values you no longer need. View it as a personal assistant that tunes up your PC every now and then to make sure it continuously runs efficiently. Instead of having a computer mechanic at your disposal, you have a software tool that can perform the entire tuneup in anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes.

Most of these applications work in a click-and-point manner that allows you to utilize the mouse to input several option, sit back and wait for cleaning process to be completed. Although they all strive to deliver the same results for the most part, not all registry cleaners are created equal.

Registry cleaners are essentially available in two forms: basic and advanced tools. As you have probably gathered, many of the advanced products offer more sophistication and are geared towards the technically inclined user. For example, this type of program generally allows you to pick and choose the entries you want to delete after the scan has been conducted.

If you are not sure of the results, you could end up deleting files or folders that are critical to the operation of your computer. This is why it is highly recommended to perform of a backup of your registry before any manual or automated edits. If you do not believe you can accurately identify the items that need to be removed, it would best to choose a more user-friendly registry cleaner that does all the work for you.

The disadvantages an advanced registry cleaner offers to the novice is a major plus for the seasoned computer user. By giving you the option to control what entries are deleted from the system, you can better assure that important items mistakenly detected by the scanner will not end up hurting your computer. This sort of functionality is ideal for users who have customized settings on their operating system and do not want to run the risk of utilizing a more basic tool.

Regardless of your experience level, it is remains important to backup your registry even when relying on an advanced product. This will allow you to restore the system should any problems occur.

What to Look for in a Registry Cleaner

The features you want to keep in mind for a registry cleaner all boil down to your specific preference and needs. With that said, one of the most important factors that must be considered is the quality of the product and the reputation of the company who developed it. This is critical because you don’t want to install any software that could end damaging your system and stirring up even more trouble.

You can learn more about the available registry cleaners by performing an online search to gather feedback from customers and expert opinions. There are a number of review sites that can point you in the right direction and also provide insight in which products you might want to stay away from.

As far as the features are concerned, there are a lot of advanced options you can do without, but one you definitely want to consider is a backup and restore function. We noted earlier the importance of backing up the registry before making any changes and having the ability to completely restore it is equally essential. In the end, the right tool is one that works best for your needs and removes Windows errors from the registry with you doing as little as possible.

The Risks You Take in Using a Registry Cleaner

Windows computer users are increasingly looking for ways to maintain the health and enhance the performance of their systems. If this sounds like you, then you should be aware that the registry is a critical area that has a huge impact on the aforementioned factors.

Thanks to advancements in computer software technology, meeting these goals is no longer the challenge it used to be. Today, registry cleaners are widely available to Windows user just like you. These tools offer the promise of being able to automatically detect and repair items that are resulting in your performance issues. This all sounds good on the surface but what are the risks involved?

Is it Really Safe to Use a Registry Cleaner?

In recent times, there has been much debate about the overall efficiency and dangers involved in using a registry cleaner. While some are in favor of these programs, others attest that they actually do more harm than good. The truth is that some applications are totally safe to use and others pose a significant threat to the data on your computer. The key is knowing how to choose a product and find one that presents as few risks as possible.

Outdated Registry Cleaners

Some of the outdated registry cleaners on the market can indeed damage your computer system. This is because they are not actively maintained and may no longer be compatible with your PC, especially if you frequently receive the recommended Windows updates. Outdated products are typically free software tools that are not backed by a development team or support staff. Although some are efficient, most free registry cleaners are tools you should use at your own risk.

Registry Cleaners with No Backup and Restore Feature

The Windows registry is so important because it essentially controls your entire computer system. Despite the implementation of advanced technology, some cleaning tools simply cannot adequately deal with all the possible errors that might show up in the Windows database. Therefore, there is always the chance that problems might occur after running such a tool on your system.

While this is rare, it can happen, especially when relying on a freeware product. To elude potential problems, we strongly recommend only using registry cleaners equipped with a backup and restore option. In fact, you should backup this area before doing any editing, whether these adjustments are made with an automated solution or manually.

There is simply too much at stake here to risk losing everything on your computer. A quality register cleaner will give you a peace of mind by providing a feature that allows you to easily backup and restore the Windows registry.

Rogue Registry Cleaners

Perhaps the biggest risk you take is downloading and installing something that isn’t a cleaning tool at all, but something far more sinister. What appears to be a helpful application could be a dangerous program in disguise.

Cyberspace is infested with malware and their malicious codes are often bundled in software products that are seemingly harmless. So what is the big risk? Why should you be concerned? Because catching an infection could leave your PC with issues that stem far beyond performance problems.

Viruses, spyware and Trojan horses are just a few members of the malware family, resulting in problems that range from subtle annoyances to major catastrophes. If a virus slithers into your system, it could modify a small number of files or delete the entire contents of your hard drive. At the very least, it will propagate and spread the infection to your friends and associates.

Spyware could make your system run incredibly sluggish and considering that is has the ability to spy on your computing activities, it poses a direct threat to the confidential information residing on your computer. A Trojan could install even more malicious items on your computer and open up a backdoor that enables a hacker to gain complete control of your system. All of these nasty critters will leave your registry cluttered with unwanted entries.

Choose Your Registry Cleaner Wisely

When it comes down to it, the risks you run all depends on the registry cleaner you select. These risks can be drastically reduced by choosing a reliable product. The best tools are up to date, come included with options that allow you to backup and restore your system, and most importantly, free of malicious code. Keep all of this important information in mind as these tips alone can go a long way in helping you find a safe and reliable registry cleaner to tune up your PC.

 

How to Manually Edit the Windows Registry

The Windows registry is one of the important components of a personal computer. It is essentially a centralized database that contains all the settings and options on your computer system.

All of these items are stored in the form of keys, subkeys and their associated values. Changes are made to this area every time you install a new piece of software, add on a hardware device, or even perform a simple task such as adjusting the color of your display.

The larger the registry grows, the greater the probability of experiencing performance issues. Although third-party registry cleaning products are incredibly efficient, these programs may not have the power to effectively clear up all the clutter and corruption. The good thing is that there is a tool that allows you to manually repair the registry and get rid of all the obsolete entries threatening the performance of your computer. That tool is known as regedit.

Accessing and Backing up the Registry with Regedit

Registry Editor or simply regedit, is a built-in Windows utility designed to provide access to the registry. Any computer expert will tell you that efficient use of this tool is the most effective way to address problems in the registry.

  1.  To access the Windows Registry Editor, open the “Start” menu and click “Run.”
  2.  Type “regedit” into the command field and click “Enter.”

If you plan to perform edits on a regular basis, it is probably wise to make yourself familiar with interface of the Registry Editor. Its presentation is sectioned off into two separate windows panes. On the left you will find a tree organized in hierarchical fashion and on the right you will see individual values. However, before you perform any edits, it is important to backup the existing registry in its entirety. This will allow the undoing of any mistakes or changes that negatively affect your system. To perform a backup, follow the steps below:

  1.  From within the registry, click “File” and choose “Export” from the menu.
  2.  Next, select “All” from the “Export range” window.
  3.  Select a destination for the backup file and then give it a name.
  4.  Lastly, click on the “Save” tab.

Deleting Keys from the Registry

Once inside, you can search for old applications and delete any program listings of applications that have already been removed from the system. To begin your search, follow the steps below:

  1.  Expand the ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER” key. This can be done by clicking the (+) sign beside it.
  2.  Next, expand the “Software” key.
  3.  From here you want to search for keys that are either represented by the name of the program, or the name of the company that distributes the software.
  4.  Once you find the application, highlight its key, and then click “Del” to remove it.

When removing application listings, you have more options for locating the desired program. You can search for it by name, executable file or folder name. To perform these actions, follow the steps below:

  1.  Simultaneously press “Ctrl” and “f’ to open the search window.
  2.  Enter the desired text to find the listing for the application and click “OK” to initiate the search.
  3.  If the results are successful, the returned key or value will be highlight.
  4.  Click “Del” to remove the appropriate listing.
  5.  Press the “F3” key to find the next listing and repeat the above steps.

Remove Startup Items from the Registry

Many software applications on your computer install values in the registry every time Windows starts up. Over time, this can weigh heavily on your computer. To delete these values, follow the steps below:

  1.  Refer to the instructions above to access the “My Computer\ HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\ Windows\ Current Version” folder.
  2.  Next, highlight the “Run” key.
  3.  Search through the values in the left pane and highlight the one you want to remove. If you are not sure what you’re looking for, perform an online search for the text to find out what value it represents.
  4.  Once you determine the right value, click “Del.” If you want to delete multiple entries, simply hold down “Shift” while navigating through your selections.

After you are done making adjustments, exit the registry.

A Warning About the Registry Editor

Before proceeding, you should be warned that the improper use of regedit could result in major problems that require you to reinstall Windows entirely. If you are not someone who firmly believes in backing up data, you could end up losing everything on your computer. Although we have provided comprehensive instructions in this guide, we advise that you utilize the Registry Editor tool at your own risk.

The Windows Remote Registry Service

The Windows Remote Service is a feature found Windows 2000, 2003 and XP operating systems. As the name implies, it is a service that enables remote administrators or users to connect to a desktop or server system and view or modify the Windows registry.

If you are not familiar with this component, the registry is a database located within the Windows operating system. It is responsible for storing all of your configuration settings and options. This includes details about your graphics card, software applications, user preferences and most everything relevant to your computer system.

The Windows Remote Registry Service is a viable tool for remotely handling management tasks without needing to manually log into the system. However, you should keep in mind that the mere structure of this service makes it a potential security risk, especially when considering all the sensitive information the registry contains. For this reason, many security experts strongly suggest that you disable the feature if it is not required for remote management purposes.

How to Disable the Windows Remote Registry Service

To disable the Windows Remote Registry Service, follow the steps below:

  1.  Open the “Start” menu, click “Run”, type “services.msc” into the command field and click “OK.”
  2.  In the right pane of the “Services” window, navigate through the options, right-click on “Remote Registry” and select “Properties” from the submenu.
  3.  Choose “Disabled” as the Startup type. If the service is currently running, click the “Stop” tab.
  4.  Finally, click “Apply” and then “OK” to make the changes take effect.

Once the Windows Remote Registry Service has either been stopped or disabled, access to the registry will only be permitted by the administrator or authorized users on the local computer. While disabling it will not negatively impact your system in any way, it will prevent other computers or devices from being able to connect to the local machine.

Enabling Restricted Access to the Windows Remote Registry Service

As we mentioned before, if there is no need for remote management tasks, then the Windows Remote Registry service does not need to be enabled. On the other hand, if your computer is a part of the Active Directory domain and running on a corporate network, then some user groups or administrators may require this function in order to remotely access the Windows registry. If this is the case, you can choose to enable a restricted level of remote access to the registry. This can be done by following the steps below:

  1.  Open the “Start” menu, click “Run”, type “regedit” into the command field and click “OK.”
  2.  From within the Registry Editor, navigate to the key (folder) that reads “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\SecurePipeServers\.”
  3.  Next, right-click on the above folder, choose “Edit” and then select “Permissions.”
  4.  In the following window, make the appropriate selections from the group and user options of “Administrators”, Everyone”, “RESTRICTED” and “SYSTEM” as well as the permissions of “Full Control”, “Read” and Special Permissions.”
  5.  After making your selections, click “OK”, “Apply” to make the changes go into effect, and then exit the Registry Editor.

Once you have completed the above steps, the Windows Remote Windows Services will be configured accordingly and only permit authorized users or groups to access your PC or server.

Is it Safe to Run the Windows Remote Registry Service?

A feature such as the Windows Remote Registry Service can be a rather scary concept when factoring in all the sensitive data the Windows registry contains. The truth is that no remote party can make any changes or even access this critical database without having the ability to establish a successful connection with the correct username, password and most importantly, administrative rights. That is, provided you have enabled these recommended security mechanisms on your operating system.

On a more positive note, the Windows Remote Registry Service is very key component as it provides your computer with the ability to communicate with other systems on a Windows network. In the corporate network environment, it allows IT administrators to remotely change system settings and establish necessary group policies via the Domain Controller function. If you have applied basic security measures on your network, such as ensuring that all users have created secure login details or have not provided an administrator with your financial details, it is perfectly fine to leave this feature set to enabled by default.

In the busy IT environment where mobility has become essential, the Windows Remote Registry Service could be exactly what you need to manage your business with more efficiency.

 

How the Windows Registry Affects PC Performance

The registry is perhaps the most mysterious of all elements within the Windows operating system. Even experienced users approach this area with extra caution. This is mainly because the registry contains so much vital information and plays such an integral role in operation of a Windows PC.

All Microsoft operating systems from Windows 95 on up have a registry to keep track of your initial settings, changes that were made to enhance the presentation of your desktop, files you downloaded from online, and just about everything else related to computer configuration. Not only does this database store information regarding the essential components of the system, but it also has an impact on the overall performance of your computer.

Chaos in the Registry

Most often, when you install new software application, significant changes are instantly made to the registry. When it comes to performance problems, software is usually one of the main culprits.

Anyone who takes the time out to troubleshoot these performance issues should be aware that some programs installed on a computer are not properly scripted from the beginning. Others have been known to install additional components that you may or may not need.

All of this attributes to clutter that sees your registry growing and making for an unstable computer. Signs of trouble generally include programs that take longer to start than usually, constant freezing, application crashes, and even the crashing of your entire system. Performance issues can also be the direct result of removing software package. It is very common for some programs to leave behind keys, files and other entries that are no longer needed by your operating system.

When the registry becomes congested with invalid, corrupt or otherwise insignificant items, your PC is the one to suffer and degrading performance usually points to signs of trouble.

There are many factors that can lead to registry problems and many of them are a direct result of the internet. While the internet provides us with convenient access to online shopping outlets, entertainment, social networking, business opportunities and all the resources of the World Wide Web, it also opens up the door to a world of potential security risks.

Some of the biggest threats of all fall under the family of malicious software programs known as malware. Viruses, Trojans and spyware are major problems on today’s internet, posing a threat to information security and computer performance as well. These malicious applications consume enough vital system resources as it is so when they plant their disruptive seeds in the registry, things can really start to go haywire. What makes malware such a nuisance to the Windows operating system is that even when they have seemingly been completely removed by a virus scanner, some of their malicious keys and files can be left behind as entries in the registry.

Maintaining a Healthy Registry and Optimal Performance

Maintaining the health of the Windows registry is a must if you want a computer that performs at an optimal level. Achieving this may seem difficult when considering that general use of a PC causes the registry to naturally expand over time. However, there are a few ways to reduce the threat of infection and completely eliminate all those troublesome entries.

You can start by installing a reliable security software program on your computer. This application should be equipped with features that effectively detect and immediately remove of all threats. Anti-virus software alone is no longer enough, therefore, you need a solution that can mitigate worms, adware, tracing cookies and other items that are potentially hazardous to the security and performance of your computer.

Another highly recommended measure you can take is cleaning out the registry to clear out all the clutter. There are a couple of options available to perform these tasks but the most effective are software tools known as registry cleaners. These programs help alleviate the dangers of manual edits by penetrating the database of your Windows operating system, scanning the area, and instantly repairing the errors contributing to your performance issues. They are currently widely available, affordable and most importantly, easy to operate for the inexperienced user.

The registry is vital to the health and performance of the Windows operating system. Because of this, it needs to be tuned up every now and then to make sure everything is in order. By coupling a security program and safe computing with a registry cleaner, you can make sure you PC performs like a champ for a long time to come.

Outlook 2007: Restore the Favorites Folder

outlook-2007I was finally upgrading my PC from Vista to Windows 7 and of course had to go through the process of moving and restoring my preferred Windows settings. Yesterday, I finished configuring Outlook 2007 but this morning when I launched Outlook, I could not find the Favorite Folders at all, which was a bummer because I just put a lot of folders there last night.

Anyway, I finally figured out what to do and here are the steps I used to get the Favorite Folders in Outlook back.

How to Restore the ‘Favorites Folder in Outlook 2007

  1. Close Outlook.
  2. Click the Windows Start button in the lower, left corner of the screen.
  3. Click Run.
  4. Type Outlook.exe /resetnavpane.
  5. OpenOutlook again.
  6. From the View menu, click the Navigation Pane and voila! now you can select the Favorite Folders option again.

Hope this works for you too!