August 12, 2011

Kim Komando answers your Internet security, computer questions

OSKALOOSA — Q. I really want an iPad, but I don’t have a lot of money to spend. Should I buy it from one of those penny auctions sites instead? They offer iPads for a lot less.

A. Steer clear of penny auction sites. Bidding isn’t free. You need to buy a bid package. You may get 100 bids for $50, but often bids are $1 each. The price of auction items usually starts at $0. Each bid bumps the price up a penny. It also adds 10 to 20 seconds to a countdown clock. The goal is to be the high bidder when the clock runs out. It’s unlikely you’ll be the lucky winner. And when you don’t win, you don’t get your bid money back. Save yourself time and hassle. Just buy the iPad at your favorite retailer.

Q. A friend of mine had his bank account drained by a virus. It happened while he was checking his account! How could this happen?

A. Watching your money disappear must be terrifying. I’m very sorry for your friend. It sounds like he got the SpyEye virus. This is an extremely dangerous program that’s going around. It waits for you to log into your bank account and then sneaks in. It can automatically transfer your money to accounts held by hackers. The bank can’t tell it isn’t you making the transfer. The best way to avoid SpyEye is to avoid visiting malicious sites and not open suspicious email attachments. You should also install security software and keep it updated. Get links to free antivirus, spyware and firewall software at my Security Center (http://www.komando.com/securitycenter/).

Q. I want to stream home videos from my Mac to my TV. Is there a way to do this? I have a new Apple TV if that helps. 

A. Having the second generation Apple TV certainly does help. You just need to turn on Home Sharing. This is Apple’s system for streaming video, audio and photos between gadgets. On your Mac, open iTunes and go to Advanced>>Turn On Home Sharing. You’ll have to enter your iTunes Apple ID and a password. To share photos go to Advanced>>Choose Photos to Share. Then go to the Apple TV and select Computers>>Turn On Home Sharing. Enter the same Apple ID and password. You should now have full access to your music, photos and videos. If it isn’t working, make sure the Apple TV is updated to iOS 4.3 or higher.

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