Computer Tips for DPNM Website Users:
is a link?
Any text that is underlined in this website can be clicked on, and the result is you will be taken to the relevant web page. Most pictures are links as well. Just click anywhere on the picture, and if its a link, you'll go surfing. If you find you have clicked away from the DPNM website, and want to go back, click the "back" button which should be on the upper left of your browser screen. Alternatively, type the DPNM address into the web address bar on the top of your browser: http://www.nmdairy.org. We also encourage you to put the DPNM website in your favorites list, so you can easily return. To add DPNM to your favorites, Hold Ctrl and press D
This website works best with recent versions of either Netscape or Internet Explorer browsers. If you are having trouble, I recommend updating your version. Its free, except for the download time. Instructions for updating your browser are found below the next section.
You need Adobe Acrobat reader* to view certain files in this website. They are called ".pdf files." If you click on a link to a .pdf file and nothing happens, you probably don't have Adobe Acrobat reader. Click on this sentence to go to the Adobe website that contains the free reader.
Adobe also provides online conversion tools for Adobe PDF documents that help visually disabled users whose screen reader software is not compatible with the Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0. These online tools convert PDF documents into either HTML or ASCII text, which can then be read by a number of common screen reader programs.
Worms, and Computer Hygiene
But before I lead you through those browser update instructions, now is a great time to tell you about viruses, worms, etc, and how they relate to the browser you are using. Viruses and worms are epidemic right now, and a huge problem to those who might become infected. Even browsing the internet is a hazard nowadays. On this page, I share with you my own personal "best practices" for computers. If you are using a Macintosh like an iBook or iMac, etc., or a Linux or Unix operating system, you can ignore these steps, because most viruses I've seen lately target Windows systems only.
Windows operating system you have, be sure to:
1. keep your operating system updated
2. keep your internet browser software updated, and
3. use virus detection software
4. delete emails from people you don't know, especially those w/ attachments.
5. don't open or view emails from friends if the subject line is nonsensical--this is a common type of virus or worm, and this is how they spread. If you feel that person might have been sending you a real letter, write to them (don't reply to the suspect email--it should be deleted without opening) from a fresh message window and ask them to resend it.
Why? While you are browsing, and briefly while checking your email, your computer has two-way communication with the internet. At this point, you are vulnerable to hackers. A majority of viruses were designed to exploit security holes in browser and system software. The older the computer you have, the more vulnerable you are. But if you at least have the newest available software and patches, you are better protected. The virus detection software works behind the scenes, monitoring file exchanges and can prevent an infected file from either being written to your harddrive, and they can detect existing infected files you might not even know about. So, each recommended step protects your computer in different ways, but its my opinion that you need all three in place before you can consider your computer "as secure as possible." Only step three costs money, and if you ask around, you'll probably hear that its money well spent. I"ll include links for you to follow to complete those three steps, described below. Text that is underlined is a link. If you have any trouble, you can contact me with questions, or contact a local consultant for more indepth help.
Step One: Update your operating system. This includes patches, critical updates, etc. You don't get a new operating system in this step, just the bits that make it work better and that plug major security vulnerabilities. Click here to go directly to the Windows update site. Choose "scan for updates." It will return a list of suggested updates depending on your system particulars. Sometimes you'll have to update one step first, before adding other suggested updates, restarting in-between. Be patient, and just do what they tell you. I have never had a problem with the process.
Step Two (for Internet Explorer Users only): Update your internet browser: This is likely to be taken care of in the process of step one. To see if it was, start Internet Explorer. Click on the "Help" menu, top right. Click on "About Internet Explorer." If you have version 6.0, with cipher strength of 128 bit, you are OK. If you don't, or are not sure, follow this link. If you don't have a broadband connection, you are advised to buy the CD ($5.00 plus tax) instead of downloading the software. Internet Explorer software can be as large as 75 MB.
TIP: Keep Step One and Step Two updated automatically by activating your "Windows Update" feature on your computer. To do so, click on the "Start" button on the lower left hand corner of your screen. Click on "Settings", "Control Panel", and then double click on "Automatic Updates." Tick the first option, which is to automatically download updates when they are available. When a new update is ready, you should see a little note in the bottom right hand corner of your screen, telling you to click on it to install updates. You are likely to have to restart when its done, so be sure you save your work and close applications before choosing to install the update.
Step Two (for Netscape Users only): Click here to go to the download site for Netscape. Version 7 is the latest. You can order the software on CD if you do not have a broadband internet connection.
Three: Virus detection software. There are two providers
of virus detection software that stand heads above the rest: Norton
Antivirus, and McAfee. I personally use Norton Antivirus, and have
been virtually virus-free in spite of my heavy computer use. Here
is how to check them out, buy, and download.
Norton Antivirus 2003: $69.95 plus additional costs to renew after the first year. Discounts of about 40% if you own any other Norton or Symantec software. If you already have a version older than Norton 2003, you could probably save the original software cost, and just pay for renewals annually. I use an older version and renew annually, yet get the same dataset of viruses that the new folks get.
McAffee Virusscan 7.0: $59.99 and inquire about renewal prices.
IF YOU DON'T WANT IT, DON'T BACK IT UP!: Keep your major data backed up, and don't forget to back up your internet browser favorites, and email messages and address books as well. Any number of things can happen to render your data unreachable at any time: viruses or hardware failure. Contact a computer consultant for help with this if you are not sure how to do it. You can ask me simple questions as well.
Norton provides an incredible range of free information on its
You can also scan your computer, free, even without owning their software,
via the internet. You may have to do this if a virus has already
knocked out your virus scanning software. Some viruses do that!
Click here to scan your computer online, free. You can also
do more general security check steps, here.
I recommend them all. These checks take awhile, longer for bigger
HELP: If you need to ask a question about these issues, contact the webmaster who can either help you or refer you to the appropriate website or person.