Three tips

Convert your video files; upgrade your Microsoft Security Essentials; Keep Calm and Carry On.

Free Program Converts Video Files

I’ve been using the Freemake Audio Converter for some time now, but this week I needed to convert a short video clip I made with my cell phone to a format that someone without a cell phone could watch. I decided to give Freemake Video Converter a try, and I was impressed.

There are many of you who need a full-featured video conversion program. The rest of us just want a program where we can click on things and get decent results without actually having to understand what’s going on. If you, like me, fall into the second group, I suggest giving Freemake Video Converter a try next time you need to take a video from one format to another.

The website sums it up nicely:

Convert video free to AVI, MP4, WMV, MKV, MPEG, 3GP, DVD, MP3, iPod, iPhone, PSP, Android, rip & burn DVD, convert to Flash FLV & SWF, burn Blu-ray, and upload to YouTube with our free video converter!

I put my little video clip in my phone’s Dropbox, transferred it to my computer, ran it through Freemake Video Converter and uploaded it to Minus.com in less than 15 minutes. It’s not going to get me into film school, but it was not even a one-swearword job. See for yourself: http://min.us/m9qZaqSOn.

You can download Freemake Video Converter from this page: http://www.freemake.com/free_video_converter/. When you install it, you can decline the toolbars and search engine it wants to install and you can still use it completely free. FreeMake Audio Converter is available here: http://www.freemake.com/free_audio_converter/, and again, you can decline the extras it tries to install.

Microsoft Security Essentials Upgrade Available

If you are using Microsoft Security Essentials as your antivirus + antispyware program, you might already have noticed there is an upgrade available. An upgrade is not the same thing as an update. MSE should be getting daily updates to keep the spyware/virus definitions current (“up to date”). An upgrade is a whole new version of the program, and that’s what’s available now.

You might receive notice through Windows Update (KB 2691905), through a pop-up window in the Notification Area (lower right corner of your screen, by the little clock), or within the MSE program itself. However you receive it, you should allow the upgrade, and then check to make sure it’s been successful.

When the upgrade has been applied, you’ll be at Version 4. To find what version of MSE you’re running:

  • Open MSE

  • Click on the down-arrow next to the word Help

  • Click on About Security Essentials

Learn more about the upgrade here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2691905. Learn more about Microsoft Security Essentials here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/products/security-essentials.

DNS Changer is still a problem

Way back in March (http://rlis.com/columns/column343.htm) I wrote about the DNS Changer Trojan, and many of you quietly went through the steps to check your computers and then went on about your business. Since then, FOX News has featured the DNS Changer story on several programs, and now there are a number of people shrieking about it.

It’s a big deal. But don’t panic. There is time to deal with it and it’s really easy to find out if your computer is affected. To see if your computer is infected, visit this page: http://www.dcwg.org/detect/. Scroll down the page to the Manually Checking section. Click on the link for your computer’s operating system and follow the instructions. (For Vista, use the Windows 7 link.)

If your computer is infected, you need to get that taken care of right away. The DNS Changer Trojan will likely have let in all kinds of other harmful stuff which will have to be cleaned out along with the Trojan itself.

For story of DNS Changer see this article from Brian Krebs: http://krebsonsecurity.com/2011/11/malware-click-fraud-kingpins-arrested-in-estonia/. To learn more about what DNS is, see this Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_Name_System. More on the deadline extension here: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9224926/Judge_extends_DNS_Changer_deadline_as_malware_cleanup_progresses?taxonomyId=82.

Do you need help with your computer? I'm here to help you and your home or business computer get along!

Cate Eales runs Computer Care Kelowna (http://computercarekelowna.com/) a mobile service helping home users and businesses get along with their computers. To arrange an appointment phone her at 250-764-7043. Cate also welcomes your comments and suggestions. Send email to [email protected].

You can read previous columns here: http://rlis.com/column.htm . If you'd like to subscribe to this column by email, please visit this link: http://www.feedblitz.com/f/f.fbz?Sub=20618 . It's easy, and free. If you'd prefer the RSS Feed, click here: http://rlis.com/rlis.xml.

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About the Author

The Technology Shaman, Cate Eales, has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible, and fun for over 30 years.

Cate lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric. She owns and operates Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile computer business providing on-site service for home and small business customers.

Cate is here to help you and your home or business computer get along.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with comments, suggestions, or questions.

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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