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January 2015

Kaspersky QR Scanner; make sure QR Codes are not malicious

So-called QR Codes are very similar to shortened urls. The core similarity is that you don't see where the link takes you when you activate it.

QR Codes are used in many different locations and situations. On advertisement so that you can look up additional information about an offer, in shops, public transport, magazines and on websites.

The recently released WhatsApp Web uses a QR Code for instance to link the account on your phone and the web interface.

Why search engines are as bad as download sites when it comes to freeware

There are many free programs out there on the Internet that are great: Firefox, Thunderbird, VLC Media Player, CCleaner, Revo Uninstaller, QuietRSS, WinSCP or KeePass are just some examples of programs that you can download and use for free.

While it should be pretty straightforward to download these programs, it is often not the case. Sure, if you know the url they are offered on then you go there and download them, but if you don't, you have to use search engines or visit a download site to get them.

WAToolkit enables WhatsApp notifications on the desktop

The company behind WhatsApp released WhatsApp Web recently, a web-based service that allows you to use WhatsApp in Google Chrome without phone.

It introduces most of the functionality of the mobile application on the web including options to read current and past messages, and to message contacts.

Tinfoil for Firefox provides easy access to advanced privacy preferences

While you can make privacy related configuration changes in the Firefox options, many advanced options become only available when you load about:config or install add-ons that provide you with frontend access to those settings.

You can check out our list of best privacy add-ons for Firefox which gives you an overview of good extensions for that purpose.

Tinfoil is a brand new extension for Firefox that makes quite a few privacy related preferences available in its options.

Startup Manager Autoruns 13 introduces Virustotal integration

While Autoruns may not be the most popular startup manager available for Windows, it is without the shadow of a doubt the one a complete package.

It enables you to go through all startup items of the system to assess and change them. Where most startup managers limit items to programs and sometimes services, Autoruns includes dynamic link libraries, drivers, network providers and a whole host of other items in its interface.

Imgur launches Video to Gif service

Animated Gifs seem to be everywhere these days. You find them posted on forums, on social networking sites, in chat messages, and even sites like YouTube have started to experiment with the generation of animated gifs.

Gifs have seen a revival in recent time which may seem puzzling to Internet users who had to endure them on homepages of the early Internet days.

One recent trend in regards to animated gifs is to turn them into videos instead and play them using HTML5 video.

FiddlerCap: capture and prepare web traffic for analysis

Unless you run software that logs all local and remote connection attempts, you don't really see what is going on when you connect to a website or run a program on the local system that connects to the Internet.

A powerful program to analyze web traffic is Fiddler. While it is great, it is rather complicated to use thanks to its impressive set of features.

Manage and block Windows autostart items with Safe Startup

It can sometimes be useful or even mandatory to run programs on system start. This is for instance the case for most security programs that you run on the system.

Other programs on the other hand, Office quick starters, maintenance programs or software that you only use occasionally may do more harm than good. Well, harm is not the right word but they do slow down the start of the system at the very least.

Safe Startup, formerly known as Startup Guard, is a free program for Windows that you can use to manage and block autostart items on Windows.

Microsoft Outlook Preview for Android and iOS is now available

Microsoft released its Outlook Preview application for Android devices to the Google Play Store. It is not the first Outlook app by Microsoft for Android, there is OWA for Android for instance which is also available as a pre-release) but it is the first that brings core desktop Outlook functionality to Android.

For starters, it supports a wide range of email services and technologies out of the box including Microsoft Exchange, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, the company's own Outlook web mail service, iCloud and standard IMAP accounts.

Blur lets you search privately on Google

Google Search is without doubt the most popular search engine globally. It is the major search engine, often with 75% or more market share, in most countries.

There are only a few countries, China or Russia for example, where Google Search is not the dominant search engine.

If you like to use Google Search but are concerned about privacy you have a couple of options to deal with that.

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