General Google IT News, Tech Information and Analysis

Google will Block Facebook / Web Services from Automatic Data Import

Google will no longer let other services automatically import its users’ email contact data for their own purposes, unless the information flows both ways. It accused Facebook in particular of siphoning up Google contact data, without allowing for the automatic import and export of Facebook users’ information.

Facebook, with more than 500 million users, relies on email services such as Google’s Gmail to help new users find friends already on the network. When a person joins, they are asked to import their Gmail contact list into the social network service. Facebook then tells the user which email contacts are also on the social network.

“We will no longer allow websites to automate the import of users’ Google Contacts (via our API) unless they allow similar export to other sites,” Google said. In a statement, Google said Reuters that, websites such as Facebook “leave users in a data dead end.” Facebook did not immediately provide a comment on Friday. Read the complete story here

They are fighting with our data as a weapon. Being open, is definitely not open here.  Well, how many of you really read the Disclaimer / Terms of Service when you sign-up for an email address?

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Enterprise Tech How-to Microsoft Tools

How to Remove Security Warning Message – Files Downloaded from Internet

How many times, have you seen this dialog when you execute a file which was downloaded from Internet?  For example, this Process Explorer message box below. This would come-up, every-time you run this executable. Also, when you open any of the help file from the downloaded suite you see this ‘Navigation Cancelled’ dialog.

Issues because of the Security Zone Information

The problem is that, when you download any of the files from the internet, using internet explorer, it gets tagged with metadata in alternate data stream, and says what IE Security zone did it came from. and even though, when you are running it from the local file system, windows remembers that it came from the internet.

Methods to resolve this –

1. Easiest way is to remove the zone information using the file Properties. Before you extract the zip file, Right-click on the file, select Properties tab. Click on the un-block button to remove the alternate data stream – Security zone information.

Unblock - File Properties

2. The other option, is to use a Sysinternals tool called Streams. Streams will examine the files and directories you specify and inform you of the name and sizes of any named streams it encounters within those files. Streams makes use of an undocumented native function for retrieving file stream information.

Using this parameter, streams -d will remove the Zone identifier information from a file and you will not see the security warning message/dialog.

streams - Sysinternals Tool

Also read about the other SysInternals Tools here  –

General IT News, Tech Information and Analysis

Facebook Introduces Organized Secured Share, Group Chat and Email Lists

Last month when I was talking to David Kirkpatrick, he expressed a need of a Group Control in Facebook, which will enable the user to choose what gets shared and with whom.

Facebook GroupToday, Facebook has introduced tools to give users more control over personal information and let them set up cliques of friends. It’s a simple way to stay up to date with small groups of your friends and to share things with only them in a private space. The default setting is Closed, which means only members see what’s going on in a group. Using this, you can choose to share your personal album only to your family members.

Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg said “the change – which analysts say is intended partly to mirror the various circles that people navigate in actual life -\- should make people even more comfortable publishing personal information on the service.”

You can also group chat with members who are online right now. You can even use each group as an email list to quickly share things when you’re not on Facebook. The net effect is your whole experience is organized around spaces of the people you care most about.

An Award winning blogger, Amit Agarwal has written on the benefits of Facebook Groups on his blog – Digital Inspiration ‘Lablol’ . Do Read the same for more information.

How to Create a Facebook Group:

On your web-browser, goto this url – ; If you have already logged in, you will be seeing this below screen.

On Clicking the Create Group Button, you will get an option to create and configure your group.

Creating Facebook Group

Configure, your group with a name, an associated icon, and just start typing the names of your friends. you will get the list of your friends, whom you can choose to add –

Adding Friends to Facebook Groups

A point worth a mention is that, you can configure the privacy of this group., on where you can choose the members and content to be public or private.

Security Privacy - Facebook Group

Once you do all the settings, and hit the create button, You will see this below screen. Now, you can add or remove friends, share content, pictures, links etc.. only to this group. and hence., making it Secure and Private..!

Facebook Group Created

Courtesy: Facebook Blog

General Google

Did you know about the Secure – Google SSL Search?

Yesterday while I was goog’ling for some information, I noticed this below screen in the Google homepage. Wondered, if it was any new Doodle from Google!

Well, this is the Google Search over SSL. Using this, you can have an end-to-end encrypted search solution between your computer and Google. This secured channel helps protect your search terms and your search results pages from being intercepted by a third party. This provides you with a more secure and private search experience.

Google SSL

To use Google SSL, visit , when you perform a search!

What can you expect from searching over SSL?

  • SSL encrypts the communication channel between Google and a searcher’s computer.
  • As another layer of privacy, SSL search turns off a browser’s referrers. Web browsers typically turn off referrers when going from HTTPS to HTTP mode to provide extra privacy.

Note that SSL search does not reduce the data that Google receives and logs when you search, or change the listing of these terms in your Web History. Google web search is available over SSL, so other search products like Google Images and Google Maps are not currently available over SSL.!

Courtesy: Features: SSL Search (Google)


Google’s Two Step Authentication model for Google Apps Users

Google Apps Premier, Education and Government Edition administrators can now have users sign in with the combination of their password (something they know) and a one-time verification code provided by a mobile phone (something they have). Users can continue to access Google Apps from Internet-connected devices, but with stronger protections to help fend off risks like phishing scams and password reuse. For the first time, we’re making this technology accessible to organizations large and small without the costs and complexities that have historically limited two-step verification to large enterprises with deep pockets. Furthermore, in the coming months, Standard Edition and hundreds of millions of individual Google users will be able to enjoy this feature as well.

Google Two-Step Verification

Courtesy: Google Official weblog

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General IT News, Tech Information and Analysis

Ebook – Strengthening Application Security with Identity Fraud Prevention Systems

In the new Essentials Series entitled Strengthening Application Security with Identity Fraud Prevention Systems, IT expert and author Ken Hess shows you how to protect your clients from identity theft using new methods of verification and authentication. You will learn how to overcome regulatory compliance concerns surrounding knowledge-based authentication and verification and determine whether your current (or proposed) identity fraud prevention system will scale future risks. This complete series includes the following articles:

  • Article 1: Incorporating Identity Verification and Knowledge-Based Authentication into Your Applications
  • Article 2: Overcoming the Regulatory, Security, and Compliance Concerns of Knowledge-based Authentication
  • Article 3: The Evolution of Identity Verification and Authentication from Static to Data-Driven Questions

Download this Free ebook Guide on Strengthening Application Security with Identity Fraud Prevention Systems for more information.

Note: You will need to create a profile in Realtime Nexus (The Digital Library for IT Pros) when you click the above link.

Courtesy: Realtime Nexus

You would also be interested in downloading these e-books:

If you are interested in some more Free Books/Magazines –

IT – Software & Development – Ebooks / White Papers from TradePub Browse through this extensive list of free IT – Software & Development magazines, white papers, downloads and podcasts to find the titles that best match your skills; topics include web development, programming, software design and application software. Simply complete the application form and submit it. All are absolutely free to professionals who qualify. – Browse through the collection here

msigeek has joined hands with to offer you a new, exciting, and entirely free professional resource. Visit us today to browse our selection of complimentary IT-related magazines, white papers, webinars, podcasts, and more across 34 industry sectors. Try it today!

General Microsoft

Least Privilege Security for Windows 7, Vista, XP– New Book from PACKT Publishing

Hello Folks, I have just started to review a book “Least Privilege Security for Windows 7, Vista, and XPwritten by Russel Smith. Windows OS Engineering and Application Platforms have always fascinated me ever since I started Packaging applications. I hope this book gives me lots of information, which I can further share it with you all..!

Least Privilege Security for Windows 7, Vista, XP– New Book from PACKT PublishingLooking from the Technology perspective, the contents of this book can be broadly classified into these sections –

  • Overview of Least Privilege Security in Microsoft Windows Operating System. and how to Solve Least Privilege Problems with the Application Compatibility Toolkit.
  • Detailed explanation on User Account Control (UAC) covering various concepts like Access Token Model, Elevation Prompt Security, Configuring UAC through Group Policy etc.
  • Software Distribution using Group Policy and Windows Installer.
  • Managing Internet Explorer Add-ons and Best Practices on Deploying Commonly used ActiveX Controls. If you don’t know what this is, you can visit
  • Supporting Users Running with Least-Privilege, Deploying Software Restriction Policies and AppLocker, Preparing Vista and Windows 7 for Least Privilege Security.
  • Provisioning Applications on Secure Desktops with Remote Desktop Services, Balancing Flexibility and Security with Application Virtualization and Deploying XP Mode VMs with MED-V.

I shall post a detailed review of this book soon. Until then, you can read this free chapter, Chapter No. 3 – Solving Least privilege Problems with the Application Compatibility Toolkit and let me know your comments / reviews.

You can also Order the book Online here from PACKT Publishing

About the Author: Russell Smith specializes in management and security of Microsoft-based IT systems and is a Contributing Editor for CDW’s Biztech magazine and writes regularly for industry journal Windows IT Professional. Russell is also contributing author to Supporting and Troubleshooting Applications on a Microsoft Windows Vista Client for Enterprise Support Technicians from Microsoft’s Official Academic Course (MOAC) series of books published by Wiley and Sons. he is an independent IT consultant and MCSE with more than ten years of experience. Russell’s recent projects include Active Directory Security Consultant for the UK Health Service National Programme for Information Technology (NPfIT) and Exchange Architect for Wipro Technologies. Russell also has extensive experienceas an IT trainer.

General Google

How Secure is Google Apps for Enterprise?

Google Apps is a web-based suite of messaging and collaboration applications. It’s all hosted by Google, and designed with security and reliability in mind, saving your company the frustrations and hassles of managing traditional IT solutions yourself. 

“Well, How Secure is Google Apps??” I reckon, most of us ask this question whenever someone talks about the cost saving features and other capabilities Google Apps provide. Indeed, there is nothing wrong in worrying about the security of ‘your’ Data.  Also, with so many corporates Going Google, this question become a very valid one.

Google has released a white paper to give enterprise customers greater transparency into Google’s security practices, policies, and technology involving Google Apps.

Download the Google Apps security white paper to understand more [pdf format]

Google Team says, “Feeling comfortable storing data in the cloud involves trusting a cloud services provider and the practices and policies they have in place. In today’s ultra-connected, web-capable world, understanding how data will be protected is ultimately more meaningful than knowing it is physically located in one data center or another.”

Also, Google stores customer data in fragments across multiple servers and across multiple data centers to both enhance reliability and provide greater security than can be achieved by storing all data on a single server. When only fragments are kept in any one place, the chance that a possible physical or computer-based compromise could result in the loss of meaningful information is greatly reduced. Read more at the Official Google Enterprise Blog

If you are looking at Implementing Google Apps in your organization / your domain, I recommend you read The Google Apps Deployment Planning Steps and Use-Case Scenarios for more information!

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Best Practices How-to Microsoft

Microsoft Security Awareness Tools and Tips – Effective Guides

The Microsoft Security Awareness Toolkit provides guidance, sample awareness and training materials, checklists, templates, and examples from Microsoft IT to help security managers quickly build an awareness and training program that will achieve results.

The Effective Security Practices Whitepaper Series

The Microsoft Security Intelligence Report

Provides an in-depth perspective on the changing threat landscape including software vulnerability disclosures and exploits, malicious software (malware), and potentially unwanted software.

The Microsoft Security Update Guide

Designed to help IT professionals better understand and use Microsoft security update release information, processes, communications, and tools.

Online Safety Toolkit for Enterprise and Organizations

This kit offers tools that you can use to help your employees learn the skills they need to work more safely on the Internet and better defend company, customer, and their own personal information

Microsoft SDL – Developer Starter Kit

This kit offers content, labs, and training to help you establish a standardized approach to rolling out the Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) in your organization.

Privacy and Governance


Increase Productivity, Improve Security, and Streamline PC Management with Windows 7

The Windows 7 operating system delivers on the key capabilities customers have asked for:

  • Windows 7 LogoImproved productivity by giving end-user instant access to information
  • Providing tools for IT to securely support their business
  • Protect corporate data
  • Achieve cost efficiencies
  • Take advantage of the virtualization trends in client computing

Leverage these online resources to explore key Windows 7 product features, plus deployment, security, management, and productivity.


Watch these webcasts on Windows 7 and learn how you can utilize the next generation of Windows to reduce costs and complexity. Tune in to live webcasts and stream or download webcasts for on-demand viewing.


Learn smart strategies, get new insights, and stay up-to-date on Microsoft tools, technologies, and services. Stream or download a video today.

Virtual Labs

Virtual labs are a great way to get a hands-on look at features and tools in the Windows 7 operating system. They’re simple, with no complex setup or installation required.


Stream or download these podcasts on to your favorite podcast software or mobile device. Podcasts are free and do not require registration—just click, listen, and learn.

Effective Guides – How to make Windows 7 Deployment Easy?

With the Windows 7 adoptions on the high, this article will provide you information on easing the Windows 7 Deployment challenges; by providing effective guides on Deployment Stratergy,Assessment and Planning Toolkit, Application Readiness, Shims and Application Compatibility.