Tools, utilities, and drivers posts - The Download Blog - CNET Download.com

The Download Blog

Heartbleed: Two steps to protect your information

Heartbleed: Two steps to protect your information

Heartbleed is a security flaw that's plaguing as much as two-thirds of the Internet, including many popular sites like Yahoo and GitHub. On sites affected by Heartbleed, user accounts are vulnerable -- your username, password, credit card number, and other private information may be exposed. Companies are scrambling to patch their sites.

But don't sit around waiting for a fix. Take these two defensive steps (and one more if you have an Android device):

1. Check whether your most-visited sites are vulnerable

CNET has already checked the top 100 sites to see if they have Heartbleed patches, so … Read more

5 tips for running Windows XP relatively safely

5 tips for running Windows XP relatively safely

Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP, an OS still used by approximately 20-25% of Windows customers. That means one in four PC users must upgrade to a more secure, supported version of Windows or risk their un-updated, un-patched version of Windows XP catching a virus or other Internet bug. As a rule of thumb, we always recommend upgrading your OS and then updating it as often as possible to protect your system. If you're switching to a new OS, read how to migrate easily from Windows XP. However, if you're a die-hard who wants to keep a Windows … Read more

Spruce up your PC for spring with these top apps

Spruce up your PC for spring with these top apps

Every machine needs tune-ups, and that includes your PC. Without regular cleaning and updates, your system performance suffers, slowed down by hefty files and unneeded software. Fortunately, many fine -- and free! -- utilities can do the system spring cleaning for you. Here's a roundup of our favorites.

CCleaner

CCleaner is one of our go-to, no-nonsense Registry cleaners. It scans your PC for junk files, unnecessary Registry entries, and unused cookies. It's good practice to run these scans at least once a month.

Revo Uninstaller

Revo Uninstaller is an alternate uninstallation utility for Windows. What it lacks in … Read more

File your return from anywhere with these top tax apps

File your return from anywhere with these top tax apps

Avoid the mad, end-of-tax-season scramble by getting some apps to help you calculate how much you owe Uncle Sam. Even if you've already filed, these apps can help you get organized and prepared for next year's return.

Organizing your tax records

Shoeboxed (iOS, Android)

Gone are the days of keeping all your receipts in a box above the fridge. Shoeboxed makes it easier to track your expenses -- just take a photo of your receipts, and Shoeboxed will safely store them. From there the app will archive based on dates and sort your spending into different categories (food, … Read more

Security lessons from RSA

Security lessons from RSA

The RSA Conference, the flagship meetup for cryptography, information security, and IT experts from around the world, just wrapped on February 28. While RSA is largely for IT professionals and businesses rather than consumers, I learned a couple of new lessons about personal protection in the age of big data. Read on for lessons learned and tips for taking control of your online security and digital privacy.

1. Beware of hackers and protect your passwords

Hackers are no more evil than the average netizens, nor are they loners: They build social communities around their illicit activities. Whether they're cyber-criminals … Read more

Trusted open-source apps for Windows

Trusted open-source apps for Windows

Open-source apps must maintain accountability when it comes to security. They have an active community of developers and users who help discover vulnerabilities, peer-review code, and perform routine audits on a mass scale. Security holes are patched at a rate that discourages programmers from placing back-door malicious codes. Though not every open-source app is secure, the ones that are benefit from the community in a way that closed-source programs and applications can rarely duplicate.

Many of the apps listed here have been so widely distributed and scrutinized that even RSA Conference attendees trust and recommend them.

Gpg4Win

Gpg4Win is a … Read more

Boot Camp update brings 64-bit support to Windows drivers

Boot Camp update brings 64-bit support to Windows drivers

Apple has released an updated version of its Boot Camp software to support installations of Windows on a secondary partition of its Mac systems. While Apple does not officially support third-party operating systems and software installed on your Mac, it does provide Boot Camp as an option so people can use Apple's trackpads and other hardware when running in Windows.

The Boot Camp update comes in two versions: one for the latest 2013 model iMac and MacBook systems, and another for all other models.

If you have a mid-2013 MacBook Air, a late-2013 MacBook Pro, or a late-2013 iMac, … Read more

Get in the games with top apps for Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics

Get in the games with top apps for Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics

Now that Bruno Bowl 2014 is over, it's time to turn our attention to the Winter Olympics. The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics officially kick off this week in Russia, and you can follow the action with these apps. Keep tabs on your favorite athletes and events from anywhere.

NBC Olympics Highlights

Get the latest news, video highlights, previews, and in-depth stories with this app for iOS and Android. You'll find the live-stream schedule, TV listings, and results all in one place, from NBC, the official network for this year's event.

Visa 360 Cam

Ever wonder what the … Read more

Popular antivirus tools for OS X tested, again

Popular antivirus tools for OS X tested, again

Recently Mac security researcher and analyst Thomas Reed put to the test a number of popular antivirus tools for OS X, to see which perform the best for detecting known malware threats for OS X. This effort follows similar assessments done by Reed in past years, but has been repeated to characterize the fluctuating nature of not only new malware threats, but also the effectiveness of scanning engines as they receive software updates and new malware definitions from their developers.

In his testing, Reed found that the top malware scanners for OS X include the following (in no particular order) … Read more