Technology Tidbits - General Info

This page is designed to provide some basic technology information to parishioners, such as what the parish technology plan is, what our technology future might be, what virus or malware threats are highly important, and some basic recommendations for open source software that might make your computer systems more secure.


Fall 2019 Computer Classes

St. Mary's will again be offering FREE computer classes for adult parishioners. We will have a maximum of 20 students per class on a first come, first served basis. Classes will be held once a month on the third Thursday, starting in February, 2019, in the school Computer Lab. Classes will be 2 hours in length from 7:00-9:00 PM. This Spring curriculum will consist of 2 classes on the following topics:

Sep 19 - Computer Basics

Oct 17 - Computer and Device Security

Nov 21 - Windows 10 - learn the new features of Windows 10 and how you can do what you used to do effectively

Dec 19 - Facebook and Social Media- learn about Facebook, its features, functions, security issues, as well as other sites such as Twitter, YouTube, Instagram...

E-mail: if you want to sign up to attend.

If Bellevue Public Schools cancel classes for the day or evening due to weather conditions, the computer class will also be canceled.

Ransomeware Threat

New Ransomware Poses As A Windows Update

A security researcher for AVG has discovered a new piece of ransomware called Fantom that masquerades as a critical Windows update. Victims who fall for the ruse will see a Windows screen acting like it's installing the update, but what's really happening is that the user's documents and files are being encrypted in the background...

The scam starts with a pop-up labeled as a critical update from Microsoft. Once a user decides to apply the fake update, it extracts files and executes an embedded program called WindowsUpdate.exe... As with other EDA2 ransomware, Fantom generates a random AES-128 key, encrypts it using RSA, and then uploads it to the culprit. From there, Fantom targets specific file extensions and encrypts those files using AES-128 encryption... Users affected by this are instructed to email the culprit for payment instructions.

 NEVER Click on any updates that are offered though popups !!!!!

Click HERE for a great primer on Ransomware....




Recommended Software

Open Source software does not necessarily mean free software.  It is your obligation to ensure you properly purchase any software that requires payment.


All software recommended on this website is copyright protected by  the individual owners or by the GPL or other licensing mechanisms.  Unless stated otherwise (with the $$ symbol), all recommended software is provided free of charge by the author.  As well, all software is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied.

Under no circumstances and under no legal theory, whether in tort, contract, or otherwise, shall St Mary's parish or school be liable to you or to any other person for any indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages of any character including, without limitation, damages for loss of goodwill, work stoppage, computer failure or malfunction, or for any and all other damages or losses.

If you do not agree with these terms, you are advised to not use the software.  PLEASE be sure to test the software in a TEST environment before you use it!!

Sorry about all that legal talk, but it had to be said. I hope i didn't scare you off.


Norton Suite ($$)
Avira Anti-virus Personal
AVG Anti-virus Free Edition
ClamWin Anti-virus
Avast Anti-virus
Microsoft Security Essentials
Spybot Search and Destroy

Microsoft Malicious Software

Removal Tool

(comes with Microsoft updates)
Microsoft Security Essentials
Super Anti-spyware
AVG Anti-spyware
Spybot Search and Destroy
HiJack This
Microsoft Security Essentials
Microsoft Security Essentials
PC Tools Firewall
Comodo Firewall
Zone Alarm
Web Content Filtering
Bluecoat K-9
McGruff Safeguard for Kids
 Comodo Backup  
Carbonite ($$)
Mozy ($$)
Easeus Todo Backup 3.0 Free
Personal Backup
Encryption Software

Secunia Personal Software Inspector
Process Explorer
Process QuickLink
Registry Cleaners
Screen Capture
Gadwin Printscreen
Create PDFs
Foxit Reader
PDF XChange Viewer
Wordprocessing, Spreadsheet, Presentation Suites
Open Office
Microsoft Office ($$)
Libre Office
Web Browsers
Chrome by Google
For COX Internet Subscribers- a free McAfee Security Suite...


 (Updated 6-13-2015)

($$) means it is a pay for program, NOT free...


Disclaimer:  Please remember - we are simply making recommendations, based sometimes on actual experience, but also on reading periodicals, blogs, reviews, user groups, or hearing from friends or colleagues.  CAVEAT EMPTOR- please test any software on your system AFTER you have done some reading about the minimum requirements needed.  St Mary's assumes NO responsibility for how any recommended software works on your system, nor any responsibility for fixing/unhorking your system if you install something and your system becomes (the technical term) hosed....