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Malware is Malicious Software, a Danger to Your Security

A new form of Malware is being created even as you are reading this post. There are many choices in protection you can make and many more you should not. Like driving a car, you should be able to get on your computer and drive it to your favorite website or email and just enjoy. The purpose of this site is to keep it that way for you.


Save your Passwords!
Save your Passwords!

Keep track of your passwords, safely. This tool will keep all your passwords safe from prying eyes and yet convenient for you. Everyone should have passwords tracked. If you lose one, it could mean hours of work and possibility of losing access to your software or email.

Press Release Service 24-7PressRelease.com
Press Release Service 24-7PressRelease.com

24-7 Press Release Newswire has been a leader in press release distribution for small to medium size businesses since 2004. Press release distribution services like 24-7 Press Release Newswire have progressed over the years and evolved quite substantially. This also holds true when thinking about why businesses turn to a press release service for helping with their marketing strategies.

Kaspersky Free Anti Virus
Kaspersky Free Anti Virus

Free Kaspersky Anti Virus THE WORLD’S MOST AWARDED PROTECTION A single test doesn’t say much. We enter more independent tests than anyone, so you can be certain that we’re the best—and no other security comes close!

Which Password is MOST Important?

The password that opens your email account is the most important password in your entire on-line activity.


A typical hacking scenario goes something like this:

  1. A person uses their email on an unsecured site
  2. The site has been compromised and the email addresses for users are stolen
  3. The stolen emails are distributed across the Internet along with passwords used on the site
  4. The emails are used to log into the accounts and start farming for emails that contain potential words like Chase Bank, Bank of America, Amazon, order, shipping, and others related to financial transactions
  5. The words are pulled and the email account is used to log into the various accounts.
  6. Once access is established, money transactions are initiated and passwords are sometimes changed
  7. Credit cards are ordered, then used in the persons name.

How long does this take? Seconds.

Email passwords are the most important. Make it hard to remember, don’t save it in your system. Type it every time. Your email password is the most important and should be the hardest to guess.

There is not a human at the other end of the ID theft action. It is all done with software, servers and electronic activity.

It can come from anywhere. The news that So-And-So company’s database was hacked, but, it is NOT a company you work with or shop with, it is TIME TO CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS. Maybe you DON’T use that company, but perhaps your friend does, or your cousin. When friends and family get hacked, you are a potential target via THEIR email.

If someone you know sends you an email, and you open it, but, they have been hacked, you are at risk. If you do open an email and realize it is bogus, close it; close email; change your password.

Remember; Email is the open door to all of your on line identity. The email password is the most important password.

No, Social Security Does Not Call

Social Security is not making calls to your home. You may have already gotten one, you may get one this week. But, when the caller says “This is Social Security calling…” hang up. If you have caller ID, make note of the calling number and do not answer that call.

The caller states there is a problem with your account and your benefits may be affected if you do not take action. Then they ask for personal information that gives them the ability to “pretend” to be you online, stealing your ID and starting a nightmarish problem in your life.

Social Security does not call.

You can read here how Social Security protects you and your account; what they ask, and what they don’t. You can always ask the caller for a number to call back. This will cause the caller to jump through hoops to get you to give them what they want.

I DO NOT RECOMMEND staying on the phone with ANY agent falsely representing an agency of the government, bank or financial institution.

Call the agency directly. Be heads up when you receive a call.

ONe of the ways I identify a real call from a false one is the amount of time it takes for the person on the other end to talk. The long pause after your initial hello is an indication that you are being called by a false representative, a salesperson or someone who is trying to get your money.

Don’t fall for it this year. Stay safe with your ID and financial information.

Remember Social Security does not call you.

Microsoft is on the line, NOT

Hello, Microsoft is on the line…

I find myself telling those who ask my advice for their computers that Microsoft does not make phone calls. No calls to tell the computer user that their system is infected. Microsoft does not have your phone number. They do not track your system day to day.

Microsoft installs Windows Defender along with the operating system software and that software helps to protect you.

If you get a call from anyone telling you Microsoft is on the line, hang up. You will be better for it.

 

 

Your Digital Footprint – Minimize what is known about you

I recently found this digital footprint article through Tech Radar

Minimising the size of your digital footprint can be achieved easily if you take the time to do some housekeeping. There are a variety of techniques you can use to reduce the digital trail that you leave:

1. Check all your privacy settings

Go to each of the websites you use most often and see what level of privacy you have set. This is especially important for social networks. And if you have included personal information on your profiles, consider removing, reducing or hiding this.

2. Remove old accounts

Search for your name on Google’s image search. The image search you do may reveal some old accounts you had forgotten about. You may not use them, but the internet never forgets. If you can’t delete these old accounts update them with a false name, email address and blank image. Google will eventually index these changes, which should mean they are removed from your digital footprint.

3. Unsubscribe from mailing lists

We all sign up for hundreds of newsfeeds and email newsletters, but often only read a fraction of these. Unsubscribe from the ones you don’t read will reduce the data available for personal profiling.

Use a disposable email address to limit your digital footprint -Create one for JUST email confirmations

4. Register with a different email address

If you have to give an email address to a site for registration, have a secondary email address that you use for just this purpose. This will keep your personal inbox clean, but also misdirect anyone that is using this data for profiling. You could use a disposable email address from services such as Mailinator or AirMail.

5. Use stealth mode when browsing

The browser you use can also have its security and privacy settings tweaked to make your use of the internet more anonymous. The Chrome browser has Incognito Mode. Internet Explorer includes InPrivate Browsing. Firefox users have Private Window. And Safari users can also switch on private browsing from their browser’s security settings.

6. Think before you post

A great deal of the personal information that is now collected comes from social media. Being a little more restrained with your use of these networks will reduce the quantity of data that can be collected about you.

7. Tor browsing

The Tor internet browser offers high levels of anonymity, as it bounces all of your browser usage across several servers around the world making it impossible for anyone to track your internet sessions.

8. Use anti-tracking tools

There are a number of additional tools you can use to mask your internet browsing including DisconnectGhostery and DoNotTrackMe.

Twitter Passwords Compromised – Change yours today

I get notifications from many sources and today I received one from Tech Crunch.

1. You should change your Twitter password right now

Yesterday, Twitter revealed that a bug caused the platform to store user passwords in unmasked form. In this instance, it sounds like Twitter stored plain text passwords openly without any hashing on an internal log.

The company says it has “no reason to believe password information ever left Twitter’s system,” but just to be safe, you should go ahead and change that password.

Why Email Passwords Need to Be Very Strong and Different then Others You Use

Email Passwords

Email Passwords

Why do your email passwords need to be very strong and different than the others you use?

Hacking is big business. Email is how a hacker gets to your banking and credit card information. Think about this. Every time you sign up for a banking login or you need to change your password, the entity you are applying for send you an email. If a person had access to your email, they could tell where you bank, who send you offers, and what bills you pay online. Requesting a simple password change can put a hacker into your financial life is less time than it takes to get a cup of coffee.

Here is a piece of information, perhaps you didn’t know. People don’t hack, machines do. They are loaded with code and programs to do what it would take a person hours to do. Searching your computer for somename@somewebaddress.ext is swiftly done by a computer. A hacker could get into your system and figure out your access codes without you noticing anything was wrong.

The faster your computer, the less noticeable the intrusion. If you have a high-speed computer and on one day it moves just slightly slower, by the time you think “there might be something going on”, your computer is back to normal speed. AND you don’t think it was anything.

Email passwords should always be the hardest to figure out. But they do not need to be hard to remember. Phrases are hard to hack via machine. Pick a phrase and fashion a password from it.

The phrase I ski for fun could be turned into a password you can remember. Eyeski4fUn. Most companies want at least 8 characters. Some want one of them to be Uppercase, one lowercase, a number and sometimes a symbol. Putting the uppercase letter in a place other than the front makes hacking it harder. You can place the symbol you like in the middle or just before the end.

Make it harder to hack and your email won’t be the reason you are sending apologies to your friends on Facebook, or losing your good credit.

Update Regularly or Risk Attacks from Spectre, Meltdown or the Next One




I Do Updates, and Why

Update regularly. It is your primary defense against losing data, getting attacked and having your identity stolen, or worse. I believe many people do not update their computers because “it changes things.” Yes, that is true and sometimes it creates a time suck to fix those issues. That is because the operating system updates require the programs you run to also be updated to work properly.

I wrote a book called “I Don’t Do Updates, but you should“; a humorous look at the reasons and steps to updates from Windows Programs and Microsoft and Adobe software. I explain the problems that occur when you do not do regular updates. As a computer consultant, I see damage to computer data several times a month. Many of these occurrences could have been prevented. Updates are one way.

In the News today Spectre and Meltdown, two attacks are being discussed. This time it is not going to attack software, it is using a ‘vulnerability’ in the hardware of the computer. This time it is also not just Windows-based computers, but Apple and Smartphones also. This will affect you if you do not get the protection of the updates your provider sens to you. Try not to ignore them this time. In an article about Spectre, this quote says it all. “Spectre attacks involve inducing a victim to speculatively perform operations that would not occur during correct program execution and which leak the victim’s confidential information via a side channel to the adversary.”

Update regularly. The companies that know of the vulnerability are fighting it through updates to your systems. You get software update notifications on your PC and your phone. Follow the lead and stay safe!

 

 

 

Guys and Gals

This study (“What’s the Password?”: The Surprising Results | EPC Group) says that men are almost three times as likely as women to include the word “password” in their passwords. This makes it easy to crack, while women are 1.5 times more likely to use the use of four words method. Their passwords are easy to remember but difficult for hackers to figure out.




Putting four words in a row and substituting a number, adding a capital letter works on most sites and creates an easy way to remember the sequence.

A password would look like this:

iCANbyour1 (10 characters, 1 number, capitol letters)

Adding characters for the account you use makes it even better.

iCANbyourF1 for Facebook

iCANbyourG1 for GM

iCANbyourA1 for Amazon

iCANbyourE1 for eBay

If a symbol is a requirement, add it in a memorable space in the string of words.

iCANb-your1

iCANbyour#1

 

It is easy to break your password when you use common strings of numbers and letters. Find a phrase you like and use it in different ways for your accounts. Stay safe on your computer.

OH, also, if you keep a list of passwords on a phone, password protect it and do not say what the passwords are for. If you use the method above, the PW will be easy for you to recall, but not obvious for someone else. Remember, Facebook uses your email address, so access to your FB account with a password found on your phone will make it easy to hack your account.

Also, if you put a security lock on the access to your phone, it would have to be factory reset by someone to use it. Your information would be lost and not accessible to the person who has it.

Stay safe on your phones!


Pick a New Password and Make it Easy to recall

phishing hacks

I suggest that you change your email password frequently so pick a new password and today, make it easy to recall.

Start by creating a phrase that you can remember. “I like chocolate.” Use the spaces if your email program allows it. This creates a password that a machine cannot decipher in the time allotted by most attacks.

If you find you have to use capitalizations, do that for the middle or last word. “i like Chocolate.”

If you feel safer with a symbol, use it randomly in the phrase. “I like-chocolate.” Even the use of a period or dash makes this phrase safe in the world of malware hacking.

  1. Change your password after using your computer in an airport
  2. Change your password if you begin to get lots of SPAM
  3.  Change your password if you have forgotten it.
  4. Change your Email password and make it different than the others you use.

Get Wordfence for your Site

You didn’t create your site so somebody could overtake it. Wordfence protection will help you keep it safe for your content and your visitor’s experience.

Read this article about Ransomware and how it is on the rise for WordPress sites.

Ransomware Targeting WordPress – An Emerging Threat