Archive for March 2013

Prevent Your Apple Account From Being Hacked

Apple has just enabled two-step verification for it’s Apple ID users.  What is two-step (or two-factor) verification?

Well currently when you want to buy an app for your iPhone, iPod, iPad or Mac – all you need to know is your password.  Unfortunately, most of you either use an easy password or the same password as you do on most other sites (and you know who you are.)  This makes it easy for a bad guy to crack your password and get into your account.

TWO-step verification required not just something you KNOW (your password) but something you HAVE (like your phone or iPad.)  Google, PayPal and many other sites, including banks already offer two-step verification.  How it works is this: you enter your login information just as always, but then you’ll be prompted to enter a code that you receive as a text message to your phone.  So even if a bad guy guesses your password, unless he ALSO has your phone, he can’t get it.

I use this process for both my Google and PayPal accounts and it’s nice to know no one is getting in to my stuff by simply guessing my passwords.

MakeUseOf has an article explaining all this and the link to the Apple page to set it up, here it is:  http://goo.gl/QveMY

Funny idea, but don’t you do it.

Did You Update? You Don’t Know? Then Read This…

imageOk, every month I post this, so certainly by now you must be getting tired of my reminders, but I continue to go into clients’ homes who I know follow this blog and STILL I find important updates that haven’t been performed.  These updates keep you SAFE, so please do them as soon as you see the little icons in your task tray.

This week Microsoft push several important updates out.  Hopefully your computer is set up to automatically download and install them.  If not, then you’re probably seeing the yellow icon (for Windows XP) or the blue icon (Vista and Windows 7.)  If you see it, click on it and install the updates.

If you still have Java on your system (my recommendation is to uninstall it completely from your system) then you are probably seeing the little orange coffee cup on a weekly basis.  Don’t put that off.  New Java flaws are being discovered as fast as they can fix the old ones, and the bad guys will have exploits up within 24 hours of the update being published, so don’t delay.  Adobe Acrobat Reader (the familial red icon) also has lots of flaws.  Keep it updated whenever you see the icon.

imageIf you’re not sure if your Adobe Flash player is up to date (another way bad guys can get into your system) then go to http://get2.adobe.com/flashplayer/ and it will install the latest version for your browser (I recommend you UN-CHECK the box that installs McAfee Security Scan or any other software other than Flash.)

Stay safe out there people, it’s not a jungle – it’s a web.

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