Archive for August 2015

Microsoft “Broke” Security Essentials with an Update

imageIf you’re running Windows XP, Vista or 7 AND are using Microsoft Security Essentials as your anti-virus program, well, Microsoft goofed.  They put out some updates about 10 days ago and one of them had an unintended result, it’s broke Microsoft Security Essentials’ full scan mode.

Normally when it does a scheduled scan it just does a “Quick” scan, and that part continues to function just fine – and for the most part it’s really all you need.  But some of you just can’t help yourself and feel the need to run full scans.  Three of you have contacted me about it and that’s when I realized today that something was up. 

I’ve done the research and Microsoft is aware of the issue.  Hopefully they’ll fix it in the next few weeks.  In the meantime, just be happy with the Quick scans.

As an aside, you almost never get infected accidentally.  YOU had to do something in most cases.  Running scans and finding something only tells you that YOU were careless at some point.  Go back and re-read my 3-Secrets to Avoiding Viruses and Malware.

It’s Been a Month – The Verdict on Windows 10 Upgrades?

imageWell, I’ve probably upgraded 20 or more computers to Windows 10 in the last month, and it’s been nearly flawless.  BUT – I still recommend you wait to upgrade when YOU are ready and not when MICROSOFT is ready.  So if you’re still getting pestered by Microsoft’s little icon in the task tray, just keep telling it “later gator.”

I’d like to help you through the installation process.  1) Because there are some privacy issues that are EASY to miss during the upgrade and 2) you probably need a little help (not much – maybe 5 minutes) learning the differences with Windows 10.

If you have a computer that’s also running slow, this is a perfect time to upgrade to a Solid State Drive (SSD).  It replaces the hard drive in your computer and is CRAZY FAST compared to what you have now.

I’ve upgraded a few computers running Vista as well.  You DO need to have a legal license of Windows 7 to upgrade for free, but I’ve found legal licenses for as little as $40 – well worth it.  But put a SSD in your old computer, upgrade to Windows 10 and I promise you’ll have a computer that will amaze you.

Are You Benefitting From PMS?

https://1912milligrams.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/doctor.jpgNo, I’m not talking about THAT!  I’m talking about Preventive Maintenance Service.  I have many clients that are now taking advantage of my monthly service where I completely go through your computer, get rids of any viruses or malware, check your hard drive, make sure your operating system is up-to-date, check for unwanted programs running in the background all the time that you don’t actually need, make sure your Adobe Flash, Reader as well as Java are current and make sure your backup routine is running properly.

 

For one computer I charge $25 of month.  If you have two computer you’d like me to check it’s only $40 for both.

Here’s the link to my web page with all the details.  You also get discounts for referring me to others and also discounts for any in-home visits you may need if you’re a subscriber.

I started this service over a year ago, and NO ONE has ever cancelled, thinking it isn’t worth it.  Most of them I actually haven’t seen in that year because their computer is running so well.

Now the Ashley Madison Information is Searchable

imageConcerned about a cheating spouse or if your information was in the AshleyMadison.com hacked database?  Well, now there are a couple of sites that let you enter an email address and they will be able to confirm that the address either is or is not among the hacked data.

Now keep in mind, JUST because an email address is in the database, that doesn’t mean they actually went forward and pursued contacting anyone or actually having an affair.  There’s even the chance someone with a similar email address had a typo and entered the wrong email address.  So don’t immediately jump to conclusions. 

Frankly I don’t see any of my clients looking for affairs anyway.  Maybe you have a daughter who married a no-good bum you don’t trust.  OK, enter HIS email address in there and check him out.

So here are the sites…  http://www.trustify.info/check and https://ashley.cynic.al/

Oh, and once again as a lesson learned, notice at the bottom of their ad it says “100% Secure” and “Completely Anonymous”.  Well, not anymore.  The same can be said for any other site of any kind you may sign up on.

“Life is Short. Have an Affair”

imageIf you recognize that tag line of the web site Ashley Madison, you might want to check your credit card account.

In case you don’t know, Ashley Madison is a web site to help married people cheat on their spouse.  Well guess what?  They got hacked!  That’s right boys and girls, all those name and credit card numbers are now in the hands of bad guys. 

You know, if you’ve been cheating on your spouse, the credit card issue might be the least of your concerns.  Law enforcement in the U.S. and Canada (where the site is based) are working on the case of the hack.  I imagine it would be pretty embarrassing to be contacted by an officer asking to confirm the information that is recovered (especially if is your SPOUSE the one being asked.)

This is just a reminder that ANYWHERE you leave your information is subject to being attacked by hackers, so you might want think twice about what sites you sign up for, regardless of their promises of anonymity, because they just can’t guarantee it.

Patch Tuesday is Now “Update Tuesday”

https://www.tek-chic.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/image1.pngWith Windows 10, Microsoft is now going to send updates throughout the month.  As far as I can tell, they are also going to be doing the same for Windows 7 and 8 from now on, though there will still be some updates still on the 2nd Tuesday of the month. 

But that doesn’t change the need to remind you about Adobe Flash, Reader and also Java updates.  Windows 7 and 8 users may or may not see the little blue icon, we’ll find out.   As always, just be aware of what is down in the lower corner.

Don’t Panic – But the Hackers are all in Las Vegas

You may hear things in the news this week as the two biggest hacker conventions take place this week in Las Vegas, Black Hat and Def Con.

The Black Hat convention is attended more by security executive, hackers, academics and even law enforcement.  As many as 9,000 people will be in attendance at the Mandalay Bay.  After Black Hat, the fun moves to the Paris and Bally’s hotels when last year, 16,000 people attended Def Con. 

The Def Con crowd is for the full-blown hackers.  You won’t see people paying with credit cards, using wi-fi or cell phones because it’s guaranteed there will be folks looking to hack into those systems.  This really isn’t a good week to be a regular visitor to Las Vegas.  Law enforcement will also try to attend Def Con, but usually undercover, trying to fit in because otherwise no one will even talk to them.

But at both conventions, they do have speakers and multiple sessions.  Flaws and exploits will be revealed, some we are expecting (like how recent car hacks were done) and some will be a surprise.

Def Con will have as a returning feature its “Wall of Sheep”, where passwords, user ID’s and other information is posted from people who are too careless to practice safe computing techniques.

I’ll be watching for any announcements coming out of the conventions, so check back to see if you need to take any actions against any new threats.

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