Security

You Do NOT Have a Problem With Your Microsoft Account

The advantage of logging into your Windows computer with your Microsoft account is that if you want to purchase an app from the Microsoft Store you’re already logged in.

I know that MOST of you don’t purchase apps from the store. If you’re like me and log into your computer with a LOCAL account (meaning it doesn’t matter if your computer is online or not AND Microsoft doesn’t know each time you log onto your computer) then your Windows 10 computer will on occasion show you this little message in the corner…

 

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The ONLY problem with your Microsoft account is that Microsoft can’t tell when you’re using your computer (for the most part.) So DON’T WORRY when you see this message, and don’t feel the need to create a Microsoft account to change how you log onto your computer.  Just SMILE and say “no thank you Microsoft” the next time you see it.

My Advice Hasn’t Changed with the Cyberattacks

With all the brouhaha over the cyberattacks going on all over the world, my advice in not getting infected with ransomware is the same advice I’ve been giving from the beginning.  Don’t CLICK on a link in nor OPEN an attachment in an email unless you know who it’s from AND you’re expecting it.  I can’t emphasize that last part enough.  It is someone you know who was infected that the email will come from, and if you think it’s ok because it came from someone you know and you open the attachment, then it’s game over.image

You need a backup of your data that can’t be compromised by ransomware, that’s why I recommend Carbonite.  For $59 a year your data is securely stored where even a virus can’t damage it.  I’ve had a client get infected with Ransomware and rather that pay the $1,500 ransom, we got all the data back from Carbonite.  You can get Carbonite directly from them, or for the same price I will set up it for you and make sure the subtle settings are all correct for you so nothing gets missed.

Carbonite also protects you not just from hard drive crashes but also theft and fire – it’s cheap insurance, so contact me ([email protected]) and let me get you set up and fully protected from the day you accidentally make that click.

This is Why….

imageTHIS is why I say again and again and again to NEVER open an attachment (or click on a link) in email unless you know who it’s from and you’re EXPECTING it.  You don’t really have to worry about things like this (nor even read the entire article) if you follow that one simple rule…

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-microsoft-cyber-idUSKBN17S32G

It’s Microsoft Patch Tuesday!

Lot’s of updates today.  If you’re running Windows 10 you can check by clicking on the start button and click on “Settings”…

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Click on “Updates and security”

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Then click on “Check for Updates”, or if the updates have been installed already, then go ahead and restart your system (save any open documents first.)

If you don’t reboot the computer, eventually it will reboot and install on its own, and maybe not at a convenient time for you.

Pay Attention if You Have a NETGEAR Router

https://www.helpnetsecurity.com/images/posts/Netgear-router-R700.jpgA flaw has been discovered in some of Netgear’s most popular routers that makes it really easy for a bad guy to have access to your router.  All you have to do is click on a link in a webpage or email and boom, he can walk right in.  Fortunately, it’s really easy to see if you’re affected.  Below you’ll see two links, chances are your Netgear router uses one of the two address in those links.  CLICK on the first link and if you’re vulnerable, it will only reboot your router.  So after clicking the link, wait 10 seconds or so and see if you can get to another web page.  If you can’t then your router is rebooting and you need to get it updated.  If it doesn’t kick you offline then try the second link.  If you’re STILL online then you’re probably fine.  The links below will NOT do anything bad to your router, just reboot it IF it has the flaw, but it’s a similar method a bad guy would use to take over your router – he just wouldn’t be using the “reboot” command, he’d use something much worse. 

IF you’re router goes offline, then it will come back in a few minutes.  When you’re back online go to Netgear’s support page at https://www.netgear.com/support/, enter the model number of your router and download and upgrade the firmware on your router.  Now if that’s a little to technical for you to do then call me and I can do it for you, even remotely if you’re not in Austin. 

My own router had this flaw and Netgear had an update that fixed it.

http://192.168.1.1/cgi-bin/;reboot   OR

http://192.168.0.1/cgi-bin/;reboot

Next Time You Make a Call on AT&T, be Sure to Say Hello to the NSA!

imageThis building, “owned” by AT&T just also happens to be the nerve center of overseas phone calls (and a great place to monitor domestic calls as well.)  Read all about it:  https://theintercept.com/2016/11/16/the-nsas-spy-hub-in-new-york-hidden-in-plain-sight/

If You Didn’t Order It – Don’t CLICK on IT!!!

Image result for oh noThe spam emails have started to arrive.  You ORDERED this or you ORDERED that.  They want you to confirm or deny that you order is on it’s way.

If you didn’t order it – DON’T click on it.  Scammers are in full force this holiday season.  Be smart!  If you’re not sure, CALL ME before you click! 

There’s a New Java Update

Image result for javaIf you don’t know if you have the latest version of Java, go here and find out.  Keep your computer safe!!!

https://java.com/en/download/installed8.jsp

The FIX is In (for Your Broken Update)

imageIf you’ve been having problems with the latest update from Microsoft, then you need to give this a try.  This script updates the registry and then should allow the update that has been failing to finally install.  You’ve got nothing to lose, so if you’ve seen your computer try to install the most recent update only to have it fail, then download and run this fix: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=53942

Microsoft Messed Up Their Latest Update

Image result for windows update failAnd you probably have noticed it this week if every time you turn your computer it tries to update then fails, and EVENTUALLY you get back to your desktop.

I’m watching CLOSELY for Microsoft to fix this situation and will let you know when they do.  This is all because they are changing how they are doing their updates and surprise, it’s not working (at least for a lot of people.)  If you have this problem, let me know and I’ll add you to the list of folks and then notify you as soon as I know of a fix.

Watch Out for ATM Skimmers

This are little devices that fit OVER where you slide your credit card, they steal your information while still letting the machine work as designed. The one in the video was found in Vienna, and they all look different, but what you want to look for something that appears “attached” to the ATM where you slide your card.

A Credit Card at Wendy’s May Upset More Than Your Stomach

Back in January it was reported that Wendy’s had suffered a security breach.  Apparently they’ve been slow to fix it.  Issues remain even into at least June.  And they got EVERYTHING needed to use your card: Name, the card number, the expiration date and the security code on the back.  There’s a site you can go to and see if you’re favorite Wendy’s was vulnerable. Go here to check it out:  https://goo.gl/ush5o9

Yes, Reset Your Carbonite Password–It’s OK

imageIf you’ve received this email, it’s ok.  Carbonite detected some strange activity on their network and to be safe, they reset everyone’s password.  So it’s ok when you get this email in your inbox.  Click on the green “Reset Your Password” button and change your password. 

I want you to know that THIS is what a GOOD companies do when they see something suspicious.  They are being proactive and they are protecting you.  This is the kind of company you want protecting your data.  You don’t want to find out from someone else and then the company reluctantly sends a message because you already know.

This is just one more reason why I recommend Carbonite for your off-line backups.  These are good people.

Run This App to Stop Automatic Windows 10 Install

And you better do it fast!  Microsoft has gotten VERY aggressive this week and I’m receiveing calls from people who are getting Windows 10 without asking for it.  Microsoft “promoted” the Windows 10 upgrade to a “Recommended” update in Windows Updates, so now it’s almost automatic.  Follow the instructions I posted previously to delay the Windows 10 upgrade until you’re ready for my help.  We have until July 28th, plenty of time for an orderly, safe and complete upgrade.  Follow what I said here (WAY back in February)…. 

https://www.tek-chic.com/2016/02/05/dont-be-surprised-by-a-windows-10-upgrade/

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