Articles in Category: Security
Two-factor authentication is different than passwords, but they both share important recovery steps if there’s a problem.
Once your machine is infected, system backups are likely to include the infection, but are still important. I’ll look at what steps to take.
Hacking a turned-off computer requires a few mistakes on your part. It’s unlikely, but possible.
Desperation can lead you to consider hiring so-called “legit”, “ethical”, or “white-hat” hackers to regain control of a your account. Don’t do it.
Hack or hacking can mean several different things — both good and bad — depending on the context. I’ll review the most common definitions.
It’s absolutely critical you learn to recognize the difference between advertisements and actual search results.
Six practical approaches to generating passwords, ranked from best to worst.
There are a number of ways to confirm your identity if you don’t have your phone. The catch is that most have to be set up before you need them.
It’s impossible to know your machine has no malware. What does that mean for your safety?
Adobe Flash player is
dying dead and should be avoided. I’ll explain why you should be cautious if you think you still want it.
Browser extensions are often installed with little thought to the immense security risk they present.
Some malware goes to great lengths to prevent you from downloading, running, or applying a fix. I’ll tell you what steps to take.
Occasionally people suggest that usernames should be treated like passwords. While there’s some merit to the idea, it’s ultimately impractical.
Two-factor authentication is an important tool to keep accounts secure, but prepare for losing the second factor so you don’t lose your account.
There are additional protections for your data if your machine becomes infected with a form of malware known as ransomware.
Yes, password managers put all your information in one place. It better be a very good place.
A longer password of repeating characters is more secure than a short complicated password — but there’s more to security than cracking.
SMS messaging has some serious security vulnerabilities, but does that mean you should always avoid it? No.
Strong passwords are important, but they don’t protect you from everything. I’ll look at other ways your account can be compromised.
It is perfectly safe to stay signed in to your online account as long as you’re protected from a few specific scenarios.
Laptops are portable, convenient, and easily lost. If lost, all your data could easily be available to the finder. Encryption is the answer.
The best two-factor authentication approach varies based on your needs, and what’s offered by the service you’re trying to use it with.
LastPass is changing the terms of their free service. Find out if you’re affected, and what to do if you are.
Many hotels offer both wired and wireless internet, but with those hotel internet connections comes a security risk most folks don’t consider.
Password-protecting your Windows login does not protect your computer’s data, particularly if the computer is stolen.
We worry a lot about privacy, but our concerns are often misplaced. Fortunately, the biggest risk to our personal privacy is right under our nose.
A Google account includes Gmail, YouTube, and much more. If you want to keep those services separate, you’ll need separate Google accounts.
If you’re not using a password manager, you’re likely compromising your security more than necessary. Here’s why using one is safer.
Signing in without a password seems almost nonsensical, yet it can be more secure than traditional sign-ins. More convenient? That depends.
Worried about privacy? I believe we over-imagine the risks and at the same time are our own worst enemies.
Two-factor authentication is a great way to keep your accounts secure from hackers — even those who manage to get your password.
A full-image backup is still the best defense against ransomware. But what if your backup gets encrypted? I’ll look at the likelihood of that happening and make some recommendations.
Once your files are encrypted by ransomware, your options are few. If you’re not prepared, there are a few straws to grasp at.
Granting location permission gives apps and web sites a more accurate idea of exactly where you are. The question is: do they need or do they abuse it?
Email addresses can be used to locate public information, which could allow someone to track your location from your email address. Use caution when sharing it with someone you don’t trust.
Even with up-to-date anti-malware tools, you can still fall victim to malware. I’ll explain why by comparing your computer to your … bathroom.
I see people lose access to their most important accounts all the time. It’s often their own fault that they can’t regain access.
It can be safe to allow remote access, but it requires absolute trust. The risks are significant, especially since scammers have become involved.
Using different passwords on different sites is not only good practice, it’s necessary to keep your accounts safe. I’ll review why, and how best to handle a plethora of passwords.
These are oversimplifications of many variations on the same basic question. People want to hack into other people’s accounts, or even their own, for a variety of reasons. Some sound perfectly legitimate. Others, not so much. And others are just blatant attempts at theft, harassment, or revenge. What’s really scary is that I get these requests … Read more
Changing passwords periodically is conventional wisdom. I disagree, and then discuss whether periodic password change can even happen reliably.
Trying to remove malware? I’ll walk you through the steps and options, from simple to hard, including the only approach that’s guaranteed to work.
Online shopping is ubiquitous, and yet some avoid it completely. Why are some people afraid to shop online when it’s arguably safer than offline?
Security tools are asked to do an important, sometimes resource-hungry task. Here’s how to mitigate their impact on your ability to use your computer.
Casually installing one download may result in several other things being installed. I’ll review the steps to remove these pesky, problematic, painful, Potentially Unwanted Programs, or PUPs.
My recommendations for specific security software and techniques to keep your computer, and yourself, safe.
Malware authors often make fantastic promises to get people to bypass their security software. It’s important to remain skeptical, vigilant, and attentive.
Some people disconnect their backup drive when not backing up because they fear ransomware. I explain why that’s a Really Bad Idea.
For years, the standard practice has been to assume that eight-character passwords made up of sufficiently random characters was enough. Not any more. Not even close.
Malware can impact your computers performance before it arrives, once infected, and even after removal.