Articles in Category: Security
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.
Hacking into someone’s account may seem like an answer to a problem. In reality, all it does is open a much larger can of worms and put you at more risk.
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.
There are several reasons ransomware will be a scourge for some time to come. Most boil down to, well, us.
Avoid ransomware the same way you avoid any malware. A full backup will save you not only from ransomware, but from a host of other problems as well.
I hear about techniques to bypass keyloggers often. The problem is, keyloggers can log much more than keystrokes. There’s really only one solution: avoid them in the first place.
When you see the list of possible hacking signs, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion your computer has been hacked. It’s usually not the case. Regardless, prevention is always easier than recovery from an actual hack.
When you lose your second factor, there are two things to be concerned about: getting into your own account — for which you should be prepared — and someone else having access to your second factor — which isn’t as scary as it sounds.
Realistically, it’s impossible to delete things from the internet. Yet in an apparent contradiction in terms, if you happen to delete something in your control, you also can’t get it back.
It’s for your own protection, and the result of fascinating mathematical wizardry. And if they can tell you your password? They’re doing security wrong.
You REALLY need to protect your sensitive data if your laptop runs even the slightest risk of being stolen. It’s critical that you protect it (and yourself) with these four appropriate security steps.
You might lose your hardware and any un-backed-up data on it, and possibly give a thief access to it all! I’ll cover a few of the basics. A stolen computer or lost computer can open the doors to all sorts of havoc if you’re not prepared.
Using a computer at work puts you at their mercy. It’s technically possible your workplace could spy on all your activities.
What’s the Difference Between Windows Defender, Windows Security, and Microsoft Security Essentials?
Windows Security is Windows Defender is Microsoft Security Essentials, by any other name. Windows Defender has also had different meanings over the years.
If your account has not actually been hacked, there’s little anyone can do to find out who’s trying to log in as you. But there are steps you can take to protect yourself from would-be hackers and phishing scams.
Possession of a Microsoft account recovery code is proof you are the account owner and should be allowed in should you ever lose account access.
A zero-day attack is an exploitation of a software vulnerability before there’s a fix for it. I’ll review the timeline.
How Can I Securely Delete Everything Except the Operating System? Five Steps to Get as Close as You Can
Before giving away a machine or returning a loaner, it’s important to remove personal information from it. That may be both harder and easier than you think.
If your computer is not physically secure, someone could install something even if you’re not logged in.
Working from home can be convenient, or even a necessity. Does it open up your other online activity to scrutiny by your company?
The biggest risk to your privacy is probably not what you think it is.
Security threats for people working from home are increasing. I’ll review steps you need to take to keep yourself, your company, and your job safe.
Video chat is probably not monitored, but there’s no way to prove that. If that’s too vague for you, then be careful what you do on your computer.
If you’ve lost your password, there are recovery steps. If you’ve also lost your email address, recovery becomes significantly more difficult.
Adobe Flash player is dying and should be avoided. I’ll explain why, and what you should be cautious of if you still want it.
Unauthorized use of your email address is rarely anything more serious than annoyance.
It’s possible for malware to be difficult or nearly impossible to remove. It’s also extremely rare.
With occasional security breaches at service providers and rampant email account theft, password security has never been more important. Make sure you choose and use secure passwords.
If you’re not around to unlock all the digital data you take such care to secure, who will be able to access it, and how?
Open WiFi hotspot downloads are available for the internet cafe owner to see. Whether or not they take the time to do it is another story!
Malware has come a long, long way since it began as a benign joke or proof-of-concept. Today, most malware boils down to someone, somewhere, making money.
Surprisingly, it’s possible for aspects of an https site to still not be secure, if the site is improperly designed. And it’s extremely difficult to tell.
If we would all be a little more skeptical, we’d be safer and the internet would be a more trustworthy place.
Domain names are simple in concept, yet can be constructed in ways that might fool you. I’ll look at some examples, and discuss what’s important.
Turning off remote desktop is incrementally safer, but it is a very small piece of a much larger puzzle.
Although there’s no way to remove all traces of yourself from a machine, there certainly are ways to remove as much as you can.
Mat Honan is a reporter for Wired magazine whose digital life was effectively destroyed due to account hacks and lax security policies. There are important lessons here.
Connectivity is becoming an added “perk” in some housing situations. Make sure you know the risks and alternatives when someone else provides your internet connection.
It’s tempting to think more is better when it comes to anti-spyware and anti-virus software and firewalls. In reality, too many can cause trouble.
It’s natural to want to find out who hacked your email and why. Begin by recovering and securing your account. I’ll review what steps you can take after that, and their chances of success.
Whole-disk encryption has only minimal impact on the performance of modern computers and hard drives. I’ll review why that’s the case and outline something more important: your ability to access the data when something goes wrong.