Articles in Category: Security

Should I Disconnect My Backup Drive When I’m Not Backing Up?

Some people disconnect their backup drive when not backing up because they fear ransomware. I explain why that’s a Really Bad Idea.

Can Everything I Do Online Be Monitored at the Router?

While it’s not easy, your internet traffic can be monitored at or near your router. I’ll look at how this might be done.

Google Account Hacked? What You Need to Do NOW!

Google/Gmail account hacks happen. Take these steps to recover your account and prevent it from being hacked again.

What Should I Do If I Lose Access to My Password Vault?

Losing access to your password vault is something you can recover from.

No, Don’t Write Down Passwords

The world’s largest magazine dispensed some bad tech advice. Here’s why I so strongly disagree.

Do I Need More Than One Anti-malware Tool?

It’s tempting to think more is better when it comes to security software. In reality, too many can cause trouble.

Is It Really That Easy to Get Someone’s Password?

We’ll look at some ways that someone else could access your account — or at least look like they have.

Windows Remote Desktop setting

Does Turning Off Remote Access Keep Me Safer?

Turning off remote desktop is incrementally safer, but it is a very small piece of a much larger puzzle.

Is It Safe to Download from Download Sites?

Download sites are just too risky these days. Don’t use them unless there is no way to avoid them, and even then, be very careful in your selections.

How Do I Create and Use Public Keys with SSH?

SSH and SFTP Public Key Authentication requires you to create a public/private key pair. We’ll look at how to create and then use those keys.

What’s a Dictionary Attack?

A dictionary attack is a common brute-force way of achieving a hacker’s goal. The goal of a dictionary attack could range from compromising your system to sending spam.

How Can Four Random Words Possibly Be More Secure Than 16 Random Characters?

Passphrases are just as secure as passwords — perhaps even more so — and are easier to remember if needed.

Every Application Adds Risk

Everything you download adds risk. Be safer using my three guidelines.

What Is Public Key Cryptography?

Public key encryption is the workhorse of security online. I’ll review just what it is and how it’s used at a high level.

How Does a Hardware Security Key Like YubiKey Work?

Hardware security keys like YubiKey provide an extra-secure level of two-factor authentication.

Can’t I Just Delete My Hacked Account?

Deleting an account you don’t have access to is kind of the same as deleting an account you don’t own.

Privacy Begins with the Operating System

Privacy is a complex and far-reaching topic. One of the most basic and often overlooked players is the operating system on your device.

Why ANY Two-Factor Is Better than No Two-Factor

Headlines are proclaiming that two-factor authentication has been hacked. That in no way means you shouldn’t use it. Your account is still much safer with two-factor enabled.

What Is a Passkey?

Passkeys are a new form of authentication that promise to be both easier and more secure.

Can I Still Use LastPass Safely?

Selecting another password manager is now the common recommendation. I’ll review what you can do if you elect to keep using LastPass.

Is “Juice Jacking” Real?

The FBI released a warning against “juice jacking”, but is it really something you need to worry about?

My Computer’s Been Compromised. What Should I Do?

The news is grim if someone’s broken into your computer, but there are steps to take to prevent it from happening again.

Will AI Crack Your Passwords?

We’re seeing AI associated with many things. Cracking your passwords is now on the list.

What’s the Best Password Manager in 2023?

The best password manager is the password manager you’ll use (within reason, of course).

How Do I Prevent Credit Card Theft?

There are some practices to help you avoid having your credit card compromised, but most card theft is out of your control.

Can I Check for Malware before Downloading Something?

Files cannot be checked for viruses before being downloaded, but there are precautions you can and should take.

If Someone Gets Into My Gmail Account, Can They Get Into Others?

Like a row of dominos, gaining access to one account can lead to others being compromised.

Why You — Yes, You — Are a Target of Hackers

Even if your bank account is zero or you’re just not that interesting, hackers are still after your accounts. Here’s why, and what you can do.

Are Facial Recognition and Fingerprint ID Safe?

Facial recognition and fingerprint ID are quick, convenient approaches to signing into or unlocking your devices. But are they safe enough?

What Encryption Software Do You Recommend?

There are many different tools for encryption. The right one depends on what you’re attempting to accomplish.

Why Is It Important to Have Different Passwords on Different Accounts?

Using a different password for every login is crucial — and it doesn’t have to be difficult.

Where Do Viruses Come From?

Email viruses come from many sources, and it’s not easy to trace them.

How Can a Hacker Try All Possible Passwords If Systems Block Failed Login Attempts?

Some hackers go for the low-hanging fruit and try the most common passwords, but there is one scenario where brute force works very well.

Setting Up 1Password

How to get started with 1Password and the most important action to take.

Your 6 Strongest Practical Password Techniques, Ranked

Six practical approaches to generating passwords, ranked from best to worst.

How Long Should a Password Be?

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.

How Do I Remove Malware from Windows 10 or 11?

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.

It Pays to Be Skeptical

If we would all be a little more skeptical, we’d be safer and the internet would be a more trustworthy place.

12 Steps to Keep from Getting Your Account Hacked

Here are the steps you need to take to prevent losing your account forever to a hacker.

Do I Really Need a Recovery Email?

Alternate email addresses are an important security setting that can allow you to regain access to your account if it’s hacked or you forget your password.

Internet Safety: 7 Steps to Staying Safe Online

Online security is critical. Here are the key steps you can take to keep yourself safe on the internet.

Why Can’t I Get My Account Back?

Way too often, I hear from people who have lost their accounts permanently. Here’s how to avoid being one of them.

What to Do About the LastPass Breach

The most recent LastPass security incident has many people concerned.

How Do I Delete Google Search History?

Deleting your search history can seem simple, but there are complications worth knowing about if you need to be thorough.

Can My Neighbor View My Internet If I Use Their Wireless?

Using any shared internet means other users on the service might be able to see what you are doing. Extra security steps may be necessary.

Should I Use My Password Vault for Two-Factor Authentication As Well?

A new feature in some password vaults has us thinking about security implications. Bottom line: use two-factor authentication.

A One-Step Way to Lose Your Account Forever

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.

A Lost-Second-Factor Tale of Woe and How to Avoid Your Own

A tech journalist lost his phone and encountered issues recovering a two-factor-protected account. We can all learn from his experience.

Please Set Up and Maintain Account Recovery Information

Account recovery information is an important yet often overlooked part of account security. Managed poorly, it can lead to permanent account loss.

What Should I Assume About Workplace Technology Monitoring?

Many employers can and do monitor the technological activity of their employees. Here’s what you need to consider doing.