Articles in Category: Security
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.
If we would all be a little more skeptical, we’d be safer and the internet would be a more trustworthy place.
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.
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?
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.
Changing passwords periodically is conventional wisdom. I disagree, and then discuss whether periodic password change can even happen reliably.
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?
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.
Password management utilities are great tools to manage your passwords and be more secure about how you use them.
Using a different password for every login is an important part of overall security — and it doesn’t have to be difficult.
Regardless of your initial thoughts, every account is important, and you and I are all targets.
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.
In those rare cases where an issue is discovered with any mature password vault, I cringe — but not because of the issue.
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.
Google will use your mobile phone number for verification if you lose access to your account. Some people don’t want to provide that information to Google.
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.
Detecting and filling in sign-in forms is a password vault’s most basic feature. I’ll look at how that works, and what to do when it fails.
Over the years, your choices when it comes to anti-malware tools have become simpler, yet frustratingly imprecise.
Security questions are a cornerstone of much internet security. I’ll look at what they are, how they fail, why you should avoid them, and what to do if you can’t.
The results are in for last year’s most common passwords. The implications are depressing, but important.
Two-factor authentication is a great way to keep your accounts secure from hackers – even those who manage to get your password.
There are now additional protections for your data if your machine becomes infected with a form of malware known as ransomware.
Your ISP controls your internet connection, and it’s easy for them to monitor the data you send and receive. The question is, why would anyone monitor your internet?
When using a shared computer, it’s too easy for others to see your data or history. If you must use a shared computer, you need to protect yourself.
Several current scams center around gaining remote access to your computer, often in the guise of fixing problems. There’s no way to know what was done, but we do know one thing: it’s a trap!
You can bank online safely, as long as you know what to look for and what steps to take.
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.
Even though digital communications are generally safer than their old analog counterparts, many people still mistrust them.
Your school (or whoever provides your internet connection) can see what you’re connecting to. Do they? There’s no way to know.
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.
The TrueCrypt project was suddenly and without warning shut down. I’ll look at a little of the history and what you should use instead.
Casually installing one download may result in several other things being installed as well. I’ll review the steps to remove these pesky, problematic, painful, Potentially Unwanted Programs, or PUPs.
Malware is just software. It doesn’t destroy your computer’s hardware in any way. Some work — albeit significant work — will get you back up and running without needing to destroy anything.
Media hype makes it seem like the bad guys are winning. They’re always in the lead – but don’t believe the hype.
It seems like even the most up-to-date anti-malware package isn’t always enough. It’s frustrating, because you’d think it would be.
After a hack or malware infection, you’ll want to know you’ve cleaned up the resulting mess. The news is not good.
Your mobile provider is indeed your ISP when you use their data services, and that means they can see a lot of your activity.
Trying to recover the existing password for an online account is usually an exercise in frustration. There’s one possible straw to grasp at.
An up-to-date web browser is important, but it’s not the whole picture, by far.
If your password is used to encrypt your hard disk, how can you change your password and still be able to decrypt your disk?
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.
Checking whether a download is safe before you download it is nearly impossible. Your best defense is your own skepticism plus anti-malware tools to check what you choose to download.
Password are here to stay, at least for a while longer. Until they die, here’s quick review of how to make sure yours are as secure as possible.
While it’s not typically easy, your internet traffic can be monitored at or near your router. I’ll look at how this might be done.
Changing your password is a common response to account hacks. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough.
You should be able to remove any toolbars or browser settings that have been added to your computer.
I have recommendations for specific security software and techniques in various places on the site. Here’s a short summary.