Articles in Category: Security

Yes, You Should Give Google Your Mobile Number

Yes, You Should Give Google Your Mobile Number

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.

Password

How Do I Choose a Good Password?

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.

Lastpass displaying an entry

How Do Password Vaults Enter 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.

Best Choice!

What’s the Best Anti-Malware Tool to Keep Me Safe?

Over the years, your choices when it comes to anti-malware tools have become simpler, yet frustratingly imprecise.

Question mark

How to Choose Good Security Questions

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.

Crank Your Password Strength Up to 11!

Crank Your Password Strength Up to 11!

The results are in for last year’s most common passwords. The implications are depressing, but important.

Google Authenticator

Two-Factor Authentication Keeps the Hackers Out

Two-factor authentication is a great way to keep your accounts secure from hackers – even those who manage to get your password.

Macrium Image Guardian in Action

How to Protect Your Cloud Storage and Backups from Ransomware

There are now additional protections for your data if your machine becomes infected with a form of malware known as ransomware.

Are You Being Spied On?

Can My ISP Monitor My Internet Usage?

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?

Computers at a library

How to Keep Information on a Shared Computer Private

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.

Remote Access -- to your wallet

What Can a Technician with Remote Access Do?

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!

Online Banking

Is Online Banking Safe?

You can bank online safely, as long as you know what to look for and what steps to take.

Avoid Ransomware!

How to Avoid Ransomware

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.

Telephone Corgi

Why Do People Think a Phone is More Secure than Email?

Even though digital communications are generally safer than their old analog counterparts, many people still mistrust them.

An onion

Can My School Tell I’m Using Tor?

Your school (or whoever provides your internet connection) can see what you’re connecting to. Do they? There’s no way to know.

Paypal via https

How Do I Know a Web Address is Safe?

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.

What Happened to TrueCrypt and What Do I Use Instead?

What Happened to TrueCrypt and What Do I Use Instead?

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.

How do I remove PUPs, foistware, drive-bys, toolbars, and other annoying things I never wanted?

How to Remove PUPs, Foistware, Drive-bys, Toolbars, and Other Annoying Things

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.

My Computer Is Infected with Malware. Should I Just Throw It Out?

My Computer Is Infected with Malware. Should I Just Throw It Out?

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.

Wanted Poster

Are the Bad Guys Winning?

Media hype makes it seem like the bad guys are winning. They’re always in the lead – but don’t believe the hype.

I Run Anti-virus Software. Why Do I Still Sometimes Get Infected?

I Run Anti-virus Software. Why Do I Still Sometimes Get Infected?

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.

The hand of a hacker

Which Files Were Affected by a Hack or Malware?

After a hack or malware infection, you’ll want to know you’ve cleaned up the resulting mess. The news is not good.

Mobile Computing

Can My Mobile Provider Track What I Do Online?

Your mobile provider is indeed your ISP when you use their data services, and that means they can see a lot of your activity.

An entry in Manage Web Credentials

Recovering an Existing Online Account Password

Trying to recover the existing password for an online account is usually an exercise in frustration. There’s one possible straw to grasp at.

Security!

Is an Up-to-Date Browser Secure on an Out-of-Date OS?

An up-to-date web browser is important, but it’s not the whole picture, by far.

Your password unlocks the key, which unlocks the data

How Is it Possible to Change a Password Without Re-encrypting an Encrypted Disk?

If your password is used to encrypt your hard disk, how can you change your password and still be able to decrypt your disk?

How do I remove malware?

How Do I Remove Malware?

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.

Windows protected your PC

How Can I Tell If a Download is Safe?

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

The State of Passwords in 2019

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.

The path to the internet from your computer(s) with a packet sniffing monitor inserted

Can Everything I Do Online Be Monitored at My Router?

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.

Is changing my password enough?

Is Changing My Password Enough?

Changing your password is a common response to account hacks. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough.

ask.com today

How Do I Get Rid of Ask.com?

You should be able to remove any toolbars or browser settings that have been added to your computer.

What Security Software Do You Recommend?

I have recommendations for specific security software and techniques in various places on the site. Here’s a short summary.

Hacker hacking

Do I Need a New Email Address if Mine’s Involved in a Breach?

If you discover that your email address is part of a breach, you probably do not need to change it. But there are steps to take to protect yourself.

Your password appeared in a breach.

Password Checkup: A Recommended Chrome Browser Extension

Password Checkup is a browser extension that tells you if the password you’re using has been discovered by hackers.

Two-factor Authentication

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

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.

The hand of a hacker

How Can I Tell If My Computer Is Being Hacked?

It’s extremely difficult for an average user to tell if a hack is in progress. I’ll touch on a few approaches, and discuss why prevention is best.

Two factor authentication

Two-factor Might Be Hackable? USE IT ANYWAY!

Another scare about two-factor authentication perhaps being hackable? DO NOT let that stop you from using it.

CCleaner Install with Avast as a PUP

How Do I Get Rid Of “overseer.exe”?

Overseer.exe can be left behind after an uninstall of Avast Free Anti-virus. Deleting it is a two-step process.

leo@askleo.com has been Pwned!

What Should I Do About the Latest Breach?

Another week, another breach. What steps should you take in the wake of the latest large-scale data breach?

12 Steps To Keep from Getting Your Account Hacked

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.

A One Step Way to Lose Your Account ... Forever

A One-step Way to Lose Your Account … Forever

I see people lose access to their important accounts all the time. Most frustrating is that it’s often their own fault that they can’t regain access.

How Do I Gain Access to My Deceased Relative’s Computer?

How Do I Gain Access to My Deceased Relative’s Computer?

If no preparations have been made beforehand, accessing the machine of a deceased loved one can be anywhere from easy to impossible.

A Child on the Internet

How Do I Keep My Kids Safe from Internet Garbage?

There’s a lot of garbage on the internet, and it’s difficult to prevent your children from seeing it. There are tools to help and steps to take.

Corporate Network Internet Access

How Can an Employer Recover Information I’ve Erased?

As much as you might wish it otherwise, it’s just not practical to try and hide your computer activity from your employer.

Decrypting a Bitlocker drive.

Use BitLocker to Bypass Potential Self-Encrypting Drive Vulnerabilities

Headlines to the contrary, it’s BitLocker to the rescue to protect yourself from some vulnerabilities discovered in drives providing hardware-based encryption.

What Happens When I Die?

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?

Secure Note

How Can I Use a Password Manager for My Security Questions?

Password vaults are good at keeping track of passwords, but not answers to security questions. There is a technique you can use to help.

Pickpocket

Don’t Lose Your Phone: Here’s What Can Happen (and How to Prepare)

Given how much we’ve come to rely on them, are you prepared to lose your mobile device?

BoxCryptor Storage Model

BoxCryptor: Secure Your Data in the Cloud

Many online cloud storage providers encrypt your data — which means they can decrypt it themselves. BoxCryptor is a great solution to ensure that your online data remains private, regardless of how it’s stored.