Articles in Category: Security
I Lost My Phone With My Second Factor for Authentication. How Do I Recover?
My phoned died, and with it, all the two-factor authentication methods I’d used it for. Here’s how I recovered.
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?
LastPass Password Manager and Vault
One of the challenges with current online safety advice is keeping track of multiple different secure passwords. LastPass not only does that, but does it securely across multiple devices.
I’m Told to Change My Password. Why?
If you’ve been told to change your password, do so, but do so in the right way. I’ll explain what that means and why it’s important.
Lock Your Computer When You Walk Away
If your device is not physically secure, neither the machine nor your data is.
Can Malware Infect Other Computers on My Network?
There are forms of malicious software that attempt to travel from machine to machine on your local network. There’s good news, though.
How Was My Bank Account Hacked When I Did Everything Right?
Even with all the right things in place, stuff happens. I’ll review the additional steps you can take to protect yourself.
Lost Gmail Account Recovery With No Phone or Alternate Email
The Google Account Recovery process may be able to help you get your account back. Maybe.
How Safe is Kaspersky Internet Security?
Any software company with ties outside the U.S. comes under scrutiny. Should you be worried?
Protecting Your Privacy: Points of Vulnerability
Tracing the privacy and security of the path from your fingertips through the services you use to your information’s final destination.
How Do I Scan Nuclear Power Station Computers Without an Internet Connection?
Scanning your nuclear power station’s Windows computers for malware can present some challenges if the machines have been secured properly.
Would You Please Recover My Password?
Every day, I’m asked to reset lost passwords, recover hacked accounts, or retrieve lost information in them. Here’s my answer.
How Do I Prevent a Repeat of Ransomware?
All malware is scary, especially ransomware due to the damage it can inflict. Here’s how to avoid a repeat performance.
What VPN Should I Use?
VPNs protect from certain types of surveillance and more. I’ll discuss what they’re good for and what to consider when selecting one.
Am I Safe?
There is no such thing as absolute safety. But there are definitely steps you can take to be as safe as possible.
Someone Is in My Computer, Controlling it. What Can I Do?
When things behave unexpectedly, many people assume their computer has been compromised by remote hackers. Many of those people are wrong.
Is a Password-protected Windows Login Secure?
Your Windows log-in password gets you surprisingly little real security. I’ll look at why that is, why you might still want one, and what I do instead.
Why Your “Unimportant” Accounts Matter
Regardless of your initial thoughts, every account is important, and we are all targets.
How Do I Run a Full Scan Using Windows Defender?
A full scan scans things a more common “quick scan” bypasses. Here’s how to run one using Windows Security.
My Machine’s Full of Malware; Should I Get a New Computer?
For some reason, many people’s gut reaction to a malware infestation is to consider getting a new computer. That’s unnecessary.
How Hackers Use Malicious Attachments to Give You Malware
Another day, another report of hackers exploiting vulnerabilities. Here’s how you stay safe.
Will Using a Password Vault Thwart a Keylogger?
A password tool may bypass a few keyloggers, but not all. Think about your overall computer and account safety first.
What Do I Do If I’m Being Harassed, Bullied, or Stalked Online?
Online harassment is common problem, and prevalent among children. I’ll review some of the issues and steps to be taken.
Is Passwordless Authentication Safe?
Passwordless authentication removes the need for a password and replaces it with something else. But can that be secure?
What’s the Best Anti-Virus?
There just isn’t a best. Knowing that will (hopefully) lead you in a safer direction.
Do Random Words Make Better Passwords?
As few as three random words make better passwords than strings of random characters — but not, perhaps, for the reasons you think.
Responses to Your Three Common Password Manager Objections
Password vaults are a common recommendation by security professionals to improve your online security. Why do so many resist?
A Data Breach Has My Data. What Do I Do?
Another day, another breach. What should you do if you’re involved?
How Should I Erase My HDD Before Giving It Away?
Erasing your hard drive before you give it away is important. Exactly how thorough an erase you need depends on your data and level of paranoia.
How Do Websites Keep Passwords Secure?
A high-level overview of how websites and services should store passwords security, so next time there’s a breach you’ll know what to look for.
Find Your Lost Bitlocker Recovery Key in Your Microsoft Account
BitLocker might be turned on without your knowledge. That’s fine, but make sure you have the recovery keys stored somewhere should you ever need them.
How Do I Access the Computer of Someone Who’s Passed Away?
If no preparations have been made beforehand, accessing the machine of a deceased loved one can be anywhere from easy to impossible.
No Email from LastPass? Dealing with Sign-In Problems
While travelling, I signed in to my LastPass account only to be told I needed to confirm an email message that never arrived — or so I thought.
What if I Forget My Passwords If I Use Two-Factor Authentication?
Two-factor authentication is different than passwords, but they both share important recovery steps if there’s a problem.
How Do I Safely Back Up an Infected Drive?
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.
Can My Computer Be Hacked If It’s Off?
Hacking a turned-off computer requires a few mistakes on your part. It’s unlikely, but possible.
Should I Just Hire a Hacker to Recover My Account?
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.
Just What Is a Hack?
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 Important You Know: There Are Ads in Search Results
It’s absolutely critical you learn to recognize the difference between advertisements and actual search results.
How Do I Access Gmail Without Phone Verification?
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.
How Do I Make Sure I Don’t Have Malware?
It’s impossible to know your machine has no malware. What does that mean for your safety?
Should I Take the Flash Update I’ve Been Offered?
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.
Can Browser Extensions See My Bank Account?
Browser extensions are often installed with little thought to the immense security risk they present.
How Do I Remove Malware that Blocks Downloads?
Some malware goes to great lengths to prevent you from downloading, running, or applying a fix. I’ll tell you what steps to take.
Should Your Username be More Like a Password?
Occasionally people suggest that usernames should be treated like passwords. While there’s some merit to the idea, it’s ultimately impractical.
The Easy-to-Avoid Two-Factor Loss Risk
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.
How to Protect Your Cloud Storage and Backups from Ransomware
There are additional protections for your data if your machine becomes infected with a form of malware known as ransomware.
Isn’t Storing Your Passwords In One Place a Security Risk?
Yes, password managers put all your information in one place. It better be a very good place.
Are Longer Passwords Better, Even If They’re Simpler?
A longer password of repeating characters is more secure than a short complicated password — but there’s more to security than cracking.
Yes, SMS Two-Factor Authentication is Broken; Use it Anyway
SMS messaging has some serious security vulnerabilities, but does that mean you should always avoid it? No.