Articles in Category: Security
SMS messaging has some serious security vulnerabilities, but does that mean you should always avoid it? No.
Strong passwords are important, but they don’t protect you from everything. I’ll look at other ways your account can be compromised.
It is perfectly safe to stay signed in to your online account as long as you’re protected from a few specific scenarios.
Laptops are portable, convenient, and easily lost. If lost, all your data could easily be available to the finder. Encryption is the answer.
The best two-factor authentication approach varies based on your needs, and what’s offered by the service you’re trying to use it with.
LastPass is changing the terms of their free service. Find out if you’re affected, and what to do if you are.
Many hotels offer both wired and wireless internet, but with those hotel internet connections comes a security risk most folks don’t consider.
Password-protecting your Windows login does not protect your computer’s data, particularly if the computer is stolen.
We worry a lot about privacy, but our concerns are often misplaced. Fortunately, the biggest risk to our personal privacy is right under our nose.
A Google account includes Gmail, YouTube, and much more. If you want to keep those services separate, you’ll need separate Google accounts.
If you’re not using a password manager, you’re likely compromising your security more than necessary. Here’s why using one is safer.
Signing in without a password seems almost nonsensical, yet it can be more secure than traditional sign-ins. More convenient? That depends.
Worried about privacy? I believe we over-imagine the risks and at the same time are our own worst enemies.
Two-factor authentication is a great way to keep your accounts secure from hackers — even those who manage to get your password.
A full-image backup is still the best defense against ransomware. But what if your backup gets encrypted? I’ll look at the likelihood of that happening and make some recommendations.
Once your files are encrypted by ransomware, your options are few. If you’re not prepared, there are a few straws to grasp at.
Granting location permission gives apps and web sites a more accurate idea of exactly where you are. The question is: do they need or do they abuse it?
Email addresses can be used to locate public information, which could allow someone to track your location from your email address. Use caution when sharing it with someone you don’t trust.
Even with up-to-date anti-malware tools, you can still fall victim to malware. I’ll explain why by comparing your computer to your … bathroom.
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.
It can be safe to allow remote access, but it requires absolute trust. The risks are significant, especially since scammers have become involved.
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.
These are oversimplifications of many variations on the same basic question. People want to hack into other people’s accounts, or even their own, for a variety of reasons. Some sound perfectly legitimate. Others, not so much. And others are just blatant attempts at theft, harassment, or revenge. What’s really scary is that I get these requests … Read more
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?