Articles in Category: Security

Is Changing My Password Enough?

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

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.

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.

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 Might Be Hackable? USE IT ANYWAY!

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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: 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.

How Can I Send a Document to Someone Securely?

Email is a fairly insecure media. There are many things that can go wrong when email gets delivered, and protecting yourself can be difficult.

What Can a Website I Visit Tell About Me?

Websites can collect a fair amount of information about you. Let’s look at what every website sees.

Can My ISP See What I’m Doing If I Use a Virtual Machine (VM)?

A VM doesn’t get you any additional privacy from your ISP… although it might be a convenience as part of a more complete solution.

How to Best Back Up Your Encrypted Data

Encrypting your data is important for security, but it also adds risk that’s easy to overlook when backing up.

VeraCrypt: Free Open Source Industrial Strength Encryption

VeraCrypt provides a solution for encrypting sensitive data — everything from portable, mountable volumes to entire hard disks.

How to Tell if Your Email, Computer, or Facebook Has Been Hacked

Unless a password’s been changed, it’s difficult for a typical user to tell if their computer or account has been hacked.

Download Your Facebook and Google Data

It’s a worthwhile exercise to download the data made available by Google and Facebook, if only to realize exactly what information is being kept.

I’ve Lost All My Passwords, What Do I Do?

Losing access to your password vault can be a major inconvenience. Fortunately, that’s all it needs to be, and there are ways to prevent even that.

How Should I Encrypt the Data on My Laptop?

Protecting data on your computer is key. I’ll look at three common encryption methods.

How Do Websites Store Passwords Securely?

Effective website security is difficult, and often an afterthought. Not all sites or services store passwords securely.

How Did I Get Advertising About the Contents of an Email?

Sophisticated targeted ads can sometimes seem creepy. Here I explore how a few techniques work, and one I can’t explain at all.

What Is “Privilege Escalation” on a CPU?

Privilege is a fundamental concept in modern operating system design. We’ll explore what privilege means as used by the CPU when software runs.

What Do I Need to Do About Spectre and Meltdown?

Spectre and Meltdown sound scary. Here’s what you need to do, which is hopefully what you’re doing anyway, along with an attempt at an analogy.

My Ex Set Up My Computer and Is Now Spying on Me. What Can I Do?

Trust is tricky when it comes to computers. When you add relationships to the mix, things quickly get complicated, and unfortunately, serious.

Can I Password Protect a Folder?

Keeping data secure is important. Being able to password protect a folder seems an obvious approach. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

How Do I Back Up LastPass?

It’s important to back up LastPass, because unexpected things happen. What you do with that backup, however, is critical.

Enable Two-Factor Authentication in LastPass

Your LastPass password vault is full of exceptionally important data. Add additional security with two-factor authentication.

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

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

Why Do Password-strength Meters Give Different Results?

Password-strength meters don’t always agree. My take is to avoid them completely.

What the Equifax Breach Means to You

One of the largest data breaches in history has left many wondering what to do next.

Why Don’t Anti-malware Tools Work Better?

It’s possible to get malware, even with anti-malware tools installed. Why the heck is that true?

How Can I Tell If a Website is Safe?

We’re often enticed or directed to websites we’ve never been to before. We’ll look at a couple of tools to help identify safe websites.

Why Can’t I Just Use One Password Everywhere?

So many sites require a password, it’s very tempting to use only a single password everywhere. That’s dangerous, and there are alternatives.

Does a Lapsed Anti-malware Tool Leave an Open Door for Malware?

Letting your anti-malware subscription lapse is never a good idea. I’ll look at why that is, and available alternatives.

How Should I Password Protect an External Drive?

You want more than a password, you want encryption. Encrypting an external drive can be done with the right software.

How Do I Know If My Computer Has Been Compromised?

You can’t rely on yourself as a malware detector. Learn how to be a malware avoider.

I’ve Been Told My Computer Has a Virus, But My Anti-Malware Program Doesn’t Remove It. What Do I Do?

Making sure your anti-virus program and its definition database are up-to-date is the best way to make sure it can recognize and remove viruses.

What’s the Difference Between a “Trojan Horse”, a “Worm”, and a “Virus”?

There are many different terms that relate to software with malicious intent. Ultimately, however, there’s only one you really need to know, and several things you need to do.

Google Remembers More than You Realize

Wherein we consider how much information we “give away” in our daily lives online.

Why Microsoft’s Response to the Windows Defender Zero Day was Spot-On

Microsoft’s response to the recent Windows Defender zero-day vulnerability was an example of how the system is supposed to work.

Are There Hidden Files that Save Every Keystroke I’ve Ever Typed?

There’s a lot of misinformation, and even paranoia, relating to keystroke logging and privacy. Much of it, however, is based on small kernels of truth.

Sometimes the Threat Is in the Hardware

We spend a lot of time on software-related issues, but malicious activities and privacy violations can happen via hardware as well.

How Do I Encrypt a Hard Drive Using VeraCrypt?

VeraCrypt makes is easy to encrypt whole drives, making it safer to travel with your data. Here’s how to safely encrypt and then access your data.

How Do I Protect Myself from My ISP?

If you’re using an internet connection from a source you don’t trust, there are a few alternatives.

Offline Anti-Malware Tools

Sometimes, the best way to remove malware is to reboot your system and run a completely separate tool. I’ll list some of the most popular.

Windows Defender Offline in Windows 10

When malware prevents your anti-malware tools from working, the built-in Windows Defender Offline is your first line of defense.

Every Application Adds Risk

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