Are the Bad Guys Winning?

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In computer security, it certainly seems as if the “Black Hats” are usually one or more steps ahead of the “White Hats”. What are your thoughts?

There are two answers:

  1. Almost by definition, the bad guys will always be in the lead.
  2. It rarely affects the average consumer directly.

The bad guys aren’t necessarily winning, but they’ll always present a challenge for the good guys.

Read moreAre the Bad Guys Winning?

I see lots of failed attempts to login to my account, should I do anything?

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Hi, Leo. I was changing my password tonight on Hotmail and went into a section I never noticed before called recent activity. I was shocked to see that in the past two weeks there were a ton of failed attempts from nearly every country on the map that had tried to login to my Hotmail account. Is this normal? Should I be scared? Should I close the account? I’ve had this account since 1997 so it has lots of information about me in different folders. Thanks.

Honestly, what you’re seeing doesn’t surprise me. I do have some suggestions on what you should do, but closing your account isn’t one of them.

Read moreI see lots of failed attempts to login to my account, should I do anything?

How Do I Keep My Computer from Being Hacked at Night?

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I’m online sometimes late night into the morning. Being an IT student, I’ve read about hackers using the night to scan for active IP addresses and hack it using back doors for fun. Can you recommend any free software that can help prevent back door attacks and work alongside my anti-virus and my Windows firewall? Also, should I change from Windows firewall?

To be honest, I’ve never, ever heard of this so-called nighttime scanning. I wouldn’t believe it if I did. It’s always nighttime somewhere and the internet is global.

My servers are located somewhere in Michigan, but hackers from China try to hack into them at all hours of the day. It  happens constantly. The reality is that any computer connected to the internet is being attacked in one form or another pretty much all the time.

It’s one of the reasons why tech people like me speak so religiously about anti-malware tools and firewalls. But there are a couple of different ways to discourage hackers from choosing you.

Read moreHow Do I Keep My Computer from Being Hacked at Night?

How do webcams get hacked?

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I’ve heard that computers that have webcams installed can get hacked. My question is how do hackers get access? Shouldn’t I be able to see the webcam software running on my screen? How can I tell if the webcam has been hacked and how do I avoid it?

A webcam hack is nothing special. It’s just plain-old malware.

Some malware acts as spam-sending zombies. Other malware actually performs data destruction. Still other malware might sniff your keystrokes. This malware turns on your webcam and does something with what it sees.

Let’s look at how this works and what you can do.

Read moreHow do webcams get hacked?

Someone has stolen my email account. What can I do to get it back?

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Someone has stolen my email account. What can I do to get it back?

I’ve actually received a couple of reports like this in recent days. The scenario is this: one day you find that you cannot log into your email account. Then, to make matters worse, you find that someone else has been sending email pretending to be you to people you know.

Sometimes damaging email.

Remedies are few, but you do need to act quickly.

Read moreSomeone has stolen my email account. What can I do to get it back?