security

Something You Know, Something You Have: Better Security With Two Factor Authentication

Extra security with two factor authentication

Two factor authentication adds an extra step to the process of logging into your accounts.

It’s inconvenient.

It makes you safer.

Until recently two factor authentication was only used by techies and high value targets in government and enterprises. The world has gotten more dangerous and two factor authentication has become easier to use. […] continued

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Saving Passwords In Google Chrome Is Better Than Nothing (And That’s A Good Thing!)

Google Chrome password manager

Google has improved the password management built into the Chrome browser. It’s . . . okay! Not bad! Better than nothing, absolutely. Saving passwords in Chrome is easy and kind of secure, as long as you take a couple of precautions that we’ll talk about below.

First, to be clear: everyone should use LastPass or another full-fledged password manager. […] continued

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These Shocking Facts About LastPass Will Make Your Jaw Drop

Password managers - LastPass & Chrome

The most important thing you can do to improve your security is to use LastPass. It’s more convenient and more secure than a notebook in the desk drawer or any password system that relies on your memory. Once you have confidence in LastPass (or any password manager), you can use unique random passwords (the ones that look like this: g88*GZ&&HwRx) for every website. […] continued

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The Password Lecture

The password lecture - you know you need it

We have to talk about passwords.

We’re going to start exactly where you expect: with a lecture about your sloppy habits, as if you’re a kid who’s about to be sent to the corner. I can’t avoid giving this lecture. It’s my job as a parent. You know you need it. […] continued

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Logging In To A PC With A Microsoft Account Is Overrated

Windows 10 - switch to local account

With the collapse of the Microsoft consumer ecosystem, there are fewer reasons all the time to sign into Windows 10 with a personal Microsoft account. I’m finding I frequently set up new computers with classic local accounts and bypass Microsoft’s push to connect the computer to an online account.

Let’s talk a little bit about the pros and cons of logging into Windows with a personal Microsoft account. […] continued

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Security Alert: Chrome Extensions And Notifications Are Being Used For Adware

A new adware assault using Chrome extensions and notifications

Adware has started to turn up again, using Chrome extensions and notifications as a way to display annoying ads and muck up the time we spend on our computers and phones – as if we didn’t have enough to worry about.

In the old days, we installed adware on our Windows computers when we clicked “yes” on the wrong website popup or as unwanted companions to “free” programs. […] continued

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The Bad Guys Do Not Have A Video Of You Looking At Porn

Security warning: the bad guys don't have a video of you looking at porn

The bad guys know where you live.

The bad guys know your old passwords.

But the bad guys do not have a video of you looking at porn. They’re lying to scare you.

If you get an email asking for money and threatening to release an embarrassing video taken with your laptop camera, it is a scam. […] continued

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Decoding Russian Cyberattacks: The Difference Between Hacking And Meddling

Russian cyberattacks - the difference between hacking and meddling

There is a difference between Russian hacking, on the one hand; and Russian meddling in American society and interfering with our election, on the other hand. The terms are used interchangeably and imprecisely in news coverage. Let’s try for clarity. Knowing the difference will help you sort out the claims flying back and forth in the headlines. […] continued

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“The Perfect Weapon” Is The Perfect Book For 2018

The Perfect Weapon by David Sanger

The Perfect Weapon by New York Times national security correspondent David Sanger, is the most important book you will read this year.

Before I describe the book, let me start with something essential to know about it: The Perfect Weapon reads like a thriller. It does not get technical or difficult. […] continued

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Security Warning: Malicious Email Reaches Epidemic Levels

Email messages are trying to hurt you

The onslaught of spam email with malicious links has reached epidemic levels. I’ve never seen it this bad. I hear from clients every day about dangerous email messages. I get 5 or 10 or 20 a day myself.

This is my new suggestion: Assume every message you receive is phony. […] continued

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Your Neighbor Is Not Calling You: 3.4 Billion Reasons Not To Answer The Phone

Robocalls and neighbor spoofing

It’s not your imagination. Your cell phone is ringing off the hook with automated spam calls – 3.4 billion robocalls in April alone, a 35% increase from the previous year.

Advances in call technology make it easier for the bad guys to make higher volumes of calls. VOIP calls can be placed inexpensively from anywhere in the world. […] continued

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FBI Warns That Your Router Is Possessed By Demons; Government Recommends Panic

Technopanic 2018: the bad guys control your router

Hundreds of thousands of routers – maybe yours! – are infected by malware linked to the Russian government. The bad guys behind the malware attack, Sofacy Group, are believed to be directed by Russia’s military intelligence agency. It’s the same group that hacked the Democratic National Committee before the 2016 election. […] continued

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Around The World In 80 Taps: Google Pay, Apple Pay, And Contactless Payments

NFC mobile phone payment

I never used a credit card in Australia. I bought coffee and sandwiches and souvenirs and dinners and clothing, but I never pulled out my wallet. I never used cash, either.

I tapped.

You should tap.

Australian merchants accept mobile payments with Google Pay or Apple Pay for almost every transaction. […] continued

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Rules For Computer And Online Safety 2018

Computer and online safety 2018 - Stop, Think, Act

These are the rules for computer and online safety in 2018. You can download a copy here.

You will be safe if you are cautious. Stop and think before you click on links, before you call unfamiliar phone numbers, before you install programs, and before you fill in passwords.  Only your vigilance will protect you against bad guys. […] continued

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Meltdown & Spectre: What You Need To Know About Intel’s Security Disaster

Meltdown & Spectre - Intel's security disaster

Nearly every modern processor has security flaws that potentially could allow hackers to steal data from any computer or server. The two related problems, code-named Meltdown and Spectre, have the technology industry in a tizzy and spilled over to the mainsteam press a few days ago. They are difficult to fix and alarming to read about. […] continued

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