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. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
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.
You should tap.
Australian merchants accept mobile payments with Google Pay or Apple Pay for almost every transaction. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
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. […] continuedRead more
A year ago I wrote this prediction: “The word of the year for 2017 is “chaos.” Write it down, seal it in an envelope, open it up a year from now and see if I got it right.”
I think I get full marks. (Although Dictionary.com chose “complicit” as the word of the year, which has a certain snarky charm.)
We are in a transitional time in technology, with a handful of very large companies – Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft – accumulating power and wealth and dominating the landscape. […] continuedRead more
On Tuesday, the word spread that Apple’s latest release of its operating system for Mac computers, MacOS High Sierra, had a terrible, dangerous problem. Anyone could sit down at any Mac computer and in seconds log in to an administrator account, with full permission to install programs, change passwords, read files – to do anything to the computer. […] continuedRead more