Dark Patterns Are Evil – And They’re Everywhere

Dark patterns - deceptive opt in choices

I hate to interrupt the steady flow of happiness and joy in the news, but I want to call your attention to a small way that our civilization is degrading into a dystopian hell. Once I describe it, you’ll notice it everywhere.

The web is filled with dark patterns – deliberately confusing and deceptive choices, designed to trick us into signing up for junk newsletters, subscribing to unwanted services, spamming everyone in our address book, or giving up our privacy. […] continued

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How To Turn Off Unwanted Chrome Extensions

Chrome Web Store - extensions

In the last article, I told you how to turn off spam ads that appear as notifications in the lower right corner of your Windows desktop.

After you do that, Chrome might still not be right – maybe it doesn’t open up to the Google search page, maybe search results are odd, maybe you get popups. […] continued

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How To Turn Off Spam Ads & Annoying Notifications In Windows 10 & Chrome

Windows 10 notification - adware from Chrome

This article is for anyone with spam ads or annoying notifications popping up from the lower right corner of your Windows desktop. If you don’t have this problem, file this away in case you need it later.

(Also see: How To Turn Off Unwanted Chrome Extensions)

Sleazy advertisers used to install “adware,” little programs to change your browser home page and pop up ads in the middle of the screen. […] continued

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Rules For Computer And Online Safety 2019

How to be safe using a computer in 2019

These are the rules for computer and online safety in 2019. You can download a copy here.

Only your vigilance will protect you against bad guys. 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. […] continued

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Security Tip: The Bad Guys Can Spoof The Sender’s Name And Email Address On Malicious Messages

Email address spoofing

Let’s start with two familiar security principles.

•  The bad guys can make any name appear as the sender of a malicious email message.

•  Frequently the email address does not match the name. It’s one of the indicators that a message is fake.

The screenshot above is an example. You should always look at the email address of the sender before you click on anything in an email message. […] 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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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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Office 365 Tip: How To Turn Off Focused Inbox And Turn On Clutter

Outlook - clutter and focused inbox

I don’t like Focused Inbox. I want my Clutter back.

Focused Inbox is Microsoft’s new method of filtering mail for Office 365 business accounts. Here’s more info about Focused Inbox.

The short version:

•  Clutter and Focused Inbox are both ways to separate important messages from messages that are less likely to be important to you – newsletters, notifications, marketing and ads. […] continued

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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes: Focused Inbox Is Replacing Clutter In Outlook

Focused Inbox is replacing Clutter in Outlook

Microsoft just wants to be helpful. It’s eager to be helpful. It can’t stop itself from trying new things, just in case they’re a little bit better, even if you didn’t ask for any changes and you don’t really want new things.

Imagine that every six months you came home and Microsoft had rearranged your furniture without telling you. […] continued

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Security Warning: Do Not Click On Links In Email Messages!

Do not click on links in email messages!

Do not click on links in email messages unless you are 100% certain they lead somewhere you want to go.

We are being assaulted by a torrent of phony email messages from criminals. The messages look legitimate. The links lead to fake websites that will try to steal your password or credit card number. […] continued

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The Case Of The Missing Eye

Security - the case of the missing eye

Let’s track down a bad guy. Looking through the clues will help you catch the next criminal that tries to trick you with a malicious email message.

I received many reports last week of phony messages that appeared to be from Microsoft, Paypal, and others. There are some examples below. One of them was clever in an interesting way that will remind you of how careful you need to be. […] continued

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Scam Alert: Beware Of Chinese Domain Emails

Beware of Chinese domain name email scams

If you get an email urging you to take fast action because your business domain name is about to be registered by someone in China, throw it away. It’s a scam.

There has been a resurgence of these in the last few months. I’ve gotten a few and several clients have mentioned them recently. […] continued

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Security Warning: Be Alert For Amazon Scam Email

Amazon scam email

The email above landed in my inbox this morning. It’s phony. I don’t know how it got through the junk mail filter. We are required to be paranoid these days! It’s sad. Let me give you some tips for staying safe out there.

The message purports to be from Amazon. It’s got the look and feel of Amazon’s emails. […] continued

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The Return Of Cryptolocker

The return of Cryptolocker

Cryptolocker is arguably the worst virus we have ever faced. It first appeared last fall and caused havoc, then left the news for a few months.

It’s back. I’ve had two clients lose computers to Cryptolocker or a variation on it in the last month, and there are reports that it is spreading worldwide. […] continued

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Spam, Spam Everywhere

Wordpress

Sometimes it seems as if we’re making progress against spam. Spam filters have improved and we don’t bother to check the Junk Mail folder any more because we know it’s all junk. Oh, sure, some crud gets through to the Inbox from the bad guys but on the whole complaints about spam have dropped way down. […] continued

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