Windows 10 Creators’ Update

Windows 10 update to version 1703 is out, and there are some hidden features:  thetechbeard.com/windows10-creators-update-hidden-features.  Get the Windows 10 update here: www.windows.com.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Windows 10 Creators’ Update

TSA is Asking for Social Media Passwords

This is odd, but apparently, since Trump’s executive order on international travel, there are stories about TSA not only checking that laptops and mobile devices are turned on and working, but are now also asking for your social media logins and passwords upon re-entering the US after international travel.  More here: http://techguylabs.com/episodes/1365/tsa-customs-are-asking-social-media-passwords

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on TSA is Asking for Social Media Passwords

QuickTime for Windows is Dead

Just a reminder, if you still have Apple QuickTime installed on your Windows computer, you need to remove it. Apple no longer updates or patches QuickTime for Windows, making it a vector for infection.  Read more HERE and also HERE.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on QuickTime for Windows is Dead

What Is an LCD Mura?

Example of a screen mura spot.

Have you ever owned a laptop that developed one or more white or dark spots on the screen?  Not a sharp dot or pixel, but more of a fuzzy white or dark area?  It’s called an LCD Mura.  Also known as LCD clouding, this condition occurs due to excessive heat and physical pressure to the LCD panel.

LCD mura or clouding can manifest itself as dark or white spots, regions, or streaks.  Since this sort of damage is permanent, the only fix is to replace the LCD panel on the laptop, or to just live with it.  Prevention is best:  Keep your laptop screen away from excessive heat or downward pressure on the top of the laptop.

Here is an illustration of what different types of muras look like: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/239762248_fig1_Figure-1-Illustration-of-line-spot-and-region-Mura.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Is an LCD Mura?

Read Mac Hard Drives on Windows

Need to access your Mac USB hard drive on Windows? Mac uses a different default file system than does Windows, but with these free and paid solutions you can read and write data to/from your Mac USB drives on a Windows computer.  You can even access your Mac Time Machine backup on and restore data to Windows.  Read more:  http://www.howtogeek.com/252111/how-to-read-a-mac-formatted-drive-on-a-windows-pc/

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Read Mac Hard Drives on Windows

QuickTime for Windows is Dead and Dangerous

If you live in the Apple world you’re familiar with and probably use Apple’s QuickTime platform for viewing media.  In the Windows world QuickTime has also been a presence for some time, but Apple has stopped developing it and has stopped patching it for Windows.  That means it’s unsafe to use, and could expose your computer to malware dangers.  You should uninstall it immediately, and use another media player to play QuickTime content in Windows.  I recommend and use VLC as an alternative to QuickTime on Windows.  Read more here: http://www.howtogeek.com/250926/quicktime-for-windows-is-dead-and-you-should-uninstall-it-to-stay-secure/

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on QuickTime for Windows is Dead and Dangerous

Android Keyboard Choices

Use Android? Still looking for that perfect Android keyboard? Here’s an article with some good options for those of us who prefer something other than a stock Android keyboard: http://www.cnet.com/pictures/best-keyboards-for-android/

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Android Keyboard Choices

Keep Your Data, Computers, and Accounts Secure

With the continued proliferation of computer malware, including the ever-increasing threat of ransomare, I want to share with you my concern, and the importance of regularly doing AND checking multiple forms of data backup.  Please protect your data!

Ransomware is malicious software that will attempt to infect your computer, encrypt your data, and then ask for a ransom of $500 or more to get your data back.  These threats are real, serious, and can destroy your data with no way to recover unless you have good data backups.

Back up your data by two or more means.  Think “3-2-1:”  Three copies, two types of media, one off-site.  I recommend at minimum rotating, off-site external hard drive backups which you plug in to backup, and unplug after making backups, plus at least one cloud-based backup like Carbonite or CrashPlan.  Online backup cost is low, starting at $60/year for unlimited storage.  Then check your backups regularly to insure that your backups are working correctly.  Your backups are all you can count on to recover your data if you get struck by ransomeware, fire, theft, flood, or some other data-destroying event.

  • Backup your data often, and check your backups regularly.  Think “3-2-1.”
  • Work day-to-day on your computer as a standard user, not as a user with administrator rights.
  • Don’t allow anything to install on your computer unless you specifically asked for it or know it’s from a legitimate automatic update process.
  • Use a good antivirus.  For Windows I recommend Symantec Endpoint Protection, Norton Security, NOD32, or Kaspersky.
  • Change your passwords periodically, make them long, complex, and unique, and store them in a good password vault like LastPass (https://lastpass.com).
  • Use two-factor authentication whenever it’s offered.  Example: https://www.google.com/landing/2step
  • Encrypt your sensitive data.  There are several good encryption solutions available.
  • Encrypt your WiFi, use a good firewall/router, and keep it updated.

Marc Goodman publishes a book titled Future Crimes, which I recommend reading.  Please look for his tips on http://www.futurecrimesbook.com.  These tips, called The UPDATE Protocol, are a good cheat sheet of best practices on computer security.

You are responsible for your own data and online behavior, but I am here to help.  Please let me know if you want help in securing your computer, online accounts and data, and/or want guidance in how to regularly check your data backups.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Keep Your Data, Computers, and Accounts Secure

Hackers Steal Gmail, Yahoo, Other Email Logins

Hackers recently obtained many online logins and passwords, including some Gmail, Yahoo, and other mail service logins. Those at greatest risk are those who use the same password for their email as they do on other websites where their login is that same email address (which you should never do).

Change your passwords today, make them strong, don’t re-use passwords across two or more sites, consider using a good password fault like LastPass, and turn on two-factor authentication on all sites that support it.

More on this breach:
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/may/04/gmail-yahoo-email-password-hack-hold-security

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Hackers Steal Gmail, Yahoo, Other Email Logins

Please Update AVG

If you’re using AVG Antivirus, either the free home version or the paid home or commercial version, please update your software to the latest version as soon as possible.  AVG released a statement today saying that they are offering free upgrades for paid users through the end of their subscription period in order to get the latest version installed on as many systems as possible.  Free home users should update to the most recent free version ASAP.  Malware attacks have become more sophisticated, prevalent, dangerous (as in the casse of Ransomware), which is part of the reason behind AVG’s move here.  If you use AVG, free or paid, please update as soon as possible.  Visit this link from AVG for more information.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Please Update AVG