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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Protect Yourself from the HeartBleed Bug

The big internet news is the HeartBleed bug that isn't on your computer but a security risk found on some websites that use a certain type of encryption called OpenSSL. As I suggested last week, you might want to change your passwords on the websites you use, especially if you use the same password for many of your sites (that is a NO-NO!). But which sites are still affected? Are your passwords still at risk? Hopefully, I can help you with some of these issues to give you a little peace of mind.

So, how do you know if the website you are visiting used the OpenSSL or has updated their security? Browser helpers called extensions are now popping up to alert you to websites that have not updated. For the Chrome browser you can ChromeBleed extension and with the FireFox browser, you can get the HeartBleed Checker or the FoxBleed Add-on. As of this writing, Internet Explorer and Safari have yet to have an add-on, so I encourage you to consider using a browser with the extension for a little while. 

Of course, changing your password on a site that hasn't updated their security means your information is still vulnerable. There may be situations where you just wish to remove your information. That may not be as easy as you think. Sometimes you may have to search and search a website trying to find out how to remove your information.  Just Delete Me is a directory that gives you removal information on a wide range of websites just in case you cannot find out where to delete your account. At the very least, change the password to something unique to that website only so your sign in information on other websites is not at risk.

The last thing is something I have already blogged about in the past. Many people have the browser save their passwords but there are some issues related to this. If your computer dies or the hard drive fails, you are out of luck and all your passwords are gone, as in totally GONE!  Then there is the security issue. If someone has access to your computer, they have access to ALL your passwords in a couple of clicks. You can also choose to write down your passwords (which isn't a bad thing if you can lock it up to protect it from theft) but if there is a fire, your book may not be available when you need it most. Also, weeding through hundreds of passwords can be time consuming in a book.  I recommend using a software program like Last Pass, Password Genie, SplashID or many of the other password management options that are available these days. With hundreds of websites and all of them with different passwords, a manager is a must. It also encrypts and saves your information so it can be accessed with ONE, hopefully very strong, master password from any computer. If you are concerned about the security of a password manager, the companies can't open your password data.☺

Monday, April 14, 2014

Basic Computer Security | Staying safe on Facebook

"Be cautious about using Facebook apps. Many of these Facebook apps
require access to your personal information. Do you really want to hand
this information over to a complete stranger who might be an identity
thief?"  Click the link below.

Basic Computer Security | Staying safe on Facebook

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Don't be Bamboozled! Dwayne Johnson is not Dead.


It is so easy to get bamboozled online and this "death hoax" is just one way of duping you into clicking, liking and sharing. Meanwhile in the background, you may be giving permission to download malware, pesky software or rogue Facebook apps. 

How can you avoid these?  Check legitimate news sources or check hoax sources to be sure it is legitimate.  If you have already shared, ‘liked’ or commented on the hoax, please remove the shared post, comment or unlike it, because this will help stop this hoax from spreading to other social networking users. ☺

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Protect Yourself: Heartbleed Bug

The Heartbleed Bug a nasty flaw that is VERY bad and could effect your personal data. Unfortunately, this isn't something on your personal computer but on the software the provides your online services.  At the very least, you should change your online passwords, especially for services where privacy and security are major concerns. Please see previous articles on securing your passwords or using a password program to help you remember the tougher passwords.

The good news is that "most major service providers should already be updating their sites, so the bug will be less prevalent over coming weeks."

If you have a website, you can check to see if your site is vulnerable by going to HostGators tester.
http://www.businessinsider.com/heartbleed-bug-explainer-2014-4

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Basic Computer Security | Permanently removing data

If you are considering giving away your computer, be sure to take the time to clean the hard drive. Check out this college student's blog post about wiping your drives.

Basic Computer Security | Permanently removing data

Monday, April 7, 2014

Clean up files on your Android device - CNET

I know my Android seems to be having some issues and it is time to give it a good cleaning! How? You ask? Check it out! Clean up files on your Android device - CNET

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Seven Red Lines

I am an expert and yes, I have days like this.


Have a great April Fool's Day!☺