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Friday, April 27, 2012

Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act:CISPA

Once again, our government is looking for more legislation about cyber threats and security. This passed the House and it heading to the Senate.  On the surface, this legislation sounds good. We don't like threats to our country or to our lives so we think it is about safety.

Much like SOPA, the wording in the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act or CISPA is broad. The broadness is the root of many of the concerns.  It offers a simple, warrantless means to acquire personal data from companies, ISPs and other online entities. 

I can assure you that the voluntary collaboration of security information is already an integral part of security measures in business, this nation and around the world. There is also a government entity that works with cyber security and has been for years (www.us-cert.gov). This is not about the sharing of information but the sharing of PERSONAL information.

This legislation is too vague when it comes to the use of the data collected. For exaxmple, private electronic communications (YOUR EMAIL) can be retrieved by your ISP and handed over to the government without a warrant or just cause. As a result, it can be used, now or in the future, infringe on individual rights in the name of "safety". 

I hope you will read more about this potential threat and make an informed decision and not succumb to the rhetoric of fear that seems to be coming out of our nation's capital.

The Non-Geek’s Guide to CISPA, the Cybersecurity Bill The Internet is Freaking Out Over


EFF Condemns CISPA, Vows to Take Fight to the Senate

All About CISPA, the Bill that Wants to Erode Your Online Privacy

How CISPA would affect you (faq)

Free Market Coalition: Amend CISPA to Preserve Freedom, Prevent Gov’t Overreach

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Browser Shortcuts


IE, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox Keyboard Shortcuts

Tab and Window Management
F5: Refresh the current page
Ctrl and + : Zoom in
Ctrl and - :
Zoom out
Ctrl-T: Open a new tab
Ctrl-N: Open a new window
Ctrl-W: Close the current tab
Ctrl-L: Highlight the URL bar
Ctrl-0: Return to the default zoom level
Navigation
Ctrl-[: Go back one page
Ctrl-]: Go forward one page
Spacebar: Move down one full screen
Home: Jump to the top of a Web page
End: Jump to the bottom of a Web page

 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Recycle the office

Although I will be the first to admit I am not a tree hugger, I also believe that we should be wise with our finances and take care of the world around us. There are many things we can do to minimize waste in the office.

  1.  Buy a pack of DVDs or CDs and they come in those plastic cases. Once the last one is gone, it goes in the trash.. or maybe it has other uses.  How about using it to store computer cables but wrapping the cable around the spindle and put the lid on it. Use it to store your backups CDs. (Be sure to mark them with the date and necessary details.)
  2. Printed extra sheets that you didn't need? How about cutting them up for note paper or, if it isn't confidential information, go ahead and donate it to schools or Sunday school for scratch, project or coloring paper.  Keep it for fire starters or shred it and use it for pet nesting material or package packing material.
  3.  Read the document on your screen but check the "Print Preview" and make sure you are only printing the pages you need if you absolutely must print the item.
  4. Don't have any paper around? Don't buy it. Use one of the free "sticky note" programs and add it to your computer desktop instead of using paper. It can't blow away and is locked away when you lock your computer for the evening.
  5. Take your empty printer cartridges to Staples and  get $2.00 per cartridge added to your Staples Rewards account.
Time to think about the ways you can use materials wisely in the office. Feel free to share them below! ☺

 



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

DNS Changer Virus


Never heard of it? Heard of it but not sure what is happening?  Let me explain a little bit about it.

This malware infected both Windows and Mac computers. Millions of computers were infected with this malware (short for malicious software program). Although many computers have been "cleaned" with updates and antivirus and malware removal programs,  the FBI still estimates that 500,000 computers are still infected.

The rogue program infected the computer by changing the DNS.  The DNS is like the number directory (173.194.78.121) that points to the correct web address (www.dailymouseclicks.com). This malware misdirected people from legitimate websites to spoof websites that looked very similar that contained lots of advertising. From my understanding, there were a few variations of the malware which restricted operating system and antivirus updates that would remove the virus/malware.

The bad guys were caught and the servers were seized by the FBI. But instead of letting people realize that their computers were infected, they used the servers to direct people to the correct websites for a period.   In July, 2012 the servers will be shut down and those infected computers will no longer to to the correct websites.

You can check to see if your computer is infected by going to http://www.dns-ok.us/.

If the background is green, your computer is OK. If it is red, you will need to get your computer serviced by a professional.  The reason I recommend taking it to a professional is for the last 6+ months your computer has been infected. There is a good chance that it has been compromised by other viruses and trojans.  The repair may require manual removal of viruses or worst case, backing up documents and reinstalling your operating system. ☺


Monday, April 23, 2012

Backup Your Bookmarks

I rely heavily on my bookmarks or favorites to keep track of the various websites I visit through the course of the day, week, month and even years!  I know I would be frustrated if I lost all those links. 

System crashes are less frequent but there is always that risk. It is time to consider backing up your bookmarks.  Let's go through some of the most popular browsers and how to preserve your favorites.

Firefox

The majority of my readers are actually Firefox uses, which is not really the norm (Internet Explorer still is the most widely used browser), but it is here! 

  1. Click on the Bookmarks and in the dropdown, select "Show all bookmarks" (CTR/SHIFT/B)
  2. At the top of the page, you will see "Import and Backup". Select "Backup" from the dropdown.
  3. This will allow you to save the file. I recommend saving it with your documents which are usually the first directory to be backed up when you need to reconfigure your computer. You can also select "Export to HTML" which will allow you to create a webpage of all your links. 
Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer
  1. Click on the "Star" in the upper right hand corner and the bookmarks will open.
  2. Click the "Add to favorites" arrow  and select "Import and export..."
  3. Select "Export to a file".
  4. On the next screen, What would you like to export?, check "Favorites". click next.
  5. Click "Favorites" at the top and click next.
  6. Select where you want to store the file (it is an webpage html file). I recommend saving it in your documents. Click Export. 
  7. Click Finish.
Chrome

Chrome
  1. On the upper right corner click on the wrench icon.
  2. Select Bookmarks and then Bookmark Manager
  3. Click on "Organize" at the top of the Bookmark Manager and select "Export Bookmarks to HTML File". 
  4. Use the navigation to go to your documents. Click on the save button.  Your file will be saved as a webpage html document. ☺