August 17, 2016
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Sooner or later, you will lose the data on your PC.     Either you accidentally delete something (most common), the PC hardware fails (occasionally), or ransomware will get you despite your best efforts (hasn’t happened to anybody I know yet). What would you do if a thief stole your PC today?       Regular backups are essential ! There […]

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Facebook False Friends

May 27, 2016
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A Fake Friend If you get a Facebook ‘Friend Request’ from somebody that’s already your friend, it’s a SCAM! Before doing anything with the email, check Facebook and confirm you are already friends.  If so, the email is just from a scammer trying to get to your profile (because your friends can see your stuff). How […]

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Ring of Steel

February 24, 2014
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Protecting your computer is really a lot like protecting your home. Lock the Door The first step of home protection is making sure existing locks work.  If the front door lock is broken, then the rest of the security plan doesn’t work that well. For your computer, that means ‘locking down’ the programs on your […]

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Detecting Spam

August 29, 2012
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Usually we can trust modern spam filters to block the bulk of unwanted email.   But occasionally an email slips through, and these days, they can be quite authentic looking.    A spam email can look just like your phone bill, bank notification or a message from your mom! Often you can tell by various sensibility factors: […]

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Why AntiVirus Isn’t Enough

August 22, 2012

I’ve got AntiVirus software on my computer – how could I get infected? How can that happen?  AntiVirus software alone is becoming less and less effective. Classic AV software is like the ‘no fly’ list maintained by the airlines.  If you’re name is on the list, you are not supposed to get on the airplane.   […]

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I’m from Tech Support, and I’m here to help

July 24, 2012
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Rrrrrrriinnnnggg! “Good Morning!  My name is Roger, and I’m with Microsoft Tech Support.   Our Security Monitoring team has detected what appears to be a virus on your computer.   Have you have any problems lately?” I’ve read about these scams for years.   Someone purporting to be a Microsoft employee calls you up.   There’s a ‘problem’ with […]

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Total Destruction

June 12, 2012
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You spend a lifetime collecting ‘stuff’ on your PC – documents, pictures of your cat, tax returns.   One day, you get a new computer, and move all that stuff to the new PC.  But what gets left behind on your old PC? Most surveys of discarded PCs are scary – up to half typically contain […]

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Open Sesame!

May 29, 2012
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  If you’ve been on the internet more than a week, you have a password for something.   I have 833 passwords as of this week.   How in the world, you might ask, do you remember 833 passwords?? It’s easy – they are all the same – BR-549 !! Well, actually, no. But that’s a strategy […]

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Gone Fishin’

April 19, 2012
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Hey, I’ve been having trouble with the ATM at the bank lately.  Can I borrow your debit card and test it out some this week? That just sounds fishy to me.    And it’s similar to what crooks do in emails these days.  Instead of trying to infect your computer, they try to infect you!  The […]

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Fire in the Hole !

April 13, 2012
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In real buildings, a ‘Firewall’ is just that – a wall that stops fire from spreading. When you connect your PC to the internet, you need something similar.    Without some kind of firewall, malicious programs can locate and infect your PC – without you doing a thing.  It happens in about 5 minutes on average! […]

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