39 Essential Google Search Operators Every SEO Ought to Know

Some you probably know, but what about excluding multiple words or phrases?  What about finding words near each other?  Read the article to learn how this is done!

In SEO, it’s often the little things that matter. After you’ve learned the basics, you can’t stop. You need to push yourself and learn more and more. You might not learn anything that will revolutionize how you look at SEO, but I guarantee that you will learn how to become a better SEO. One of […]

Source: 39 Essential Google Search Operators Every SEO Ought to Know

WikiLeaks Reveals ‘Athena’ CIA Spying Program Targeting All Versions of Windows

More CIA spying tools…

WikiLeaks has published a new batch of the ongoing Vault 7 leak, detailing a spyware framework – which “provides remote beacon and loader capabilities on target computers” – allegedly being used by the CIA that works against every version of Microsoft’s Windows operating systems, from Windows XP to Windows 10.

Dubbed Athena/Hera, the spyware has been designed to take full control over the infected Windows PCs remotely, allowing the agency to perform all sorts of things on the target machine, including deleting data or uploading malicious software, and stealing data and send them to CIA server.

Read the article and where to find the download & docs on how it works…

Source: WikiLeaks Reveals ‘Athena’ CIA Spying Program Targeting All Versions of Windows

WannaCry Ransomware Decryption Tool Released; Unlock Files Without Paying Ransom

If you were infected by WannaCry, they have released a decryption tool to unlock your files without paying the ransom.

If your PC has been infected by WannaCry – the ransomware that wreaked havoc across the world last Friday – you might be lucky to get your locked files back without paying the ransom of $300 to the cyber criminals.

Adrien Guinet, a French security researcher from Quarkslab, has discovered a way to retrieve the secret encryption keys used by the WannaCry ransomware for free, which works on Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 and 2008 operating systems.

WannaCry Ransomware Decryption Keys

The WannaCry’s encryption scheme works by generating a pair of keys on the victim’s computer that rely on prime numbers, a “public” key and a “private” key for encrypting and decrypting the system’s files respectively.

Read the entire article here…

Source: WannaCry Ransomware Decryption Tool Released; Unlock Files Without Paying Ransom

Microsoft Issues Emergency Patch For Critical RCE in Windows Malware Scanner

Make sure you get this Microsoft update asap.

Microsoft’s own antivirus software made Windows 7, 8.1, RT and 10 computers, as well as Windows Server 2016 more vulnerable.

Microsoft has just released an out-of-band security update to patch the crazy bad bug discovered by a pair of Google Project Zero researchers over the weekend.

Security researchers Tavis Ormandy announced on Twitter during the weekend that he and another Project Zero researcher Natalie Silvanovich discovered “the worst Windows remote code [execution vulnerability] in recent memory.”

Natalie Silvanovich also published a proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit code that fits in a single tweet.

The reported RCE vulnerability, according to the duo, could work against default installations with “wormable” ability – capability to replicate itself on an infected computer and then spread to other PCs automatically.

According to an advisory released by Microsoft, the remotely exploitable security flaw (CVE-2017-0290) exists in Microsoft Malware Protection Engine (MMPE) – the company’s own antivirus engine that could be used to fully compromise Windows PCs without any user interaction.

Source: Microsoft Issues Emergency Patch For Critical RCE in Windows Malware Scanner

How to Make Windows Troubleshoot Your PC’s Problems for You

Why not let Windows do all the heavy lifting when you have a problem?

Windows includes a variety of “troubleshooters” designed to quickly diagnose and automatically solve various computer problems. Troubleshooters can’t fix everything, but they’re a great place to start if you encounter a problem with your computer.

Troubleshooters are built into the Control Panel on Windows 10, 8, and 7, so practically all Windows users can take advantage of them. On Windows 10’s Creators Update, most troubleshooters are now available through the Settings app.

Read the article to find out more…

Source: How to Make Windows Troubleshoot Your PC’s Problems for You

Source Code for CIA’s Tool to Track Whistleblowers Leaked by Wikileaks

Yet one more reason why Microsoft should be worried about their market share…

“It generates a random watermark for each document, inserts that watermark into the document, saves all such processed documents in an output directory, and creates a log file which identifies the watermarks inserted into each document,” Scribbles’ user guide manual reads.

Scribbles Only Works with Microsoft Office Products

The user manual also specifies that the tool is intended for off-line preprocessing of Microsoft Office documents. So, if the watermarked documents are opened in any other application like OpenOffice or LibreOffice, they may reveal watermarks and URLs to the user.

Source: Source Code for CIA’s Tool to Track Whistleblowers Leaked by Wikileaks

How to Open Office Files Without Being Hacked

Here are some good safety tips for opening Word documents, especially since Microsoft seems to be so slow at patching known exploits.  The easiest and most foolproof (so far) method is to open your documents in an online service: either Office online or Google Docs.  This way the desktop exploits can’t be utilized.

Microsoft Office document files you download from the internet can harm your PC. Office files can contain dangerous macros, but macros aren’t the only risk. With new malware attacking PCs through dangerous Office documents that don’t even contain macros, keeping yourself safe in Office is just one of the security practices you should follow.

Read article…

Source: How to Open Office Files Without Being Hacked

Beware of an Unpatched Microsoft Word 0-Day Flaw being Exploited in the Wild

As a general rule, you should never open a file from anyone that you aren’t expecting.  If your best friend or family member sends you a file you didn’t ask for, email them and make sure they sent it. This exploit bypasses the disabled macro settings and is very devious.

According to researchers, this zero-day attack is severe as it gives the attackers the power to bypass most exploit mitigations developed by Microsoft, and unlike past Word exploits seen in the wild, it does not require victims to enable Macros.

Due to these capabilities, this newly discovered attack works on all Windows operating systems even against Windows 10, which is believed to be Microsoft’s most secure operating system to date.

Besides this, the exploit displays a decoy Word document for the victims to see before terminating in order to hide any sign of the attack.

Read the entire article…

Source: Beware of an Unpatched Microsoft Word 0-Day Flaw being Exploited in the Wild

Microsoft Finally Reveals What Data Windows 10 Collects From Your PC

Microsoft has always collected data for diagnostics, but it’s never really said what data it actually collects:

… now for the first time, Microsoft has revealed what data Windows 10 is collecting from your computer with the release of the Windows 10 Creators Update, bringing an end to nearly two years of its mysterious data collection practices.

The Windows 10 Creators Update, which will be available from April 11 for users to download for free, comes with a revamped Privacy settings section.

Read the article…

Source: Microsoft Finally Reveals What Data Windows 10 Collects From Your PC

Tools We Recommend – ibVPN

These are some great tools to secure your online privacy.  Just getting a vpn or using Tor browser is not enough.  Btw, just because someone values their privacy doesn’t mean they are doing something wrong. Privacy can be, and is, eroded at any time, especially when corporate corruption and greed are such strong motivations and there are little or no consequences.

In the last 7 years of ibVPN, we’ve secured the online privacy for hundreds of thousands of people. But first, we did our best to secure our own privacy and be one step ahead when it comes to security and online freedom. So, we’ve tested the tools we sincerely recommend below

Source: Tools We Recommend – ibVPN

Google Does It Again: Discloses Unpatched Microsoft Edge and IE Vulnerability

Again, how can this be good for Microsoft business?

This month has yet been kind of interesting for cyber security researchers, with Google successfully cracked SHA1 and the discovery of Cloudbleed bug in Cloudflare that caused the leakage of sensitive information across sites hosted behind Cloudflare.

Besides this, Google last week disclosed an unpatched vulnerability in Windows Graphics Device Interface (GDI) library, which affects Microsoft’s Windows operating systems ranging from Windows Vista Service Pack 2 to the latest Windows 10.

While the Windows vulnerability has yet to be patched by the company, Google today released the details of another unpatched Windows security flaw in its browser, as Microsoft did not act within its 90-day disclosure deadline.

Read the article…

Source: Google Does It Again: Discloses Unpatched Microsoft Edge and IE Vulnerability

Google Discloses Windows Vulnerability That Microsoft Fails To Patch, Again!

Could this be one of the reasons why Microsoft is no longer an industry leader?

Microsoft is once again facing embarrassment for not patching a vulnerability on time.

Yes, Google’s Project Zero team has once again publicly disclosed a vulnerability (with POC exploit) affecting Microsoft’s Windows operating systems ranging from Windows Vista Service Pack 2 to the latest Windows 10 that had yet to be patched.

A few months back, the search engine giant disclosed a critical Windows vulnerability to the public just ten days after revealing the flaw to Microsoft.

Source: Google Discloses Windows Vulnerability That Microsoft Fails To Patch, Again!

Webinar for Consumers on Tax Identity Theft | Federal Trade Commission

During tax time, there are a lot of clever people who use their powers for evil waiting to take advantage of you.  Here is one tool to fight back.

As part of National Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week, AARP’s Fraud Watch Network and AARP Foundation Tax-Aide are joining forces with federal agencies to highlight the dangers of tax identity theft and recovery steps for victims. To register for the free webinar on February 2 at 2 pm EST, click here.
How it Works:
Tax identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information for a fraudulent refund or to earn wages. It can involve:

  • Filing a tax return using another person’s Social Security number.
  • Claiming someone else’s children as dependents.
  • Claiming a tax refund using a deceased taxpayer’s information.
What Are The Signs:
  • Your Social Security number is lost, stolen or compromised.
  • Your tax refund is delayed.
  • You receive a notice from the IRS stating it has received a duplicate tax return filing, you have unreported income, or you and somebody else are claiming the same dependents.
What You Should Do:
To avoid becoming a victim of tax identity theft:

  • Submit your tax return as early in the tax season as possible.
  • Be careful what you share – don’t give out your personal information unless you know who is asking and why, and don’t be shy about refusing!
  • Dispose of sensitive information safely – shred it with a micro-cut shredder.
  • Know your tax preparer.
Check the status of your refund after filing at www.irs.gov/refunds. If you think someone filed a fraudulent refund with your information, call the IRS Identity Theft line at 800-908-4490. To learn more, visit www.ftc.gov/taxidtheft.

Kristin Keckeisen
Fraud Watch Network

P.S. Spotted a scam?  Tell us about it.  Our scam-tracking map gives you information about the latest scams targeting people in your state.  You’ll also find first-hand accounts from scam-spotters who are sharing their experiences so you know how to protect yourself and your family.

Source: Webinar for Consumers on Tax Identity Theft | Federal Trade Commission

Microsoft Joins The Linux Foundation — Turns Love Affair Into a Relationship

You won’t believe your eyes while reading this, but this is true. Microsoft just joined the Linux Foundation as a high-paying Platinum member.

Microsoft’s love with open source community is embracing as time passes. At its first Connect event in 2013, the company launched Visual Studio 2013. A year later, Microsoft open sourced .NET, and last year, it open sourced the Visual Studio Code Editor, as well.

Read the entire article…

Source: Microsoft Joins The Linux Foundation — Turns Love Affair Into a Relationship

Google discloses Critical Windows Zero-Day that makes all Windows Users Vulnerable

Users are advised to update their Flash software now and apply Windows patches as soon as they become available.

Google has once again publicly disclosed a zero-day vulnerability in current versions of Windows operating system before Microsoft has a patch ready.

Yes, the critical zero-day is unpatched and is being used by attackers in the wild.

Google made the public disclosure of the vulnerability just 10 days after privately reporting the issue to Microsoft, giving the chocolate factory little time to patch issues and deploy a fix.

Source: Google discloses Critical Windows Zero-Day that makes all Windows Users Vulnerable

“10 Immutable Laws of Security” That Every Geek Must Know

More than a 10 years ago, Microsoft shared its Ten Immutable Laws of Security that outlined Microsoft’s security principles. These laws were considered its basic security primer for newbie computer users.

Because of changing technology, in 2011 Microsoft released its version 2.0. Feel free to share with anyone you know who is unclear about basic security principles.

Do you know about Microsoft’s 10 Immutable Laws Of Security? These laws might be a few years old, but they act as a solid guide on security principles. These laws cover various aspects like the importance of security, the safety of encryption keys, and update antimalware scanner.

Continue reading…

Source: “10 Immutable Laws of Security” That Every Geek Must Know

Ultimate Social Media Shortcuts Cheat Sheet — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Google+

This comes complete with a handy, downloadable Cheat Sheet for the major social media applications.  Nice to have on hand!

Keyboard shortcuts come in handy when we have to accomplish tasks real quick. Here is an ultimate cheat sheet which includes social media keyboard shortcuts for websites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.

Source: Ultimate Social Media Shortcuts Cheat Sheet — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Google+

Windows 10 Wi-Fi Sense Explained: Actual Security Threat You Need to Know

Another older article, but because of the recent Win10 updates, it is still relevant. Learn why.

Just one day after Microsoft released its new operating system, over 14 Million Windows users upgraded their PCs to Windows 10. Of course, if you are one of the Millions, you should aware of Windows 10’s Wi-Fi Sense feature that lets your friends automatically connects to your wireless network without providing the Wi-Fi password. Smells like a horrible Security Risk! It even triggered a firestorm among some security experts, who warned that Wi-Fi Sense is a terrible and dangerous feature and that you should

disable it right away.
Even some researchers advised Windows 10 users to rename their Wi-Fi access points.
Before discussing the risks of Wi-Fi Sense, let’s first know how it works.
Read the rest of the article…

Source: Windows 10 Wi-Fi Sense Explained: Actual Security Threat You Need to Know

Reminder! If You Haven’t yet, Turn Off Windows 10 Keylogger Now

This is an older article, but one you may have missed. Simple instructions on how to turn off the keylogger and why you should.

Do you know? Microsoft has the power to track every single word you type or say to its digital assistant Cortana while using its newest operating system, Windows 10.Last fall, we reported about a ‘keylogger’ that Microsoft openly put into its Windows 10 Technical Preview saying the company ‘may collect voice information’ as well as ‘typed characters.’It was thought that the company would include the keylogger only within the Technical Preview of Windows 10, just for testing purpose. But, the thought was Wrong!

 

Read the rest…

Source: Reminder! If You Haven’t yet, Turn Off Windows 10 Keylogger Now

How does The Internet Work?

So, how does the internet work?

The internet is something nearly everyone uses on a daily basis. We’ve all come to rely on it and some of us make our living using it. So, how does it work? How do computers connect? How do messages pass between computers? Is it really a bunch of tubes? (hint, nope!) Who owns it?

This article explains some of the more general points about an indispensible system.

Nowadays, internet has became essential after food. There are many people who will not be agree with this statement but once they start using internet, they will be agree. You are reading this article so i hope you are already aware of ‘what internet is’. But, really?

You will say ‘Yes i know what is internet’ but it is enough ? Don’t you ever wonder how does the internet work? Maybe you already know how it works if you are an IT pro or teacher but i think everyone should know this because internet is common and it is for everyone. So the study of internet should not be only for IT students. So coming to the point, i wrote this article to let everyone aware about internet concepts and its working with the help of website Howstuffworks.com . I hope you have enough time to read it patiently.

Source: How does The Internet Work?

How Just Opening an MS Word Doc Can Hijack Every File On Your System | The Hacker News

If you receive a mail masquerading as a company’s invoice and containing a Microsoft Word file, think twice before clicking on it.
Doing so could cripple your system and could lead to a catastrophic destruction.

Hackers are believed to be carrying out social engineering hoaxes by adopting eye-catching subjects in the spam emails and compromised websites to lure the victims into installing a deadly ransomware, dubbed “Locky,” into their systems.

Read More: How Just Opening an MS Word Doc Can Hijack Every File On Your System | The Hacker News

Password secrets: Your Passwords Aren’t As Secure As You Think

Password secrets: Your Passwords Aren’t As Secure As You Think – Technotification

There is one thing that make us so vulnerable is ignorance. Today, everything is going to be depended on the internet. Yes, and you know it better! and a concept that we use to secure our internet accounts and all is our passwords. but is it enough to set password and feel that we are secure? are you really aware about of how to use passwords?

Our lack of understanding about passwords is allowing crooks to spy on us, steal from us, and deceive us into thinking nothing ever happened. Despite the volumes of texts that have already been written about them, how many of us have ever read a single chapter paragraph about the nitty-gritty of passwords?

That’s why i have compiled the following three short lists which outline the most common misconceptions about passwords; the ways in which our passwords can be stolen; and the tools you need to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

Each of these sections can be read in less than two minutes. But once you’re done, you will have acquired enough information to deal safely and confidently with your passwords.

Password Myths You Should Stop Believing

  1. A file, folder, computer, or account protected by a password is safe.
    Read the rest of the article and learn why that statement is no longer true.

Read More…

Source: Password secrets: Your Passwords Aren’t As Secure As You Think

Tips to Protect Yourself from Cyber Scams

According to the Fraud Watch Network from AARP, if you’re using wifi you are probably oversharing.

“If you’re using Wi-Fi, you may be oversharing.

On a free public network or even at home, using Wi-Fi could mean you’re sharing your credit card numbers, passwords and other personal information with the entire world. Con artists are taking advantage of our oversharing, stealing billions from Americans last year alone.

Here are 4 things to never do on public Wi-Fi.

1. Don’t fall for a fake: Con artists often set up unsecure networks with similar names to a coffee shop, hotel, or other free Wi-Fi network.

2. Mind your business: Don’t access your email, online bank or credit card accounts using public Wi-Fi.

3. Watch your settings: Don’t let your mobile device automatically connect to nearby Wi-Fi.

4. Stick to your cell: Don’t surf using an unknown public network if the website requires sensitive information – like online shopping. Your cell phone network is safer.”

 

How To Change Cortana’s Bing Search to Google in Windows 10 Using Bing2Google

With Bing2Google, you can change this Bing search engine from your Cortana desktop search.

Source: How To Change Cortana’s Bing Search to Google in Windows 10 Using Bing2Google

Bing’s search function is intricately integrated into the Cortana desktop, so changing your desktop search engine default is extremely difficult. This Chrome extension does it in a much simpler way.

Make the Breakup with Internet Explorer 8 — TODAY!

Yes, there is an official site urging you to break up with IE8.  Not just to make us developers lives so much easier — and one less browser to test — but because, little one, it’s definitely way past time. They even make it fun! Start the breakup today!

From the official site:

#BREAKUPWITHIE8

You’ve spent six long, excruciating years trying to extract joy from your tired relationship with IE8. That’s a lifetime of cache-clearing, vm-running despair you’ll never get back. March 19, 2015 was your six year anniversary, so we think it’s time to cut your losses and start seeing other browsers.

To put it in perspective, six years in internet time is something like 20 cat years, which makes Internet Explorer 8 very old indeed. Also, when IE8 came out, Susan Boyle was cool. Just sayin’.

(Now we put our serious face on)

For whatever reason, Internet Explorer 8 recently increased in browser share… which is a real kick in the pants for your garden-variety webhead. The sooner we all stop supporting it, the sooner we can collectively work on a more awesome interweb.

Join the intervention and stop supporting IE8. It’s time for an upgrade.

http://breakupwithie8.com/

Twitter Bootstrap

Bootstrap is a modular framework developed by Mark Otto and Jacob Thornton at Twitter as a framework to encourage consistency across internal tools. Before Bootstrap, various libraries were used for interface development, which led to inconsistencies and a high maintenance burden. According to Twitter developer Mark Otto, in face of those challenges:

“…[A] super small group of developers and I got together to design and build a new internal tool and saw an opportunity to do something more. Through that process, we saw ourselves build something much more substantial than another internal tool. Months later, we ended up with an early version of Bootstrap as a way to document and share common design patterns and assets within the company.”

The first deployment under real conditions happened during Twitter’s first Hackweek.” Mark Otto showed some colleagues how to accelerate their projects development with the help of the toolkit. As a result, dozens of teams have moved to the framework.

In August 2011 Twitter released Bootstrap as open-source. As of February 2012, it is the most popular GitHub development project.  Version 3.0 is due out soon and developmental comments are being taken now.  Many CMS developers are creating Joomla, WordPress, and Drupal, to name a few, themes and add-ins.  The popularity lies in the simplicity of the system once you have absorbed the CSS and Javascript functionality.  While modular, clever use of the grid system can create a non-grid design.  Combined with HTML5 Boilerplate and Initilizr (custom html5 configurations) gives a fully funtional HTML5 framework.

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PWN — The New Term In Town

So you may have been seeing this word “pwn” in articles regarding security and hacking and thought it was a typo and it should have read “own.”  Well you’re partly correct.  Pwn (pronounced “powned“) “is an leetspeak (elite speak) term meaning to appropriate or to conquer or gain ownership.  In hacker-ese, it means to compromise or control, specifically another computer (server or PC), web site, gateway device or application.”  See Wikipedia article.

The Urban Dictionary describes pwn as the following:

    1.  1. An act of dominating an opponent.
      2. Great, ingenious; applied to methods and objects.
      Originally dates back to the days of WarCraft, when a map designer mispelled “Own” as “Pwn”.  What was originally supose to be “player has been owned.” was “player has been pwned”.
      Pwn eventually grew from there and is now used throughout the online world, especially in online games.

      1. “I pwn these guys on battlenet”
      2. “This strategy pwns!” or “This game pwn.”
    2. Perfect ownage.  Flawless victory.  Schooled.  Lesson taught.  Owned beyond conventional words, and so excited about it, it’s mistyped.
    3. The word Pwn was originally a typo from when the writer wanted to say Own. Pwn is commonly used in internet games, for example: Counter-Strike. Pwn is used to explain that the player was badly beaten.

So, the next time to own someone, make sure you pwn them!  Make sure your antivirus is up-to-date and that you don’t click links you shouldn’t or you will be pwned by hackers!

What is Two-Factor Authentication? Why Should You Care?

What is two-factor authentication?  According to Wikipedia:

Two-factor authentication (TFA, T-FA or 2FA) is an approach to authentication which requires the presentation of two or more of the three authentication factors: “something the user knows”, “something the user has”, and “something the user is”.

There are three generally recognized factors for authentication: something you know (such as a password), something you have (such as a hardware token or cell phone), and something you are (such as your fingerprint). Two-factor authentication requires the system to use two of these.

Why should you care?  For extra security, having two or more of the mentioned security factors for authentication helps to make your login more secure.

For email purposes, currently only Google’s Gmail service is the only major webmail provider that offers this option, although Microsoft Hotmail’s forum moderators recently thought differently.  An interesting article by Fahmida Y. Rashid outlines the questions asked of the support forum regarding Microsoft Hotmail’s authentication with some surprising responses.  It only took 3 weeks for an informed response to be posted.

So now you know what two-factor authentication is, shock and awe your friends!

A Clever Idea for Your Phone Camera

There are a lot of things you use your phone for, but have you considered you can use it as a reminder?  Using your phone camera makes remembering things a breeze.  You’re at Disneyland and you’ve parked in some character’s colored section — take a snapshot of where you parked!  Your meds keep changing — take a pic of your prescription bottles.  Have you ever gotten to Costco for printer refills and forgotten the number?  Just take a snap of the cartridges but make sure the numbers show.  Below is a list of some of the more common uses for your camera phone courtesy of www.apartmenttherapy.com.  One Caveat:  if you’re going to add pictures of items with sensitive information, either blur out the sensitive info or make sure your phone has an encryption program.

Here are a few things that can easily be remembered with a quick snap of your camera phone’s shutter button:

A reminder of where you parked. Parking in the city is no joke.
Your printer cartridges. Make sure you can see the refill numbers.
Your family members’ clothing sizes.
The measurements of your air filter.
Travel confirmation numbers. Take a screenshot of the email your airline sends you. When you check in later and need to find confirmation numbers, your photo album will be less cluttered than your inbox.
Pictures of current medications. Make sure you can see the prescriptions’ names and dosages in the photo.
The types of lightbulbs that fit your home fixtures.
A recipe from a book or magazine that you want to use soon.
Anything “borrowed” that you might want to buy later, like the brand of a smooth-writing pen at the bank or a great-smelling hotel shampoo.
Expensive home furnishings you just know you can DIY at home. Get shots of all the important angles for when you’re ready to DIY.

(Courtesy of  ApartmentTherapy.com)

New Microsoft Web Worm Threat

One of my favorite e-magazines is Windows Secrets (http://windowssecrets.com).  This is a free and for-pay newsletter that gets to the bottom of many Windows (and other) issues.  Windows Secrets is also the voice of reason when deciding whether to run a Microsoft/Windows security, or other, update.  As you know, many updates issued by Microsoft have the Windows community recipients beta testing half-assed solutions to serious issues.  Almost always, the intrepid team at Windows Secrets has advised on the side of caution, having recipients wait until all testing had been done and showing issues so we could make informed decisions.

So, when Brian Livingston of Windows Secrets advises everyone to install the new MS patch without hesitation, you know it’s serious.  Brian states that this is the first time in 1-1/2 years that Microsoft has released an emergency fix outside of its monthly “Patch Tuesday” cycle. 

Continue reading

Fake Windows Update Ignored by Outlook’s Email Defenses

There’s a fake Microsoft email message with a nasty file attachment wending it’s way around the internet.  It’s supposedly a Windows update .exe sent as an attachment to a Microsoft email.

Though almost all email programs block .exe attachment files by default, they don’t always send the entire email to the junk mail folder.  Although, having an executable as an attachment should tip the junk filter to the suspicious category and at least send it to the Junk Folder in an abundance of caution.

If you see this email message, DELETE it post haste.  Microsoft would NEVER send an .exe or .msi file through the email system.  Microsoft sends updates through the update process on your PC or MAC.

The current message supposedly comes from “Microsoft Update Center [securityassurance@microsoft.com]” and contains an attachment KB825559.exe – which should NOT be opened under any circumstances.

The complete message and details can be found on the Office Watch website http://news.office-watch.com/?699.

Collecting your POP3 and Webmail Accounts into Outlook – Part 2 – How to Set Up Pop3

Make sure you’ve glanced over Part 1 to make sure this process is right for you.

Setting up your POP3 accounts into Outlook is a fairly simple process.  However, in order to do this, you need to have the following information from your POP3 email account provider: 

  1. The Incoming Mail Server (POP3);
  2. The Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP);
  3. The Server Port Number (if it requires something other than the default).

Please note that each email provider can have different and specific information for each of these areas and you may need to visit their site or call them to get this information.
 

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Collecting your POP3 and Webmail Accounts into Outlook – Part 1 – Introduction and Considerations

Did you know that you can collect all of your various webmail, html, and POP3 email accounts into Outlook?  As of the date of this writing, I have over 40 POP3 accounts and a hotmail and msn account feed into my permanent Outlook account, making it easy for me to save attachments in appropriate client folders on my hard drive, keep my external accounts clean, and facilitate archiving (which will be another important topic for a later post).

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Internet Security for the Non-Geek

I came across an article I’d put aside regarding internet security. This article was well written and entitled “Internet safety for grandparents: What to do when you’ve been compromised.” I’d put it aside basically because it was information I was already aware of. But then I had to walk my daughter through an emergency clean up of her machine because somehow she’d gotten so infected she couldn’t even log onto her school site to do her assignments. The first thing I asked her was what type of anti-virus software she was using and I heard a lengthy silence on her end. She eventually admitted she had none. We tried a few clean up tricks, but her computer was too far gone. I ended up walking her through a restoration, which to you non-techies is a complete reformat of the hard drive and setting it back to the way it was when she bought it.

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