Posted on December 31, 2016
It’s difficult to see through all the misinformation, but it seems clear that Russia has been on a hacking offensive for quite some time, and it really only got into the public spotlight due to the issue of the 2016 Presidential election.
The voting machines themselves weren’t hacked, but it is clear that the Russians attempted to influence the election by hacking the DNC in order to release incriminating emails. The fact that it worked against all odds is another story in itself – it would probably barely be breaking into the headlines had Hillary won. I’m not sure though, it’s all speculation at this point.
Posted on November 18, 2015
Oftentimes when you get a client with “PC problems” then it’s usually one of a few things. I like to call it the trifecta of symptoms – they have slow performance, there’s usually signs of some malware, and there are crashes present. Usually in this case I will run my usual array of software tools to try to weed out some common issues. First I’ll run an antivirus tool such as Norton 360 (you’d be surprised how many people do not have antivirus software installed!) and clean out any suspect issues. I will then run an antimalware tool such as Spyhunter 4 in order to clean out any third party software that might have snuck its way onto the computer.
For the most part this will fix the issue. But unfortunately there will tend to remain some background issues. For example, in a client computer that was infected by the Silly worm, it became imperative to replace certain system files. He didn’t have a full backup of his operating system so I resorted to using Reimage, a great software program that can fix Windows on the fly without reinstalling anything. It’s become quite a helpful go-to tool for people who have not backed up their files. I’ve used Reimage before on my own computers and found it to be quite helpful as well, so I’ve added it to the shop toolkits.
I really think that you should urge your clients to back up their computers on a regular basis. It’s just too important. Viruses/malware/spyware tend to hop onboard at the worst possible time and leave you little to no time to remove your files.
I also suggest that you try to sell them on the idea of using cloud based backups. Companies such as Backblaze and Crashplan are excellent and cheap solutions for having an off-site backup. In the event of a fire or flood you could be left without your computer OR your backups. This is especially important if you have non-replacable data on your computer.
I have personally used Backblaze for my own computers and have had it save me from a computer meltdown of my own. I am personally not the best at keeping backups although I always preach about how important they are. This time the power supply unit blew and took the hard disk with it – along with several video editing projects I had going on at the time. Thank goodness I had Backblaze running in the backround the entire time. I never even noticed it and so when I realized that I had been running it I was so relieved. I fired up the mobile app (I was out of town when the repair shop called and said the hard drive was blown) and checked….and there were my files. So relieved.
Anyway – don’t let it happen to you! It’s so simple and cheap to run something like Backblaze and you won’t even notice that it’s there. I highly recommend that you also keep a local hard disk backup just in case. And don’t leave it plugged into the computer at all times in case of a power surge.
Posted on November 16, 2015
Security threats to PDAs, smartphones and other mobile devices are on the rise, as a lot of sensitive data is stored on these gadgets. In fact, your mobile device might be more open to security threats than you might have thought possible. Do you have a passcode enabled? I don’t think so, and that’s another reasons why your mobile device is so vulnerable to security attacks. Moreover, Android phones have the highest security risk, according to Skycure.
These are viruses with a common objective: getting confidential data or money. Any business or person can become a victim of this type of malware. If you have an Internet connection, you can become a victim of this type of cyber-attack. These viruses will silently compromise your computer system in subtle ways. Even worse, these custimized attacks are very difficult for any conventional antivirus to fight against them.
Rootkits are malwares that use the rootkit to avoid detection. The rootkit is a set of programs that the operating system hides from the other parts of the operating system. Some spyware and adware have been using the rootkit to hide. A malware will use the rootkit to remain undetected while staying active inside the computer. A rootkit might become active when your PC starts up, or it can also run automatically when your system is restarted.
A virus is just a small computer program designed to interfere with your computer´s operation. A virus can do a lot of things to your computer such as deleting its data, using email programs to send out messages, and many other things. You can even get a virus from an instant messaging system or email. That’s why it is very important for you to avoid opening any email attachment that you don’t know who has sent it.
Spyware is a computer program designed to intrude on your privacy, and you might not realize what’s going on. A spyware will collect data about your browsing activity, interests and preferences. This data will be sent out to the spyware’s creators. It can also be stored on your PC. A Trojan is a type of spyware that will be installed on your computer without your permision. A spyware can be installed with your awareness or consent, but that’s not always the case.
Phishing is any attempt to get sensitive data such as credit card details, passwords and usernames, which can often be done with malicious intentions by using the name of any trustworthy entity in the world. An unsuspecting victim can be catched by a fake aution site, social web site, bank, IT administrator or online payment processor. A phising email might have a link to a malware-infected site.
Spam is any unsolicited email message. These messages tend to have an advertising content and are sent in mass. In these fake messages, the sender’s email address is often spoofed, or the message might not have any Reply address featuring an eye-catching suject most of the time. You might also read about miracle products, ways to make easy money and many other things in these messages.