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Archive for the ‘Security Help’ Category

We all know that simple passwords are dangerous. If you’re using any of the following for passwords (or forms thereof), you probably aren’t as secure as you think:

  • Names Of Pets
  • Birth date
  • Last 4 digits of your SS#
  • Kid’s Names
  • Grandkid’s Names
  • Parent’s Names
  • Addresses
  • Phone Numbers

Did I catch you? Well, it gets even worse!

Even if you’re not using any of the above, but are… Continue reading

Email Security Scan

Saturday, June 18th, 2005

Well troops, surprise inspection! Let’s see how secure your defenses are against mail-born threats. Think you’re up to the test? Then read on.

The problem with all the security holes that arise from day to day, is that it’s hard to keep up. “Am I protected?” you wonder, “I update constantly, I scrutinize all my

Google Security

Saturday, June 18th, 2005

15 June 2005

Google is always adding new products and features. One of these is the Personalized Google Homepage.You can customize it with news, movies, weather, stock market reports and more. How convenient. But there is a dark side.

Google saves your search history. Every person, place, thing, or word you look up is stored in your history (BTW-same goes for the Google Toolbar). This can be cleared or paused… Continue reading

Three-pronged Attack

Saturday, June 18th, 2005

8 June 2005

We’ve seen some serious virus activity lately, sheesh, but in the opinion of many, myself included, the worst threat has got to be the combined attack of the “Mitglieder” and other Bagel variants. This coordinated joint attack on Internet users is something new to a lot of Security experts and the potential numbers of those infected is something to behold. Watching the blended attack play out is… Continue reading

Close all Browser Windows and Tabs

Saturday, June 18th, 2005

A vulnerability in Firefox led to personal information being stolen.

The best way to avoid the flaw is to close out all tabs and windows before doing any online shopping, banking, or entering personal info.

Not that Internet Explorer has this flaw, but it’s a good practice in any browser just to be safe.

~ David

David Samuel Thomas… Continue reading

Phishing Buddies

Thursday, June 2nd, 2005

1 June 2005

Phishing scams have been casting their nets in two of the biggest Instant Messaging (IM) programs since the end of May. Though the scams are different, the underlying message is clear. The message I’m referring to is that phishing attacks have a new, less secure avenue in which to deceive end-users into coughing up personal information.

This is significant due to the fact that many… Continue reading

Personalized Phishing

Thursday, June 2nd, 2005

25 May 2005

If you want to catch bigger fish use better bait. Most of you by now have heard of or witnessed phishing scams. I have personally written two articles in the past couple of months describing what phishing scams are and how to avoid or spot them.

Just to get everyone up to speed on this subject I’ll go over the basics of phishing. Phishing is… Continue reading

Firefox Security Update 1.0.4

Thursday, June 2nd, 2005

18 May 2005

Firefox came out with another update in May 2005 shortly after one in April. Just after Secuna security found two exploits in the FireFox browser that affected version 1.0.3 and below they discovered more flaws the weekend of May the 9th and Mozilla patched the following Monday. Good job, guys.

The two nastier vulnerabilities are the Cross Site Scripting which can be used to steal… Continue reading

Cross Site Scripting

Tuesday, May 17th, 2005

CSS or XSS is a method where a hacker will watch for a vulnerable site, one that uses user information, but does not validate the user when they revisit the site.

The hacker will then recreate this link using malicious code that takes advantage of the of the website’s security hole and basically steals user’s information.

This attack can take place through email, message boards—any place really that you can… Continue reading

W32/Sober Strikes Again

Saturday, May 14th, 2005

W32/Sober Strikes Again


Since October of 2003 the W32/Sober and its variants have been have really done all they could to establish themselves as a constant threat to the unfortunate and under-secure. Well they’re at it again, with some new variants out there and they are doing such a good job that McAfee elevated its threat level to “Medium” and Symantec to “Wild”.

The W32/Sober and all its variants… Continue reading

Secure Website Problems

Saturday, May 14th, 2005

When try to go to secure websites I get a message saying that the page cannot be displayed. Is it something wrong with my browser?

Could be. You may not have the correct security settings for you to connect to secure web pages. For instance, let’s say you want to get in on one of our great software specials and when you click “Checkout” you can’t… Continue reading

We’re familiar with Viruses, Worms, and Trojan Horses, but there are other threats out there in the dark corners of the internet that you should be aware of…

Downloader—A program that retrieves and installs additional files when run. Most are set up to retrieve from a designated web or FTP site.

Proxy—An infected computer can become a front for a hacker’s, allowing the… Continue reading

Scan Individual Files for Viruses

Saturday, May 7th, 2005

We often recommend that when you download files you should scan for viruses. The same is true for attachments sent via email (although, if you have decent antivirus software this should be taken care of).

But do you need to scan your whole computer? No, you can scan just one file with most AntiVirus software.


Fake Windows Update Email

Saturday, May 7th, 2005

27 April 2005

Well Microsoft believes that the grace period is over and wants everyone to jump on board and get Service Pack 2 (SP2) installed. I know everyone has an opinion on the Service Pack—some good some not so good—but it really is only a matter of time. Do you know anyone without SP1 on his or her XP machine? I hope not.

As you may also know, Microsoft… Continue reading

Dialer Malware

Saturday, April 23rd, 2005

A dialer is a program that dials your modem access number, you will find this component in certain software suites for various reasons, but you also see it in malware or viruses. If you have broadband then this is something you may not have to worry about but if you recently jumped on to the broadband wagon you may have your modem still hooked up. My advice on this situation… Continue reading

Viruses that Won’t Go Away

Saturday, April 16th, 2005

Some viruses just won’t go away. You try everything from running your anti-virus software to digging through the registry just to have it come back. Well, if you have Windows ME or XP the infected file might be stored as a backup file that your virus scan can’t touch.

So, what to do? Try disabling System Restore and running a virus scan.

With Windows XP:

Right-click “My Computer”… Continue reading

Firewall Hits

Wednesday, April 6th, 2005

I know I promised to send you this tip last week but I felt it important to tell you about the Firefox problem (which, by the way, has been fixed so download and install the latest version).

OK, so two week’s ago we took a look at how to not only see, but to decipher your router logs. To review this info, check out the webpage…

Router Logs & Firewall Hits

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005

So you got broadband—congratulations. Now there are three PCs all online in your house, and guess who the Network Administrator is? Everyone’s enjoying the connection, but now you have three people online at once and you want to make sure that you network remains securely sound. I’m going to discuss how to view your router log which, in case you’re not familiar, is a list of what’s going on out… Continue reading

Keep Files Anonymous

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005

Did you know that your name and other personal information may be included in files that you send to others? That’s right. Word processors especially put in the author’s name and more automatically. If you plan on sending a file to someone else, then you should remove this info.

Right click a file and choose “Properties” (or Alt+double click). If there is

Identity Theft Myths & Facts

Wednesday, March 9th, 2005

The 2005 Identity Fraud Survey Report, released by the Better Business Bureau and Javelin Strategy & Research uncovers where identity theft is coming from, who gets hit, how much is lost, and more. The most interesting finding that we want to pass on is that ID theft is more prevalent offline with paper than online. That’s right, and someone close to you is more likely to… Continue reading

Encryption File Service (EFS)

Thursday, February 17th, 2005

What is EFS?

Since we got the green light to do some XP Pro tips and tricks I have been trying to figure which of the many new security tips I should run first. I decided to go with the file encryption, which is in case you are unfamiliar with the term, is a way to lock down either files or folders. This option is only available in

Keep safe by logging off

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2005

If you use an online email service (like Yahoo or MSN), log into an online store, or check your bank account, be sure to hit “Sign Out” or “Log off” when done. This way, no one can get on your computer after you and access your mail or information.

~ David… Continue reading

Fake Security Warnings

Thursday, January 27th, 2005

Beware of fake security warnings!

Sometimes you’ll be surfing the web and a window pops up that looks like a legitimate warning from Windows. Before you click, read carefully and you’ll find that it’s just a pop up ad trying to entice you to a product site by clicking “Yes”. I’ve even seen some with a shield that resembles the new SP2 Security Center logo.

Just click the X at… Continue reading

Multiple Firewalls

Thursday, January 27th, 2005

If you have recently installed a firewall, or have just started having Internet Connection problems, it’s possible you have more than one firewall running. This can cause problems of all sorts from intermittent connection problems to complete loss of connectivity depending on the firewall combination running on your system. Now, this doesn’t apply to hardware firewalls such as routers—you can run one of these and have a personal… Continue reading

Spyware/Privacy Warning Signs

Saturday, January 8th, 2005

Are there any warning signs that a download might be spyware or that my personal information will be sold?

Always read the Privacy Statement of a website before submitting personal info (that means registering software too). They won’t come out and say, “Hey, we’ll be selling your email address to spammers!” but you will find statements like…


Securely Using Hot Spots

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004

A lot of service-oriented businesses provide Internet access via free public wireless networks. From airports to fast food chains, these access points, or Hot Spots as they are called, are even being implemented in government buildings such as libraries. This can be a real convenience to people on the go, someone waiting for a flight, or someone out of town that may need to get online with a good connection… Continue reading

Invasion of the Bots

Thursday, December 16th, 2004

2004 was quite a year. One thing that grabbed my attention, and may grab yours, is the skyrocketing growth in Bots (PC’s that are controlled by hackers using a worm or Trojan with a backdoor), and skyrocketing may be too subtle of a word.

According to Symantec, there has been a 450% increase in virus attacks on Windows machines this year, and the reason for this shocking… Continue reading

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