The Easy Way to Protect Your Files with a Password

 

Just last week I was helping out a person who had gone through some tough incidents. That person had files stolen from their personal computer. Those files were sold online for a high amount of money. This sadden me and immediately I thought of what things could have been done to protect the user.  The user told me about a program they were told about, Safe House Explorer. I looked into and was impressed by the simplicity and security level.  Safe House Explorer is a FREE program that creates a secure password protected folder or as they call it a vault. It uses maximum-strength 256-bit advanced encryption to completely hide and defend your sensitive files.

I would defiantly suggestion users to double thinking about their security and take action about their personal data.

How to be logged into multiple Gmail accounts or any other account

I have multiple Gmail accounts, one for personal, one for work, and one just to play around with, and there have been times were I want to see all  my accounts at the same time.  How do I solve this issue? Well, I have been doing this for a long time and taking it for granted until I told my friend about it. I was surprised he didn't know . In order to have multiple Gmail accounts open or any other account open at the same time you can either do two things.

  1. Now all three of the most popular browser, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome have a privacy mode. You can have one account in normal mode and the other account in privacy mode. That way you will have two windows of each with a different account and you can see both at the same time.
  2. The Second way is to have different browsers. You may pick from the following three  Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome. Open one account in one browser and the other in account in another browser.
You can either chose either if these steps and it will solve your problem. Happy browsing!!

Optimize Windows with Advanced Care

Today, we are featuring a software that will enable you to optimize your Windows PC, Advanced System Care for Free! Optimizing entails clean up files, delete old program files that you remove long ago, clearing up cache, freeing up memory, applying updates, etc. Fortunately, Advanced Care enables you to do all this with a few clicks without the need of several programs to do each task.  

If your computer has been sluggish and have not done much outside of a virus scan. I recommend running the Deep Scan for full optimization potential, results may vary of course. The Deep Scan will do:

  • Full Malware Scan
  • Deep Registry Fix
  • System Optimization
  • Short Cut Fix
  • Privacy Sweep
  • Junk Files Clean
  • Passive Defense- Spyware,malware prevention
  • Disk Scan - scan and fix hard disk errors
  • Vulnerability Fix
  • Disk Defragment

The duration will take some time especially if you have not kept your computer running efficiently. It will be worth the wait.

After a doing a deep scan or if you feel like your computer may need some regular maintenance outside a deep scan you can access the tool box from the main screen. From the toolbox you could access various tools to address specific problems or concerns that you may have.

A common tool that I have utilize is the Smart Ram. Since I primarily use a netbook I find the computer slowing down when running programs after a period usually after running the browser for a while. Since netbooks are limited in memory and a large portion is used by the OS memory get filled up quick. Freeing up memory reduces the sluggishness in your computer, once again your results may vary. Outside a clean install/reinstall, as well as technical expertise Advanced System Care will enable you to clean up your computer in one place

Below is a screen cap from the program itself.  As well as the download link.

http://www.iobit.com/advancedsystemcareper.html

 

MAC MALWARE ALERT!!!!

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Presently, many Mac users have a false sense of security due to the common notion that Macs can not get virus or malware. The main reason being that ten or even as recent as five years go Mac were rarely used by your average consumer. Now as they are increasing become more popular, largely due to IPhone and IPod,

Unfortunately, today's post is a Malware Alert for Mac users. The exploit it appears to be via Adobe Flash Player as reported in a article for Sophos, Mac malware evolves - time for Apple owners to wake up. The article also provides a link to how to check if this current Mac exploit has effected your Mac, if you wish to go straight to how to check follow the following link, Mac Flash/Trojan.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="219" caption="Image via uncyclopedia.wikia.com"][/caption]

Sophos, a IT security company, also has an article The short history of Mac malware: 1982 - 2011, I recommend Mac users  read this brief history to be better informed in regards to security threats towards Mac computers.

Long story short, any technology is vulnerable in some form. The question for most virus/malware creators is which tech out there will make one famous.

Three Programs to Check for Malware

In today's post I will give you a break down of three programs that I use to scan for malware. These are my choices but if you ask each IT guy they will have their own opinion. All of these are free, some are only for personal use and others have limited uses.  I use these religiously.

1.) Malwarebytes - www.malwarebytes.org

Malwarebytes is a standalone application that does not interfere with anti-virus software.  It's designed to catch the normal stuff but also rogue security software, adware, and spyware.  I have used this for about 7 years and only once have I met a false positive.

2.) Microsoft Security Essentials - www.microsoft.com/en-us/security_essentials

Microsoft Security Essentials also known as MSE for short is Microsoft anti-virus product released in 2009. This is a program that can replace your McAfee or Norton antivirus.  This was designed to remove computer virus, spyware, root-kits and trojan horses. I have used this since the beta and have found it very useful. It makes to use a ant-virus made by the people who actually make Windows.

3.) Super Anti Spyware - www.superantispyware.com

Super Anti-Spyware , another standalone program, is designed to remove spyware, ad-ware, trojan horses, rogue security software, computer worms, root-kits. I really have fallen in love with this software because it is really effective in remove tracking cookies. I am very shocked in what it finds sometimes.

-Q&A-

Why should I use multiple programs?

It's a good question. The main reason is that not all programs work the same and do not have the same virus database. Each will find different things.

Will these programs clean everything? 

In most cases if you ask a security expert they will say no but in most cases if you ask an IT guy they say yes. I always say it is  NEVER a guarantee that you will know that your computer is clean unless you reformat your drive and re-install Windows. It is that sad truth.

 

 

Facebook is Creeping out Users With Facial Scanning

Facebook's users upload millions of photos daily, and Facebook  has added functionality  to add tags to identifying the people in them. Just a few days ago, we found out that Facebook is scanning, with facial recognition software, every single picture that is uploaded to their servers and grouping similar faces.  Doesn't this creepy you out? Its grouping even non-Facebook members.  Yes, you get a message when people tag you but Facebook is storing this information. What could they do with this data? The company could use it to sell you advertisements  or even be used against  you in court with a subpoena.

Facebook's Blog post

There is something small you can do. It still doesn't stop Facebook from grouping data  but ...

If for any reason you don't want your name to be suggested, you will be able to disable suggested tags in your Privacy Settings. Just click "Customize Settings" and "Suggest photos of me to friends." Your name will no longer be suggested in photo tags, though friends can still tag you manually. You can learn more about this feature in our Help Center.

Be aware of what Facbook does and speak out. If we are not heard we might have a new Big Brother.

 

Suggestion: Post your opinion in their Help Center.

Go Offline in Chat for selected Friends

Facebook in the past integrated Facebook Chat  and allowed you to always be online to all your friends or just not use Chat. The service for some time did not allow you to customize and block any friends. Now, with Facebook lists you can block/ show offline to those friends that you don't want to be bothered by.  To do this create a list of friends that you want to show offline too. Friends-> Edit Friends-> Create a List

After creating a list, head over to Chat and click the green toggle button to set your self as Offline to those individuals.

Now enjoy  your privacy :-)

How to Make Chrome your Default PDF Viewer

We all have seen how every time we re-start our computer  Adobe is installing and updating their software, like Adobe Reader.   Adobe Reader has been a defacto on all machines to view PDF's but did you know that lately Adobe has a lot of issues with security.  Hackers have targeted Adobe to get into your computers. Why not get rid of Adobe reader by uninstalling it and using Chrome?  Here is how to do it. Make sure you have Chrome installed.

Find a PDF on your system and right-click it, then click "Open With...".

A window should pop up with programs to choose from.  Make sure there is a check box that is checked on the bottom that says "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file".

Make sure you have Chrome selected. If you do not see it click "Browse...".

If you know where Google has been installed, then just browse to that location otherwise, you can right-click on the Chrome shortcut then, Properties->Shortcut.

You’ll see the location(address) in the Target box. Copy it over to the previous window and you are set to go.

 

Yoytube scaming people?

Just today, I was in my Chrome browser when I decided to see some videos on YouTube. I started to type in the URL when I accidentally misspelled Youtube and typed in yoytube.com. This was clearly not my intention. This it what showed up: At first, I thought it was the real Youtube.com, but when I saw I had an opportunity to win a Macbook, Iphone or, Ipad.  I suddenly stepped back and thought to myself, "Apple and Google together? That;s not right".  Then I saw the URL and saw it was not Youtube.com. I had been redirected to another site.  Well, you may ask,  how can I prevent it? That is a very good question. First thing is, you are the person who needs to be responsible to see if you have been directed to the correct destination.  Always glance at the URL bar in your browser. Second, do not use your browser to search or go to websites. Type them into Google or bookmark them within your browser. If you have any tips let us know. Thank you!

 

Thanks to Michael for part of the tip.

ALERT! I got Scammed!

Many of us do not want to say "I got scammed" but it happens all the time. I want to make our readers aware that hackers use social engineering the majority of the time to gain access to accounts. What is social engineering? Social engineering  is " the act of manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential information, rather than by breaking in or using technical cracking techniques; essentially a fancier, more technical way of lying."  Just today, I received an email from my boss that her brother needed money; it was a scam.

Hi Juan, please I need help from you, my Mother brother is in needs of $300 he travel out to Asia wants to come back weekends I want you to do me a favor since am not around to send him money or check this week, please help me to send him $300 on western union. I will send you back the check as soon as I return home,  payment information to send him the money on western union Receivers Name   : Paul Adam Receivers Address: Kuala Lumpur Malaysia amount :$300. that is all the details you need to send him the money, after making the payment send me the full senders name and MTCN number  God will bless you as your going to help me and I will surely reward and appreciate you when am back home. Thank You Juan!!!

I actually received this email. At first glance I almost felt heart-broken. My senses kicked in and I was being scammed. They were using social engineering. I contacted my boss and told her what I had received. I recommended her watch her account for a few weeks and to change the password. Readers please stay safe!

Social engineering Wikipedia

Make a fake Computer Virus

Window's users, know that you must have an Anti-Virus installed to protect you from Malware. But  have you ever seen your Anti-Virus pop-up and warn you that you are infected? If not, why not test it? No, I do not mean you should go out there and find Malware to purposely infect your computer. Test it with a fake Virus. NOTE* This is for fun purposes only and no, it is not a real virus. This is used to actually test Anti-Virus Software.

Create an empty ".txt" file.

  1. Right click on your desktop >New> Text document

or

Start > Accessories > Notepad

2.  Paste this code in the text file

    X5O!P%@AP[4PZX54(P^)7CC)7}$EICAR-STANDARD-ANTIVIRUS-TEST-FILE!$H+H*

    3. Save it and you should get a pop up from your ant-Virus to do a clean up.

      That's it.   I tried this using Microsoft Security Essentials. It worked!  Below are some screenshots.

      Again this will not harm your computer.  Test at your own risk.

       

      Thanks to EICAR.

      Lock Your Minimized Programs With Only Clicks Away!!

      If you have a family computer that lots of people use, and you want to block some minimized programs so others wont use them or open them, then you've come to the right place. This download called LockThis! locks the minimized programs that you have selected so they cannot be opened except with the password that was made by you. To activate this program, you don't need a password, but in the other hand, to dis-activate it, you do. So give it a try and download it here.

      Website Notifier

      This website called ChangeDetection, monitors others and notifies you what occurs on your website. When it detects a movement in the website, it automatically notifies you by email. This is a good thing to people who have to manage many websites. This is a free service offered to anyone in the world. This service has been available since 1999. So come on and check this fabulous website out now.

      Difficulty Level: Easy

      See where your money goes

      Is the economy in a bad situation or is the media the problem to blame? I still live my normal life, not saving much, till I found Mint.com. This service lets you manage your budget, expenses,  and investment. It has an iphone and android app so you can see it on the go. I use it to see if nobody has used my debit card. Also, if you use your credit card and debit card for everything you can see how much you waste on food, gas, shopping and much more. I strongly recommended it. Oh, and about security do not worry Mint's back-end(servers) use the same security as banks. So don't worry much.

      Secure sites using https

      Are you a Firefox user? Most people are. Are you concerned about your online security? You very well should be. If you did not know, you can tell when you are on a secure site by checking the address bar in your browser.

      That is tip number one. The next tip is forcing your browser to put https on most of the sites you go to. That way you are 100% secure that nobody is reading your data by packet sniffing. In order to force your browser to put https you need Firefox and a plug-in called HTTPS Everywhere. This plug-in will force https on sites like:

      • Google Search
      • Wikipedia
      • Twitter and Identi.ca
      • Facebook
      • EFF and Tor
      • Ixquick, DuckDuckGo, Scroogle and other small search engines
      • and lots more!

      What can an update really do?

      Well, in the first place what is an update? Well, an update  means to brings something up to date. Updates are really useful because it brings software and other programs to a newer version.  In addition to updating programs, it fixes and corrects problems within a certain piece of software. For Microsoft Windows OS, they release their update on the second Tuesday of every month. If you don't update your computer regularly, as in the summer of 2003, the Blaster worm harmed computers all over the world causing them to reboot themselves freely. If you don't want the job of having to check if updates are available for your computer, follow these steps. 1. Click start.

      2. Scroll over to All Programs.

      3. Click Windows Update.

      4. Change the setting on the left pane.

      Is Your Computer Protected?

      Well maybe it says its protected but actually its not. This program called Threatfire, is an anti-virus program that protects your computer like no other program. This program not only deletes the viruses or dangerous files, but vanishes them permanently, so they will never harm your computer again. If you are wondering that if there is a price to this, well don't wonder anymore, because it is free to anyone out there. So come and check it out here.

      Difficulty Level: Easy

      Did you know that any copier might be storing your information

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iC38D5am7go] Some recent news that one might  not be aware of is, how copiers have been storing all our personal information. Yes, copiers have  hard drives and store all the documents that have been faxed, scanned, and printed.  This is a huge security concern.  Imagine a copier and Kinko's or local Rite Aid. Inside the hard drive everyday has been used to copy and print birth certificates, social security numbers, police reports. Look at the video for more information. How can I be secure and have control over my information? Well, you may consider buying a personal copier and when disposing , remove the hard drive or look in the manual on how to remove all your personal data.. Tell us your thoughts.

      Making a Secure Password

      Want to make a secure password but don't how, well keep on looking. An ideal password should be as long as possible. It should include letters, symbols, and numbers; the greater the variety, the better. Try to avoid dictionary words in any language, words spelled backwards and abbreviations, repeating characters, and your personal information.

      Difficulty Level: Easy