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Previous News & Tips -3/12/17 - 3/18/17 Next

News & Tips Index

  Date News & Tips Number
Sat 3/18/2017 864
Fri 3/17/2017 863
Thur 3/16/2017 862
Wed 3/15/2017 861
Tue 3/14/2017 860
Mon 3/13/2017 859
Sun 3/12/2017 858

Sat 864  3/18/2017

Test Your Router



With Windows 10 Creators Update around the corner, Microsoft keeps fixing bugs



33 million Americans affected by massive online data leak



Sound Waves Used to Hack Common Data Sensors

Though the immediate threat to your smartphone or Fitbit is slight, University of Michigan researchers show command-and-control capability with spoofed signaling on a variety of MEMS accelerometers.



How Do I Prevent My Internet-connected Devices From Being Hijacked?

Recent attacks on the internet demonstrate that the so-called "internet of things" lacks basic security considerations.



DARPA's latest idea could put today's Turing-era computers at risk

Computers shouldn't be just computational tools, but learn like humans, DARPA believes



Windows 10 Gets New Cumulative Update After Microsoft Delayed Updates in February



Shut up already! How to turn off unwanted web page sound

Sick of advertisements blaring when you visit a new web page? Here's how to stop annoying audio.



How to Check Your Router for Malware



Gmail just got its own Venmo feature

Now you can remind your friends they still owe you for dinner.



MacBook Pro Touch Bar: cool effects, worryingly easy to hack



iPhone suddenly blows up in owner’s hands at repair shop



Ethical Hacking: The Most Important Job No One Talks About

If your company doesn't have an ethical hacker on the security team, it's playing a one-sided game of defense against attackers.



When I Visit a Web Site, Can the Server Identify Me?

Minimally, web servers get your IP address when you visit. Whether or not that or other information can actually be used to identify you, specifically, depends on a lot of things.



Credit-card breach hits another restaurant chain

Experts urge small retailers and restaurants to upgrade to chip card payments and encryption



Microsoft Could Name Redstone 3 the Windows 10 Mobility Update



This laptop-bricking USB stick just got even more dangerous

When plugged in, this weaponized USB stick can destroy laptops, kiosks, ATMs, cars, and more.



Disable WPAD in Windows to Stay Safe on Public Wi-Fi Networks



Should you buy a refurbished iPad?

Buying a refurb can save you a bunch of money, but buying from the right place will save your sanity.



Save big with these 12 limited-time Apple MacBook Air and iPad Pro Deals



Woman's headphones explode on her face while mid-flight



Personal Data Leak Affects 33 Million US Employees

Information exposed in the leak includes personal details of employees from the Department of Defense and US Postal Service.



Are Automatic Updates a Good Thing?

Unless you're willing to pay a lot of attention on a very regular basis, automatic updates are an important part of keeping your machine safe.



How to use NTFS compression on Windows 10

You can use NTFS compression to save storage space on your Windows 10 PC, and in this guide we'll show you how.



Quick Tip: Disable Ads and Suggestions in the Windows 10 File Explorer



Making this one change could eliminate spam, says police tech chief

National Crime Agency urges organisations to adopt this protocol to help put an end to email spam



What to Do If You’ve Lost an Instruction Manual



How to force quit apps on a Chromebook

What is the Chromebook equivalent of Ctrl-Alt-Delete?



Samsung has done the impossible with the Galaxy S8



Popular messaging app users could have been hacked with a single photo



Google Removes Chamois Apps Botnet from Play Store

Google has eliminated Chamois apps, which installed invisible apps and downloaded unwanted plugins without victims' knowledge.



Windows Update Advertises “Windows 10 Creators Update is Coming Soon”



What's on your Windows 10 Start menu, Zac Bowden?



What is Microsoft's Unified Update Platform and how does it affect me?



Warning: Dangerous new Gmail phishing attack can easily steal your Google login



Google Assistant Isn't Coming To Android Tablets Anytime Soon



How to use your iPad as a laptop

An iPad may not be the same as a full computer, but it's getting pretty close.



Test your PC building skills with the new PC Building Simulator



How to use a Chromebook: 10 must-know tips, tricks, and tools for beginners

Chromebooks are dead-simple to use, but just like any PC a little tweaking makes your experience that much better.


Back to Top

Fri 863  3/17/2017

Windows Vista support ends next month, upsetting almost no one (going, going, nearly gone.  You won't really be missed)



Transfer Open Browser Tabs From One Browser To Another On Any Device



Can A Router Be Infected?



Windows 10 customers can reserve a seat in the upcoming Creators Update rollout



Everything you need to know about Xbox Game Pass



These researchers can hack your phone with sound waves

This hack is more cool than scary, but it shows how hard it is to anticipate every security flaw in our increasingly complex devices.



How to Install and Configure WinDBG for BSOD Analysis



Chrome 57: Google kicks off plan to throttle power-hungry background tabs

Google's new throttling plan aims to reduce the toll that tabs running in the background take on power consumption.



Google Points to Another POS Vendor Breach




You've probably seen CAPTCHAs and not even realized it. CAPTCHAs are used to make sure systems aren't gamed or spammed by machines.



How to protect your PayPal account with two-step verification (2SV)

Strengthen your online accounts by enabling 2SV.



The iPhone’s switch to iOS 11’s 64-bit chip could make 187,000 apps obsolete



HP unveils EliteDesk 800 G3 Mini PCs with Windows 10

HP today announced two new EliteDesk Mini PCs powered by Windows 10, for commercial customers. They pack powerful performance in a tiny package that'll fit basically anywhere.



Apple found guilty of iPhone price-fixing in Russia

The tech giant had retailers coordinate on the prices of the iPhone 5 and 6, says the country's antimonopoly agency.



How to Restore Default Apps for File Extension Type Associations in Windows 10



Microsoft finally fixes 'critical' Windows security flaw after patch delay

The software giant made customers wait a month before rolling out a fix for a serious Windows security flaw with public exploit code.



Microsoft, Please Stop Breaking My PC With Windows 10’s Automatic Updates



Is it Safe to Allow Remote Access to My Machine?

Remote access to allow someone to fix your machine is appealing. The risks are significant, especially since scammers have become involved.



How to protect your Yahoo account with two-step verification (2SV)

Strengthen your online accounts by enabling 2SV.



Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 Price Revealed In Best Buy Listing



How to install apps on a separate drive on Windows 10

When your PC has limited storage space, or you simply want to keep things separate, use this guide to install or move apps to a different drive on Windows 10.



Alphabet's Jigsaw wants to explain tech jargon to you

The tech incubator, owned by Google's parent company, partners with the Washington Post to make technical terms easier to understand.



Microsoft Makes Windows 10's Worst Feature Worse



Google: We've killed off Chamois, one of the largest Android malware families ever

Google says it has discovered a massive Android ad fraud operation during a routine ad-traffic quality inspection.



Facebook Friend Requests: The Devil You Know & The Devil You Don’t



Vulnerable Points on the Path to Privacy

Privacy and security: tracing the path from your fingertips through the services you use to your information's final destination.



How to protect your Apple ID account against hackers

Keep password pinchers out of your Apple account with two-step verification.



Airplane Passenger's Headphones Explode, Transport Safety Authorities Issue Warning



How to hide your IP address (and why you should)

What is an IP address? And why should you hide it?



Net neutrality DOA? Here's what's next for the internet

Republicans are saying net neutrality rules are bad for business, while Democrats fear any changes will leave our internet rights vulnerable.



New iPhone 8 Leaks Reveal The Four Horsemen Of Apple's Apocalypse



How Google Eddystone EID and Bluetooth beacons help this startup find lost luggage

A Catalan firm has developed the Bluetooth beacon technology used in Samsonite's secure Track&Go product for locating lost luggage.



How to Copy and Paste Multiple Items in One Shot

Normally, you can copy and paste only one item at a time in Windows. But with a clipboard utility, you can copy and paste multiple items one after the other.



How Do I Encrypt Email?

It's surprisingly difficult to encrypt email. We'll look at a practical solution that anyone can use, as well as the way things "should" work.



How to better protect your Google account with two-step verification and Google Authenticator



Newegg is giving away RX 480s with HTC Vive purchases



DNS Hijacks: Routers



Master Your Browser's Tabs with These Tricks and Extensions



Jo's iPhone, Pat's laptop: Why giving a device your name is a serious privacy risk

Protocols that leak your hostname on a network are a hidden threat to your privacy, say researchers.



Remove Adobe’s Stealth Chrome Extension

An Adobe Acrobat update is installing more than just an update.



6 things you should never do on your work computer


Back to Top

Thur 862  3/16/2017

The best portable hard drive

The 2TB Seagate Backup Plus Slim wins thanks to its reliability.



List of features removed or deprecated in Windows 10 Creators Update



[Tip] Enable Hidden Secret Share Settings Page in Windows 10



The Best Smart Home Devices of 2017

Ready to dive into the Internet of Things to automate your home? Start with the top products we've tested for every room in the house.



Fix Common Printer Problems: Part 2



What Does It Mean for a Source to be “Reputable”?

We often advise only trusting "reputable" sites, but how do you tell if a site or service has a good reputation?



Report claims Apple’s new iPads will be unveiled next week



GPD Pocket is a tiny Windows 10 PC that offers a glimpse at the future



How to better protect your Google account with Two-Step Verification (2SV)

Enable 2SV on your Gmail, YouTube, Google Docs and other Google accounts.



How to Backup, Restore, Reset Start Menu layout in Windows 10



[Windows 10 Bug] Windows Update Files Taking 3.99 TB Space in Disk Cleanup



Verizon Exempts Fios Mobile App From Data Caps

The offer applies to Fios customers who also use Verizon for their mobile phone service, with one exception: those on the new unlimited plan.



How to Make Use of Tablets In and Out of the Classroom



How do I Copy Photos from My Phone to My PC?

Copying photos from your phone to your PC is simple with a few readily available tools.



The real lesson of WikiLeaks' massive CIA document dump — encryption works



Tech terminology check: Is it Windows Phone or Windows phone?



How to protect your Dropbox account with two-step verification (2SV)

Strengthen your online accounts by enabling 2SV.



Microsoft reduced Windows update sizes by 35 percent

With the "Creators Update," downloads will be significantly smaller.



Browser JSGuard extension offers protection against malicious HTML & JavaScript attacks



[Windows Tip] Pin Batch (.BAT) Files to Taskbar and Start Menu



What Are Keyloggers?



How Should I Back Up an Encrypted Hard Disk?

Backing up an encrypted hard drive shouldn't be difficult, but it's important to understand what you'll get.



Why buy a new Mac, when you can buy refurbished?



The new Player.me app for Windows will help you launch your streaming career



California Paves the Way for Cars With Empty Driver's Seats

Proposed regulations would let companies test self-driving cars on public roads without a human driver present.



How to better protect your Tumblr account from hackers with two-step verification (2SV)

Enable two-step verification to make it harder for hackers to hijack your online accounts.



How to fix Aw, Snap! error message in Google Chrome browser



[Windows Fix] “Sharing” Tab Missing in Folder Properties and Context Menu



How to Back Up and Restore an Image File of Windows 10

Here's how to create and restore an entire image file if your current system ever goes kaput.



How To Make A Gmail Folder



Why Do Ads Follow Me Around the Internet?

Advertising networks are quite sophisticated at watching what you're interested in. It might be a little creepy, but it's not malware.



His daughter was worried about being spied on so a CEO made a device to protect the home from hacking



How to use NTFS compression on Windows 10

You can use NTFS compression to save storage space on your Windows 10 PC, and in this guide we'll show you how.



How to protect your LinkedIn account from hackers with two-step verification (2SV)

If you’re serious about protecting your online accounts, you will enable 2SV.



Use Action Note to create Notes with Windows 10 Action Center integration



Hard drives of the future could be made of DNA

Scientists have discovered how to fit the maximum amount of data in a single nucleotide.


Back to Top

Wed 861  3/15/2017

Microsoft confirms second big Windows 10 update due later this year



Malware Preinstalled on Many Android Phones



You’re going to freak out when you find out your iPhone has this feature



How to combine two Hard Drives into one on Windows PC



Should you buy a managed or unmanaged network switch?



Windows 10 Will Let You Snooze Creators Update



Offline Anti-Malware Tools

Sometimes, the best way to remove malware is to reboot your system and run a completely separate tool. I'll list some of the most popular.



How to Fix Windows 10 Sound Problems



10 Awesome Mac Features You Can Get on Your Windows PC



How to better protect your Facebook account from hackers

Enable Login Approvals to defend your Facebook account from hackers.



Lithium-ion creator helped develop a better battery technology

It's safer, can store more energy and can last much longer.



How to set up Google Voice on your iPhone or Android smartphone



Are you a PC gamer? Here are tips to improve gaming performance



How to use NTFS compression on Windows 10

You can use NTFS compression to save storage space on your Windows 10 PC, and in this guide we'll show you how.



How to Install Windows 10 Apps to an External or Second Drive



Are Free Email Services Worth It?

Free email services and accounts are convenient and ubiquitous, and can be used safely if - and only if - you take responsibility for that safety.



The Funniest Revelations from Vault 7



7 Ways You Can Use Linux to Organize Your Life



How to protect your Twitter account with two-step verification (2SV)

Enable Login Verification to defend your Twitter account.



US hopes cyberattacks will stall North Korea's missile program

It's not having much luck so far, though.



Apple still destroys all other PC makers in one important way



Extend Windows Battery with Vista Battery Saver



How to connect to Hotspot 2.0 Wi-Fi networks on Windows 10

In this guide, we explain the new "Hotspot 2.0" Wi-Fi standard and its benefits, and show you how to connect to the networks using Windows 10.



Our favorite Mac cleanup tips

In the spirit of spring cleaning, here are our favorite tips for keeping our Macs tidy and organized.



Is There a Way to List All Programs Installed on My Computer?

Unfortunately, there's no consensus on what it means to be an "installed program", or how to find them.



How to Find a Lost Windows 10 Device

Can't find Your Windows 10 laptop or tablet? No need to worry, not if you've enabled a helpful option called 'Find my Device.'



5 Awesome Programs to Replace Default Windows Software and Apps



How to better protect your WhatsApp account with two-step verification (2SV)

If you’re a WhatsApp user you should enable this security feature.



Ransomware hits Pennsylvania's Democratic state senators

Party officials say there's no indication they were specifically targeted.



New images show the Jet Black and Jet White iPhone 8 of our dreams



5 lesser known Windows 10 features you should use



Is Microsoft's Surface Book i5 still worth it a year a later?



How to free up storage by finding and deleting large files you don’t need on your Mac

Get back some storage space.



What if My Security Software Vendor Gets Hacked?

It's important to consciously choose which software and online services to trust - whether they are directly related to security or not.



Burner Accounts 101: How to Get Extra Numbers for a Smartphone

When you don't want to hand out your own phone number, don't buy a separate phone, just download one of these burner apps to your existing smartphone.



How to Protect Your Privacy in Firefox with the Privacy Settings Addon



How to protect your Amazon account with two-step verification (2SV)

Protect your Amazon account with an extra layer of security.



Typos are kryptonite to Alphabet's anti-trolling API

It's supposed to detect toxic language online, but it has some flaws.



Samsung Galaxy S7 And Galaxy S8 Price And Specs Comparison



7 Easy Ways to Make Your Android Phone Less Annoying

Smartphone frustrations can snowball and add real stress to your day. Here are seven quick and simple things you can do to make your life just a bit easier.



Comments by -- Bob Primak --

Re. FYI #859 (Mon 3/13/2017)

This case is literally an entire Android phone that you attach to your iPhone (what iPhone user would buy this?)

For the suggested price, I can get a cheap Android smartphone (older Android version) at Amazon. And if you have to flip the phone to see the other side, how would you ever use both the front and rear facing cameras of the iPhone? And how would you ever protect both screens?? FAIL! Kickstarter does offer some very amusing and totally useless product ideas! 


Windows 10 Forced Update Starts Causing Problems

STARTS???? causing problems?? My dears, we Windows Power Users have had problems with Forced Updates for over three years now!! And some were worse than this one. Remember the February 2017 MS Updates meltdown? Or the Intel System Driver, which was at best a placeholder, and at worst...?? 


Malware found pre-installed on dozens of different Android devices

There's antivirus for Android, and there's CCleaner for Android. Now we need Android Decrapifier, and we may be safe using our phones again. Seriously, App Opportunity!



The trouble is, in many cases, sfc/scannow can only identify the problems, but cannot repair them. Then you still still need to refresh or reinstall Windows using retail install media (not upgrade media). I can lend out my USB Windows 10 Pro install media for a small price.


New Linux malware hijacks one vendor's IoT devices by exploiting CGI bug

I hope we're not blaming Linux for one vendor's failure to update and patch for security holes.


Do You Need a PUP Cleaner?

Short answer -- it depends on what you consider to be PUPs. Malwarebytes is fairly aggressive, and calls Tracking Cookies PUPs. Other AV/AM programs are more lenient and let such things go. You must decide what level of cleanup suits you best. Also, be aware that some legitimate programs and utilities are flagged as PUP by MBAM and similar programs. You have to sift the wheat from the chaff all too often. Here Google is not your friend, as in the example of MBAM and PC Matic flagging each other as PUPs. Or the more common problem of the Nir Sofer Utilities (Nirsoft) being flagged as PUPs. 


How to convert PNG to JPG without losing quality

PNG is already a lossless format. It does not normally suffer from loss of quality when being converted to JPEG by any competent program. IrfanView and Paint.NET do a great job with these conversions. In Linux, XnViewMP or The GIMP or Pinta will do the job very well. End of problem. 


Orion Ubuntu Laptop Review: The Powerful MacBook Pro Alternative

The screen size and resolution are very bad for the price, as is the type of graphics hardware. 

I would go with Ubuntu Mate 16.10, since this is available, and Mate tends to get more up to date program versions than mainstream Ubuntu. Also, Mate does not spy as much as Canonical's Ubuntu. Mate's interface is a bit more spartan than Unity, but it is more resource friendly. 

I would worry a bit about dealing with a British (UK) company, especially if something needs warranty repairs or technical assistance. But unlike the Dell offerings, this is genuine Ubuntu, and uses the real Ubuntu or Mate repositories. 

Using a full sized laptop on the go is a bit outdated, as most tablets do most of the computing folks would need while traveling. For example, for about $400.00 I could have a Windows 10 tablet from the same vendor as my ASUS Transformer Book, which has almost as much computing power as this laptop, and a 10 inch screen with twice the resolution. (Keyboard Dock included.)

This looks like a solid, if pricey, laptop, and yes, it really is running (and appears to be supported for) genuine Ubuntu Linux. 

By mid-spring, we will have Ubuntu and Mate 17.04, so you have an upgrade to look forward to. Or just stay with Ubuntu (or Mate) 16.04 LTS as I have been doing on my Intel NUC. 

Especially with the poor graphics and lack of touch screen or other touch features, a MacBook Pro, this is NOT! (The reviewer also did not like the trackpad on this laptop.)


Comments by -- Joe Nowak

Latest edition of Cyberheist News

Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:51 pm (PDT)

CyberheistNews Vol 7 #11 [ALERT] New Ransomware Phishing Scheme Lets

Wannabe Cybercrims In For Nothing...


Back to Top

Tue 860 3/14/2017

Microsoft is celebrating Pi Day with a 31.4 percent discount on select laptops (late, but mark you calendars (digital) for next 03/14/18 with alert before)






Police hack PGP server with 3.6 million messages from organized crime BlackBerrys

Custom PGP BlackBerry smartphones allegedly used by criminal gangs for secure messaging have suffered a setback.



How to use all the awesome iOS 10 iMessage features you forgot about



Tech Support Reps Give Wrong Answers Nearly Half the Time



You need to fix your Microsoft Account for apps error in Windows 10



Control PC cable chaos with these combs



The Terminal Is Where Linux Begins - and Where You Should, Too



What Is So Good About the New AMD Ryzen?



Buggy backups! Unplug your WD My Cloud until these flaws are fixed

No timeline for a fix so far…



Google Home spouts fake news in response to questions

It's sourcing its own (sketchy) "featured snippets" as gospel.



Why the new Mac Pro might never come

“You will see us do more in the pro area,” said Tim Cook, but that’s open to interpretation.



Latest Apple Inc. (AAPL) News: iPhone 8 Demand Looks to Be Huge



Laptop Tech Support Showdown! Our 2017 Ratings



YouTube Tutorials for Video Creators to make better videos



How to assign permanent letters to drives in Windows

You can manually assign permanent drive letters in Windows 10. This guide shows you how.



Use Photoshop Artistic Blur Effect To Make Your Shots Into Art



How to Use Google Keep to Organize Your Travel Plans



Firefox 52 warns when you try to enter passwords on non-encrypted websites

F***fox to the rescue.



Smart meters might not be so smart

Research from the Netherlands has found meters that overestimate energy usage by 582 times.



What you can do if you forget your password on a FileVault-protected Mac

You can recover a lost FileVault password or erase a FileVault drive, losing everything but regaining the ability to use the system.



Mysterious Google Carrier Services app lands on Google Play, but what does it do?



How to Restart Windows 10 Without Rebooting



How to change the Default Version of OneNote on your Windows 10 computer



Samsung’s iPad Pro competitor will cost $600

The Galaxy Tab S3 was announced last month



Plex Cloud lets you ditch your media server for the OneDrive, Dropbox and Google Drive



6 CCleaner Tips and Tricks to Effectively Clean Your Computer



Two-factor authentication (2FA) versus two-step verification (2SV)

What’s the difference between 2FA and 2SV? And which is better?



Trojan uses a key internet feature to receive marching orders

You can't easily stop this malware in its tracks.



Accessibility features in macOS and iOS that everyone should try

The Accessibility menus hold lots of little tweaks to make your Mac, iPhone, and iPad easier to use.



Will the Galaxy S8 be safe? This is Samsung’s new 8-point battery safety check



How to Get the Old Volume Control UI in Windows 10



Xbox Live Creators Program – Everything you need to know



Switching from Mac to a Windows PC: 10 tips to ease your tech transition



Samsung’s Frame TV is going to be an actual product available this spring



13 Overlooked Chrome Extensions That Reduce Clicks and Save Time






Your WD networked drive is vulnerable to remote attacks

The My Cloud line has some conspicuous security holes.



Chrome for MacOS will block rogue ad injections and settings changes

The Google Safe Browsing service has been expanded to detect more threats on macOS



Apple is on the Verge of Stunning the Tech World



10 Best Apps to Install Right Now on a New Windows 10 Computer

Install these apps first on a brand new Windows 10 laptop.



Comments by -- Joe Nowak

Computer time and Diabetes

Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:17 pm (PDT)

Interesting statistical comparisons about computer usage and diabetes in children

Kids' risk of diabetes rises with too much screen time


Back to Top

Mon 859 3/13/2017

This case is literally an entire Android phone that you attach to your iPhone (what iPhone user would buy this?)



Windows 10 Forced Update Starts Causing Problems



Phishing: Would you fall for one of these scam emails?

There's still plenty more phish in the sea, as workers can't stop clicking on scam emails. Would these ones trick you?



Save on a laptop, tablet, or desktop with these limited-time Acer computer deals



4 Myths About Mac Malware: Part 1



Malware found pre-installed on dozens of different Android devices

Can the supply chain be trusted?



What Chrome’s Explosive Growth Teaches Us About Browsers



See how HoloLens is being used to transform operating room design






Tech companies and game devs are gearing up for AR

'Pokemon Go' was just the beginning.



YouTube Tutorials for Video Creators to make better videos



Google's CAPTCHA no longer demands proof you're not a robot



4 Things You Should Know About Mac Malware: Part 2



Realistic crisis simulations are the backbone of cyber preparedness - ENISA plays a role in EU cyber preparedness



What You Need to Know Before Buying a Used Laptop



Fiio A1 is an impressive amp for your phone that costs only $28






A San Francisco startup 3D printed a whole house in 24 hours

It's no mansion, but it looks perfect for people who prefer tiny homes.



What is Remote Access Trojan? Prevention, Detection & Removal discussed



Nintendo just admitted its new game console has a problem: 'We are in a fact-finding mode'



Record on My GS7 (Galaxy S7)



New Linux malware hijacks one vendor's IoT devices by exploiting CGI bug

If only the vendor would fix the issue…



11 Uses for Your Old Smartphone



How to disable your laptop's webcam and microphone on Windows 10



Do You Need a PUP Cleaner?



Robots could wear flesh to help form transplants

It's not as creepy as it sounds. Really. We promise.



How to convert PNG to JPG without losing quality



MacOS isn’t immune to malware! Let these antivirus apps give your system a booster shot



Adjust Exposure On Your Phone Camera



Android YouTube download apps flood devices with ads to secure high ratings for droppers

More unpleasant surprises spread via the official Google Play store.



Two-Factor Authentication: Who Has It and How to Set It Up

Everyone is concerned about online safety. Whether you use Google and Twitter or TeamViewer and Dreamhost, keep your services secure with two-factor authentication.



Project Scorpio will deliver enhanced Xbox graphics to 1080p TVs (exclusive)



How Do Spammers Get Your Email Address?



Russian hackers are extorting American left-wing groups (updated)

They have to pay up to avoid DNC-style email leaks.



What is Pharming and how can you prevent this Online Fraud?



Follow this guide to learn how to delete, and recover, notes on your iPhone



13 Mistakes People Make When Buying a Gaming Computer



Orion Ubuntu Laptop Review: The Powerful MacBook Pro Alternative



Comments by -- Bob Primak --

Re. FYI #858 (Sun 3/12/2017)

Third party patch released for Microsoft zero-day that Google made public

Never apply third-party patches for Windows security vulnerabilities! A few businesses may have an immediate need to temporarily fix a severe vulnerability (which this one is not) but home and small business users generally have no such pressing needs. This particular third party also requires anyone applying their patch to install and run unapproved software which can change Windows code. This could introduce instabilities which Microsoft is under no obligation to fix.


How Much Can I Trust Information on the Internet?

The skill of critical reading is fast being lost in America. With potentially disastrous results for our economy, our political system and our way of life. The dumbing down of America's younger generations is fast becoming more of a threat than an actual cyber-attack. American education sees Google as such a convenient shortcut to real research that the education system is actually encouraging younger people to accept anything they find in a Google Search as irrefutable fact. More is the pity for the few of us left in this country who do not see the online world so naively. Our educators at all levels, public and private, have failed us!


Lock and Unlock your computer with a USB drive using USB Raptor

You of course are at your own risk if you lose the USB Key. There are ways to unlock the PC anyway, but it isn't pretty. Companies like YubiKey provide emergency workarounds in case of a lost key. This being a free and open source project, there really isn't this level of support available. 

BTW, Linux Live USB or CD/DVD can still get inside Windows without knowing anything about passwords or other security keys. And Windows has its own built in feature which can force the use of a Key to unlock Windows or the whole PC. Some manufacturers also include hardware locking using a Key. I don't know whether Linux Live USB drives can work in these scenarios.


TEN Common Computing Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

This is a good roundup and probably reasonably complete.


How to: Router Level Ad Blocking

The trouble with this approach is that every time you want to suspend ad blocking because of a broken site (or a favorite site you don't want to see go broke and disappear), you will have to go into the router settings and manually change the DNS in there. Much easier to toggle a browser-based ad (and script) blocking extension! And this setup may do nothing about Flash content and autoplaying HTML5 content. 


The best add-ons for the Kodi media player and how to install them

The URL got doubled somehow in the FYI posting. Here's the corrected URL:


I am relieved that this article eschews the potentially illegal add-ons which allow Kodi to access grey or dark content (pirated movies and TV shows).


Privacy Begins with the Operating System

One thing not quite right in the portrayal of Linux is the fact that some vendors do include their own (closed source) telemetry and spyware components. Red Hat does this with Fedora, SUSE Linux does this, Ubuntu (Canonical) has telemetry, and the list oges on and on. The Linux distros I would avoid are the ones about which little or nothing has been published about their spying habits.


Microsoft Virtual Support Agent will help you solve your problems

This is new! The call-back option is genuine, it appears. Not some unreliable third-party tech support service. I haven't tried this support service, but it would be interesting to find out how well they handle common Windows issues, and whether they use methods which lead to paid tech support services.


How to Cast Your Android Screen onto Your Linux Desktop

This article went straight into my Linux Chrome Bookmarks. I'm getting an Android phone soon, so this may be very useful. BTW, casting with Chromecast or a general purpose Miracast dongle (like my ScreenBeam Mini 2 Continuum) can put Android screens directly onto an HDTV screen (or a projector with HDMI input). No Smart TV required. There is also a paid version of Screen Cast which allows the reverse -- casting your Linux screen onto the Android device. As far as I know, all this is using WiFi, meaning it does not use cell phone data. You will want to password protect the casting features.


What is Remote Access Trojan? Prevention, Detection & Removal discussed

This appears to be a scareware article aimed at promoting downloads of even more dubious freeware. Major Geeks does not host malware, but the Windows Club site has earned for me a very bad reputation of promoting stuff which has little or no pedigree and few professional reviews.

Microsoft Found a New Place to Display Ads in Windows 10. Here’s What You Need To Do

Also, follow the article's link to more general instructions on blocking other Windows 10 advertising.


And consider the possibility of consolidating all these and other privacy settings. I use a third-party utility called ShutUp10 from O&O Software:


This product should get an update for the Creators Update later this spring or early summer. 


How to Easily Hide Files and Folders in Linux

I have the opposite philosophy. I unhide all files and folders, even in Windows. In Ubuntu, Nautilus and a few other file explorers have the option to show or not show Hidden Files and Folders. In a few instances, putting a dot in front of a file or folder can mess up Linux. Be careful what you hide in this way. As to other more sophisticated methods, steganography has been cracked by hackers, so it has fallen in popularity. And if you encrypt or password protect or compress anything, always have a backup copy of the file(s) in normal formats. 

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Sun 858 3/12/2017

Security flaws 'undiscovered for years'



Third party patch released for Microsoft zero-day that Google made public



Google says Android exploits mentioned in the CIA leak have been patched



How Much Can I Trust Information on the Internet?

Information on the internet ranges from truth to fiction to intentional misinformation. It's important to develop a critical eye towards everything you read.



Lock and Unlock your computer with a USB drive using USB Raptor



TEN Common Computing Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)



Google Hangouts is getting a major overhaul to take on Slack

Video chat is getting way better, too



How to: Router Level Ad Blocking



The best add-ons for the Kodi media player and how to install them

The best Kodi add-ons to enhance your viewing experience



IBM Advances Atomic Storage: What It Means for You



AMD's Ryzen 7 chips look to give Intel a run for its money on price, performance

After a long wait, AMD has officially launched its Ryzen CPUs, detailing the price and performance of the entire lineup. And if you're Intel, AMD's offerings look pretty aggressive on both fronts.



Apple iPhone 8: Patent hints at 3-D selfies, augmented reality and driverless cars



Privacy Begins with the Operating System

Privacy is a complex and far reaching topic. One of the most basic and often overlooked players: the operating system on your device.



Microsoft Virtual Support Agent will help you solve your problems



[HOWTO] Fix Chrome Annoyances



Microsoft is putting OneDrive ads in Windows 10’s File Explorer



Print Preview While Editing in MS Excel



Microsoft HoloLens: The smart person's guide

Isn't the HoloLens just Microsoft's take on VR headsets? Not at all. Find out everything you need to know with our smart person's guide.



How to Cast Your Android Screen onto Your Linux Desktop



How to color code Outlook messages by sender (and why you should)



Now you can buy refurbished 2016 MacBook pros without Touch Bars



What are the Differences Between an Email Account, Address, Program, and Service?

Terminology around email can be confusing, and lead to incorrect answers to misstated questions. I'll review some common and important terms.



What is Remote Access Trojan? Prevention, Detection & Removal discussed



Cisco: First-gen internet is 'not fit for purpose' for IoT

Connecting things and machines will require a 're-engineering' of the architecture of the internet to transform it into its second generation, Cisco's CTO for ANZ has said, with edge computing a requirement for latency.



WordPress webmasters urged to upgrade to version 4.73 to patch six security holes



Whose Talking About You? Find Out With Mention




How to catch March Madness without paying for cable TV

Our cord-cutter's guide will show you how you can watch every game in the tournament for free.



Microsoft Found a New Place to Display Ads in Windows 10. Here’s What You Need To Do



How to uninstall (and restore) Windows 10's built-in apps



Transparent Oneclassic Wireless Hi-Fi speakers offer more than meets the eye



CCleaner, a Windows Cleaning Tool

CCleaner is a highly-regarded tool for cleaning files, history, cookies, and much more from your computer. It's particularly helpful in Windows 10.



We can’t sign into your account message in Windows 10



Activate your iPhone's hidden magnifying glass feature

This feature transforms your iPhone into a portable magnifying glass and telescope.



9 Common Photography Mistakes — And How to Fix Them



Use Your Phone As Your Primary Camera



Newer car tech opens doors to CIA attacks

Security experts aren't surprised by info from Wikileaks docs about agency efforts



How to Easily Hide Files and Folders in Linux



How to set up Kodi profiles



Adware lived on the Google Play Store for 2 months without anyone noticing



Here's what you need to know about wireless VR



Dahua security camera owners urged to update firmware after vulnerability found



Comments by -- Bob Primak --

Re. FYI#857  (Sat 3/11/2017)

How to Improve Font Rendering in Linux with Infinality

The article offers no usable installation instructions, and no currently available source for the Ubuntu packages needed to use this configurator. Since this is an unsupported third-party tweaking tool which messes with system areas of Linux, I would avoid it unless you have a screaming need to improve font rendering. I experience no such need, and Ubuntu is my everyday OS.


How Can One Service Take Down So Much?

As the comment says, for those companies which can afford it, spreading their risks among several cloud vendors makes sense. Unfortunately, not all cloud-dependent businesses have the resources to have such redundancy. So these sorts of outages can and will happen again. We consumers will just have to learn to survive outages.


The Best Way to Burn CDs and DVDs on Windows 10 Is With BurnAware

I haven't burned a CD or DVD in Windows in a long time, but this program is one I was aware of before Windows 10 came out. It's good, and the free edition has most of the features the average user should want.


You need to fix your Microsoft Account for apps error in Windows 10

This error and the error saying you need to reset your App Password have never bothered me -- I don't use Windows 10 Store Apps in ways which require these types of additional passwords or authorizations.


Finally Get a Paid VPN Because Your Free VPN Won’t Cut It

This article points out a few things I've been posting about for some time now. Free VPNs are not secure and private.


Microsoft Trust Center helps you manage Security, Privacy, & Compliance

This is for businesses, not for home consumers. But, interesting information on what's available from Microsoft.


Re. FYI #854  (Wed 3/8/2017):

Learn Gmail, Google Apps, and Android Basics With 5 Beginner Lessons

I'm just getting a new Moto G4 Android smart phone this month, so this article could nothave come at a better time! The eBook listed in the article for Android Marshmallow v. 6 may well be worth half the price of the phone. It includes printing using Google Cloud Print, which links nicely with the Epson Connect cloud printing feature for my Epson WiFi enabled all in one. This should be a good place to start, and could save many hours of figuring it out on my own. The sections on SD Cards, dual SIM Cards and file management may also prove invaluable. 

Looks like there may be enough material for a CCS presentation in this eBook, once I truly master the features which I may decide to use. 



Well written and brief article. 

Note especially that third-party firewalls are no longer recommended for Windows. I use the Ubuntu Firewall for Linux, with a few tweaks via a third-party app. But in Windows, I leave the built-in firewall alone. You can adjust the Windows Firewall if you really want to limit ports available for outbound traffic, but this is technical and not needed for most home and small business users. A good active antivirus program usually takes care of these details for us. I use the free Avira program on both of my Windows PCs now. (I dumped AVG over its aggressive nagging for paid services.)


Gatekeeper-like feature for Windows 10 only allows apps to be installed from the Microsoft Store

This is currently planned to be opt-in. For the Cloud Version of an upcoming Windows release, it may be mandatory, but only for that limited edition. 


Quick Heal BOT Removal Tool removes Botnet infections from Windows computer

This tool hails from India and has no track record. I have never heard of the organization which is offering it. I do not trust such items.


Windows 10 will stop forced automatic updates

Not exactly. There's a lot of fine print to read about these changes.


How to uninstall (and restore) Windows 10's built-in apps

Be VERY CAREFUL when uninstalling built-in MS Windows Store Apps using the PowerShell method! I have had this  method fail and require a FULL Windows 10 reinstall on my tablet, and others have had the same thing happen to them. 

CCleaner or Geek Uninstaller can remove these Apps far more safely. Restoring all or some of the built-in apps (including the Store App itself) can also be done without using PowerShell directly:


If the local Troubleshooter in Windows 10 doesn't work:


you can download a more comprehensive version of the troubleshooter:


This last one should reinstall even the Store App.

If this fails, there are some more tips here:


There is a last-resort option to create a new User Profile, or copy the User Profile from before the issue occurred (possible from a backup if you can explore the archives). 

But if things are really messed up, it may be necessary to create a new user account or to reinstall Windows 10 completely.

At this time, I have been finding that the Candy Crush game apps have been causing the most trouble when updating Windows Store Apps. I have removed all of them from both of my PCs.


WikiLeaks reveals CIA trove alleging wide-scale hacking

Read the article for its History section if nothing else. 

I wonder how the tech companies could accept Assange's offer to share exploit information without violating US espionage laws? I sure hope they can work something out, because this dump will allow everyone not bound by US laws (or choosing to ignore these laws) to exploit the backdoors our intelligence community has developed. I would not want the bad guys to have such a huge advantage without the ability of the tech companies (and security vendors) to respond with detection and removal (and patching) countermeasures.


11 Tech Purchases You Won’t Regret Making

Like many of the commenters, I find about half of these suggestions inviting, or use them already. One thing about Light Therapy -- it's overprices hype. Full-spectrum lighting of any kind ion sufficient amounts will do the job just as well. The color temperature of the light needs to be warmer (redder) early and late in the day to prevent the sleep issues associated with blue light. The same applies to any screens you are watching, including TVs. (I have yet to see a Smart TV with f.lux or such for the display, not just the apps -- there's a real missed opportunity there.)


Re. FYI #855  (Thur 3/9/2017)

How To Create, Merge, Split & Markup PDF Documents On A Mac

This is one thing I always do on my NUC in Linux. MasterPDF is free and powerful, and LibreOffice Draw and Impress can take care of image-only PDf documents, then export them for further processing in MasterPDF. PDF Shuffler or PDFSAM for Linux can then rearrange the pages (as can MasterPDF, but not as efficiently). All for free. Try that on a Mac or in Windows (for free)! (There may be a watermark on some documents habndled through the free versions of these programs in Linux, but that's a small price to pay for all this power.) 


How to protect your Microsoft account with two-step verification (2SV)

This is one of a very few sites where I can use my land line as a phone number. I also have an alternate email address to fall back on. You never know these days, with all the service outages happening all around us. (You should also have a land line backup for cell phones you use at home -- read the news about the second AT&T 911 outage in the past few days if you don't believe me.)


How to Install Windows 10 Apps to an External or Second Drive

If this would work with the built-in Apps and in reverse, it could help with munged or deleted Store Apps as well.


Browser JSGuard extension offers protection against malicious HTML & JavaScript attacks

This is another BS security product straight out of a no-name developer team based in India. I wouldn't touch these programs with a ten-foot polecat! I do use Flashblock in chrome because we lost the ability to force web sites to ask before playing Flash content in Chrome 57. While NoScript can manage HTML and Javascript exploits, it's too cumbersome for my tastes, so I simply block the ad related scripts with Ghostery. The Chrome HTML autoplay blocking extensions do not work at all.


Windows will finally fix its awful update system

Well, sort of...


Microsoft: Users Locked Out of Accounts Tuesday

Microsoft has been having a really bad month or so. I wonder what really happened there? (Did they get hacked? I mean, including the total meltdown of MS Updates in February, this is beginning to look highly suspicious.) 


Re. FYI #856  (Fri 3/10/2017):


I did this a long time ago for my NUC and earlier for my old laptop. It doesn't have much practical value, but it is for me aesthetically pleasing. 


Firewall App Blocker review: Make using Windows Firewall fun again

Again, this app comes to us without any idea of its pedigree. Really, this Windows Club web site is looking more and more spammy every time I see a post originating from here. 


How to troubleshoot and fix Windows 10 blue screen errors

Like many Windows 10 users, I have developed a healthy skepticism of accepting any drivers from Ms Updates or the Windows Device Manager. Go to the manufacturer web site for your PC or device, and get the drivers and install or update instructions directly from there. If not available, go to the component's manufacturer web site. 

In Windows 10 due to automatic updates, you must block bad driver updates either proactively or retroactively, using wushowhide. The safest way to use wushowhide is here (for after the fact hiding of driver updates):


There is also a way to combine Metered Connection with wushowhide to preview pending updates without actually downloading them. Even a wired connection can be set to metered as of the Creators Update. But this is a topic for another post. 


Windows 10 tip: Temporarily delay the Creators Update

With the Metered Connection and wushowhide tricks, even Home users can defer this upgrade for awhile.


Google search results are falling foul of scammers spoofing well-known sites

This includes very legitimate looking tech support sites for specific services and products. They look so much like the real thing that if you don't know the real phone numbers, you can be easily fooled. This could be costly and place your identity and money at risk.


From Joe Nowak's posts on cyber security:

5 Must See Cybersecurity Themed Shows and Movies

Ah, if only Hollywood would get the tech details right once in awhile! I find some of these shows very annoying when they portray a complete fallacy or totally ignore security measures which any fool would include on their own laptop PC. I especially love how downloading multiple gigabytes of heavily encrypted files onto ordinary USB Flash Drives always takes only a few seconds in Hollywood. (Must be those new Lightning Drives with terabytes of capacity.) 


Stop Charging Your Phone at Public Charging Stations

It's true that charging cables are also data capable in most modern smart phones. This is something to be aware of. There are also cables available for most phones which do not carry data at all (they lack the wires and pins to do so). Investing in one of these might be a good safety protocol. Also, carrying a charger of your own which has surge protection, and can be plugged into a wall outlet, would seem to be a safer alternative. 

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