Remember the IRS hoaxes, and FBI emails
Keep in mind the government doesn’t send emails. Also, be on the lookout for banking emails, be very careful. Sometimes if I get something and I’m not completely sure I’ll hover over one of the links in the email, outlook will usually display the underlying link as a balloon showing the actual location. If I see a strange website location address, then I know for sure it’s a phony. When in doubt, don’t click.
We Add to our Email Filter Once a Month
Every few weeks I sit down and go though my junk email and add those suspicious items.
One thing that might surprise you is that nearly 2.5 million emails have been processed by the server in the last 30 days. In addition of that 1 million were SPAM.
It’s a never ending battle, and striking a balance between what to allow and what to block is daunting. The SPAMers typically change the words in a subject just a little to get through and you can’t use the email address to block, because that will be different next time.
The Biggest Fear is Ransom-ware
In recent time, ransom-ware is the biggest threat. Using Microsoft’s own technology against you, clicking on an email link, or clicking on a suspicious website can infect your computer. The ransom-ware executes an encryption algorithm that encrypts all your documents, images and backups. The encryption key that unlocks it is sent to the perpetrators and you’ll have to pay them to unencrypt your files. This is true for both Apple and PC’s, no one is safe.
Some folks over at Cyber-Reason have put together a free utility that can help prevent ransom-ware attacks, it’s available from this link. Do a google search and you can find free ransom-ware protection for your Mac.
What should you do?
Well, if you’re one of my clients, you’re taken care of on an ongoing basis. I work hard to help protect and clean up your inbox before you get it. If your not, you should be. Give me a call at 972.571.4808 and ask me about offsite automatic data backups, low cost hosting, and email hosting.
Why was this so hard to find?
A few months back EquiFax had a big data breech, and almost everyone in the country was affected. When I first heard the story they advertised a link for those affected and would give them a free 12 months of free credit report / identity protection. I didn’t write the URL down at the time because I thought it would be everywhere. That didn’t happen.
At first I did go on the Equifax site and saw there was a free email dark web scan, and then they offered a free trial but nothing about the free 12 months of identity theft protection. I didn’t want to sign-up and get a 30-day free trial and then pay for it. You are the company that got hacked! (hello!). Sneaky huh?
So, how did I find out
AT&T’s developer program sent me a link for the free 12 month identity protection from Equifax. They wanted developers in their program to know they were working with Equifax to protect information from further breeches.
How does it work
You click the link, verify your information has been breached and then they sign you up for FREE, no credit card, no sales calls. It was really easy, so to check and sign-up for yours Click this link
Holding All the Aces
My ever faithful US Robotics Router has been acting very intermittent lately, so it was time to replace it. After all, the servers that sit behind it run this site and some others and we can’t have those down. So, with a little research I ended up with a Linksys N750 (EA3500) router. Configuring the basic router functions went pretty easily, it did take a while to find where to input the virtual settings so the servers would get pass thru on the correct ports. But, all in all it went pretty well and those functions wouldn’t be used by a typical household.
UNTIL…. I went to configure my notebook to connect to the wireless part of the router.
Holding the Bag
After using the settings that came with the router for wireless access, my notebook asked for the pass code (as normal), I supplied it, but, unfortunately it wouldn’t connect. I thought it must be in that new fangled WPA2/WPA Mixed setting. After all it’s too simple to just supply the wireless password and everything would work right? right! After all the usual computer consulting trouble shooting, I changed the settings to the old standard WEP, still no dice. Linksys support website said to attempt the connection put in the password and you’ll connect, then asked “Was this information helpful?”. But what if that doesn’t work? What now?
This is where we have to think small, and start methodically. Here’s what to do:
- Unplug the Linksys Router, wait about 20 seconds and plug it back in. Wait for it to boot up completely.
- Restart the device (in my case my notebook) and attempt the connection.
- It Worked.
Amazing how much, just resetting clears the confusion in a device sometimes. So, next time before you make the call, check the connections, power down the devices and try one last time. BTW, there is an order to starting network devices and each one should be completely up before you move on to the next one, and they are: Modem, Router, Switch, Computer.