New Year means New Threats…

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.


Computer Doesn’t Work Right After Adobe Update! What Gives!!

This is about the most exasperating problem that causes many of my customers problems. What happens is during an Adobe download or update (Acrobat (reader), Flash Player, and others) there is an additional download option to also install additional software. Sometimes it’s Google Chrome, sometimes it’s McAfee Security Scan Plus, and sometimes it’s both.

Yeah, so what’s the big deal?

Well, as you install software on your computer, you will somtimes receive a popup that the certain software requires that you allow it through your computers firewall. It will popup a box similar to the following…So, you click “Allow Access” and now that software can freely access any web-enabled features that it needs. Keep in mind, this could be any software on your computer that you have given special access to.

Here’s the deal…

By allowing (by default I might add) the download and install of “McAfee Security Scan Plus” it contains a firewall, and it doesn’t look at your current firewall settings, it just installs itself in front of it, with its “minimal” allowed configuration. What this does is disable many previous installed applications, and even your network, email, and many other programs.

Things just stop working

Yes they will. Don’t misunderstand, we need protection on our computers, and I think the goal of software vendors allowing other products to be downloaded with their updates is an effort for not only additional revenue, but help users safety. As an average computer user, we don’t see the unexpected consequences from what appears an innocent task, after all you just want your software updated.

What can I do, how can I fix it?

The most important thing you can do is pay attention to what your downloading. We often click “License agreements” and “Privacy polices” and honestly never read there 50 page content. Don’t assume that just because its a big company that they are looking out for your best interest. If you just did a software update and things are not working correctly check your firewall settings, check for any software installed that you didnt expect or don’t know about.

I’m here to help

If you are in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area, call me at 972.571.4808, I offer a $75.00 flat rate computer check-up.