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.


 

My Notebook Won’t Connect to My New N750 Linksys Router or When You’re Not Holding All The Aces Your Holding The Bag

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?

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This is where we have to think small, and start methodically. Here’s what to do:

  1. Unplug the Linksys Router, wait about 20 seconds and plug it back in. Wait for it to boot up completely.
  2. Restart the device (in my case my notebook) and attempt the connection.
  3. 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.

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Windows 10 – Let it All Hang Out – Big Brother

I recently got a new notebook that came pre-installed with Windows 10. I had heard that the new Windows 10 operating system included a lot of features that communicate my personal information to Microsoft, and when the installation screen came up to setup using “Express Settings” DON’T DO IT! Instead select “CUSTOM INSTALL”.

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After you select Custom, you’ll see the following page:

Make sure you read each item and select your appropriate response. I bet you’ll be surprised as I was about what information they use and collect. You’ll be glad you didn’t just select “Express settings”.

Here is Custom Settings Screen 2:

Once again, find your appropriate response to each question.

Depending on your answers there is one other setting you might want to also change (after setup is complete). If you decided to not “Send error and diagnostic information,” you really only turned it down from “Full” to “Enhanced.” To really reduce the amount of information sent to Microsoft, you need to go to the Start menu, select Settings, choose Privacy from the list of settings, and then go to the Feedback and Diagnostics section:

Choose “Basic” and that will set the information Microsoft gets to a minimum.

Remember if you live in the Dallas / Ft. Worth Area and have software or hardware issues I come with 20 years of FREE experience and most issues are just $75.00 plus parts when you mention you saw my blog. So give me a call 972-571-4808.

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