Did you receive any high tech gifts for the holidays? Is that gift ready for use?
If you received a computer, will you be doing backups? Windows 7 offers a very easy backup utility to keep all of your information safe from loss. Do you know how to set up the backup? Do you have an external hard drive for backing up your system?
The USB memory sticks are designed to allow you to carry the file back and forth between locations. They really aren’t intended to be used as backup devices but they are better than nothing.
Do you have a surge protector or Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS)to keep your computer safe from power surges and outage data loss?
Hackers on the run
It may seem that the hackers are winning the cyber war but law enforcement has won a few battles this year. Think about it, what do hackers have for resources? If you are a hacker, how would you support yourself? Government agencies have almost limitless resources that can be used to apprehend hackers.
“Who is Cookie?”
While dropping off a computer to be repaired, one poor guy said his wife had accused him of having an affair. His wife saw a popup on the computer that stated something about “cookie”. “WHO IS COOKIE?”, his wife demanded. I can only imagine the rest of the conversation but questions like that don’t start a pleasant conversation.
Do you know about cookies?
Have you ever attempted to surf the Internet but discovered that your home page is not set to where it used to be? You might have discovered that your home page has been “hijacked”. This is a very common strategy by hack marketers who attempt to steer you to their product information.
It seems that all information searches are being tainted. You can no longer obtain an impartial search result. The search engines will post the business that pays the most money at the top of your search. If you are a business with infinite resources, you might be able to stay at the top of the search list but that is going to cost a lot of money. How many times have you searched for something but were presented results that you didn’t request?
Did you stand in line on Black Friday for a computer or other high tech deal? Did you complete all of your holiday high tech shopping? It isn’t enough to just know the word, “computer”, to make a smart computer purchase.
Everything that you purchase today has different degrees of quality. Computers and other high tech equipment are no different. Approach a computer purchase like an engineering task. No, you don’t have to be an engineer but you need to carefully consider your purchase.
Do you have a computer disaster plan for your high tech items? After you consider the most important issues such as shelter, heat, food, and water, it’s time to think about your electronics. What would you do without power to run your computer and cell phone? What would you do under different disaster scenarios?
A major portion of the population has made the change to cell or Internet phone. Do you have POTS, Plain Old Telephone Service, in your home?
Are you fed up with all the SPAM that arrives in your email box? It seems to be getting worse. I can plan on at least 20 pieces of SPAM and scams daily.
There are a few things that you can do to keep your email to a minimum. If your list of desired email senders is small, you can set up your email to discard any sender not on that list. This is a better approach than sending only particular email into the garbage box.
Symantec, the malware prevention vendor, planted 50 phones in five cities across the US and Canada in an experiment to determine what happens to lost phones. 83% of the phones showed that attempts had been made to access corporate information on the phones. A file titled, “HR Salaries” was accessed on 53% of the phones. Only 50% of the phones were returned by the finders.
What is worse, losing your smart phone or your wallet?
If someone found your wallet, could they hurt you? The money in your wallet isn’t the biggest loss that you could face. Is there any of your identity information in your wallet? Maybe a bank receipt or other receipts are in your wallet. I grew up in a time when it was ok to use your social security number publicly. My USAF military serial number was my social security number. Even my driver’s license used to be the same as my social security number. But not anymore!
“There is a Facebook account that pretends to be me. It includes my personal information. How do I get rid of it?” Michelle, Chelmsford
Michelle called my office a few weeks ago to inquire about how to remove a fake Facebook account. Someone had created it pretending to be her. The account even included her picture. My office has received reports of this situation in the past but we haven’t been able to determine how a hacker has been able to create an imposter account.