When you are working remotely in public places where others may have access to your tablet, here are some tips to keep yourself safe:
1): When not actively using the WiFi, switch it to airplane mode. When you want to access the web, use “public network” when you’re asked what type of network you’re connecting to. This will make your computer invisible to other nearby users. It will also help with preventing malware from being downloaded to your machine.
2): Recognize rouge hot spots. The best defense is simply to ask an employee or other responsible person what the correct network is; don’t connect to the rogue hotspot, and report its presence to the establishment you’re at if possible.
3): Don’t Sync With Strangers. You may be tempted when your machine is low on battery life, to use a USB connection to get a charge from someone elses machine. Not a good idea. A synchronization process can result in your personal information and files being inadvertently copied to that person’s computer.
4): If you’re not using a Bluetooth peripheral, turn it off. Although a hacker would have to be close, it wouldn’t prevent a hacker sitting close to you from taking control of your device.
5): And finally, set Up Remote Wipe Capabilities. On Windows devices, consider add-on software like Absolute Computrace.
Comcast is using your rented or leased Comcast Wi-Fi modem to create public hotspots, for clients that own your own equipment this does not effect you.
SeattlePi reports that Comcast is turning some of the Wi-Fi routers placed in the homes of subscribers into a “massive public Wi-Fi hotspot network,” but it’s doing so without giving customers the opportunity to opt out before the service is rolled out.
You can disable it yourself by following the instructions below:
Log into your Comcast account page at customer.comcast.com.
Click on Users & Preferences.
Look for a heading on the page for “Service Address.” Below your address, click the link that reads “Manage Xfinity WiFi.”
Click the button for “Disable Xfinity Wifi Home Hotspot.”
About 50,000 Comcast Internet customers in Houston have become part of a massive public Wi-Fi hotspot network, a number that will reach 150,000 by the end of June.
Breaking News! Hackers have infiltrated the online marketplace eBay, gaining access to the personal data of 145 million customers. The hackers broke into an eBay database containing names, email addresses, birth dates, encrypted passwords, physical addresses and phone numbers. Ebay encourages customers to change their passwords. See more information about this attack in the following article.
A Common Computer Fraud
If you recieve a tech support phone call for you computer sending out viruses or reporting problems we want to warn you so you don’t fall for it. The scammer pretends to be from Microsoft or some other legitimate company to trick you.
Even if you wouldn’t be fooled, please warn friends and relatives (especially elderly ones) who might not be aware of scams like this. Victims of this fraud could suffer anything from identity theft to having their computer hijacked and used to send spam or viruses without their knowledge. They will commonly try and charge the end victom $150-$500 for this service. This is not worth any service they provide and is a risk to you.
Here’s a transcript of a scam phone call. In this case, they didn’t pretend to be Microsoft, but that’s the more common version of the fraud.[Heavily-accented Indian volce]: Hello? Hello?
Me: Who’s calling, please?
Him: IT Solutions. We are calling to warn you that your computer has been infected with a virus.
Me: My computer has a virus, eh?
Him: Yes, your computer has a virus.
Me: Where did you say you were calling from?
Him: IT Solutions.
Me: No, I mean, where is your company located?
Him [after I asked several times]: The United States.
Me: Where in the United States?
Him: New York. [My caller ID showed “Bellevue, WA.”]
Me: And what’s your company’s phone number?
Him [Says number far too fast to understand].
Me: Whoa, too fast. Please say your phone number slowly so I can understand it.
Him (after dodging the question a few more times): 717-310-3925. [My caller ID showed 425-998-1533.]
Me: You say my computer has a virus. So, what kind of computer do I have?
Him: I’m sorry?
Me: If you know my computer has a virus, then you should know what kind of computer I’m using. What kind of computer do I have?
Him: Windows NT or Windows 7. [The computer is a Mac, so there are no Windows computers in this home.]
Me: Nope. This is a scam, and I’m reporting it to the police. Goodbye!
How This Scam Steals Your Information
Actually, I didn’t call the police. I called the Washington State Attorney General’s office, since the call appeared to be from Washington. The operator said that the number my caller ID showed was probably fake, too. These scammers are usually off-shore and have ways to reroute the number.
She also said she had just gotten off the phone with another victim of a “your computer is infected with a virus” scam call in which the fraudster claimed to be calling from Microsoft. In that case, the victim let the phony company install malicious software on her computer.
Malicious software lets a stranger do the following over your internet connection:
Access all information and documents stored on your computer
Track your typing so that they can log all your passwords, credit card numbers, or anything else you type
Monitor your purchases, your email, your web browsing
Control your computer without your knowledge, using it to send viruses out to everyone on your email contacts list
Lock you out of your computer and damage or erase its contents
Usually they’d rather not erase your hard drive, since it’s more useful to turn your computer into a “zombie,” operating or accessing it remotely without your knowledge. Huge networks of “zombie” computers are pressed into service by scam companies for all kinds of purposes! The “zombie” computer’s real user cannot tell their computer is serving another master, except perhaps by the fact that the computer seems to have slowed down slightly.
Looking online, I saw more reports of people being scammed by telemarketers claiming to be calling from Microsoft with, “Your computer has been infected with a virus.” I’m sure the real IT Solutions isn’t connected with this scam: my telemarketer just borrowed a respectable company’s name to sound more convincing.
I initially suggested just hanging up on these con artists, but here is a good suggestion: tell them that are recording the conversation for your records. In at least one case, this stopped the calls for good.
If you’ve been a victim of this scam, look up your state attorney general’s website and search for a “fraud report” or “consumer complaints” area.
National Do Not Call Registry
The U.S. National Do Not Call Registry allows you to register your phone number. U.S. telemarketers are legally required to check this list; if they call numbers on it, they’re liable for prosecution. Enforcement isn’t great, but every bit helps.
FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection – Consumer Information
The Federal Trade Commission doesn’t resolve individual consumer complaints, but if there’s enough reports of the same fraud, they may be able to go after the scam and shut it down.
It’s official we have sent out our very first monthly newsletter and we are very excited to see how people like it! If for some reason you did not receive it in your inbox please contact us with and update your email address with us and we will make sure that you get this one and future newsletters. There will be current information on the latest threats, upgrades needed to keep your computer running smooth and on the newest tech information out. Also there will be a section called “tech tips” where we like to share the latest tips that could help you with common problems and solutions. Thank you to everyone for your continued support as we grow and expand and enjoy the free information.
BEWARE! If you’re currently using Internet Explorer we urge you to STOP, DOWNLOAD and SWITCH to Google Chrome HERE or Mozzilla Firefox HERE until a patch fix is released. Most of our clients are already using one of these options and should not be affected by this security bug. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 352-742-3113! Please share with family and friends to keep them safe from hackers! Click the link below to see a news video about this newest security bug!
An encryption flaw called the Heartbleed bug is already being called one of the biggest security threats the Internet has ever seen. The bug has affected many popular websites and services — ones you might use every day, like Gmail and Facebook — and could have quietly exposed your sensitive account information (such as passwords and credit card numbers) over the past two years.
But it hasn’t always been clear which sites have been affected. Mashable reached out some of the most popular social, email, banking and commerce sites on the web. We’ve rounded up their responses below.
See also: How to Protect Yourself From the Heartbleed Bug
Some Internet companies that were vulnerable to the bug have already updated their servers with a security patch to fix the issue. This means you’ll need to go in and change your passwords immediately for these sites. Even that is no guarantee that your information wasn’t already compromised, but there’s also no indication that hackers knew about the exploit before this week. The companies that are advising customers to change their passwords are doing so as a precautionary measure.
Although changing your password regularly is always good practice, if a site or service hasn’t yet patched the problem, your information will still be vulnerable.
Also, if you reused the same password on multiple sites, and one of those sites was vulnerable, you’ll need to change the password everywhere. It’s not a good idea to use the same password across multiple sites, anyway.
Do you have Windows XP? Don’t know what to do? We have a solution for you! We have already done all the shopping for you! Call for a FREE consult today! 352-742-3113 We look forward to helping you with all your computer concerns.
The new Firefox 23 web browser is out now, if you use Firefox and are not aware of it being updated in the last day or so check the >About Firefox menu to update now. The new browser, with update for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android has a number of updates which may be important or useful to users including; a new share button, a mixed content blocking option, a network monitor and a new logo.
Starting with the most important change first, the new logo, this was actually revealed at the end of June but this is the first Firefox release to feature this less glossy and smaller size enhanced logo. You can read and see more about the new design on the Mozilla blog. If you’ve already updated Firefox you can see the new icon on your taskbar or at a larger size in the about dialogue box.
Sharing web pages you have found while browsing has been madewith the new Firefox Share button, Mozilla dedicates a full blog post on this new feature. The Mozilla blog explains the importance of the new feature; “Social sites and services are a key part of online life and we develop Firefox for how you use the Web. Over the last year, we’ve been working on ways to integrate social sites and services directly into Firefox to quickly and easily connect you with your friends and family.”
The share feature currently requires/works with Facebook Messenger for Firefox and Cliqz so if you don’t use these services don’t be puzzled with regard to where your new share button is hiding.
Mixed content blocking
Mixed content blocking has been seen before in the Firefox beta version and has now graduated to prime-time. Now if web pages read their data from a mixture of both secure HTTPS and also load data from regular HTTP sources the browser will alert users and block scripts from the unsecure domain being run. The hope is that this new blocking strategy will prevent man-in-the-middle and eavesdropping attacks.
The Network monitor is another feature that has graduated from the beta test version of Firefox. This lets you watch the network use of individual parts of a web page; you can see how long each webpage component takes to load, for example.
The blog post about the Network monitor implementation when it was launched with the beta says “As Firefox loads the page you’ll see each individual request get added as a row, much as you would expect from other tools. In particular it is now very easy to visualize not just how quickly parts of the page load and in what order, but also where problems are: missing assets, slow web servers, buggy apis.” So this could indeed be a useful tool to some. To see it in action once you’ve updated to Firefox 23 press CONTROL-SHIFT-Q and (re)load a webpage.
You can read the official list of changes to the desktop version of Firefox here. If you are a Firefox for Android user you can read the specific changes and updates for the Firefox browser on your mobile OS of choice here.