Protect Your Email From Hackers

Protect Your Email From Hackers

I know of more than a dozen email addresses that were hacked into since the beginning of the year. Most of them @bellsouth.net, @yahoo.com, @hotmail.com, @live.com, @gmail.com and @aol.com (since BellSouth uses Yahoo! they are really the same).

I wonder if people fully appreciate the fact that when someone hacks their email account they not only get to send spam to all of the address book, but they get to collect all of your address book. If you keep notes, or personal information in your address book that is at risk. If giving up all of your friends, family and associates personal emails isn’t bad enough they also have access to many other things. Have a Facebook account? Well, if they are in your email they can change your Facebook password, get access to your Amazon.com account, or other retailer.

Creating better passwords for your email is critically important for you and all of the people in your address book. Don’t be the next person to have a flood of email telling you you have been hacked. If you haven’t been hacked yet, it is only a matter of time.

Creating better passwords is not as difficult as you think. Have a look at these two previous articles for ideas and resources to help you build a strong password that is easy for you to remember:

http://www.brianhaines.com/2011/01/28/use-strong-passwords-please/

http://www.brianhaines.com/2011/10/31/secure-passwords/

Now that you know better, what will you do?

LaserJet Not Printing Multiple Copies Anymore

LaserJet Not Printing Multiple Copies Anymore

Problem is the Mopier Mode being enabled. To disable Mopier Mode:

Click Start
Click Devices and Printers
Right click your Laserjet Printer
Select Printer Properties
Click the Device Settings Tab
Scroll down to the bottom
If necessary, expand Installable Options
Click on Mopier Mode
Select Disable in the selection box that appears
Click Apply
You will now get multiple copies

Source: http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/Printers-LaserJet/LaserJet-1320-Not-Printing-Multiple-Copies-Anymore/td-p/1125929

Ticket is ready – Virus Alert

Ticket is ready – Virus Alert

Book a trip recently?

Well don’t assume that all communication in your email is legitimate. An email with the title “Ticket is ready” that appears to come from Delta Airlines, but I’m sure there are version for many carriers, tries to trick the user into opening the attached “ticket” which is really a virus.

It used to be good advice to only open attachments from people you know or companies you do business with. These days you have to be even more savvy. A virus is actually MORE likely to come form someone you know or a company you do business with. In the case of companies email addresses are being forged. With the people you know it is a very concerning problem that is currently on the rise.

More and more people are having their email hacked. Many people have been in the habit of using really easy passwords for their email accounts. For years there were comparably few instances of email accounts being compromised. But for people who are sending spam, or trying to infect your computer life has become more difficult and they are turning to easier methods. Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have become quite good at reducing the amount of spam traveling through their networks making it harder than ever for unscrupulous advertisers to get their messages out. Add to this the fact that email addresses are more disposable today as people change from one free account to another as the level of spam increases and the problem becomes much easier to solve by hacking into your email.

A spammer who hacks into an email account with a couple hundred email addresses in it can get around both obstacles. Since the address they just hacked has never sent spam it will likely go through fine the first couple of goes, and second they have your address book, which is a good current list to send to. Add to this the reality that the tools for hacking are better and easier to use while users are using the same sub-par passwords they have always used and it is a recipe for disaster.

Be wary of ALL email. Always look suspiciously of attachments even if  they come from someone you know.

“Delivery status has changed” VIRUS

“Delivery status has changed” VIRUS

So you see a message from USPS (something similar could come from UPS or FedEx) that looks like this:

Subject: Delivery status has changed

From: World Wide Web Owner <www@partners.enternet.hu> on behalf of; US Postal Service <us.status@usps.com>

Attachment: Label_Parcel_USPS_ID7124-184-15.zip (27 KB)

Body:

Notification,

Our company’s courier couldn’t make the delivery of parcel. Status deny/Fee isn’t paid.

LOCATION OF YOUR PARCEL:Oxnard STATUS OF YOUR ITEM: sort order SERVICE: Express Mail ITEM NUMBER:U694618148NU INSURANCE: No

Label is enclosed to the letter. You should print the label and show it in the nearest post office to get a parcel.

Attention! If the parcel isn’t received within 30 working days our company will have the right to claim compensation from you for it’s keeping in the amount of $3.65 for each day of keeping.

You can find the information about the procedure and conditions of parcels keeping in the nearest office.

Thank you for attention. USPS Logistics.

Always be careful about email. Think about it, has the USPS ever sent you an email about a package before? Not likely, so look carefully and you will see several things wrong with this message.

“www@partners.enternet.hu” is who it is from. as soon as you see “.hu” – you know it is from another country. Your suspicion should be elevated even more that a package from the USPS is sent from another country.

“delivery of parcel” should be “delivery of a parcel” - grammatical errors in a message from the USPS? You would expect more I hope.

“You should print the label and show it in the nearest post office to get a parcel.” – they want you to open the attachment to infect your machine. Think about it. “nearest post office?” really? If this were legit the package would be at a specific post office. I couldn’t expect it, in all cases, be the nearest.

The rest of the message is full of grammatical errors as well as the silly notion that the post office will charge me daily for keeping it? I don’t think so.

Indeed the message is a virus. Always be careful.

Avoid PC Matic

Avoid PC Matic

I am sure this advertisement didn’t fool anyone. The TV commercial promises to completely and magically heal everything that could possibly be wrong with your computer. It even saves the gentleman from going to the store and the lady gets to go to girls night – all because of PC Matic. Wow!

Get real!

CNET’s download.com had four+ stars for this product as rated by users, but

Secure Passwords

Secure Passwords

In the last several days two people that I know had their email hacked and everyone in the address book was sent a link which I have no doubt would infect the computer if followed. Please, right now, create a strong password policy for yourself and implement it with your email. Especially if that email is associated with Yahoo! as both of these were (one was an @yahoo.com and the other an @bellsouth.net provided by Yahoo!).

A quick way to create a secure password…

Scam Alert: MyCleanPC.com

Scam Alert: MyCleanPC.com

I regularly remove viruses and spyware from Windows PCs. It is unfortunate that there are so many infections for Windows computers, but it is a Windows world for the most part and so we have to protect and clean our computers as best we can.

What is worse than the infections themselves are some of the programs or Websites that prey on people’s desperation when their computer is not performing properly. Sites claiming to speed up your PC or clean your PC might

Backup, backup, backup!

Backup, backup, backup!

Why should I backup my computer(s)?

Hard drives fail. That is it, plain and simple. They don’t need a reason to fail, a certain percentage of hard drives are going to fail at some point in their life and in most cases there is no advanced warning. Everything that you store on a computer hard drive should exist also on one or more backup locations, otherwise you are at risk of data loss.

Hard Drives Fail

Hard Drives Fail

If you are a business the impact is obvious and can be expensive. The loss of days, months even years of work can be devastating. Most businesses have computer consultants that will suggest backup strategies and professionally implement them. (Brian Haines 954-434-1968)

The home user is often left on their own and unsure of what to do. Maybe they think they don’t need a backup because their data isn’t as important. Then a hard drive crash and all the pictures you have taken for years are gone! This is very heartbreaking and unless you stored your photos in Web Albums using Picasa or a similar service they are lost forever.

What to backup to?

So you need to backup, but how, and to what? Well a simple and inexpensive solution is backup to a local external hard drive. There is the one-time purchase of the drive and it often comes with

What is a Web Browser

What is a Web Browser

Okay, I came across this today and decided to simply share. To some of us who do more than just use computers it seems so obvious, but in my work I frequently find myself explaining to people what a Browser is. This short video does the subject justice:

Use Strong Passwords, Please

Use Strong Passwords, Please

Email password breaking is on the rise as a way to send out spam. This is especially true with Hotmail and Yahoo email accounts, but can, and likely will, happen more broadly. It is true, and has been known, that spammers can fake the “From” address of a message and that this can cause spam to just look like it came from your address, but the more recent trend has been for hackers to break into your Webmail account and send the spam right from your email.

This trend is especially useful because they often don’t get caught in spam traps since the message authenticates