Anytime someone asks you to pay money to get money, stop and think twice…

August 15, 2017

An example of where someone asks you to pay money to get money is reflected in a recent FTC Alert where a scammer poses as a government official to get you to send them money. I encourage you to read more below to see how this scam works.

The scammers in this instance are pretending to be calling from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). According to reports, callers are telling people they’ve been selected to receive a $14,000 grant from NIH. To get it, though, callers tell people to pay a fee through an iTunes or Green Dot card, or by giving their bank account number.

If you get a call like this from someone asking you to pay money to get money; STOP, and hang up the phone. The federal government will not call you to give you a grant. NIH does give grants to researchers, but they have to apply for them, and those grants are for public purposes, not for personal use.

Again, as I have recommended in the past when receiving a telephone call do not answer the phone unless you can positively identify the number. If you do not recognize the number, let it ring through to voicemail. Once a scammer has a live person on the phone, even if you do hang up, there is a high probability that you will be called again, for the same scam or for a different one.


SOURCE: Federal Trade Commission – Scammers impersonate the National Institutes of Health


You Need To Read This If You Are A Tax Preparer

August 8, 2017

The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry today warned tax professionals to be alert to a new phishing email scam impersonating tax software providers and attempting to steal usernames and passwords.

This sophisticated scam yet again displays cybercriminals’ tax savvy and underscores the need for tax professionals to take strong security measures to protect their clients and protect their business. This is the time of year when many software providers issue software upgrades and when tax professionals are working to meet the Oct. 15 deadline for extension filers… READ MORE


SOURCE: Internal Revenue Service – Security Summit Alert: Tax Pros Warned of New Scam to Steal Their Passwords


Google Chrome Browser Extension – Avira Safe Shopping

August 3, 2017

I first saw Avira Safe Shopping Chrome Browser extension at Major Geeks and decided to give it a spin. The Avira Safe Shopping browser extension is an extension developed by Avira, whom you may recognize as one of the leading makers of Avira Antivirus or predominantly now known as Avira Free Security Suite. I was skeptical at first after installing this extension, but once I discovered what it can do, it is a keeper in my book.

Once installed you will see a red shopping cart icon with a check mark in the cart. If you visit any site, you can click on the icon to determine if the site is safe, how many trackers were blocked and how many ads were blocked. If you perform a Google Search this extension will place a green check mark next to the sites Avira deem safe.  Also, discovered this worked with Bing, as well.

Where the real power in this extension is when you are shopping for something. For example, I am an avid Amazon shopper and if I bring up a product in Amazon, the Avira Safe Shopper will display a bar at the top of the browser displaying a comparative best deal and other offers (at other sites).

After briefly exploring the Avira Safe Shopper Chrome browser extension, I am going to keep this extension active to see what kind of mileage I get out of it. Give it a try, you have nothing to lose and may actually help you save some money.


SOURCE: Major Geeks – Avira Safe Shopping for Chrome


Kaspersky’s Antivirus For FREE Soon Rolling Out

July 27, 2017

I have known Kaspersky’s Antivirus to be one of the best when it comes to computer security (however, at a price — not FREE). Soon you will be able to get a baseline version of Kaspersky’s Antivirus for FREE. This new development by Kaspersky’s (according to ZDNet) is apparently in light of the U.S. Government removing Kaspersky Lab from two lists of approved vendors used by government agencies to purchase technology equipment. Apparently, this is amid concerns the Russian-based company’s products could be used by the Kremlin to gain entry into United States networks.

The removal of Kapersky’s from the vendors list follows the accusations from US intelligence agencies that Russia hacked into Democratic Party emails, thus helping Donald Trump to election victory, despite President Vladimir Putin proclaiming his country has never engaged in hacking activities, but some “patriotic” individuals may have.

Ok, now that you have digested this, is it safe to install the free version of Kaspersky’s on our home-based computer systems? Personally, I am not installing it and will stick to the free version of BitDefender; however, if you are interested in the FREE version, click on the source link below to monitor for its’ release. Reportedly, the free version will rollout to the U.S. first…

If you do opt to give this a try, make sure you remove (uninstall) any antivirus software that is currently existing on your computer. Typically, to remove antivirus software, it is best practices to visit the website of the product and look for an uninstaller that will completely and safely remove the antivirus software from your PC.

SOURCE: Kaspersky’s Antivirus FREE

 


Malwarebytes Labs Explain The “Dark Web” AKA: “Deep Web”

July 26, 2017

I encourage you visit the source link below to learn about the “Dark Web” (aka: Deep Web). Did you know that only 5% of the Web is easily accessible to the general public and that many other sites can only be visited if you have a direct URL. I often referred to the “Dark Web” here on the blog as the underbelly of the internet…

Before you go to read the article (which is very interesting), you need to learn some terminology:

  • Surface Web is what we would call the regular World Wide Web that is indexed and where websites are easy to find.
  • The Deep Web is the unindexed part of the Web. Actually, anything that a search engine can’t find.
  • The Dark Web is intentionally hidden, anonymous, and widely known for illicit activities.

Explained: the Dark Web

SOURCE: Malwarebytes Labs – Explained: the Dark Web


Bitdefender Home Scanner – A free tool that scans your Wi-Fi network, maps devices and identifies and highlights network security flaws…

July 13, 2017

With all of the wireless devices in our daily lives we often forget about them, how many, the potential security risks, etc… Bitdefender is taking an approach to help make our wi-fi world safe by offering a free tool that scans your Wi-Fi network, maps devices and identifies and highlights network security flaws … After you download, install and run Bitdefender Home Scanner you will be prompted to set up a Bitdefender account (which is free). If you need more information about this tool, prior to installing, CLICK HERE to see the User Guide…

Bitdefender Home Scanner is able to detect any wireless device that is turned on and connected to your home network. Wireless devices can either be smart home devices such as baby monitors, WiFi cameras, games consoles, smart TVs, but also Windows, Macs, iOS and Android-based devices.

SOURCE: Bitdefender Home Scanner


Dsynchronize – Sync And Backup Your Data With This Free Program

July 3, 2017

I currently use Dsynchronize at work and at home to back up (and sync) my files. To learn how to use Dsynchronize, I suggest you set up a small test environment to practice using the program. It is very easy to use, once you get the hang of it. The thing that fascinates me with the program is that it is very fast. I have been using Dsynchronize for several years and it has never let me down.

Dsynchronize is FREE and is a standalone program (portable app) that requires no installation…

SOURCE: Dsynchronize