FREE Protection Against 99% Of Ransomware (including new strains such as Petya/NotPetya)

June 28, 2017

Wow, these ransomware events (or attacks) are causing havoc worldwide. The most recent attack is Petya (see below) where it will encrypt the files on your computer and hold your computer for ransom. Very important that you keep your computers patched with current Windows updates and security software updates.

Ransomware is alarmingly quick – Ransomware takes between five and 20 minutes to encrypt every relevant file on the average hard drive (depending on the speed of the machine and the number of files). That means that even the slowest, single-threaded ransomware can encrypt several potentially important files in seconds. Since ransomware works quickly, detection and response time is of the utmost importance, which may be problematic for certain behavioral-detection solutions.

I am seeing many of the leading security software companies coming out with various products to protect against ransomware. Big money in this… If you want something FREE that will add a level of protection to your computer, give Cybereason RansomFree a look. In a nutshell, this software uses a unique behavioral approach in detecting and blocking ransomware at the entry points where ransomware typically initiates the encryption process. When the program detects ransomware activity, it suspends the activity and displays a pop-up message warning you about an imminent attack. You will then have the option to easily stop the attack by making just one mouse click.

SOURCE: Cybereason RansomFree


Spybot – Search and Destroy Portable 2.6 Has Been Released By PortableApps.com

June 25, 2017

Get the new release of Spybot – Search & Destroy, portable version, at PortableApps.com. Great addition to your tech toolbox…

Spybot – Search & Destroy detects and removes spyware, a relatively new kind of threat not yet covered by common anti-virus applications. Spyware silently tracks your surfing behaviour to create a marketing profile for you that is transmitted without your knowledge to the compilers and sold to advertising companies.

SOURCE: PortableApps.com – Spybot – Seach & Destroy


These 7 Tips (from Kim Komando) Will Help You Master Facebook

May 27, 2017

I love Kim Komando’s tech column at USAToday and find her posted information very useful and on the same parallel to my blog when it comes to assisting home-based computer users.

Kim recently posted an article, “These 7 tips will help you master Facebook” that you should read, if you are an advocate of Facebook. In all honesty, I do not care for Facebook; however, I do care about the safety and security of people (which has been my lifelong profession as a law enforcement (and security) officer and computer info specialist).

The one tip that Kim posted in this article that jumps out at me, in regards to your safety and security, is the tip “Find out where you are logged in”… Many Facebook users (carelessly) log into multiple devices, often at multiple locations, and keep their Facebook pages open in order to “conveniently” access their account without having to log in. The upside to this is user convenience; however, the downside to this is you are setting yourself up to have your account compromised, which could result in devastating consequences.

To see if your account is open on other devices and locations, here is how (as Kim Komando pointed out) to determine that:

Just to go to Settings >> Security Settings >> Where You’re Logged In, and you’ll find a list of devices that are currently accessing your Facebook account. The feature also lists login metadata, such as when and where you last checked in, plus the type of device you used. Keep in mind that cell phones sometimes show weird locations, which may refer to a cell phone tower and not necessarily to where you were standing at the time.

Facebook

That said, if your login information looks a little fishy, it’s possible your account has been compromised. It’s best to lock down access before this even happens.

Kim Komando is a consumer tech columnist for USA TODAY. She also hosts the nation’s largest radio show about the digital lifestyle, heard on 435 stations in the USA and globally on American Forces Radio. Find your local radio station, get the podcast and more at Komando.com.

SOURCE: USAToday – Kim Komando


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Using Minitools Partition Wizard To Extend The System Reserve Partition

April 21, 2017

… and, SEE MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAKS’ BELOW

Ran into an issue when I went to upgrade my Minix NEO Z83-4  mini PC to the Windows 10 Creators Edition. The update would not install and I kept getting Windows error code (0xc1900200) when using the  Windows Update Assistant. I ended up researching the issue and found that the “System Reserve Partition” (64MB) was too small. I decided at this point to wait until the update made its’ rollout to my computer (to see what would happen) and when that day did come, the update started to install but soon failed. After concluding I needed to find a way to expand the system reserve partition, I went to the MiniTools Partition Wizard (free edition). What I ended up doing with this partition tool, to make the System Reserve Partition larger in size, had me sweating bullets. I backed up my computer, just in case this did not work out as intended.

MiniTool Partition Manager

In a nutshell, I used the Minitool Partition Wizard to delete an unidentified 16MB partition on the drive (which I had to do in order for this to work), then took 250 MB from drive C:.  I then took the 64MB System partition and added the 16MB space from the partition I had deleted and added the 250MB that I removed from Drive C:, giving me a total of approximately 330MB for the System Reserve Partition. At this point, I crossed my fingers (and toes) and rebooted.  The PC rebooted with no errors or problems detected.

Since the Creators Update had attempted to install previously I went into the Windows Update Settings, clicked on “Check For Updates” and the Windows 10 Creator’s Update started the installation process (which is a time consuming process with numerous reboots). I probably could have used the Windows Update Assistant tool to download and install the update, as well… In the end,  I was able sucessfully to install the Windows 10 Creators Update.

Hopefully, as a result of expanding the System Reserve Partition, using MiniTools Partition Wizard, I will not have to worry about doing this again when future major updates occur.


MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAKS’

Multiple security holes discovered in Linksys routers – 

The flaws could allow attackers to:

  • Cause a Denial of Service (DoS) by sending requests to an unamed API. Admins would be locked out until the attack stopped.
  • Use CGI web server scripts to reveal connected devices and computers, dump the WPS Wi-Fi PIN code, and list firmware version and configuration settings.
  • Create a hidden “backdoor” account with root privileges and the ability to run commands.

Source: Naked Security

Ingenious Ways to Repurpose Your Old Tech – Check out this article at PC Mag that provided ingenius ways to repurpose your old tech… READ MORE

Ingenious Ways to Repurpose Your Old Tech

Kaspersky System Checker 1.1.0.228 – Kaspersky System Checker is a handy system diagnostics utility that allows you to check your PC system for different kinds of issues. The software then provides a detailed report about possible threats, hardware problems, and system-related issues… READ MORE

Microsoft To-Do: the end of Wunderlist – Microsoft launched a preview of To-Do, a new cross-platform task management service the other day that is “designed to make it easy to plan and manage your day”… READ MORE

microsoft to-do

 #1 Hot New Release – Samsung Chromebook Plus Convertible Touch Laptop… READ MORE

How to create a single-column Start menu in the Windows 10 Creators Update – To do this, open the Settings app and go to Personalization > Start. Scroll down past the preview to the list of on/off sliders. Turn off the one that’s labeled Show app list in Start menu. Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to get to your app list… READ MORE

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Microsoft Patches MS-Word Exploit That Spreads Malware

April 12, 2017

On the same day Microsoft officially began rolling out the Creators Update for Windows 10, they were also rolling out a patch for a zero-day exploit (that spreads malware) for all current Microsoft Office versions used on every Windows operating system (including the latest Office 2016 running on Windows 10). If you are running Microsoft Office at home, make sure you have installed the patch. To learn more, click on the source link below…

All versions of Office on all versions of Windows are vulnerable to this zero-day that spreads malware, so make sure you patch quickly

Source: Microsoft patches Word zero-day booby-trap exploit – Naked Security


Was Informed That A New Version Of Malwarebytes Has Been Released

April 4, 2017

In discussion with a computer geek friend of mine he indicated that Malwarebytes has a new version out (v3.0). I further confirmed this and learned that a new version was released on and about March 20, 2017. Based on what I am reading on their blog (for this release) — CLICK HERE — the excitement over this release is that it is being touted as a next generation anti-virus replacement and will be called only Malwarebytes.

Once you download and install you will be entitled to a 14 day free trial. If you desire to revert to the FREE edition now and turn “off” the free trial, simply click on the “settings” (at the left side) and then click on “my accounts”, then turn off the trial under “subscription details”. If you decide to stick with the free edition, you will need to periodically perform the scans manually.

Malwarebytes is one of the first things I install on a new computer and is my “go to” tool when helping others eradicate malware and other exploits…

This product is built to provide comprehensive protection against today’s threat landscape so that you can finally replace your traditional antivirus.

Our engineers have spent the last year building this product from the ground up and have combined our Anti-Malware, Anti-Exploit, Anti-Ransomware, Website Protection, and Remediation technologies all into a single product which we simply call “Malwarebytes.” And it scans your computer 4 times faster!

mb3

With the combination of our Anti-Malware ($24.95), Anti-Exploit ($24.95) and Anti-Ransomware (free, beta) technologies, we will be selling Malwarebytes 3.0 at $39.99 per computer per year, 20% less than our previous products combined and 33% less than an average traditional antivirus. But don’t worry, if you are an existing customer with an active subscription or a lifetime license to Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, you will keep your existing price and get a free upgrade to Malwarebytes 3.0. If you have both an Anti-Malware and an Anti-Exploit subscription, we will upgrade you to a single subscription to Malwarebytes 3.0, reduce your subscription price and add more licenses to your subscription.

Source: Malwarebytes


RECOMMENDED – Get On The Email List Of The US CERT / US Homeland Security’s Latest Cybersecurity Threat Updates

March 28, 2017

AKBearfood a visitor to the blog (from Alaska) recommended; “Get On The Email List Of The US CERT / US Homeland Security’s Latest Threat Update & Info E-Mails”. You can CLICK HERE to setup your email subscription.

Based on AKBearfood’s email name and additional employment information that was provided, it appears he (or she) deals with two potential threats that could impact his (or her) well being: 1) – Becoming food for bears; and,  2) Cyber Security Threats…

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Seal. United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team US-CERT

AKBearfood provided the following example of the importance of being on the email list:

As an example, the E-Mail link to their website yesterday covered: Apple Releases Security Update for iWork | US-CERT – found at the following URL: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2017/03/27/Apple-Releases-Security-Update-iWork

The e-mail subscription to the Homeland Security Website is free, and for my work group, helps us keep up with the latest threats and fixes recommended by the USA’s Cyber Security folks – at least the threat info that they release to the public without any “hacking” assistance.

The National Cyber Awareness System is America’s first cohesive national cybersecurity system for identifying, analyzing, and prioritizing emerging vulnerabilities and threats. Managed by the US-CERT, the system relays computer security update and warning information to all users. It provides all citizens—from computer security professionals to home computer users with basic skills—with free, timely, actionable information to better secure their computer systems. The National Cyber Awareness System provides valuable cybersecurity information in the form of Alerts, Tips, and Bulletins.

To take this one step further, I have subscribed to the US-Certs National Cyber Awareness System RSS feed and have posted the feed under the blog’s TECH NEWS (see tab at top of blog).  The very first thing you will see in the feeds I have posted is the most recent alerts and documents as distributed by US-Cert / U.S. Homeland Security

A big THANK YOU to AKBearfood…