USB condoms are being promoted as protection against hackers…

There are two different types but neither are necessary to protect your smartphone. Our global roaming boss suggests alternatives to protect against dangerous public USB sockets.

Security researchers have discovered that it’s possible to hack into a smartphone via hacked USB power socket, especially in public places like airports and hotels. The USB cable connection can not only carry power but also a virus…. Continue Reading @ Office Watch

After reading the article at “Office Watch” I went to Amazon to see if USB Condoms are available. Guess what?  They are…

USB Defender | Data Blocker | Blocks Unwanted Data Transfers | Protects Smartphone & Tablets From Public Charging Stations | Hack Proof, 100% Guaranteed

 

FREE Security and Privacy Software for Google Chrome

Google Chrome is an excellent browser (PRO); but, at the same time, it is a data collection software apparatus that reveals a lot about you (CON) through your browsing history (and other means). Google Chrome is also key when it comes to owning a Chromebook where the operating system is Google Chrome. What I have found that people do not understand all of this and do not know you can go into the settings in Google Chrome to clean out the history, cookies, etc… that are the tidbits of information that reveals where you have been on the internet. Going through these steps to clear out this data can also be a pain, even for the seasoned user.

The solution that I use, on my Windows computer and my Chromebook, to protect my privacy (and recommend) is a Chrome browser extension called “History Eraser“. Once installed, you simply click on the eraser icon, on the toolbar, then click on “Run Eraser”. It doesn’t get any easier than that and I can guarantee you will see a performance boost, especially if you have not done any browser cleaning in a very long time or at all. I usually run this following each browser session.

There are other settings in “History Eraser” to look at, as well. For example, I placed a “checkmark” next to “Close All Tabs Before Cleaning” to reduce the memory load and to ensure the cleaning process is accurately performed. You will also see “Easy-Medium-Hard” buttons at the bottom of the window. My advice for folks at home is to leave it at the default settings and you will be good to go. The more advanced buttons are more technical in nature and may only get you into trouble.

If you look at the screenshot above you will see that “History Eraser” (by the default settings), cleans out many items and will do it safely. I have been using this software (browser extension) for a very long time and it has worked well for me.

Source: HotCleaner – History Eraser

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What’s On My PC


Daily Deal: ON SALE NOW – NEW Norton 360 Deluxe – Antivirus software for 3 Devices with Auto Renewal

ONGOING PROTECTION Download instantly & install protection for up to 3 PCs, Macs, iOS or Android devices in minutes! REAL-TIME THREAT PROTECTION Advanced security that helps defend against existing and emerging malware to your devices, and helps protect your private and financial information when you go online. SECURE VPN – Browse anonymously and securely with a no-log VPN. Add bank-grade encryption to help keep your information like passwords and bank details secure and private.

NEW Norton 360 Deluxe
Antivirus software for 3 Devices with Auto-Renewal

Source: Amazon – NEW Norton 360 Deluxe – Antivirus software for 3 Devices with Auto Renewal


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Microsoft Cautions Against Installing the Latest Windows 10 Update | Digital Trends

For folks at home… This does not apply and only applies to “Microsoft’s enterprise-based customers”.


Before going on a red alert, this issue pertains to Microsoft’s enterprise-based customers. Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection is a paid service for detecting, investigating, and responding to “advanced threats.” It’s built into Windows 10 but unrelated to the Windows Security platform found in Windows 10 Home and Pro.

Continue Reading @ Digital Trends


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Windows Defender’s Tamper Protection Rolling Out To Windows 10 (v1903)

From what I am reading the “tamper protection” feature was actually launched last December (for business customers) and is now being rolled out to Windows 10 computer user’s at home that are running Windows 10 v1903.

At the time of this posting, I checked my Windows Defender software on my PC and have not seen anything thus far to indicate “tamper protection” has rolled out to my PC.

Tamper Protection, as the name suggests, protects certain security features from tampering. One of the barriers that Tamper Protection puts in place around security features blocks manipulations of setting changes that are made outside of the official Settings application. Attackers may attempt to disable real-time protections or certain security features and Tamper Protection was designed to prevent these changes from being made successfully. — Source: gHacks

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Daily Deal: Save on this Toshiba Canvio Advance 2TB Portable External Hard Drive

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of backing up your personal files. Have a plan (i.e. weekly, daily, etc…); just do it, before disaster hits!

Here is an opportunity to get a really decent external hard drive at about a 20% savings that carries an above-average consumer rating and made by a reputable manufacturer.

Toshiba Canvio Advance
2TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0

(with automatic backup software availability and 2-year warranty)

Source: Amazon – Toshiba Canvio Advance 2TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0


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Powerful Software That Allows You To Destroy Data On Your Computer

But why??? You are probably scratching your head in bewilderment and wondering, “Why would I want to destroy the data on my computer?

When your computer has completed its’ life and it is time for a new computer, it is very important to transfer your personal file data to your new computer;  AND, once that you are satisfied that has been completed, then it is doubly important to clean or sanitize (delete) the data on the old computer. By simply erasing the data on the old computer using the delete command just doesn’t cut it; besides, over the ownership period (approximately 5 years or more) of your computer, you accumulate personal data in places that it is impossible to even detect unless you are some kind of computer forensic expert.

What to do? I have assisted folks in this scenario and there are two ways I have made sure their data was gone, zilch, no recover, etc… The first way is, I remove the hard drive, disassemble the drive and destroy the platters. Often I will drill holes in the platters and give the shiny mirror-like platters back to them. Solid State Drives, I will disassemble and drill multiple holes. If you are into target shooting, shoot holes into the platters or SSD. The second way is to use software to sanitize the computer. This process is done in the event the user wants to donate the computer or hand it off to a friend. In this instance, a “FREE” software option to use is “Active@ KillDisk Freeware” which contains a sanitize and erase option called “One Pass Zeros” option where the number of passes is fixed and cannot be changed. When the write head passes through a sector, it writes only zeros (0x00 characters). What this means is the software writes over the existing data to make recovery next to impossible. There are also commercial versions of this software available that has even more options for nuking data.

Sanitizing Hard Disks - Erase Options

Freeware version includes Windows executables, as well as Console Boot Disk ISO image containing KillDisk pre-installed and bootable disk creator for CD/DVD/Blu-ray & USB disks. With Boot Disks you can boot up and sanitize any PC without needing to boot to the computer’s operating system first. System disk (where Windows OS is usually installed) can be easily sanitized this way, which isn’t possible when you run KillDisk under your computer’s Operating System.

So, the bottom line here is; prior to handing over any computer, make sure it is sanitized… If you fail to do this, you are at very high risk of handing over sensitive personal data that could come back to haunt you.

Source: Active@ KillDisk Freeware


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4-Four Simple Tips To Help You Stay Protected Online

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.  To help you stay protected online, here are 4-four simple tips to follow:

  1. Use our Mobile Banking app so that you can stay on top of any suspicious account activity.
  2. Protect your devices by installing the latest browsers, operating systems and antivirus software.
  3. Don’t provide account or personal information via email, text or to an unsolicited caller.
  4. Don’t click on unsolicited links or attachments sent via email or text.

whatsonmypc logo 2019

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What’s On My PC

FREE Google Chrome Browser Protection From Microsoft

Microsoft now offers a layer of protection for Google Chrome through a browser extension called ‘Windows Defender Browser Protection“. If you are particularly concerned about malicious links then this extension will provide an extra safeguard.

The Windows Defender Browser Protection extension helps protect you against online threats, such as links in phishing emails and websites designed to trick you into downloading and installing malicious software that can harm your computer.

If you click a malicious link in an email or navigate to a site designed to trick you into disclosing financial, personal or other sensitive information, or a website that hosts malware, Windows Defender Browser Protection will check it against a constantly updated list of malicious URLs known to Microsoft.

If the malicious link matches one on the list, Windows Defender Browser Protection will show a red warning screen letting you know that the web page you are about to visit is known to be harmful, giving you a clear path back to safety with one click.

Source: Windows Defender Browser Extension For Google Chrome

A “Ready Made” Tech Toolbox for Computer Repair, Diagnostics and Malware Removal

If you are someone that works as a computer tech, an I.T. Manager; or, you are someone at home who helps family members and friends when computer problems arise, then you need to have the necessary tools to get the job done. Putting together these tools (and keeping them up-to-date) is time-consuming; and, if you are like me, as I continue to age, I often forget or don’t keep up on what is current.

This is where the “Windows Repair Toolbox” comes into play. This portable application is probably the best application put together that I have found that provides an interface that serves as a launcher and updater of just about every important portable diagnostic software and portable anti-malware software that you can find. Not only that, the “Windows Repair Toolbox” will help you keep these software applications up-to-date. If there is a portable software tool that you see that is not included, you can custom add it to the toolbox.

wrt-1

For you folks at home, who possess that technical expertise in helping family and friends, do this: 

  • Download, unzip the program to a flash drive with at least 8GB of space. Make that flash drive your tech toolbox.
  • After downloading, open the toolbox and click on the buttons on the “Windows Repair Toolbox” of the apps you think you will most likely use (when assisting others). Be patient as each of these apps download and install to your flash drive.
  • After completing these tasks, I keep the drive plugged in. By doing this I occasionally will perform the updates so that I am ready to go; PLUS, it makes me become more knowledgeable of each of the current applications, making it sort of an educational experience, as well. Also, I periodically run some of the applications to scan my PC for malware and/or Windows problems.

Here at “What’s On My PC”, I rank the “Windows Repair Toolbox” as a top-notch application and have included it in the “Bookmarks4Techs” collection.


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Software at Amazon

VeraCrypt – FREE Open Source Encryption Software

VeraCrypt is FREE open-source disk encryption software that is used by those who have a need to lock down data from prying eyes. There are many options to using Veracrypt from simply creating a virtual encrypted disk within a file and mounting it as a real disk (or drive) TO encrypting an entire partition or storage device such as USB flash drive or hard drive. If you are looking for encryption software, at no cost, that is as good or better than commerical encryption software, this is it…

Image result for veracrypt screenshot

VeraCrypt never saves any decrypted data to a disk – it only stores the data temporarily in RAM (memory). Even when the volume is mounted, data stored in the volume is still encrypted. When you restart Windows or turn off your computer, the volume will be dismounted and files stored in it will be inaccessible (and encrypted). Even when power supply is suddenly interrupted (without proper system shut down), files stored in the volume are inaccessible (and encrypted).

Veracrypt is currently available on the following platforms: Windows, Mac OSX, Linus AND third party support on Android and iOS. It can also be downloaded and run as a portable app…

Source: VeraCrypt – Free Open source disk encryption with strong security for the Paranoid


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The Best Password Managers for 2019 | PCMag.com

Nearly every page you visit insists you create a user account and think up a password, from dating apps to hyper-secure banking sites. The human memory can’t keep up with dozens and dozens of these. Some folks get the bright idea to use the simplest possible passwords, things that are easy to remember, like “12345678” or “password.” Others memorize one superbly random password and use it for everything. Either path is likely to make you the latest victim of identity theft.

The Best Password Managers

Continue Reading @ PCMag.com

Password Checkup Extension by Google

If your password for a non-Google website has been exposed, the Password Checkup extension can help let you know. That way, you can change your password for at-risk accounts to help secure them.

Password Checkup was built with privacy in mind. It never reports any identifying information about your accounts, passwords, or device.

Source #1: Google Chrome Store – Password Checkup Extension

Source #2: Google Account Help for Password Checkup Extension

172 malicious apps with 335M+ installs found on Google Play | The Next Web

I have a motto here at “What’s On My PC”… The motto is, when it comes to the world of computing, “Trust Nothing, Verify Everything”…

This article at “The Next Web” is an eye opener. I strongly urge when downloading apps from the online stores that you closely look at what the app wants to access on your device,, the reviews, if ad-supported, where developed, etc… In other words, do a bit of research.

Google desperately needs to curb the spread of Android malware. In September alone, researchers uncovered a total of 172 infected apps on the Play Store. The worst part? These apps had racked up over 335 million installs by the time they were detected by security experts.

Continue Reading @ The Next Web

FREE Browser Extension That Blocks Tech Support Scams, Hijackers, Popup Ads, Trackers and More…

Came across a browser extension called Browser Guard (by Malwarebytes) that was actually introduced in July 2018 but is the first I have actually installed it, as a Google Chrome browser extension. It is also available as a Firefox browser extension, as well.

What drew me to this was a recent Malwarebytes news article on how “Browser Guard combats privacy abuse, tracking, clickbait, and scammers“; AND, that Browser Guard has the best protection among competitive browser security offerings, blocking 98.07 percent of malware.

Browser Guard, a free extension, blocks unwanted ads and trackers that intrude upon users’ privacy, while also protecting against clickbait and scams. The extension prevents browser hijackers, lockers, and annoying and sometimes malicious pop-ups, all known scare tactics to trap consumers in tech support scams, exposing them to unwanted content and forcing them into purchasing unnecessary, expensive technical support.

Source: Malwarebytes – Browser Guard


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Daily Deal: Save 75% on Norton Security Deluxe – Antivirus software for 5 Devices with Auto Renewal

If I were going to buy Antivirus software, this is the package I would get. Appears to be a 75% reduction in the original retail price and can use on up to 5 devices.

Norton Security Deluxe – Antivirus software for 5 Devices with Auto Renewal

AUTO-RENEWAL Never have a service disruption since this product auto-renews annually. If you do not wish to renew, you can cancel in your Norton account anytime

ONGOING PROTECTION Download & install protection for up to 5 PCs, Macs, iOS or Android devices in minutes

REAL-TIME THREAT PROTECTION Advanced security that helps defend against existing and emerging malware to your devices, and helps protect your private and financial information when you go online

Source: Amazon – Norton Security Deluxe – Antivirus software for 5 Devices with Auto Renewal


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Five Comprehensive Lists of Uninstallers (removal tools) For Common Windows Antivirus and Malware Software Products

After a conversation with a seasoned tech on the What’s On My PC Facebook page about our thoughts on Antivirus Software, for which we decided is the biggest scam in the industry, I went on the hunt to find antivirus and malware uninstallers. Why? Most people at home do not know that these antivirus and malware software installations are very comprehensive in their very nature and are not the same as installing or uninstalling normal software. Also, a common practice I have seen, as well as the tech on Facebook I was conversing with, the home-based computer user will often let a subscription run out and then install another antivirus product right on top of the other. This is a big “NO NO”; unless the antivirus or malware product you intend to install specifically states that their product can co-exist with another. Installing another antivirus or malware product on top of another will cause problems to surface and will slow down your computer.

It is important that any previously installed antivirus or Malware software is uninstalled from your system before installing another product. Typical uninstallation using the Windows removal tools (Add/Remove Programs) is often not enough to completely clean your computer.

whatsonmypc logo 2019

This is where this list of uninstallers comes into play. Typically if you have a specific product installed that you want to uninstall, you would go to the products web site and locate their uninstaller. The problem I have experienced with this is that they bury the uninstaller in the site, making it difficult to locate because they don’t want to lose you as a paying customer.

Continue reading “Five Comprehensive Lists of Uninstallers (removal tools) For Common Windows Antivirus and Malware Software Products”

The Windows Club Shows You “How to schedule a Windows Defender scan in Windows 10”

Why buy Antivirus Software when it is included in Windows 10? I would not have said that a couple years back. Windows Defender has progessed to the point that it is the only antivirus software I have installed on my PC. CLICK HERE to see why. With that being said, learn how to schedule a Windows Defender scan (see source link below).

Thank you for visiting…
Rick @ What’s On My PC


Microsoft has provided Windows 10/8 with built-in security software, Windows Defender. It’s free, easy to use, and has great features like other competitor antivirus software in its class. In this post, we will see how to schedule a full scan in Windows Defender

Continue Reading @ The Windows Club


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Learn How To Setup and Use The Backup Utility In Windows 10

I bet you did not know there is a backup utility built into Windows 10. It is called File History… File History actually was first introduced in Windows 8. It gives you the ability to backup your personal files on your computer and restores them in the event of an issue. Below are the initial steps to setting up File History. You will need an external drive in order to back up your files. The main thing I personally was looking for in this built-in utility was whether I could select specific folders to backup and the answer to that is, you can select specific folders. You can also select specific times you want the backups to occur. If you want a more detailed description of “How to Set Up and Configure File History on Windows 10”, CLICK HERE, to see the writeup at Groovy Post by Brian Burgess.

Thank you for visiting…
Rick @ What’s On My PC

Use File History to backup and restore in Windows 10

  • Backup your PC with File History 
  • Use File History to back up to an external drive or network location. Select Start​  > Settings  > Update & Security  Backup Add a drive , and then choose an external drive or network location for your backups.
    Image of File History backup in Windows 10
  • Restore your files with File History

If you’re missing an important file or folder that you’ve backed up, here’s how to get it back:

  • In the search box on the taskbar, type restore files, and then select Restore your files with File History.

  • Look for the file you need, then use the arrows to see all its versions.

  • When you find the version you want, select Restore to save it in its original location. To save it in a different place, right-click Restore, select Restore to, and then choose a new location.


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TECH NEWS: Former hacker warns against password reuse

This is a “must-read” article for everybody at home. If you reuse login credentials and never change your passwords, you are at high risk of being compromised. I have assisted many folks over the years and I saw this all of the time. As a matter of fact, most folks at home will have those login credentials near the computer somewhere, often in plain view…

Thanks for visting…
Rick @ What’s On My PC


The reuse of login credentials in my opinion is the greatest security flaw that we have today.

The advice for users of online services remains the same. First, use a password manager that automatically generates and stores strong passwords for each account you create. Second, where possible, turn on multi-factor authentication (MFA) for the sites you visit. This could involve SMS verification or, more secure still, a mobile app like Google Authenticator.

Continue Reading @ Naked Security


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“The Best Password Managers of 2019” by Clifford Colby @ c|net

LastPass, I highly recommend… With a password manager, you only need to remember one password to open up the password vault; and with LastPass, it will generate strong passwords for you. You can also store other information such as credit card information, driver’s license information, etc… in your LastPass Vault. LastPass was rated in this article by c|net as the “Best Free Password Manager”.  Click on the source link below to learn more about password managers, by Clifford Colby, and how you can get LastPass (or any of the others you may be interested in).

Thanks for visiting — Rick @ What’s On My PC

Simply, a password manager is an encrypted digital vault that stores the login information you use to access websites, apps and other services. Besides keeping your credentials, identity and sensitive data safe, a password manager can generate unique, strong passwords to ensure you aren’t reusing them across your services. With all the recent news of security breaches and identity theft, using unique passwords can go a long way to ensuring if one site gets hacked, your stolen password can’t be used on other sites.

Continue Reading @ c|net


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[Hot Tech News] Sandbox program Sandboxie is now freeware (soon open source)

When I test software applications from questionable origin or if I have a need to explore the dark belly of the internet, I go to Sandboxie to perform these functions in a sandbox that protects my computer from potential malware. Sandboxie has been around for years and according to the article at gHacks (see source link below), it is now completely FREE. Appears, Sophos is now the new owner of Sandboxie… Rick @ What’s On My PC


Sandboxie, a sandbox program for Microsoft’s Windows operating system, has been turned into a free application. The latest version, Sandboxie 5.31.4 was released on September 10, 2019; it is the first version of Sandboxie that is available as freeware.

sandboxie freeware

Continue Reading @ gHacks


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One of the best guides I found to remove Trojans, Viruses, Worms and Malware from a Windows PC…

I have been messing with Windows-based computers since the mid to late 1980s. I am no expert and never attest to being one; but, I am adept to finding answers and solutions to computer problems through the power of the internet. As I continue to get up in age, my ability to retain what to do in various troubleshooting scenarios is not as sharp as it once was and much of that has to do with the fact that I am no longer working in IT (now retired). I still on occasions will try to help a neighbor or family member and most of those occasions it is to help bail them out from a browser hijack situation or situation where malware or a virus has infected their PC’s; but, in all reality I try to avoid this stuff like the plague (due that it can be quite a time-consuming process).

Today after assisting a neighbor, I started thinking, what is a good “current process” to follow and what software should one use to clean a Windows PC that has been infected? I went to the internet and came across a step-by-step guide that explains how to remove Trojans, Viruses, Worms and Malware from a Windows PC at a website called MalwareTips (see source link below)… Rick @ What’s On My PC 

Continue reading “One of the best guides I found to remove Trojans, Viruses, Worms and Malware from a Windows PC…”

Tech News: Malware discovered in Google Play app with over 100 million downloads

by TechSpot

Kaspersky researchers reported that the app in question was CamScanner, “a phone-based PDF creator that includes OCR (optical character recognition.” The report notes that CamScanner was a legitimate app with no malicious intentions. Like other applications, the developers displayed ads and offered in-app purchases to make money. “However, at some point, that changed, and recent versions of the app shipped with an advertising library containing a malicious module,” writes the researchers.

Read More @ TechSpot


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BEWARE – NEW Taxpayer’s Email Scam

by Homeland Security – CISA

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a warning about a new email scam in which malicious cyber actors send unsolicited emails to taxpayers from fake (i.e., spoofed) IRS email addresses. The emails contain a link to a spoofed IRS.gov website that displays fake details about the targeted recipient’s tax refund, return, or account. The emails instruct the recipient to access their refund information by entering a provided password on the spoofed website. By entering the password, the victim unintentionally downloads malware that could enable the malicious cyber actors to take control of the affected system or obtain sensitive information.

Source: IRS Warns of New Email Scam | CISA

Macrium Reflect Free 7.2.4440 – Disk Imaging and Cloning Software

at Download Crew

Macrium Reflect is image-based backup and cloning software.

Macrium Reflect creates an accurate and reliable image of a hard disk or the partitions on the disk. In the event of a partial or complete system loss, you can use this image to restore the entire disk, one or more partitions, or even individual files and folders.

Source: Macrium Reflect Free 7.2.4440 free download – Downloadcrew


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Microsoft Patches Two Critical Windows 10 Security Flaws | Digital Trends

If you’re running any version of Windows 10, you should update your computer as soon as possible. Microsoft recently alerted users that it patched two critical remote code execution (RCE) “wormable” vulnerabilities, which could have allowed hackers to spread malware to both your — and others — PCs without your knowledge or any interaction.

Source: Microsoft Patches Two Critical Windows 10 Security Flaws | Digital Trends

Windows Defender Gets Perfect Scores in Antivirus Test | Tom’s Hardware

Windows Defender is the default antivirus software that comes pre-installed on Windows 10 and is the antivirus software that I use here at “What’s On My PC”. The best part is that it is FREE!

Performance issues, privacy concerns, and other problems make it harder than ever to recommend third-party antivirus solutions on Windows. Now it’s about to become even more difficult: TechSpot reported that AV-Test, an independent organization that evaluates security products, gave Windows Defender perfect scores across its three evaluation categories after testing 20 antivirus products made for Windows 10 throughout May and June

Read More @ Tom’s Hardware

Quick Tip: When getting rid of your iOS, Android or Windows devices it is important to wipe the data. Here’s how…

What I have found that most people when they get rid of their devices they neglect to erase or wipe the device clean of their personal information (files, pictures, contacts, messages, etc…). The National Cyber Security Centre,  UK’s independent authority on cybersecurity, has a nice tech writeup on resetting (wiping clean) and reprovisioning your iOS, Android and Windows Devices (see source link below).

Quick Reference

For each platform, the most useful restore methods are explained in full, alongside the risks of using them. We then recommend one of the methods to use for the following four common scenarios:

  • Scenario 1: Sanitising a device believed to be compromised with malware
  • Scenario 2: Preparing a device which has not previously been managed
  • Scenario 3: Reissuing a device to a different user in the same security environment
  • Scenario 4: Sanitising a device for release to lower security domain or sale

Platform-specific advice:

Software Selection for 08/12/2019 – Ultra Adware Killer 7.6.4.0

Ultra Adware Killer

Source: MajorGeek.com

Author: Carifred

(Win 10 / 8 / 7 / Vista / XP)

Ultra Adware Killer

Ultra Adware Killer is a simple but powerful adware remover for Windows, which has the ability of detecting and removing adware for all the users in a system.

It removes browser toolbars, ad-ons, plugins, unwanted search providers and hijacked home pages, and also potentially unwanted programs (PUP’s). It also allows to optionally reset MS Edge, Chrome and Firefox’s preferences.


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8 ways to improve security on smart home devices | Malwarebytes Labs

If you own any smart devices at home, you may want to read this article at Malwarebytes Labs that will teach you how to tighten the security on those devices. Like anything else that is connected to the internet, there is always the risk of being compromised.

Let’s face it: No matter how often we warn about the security concerns with smart home devices, they do make life more convenient—or at the very least, are a lot of fun to play with. It’s pretty clear this technology isn’t going away. So how can those who’ve embraced smart home technology do so while staying as secure as possible?

Here are eight easy ways to tighten up security on smart home devices so that users are as protected as possible while using the new technologies they love.

8 ways to improve security on smart home devices

Learn More @ Malwarebytes Labs

Quick Tip: Conceal Your Browsing Habits By Going Incognito In Google Chrome

As you know, browsing with Google Chrome or any browser for that matter, your privacy is compromised to the degree that your browsing habits, etc… leave tracks as to where you have been. This is typically done via cookies (that identifies the user when you visit specific sites) and via your browsing history. This is all fine and dandy to a certain point, but there may be occasions where you do not want this information stored and want to protect your identity.

The solution to this problem, on those certain occasions, is to go “incognito”. If you look up in the dictionary, “incognito” is defined as “having one’s true identity concealed”. Nearly all browsers give you the ability to go into “incognito” mode, but for the sake of this article, I am going to tell you how to get into “incognito” mode using Google Chrome. It is very, very easy…

Simply click the vertical three-dot icon on the top-right of the browser and select “New incognito window.” On mobile, tap the three-dot icon on the bottom-right (iOS) or top-right (Android) and select “New incognito tab.” That is it, simple as that… In Google Chrome, when in incognito mode you will see a darkened browser background and you will obviously see “You’ve gone incognito”. You can also get into “incognito” mode by hitting “Ctrl+Shift+N” in combo, on your keyboard.

Now, something I do want to point out. This does give you some privacy protection to a certain point, but do not think this is keeping you from being seen at work. Incognito mode only is concealing your behavior. On work networks, the network administrator, if necessary can track unusual activity via a workstations or devices IP address.

 

Quick Tip: How To Quickly Lock Your Windows 10 Computer

When I was managing a computer network and teaching others, one of the first things I would teach people is how to lock their computer when they walked away from the computer for an extended period of time. In the work environment, this is especially important from a privacy and security perspective.

Image result for computer lock

With Windows 10 the easiest method is to hit the Windows Key + L . When you return to your computer to start working again you will be required to enter your password or pin.

A more modern automated method is also available in Windows 10 and it is called “Dynamic Lock” where you can pair your PC and your Smartphone via bluetooth; providing, your computer is bluetooth ready. You can setup “Dynamic Lock” by going to Start > Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options

Quick Tip: Lock Down Your Android Smartphone For Peace of Mind

Nothing is more distressing than losing your phone or thinking it has been stolen. For peace of mind, as soon as you set up your new phone, take a moment and lock it down by configuring the lock screen. Most phones during the initial set up prompt you through a process to lock down your phone, either via a PIN, pattern, password, fingerprint and/or facial recognition. My phone, I have set up to use a combination of these, with the fingerprint recognition I feel is the most powerful. My phone also allowed me to pick a 6-digit PIN, which I feel really makes it tougher to overcome.

9-hints-to-secure-your-mobile-phone

If by chance you skipped over the process to secure your phone when you initially set it up or you desire to modify the current settings, you can do this by heading to the system settings. The system settings on most phones can be accessed via an app icon (labeled “system settings or settings”) or by pulling down from the top of the screen and tapping on a “cogged gear icon”. From the system settings, you are looking for the Security Menu. The menus and options may slightly vary from phone to phone but look for anything that is related to “security” and once there you should see various options to lock down your phone.

Just do it for peace of mind… These phones are computers in our pockets and contain a mother load of personal information.

 

 

Google cuts off some business with Huawei, report says – CNET

If you own a Huawei phone, as I do, it appears we will no longer be getting any Android OS and security updates… Needless to say, “I am not a happy camper”…  Also, appears that any new phones distributed by Huawei will be cut off from the Google Play Store, as well.

Huawei is losing Android operating system updates, a source close to the matter told Reuters, and Huawei’s upcoming phones outside of China will no longer get access to apps and services like Gmail and Google Play. Google also will no longer offer technical support to Huawei, the source told Reuters.

Source: Google cuts off some business with Huawei, report says – CNET

Banned From a Social Media Site? The White House Wants to Know | News & Opinion | PCMag.com

Don’t do this… They are collecting your personal information for political purposes and maybe for other purposes… This is on the same lines as a scam!

The Trump administration launched a new site that lets users report when they think a social media platform has censored, suspended, or banned their activities due to their political opinions. But the White House wants a lot of personal information.

Source: Banned From a Social Media Site? The White House Wants to Know | News & Opinion | PCMag.com

Quick Tip: How To Find, Lock Or Erase A Stolen or Lost Android Device

There is nothing more distressful than losing your smartphone… If you own an Android device, such as a smartphone, tablet or Chromebook, you most likely performed the initial set up using a Google Account (i.e. Gmail account). As a result, you have a feature where you can remotely find, lock or erase the device in the event the phone is stolen or lost (Note: The phone must be turned “on” in order for this to work). You can even ring the phone and send information to the phone requesting that the phone be returned. You will need to go to a computer, log into your Google account, in order to make this work. Follow the steps below to put you on the road of recovery. You can go ahead and practice this…

  1. Open a browser, like Chrome Chrome. If you’re using someone else’s device, use private browsing mode.
  2. Open your Google Account.
  3. In the “Security” section, select Find a lost or stolen phone.
  4. Select the lost phone, tablet, or Chromebook.
  5. Follow the step-by-step suggestions to help find and secure the device.

ADDED TIP: Also, did you know, if you have a Google Account, and you are logged in, you can perform a Google Search, type in “Find My Phone” and Google (with a map) will find your phone within about 50 feet.

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