Information about wannacry

Most people over the last week have seen reports about the new ransom-ware that has been released and is infecting computers worldwide. Some big companies like Fed-Ex and even the English  health care system have had outages due to this new bug. And I have already gotten many calls and emails about it since the week began.

So what can you do about it? Well first as with all computer problems the best insurance is a good backup stored in a location under your control. The virus can not encrypt files it has no access to. So a back up on a external hard drive not attached to your computer is ideal.

Next the older your O/S the higher your chance of getting this or many of the other viruses floating around the Internet. So update to a current O/S and make sure you keep up with the current security patches. Which you can find here.

Last practice safe hex (old computer joke)…
Don’t click on links from unknown sources. Don’t read email from people you do not know or with weird spam like subject lines. Don’t visit download and porn sites. Use a modern antivirus products (that are also updated).

If none of this makes sense or your not sure you have followed these instructions correctly, feel free to give RenoGeek a call to setup a service call to double check your security.

LastPass warns users while it fixes a ‘MAJOR’ vulnerability.

While I am all for any attempt by end users to secure their passwords, I have always been a bit leery of using services such as Lastpass. As they are a high value target. Hackers know if they can get into a service like this they will have access to millions of accounts. I prefer my passwords in a spread sheet encrypted with a strong password. Seems old school to some. But I don’t have to change all my passwords every time Lastpass is in the news. And this is not the first security threat they have had to warn users about.

So….

If your using LastPass, time to do the password dance again…

ie: change your passwords now.

Use a VPN

With the privacy laws in the USA and other countries being rolled back. It’s more important that you take your privacy more seriously. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use a VPN (Virtual private network). But most VPN’s can be tricky for the average computer user to setup.

I have found a web browser that has a built in VPN. So the setup is as easy as clicking on one button in the web browser.

The Browser is called Opera and all you have to do is click on the VPN tab in the address bar and turn the slider to “ON”.

If you use a VPN and a browser in private mode your chances of getting tracked by your ISP and advertisers.

Here is where to get the browser and how set it up…

The browser.  http://opera.com

It’s VPN setup…
http://help.opera.com/opera/Windows/2393/en/private.html#vpn

Viewing in Private mode…
http://help.opera.com/opera/Windows/2393/en/private.html#privateWindow

What happens if / when the FCC relaxes your privacy protections?

It seems that on a number of fronts the new administration wishes to let companies use your data to make a bigger profit, while trashing any last remnant of privacy for their clients.

If old privacy rules are allowed to be weakened or removed altogether you can expect the these thing to occur in quick order…

1. Selling your data to marketers. After all they would love to know all your kinks so they can insert adds for your fav bull whip. 🙂

2. Hijacking your searches. Why should you get to choose where your information comes from?

3. Snooping through your traffic and inserting ads. What, you don’t want somebody looking at what your doing?

4. Pre-installing software on your phone and recording every URL you visit. It’s not like the police, NAS or CIA have ever used any of this information before against anybody, right?

You only get tot keep the rights you stand up for and protect. So it’s up to you if you will keep the freedom you expect on the Internet or let others take it from you.

Some users being locked out of MS accounts

It seems some of Microsoft’s authentication services have gone down this morning. If you can’t get into your computer or other device just wait. Don’t panic and try to re-install your O/S or reset your phones.

This is the reason I prefer to still install local accounts on new computers.

How does the Cloudbleed security leak impact you?

A few days ago, CDN (content delivery network) Cloudflare, informed users that a security flaw had been discovered on their network.

So why is this important to you? Well a CDN offers what can be called storage and caching services to other websites. Websites use these service to reduce the load on their own servers and to process requests to their websites faster. Because a CDN saves files on servers all over the world. In general, they can pull the information you want from a server closer to you and save time.

Many websites use CDN’s for these features, and here is were the problem starts. Cloudflare, being one of the largest CDN’s on the planet, provides these services to millions of websites. And from the reports about this security flaw, it seems that personal user information from website end users may have been exposed.

Which means account information, contact details and even passwords seem to have been leaked.

As Cloudflare is used as the primary CDN for millions of websites there is a chance that your data may have been exposed also.

So what can you do?

Change your passwords.
Never use the same passwords. Create a new one for each account you have.
Do not use easy to guess passwords.
If your not sure how to proceed please call RenoGeek to setup an appointment to improve your security.