Oct 012019

Let’s face it, your kids are going to be smarter than you when it comes to using technology and the web. They use it more often, their friends know more about it than your friends do and they have plenty of free time to learn more.

But you are right to be worried and do what you can to keep them safe.

There’s lots of software out there that can filter out web addresses, and many of them are bundled into security suites that you might already have loaded on your computer. OT and ICS cybersecurity is given a lot more importance these days as everything is digitized. 

But filtering software that blocks specific site addresses is not enough.

Web Proxies

Web proxies allow you to bypass your own Internet provider and browse through the proxy web site.  All that you have to do is find a web proxy site (easily found through a web search), type the web site address you would like to visit in the form they provide, and start browsing. Once you keep browsing using that form, you are protected and your real IP address is not being logged and your filtering software in unaware that this is happening.

Take Charge — the Better Alternative to Blocking

As you can see, there are a lot of workarounds if you decide to block sites with a filter to avoid retrohunting.  Like the Hydra in Greek mythology, each time you cut a head off two more grow in its place.  You will never ever get ahead of the curve if you try to put together a list of sites to block.  It’s just not possible.

So work the problem from the opposite end.  Decide what sites are acceptable and only allow those sites to be accessed.  This type of list, called a “white list” (I know, I know — I didn’t make up the name), is much more manageable and can be added to as needed.

You may already have the ability to set up a whitelist in your security software.  If not, here are recommended software you can try for 15 or 30 days free:

Aug 242019

This is a new trick (at least to me). I received a legitimate looking email from Amazon notifying me of a recent purchase of Windows Home Premium, which of course I did not order.

This called phishing, just another version of malware scams.

Here’s the email — I left all the links in because they no longer work and are of no danger to anyone who clicks them.  Instead of clicking on any of the links in this email, I immediately went to Amazon, my credit card accounts and paypal to verify that no real transaction had occurred.

But if you blast something like this out to enough people SOMEONE is going to fall for it (otherwise why would the Nigerian scam continue to be played?).  There are at least two reactions to this kind of email, which could result in BIG problems:

  1. What?  I didn’t order anything from Amazon !! What is going on ??!!! The danger here is if they click on any of the links in the email, which does NOT go to Amazon, but to another then click on the link and it takes them to a landing page that infects the computer or flips it into a botnet.
  2. Hey, this is not what I ordered from Amazon !! Jeez, can’t they get anything right??!! Again, by clicking on any of the links, they get more headaches than an Amazon overcharge.

This is just another cautionary tale that things are not always what they seem.

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Thanks for your order, help@claudiamorgan.us!

Want to manage your order online?

If you need to check the status of your order or make changes, please visit our home page at Amazon.com and click on Your Account at the top of any page.

Purchasing Information:
E-mail Address: help@claudiamorgan.us
Order Grand Total: $185.91
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on your Amazon.com orders.
Order Summary:
Shipping Details : (order will arrive in 1 shipment)
Order #: 528-0236160-6078497
Shipping Method: Standard Shipping
Shipping Preference: Group my items into as few shipments as possible
Subtotal of Items:
Shipping & Handling:
Total for this Order:

Delivery estimate: August 26, 2010

1 “Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium”Windows XP; DVD-ROM; $180.93

Sold by: Amazon.com, LLC

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They then click on the link and it takes them to a landing page that is possibly hosted with malware, flipping their computer into a botnet, or is an advertisement for other spam services.  The point is that the spammer is ultimately using confusion (on the part of the end user) and using that to trick them into taking an action.
May 132019

The All-One Diagnostic Solution

Why waste money on a variety of tools to fix and maintain your PC when Iobit’s Advanced SystemCare Free will do it all for you.

It has a 1-click approach to help protect, repair, clean, and optimize your PC.  I love it and use it on all my client’s PCs.  It’s 100% clean (no adware, spyware or viruses) and incredibly easy to use.

So what will it do?  Once launched ASC will:Advanced System Care 4

  • scan, diagnose and repair your system so that you should experience that “New PC Feeling” again
  • safely cleans registry junks, compacts registry bloat and defragments the registry.
  • defrag hard drives to improve performance
  • scan and remove spyware and adware
  • prevent the future installation of spyware and other malware on your PC

The latest version is Version 4, which was released April 2011

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Download Advanced SystemCare Free (CNET site)
Dec 172018

I no longer pay to secure my PCs and my home wireless network.  I used to — and the software I used were very good — but I found that I could save money by installing a combination of highly-rated security applications that are free.

Antivirus: AVG Free

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I’ve been running this on my PC’s for a couple of years now and I am impressed by home much is included in the free package:

  • Anti-Virus , Anti-Spyware, Smart Anti-Rootkit: keeps out and prevents the spread of even the toughest viruses or spyware
  • AVG LinkScanner: Checks web pages in real time before they are visited, and displays safety ratings in search results
  • AVG Social Networking Protection: Providing exactly what it says in its name

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Spyware Protection: Spybot Search & Destroy

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I am never sure whether all spyware is going to be detected and removed by any one application, so I also keep a copy of Spybot Search & Destroy running on my computers as well. It detects and notifies you if it uncovers spyware, it will not allow applets to be installed (e.g., toolbars) without getting permission, it will not allow the registry to be secretly changed without permission. It:

  • removes adware, spyware, and keyloggers
  • removes trojans and other baddies (tho I rely on my antivirus to take the lead)
  • removes usage tracks
  • permanently blocks threatening ActiveX downloads

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Firewall: ZoneAlarm

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I use the ZoneAlarm firewall, because Microsoft’s firewall security still leave something to be desired.  This free versionis designed to be used alongside an antivirus program, and though it provides both inbound and outbound protection, perhaps its strongest benefit is the outbound firewall.
An inbound firewall blocks threats coming in from the outside, but an outbound firewall does more than prevent a computer from spreading viruses and malware to others.  For example, if your PC has been compromised by a botnet, outbound protection will stop it from sending your data back to its host servers. It can also stop program spoofing, which is when a malicious program pretends to be a good one, and IP spoofing, which is when harmful network transmissions mask themselves as safe ones.

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I personally think this is the Trifecta of Security. If you get a REALLY nasty virus or trojan, you might have to upgrade to a fee-based version, but so far (knock wood), this has not happened to me.