How to create Strong Passwords

A repeat (originally posted last Fall) due to the number of people who still use the same weak password on multiple sites on the internet. This is definitely not a good idea, as your password’s  being captured on one site such as LinkedIn compromises the other sites that you use.

Having strong passwords is very important. In light of the recent hacking of the Canada Revenue Agency by the Heartbleed vulnerability has pointed out that some websites are not safe. You need to protect your identity, money and privacy by ensuring that you have strong unique passwords which are changed on a frequent basis.

The attached video from the security people at Mozilla describes a good method of creating and maintaining separate strong passwords for multiple sites http://www.flixxy.com/how-to-choose-strong-passwords.htm

 

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Make sure that you backup your data – CryptoLocker – NEW GENERATION OF BAD GUYS ARE OUT THERE!

There is a new generation of Ransomware out there which makes it necessary for you to back up your computer regularly irrespective if you are a home user or a business.

CryptoLocker has started to be widespread and it is very nasty. It makes all of the files on your computer (photos, decease files, documents, etc.) totally non usable. In the case of a business, this applies not only to the workstation, but also to any shared files on mapped drives to servers or other workstations. The infection can be removed readily but the damaged files are not recoverable except from a backup.

It is currently being spread by a SPAM email with a link in it. It can corrupt all of the files on your computer within minutes.

In this case prevention is better than cure; if CryptoLocker strikes then having a recent backup of the infected files is the only  way to restore the file system.

Here is more detail on the CryptoLocker from McAfee:

https://community.mcafee.com/docs/DOC-5473

How it works

According to the article: “The Cutwail botnet is used to send spam emails containing a link which, if clicked, will download the first stage of the infection – a small downloader program which contacts a remote server to get the malware payload.

This Upatre malware downloads and executes Gameover Zeus, which in turn downloads and installs other malware families including CryptoLocker.

After connecting to an attacker-controlled C2 server, CryptoLocker sends a phone-home message encrypted with an RSA public key embedded within the malware (see Figure 2). Only servers with the corresponding RSA private key can decrypt this message and successfully communicate with an infected system.

 

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Windows 8, still not ready for Business Users

Since its release, I have had many opportunities to use or support Windows 8 for multiple clients and last week purchased myself a new work computer with Windows 8. In My Humble Opinion (IMHO) Windows 8 is very poorly designed for business users. As such, I am still not recommending it for my clients.

Windows 8 is extremely fast and efficient when used properly, but the problem is that there are way too many ‘tricks’ and ‘ways of doing things’ so that they work properly. Business users traditionally do not and should not have to ‘play’ with things to get the job done. Windows 8 is also very good at accommodating existing printers, scanners and other devices. It is designed for those who want to use the ‘tablet/smartphone app’ way of doing things.

Windows 7 is still available if you know how to get it. It is still my recommended operating system for business clients and those users who are used to a ‘desktop’ versus the Windows 8 Start ‘App’ approach.

The looming discontinuing of Windows XP in one year will force current XP users to switch to another operating system. Hopefully Microsoft’s next Operating System will address the Windows 8 limitations.

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Windows 8, should I get it now or wait?

As many people noticed, unhealthy Microsoft launched the new Windows 8 operating system last week. This begs the question of whether to get it now or to wait.

My advice is that unless you have a definite desire/need to be on the leading/bleeding edge of technology, viagra to wait. This is especially important if you are a business user. If you are tech weenie, medications then you probably have already tested the pre-release versions of the product.

As you are likely aware, Microsoft has previously announced that the Windows XP operating system will be discontinued in April 2014. So if you are a XP user, you will need to move up to another operating system sometime during the next 1 1/2 years.

Personally, my Windows 8 laptop will hopefully arrive this week. However, I will not be using it for business purposes.

A good recent story about the Windows 8 launch is contained in the following ZDNet article http://www.zdnet.com/windows-8-launch-microsoft-makes-the-case-for-the-pc-7000006406/?s_cid=e539

 

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“Microsoft” virus scam artists caught

In previous articles (the most recent on March 29th 2012), viagra I warned my clients about the “Microsoft” virus telephone scam.

Good news this week as the perpretators have been caught and fined as reported in the Sydney Morning Herald http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/consumer-security/australia-helps-foil-global-microsoft-impostor-scam-20121004-2706t.html

 

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Converting old 35 mm slides to digital (computer readable) format

One of the projects that I have undertaken with my daughter over the last few years is the conversion of thousands of old 35 mm slides to digital format so that we can keep and share them in computer readable format.

I have tried 4 different methods/devices and have finally found one that provides good quality along with speed and ease of use. I have tried an attachment for my camera, a flatbed scanner and two stand alone slide converters.

The method that I prefer is the stand alone device which arrived from California 2 weeks ago. I can transfer the slides quickly and don’t need to be at my computer to do the transfer. At just over $100.00, it is excellent value. I would be pleased to provide the details on this device if you are interested.

Below is a sample of a slide which I transferred last weekend.

Sample 30 year old slide transferred to digital

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Recommended company for hardwood flooring and decking

We are pleased to recommend Ironwood Flooring and Decking.

They provide excellent products and quality installation. They know their business and can advise clients as to the best way to achieve design objectives. They also take the time and provide the attention to detail to provide the services to ensure that they have satisfied clients.

http://www.ironwooddecking.ca/

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Interesting Article from ZDNet Interview: A “malicious hacker” making over $10K a week

I found the following article from ZDNet very interesting. It shows how the “Bad Guys” think and operate. It also shows how easy it is to scam people and make money.

http://www.zdnet.com/interview-a-malicious-hacker-making-over-10k-a-week-7000002416/

 

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Recommended used car locator and automobile mechanic

If you are ever looking for I good used car or an excellent mechanic/garage, doctor I highly recommend Auto Searchers. I have been a satisfied user of their services for over 20 years.

http://www.autosearchers.ca/

 

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Police warn computer users of ransom demand

As reported in the Thursday July 5, 2012 issue of the Ottawa Citizen, ‘there is a new “ransomware” scam that tells users they have been “locked out” because their computers have been associated with child pornography and illegal music downloading. The messages which purport to come from the RCMP  or other government agencies, instruct users to send $100 via a payment services provider so the computer can be unlocked.’

The complete article follows:

Article from the Ottawa Citizen July 5, 2012

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