Happy America’s Birthday!
Here’re four things you can do to improve the security of your computer, your personal information, and your money.
Reboot your router.
In the news recently, the FBI recommended rebooting your wireless router (and modem). This can simply be done by pulling the power on it, waiting 30 seconds, then plugging it back in again. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to do this monthly or quarterly in the future as well.
Here’s a moderately technical article about the type of threats this aims to mitigate.
Use a password manager or a paper address book for passwords.
There are three methods I recommend for storing your passwords and post-it notes on the bottom of your keyboard or laptop isn’t one of them.
1) Paper address book – low-tech can often be the best tech for security. The only risk is physical theft or loss. The address tabs keep it well-organized.
Ease of use: trivial.
2) LastPass – a password manager that resides ‘in the cloud’, in other words, online. The benefit of this method is that it will autofill any password fields on sites as you use them. It’s fairly easy to use and very convenient, it even can sync from your computer to your phone to your tablet, etc. The drawback to this method is that you are trusting the company’s security and if they are breached sufficiently badly, you’ll need to change many passwords.
Ease of use: moderate.
3) KeePassX – a password manager which resides on your computer and stores all of your passwords behind a single master password. This password list stays on your computer and thus doesn’t require trust in a 3rd party. However, this means it will not easily sync between your different devices.
Ease of use: moderate.
If you have your passwords in a text file, Word doc, or Excel spreadsheet, there is an easy step I can take to make that more secure if you don’t want to move to one of the above systems. I would urge you to have me do this as an unencrypted password file on your computer is a big risk.
I am happy to help set up any of these solutions, so just give me a call.
This is a topic that I’ll revisit over and over. Today, I’ll share a couple links to related reading, then state by basic rules for avoiding scams.
My simple rules for avoiding scams are these:
1) If something seems to be urgent or scary, red flag. Slow down, think about it, ask another person for their opinion.
2) If you get a call or email that wants you to click and enter credentials or confirm information, STOP. Find the actual phone number (like on the back of your credit card) or website (via Google) for this organization (if legit) and go into it that way.
Block unwanted phone calls.
Block unwanted phone calls.Related to avoiding scams – if you receive a garbage call from a number that you’d like to block, here’s how to do so on Comcast and Centurylink phone lines. This is not perfect at stopping unwanted calls, as it’s based on Caller ID and such numbers are easily fakeable. It is, however, a useful step you can take.
Happy to help.
Let me know if I can help ensure your computer security and disaster recovery systems are in place and working right or if I can help solve any of your computing woes.
Also, please share this email with anyone whom you think would benefit from it. Thank you.
Have a happy 4th of July.