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Awesome YouTube Video by Troy Hunt

This video has some awesome info on why you should have complicated passwords everywhere!  A link to the article he mentions in here as well! https://www.troyhunt.com/password-reuse-credential-stuffing-and-another-1-billion-records-in-have-i-been-pwned/

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Google Docs Phishing Attack-How To Protect Yourself

As many of your heard, there is a new phishing scam out there and it has to do with Google Docs.   Unless you are 100% positive that the document is in fact real, do NOT open it.   The best part of it is, an ethical hacker by the name of Eugene Pupov claims he did it by mistake.   Whether it was a mistake or not, the emails come mostly from a domain named malinator.com.    They look like this:

devious-google-phishing-attack

What does the attack do?  It asks you to grant permission to your email, and if you accept it can go through your email and and find your contacts and send it out to more people from your account.  It will look like it came from you, so be aware of any emails you may get from people you know.  If you are remotely unsure if that email you received from a person you know has a Google Doc attached to it, send them a separate email asking them if they actually sent you a document.  They may be infected and not know it!  If they are infected tell them they need to notify people!

How can you protect yourself?   Be suspicious of ANY email that looks like it could be a phishing attack.  If you are wondering what that looks like, check out my previous blog article here.   Do NOT authorize any apps to have permission to your gmail account.  Check to see what apps already have authorization to your Google account and if they don’t look like something you accepted remove access.  There is an article on how to do this on Google’s website here.   They have addressed the issue and if you think you have been affected, please click here to find out what Google advises you do to correct the issue.

 

 

 

 

 

The Anatomy of a Phishing Email

Today someone was awesome enough to send me an email to make sure that it was valid before they clicked on anything.  I cannot express to you how happy that makes me!!!  It saves me so much work!!!!   Of course, we now have Cylance as our Anti-Virus(AV for short) and that in itself has made my job so much easier!!!!  We’ve had it nearly a year and NOT 1 computer has become infected with ANYTHING!   If you are a business thinking of changing your AV product, I cannot recommend this product highly enough!!!!

First, let me break down the beginning of the email:

From: Media Player <info@flymail.cf>   <———– This is NOT an Apple address
Subject: New version of Mac Media Player available for download!

Apple and Microsoft will NEVER send you an email about this!!!!!!  They would send it to your device through an update!   Sometimes phishers will fake the email address or make it look so close to the real thing.  I’m actually surprised at how bad this email address even looks!   Even if it looks real, and you think it might be a valid email from your bank, Paypal, Amazon anything like that go to the website directly. DO NOT CLICK on the link!

Then we go into the guts of the email:   It’s a bunch of pictures with links attached to them:

2017-04-13_10-24-27

Looks fairly realistic huh?   This is actually very easy to do!!! I just did this with a screenshot!   Anyone with minimal computer experience could do this!

Now, for the most important part. If you just hover over the Download link or anywhere over the pictures, this link comes up:

2017-04-13_10-04-26.jpg

First off, this is NOT an Apple link!  The link here is to a domain named flymail.cf.   The portion of the address that is wrong is the .cf.   That is not a legitimate top level domain name, like .com, .org, gov or .edu.  To see a list of actual top level domain names, you can find it here: http://www.domainsherpa.com/top-level-domains/ .

The other portion of this link that bothers me is track-url.   Now, this leads me to believe that this link is going to track your urls (websites) that you visit.   I’m going to say that this tracking will happen through cross-site scripting.  Essentially this site will inject code into your browser that will capture your sessions on the websites you visit after this website, including your usernames and passwords!!!    

This means if you go to an unsecured website the hacker can easily capture your username and password with this code.  It’s one of the most frequently used types of hacking, it’s called session hijacking.   Later on you start to wonder why you are getting spam, or why did people just get friend requests on Facebook from me when I am already friends with them?   If you use the same password for one site, then the hacker can go to several websites and try that password and have remarkable success!

This is why you need to have different and complicated passwords for all sites you visit. There are password managers that you can use to help you with this.  Let’s face it our brain can’t remember all of our passwords and writing them on a piece of paper and saving them in your desk, or under your keyboard at work are HORRIBLE options!  I will do more research on what password managers are the safest and best to use for my next Tech Tip Thursday.

Oh yeah, and if I find your passwords written on a sticky note taped to your monitor I’m rippin’ that bad boy off and throwing it out!   

 

 

 

Tired of Getting those Reply to All Emails-Ignore Them!

So, I want you to know I love you all!  However most days I feel too busy to read 12 emails about whether Michigan or Michigan State Football is better!    For others who feel the same way, this tech tip is for you!   Come on, I KNOW I’m not the only one!!!!

When you are in yet another email about the same subject look at the top toolbar in Outlook.  If you look below highlighted in yellow is an Ignore button.  Select one of the many messages in a chain and then click on the Ignore button or Select Ctrl-Del.  All of these messages and future messages with the same subject are moved to your Deleted Items folder.  So, if you decide you need to read the last one, that is where you can find it.

ignore-a-conversation

Here is where the messages are located in the Deleted Items Folder:

ignore-a-conversation-2

Cyber Security Awareness Month: Protect Your Child From Online Bullying!

We’ve all heard about the tragedies that have occurred over the last couple of years about children being bullied.   I was thinking back to when I was a child and being bullied.  I’ve been short my whole life and picked on about it to this day.  I hear about children committing suicide over this and I have to wonder,  why?  I’m simply wondering out loud why bullying has brought so many kids to the point of feeling their only option was to commit suicide?

When I was a kid, bullying was usually done face to face.  Online Bullying is a new form of bullying.  People can be so much more cruel online than they can be in person.  Read any news article, and then read comments below it.  People say horrific things to other people because it’s easier to do it in writing online than saying it in person.  It is very easy to depersonalize.  You don’t think of the person as a person, just as an online persona, or as an avatar on the screen.

I didn’t realize how many outlets kids have for bullying these days: email, blogs, messaging, texting and of course all of the social media sites.  In my day, it was at school, possibly after school and then I was home!  This form of bullying is non-stop and invading every aspect of a person’s life!

According to Norton’s article on Cyberbullying available here, there are warning signs:”

  • They appear nervous when receiving a text/online message or email.
  •  Habits with devices change. They may begin avoiding their devices or using them  excessively.
  •  They make excuses to avoid going to school.
  •  They become defensive or secretive about online activity.
  •  They withdraw from friends and family.
  •  They have physical symptoms such as trouble sleeping, stomach aches, headaches,  and weight loss or gain.
  •  They begin falling behind in school or acting out.
  •  Their grades start declining.
  •  They appear especially angry, frustrated or sad, particularly after going    online/checking devices. •
  • They delete social media or email accounts.”

Have discussions with your kids about this.  Ask them if they’ve ever been picked on via social media, texting and or emails.   Perhaps relay a story of your own about a time you were picked on in school, because let’s be honest haven’t we all at some point?   Make them feel comfortable talking to you about this.  I have a 4 year old who tells me she gets picked on at school.  I always let her discuss it with me.  Yes, it can start as early as 4!!!! She has also been the instigator too, so I have talked to her about that as well.  We need to teach our children it’s okay to talk about it, and it’s NOT ok to bully!

Other things you can do, monitor their screen time, make sure the computer is all up to date with updates, anti-virus, anti-malware and even put monitoring software on their like Net Nanny.

For more information on keeping your kids safe and talking to them about Cyberbullying, please visit these websites!

http://www.wiredsafety.com/

http://www.stopcyberbullying.org/

https://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/

Also, my friend Tara Michener also does Anti-Bullying Campaigns and counseling for those who have been bullied.

 

iOS 10 New Features

  1. Collaborate on Notes with friends and family.  Video
  2. Mail Features- Swipe to the left to Delete, Move and More option (Reply, Forward, Mark, Notify Me, Move Message.  Swipe to the Right to get (Mark as Unread) Video
  3. Spam/Scam Call notifications.  If you use the app called Hiya or other well known Spam/Scam blocking apps they now work with iOS10 warning you that it could be a spam call and or  scam call!hiya-spam
  4. Save or forward your voicemail messages:  You’ll notice this icon next to your voicemail messages. Video
  5.  You can send handwritten messages in text messages!
  6.  Animated GIFs in text messages!
  7. The Digital Touch feature for texting allows you to send several types of effects to your friends.  Video of 5, 6 and 7 is here!

Signs You Might be Infected with Malware

Malware is everywhere these days!  Just today I read an article that a Facebook post claiming that Fox News was reporting Brad Pitt dead was infecting computers when users clicked on it. For the record, Brad Pitt is alive and still getting divorced!   You have to be vigilant at all times!!!!!!   Here are some telltale signs that your computer may be infected with Malware.

  1.  You open your internet browser and your homepage has changed to something else.  (Now this can also happen if you install new software and don’t pay close attention to it changing your default browser settings)  So, this one isn’t set in stone!
  2. Your computer is so slow you want to throw it off a building.  Check your hard drive light if it looks like it’s continually blinking or just on steadily, not a great sign! hard-drive-light-1
  3.  Annoying pop-ups!  Usually, they say something like this.  (if you get this, just turn the computer off immediately from the power button!)   If something is getting installed it “usually” stops it.systembrowsing-com-popup
  4. Your computer is constantly crashing.  You know the dreaded Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) or in Windows 10, it’s a bit less scary looking but never a sight you want to see.blue-screen-of-death-windows-10
  5. You can’t run some programs.  You suspect something is wrong, but you can’t use your anti-virus or anti-malware program.
  6. You get warning messages stating your files are locked until you pay a ransom.  RANSOMWARE!!!!  This is a common ransomware screen.FBI-Ransomware.jpeg
  7. Programs you know you didn’t install are now showing up on your desktop.
  8. Suddenly you are running out of disk space!
  9. Your friends start emailing you that you are sending them spam!
  10. Your friends start yelling at you for posting weird stuff to social media sites.
  11. You start receiving a lot of bounced emails, b/c your too busy spamming your friends and everyone else in your address book!
  12. The worst one of all, ABSOLUTELY nothing!   Some are so stealth you don’t notice a thing!    It’s always important to have your anti-virus programs up to date and using a program like Malwarebytes is always recommended.  Malwarebytes has a free version for home users.  Why not try it!   www.malwarebytes.org
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