macOS High Sierra — to upgrade or not

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Sep 252017
 

Starting today, the latest upgrade for macOS — High Sierra — is available. As always, the question is whether to upgrade or not; or, when to upgrade. This CNET article “7 things to know before upgrading to MacOS High Sierra 10.13” discusses this question: “Yes, if you answer any of these affirmatively: You’re paranoid about [Continue reading]

iPhone 8 or 8 Plus — first things to do

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Sep 222017
 

As for previous models of Apple’s iPhone, MacWorld today published an article on things to do first after getting a new one: Got an iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus? Do these 10 things first. Well, you did it. You pulled the trigger on a shiny new iPhone 8 or 8 Plus. Nice! Before you head [Continue reading]

iOS 11 Upgrade — new features for iPhone and iPad

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Sep 192017
 

Starting today (September 19, 2017), the iOS 11 upgrade for iPhone and iPad will be available on your Apple devices. There’s lots of coverage of this release. Here’s one (Macworld) article reviewing the changes and new features: “iOS 11 review: Apple’s most ambitious and impressive upgrade in years.” If you’re an iPad user, download iOS [Continue reading]

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update — privacy tweaks

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Sep 132017
 

In this PC World article “Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will add helpful privacy setting tweaks,” senior editor Brad Chacos notes that: Privacy concerns have plagued Windows 10 since its launch. It’s no surprise: The operating system is designed to ensnare you in Microsoft’s services, and you can’t stop it from sending Microsoft basic telemetry [Continue reading]

Anti-phishing test results 2017

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Aug 022017
 

If you’re particularly worried about somehow landing on a malicious website while browsing the Internet, then this PC World (August 1, 2017) article “AV-Comparatives’ anti-phishing results for 2017 put Avast, Bitdefender, Fortinet, and Kaspersky on top” may be useful. In previous posts, I’ve noted PC World’s summaries of test results by the independent computer security [Continue reading]

Adobe Flash phaseout

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Jul 252017
 

Adobe Flash has a checkered history. Although in use for decades, many of my clients do not understand what Flash does. “There’s a message that Adobe Flash is not installed — should I install it? The web page is requesting that I enable Flash — is that okay? There’s a message that Flash is out-of-date [Continue reading]

Essential iPhone tricks

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Jun 092017
 

Lots of my clients use iPhones. I always encourage them to go beyond using such an expensive handheld computer as just a phone or camera. This PC World article “10 basic iOS tricks every iPhone owner should know” provides advice on this topic. … some of iOS’s most useful features are, in fact, the oldest [Continue reading]

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update — notable features

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Jun 092017
 

Have you installed the Windows 10 Creators Update on your PC yet? In my lab, I’ve installed the Creators Update on a variety of Windows 10 PCs, from cheap or midrange to powerful quad core models and from 7 year old to 2016 models. This PC World article “The 11 most intriguing Fall Creators Update features in Windows [Continue reading]

Ransomware protection — tips

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May 302017
 

Ransomware has been much in the news since the WannaCry attack on May 12, 2017. The WannaCry ransomware attack was a worldwide cyberattack by the WannaCry ransomware cryptoworm, which targeted computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system by encrypting data and demanding ransom payments in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. The attack started on Friday, 12 May [Continue reading]

Beware tech support screen — fake ad

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May 122017
 

Today’s Cnet article “Government cracks down on tech support scam” reminded me that I had a few reports of this scam last month. The Federal Trade Commission, along with federal, state and international law enforcement agencies, said on Friday they caught several scam artists who bilked money out of victims through a tech support scheme. [Continue reading]

Caller ID spoofing — electric company warning

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May 072017
 

I’ve written about this before: whether it’s at your front door or on your phone or on your computer, scammers use the same tricks. In this case, spoofing their identity. Southern California Edison send out this email notice last week. *** Subject: Important message from SCE: Beware of caller ID spoofing That ‘Southern California Edison’ phone [Continue reading]

Windows 10 data collection — privacy matters

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Apr 062017
 

Checking and tuning your Windows 10 settings is highly recommended. I typically do this when helping clients upgrade to Windows 10 or set up a new PC. Windows 10 moved many settings from control panels to the Settings app. There’re lots of privacy settings, as I’ve mentioned previously. I follow news about how companies collect data from PCs and other [Continue reading]

Mar 302017
 
Windows 10 Creators Update

So, congrats if your PC is running Windows 10. Whether you are interested or not in Windows 10 releases, ready or not, here comes the next edition: Windows 10 Creators Update, which will start rolling out (over a period of weeks or months) to the general public on April 11. Most of us will see this release [Continue reading]

Adware vs ad fraud like fake news

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Mar 272017
 

Last night 60 Minutes did a piece on fake news —  “What’s ‘fake news’? 60 Minutes producers investigate.” An example was shown of “bots” being used to inflate the popularity of an online comment or posting on social media. Well, the same trick is used by criminals for ads, as noted in this Malwarebytes blog article. Adware: any software application that shows [Continue reading]

Windows Vista end of life

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Mar 142017
 

You knew the day was coming, correct? This PC World article “Windows Vista has just 30 days to live” is a reminder that if your old PC’s still running Windows Vista, you’ll be facing a decision soon. In a month’s time, Microsoft will put Windows Vista to rest once and for all. If you’re one of [Continue reading]

Rankings of antivirus software 2016

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Feb 082017
 

As in past years, independent antivirus testing houses have published lists of the best antivirus products for 2016. PC World summarized these results in their recent article “The best consumer antivirus products of 2016 are Avira and Norton, test labs say.” AV-Comparatives released its best antimalware product of 2016 on Tuesday, after AV-Test announced its [Continue reading]

Yahoo breach — things to do

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Dec 152016
 

Well, Yahoo’s much in the news again. Once again, as noted by the New York Times, “Yahoo Says 1 Billion User Accounts Were Hacked.” The newly disclosed 2013 attack involved sensitive user information, including names, telephone numbers, dates of birth, encrypted passwords and unencrypted security questions that could be used to reset a password. Yahoo [Continue reading]

Apple Support — there’s an app for that now

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Dec 152016
 

As noted in this MacWorld article “Apple Support gets its own standalone iOS app,” there’s now an Apple Support app for your Apple mobile devices which provides convenient customer service and support for all your Apple products. Previously, you were able to use the Apple Store app to get support and schedule appointments at the [Continue reading]

Windows Updates — release history

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Nov 262016
 

With Windows 10 for most people, Updates are delivered automatically. It’s easy to see your Update History in Settings — what was installed. For example, Cumulative Updates, Security Updates for Adobe Flash Player, Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool installs. But how can you tell if somehow you missed some? Or, perhaps you’re interested in when [Continue reading]

Holiday scams — annual alert

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Nov 222016
 

This time of year brings, as usual, the need to be particularly alert for cybercrime. PC World’s article “10 sneaky holiday phishing scams to watch out for” lists some common scams. Fake purchase invoices Fake shipping notifications (with malware links) Unexpected deals or product promotions from stores or sellers you have never dealt with Phishing [Continue reading]