Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Staying safe online

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6 Tips for Staying Safe Online

According to a Microsoft Security Intelligence report, 16 million households have experienced a serious virus problem in the last two years. What’s the estimated cost to families impacted by viruses, spyware, and phishing? A whopping $4.55 billion!

The costs of viruses and other online cyber threats can add up fast:

Cost of virus removal
Lost productivity while computer is down
Compromised bank or credit card information
Repairs for computer systems that are damaged
Replacement of damaged devices or routers
Avoid all that by adopting these good internet habits.

1. Install a Trusted Antivirus Software.

Antivirus software can stop internet-based threats and warn you of dangerous websites. They’re your first line of defense against virus removal. Be sure to keep your antivirus updated and make sure everyone’s computer in your household uses one.

2. Be Careful What You Download, Including Apps

You do a quick search on free photo software, and just assume something in the first few search results must be a safe site, right? Wrong. Never download software or apps from sites or vendors you don’t know or haven’t researched. Just one click can open your desktop or mobile device to a hacker.

3. Look for the HTTPS

That little bit of text before the “www” means a lot. If a site has just “http” that means it’s not secure. The “https” has a padlock in the URL field and indicates that the website is secure and uses encryption to scramble any data you share. This is especially a must for any site you shop with and share your credit card details on.

4. Think Before You Click that Email Link

Phishing emails are the top delivery method for viruses and malware. They’re designed to look like a legitimate email from businesses you might know, but when you click the link, you’re taken to a site that can download a virus on your computer.

Learn to hover over email links without clicking. That can reveal that the real URL looks nothing like the legitimate site you thought it was and save you from a big click mistake.

5. Get a Good Password Manager

Hackers know the top passwords that people use and can easily get past them to gain entry into your system. Use a password manager to generate and save complex passwords that are much harder to get past.

6. Turn off Location Services on Mobile Devices

It’s fun to share photos online, but strangers don’t really need a mapped location to the dog park near your house. Turn off location services on your mobile devices to ensure you’re not giving away more information about you and your family than you want to.

all credit for this article goes to https://www.connect2geek.com/tips-safe-internet-browsing/

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

How To Block Notification Requests In Chrome

You visit a website in Chrome and a window pops up asking if you want to get notifications from the site. You quickly click “No” so you can get on with what you came to do. It’s a minor distraction, no big deal. But then it happens again . . . and again . . . and again. Now the minor distraction has turned into a major annoyance. There’s good news. You can block the notification requests. Here’s how to do it.

1. Click the three vertical dots in the upper right corner of Chrome.

2. Click “Settings”.

3. Scroll to the bottom and click “Advanced”.

4. Click “Site Settings” under "Privacy and security".

5. Click "Notifications"

6. Flip the “Ask before sending (recommended)” toggle to “Blocked”.

That’s all there is to it. The same procedure works for Chrome on Windows machines, Chromebooks and Android phones. I don’t know why website owners think it’s a good idea to annoy people with these infernal notification requests, but I’m glad Chrome gives us the means to block them out.

All credit for this article goes to http://bit.ly/2mTvooX

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

5 Tips on How to Protect Your Internet Privacy in 2019

We live in an age where Internet access is practically a given at all times. And while this has numerous benefits and has made life much more convenient, it comes at a hefty price – it is much, much easier to transmit and access information, which is not always good for your privacy.

You’ve probably seen it yourself – for example, you need a new couch so you run a quick Google search to look at some models, and for the next few days or even weeks, your social media pages are flooded with ads about couches. This is because your Google search results are not exactly private and social media websites have access to them in order to provide you with personalized ads, using an analytics AI. 

This is just one example of how the Internet compromises your privacy, there are many more, but today I’d like to touch on how you can protect your Internet privacy as much as possible, and what are the best practices in order to do so.

Two-Factor Authentication

Online privacy is tightly knit with your online security, and the best way to stay secure online is definitely Two-Factor Authentication. This is a system that requires you to input a one-time code every time you log into any of your online accounts. There are several ways you can receive this code: via SMS, to your email address or through an Authenticator app, and some services even provide you with a bundle of codes that you can save locally, or write them down on a piece of paper. 

By doing this, even if you have your password stolen, the compromiser will *not* be able to access your account without having this code, and the chances of them getting it are close to none.

Of the aforementioned methods, the most secure is definitely the physical codes (also sometimes called “backup codes”, since they’re used to access your account as a backup in case you lose access to the source of your 2FA), with the Authenticator app as a close second. SMS codes and email codes are considered less secure because these can be much more easily compromised from a remote location.

Always Read the Terms of Service

Almost every online service has some form of terms of service agreement, They’re legally required to gain your consent in order to collect your information and store it in their system, even the most basic information such as your username and password.

However, the terms of service are usually packed with much more worrying information, such as the user agreeing to have their information used in email marketing campaigns and for advertising purposes.

If you don’t want this, it’s always good to at least skim through the terms of service, and if possible, reading it in detail is of course even better. Not all businesses will have the same terms, and once you agree to them they’re legally allowed to proceed with everything you’ve agreed to. Always make sure to know what a company does with your information, and reading the TOS is the best way to do that.

Utilize a VPN

It’s a fact that your online searches and traffic get tracked, often even by your ISP themselves. If you want to prevent this, the best way to go about it is to tunnel your connection through a virtual private network. A VPN can be used to encrypt your connection and make it unreadable for a third party, which will prevent an analytics AI from collecting your information and feeding it to social media websites, so if nothing else you’ll most definitely avoid those often annoying personalized ads.

If this is something you’d like to do, be sure to choose from one of the best VPN in 2019 and start taking your privacy into your own hands.

Multiple Email Addresses & Phone Numbers

One of the easiest ways to compromise your online security and privacy is to use the same email address for every website or online service you sign up for. This will not only riddle your inbox with spam and useless announcements from someone you’ve subscribed to years ago, but it can also be very dangerous if an unauthorized party happens to gain access to your email address. They will then be able to reset your password for each of your accounts, and it will be very difficult to do any sort of damage control in this situation.

Instead, it’s best to have a primary and secondary email address. Your primary email address should be used for your most important accounts – like bank accounts, work-based accounts or anything else that is very valuable to you.

Your secondary email address should be used for everything else you sign up for online – forums, blogs, social media profiles and the like. In other words, anything non-essential that won’t produce serious consequences should the email address be compromised.

Same goes for phone numbers, as those can be stolen as well with the right tools and through social engineering tactics. Set yourself up with a cheap, old phone with a separate SIM card, and use that one if you need to complete your online profile with a phone number, instead of your main one.


Online privacy is definitely a major concern, and as the Internet grows and evolves it will become an even bigger problem. Therefore, it is definitely a good idea to start doing something about this as soon as possible, and by following the aforementioned  tips, you’re definitely on the right path!

All credit for this article goes to http://bit.ly/2LVLDe9

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

7 Tips and Tricks for Using Google Chrome

Tip #1: Chrome as a Calculator

Have you ever been in the middle of a search and needed a calculator? Don't leave your seat to grab one! Instead, type in your mathematical query in the address space to have Chrome immediately tell you the answer. There is no need to hit "Enter" because Chrome is designed to calculate your math problem as you type in the numbers. Take advantage of Chrome's intelligent calculator and let it compare deals, make purchases, and do the hard math for you without wasting your time looking for a calculator that may be sadly misplaced under a pile of papers!

Tip #2: Incognito Mode

If you don't want Google to save your browsing history, then you might consider using the incognito mode. Chrome's incognito mode protects your privacy by not keeping a record of your search entries, download history, and surfing activities. To enter into the incognito mode, simply go to the right side of the browser and you will see a navigation button with three lines. That icon is called the hamburger button, and when you click on it, a list pops up. The third option on the list is the new "incognito mode." Click on it, and your browser will open a new window labeled as incognito. For shortcut, simply press Ctrl+Shift+N.

Tip #3: Bookmarking Your Favorite Websites

Take a look at the address box, and you will see that there is a star on the right. The star turns yellow when you click on it to confirm that the web page you were on has been saved. When you bookmark your websites, you are allowing Chrome to store it in a special section for later perusal. You can also organize your bookmarks into folders so frequently visited web pages can be efficiently arranged and made accessible whenever you need the information.

Tip #4: Open New Tabs

People usually need to look up more than one thing simultaneously on the Internet. Take advantage of the new tab option by right-clicking the link and selecting the option "Open link in a new tab". A simpler way to do this is pressing Ctrl+T. Mac users can use the Command key to achieve the same result. With this option, you never have to worry about losing your current page. Instead, you can keep your email open while having a blast making friends on Facebook or Twitter!

Tip #5: Reverse Image Search

Reverse image search is a great way for you to find related images without typing any new keyword. With this feature, you can use a picture as your search to locate related images. If you are browsing an image on Chrome, just press "S" and right-click the image to initiate a reverse image search on Google. 

Tip #6: Manage Browsing History

Sometimes surfing too many websites in one day can cause us to forget the source of certain information. This can be extremely frustrating especially when you need a website for later reference but have forgotten to bookmark the page. Thankfully, Chrome allows you to track your browsing history. Just press Crtl+H to see the most recently viewed pages. From there, you can click on the links to revisit the website or selectively delete your browsing history to remove irrelevant links. 

Tip #7: Directly Search a Website

Ever feel frustrated by websites that do not have a search space? Google Chrome makes search conducted within a website extremely easy. All you have to do is go to the website you want to perform the search and right-click the site's search box. When the menu pops up, choose the option that says, "Edit search engine..." to add the website to your list of search engines. This then allows you to search the site directly from the Chrome address bar. Simply type the site name into the address bar, press the Tab key and type the search keyword.

All credit for this article goes to http://bit.ly/34ABBHU

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Top 10 Tips for Strong Internet Security

Tip #1: Only sites with HTTPS are secure!

URLs beginning with ‘http://’ are NOT secure. Sites with ‘https://’ are using a combination of Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) with the Secure Socket Layer (SSL)/Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol, meaning that the session between your browser and the web server is encrypted. Without HTTPS, bad guys can intercept your session using tools like Firesheep.

Tip #2: Use security questions whose answers are impossible for others to guess

Security questions are useful when we forget our passwords and need to reset them. In fact, when signing up for email accounts, most of us unthinkingly put in truthful answers to easy questions, like, “What is your mother’s maiden name?” or “What’s the name of the town in which you were born?”

But have we ever stopped to think how easy it is for bad guys to find the answers to those questions? We share so much of our personal lives on the internet; it’s actually very easy for bad guys to find our security answers on the internet, and to reset our passwords without permission. In fact, a reporter from the Washington Post was able to hack her brother’s iCloud account in three minutes using information that was guessable or findable on the Internet.

Instead of answering security questions with obvious answers that people can find using search engines or from reading your online profiles, try answering with irrelevant answers mixed with numbers. Of course, make sure you remember the answers in the event that you ever get locked out of an account and need to use your security question!

Tip #3: Don’t use the same password for all your accounts

Obviously, it’s easy to remember one complex password and use it across all of your accounts. However, this leads to the possibility of one service being hacked and the hacker using this password to attack your accounts with other services.

Try using suggest using a password manager like 1Password, KeePass and LastPass to generate and keep passwords (we also have a random password generator). These password apps can create random, indecipherable strings of alphanumeric characters as passwords and help store them for you on your different devices.

If your online service (i.e. email, online storage, bank) offers 2-step verification, you should definitely use it.

Tip #4: Keep your operating system and all your software up to date

Operating systems such as Windows and Mac regularly send updates for users with software patches and so on. While it may be tempting to close popups reminding you of a new update, you should be updating as soon as you’re able to protect against the latest security vulnerabilities.

You should also keep your other software up to date. The best tactic is to turn on automated software updates on all your apps—this applies to your antivirus software, email apps, browsers, and so on.

Tip #5: Be careful when accessing public WiFi

Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know that when you are sitting in your favorite coffee shop, accessing your favorite sites with free Wi-Fi, you’re at risk of having someone intercept your data.

Unprotected free Wi-Fi is a breeding ground for hackers to intercept and access your personal data. Before you connect to public Wi-Fi, turn off file sharing on your computer. If you’re on public Wi-Fi, don’t sign into anything requiring a password UNLESS you’re connected to a VPN.

Tip #6: Be careful what you write on social media

While social media is getting more and more popular, sites like Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook are great for keeping up to date and letting your friends know what you’re doing and where you’re going. However, this information is gold for criminals. Accepting friends you don’t know personally could mean giving a hacker unfettered access to information about your family, your friends, where you live, and what you buy/read/do. Yikes.

Tip #7: Delete suspicious email attachments

Have you ever received an unsolicited email? Chances are, you have. The majority of people know that if you receive suspicious links or attachments from random strangers, you shouldn’t open them and should delete them straight away. However, if you receive a strange attachment or link from a friend, you should still do the same.Hackers often send dangerous malware by hacking someone’s email account and sending emails to the victim’s contact list. If you ever receive a suspicious email from a friend, you should email them and tell them that they are likely a hacker’s

Hackers often send dangerous malware by hacking someone’s email account and sending emails to the victim’s contact list. If you ever receive a suspicious email from a friend, you should email them and tell them that they have likely been hacked. In addition, tell them they should change their password and turn on 2-step authentication ASAP.

Tip #8: Don’t plug strange things into your computer

Not only can malware spread through virtual means—but it can also be spread through hardware! Users of USB sticks, external hard drives, and even smartphones are not immune from malware. The nefarious BadUSB malware is a case in point. Before you plug anything into your computer, make sure that you know exactly where it came from and what else has been on it. Only plug in things from trusted sources.

Tip #9: Never lose your device

So you’ve loaded your computer and smartphone with all the latest security software, changed all your passwords, and turned on 2-step verification. But what happens if you lose your computer or your smartphone? If you lose your device, all your emails, photos, and personal data could end up in the hands of someone who’s up to no good.

Don’t let this happen to you! Password protect your lock screen, use a brightly colored case so that you can’t lose it, and back up your data regularly. Turn on device location or use a third-party anti-theft app in case the unimaginable happens. The best, of course, is to always be vigilant about your hardware and never lose it, period.

Tip #10: Know where you’re downloading apps from

For maximum safety, only download apps from 100% trusted sources—for example, the Apple app store, or the creator of the software itself. When installing apps, make sure you know the permissions you’re giving them. For example, does that time management app really need access to your camera and contacts?

One more easy win – make sure your computer or device is configured so that downloaded apps need to be opened manually. You don’t want to download an executable file and have it automatically open on your machine without your consent!

At the end of the day, knowledge is a powerful tool. Maintaining good internet security requires a combination of taking care of your software and hardware, and using some good old fashioned common sense.

All credit for this article goes to http://bit.ly/2Tsc7HA

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Stay Protected: 5 of the Most Important Cybersecurity Training Tips For Your Employees

We highlight the most critical cybersecurity training tips for employees because every business, whether big or small, experiences cyber threats.

It is believed that the most sophisticated cyber attacks are the biggest threats to any organization. However, the biggest cybersecurity threat to a business is the people that work there. In fact, eight out of ten top data theft are as a result of human error. This means you could probably stand to receive a few cybersecurity training tips.

Every business, whether big or small, experiences cyber threats. That is why it is absolutely important to have the right cyber prevention setup for your business to grow.

With the ever changing digital landscape, cyber attacks are becoming more sophisticated. All businesses therefore need to ensure the safety of their sensitive information and the security of their networks.

Being up to date with the methods used by criminals and ensuring employees are also aware of obvious dangers are necessary.

This post highlights five critical cybersecurity training tips to get your employees up to date and in turn ensure the protection of your business data.

1. Social engineering:

This is a term used to manipulate others so they give up their important information. It is commonly referred to as phishing. Based on an investigation report by Verizon, 93 percent of data breaches are as a result of pretexting and phishing.

Educate people working for you to be cautious while opening an email or communicating with clients on social media.

They should be weary of pretext such as:

  • A request for sudden help: Your friend has traveled to a different country and is stranded. He needs some money immediately so he can return home.
  • Give to a charity: The reason for the fundraiser might be honest, the payment link might not be.
  • A request that you verify some information: Requests like this seem official and come from an email disguised as from your bank.
  • An unusual request from your co-worker: If a co-worker asks for information regarding a project the organization is carrying out.
  • You’ve won a prize: These messages appear to be from your lawyer, a lottery, or the IRS for a deal that is nonexistent.
Cyber criminals usually succeed with most of these phishing messages employees act without giving much thought. Train your workers to pause and analyze situations before responding to such emails.

2. Password management:

According to a research conducted in 2017 by OneLogin, less than 31 percent of IT services require their employees to change passwords monthly. Password management is a major challenge for business owners as it regards cyber security.

With IT decision makers failing to remind employees, there needs to be a major change in attitude if you want to improve your cyber security.

Additionally, teach your workers to make use of strong passwords. Trace Security conducted a research and discovered that 81 percent data theft are connected to weak passwords.

When selecting strong passwords, keep the following in mind:

  • Use a combination of numbers, letters and special characters
  • Get creative
  • Choose something you can remember and that is impossible to be guessed
  • Avoid using personal information like your name, pet names, birth dates, and family names
  • Don’t share your passwords with anybody
  • Use a password that is unique for every device
  • Regularly change your passwords

3. Email usage:

Most businesses depend on emails daily for both external and internal communications. Since emails are primary delivery methods for computer malware, employees need to know how to responsibly use them.

They should exhibit caution when clicking on emails and opening attachments under these conditions:

  • Received from a strange email
  • An unusual tone
  • Having strange characters and wrong spellings
  • You antivirus doesn’t clear the file
  • The attachment seems unusual

4. Unauthorized software:

A quick way for viruses to infect your computers is by downloading software from sources that are unknown. Even software that appears innocent such as a game could have ransomware, spyware or other malicious codes.

Have a policy in place regarding software employees can and cannot install on company computers.

5. Using the internet:

Carry out training for your employees to avoid opening unfamiliar links on the internet or from sources that seem suspicious. Such links might download malicious software that could potentially infect your computers and put them at risk.

Establish safe browsing guidelines for using the internet in the office, and let your IT support workers to educate other employees on these rules.


Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Grammar and Spell Checker

Check your texts for spelling and grammar problems everywhere on the web
★ Finds many errors that a simple spell checker cannot detect
★ No registration needed
★ Supports more than 25 languages (see below)
★ Works on almost any website including Gmail, Facebook, twitter

Google Docs user? Please use this add-on instead: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/languagetool/kjcoklfhicmkbfifghaecedbohbmofkm

With this extension you can check text with the free style and grammar checker LanguageTool. LanguageTool finds many errors that a simple spell checker cannot detect, like mixing up there/their, a/an, or repeating a word, and it can detect some grammar problems. It supports more than 25 languages, including English, Spanish, French, German, Polish, and Russian.

LanguageTool is designed with simplicity in mind. It instantly checks the spelling and grammar of any text in the current text field. LanguageTool is compatible with almost all text, regardless of source, including social networks such as Twitter or LinkedIn and online e-mail services, such as Gmail. Very few sites like docs.google.com and chrome.google.com currently aren't supported - please use https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/languagetool/kjcoklfhicmkbfifghaecedbohbmofkm for Google Docs instead.

With LanguageTool our aim is to give users a fully-featured grammar checker and proofreader that will enable them to have control and confidence over their content. While LanguageTool is a vital extension for non-native speakers, it’s also smart enough to recognize many mistakes that native speakers commonly make. This grammar and spelling correction works across all variations of common language; distinguishing between U.S. and British English, for instance. LanguageTool also features a personal dictionary for exceptions or words that you might commonly use but that are not found in a conventional dictionary. LanguageTool will recognize these words in future grammar checking and proofreading.

Unlike Grammarly (a.k.a. Grammerly :-) and Ginger, LanguageTool works for many languages.

Your privacy is important to us: By default, this extension will check your text by sending it to https://languagetool.org over a securely encrypted connection. No account is needed to use this extension. We don't store your IP address. See https://languagetool.org/privacy/ for our privacy policy.

Please send bug reports or questions to https://forum.languagetool.org

List of supported languages: English (Australian, Canadian, GB, New Zealand, South African, US), French, German (Austria, Germany, Swiss), Asturian, Belarusian, Breton, Catalan (also Valencian), Chinese, Danish, Dutch, Esperanto, Galician, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Khmer, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil, Portugal, Angola, Mozambique), Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog, Tamil, Ukrainian