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

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Top 10 Secure Computing Tips



Tip #1 - You are a target to hackers

Don't ever say "It won't happen to me".  We are all at risk and the stakes are high - to your personal and financial well-being, and to the University's standing and reputation. 

  • Keeping campus computing resources secure is everyone's responsibility.
  • By following the tips below and remaining vigilant, you are doing your part to protect yourself and others.


Tip #2 - Keep software up to date

Installing software updates for your operating system and programs is critical. Always install the latest security updates for your devices:

  • Turn on Automatic Updates for your operating system.
  • Use web browsers such as Chrome or Firefox that receive frequent, automatic security updates.
  • Make sure to keep browser plug-ins (Flash, Java, etc.) up to date.
  • Utilize Secunia PSI (free) to find other software on your computer that needs to be updated.

Tip #3 - Avoid Phishing scams - beware of suspicious emails and phone calls

Phishing scams are a constant threat - using various social engineering (link is external) ploys, cyber-criminals will attempt to trick you into divulging personal information such as your login ID and password, banking or credit card information.

  • Phishing scams can be carried out by phone, text, or through social networking sites - but most commonly by email.
  • Be suspicious of any official-looking email message or phone call that asks for personal or financial information.

Tip #4 - Practice good password management

We all have too many passwords to manage - and it's easy to take short-cuts, like reusing the same password.  A password management program (link is external) can help you to maintain strong unique passwords for all of your accounts.  These programs can generate strong passwords for you, enter credentials automatically, and remind you to update your passwords periodically. 

There are several online password management services that offer free versions, and KeePass (link is external) is a free application for Mac and Windows.

Here are some general password tips to keep in mind:

  • Use long passwords - 20 characters or more is recommended.
  • Use a strong mix of characters, and never use the same password for multiple sites.
  • Don't share your passwords and don't write them down (especially not on a post-it note attached to your monitor).
  • Update your passwords periodically, at least once every 6 months (90 days is better).
Tip #5 -  Be careful what you click

Avoid visiting unknown websites or downloading software from untrusted sources.  These sites often host malware that will automatically, and often silently, compromise your computer.

If attachments or links in the email are unexpected or suspicious for any reason, don't click on it.

ISO recommends using Click-to-Play or NoScript (link is external), browser add-on features that prevent the automatic download of plug-in content (e.g., Java, Flash) and scripts that can harbor malicious code.

Tip #6 - Never leave devices unattended

The physical security of your devices is just as important as their technical security. 

If you need to leave your laptop, phone, or tablet for any length of time - lock it up so no one else can use it. 
If you keep sensitive information on a flash drive or external hard drive, make sure to keep these locked as well. 
For desktop computers, shut-down the system when not in use - or lock your screen.

Tip #7 - Protect sensitive data

Be aware of sensitive data that you come into contact with, and associated restrictions - review the UCB Data Classification Standard to understand data protection level requirements.  In general:

  • Keep sensitive data (e.g., SSN's, credit card information, student records, health information, etc.) off of your workstation, laptop, or mobile devices.
  • Securely remove sensitive data files from your system when they are no longer needed.
  • Always use encryption when storing or transmitting sensitive data.
  • Unsure of how to store or handle sensitive data?  Contact us and ask!

Tip #8 - Use mobile devices safely

Considering how much we rely on our mobile devices, and how susceptible they are to attack, you'll want to make sure you are protected:

  • Lock your device with a PIN or password - and never leave it unprotected in public.
  • Only install apps from trusted sources.
  • Keep your device's operating system updated.
  • Don't click on links or attachments from unsolicited emails or texts.
  • Avoid transmitting or storing personal information on the device.
  • Most handheld devices are capable of employing data encryption - consult your device's documentation for available options.
  • Use Apple's Find my iPhone (link is external) or the Android Device Manager (link is external) tools to help prevent loss or theft.
  • Backup your data.
Tip #9 - Install anti-virus protection

Only install an anti-virus program from a known and trusted source.  Keep virus definitions, engines and software up to date to ensure your anti-virus program remains effective.

For personally-owned systems and unmanaged UCB owned computers, the campus offers free anti-virus software, available for Windows and Mac, to current faculty, staff, and students.

Tip #10 - Back up your data

Back up regularly - if you are a victim of a security incident, the only guaranteed way to repair your computer is to erase and re-install the system.



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



Tuesday, July 9, 2019

10 Tips To Stay Safe Online





With hacks, scams, malware and more, the Internet can feel like a dangerous place these days. And, the recent proliferation of devices, from smartphones and tablets to Internet-connected appliances, has opened us up to even greater risks.

But the good news is that by taking just a small handful of security measures we can greatly reduce our exposure to all these threats.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Create Complex Passwords. We know you’ve heard it before, but creating strong, unique passwords for all your critical accounts really is the best way to keep your personal and financial information safe. This is especially true in the era of widespread corporate hacks, where one database breach can reveal tens of thousands of user passwords. If you reuse your passwords, a hacker can take the leaked data from one attack and use it to login to your other accounts. Our best advice: use a password manager to help you store and create strong passwords for all of your accounts.

Then, check to see if your online accounts offer multi-factor authentication. This is when multiple pieces of information are required to verify your identity. So, to log into an account you may need to enter a code that is sent to your phone, as well as your password and passphrase.

2. Boost Your Network Security. Now that your logins are safer, make sure that your connections are secure. When at home or work, you probably use a password-protected router that encrypts your data. But, when you’re on the road, you might be tempted to use free, public Wi-Fi.The problem with public Wi-Fi is that it is often unsecured. This means it’s relatively easy for a hacker to access your device or information. That’s why you should consider investing in a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN is a piece of software that creates a secure connection over the internet, so you can safely connect from anywhere.

3. Use a Firewall. Even if your network is secure, you should still use a firewall. This an electronic barrier that blocks unauthorized access to your computers and devices, and is often included with comprehensive security software. Using a firewall ensures that all of the devices connected to your network are secured, including Internet of Things (IoT) devices like smart thermostats and webcams. This is important since many IoT devices aren’t equipped with security measures, giving hackers a vulnerable point of entry to your entire network.

4. Click Smart. Now that you’ve put smart tech measures into place, make sure that you don’t invite danger with careless clicking. Many of today’s online threats are based on phishing or social engineering. This is when you are tricked into revealing personal or sensitive information for fraudulent purposes. Spam emails, phony “free” offers, click bait, online quizzes and more all use these tactics to entice you to click on dangerous links or give up your personal information. Always be wary of offers that sound too good to be true, or ask for too much information.

5. Be a Selective Sharer. These days, there are a lot of opportunities to share our personal information online. Just be cautious about what you share, particularly when it comes to your identity information. This can potentially be used to impersonate you, or guess your passwords and logins.

6. Protect Your Mobile Life. Our mobile devices can be just as vulnerable to online threats as our laptops. In fact, mobile devices face new risks, such as risky apps and dangerous links sent by text message. Be careful where you click, don’t respond to messages from strangers, and only download apps from official app stores after reading other users’ reviews first. Make sure that your security software is enabled on your mobile, just like your computers and other devices.

7. Practice Safe Surfing & Shopping. When shopping online, or visiting websites for online banking or other sensitive transactions, always make sure that the site’s address starts with “https”, instead of just “http”, and has a padlock icon in the URL field. This indicates that the website is secure and uses encryption to scramble your data so it can’t be intercepted by others. Also, be on the lookout for websites that have misspellings or bad grammar in their addresses. They could be copycats of legitimate websites. Use a safe search tool such as McAfee SiteAdvisor to steer clear of risky sites.

8. Keep up to date. Keep all your software updated so you have the latest security patches. Turn on automatic updates so you don’t have to think about it, and make sure that your security software is set to run regular scans.

9. Lookout for the latest scams. Online threats are evolving all the time, so make sure you know what to look out for. Currently, “ransomware” is on the rise. This is when a hacker threatens to lock you out of all of your files unless you agree to pay a ransom. Stay on top of this and other threats by staying informed.

10. Keep your guard up. Always be cautious about what you do online, which sites you visit, and what you share. Use comprehensive security software, and make sure to backup your data on a regular basis in case something goes wrong. By taking preventative measures, you can save yourself from headaches later on.


All credit for this article goes to : http://bit.ly/2XBKd0R