Best & Worst Gifts 2018

It’s that time of year again! Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Boxing Day and all the other gift shopping days between now and the end of the year. (Already missed Singles Day, though.) But you need to make sure that you’re not giving away your gift recipient’s privacy or giving hackers a means to rip off

Recognizing & Dealing with Phone Scams

. Consumer Reports is warning people about a recent spate of phone scams with callers claiming to be agents of the Social Security Administration. These fraudsters are using caller ID spoofing to make it seem as if they’re calling from 800-772-1213. While that is the actual number for the SSA, it’s not the SSA calling.

Apple Leads on Data Privacy

It’s no secret that I’m a big Apple fan. I’ve bought Apple computers for literally decades. (Okay, I did once have a cheap, sordid affair with a Power Computer Mac clone, but I swear it was meaningless.) That said, I’ve used Windows and Linux machines professionally over those same years. While each systems has its

How to Close Your Security Holes

It’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month! One of the key themes this year is working together to improve our overall security. To that end, I’d like to focus on how you can close some common security holes in your life. Security types call this “reducing your attack surface”. One of the best ways to protect yourself

Protecting Yourself After Facebook Breach

Last Friday, Facebook notified users about a data breach that may have exposed up to 90 million Facebook users’ data. Facebook has certainly had their share of screw-ups and shady practices revealed in the last year or so, prompting me to finally just delete my Facebook account. Here’s what you need to know about the

How to Prepare for a Power Outage

As Hurricane Florence approaches, I thought I’d share my personal checklist for preparing for the power outage that often accompanies a big storm. This isn’t just for hurricanes, though. It can apply to snow or ice storms, too. These are storms where you have at least a few days to prepare and may lose power

Hacking a Network Using a Malicious Fax

If you have a combination printer/fax machine, your network is probably vulnerable to a single, malicious fax. A security research company named Check Point released a report last week that detailed how HP printers with built-in fax capability could be hacked by sending it a specially formatted fax. While the study focused on HP printers,

Disable Smart TV tracking

This should comes as no surprise to my readers, but your “smart” TV is literally watching what you watch. It’s not watching you, it’s watching the screen. That is, it’s examining the images on your display in order to identify what you’re viewing. Why do they do this? Because they can. Smart TV Tracking Features

Your Public Data May Raise Your Health Premiums

According to the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), you can’t charge sick people more for their health insurance and you can’t deny people coverage due to pre-existing conditions. But given the current administration’s penchant for gutting regulations and their vehement dislike of the ACA, those protections may not be around much longer. If so, in