Category: How-To

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,

The “S” in IoT is for Security

The Internet of Things (IoT) promises all sorts of cool new features for our previously "dumb" devices, allowing them to be controlled from anywhere on the planet. But because the compete on cost, security is lax or nonexistent. If you're going to bring these devices into your home, you need to keep them walled off.

It’s Time to Delete Facebook

Facebook, I’m breaking up with you… It’s not me… it’s you. In the last few weeks, Facebook has been rocked by one scandal after another. First the Cambridge Analytica thing, then the “Ugly Truth” memo, and then news that it’s been saving all your text messages and call info. But these are just the latest

Preventing Tax Return Fraud

It’s that time of year again: tax time! And that means it’s also high season for identity thieves and scammers. Millions of people are affected by fake tax return filings every year. And while we’re talking about tax return fraud, we should take the opportunity to discuss some other tax and Social Security scams, as

Take Out the Trash… Securely!

I just read an entertaining and interesting story that was published about 16 years ago in Willamette Week, an indie newspaper in Portland, OR. This article was published shortly after 9/11 and the sweeping new government surveillance powers that came as a result. In particular, the article discussed a rather disturbing investigative technique used by

Fixing the Apple Root Bug (Permanently)

It’s been a pretty bad week for Apple software, both for their macOS computer software and their iOS smartphone and tablet software. But today I’m going to focus on a truly horrendous software bug that somehow slipped through Apple’s normally stellar quality control process. This one screw up could allow someone to quickly and easily