. 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.
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
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
It’s been over two years since I published the 2nd edition of Firewalls – and this update is a whopper! The third edition is 400 pages long and has 152 tips in it (compared to 326 pages and 131 tips for the previous version). It’s the most comprehensive version yet, updated for the latest Mac,
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 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.
Every new computer comes with one account, and most people never change that – but we all should. The default account on your computer is an administrator or “admin” account. This account has full permissions to do anything – which is convenient, but dangerous for daily use. One of the first things you should do
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
Despite being available for seven years, less than 10% of Google users have taken advantage of two-factor authentication. This is according to Google engineer Grzegorz Milka, who quoted this figure at a recent tech conference. And yet, two-factor authentication (2FA) is probably the best option today for most people to lock down their online accounts.
In the last week, we learned about a set of nasty computer chip bugs, dubbed Meltdown and Spectre. Unlike most of the bugs we discuss here, these bugs are in hardware, not software. This makes them impossible to truly fix without replacing the chip. In most cases, since the Computer Processing Unit (CPU) itself isn’t