Free !New Year 2018 Antivirus Protection

Happy New Year,  Tech4Boomers followers! And, thank you for choosing to read my blog.  I am hopeful that you will continue to find useful tips that will help your computer/mobile and Internet explorations a safe cyber traveling experience.

With that said, it has become somewhat challenging to have a safer cyber experience.  From the predators like Typo/Cyber Squatters to the onslaught of identity theft, and more over the cyber thief who holds you for ransom until you pay a price to get your computer back! Some of you may recall my post last year when I reported that I had that experience. https://tech4boomers.com/2017/10/24/malware-safety-requirements/

Antivirus software is an absolute must if you are using your computer to surf the Internet. There is NO excuse not to have software that helps you to detect threats and keep you protected!

Often we pay for these antivirus programs – however, there are FREE antivirus programs available.  Yes! Read the information below and get yourself security against those cyber bad guys.  It’s worth your time. Continue reading

Malware Safety Requirements!

How to avoid Malware is one of the most common hazards to your computer when you’re online, but it’s easy to avoid. Developing safe and smart browsing habits can protect you from malware and other threats, like viruses. Securing your computer and learning how to identify and avoid suspicious links are the fundamentals of safe browsing habits. Source: Internet Safety: How to Avoid Malware – Full Page

If you think you cannot be fooled by online ‘ransom perpetrators‘, I assure you that it can happen before you know it.

  • Below is a screen shot of what happened to me on my home computer, and I must admit I was not paying attention at the time.
  • Before I knew it, I had clicked a link and I became a PC user being held hostage. A password was put on my computer, and I could not access it.
  • There ensued a very stressful and costly sequence of experiences.

I knew that I would be asked for money to get my PC returned to me, but I was also concerned whether I would continue to be plagued by this issue once I gave them the money.  When I called, the people sounded very professional, and sure enough they had total control of my PC, and in addition my home Network! Continue reading

Are You Ready to Recover Your HP Windows 8 PC?

canstockphoto2093810Have you ever had a problem with your computer because of a hardware or software crash? Perhaps a terrible virus infection caused it to crash! Over time, we have all been in this terrible situation at least once when the ‘help’ we called asked us for our ‘Recovery Disc’.  This was probably your first training session on why you ‘need’ a  ‘Recovery Disc’  stashed away in a safe place. Continue reading

Passwords Conversations

canstockphoto13013303

OK, let’s be honest with each other. How many passwords do you have?  For myself,  I’ve lost count.  Seriously, do you know where all your passwords are?  Maybe you have them on a  post-it, or two.  Chances are it’s becoming more and more difficult for you to keep track of them; especially since experts recommend passwords should be changed at least every six months.

Things To Do

A. You can read about a password generator app (Wolfram)  from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wolfram-password-generator/id479550619?mt=8

B. Symantec suggests that we use mnemonic phrases to create passwords. Examples of  mnemonic phrases might include a phrase spelled phonetically, such as ‘ImaKat!’ (instead of ‘I’m a cat!’) or the first letters of a memorable phrase such as ‘qbfjold*’ = “quick brown fox jumped over lazy dog.” You can read more at http://www.symantec.com/connect/articles/simplest-security-guide-better-password-practices

C. If you’re running out of ideas about how to keep up this very important responsibility, you may want to use an App to help you organize/protect your passwords. This method may be a little difficult for Baby Boomers to embrace; however, I have learned recently that Echo Boomers use their smartphones to do all kinds of things. Two examples are banking and paying the check at the restaurant.  And yes, some of them think that the use of Apps to protect their identities is the best way to handle this important chore.  That brings me to an article I read about Apps that manage all of this information in one place. Below is a brief summary of available Apps you can use to help you with passwords.  You can click the link below to read the article.
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/17/technology/personaltech/apps-to-protect-your-array-of-passwords.html?_r=0

D. Password Security Suggestions:   1) Use a different password for the websites that you visit frequently. 2) Use a Password Manager.

E.Password Managers:
1password. Read a review at: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2408348,00.asp

Lastpass.  Free! Read a review at: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2426798,00.asp

Onesafe.  ios App.  Read a review at: http://webapprater.com/reviews/onesafe-ios-app-provides-full-security.html

Keeper. Free! Read about it at:  https://keepersecurity.com/

I hope this is helpful! 🙂

Still Using XP Operating System?

XP_operating systemSome of you may remember the Post I did about the XP Operating System (O/S). If you’re not sure what  OS you have on your PC, you may want to look at that Post. https://tech4boomers.com/2012/07/16/os-what-operating-system/ .

If you are still running the XP Operating System, I suggest you check the information below at your earliest convenience. Then click the link at the end for other details.

  • The end of Windows XP Support does not mean your computer will not work; however, new bugs after April 2014 will not be supported.
  • Many computers still running XP after April 2014 will be hit with viruses.  In addition, the cost to fix the issues will be higher. Experts agree that it is best not to use your computer with the XP Operating System after April 2014.
  • Migrating to Windows 7 may not be too hard  to navigate.  Windows 8 has a harder learning curve.bug_XP

Read more at:

http://www.zdnet.com/where-can-you-go-next-after-windows-xp-7000021885/

AVG AntiVirus FREE 2014 Review & Rating | PCMag.com

fyi only signIf you are not sure what to do about purchasing Anti-virus software below is a great article I found at PC Magazine.  Make sure to read it and get protection at your first opportunity.  After all, it’s FREE!

♦♦♦

By Neil J. Rubenking.

If you dont have antivirus protection installed on all your PCs, shame on you! Given the quality of free antivirus products currently available, theres just no excuse for going without protection. AVG AntiVirus FREE 2014 is a good choice. I had a little trouble getting it installed on malware-infested test systems, but once installed it did a good cleanup job, and it turned in a great score in my malware-blocking test.

via AVG AntiVirus FREE 2014 Review & Rating | PCMag.com.

What Are Strong Passwords?

 As we consider time, and time again  how to protect our on-line privacy, one of the more important aspects of using the Internet’s, Email, Banking, Shopping, Twitter, LinkedIn, FaceBook websites is our Passwords. These are the keys to accessing our ‘private’ information. But, what is  a strong password? How do we cope with the fundamental need to create complex ‘passkeys’ ? How do we avoid  having ‘unauthorized’ sources acquire this information?  I searched the Internet. Below is a summary of  what some experts think:

  1.  create complicated passwords.
  2.  passwords should be longer than six characters.
  3.  passwords should be changed frequently.

Additional Suggestions

  • Updates: The longer you keep the same password, the easier it is for someone to get access to your private data.
  •  Change your passwords every six months (recommended by  The Information Technology Department at Utah State University)
  • Complexity: According to Microsoft.com, passwords should be at least eight characters in length, preferably 14 characters or longer. The more complex the password, the less likely it is to be stolen. Read more about this by checking this link – via How Often Should You Change Your Password? | eHow.com.

For those of you who find it difficult to create complicated passwords, there are websites that you can use to help you with this task.  Use the links below which may help you get this done is an easier fashion.

 iphone –

How should you keep track of your passwords?

A more secure way to keep track of your secret code is to download one of the many password managers available online. Two of the most popular are RoboForm and LastPass. These are plug-ins that collect your passwords as you make your way around the Web, encrypt them and store them either on your computer or on the company’s servers, or sometimes both.

If you come up with a complicated password that you are likely to forget immediately, no problem. The password manager will remember it and automatically fill it in when a pass code is requested the next time you’re on the site. Many of the password managers even generate obscure passwords for you.

Security experts said a password manager is a good way to secure your codes from most hackers, but there are downsides you need to consider. There is still the risk that sophisticated hackers can come after your password manager and get all the stored pass codes in one swoop. via Three easy ways to keep track of your passwords – latimes.com.

 Most of us are keeping our passwords on post-its, little slips of paper, and in our head, and often we even forget what the last password we created was because we are moving so quickly trying to get the task done.

 If you are the pen and paper type, you can keep a notebook handy and write down all the websites you visit as well as the user names and passwords. Do not forget to update the notebook when you visit a new site. via How to Keep Track of Passwords | eHow.com.

I hope this is helpful 🙂

How to Manage your Digital Identity

“You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it”.
Scott G. McNealy CEO of Sun Microsystems Inc. January 26, 1999

Browsers & your Digital Footprint – I don’t think tech4boomers can cover the privacy on-line topic too often. In fact, in March 2012 we published a post “The Scoop About On-line Snooping”) where we covered this topic.

Every time we  revisit this topic, there are new techniques and products, which claim that they can “fix” this very perplexing issue of how to protect our identities and the information being gathered by browsers (e.g. Google) on the World Wide Web (www).

Nowadays, every time we use the Internet our “habits” (e.g. places we like to visit, and spend money and time) are being recorded by “cookies”.

Cookies are messages that web servers pass to your webbrowser when you visit Internet sites. Your browser stores each message in a small file, called cookie.txt. When you request another page from the server, your browser sends the cookie back to the server. These files typically contain information about your visit to the web page, as well as any information you’ve volunteered, such as your name and interests. via What are cookies? – Knowledge Base.

Our dependency on the www makes it very difficult to avoid information being gathered about our on-line habits.  For example, every time we email, pay bills, order on-line, or use skype, information is being gathered about us. Google has in fact confirmed that it gathers information when you use its browser.  Opposite to what you might expect, Google has also produced a set of guidelines on how to protect yourself from its on-line “snooping“.

What Can You Do About It?

Recently I came across an article “How to Erase Your Digital Footprint”, by Jeffrey A. Lambert – Maximum PC. A summary of that article states the following:

visiting web sites produces “tracking cookies” on your computer.  Cookies allow these websites to keep track of your online preferences.

 the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) is working towards providing solutions and making consumers aware of the practices.

 there are tools available that can be added to your computer for constant monitoring and control to help you find out how big your digital footprint is.

Digital Footprint Calculator will estimate your digital footprint.  This is a service from EMC Corporation.

on a daily basis Google “pings” your browser for information about browsing history. This helps them to target advertising.

  “free” software is available which helps to determine how often Google is “pinging” your computer browser. e.g. Google Alarm by F.A.T. Labs  will give you a visual or audio alert when personal information is sent to google servers.

Simply cleaning out your cache of cookies on your computer will aid you in safe browsing. Check your preferences option in your browser and click the “delete cookies” option.  However, be aware customization on sites you visit will also be deleted.

There is much more to learn about various techniques that can help you reduce this concern.  Check out the full details by clicking the link below.

Erasing Your Digital Footprint -via Maximum PC | How To Erase Your Digital Footprint.

I hope this is helpful! 🙂

O/S–What Operating System?

How many of us are holding on to that computer we bought many years ago, hoping that it will serve our purposes in the future?  How many of us know what Operating System we are using, and, if we need an upgrade?

The Operating System is the most important program that runs on a computer.
Every general-purpose computer must have an operating system to run other programs.
 Operating systems perform basic tasks, such as recognizing input from the keyboard, sending output to the display screen, keeping track of files and directories on the disk, and controlling peripheral devices such as disk drives and printers. via Operating System – A Definition From the Webopedia Computer Dictionary.

¿ What Operating System Are You UsingWindows XP originally released in October of 2001. Almost 11 years ago.

  1. Today you may want to check which O/S you have on your computer.
  2.  Go to your Control Panel.
  3.  Click Help.
  4. Click About Windows.  A screen will pop up with the ‘version’ of your operating system.

¿Is your Operating System Windows XP? If the answer is Yes, then you may want to consider an Upgrade because in the near future the XP Operating System will no longer be supported, and this will put  the information stored on your computer with an outdated XP O/S at risk.  Look at the chart below, and check  today if you need to upgrade.

Click the diagram to see a larger image

XP Operating System Users:
Below is an explanation of the things you should know. Click on the link for the fact sheet if you want a more detailed explanation.

SUPPORT

Extended support—(Commercial Customers Only) Microsoft will offer extended support for either a minimum of 5 years from the date of a product’s general availability, or for 2 years after the second successor product (two versions later) is released, whichever is longer.

End of Mainstream support …if you buy a new version of Windows and five years later another version is released, you will still have two years of support left for the previous version.

End of support refers to the date when Microsoft no longer provides automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance. This is the time to make sure you have the latest available service pack installed.

Without Microsoft support, you will no longer receive security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software that can steal your personal information. via Windows lifecycle fact sheet – Microsoft Windows.

Don’t delay, check your Operating System today!
In the next post we will talk about upgrading your Personal Computer.

I hope this is helpful 🙂