Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Nah. This isn’t creepy..

* How Google wants to build a world where every device is listening

The firm is gathering speech samples from people across the globe, as part of a push to get simple voice recognition everywhere, paving the way for voice commands throughout our homes.Read more..

Tell ‘ya what. I’ll gladly touch a screen/mouse/keyboard and Veto your developing this further. How’s that?

Copyright 2007-2017 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

September 19, 2017 Posted by | computers, consumer electronics, Google, Internet scam, News, privacy, tech | Leave a comment

Okay.. Let’s cast a critical eye..

At the bottom of an article about how, for a few bucks, ANY-one can buy a ‘kit’ and make their own Android Ransomware (see, Easy-to-Use Apps Allow Anyone to Create Android Ransomware Within Seconds) we are advised how to ‘stay safe’ from such unhappy things..

How to Protect Your Android Devices from Ransomware Attacks

In order to protect against such threats on mobile devices, you are recommended to:

  1. Always keep regular backups of your important data.
  2. Make sure that you run an active anti-virus security suite of tools on your machine.
  3. Avoid downloading apps from unknown sites and third-party app stores.
  4. Always pay close attention to the permissions requested by an app, even if it is downloaded from an official app store.
  5. Do not open any email attachments from unknown sources.
  6. Finally, browse the Internet safely.

And let’s analyze that advice with our critical eye:

  1. Always keep regular backups of your important data. Because it’s not a question of if you’ll get screwed, it’s a question of when.
  2. Make sure that you run an active anti-virus security suite of tools on your machine. No arguements. If it connects to the Internet you NEED this. But KNOW THIS: it’s only a semi-effective shield, NOT bulletproof armor.
  3. Avoid downloading apps from unknown sites and third-party app stores. Or even regular ‘stores’, as we’ve seen them get ‘poisoned’ already (Google Play Store, recently [see https://thehackernews.com/2017/08/android-ddos-botnet.html]). So let’s just change it to: Do NOT download apps.
    [edit 9/18:
    and yet again. See this http://thehackernews.com/2017/09/play-store-malware.html.]
  4. Always pay close attention to the permissions requested by an app, even if it is downloaded from an official app store. Utterly pointless to advise this. First of all no one will. Second, were ‘average people’ to start doing this, they’d have no clue what all that ‘tech jargon’ means. And 3rd, most apps don’t offer you any choices with ‘Permissions’ – if you want the app, you have to accept the ads and the spying. So let’s just use my #3 as our guide.
  5. Do not open any email attachments from unknown sources. Um. People who still do this have never read a tech article in their life. So they aren’t seeing this.Those who do (read articles) KNOW email is still a favorite way for the criminals to infect your machine. MY advice? Unless someone you know has told you, “I’m sending you a document”, don’t open it – period.
  6. Finally, browse the Internet safely. What? Great advice! Only one problem — there is no such thing. ( Um … I guess that translates to “don’t look at pron”?)
  7. Do not ‘jailbreak’ or ‘root’ your device. (Okay.. so I had to add one.)

* * *

Today’s quotable quote:Lighten up, just enjoy life, smile more, laugh more, and don’t get so worked up about things.” ~ Kenneth Branagh

Copyright 2007-2017 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

August 28, 2017 Posted by | advice, Android, cellular, consumer electronics, cyber crime, e-mail, gadgets, Google, hackers, Internet, mobile, News, privacy, security | , , , , , | Leave a comment

More on Layer 8

“Layer 8” is a snarky, insider reference to you, the ‘End User’. (Also referred to as “pebcak” and “ID:10t” [ as in, “we have another ten-tee error”. ])

* 100% of government IT workers said employees are biggest threat to cybersecurity

“Only 14% of government organizations consider themselves to be well-protected against cyber threats, according to a report from Netwrix. Here’s why.Read more..

And I wager those 14% aren’t as well-protected as they think they are..
And this is why you don’t want gov’t agencies making ‘databases’.

Copyright 2007-2017 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

August 24, 2017 Posted by | computers, consumer electronics, cyber crime, hackers, Internet, News, privacy, security | Leave a comment

14 Tips to be safer on Public Wi-Fi (‘hotspots’)

A couple reading reco’s for mobile Internet users.

* 14 Public Wi-Fi Hotspot Security Tips You Need

Sometimes you need it so bad, you don’t care if it is clean or dirty. You don’t care who has been there before or what viruses they’ve left behind. I speak, of course, of public Wi-Fi hotspots, aka honeypots for weak-willed souls desperate for a sense of connection. Look, it’s okay to connect to strange networks. Just use protection, cover your tracks, and follow PCMag’s 14 Tips for Public Hotspot Security. Be safe out there.” Read more..

I disagree with what the author wrote there a bit.. it’s really not ‘okay’ to use public wi-fi.. (that’s why I put ‘safer’ where the Industry puts ‘safe’) but I know you’re going to. One of the main reasons is “53 percent can’t tell a secure network from an insecure one.”
That’s so shockingly stupid clueless in 2017 .. do we need to remove these devices from the hands of the masses?

* * *

Today’s quote:A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what’s going on.” ~ William S. Burroughs

Copyright 2007-2017 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

August 17, 2017 Posted by | advice, cellular, computers, consumer electronics, how to, Internet, mobile, privacy, security | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Just don’t download any apps..

Guys, I have long told people, if you don’t absolutely need it, don’t install it (and you sure as shooting don’t need five media players..). Well now there’s even more reason to repeat that advice.

* More than 1,000 Spyware Apps Found On Android App Stores

If you think you are downloading apps from Google Play Store and you are secure, then watch out! Someone has managed to flood third-party app stores and Google Play Store with more than a thousand malicious apps, which can monitor almost anything a user does on their mobile device from silently …” Read More..

Update: 500+ Android apps found containing program that can download spyware plug-in

More than 500 mobile apps on Google Play were recently discovered containing an advertising software development kit capable of downloading malicious plug-ins that can spy on Android users’ call histories.. Apps using the ad SDK, a product called Igexin, were downloaded over 100 million times by Android device owners before Google removed these programs from its store..Read more..

Tell your friends.

Addenda: I have been asked my thoughts on Wikileaks and the (alleged) CIA hacking tools (such as this one, posted today) often enough now that I think I should mention them here.. please don’t think the CIA are the only folks who can do/are doing these ‘exploits’. They basically copied from the hackers. These things are possible because all our devices/technologies are inherently, fundamentally, insecure. (Don’t believe me? Read this.)

* * *

Today’s quote:I am thankful the most important key in history was invented. It’s not the key to your house, your car, your boat, your safety deposit box, your bike lock or your private community. It’s the key to order, sanity, and peace of mind. The key is ‘Delete.'” ~ Elayne Boosler

Copyright 2007-2017 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

August 11, 2017 Posted by | advice, Android, cellular, consumer electronics, cyber crime, gadgets, Google, hackers, Internet, mobile, News, security, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Told ya

less than a week, and down 100 page views a day avg.

Teach me to say negative things, or point at idiocy, eh?

July 2, 2017 Posted by | computers | 4 Comments