Tech – for Everyone

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

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.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


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

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.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


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.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


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

Are these people nuts?

Folks, the tech industry is talking about upcoming “improvements” to Windows 10. Which of course is an indicator of the evolution of our devices.. and what the big brains at the billion dollar companies think we want..

* Windows 10: Ten missing and highly anticipated features due in 2017

A look at the most significant changes due to hit Microsoft’s evolving OS in the coming year.Read more..

Okay.. I don’t want ANY of that. Do you? (Are you ‘eagerly anticipating’?) Would you even call these ‘improvements’?

The only one I think worthy of mention is for a browser I’ll never use.

I’m going to replace my desktop with a phone..? I guess marijuana is legal in the State of Washington? Cuz they gotta be high.

… It’s like they spend so much time in their labs, they have a complete disconnect with human psychology.. The numbers telling them that people are desperately clinging to Windows XP and Office 2003 must utterly baffle them.

Copyright 2007-2015 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


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

December 7, 2016 Posted by | computers, consumer electronics, Microsoft, mobile, News, PC, software, tech, Windows, Windows 10 | , , , , | 3 Comments

Today’s ‘Must Read’

Folks, not only does everyone need to read this article, but pass it along to their friends and family.

* How your connected home or office is a gift for hackers, criminals, and cyber spies

The Internet of Things needs to learn how to secure devices — and fast.Read more..

[ Note: I also highly recommend clicking on some of the embedded articles.. Like, the Snowden one.. ]

Related articles: (In my way of thinking..)

* Britain has passed the ‘most extreme surveillance law ever passed in a democracy’

The law forces UK internet providers to store browsing histories — including domains visited — for one year. Not only that, the law also gives the intelligence agencies the power to hack into computers and devices of citizens.Read more..

* Distracted minds: 3 tips to disconnect from tech and increase productivity

Adam Gazzaley, neurologist and author of The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World, explains how multitasking damages focus, and offers advice for workplace productivity.Read more..

.. But the truth is, no one’s going to read those. And no one’s going to change their thinking or behavior. I’m wasting my time.

* * *

Today’s quote:No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” ~ Aesop

Copyright 2007-2015 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


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

November 17, 2016 Posted by | advice, computers, consumer electronics, cyber crime, Cyberwarfare, gadgets, hackers, Internet, Internet of Things, mobile, networking, News, privacy, security, tech | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Something for both Apple and PC..

Folks, whether you own Apple, or Microsoft, or both, I hope these two How To items will be of use.

* 30 Hidden Tips for Mastering iOS 10

Apple’s iOS 10 has arrived. These tips will help you make the most of it.Read more..

* How to tweak the Windows 10 Action Center to make it less annoying

The default settings for the Windows 10 Action Center can be irritating. Take a few minutes to customize it and reduce the annoyance factor.Read more..

* * *

Today’s quote:I truly believe that everything that we do and everyone that we meet is put in our path for a purpose. There are no accidents; we’re all teachers – if we’re willing to pay attention to the lessons we learn, trust our positive instincts and not be afraid to take risks or wait for some miracle to come knocking at our door.” ~ Marla Gibbs

Copyright 2007-2015 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


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

September 19, 2016 Posted by | advice, Apple, cellular, computers, consumer electronics, gadgets, how to, iPhone, Microsoft, mobile, performance, Portable Computing, software, tech, tweaks, Windows, Windows 10 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A few items for your Friday

Here are a few items for your consideration:

First up, yesterday I alerted iPhone users to the fact that Apple is urging all owners to ‘upgrade’ to the latest version of iOS. Here’s more on why that’s a really good idea:
[ NOTE: “zero-day” is Geekspeak for “an attack for which we currently have no defense”.]

* Three zero-days found in iOS, Apple suggests users update their iPhone

Pegasus is highly advanced in its use of zero-days, obfuscation, encryption and kernel-level exploitation and the malware has been active for some time..Read more..

And a couple more..

* Every Android App You Need

Whether you’ve got a brand-new Galaxy Note 7 or an older Android phone or tablet you just want to spruce up, these are the apps that matter.Read more..

* The Best Laptops for College

Need a light, affordable laptop you can carry all over campus? These 10 affordable picks make the grade.Read more..

And last but certainly NOT least…

* WhatsApp to Share Your Data with Facebook — You have 30 Days to Stop It

Nothing comes for Free, as “Free” is just a relative term used by companies to develop a strong user base and then use it for their own benefits. The same has been done by the secure messaging app WhatsApp, which has now made it crystal clear that the popular messaging service will begin sharing …Read more..

[ NOTE: that “sharing” includes your phone number.. but sheeze, you don’t think FB doesn’t already know your phone number?? ]

*     *     *

Today’s quote:Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” ~ Steve Jobs

Copyright 2007-2015 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


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

August 26, 2016 Posted by | advice, Android, Apple, cellular, computers, consumer electronics, cyber crime, gadgets, hackers, Internet, iPhone, mobile, News, privacy, security, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment