Tech – for Everyone

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

Sunday Beauty 144

Folks, this image caught my eye.. and while it’s not a “beauty”, I think a few of you will like it. (Might make a good Desktop wallpaper…)


Click on image to see more by this artist (reco’d)

“star” by rosmary, courtesy of Flickr Commons

Sunday Ugly:


You do look at addresses don’t you? They can be ‘red flags’.
.. “cool cowboy”???

Today’s Tech: Folks, I have long said that I don’t care which antivirus you have on your Internet-connected device as long as you have one; but there’s one I tell my clients to avoid. And I guess I’m not the only one!

* McAfee Founder Elated That Intel Is Renaming Security Products, Says It’s the ‘Worst Software on the Planet’

““I am now everlastingly grateful to Intel for freeing me from this terrible association with the worst software on the planet,” the ever-colorful McAfee told the BBC. “These are not my words, but the words of millions of irate users. My elation at Intel’s decision is beyond words.”” Read more..

*     *      *

Today’s quote:People are like stained – glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Copyright 2007-2014 © “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.

January 12, 2014 Posted by | advice, antivirus, Digital Images, software, spam and junk mail | , , , , | 2 Comments

And the winner of the Most Hacked age group is …

(drumroll, please.)

* Millennials: Young, Mobile & Hacked 

 “Security professionals who eagerly anticipate more millennials in management, expecting these younger workers’ knowledge of tech to make their lives easier, might want to reconsider. Read more..

[ I have a few problems with this survey.. but it’s conclusion(s) sorta feels right. ]

In other news:
* Apple Just Ended the Era of Paid Operating Systems

The desktop operating system is dead as a major profit center, and Apple just delivered the obituary.Read more..

[ more good news for Microsoft. {cough, cough..} ]

* McAfee Tanks Independent AV Test

The dedicated researchers at Dennis Technology Labs puts a small group of products to the test, usually eight or nine, but they perform intensive testing that comes extremely close to real-world user experience. In the latest quarterly report five products did very well, three earned a decent grade, and McAfee just bombed.Read more..

[ note: Microsoft did worse in one area of the testing … ]

* Hacker Horrorshow Shaping Up for Halloween

Get yourself ready for the frights of October! We’re not talking about ghosts or ghouls, but malware threats. In a recent blog post, Solera Network, a Blue Coat company, warned victims of this month’s malware infection campaign to keep a watchful eye out for more dangers. These include the ransomware CryptoLocker, clickfraud on a massive scale, and the theft of personal data like passwords.Read more..

Well.. that’s enough homework for today. Happy reading!

Today’s quote:We are faced with the paradoxical fact that education has become one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought.” ~ Bertrand Russell

Copyright 2007-2013 © “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.

October 23, 2013 Posted by | advice, antivirus, Apple, computers, consumer electronics, hackers, Internet, mobile, News, security, tech | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Back in the saddle

wrapping up another week

A few items of interest, and a funny video

Walter Lantz Studios

Walter Lantz Studios

* Update: Facebook phone? Been there, done that, and nobody cared

Facebook is generating buzz with the unveiling of Home, but it seems everyone has forgotten about the Facebook phone nobody wanted.Read more.

[related: Why Facebook Home will blow Android into smithereens

You think Google’s Android OS is hopelessly fragmented now? This is just the beginning.Read more.. ]

* The state of malware 2013

A short slideshow that (I suspect) will open your eyes to the risks of the Internet — even if you think you’re already aware of the risks.

CISPA: Not Just Dangerous, but Also Useless

Civil libertarians are loudly protesting Congress’s renewed deliberations of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). The bill is intended to facilitate sharing cyberthreat information between government and the private sector to protect the nation from cyberattack.Read more..

The love affair with Windows 8-powered hybrids is over before it started

Microsoft built Windows 8 around the new touch user interface, but it seems that consumers are quite attached to their keyboards and mice.Read more..

[ And I don’t think M$ didn’t know that was going to happen. If they didn’t, they didn’t read their “feedback” during the beta. Nor ever notice how little-used the red “eraser” on ThinkPads are.. or how many people plug mice into their laptops because they hate the touchpad… ]

Surprise?  Survey: Finance chiefs not thrilled with IT ROI

A new CFO Research/AlixPartners survey reveals that finance leaders are not happy with their IT spending return on investment, with just 3% describing ROI as excellent. Most rated their company’s results with a C grade or lower. “The message from CFOs and other senior finance executives is loud and clear — companies are spending too much on IT, and they’re not getting the business information that they truly need,” said AlixPartners’ Meade Monge.” Read more..

[ Yes. But. It’s employed a lot of people.. ahem. ]

Bitcoin’s Wallet Service Instawallet Hacked, suspended indefinitely

The digital currency Bitcoin has suffered yet another hack. Bitcoin wallet site Instawallet has been taken offline after a security compromise, has suspended its service indefinitely. Instawallet didn’t say in a notice on its website how many bitcoins were stolen after hackers fraudulently accessed company database. “The Instawallet service is suspended indefinitely …” Read more…

ITC judge rules Samsung infringed Apple’s text-selection patent

Things have taken a nasty turn for Samsung in its worldwide battle against Apple with a new ruling from the International Trade Commission.Read more..

Sigh. It’s almost like watching an amateur circus, or toddler talent show, isn’t it?

* A laser printer for $50?! Yup. If that interests, click here.

Friday Fun Video: You do want to double your Internet speed for free, right?

I am a little surprised he only got 6 million views with that …

Today’s quote:What can you do against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself, who gives your arguments a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy?” ~ George Orwell

Copyright 2007-2013 © “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.

April 5, 2013 Posted by | Android, Apple, computers, consumer electronics, Google, hackers, Internet, Microsoft, networking, News, security, tech, Windows, Windows 8 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A New Widget

If It’s Thursday, There Must Be A New Widget

Click me

Spammers. Identity thieves. Spyware. Viruses. Online bullies; stalkers; pedophiles; and con artists of all stripes and flavors. Just to name a few… and the numbers are shocking.

Since I first started my public postings, I have been dedicated to helping people be more informed about the risks, and providing answers and How To’s for protecting yourself (and your computer) (because no one is going to do it for you). In fact, my very first article was The first Tech Paul Post: secure your web connection.

Today I would like to draw your attention to my much-ignored Bonus Section here on Tech – for Everyone, the two columns of additional resources on the right-hand side. You know, those links and buttons webmasters call “widgets”?
Please look to the right side of your screen.
(See the “Keep this website ad free” button? I think it’s invisible…)

I have added a “widget” today. A button/link to an online resource for those who either would like to learn more about cybercrime (and how to avoid being a victim), or have been a victim of cyber crime – McAfee’s Cybersafety Resource Portal. I hope you will “check it out” (as the kids say).

Today’s quote:Before we work on artificial intelligence why don’t we do something about natural stupidity?” ~ Steve Polyak

Copyright 2007-2011 © “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. <<

September 29, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, cyber crime, how to, Internet, security | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Beware "The Twelve Scams of Christmas"

McAfee* has revealed their 2010’s “Twelve Scams of Christmas” —

the 12 most dangerous online scams that computer users should be cautious of this holiday season.

Scams continue to be big business for cybercriminals who have their sights set on capitalizing on open hearts and wallets this holiday season,” said Dave Marcus, director of security research for McAfee Labs. “As people jump online to look for deals on gifts and travel, it’s important to recognize common scams to safeguard against theft during the busy season ahead.

Twelve Scams of Christmas:

  1. iPad Offer Scams
    With Apple products topping most shopping lists this holiday season, scammers are busy distributing bogus offers for free iPads. McAfee Labs found that in the spam version of the scam consumers are asked to purchase other products and provide their credit card number to get the free iPad. Of course, victims never receive the iPad or the other items, just the headache of reporting a stolen credit card number. In the social media version of the scam, users take a quiz to win a free iPad and must supply their cell phone number to receive the results. In actuality they are signed up for a cell phone scam that costs $10 a week.
  2. “Help! I’ve Been Robbed” Scam
    This travel scam sends phony distress messages to family and friends requesting that money be wired or transferred so that they can get home. McAfee Labs has seen an increase in this scam and predicts its rise during the busy travel season.
  3. Fake Gift Cards
    Cybercrooks use social media to promote fake gift card offers with the goal of stealing consumers’ information and money, which is then sold to marketers or used for ID theft. One recent Facebook scam offered a “free $1,000 Best Buy gift card” to the first 20,000 people who signed up for a Best Buy fan page, which was a look-a-like. To apply for the gift card they had to provide personal information and take a series of quizzes.
  4. Holiday Job Offers
    As people seek extra cash for gifts this holiday season, Twitter scams offer dangerous links to high-paying, work-at-home jobs that ask for your personal information, such as your email address, home address and Social Security number to apply for the fake job.
  5. “Smishing”
    Cybercrooks are now “smishing,” or sending phishing SMS texts. These texts appear to come from your bank or an online retailer saying that there is something wrong with an account and you have to call a number to verify your account information. In reality, these efforts are merely a ruse to extract valuable personal information from the targets. Cybercrooks know that people are more vulnerable to this scam during the holiday season when consumers are doing more online shopping and checking bank balances frequently.
  6. Suspicious Holiday Rentals
    During peak travel times when consumers often look online for affordable holiday rentals, cybercrooks post fake holiday rental sites that ask for down payments on properties by credit card or wire transfer.
  7. Recession Scams Continue
    Scammers target vulnerable consumers with recession related scams such as pay-in-advance credit schemes. McAfee Labs has seen a significant number of spam emails advertising prequalified, low-interest loans and credit cards if the recipient pays a processing fee, which goes directly into the scammer’s pocket.
  8. Grinch-like Greetings
    E-cards are a convenient and earth-friendly way to send greetings to friends and family, but cybercriminals load fake versions with links to computer viruses and other malware instead of cheer. According to McAfee Labs, computers may start displaying obscene images, pop-up ads, or even start sending cards to contacts that appear to come from you.
  9. Low Price Traps
    Shoppers should be cautious of products offered at prices far below competitors. Cyber scammers use auction sites and fake websites to offer too-good-to-be-true deals with the goal of stealing your money and information.
  10. Charity Scams
    The holidays have historically been a prime time for charity scams since it’s a traditional time for giving, and McAfee Labs predicts that this year is no exception. Common ploys include phone calls and spam e-mails asking you to donate to veterans’ charities, children’s causes and relief funds for the latest catastrophe.
  11. Dangerous Holiday Downloads
    Holiday-themed screensavers, jingles and animations are an easy way for scammers to spread viruses and other computer threats especially when links come from an email or IM that appears to be from a friend.
  12. Hotel and Airport Wi-fi
    During the holidays many people travel and use free wi-fi in places like hotels and airports. This is a tempting time for thieves to hack into networks hoping to find opportunities for theft.

McAfee advises Internet users to follow these five tips to protect their computers and personal information:

  • Stick to well-established and trusted sites that include trust marks (icons or seals from third parties verifying that the site is safe), user reviews and customer support. A reputable trust mark provider will have a live link attached to its trust mark icon, which will take visitors to a verification Web site of the trust mark provider.
  • Do not respond to offers that arrive in a spam email, text or instant message.
  • Preview a link’s web address before you click on it to make sure it is going to an established site. Never download or click anything from an unknown source.
  • Stay away from vendors that offer prices well below the norm. Don’t believe anything that’s too good to be true.
  • Make sure to use trusted wi-fi networks. Don’t check bank accounts or shop online if you’re not sure the network is safe. If you think you may be a victim of cybercrime, visit the McAfee Cybercrime Response Unit to assess your risks and learn what you can do next at the link below.

* About McAfee
McAfee, headquartered in Santa Clara, California, is the world’s largest dedicated security technology company. McAfee delivers proactive and proven solutions and services that help secure systems, networks, and mobile devices around the world, allowing users to safely connect to the Internet, browse and shop the Web more securely. Backed by its unrivaled Global Threat Intelligence, McAfee creates innovative products that empower home users, businesses, the public sector and service providers by enabling them to prove compliance with regulations, protect data, prevent disruptions, identify vulnerabilities, and continuously monitor and improve their security. McAfee secures your digital world.

McAfee is a registered trademark or trademark of McAfee, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others. © 2008 McAfee, Inc. All rights reserved.

Cybersafety Resource Portal

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December 10, 2010 Posted by | computers, Internet, Internet scam, News, security, tech | , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments