Tech – for Everyone

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

Attn Norton Users!

Folks, this just in:

* Vulnerabilities in Symantec products create worst-case scenario; users urged to update

Using ominous turns of phrase like “As bad as it gets” and “100 percent reliable exploit,” Google Project Zero researcher Tavis Ormandy yesterday issued an at-times scathing analysis of eight vulnerabilities he discovered across the entire Symantec-Norton security product line.Read more..

Act now, guys.

July 1, 2016 Posted by | advice, antivirus, computers, cyber crime, News, security, software, tech | , , , , | Leave a comment

Do NOT Call This Number..!

AKA Norton Users Be Aware

I just received an alert from an alert reader (ahem) which demonstrates a new twist on an old attack tactic.

Yup. That’s a fake. (One hint is the “Message from webpage” in the title bar.. [Norton is not a web program, it’s installed on your machine.])

The website you’re visiting is poisoned (and you probably have some programs in need of updates). Keywords, if you’re interested in learning more are “scareware” and “rogue anitvirus” (and maybe “poisoned website”, too).
*  Your Computer Is Lying To You… The Epidemic Of Rogues
* Why You Don’t Stand A Chance Against Cyber Crime

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.
And please, never forget – one person can make a difference.
Find a way to make someone’s day today.
(Best advice I ever heard? Don’t sweat the small stuff.)

September 2, 2014 Posted by | advice, antivirus, computers, cyber crime, hackers, Internet, Internet scam, security, tech | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Warning For Apple Users

I have long been advising owners of computers – even Apple computers – to make sure they run an antivirus (any device that connects to the Internet needs an antivirus) and keep it up-to-date.  Also true: the outright *myth* that Apple is immune from viruses and hackers persists. Guess what I saw in my InfoSec headlines yesterday?

Attackers set sights on Mac OS X with Apple malware toolkit

“The growing success of Apple’s Mac OS, bolstered by iPhone sales and new iPad tablet users, has caught the attention of cybercriminals who are setting their sights on Apple users.

Danish IT-security firm, CSIS Security Group, has stumbled upon a new Apple crimeware toolkit targeting Mac OS X. Security researchers at the organization discovered the toolkit being sold in low numbers on several black hat hacking forums.Read more..

Also: New MAC OS X scareware delivered through blackhat SEO

Researchers from Intego have intercepted a new scareware sample targeting the MAC OS X. Read more..

(Geek Speak Translation: A “malware toolkit” is a simple-to-use program that creates custom viruses, and takes advantage of known weaknesses. See, (computer_security). They are [typically] used by ‘hackers’ who aren’t really into computer programming, called “script kiddies”. “Blackhat SEO” refers to criminal manipulation of search results, so their ‘poison’ websites appear at or near the top.)

I know that my posting this will not do anything to dispel common perception; but for those of you who are Apple Mac owners, and want to prevent Identity Theft and to surf the web (more) safely, I re-recommend purchasing and installing Norton for Mac, or downloading ..

Today’s free download: Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition

“Free antivirus that works simply and beautifully. Just like your Mac.

Overview: As Apple computers grow more popular than ever, they’re an increasingly-enticing target for hackers. And these hackers aren’t just mischief-makers — by targeting your computer or applications you use, these criminals are out to steal and profit from your valuable personal information. Don’t let them. Get free Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac today.”

Please! Let your Apple using friends and family know – Apple is in the hacker crosshairs now. (And also tell ’em “hacker” translates to “cyber criminal” these days.)


Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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May 4, 2011 Posted by | advice, Apple, computers, cyber crime, free software, hackers, Internet, News, security | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Symantec’s Security Strategies: How to Protect Against Phishing

Wait! That Email Might Be Fake!

Symantec (you may know them for their Norton product line) has published a nice, easy, guide I think my readers will want to look at… um, should look at.

The bad guys are using better bait these days, and you’re the catch they’re seeking. Criminals send billions of phishing attempts via email each year, and their tactics are becoming more and more polished.

How to Protect Against Phishing
As scammers step up their game, you need to do the same. Take these steps to protect your information against phishing attacks: …”

Please see, Prevention: Wait! That Email Might Be Fake!

*     *     *

Today’s free link: Best Internet Security Suites for 2011 (review)

** Software License Giveaway Drawing **

the folks at Auslogics have generously donated three licenses for BoostSpeed (a license can be used on up to three PC’s) to me, to award to my readers. I sincerely thank them for that.

Your one-stop PC maintenance and optimization tool.
BoostSpeed will clean up, speed up and repair your system
to make it running as fast and stable as new.

  • Cleans up the Windows registry
  • Defragments hard drives
  • Frees up disk space
  • Recovers accidentally deleted files
  • Speeds up Internet connection

For details (and to enter the drawing), click here.

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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April 6, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, cyber crime, e-mail, Internet scam, PC, performance, Phishing, security, software, tech | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Norton’s Free Safety Tool For Parents

Think you know what your kids are doing online?

I am not a parent. So you don’t need to write to me and tell me cruel and totalitarian and Neanderthal I am for recommending this…


Because I already know that. I’m heartless. And mean. Grrrrrrrr. See?

As a security-aware techie, I advise parents (when asked) to talk with their children about online dangers – yes. And monitor and limit their childrens’ Internet access. I am not “knocking” the importance of communication nor education, but I do believe in “trust, but verify”.
The Internet is not Rated G. Ha!

Norton Online Family is a free service that has won recognition for excellence, and ease of use. (To see more awards, click here: Reviews & Awards.)

pcm_badge “PCMag featured Norton Online Family in their roundup of Free Security Software Tools and celebrated it as one of the Best Tech Products of 2009.” -Neil Rubenking 

(Click here to read Neil’s full review.)

ip_badge “Unlike many parental control products, Norton Online Family aims to create dialog between parents and kids, not assert draconian control. There’s no surreptitious spying here – it warns the child during the login process that his or her activity may be monitored.”
FC_logo “ Block sites, set a time allowance or make hours off-limits with this free service. Monitor Web searches and IMs from your computer. For an older teen who wants privacy, you can set it to alert you only if he engages in questionable activity, like checking out porn sites.”

From author:

See your kids’ online activities at a glance –

Easy-to-read activity reports give you the inside scoop on what your kids do online. In just minutes, you can find out what sites your kids visit, what they search for, who they chat with*, and what social networking sites they spend time at. You’ll get to know your kids better and gain a deeper understanding of their online interests, so you can protect and guide them.”

The benefits of using Norton™ Online Family include

  • Simple, one-time set up
    Create your Norton™ Online Family account, add and customize your family member accounts, and then easily install the Norton Safety Minder onto all the computers used in your household.
  • Easy to use and access
    Check your child’s activity or modify your child’s profile and preferences anytime and anywhere using any computer.
  • Always stay informed about those you care most about
    Know where your children visit, who they talk to, and what they’re doing while they’re online. Parents can also set and manage time limits, permitted sites, online chat* and social networking preferences for each family member.
  • Engage and communicate with each other
    Take advantage of built-in notification and messaging, providing open discussion with your child about their online activities and better understanding about their intent with visiting specific sites or wanting to spend more time online.
  • Never miss a thing
    Send alerts via email or text message to help you address urgent events. You’ll immediately know if your child has reached their time limits, visited a blocked site, or tried to add an unknown stranger as a chat buddy* wherever you are.


I would say that a few more know how than admitted it in that survey…

Did I mention this was free? The folks at Symantec get a big tip of my geek hat for this one!

* (chat monitoring) Not available in all regions and for Mac OS.

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.

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October 1, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Internet, kids and the Internet, security, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

XP users: Service Pack 3 released (finally)

Loyal Friends and True of this series know that I am a big fan of the Service Pack, and so I am pleased to report that SP3 for Windows XP is now available through Microsoft Update.

I look forward to the release of “Service Packs”. (Here is how Microsoft describes a Service Pack: “Service packs are the means by which product updates are distributed. Service packs may contain updates for system reliability, program compatibility, security, and more. All of these updates are conveniently bundled for easy downloading.”) I look forward to SP’s not only because they roll several Updates into one download, but Service Packs also (sometimes) include new products/features — such as, XP SP2 added the Security Center and a firewall.

And besides… I’m a “security guy.” I am all for getting patches (aka “Updates” ) and have written many advice articles urging folks to thwart hacker vulnerability exploits and to keep their software updated; most recently, Learn to love the pop-up. If there’s a patch, I say “get it!”

XP Service Pack 3 is a fairly typical ‘pack’; it has “rolled into one” all of the critical security updates (aka “patches”) into one, as well as some of the optional ones (this is a real time saver if you ever have to re-install XP.. there have been hundreds of Updates released since SP2).
It also adds some new (to XP) “features”, but these are mostly (network) security-related and invisible to the user. While not exactly exciting, thrilling, or “cool”, you do want them.
As a bonus, you’ll find some performance gains as well.

[Note: IE 6– if you’re still using XP, and you’re also still using IE 6, XP SP3 will not force the upgrade to IE 7… though my personal feeling is it should. I will say it once again: IE 6 is the most hacked piece of software ever written, won’t you please, please (with sugar on top) stop using it? IE 8 is already here (in beta)..]

XP Service Pack 3 is also available for download here.
Microsoft’s Knowledge Base on system requirements, steps to take before you install, and troubleshooting the installation can be read here.
[Update 6/12/08: If you are having technical difficulties installing SP3, Microsoft is offering free support at 1-866-234-6020. Click here for more details/options]

[update: Please note that Norton has advised that if you are running a Norton Product, you should turn it off before installing SP3. For details, click here (and scroll down a little bit).]

Today’s free link(s): Kongregate is a Flash-based game portal featuring 4,407 different free games (scroll down to look at the different categories). Over four thousand! Check it out, and try a few.

Also– please read my friend Bill Mullins’ article on infected websites and false Search results. This is a “must read” if you use the Internet.. and, it concisely spells out what you can do about protecting yourself. Loyal Friends and True know that Mr. Mullins and I agree on a lot of things; click here to read the article and find out why.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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May 8, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, IE 7, PC, security, tech, Windows, XP | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment