Tech – for Everyone

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

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

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

iPhone owner be aware (alert)

iPhone owners need to look at this.

* Apple releases “important security update” for iPhone after spyware discovery

They would have been able to turn on his iPhone’s camera and microphone to record Mansoor and anything nearby, without him being wise about it. They would have been able to log his emails and calls — even those that are encrypted end-to-end. And, of course, they would have been able to track his precise whereaboutsRead more..

I hope Apple owners no longer think they’re immune from this “viruses” stuff… ‘cuz they ain’t. If it has an operating system, it can be ‘hacked’.

Today’s quote:Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.” ~ Ashley Smith

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 25, 2016 Posted by | Apple, cellular, consumer electronics, cyber crime, Cyberwarfare, hackers, hardware, iPhone, mobile, News, security | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Special Day Indeed – SDAV 2011 License Giveaway

Folks, I Am Sincerely Pleased to Announce My Latest Holiday Software License Giveaway Drawing.

The folks at PCTools have generously donated 10 licenses for Spyware Doctor With Antivirus 2011 to me, to award to my readers. I sincerely thank them for that. So I am going to do a random drawing ¹ contest from those who “enter”. The contest will close at midnight (Pacific) Thursday, June 2nd, and the winners announced Friday.

PC Tools Spyware Doctor™ with AntiVirus 2011 I am going to start this out by telling you that I have a very high regard for the effectiveness of this anti-malware and Internet Security tool, (so high, I installed it on my mother’s machine) and have been using it for years now – since before they acquired the award-winning Threatfire heuristics engine. Not only is “SD” very good at detecting and removing viruses, trojans, keyloggers, etc., but it is also very good at blocking that *stuff* from getting onto your machine as well.
(And I have said many times: an ounce of malware prevention is worth a couple pounds of cure.)

From the publisher:

Editor’s Choice Antivirus and Antispyware in One
Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus combines two powerful engines to detect and remove unknown threats faster.

  • Antivirus guards against malicious PC threats.
  • Antispyware prevents information and identity theft.

It defends your computer against malware attacks with multiple layers of protection using proactive, reactive and automatic anti spyware antivirus software protection to stop threats at every entry point. Now includes memory scanning, behavior profiling, and report cards to provide up-to-date protection and status monitoring for your PC.

Please notice in this slideshow, the various “layers’ (ten of ’em) of protection SDAV’s technology provides. (I hope you never have to use any of those last three.. )

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

SDAV 2011’s main features and improvements are:

IMPROVED! Detection, blocking and removal of threats awarded top ratings by independent testing labs and recommended by reviewers worldwide.

  • Built on award-winning Spyware Doctor™ antispyware technology.
  • Advanced rootkit detection technology identifies and removes hidden threats from your PC.
  • NEW! Memory Scanner helps eradicate threats lurking on your PC.
  • NEW! Download Guard checks your downloads against a cloud-based network.

NEW! Multi-layered browsing protection against web-based attacks including phishing attempts, rogueware scare tactics and silent drive-by downloads.

  • Uses a combination of reactive blacklists and proactive content analysis.
  • Site Guard blocks you from visiting potentially unsafe or phishing websites and from downloading threats through your browser, IM or email.
  • Cookie Guard automatically removes potentially malicious tracking and advertising cookies.
  • Browser Guard stops automatic downloads, fake AV and malicious files from compromised or exploit websites.

Constant real-time IntelliGuard™ protection monitors for malicious activity involving spyware, viruses, tracking cookies, suspicious ActiveX® objects, browser hijackers, keyloggers, Trojans and more.

Quick links Overview Features Accolades Details

Spyware Doctor, in the years I have been using it, has never failed to earn my regard and respect. My (very few) critiques nitpicks have been minor. I consider it a most important tool in my fight against cybercrime. It is Top Drawer – period. (That’s my “review”.)

These 1 year (subscription) licenses retail for $39.99, and can be used on up to three of your PC’s.

How to enter? Residents of the US and Canada only may enter the contest drawing by simply clicking on “comment” (below), and entering a name and a valid e-mail (so PC Tools can send you a license key) in the form. Actually commenting is optional. And, I shouldn’t have to say this, but multiple entries will result in disqualification. (In this contest. Entry in prior contests doesn’t count against you.)
Again, the license can be used on up to three PC’s.

Note: SDAV is an antivirus; and you only want one AV on your machine at a time. It is also not a good idea to have more than one heuristic (behavior detection) tool onboard (active) so you may need to disable or uninstall some products before installing Spyware Doctor With Antivirus.

¹ All entrants will be placed into’s “list randomizer”, and the top  10 results will be the winners. A 30-day, limited-function trial of Spyware Doctor with AV can be downloaded here, Free 30-day trial. Try it out yourself. (And then leave a comment. You may just win one of these valuable prizes!)

Again, my thanks to the folks at PCTools for making this Giveaway possible!

UPDATE: This contest has concluded. The winners can be seen here, Spyware Doctor Winners. My thanks to all who partcipated.

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

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May 30, 2011 Posted by | advice, antivirus, computers, cyber crime, Internet, PC, rootkits, security, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 46 Comments

If You Have An Android Phone, Read This

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes has posted an article that all smart phone owners should be aware of, and Android owners should read very carefully. It contains a list of apps that have been poisoned to “root” your phone and steal all your info.. and maybe do more than that. Worse (scarier), these apps are on the app Marketplace. And, I may have downloaded one.

Stolen apps that root Android, steal data and open backdoors available for download from Google Market

“To many of its fans, the openness and freedoms offered by the Android mobile operating systems is one of its main selling points. But that openness come with a price – it makes it easy for nefarious types to sneak malware into apps. And that’s exactly what they are doing.”

I am going to provide his list of infected apps, but just because you don’t see one you recognize as having installed doesn’t mean you should skip reading his article (click here to read it). It contains info we all should know.

  • Falling Down
  • Super Guitar Solo
  • Super History Eraser
  • Photo Editor
  • Super Ringtone Maker
  • Super Sex Positions
  • Hot Sexy Videos
  • Chess
  • 下坠滚球_Falldown
  • Hilton Sex Sound
  • Screaming Sexy Japanese Girls
  • Falling Ball Dodge
  • Scientific Calculator
  • Dice Roller
  • 躲避弹球
  • Advanced Currency Converter
  • App Uninstaller
  • 几何战机_PewPew
  • Funny Paint
  • Spider Man
  • 蜘蛛侠
  • Bowling Time
  • Advanced Barcode Scanner
  • Supre Bluetooth Transfer
  • Task Killer Pro
  • Music Box
  • Sexy Girls: Japanese
  • Sexy Legs
  • Advanced File Manager
  • Magic Strobe Light
  • 致命绝色美腿
  • 墨水坦克Panzer Panic
  • 裸奔先生Mr. Runner
  • 软件强力卸载
  • Advanced App to SD
  • Super Stopwatch & Timer
  • Advanced Compass Leveler
  • Best password safe
  • 掷骰子
  • 多彩绘画
  • Finger Race
  • Piano
  • Bubble Shoot
  • Advanced Sound Manager
  • Magic Hypnotic Spiral
  • Funny Face
  • Color Blindness Test
  • Tie a Tie
  • Quick Notes
  • Basketball Shot Now
  • Quick Delete Contacts
  • Omok Five in a Row
  • Super Sexy Ringtones
  • 大家来找茬
  • 桌上曲棍球
  • 投篮高手

Toward the bottom of his article is a link to another of his articles, which describes what you need to know to keep your phone safer.

Again, this is important enough that I am asking you to read the article (click here to read it) and forward it to all your friends and family who own smart phones. Android, and Google’s app Marketplace are not the only targets of the cybercriminals. Apple’s store is no better off, and they do not vet their apps for malware.

Makes me glad I haven’t used my phone to check my balance…

Related: Study: Cybercrime cost firms $1 trillion globally (that would be in 2010..)

Data theft and breaches from cybercrime may have cost businesses as much as $1 trillion globally in lost intellectual property and expenditures for repairing the damage last year, according to a new study from McAfee.

Make no mistake: the Evil Doers are going after all Internet-connected devices.

It’s a brave new world.

How nice. Someone is trying to send me a free computer. I like free computers.

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

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March 2, 2011 Posted by | advice, Android, Apple, computers, cyber crime, gadgets, hackers, Internet, mobile, News, rootkits, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

A SUPER-Special Software License Giveaway (My Last?)

Some things you just can’t predict. I thought I was through with contests, and now, ‘lo and behold!, I have a Grand Prize Contest, and I am pleased as punch to run it. Today’s Grand Prize retails for $200, and features software I have endorsed from Day One.

SUPERAntiSpyware is a program for combating spyware and Internet threats. It is an anti-malware scanner that I use on the job; on my own machines; recommend to clients; and install on the PC’s of my friends and family. I’ll tell you why — it’s simple and it’s effective. Since it “plays well” with most other security programs, SAS makes a great additional layer of protection to your existing antivirus/security solution.

To help celebrate SUPERAntiSpyware’s recent inclusion in VirusTotal’s premier file analyzing service, the good folks there at SUPERAntiSpyware (known in the biz as “SAS”) have generously donated some Professional Edition licenses to me – “lifetime” licenses no less – to award to my readers.

SUPERAntiSpyware logo

* Real-Time Blocking of threats! Prevent potentially harmful software from installing or re-installing.
* First Chance Prevention examines over 50 critical points of your system each time your system starts up and shuts down to eliminate threats before they have a chance to infect and infiltrate your system.
* Detect and Remove Spyware, Adware and Malware, Trojans, Dialers, Worms, KeyLoggers, HiJackers, Parasites, Rootkits, Rogue Security Products and many other types of threats.
* Schedule either Quick, Complete or Custom Scans Daily or Weekly to ensure your computer is free from harmful software.
* Registry Protection against Browser Hi-Jackers and other threats.
* Repair broken Internet Connections, Desktops, Registry Editing and more with SAS’s unique Repair System.
* Light on System Resources and won’t slow down your computer like many other anti-spyware products. Won’t conflict with your existing anti-spyware or anti-virus solution.
* System Requirements: 2000, XP Home/Professional, 2003, Server 2008, Vista and Windows 7. 32-bit and 64-bit systems.
(So those of you already running the free edition should still enter.. IMHO.)

So I am announcing my latest software license giveaway contest.

I did say “SUPER-Special… This week my Giveaway is going to be a little different, Folks, and I am actually running two contests — but you (still) only enter one time (the usual rules apply!). Keep reading…

¹ All entrants will be placed into’s “list randomizer”, and the top result will be the winner of the Grand Prize: a 5-pack of SUPERAntiSpyware Pro.
I will then remove the Grand Prize winner from the list, and “re-shake the hat”, so to speak, and then, from the new result, the top 5 names will each receive a single-use Lifetime license (retail $39.90).
[Note: If for some reason you do not want to be entered in the Grand Prize drawing, please indicate “1 license only” in your comment. I will mod the lists accordingly.]

How to enter: US and Canada residents may simply click on “comment” (below) and enter a name and valid e-mail in the form (so we can send you the key {or keys}). Actually commenting is optional. And, I shouldn’t have to say this but, multiple entries in this contest will result in disqualification. The drawing will conclude at midnight (Pacific) on Thursday, July 29th, so act now. The six winners will be announced Friday.

For those who would simply like to learn more about this great security program, the SAS website is here. To read what I have said about SAS:

I also want to say that I admire the people behind SAS, and they get a big tip of my geek hat. They are hard working and generous and they know their stuff. Their motto is “Remove ALL the Spyware, NOT just the easy ones” and I like that attitude!

Why not get a jump on the game and download a trial version of SUPERAntiSpyware Professional today.. you just might get an “activation” as a winner. And if not, you can either purchase (if you do, I advise getting the lifetime upgrade) or it will revert to the free version. Check it out here. SAS is one of those few programs I believe the “for pay” version is well worth it.

I sincerely thank the good folks at SUPERAntiSpyware for making this exciting giveaway possible.

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

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July 25, 2010 Posted by | computers | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 126 Comments

Getting Rid Of Malware, Step 1*

What do you do when your PC is displaying all the signs of having been infected, but your antivirus and anti-spyware scan reports come back clean?

This was the case for a fella who called me for advice recently. He had done things ‘right’ — and by that I mean he has a firewall, he keeps his antivirus definitions up to date, sick and he runs a couple of anti-spyware applications — but suspected his machine had been hacked anyway.

He couldn’t do things he was used to doing (like deleting a file) and his machine was “really slow.”
But according to his scanners, his machine is in perfect shape.

Tip of the day: If you should find yourself in a similar situation there are several steps you can take to help resolve your questions and (hopefully) fix your machine without taking the drastic step of wiping your hard drive, formatting, and reinstalling Windows.

The first step is to use a scanner that isn’t installed on your machine. Here’s two ways to do that: one, if your antivirus allows it (and most of them do these days), follow its instructions and make an antivirus recovery disk. This is a bootable disk that scans your system before Windows loads.

To use one, put it in your CD tray and restart your machine. A plain-text sentence will appear telling you to “press any key to boot from CD…” (if you don’t see this, click here.) When you see it, hit your spacebar or, well, any other key, and then follow the instructions. When it’s finished, remove the CD and restart your machine again.
[note: you may also use a properly prepared USB thumb drive. Click here to read my article on how to do that.]

A second method is to use an online scanner. I have a list, with links, of several good online scans on my Website, here. Quite a few of the online scanning tools will try to sell you their full application, but you’re under no obligation to buy. The big advantage to these two methods lies in the fact that they have not been compromised, or altered, and the files and scanners on your machine may be– the modification being done by the virus or hacker.

Another thing to do is scroll down to my “Today’s free link” and download HiJack This! Run it and dump the result into a .txt file (there’s instructions for this) and then register on one of the HiJack This! forums (there’s instructions for this too) and post your results there. Before too long, an expert anti-malwareologist [don’t bother looking: I just now made that word up] will have looked over the intricacies, and will post his analysis and instructions. These guys (and gals) are really, really good at what they do, and you can trust their answers.

Also run CheckDisk with the “r” “f” switches (this probably will require a reboot) to make sure the problem is not your hard drive.
Click on Start >Programs >Accessories >Command prompt. In the white-on-black window type “chkdsk /r /f” (no quotes, and be sure to include the spaces). You may be told that certain files are in use, and asked if you want to “schedule this at the next reboot Y/N?” Type in a “y” and restart your machine.

Hopefully these efforts will be rewarded with a rejuvenation of your machine, and you will be back in business again.  If not, you have my sympathy. You may have a rootkit and then your best solution is to re-format your hard drive and reinstall everything, or enlist the aid of a professional

Today’s free link: HijackThis™ is a free utility which quickly scans your Windows computer to find settings that may have been changed by spyware, malware or other unwanted programs. HijackThis does not clean infections, but creates a report, or log file, with the results of the scan. A large community of users participates in online forums, where experts help interpret the scan results to clean up infected computers.

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

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October 7, 2008 Posted by | advice, anti-spyware, antivirus, computers, file system, how to, PC, permissions, rootkits, security, software, tech, Windows | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments