Archive for the ‘security’ Category

12 Ways to protect your system from Viruses, Malware and Ransomware

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Ways to Protect Your System

1. Setup a backup of your data using tools built into Windows or a free or paid backup program or online service. I like Acronis and Macrium Reflect for backing up my system. Follow the 3-2-1 backup rule. Have backups on 2 different types of medium locally and 1 backup offsite like Carbonite or Idrive. The local backups can be to a USB drive, External Hard drive or other medium.

2. Setup a standard user account instead of using an administrator account. If an virus gets into your system they will have full access to everything because you are using an administrator account.

3. Install a good Antivirus program like AVAST, AVG, Bitdefender, Kaspersky, Avira, Trend Micro, Panda, Eset or others. The free version of AVAST is here.

4. Install a good firewall like Zonealarm. The free version of Zonealarm is here. Some antivirus products include a firewall so check whichever anti-ivrus you are using to see if it has a firewall. Firewalls and anti-virus programs will turn off the Windows anti-virus or firewall during installation.

5. Install a second software for malware prevention. Be careful not to install 2 antiviruses as they will cancel each other out. ( good examples that won’t conflict are: Malwarebytes, HitmanPro, Spybot Search and Destroy, Adaware)
Malwarebytes Premium 3.0 also helps prevent ransomeware and rootkits.

6. Restrict certain file attachments like .exe or executable files. Depends on the email program you are using. Don’t open attachments from people you don’t know. Sometimes viruses send out emails from computers and you think it is a friend, but it’s not. This is a very common way people get infected.

7. Don’t click on links in email. If you need to check your accounts then go direclty to the website. The linksin email may be phishing links which may all the bad guys to access your computer or change your passwords or infect you.

8. Show file extensions. This helps you identify file types so that you don’t accidentally click on a bad file and get infected.

9. Keep your software and Windows updated with the latest security patches. Patchmypc and AVAST will allow you to update applications on your computer. Do your Windows updates.

10. Use a web browser add-on like Bitdefender TrafficLight, AVAST Online Security, NoScript Security Suite, Avira Browser Safety.

11. Don’t allow people who call you randomly to access your computer. They are probably the ones that infected you in the first place and they are trying to get money out of you. They say they will fix your computer, but they may lock you out completely.

12. Install a good pop up blocker like Ublock Origin for Chrome or Firefox. Here is a good comparison of why it is better to use Ublock Origin instead of Adblocker.

Here is a good video from Britec


AVAST Browser Cleanup – Video

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Cleanup your browsers with AVAST Browser Cleanup. Cleans up Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer. Reset your browsers and get rid of malware. I had a hard time getting rid of Tivoli malware. I tried Malwarebytes, Roguecleaner, ADWcleaner, Hitman Pro and JRT, none of them removed this particular version of Tivoli Malware so I tried AVAST Browser Cleanup and it worked. AVAST Browser Cleanup will also remove your extensions and plugins in Firefox. It also wants you to change your search engine provider for your browser to Yahoo or Bing, but not Google. Turn up the volume as I didn’t make it loud enough. I am going to use an online service called Auphonic to help with audio in the future.

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4 Great Smart Home Gadgets Under $200

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4 Great Smart Home Gadgets Under $200

By Tim Smith


There are plenty of products on the market that can help your home run smarter and more efficiently. Unfortunately, those products have typically come with a pretty steep price tag. The good news is that more and more smart home gadgets are being introduced to the marketplace at an affordable price point, promising real benefits to energy usage and security. Here are the top ones that you can find for under $200.


Quirky Tripper


Via Digital Trends


Quirky’s products are known for innovation, and their Tripper window and door sensors are no exception. These slim-profile sensors, sold in a two-pack for $50, can be installed on doors, windows, pantries or medicine cabinets. When used with a Wink Hub, which Quirky sells for $50, the sensors will send an alert directly to your phone whenever a door or window opens or shuts.














For the ultimate monitoring of your home, turn to Piper, a home security system with motion and sound detection, a 105-decibel intruder deterrent siren, and fully customizable security modes. The webcam runs on AA batteries and can detect changes in light, sound and motion while also monitoring temperature and humidity. The device can send alerts through text messages, emails, and phone calls. It can also be linked to the wide array of Z-Wave home automation accessories. All this for a cool $199.




Belkin WeMo


Via Engadget


Belkin’s WeMo LED Lighting Starter Set uses special bulbs that you can access and control from anywhere. The set sells for $99.99 which includes two Smart LED bulbs and a WeMo link which can connect to up to 50 bulbs. The bulbs cast a light similar to a traditional 60-watt incandescent, but they only consume 10 watts of energy while consuming very little heat. With the free WeMo app, you can create custom schedules for the lighting in your home, either individually or by room. You can even dim the lights in the room directly from your smartphone, or use the sleep feature to gradually dim the lights as you prepare for sleep until they’re completely off.






Forget the peephole, the DoorBot lets you not only see who is at your front door, but communicate with them as well. The $199.99 DoorBot is a WiFi-enabled video doorbell that interfaces with your smartphone or tablet to let you see and chat with your visitor, whether you’re in your living room or in another country. It even has night vision for around-the-clock coverage. The DoorBot can be integrated with Lockitron, allowing you to unlock your door remotely.
















For more home automation ideas to find the best home automation systems check out!


Disaster Recovery Planning – What to Watch For

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Disaster recovery for any firm requires extensive logistical and resource planning. Every company is unique in the manner in which it operates. Therefore, every disaster recovery plan has to be tailored to fit a company’s exact needs. Almost every company stores some information digitally on servers and network attached hard drives. The migration to digital data storage has undoubtedly made things a lot easier. However, it has also exposed companies to certain risks and threats.

Data Backup Plans
Digital information can be compromised or lost due to theft, as well as from physical damage. It is a fact that natural disasters can and do occur. Natural disasters can cripple national power grids, causing power failure. They often also cause physical damage to buildings. Both situations can lead to data and monetary losses for firms.
The most effective way for a company to protect itself is to have a disaster recovery plan. Companies tend to hire external firms to help them plan out protocols for disaster recovery. Some enterprises formulate their own protocols, which might include partnering with a data center.

Pitfalls to Avoid
Whether a company hires an external firm or creates a disaster recovery plan by themselves does not matter. There are certain factors that have to be kept in mind in either case. There are numerous pitfalls that companies can face during disaster recovery planning if they are not careful.
The first thing that companies forget to do is frequently test their disaster recovery plan. Firms evolve over time, and a disaster recovery plan should also adapt to such changes. Also, disaster recovery planning entails strict protocols that have to be initiated instantly upon the time of a disaster. A company has to ensure an instantaneous response to a disaster. Therefore, it is imperative that recovery plans should be regularly tested.

A firm should update and test its plan at least yearly; ideally, an enterprise should conduct a test every six months. Moreover, testing a disaster recovery plan regularly helps company managers understand the time it will take to get operations back online. A recovery plan takes time to complete successfully. Therefore, it is important to figure out how long it will take for a company to recovery fully.

A second pitfall is not planning for full recovery with a plan. A disaster recovery plan should exactly replicate the current situation of a company. Once implemented it should not just provide temporary solutions. It must provide all protocols to bring a company back to 100% function. This is especially true in regards to hardware requirements. For instance, a company might be running its operations using 10 servers. However, its data backup plan might only be to run eight servers. Something will not be able to run as needed due to the missing pair of servers. As is true for most things, the devil is in the details. Therefore, it is important to lay out a plan that caters to each and every requirement of a business’ operations.
Finally, numerous companies do not plan for every scenario. A disaster is unpredictable, and it can have any numbers of effects on a company.The best disaster recovery plan is one that to attempt to anticipate all possible impacts from all possible scenarios.
Consequently, every company invests a significant amount of money in disaster planning, no matter how it performs it. However, when a disaster occurs, the plan will more than pay for itself in loss prevention and preparation.

Author’s bio: David is an IT professional and technology freak. He works as a software developer in a company which boasts of providing the best disaster recovery plan.

AVG Threat Labs Beta Debuts

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AVG Technologies, developers of the world’s most popular free anti-virus software, today announced a limited public beta test of its new online tool, AVG Threat Labs. Designed to help consumers combat criminal elements on the Web, Threat Labs is an innovative online information portal that merges the quantitative Web threat detection data that AVG routinely collects from its almost 100 million users with data from AVG’s LinkScanner technology.

AVG users with LinkScanner already installed are protected in real-time from sites containing malware. Threat Labs complements this software by enabling the user to type in the URL of a specific Web site to gather more information. Users not currently using AVG software still benefit from visiting Threat Labs as this unique tool provides an instant and complete safety analysis of a Web site including detection statistics, a detection timeline, an analysis of linked sites and a detection map. AVG’s Threat Labs augments AVG’s existing free, downloadable anti-virus software and enhances the company’s unique “people powered protection” approach to security.

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