Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Be Secure Online - Use a Password Manager

Online shopping and banking have grown exponentially in the past few years. The average person, routinely, logs in to a dozen or more secure websites. Unfortunately, many use the same, simple password, for all of their sites. Our present method of authenticating (Usernames & Passwords) is problematic, but it is all we, presently, have. Perhaps in a few years we will find a better solution - until then we must do a better job of managing our personal online security. Here are a few tips:

  • Choose a password with 12 or more random characters - numbers, letters, symbols, Upper and Lower case. The more characters the better.
  • Never use the same Password for multiple websites - NEVER.
  • Use a secure Password Manager like LastPass or 1Password to store your Login Data. This will allow you to choose very long passwords that you will not have to commit to memory.

 

 

There are many Password Manager applications that will do the job. You need one that is secure, ubiquitous and easy to use. LastPass and 1Password are inexpensive, secure and work across most all platforms - Windows, Android, IOS, Mac, etc. Both can be setup to synchronize your login data across multiple devices. Both will create random passwords, based on your specifications, and automatically log you into thousands of websites. You can use your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. How about security? LastPass and 1Password encrypt your data and only you have the key. You will need to remember one Master Password, so make it a good one and don't forget it - there will be no way to recover it.

 

Quickly shutdown those annoying Android Notifications

Do you have an Android based Smartphone running the latest OS - Lollipop? Notifications can be helpful, but sometimes they can become very distracting. Android 5 has a nice little feature that lets you easily turn off a specific notification from you home screen.

Just "Long Press" the notification and you will see an " i " in the right corner. Touch the " i " and you can Block the notification or, change the Priority, if you wish.

 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Make your Iphone/IPad Touch ID Flawless

Apple's Fingerprint reader - Touch ID, has been well received, particularly with the advent of Apple Pay. The second generation of this technology was significantly improved, and recognition has been superb for most users.

There are, however, some users who continue to experience occasional misses when validating their Fingerprint. This tip, thanks to Steve Gibson at grc.com will make your Touch ID recognition flawless. The trick is to Overtrain. This will give the database more information and make it more reliable under diverse conditions - moist, dry, different angles, etc. Give it a try.

Go to your Touch ID & Passcode Settings. At the bottom of that screen is a list of the registered fingerprints. You can also register new fingerprints - adding fingers, if you want, but you don't need to do so. Simply keep on touching the Touch ID with the existing fingerprint that is already saved and registered. You will notice the saved fingerprints turn grey for a second, indicating that it is being trained. Continued this process. You can change the angle of your finger as you progress. Go slowly, the phone will take as many samples as you want to give it. The more samples you give the phone for each fingerprint, the more accurate Touch ID will become. Five minutes worth of training will make Touch ID almost flawless.

 

 

Does your Computer have Superfish?

Protecting our PCs from Malware, Junkware, Viruses and Adware is fast becoming a daily chore and there is no end in sight. Every week brings a new challenge and this week is no different. PC manufactures load up new computers with Junkware to generate a little more profit - PCs sales operate on very low margins.

Lenovo seems to have taken this practice one step too far - by adding Adware that seems to break the secure protocol that your web browser uses to connect to secure websites. You know - like your bank.

Superfish, as it is being called appears to be installed primarily on Lenovo computers shipped over the last couple of years. Although, your computer could have picked it up via other means. So, you might want to check your Windows based PC for "infestation". Microsoft has added a detection signature to Windows Defender for Windows 8 users, but, thanks to LastPass, you can run a quick check by going to Superfish Tester.

If you do have Superfish Adware there are additional instructions for it's removal.

 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Free Cloud Storage From Microsoft

Do you want free cloud storage? Cloud storage is convenient and it gives you a nice, relatively safe place, to store all those files. Microsoft's OneDrive Cloud is ubiquitous - works on most all devices. Best of all, it is now free - at least for two years. Yes, you can get 100 GB of storage space. I don't now how long the offer will last, so you might want to give up on it soon.

All you need is a Microsoft account (you probably already have one) - and of course that is free, as well. Just login to your Microsoft Account and go to this link.

 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tell Your Iphone/IPad To Forget That Wifi Network

Quite often your IOS device will try and auto connect to a Wifi network that you previously used. This may be handy most of the time, but if the Network has changed this can be a substantial source of battery drain.


Fortunately, it is easy to fix. Just tell your Iphone/IPad to forget it. Imore shows you how. Here is the Simple Tip.