I was with a former colleague at the driving range, and was informed that he was in the market to buy a new laptop. After a few hours at the driving range, I noticed that the quality of my swing was starting to deteriorate, and we mutually decided it was time to go. Despite the fact that Best Buy is not in my top 3 choices to purchase electronics, for those that are not tech savvy, it is a pretty good place. It's not that I do not like Best Buy as a business, the types of electronics like are not found on their shelves. The beautiful thing about them is that shoppers are able to use and feel many of the products before they buy.

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Be careful of the attachments and links you open in your email. Even if you are the type that prefers to do most of their correspondence via text message, you still need to be careful. Text messages, just like email, is still susceptible to attacks that will attempt to steal information or install malware. Yes, smartphones can get viruses. While it maybe common to think that the attacks and hacks only target high profile people, even the lowest paid person in an organization can fall victim to a cyber attack. The fact is that regardless of your political, financial, or social status hackers will attack anyone. You maybe the subject of the attack or you are being used as a pawn in a larger attack. Sometimes the links or attachments are used to run malicious code on your computer. Depending on the type of attack data could be extracted from your computer or held for ransom. This is why backups, secure passwords, and routine password changes are necessary.

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Q: Which tablet should I buy?

A: This is dependent on the purpose of the device. At the core of it all, every tablet or laptop computer will perform the same basic tasks. This is the same way every car, regardless of cost and features, will get you from point A to point B. With cars, it's all about how fast you want to get there and the comfort you want with you for the ride. With a tablet or laptop, they all will successfully create a document and allow you to surf the web. While I can't say which is the best or what someone should by, I can provide some things to consider.The most important thing to know before shopping is what your primary use for the device will be.

If you haven't heard of ransomware, you probably should make yourself familiar with it. Ransomware is probably the worst form of malware, because you are now at the mercy of someone else to use the computer or access the data on the computer.Generally with ransomware, you would have the malicious application installed on your computer that would allow someone to access your computer. The follow on steps can very, but it usually ends with the attacker encrypting your data, preventing you from accessing that data. You would then receive a message stating that your data will be held until some sum of money has been paid, and in some cases if the money has not been received by a certain time, your data will be permanently erased.

I have heard of cases where people have fallen victim to ransomware and the attackers used pictures from their computers camera for ransom. How many people have cameras on their computers, and leave their computers inside their bedrooms? If someone gained access to one of these computers and managed to take pictures or video of someone inside their bedrooms, you can only imagine the types of inimate images someone could acquire.

I know that I am a bit late to the party offering an opinion on Apple's response to the FBI. Before I give my views, I want to first say that I believe in law and order. Laws allow us to live in a civil society, and the enforcement of those laws allow everyone to live peacefully. With most things in life, there needs to be some sort of checks and balances. The government has the judicial, legislative, and executive branches. By design, no branch has more power than the other to create a check and balance system. Collectively, citizens of this country have the ability to create the same checks on the government.

Most people know someone that has either lost a cell phone or computer, and because these items are essential to our daily lives, it is important that we protect the data from being compromised. Many experts and media outlets preach strong passwords, but few mention data encryption. Enterprise organizations use encryption to protect data at rest and in transit, allowing the data to remain confidential. The average person has the ability to utilize the same principles to protect their private information as well. Since most users do not require encryption key management, there are Open Source tools that will offer the same protection that enterprise businesses utilize.

Several days ago, I stumbled across an article that mentioned there was an exploit found in Firefox. This concerned me because I, along with millions of others, use Firefox almost exclusively. If you are a Firefox user, please make sure that you are running the latest version. The root of this issue is with JavaScript and its interaction with Firefox's PDF viewer. It was mentioned in the Mozilla Security Blog that this vulnerability does not execute code, but has the ability to inject JavaScript code into a PDF and allow it to upload sensitive local files. This exploit leaves no trace it has been run on the local machine and seems to target specific files on Windows, Linux, and MAC systems. Firefox version 39.0.3 is an update in response to this exploit; users should make sure they are at least at this version.




 

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