In the June issue of the SANS Ouch! newsletter they explain in clear everyday language what malware is, what it can do to your computer, and the simple things you can do to protect yourself. The two biggest things I tell my clients is backup your personal data (or be prepared to loose it), and use common sense when on the Internet. Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated or panicked into doing something you normally wouldn’t if a “Microsoft” pop-up comes up in your browser. When in doubt, give us a call.
Windows 10 users got a month reprieve from the next semi-annual major update, April 2018 Update. It was released on 4/30, so it barely got released before it needed to be renamed. Microsoft has developed a method of rolling out these major updates. The company releases it to people who want to download and install it manually first. Next, it’s released via Windows Update to the newest computers. Microsoft then takes the data they learn, and fixes issues that are reported. Finally, it’s rolled out to older computers. I recommend waiting until the April 2018 Update shows up in Windows Update. The actual terminology will be “Feature Update to Windows 10 Version 1803”. The size of the download, and the install process remains basically the same. I was pleasantly surprised that there was absolutely no questions or actions required from me other than just signing in after your computer reboots. It’s been my best upgrade experience to date. I have been surprised that I already have client’s being pushed the update. In the past, it was several weeks before that occurred. Hopefully, everything will go OK for you as well. If not, FACS, LLC is here to help you with all your computer needs. Give us a call!
Phishing is one of the newer weapons the “bad guys” use to try and trick you into giving them personal information. They use our humanity against us by making us curious, or trying to instill a sense or urgency. Learn more about phishing, and how not to become a victim by reading the latest Sans Ouch! Newsletter. You will be glad you did.
There has been much written and discussed regarding the recently discovered Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. First the good news, there is NO known instance of either of these two vulnerabilities being used in the real world, however that will probably change in the near future. The concern is what the “bad guys” could do with these security holes. Right now all you can do is update your anti-virus, malware, web browser, other security programs, and your operating system as patches are released. I highly recommend making sure you have a backup of your data before installing these updates. In some cases with computers 5-6 years old the updates are “breaking” the computers, and there is no current fix (other than temporarily disabling Windows Update). This assumes your System Restore is on, and creating restore points for you to go back to. If not, you will only be able to return to a working operating system by utilizing a system image file (which most people don’t have), or reloading the operating system from scratch! If you don’t know if your System Restore is on or not, I recommend you contact us ASAP to verify this for you. If you want to learn even more about this subject, please checkout this great in-depth article from Ask Leo!
Securing your accounts with a password is a common practice that has been around as long as the Internet itself. Unfortunately, the “bad guys” are stepping up their game in an attempt to access them for nefarious purposes. The latest Sans Ouch! Newsletter goes into detail about choosing more secure passwords, and a growing security “addition” called two-factor authentication (2FA). I highly recommend reading this to better secure your online presence.
It’s hard to believe, but the holiday season will soon be here. Maybe it’s because of my surgery back in July, but it feels like this year has just flown by. With the holiday season comes the desire to buy our loved ones that special gift(s). Many of us now do some or all of our shopping online. The latest Sans Ouch! Newsletter has some great tips on how to ensure your financial security online. Click here for all the details.
If you are a Skype user, make sure you never respond to unsolicited popup ads/warnings. There is a current scam going round that has caused many folks to be susceptible to a malware attack. A fake popup screen pops up claiming that you need to perform a “critical upgrade” for Adobe flash. When you do it seems like you are updating Flash, but you are actually installing ransomware on your computer! All legitimate updates will come from within the software or operating system. Remember…no legitimate company will ever contact you unsolicited.
For the month of October I will continue to work a part-time schedule to support my physical therapy needs. The hours I’m working will be:
- Monday, Wednesday, and Friday-9 am-1 pm
- Tuesday and Thursday- 1 pm – 5 pm
Feel free to contact me anytime via email or text, and I will respond ASAP. You can reach me via phone while I’m working (unless I’m with a client), or you can leave a message with my answering service, and I will respond ASAP.
Baring an unforeseen circumstance, our business will return to normal hours of operation in November.
Thanks for your continued support. It’s greatly appreciated.
Below is my reduced work schedule for the week of 9/25/17. I will be updating this if there is a need to change things to provide client flexibility, or due to medical issues related to my recovery process. During this time, you can reach me directly on the phone. As always, you can reach out to me via email or text, and I will respond at my earliest convenience. I have retained the experienced technicians that have been helping me during this time, and are available to help remotely when I am not working. Thank you for your understanding as I strive to get back to work full-time.
Mon 9/25- Off
Tue 9/26- Off
Wed 9/27- 2-5 pm
Thu 9/28- 2-5 pm
Fri 9/29- 2-5 pm
We are highly recommending that all our clients go to the following website to verify whether or not they have been impacted by the Equifax breach that made national news last week. If you have been affected, Equifax will provide you with a year of free credit monitoring. Be sure and read the fine print of the agreement. We have been told accepting the agreement prevents you from joining any future class action lawsuits. Make the right choice for yourself. Click here to see if you have been affected.
If you have, there are three options available to you:
1- Equifax will give you the one year of credit monitoring, but there may be strings.
2- You can call all three credit bureaus and do a credit watch. It’s free, and requires companies to verify the request for credit is legitimate. The downside is crooks would just bypass this.
3- You can call all three credit bureaus and do a credit freeze. It’s $10 per bureau, but your credit is locked down. The downside it will be $30 a pop if you ever need new credit.