Tag Archives: security

Is There Malware on Your Mac? Different Ways It May Have Got Infected

Malware can be harmful, if not prevented.

Malware can be harmful, if not prevented.

Is Your Mac Infected?

If you’re a Mac owner, you probably already know it is more difficult for a Mac to become infected with malware than a Microsoft Windows PC. However, as more people begin to use Mac’s, it has become more common than ever for your Mac to be infected with a virus. Third-party software is the most common way a Mac becomes infected.

Some common ways for your Mac to become compromised include the following:

Java Browser Extension Enabled

One way for your Mac to become infected is by installing Java as well as its browser extension. With this extension, you are able to run Java written software from within your browser. Keep in mind, this is not the same a JavaScript.

The good news is, you likely will no longer use websites which rely on Java browser plugin with today’s modern technology. Many browsers have already dropped the use of Java plugins. To disable the use in Apple’s Safari browser head to Preferences > Security > Plug-in Settings and uncheck the relevant boxes. In many cases, it is totally safe to uninstall Java and its browser extension.

Pirated Software Download

Downloading pirated software is one of the easiest ways for your Mac or Windows PC to become infected. Due to Apple’s OS being considered quite safe, the majority of individuals do not have a virus scanner on their Mac. However, whenever you install the software you open your Mac up to third-parties. And by downloading pirated software, you have no way to know if it has been tampered with. Stay safe by buying software from legitimate sources or use free alternatives.

Unpatched Flash

Adobe’s Flash browser plugin has been the cause of numerous security issues. The good news is with modern technology such as HTML5 which performs the same job as Flash, it has been becoming more obsolete.

Google Chrome has a Flash version which is sandboxed, allowing it to run in a without harming your PC by keeping it contained in a secure environment. However, if you are a Safari user, you can have the browser ask when running websites with Flash by going to Preferences > Security >Plug-in Settings.

Keep in mind, even the most updated version of Flash can pose a risk to your Mac. The best way to protect yourself is by disabling Flash in Safari. Go to Preferences > Security >Plug-in Settings and uncheck Flash.

Apple Security

The pattern of Mac infections shows the most common way to put your PC at risk is with third-party software. Apple has always been excellent with their security, but by using additional security software, you can add another layer of protection to your Mac.

2016 Best Security Suites

Img: www.itp.net

Security Suites for 2016

The best security suite is needed today when one of our major concerns are cyber threats. With an all-in-one security suite, you should find all the features needed to keep your PC secure. Some suites offer more features than others, with some optional and not necessary.

Features Looked for in Best Security Suites

When looking at Security Suites, the first thing to look at is its antivirus protection. Without this, there is no security for your PC. Another feature to look for is the firewall protection. Some security suites assume Windows Firewall handles what you want with a firewall, skipping this component.

Some suites include spam filters. Which you want a filter that does the job properly and not sifts out an important email message you’ve been waiting for. With reviewing Security Suites, letting spam into an email inbox is better than tossing valid mail away.

Privacy protection is crucial, and when security suites turn users away from phishing sites, it can be helpful. However, some also provide protection for specific sensitive data, such as bank accounts. By entering in this information, and the alarm is sounded with some, while offer credit card protection. There are some with a secure browser for you to do online banking.

Bitdefender Internet Security 2016

This security suite comes out on top with a combination of the best antivirus, antispam, and antiphishing features along with many other integrated security items. With a password manager, parental control, secure browser, unobtrusive firewall, Bitdefender manages to keep your PC safe without bogging it down. For secure online financial transactions, be sure to use SafePay.

Kaspersky Internet Security (2017)

Kaspersky Internet Security (2017) is one of the best at keeping both your PC and devices safe. Software updates automatically, spam filter, phishing protection, no-fuss firewall, great parental control, and many bonus features.

Symantec Norton Security Premium

Protect up to 10 devices, 25GB of hosted online backup, along with the best parental control system with this security suite. Intelligent firewall, cross-platform, spam filter, password manager, top-scoring malicious URL blocking, antiphishing, system optimization tools, with an ability to run with no-hassle and high performance.

McAfee Internet Security (2016)

McAfee Internet Security (2016) is cross-platform protection ensuring every device in your household stays safe. This security suite is loaded with features and includes ones found in McAfee antivirus. Expect awesome spam filtering, award-winning True Key password protection with a multifactor authentication not to mess with, and parental controls.

Webroot SecureAnywhere Internet Security Complete (2016)

This security suite is extremely powerful with unusual antivirus, system optimization, as well as 25GB hosted online backup, and your system resources will not be lagged down. Some features include Web Shield, USB Shield, and PUP Shield, antiphishing, anti-ransomware, along with the ability to erase online activity traces.

These are the best Security Suites available for 2016. These vary on features and cost but essentially offer the same amount of virus protection.

Have Your Data Drive Backup Ready Before a Hard Drive Failure

External hard drive can provide additional storage solutions.

Always Back Up Your Data for Safety and Security.

Always Back Up Your Data In Case Something Happens

The time to consider if your data is securely backed up is now. Eventually, all hard drives fail, and when this happens, any data will no longer be there. Your personal photos, music, and work documents – GONE.

However, your hard drive loss would be a simple inconvenience when you restore your data to another machine if the data was backed up. A good data drive is all that is needed for backing up. Check out what to look for to make sure you purchase the right one.

External Hard Drives

The majority of computer users prefer the use of external hard drives for their backup solutions.

Size

When looking for a drive to run regular backups, such as daily or weekly, you want a drive that is a little larger than the size of your PC’s internal drive. This will allow each file to store more than one copy, saving you in case some become corrupted.

Speed

Speed is not extremely important in backup data drives. The initial backup would be to create a copy of each file on your internal drive. Each backup following would be to save any files that have changed since last time. What this means, any time there is data being backed up, it is very small.

Reliability 

One of the most crucial factors when selecting your backup data drive is reliability. Surveys show a majority of drives that undergo heavy use last at least four years. However, it is challenging to determine reliability. Prior to purchasing a backup data drive, read reviews and learn about different brands.

Optional Features

There are some helpful optional features in many backup data drives. These may include software that can manage, or even encrypt data on your backups. There are built-in backup tools in operating systems, such as Time Machine for Mac and on Windows there is File History.

Backup Using Cloud Storage

Some users decide against an external hard drive or choose to have a second backup method by using the Cloud. To have enough room on the cloud to store an entire hard drive, you will need to pay a monthly storage fee. In addition, due to the amount of data being transferred to the cloud, you will want an internet connection with fast upload speeds.

When storing your data on the cloud, you want to be aware of potential security implications. Before making a final decision on providers, read their privacy policy thoroughly and check their service guarantees.

Bear in mind, due to changing of technology and wearing down of hardware, choose a backup data drive that fits your needs of today but does not be surprised by the technology of tomorrow. There are also a lot of backup services you can use.

Common Mistaken Beliefs about Wireless Networks

There are common myths you should know about.

There are common myths you should know about.

There are many different networking myths around, and easily started in a technical world. Of course, networking is not a subject that is usually on one’s mind, until an outage or intrusion.

The following are some examples of mistaken beliefs people have about wireless networks.

There is no security with wireless networks

Reality is, wired networks are more secure than wireless networks. However, what should be questioned is if Wi-Fi has enough security, to which the answer would be, it depends.

Wireless routers which are properly-secured have adequate security except for when needing high-security. For average households, all networks with a password that is secure and WPA2-PSK with AES encryption should have adequate security.  Keep in mind, cause of most intrusions are predictable weak passwords, not breaches from brute force.

I am getting cheated out of speed I pay for from my ISP

This mistaken belief is easily the most common. When not receiving speed in which you pay for, your ISP is an easy target for your anger. However, this is usually not their fault.

This happens most often from a communication breakdown between the client and ISP in how speeds are stated in advertisements. Clients get understandably upset if they do not receive 100Mbps, they “think” they are paying for. Fact is, when using wireless networks, stated speeds are rarely received.

ISP speeds are stated for Ethernet-connected devices, due to not having ability to correctly predict speeds of Wi-Fi.

You are hidden from hackers if hiding SSID

There is a name assigned to each wireless network by a form of Service Set Identifier (SSID). Some people believe if routers are prevented from having this information broadcasted, they are hidden from hackers. This is false.

Even if an SSID is hidden, computers running Windows version 7 or later, are able to see each device which is in range, even if they do not have SSID assigned to them. These do appear, although they are unable to identify by name/

Wired Networks are better than wireless networks

It would be hard finding someone saying wireless is faster than wired. However, there is a major trade-off for speed, which is convenience.

Speed gaps have narrowed with router technologies continually improving. But there is still a prevalence for wired with both reduction of environmental degradation and security.

There is not a way for one to connect to wired networks when the router has no physical access, making wired more secure in that way.

It is a reality however about environmental concerns. There is no competition for airspace with wired connections, unlike with Wi-Fi.

Some beliefs in which some people have come to know are true. However, remember everything you hear is not always true! Check out this post on how to extend your wireless network.

Understanding the Cloud

 

Upload and keep your files in one place safely.

Upload and keep your files in one place safely.

The Cloud Data Center

Where is the cloud?  The cloud is located in the data center. The place where super-computer servers store your information is connected to the internet. The information, is then recorded at the data center for retrieval with any device that is connected to the internet. The data center will either let you gain access and change the data, or send the data back to you. This is an advantage when wanting to access data from a different device than it originated. Some people might store documents that are not finished for work, or school from their home computer, and retrieve it from work, school, anywhere that has internet, to finish at a later time.

Computer Data Storage Options

During time your data that you store on the hard drive of your computer, or on CD, DVD, or USB thumb drives, but there is another option that will give you vast amounts of storage space. This is called cloud, even though it sounds weather related, it is not. This is a storage system that uses a third party to maintain it. With the cloud, you send through the internet, data that would normally take space on your hard drive or another device used for storage, to a database that a third party maintains. Some are free, while others charge based on the amount of storage you are renting, or a flat fee.

The best part, when you think all is lost, it is actually all on the cloud…

Examples of the Cloud

Some examples of the cloud, that most are familiar with, but did not even realize they are, is Facebook, MySpace, and providers of web based e-mails. With Facebook and MySpace, the users can upload pictures to their site and post them. With the web e-mails, for instance, Yahoo!, and Gmail, they can also be accessed anywhere there is internet. All of the messages you receive are not stored on the device you are on, but on the web e-mails server.

Some of the best services for cloud storage are names that you probably see, but are not sure what they do. Like Google Drive for instance. They offer the user 15GB of storage space, when you link your Google account or make a new one. If you  have a Gmail account, you probably have Google Drive and might not realize it. Another one is by Microsoft called OneDrive, giving 15 GB free also. This has Office integrated into it.

How Safe is Cloud Storage?

While it is convenient to store all your data with cloud, there is questions of security and reliability. There is encryption, a process of authentication, as well as other security features, but any data stored anywhere, including your own PC can be stolen. There are redundancy techniques in place by most services, but there is no guarantee your data will not be lost with a system crash.

When looking for different cloud services available, check the reviews online for each. Reputations are something that can make or break a cloud data center, which makes security and reliability, a top priority.