So you’ve got a new Windows 8 computer all set up and running – great! But, before you have problems or your system crashes and you need to reload it, create a system image! The Windows 8 system image is kind of hidden. The Windows 7 system image is still a viable option but it’s difficult to find. Use it to create a fantastic backup option.
Archive for the ‘Computer News 2010’ Category
We have gotten our fourth computer in this morning with the Windows Safety Master infection – and that’s just since Monday (it’s only Wednesday morning). Not sure why Lake Norman (particularly Mooresville, NC) residents have suddenly seen a spike in these infections but I believe it could be from a local-interest hacked web site. Be careful out there folks!
Windows Safety Master and other similar infections are known as rogue programs because they attempt to steal from you. According to bleepingcomputer.com, these programs are from the Rogue.FakeVimes family of computer infections. They display fake scan results, fake security warnings, and do not allow you to run programs on your computer. Rogues are often distributed through web sites that display a fake online virus scanner that states your computer is infected and then prompts you to download the installation file. These can even be found on legitimate web sites that have been hacked and infected themselves where the infection tries to install the infection on your computer without your permission or knowledge.
Once installed, rogues it will be configured to automatically start when you login to Windows. They pretend to scan your computer and then state that there are dozens of infections on your system and you need to activate the software with a credit card to remove the infections. The intent, of course, is to get your credit card number to exploit your account. Please ignore any prompts to purchase the program, it is illegitimate.
Good account passwords are extremely important! Whether you’re using MI-Connection in Mooresville, Time-Warner in Cornelius, Charter in Denver, Windstream in Davidson, or an AOL account in Statesville, if you do not have a good password then you’re setting yourself up for problems. Hackers can easily push past simple passwords and gain access to your accounts. A password like “aol123″ isn’t going to protect anything – your first line of defense against hackers and, effectively, identity theft, and the subsequent problems associated with that, is a good password.
Good passwords contain both upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and non-alphanumerical symbols such as !, @, $, %, or & when applicable. Be aware that some providers do not allow all characters but mix it up as much as possible.
Use password length to your advantage. The longer the password, more difficult it is to hack using a brute force method. Using a brute force application and the processing power of a standard desktop computer, a simple 5 character (letter only) password can be identified within 24 hours. Tripling that length – say a 15 character (letter only) password – increases the time associated with brute force applications by more than ten times. Adding the numbers and symbols, as suggested above, makes the brute force method extremely time consuming and much less probable.
Do not use common words found in a dictionary. This makes your password much less secure and even easier to hack. Additionally, do not use personal information because this too can easily be accessed by hackers using Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social media information found in simple internet searches.
Finally, change your passwords regularly. Monthly or quarterly changes are sufficient for most applications. When you do change your password, don’t use just two or three that you rotate, use several and even change them up.
If your password does get hacked, change it immediately! Also, change your security questions on the hacked account. It would also be a good idea to change the passwords and security questions on your other accounts just in case.