Computer / Web Security

| April 21, 2017

Technical Reinforcements (TRI) is the technology partner we use at SDW.

We find their newsletters to be informational and wanted to make sure our clients had access to them and the information.



MARCH 2017

Friend or Foe

There are a lot of Facebook hackers out there right now and the most common one going around is by friend request.

What is happening is the hackers are getting into your friend list and creating new profiles with your data and sending friend requests to your friend looking like you.

One of the best ways to spot a bogus friend request is to look at how many friends they have. If there are only a few look to see if they are already in your friend list.  Do not friend these profiles and you should be ok.

It is also a good idea to check your security settings to be sure you are not set to public. (everyone can see you)  Recommended setting would be only your friends, or Friend and friends of friends.

Browser Spyware Infections “scareware”

Please continue to be diligent and aware, when going online to surf the web or check your email. If you get a page the tells you "you are infected with XXX many viruses" and to call their tech support number right away, DON’T. What’s happening is your browser has being hijacked by the people claiming to have identified your infection.  If you were to call, they will appear to be as legitimate as they can as they request your payment information. Because this is attempting to ‘get a reaction’ from you, both PC and MAC computers are at risk.  HP, Dell, Microsoft and all other legitimate technicians will only call you when you have initiated a call to their support. Additionally and unfortunately, due to these new scareware tactics, if you attempt to google or execute a web search for one of these legitimate company resources, it is even possible that the page you find is a fake landing page published by these malicious persons.

What do you do now?  We can easily walk you through resetting your browser over the phone (Most spyware can be cleaned off your computer in about an hour, $85). There are a couple steps and it takes just a few minutes. Some things you can try before calling us are:

  1. Clean out your history in the browser.

  2. Change your passwords to email and online accounts.

  3. Run disk clean up.

(Example of browser “scareware”)

3rd Party Email Applications vs. Web based Email

Everyone has email, some have multiple email accounts. Should you continue to use a 3rd party email application (like Outlook) or is it time to move to a browser based email interface. What are the options? Let’s compare Outlook vs Gmail.

Outlook handles more than just your email, it does contacts, calendar & task list. If you are using multiple addresses, you can organize them easily and don’t have to switch screens to check each one. This program is installed on your PC.

Guess what gmail can do the same. The difference is you are online and the program is a web based interface. It can do email, calendar & contacts and it also has the Google drive where you can create and save spreadsheets, documents & slides.

There are some advantages and drawbacks to each type of email program. With Outlook, it does not always play nice and sync with your other devices (Android or Apple tablets & Phones). With gmail, because it is cloud based, if you are not online you can’t access the account.

For most this is a personal choice based on comfort and ease of use.

You should know that things are moving to more cloud based interfaces and applications. Even Outlook with Office 365 (and annual subscription) is web based and this trend is growing.

How to get info on your iCloud devices

If you need to provide, say, your iPhone’s serial number to law enforcement in case of a theft, you’d better have that written down ahead of time, right? Well, ideally you do keep track of that stuff, but in case you don’t, Apple’s got your back. There’s a list you can access of every device that you’ve signed into iCloud with, and you can get to it from iOS, your Mac, or the Web.

Please read this article by Melissa Holt for instruction.

Thank you,

James, Chris, Tom, Brett, Eric & Suzi

Technical Reinforcements