Showing posts with label Security. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Security. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Windows 7 latest updates might cause your computer not to startup

The latest security update from Microsoft is faulty and can cripple your PC. Microsoft has advised all users who might have had this automatic update to please uninstall it. Windows 7 users know that before shutting down their devices - PCs or Laptops. The automatic updates pushed by Microsoft will install itself on your computer and everything goes well. The latest update KB2823324 - has started to show its ugly face. Your system might go into endless reboots and get crippled, or the blue screen of death might appear. Users don't want to be troubled by these problems, but here it is. If you find that after the latest update from Microsoft has been causing you booting or startup problems then this is what you need to do.

Microsoft Security Patch - 2013 needs to be uninstalledHow to uninstall KB2823324 Windows update from my PC.

1. Click on start

2. Click on control panel

3. Under program click on uninstall a program

4. Click on view installed updates

5. Search for KB2823324

6. Right-click and uninstall

7. You're done.

Microsoft says that the purpose of the update was to prevent a hack unless the person gains physical access to your computer. The update however misfired and the last time this happened was in 2010. So if you see a problem with your computer, don't panic. The above steps will fix the problem. Also please share the same with your friends who might be using Windows 7 PCs

This is what Microsoft says about the update and their guidance here on how to rectify the issue. Image via TechSpot.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Edward Snowden Q&A

Edward Snowden also know as the whistleblower behind the biggest intelligence leak in NSA history has done a live Q&A with The Guardian. He took questions live and answered queries regarding what he did and why he did it. He also spoke about Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple. Saying that their denials to allowing the government access to their servers were false. They are actually misleading their users as to the amount of information they were sharing with the NSA. He also spoke about why he choose Hong Kong and why he fled the US.

Edward SnowdenThe Q&A is a good read for people who have been following this saga since it all began. The whole think started with something called PRISM - which gives the NSA authority to seek to snoop on users' data. This could be data from social networks, phone companies and just about anything out there. Many users have since started using the search engine duckduckgo to get their search queries answered. This entire data collection efforts' codename is PRISM.

This whole revelation by Edward Snowden is always on the news and this is the first time he did a live Q&A to answer people's questions. Hopefully he does an AMA on Reddit.

Read the entire Q&A here. Photo by The Guardian

Friday, May 3, 2013

How to recover your Facebook Password using Trusted Contacts

Now here's something useful for people who might forget their Facebook password and in addition lose access to their email. You might read the first sentence with a smirk on your face. However there are many people who lose access to their email accounts. You might think it's not possible - but it is. There might be many times when a user might forget their Facebook password and cannot open the recovery email sent to their email accounts. Facebook wants to make sure you can always gain access to Facebook no matter what happens. And to facilitate this Facebook has introduced something called Trusted contacts.

What is Facebook trusted contacts and how does it work
Recovery Facebook access with trusted contactsWith Trusted contacts you can add 3 - 5 people who you think you trust the most. These friends need to be on Facebook and once you add them as trusted contacts. They will be notified and can help you if you ever lose access to your Facebook. Make sure you can contact these people offline - phone or someone you can visit physically. It's like giving your house key to a trusted friend. So once you lose access to your account call them up and let them know you want to recover your account. They can then help you out with a security code. Once you get your security code from at least 3 of them. You can enter then codes and gain back access to your account. There will be no need to add a security question and all of them. The codes are enough. Also good if your account gets hacked.

How to setup, enable turn on Trusted Contacts on Facebook.
You can click here to go to your security settings and enable Trusted Contacts or follow the steps below.
Facebook trusted contacts1. Login to Facebook
2. Click the cog icon and then choose account settings
3. On the left click on Security
4. Now click on trusted contacts
5. Choose trusted contacts
Save and you're done. The process has now started.

Source: Facebook Notes.

Please see video below if you need the visuals.

Friday, February 1, 2013

How to follow Good Password Hygiene

There is enough news these days of Social Networking sites getting hacked. Once that happens you the end user stand to loos your account and maybe even your friends get spammed. Once an account is hacked you could also loose all your information and get your lists of friends etc deleted. This seems to be a problem generally on the internet and there seems to be only one way to fight all of this. Maintaining good password hygiene -- on social sites and else where on the internet. There is no company that is not susceptible to being hacked and till such time that permanent solutions are not found. The responsibility of keeping you account safe is left to you. So here are a few steps you need to follow to ensure good password management for your account, and keep your account secure.

How ot keep your passwords secureHow to set your passwords and keep them secure
1. Your passwords should be at least 10 characters long
2. Should contain a mix of characters -- letters, symbols (^%#), upper case, lower case and numbers
3. Don't use the same password for multiple sites
4. Change your password every six months

What is a password and why is it important
1. When you create a login ID on any site, you also need a password.
2. Passwords when being created and stored are always shown in asterisk -(******).
3. It is what gets you into your favorite sites like Google+, Facebook and Twitter.
4. It should not be shared with anyone.
5. Should be stored in a secure place. You can use a number of password saving apps online or better still -- find a way to manage all your passwords locally and offline.

Disable Java on your browser for better password protection
1. Most account seem to be compromised through the Java loophole.
2. The U.S Department of Homeland Advisory also has this to say on disabling Java.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

DropBox: How to enable Two- Step Verification

two-step verification setup on DropBox

DropBox has an added security feature that is most welcome. It is called Two Step Verification - a combination of Google's two-step verification and's single-code verification system. So you can now use text messages or use your mobile app to generate a time sensitive security code to log-in to your DropBox account. This added security feature will help protect your account and keep hackers and intruders at bay. Helps to add an extra level of security to all your folders and files on DropBox. This post will serve as a guide on how to enable to the-step verification process for your DropBox account.

How to turn on, enable or setup Two-step authentication for DropBox.
1. You will need to log-in to your security page on DropBox.
2. Below Account Sign in found at the bottom, you will find the option, two-step verification.
3. You will need to toggle the link to enabled - click on change and enter your password and you now have the two options

How two-step verification works on DropBox
Use Text Messages - this option lets you log-in to DropBox with your password a security code will be sent to your phone. This code needs to be entered before you can log in to DropBox.
To enable security code via text message
1. Select use text messages
2. enter your phone number
3. Verify your phone number
Now each time you login a 6 digit security code will be sent to your phone. Use this as an added level of security to log-in to your account.

Use a Mobile App
To use an  authenticator app - several of which are available for your SmartPhone.
1. Select use Mobile App
2. Use can choose to scan a bar-code is your app supports it or enter your secret key manually. 
3. Once configured enter your secret code and authenticate two-step verification.

Note: Before enabling two-step verification you will be sent a 16 digit backup code. This needs to be stored in some safe-place. In case you loos access to your phone or tablet or any other device - this code will be required as an emergency access to your DropBox.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How to add a credit or debit card to Google Wallet

How to add any debit or credit card to Google Wallet

Google Wallet has an all new version and with the new version you have the ability to add your Visa, Discover, MasterCard or American express card to Google Wallet. This was not previously the case and Google have also announced another added security feature with the new Wallet. When you enter your password it is not stored on your phone's secure area but rather on highly secured Google servers. You can now add any Credit or Debit card to Google Wallet and use it to pay either online or offline.

How to add a credit or debit card to Google Wallet
1. You will need the latest version of the app on your Android phone, available here
2. Select the add a credit or debit card icon to add any card.
3. Fill out all the required information and tap next when your done.

How to add a credit card or debit card to Google Wallet online
1. If you would rather add your card online and not from your phone.
2. Go to and add your card details.
3. Select payment methods and then Add Card or Account button on the top.
The next time you use your phone for purchases your card will show up as a payment option.

To add a particular card as the default payment card
1. Click on the select card button below the card
2. Once it's set as the default payment card a green icon should appear beside it and the text below it should read 'Selected Card'
The next time you pay via NFC using your phone this card should appear as the default payment card.

How to disable Google Wallet
This is something needed in case your phone gets stolen or lost. To disable Google Wallet go to and go to devices section to disable or remove.
Source: Google Android Blog

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What is single-use code in single-use sign in code has been launched by Microsoft with a view to convert all email services by the company into one place only. So your and Hotmail email addresses will be converted into the new email service. You can lean more about it here as we have already written about it. The new account is being called 'Microsoft Account', so when you sign-up for an email ID it will be called your Microsoft Account. Once you get your new email ID you have an added feature that comes along. The ability to use single-use code.

What is Single-use code?
Single-use code is the ability to sing-in to your Microsoft account with a piece of code rather than your password. You might be wondering what is the good - consider you're travelling and need to use a public computer like in an airport or library. You can request for a single-use code which will be delivered to your phone. You can use that code to log-in and it expires after a single use.

How to request a single-use code?
1. Go to and click on sign in with single-use code
2. You will need to enter your mobile number from the link that opens. You can also choose to use the mobile number already associated with your account.
3. Your single-use code arrives via sms

Note: Each code can be used only once. There are also only a certain number of times you can request a code each day. SMS delivery subject to network speed. This application is intended to be used better help protect your Microsoft Account and your privacy.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Facebook passwords can be used in three different forms to login

Image Credit: Onetip

This might come as news to you but your Facebook password is after all not case sensitive. You can actually use 3 variants of your password to login to Facebook. You can use full caps or lower caps, which means that no matter if you enter your password in upper case of lower case you can login to Facebook, you can also toggle you password with upper and lower case to login especially when using mobile devices. Let's illustrate this to get the point across. Let's say your password is password123.

If you password is: password123 you can try the following to login to Facebook
1. password123
3. Password123

So Facebook will accept your original password, password with the case reversed and password with the first letter capitalized (Usually mobile devices only). 

This was found out by Emil Protalinski of ZDNET; who also contacted Facebook to inquire about the same and even got a response. With the Facebook engineer for security saying that three forms of the user's password. 

This is done for the following reasons. 
1. To help users login if they accidentally have caps lock on
2. If an user inadvertently has caps lock on on their mobile device and the first letter is automatically entered in upper case.
3. Since Facebook uses several encryption technologies and does not store passwords in plain text this will not compromise the security of a password. 
You can try it out now at
Source: ZDNET

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Use DataLocker to encrypt and secure your DropBox files

The popularity of DropBox has proved once and for all the importance of cloud storage. More and more people are turning to storing their data in the cloud with the benefit that it will always be available to them no matter where they are. There is however a chance that you want to store some private and confidential information in the cloud and your service of choice is DropBox. So if that is the case you just might want to encrypt those files and then store is securely. DataLocker is a service that will help you do just that. With DataLocked you can store files from your native clients like Windows, Mac, iPhone or iPad. Once you download DataLocker you will be able to then use it to easily secure files and store the same in DropBox. 

DataLocker is the first product from 'Appsense labs' and is completely free to use. Currently the service is focused on DropBox and there is no information on when and if it will be available for iCloud and Skydrive. 

DataLocker: How does it work
You will first need to download and install the app. You will then need to link it to your DropBox account. You can then immediately start uploading new files while encrypting them. You will also be able to browse through existing files while protecting them and adding security. You can download the Windows version from here and the iOS app from here
DataLocker on the web

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

5 tips for staying safe on the web by Google [Video]

If you logged in to Google today you would have seen the new link just below the search bar. Tips for staying safe online. Clicking on that link will lead you to a lot of tips and tricks to staying safe online. Ways and means to ensure that you get the most out of the web while staying safe. This video also provides you with tips to help better manage your Google account and how to best protect your online accounts.

Here is a small breakup of the tips mentioned by Google

Create strong passwords and keep them to yourself, you should also aim to change your password twice a year. You should also use Google's two-step verification process. What this does it each time you login you will also be sent a code. This code comes to your phone. It will need to be entered before gaining access to your account. This way even if someone gets your password they cannot login till they also have the code. Always update your web browser as the latest browsers have the updated security fixes. 

Be careful of suspicious websites offers and emails. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. The rule is never to enter your password after following a link form an Email or Chat message. Always go to the concerned websites directly by trying the web address in the tool bar. Regularly check your computer for viruses and malware with an up-to-date antivirus program your trust. 

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Google hack 'Aurora' Now leaked on the internet. How To protect yourself.

The code that was used to hack Gmail accounts in China is now publicly available on the internet. And till a patch can be developed internet users across the world need to be vigilant. The hack targetted users of IE6 and till Microsoft can develop a patch users need to be aware of this threat.

The guys who posted it on the net did it for good reasons so that people involved in security can download it to test their security vulnerabilities. This code however can be downloaded by anyone from the net and there comes the problem. 

So what do you need to do to protect yourself.

This program runs like this. You know those e-mails you get that looks like a forward. You see it and it looks suspicious. Well that is the one do not open it. Because that is how this program works you get a mail with a catchy heading and a link for you to open. Once you open that link this malicious program can begin to work. So if you get an e-mail with a link that sounds to good to be true. it probably is. You need to be cautious when opening e-mail attachments. 

Found on Foxnews

Gregg calls it spearphishing: "They target the user with an e-mail  that would appeal to them, one that leads to a site that launches malicious code onto your system." And the IE 6 exploit makes it particularly easy to slip that code on your computer.

Staying on top of current security patches, using firewalls, updating Web browsers and running intrusion detection software is the first part of staying safe. But since most attacks rely upon spearphishing or some similar end-user exploit, Gregg suggests a training program that would warn users that if an e-mail link looks too good to be true, it probably is -- don't click on it.

On Thursday, the code that was used to hack Gmail accounts in China and led Google to threaten to close shop there was posted to malware-analysis Web site Wepawet. By Friday, security site Metasploit had posted a demonstration of just how easily the exploit can be used to gain complete control over a computer.

Metasploit is intended to let security professionals test out security threats. 

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