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You Are In Danger, But Not Really

So picture this: you are browsing along, checking out websites, maybe ordering some stuff, then all of a sudden a flashy pop up appears on your screen.  Its bright red letters tell you that your computer has been infected, all your information is in danger, and you must call this number or download this software right away or you will lose everything.  Perhaps a robotic voice is suddenly coming from your computer repeating similar warnings.

Sound familiar?  If so, then you have already encountered what has been termed as Scareware.  These malicious pop ups are covertly inserted into websites all over the internet.  Although effectively harmless, they are designed to be very frightening in order to get you to respond to their “warnings”, thus leading you into the hands of scammers who will try to steal your information or hijack your computer.  Good website administrators routinely check their sites for any unwanted pop ups, so any site that is infected should eventually get cleaned off. ∞∞∞ >>> Read the rest

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Too Many Cables, What Are They All For?

It’s amazing how you can never find the cable that you need at the right moment, no matter how many cables are piled around your computer desk or behind your workspace.  The plethora of cables, with various heads for interfacing with phones, computers, mobile devices, TVs, and other electronics, has been around since the tech world became mainstream and has only continued to grow.   Not so long ago most households did fine with only two or three connector types.  Now it’s hard to get by with less than six cables of various types and uses.

So why are all these cables different?  If one breaks, what name should you use when trying to buy a new one?  Cables aren’t going away anytime soon, no matter what the tech industry says, and knowing the answers to those questions can go a long way to making daily life with your various devices a lot easier.∞∞∞ >>> Read the rest

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Don’t Click It!

I got an email today telling me that a package had been delayed.  A quick review of the email indicated that it was VERY LIKELY spam at the least, and probably malicious spam.

1st CLUE:  The sender email is <info-l3j@untdstatdropromuniflamtionxjcyepcdr.com>  — not familiar, and that is an understatement.

2nd CLUE:  When I hover my mouse over the linked text in the email (circled in screenshot below) it shows me where my browser will end up if I do click any of them in the system tray of my computer (arrow points to that position; and this happens whenever you hover your mouse over any linked text whether it is in an email or on a web page.  VALUABLE INFORMATION!!)

This email is trying to send me to <https://k6m6.c12.e2-2.dev/mailweb/KKSNDJEJEJE.html> which is not a merchant or shipper I recognize.  SO I DON’T CLICK!

To protect yourself from malicious links, hover your mouse over linked text and check out where it is the link is trying to send you. ∞∞∞ >>> Read the rest

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A Word About Passwords

Part of everyday life, it seems–your passwords are now gatekeeper to your correspondence, financial details, banking information and everything else on the list of details and information that make up all the external components of your life. You need a code at the bank, a code on your phone, tablet and computer, authentication for your medical records and the list goes on.

Experts will all tell you how compromised you are if you use the same password on all the things, or just a weak one, and someone with nefarious plans gets ahold of it.

How-to Geek has some great suggestions for how to create strong passwords or a pass-phrase that can help you keep your details to yourself (as much as possible when they live on the internet, anyway…)

One of the best pieces of advice: Don’t tell anyone what your password is!

How to Create a Strong Password (and Remember It) (howtogeek.com∞∞∞ >>> Read the rest

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If they called you, they probably aren’t good

A constant plague on the population of home computer users is the tech support/computer infection scam.  Basically when someone calls you saying your computer is infected, or when a popup suddenly appears on your screen warning about an infection, you can be sure it’s a scam.  The fact of the matter is that tech companies don’t contact you.  They want you to buy their products of course, but if you have a problem you are supposed to call them.  Tech companies do not keep staff on hand hunting around for problems on peoples’ machines.

Of course there are a few exceptions.  If you pay for a security program to monitor your computer then occasionally you will get a warning message saying that a site is suspicious or a download could be dangerous.  These messages will always identify themselves as the security program you are subscribed to, and they will always be a message, never a person.∞∞∞ >>> Read the rest

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Avoid The Tax Scam Blues

Tax season is the time of year when scammers are out in full force, trying to take advantage of unsuspecting taxpayers. It’s important to be aware of the dangers associated with tax season scams and know how to spot them so that you can protect yourself from becoming a victim.
Tax season scammers use a variety of tactics, such as sending fake emails or filing fraudulent tax returns in your name. They may also try to get you to provide personal information, such as your Social Security number or bank account details, which they can then use for identity theft or other malicious activities. Knowing how to recognize these scams and taking steps to protect yourself is essential if you want to stay safe during tax season.
The IRS doesn’t initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information.Jan 20, 2023 https://www.irs.gov/privacy-disclosure/report-phishing∞∞∞ >>> Read the rest

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The world is ending…

If you were to ask someone what it’s like to be scammed, this is a likely response you would get, at least if they didn’t know it was a scam:

Some guy called me out of the blue and told me that the world was ending, but that if I paid him 1.2 Bitcoin I would have a guaranteed spot on the UFO taking the worlds’ elites to the backup planet. I was skeptical at first, but after I let him into my computer remotely he showed me that this really was the case. Of course I paid him his modest fee, and I’m grateful that he somehow found my phone number just in time and was willing to share this private lifeline with me. Isn’t life grand…∞∞∞ >>> Read the rest

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Cable Ends: Which way is up?

Hey everybody! Let’s make things work!

I am constantly plugging and unplugging cables. Into and out of phones, computers, devices of all sorts. Those connectors like micro-usb cables or even regular USB cables just don’t cooperate in being the right side up when I connect them.  So, to avoid frustration I keep a bottle of whiteout around the office and home. When I get a cable that needs to be plugged in a certain way I mark the long side or the up side with a swipe of white out.  Not much.  Don’t want to be messy.  And I start remembering which side for my PC/device which side is long/up.  and I don’t have to think much about it.

Did you know that almost every USB port on a computer the “chuck” in the port goes down. (if it is laying that direction. I just looked at my PC and it is upright. ∞∞∞ >>> Read the rest

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