Patch Tuesday, January 2019

Windows 7 officially enters the last 12 months of support before its demise in January 2020. So, by next January, you will need to be on Windows 10 or aware that your PC will be vulnerable if you haven’t upgraded yet.

Of interest this month

Since our Federal Government has been shut down for the past 17 days, hackers have taken this opportunity to do their worst since they feel the FBI isn’t investigating. Recently, I have seen an uptick in reports of fear-related malware and ransomware attacks using viable vendor identification such as Microsoft, Norton, and other familiar tech vendors. They attempt to fool their victims into clicking on a link or button, or call a 800- number for help.  Stop these intrusions by using your task manager ( <ctrl><alt><del> ) to shut down the window. Then scan your PC for possible infection.

There is a new Scam floating around the internet too. With all the security hacks on company databases, hackers may have your email. You may receive an email from YOUR email address telling you to pay some dollar amount (usually $1000) via BIT COIN or they will release all the porn videos they claim you’ve been watching to your entire address book within the next 2 days. This is called s-extortion and is nothing but an attempt to extort money from their victims. As with a ransom, there is no reason to believe they will honor their word. This IS a SCAM and you should ignore it altogether.

Data breaches are on the rise – For a list of recent company breaches, check out this link.

As I’ve said it before, (it’s worth repeating.) there are things YOU can do to help protect yourself.

1 – Install Patch Tuesday – patches from Microsoft on the 2nd Tuesday of the month.

2 – Use different passwords for each account so if they get into one, they don’t get into all.

In order to manage all the accounts – download and use PASSWORD SAFE a FREE encrypted utility that you can use to store everything security related. It can only be opened by a MASTER password which you will commit to memory.

3 – Use two-factor-authentication. This uses your phone or email to text/email you a confirmation entry.

4 – Install, use, and update Malware scanner and Antivirus software and remember to use them often.

5 – If your stuff is critical to you, back it up to an external storage device.

Don’t forget your smartphones. Hackers see them as a rich resource to exploit.

Wishing you a Happy (and Safe) New Year.

Posted in Patch Tuesday.

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