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  • COVID-19: The challenges of working from home

    Posted on March 26th, 2020 at 14:20 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Note: Here’s Patch Lady Susan Bradley’s comprehensive guide to working from home, from an Enterprise point of view. This story will appear in the March 30 AskWoody Plus Newsletter. But given the timely value of the information, we’re posting it early.

    On Security

    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    “Social distancing” — such a simple-sounding phrase. But it’s having a titanic impact on our social and economic fabric. By any measure, we’re now living in uncertain times.

    With so many folks being furloughed or laid off, consider yourself fortunate if you can work from home. For those who can, there’s a wealth of online information on remote computing. Here are some highlights for making the experience effective and safe.

    And for all of you with kids staying home, I’ve included some information on home-learning resources.

    Read the full story here.

  • How small businesses are easy ransomware targets

    Posted on March 9th, 2020 at 01:15 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Susan Bradley

    Yes, they really are out to get us. Recent trends in malicious attacks mean that small businesses need to be more vigilant than ever.

    As exploits rapidly evolve, we face the threat of falling behind in the battle to protect ourselves. On the latest front, simply keeping backups of our data isn’t enough.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.10.0 (2020-03-09).

  • Remedies for common password pains

    Posted on January 27th, 2020 at 01:00 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Michael Lasky

    Security company SplashData recently published its yearly list of the most abused passwords.

    The bad news? “123456” still tops the list.

    Pop quiz: How many websites do you sign in to with the same password?

    If it is more than one, count yourself as a member of a very large crowd — computer users who have left themselves wide open to malicious hacks.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.4.0 (2020-01-27).

  • About that nonsense FBI warning about TVs stalking you

    Posted on December 3rd, 2019 at 06:41 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

  • The web has a padlock problem

    Posted on November 30th, 2019 at 13:29 Kirsty Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Danny Palmer (ZDNet) has just written about recent changes to websites showing “security padlocks” in browser bars, in a very easy-to-digest article.

    Internet users are being taught to think about online security the wrong way, which experts warn might actually make them more vulnerable to hacking and cyberattacks.

    HTTPS encrypts that information, allowing the transmission of sensitive data such as logging into bank accounts, emails, or anything else involving personal information to be transferred securely. If this information is entered onto a website that is just using standard HTTP, there’s the risk that the information can become visible to outsiders, especially as the information is transferred in plain text.

    Websites secured with HTTPS display a green padlock in the URL bar to show that the website is secure. The aim of this is to reassure the user that the website is safe and they can enter personal information or bank details when required. Users have often been told that if they see this in the address bar, then the website is legitimate and they can trust it.

    “This is why phishers are using it on phishing sites, because they know that people who use the websites think that means its OK when it’s not,” said (Scott) Helme. “The padlock doesn’t guarantee safety, it never has, that’s just a misunderstanding of the interpretation of what this actually means.”

    …the (cybersecurity) industry needs to improve its messaging, because cybersecurity can be complicated for the average web user and changing advice all the time isn’t going to help, especially if people stick to adhering to the first thing they were told – like believing the padlock automatically means the website is safe.

    I’m sure many of us will have seen information by Troy Hunt and Scott Helme in recent months, on browser security. Changes are afoot in how browsers indicate websites’ security; e.g. Firefox’s recent changes on how padlocks work is related.

    WSJ indicate the depth of the problem here:

    The use of security certificates, once a badge of authenticity for the internet, among phishing websites has almost doubled, rising to 15% in 2019 from 8.5% in 2018

    Even CASC (Certificate Authorities Security Council) recently published, in a very interesting article:

    The padlock is putting users in danger

    We all need to get used to these changes, for our own safety.

  • ‘Tis the season — for holiday scams

    Posted on November 25th, 2019 at 01:05 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Susan Bradley

    This year, give your friends and relatives the gift of digital security.

    Ah, the holidays … a time when you can eat until you groan, watch sports until you fall asleep on the couch — and take an equally guilt-free break from relatives by heading off into the back room and quietly cleaning their PCs. (This process should always include running the Microsoft Safety Scanner tool.)

    Providing a bit of IT support for friends and family is well and good, but with smartphones, tablets, Windows 10, and wireless “assistants,” our digital world has become far more complex — and dangerous. So this holiday season, I suggest you spend a little time telling those you care about how the bad guys really are out to get them — and what they need to do to stay safe. Here are a few simple points to help with that discussion.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.43.0 (2019-11-25).

  • An honest VPN commercial – from somebody who actually knows what he’s talking about

    Posted on November 1st, 2019 at 07:20 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Tom Scott knows whereof he speaks – and he speaks the truth, as best I know it.

    Thx Catalin Cimpanu

  • Are self-encrypting hard drives secure enough?

    Posted on October 7th, 2019 at 01:00 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Susan Bradley

    Microsoft has made a significant change in how its BitLocker encryption tool handles self-encrypting hard drives.

    Apparently, Microsoft doesn’t trust hardware-based drive security — should you?

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.36.0 (2019-10-07).