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  • Wanted: Your views on Windows/Office patching

    Posted on June 22nd, 2020 at 01:05 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    ON SECURITY

    By Susan Bradley

    Recently, it occurred to me that it’s been two years since I posted my survey on consumer- and business-systems updating.

    Given the changes in Windows and Office, a new audit of updating perceptions is clearly overdue. This time around, you’ll find links for two surveys: one for consumer-PC patchers and another directed at businesses.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.24.0 (2020-06-22).

  • BSoDs can be a good thing — really!

    Posted on May 11th, 2020 at 01:15 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge
    Logo

    On Security

    By Susan Bradley

    If your system crashes with an infamous blue screen of death, consider it a cry for help!

    BSoDs have always been an ugly side of Windows. Almost invariably, when Windows takes a powder, it’s at a most inopportune moment: right when you’re on deadline, right when you suddenly remember you haven’t hit Save for a while, right when your system is rebooting from an update. I like to joke that computers somehow know when you have to get something done — and now would be a great time to crash or otherwise malfunction. But blue screens of death are honestly a good thing. They are trying to tell you something is wrong with your computer.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.18.0 (2020-05-11).

  • Patch Lady – COVID-19: The challenges of working from home

    Posted on March 30th, 2020 at 07:03 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    ON SECURITY

    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 in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.12.0 (2020-03-30).

  • 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

    ON SECURITY

    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

    SECURITY

    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.