Since most of you probably have a Facebook account, it’s safe to assume that you’ve also seen (and maybe been victimized by) some of the bugs and spyware that can overtake your account. From friends inviting you to like their “new” profile, to the “click on advertisements/games” that your friends seem to endorse, there are many different ways that your Facebook account can be exposed to damage- and infect others. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to make your account a little more secure.
First and foremost….CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD, and change it often. I know, it sucks, and you don’t want to remember to change one more password….BUT, it’s important, and if a computer program or another person gets that password, they can do a lot of damage to your account, the least of which is annoy and infiltrate any of your Facebook friends.
Secondly, Gizmodo posted a great article earlier this week showing five additional steps you can do to lock-down your account a little better. It’s a great read, and I strongly suggest making the changes they discuss- especially stopping unwanted app access to your account and hiding your profile from search engines. Check out the entire article here, and let us know if you have questions about this! http://fieldguide.gizmodo.com/5-tweaks-to-take-back-your-privacy-on-facebook-1766715645?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+gizmodo%2Ffull+%28Gizmodo%29
Most of us with portable electronic devices like smartphones and tablets use them at night before bed….either for checking email on the couch one last time while watching a little tv, or bringing them to bed with us for a quick candy crush game before bed. There have been several studies done over the last few years that increased screen time before bed can mess with your circadian rhythm, and make it harder for you to actually fall asleep (you can read more about it here: http://lifehacker.com/will-night-modes-on-my-smartphone-or-tablet-actually-1766261703). Several apps and programs have been developed over the years to automatically dim or optimize the light on electronic devices to help with this, but Apple’s newest iOS update released this week brings this feature built in to iPhones.
Apple’s new ‘Night Shift’ can be configured to automatically make your screen dimmer and more yellow at night, thus reducing the blue light and brightness that have been shown to affect sleep. A detailed article with instructions and a video were posted on 9to5mac.com earlier this week showing how to enable this new feature. It’s a great read, and something all nighttime phone users should consider at least trying out: http://9to5mac.com/2016/03/23/how-to-set-up-use-night-shift-mode-iphone-ipad-video/
Android users…..fear not! Google has announced the feature will be available as a built in feature in some of their upcoming software, but until then, there are some free apps that do this on the app store that are worth considering: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.ne.hardyinfinity.bluelightfilter.nightmode&hl=en, and https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=pt.bbarao.nightmode&hl=en, and https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.geekslab.eyeprotection&hl=en to name but a few!
This week, the major media outlets have been talking about the latest way malware has found it’s way to your machine….when you type the wrong web address. It’s nothing new- in fact, it’s one of the oldest tricks in the book that hackers have used to direct you to their site filled with advertisements/spyware. What’s unique this time is that it’s not when you mess up typing the address itself, but when you mean to type the .com extension, and type .om instead. The new .om extension is a country-specific domain for the country of Oman, however because of it’s likeness to .com, hackers have been buying up popular .com website names at the new .om extension in case people mis-type the address. It’s a nightmare- because people who often mistype popular sites like facebook or etsy, can unknowingly get redirected to facebookc.om, or etsy.om before they realize what they’ve done wrong…and in some cases simply loading the website is enough to infect your computer with malware or advertisements.
The best way to safeguard yourself is to do a double-take before you actually hit enter going to a new website, and to run a periodic scan of the popular malware scanner (http://malwarebytes.org) every so often to ensure you’re machine is ok. If you notice that something isn’t right with your browser, as soon as you notice problems, bring it in for service (or contact www.canyonero.org!). We all know slow-typers….or ones who frequently make typing mistakes (that’s me!)….so share this post with them so they’re aware of the potential problems ahead!
We talk about backup a lot, because it’s perhaps one of the most important things you can do to your computer on a regular basis. Your documents, vacation photos, precious music….everything could be lost in a moment if your hard drive goes bad or you accidentally delete something- both of which we see WAY too much in our business.
Regardless of HOW you do it, all experts agree that ideally you need to have three places your data is at: one is on your computer, one is on a backup drive at your location, and one is off-site/cloud backup. It might sound like a daunting or expensive task, but it’s easier than you think. We’ve talked about online backup options before, but today, we’re going to talk about an updated feature in Windows 10: File History.
File History was a feature in Windows 8- and it’s better than nothing- but Windows 10 improved on the features and made it easier than ever to set it up. Mac users know and love Time Machine, the “set it and forget it” backup solution that’s virtually dummy-proof. File History works similarly, and you can set how often you would like it to backup each file. Lifehacker.com recently posted a detailed article with lots of photos and options about how to set this up, and it’s a great read if you’re a PC user with data to lose: http://lifehacker.com/how-to-back-up-your-computer-automatically-with-windows-1762867473
You might ask, “My backup drive came with software that already does this, so why should I care?” Often times, software runs all of the time and is quite a system hog, and it’s worth trying this feature that’s built into Windows if you’ve noticed a slowdown on your computer, or other performance issues. You might end up liking your specific software better….but our experience hasn’t been the best with those “run all of the time, hard drive-specific” programs, and you won’t know which you like better until you try- and try to retrieve a file from a backup.
If you’re using Windows 10, and you noticed those fun photographs and tips on the start up screen are starting to tun into advertisements, you’re not alone. Some users are reporting seeing full-screen ads for video games before even unlocking their computer, which is an annoying intrusion of privacy. Luckily, there’s some small settings that you can tweak to prevent this from happening further. Lifehacker.com and How-To-Geek detailed how to fix this in a recent article (http://lifehacker.com/windows-10-is-showing-ads-on-your-lockscreen-heres-how-1760984834), and we summarized it below:
- Open the Start Menu, and search for “Lock Screen Settings”
- Under “Background”, select either Picture or Slideshow, instead of Windows Spotlight
- Scroll down to “Get fin facts, tips, tricks, and more on your lock screen”, and disable the toggle
If that still doesn’t seem to be correcting the problem, or you need more detailed steps with how to remove it, view the original article from How-To-Geek at http://www.howtogeek.com/243263/how-to-disable-ads-on-your-windows-10-lock-screen/?utm_content=buffer54e49.