#760 – Are the Bad Guys Winning?

If you pay attention to news media headlines, especially those shared on social media, you may get the impression that the bad guys are winning. I don't believe that they are.

What they are doing, though, is giving the good guys a run for their money. And, as it turns out, it can only be so.

Also this week:

Tips on making your external hard drive last longer.

Tracking technology is way, way, WAY more involved than just cookies. (And nearly impossible to avoid.)

Ever wonder how spammers can send email that looks like it comes from you? Turns out, it's pretty easy -- so easy you might be able to do it yourself (but don't).

Have a great week!

Leo

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Are the Bad Guys Winning?

In computer security, it certainly seems as if the “Black Hats” are usually one or more steps ahead of the “White Hats”. What are your thoughts?

There are two answers:

  1. Almost by definition, the bad guys will always be in the lead.
  2. It rarely affects the average consumer directly.

The bad guys aren't necessarily winning, but they'll always present a challenge for the good guys.

Continue Reading: Are the Bad Guys Winning?
https://askleo.com/78360

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How To Keep an External Hard Drive Useful and Healthy Longer

What are your external hard drive best practices?

External hard drives are a ubiquitous, simple way to provide additional storage or portability (or both) to an existing desktop or laptop computer.

These are the steps I take to ensure my external hard drives remain as useful as possible as long as possible. They break down into three categories: hardware, software, and something so important that it deserves a category of its own.

You can probably guess what that last one is.

Continue Reading: How To Keep an External Hard Drive Useful and Healthy Longer
https://askleo.com/78527

Supercookies and Evercookies and No Cookies at All: Resistance Is Futile

I just read an article talking about so-called “supercookies” and “evercookies” — cookies which are supposedly impossible to delete, and left without the computer user's permission or even knowledge. What are “supercookies”? What are “evercookies”? And how can I protect my computer from them?

I'll start out by saying that options to protect yourself from supercookies and evercookies are relatively limited, if effective at all.

Supercookies and evercookies are the result of a website owner's desire (or more often, the desire of the advertising networks used by websites) to accumulate data about computer users and the sites they visit — even those users who disable or clear cookies in their browser regularly.

Bottom line: clearing cookies isn't enough — not nearly enough.

And there may be nothing that is.

Continue Reading: Supercookies and Evercookies and No Cookies at All: Resistance Is Futile
https://askleo.com/4943

"From" Spoofing: How Spammers Send Email that Looks Like It Came from You

OK, I know that spammers can send email spoofing the “From:” address to make it look like it came from me. But how? How do they gain access to my account to do that? Have I been hacked?

No. You have not been hacked.

“From” spoofing means faking the “From:” address on an email to make it look like it came from you. To do it, spammers don't need access to your account at all. I'd say that 99.99% of the time it has nothing at all to do with your account, which is quite safe.

They only need your email address.

While your email account and your email address are related, they are not the same thing.

Continue Reading: "From" Spoofing: How Spammers Send Email that Looks Like It Came from You
https://askleo.com/3370

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