I know that the news has many people left wondering that as well. It's hard not to, when it seems like every other day there's a report of some new compromise somewhere.
As you might expect, I have a slightly different perspective.
1) I don't believe things are as dire as they seem.
2) I don't believe avoiding the internet will help.
Continue Reading: How Can It Be Safe to Give My Information To Anyone?
Drivers are another one of those "computer things" that are just so much confusing magic to the average computer user.
I'll touch a little on what they are, and then my philosophy about when and how to update them.
Continue Reading: How, and when, should I update drivers?
My normal response for this type of problem is to turn to Process Monitor, a free SysInternals utility from Microsoft. The problem is that it's a pretty geeky tool, and requires a little patience and understanding to get useful results.
Of late, I've found myself firing up a completely different utility included in Windows 7 and 8 to monitor network activity. It's a utility that quickly displays a lot of information about what's going on. It actually can monitor several areas of your computer's activity, but I'll focus here on networking.
Continue Reading: How do I monitor network activity on my Windows machine?
My knee-jerk reaction is to say that the half-dozen driver repair and PC rejuvenators are at fault. Many are no better than snake oil; they either add problems where there previously had been none, or make existing problems worse. I recommend avoiding them completely.
However, there was a problem before you tried them, so they can't be completely at fault.
We do need to seriously consider that the hardware here has a problem, and no amount of driver fiddling is going to fix that. But before we throw in the towel on a software solution, there is one thing worth trying.
Continue Reading: How do I force Windows to reinstall a driver?
The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet
- Ask Leo! #539 - Handing Over Your Wallet, Duplicate Files, Blue Screens, Disconnecting Backup Drives and more...
- Would You Give Your Wallet to a Stranger?
- Why are there duplicate files on my computer?
- Why does my computer blue screen?
- Should I Disconnect My Backup Drive When I'm Not Backing Up?
"Man-in-the-middle" is a phrase used to describe a type of communications vulnerability or attack that can cause sensitive data to be stolen or leaked.
If normal communications are directly between two parties, a man-in-the-middle attack inserts a malicious third party in between that intercepts, potentially modifies, and then forwards on all communications, without detection.
For example a man-in-the-middle might intercept communications between a computer user and his bank. Rather than communicating directly between user and bank, the user would actually be communicating to the malicious man-in-the-middle without realizing it. That man-in-the-middle would relay the communications on to the bank. Similarly returned information that would normally be transmitted from the bank to the user would instead first go to the man-in-the-middle, which would then transparently relay it on to the user.
To the user all would appear normal; a successful man-in-the-middle attack would not typically be easily detectable.
What distinguishes a man-in-the-middle from simply eavesdropping is that as a side effect of having been inserted into the communications, the man-in-the-middle could potentially modify the information being transmitted.
The validation step of https connections, ensuring that you are connected to the site you believe you are, is one approach to preventing man-in-the-middle attacks.
Lawrence Brandon writes:
My Windows 8.1 PC keeps giving me a message that I need to update my files. When I try to update my files I am sent to a program I have to buy. I have been told that these programs usually cause more problems than they fix. Should I use a program I have buy to update my windows files?Windows update says my files are up to date.
Mark Jacobs writes:
Windows isn't sending you those messages. Those pop-up are ads. If you are lucky, you will only lose the money you spent on the program. In many cases those programs contain malware.
Mark Jacobs writes:
For those business watching pennies, I'd tell them that a second backup is much cheaper in the long run than paying for recovery. It's an insurance policy with a one time layout of around $100.
Mark Jacobs writes:
We are currently evaluating EaseUS here at Ask Leo! as a free alternative to Macrium as it allows incremental backups in the free version. Any comments you (including anyone who uses it) have (pros and cons) on the EaseUS backup would be greatly appreciated,
If you were hit with ransomware that encrypted your MS Office files (for example) kept in your Dropbox folder, the online version will then become encrypted also right? If your other backup on an external HDD wasn't available for whatever reason then are the Dropbox versions toast also or will version history save the day there? Thinking it's time for the periodic offline backup stored elsewhere unattached to main PC.
Dropbox keeps older versions of your files for up to 30 days. So you could recover the unencrypted versions that way.
Need more help with or have questions about the newsletter? Check out the newsletter administration page.
Help Ask Leo! Just forward this message, in its entirety (but without your unsubscribe link below) to your friends. Or, just point them at https://newsletter.askleo.com for their own FREE subscription!
Newsletter contents Copyright © 2015,
Leo A. Notenboom & Puget Sound Software, LLC.
Ask Leo! is a registered trademark ® of Puget Sound Software, LLC