Jere’s Tech Tips

Jere's Tech TipsTips from Jere Minich, Advisor, Region 5 (AL, FL, GA, SC) —

HOW TO STOP WEBSITES FROM ASKING FOR YOUR LOCATION – Modern web browsers allow websites to ask for your location through a prompt. If you’re tired of seeing these prompts, you can disable them and websites won’t be able to ask for your location anymore. The setting to change is in your Browser.

Websites that ask for your location usually allow you to plug in a zip code or address instead. You don’t need to provide precise access to your location via your web browser’s location services, so you likely won’t lose much functionality by turning this off.

Go to this How-to-Geek website and see the setting changes for all the popular Browsers:

HOW TO QUICKLY ADJUST WHICH FACEBOOK NOTIFICATIONS YOU SEE ON YOUR SMART PHONE OR ON THE WEB – Notifications are one of the worst things about smartphones. It’s one thing to get notifications for things you want, like text messages, but it’s a completely different story if your phone is beeping because someone has invited you to play a game on Facebook.

It’s great then, that on Facebook for iOS and Android, there’s a really quick and handy way to manage notifications you don’t want to see. There’s also a web option, though it isn’t quite as good. Let’s look at both.

Go to this How-to-Geek website for step by step procedures:

SPORA RANSOMWARE SPREADS VIA FAKE ‘CHROME FONT PACK’ – Spora, a powerful new ransomware strain that is able to encrypt files without communicating to a command-and-control server, is using a social engineering attack vector using fake “Chrome Font Pack” pop-ups.

Spora’s evil geniuses have compromised multiple websites, turn the websites’ pages into unreadable text and tell visitors that the “HoeflerText” font is missing and that they can fix this by downloading the “Chrome Font Pack.” People then download and install the malicious code by double-clicking the “update.exe” file.

How do you avoid the Spora malware? If, while browsing a site, you can’t read the type, and if you get a popup which mentions an error with the fonts… Close your browser.  Do not visit that site.

If you happen to know the company or website this has occurred on, send them an email or contact them to inform them that they might have been hacked.

iPHONE ROBBERS TRY TO iPHISH VICTIMS – In another strange tale from the kinetic-attack-meets-cyberattack department, earlier this week I heard from a loyal reader in Brazil whose wife was recently mugged by three robbers who nabbed her iPhone. Not long after the husband texted the stolen phone — offering to buy back the locked device — he soon began receiving text messages stating the phone had been found. All he had to do to begin the process of retrieving the device was click the texted link and log in to the phishing page mimicking Apple’s site. Read the rest of the Krebs on Security article at

WHAT IS JAVASCRIPT, AND WHY IS GMAIL BLOCKING IT?Starting February 13, 2017, Gmail changed its policy regarding JavaScript. Here’s why this is changing, and how you can protect yourself from malicious JavaScript.

What Is JavaScript, Anyway? JavaScript (not to be confused with Java, a separate programming language with a similar name) is not inherently a dangerous or malicious thing. JavaScript is a programming language that is stored in plain text and executed by various programs, including web browsers. Currently, it is likely the most popular language on the web.

Why Is Gmail Blocking It? Security experts have noted a trend of more malware written in JavaScript. These are often sent over email, disguised as a resume, or phishing message targeting businesses, or a claim the attachment will “track a recent order.” This is a “trojan horse” (or simply “trojan”) kind of injection of malicious software, because it needs an unsuspecting user to download, open, run, or install malicious bits of code. One frightening recent trend from the past few years is Ransomware. Given access to your computer, a JavaScript program might install software to turn your important files to unreadable gibberish through a process called Encryption, forcing you to pay someone halfway around the globe to get back the files that used to be yours. Google keeps a list of common filetypes used by malware creators, and Gmail blocks them. Because of the increase of this kind of malware, the JavaScript filetype has been added to that list. It’s unlikely this will cause most users any problems, most users will not likely notice any difference.

What you can do to keep yourself safe – Never open email attachments from untrusted or unknown senders, or from known senders if the email looks suspicious or confusing. Doing this will cut your risk to all malicious Trojan code down to almost nothing, since the majority of it comes from spam or hijacked email accounts. And that’s roughly all you need to know about keeping safe from any bad bits of JavaScript. Gmail also blocks password protected files and archives as these, too, can be used to send malicious payloads. How-to-Geek

RSA CYBERSECURITY CONFERENCE  2017. SOPHOSLABS SEES SPIKE IN LINUX-IOT MALWARE – Attackers are increasingly using Linux security holes to target and infect Internet of Things (IoT) devices that include everything from webcams to Internet-connecting household appliances. NakedSecurity by SOPHOS 2/13/17. Read more at:

SOPHOSLABS REPORT EXAMINES TOP 10 ANDROID MALWARE – SophosLabs analysis systems processed more than 8.5m suspicious Android applications in 2016. More than half of them were either malware or potentially unwanted applications (PUA), including poorly behaved adware. NakedSecurity by SOPHOS 2/14/17. Read more at:

DECONSTRUCTING MAC OS RANSOMWARE – Though Mac malware is comparatively rare, Apple computers are not immune, as this year’s SophosLabs malware forecast shows. Mac malware is often technically sneaky and geared towards harvesting data or providing covert remote access to thieves. NakedSecurity by SOPHOS 2/15/17. Read more at:

GOOGLE SET TO PURGE PLAY STORE OF APPS LACKING A PRIVACY POLICY – Google is warning developers that it plans to purge its Play store of apps that don’t have privacy policies. The move could affect millions of apps that don’t spell out what they do with user data. Studies have found that mobile apps in general – both those in Google Play and in Apple’s app store – have been pretty dismal when it comes to privacy. Google Play store app developers have until March 15 to do one of two things: either link to a “valid” privacy policy on their app store listing page and within their app, or stop asking for sensitive user data. That’s the bare minimum requirement, though. Requirements get stiffer still for personal and sensitive information. Read more at:

WHAT IS A “PORTABLE” APP, AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?Portable applications offer some definite advantages over their traditional counterparts. They’re lightweight and they allow you to move between computers while taking your applications and settings with you.

A portable app is simply one that doesn’t use an installer. All the files required to run the app reside in a single folder, which you can put anywhere on the system. If you move the folder, the app will still work the same. Instead of installing a portable app, you typically download it as a ZIP file, extract that ZIP it a folder, and run the executable file for the app. If the app allows you to save settings, those settings are saved in files right inside the same folder.

Stick them on a USB drive and you can carry them around from computer to computer. They won’t leave any footprint on the PCs you run them on. Everything, including any settings you’ve saved, is saved right in the portable app’s folder on the USB drive.

Go to How to Geek Webpage to see the whole article.

33% OFF SANDISK IXPAND FLASH DRIVE 32GB FOR iPHONE AND iPAD – DEAL ALERT – The SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive lets you quickly free up space on iPhones, iPads, and iPods; automatically back up photos and watch videos straight from the drive. The flexible Lightning connector works with most protective iDevice cases.

The USB 3.0 connector makes it easy to move content between devices. This flash drive also includes encryption software to password protect files, so you can share content while keeping sensitive files secure.

The SanDisk iXpand Drive app provides a fast and simple way to organize content and play music and videos directly from the drive. TheSanDisk iXpand Flash Drive currently averages 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon from over 600 customers and its list price of $59.99 is currently discounted 33% to $39.94.

Go to and get one while they last at this price.

HOW TO SET UP A PICTURE PASSWORD IN WINDOWS 10A picture password is an alternative to typing regular passwords when signing into Windows 10.

Windows 8 and Windows 10 each brought in new ways of signing into your account. You now have options like signing in using a PIN or a picture password built into your basic account options. With the right add-on hardware, you can use Windows Hello to sign on with a fingerprint or even your webcam.

And that’s all in addition to the unified login across devices you get when you use an online Microsoft account rather than a local user account.

Go To this How to Geek Webpage for the complete story.:

HOW TO ADD ANY SEARCH ENGINE TO YOUR WEB BROWSERThere is a difference between a Browser and a Search Engine.Web browsers include a few search engines for you to choose from, but you can easily add more. Even if a website doesn’t offer an official search plugin, you can add any custom search engine you like with a few tricks.

Go to this How-to-Geek webpage and get the step-by-step plus pictures for your favorite Browser. The major 5 Browsers are covered. 

HOW TO OPT OUT OF PERSONALIZED ADS FROM GOOGLE – Ads are an unfortunate necessity on the Internet—they’re how sites are able to operate. But if you find personalized ads a little too creepy, you can tell Google (one of the Internet’s biggest ad networks) to stop showing you personalized ads.

That way, instead of getting ads for things that you’ve recently searched for (or similar items), you could see completely unrelated, un-personalized ads that aren’t based on your search and browser history. This way, you can still support the sites you love without feeling like Google’s stalking your every move.

Go to How-to Geek web site for a step by step explanation:

WINDOWS 10’S PRIVACY SETTINGS WILL BE SIMPLER BUT MORE LIMITED WITH CREATORS’ UPDATEAn announcement Tuesday says that Microsoft would soon reduce the amount of diagnostic data collected from Windows 10 under an optional setting, and immediately launch an online portal where customers can lock in privacy settings.

Microsoft plans to revamp how privacy is managed in the upcoming Creators Update to Windows 10, both as part of the initial setup as well as the amount of data it collects in day-to-day diagnostics. That amount will actually decrease, if a user so chooses. But Microsoft has also eliminated an intermediary option, forcing the user to choose whether to provide Microsoft minimal or “full” access to their PC.Windows 10 users will not see all these changes until around April 2017.

MICROSOFT PRIVACY DASHBOARD – This Microsoft website is the place where you can manage your privacy settings for the Microsoft products and services you use, and where you can view and clear the data that Microsoft saves to the cloud.

For other data that is saved to your Windows 10 device, you’ll need to go to your device to change those privacy settings and view the data collected. You’ll find detailed instructions for viewing and changing your privacy settings on your device on the individual settings pages listed below.

Browsing history; Search history; Location activity; Cortana’s Notebook; Health activity.

Windows – Change any of your privacy settings on your Windows 10 device by going to Start > Settings > Privacy.

Apps and services – Manage the apps and services that are allowed to access your data.

Xbox – Adjust your Xbox privacy settings either on your console or by signing in to

Office – View your privacy settings in any Office program by going to File > Options > Trust Center.

In free Office apps, go to Settings > Trust Center.

Skype – Edit who can see your profile in Skype and other privacy settings by signing in to your account at

Advertising preferences – Choose whether you would like to see personalized advertising.

Marketing preferences – Manage promotional communications associated with your Microsoft account by signing into the Promotional Communications Manager.

If you don’t have a Microsoft account, you can manage promotional email communications by using this web form.

FTC SUES D-LINK OVER ROUTER AND CAMERA SECURITY FLAWS – If you’ve got a wireless network, your wireless router connects your computer and other devices to the internet. If it’s reasonably designed and configured, the router also is a gate that should prevent hackers from accessing your devices and data.

January 5 by Ari Lazarus, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

POLICE RAIDS IN INDIA CUT DOWN IRS IMPOSTER CALLS (FTC) – Over the last few years, we’ve warned about a lot of imposter scams. In one of the most common types, callers pretending to be from the IRS demand payments and threaten to arrest people.

January 5 by Nat Wood – Associate Director, Consumer & Business Education, FTC

TECH TIPS: 19 INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL LIFEHACKS TO PROTECT YOUR PRIVACY AND POCKETBOOK – Andre Da Costa, groovyPost – “It’s that time of the year when family and loved one’s schedule travel plans around the world, whether it’s a student going home for the holidays or a warm vacation getaway to the Caribbean. International and domestic travel are not like what it was 15 years ago. In a post 9/11 world, increased security measures have made traveling beyond borders a hassle. The annoyance of going through security checkpoints at your airport of departure and hubs can seriously put a damper on your travel experience. I believe part of overcoming unexpected obstacles is always to prepare.”

THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT (BUT IT MIGHT BE FAKE) FTC 12/22/16 – Fraudulent apps can take your credit card or bank information. Some fake apps may even install malware onto your phone and demand money from you to unlock it. Read more at:

iOS 10.2 UPDATE: THE 5 BEST FEATURES FOR YOUR iPHONE – Go to this Tech Times web site and read all about it.

HOW TO DOWNGRADE FROM iOS 10.2 TO 10.1.1 OR 10.1: QUICK TIPS FOR iPHONE AND iPAD OWNERSIf you do not like iOS 10.2, go to this Tech Times website and see how to downgrade.

HOW TO REPLACE 5 MAJOR YAHOO SERVICES AND DELETE YOUR YAHOO ACCOUNTThe news is full of Yahoo account problems. There is a way to get out of Yahoo. Go to this CSO Online web site and read all about it. 

YAHOO: ONE BILLION MORE ACCOUNTS HACKED – Krebs on Security, 12/14/16. “Just months after disclosing a breach that compromised the passwords for a half billion of its users, Yahoo now says a separate incident has jeopardized data from at least a billion more user accounts. The company also warned attackers have figured out a way to log into targeted Yahoo accounts without even supplying the victim’s password.” Read more from Krebs at:

Toby Scott, Tech Guru at the Channel Islands PCUG in SoCal gave a presentation at their September meeting on the Yahoo hack that was publicized around that time. He’s got some great tips for people who use Yahoo e-mail. Actually, everyone who uses e-mail should read the tips.   AnatomyofanEmailHack

GOOLIGAN MALWARE SPREADING LIKE WILDFIRE – Ask Bob Rankin reports that a new malware known as “Gooligan” is infecting 13,000 Android phones each day, according to CheckPoint, a cybersecurity firm headquartered in San Carlos, CA. Over one million smartphones have already been infected, making Gooligan the biggest security breach that Android has ever experienced. Do you need to worry? December 5, 2016 – Read on…

REPORT: ANDROID 7.1 ROLLOUT TO NEXUS DEVICES WILL BEGIN DECEMBER 6The software will bring the latest features and the December security patch. The update will be called Android 7.1.1 when it’s released as it also incorporates some bug fixes and optimizations since the Pixel launched with 7.1. Google’s Pixel will also get the update to 7.1.1 in December alongside the Nexus updates, to avoid confusion about version numbers.

Such updates usually come in waves that take about two weeks to reach everyone. So if you have a Nexus 6P, 5X, 6, 9, or Pixel C you may need to exhibit patience or flash the software manually when it arrives.

Go to: PC World Magazine this link and read the entire story.:

HOW TO SECURE YOUR AMAZON ACCOUNTIf you’re like me,  you do a lot of shopping on Amazon. But because it’s so encompassing, it’s also something you’re going to want to take extra care to secure.

Odds are you have at least one credit card, your home address, and phone number stored on your Amazon account, which could be very bad should that account fall into the wrong hands. Fortunately, there are a few things you can—and should!—do in order to make sure your Amazon data is as safe as it can be.

Go To the following ‘How to Geek’ web site and read all about it with step by step pictures and directions.:

LOCKY HIDDEN IN IMAGE FILE HITTING FACEBOOK, LINKEDIN USERSMalware masquerading as an image file is still spreading on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networks.

“The attackers exploit a misconfiguration on the social media infrastructure to deliberately force their victims to download the image file. This results in infection of the users’ device as soon as the end-user clicks on the downloaded file,” they noted.

The good news about this particular attack vector, is that it’s not automatic, i.e. it requires users to actually download and run the malicious files themselves. The bad news is that users like to look at image someone has sent them.

A video demonstration of the attack can be viewed at the following website: 

HOW TO CUSTOMIZE THE TASKBAR IN WINDOWS 10Windows 10 offers all kinds of ways to customize the taskbar to your liking. Go to the following “How to Geek” website to learn more step by step.:

WHAT TO DO IF SAFARI, CAMERA, FACETIME, OR THE APP STORE ARE MISSING FROM YOUR HOME SCREEN ON IPAD OR IPHONEIf an app doesn’t show up on your home screen, you may have just uninstalled it. But if a pre-bundled app has gone missing, there could be a few causes.

Go to the following “How to Geek” website to learn more step by step.:

HOW TO GET YOUR STREAMING VIDEO TO STOP BUFFERING SO DARN MUCH – If you’re dealing with stuttering, hanging, or just low quality video, there are a few things you can do to improve it.

Go to the following “How to Geek” website to learn more step by step.:

APPLE SAVES IPHONE CALL HISTORY TO ICLOUD, BUT BARELY MENTIONS IT – As a convenience feature, Apple will sync your call history to iCloud, but the company doesn’t make it easy or obvious to shut it off.

Modern smartphones make it easy to back up all your data to the cloud so you can keep it synced across devices, or download it to a new phone. That can have unfortunate consequences, however—especially when phones are syncing sensitive information that users aren’t explicitly aware of, and then a company famous for developing smartphone cracking software finds out.

Go to the following PC World magazine website to read all about it.:

ENTRY-LEVEL US ANDROID PHONES ARE SECRETLY SENDING TEXT MESSAGES AND CALL LOG DATA TO CHINA EVERY 72 HOURS – Security firm Kryptowire published an analysis listing several entry-level smartphones sold in the United States that have been stockpiling sensitive personal data without receiving user consent. One such smartphone was the $50 Blu R1 HD, according to Kryptowire.

Answer: “We confirm that no ZTE devices in the U.S. have ever had the Adups software cited in recent news reports installed on them, and will not. ZTE always makes security and privacy a top priority for our customers. We will continue to ensure customer privacy and information remain protected.”

The full article is in “Tech Times .com web site as follows:

This Anti-Snore Wearable Has Taken Kickstarter By Storm: How Does It Work? It’s a wearable known as Anti-Snore, and it’s all the rave on Kickstarter right now. It’s designed to save non-snorers from having to wake up to stop someone else from snoring.

Go to “Tech Times “ article to see the idea.:  (Kickstarter is a web site where people can raise funds for a new project. Check it out)

IPHONES VULNERABLE TO YET ANOTHER LOCKSCREEN BYPASS – “iPhone aficionados at iDeviceHelp and EverythingApplePro have discovered yet another way for someone who has physical access to your phone to access your messages, photos, and contacts, even if the phone is locked with both a passcode and properly configured TouchID.” by Maria Varmazis, Naked Security by SOPHOS.

AMERICA RECYCLES DAY – November 15.  Both Best Buy and Staples have extensive recycling programs that accept most types of electronics independent of where it was purchased. Staples is offering a $10 off coupon for use in December for recycling tech between 11/13/16 and 11/19/16. Best Buy offers 15% off an HP inkjet printer when you recycle any brand of printer. (From the Philadelphia Area Computer Society November meeting announcement.)

Staples –

Best Buy –

HOW HOLIDAY SHOPPERS CAN PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM FAKE APPS (ABC NEWS – 11/11/16)Holiday shopping is underway and this year, more people are tapping into their smartphones to get the job done. But buyers beware — there are fake apps posing as stores that could steal money and personal information.

HOW TO DEFEND AGAINST RANSOMWAREIn September, the FTC hosted a workshop on ransomware, one of the most serious online threats facing people and businesses today — and the most profitable form of malware criminals use. Check out the videos featuring conversations with security researchers, technologists, law enforcers, and business leaders.
November 10, 2016
Ben Rossen, Attorney, Division of Privacy and Identity Protection

ANDROID USERS AT HIGH RISK FROM CHROME FLAW –  LOSING YOUR PASSWORDS ON AN ANDROID DEVICE. November 9, 2016.  If you’re using your Android device for online banking, you should be extremely careful about what apps you download in the next few weeks.

Exploiting a Chrome browser bug, malicious hackers are installing a Trojan that steals banking credentials. The infection is typically delivered in bogus updates to Instagram, Skype, WhatsApp, and Chrome, as reported in a Help Net Security article.

Users of the mobile version of Google Chrome should be extra careful when faced with unsolicited offers to install a popular app, Kaspersky Lab researchers warn. Cyber crooks pushing the Svpeng Android banking Trojan are taking advantage of a bug that allows them to force the download of the malware on the target’s Android device without any user interaction, and other malware peddlers might soon hop on that particular train.

This Trojan works only on Google Chrome. Other Browsers are not affected.

What to do: This threat might not be resolved for several weeks. Until it is, I suggest using a mobile-device security app such as Lookout Personal to protect your Android system.

REMOTELY RING, LOCK, OR ERASE A LOST ANDROID DEVICE – If you or a friend lose a device that is signed into a Google Account, you can use Android Device Manager to remotely ring, lock, or erase that device. When Android Device Manager interacts with the device, it’ll get a notification. You can also use Android Device Manager to show your device’s location.

Important: Android Device Manager won’t work for devices that are turned off, or that don’t have a Wi-Fi connection or mobile data connection with an active SIM card.

Tip: If you’ve linked your phone to Google, you can locate or ring it by searching for find my phone on

Go to this Google website and read all about it:

MICROSOFT CONFIRMS MASSIVE WINDOWS 10 UPGRADE CHANGES – Speaking on the official Windows blog, Windows program manager Bill Karagounis explained that Windows 10 is going to get much smarter about how it downloads updates. UUP will become the universal system used by all versions of Windows 10 – including on smartphones and tablets – and it should mean users not only save valuable bandwidth but also waste less time as devices focus purely on installing new patches.

Read more at:

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO STOP ROBOCALLS RIGHT NOW, by The Watch Dog, Dave Lieber, The Dallas Morning News – Why isn’t the Robocall Strike Force – led by the Federal Communications Commission, AT&T Chairman Randall Stephenson and the nation’s leading tech companies – working to make hideous Caller ID spoofing illegal? Dave shares with you the latest tools to block and filter bad callers. You don’t have to wait the projected 20 more months until the Strike Force completes its work to stop crooked callers from pecking away at your sanity.

HOW TO TROUBLESHOOT BLUETOOTH PROBLEMS ON YOUR IPHONE OR IPAD – Bluetooth can be a little finicky on its best of days. There are several possible points of failure between your iOS device and whatever accessory you’re connecting to. Here’s how to troubleshoot them.

Go to This How to Geek Website and read the step by step article:

SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 8 CONFIRMED: Upgrade Program for Galaxy Note 7 Owners to Next Year’s Flagships Announced – Samsung is holding an upgrade program that lets Galaxy Note 7 owners trade in their devices to get either a Galaxy S8 or Galaxy Note 8 at a discounted price, essentially confirming the arrival of the next generation in the Note series. Currently, the deal is limited to customers in South Korea, and it’s still unclear whether or not it will be launched in the United States or other markets across the globe. The company says the rollout hinges on the situation that a country is in, but it did not explain the details.

Go to this Tech Times website and read the full articles: 

KEEP YOUR FAMILY SAFE WITH THESE TIPS FROM SOPHOS – “Whether you use Sophos Home or other security software to protect your home computers, that’s only half the battle of keeping your family safe and secure online. What about the other steps you need to take in order to batten down the hatches against those sneaky cybercriminals?”

HP RETHINKS ITS INK POLICY, ALLOWING THIRD-PARTY INK AGAIN – HP said it will provide the firmware update in about two weeks via a dedicated support forum. The affected printers are the small-business OfficeJet, OfficeJet Pro, and OfficeJet Pro X. It wasn’t immediately clear whether updated firmware would roll out for all affected models at the same time.

Customers with immediate concerns can email HP at

Go to this PC World  Website for the complete story.


  • Review your Yahoo Mail settings (good advice for any email account.)
  • Delete email contacts that you don’t recognize.
  • Delete linked Mail accounts that you don’t recognize or control.
  • Change your password on any linked accounts that you control.
  • Make sure your vacation response is turned off.
  • See if someone else has been accessing your account.

No matter what, if you think your account has been accessed without your permission, change your password immediately. If you don’t have access to your account, use the Sign-in Helper to get back in.

Signs your account has been hacked

  • Your account information has changed without your knowledge.
  • There are logins from locations you don’t recognize on your recent activity page.
  • You aren’t receiving expected emails.
  • Your Yahoo Mail account is sending spam.
  • Go to this ‘Yahoo Help’ Website and follow the directions to get things right.

System Restore is a Windows feature that can help fix certain types of crashes and other computer problems. Here’s how it works, how to set it up, and how to use it when things go awry.

We’re going to be using Windows 10 in this article, but System Restore has been around a long time–and works pretty much the same way in each version of Windows. The instructions here are good for Windows 7, 8, and 10, and you’ll encounter only minor differences throughout the process.

What is System Restore?
When something goes wrong on your system as a result of a bad piece of software–maybe an app you installed, or a driver that broke something important–it can be hard to fix. System Restore lets you restore your Windows installation back to its last working state.

It does this by creating “restore points” every so often.

Go to this ‘How to Geek’ Website for a complete explanation and step by step for System Restore.

HOW TO BOOST PERFORMANCE ON YOUR OLDER iPHONE OR iPADIf your iPhone or iPad is showing its age, try these tricks to squeeze out a bit more performance. Even though Apple strives to keep iOS running well on older iPhones and iPads, the sad truth is, eventually they won’t be able to keep up. Plus, as apps become more advanced, they too won’t run as quickly. So, aside from falling into an endless upgrade cycle, what can you do?

Turns out, there are quite a few things. See this article for a complete list of things you can do:

WHY MOBILE PRIVACY IS NOW MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER – HACKING YOUR PHONESharyn Alfonsi reports on how cellphones and mobile phone networks are vulnerable to hacking. This was broadcast on 60 Minutes TV show in April and September 2016. Take a look and be safe.

  • A lot of modern life is interconnected through the Internet of Things — a global empire of billions of devices and machines.
  • Automobile navigation systems.
  • Smart TVs
  • Thermostats
  • Telephone networks
  • Home security systems
  • Online banking
  • Almost everything you can imagine is linked to the World Wide Web. And the emperor of it all is the smartphone.

You’ve probably been warned to be careful about what you say and do on your phone, but after you see what we found, you won’t need to be warned again. Go to the following link to read all about it:

APPLE RELEASES UPDATES to address vulnerabilities in OS X and Safari. See more at:

PASSWORD Vs PASSPHRASE: 5 Reasons to Use a Passphrase – 
The debate between passwords versus passphrases is currently the trending buzz online. After all the password hacking and identity theft incidents have caught media attention, a lot of online users have now become aware of the ominous danger that is lurking in the world of the Internet.

Hence, the recommendation to use passphrases instead of passwords by “Information Technology,” experts just came at the right time.

However, some people are still confused as to the difference between a password and a passphrase, and why the latter is more reliable.

The difference between passwords and passphrases

  • A password,  as you know, is typically composed of letters or symbols, or a combination of both. It could be a string of random symbols such as “B@3!&O$$” or a combination of both such as “sh@tup!”.
  • A passphrase is longer than a password and contains spaces in between words such as this: “The road to success is always under construction!”
  • A passphrase can also contain symbols, and does not have to be a proper sentence or grammatically correct. The main difference of the two is that passwords do not have spaces while passphrases have spaces and are longer than any random string of letters/ numbers/ symbols.

So why is a passphrase better than passwords?

  1. Passphrases are easier to remember than a random password of symbols and letters combined together. It would be easier to remember a phrase from your favorite song, favorite quotation, than to remember a short but complicated password.
  2. Passwords are relatively easy to guess or crack by both human and robots. The online criminals have developed state-of-the-art hacking tools that are designed to crack even the most complicated password.
  3. Passphrases Satisfy complex rules easily. The use of punctuation, upper and lower cases in Passphrases also meets the complexity requirements for passwords.
  4. Major OS and applications supports passphrases. All major OS’ including Windows, Linux and Mac allow passphrases of up to 127 characters long. Hence, you can opt for longer passphrases for maximum security.
  5. Passphrases are next to impossible to crack because most of the highly-efficient password cracking tools break down at around 10 characters. Hence, even the most advanced cracking tool won’t be able to guess, brute-force or pre-compute passphrases.

I recommend you change your MO and use passphrases.
If the Password block requires 8 to 16 characters, use all 16 in a passphrase.
3 Examples: my Mother tells, everyone I am 63, allthegoodisIt88

SOME FREEWARE DOWNLOAD WEBSITES HAVE FINALLY STOPPED BUNDLING CRAPWARECrapware is regularly foisted upon unsuspecting users by pretty much every big freeware site. A few sites have started cleaning up their act.

Most freeware download sites still use shady tactics, cramming their own installers full of unwanted software and misleading advertisements down your throat in order to make a buck.

But now that a few are getting better, let’s give credit where credit is due–so consider this an ongoing list of sites that have made things right.

My favorite Freeware Download is: It is not only crapware free, but a secure site. (https:) ☺Go to this website for complete information:


3 ALTERNATIVES IF YOU DON’T WANT TO ENTER A PASSWORD ON YOUR WINDOWS MACHINE – A reader who wants to remain anonymous doesn’t want to type in his Windows password more than once or twice a day. By default, Windows requires you to prove that you’re you every time you boot or just wake the computer out of sleep mode. There are good reasons for that. You don’t want someone else reading your email or shopping with your Amazon account. But all that typing can get annoying, and if you only use your PC in a secure place, it may not be necessary. Here are three ways to avoid this repetitive typing.
Go to this website for the complete article.

HOW TO SET DEFAULT APPS ON ANDROIDWhen you have multiple applications that do the same thing—like browsers, for example—Android will ask you which one you want to use every time, at least until you set one as the default with the “always” action. In the earlier days of the app picker, you’d have to clear defaults for each one before applying another, but things have changed.

Now, there’s a simple way to manage default applications for the most-used apps all in one place. The only problem is that it’s in a different place for every major manufacturer. Just Android things, right?

Go to this website for step by step instructions.

DO YOU MAKE ONLINE PAYMENTS? “Dorkbot is a botnet used to steal online payment, participate in distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, and deliver other types of malware to victims’ computers. According to Microsoft, the family of malware used in this botnet “has infected more than one million personal computers in over 190 countries over the course of the past year.” The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Microsoft, is releasing this Technical Alert to provide further information about Dorkbot. A system infected with Dorkbot may be used to send spam, participate in DDoS attacks, or harvest users’ credentials for online services, including banking services.”

Click on the link to read more about Dorkbot plus suggested steps to help keep your computer free from malware.

HOW TO DELETE YOUR “OK GOOGLE” VOICE ACTIVITY HISTORY – If you’re an owner of an Android device, you’re certainly familiar with the “OK Google” feature for searches and other voice commands. What you may not know is that every time you use it Google records and keeps a record of what you’re saying.

If that sounds unsettling and you are concerned about your privacy, the good news is you can delete it. In fact, you can listen to all of your voice activity and get a text transcript as well.

Google (and virtual assistant technology on other platforms) does this presumably to help improve language recognition and search results.

Go to this Web site for the complete article and step by step with pictures.
The JTT on the end is for Jere’s Tech Tips.

COMPLETE GUIDE TO TAKING SCREENSHOTS ON PC, MAC AND MOBILE DEVICES – Ever wanted to know how to capture screenshots on your mobile device or computer? This complete guide will provide the answers.

Screenshots are images of on-screen items, such as the interface or a portion of it.

With all the different devices and form factors, capturing a screenshot varies.

Go to this Web site to see the complete article and procedures (with pictures).

RUNNING OUT OF SPACE ON YOUR IPHONE? – EIGHT TIPS TO HELP YOU QUICKLY AND EASILY FREE UP SPACE – By Adrian Kingsley-Hughes for Hardware 2.0, April 23, 2016 – Are you running out of space on your iPhone (or iPad)? Are you starting to feel like you’re going to have to delete your existing data to make space for new apps? Feel like just deleting a bunch of stuff randomly to make more room? Stop!

Before you go deleting potentially precious data like photos or notes, here are some tips to help you make the most from the storage space you have on your device. Find the tips at:

DO YOU HAVE AN ANDROID PHONE? – It’s unfortunate, but there are a lot scammers out there looking to steal personal and financial information from Android devices. Read about the Android scams you should know about and how you can avoid getting caught in them. Cory Schmidt, Contributor, AndroidPIT

MALWAREBYTES COMING OUT WITH ANTI-RANSOMWARE SOFTWARE – If you don’t know what ransomware is, then hopefully you will never find out. What it does is infect your computer and encrypt all of your files essentially holding them hostage so you don’t have any access to them. In order to get your access back you need to pay a “ransom” to the people who encrypted your files.

These people are most likely overseas where you don’t have any legal means to get your files back. Once you pay the ransom which can be hundreds of dollars or more you will then get a key to unlock your files. Then again, sometimes you pay and never get a key and are out of luck.

Malwarebytes – (who is known for its effective anti-malware software) is developing new anti-ransomware software which is now in beta testing.

Beta = Before a commercial software program is released to the public, it usually goes through a “beta” phase. During this stage, the software is tested for bugs, crashes, errors, inconsistencies, and any other problems. Beta testing can result in software problems on your PC. Use Beta software at your own risk.

Malwarebytes bought EasySync Solutions which created CryptoMonitor and hired its developer to help create their new software called Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware. The software uses proactive technology that monitors what ransomware is doing and stops it before it gets to your files.

Wait for the final product and then check out the reviews.

SCAMMERS TARGET SMARTPHONES THROUGH SOFTWARE UPDATES –  The next time you need a software update on your cell phone, make sure it’s legitimate.

In the tech support scam, crooks call or email smart phones at random and claim an attempted software update has failed because of a virus. They say the purported problem can be remedied via a $10 credit card payment.

The scammer not only collects the money but also has the credit card number that can be used later for fraudulent charges.


  • Get any software updates directly from your phone
  • Never provide information to an unsolicited caller
  • If you paid, report the crime online to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center at

Learn more about how to avoid this type of fraud in this video:

See more Fraud Friday Alerts at:

PICTURE THIS: YOU START YOUR COMPUTER AND WAIT. And wait. And wait some more. Your Internet is sluggish, your programs are taking forever to load. You might be infected.

Sometimes a malware infection is plain as day. Other times it’s a silent killer. If you want to know whether or not your machine is sick, you first need to understand the symptoms. So let’s take a look at the telltale signs.

See the full article at:


DO YOU MAKE ONLINE PAYMENTS?… According to the US-CERT – “Dorkbot is a botnet used to steal online payment, participate in distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, and deliver other types of malware to victims’ computers. According to Microsoft, the family of malware used in this botnet “has infected more than one million personal computers in over 190 countries over the course of the past year.” The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Microsoft, is releasing this Technical Alert to provide further information about Dorkbot. A system infected with Dorkbot may be used to send spam, participate in DDoS attacks, or harvest users’ credentials for online services, including banking services.”

Click on the link to read more about Dorkbot plus suggested steps to help keep your computer free from malware.


  • Tech support scammers now want you to call.
  • Don’t call the toll-free tech support number – you don’t want online crooks taking remote control of your PC.
  • Don’t buy the tech support plan; if you fell for this in the past, make sure that automatic renewal isn’t going to happen.



  • Why are people concerned with cloud security?
  • Risks of Cloud Storage
  • Benefits of Cloud Storage

….All of this and more is covered in their official Security Blog.