Jere’s Tech Tips

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

WHAT IT WILL TAKE FOR CYBERSECURITY TO BECOME COMMON SENSE – Changing your password needs to become like washing your hands after using the bathroom — a habit. We’re a long way off from that. Look both ways before you cross the street. Wash your hands before leaving the bathroom. Put a seat belt on when you get in the car. Don’t eat the yellow snow. These are all common-sense tips for safety that people have learned, whether from parents or one really embarrassing moment in the winter. But when it comes to cybersecurity, common sense is rare. Thanks to Jim Fromm, the Hawaii group’s editor/webmaster, for sending this CNET article. Take the test to see how you compare to the average American. Read more at:

6 GREAT ANDROID FEATURES MISSING FROM iOS 11 – Sure, iOS 11 looks cool, but Android’s still cooler in some key ways. Call me (author Ben Patterson) a flip-flopper, but the new features in iOS 11 have me thinking of jumping back to iOS after switching to Android barely a year ago.

Indeed, the new version of iOS brings such enticing features as a revamped App Store, a customizable Control Center, and drag-and-drop for iPad users, plus such catch-up features as one-handed typing and easy person-to-person payments.

But returning to iOS would mean leaving behind many Android features I’ve grown to love, from the ability to set up multiple user profiles to one-touch Google searches on whatever’s onscreen at a given moment. Read the PCWorld by IDG article for six awesome Android features that iOS 11 has yet to match.

HOW TO BACK UP ALL YOUR PHOTOS WITH AMAZON’S PRIME PHOTOSMillions of people are Amazon Prime subscribers, but many of them don’t realize that in addition to free shipping and Prime Instant Video, they also get unlimited photo storage for all their computers and mobile devices.

We’ve been encouraging people to get more out of their Amazon account by taking advantage of all the extra features—and unlimited photo storage is definitely a feature that Prime subscribers should take advantage of. Even if you already have a total PC backup system in place, or you’re taking advantage of another type of backup service for your photos like iCloud, we’d still encourage you to take advantage of Prime Photo storage—after all, you’ve already paid for it, and you can never have your irreplaceable photos backed up in too many places.

Thanks to a combination of manual upload through the Prime Photos site, the Amazon Drive + Photos app for Windows and Mac computers, and mobile apps for iOS and Android, it’s absolutely trivial to get your photos into Prime Photo and keep them up to date. Let’s take a look at each method, starting with the no-software-needed manual way.

Go to this HowtoGeek website and get the picture. (Bad Pun)

10 COMMAND LINE TIPS EVERY WINDOWS 10 USER SHOULD KNOW (ADVANCED USERS) –  In this day and age, many users would probably say they have no reason to be exploring a command prompt; especially with all the richness of the graphical user interface (GUI) advancements over the past 20 years.

True, but it doesn’t hurt to collect a few tricks or more, especially for those times you might be in a tight spot.

The command line is an interface that provides all the same facilities as those found in the GUI. In fact, for many years, this is how users operated a computer; it was just a fact of life. Once you get comfortable with the command line, you may even prefer it to the GUI for some tasks.

Command Line Operations in Windows 10 Every User Should Know. Our psyche has been so greatly changed by the power of the GUI, for many of us, the command line can feel primitive. But it shouldn’t and that’s why we are going learn some fun ways you can use it to perform some of the same tasks you normally do using point and click.  Command line operations come in handy when you want to create scripts and automation tasks, too.

Before we begin, check out our previous article for instructions how to find and open the Command Prompt.  Some of these commands call for administrator privileges, so, that’s a good way to start off our adventure.

Go to this website and read the entire article with screenshots.

40 POPULAR TOURIST SCAMS EVERY TRAVELER SHOULD KNOW ABOUTThese are some of the scams that are covered in this Senior Safety Online article: On the Street – The dropped wallet, the Photographer, the Music Artist; Travelling – Drop and Swap, Overnight Bus, Train pickpockets; Shops and Services – Slow counting, Fake Policeman, Fake Ticket; Locals and Children – Overly Helpful Local, Map Seller, Broken Camera; At the Hotel – Fake Front Desk Call, Fake Takeaway Menu. All of these scams and more can be found at:

WHAT DOES LOOKING UNDER THE HOOD OF YOUR BROWSER REVEAL ABOUT YOU? – Imagine you’re running a nonprofit site dedicated to keeping seniors safe online. You write articles about conmen bilking people out of their life savings, romance scams, identity theft and the like.

One day, somebody recommends a chat app called Tawk that enables you to respond in real time when your visitors write in with questions. The price is right, particularly for a nonprofit: it is, in fact, free.

All you have to do is copy a simple line of JavaScript into the HTML of your website, and you’re off and running: the chat widget starts working instantly. Read more of this naked security by SOPHOS article at:

SKYPE OUTAGE TO BLAME ON ‘DDOS ATTACK’, HACKING GROUP CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITYThe Skype outage first began on Monday, and problems have continued into Wednesday. Microsoft hasn’t said much about it, but did say on its website earlier this week that Skype was suffering from connectivity problems. Beware – Steam might be next. Read more of the Inquirer article at:

THE 11 MOST INTRIGUING FALL CREATORS UPDATE FEATURES IN WINDOWS 10 BUILD 16215Microsoft just revealed a service pack’s worth of additions as part of Windows 10 Build 16215: dictation, predictive typing, a “Find My Pen” mode, full-screen Microsoft Edge, and tons more. Microsoft’s blog post lists dozens of changes, so PC World picked 11 especially cool features you definitely need to know about. Read more at:

WINDOWS DEFENDER ANTIVIRUS IN THE WINDOWS DEFENDER SECURITY CENTER APPIn Windows 10, version 1703 (also known as the Creators Update), the Windows Defender app is now part of the Windows Defender Security Center.

Settings that were previously part of the Windows Defender client and main Windows Settings have been combined and moved to the new app, which is installed by default as part of Windows 10, version 1703.

All of the previous functions and settings from the Windows Defender app (in versions of Windows 10 before version 1703) are now found in the new Windows Defender Security Center app. Settings that were previously located in Windows Settings under Update & security > Windows Defender are also now in the new app.

Go to this web page and read about the updated security setting app.;

12 THINGS YOU SHOULD DO BEFORE INSTALLING WINDOWS 10 CREATORS UPDATE (VERSION 1703)The “Spring 2017” Windows 10 Creators Update has been released. This is the second major revision of the operating system since 2015. Microsoft has put an immense amount of work into making sure Windows 10 updates happen smoothly. But inevitably, there are a handful of users who experience difficulty during the upgrade. This is due to the millions of configurations that exist and the complexity of making a product like Windows 10 work on the vast majority of them.

If you haven’t upgraded, this post shows you a few things to do in advance. Some of these are simple safeguards that everyone should do. Others are more conservative measures that might only be worth your time if your Windows 10 PC is mission critical.

In this guide, we’ll walk through: backing up your data, creating recovery media, and disabling software and hardware that might interfere with the upgrade. Use this guide for reference for what you need to do to make sure the Windows 10 Creators Update goes off without a hitch.

Before You Begin: Am I Eligible to Upgrade?

Go to this groovypost website and get the 12 things to do that will ensure you a better update of the Creators edition of Windows 10.;

MICROSOFT ELIMINATES PASSWORDS FOR SIGNING INTO ONLINE SERVICES – HERE’S HOW TO SET IT UP!Microsoft is enhancing its approach to two-factor authentication and looking beyond the password as a means of security and identification. With our smartphones now a mechanical extension of our physical being (I know… depressing isn’t it), the mobile device is likely the safest way to sign into your accounts. That’s exactly what Microsoft has done using its Authenticator app, which we looked at previously. Now, instead of having to remember a complex password; you can ditch the password altogether and use your phone to log into all your Microsoft accounts and services.

Use Your Phone to Sign Into Microsoft Services – Users will need to have the free Microsoft Authenticator app for iOS or Android installed. If you already have an account setup in the app, then all you need to do is Enable Phone sign in.

Go to this groovypost website to read all about it.:

The Microsoft Authenticator lets you quickly and securely verify your identity online, for all of your accounts. A variety of features are available for all types of accounts.

Two-step verification: Two-step verification helps protect your account by providing an extra layer of security beyond simply your password. Here’s how it works – when signing in, after entering your password, you’ll be asked for an additional way to prove it’s really you. Either approve the notification sent to the Microsoft Authenticator, or enter the verification code generated by the app. With this feature, even if someone manages to find your password, they’ll be stopped if they don’t have access to your phone too.

Phone sign-in: Introducing phone sign-in for personal Microsoft accounts! After enrolling your account through the app, you can sign in to your account with only your phone. Just approve the notification sent to the Microsoft Authenticator after entering your username. Available on most Android devices.

Device registration: Some organizations require that you register your device before accessing certain files, emails, or apps. This way, they know that the sign-in request is coming from a trusted device. This can easily be completed through the app.

This app replaces the Azure Authenticator, Microsoft account, and Multi-Factor Authentication apps.

Enroll in our beta program! Follow this link for an early preview of our latest updates:

Go to this groovypost web page to find out how to use the Microsoft Authenticator App.:

ONELOGIN SUFFERS DATA BREACH, AGAIN – OneLogin, a popular single sign-on service that allows users to access thousands of popular cloud-based apps with just one password, has suffered what seems to be a serious data breach.

According to a short blog post by the company’s Chief Information Security Officer Alvaro Hoyos, they discovered the breach when, on Wednesday, they detected unauthorized access to OneLogin data in their US data region.

“We have since blocked this unauthorized access, reported the matter to law enforcement, and are working with an independent security firm to determine how the unauthorized access happened and verify the extent of the impact of this incident,” Hoyos noted, and added that impacted customers have been notified via email and provided with specific recommended remediation steps.

Go to this Helpnetsecurity web page and read all about it if you use Onelogin.

WHAT TO DO WHEN WINDOWS WON’T BOOT – You turn on your computer one day and Windows refuses to boot—what do you do? “Windows won’t boot” is a common symptom with a variety of causes, so you’ll need to perform some troubleshooting.

Modern versions of Windows are better at recovering from this sort of thing. Where Windows XP might have stopped in its tracks when faced with this problem, modern versions of Windows will try to automatically run Startup Repair.

Go to this How-to Geek web page and read about what you can do to get things back to normal.

AMAZON JUST DISCOUNTED ECHO, KINDLE AND MORE FOR FATHER’S DAY Login into your amazon account and check it out.

MICROSOFT SHOWS OFF BIG CHANGES FOR WINDOWS 10 – Released yesterday, the latest developer preview build for Microsoft’s Windows 10 brings a large number of changes to the operating system. New features include a more easily resizeable user interface for the Start menu and Action Center, the ability to pin favorite Web sites and other improvements to the Edge Web browser, Cortana intelligent digital assistant, and a pen-based handwriting experience.

Other improvements arriving with this preview are a new panel for quicker and easier selection of emojis, new phone keyboard-like experiences for PCs, and a one-touch microphone button for desktop dictation in English or Chinese.

Go to this web page to get a look at what is in the future for Windows 10.

HOW A SUPREME COURT RULING ON PRINTER CARTRIDGES CHANGES WHAT IT MEANS TO BUY ALMOST ANYTHING – Last week, the Supreme Court dealt a major blow to corporations that try to use patent law as a weapon against other firms, saying that companies can only be sued for patent infringement in the places they actually do business. Now, the Court has ruled again along those same lines, handing a victory to consumer groups in a case about printer cartridges — or more specifically, toner cartridges, the kind used by laser printers. Thanks to Lou Torraca, MOAA User Group in Hawaii for the link. Read more of the Washington Post article at:

WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T DOWNLOAD THESE APPS – THEY’RE HIDING MALWARE! – Do you play games? How about your grandkids? Usually, Google’s official Play Store is the safest source for Android apps but as evidenced by the recent massive Judy malware campaign, unscrupulous developers sometimes find ways to smuggle malware through official apps and circumvent Google’s screening process.

Two Google Play apps that appear to be innocent games were discovered to be hiding pesky malware and you should delete them immediately. Read more about these apps in the 5/31/17 Kim Komando article (link below). Don’t forget to click on the massive Judy malware campaign link in the article to see more games with malware. (I think I’m going to change my first name—Judy Taylour 😊)

WATCH OUT! TECH SUPPORT SCAMS EXPLOITING WORLDWIDE RANSOMWARE SCARE – It’s been less than two weeks since WannaCry ransomware started creating havoc all over the globe. It infected hundreds of thousands of computers in more than 150 countries in a very short period of time. This ransomware campaign was especially scary in the way that it spread. Scammers have started sending out fake tech-support warnings, piggybacking on fears from WannaCry. How the scam works is, victims see a pop-up warning on their computer that’s supposedly from Microsoft tech-support. The pop-up message claims that the user’s gadget has been infected with WannaCry ransomware.

Read more by Mark Jones,

HOW FAST WILL IDENTITY THIEVES USE STOLEN INFO? – If you’ve been affected by a data breach, or otherwise had your information hacked or stolen, you’ve probably asked yourself, “What happens when my stolen information is made public?” At the FTC’s Identity Theft workshop this morning (5/24), our Office of Technology staff reported on research they did to find out. Read more at:

12 ANDROID APPS WIN 2017 GOOGLE PLAY AWARDS The results are in for the second annual Google Play Awards, the company’s new tradition to honor excellence in the world of Android apps.

Go to this PC World website and see the list with descriptions.:

MICROSOFT REDESIGNS ONENOTE UI (USER INTERFACE) to make it more universally accessible – OneNote is changing to benefit users with vision and mobility impairments, Microsoft announced Thursday. The redesign will place navigation on the left-hand rail, where screen readers and Microsoft’s own Narrator will find it more accessible. The redesign will apply to what Microsoft calls the Windows 10 Universal Windows Platform (UWP) version of OneNote, as well as the versions for iOS and Android, the Mac, and the Web.

Go to this PC World webpage to read all about it.

HOW TO DIAGNOSE YOUR CAR’S CHECK ENGINE LIGHT (WITHOUT GOING TO A MECHANIC), but using your Cell Phone and an App – The Check Engine light on your car is both useful and infuriating. You know something is wrong (which is good!), but you don’t know what. Rather than taking your car all the way down to your mechanic, you can get a pretty good idea what’s wrong with your car with a simple OBD-II adapter. Every car sold in the US after 1996 has an OBD-II port that you can use to connect your car to your phone. This is the same port that a mechanic will connect to in order to find out what’s wrong with your car when the Check Engine light comes on. For a long time, you needed special hardware to use it, but cheap Bluetooth OBD-II adapters (and your cell phone) have made it easy to do it yourself.

There are several ways to diagnose your check engine light, but we’re going to use an app called Dash. This app lets you store important information about your car, track your driving and, as a bonus, diagnose check engine lights. It’s available for Android and iOS, so download it before moving on. If you’ve never used an OBD-II adapter before, check out our guide here to get set up.

Go to this How-to-Geek website and get all the info.:

The OBD II adapter is available at

HOW TO DEAL WITH BAD PHOTOS ON FACEBOOKNot everyone is model pretty and capable of posing perfectly on a split second’s notice. For most mere mortals, photographs can be a risky business. If you’re caught mid-word, after a few drinks or, God forbid, while you’re dancing, no amount of work in Photoshop can ever save the photo.

While most of the time these pictures are fairly harmless fun, if it’s a really bad photo (or perhaps you’re trying to curate a specific professional image) then you might need to do something about it. Here’s what to do if someone else posts a bad photo of you on Facebook.

Go to this How-to-Geek website and read all about it.:

GOOGLE HOME GETS HANDS-FREE CALLING AND 6 OTHER COOL NEW FEATURESGoogle’s answer to the Amazon Echo and Dot equals Google Home. Google’s A.I.(artificial-intelligence) speaker gets hands-free calling, proactive assistance, and HBONow support, among other interesting tricks.

Google Home is barely six months old, and Google is piling on new features. On Wednesday at its I/O developer conference in Mountain View, the company announced upgrades focused on personalizing your interactions and making them hands-free. Presented by Rishi Chandra, Google’s Vice President for Home Products, the new features leapfrog Amazon’s popular Echo assistant in some ways, while in other ways Google is just catching up. Here’s what Google revealed:

Go to this PC World web site and get the latest information:

What is Google Home? – is a voice-activated speaker powered by the Google Assistant. … A simple voice request triggers Google Home to play music, podcasts or radio from services like Google Play Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, Pandora and TuneIn.

GOOGLE’S SMART REPLY FOR GMAIL may make automated replies sound less canned – Google is making it easier for people to dash off a quick email reply from Gmail on their smartphones. The Smart Reply feature, which offers a handful of contextually-aware, computer-generated responses, is coming to Google’s flagship email app for iOS and Android, the company announced at its I/O developer conference Wednesday.

The feature provides users with three machine-generated responses, based on the content of whatever message the user is replying to. It’s built using machine learning, and is designed for use with smartphones, so that people on the go can dash off a reply to their correspondence partners without much effort.

At first, Smart Reply will be available globally in English for users of the Gmail app for iOS and Android. In the coming weeks, Google will also make it available for users who write in Spanish, with other languages coming after that.

Go to this PC World website and read all about it.:

TWITTER ROLLS OUT NEW PRIVACY TOOLS as it ditches Do Not Track and expands data sharing – Privacy conscious Twitter users have some check boxes to de-select. Twitter is dumping its support for Do Not Track (DNT), changing how it shares user data with third parties, and holding any web browsing data it collects for a longer duration—all to better aid in ad targeting, of course. But, at the same time, Twitter is giving users more control over what kind of user data can be used for targeted advertising, as well as more transparency about the information it collects about you.

The privacy features are active now, but the new privacy policies that dump DNT, change data sharing policies, and hold your data longer don’t come into effect until June 18. Here’s a look at what’s going on.

Go to this PC World Web site and get all the new features and setting for your Twitter account:

MEDICARE SCAM ALERT: New Medicare cards are on the way – Changes are coming to your Medicare card. By April 2019, your card will be replaced with one that no longer shows your Social Security number. Instead, your card will have a new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) that will be used for billing and for checking your eligibility and claim status. And it will all happen automatically – you won’t have to pay anyone or give anyone information, no matter what someone might tell you. Read more of the blog post by Andrew Johnson, Consumer Education Specialist, FTC, at:

WHAT’S NEW IN WINDOWS 10’S FALL CREATORS UPDATE, ARRIVING SEPTEMBER 2017 – I imagine many of us still don’t have the Spring Creators Update; here’s info by Chris Hoffman, How-to Geek, about the next Creators Update release.  

Windows 10’s Fall Creators Update, codenamed Redstone 3, will be released in September 2017. Here are all the new features Microsoft announced at its BUILD 2017 event on May 11. There will be many more new features and small changes that make Windows better to use, just as there were in previous updates. We’ll learn about those through the Insider Previews released between now and September, so check back with this post for more useful, smaller, geeky features.

MICROSOFT ISSUES WANACRYPT PATCH FOR WINDOWS 8, XP – Microsoft Corp. today (5/13) took the unusual step of issuing security updates to address flaws in older, unsupported versions of Windows — including Windows XP and Windows 8. The move is a bid to slow the spread of the WanaCrypt ransomware strain that infected tens of thousands of Windows computers virtually overnight this week. Read more of the Krebs on Security article at:

PASS IT ON: TECH SUPPORT SCAMS – Earlier today (May 12), the FTC announced a bunch of cases against tech support scammers: the people who act like there’s a problem with your computer and then try to convince you to fork over money to fix – ahem – “fix” it. Except there never was a problem, and they weren’t really from tech support. Read the rest of this post by Jennifer Leach, Assistant Director, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC at:

AVOID A TECH TRAP – I will drive for a week with my car’s Check Engine light blinking, but if a security warning shows up on my computer, I act immediately. Scammers have been taking advantage of people like me, who care about computer security. They ran operations in the US and overseas that used pop-up messages and phone calls to convince people their computers needed fixing. The callers pitched unnecessary — and sometimes harmful — tech support services that cost people time and money. The FTC announced four new cases against these operations today, and — along with its state, federal and international partners — launched a national and international effort to stop these scams and get money back to the victims. Read the rest of this post by Bridget Small, FTC Consumer Education Specialist, at:

PRIVACY AWARENESS WEEK: A TIME TO LEARN – Privacy Awareness Week is May 8-12, 2017. It’s an annual initiative of the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities Forum that combines the efforts of privacy agencies in the region to share information about privacy practices and rules. If you’ve been following this blog, you know the FTC has tips on how to secure your routers, IP cameras and ‘Internet of Things’ devices, protecting them from hackers and malware attacks. We’ve also reminded you about steps to take to control online tracking by advertisers, as well as how to protect your personal information when connecting mobile devices to a rental car’s infotainment system….. by Melinda Claybaugh, Counsel for International Consumer Protection, FTC. Read the rest of her May 7 blog post at: 

MICROSOFT BULLETIN – WINDOWS 10 VERSION 1507 WILL NO LONGER RECEIVE SECURITY UPDATES – After May 9, 2017, Windows 10 devices running version 1507 will no longer receive security and quality updates. Microsoft recommends updating devices to the latest version of Windows 10 by visiting the Software Download site and selecting Update now to manually update your device. For additional info, check out the Windows lifecycle fact sheet. See the rest of the article at:

DON’T INSTALL THE WINDOWS 10 CREATORS UPDATE ON YOUR OWN, MICROSOFT ADVISES – Microsoft would prefer it if you didn’t try to install the Windows 10 Creators Update yourself. Instead, the company is encouraging everyone but advanced users to wait for the Creators Update to become available via Windows Update. That means workarounds for excited users, like the Media Creation Tool or the Windows Update Assistant, are discouraged. 

Go to this PC World magazine website and read all about it.: 

HOW TO STOP WEBSITES FROM ASKING FOR YOUR LOCATION IN CHROME, EDGE, FIREFOX, OPERA, SAFARI – Browsers can supply your location when you permit it. If you have no plans of ever permitting it here’s how to turn that feature off.

Go to this PC World magazine web site and get the details.:

indows 10’s Creators Update makes it easier to disable location tracking and also erase location history. 

Windows 10 Privacy: How to Disable the Location Features – Go to this PC World magazine web page and get the facts.:

BLIND TRUST IN EMAIL COULD COST YOU YOUR HOME – The process of buying or selling a home can be extremely stressful and complex, but imagine the stress that would boil up if — at settlement — your money was wired to scammers in another country instead of to the settlement firm or escrow company. Here’s the story about a phishing email that cost a couple their home and left them scrambling for months to recover hundreds of thousands in cash that went missing. Don’t forget to watch the video! 

Read the rest of Brian Krebs, KrebsonSecurity, article at:

BE CAREFUL ON GOOGLE PLAY – These malicious apps were discovered on Google Play:

  • A modified version of the Charger mobile ransomware masquerading as a flashlight app
  • The BankBot credential stealer embedded in video apps
  • The DressCode backdoor found in 200 unique Android apps, ranging from style guides and books for children to Doodle applications
  • Spyware posing as an Android system update app.

The unfortunate reality is that most users don’t know enough about the technology they use to keep themselves safe, and aren’t interested in learning or simply don’t know where to start. 

LINKSYS SMART WI-FI ROUTERS FULL OF FLAWS, but temporary fix is available – Over 20 models of Linksys Smart Wi-Fi routers have been found to have vulnerabilities that, if exploited, could allow attackers to overload a router and force a reboot, deny user access, leak sensitive information about the router and connected devices, change restricted settings, and inject and execute commands on the operating system of the router with root privileges. 

They are still there and open to exploitation.

Go to this webpage and read all about it.: 

FLASHLIGHT APP ON GOOGLE PLAY DELIVERED HIGHLY ADAPTABLE BANKING TROJAN – A modified version of the Charger mobile ransomware has been downloaded from Google Play by up to 5,000 users. This new variant of the malware was shipped inside a legitimate-looking flashlight app called “Flashlight LED Widget” and, unlike its predecessor, locking the device and demanding a ransom from the user in order to unlock it is not its main goal. 

Charger.B: A highly flexible credential stealer – The threat was spotted by ESET researchers, who notified Google and got the app pulled from Google Play some ten days ago. 

According to their analysis, the malware works on all Android versions, and is able to minimize its visibility on the infected phones, display fake (phishing) screens mimicking legitimate apps, intercept text messages, and temporarily lock the device to prevent victims from interfering with the crooks’ fraudulent activity. 

How to remove the malware? Go to this website and read all about it.: 

MASTERCARD INTRODUCES CARDS THAT WORK WITH FINGERPRINTS INSTEAD OF PINS – MasterCard has added fingerprint sensors to its payment cards, in an attempt to make face-to-face payments more convenient and more secure.

How does it work? “A cardholder enrolls their card by simply registering with their financial institution. Upon registration, their fingerprint is converted into an encrypted digital template that is stored on the card. The card is now ready to be used at any EMV card terminal globally,” the credit card provider explained. 

“When shopping and paying in-store, the biometric card works like any other chip card. The cardholder simply dips the card into a retailer’s terminal while placing their finger on the embedded sensor. The fingerprint is verified against the template and – if the biometrics match – the cardholder is successfully authenticated and the transaction can then be approved with the card never leaving the consumer’s hand.” 

Go to this website and read the entire article.: 

SAMSUNG ANDROID OWNERS WILL GET SPECIAL GOOGLE PLAY MUSIC FEATURES – Samsung has always been special as the world’s largest Android smartphone maker, and on Friday Google made it even more special. The two companies are teaming up to make Google Play Music the default music app on Samsung Android smartphone and tablets starting with the Galaxy S8 and S8+—both of which start shipping today. 

As part of the perks, users of new Samsung mobile devices will be able to add up to 100,000 songs to Google Play Music’s cloud locker for free. Anyone with a non-Samsung device is limited to the standard 50,000 free song upload. 

In addition, new Samsung devices will come with the free three-month trial of Play Music for new users that Pixel customers and other select Android phones already see. 

HOW TO MAKE WINDOWS TROUBLESHOOT YOUR PC’S PROBLEMS FOR YOU – Windows includes a variety of “troubleshooters” designed to quickly diagnose and automatically solve various computer problems. Troubleshooters can’t fix everything, but they’re a great place to start if you encounter a problem with your computer.

Troubleshooters are built into the Control Panel on Windows 10, 8, and 7, so practically all Windows users can take advantage of them. On Windows 10’s Creators Update, most troubleshooters are now available through the Settings app. 

Go to the following How-to-Geek website and read all about this troubleshooting aid for all current Windows operating systems.:

HOW TECH SUPPORT SCAMMERS HAVE MADE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS – Ahhh, the sweet smell of revenge! Nothing like unleashing some ransomware on those tech support scammers, eh?  

However, fortunately for them, there aren’t hours enough in the day to turn the tables on the swindlers and social-engineer their pants off.  

Unless, that is, you’re talking about researchers at Stony Brook University, who recently cooked up a robot to automatically crawl the web finding tech support scammers and figuring out where they lurk, how they monetize the scam, and what software tools they use to pull off their dastardly deeds. Read more of this article by Lisa Vaas, Naked Security by Sophos, at:

WHAT’S NEW IN WINDOWS 10’S CREATORS UPDATE – The Windows 10 Creators Update—codenamed Redstone 2—began rolling out on April 11, 2017. Like other updates to Windows 10, it’s free, and includes a host of new features. It will be rolled out slowly like the Anniversary Update, so it will be a few months before Microsoft offers it to everyone. Read the rest of Chris Hoffman’s excellent article (with screenshots) at:

WINDOWS 10 CREATORS UPDATE WILL COME WITH CLEARER PRIVACY OPTIONS – Nearly two years after Microsoft released Windows 10, the company has finally revealed what data it collects from users. The revelation comes as part of a recent change of the company’s privacy statement, which has been made to reflect the company’s move towards more transparency.

Go to this Microsoft Website to see their statements.:

I recommend that all users of Windows 10 check their Privacy Settings after they install Windows 10 Creators Update.

LAPTOP/NOTEBOOK BATTERIES RECALL – The May 2017 issue of Consumer Reports has the following recall notice on page 22:

”HP and Toshiba are expanding recalls of lithium-ion computer battery packs that can overheat, posing burn and fire hazards. HP is recalling HP and Compaq packs sold from March 2013 through October 2016. Toshiba is recalling Panasonic packs sold from June 2011 through November 2016.

What to Do. For Toshiba, call 866-224-1346 or go to  for replacement Information; for HP, call 888-202-4320 or go to If your battery is affected by the recall, remove it and power the computer only by plugging in into an outlet until you receive the replacement.”

6 EASY WAYS TO KEEP YOUR ANDROID PHONE SECURE – Protect your device from hackers with these tips. Nope, you’re not being paranoid. From pickpockets to malware, your Android phone is under siege from all sides. Wily attackers are continually switching up their tactics in hopes of taking control of your device.

Let’s acknowledge that there’s no foolproof way to protect your Android device from thieves and hackers. Indeed, as a wise technology guru once told me, if a sophisticated crook decides to target your phone, good luck trying to stop them.

That said, there are plenty of ways to keep your Android handset safe from the most common security threats, all with a minimum of effort. Just as a deadbolt will thwart a casual thief, so will a passcode foil a pickpocket, while the right security settings can keep most malware-infected apps at bay.

Read on for six easy ways to keep your Android phone secure, at this PC World Magazine Web page:

BEST MEDIA STREAMING DEVICE – Whether you’ve just gotten rid of cable or want to supplement your TV package with online video, now’s an excellent time to buy a media streaming device. Compared to the typical smart TV, standalone streamers such as the Roku Streaming Stick and Amazon Fire TV tend to have bigger app selections, faster performance, and more features. And with so much competition between device makers, the hardware is becoming faster, more capable, and more affordable.

Here are some picks for the best streaming boxes and sticks, along with current product reviews. Recommendations will change over time as new products come to market.

Go to This PC World Magazine web page and read the reviews:

LASTPASS IS SCRAMBLING TO FIX ANOTHER SERIOUS VULNERABILITY – The flaw could allow for remote code execution or password theft. For the second time in two weeks, developers of the popular LastPass password manager are working to fix a serious vulnerability that could allow malicious websites to steal user passwords or infect computers with malware. Thanks to The TUG – MOAA Hawaii Aloha Chapter Computer User Group for the info.

WHY ARE SOME iMESSAGES GREEN AND SOME BLUE ON MY iPHONE? – You may have noticed that some messages in iPhone’s Message app are green, while some are blue. What do those colors mean and does it even matter?

Messages with green bubbles are normal SMS text messages. (SMS = Short Message Service)

Message with blue bubbles are sent via the iMessage instant messaging protocol—a messaging platform specific to Apple devices.

If you’re communicating between two Apple devices with iMessage enabled, you’ll see blue messages. If you’re communicating with any device that doesn’t use iMessage—like an Android phone, or an iPhone that doesn’t have iMessage turned on—you’ll see green messages.

Go to this How-to Geek webpage and read all about it.:

WHICH VERSION OF CHROME DO I HAVE? – Chrome is Chrome, right? You download Google’s browser—now the most popular in the world—and you’d think you have the same experience as everyone else. But like most large software vendors, Google releases Chrome in differing “channels,” testing out features in more unstable versions before they get to the release build that hundreds of millions of people use every day.

Whether you want to know what version number you’re on, what development channel you’re using, or whether it’s 32-bit or 64-bit, the About page will tell you everything you need to know.

Go to this How-to Geek web page and get the inside facts.:

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NOTEPAD AND WORDPAD IN WINDOWS? – If you have always used Microsoft Word since you started using a computer, maybe you’ve never looked at those other writing options in Windows.

Notepad and WordPad are both developed by Microsoft itself, and included in every copy of Windows. Don’t dismiss them out of hand—while neither are as powerful as paid software in the same niches, they might just do for you.

Notepad and WordPad, despite their similar names, serve different purposes.

Notepad is a text editor, meant for basic plain text entry.

WordPad is a word processor, meant for formatting and printing documents—like Microsoft Word, but not quite as advanced.

They aren’t the only programs in their respective categories, either. Let’s read a little bit about text editors and word processors, and their intentions.

Go to this How-to Geek web page and read all about it.:

HOW TO SET UP GOOGLE PHOTOS – Having access to all of your photos at a swipe is kind of like living the dream, at least for many photographers it is. If you’re snap-happy, then you owe it to yourself to make sure that you never lose another photo again with Google Photos. This service will back up, store, and organize your photos so that as soon as you capture that moment it’s protected from accidental deletion when your phone runs out of storage space. Getting everything set up is a quick process, provided you already have a Google account, and in many cases comes preloaded on your phone.
Detailed steps at:

WARNING: DANGEROUS NEW GMAIL PHISHING ATTACK CAN EASILY STEAL YOUR GOOGLE LOGINWhy are the Windows and Android platforms always targeted by malware and other malicious attacks from nefarious hackers? Because they’re used by so many people that the odds of a successful attack are dramatically increased compared to less popular platforms like macOS. For that same reason, Google’s Gmail service is often the target of phishing scams that have become increasingly effective in recent years. Now, a new scam has been uncovered that may very well be the most well-executed scam in recent history, making it all too easy for victims to have their Google login credentials stolen. Read more at:

NEW ANDROID SMARTPHONES FOUND TO BE ALREADY INFECTED BY MALWARE: ARE YOU AT RISK?It seems that avoiding the insecure practices of clicking on suspicious links and downloading shady apps is no longer enough to prevent Android smartphones from being attacked by malware and ransomware, as new devices are found to be already infected right out of the box.

The discovery, made by cybersecurity company Check Point, raises fresh concerns on Android security and highlights the importance of malware scanners even on new smartphones.

Check Point Discovers Pre-Installed Malware
According to a blog post published by Check Point, the cybersecurity company discovered a “severe infection” on 38 Android-powered devices. While this is certainly not an unusual incident considering the increasing number of hackers using malware, the alarming detail is that the malware were not downloaded into the devices. Instead, they arrived with the malware pre-installed.

GO to this Tech Times Newsletter website and read the entire article.:

HOW TO GET FREE MONEY FROM GOOGLE BY ANSWERING QUICK SURVEYS – IN THE FORM OF GOOGLE PLAY CREDIT – A search engine always wants  more data. If you want to earn some extra money (in the form of Google Play Credit), Google will give you some in exchange for answering a few occasional survey questions.

The Google Opinion Rewards app periodically gives you surveys consisting of a few simple questions. Most are based around your shopping habits and come from market researchers. If you’d like to know how your data will be used, you can read Google’s FAQ on the subject uses.

The rewards you get won’t pay your bills or anything, but each survey rewards anywhere from ten cents to a dollar or so for a few seconds of your time. It seems small, but it can add up fast—and when it does, and you can get free movie rentals or buy a couple games on the Play Store. Google Play credit even works on in-app purchases, so you can buy Pokéballs or comic books. All for passing a few seconds of time when you’re bored waiting in line at the grocery store.

To get started, download the Google Opinion Rewards app. Then go to this How-to-Geek website and read all about it, or read all about it first.

IRS WARNS OF LAST-MINUTE TAX SCAMSThe Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released an alert warning of phishing email scams targeting last-minute tax filers. The alert describes common features of these cyber crimes and includes recommendations to protect against them: strengthen passwords, recognize phishing attempts, and forward suspicious emails to


OFFICE 2016 VS. OFFICE 365 AND FREE APPS – Here’s the main difference: Office 2016 is the traditional Microsoft Office product, sold for a one-time, up-front fee. You pay once to buy a version of Office 2016 you can install on a single PC or Mac and use for as long as you like. There’s no expiration date.

Office 365, on the other hand, is the new way Microsoft wants you to buy Office. Rather than paying a hefty up-front price, you pay a monthly or yearly fee and get access to the latest version of Office for as long as you pay the fee. You also get additional OneDrive cloud storage and access to the Office apps for tablets. You can choose a subscription that allows you to install Office on up to five different computers, sharing it with your family, or just get Office for yourself.

MICROSOFT OFFICE, POWERPOINT, EXCEL AND ONE NOTE ARE FREE WHEN YOU USE THE ONLINE APPSAccess anywhere, Create and collaborate using your favorite desktop browser; Familiar user interface, Enjoy a familiar experience with the Office apps you already know—so there’s nothing new to learn; Easy transition.

Move seamlessly from Office Online to the full-featured desktop apps—without leaving your document.

Go to This Microsoft Website to read all about it and get started with your Free Apps: 

THE EASIEST WAY TO FIX WI-FI ISSUES: MOVE YOUR ROUTER (SERIOUSLY)Your laptop and iPad connect to the Internet using a century old technology: radio waves.

And radio waves have limits. If you drive through a tunnel with the FM radio on, you’ll mostly hear a bunch of static. This is because the signal from the radio tower can’t reach you underground. There are barriers that block the signal.

The same principle applies to your Wi-Fi: barriers between your router and your devices make the signal worse. So, the physical placement of your device makes a startlingly big difference in your signal across the house.

Place Your Router in the Center of Your House

Go to this How-To-Geek Website and read the entire article:

HOW TO FIX INACCURATE CHARGE PERCENTAGES BY CALIBRATING YOUR PHONE’S BATTERYIf you’ve ever noticed that your phone’s battery goes from 60% to 50% in a matter of minutes, only to remain on 50% for what seems like ages, it probably means the battery needs to be calibrated.

Why Your Phone’s Battery Percentage Becomes Inaccurate

This is a problem that occurs in most battery-powered electronics these days, so this process should work on iPhone, Android, and even tablets or laptops (almost all of which use lithium ion batteries). While it’s really not that big of a problem, it can be a bit annoying when your phone says you have 25% battery left, only to look again and see that it’s nearly dying.

The reason for this is simple. Batteries naturally degrade over time, and their capacity slowly decreases. But your phone isn’t always great at measuring that—if your battery has degraded to 95% of its original capacity, your phone might still report that as 95% full, instead of 100% full (the “new normal”). Calibrating your battery can fix this.

Go to this How -to- Geek Website and read the article.

HOW TO SEE WHICH SERVICES OFFER A MOVIE OR SHOW FOR STREAMINGBack in ancient days, when you wanted a movie, you got off the couch and went to the video store. Sure, you had to leave your house and talk to a person (things no one has to do against their will in 2017,) but you didn’t need to wonder where to look for what. Every store had basically every movie.

That’s not true today. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon all offer a lot of movies, but figuring out what’s offered where is up to you. That’s where JustWatch comes in. Instead of searching Netflix, then Amazon, then Hulu, JustWatch is a “streaming search engine” that lets you find out who is offering which movies and TV shows. If there are no streaming options for the movie or show you want, you’ll see where you can rent or buy it, and how much it will cost.

This feature is already available on some streaming boxes built-in, like the Roku. If it isn’t on your streaming box, there are several sites that can do the trick, including and Can I Stream It. After testing quite a few, we settled on JustWatch for its superior results and layout.

Go to this How-to-Geek website and read the article.

APPLE PUSHING TWO-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION FOR iOS 10.3 USERS -Beta users of Apple iOS 10.3 are reporting that they’re receiving push notifications from Apple to enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for their Apple IDs, which is used on Apple devices (like iPads, iPhones and Macs) to synchronize and share iCloud user data.

Apple’s 2FA provides an extra layer of security for iCloud data as well as for devices registered to an Apple ID, and it seems with iOS 10.3 that Apple is taking stronger measures to encourage its users to enable this feature.

Two-factor authentication isn’t new on iDevices, as it has been available for well over a year since iOS9 and OS X El Capitan – notably, the feature became available first for iCloud after a spate of celebrity iCloud hacking incidents, and then more broadly to secure Apple devices soon after. Read more from Naked Security / Sophos at:

STOP CHARGING YOUR PHONE AT PUBLIC CHARGING STATIONS – If you use a public charging station to charge your phone, you are exposing it to being hacked. Once a port is compromised, a hacker can view and steal your emails, text messages, photos, and contacts. This kind of hacking is called juice jacking, by which malware might be installed on to, or data surreptitiously copied from a device using a charging port that doubles as a data connection, typically over a USB connection. Read the rest of the Vipre Security News article at:

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 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:


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:

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

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.40 POPULAR TOURIST SCAMS EVERY TRAVELER SHOULD KNOW ABOUT – These are some of the scams that are covered in this Senior Safety Online article:
On the Street – The dropped wallet, the Photographer, the Music Artist; Travelling – Drop and Swap, Overnight Bus, Train pickpockets; Shops and Services – Slow counting, Fake Policeman, Fake Ticket; Locals and Children – Overly Helpful Local, Map Seller, Broken Camera; At the Hotel – Fake Front Desk Call, Fake Takeaway Menu. All of these scams and more can be found at: