Read All About IT! May-June 2020
Posted on: 26th May, 2020
Welcome to Read All About IT!, the newsletter from Northumberland Computer Support.
This informative bulletin will be published monthly, (or less), with the aim of keeping you up to date with the world of computers.
You can, of course, unsubscribe at any time that you wish, but I hope that you enjoy reading it, and that you forward a copy to your friends.
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How to Stay Safe & Stay Alert…
As we are still in the grip of Covid-19, albeit with a hopeful glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, the government is urging us to Stay Safe, Stay Alert.
During the past few weeks, here at Northumberland Computer Support, we have been mostly operating remotely, supporting clients not only in Northumberland, but across the UK in places such as Bristol, Middlesex and Norfolk. We like to get about, even if it is only virtually!
Where we have had to collect, or to deliver, computers we have done so whilst following strict procedures in order to keep ourselves and our clients as safe as possible.
But, it is not only with the Coronavirus pandemic that we should follow the Stay Safe, Stay Alert message.
EasyJet have only recently announced that their passenger database was hacked back in January, with over 9 million customers having had their data stolen, of whom some 2,200 had credit card details taken. How can we protect ourselves from such a dismal lack of robust security at the likes of this major company?
One way is to have a different password for every website that you visit. So that having one site hacked doesn’t compromise you everywhere on the web.
But, how can you possibly remember so many passwords?
A generally good method is to use a piece of Password Manager software, such as LastPass. The software sits on your computers, smartphones, tablets, etc and it creates and remembers random passwords for all of your websites. You only have to know the one password to allow access to the Password Manager.
Which is pretty cool; except that the Password Managers could be hacked. See https://www.tomsguide.com/uk/news/password-manager-hacks for further details on that point.
Alternatively, read our own “Read All About IT!” Blog at https://computer-support.uk/how-secure-is-your-password/ which details a simple method of creating and remembering an unlimited number of unique, complex, passwords. This bespoke method allows you to easily create – and, crucially, to remember – a different password for every website that you use.
Although we can’t prevent global organisations, such as EasyJet, from being hacked and carelessly losing the data that you have trusted them with; we can give your own computers a better chance of Staying Safe.
We have supplied Webroot Anti-Virus (https://computer-support.uk/webroot-anti-virus/) for some time now. It’s different to other anti-virus programmes in so many techie ways but, most importantly, it doesn’t ask you daft questions that you don’t know the answer to. It asks us instead, which means that we can take any necessary action on your behalf.
Not only that, but Webroot has just released another upgrade to the software and added “Evasion Shield”, at no extra charge. Existing clients are covered by this upgrade, automatically.https://computer-support.uk/webroot-anti-virus/
This innovation adds yet more robust protection against “script-based” attacks. These are quite simple procedures used by virus-writers who hope to get their virus onto your computer.
Script based attacks take less skill to create than old-school viruses ever did, making them attractive to lazy, wannabe virus writers.
Webroot anti-virus is leading the fight against such threats, helping us all to Stay Safe by Staying Alert.
Ask us about Webroot and why it is our recommended anti-virus software of choice. We can supply and install it to your computer. Remotely, of course!
2 Factor Authentication?
Yet another – and possibly the most effective – method of keeping access to your really important websites free from hackers is by using “2 Factor Authentication”.
Many banking apps now use a form of this security, whereby in order to log on to the website you need to have a username and password; but then they will also send a one-time code to your mobile phone.
The 2 Factors are something you know, (username & passwords); and something you own, (mobile phone).
Many other websites have set up 2 Factor Authentication, known as 2FA. You use an app, such as “Authy” or “Google Authenticator”, which is installed on your mobile phone or tablet; (see here for a list of such apps – https://gizmodo.com/the-best-authenticator-apps-for-protecting-your-account-1840711013).
Having set up 2FA on the website that you wish to visit, you then need to use your usual username and password, plus a one-time code, generated by the 2FA app, to log in to the website. The codes change every 30 seconds, making this is a very secure system.
We can advise further on the use of 2FA and we strongly recommend its use for the most important websites in your life. Just call us for some free advice!
Northumberland Computer Support offers computer support to Northumberland.
We offer a better level of computer support to businesses, schools, charities and home users throughout the county.
We don’t tell you what the problem is. We just give you the solution.
Call us today on 01670 432 324