I just read an article concerning cybercrime and how the criminals are able to keep their networks of corruption functioning at 100%. I have to say, they are ingenious. The shortened version goes like this: 84 percent of compromised computers are in the Ukraine, 12% in Russia and 3% in Romania. The remaining 1% are sprinkled around the world. The compromised computers are hosting websites, collecting stolen payments, serving malware, gathering personal data. To avoid being shut down, they have figured out a way to move the websites from one computer to another every two and a half minutes. For my math head friends, that’s 24 moves every hour, 576 moves every day. I’m not certain if it makes me sad or if it makes me mad. Part of me wishes I had the skill set to know how to do this, part of me is angry that they are using incredible brain capacity for such evil. Click here if you would like to read the article in its entirety.
Also in the news this past month: Several large sites including Facebook and Netflix may be requesting changes to your password. Their reasoning is simple: Users have a tendency to use the same password at multiple sites. If they think you have used the same password at a site that was breached, even if the breach was years ago, they will be requesting a reset. Here is my suggestion for helping you create unique passwords for each site and remembering them. Look at your favorite password. It should be a minimum of 8 characters long. It should contain at least three of these features: 1. UPPER case characters, 2. lower case characters, 3. Numb3rs, 4. Symbol$. Once you have a password that meets these requirements, then tweak the password to make it unique to each site.
Let’s look at some tweaks. Let’s pretend your favorite password is P@$$w0rd. Lets come up with some tweaks for your account at Facebook. Using the first letter and last letter of Facebook, we can make: FP@$$w0rdk; FKP@$$w0rd, P@$$Fkw0rd, P@$$w0rdFk, or using Facebook’s common abbreviation of FB we can make FP@$$w0rdB, FBP@$$w0rd, P@$$FBw0rd, P@$$w0rdFB. The trick to remembering all of your passwords is to be consistent. There are various software utilities that will help you remember passwords for individual sites. I haven’t been wildly impressed with them in the past. If I’m bored this month, I might look at them again and report back. If someone out there wants to make a recommend, I will consider passing the info along. The complete story about password resets can be found here.
And one last time (a repeat from last month): If you are thinking about upgrading to Windows 10, now is the time. Microsoft will continue to offer free upgrades until July 29, after that there will be an upgrade charge. There are advantages to Windows 10. It has a faster boot time and Microsoft will be providing patches until 2025. Microsoft will stop “fixing” Windows 7 in January, 2020, and will stop “fixing” Windows 8 in January 2023. That equates to as much as 5 additional years before the computer is considered obsolete. If you think you might want it, get it now before it is gone!
If you know for certain that you don’t want Windows 10 then cruise over to https://www.grc.com/never10.htm, and download and run the Never10 utility. This tool will turn off the nag about upgrading to Windows 10 and if your system has already downloaded the 6.5 gigs of install files, it will delete those for you as well. If you change your mind and want Windows 10, simply run the utility again and it will reverse the action and 10 will be available to you.
That’s it for this month. Stay safe this summer.
And because it made me laugh, and I'm tempted to try it - 6 pack abs made easy!