Windows XP–No Support For MS Security Essentials Either

If you read my earlier article about the end of support for Windows XP, it was missing an important fact.  If you are running Microsoft Security Essentials on Windows XP, support for MSE is going to end for you as well.  This is from the Microsoft website:

As a result, after April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Microsoft will also stop providing ...

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Addicted to Windows XP? Time to Move On

Windows XP is thirteen year old, which is old for dogs, cats, and really old for computers.  Evidently Windows XP systems still claim about 25% of the active operating systems worldwide.  Several of my business clients still have at least some Windows XP systems running on their network, and a decent percentage of my residential clients as well.  After thirteen years, official support for Windows XP ends Tuesday April 8, 2014.  So what does that mean?

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Solid State Drives–Insuring Data Erasure Difficult

One of the recommended procedures when disposing or recycling a computer or hard drive is to completely erase the existing data on the hard drive by reformatting, overwriting the data or using a drive wiping program.  This works quite well on standard ATA, SATA, and SCSI drives that use spinning magnetic platters.  Apparently, these techniques do not reliable remove data from solid state drives (SSDs).

There currently are no reliable methods to guarantee complete erasure of data on SSDs.  The exception ...

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20th Anniversary of Netscape

On April 4 1994 the Mosaic Corporation, the company that became Netscape Communications, was founded by Marc Andreessen, a University of Illinois trained software programmer.  Netscape became the way that the average computer user was introduced to the Internet, and was responsible for turning web sites and web browsing into the phenomenon that it has become over the last 20 years.

There is a phenomenal article on the Internet ...

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Windows 8.1–Return of the Start Menu

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That’s right Windows 8 and 8.1 users, Microsoft is finally caving to the repeated calls for the return of the Start Menu.  It will be pushed out in Windows Updates to users running Windows 8.1.  If you have not upgraded your Windows 8 installation to 8.1, go to the Store (click on the Store tile) and run the upgrade.

We have been satisfying our clients desires for a Start Menu in Windows 8 by installing ...

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Target Breach–Where Are We Now?

Target Stores stock price was at $67 in November, and fell to $54 in February, and over March has managed to recover back to $60 as of this morning.  Not terrible results for a company that was responsible to the loss of 40 million card transactions.  But their profits have fallen 46% since the breach, store traffic and sales are down, and there are still fines, penalties, and class action lawsuit settlements on the horizon.  The total cost of this ...

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Chrome Defends Against Browser Hijacking

Google Chrome logoBrowser hijacking is a growing and super annoying problem.  I see way too many instances where a client of mine has downloaded a “free” program, only to have the program installer bring a host of unwanted and undesirable adware programs.  Many times these freeware programs and games ...

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Sunday Funnies–Adventures in Tech Support

A young support technician was leaving the office late one evening when he found the CEO standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand.

"Listen," said the CEO, "this is a very sensitive and important document here, and my secretary has gone for the night. Can you make this thing work for me?"

"Certainly," said the young support tech. He turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button.

"Excellent, excellent!" said the CEO, ...

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2FA–When a Password Is Not Enough

Two Factor Authentication, also known as 2FA or TFA, is becoming an attractive, and more available option to using just a user name and password combination as your only online security.  Here’s why.

Typical security systems rely on some subset of the authentication triad:  something you know, something you have, or something you are.  Simple security methods rely on having one of the three.  This is the problem with simple security – an attacker simply needs to acquire the one bit ...

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