Refdesk - "Deleting online accounts is one of the best ways to protect your data security and privacy. The less data you have stored on corporate databases scattered across the internet, the safer you are from the misuse of personal information."
Hewlett-Packard printers have suddenly started rejecting ink cartridges produced or refilled by third parties, apparently due to a “ticking timebomb” left by the manufacturer in an update released in March 2016.
The printers, in the company’s OfficeJet, OfficeJet Pro and OfficeJet Pro X ranges, accepted refills made by third-parties and sold at a significantly lower price than the official ink made and sold by HP itself. But on 13 September, the printers began to reject those refills, with error messages including “cartridge problem”, “one or more cartridges are missing or damaged” and “older generation cartridge”.
Adding insult to injury, the printers themselves have not received a software update recently, suggesting that the last update, six months ago, had a delayed-action effect. In doing so, it prevented affected users from getting the word out about the lockdown and discouraging others in a similar situation from updating their own printers. read more...
UPDATE HP issued a non-apology and made it possible for users to back out the change by applying patched firmware to their printers. See the HP Blog Post. "As a remedy for the small number of affected customers, we will issue an optional firmware update that will remove the dynamic security feature. We expect the update to be ready within two weeks and will post additional information here as it becomes available". Emphasis is mine.
Always update your Apple software from the Updates section of the Apple App Store. Click the Apple icon on the top left of the display, select "About this Mac" and click on Software Update. Never update by way of a link on a webpage or an email.
Update non-Apple software from within the application or from the company's web site. Beware of ectra or bonus software downloads during updates. Oracle's Java updates are notorious for installing unnecessary toolbars. Less scrupulous companies are often the source of unwanted add-ons that can steal data or show unwanted ads.
Make Time Machine backups
Select the option to encrypt backups.
Keep at least two backups each at a different location and at least one disconnected. See my article on The Dangers of Cloud Sync.
Install anti-virus software.
I use Sophos Home, a free AV program for Macs. Sophos.com
For many years, computer viruses and malware were mostly the concern of Windows users. Mac users faced very few threats. This has been atributed to the Mac's sibgle digit market share and, some have argued, a more secure product. One common misconception was that Macs were somehow imune from viruses and malware. While the number of threats may pale in comparrisln to Windows, Macs are indeed suseptible to attack and more and more are appearing. The time has come for Mac users to make secutity a priority.
In the last few weeks, researchers have found the first Mac Ransomware malware in circulation. Ransomware is software that encrypts the files on a computer making them unuseable to the owner. The person controllling the malware then demnads a ransom to unencrypt the files. In most cases, the victim has only 72 hours to pay or the ransom or the malware author threatens to eraswe the key that is needed to restore the files. Regardless of the size of your business, the loss of data can be davastatiung.
Add these new threats to hardware failures and theft and the need for a well thought out and executed computer protection plan is more important then ever.
In late 2014, a small Massachusetts software company got an ominous email: A computer-security researcher said a flaw in one of its programs put millions world-wide at risk of being hacked.
Engineers at the company, Allegro Software Development Corp., analyzed the flaw in the program, which can help users access the controls of home Internet routers. They quickly realized something strange: They had fixed this bug nearly 10 years earlier. But it lived on, even in new devices. Read the article at WSJ
To kitigate the threat until an Android device receives a patch, go to Hangouts, select the menu in the upper left and select Settings. SElect the SMS settings, scroll down until you see "Auto retrieve SMS and UNCHECK that box.
The GPG Suite for Mac provides everything you need to get started with secure communication and encrypting files in one simple package. While no longer free unless you compile the code yourself, it is still worth the cost ($24 per major relase) untill Apple builds encryption into Mac Mail.
Use GPG Suite to encrypt, decrypt, sign and verify files or messages. Manage your GPG Keychain with a few simple clicks and experience the full power of GPG without too much hassle.
One shouldn't need to set up sophisticated encryption tools to protect their private mail, documents and records. Amendment IV to the U. S,. Constitution reads:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
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