The Essential Guide to Strong Passwords (2021 Edition)

If there's one thing you do for your own computer safety, please, use strong, unique passwords! Doing so decreases your chances of suffering virus infection, account hijacking, identity theft, and even financial fraud. People continually re-use passwords, or create weak passwords, or don't change the default passwords on important devices like routers and smart home gadgets. … Continue reading The Essential Guide to Strong Passwords (2021 Edition)

What You Need to Know About Tech Support Scams

Tech support scams are a continuing threat to consumers, especially with so many people working from home. Here’s how to avoid them, and how to find real tech support. A tech support scam usually starts with a fake phone call, phishing email, or pop-up ad. Phone calls are an especially popular choice for reaching consumers … Continue reading What You Need to Know About Tech Support Scams

The Beginner’s Guide to Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, is an easy way to add extra security to your accounts. Here’s what home users need to know about setting up and using 2FA. How Two-Factor Authentication WorksTwo-factor authentication works in tandem with your password. When logging in, you’ll enter your password plus a one-time token, such as a code sent … Continue reading The Beginner’s Guide to Two-Factor Authentication

Ransomware: A Dangerous Threat to Your Computer

Ransomware is a particularly nasty form of computer virus that encrypts your data, then demands payment for the encryption key. Why is ransomware so hazardous, and how can you remove it? Ransomware is vicious because it doesn’t just render your computer unusable. It encrypts all of your files, including those on networked computers, removable drives, … Continue reading Ransomware: A Dangerous Threat to Your Computer

Why You Need To Delete Your Old Accounts

Most people let old accounts languish. But abandoned accounts are filled with information that can be used to send spam, spread malvertising, and commit cybercrimes. For example, I frequently get email messages from people I know, but haven’t talked to in a while. Invariably the email subject is blank or says nothing but, “Re:”. Sometimes the … Continue reading Why You Need To Delete Your Old Accounts

How To Create Strong Passwords (2016 Edition)

Time once again for my updated guidelines on creating passwords. The short version: use passphrases that are at least 12 characters long and different on every site, plus two-factor authentication where possible. And for pity’s sake, stop using weak passwords! Many people say to me, “I don’t need a secure password. I don’t have anything … Continue reading How To Create Strong Passwords (2016 Edition)