Updated Safe Gadget Security News – Security Alerts 2018

Featured

The following alerts have been updated to reflect new and important security protection schemes:

12/2018: Marriott – Starwood Hotels got hacked, leaking a ton of data. Change your credit card if you booked there.

10/4/2018: Bloomberg reports that China has infiltrated major tech companies by compromising servers from their Chinese factories.  Never trust your hardware!

8/24/2018: HP Inkjet printers with Fax capability have a Faxploit exploit where someone could fax you a special page and take over your entire network. Patch now.

6/11/2018: The FBI has asked users to reboot your wireless router in an effort to prevent infection from the VPNFilter malware.   You should do more than this, write down its settings, reset it to default settings, and updated it to the latest software.

Always update the software for your router to the latest version.  If no update has occurred in the last 6 months, BUY a new one!  Affected devices include: (Expanded List)

Asus Devices:

RT-AC66U (new)
RT-N10 (new)
RT-N10E (new)
RT-N10U (new)
RT-N56U (new)
RT-N66U (new)

D-Link Devices:

Continue reading

Android Smartphone Security, How to securely use your Android Smartphone or Tablet

Last Updated: September 26, 2018

Google’s Android operating system powers many popular cellphones including the popular Samsung Galaxy S9. Most Android Smartphone users as well as most of the pubic at large do not think very much about security.

If your phone is not running the latest Android Monthly security patches, you are open to attack. A recent Wall Street Journal article showed that only 2.8% of Android devices have the latest security patches. Compare that to 79% of iPhones, due to Apple’s more uniform eco-system.

Most Up to Date Android Smartphones

This flagship phone runs the latest Android version and is patched regularly. Sold directly from Google or from a couple wireless carriers.

You can check this Google Support page that shows when updates will be available for Google devices and when devices stop getting updates.

Keep in mind that some companies claim to have all the latest security patches but may not.

Continue reading

Free Antivirus, Free Internet Security Software

Last Update: 3/16/2018

Windows 7 Security Software, Security Essentials

Here are some resources for free internet security software from major vendors. Most of the software is free for home users, while businesses need to purchase a license. We divide the free software into different categories including internet security suites, antivirus, antispyware, and intrusion detection and prevention.

Internet Security Software Downside – Spying on You

Any internet security program needs to watch the sites you visit for malicious activity, this includes secure sites (https://)  To watch your secure browsing activity, security suites need to replace the security certificates with their own, performing a man in the middle (MITM) attack essentially.

Hopefully this snooping is all in the name of security, not in stealing your credit card, banking information, or identity. You can read more about Avast.

Kaspersky Anti-Virus is often free after rebate but no longer recommended.

1. ISP Provided Free Security Software

Subscribers to certain internet service providers get access to free commercial internet security software. There’s no need to pay a dime for top notch security software.

Continue reading

Secure Firefox Browsing

Last Updated: 1/1/2018

firefox browser

Firefox is one of the most popular web browser for Windows and other platforms. This makes it a large target for malware and cybercrime. We will focus on securing Firefox, and will significantly increase the browser’s security through add-ins and special hardening settings. We are avoiding earlier versions of Firefox and recommend users to upgrade to the latest version of Firefox. We also recommend running under Windows 7, 8 or 10, so if you are running under an older version of Windows, we recommend you to upgrade or buy a new computer. Older versions of Windows like Windows XP were not built with security in mind.

Secure your computer, web browser, Internet connection

Follow our guides to secure your Windows PC or secure your Macintosh by installing the right software, firewall, antivirus software, etc. Secure your mobile devices: iPhone, Android smartphone or tablet, iPad. Configure the settings and add plug-ins to you web browser so that it is more secure. Consult our tutorials for: Internet Explorer 9, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. Secure your Internet Connection: Wireless Network, Public Wi-Fi.

We recommend booting from a Linux CD or USB key when performing mission critical applications such as online banking, online trading, or online shopping.

Firefox includes the following security oriented features:

  • Instant Web ID
  • Do not Track
  • Private Browsing
  • Clear Recent History
  • Customized Security Setting

The Golden rules of the Internet: Continue reading

Free Software for Internet Security, Computer Protection on Windows Computers

Last Update: 7/17/2018

Optional Software from Microsoft and Other Third Party Developers is a crucial part of adding computer security to your Windows based PC. We recommend a minimal set of crucial network security software add-ons that we feel all users should install. Here are several extremely useful free security oriented software utilities from Microsoft, that are not bundled with the operating system. These programs add additional security for Windows and are free to download.

Before you make any changes to your system, always back it up.

Google Docs can replace Microsoft Word and Excel. Doing so helps prevent many of the security holes in Microsoft Office including Flash based bugs.

Windows 7 Security Software Microsoft Security Essentials

Microsoft Security Essentials – For Windows 7. Free anti-virus software from Microsoft that is a no-brainer for everyone. Microsoft Security Essentials can also be used by small business on up to 10 PCs! It includes automatic updates and is easy to use. Newer versions of Windows include Windows Defender.

Windows 7 Security Software Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer – Scans your system for security problems, missing or obsolete Windows components and patches. This is oriented towards small and medium sized businesses but can also be used by consumers. For Windows 7 and server operating systems.

Continue reading