Thursday, January 23, 2014

Passwords: Good and Bad

Recently there was a flood of articles about bad passwords, for example, 123456 and password. We are always encouraged to create a strong password.  It may sound daunting, but it is really easy. 

Do not think of a password as only one word.   Instead, think of it as a phrase.  When you write the phrase, substitute characters, such as numbers or symbols for some of the letters.  Use capitalization for some of the letters.  What if you used a password for the phrase "how about time."  There are several ways you might adopt the phrase, including
  • H0WAb0utT1me
  • h0wab0utym

There is a good article by Microsoft online at

Problem Fix: Allow PDFs to Display with Safari

I noticed that Safari on the Mac (the main browser I use on the Mac) always blocked opening PDF files.  I read an article by Ted Landau at  this morning with the easy fix.  The problem is in the Safari Preferences.  Go to Preferences > Security > and click on Adobe Reader in the left side of the window.  Click always "allow" or your preferences for the setting from the menu on the right. 

Read more and get some screen shots in the article noted above.  Hope this fix helps you.

Monday, January 13, 2014


IT News has a great article at  about how to protect your PC from ransomware.  Ransomware encrypts the computer files and demands that the owner pay to get the files unencrypted.  Cryptolocker is the culprit of the "real" ransomware.  The software displays a request for ransom; however, the developers take your money and run. Eric Geier wrote the article.  It is work reading.  He recommends that we read an article that he previously wrote on removing malware - at

The article classifies ransomware into three main types: scareware, lock-screen viruses, and the "real thing."
Scareware is the simplest software.  A pop-up message provides a fake message that you have a virus and demands that you pay to have the virus removed.  Lock-screen viruses have a pop-up window that prevents you from using your computer.  According to Geier, it displays a Department of Justice or FBI logo stating that  you have broken the law.  Cryptolocker malware is nasty.  Make sure that you have a virus protector, such as Malwarebytes. working. 

The bottom line is to keep your antivirus and anti-malware software up-to-date.  Configure the software to run a system scan periodically.  If you do get ransomware, contact a computer guru to guide you in the removal process.

Monday, January 6, 2014

iPad Woes and Fixes

Over the holidays, I must have let the battery drain on the iPad.  When I attempted to turn it on, it wouldn't! :-( 

I did everything I knew except to stand on my head (not sure that I could do that anymore anyway). I could not restore it because I had Find My iPad on.  I read that at times the buttons might not respond.  Anyway, to make a long story short - I took it to Joel.  He plugged it into a power sources and clicked the on/off and start buttons at the same time.  The iPad woke up!!

I knew that it had a full charge because I could see then when it was connected to the Mac.  I had attempted to do exactly what Joel did, but not when it was plugged into the outlet - only the Mac.  Perhaps this fix will help someone else.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Yahoo Malware Attack & Skype Twitter Hack

The new year just started and the cyber criminals are diligently working.  This week the Yahoo! advertisement server was hit with malware.  Visitors at were vulnerable. Users in Great Britain, Romania, and France were affected the most.  Java was exploited to carry out the attack.You can read more at 

Innocent visits to reputable sites, such as Yahoo! can have bad outcomes.  The most important way to thwart the problems is to maintain up-to-date antivirus and anti-malware software running on your computers. There are versions of antivirus and anti-malware software available for free.  Two examples are AVG and Malwarebytes.

This is the second cyber crime (I am certain that there were more) in the last few days.  On New Years Day, cyber criminals hacked the Skype Twitter account to bash Microsoft.  The Syrian Electronic Army took credit for the hack.  You can read more at