Getting Comfortable With The Basics

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Best Chromebook Black Friday 2018 deals

Best Chromebook Black Friday 2018 deals: by zdnet.com/

From $99 budget systems to the pricey PixelBook, these Chrome-running laptops will all be on sale.

Thanks to their low price and popularity with schools, Chromebooks remain one of the bright spots in a flagging PC market. No surprise, then, that retailers are offering many Chromebook deals for Black Friday. While some of the sales are for Chrome OS running laptops with smaller screens and minimal specs that cost as little as $99, Chromebooks have evolved to offer bigger displays, 2-in-1 capabilities, and more high-end features as found in Google's PixelBook. We've rounded up those specials below to make it easy for you to find the right deal if you're planning to buy a Chromebook on Black Friday. 


Here are my favorites!

Android Power User Features

The best Android power user features you may have forgotten about By Corbin Davenport, www.androidpolice.com

Android has now been around for over a decade, and every single update has brought new features. Some functionality is unknown to the vast majority of smartphone owners, either because the options aren't well-advertised, or because their uses are limited.

In this post, we've compiled some of the best power user features that Android has to offer.

Secret Powers of Chrome’s Address Bar

The Secret Powers of Chrome's Address Bar By Thorin Klosowski, lifehacker.com

Chrome's address bar doesn't do much at a glance. Type in a URL and you're taken to a web site. But it can do a lot more if you know how to use it.

We've covered plenty of great Chrome tricks over the years, but the address bar has always been a bit neglected. You can actually do a ton with it though, so let's dig into some of the better tricks.

Google app with a dark mode

Here’s every Google app with a dark mode, and how to enable it By Ben Schoon, 9to5google.com

For years now, the Android community has cried out for dark themes in applications and the system throughout, all while Google continued to slap more and more white themes basically everywhere. Slowly but surely, though, we’ve been seeing more Google dark mode apps on various platforms. Here’s every Google dark mode app available today.

– Major SMS security lapse is a reminder to use authenticator apps instead

Major SMS security lapse is a reminder to use authenticator apps instead By Jon Porter, www.theverge.com

A recent data breach has exposed a database of around 26 million text messages containing private customer information, reports TechCrunch. In addition to the privacy concerns, the breach also highlights the dangers of relying on SMS messages for receiving two-factor authentication codes or account reset links, which sees sensitive information sent over an unencrypted communications platform.

What is Google One and how does Google Drive work?

What is Google One and how does Google Drive work? By Maggie Tillman, www.pocket-lint.com

Google has reduced the cost of Google Drive and is promising to add some really neat features to the online storage service.

Drive has been around for years now but has changed relatively little since launch; it lets you upload files, create files, share files, etc. However, Google recently switched up the service's pricing plans, giving them their very own brand (Google One), and it's bundling some nice-to-haves like live expert support and subscriber perks. Here's what you need to know about Google Drive and Google One.

How to See Recent Changes to Your Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides File

How to See Recent Changes to Your Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides File By Brady Gavin, www.howtogeek.com

The Google Suite offers you a handy way to view all the changes that have occurred in a file on Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides. This is extremely useful when you’ve made lots of changes to a file or are working as part of a team and need to track the changes made to a shared file. Here’s how you can view the recent changes to your Google Docs File.

How to Take Better Photos Out a Window

How to Take Better Photos Out a Window By Harry Guinness, www.howtogeek.com

Windows might seem clear when you look through them, but when you take a photo, you’ll notice that the glass has quite a significant effect on how things look. There’ll be reflections, flare, and all sorts of weird stuff going on that your brain mostly ignores—but your camera captures. Let’s look at how to take better photos out of windows.

Privacy.com: Protect Your Bank Accounts

Privacy.com: Protect Your Bank Accounts By Justin, operational-security.com

It is no secret that I am a major fan of Blur, the privacy service that allows you to mask your email address and phone number. One of my favorite features of Blur is credit card masking – the ability to create one-time-use credit card numbers that are billed to your real credit card. A new service has come along that allows you to create one-time use credit card numbers. The service is a little bit different than Blur, and has some advantages and disadvantages. It is called Privacy.com.

Drive Cloning & Imaging

Drive Cloning & Imaging By Explainingcomputers, www.youtube.com  VIDEO

Links 

ExplainingComputers

Published on Nov 11, 2018

SSD and HDD cloning and imaging explained and demonstrated using Macrium Reflect 7 Free Edition. Note that all cloning and imaging software should be used with great care and is downloaded, installed and used at your own risk.

The Samsung 860 EVO 250GB SSD that I used in the video can be found on Amazon here (affiliate link): https://amzn.to/2Dh2UMK

The free cloning and imaging software that I refer to in the video is available from the following links. Please note that these links are provided in good faith and that I have no association with any of these organizations:

Macrium Reflect 7 Free Edition (as I use in the video): https://www.macrium.com/reflectfree

Samsung Cloning Software (for Samsung SSDs only): https://www.samsung.com/semiconductor… EaseUs ToDo Backup Free: https://www.easeus.com/backup-softwar… Clonezilla: http://www.clonezilla.org/ My “Laptop SSD Upgrade” video referred to in this video is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVDTN…

– Why You Should Start Using Two-Factor Authentication Now

Why You Should Start Using Two-Factor Authentication Now By Cristina Chipurici, heimdalsecurity.com

Imagine waking up on a splendid spring day, opening your laptop and realising that you can’t access your online accounts anymore. Your email has been breached, your website, your most precious work, is now gone, and your credit card was used for shady transactions.

In a nutshell, this is what I experienced almost 6 years ago. 


Two-factor authentication is a mess By Garret Beard, Russell Brandom, www.theverge.com

For years, two-factor authentication has been the most important advice in personal cybersecurity — one that consumer tech companies were surprisingly slow to recognize. The movement seemed to coalesce in 2012, after journalist Mat Honan saw hackers compromise his Twitter, Amazon, and iCloud accounts, an incident he later detailed in Wired. At the time, few companies offered easy forms of two-factor, leaving limited options for users worried about a Honan-style hack. The result was a massive public campaign that demanded companies to adopt the feature, presenting two-factor as a simple, effective way to block account takeovers. 


Beyond Passwords: 2FA, U2F and Google Advanced Protection by www.troyhunt.com

Last week I wrote a couple of different pieces on passwords, firstly about why we're going to be stuck with them for a long time yet and then secondly, about how we all bear some responsibility for making good password choices. A few people took some of the points I made in those posts as being contentious, although on reflection I suspect it was more a case of lamenting that we shouldn't be in a position where we're still dependent on passwords and people needing to understand good password management practices in order for them to work properly. 


Two Factor Auth (2FA) List – List of websites and whether or not they support 2FA.

Sysinternals Tools For Windows Power User

5 Sysinternals Tools For Windows Power User by techwiser.com

If you are using Windows for long enough, you should have come across a bunch of useful built-in administrative tools. But do you know that Windows has a suite of free utilities called as Sysinternals, that provide the best configuration, troubleshooting, and diagnostic tools? If not, you should definitely give the tools discussed below a try.

Why you should use a password manage

Why you should use a password manager By Jack Wallen, www.techrepublic.com

Your password is weak. Is it your birthday? The birthday of your kids? Your anniversary? Or is it password123? Consider this: It only takes 14.17 minutes to crack a nine-digit password (such as 123456789) that consists of the numbers 1-9. Using a botnet or supercomputer, that same password can be cracked in .0085 seconds. So that weak-sauced password you use for every account you have can be hacked pretty easily.

– How to spot a phishing email

How to spot a phishing email By Andrew Burton, www.carbonite.com

Phishing and other social engineering attacks are only increasing in frequency, and unfortunately, sophistication. However, there are a number of common indicators of a phishing attack. Knowing what to look for goes a long way to protect yourself against attacks. If you spot any of the following tip-offs, proceed with caution.

Boot Into Safe Mode on Windows 10

How to Boot Into Safe Mode on Windows 8 or 10 (The Easy Way) By Walter Glenn, www.howtogeek.com

One of the most common steps when troubleshooting a PC is to boot into Safe Mode. Up through Windows 7, you did this by pressing the F8 key during boot—right before Windows started loading. This all changed with Windows 8 and its introduction of Automatic Repair mode—something that continues in Windows 10.

Secure Your Accounts and Passwords With a Hardware Token

Secure Your Accounts and Passwords With a Hardware Token By David Murphy, lifehacker.com

Two-factor authentication is a quick, easy way to add extra security to your accounts (or password managers). For even more security and peace of mind, consider buying a hardware token like the YubiKey or Google Titan. They’re incredibly easy to set up, and as long as you keep the USB accessory on or near you—on your keyring, for example—you’ll be able to authenticate into supported accounts and services as quickly as typing in a password. And since nobody else will have your hardware authenticator, your accounts will be protected from other attackers.

-Common Types of Two-Factor Authentication

A Guide to Common Types of Two-Factor Authentication on the Web By Jacob Hoffman-andrews, www.eff.org

Two-factor authentication (or 2FA) is one of the biggest-bang-for-your-buck ways to improve the security of your online accounts. Luckily, it's becoming much more common across the web. With often just a few clicks in a given account's settings, 2FA adds an extra layer of security to your online accounts on top of your password.


The Different Forms of Two-Factor Authentication: SMS, Autheticator Apps, and More By Chris Hoffman, www.howtogeek.com

Many online services offer two-factor authentication, which enhances security by requiring more than just your password to sign in. There are many different types of additional authentication methods you can use.

Two-Factor Authentication: Who Has It and How to Set It Up

Two-Factor Authentication: Who Has It and How to Set It Up By Eric Griffith, www.pcmag.com

In 2014, the Heartbleed exploit left everyone's login information potentially up for grabs thanks to one itty-bitty piece of code, and in the past few years, our security nightmares have only gotten worse. In fact, more data was leaked in the first half of 2017 than in all of 2016 combined.

Back Up All of the Photos From All Apps

How to Back Up All of the Photos From All of Your Apps By David Nield, gizmodo.com

Your photos and videos are likely to be some of the most precious files you have on your smartphone. Even if you’ve got new photos and videos taken with the camera synced to the cloud though, what about the pictures your family send you over WhatsApp? Or the Instagram Stories you post? Here’s how to make sure every photo and video on your devices is getting backed up.

-Best Android Phones Under $300

The Best Android Phones Under $300 by reviewgeek.com Michael Crider

One of the nicest things about the Android platform is that phones come in all sizes and price ranges. We’ve selected the best phones under the $300 mark for American shoppers.

With a price range under three C-notes, you won’t get the latest processors or a long list of extra features. But these phones have access to Google’s Play Store.

LastPass Authenticator Makes Two-Factor Easy

LastPass Authenticator Makes Two-Factor Easy By Amber Gott, blog.lastpass.com

Exciting news! Today we’re introducing LastPass Authenticator, a free two-factor authentication app for your LastPass account and other supported services. LastPass Authenticator offers simple, secure two-factor authentication by generating 6-digit, time-based passcodes or sending you a push notification for one-tap login to LastPass. With a user-friendly experience, simple set-up, and convenient push notifications, LastPass Authenticator is an ideal option for you to boost your security.

Can You Trust Your Browser With Credit Card Information?

Can You Trust Your Browser With Credit Card Information? By Dan Price, www.makeuseof.com

You’re shopping online; you find the perfect item, proceed to checkout, and pay. Your browser remembers your username. It might even remember your password, based on what you’ve entered in the past.

But then it asks whether you want it to save your credit card information. Can you trust your browser with keeping that secure? 

Freezing Credit Is Now Free.

Freezing Credit Is Now Free. Here’s Why You Should Do it Now.

Turning on a credit freeze is now more straightforward and more friendly to activate and temporally lift than ever. Placing a security freeze on your account makes it difficult for criminals to use stolen data to open fraudulent accounts, or borrow money, in your name.

Credit bureaus gather and hold records of your accounts and payment history that credit card companies and lending institutions use to decide whether you'll pay your bills. If your credit file is frozen, the bureaus won't provide information to lenders unless you “thaw” the freeze first, using a (PIN) personal identification number.

Under the current federal law, credit freezes are now free nationally for everyone. The three primary credit reporting bureaus, Equifax and TransUnion, and Experian now provide free credit freeze and un-freeze service. For credit freezes work effectively freeze must be placed at all three bureaus.

Free security freezes have been made available more than a year after the massive data breach at Equifax. It compromised the personal information, including Social Security numbers, birth dates, and other personal details, of over 145 million people, almost half of the United States population. Even with the scale of that breach, and many other incidents, security freezes have not caught on. An AARP survey found that less than 1 in 6 people had frozen their credit files.

Consumers realized that the breach created risk, but didn't think anything would happen to them, people tend to underestimate their own risk. 

The credit freeze process is not as easy as it could be, consumers are required to place freezes at the three bureaus separately, and keep track of three PINs. It’s not possible to know what credit bureau a lender might use; consumers usually must lift the freezes at all three bureaus when applying for new credit.

The three credit bureaus now provide smartphone apps, that consumers can use to freeze and thaw their credit more easily. They are available for both Apple and Android phones (At this time I can only recommend the TransUnion apps, the other two bureaus apps try to upsell to paid products). Consumers need to be careful when using the website and apps; they may be used to market other, fee-based products and services. You do not have to pay credit freezes are now entirely free.

Credit bureaus also offer s service called a credit “lock,” they promote as a more convenient way to protect your data. However, some of these offerings carry fees. Most consumer advocates favor freezes because the rules are set by law, rather than by the credit bureaus themselves.

It's also recommended freezing your file at a less well-known reporting agency the National Consumer Telecom and Utilities Exchange (NCTUE). They provide credit information to some cellphone, pay television and utility companies. (Consumers have had cellphone accounts opened in their names, even with freezes on their credit reports at the main bureaus.) There is no cost for an NCTUE freeze.

The law allows parents to create and freeze credit files for their children under 16, to prevent their identities from being used fraudulently. Information on how to protect your children's accounts is offered by the Federal Trade Commission.

Freezes will not protect you from all types of fraud, like a criminal using existing credit card numbers, or pretending as you online to claim your Social Security benefits. To help prevent those types of theft, check your credit card statements regularly for questionable charges You should set up and monitor an online Social Security account, to prevent criminals from opening one first and diverting your benefit checks. 

You should check your credit report periodically. Each of the three credit bureaus must provide one free report a year at annualcreditreport.com. (Having a security freeze will not prevent you from getting your free annual report the FTC tells you how.) I suggest getting a report from one of the three bureaus every 4 months, on a rotating basis. These reports will help you to keep an eye on your credit reports for free by only accessing each bureau one time a year.

Identity thieves can intercept new credit and insurances offers sent through US Postal mail to get your ID information. You can opt out of receiving offers these offers for 5 years online or permanently if you use the mail-in form. 

Visit optoutprescreen.com you can choose to opt out for 5 years online or download a mail-in form to be permanently removed from the pre-approved credit and insurance offers.

Visit these websites to set up security freezes:

In addition to the big three bureaus, you might also consider freezing access at the two smaller ones. 


Identity theft resources at the FTC website

Protecting Your Identity

  • Credit Freeze FAQs – If you’re concerned about identity theft, data breaches, or someone gaining access to your credit report without your permission, you might consider placing a credit freeze on your report.
  • Financial Readiness in Times of Disaster – You’ve got batteries, a tank of gas, and water. Are your financial papers and personal documents stored safely in case of an emergency?
  • How to Keep Your Personal Information Secure – Safeguard your personal information, whether it is on paper, online, or on your computers and mobile devices.
  • Identity Theft Protection Services – Describes identity theft protection services you can buy and free and low-cost alternatives you can use to guard against identity theft and recover if identity theft occurs.

Discovering Identity Theft

  • Identity Theft – Here's an overview of what to know and do about identity theft.
  • Warning Signs of Identity Theft – Warning signs include credit or debit charges you don’t recognize, bills for accounts you didn’t open, and IRS notices that say you filed multiple tax returns.

Identity Theft: Specific Issues


Customize Chrome’s New Tab Page

Customize Chrome’s New Tab Page, No Extensions Required By Justin Pot, www.howtogeek.com

Do you use an extension to customize Chrome’s new tab page? That’s not necessary anymore: you can now customize the default new tab page.


Here’s What’s New in Google Chrome 69 by howtogeek.com

Chrome 69, which marks the browser’s 10-year anniversary, is a huge release. The slick new theme is the most visible change, but there are more new features. For example, you can now personalize Chrome’s New Tab page with background images and custom shortcuts.

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