Weak Passwords Mean Compromised Accounts

Building a Better Password Do’s and Dont’s

You woke up this morning and your email is spamming Rx ads you want nothing to do with and you realized you’ve been compromised. Time to change your password. Here are a few recommendations:

1)   Avoid common names, dates, phone numbers or things easily associated with you.
2)   Avoid common words or phrases as they would be the first thing checked by password cracking software.
3)   Use a combination of numbers and letters.  For example, substitute numbers for letters and letters for numbers in a word or phrase.
4)   Make it something you can remember all by yourself.  Don’t write it down anywhere!
5)   Don’t use naturally occurring keyboard sequences (like “qwerty” for example)6)   Try to make it at least 8 – 16 characters long.  Obviously the longer the better.
7)   Plan on changing your password often.  Experts suggest changing your passwords at least every 6 months.

For more Password Advice check out the original post here

Windows 8 Refresh

Windows 8 Refresh = Bad, Windows System Restore = Good

So your computer is running a bit sluggish or you started getting errors after an update but you don’t know what to do…  When it comes to troubleshooting your computer problems don’t get yourself in to unfamiliar territory and don’t panic. First and foremost, Do not use Windows Refresh unless you intend to reinstall all of your applications and downloaded apps. First give a system Restore (not Recovery or Refresh, there’s a big difference between the three) a try to see if you can correct the bombed updates or underlying issues. Unless you are ready to start from Day 1, application and updates gone, avoid Refresh and Recovery options.

If after attempting a system restore and you’re still having issues give us here at Computer Medics of Kansas City a call and schedule an appointment.

Spotify Breach

Spotify Breach Will Require Android App Upgrades

Spotify is requiring people listening to its popular music service on Android devices to install new software as a safeguard against a recent security breach.

Spotify says the break-in has only resulted in unauthorized access to one user’s account. The company says passwords and financial information were not stolen.

Spotify users streaming on iPhones, iPads and Windows devices won’t have to do anything at this time.

Some users will be required to re-enter their passwords to log in.

Spotify has more than 40 million users. A substantial number of them rely on Android, the world’s most popular mobile operating system.



Snapchat Caught You, the FTC Caught Snapchat

Snapchat Caught You, the FTC Caught Snapchat

Earlier this month Snapchat and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) settled over charges that the data sent via Snapchat specifically contacts, images, location, and videos were collected without asking users for permission. It was pointed out by the ftc that any user using an I-device predating iOS7 could take screenshots of sent images with the sender being none-the-wiser and that videos sent via Snapchat were still accessible via computer on the recipients phone after a video “disappeared” because the videos aren’t encrypted. Even scarier though is that Android users, that use the Snapchat app, were broadcasting their location without their knowledge/consent.

Next time you want to send a Snapchat ask yourself the following: Who’s getting it? Who’s keeping it? Who knows where I am? Should I really be putting this out over the internet?

You can find the full yahoo article here

Getting the most life out of your Galaxy S5

12 Days of Battery Life… It’s Now Possible.

If your Galaxy S5 is glued to your ear or your hand like most of us, you know that by the end of the day your battery may end up on its last leg but that doesn’t have to be the case.

Beginning with Galaxy S2 the Power saver was added to extend battery life and the Galaxy S5 takes it a step further with Ultra Power Saver which can extend battery life from hours to days. For example with my S5 battery at 92% after entering Ultra mode I have an estimated 11.5 days of battery, the downside are that apps are restricted down to essential apps (which you can choose), the screen goes to grayscale, and services like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are shut off.

If your interested in activating Power Saving or Ultra Power Saving mode on your S5 just do the following : Settings> Power savings> Ultra Power Saving Mode > and switch the slider to on. It’s that easy, sure it won’t look as pretty but when you can get 11.5 days of life on your battery that’s a worthy sacrifice especially on long road trips.


Don’t burn through Data watching cat videos again

Never Burn Through Data Watching Cat Videos Again

If you ever found yourself watching a long YouTube video on phone only to realize you weren’t on Wi-Fi suddenly panic sits in as you ponder how much data did I use and how much do I have left before the end of my billing cycle. It doesn’t just happen to the average joe but to the tech guys as well, we take for granted that our phones immediately connect our Wi-Fi whenever they are near.

For iOS users your in luck by changing a few settings you can avoid further panic down the road and we’re here to show you how. Go into Settings and scroll to cellular, once inside the Cellular window select the apps you only want using Wi-Fi. You can always give the apps access to cell data later on.

For Android go to Settings then click Data Usage from there scroll down to the app you want to restrict.  Scroll to the bottom of the window and check the Restrict Background Data checkbox, this will only allow the app to run over Wi-Fi.

With these settings in place you should be able to reduce data burnout and overage.
Happy Surfing!

Ebay Compromised: Account information up for grabs

Soon up for Auction: Your EBay Account information.

It’s happened once again, another E-Giant has been compromised. EBay, the worlds largest online auction sites announced on 5/21/2014 that there systems were compromised between late February and early March of this year.  According to EBay the cyber criminals were able to compromise EBay through stolen employees but EBay asserts that the passwords that were stolen had been encrypted. The data that was accessed included full names, postal addresses, phone numbers and birthday information.

However, EBay quickly pointed out that there is no evidence that Paypal, their sister-site, was not compromised at this time.

What to do?
Users have been encouraged to change their passwords immediately to prevent further issues.
Keep an eye on your credit score and your financial accounts for unusual activity and contact your financial / credit office should these activities occur.

For more check out the original Forbes write up HERE.