Posted
03.09.2015

* How to get a free Quicken upgrade–before your old version gets the ax

free 570

If you’re a Quicken user, you probably know that unless you upgrade at least every three years, you’ll be cut off from all online services such as bill paying, and downloading banking or credit card transactions, by April 30 of the third year. If you didn’t already know, welcome to the club. Quicken calls this […]


Posted
03.02.2015

* Stalked by a targeted ad

eyes 570

At first, I thought it was just a coincidence that the banner ad on CNN.com was for the same off-Broadway show to which I had just bought tickets.   Only after that same ad (for a show called The Nether) also popped up when I was on The New York Times site did it occur to me […]


Posted
02.16.2015

* How Many of These Security Mistakes Are You Making?

mistake 570

When it comes to Internet security, what you think you know can hurt you. A lot of what passes for common sense about this subject is just plain wrong—and often risky. Here’s a list of some mistaken beliefs that can get you ripped off or hacked, or your computer infected with something nasty. Which of these […]


Posted
01.29.2015

* Your New Smart Card’s Dirty Little Secret: It Won’t Stop Hackers

pinchip 570

If you haven’t yet received a new credit card, the kind with a computer chip visibly embedded in it, you soon will. Card issuers are quickly distributing them to curb credit card fraud. The little integrated circuit on the front, whose encryption capability makes it nearly impossible to copy or forge the card, is a welcome […]


Posted
12.20.2014

* Passwordgate: Thousands of websites have been openly exposing user passwords

shock 639

The big Sony breach is only the tip of the online insecurity iceberg, it turns out. Call it Passwordgate: Owners of thousands of websites—including big brands like AT&T, The New York Times, and Macy’s—have been openly exposing their users’ passwords over the past few years by placing them undisguised smack dab in the middle of e-mails to […]


Posted
11.12.2014

* How to change your e-mail address without losing your mind

swearing 340

“Change my e-mail address? No problem,” said no one ever. Why the reluctance to take on what can be an important chore? Because tracking down all the parties to notify and web sites to update can feel like a staggering task. Not to mention the nagging fear that, no matter what you do, someday some […]


Posted
10.20.2014

* Fed up with Java ramming the Ask Toolbar down your throat? Try this.

java install ASK

  Have you seen the above screen, or something like it, when you accepted an update to Java on your computer? Java updates are fairly frequent due to the regular need for security fixes. Maybe, like many, you didn’t pay much attention to this screen and clicked Next without unchecking the little box on the left […]


Posted
10.16.2014

* The big password mistake that hackers are hoping you’ll make

error 570

  You’re smart. You don’t use passwords like the perennial 123456 and qwerty. Or even slightly better ones, like Cassie86 or Cubs1908. Because you put some thought into them, your passwords are better than those, right? Maybe. But unless you avoid a little-known mistake recently uncovered by password researchers, there’s a good chance your passwords will […]


Posted
10.07.2014

* Consumers to tech giants: All we’re asking for is R-E-S-P-E-C-T

respect 570

Heard about the latest big tech company pledging to finally end some infuriating mistreatment of consumers and make amends to them–without admitting any guilt and only after the Federal Trade Commission or a consumer group has put a gun to its head? This pattern has become all too familiar. Here are a few examples from […]


Posted
09.28.2014

* How one simple mistake turned me into a spam magnet

magnet 570

I’ve got nothing against spam…so long as it’s clogging up someone else’s inbox. But when you waste my time trying to sell me all kinds of crap or, worse, sucker me into wrecking the security of my computer or bank account, I’m going to do everything in my power to avoid you. And I have. Since […]


Posted
09.11.2014

* Waiting for data breaches like Home Depot & Target to stop? Don’t hold your breath.

hacking brands 500

“When is this going to end?” you’ve probably asked yourself, after hearing about the Home Depot data breach of up to 60 million consumer credit cards. The breach is the latest–and possibly largest–of a series of massive exposures of sensitive consumer information over the past few months. The simple answer to your question: Not anytime […]