Welcome to POST by ResTech Solutions
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Google Chrome Users Should Update to Chrome 88 Right Now
Image from PCMag
Google recently release Chrome 88 (version 88) which contains important updates that all Chrome users need. Specifically this update addresses a vulnerability that was being exploited by hackers. If you have Chrome on your computer you need to stop reading and check your version of Chrome and update if it is not updated to Chrome 88.
Here is how you can check your version of Chrome and update Chrome using instructions from Google.
Please read the linked article for full details.
North Korean Hackers Successfully Phished Cyber Researchers Using a Fake Blog
Image from Gizmodo
This phishing attack was accomplished using social engineering. Even security professionals can fall victim to a cyber attack. The researchers were compromised when they visited a fake block site that was setup. This site was infected with malware and when an action was taken on the site the researchers' computers were infected.
While it is not possible to block or prevent these issues 100% of the time there are steps that can be taken to help reduce the chance of compromise. Your computer should always have virus and malware protection installed and enabled. You should also consider using a plugin for your web browser that can help protect you from compromised sites. Consider using Malwarebytes Browser Guard or something similar.
How to Clean Your Windows Computer: The Ultimate Checklist
Image from MUO.com
Keeping your system clean helps to keep its performance up. You should also perform regular maintenance on the system to keep it running at its best. Check out the linked article for actions you can take and how to perform them.
Item #4 in the article mentions defragmenting your hard drive. While this can help a mechanical hard drive it can actually be bad for a solid state drive. See this article for more information. Do you need assistance to determine the type of drive you have? Reach out and we'd be happy to help.
Some of the items mentioned in the linked article get into more advanced items and require going into more sensitive areas of Windows. Items such as cleaning out the AppData folder and the System Registry have the potential to cause more harm than good if not done properly. Please reach out for any assistance with these areas.
Microsoft to fix Windows 10 bug that can corrupt a hard drive just by looking at an icon
Image from The Verge
This linked article brings to light a bug that has existing in Windows 10 for nearly 3 years. While this bug hasn't affected most Windows 10 users it can corrupt the hard drive if triggered. Attackers have relied on social engineering to take advantage of this bug.
Why are we notifying you about this? Even though you may not have an issue with this bug it serves as a reminder to be mindful of the files you open from the internet and your email, especially from unknown sources. You should also have a backup of all your data as well in case your hard drive does become corrupted and the data unrecoverable. Having up to date security protection is also important. As this issue demonstrates Microsoft is not quick to patch every bug that gets discovered.
If you would like more information on how you can better protect your systems and data please reach out and we will be happy to help!
iOS 14.5 Adds an Option to Unlock iPhone with Apple Watch if You're Wearing a Mask
Image from MacRumors
With the forthcoming iOS 14.5 update for iPhones Apple is making it easier to unlock your phone when waring a mask. The one catch is you must have an Apple Watch that is paired to your iPhone and it needs to be on your wrist. Nonetheless, this is welcome news as it has been inconvenient for most users to constantly enter their phone's password with a mask on even though Apple made the process faster to get to the password prompt in a previous update.
One thing to note, this new feature, when released, will have to be manually enabled.
Apple adopts new ‘BlastDoor’ security system on iOS 14 to reinforce iMessage integrity
Image from 9to5 Mac
By now most iOS users should be familiar with many of the new features added in iOS 14. One feature that most users may not be aware of is 'BlastDoor'. BlastDoor is a new security system designed by Apple to sandbox the Messages app from the rest of iOS.
What is sandboxing? Here is a simple definition from TechTerms.
Apple made this change because iMessages have been the target of multiple attacks. By better isolating, or sandboxing, the Messages app Apple is able to better protect the rest of iOS from attacks through the Messages app.
RIP old-school Internet: Chrome 88 lays Flash and FTP to rest
Image from PCWorld
At the beginning of the year Adobe Flash went End of Life. Since support for Flash has ended Google has removed it from Chrome, starting with Chrome 88, since it is no longer supported. Removing old and outdated software is good since it can present a security risk and this move was expected. Google also removed the ability to access FTP links in Chrome. While FTP is not dead it is an older technology that is not as widely used now due to the many cloud storage services available. To learn more about the many other changes in Chrome 88 view the linked article.
What is End of Life? Here is a definition from TechTerms.
What is FTP? Here is a definition from TechTerms.
Tips & Tricks
Why You Should Never 'Unsubscribe' From Illicit Spam Emails and Texts
Image from Lifehacker
Everyday millions of spam messages are sent out. It is also very likely that you have received a spam message today. Many of these messages have links to unsubscribe but not all may do as you expect. In the linked article the author if referencing malicious or illicit messages that were sent to you and not a newsletter you want to unsubscribe from.
In the case of the illicit messages you are better to not respond as these messages are not directed at you or anyone else in particular. These can target both your email and phone number. These messages are blasted out to a massive list and sometimes they can use systems to auto generate the numbers and even email addresses until they get a valid hit. By responding in any way to these messages you are confirming your email or phone number is valid. This can invite even more spam.
The best course of action is to do nothing. If you have the ability to block the sender you should do so to prevent any further messages showing up. Many email systems allow you to block or blacklist an email and most phones have the ability to block phone numbers. View the linked article for more information.
Do you need help to cut down on the amount of spam you are receiving? Reach out and we can go over your options.
12 Uses for Your Old Smartphone
Image from PCMag
It has become a part of life that you will eventually get a new Smartphone. When you do you will need to decide what to do with your old Smartphone. Read the linked article for several ideas on how you can use the old phone. The best option could be to keep it as an emergency 911 phone.
FAQ of the Week
How to Convert PDFs to Word Documents and Image Files
Image from PCMag
Each week we will address a frequently asked question. This week we are looking at the topic of converting PDF files.
Converting PDF files is a common request we get. Many times it is because a user just wants to edit some of the content in the file. The simplest method is to use Microsoft Word 2013 or higher. Since the 2013 version Microsoft added support to open and edit PDF files. The one limitation is that when the PDF file is opened in Word it may not look the exact same. The linked article covers what features may not convert just right in Word.
If you want the ability to do full native PDF editing and creation you will want to get a PDF editor application. The most well known is Adobe Acrobat and it is also the most expensive option. At ResTech we use and recommend Nitro PDF. You can get a free trial to check out all the features. There are many free options as well but they don't always work as expected.
If you are looking for a good PDF editor or just need some help working with PDF files we are available to assist.
What is a PDF? Here is more information from TechTerms.