What is a VPN and how to choose a good one

What Is a VPN?

When you switch on a VPN, it sends your web traffic through an encrypted tunnel to a server controlled by the VPN company. From there, it exits onto the web as normal. If you make sure to only connect to websites secured with HTTPS, your data will continue to be encrypted even after it leaves the VPN. This sounds simple, and maybe superfluous, but it can have profound effects on your privacy.      

Think about it this way: If your car pulls out of your driveway, someone can follow you and see where you are going, how long you are at your destination, and when you are coming back. They might even be able to peek inside your car and learn more about you. With a VPN, it’s as if you drive from your house into an underground tunnel, into a closed parking garage, switch to a different car, and drive out. No one who was originally following you knows where you went.https://mashable.com/videos/blueprint:1On8Y6WYlB/embed/?player=pcmag

When your VPN is on, anyone snooping on the same network as you won’t be able to see what you’re up to. This is true even if the snooper controls the network. Public Wi-Fi networks, which are ubiquitous and convenient, are unfortunately also extremely convenient for attackers who are looking to compromise your personal information. How do you know, for example, that “starbucks_wifi-real” is actually the Wi-Fi network for the coffee shop? Anyone could have created that network to lure victims into disclosing personal information. In fact, a popular security researcher prank is to create a network with the same name as a free, popular service and see how many devices will automatically connect. 

Even if you’re inclined to trust your fellow humans (which we do not recommend), you still shouldn’t trust your internet service provider (ISP). In the US, your ISP has enormous insight into your online activities. To make matters worse, Congress has decided that your ISP is allowed to sell your anonymized browsing history. Considering that you are already (over)paying for the privilege of using their (iffy) services, selling your data is just egregious. A VPN prevents even your ISP from keeping tabs on your movements.

Another benefit of a VPN is that your true IP address is hidden behind the IP address of the VPN server. This makes it harder for advertisers and others to track your movements across the web. Even a dedicated observer would have a hard time telling whose traffic is whose, because your data is mixed in with everyone else using the same VPN server.

What Are the Limitations of a VPN?

VPN services, while tremendously helpful, don’t protect against every threat. Using a VPN can’t help if you unwisely download ransomware or if you are tricked into giving up your data to a phishing attack. We strongly recommend that readers use local antivirus software, enable two-factor authentication wherever available, and use a password manager to create and store unique, complex passwords for each site and service you use.

There are also limitations to how anonymous you can be with a VPN. Advertisers have many tactics at their disposal to gather data on you and track your movements. This ranges from online trackers to browser fingerprinting. We recommend taking advantage of anti-tracking features in your browser, and installing dedicated tracker blockers like the EFF’s Privacy Badger.

Many VPN services also provide their own DNS resolution system. Think of DNS as a phone book that turns a text-based URL like “pcmag.com” into a numeric IP address that computers can understand. Savvy snoops can monitor DNS requests and track your movements online. Greedy attackers can also use DNS poisoning to direct you to bogus phishing pages designed to steal your data. When you use a VPN’s DNS system, it’s another layer of protection. Secure DNS is improving privacy already, but a VPN goes a step beyond.

There’s some debate among security experts about the efficacy of VPNs. Since most sites now support secure HTTPS connections, much of your online experience is already encrypted. Secure DNS products like Cloudflare and Bitdefender’s Yonly exist precisely because some feel VPNs are overkill. Still, a VPN covers the information not already protected by HTTPS, places an important buffer between you and the people controlling internet infrastructure, and makes online tracking more difficult. 

VPNs are useful for improving individual privacy, but there are also people for whom a VPN is essential for personal and professional safety. Some journalists and political activists rely on VPN services to circumvent government censorship and safely communicate with the outside world. Check the local laws before using a VPN in China, Russia, Turkey, or any country with repressive internet policies.

For comprehensive anonymization of your traffic, you’ll want to access the free Tor network. While a VPN tunnels your web traffic to a VPN server, Tor bounces around your traffic through several volunteer nodes which makes it much, much harder to track. Using Tor also grants access to hidden Dark Web sites, which a VPN simply cannot do. That said, some services, such as NordVPN and ProtonVPN, offer Tor access on specific servers. Note that Tor will slow down your connection even more than a VPN.

Remember that a determined adversary will almost always breach your defenses in one way or another. What a VPN does is protect you against mass data collection and the casual criminal vacuuming up user data for later use.

How to Choose a VPN Service

The VPN market has exploded in the past few years, growing from a niche industry to an all-out melee. Many providers are capitalizing on the general population’s growing concerns about surveillance and cybercrime, which means it’s getting hard to tell when a company is actually providing a useful service and when it’s selling snake oil. In fact, there have even been fake VPNs popping up, so be careful. 

When looking for a VPN, don’t just focus on speed, since that’s the factor you and the VPN company have the least control over. Since nearly all VPN companies offer some mixture of the same technologies, consider value instead. How can you get the most for the least? Look for extra features like split-tunneling, multihop connections, and so on. You may not need these all the time but they’re useful when you do.

Nearly every VPN service provides its own app with a full graphical user interface for managing their VPN connection and settings, and we recommend that you use it. You might dismiss such things as mere chrome, and instead prefer to manually manage your VPN connections. This works, but doing so is tedious, requires manual updating, and won’t give you access to the additional privacy tools that many VPNs provide. When looking at a VPN, decide whether or not you can stand looking at it.

Evaluating a VPNs trustworthiness is a tricky thing. It’s not made any easier by the VPN industry itself being a cesspool of backstabbing and phony claims. We’ve found that, despite some missteps, most of the major VPN players aren’t bad actors, but there’s always room for improvement. The best VPN services will be up front and honest about their strengths and weaknesses, have a readable privacy policy, and either release third-party audits, a transparency report, or both. 

The best way to know if a VPN will work for you is to try it out in your own home. See if you can access all the sites and services that you need. Find out if the interface is usable, and if the speeds in your area are acceptable. Some VPN services provide a free trial, so take advantage of it. Make sure you are happy with what you signed up for, and take advantage of money-back guarantees if you’re not. 

This is why we also recommend starting with a short-term subscription—a week or a month—to really make sure you are happy. Yes, you may get a discount by signing up for a year, but that’s more money at stake should you realize the service doesn’t meet your performance needs.

Read the full article from PC Mag.

5 simple steps to make yourself more cyber security conscious.

Cybersecurity knowledge is key for keeping us safe in the digital world, and it needs to be shared with people of every generation as the young and old can be the most vulnerable targets as they have little awareness or ability to identify suspicious threats.

Cybercrime is a crime of opportunity.

Cybercriminals don’t discriminate, everyone can become a victim of a cyber-attack, working towards a safer future it is very important to maintain cyber awareness. 

Some minor behaviour changes can be an effective method into protecting yourself from being exploited by cyber criminals.

What can you do to become more Cybersecure?

Take the time now to make sure that:

  •  All personal devices are secure with company-provided and or personally owned devices are anti-virus and anti-malware software protected.
  •  Make sure that the software on all devices within your home network are kept up to date. These include business laptops, personal laptops and/or tablets
  • Review and make sure all corporate BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and other relevant policies and procedures are being strictly adhered to.
  • Whilst working from home your Remote work employee awareness even more-so during this unprecedented time is also vital by being cautious of email-phishing scams especially relating to Covid-19 health which can be used as click-bait.
  • Finally, keep social-media use to a limited basis. There’s no need to reveal business itineraries, business information, or daily routines to the outside world as these can give cyber criminals the opportunity to exploit.

Your cybersecurity is only as strong as your weakest link.

Increasing your awareness to Cyber threats plays a large part in cybersecurity, while there are many great programs that can help protect you from cyber threats, none can protect against actions of a careless user.

Sorry, but there is no Nigerian prince that wants to give you $50 million, nor would they ever need help paying the transfer fees. No, Telstra will not turn off your internet and nor will Microsoft shut down and make you computer inoperable unless you pay them $xxx’s.

If you have any issues with creating a more secure PC environment we can help.

Top 5 FREE Antivirus Software in 2020

There are so many choices with antivirus software on the market – which one do you choose?! Here’s a great article from Robert Bateman at Safety Detectives reviewing some of your best, and free, choices for antivirus in 2020.

Need more help? Local Computer Help can assist with choosing the right free or paid antivirus for your needs.

Some free antiviruses out there are actually malware designed to steal your private information. This is especially true for Windows because with so many users around the world, it’s the most popular target for viruses and other dangerous malware. That’s why it’s important that you don’t fall victim to one of these common scams and only download legitimate programs with a history of high-quality performance.

But with cybercrime rates on the rise, there are only a few free Windows antivirus applications available which actually offer decent PC protection. I’ve tested over 80 antivirus solutions to bring you a handful of free Windows antiviruses that are better than the rest.

While there is no such thing as a “free antivirus” with zero limitations, these 5 brands each offer a free plan which will help protect your PC. They are often pretty basic, but many are worth trying, and some are much better than Windows Defender — the default protection included with Windows.

Here’s a summary of best free Windows antiviruses for 2020:

  1. Avira: Overall #1 free antivirus for Windows for most users in 2020. Great technology which provides reliable antivirus and anti-malware protection.
  2. Panda: Exceptional antivirus technology, there are some nice extra features, and it comes with a free VPN!
  3. Sophos: The best free plan for families. Great interface with parental controls (up to 3 devices).
  4. AVG: Decent antivirus protection with a safe browsing extension.
  5. Avast: Comes with many extra features. But it has a lot of ads.

5 Ways to protect against ransomware.

What is Ransomware?

Recently there has been a spate of ransomware releases affecting both the Mac and Windows Operating Systems. This type of attack comes in the form of malicious code that functions much like a virus. However, there is an additional component in which the data found on your computer is also encrypted. The owner of the computer is then notified of such actions, and their data is held hostage for a ransom to be paid to decrypt the information.

The reason for the uptrend in ransomware is that it creates potential instant cash flow for the hackers of the attack in the form of the removal service they solicit payment.

It makes ransomware one of the more dramatic forms of cyber attacks but is not the only component of such an attack. Usually, it is also coupled with keyloggers and methods to steal data for identity theft. Additionally, some will attempt to spread to other computers using yours as a host. Different versions of ransomware will also give the hacker full remote access of your computer.

How to prevent Ransomware attack

As the data is encrypted recovery while is possible is unlikely. With all this in mind, prevention is always better than the cure. Here are five measures you can take to help reduce the risk and damage of ransomware.

  1. Back up your data, preferably off the computer such as an external storage device. Lost of any data is restored then after the removal of any malicious code.
  2. Use a reputable antivirus.
  3. Keep your OS up to date.
  4. Keep up to date with current delivery methods of any potential ransomware.
  5. Consider keeping sensitive financial data on an air-gapped device. Examples include cryptocurrency wallets, bank and credit card details.

Currently, there is a ransomware that has been released called TheifQuest or EvilQuest. It targets Mac OS and uses update patches of apps to allow it to be delivered to the computer via Appstore updates. Another delivery method of this new ransomware is to be embedded into pirated copies of security software that the would-be user would download and install.

More typical methods of delivery include suspicious emails and torrents.

While no antivirus can offer 100% protection, using a reputable antivirus can help detect and remove any potential threats before they are activated.

What to do if you are infected with Ransomware?

If you are attacked, the type of attack will determine the extent of the damage. But most times, the safest method is to reformat the hard drive. However, some attacks can target vulnerabilities in other hardware components. Intel has had a history of a few exploits in their CPUs for a few generations, that seems to have been rectified in current generation CPUs. Luckily this vulnerability would require local access to the computer. But theoretically, if a computer is infected with malicious code, a computer can be destroyed.

Repair of data is sometimes possible, depending on the level of encryption. Recover-ability can only be assessed individually due to the complex nature of the attack. We can help evaluate and potentially repair damage from ransomware or other cyber attacks. If you have queries or concerns feel free to call us on 1300 883 831 and we can help address your security concerns.

I’m still on Windows 7 – what should I do?

Need help to upgrade from Windows 7 to the latest Windows 10? Local Computer Help can assist. Simply call 1300 883 831 to book in a time to get up to date.

Microsoft Windows 7 – launched in 2009 – came to the end of its supported life on Tuesday. Despite Microsoft’s repeated warnings to Windows 7 users, there may still be a couple of hundred million users, many of them in businesses. What should people do next?

To begin with, Windows 7 will not stop working, it will just stop receiving security updates. Users will therefore be more vulnerable to malware attacks, particularly from “ransomware”. We saw how dangerous that can be when WannaCry took over unpatched PCs in the NHS and other places. It was so bad that Microsoft released a patch for XP, even though it was out of support.

There are reasons to be fearful, because of the way the malware industry works.

On the second Tuesday of every month, Microsoft releases security patches that should be installed automatically by Windows Update. The malware industry analyses these patches to find the holes, and then looks for ways to exploit them. A lot of the code in Windows 10 goes back to Windows 7 and earlier versions. As a result, some of the security holes in Windows 10 will also be present in Windows 7, but they won’t be patched.

Malware writers don’t normally target out-of-date operating systems, because they don’t usually have many users. In this case, as with XP, there could be millions of relatively easy targets.

The British government’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) told the BBC: “We would urge those using the software after the deadline to replace unsupported devices as soon as possible, to move sensitive data to a supported device and not to use them for tasks like accessing bank and other sensitive accounts.” That’s good advice.

You can read more about this topic with the full article at The Guardian.

5 Online Security Tips for Secure Remote Working

The world was already shifting to remote working before COVID-19, but the pandemic significantly sped this process up. Now that so many people are working from home, it’s more important than ever to practice good online security. Here are some simple tips to keep remote workers and businesses safe, from our computer repair team.

Tip #1 – Have a Cyber Security Policy

A cyber security policy is a set of guidelines that every employee needs to follow while they are remote working. It should include which security programs need to be implemented on the devices that employees use for work (laptops, desktops, etc.), how to backup data, and how to identify and report security incidents.

Tip #2 – Secure Wi-Fi Networks

Home networks should be properly secured as a breach from an unsecured home Wi-Fi network can affect business as well as personal data. Send out a memo instructing all remote workers on how to secure their home Wi-Fi, including password best practices and installing firmware updates.

Tip #3 – Consider Using a VPN

A VPN is a virtual private network and it encrypts all your internet traffic, keeping business data protected and private. Use a reputable VPN service provider like ExpressVPN, NordVPN, Private Internet Access VPN or IPVanish.

Tip #4 – Make Software Updates Compulsory

Ensure that updates to your data security software are carried out as routine maintenance. These can be tedious and annoying for remote workers, but they contain the most up-to-date patches to security vulnerabilities. Hackers are always looking for new ways to get into data systems and security providers constantly send out new updates to counteract these. Many security breaches are the result of individuals and organisations failing to keep their security software updated, so it’s worth the effort!

Tip #5 – Keep Remote Workers Informed

With the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen a significant rise in phishing and other cyber-attacks around the world. These malicious attacks are focusing on business data, personal data and especially any financial data. This makes it critical for your business security as well as your employee’s financial security that everyone is kept well-informed and aware of these attacks. Share information regularly on how to spot an attack, how to avoid downloading malware, and how to recognise a phishing email, text or phone call.

Tip #6 – Backup Your Data

No security policy is 100% effective, so ensure you automate business data backups securely to the Cloud. This ensures that your business is covered in the event of a cyber security attack or something as simple as a work laptop being stolen or damaged. Regular data backups help your business recover faster as well as minimise damage and downtime, so they are worth investing in!

Need Computer Repairs? Our Team can Assist You Today!

At Local Computer Help, our experienced team is ready to deliver expert, affordable computer repairs and IT support. We operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so you get the friendly, fast assistance you need exactly when you need it. With over 15 years of industry experience, we have you covered!

Cyber Security Tips

With many workers and students now working and studying from home it’s an important time to ensure all your computers are secured against unwanted issues and access.

If you believe your computer has been compromised Local Computer Help can assist with checking over it and cleaning it up from any viruses or malware that maybe present.

Check out these tips from ACSC to keep your computer safe while online.

COVID-19: Cyber Security Tips When Working From Home

his guidance outlines key cyber security practices for people who are working from home.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many people working from home for the first time. Working from home has specific cyber security risks, including targeted cybercrime. When compromised, unauthorised access to your stored information can have a devastating effect on your emotional, financial and working life.

Cyber security tips

Here are nine things you can do to in your new working environment to protect your work and your household’s cyber security.

Beware of scams

Cybercriminals see a crisis as an opportunity. Major change brings disruption, and businesses transitioning to working from home arrangements can be an attractive target.

Be aware that the COVID-19 pandemic will be used by cybercriminals to try to scam people out of their money, data and to gain access to systems. While working from home you should:

  • Exercise critical thinking and vigilance when you receive phone calls, messages and emails.
  • Exercise caution in opening messages, attachments, or clicking on links from unknown senders.
  • Be wary of any requests for personal details, passwords or bank details, particularly if the message conveys a sense of urgency.
  • If in any doubt of the communicator’s identity, delay any immediate action. Re-establish communication later using contact methods that you have sourced yourself.

For more ACSC information on how to identify and protect yourself from scams see:

Use strong and unique passphrases

Passwords are passé! Strong passphrases are your first line of defence. Enable a strong and unique passphrase on portable devices such as laptops, mobile phones and tablets.

Use a different passphrase for each website and app, particularly those that store your credit card details or personal information. To use the same username (such as an email address) and passphrase for multiple accounts means that if one is compromised, they are all at risk.

For more ACSC information, see ‘Passphrases’ in the:

Implement multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication is one of the most effective controls you can implement to prevent unauthorised access to computers, applications and online services. Using multiple layers of authentication makes it much harder to access your systems. Criminals might manage to steal one type of proof of identity (for example, your PIN) but it is very difficult to steal the correct combination of several proofs for any given account.

Multi-factor authentication can use a combination of:

  • something the user knows (a passphrase, PIN or an answer to a secret question)
  • something the user physically possesses (such as a card, token or security key)
  • something the user inherently possesses (such as a fingerprint or retina pattern).

If your device supports biometric identification (such as a fingerprint scan) it provides an additional level of security, as well as a convenient way to unlock the device after you have logged in with your passphrase.

For more ACSC information on how to implement multi-factor authentication for specific services, see:

Update your software and operating systems

It is important to allow automatic updates on your devices and systems like your computers, laptops, tablets and mobile phones. Often, software updates (for operating systems and applications, for example) are developed to address security issues. Updates also often include new security features that protect your data and device.

For more ACSC information on updating operating systems and software, see:

Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections are a popular method to connect portable devices to a work network. VPNs secure your web browsing and remote network access.

Sometimes organisations specify that you use a VPN on work devices. If this is the case, you should familiarise yourself with your organisation’s VPN requirements, policies and procedures.

For more information on VPNs see advice from the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security:

Use trusted Wi-Fi

Using free wireless internet may be tempting; it can also put your information at risk. Free Wi-Fi by its very nature is insecure and can expose your browsing activity to cybercriminals. Cybercriminals have also been known to set up rogue Wi-Fi hotspots with names that look legitimate and can intercept communications, steal your banking credentials, account passwords, and other valuable information.

Use trusted connections when working from home, such as your home internet or mobile internet service from your telecommunications provider.

For more ACSC information on the steps you can take to secure your Wi-Fi, see:

Secure your devices when not in use

It’s much easier to access your information if other people have access to your devices. Do not leave your device unattended and lock your computer when not in use, even if it’s only for a short period of time.

You should also carefully consider who has access to your devices. Don’t lend laptops to children or other members of the household using your work profile or account. They could unintentionally share or delete important information, or introduce malicious software to your device.

If you do share your computers or devices with family or your household, have separate profiles so that each person logs in with a unique username and passphrase.

For more ACSC information on good cyber security behaviours, see:

Avoid using portable storage devices

When transporting work from the office or shop to home, portable storage devices like USB drives and cards are easily misplaced and, if access isn’t properly controlled, can harm your computer systems with malware.

If possible, transfer files in more secure ways, such as your organisation’s cloud storage or collaboration solutions. When using USBs and external drives, make sure they are protected with encryption and passphrases.

For more ACSC information on portable storage cyber security, see:

Use trusted sources for information

Cybercriminals and other malicious actors use popular and trending topics such as COVID-19 to spread disinformation or scam people. Impersonating, cloning or creating websites to look genuine is one way to do this (see ‘Beware of scams’ above). Producing and sharing false information on social media is another.

Be sure to only use trusted and verified information from government and research institution’s websites. Think critically about the sources of information that you use, and balance all evidence before believing what people share.

Watch out for Microsoft tech support scammers

Unfortunately Local Computer Help often receives calls from clients that have encountered this specific scam and in some instances fallen for it. Here’s a great little article from Tech Advisor to help keep you safe.

If you receive a phone call from a security ‘expert’ at Microsoft offering to fix your PC – it’s a scam. Here’s how to avoid the Microsoft phone scam, and what to do if you fear you have fallen victim to it.

Despite having gone on for years – since 2009 in fact – the “I’m from Microsoft and you’ve got a problem with your PC” scam phone calls haven’t gone away. Here’s everything you need to know about protecting yourself should you receive one.

Does Microsoft tech support call you?

No. Microsoft will never make an unsolicited phone call.

But the scammers hope you don’t know this. They call you, and ask for you by name. They say they are a computer security expert from Microsoft (or another legitimate tech company or a Microsoft ‘partner’). The caller is plausible and polite, but officious. They say that your PC or laptop has been infected with malware, and that they can help you solve the problem.

What happens next depends on the particular version of scam with which you have been targeted.

Some crooks will ask you to give them remote access to your PC or laptop, and then use that access to get hold of your personal data. Others get you to download a tool which they say is the “fix” for your problem, but is actually malware.

The other version is a more straightforward scam: they simply ask for money in return for a lifetime of ‘protection’ from the malware they pretend is on your machine.

Here’s the important bit: no legitimate IT security company – certainly not Microsoft – is ever going to call you in this way. For one thing, they can’t even tell that your PC is infected. They’ve got your name from the phone book, or any one of the thousands of marketing lists on which your details probably reside. They know nothing about your home computing set up – they’re just chancers.

Basically, somebody is sitting in a room calling number after number hoping to find a victim. It’s not personal, but it is ultimately dangerous to your financial and technological health.

What should I do if Microsoft phones me?

  1. Put the phone down. Get rid of the caller and move on with your life. It is not a legitimate call.
  2. During your conversation, don’t provide any personal information. This is a good rule for any unsolicited call. And certainly never hand over your credit card or bank details. Just don’t do it.
  3. If you’ve got this far, we can only reiterate point number 1: get off the phone. But whatever you do don’t follow instructions to visit websites, download software or change a setting on your PC.
  4. If possible get the caller’s details. You should certainly report any instance of this scam to Action Fraud.
  5. Finally, change any passwords and usernames that could plausibly have been compromised, and run a scan with up-to-date security software. Then ensure that your firewall and antivirus are up to date and protecting your PC.

Oh, and there is a number 6: tell everyone about it. This scam preys on people’s insecurity about lack of tech knowledge. It is very easy to be a victim, and the best defence is sharing knowledge. It is much easier to put the phone down if you are forewarned.

What should I do if I fell for the Microsoft phone scam?

First of all don’t beat yourself up. This could happen to anyone (and does, regularly). You need to change all the personal data that you can change. As much as you might like to you can’t change your date of birth, and changing your name and address seems extreme. But you can change all your passwords and usernames, starting with your main email account and any bank- and credit card logins. Also, contact your bank to ask them to be on the lookout for anything dodgy.

Feel free to give Local Computer Help a call on 1300 883 831 for a confidential discussion if you believe you have fallen for a scam. We can provide you some valuable advise and support if required.

What is a Keylogger? Why is it so Dangerous?

All of us have heard about viruses and malware – but not many of us knows exactly what a keylogger is and why you should do everything possible to protect yourself from this.

A keylogger is a piece of software — or a hardware device — that logs every key you press on your keyboard. It can capture personal messages, passwords, credit card numbers, and everything else you type.

Keyloggers are usually installed by malware programs and the idea is to get your personal information and credit card details.

How a Keylogger Would Get On Your Computer

Many times you can get infected when downloading files from the internet. You have heard about so called “free” software – that is actually cracked editions of commercially available software.

When a user downloads cracked or pirated software or music – there is a good chance that the software can include malware that installs itself at the same time in the background without you knowing about it.

How does a Keylogger work?

It runs hidden in the background, making a note of each keystroke you type. It then later scans through the saved file of all the keystrokes for certain types of text — for example, it could look for sequences of numbers that look like credit card numbers or website and email passwords and upload them to a malicious server so they can be abused.

How can you protect yourself?

Keylogging software is just another type of malware. You can avoid keylogging software in the same way you avoid other malware — be careful what you download and install. Never download cracked or pirated software or music.

Make sure that USB flash drives that you use in your computer are not already infected.  Use a solid antivirus program that will give protection against keyloggers.

Why is it so Dangerous?

Keyloggers are one of the more dangerous forms of malware, as you won’t realize they’re running if they’re doing their job well.

They hide in the background and don’t cause any trouble, capturing credit card numbers and passwords for as long as they can evade detection.

See the full article and video here

Think you may have a key logger? We can help!

Black Friday and Cyber Monday

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday both just around the corner. Its a great time to get your hands on new and old technology.

Brace yourself: the Cyber Monday 2019 date is December 2, which is under a month away, and as always, the first Monday after Black Friday. 

What is Cyber Monday?

As you’ve probably guessed from the name, Cyber Monday is a purely online affair, The term was coined by Ellen Davis and Scott Silverman of the US National Retail Federation and Shop.org, and it was a deliberate move to promote online shopping back in 2005 when the Internet was in its infancy.

It was intended to help smaller retailers compete with the big names who were harping on about Black Friday, although of course those big names promptly jumped on the Cyber Monday bandwagon, too.

What is the Difference?

Aside from the dates, the main difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is that Black Friday deals can be found online and in physical stores, whereas Cyber Monday is purely dedicated to online discounts. 

Both sales events will have plenty of fantastic tech deals, whether you’re looking for a new laptop or a pair of swish noise-canceling headphones. However, there are some instances where it might be better to wait for December 2 to make your purchases. 

Most retailers offer a continuation of their Black Friday deals into Cyber Monday, occasionally dropping prices even further – whether you wait all depends on how much you’re willing to risk the item selling out completely. 

If you see a fantastic Black Friday deal that ticks all your boxes, we’d recommend going for it – products can sell out in a matter of minutes, and you can usually return the item if you see a better deal on Cyber Monday.

How to Prepare for these awesome deals

Fail to prepare and prepare to fail; if you want to make the most out of Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019, it’s important to have an idea of what you want to buy, and where you want to buy it from. 

The best way to do this is to make yourself a wish list; it doesn’t have to be retailer-specific – just have an idea of what you’re looking to buy this November. For example, do you need a new soundbar to complement your entertainment system? Are you looking for a budget-friendly work laptop?

Most of the big retailers will publish their Black Friday deals from midnight on November 29, so you may want to stay up on Thursday night to ensure you don’t miss any of the big discounts. 

See the full article here!
Check out Tech Radars 2019 Tech Predictions here!

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