Friday, January 05, 2018

Update your computers and phones now

You may have heard about two new hacking threats out in the wild. Security experts have revealed  security flaws that affect nearly all microprocessors, the digital brains of the world’s computers. 

These flaws, called Meltdown and Spectre, could allow hackers to lift passwords, photos, documents and other data from smartphones, PCs and the cloud computing services that many businesses rely on.

Here's what you should do.
Keep your software up-to-date. That includes your operating system and apps like your web browser and antivirus software. Microsoft, Mozilla and Google have already released patches for Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome to help address the problem.

Installing an ad blocker on your web browser is also a safeguard, according to security experts. Even the largest websites do not have tight control over the ads that appear on their sites — sometimes malicious code can appear inside their ad networks. A popular ad blocker among security researchers is uBlock Origin.

“The real problem is ads are dangerous,” said Jeremiah Grossman, the head of security strategy for SentinelOne, a computer security company. “They’re fully functioning programs, and they carry malware.”
How?
Your operating system and apps typically have a button you can click to check for software updates. For example, in Google’s Chrome browser on a computer, you can click on the three dots in the upper-right corner and click Update Google Chrome. To update Windows, click the Start button and click through these buttons: Settings, Update & security, Windows Update and Check for updates. To update the Mac system, open the App Store app and check the Updates tab for the latest software.
This sounds like a serious one, but whether it is or not you need to keep everything updated regularly anyway.

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