Archive for October, 2016

 

why is some software free?

freesoftware

I get asked all the time, why is it free? Is it any good? There are thousands of free programs out there, some you can download without joining up or logging in. The most obvious answer to the why is it free question is because it is crap software that no one would pay to download, or it is software deployed as deception to download the real payload by stealth, such as spyware, registry cleaners, or general junkware otherwise known as potentially unwanted programs or PUP’s.

But there are some excellent and really useful free programs such as display¬†fusion’s free version of the multiple monitor software. In this case you can see there is a pro version and the free version is the upgrade path. The internet’s version of the two dollar shoes out front of the shoe shop. This is also true of many antivirus or malware programs. Some software is free because it falls into the realm of economically nonviable. It might be ok and kind of useful but these days it would need to be very essential for someone to splurge yet another computing expense. The biggest ever rort is paying for an antivirus when Windows 10 has the free Defender built in. None of them work all the time for various strains of malware as we have seen with cryptolocker and ransonware criminal theftware.

My advice, and I do practice everything I preach, is to keep third party software to an absolute minimum. The more programs you have running the more chance you will have of outdated software or drivers ruining your day, hogging your system with little to show for all the effort. System cleaners, registry cleaners and the like are examples of this. They might clear out the files you need later for a clean uninstall, or clear out files your system looks for in the future.

 
 
 

is your gmail hacked? How to get access again.

google_mobile_apps

emails accounts like gmail are used by small business and professionals as a quick and easy (free) email service but there’s a catch. If you get hacked there’s no one to call, you are out in the cold and left to your own resources.

Hacking is mostly not really about hacking, but guessing your password. We see passwords all the time that look like this:

abc1234

password

and so on. If you are running a business off this free email system you should be prepared for a disaster or you might never see your email again.

To mitigate the risk:

  1. associate a mobile phone number with your account
  2. if you are trying to regain access to a lost or hacked account it seems you should be doing this from the same computer you usually log in with, otherwise flags are raised and it will be more difficult.
  3. setup a secondary email address in your account, though if your account is hacked this might be changed.
  4. set up strong passwords, not the name of your cat you talk about on your social profiles.

You can also setup gmail to use offline so if you do get hacked you will have access to old emails. Follow the steps in this support article.

https://support.google.com/mail/answer/1306849?hl=en