Author: Brett Bogler

Take Back Privacy with Windows 10

maxresdefault-4Windows 10 offers an option to help protect third parties from tracking your movements based on your connections to Wi-Fi networks. Under Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi, turn on the Use random hardware addresses setting. This will keep third parties from matching your Wi-Fi adapter’s hardware address with your personal information, and therefore much more difficult to track your location.

The internet is full of third party ad networks and analytics companies that use cookies and tracking technology to record web movements. This information is usually used to correlate online actions and movements to the things you do away from the internet. Sometimes this can be as harmless as the ads on the bottom of a webpage being that of the product you just googled, or the implications can be be used to discover your offline identity. Regardless, one should be cautious of where all these internet movements lead. Third-party anti-tracking software such as Abine’s Blur will limit the amount of information that such ads can gather. Ad-blocking software can limit such information as well in addition to its purpose of blocking unnecessary ads. Although many advise against leaning on ad-blocking alone, due to the usual close ties between some ad-blocking third-parties and the ads they block. Employ an ad-in to limit your digital footprint however is better than running free range around the internet. Even if it is just a chrome plug in.

Windows 10 Operating System houses information that can be easily used to discover your location. Within Settings > Privacy > Location you will find access to preferences concerning location information. You can use the master toggle at the top of the screen to turn off all location features for all users of the machine. I personally would clear the location history that is saved within this window, if nothing else.

Windows 10 will log a small amount of your information to provide Cortana with a solid knowledge of your preferences so that she may generate suggestions. If you rather take care of yourself without Cortana studying you, you can easily turn her off completely. or navigate her settings.

Under Settings > Privacy > General, click Info about how I write and turn it off so that your typos aren’t used to improve things like the built-in spell checker.

Under Settings > Privacy > Speech, inking, & typing, under the Getting to know you heading, click Stop getting to know me to turn off personalization.

Lastly, Settings > Privacy > General. Advertising ID controls whether Microsoft serves personalized ads to ad-supported apps. If you turn this option off, you still get ads, but they’re not personalized. In any case, your information is not shared with advertisers.

A few tricks to give you more of your privacy back.


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit : www.zdnet.com

Top 3 Identity Management Solution Recommendations

 Identity-Management-as-a-Service (IDaaS) provider aids with identifying individuals in a system (such as a country, a network, or an enterprise) and controlling their access to resources within that system by associating user rights and restrictions with the established identity.

okta

Okta Identity Management

Okta comes highly rated for identity management, and for good reason. Rated best-in-class for support of integrating multiple directories, as it allows for multiple identity providers without compromising data quality, support providers such as AD, Google Apps, and Workday. Beginning at $2 per user, per month and ranging up to $8 for the most advanced tier. Installation and set up of Okta is fairly easy. One of the first steps of set up involves connecting to an existing AD domain, which Okta offers an AD agent that will synchronize user and security group objects to the software’s cloud based Universal Directory. After downloading the installer and going through the basic wizard motions, you can start using the Okta Agent Manager to dabble with basic maintenacne tasks, adding domains, and configuring a proxy server. You can use Okta to make your life easier by configuring the software to pull employee information from a SaaS application, configured as master attricutes, fed back to AD, and therefore enabling changes to the group to be automatically populated. The functionality possibilities are really to whatever degree you decide to take it. Okta offers more than any other Identity Management in the game.

 

onelogin  OneLogin

OneLogin is another great Identity Management tool. It offers support for multiple security policies and roles and mapping functionality provide flexible management. OneLogin offers a free entry-level proving that makes it the ideal choice for small businesses. Their four tier model ranges from the free level offer to an $8 per user, per month option similar to that of Okta. The directory integration sets OneLogin apart in the enterprise, alomg with other expected features of a quality IDaaS, such as multiple security policies, mobile functionality for users, multifactor authentication, and SAML authentication. Some found OneLogin’s dependence on mappings to be confusing, so that is something to consider.

azureWindows Azure Active Directory

Best-in-class integration with both Active Directory (AD) and Office 365, as well as the most cost-effective option for multifactor authentication (MFA). Azure gets a significant boost up due to the tight integration with Microsoft Windows Server Active Directory (AD) and Office 365. Azure AD encompasses advanced toolsets for managing identities and identifying the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications used within an organization. Microsoft has been a top industry leader for decades, which is why they have such a significant leg up in on-premise network directories. Azure AD’s pricing is very competitive compared to other IDaaS, offering a free tier, a Basic tier for $.50 per user per month, and a Premium tier that runs $6 per month.

 


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post, please click on the linked titles above.

 

Keep Conversations Private with End-to-End Encryption Messaging

facebook-messenger-encryption1

Messaging is one technological advance that most cannot live without. But most of us would like to rest assured that what we type will be for the eyes of the receiver only, and not a mysterious third party. Regardless of paranoia or worry about hacking, encryption is a sure fire way to protect messages as they leave your finger tips. End-to-end encryption ensures that only the sender and the recipient can read the message. The message is first encrypted on your phone, then sent, and decrypted on the receiving side. Telecom providers, government agencies, and the company that hosts the service itself, cannot read your messages. The provider couldn’t even hand over messages if subpoenaed, because the provider would not have the ability. Hackers that infiltrate the service platform still would not be able to read your encrypted messages.

This sounds almost too good to be true, and not all encryption services are created equal. Encrypted, does not imply end-to-end encryption. Services that encrypt messages between endpoints of transmission, means that conversations are stored encrypted on the platform’s servers, which is not entirely bad. However, since the platform encrypted them they can also decrypt them.

The best end-to-end encryption services on the market today are as follows:

Telegram – Has been around for a while now, which might aid with the biggest hang up on the app, inviting all your friends to join. This over-the-top service does not have the ubiquity of SMS messaging. The app does allow for individual messaging, group messaging for an unlimited number of users, or even public group messaging for a social network feel.

Signal – This is one of the easier applications to set up, automatically authenticating your phone number. It can be used as your default SMS application as well, eliminating hurdles found with over-the-top services. The color custimization for conversations helps with communication clarity, aka not sending the wrong text to the wrong conversation. In addition to private conversations and group conversations with unlimited users, this application also makes calls.

Wire – Wire is a cool alternative for the user that wants message encryption and creative license. The application allows for doodling, location sharing, image sending, and video recording. Despite the feature initiatives, the application doesn’t support some of the escalated group messaging features, and is best used for private one-on-one conversations.

WhatsApp – By far the most popular, this application offers end-to-end encryption and the lure of over a billion users. Hopefully meaning less people you have to convince to install and use a different messaging service. The application is owned by Facebook, which just recently announced they would be using phone numbers and some other account information from  WhatsApp. Hmm. Despite worry, the application proves to be a user friendly messaging alternative.


If you would like to learn more about the information presented in this blog post please visit: www.networkworld.com

iOS 10 Wants to Help you Get More Beauty Rest

bedtime-2bedtime

You’ll find the new bedtime feature offered in iOS 10 in the Clock application. The first time you use the feature you will be walked through the functions. You may notice the application is now in dark mode, finally realizing most of us set alarms when we are already in bed or near sleep.

Begin by setting your wake up time, and tap “Next”. Hit the days of the week you would like the alarm to function. Set the number of hours you need to get each night (don’t worry this can be changed). After you have decided how many hours of precious beauty rest you would like, the application would like to know when you would prefer your nightly bedtime reminders, which can range from the bedtime itself to 15 minutes before or 1 hour before. The new bedtime feature comes with new sounds as well to jazz up bedtime and wake time alarms. Once you have saved your preferences, you will be able to see a short seven day history of your sleep. If you tap “More History” you will be brought into the Health app where you can explore your sleep history by day, week, month or even year.

For those users that use iOS as an alarm clock, consider this to be a major upgrade. It isn’t a full blown sleep tracker as many fitness trackers offer, but it is an easy way to track sleep hours and set up bedtime reminders. How great would this be for kid bedtimes??


If you would like to learn more about the information presented in this blog post please visit: www.howtogeek.com

 

 

Turn Voicemail into Text with iOS 10

 aptastic

Apple has always had a productive approach to voicemail, first with the visual listing of voicemails with the contact name, date and time attached, making it easy to browse past or go directly to the voicemail you would like to hear. The upgrade to iOS 10 takes this a little further, allowing for voicemail transcription, that can be shared or saved. When you have a voicemail you would like transcribed, open voicemail and select the voicemail you wish to be written. The voicemail should automatically start playing. If the person has just left the message, iOS will start the process automatically, showing a “Transcribing” message, to tell you what is taking place. Once the voicemail is transcribed, the written message will be displayed within the original voicemail, in other words in the visual list of voicemail. This could be helpful in those instances when raising a phone to your ear is not allowed, perhaps during a presentation, work meeting, event, important dinner, etc. The transcription of the voicemail might be a little off, but at least this gives a general idea as to why the person is calling, aka emergency or non emergency. This feature is currently considered a beta feature, therefore after transcription has taken place you will see a tiny typed question asking “Was this helpful?”, which Apple will use to decide if the feature will be a permanent one.

 


 

If you would like to learn more about the information presented in this blog post please visit : www.howtogeek.com 

Turn off read receipts for specific conversations in iOS 10

abbI have my read receipts on and I love the transparency. In a world where we are always accessible, I hope that my read receipts provide my friends and coworkers reassurance that I am not simply ignoring their messages but rather I am not on my phone (which happens!!). I’d like to think this also applies to my family members. Mom, if I haven’t read your texts yet, I am probably not available for a phone call, just saying. But regardless of the read receipts and the reasons behind it, sometimes you don’t want the same features to apply to everyone in your contacts. Perhaps I’ll let you discover that reasoning on your own… 😉

iMessage lets you toggle between showing read receipts and not showing, but that’s as far as the customization goes. In iOS 10 however, users have been given the option to turn off read receipts within each conversation, meaning you can show read receipts to your bff and not your boss. Or vice a versa.

To discover this feature, send read receipts has to be on to start with, meaning if the thought of read receipts alone is too weird for you, you might want to find another iOS 10 feature to play with. First, go to the settings in your iPhone, then messages, and find the send read receipts toggle and implement. So if you are like me, after updating to iOS 10 you can skip this step entirely. Now comes the fun. Begin customizing who will get to see read receipts and who won’t by switching to the Message application in your iPhone. Within each conversation, in the top right corner, tap the information icon. Where you see “send read receipts” with a toggle option, choose how you would like to proceed for that conversation. Proceed with all conversations that you want to not show your read receipts.

As a user, I am torn. I think the accessibility of the feature can be viewed in two ways. Navigating the feature within each conversation could become tiresome if the user is looking to show read receipts for only a few contacts, such as with a significant other or family members. In this regard the user would have to go through every conversation and turn off the feature. What about those contacts that you haven’t texted recently enough to have a conversation to go back to? Will you remember to turn off this feature for each new communication? Probably not. It would be ideal if the feature had better audience control within iMessage settings. In retrospect, for users like myself that already have read receipts in use for all contacts, being able to turn off read receipts for individual conversations is a great bonus.

Nice feature, could have better audience selection.


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit : www.howtogeek.com

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 – no longer voluntary

note 7

Great news for Samsung users that have been using their Note 7 with extreme caution the last few weeks, replacements will be in stores Wednesday, September 21st! The recall transitioned from voluntary to mandatory as the US government’s Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a deathknell due to the lithium-ion battery overheating. According to the CPSC, Samsung received 92 reports of batteries overheating, 26 reports of burns, and 55 reports of property damage including fires in cars and garages. The CPSC recommends powering down the device immediately and seeking a replacement or refund from your wireless carrier, retail store, or Samsung directly. You can get the exact same Note 7 with a new, non-exploding battery, starting Wednesday, September 21st.

The Note 7 was widely successful before the recall, selling a million devices. However, the recall itself is estimated to cost Samsung $1 Billion. Ouch. 


If you would like to learn more about the information presented in this blog post please visit: www.techradar.com

 

Galaxy Note 7 is FIRE. Literally.

galaxy-note-7-recall-us-explosion-reddit

Due to the growing number of Galaxy Note 7 explosions, the FAA has put some restrictions in place for those that still dare carry the Note 7 around. Virgin Australia, Qantas, and Jetstart have banned passengers from charging their Galaxy Note 7 in flight. A proactive move for the airlines, as the Australian aviation authorities did not direct them to initiate the ban. Following a global recall of the smartphone, I think it is safe to say the airlines had the full right to ban the phones for fear of explosive fire.

As for United States airlines, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that it “strongly advises passengers not to turn on or charge these devices on board aircraft and not to stow them in any checked baggage.”

As of now, no reports have surfaced of any explosive activity in flight due to the Galaxy recall, and hopefully none will. You may have heard about the man in St. Petersburg, Florida that left his phone charging in his Jeep. He left the Jeep parked in his driveway while he moved furniture inside and came out to a vehicle engulfed in flame. Another story of a small boy surfaced this past week. The boy was rushed to the hospital for extensive burns due to a Note 7 explosion while the little boy was holding the firephone and watching videos.

When Samsung released the recall on September 1st, 35 confirmed cases worldwide of Note 7 explosions while charging had occurred.

Samsung Electronics Australia mobile vice-president Richard Fink, has said that the recall was voluntary in order to protect customers. “The safety and ongoing satisfaction of our customers is our top priority,” Mr Fink said.

The recall of 2.5 million devices is expected to cost Samsung more than $1 Billion. Not to mention the terrible timing, with the iPhone 7 launch the following week.


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit : www.pcmag.com  www.thesun.co.uk www.pcworld.com

Latest Windows 10 Update Breaks PowerShell

powershell

The latest Microsoft cumulative patch for the Anniversary update had unexpected consequences for PowerShell, the command line shell and scripting language. Notes accompanying the release suggest that this was not unexpected for Microsoft, as the company appears to have known of the implications for PowerShell features when pushing the update. The Windows 10 upgrade has brought a few issues to users, such as frozen screens and broken USB-connected webcams. These two issues have not yet been solved in the KB3176934 (OS Build 14393.82) –for Windows 10 version 1607, also known as the Anniversary Update. However this PowerShell break proves to be the most relevant and recent issues to emerge.

Microsoft explains that the update breaks PowerShell due to a missing MOF file in the build package, and therefore breaks PowerShell Desired State Configuration, a feature used by IT admins to manage enterprise environments.

“All DSC operations will result in an ‘Invalid Property’ error,” Microsoft said. “In addition, due to a missing binary in the build package the update breaks PowerShell implicit remoting. Implicit remoting is a PowerShell feature where PowerShell commands work on a remote session instead of locally. Specifically, importing a remote session no longer works.”  www.zdnet.com 

Microsoft open sourced PowerShell and brought it to Mac OS and Linux distributions just a week ago.

Microsoft expects the PowerShell issues to be resolved with the next update release, today August 30th.


 

 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the material presented in this blog post please visit : www.zdnet.com 

Pegasus Spyware Detected – Upgrade to iOS 9.3.5 ASAP

Pegasus2Pegasus

Malware that spies on user phone calls and text messages, has been alleviated thanks to the latest iOS mobile operating system upgrade, and the wise proceedings of a human rights activist. Canadian cyber security research group, Citizen Lab, published a report that a human rights activist, Ahmed Mansoor, received a text message with a malicious malware link attached. Thankfully Mansoor was not tempted to click on the link.

Rather he passed the link to Citizen Lab where researchers identified the correlation between the link and the NSO Group, an Israeli company notorious for selling a government-exclusive spyware product, Pegasus, that is described as a “lawful intercept”. Most have dubbed this the most sophisticated spyware software detected and Apple, Android and Blackberry smartphone users are the target. The main difference between this malware and others is Pegasus’s ability to infect the powerhouse of the operating system, the kernel of the phone. This allows the software to intercept any conversation before encryption ever takes place, so encrypting such apps proves pointless against Pegasus. The link would have been capable of jail breaking the iPhone and installing surveillance software used to access the camera and microphone. Mansoor’s WhatsApp and Viber calls would have been especially vulnerable in addition to his GPS location services.

Citizen Lab wrote in its report that “[w]e are not aware of any previous instance of an iPhone remote jailbreak used in the wild as part of a targeted attack campaign.”

Last Thursday Apple released the latest version of iOS 9.3.5, which I highly advise upgrading to if you have not already done so. The update improves how iOS devices access memory and adds a patch that prevents visits to maliciously crafted websites from remotely executing arbitrary code.

Phew.


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit : www.pcmag.com