Saturday, September 11, 2021

Facebook Marketplace

 

If you use Facebook, I'm sure we've all browsed Facebook Marketplace.  Now, this is a great place to find deals on almost everything! From shopping local, to browsing all over the place. But of course, this is also a great market for scammers! Sigh, yes, more scammers. If there's money to be had, there's someone willing to scam you for it!  

 Like I said, Market place is a great place for deals, and usually when we see an awesome deal, we are usually in a rush to snatch it up!  We'll be messaging the person right away, willing to pay the posted price, asking them to hold the item, etc.  Well, the scammers have found a way to take advantage of that. E-transfer!  Send me a payment and I will hold the item for you.  We've all read this one, and I'm sure a lot of us have even used it.  Well now, how many of you have sent that "hold" payment, then never heard from the person again? Probably quite a few, and most are too embarrassed to admit it. 

Another setup the scammers are using is, when asking for you to send a "hold" payment, they will send you an address of someone random.  This is happening very frequently lately. You send a payment to hold your prized find, head over to 123 great St. and Voila! the person there has no idea what your talking about. If someone is selling an item and wants a deposit for it, are they worried it won't sell? Why can't they sell it first come first serve? There are a lot of red flags that should make you think before jumping at something.

Where ever there is a possible place to scam someone, there IS someone trying it!

There are a couple of ways to check these items out, to make sure they are legit.

1. Check the profile, 95% of the scammers use new accounts. If you check an account and notice that it was recently made, as in the last few days, DO NOT contact this person! DO NOT send any form of money or information!

2. Look for "Mutual friends" on the profile page. If the person has mutual friends that you also have, then the person is usually safe. Or you can simply ask your friends if they know the person, if you don't.

3. Ask some general questions about the item and where they got it from or how long they've had it, etc. Most scammers will just pressure you into buying it and won't take the time to tell you about the item.


Practice safe shopping techniques, and you should never lose your money. As for Facebook market place, NEVER send money to hold an item, if the person is pressuring you to send it, move on, I'm sure you will find another one. Most sellers will gladly answer your questions about the item etc. Check those profiles, That should be the first thing you do! If it's a new profile, report it! Facebook is really good at removing these scamming items and usually get it done within minutes!

With the Holiday season coming up, there will be a huge increase in these types of scams and money snatching techniques, Don't fall for them!  Do your homework, a little research goes a long way.  And as always "If it sounds to good to be true" it probably is! Be vigilant, Stay safe!

 

#Facebook #Scammers #Scams #Money #Help #Google #Garage sale #Deals #Good soup

 


Monday, August 9, 2021

Security Cameras & your WiFi

 

Good day readers!  I'm writing this article on WiFi cameras, whether security cameras or just plain old WiFi cameras to watch the babysitter sneak stuff out of your liquor cabinet. To help everyone understand exactly how they work, and what they do to your WiFi.


 image courtesy of Wyzecam

 

Now-a-days, just about everyone can afford the numerous types of Wireless cameras that are available on the market. A lot of us are even getting them for security reasons, be it to watch the back yard, garage, or our front door, I've come across a lot of questions and calls regarding cameras dropping from the network etc. 

OK, before you purchase whichever type of  camera you have your heart set on, do a little research on it. Read up on the specs, and what the camera does, to make sure its the right one for you.  When getting a WiFi camera is, check the required "upload" speed or bandwidth needed! A typical WiFi camera should require about 1-2MB of upload speed.

The resolutions that you want to record in or stream are the biggest factor. Here are some basic recommended requirements:

Video ResolutionRecommended Upload Speed Minimum
1080p2 mbps per camera
720p1.5 mbps per camera
480p0.75 mbps per camera

What this means - a typical or basic user will probably have something like a 50MB download and 5-10MB upload plan from their ISP. Once again, the important area here is the upload speed. If you have say 25 down & 5 up plan, and you are wanting to add 2 cameras onto  your network, if they both require 2MB upload, this will more than likely really affect your network.  Why? Because those cameras are using 4MB upload on your network, causing everything else on your network to slow to a crawl, if not crash entirely.  You will experience a lot of your devices disconnecting, even the cameras disconnecting, and other connection issues.

Every device on your network is using the up & down speeds all the time, with the majority being the download. Although, if you are using a back up service or cameras, they are usually always sending or streaming content, taking up all the upload bandwidth. If you have a lot of "smarthome" devices (ie. light-bulbs, thermostats, etc) on your network, or even a Wireless security system, all these devices will be using upload speeds to "check-in" etc.  Think of it like a road through town, most of the time during the day, traffic flows nicely both ways.  Now come 5 o'clock (most cities rush hour), these roads are getting a lot more traffic, and what happens? It all slows down, and if a lane is blocked, can stop traffic altogether.  So, it retrospect, I like to think of WiFi cameras as the "big trucks" of traffic on your network, they need a lot of room, and have a large impact on the traffic situation! If you have multiple people trying to view your cameras or trying to view them on multiple places at the same time, there will be issues if you don't have the bandwidth!
One more thing to add, is, if you do a lot of "streaming" (ie. Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc) this all affects your WiFi network.

A lot of these cameras you see, most don't show the required upload speed needed. So keep in mind, they use at least 1-2MB each!  Especially when you have them set up to record motion, or you are streaming them to an app constantly.

 So, basically, if you are wanting CSI type quality to be able to read a license plate down the street, you will need a lot of bandwidth to accommodate the resolution needed for this! And I really don't think your basic WiFi camera from Walmart™ or Canadian Tire™ will do this anyway. So if you are just wanting the basic blurry "bank camera" image, I'm sure your regular ISP plans can accommodate.

Here are some results from a google search:

Wi-Fi-Based Security Systems & Cameras
 
Ring recommends 1-2 Mbps per device for both upload and download speeds. Depending on the camera and video quality that you select, the Nest camera requires anywhere from 0.15 to 4 Mbps of bandwidth and Arlo cameras use 0.3 – 1.5 Mbps.
 
How much upload speed do you need for security cameras?
 
At least 5Mbps internet upload speed is the bare minimum to watching a security camera system remotely. 5Mbps is sufficient for remote viewing of the lower resolution or sub-stream. For the best remote viewing experience we recommend having an upload speed of at least 10Mbps.


So, once again, a little research into the type of camera you want, and the upload speed it requires, and check with your ISP as to what your package or plan is, can save you a few headaches down the road if you plan on adding a few cameras to your network.
 
I will add, this also applies to your video doorbells! As most of them have video upload, and audio upload, so will require upload bandwidth as well!
 
A good place to check your speeds is Speedtest.net This will give you a good idea of what your network can handle.
 

Monday, July 26, 2021

Tools of the trade, physical tools! Part I *Updated*

 

As someone being in the security industry, we use all types of tools, be them physical, digital, or social. This article is going to cover the physical tool area.

As a security professional we use numerous tools of all types. Strippers, crimpers, screwdrivers, side cutters, linesman pliers, wrenches, allen key sets, and many other hand tools of all sizes.  Also electrical testers, line testers, camera testers, network testers, pretty much all kinds of tools used by electricians, we also use as security technicians.  

Now these tools are expensive, some very! It is always nice to see when some good choices come along. Jonard Tools!

Here I will be testing and trying some tools of the trade sent to me by Jonard Tools.  I will be using them for a couple weeks, then I will post a review on which tools I used and what I thought of them! So stay tuned!

If you want to check out Jonard Tools, and the many items they have, and they have an excellent selection, click their link below.


 

Received the Ferret Pro Camera, with accessories. Didn't get a chance to do an unboxing Video, but will add screen-shots and usage video soon!  The App is extremely easy to download and install, and with the built in WiFi spot, you connect to the camera directly, open the app, and away you go! It's all that easy! I've gotten to use this device only once so far, but I must say, this device is an amazing time saver! With the extension rod, and the bending elbow adapters, this camera can pretty much go anywhere! Even has built in LED lights, along with a focus slide option that helps make the picture & video perfect! It also has 720p and 360p settings for video, and can save .jpg or .png snapshots! Stay tuned, I will be adding more very soon!

 

Got to try out another great time saving device provided to me by Jonard Tools! The Cable comb!  This is an excellent device for keeping cables separated and untangled.  It also makes for easier labelling and terminating.  I will be using this one very often! It is a must have for any technician that installs multiple cables at a time!





Friday, July 9, 2021

PrintNightmare! *article for the more advanced user(s)*

 


Researchers at a security firm, has found a Windows vulnerability that affects the Windows Print Spooler service, and have labelled it PrintNightmare. This vulnerability allows hackers or those able to exploit this to remotely gain access to the operating system, and install programs, view and delete data, and even create new user accounts with full admin rights. 

Microsoft has released an update to patch this flaw, and is urging everyone to install this update immediately.  They have released updates for Windows 10, Windows 8, and even Windows 7 (for which support ended in 2020). Microsoft has released an update for several server versions as well.

The updates, labelled - July 6, 2021—KB5004945 (OS Builds 19041.1083, 19042.1083, and 19043.1083) Out-of-band & July 7, 2021— KB5005007 (OS Build 17784.1769) Out-of-Band in order to install these updates via Windows update service, make sure you have May 11, 2021—KB5003173 (OS Builds 19041.985, 19042.985, and 19043.985) installed first.  All these updates, should automatically be installed via Windows update, so you shouldn't have to worry about them. Only thing, is if you have automatic turned off, I'd suggest to turn it on, or do an update scan to get these.

Bleepingcomputer.com has some excellent articles on this topic, including great explanations for the flaw itself and the patches that have been released. They also provide many links as well to the various versions of the patch(es).

Bleepingcomputer.com article on Microsoft: PrintNightmare now patched on all Windows versions

Here's another good article, just detailing that the patch still has some flaws: Microsoft's incomplete PrintNightmare patch fails to fix vulnerability.

Although the majority of us "common" users :) , don't really have much to worry about with this vulnerability, as most end users are not common targets. The majority of targets here will be commercial and higher end companies that have a lot more to exploit than my little lenovo thinkpad. 

So, unless you are running a multi-million dollar, bitcoin mining farm, or the like in your basement and you have several printers set-up, I'd say you are pretty safe by just doing regular windows updates regularly. 


Stay Safe!

Vince

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Windows 11 leaked release date!

Well, Microsoft has sneakily done it again. After announcing that Windows 10 would be the final release of Windows, here comes Windows 11! It has been leaked that in October 2021, Windows 11 will be available to all! It is currently in the Beta phase, and I for one am using it currently. 


Now first thing you need to know, is that Windows 11 is not an OS or system upgrade, it is mostly cosmetic. There is a new look to the desktop, new wallpaper, rounded corners on windows, etc.  Mostly just flash in the pan stuff. Right now, Windows 11 is available to anyone who is part of the Windows insider program (Dev channel), so if you are looking at reviewing or want it right now, feel free to join the insider program. You will need a Microsoft account in order to join the program. Don't forget though, with the insider program, these are NOT stable releases of the OS, and they will have bugs etc in it, and if installed wrong may even screw up your system! Remember to back-up anything before you proceed.

A few of the new "changes" are really bright, sharp wallpaper! You can see the desktop quite easily now! Also, a re-located start button, which now resides in the bottom, middle of the screen, as well as a revamped "widgets" screen, and even a new start-up sound! See screenshots below:

 
 

Of course, there are specific hardware and software requirements in order to run Windows 11. I will list below the table of minimum requirements for Windows 11.  They will soon release a "PC health check tool" which will basically tell you if your system will run Windows 11.  Here is a link for the Feature-Specific Requirements as well - Feature-Specific Requirements for Windows 11.


In all, this release of Windows 11, was more or less designed to have people purchase new systems in order to get the new OS.  I have been using Windows 11 for a week now, (I am running it on a virtual box) and am not really that impressed so far. There are some driver issues and incompatibilities that still need to be addressed before it becomes more usable.  Keep coming back here for updates, and new links and recommendations!



Processor:

1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)

RAM:

4 gigabyte (GB)

Storage:

64 GB or larger storage device

Note: See below under “More information on storage space to keep Windows 11 up-to-date” for more details.

System firmware:

UEFI, Secure Boot capable

TPM:

Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0

Graphics card:

Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver

Display:

High definition (720p) display that is greater than 9” diagonally, 8 bits per color channel

Internet connection and Microsoft accounts: 

Windows 11 Home edition requires internet connectivity and a Microsoft account to complete device setup on first use.

Switching a device out of Windows 11 Home in S mode also requires internet connectivity. Learn more about S mode here.

For all Windows 11 editions, internet access is required to perform updates and to download and take advantage of some features. A Microsoft account is required for some features.



Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Amazon Sidewalk


Sorry for the lateness in putting up new stuff, but everything a little hectic lately.  But here we go with this one!

 

Amazon sidewalk.  Not sure if many people have heard of it yet.  It was released June 8th, and is "on" by default on all amazon devices.

 Amazon Sidewalk is a low-bandwidth long-range wireless communication protocol developed by Amazon. It uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) for short distance communication, and 900 MHz LoRa and other frequencies for longer distances.

Basically what it is, is a "sharing" program that utilizes all Amazon equipment, ie. Amazon echo, ring doorbells, etc.  to use a small amount of your wifi. First off - NO it doesn't allow others to access your home network!  It does not have the speed or bandwidth to do so.

Basically it was designed to be used with air tags and other gps enabled devices compatible with sidewalk.  To allow for lost devices to find their way home via a small "mesh" network. 

Basically, if someones lost keys fall in your yard, and they have a tag on them and you have a Amazon device that has sidewalk, it will talk to your device and relay that info to another device until it reaches the home network - basically the person who lost them.

It has a few features, but for the most part, this is what it is used for for now.  There is no transfer of any of your data or access to your network given. But fear not, you can actually go in and turn it off if you do not wish to participate.


For the Echo family of speakers, open the Alexa mobile app and go to MoreSettingsAccount Settings, Amazon Sidewalk  and choose Disable.

In the Ring app, go to the Control Center, Amazon Sidewalk, Disable, Confirm.

 

Here is some great info on Amazon sidewalk, check this out.  Amazon Sidewalk 

 

 

 Feel free to check out all those amazing products on Amazon as well!!  Click below for deals!!!

 


 

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Wondering why Gas prices are so high?

 

I'm sure by now, everyone is tired of the high gas prices. Well, hang on to your hat, They will still be going up!  Not surprising is it. Gas prices usually rise and fall numerous times throughout the year, with most of us not even questioning why, just accepting it.

Well, our latest round of hikes in prices can somewhat be blamed on Cyber attacks.  Yes, Cyber attacks, that wonderful world of the internet can actually cause issues. Who would have thought it?

 Following I will list a few links to the news stories of the Ransomware attacks that are currently taking place on pipelines in the U.S. 

 

"On May 7, the Colonial Pipeline Company learned it was the victim of a cybersecurity attack," 

 

So it began. Ransomware infects the computer networks of an entire pipeline. With hackers demanding Millions of dollars in order to release the key to decrypt these networks.  To date, over 5 million has been transferred to these people responsible for encrypting the networks. For more on this, check out this article: 

Colonial Pipeline Paid Nearly $5 Million in Ransom to Cybercriminals 

All of this of course led the U.S. to declare a state of emergency in several states to attempt to combat and stop this attack.  

U.S. Declares Emergency in 17 States Over Fuel Pipeline Cyber Attack 

Gas Buddy, is a great site, and they have an awesome app that helps with comparing current gas prices across Canada. Check it out here:  Gas Buddy.

Now I know a lot of us, do not pay attention to the cyber world as much as we should.  It is responsible for a lot more in our daily lives than people think it is.  With these cyber attacks and cyber crime becoming more and more a part of daily life.  

That's why I write this blog. Read the articles, ask questions, leave comments, email me, let me know if there is anything you need better explained etc. I'm here to help!

I have quite a few articles explaining what each and everything thing I write about explained in the best way we all can understand! If I don't, let me know, and I will!

Until soon...

Stay Safe!

Vince.

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Facebook Marketplace

  If you use Facebook, I'm sure we've all browsed Facebook Marketplace.  Now, this is a great place to find deals on almost everythi...