Sunday, October 24, 2021

Closing down

 

Due to website costs & upkeep, and lack of traffic, This site will be closing November 1st, 2021.

 

Thanks all for the interest in all my articles, and to the sponsors that provided me with some great items to review!

 

Thank you again!

 

Vince.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

October - Cyber Security awareness month!

 

With Halloween approaching quickly, that's not the only scary thing this month - October is cyber-security awareness month. With more and more of life becoming an online thing, we need to take basic precautions and security measures. Here are some articles, blog posts, and other information being made available to everyone. 

Being a security professional, and cyber security specialist, October's cyber-security awareness month brings about a trove of information to those that are tech inclined and even to those that are not. Within my blog here, you can find a lot of articles regarding the different aspects of security and cyber-security, from password management, virus and malware removal & detection, phone scams, email scams, phishing scams, holiday scams - the list goes on.  I try to explain the basics of those topics to those that are a little less tech savvy, and provide some additional explanatory links as well.  Hopefully you will find some helpful information here, and feel free to comment or send me an email with any questions you may have.  There is a wealth of information available to everyone, if you are having trouble finding it, or need something specific, drop me a line and I will do what I can to help you out!

Below are some links that I am providing, sharing some basic information on Cyber-security awareness month.

I'll start with the Government of Canada's website on Cyber security, there are some great items here and easy to find Q&A. Follow the link in the image below:


For those that like a more American flavor, this has some great articles, excellent tips and information!

Of course we cannot forget about Children, be it pre-teens or teens, maybe even some young adults, following is some excellent websites for information on keeping your kids safe and secure from identity theft as well!

TechRepublic has some stuff on how to protect your kids from identity theft online:

The Center for Internet Security has a great downloadable activity book for kids, that explains things in a way they will understand! 

Hopefully this will help some of us out, and remember, if you would like some specific info on certain security features or even products, let me know! I'll do my best to help you out.


Stay safe all!


Vince.




Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Twitch Hack/Breach!

 

Once again, another social media site has been hacked, with tons of data stolen and posted to the dark web and other information boards.  So, if you use or have a Twitch account, I'd advise changing password(s), and or removing payment info, and even keep an eye on any credit card or payment services you had stored on Twitch.  This would include payment info for those that receive payments from streaming as well.

Bleeping Computer has an excellent in depth article regarding the severity of the breach, check it out here:

 Twitch source code and data leak

 Twitch has acknowledged the breach and is taking preventative measures towards securing all their information and data.  Here is their Tweet.

For those that may not know, Amazon is the parent company of Twitch, so it wouldn't hurt to change those Amazon passwords as well, especially for those that reuse passwords!! Click Here to read about this.

With technology getting more and more advanced and available, and with all the lockdowns that have taken place, many scammers and hackers have turned to many forms of cyber scams etc. Try not to become a victim! Keep yourself informed!

Once again all, stay safe!

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

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Closing down

  Due to website costs & upkeep, and lack of traffic, This site will be closing November 1st, 2021.   Thanks all for the interest in all...