Author Archives: thegaryhawkins

A Simple Question

Q: What’s the one best way to protect my computer?

Decorative Image - Question MarkRecently at a PurleyDinnerClub gathering I was asked a seemingly simple question: What’s the one best way to protect my computer? In thinking through the usual stock responses I came to a conclusion which typifies the intent of this blog and so I thought it appropriate to share here…

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Gone Phishing

Following through the course of a phishing attempt and tips on how to spot the scam

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Recently I had the (mis)fortune to come across a live phishing attempt (take a look at the Glossary if you’re not familiar with the concept of phishing). What follows is a brief run through of the scenario with some pointers of what to look out for to make sure you don’t fall foul of similar efforts.
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Facebook Security – part 2 – Cookies

Part two in a series exploring security around the world’s most popular social network, Facebook.

Decorative Image - CookiesIn the first post of the series I outlined the main security settings for protecting your Facebook account.  This time I take a look at a more widespread problem that’s been brought into the spotlight amidst the recent Facebook changes… Cookies! In particular, tracking and persistent cookies, not the tasty crumbly chocolatey good ones.

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Facebook’s New Settings – part 1 – Security

The first in a series that will describe the many and varied new or hidden options of Facebook.

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In recent weeks Facebook have released several updates to their platform, some are right on the home page like Top Stories and News Tickers while others are behind the scenes and often go unnoticed.  Over the next few weeks I aim to outline the major changes and options that might not receive so much mainstream publicity.
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When Bugs Strike

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A blunt look at the damage that can be caused when a computer infection takes hold with examples from recent news.

Computer bugs can take many forms, some are harmless while others are devastating, some need coaxing and provocation while others can crop up during business as usual.  In last week’s post I described how bugs occur as a reason to patch your computer.  Here I highlight the damage that bugs can cause as a persuader to patch your computer in case you’re not convinced.
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Why We Need Patches

A brief look at why we need to patch our computers.

Decorative Image - BugMany people treat a computer in the same way as a car or washing machine; if it’s not broke don’t fix it. Unfortunately there are varying degrees of broken and only when it gets to ‘really broken’ do we tend to notice.  Here I take a look at why we should make the effort to patch a computer even when there appears to be nothing wrong.

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Myths and Legends

Clearing up some common misconceptions about web and IT security.

Decorative Image - AlienThere are a lot of opinions bouncing around the web that through Chinese whispers or repetition have become sudo-facts. In this post I hope to dispel some of these popular myths.  Unfortunately there are not always simple solutions to life’s problems but being aware of them is often enough to help. Continue reading

WhatApp Mobile Messenger

Details of another mobile app that demands too many privileges.

WhatApp Messenger PermissionsI came across this application a few months back; I wasn’t impressed with it then and nothing has changed.  A friend sent me a text message this morning singing its praises and suggesting I install it.  Unfortunately that friend is not very tech savvy and was all too quickly impressed by the shiny shiny marketing to bother looking at the details. Continue reading

Pii and Tmi, Giving the game away

Why you should be cautious about giving away too much personal information.

Decorative Image - Info iFollowing an earlier post about giving away privileged access to your informationI’d like to outline how you can unwittingly give away bundles of seemingly innocent information that could be used against you.

(For those of you wondering, Pii stands for Personally Identifiable Information and Tmi stands for Too Much Information)

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