If you are a Mac user and you haven’t heard of Objective-See, you should have. Objective-See is a company founded by former NSA guy† Patrick Wardle that provides some excellent security tools for macOS. Objective-See’s “Do Not Disturb” application is a very cool physical security tool for Mac users that alerts you if your Mac’s lid is opened. Continue reading “Do Not Disturb From Objective-See”
An intrusion detection system (IDS) system should be an integral part of your home security plan. IDSs are detective security measures that also have a great deal of deterring value. Alarms are far more complicated than most people realize, however. To provide the maximum intended effectiveness, alarms must be carefully installed, tested, and used. These alarm system best practices will help you assess your own system or provide some guidance if having a new one installed. Continue reading “Basic Alarm System Best Practices”
Chances are good that most – if not all – of us leave our computers unattended somewhere, sometime. For me this is at home. Though I generally abide by best practices and shut down before leaving my computer, occasionally I don’t. I can be caught close my MacBook’s lid and heading out the door to run an errand, walk the dog, whatever. I do have some peace of mind that no one is messing with my computer, however. This is because of an app called Blink.
This weekend’s project is twofold. First, make sure your computer is running an up-to-date antivirus application. There is a good chance many of you already are. If you are running Windows 7 or 10 you probably have a variation of Windows Defender or Microsoft Security Essentials. You may also have a version of a premium antivirus suite like McAfee or Norton. If you do not already have antivirus program you should install one immediately, even if you are a Mac user.
The antivirus application I recommend for both Windows and Mac is Avast. The links are, respectively: Avast Antivirus Free and Avast Free Mac Security. I like Avast because it consistently performs well in independent testing. Once you have installed Avast you will be asked to register it with an email address. Next, allow its defintions to update and let it run.
Next, scan your computer with an anti-malware application. Even if you have a Mac, even if you run antivirus. While antivirus protects you in near-real-time from malicious applications, anti-malware is reactive in nature and will root out those applications that have already managed to install themselves. The anti-malware utility I recommend is Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free. Though there is a premium version of the application the free version is incredibly capable and will be sufficient for our needs.
This is set aside as a weekend project because it will take some time. Set your computer up with the application and enable a full scan. Then hit the gym, take the kids to the zoo, or head out for some drinks with your friends. When you come home the scan should be finished. Quarantine all malicious threats and potentially unwanted programs. If you had positive results (meaning Malwarebytes found something) you should run the program again, or try another application. Two trusted apps that I have had great results with are Spybot Search and Destroy and Comodo Cleaning Essentials. Unfortunately Spybot and Comodo are only available for Windows.
Review: With the first week at a close, let’s review our progress. You all now running a computer with an up-to-date operating systems and all your applications are updated. You have created and are using a standard user account. Your machine has been scanned by anti-malware to remove any malicious programs, and anti-virus is protecting you in real-time. You are already head and shoulders above the average user and should commend yourself. You have also planned ahead and requested a ProtonMail account for yourself. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and I will see you all on Monday! Next week we will begin protecting some of your online information.