Everyday Tips from the ComputerMom 
  February 2019
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What a great start to February - Congrats to the Pats!!! That Superbowl win is just what we need after such a cold and dreary January! 

Last month I saw a spike in hacked email accounts - read on to see what to look for. I'm also recommending anybody still using Internet Explorer switch browsers, and that you keep holding off on that iPhone update.

Here's to an early spring!


Julie Marto 
PS - Microsoft announced  Windows 7 End of Life effective January 2020. If you are still using Windows 7, call me to discuss upgrading to Windows 10, which can still activate with your Windows 7 license!
Has Your Email Been Hacked?

Every month I get multiple calls from people who believe their email has been hacked. Most of the time this is just an annoyance - the email has been spoofed, not hacked, and there isn't much to be done. However, recently I have seen several people with email accounts that have actually been breached. This is a VERY serious issue, and needs to be addressed immediately if it happens to you. 

The reason this is so serious is that many places will use your email address to prove your identity. Password reset links are sent via email for everything from your bank to your Apple ID. If someone actually has access to your email account, they may be able to access just about every other online account you have.

The most obvious symptoms I see of a breached email address are filters on the account - the hacker has blocked certain email from reaching you, so you won't suspect anything is wrong. That might be email from your financial advisers, or spam reports in your sent mail. Regardless, any filters in your account that you don't recognize are a sign something is very wrong.
So, how do you check for a hacked account? It depends on who is providing your email, but in every case the first step is to log in to your actual email server. That means firing up a browser (Edge, Safari, Chrome or Firefox) and typing your email provider's address into the address bar. Once you have logged in, you want to check if there are any filters on your account, for sent mail you didn't send, for items in the trash you don't recognize, and (if possible) the recent activity on your account. 

Here's how to check some common email providers, starting from your email inbox unless otherwise stated:

Recent Activity
AOL or Verizon - www.aol.com

In the upper right, click "options" then "mail settings". On the left you will find "filter settings" In the upper right, click on "options" then "security". On the left you will find "recent activity"
Gmail - www.gmail.com 
In the upper right, click on the gear icon, then choose "settings". Click on "Filters and Blocked Addresses" While in the main inbox, scroll down to the very bottom of the page. Under "last account activity" click on "details"
Microsoft (Hotmail.com, Outlook.com, MSN.com) - www.outlook.com

In the upper right, click on the gear icon, then choose "View all Outlook settings" Make sure you are on "Mail", then click on "Rules" From the inbox, click on your picture in the upper right, then choose "View Account". On the top of that page, choose "security". Click on "review activity"
Comcast - www.xfinity.com

In the upper right click on the gear icon and choose "settings". Click on "Filter Rules" Not currently offered
Yahoo - www.yahoo.com

In the upper right, click on the gear icon and then click on "...more settings" On the left hand side, click on "Filters" In your main inbox, click on your account name in the upper right. Click on "Account Info". Click on "Recent Activity" 

If you check and find anything suspicious, your first and most important step is to immediately change your email password, and tell the server to log out of any authorized apps, if that is an available option. You should also enable two factor authentication if it is offered by your provider. If you have shared your email password with any other accounts, you should change those passwords as well.

If you are concerned that your email has been breached, or you need any help hardening up your email security, please give me a call to schedule an appointment
Stop Using Internet Explorer!

Microsoft users all know Internet Explorer (IE) - it's the pale blue lowercase "e" web browser that has been on every Windows computer system since Windows 95. If you are still using IE, it's time to stop. Why? Well, Microsoft has been trying to kill it for years, and they have finally succeeded.

Internet Explorer is slower, less secure, and more prone to fake tech support pop-up ads than any other browser. Additionally, as Microsoft has tried to push people off of IE, more and more websites  just don't work well on it. It's time to choose another browser, folks! 

Microsoft wants you to replace Internet Explorer with Edge - the dark blue lower case "e" on your system. You might prefer Edge, but it's never really gained a strong following, as few people like the way Edge works. However, there are two perfectly good replacements for Internet Explorer - Google Chrome (it looks like a round multicolored target) and Mozilla Firefox (it looks like a round orange fox with a blue center). 

I've helped a bunch of clients this month move all their favorites and shortcuts from IE to either Chrome or Firefox. If you need some help with that transition, just let me know!  
IOS 12.1.x Update

Last month I warned iPhone and iPad users about Apple's IOS 12.1.1 and 12.1.2 update connectivity issues, and promised to follow up in this newsletter. I'm sorry to report that things seem to have gone from bad to worse! You may have seen the warnings about a  Facetime bug in the news - that is an IOS 12.1.x issue. Additionally, 12.1.3 compounded some of the connectivity issues, to the point where Sprint actually advised their customer base not to upgrade!

I've had several people report to me that they have updated with no issues, so if you are in that group, glad to hear it. However, you are vulnerable to the Facetime bug, so  you should keep an eye out for 12.1.4, and update as soon as it's available.

For those of you who haven't yet installed 12.1.x, it's probably best to hold off until you get an all clear from the media or in this newsletter!