Are Today’s Cameras Cybersecure? 10 Tips to Avoid Camera Hacking

cameras cybersecure cybersecurity webcams privacy protection Connecting Point Medford OR

Guest post by Vound Software and Ghergich & Co.

Computer webcams, home security systems, and baby and pet monitors allow us to stay connected 24/7. These camera-enabled devices allow us to video chat with family members and work contacts and keep tabs on the safety of our homes, pets, and children with ease. But all this connectivity opens us up to some serious vulnerabilities. Cyber hackers can gain access to some of our most intimate moments if we don’t take the proper precautions. Thankfully, there are ways to protect ourselves-beyond covering your computer webcam with masking tape. Check out the infographic below to better safeguard your devices.

Are Today’s Cameras Cybersecure? 10 Tips to Avoid Camera Hacking

cameras cybersecure security privacy webcams

SCAM ALERT: Beware of emails “from” FedEx, UPS, USPS, and online retailers

Security beaches, malware, and identity theft can be a real headache

During the holiday season, email phishing and malware scams dramatically escalate. Nearly everyone is shipping packages, expecting packages, or tracking deliveries. It’s a golden opportunity for con artists to hoodwink you into clicking on a link in a seemingly legitimate email.

Here’s one we received at our Medford store, just this morning:

Fake FedEx delivery failure notice
Scan suspicious emails for misspelled words or mangled syntax (like the first sentence in this one).

On the surface, it looks legit—until you examine more closely. Vigilance is key. The whole point of these scam emails is to trick you into clicking on their link. Once you do, it could enable the installation of malware, or the ransom of your computer’s hard drive, or identity theft—or a combination of these.

Let’s take a closer look at this email, while carefully avoiding actually clicking that link. First, examine the return address. Here’s what it looked like in our email:

Detail of suspicious return address on fake FedEx scam email

We’re pretty sure the FedEx email system doesn’t originate out of something called “hindquarterly.com.” Now let’s see where that link would take us, if we were to actually click on it. You can do this by hovering your computer’s cursor over the link. Soon, it will reveal its true nature:

Detail of actual link destination for fake FedEx email scam

It’s obviously not going to take you to anything having to do with FedEx. In fact, the .eu domain indicates it’s of European origin, but even that could be completely falsified.

So practice safe computing this holiday season (and all year long). Remember the following:

  • FedEx, UPS, and USPS never send unsolicited emails. Instead, shipping companies will call you or leave a tag on the door.
  • Learn to spot fraudulent emails and websites.
  • Anti-virus or security software doesn’t guarantee scam emails can’t hurt you.
  • Keep your login info and passwords for shipping company sites safe and secure.
  • Also safeguard your FedEx, UPS, and USPS account numbers.
  • Exercise caution with public computers, which can cache personal data and login details. Be sure to completely log off any sites, and to clear the browser’s cache before leaving.
  • Learn to recognize common warning signs of online scams:
    • Unexpected requests for money in return for delivery of a package, often with a sense of urgency.
    • Requests for personal and/or financial information.
    • Links to misspelled or slightly altered Web-site addresses (fedx.com, fed-ex.com, etc.)
    • Spelling and grammatical errors or excessive use of capitalization and exclamation points.
    • Claims that you have won a large sum of money in a lottery or settlement.
    • Certificate errors or lack of SSL for sensitive activities.
  • If you’re still not sure if the email is fake or legitimate, try replying to it. Most companies will issue an automatic reply back, informing you the email address is not monitored. If you get a human response, it’s almost certainly a scam.
  • The point of scam emails is to get you to click on a link. Don’t click on anything until you know exactly where it will take you.

We want our customers—and their computers—to enjoy a safe and relaxing holiday season. With a little bit of heightened attention, you can prevent security breaches and all the heartache that can bring.

SUPPORT BULLETIN: iPhone 6, 6 Plus users may lose cellular service, Touch ID after iOS 8.0.1 update

Apple iOS 8 logoA number of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users are reporting issues with their devices after updating to iOS 8.0.1. Specifically, they have been experiencing loss of cellular service and/or the ability to use Touch ID. Until Apple releases iOS 8.0.2 “in the next few days,” which fixes the issue, they have posted a workaround on the Apple support site:

“We have a workaround for you if you have an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus and you lost cellular service and Touch ID functionality today after updating to iOS 8.0.1. You can reinstall iOS 8 through iTunes by following the instructions below. We are also preparing iOS 8.0.2 with a fix for the issue, and will release it as soon as it’s ready in the next few days.

“Follow these steps to reinstall iOS 8.0.

  1. Make sure that you’re using the latest version of iTunes.
  2. Connect your iPhone to iTunes.
  3. Back up your iPhone in iTunes on your Mac or PC. iCloud backups won’t restore to earlier versions, including iOS 8.0.
  4. Download the file below that corresponds to your device:
  5. Select the file you just downloaded by doing one of these in iTunes:
    • Mac: Press the Option key and click Check for Update.
    • Windows: Press the Shift key and click Check for Update.
  6. Press Update to install iOS 8 on your iPhone.

“The Health app won’t work in iOS 8 after these steps. It will be fixed in our upcoming iOS 8.0.2 software update.”

Service Manager Jason Kellogg  talks to KTVL News 10's Molly Trotter about the iOS 8.0.1 update
Jason Kellogg, Service Manager, Medford location

Jason Kellogg, Service Manager for our Medford location, spoke with KTVL News 10’s Molly Trotter about the issue on Thursday afternoon.

UPDATE 1 – FRIDAY, SEPT. 26: Apple told CNBC that “less than 40,000 iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices were impacted by yesterday’s iOS 8.0.1 bugs.

UPDATE 2 – FRIDAY, SEPT. 26: Apple has released the promised iOS 8.0.2 update. It incorporates “improvements and bug fixes,” including:

  • Fixes an issue in iOS 8.0.1 that impacted cellular network connectivity and Touch ID on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
  • Fixes a bug so HealthKit apps can now be made available on the App Store
  • Addresses an issue where 3rd party keyboards could become deselected when a user enters their passcode
  • Fixes an issue that prevented some apps from accessing photos from the Photo Library
  • Improves the reliability of the Reachability feature on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus
  • Fixes an issue that could cause unexpected cellular data usage when receiving SMS/MMS messages
  • Better support of Ask To Buy for Family Sharing for In-App Purchases
  • Fixes an issue where ringtones were sometimes not restored from iCloud backups
  • Fixes a bug that prevented uploading photos and videos from Safari

To install the update go to Settings > General > Software Update on your iPhone.

BEWARE: Widespread telephone scam claiming to be from Microsoft tech support

It’s a nationwide problem, but we’ve recently seen a lot more activity targeting local residents. In this scam, telephone solicitors claiming to be from Microsoft technical support direct you to a web address, then prompt you to download malware to your computer. Once installed, your computer surrenders to their control. Chaos ensues.

Medford Service Manager Jason Kellogg talks to KTVL reporter
Medford Service Manager Jason Kellogg

Yesterday, Medford Service Manager Jason Kellogg was interviewed by Medford CBS affiliate KTVL about the problem – and how to avoid it.

Be alert. Be aware. And bear in mind Microsoft will never telephone you to warn of an issue with your computer.

The time is World Backup Day. Do you know where your files are?

World Backup Day 2014Don’t be an April Fool. Be prepared: Back up your files today, March 31st – World Backup Day.

Take a moment to imagine what it would be like if everything on your computer, tablet, or phone went away – permanently disappeared – 30 seconds from now. This is not some rare nightmare scenario. Devices are manmade, and things made by the hand of man must someday fail. It is known.

In other words, it’s not a question of “if.” It’s a question of “when.” And when it does happen, how badly would it hurt you?

Take a moment to imagine what it would be like if everything on your computer, tablet, or phone went away – permanently disappeared – 30 seconds from now.

Fortunately, there are simple, sensible steps you can take to make this a total non-issue. If you have a Mac, you have an app called Time Machine that makes keeping a current, local backup of your computer easy as pie. Windows 8.1 comes with a similar program called File History. In both cases, you’ll need an external hard drive dedicated to the task. Connecting Point can help you select the perfect external drive to fit your system and budget, with prices starting well under $100.

But to really, truly protect your photos, home videos, music, emails, and documents, you’ll want to supplement this local backup with an off-site one. As it happens, we offer a safe, affordable, and simple solution: SafeBox Automated Online Backup. For less than seven dollars a month, your important stuff is seamlessly, continuously backed up over broadband connection to a secure, remote location. Fires, floods, and wayward pets cannot touch your precious information.You can read all about SafeBox here.

So visit the World Backup Day site. Take the pledge. And sleep easier tonight, knowing your data is safe.

SOFTWARE UPDATE: Apple releases OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.3 Update

Time to go under your Apple menu and select Software Update.

Yesterday, Apple released a substantial update to Mountain Lion. Mac OS X v10.8.3 Update adds several new features (including the ability to install Windows 8 under Boot Camp, support for 3TB hard drives under Boot Camp, and a new version of Safari) and squashes a few bugs. It’s recommended for all Mountain Lion users.

If you’re interested in details, read all about the update here.

Connecting Point ONLINE launches Windows 8 Resource Center

Windows 8 Resource Center at Connecting Point Computer CentersSince Microsoft rolled it out last fall, we’ve seen a lot of customers struggling  with the transition to Windows 8. It’s a big departure from earlier versions of Windows, with a far steeper learning curve. That being said, Windows 8 is a powerful, secure, and flexible OS, one well worth getting to know – and master.

To help with that, we’ve added a new “wing” to our website: a Windows 8 Resource Center, with FAQs, upgrade prices, system requirements, along with links to useful articles and tutorials. Don’t put off learning Window 8 any longer – check out our Windows 8 Resource Center today.