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Friday, March 18, 2016

Malwarebytes Coming Out with Anti-ransomware Software

Posted by David Bernstein

If you don’t know what ransomeware is, then hopefully you will never find out. If you know what ransomeware is first hand because you have experienced it yourself then you realize how awful an experience it can be when it makes its way to your computer.

What ransomeware does is infect your computer and encrypt all of your files essentially holding them hostage so you don’t have any access to them. In order to get your access back you need to pay a “ransom” to the people who encrypted your files. These people are most likely overseas where you don’t have any legal means to get your files back. Once you pay the ransom which can be hundreds of dollars or more you will then get a key to unlock your files. Then again sometimes you will pay and never get a key and be out of luck.

Malwarebytes who are known for their effective anti-malware software are developing new anti-ransomware software which is now in beta testing. They bought EasySync Solutions which was the creator of CryptoMonitor and hired its developer to help create their new software called Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware. The software uses proactive technology that monitors what ransomware is doing and stops it before it gets to your files.

If you want to be a beta tester you can go to their site and download the software and run it on your computer. They recommend that you don’t do it in a production environment but rather on a test computer that you don’t have anything important on. As of now it’s kind of buggy but hopefully when it’s done it will be an effective anti-ransomware solution… and also free!

You can try it out for yourself here.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Windows 10 is collecting your data whether you like it or not

Posted by David Bernstein
With everything being “connected” these days we all expect there to be some loss of privacy when we are online with our computers, smartphones and tablets. But for the most part we assume control over what our devices are sending to who…or at least some control.

With the new Windows 10 out in full force Microsoft is pushing hard to get it on as many devices as possible as you may have noticed from the constant upgrade popups on your Windows 7 or Windows 8 computer. But with the new operating system comes some new privacy concerns it seems. If you do a clean installation yourself you will notice that there are many privacy settings you can turn off or on to help keep your data to yourself. There are settings for location data, contact information, error reporting and so on. If you turn all these off you would think that your information is not going anywhere. Apparently that is not the case.

Even with all the privacy setting in place it seems that Windows 10 is talking to Microsoft servers and sending them information thousands of times per day. Even when using a third party tool called DisableWinTracking Microsoft was still able to “phone home”. So you may be thinking that you didn’t sign up for this but apparently you did. The Microsoft end user license agreement (EULA) you sign to when you install Windows 10 states they have the right to collect user data from your computer and we all know that nobody reads those to begin with. But this doesn’t mean that Microsoft should have the right to track our computer usage especially after saying they aren’t.

Microsoft claims the tracking is to gather data on how Windows is running and to report on things such as performance and system crashes. But only they know the whole story of exactly what kind of data they are collecting and for what purpose.