Cleaning up a compromised Edge Browser

The Edge browser is from Microsoft for windows 10 and server 2016. They advertise that it is more secure and that it has improved performance. You can hit the blogs and learn that everyone Edge-Elipsesis having the issues. But what if you do? If your edge browser gets compromised start by going to the top right and hit he ellipsis.Then click the settings

 

.edge-settings

“Choose what to clear”

edge-what-to-clear

Now select “show more”

edge-show-more

After you show more check all  the boxes and click clear. This will reset everything when your run edge the next time.

edge-clearing-data

You also want to make sure your popup blocker is on. To get there Ellipsis>Settings>View Advanced Settings.

edge-advanced-settings

Here is the top half of the advanced settings

edge-advanced-top-halfAnd the bottom half.
edge-advanced-bottom-halfAd the last little bit.

advanced-settings-very-bottom

So turn on the popup blocker and make decisions on the rest. Each setting plays a role in the security. I like the default settings.

At this point you still need to restart the edge browser. You cleared everything, and set the popup blocker.  Closing and opening edge will save the settings. It will also indicate if this procedure helped your situation. If you are still having issues contact us. We do provide remote support services by appointment.

Antivirus: DO YOU HAVE IT

Make sure you do have antivirus and that it is up to date. Also verify you have a backup plan and that you have a current backup. There is a new virus out and it is Nasty. Besides stealing your information, it also encrypts your files. They ask you to pay to decrypt. That apparently does not work. Either prevent the infection, or have a good disaster recovery plan. Read more below.

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/cryptodefense-ransomware-information

ID Theft and Your Security

Holidays come with a price. Don’t let your guard down. You need to protect yourself and your identity.

Let’s start by keeping track of your personal documents. Try not to dismiss simple things like credit card offers and or bills. Don’t just throw them away. Shred or destroy them. In the wrong hands they can be used to hurt you. Buy a safe or use the safety deposit box to store birth certificates, passports, insurance, financial and social security documents.

Keep track of your credit score. Experian, Trans Union and Equifax are the three major credit agencies. Experian has a great program to help you monitor things. It’s program includes training materials to help you expand your knowledge of credit security. Getting informed about credit is a good place to start.

Place a hold on your credit with all three agencies. It serves the purpose of preventing new credit from being taken in your name without your knowledge. You will pay a small fee when placing or releasing credit holds. Did you know that when a company runs your credit it actually lowers your credit score?

Stay on top of your personal electronic security. Most new computers sold today come with antivirus already loaded. If you want more security or you have an older computer I recommend Comodo internet security professional. In the event that you get a virus while it is installed and you pay for a repair, your Comodo Internet Security Pro subscription provides up to a $500 warranty. Comodo Internet Security Pro runs 40 dollars and it covers three computers. Pricing is tiered based on the subscription term you choose. Comodo Internet Security Pro has built in free technical support. The support system is called geek buddy.  Comodo does offer an upgrade to have technical support for issues not related to their product.

Avoid getting a virus. When checking e-mail, social networking or shopping online scrutinize everything before you open it.

1. Does the senders email address match the name or company?
2. Do you know who it is?
3. Is it something they would normally send?
4. Is the website properly secured?

If you have any doubts do not open it. Avoid marketing content unless you are absolutely sure it is safe. This is where most attacks are occurring. The hacker will impersonate and trick you into installing his virus on your computer. He will then have your address book and logins to the sites you frequent. Please be careful.

On the business front there is a lot more to worry about. The payment card industry isn’t the only industry that needs to be aware of electronic identity theft.  All businesses that store demographic information for their customers should be concerned about its security. Up-to-date systems with Antivirus should be maintained and regular security audits should be performed.

If you have questions or would like some help please don’t hesitate to contact us.

The Small Things Matter

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I am using my phone for this one so I need to keep it simple. A lot of small needs came through the door this week. The devil is in the details. One browser hijack, one “lost” app,  an email client imap issue,  and a computer tweak over a remote support session. There were many others but I simply can’t talk about all of them.

It is so important to take the time to concentrate completely on one task. I make sure when I am done there is nothing more I could do. This way whatever I do is efficiently done right.

The trouble shooting on the browser hijack is easy.  The cure is even more important.   When the normal methods of recovery from something like this fail I take a radical approach that saves every piece of data.  I build a gorgeous new os with all available updates and performance enhancements.   I put the data back on and deliver the finished product to the customer.  While on site I make sure printers,  networks,  and software are working.   When I am done that 30 day warranty is the furthest worry from my mind!

Lost app was unique.   Businesses come across smaller applications and sometimes lose the cd and the  registration key! This time they had that one system with a working copy.  So their decision was either pay me 1 hour to hack that software so it ran on all of the computers or pay $300 per license to buy it again?  That is not a traditional request but guess what?   Piece of cake!

A customer called in stating his inbox items just dissapeared from outlook.   Wierd right?   Webmail works perfectly though.   It took 30 minutes to repair the outlook account during the remote support session.   It was a simple miscommunication between the client and the IMAP server.

I was asked to solve some issues on another computer remotely.   During that remote session I found the processor maxed and the memory completely used.  It was slow going.  I used my favorite performance tweak and rebooted.   As soon as I was re-connected I loaded antivirus and upgraded the fiirefox browser (per the customer request) .  Lastly,  I performed an eicar test.  As I finished the computer was all secure and running fast!

Midnight Tech

Drafting Division

One of my business customers called today with a printer issue. It simply was not working. The printer was located in the drafting department. These guys are some of the highest paid in the company because their work generates bids on work that enterprise customers of the company will hopefully accept.

I try to keep network configurations as simple as possible. KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid – applies most of the time. If you don’t run as simple as you can there is always something else to break and the more complex it is the harder it is to fix it.  Downtime equals bad PR!

When I was first introduced to the drafting department the company was moving onto Panda Managed Office Protection. The drafting guru is very particular. He is a super type A individual which is important if your a drafter.  He was running AVAST and SPYBOT Search and Destroy and MCAFFEE and .. and .. and .. and … at  a time I was working on the corporate antivirus solution. His computer was not accessible to me and I was trying to get access. I had seen how his security software was set up and was gently trying to explain that if one solution from panda were installed, removing all others, his performance and security would be greatly improved. The product runs mostly in the cloud and can be managed from anywhere. It is very efficient and powerful.  It was a tense moment when he rejected the idea for me. I respected his choice and view and moved on.

Previously the drafting person had only his own needs to worry about. This Guru’s workload had increased a great deal. He needed to take on some help. The company called inquiring on how to set up a secure network just for the drafting department. The company as a whole is running off of a Cisco RV016 multi wan vpn router with multi-homing and a good firewall that allows you to set up very specific traffic rules. It is a really cool and very affordable piece of equipment that I could have used to provide the solution they wanted. It has the ability to separate the drafting department from the rest of the company and even put them on a separate sub-net.  But it was also very important that I give the guru something physical to place his trust in because virtual network security measures cant be seen or quantified. Its a pretty big deal for someone like that to be able to see the protection. It is a a peace of mind thing. He wanted to make sure no one from the company could access his computer except for members of his department. I took a wireless router the office manager had in a closet and placed it in the drafting office. The uplink on wireless router grabs a dynamic IP on the existing corporate network.  I configured its lan interface to provide a unique private network subnet that is far different from the norm.

The drafting office is surrounded by equipment. There are plotters and printers all over the place. Some of them have network interfaces and some do not. Since the Guru had always used USB connections to the printers I just shared all of them from his computer and mapped them for the other user.  This has worked well for quite some time.  It is a very simple solution.  But today the Xerox Phaser Solid Media Printer was not working.

I spoke with them over the phone and had them check that it was not operating in offline mode. It had been. However, changing the device to an online status had no effect.  They quickly set up an appointment. I went out and discovered that the USB interface was partially blown on the printer. It did not allow the connecting computer to properly detect the model. I plugged the Phaser into the network and mapped directly to it from both computers. Problem solved.

It was good to be able to go out and see the drafting team. I was very happy to be able to help them and I look forward to the next time.

Midnight Tech

Dell Netbook (Inspiron Mini) with a virus

I received a very interesting call today.  This customer called in from about an hour away and said that he had a Dell Net book that he purchased from a friend and it had a virus.  He wanted to know if I could fix that.  So I met him for lunch at a local restaurant and we spoke about the situation.

To me it is important to fully understand how a computer is used by its owner before I ever touch it. I have a name for that conversation.  It is a “Free 15 minute consultation” even when that talk takes longer. This individual is retired and used it to access email.  He has had the laptop for 2 years.  He said he was using windows mail and that he liked to use the FireFox browser and did not want to lose his bookmarks.  He was also considering writing a book.  So he needed the Open Office suite to get it all down and then convert it over to PDF.

A net book from Dell, at least this one, is a very small computer.  So small it doesn’t even have an optical drive. There is no recovery CD shipped with these systems.  It is loaded on the internal drive as a recovery partition.  For any individual with a net book the question becomes, “Is it trash? and “Do I just need to buy another one?”.  And if you answered yes then you probably lost everything on that computer that was near and dear to you. Thats the beauty of what I do. I restore lost data on a daily basis. Whatever the reason your computer has failed my number one goal is to get your files back.

Lets look at the price tags.  You can buy a net book for roughly $250.  He said he got this from a friend.  He did mention the Geek Squad visit that he backed out of.  I don’t know exactly what the problem was there but I think it was a miss-communication over the cost they would charge to provide the solution.  That was last Friday.

He thought no one was open over the weekend (Midnight Tech is but he did not know that).  So he wanted to call today.  He found my business in the Verizon super-pages telephone book.

This gentleman most likely wants to spend less than $200 and thats good because I would not have charged that much anyway.  I am glad to have had the opportunity to look this guy in the eye and know that I am really going to be helping him out.  It will take me 2 hours he should have it back by Wednesday unless this needs a new hard drive or something along those lines.  From what I can see it is in pretty good shape.

Welcome to our official blog

Welcome to our official blog site.  Please allow us some time to get this page organized the way we would like it to be.  Any attention you can send our way would be very much appreciated.  Specifically to our FAQ page.  We are gunning to get that page to take off and have a life of its own.

Just for your convenience I added a navigational bar above this post for you to access the two pages of our blog that are currently present.  And to make it simpler you can also use the links I am providing below.  I hope to add images soon so it is more visual.

FAQ Page

Here you can ask us any question you like that deals with computers, macs, networks, websites, programming, etc.  We will answer you well.

Web Dev Projects Area

Here you can see the different projects we have been involved in and get the inside scoop about them.  We are still coming up with content so please check back for more changes and additions to this page.