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Anti-Malware Solutions – 5 Vital Elements

Anti-malware solutions“Malware” covers a huge range of threats including viruses, spyware, ransomware and more. So, anti-malware solutions must defend on several fronts. Many include anti-spam and firewall solutions too, as these block common malware sources.

Some operating systems are more secure than others, but nothing can be 100% secure. Malware is built to work around any predictable default protections. So, whilst it’s worth keeping built-in anti-malware up to date, you’ll need more.

Essential Anti-Malware Components

So, what features should you look for in your anti-malware solution? Well, there are five that no system should be without.

1. Anti-Virus

The most obvious requirement is an effective, up-to-date anti-virus system. These mainly handle:

  • Viruses – which need human interaction to spread
  • Worms – which self-replicate.
Read the rest

Password Security Made Simple

Password securityPassword security is the first — and often weakest — line of defence against cyber-attacks. Unfortunately, passwords are the cybersecurity measure we all love to hate.

Techies take a lot of flak for implementing password security, but we didn’t invent it. Call them passwords, PINs, keys or whatever you like — they all work the same way: a pattern grants access to a restricted resource. As such, password security measures have existed throughout history and will be around in some form for a while yet.

That said, passwords have never been as common as they are today — and cracking them was far harder without computers. These days, weak passwords only create a false sense of security. So, we all need to know how to use passwords effectively.… Read the rest

Cybersecurity Basics

Basic CybersecurityNo-one can afford to ignore basic cybersecurity. With ransomware on the rise, it is more important than ever.

This will be the first in a series of articles about ways to keep the people and data you care about safe online. Among the things I plan to cover are:

  1. Why Bother With Cybersecurity? (this article)
  2. Password Security Made Simple
  3. Anti-Malware Solutions – 5 Vital Elements
  4. Backups
  5. Privacy
  6. Software Updates
  7. The “Internet of Things” (IoT)

…and more. I may write a bit about Website Security too, though BestVPN’s Blogger’s Guide To WordPress Security has already covered that well.

So, with that said, let’s deal with the first question that far too many people ask…

Why Bother With Cybersecurity?

Well, the obvious answer is, “Cybersecurity protects the people and things we care about”.… Read the rest

NotPetya ransomware cyber-vaccine

Cybersecurity matters. As I type, the world is in the grip of another major ransomware attack. This one has been dubbed NotPetya — because it’s not the one called Petya, but it is similar. As usual, it targets Windows machines. A potential vaccine has been found in the past hour (3:19 pm PST, about 11:19 pm BST). So, this is just a very quick post to help publicise that ASAP.

The vaccine, courtesy of the excellent security site BleepingComputer, is to create a read-only file in your C:\Windows directory. That’s easier said than done, as Windows (quite rightly) protects that folder. So, the following batch file should do it for you:

https://download.bleepingcomputer.com/bats/nopetyavac.bat

…and if not, this post in BleepingComputer explains how to do it manually.… Read the rest

Do You Really Own Your Domain Name?

domain name registrationSo, you bought a domain name – congratulations! After all, you do own it now, right?

Actually, no. At least, not in the sense you may think. Possibly not at all.

You see, a registrar licenses the domain to you, the “registrant”, for a limited time. So, domain registration isn’t absolute ownership. It’s close enough for most purposes, though.

So, a “whois” search on a site like Who.is should list your current email address as the registrant for your domain. If it does, you have nothing to worry about.

…but what if it doesn’t?

Keep Calm and Double-Check

Different “whois” searches cover different types of domain, so don’t worry if your domain doesn’t appear on the site above. Even if a domain is listed, it may use privacy services to hide the registrant contact details.… Read the rest

Web Designer? Web Developer? Which Do I Need?

There’s a lot of confusion about the difference between web designers and web developers. That’s a problem when you’re trying to decide which to hire. However, it can be an even bigger problem if that confusion leads you to assume they’re both the same.

It often helps to think of your website as a marketing vehicle. In that sense, web designers build a chassis and dashboard around an engine and tweak things so that they all work together. Developers build the engine and other working parts. Of course, there’s a bit more to than that.

What’s a Web Designer?

web designWeb designers are creatives – but their job goes far beyond just making things look pretty. A designer is an artist who knows how to make things work.… Read the rest

SEO – Details Matter

SEO Details MatterIn SEO, details matter. In fact, success with Search Engine Optimisation is largely built on two simple things – perseverance and attention to detail. The trick, of course, is to know which SEO details to pay attention to. A recent event reminded me of this, and happens to illustrate a couple of basic principles of SEO, so I thought I’d pass it on.

An Unavoidable Upset

First, a bit of background. As I’m a web designer based in Newport, Wales, you might expect me to get traffic from searches for “web design Newport” – and you’d be right. I like to be on Google’s front page for that search, and often am.

Still, you may also imagine that I’d be competing with web designers from every “Newport” in the world for that phrase, many of whom know a bit about SEO, too.… Read the rest

Windows 10 Slow? Try These Two Quick Fixes

Do you Windows 10 Quick Fixfind Windows 10 slow at times? That it goes from speedy to sluggish for no obvious reason? Well, before you start worrying about malware (which used to be the most common culprit), try these quick fixes.

  1. Open the Command Prompt in Admin mode. You can right-click on the Start menu and choose “Command Prompt (Admin)” – or try one of these other ways to open the command prompt.
  2. If a “User Account Control” warning appears, click “Yes” – you do want to let this app to make changes to your device. If nothing seems to happen, check your taskbar for a new icon – this warning sometimes hides behind other windows.
  3. Once you see a black box with the title “Administrator: Command Prompt”, click into it and type the two following commands, one after another:
        net stop "Windows Search"
        net stop superfetch

You should see an improvement within seconds of these two services stopping.… Read the rest

Happy St. David’s Day, Wales!

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant Hapus!

The Red Dragon of WalesToday is a (particularly) good day to be Welsh.

It’s a funny thing, though – being a Welsh web designer born in “Newport, Monmouthshire,” as it was then. Monmouthshire was “mostly English” until 1972 (hush, now – you won’t get 20 years of web experience from a Millennial…). It still is, in terms of language, though at least schools now teach Welsh.

Anyway, having grown up around Chepstow, Monmouth and Bristol, I’m very much a man of Gwent, though with West Glamorgan roots. Still, years working across South Wales as an archaeologist taught me enough of Wales’ history to take real pride in it.

That’s why I’m still especially keen to support businesses and other organisations across South Wales and Avon.… Read the rest