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January 2018

The curse of updates, “can't live with them & can't live without them”!

In light of recent events this little axiom has been muttered by computer users all over the globe. The problems with the expected updates from Microsoft and Apple were bad enough. On top of that were the unexpected updates that were hastily put out for newly discovered vulnerabilities in most of the processors in modern devices.

Updates have become a fact of life in the cyber world.

The result was that most of the devices in use today needed, (or still need) to be updated. While this can, and often does, cause unexpected problems. Old software programs may no longer work. Features and apps have been removed and are no longer available. Your computer may be slower and in some cases it may be time to “bite the bullet” and get a new device.

Terrible as this may sound the alternative of not updating is even worse. Once the vulnerability has been exposed then every hacker in the world knows about it. Remember these are not just some pimply faced kids in the basement who can't get a date. Modern hackers are well organized syndicates, government agencies, criminal conglomerates and combinations of the above. Their goal is to advance and enrich themselves at your expense. From destroying National Security to raiding your bank account these hackers are just waiting for the chance to pounce. Jurisdictional boundaries like state lines and nation's borders are just ink on a page and laws are meaningless.

Your only protection is eternal vigilance! Here is a list of do's and don'ts;


  • Keep your operating system, apps and malware protection up to date.
  • Keep your passwords and personal information secure.
  • Check your accounts and online activities frequently, (at least once a week)
  • Report any suspicious activity immediately.
  • Think before you click
Always think before you click!


  • Open unsolicited messages from sources you don't know.
  • Click on suspicious links in messages or websites.
  • Use public Wi-Fi without protection like a VPN.
  • Call the number on your screen that claims your system has been infected.
  • Believe them when they say they are from Microsoft and they have noticed something on your machine.

If you have been scammed, (or think you have) right away change your passwords. Remember to write them down and keep them in a safe place. If you suspect someone has your credit card info call that institution and request a new card. If you see suspicious activities with your online account call that organization and tell them about it as soon as possible. Most major online and financial companies have 24 hour service for such emergencies.

And remember always back it up!

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