Computer News & Safety – Harry Waldron Rotating Header Image

June 28th, 2016:

Facebook – How to better restrict Suggested Friends feature

Users of Facebook should be careful of all recommendations in the “suggested friends” category as documented in this CNET article below:

Facebook’s Suggested Friends category is usually full of casual acquaintances, old friends from high school and other random people.  Lately, however, you may have seen random suggestions of people you don’t know, yet somehow vaguely recognize. It turns out, Facebook is using your phone’s location to match you with fellow Facebook users who are nearby, as first reported by Fusion.

There’s a lot that could go wrong with this feature, and frankly it’s a bit creepy. However, you can disable location services for the Facebook app on your phone, thereby preventing the social network from trying to play matchmaker.

Despite a Facebook spokesperson originally telling Fusion and CNET location was “one of the factors” used to suggest people you know, a Facebook spokesperson now claims the company is “not using location data, such as device location and location information you add to your profile, to suggest people you may know. “ Instead, the social network “may show you people based on mutual friends, work and education information, networks you are part of, contacts you’ve imported and other factors.”

Still, you may want want to restrict Facebook’s access to your location information. Here’s how …

Windows 10 – Anniversary release possibly targeted for August 2016

While Microsoft has not finalized the special WIN10 Anniversary release, there is speculation it could occur in early August 2016.

Windows 10’s Anniversary Update will happen August 2, if a press headline posted, and then pulled, from Microsoft’s site is any indication. Spotted by Neowin Tuesday morning, the August 2 date would be four days after Windows 10’s free upgrade deadline ends on July 29.

The highly anticipated Anniversary Update will bring major improvements to Windows 10, which debuted almost a year ago on July 29, 2015. Windows 10 Insiders have received tastes of what’s to come in preview builds released over the past months, and we already know what some of its best features will be. Now we also have a date, and it makes the decision to upgrade to Windows 10 for free by July 29 a tougher one for holdouts.

BEST FEATURES OF WIN10 Anniversary release

Windows 10 – Free publications for business deployment

Microsoft is offering free planning resources for companies who are evaluating migration to Windows 10

Whether you’re researching a future upgrade, or planning a deployment, the Windows 10 for Business Onboarding Kit is a collection of informative resources that will help you understand how to deploy Windows 10. Learn about secure automated deployment, get insights on how to protect your organization’s data and devices, and download materials to assist with employee readiness today.  Sign up now to receive:

1. Deploying Windows 10:  Automating deployment by using System Center Configuration Manager, by Andre Della Monica, Alessandro Cesarini, Russ Rimmerman, and Victor Silveira. This authoritative reference book explains how to deploy Windows 10 through a number of both attended and unattended automated methods.

2. Windows 10 Readiness Tools: Use this handy bundle of resources to distribute to employees during your Windows 10 deployment to help them get up and running. This kit will help your employees make a smooth and successful transition to Windows 10, so your organization can start enjoying the benefits of Windows 10 right away.

3. The Modern Workplace Watchdog eBook:  It’s time stop sacrificing flexibility and efficiency in the name of security. Learn how to protect the information, systems, and people vital to your business with Windows 10, the most secure Windows ever.

Carbonite Online Backup – Users prompted to change passwords

The online backup firm Carbonite has setup controls forcing all users to change their passwords immediately.  Carbonite has NOT been recently hacked.  However, they are concerned regarding older security breaches where user passwords had been discovered.  Many individuals use the same password for multiple sites. When a standard password is discovered, it allows attackers access to all other sites where this approach is used.  Carbonite has recently seen some unauthorized access due to these reasons and are taking this precaution.

What Happened — As part of our ongoing security monitoring, we recently became aware of unauthorized attempts to access a number of Carbonite accounts. This activity appears to be the result of a third party attacker using compromised email addresses and passwords obtained from other companies that were previously attacked. The attackers then tried to use the stolen information to access Carbonite accounts. Based on our security reviews, there is no evidence to suggest that Carbonite has been hacked or compromised.

What Information Was Involved –While we will continue to monitor and investigate the matter, we have determined that usernames and passwords are involved. Additionally, for some accounts, other personal information may have been exposed.

What We Are Doing — To ensure the protection of all our customers and the safety of their data, we are requiring all Carbonite customers to reset their login information. All Carbonite users will receive an email with instructions to reset their passwords. These emails will arrive in your inbox over the course of the day and evening. Our Customer Care team is standing by to assist anyone who needs additional help. This activity in no way affects existing or scheduled backups. Files are still being safely backed up. In addition to our existing monitoring practices, we will be rolling out additional security measures to protect your account, including increased security review and two-factor authentication [which we strongly encourage all customers to use].

What Carbonite Customers Should Do — Look for an email from Carbonite with instructions for resetting your password. We highly recommend all customers use “strong” unique passwords for Carbonite and all online accounts. Learn more about strong passwords at If you use the same or similar passwords on other online services, we recommend that you set new passwords on those accounts as well.

Is the email you received legitimate? — Yes. Carbonite sent an email to all customers an email asking them to reset their passwords.


Microsoft Windows 10 – improvements for WIN7 and WIN8 free upgrade offer

Microsoft has improved clarity for the free WIN10 upgrade window, for the WIN7 and WIN8 user community

The new interface will feature three buttons with clear options, including Upgrade now, Choose time (in other words, schedule the upgrade time), or Decline free offer. Microsoft also plans to restore proper behavior to the “x” in the upper right hand corner. Instead of being treated as consent for an upgrade, clicking the “x” will simply dismiss the window, as it should be