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home : columns : rick frederickson
September 22, 2017

9/13/2017 8:28:00 AM
Small Bytes

Rick Frederickson
Computer Technician

• Last week Equifax, one of the world's largest credit reporting services, had a data breach that has affected an estimated 143 million people, including a good chunk of local residents. Sensitive personal information was exposed, including everything hackers need to steal identities. If you've used Equifax or had a credit report done you should take action. For more information about this breach and instructions on what to do, go to the FCC website at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/09/equifax-data-breach-what-do. This is not the first time Equifax has had a breach. Shame on you Equifax.
• Speaking of shame, shame on Microsoft. Recent and new updates are bringing more ads and unwanted/unneeded sales gimmicks to your Windows 10 computer. Get used to it. The entire computing industry is moving in this direction. It used to be the only pop-ups and advertising you saw was on the edge of web pages, in spam email and in pop-ups from spyware, adware and scams. It appears legitimate vendors, including Microsoft, are learning from the illegitimate, seedier side of the Internet. Don't think you are immune from this if you have a phone, tablet or Apple computer. The times are changing - for the worse.
• Is your information backed up yet? A recent incident involving one of my customers is a good reminder that if your information isn't in two places, it is not backed up. The customer had a lot of information, including family history and photos, stored in one place - an external USB hard drive. That hard drive was older and failed. As of this writing I'm throwing a Hail Mary pass to try to get the drive to read and the information back. I'm not optimistic. I'll repeat: If your information is not in two places then it is not backed up.
• Lest you think I came to work all crabby, here's a cute one: "A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any other invention, with the possible exceptions of handguns and Tequila." -  Mitch Ratcliffe.

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