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DDoS Cyber Attacks

Earlier this week many well-known Internet sites were brought to a screeching halt by a cyber attack. The target was one of the backbone supports of the Internet, that provides a centralized service upon which many, many Internet sites depend. The attack was a DDoS attack, which stands for Distributed Denial of Service. Here’s how it works. In the course of normal Internet traffic, a device with an Internet address sends a request to an Internet server. For example, when you enter a name in your web browser, the browser sends a request to that web site’s host server. The server processes it and sends back a web page which the browser renders. A device containing malicious software can send many, many bogus requests which the server must process, thus it can’t service legitimate requests. Thus, Denial of Service (DoS). But all the server has to do is stop processing requests from that Internet address. The hackers counter this by loading their malicious software on hundreds of thousands of devices, and triggering them all at once. Thus, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS). They load the malware on devices that are poorly protected. The devices can be anything from wireless routers to as simple as baby monitors. The security hole is that manufacturers produce the devices with default user names and passwords, preferring ease of setup by their customers rather than robust security. The customers typically don’t even know there is a potential problem. To learn a tip on picking secure passwords, go to here.

Troubleshoot Windows Problems

Troubleshoot Windows problems. Windows has a number of troubleshooters that can save you time and headaches if you encounter a problem. Try these before you hire a computer expert.
To get at them, open Control Panel, click “System and Security”, and then under that select “Find and Fix problems”. You will see a list of troubleshooters. To see them all, select “View All” in the sidebar.
These troubleshooters are not a cure-all for every problem, but they are a good place to start and may just do the trick.

How To Verify Memory Using Windows

If your computer’s RAM (memory) is not error-free, anything on your computer can go wrong. You can’t trust it. Windows has a memory diagnostic program to test RAM built in to it. It’s very easy to use.

To run the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool, there are two methods. One, select the Start button (just select the button on Windows 7 and 10, or on Windows 8,  select the Start button then choose Search from the pop up menu). Type “Windows Memory Diagnostic”. Two, press the Windows key in the lower left and then “R”.  A “Run” dialog box will open up. Type “mdsched.exe” into it and press Enter.

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How to Rollback Windows 10

I have seen some reports of people who were unhappy with Windows 10. In some cases they report that it installed itself without their okay. Don’t get me wrong, I am not bad-mouthing Windows 10, I am just trying to be helpful to people who are unhappy with it. You can roll it back if you act within 30 days. It’s not that hard. Directions are at the How-to Geek Rollback Windows 10 page. It’s really pretty simple. In fact, I have found the How-To Geek website to be helpful in general.

Security: Passwords

Passwords. I recently heard a tale about a disaster that befell someone who picked an insecure password. A strong password is at least 10 characters long, and contains a mix of upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. The strongest passwords are a mix of random characters, but who can remember those? There is, however, a trick. Make up a sentence based on something you can easily remember, like where you lived when you were ten years old, and take the first character from each word or number, and throw in a couple of special characters at the end. For example, “I lived at 123 Pleasant Lane, Anytown, Anystate”. Becomes “Il@123PLAA@@”. No security is perfect, but this technique is pretty good.

Quick Access to Windows Desktop

If you are a Microsoft Windows user, sometimes you may have multiple applications open and want to get to your Desktop. You can do this by going to each application and clicking the Minimize button. But there is a key on the lower left of your keyboard that has the image of a window on it. This is known as the Windows key or the Command key or the GUI key. Hold it down and press “M”. Presto, all your windows minimize! To get them all back, hold down the Windows key and press Shift and “M” simultaneously.