Security Baseline

What To Do If You’ve Been Hacked

NOTE: For the second time in two months, Windows users are susceptible to a global malware attack. To protect yourself against this one, called Petya, I recommend reviewing my articles “What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself from Ransomware” and “When You Should Disable Server Message Block v1.” Signs You’ve Been Hacked It’s either easy or hard to determine if you’ve been hacked. In the case of ransomware, it’s extremely easy to know when you’ve been hacked: You get a request for money. However, the goal of most of the best hackers is to leave you blissfully ignorant of any wrongdoing. This way, your machine and your network access remains a resource for them to exploit. For example, the NSA tools that were recently released to the public were designed to allow for silent access to a system. The exploits released back in April have been patched by Microsoft, but they point out the goal of these nation-state attackers is to be stealthy and covert. So then if the goal of these tools are to be silent, how can you then know when you have been attacked? This is often the hardest of all – often you only know if … Read More »

How to Secure Your PC’s Disk Drives with BitLocker

You can bring encryption to your hard drive and USB flash drives using the Windows BitLocker tool. Concerned about someone accessing your PC’s hard drive or flash drives and reading the information on them? You can add an extra layer of protection to all your drives with the Windows BitLocker feature. Designed to work on both internal and external drives, BitLocker encrypts your drives to prevent unauthorized access. As such, BitLocker is especially useful on a laptop or on flash drives that may get lost or stolen and fall into the wrong hands. BitLocker is not a substitute for your regular Windows password or other means of authentication. Rather BitLocker detects if someone tries to use your hard drive or flash drives on another PC or tries to boot up your PC using a DVD or flash drive. In that event, BitLocker prevents access to your encrypted drive. So, you should still have a Windows login password or other security method to safeguard your operating system. BitLocker has been around since Windows Vista days and continues to be an option with Windows 10. BitLocker is automatically built into Windows as part of the operating system, though it’s turned off by … Read More »