Archive for the ‘tech tips’ Category

Firefox – Legacy add-on or WebExtension? How to Find Out

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

When Firefox 57 is released, many older add-ons will suddenly go away. Here’s a simple trick that will tell you if your favorite add-ons will be among the casualties.

So, by now you have probably heard that a major change is coming this year to the Firefox add-on ecosystem. In a nutshell, Mozilla will scrap all legacy add-ons and move the add-on system exclusively to WebExtensions.

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Windows 10 – Turn Off Ads in File Explorer

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

If you’re getting tired of seeing advertisements in File Explorer, here’s how to put an end to them.

Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system differs in several regards from previous versions. It is the last version of Windows according to Microsoft, was offered as a free upgrade to existing license holders, and its core powers not only desktop PCs but also the company’s Xbox, mobiles, and other devices. Advertisement in Windows is not an entirely new concept, but it is being pushed in Windows 10 like never before.

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Firefox Fingerprinting Using Intermediate CA Caching

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Fortunately, the article also describes an easy way to fix this problem …

New browser capabilities and features are designed to improve the user experience or compatibility with technologies. Sometimes, these features may also be used for shady activities such as user tracking. One of the latest of these activities can be used to fingerprint Firefox users using intermediate CA caching.

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Report – Non-Admin Accounts Mitigate 94% of Critical Windows Vulnerabilities

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

This probably goes without saying, but here it is anyway, just in case anyone needs a reminder.

A new report suggests that Windows admins and users could mitigate 94% of all critical vulnerabilities automatically by running non-admin accounts. It is common sense that using standard user accounts on Windows, opposed to accounts with elevated privileges, is a good security practice. The main reason behind this practice is simple: if a user cannot perform certain operations due to limited rights, then malware can’t perform those operations either.

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Microsoft Edge’s “Something Missing on this Page” Message

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

For the most part, this message is an indication that Edge has blocked content (and usually, that means Flash content.)

If you follow the release of Windows 10 Insider Build releases, or have installed one on a PC, you may have noticed that Microsoft put a lot of effort in recent builds to improve the system’s default web browser Microsoft Edge. Edge is a rather bare bones browser, which is refreshing when you come from Internet Explorer, but disappointing if you expect the same level of customization that Firefox offers for instance.

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Chrome – The “HoeflerText Font wasn’t Found” Scam

Friday, February 24th, 2017

Here’s a clever new scam that disguises itself as a font error.

It is interesting from a purely scientific angle how attackers come up with new methods and schemes to distribute malicious payloads on to user systems. The “HoeflerText” font wasn’t found is a recent attack that changes website text so that it looks as if a font is missing, to get users to download and install an alleged update for Chrome that adds the font to the system.

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How to Force Flash Updates in Chrome

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

Even though Flash is quickly falling out of favor with many users, there are still plenty of folks who rely on Flash. Since Chrome is sometimes a bit slow about pushing Flash updates, security conscious Flash users might want to be a bit more proactive about updates.

The following guide walks you through the steps of checking the installed Flash version in Google Chrome, and forcing it to update if an outdated version is used by the browser. All versions of the Google Chrome web browser ship with Adobe Flash installed natively in the browser. While Chrome does not support classic NPAPI plugins anymore, Chrome is still supporting PPAPI plugins of which Flash is one.

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Blocking Telemetry in Windows 7 and 8.1

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

If you’re concerned about privacy, (and have a bit of free time on your hands,) you might want to check out this neat trick for managing Microsoft updates and controlling the sort of information that your system is allowed to share.

Microsoft pushed patches to devices running Windows 7 and 8.1 in recent time that collect information and transfer data to Microsoft regularly. One of the main issues that Windows users may have with telemetry is that Microsoft does not reveal what it is collecting, and what is included when telemetry data is transferred to the company. The following tutorial provides suggestions on limiting Windows data collecting and transferring. There is no guarantee that nothing is collected and/or submitted after making privacy related changes to the operating system, but a guarantee that data collecting is severely limited at the very least.

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Windows 10 – Group Policy Pack Privacy and Telemetry

Monday, February 13th, 2017

It sounds like the task of preventing your Windows 10 PC from phoning home is going to be a full time job.

The Group Policy pack Privacy and Telemetry, short gp-pack PaT, is a collection of 70 policies designed to disable sending data to Microsoft on Windows 10 devices. Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise administrators may use the Group Policy to modify privacy settings, and block some telemetry collecting and submitting to Microsoft. Numerous privacy tools for Windows 10 have been released that modify Registry keys directly. Several of the programs go further, for instance by removing applications that ship with Windows 10, or blocking Microsoft Telemetry servers on the system.

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How to Display Certificate Details in Chrome

Friday, February 10th, 2017

It bugs me to no end when software companies do this. When they move familiar tools and services to a hard-to-find location, it always feels like somebody broke into my office overnight and rearranged my desk, just for the heck of it.

Google is on a roll. After removing user control over some plugins installed in the browser, the company moved information about security certificates of sites to a place where most users may never find it. More and more sites on the Internet move to https. Doing so has advantages, but there is also a considerable amount of pressure by browser makers and search engines to get sites to migrate. Google is on the forefront of all of this. It may come as a surprise therefore that the company made the decision to move certificate information from the address bar to the browser’s Developer Tools.

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