Sunday, August 12, 2018

Old Scam - New Clothes

A scammer from India came up with a new twist of an old ruse.
Image result for computer insurance
 Look at this screen shot of the offending email as shown in my email program:

Btw. following references to the blue or red squares do in no way refer to BattleBots. ??

In the blue square we have the sender's email address. I believe that NO administrator in the whole wide world would ever use an AOL email account for his official business. Some criticism of AOL can be found here.

In the first red square you see my cursor on the VERIFY NOW link and because of that you can see in the second red square the textual representation of what web page that link would actually send my browser to - if I were sufficiently un-attentive to click my mouse in that situation.

The target web page is on a server in India at "managershub"! You don't see that? Learn how to read URLs.

And I don't even use what the scammer refers to as a "Web-mail system".

To top it off there are three simple spelling errors or typos in the short text of the email; unprofessional to the hilt! 

Sum total: An old but time honored scam in a new dress - but not even a fancy dress.

Again it comes down to the first of my ten commandments for safe computing:
Thou shalt read and think(!) before you click.
Stay safe!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

URGENT ALERT! For users of any Apple thinghy!

Hi y'all and thanks for reading this.

If you or someone in your household has any piece of equipment from Apple, like an iPhone, iPad, iPod or the like then
 this is for you!

Since iPhones a.s.o. are so common nowadays the crooks are targeting you. Look at the email I just got in a partial screen shot of the Thunderbird screen:
Image result for computer insurance

I have marked the give-away items with colored rectangles as follows:

Blue: I don't have an Apple account! Ha, ha, ha.

Purple: The email does not even come from Apple!

Green: My cursor pointing to the "Verify..." button.

Red: The URL (web site address) that the "Verify..." button actually is pointing to; it has NOTHING AT ALL to do with Apple.

To be addressed as "Dear" is so unprofessional this alone would be reason enough to click on the Delete button!

The item in the red rectangle I see only because I told my email program to show this and because the cursor is on the "Verify..." button. I believe none of this needs further clarification. Should you have any questions please feel free to ask me, preferably in an email.

A general remark: 
If the program you use to read your emails
does not show you any of the information in blue, purple and red
then you potentially endanger your computer!

Any Questions? Please feel free to ask me, preferably in an email. 

Stay safe.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome vs. Firefox

And again it is a customer's question that triggers me to write on this blog. The customer, thank you Steve H, asked simply "What is your opinion of Microsoft Edge vs Firefox?".

Here is my reply:

I strongly advise against using any web browser from Microsoft!

I collected some articles for your enjoyment that can give you some background for my various reasons. The articles quotes are in no particular sequence.

Test Link

Microsoft Edge introduces new security risks in Windows 10

IE, Edge Users at Risk from Serious Browser Security Flaw,news-24565.html

Windows 10 users ignore Edge for a reason

Windows 10's new browser Microsoft Edge: Improved but also new risks

Before you ask let me please preempt the question about Google Chrome vs. Firefox:

So far the main argument for Chrome was "it is faster". That was and is a phony argument that shows a deplorable lack of knowledge by the people using it. I'll give you an example.

Let's assume from the moment you click on a link to having the new web page in front of your eyes it takes all together 10 seconds.

90% of that time is needed to get the many little files that comprise a web page from the server these files reside on to your computer. We and/or the web browser have no way to make that faster.

The last 10% of the time is used by the web browser to "convert " the many little files into the picture we see; this process is called rendering. And that actually was where Chrome was faster.

MS Edge, the new version of Firefox and others have closed and/or eliminated that speed gap.

If Chrome were 30% faster in rendering the web page that would be only 0.3 seconds. Even in a direct A/B comparison we would not be able to experience that difference.

Additionally: The Chrome web store, from where you'd download any browser extension you might want or need, has been plagued by rogue extensions (only one example here, there are many more!). You may find way too late that the extension you downloaded and installed was rogue.

So for me it is clear:

No to Google Chrome and ANY Microsoft browser; IMHO the only well supported alternative is Firefox.

Stay safe.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

FINALLY - Microsoft comes to (their?) senses

FINALLY something IMHO long overdue is going to happen:

Microsoft will start to remove the worst of the bad ones!

Please read the details here.

You don't need to call me if after March 1st. your "Optimizer program" has gone missing. I will wait and see what else they (Micro$oft) will declare "coercive" and then remove.

Stay safe!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Meltdown and Spectre bugs in our CPUs

Have you read about and eventually been concerned about these bugs?

First and foremost: Please DO NOT confuse cloud storage of data with cloud computing; these are two very different animals. If you use cloud storage you and your data are NOT directly affected! And as far as I know these attacks are difficult to pull off in the first place and I don't personally know anybody who actively uses cloud computing.

Here is a good and fairly easily to read article that explains the details much better then I ever could.

My short synopsis: If you are using a regular home computer I believe you are and most likely will remain safe. These bugs MIGHT affect companies that run their software, web sites, email systems and what not on Cloud Services like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Computing, and/or Microsoft Azure.

Don't get overly alarmed but install updates as soon as they are available, especially updates for the Windows Operating system and your web browser.

Stay safe.

Happy 2018!

A happy and healthy New Year yo all my customers and - actually- - to everybody else who happens to  read this.

Stay Safe.
Eike Heinze

Sunday, December 10, 2017

It's Amazon vs. Google. Did You Know?

Have you ever or are you sometimes watching a YouTube video or two?

Have you ever or are you sometimes looking at something or even buying something on Amazon?

If you can answer any of above questions with Yes then you should read this article.

It shows very clearly why I always say that, no matter what companies say, we, the paying customer, are a voiceless, powerless "necessary evil". They just don't give a hoot about us.

Their talk of "how important" their customers are and how they care for us and how important it is for them "to serve the customer" is nothing but marketing hullabaloo and all too often they just plainly lie to us.

Never the less, I will stick with my Amazon Prime account and I will keep using Google's services.

For now at least.

Stay safe.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Attention Everybody ...

... with an AT&T, SBC Global or a Yahoo email account:

Likely every direct or indirect Yahoo user got this or an email similar to this:

DO NOT CLICK on the RESET link! This email is a scam!

As you can see my cursor was on the RESET link in the text when I took this screenshot.

Please look at the red framed box in the left bottom corner. You can easily see that the link would take you to, a web site that obviously has NOTHING AT ALL to do with Yahoo! It is your guess what might happen if you do click on it.

Just the line where these crooks address me, "Dear" is another simple giveaway. No even vaguely reasonable company would address a customer like that!

Again, check every link in emails in this way BEFORE you click!

THINK TWICE and stay safe!

Friday, November 24, 2017

This is where I stand...

Despite being "only" a guest in the USA there have been quite a few times when I have been asked about my opinion of the so called "flag protest issue" in the NFL.

Here is a short video that gives my answer better than I ever could.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 20, 2017

(GRAND-) PARENTS: Real and Present Danger!

Yes, I know, it has been way too long since the last time I had to say something.

With the holiday season immediately upon us and the crazy sales already in full swing:

You please, please have to read this article about the risks associated with the newfangled so-called "internet connected" toys.   

Other than that I wish everybody a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Stay safe - and help keeping your kids and grand kids safe.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Why Me?

One time too many I have been asked by a caller why he should hire me rather than take his computer to Best Buy; here is my complete reply. I apologize for the bad style (way too many paragraphs begin with "I"!) but I am not a native English speaker.

In general
  • my main interest is cleaning your computer of all viruses and malware and securing it and your web browser against getting infected again in the future

  • I have over 25 years of experience with Windows PCs plus over 23 years of experience as a computer programmer and database manager

  • I do not mince words but rather say it as I see it

  • I can explain technically complex concepts in layman's terms

  • I prefer real-life usability and experience over personal opinions and commercial �tests�

  • I abhor industry shenanigans and trickery and warn my customers

  • I work on Windows PCs only and do only house calls up to 30 miles from my residence. There is no extra charge to appear at your door and I charge no mileage fees.
I neither sell material goods nor any software; I sell only my experience, my know-how and my time.

I do not charge sales tax.

I have NO contractual ties to any product; I do not get any kickbacks from any manufacturer, wholesaler or dealer, no matter where and what you eventually buy.

I have absolutely no hidden financial interest or other commercial bias; there is no added or hidden cost for the home user.

With two rare exceptions I use and install only freely available and functionally proven programs.
Even a proven alternative to Microsoft Office is officially available free of charge.

I have worked professionally as a programmer and database administrator
  • with computers since July 1st 1964
  • with Microsoft software on CP/M computers since 1977
  • with PCs since February 1982
  • with Microsoft Windows since version 3.1 in 1992
For 11 years I was once every month the �computer guru� on a call-in talk show on WTKM radio out of Hartford, WI.

If you are interested please send an email to ejhprivate*AT*gmail*DOT*com

I will reply and send you my brochure with more information as a .pdf file;
if you rather want a paper copy please give me in your email your name and address and I will send you a letter.

The information in the brochure should enable you to decide whether you want to hire me to repair and secure your computer.

Thank you for your interest.

Old Scam - New Clothes

A scammer from India came up with a new twist of an old ruse.  Look at this screen shot of the offending email as shown in my email progr...