What is Soft Reset and How to do it.

A soft reset is the same as turning off the device then turning it back on. It does not wipe programs, data, or malware but can correct the device if it becomes unresponsive or crashes.

In some devices without soft reset capability, cutting off power to the device and removing the batteries, then restoring power to the device and fixing back the battery will soft reset the device.

A soft reset should be the first step to take when your computer device malfunctions.

For instance, a computer that suddenly shows the blue screen of death can be partially or fully fixed with a soft reset. In any case a soft reset will enable you to put on the computer and then deal with the issue causing the blue screen to appear.

Soft Reset of Windows computers

Nearly all  Windows computers can be soft reset by holding down the Power button for about ten seconds to shutdown. After the device shuts down, wait about ten seconds and press the Power button once to restart the computer.

Soft Reset of Mac computers

Hold down the Power button for about five seconds, to completely shut down the Mac PC. Wait a few seconds, and press the power button once again to reboot the Mac.

For some Macs pressing and holding the Power button may display a menu; press R to reboot directly, rather than shutting down and restarting the device.

How to Bank Online Safely

Online banking is unavoidable despite its security concerns. We are in the 21 century and online banking is smarter and easier banking. Here are some things you can do to improve your security as you bank online:

1. Use a strong password

 Your online banking password should be unique and strong. Commit to memory, that is remember it off hand. Do not store it in your phone or computer. If you like, you can write it on a piece of paper and store it in a safe place.

2. Choose a random PIN for your ATM   

It is good practice to choose a random Personal Identification Number (PIN) for your ATM card and/or phone identification. The PIN should not be related to any information that you know such as your name or other passwords. Do not write down your PIN or store it in your computer or phone. Do not tell your PIN to strangers, bank employees and people you don’t trust.

3. Log in to your online banking using trusted devices

Log in to your online banking using your phone or personal computer. Make sure the security features of your phone and computer are up to date. It is best to use your personal internet/ WiFi connecting. Avoid public WiFi networks because they can be unsafe.

4. Activate alerts for your bank account

Sign up for alerts from your bank. You should enable your bank account to be alerted by text message and/or email any time a transaction takes place with respect to your account.

5. Do not allow your browser store your online banking password

When you use your online banking password on a browser, your browser will normally request to store it for you. Reject the offer. This will safeguard against someone else easily logging in to your bank account. It is good practice to always enter the URL of your bank every time you visit the bank on the web.

Malware; What it is and How it Works.

Malware, also called malicious software, is a general term for software that is created for the purpose of causing damage on its users. The victims have no idea they are running it on their computer systems.

Malware includes computer Trojans, worms, viruses, scareware, ransomware, spyware, adware, cryptocurrency miners, and other programs intended to exploit computer resources for nefarious purposes.

Viruses

Computer viruses are programs that replicate their own code into computer systems when executed. They infect the computers  through  software. For instance, a virus can be included in the executable file of a microsoft word document. So that when the word document is executed or run, the virus is executed alongside without one knowing.viruses can also infect the boot sector of an harddrive.

Because virus can spread on their own, if not checked will eventually render the computer system unusable

Viruses need a host or software to spread, that is to say , once the infected software or program is not run. The virus cannot run as well.

Worms

Computer worms are pieces of malicious  programs  that can propagate themselves without a host.they often attack computer networks and internet connections looking for vulnerabilities.

Worms can consume large amounts of network bandwidth slowing down internet connections in the process.  Worms can steal information without modifying program data.

Trojans

Trojans (named after the  historical Trojan horse) is a malicious software that disguises itself as genuine. It can also be hidden within a non malicious software. Trojans can be spread by tricking people into installing an app, clicking on a link or some email attachment sent into your inbox.

Unlike viruses and worms which can self propagate, trojans propagate through the mistakes of humans.

Ransomware

Ransomware as the name implies, is  a malware that steals sensitive information, or encrypts files then tells the victim to pay some ransom to some criminal before stolen information can be returned or decrypted. 

Scareware

Scareware  is a malicious program that scares people into taking some action. For example a message can suddenly appear on your phone stating it has a virus and  tricks you into clicking a link to download antivirus. But that link actually leads to the malicious program. 

Spyware

Spyware is  a software that, without permission, collects information from your device. Information collected can include, keylogger, screen images, videos, audio from a microphone, and so on.

Cryptocurrency miners

Cryptocurrency miners are malware that steals cryptocurrency by infecting the CPU of its victims. 

Adware

Adware is software that generates revenue for the party operating. It displays adverts on your device usually after download of a free software. The adware is installed and run without permission.  

Blended malware

Blended malware refers to a technology that uses different types of malicious programs to run. For instance, a software comprising viruses, worms and trojans.

Zero day malware

Zero day malware is any malicious program that exploits a loophole not previously known to the public or to the creators/sellers of the technology containing the defect.

Risks Cyber Security Mitigates

Privacy

Cyber security helps reduce risks arising from  misuse of , confidential  and personal information.

Financial

Risks  emanating from unauthorized access into customers’ bank account  to steal money is cut to the nearest minimum. Banks take the issue of protecting their data seriously. As a successful episode of cyber attack will make them lose many customers

Professional

Whether you work on your own or far an organization. It is very important that sensitive data and private communication be kept safe. More so when some individuals might want to gain access to such information to your detriment. These types of risks can be controlled with a well thought out cyber security structure in place.

Business

We have  businesses at their peak suddenly crumble, because their websites/ bank accounts were hacked. A very successful online business equally needs good security to prevent cybercriminals from  bringing down in minutes what took years to build.

Personal risks

Many people store private and sensitive information in their phones. Examples include explicit photos and activities deemed not acceptable to their social circles. Imagine the embarrassment and harm such information could cause if leaked.

The onus is on the individual to keep his private information secure. 

I’m not a fan of storing sensitive information in mobile phones but if you do it, then take steps to protect  information from leaking. Some of the ways you can make sensitive data in your phone inaccessible is the using a password and encrypting the storage for added security.

Why You Should Buy The PS5 Digital Edition

The PlayStation 5 (PS5) was launched in 2 variants. They are;

  1. The standard edition.
  2. The disc less or digital only edition.
PS5 Standard Edition

The standard edition comes equipped with a Blu-ray disc drive and a hard disk drive. The disc less edition comes equipped with only a hard disc drive.

If you purchase the PS5 Digital Edition, it means you won’t be able to play PS5 games stored on Blu Ray CDs because it has no disc drive. You can only play games downloaded to your hard drive from the PlayStation and affiliate stores.

Aside from these differences, both PS5 editions have the same specifications. 

The official price for the standard edition goes for $499 while that of the digital only edition goes for $399.

Why you should buy the PS5 Digital Edition 

PS5 Digital Edition
  1. It is $100  cheaper, and with the same power and performance of the standard edition.
  2. If you have a cheap and fast internet. connection in your area. This will enable you to download games cheaply and economically.
  3. You want a less weighty PS5. 
  4. You prefer digital game and movie downloads/ streaming, to buying the same on a Blu- ray disc. 
  5. You have a means of easily paying for digital games and movie downloads from PlayStation and affiliated  stores.

The internet, Cybercrime and Cyber Security

As the internet continues to advance so are cyber attacks. Cyber attack or cyber hacking means unauthorized access of electronically stored personal or sensitive data which is used to cause harm. For instance, cyber criminals can steal credit card information and use it to purchase goods. Other activities of cyber criminals include;

Steal money from people’s bank accounts.

Manipulate election votes.

Expose private and sensitive information online for the world to see.

Disrupt government and other organizations activities.

 Identity theft, deception and much more.

What is Cyber Security?

 Cyber security means protecting your  information and activities stored electronically from unauthorized access and usage.

Cyber crime is a constant evolving treat and so cyber security must be steps ahead.

Once upon a time, before the internet came, it wasn’t easy to steal sensitive data as the thief would need to break into your house  and/or your safe to gain access. You had total control on how your information was stored.

In this internet age, it’s much more  economical, cheaper and safer to store your data electronically online. There are many internet companies that offer free online storage including Google, Microsoft,  Facebook and so on on.

Even if you store your sensitive data on your laptop or phone, chances are that it will still end up online when you send electronically to a third party.

The internet has made it very easy and convenient to send, receive and store information. It also made it easy to interact with people anywhere in the world and do business. But you are not in total control of how those information are stored and handled. 

Information you send through the internet passes a network of servers linked to your laptop or phone before getting to its destination.

Cyber criminals exploit these servers and networks to gain access to personal or sensitive data and do nefarious activities with the accessed information. 

Even if you took precautions to protect the information at your end, you are still at the mercy of your hosting companies/ websites to do the same.

Many online hosting companies spend a lot of money yearly to protect sensitive data from hackers. They also encourage all who send and receive information through their internet device to do the same.

As far as the internet is concerned, cyber crime will always be its major problem.

How to protect yourself from cyber criminals.

  • Whatever internet accessing device you use, be it PC, laptop or mobile phone, protect it with a very effective and updated antivirus software.
  • Always make sure to restrict access to your computers and phones with a password.
  • When you get a new phone take full advantage or activate all of its security features.
  • Always read the privacy policies of websites you sign up for.
  • Beware of email messages you feel it is spam or dubious.
  • Avoid porn and get rich quick sites, they usually contain viruses and malware.
  • Avoid websites that provide links for you to download paid software for free. They may contain viruses and malware.
  • Beware of unsolicited email and text messages, they may contain links to virus, malware and spyware.
  • Avoid websites that provide free service for what you should normally pay for.