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I write a weekly column titled ‘COMPUTER SENSE’ that appears in the Business section of the Sunday Norman Transcript newspaper. I hope you find it to be helpful, informative and entertaining. Please email your opinions about the column to Norman Transcript editor Caleb Slinkard at editor@normantranscript.com, or Norman Transcript publisher Mark Millsap at publisher@normantranscript.com. They need your ideas and feedback. Be sure to include your name and location in your email.

Do we take Internet crime seriously?

In light of the recent announcement that mega-data broker Equifax will not endure any meaningful punishment for endangering half of the U.S. population last year, I am posting this column I first wrote in 2014 (updated 2016) about The Great Target Hack and The Great...

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Internet safety education: do we care?

There is an area of corporate responsibility that is largely neglected, but represents one of the most pressing issues in society today: the need to teach the underserved public-at-large how to be safe on the Internet. This neglect exists in spite of the Internet's...

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FBI: Router hack worse than thought

You may recall my column of a few weeks ago titled, "FBI says 'reboot your router,'" which outlined the FBI's warning that Russian government hackers had infected over 500,000 home and small business routers, allowing them to steal website logins and passwords, and...

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Dave’s Three Immutable Laws of Hacking

I am using this week’s column as an opportunity to announce three “laws” that are so obvious to me I’m surprised nobody has announced them before. If they have been announced before, I can’t find them. Therefore, here I go. Behold, the worldwide introduction of Dave’s...

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FBI says “reboot your router”

The FBI has issued a threat alert regarding over 500,000 infected home and small business routers, and offers a simple way to begin fixing the problem: reboot your network router. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, on May 25, 2018, by way of the Internet Crime...

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Download your personal Google and Facebook files

Be sure to visit the Norman Public Library Downtown branch Wednesday, May 23, at 6pm. A special discussion about "Facebook, Privacy and You," will be held, and is sure to be a good one. Call (405) 701-2697 to register. Remember last week's column on "digital...

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Once on Facebook, always on Facebook

It's called "digital permanence," the idea that once something is uploaded, posted, published or otherwise "put on" the Internet, it will be there forever. "What goes on the Internet, stays on the Internet." Videos, blogs, photos, comments, Tweets, website visits,...

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Backing up home and small business computers

Would you put a firecracker in your hand, light the fuse and then simply watch the fuse burn down until the firecracker exploded in your hand? You know the firecracker is going to explode and hurt your hand. Why would you not do something to prevent that from...

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Holding computers hostage: pay up, or else

“Your personal files are encrypted by CTB-Locker. Your documents, photos, databases and other important files have been encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key, generated for this computer.” Wow, there’s a screen you never want to see on your computer...

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Small businesses put out of business by Internet crooks

Do you own a small business? If so, you are a favorite target of the Internet bad guys. More and more, they are moving away from well-prepared big businesses and stealing from small businesses, who are often unable to cope with even the most basic cyberattacks. Answer...

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Millennials scammed more than seniors

Twelve years ago, before anyone could have possibly mistaken me for a "senior citizen," I was reaching to push the button on the self-serve machine at the local post office to buy some stamps when an obviously impatient voice piped up behind me. "Excuse me!" I turned...

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Protect your tablet computers and smart phones

Smart phones and tablet computers are increasingly becoming the prime ways people connect to the Internet. They have also become prime targets in the sights of the Internet bad guys, who aim to steal, cheat, trick and destroy, just like they have for years against the...

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Time to ditch Yahoo for good

If you bought a car, and it broke down and exploded, would you buy the same make and model, again? Well, OK, so maybe you would. Maybe you would think its problems were just a fluke, and surely couldn't happen, again. But if your second same-make-and-model car broke...

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Computer bathtime, part 3: hardware and software security

Critical Security Control #3, as proposed by the Center for Internet Security (CIS), is called Secure Configurations for Hardware and Software on Mobile Devices, Laptops, Workstations, and Servers. This nerdy, wordy tome is written mainly for I.T. security pros and...

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Computer bathtime, part 2: critical security controls

Continuing last week’s discussion of “Foundational cyber hygiene,” let’s look at the first five “Critical Security Controls” proposed by the Center for Internet Security (CIS). A good understanding of these controls is important to your safety on the Internet. The...

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Computer bathtime: foundational cyber hygiene

“Critical Security Controls,” a phrase coined by the Center for Internet Security (CIS), is a high-tech, nerdy way of saying, “super-important things you really, really, really, really need to do.” They’re not kidding around, either; you really do need to do them. The...

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Facebook safety awareness

I am often asked, "Is Facebook safe?" Facebook, the most popular social networking website in the world, claims almost 30 percent of the world's population as members. Just like the world's population, it can be both safe and dangerous at the same time.x Because...

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Hope for formerly shiny, new “obsolete” computers

Computers past their prime are often retired for a variety of reasons. Even though all computers can be fixed, sometimes perfectly good, functional computers are declared obsolete by their makers. For example, Microsoft waves its wand and announces your computer is...

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The powerful, misunderstood computer “browser”

Most folks who use a "real" computer to access the Internet (as opposed to using a phone) do it with a single piece of software: the mighty "browser." Strangely, though, most people don't even know that's what they are doing. Even though browsers are the computer...

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