A quiz by Google reveals how good you are at spotting the difference between a legitimate email and a phishing attempt. Thieves use phishing to try to steal your password and credit card information while concealing their identities. The message may even appear to be from someone you know.
You can learn to spot the clues at phishingquiz.withgoogle.com. They're not as obvious as you might expect. One of the emails in the quiz provides a link to what looks like a document from Google Drive. But a couple of dashes in the link should tip you off that it's phony. The trick is, you'll only see those dashes if you hover over the link in the email.
In any email you aren't sure of, hover over the "reply to" address and look for clues, like misspellings. For example, there's one in the quiz that spells "fax" as "facks." Also look out for emails from "google.support;" the real address is support.google. In fact, Google always puts the subject first, as in mail.google.com, maps.google.com, calendar.google.com and music.google.com. Look out for addresses that start out correctly but have something odd after the dot com. Don't open any attachment unless you're expecting it.
NOW BACKING UP
A reader using Windows 10 writes that he hasn't been able to back up his files to a thumb drive. Here's an easy way:
Type "back up settings" into the search bar at the bottom left of the screen. When it comes up, click "Add a drive" and choose the thumb drive or hard drive you plugged into your PC. Click "More options" and "Back up now." Scroll down to where it says "Back up these folders." Click on those you don't need and choose "Remove."
After finishing the first backup, Windows will go into backup mode whenever you add a new file or bookmark a favorite website. Put it on a schedule by choosing a backup every 30 minutes or even every 10 minutes. To satisfy yourself that it's working, try deleting an unimportant file. Then type "restore files" into the Windows search bar and choose what you want to restore.
For Windows 7 users: Select the Start button, then Control Panel, System and Maintenance, Backup and Restore. In Windows XP and Vista, click "Start" then "Run" and in the search box type "ntbackup.exe" (without the quotes). From there, it's easy to follow the prompts. When you're ready to restore files, just click on the file you saved and the prompts come back to guide you.
ON SECOND THOUGHT
In a recent column, we warned against a virus called Blueborne, suggesting that you turn Bluetooth off on your phone when you don't need communication between devices, such as a wireless headset. A reader writes about her Apple Watch, which requires Bluetooth to be turned on. Oops, our mistake. Apple Watch and iPhone users are safe even with Bluetooth on all the time.
In short, Apple watches are not vulnerable to a Blueborne attack. Neither is any iPhone with the latest operating system, iOS 11, which is compatible on all iPhones going back to iPhone 5s, which came out in 2013.
A hacker who gained access to 723 million email addresses and 21 million passwords is calling it "Collection #1." He's selling it for $45 to other hackers. You can find out if yours was hacked at HaveIBeenPwned.com.
One of Joy's email accounts had been breached 14 times, another account was hit nine times and a third five times. Two of Bob's had been breached six times and a third five times. To combat this, we changed the passwords for all of our accounts. The danger is that someone will use your login info to sign on to another site. So it's a good idea to have different passwords on different sites.
HaveIBeenPwnd.com suggests using a password manager, but we'd rather manage our passwords ourselves. Joy keeps a list of them on a Word document on her local machine, under a name only an alien would guess. To be even safer, set up two-factor identification wherever it's available. That means you'll be asked to reveal a code sent to you by text or email whenever you sign on using a new machine or phone. For instructions on how to set it up, do a search on that phrase along with the type of email you use, whether it's Gmail, Yahoo or whatever. To read more on this issue, go to Techlicious.com or search on the words "773 Million Email Addresses Compromised in New Data Breach."
AccountKiller.com lets you instantly delete any account, whether it be on Facebook, Instagram, Skype or a dozen others.
Mix.com used to be StumbleUpon.com. This was one of the cleverest sites we ever stumbled upon. It was kind of a wheel-of-fortune way to find odd sites. You'd click the "stumble" button to find them. Now the site presents three tabs. One has sites geared to your interests, another shows you what's popular and a third lets you follow people you find interesting. It's kind of confusing but still interesting.
Bob and Joy Schwabach can be reached by email at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Business on 02/02/2019
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