Category: How To

How to Identify a Suspect Photo

If you receive a photo from someone on a dating website or a Facebook friend request or a scam email etc. you might want to know whether the photo is of the sender or has just been copied off the Internet.

Fake photos are a common problem on dating websites, where, for male scammers photos of uniformed soldiers are often used. For female scammers, the use of photos of random hot women stolen from social media sites is very common.

Google has a reverse image lookup facility and it’s easy to use.

  1. Download a copy of the photo of the person on to your device if possible (or you can a URL pointing to the image)
  2. Go to Google Image search and select the camera icon
  3. Upload the photo or type in the URL for the image
  4. The result will be a list showing where the picture is on the Internet.

This cannot be guaranteed to give 100% accurate results, but it makes a good effort to match the image you supply.

If the scammer has chosen a popular photo from a popular website then Google is likely to find it but if someone is just using a picture of their neighbour for example then there’s little chance of finding it.

Just because Google cannot find the photo on the Internet does not prove it is a genuine photo of the sender.

The scammers that use fake pictures may well work for professional criminal organisations and treat it like an everyday job. So, confronting them is pointless, trying to talk out of such deceitful behaviour is a waste of time.

If you catch people cheating with photos then report them to the social media site concerned or the relevant dating site.

You may also choose to report them to the Police and tell the scammer you know they are fake.

If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.

Fightback Ninja Signature

How to Stay Safe from Ransomware

Ransomware is when a hacker gets software onto your computer that can lock you out or encrypt the data files. Once the attack has succeeded, the hacker puts up a message screen on the computer announcing the attack and demanding a payment be made in order to get the decryption key or password to unlock the files.

Most of these attacks are the encrypting type and examples include CryptoLocker, Locky and CrytpoWall.

Ransomware commonly uses multiple evasion techniques to avoid being found by anti-virus programmes and is often able to spread from one computer to another on the same network.

The primary protection against ransomware is up to date anti-virus and anti-malware software and regular backups. Plus, you can consider the following:-

  • If your anti-virus or anti-malware has anti-ransomware options then enable that protection
  • Do regular scans of all drives
  • Ensure any important files and data are also copied onto Internet storage or other external storage
  • Never click on links in emails unless you are sure they are safe
  • Never open email attachments that you do expect
  • Delete spam emails and anything suspicious
  • Beware dodgy websites that may download drive-by malware.

In conclusion, ransomware is a real problem – don’t be caught out with out of date backups.

Do leave a comment on this post – click on the post title then scroll down to leave your comment.

Fightback Ninja Signature

How to Stay Safe on Public WI-FI

The first piece of advice is to avoid public Wi-Fi completely.

A public Wi-Fi network is inherently less secure than your home or office Wi-Fi because it is publicly available.

If you do need to use public Wi-Fi then pick one which needs a password and do not carry out any financial activity or buy anything or access your email or do anything else needing passwords.

If you want to be secure when using public Wi-Fi you will need a VPN (Virtual Private Network) installed on your devices.  These encrypt all communications between your devices and their target websites etc.

They also let you browse websites without anyone being able to track your location and activities.

Alternatively you can take your own Wi-Fi with you by using your mobile phone to create a Wi-Fi hotspot for your devices.

Points to Remember

  1. Leave Wi-Fi turned off until you need it.

When you’re finished working online, turn it off again.

  1. Turn Off File Sharing

If you have file sharing of any kind enabled then turn it off while on public Wi-Fi as it could be copying your confidential information to the Internet unencrypted.

  1. Keep Your Antivirus and Antimalware Up to Date

You must have anti-virus and ant-malware installed and make sure to keep them up to date or their effectiveness will diminish.

  1. Use https Websites where Possible

Https access is safer than http access so stick to those websites that have https versions where possible.

  1. Don’t Leave Your Devices Unattended in Public

You don’t want some accessing your laptop, smart phone or other device. Even if they don’t steal it, they may access your information or install a malicious APP

Stay Safe.

Do enter your email address and click on the subscribe button on top right to keep up to date with new posts.

Fightback Ninja Signature

Check Who’s Using Your Wi-Fi

If your connection to your home Wi-Fi always seems sluggish – maybe someone is accessing it who shouldn’t be.

If you unplug the router for a few minutes, that will remove anyone connected to it, but only until you reconnect the router then your devices and possibly someone else can connect again.

If you think someone has access to your Wi-Fi who shouldn’t have, and knows the passcode then you need to change the passcode.

If there is still reason to suspect someone is accessing your WI-FI without your permission, then there are steps  you can take to identify the culprit.

Check the Router Access List

You will need to login to your router. The instructions when you got the router will tell you how to do this and it may also say on the back of the device. These instructions differ for each router.

You will need to know its IP address (plus login and password) and then you can access from any computer browser.

The router will show you a list of devices currently attached to it and usually enough information for you to recognise who the devices belong to.

You will see something similar to this

Wired Devices
MAC Address IP Address Device Name Time Connected
54:21:XX:XX:XX:XX 195.179.0.2 Erica’s PC 2 days 4 hours 31 minutes
Wireless Devices
54:21:XX:XX:XX:XX 190.161.0.9 Chromecast 45 minutes
54:21:XX:XX:XX:XX 190.161.0.8 Android Phone 140927271 1 day 12 minutes
54:21:XX:XX:XX:XX 190.161.0.7 iPAD 35 minutes

The device name will hopefully tell you enough to identify the owner of the device but if you have several Android phones in the house, for example, then it may not be enough.

What to do if you find an unauthorised device

If you have not set the router to encrypt the data then make that change and try again.

If you still seem to have an interloper then that person must have hacking skills and you would need to invest time and money in a network monitoring or employ an expert to trace the interloper for you.

Do Share this post on social media – click on the post title then scroll down to the social media share buttons.

Fightback Ninja Signature

Advert Blockers

Adverts are useful in that they fund services that we wouldn’t necessarily want to pay directly for but still benefit from.

e.g. Freeview TV, commercial radio, Channel 4 TV, free newspapers etc.

A typical newspaper, partially funded by advertising, would need to increase its cover price by 100% – 200% if advertising was stopped.

But, there are huge amounts of advertising that most of us wish didn’t exist.

In print, you can ignore the ads, on TV you can go make a cup of tea during the ad breaks or record the programmes and fast forward through the ads etc.

However, in some situations adverts are intrusive and cannot be so easily ignored.

There are many websites with adverts that don’t get in the way – so that’s fine, but there increasing numbers of websites where the ads are flashing, moving, popping up in the middle of the screen and sometimes so bad we can’t see the actual content we went to the page for in the first place.

Advert Blockers can make your life easier by blocking most of these adverts.

The most popular browsers have some features for blocking intrusive ads.

e.g. Google Chrome (settings – content settings) blocks pop-ups and ads from sites classified as intrusive.

Opera has a built-in ad-blocker.

Blocking adverts also blocks many tracking cookies, which protects your privacy as well.

The Most Popular Ad Blockers

Ghostery

Ghostery has been around for years and is available for Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge and Internet Explorer plus Android and iOS.

Firefox Focus

You can install any one of the many ad-blocking extensions on the desktop version of Firefox, but Mozilla has created a dedicated mobile browser for Android and iOS called Focus.

This is focused on privacy which means that, by default, it works like the private browsing mode on other browsers.

AdBlock

AdBlock is free, but it does ask for a donation on installation.

It blocks all ads on the web, including on Facebook, YouTube and other social sites.

You can also allow what AdBlock calls Acceptable Ads – similar to those ‘non-intrusive’ ads in AdBlock Plus.

There are lots of Ad Blockers on the market. See which one best suits your needs.

Do Share this post on social media – click on the post title then scroll down to the social media share buttons.

Fightback Ninja Signature

Paypal Two Step Verification

Logins and passwords are normal practice to let a valid user identify themselves.

But there are times where this is not a strong enough security and two-factor security adds another layer, thereby making it much more difficult for anyone else to access your account.

Two factor security means that in addition to the password, another security code of some form is needed. In the case of PayPal, that second code is a pin number sent to your mobile phone.

For anyone to access your PayPal account they would need both your password and your mobile phone.

Two factor security is available on many online services and banks e.g. Facebook. Google, Apple etc. We’re using PayPal as an example.

How to Setup 2 Factor Security in PayPal

PayPal call this Security Key.

  1. Log into your PayPal account.
  2. If your mobile phone number has already been verified by PayPal then that step is complete, otherwise you will need to key in your mobile number and verify it for PayPal. This is done through the Account page off the Profile and Settings menu
  3. To activate PayPal Security Key go to Profile – Profile and Settings – Account Settings – Security and you can start the process.

Once completed, you will always need that phone when you want to access PayPal but you will be more secure.

Do enter your email address and click on the subscribe button on top right to keep up to date with new posts.

Fightback Ninja Signature