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Blog | Tualatin Web | Page 6

My MacBook Pro caught Alzheimer’s

Written: May 12, 2018

I’ve used both PC and Mac computers for decades and somehow most people naively believe that the Mac is more solid and less prone to bugs in the Operating System, well folks, that simply isn’t true, yes, Macs have bugs in the OS just like Windows does. How do I know? Well, for the past few months my MacBook Pro has gradually been forgetting every username and password combination across multiple apps:

My first response was to do a Google search and I found plenty of problems with Apple’s keychain app that mostly just hides in the background, until that is it starts to get corrupted and forgetting username and password information. The only issue was that these Google results all came from many years ago, like 2011, nothing really recent like 2018 which I had expected. Since my MacBook Pro was under warranty with Apple Care I started a Chat session and spent about 30 minutes, but to no avail.

Next, I scheduled an Appointment at my local Genius Bar for a Friday afternoon.

That same week on Wednesday I was pleasantly surprised to find an alert that macOS High Sierra was available for an update to version 10.13.4. I did the update, and presto, my MacBook Pro suddenly remembered everything that it had been forgetting. Problem solved, no need to meet with the Apple Genius Bar folks.

The moral to the story?

When your MacBook Pro starts to get Alzheimer’s, do an OS upgrade, it may just fix everything so that you can get back to work again.

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Security Friday

Written: March 30, 2018

I’m a big believer in keeping my office network secure by following all update instructions from Netgear, so today my WiFi router was updated to the latest firmware release 1.0.0.122:

Netgear firmware 1.0.0.122

Netgear firmware 1.0.0.122

This update process took maybe 5 minutes of my time and provided a sense of relief that my vendor Netgear continues to take security seriously by providing these free updates.

Apple also prompted me to update my Operating System to High Sierra 10.13.4, so that process took about 45 minutes, half of which was in the background just downloading the file then the other half I had to wait for my MacBook Pro to finish. While waiting I simply swapped to using my iPad and Samsung Note 4 smart phones to make calls, look at the calendar and run my business. I typically wait until outside of business hours to upgrade my laptop Operating System.

High Sierra 10.13.4

High Sierra 10.13.4

WordPress is still the number one Content Management System (CMS) in the world, so that means that it is a target for hackers. My favorite security Plugin for WordPress is called Wordfence, and here’s what the install process looks like after you add the plugin and activate it.

email contact

Click Activate

Click the link to setup Wordfence and then fill in your email address to receive alerts of suspicious activity:

Wordfence email

Wordfence email

I then clicked the link to receive auto-updates:

Wordfence updates

Wordfence updates

Next is Firewall setup, a technique to only allow trusted content to be run on your website:

Wordfence firewall

Wordfence firewall

Using Wordfence will alter something called the .htaccess file, so click the link to download your existing file, just in case you ever want to go back and un-install Wordfence.

Save old .htaccess file

Save old .htaccess file

OK, that’s about it for setup of Wordfence, so just wait for an email message from Wordfence if your site is being targeted by hackers. One of my clients received an email from Wordfence this morning and it listed every malicious file that had been added since 2014, so I was able to quickly remove the added files and then examine a few infected files before removing the added PHP code.

Wordfence all setup

Wordfence all setup

As always, if you have questions about your WordPress website and security, then give me a call, I’d be happy to explain it to you and help keep your site running smoothly.

 

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Winners of Celebrate Tualatin for 2018

Written: March 27, 2018

Every year the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce hosts an awards ceremony which is a wonderful way to honor the businesses and employees in the area that contribute to our economic prosperity and are involved in the local community, giving back to their favorite charities and non-profits. Back in 2010 I won an award for Outstanding Community Service and it was an honor to be recognized. Here’s a photo of the award winners for 2018:

Celebrate Tualatin 2018

2018 Celebrate Tualatin winners

A complete list of the winners include:

In addition to the winners there are many who were nominated that deserve to also be recognized:

There you have it, if you do business in Tualatin then I invite you to consider joining the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce and get connected with business and community working together, it’s just a superb group of individuals. To read more details about the winners and nominees there’s a nice article at the Chamber site.

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Deceptive Site Ahead, or Not

Written: March 20, 2018

Yesterday I received a rather alarming email from the Google Search Console Team telling me that one of my client web sites had “Social engineering content detected” on it.

Email warning

Email warning

I double-checked that the address was really from Google and that the links were really going to Google. Hmm, that didn’t sound safe so I immediately browsed the client site and then my browser window promptly smacked me with a big red warning message:

Deceptive site ahead

Deceptive site ahead

I clicked the link for Details and read it, then visited the page against all of the warnings. I even examined all of the source code, trying to find something malicious like injected Javascript code or something altered in the HTML, however it was all OK, nothing was wrong. The particular page did have a Form that requested an email and password, which was all legitimate and had been coded back in 2015, working flawlessly for three years now.

In the Google Search Console there’s a link to request a Review of your questioned page, then it asked me to explain why I though a Review was warranted. I explained to Google that the page was coded in 2015, worked perfectly, and that nothing had been injected or changed. Then I waited.

Fortunately, the next morning I received another email from the Google Search Console Team:

Review successful

Review successful

I’m all for having Google scan my client web sites then inform me when something looks wrong, infected or deceptive, however in this case their search produced a false positive. As a result it created some amount of fear and panic inside of me, then it took me time to research what Google was inferring, inspect the code, run some tests, and finally convince myself that nothing was wrong at all, and to communicate to Google that a review was warranted.

I’m hopeful that Google cleans up their efforts to detect infected or deceptive web pages, but also reducing the number of false positives that are trigged, because my time is valuable.


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