Beware of this Quickbooks Phishing Scheme

Written: June 6, 2018

I’ve been using Quicken software for decades now to run my business and personal financial tasks, so today when I received an official-looking email from Intuit Quickbooks I took notice.

Quickbooks phishing email

Phishing email

On the surface this looks a bit legitimate, yet when I probe to view the email from address it shows something invalid:

 

From address

Invalid address

The final determination that this is an unsafe phishing email is to hover my cursor over the Green button, View Bill Here:

 

bogus address

Bogus address

 

The bad guys are out there sending us phishing emails to trick us into clicking on their links and then start to steal our login identity. Don’t fall for it, just research the From address, Link addresses and then decide if it’s legitimate or phishing. Back to work for me.

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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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