The Password Manager Special: Passwords, Two Factor Authentication, and Securing Your Life Online! – YouTube

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OSI Model Layer 4 – Transport Layer

“the transport layer is a conceptual division of methods in the layered architecture of protocols in the network stack in the Internet Protocol Suite and the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI). The protocols of the layer provide host-to-host communication services for applications.[1] It provides services such as connection-oriented data stream support, reliability, flow control, and multiplexing.”  Quote Source: wikipedia

Click image and/or link below to read full article:

networking

Source: Transport layer – Wikipedia

OSI Model Layer 3 – Network Layer

“The network layer is responsible for packet forwarding including routing through intermediate routers, since it knows the address of neighboring network nodes, and it also manages quality of service (QoS), and recognizes and forwards local host domain messages to the Transport layer (layer 4).[1]”   Quote Source: wikipedia

Click image and/or link below to read full article:

networking

Source: Network layer – Wikipedia

Do I Really Need to Eject USB Drives Before Removing Them?

Dear Lifehacker,Some of my computers (like my Mac) are always warning me about disconnecting flash drives without ejecting, while Windows doesn’t seem to have a problem—in fact, my external USB drive doesn’t even have an eject option. Does this mean it’s safe? How do I know when I actually need to eject a drive?

Source: Do I Really Need to Eject USB Drives Before Removing Them?

OSI Model Layer 2 – Data Link Layer

“This layer is the protocol layer that transfers data between adjacent network nodes in a wide area network (WAN) or between nodes on the same local area network (LAN) segment.[1] The data link layer provides the functional and procedural means to transfer data between network entities and might provide the means to detect and possibly correct errors that may occur in the physical layer.”   Quote  Source: wikipedia

Click image and/or link below to read full article:

networking

Source: Data link layer – Wikipedia

The ransomware dilemma | TechCrunch

Why is this so important? Of course the obvious answer would be to protect our data. With our data at risk Ransomware can have a negative impact on both our personal and professional lives. Including any business we might have ownership and/or interest in.

What is “Ransomware”?

But these days it can be even more dangerous. With all the vehicles that now have computers that do everything from troubleshooting the vehicles to giving directions to enabling us to call for help, Ransomware is now even more dangerous than ever.

More than 90 percent of all phishing emails are now ransomware. The average amount paid via ransomware has grown from $40 in 2009 to $1,000 in 2016. This amount will grow even faster as ransomware…

Source: The ransomware dilemma | TechCrunch

OSI Model Layer 1 – Physical Layer

In a previous post I wrote about the OSI Model. OSI, Open Systems Interconnect, gives a hierarchy to troubleshooting and maintaining a computer network. There are 7 layers to this model. In this post I introduce details to the “Physical Layer” otherwise known as Layer 1.

laptops

Whenever you hear the term Layer 1 this is what they are referring to. The physical layer consists of the actual physical items used to connect the computers, servers, printers, etc on the network. When we as technicians deal with this layer, the major items we deal with are:

  • Network Interface Cards (NICs)
  • UTP Cables
  • Hubs

When troubleshooting connection issues of a host, printer, or other peripheral to the network this is where be begin at. The trouble shooting process begins at the bottom end of the layer and works its way up.

If you look at the list just above this paragraph, I have listed the items in order from what I call the bottom end of the layer  to the upper end.

When testing hardware connections I would recommend the following procedure:

  • The first item to troubleshoot is the NIC. This is the card on the pieces of equipment that a “Computer Cable” (UTP Cable) connects to. If the card is malfunctioning then the equipment will have no way of connecting to the network. This is always the first step.
  • Next would be to test the UTP Cable. This stands for Unshielded Twisted Pair Cable. You will simply hear it called things like computer cable or Cat5 Cable. If there’s something wrong with this cable it needs to be replaced. And then test the connection again.
  • Last step would be to test to see if the hub is the problem. If the hub is found to be the problem it needs to be replaced. Once replaced test connection again to verify.

I will have posts in the near future that will explain best practices for each of these “testing steps”.

What is Encryption?

Computer users keep hearing about using Encryption for their safety and  protection. Some common questions I often get are:

  • But what is encryption and how does it work?  
  • Do I really need to use it?  

Here is an article that explains how encryption works.  After reviewing this article users should have a better understanding of the this data protection technology.

How secure is the Internet for sending sensitive information? Learn all about encryption, authentication, hash algorithms and more.

Source: How Encryption Works | HowStuffWorks

Ransomware

One of the most disruptive types of malware that has shown up in recent years is ransomware. Ransomware is also known as crypto-virus, crypto-trojan, and crypto-worm.  If you have ever seen a screen that says something to the effect of:

“Your computer and/or files have been locked.  You must remit payment in order for us to completely unlock your system and files” this is ransomware. 

“Ransomware is a denial-of-access attack that prevents computer users from accessing files since it is intractable to decrypt the files without the decryption key.” Quote from wikipedia article

A ransomware infection can:

  • Prevent you from using your Windows Operation System
  • Encrypt your files so they can not be accessed until they are decrypted
  • Prevent some apps from running. (Especially your web browser)

At this point the only alternative that a user can do is to completely wipe their machine and reload the OS.  Or pay the ransom but there is no guarantee that they will unlock your computer. 

Not to mention paying this makes you an easy target for them to attack again or to sell that info to others for future attacks.