How To Protect IE, Chrome and Firefox from the POODLE SSL v3 Exploit

Posted in Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP by Steve Sinchak

Google security researchers have published details about a major security flaw found in the SSL protocol that is used to encrypt data transferred between your browser and a web server. SSL is typically used in situations where logon credentials are validated or when other confidential information is exchanged (e.g. online banking). The exploit Google discovered works by taking advantage of two vulnerabilities.  1. Manipulate your web browser into using an old version of the SSL protocol. 2. Using a known exploit in the old version to essentially decrypt the encrypted traffic.

Read More

Enable Two-Factor Authentication on your Microsoft Account

Posted in Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP by Steve Sinchak

Enabling two-factor authentication is a great way to add an additional level of protection to your Microsoft account.  Even if your password is stolen, your account is still protected because two-factor authetication requires an additional level of verification to log in. Microsoft calls their version of two-factor authentication "two-step verification" and it works by providing you with a random code that must be entered in additional to your password when you log in.  Microsoft offers three ways to generate the verification code.  It can be sent via e-mail, SMS message or using a token generator app on your mobile phone. 

Read More

Windows 8 Style Task Manager for Windows 7

Posted in Windows 7 by Steve Sinchak

Windows 7 users envious of the Windows 8 Task Manager have a new option thanks to a free utility called DBC Task Manager.  The replacement task manager was written from scratch to mimic the task manager in Windows 8.  The simplified interface and beautiful charts have all been recreated for Windows 7 users.

Read More

Disable Aero Shake Shortcut

Posted in Windows 8, Windows 7 by Steve Sinchak

Aero Shake is a mouse shortcut that allows you to clean the clutter of open windows.  Simply shake a window with your mouse and all inactive application windows in the background will be minimized. Shake the window again and all background windows will return. Aero Shake can be helpful if you want to focus on an application but users can also accidentally activate Aero Shake.  If you don't need Aero Shake, the feature can be disabled with a registry edit.

Read More

Remove "SecureBoot isn't configured correctly" Desktop Watermark

Posted in Windows 8 by Steve Sinchak

Many Windows users found a lovely watermark on their desktop after upgrading or performing a clean install to Windows 8.1.  "SecureBoot isn't configured correctly" was what appeared on my desktop, along with the version and build number of Windows 8.1 RTM, build 9600. SecureBoot is a feature that allows for secure code execution from the moment your PC powers on to protect against advanced forms of malicious software such as root kits.

Read More