When to stay away from updates that may put your computer system at risk

Q: I have an HP Pavilion notebook which is about 1 1/2 decades previous and I am very happy with its performance. Recently I received a discover from HP Guidance that it was time for a procedure BIOS update. In performing some preliminary exploration on the difficulty, I learned that this kind of updates may pose a danger to the laptop in that they can in fact interfere with suitable bootup functions for the hardware. I have viewed other on line warnings that there is no need to have to put in a BIOS update except it addresses a distinct difficulty. Right now, my personal computer is doing the job just wonderful. Presently I am undecided. What say you?

Stuart Cohen

A: You did fantastic analysis. My rule of thumb is, “If it ain’t broke, never correct it.”

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BIOS (Basic Enter/Output Method) updates won’t enhance the computer’s functionality nor do they typically tackle protection concerns. They could be issued to repair bugs or to assistance new components. So if you have not been experiencing any issue with the pc I wouldn’t install the update until it contains specific options you have to have. That might be, for illustration, guidance for a newer central processing unit that you want to set up in the laptop.

Q: My home router has the Wi-Fi Services Set Identifier (SSID) established to “hidden” so that its title is not noticeable to close by units. This could not defeat entry by hackers but at minimum the typical particular person nearby would lack that standard data in an endeavor to find or access my community. I use a powerful password in mixture with a prolonged SSID.

Soon after connecting to my dwelling Wi-Fi network with an Apple iphone (iOS 14.7) the Information icon for that relationship delivers the subsequent remark: “Hidden Community. Working with a hidden network can expose individually identifiable info. If this is your Wi-Fi network, configure the router to broadcast this network.” 

How may personally identifiable information and facts be a lot more susceptible to discovery when an SSID is not broadcast? What is your tips on broadcasting the SSID for a home network?

Jerry Rudy

A: That is a debate that I’m revisiting for one particular basic explanation: An expert hacker can come across your network whether or not or not your Wi-Fi router is broadcasting its SSID. So by turning off your SSID broadcast you are only likely to keep inexperienced hackers from attempting to guess your password. A potent password and using WPA/WPA2 security protocol supply greater assurance of stability.

Here’s the issue, while. Yes, turning off SSID broadcast doesn’t suggest your router is invisible to end users in just variety. It just indicates your router’s identify isn’t outlined and it is rather replaced with “Hidden Community.” As some commentators have pointed out that may perhaps in fact draw in seasoned hackers who determine you might have a thing to conceal that is worthy of hacking into.

Q: I have experienced a Comcast e-mail deal with for many decades devoid of any problems. Having said that, on June 23 previous calendar year, when I opened my Windows electronic mail, I acquired a dialogue box from my email server indicating that there was a trouble with my Comcast password. A laptop or computer-savvy buddy claimed to go in advance and modify the password and that factors like this take place all the time. So, I went ahead and altered my password, which was not tricky.

A month later, however, the identical issue happened, and I all over again adjusted my password.

All in all, I have adjusted my password 28 occasions in the earlier 13 months, and it has turn out to be a significant annoyance.

I called Comcast specialized support and obtained some vague information that my email may have been issue to random attacks by malicious program, in all probability of international derivation. I am deeply suspicious of this considering that it appears to be to me that Comcast has the wherewithal to preserve malicious program off its servers. I suspect there could be a little something on my computer system, like a password-preserving application that is producing this trouble.

Do you have any strategies?

Emery Bayley

A: E-mail provider suppliers will prompt end users to modify their password when algorithms detect suspicious actions in your e-mail account that might show it has been compromised. If you’re finding repeatedly prompted to improve your password the most very likely clarification, as you suspect, is that you have malware on your pc. That, I feel, is what Comcast tech support was inferring.

If you haven’t now put in antivirus/anti-malware software program I’d absolutely advise performing so appropriate absent and managing a finish scan.

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