When to do system updates and addressing password issues

Q: I’ve an HP Pavilion laptop computer which is about 1 1/2 years previous and I’m fairly happy with its efficiency. Recently I obtained a discover from HP Support that it was time for a system BIOS replace. In performing some preliminary analysis on the problem, I found that such updates could pose a threat to the pc in that they will truly intervene with correct bootup features for the {hardware}. I’ve seen different on-line warnings that there isn’t a want to set up a BIOS replace until it addresses a selected drawback. Right now, my laptop is working simply positive. Presently I’m undecided. What say you?

Stuart Cohen

A: You did good analysis. My rule of thumb is, “If it ain’t broke, don’t repair it.”

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BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) updates gained’t enhance the pc’s efficiency nor do they often handle safety issues. They could also be issued to repair bugs or to assist new {hardware}. So in case you haven’t been experiencing any drawback with the pc I wouldn’t set up the replace until it contains particular options you want. That is likely to be, for instance, assist for a more recent central processing unit that you really want to set up within the laptop.

Q: My residence router has the Wi-Fi Service Set Identifier (SSID) set to “hidden” in order that its title isn’t seen to close by units. This could not defeat entry by hackers however at the least the common individual close by would lack that primary data in an try to uncover or entry my community. I exploit a robust password together with a prolonged SSID.

After connecting to my residence Wi-Fi community with an iPhone (iOS 14.7) the Info icon for that connection provides the next remark: “Hidden Network. Using a hidden community can expose personally identifiable data. If that is your Wi-Fi community, configure the router to broadcast this community.” 

How may personally identifiable data be extra weak to discovery when an SSID isn’t broadcast? What is your recommendation on broadcasting the SSID for a house community?

Jerry Rudy

A: That’s a debate that I’m revisiting for one easy cause: An skilled hacker can discover your community whether or not or not your Wi-Fi router is broadcasting its SSID. So by turning off your SSID broadcast you’re solely going to hold inexperienced hackers from attempting to guess your password. A powerful password and utilizing WPA/WPA2 safety protocol present higher assurance of safety.

Here’s the factor, although. Yes, turning off SSID broadcast doesn’t imply your router is invisible to customers inside vary. It simply means your router’s title isn’t listed and it’s as an alternative changed with “Hidden Network.” As some commentators have identified that will truly entice skilled hackers who determine you might have one thing to disguise that’s price hacking into.

Q: I’ve had a Comcast e-mail handle for a few years with none issues. However, on June 23 final 12 months, after I opened my Windows e-mail, I received a dialogue field from my e-mail server indicating that there was an issue with my Comcast password. A pc-savvy buddy stated to go forward and change the password and that issues like this occur on a regular basis. So, I went forward and modified my password, which was not troublesome.

A month later, nevertheless, the identical factor occurred, and I once more modified my password.

All in all, I’ve modified my password 28 occasions up to now 13 months, and it has turn into a significant annoyance.

I known as Comcast technical assist and received some imprecise data that my e-mail could have been topic to random assaults by malicious software program, most likely of overseas derivation. I’m deeply suspicious of this because it appears to me that Comcast has the wherewithal to hold malicious software program off its servers. I think there could also be one thing on my laptop, like a password-saving app that’s inflicting this drawback.

Do you may have any concepts?

Emery Bayley

A: Email service suppliers will immediate customers to change their password when algorithms detect suspicious habits in your e-mail account that will point out it has been compromised. If you’re getting repeatedly prompted to change your password the probably rationalization, as you observed, is that you’ve got malware in your laptop. That, I imagine, is what Comcast tech assist was inferring.

If you haven’t already put in antivirus/anti-malware software program I’d definitely suggest doing so straight away and operating a whole scan.

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