OZLAN Technical Services

Dangers of FREE Public Wi-Fi

Public Free WiFi Hotspots are becoming very popular and often trendy for business’s to offer them. Be aware of the ongoing danger in using them and many of the common pitfalls that can trap you and pilfer you personal information.
As a rule I personally NEVER connect to public wifi hotspots, my mobile devices are always tethered to a private VPN network protecting me and my clients, personal information. A far better alternative to using public open wifi hotspots is to provide your own hotspot and these are becoming a much better alternative and affordable option for the road warrior.
For those that persist on using free public wifi hotspots, there are some simple rules to adhere to protect yourself and your information.
  • Turn off “File and Printer Sharing“.
  • Turn off all “Folder Sharing“.
  • Enable firewall, if it isn’t already.
  • Choose the correct wifi network (beware of false ones created by hackers). Its very common for hackers to create their own free hotspot mimicking the legitimate network offered by a business, particularly in airports. If unsure, ask the staff to verify the Network Name (SSID) or look for a poster or advertisement stating the SSID.
  • Use https wherever possible, or better still, connect via a VPN,
  • If using windows, make sure to select “Public Network” when joining.
  • Disable wifi when not in use.
  • Keep your system up to date (Windows Updates and all other software, in particular, Adobe products and Java).
  • Protect your passwords (On a Windows computer never use browser remembered passwords, these can be easily obtained from the registry).
  • Never do anything financial (paying bills, checking your bank balance or stock trading).
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY, Be aware that you are NEVER secure (did you read the fine print?). The fine print most often claims to openly monitor all information passed through the public network and often openly claims to share this information with 3rd parties.

Windows 7 Remove Homegroup

  1. Open Computer and right-click on "Homegroup" icon present in Navigation pane and select "Change HomeGroup Settings".
  2. Now click on "Leave the homegroup..." link given at bottom.
  3. It'll ask for confirmation, click on "Leave the homegroup" button.
  4. After that, close Explorer window. Now type services.msc in RUN or Startmenu Searchbox and press Enter. It'll open "Services" window.
  5. Here look for following 2 services: HomeGroup Listener and HomeGroup Provider. Once you find them, double-click on each and change the "Startup type" to Disabled. Apply the changes and exit from Services window.
  6. That's it. It'll permanently disable "HomeGroup" feature and its icon will also be removed from Windows Explorer:

Wake the Computer to run a Microsoft Security Essentials Scan

Editing the Scheduled Task
Open the Task Scheduler as shown in our First steps in Working with the Task Scheduler. Within the Task Scheduler expand the Task Scheduler Library and then expand Microsoft. Below the Microsoft folder you should see another folder called Microsoft Antimalware/Windows Defender. Select it.
In the right pane you should see the task for your scheduled scan: 'MP Scheduled Scan'. Next you need to access the task properties. To accomplish this, you may right click on the task and choose Properties or select the Properties link from the Actions menu.
Within the task properties select the Conditions tab. Enable the option to 'Wake the computer to run this task' by selecting the checkbox.

Reset Windows Password

To reset a forgotten administrator password, follow these steps:
Boot from Windows PE or Windows RE and access the command prompt.
Find the drive letter of the partition where Windows is installed. In Vista and Windows XP, it is usually C:, in Windows 7, it is D: in most cases because the first partition contains Startup Repair. To find the drive letter, type C: (or D:, respectively) and search for the Windows folder. Note that Windows PE (RE) usually resides on X:.
Type the following command (replace “c:” with the correct drive letter if Windows is not located on C:):
copy c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe c:\
This creates a copy of sethc.exe to restore later.
Type this command to replace sethc.exe with cmd.exe:
copy /y c:\windows\system32\cmd.exe c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe
Reboot your computer and start the Windows installation where you forgot the administrator password.
After you see the logon screen, press the SHIFT key five times.
You should see a command prompt where you can enter the following command to reset the Windows password.
net user you_user_name new_password
If you don’t know your user name, just type net user to list the available user names. You can now log on with the new password.
I recommend that you replace sethc.exe with the copy you stored in the root folder of your system drive in step 3. For this, you have to boot up again with Windows PE or RE because you can’t replace system files while the Windows installation is online. Then you have to enter this command:
copy /y c:\sethc.exe c:\windows\system32\sethc.exe

Choosing a Good Password

Creating a unique password helps stop someone from breaking into your accounts. Here are a few tips for creating a good password, and keeping it safe:
  • Be creative. Don’t use words that can be found in any dictionary.
  • Use at least eight characters.
  • Don’t use a password that you have used elsewhere.
  • Don’t use keyboard patterns (qwerty, asdf) or sequential numbers (1234).
  • Create an acronym. Don’t use a common one, like NASA or SCUBA. Combine it with numbers and punctuation marks.
  • Include punctuation marks and numbers. Mix uppercase and lowercase letters.
  • Include similar looking substitutions, such as the number zero for the letter ‘O’ or $ or 5 for the letter ‘S’, 3 for the letter ‘E’, @ for the letter ‘A’ etc.
  • Don’t make your password all numbers, all uppercase letters, or all lowercase letters.
  • Don’t use repeating characters (aa11).
  • Don’t use a password that is listed anywhere as an example of how to pick a good password.

Picking a good security question and answer:
  • Choose a question only you know the answer to – make sure the question isn’t associated with your password.
  • Pick a question that can’t be answered through research (for example, avoid your mother’s maiden name, your birth date, your first or last name, your grandchild’s name, your social security number, your phone number, your pet’s name, etc.).
  • Make sure your answer is memorable, but not easy to guess. Use an answer that is a complete sentence for even more security.

macOS Screenshots

In macOS, you can use simple keyboard shortcuts to do all sorts of things, including capturing images of what’s on your Mac screen. For example, you can take a screen shot of your entire screen by holding down the Command and Shift keys and pressing a 3.
If you hold down the Command and Shift keys and press 4, macOS turns the cursor into crosshairs you can use to select whatever portion of your display you’d like to capture in a screen shot.
If you immediately hit the Spacebar after typing Command-Shift-4, macOS replaces those crosshairs with a little camera. Using the camera, you can take a screen shot of the Dock, the entire menu bar, a single open menu, the desktop, or any open window.