Heartbleed – Quick To Do List


Heartbleed Virus_Quick To Do List

Quick “To-Do” List

Important Update  (4/14/14)  If you get any email, no matter how legitimate it looks, telling you to click on a link and update your password, DO NOT CLICK ON EMAIL LINK. No legitimate company would do this. The only way you should update passwords is to go to your web browser of choice and click in “www.” and the website. Never go from a link.

Note: For those of you who don’t want (or care) to read the details below – change passwords for your most important websites: http://bit.ly/1kY8wIK

1. If you’re not using Last Pass Premium. Get it. Buy It. Use it to generate all passwords and save all passwords. Works on all Computers, all mobile devices. Note: When setting password for Last Pass – go here to check how good your password really is and how easy it can be cracked.

2. Go to this spreadsheet – update all of these passwords – immediately – with different passwords for each: Google Spreadsheet – Copy and paste this link: ​http://bit.ly/1kY8wIK  if “Google Spreadsheet” link didn’t work for you

3. Just to make sure, update banking passwords – even though those were probably not affected.

4. Only use Last Pass to fill in passwords on sites.  (BTW, Roboform and 1Password are awesome, too, we just like LastPass best. No need to switch if using others).

5. Check Mashable’s List of Sites regularly for next 2-3 weeks and see which sites have been patched after you’ve done your spreadsheet mentioned above.

6. Bonus Tip – when going through and changing passwords, you’ll probably be looking at a list of passwords, cancel the accounts you don’t use any more. Here are two great sites for cancelling accounts:  Account Killer & Wiki Cancel

The Heartbleed Security Vulnerability is probably the biggest security issue we’ve seen to date – ever seen. The bug has been around since December 2011. Many programs started using vulnerable software starting in May 2012. So any password you’ve used since December 2011 is vulnerable to this attack. Even if the service that you use (Facebook, Gmail, Pinterest, GoDaddy) put the patch in place, you’re still vulnerable because the evil password stealers out there could be sitting on your passwords waiting to use sometime in the future. This could very well be the reason so many people’s email accounts get hacked.

Who’s affected? Yeah, that would be anyone who uses a Mac, a Windows, A Linux  Computer, an iPhone, an iPad, a Galaxy S-S5, or any other mobile device to access a website on the Internet.

Heartbleed Virus_Android 4.1.1 is affected

Android users who have 4.1.1 are also especially vulnerable (not just passwords on Internet). If you have android phone, dowload and use the “HeartBleed” detector.

So, the vulnerability was widely disclosed last week and many people have scrambled to fix their servers. The following list have guaranteed to have patched their servers already. But, many others could take months to patch their servers. The good news is that most financial institutions appear not to have been affected.

Change Passwords on the following sites – These are the major sites that have been patched, so your changes will stick and you shouldn’t have to “re-change” your password, like you’ll have to do with other companies who patch in the future. If there’s a site you normally  use, check the Mashable site in references below or use the LastPass Heartbleed Test – one site at a time.

  • Facebook
  • Tumblr
  • Google – including Gmail, Wallet, Play
  • Yahoo – including Yahoo Mail
  • GoDaddy
  • Pinterest
  • Intuit
  • Dropbox
  • Minecraft
  • OkCupid

I have compiled a Google Spreadsheet that you can use to keep track on when you changed your passwords. I put a column for the date changed as well. NOT the new password. If you want a copy of this you can print it out, save it,  or copy it into your Google Docs and use it. I’ve listed these in order of importance (my opinion of course).

A note about changing passwords – now’s the time to have NEW PASSWORD FOR EVERY SITE. As almost all of you have either one or two passwords for every site (trust me, after 20 years in the tech business, I know), when your password is compromised on one site, most hackers know this is your password for every site and they’ll try it on all your bank accounts, email accounts and social media accounts.

But, you say, WHAT A PAIN IN THE A**! Well, use a password manager. See our tutorial on changing your passwords and checking strength of passwords.

For Additional Reference
Very through list of sites that have changed and need changing – constantly updated – by Mashable.com
HeartBleed explained in Simple Video
Top 10,0000 worst passwords
Check One Site at a Time – see if it’s been patched – By Lastpass.com

Microsoft ends support for Windows XP


Yes, the apocalypse is happening.  It’s April 9, 2014  and Microsoft has ended support for Windows XP.

The great news is that both your computer and your Office 2003 documents and Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook 2003 will continue to function just fine. The main drawback on this end of support is security vulnerabilities.

So, you have Windows XP and you’re wondering what this means to you, who still have Windows XP on your 10 year old laptop or desktop.

1. You can no longer call Microsoft Support if you have any Windows XP questions.

2. You will no longer get Windows updates every Tuesday, this includes updates to Internet Explorer versions that are supported on Windows XP. Internet Explorer 7 and 8 will no longer get updates.


3. Microsoft Security Essentials will no longer be updated. Many of you and definitely many of my clients use this as their primary protection against Viruses.

So, what to do?

1. Stop using Internet Explorer immediately on Windows XP.

2. Start using Firefox or Chrome. FYI – support for Chrome/Windows XP will end sometime in 2015. These browsers will continue to be supported.

3. Uninstall Microsoft Defender and Security Essentials.

4. Install a Windows XP compatible Anti-virus program. A few we recommend: Bit Defender Direct &  AVG Direct.

Ultimately, we recommend you get a new computer (which will often require a new printer, possibly a new monitor as well) with Windows 7 (support ends in 2020) or Windows 8 (support ends in 2023).



Yes, in a sad/true story, the best Office Suite (in my opinion), Office 2003, has been “end of life’d” for support. This ended on 4/8/2014 as well. This Office Suite included Word 2003, Excel 2003, PowerPoint 2003, Outlook 2003, and Publisher 2003.  The product will still work beautifully, but won’t have any future security updates. Side Note: I’ve yet to see a direct security attack come through MS Office product.



Additional Resources

Windows XP Support – Official Page
Windows Life Cycle – Official Page
Microsoft Office End of Life Support – All versions of Office

Windows 7 – To Buy or Not to Buy – That is the Question

So, Windows 7 has been out for a while now and you’re probably asking yourself, “Am I missing out on the fun? Should I upgrade?”

First off, a generality about Windows 7: it’s a renaming/re-branding of Windows Vista. No matter what smokescreen/clouds people tell you, it’s really a VERY NICE upgrade to Windows Vista. When Vista came out, it was a completely different operating system, so much of hardware wasn’t compatible, people needed new hardware (like new printers, new computers) and people complained a lot. With Windows 7, all hardware is Vista compliant, so it’s Windows 7 compliant.

If you have Windows XP and you’re generally happy with your system, I recommend staying with current system. More than likely, you won’t have a powerful enough machine for Windows 7.

If you have Windows Vista system, and you’ve been unhappy with slowness of machine, you are a perfect candidate for Windows 7 upgrade.

If you’re buying a new computer, make sure to get a Windows 7 machine. There are still some refurbished Desktops and Laptops with Vista. For Netbooks, I’d stay with Windows XP.

To see how you’re computer will do with Windows 7, I suggest you run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor.

The Benefits of Windows 7
Faster Performance – You should see a major increase over Vista.

Digital Hub – You will find it much easier to connect network devices, such as digital music hubs, multiple computers, etc.

Improved Navigation – Strips out much of Vistas bloat and makes Navigation easier. You’ll also see a thumbnail of each open window – when you move your mouse over icon in the bar below. You’ll see a completely new taskbar which has improved functionality.

Better Compatibility – As mentioned, most of the compatibility bugs were worked out in Vista, so Windows 7 should work with most hardware and software products made from 2-3 years ago to present. If you have just 1-2 programs that will only run in Windows XP, get the free (amazingly) windows virtual pc software from Microsoft that let’s you run Windows XP progams separately from Windows 7. Beware: this software could be a bit tricky to install.

Gestures (like iPhone, Macs). This means that if you have a screen you can touch (such as a tablet), you’ll be able to touch icons, move icons and use other hand movements instead of using a mouse.

Music Streaming- From one Windows 7 to another Windows 7 machine is very easy. Only problem – you need to buy another Windows 7 computer to make this work!

Better Security – User Account Control (UAC) which made you approve ever little change, is now highly modifiable. You can have it be much less intrusive.

Need more info: Get a great list of Windows 7 Resource Guides

Great comparison – Windows Xp vs Vista vs Windows 7

Oh, and did you think to yourself, “I think I’ll just upgrade to Windows 7 from my Windows XP system. How hard can that be?” Well, it’s not a simple answer. You’ll either:
a) Have to do a clean install and re-install all your applications and data – thus wiping out your Windows XP
b) Do a “dual boot,” which means you won’t have access to your Windows XP data and will have to re-install all your applications – like Word, Excel, etc. . . .

Bottom line – I would only upgrade from XP to Windows 7 if you have a computer sitting around you don’t mind if everything gets wiped off.

For more details on Windows XP – Windows 7.

Bye-bye, slow Vista Bus!

Learning a new Language – Language Translation

Language is a common bridge between cultures. There are some amazing websites to help get started learning a new language. All of which have free start-ups and tutorials.

LiveMocha – 94 Languages (including Yiddish, Swahili and Zulu) offered on this site. Over 2 million users use this service in tutorials matched to their own fluent language. Interactive lessons include the practice of speaking online with native speakers and receiving feedback to help you to learn faster.

Thanks for the lead Chris Pirillo!

A wiki for slang in every language. Has options for a swear filter and rejected entry inclusions. Funny but true story: Once someone taught me to say “Have a nice day” in Nepalese. I went around saying a crude version of “You love my mom” to everyone I ran into for a month before an upstanding character corrected me. Slang dictionary would have saved a lot of face.

Radio Lingua Network offers Coffee-Break lessons, short daily tutorials that introduce conversational vocabulary and grammar skills; TwitterLearn lessons which build on your consolidated learning daily in the 140-character format on your twitter feed (Fast and FUN!); and more advanced tutorials in mp3 formats. Learn while driving or working out!
Also offers exciting soap opera-esque radio shows and podcasts that utilize your new skill, so you won’t forget how to use it.

word2word provides a compilation of links from about 100 different sites, totalling 119 free language tutorials at your fingertips.

200-Words-A-Day This site focuses on teaching you techniques for learning a language. The techniques are really similar to flashcards: pics and cartoon that illustrate the action, or facilitate memory response.

Offers conversational Spanish techniques for all levels. Pronunciation, grammar, a translator, vocabulary, travel help, daily word emails, notes on culture, and idioms are all provided. If you have some training and need help conversationally, this site is helpful. Likewise, if you need to improve your grade in Spanish Class, they have tips for that too.

Get applications for language dictionaries and verb congugators for your phone. Also offers English-alternatives intertype layouts for your Blackberry.

Google’s Online Language Translator and BabelFish on Yahoo!
Copy. Paste. Translate. Finis.

Being able to speak a native tongue will not only increase your capacity of influence in business, but will also be a lot more interesting and impressive when you venture new places.

The death of a language marks the end of a culture, so learn prolifically. Diversity of culture is essential for understanding the worldwide human experience. Comprende?

Virtual Answering / Transcribing services

Since cell phones and services have gained popularity, public display of cell phones and accouterments have gained unpopularity. As much as we all carry disdain for the person two and a half feet away, screaming into a device about something horrendously boring, none of us can think of letting go of our toys.

Now the toys are fighting back against maniacal cell-phone perpetrators. Rules of etiquette, hands-free laws, and personal preference: As we progress in this digital era, our gadgets are changing the way we communicate. One useful change I want to see a lot of: Virtual answering and transcribing services.

Reading voicemail is much more convenient than listening to voicemail. If you don’t believe me, think back to the last time someone left you a message with a phone number or address, and you tried to memorize it because you were driving.

My Favorites
Got Voice – Best Transcription Service
Google Voice – By Invitation Only