When to prevent updates that might put your computer at possibility

Q: I have an HP Pavilion notebook which is about 1 1/2 yrs previous and I am quite delighted with its functionality. Recently I received a see from HP Assist that it was time for a technique BIOS update. In carrying out some preliminary exploration on the difficulty, I uncovered that these updates may pose a possibility to the pc in that they can actually interfere with proper bootup capabilities for the hardware. I have viewed other on the web warnings that there is no require to install a BIOS update until it addresses a distinct trouble. Right now, my computer system is performing just great. Presently I am undecided. What say you?

Stuart Cohen

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

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BIOS (Fundamental Input/Output System) updates won’t improve the computer’s general performance nor do they normally tackle safety difficulties. They could be issued to fix bugs or to assist new components. So if you have not been going through any challenge with the personal computer I wouldn’t put in the update unless it includes particular options you will need. That may be, for instance, assist for a newer central processing unit that you want to set up in the computer system.

Q: My household router has the Wi-Fi Company Set Identifier (SSID) established to “hidden” so that its name is not seen to nearby devices. This might not defeat obtain by hackers but at the very least the ordinary person nearby would absence that basic info in an try to explore or accessibility my network. I use a potent password in blend with a prolonged SSID.

After connecting to my property Wi-Fi network with an Apple iphone (iOS 14.7) the Facts icon for that relationship gives the subsequent remark: “Concealed Network. Working with a hidden network can expose personally identifiable information. If this is your Wi-Fi network, configure the router to broadcast this community.” 

How could individually identifiable information and facts be much more vulnerable to discovery when an SSID is not broadcast? What is your guidance on broadcasting the SSID for a home network?

Jerry Rudy

A: That is a discussion that I’m revisiting for just one uncomplicated reason: An expert hacker can discover your network whether or not your Wi-Fi router is broadcasting its SSID. So by turning off your SSID broadcast you’re only likely to retain inexperienced hackers from seeking to guess your password. A sturdy password and employing WPA/WPA2 safety protocol supply improved assurance of protection.

Here’s the thing, though. Yes, turning off SSID broadcast does not indicate your router is invisible to buyers inside vary. It just suggests your router’s name is not mentioned and it is instead replaced with “Hidden Network.” As some commentators have pointed out that may well really entice seasoned hackers who figure you might have anything to disguise that is worth hacking into.

Q: I have had a Comcast email deal with for lots of yrs without having any difficulties. On the other hand, on June 23 last year, when I opened my Home windows electronic mail, I bought a dialogue box from my electronic mail server indicating that there was a difficulty with my Comcast password. A personal computer-savvy good friend claimed to go ahead and modify the password and that matters like this take place all the time. So, I went forward and modified my password, which was not tough.

A month later, nevertheless, the exact detail happened, and I again adjusted my password.

All in all, I have changed my password 28 occasions in the past 13 months, and it has develop into a big annoyance.

I known as Comcast specialized assistance and bought some vague information that my email could have been matter to random attacks by destructive software program, possibly of international derivation. I am deeply suspicious of this because it looks to me that Comcast has the wherewithal to keep malicious software off its servers. I suspect there might be anything on my pc, like a password-conserving app that is resulting in this challenge.

Do you have any thoughts?

Emery Bayley

A: Email assistance companies will prompt end users to transform their password when algorithms detect suspicious behavior in your e mail account that might indicate it has been compromised. If you’re receiving repeatedly prompted to improve your password the most likely explanation, as you suspect, is that you have malware on your pc. That, I imagine, is what Comcast tech guidance was inferring.

If you have not presently put in antivirus/anti-malware software package I’d definitely endorse executing so ideal away and jogging a comprehensive scan.