Microsoft Windows has Free Virtual Machines

Wish I had know about these earlier. Microsoft offers free Windows virtual machines for VirtualBox, VMWare, and others. You can choose from Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10 (a few different flavors of each). They last 90 days before expiring, but you can snapshot them right after you install them to make it easy to reset that 90 days by rolling back to the snapshot.

Officially, these are for testing out the Edge browser, but you can also use them for whatever else 😉

Check them out here:

https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-edge/tools/vms/

 

 

Practical Security Round-up

We here at Geekamongus care about you, the visitor, so we offer some news and tips about staying secure:

iPhone
Here’s a good reason to set your iPhone to *not* auto-join Wifi networks, especially those AT&T Wifi Hotspots.

Antivirus Software
There is no need to pay for antivirus/security software for your Windows computer.  Save your money.  As cnet suggests, use one of the many free programs available.  Personally, I prefer MSE or Avast.

Facebook
Considering there may be 1.5 million Facebook accounts up for sale on the black market, now would be a good time to rid your computer of malware and then change your Facebook password.

While you are at it, you may want to learn about (and restrict) all the personal data Facebook has unilaterally decided to share about you.

Microsoft SharePoint Security Warning
SharePoint administrators and users, beware: Serious XSS flaw haunts Microsoft SharePoint

The Google Overlords
Afraid of Google?  Here’s a good way to anonymize yourself when doing Google searches or using many of their services:

Read more on the project page. Download the Firefox plugin here.

Avoid Microsoft Windows When Banking Online

Detective Inspector Bruce van der Graaf from the Computer Crime Investigation Unit of the NSW Police says, “”If you are using the internet for a commercial transaction, use a Linux boot up disk – such as Ubuntu or some of the other flavours…It gives you an operating system which is perfectly clean and  operates only in the memory of the computer and is a perfectly safe way of doing internet banking,”

Sounds like a good plan to me, but then, I’m sure most of you reading this are already in agreement. It’s just good to see this sort of thing hitting major news sites.

Read more here…

Practical Security: Resources from the US Government

If you live in the USA, did you know that your tax dollars are being used for some really good purposes?

You better believe it.  For example, the NSA provides some great guides and tools for securing your operating system, whether your are on a Mac, or running Windows, Linux, or Solaris.

Some of the guides can get a little complex (especially the Linux and Solaris ones), but even if you do some of what they suggest, you are increasing the security of your OS and are likely to learn a few things at the same time.

There are more resources from other parts of the government as well. Continue reading