Sunday, April 19, 2020

New Computer?

As to be expected the number 1 question I get asked most often is something in the veins of
      If I buy a new computer what should I look for?
Here is my reply, verbatim and as I have saved it as a template:
Hi xxx,
Thanks for asking.
It may be best to look for a new computer during sales events. For computers I recommend to look at or Both definitely have a MUCH larger selection than any brick-and-mortar store can possibly offer.
Any new computer IMHO should go through my Set-Up job to be safe and protected on the Internet and to be free of unwanted, unneeded and sometimes outright malicious programs.

Here are some of the important technical details to currently look for:
  • 8GB or more of RAM (main memory)
  • Windows 10 Professional or Windows 10 Home
    (Pro is in some aspects more flexible than Home)
  • Buy only a computer(s) with a SSD! SSDs are MUCH faster than HDDs!
    Storage capacity of the SSD is okay if it is about three to four times of the
    amount of space currently used on your C: drive.
    Classic HDDs are in many cheap offers but it's clearly an outdated technology.
Currently I have the best experiences with computers from Dell and/or HP. And here are two warnings on what NOT to do:
  • Do NOT buy any additional warranties or similar!
  • Do NOT buy Microsoft Office!
    MS really sells you a subscription with yearly payments; good for MS but bad for you!
Feel free to call me at xxx-yyy-zzzz with any questions you may have.
That's it.
Stay safe.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Amazon Prime member? WARNING!

I have an Amazon account AND an Amazon Prime membership.
I received an email and I want to show it in a screen shot:

On first glance nothing really alarming, right?
The sender email address (labeled From:) looks to me totally wacky and the Reply-To address (labeled To:) IMHO is equally unlikely.
The warning bells in my mind started to ring loud and clear.
My wife and I use the same Amazon account all the time and thus I know that the payment method is correct and that it works.

Even saving the attached PDF document to my computer and then scanning it with Malwarebytes did not show any alarms or warnings.

So I opened the file in my PDF reader to check it out in more detail.

The PDF document contains a link and a BIG button to supposedly go to Amazon's account and payment method web page.

BUT this is what the link and the button actually would have sent my web browser to:

What a crazy nightmare - and for me a clear indicator that something was VERY WRONG!

I went to and checked in my account settings and voila, my Prime membership is paid for until September and the payment information is correct.

Naturally I will report this to Amazon.

MY conclusion as far it concerns you? 
Be super vigilant, never trust an email and do NOT be complacent!

Yes, IMHO it is complacent to "just click" on the big button or the link in the PDF file rather than verifying the claim made in the PDF file independent of the email and it's attachment!

Stay safe, stay vigilant and pay attention to the details!