Terry Zink's Cyber Security Blog

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A couple of helpful security tools you can use

A couple of helpful security tools you can use

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Every once in a while, I find a great tool on the Internet that you can use to help you be more secure.  Here are two that I have found especially useful:

  1. Should I change my password?

    There have been a tons of password breaches this year – Zappos, LinkedIn, eHarmony, Nvidia, Yahoo Voice, Formspring, and probably many others I haven’t listed here.  If you’re following these breaches, or even if you aren’t, you are probably wondering “Should I change my password?  How can I possibly keep up with all this stuff?”

    Well, it turns out there’s a web form you can use that will tell you if your email credentials have been posted to the Internet:

    https://shouldichangemypassword.com/

    You go to it, enter in your email address, and then click “Check it!”  It searches its database of known leaked addresses and tells you if it’s been leaked and in what time frame.

    When I first discovered the tool, I checked my Hotmail account and it was leaked on July 12, 2012 (I’m not sure how that happened).  I checked my Gmail account and it was leaked on December 25, 2011 (this was during the Stratfor hack).  I then checked my email address at my vanity domain.  It, too, was leaked on July 12, 2012.  I don’t know what’s going on there, but both my Hotmail account and my vanity domain getting leaked on the same day is a heck of a coincidence.

    I then checked my Yahoo account and two of my work accounts and they are clean. Wow, 50% of my email accounts have been leaked.  Awesome.

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  2. Qualys Browser Check

    I discovered the Qualys Browser Check over a year ago and I think it’s fantastic.  Whereas Microsoft Update tells me when my OS needs to be updated, and the same with MacOS, Qualys’ Browser Check tells me when 3rd party plugins for my web browser are out of date.

    This is really handy; Adobe Flash never tells me when I am out-of-date.  I don’t get notifications for Silverlight either.  And I ignore the Java Runtime notifications.

    Once you install Qualys and then return to their site from time to time, it scans your browser and tells you that it is out of date and it gives you a link to the latest version.  Very convenient.

    I wish it had a few more plugins.  I don’t have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on my computer anymore, instead I use PDF-XChange Viewer.  I wish that Qualys had an updater for that.  Still, this plugin is something I rely on all the time.

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Those are two of tools I use most frequently.  If you have your own, feel free to leave something in the Comments section.

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  • Hi! A program called Secunia PSI does the trick of monitoring your software AND updating them automatically. Even pdf viewer I think.

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