E – N E W S from 2SS.Com

Int’l Standard Serial No. - ISSN: 1523-3537  2011-No. 29

What a privilege to release this issue on 9-11-11 honoring ten years after
a day that changed our idea of security and being secure forever.

Have you visited our website lately?

Symantec ThreatCon

As a Symantec Partner we're pleased to provide here their continuously updated 'ThreatCon' (e.g. threat condition) tool summarizing reports from Symantec's installations world-wide to provide status on current Internet operating conditions and threats.  Click on the 'ThreatCon' tool's tabs and scrollers below to see assessed threat levels geographically, historically, etc. as well as many of the specific threats that are being coped with by Internet users who are NOT protected!

Symantec's ThreatCon tool (See our always-updated LIVE COPY at the bottom of the page here). 

As we write it's at level 1 noting:  "Microsoft has released an out-of-band patch to remove trust of all DigiNotar signed certificates.  Customers are advised to upgrade as soon as possible."

PC / Cell - Phone Home?

Is the schedule for your life, the links to your friends and livelihood, and even much of the content of what you do living on or between your phone, notebook PC or even an iPad-like device? 

More-and-more we depend on these 'required' tools just to get through a normal day.  So losing a device or having it stolen has consequences that begin with inconvenience, and that can quickly generate losses that 'cost' much more than the involved device or the effort to secure it.

We recommend you take a moment right now to consider precautions that you can take to protect yourself, some of them may include:

  1. Is your phone locked between uses?
    We find a phone password too onerous, but our Android phone's unlock pattern feature is easy enough to provide a bit of protection.
  2. Does your phone/notebook have a password?
    Even a simple password '123' or 'asd' can significantly slow down an un-authorized user.
  3. Is your data protected if you loose a device?
    There is easy to use software that can protect data.  It's possible to have the same password you use in #2 to also open an encrypted hard disk so that your data is protected, even from an aggressive thief.
  4. Are your electronic devices smart enough to 'Phone Home' when they are lost or stolen?
    Software is available to routinely check-in for your online request.  If a device goes missing you get on the Internet and essentially ask it to 'Phone Home' the next time it's gains access to the Internet. (At 2SS.Com  we're using the FREE 'www.PreyProject.Com' software that lets us track up to 3 devices including a notebook and Android phone.)
  5. Would you like to have the assurance that data on a lost/stolen device is deleted?
    Some remote monitoring software (e.g. like Prey) allows you to wipe your data off the stolen device.
  6. Is you data or at least your important data backed up?
    E-News from 2SS.Com readers should say 'YES', or right now visit our guide on backup (Click here).
  7. Do you save passwords to make accessing Apps and websites easier?
    Either you should not save passwords on your portable devices, Or you should consider getting a password management program that manages them securely for you.  (At 2SS.Com we use a program called RoboForm  that has versions for PCs as well as for phones like Android, iPhone, Blackberry, and more.  You can even have it keep passwords in sync on all your devices.)

For more detailed information on this topic see the Yahoo News article titled "Upgrade Your Life: Simple security for your cell phone" or call us for help securing your devices.


  1. REAL PC SPEED-UP -OR- PIPE DREAM? - "Cleanup Utilities are a compelling sell to Windows users.  We all want to believe that our PC is still the same snappy spring chicken it was when we bought it, and that it just needs the light touch of a cleanup tool to start sprinting again.  The reality is a bit different:  You might feel better after running a utility-but judging from our testing, your PCs overall performance is unlikely to change much.  Instead of investing in a clean-up utility, uninstall old programs for short-term speed boost, and save your cash for a hardware upgrade."  (Quoted from: PCWorld magazine, "Cleanup Utilities", August 2011,  page 84)
  2. NEW CERTIFICATIONS - We're pleased to call your attention to new/updated certifications with American Power Conversion APC, Dell, Intuit QuickBooks (Adding 2010 and 2011 to 2007, 2008 and 2009) and Symantec(We're aiming next at an update to our Microsoft Small Business Specialist certification.)
  3. ARE YOU UP TO DATE? - A recent ZDNet article titles "Microsoft expecting exploits for critical IE vulnerabilities" advised that "Microsoft today warned that multiple gaping security holes in its Internet Explorer browser could expose millions of Web surfers to hacker attacks via rigged web pages." and that "Because these vulnerabilities expose IE and Windows users to drive-by download attacks without any user action beyond surfing to a booby-trapped web site, Microsoft is strongly recommending that all Windows users apply the patch immediately".  If you need help insuring your PC is safe please let us know?  You may also be interested in our newsletter article titled "A Script of PC Maintenance".
  4. The NEXT FOUR Industries to be Revolutionized by the Internet - Prime candidates are Movies, Healthcare, Book Publishing and Financial Payments...  Find out why in this 9-7-11 ZDNet article.
  5. Win XP FINALLY FALLS BELOW 50% - In July 2011, ten years after being released, Windows XP's market share - measured by online usage, has finally slipped to just under 50 percent of all users.  (InfoWorld 8-2-11)


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Last modified: September 11, 2011