Tag: Avast

Take Care of Your Tools


“Take care of your tools and they will take care of you.” This comment seems to refer most often to garden tools.

In today’s Advisory from Emergency Plan Guide, though, taking care of tools refers to the computer tools we are using right now – our computers, tablets, phones – all those digital tools that make it possible to share stories, images and, in this case, blog posts!

Now, I want to be able to finish the 31 days of this summer blog challenge without a computer hitch. So when over the past week I received several warnings, one after another, I paid close attention.

And then I thought of you, and knew you would be interested, too!

Take care of your computer tools!

Here are the three warnings I’ve received in the past couple of weeks.

Warning #1 comes from Avast. It’s about a phishing scam that arrives in an official-looking WordPress email. It urgently requests that you update your username, password, etc. Because you’re a good reader (!), you might notice one little strange grammatical quirk in the email, but MOST people won’t notice it.

Anytime you get an email from what you consider a trusted source (most popular phishing emails come from Microsoft, PayPal, Netflix, banks, etc. ) that urgently demands an update or action on a bill or some such, consider it a scam first and then follow up VERY carefully. (Don’t hit that Update Now button!)

Warning #2 comes from Microsoft. It’s about BlueKeep, a 2019 “worm” affecting older versions of Windows, traveling from computer to computer. The windows versions that are vulnerable: Windows 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 7. If you haven’t been taking care of your tools by updating, do it now! (It you are running Windows 8 and Windows 10 it looks as though you aren’t affected by BlueKeep.)

Warning #3 comes from ithemes Security. Actually, it’s two separate warning reports!  The first lists 9 WordPress plug-ins and themes that have vulnerabilities and the second half of the report lists 19 more. A couple of the plugins have been removed by WordPress; the others have a patch that fixes the problem as long as you update. (I found 3 familiar plugins on these lists, and 2 that I currently use, so this isn’t wildly esoteric stuff.) Here are links to the two reports:

How do I get these warnings?

The reason I get these warnings is because I have installed multiple security software packages on my computer network. Some of them are paid, others free.

The software itself doesn’t necessarily catch everything. I certainly have received my share of fake Wells Fargo phishing emails! But I do get a warning bell from time to time, and questionable emails end up in my JUNK file where I can carefully review them. Plus I get regular alerts like the ones described here.

You can also get warnings simply by setting up a Google Alert.

Are you taking good care of your tools? What security software do you use?

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

Day 3 of Summer Vacation: A time for some shorter and lighter Advisories as a welcome change-of-pace!