Windows 10 Security

Windows 10I was reading an article on the MakeUseOf website that I subscribe to about Windows 10 watching what you do. Not surprising that the Fix Windows 10 link on the page goes nowhere but there are at least two helpful apps in the article mentioned that are good for users who pay attention to the rumor mill of security issues that have been reported as concerns in Windows 10.

I’m somewhat a realist and do understand the pro’s and con’s of using Windows but ultimately go by the general golden rule that nothing is safe or secure. All of the recent hacks of data from big companies essentially enforces the same thing. I do however think it amazing how Windows users (of any version) complain about the lack of security and then cry foul when Microsoft actually implements more of it.

Microsoft is ultimately not only acting on the best interests of its user-base but the interest of its OS. A more solid product would obviously mean a more solid user-base, but like that’s even a problem for Microsoft. Anyway, that said I don’t plan to comment any further on the latter.

I have worked on a myriad of Windows PC’s though to know that the issue is not always Windows on its own but the sometimes idiot users using them. Users going to game sites, online movie streams, porn sites, whatever and not fully understanding what they are clicking on or otherwise getting themselves into.

User education on the proper use of Windows, for the most part, is still a must. I know people who are completely clueless on how do something as simple as sending an email let alone using a search engine. Certain aspects of the lack of computer education will certainly end in my generation while flourishing quite well in the next, such as my kids generation, as computers are almost mandatory in schools now as well as is computer education.

Changing to a different OS such as Linux or OSX, Chromebooks, Android, whatever, is not a real solution to security as some purport as each has their own set of security issues. In the old days hackers and script-kiddies wouldn’t even give MAC or Linux OS’s the time of day as they were not as widely used. Once these OS’s made their way more mainstream they then became an interest to them and vulnerable. Now we have seen the horror stories

I’m not going to side with these scrupulous people but I cant say I’m totally against what they are doing in showing the vulnerabilities of these OS’s. It would be nice if it could happen in less catastrophic ways but in some ways that’s what is necessary to get a point across. Politeness in notifying OS developers I don’t believe has ever statistically gone well. Ive worked around developers before and “some” have a chip on their shoulder that their code can do no wrong (denial), have an OH SHIT moment or sit on the issue too long until after it has become a major problem.

In any regard, I think Windows users should prepare themselves mentally for the future as Windows gradually gets more and more “security” features rolled into it. Not just to keep Windows echo system as safe as possible but to also save Windows users from themselves.

I’m expecting flack for some of this but right or wrong, I’m just speaking my mind while being open to criticism.

Changing Your Privacy Settings

If you want to change your privacy settings in Windows 10 to elect information you want to share with Microsoft:

From your Windows desktop, click on the Start menu and select Settings > Privacy.

For more info, see the item below in reading resources with regard to the Windows 10 and privacy FAQ.

Some good reading resources:

Advertisements

Edit hosts file with a batch file

So in contrast to my hosts editor app, below is the contents of a batch file to select from a list of IPs. I was using this before creating the hosts manager tool. Every once in awhile I still use this but only when I am on a system that barks at starting apps from a thumbdrive. Don’t forget to right-click and Run as…. Admin.


@echo off
TITLE Modifying your HOSTS file
COLOR F0
ECHO.
:LOOP
SET Choice=
ECHO a = server1
ECHO b = server3
ECHO c = server4
ECHO d = stage
ECHO e = devserver
SET /P Choice="Which server would you like to point your HOSTS file to? Enter a number or enter R to reset. (0,1,2,3,5,7,a,b,c,d,e,R)"
IF NOT '%Choice%'=='' SET Choice=%Choice:~0,1%

ECHO.
IF /I '%Choice%'=='0' GOTO 0
IF /I '%Choice%'=='1' GOTO 1
IF /I '%Choice%'=='2' GOTO 2
IF /I '%Choice%'=='3' GOTO 3
IF /I '%Choice%'=='5' GOTO 5
IF /I '%Choice%'=='7' GOTO 7
IF /I '%Choice%'=='a' GOTO 8
IF /I '%Choice%'=='b' GOTO 9
IF /I '%Choice%'=='c' GOTO 10
IF /I '%Choice%'=='d' GOTO 11
IF /I '%Choice%'=='e' GOTO 12
IF /I '%Choice%'=='R' GOTO RESET
ECHO.
GOTO Loop

:RESET
set hosts=%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
If exist %hosts% (
del /q %hosts%)
ECHO Carrying out requested modifications to your HOSTS file
ECHO #Empty hosts file>>%hosts%
GOTO END

:0
set hosts=%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
If exist %hosts% (
del /q %hosts%)
ECHO Carrying out requested modifications to your HOSTS file
ECHO 111.111.11.11 serv.domain.com http://www.domain.com domain.com secure.domain.com>>%hosts%
ECHO Finished
GOTO END

:1
set hosts=%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
If exist %hosts% (
del /q %hosts%)
ECHO Carrying out requested modifications to your HOSTS file
ECHO 111.111.11.11 serv.domain.com http://www.domain.com domain.com secure.domain.com>>%hosts%
ECHO Finished
GOTO END

:2
set hosts=%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
If exist %hosts% (
del /q %hosts%)
ECHO Carrying out requested modifications to your HOSTS file
ECHO 111.111.11.11 serv.domain.com http://www.domain.com domain.com secure.domain.com>>%hosts%
ECHO Finished
GOTO END

:3
set hosts=%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
If exist %hosts% (
del /q %hosts%)
ECHO Carrying out requested modifications to your HOSTS file
ECHO 111.111.11.11 serv.domain.com http://www.domain.com domain.com secure.domain.com>>%hosts%
ECHO Finished
GOTO END

:5
set hosts=%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
If exist %hosts% (
del /q %hosts%)
ECHO Carrying out requested modifications to your HOSTS file
ECHO 111.111.11.11 serv.domain.com http://www.domain.com domain.com secure.domain.com>>%hosts%
ECHO 222.222.22.22 dbcluster3>>%hosts%
ECHO Finished
GOTO END

:7
set hosts=%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
If exist %hosts% (
del /q %hosts%)
ECHO Carrying out requested modifications to your HOSTS file
ECHO 111.111.11.11 serv.domain.com http://www.domain.com domain.com secure.domain.com>>%hosts%
ECHO Finished
GOTO END

:8
REM server1.domain.com
set hosts=%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
If exist %hosts% (
del /q %hosts%)
ECHO Carrying out requested modifications to your HOSTS file
ECHO 111.111.11.11 domain.com http://www.domain.com>>%hosts%
ECHO Finished
GOTO END

:9
REM server3.domain.com
set hosts=%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
If exist %hosts% (
del /q %hosts%)
ECHO Carrying out requested modifications to your HOSTS file
ECHO 111.111.11.11 domain.com http://www.domain.com>>%hosts%
ECHO Finished
GOTO END

:10
REM sever4.domain.com
set hosts=%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
If exist %hosts% (
del /q %hosts%)
ECHO Carrying out requested modifications to your HOSTS file
ECHO 111.111.11.11 domain.com http://www.domain.com>>%hosts%
ECHO Finished
GOTO END

:11
REM stage.domain.com
set hosts=%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
If exist %hosts% (
del /q %hosts%)
ECHO Carrying out requested modifications to your HOSTS file
ECHO 111.111.11.11 domain.com http://www.domain.com>>%hosts%
ECHO Finished
GOTO END

:12
REM devserver.domain.com
set hosts=%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts
If exist %hosts% (
del /q %hosts%)
ECHO Carrying out requested modifications to your HOSTS file
ECHO 111.111.11.11 domain.com http://www.domain.com devserver.domain.com>>%hosts%
ECHO Finished
GOTO END
:END
ECHO.
EXIT


HOSTS File Editor

Got around to updating this a bit. I still plan on some error control but its not entirely necessary right now. It requires at a minimum .NET Framework version 4.5 to be installed. If you get an error when trying to write changes to the hosts file this will be why.

LS800 running Ubuntu 10.10

Oh baby! I downloaded the latest image of Ubuntu 10.10 (with Unity) and created a bootable USB with it using the donation-ware InfraRecorder. Again, I wrote the image to a 4GB USB drive but didn’t need that much space, I only have 4GB and 8GB flash drives. I booted from the USB flashdrive and like what I see.

Ubuntu on LS800

Not only is Ubuntu 10.10 responsive on the LS800 it is Wacom compatible as I can navigate around with the tablets pen. I can also still use a mouse and keyboard but the whole idea with installing Ubuntu is so I can get away from having to do that.

Caveat(s) – Some of the application icons in the left toolbar do not fire off after they have been tapped on but do from Ubuntu’s application area. The Applications icon does work when tapped on with the LS800’s pen. With Firefox, it did not initially work to launch the browser until I delete its application icon from the toolbar and then recreated it. I could then launch Firefox just fine.

Second caveat, under installed applications it shows a virtual keyboard as having been installed but I cannot find anywhere to tap on it in Ubuntu so I have no use of a virtual keyboard. I have a couple lined up to try as I am really liking Ubuntu or I might make my own. I have a video of Ubuntu running I will post that soon.