Windows 10 clean install option

Windows 10 offers a recovery option to do a clean install.  Warning:  this option will remove installed applications and files.  Do a backup of your PC before choosing this option.

This tool may be accessed by clicking Start button > Settings > Update & Security > Recovery > “More recovery options” – “Learn how to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows”.  This option can also be found at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10startfresh.

Another option for reinstalling Windows is to create installation media. Instructions for this are available at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/15088/windows-create-installation-media.

Visual Studio Live Share

Visual Studio Live Share (VS Live Share or VSLS) is a development project tool to allow team collaborative editing of source code within Microsoft Visual Studio or Visual Studio Code.  VSLS is currently in preview or pre-release mode as a Visual Studio Marketplace extension and may become a paid product in the future.

More information can be found here:

T-Mobile data breach in August 2018

T-Mobile notified the public that some customer information may have been breached in August 2018.  This data included name, billing zip code, phone number, email address, account number and account type.  Customer passwords, credit card information, and social security numbers were still protected and not released according to T-Mobile.

T-Mobile, T-Mobile for Business and Metro PCS customers may call Customer Care at 611 if they have further questions.

Apple plans to release three new iPhones in September 2018

According to Bloomberg.com, Apple plans to release three new iPhone models at some time in September 2018 with various price points.  A new Apple watch may also be released at some time in 2018 as well as new versions of iPad Pros.

A possible feature for one or more of the new iPhones is Dual SIM card slots, which can be set up for international and domestic calls, as well as receiving calls for separate business and personal phone numbers on one phone device.

Vehicle smart key issues

USA Today has reported that some cars using smart keys or keyless ignitions may be vulnerable to theft.  Some security experts recommend wrapping the smart key in layers of aluminum foil or placing the key in a metal container when not in use.   However, there are currently no statistics on this type of car theft, and higher-end vehicles are more likely to be targeted, according to the Washington Post.  Drivers may find it easier to place their smart keys in a Faraday or RFID blocker bag instead of using foil.

Keyless cars have also been linked to deaths caused by carbon monoxide poisoning when vehicles were accidentally left running in garages attached to homes.

Many smart keys have a key blade tucked inside that can manually unlock the doors if the key fob battery fails.  There may also a hidden car key hole concealed behind a piece of trim in the door or near the ignition.   Some auto manufacturers can also remotely unlock a vehicle if the driver requests assistance using the company’s mobile app.   There may be a mechanical door release handle on the floor next to each car seat.  Sometimes the inactive key fob can be placed near the engine start/stop button, cup holder, vehicle emblem, or another spot to unlock the car doors.  Most new cars will display a message when the smart key battery is low.  Check the car owner’s manual for more information.

The National Safety Council and the University of Iowa website MyCarDoesWhat.org is designed to educate drivers on vehicle safety features including push button start ignitions.

Companies are tracking user biometric behavioral data

The New York Times has reported on companies that track the way that users interact with websites and apps, including user typing, clicking, and swiping patterns.  This stored behavioral biometric data can be used to generate an automated security warning if an application user’s behavioral patterns are different than previously detected.

Some of the companies that provide solutions to track biometric behavioral data include Forter, Biocatch and NuData Security.

7-Zip – a free file archiver that uses many compressed file formats

7-Zip is a free open source software that can be used to compress or uncompress files in many commonly used file formats. The default compressed file format is 7z but other common formats such as ZIP, TAR, etc. can be used.   7-Zip download files are currently available for Windows and Linux.  This FAQ lists more information on how to use 7-Zip.

California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA)

The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) (Assembly Bill AB-375) was passed on June 28th 2018 and is designed to protect the personal data of California state residents.  Companies worldwide must comply with CCPA by January 1, 2020.

The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) has published an in-depth analysis of what is required to comply with this new legislation.