Read this!

Good Day Everyone—
I hope everyone is well. I’m writing about something very important. Please read the whole email.Today, I found out that a license that I deal with has been compromised. It has been used to activate the product 175,379 times.Let me say first, there virtually NO one person to blame for this. The best we can do is keep our networking hardware and software up to date, and PRAY.

However, now that I’ve said that I want to offer some advice that you can use to help prevent this from happening again. When I talked to the tech support person at Microsoft she used a very important word when she talked to me. She said that, “This key was actually blocked because it was leaked.” The important word here is LEAKED.

What that means is that the network is vulnerable in some way. My guess is that someone hacked into the network and stole the license from one of the machines.

If you are using a personally owned mobile machine (aka laptop, netbook, tablet, ipod, ipad, smartphone, etc.) and connecting to the network at school:

1. Make sure that your antimalware and antivirus software are updated with the most recent definitions.
2. If you have software firewall, make sure it is turned ON.
3. If you have the capability of hard wiring yourself into the network, then consider doing that. Ethernet is far more secure than wireless.
4. NEVER download software from a source you do not trust. (I know that is a broad statement)
5. Consider NEVER connecting to a wireless hotspot. They should be secure, but they are incredibly easy to hack.
6. Be careful to never accept and install illegal copies of software from anyone, or any place on the internet.
7. Do not loan (even for a ½ minute) your machine to anyone. Period

If you need something, PLEASE, PLEASE ask. Send me an email! Sometimes it is hard for even me with all these years’ experience to know when a website has legitimate software. Having said that, I also know about a lot of places that are not legitimate. Even when you get legitimate software from a hack website, you are downloading a lot more than you are bargaining for.

Very recently a client downloaded a FREE version of Adobe Reader. This is very legitimate software. However, she choose to go to a website other than to download the program from, and now her machine is full of malware and spyware. The machine is slower than molasses, and it drops network connections all the time. I spend more of my time correcting these kinds of problems on client machines than I do any other activity. So, keep in mind if you are confused, you are NOT alone. ASK!!

In the meantime, Please don’t use any borrowed or second hand thumb drives (aka flash drives, USB drives, memory sticks) unless you know or trust the source. This will help to keep possible movement of malware designed to steal licenses to a minimum.

Also, at home networks: make sure your firewall on your router is turned ON. Never turn it off. Consider hard wiring yourself into network instead of using wireless.

About PeggyAnn

Professional PC Consultant, Researcher, & avid people watcher, Peggy Ann Rowe started into her genealogical quest at age 15 after watching the mini-series, "Roots" with her parents. This new obsession has fueled her love of history, & study of cultures & societies in every epoch. Today she is 57 years old with four kids who are all grown up (& all have flown the coop). In between her 'gigs' with clients she volunteered at many different non-profits. Former President, Secretary, and Director at Large on the board of the Douglas County Historical Society for 10+ years, and former Secretary at the Cloverdale Historical Society (Sonoma County) for nearly 10 years. This website is an attempt to share the knowledge she has gained about her family ties with others who may be interested in the same things. She does not guarantee 100% accuracy and does hope that you will send corrections. To learn more about her, click the "about" button in the page menu. Thanks! Another goal of this website is to disseminate a message (i.e. education) about domestic violence, child abuse, and all forms of sexual abuse to society at large. The message comes from real experience from the whole spectrum of the violence from sexual abuse by a perpetrator to sexual abuse perpetrated by a husband, to the abuse of children within the family. Peggy has seen it, lived it, and been hurt by it. There will on occasion be details that might be hard for some people to read, and a warning is usually posted at the beginning of the essay so that those who want to turn and not read may do so. The only way to teach and to let others learn what to avoid is to SHARE what happened with every detail necessary to make the point. Thank you.
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