Excedeo Blog

Excedeo has been serving the San Diego area since 2003, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Tip of the Week: A Few of Chrome’s Native Capabilities

Tip of the Week: A Few of Chrome’s Native Capabilities

Google Chrome is the most-used browser in the world by a wide margin, which is part of the reason that it is so incredible that many people don’t know a lot about its built-in features. While we certainly can’t go through all of them in a single blog, we can offer a few tips describing the best of them.

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Getting to Know Technology: Link

Getting to Know Technology: Link

Navigation is important for any computing system--particularly the Internet, where there are countless destinations. The Internet is comprised of various web pages, images, videos, and many other valuable little bits of content that are all connected by a web of links. These links are the cornerstone of the Internet, and we’ll explain the details of how they work and what they are.

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Getting to Know Technology: Breadcrumbs

Getting to Know Technology: Breadcrumbs

In the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel, the titular characters decided to leave a trail of breadcrumbs behind them, so they could find their way back home. While this strategy didn’t work out very well for the siblings, the same concept is used in computing today. We even refer to it as breadcrumb navigation in honor of the German fairy tale.

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Is It Safe to Have Your Browser Remember Your Passwords?

Is It Safe to Have Your Browser Remember Your Passwords?

Let’s be honest - not all of us have the best memories. This makes the ability for many browsers to remember our passwords seem like a godsend. However, is this capability actually a good thing for your cybersecurity? The answer may not surprise you.

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The Chrome Browser is Redefining Your Security

The Chrome Browser is Redefining Your Security

When you are surfing the web, do you know if you are secure? Typically, your browser will tell you when a site is secure or not. This is especially important if you are putting in sensitive information, like passwords or credit card information. Google Chrome is stepping up it’s game to keep users safe.

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Tip of the Week: Which Browser Provides the Best Security?

Tip of the Week: Which Browser Provides the Best Security?

For most users the Internet browser is one of the most utilized applications on their computer or mobile device. With the influx of aggressive problems, it is mighty useful to know which Internet browser is the best for keeping your data, identity, and network secure. Today, we will take a look at the five most popular Internet browsers found on desktop and laptop computers and decipher which are the most reliable.

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Tip of the Week: Learn How to Use the Microsoft Edge Browser

Tip of the Week: Learn How to Use the Microsoft Edge Browser

It’s no secret that, if given the choice, many users would elect to use Google Chrome over Microsoft Edge. To remedy this, Microsoft has adjusted Edge to be more customizable to the user’s preferences. For this week’s tip, we’ll look at how these features and settings can be set up.

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Tip of the Week: Did You Know Your Computer Can Do All This?

Tip of the Week: Did You Know Your Computer Can Do All This?

Your computer is mostly just a machine used to accomplish specific tasks. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t know all of the advanced tips that help you get the most out of it, though. Here are some of the best shortcuts that you can use to take full advantage of your workstation.

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Tip of the Week: Tab Basics For Better Browsing

Tip of the Week: Tab Basics For Better Browsing

The use of a browser’s tabs has become the default way that many people move around the web. In fact, there’s a good chance that this blog is just one of many browser tabs you have queued right now. However, there’s an equally good chance that you aren’t using browser tabs to their full potential. For this week’s tip, we’ll explore some of the features that browser tabs offer.

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Tip of the Week: Don’t Leave Your Chrome Extensions Behind When You Go Incognito

Tip of the Week: Don’t Leave Your Chrome Extensions Behind When You Go Incognito

With Google Chrome’s Incognito mode, you can privately browse the web, but you may have noticed that Incognito mode also disables your extensions by default. This isn’t a big deal, but it can be an annoyance that you’d prefer not to deal with. Thankfully, there’s a good way to make sure that specific extensions stay enabled, even in Incognito mode.

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What is HTTPS Encryption and Why is it Important for Your Business?

What is HTTPS Encryption and Why is it Important for Your Business?

Encryption has become a very important part of maintaining an acceptable standard of security while browsing the web and storing data. Large enterprises and organizations have been using encryption for a long time, and even the average consumer uses encryption each and every time an online purchase is made. Did you know that the protection afforded users by encryption is made possible thanks to security certificates?

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Tip of the Week: Use This Chrome Extension to Automatically Refresh Your Browser

b2ap3_thumbnail_refresh_of_browser_400.jpgHave you ever been glued to the computer monitor while compulsively hitting your browser’s refresh button? You might have done this while waiting for an online sale to drop, or while waiting for someone to respond in an online forum to your witty comment. Did you know that you can set your Google Chrome browser to refresh itself automatically?

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Agent Chrome Goes Incognito in Google City

b2ap3_thumbnail_google_incognito_mode_400.jpgAgent Chrome is a pretty well-known guy in Google City. In fact, you could say he was the top of his class at Browser University, and everybody who is anybody knows who he is. When on the job, Agent Chrome sometimes needs to lay low and avoid the prying eyes of the masses around him. And this particular operation, rightfully dubbed “Incognito,” is one such occasion.

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New Lenovo PCs come with Security Vulnerability

     I have always disliked all of the extraneous software that comes pre-installed on new computers, but Lenovo has shown just how bad this can be.  Lenovo computers are shipping with pre-installed adware which could be used to hijack your secure internet connections with a man-in-the-middle attack.  The software in question is Superfish.  Superfish is suppose to be a image search tool which Lenovo is using to place ads in your Google search results.  According to a Lenovo administrator: 

"Superfish comes with Lenovo consumer products only and is a technology that helps users find and discover products visually. The technology instantly analyzes images on the web and presents identical and similar product offers that may have lower prices, helping users search for images without knowing exactly what an item is called or how to describe it in a typical text-based search engine."

     Adding additional ads to your search results is bad enough, but exposing your secure information, such as banking information, is inexcusable.  When you establish a secure internet connection, certificates are used to verify that the sites you visit are truly who they say that they are.  Lenovo is using a self-signed certificate which makes it appear as a trusted party.  With this certificate Superfish could generate its own encryption certificates for any site with out the user being aware.

     Lenovo could use this to spy on their customers but worse yet hackers could use this security vulnerability to spy on you and steal your private information.  The hackers only need to discover the private key which Superfish used to sign its certificate.  Robert Graham of Errata Security reports to have cracked the password "komodia" with a simple password cracker he wrote.  It also appears that all of the certificates use the same password.  You can read his posting here.  At least Lenovo now seems to recognize the problem.

"Due to some issues (browser pop up behavior for example), with the Superfish Visual Discovery browser add-on, we have temporarily removed Superfish from our consumer systems until such time as Superfish is able to provide a software build that addresses these issues. As for units already in market, we have requested that Superfish auto-update a fix that addresses these issues."

If you have recently purchased a Lenovo computer you should definitely check it for Superfish and remove it immediately.  But please note that just uninstalling the software will not fix the problem, the root certificate has to be removed.  To check for the Superfish software open Control Panel > Programs and Features and look for a program named VisualDiscovery and uninstall it.  Then to remove the certificate press the Windows Key + R and run the certificate manager program certmgr.msc.  Open the Trusted Root Certification Authorities folder, open the Certificates folder, and delete the Superfish record.

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Tip of the Week: How to Save Your Browser’s Bookmarks from Data Loss

b2ap3_thumbnail_browser_bookmarks_400.jpgIt’s a good feeling to have your workstation’s web browser set up exactly how you like it. With all of your favorite websites bookmarked and your most-visited sites quickly appearing in a drop down menu as soon as you type in a letter or two, you’re able to efficiently navigate the Internet and quickly find exactly what you’re looking for. But what happens to your bookmarks when your hard drive crashes?

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Microsoft to Discontinue Support for Old Internet Explorer Versions

b2ap3_thumbnail_internet_explorer_400.jpgIn an attempt to push users toward the most recent installment of Internet Explorer (IE 11), Microsoft has announced that, as of January 2016, all older versions of Internet Explorer will reach their end-of-support date. This means discontinued patching and security update support, putting all who refuse the upgrade at risk.

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