Big Lake, Alaska News, Weather, Events, And More

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Monday, March 19 2018 @ 06:08 AM AKDT


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Yahoo hit in worst hack ever, 500 million accounts affected

TechIf you have a Yahoo account, you need to change your password immediately. I mean right now.

Change, recover, or reset your Yahoo password:

The hack, which took place in 2014, revealed names, email addresses, phone numbers, birth dates and, in some cases, security questions and answers, Yahoo said in a press release. Encrypted passwords, which are jumbled so only a person with the right passcode can read them, were also taken, according to Cnet.

Full Press Release by Yahoo

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Cyber Security Awareness Month

TechWHEREAS, critical infrastructure sectors are increasingly reliant on information systems and technology to support financial services, energy, telecommunications, transportation, utilities, health care, and emergency response systems; and

WHEREAS, it is vital to identify, protect citizens from, and respond to cyber threats that may have significant impact to our individual and collective security and privacy; and

WHEREAS, a coalition of private companies, nonprofit and government organizations, and academic institutions working together have implemented the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign to increase public awareness and understanding of cyber threats and empower Americans to be more secure online; and

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How to create a secure passphrase

TechThis graphic explains how to create a very secure passphrase that you can easily remember, but is nearly impossible to crack by standard methods.

A few tips:

1. Don't use names of pets, family members, your birthday, etc. as a password. Also, don't use the obvious such as 'password123' or 'qwerty1'. Change the default password on any device, such as a router.

2. Create a unique passphrase for every site. Try to avoid looking at things around your computer work area while thinking up your passphrase. Someone clever could sit in your seat and guess it given enough time, so make it a challenge. When asked for security questions during an account setup, create a unique answer instead of something from your real life. For example, if the question is "What is your favorite author" answer Nutter Butter or something else.

3. Never send a passphrase in email.

Some sites still require an upper or lower case character, symbol and other old-fashioned password rules, try and minimize your use of this. These are less secure.

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How the Police can record your calls, and more

TechWired has posted an article about the growing use by police forces in secretly obtaining information on citizens. From the article: "The federal government has been fighting hard for years hide details about its use of so-called stingray surveillance technology from the public.

The surveillance devices simulate cell phone towers in order to trick nearby mobile phones into connecting to them and revealing the phones’ locations.

Now newly released documents confirm long-held suspicions that the controversial devices are also capable of recording numbers for a mobile phone’s incoming and outgoing calls, as well as intercepting the content of voice and text communications. The documents also discuss the possibility of flashing a phone’s firmware “so that you can intercept conversations using a suspect’s cell phone as a bug.”"

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A Better Way to Keep Your Windows Computer Up-To-Date

TechIf you're using a computer that runs Microsoft Windows, then you know what a pain it can be to keep all of your various software programs up to date, or finding good, free programs. You probably also know that regularly updating your software makes for a more secure and bug-free experience. I'd like to introduce you to Ninite

"Install and Update All Your Programs at Once, Always Up-to-date. You don't have to watch for updates. Our bots do that." It's a trusted site: "Trusted by Millions. We install and update over 500,000 programs each day for millions of home users and Ninite Pro subscribers like NASA, Harvard Medical School, and Tupperware."

Save yourself a repair bill and update all your software.
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Are You Getting the Internet You're Paying For?

TechRecently someone asked me why their internet connection was so slow, when they were paying for high-speed internet. It turned out that their local ISP was billing them for a service that was not available in their area, and they did not, in fact, have the internet they were paying for.

How can you prevent this from happening to you? Try a free internet speed test like

I ran a couple of tests and then called my ISP to verify the results. The result is that I am getting what I am paying for.
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Tips to Secure your Digital World-MRIs show our brains shutting down when we see security prompts

TechPart of a series: Anyone who has used a computer (you're probably using one to read this, even your phone is a computer) has seen many of these: Pop-up warnings related to security. Turns out just 2 warnings in a short period of time causes your brain to shut down and ignore them.

From an article at "Ever feel your eyes glazing over when you see yet another security warning pop up on your monitor? In a first, scientists have used magnetic resonance imaging to measure a human brain's dramatic drop in attention that results when a computer user is subjected to just two security warnings in a short time.

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Gov Directs Review of Websecurity Procedures

TechMarch 19, 2015 JUNEAU—Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, the largest health care insurer in Alaska, announced a nationwide cybersecurity breach affecting 11 million people, including 700,000 Alaskans. Among those affected are approximately 80,000 current and former State of Alaska employees. Premera has begun mailing letters to affected individuals and is providing two years of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services to those affected.

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Tips to Secure your Digital World: Take a Security Checkup on Safer Internet Day

TechFrom an announcement on the google blog: "Online security is on everyone’s mind these days. According to a recent Gallup poll, more people are worried about their online accounts being hacked than having their home broken into.

Security has always been a top priority for Google. Our Safe Browsing technology identifies unsafe websites and warns people before they visit them, protecting more than one billion Chrome, Firefox, and Safari users everyday. 2-Step Verification adds an extra layer of security, beyond your password, to your Google account; it’s like a second padlock on your account’s door. And our research teams regularly release new findings about nefarious online activity, like Gmail account hijacking attempts, so people can stay informed."

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Division of Insurance Advises Consumers to Take Precautions

TechIn light of the recent cyber-attack on Anthem Insurance, the Alaska Division of Insurance reminds consumers to take precautions to protect themselves from subsequent fraudulent activity. Though Anthem does not sell health insurance policies in Alaska, if a Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska member used the BlueCard program outside of Alaska and Anthem processed the claims on behalf of Premera, the member’s information could be at risk.

There is no evidence that medical or credit card information was compromised and Anthem does not believe any fraudulent activity against policyholders has occurred as a result of the breach. However, as with any data breach, consumers should be on the lookout for suspicious attempts to collect sensitive information. Consumers should closely monitor their credit scores, bank accounts, credit cards and other financial information and notify their bank or credit card company regarding suspicious activity.

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ADOT&PF Reminds Personal Drone Operators to Follow Safety Guidelines

Tech(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) – Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), or drones, are a popular topic right now. Because these devices are inexpensive and easy to operate they are becoming very common. Recreational flying does not require FAA approval, but UAS operators must follow safety guidelines. Operators who use a UAS for commercial or business use must get FAA approval.

The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) operates 249 airports in the state and recently there have been many questions, and some concerns, about UAS.

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Breach of Health Insurer Exposes Sensitive Data of Millions of Patients

TechFrom an article on "Apparently the data breaches of Target, Sony, Home Depot and a host of others weren’t sufficient to convince Anthem to encrypt patient Social Security numbers.

The health insurer, billed as the second largest in the country, announced late Wednesday that it had suffered a breach that may have exposed data on as many as 80 million current and former customers, including names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and income data. Data for employees of Anthem Blue Cross were also in the database the hackers breached. The company said it believed no medical information was accessed."

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Google Earth Pro Is Now Available for Free

TechThe premium version of Google's popular Google Earth service, Google Earth Pro, is now free. Previously it cost $400 a year.

More information and downloads here:
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Economic Development Strategy for Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Alaska

TechThe Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, in close collaboration with the University of Alaska Center for Economic Development, has identified opportunities for the state to benefit from the emerging Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) industry. The report, Unmanned Aircraft Systems: An Economic Development Strategy for Alaska, describes an approach focused on growing sectors related to the UAS industry, advancing technologies in aerospace and aviation, and identifying opportunities for the Alaska workforce of the future. The strategy can be viewed at

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Statewide Broadband Task Force Submits Report to Commissioner

TechThe Statewide Broadband Task Force released its final plan and recommendations for deploying high speed broadband across the state. The report outlines key findings and offers recommendations to reach the goal of providing every Alaska household access to 100 megabits per second (Mbps) of broadband speed by 2020. The report can be viewed at

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