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.

VanAtta video

My cousin made this video, and it is very good. Anyone with the Vanatta surname in their background really wants to see this!! Variations on the name include: VanEtten (the original form), Vanattor, VanAtter, Vannatta, etc. The name has been convoluted a lot over the years, but if you have one of those names, congratulations, you are related to me!! Hehehe!!! ~P.A.R.S