My cyber is now protected. But against what?

As much as I like Avast Antivirus, and after some getting used to I’m also starting to like Avast SafeZone browser (with a few horrid exceptions, like the handling of shortcuts and colors, and the annoying fact that when you launch one instance of the browser it launches 8 separate processes)

What I don’t like is not being informed in any way when new features affect the operating system. When SafeZone was added that was annoying, but it was “just” another browser, like so many other adware programs that tries to install their own plugins, addons, and whatnots.

But installing a Windows service is quite another thing, in my eyes. And when I’m not even sure why it’s being done, for what purpose, and when it’s actually protecting me (or what it’s protecting) then I get a bit more annoyed. And then I try to find out where the settings are, and how to deactivate the plugin.

avast-ids

So far I haven’t found its settings, and it’s not listed as an installed component within the Avast settings user interface, and neither is it listed among the Windows installed software, so it must be handled as a part of the main Avast installation itself, but I’ll get there in the end I hope.

And if I don’t I’ll just consider uninstalling Avast and go back to basic Windows Defender. It wouldn’t be the first time.

CSS modifications to Minnow

I’ve made two minor modifications to my Minnow theme style.css:

Under section /* Wide screens */ changed

    .site-content {
max-width: 960px;

to

    .site-content {
max-width: 1100px;

and second under

    .content-area {
max-width: 660px;

changed to

    .content-area {
max-width: 800px;

At first I had planned to go for 1200/900, but this became so massive so I backed down to 1100/800 instead. For now. 🙂

 

 

New theme, Affinity

I’ve switched to the Affinity theme on my public blog, to see whether it’s usable and I should switch on the others. I’m actually quite fond of my current theme, Minnow, but I’d like to find a similar theme with a little more page width.

In that regard the Material theme is great but it has a problem in that it does not support automatic language detection. Maybe there’s some way to provide language files, I haven’t checked yet, but that’s definitely a large disqualifying minus in my eyes. And Material also has a minus in not supporting the Collapsing Archives plugin. Using the regular full archive widget provides a very long list for a blog with posts dating all back to 1998…

By the way, the default images in Affinity are amazing, I wish I could take pictures like the one of the forest. I do have a few I’m quite proud of but this one was really nice.

Besides that, I noticed that WordPress had auto-updated to the most recent version 4.7.2 on all my sites. And there are new versions of iOS 10.2.1 and more. In fact, updates are becoming so frequent that I don’t have the time to catch up with them all, so it’s lucky the stability has also improved so much that I can rely on auto-updates for most devices.

Upgraded to WordPress 4.7.1

I upgraded my sites to WordPress 4.7.1. No issues or unexpected problems so far.

I did note however that oddly enough one of the sites has received a rather unusual amount of visitors the last two days, especially considering there are no referrals and no new postings on it at the time. It also seems to have an increase in the stats for number of hacking attempts. But beyond that everything seems to be fine from what I can see.

NoScript block for Handelsbanken BankID

I had a repeat this weekend of the same issue as last week, that it worked perfectly fine to sign in to my bank, Handelsbanken, using mobile BankID, but approving new payments or transfers did not work, the site would just lock up and not process the approval for the payment.

After some help from Handelsbanken tech support we narrowed it down to the plugins in Firefox, and with some additional testing I found out it’s NoScript (again) which is this time blocking the payment approvals. Previously it has been blocking my internal sites on http://192.168.x.x local subnet, and blocking referrals to Google Fonts, to name the most recent.

I’m not yet sure what I will do here, I don’t want to remove NoScript, but on the other hand it is getting somewhat random what works from day to day, and when it gets to nitty gritty details such as BankID-login working but BankID-signing not working it becomes rather difficult to keep the program without adding a secondary browser for entirely trusted sites, such as banks.

This last option is incidentally suggested by Avast every time I login, to use their SafeZone browser, but I’m not sure why it needs to open 12 parallell processes each time I try to login, so I’m not yet ready to switch to it.

And switching to IE, as suggested by tech support, does work, but the point of using Firefox with NoScript was to make things more secure. NoScript description states that

“It allows JavaScript, Java and other executable content to run only from trusted domains of your choice, e.g. your home-banking site…”

However, things keep getting broken and fixes breaks new things. If I could get to a stable version I could try to disable automatic updates entirely for it. But so far there’s no stable version in sight. Maybe I should try Edge?

I’ve finally activated 2FA for my Microsoft account

I’ve finally activated two-factor-authentication for my Microsoft account.

Better late than never, but I’ve held back for a while since last I checked there was no good app for iPhone for authentication. Now there is.

And secondarily, I used to use my Facebook and Apple accounts more actively and had 2FA enabled for those. This has changed and the Microsoft account is getting more and more central to most logins I do, so it felt about time to get it done.

And it was remarkably easy, even though the walkthrough from Microsoft is actually wrong or outdated in some places:

Activation worked fine, I installed the Microsoft authenticator app, made sure it worked and then just enable 2FA on the account.

It also told me to generate app-passwords if I used the Outlook app on other devices. Funnily the only place I’ve so far needed to use the app-password is when I launch Office 365 on my Windows 10 computer. All other places, like Email on iPhone, Skype on iPhone, and several other apps works with the “real” user account/password and actual 2FA confirmation. So it’s only the native Microsoft Office 365 Outlook app that fails this so far.

All in all, this was very easy and great to have. Now onto the next big problem, which was a trigger for this in some ways, to see what can be done about the sudden appearance of large amounts of spam on one of my non-Microsoft accounts. Whether the ISP can solve this or I need to start forwarding all mails to my Outlook.com account ?

Compass glitches

After last weeks upgrade to iOS 10, and the subsequent 10.0.2 I’ve noticed some glitches I didn’t notice before in the compass, and in Find My iPhone.

I’m quite sure the compass problems are rather new, but I can’t be 100% certain they came with iOS 10, and Find My iPhone I use so rarely that I don’t know when it worked last, but it has.

However, what I’m seeing just now is this, for 3 iPhones laying right beside each other on the same dinner table.

apple-find-my-iphone-2016-09-25

Which is annoying, if I were to try to actually use the feature to locate the person using the phone. But even more annoying is the compass glitches, which I’m not sure are related to the above, but it certainly feels like they’re in the same area.

20160925_042302681_ios_cropped2

I’ve cropped the coordinates since they’re not necessary to show, and they are also identical, which is interesting given that Find My iPhone does not seem to think so.

But the real problem is the left phone, which seems to be somewhat confused in regards to the direction of North.