Security Recommendations

For PC systems

Geek squad will assist residents in removing other virus software that is being used in place of Windows Defender.We assume that a resident is running MS Win 7, Win 8, or (preferably) Win 10. For residents running other systems, we recommend upgrade/replacement. Geek Squad recommends using Windows Defender which is built in to Windows 10. For other than Windows 10, we need to install Windows Security Essentials (which was incorporated into the OS in Windows 10). It is available for free. The Geek S Geek Squad recommends the additional installation of the free version of Malwarebytes and that resident run it periodically (1-2 weeks) for additional security. If a resident encounters a potential security problem, he/she should capture as much information as possible about the problem and contact the Geek Squad for assistance.

For Apple systems

OSX (the operating system on Apple laptops and desktops) and iOS (the operating system on iPhones and iPads) are not as vulnerable to viruses as the operating systems on PCs. (That may well be due, at least in part, to the fact that there are so many more Windows systems than Apple systems that they’re not as attractive to hackers! But there ARE examples of successful malware attacks on Apple computers, so the threat is not exactly non-existent.)

There ARE several antivirus software suites available for Mac computers, e.g., Bitdefender and ClamX, although they can slow the computer down to an annoying degree, and some local users have reported no detection of viruses over a period of more than a year.

We are unaware of any virus attacks on OSX or iOS systems here in Sunnyside.

Bottom line: we do not recommend installation of antivirus software on Apple computers, with the caveat that it IS possible that a virus or trojan will be developed in the future, and that users should (a) exercise due diligence to avoid being tricked into installing any form of malware and (b) maintain automatic full systems backups to isolated hard drives, a feature that’s built into OSX systems.

Security, Scams, and Fraud

Use an Antivirus Program/App Norton, Trend Micro, MacAfee, AVG are popular for Windows PCs. We recommend Windows Defender as it is free and as effective as any. Don't use multiple AV programs. They can make your computer unstable. As a general rule, Apple computers do not need antivirus software, but two free ones - Clamx and Bitdefender - are useful if you feel the need for one.

Password Managers

Use a Password Manager (rather than writing your passwords on snippets of paper). Popular ones for Windows OS:

  • LastPass 4.0 Free version
  • LogMeOnce Password Management Suite Ultimate 5.2
  • Sticky Password Premium
  • Keeper Password Manager & Digital Vault 10
  • Password Boss Premium v2.0
  • RoboForm Everywhere 7
  • AgileBits 1Password 6
  • True Key by Intel Security (2017)
  • Zoho Vault
Secure your computer when leaving it

When you leave your computer be sure to have it require a sign-on to use it

Make your passwords solid

A well constructed password has a minimum of 8 characters consisting of at least one upper case character, at least one lower case character, at least one special character {like !@#$%^&*()_+), and at least one numeric character.

Don't share passwords. Don't trust anyone.

Don't use open WiFi in public places to access personal accounts

Open WiFi is prone to hackers eavesdropping on your operation. You don't want to use any activity that requires you to enter an ID and password. Nor do you want to enter anything else that could identify you.

Back up your data periodically

Back your data to a secure storage - like Carbonite, or an external hard drive that is only connected to do the backup. Disconnecting the drive assures that malware can't reach it and infect it.

Don't respond to solicitations purporting to fix a problem that they have identified

No one can or wants to detect that your computer has a problem - except a scammer.. Microsoft has enough to do without looking to solve your problems. Scammers will frequently call, claiming they have found trouble in your computer. They will want remote access to your computer to diagnose it. In reality, once they have access, they will appear to be helping you, but instead will either plant malware or try to steal your personal information and then lock up your computer to demand payment in excess of $200 for their “services”.

Don't open links from sources that are not known to you

Often you may receive an email from someone whose address you don't recognize. Typically the email may suggest your computer has a problem and will ask you to click on a link to get help. DON'T! No one can detect trouble in your computer. Sometimes the text of the email will claim familiarity with you that sounds strange. Delete such memos. If they really are legitimate, The sender will contact you again.

Be careful of what you download

Download only from reputable sites. Download directly from the software creator rather than from secondary providers. For example: Teamviewer, a remote access app is available from several providers. But, it is preferred to download it directly from Other sources could conceivably piggyback malware or unwanted apps on the desired app.