Tag Archives: keyboard

Daylight Savings Time Ends – It’s That Semi-Annual “Clean Your Computer” Time Again

imageTo make it easy to remember, I schedule my computer maintenance and cleaning, at the Spring and Fall time changes. Since we’ve adjusted our clocks back one hour today (here in North America), it’s time to rerun a primer on how to do a top to bottom physical cleanup of your computer.

Spring cleaning

Over the years I’ve noticed that many computer users are not too concerned with keeping the physical components clean; and they need to be concerned.  Computer maintenance involves not only keeping a computer clean of malware; viruses, Trojans, spyware, and adware – but, keeping the physical machine clean as well.

As regular reader TeX pointed out last year, when I ran this article – “Think of a place that hides more dust than the space under your bed.” He’s right – a computer system can collect an an amazing amount of dust.

image

No, this is not one of my machines. Winking smile

Physically cleaning your computer is potentially one of the most important cleanup jobs you’re ever likely to do. Here’s why – heat.

Heat is a component killer, and it’s the chief cause of CPU failure in computers. CPU failure, caused by dust clogged vents, which leads to reduced air flow, is a more common occurrence than many realize.

Killer Dirt = Killer Heat

Overheating of the CPU will, at a minimum, cause the system to behave erratically; the computer spontaneously switches off, or restarts; frequent “blue-screen” error messages, and more.

Here’s a comment from my Australian buddy Mal, on last year’s reposting of this article – “Earlier this year, my computer started beeping at me. It was an alarm to say “I’m overheating”. I took off the cover and cleaned out all the dust, which was everywhere.

When I turned it back on, the temp at dropped 30 degrees Celsius. No wonder the machine was screaming at me. So a good timely article on your part.”

Keeping your computer in top shape, with a regularly scheduled cleaning program, will prevent the inconvenience of having your system go down, and in the long run save you money.

Tools you’ll need:

Screwdriver

A can of compressed air

Cotton swabs

Rubbing alcohol (70% is fine)

Paper towels or anti-static cloths

Water

Make sure you disconnect the machine from the wall outlet before you begin maintenance and cleanup, and be gentle when touching the components inside the case.

Open the case:

If required, use the screwdriver to remove the side of the case that’s opposite the motherboard. Blow compresses air over the components and interior of the case, keeping the can upright and nozzle four inches away from components.

Clean the power supply and the case fan with a shot of compressed air. Next, blow compressed air into the CD/DVD drive. Give the inside of the case a wipe with a slightly moistened cloth before replacing the cover.

Clean the exterior:

Wipe the exterior of the case with a slightly moistened cloth; repeat the wipe with a dry cloth or paper towel. Be sure to clean all case openings using this method.

Clean the keyboard:

Since the keyboard gets more physical contact than any other component, if you can, clean it on a monthly basis. Blowout in and around the keys with compressed air monthly and on your scheduled cleanup rub down the keys and case with a clean cloth slightly dampened with rubbing alcohol.

Clean the mouse:

Like the keyboard, the mouse gets substantial physical contact and requires cleaning on a monthly basis. If you have an optical mouse simply wipe it down just as you wiped down the keyboard. If you have a mechanical mouse then you need to remove, wash, and then dry the ball.

Next, clean inside the mouse with a cotton swab moistened with rubbing alcohol. Finally blow compressed air into the opening and then reassemble the mouse.

Clean the monitor:

Never spray liquid directly onto the screen. Instead, moisten the cloth, or the paper towel, with the cleaning solution. Spraying the screen directly runs the risk of liquid penetrating into the monitor components.

Wipe the screen gently to remove dust and fingerprints. For laptop screens, buy a special cleaning solution available at computer stores. Do this weekly.

I know this is a no-brainer, but before you plug the computer back into the wall outlet, be sure all components are thoroughly dry.

Previous postings of this article drew some very valuable comments from regular readers, including the following:

Vhick:

I always clean my PC one a month. In a tropical country like here, dust is everywhere. Clean, turn around, and there’s a dust again. PC cleaning inside and out is must here, because of very hot temperatures.

Georg L:

Cleaning is nice, but when doing so, one should also change the heat sink compound between hot semiconductors and the respective heat sinks. The CPU is most critical in this respect.

Volatile components evaporate over time, turning the compound into an effective heat insulator with a plaster-like texture. I suggest a change every second year in moderate climates, and an annual change in the tropics.

Just to follow up on Georg’s comment – earlier this year, a reader explained that he had rebuilt his machine and replaced all components (other than the CPU), and yet, the machine still locked up after just a few minutes of operation. I passed on Georg’s advice and voila – problem solved!

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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25 Comments

Filed under Cleaning Your Computer, Computer Maintenance, Save Your CPU, Windows Tips and Tools

Daylight Savings Time Begins – It’s That Semi-Annual “Clean Your Computer” Time Again

To make it easy to remember, I schedule my computer maintenance and cleaning, at the Spring and Fall time changes – just as I schedule my smoke detector battery replacement.

Since we’ve just recently adjusted our clocks one hour forward (here in North America), advancing into “daylight savings time”, it’s time to rerun a primer on how to do a top to bottom physical cleanup of your computer.

Spring cleaning

Over the years I’ve noticed that many computer users are not too concerned with keeping the physical components clean; and they need to be concerned.  Computer maintenance involves not only keeping a computer clean of malware; viruses, Trojans, spyware, and adware – but, keeping the physical machine clean as well.

As regular reader TeX pointed out last year, when I ran this article – “Think of a place that hides more dust than the space under your bed.” He’s right – a computer system can collect an an amazing amount of dust.

image

No, this is not one of my machines. Winking smile

Physically cleaning your computer is potentially one of the most important cleanup jobs you’re ever likely to do. Here’s why – heat.

Heat is a component killer, and it’s the chief cause of CPU failure in computers. CPU failure, caused by dust clogged vents, which leads to reduced air flow, is a more common occurrence than many realize.

Killer Dirt = Killer Heat

Overheating of the CPU will, at a minimum, cause the system to behave erratically; the computer spontaneously switches off, or restarts; frequent “blue-screen” error messages, and more.

Here’s a comment from my Australian buddy Mal, on last year’s reposting of this article – “Earlier this year, my computer started beeping at me. It was an alarm to say “I’m overheating”. I took off the cover and cleaned out all the dust, which was everywhere.

When I turned it back on, the temp at dropped 30 degrees Celsius. No wonder the machine was screaming at me. So a good timely article on your part.”

Keeping your computer in top shape, with a regularly scheduled cleaning program, will prevent the inconvenience of having your system go down, and in the long run save you money.

Tools you’ll need:

Screwdriver

A can of compressed air

Cotton swabs

Rubbing alcohol (70% is fine)

Paper towels or anti-static cloths

Water

Make sure you disconnect the machine from the wall outlet before you begin maintenance and cleanup, and be gentle when touching the components inside the case.

Open the case:

If required, use the screwdriver to remove the side of the case that’s opposite the motherboard. Blow compresses air over the components and interior of the case, keeping the can upright and nozzle four inches away from components.

Clean the power supply and the case fan with a shot of compressed air. Next, blow compressed air into the CD/DVD drive. Give the inside of the case a wipe with a slightly moistened cloth before replacing the cover.

Clean the exterior:

Wipe the exterior of the case with a slightly moistened cloth; repeat the wipe with a dry cloth or paper towel. Be sure to clean all case openings using this method.

Clean the keyboard:

Since the keyboard gets more physical contact than any other component, if you can, clean it on a monthly basis. Blowout in and around the keys with compressed air monthly and on your scheduled cleanup rub down the keys and case with a clean cloth slightly dampened with rubbing alcohol.

Clean the mouse:

Like the keyboard, the mouse gets substantial physical contact and requires cleaning on a monthly basis. If you have an optical mouse simply wipe it down just as you wiped down the keyboard. If you have a mechanical mouse then you need to remove, wash, and then dry the ball.

Next, clean inside the mouse with a cotton swab moistened with rubbing alcohol. Finally blow compressed air into the opening and then reassemble the mouse.

Clean the monitor:

Never spray liquid directly onto the screen. Instead, moisten the cloth, or the paper towel, with the cleaning solution. Spraying the screen directly runs the risk of liquid penetrating into the monitor components.

Wipe the screen gently to remove dust and fingerprints. For laptop screens, buy a special cleaning solution available at computer stores. Do this weekly.

I know this is a no-brainer, but before you plug the computer back into the wall outlet, be sure all components are thoroughly dry.

Previous postings of this article drew some very valuable comments from regular readers, including the following:

Vhick:

I always clean my PC one a month. In a tropical country like here, dust is everywhere. Clean, turn around, and there’s a dust again. PC cleaning inside and out is must here, because of very hot temperatures.

Georg L:

Cleaning is nice, but when doing so, one should also change the heat sink compound between hot semiconductors and the respective heat sinks. The CPU is most critical in this respect.

Volatile components evaporate over time, turning the compound into an effective heat insulator with a plaster-like texture. I suggest a change every second year in moderate climates, and an annual change in the tropics.

Just to follow up on Georg’s comment – earlier this year, a reader explained that he had rebuilt his machine and replaced all components (other than the CPU), and yet, the machine still locked up after just a few minutes of operation. I passed on Georg’s advice and voila – problem solved!

If you have the time, and you want to give your computer system a total clean up, you should consider reading “Maintain Your Machine – 10 + 1 Free Computer System Tools”, on this site.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

2 Comments

Filed under Cleaning Your Computer, Computer Maintenance, downloads, Freeware, Save Your CPU, Slow Computer, Software, System Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Get Ready: It’s That Semi-Annual Clean Your Computer Time Again

Spring cleaningHere in North America, tonight is the night we adjust our clocks back one hour, reverting to Standard Time. To make it easy to remember, I schedule my computer maintenance and cleaning, at the Spring and Fall time changes – just as I schedule my smoke detector battery replacement. So, today is the day I get out my cleaning supplies, and do a top to bottom physical cleanup of my machines.

Over the years I’ve noticed that many computer users are not too concerned with keeping the physical components clean; and they need to be concerned.  Computer maintenance involves not only keeping a computer clean of malware; viruses, Trojans, spyware, and adware – but, keeping the physical machine clean as well.

As regular reader TeX pointed out last year, when I ran this article – “Think of a place that hides more dust than the space under your bed.” He’s right – a computer system can collect an an amazing amount of dust.

image

No, this is not one of my machines. Winking smile

Physically cleaning your computer is potentially one of the most important cleanup jobs you’re ever likely to do. Here’s why – heat.

Heat is a component killer, and it’s the chief cause of CPU failure in computers. CPU failure, caused by dust clogged vents, which leads to reduced air flow, is a more common occurrence than many realize.

Killer Dirt = Killer Heat

Overheating of the CPU will, at a minimum, cause the system to behave erratically; the computer spontaneously switches off, or restarts; frequent “blue-screen” error messages, and more.

Keeping your computer in top shape, with a regularly scheduled cleaning program, will prevent the inconvenience of having your system go down, and in the long run save you money.

Tools you’ll need:

Screwdriver

A can of compressed air

Cotton swabs

Rubbing alcohol (70% is fine)

Paper towels or anti-static cloths

Water

Make sure you disconnect the machine from the wall outlet before you begin maintenance and cleanup, and be gentle when touching the components inside the case.

Open the case:

If required, use the screwdriver to remove the side of the case that’s opposite the motherboard. Blow compresses air over the components and interior of the case, keeping the can upright and nozzle four inches away from components.

Clean the power supply and the case fan with a shot of compressed air. Next, blow compressed air into the CD/DVD drive. Give the inside of the case a wipe with a slightly moistened cloth before replacing the cover.

Clean the exterior:

Wipe the exterior of the case with a slightly moistened cloth; repeat the wipe with a dry cloth or paper towel. Be sure to clean all case openings using this method.

Clean the keyboard:

Since the keyboard gets more physical contact than any other component, if you can, clean it on a monthly basis. Blowout in and around the keys with compressed air monthly and on your scheduled cleanup rub down the keys and case with a clean cloth slightly dampened with rubbing alcohol.

Clean the mouse:

Like the keyboard, the mouse gets substantial physical contact and requires cleaning on a monthly basis. If you have an optical mouse simply wipe it down just as you wiped down the keyboard. If you have a mechanical mouse then you need to remove, wash, and then dry the ball.

Next, clean inside the mouse with a cotton swab moistened with rubbing alcohol. Finally blow compressed air into the opening and then reassemble the mouse.

Clean the monitor:

Never spray liquid directly onto the screen. Instead, moisten the cloth, or the paper towel, with the cleaning solution. Spraying the screen directly runs the risk of liquid penetrating into the monitor components.

Wipe the screen gently to remove dust and fingerprints. For laptop screens, buy a special cleaning solution available at computer stores. Do this weekly.

I know this is a no-brainer, but before you plug the computer back into the wall outlet, be sure all components are thoroughly dry.

Previous postings of this article drew some very valuable comments from regular readers, including the following:

Vhick:

I always clean my PC one a month. In a tropical country like here, dust is everywhere. Clean, turn around, and there’s a dust again. PC cleaning inside and out is must here, because of very hot temperatures.

Georg L:

Cleaning is nice, but when doing so, one should also change the heat sink compound between hot semiconductors and the respective heat sinks. The CPU is most critical in this respect.

Volatile components evaporate over time, turning the compound into an effective heat insulator with a plaster-like texture. I suggest a change every second year in moderate climates, and an annual change in the tropics.

Just to follow up on Georg’s comment – earlier this year, a reader explained that he had rebuilt his machine and replaced all components (other than the CPU), and yet, the machine still locked up after just a few minutes of operation. I passed on Georg’s advice and voila – problem solved!

If you have the time, and you want to give your computer system a total clean up, you should consider reading “Maintain Your Machine – 10 + 1 Free Computer System Tools”, on this site.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

10 Comments

Filed under Cleaning Your Computer, Computer Maintenance, Computer Tune Up Utilities, Freeware, Save Your CPU, Software, System Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Remotely Assist Friends and Family with LogMeIn Express Beta

image If you’re the person who’s often asked by friends, to help them, their friends, their neighbors, ……..the list goes on, to reconstruct a computer that is not responding appropriately, has become loaded with malware, etc., then LogMeIn Express Beta is worth taking a look at. Running this free screen sharing/remote control application is simple – one of the easiest I’ve used.

To get up and running:

The sharer (host), downloads a small 874Kb applet from the LogMeIn Express site.

You (viewer), enter a 12-digit code given to you by the sharer, e.g. email, and then enter the code on the LogMeIn Express website.

That’s it – you now have access to their screen and remote control. To make it even easier, Chat is enabled – no voice support is included in this version.

image

Security is built into all aspects of a LogMeIn Express session; the  connection is secured using 256-bit SSL encryption.

image

It struck me, that the typical computer user using LogMeIn Express , doesn’t need to know anything about ports or protocols, or any other complicated jargon, and with LogMeIn Express up and running, connection to the remote computer can be accomplished within minutes.

A number of my friends, who are only moderately techno competent, have used this neat little tool to rescue their family’s and friend’s computers. Many have commented that it feels just as if they were working side by side with the remote user, on the same PC. I second that perception. Awesome!

Fast facts – from the developer’s site:

It’s Simple

Session code generated by the host instantly shares screen with one or many

Small download for the host; no client required for the viewer

Easy-to-use chat capabilities

It’s Secure

End-to-end, 256-bit SSL encryption — the same security levels used and trusted by major banking institutions

Permission based — end user must approve remote control

It’s Free

Express Beta is free for both commercial and non-commercial use

Host requirements:

Windows 7, Vista, XP, Server 2003 & Server 2008 (all including 64-bit)

Broadband connectivity to the Internet (i.e., T1, cable modem, ISDN, or DSL)

Viewer requirements:

Flash Player 9, 10

Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 or Firefox 3 or Chrome 3 or Safari 4

Broadband connectivity to the Internet (i.e., T1, cable modem, ISDN, or DSL)

Go to: LogMeIn Express

Bottom line: If you have the skills, and you have the opportunity to provide tech support to your family or friends, then LogMeIn Express might just be the tool you’ve been looking for. Keep in mind however, that this application is still in Beta.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

16 Comments

Filed under downloads, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Interconnectivity, Remote Tech Support, Software, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

The 5 Step Easy Guide to Cleaning Your PC

Spring cleaning

Here in North America, we have just adjusted our clocks back one hour, reverting to Standard Time. To make it easy to remember, I schedule my computer maintenance and cleaning at the Spring and Fall time changes. So, today is the day to get out my cleaning supplies, and do a top to bottom physical cleanup of my machines.

Thoroughly cleaning your computer’s components is potentially one of the most important cleanup jobs you’re likely to do. Most of us do a good job of keeping our computers clean of malware; viruses, Trojans, spyware, adware and the like. But, many of us are not too concerned with keeping the physical components clean; and we need to be concerned.

Keeping your computer in top shape with a regularly scheduled cleaning program, will prevent the inconvenience of having your system go down, and in the long run, save you money.

Killer heat:

image

Heat, is the chief cause of CPU and other component failure in computers. CPU failure caused by dust clogged vents, which leads to reduced air flow, is a more common occurrence than many realize. In fact, in the last year or so, I have seen more than one CPU, and Video Card, toasted by excessive heat.

Overheating of the CPU will, at a minimum, cause the system to behave erratically: the computer spontaneously switches off, or restarts; frequent “blue-screen” error messages and more.

dirty_computer_pc_cleaning

Follow this guide to a spotless computer system.

Tools you’ll need:

Screwdriver

A can of compressed air

Cotton swabs

Rubbing alcohol (70% is fine)

Paper towels or anti-static cloths

Water

Make sure you disconnect the machine from the wall outlet before you begin maintenance and cleanup, and try to avoid touching the components inside the case.

Open the case:

If required, use the screwdriver to remove the side of the case that’s opposite the motherboard. Blow compresses air over the components and interior of the case, keeping the can upright and nozzle four inches away from components.

Clean the power supply and the case fan with a shot of compressed air. Next, blow compressed air into the CD/DVD drive. Give the inside of the case a wipe with a slightly moistened cloth before replacing the cover.

Clean the exterior:

Wipe the exterior of the case with a slightly moistened cloth; repeat the wipe with a dry cloth or paper towel. Be sure to clean all case openings using this method.

Clean the keyboard:

Since the keyboard takes more physical contact than any other component, if you can, clean it on a monthly basis. Blowout in and around the keys with compressed air monthly and on your scheduled cleanup rub down the keys and case with a clean cloth slightly dampened with rubbing alcohol.

Clean the mouse:

Like the keyboard, the mouse gets substantial physical contact and requires cleaning on a monthly basis. If you have an optical mouse simply wipe it down just as you wiped down the keyboard. If you have a mechanical mouse then you need to remove, wash, and then dry the ball.

Next, clean inside the mouse with a cotton swab moistened with rubbing alcohol. Finally blow compressed air into the opening and then reassemble the mouse.

Clean the monitor:

Never spray liquid directly onto the screen. Instead moisten the cloth, or the paper towel, with the cleaning solution. Spraying the screen directly runs the risk of liquid penetrating into the monitor components.

Wipe the screen gently to remove dust and fingerprints. Never touch the back of the monitor. For laptop screens, buy a special cleaning solution available at computer stores. Do this weekly.

I know this is a no-brainer but, before you plug the computer back into the wall outlet, be sure all components are thoroughly dry.

Get free system tools and give your computer system a total clean up – read “Maintain Your Machine – 10 + 1 Free Computer System Tools”, on this site.

If you enjoyed this article, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

2 Comments

Filed under Cleaning Your Computer, Computer Maintenance, Freeware, Save Your CPU, Windows Tips and Tools

Save Your Machine – Keep it Clean

A 5 step guide to cleaning your computer

Spring cleaning

Most of us do a good job of keeping our computers clean of malware; viruses, Trojans, spyware, adware and the like.

But, how many of us are concerned with keeping the physical machine clean? Do you clean and maintain your computer as often as you need to?

Since the summer is on the wane (at least here in the northern hemisphere), getting your computer ready for a workout over the Fall/Winter months, is much more important than you may realize.

Dealing with Viruses, Trojans, spyware, adware and the other nastiness we are all exposed to on the Internet, can be a massively aggravating experience. But none of these can cause hardware failure. Not cleaning your computer can, and will at the very least, reduce component life.

Heat is the chief cause of CPU and other component failure in computers. CPU failure caused by dust clogged vents, which leads to reduced air flow, is a more common occurrence than many realize. In fact, in the last year I have seen 5 CPU’s toasted by excessive heat.

Overheating of the CPU will, at a minimum, cause the system to behave erratically: the computer spontaneously switches off, or restarts; frequent “blue-screen” error messages and more.

Keeping your computer in top shape with a regularly scheduled cleaning program will prevent the inconvenience of having your system go down, and in the long run save you money.

To make it easy to remember, I schedule my computer maintenance and cleaning at the Spring and Fall time changes; just as I schedule smoke detector battery replacement.

Follow this guide to a spotless computer system.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Screwdriver
  • A can of compressed air
  • Cotton swabs
  • Rubbing alcohol (70% is fine)
  • Paper towels or anti-static cloths
  • Water

Since a computer is an electrical appliance, make sure you disconnect the machine from the wall outlet before you begin maintenance and cleanup, and try to avoid touching the components inside the case.

dirty_computer_pc_cleaning

Open the case:

  • If required, use the screwdriver to remove the side of the case that’s opposite the motherboard. Blow compresses air over the components and interior of the case, keeping the can upright and nozzle four inches away from components.
  • Clean the power supply and the case fan with a shot of compressed air. Next, blow compressed air into the CD/DVD drive. Give the inside of the case a wipe with a slightly moistened cloth before replacing the cover.

Clean the exterior:

  • Wipe the exterior of the case with a slightly moistened cloth; repeat the wipe with a dry cloth or paper towel. Be sure to clean all case openings using this method.

Clean the keyboard:

  • Since the keyboard takes more physical contact than any other component, if you can, clean it on a monthly basis. Blowout in and around the keys with compressed air monthly and on your scheduled cleanup rub down the keys and case with a clean cloth slightly dampened with rubbing alcohol.

Clean the mouse:

  • Like the keyboard, the mouse gets substantial physical contact and requires cleaning on a monthly basis. If you have an optical mouse simply wipe it down just as you wiped down the keyboard. If you have a mechanical mouse then you need to remove, wash, and then dry the ball.
  • Next, clean inside the mouse with a cotton swab moistened with rubbing alcohol. Finally blow compressed air into the opening and then reassemble the mouse.

Clean the monitor:

  • Never spray liquid directly onto the screen. Instead moisten the cloth, or the paper towel, with the cleaning solution. Spraying the screen directly runs the risk of liquid penetrating into the monitor components.
  • Wipe the screen gently to remove dust and fingerprints. Never touch the back of the monitor. For laptop screens, buy a special cleaning solution available at computer stores. Do this weekly.

I know this sounds like a no-brainer but ……..

Before you plug the computer back into the wall outlet, be sure all components are thoroughly dry.

If you enjoyed this article, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

3 Comments

Filed under Cleaning Your Computer, Computer Maintenance, Technicians Advise, Windows Tips and Tools

Wireless Keyboards – A Hacker’s Gateway?

Guest writer Rick Robinette, one of my favorite Blogging buddies, explains why he’s concerned with the security of wireless keyboards.

I was sitting here typing on my wireless keyboard wondering what I could write about and explore next; when, low and behold it hit me.  Are wireless keyboards secure? In other words, could another person intercept my keystrokes as I typed from my wireless keyboard?  If this is possible, this is not good.

In my case I am an internet junkie and my credit card numbers, usernames and passwords to all of my accounts, could be stolen. I know as an IT professional that wireless networking can be a security risk; so why not wireless keyboards.

Wireless Keyboard

During my research I soon found out quickly from an article at Enterprise Security Today, titled “Symantec Warns of of Wireless Keyboard Security Threat”, that a new form of attack aimed at users of wireless keyboards had been uncovered.

Excerpts from that article:

The warning follows the release of Keykeriki, an open-source “sniffer” project that allows users to remotely decode wireless transmissions.

The project was created by a site called remote-exploit.org. “This open-source hardware and software project enables every person to verify the security level of their own keyboard transmissions, and/or demonstrate the sniffing attacks (for educational purpose only),” the site notes.

Symantec warned that, although the creator’s intentions appear honorable, making the software code and hardware schematics open to everyone means that criminals could use the software to eavesdrop on wireless keyboard inputs.       [ Source: Enterprise Security Today ]

I then came across excerpts and a YouTube video with Steve Gibson, Security Expert and Founder of GRC.com (makers of the Spinrite hard drive data recovery software), being interviewed by Leo Laporte (from the “The Lab with Leo Laporte”) regarding “The Frightening Insecurity of Wireless Keyboards” (see excerpts and video below).

Having a keystroke logger installed on a computer is one of the worst things that can happen. But what it everything you type on your wireless keyboard can be easily intercepted by a neighbor or office worker?!!! It turns out, it probably can be.

Leo and I will examine and describe the incredibly weak “encryption” used on Microsoft’s 1000 and 2000 series (and probably other) wireless keyboards to show how easily that encryption can be broken to allow anyone within “radio range” to log everything typed.

If you Google: “wireless keyboard encryption” right now you’ll find a number of links to articles about the recent revelation of how simple Microsoft’s wireless keyboard encryption is. [ Source: The Lab with Leo Laporte ]

[ CLICK HERE TO SEE VIDEO ]

Lab With Leo Laporte

Needless to say, following my reviews of this information, I am considering going back to a wired keyboard; at least until the wireless keyboard manufacturers can responsibly demonstrate that the data being transmitted from my keyboard to the receiver is encrypted and is not at risk of being intercepted.

This is a guest post by Rick Robinette, who brings a background as a security/police officer professional, and as an information technology specialist to the Blogging world.

Why not pay a visit to Rick’s site at What’s On My PC. Like me, you’re sure to become a frequent visitor.

1 Comment

Filed under Don't Get Hacked, Guest Writers, Interconnectivity, Privacy, Spyware - Adware Protection, Surveillance, System Security, Windows Tips and Tools