Michael Horowitz

Michael Horowitz wrote his first computer program in 1973 and has been a computer nerd ever since. He spent 20 years working in an IBM mainframe environment as both an application developer and a DB2 DBA. He then spent a few years working in the Research and Development group of a large Wall Street firm. He has also done technical writing and teaching. He is an independent consultant who has long been focused on Defensive Computing. His personal site is michaelhorowitz.com. This is a weblog of Michael Horowitz. The opinions expressed here are those of Michael Horowitz and may not represent those of Computerworld.


Dealing with VPNs on a Chromebook running Android apps

My first impression of Android on a Chromebook was positive. But, you do need to be aware of how VPNs are handled, since there are now two different operating systems running on a single computer.

A Defensive Computing term paper on privacy: VPNs, Tor and VPN routers

A Defensive Computing term paper on privacy: VPNs, Tor and VPN routers

If I was in high school, tasked with a writing a term paper about online privacy, I might hand in homework that compared and contrasted Tor, consumer VPNs and VPN routers. Something much like the following.

Apple websites can leak Apple ID passwords

Because of the way Apple has configured iCloud.com and various sections of apple.com, spy agencies can learn your Apple ID password.

Trusting the Social Security Administration?

The US Social Security Administration does a poor job of computer security. Surprised?

Windows Update update -- you're welcome

Windows Update update -- you're welcome

Ten days after my Bug Fix Bake-Off blog, which shamed Windows 7 and 8, Microsoft is changing the way each OS installs bug fixes. A coincidence?

A router security cheat sheet

A router security cheat sheet

There are many things that can be done to make a router more secure. Non techies need a shorter list than techies, but the Tech Guy recently offered a list that was way too short. And, many routers simply can not be made reasonably...

ISP outage: My personal disaster recovery

ISP outage: My personal disaster recovery

My ISP goes offline in the middle of the night, but there is work to do that can't wait...

A bug fix bake-off

A bug fix bake-off

Installing bug fixes is a big part of Defensive Computing. Recently I updated devices running five different OSs which let me compare and contrast how they install bug fixes. Not to spoil the story, but I judge Chrome OS as the best,...

Backing up to the cloud? Read the fine print

Backing up to the cloud? Read the fine print

One reason to backup files is because they may get deleted by accident. If you are counting on a cloud backup service for this type of protection, read the fine print. Files deleted on your computer may be removed from the cloud...

TP-LINK lost control of two domains used to configure routers and Wi-Fi extenders

TP-LINK is no longer in control of tplinklogin.net or tplinkextender.net. They do still control tplinklogin.net. What does this mean to owners of TP-LINK devices? Probably not much.

Blocking JavaScript can stop some Windows malware

Blocking JavaScript can stop some Windows malware

Windows users need to defend against a relatively new attack, JavaScript files attached to email messages. One defense is to open JavaScript files with Notepad, but a more thorough defense is to disable Windows_Script_Host entirely.

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