Barbs Connected World

Surface Pro (2017)

For me, this is a dream machine

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Multi Factor Authentication App Backup and Usage Strategies
Change Your Hue Light
Colors with Alexa
Microsoft Authenticator
2 Factor Authentication

Microsoft Authenticator helps keep me safe. The baddies are out there, and I know my logins are protected. Easy to setup and a real pleasure to use!

Turn on your lights when Dona Sarkar tweets a new #flight for Insiders
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Change Hue Light Colors with Alexa

Hue and Lifx bulbs have been supported with Amazon’s Echo/Alexa ecosystem for a long time. One of the missing elements, the ability to specify specific colors or temperatures, was missing, although cool third party integration with Yonomi allowed you to create routines to handle specifying colors.

While Hue has been supported natively for a long time, to turn on the new functionality, go to the Alexa app or web page, search for “Hue” and enable the skill.

hue alexa colors

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Using MS Authenticator for 2FA Everywhere

Two Factor/Multifactor Authentication can help keep you safe.

The bad guys are out to get you. They’re phishing in your email, they are using brute force to try to get your password so they can log into your email accounts, your Microsoft Accounts, your Google accounts, Facebook, Twitter, and just about everywhere that you use a password to log in. Having a strong and unique password for every site and account isn’t enough these days. You CAN do more to protect yourself. There PROBABLY ARE baddies trying to break into your accounts right now. It’s a fact of life. Want an example? I was amazed at the number of unique IP’s trying to gain administrative access to the WordPress dashboard on one of my blogs by trying to login through the WordPress interface. And I was horrified.

What can you do to protect yourself? My advice is simply ‘if you don’t have 2FA enabled, enable it now if you possibly can’. (And if you are one of the folks that still doesn’t have a smartphone, consider a physical device like Yubikey’s devices. Microsoft blogged about using this product for Windows Hello as well.) I won’t cover using these devices in this article, but be aware that if you don’t have a smartphone, you do have an option.) Note that, in some cases, you can use a secondary email address as an option to SMS or Yubikey, but it isn’t as secure and I don’t recommend it.

Two Factor Authentication (2FA) relies on something you know (like a strong password) and something you have (like a cellphone/smartphone) to help secure your email, online email and social media accounts, etc. There are additional ways to use 2FA, and you can read more about this at Wikipedia, Microsoft, and there’s a particularly good write up at Google.

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Get Hue or LIFX light alerts for Dona Sarkar Build Tweets

flight If you’re a hard core Windows Insider, you’ll want to be one of the first to know when new Insider Builds are available for download and corresponding blog posts go up. You can always watch @donasarkars Twitter stream (and check the hints that builds are coming in images she posts), but if you have Hue or LIFX connected bulbs, you can use IFTTT to set up an Applet (used to be called a recipe) to get a visual alert.

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Turn Off Cloud Access to your WD My Cloud Device NOW

The technical press (like Engadget https://www.engadget.com/2017/03/05/wd-my-cloud-security-exploits/) is publishing info about a vulnerability that impacts WD Networked devices that have cloud access enabled. That’s great, but they aren’t providing info for non technical users on how to check their settings and turn off this access is needed. So here is that information:

1.Access the My Cloud Dashboard. To open your My Cloud Dashboard: Windows: Open a web browser and type in //devicename/ (or device IP address) to the browser address bar. If your device is named WDMyCloud, you’d type in //WDMyCloud/ and hit enter. The web page should open. You may need to login (hopefully you’ve password protected your device)
2.Click on the settings option on the top menu.

3. Scroll the page to Cloud Access and verify it is set to off (or turn off if it is on).

wdmycloud

While you are on this page, check the Firmware Update tab on the left and make sure you are on the latest firmware. Upgrade if needed.

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