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. For more see his personal website This is a weblog of Michael Horowitz. The opinions expressed here are those of Michael Horowitz and may not represent those of Computerworld.

Latest Posts by Michael

Five ways to increase the security of email at a hacker conference or any hostile environment.

July 10, 2014 7:01 PM EDT

By the end of 2014, Comcast plans on having enabled 8 million quasi-public XFINITY WiFi hotspots. Many of these hotspots will run off the home routers of Comcast customers (look for a network called xfinitywifi). Here I offer a long list of security issues with XFINITY WiFi.

June 27, 2014 9:43 PM EDT

WPS  is an alternate on-ramp to a Wi-Fi network. It is also a security nightmare, and it has just been extended to include NFC. No WPS for me, thank you. 

April 12, 2014 2:05 PM EDT

In a 4th consecutive Chromebook blog, I look at the way Google handles updates to Chrome OS (the operating system on a Chromebook) and why it should produce a more reliable system.   

March 12, 2014 7:05 PM EDT

My last two blogs were about the security offered by Chromebooks, focusing first on traveling, then on running Flash. Here I discuss how easy it is to own a Chromebook. Basically, they require no ongoing care and feeding. Quite revolutionary. 

March 04, 2014 6:17 PM EST
Recently Adobe released, yet another, emergency fix to their Flash player. It has been obvious for a long time that we can't trust Flash. Yet, despite a history of bugs that rivals Java, Flash remains popular. If you regularly need to use Flash enabled websites, the safest platform for doing so is a Chromebook.
February 26, 2014 5:46 PM EST

In response to the pathetic report by Richard Engel of NBC about computer security in Russia and the Olympics, I argue that a Chromebook offers the most security possible when visiting enemy territory, wherever that may be. This is not the standard, oft-repeated advice offered by security companies.  

February 14, 2014 2:24 PM EST

Tech support from Windows runs into a Chromebook. 

February 07, 2014 7:49 PM EST

When Windows users download the Adobe PDF Reader they are told that the download is roughly 48MB.  But that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to total hard drive space needed by the Adobe Reader. 

February 06, 2014 1:22 PM EST (cc by-sa 2.0)

Recently routers from Linksys, Netgear, Cisco and others were found to have a huge security flaw. Here I attempt to explain the flaw, show how to test if a router is vulnerable, and offer advice on dealing with a router with a port 32764 problem. 

January 27, 2014 11:20 PM EST
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