Windows 11 Update breaks Google Chrome for Malwarebytes users

Windows 11 Update breaks Google Chrome for Malwarebytes users

Google Chrome

Malwarebytes confirmed today that the Windows 11 22H2 KB5027231 cumulative update released this Patch Tuesday breaks Google Chrome on its customers’ systems.  We have received multiple calls about this issue since Tuesday and in troubleshooting this we have seen that the Google Chrome process is actually running, but it is prevented from fully launching/loading.  To the end user it appears that nothing is happening.

Malwarebytes published a support article today confirming the Malwarebytes conflict with Google Chrome after installing the June 2023 Patch Tuesday updates on Windows 11 systems and has released a fix/workaround.


If you are a Malwarebytes user take the following steps to get Chrome working again:

  1. Open Malwarebytes on your device.
  2. On the top right, click the Settings wheel.
  3. Click the Security tab.
  4. Under Exploit Protection, click Manage protected applications.
  5. Toggle off Google Chrome (and plug-ins).
  6. Click Done.
Removing Chrome as a protected app (Malwarebytes)
After you perform the steps listed above restart your computer and you should now be able to launch Google Chrome with no issues!



Email Scams: How to Spot Fake Invoices in Your Email

Email Scams: How to Spot Fake Invoices in Your Email

Cybercriminals are constantly devising new ways to exploit unsuspecting individuals and businesses. One of the most common methods is through fake invoices sent via email. These deceptive messages are designed to trick recipients into paying for goods or services they never ordered or authorized.

Not only do I get these fake invoices sent to me on a weekly basis, but I also answer multiple questions from customers asking about the legitimacy of an email that they have received.  99.99% of the time the invoice is fake.

Let’s look at common signs of fake invoices and provide tips on how to spot them.

Know Who You Do Business With
The overwhelming majority of fake invoices have to do with services or products like antivirus that are set to auto-renew unless you take immediate action.  If you receive an email like this (along with an attached invoice) ask yourself a couple of questions like:  Do I do business with this company?  Do I use their product and/or service?

Familiarize yourself with the companies that you do business with and the products or services of theirs that you use.  If you receive an invoice claiming to be from McAfee or Norton stating that your antivirus is about to expire, but you use Malwarebytes (which can be purchased through us) to protect your computer you can be sure this is a scam.  Delete the email and go happily about your life!

Watch for Generic Emails
One of the first red flags to look out for is a generic or impersonal email. Legitimate invoices often include personalized greetings, recipient details, and specific references to previous transactions and/or account numbers. Fake invoices, on the other hand, tend to lack these personal elements. For instance, an email with a subject line like “Invoice #12345” or a generic salutation like “Dear Customer” should raise suspicion.

The following example was forwarded to me from a customer. Notice that there is no body or subject line, just an attached invoice:

Generic Email. Notice the To and From lines. Not personal and very generic


Examine the Sender’s Email Address
Scammers often use email addresses that resemble legitimate business accounts. However, upon closer inspection, you may notice slight variations or misspellings in the sender’s email address. These subtle differences can be a clue that the invoice is fake. Be cautious of email addresses that include extra numbers, random characters, misspelled domain names, or come from a domain other than the company.  Take a look at the following example that was sent to me.  Notice that it appears to come from McAfee Support but a couple of things are going on here.  For one it actually says McAffee Support (note that McAfee is spelled wrong), and that the ensuing email address does not come from McAfee.com but from a different domain (what is after the @ symbol).  Take a look at the previous example as well and you will see it comes from a Gmail address, and not from the company they are purporting to be.

Email address examination


Hover Over Links and Attachments
Fake invoices often contain malicious links or attachments that can compromise your device’s security or lead to phishing websites. Before clicking on any links (which I don’t recommend doing even if you think the email is legit) or downloading attachments, hover your cursor over them to reveal the actual destination. If the URL seems suspicious or does not match the expected website, refrain from interacting with it and delete the email immediately.  The following example is from an email I received.  I hovered my mouse on the blue “subscription” link and the ensuing box that popped up shows where that link goes to.  Notice that it does not go to McAfee.com at all, but rather to a school website (clicking on the picture will open it in a new tab with a larger view.  Close tab to return to article.)


Hovering over a link shows it does not go to Mcafee.com


Miscellaneous Checks
There are a couple of other things you can do if you doubt the legitimacy of an emailed invoice.

  • Check for spelling or grammar errors.  While it can happen, it would be very doubtful that a company would send out an email containing these types of errors
  • DO NOT call any phone numbers in the email or invoice.  They are trying any way possible to get you to interact with them so they can steal your money.  Any phone number in the email or invoice belongs to the scammer.
  • If in doubt go to the companies website by typing it in to a web browser and look for a Log In link.  You would have to have an established account with them in order for any invoice to be valid.  Try to log in with a user name (usually your email address) and password.  If you do not remember a password click on the I Forgot My Password link.  Once you are able to successfully log in to your account there should be an area for order history and a place to pay any outstanding invoices
  • While on the companies website look for a Contact or Support phone number (do not get this from the email).  Any legitimate invoice will have a reference or invoice number.  Contact the company and reference the invoice number to ensure that it is valid.
  • Use common sense.  If it seem “off” trust your gut.  It usually is

As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, it’s crucial to stay vigilant and informed about potential scams like fake invoices. By recognizing the signs, such as generic emails, suspicious sender addresses, poor formatting, inaccurate contact information, and suspicious links or attachments, you can protect yourself and your business from financial losses and data breaches. Remember to always double-check the authenticity of an invoice before making any payments or sharing sensitive information. Stay alert, stay informed, and stay secure!

Chrome Keyboard Shortcuts

10 Useful Chrome Keyboard Shortcuts

Odds are you use Google Chrome as it is the most poplular browser on the planet.  If you do, keyboard shortcuts can dramatically help speed up some of the most frequently used tasks you do while browsing that will allow you to keep your hands on the keyboard and stop reaching for the mouse.

The shortucts we have listed in this article are for Windows users only, and are some of our favorites.  It should be noted that keyboard shortcuts are available for Windows, Mac, and Linux users.  For a full listing of all shortucts available head on over to the official Chrome Shorcuts Page.  OK, lets dig in!

Reopen previously closed tabs  – Ctrl+Shift+t
This shortuct re-opens previously closed tabs in the order that they were closed.  This is helpful in case you accidentally close a tab, or just want to bring back a recently closed tab.  This will also restore your entire browsing session if you left Chrome open and the computer rebooted for any reason.

Open a new tab in Icognito Mode – Ctrl+Shift+n
This shortuct opens a new window in Icognito Mode.  Incognito Mode is a special mode that prevents Chrome from saving cookies that contain your IP address, login details, and other browsing information.  Websites visited in this mode will not show up in you browsing history.  Incognito Mode is also very useful is when you want to visit sites that want you to subscribe to their content, or have an article limit before you need to subscribe (i.e. newspaper sites).  Going incognito usually lets you read for free, especially if you click on a link from a social media site.

Move to the next open tab – Ctrl+Tab
This shortcut will move you to the next open tab to the right.  If you have many open tabs and are on the last one, using this shortuct will bring you to the first tab open.

Move to the next tab to the left – Ctrl+Pg Up
This shortcut will move you to the next open tab to the left.  If you have many open tabs and are on the first one, using this shortuct will bring you to the last tab open.

Open a new tab – Ctrl+t
This shortcut will open a new tab, and jump to it with the cursor in the address bar.

Jump to the address bar – Ctrl+l (that is a lowercase L not an i)
This shortcut will move your cursor to the address bar on the current page that you are viewing.

Bookmark the current page – Ctrl+d
This shortuct will save the current page in your bookmarks.

Print the current page – Ctrl+p
This shortcut will bring up your print dialog box that will allow you to either print the page or save it as a PDF.

Close the active tab – Ctrl+w
This shorcut will close the active tab (the one you are viewing).

Close the current window – Ctrl+Shift+w
This shortcut will close the current window and all of the tabs you have open in it.

Hopefully these shortcuts will make your browsing a bit easier!  If you found these helpful and would lilke additional shortcuts please don’t forget to vist the Chrome Shortcuts Page.



Should I Upgrade to Windows 10?


If you are running Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 the picture above should be a very familiar sight. Microsoft REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wants you to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. We get calls daily at the shop asking us our opinion about whether to upgrade or not.

Windows 10 is actually a good Operating System, as it blends the best of Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 plus it offers some really cool new features such as the integrated Cortana digital assistant, a revamped Start Menu, the Edge Web Browser, the ability to run Multiple Desktops, and more. But the purpose of this article is not to review the new features of Windows 10, but rather to answer the upgrade question. To cut to the quick, our answer is a resounding NO.

The overwhelming majority of issues we see regarding Windows 10 computers that are brought to our shop are systems that have been upgraded from a previous version of Windows. When Windows 10 comes pre-installed from the factory as the default Operating System, there are very few problems. The computer is fast and stable, and most of the issues are either end user caused, or due to software incompatibility.

Computers today have a lifespan of about 3-4 years. If you have an older version of Windows, odds are your system is nearing or past that mark. Continue to use the system as long as it is running and Microsoft is supporting it (Windows 8 has already been retired), but don’t think you can breathe new life in to it by upgrading your old hardware to Windows 10.

If you really want to try Windows 10 our best recommendation is to buy a new computer with it already installed. If you do try to upgrade your current system to Windows 10, make sure you have an image based backup in case you want to revert back to the way your computer was before the upgrade.

Surge Protectors

Many of the computers that we service are plugged in to a power strip with a surge suppressor. While a battery back up unit is the best form of surge protection, a surge protected power strip is also better than a power strip without surge protection.  But did you know that the surge protection can actually wear out? On average, you should replace your surge protectors about every 2-3 years.

Read More…

Anti-Spyware Products Reviewed

Here we rate some of the various anti-spyware programs available on the market today. While there is no possible way for us to rate every single application available, we have reviewed some of the more popular utilities currently in use.

Anti-Spyware programs can be broken into two separate types:
– Free (downloadable)
– Paid

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Protect Your Computer from Viruses, Spyware, Hackers, and Identity Theft

There are four critical things that every computer user needs to help protect themselves from such nasty things as viruses, spyware, hackers, and identity theft.

These four critical items are:

  1. Windows Updates
  2. Current Updated Anti-Virus Software
  3. Current Updated Anti-Spyware Software
  4. Firewall Protection

Let’s take a closer look at these items one by one.

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