Your Bandwidth Calculator Companion

bandwidth calculator

In today’s hyper-connected world, where every device seems to be vying for a piece of our internet bandwidth, it’s crucial to keep a close eye on our data flow. Bandwidth usage has become a valuable currency, and if left unmanaged, it can quickly spiral out of control, leading to slower speeds, higher costs, and potential data overage charges. But fear not! We have a simple yet powerful solution for you – a bandwidth calculator.
GlassWire Data Calculator is an exceptional tool that will help you calculate your device’s bandwidth usage and stay in control.

Why a Bandwidth Calculator?

Have you ever experienced a sudden slowdown in your internet connection or received an alarming bill from your service provider? These are just some of the consequences of not being aware of your bandwidth usage. On the contrary, by calculating and monitoring the data flowing in and out of your devices, you gain invaluable insights into your internet consumption habits.

Cost Optimization: Understanding your bandwidth usage enables you to make informed decisions about your data plan. In fact, with a bandwidth calculator, you can estimate the amount of data you need and choose an appropriate plan that aligns with your requirements, avoiding unnecessary expenses.

Speed Optimization: Bandwidth-hungry applications and devices can eat up your internet’s capacity, leading to sluggish performance for other activities. By identifying and managing these bandwidth-hogging culprits, you can ensure a smoother online experience for all your connected devices.

Network Security: Monitoring bandwidth usage helps detect any unusual data spikes that may indicate suspicious activity or potential security breaches. By identifying unexpected patterns, you can take timely action to protect your network and devices from unauthorized access or data leaks.

Introducing the GlassWire Data Calculator

Now that you understand the importance of calculating your bandwidth usage, let’s introduce you to a nice-to-have tool that will make this task a breeze: the GlassWire Data Calculator. Along with its main software, allowing you to measure, track, and manage your device’s data usage effectively, GlassWire provides an intuitive and user-friendly interface that allows you to have a rough estimation of the data you consume with your daily activities. 

Using the tool is extremely simple, you just need to quantify your daily activities requiring the Internet. The tool will automatically estimate the amount of data you’ll require to perform these activities.

Take Control of Your Bandwidth Today

With the ever-increasing reliance on internet connectivity, it’s essential to calculate and manage your device’s bandwidth usage effectively. By doing so, you can optimize costs, improve speed, and enhance network security. And with the GlassWire Data Calculator by your side, this task becomes effortless and even enjoyable.

To get started with GlassWire and unleash the full potential of bandwidth management, visit the


Gaming Bandwidth Usage

Why it matters and how to optimize it


As a gamer, you want to have a reliable gaming bandwidth. You know that your internet connection is essential for a seamless gaming experience. But have you ever considered how much bandwidth your gaming session is consuming? Monitoring your gaming bandwidth usage is the first step for understanding your data needs when it comes to playing online games.

A better gaming experience

Without any further ado, let’s start with the basics. 

Data can be transmitted over an internet connection in a given time. Every time you play an online game, your device is constantly sending and receiving data packets. Usually, the more engaging the game, the bigger the amount of data transmitted. We refer to “bandwidth”  when we talk of the amount of data that can be transferred over a given period of time. It’s measured in bits, kilobits, or megabits per second (bps, Kbps or Mbps). A higher bandwidth means more data can be transferred in a shorter amount of time. 

Understanding your data consumption is the first step for optimizing bandwidth usage while gaming and aiming for the best results. This is important for gamers because it affects the speed and quality of your gaming experience. With higher bandwidth, you can enjoy faster loading times, smoother online gameplay, and better streaming quality. On the other hand, a low bandwidth could lead to laggy gameplay and choppy streaming.

The Risks of High Gaming Bandwidth Usage

So, why is monitoring your gaming bandwidth usage important? The answer is simple: bandwidth is a limited resource, and your gaming session can quickly consume it. 

Let’s assume that you have multiple devices connected to the same network. They will all compete for the same bandwidth, resulting in a slower connection and higher latency. This can lead to lag, stuttering, and other performance issues that can significantly impact your gaming experience. Bandwidth can be quickly drained even if you are connected to the internet with just one single device but you have multiple applications running at the same time. 

Here’s why you may want to allocate your bandwidth to the apps (or games) that matter at the time you are using them. In addition, some internet service providers (ISPs) have data caps. This means that you’ll be charged extra if you exceed a specific threshold of data usage. Monitoring your gaming bandwidth usage can help you stay within your ISP’s limits and avoid additional charges.

Tips for Optimizing Your Gaming Bandwidth Usage

Now that you understand why monitoring your gaming bandwidth usage is crucial, let’s look at how you can optimize it. Here are some tips that can help you get the most out of your bandwidth while gaming:

  1. Close all unnecessary applications: Running multiple applications while gaming can significantly impact your bandwidth usage. Close all unnecessary applications, especially those that require a lot of bandwidth, such as streaming services and file-sharing applications.
  2. Use a firewall software to prevent apps from exchanging data on the Internet.
    Lucky you, that’s exactly what GlassWire does!
  3. Use a wired connection: While Wi-Fi is convenient, it’s not always the most reliable option for gaming. A wired connection provides a stable and faster connection, resulting in lower latency and smoother gameplay.
  4. Choose the right server location: When playing an online game, the location of the server can affect your gaming experience. Choose a server location that’s closest to your location to minimize latency and reduce bandwidth usage.
  5. Reduce game settings: High-quality graphics and animations require more data to be transmitted, resulting in higher bandwidth usage. Reduce your game settings to minimize the amount of data transmitted and reduce bandwidth usage.
  6. Monitor your bandwidth usage: Use a bandwidth monitoring tool to keep track of your data usage while gaming. This will help you identify any bandwidth-intensive activities and adjust your gaming habits accordingly.


Do you really want to step up a notch and enjoy a seamless gaming experience? Optimize your bandwidth usage. Keep an eye on your bandwidth usage and follow these tips. This will help you avoid performance issues and stay within your provider’s limits.
Get the most out of your internet connection and play at your best!


Preventing Ransomware: CISA’s Pre-Ransomware Notifications

CISA’s Early Warning System Offers Critical Defense Against Ransomware Threats

Preventing ransomware is a major concern for the vast majority of businesses and individuals.
Is 2023, and ransomware is considered to be the most common form of cyber crime, threatening organizations worldwide. Cybercriminals use this type of malware to encrypt victims’ data and demand payment in exchange for a decryption key. Ransomware can cause staggering financial losses, with some organizations paying millions of dollars to recover their data. Useless to say cybercriminals target everybody, from individuals to banks, with hospitals being the favorite entities due to the sensitive data they manage. As the frequency and severity of ransomware attacks continue to rise, many organizations are looking for ways to protect themselves.

One effective protection comes in the form of early warning notifications from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). By subscribing to CISA’s Pre-Ransomware Notifications, organizations can receive alerts about potential ransomware attacks before they occur. This article explores how these notifications work and why they are an essential tool for organizations looking to defend against ransomware.

Understanding and Preventing Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that cybercriminals use to extort money from victims. Usually, everything begins with a phishing attack. Cybercriminals manage to install the malicious software on the device from a harmless email. Once the malware infects a victim’s computer, it encrypts files on the system and demands payment in exchange for a decryption key. The victim’s files become inaccessible until they pay the ransom, which is often in the form of cryptocurrency or another untraceable payment method.

The financial cost of ransomware attacks can be significant. Organizations may incur significant costs associated with restoring systems and data, investigating the attack, and implementing new security measures to prevent future attacks. Additionally, the reputational damage resulting from a ransomware attack can be severe and long-lasting, like the one that recently happened to Ferrari.

Why CISA’s Pre-Ransomware Notifications Are Critical

Pre-Ransomware Notifications from CISA offer a crucial line of defense against ransomware attacks. These notifications provide advanced warning of potential attacks, giving organizations time to take proactive steps to prevent the attack or mitigate its impact.

CISA’s Pre-Ransomware Notifications are based on threat intelligence gathered from a range of sources, including both open-source and classified information. The agency’s experts analyze this data to identify potential ransomware campaigns and alert organizations that may be at risk.

By subscribing to these notifications, organizations can receive timely alerts about emerging threats, including details about the type of ransomware being used, indicators of compromise, and recommended mitigation strategies. This information can help organizations take steps to protect their systems and data before an attack occurs.

How Pre-Ransomware Notifications Work

To receive Pre-Ransomware Notifications from CISA, organizations must first register for the service. Registration is free and can be completed on the CISA website. Once registered, organizations will receive alerts via email when a potential ransomware attack is detected.

The notifications include detailed information about the threat, including indicators of compromise that organizations can use to identify whether their systems are at risk. CISA also provides recommended mitigation strategies that organizations can implement to protect themselves against the threat.

In addition to these notifications, CISA offers a range of other resources to help organizations defend against ransomware. These include technical guidance on how to secure networks and systems, information about the latest ransomware threats and trends, and advice on how to respond to a ransomware attack.

Why Preventing Ransomware is Critical for both businesses and indivuduals

Prevention is the best defense against ransomware attacks. Once ransomware has infected a system, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to recover the data without paying the ransom. Even if the victim pays the ransom, there is no guarantee that the cybercriminals will provide a decryption key or that the key will work correctly.

By taking proactive steps to prevent attacks, organizations can avoid the financial and reputational damage that comes with a successful ransomware attack. Prevention strategies include implementing robust cybersecurity measures, such as firewalls, antivirus software, and intrusion detection systems. 

Overall, the fight against ransomware requires a multi-faceted approach that involves both proactive measures and effective response. With the help of CISA’s pre-ransomware notifications, organizations can take important steps toward protecting themselves from this growing threat.

It’s also worth noting that ransomware attacks aren’t just a concern for businesses. Individuals can also fall victim to these types of attacks, which can result in the loss of important personal data and financial information. By following best practices for cybersecurity, such as using strong passwords and being cautious about clicking on suspicious links or downloading unknown files, individuals can greatly reduce their risk of a ransomware attack.

Preventing ransomware attacks by subscribing CISA’s Pre-Ransomware Notification is without a doubt among the most effective measures to adopt to mitigate risk of financial loss. Subscrive the service today and protect yourself from potential attacks.


Private Browsing: Is it all it’s cracked up to be?

by Chris Taylor

incognito glasswire

About Chris Taylor:  Chris is on the Community Review Board for SANS’s OUCH! (the security awareness newsletter designed for everyone), has given over 470 computer-related presentations at the Ottawa Public Library, and is President of the Ottawa PC Users’ Group.

For well over 10 years, web browsers have offered private browsing, designed to keep your browsing…well…private.

Google Chrome calls it an Incognito window,  Firefox, Opera & Brave call it a Private window, Microsoft Edge calls it an InPrivate window. The easiest way to get there is to right-click the browser’s icon on the taskbar and choose the appropriate New… item from the pop-up context menu.

When in a private browsing window, browsing history, cookies & site data (such as images and contents of webpages), and information entered in forms are not saved to your computer. Other users on your computer will not be able to see your web browsing activities. When browsing the web, the web servers won’t automatically recognize you as a returning user and you won’t be automatically signed into websites.

When you close a private browsing window, the browser discards site data and cookies created during that private browsing window’s session. Note that you need to close the private browsing window to remove traces. Until you do, a simple click on the back button will return you to the previous page visited in that window.

Private browsing deactivates extensions. You can enable extensions in private browsing windows if you need them. For example, in Google Chrome click the kebab menu ( ) at the top-right of the window. Choose Settings. Find the extension you want to allow in Incognito windows and click Details under that extension. Toggle on Allow in Incognito.

Private browsing is not a panacea

It does not prevent all tracking. While websites do not have the luxury of using cookies to track you, there are many other means of tracking. For example, a web server can know your operating system, browser version, extensions you have loaded, screen resolution, IP address, and more. These data items can be used to fingerprint and track you.

Private browsing does not prevent ads. It does not prevent malware. It does not hide where you are browsing from your ISP or employer.

As Gizmodo reported in October 2022, Even Google’s Own Staff Thinks ‘Incognito Mode’ Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

Where is private browsing useful?

If you are using a computer at a public kiosk, it will prevent the next person using the computer from easily seeing where and what you browsed.

If you use multiple accounts on a single website, a private browsing window can help you keep things separate.

If you are using another person’s computer, it can be helpful in making it less likely you leave traces behind.

Strangely, I have encountered shopping sites that required private browsing for the checkout process to work properly. I guess they didn’t want to sell things to me all that badly.

For more information about private browsing, see


Personal Firewall Explained

You’ve probably heard of personal firewalls if you’re concerned about online security. These software programs are essential tools that act as barriers between your computer and the internet, protecting sensitive data from malicious attacks. In this article, we’ll explain what a personal firewall is, how it works, and why you should consider using one. We’ll also introduce GlassWire, an ideal solution for a personal firewall that offers advanced features and functionalities to keep your computer safe.

What is a Personal Firewall?

A personal firewall is a software program that monitors and controls the traffic that comes into and goes out of your computer. It uses a set of rules to determine whether to allow or block incoming and outgoing traffic, preventing unauthorized access and malicious activities. By acting as a bouncer who checks the ID of everyone who tries to enter a nightclub, a firewall checks the identity and credentials of all incoming and outgoing traffic and blocks anything that doesn’t meet the predefined rules.

There are two types of personal firewalls: hardware-based and software-based. Hardware-based personal firewalls are physical devices that sit between your computer and the internet, and they can be integrated into your router or purchased separately. On the other hand, software-based personal firewalls are software programs that run on your computer and monitor its traffic. Both personal firewalls have advantages and disadvantages, but software-based firewalls are more common and accessible to the average user.

How Does it Work?

A personal firewall works by analyzing the packets of data between your computer and the internet. Each packet contains information about the data’s source, destination, and content. The firewall checks this information against a set of rules to determine whether the packet should be allowed or blocked.

For example, suppose you’re using your computer to browse the internet, and you come across a website that tries downloading a file onto your computer. If the file matches a rule in your firewall that says “block downloads from untrusted websites,” the firewall will block the download and prevent the file from infecting your computer with malware.

Personal firewalls also monitor outgoing traffic to ensure no unauthorized data leaves your computer without your knowledge. For instance, if a piece of malware tries to send your personal information to a remote server, your firewall will block the traffic and notify you of the attempted breach.

Why Should You Use a Personal Firewall?

The primary reason to use a personal firewall is to protect your computer from online threats. Hackers use a variety of techniques to gain unauthorized access to computers, such as phishing emails, malware, and social engineering. Such a security tool can block these attacks and prevent the attacker from taking control of your computer or stealing your sensitive data.

Moreover, a personal firewall can also help you identify and block suspicious traffic from legitimate applications. For example, some applications may send data to remote servers without your knowledge or permission. A personal firewall can detect this behavior and allow you to block the traffic or allow it.

In addition to protecting your computer, a personal firewall can help you monitor your network activity and identify potential security risks. By analyzing the traffic that goes in and out of your computer, you can see which applications are using your network and how much data they’re consuming. This information can help you identify applications that are using too much bandwidth or behaving suspiciously.

Introducing GlassWire: Your Ideal Solution for Personal Firewall

If you’re looking for an ideal solution for a personal firewall, you should consider GlassWire. GlassWire is a user-friendly firewall software offering advanced features and functionalities for novice and advanced users.

One of the key features of GlassWire is its intuitive interface, which allows you to monitor your network activity in real-time and view detailed reports on your traffic usage. You can also use GlassWire to block or allow specific applications from accessing the internet and set up custom alerts to notify you of suspicious activity.

In conclusion, a personal firewall is an essential tool for anyone who wants to protect their computer from online threats. By monitoring and controlling the traffic that comes into and goes out of your computer, a personal firewall can prevent unauthorized access and malicious activities. GlassWire is an ideal solution for a personal firewall, offering advanced features and functionalities that make monitoring and controlling your network activity easy. With GlassWire, you can rest assured that your computer is safe from online threats and that you have full control over your network.


Ferrari data breach – Mar 2023

The Ferrari data breach in March 2023

Ferrari, the renowned Italian luxury sports car manufacturer, recently disclosed that it experienced a data breach after hackers gained unauthorized access to some of the company’s IT systems. The attackers then demanded a ransom not to leak data stolen from its systems.

According to the breach notification letters sent to customers, the cybercriminals were able to access a limited number of systems in Ferrari’s IT environment. The victim confirmed that the stolen data includes the names, addresses, email addresses, and telephone numbers of its customers. However, the company has not yet disclosed whether the breach was a ransomware attack or an extortion attempt.

Upon receiving the ransom demand, Ferrari reported the attack to relevant authorities and initiated an investigation in collaboration with a leading global third-party cybersecurity firm to determine the extent of the breach. The company has taken measures to secure the compromised systems and stated that the attack has had no impact on its operations.

The stolen customer information does not include payment details, bank account numbers, or other sensitive payment information, according to Ferrari’s statement. So far, the company has not found any evidence that such information was accessed or stolen.

A serious threat for cybersecurity

The breach highlights the ongoing threat of cybercrime, particularly for companies with valuable intellectual property or customer data. It is essential for companies to adopt effective cybersecurity measures to prevent attacks and protect their customers’ information.

Ferrari’s response to the breach shows that it takes cybersecurity seriously and has policies in place to deal with incidents of this nature. The company didn’t pay any ransom as it believes that doing so funds criminal activity and perpetuates the problem. Instead, they sent breach notification letters to affected customers, informing them of the potential data exposure and the nature of the incident.

Ferrari’s statement also highlights the importance of collaboration between companies and cybersecurity firms. Working together, they can investigate and mitigate the impact of cyberattacks more effectively.

The famous prancing horse company’s incident serves as a reminder to all companies to review their cybersecurity measures regularly. Businesses should ensure that their systems are up to date, use strong passwords, and limit access to sensitive data. Companies should also educate their employees on cybersecurity best practices to reduce the risk of human error leading to a data breach.

Lesson learned

More than ever it’s crucial for companies to take cybersecurity seriously and to adopt effective measures to protect their customer’s data.
Companies should stay vigilant and implement strong cybersecurity measures, to minimize the risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime.


Internet Connection Monitor

internet connection monitoring

In today’s digital age, the internet has become an essential part of our lives. Whether for work or leisure, most activities rely on a stable internet connection. However, with the increasing frequency of cyber attacks, monitoring our internet connection and the data used by various applications has become crucial. According to a recent study by SonicWall, there were 304.7 million attempted cyber attacks in the first half of 2021 alone, indicating a 47% increase from the same period in 2020.

An Internet connection monitor can help you keep track of your internet usage and identify any potential threats to your online security. In this article, we’ll explore why monitoring your internet connection data and the specific apps using your data is crucial in preventing cyber attacks.

The Importance of Monitoring Your Internet Connection

In today’s digital world, apps have become a part of our daily lives. From social media to banking, we rely on apps for various purposes. However, with the increasing number of cyber attacks targeting apps, monitoring your internet connection data has become crucial to ensure app security. This article explains why monitoring your internet connection data is essential for app security and provides tips on how to do it effectively.

Uncovering Security Threats

Monitoring your internet connection can help you identify potential security threats before they become an issue. This includes activities like phishing emails or apps trying to steal sensitive information. By logging activities on your network, examining logs for malicious activity, and keeping track of user behavior changes, you can avoid potential security threats by spotting them early on.

Network Visibility

By monitoring your internet connection, you can gain visibility into what is happening on your network. You will be able to see which computers are using the most bandwidth, who is accessing sensitive data, and if any suspicious activities are taking place. This information allows you to make sure that all devices connected to your network are secure and that no one is accessing data without authorization.

Avoid Malware Attacks

Malware attacks are becoming increasingly common and are one of the leading causes of data breaches. According to research, there are more than a billion malware programs out there, with over 500,000 being detected every day. When you monitor your internet connection, you can detect suspicious activity that may indicate a malware attack before it becomes a major problem. By identifying these threats early on, you can take steps to mitigate them before any serious damage is done.                             

Detect Suspicious Activities

Monitoring your internet connection also helps you detect suspicious activities, such as unauthorized access attempts or unusual downloads that could indicate malicious activity.

Why Monitor Your App Data?

More than 80% of cyber attacks occur through apps or software vulnerabilities. That’s a pretty startling statistic. As technology continues to advance, the risk of cyber-attacks only increases. It’s more important than ever to monitor your app data and closely monitor the specific apps using your data.

By monitoring your app data, you can catch any unusual activity or suspicious behavior before it becomes a full-blown attack. This means you’ll be able to take action before any damage. With so much sensitive information being stored and transferred online, it’s critical to stay vigilant and protect yourself from cyber threats.

Blocking App From Sharing Data

Blocking apps from sharing data is essential in protecting your personal information and preventing cyber attacks. To function properly, many apps require access to sensitive information, such as your location, contacts, or photos. However, some apps may misuse this information, leading to the compromise of your personal information.

According to research, about 52% of apps share your data. When you block these apps from sharing data, you can ensure your personal information remains secure and is not misused. One way to block apps from sharing data is by adjusting the privacy settings on your device. On most devices, you can choose which apps can access your location, contacts, photos, and other sensitive information.

You can also revoke access to these permissions at any time. This is a simple but effective way to prevent apps from sharing data without your knowledge. It’s important to note that some apps may not function correctly if they do not have access to certain types of information. Therefore, it’s crucial to assess each app’s permission requests carefully and decide if it’s necessary to grant access to the requested information.

The GlassWire Solution

The GlassWire solution is an innovative software that can help you protect your important data, keep control of your internet usage, and stay on top of the latest cyber threats. It uses a visually-focused dashboard and a friendly interface to make monitoring your computer activities incredibly easy. You can easily identify what applications are using the most bandwidth or accessing cloud accounts, allowing you to swiftly spot any suspicious behavior.

Furthermore, it provides access to powerful features such as a two-way firewall, network connection viewer, and more, enabling you to take ownership of your network security. This ensures a safe browsing experience while giving you greater insight into malicious activity.


Monitoring your internet connection and app activity is crucial to protect your personal information and to prevent cyber attacks. By using tools such as GlassWire and blocking apps from sharing data, you can detect and prevent any suspicious behavior before it can cause harm to your system or personal information. Being proactive and vigilant is key to staying safe in today’s digital world, and monitoring your internet connection is an essential step toward achieving this.


Really, really, deleting files
by Chris Taylor

About Chris Taylor:  Chris is on the Community Review Board for SANS’s OUCH! (the security awareness newsletter designed for everyone), has given over 470 computer-related presentations at the Ottawa Public Library, and is President of the Ottawa PC Users’ Group.

When you delete a file in Windows, the actual data on disk is not removed. The file is usually moved to the Recycle Bin where it can be easily recovered. Even if you empty the Recycle Bin or bypass the Recycle Bin by holding down the Shift key while deleting files, the data remains on-disk. All that happens is the pointers to the file are removed, making the space available for new files.

Recovering deleted files

Utilities to recover deleted files date back to Unerase in the first version of the Norton Utilities in 1982. They continue to this day with dozens of free and commercial programs available for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.

If you are in a high-security situation, please ignore this article. It is intended for the average home or business user whose adversaries are not about to use magnetic force microscope techniques to recover data. If you are likely to have the NSA (or CSIS here in Canada) looking for your deleted data, you need to go well beyond what I recommend here.

Making data unrecoverable

When you want to dispose of a storage device, you should ensure all sensitive data is deleted and unrecoverable. This can be achieved by physical destruction of the storage device: hard disk drive (HDD), solid state drive (SSD), flash drive, etc. or—if you want the storage device to be reusable—by over-writing the data areas of the disk with random data, obliterating the original data.

Some secure deletion programs boast of capabilities such as the Gutmann algorithm, which overwrites all data with 35 passes. For the average computer user, I wouldn’t worry beyond a single pass.

There are many programs available, both free and commercial, for secure data removal. The programs I list are not necessarily the best—they are simply programs that have been around quite a while (have stood the test of time), are free, and have been used successfully either by me or members of the Ottawa PC Users’ Group.

Be careful using secure deletion programs. By their very nature, there is no “undo” button! There are several approaches to overwriting data.

Individual files

If you just want to make a few files unrecoverable, there are programs that can target individual files or folders of files. One example is the free and open-source program File Shredder ( It is very simple and straight-forward to use.

Free space

Storage devices eventually end up with data in all locations on the device: the free space has data that was used for files that have since been deleted. You have no way of knowing what recoverable data might be there. Some programs can target free space and securely overwrite data there. File Shredder is one program that can wipe free space.

Entire disks

If you want to securely delete all data on an entire storage device, HDShredder ( is available in free and commercial versions. The free version should be sufficient for the vast majority of users. The website details the additional capabilities in the commercial versions.

Another popular program for securely erasing all data on storage devices is the free and open-source DBAN ( Blancco acquired DBAN in 2012 and is no longer in development, but remains popular. I recently had occasion to use DBAN to help a friend dispose of an old laptop and it was quite easy to use DBAN to ensure the entire hard drive was securely wiped.

DBAN comes as a disk image (.ISO file) so you will need a program to create a bootable flash drive, CD, or DVD using the DBAN ISO file. Free options are available such as Rufus (, NCH Software’s Express Burn ( and Ashampoo Burning Studio Free (

Solid state drives

Due to the architecture of the technology, you can not securely wipe SSDs in the same manner as HDDs. If you want to securely delete data from SSDs, check that the software you are using specifies that it works on SSDs. EaseUS has a free version of Partition Manager that can securely erase SSDs.

Some SSD manufacturers provide special utilities to securely wipe their devices such as Samsung’s Magician ( or Crucial’s Storage Executive ( Personally, if the manufacturer of your SSD has a special utility for securely erasing their branded SSDs, I would choose that option.

Final words

Rather than destroying or securely wiping your old storage devices, you might want to repurpose them for your own use. Inexpensive drive enclosures are available: you can install your old storage device in one and then plug it into a USB port to use it as an external drive.

While this article details effective means of securely removing data, if you can’t be sure you have completely removed all sensitive files from your device, you might be better off destroying the device rather than disposing of it.


Spring cleanup
by Chris Taylor

Spring cleanup

About Chris Taylor:  Chris is on the Community Review Board for SANS’s OUCH! (the security awareness newsletter designed for everyone), has given over 470 computer-related presentations at the Ottawa Public Library, and is President of the Ottawa PC Users’ Group.

Some look to spring as a time of review. I don’t think we should only review our computing environments that infrequently, but spring is good too! Here are some things I think are worthy of periodic review.

Don’t get compromised

Review your settings in GlassWire to make sure you are getting the best security from the program. I recommend setting the firewall to Ask to connect and in Settings > VirusTotal, check the boxes for Enable manual file analysis by VirusTotal and Automatically analyze all apps with network activity with VirusTotal.

Check that your operating system and programs have the latest security updates and all auto-update functions are working properly.

Check the settings in your anti-virus and make sure it is updated to the latest program and signature files. Run a full anti-virus scan of all storage devices on your computer. Double-check that your anti-virus is not missing anything by running a free on-demand virus scan from any number of major anti-virus vendors.

Get a vulnerability management program that can check all your installed programs for security patches.

Review your authentication to devices and services. Use unique, strong passwords for every service, multi-factor authentication, and a password manager. Review the answers to password-reset questions: use nonsensical answers and record them in your password manager.

Set the DNS on routers and other devices to use a DNS resolver such as Quad9 or OpenDNS that can block you from going to malicious sites.

Verify the security settings on your router and make sure it is running the latest firmware. Check to see what devices are connecting to your router.

Don’t lose your important data

Backups are one of the most important factors in making sure data is safe and secure. Image, real-time, and offsite backups are all important in ensuring you don’t lose data. Near real-time backup can be achieved for free with Windows’s built-in File History. For image backups, there are many free and paid programs. Be careful if choosing a cloud backup provider: the features, limitations and costs vary wildly!

Review your backup strategy to make sure all threats are covered. Test your backups: we don’t back up for backup’s sake, we back up so we can recover.

Make sure you have at least two accounts on your computer that have Administrator-level access to aid in recovery should your main account becomes corrupted.

Drop stuff you don’t need

Check your password manager for sites and services you no longer use and delete your accounts from those services. If a service is compromised, it may provide a foothold to an attacker.

Use the Windows tools Disk Clean-up and Storage Sense to get rid of dross clogging your drive and making your backups bigger than they need to be. There are also 3rd party tools available that can help you clean up your storage.

Uninstall programs that you no longer use. Not only do they use up space, but they also represent potential vulnerabilities.

If you are getting rid of old computing devices, make sure to sanitize them by securely erasing all personal information. If you can’t be sure data is unrecoverable, it might be best to destroy rather than discard.

Review all your online subscriptions. Get rid of those you don’t need. It can not only reduce your email load, but in the case of paid subscriptions, you can save money with any that are set to auto-renew.


Configure financial accounts so they send you alerts when a transaction is made or there is suspicious activity.

If you are a parent, review parental controls and settings on young’uns’ devices and accounts.

Review privacy settings on social media accounts. Don’t share more than you need to.

Tidy up email. Review your email filters and contacts. Check at to see if your email address has showed up in data breaches.

Tweak system performance. Task Manager’s Processes tab can help you track down programs hogging CPU cycles, memory, disk activity and Internet bandwidth. Use the Startup tab to disable auto-start for programs you really don’t need running all the time.

Ensure your online accounts can be handled by someone in the event of your incapacity or death.

Related previous articles I have written

“Public DNS Resolvers” (June 2018)

“Security – it’s all about layers” (July 2018)

“Outbound firewall protection” (September 2018)

“Protecting your passwords” (October 2018)

“Why backup?” (February 2019)

“Home wireless security” (April 2019)

“Passwords” (May 2019)

“Updating Your Operating System and Programs” (July 2019)

“Check your backups” (August 2019)

“File History” (December 2019)

“Attack surface” (March 2021)

“Password strength” (December 2021)

“Cleaning up your disk” (March 2022)

“Disabling automatic sign-in to Windows” (September 2022)

“Re-authentication when resuming” (October 2022)

“Re-authentication after inactivity” (November 2022)


Monitoring Data Usage: A Critical Aspect of Cybersecurity

monitor data

The use of technology in various aspects of life has increased dramatically in recent years. With the rise of the internet, the amount of data being transmitted and received has increased significantly. As a result, monitoring data usage has become a critical aspect of cybersecurity. In this article, we will discuss the importance of monitoring data usage in Windows and the potential risks associated with not doing so.

Why monitor data usage in Windows?

Windows is a widely used operating system and is present in many devices such as computers, laptops, and mobile phones. The amount of data that is transmitted and received through these devices is substantial, and it is crucial to monitor it to prevent potential security risks.

One of the primary reasons for monitoring data usage is to protect sensitive information. Sensitive information could include personal information such as credit card numbers, bank account details, and social security numbers. If this information is transmitted or received without proper encryption, it could be intercepted by unauthorized individuals and used for malicious purposes.

Another reason to monitor data usage is to detect malware. Malware is malicious software that is designed to cause harm to a device or network. It can be transmitted through infected email attachments, websites, or even advertisements. If malware is present on a device, it can cause a wide range of problems, including data theft, data corruption, and unauthorized access to the device or network.

The importance of monitoring data usage also lies in identifying network anomalies. Network anomalies refer to unexpected changes in the network traffic patterns. These changes can indicate the presence of malware or other malicious activities. For example, if there is a sudden increase in the amount of data being transmitted, it could indicate the presence of malware that is exfiltrating data from the device or network.

How to monitor data in Windows?

There are several ways to monitor data usage in Windows. One of the easiest ways is to use the built-in Task Manager. The Task Manager provides information on the amount of network data that is being transmitted and received. It also provides information on the process that is using the network, which can help in identifying potential security risks.

Another way to monitor data usage in Windows is to use third-party software. There are many software solutions available that can help in monitoring data usage. These solutions provide more detailed information on the amount of data being transmitted and received and can also provide alerts if there are any unusual changes in the network traffic patterns.

Another tool that can be used to monitor data usage in Windows is the Windows Resource Monitor. The Resource Monitor provides information on the amount of network data that is being transmitted and received and also provides information on the process that is using the network. It can also be used to identify potential security risks by displaying any processes that are using a large amount of network resources.

Possible scenarios in which monitoring data usage is important

There are several possible scenarios in which monitoring data usage is important. One scenario is when an employee is using a company device to access sensitive information. In this case, it is important to monitor the data usage to ensure that the sensitive information is being transmitted and received securely and to detect any potential security risks.

Another scenario is when a user is accessing a public Wi-Fi network. Public Wi-Fi networks are often unsecured, which makes them a prime target for hackers. Monitoring data usage in this scenario is important to prevent potential security risks, such as the interception of sensitive information or the transmission of malware.

A third scenario is when a device is infected with malware. In this case, monitoring data usage is important to detect any unusual changes in the network traffic patterns, which could indicate the presence of malware.

GlassWire to monitor your data

GlassWire is a powerful and user-friendly tool that makes it easier to monitor data usage in Windows. With GlassWire, users can easily view the amount of data that is being transmitted and received, and can also monitor the processes that are using the network. The software provides detailed visualizations of network activity, including graphs and charts that show the amount of data being transmitted and received over time.

GlassWire also provides alerts for potential security risks. If there is an unexpected change in the network traffic patterns, such as a sudden increase in data usage, GlassWire will alert the user and provide information on the process that is using the network. This allows users to quickly identify and address potential security threats.

Another feature of GlassWire is its firewall. The firewall provides an additional layer of security by controlling which processes can access the network. This helps to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information and protects against the transmission of malware.

The software also has a privacy mode that allows users to hide their network activity from others. This is useful for those who are using public Wi-Fi networks and want to ensure that their sensitive information is not being intercepted.

GlassWire also has a feature that allows users to monitor data usage on mobile devices. This is useful for those who are using both a Windows device and a mobile device and want to monitor the data usage on both devices from one central location.

In conclusion, GlassWire is an excellent tool for monitoring data usage in Windows. Its user-friendly interface, detailed visualizations, and security features make it easy for users to monitor their network activity and protect against potential security risks. With GlassWire, users can have peace of mind knowing that their sensitive information is secure and that their devices are protected from malware.


GlassWire 3.2 is here!

Head over to our Download page to install the most recent version of GlassWire.

Along with improvements and bug fixes, we have collated feedback and suggestions from our users and implemented some fundamental changes with the release of GlassWire 3.2.

Removal of Mandatory Log in

Users will no longer be required to create or log in to a GlassWire account to use the Windows app. 

Users can optionally register their GlassWire application to access the Management Console from where they can upgrade to or cancel their full-feature Plan and have full control of billing.

Free GlassWire

Free users of GlassWire will now have access to almost every GlassWire feature, with various limitaitons.

Security features that Free users can now utilize include:

GlassWire Score – Gain better insight into the safety of the applications running on a PC. See what percentage of users have used a specific app in the past week and be alerted if specious.

Anomaly Detection – Detect and point out anomalies in the network traffic which may look suspicious. See if the average traffic in and traffic out consumption of the applications running is similar to most, and be alerted when it is different.

Firewall Click to block all network connectivity for specific applications. 

Things – See a list of devices on the local network and get alerted when devices join or leave with this network device list feature.

See a full feature list and comparison for GlassWire Free vs GlassWire Premium here.


Randomize MAC address

by Chris Taylor

About Chris Taylor:  Chris is on the Community Review Board for SANS’s OUCH! (the security awareness newsletter designed for everyone), has given over 470 computer-related presentations at the Ottawa Public Library, and is President of the Ottawa PC Users’ Group.

Every network interface has a Media Access Control (MAC) address, made up of 12 hexadecimal (0-9,A-F) digits. The first 6 digits are the manufacturer’s ID and the last 6 digits are the device identifier assigned by the manufacturer. The MAC address is normally hardcoded into the device when manufactured.

MAC addresses must be unique on a Local Area Network (LAN) and the above scheme pretty much assures this, given that each manufacturer has over 16.7 million possible device IDs.

When unique identifiers don’t change, people can use them to track you. For example, a shopping mall with free Wi-Fi could use your MAC address to track you: how often you go there, what areas of the mall you frequent, how long you stay there, etc. To prevent this, Windows allows you to randomize your MAC address so it is different every time you connect to WiFi.

 Go to Settings | Network & Internet | WiFi and toggle on Use random hardware addresses.

If you have connected to a network before, Windows will not use a random MAC address for that network until you tell Windows to forget that network and you reconnect. Or you can set any specific WiFi network at Settings | Network & Internet | WiFi | Manage known networks. Select a network, click Properties and toggle on Use random hardware addresses.

If you have configured your home router to only permit specific MAC addresses to connect, make sure you set your own network to not use random hardware addresses.