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It’s only been a month since WannaCry Ransomware swept across the globe, crippling government systems and major businesses. Now there is a new threat called Petya, which is causing similar damage across even more multinational businesses and government systems. As these attacks become even more malicious and more common, it’s important to take steps ensure you don’t fall victim to any form of Ransomware.
How to Find and Remove Stalkerware from your Computer or Mobile Device.
The latest ransomware attack, which has been named as Petya, has ravaged a score of multinational companies across the globe, even shutting down servers at Russia’s largest oil company. You’re probably thinking you have no hope in protecting yourself from an attack that can shut down a business of that size but you couldn’t be more wrong. Some of the simpliest and most common sense solutions will save you serious heartache.
Some of the first major companies affected by Petya Ransomware. (Source ABC News Australia)
AP Moller-Maersk: oil and shipping, Denmark
Mondelez International: food and drinks United States
DLA Piper: International law firm, US & UK
WPP: Advertising, London
Merck: The second-largest drug manufacturer in the United States
Rosneft: Russia’s largest oil company
Ukraine: power grid, banks, government offices and international airport
TNT Express: Netherlands
Generally, these kind of ransomware attacks exploit system weaknesses, caused by poor security update management. Putting it simply computers, servers, and programs that haven’t had the latest software updates installed.What to do if you have been Affected by Petya Ransomware.
The first and most important thing you need to do if you have been affected by any kind of ransomware is to not pay the ransom. There is no certainty that paying will unlock your computer and it also encourages the creators of ransomware to continue with these kind of attacks.
How to Decrypt Ransomware Infected Files, Folders, and Hard Drives.How to Safeguard Against Ransomware attacks.
Next and equally as important, is making sure you don’t open email attachments you aren’t sure of, especially word documents, pdfs and any .exe files. If you receive an email from an unknown address, delete it as soon as possible without opening it. You should also make a habit of scanning all emails with your security and antivirus programs, even if you are confident the file is ok.
So far the only good thing to come out of any Ransomware attack was in Australia, where the Government had to discard every speeding fine issued to drivers since the WannaCry attack, as WannaCry affected the entire countries fixed speed cameras!
You're reading How To Protect Yourself From The New Petya Ransomware Attack.
Recently, a major flaw in WiFi’s WPA2 protocol was revealed to the world. This flaw allows a hacker to peek at a user’s network traffic and learn information such as sensitive passwords and private information. It was given the name “KRACK” (which stands for “Key Reinstallation Attack“) and works by exploiting a point of weakness that occurs when someone logs into a WiFi network with WPA2 security.How Does It Work?
When your computer wants to talk to your router, it will need an encryption key to do so. These keys should only be used once in order for them to be effective, but an exploit has been discovered that forces a connection to use an old key again. This flaw occurs during the “4-way handshake” when your computer logs onto a WiFi network. This handshake is, essentially, a series of security formalities your computer and router undertake when connecting.
Step three of the 4-way handshake involves the router handing a fresh encryption key to the computer. If the router doesn’t receive a message from the computer saying it received the code, it will resend it to make sure the computer received it. If a computer detects that step three has been resent, it will reinstall the encryption code. However, this re-installation resets its cryptographic nonce to its default value which compromises the encryption.
Hackers exploit this by watching the traffic as someone connects. When they detect a connection, they copy the router’s transmission during step three of the handshake and send it to the victim’s computer. The computer, now seeing two identical transmissions, thinks the router is re-sending step three. This causes a reinstallation of the key, which then resets the nonce.
Now that the computer is using an old nonce that has been used before, the hacker can get past the encryption and read the data packets. This completes the KRACK WiFi vulnerability method. A more in-depth description of the attack can be found on the KRACK Attacks website.How to Protect Yourself
The main problem with the KRACK WiFi vulnerability is that it’s not targeting a specific device or OS. This is exploiting the WPA2 encryption standard which is used by every device with WPA2 WiFi capabilities. Given how WPA2 has been a popular WiFi standard for a long time, this affects most computers, devices, and routers that connect to the internet via WiFi.
In order to stay safe from KRACK, you can do the following to help protect yourself.Update Your Devices and Routers
With this being such a huge exploit, the companies that use WPA2 in their products are pushing to get a fix out. This includes both operating systems and routers. For your operating system, check for any updates to see if a patch has been rolled out. Windows has already published a patch that fixes this issue, so make sure you’re up to date on your Windows Updates. For your router, check to see if a firmware update has been pushed that patches this vulnerability. If not, get in contact with its manufacturer for any updates.Don’t Use Public WiFi
Public WiFi has always been a honeypot for hacking attempts, and this new exploit does not help matters. If the owner of the public WiFi hasn’t updated its router’s firmware, it may still be susceptible to the KRACK WiFi vulnerability. As such, it may be a hotspot for a hacker trying to glean personal information from the packets. For the time being, try not to use public WiFi connections. If you have to use one, try not to enter any personal information while using it.Use Sites with HTTPS
When you’re logging into sites, make sure the security certificate beside the website says “HTTPS.” A KRACK can strip the connection of HTTPS encryption to read the data within the packets. If you see a HTTPS certificate on a website, your connection should still be secure. If it’s gone, it’s a sign that something has gone very wrong. Do not enter your information into sites without a HTTPS certificate, especially if it had one previously.Get Off WiFi Altogether
If you can’t update your devices or your router, you can go the WiFi-less route instead. Set mobile phones to use cellular data for the time being and connect computers and laptops to your router via Ethernet. The KRACK WiFi vulnerability won’t affect you if you don’t use WiFi at all, so this will keep you safe from any potential attacks.Cracking Down on KRACK
While KRACK is a serious issue that affects a lot of devices worldwide, efforts are always underway to fix it. Now you know how KRACK works and how to protect yourself from the attack.
Does the KRACK WiFi vulnerability worry you? Let us know below.
Simon Batt is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for cybersecurity.
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If not removed from your device the Trojan poses a lot of risk including loss of data or even invasion and theft of personal information. A common malware in your android phone mimics the Trojan: Win32/Occamy.C. Trojan: Win32/Occamy.C is a Windows specific Trojan that collects private information from the host device. Similar is the case with Android malware which intrudes user’s privacy.
Luckily, there are ways you can protect your device from such attacks. And if they have already invaded your phone, there are ways to locate and remove them.
Shut Down The Device And Do Your Due Diligence
The moment you notice or realize that your device is under attack, shut it down. Whilst this action may not remove the malware attack, it prevents the spread as well as the lethal repercussions of the attack. This means that although the malware attack will still be in your device system, it will be inactive whilst the device is turned off.
Turning off your device gives you time to figure out what kind of malware attack is under. It also gives you the time you need to conduct proper research on how to address the problem. The research shouldn’t only be limited to finding a way to get rid of the malware. It should also allow you to reflect on your activities to prevent future attacks. Think of what app you installed? What sites did you visit? Did you hand over your device to anyone?
Switch To Safe Or Emergency Mode
As easy as it may sound, it is not that easy in practice, especially for a non-tech savvy. Thus, if the malware attack seems too serious or uncontrollable, it always better to seek help from a professional. There may be well versed in finding a solution to the device – sometimes, it may even require a full wipe of your device.
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It is also not as easy for everyone to note which app is actually responsible for the malware attack. The best way to figure this information is to access the settings of your Android device. Once in the settings, go to the apps section to which you will have access to a list of all the installed apps in your device. Look for the app that has infected your device and immediately disable it. You can choose to install, force close or force stop the app, depending on what the device will let you do.
Delete Suspicious Apps
Additionally, malware developers spend time to design these attacks making some smart enough to manipulate your device settings. This malware tends to invade your device administrator to protect itself. Thus, make it a point to also audit your phone setting and administrator. If manipulated, you can overturn your device administrator and enable the ability to remove android malware. This should then allow you to uninstall unwanted and suspicious apps.
Install Malware Protection
Malware protection should, in fact, be installed even before a malware attack to ensure that your phone is always protected. Antimalware apps and programs work by scanning any downloaded or installed programs and weeds out any suspicious or malicious ones.
Thus, after deleting the infected app, immediately download antimalware protection to start protecting your device instantaneously. There are many good and popular malware protection programs to choose from. You can access reputable malware protection apps easily from your Google Play Store. Simply do your due diligence to ensure they are legitimate.
Although it is proven that they are ways to detect and remove malware threats from your Android device – by the time, you are addressing this issue, the attacks would’ve already made even at a small level, some damage. Thus, it is better to simply be smart and protect yourself. Always do some reasoning before installing an app or accessing a new site.
Scrutinize and audit apps before you install them into your device, and never leave or “borrow” your device to anyone. As much as updating the apps in your device is important, this process also exposes it to potential malware attacks – thus, make the right judgment.
The email starts off with “This is an extortion email” and goes on to say if you do not pay a certain amount of money, the sender will hit your website with tactics they call negative SEO.
Yes, negative SEO exists and can impact your site’s performance on Google. Scraped content from your website, spammy links, and unnatural anchor text are all evidence that your site might have been a victim of negative SEO. While it is difficult to avoid an attack, especially for larger sites, it is not impossible to stay protected.What Exactly is Negative SEO?
Negative SEO is when someone uses unethical, black hat techniques to harm a website’s rankings in the search results. Basically, they do everything Google says not to do in order to make it look you are violating Google policies. Although negative SEO can take different forms, here are some common ways your site can be attacked:
Building bad links to your site using unrelated keywords
Hacking your website to add malicious code
Creating fake social profiles of your companyWhy Can Negative SEO be Risky?
Google can’t always tell the difference between a site being hit with negative SEO and an actual spammer, which is why you should always keep an eye on your websites links and traffic. Start-ups or new websites are generally not a target (but they can be); it is usually bigger websites that become the prey.
Google has started to address this issue and is now providing solutions through the Google Webmaster Tools and the Disavow tool. This is another reason why people tend to avoid taking a risk.
There’s either good SEO or bad SEO. Negative SEO is an intentional act of spamming a website or over-optimizing it to lower its rankings in SERPs or get it penalized by Google (in worst-case scenarios).Types of Negative SEO
Unfortunately, negative SEO works incredibly well and has the potential to harm your site in many different ways. Let’s dig deeper into the world of negative SEO before you get hit by Google’s ban hammer.
Here are the types of negative SEO your business can encounter:Bad Links
Your competitor can build bad links to your website by paying off a few dollars to adult sites, gambling sites, or a banned website. Creating a link farm is the easiest way to get you hit with a Google penalty. This is done by creating a group of websites that hyperlink to each other to increase the number of incoming links.
If a competitor does this aggressively enough, Google may ban your site. Some aggressive negative SEOs will only target to take down a specific page on the website by building low-quality links to a subpage.Unnatural Anchor Text
Unnatural anchor text is a link using anchor text that is not related to the page on which it exists or is linked to. It is a common negative SEO technique that can harm your ranking and get you penalized. Thus, it is vital to ensure all the anchor text linking to your website uses relevant keywords.Domain Redirects
A 301 redirect passes 90-99 percent of the link juice or ranking power to the redirected page. When used for negative SEO, the competitor can:
301 redirect unrelated/banned domains to your site
301 redirect gambling/SEO/pharma/adult domains to your siteVirus and Malware
Implantation of malware can result in site intrusion. If a malicious code is entered into the HTML source code of your website by a hacker, Google could quickly de-list your site. You would probably find out the code was inserted after receiving an alert email in your Webmaster Tools account or if somebody saw a notice on Google upon searching for your website.
A virus or Trojan Horse can lower a website’s trust rating. As a result, your website is likely to be reported as unreliable. WordPress hacks and SQL Injection are two common tactics used in negative SEO. Moreover, your site can also be infected with a display message like “This site may harm your computer”.Playing Profile Games Maximizing Problems
Yet other tactics that can be used to attack your website with negative SEO including:
Linking the website to pages that do not exist
Creating multiple duplicate content (which will get Google’s immediate attention)How Can You Find Out if your Website is a Victim of Negative SEO?
Finding out whether or not your site has been affected by negative SEO can be difficult. Here are some tips to spot any negative SEO attacks on your site:Sudden Fall in Search Traffic
If you haven’t gone against the Google Webmaster guidelines but there’s a massive drop in search traffic, you might be a victim of negative SEO. This is why it is important to pay attention to traffic coming to your website. This can be done by using a variety of tools like Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, Searchmetrics, SEMrush, etc.
Go to Google Analytics and open your website
Google Webmaster Tools
Login to your Google Webmaster Tools account.
You will get a graph reflecting your website’s traffic. Go through this data to find out if traffic to your website has fallen recently.
For a quick review, try these tools:
Go to Searchmetrics’ Essentials page
Look for the Start your analysis now button on the right side and enter your website URL
The dashboard will show you a graph of your website’s SEO visibility and paid visibility and the traffic coming to your website.
Go to SEMrush
Type in your website URL
Different graphs and charts on the dashboard will show the changes in traffic and an overview of the website.Conduct a Backlink Audit
Spammers can build low quality links to your site. Conducting a backlink audit is the most important step you can take to see if your website is a victim of negative SEO. Use tools like Google Webmaster Tools, Ahrefs, and Open Site Explorer to see if someone is building spammy links to your site.
Google Webmaster Tools
You can use Google Webmaster Tools to download your site’s latest links.
Go to Google Webmaster Tools
This will give you an overview of all your inbound links.
Under “How your data is linked” section, you can find pages that are linked to most often within your website.
Export both of these reports to check for low quality websites linking to your site and anchor text that is too long.
Go to chúng tôi and enter your full domain into the search bar.
This will show you a report with all the link information and a lot of data to analyze.
Look out for links that appear on a domain not indexed by Google, websites with malware warnings, link farms, or links from a page with zero Google PageRank.
This is another great tool for backlink profile analysis. On the homepage of Majestic SEO, type your site name into the search bar and make sure to check Use Fresh Index.
This will give you a list of your top backlinks with URL flow metrics, domain flow metrics, and link type.
Open Site ExplorerCheck for Unnatural IPs
If your site and target markets are located entirely in a particular country, foreign IPs or TLDs should not be pointing to your site. Check for these foreign IPs and pay attention if there are multiple links from the same IP irrespective of the domain.
SEMrush can be used to check IPs. This can be done by:
Enter the domain of your website on the homepage
Select Referring IPs from the drop downCheck for Duplicate Content
Also check for duplicate copies of your content across the web. Copyscape is a great tool you can use to check for duplicity of your content. All you have to do is enter your site’s URL and the tool will scan the content to see if it has been copied elsewhere on the web.How to Combat Negative SEO
If you were too late to take preventive measures against negative SEO and it has already caused a severe harm, it’s time to run a full-fledged rescue operation!
Data Organization: Organize all the link data you have collected from Google Webmaster Tools, Ahrefs, Majestic SEO, and Open Site Explorer then copy/paste the data from each link source into relevant sheets. Make sure you remove the duplicates from the sheet by going to the Data tab and selecting “Remove Duplicates”, so you have only one URL link.
Identifying Bad Links: When there’s a relatively huge list of backlinks, it gets time-consuming to go through each one of them for the bad links identification purpose. Use tools like URL Profiler, CognitiveSEO, and Backlinks Monitor, to identify bad links and unnatural anchor text.
Disavow the Bad Links: After you have identified and made the list of the links to be removed, submit the data into the Disavow Tool. The Disavow Tool will label a link with a tag so that Google algorithm does not credit it to your site in a positive or negative way, but keep in mind there are mixed reports on the efficacy of the tool.
You can use the Disavow tool to disavow individual links or the whole domain. I recommend using the tool as the last resort. Here’s a complete guide on Identifying Bad Links and Pruning Them Using Google’s Disavow Tool.
Contact the Webmasters: The key point to understand is that disavowing a link won’t help you come out clean. You need to contact the domain webmasters and ask them to remove these links. Getting the contact details of all these bad links might take you several days. This is where tools such as URL Profiler and Rmoov come handy:
The tool will take some time to fetch contact details for you.
You can try the tool free for 30 days before going for the paid version.
Rmoov is one of the best tools to help find webmasters’ contact information quickly. In addition to providing contact details, the tool can also send automated link removal requests to webmasters on your behalf. The email can be customized and SMTP password can be shared to send bulk link removal emails on your behalf
You can try the Basic version of the tool, which is available for free, to check the effectiveness of the tool. However, there are limitations on number of campaigns and URLs processed. The basic version allows you to search only 250 URLs. Register for the paid version for more URLs.
Some webmasters might immediately remove the links, if you are lucky, while others may try to charge you money. If they are trying to charge you to remove the links, simply mark down the site and attach the correspondence details to the reconsideration request you will be sending to Google.How to Prevent Negative SEO
Prevention is always better than cure. Here are several measures you can take to prevent negative SEO.Set up Google Webmaster Tools Email Alert
This should be your very first step to combat negative SEO. By setting up the alerts, you will receive an email from Google if:
Your website is attacked by malware
There’s a server connectivity problem
You have received a manual penalty from GoogleGoogle Alerts
Google Alerts will help you keep an eye on what others are saying about your website. You will be notified immediately of any review or mention of your website on Google.
Enter the URL of your website
Choose All Results from the drop down on How Many
Enter your email to create alertKeep Track of your Social Media Mentions
Spammers might also adopt techniques like creating fake social media profiles of your account. Report them immediately as spam.
You can use chúng tôi to find out if someone is using your brand name on social media. Whenever someone mentions your company’s name on social media, you will be notified.Conclusion
If you receive an email threatening harm to your site with negative SEO tactics if you do not pay up, it is important to stay calm and report the email to Google. Extortion emails are cropping in the industry a lot lately, so make sure you take measures to stay safe.
You should also ensure your site is verified in Google Webmaster Tools and check your links regularly in the above mentioned tools. If you suspect your site has been targeted by negative SEO, follow the steps mentioned above. Negative SEO is a serious issue and should be handled carefully. Just stay a little extra vigilant and make sure you stay protected.
Featured Image: vetkit via Shutterstock
WHO, Italy Prime Minister Giuseppe, India’s honorable Prime Minister Modi ji and many Dr’s also said that do quarantine yourself at home and do your work from home to control the effect of Coronavirus.
Please understand stay safe and stay homeQuarantine: –
It is for healthy people who may have been exposed to the disease if you have visited an affected country recently or have come in close contact with someone who has tested +ve. Quarantine is intended to restrict movement. Health agencies recommend a minimum 14 -days quarantine as an incubation period to see if flu-like symptoms develop. A quarantine person can live with their family or roommates.Isolation: –
It is for those who are exhibiting symptoms or have tested +ve. The objective of isolation is to prevent the infected person from spreading the virus before they recover.
Don’t share your dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with anyone including your pets. wash these items after you can use them.
Countertops, laptops, doorknobs, bathroom fixture, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and besides tables are considered “high-touch surfaces-wipe them often with a household cleanser.
Frequently wipe down surfaces that may be contaminated by bodies fluids, including blood and stool.
Family members and other occupants should monitor the patient’s symptoms and call a health provider if they see a turn for the worse.
When around the patient, household members must wear a face mask, and both mask and gloves if they have contact with the patient’s bodily fluids. These should be thrown away immediately, never reused.
Elderly members and pregnant women of the household and those with chronic medical conditions are at particular risk if they are infected. Contact with the secluded individual should be minimized.
Best ecommerce platform in 2023
Mask and Hand gloves
If you must be round other people, you should wear a mask and everyone else should too.
If you are unable acquire a mask, you can create a make-shift one from a scarf or other garment.
If you must be around other people, in metro , in train, bus, in lift, you should wear hand gloves and every else should too.
Tips: According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), we should use a sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Finding content is simple. Just check any pharmacy or grocery store and it is written in our list.
5. Bowl and spoon for mixing purpose
If you cough or sneeze, you should cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, and discard the used tissue in a lined trash can.
Then you must immediately wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 sec.
Even otherwise you should wash hands frequently and avoid, touching your eyes, nose and mouth, if you haven’t just wash them.
Ensure you are stocked with enough food and essential to minimize the time spent outside your home.
Your shopping list should include daily essential like soap, diapers for infants, food for pets and cleaning supplies.
However, do not resort to hoarding – its not the apocalypse and the quarantine is not going to last forever.
Keep an eye on your heath and call a Dr., if you develop a symptom or if they worsen.
Make sure to tell the medical staff that you are at risk of infection with the coronavirus.
If you are potentially infectious, it is important you separate yourself your partner, your roommates your children, your parents.
You should have no visitors, and keep 3-6 feet away from others. Don’t use public transport of cab.
Don’t leave unless you to see a Dr. and make sure you call them before going.
Email is the most invaluable asset of anyone’s identity on the web. You use email everyday and have all the important information stored in your inbox. All your social networking accounts, website registrations, Paypal accounts etc are connected and controlled by your email and thus it makes sense to completely secure your Gmail account and prevent unauthorized access.
Choosing a strong password is not enough, you should be well aware how people try to gain access to other people’s email accounts by unfair means. Here are some useful tips on securing your Gmail account and avoid getting hacked:1. Always Check The URL before Logging in to Gmail
Whenever you log in to your Gmail account, always check the URL from the browser address bar. This is because there are plenty of dirty minds who create an exact replica of the Gmail login page. The worst part – they install some scripts or malicious codes behind the fake login page and host the page in their web server. When you login to Gmail from a fake login page, your username as well as password is sent to another email address or to an FTP location.
Hence, always check that you are logging in to Gmail by typing chúng tôi and not from any other URL.2. Avoid checking Emails at Public Places
A Keylogger is a computer program which can be used to record what you are typing in the keyboard. The Keylogger records your keystrokes, saves them in a simple text file and sends it to an email address or to an FTP server. And you are completely unaware of the whole process, running in the background.
You never know which programs are installed in a public computer. Consider a simple scenario: You went to a local internet cafe to check emails from your Gmail account. The cafe staff has installed a Keylogger in every computer and when you type the username and password, the Keylogger script comes into action, records both your username and password and sends it to another email address. You leave the cafe after checking emails and the cafe staff retrieves your username and password and hacks your account.
Hence, never check emails at a local cafe or at public places or in any computer where you don’t have control.3. Forward Emails to A Secondary Email account
Should you need to check emails from a public computer or from a local internet cafe and you fear that the computer might have installed some keylogger programs? Here is a nice workaround.
Create another Gmail account and choose a different password for this account. This means that the password of your new Gmail account should not match with the password of your main Gmail account.
Select the option to forward all incoming mails to your newly created Gmail account. Any email received in your primary email account will be forwarded to this secondary email address automatically.
Whenever you want to check emails from a public computer, use this secondary email account. Anybody trying to hack your email account using a keylogger or a malicious program can hack this secondary email account but not your primary one. Obviously, do not leave any important emails or password/username in this temporary email account – keep deleting emails at regular intervals. Yes, this may sound ridiculous but it’s better to be on the safe side.
VERY IMPORTANT: Do not use or associate this secondary email account as a password recovery option of your primary email account. Use this email account just for checking emails at a public computer, that’s it.4. Regularly Monitor Gmail Account Activity
This will show you a list of the last IP addresses used to log in to your Gmail account. You will notice the country and state name alongside date and time of your last Gmail activity. Should you find another unknown IP address or the name of a place, there are high chances that somebody else is logging in to your Gmail account from elsewhere.5. Check for Bad Filters
Gmail filters can be used to set rules in your Gmail account – you can automatically forward specific emails to another email account, delete it, archive it and do various other tasks. Sadly, filters can be a big threat to your Gmail account security.
Consider a situation – you checked emails from your college computer, forgot to log out and left the classroom. One of your friends found that you have forgotten to log out and he applied a filter in your Gmail account. This filter automatically forwards all of your emails at his email address.
Now he has access to all your emails and he may reset your account password, if he wants.
Note: Gmail will never ask you to change your password or enter login credentials without any reason. Hence, if you receive any email which claims to be from Google and wants you to change your password, be rest assured someone is trying to fool you and hack your email account.7. Choose a Strong Alphanumeric password
Most users choose very generic passwords which can be easily guessed. You should always choose a very strong password which is difficult to guess. Always remember the following tips regarding choosing passwords:
Choose both numbers and alphabets in your password. It would be even better if you include symbols and special characters.
Never use your phone number, parents name or credit card number as your email account password.
Choose a long password – probably more than 10 characters.
Never write your password on paper or save it as a text document in your computer.
Anyone trying to hack your email account will have a difficult time guessing the password and the more complicated your password, the more secure and better it is. You should also connect your mobile number with your Gmail account. This is required in case your forget the password and can’t login to Gmail.
Soumen is the founder/author for Ampercent, a tech blog that writes on computer tricks, free online tools & software guides.
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