How to check WiFi network security type on Windows 10

WiFi networks used in work places and homes are secured with a password. To an end user, that password is what security looks like. Open or public WiFi networks have no password and hence are unsafe but WiFi network security is more than just its password. The password is used to grant access to the network. Behind the scenes, different types of security are applied to keep the network safe. Here’s how you can check the security type for a WiFi network that you’re connected to on Windows 10.

You can learn about the various WiFi network security types here.

WiFi network security type

There are three ways to check the WiFi network security type on Windows 10. You can go through Command Prompt, the Settings app, or you can go through Control Panel. In all cases, you should be connected to the network you want to check the security type for. For networks that are in range but you’ve never connected to, you cannot find out their security type.

WiFi network security type – Settings app

Open the Settings app and go to the Network & Internet group of settings. Select the WiFi tab and click the network that you’re connected to (there will only be one).

Scroll to the very end of the next screen and look for ‘Security Type’.

WiFi network security type – Command Prompt

Open Command Prompt with normal user rights and run the following command.

netsh wlan show interfaces

The command will return information about the current WiFi network that your system is connected to. Look for the ‘Authentication’ line and it will tell you what security type is being used.

WiFi network security type – Control Panel

Open Control Panel and go to Network and Internet. Select Network and Sharing Center. Click on the name of the network you’re connected to.

In the window that opens, click the Wireless Properties button. A new window will open. Go to the Security tab and the Security Type dropdown will tell you what the network is using.

If you find that the security type being used isn’t the most secure, you may or may not be able to do anything about it. If it’s a work/office network, you will have to talk to the system administrator about improving the network security. If it’s your personal home network, and you know how to change a router’s configuration, you can change the security type used yourself. If the router has been provided by your ISP and you cannot change its settings, consider getting your own router or asking your ISP to change its security type.

Read How to check WiFi network security type on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to check for Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip on Windows 10

When it comes to hardware on a PC, users tend to look at specifications like RAM, CPU, GPU, the motherboard model and, if you’re looking at hard drives instead of solid state drives, its speed and capacity. One tiny hardware component that you may not be aware of is the Trusted Platform Module chip or the TPM chip. It’s not going to make your PC faster, or boost any performance benchmark. The device basically makes your system more secure and is often advertised for business-use machines. Here’s how you can check if you have a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip on your PC.

Check for Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip

To check if you have the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip on your system, open the run box with the Win+R keyboard shortcut. In the run box, enter the following;

tpm.msc

Tap enter and it will open the Trusted Platform Module Management app. Under the ‘Status’ section, check if TPM is ready for use. If the status section says that there is no TPM chip on your system, it is possible that is has been disabled from BIOS.

Restart your system and access the BIOS or UEFI. Since they differ from system to system, it’s not possible to guide you to the exact place you should check for the TPM chip setting. That said, look for anything related to security. If you don’t have a security tab, look for a hardware related tab, or something to do with encryption.

Once you find it, look for Trusted Platform Module and enable it. If you can’t find it, even after searching for it in areas where it doesn’t necessarily belong, it’s possible that you don’t have the chip. Most recent laptop models are highly likely to have it however, not all do. Check the specifications for your laptop model. If it has a Trusted Platform Module chip, it will definitely be mentioned there.

No TPM chip

In the event that your system doesn’t have the TPM chip, you still have the option to install one yourself. Installing a TPM chip isn’t as simple as buying and connecting a Bluetooth dongle to your system. Your motherboard must support it and a newer laptop or PC model’s motherboard is likely to do so. Once you know it’s supported, you can buy the chip. You can install it yourself but if you’ve never tinkered with hardware before, have a professional do it for you.

Read How to check for Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to enable fingerprint scanner support on Linux

Fingerprint scanners are becoming a thing on many laptops as of late. It’s natural that this technology makes its way to the PC, given that it’s worked so well on smartphones. When it comes to Fingerprint scanner support on Linux, it’s hit and miss. Not all hardware manufacturers ship Linux drivers, and the community doesn’t always pick up the slack. That said, if you have a fingerprint scanner that is supported with Linux, here’s how to use it on your Linux system.

Note: if your fingerprint scanner requires installing Linux drivers not included in the kernel, be sure to get them installed before attempting to use Fingerprint GUI.

Install Fingerprint GUI

Fingerprint GUI is the best tool available to access, configure, and enable fingerprint scanning on Linux. Although it’s the best tool available, no Linux OS currently ships with this application. As a result, you must manually install it before using it.

There are different ways to install Fingerprint GUI based on the Linux distribution you are using. To get it working, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, follow the installation instructions based on what OS you use.

Ubuntu

On Ubuntu Linux, the best way to get Fingerprint GUI working is to use the third-party PPA that is available on Launchpad. To add this PPA, use the add-apt-repository command in the terminal.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fingerprint/fingerprint-gui

With the PPA added to Ubuntu, run the update command to refresh your PC’s software sources.

sudo apt update

Following the update, install any pending software patches with the upgrade command.

sudo apt upgrade -y

Finally, install Fingerprint GUI, and the related packages it needs to operate correctly.

sudo apt-get install libbsapi policykit-1-fingerprint-gui fingerprint-gui

Debian 10

Debian 10 users can use the Ubuntu 18.04 repository provided on Launchpad to get the Fingerprint GUI app installed. To add it, open up a terminal and use the add-apt-repository command.

Note: it isn’t known if Fingerprint GUI works on Debian 9. If you need this app, consider upgrading to Debian 10 first.

su -
add-apt-repository 'deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/fingerprint/fingerprint-gui/ubuntu bionic main'

After adding the software repository to your /etc/apt/sources.list file, it’s time to download the software key file, so that Debian can interact with the PPA. If you don’t do this, Fingerprint GUI will not install!

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv EFD5FA852F20733F

Assuming the key recovery command works successfully, the PPA will be ready to use on Debian. Next, run the update and upgrade commands to download the release file for the repo.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade -y

Finally, install the packages necessary to run Fingerprint GUI on Debian.

sudo apt-get install libbsapi policykit-1-fingerprint-gui fingerprint-gui

Arch Linux

On Arch Linux, getting the Fingerprint GUI involves downloading the program and compiling it through an AUR package. To install the AUR package of Fingerprint GUI, start by using the Pacman package manager to install both the Git and Base-devel packages.

Note: if you run into problems installing the Fingerprint GUI AUR package, be sure to read the comment section of the app for tips, tricks, and fixes to get it running.

sudo pacman -S git base-devel

Following the installation of the Git and Base-devel packages, use the Git tool to download the Trizen AUR helper app, to make installing Fingerprint GUI, and it’s many dependencies an easy process.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/trizen.git

Move the terminal session into the newly created “trizen” folder and install the Trizen application on your Arch Linux PC.

cd trizen
makepkg -sri

After installing the Trizen application on Arch, you’ll be able to use it to quickly install Fingerprint GUI, along with all of its dependent packages.

trizen -S fingerprint-gui

Fedora

Though Fedora proper doesn’t support Fingerprint GUI, the RPM Sphere software repository has it available for users of Fedora 29 and 30. To get it working, open up a terminal and use the dnf install command below.

sudo dnf install https://raw.githubusercontent.com/rpmsphere/x86_64/master/f/fingerprint-gui-1.09-3.1.x86_64.rpm

OpenSUSE

Fingerprint GUI is available to OpenSUSE users, so long as they’re using Tumbleweed. So, before attempting to install this package, be sure to upgrade to the Tumbleweed release.
After you’re done upgrading OpenSUSE, use the following commands to get the application working,

zypper addrepo http://widehat.opensuse.org/opensuse/repositories/hardware/openSUSE_Tumbleweed/ hardware

zypper install fingerprint-gui

Configure Fingerprint GUI

Setting up Fingerprint GUI starts by opening up the application and clicking on “Devices.” From there, look for the “Fingerprint Devices” drop-down menu and click it to select your Fingerprint scanner device.

After selecting a fingerprint device, click “Finger,” and choose a finger to add to Fingerprint GUI. Then, locate “Scan/Verify” and follow the instructions to scan your finger. Once the scanning is done, go to “Settings” and click the “Export now” button. This will export your scanned fingerprint.

With your fingerprint added to the Fingerprint GUI application, reboot your Linux PC, and you should be able to log in with your fingerprint!

Read How to enable fingerprint scanner support on Linux by Derrik Diener on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to fix Open File – Security Warning for all files on Windows 10

Windows 10 has various protective features that prevent users from running apps that may be harmful. When you run an EXE to install an app, you run into the Windows SmartScreen asking if you’re sure you want to run the app and allow it to make changes to your system. This is a normal level of protection and you really shouldn’t disable it however, if you see the Open File – Security Warning prompt for all files that you open, then your security settings have been set above the normal level.

If you’re getting the Open File – Security Warning for seemingly harmless files like images, there’s a simple way to fix it.

Open File – Security Warning

Open the Run box with the Win+R keyboard shortcut. Type the following in the run box.

inetcpl.cpl

This will open the Internet Properties window. Go to the Security tab and click the Custom level button at the bottom. This will open the second window on the right. This settings window has a long list of settings that change how security is managed on your system. Look for the ‘Launching applications and unsafe files (not secure)’ option. Select the ‘Enable’ option, and click Apply, then OK.

After that, you should be able to open normal files like PNGs, JPGs, PDFs, etc without encountering this prompt. When you run EXE files though, you will still get the same prompt.

This change doesn’t leave your system unsecured. It does lower the level of protection however it doesn’t make it completely vulnerable. With the ‘Prompt’ option, every single file that you download from the internet and open will show you the Open File – Security Warning prompt. When you download a file from the internet, regardless if you use Chrome or Edge, your file is first scanned. Chrome has its own virus scanner and once the file has been saved to your disk, Windows 10 scans it for viruses or anything malicious.

If you’re tempted to select the  Disable option, you should think twice about it. Setting it to Disable will lower your security settings considerably. You will still have other security measures in place but this is not an option you should select without seriously considering the consequences of it.

If you normally never see this prompt when opening files, and suddenly began to get it for all sorts of files, it likely means that your security settings were changed. This might have been done by a recent update or if you changed the default app for a certain file type.

Read How to fix Open File – Security Warning for all files on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

How to check the checksum of a file on Windows 10

Downloading a file used to be a risk. It can still be risky and you might still end up with malware on your system but there are more robust protections in place now. Both your browser and your OS scan items to make sure they’re safe to run. Another way to make sure you’ve downloaded a safe file is to check the checksum of a file.

Checksum values

No two people can have the same fingerprints. Similarly, no two files can ever have the same checksum values. If a file has been modified, its checksum value will be different from what it was before the modification was made.

When you check the checksum value of a file, you first need to know what its original value was. Normally, developers who are distributing software will provide it themselves on the download page for their product. Checksum is applied using MD5 or SHA. Some developers will generate Checksum values from both so that you can check whichever you want.

Check checksum value

Microsoft provides a tool called File Checksum Integrity Verifier utility that you can use to check the checksum value of a file.

Download and extract it. You will have to use it from the Command Prompt. Open Command Prompt and use the cd command to move to the folder you extracted the tool to.

Move the file that you want to check the checksum value for to the same directory as the one you extracted the File Checksum Integrity Verifier utility to and then run the following command to run the check.

Syntax

fciv.exe -both filename

Example

fciv.exe -both ReIcon_x64.exe

This will display both the MD5 and SHA checksum values. You can manually compare them, use a spreadsheet tool, or a simple difference checking tool.

Checksum does not match

In the event that the file you downloaded and ran the check for generates a different checksum than the one the developer provided, you might be dealing with a malicious or corrupt file.

If the file is corrupt, it’s likely because it didn’t download correctly. Try downloading it again. If the problem persists, it is entirely possible that the file that is available has been modified in which case, you should not use/run it. A mismatch in checksum value may also indicate a file that has been modified. This tends to happen with free or open-source apps that people try to re-distribute. They add in additional code that is meant to harm your system and bundle it into a trusted app.

The only way to stay safe is to always download apps from their official sources.

Read How to check the checksum of a file on Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter