Trending December 2023 # What Is Xfinity Xfi? Comcast’s Personal Wifi Experience Explained # Suggested January 2024 # Top 20 Popular

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Comcast is one of the nation’s biggest ISPs, or internet service providers. In fact, it has somewhere around 85% of the country’s market share. Despite this dominance, many people have less-than-flattering opinions of the service.

However, Comcast has actually improved their service in a number of ways, especially the xFi service provided to Comcast internet customers. 

Table of Contents

So what is xFi? xFi is Xfinity’s personalized Wi-Fi experience for customers that provides easy control of your home network, passwords, parental controls, and more through a dashboard. More details will be explained below. 

Xfinity xFi Benefits

Xfinity provides customers with several major benefits right out of the gate. When you register for Internet service, a technician will visit your home to set up your modem and wireless gateway. The technician will also perform a service evaluation to determine if any areas of your home could benefit from range extenders.

These devices, called xFi Pods, extend the reach of your Wi-Fi service throughout the home. If the signal has to pass through too many walls and is weakened as a result, the Pods act as relay points to strengthen and boost the signal. They also have two built-in Ethernet ports on the bottom of each pod.

A single pod is often enough to solve connectivity problems in two bedroom homes, while a two-Pod pack is better for homes with five bedrooms and thicker walls. While expensive, Xfinity will sometimes issue the Pods for free to those that need them.

That’s just the start of the benefits Xfinity offers, too.

Built-in Security

Xfinity xFi Advanced Security is a built-in tool that automatically monitors any device connected to your home network. This means that any phone, tablet, laptop, and even gaming console will be watched and protected.

Xfinity will alert you if any threats are detected, although it automatically blocks most dangerous content it encounters. A few of the benefits are:

Stops visits to malicious websites and protects against phishing attacks

Blocks remote access to your home’s smart devices

Monitors devices in real-time and sends alerts when strange behavior is detected

Automatically adapts to your home network and updates its threat database

Since this feature is included, no additional software is required. You will simply receive the alert on your xFi app. 

Parental Controls

Parents are always concerned about the kind of content their children are exposed to. Xfinity xFi provides easy-to-use parental controls that let parents limit the amount of time specific devices can access the internet (thus limiting children’s phone time) and automatically blocking suspicious websites.

The controls allow parents to block specific websites, keywords, and more, but you can also allow access to any website on a trusted computer. Thanks to these hardware-level restrictions, children cannot find workarounds through their phones. 

High Speeds

One area where Xfinity excels is in the high-speed internet services it offers. While the prices will vary from region to region, plans can be broken down into six different options.

The Performance Starter plan provides basic speeds with 25 Mbps down. Performance Select provides up to 100 Mbps down. Performance Pro Plus gives users up to 200 Mbps down.

If you need faster speeds than this, then the Blast! Pro Plus plan provides up to 400 Mbps down, while the Extreme Pro Plus gives up to 600 Mbps down. The fastest option is the Gigabit plan with up to 1000 Mbps down. All plans have a 1.2 TB data cap.

If the idea of a data cap doesn’t appeal to you, you’re in luck. Customers in certain areas can opt for an unlimited data plan for just a few more dollars per month–well worth it, given the high fees for exceeding your data limits. 

Equipment Freedom

While Xfinity will provide a modem/router combo unit, you aren’t limited to only that device. You are free to use your own router if you like, but the downside is that you miss out on a few benefits–the Advanced Security feature included.

Not all equipment is compatible with Xfinity, but if you’re looking for total control of your home or you just want to use a tri-band router, you will want to opt for your own equipment over the provided options. You’ll also save a bit each month in rental fees.

Access to xFi App

The xFi app provides users with a massive amount of information at their fingertips. Not only does it show a breakdown of every device connected to the network, but it allows users to set individual controls for each of these devices.

If one device is pulling more data than it should, you can disable it. This is a great way to ensure children are not using the internet when they should be asleep. You can also use it as a way to help you focus if needed, shutting off your access to the internet until your work is complete.

If you run into connection issues, the xFi app makes it possible to restart your gateway without physically touching it. The process takes about 12 minutes and corrects most major operational errors with ease. 

Xfinity Home

In addition to the xFi app, Xfinity customers can access Xfinity Home. This is Xfinity’s own smart home platform, allowing easy access to compatible smart home devices. It also provides access to Xfinity’s home security system, an optional expense that comes with 24/7 professional monitoring. 

If you are an Xfinity customer and you want to break into the smart home world, keeping all of your equipment within the same ecosystem makes it easier to ensure security and provides better ease of use. 

Is xFi Worth It?

In many areas throughout the country, Xfinity is the only option for Internet service. Even if you have other options, Xfinity xFi is worth checking out. The level of control it grants over your home Wi-Fi network is nearly unmatched, and the automatic security features strengthen your internet security efforts.

The xFi Pods are also a huge benefit. The one-time purchase means you can have a steady connection anywhere within your home, even in rooms on the opposite side of the house from the router. 

 Comcast (and Xfinity) have improved their service offerings and earned a place as one of the ISPs worth considering when you choose to switch plans. 

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What Is A “Candid” Photo? – Candid Photography Explained

What Is A Candid Photo?

The first time you hear someone talk about “candid” photos, you might be left wondering what that actually means. Whether it was from your friend, family member, or a fellow photographer, people of all skill levels can come together and agree on one thing. That candid photography is awesome! So what exactly is a candid photo?

A candid photo captures the natural expression and movement of a subject without any pre-planned posing. This style of photography is great for capturing authentic moments of people being themselves. When shooting candids, the subject is often unaware that you’re taking a picture, helping them to act more naturally in front of the lens.

Let’s go over some examples of candid photography to help you get a better idea of this style of shooting.

Candid Photography Examples

How Do You Take Candid Photos?

To take candid pictures, you need to avoid thinking about things as the conventional plan, pose, and shoot mentality. Although these steps work for other genres of photography, it’s not ideal for candids. Since great candid photos can be captured at any moment, you always need to be ready.

Here are 10 easy tips you can use to get better candid photos of absolutely anyone.

1. Keep Your Camera Setup Small

When shooting candids, keep your telephoto lens and battery grip in the bag. By keeping your camera as low profile as possible, it will be much easier to snap photos without your subject taking notice.

If you can, try using a compact zoom or a prime lens to ensure your camera doesn’t look too flashy. In order to take good candid photos, you need to keep a low profile. This low profile look all starts with your camera setup.

2. Shoot In Burst Mode

Although you can get a general idea of when a great moment is about to unfold, burst mode ensures you nail the shot. Rather than hoping you press capture at the right moment, you’ll have a few more options to choose from.

Burst mode works great for capturing people’s reactions to things. Whether it be someone yelling with excitement, sharing a romantic moment, or just goofing around, burst mode will capture it all.

3. Talk With Your Subjects As If The Camera Isn’t There

Candid photography doesn’t have to be of people who don’t know you’re there. In fact, you can take candids of clients that are paying to shoot with you. The only difference is that you capture them acting as normal rather than posing them throughout the shoot. To help your subjects forget about the camera, keep the conversation flowing.

Some of the best candid photographers will keep a conversation going with their subjects and snap photos when the moment strikes. Perhaps they’re telling a story or thinking about an interesting question you asked.

When people are talking with you, it’s a lot easier for them to relax and forget about your lens. This is when you’ll strike gold with your candid photography.

4. Use Autofocus

Rather than wasting time setting focus manually, use autofocus. That way you always get a sharp image, in way less time. Autofocus lets you forget about everything else and only focus on the moment you’re shooting. If you want to get good at candid photography, this is an important camera setting to use.

5. Use A Semi-Automatic Camera Mode

As amazing as manual mode is, it’s not necessarily the best camera mode for candid photography. Instead, try using something like Shutter Priority (Tv or S) or Aperture Priority (Av or A) mode to nail your exposure in every photo.

With semi-automatic camera modes, you’re in charge of either the shutter speed (shutter priority) or the aperture (aperture priority). All your additional camera settings are taken care of by the camera. That way you can focus on getting the shot you want, without futzing around with settings.

Since candid photography requires you to always be ready, semi-automatic camera modes help a lot. Even if you’re going from indoors to outdoors, or from the sun to shade, you can spend more time shooting and less time adjusting settings.

6. Don’t Stay In One Spot

For candid photographers, you need to stay on the move. You need to be on the prowl for new compositions and angles. If you stay in one spot for too long, people will become aware that you’re taking pictures and subconsciously pose when facing your direction. By continually moving around, it’s much easier to seem discreet while shooting.

Now, this isn’t to say you have to be walking around the entire time you shoot. It’s more meant to remind you not to get too comfortable in one position. By moving around, you can explore more options and get a better variety of candid photos.

7. Don’t Use A Flash

Let’s face it, a flash can be off-putting even when you’re expecting it. Adding a flash to your candid photography is a surefire way to ruin any level of discreetness you have. Your subjects would know every time you snapped a photo by each time the flash popped off. With something so in your face, it’s pretty hard for anyone to forget you’re there.

Instead, keep your flash tucked away and don’t use it for candid photos. That way you can shoot more discreetly and won’t make your subjects feel uncomfortable.

8. Anticipate The Action

The truth is, you will have a hard time capturing candid moments if you’re not paying attention. As a photographer, it’s crucial to be aware of the environment and what your subjects are doing. That way you can better anticipate what might unfold before it actually happens. This is extremely useful since you can better position yourself for the perfect shot.

Whether you’re shooting an engagement session, an event, or street photography, anticipation is key. By keeping your eyes open while looking for potential places to shoot, you’ll have an easier time finding the right composition.

9. Shoot From The Hip When Possible

Nothing screams “I’m about to take a picture” than when you raise your camera to your eye. Instead, use a wide-angle lens and snap photos from the hip. If you have a flip-out LCD screen to use, you can use this to help guide you if needed.

As long as you’re using a wide-angle lens, there’s a good chance you’ll get the shot you want without having to look. With your lens pointed in the right direction, you’ll be surprised how well these spur of the moment shots turn out.

Although shooting from the hip isn’t always ideal, it’s perfect for ensuring your subject doesn’t know when a photo’s being taken.

10. Always Keep Your Camera Out

If you want to take great candid pictures, make sure your camera is always ready for action. Don’t bother putting it away in your bag, when you never know when the next candid worthy shot will arise!

Instead, keep your camera slung around your neck so you always have quick access. Nothing’s more of a let down than when you miss a great photo op trying to get your camera from the bag!

How To Take Candid Photos Of Friends And Family

Candid photography doesn’t have to be of clients or random people in the streets. You can also take great candid photos of your friends and family using the 10 tips discussed above.

The trouble is, when shooting people you know, you might not know how to catch them in a “candid” state. To help get the ball rolling, here are a few easy ideas for taking candid photos of friends or family members.

– Do An Activity Together

While you’re hanging out with a friend or family member, try to do some sort of activity that you both enjoy. Something that will distract them enough that they’ll forget you’re even there with your camera. These moments are guaranteed to create amazing candid shots since they’ll be perfectly in their element.

Whether it be cooking a meal, playing a game, or sitting around a campfire, there are endless ways to capture friends and family candidly.

– Don’t Tell Them You’re Trying To Take Candids

This may go without saying, but don’t tell your friends or family that you’re trying to take candids of them. Instead, just have your camera with you and pretend like you have no interest in shooting them. That way they aren’t anticipating photos being taken of them and won’t be on edge.

As with any subject in candid photography, you want to photograph them when they aren’t expecting it. By not telling your friends about your intentions, they’ll be pleasantly surprised when you show them all the great photos you took.

– Take Photos During A Conversation With Them

Just like keeping the conversation flowing with your clients who are looking for candid pics, do the same with your friends and family. While you’re hanging out with them, keep your camera out and go about your time together as normal.

When you see a nice moment arise, start snapping away while they’re laughing or smiling at something. Everyone looks their best when they’re showing off a natural smile!

Using these three simple tricks with the general candid photography tips in the previous section, you’re guaranteed great images!

Can You Take Candid Pictures Of Yourself?

So what if you want some cool candid pictures of yourself, but you don’t know anyone who could take the photos? Well, you can take them yourself! The trouble is, how are you supposed a “candid” picture when you’re aware of photos being taken? Here’s how to do it.

First, set up your camera on a tripod. Point your lens in the general direction you want the photo to be framed in. This could be along a shoreline, in your bedroom, or anywhere else you want!

With your camera in position, set your camera to a continuous shutter so it takes photos every few seconds. Some cameras will have this feature built-in while others will require a shutter release for this. Set the timer and make your way into the frame.

Rather than posing for photos, give yourself an action to do. Anything that feels natural to you that will help you avoid directly posing for the camera. This could be skipping rocks, making a campfire, or dancing around in your house. Whatever your thing is, do it and be as shameless as possible.

Since your camera is set to take pictures every few seconds, it will be there capturing every moment. With so many options to choose from, later on, you’ll be guaranteed to have a worthy candid picture of yourself.

Candid photography and self-portrait photography are a lot of fun and give you a chance to just be you in front of the lens. As photographers, we rarely get the chance to be on the other side of things!

So now you know what candid photography is all about and how you can start taking these types of photos. Candid photography is unique in the sense it captures real moments as they happen. Rather than posing or pre-planning your shots, it’s all about being present and ready for anything. As a photographer, learning how to take great candid pictures is a skill that will improve other aspects of your work. Now get out there and start having fun with your camera!

Happy Shooting!

– Brendan 🙂

What Is Arduino Portenta H7 Module And How It’s Better? (Explained)

Arduino is a well-known brand in the IoT industry. For the uninitiated, it is an open-source hardware and software company which designs and manufactures programmable electronic boards. It has a worldwide community of around 30 million users and its products are used everywhere, from everyday objects to satellites and complex scientific instruments. At its CES 2023 event, the company introduced its latest creation, the Arduino Portenta H7 module. The device is targeting the IoT industry by providing businesses with an easy and cost-effective way to integrate IoT platform with their products. In this article, we are going to take a quick look at the Arduino Portenta H7 module to see what it offers, and how it’s going to affect the future of IoT devices.

What is Arduino Portenta H7 Module?

Arduino Portenta H7 module is the first member of the powerful low-power new Arduino Portenta Family which is designed for demanding industrial applications, AI edge processing, and robotics. The Portenta H7 leverages the performance and flexibility of the dual-core STM32H747 that can run tasks in parallel. It can simultaneously run a high-level code along with real-time tasks. For example, according to Arduino’s website, it is possible to execute Arduino compiled code along with MicroPython one, and have both cores to communicate with one another.

It is made possible by the Portenta H7 module’s dual-core processor made of a Cortex M7 core running at 480 MHz and a Cortex M4 core running at 240 MHz. According to Arduino, the two cores communicate via a Remote Procedure Call mechanism that allows calling functions on the other processor seamlessly. The components have an operating temperature range of -40 to 85 degrees Celsius (-40 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit) which makes it perfect for industrial usage.

Arduino Portenta H7 Module: Tech-Specs

You can find the tech specification of the Portenta H7 module in the table below.

MicrocontrollerSTM32H747XI dual Cortex®-M7+M4 32bit low power ARM MCU (datasheet)

Radio moduleMurata 1DX dual WiFi 802.11b/g/n 65 Mbps and Bluetooth 5.1 BR/EDR/LE (datasheet)

Secure Element (default)NXP SE0502 (datasheet)

Board Power Supply (USB/VIN)5V

Supported BatteryLi-Po Single Cell, 3.7V, 700mAh Minimum (integrated charger)

Circuit Operating Voltage3.3V

Current Consumption2.95 μA in Standby mode (Backup SRAM OFF, RTC/LSE ON)

Display ConnectorMIPI DSI host & MIPI D-PHY to interface with low-pin count large display

GPUChrom-ART graphical hardware Accelerator™

Timers22x timers and watchdogs

UART4x ports (2 with flow control)

Ethernet PHY10 / 100 Mbps (through expansion port only)

SD CardInterface for SD Card connector (through expansion port only)

Operational Temperature-40 °C to +85 °C (excl. Wireless module) / -10 °C to +55 °C (incl. Wireless module)

MKR HeadersUse any of the existing industrial MKR shields on it

High-density ConnectorsTwo 80 pin connectors will expose all of the board’s peripherals to other devices

Camera Interface8-bit, up to 80 MHz

ADC3× ADCs with 16-bit max. resolution (up to 36 channels, up to 3.6 MSPS)

DAC2× 12-bit DAC (1 MHz)

USB-CHost / Device, DisplayPort out, High / Full Speed, Power delivery

Arduino Portenta H7 Module: Features

In this section, we are going to briefly talk about the features of Arduino Portenta H7 module that we have not discussed. We have already talked about the module’s processor, operating component temperature, and the supported programming languages. Let’s see what else it brings to the table.

1. Graphics Accelerator

One of the best features of the Portenta H7 module is the on-board GPU, the Chrom-ART Accelerator. This GPU chip also includes a dedicated JPEG encoder and decoder. The addition of a graphics accelerator opens several possibilities for users. For example, users can now connect an external monitor and build their own dedicated embedded computer with a user interface. This was not possible before as you need a graphics accelerator to drive external displays. This addition alone is going to be a game-changer.

2. Connectivity

If you look at the tech-specs of the Portenta H7 module, you will notice that it comes with an onboard wireless module (Murata 1DX dual WiFi 802.11b/g/n 65 Mbps and Bluetooth 5.1 BR/EDR/LE /) that supports the latest WiFi and Bluetooth standards. Apart from the wireless connectivity, the Portenta H7 also comes with various wired connectivity options including UART, SPI, Ethernet, and I2C among others.

3. USB-C 4. Crypto Authentication Chip

If you are thinking of adding IoT to your business, one of the first concerns you might have is about security, and rightly so. After all, once a device is connected, it’s susceptible to online attacks. Thankfully, the Portenta H7 module comes with an onboard crypto authentication chip which gives the device a high degree of tamper resistance. Users get to choose from the Microchip ATECC608A and the NXP SE050C2 options when they are ordering the device. With onboard crypto chips, you can enable features like cloud authentication, firmware validation, accessory authentication, Intellectual Property (IP) protection, message encryption. and more to secure your IoT devices.

5. Multiple Configuration Options

The Arduino Portenta H7 will be available in different configuration options that you can choose depending on your budget and needs. The default Arduino Portenta H7 comes with following:


16MB NOR Flash

10/100 Ethernet Phy


NXP SE050C2 Crypto

WiFi/BT Module

Ceramic Antenna

DisplayPort over USB-C

You can upgrade this default configuration to get a more powerful board. The Portenta H7 can host up to 64 MB of SDRAM, and 128 MB of QSPI Flash. You can also add an external UFL connector to get a higher gain-antenna and choose between crypto-chip from Microchip and NXP. The configuration options will go live when the board is up for order.

Arduino Portenta H7 Module: Use Cases

The power and versatility of the Arduino Portenta H7 module open it up for being used in various industries. While the company is targeting the product at SMBs and Enterprises, thanks to its affordable pricing, even individual tinkerers can get their hands on it to play with the device. According to the company, among other use cases, it finds the Arduino Portenta H7 Module to be most used in the following:

High-end industrial machinery

Laboratory equipment

Computer vision


Industry-ready user interfaces

Robotics controller

Mission-critical devices

Dedicated stationary computer

High-speed booting computation (ms)

Arduino Portenta H7 Module: Pricing and Availability

The Arduino Portenta H7 module is available for pre-order with February being the expected delivery date. You can pre-order the device right now for $99.90. I could not see an option to customize the device as of now. I am guessing that the customization options will go live when the device goes live. If you cannot wait for the device, you can apply to become the beta customers to get it now. Note that the beta program is initially targeted to enterprise and SMB customers and professional makers.

Whatsapp Report & Exit Group Explained: What Happens After That?

If you’re tired of receiving fake news, rumors, spam messages, incorrect information, or questionable content on a WhatsApp group, you can report it to WhatsApp to investigate and remove its existence. Here’s how:

2. Next, tap on More and press the Report option to report the selected WhatsApp group.

3. Finally, tap on the Report button to confirm your action. You can also check the ‘Exit group and Delete Chat option’ to automatically delete all the group chats and exit the group once you’ve reported it to WhatsApp.

What Happens when you Report a WhatsApp Group?

When you report a group, its last five messages will be forwarded to WhatsApp for close inspection to determine any violation of the community guidelines. On an account of violation, the entire WhatsApp group will be deactivated to prevent any further communication among the participants.

However, WhatsApp will only go to such lengths when the severity involved is very high such as the presence of malicious and critically questionable content inside the group. Otherwise, in most non-severe cases, the reported group is placed on monitoring and the group might still remain present even after you’ve reported it. It is only under the condition of multiple group reports that WhatsApp may decide to finally deactivate it.

1. Go to the desired WhatsApp group and tap on the three-dot icon in the top-right corner to access more options.

2. Next, tap on the Exit Group option and press the Exit button to leave the selected WhatsApp group.

3. Alternatively, you can tap on the Group name and scroll down to the bottom to press the Exit group button.

What Happens when you Exit a WhatsApp Group?

Once you exit a WhatsApp group, you will be instantly removed from the list of group participants leaving behind all the previous conversations and attachment files unless deleted. As a result, you won’t receive any further new notifications from the group nor you will be able to send a new message to it. Upon exiting the group, the other group participants will be alerted with a ‘saved name/contact number left ‘ message which usually no one pays attention to if the conversation keeps piling up in the group.

Contrary to exiting Whatsapp groups, the clear chat option helps you to clear all the previous group conversations and attachments that you have sent or received without leaving the group. Here’s how you can achieve the same:

1. Tap on the three-dot icon in the top-right corner to access more group settings.

2. Next, tap on the clear chat option to clear all the previous conversations and attachments in your opened group.

Q. Will Group Members Recieve Notification when you Report a Group?

A. Contrary to the exit group feature, reporting a group does not send notifications to the group participants or its administrator. However, WhatsApp will only take action on the reported account when it receives multiple reports or the group contains potentially questionable content such as nudity, obscene, hateful, or severely questionable content.

Q. How to Exit a WhatsApp Group without notifying its Members?

Q. Can you Permanently delete a WhatsApp Group?

Yes. However, you need to have administrative privileges of the group to permanently delete it. In simpler words, you need to be the group admin to be able to remove other participants and permanently remove the existing group. Check out our detailed guide to Delete WhatsApp groups permanently on Android, iPhone, and the Web ‘ to achieve the same.

Q. How to Rejoin a WhatsApp Group after Exiting?

A. The only way to rejoin a WhatsApp group that you have exited before is to ask the dedicated group administrator for it. By default, only the administrators have the required privilege to add or remove any participant from the group. Now, technically a WhatsApp group can have an unlimited number of admins and you can ask any single one of them to get you back in the group.

A. Group histories play a vital role in determining the kind of WhatsApp group you’re in and whether you should retain it. Keeping this in mind, WhatsApp has recently rolled out a new feature of ‘Viewing Past Participants’ in a group to help you check the list of all its past members. You can learn to view the same by following our quick guide to view past participants on WhatsApp.

Q. Can we see Group Conversations after Reporting or Exiting a Group?

A. No. However, there’s a slight difference between both situations. When you exit a group but don’t delete it, you can view all the past conversations and attachments sent or received in the group. On the other hand, when you report a WhatsApp group, you won’t be able to view any of its content and past conversations as WhatsApp assumes that you want no part with it. In both situations though, you won’t be able to view any new notifications or send/receive new messages on the exited/reported group.

Q. How long does WhatsApp take to remove Reported Groups?

This was all about the Report and Exit a WhatsApp Group, a feature offered by WhatsApp to manage your groups. I hope this guide has helped you; if it has cleared all your doubts and concerns about the same, then hit the like button and share it with your friends who you think might be looking for it. Check out other useful tips linked below, and stay tuned for more awesome explainers, tips tricks, and how-tos.

You might be interested in:

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Your Account Is Set To Close Microsoft Email: Explained

Your Account Is Set to Close Microsoft Email: Explained Here’s how to spot a legitimate Microsoft email




If you have an old Hotmail, Outlook, or MSN email address, you might get an email from Microsoft asking you to sign in again to avoid being locked out.

If you are unsure whether the email is fake, we share some tips to spot a legitimate Microsoft email.

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If you’ve received an email from Microsoft saying that your account is set to close, there’s a good chance that you’ve been hacked. More often than not, you may receive emails that appear to be from Microsoft but aren’t. 

These messages can contain links that lead to malicious websites or download malware onto your computer. Whereas you need to be wary of scam messages, there exist legitimate messages such as We need to fix your account that needs your attention.

Read on to find out what the Your account is set to close Microsoft email means and whether it is a scam.

Why did I get the Your account is set to close Microsoft email?

If you get an email saying your account is closed, it is likely because of one of the following reasons:

Device requirements – You’re trying to sign in to your Microsoft account on a device that does not meet the minimum hardware requirements.

Account linking – You may have associated your account with another person’s Microsoft account, and they’ve changed their password or deleted their account.

Security threat – If Microsoft suspects suspicious activity, they may lock your account temporarily. There may be an unusual sign-in activity, and you must act swiftly. Someone else may have tried to sign in to your device with an incorrect password too many times.

Account has been compromised – If you have requested to delete your Outlook account because it was compromised or hacked, Microsoft may send this message.

Inactivity – If your account has been inactive for a long period, Microsoft may notify you of its plans to close it.

Account violation – Microsoft has some Terms and conditions that every user must adhere to. If you have violated any of these terms, your account may be closed.

How do I know if an email is really from Microsoft? 1. No unsolicited messages

Microsoft does not send unsolicited emails to customers or partners. If you receive an email from Microsoft about a problem with your account or a request for personal information, likely, it’s not from Microsoft. Such is the case with the Your account is set to close Microsoft email message.

2. Urgent call to action or threats is not Microsoft’s style 3. Microsoft never asks for your password

If you received an email from someone claiming to be from Microsoft asking for your password or other personal information, that email is not authentic. Microsoft never asks for your password, online banking information, or other private information through email.

There may be times that you may receive an email asking you to change your password, especially if a threat has been detected. Such are usually from Microsoft, and you should do so at your earliest convenience. Also, if you haven’t already, you should set up and use multi-factor authentication software.

4. Microsoft does not hide Email IDs

Microsoft’s support team does not use the email address (email protected). Scammers use this trick to try and fool you so that you cannot verify the email ID used.

Expert tip:

5. Incorrectly addressed emails

If the email you receive does not mention your name or address you directly, it may not be from Microsoft. The subject line should also be related to the text of the message. If not, it may also not be from Microsoft.

Examine the email closely and check for all possible hints. The smallest details could save your account from hackers.

6. Poorly written and bad grammar emails

Check for grammar mistakes. If there are spelling or grammatical errors in the email, it isn’t from Microsoft. Many phishing emails include spelling or grammatical mistakes to make them appear legitimate. Microsoft doesn’t make these kinds of mistakes in their communications.

Regarding Microsoft products and services, scammers are not running out of ideas soon. The Windows Defender order scam is yet another phishing attempt to get users to surrender their personal details.

Does Microsoft email you about the suspicious activity?

Microsoft does send emails about suspicious activity to users every time a login attempt is flagged. Along with the email, many also receive an SMS on their mobile phones.

Remember that emails concerning suspicious activity are always received from the official ID, i.e., [email protected]. So, the sender’s section will help identify whether the email is genuine or a phishing attempt.

Hopefully, you can decipher legitimate Microsoft emails from phishing and scam emails using the tips provided above. If you get the message that your account is set to close from Microsoft email, you can rest assured that it is not real.

Elsewhere, users also noted another elaborate Norton 360 email scam. If you’ve not heard of it, we have discussed in detail how you can easily spot such scams from a mile away in our guide.

We hope you got to know everything there was to know about the Your account is set to close Microsoft email message.

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Inferring Passwords Using Wifi Signals – Hacking Passwords Over Wifi

It seems that almost everything is breakable when it comes to security on the Internet. We’ve seen even the best security systems having one or more flaws that can be exploited for the hackers’ benefit. No, some professors across three universities have now demonstrated that using banking passwords over WiFi is not safe anymore. They came up with a paper to show how hackers can steal your passwords over WiFi. That’s what we’ll talk about in this article.

How hackers can steal passwords over WiFi

The issue was raised in the past too, but the methods described were not as accurate and predictable as the WindTalker method to steal passwords over WiFi. Among the many methods talked earlier, the best bet was to place some device between the victim and WiFi that could read traffic patterns. This was the closest one could get, until now. They scanned (sniffed) packets and tried to hack into the computers of victims to figure out the passwords.

The WindTalker method was devised and explained by professors at the University of Florida, Shanghai Jaio Tong University, and the University of Massachusetts. The paper delves into details on how to steal passwords using a common WiFi. This does mean that for the method to work, both the victim and hacker should be on the same WiFi. That allows those hackers to read the victim’s keystrokes.

This method does not require any extra device between victim and hacker devices. They do not even need any software installed on the device of the victim. Simply by analyzing the traffic in parallel, the hackers using the WindTalker method can check out the movements of the victim’s finger movements. The paper says that even on a new device, the chances of success of getting the right password in the single attempt are 84 percent.

Read: Wi-Fi Tips for International Travelers.

What is WindTalker & how does it work

WindTalker is the name given to the method that allows parallel scanning of WiFi signals arising out of the victim’s device to retrieve the data being typed on the device.

The first part of the method is to identify the signals coming from the victim’s device. Note that the hackers do not need any software to be installed on the victims’ phones or other devices that they intend to hack.

The second requirement is to be able to use the WiFi network. This could be easy at public places where they have free WiFi. If not, the hackers can create an ad hoc rogue WiFi network and offer it as free WiFi. Once the victim falls for it and connects to it, the work of stealing information is half done.

The final thing to do is to check the movements of the fingers of the victims. The directions and pace with which the victim is moving his or her fingers and when she or he is pressing key(s) are noted down. This gives away the data being typed by the victim

Restrictions of WindTalker

The first thing that can spoil hackers’ attempts if the victim disconnects from the WiFi before the input and input pattern is decoded. But the method is fast, so chances are the hackers will succeed in their endeavors.

The requirement of having to connect to the WiFi network makes it a bit hard. In cases where free and public WiFi is not present, the victims will have to create a public network which is not very hard to do. Anyone can create a public WiFi using their Windows or Android phones, tablets. Both operating systems have the option to create mobile hotspots and are easy to set up.  Once the WiFi is set up, it is not difficult to have people connecting to the FREE OPEN network.

Device models also play a part in processing data: i.e. monitoring the finger movements of the victims. Since the shape and size vary across different phone and tablet devices, it takes a bit to understand the keystrokes being sent on the WiFi. For example, the keyboard of an 8-inch device will vary from an 11-inch device and so it may take some time to understand the movements.

Other than the above, there were no restrictions and requirements of WindTalker that I could notice in this paper.

“WindTalker is motivated from the observation that keystrokes on mobile devices will lead to different hand coverage and the finger motions, which will introduce a unique interference to the multi-path signals of WiFi” the researchers say.

Simply put, WindTalker monitors finger movements and provides hackers with whatever is being typed on the victim device.

WindTalker – Details

Here is a video that will help you understand the concept of WindTalker in detail:

You may also want to download the entire paper for a fee if you wish. There may be other methods on how hackers can steal your passwords over WiFi. I will mention other methods as and when I come across them.

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