Category Archives for "Security"

October is Cyber Security Month – Protect Your Personal Networks & Devices at Home

With all of the news about hacking, you would think people would be more worried about their own personal electronic devices being hacked. But, most of us don’t think what we have is important enough for someone to hack. It is important to consider securing your own devices, because while you might not have national security issues on your computer, you do have important passwords and identity information that is stored. Businesses are already on the lookout for cyber attacks, and work to protect proprietary information. Shouldn’t you do the same for your home? Continue Reading

Whaling and Spearfishing: Targeting the Top People

Most phishing email goes after mass targets. It’s not particularly well-crafted, but the senders expect that if they hit enough mailboxes, some victims will open the attachment or visit the malicious website. A growing portion, though, targets specific companies or individuals with carefully crafted messages. It’s called spearphishing. When it’s aimed at high-profile individuals or large assets, it’s also called whaling — going after really big fish. (All right, a whale isn’t really a fish.) Continue Reading

The Files Every Business Should Be Encrypting Part 2

Welcome back to the second half of our two-part series on when and why your business should be using encryption. If you joined us last time, you’ve probably started to realize just how useful encryption is and that it can be applied to anything you’d like to keep safe from hackers, whether or not they make it past your firewall. In the first half, we covered encrypting client payment data at every stage and began to talk about the risk of identity theft if hackers get ahold of either client or employee personal information. Let’s pick back up where we left off at storing personal information once you’ve collected it. Continue Reading

The Files Every Business Should Be Encrypting and Why (Part 1)

Every modern company with a few computers and a business network are aware of the dangers of hackers and security breaches. When a hacker gets their grubby fingers on private information stored by your company, they can do a lot of damage. Customer information can be used for payment scams or identity theft while sensitive business information can be used against you on the market or leaked to your competitors to great detriment. Every business strives to keep their security systems as close to the cutting-edge and maximum protection as possible but, let’s face it, every now and then someone gets hacked. Whether it was a failure on their part or a particular moment of inspiration from the hacker, when your network has been breached, you absolutely must have a backup plan. Continue Reading

How to Know if Your Data was Compromised on Facebook

The massive data breach at Facebook has been a hot topic in the news lately, and you may be wondering if your data was affected and if your personal information is secure online. The data breach, which happened when the political research firm Cambridge Analytica obtained the data of 87 million users, affected people around the globe. If your privacy and security is important to you, read on to learn more about how you can tell if your data was compromised, and what you can do to prevent future risks. Continue Reading

What Happens if Your Network is Infected with Ransomware

There are a lot of different kinds of malware out there and most of it is relatively harmless. There are the adware types that cause a bunch of unwanted advertisements to pop up on your screen infection occurs, botnets that use some of your resources to send spam emails or contribute to DDOS-ing a targeted website, and the ‘fake tech support’ that, hilariously enough, informs you that your computer has been infected with malware. However, it’s been a long time since malware was a laughing matter. Over time, hackers realized they could make money by stealing credit card numbers banking login information and it occurred to some bright cyber-criminal that they could simply and openly extort their victims. Thus the birth of ransomware. Continue Reading

5 Reasons Managed IT Goes Above and Beyond Break-Fix Services

When a company decides to outsource their IT services, there are always a few decisions to make. Whether or not to hire someone local or a larger fully-remote service, how much service your company needs, and how much interaction you’d like with your external IT team. Some companies with very few computers or need for innovation may find that basic emergency break-fix services are sufficient but in the modern age when most companies have a website, app, and software suite, it’s best to go for complete managed IT. How is this different from a break-fix package? Managed IT services take pride in their ability to provide technical support above and beyond the basics, working with companies rather than simply working for them when something goes wrong. Here are the five primary reasons why a high quality managed IT service offers much more than break-fix solutions. Continue Reading

5 Principles of Data Backup and Recovery

It is difficult to overstate the importance of having a rock-solid backup and recovery plan for your company’s data. Although nearly every business has some form of backup plan in place, many fail to take all the necessary steps to ensure that their plan will deliver when they need it most. Here are five simple principles you can follow to improve your company’s backup and recovery plan: Continue Reading

Ransomware – WannaCry locks down all the files on an infected computer

Organizations in dozens of countries have all been hit with the same ransomware program, a variant of WannaCrypt (also known as WanaCrypt0r and WCry). Cybersecurity firm Avast said it has tracked more than 75,000 attacks in 99 countries.

“The spread is immense,” says Adam Kujawa, the director of malware intelligence at Malwarebytes, which discovered the original version of WannaCry. “I’ve never seen anything before like this. This is nuts.”

Continue Reading

Risky Business: The Danger of Sharing “List” Information on Facebook

Part of the fun of using Facebook is that you can have conversations, reminisce and get in touch with people you only get to see occasionally. Viral posts that ask you to share 10 facts about yourself, your favorite movie quotes or the 10 concerts you’ve been to (but one is a lie) make great conversation starters and are fun and easy to write. As interesting as they are, though, sharing lists on Facebook could actually pose a security risk for not only your Facebook account, but your bank and other personal accounts as well.

What’s so Bad About Sharing a Few of your Favorite Things?

That list may sound like harmless fun, but to a cybercriminal or predator, it could be a passport to your identity, your bank account, your email account and more. By sharing these tidbits of personal information, you leave a trail of breadcrumbs to your personal preferences and data; a savvy hacker could piece together quite a bit of information about you from the things you share.

The “10 Concerts I have been to” and similar lists that make their way through the Facebook community in a wave are a possible bounty for those seeking to steal your identity or compromise your accounts. The lists are viral – and you share them with your friends, family and even the acquaintances in your network. They may be ideal for generating conversations, remembering fun times from the past and learning more about your friends and family, they are also a security risk for everyone who participates.

Facebook “Favorite” Lists Could Increase your Security Risk

What do you risk when you share obscure information online and on your social media sites? It you think about the kinds of questions that your bank or other financial institution poses to you as a challenge when you log in from a new phone or computer, they are remarkably like the questions posed by these lists. Some typical bank or account security questions include:

Who is your favorite movie character?

What sports teams have you seen play in person?

What concerts have you seen?

What’s your mother’s maiden name (a typical Facebook “quiz” or list could ask about the origin of your family name, including your mother’s maiden name)

When you answer these questions, you expose yourself to risk; the responses you supply to a fun quiz, meme or posting trend could be used by a hacker to infiltrate your accounts.

There is a shocking similarity to the fun, shareworthy questions that trend on Facebook and the questions you need to answer when you log into a secure site.

We’re Just Not That Great at Passwords

Most of us have a multitude of passwords to remember; from your personal email to your work email, your entertainment subscriptions, bank accounts and other secure accounts each requires a password. TO make things easier to remember, most of us stick to the same few terms or words. Even if you are not using a terrible password like “Password”, “ABC123” or “qwerty”, you may still be exposing yourself to risk if you share even a few of your favorite things online.

Password Recovery Questions

Ever lost your password? Not only will you have to come up with a new one (and possibly use the name of your favorite sports team, movie or band), you’ll have to answer security questions to do so. If you have exposed the answers to those questions in a Facebook thread, your other accounts could be at risk.

Your Privacy Settings Matter

Even if you set your account to private a few months ago, the privacy terms on social media sites change all the time. Your account may be showing off more information than you intend to. Even worse, if you have accepted a friend request just because someone seems to have a familiar photo, claims to have gone to the same college or high school or just has an appealing profile image, that stranger can see everything you post. Your birthday, your kid’s names, your phone number, favorite movies and books, pet’s names and hobbies are freely displayed for those you’ve added to your network. The answers you post when you share one of those fun lists could be just the bit of information a cybercriminal needs to break into your accounts.

Protect your accounts by skipping those sharable lists or only sharing them via message with people you know personally. You’ll still be able to make plenty of connections, but you won’t be putting your own accounts at risk. Learn more about keeping your accounts secure and taking advantage of the latest technology by following our blog; we’re here to make sure you stay on the cutting edge of the latest trends.

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