Category Archives for "Security"

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.”

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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.

The Importance of Using a Password Manager

Security is becoming more important than ever before in networks, individual websites and devices. Hackers, spamware and spyware are constantly trying to penetrate these items to gain valuable information and disrupt their targets. However, engineers are now building sophisticated password managers to help companies and individuals fight back. These manager solutions provide a number of layers of protection that are extremely difficult to work around for all but the most sophisticated hacker. Continue Reading

That’s the Plan: 5 Simple Ways to Prevent Disaster Before It Strikes

At a recent conference held by the Minnesota Better Business Bureau, experts from all over the nation gathered to discuss a projected epidemic associated with data theft and growing concerns among both small and big businesses like. According to the FBI, a reported 250% increase in data theft has occurred since 2015 alone. Experts estimate that these changing risks could cost small businesses a whopping $7,000 out-of-pocket after insurance coverage claims when affected. Continue Reading

The Importance of Mobile Technology Security

As businesses continue to grow more and more, notice that many companies have become virtual, and are essentially operating their entire organization from a computer or smartphone. With the latter, especially, mobile devices have become a major factor in the workplace, and there are several reasons why. First of all, with these devices at hand, it’s very easy to access your data from anywhere. After all, you don’t always have to be in the office, and you can even operate directly from your device if you’re traveling on the road. Continue Reading

Securely Wiping Phones or Computers

People really value their cellphones and devices.

A survey conducted by Lookout and IDG Research found that when phones are lost or stolen, victims will go to great lengths to get them back. Half of the victims would pay $500 and one-third would pay $1,000 to get them back. Two-thirds of theft victims also express willingness to put themselves at physical risk to regain their devices.

It’s not the devices themselves that are so valuable, but the data stored on them. Not all the data on smartphones is valuable to anyone but the owner, but some is. It is important to securely wipe phone or computer personal content when you sell or abandon your devices. It can be the very outline needed for very convincing identity theft or direct meddling in such things as the owner’s bank account or even his or her personal relationships. Continue Reading

The Importance of IT/Web Usage Policies

In the business world, not only is technology one of the most important factors, but its usage has also substantially grown over the years. Data can be stored and accessed much easier, people are more dependent on their mobile devices in the workplace, and Internet access has become all too common. In fact, most (if not all) businesses in this day and age wouldn’t even be able to function if it wasn’t for access to the World Wide Web. Through the usage of Internet, you can reach out to your customers easier, use social media platforms to further your company’s goals, and even collaborate with business partners. With that said, constant use of the World Wide Web can also be a cause for concern in the workplace. If you don’t set some ground rules as a business owner, you may find your employees abusing their privileges and even visiting the wrong websites. When it comes to IT/web usage policies in the workplace, what are some things to keep in mind, especially for your employees? Here is what to consider.  Continue Reading

6 Myths About Data Encryption

Encryption is an essential tool in keeping data safe. It’s not the whole answer, though, and the Internet is full of misleading information about it. Sometimes it’s portrayed as a magic bullet, sometimes as a waste of time. Truth is always more complicated than myths, so let’s look at a few myths and get a perspective on them. Continue Reading