Screen Time: The Glowing Enemy or a Useful Tool?

We’ve all been to the pediatrician’s office and heard the question, “How many hours of screen time does your child get?” We’ve heard the research, so some of us may lie and subtract an hour (or two) from the real answer. As parents, we’ve been told that too much screen time is bad for our children. Experts say it can lead to diminished personal relationships, obesity, and can even affect your child’s brain.  So we feel guilty if we turn on the television to get a few extra minutes to finish cooking dinner or hand our screaming three year old the phone so he will stop crying. But is there really a basis for the claims that screen time harms our children? 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

Updated to the New Apple iOS? Here are 10 Changes You Need to Know

Apple released iOS 11, its newest version of the mobile operating system powering iPhones and iPads last month. And as is the case every time such a major update happens, countless Apple device users users are facing a decision on whether or not to download it, not knowing what to expect.

The newest iteration has some potentially major changes in stock, depending on how you use your mobile device. So whether you’re already completed the update or are still considering it, here are 10 features that are new to iOS 11 for your consideration. 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

Back to School: Tips to Keep Kids Safe Online

Going back to school makes us think of new backpacks and freshly sharpened pencils, but children today might have another item on their shopping list: a new mobile device.

Even if they make do with the old one, you know they’re still putting it to use: as of 2015, teenagers were spending about nine hours a day using digital technology, while kids ages eight to 12 were spending about six hours. Those hours are spent watching videos, listening to music, and engaging with peers via apps like Snapchat and Instagram.

All that time online exposes children to a variety of risks. We’ve been talking about online predators for years, but there are some other concerns you may not have considered. Continue Reading

  • 08/10/2017
  • IT

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

What’s New With iOS 10.3?

iOS 10.3 is an important new release, with new features from Siri to the file system. As with almost every release, it includes lots of security fixes, so just staying safe is enough of a reason to upgrade. The latest version is actually 10.3.2, which fixes some bugs and security issues. The release notes are available from Apple.

Version 10.3 requires an iPhone 5, fourth-generation iPad, sixth-generation iPod Touch, or later. 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.