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.

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

People, Processes, Product: The Three P’s Approach

Make a big two-dimensional matrix–people on one axis and process on another. That’s a map of your company, with a product arrow popping out of the output window. When Six Sigma looks at organization, they see the three elements of a company’s quality system, people, process and product. They call it, “The 3P Approach to Quality.” Quality efforts should cast a cold, detached eye on each of these three elements to gain an overall performance improvement. Continue Reading

Five Reasons You Need Staff Augmentation

There are times when your in-house employees aren’t enough. Not because they aren’t good at their jobs. They have strong abilities and a professional work ethic. They’re a pleasure to work with and can learn quickly and collaborate effectively with each other. However, there are some situations where you’ll need outside assistance.

This could be for a project you need to complete within a few months, or for a specific business goal that you plan to reach by the end of the year.

In these scenarios, even if you already have a team of topnotch in-house employees, you may want to rely on staff augmentation. By supplementing your employees’ abilities with contributions from outsourced professionals, you can fill gaps in skills and reach your goals more quickly. Continue Reading

  • 03/17/2017
  • IT

Four Smarter Ways to Use Your Smartphone For Business

Smartphones are among the technologies revolutionizing businesses. Their increasing sophistication and capabilities allow you to carry out all kinds of meaningful work, at any time of day and from virtually any location.

However, you need to ask yourself if you’re making the best use of your phone. Are there capabilities on your phone that you haven’t considered, and are there apps or features you’ve overlooked? Continue Reading