Category: Tip of the week

We hope people find some of these helpful, we all have a lot going on and we are trying to summarize tips to make life easier.

Skip the Hotel Wi-Fi…Here is Why:

Nov 19, 2020 by Patrick

If you TRAVEL frequently – or you have taken a local hotel up on their day-rental options, mid-covid to gain some quiet work space – KEEP READING

Hackers specifically target HOTEL Wi-Fi – and it is not hard to figure out why:

  • Poor security
  • Lots of people crowded together in one building
  • Lots of personal information at their fingertips

The best way to avoid poor hotel security is obviously not to use hotel Wi-Fi. Bring your own wireless access BYOW – i.e. mobile hotspot.

For extra protection, use a VPN, and make sure all updates have been installed before leaving your home. 

In the event you do have to use hotel Wi-Fi without these additional safety measures, stay alert…

  • Is your mobile device running slowly or launching apps on its own?
  • Are you experiencing automatic website redirects?
  • Are you seeing pop-up advertisements appear more frequently?
  • Is your battery life low?
  • Is your cursor moving on its own?
  • Are you receiving more unwanted emails, texts, or calls than usual?

These signs should are RED FLAGS – but many people miss this stuff…it does not end well for anyone but the attacker!

P.S. Have you seen my free guide on 8 critical IT security protection your small business should implement? Download it here and fine out 8 Critical steps SMBs should be doing.

This Browser’s New Update Will Tell You Which Websites Are Tracking You…

Oct 22, 2020 by Patrick

It is a little bit scary to think about – but some of the websites you visit have been TRACKING you.

Maybe it is not a major problem for your Facebook ads to align with the new furniture you were just browsing on Amazon – but if they keep it up long enough, they can put together a complete profile on you…

Married, three kids, baby on the way, plays golf, uses Apple products, eats organic…how much more do they know? 

Turns out, computers KNOW MORE ABOUT YOU than most of your friends or family…

GOOD NEWS For Apple iPhone Users (And Mac Users) – latest Safari update tells you who knows what about you – pretty handy.

Not only that, you do not have to update your entire Mac iOS if you do not want to. Just pull up your app store and click on Updates. DONE in SECONDS!

After you update, you can open the browser and click on Safari Dropbox > Privacy Report.

Once you have read your privacy report and learned who is tracking you, you will probably want to change some of your browser settings – more security! You can learn more HERE!

P.S. Have you seen my free guide on 8 critical IT security protection your small business should implement? Download it here and fine out 8 Critical steps SMBs should be doing.

The Best Web Browsers For 2020

Aug 1, 2020 by Patrick

Unlike switching between operating systems, changing your primary browser is fast and simple. In a matter of seconds, you can download and open a variety of options…

Here’s our take on the safest and most secure browsers for 2020:

#1…Chrome wins. 

Featuring an extensive password manager, reliable app integration, and the ability to block ads that don’t conform to industry standards…it’s a clean, secure option.

Best Chrome alternative?

Firefox – our second pick. And a very close second.

Recent updates to the browser include better privacy protections with anti-tracker support, improved password syncing across devices, improved readability, and integrated breach alerts.

Managing settings isn’t quite as seamless as Chrome…however if you don’t like Chrome for some reason, Firefox is a safe, well-functioning second choice.

P.S. To sign up for our news and tips sign up here.

Did You Know, Deleting Files Does not Actually Destroy The Data?

Jul 17, 2020 by Patrick

You can use a hammer, soak your computer in water (or gasoline), etc. 

But deleting data often leaves the data intact, meaning your buyer on eBay, or your local dumpster diver now has your data. 

Especially now in a work-from-home world, employees are dealing with high quantities of sensitive data sent to their personal devices for temporary use…

Of course, they are instructed to delete after use…or securely store.

Unfortunately, most do not know how to do this.

Many are sharing a server with their gaming teenager…

Suddenly, company data is available via an unsecured server to every gamer their teen is chatting with…

Whether you are replacing your device or simply using it at home on a personal network, it’s critical to understand secure methods for wiping data from your devices. 

There is no telling how long employees will continue working from home, unsupervised, with sensitive data coming and going from their mobile devices and computers.

Educate now – prevent disaster down the road.

Read more HERE about how to securely dispose of data on personal devices.

P.S. To sign up for our news and tips sign up here.

Start Using A Password Manager In 2020

Jun 13, 2020 by Patrick

Passwords

Welcome to the digital age, and we do everything online. While some things are now more convenient, we have all run into another nightmare. Too many passwords! Websites usually require the following: an upper and lower case letter, a number, special character, and minimum 8 characters! Are you the person who uses the same password everywhere?

Are your sharing passwords with staff? Many companies are moving work to the “Cloud” suddenly staff needs access to websites and shared passwords. Is your level of frustration rising each day?

If you own a smaller company your employees are probably reaching out asking for a password to access something. Once you have shared your password, you have now put your data at risk. Will you remember to change it? Is it one of those easy-to-remember passwords that one employee can recite to the next employee? No one was ready for the current crisis. Most businesses did not have a plan in place for twenty (or 50 or 100) remote employees.

You do need something better than your favorite sports team’s name followed by a number. Remember there is not some guy is not locked in a dark room trying to guess your password. Today it is a computer trying to guess your password, a computer can  manage permutations of numbers fast!

So, what is the solution? The best option is multi-factor authentication (MFA) or two-factor authentication. Unfortunately, not all cloud providers utilize MFA functionality. A good alternate solution is a password manager or password vault.

Take some time today and Google “password manager.” There are plenty of great options, one I like to use is called LastPass. Managers are nice, you need to remember one password to access the vault and you can access from many different devices. A password manager can store more than just your passwords, they can store information like credit card and drivers license numbers. Hopefully, you are not the person who uses the same password for everything.

Download a password vault today and start using it today. A vault will easily generate complex passwords, store links to the sites you use, and auto-fill usernames and passwords. Best feature vaults encrypt your data, so it is a whole lot safer than writing them down or reusing them.

Do you Assume Apps Are Secure?

May 16, 2020 by Patrick

Don’t Be Fooled. Your Phone Has Tremendous Power to Track Your Every Move – Including Watching You and Listening in…

Without doubt, you’ve seen the TikTok videos popping up across every social media platform during the national quarantine.

Maybe you have made one yourself…or you have employees or friends making them…after all, they help pass the time…

But as it turns out, TikTok is owned and operated by Communist Chinese party members…assume they DO NOT abide by security regulations in the United States.

Which led the United States Department of Defense to warn Americans not to use the app, stating that TIKTOK has the ability to “convey location, image and biometric data to its Chinese parent company, which is legally unable to refuse to share data to the Chinese government”

Apparently, TikTok has the ability to track EVERYTHING you do on your phone…not just inside the app itself, but down to your keystrokes, the other apps you’re using, and even your data (content you post and more).

SCARY STUFF!

Especially since everyone you work with is at home using their personal devices to access and move company data – and they’re sitting next to their TIKTOK-ADDICTED TEENAGERS…

We assume, if an app is available in the app store, it’s ok to use it…don’t be fooled. TikTok is claiming that they’ve resolved the security issue…the Department of Defense isn’t taking them at their word…

Make sure you know the location of your data, who is accessing it, and from where!

What is happening with your Browsers and security?

Apr 28, 2020 by Patrick

With the release of the Corona virus the world has been turned upside down in the past 2 months…

Like most people, you have probably sent your employees home to work on their home devices (in-home network). 

Your data is online (you are not alone so is everyone else’s) – which is super convenient for everyone. Have your employees been trained properly to be well  EQUIPPED to handle your company data SECURELY?

Protection of your online data can be as simple adjusting the settings on your browser. 

The issue of not being able to get to your data when you need it, a security issue referred to as AVAILABILITY.

As a business owner, lack of AVAILABILITY and virus related SCAMS should be on a list of concerns.

Two things to think about…

  1. Are your employees putting data in places you CANNOT access, such as home computers and personal email? What happens if you let them go or they leave the company for your competition, your data will be lost – INACCESSIBLE or UNAVAILABLE. 
  2. Be on the look out for  scams – especially sites with pop-up windows to trick you into changing your home page or opting into something you don’t want (like a malicious browser plug in)…Or an infected site offering Corona Virus updates or something else in the news!

For more information, CHECK OUT these 9 common browser problems here you can see a few simple solutions to keep your employees on track, and your data safe.  

In addition, you will want to make sure someone is watching the data coming in from your home users remember, they probably do not have much in the way of HOME NETWORK SECURITY (e.g. Firewalls, updated antivirus software, or policies for their kids to follow as they connect with all sorts of gamers and TIKTOK enthusiasts around the world).