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So far Susie Mahlberg has created 87 blog entries.

Fend off cybercriminals with better business security practices

used with permission from Tektonika (HP), by Karen Gilleland

“Gimme the dough—or you’ll never see your files again!” In this scenario, the thug in the mask is ransomware, and it’s only one of the ways cybercriminals attack businesses—which are often left vulnerable due to poor business security or cybersecurity practices. Alongside the devastating effects cyber attacks can have on individuals, cybercriminals are sucking billions of dollars out of the economy, and you do not want your business in that position.

Toward the end of 2017, the US government passed H.R.2105, a law aimed at helping businesses beef up their cybersecurity by providing guidelines about effective tools and strategies to combat the rise of cybercrime. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been charged with developing a comprehensive set of guidelines by October 2018, but what can you do while waiting around for that to happen? Start firming up your IT environment with […]

By |2018-11-15T18:05:46+00:00November 5th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Fend off cybercriminals with better business security practices

Warn your friends about tech support scams

used with permission from FTC.gov., by Amy Hebert

Tech support scams, which get people to pay for fake computer help or steal their personal information, are convincing. You might already know the signs of a tech support scam, but do your friends and family? Here’s what they need to know now:

  • Companies like Microsoft don’t call and ask for access to your computer. If you get a call like that, it’s a scam.
  • Real companies also won’t ask for your account passwords. Only scammers do.
  • Tech support scammers try to convince you they’re legitimate. They’ll pretend to know about a problem on your computer. They’ll ask you to open normal files that look alarming to make you think you need help.
  • If you do need computer help, go directly to a person, business, or website you know you can trust. General online searches are risky because they might pull up […]
By |2018-10-12T20:32:45+00:00October 4th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Warn your friends about tech support scams

Don’t let the old hardware blues undermine office security

used with permission from Tektonika (HP), by Karen Gilleland

Unlike fine wine, your cyber assets don’t get better with age. Any PC more than four years old is not only costly to keep, but it’s also hack-friendly tech that could pose serious office security risk. Old PCs lack the built-in security triggers needed to repel the thousands of malware threats discovered each hour. With new technology, you could avoid 70–80 percent of the top malware detected.

Down-level hardware could potentially jeopardize your business—and that risk carries a price tag far exceeding an investment in state-of-the-art technology. As Two River Community Bank put it, “The risk just isn’t worth it.” There’s no reason to stick with outdated hardware, especially when computing power is growing exponentially and faster than ever. Older hardware may be costing you precious time, and the longer you delay updating old equipment, the further behind you’ll fall in the skills, knowledge, and technology needed to compete […]

By |2018-10-12T20:32:54+00:00October 4th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Don’t let the old hardware blues undermine office security

How to avoid a Bitcoin blackmail scam

used with permission from FTC.gov., by Cristina Miranda

“I know about the secret you are keeping from your wife and everyone else. You can ignore this letter, or pay me a $8600 confidentiality fee in Bitcoin”.

It’s enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine, but these chilling words are part of a new scam targeting men.

Here’s how it works. Scammers have been sending letters to men, demanding payments using bitcoin in exchange for keeping quiet about alleged affairs. The letter also explains how to use bitcoin to make the payment.

This is a criminal extortion attempt to separate people from their money.

If you — or someone you know — gets a letter like this, report it immediately to your local police, and the FBI.

Threats, intimidation and high-pressure tactics are classic signs of a scam. Learn how to stay ahead of clever crooks with these practical tips, […]

By |2018-09-11T17:51:39+00:00September 7th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on How to avoid a Bitcoin blackmail scam

Watch out for card skimming at the gas pump

used with permission from FTC.gov, by Colleen Tressler

With the summer travel season in high gear, the FTC is warning drivers about skimming scams at the pump.

Skimmers are illegal card readers attached to payment terminals.  These card readers grab data off a credit or debit card’s magnetic stripe without your knowledge. Criminals sell the stolen data or use it to buy things online. You won’t know your information has been stolen until you get your statement or an overdraft notice.

Here are a few tips to help you avoid a skimmer when you gas up:

  • Make sure the gas pump panel is closed and doesn’t show signs of tampering. Many stations now put security seals over the cabinet panel. If the pump panel is opened, the label will read “void.”
    Photo credit: National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) and Conexxus
  • Look at the card reader itself. […]
By |2018-09-11T17:51:37+00:00September 7th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Watch out for card skimming at the gas pump

What are cookies?

used with permission from Norton by Symantec

Mention “cookies” and most people expect a chocolate chip treat to appear. When talking about computers, however, cookies aren’t on the dropdown menu. In fact, they’re not even physical objects. Yet they do a great deal of the work that makes it more convenient for you to browse the Internet — and they can be troublesome if you don’t know how to clear or delete cookies.

Meet the computer cookie

A computer “cookie” is more formally known as an HTTP cookie, a web cookie, an Internet cookie or a browser cookie. The name is a shorter version of “magic cookie,” which is a term for a packet of data that a computer receives and then sends back without changing or altering it.

No matter what it’s called, a computer cookie consists of information. When you visit a website, the website sends the cookie to your computer. Your computer stores […]

By |2018-08-03T20:37:34+00:00August 2nd, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on What are cookies?

5 questions every SMB should ask about workstations – but rarely do

used with permission from HP Tech@Work

How can SMB owners determine if workstations are right for them and, if so, how to select the best machines for their particular needs?

Workstations have been around long enough now that it’s safe to start talking about how modern versions of these machines are nothing like the pricey behemoths grandpa used back in the ‘90s.

Today’s workstations are vastly improved with processing, graphics and storage capabilities being enhanced on a continual basis. At the same time, they have become much more compact, mobile, stylish and affordable over the years, with prices on some models starting at less than $1,000.

Considering all these benefits, it should come as little surprise that small- to mid-sized businesses are starting to consider workstations as an alternative to the consumer PCs they’ve traditionally favored.

But how can SMB owners determine if workstations are right for them and, if so, how to select the best machines […]

By |2018-08-03T20:37:31+00:00August 2nd, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on 5 questions every SMB should ask about workstations – but rarely do

Tackle internet safety today – it might be easier than you think

used with permission from Tektonika (HP)

Information security breaches are becoming so commonplace, they’re seen as the cost of doing business—but they don’t have to be. Promoting internet safety and device security isn’t as hard as it might seem. By making small changes to online behavior, IT professionals and users can do a lot to keep their business safe. And the first way you can start is:

Stop using passwords

Wait, what? You read that right: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently came out with new guidance on password best practices. According to Mike Garcia, former director of NIST’s Trusted Identities Group, the gist of these guidelines is, “Simply put: Use passphrases, not passwords.”

This is great news for any users who spend a lot of time in “Forgot Your Password?” purgatory. For years, the advice for keeping passwords hacker-proof was to make them more complicated. But that made them user-proof, too. The primary goal of […]

By |2018-08-03T20:37:24+00:00August 2nd, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Tackle internet safety today – it might be easier than you think

Windows 10 Tip: Go back and forth in time with Timeline

used with permission from Microsoft, by Elana Pidgeon

Did you know there’s a new feature in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update to help you easily find what matters to you across your devices?

It’s called Timeline, and it lets you go back in time to past activities you’ve worked on across your devices, so you can jump back into them like you never left. So, if you’re looking for a specific document, image, or video you worked on yesterday or a week ago, Timeline makes it even easier to find what you’re looking for. You can even pick up what you were doing on your iOS or Android device on your Windows 10 PC when you’re ready to get back to it.

Here’s what you can do with Timeline:

  • Go back and forth in time. Easily scroll back in time to find things you were working on earlier today or a few weeks ago.*
  • Find activities […]
By |2018-07-03T21:19:17+00:00July 3rd, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Windows 10 Tip: Go back and forth in time with Timeline

5 mobile threats you should shut down in 2018

used with permission from Tektonika (HP)

Mobile devices are now a staple of the workplace, as ubiquitous as open floor plans and videoconferencing. Enabling employees to work from their mobile devices can even boost satisfaction, productivity, creativity, loyalty, and engagement—that’s quite a list of benefits.

However, embracing these upsides also requires paying attention to the downside: mobile threats. Given the sheer volume and value of sensitive data on employee devices, mobile security needs to be an IT priority. Every time an employee accesses corporate data from a smartphone, they put the entire network at risk—unless proper security measures are in place.

To unlock the full potential of workplace mobility, IT pros need to understand the biggest mobile threats. Here’s an overview of the top five hazards you should look out for in 2018—and beyond.

1. Data leakage

As defined by PCMag, data leakage is “the unauthorized transfer of classified information from a computer or data center to the outside world.” There are […]

By |2018-06-05T23:43:02+00:00June 5th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on 5 mobile threats you should shut down in 2018