Ahhhhhh scammers… they’ll take advantage of anything to make a buck. We’ve talked before about how scammers will follow the headlines to find weak spots and prey on people’s fears. The worry surrounding Coronavirus is no different.
Scams are popping up left and right in the form of social media posts, emails, texts, and phone calls. These malicious messages appear to have helpful tips but instead contain fake information about cases of the virus in your neighborhood. Hackers will occasionally use this to appeal to your altruistic side and ask for donations to help these fake victims.
Please do not give any money or any personal information to anyone who emails, texts or contacts you through social media. If you’re looking for legitimate information about the coronavirus or any connected programs, please visit cdc.gov. Stay safe out there and if you have any tech questions, feel free to call or email us. We’re here to help!
Once again, Android phones are being targeted by phishing emails to gain access to your financial information. This malicious piece of software is called Anubis banking Trojan, and it pretends to be a pop-up to enable a program called Google Play Protect. However, instead of protecting you, this piece of malware actually turns off Google Play Protect entirely, which makes it much easier to get into your banking and shopping applications.
Once this malicious software is installed, it compiles a list of all your downloaded apps and then decides what to target. If you try to open one of those apps while infected, Anubis will show you a fake login page and after tricking you into handing over your credentials, they steal them.
This malware has various features and commands that it can run, like capturing screenshots, altering administrator settings, recording audio, and locking the device as well as many other harmful features. If you’d like to know more about this terrible virus and how to better protect your devices, please feel free to reach out to us here at Nice Guy Technology, we’re here to help!
Something terrible is happening. I can sense the pain and fear, the unimaginable suffering of... oh it’s just TAX SEASON again. With it being the start of the busiest time of the year for the Financial Services Industry, your favorite hackers have gotten you a little present: targeting you relentlessly while you’re at your most frantic. This isn’t anything new, hackers always target a specific demographic depending on the time of the year, but to ensure that you’re protected here are few things you can do:
Make sure that you’re backing up to either a physical drive or to the cloud. We actually recommend doing both because this step is so incredibly vital!
Next is to make sure that your antivirus software is up-to-date and working properly. Overlooking your basic computer’s security is a bad reason to lose your money, or your career.
After that, you should have two-factor authentication turned on for all of the software applications you use. Using two-factor authentication is a huge help in deterring hackers.
Lastly, be sure you’re monitoring your network. A lot of times when you’re hit by malware the hacker has had control of your network for months. Most business owners don’t have time to continuously monitor their tech so hiring an outside tech company to do this for you is always a smart option.
If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to us here at Nice Guy Technology, we’re here to help!
More than 60% of small and medium sized businesses are hit each year by cyberattacks, and this percentage has been increasing for a while. They can be a debilitating obstacle for your business and your wallet. If you’ve already suffered one of these unfortunate attacks, one of the ways to fight back is to share your story with the community. It can feel embarrassing to share with others what happened at your company, but if you can help another by talking about the mistakes that your company made than it’s more than worth it. One of the most commonly used tactics cyber attackers use is phishing emails. Phishing emails look like they’re emails sent to you by someone you know or from a service you may use, such as UPS. It prompts you to click on a link, and then takes you to a malicious website. There are lots of ways to fight against and avoid phishing emails and if you’d like to hear more about it and other methods to keep your company safe from hackers please feel free to reach out to us here at Nice Guy Technology.
Imagine it’s dusk, there’s a man hunched over his keyboard typing frantically and he’s about to gain access to your bank accounts. All he has to do is click enter and they are his for the taking. Then he gets stopped by something so simple to set up: two-factor authentication.
Having extra protection can always be more helpful than having less or no protection. Two-Factor Authentication is that extra part, it asks you to put in a code on top of entering your password correctly. You will either be given the code through text, phone call, email, or an app that can hold these codes for you. So, if someone you didn’t want to access your account got a hold of your password they would be stopped by the two-factor authentication. Another option for two-factor authentication is a device that cycles through those codes and is not connected to the internet so it can’t be hacked into. But, if you would like to hear more about two-factor authentication and how to implement it in your business, feel free to reach out to us here at Nice Guy Technology.
Everyone has them and most of them are known or not as complex as they should be. Obviously, I’m talking about bio-metric safes to store our consciousness for the zombie uprising. Either that or passwords. It can be very hard to want to make multiple passwords or even have long passwords because it’s a pain to take all that time to type it. And don’t even get me started on multiple passwords, it is very difficult to remember the passwords you use and the correct one you use for that account. However, I’m about to let you in on 2 little secrets; how to easily make complex passwords and how to manage them.
Starting with complex passwords, for whatever reason, people have the idea that having so0me long string of random characters is the best way to have a complex password. But that is FALSE. Using a phrase or a couple words joined together is stronger than using random letters and numbers. For example, using Coleslaw is gross with capital letters, numbers and symbols thrown in for your password would be stronger than a random string of numbers, letters and symbols for your password. But having complex passwords is only half of the battle.
Now that you’ve got all those complex passwords, what do you do with them? Post it notes are not the answer! An easy way to organize and remember your passwords is to use a password manager app, like Passportal or OnePass. These apps hold all of your important passwords and some account info in a vault and you only have to remember one, single password. At Nice Guy Tech we use PassPortal in our own office and for our clients. If you’re interested in us helping you wrangle all your passwords, let’s talk. You’ll be amazed how easy it is! By using password management software you can now rely on it to remember your passwords and you can use the extra brain power to worry about the zombie uprising.
Data is everywhere, in the cloud or on your phone. Data is kind of like your uncle, he’s just around and sometimes you don’t know why. One of the main differences between your uncle and data is that normally your uncle can’t be infected by ransomware. If this does happen here’s what you can do to try and prevent having to lose your data.
Having all of your data backed up in the cloud or on a physical device is great so you can retrieve your data if your machine breaks down or is infected. This is especially helpful in the event of a natural disaster. Another great reason to back up your data is in case of a virus or malware attack. You can easily erase your device without having to worry about losing data or having your files become corrupted. There is a stigma of backups being difficult, but they are a lot easier to deal with than they were 4-5 years ago. If you would like to learn more about backups or if you have any questions please call or email us at Nice Guy Technology.
Ransomware attacks are a constantly growing form of malware that threatens to wreak havoc to your finances. Business owners are suddenly finding the entirety of their data locked behind a virtual safe, only accessible once a ransom has been payed. Here’s some tips to think about if you fall victim to this cyber-crime.
Hopefully we’re helping you grasp just how detrimental an affliction this can really be for your livelihood. So, the most important thing to talk about is how to avoid dealing with this in the first place. Taking preventative action can help guarantee that an attempted attack will not cripple your productivity. Backing up your data is a sure-fire way to protect yourself. You can back up your data to the cloud, which we highly recommend. It will keep your data protected and updated so that no matter what happens to your hard drive, you’re safe. You could also back up to an external drive, but for total security, we recommend doing both! That being said, if your business is looking for comprehensive cyber-security in qualified hands, contact Nice Guy Technology to hear all about our services!
When it comes to business technology, around 75% - 80% of companies use Windows computers. May I share a few statistics with you?
• Microsoft's latest operating system is Windows 10
• Windows 7 is 10 years old!
• As many as 43% of businesses are still running Windows 7.
• 17% of IT departments don't know when the Win 7 support deadline is.
• 16% of IT departments admit to still running Windows XP or Vista. 🤯😯
Even though Windows 10 has been out for quite some time now, I completely understand why some companies haven't wanted to upgrade. Change is hard for humans. We get used to the way our computer looks, feels and operates. Even small changes require time and training.
Another issue is software compatibility. When your business has paid a hefty sum for line of business software that isn't yet compatible with Windows 10, it's tough to justify upgrading.
Here's the rub. After January 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide technical support, software updates or security updates for Windows 7. Those first two might cause minor inconveniences but the lack of security updates leaves you and your business extremely vulnerable.
New viruses, malware, and cyber threats are being created and sent out every day. Microsoft, Apple, all the big software companies, have people creating regular software updates to patch security holes and keep your devices protected from these threats. Without these regular security updates your data, your customers' data, your network and ultimately your entire business are left completely exposed.
You do have some options.
1. Do nothing - take your chances (not recommended)
2. Upgrade your current computers to Windows 10
3. Purchase new hardware/computers with Windows 10 already installed
The good news is you have some time to make a plan. Check with specialty software vendors as well as your IT provider about how this change affects you and your business.
If you have questions or need some guidance, give our office a call (614) 233-1648 or send an email. We're always happy to help!
How to Securely Dispose of Old Computers
Getting new computers for your business is exciting, but what happens to the old ones? Depending on the age, some people sell them, others throw them out. That’s the easy part. The problem is the sensitive data on them. There are passwords, account numbers, license keys, customer details, medical information, tax returns, browser history… the works! Each computer, whether laptop, tablet or desktop, contains a treasure trove of sensitive information that cybercriminals would love to get their hands on.
Unfortunately, hitting delete on your files doesn’t actually make them disappear, nor does waving a strong magnet over the drive. These mistakes have cost businesses millions of dollars over the years.
Most businesses are unaware that specialized data cleanup is necessary, others think calling someone to collect the computers will cover all the bases. A 2016 experiment proved just how dangerous the situation can be when they bought 200 used hard drives and found 67% held unwiped, unencrypted sensitive data, including sales projection spreadsheets, CRM records, and product inventories. Frighteningly, they didn’t need any special hacking skills to get this data, it was all right there and helpfully labelled. It’s also not surprising that with simple data recovery tools, people have also been able to access British NHS medical records and missile data, all waiting patiently on a discarded hard drive.
Why hitting delete doesn’t help
Data on a hard drive works like a book with an index page. Every time data is written, it pops a quick entry into the index so when you need it again, it knows where to look. The index is used for files you create as well as system files you can’t even see. Sensible, right? Except if you delete a file it’s more like changing the index to say nothing is on page 10 and you can write something else there when you’re ready. But if you manually flip to page 10, you’ll find the information is still there - the file still exists until it’s been written over - it’s the index reference that got deleted.
Wiping data before disposal
There are software tools you can get to do it yourself, as well as dedicated security firms, but your best option is to choose an IT business you know and trust. With that in mind, a methodical approach is required to ensure not a single drive is left untreated. You don’t want to leave data behind, or even clues that a motivated person could extrapolate any private information from. The approach might include using checklists to maintain security, or dedicated processes to guide each step in decommissioning. Careful records should also be kept, including who signs off on completion of the retirement, and where the computers are sent afterwards. A proper inventory and auditing process may slow the rollout of the new computers slightly, but it’s always better than having your old data come back to haunt you.
We can migrate any needed data, back up the information to your server or external drive, then wipe or destroy the hard drives for you. We can assess the age of your old computers and either dispose of them for you or point you in the right direction of computer recyclers. Plus, the quicker you dispose of your old computers, the easier the process will be. Recyclers will be able to send less of your equipment to landfill, and you’ll be less likely to forget how valuable the drive contents are.
Upgrading your business computers should be a happy time for you and your employees, so with a little forward planning, you’ll be able to keep everyone smiling and all your data secure.
Need help with your old business hardware? Call us today at 614-233-1648!