You’ve likely heard the term “phishing” before, but what exactly does it mean? Well, phishing refers to when hackers disguise themselves as trusted sources to try to trick you into “taking the bait” so to speak, so that they can steal your sensitive information. These phishing attempts can come in the form of email, text messages or phone calls and often times appear to be legitimate.
Let’s talk about a few tricks you can use to protect yourself from phishing scams:
Never send passwords or personal information via email. Your information is the primary thing that hackers and scammers are looking for, and they’ll use it to access your finances or anything else they can use to make a profit at your expense.
Secondly, don’t click unexpected links or open unexpected attachments. Hackers use these to install viruses on your device, and you likely won’t know the extent of the damage until it’s far too late.
It’s also important to hover your cursor over links to reveal the actual URL. If the real URL is different from the one that appeared to be legitimate, then that’s a huge red flag that something is wrong! You’ll also want to check the URL and the message for misspellings and poor grammar. It’s incredibly unlikely that a legitimate company will be sending out haphazardly written materials, and far more likely that a criminal would do exactly that.
Please, if you receive an email, text, or voice message that seems phishy, check with your IT department or feel free to contact us here, at Nice Guy Technology! We’re here to help.
We’re in the middle of Spring now, and despite the world being turned upside down, I think that the Spring-cleaning mindset is just as important as ever. In fact, more important than it ever has been! We’re all a little, or a lot, stir crazy, and setting some goals for yourself while in quarantine can do nothing but help. That’s why I’d like to give you some ideas for Spring-cleaning your tech.
I know that we’re probably nowhere near the first people to recommend physically cleaning your technology right now, but that’s because it really is a good idea to get those germ-infested screens nice and pristine! First of all, we recommend using canned air to get all that dust and debris out of the interior of your computers and keyboards. Dust accumulates in these areas much faster than you’d think, and with enough buildup and time, can and likely will do damage to your devices. To clean the grime off of screens and the outside of your tech devices, you can either use a solution made for that, or use a glass cleaning solution as long as it doesn’t have ammonia. You’ll also want to use a microfiber cloth to avoid being too rough.
Your hardware isn’t the only thing that needs attention, the software side of things should get a touch up as well. Check to see if your device needs software updates, or if your applications need updated. Also, one of the most important things you can do to ensure lasting security for your data is to back everything up! Systems, devices, and files all need backed up, and only then can you be sure that no matter what happens to your device, you’ll be able to find everything you otherwise would have lost. You’ll also want to delete all of the applications you no longer use. We’ve all downloaded applications that we wanted to use a year ago and haven’t touched since, but they unnecessarily take up space and can slow your computer down. Dormant apps could even pose a security risk depending on how secure they are to begin with!
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to comment on this video or reach out to us here, at Nice Guy Technology! We’re here to help.
If you’re like me, you’re opening up the same few internet tabs every time you get on your computer. This is especially likely if you’re working from home right now, since you’d be using certain websites over and over again for your job. To make things just that much easier, I want to show you how you can set your web browser to automatically open certain pages when you get on.
I use Chrome, so that’s what we’ll be using here, but most other browsers are going to have really similar instructions. The first thing you want to do after opening the browser is click on the “more” button located in the top right corner, it looks like 3 dots stacked on top of each other. Near the bottom here you can find the “settings” button, and that’s where we want to go. Scroll down to the bottom where you’ll find a section called “On Startup.” If you click on “Open a specific page or set of pages” you’ll see the option to add a new page or use your current pages. One way to set this up is to go ahead and open every tab that you want to open automatically from now on. Then if you click on “Use current pages,” it will include every tab that’s open aside from the settings one that you’re currently using. You could also click on “Add a new page” where you’ll need to put in a URL. Do this by going to a page: Nice Guy Technology’s “News & Updates” for instance! – random example – and copy that URL. Then all you have to do is paste it back into settings, and voila: Everything you want is there right off the bat.
This can seem like a small thing, but by saving you a few seconds every time you go online, it really adds up quickly. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to comment on this video or reach out to us here, at Nice Guy Technology! We’re here to help.
The greatest threats to your company and its data come from hackers and cybercriminals. It’s just as important, however, to ensure the physical security of your devices while working from home.
Implement these recommendations:
• Shut down your device and store it in a secure place before leaving your home for any reason.
• Lock your computer when you step away from it. This is especially important if you have children or other family members around.
• Place your work devices out of sight at the end of the day. Not only does it keep them from being stolen, but helps you maintain work-life balance.
Want more tips for setting up safe Work From Home networks? Check out our free resources here.
Of course, if you have an immediate IT need, you can always reach us at 614-233-1648.
The weather’s getting nicer, the infection is spreading less rapidly that it was, and stimulus checks are about to come in! The usual grim headlines we’ve been hearing, while not gone, are finally being joined by some good news. Positivity is spreading, and people are finding ways to be physically distant while socially connected. In fact, I really dislike the phrase ‘social distancing’ because it incorrectly implies that you can’t enjoy the company of your friends and family while quarantined. I’d like to share a few ways that you can connect during these unusual months!
Video conferencing apps such as Zoom are a great way to simply chat face to face with your friends and loved ones. With all of the technology we have at our disposal, there’s no reason we can’t sit down in front of the computer and connect with anyone we want on a daily basis. Beyond just chatting, Zoom and some of the other programs have games that you can play to entertain the whole group. If they don’t already know, teach your parents to play Words with Friends and have fun video chatting while you play!
The thing that I spend most of my indoor time doing is watching movies. If things were normal, I’d be at the movie theater all day, but just because the theaters are closed doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a flick with your friends, your family, or even your physically distant date! There are programs out there like the Chrome extension Netflix Party that will help you sync up what you and your movie partner are watching. Pair that with a voice or video chat, and voilà: movie night!
Also growing in popularity are group virtual meetups. For instance, an app I use called Meetup is typically used for planning in-person get togethers for people with a common interest or hobby. I’ve noticed that the app has recently adapted to the times by pivoting to virtual get togethers. As previously mentioned, people are getting online for movie nights, but also for dinner parties, book clubs, and many other various fun activities! If you’re feeling isolated at a time like this, or any time for that matter, I strongly recommend finding some groups that you can relate with and participating in these virtual meetings.
Lastly, and most simply, go outside! Taking a walk all by yourself or with someone you already live with doesn’t break quarantine. Exercise is still important and necessary to avoid becoming stir crazy while you’re cooped up all day. As long as you give strangers you come across a wide berth and don’t touch the crosswalk buttons with your bare hands, you’ll be safe!
We’re all dealing with a strange world right now, but the last thing we should feel is disconnected. Whether it be friends, family, or strangers with likeminded interests, now is a great time to find new hobbies and catch up with the people we care about. Stay safe out there and our world will be back to normal in no time. If you have any thoughts or concerns, please comment on this video or feel free to reach out to us here, at Nice Guy Technology. We’re here to help.
Transcription of Video:
Oh look, yet another group of people taking advantage of the Coronavirus panic. The FBI is reporting that scammers are sending out false government stimulus checks and stealing the personal information that they receive.
There are other reports of phishing scams circulating including treatment offers, claims of a cure, online vaccinations, and fake charity donation requests. Most of these scams are being spread by email and some by phone application. We like to remind you to always look at the sender before clicking on links in an email. If you don’t recognize it or even if there’s just something off about the email, do not click on that link.
You should also be using two-factor authentication to make sure your accounts are as secure as can be. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us here at Nice Guy Technology. We’re here to help.
With so many people now working from home, it's important to keep safety at the top of your to-do list. Here'a a 10 step checklist for you to follow as you and your employees work remotely.
1. Treat equipment just as if you were at the office
2. Enable full disk encryption
3. Password Policies
4. Access to company networks
5. Implement Two-Factor or Multi-Factor Authentication
6. Don’t mix work and personal usage on corporate IT
7. Authorizing Financial Transactions
10. Protect Endpoints from Malware
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!