Computer Tip of the Day: Browse Safely

computer tip of the day browse safely

Browse Safely

All of us at one point or another have used the internet for work, school, entertainment, etc. We spend countless hours browsing the news, shopping, watching videos, even ordering food all from our computers or smartphones. In fact, in 2015, it was estimated that young ones between the ages of 16 and 24 spent more than 27 hours a week on the internet.

But as activist Simon Wiesenthal once said, “The combination of hatred and technology is the greatest danger threatening mankind.” This is clearly seen in how technology and the internet are being used to hurt people. According to Cybint, there is a hacker attack every 39 seconds, affecting 1 in 3 Americans each year. With all this being said, it’s clear that precautions must be taken to browse safely and protect data.

Use Strong Passwords

Most, if not all websites today store personal information one way or another, and they keep track of this information using passwords created by the user. When a hacker obtains a password used by a company or individual, they can use it to obtain data such as SSN’s, Card Information, Addresses, etc. When a hacker has the data available to them they can hurt the individual or company by using it for selfish gain. Here are a few tips for better password protection:

  • Between 8 – 12 Characters
  • Use Special Symbols (@, !, $, _)
  • Combine both letters and numbers
  • Use both uppercase and lowercase letters
  • Here’s an example (@P3t3rJ_1215)

Avoid Shady Emails

Especially for those in the workplace, email is used for many things such as communicating with clients or subscribing to a newsletter. Due to its use, this is a common tool for hackers to corrupt your computer with malware or viruses via hyperlinks. They can even send false emails to obtain personal information from you and steal crucial data. Here are a few tips to open emails carefully:

  • Do not open emails from unknown sources
  • Avoid downloading attachments in emails
  • Do not give out your email to anyone, only trusted sources
  • Delete spam mail as quickly as possible

Ensure Data is Encrypted

Due to an increase in online forms and data sharing over the internet, attackers use un-encrypted sites to steal information such as passwords, usernames, card information, etc. When visiting a site to fill out a form such as a bank website, for example, ensure that the website is HTTPS encrypted. An easy way to verify if a website is encrypted is to see if a padlock in the address bar is locked as seen here.

Use Antivirus Software

There are thousands of new malware and viruses being launched every day and it can be hard to keep track of how to protect yourself against such threats that can hurt your computer and yourself. Thankfully, companies have devoted themselves to help protect you against the nastiest of attacks by offering software (both paid and free) to block those attacks. These companies use tools such as encryption and firewalls to protect your computer and your data. Here are a few trusted companies that offer Antivirus software:

While the internet can be a scary and dangerous place, you can protect yourself with the right tools and precautions to enjoy browsing to the fullest. The above tips are just a few of the many things that can be done to browse safely, yet there are many more that can offer added protection. If you would like to know more about these tips and tricks for safe browsing, please contact us to learn more; we’d love to hear from you and help you browse safely!

Network Cable Installation

network cable installation

A reliable network requires professionally installed cables. A cheaply done job, without the necessary expertise, will deliver unreliable service and cost more to fix later. Good cable installation gives you connections that stay connected and wiring that avoids interference.

  • The cables need to be high-quality. For most Ethernet networks, CAT 5e or 6 is the right choice. Lower-quality cables won’t handle high data speeds. You don’t want to have to replace them after your next router upgrade, so plan ahead.
  • Be sure to run enough cables. It doesn’t cost much to have a little extra capacity, but the labor costs are higher if you need to add more later.
  • Cable runs shouldn’t be longer than the recommended maximum. Each cable type has its own limitations. Exceeding them will result in poor signals, more errors, and slower data throughput. Stretching cables can damage them and increases the chance that connections will get loose.
  • Cables should run smoothly, without kinks. A sharp bend in a cable can make it interfere with itself and lose data.
  • Connectors need to be well-crimped. Loose connections add capacitance to the line, potentially reducing throughput, and they may come unattached after a while.
  • The placement of cables needs to avoid interference. They should never run close by and parallel to power lines, and they should stay well clear of fluorescent lights.
  • Installed cables need to follow applicable standards and be properly labeled. The network could need some changes in the future, and it will be harder and more expensive if technicians have to identify wires and cable routes by trial and error.

Network cabling is a long-term investment. If it’s done well, it will give a business reliable connections and continue to meet its needs as it adds newer and faster equipment. A good cabling system is just there; you don’t have to think about it. In most cases, it will require little or no maintenance for years. Contact us to learn how we can help you to set up a reliable network.

How Can You Protect Your Business Data During Logins?

how can you protect your business data during logins

The more inconvenient you can make it for would-be criminals to get your business and customer data, the less likely they are to try. Unless they are specifically targeting your business, there is almost always lower hanging fruit. Here’s how to tighten security with just a few simple changes:

Have two-step password recovery or logins.

If you’ve ever forgotten your password to an account through Google or ADP, you’ve been given an extra passcode for extra authorization. More and more companies are turning to adding a second, manual step to prevent mass password reset requests and to prevent typical bots from being able to complete the process. So add this extra step for when your customers need new passwords and when your employees log in.

Never give out forgotten passwords.

Several years ago, you would be sent your password if you forgot it. But companies and online services gradually started switching to password resets instead. This isn’t necessarily because it’s any easier on the hacker’s end to recover the password instead of resetting it. But the fundamental architecture of old password recovery systems was a spreadsheet. You’d enter your username as part of your password recovery request, the system would find that string of characters in the ‘username’ column, and then you’d receive an email with whatever was in the ‘password’ column. If hackers know how your information is organized, it’s that much easier to steal.

Use a physical key for administrative access.

A physical token is also an icon of early Internet security. Instead of two-step verification apps like Duo, people used to get remote network access through their computer login and by plugging in a token that provided a long string of randomized characters: one of the most secure passwords.

For truly crucial information and access portals, like your server administrator’s or CTO’s computer, use a token. They’ve become more and more secure, and the element of physical security makes it that much harder to break into.

For more security tools, go to AE Technology Group.

 

How IT Support Can Help Your Business

how it support can help your business

The economy in New York City is both extremely dynamic and competitive. Because of this, staying ahead of your competition is always extremely important. One of the best ways that you can ensure that you are able to stay ahead of others in your industry is by having a dedicated IT support service at your disposal. An IT support service will be able to provide you with a range of different services.

Network Establishment and Maintenance

The first thing that your support service will be able to provide you with is the establishment and maintenance of a network. Having a network to store and share data is extremely important. The IT support service will be able to developing Network that can connect all members of your organization. Through the use of Cloud technology and other services, it can greatly make your business more efficient.

Data Security

Due to the continued risks of data theft, engaging an IT support service to help you manage these risks is very important. The service will be able to establish a security system that will be difficult to access by outside threats.  They will also be able to monitor your network security on a daily basis for red flags and update it with new technology as needed.  This will help to keep your company and customer information secure.

Help Desk

The IT support service can also provide simple help desk support. Nothing is more frustrating than having a computer that will not work or not being able to access a network. The IT support staff will be able to provide you with quick support to ensure you are up and running in no time.

If you are in need of a New York City IT support service, contact us to learn more about all of the services that we could provide your organization.

IT Support in New York: The Benefits of Outsourcing Your IT Department

it support in new york the benefits of outsourcing your it department

outsourcing your IT department

For people with small to mid-sized businesses, it can be difficult to maintain a skilled IT department in-house. For this reason, many of these companies are choosing to outsource their IT needs to an outside company. If you have been considering outsourcing your IT department but have yet to make the switch, here are just a few of the reasons that you should consider doing so today.

Save Money

One of the primary reasons to consider outsourcing your IT services is that doing so can save you money. Managing an in-house team of IT specialists can quickly become expensive as you will have to deal with hiring and training your staff, as well as maintaining, purchasing, and upgrading equipment. When you outsource your IT department, you will only pay for the services you need, and you will not have to worry about managing IT staff or equipment.

Better Security

Unless your hiring manager is an IT specialist themselves, it can be difficult for many smaller businesses to know whether the IT people they are hiring are right for the position. However, an IT company specializes in finding the best people in the field, ensuring that you have the most skilled people on your side, which can help to ensure the future security of your company.

Access to Better Resources

Many smaller businesses do not have the resources to keep their IT department updated with the latest technology and training. However, large IT firms often reinvest, ensuring that you have access to the latest resources, strategies, and technology.

By outsourcing your IT department you can gain access to superior IT services while actually saving money. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of professional IT support.