If you’re getting targeted with surprisingly relevant ads, there’s a chance your internet activity is being tracked and analyzed by market researchers. While this doesn’t bother most people, private browsing mode can offer you some protection against online marketers and would-be data thieves.

What is private browsing?
Your web browser — whether it be Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, or Opera — remembers the URLs of the sites you visit, cookies that track your activity, passwords you’ve used, and temporary files you’ve downloaded.

This can be convenient if you frequently visit certain pages, can’t remember your login details, or if you’re trying to recall a website you visited a few days ago. But if someone else uses or gains access to your computer, your most private (and embarrassing) internet activities are exposed for anyone to see.

With private browsing — also called Incognito Mode in Chrome and InPrivate Browsing in Edge — all the information listed above does not get recorded. In fact, all the websites and information you accessed in the private browsing session is immediately discarded without a trace as soon as you close the browser. This can come in handy when you’re using a public computer because you’re instantly logged out of all the accounts after closing the window.

Your cookies also won’t be tracked. In a normal browsing session, sites like Facebook will inundate you with highly targeted ads based on the sites and pages you’ve visited. But in private browsing mode, your internet activity won’t be used against you by marketing companies.

Another benefit of private browsing is you can use it to log in to several accounts on the same site, which is useful if you need to log into two different Google accounts at the same time.

Limitations of private browsing
Although private browsing does prevent your web browser from storing your data, it doesn’t stop anyone from snooping on your current activities. If your computer is connected to the company network, system administrators can still keep track of what you’re browsing even if you’re in Incognito Mode. Also, if spyware or keylogger malware is installed on your computer, hackers will still be able to see what you’re doing online. Even though private browsing has quite a few benefits, you shouldn’t solely depend on it for online privacy.

Your computers must be equipped with Virtual Private Networks that encrypt your internet connection and prevent anyone from intercepting your data. And don’t forget to scan your computer for viruses with a strong anti-malware program to keep spyware and other malicious web monitoring software at bay.

If you want to know where you can get these solutions or learn more about web browser security, call us today. We have the tools and expert advice you need to prevent anyone from snooping on your internet browsing.

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment
Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Today’s businesses are so reliant on data that most of them will cease to function without a steady flow of it. The case is especially true for small to medium enterprises, where most of the decision making is left to one or two individuals. Just like retail users, small business owners fail to realize the importance of a solid data backup & recovery system. The truth is that they’re playing a very dangerous game by thinking that new technologies will continue to make their lives more efficient, all on their own. It’s important to remember that in today’s world of data-dependency, a bad backup plan, or complete lack of, can mean the end of a business if that data is lost or stolen.
The real problem is that most small businesses either can’t afford to invest in a good backup strategy or are simply ignorant of the fact that it could happen to them and end their livelihood. Not to say that small business owners aren’t tech savvy, but the concept of backup and storage strategy has recently caught up with their otherwise modern work ethics. Another problem is that most businesses run by millennials prefer to stick to the early 2000s concept of batch backups, failing to realize the need to have a constantly updated repository of their sensitive business data.

Do Small Businesses Really Need Backups?
The need to have securely backup data has never been more critical to businesses, especially for smaller more vulnerable businesses. While users can always store data for free on a cloud, some argue that you’re better off manually backup your data in an external hard drive. But backup isn’t just hardware, and a business’s backup strategy will depend on the organization’s unique storage needs.
A disaster recovery plan can act as a guiding light in times of IT disasters, and should be your first priority. Here are few of the weaknesses one would find when thinking about what can go wrong:
Locally hosted data might be secure, but if the building burns to the ground?
Backup tapes are permanently on-site.
Computer access in smaller organizations isn’t usually regulated by an administrator, enabling employees to misuse or siphon data.

Backup 101
For business data, always ensure to:
-Make two full copies of the data, maintained on separate physical devices, whether it’s on a hard drive, USB stick, Blu-ray, or even a good old fashioned rewritable disk.
-Keep a third optional virtual copy, stored in a cloud or on a server, preferably in a different location as your office servers.
Having multiple copies of your data can greatly reduce the chances of total data loss, as well as offer a degree of business continuity. Optionally, you can keep this data updated by synchronizing all the devices that the data is stored on.

Best Data Storage Solutions
Rather than create a detailed backup & recovery strategy that would require you to invest in paid data services, a good choice would be to use convenient storage options that are practically suitable for small businesses. Here’s a look at some of the best backup storage options.

1. Direct Attached Storage (DAS)
Direct Attached Storage devices are those that are physically connected to a computer or server, typically via USB 2.0 and above, ports. This ensures that the data is nearby and within reach, with the occasional issue of having to perform batch backups. This won’t be a major issue if your data doesn’t have to be real-time, and if you have the time and patience to perform manual backups.

2. Network Attached Storage (NAS)
Network Attached Storage devices are those that are directly connected to a network. A NAS system will offer support functions that one would expect from a file server, with the added feature of accepting multiple storage drives. NAS devices usually come equipped with redundancies, like RAID capabilities; because NAS supports a range of protocols to allow users to directly access a PC. Some NAS models offer the capability to synchronize specific data with a suitable remote NAS system.

3. Disaster Protected Storage (DAS)
Disaster Protected Storage systems are specialized storage devices that can withstand disasters that typically erase or corrupt unprotected data. DAS systems can exist as DAS or NAS. Most of these devices are made out of durable military grade materials, and offer a range of protection features such as water-proofing, fire-proofing, etc.

4. Online Storage
The internet is a great place, even more so now that we can store data online. And while most people only think of the cloud when it comes to online storage, there are two distinct form of online storage; paid services like Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3), and online storage systems, like the cloud. There are a number of such services that have been created specifically for small businesses, like IBackup. The only downside of online storage is that online data recovery can take a long time, especially in a case of full-recovery, since the data is being recovered from a remote location.
If you prefer not to leave you sensitive data under the protection of 3rd party cloud vendors, you could even opt to build your own private cloud service. And although it might not have been practical for small businesses to invest in their own cloud, new innovations now allow them to get private cloud storage on a budget.
Published with consideration from DailyBlogTips. SOURCE

Your online reputation consists of the exposure your business has on search engines, social media, and online directories. It is imperative that you build an online reputation, not because it is the trendy thing to do, but because it is the smartest move you can make for your business. Why? Because 65% of shoppers do their research online before making a purchase and your business needs to be one of they find when looking online.

In this article, we’ll go over the 5 ways you can improve your business’ reputation online.

1. Create a website with a custom domain so people can find your business online.
Every business should have their own website. It’s your online calling card and should be the first thing people see when they look you up online. This is especially true for consumer electronics companies, where businesses are competing for a limited number of product categories. You can do so much in one place such as list your products, market them using blogs, and sell them by using a payment gateway.

2. Set up your social media channels.
After setting up your website, the next step should be to create a profile on the appropriate social media channels. You can post photos, announcements, discounts, and sell your products on these channels. Most businesses start with Facebook, but there are other social media platforms that are niche-specific, such as LinkedIn, Angie’s List, Pinterest, etc.

It is important to have a social presence because a huge number of social media users make their purchasing decisions based on what they see on social media. By putting your products and your company where potential customers are searching, you are able to reach a larger audience.

3. Register your website on online business listings
If people want to find a business like yours, they will often go to authority business listing sites like  Yelp for Business, Google My Business, Better Business Bureau, etc. Once your business is listed, clients can easily find you and see how you compare to other businesses in the same niche or industry. Users can leave reviews for others to see and rate your company based on their experience. And don’t stop at just one listing. Get multiple listings (also called citations) so that your business exudes more credibility, since they verify businesses before they allow them on their site.

4. Optimize your website for SEO purposes.
Now that you are have your own site and are listed on all relevant third party sites, it’s time to optimize your presence online – starting with your website. Conduct basic keyword research to discover what terms people are searching for when looking for your type of product. Then, make sure that your website contains these keywords on the appropriate pages.

5. Improve customer service and engagement
The most organic and genuine way to improve your online reputation is to talk to your target audience online. Don’t spam them with sales emails – learn what their problems are, provide the solution, and continue to build your relationship. Find the ones that have had a positive experience and ask them to review your website on social media, business listings, and other review sites. After that, make sure that they continue to have a positive experience with your business. Your overall reputation is something that your customers will always remember whether they are online or offline.
After all of this, your small business website should be ready for prime-time. Ask yourself what your website is doing for you and whether it’s aligned with your business needs and objectives. The GCInfotech professional web design team is here to help.
Want more tips and news about the web? Looking for a dependable IT provider? Get in touch with us today.
Published with consideration from SmallBizTechnology. SOURCE

Contrary to what you may believe, cyberthreats don’t only target Windows computers. Even small-business users can click a seemingly harmless link and become a victim of a cyberattack. If you don’t want this to happen to you, there are a few simple things you can do.

Check your Privacy Settings

Begin by making sure that your Mac settings are set up properly to keep your information safe. Click System Preferences (the gear icon along the bottom of your screen), then open the Security & Privacy pane, which contains four tabs that allow you to manage different security features. You should do this with an administrator account so the changes affect everyone who uses this computer.

Take Advantage of the Firewall

One of the biggest steps you can take to protect your computer is to enable macOS’s built-in firewall to block unwelcome network connections. Just go to the Firewall tab in the Security & Privacy settings, click on the padlock at the bottom of the screen, and key in your username and password. Then enable firewall by clicking on Turn On Firewall.

To modify its settings, click on Firewall Options just below the Turn Off Firewall button. A dialog box will pop up and you can click on Enable Stealth Mode. Turning on Stealth Mode will make your Mac invisible on public networks (like an unsecured coffeeshop WiFi).
In the Firewall Options, you will also find a list of services and apps that are allowed to receive inbound connections. If you want to add an app or service to the list, just click the ‘+’ button below the list itself. However, we recommend keeping this list as short as possible because any app connected to the list can be exploited.

Set Up a Firmware Password

Nowadays, macOS/Mac OS X automatically turns on FileVault encryption. This means that it encrypts the hard drive by default, and the only way it can be accessed is by logging in. Keep in mind, though, that this feature won’t necessarily save your account in case someone reinstalls macOS/OS X, or when they use a USB memory stick to boot the Mac and possibly remove all data from your hard disk.
To increase protection, set up a firmware password. To do so, restart your computer, and then press and hold down Cmd+R before the Apple logo shows up on screen. You can let go of the keys once the progress bar pops up.
Choose your location and language when asked, then click on the Utilities>Firmware Password Utility menu. Simply follow the instructions here, and make sure to never forget or misplace your password. Forgetting your firmware password can be quite a hassle because only Apple technicians can recover it.
Ensure that your confidential data remains confidential simply by performing minor tweaks on the system settings. It takes only a few minutes of your time to ensure lasting online protection. If setting up a firewall or firmware password sounds a little too advanced for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts.
To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Con artists have created a new method of deceiving Chrome users by freezing their browsers and displaying a security notification with bogus tech-support contact details. Their ultimate goal is to scare potential victims and trick them into dialing the fake hotline number on the screen.

The End Game
The scam works by displaying an error message indicating a bogus security breach incident that renders a browser unusable. These scammers capitalize on the fact that a serious crash can’t be solved by simply closing the site, thereby sending the users into a panic. This encourages them to dial the number listed on the warning message.
On the other end of the line, the scammers would pose as Microsoft or Apple representatives to convince users into surrendering their credit card details to repair a non-existing security issue. The scams are generally carried out through legitimate sites or malicious ads that have been hacked.

The Ingenious Process
This new scam operates against Chrome by corrupting the window.navigator.msSaveOrOpenBlob programming interface, which basically uses it as a form of distraction. The hackers manipulate the browser and forces it to save a random document on a disk repeatedly at super fast intervals that are impossible to notice. After five to 10 seconds, Chrome will be completely unresponsive.

The Easy Fix
To recover, Windows users simply have to open Windows Task Manager (press ctrl + shift + esc keys) and stop the process there. On the other hand, macOS users just need to wait until a system message prompts them to close the unresponsive Chrome tab. Typically, the latter is a more appealing option since users would have the freedom to close only the corrupted page. Manually closing the whole browser means possibly losing unsaved files in any open Windows.
When faced with IT-related issues, you need to determine how you can approach them calmly. The threats in the digital world may be terrifying and intimidating, but causing a panic in your workplace isn’t the answer. Call us as soon as any problems arise, and we’ll help you as soon as we can. We can even hook you up with other security measures to beef up your network security.

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment
Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE