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

Cybercriminals are fairly experienced at avoiding detection. By the time you notice they’ve infected your computer with malware or hijacked your account, serious damage has most likely already been done. To make matters worse, they have another way to hide their illegal activities, and it involves sending thousands of spam emails.

Understanding DSD
Distributed Spam Distraction (DSD) is designed to inundate your inbox with thousands of nonsense emails. There are no dangerous links, ads, or attachments involved, just random excerpts of text stolen from books and websites. What’s more, the email and IP addresses used are all different so victims can’t simply block a specific sender.

These attacks last anywhere from 12 to 24 hours and can flood inboxes with as many as 60,000 messages. While they may seem like harmless annoyances, the true purpose of DSD is to draw victims’ attention away from what hackers are doing behind the scenes.
And what they’re doing is exploiting your personally identifiable information (PII) to make unauthorized purchases or pilfer cash directly from your accounts. The DSD acts as a sort of smokescreen to hide payment confirmation messages behind a deluge of spam messages.

New tactics
Over the years, hackers have developed new tactics involving DSD. Several reports have shown that, instead of nonsensical emails, hackers are using automated software to have their targets sign up for thousands of free accounts and newsletters to distract them with authentic messages. This allows DSD blasts to slip past spam filters that have been designed to weed out malicious code and gibberish text used by traditional DSD attacks.

What’s even more worrying is that any ill-intentioned individual can go to the dark web and pay for DSD services. They just have to provide a hacker with their target’s name, email address, and credit card numbers — all of which can also be purchased in the dark web — and pay as little as $40 to send 20,000 spam messages.

How to stop it
DSD is a clear sign that one of your accounts has been hijacked, so whenever you receive dozens of emails in quick succession, contact your financial institutions to cancel any unfamiliar transactions and change your login credentials as soon as possible. It’s also important to update your anti-spam software (or get one if you don’t have one already) to protect your inbox from future DSD attacks.

Hackers only initiate DSD attacks after they’ve obtained their target’s email address and personal information, so make sure your accounts and identity are well protected. This means you should regularly change your passwords and pins, enable multi-factor authentication, set up text alerts for whenever online purchases are made in your name, and be careful about sharing personal information.
For more tips on how to deal with DSDs or other cyberattacks, call us today. We offer powerful tools and expert advice that will ensure your business’s safety.
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

Top 10 Things Every Business Owner Must Know About Hiring an Honest, Competent, Responsive and Fairly Priced IT Company

Choosing a computer support company isn’t easy. There are no shortages of horror stories about incompetent computer repair “gurus” bungling jobs and causing MORE problems as a result of their lack of knowledge. I’m sure if you talk to your own friends and colleagues you will get an ear-full of the unfortunate experiences they have encountered in this area.

Why is this? Because it is not regulated like many other professional service industries, which means ANYONE can claim they are a “computer repair expert.” In fact, a lot of the businesses in this industry started because the owner was fired or laid off from their job and couldn’t find work anywhere else, or they hire people who are not properly trained to support a business.

Unfortunately, they will try to take advantage of trusting business owners who simply do not have the ability to determine whether or not they know what they are doing. From misleading information, unqualified technicians, poor management and terrible customer service, we’ve seen it all.

This is why it’s so important for you to arm yourself with the information below:
Here is my list of the Top 10 things you should look for (or look out for!) when hiring an IT company…

10. They own all the IT problems.
When something goes wrong with your Internet service, phone systems, printers or other IT services, a good IT company should own the problem for its clients (versus saying “that’s not our problem to fix”). As a business owner, you shouldn’t have to try and resolve any of these issues on your own – that’s just plain old good service and something many computer guys won’t do.

9. They conduct periodic test restores of your backups.
The worst time to “test” a backup is when you desperately need it. A proactive IT company will insist on performing regular “fire drills” and perform a test restore from backup to make sure your data can be recovered in the event of an emergency.

8. They offer a TRULY all-inclusive support plan.
Many IT companies say they offer all-inclusive plans, but they are saddled with “gotchas” hidden in the fine print. An authentic all-inclusive managed services plan is just that – all inclusive.

7. They provide you with a monthly report of your network.
A good IT company should provide you with a detailed report each month that shows an overall health score of your network that includes all updates, security patches, and status of every machine in your network so your know FOR SURE that your systems have been secured and updated.

6. They monitor your network 24-7-365.
Your IT company should continuously watch over your network to look for developing problems, security issues and other problems to address them BEFORE they turn into bigger problems.

5. They consistently (and proactively) offer new ways to improve your network’s performance instead of waiting until you have a problem to make recommendations.
A great IT company will invest in their people with training and education to understand the latest offerings that will fit into their client’s businesses. They will also conduct monthly on-site visits with their clients to look for new ways to help improve their operations, lower costs, increase efficiencies and resolve any problems that may be arising.

4. They avoid “geek-speak.”
A competent IT company should take the time to explain what they are doing and answer your questions in terms you can understand. You should never be made to feel stupid for asking questions. And they should meet with you on a regular basis to make sure you are using technology to grow your business.

3. They have a written, guaranteed response time to your calls.
Your IT company should have a technician working on your problem within 60 minutes or less of your call. A great IT company will have this written into their service agreements.

2. They answer their phone live.
When you have a computer problem that is keeping you from your work, it is especially frustrating to have to leave a voicemail and wait for a call back. A responsive IT company knows this and will answer your call live, every time 24/7.

1. They will offer to complete a FREE audit of your network.
A truly competent IT company will offer to come out to your office and conduct a complementary assessment of your entire network to help you look for any potential issues you are facing, or to at least verify that your current IT company has all your bases covered.

The absolute best way a business can ensure that their systems and networks are secure is to work with an IT partner like us. Our managed services can help ensure that you have proper security measures in place and the systems are set up and managed properly. Tech peace of mind means the focus can be on creating a successful company instead. . Contact us today to learn more.

Published with consideration Joanna Sobran from HuffingtonPost.com. SOURCE

If you’re disturbed by advertisements and “helpful” suggestions that are based on your internet browsing habits, recent research has found yet another source of online tracking. It’s a sneaky tactic that also comes with serious security concerns. Let’s take a look at what you can do to stop it from targeting you.

Why auto-fill passwords are so dangerous
In 2015, the average internet user had 90 online accounts, a number that has undoubtedly grown since then. This has forced users to create dozens of passwords, sometimes because they want to practice healthy security habits and other times because the platforms they’re using have different password requirements.
Web browsers and password manager applications addressed this account overload by allowing usernames and passwords to be automatically entered into a web form, eliminating the need for users to hunt down the right credentials before logging in.
The process of tricking a browser or password manager into giving up this saved information is incredibly simple. All it takes is an invisible form placed on a compromised webpage to collect users’ login information without them knowing.

Using auto-fill to track users
Stealing passwords with this strategy has been a tug-of-war between hackers and security professionals for over a decade. However, it has recently come to light that digital marketers are also using this tactic to track users.
Two groups, AdThink and OnAudience, have been placing these invisible login forms on websites as a way to track which sites users visit. These marketers made no attempts to steal passwords, but security professionals said it wouldn’t have been hard to accomplish. AdThink and OnAudience simply tracked people based on the usernames in hidden auto-fill forms and sold that information to advertisers.

One simple security tip for today
Turn off auto-fill in your web browser. It’s quick, easy, and will go to great lengths to improve your account security.
• If you use Chrome – Open the Settings window, click Advanced, and select the appropriate settings under Manage Passwords
• If you use Firefox – Open the Options window, click Privacy, and under the History heading select “Firefox will: Use custom settings for history.” In the new window, disable “Remember search and form history.”
• If you use Safari – Open the Preferences window, select the Auto-fill tab, and turn off all the features related to usernames and passwords.

This is just one small thing you can do to keep your accounts and the information they contain safe. For managed, 24×7 cybersecurity assistance that goes far beyond protecting your privacy, call us today.

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

Mobile devices can’t accomplish everything that desktops and laptops can, but that doesn’t mean they’re not important to businesses. More and more employees are using smartphones and tablets to increase productivity and enhance collaboration. But before you adopt a mobile device policy, you must keep them safe from cyber criminals. Cyber criminals now have more entry points to steal your data, but there are simple ways to keep your company’s mobile devices safe.
Ensure mobile OS is up-to-date
Apple and Android’s operating system updates improve overall user experience, but their most important function is to fix security vulnerabilities. You can reduce your business’s exposure to threats by installing updates for ALL devices as soon as they become available. Some people wait for a few weeks or months to update their device’s OS. This gives hackers ample time to exploit vulnerabilities on devices that run on outdated operating systems.
Install business applications only
Downloading apps seems harmless, but lenient mobile devices policies on what should and shouldn’t be downloaded on company devices could lead to staff downloading and installing non-business-related apps from third-party stores, most of which are notorious for malicious advertising codes and other threats.
Be careful with public Wi-Fi networks
Emergency situations might compel you to use password-free Wi-Fi networks in hotels, airport, cafes, or any public place. Connecting to an open network could expose your confidential information and sensitive company data to hackers connected to the same network.

You can avoid this by providing a practical internet data plan, preferably one that includes roaming services, for remote workers. And if you really have to connect to an open Wi-Fi, don’t use the connection for transferring sensitive data.
Enable phone tracking tools
Losing a company-issued mobile device is a scenario many would rather not contemplate, but it happens. Devices can be misplaced or stolen, and enabling a useful app such as ‘Find my iPhone’ for iOS devices, ‘GPS Phone Tracker’ for Android, or any other device-tracking app in Apple’s App or Android’s Google Play stores helps users locate lost phones, or otherwise delete data in stolen devices. Downloading and setting up the app takes just a few minutes, and it will give you peace of mind knowing that even if your phone is lost or stolen, its contents will not be compromised.
Screen SMS carefully
SMS messaging may not be as effective as email phishing, but SMS phishing can also be used to trick users into clicking malicious links. Hackers send messages purporting to be from someone you know or a legitimate source that asks you to urgently send confidential data. You can either delete these messages, block unknown senders, or alert your IT department in case you encounter a possible scammer.

Mobile devices are becoming more critical to operations. And with more devices open to attack, businesses must bolster their cybersecurity efforts. Hackers will exploit every possible vulnerability, and that includes those in unsecured smartphones and tablets. Get in touch with us if you need comprehensive security solutions for your business.

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

As a business owner, you want nothing more than to see your business succeed. But when faced with stiff competition and sophisticated cybercriminals, it’s hard to shake off the feeling of uncertainty. The future might be unpredictable, but the security of your Mac devices doesn’t have to be. So lock things down with these helpful tips:

The basics
Let’s start with the basics and head over to the Security & Privacy pane in System Preferences. Here, you’ll find four tabs — General, FileVault, Firewall, and Privacy — that control various aspects of security. To change your security settings, click on the padlock on the bottom of the screen and type in your username and password.

Firewall
Enabling the firewall will block unwanted incoming network connections. Many think it is enabled by default, but often it’s not. All you need to do is click the Firewall tab in the System Preferences > Security & Privacy pane, click the padlock icon on the bottom left, enter your username and password, and click the ‘Turn On Firewall’ button. Don’t forget to enable Stealth Mode by clicking the Firewall Options button and then clicking Enable Stealth Mode in the dialog box — this makes your computer invisible on public networks.

Passwords
Make sure to set strong passwords for your user accounts if you don’t already have one. To do this, go back to the ‘General’ section of the Security & Privacy settings. In this section, you should also consider setting the Require Password field to ‘immediately.’ This makes it so that you’ll need to re-enter your login credentials to unlock your Mac when it goes to sleep or when a screen saver begins.

Automatic login
It’s best to disable this function, especially if you are using a mobile Mac. If your Mac gets stolen, you don’t want to give thieves a free pass to your private data.

Applications
At the bottom of the General Settings tab, there are three options that authorize which apps can run on your Mac. The safest option is to allow only apps from the App Store to run, and the least secure option is to allow apps from anywhere. Get the best of both worlds by choosing the option of running apps from the App Store and from developers known to Apple.

FileVault
The FileVault tab enables you to encrypt all the files in your user account. To decrypt them, you must enter either your account password or the recovery key you created when you switched FileVault on. It might be tedious to type in a password every time to access a file, but it helps keep your vital data under lock and key.

In this digital age, ensuring the protection of all your devices is crucial to your business’s success. Because all it takes is a tiny leak to sink your ship. Feel free to give us a call and we’ll help prepare your business for choppy waters.

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

If you are seeking out a way to improve your business’s cyber security, both for your business itself as well as for your customers, you are likely looking at your authentication process. Two-step and two-factor authentication are two of the most commonly used options in cyber security. And in current cyber security, many businesses use the terms two-step and two-factor authentication interchangeably.

There are, however, subtle differences between the two. A two-step authentication process requires a single-factor login (such as a memorized password or biometric reading) as well as another of the same type of login that is essentially sent to the user. For example, you may have a memorized password for your first step and then receive a one-time-use code on your cell phone as the second step.

Two-step authentication does function to add an extra step in the authentication process, making it more secure than a single-step authentication (i.e. just the password). However, if a person or business is hacked, it will do only a little to stop hackers from getting a hold of whatever they are looking for.

On the other hand, there is two-factor authentication (sometimes referred to as multi-factor authentication), which is significantly more secure. This type of authentication requires two different types of information to authenticate. For example, it could be a combination of a fingerprint or retinal scan as well as a password or passcode. Because the types of information are different, it would require a hacker a great deal more effort to obtain both forms of authentication.

In essence, every two-factor authentication is a two-step authentication process, but the opposite is not true. With this information in mind, you can be certain that you are using the right type of authentication in your business to keep your business and customer information as secure as possible.

Your network needs the best security technology has to offer. What type of authentication that results in is just one of hundreds of choices that must be made to achieve that end. To take the stress out of securing and protecting your network, call us today for all the help you could ever ask for.

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. SOURCE

While a vast majority of ransomware that’s been developed targets Windows computers, malware authors have begun to attack Mac devices. Recently, researchers discovered a new ransomware strain, OSX/Filecoder.E, which encrypts Mac files and keeps them locked even after the victims have paid the ransom. But don’t worry, there is still hope if you follow the security advice below.

According to ESET security researchers, even though the Filecoder ransomware was written in Apple’s programming language, the malicious code is not as potent or as skillful as other viruses. In fact, it’s so poorly written that hackers never developed a method to retrieve the encryption key once the ransom has been paid.

In any case, whether you’re dealing with Filecoder or some other ransomware, we advise against ever giving in to the hacker’s demands.

 

Avoid Filecoder
So far, Filecoder isn’t given out via phishing emails like most ransomware; instead, it’s distributed on Torrent sites and goes by the name “Patcher.” Therefore, it’s best to stay away from these highly unregulated (and mostly illegal) websites and stick to trusted app stores like Mac, Microsoft, and Google.

Even if the ransomware is not sent out via phishing campaigns, you should still be careful of any unsolicited emails with strange file attachments in case the malware authors decide to branch out.

Install preventive measures
Like with any other malware, being proactive with your cybersecurity solutions is the best way to defend against Filecoder. Install reliable antivirus software, intrusion prevention systems, firewalls, and update systems whenever possible.

You must also maintain backups and have a disaster recovery plan to keep your business running in the off chance that ransomware or any other cyberattack successfully infiltrated your systems.

Defeat the ransomware
Given the ransomware’s shoddy code, security researchers have found a way to decrypt files without paying. Free cracking tools like PKCRACK can recover Filecoder-encrypted data if you have one original version of the affected files. The recovery process, however, does require some programming knowledge, so contact an IT expert or a managed services provider to unlock the ransomware for you.

Filecoder may not be the strongest malware around, but this could just be the start of Mac-based attacks. To protect your business from the onslaught of cyberattacks, you need security experts. Contact us today.

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.

Legal and business professionals today face many challenges. They need to ensure compliance, and make sure their documents are secure and easily shared with teams and clients. They expect their technology solutions to reduce overhead, increase billable hours, enhance productivity, and provide the ability to work anywhere, anytime.
Office 365 provides solutions to address these challenges and more, helping to increase the number of hours that lawyers have available to spend on their client’s needs resulting in increased client referrals and revenue.

Why Office 365?

Cloud-powered Office 365 has the applications you know—always up to date and accessible from virtually anywhere. It includes enterprise-grade services such as online storage for secure document sharing, real-time co-authoring to help improve collaboration, and productivity tools such as content management, enterprise search, and social, while simplifying IT management and reducing IT expenditure.

A secured enterprise-grade cloud-based platform

Office 365 is compliant with world-class industry standards, including ISO 27001, EU Model clauses, HIPAA BAA, and FISMA. It has built-in capabilities such as permissions, versioning control, eDiscovery, and records management to ensure documents are managed, controlled, archived and can be retrieved in one place with reduced overhead.

Get work done from anywhere and anytime

You can get to your applications and files from virtually anywhere—PC, Mac, tablets, and most mobile devices—and they’re always up to date. Collaborate on matters with teammates, share documents with clients, and connect with other lawyers.

Store, access, and share documents securely from anywhere

OneDrive for Business is your online briefcase. With 1 TB of cloud storage, you can store and access your matter documents at any time online or offline, and securely share them internally with your team or externally with clients. Reduce the amount of paper you need to carry and the time spent searching for the latest version of documents.

Simple administration and rock-solid security

With Office 365, your data is protected and control is even easier. There’s step-by-step deployment guidance, and you can manage your users and services from a single admin portal. Office 365 has built-in security that deflects malware, spam, phishing attacks, and other threats. And if you need to, you can connect with an Office 365 expert for migration, custom work, and ongoing support.

Migration to cloud on your own terms

Understanding that not all firms and organizations are the same; organizations can make their journey to the cloud at their own pace. Organizations can choose from a full cloud-deployed environment to a hybrid or full on-premises environment to best meet their needs or compliance requirements.

Why Matter Center for Office 365?

Microsoft Corporate, External & Legal Affairs developed Matter Center for Office 365, a SharePoint-based document management and collaboration solution. It takes advantage of all the deep enterprise content management capabilities that the SharePoint platform provides, and offers many additional benefits of being integrated into the Office 365 platform, including: integration with Outlook and Word, rich content search and discovery with Delve, analytics with Power BI, personal document storage and collaboration with OneDrive for Business, extensive compliance, management and security, and a growing list of capabilities as Office 365 continues to move forward.
Matter Center for Office 365 improves the way law firms and attorneys work together by making it easier to organize files by client and matter, review documents, and find information when needed, all without ever leaving Microsoft Word or Outlook.
Are you ready to embrace the cloud with a solution like Office 365? Give us a call, and talk with us about a cloud migration today.

Published with consideration from Microsoft SOURCE

As long as businesses host valuable data, cyber criminals will continue to bypass the security protocols meant to protect this data. The causes of security breaches range from device theft or loss, weak and stolen credentials, malware, and outdated systems that use ineffective security measures. And with these five tips, you can take the first step toward making sure a security breach never strikes at your precious business data.

Limitation of lateral data transfers

Employees not being educated on data sharing and security is one of the biggest reasons for internal data breaches. It’s a good idea to limit access to important data and information by restricting access privileges to only a small number of individuals. Also, you can decide to use network segmentation to cut unnecessary communication from your own network to others.

Keeping your machines and devices updated

Internal breaches might also occur when employees work with unguarded or unprotected machines. They might unknowingly download malware, which normally wouldn’t be a problem if machines were properly managed. Updating your operating systems, antivirus software, business software, and firewalls as often as possible will go a long way toward solidifying your defense systems.

Use monitoring and machine learning to sniff out abnormalities

It’s not all on your employees, however. Network administrators should employ monitoring software to prevent breaches by analyzing what is “normal” behavior and comparing that to what appears to be suspicious behavior. Cyber criminals often hide in networks to exploit them over a long period of time. Even if you miss them the first time, you should monitor suspicious activity so you can recognize impropriety and amend security policies before it goes any further.

Creating strong security passwords and credentials

No matter how often we say it, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to your passwords and login procedures. In addition to text-based credentials, you should require other methods whenever possible. Great for fortifying your network, fingerprints and smart cards, for example, are much harder for cyber criminals to fake. Regardless of which factors are used, they must be frequently updated to prevent breaches, accidental or otherwise.

Security Insurance

In the end, no system is perfect. Zero-day attacks exploit unknown gaps in security, and human error, accidental or otherwise, can never be totally prevented. And for this reason, small businesses need to start embracing cyber insurance policies. These policies help cover the damages that might occur even under a top-of-the-line security infrastructure. Considerations for selecting a policy include legal fees, first and third-party coverage, and coverage for reputation rehabilitation.

The field of cyber security is overwhelming — even for seasoned IT professionals. But not for us. We spend our days researching and experimenting to craft the best security solutions on the market. If you’re interested in one of our cutting-edge cyber-security plans, call us today.

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