Privacy Is Key To Security

August 12th, 2013

9 Tips for Keeping Your Internet Usage Private [Infographic] by Who Is Hosting This: The Blog

Infographic via WhoIsHosting

The key to security when surfing the internet expands well beyond having the best antivirus software installed on your machine. That is extremely useful in fighting off any malware and viruses you may pick up along the way, but it doesn’t take a proactive approach to protecting your data and personal identifiable information.

We’ve talked about how to surf invisibly and the problem with storing passwords with your browser. The included infographic illustrates not only the problems with some of the most utilized web tools, but also alternatives that keep your data more secure.

Here are some of the more noteworthy revelations.

  • Incognito Insecurities- In Google Chrome, even using ‘incognito mode’ doesn’t stop the browser from using cookies and tracking your search history. Chrome then uses that data to sell to advertisers, which means going incognito doesn’t help nearly as much as you’d think.
  • Encryption For All- The value of encryption can’t be overstated. In order to protect your email, encryption is a much needed tool. Regardless of the type of email you use, encryption is an option and one you should be using.
  • There’s Always An Alternative- No matter what you are interested in doing online, there is an alternate option that offers more security than what most people are using. For file storage, chatting, email, browsing, video viewing and more, you don’t need to stop doing it, just find a better way.

Keeping your data and information private and secure goes a long way to keep your identity and computer safe. To heighten the security around your data, contact Geek Rescue at 918-369-4335. We will match your needs with security solutions to keep you safe online and help you understand how to safely surf the web.

Your Company’s Biggest Threat To Data Security

August 9th, 2013

Frustrated Employee

If you’ve taken every precaution to secure your companies network and email and have installed consistently updated anitvirus software on every device, there’s probably only a slim chance that any of your data is intercepted by an outside source, right? Actually, there’s still the matter of your employees to worry about.

IPSwitch recently published an ebook that illustrates all of the ways your employees are compromising security, which allows for the stealing of data. Usually, these employees are not intentionally putting data at risk. They’re simply trying to make data transfer easier for themselves or clients.

  • Email Attachments- More than 84-percent of survey respondents admitted to sending confidential or classified information as an email attachment. 72-percent say they do so every week. Unless your company has specifically taken measures to protect attachments, all of the data sent this way is at risk.
  • Using Personal Email- Rather than utilizing the secured, company email, about half of respondents use their personal email, which lacks adequate security measures, to send company data. They do so in order to send larger files, because it’s faster and more convenient, they can’t connect to work email outside the office and a variety of other reasons.
  • Inadequate File Transfer Services- If they’re not sending valuable data via personal email or attachments, employees are using file transfer services, such as dropbox, or cloud services. Many times, the services they use are intended for consumers, not businesses. This compromises security and makes it impossible for IT to track how data is leaving their system.
  • External Devices- Nearly 80-percent of respondents use a thumb drive or other external device to transfer, back-up or store data. The problem with having a physical device containing important data is that physical devices get lost or stolen. Almost a third of respondents say they’ve lost an external device containing sensitive business data. About half of those were not reported to the IT department, which means the possible compromise in security couldn’t be planned for.

This list is certainly not exhaustive. Due to a lack of education, or a desire to do what’s most convenient, employees often put your organization at risk. Having security measures in place is a great start, but more is needed to keep you secure. Call Geek Rescue at 918-369-4335 to find out what else needs to be done. We offer an audit of your organization that discovers bad practices and leaks in data. From top to bottom, in the physical and digital world, Geek Rescue keeps you and your business secure.

How To Use Virtualization To Help Your Business

August 5th, 2013

Virtual icon

There are many common problems in the day-to-day operations of a business that can be solved by implementing virtualization. Paul Mah, of CIO, has a list of some of these issues.

Virtualization has become such a buzzword, it’s definition and capabilities have expanded recently. At its most basic level, virtualization is creating a virtual version of a device or resource. For many companies, that means creating a virtual copy of servers and storage devices to create more resources without multiplying costs. When you consider the implications of creating virtual, working versions of actual devices, the possibilities are nearly endless.

  • Extend an apps life- Most businesses use some sort of niche application, which easily becomes obsolete and unusable without regular updates or maintenance. The company that made the app may no longer be in business, or may have just stopped offering support for that software. Either way, the application is useless if the machine running it stops working. If you virtualize the entire machine, you not only extend the life of the machine indefinitely, but you also allow access to the app from nearly anywhere.
  • Back-up your data-  Much like the application of cloud services previously discussed here, virtual machines are a great way to back-up important data. By making a copy of a server or storage unit, you’ll have a restore point in the event of a disaster.
  • Provide mobile access- Your workforce is more mobile than ever before and virtualization makes it easy for them to access vital information and applications when they’re away from their desks. Creating a virtual machine that hosts any programs they may need to access makes it easy for anyone to conduct business from practically anywhere.
  • Beef up security- An alarming number of SMBs can’t survive the cost and data loss associated with a large-scale cyber attack. With virtualization, minimize the risks by segmenting your employees activities. Create a virtual machine used only for web browsing so hackers can’t access any vital data.

This is only a short glimpse at the capabilities of virtualization. To learn how to implement it in your business, call Geek Rescue at 918-369-4335. 

 

Patience Is A Virtue For USB Flash Drives

July 30th, 2013

Flash drives

USB flash drives are a great way to quickly store important data, which you can then transport and have with you at any time. They’re small, easy to use and generally have plenty of storage for whatever you’re using them for. You may encounter some problems, however.

Here’s a common scenario. You’re running late for a meeting, but before you leave, you have to move an important file onto your flash drive. You impatiently wait for the file to finish transferring and abruptly rip the flash drive out as you run for the door. What could possibly go wrong?

As Tessa Miller, of Lifehacker, notes “the most common reason flash drives get corrupted is impatience.” Removing the flash drive without warning, or telling your computer to ‘unmount’ it, increases your risk of corrupting the filesystem. But the progress bar said the file finished transferring, so why does this risk corruption?

It’s all about ‘write caching’, which is a way to improve system performance. When you transfer a file from your hard drive to the flash drive, it appears to be done right then, but in actuality, that request is cached and saved for later. This makes it possible for your system to move on without waiting for the transfer to be completed. So, without warning your computer that you’re removing the flash drive, you may be leaving some files in the cache, still waiting to be transferred. This causes corruption, and worse, you’ll be without the files you needed for your meeting.

To avoid corruption, unmount your flash drive from your computer so all read/writes are certain to be completed. If you should encounter any type of loss of data or file corruption, consult the pros at Geek Rescue. They are able to restore data in almost any circumstance. Geek Rescue also offers a variety of storage options for your business, in case you lose faith in that flash drive. Come by or call us at 918-369-4335.