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The University That Was Hit by a Cybersecurity Attack (and the 6 Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities You Need to Ensure Your Business Doesn’t Have)

Cybercriminals can take advantage of various vulnerabilities in your company. Patching them up is crucial to protecting your reputation. Taking your cybersecurity seriously is essential regardless of your organization. Otherwise, criminals can easily halt your operations.  Take the University of Sunderland as an example.  At first, it seemed like they had a standard IT issue […]
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The Five Steps for Creating a Business Continuity Plan

How will your business respond when faced with an unexpected situation? With a business continuity plan, you’ll know exactly what steps to take. Leading a small business is a challenging endeavor. According to a January 2021 article published by Entrepreneur, 20% of small businesses fail within their first year of operation. And a staggering 50% […]
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Hygiene 101

While keeping your computing devices free from harmful virtual viruses on the internet is important, there is another type of harmful element that often is overlooked. The physical virus. There are hundreds of studies that show the average keyboard and smartphone are hundreds, if not thousands of times dirtier than your toilet, per square inch […]
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Uninterruptible power supply (UPS)

  It’s that time of year again (I’ve received six calls before 9AM today)  when power outages have the potential to wreak havoc upon computer systems and networks.  While having a surge protector helps protect your electronics from surges, it does nothing to prevent damage from a brownout or sudden unexpected loss of power. This […]
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Might be interesting

Reading a summary of my own history, I feel like a vagabond man.  Write up from The World newspaper about Bandon IT, and myself (Aaron.) http://theworldlink.com/bandon/news/business/bandon-it-offers-computer-adds-internet-at-t-directv-services/article_955310e4-769a-5db2-a8ac-a5bae5d7f140.html
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Google Drive – New Features and Name

For the few folks out there that may be unaware or not use Google Drive – this is a software based virtual “drive” associated with your Google / Gmail account (similar to Microsoft’s Onedrive)  You can place any type of file in your Google Drive folder on your computer, and it automatically synchronizes to your […]
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Podcasts

  When I was ten (well before the internet age) I would secretly stay up late at night listening to my scratchy AM radio and tune into the adventures of Don Quixote and his faithful squire Sancho, as he battled windmills and musketeers. Today I don’t even own a radio, but the spirit of Don […]
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Card Compromised

Today we are going to look at a few of the more common ways your credit or debit card number can be compromised. Skimmer – this is a device that card thieves insert into a normal looking “swipe” location. It could be at the gas station, your ATM, or any retail store you go to.  […]
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Windows 10 Adds Ads

  Market share wise Microsoft continues to dominate the laptop and desktop world with claiming ownership of 89% of such devices or roughly 283 million machines. The remainder are Apple devices, Chromebooks and a few Linux operating systems. As competition continues to grow, and Microsoft continues to make poor choices in implementation (everyone remember your […]
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Know Your Numbers

  Scammers come in varieties of sheep clothing. They call impersonating Microsoft and Google, stating that there is “something wrong with your computer.”  They send pop-ups to your computer stating the same.  But did you know they advertise? If you do any type of search for Microsoft,  HP, Dell, Gmail, or other major computer hardware […]
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Amazon – Delivery to the Moon

  Last week Amazon announced that they are slated to begin deliveries to the moon by mid 2020. What does that mean? It means they believe by that time there will be humans (or maybe robots) living there that may require products from their vast supply chain. Over the last few years Amazon has continued […]
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Who is watching you?

  In the age of Siri, Google Now, Cortana, and Amazon’s Alexa (all virtual assistants) we are becoming more accustomed to having electronics constantly listening for our next verbal command.  We know there is a trade off between privacy and convenience. What about your television, though? You may (or may not be) aware that some […]
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Online Competition

Today there are virtual marketplaces online across the globe that you can purchase anything you could possibly imagine, legally – and – illegally, online.  We will not be discussing the “how-to” for hiring a hit man or human trafficking today, rather the competition between the legal companies. Walmart steps up the ante.  Recently Walmart began […]
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Types of Backup

  Last week I discussed the cost of backup failure. This week I am presenting the different types of backups along with some of the pros and cons of each. First to clarify what is and is not considered a backup.  Programs that automatically synchronize data directly from your computer to an online service such […]
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Backups – Cost of Failure

After years in the IT business it has become quite evident that most people do not backup their data.  It is a weekly occurrence in this office when the phone rings and the panicked caller presents the problem of a computer system that has crashed, pleading for hope and assurance that everything can be restored […]
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Be watchful for identity theft, fraud, phishing

  October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month – learn more from https://www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect Identity Theft Identity theft is the illegal use of someone else’s personal information in order to obtain money or credit. Identity theft can happen to anyone in any location across the country. Take simple steps to protect your online identity by: Locking and password […]
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Stop. Think. Connect.

Every Day Steps Towards Online Safety with Stop.Think.Connect. October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month – learn more from https://www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect This month is all about security and we are starting off with the basics of Stop, Think, and Connect. Stop hackers from accessing your accounts – set secure passwords and do not use the same password more […]
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Printers

Of all the possible complex issues to deal with in the technology field nothing makes me falter a step forward until I hear “Something is wrong with my printer.”  Printers are the greatest bane in information technology. Usually most printing issues are resolved rather quickly by clearing a print queue, restarting the print spooler, or […]
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What you leave behind

Most of us in our day to day activities do not spend much time pondering what happens when we die. Perhaps it is due to not being exactly sure of what happens after we leave this plane of existence, or the fear of leaving loved ones behind. Regardless of why we do not think about […]
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Updates, Recalls, and More

Apple Security. Last week Apple released an important security update to the OSX operating system.  If you use a Mac, you need to get this update installed ASAP.  This follows Apple’s security update to iOS devices (iPhones and iPads) to version 9.3.5, also a security update.  If you have been telling your iOS device ‘later’ […]
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Email – best choices

  Today there are a plethora of choices when it comes to whom to choose to handle your primary email.  Your ISP (Internet Service Provider) gives you email accounts as part of your service.  You can also get free accounts from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and many more. We’re going to examine a few of these. […]
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Cutting the Cord

  How much do you pay for television?  Depending on your provider and the package you have it can be upwards of $120.  But of those 500 channels how many do you really watch? Is it worth it?  How would you like to change that $9.99 a month? You may have heard the term “cord […]
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Internet Outage Cripples Bandon

  Even if you were not a direct customer chances are you were affected by the 12 hour ComSpan outage on Thursday.  Multiple businesses had signs posted stating “cash only” just for those customers to find many ATMs said “Out Of Order – Internet Issue.”  Many other businesses that rely on web based servers were […]
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Let’s get DiRTy

Let’s get DiRTy DiRT, otherwise known as Disaster Recovery Testing, is Google’s attempt to break the web. More specifically this team’s mission is to provide (and actually simulate) worst case scenarios to Google’s sprawling worldwide infrastructure, taking entire live data centers offline without notice.  The end goal is to find weaknesses in their own disaster […]
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Do you brush your teeth?

  Do you brush your teeth? Most people do. It is a standard proactive maintenance procedure that helps stave off cavities, bad breath, root canals, and a plethora of other dental maladies. Just as proactive maintenance is good for your dental hygiene it is also good for your computer.  No, you should not take a […]
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2FA – Do it and sleep better

  2FA.  It sounds like either some gaming group or military acronym however it is not. It stands for 2 Factor Authentication, and it’s what may save you from being hacked. Recently MySpace and not too long before that LinkedIn were hacked; the hackers obtained the usernames, email addresses and passwords of millions of users.  […]
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QuickBooks users – update now

A common mantra we have is “update, backup, update, backup”.  If you are a QuickBooks user, today is your day. Intuit has identified and is implementing an update to address a security vulnerability in QuickBooks desktop software.  This does not impact QuickBooks desktop for Mac or QuickBooks Online. Below is an outline of the steps required […]
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New Year – New Classes

First quarter schedule for 2016 has been posted and classes start this week at the Bandon Library.  Classes are spread out throughout the week in the afternoon and evenings.  Windows Mac and iOS classes are available. CyberLynx Online Calendar: http://cyberlynxoregon.org/current.html PDF Class Schedule: PDF Class Schedule 1st Qtr 2016
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Free classes!

Bandon IT has paired up with Cyberlynx,  which offers computer literacy classes in collaboration with the Bandon Public Library and Bandon Library Friends and Foundation. Classes labs and workshops are offered to the public at no charge. Bandon IT will be bringing the additional expertise for Apple, and iOS training to the organization. Class schedule and […]
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Windows 10 available July 29th

Just over three years ago the world was introduced to Windows 8, Microsoft’s “next great thing” to help users transition from the idea of the old school desktop into a more universal platform designed to be used in tandem with laptops, tablets, and smart phones.  The public’s general response: we hated it. Overall the system was […]
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Audible coming to Apple CarPlay

  I spend roughly no less than 14 hours a week in my vehicle driving.  With that much time on my hands I greatly enjoy listening to audiobooks. Earlier this year I upgraded my car’s sound system from the stock baseline Toyota radio to the Pioneer Apple CarPlay. The primary goal in this was safety, […]
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Periscope Up – time to get onboard

What is Periscope? Periscope is an instant live streaming app that lets the user broadcast sound and video to the world.  Viewers can type in questions / comments that the broadcaster can then verbally respond to.  From www.periscope.tv/about: “Just over a year ago, we became fascinated by the idea of discovering the world through someone else’s […]
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Windows 10 will be the last

Microsoft announced this week after the new Windows 10 release later this year, there will be no more. Instead of waiting years to release major upgrades to the Windows platform Microsoft intends to adopt more of a “when it’s ready, we’ll update it then” approach, similar to how smartphones today receive updates. Microsoft has not […]
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Tip # 10 – Run anti-virus scans regularly

Check your security programs and make sure they are actually working.  If a third-party handles your computer and network security, have them show you that they are working.  The programs should be doing live scanning along with scheduled quick and full scans. It’s Cyber Security Month! 31 security tips in 31 days brought to you […]
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Tip # 9 – Do not open unexpected email

Have you received this email?  You were not expecting any packages? Someone else in the office must have ordered this, so I should click on the attachment to ‘print’ my label to pick it up, right? No! Fake email.  The spoofed (to be made to look real) sender address @fedex.com helps the legitimacy of the […]
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Tip # 8 – Identify Fake Updates

One of these two update notifications is real.  The other is fake, leading the user down a long a dark demon filled road full of malicious software.  Can you correctly pick out the fake? If you chose the first image as the fake you are correct.  At first glance it may seem legitimate however on […]
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Tip # 6 – Fine tooth comb

Continuing from yesterdays post Tip # 5 – Maintain your systems. Update update update we are going to segue into another important security task – monitoring. Let’s explain the term monitor: in this context, to monitor means to actively watch on a 24/7/365 basis all software and hardware.  From a security standpoint monitoring the services, processes […]
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Tip # 5 – Maintain your systems. Update update update.

From a security perspective ensuring that workstations and servers on your network have proactive maintenance performed on a regular (weekly) basis is key.  Most malicious software target security holes found within out of date programs.  If the anti-virus product fails at catching malicious software (and none are 100%), the chances that it can gain a […]
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Tip # 4 – Stop using Yahoo. Just stop it. Now.

I bring this security tip to bear due to continued mounting issues we see when our clients use Yahoo.  There are three separate pitfalls that users of other web portals and email services have not had yet to encounter to the degree of Yahoo users. Email hacks from the back-end.  Think you have the strongest […]
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Tip # 3 – Read installers carefully

On occasion we need to either install new software on our computers or update them.  Today with most software you install or update, they will try to add on additional software that you really do not want. Take for example CutePDF.  It takes anything that you can print and turns it into a PDF document. […]
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Tip # 2 – Stop using Internet Explorer

  CERT (United States Computer Readiness Team) has on more than one occasion released the following information to system administrators and the general public:  Stop using Internet Explorer. Why? What’s wrong with the big blue E?  Security issues.  While IE is down to 23% of market share, it still leads in vulnerabilities.  Reports of bugs, […]
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Tip # 1 – Don’t click on ads

While browsing the internet we all occasionally see flashy ads on the web pages we are looking at.  Some are harmless.  Others are trying to trick you into clicking on them to download software you did not need, or want. Clicking on these ads may install ‘junkware’ aka adware, or worse some derivative of malware. […]
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