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Hackers Use the Pandemic to Send Out Phishing Threats

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The first half of this year has seen its fair share of ups and downs, especially on a global scale. With a global pandemic still taking the world by storm, it’s despicable that hackers would take advantage of the opportunity to make a quick buck using phishing tactics. Yet, here we are. Let’s take a look at how hackers have turned the world’s great misfortune into a boon, as well as how you can keep a lookout for these threats. According to reports from SecureList, spam and phishing trends in Q1 of 2021 relied heavily on COVID-19 and the buzz generated by it. Let’s take a look at some of the major threats that took advantage of the pandemic. Stimulus Payment Scandals The first couple months of 2021 saw businesses and individuals receiving payments from governments, such as economic impact payments or business bail-outs. Hackers took advantage of this opportunity to try to convince users to hand over their credentials through the use of messages that both looked and sounded professional. As is often the case with phishing messages, some users of specific banks were targeted through the use of near-identical websites designed to steal credentials and fool users. Others tried...
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A Major Update to Windows 10 Is On the Horizon

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Back in 2015, Microsoft confirmed that Windows 10 would be the last version of Windows, meaning that we should not expect Windows 11 anytime soon. Still, a major update to the Windows 10 operating system has been confirmed to be on its way. What’s coming with this next update to Windows 10, and what does it mean for your business? What We Know If we’re being honest, there is not much currently known about the upcoming update to Windows 10. The update, code-named Sun Valley, will reportedly bring several enhancements and updates to the user interface. CNet reports that some of these changes will apply to the Start menu (hopefully in a good way), Action Center, File Explorer, and Taskbar. It is also hinted that changes made to the user interface will borrow in part from the unreleased Windows 10X operating system, an OS that was in development for dual-screen devices like the Surface Pro.  Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, has teased the update, going so far as to build the hype train at Microsoft’s Build 2021 Conference from March 25-27. Here is what he had to say during the keynote speech: “Soon we will share one of the most significant updates...
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Businesses Have Access to These 3 Powerful Communications Tools

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What kinds of communication tools does your business utilize on a daily basis? Chances are that your communication infrastructure can benefit from some of the latest and greatest solutions on the market. Communication is one aspect of your business that you definitely do not want to skimp on, as failing to implement the proper tools can bleed into other aspects of your organization, including operations and, in return, your bottom line. Here are three technology solutions that all small businesses should implement for their communication infrastructures. Email & Instant Messaging We know what you’re thinking—obviously a business needs email to communicate properly both internally with its team and externally with clients and vendors. However, we urge you to reconsider the way that your email solution is currently set up. Do you host it yourself on-premises? Is it properly secured? Can you access your work email on any approved device? Are you able to access it through the cloud? These are important questions to ask for the sake of productivity and efficiency. We at Netcotech recommend that you work with us to set up a cloud-hosted email solution so that your business can focus on maintaining operations rather than managing an email...
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How to Set Up Two-Factor Authentication for Your Google, Apple, and Microsoft Accounts

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Two-factor authentication is commonplace in the office environment, but it’s not commonplace enough, if you ask us. Too many organizations pass on it, placing their security at risk for no good reason. While the methods might vary, the benefits of two-factor authentication are too good to ignore. We’ll walk you through how to set up two-factor authentication for three of the most common accounts in the business environment: Microsoft, Google, and Apple. But first, let’s discuss what two-factor authentication is and why it’s so beneficial to utilize. What is Two-Factor Authentication? It used to be the case that users would only utilize passwords to secure their accounts. However, passwords are easy for hackers to take advantage of on their own. Two-factor authentication uses at least two of the three methods below to secure an account rather than just the password alone, theoretically making it more difficult for a hacker to access an account. Basically, unless two of the three methods are fulfilled, the account will not be accessible. Here they are: Something you know (a password)Something you have (a secondary device you own)Something you are (biometrics, facial recognition, fingerprinting, etc) Why Is It Important? Imagine that your online accounts are a...
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A Solid Mobile Device Strategy Needs These 3 Components

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It’s no surprise that mobile technology has infiltrated the workplace in more ways than one. Many businesses issue company-owned devices to their employees to get work done while out of the office, while others allow employees to bring their own devices, or use their own laptops and smartphones for fulfilling their day-to-day duties. That being said, it’s important to remember that mobile devices need to be managed in a very specific way to maintain security. Let’s discuss how your business can manage the benefits of mobile devices in the workplace without sacrificing security. Remote Wiping Let’s say that one of your employees goes on a business trip and they set their briefcase down for a moment while they order a cup of coffee or some other task. When they return, the briefcase is gone, along with any devices that were in it. Besides scolding the employee for their negligence, your first thought might drift to the question of “What about the data found on that laptop?” What might the thief do with such data? The possibilities should have you concerned. Should you fail to recover the device, you will want the capabilities to remotely wipe the device of any and all...
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Tip of the Week: How to Properly Inventory Your Technology

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Businesses use technology to varying degrees, but even small businesses have a lot of technology that must be tracked on a daily basis. With so many devices floating around the office, how are you making sure that you know who has which device, when it was issued, and how it’s being used? We suppose the question is not “how” you are keeping track of it all, but “if.” For this task, we recommend implementing an inventory tracking system for your business’ technological assets. Do I Really Need One? In short, yes, and for a number of reasons. Even small businesses have a ton of technology that is constantly being assigned, reassigned, and taken out of the office. Take, for example, the average employee. They might have a work desktop that stays at the office, a company-issued laptop for working remotely, and maybe even a company-issued smartphone to stay in touch while out and about. It makes sense to track who is in possession of which device from both a logistics and security perspective. That said, your tracking system will be made up of two different components: the tracking method itself and the records you keep. You could, of course, keep a...
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How to Determine Which Cloud Solutions Are Right for Your Business

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When we talk about the cloud, what springs to your mind? The cloud might sound like a business buzzword, but in reality it’s one of the most important components of a technology infrastructure, especially in today’s online environment. Considering the ongoing pandemic and unpredictability that the situation brings, you don’t want to wait any longer; you should have started thinking about implementing the cloud yesterday. What is Cloud Computing? When we talk about the cloud, it’s mostly in the context of cloud computing. Most people utilize cloud computing on a day-to-day basis in at least some capacity, whether they realize it or not. Most email solutions these days are stored in the cloud, so anytime you access your Gmail account, you are using cloud computing. Cloud computing is essentially when data lives in an online environment. This makes the data available through some kind of account or portal, improving accessibility and flexibility in general. It’s a great way for businesses to keep operations going even while out of the office. That being said, most businesses will have to ask themselves whether a public or private cloud is the ideal solution. Public vs Private When considering cloud computing, you will find that...
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Make Sure Your Staff Understands the Importance of Their Role in Your Organization’s Cybersecurity

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Today, employees have to be a major part of every business’ cybersecurity attempts. The reasoning is simple: attacks are more likely to come in the form of end user correspondence than on a direct assault of the network. As a result, it is important that cybersecurity is more than just another line item on a task list, it has to be built into the culture. Let’s discuss a few ways to get your employees to care about cybersecurity.

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3 Ways Your Small Business Might Benefit from Artificial Intelligence Technology

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Artificial intelligence has taken the world by storm, and the advent of emerging technologies has many small businesses thinking about how they can utilize it to cut costs, improve operations, and eliminate unnecessary or repetitive tasks. Let’s take a look at three ways your business can leverage artificial intelligence to the best of its ability.

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The Components of a Successful Business Continuity Strategy

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With the future so uncertain, it’s no surprise that many organizations are turning their focus toward business continuity. There are a lot of components that go into making a successful continuity plan, and if you want to optimize your chances of survival in the face of a disaster, you need to ensure that all your bases are covered.

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Password Best Practices from the National Institute of Standards and Technology

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Passwords are probably the most important part of keeping accounts secure. That’s why it is so important to follow industry best practices when creating them. Today, we’ll take a look at the standards outlined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in creating the best and most secure passwords.

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Hackers Spark Major Gas Crisis Throughout the Southern U.S.

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You’ve probably heard by now, a Russia-based hacking collective by the name of DarkSide targeted Colonial Pipeline, a company that supplies nearly 45 percent of the fuel used along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, with a ransomware attack. Not only does this hack have an effect on fuel prices and availability, it highlights just how vulnerable much of the nation’s energy infrastructure is. Let’s discuss the details of the hack and the raging discussion about cybersecurity that’s happening as a result. 

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A Company’s Boss Needs to Take the Lead on Cybersecurity

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Cybersecurity is critically important to businesses of all sizes, which means that all businesses need to put forth a concerted effort to ensure their security is locked down. This, in turn, will require someone to take point on developing a cybersecurity-focused internal culture.

Who better to do this than the boss?

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How to Get the Most Out of Your VoIP System

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By now you’ve heard of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), the telephone system that runs through your Internet connection rather than a phone line. VoIP can save your business up to 60 percent off your current phone bill. What many people don’t know—even ones that utilize a VoIP platform—is that there are many available options that can have major benefits for your business. Companies that have VoIP typically only use between one-third and one-half of the available options. Today, we wanted to showcase five VoIP features that you may not be taking advantage of.

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Building Trust in Business with a Consistent Approach

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For a worker, one of the most maddening things that can happen at work is when there is a lack of consistency with the leadership. It can throw a figurative wrench into everything that you are trying to accomplish. Some examples of people not being consistent include:

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3 Ways to Improve Communication In Your Small Business

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When we say “improve communications” you probably are expecting an article about telephone systems or which video conferencing platform works the best. Normally, you’d be right, but today we decided to briefly go over four ways that you can foster better communications between management and their employees inside of your business.

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Patch Management and How It Can Save Your Business

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Software runs our lives. It certainly runs your business. What if I told you that this essential cog in your business’ operations can also be the thing that is most susceptible to being exposed by outside attackers? It’s true, software can be the very door that hackers and scammers need to get into your network and run amok. Let’s take a look at the unsung service that is patch management and why it is so important. 

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Tip of the Week: The ABCs of Windows Shortcuts

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Windows has no shortage of capabilities to offer its users, with many of these tools coming with an associated Windows shortcut. Since keeping track of all of them can be a challenge, we wanted to assemble a list of most of them for you. This blog will serve as that list, so make sure you add it to your browser’s favorites for quick reference!

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Companies Need to Keep Their Vendors’ Security In Mind

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Data breaches have a tendency to destabilize relationships. With so many data-related problems befalling businesses nowadays, it is important that each side of every data-driven relationship understands their role in the protection of other organizations’ data. Today, we’ll take a look at the issue and how to determine if your partners are putting in the effort required to keep your data secure. 

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Voice over Internet Protocol is a Solid Business Tool

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For many businesses, their telephone system can be extremely expensive, especially considering the need for extra mobility as many people are still working remotely. VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, presents a cost-effective solution for any business’ telephone needs. Let’s take a brief look at VoIP and how it can be a game changer for your business’ communications.

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