7 Practical Tips To Secure Your Laptop

This post points out a few practical ways to protect your laptop from intruders.

Antivirus

This is certainly obvious, but most people tend to neglect antivirus upgrades. It is important to look for an antivirus software that is strong enough and one that is regularly updated. Data security is very important so, take this as your first step towards laptop security.

If you’re in a Rugged Business

If you are in a business where a laptop or a machine is going to take some dents and knocks potentially, then we’d advise that you go for a machine to fit. Ruggedised laptops such as Chassis Plans options are a great option and built for such needs.

Firewall

The second important feature to look at is the firewall. Of course, there’s the default windows firewall but using it doesn’t bulletproof your personal computer. It is a fact that Trojans and other viruses when binned become strong enough to bypass the latest antivirus. This is where an effective firewall program comes in handy as it blocks such programs from accessing the internet. There are numerous firewall programs to choose from. All you need to do is some research on the best free of paid ones out there. Just ensure your firewall is up to date at all times.

Software Updates

Patches and update are common for almost every software. The updates contain the latest features and bug fixes that make the software stable and more secure. In regards to this, it’s advisable to turn the automatic updates option or use a freeware such as filehippo to keep tabs on software updates.

Back Up Your Data

It is always great to take precaution and exercising to back your data and software regularly ascertains that you will never lose your valuable files. You can use a portable hard drive, but it’s better to backup on the cloud so that you can easily access your data from anywhere with internet connection. You can use Skydrive, Google drive or dropbox for cloud storage.

Tracking Programs

As a laptop is quite portable, there’s a high chance of losing it, especially if you travel with it a lot. As such, it is imperative to install a tracking software that can help locate your computer when stolen. You can use free software such as Adeona for this.

Always Use a Password for Login

Most people tend to ignore using passwords to access their gadgets, but this is a crucial security step for your laptop. It is important to prevent intruders from accessing your personal data by locking your computer with a sophisticated password. A strong password contains at least one numeric number, special characters, and uppercase letters.

These are some of the best ways to protect your valued laptop from gadget and data thieves. If you implement them, you reduce the chances of having your information exposed, or intruders getting their hands on important files.

10 Tips to Prevent Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are one of the most common forms of identity theft and hacking on the web. Here are a number of ways to prevent this often very serious issue.

  1. You need to know how you can identify suspected phishing emails

There are many features that can help you determine an attack via email:

-They copy the name of an actual employee of the company or the company’s name.

-They duplicate the image of the real company

-Promote gifts, or the loss of an existing account

-Include sites that are visually similar to a real business.

 

  1. Make sure you check the source of information from incoming mail

You have to know that no bank will every ask you to send any personal information or passwords through mail. Avoid responding to the questions and in case you doubt anything, contact your bank directly for any clarification. This is one of the ways how to check for identity theft.

 

  1. Avoid going to your bank’s website by clicking on links included in emails.

Clicking on links or hyperlinks attached in the email will most likely direct you to a fraudulent website. If you want to go faster, just use bookmarks or type in the URL directly into your browser.

 

  1. Enhance the security of your computer

It is very important to use a good antivirus to protect your computer and block any type of attack. Apart from this, you have to always have the most recent update on your web browsers and operating system.

 

  1. Only enter any sensitive data in secure websites

A safe site usually begins with something like https:// and ensure that your browser shows a closed lock icon.

 

  1. Check your accounts periodically

In order to know if there are any irregularities in your online transactions, you have to check your bank accounts on a regular basis.

 

  1. Phishing does not only happen to online banking

Even though most of the phishing accounts are against banks, popular websites can also be used to steal data such as Facebook, eBay, PayPal etc.

 

  1. Phishing has no language barrier. It knows all the languages.

This means that it can reach you in any language. Generally, they are mostly poorly written or translated. This may help you know that something is abnormal.

Ask yourself the question: Why should your statements be in Spanish for example when you never visited the Spanish website of your bank?

 

  1. If you doubt it, no need to risk it

The best way to avoid phishing it to regularly reject any news or email that asks you to provide confidential data. Just delete the emails and call your bank if you have any doubts.

 

  1. Check back frequently to read about the evolution malware

Read our blog or follow us on twitter and Facebook keep up to date with the latest malware attacks, advice, and recommendations to help you avoid any danger online. We will be more than happy to reply to any questions you may have and to help you enjoy your experience online.

 

 

Cloud Computing Security Tips And Advice

Are you still pondering whether to integrate cloud computing services into the structure of your IT network? You are not the only one. Most IT professionals are very concerned about data security, so they aren’t that willing to switch to cloud computing solutions that easily. It’s a fact that even advanced services like Amazon’s EC2 aren’t ready to cater to all privacy needs of data-sensitive companies.

Public cloud services are structured in such a way that the same server is used to store data from several clients, via multiple instances. This means you have little to no control over where your data gets stored and who can access it.

Private cloud computing is more secure, as it allows for the level of control required by PCI and HIPAA-sensitive organizations when it comes to their data protection. This is one of the main security measures, hence most IT professionals prefer private cloud hosting to public services.

These are 5 security tips to consider when seeking for the best cloud option for your organization:

Tip 1: Know where your data gets stored.

You can’t secure your data if you have no idea where it lives. You may be able to use firewalls and intrusion detection, as well as data encryption, but these aren’t enough to secure your data. What if your cloud services provider goes out of business or you choose to terminate your agreement with them? What happens to your data in such situations? You need to know very well where your data resides, so that you can have access to it and delete it before anybody else gets a chance to steal it. You need to know precisely the machine where your data lives, hence you should always go for dedicated hardware.

Tip 2: Always make backups of your data.

Cloud computing is great, but you can never know when something could go wrong, leading to major losses of data. This is why you need to have a solid data backup system in place, so that you can always have control over it. These incidents are quite frequent in the industry, some big mobile operators having lost the data of their customers on some occasions.

Tip 3: Check out the security measures implemented by your data center.

If you followed the first tip discussed here, you know where your data gets stored, so you can test the security of the server. You need to check whether they are SSAE 16, SAS 70 and SOC 2 audited. Moreover, ask if they have any HIPAA or PCI certified. All major data centers are proud to offer their clients a wide range of security services such as managed firewalls, intrusion detection and antivirus solutions. All these are very good, as they allow for a better security of your data stored on their managed servers. One thing is to ensure you look at some good review sites when looking for storage – this site offers an insightful guide.

Tip 4: Read reviews and get references from current customers.

Client references are the best way to find out whether the cloud hosting provider is good or not. You should ask them to provide you such references before signing up with them. If you see a lot of institutions from data-sensitive industries such as healthcare, insurance, financial or government organizations, you have good chances that your data is going to be secure. What’s good for this type of companies is also good enough for you. In addition, you should contact some of these references directly, the purpose being to find out what steps they have implemented in their data securing protocols.

Tip 5: Always test everything.

Don’t trust anyone, assume nothing, and always test everything by yourself. If needed, you should hire a professional ethical hacker to seek for vulnerabilities and loopholes. If you manage to hack the data, how can you be sure nobody else would?

 

How to Stop Your Site From Being Hacked

A hacked site is a lot of trouble for a business, fortunately there are a number of things you can do to prevent issues. Take a look at these tips for preventing your site from being hacked.

Keep Your Software Updated

As a site owner, your job is to make sure your site is running efficiently. Whether you have a DIY site on a third party platform or your site was built from scratch by your development team, you need to make sure your software is up to date.

Content Management System (CMS) providers, like WordPress and Joomla, work very hard at plugging the holes in their systems that might make your site vulnerable to attack. The CMS providers regularly release patches and updates to keep your site protected. However if you do not update to the latest version of the program, then you are leaving site exposed.

If you use third party plugins, you also need to keep track of their updates. If you have plugins that you no longer use, that are old or that do not update, clean these out. These plugins are sitting ducks and can be used as a gateway, by hackers, to enter your site.

Build a Layer of Security Around Your Site

Before you leave your house, you lock your door. Before browsing the web, you install and activate antivirus software. If you have a website, you should have a security system to protect it against hackers. A Web Application Firewall is the first line of defense against a hacking attack. This firewall is designed to inspect incoming traffic and weed out malicious requests. It can protect your site from SPAM, SQL Injections, brute force attacks, Cross Site Scripting and other threats.

Until a few years ago, the Web Application Firewalls were only available as hardware. Today there are a few security-as-a-service (SECasS) providers are using cloud technology to reduce the price of this security solution. In the past, it was only available for enterprise level setups. These providers are revolutionizing the SECaaS industry.

Now, all website owners can rent a cloud-based Web Application Firewall. They no longer have to commit to pricey applications or have a dedicated server. This plug-and-play system does not even require a security expert to set it up. You don’t even need to know every aspect of web security. Let’s face it, most of us don’t have the time or inclination to become cyber security experts.

Ensuring you have a server or a host that fits well above the capacity needed for your site is also important and can help prevent a DDOS attack – this piece from Capita IT Professional Services covers this well.

Hundreds of thousands of websites are hacked each year. It’s clear that most hosting services are not equipped to handle the security threats that exist in today’s world. Honestly, a web hosts primary agenda is not website security.  Luckily, Web Application Firewalls can fill this void.

Use A Strong Password and Change It Regularly

During a brute force attack, the hacker will try guessing the username and password. Using automated systems, they are able to try a number of combinations. This type of attack has increased at an alarming rate. Thousands of sites are attacked on a daily basis across the web.

A strong password is an effective way of reducing and possibly stopping a brute force or dictionary attack. Strong passwords should be used for all of your logins, not just your email or financial sites. They are especially imperative on your website service, admin and database and domain registrar logins.

Your password should be a combination of alphanumeric characters, upper and lower case characters, and symbols. The password should be at least 12 characters long, in order to prevent brute force attacks.

Don’t use the same password for all of your logins. Each site you log into should have it’s own unique password. Change your passwords regularly in order to provide an additional layer of protection. User’s passwords should be in encrypted form, so that if there is a security breach, attackers do not gain access to the actual user password.