Get help dealing with 2020’s weather emergencies

used with permission from FTC.gov by Colleen Tressler So far, this year has seen devastating wildfires, earthquakes, tornadoes and flooding, crippling snow and ice storms. These kinds of severe weather and natural disasters can occur anywhere — sometimes with little warning. It’s one thing to prepare your family, pets, and property for these events. It’s another to protect your personal information and finances from scammers who use weather emergencies to cheat people. The FTC’s site, Dealing with Weather Emergencies, has practical tips to help you prepare for, deal with, and recover from a weather emergency. Like all the FTC’s materials,…

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Upgrade from Windows 7 to Remain Secure

It’s still coming whether we like it or not: Windows 7 End of Life. If your organization is still running Windows 7, what can you expect? Is this truly the end of Windows 7, and should you upgrade? The answer, realistically, is yes. It’s a smart move to upgrade now, for security and stability. Mainstream support for Windows 7 ended in 2015. Extended support ends on January 14, 2020. Windows 7 is now end-of-life. It will not be supported, nor will it receive regular patches and security updates. What’s the risk of not upgrading? Failing to upgrade to supported software, like Windows…

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Is Your Personal Data Leaking from Your “Digital Exhaust”?

used with permission from Norton by Symantec by Stan Kiefer It’s easy to take for granted how convenient technology has become. As we switch between devices, our calendars, emails, notes, photos and other information follow us — always keeping us up-to-date. Your messages follow you from your personal phone to your work computer and then back at the end of the day. However, there can be a downside to all this convenience. The very reason your devices can do such things may put your personal data at risk in ways you may not realize. Your Digital Exhaust As you travel…

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10 PCI Compliance Best Practices to Protect Your Business and Customers

In 2014, Home Depot suffered a data breach of historic proportions. Hackers gained access to the retailer’s payment systems, compromising credit card information for 56 million customers. That breach cost Home Depot $179 million. While no organization can claim immunity from cyber-attacks, following PCI compliance best practices can mitigate the extent of the damage. All organizations that process credit cards must adhere to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) or face stiff fines. More importantly, PCI compliance represents a starting point for effective cyber security. Following best practices not only keeps you compliant but protects both your…

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Are you prepared for the end of Windows 7?

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 are popular and well-loved — and they’re completely unsupported after January 2020. Have you prepared to upgrade yet? When Windows 7 reaches end of life and end of support in 6 months, it will no longer be a secure, compliant operating system. Microsoft will no longer releases updates or security patches. If you continue using it, you will be putting your data at risk. Hackers love to target unsupported applications and take advantage of vulnerabilities in legacy software. You don’t want to be in the cross-hairs. Consider too that other services and manufacturers will…

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Multiple Computer Monitors: Advantages and Disadvantages

Multiple Computer Monitors: Advantages and Disadvantages used with permission from SBA.gov by Anita Campbell Are you looking to increase productivity in your small business? Some entrepreneurs and professionals find it helpful to have access to multiple computer monitors. This type of setup can potentially improve collaboration, productivity and even location flexibility. But there are also some potential drawbacks, from money and space constraints to the potential for distractions. If you’re considering investing in dual monitors for your own office, here are some of the pros and cons to consider. Pros of Using Multiple Computer Monitors Easy Switching Between Programs As…

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Safeguard your network and customer credentials: Tips from the latest FTC data security case

Safeguard your network and customer credentials: Tips from the latest FTC data security case Suppose a lunch companion says, “I think there’s something wrong with this tuna salad.” To determine if the problem is tuna not to their taste vs. tuna gone bad, would you scarf it down? Probably not. Now remove tuna salad from the example and substitute a web browser extension. (Stay with us here.) Let’s say you’ve been warned that an unknown extension could be used for fraud. Should you download it and let it marinate in your company’s network? The FTC says that’s what the owner of…

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Convert your office IT into a mobility force

used with permission from Tektonika (HP) by Karen Gilleland As an office IT decision-maker, you’re concerned with making employees’ lives easier and more productive—that’s why you’re always on the hunt for new tech solutions that add convenience. And in the current environment, office IT convenience means utilizing mobile apps. Mobile apps, which have long been platforms for more trivial matters like gaming, are quickly emerging as the dominant business interface. But while companies are rushing to extend mobility to customer interfaces, executives are slow to grant their own employees mobile access, according to a study by Accenture. Currently, only about 40 percent…

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How to Avoid Tax-Related Identity Theft

used with permission from SBA.gov by Barbara Weltman Tax-related identity theft is prominent on the IRS’s 2019 Dirty Dozen list of Tax Scams. Tax-related identity theft is not limited to stealing personal information of individuals. Because of successful efforts to crack down on such identity theft, thieves have shifted their focus to businesses. They create and use, or attempt to use, the identifying information of businesses to obtain tax benefits. For example, as the IRS has noted, cybercriminals that obtain a business’s tax identification number may file a return claiming a tax refund because of a fuel credit or a research credit…

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Cybersecurity for small business: Hiring a web host

used with permission from FTC.gov by Andrew Smith, Director, FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection Your website is the online face of your business. Some companies have the in-house capability to manage their web presence. Others hire a web host to handle it for them. When launching a new business or upgrading their site, savvy business owners comparison shop for web hosting services. At the top of your shopping list should be the security features built into what you’re buying. In our meetings with small business owners across the country, you asked for more advice on selecting a security-conscious web host….

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