As an IT Support company, it’s important for us to share with users how to keep technology in a small to medium business secure. In this blog post, we’re revealing some helpful IT security tips and IT secrets that will keep your technology safe from hackers and cyber attacks.
IT Security Tip #1: If this type of alert pops up, DON’T click on it!
You’re working at your computer when all of the sudden – BAM! – you get a pop-up notification that your PC is infected with a virus and you must “click here” to run a scan or install antivirus software. SECRET REVEALED! This is a common scareware tactic used by hackers to get you to click and download a virus. (You should know an IT support company would NEVER deliver that type of pop-up to you!)
Often it will appear to be a system alert or a Microsoft operating system alert. Regardless of how legitimate it looks, NEVER click on the site or the pop-up. The safest thing to do is close your browser; do not click on the X, “Close” or “Cancel” button in the pop-up or on the site because clicking on anything on the page or pop-up will trigger a virus download. If that won’t work, bring up your task manager (hold Control + Alt + Delete on a PC and Command + Option + Esc to “Force Quit” on a Mac) and close the web browser or application where it appeared. Next, notify your IT department (us!) that this has happened so we can double-check with a legitimate scan if your computer was infected.
IT Security Tip #2: How to foil ransomware
Not too long ago, the CryptoLocker ransomware virus was all over the news, infecting over 250,000 computers in its first 100 days of release (at least that’s the number reported – the real numbers are probably MUCH higher). The threat was fairly straightforward: Pay us or we’ll delete all your data.
Ransomware, like the CryptoLocker attack, works by encrypting your files to prevent you from using or accessing them. After your files are compromised, the hackers behind the attack then pop up a demand screen asking for payment ($400 to $2,000) within a set time frame (e.g., 72 hours or three days) in order to get the key to decrypt your files. The last CryptoLocker virus forced many business owners to lose data or pay up since there was no other way to decrypt the files.
SECRET REVEALED! Obviously, the best way to foil a ransomware attack is to be incredibly diligent about IT security; but with hundreds of thousands of new attacks being created daily, there are no guarantees that you won’t get infected. Therefore, it’s critical to maintain a full, daily backup of your data OFF-SITE so that IF you do get whacked with ransomware, you can recover all your files without having to pay a thin dime; and don’t forget to back up off-site PCs, laptops, remote offices and third-party software data stored in cloud apps as well!
IT Security Tip #3: Set up bank alerts – NOW!
Here’s a tip that just might save your bacon: set up withdrawal alerts on your bank accounts. Many banks will send you an e-mail alert whenever money is withdrawn from your account via check, debit card or transfer. Setting up those alerts will allow you to spot and report fraudulent activity BEFORE the money has already been siphoned into a cybercriminal’s hands.
IT Security Tip #4: Don’t just close your browser!
When online accessing a banking site or any other application containing sensitive data, make sure you log out of the site and THEN close your browser. SECRET REVEALED! If you simply close your browser, some of the session information that a hacker can use to gain entry is still running in the background.
IT Security Tip #5: Your firewall is USELESS unless…
A firewall is a device that acts like a security cop watching over your computer network to detect unauthorized access and activity – and EVERY business and individual needs one.
SECRET REVEALED! Nonetheless, your firewall is completely useless if it’s not set up or maintained properly. Your firewall needs to be upgraded and patched on a continual and consistent basis, and security policies and configurations set. This is not something you want to try and handle on your own – you are best served by letting the pros (us!) handle that for you.
If you’re a SDTEK client, we got you covered. If not, you should contact us immediately for technical support and for help with setting up your firewall correctly.
SDTEK is a top rated IT support company servicing San Diego county. We are a creative managed it service provider who specializes in personalized technology support to help our clients accelerate the success and growth of their business.