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  • If you’re like me, you’re probably looking forward to that extra hour of sleep you will get when we turn the clocks back on Sunday (that is, Nov 1, 2015).  But a few more z’s (and the threat of being an hour early to work on Monday) aren't the only noteworthy things about Daylight Saving Time. Use this time of year to take care of important tasks around your home… and with your computer technology. Sure we’ve all heard things like changing the batteries in our smoke detectors (and carbon monoxide detectors), flipping our mattresses, vacuuming out the dryer vents, and restocking our emergency kits.  But, what about those housecleaning tasks for our electronics? Luckily, most cell phones, computers, and

    Oct 28,
    - by Christa
  • Isn’t it fairly common knowledge that we should use strong passwords that are not easily "guessed" and change them regularly to protect our sensitive and confidential data? That good password security is the first and most effective strategy for protecting our private data and accounts? Well, apparently not. We hear, way too often, about systems being compromised via hacked passwords. We have written at least one blog a year on password and online security, including Password Security, Securing Your Online Passwords, and even HELP! I have too many Passwords. Surprisingly, we haven’t written one this year. So, guess what?  Here’s your password security review for 2014. Let’s start with a recent report from Trustwave, a company that helps businesses reduce

    Aug 20,
    - by Christa
  • Late last week, I started my blog mentioning the recent Heartbleed security threat that has infected approximately two-thirds of internet websites.  I went on to give you several tips on how to protect your identity and your connection online as well as referencing a previous blog I did on the same subject with other "protecting yourself online" tips. Today, I wanted to finish this topic up with some information about the Heartbleed vulnerability.  Basically, Heartbleed is a flaw in the open source encryption standard, OpenSSL. OpenSSL is used for the security of many popular websites in transmitting data over the Internet that users want to keep secure.  This flaw allows hackers to steal usernames, passwords and other sensitive data while

    Apr 28,
    - by Christa
  • I am willing to bet that you have heard of the Heartbleed security vulnerability that is causing the Internet a great deal of heartache (although, surprisingly, many still haven't).  So in the wake of this bug, I feel it necessary to revisit the topic of online safety.  There are a lot of good links in the next two articles for you to consider. In August 2012, I wrote a blog called Protecting Yourself from Online Security Breaches that provided several safety tips, from ways to protect your identity (having a solid password management strategy) to tips on protecting your connection (using a good anti-virus solution).  I will expand on those in this blog and also give you a couple tips

    Apr 24,
    - by Christa
  • Information Technology (IT) is the practice of using computers to store, retrieve, manipulate, transmit, and communicate data. Humans have been doing this since writing was first developed back in about 3000 BC. IT encompasses technologies such as computer hardware, software, electronics, internet, e-commerce, computer services, networks, telecom equipment, and much more. And IT professionals deal with a wide range of studies including software, programming languages, hardware, information systems, mobile technologies, networking strategies, and web design, to name a few. Suggesting hardware required to carry out a particular task, installing applications on computer systems, designing efficient and complex networks, creating and managing databases, designing software, and administering entire systems are among a few of the tasks of IT professionals. They keep

    Feb 19,
    - by Christa
  • Back in the good ole days, all you needed to protect your computer and keep your data private was a single piece of antivirus software.  Boy, have things changed!   Now as soon as you turn your PC on and connect it to a network, you are immediately at risk for viruses, spam, malware, worms, trojan horses, phishing scams – a whole slew of nasty bugs that can bring your computer to its knees.  And by network, I mean a home or office network, public or private network, wired or wireless network, and especially the Internet.  Actually, you don’t have to be connected to a network at all – you computer can be infected with a virus by simply putting a

    May 01,
    - by Christa
  • Many people are still confused about the difference between a browser and the internet.  Try this:  Think of a browser as a car and the internet as a highway.  Cars use the highway much like a browser uses the internet. The internet is a mass of interconnected computer networks that carry a wide range of information resources and services.  A web browser is a software application running on a computer that allows us to look around, or surf, the internet to locate and access web pages of information.  Browsers translate the HTML code contained in web pages to allow us to read text, view images, listen to audio clips, play videos, and click on embedded hyperlinks  that take us to

    Feb 27,
    - by Christa
  • By now I’m sure you’ve not only heard of phishing scams, but probably even received a few through email.  These attempts of online identity theft and fraud are running rampant over the Internet.  The typical phishing scam seeks to obtain usernames, passwords, and credit card information by masquerading as a trustworthy source.  However, there are more sophisticated forms of phishing scams. Spear phishing and whaling are types of phishing scams that have more targeted victims.  Spear phishing scams are aimed towards a specific person or group and attempt to gain access to corporate networks in order to access confidential data.  Whaling is spear phishing scam that tends to be directed towards high profile targets or senior executives within a company. 

    Jan 28,
    - by Christa
  • Phishing scams have been rapidly growing on the Internet for years. It is a means of online identity theft and fraud. Phishing emails typically look authentic and claim to be from a trustworthy company, usually a banking institution, credit card company, or other financial organization. Some phishing scams seek to steal personal information and financial data. Others can infect computers with viruses and try to convince people to participate unknowingly in scams, such as money laundering. Some well known companies that have been targeted by phishing email scams include eBay, Wells Fargo, Citibank, PayPal, Amazon and Bank of America. Phishing scams tend to be pretty organized and well thought out. Phishers decide which businesses to target and then figure out

    Feb 29,
    - by Donna
  • If anyone tells you email is secure, don't believe them.  I now explain email security the same way my brother-in-law explained text messages to his teenage son.  "Don't put anything in a text message you wouldn't mind seeing on the front page of the local newspaper." There are both technical and human reasons this statement is true. Email is just like a postcard.  If you have ever sent a postcard in the mail you know that anyone who touches the card can read anything written on the card.  An email is the exact same thing.  The biggest difference is so many more people touch your email AND they can make a copy of it to keep each time they touch it.

    Jan 05,
    - by Donna