Three "Bear" Minimums to Computer User Safety

What do the DNC, Podesta, and Pence have in common? An IT nerd will proclaim: they’ve all been hacked. It leads me to wonder, will I be next? It feels inevitable - whether it’s some kind of ransomware that forced you to call some 800 number that then took control of your computer and demanded you pay x amount of bitcoins, or the prankster buddy that “hacked” your facebook and posted some ridiculousness on your behalf, or the “Russians”. Folks, it is getting real out here. But no need to spaz out; these simple habits will keep you ahead of the the masses. The truth is, you don’t need to outrun the bear, you just have to make sure you’re not bringing up the rear.

  1. Password protect your device, PC, laptop, and/or tablet.

  2. When leaving your computer, log out of your cloud accounts, especially gmail.

  3. Make it a habit to logout of your computer or lock your account when you step away.

eCycling

Got a bunch of old computers lying around in the basement? Are all those electric cords tangled and covered in cobwebs in a closet somewhere? It's ok if you do...we do too.  :)

According to a study by the Consumer Electronics Association, Americans own approximately 24 electronic products per household. Every year, newer, faster electronic products come out on the market, replacing old models.

As a result, electronics have become one of the fastest growing waste streams.

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Simply throwing out unwanted or obsolete electronic waste, or e-waste, is harmful to the environment. According to the MO Dept. of Natural Resources, electronics contain toxic materials, including lead, mercury, zinc, nickel, cadmium, chromium, and beryllium. These elements can be hazardous to the land, water, and air in our communities. The EPA estimates that in the U.S. in 2013:

  • 3.1 million tons of consumer electronic products were ready for end-of-life management; and only
  • 40.4% of these tons were collected for recycling.

Let us come take those CPUs (towers), monitors, keyboards, mice, printers, scanners, and old fax machines out of your hands. We'll responsibly recycle your e-waste to help avoid any information leaks or legal issues. Making your place (and the landfills) a little less crowded is a win-win.

 

wifi security etiquette

 

What's invisible, everywhere, and we can't do without? Oxygen. But if you were thinking wifi, that too.  :)  Like air quality, your wifi quality is equally as important. As wifi continues to become more accessible, wifi quality is becoming less than just about your signal strength and more about your wifi's security. This applies at home, work, or on the go.

Here are some useful wifi etiquette tips to keep you safe out there.

  1. Be aware of when you’re sharing data. If you have any files in a public folder, move them to a personal folder.
  2. Use a strong password for all your wireless networks. A string of capital- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols 8-14 characters long is ideal. Non-dictionary words are best.
  3. Use WPA2 security. Make sure your router is set up correctly. If you are using WEP or WPA security, change it asap.
  4. Change your default network’s name (SSID). Routers include a default name. Keeping it tells potential intruders that lax security measures are in place.

Intruders and bots roam the web searching for information they can profit from, such as financial and identity-related documents. Poorly protected wifi is an easy target for exploitation. Never assume your data—personal or business—isn’t accessible.

 

Request a FREE wifi network assessment TODAY.