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Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Newly Found Windows Bug Allows Hackers to Control your PC

Posted on: April 23rd, 2013 by
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Newly Found Windows Bug Allows Hackers to Control your PCBy just viewing a file or opening a folder, some Windows users may be opening up their PCs to hackers A new vulnerability found in Microsoft’s Windows operating system can potentially open up your PC to remote attackers. On top of compromising the data within your PC, hackers can also introduce malware into the vulnerable machines to possibly enlist them unwittingly in criminal botnet rings. The newly found bug is particularly dangerous as it can be triggered by just viewing a folder containing a specially crafted image thumbnail, or opening up a malicious graphic file which can be embedded in any Office document. The bug exists in the Windows graphics rendering engine, and although Microsoft has acknowledged the issue, no fix has yet been released. Users of Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Server 2008 are affected by the bug. Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, the latest versions of Windows for PCs and servers respectively, are not affected. Users are advised to be vigilant in monitoring patches or fixes from Microsoft and make sure to install a fix when one does become available. No time or resources to do so? We offer services that can help automate the process of monitoring, updating, and managing your systems for you. Get in touch with us today.  
Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.
 
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Majority of Malware Attacks are Triggered by USB Enabled Drives

Posted on: April 23rd, 2013 by
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USBIt looks like gone are the days when employees can safely transfer files using the ever reliable USB device. According to various reports, there is an increasing number of malware attacks targeting USB devices. Small businesses should be very wary of using USB drives, without considering security parameters to prevent these malware threats. A USB device is indeed a useful, economical way to transfer data. In fact, according to Gartner IT research and advisory company, there were roughly 222 million USB devices shipped in 2009. However, a recent study shows that though USB devices are a convenient means of transferring information, they can also serve as channels to transmit potential threats. In fact, 25% of malware these days is built to spread via USB devices. Most small businesses particularly are utilizing USB drives for the convenience they bring. But as consumers become more technically savvy about malicious attacks via email and other modes, cyber offenders are now shifting to USB devices to spread malware. Moreover, they want an easier and faster way of hacking into secured computers, making malware distribution via USB devices a viable option. Being a small to medium-sized business, your company might also be at risk for the following reasons:
  • Outdated operating systems. Newer versions of operating systems like Windows Vista and Windows 7 definitely provide more security against malware-infected USB devices. If you’re still running on Windows XP, contact us immediately and we will update your operating system to avoid unwillingly sharing your confidential business information to servers across the globe. We will ensure that you have the Continue reading the story "Majority of Malware Attacks are Triggered by USB Enabled Drives"
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

A Peek into the Windows Phone 7 OS

Posted on: April 23rd, 2013 by
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Windows Phone 7 OSIt’s sometimes difficult to choose which smartphone to get  not only because of hardware specs, but also the OS it uses. One new promising option worth trying out is Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7. A growing tech trend these days is the steady increase of smartphone use, as more and more people discover the value both business and personal  of constant connection to the internet and the ability to remain productive even on the go. There are many options to choose from, and one very viable and promising smartphone platform/OS that’s making waves recently is the new Windows Phone 7 OS, released late last year. A successor of sorts to Microsoft’s Windows Mobile, WP7 has been rebuilt from the ground up and is packed with new features designed to make it perform at par (or better in some cases) than the competition. One major improvement in Windows Phone 7 is the new user interface, which is much more fluid and easy to navigate. It also allows for more customization and organization according to user preferences. Another plus for the platform is the generally faster performance, as well as the smooth response of the virtual keyboard. The WP7 OS will also be available in different smartphones, so you need not worry about it being locked to a single device. A downside of Windows Phone 7 is the lack of applications at this time, though this is largely due to the relative newness of the platform. However, reviews of Windows Phone 7 have been largely positive, and more apps are expected to become available Continue reading the story "A Peek into the Windows Phone 7 OS"
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Need A Break? Tax Law Extends Single-year Equipment Deduction Through 2011

Posted on: April 23rd, 2013 by
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TaxesWhen you acquire equipment for your businesses, you can deduct the entire cost in a single year, thanks to a tax break that’s been extended through the end of 2011. In the past, business equipment such as computers and machinery had to be deducted over a number of years. Then a new tax code provision was enacted to help spur economic growth. That provision, called Section 179, allowed taxpayers to deduct the cost of equipment as an expense rather than requiring the cost of the property to be capitalized and depreciated. In other words, single-year deductions were permittedmuch to the benefit of small and medium businesses. The Section 179 deduction started out at $25,000, increased to $125,000 then $250,000, and finally ended up at $500,000. And many assets qualify for the tax break, including computers, software, office machines and furniture, manufacturing equipment, and vehicles that weigh more than 6,000 pounds. How does it work? Lets’ say you have a $600,000 profit and don’t want to pay taxes on that entire amount. At the same time, you need new computer equipment. You can buy that new equipment for $500,000 and only owe taxes on $100,000 of your profits. Section 179 was set to expire at the end of 2010, but it’s now been extended. The Tax Relief Act of 2010, signed on 12/17/10, allows business owners to take Section 179 deductions through the 2011 tax year. That means 2011 is a great year to consider purchasing equipment, because the immediate writeoff helps businesses such as yours keep more cash free for other purposes. “There Continue reading the story "Need A Break? Tax Law Extends Single-year Equipment Deduction Through 2011"
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Prevent Hackers from Getting into Your Email Account

Posted on: April 23rd, 2013 by
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email hackMost hackers just like the thrill of breaking through a computer security system, but there are others who may not be as harmless. Some will get into email accounts and use all the sensitive information that they can access, for their own benefit. Email hacking is becoming a common problem of web users. As more people have become dependent on the internet for almost everything they need, a vast amount of sensitive information is now within reach of unscrupulous individuals known as hackers. Cybertopcops.com defines a hacker as “someone who gains unauthorized access to a computer system.” Most hackers just like the thrill of breaking through a computer security system, but there are others who may not be as harmless. Some hack into email accounts and use all the sensitive information that they can access, for own their benefit.

How can you tell if your email was hacked?

  • You can’t log into your email account.
  • Your sent folder contains messages that you never sent.
  • Your email contacts inform you that they have been receiving spam messages from your account.

What can you do if your email has been hacked?

  1. Change your password. If you learn that your email has been hacked, change your password immediately. Choose one that won’t be guessed easily.
  2. Check all your other accounts: email, social networks, blogs, etc. Many people use one password for all their accounts because it’s easier to remember. While this may be more convenient, think of the major losses you could suffer if a hacker gets into all your accounts.
  3. Delete all accounts that you have not been using for Continue reading the story "Prevent Hackers from Getting into Your Email Account"
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Seeing QR Codes, But Don’t Know What They Are?

Posted on: April 23rd, 2013 by
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QR CodeAs smartphone technology continues to improve in terms of providing connectivity, it follows that your internet marketing strategies must be able to accommodate these advances. One strategy you can employ is using QR codes, a simple and effective way to market yourself. Smartphones are becoming more and more popular these days, as both hardware and software developers add features to phones and operating systems that make them much more appealing to potential buyers. And as smartphone technology continues to improve in terms of providing more connectivity to the user  not only through the mobile network but to the internet as well  it follows that your internet marketing strategies will need to incorporate the smartphone factor. One simple strategy that you can employ is using QR Codes, or Quick Response Codes, which are simple 2D barcodes that can be scanned using a smartphone. Numerous scanning applications are available to read these barcodes, and once read the code will redirect the user to any link you set up. QR Codes are also fairly easy to create, making them a great on-the-fly strategy if you want to market something quickly and easily. An additional strength of QR Code-driven marketing lies in the volume of people who use smartphones today  which gives you a large audience from the get go. For such a small piece of code, there are countless options for how you can use them to your advantage. If you are interested in learning more about using QR Codes, give us a call and we can come up with several strategies that can cater Continue reading the story "Seeing QR Codes, But Don’t Know What They Are?"
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Recognizing Phishing Messages

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Recognizing Phishing MessagesWhat’s phishing? How does it work? Keep yourself aware of basic phishing techniques and you might just save yourself from becoming yet another victim of these unscrupulous fraudsters. Online oracle Wikipedia defines phishing as: “the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.” We probably don’t need to tell you what kind of damage unscrupulous people can do with that kind of data in their hands. This is why it’s important to identify phishing messages from the get go and prevent becoming a victim. What makes a phishing message tick? How are they different from spam? What makes phishing different from spam is that phishing messages masquerade as official correspondence from a trusted source. While spam can be filtered, many phishing messages manage to bypass these filters precisely because they seem to be legitimate messages. They can be disguised as communication from your bank, your credit card company, or even from a large company such as Microsoft or Google, or social networking sites like Facebook, or MySpace. These messages come complete with official-sounding content and even logos stolen from the legit websites. The website links in the message, however, direct you to a fraudulent but official-looking website where you are asked to divulge personal information. You can check these links by simply hovering your mouse pointer over them – watch out for misspelled or faked / masked websites. Sometimes a telephone number is posted, and when called, you are asked Continue reading the story "Recognizing Phishing Messages"
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Macs: Hardly Malware-proof

Posted on: April 23rd, 2013 by
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MacSecurity experts are discovering that hackers, fraudsters and thieves are targeting MAC users more these days because MAC users tend to be more careless when it comes to security for their systems. Macs are famous for a lot of things  some true, some false. For instance, many people believe that Macs are virus- and malware-proof  but unfortunately that’s not true. Just because many of the malware and viruses out there are targeted toward the Windows OS, Macs are not impervious to attack as well. And the operative word is “targeted”. Security firms and experts are learning that since people tend to be more complacent security-wise when using a Mac, they make for pretty ripe pickings for unscrupulous online scammers, fraudsters, and thieves. Not only are more security flaws being discovered on the Mac OS and programs, but also more viruses are being created that specifically target those vulnerabilities. Of course, the scale of the threat can be debated  but while it is true that more viruses and malware are designed for Windows, it’s also true that some of these viruses can be applicable to Macs as well, in addition to those specifically designed to attack the Mac OS platforms. If you aren’t convinced, then this video might just turn you into a believer. Here, a Mac anti-virus program catches a would-be Trojan. And that’s just one of the many hundreds of thousands of Mac viruses and malware out there. Is it sound business practice to take risks with your system security? Whether you use Windows or Mac, you need malware protection  because too often all it Continue reading the story "Macs: Hardly Malware-proof"
Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Lost Your Gadget? These Apps Can Help

Posted on: April 23rd, 2013 by
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Lost phoneNo need to panic if you lose your cell phone. Just make use of these apps that help secure your gadget from loss or theft. Check out which app supports your gadget. Technology has become part of mankind’s daily existence. Everywhere you look, somebody is sporting a new gadget or two, and sometimes even more. In fact, many use a cell phone, laptop computer, iPod, and even an iPad as part of their daily routines. With multiple gadgets being used by a single person, one is bound get misplaced occasionally  or worse, stolen. This can be very annoying and even devastating, especially if the gadget contains sensitive information. Fortunately, with ongoing improvements in technology, manufacturers of many gadgets have also developed apps that can help locate a lost or stolen gadget. 1.       Find My iPhone, Find My iPad, and Find My iPod touch These three apps work the same way, featuring MobileMe, and now they’re free on every iPhone 4, iPad, and iPod touch 4th generation with iOS 4.2. If you misplace your gadget, you just sign in to me.com using any computer web browser (or use the Find My iPhone, iPad or IPod touch app on another device) to display the misplaced gagdet’s approximate location on a map. Another option is to write a message and display it on the screen of your gadget. Your message will appear even if the screen is locked. Also, if your gadget is nearby but you can’t find it because it’s under a pile of papers or your bed, you can tell Find My iPhone to play a sound that Continue reading the story "Lost Your Gadget? These Apps Can Help"