What Is An Andromeda C‑CAT?A C‑CAT (Client-Centric Action Team) is a dedicated team that includes one or more two Remote Service Techs, and one or more IT Field Techs whose activities are curated by a Service Coordinator(SC)—each specifically appointed to service your organization. With cat-like reflexes and precision, your Andromeda C-CAT will pounce on any IT issue, upgrade, or project. It's really the cat's meow for your IT needs!)
Professional IT Services that Andromeda Provides for Chicago, IL Businesses:
What A Few Of Our Clients Have To Say
AndroPedia Tech Library
As part of our service, it is important to keep our client-partners well informed on IT developments, news, and best practices. Here is just a sampling of typical items from our AndroPediaSM library archive:
5 Ways Your Information Gets On The Dark Web Jan 26, 2018
In our last IT article we discussed the Dark Web. Specifically what the Dark Web is and why it is something that matters to just about everyone. If you missed the article make sure to give it a read here.
There are many ways your information can be compromised and inevitably end up in the hands of wrong doers on the dark web. On top of that, there are numerous ways that hackers and criminals can steal your data that are completely out of your control.
It is important that you put defense in place where you can but it is also important that you manage your risk by educating yourself on some of the top vulnerabilities out there.
With that in mind we’ve gathered 5 of the top ways hackers and criminals get around you to steal your data for the Dark Web.
5 Ways Your Information Gets On The Dark Web
1. Visiting & Using Unsecure Websites
If a website isn’t secure, information passed between you and the site can easily be compromised. In a nutshell, websites pass information to your browser (google chrome, firefox etc.) and your browser displays that information for you to look at/use. Without proper security protocols like an SSL or HTTPs, sites don’t secure that information transfer. So, if you enter personal data into a form, make a purchase or put any data on the site that isn’t secured, it is easy enough for a hacker or cyber-criminal to intercept that data and sell it on the Dark Web.
If you are interested in how to secure your website or tell if the sites you visit are secure, we have an easy to understand article here.
2. Consumer Database Breach
While hackers and criminals will go after your personal data on a small scale, a larger customer breach is what their dreams are made of. Just think back to the Target, Home Depot and Experian breaches of recent years. Even social media databases are full of rich information that hackers can make use of. If a hacker gets ahold of your Facebook password they might have also gotten ahold of your date of birth, where you live and other personal information that they can use to access financial accounts or other personal accounts.
While you can’t keep hackers out of Target’s database, you can practice your own security protocols to decrease the likelihood of criminals using compromised data to ruin you financially:
- Use different passwords for different sites
- Change passwords often (every 90 days is recommended at minimum)
- Use strong passwords
- Look into a monitoring service that alerts you of suspicious activity on financial accounts
3. Firewall Issues
You don’t necessarily have control over whether someone else secures their website and you definitely don’t have control of the security procedures at your local grocery store, but you do have control over the firewalls you use at your business.
First . . . make sure you are using a professional or business grade solution for your firewall. Consumer grade solutions are meant for home use and will not have adequate protections in place to keep your company’s private data secure.
Additionally, make sure that you have regular updates and software patches scheduled. These devices are only as good as the software they utilize. If your firewall is out of date or your software is out of date, chances are they cannot defend against the latest hacker strategies and viruses.
You will also benefit from a regular system audit to ensure all ports are secure and no user changes are impacting your network security. It is pretty common for businesses to forget these updates and checks and this is an incredibly vulnerable access point into your network if not properly configured.
4. Outdated Systems/Devices On Your Network
While your firewall controls much of the inbound and outbound traffic on your network, there are countless other devices that can create vulnerabilities. For instance, if you consider the Target breach of 2013, it is rumored that the criminals gained access to Target’s network via an HVAC company that monitored temperatures in stores. This brings up the fact that it is not just your own network but anything connected to it and the security of those ancillary devices/networks that you must be aware of.
If you have smart devices in the office, if you subscribe to any type of service that needs access to your network, all of these items and programs open you up to vulnerabilities. Even the smart devices you use at home can cause you trouble on a personal level. Imagine if a smart device on your home network was compromised and used by hackers to get into your work files on your home computer. This stuff happens and your information ends up on the dark web because of it.
5. Downloading untrusted applications/Opening Malicious Email
Email is essential to running your business but it is one of the best ways for hackers and criminals to gain access to your network. All they have to get you to do is click a link or download a file and BAM! your data might be compromised.
Email isn’t the only culprit though. Downloading files off the web can also give hackers access to your network and in turn your data. There are tools that can help you avoid this as well as training that helps you spot malicious links/sites.
How Can I Prevent My Info From Getting Onto Dark Web
With proper firewall configuration, professional anti-virus software that is updated regularly and employee training, you will dramatically decrease your vulnerability and incident rate.
There are so many ways hackers access your data. They can get to you through stores, websites, your email, the smart devices at your office/home and those are just a few examples. The scary part is that no matter how secure you make things, they will come up with a new approach that no one expects.
All hope isn’t lost though, with certain protections like professional cyber security consulting, monitoring software (both professional and personal), and specific security devices, you can protect yourself from cybercriminals.
If you’d like to discuss your options and make sure you are truly covered, reach out to our team and schedule a network security assessment.
Interested in reading more? Check out:
Part 1 Part 3
The post 5 Ways Your Information Gets On The Dark Web appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Andromeda’s Top Windows 10 Tips & Tricks for Increased Productivity and Ease of Use Mar 30, 2018
In our business and personal lives, we’re all racing to fit 26 hours into a 24 hour day.
Any tip or trick that shaves off time and saves a few seconds can pay off big time in the long run.
We recently did a poll around the Andromeda office to grab some of our favorite tricks and tips that save time, keep us organized and help with overall productivity.
We kept this list specific to Windows 10 but many of these tricks and features will work on older versions of Windows as well.
So – without further ado –
Andromeda’s Top Windows 10 Tips & Tricks for Increased Productivity and Ease of Use:
The snip tool is very useful when you want to grab a photo or screen shot of a specific element on your screen but don’t want to capture your entire screen.
This is a pre-installed app you can find in your start menu.
For more information on exactly how to use this function check out this helpful article.
Built In Search with Windows Key
There are a lot of different commands that begin with the ‘Windows Key’ (See above for photo example). We will dive into a few of those later but our staff thought that the built in search tool deserved its own mention.
Simply hit the Windows Key and start typing out what you are looking for. This helps avoid searching and clicking around through files.
For example hit your Windows Key and start typing any program you have installed. For our example, type in iTunes then press the Enter key.
iTunes will start automatically.
Mark Up Feature in Windows Edge
There are many different web browsers out there and most people have their favorite. Windows 10 has their own web browser called Windows Edge (an update to the classic Internet Explorer).
Once you open up a web browser with Windows Edge, locate the Mark Up Feature in the top right hand corner (highlighted below):
Once you click this feature you will notice a purple navigation bar at the top of your screen. You can now markup web pages for whatever purposes you like on any tablet or device with writing capabilities.
Pin Popular Apps to Taskbar
Windows 10 tries to make it as easy as possible to access your favorite applications and software. You can create desktop shortcuts but another accessibility option is pinning commonly used apps to your Taskbar.
Simply locate the app you are looking for and right click on it. You’ll see an option for “Add to Taskbar”. Select that and you are good to go.
This is a great way to make that Snip Tool we mentioned above more accessible.
Start Menu Organization
Some users dislike the Windows 10 start menu – but it has some great organization capabilities.
Similar to pinning apps to your Taskbar as described above, you can pin programs to your start menu. Additionally, you can group applications and software together for quick navigation.
This is all done via drag and drop. Simply click on the program you want, drag it to the right and drop it where you want.
For heavy computer users, brightness settings can cause eye strain and can even contribute to difficulty falling asleep at night.
This is because our computer screens (tablets and smartphones included) emit ‘blue light’. This blue light can be harsh on the eyes over time and messes with your natural sleep rhythms in some cases.
If you’re interested in turning on the Night Light function you can find it in the display settings menu.
“Hot Keys” are just another form of shortcut you can use to perform different functions quickly with only your keyboard.
Depending on your job and needs, you may use some, many, none or all of them (there are a ton).
Here are a few of our favorites for you to try.
Windows + L – Lock your screen
Windows + D – Show Desktop
Windows + Tab – Open Windows between Virtual Desktops
Alt + Tab – Cycle through open apps/windows
Ctrl + Z – Undo
Ctrl + X – Cut
Ctrl + V – Paste
Ctrl + C – Copy
Ctrl + A – Select All
For a more extensive list of Hot Keys check out this article from Windows Central.
We hope you found this article helpful and if you have a favorite shortcut that wasn’t listed, please let us know!
The post Andromeda’s Top Windows 10 Tips & Tricks for Increased Productivity and Ease of Use appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Mistyped URLs Will Soon Get A Warning In Chrome Feb 19, 2019
At one point or another, everybody has done it.� You open a browser and type in the URL of a site you visit frequently.� In doing so, your finger slips and you mistype it.� Sometimes, nothing comes of it except that you get an error message. Knowing that, increasing numbers of hackers have gotten into the habit of buying up domains that are slight misspellings of popular, mainstream brands.
Invariably, the hackers will then create a site that looks identical to the real site.� A careless user won't notice the difference.� From there, it's as simple as generating a popup message asking the user to update an app (Flash player or the like) so they can properly view the site's' content, and the user is doomed.
Fortunately for users, big tech companies are actively looking for ways to curtail hacking activities, and the latest change Google is making to its Chrome browser seeks to address the exact phenomenon described above.
The company has been testing a new redirect feature since version 70 of the browser and it's now ready for prime time.� In the latest build, you can enable it as an "experimental feature" if you want to give it a test drive.
The new feature is self-explanatory.� Chrome has an extensive database of likely typos.� When you make one, a drop-down panel will appear under the URL bar, which is a visual cue that you may be about to visit a site you hadn't intended to.� Getting yourself redirected to the destination you intended from there is as simple as clicking.
Ultimately, this is destined to become a standard feature of Chrome, although there's no set timetable for that.� For now, it's easy to begin experimenting with the feature if you like.
Just visit: chrome://flags/#enable-lookalike-url-navigation-suggestions