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 Evanston, 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:
How to Spot Phishing Scams and Stop Cyber-Criminals from Stealing Your Data Apr 27, 2018
Cyber-Security is a big topic in the news. New businesses fall victim to hackers and cyber criminals daily.
Even high quality security programs and protocols can fall victim to cyber-bullies without proper employee training, awareness and attention to detail.
We believe education is one of the best defenses against cyber criminals.
With that in mind, we want to provide some valuable tips for spotting and avoiding one of the most popular scams/tactics cyber-criminals use against you: the Phishing Scam.
Email is essential to your business and every day communication. It is also one of the prime spaces hackers focus on to steal your information and sneak into your network.
This is because it is SO much easier to get a person to click on a link, input account info or download a corrupt file via an email scam than many other hacker strategies.
You’ve probably heard this but it’s true – “There’s one person in every office that will click on anything.”
Hopefully that person isn’t you!
But – with the information below, you’ll learn how to spot these scams and some strategies to avoid them altogether.
Phishing Scams 101
What are some of the Goals of Phishing Scams?
- Steal Sensitive Personal Info – Credit Card Info, Account Login Info, Personally Identifiable Information (SSN, Birth Date etc.)
- Gain control of your computer or network
- Install malware or other computer viruses
How do cyber-criminals convince you to fall for their plans?
- Deliver file attachments with harmful software enclosed – viruses/malware/keystroke loggers
- Trick you into clicking on bad websites that secretly infect your PC with viruses etc.
- Convincing you to give them username info and password info to desired accounts
Things you should look out for to spot and prevent Phishing Scams
- Make sure that the “reply to” email address matches the sent address
- Any message that creates a sense of urgency – especially regarding login info
- Any message that requests sensitive data
- Questionable links or links that don’t match the anticipated site/source
- Random social media messages asking you to click a link to see a video or receive specific info
Keep in mind and remember that legitimate companies won’t email you asking for passwords, sensitive info (social security numbers) or other sensitive data via email.
Sample Phishing Scams Explained:
- The ‘From’ email address is suspicious
- ‘From’ and ‘Reply-To’ are different and both are suspicious again
- When you hover over the ‘Restore Access’ button there is a link that doesn’t match any Microsoft destinations
- Bad sender domain
- Suspicious Subject & Content – generic name and sense of urgency to give up account info
- Bad grammar
- Suspicious link if you hover over the masked link.
- Bad domain in ‘From’ section – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Generic Greeting
- Bad link redirect
- Sense of Urgency in message to get your account info
Response Strategies/Protocols for suspected phishing emails:
In the office it is important to have conversations with employees and make sure everyone knows what to do if they suspect a bad email.
- We recommend alerting your IT partner or IT staff members of the issue.
- NEVER click any links you think are suspicious.
- If you are unsure of an email you can always contact the related company direct. For example, with respect to any of the above emails you can always go directly to their official page, grab contact info and call/contact support to confirm that the email is real.
- NEVER use contact info in a suspicious email to figure out whether it is real or not. Criminals put fake phone numbers and contact info in their messages so of course they will tell you that the email is real.
- Hold regular cyber security and data security training in your office to make sure employees are up to speed on the latest techniques/red flags.
The post How to Spot Phishing Scams and Stop Cyber-Criminals from Stealing Your Data 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.Hackers Are Hiding Code In Images To Fool Mac Users Feb 16, 2019
In the world of hacking, steganography ranks as one of the most difficult methodologies to detect.
If you're not familiar with the term, it is the practice of embedding executable code inside images, which makes it virtually impossible to detect.
The reason is simple:� Virus scanners are built around the idea of searching for text strings with identifiable malicious characteristics and markers, but images aren't that at all.� However, if carefully crafted, they can deliver the same poisoned payloads.
Recently, Apple users have been experiencing this firsthand, courtesy of a group calling themselves 'VeryMal,' which has been targeting Apple users in exactly this way. They've been using code embedded in ad images to redirect users browsing the web away from legitimate sites and onto malicious ones, which serve as hosts for a variety of malware.
Here's a quick rundown of how it works:
- Hackers purchase ad space on a legitimate website
- The ad image they load contains code embedded in the image itself
- If the result of that query is positive, the script extracts the rest of the code from the image, which forces the user's browser to navigate to a new URL as defined by the command code
- The user arrives at a page displaying popup ads, most commonly urging the installation of an update for software, in most cases Adobe Flash Player
Of course, it's not a Flash update at all, but whatever malware the hackers have seen fit to put in its place. It's a nasty bit of trickery that so far, has managed to hijack more than five million web sessions, siphoning them away from legitimate sites. This is based on the latest research into the group's activities, and worse, there's no good way to guard against it except to be vigilant and watch the behavior of your web browser closely.
If your company uses Apple equipment, make sure your people are aware.� VeryMal has been stepping up their activities in recent weeks.