Office 365: New security updates

Office 365: New security updates

Microsoft recently rolled out security updates to Office 365 for business and home users. These enhancements aim to increase safety when sending or receiving an email in Outlook, sharing links in OneDrive, and alerting users of possible malware infection.

Files Restore in OneDrive

Previously available only to Office 365 business users, Files Restore allows users to conveniently recover files in OneDrive within the last 30 days. Home and personal users can now easily retrieve and restore all their files at a specific point in time, which is useful in instances where files are accidentally deleted, corrupted, or compromised by ransomware or other malware.

Ransomware detection notification for Office 365

You receive notifications and alerts for a variety of things on your PC or mobile devices, but rarely for something as immensely important as a ransomware attack. Office 365’s ransomware detection and recovery feature sends desktop notifications, email alerts, and mobile alerts in case of any possible ransomware attack on your system so you can act fast.

Aside from being notified about a detected ransomware, you’ll also be guided on how to recover your files before they were infected, based on the timestamp recorded by Files Restore.

Password-protected link sharing in OneDrive

Whenever you share a link — whether to a file or folder — in OneDrive, there’s no guarantee that it won’t be shared to unauthorized users. A password-protected feature solves this dilemma by giving you an option to set and require a password for every file or folder you share.

Email encryption in Outlook

Intercepting email has become many cybercriminals’ preferred method of stealing critical information, so it’s more crucial than ever to ensure email safety. With Outlook’s end-to-end encryption, users can rest easy knowing that the email they send won’t be easily intercepted after all.

Email encryption works by requiring non-Outlook email recipients to choose between receiving a single-use passcode or re-authentication to open an email from an Outlook email sender. On the other hand, an Outlook-to-Outlook email exchange — whether Outlook on desktop, mobile (iOS and Android), or Windows Mail app — doesn’t require any further action for the email to be opened.

Prevent Forwarding

This function restricts email recipients (both Outlook and non-Outlook users) from forwarding or copying email. It also provides an option to prevent certain recipients from opening an attachment from a forwarded email, which will come in handy when a person needs to send an email to more than one recipient, but wants to restrict access to an attachment to just a few recipients.

These new capabilities greatly reduce the effort to secure your files and communications, and Microsoft is sure to roll out a few more soon. If you want to optimize these Office 365 security features or explore other productivity tools’ security features, call us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

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Source: Pronto

Beware of watering hole attacks!

Beware of watering hole attacks!

Hackers have plenty of ways to breach your systems. They can use complex programs to exploit software bugs, send emails to dupe you into downloading malware, or insert a malware-infected USB drive directly into your computer. However, another increasingly popular hacking method is a watering hole attack.

What are watering hole attacks?
Much like phishing, a watering hole attack is used to distribute malware onto victims’ computers. Cybercriminals infect popular websites with malware. If anyone visits the site, their computers will automatically be loaded with malware.

The malware used in these attacks usually collects the target’s personal information and sends it back to the hacker’s server. Sometimes the malware can even give hackers full access to their victims’ computers.

But how does a hacker choose which websites to hack? With internet tracking tools, hackers find out which websites companies and individual users visit the most. They then attempt to find vulnerabilities in those websites and embed them with malicious software.

Any website can fall victim to a watering hole attack. In fact, even high-profile websites like Twitter, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple were compromised in 2013.

You can protect yourself by following these tips.

Update your software
Watering hole attacks often exploit bugs and vulnerabilities to infiltrate your computer, so by updating your software and browsers regularly, you can significantly reduce the risk of an attack. Make it a habit to check the software developer’s website for any security patches. Or better yet, hire a managed IT services provider to keep your system up to date.

Watch your network closely
To detect watering hole attacks, you must use network security tools. For example, intrusion prevention systems allow you to detect suspicious and malicious network activities. Meanwhile, bandwidth management software will enable you to observe user behavior and detect abnormalities that could indicate an attack, such as large transfers of information or a high number of downloads.

Hide your online activities
Cybercriminals can create more effective watering hole attacks if they compromise websites only you and your employees frequent. As such, you should hide your online activities with a VPN and your browser’s private browsing feature.

At the end of the day, the best protection is staying informed. As cyberthreats continue to evolve, you must always be vigilant and aware of the newest threats. Tune in to our blog to find out about the latest developments in security and to get more tips on how to keep your business safe.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

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Source: Pronto

How to enjoy real cloud cost-savings

How to enjoy real cloud cost-savings

If you want to increase collaboration, productivity, and security all while keeping costs down, the cloud is the perfect solution. But if you’re not careful, hidden charges can creep up on your monthly bill, preventing you from truly reaping the benefits of the cloud. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to bring these costs down.

Don’t go for standalone services
Standalone services are the biggest price trap in the cloud. Spending on a standalone cloud software may seem harmless now, but if you decide to purchase similar services, the costs can quickly pile up. Then, there’s the issue of integrating these systems together, which costs even more time and money.

The best way around this is to find a service provider that offers a suite of products that work seamlessly together. Platforms like Office 365 or G Suite are great examples, and offer you differently priced packages based on the size and requirements of your business.

Team up with integration experts
If you do need to subscribe to a standalone service, you’ll want to integrate it with the rest of your cloud platform. But if you have limited experience with integrations, mistakes are likely to happen and cause downtime, which will inevitably cost you time and money.

The more economical option is to partner with a cloud integration expert, as they can quickly configure and deploy your systems with zero mistakes.

Understand cloud backup costs
While cloud backups are great for keeping your data secure, you must know how much you’re paying for them. If you plan on storing your data for a long time, you may be charged more. At the same time, if you store more versions of your data, it will cost you more.

One way you can keep costs down is to ask yourself whether certain files even need to be stored in the cloud. Mission-critical files like customer information, legal document, and business plans should be stored in the cloud so you can retrieve them right away after a disaster, but routine documents like timesheets can probably be stored in less expensive data centers.

Remove unnecessary accounts
Most cloud service providers charge you based on the number of users per month, so if you’re not diligent about removing accounts when employees have left your company, you could be throwing your money down the drain.

To avoid this, you need to have deprovisioning procedures in place for when an employee’s contract is terminated. Create a spreadsheet of each employee in your payroll and note down their cloud subscriptions. When an employee leaves your company, you must delete all their business accounts and give the relevant manager access to all their documents.

It’s also a good idea to schedule regular audits to make sure you’re not paying for people who’ve already left your company.

Work with a trustworthy provider
Last but not least, you’ll want to partner with a cloud services provider that not only gives you the best deals on cloud solutions, but also proactively monitors your account and warns you about any issues regarding the computing resources and storage space you’re using.

If you’re looking to keep cloud costs under control, talk to us today. We’re certified and experienced with all aspects of cloud technology, and we can show you how you can truly benefit from it.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

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Source: Pronto

4 ways to speed up mobile charging

4 ways to speed up mobile charging

Whether you use an iPhone or a Xiaomi, your mobile will sooner or later run out of battery. When this happens, you want it to be charged to 100% quickly, but not everyone knows how to do it. Read on to learn four ways about how you can charge your mobile faster.

#1. Optimize your phone accessories

One reason why your phone charges slowly is because of poor-quality accessories — such as cables, adapters, and weak sources of electricity.

Cables and adapters

Unless you were careful to take great care of your phone cable and adapter, they might be the reason why your phone is charging so slowly. If you think this could be the problem, we recommend that you change them immediately. After doing so, make sure to use and store your new cable and adapter properly to keep them in tip-top shape.

Charging Source

Did you know that your phone will charge faster if you connect it to a higher amperage charging source? Although mobile phones charge at only 5 volts, depending on the charger you use, you can get amperage from as low as 500mA (milliamps) to as high as 2,100mA. Therefore, it is recommended to forgo charging your mobile device through a computer port (uses 500mA or 900mA) and use a wall charger (ranges from 500-2,100mA) instead.

#2. Clean your phone’s charging port

Another reason why you may experience slower charging time is because of a corroded or obstructed port. If the problem is because of obstruction, get a flashlight, magnifying glass, toothpick, and small brush to completely remove any debris. However, you should be very careful when doing this because the port is very fragile.

We recommend you enlist a professional’s help to clean your port if you’re worried about damaging it or if the problem is due to corrosion.

#3. Background apps

When was the last time you sorted out your phone’s background apps? If you don’t remember, then it’s time to do it! Apps that are opened and left running in the background not only drain your phone’s battery, but also affect your phone’s charging speed. Select “Battery” in your phone’s Settings to find out which apps are using up your phone’s power, and delete them if necessary.

#4. Using your phone while charging

Do you browse the internet while your phone is charging? If yes, then you should stop doing it. Feature-rich apps like WhatsApp and Facebook have been listed as two of the top ten battery draining apps by AVG, which means you may be slowing down your phone’s charging speed when you use them while it charges.

Every successful business needs high-performance mobile phones, but this is only possible if their batteries are juiced. If you want more information about how to speed up charging your phone, contact our experts today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

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Source: Pronto

3 Surprising applications of blockchain

3 Surprising applications of blockchain

Most people associate blockchain technology with Bitcoin, the infamous digital currency that rose to fame in 2017. But blockchain technology is not tied to financial transactions, and it’s creating all sorts of exciting opportunities for faster, more secure information exchange — see for yourself!

What is blockchain?

Blockchain, like the cloud, is more of a concept than a specific piece of software or hardware. It’s the idea that if you store a spreadsheet or ledger on a hundred different computers — each of which receive automatic and encrypted updates — it’s nearly impossible to create a fraudulent entry. If someone adds a line of false information to one spreadsheet, 99 others can confirm it is not in their copy and is therefore inaccurate.

In the Bitcoin ledger, each line represents the transfer of funds from one account to another. So if John wants to transfer money to Jane, he sends a request to Bitcoin’s blockchain and thousands of computers confirm his account information is correct and he has sufficient funds. The money is transferred, both account balances are updated, and the whole process takes less than an hour with almost no human interaction. Much faster than the 5-7 business days of most banks.

There are countless applications for decentralized, real-time record keeping beyond financial transactions, though. And very soon, blockchain won’t be synonymous with Bitcoin.

Blockchain’s potential

Although this technology has been around since the ’90s, it lacked the popularity and computing power necessary to become a mainstream solution…until now. With the rise of cryptocurrencies in 2017, blockchain started seeping into other industries, such as:

  • Law – “Smart contracts” create agreements that automatically execute when their terms are met. For example, an attorney could agree to pay a courier $100 after the delivery of documents to the defendant in a case. The contract and the payment sit in the blockchain until the courier uploads a GPS-tagged photo of services rendered, at which point the money is transferred and the contract archived.
  • Agriculture – Supply chain blockchains can track every ingredient throughout the production process. If several people get sick from the same food item, ingredients could be traced back to their source and products that share the same ingredients could be recalled preemptively.
  • Real estate – Blockchain is being used to automate escrow account transactions, property title transfers, and insurance claims, so they aren’t reliant on slow and error-prone humans. Buying a home could eventually be as easy as finding the one you want, signing a contract, transferring your down payment, and receiving the title — no middleman necessary.

Most blockchain-based solutions are too new to trust with sensitive information. But you can do a few things to get out in front of your competitors. You can work with us to invest in business intelligence software that helps you collect more data, and start experimenting with risk-free blockchain solutions.

As long as you have certified technicians like ours at your disposal, you’ll be sure to see gains in no time — give us a call today!

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

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Source: Pronto

3 ways to ensure your FB data is private

3 ways to ensure your FB data is private

The public went into a frenzy when reports surfaced that Cambridge Analytica, a UK-based data analytics firm, retrieved millions of Facebook users’ private information without their knowledge. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it, and here are 3 ways to guarantee your data remains private.

Download your Facebook data

The thought of a complete stranger going through your account is pretty disturbing. Yet, you’re probably curious about the amount of information you uploaded to your social media sites over the years. Fortunately, Facebook allows you to download a copy of all your data. You simply have to log in to its web version and…

  • On the site’s main navigation, click on the down button right next to the Quick Help icon
  • A menu will pop up and you’ll find Settings right above the Log Out option
  • Click on Settings and you’ll automatically be redirected to General
  • Within the General page, press Download a copy of your Facebook Data
  • It will redirect you to a different page where you’ll need to press Start My Archive button to proceed with the download process

Once that’s done, you’ll be able to see an archive of all your Facebook activity, such as the statuses you’ve posted, messages you’ve sent, and ads you’ve clicked on.

Change your privacy settings

After going through all your data, you might realize that everything you shared is harmless. But, that doesn’t mean it won’t end up in the hands of cybercriminals who can use it against you.

We suggest going back to the Settings page and clicking on Privacy. That’s where you can modify whether you want your posts to be seen by the public or only by your friends. You can even control who’s allowed to send you friend requests, view your friends list, and most importantly, decide whether search engines are allowed to link to your profile.

Check or delete apps

You know those personality quizzes that you and your friends always had a ball answering? Apparently, Cambridge Analytica gathered all the responses from one of those app developers. Luckily, you can stop them from further accessing your profile. In Settings, click on Apps to see all the apps linked to your profile. Beside each one, you can choose Edit Settings to review its authorizations or click Remove to completely get rid of it.

Your recent love-hate relationship with Facebook has you second-guessing. If you want to take data security up a notch, we can always provide more tips and tools, and even assess your current level of security. Just give us a call and we’ll take care of your privacy so you don’t wind up breaking up with your favorite social media site.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

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Source: Pronto

Microsoft announces new features for Teams

Microsoft announces new features for Teams

Microsoft has recently announced new features for Microsoft Teams. These features are expected to bring users greater convenience and improved communication, and ultimately increase its appeal to a wider market.

Cortana Integration

One new feature that Microsoft will bring to Teams is Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant. By integrating Cortana with Teams, users can use voice commands to make calls, join an ongoing meeting, or add other users to the meeting. This feature will also work with IP phones and conference room devices.

Inline Message Translation

While most people can communicate well in English, not everyone is comfortable using the language. Inline message translation allows these people to chat in their native language and then translate their messages into English. This will not only help them verbalize their thoughts better and faster, but you’ll also be able to understand exactly what you have to do to meet their demands.

Cloud Recording and Automatic Transcripts

Have you ever forgotten or overlooked important meeting details? This new feature will allow you to record meetings, store it in the cloud, and create a transcript of it. The ability to save the entire meeting also allows users to review everything or segments of it in the future at their convenience. This is particularly useful for meetings that are highly detailed or very long.

Facial recognition, which will allow statements to be matched with the corresponding speaker, is expected to be included in the future.

Background Blur Option for Video Calls

Most people get easily distracted. But you want to minimize these distractions and have them focus on you when you have an important meeting like a business pitch. Teams’ latest feature allows you to blur your background during video calls so other people in the meeting can fully concentrate on you.

Proximity Detection for Teams Meetings

A feature that can make your meetings simpler is proximity detection. When you enter a room equipped with a Teams meeting room device, Proximity Detection will automatically detect your Teams-enabled meeting room laptop and prompt connection for you to join the Teams meeting room. This helps you save time finding an available room so you can immediately connect with other users.

Mobile Sharing in Meetings

Have you ever needed to join a sudden meeting but couldn’t perform as well as usual because you were on the go with only a mobile device? Mobile Sharing in Meetings solve this by allowing you to share a live video stream, photos, or your phone screen with other attendees immediately.

If you’re interested in improving your company-wide communication and would like to learn more about Microsoft Teams, contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

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Source: Pronto

Ready for tax season phishing scams?

Ready for tax season phishing scams?

As tax season looms, so do phishing scams. For cybercriminals, this is the ideal time of year to deceive unsuspecting individuals into releasing sensitive private or company information. Businesses must therefore take extra precautions between now and April 17th to avoid hackers from selling your confidential data in the dark web.

Phishing baits to watch out for

Phishing attacks often consist of fabricated or compromised emails sent to finance/payroll or human resources employees that are made to look like they’re from an executive in your company. The message might contain a request to forward employee records, including their W-2 forms, but that’s not all…

Another common scheme, which doesn’t only happen during tax season, involves getting a call from a person declaring to be an IRS employee. And no, caller IDs won’t save you because they can forge that, too. The phisher will inform you that you owe them cash from back taxes and they will threaten legal action if you don’t pay via credit card at that instant.

Always remember, the IRS will never contact you on the phone to let you know that you owe them money. And they certainly won’t threaten you or demand payment over the phone. If they really need to notify you of such matters, they’ll use the postal service and will give you a chance to discuss payment terms.

Standard protection protocols

Don’t worry, the usual security measures against these phishing scams are pretty easy to integrate into your business. Begin by developing a policy that bans the request of private details through email. If an employee ever requires such info, they should get in touch with the person directly, follow your established protocols for the transfer of sensitive information, and minimize the number of people involved in the transaction.

Taking security a step further

Data loss prevention (DLP) systems are also valuable weapons against these types of phishing attacks. They evaluate traffic going in and out of your company, such as web usage, emails and instant messages, and virtually anything sent on your network. DLP systems can filter out private details, including Social Security numbers, and stop them from being sent out.

But beware, DLP systems come with a minor drawback, as they can also block legitimate traffic, like when your accounting department sends tax info to your CPA. Fortunately, an MSP like us can properly segregate the good and the bad traffic to avoid confusing and/or frustrating your employees.

Phishing schemes may be a normal occurrence during tax season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it. Don’t let the vulnerabilities in your business, particularly the human element, fall prey to cybercriminals. Send us a message right away and we’ll conduct an assessment of the security of your business, as well as design a risk management plan to help counter future complications.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

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Source: Pronto

Can private browsing keep you safe?

Can private browsing keep you safe?

Privacy is a precious commodity in this era. Every website you visit or app you download leaves a digital footprint that can be tracked by anyone. Fortunately, major web browsers all offer private browsing features to keep your internet activity somewhat safe from prying eyes.

What is private browsing?
Your web browser — whether it be Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, or Opera — remembers the URLs of the sites you visit, cookies that track your activity, passwords you’ve used, and temporary files you’ve downloaded.

This can be convenient if you frequently visit certain pages, can’t remember your login details, or if you’re trying to recall a website you visited a few days ago. But if someone else uses or gains access to your computer, your most private (and embarrassing) internet activities are exposed for anyone to see.

With private browsing — also called Incognito Mode in Chrome and InPrivate Browsing in Edge — all the information listed above does not get recorded. In fact, all the websites and information you accessed in the private browsing session is immediately discarded without a trace as soon as you close the browser. This can come in handy when you’re using a public computer because you’re instantly logged out of all the accounts after closing the window.

Your cookies also won’t be tracked. In a normal browsing session, sites like Facebook will inundate you with highly targeted ads based on the sites and pages you’ve visited. But in private browsing mode, your internet activity won’t be used against you by marketing companies.

Another benefit of private browsing is you can use it to log in to several accounts on the same site, which is useful if you need to log into two different Google accounts at the same time.

Limitations of private browsing
Although private browsing does prevent your web browser from storing your data, it doesn’t stop anyone from snooping on your current activities. If your computer is connected to the company network, system administrators can still keep track of what you’re browsing even if you’re in Incognito Mode.

Also, if spyware or keylogger malware is installed on your computer, hackers will still be able to see what you’re doing online. Even though private browsing has quite a few benefits, you shouldn’t solely depend on it for online privacy.

Your computers must be equipped with Virtual Private Networks that encrypt your internet connection and prevent anyone from intercepting your data. And don’t forget to scan your computer for viruses with a strong anti-malware program to keep spyware and other malicious web monitoring software at bay.

If you want to know where you can get these solutions or learn more about web browser security, call us today. We have the tools and expert advice you need to prevent anyone from snooping on your internet browsing.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

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Source: Pronto

4 reasons for slow mobile internet speeds

4 reasons for slow mobile internet speeds

Have you ever gotten frustrated with your phone because the browser took more than five minutes to load? Before you start blaming your old phone, check out these four reasons that might be the cause of sluggish internet connection.

Router location

One simple yet overlooked reason why your WiFi-connected phone may be experiencing internet lag is because of your router’s location. Although WiFi has a range of up to 230 feet, the farther away you are from the router, the weaker the WiFi signal. Large objects like doors and walls situated in between you and the router can also weaken the WiFi signal.

It is recommended to place your router in a central location, preferably away from concrete and masonry walls or other big objects like a chimney. As the router signal radiates from all four sides, blocking any side with big objects will impact your WiFi’s signal quality and as a result your phone’s internet speed.

WiFi Noise

Did you know that home electronic appliances emit wireless signals at a frequency similar to your router’s (2.4 GHz)? So before deciding on your router’s location, determine whether there are any wireless devices nearby, as they emit signals that can interfere with your router’s signal. For example, even if the ideal location for your router is at the center of your house, you shouldn’t place it there if there’s a cordless phone nearby.

You can also set your router on a 5.0-GHz band, as this frequency is less prone to interference from other appliances. But before you start tuning it, make sure your phone supports 5.0 GHz; otherwise, it won’t be able to connect to the router.

Slow Network

Another reason for your phone’s slow internet is because of fluctuating network speed. Ask yourself these two questions to know the exact cause of this problem:
How many people are connecting to the router?
What are they doing over the internet?

You should increase your router’s internet bandwidth speed if you discover you have many users and all of them are either streaming movies, or downloading computer games or software updates. This will allow every phone to enjoy faster internet speed.

If you’re outdoors, and you’re connected to a public WiFi, consider using your mobile data instead. You won’t have to share your internet when you use mobile data, enabling you to experience faster connectivity at all times as long as you have a high-speed data plan.

Too much cache

Last, you should check your phone’s cache if fixing your router, network, and positioning doesn’t improve your phone’s internet speed. Cache is a component in your phone that saves data from earlier searches in order to increase the speed of similar searches in the future. Although your phone becomes more efficient for that particular search, it also makes your phone much slower when you do other things that require the internet.

You can clear out your cache manually or use a cache cleaner app to thoroughly get rid of useless cache and optimize your phone’s internet speed. If you decide to download a cache cleaner app, make sure that it is reputable and trustworthy so you don’t accidentally download a malware-infiltrated app instead.

There are more reasons to your phone’s lagging internet speed. If your business relies heavily on fast mobile internet speed and you’re unable to fix the sluggish connection, call our experts today. We’re always ready to help you.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

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Source: Pronto