Managing Physical & Digital Security While Traveling

Whether you're traveling for business or leisure this summer, chances are that as a small business owner or other professional, you'll be working on your trip. But with unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots and the potential for physical theft, among other risks, there are several steps you need to take to ensure security issues don't interrupt your productivity.


Securing USB Flash Drives

You may have noticed growing reports in the media about the dangers of using USB memory sticks. It is true, they are susceptible to being exploited like everything else, however, and these exploits aren't terribly easy to carry out by hackers. Mostly because an attacker needs physical access to your computer in order to infect it.

What Can a "Bad" USB Stick Do?

A malicious device can install malware such as backdoor Trojans, information stealers and much more. They can install browser hijackers that will redirect you to the hacker's website of choice, which could host more malware, or inject adware, spyware or greyware onto your computer. While the ramifications of these threats can range from annoying to devastating, you can stay protected from these threats.


Ransomware Scams are back

We have been fortunate in our area not to have seen too many of these attacks. In addition to what's mentioned in this article by our friends at the Better Business Bureau, we can work with you and your company to make sure all your data is protected.

The ransomware scam is back and more vicious than ever, according to a new FBI report. Ransomware is a virus that freezes your computer, holding it ransom until you pay to unlock it. Victims are reporting losing up to $10,000 in a new version of this scam that encrypts your files. 

How the Scam Works:

You click on an infected advertisement, link or email attachment. Suddenly, a pop up appears. The screen tells you that all the files on your computer have been encrypted, making them useless unless you have a key to decode them.


Using Location Services Safely

Editors's Note - We speak with clients and friends all the time about their smartphones and tablets regarding the data on them and what might happen to important information should that device be lost or stolen.  In addition, it's possible that your phone may be giving away your location unbeknownst to you.  Something to think about.

Does your phone know where you are? If you've used your phone to find directions or locate a nearby restaurant, you've used its global positioning system (GPS) and it's likely that it would be able to pinpoint your location within a close range.

Location services can be convenient for automatically adding location information (geotags) to photos. Some people also use location services to post their locations to social networking sites, such as Facebook. Be aware, however, that others can use your location information, too.


Don't let a Natural Disaster create a Data Security Nightmare

 by Lisa Weintraub Schifferle

"Natural Disaster happen elsewhere,  We're fine here."  We hear comments like this all too often.  Unfortunately, that's not the case.  We do get our share of natural disasters right here. Read on for some helpful tips on how to prepare.

A natural disaster can wreak havoc on any business. But it's even worse when that real-world catastrophe becomes a data security calamity.

Before the summer storm season arrives, get your business ready. Just like you gather flashlights, bottled water, and emergency supplies, you can prepare your business by reviewing data retention and disposal practices.

Why are data retention practices important? As Bob Dylan said, “the answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind.” Remember the Brooklyn warehouse fire, where media reports indicate that medical records (including drug tests), bank checks, and Social Security numbers were strewn about the neighborhood. Or tornados in the Midwest which literally blew away sensitive personal information, sometimes even across state lines. 

No one wants that to happen to their business. Of course, you can't stop a hurricane or tornado. But while the sun is still shining, you can reduce the risk to customers and employees by safely disposing of paperwork you no longer need. The last thing you want is old records, that you should've securely destroyed years ago, blowing in the wind. If you hold onto only what you really need, it's easier to keep it safe – and there's less to lose in a natural disaster.


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