7 Steps for Safer Surfing

You might not think about it when you’re browsing the web, shopping online and interacting on social media, but you are the first line of defense against cyber security risks. The power to be safe is in your hands, and at your fingertips. Developing and maintaining good habits can make online activity much safer, and more enjoyable for you and your colleagues.
 
The following 7 good habits take only minutes to learn. and are easy enough to incorporate into your daily work life.

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Top Security Mistakes

In the movies, hackers are easy to identify. The screen’s green glow reflects on their grizzled faces as they type furiously at their keyboards in the murky shadows. Of course, real-life hackers aren’t nearly so easy to spot. And they’re also likely not the biggest source of risk for your business.
 
The truth is that most security breaches—over 80 percent—are crimes of opportunity. The largest security threat many businesses face comes not from criminal masterminds, but their own employees. To help you keep your data and networks safe, we’ve compiled five common IT security mistakes, and what you can do to avoid them.

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Recovering Data from a Solid State Drive

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SSD

A lot of laptops and almost all Pads use Solid State Drives (SSDs) these days. And unlike a spinning discs, when data is erased, it really disappears.  Our friends at Drive Savers describe an all to common scenario when this happens. 

Data Deletion - Data deletion occurs when a user deletes data and then empties the recycle/trash bin.

TRIM Command

In order to maintain optimal performance, all modern solid-state drives utilize the TRIM command. When enabled, this command executes automatically to delete and reset data that has been “Trashed” or “Recycled” and prepare for new data to be stored.

The downside of trim? On an HDD, data continues to live even after deletion and is always recoverable unless over-written. Unlike an HDD, data that has been deleted on an SSD and then detected by the TRIM command is truly gone.

Different operating systems approach TRIM in different ways. On some computers, TRIM will execute immediately when data deletion occurs. On others, TRIM executes at scheduled intervals.

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Russian Hackers Collect over 1Billion Passwords

 

The New York Times has reported the largest known collection of stolen Internet credentials by a Russian crime ring. These hackers reportedly amassed 1.2 billion username and password combinations, and more than 500 million email addresses from 420,000 websites through botnets (computers that have been infected with and controlled by a computer virus). The sites ranged from small sites to larger household names. Many of the targeted sites are still vulnerable.

2014: The Year Of The Mega, MEGA Breach?

In Symantec’s 2014 Internet Security Threat Report, researchers declared 2013 as “The Year of The Mega Breach”, and recent breaches this year indicate that the situation isn’t getting better. These numbers are surprising, not only because the collection was the largest yet discovered, but also because of the scope of the impact on Internet users.  Roughly 39% (2.76B) of the world’s population of 7.1 billion uses the Internet. The volume of online credentials collected (1.2B passwords) potentially accounts for over one-third of the world’s Internet users. That’s a lot of data.

Given the magnitude of this latest discovery, it is clear that the need for companies to do more to protect your data has become more urgent than ever.

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Protecting Your Passwords

Protecting passwords may seem like a topic that's been covered many times. However, if you follow any Computing Center technician or engineer for a day, you'll find the need for discussing password security very relevant.  Every day, we find passwprds taped to monitors and underneath keyboards. "Password" and "12345" are still used far too often.  Here are some other suggestions from Microsoft on how best to deal with passwords.

Creating strong passwords and keeping them secret are the first steps. Follow this advice to help keep your passwords out of the wrong hands.

Secure your passwords

  • Don't share your passwords with anyone, and don't store them on the device they're designed to protect. Never send a password in email or instant messages because they're not reliably secure.

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