Home Router Security Issue

Just prior to the Memorial Day holiday, the Justice Department and FBI sent out a mass communication highly recommending that everyone with a home connection to the Internet reboot their routers. This was to protect against a new Internet exploit called “VPNFilter”. If you attacked by VPNFilter, you login credentials, email address, etc. could be hacked.

Many of us in the technology industry were surprised at the announcement and skeptical that a reboot could fix anything like this. Turns out that it’s all for real. However after doing some digging, we discovered that this very real problem potentially affects a relatively small number of home based routers; about 500,000 around the world.  And only certain models (mostly older routers) are vulnerable.  Here’s the list that Symantec published of the affected routers:

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Website Essentials

There are hundreds of millions websites and billions of web pages on the Internet. The formula for a successful website is fairly straight forward.  Here are some of the essentials.

There are certain pages every website can’t be without. A small business’s site needs to give visitors what they are most likely to be looking for.

If you’re getting a website together for your small business or reinventing an existing site, take a look at the five essential pages every small business website needs. We include three other recommended pages as well.

Homepage

Your homepage is the virtual lobby of your business, the first thing people notice when they visit the site. It’s therefore vital that your homepage presents your business in a professional and engaging light. Make a great first impression!

As research from the Neilsen Norman Group highlights, you have less than 10 seconds to convey your value proposition. Get to the point about what your business is about. Keep words concise, punchy and compelling to hook visitors and get them to explore deeper into your site.

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NYSEG Phone "Scam" targets small businesses

With graduation season in our area, many businesses are working full-out to meet their clients needs. Some of the local scamsters have decided that it's a good time to try to defraud some of those businesses. Below is an email we received from The Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce about the latest local phone scam.

NYSEG or any legimate business will never make that kind of call "out of the blue". They all have carefully scripted procedures to contact their customers with overdue balances.

While we're on the topic, we're hearing more about calls purported to be from the IRS seeking overdue tax payments, typically from the elderly. They want to be "paid" immediately by gift card, like Best Buy or Apple. As absurd as this sounds, unsuspecting people are falling for this phone scam. That "success" is why these scams continue to proliferate.

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The Computing Center Privacy Policy

No doubt you have been receiving updated privacy policies from anyone who you may have ever done online business with, received electronic newsletters, or signed up for additional information. The primary driver behind all the emails and privacy policy updates has been the European Union's (EU) "General Data Privacy Regulations" (GDPR). Although they have been in effect for the last couple of years, on May 25, 2018, there is now enforcement of those regularions by the EU.

As noted in our Privacy Policy, we don't market or sell to citizens of the EU. However, some of our clients may be EU citizens and therefore are covered by GDPR. Hence the need for an updated Privacy Policy and why all of the recent emails. 

Most of our suppliers, vendors, and content providers have sent us "dry" versions of their Privacy Policies. A few have lightened things up with email subjects like: "But Wait, here is one more GDPR email", "Here are the Ways we keep your Info Safe!" and our favortie: "If you're happy receiving our newsletters, do nothing!" 

So whether you take this seriously or light hearted, below is The Computing Center's Privacy Policy;

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Cybersecurity - a ToDo List!

We've been writing about network security, email security, web security since the earliest days of the Internet. Today, all that along with smart device security, IoT security, etc. all falls under the heading of cybersecurity and everyone needs to have at least some understanding of what's important. 

For businesses and organizations, cybersecurity needs to be managed. You can do this work or we can provide these services for you. For some clients, we do the work in all five areas listed below. For others, we provide a few areas of services and for a small number, the client does the work and we provide consultation and a second set of eyes on the topic.

We urge you not to ignore this. Left unattended, bad things will most likely occur. You can't be too careful. Contact The Computing Center. We can help.

#1 Train Your Employees

The best way to improve your IT security is to train your employees on best security practices. Educate them so they can recognize and avoid cyber threats like phishing and scams. Teach them about protecting sensitive information. Humans are the weakest link in your security defense: with a single click in an email they can open the door for hackers. You should have a network firewall, but don’t forget your employees are a firewall too.

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