It’s common to jump on a website and immediately see a pop-up regarding accepting cookies, and can even be mandatory if you wish to continue to the site. But have you ever truly understood what exactly you’re accepting? Cookies and privacy terms can vary website to website, but here’s what you should know before you make the click.
What Are Cookies?
When To Say No
It can be hard to differentiate between a trustworthy or an untrustworthy site, so always pay attention to what terms you accept. If you have any questions about our IT services, contact us today! Follow us on Facebook to keep up with our latest blogs!
Passwords are used to protect your devices, finances, health records, and so much more. We rely on them to prevent unauthorized users from accessing devices and accounts, which is crucial for most companies. Passwords are meant to change frequently to properly fulfill their purpose, as no password is unbreakable. Alas, World Password Day was born to act as a reminder to everyone that maintenance is required to retain account security.
Why It’s Celebrated
It is imperative that everyone has a strong password to ensure privacy. Before the internet and all of its glory, passwords were used as a method of entry for secret societies and clubs. Today, passwords are used a little less loosely to avoid cyber hacking. As the world becomes more advanced, cyber threats evolve as well. This means it is crucial to maintain the security of your passwords by updating them regularly. Falling on the first Thursday of May every year, World Password Day serves to encourage users to protect their data by maintaining their authentication methods.
Many people see their passwords as a way to get into their accounts rather than a way to keep others out. With this, many people try to make their passwords short, easy to remember, and personally relatable. Hackers are well aware of this, and will likely guess a password based on this criteria. Users have a habit of using the name of a pet, child, hobby, or profession when creating a password. A way to make passwords more difficult to guess is to use one that is irrelevant to the user. People also commonly use the same passwords across different platforms. This makes it easier for a hacker to access all accounts with one successful attempt.
With data being as precious as it is, it is up to you as the user to pay mind to your level of security. Celebrate this World Password Day by updating all your passwords for any account that holds value.
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In today’s world, everyone relies heavily on technology to do just about anything. We use it to communicate with one another, to work and pay our bills, and purchase goods at the click of a button. We expect our devices to work without error, and can often forget that electronics can fail us at any point without any warning. It is important to remember that computers, phones, and other devices are not to be depended on for everything, and lost information can sometimes be the fault of the user.
Imagine walking into work one morning to find a great mechanical failure has occurred overnight. This could have been caused by a number of events such as a virus, a natural disaster, a human error, or a system failure that has erased all of your company data. Nevertheless, the recovery system you had failed and your business could be facing serious risks. This disaster can happen at any moment, which is why it is crucial to install a more trustworthy IT recovery system to ensure proper data backup.
The best steps to take to make sure your plan is safe is to manually back up data and information regardless of the trust you have for your recovery system. It is also wise to perform a full system restore once a month to make sure that the recovery system you have actually works. The single most expensive mistake most small business owners make is related to protecting their company data, so it is better to be safe than sorry. All businesses should document their IT recovery plan as part of their business continuity plan, and should not neglect testing it periodically.
It can be easy to forget that electronic devices are not without their flaws, and can fail you and your business any day of the week. In order to retain all those irreplaceable files, make sure your recovery plan has your back. If you have any questions about our IT services, contact us today!
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Something as simple as sending an email may seem like normal task, but every email sent out holds precious information that thieves prey upon. Whether it’s for personal or company use, any information can be utilized to expose any confidential details you may not wish to share. These details can be used to perform cyberattacks, which is more than ideal to avoid. With the use of email security, your or your company’s cloud can be protected from potential cyber threats.
Why is it Important?
Having cloud-based email security is important for a number of reasons, especially since email is the most vulnerable line of communication. This is because hundreds of emails go out each day depending on the size of your company, raising the overall probability of getting attacked. Since most employees are busy working, the chances of them noticing a suspicious link attached to an email may be slim. Clicking on this link could result in attackers collecting precious credentials or installing viruses to employee computers. To prevent this from happening takes a lot less exertion than trying to reverse it, so consider taking action before it’s too late.
Companies and personal users of email face potential consequences everyday when without cybersecurity. But what types of threats are there to look out for? Phishing emails take a hefty 90% of the blame for attacks for their talent of deception. These emails are sent to employees and usually consist of believable scenarios such as:
- Changing payment methods for certain services (Netflix, Amazon, ect.)
- Changing a password for an account under their name or company’s name
- Alarming notices regarding unwarranted purchases
There are other ways for phishing emails to trick your employees, and they continue to evolve every single day. Phishing emails are the starting point of cloud-email exploitation, which happens through the use of document sharing. Many companies rely on Google Drive and other document sharing tools, so a recognizable email may not strike anyone as suspicious. Without proper cybersecurity, attackers can access these private documents and other data found in the cloud.
How Can I Improve it?
Applying integrated security to protect company data is the best way to prevent cyber attacks. Email encryption prevents data leaks wherever there is vulnerability in the server. Adding this extra step to ensure security between emails will definitely help. It is also beneficial to educate employees of these scams and how to identify them before moving forward. Thieves become more intelligent with every passing day, so learning how to specify what to avoid will benefit you or your business greatly.
As a company, it is a great responsibility to make sure your data is protected. As it’s been said before, prevention is a lot easier than finding a cure. Preparing for the worst scenario and staying aware of cyber threats will save you a lot of time and concern.
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If you own a business, protecting it is probably on the top of your priority list. Surveillance systems and cameras can help you do just that. When making the decisions about CCTV or IP cameras, there are a few different factors to consider before mounting them.
The first thing you want to identify when deciding on the location(s) of your security cameras is, what are you trying to protect? Is it one building? All the doors to the office? Outdoor equipment? Employee workspaces? Thinking about these questions will help you narrow down exactly where you need cameras and what type. The whole purpose of a security camera is to protect your business from numerous different threats. Making sure you are capturing the correct areas is the first step.
Cameras need a power source to operate. Is there access to a power connection or can new wiring be installed in the areas you are wanting to place the cameras, or do you want to go with a battery powered or solar panel option.
Thinking about the places you are installing the cameras and the material that the surveillance cameras will be mounted to. There are many different brackets and methods for mounting security cameras. Our professionals can help you decide what would work best for your needs.
There are many all-weather or weather resistant cameras. Thinking about what kind of environment your security system will need to operate in will help you decide the location and what type of camera you will need.
Are there lights in the area you want to cover? Is it natural or artificial lights? At night is the space well lit or will you need a camera with night vision?
There are many factors that go into deciding the location of your security cameras and the type of system that would be best for your business. Surveillance cameras help protect your company from a range of hazards from theft and crime to workplace accidents. WesTec Services can help make sure you are getting the most out of your surveillance system and assist with answering those questions about camera placement.
Contact us today if you have any questions about adding a surveillance system to your business or learn more about installing a WesTec Guardian CCTV/ Video Surveillance System here.
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When you think of surveillance systems, do you think of the fuzzy CCTV shots from old true crime documentaries? Video systems have come a long way since then. Past are the days of not being able to identify individuals from recordings. So how can a surveillance system add a level of security to your business and help you mitigate risk?
Protection from Theft and Crime
Security cameras can help stop crimes before they even occur. Setting up exposed cameras lets trespassers know that they are being recorded and the likelihood of them being caught just went up. A surveillance system proactively protects your business, and can reduce insurance costs.
If a crime does occur, you’ll have a place for the investigation to start and be able to provide evidence. You can choose cameras that continually record or are triggered by an event, such as someone walking by. All-weather cameras allow you to continue capturing activity in extreme conditions. With the climate in the Houston area, you never know what circumstances your surveillance system will need to be working under.
Reducing Workplace Hazards
CCTV and IP camera systems are not just for the outside of your building, installing cameras in work areas can help reduce work-related accidents. By monitoring work spaces, you can mitigate risk such as verifying machinery is functioning properly, confirm safety procedures are being followed and eliminate hazards that could cause injury. More employee accidents results in higher workers’ compensation rates. A surveillance system allows you to document exactly what occurred.
The decision to add surveillance cameras comes down to keeping your business and employees safe and reducing costs associated with thief, employee accidents and workers’ compensation and insurance.
If you would like to learn more about leveling up your security and adding a surveillance system, contact us today. Learn more about installing a WesTec Guardian CCTV/ Video Surveillance System to your business here.
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WesTec offers a full line of Houston cabling services including Voice, Data, Fiber, and Coaxial cabling. In this article, we will take you through the specifications of each one, and what makes each of them different.
Voice and Data Cabling
Voice and data cabling are used for just that – voice and data. They are inclusive but not limited to phone system cabling, data network cabling, server room cabling, surveillance cameras, video cabling, and more. Distinctly, data cabling is inclusive to two different types of cables – copper and fiber. The type of cables used define the standards of the method used. Furthermore, these types of cabling make up offices or campus networks, which are able to adapt with new and upcoming technologies; in the long run, allowing businesses to expand.
Fiber cables are able to connect multiple cabinets together and often include a center glass core surrounded by layers of protective materials. This type of cabling avoids electrical obstruction by transmitting light, making them the perfect method for environments with vast amounts of electrical interference. Fiber cabling is now the standard for connective networks across buildings due to their resistance of moisture and lightning.
Coaxial cables are probably one of the most complex types of cabling to install due to their complex infrastructure. These cables have a single copper conductor at the center, a braided metal shield, and a plastic layer in the center which provides insulation. The metal shield is used to block outside interference from motors, fluorescent lights, and other computers. Additionally, coaxial cabling is resistant to obstruction and can handle larger cable lengths between network devices.
Cabling services differ according to your needs, and many beyond just these four exist. WesTec Services is ready to assist you with your cabling needs. For additional information, questions, or comments, contact us or read here.
For a business or home to run successfully, strong network connection in computers is essential. WesTec offers computer Network Health Checks, but what does that entail?
If your computer(s) are running slower than usual, your network is glitching, or there have been security breaches, you might be due for a Network Health Check.
What Are Network Health Checks?
Network Health Check can be defined as a way to test the critical components of a network for performance, reliability, and other security issues. These checks provide security which ensure that your network is sustained to best practices and maximize availability. Because networks can be at risk of security breaches, and malfunction, checking your network health should be done at least once a quarter; some even request that checks are done with more frequency to prevent data loss, poor performance, and others.
Where We Come In
At WesTec, we come to you, on site, and complete a Health Check Audit and check for maximum speed, security, and performance. During the audit, we would also check for any problems such as spyware, failing hard drives, or out-of-date security patches. In addition, we check your computer’s network security, backups, and other issues which could lead to expensive repair bills. At the end of the audit, a report will be provided to you with all information regarding the vulnerability of your network as well as what can be done to fix it.
Now that you have a detailed definition and explanation of a Network Health Check, you might find yourself in need of one. We work diligently to make sure that your network is safe, strong, and reliable. Network Health Audits are only one of the many services we offer. Click here for our services or for any additional questions or requests, contact us. We are more than happy to help!
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Now, more than ever, we have to be cautious of our personal documents – whether professional or personal. Information can be easily leaked, lost, or hacked. Follow this step-by-step guide to safely store confidential data:
First, enable full disk encryption. This protects all confidential data if its devices fall into the wrong hands. There is software that does the job for you on Microsoft and Apple devices. It is important to note that said software should not be turned off or deleted once applied – this will assure that data stays safe.
Secure Hard Disks and Flash Drives
Second, important data can be stolen through physical media such as external hard disks or flash drives rather than digitally. Said devices should never be taken out of the place of business or left unattended. In addition, there should always be a backup to your backup, which is where encryption comes into play.
Third, any data that has not been previously stored/encrypted should never be transferred over the internet. Sending important data over programs such as e-mail or file sharing services is sometimes required, but never ideal; however, the easiest way to avoid data theft is to encrypt the data and put it in a password-protected archive. Passwords for the archive should be set through a different channel.
Safely Delete Old Data
Fourth, companies sometimes hoard information that they no longer need. Most times, said information has classified or important data that should not be possessed by the wrong person. The best way to keep the information safe is by getting rid of it once it is of no use to the company. Additionally, never forget to also delete it from the Recycle bin as well; for anything sensitive, use a file-shredder to prevent recovery.
Lastly, any archives or passwords created for data storage should be safely secured. Losing and leaking passwords is not a difficult task. The easiest way to keep passwords secure is through programs such as Kasperski.
To Store Confidential Data is simple, when the right steps are followed. Practice the above, and your data will be protected for years to come. For any additional questions or requests, contact us!
Phone technology is constantly evolving. Although new tech toys are fun and functional, there are always underlying dangers. Here are 5 smartphone security risks and how to prevent them.
Unintentional Disclosure of Data
Malicious disclosure of sensitive or private information.
Scams made by actors pretending to be a trusted source or individual.
Type of malicious malware or software downloaded without the consent or knowledge of a victim.
Stealing money from a designated user through malware that uses hidden message service or numbers.
Network is overloaded with links and malware, causing lots of traffic.
Encrypt Mobile Devices
Encrypting is the process of converting information into secret codes which prohibits unknown users from accessing.
Update All Apps and Operating Systems
Updating apps and operation systems with frequency lowers the chances of your information being compromised – sometimes through improved bug fixes.
Set Strong Passwords
Strong passwords often include:
- A minimum of 8 characters
- At least one capitalized letter
- The use of special characters such as, @!#
- At least one numeric character
Consider Deactivating Smartphone Functionalities Such as Siri, Cortana, and Others
Smartphone functions such as Siri and Cortana save all data for future use. Make sure that if these functions are being utilized, no private information is shared — or do not use them at all.
Don’t Ignore Error Messages About The Validity of Certificates
A variety of websites do a proper job of calling out accounts or messages that are unsafe. Always read any error messages for certificates or accounts.
Remember: There are thousands of other smartphone security risks, but if you take the proper precautions the chances of any data leakage are slim.
Have any more concerns about smartphone technology? WesTec Services can help! Contact us with any questions you may have and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.