A strong password is the key to protecting your business’ information. However, it is also important to not use the same password for everything in an organization. If one password is guessed, that could allow access to an entire system.
An easy way to have password variety is to have different passwords for different programs or systems. Each computer should have a different password, and the more sensitive the information is, the more complex the password should be. Using common words is also a sign of a weak password and should be avoided.
It is important to not leave passwords on notes in an office where they are easily accessible. If passwords are difficult to remember, consider saving them to a computer browser but keeping the password to the computer hidden. Additionally, using the strong password that a browser or other program recommends may be a good option. A password manager is also a very helpful tool that stores passwords with the input of a primary password. However, in using a password manager, be sure that the primary password is also strong.
If using a password manager is not an option and remembering a password is an issue, consider using abbreviations for something memorable. Replacing letters with numbers or special characters in a common phrase is an easy way to have a complex yet memorable password.
A good password is usually within 8-12 characters and has plenty of special characters such as a hashtag, question mark, or an exclamation point. A complex password is the safest because hackers generally cycle through simple words to gain access to a system.
All in all, having password variety is a great practice to protect your business’ important data.
The world of IT is evolving at an unprecedented pace and being driven by the rise of emerging technologies. Businesses that embrace these trends stand to gain a competitive edge, unlocking new possibilities and efficiencies. As we navigate the future of IT, staying informed and adapting to these transformative technologies will be crucial for organizations and individuals alike. Learn about which of our IT services may suit your business’s needs the best. If you have any questions about our IT services, contact us today! Follow us on Facebook to keep up with our latest blogs!
The purpose of VPN security is to protect and encrypt sensitive data by masking IP addresses. VPN stands for “virtual private network”, and they are used to conceal browsing activity, personal identity, and current location. VPN’s make users typically feel safer and more secure, but are they capable of posing potential threats? Learn how and why VPNs can strengthen your company’s security and how to avoid a potential breach.
Why Use a VPN?
The benefits of using a VPN can apply to anyone wishing to protect their digital privacy from cyber attackers. It adds an extra layer of security when using public Wi-Fi, which can be dangerous if making online purchases or answering emails. A VPN will hide your banking information and confidential passwords from those who prey on such information. Working remotely has become a popular method of employment, but it can increase the risks of cyber threats when working outside of the designated office. When you are not under the protection of your employer’s provided Wi-Fi or protected network, it can put your company’s data at risk. The use of a VPN can help secure your work-related material when utilizing work devices outside of the office.
While VPN’s are known to help keep data safer, there are also security risks to consider when choosing to use one. The idea that using a basic consumer VPN will retain complete anonymity is a huge misconception that will make you a more vulnerable user. With a VPN or not, no one is likely completely anonymous when using the internet. It’s important to bring this to the attention of your employees to deter them from using social media on work devices or accepting cookies on flimsy websites. Make this known to avoid cyber breaches from occurring and harmful malware from being downloaded. Investing in a secure and specialized VPN can improve security among your company, so avoid using basic consumer VPNs that might feel safe, but are not enough for business level security.
Using a VPN can help protect your users from base-line threats, but it’s crucial to understand that the internet is a dangerous place. Suspicious activity will continue to arise no matter how secure we feel. Awareness is key to limiting harmful threats and keeping your sensitive information safe. If you have any questions about our IT services, contact us today! Follow us on Facebook to keep up with our latest blogs!
Human errors can happen, and can be the cause of up to 95% of cybersecurity related breaches. With that being said, the best way to prevent these mistakes would be to implement solid training to your employees. The purpose of training is to strengthen your team’s knowledge and awareness of modern threats and how to combat them properly. Regular training will keep your employees up to date, helping your company steer clear of most errors. To achieve this, here are some of the best awareness training topics to consider.
Phishing attacks impersonate the company or professional you work for, luring users to click on suspicious links. Many attempts in the past have been easier to recognize, but phishing attacks have become more intelligent overtime. They pose a great threat due to how believable they can be, and can cause a cyber attack if fallen for. Train your employees on this subject to help them identify suspicious activity, messages, or attachments.
Passwords and Authentication
Passwords can seem like a simple log-in element, but they are what protects your company’s security. If you use a common or easily guessed password, you are putting yourself at risk for a cyber attack. Cyber criminals will attempt to log into your accounts in hopes of gaining access to your sensitive information. Bring this to your employees’s attention through complex training, reminding them of the importance of updating their work passwords. Authentication methods can be made more secure by adding questions that the employee will only know the answer to. Express the significance of passwords and why you should always keep them confidential.
Working remotely is a great way to meet a well balanced lifestyle between work and social life. However, utilizing personal devices can increase the risk of a security breach. Make sure your remote employees are trained to understand the importance of installing antivirus software to home laptops to prevent cyber attacks. It is also important to never leave your device unattended when containing important company files. To successfully work remotely without risking data security, educate your staff to be aware of these dangers.
Your security is to be protected, so administering training will improve standards of the company as a whole. If you have any questions about our IT services, contact us today! Follow us on Facebook to keep up with our latest blogs!
While in office, cyber safety should always remain a huge priority. With the summer months quickly approaching, more people will clock out of the office for a vacation. Though you won’t be working for the time being, it doesn’t mean that you should take a vacation from protecting your sensitive data. Here are some ways to maintain strong cyber security when on vacation.
Beware Of Free Wi-Fi
You might think you’re not at risk while away from the desk, but this is not the case. If you decide to bring along a work laptop or work phone, pay attention to a few helpful tips to avoid a cyber attack. Starting off, make sure to not use free Wi-Fi. Having the option to connect to free Wi-Fi can seem great, but it can also expose your devices and any personal information that resides within them. A good way to avoid hackers accessing your data is to use a strong VPN or use your phone as a hotspot. Sometimes our devices connect automatically, so be sure to disable this feature before traveling.
Keep Track Of Your Devices
It is important to never leave your devices unattended for a number of reasons, but especially if your device holds important data. Make sure to keep track of items such as USB drives or tablets, even if it’s your toddler’s ipad. Any device you own will possess some kind of valuable information such as saved passwords and banking information. This is what hackers are looking for and will not hesitate to steal your devices if they are not held closely.
Refrain From Using Community Computers
Depending on your trip and where you plan to stay, refrain from using shared computers of any kind. Some hotels or vacation rentals will provide computers for guest’s use, but should never be trusted for remote assignments. Purchases, checking emails, or social media can also lead to cyberthreats if not careful. To protect you or your company, it is best to work on your own personal computer to avoid risk.
People go on vacation to enjoy time away from the office and with their families, so be prepared before clocking out. 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.
Are you interested in creating your own startup? Are you afraid of any cyber risks? Any business, especially startups, are at risk for cyber attacks. These attacks can be detrimental to a business or online presence. It is vital to know what these attackers are looking for and how to protect yourself. Here are some tips to secure you and your startup from cyber attacks:
Depending on how big your startup is and how many accounts will be online, it is a good idea to have one admin account. This means the one admin account will have the authority to grant access to fellow accounts and ability to download data and software. This will cut back on online vulnerability as only one person will have access to important data. Along with an admin account, you can also unlock certain data and access to different accounts within the startup. For example, you can grant access to the financial department of bank account statements and billing information. Not only will this limit the risk of cyber threats, it will also cut back on time that the admin would have to grant access every time.
Having strong passwords isn’t a surprise when it comes to cybersecurity. But, the top way hackers get into systems is going through weak passwords. In order to stop this, it is recommended that every password should have a capital letter, special characters and numbers. It is also important to never share passwords.
No matter how strong passwords can be, hackers can still find a way in. Thankfully, more systems are requiring a multi-factor authentication process when logging into an account. This means that even if someone has your password, it can require a phone number or email to fully login. Most online softwares offer this level of security, you just have to authorize it.
Knowing how to protect you and your startup from cyber attacks is crucial. With selecting admin accounts, strong passwords and multi-factor authentication process, hackers will have a harder time logging into your accounts.
Cyber threats can be irritating and hard to effectively prevent them. WesTec services can help you in any way. We offer skilled expertise in all technologies and are ready to help. Contact us for any further information on phishing and how to protect yourself.
Most technology users are aware of the need to protect their devices but fail to understand that the mobile device can be a much bigger, and different, risk than a work desktop computer. Learn more about mobile security threats and how you can avoid them:
Is mobile security important?
While many people choose easy passwords or fail to password-protect their phone at all, mobile devices are a host to some of our most personal and sensitive data. Most users keep passwords, credit cards, and personal information all in their phones, a gold mine of information for any cyber-criminal. Protecting your cell phone is more important now than ever due to the increase of valuable data we store on it as well as the increase in mobile security breaches and cyber-criminals.
Mobile Security Breaches
Mobile security breaches are completely different from desktops. On mobile phones, there is not much need to log on, especially if the user does not have a password. Furthermore, most times apps are constantly running in the background and do not require passwords to access all of your different accounts.
Secondly, most mobile users are less likely to check the validity of a link before it is clicked on. The small phone screen makes it difficult to see an entire link and pages often show up differently or incorrectly on mobile. This makes it much easier for fake links and phishing schemes to attack your phone and threaten your security.
How to Protect Your Information
A key part of avoiding mobile security threats is understanding what apps are tracking your information and which information they are using. Many apps use information such as pictures, contacts, and internet data to make decisions about what to show you. It is important that users understand how their information is being used.
Another security recommendation is to avoid malicious apps. There are third-party app stores available on the internet with many different offerings but it is recommended that you only buy from official app stores like Apple or Google Play. These app stores are much more closely monitored and therefore safer than apps downloaded from deep in the Web.
If possible, avoid using public wifi networks. Using unsecured public WiFi can give people the opportunity to intercept your information and easily gain access to it. If you must use public WiFi, download a VPN. A VPN, or virtual private network, creates a private network from the public internet, allowing you to establish an encrypted and secure connection while accessing the public internet.
Mobile security threats are very real and can very dangerous to the privacy of your personal information. Choose a business technology provider that you can trust. WesTec offers many different services, from IT consulting to smartphone support. For more information, visit our website or contact us today.
As our society leans more on technology, the opportunities for threats to interfere continue to increase. Safe computing requires more user awareness than ever before as well as maintenance of passwords and data security.
Here are a few tips on how you can keep your information safe online:
Secure your passwords.
Password hacking is the easiest way for anyone to access your information and cause damage. Switch up your password on each website you use, store them in a safe place, and be sure to change them frequently for the most security. Include both uppercase and lowercase, symbols, and numbers for the most difficult-to-guess passwords.
Automatically download important updates.
Updates such as MacOS are critical to the integrity of your computer and should therefore be completed as soon as they become available. Adjust your updates in settings to download automatically.
Never access sensitive websites on public WiFi.
Your data could be easily copied or stolen on a sensitive network. In addition, do not access or share sensitive data on unreliable networks.
Be aware of phishing attempts.
Never open an email from someone you do not know. If there is a link or document attached in the email, absolutely do not open it. Hackers often use this to automatically download malware onto your computer when opened and to access your information or ruin it altogether.
Back up your important information onto an external drive.
Whether it be a full backup hard drive or a flash drive, secure sensitive data onto a protected drive in case of emergency and for extra protection.
Don’t let yourself become the next hacked credit card or identity theft. Practice safe computing and protect your valuable information with the security it deserves. WesTec Services is a trusted and experienced IT services provider located in the Houston area. Allow us to keep your data safe by giving us a call today or visiting our website.
A Password meter is an indicator of the strength of a password entered by a user on a website. In most cases, meters estimate the amount of tries necessary for your password to be guessed by an attacker by factoring in password length and complexity. A University of Plymouth study tested 16 of the most encountered password meters on the internet to test their effectiveness. Based on the results, here are a few tips on how to keep your passwords secure, regardless of an “approval” given by the password meter:
Do not always trust the password meter
Just because a password meter says “strong password” does not mean it is. The meters can be helpful but are also extremely flawed, giving you a sense of false security. When deciding on a password, do not base it solely on the rating given by the website.
Avoid using keyboard patterns
On many password meters, passwords such as “querty”, “abc123”, and “Password” sometimes cannot be detected as problematic. Common letter combinations, such as going down a row of the keyword or commonly used words, are easily guessed and not always flagged on the meters.
Make passwords complicated and personal
The most secure passwords are those with a combination of uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and symbols. Choose combinations that seem difficult to guess by an outside person or computer. The more complicated and seemingly random the password, the stronger it will be.In addition to character variation, do not use the same password for all of your accounts. Change up your passwords so that if one is discovered, not all of your information is at risk. Secure your valuable data with the protection it deserves. Do you part to protect your information with a strong password, WesTec is here to do the rest. WesTec Services is dedicated to providing the highest quality of IT consulting as well as backup disaster and recovery planning. Give WesTecCall a call today to discover more about our available services.
Sometimes, accounts will ask you to update your passwords for security reasons. This often feels like an unnecessary task meant to make your life more complicated. However, in a world full of hackers and online predators, one must regularly update their password to protect valuable information.
Change Your Passwords Regularly…
By regularly changing your login information and passwords, you make it harder for someone to steal information. This is increasingly important for accounts without two-factor authentication. Communication accounts, like email and chatting apps, should also be updated every so often for increased protection.
…But Don’t Change Them Too Often
Traditionally, experts recommended you change passwords every 30 to 60 days–this is no longer the case. Mandatory password updates lead to money loss and lack of productivity with minimal security payoff. Now, changing your password doesn’t hold near the protection it used to. Because cybercriminals continue to learn more advanced hardware and software, they can typically discover your password if they look hard enough.
As humans, we tend to create patterns. This is no different in password creation. Typically, we use similar letters, numbers and themes when updating a password. Updating your password too often leads to confusion with little added benefit.
Keep Your Data Secure
As a rule of thumb, update your passwords when there is proof of some sort of security breach or online attack. This includes unauthorized use of an account or evidence of malware. By doing so, you’re preventing a hacker from gaining access into your personal accounts and obtaining sensitive, private information or data.
There are other ways to protect your data. Contact the experts at WesTec Services for more information about our cybersecurity services.
If you’re not sure how to create a secure password that will outsmart the online hackers, read our recent article for tips.
Mission: WesTec will be a “turn-key” solution for all of its clients’ business connectivity needs. It will offer efficient and effective solutions, directly and with strategic partners, that create tangible value for its clients at every point of contact. Westec will serve all people and entities with a servant’s heart.
Get in touch
2916 West TC Jester Blvd.,
Houston, TX 77018