Tag virtual IT department

Tag virtual IT department

Is My Password Secure?

Tags: , , Computer Security Baltimore

Have you ever asked yourself that? Either that or “How can I make my password secure?” Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. Security isn’t really a thing you can do, it is part of an overall plan you set up for your business.

The more convenient something is, the less secure it is, and vice versa.

What can we do?

One fairly simple thing you can do to help protect yourself, and your business, is to improve your password policies. Here are some suggestions for improve your passwords:

  • Use at least 8 characters
  • Use at least 3 of the 4 types of characters (Uppercase, Lowercase, Numeric and Symbol)
  • Change your password at least twice a year. More frequently would be better, but at least twice
  • Don’t keep your passwords where they could be found. Under the keyboard, in your desk drawer, or on your bulletin board all qualify as “where they could be found”
  • Use character substitutions to help make passwords more complex, yet easy to remember
    • becomes @
    • becomes $
    • becomes 1
    • becomes 0
    • becomes 3
    • WorkingNets becomes W0rk1ngN3t$
  • Consider some of the following when making a complex password, to help make it memorable:
    • Passphrases: OnceUponATime
    • Misspellings: SkubaDyver
    • Themes: MilesDavis, SonneyStitt, TheloniusMonk (old Jazz Musicians)
    • Combinations: M1l3$D@v1$, 0nc3Up0n@T1m3, $kub@Dyv3r
  • Wherever possible, don’t share passwords. There are other ways to get into important data, if you have to.

Using some of these basic methods can go a long way towards protecting your business, and yourself, from fraud.

At Working Nets, we were founded to provide small businesses in Baltimore and the surrounding area, businesses like yours, with the expert information technology support they need to not only survive, but thrive. Our disaster recovery services help ensure your vital business data is kept safe and secure, providing you with a peace of mind that is unequalled.

Did you know that 43% of companies that experience major data loss never recover? 51% close within 2 years. Don’t let this happen to you. Pick up the phone, call Working Nets today, and stop playing Russian roulette with your business.

If you have any questions about cloud computing, please contact Working Nets by calling (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today! You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Source:

http://www.microsoft.com/security/online-privacy/passwords-create.aspx

LinkedIn Etiquette: Why you shouldn’t solicit a LinkedIn Endorsement

Tags: , , , Review / Opinion

Believe it or not, there are some things you should and should not do on the Internet. There are certain unwritten rules that Internet users are expected to follow and, in some cases, these rules are actually clearly visible, like with LinkedIn. Still, countless users stray from these rules, using LinkedIn in ways that run counter to its intent.

This was the topic of the Information Week article, “Why Soliciting LinkedIn Endorsements Is A Bad Idea.” LinkedIn users are straying away from the sites original, intended use: to better connect people with the co-workers, peers, business associates, and clients that they ALREADY know. Instead, users are blindly connecting with contacts they do not personally know and they are endorsing skills that they have no intimate knowledge about.

Doesn’t this defeat the purpose of LinkedIn? Working Nets own David Spigelman weighs in on the subject.

“I’m in total agreement with this,” said David. “I’ve also noticed that most people use LinkedIn in ways that run counter to its intent.”

“You meet people at a networking meeting, and are expected to connect via LinkedIn. But why? I don’t really know you. I don’t know whether you’re good at your job. Endorsements are intended to be your stamps of approval on the other person’s professionalism. If I say that you are a good engineer, and I only know you because we play basketball together, how valuable is that endorsement?”

“And then you want me to introduce you to my other connections. On what basis do I make that connection? Or maybe you just want to connect to me directly, with no other connection. Who ARE you? How am I supposed to be able to connect you to others when I know NOTHING about you at all?”

How do you use LinkedIn?

If you have any questions, please contact Working Nets by calling (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today!

Welcome to Working Nets – your virtual IT Department!

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Sources:

  1. Why Soliciting LinkedIn Endorsements Is A Bad Idea Information Week

Windows Sales have declined since the launch of Windows 8

Tags: , , , , , , , IT industry, Opinion, Review / Opinion

“People always fear change. People feared electricity when it was invented, didn’t they? People feared coal, they feared gas-powered engines… There will always be ignorance, and ignorance leads to fear. But with time, people will come to accept their silicon masters.” – Bill Gates

Well, Microsoft has recently changed, launching its newest version of its popular operating system, Windows 8, and people have not been receptive. In fact, window sales were down 21% after the first four weeks Windows 8 was on the market.

“Windows 8 has captured 58% of Windows computing device sales. Comparatively, Windows 7 had garnered 83% of such device sales in its first four weeks of release,” according to the NPD Group.

However, it is unclear as to whether the drop in sales is due to the release of Windows 8 or the fact that Microsoft increased the average price of its machines from $433 to $477 after the release of the new operating system. The only thing that is for certain is that Microsoft Windows sales are down. But Microsoft should have saw this coming, right? Public opinion of Windows 8 was not good when the product was demoed before its full scale launch. If you recall from one of our previous blog posts a few months ago, before the launch of Windows 8, most analysts were not very high on the new operating system.

 

According to ZDNet.com, even hard-core Windows 8 fans prefer Windows 7 by a two to one margin.

“We really don’t think Windows 8 will get significant traction as a PC OS in a corporate environment,” said Gartner analyst Steve Kleynhans. “Why? Because Windows 8 is a “plumbing” upgrade. This is an upgrade that drastically changes the technology without adding significant improvements.” “An SMB is unlikely to decide ‘Windows 7 is no longer good enough, I must have Windows 8!’,” said Analysys Mason analyst Patrick Rusby. “Windows 7 is proven and popular.”

Do you have Windows 8 or have you used it? What do you think about the new operating system? Do you love it, hate it, or are you indifferent? We want to hear from you!

If you have any questions, please contact Working Nets by calling (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today!

Welcome to Working Nets – your virtual IT Department!

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Sources:

Windows Sales Down 21% Since Windows 8 Launch

Brainy Quote

Losing Control of your Digital Life: Tablet Cybersecurity Tips

Tags: , , , , , , Computer Security Baltimore, IT Tips Baltimore

Happy New Year!

In 2012, we started to outline several ways in which your tablet could be putting you at risk, from wireless hotspots to unencrypted email servers to downloading apps from untrustworthy sources. Well, it may be a new year, but we are going to continue our countdown, unveiling the rest of our Tablet Cybersecurity Tips.

  1. Virtual Private Networks (VPN): If available through your mobile service provider, always use a VPN. This offers tablet users, like you, a safe and secure way to surf the Internet without compromising your sensitive data.
  2. Physical Thieves: Cybersecurity threats are ever present, but you must not ignore physical threats, as well. This is why it is so important to have a strong PIN code or passphrase to prevent unauthorized access.
  3. Security Apps: A good security app could be the difference between safely surfing the net and putting your sensitive data at risk. These apps are similar to computer security software and can help protect your tablet from malware and other online threats.
  4. Update your Software: It is critical that you keep your tablet and software up to date. This is the best way to protect your tablet and your data. Many updates contain vital security fixes. If you ignore these updates, you could unknowingly be putting your data at risk.

So please be safe!

If you have any questions, please contact Working Nets by calling (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today!

Welcome to Working Nets – your virtual IT Department!

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Source: Securing a tablet for web browsing in six easy steps

Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts and Working Nets

Tags: , , , , Uncategorized

Several weeks ago, Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast, from Maryland to New York and everywhere in between. And residents of these areas, specifically New York and New Jersey, are still reeling from the damage. One community in particular, Sea Gate, a Jewish community adjacent to Coney Island, is struggling to recover.

The gated community, which consists of about 800 homes, sustained considerable damage. As a result, 90% of residents are still displaced from their homes.

“We have been completely devastated,” said Esther Zicherman, a lifelong resident of Sea Gate. “An entire community has been displaced. The government forgot about us. We are the lost community.”

Luckily, volunteers are coming from far and wide to assist, volunteers who include Working Nets’ own David Spigelman. He was among several hundred volunteers who spent the day in Sea Gate last Sunday.

“We all grouped into groups of five men, and were given assignments,” wrote David in an email to The Jewish Week. “We went to the houses and did what they needed us to do. Someone had previously gone around and offered assistance to all the residents, asking that if they wanted volunteer help, to sign up on the list.”

Please help the Sea Gate Jewish Community!

If you would like to help, there are several ways in which you can make an impact, including:

  1. Monetary Donations: The Sea Gate Jewish community has set up a mailing address for donations to the CYS (Seagate) Hurricane Relief Fund at 3832 Lyme Ave., Sea Gate, NY 11224. Phone pledges may be made (718) 705-9666. Or you can donate online at sgsandy.com.
  2. Volunteering: Sea Gate is in desperate need of volunteers, able and strong, to help families carry out loads of water soaked  possessions, including furniture and heavy appliances.  If you can volunteer, please call us at 718-705-9666.
  3. Food and Equipment: There are many volunteers and victims at Sea Gate that need food. Residents are also in need of generators, gasoline, cleaning supplies, and so much more!

If you have any questions, please contact Working Nets by calling (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today!

Welcome to Working Nets – your virtual IT Department!

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Image Source

Windows 8 vs. Windows RT: Microsoft’s new Operating Systems explained

Tags: , , , , Explanations, IT industry, Review / Opinion

As you probably know, Microsoft is expected to launch its newest operating system, Windows 8, later this week. And in our last blog post, we posted several opinions (mostly negative) about the upcoming launch of Microsoft Windows 8. But what you may not know is that Microsoft is also debuting a second operating system, Windows RT.

PCs and Tablets powered by x86 processors (both 32-bit and 64-bit platforms) will run Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro. Devices on an ARM platform or WOA will run Windows RT.

  • Windows 8: Touted as Microsoft’s “full” version of Windows, 8 supports all of the same software as Windows 7, Vista, and XP, but also runs a batch of new, tablet-like apps available through the Windows Store.
  • Windows RT: Windows RT is a feature-limited tablet version of Windows 8 designed to run on ARM processors. Unlike Windows 8, RT will not support any older Windows software. Windows RT runs only Windows Store apps and built-in software. This means you won’t be able to download any software that is made to run in the desktop environment. This means no third-party browsers…no third-party games…no third-party anything for that matter.

Windows 8 and Windows RT look the same, but behave completely differently. And as you can imagine…or as you may be experiencing…this can be quite confusing for consumers.

If you have any questions about Windows 8 and Windows RT, please contact Working Nets by calling (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today!

At Working Nets, we work closely with each client to determine their IT needs, and how to meet them quickly and inexpensively. We’ll meet with you and perform an extensive system review before creating a detailed, comprehensive strategy to meet your unique needs.

Welcome to Working Nets – your virtual IT Department!

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

 

Windows 8 is set to be released next Week. What is the Public saying?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , IT industry, IT Tips Baltimore, Review / Opinion

The release of Windows 8 is right around the corner. But why does no one seem excited? According to Microsoft, Windows 8 is “Windows reimagined and reinvented from a solid core of Windows 7 speed and reliability.” But what does the public think?

Unfortunately for Microsoft, public opinion has not been in favor of Windows 8. In fact, the closer Microsoft gets to unveiling its newest operating system and the more the public learns about Windows 8, the less likely they are to implement it.

Windows 8 Reviews

 

  1. “We really don’t think Windows 8 will get significant traction as a PC OS in a corporate environment,” said Gartner analyst Steve Kleynhans. “Why? Because Windows 8 is a “plumbing” upgrade. This is an upgrade that drastically changes the technology without adding significant improvements.”
  2. According to ZDNet.com, even hard-core Windows 8 fans prefer Windows 7 by a two to one margin.
  3. “An SMB is unlikely to decide ‘Windows 7 is no longer good enough, I must have Windows 8!’,” said Analysys Mason analyst Patrick Rusby. “Windows 7 is proven and popular.”
  4. “[Windows 8] really seems to be designed for tablets and phones,” said Working Nets own David Spigelman. “While you can install and run it on a desktop or notebook, it’s really not designed for that.”

Checkout How People React to Windows 8

Do you think you will make the switch to Windows 8?

If you have any questions about Windows 8, please contact Working Nets by calling (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today!

At Working Nets, we work closely with each client to determine their IT needs, and how to meet them quickly and inexpensively. We’ll meet with you and perform an extensive system review before creating a detailed, comprehensive strategy to meet your unique needs.

Welcome to Working Nets – your virtual IT Department!

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

 

Cybersecurity News: The Current State of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , Computer Security Baltimore, Explanations, Politics
The Cybersecurity Act of 2012: “To enhance the security and resiliency of the cyber and communications infrastructure of the United States.”

As you may or may not know, The Cybersecurity Act of 2012, sponsored by Joseph Lieberman (I–CT) and Susan Collins (R–ME), was defeated in the Senate after failing to gain the 60 votes necessary to move the bill past cloture and go up for a full vote. Obviously, the Act is still not ready, at least in the eyes of the Senate. And Senator Al Franken (D-Minn), a strong proponent for national cybersecurity, agrees. But he also acknowledges that something must be done.

“News reports and experts confirm that our nation’s critical infrastructure-such as our water systems, our power grid, and so forth-are vulnerable to attacks from hackers and foreign governments,” said Sen. Franken. “…Our nation needs to respond to those threats.”

Luckily, Franken has a solution. Rather than scrapping the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 all together, Franken believes it can be amended.

“The Cybersecurity Act is not perfect, but when it comes to striking a balance between cybersecurity and privacy and civil liberties, it is the only game in town,” said Sen. Franken. “Unfortunately, it’s hard to write a good cybersecurity bill-because when you try to make it easier for the government or Internet companies to detect and stop the work of hackers or other bad actors, you often end up making it very easy for those same entities to snoop in on the lives of innocent Americans.”

Franken has proposed several amendments that would remove provisions found in Section 701 of the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 that allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) the authority to monitor and take actions against their users. It is the Senator’s hope that these amendments will alleviate many of the issues that his fellow Senators have with the Act.

“And I hope that my colleagues here in the Senate will join me in passing this amendment,” added Sen. Franken.

If you have any questions about Cybersecurity, please contact Working Nets by calling (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today!

Welcome to Working Nets – your virtual IT Department!

At Working Nets, we support your business by providing top-notch Information Technology (I.T.) services to companies like yours: Companies that don’t need full-time I.T. services, but do need someone to turn to, when they are having a problem. We provide services like Network Design, Monitoring and Maintenance. We troubleshoot technical issues when they arise, and give you options for solving them. We help you use your technology investment to achieve your business goals.

At Working Nets, our focus is on your needs!

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Sources:

Sen. Franken: Improved Cybersecurity Bill Will Better Protect Privacy, Civil Liberties, but Still Needs Work

Franken Amendment Would Remove Worst Part of Cybersecurity Bill

 

Another Website Hacking Incident: What the LinkedIn & DropBox Hacks mean

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , Computer Security Baltimore, IT industry, IT Tips Baltimore

First there was the infamous LinkedIn hack a few months ago. Now, another major website has been attacked, Dropbox.

“Our investigation found that usernames and passwords recently stolen from other websites were used to sign in to a small number of Dropbox accounts,” said Aditya Agarwal, VP of engineering at Dropbox. “We’re sorry about this, and have put additional controls in place to help make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

In instances such as these, hackers breach a website to steal usernames and passwords in hopes that these login credentials work for other services, as well. If they do, these hackers harvest personal data to use in future scams.

Protecting your Information: Simple IT Security Tips

The only way to truly prevent cyber-attacks is completely avoid using the Internet, which is nearly impossible these days. There are, however, several ways in which you can make your business network more secure. These security tips include:

  • Stop Password Reuse: Do not use the same password for multiple accounts. Yes, using multiple passwords will not be as easy to remember, but it will make you much less susceptible to cyber-attack.
  • Reset your Passwords Regularly: Security experts advise people to regularly change their passwords.
  • Choose your Security Question Carefully: Don’t make it too easy for hackers to access your information. Do not use personal information or basic information that can be found on the Internet.
  • Be Careful: Only access the Internet over a secure network.
  • Keep Everything Up to Date: Keep your operating system, browser, anti-virus and other critical software up to date.
  • Outsourced IT Security Services from Working Nets: Data protection is crucial. Working Nets assures that your vital business data is available when you need it by implementing tools to protect you!

If you have any questions about Hackers, Hacking, and IT Security, please contact Working Nets by calling (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today!

Welcome to Working Nets – your virtual IT Department!

At Working Nets, we support your business by providing top-notch Information Technology (I.T.) services to companies like yours: Companies that don’t need full-time I.T. services, but do need someone to turn to, when they are having a problem. We provide services like Network Design, Monitoring and Maintenance. We troubleshoot technical issues when they arise, and give you options for solving them. We help you use your technology investment to achieve your business goals.

At Working Nets, our focus is on your needs!

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

IT Purchasing Assistance: Finding the Right Technology for your Business

Tags: , , , , , , , , IT industry, IT Tips Baltimore

As a business owner, you are busy enough running your business and trying to turn a profit. You don’t have the time to track business technology advancements and determine if your business needs to upgrade its current hardware or software. Unfortunately, without a dedicated IT department handling these duties for you, your business may be quickly falling behind the competition. So what do you do?

Outsource your IT assessment and purchasing needs to Working Nets – your Virtual IT Department!

Our philosophy is that business owners should focus on their business, not on the tools that make it run. At Working Nets, our outsourced IT assessment and IT purchasing assistance services help your business find the right solutions for your hardware and software needs.

Benefits of a Technology Assessment and IT Purchasing Assistance

  • Identify your current strengths and learn how to better utilize the technology you currently have
  • Identify potential security risks and learn how to fix them.
  • Identify the new technologies – both hardware and software – you need to operate your business as effectively and efficiently as possible
  • Reduce your total cost of ownership!

Your network is at the core of your business. Ensuring that it is designed correctly and properly maintained, is at the core of ours. So contact Working Nets today and develop a plan for future IT growth and development!

If you have any questions about Outsourced IT Purchasing Assistance, please contact Working Nets by calling (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today!

Welcome to Working Nets – your virtual IT Department!

At Working Nets, we support your business by providing top-notch Information Technology (I.T.) services to companies like yours: Companies that don’t need full-time I.T. services, but do need someone to turn to, when they are having a problem. We provide services like Network Design, Monitoring and Maintenance. We troubleshoot technical issues when they arise, and give you options for solving them. We help you use your technology investment to achieve your business goals.

At Working Nets, our focus is on your needs!

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.