Sharing your Mobile Connection Safely

Sharing your Mobile Connection Safely

Today, most mobile devices come with the option to turn your device into a mobile hotspot. Essentially, it provides a wireless connection for other phones, laptops, or really anything that has a wireless option. It is a very convenient feature that can be used almost anywhere at anytime. It’s important, however, to be safe when sharing your mobile connection. Most people take steps to secure their wireless connection in their home, so why not do the same for your mobile device?

There a few important steps to follow when you want to utilize this feature. Password complexity is easily one the best ways to protect against any unwanted visitors. Just like connecting to any other wireless connection, it will prompt for a password to be entered, meaning the more complex the password, the less chance of someone getting in. A second step is to ALWAYS turn the hotspot option off whenever you are not wanting it to be used. It wastes data and turns your device into prey for anyone looking for personal information. A final step is to simply watch your screen when using your hotspot feature. Most devices will show how many people are connected or at least who is connected. It’s important to monitor the users, because if you don’t recognize someone, they already had the password to get in and they could cause major damage.

If a hacker manages to get into your devices hotspot, your personal information could be at risk or a potentially huge phone bill because they took advantage of your phone’s data. All in all, don’t be afraid to use this great feature in times of need, just be weary of who enters into your sharing circle and keep those passwords safe and complex!

Source: “How to share your internet mobile connection safely.” Panda Mediacenter. 11 January 2017. Web.

Avoiding the Bogging Down of Servers

Avoiding the Bogging Down of Servers

Unfortunately, there has been a lot of talk of cyber attacks and ones specifically on servers that can leave thousands of people without internet access. With the vastness of the internet, it has become increasingly easier for cyber-criminals to carry out attacks.

The type of attack most associated with a server attack is something called a DDoS (distributed denial of service). It is like standing in line somewhere and then a bunch of people who aren’t shopping coming in and standing in front of you in line. There are trying to block you from doing anything.

What’s interesting regarding the attacks is that the DDoS can happen easier based off employee errors who are using the servers. Too much traffic and wrong settings can cause an overbearing weight put on the server. The company we partner with for our antivirus, Panda, has a few tips to avoid DDoS attacks.

Tips to avoid DDoS attacks

In order to prevent this from happening, the experts at Google offer some advice:

  • First, make it so that the initial 60 second delay doubles with each failed request, so that the second attempt is submitted after 120 seconds, the third after 240 seconds, and so on. That way, the number of requests piled up will be lower when the server returns to normal.
  • They also recommend that the app keep count of the number of reconnection attempts that each user has made, so that the most urgent requests are given priority when the server gets back to normal. This way, the requests that have been waiting the longest will be attended to first, while the rest continue waiting. A traffic bottleneck will therefore be averted, along with unwanted downtime caused by a DDoS attack launched against yourself.

-AY

Source: Panda Security. “How to avoid bogging down your own servers.” Web. 5 December 2016.

Mass Data Breaches are Common in Large Companies

Mass Data Breaches are Common in Large Companies

There is a statistic going around that states that 97% of large companies are victims of substantial data breaches. Although it is not uncommon for cyber criminals to go after individuals, a majority of the time they are after large corporations. The bigger the company and risk, the bigger the reward unfortunately.

A lot of companies also host their own business emails that employees use to sign in not only to the company email, but also for things like LinkedIn, which was breached just a few months ago. All these professionals also use the same password for various platforms that makes the situation worse and seemingly easier for criminals to get into.

It’s important when signing up for anything except a business email, to use a different email address and start putting together several different, unique, and even complex passwords to avoid the risk of a mass data breach within the workplace.

-AY

Source: Panda Security. “97% of Large Companies are Victims of Mass Data Breaches.” Panda Mediacenter. 2 November 2016. Web.

New Malware is Attacking Google Accounts

New Malware is Attacking Google Accounts

So far it looks like over a million Google accounts have been infected with malicious software. The so-called attacking campaign is being called Gooligan and is actively infecting 13,000 new devices and accounts on a daily basis. The infection allows for information theft on things like Google Play, Gmail, Google Drive, and more.

The interesting part, however, is that the attackers are not after personal information, and instead looking to force Google users to download apps that are a part of an advertising scheme that generates over $300,000 a month. Google themselves has stated that the culprits are not after information, but to simply promote various applications.

The apps being used come from outside sources not involved with Google Play, but the few that have made their way into Google’s store has since been deleted.

-AY

Source: Solsman, Joan & Nieva, Richard. “Google accounts hit with malware — a million and growing.” Web Blog Post. 30 November 2016. Web.

Non-Removable SSD in the new MacBook?

It seems to be a reoccurring theme within Apple. Creating devices that are generally meant to be replaced and not usually repaired. With the release of the new MacBook Pro, the most commonly replaced component, the SSD, is now being fixated into the computer.

The new MacBook Pros feature a new Touch Bar and with these new models the SSD is now putting in storage chips that are soldered and fastened onto the logic board of the computer. Basically what this means, is if you want to replace the storage of your MacBook Pro, you must replace the logic board in its entirety.

Also, if the logic board in your computer goes bad, then all the data that is stored on the chips…is lost. Data recovery is essentially going to be impossible. Although Apple has a seemingly reputable name behind its company, be mindful if you’re thinking about purchasing this new MacBook Pro.

-AY

Source: Humphries, Matthew. “15-inch MacBook Pro Uses Non-Removable SSD.” Web Blog Post. 16 November 2016. Web.

Already Time for Holiday Shopping?

With the famous Black Friday deals just on the horizon, it can be difficult to decide what deals and discounts to go after. If you or anybody on your Holiday gift list is interested in technology, then the online retailer, Newegg, may be the place for you.

Starting November 21, Newegg is offering amazing deals on TVs, phones, tablets, and much, much more. One of the most notable discounts is a brand new Acer Laptop that offers savings up to $320. Of course there is going to be lots of other deals on everything, but hey, we are technology company after all!

-AY

Source: Graziano, Dan. “Newegg’s Black Friday Deals Start November 21.” Web Blog Post. 11 November 2016. Web.

Tech Companies are Offering Election Help

With Election Day here, the world is on the edge of their seats waiting for the final word on who the new President of the United States is going to be. Thankfully, a few tech giants are here to help keep everyone up to date.

Google, Twitter and Facebook have all released services to help with the voting process as well information on voting results. The services include locations of where you can vote and some companies like Uber and Zipcar are offering free rides or rentals to go vote.

This has certainly been an interesting election filled with fierceness, strong opposition, and overwhelming tension between the two Presidential Candidates. These companies and leaders including President Obama are making an effort to get as many voters casting a ballot as possible.

So, if you’re looking for help or up-to-date results, check out Google, Twitter, or Facebook for all kinds of great information!

-AY

Source: Collins, Terry. “Tech giants offer up last-minute Election Day Help.” Web Blog Post. Cnet. 7 November 2016. Web.

Facebook May Be Building a Phone

Within Facebook there is a secret division called Division 8. Division 8 has recently been acquiring some heavy hitters within the technology world. These new Facebook hires are sparking some serious speculation of what this team could be working on. From one of the new employees, who is remaining under-the-radar, he has been indicating that it is mobile and possible modular.

Division 8 was originally thought to be a place were Facebook could prototype an array of new technologies. But, after looking at job postings and their mission statement, it seems that it is more about hardware. From the various postings, it seems that they are hiring heads of sectors within Division 8 that could potentially fall under the categories of industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, device software, applications and services, and more.

That being said, many of the major names that have been hired used to be apart of the team that was creating the modular phone that allowed the user to swap out parts of the phone whenever they pleased. Many believe that this notion could mean that Facebook is  kick-starting this idea once more and turning it into a reality.

-AY

Source: Hollister, Sean. “Is Facebook secretly building a phone?” Web Blog Post. Cnet,4 November 2016. Web.

Scary Hacker Stories for Halloween

Ransomware is simply defined as any sort of malicious software that locks a device until a certain sum of money is paid. This year alone, hackers have been utilizing such Ransomware to gain large sums of money from all sorts of outlets.

Some of the major victims of these attacks were hospitals, political figures, and even yahoo. In a specific case, the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical center was essentially held hostage unless they paid $3.4 million dollars to the hackers. What’s even more horrific is that this hospital was one of 13 others that were also attacked.

Another major target of Ransomware attacks is political figures and I’m sure a particular case from 2016 comes to mind. Highly classified and sensitive emails were released post Democratic National Committee as well as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. These leaks caused fear and panic not only to those involved, but also to the general public. These hackers have the capability of manipulating its victims and causing a ripple effect that leads to the general population.

Hackers are becoming increasingly more powerful and sneaky. With new tools being created on a regular basis, it is getting harder and harder to combat these attackers. It’s important to be careful of the websites you visit and what you click on, you never know what may be lurking inside.

Stay safe and have a great Halloween!

-AY

Source:

Hautala, Laura. “Slasher or Hacker? These 2016 hacks gave us nightmares.” Web Blog Post. Cnet, 29 October 2016. Web.

Samsung’s Profits Burn Because of Note 7

It was popular news for everyone not long ago. Videos, pictures, and other forms of publishing showed the Galaxy Note 7 blowing up and bursting into flames. It was supposed to be the device that allowed Samsung to rebound back into the mobile tech race. Unfortunately for them, this catastrophic event put them in negative view of the public eye.

Because of the overwhelming amount of recalls that transpired, the Note 7 was subsequently stopped from any more production. Consequently, the profits severely plummeted. The mobile division of Samsung, who is responsible for the Note 7 saw a 96% decrease in profits during their third quarter. This is there lowest profits in nearly 8 years and ultimately caused a sense of panic within the company.

The cause of the exploding devices is still unknown which is causing a delay in the production of any new phones (Galaxy S8). But, the former mobile kingpin told outside sources that they can expect a Note 8 at some point next year.

Source:

Musil, Steven. “Samsung earnings burned by Galaxy Note 7.” Web Blog Post. Cnet, 26 Oct. 2016. Web. 27 Oct. 2016.