Advantage IT Management Blog

Advantage IT Management has been serving the Mobile area since 2005, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Security that’s So Simple, It’s Smart

Security that’s So Simple, It’s Smart

Cybersecurity, to many, can sound inherently complicated—complicated enough, perhaps, that many may elect to put it off for as long as they can, or even choose to go without it. Even without our obvious bias factoring into our considerations, this is a bad idea. Let’s go over some basic security practices that are simple to enact, but can easily make a world of difference for your security.

Remember, if any of these are beyond your abilities, you can always reach out to your designated IT resource—and if you need one, Advantage IT Management is here to fill the role.

Maintain Updated Antivirus and Other Security Tools

The best kind of cyberthreat is the kind that you never have to consciously worry about, as it never makes it far enough to do any damage. Implementing these tools—an antivirus solution, a firewall, and other defensive measures—and keeping them updated to recognize the latest threats makes it much easier to keep your business secure, as the lion’s share of threats will have had their teeth removed.

Use a Virtual Private Network

Let’s say that you or another member of your team needs to travel for business, and on the way, a diner is chosen as a place for a comforting roadside meal. Plus, the diner offers free Wi-Fi, so there’s the opportunity to get some work done in between stacks of pancakes drenched in syrup.

Not so fast—without the right precautions, publicly available Wi-Fi could land you and your business in a situation that’s stickier than the artificial maple syrup the diner offers. Whenever you have no other choice than to use a public Wi-Fi signal, you should always be using a virtual private network, or VPN, to hide your traffic from anyone keeping watch over the network.

Implement Multi-Factor Authentication, and Use Passwords Wherever Available

TRUE OR FALSE: A passcode or password should be used if the option is given.

Hopefully, you immediately answered true, as a password is perhaps the most basic security measure you can have in place. Each and every login you have should have its own unique password, and each login for each of your team members should follow suit.

If multi-factor authentication is available, that should be required as well. By adding an additional requirement to the login process (one which isn’t as easy to guess as many passwords are), you can enhance security significantly. MFA often relies on generated PINs or biometrics, or even just the possession of a particular device.

Don’t Save Your Passwords in Your Browser, Use a Dedicated Password Vault

On the subject of passwords, the average person today has to remember quite a few, which makes it a challenge to remember them all if they are abiding by the “different passwords for different accounts” rule. Most modern browsers will offer to save passwords, but we recommend against relying on them. This storage isn’t the most secure there is.

Instead, we recommend that you use a dedicated password manager or vault, which is an encrypted piece of software that safely stores your various passwords for simple reference. Investing in this kind of program means that you are relying on a tool whose function is to help keep you safe.

Understand How to Avoid Phishing and Other Scams

“Congratulations! You’ve won an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas/Paris/Tokyo/insert city here! Click here to claim your prize!”

Wouldn’t it be nice if someone was just giving away vacations like this, entering you in sweepstakes without your knowledge?

“You’d NEVER believe who today’s hottest singer was caught with in a seedy motel!”

Now, you might not give a hoot about the Top 40 music charts, but even then, juicy gossip can be tough to pass up.

“According to our records, you currently owe over 45,000 in back taxes. Please confirm your identity so that we can resolve this issue.”

Okay, call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure that if someone owed that much—nevermind in taxes—they’d be perfectly aware of it.

These are all examples of what one could very well see in a phishing scam or clickbait-powered attack. Phishing works by fooling the target into thinking they are communicating with someone else, and clickbait can bring you to a website that automatically introduces malware that infects your device. While it may be cliche to say at this point, you need to think before you click.

Take every link shared via text or email with a massive grain of salt. If something seems off about a message—where it was sent from, who appears to have sent it, even the language and grammar used—take a few moments to reach out via a different means of communication to verify that the message was legitimate. Remember: if it seems too good to be true, it almost certainly is.

We Can Help You Prepare for Security Threats and Events of All Kinds

Just reach out to us today to learn more about what we can do. Give Advantage IT Management a call at 251-662-9770 to learn more.

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Saturday, October 01 2022

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