Monday, October 15, 2018

Mojave Upgrade - Apple 2

After installing I have found that Daylite CRM, has issues with the mail plug in.. this is only listed in the support section not the section that tell you Daylite is supported by Mojave. This plug in is rather important in getting mail to the CRM.. so they should list it as being incompatible until that is fixed.. they are currently working on the issue.. Robert

Friday, October 12, 2018

Mojave Upgrade - Apple

I have waited a couple weeks on the ScanSnap update.. it is officially released today.. After installing the Scansnap update and checking the compatibility is various programs, such as Paperless, daylight, Billings, and Scansnap. I proceeded with the latest Apple OS upgrade (Mojave. So far nothing is out of place and everything seems to be running rather well.. I will update again later in the week... Robert Blake

Monday, October 1, 2018

What to Do If Your Computer Is Infected with Ransomware

Ransomware has been in the news a lot lately, with big incidents involving WannaCry, Petya, and many more. The effects that they have can be devastating. They often render computers completely useless and wipe out all of the data saved on them.

While it's obviously best to avoid getting ransomware to begin with, even the safest of users can get infected. That is why it's important to know what to do once your computer does have ransomware on it.

The ransom
Ransomware is called such because they either lock your computer, encrypt your files, or both and then request payment to remove it. 

While you can pay the ransom in hopes of regaining access to your computer and files, it's generally recommended that you don't. The reason for this is because there's absolutely no guarantee that the hacker will ever give you the key to remove the ransomware instead of just pocketing your money and not doing anything about it. Plus, it encourages the hacker to launch more attacks towards you or your company because they know you'll pay up.

So, unless you're willing to take that risk, it's generally a better idea to not pay the ransom.

What to do once your computer is infected
If you are unfortunate enough to end up infected with ransomware, there are a few first steps you can take to try and minimize the damage it does. It is very important to follow the correct steps exactly to limit the damage that the ransomware will do.

The very first step is to disconnect the computer from any and all networks. This will not only keep the ransomware from communicating with the hacker, but it will stop it from spreading and infecting other computers. This step should be done the very second you notice that the computer is infected.

The second thing you need to do is shut down the computer completely, as this will also help keep the damage at a minimum as well as help you potentially recover your computer and its files later.

Finally, you will want to report the incident to the authorities and file a police report. This is not only a necessary legal step in order to file an insurance claim, but it could potentially give the law enforcement officers more evidence to help catch the hacker.

Removing the ransomware and recovering your files
Once you've gone through the first important steps, you have a couple options you can try in order to get your computer back. But, unfortunately, it's not easy to get your data back and there is a very good chance that it may be lost forever.

One of the best options to try is to use the System Restore tool in Windows. To do this, boot your computer back up but don't log in. From the Windows login screen, hold the shift key, click the power icon, and then select restart. It should reboot to the recovery screen.

Once you are on the recovery screen, select "Troubleshoot," then "Advanced Options," and finally, "System Restore." Follow the onscreen instructions to restore your Windows installation back to the previous state before it was infected.

If you're not able to get into the system restore screen normally, then you will need a copy of Windows installation media on either a USB drive or a disc. You'll want to boot into it and choose the "Repair" option instead of installation.

If using the System Restore option doesn't work, then you will need to install a virus scanner to a bootable USB drive or disc. Most of the big antivirus brands will have something like this. AVG, Avast, and Bitdefender all have good, reliable tools that will do the job.

Once you have your bootable virus scanner, you'll want to restart the computer and boot into the scanner in the same way that you booted into the Windows installation. From there, you can run an offline scan on your computer and it will hopefully be able to remove the ransomware for you.

If even that doesn't work, then you will need to use your Windows installation media to do a complete wipe of your computer and reinstall windows. All your data will be lost for good, but you'll have access to the computer again.

Future considerations
Ransomware is one of the worst forms of malware that you could possibly get. It is difficult, if not impossible, to remove and does a lot of damage. This is why It's so important to avoid getting infected with it to begin with.

To avoid ransomware in the future, you will want to make sure you keep everything up to date, particularly the typical vulnerable software like web browsers, Java, and Adobe Flash, and be sure to have a good antivirus program running on your computer at all time.

But the most important thing to do in order to avoid ransomware is to be wary of every email you see, because this is one of the most common methods hackers use to try and infect people with ransomware. Don't trust any email if you're not completely positive who sent it to you, and never download any attachments if you don't already know for sure what they are.

Most important part of ensuring that you are able to recover from an attack is maintaining a consistent and solid backup solution. If you have not evaluated how you back up, you should do it today!

As long as you follow this advice, you'll greatly reduce the chance that you end up getting infected with ransomware in the future.

Robert Blake

Contact Bit by Bit for more information to help recover from a ransomeware attack or help with all of your technology needs. 877.860.5831 x190

Monday, September 17, 2018

Wouldn't it be great if your users had a way to "roll back time" when they forgot to think before they click on a bad link? Now they can!

KnowBe4 is excited to announce Second Chancea brand-new security tool for Outlook, Office 365, and Gmail email clients that you can download and deploy at no cost. Second Chance enables your user to make a smarter security decision by giving them a way to back out of that click.
Second Chance takes an intelligent look at the clicked URL in email, and asks your user if they are sure they want to do this, in case they clicked on a potentially unsafe or an unknown website. 
With the URL Unwinding feature, shortened and re-written links gives users the original link and the location the link will take them. It even prompts your user when they click on a Punycode link! 
You might ask: "What happens if my user continues or aborts their action?" If they choose to abort their action, the prompt will be closed, and the URL will not be opened. If they choose to continue, their browser will navigate to the URL they clicked on.

Get the second chance tool kit here

Monday, September 3, 2018

What's the Diff: Backup vs Archive

Backups and archives serve different functions, yet it's common to hear the terms used interchangeably in cloud storage. It's important to understand the difference between the two to ensure that your data is available when you need it and retained for the period of time you require.Read More Here:

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Robert Blake 877.680.5831 x190

Managing technology and Protecting Data.


The Biggest IT Service Management Myths

When it comes to your IT service management, you're probably going to find you are continually faced with some basic questions and concerns that individuals seem to always create confusion or even complete misconceptions.

It is important to clear up all of these issues far ahead of time, in order to create peace of mind before they back out of potentially helpful IT services. While IT is there to help improve the technology in a business's life, the first step is always to reassure individuals and company owners regarding the possible features and attributes IT service management is able to offer them. 

Cloud Computing is Not Safe 

Making the switch over to the cloud is necessary for most businesses, as it allows individuals to access company files anywhere in the world as long as there is an Internet connection present. However, many first time users of the cloud believe it is rather unsafe because they think anyone with an Internet connection is simply able to hack into it and steal sensitive information.

While there is always a safety risk with storing anything on the Internet, cloud computing is one of the safest options out there and, as long as employees don't hand out their passwords and username, there shouldn't be any sort of problem at all. Cloud computing is far more reliable than having large, bulky network hard drives in the office and it ensures traveling personnel is able to download, view and upload essential documentation wherever they are, which helps expand a business and potentially provide the necessary advantage over the competition.

Mac Based Networks are 100 Percent Safe and Secure 

Some businesses completely love the look and feel of Mac computers and decide to go with these systems over a Windows based one. This is completely fine, but one misconception is many individuals believe Mac computers are completely immune from viruses, hacks and other common Internet-based problems.

To an extent, this is true, as fewer Macs are hit with viruses, but this really has nothing to do with Windows computers being more susceptible than Mac computers. It is more so because there are far more Windows than Mac computers out there, so a hacker or virus designer is going to produce spyware, malware, and viruses for the larger audience, in order to affect the largest number of individuals. Because of this, it is still important to always have network installed security, in order to protect the Mac computers from possible security threats, because as more and more users switch to Apple products, the higher the likelihood someone will attack the Macs.

Managed services is not for me

For many small and medium business might believe the costs will be too expensive. In reality, you get much more with managed services that you can get with hiring one, two or even several in house staff.  When out hire a managed service company, you get a full It  department that has specialists to manage each part of your network. You will find a team to managed your security, servers and advanced technology. You will have a separate team that managed desktop users and a team to manage your administration functions.  You will also gain the knowledge gained from the experience of managing many clients with differing environments. 
Additionally, with with a managed service provider, you don't have to worry about your IT staff being sick or on vacation.  With entire teams on a Helpdesk or server admin, there is someone to take over where the other technician leaves off.  If you need  24 x 7 support, this is much easier when you have a company behind your IT services. When you think about the cost of down time for your technology, how can you not afford to hire a managed service provider. 

In Conclusion 

There are a number of myths floating around regarding IT services and what is best for a particular company. The world of IT is not a one size fits all approach. What works for one company may not work for the next. Due to this, it's extremely important to not only determine the available budget for IT services, but to work with a service provider (either outsourced or an on-site IT professional) to determine the best IT fit for the business.

Do you have more questions? Contact Robert Blake at 877.960.5831 x190

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

August Newsletter: Five Reasons Why You’ve Chosen the Wrong Passwords (And Need to Change Them)

IT Consulting, Managed Services, Cloud Solutions - New York City, New Jersey, Dallas, Boston | Bit by Bit

Monday, August 13, 2018

Top 5 Ways to Secure Business Computers Against Hackers

Hackers are targeting small businesses.  They are far easier to steal valuable data from then larger enterprises.  Most small businesses do not have a full time IT department to keep their computers up-to-date and secure against intruders.  Small business owners may feel they are too small for a hacker to even bother with, but they are dead wrong.  It is almost impossible for a small business to recover from a data breach.

When a small business gets hit, they must inform all of there customers, employees and vendors that they did not protect their privacy and the information could be in the hands of a criminal.  Customers end up taking their business elsewhere, and employees find a new employer and could sue the company for damages.  Finding new customers with a tarnished reputation is hard.  Within months, the small business can be forced to close their doors forever.

By taking these five critical steps, small businesses can harden their systems against attack.  No computer is impenetrable.  But most hackers rely on scanning millions of machines to find the weakest to attack.  By ensuring a computer is slightly harder to hack into than most other computers, a small business has a better chance of staying out of a cyber criminal's radar.

Upgrade and patch the Operating System

Even unskilled, kiddie hackers can search the internet and find issues with current operating systems.  Hackers have released free tools and software that anyone can download.  Anyone, even those without technical skills can use these applications to scan the internet for any computer that has an operating system that is not patched and upgraded.  Detailed instructions are available on how to penetrate and unpatched system.  If a business computer does not have the latest operating system and patches, any hacker can easily walk in and steal the data without the business even knowing it happened.

Train users on proper email etiquette

Phishing and other types of attacks are easily launched to millions of unsuspecting users daily by flooding email boxes with emails designed to trick the user into clicking a link.  Once the user clicks this link, malware and other destructive software get automatically downloaded onto the machine.  This software could blatantly cause damage, or it can secretly run in the background.  Sending all data and capturing everything done on that computer for the hacker to steal for years.

Phishing attacks have become so elaborate that it is tough to decipher if an email is legitimate or fake.  Provide training to employees to handle email links with caution and provide a way the employees can ask questions and get help if they need it.  If a link has been clicked, provide a policy on how to limit the amount of damage that can occur and how to get back to safety as soon as possible.

Scan for both malware and viruses regularly

There is a difference between malware and viruses.  Small business computers usually have a standard antivirus program installed to protect against infections.  These scanners do not always catch harmful malware; they are not designed to do so.  Malware can take many forms, and unless a business owner is explicitly looking for the correct signatures deep in the recesses of the hard drive, malware is extremely difficult to notice and remove.  Some malware will thread itself throughout the hard drive, making removal a complicated and challenging process.  Businesses should use professional antimalware software frequently to keep the system clean of issues.  An added benefit of this precaution will be a computer that runs faster due to not having extra programs stealing resources.

Create a strong password policy

Everyone struggles to remember passwords.  It is the best practice to use a different password for every login, which is difficult for many users.  To make signing into applications easier, people will often use the same password for everything.  When this happens, a hacker only needs a way to steal one password for the weakest system, and they will own the keys to every site and application for which they use that password.

A strong password policy begins with frequently changing all passwords.  It takes time to crack a password.  If the password gets changed regularly, there is not enough time for a cybercriminal to crack the password.  Along with changing passwords frequently, users should choose strong passwords with lower case, upper case, numbers, and symbols.  Users should never use the same password for more than one site.  Passwords can be easily manageable with a password vault, a program that allows a user to store every password. When they need to log in, they copy it from the vault; there is no need to memorize hundreds of passwords.

Keep all software upgraded and patched

Java and Adobe are notorious for harmful exploits and these programs work hard to push out critical patches and upgrades to close any loopholes in the code that hackers use to gain access to a computer.  It is as vital to patch all of the software used on a computer as it is to update the operating system.  It is a little more difficult because the users must know what software they are running on the system and also know how to get the latest release when it is released.

Upgrading software takes time and considerable effort.  It is so easy to click no when a program asks permission to download the latest version.  But any software running that is not patched is an open door a hacker can walk right through.  A policy should be created and followed to upgrade all software when a release comes out, or upgrade at regular intervals that make sense to the business, such as at night or on weekends, to avoid disrupting normal business activities.

One warning to remember when upgrading or patching is incompatibility issues.  All software on a system must be able to interact with the other software on a system to work correctly.  It is normal to upgrade one program only to find out that a different program no longer functions properly.  Daily maintenance of a good backup system is critical to the prevention of such issues.  If an upgrade, virus, malware or anything else causes a significant problem, the system can be restored to order with the last backup and users can continue working.

By following these simple security procedures, many small business computers can be harder to attack than most systems on the internet.  These computers will not show up in scans run by hackers. Significant vulnerabilities will get fixed, and machines will run faster.  Each of these items does not require expert technical skills, and if these are a challenge to perform, business owners should hire a security specialist to regularly harden the office computers to keep sensitive business data safe.

If you need help securing your network call us at 877.860.5831 x190

Robert Blake

Mojave Upgrade - Apple 2