Technology drives modern business, regardless of size or industry. It’s how we interact with customers, distribute information, push revenue, and solve problems. However, for small and medium-sized businesses and startups, technology implementation is another in a long list of issues that result from a lack of resources.
Few people have the expertise to manage much of today’s technology, and most independent businesses cannot afford to hire a full-time IT staff, here are ways that managed IT services can really benefit small businesses.
Just a friendly reminder to all, be extra diligent when opening emails this time of year!
Hundreds of thousands of computers become infected from phishing emails appearing at first glance to be legitimate, and these email appear more than ever during the Holiday Season. Phishing is a form of online identity theft in which fraudsters trick users into submitting personal information to illegitimate web sites. Below is a list of items (from our friends at TechRepublic) that can help you identify phishing emails. If you receive one, just simply delete it permanently by holding down the shift key while pressing the delete key. This will help protect your computer as well as the company’s assets.
It has been over a month since EMV’s adoption began here in the U.S., and an overwhelming number of consumers are still unaware of this major change in the payments world.
If you haven’t yet heard, from this point on, merchants will assume responsibility of fraud brought from swiping an old magstripe card instead of scanning or dipping cards with chips. However, as with all new technologies, it’s going to take a little time to adapt.
On October 1st the EMV liability shift occurred. Now, merchants are responsible for any fraud that happens during processing. Although we’ve been told to prepare for this change for a full year, only 40% of American card-holders have gotten their chip cards. Unfortunately, this slow adoption rate has given rise to new scams.
Pretending to be a card issuer, individuals call up strangers and ask if they have gotten their new chip cards, if the answer is “no” the hacker then asks the unsuspecting victim to update their account information in order to receive the new card. In reality, you do not need to update your account to receive your card. Your credit card company will do that for you.
With the increased frequency and sophistication of modern cyber attacks, it is more important than ever for business owners to educate themselves and their staff about the dramatic effects of a data breach. With so many big businesses making the headlines for failed security over the past year (Target, Sony, Anthem, just to name a few), it’s easy to think breaches only happen to Fortune 5’s, but poor security affects everyone. In fact, one report found that 71% of security breaches target small businesses (Trustwave Global Security Report).
And, unfortunately, it’s easy to understand why:
There’s often no dedicated IT person in SMB organizations
After the discovery of a major software vulnerability in Chrysler’s Uconnect dashboard computers, the company was forced to issue a formal recall for 1.4 million vehicles. The flaw, first uncovered in July of 2015, allows hackers to remotely control cars, via an internet connection, and expose drivers to extreme danger. The vulnerability affected all Chrysler brands equipped with Uconnect 8.4-inch touch displays, including Dodge, Jeep, and Ram models. CNN reports that the vulnerability allows hackers to “cut the brakes, shut down the engine, drive [the comprised vehicle] off the road, or make all the electronics go haywire.” After the news broke mid-July, Chrysler announced a critical software update and recommended all customers install it as soon as possible. Chrysler then fixed the loophole within its own network.
With just a simple receipt of a text message, your Android can be hacked. This is likely the biggest smartphone flaw ever discovered, CNN reports that, “it affects an estimated 950 million phones worldwide.” The issue is rooted in the way in which Androids are programmed to analyze incoming text messages, even before they have been opened. For instance, with Google’s Hangouts app, any media file that you receive (pictures, videos, audio) is automatically processed as soon as it is received. Because of this, “a malware-laden file can start infecting the phone before it’s even opened.”
Reality check: your Facebook profile isn’t actually private. CNN reported that, “in a decision that raises crucial issues in the digital age, a New York state appeals court ruled this week that Facebook cannot protect users against search warrants obtained by law enforcement officials to access users’ digital information.” Manhattan prosecutors are currently investigating a huge social security fraud situation, which required approximately 381 search warrants to access users’ private profiles. Facebook tried to refuse this request, but the appellate court voted against the right to do so this past Tuesday.
Fraud is a scary thought in today’s merchant environment. Whether it be large-scale hacks on payment systems, or singular attempts of identity fraud, the amount of individuals seeking to gather personal information and swindle consumers out of their own money is ever increasing.
When shopping online, in-store, or on the side of the street for that unique piece, there is always the risk of our personal banking information being compromised. It is a business risk that consumers and merchants take in order to purchase and sell.
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