How to Keep Your Family Safe Online

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Technology and the internet is such a major part of our lives. It’s an incredible resource that has made so much knowledge readily available and makes communication easier. There is an endless amount you can streamline and accomplish thanks to technology, but there are risks as well. It’s important to educate yourself and your family on the ways to stay as safe as possible online.

Change your passwords

Far too many people make the mistake of using the same password for every account and never changing it. Many people choose to use a combination of names or important dates as their passwords. Too often, these passwords are simple to figure out for hackers because this information is actually usually readily available. Consider using an online password generator to create a completely random password and then update it every few months. Get a notebook where you can physically write down all of your passwords in case you forget them.

Avoid talking to strangers

This rule is important to follow for yourself and your children. If someone contacts you claiming to represent a company you’re affiliated with, such as a bank or your insurance, do not give them any of your personal information or send money unless it’s in the way you typically do for your institution. Never give an individual person your personal details. Make sure your children understand this rule as well and know to never tell strangers where they live or agree to meet them in person.

Do not share personal information

Like I mentioned above, avoid ever giving personal information to another person. However, it’s also important to not share personal information in any other form. Avoid creating a document that has all of your passwords and account numbers on it; these can actually be fairly easily hacked. It’s also important to not share personal information such as your pets’ names, your birthdate, the birthdates of your family, your address, or other information that could be used to scam you or hack into your accounts.

Make sure a site is secure

If you get an email that says you need to change your password or provide login information by following a link, do not use the link unless it leads to a secure website that is clearly the one you usually use for your bank or whatever other account it’s linking to. People often try to scam others’ personal information by creating fake pages that look similar to an official site and then steal login information.

Use a safe network
When you log onto your accounts, make sure you’re using a safe and secure network. For your home WiFi, regularly change your password and make sure it’s a quality network. Outside of your home, avoid logging into secure accounts on public WiFi. If you do log into an account on a publicly used computer, use an incognito window or VPN and make sure you sign out and none of your information is saved.

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How to Keep Cryptocurrencies Secure

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Cryptography is an essential part of online security. Cryptocurrencies offer investors cryptographically secure transactions. Still, the ICO market is plagued by scams and malicious hacks.

One of the reasons is that online exchanges and wallets hold digital coin transactions a period of time before finalizing them on a blockchain. This process happens because finalizing on a blockchain takes time, at least at this stage in the market’s development.

Another danger is the attraction cryptocurrencies have drawn because of their rising popularity. Socially engineered hacks, like phishing attempts, have targeted the crypto industry and those in the industry have tried to take steps to prevent these continued attacks. It was a response to the rampant fraud and online attacks that accompanied the record price rally at the end of 2017. However, scams like fake wallets and fraudulent cryptocurrency schemes still take place, so it’s something you need to watch out for if you’re dealing in cryptocurrencies.

The crypto industry has taken strides to pass security standards for exchanges in order to help enhance security. Individuals must also use caution and secure their own online activity; the industry can take all the precautions possible, but if you’re not making sure your technology is secure, you’re at risk. Security vulnerabilities are typically seen in the following areas:

  • Wallets using fake websites
  • Fraudulent ICO schemes
  • Default login credentials
  • Illegitimate exchanges
  • Phishing attempts for private keys
  • Spyware

Keep an eye on these areas to make sure your cryptocurrencies are safe.

Storage is the best security option

Experts and exchanges agree that the best way to secure crypto coins is in cold storage. That is, on a piece of hardware that remains offline and keeps your currency offline too. This can be as simple as a dedicated USB or external hard drive that holds private keys. More elaborate hardware devices continue to enter the market. They serve much of the same purpose but make encryption and device quality top priorities. These devices are designed and developed with cryptocurrencies in mind. A good one can be purchased for about $100. Encryption is also important as it serves as a deterrent to lost or stolen devices. Some even suggest maintaining a safety deposit box for this reason.

Cold storage makes transactions more difficult. They are certainly not impossible since offline verification is available. Though for the less technical, cold storage may not be the best option. Apps can be used instead, but only keep needed coins on them. Finally, always be sure to actively secure regular online activity.

Cryptocurrency users may even wish to go a bit beyond what is the standard in online security to ensure their crypto is safe.

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6 Tips for Keeping Your Business Server Safe

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Unfortunately, we live in an age where online security is certainly not a given, especially for larger corporations. Even government servers can be compromised, though they often have some of the toughest security out there. If your company has sensitive information on file, such as personal information of employees and clients, it’s vitally important you take steps to make hacking your business servers as difficult as possible. In order to maintain your company’s integrity, you need to offer your customers the peace of mind that their information is safe with you. Here are some tips on how best to protect your business server.

Limit physical access

This tip is certainly not one that people would immediately think of, but it’s still vitally important. When you think of hackers, you probably imagine someone from outside of your company attempting to compromise your systems, but someone within the business or who is currently in the building could just as easily access the physical server if it’s somewhere that’s too easily accessible.

Invest in good antivirus software

Far too many businesses skimp on this important step when it’s ultimately what could make or break your server’s security. Actually take the time to research antivirus software and figure out what kind would work best for your business. Even if it’s a little pricey, the security is worth the cost.

Encrypt the information

When holding information on your company server, make sure it’s properly encrypted. Do not simply hold personal information in a straightforward manner; if your servers get hacked, this format makes it much easier for hackers to access the personal information. You can keep information on encrypted disks or programs and then require additional passwords to decrypt that data.

Periodically update passwords

It’s easy for a small task like this one to be overlooked when you’re busy running an entire company. However, oversights like forgetting to update passwords are what can compromise your business’s security. Aim to change everyone’s passwords, as well as though unique to your servers, at least once a quarter.

Always update the system

Software updates often take large amounts of time and can be tedious, but they’re vitally important in order to keep your servers as secure as possible. Regularly check for updates and install them immediately to keep your security system as up-to-date as possible.

Regularly audit the security

Finally, it’s important to find time to regularly audit your entire security system. Research if there are more up-to-date ways to protect your business server and make any changes necessary. Try to complete this audit at least once a year. Also, remember to periodically check if any of your security measures have been compromised, so you are not caught unawares.

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4 Tips to Switch Your Career to IT

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Making an industry change with any career is often a daunting and overwhelming thought, especially if you are currently in a position with a steady income or salary. You’ll likely need to start over at an entry-level position and work your way back up. If you are thinking of making the move to IT, there are a few tips to keep in mind to help ease the transition, regardless of your current skills or experience.

Improve your skills

Brush up on any technical skills you currently have but have not worked on in years. Relearning basic Microsoft programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint is often essential for any professional interested in working in IT full-time. Learn about basic networking and managing networks for small and medium-sized companies, especially when going into the field of IT for the first time.

Gain equivalent experience necessary

Whether you take on a part-time job in the IT field or if you obtain course certifications for IT online, gaining equivalent experience is often necessary even for the most basic positions in IT.

Tackle new and in-demand skills

Learn more about various languages and programming tools that are used in offices and startup environments. Take on the challenge of learning a programming language that is most relevant to the type of IT work you are interested in. The more knowledge you have on various IT-related subjects, the easier it becomes to qualify for and obtain positions you desire.

Create a professional persona for yourself online

Create a professional persona for yourself online when you begin job-hunting in the IT field. Having a personal website to showcase your resume, portfolio, and other achievements help to attract potential leads from recruiters and hiring managers.

Use professional social media networks such as LinkedIn to reach out to others you may know or have worked with in the past that currently work in the IT industry. Networking is often a key aspect to keep in mind anytime you are looking to switch careers and gravitate to an entirely new market or industry.

The more familiar you become with the IT industry, its jobs, and various skills that are most in-demand, the easier it is to determine which path to focus on that fits your lifestyle and IT preferences. Taking the time to brush up on your skills and learn modern technology is a way to make the jump from any industry into IT.

4 Pieces of Advice on Keeping Yourself Secure Online

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Shopping online, making video calls, and chatting with friends across the world are just a few activities that millions of individuals partake in each day online. With the advent of social media and mobile smartphones, the internet is now the most preferred method of communication and shopping for just about anything today. Maintaining a safe and secure identity online is possible by implementing a few tips whether you are creating a new social media account or updating the password to your email address.

Use a unique password

Passwords are becoming easier than ever to hack and access, especially if a website or company has been targeted and attacked itself. Always choose a unique password whenever you are registering a new account on any website, regardless of the purpose of the account. Implement both uppercase and lowercase letters, in addition to numbers, and if possible, symbols (#, $, !). The more challenging your password is, the more unlikely it is for hackers to access your account.

Purchase a VPN

VPNs are more popular than ever, allowing users to browse online with heavily-encrypted data being protected at all times. VPNs, or “virtual private networks”, help to secure any information or data sent while browsing online, whether you are simply browsing on a website or entering in sensitive information.

Two-factor authorization

Use two-factor authorization whenever possible with applications and accounts that are most important to you. Two-factor authorization often requires a user to verify their identity through more than one device (such as using a mobile smartphone that is linked to the account). Two-factor authorization helps to protect your account from being accessed by a foreign third-party if they do not currently also have access to your phone itself.

Update privacy settings

Update the privacy settings on all of your online accounts. Minimize sharing updates with the public to keep a low profile and to only share your news and information with those you know.

Knowing how to prevent hackers and scammers from accessing sensitive and secure data about you is a way to browse safely and securely without the worry and anxiety of a potential breach. The more comfortable and familiar you become with your computer and online account settings, the easier it is to maintain control of your data and privacy at all times.