How a small business can protect their online identity

In part four of his interview with The Cleaning Crew, Bryley Systems Inc. President, Gaving Livingstone, explains some of the steps a small business can take to protect their online identity.

What are the threats associated with cyber security?

In part three of his interview with The Cleaning Crew, Bryley Systems President, Gavin Livingstone, answers the question “what are some of the threats associated with cyber security?”

 

Assabet Valley Chamber After-5 — Event a huge success!

AVCC After-5

I estimate about 50-60 attendees who arrived early (about 4:45pm) and left late (last one out the door at 8pm).

Everyone seemed engaged; there were conversations in every nook and corner with people sitting in the comfortable chairs, moving from one area to another, and, generally, having a good time.

Thank you to Telly and Garin who stuck around past 6pm and met folks; Roy, Beverley, Mike M., and Terry also made appearances.

Special thanks to Cathy L., who prepared the food and drink and made everything wonderful.  Kudos to Anna and JoAnne with an excellent gift basket, which was won by Nancy Z. of Certified Bank Trainer.

Gavin

AVCC After-5a

Bryley Employees in Worcester Business Journal

There have been some changes recently at Bryley, and the Worcester Business Journal has commented:

MICHELLE DENIO has been promoted and JAMES WHEELERand TELLY CASTERNOPOULOS hired at Information technology service provider Bryley Systems of Hudson. Denio was promoted to administrative support technician. She joined Bryley Systems in 2008 and is a resident of Clinton. Wheeler has been hired as an Internet marketing associate. He is the assistant clerk for the town of Berlin. Wheeler has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Maine in Orono. Casternopoulos joins Bryley as service desk technician. He served with the U.S. Army for five years at the rank of sergeant. He was an air traffic control maintenance technician and served in the Information Management Office while stationed in Iraq.”

Read the full article here.

Hackers Hijack Email Contacts

Have you received a rogue email from a friend or acquaintance that seems out of character?  For example:  Why is Aunt Mildred calling me “Friend” in her email?  Or, does neighbor Fred really want me to invest in Nigeria?

Odds are, their email accounts – particularly if located at online services like Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, or Windows Live Hotmail – have been hijacked.  (Visit About.com at About.com:Free Email Review for a review of the top 16 free email services by Heinz Tschabitscher.)

With an online service, the email application is cloud-based; the application does not reside locally on the computer, so it is probably the online account that has been compromised.  (Your PC could also be infected, which is discussed later.) Typically, the password is discovered, providing an easy entry to stored emails (which could contain sensitive information) and a contact list that can be exploited.

If this happens to you, login to your account and take these steps:

  • Change your password – Use a complex password with at least eight upper and lower-case characters, numbers and special characters.  (Please See the January 2013 issue of Bryley Tips and Information for the article “Simple passwords = disaster” at Bryley-Tips-and-Information-January-2013
  • Change your Recovery Information (challenge questions) – If the hacker has account access, he/she can retrieve your challenge questions.  Using these questions, he can then reenter the account after you change the password.
  • Set the highest-possible level of security – Select the highest-possible level, even though it adds complexity to the login process.
  • Check related accounts – You might have put passwords into saved emails that the hacker can now access.  Change your passwords and your Recovery Information on all other accounts that might have been compromised.
  • Contact list – Email the folks in your Contact list and tell them:  “I am having an issue with my email account, which I am addressing.  Please contact me if you receive an unusual email that appears to have come from my email address.  Do not open any links within the email itself.”
  • Backup emails and contacts – Backups allow recovery; backup your contacts whenever you add or change a contact.  Backup your emails as often as necessary to keep from losing stored emails.

As with any account, change your password regularly and change your challenge questions periodically.  Visit the About.com article on how to change your Gmail at About.com: Change Your Gmail Password.

For a related article by Leo Notenboom at Ask Leo, please visit Ask-Leo.com: How to stop someone sending email with my address.

If the email application reside locally and connects to a secure site, your PC would be suspect and should be interrogated by virus and malware scanners.  You should also scrutinize your Microsoft Outlook contacts and rename the Contacts folder.

It is still possible that your computer is infected; your account information might have been recovered through a keyboard logger that records your keystrokes and sends them to the hacker.  If so, you need to clean-up your computer before taking the steps above.

Why business users might consider an Ultrabook over a Tablet.

It seems that tablet computers are in the news daily, from Apple’s iPad (iOS) to Microsoft’s Surface (Windows RT) to Samsung’s Galaxy (Droid).  I like a tablet for viewing, but typing on a bare tablet is not the same as using a full keyboard.  Also, compatibility with office-productivity applications is limited on most tablets.
Ultrabooks are not getting the same press, but for those who want that keyboard and a few ports with their computer, ultrabooks are smaller, thinner, and lighter than notebook computers; they come with Microsoft Windows 8 (or can be legally downgraded to Windows 7) for full compatibility with your office applications.
Tablets have a clear advantage on weight, price, and screen resolution; perfect for viewing (inexpensively) movies, reading books, checking reports, etc.  Ultrabooks usually have greater storage capacity and can support legacy items like DVDs, making them a better replacement for your notebook or desktop computer.
Basically, it comes down to usage and preference; both ultrabooks and tablets continue to evolve, taking features from one another.  There are more tablets out there, but ultrabooks, many now with the touch-screen capabilities of Windows 8, are evolving and coming on strong.
InformationWeek has an informative article Tablet Vs. Ultrabook: 10 Ways to Choose by Jeff Bertolucci on choosing between a tablet and an ultrabook. 
ComputerWorld has the article 3 Windows 8 ultrabooks: Lightweight and powerful  by Brian Nadel who briefly compares ultrabooks (favorably) to tablets before reviewing ultrabook models from HP, Sony, and Toshiba.

Bryley Referral Program

Those that refer Bryley Systems to a potential client automatically receive a thank-you card with a $10 gift certificate to Dunkin Donuts.

If the referral results in a new client for Bryley Systems, we also offer your choice of one of these two options:
– Two-hours of computer assistance from a Bryley tech; a $270 value, or
– A $125 VISA gift card.

If you wish to refer a client, friend, or prospect to Bryley Systems, please contact us at 978.562.6077 or email Ideas@Bryley.com