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Why You Should Stop Using BitTorrent

Sep 1st, 2016 | Posted by | Filed under Indianapolis IT support
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BitTorrent facilitators are facing another disparaging malware attack.  Popular client Transmission was unknowingly distributing a brand of malware known as “OSX/Keydnap”. This is a backdoor program which target Macs in order to steal passwords and gain root access to the user’s computer. 

This should be concerning to users because earlier this year, another similarly coded “KeRanger” ransomware was discovered in the Transmission client. This was believed to be the FIRST TIME the Apple operating system has dealt with ransomware, as Macs have curated a brand known for “not getting viruses.”

Photo credit Paloalto Networks

Screenshot from Paloalto Networks

There are certainly legal and legitimate reasons to use torrenting. The concept, founded by Brahm Cohen , was to help small publishers with slower upload speeds share content. Sites like “The Pirate Bay” have given torrenting a bad name, by breaking copyright laws and helping people large of people obtain free media illegally. But even if you plan to use torrenting for completely legitimate reasons, the question becomes not if it’s legal, but if it is worth the potential threat to your computer and your company’s network.

Here are some dangers to using BitTorrent clients:

  • Anyone can see your IP Address: When someone downloads a torrent they can see information about the contributing peer, including your IP address. This is a useful tool for hackers to easily search for computers that might be vulnerable.
  • Dangerous advertising: Torrenting sites don’t always have your best interest at hearts, especially those that operate like Pirate Bay and do not worry about the legality of the content. These types of torrenting sites have advertisements that are annoying and have the potential to contain malware – because the site is more worried about making money than protecting it’s users.
  • Executable files: It is natural to be suspicious of a file that wants to execute a program on your computer. However, if you were going to BitTorrent to download something, you may be less suspicious and grant access to an executable file that ends up being malware searching for personal information on your computer. The malware could be secretly included with the legitimate file.
  • Compromised data: If a torrent file is located in the same folder as other critical information, it is possible a user could accidently include access to this folder when they upload and download torrents. If done on a work computer, these files could contain private company information.
  • Internet Speed: Internet service providers do not trust torrenting clients, and may throttle your internet downloading speed as a result. This could result in reduced speed for all your internet usage, and for your ISP to begin closely monitoring, and possibly even report, your usage.

By Scott Martin - Own workThis vector image includes elements that have been taken or adapted from this:  Desktop computer clipart - Yellow theme.svg.This vector image includes elements that have been taken or adapted from this:  Arrlr.svg (by Harlekin96)., CC BY-SA 3.0

By Scott Martin

BitTorrent began years ago, before Google Drive and Dropbox gained the popularity they have today. It filled a need in a time when internet speeds were slower and people needed a way to quickly distribute files. But now that safer alternatives exist – it’s time to take a step back. If your company is still using torrenting to distribute files, or allows users to do so for their own means – ask yourself this: is it worth the risk?

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Dropbox Business AdminX Update to Make Collaboration More Secure

Aug 25th, 2016 | Posted by | Filed under Indianapolis IT support
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Dropbox – it’s not just for storing documents anymore. The file storage company has 500 million users with three different levels of membership – basic, pro, and business. The business level allows for collaboration with a team and has additional safety features such as permission levels and administrator tools. These tools are being refreshed with latest update Admin X.

Background

            AdminX started as an internal movement last year. The idea is to take Dropbox’s user-first approach to design and tailor it so that IT professionals can better empower and protect company data. Admin tools have always existed, but they are now easier to use and provide more flexibility. AdminX is the name of the revitalized admin control dashboard.

Screenshot from official Dropbox blog

Screenshot from official Dropbox blog

Team Folder Updates 

            Admin X is primarily an update to team folders and security controls relevant to them. A team folder is essentially a “digital hub” for sharing documents. It a way to ensure members have access to the files most relevant to their productivity without having to search through a company’s entire database. Here is an overview of team folders:

  • Team control: Administrators can invite people to this team folder whether they are a member of your Dropbox Business account or are an outside collaborator. Before, controls only allowed for a single file or entire DropBox to be shared to an outside user, causing too little or too much data to be accessible to freelancers and contractors.
  • Syncing: Admins can decide if files sync automatically to team members, if they do so differently based on the kind of device, and the total number of devices that can be synced. If there are security concerns for certain files to be viewed on mobile, these new syncing tools will help address that.
  • Permission Controls: All the granular permission tools are now easy to view in one place. Admins can set whether a team member can simply view or download a file, or whether they can also delete and edit them. This ensures an important file is not accidently deleted.
  • Improved event logging: If something goes wrong with a document, admins can figure out who did it and when with an audit log. The new event logging shows all the edits and versions of a file along with the username and IP address of who did it. This inclusion of IP address could be vital if someone is worried their account has been compromised.

Screenshot of team folder manager in Dropbox Business Admin Console

Screenshot from official Dropbox blog

These tools will roll out over time, unless an interested user would like to sign up for early access.

Next Steps

If YOUR businesses wants to join the 200,000 companies currently using Dropbox Business, there’s no better time to do so. With the recent Dropbox Infinite update helping with storage, and new administrator tools rolling out – Dropbox is on the side of innovation and productivity for your company.

L5 Solutions is a proud Dropbox partner. We are happy to announce that for a limited time we can offer a discount to help your company share easier and safer. Sign up now through L5 Solutions to receive a FREE 1-year user license ($150 Value) with the purchase of a base business plan.

To learn more about how to get your FREE 1 year license, fill out this simple contact form. .

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The CryptoVirus Threat: How to Prevent and Prepare for the Ransomware Attack

Aug 17th, 2016 | Posted by | Filed under Indianapolis IT support
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CyptoWall, CryptoDefense, CryptoLocker…different names for the same powerful ransomware virus.  You know that you are the victim of a CryptoVirus if you see a message like this:

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The moment you see this on your computer is likely to be intimidating- and for good reason. You should take a CryptoVirus seriously, as encrypted files can never be decrypted without the key. It’s important to be educated on what the virus does, how to prepare for it, and what to do if you find yourself a victim.

What is a CryptoVirus

CryptoViruses can enter your computer the way other malware does such as unpatched versions of Java or Flash and phishing emails. Once the Zip file runs on your computer, a Trojan will place itself in a location such as AppData or Local App Data and add a key to ensure it always runs as soon as you start up your computer.

The Trojan malware then encrypts files on BOTH the hard drive and accessible network drives. The CryptoVirus has now gained access to these files and hidden them behind a private key. It will inform you that you cannot get your files back unless you pay them a ransom within a certain time frame.

How to Prevent a CryptoVirus

Don’t wait for a virus to hit your computer to create a proper defense plan.

  • Security Training: Make sure your team is informed about the latest Crypto threats, and knows how to identify suspicious emails. Show examples and inform people to call and ask a sender before opening an email they are unsure about.
  • Routine Patching: Every program on your computer, from Java to your Antivirus system, should be patched as soon as one is released. Hackers take advantage of discovered flaws in older versions.
  • Restrictions: It is possible to put restrictions on the computer for software downloads and files executing automatically. This can limit the download of legitimate files, but is worth it to protect from virus threats.
  • Backup your data: Whether it’s on an external hard drive or on a cloud solution, restoring from a data backup is the only way to retrieve your files. Without they key, you will likely never get those files back in the current form. A backup ensures minimal data loss if you are updating it frequently.

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If you Have a CryptoVirus On Your Computer

Whether it’s personal items such as family pictures or information vital to your everyday productivity such as workplace documents, it might feel tempting to pay the ransom. But if at all possible, do not pay the CryptoVirus hacker.

Yes- your files are important. But there is a chance that even if you pay- the hackers might not give the files back. They are already taking part in illegal activity, and have no reason to return the files to you.

You should also consider that paying hackers makes CryptoViruses a business model. By giving them money, you are reinforcing the idea that they can profit off innocent people accidently downloading a file. It will only encourage them to continue to improve the virus.

Instead, make sure you are working with an IT professional who is equipped to restore a backup and run scans to ensure your computer is now virus free.

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The CryptoVirus has taken different forms in the past, and hackers will likely continue to modify this powerful form of ransomware. We know your files are important. Stay informed, update programs, and invest in a back-up solution and your data will be defended from the tactic these hackers try next.

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When Lightning Strikes: Protecting Your Computer from a Thunderstorm

Aug 10th, 2016 | Posted by | Filed under Indianapolis IT support
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In July 2014, a thunderstorm hit Indiana that caused a power outage effecting thousands – both individuals and businesses. A smaller but still significant outage happened just this year in Boone County. Summer is still in full-swing, and the risk of more thunderstorms is present. This means it is a good time to take a look at what a power outage can do to your company’s technology and how to prepare for it.

 

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Power Outage Dangers

  • Unexpected computer shutdown:Ideally you only want your computer to shut it down when you have told it to do so. This is because there are sequences your computer goes through to safely shut down programs when you’re turning it off. If this does not happen – files that were not finished writing to the disk can become corrupted.
  • Power Surges: Lightning strikes can strike at over several million volts. No device without protection can handle that amount of power. If there’s a power surge, it will hit your computer’s power first. This means a good possibility that your computer will not reboot until the power supply has been replaced. Sometimes, a power surge can do even more damage, reaching the video card or even the motherboard, leading to expensive repairs or possibly replacing the device.

How to Prepare

If you have advance notice of the storm, here are some precautions you can take.

  • Unplug your computer: Turning OFF your computer is not going to be enough. The only way to be 100% safe from a power surge is making sure there is no power to experience the surge. This might be frustrating, but is still the safest option. You are going to want to do the same with your routers, servers, and other electronic equipment.
  • Back-up your data: Ensure all your work is backed up on either your cloud or an external hard drive. If you have to work from home because of a storm, the data will be with you, and there’s no chance in losing it if a power surge happens.
  • Invest in an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS): A UPS has a built in battery that can help sustain your computer in the event of sudden power loss. You can also program the UPS to safely shut down your PC after a certain amount of time. A UPS is safer than surge protector – which usually stops working the first or second outage and will not protect you from a lightning strike.

UPS
 

 

How to Recover

Storms can be unexpected, and precautions can fail. If you find that your company does not have a plan for your server or technology in a storm, you are going to want to turn to a managed service provider. Here at L5 Solutions, we can put systems in place to protect your technology, or if need be, successfully restore backups and re-install operating systems.

Our client Patricia says “Prior to doing business with L5 I always worried about weather and what that would mean for our business’s connectivity (servers, computers, etc.), but I have to say, that since having L5 Solutions provide their IT services to our business has provided such piece of mind.”

Don’t let a thunderstorm be the reason you lose company data or have to buy a new device. Keep an eye on approaching storms, and put systems in place to protect your technology. It only takes a few minutes, and could save you hours or even days of headaches.

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How to Get Your Company Secure for the BYOD Mobile Trend

Aug 3rd, 2016 | Posted by | Filed under Indianapolis IT support
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The Growing Trend

Mobile devices have changed the face of the workforce. According to Tech Pro Research – 74% percent of businesses survey allow or plan to soon allow employees to “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) to work.  In industries like construction where employees are often out of the office setting – this can allow for increased productivity and workflow.

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Extreme Risk

But while companies embrace this technology, they have forgotten a key step – security preparedness. Mobile Security and Risk Review reports that “less 5% of enterprises are using mobile threat detection.” Additionally, 63% of companies have no policy in place regarding the kind of data employees can have on their mobile device.

These numbers should be scary because these risk have had consequences. In 2015, 6 million devices faced a malware infection. That’s 32 for every 1,000 devices. And users aren’t always aware their phone is infected (only 26% are)– leading to thousands of devices that never get cleaned.

How You Can Prepare

With so many different devices out there, it can seem overwhelming to protect them. But there are sure-fire ways to protect your data that can be done across almost any device.

  • Create a Policy: Before the question of security even comes into play, it is important for a company to have a policy for BYOD and mobile use outside of the work place. What kind of activities can an employee do? Just check email, or be able to access customer databases as well? Where can employees use their devices? Setting this up ahead of time can avoid headaches later.
  • Two-Factor Authentication: Additional to a password there are other forms of access mobile devices offer, such as a fingerprint scanner. This makes it that much harder for someone to hack your device.
  • Remote wipe capabilities: If a device is lost or stolen, remote wiping can be useful. While any data unique to that phone could be lost, it is much safer than letting that valuable information fall into the wrong hands. Some phones have settings to wipe after a certain number of failed password attempts.
  • Encryption: Sensitive files and data should be encrypted before viewed on a mobile device, especially over an unprotected wireless network. Apple has had an encryption file system in place for quite a few years on the iPhone. When the iPhone is locked, files are encrypted until the passcode is reentered. Android does not have the same protections automatically, but they can be enabled.
  • Provide training: A good employee is not going to be negligent and allow a data leak on purpose. More than likely, they simply didn’t know the correct way to access sensitive data. Providing routine security training and educating employees on the current threats can help them me more aware.

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In Conclusion

Mobile devices are a sign of innovation and are unlikely to leave the workplace anytime soon. This is a good thing for productivity and moving business forward, but comes with new security risks. Coming up with a policy and putting security measures in places will assure your business is ready to embrace a BYOD policy.

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Malvertising: Protecting Yourself from Malicious Ads

Jul 27th, 2016 | Posted by | Filed under Indianapolis IT support
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We’ve gotten smarter about malware. An email with a strange looking sender or a suspicious link is easy to avoid when you know how to look for it. But malware does not always make itself so obvious. Sometimes, it acts more like a chameleon and is able to slip in to legitimate websites. One form of this is known as “malvertising.”

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Understanding Malvertising

Malvertising is a particularly deceptive form of malware which poses as a genuine advertisement on a website, but is actually holding malware. Some of these ads do not even require you clicking on them to do damage- simply scrolling over them can be enough. There are even forms of malvertising that do not need ANY kind of interaction. All you have to do is visit an infected page.

The scary thing is that avoiding unsecure websites is not a plan to keep you safe from malvertising. In the past, malvertising has attacked major websites such as Yahoo, AOL, and The New York Times. Hackers want to place these ads on high-traffic websites such as these to reach more people.

You can check out our infographic below more to learn more about the threat of malvertising, which continues to grow year after year (between 2014 and 2015, the amount of malvertising tripled). What you need to know is that the threat is growing and is all over the internet.

It’s important to note that the payload for the majority of malvertising is ransomware. Ransomware is when a hacker “holds your computer hostage”  in some way and demands something, usually money, in order to release your computer. Often there will be some kind of time element to make the threat more compelling.

Malvertising Infographic
What You Can Do

            Because malvertising can occur on websites you trust and visit daily, avoiding the risks is not so much about caution but PRECAUTION, as in putting systems in place before you ever go to a website.

  • Installing an ad blocker: This can greatly minimize the threat of malvertising, however some sites will block their content when they detect one installed for revenue reasons. Therefore, if you want to go to one of these sites you will need additional security in place.
  • Click-to-run browser settings: Browsers have settings so that Flash and Java do not take action automatically, and instead must be clicked on to run. This is a step to make sure you control what you see and not the advertisement. Flash in particular is a popular target for cyber criminals.
  • Keep your computer updated: Malware is looking for vulnerabilities in your system. Patches and updates are released for browsers, operating systems, and security programs frequently once issues are discovered. Even an old version of Java or Flash could present a risk. Don’t let malware find this weakness and make sure everything on your computer is updated frequently.

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L5 Solutions believes in multi-layer systems to protect our clients from threats such as these. We have tested multiple anti-virus systems to find one we most recommend and have strong firewall systems on any computer we monitor. For laptops used on the go that are outside of the office, we have other security systems in place to ensure protection.

Cyber criminals are always going to be looking for new ways to comprise your computer. Malvertising may be a current “fad”, but as people better educate themselves it may lose popularity. This is why it is so important to ALWAYS practice safe browsing and to stay aware of current threats. Cyber criminals may be smart, but we can be smarter.

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L5 Solutions 10 Year Anniversary, Part 2: The Team

Jul 21st, 2016 | Posted by | Filed under Indianapolis IT support
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When you call L5 Solutions, you are not calling an automated system, but a group of people. The L5 team is made up of people at different points in their careers who bring different experiences and knowledge sets to the table. Some come from the corporate world, others from healthcare, etc.  However, they have several things in common that make them a team – and it’s not just the fact that two of our technicians are named Nick.

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  1. They Like Working With Customers

All the technicians say that one of their favorite things about working at L5 is the variety of the work. “We get to be a part of a lot different sectors while doing the same work” Wyatt describes it.

This means interacting with lots of people on a daily basis. Nick Grady says that it feels “great when you can help them quickly” and focuses on remote work while Wyatt enjoys going on site because of the in-person interaction and the ability to help multiple people at once. “It’s great to see them happy once their stuff is working.”

  1. They Work as a Team

Since every day is a little different, the technicians at L5 work together to solve problems, whether that’s giving advice or tackling something together. Everyone can bring their various knowledge and experience to the table.

Josh says it makes him feel confident knowing “somebody will be able to help you out” and that the end product is ultimately better as a result. He describes the technician team as a culture of being inviting and learning, so that everyone can thrive.

Delegating can also be key, especially when it’s a situation that required all hands on deck. If a server goes down, speed is key to get a company back up and running. This means everyone needs to pitch in and problem solve.

  1. They Believe L5 is different

Josh describes his IT working experiences before L5 as restricted – “You have to stay in the box”. But at L5, he feels more freedom to be conversational with clients and he is able to resolve issues more efficiently. He doesn’t feel held back by a corporate “script”, and is better able to understand and bond with the client as a result.

Nick Rabiola echoes these ideas, saying “We do things differently for different places because we do what makes sense.” He feels there’s less red tape and so things get done faster, instead of his experiences with other companies where “you only see things one way.”

For Nick Grady, all of this translates to a better response time and what he feels is simply a more organized work environment. This organization looks like better, consistent documentation, with a ticketing system updated daily to ensure everyone is on the same page. It also leads to superior problem solving. “We’re in the business of doing it the right way”, says Wyatt. “We have systems that we know work every time.” When a ticket comes in, it’s not just about solving an individual issue. It’s about following best practices and “asking the right questions” to understand what a client is truly trying to accomplish and why. That way, they can be set up to avoid future issues.

 A Non-Technical Viewpoint

            As for me, Miranda Lenar, there has been something exciting about being the first full-time marketing person for L5 Solutions. For almost a decade, L5 has grown simply on word of mouth and providing quality service to their clients. There is something powerful and organic about that, and I love hearing from our customers about how pleased they are with our personable nature and fast response time.

I look forward to continuing to get stories of both clients and technicians and improve my communication with our audience.

This has been a look at the team behind the name here at L5 Solutions. We are excited to continue minimizing technology frustration and putting our best foot forward for our client’s success.

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L5 Solutions’ 10 Year Anniversary (Part 1: History)

Jul 20th, 2016 | Posted by | Filed under Indianapolis IT support
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L5 Solutions is celebrating 10 years of minimizing technology frustrations for our customers. Therefore, it is a good time to stop and take a look back. This is part one of a two-part series getting to know the people behind the computer, starting with Frank Howard and what led him to founding L5 Solutions.

Before L5

Frank was introduced to the atmosphere of small business from a young age and it was a consistent part of his development. His mother owned a beauty shop attached to their house, and as a young teen Frank worked with local farmers. In high school, he worked at a local video store. These all taught him important values he would carry into his professional career such as hard work, customer service, and how to really take care of a customer.

It makes sense then that Frank would spend 12 years at a small engineering firm, Frakes Engineering, doing roles from computer drafting to IT to ultimately General Manager. This showed him what else a small business can offer – and that’s the “awe inspiring” investment into the lives of their employees. His coworkers were able to do successful work, while still having time to raise and advance their families.

“Burning the Ship”

Despite enjoying using his technical and management skills for Frakes, Frank felt there was a missing piece to his day to day work, and that was working with customers. He wanted the opportunity to make an impact by helping people “effectively use technology to improve their situation” and thus spread their own personal impact.

But “you can’t get anywhere by yourself”, and so it was with the help of Kirk, Frank was able to “burn the ship” of a comfortable job and make the leap into starting a small business of his own. He brought with him all the lessons and ideals from the professional experiences that came before. The pair worked out of their houses for a year before moving into open office space at Frakes – in the beginning sharing a desk area.

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Behind The Name

            In looking for a name, Frank turned to a book he had received in a peer group called “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. “Leadership has always been something I liked,” he recalls, and the Level 5 leadership described in the book was something that resonated with him – a blend of “deep personal humility” and “intense personal will.”

Focus on Service

            As L5 Solutions grew, so did the team behind it. “The tech part is the easy part, the people part is what’s hard”, was the mentality Frank used in choosing members to bring on. It was important to him that the company’s technicians understood how to work with people who were frustrated about their technology. He wanted team members who cared about the issues of their clients personally. If they didn’t know the answer right away, they would figure it out, because fixing the problem mattered.

Check out part 2 for more about the technicians at L5.

As the industry changed with the additions of new technology, L5 focused on maintaining this personal customer service versus the “bleeding edge of technology.” Frank felt it was more important to evaluate the pros and cons of new innovations and worry about what makes sense for the client than attempt to offer only the new fads and buzzwords.

The same ideals went into the problem solving mindset which L5 works. Instead of just fixing a problem to make it go away, Frank wanted to focus instead on efficiency on both ends. What was the real root of the problem to make sure another one didn’t happen in the future? Success was measured more by reducing issues that needed to be reported, not the number of ones that were solved. Staying small allowed L5 to do this on a personalized level for each company.

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  Future Goals

            The goals of L5 Solutions will not change going into the next decade. No matter what kind of growth the company experiences, the focus will be on adding “the right customers, on the right plan to make us all successful.” We will continue to help our clients leverage technology to improve their business.

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Don’t get hacked: 5 Tips For A Secure Password

Jul 6th, 2016 | Posted by | Filed under Indianapolis IT support
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It has not been a good summer for password security. Within the last few months, LinkedIn and Twitter have had issues with leaked login information, and big names such as Mark Zuckerberg and Katy Perry have seen their accounts hacked.

While at first glance it can appear scary, these leaks can be used as a learning experience for both websites and individuals. For example, according to TechCrunch, over 120,000 accounts simply had “123456” as their password and 17,000 accounts chose only “password.” While you can’t control the security of an outside party, you CAN control the strength of your password.

 

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Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when creating a password:

    1. Variety is your friend
      • This tip is two-fold. One, avoid using the same password for multiple sites. This way if your information is compromised hackers only have access to one account and not ALL OF THEM. Two, don’t repeat characters in a password (such as 444enter), and combine uppercase/lowercase letters with special characters, numbers, and spaces.
    2. Misspell words/leave out letters
      • If it’s not the dictionary, it will be harder to crack. So leaving vowels out of some words in a password or other misspellings may feel like betraying your English teacher but will create a more secure password (example: wldntUlike2know?)
    3. Hint list
      • It can be tempting to have a document with all your passwords saved on your computer for easy use. While this is convenient, anyone who gains access to the computer can then login to any account. If you MUST have a written list, try a password manager. But a better option is creating a document with personalized password hints only you’ll remember.
    4. Phrases versus words
      • If a long combination of letters, numbers, and characters is difficult to remember, try a phrase. You can replace certain word with numbers to get variety while achieving longer length, such as E@sy2useSE
    5. Meaningful > Random
      • It makes sense that longer is better. But still, some people would probably assume F4%sd! Is safer than Makinmagic2daymate. But length trumps randomness, and will be easier to remember anyway. However, it is important to remember the words chosen not be easy to find like names of family members or pets.

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Having difficulty coming up with a password? Try Xkpasswd. It allows you to put in a desired number of modifiers to fit the requirements you need. For safety, it is best to change one of the words to assure you are the ONLY one who knows the password you decide to use.

Don’t let your information be the next to be compromised. Use these tips to keep your password memorable but safe, and update it frequently- especially on your most sensitive information such as your bank login. It might seem a hassle – but recent news have taught us it’s not worth the risk.

Additional source:

http://lifehacker.com/5876541/use-this-infographic-to-pick-a-good-strong-password

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Custom Software Development from Beginning to End

Jun 29th, 2016 | Posted by | Filed under Guest Post
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Today’s guest author is Sara Dillard, Director of Communications at Inverse-Square. She works on creating marketing messages as well as managing the “Team Awesome” brand.  You can follow her on twitter at @mssaradillard.

Contracting a software development company to build a custom web application to support your business processes may seem daunting, but with the extensive knowledge and experience of the custom software developers at Inverse-Square, we can make sure that the engagement is as smooth and stress free as possible.

The following steps give a high level view of what you can expect during a typical custom software engagement.

Step 1: Presentation 

We begin our relationship with a few meetings to get to know you, to understand what you need, to explain what we can offer you, and then finally to demonstrate how we can work together. Integrity and transparency are our core values and we promise that there will never be any funny business.

The first meeting is generally a, ‘are we a good fit‘ kind of meeting. In our second, we will delve deeper into the challenges your organization are facing. And at the third meeting, we will present you with a plan of how we will overcome your challenges and increase your process efficiency with process automation.

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Step 2: Assessment

If your problem is especially intricate, it may require that we go through a brief assessment period to thoroughly understand all of the details involved. This usually takes two to three days but is not required for everyone.

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Step 3: Design

The design phase is when we create the custom software blue print. Expect a number of meetings, phone calls, and emails during this step as we will need a lot of information from you. The design generally makes up between10% and 20% of the project. During this step, we build wireframes and hash out functional requirements. At this point everyone involved with the project will be clear as to what’s being built and why.

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Step 4: Build

Things begin to come to life during the build stage. The Developers start to develop, our Business Analysts will continue to clarify and demonstrate progress, and you will be kept up to date with weekly project reports.

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Step 5: Acceptance

Along the way and when the application has been completed, you will have the opportunity to accept (or reject) the work that is being presented to you. Once you have accepted it, your warranty period will begin.

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Step 6: Warranty and Upgrades

We encourage our clients to consider engaging in an enhancement plan to keep their application up to pace with their needs. Enhancements are items that can be seen as a lack in functionality that escalate in priority until the items are worth building, and will also ensure that your application keeps pace with new technology.

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For a more in-depth look at a custom software development life cycle, sign up today for our free tutorial that will walk you through the process from the beginning brainstorming sessions, through to the build, the implementation, and finally to installation and beyond!

The Custom Software Guide   

Inverse-Square is a custom software development shop based in Indianapolis. We build software that makes business processes easier.

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