Deck Builder Cyber Security

Cyber security for construction firms is becoming increasingly important as computer hackers take down strong computer networks and find evermore creative ways to steal passwords and other personal information with viruses. In the home construction industry, companies need to protect customer data by implementing basic security measures and training their employees on how to spot viruses and hacking attempts. Albany Deck Builders is a deck construction company that trains its employees on how to protect company data by scanning for computer viruses and staying vigilant. Each deck expert at Albany Deck Builders goes through hours of training on identifying and reporting spoofing emails, strong password creation, and how to do basic computer scans to remove potential threats. Visit Albany Deck Builders’ website at www.deckbuildersalbanyny.com to learn more about the cyber security measures their experts use to keep company data safe. The construction industry security measures are:

Virus Protection – Avast, Norton, and McAfee offer great virus removal software that scans for potential threats, quarantines it and removes it on command. Deck building companies store customer names and addresses, which need to be kept safe, so this is a helpful tool to ensure that happens.

Limited Personal Data – In addition to virus removal software, Albany Deck Builders’ team stores only the data that needs to be stored and nothing more.  Customer name, address, and phone number are the only personal details kept in the computer system. Some construction companies store other data elements, which opens them up to unnecessary security risks.

Access Points – Deck experts should only access custom profile data from the company’s internal network. The intranet setup at the deck company has superior cyber security measures, including custom network access and a powerful firewall. These two features aid in preventing unauthorized access from outside parties. You must have a computer registered on the network in order to access the servers at all.

Email Spoofing – The Albany deck team goes through email spoof training to learn how to spot phishing emails. Employees also randomly receive test spoofing emails during the day that they can report. If they accidentally click on one, they are sent to an employee training on identification so it doesn’t happen again.

With all 4 security measures in place, construction companies like Albany Deck Builders can better safeguard their customer data and protect the company from lawsuits.

Medical & Dental Website Protection

In the age of the Internet it’s more important than ever to make sure data is secure. With high profile data breaches like Target, JC Penney’s, and other major retailers being targeted, small businesses need to stay vigilant and do what they can to protect the personal information of their customers and clients. Medical professionals, specifically dentists, need to be very careful to ensure patient medical data is safe and secure at all times to protect privacy and avoid lawsuits. The 3 elements of medical and dental website protection are (1) virus protection, (2) a firewall, and (3) an updated website with proper security measures.

Virus Protection

The 1st priority for a dentist website is virus protection. Hackers and data thieves use viruses as the main way to access confidential information. It’s difficult to break a long password to get into a website, but it’s very easily to pass along a virus via email. Norton Antivirus is one of the leading virus protection applications on the market today and that’s the one we recommend dentists use on their websites. The dental website needs a layer of security to prevent unwarranted access and keep client data safe. Applications like Norton will scan the website daily to ensure rootkits, keyloggers, and other data-stealing viruses are not present. If something is found, the application quarantines the virus and deletes it securely.

Firewall

The 2nd level of security we recommend for both medical and dental websites is a firewall. A firewall is a security device, typically software, that one can install to protect the Internet network and block unauthorized access to data. Firewalls can be setup to only allow access within a given radius, specific areas, or specific IP addresses. By filtering traffic that passes through the network, this extra layer of security helps ensure dental patient information does not fall into the wrong hands.

Update Website

The 3rd level of security which may seem like commonsense is an updated website. The majority of websites are hosted on WordPress, a free platform that millions of people worldwide work on continuously to upgrade and improve its code. WordPress consistently updates their platform to ensure the highest level of security by patching vulnerabilities that have been discovered. If you do not update the WordPress core theme every so often, a vulnerability may be exploited to steal information. Dental websites need to either turn on “auto-updates” or manually update the theme every so often to make sure all of the software patches are applied as soon as they are released.

Between virus protection, a strong firewall, and an updated websites, dentist can better protect themselves against data theft and prevent a lawsuit from their patients.

2019’s Top Cyber Threats

Cyber security threats have gotten more and more sophisticated every year. The usual cyber attacks still involve malware, phishing, hacking, and more but new methods to circumvent information security systems are in constant development, putting billions of individual, corporation, and government data at risk. Cyber crime rates are at an all-time high and is still expected to increase in the coming decades as we rely more and more on our gadgets and on the internet to process and store information for us.

Cyber security attacks may have grave consequences in our personal lives as well as in the safety of our environment and stability of our society. These cyber attacks may cause disruption over public systems connected to the internet or may even malfunction household appliances once the Internet of Things (IoT) is hijacked using ransomware.

Cyber security threats are ever-evolving and we look at the significant trends for 2019 and the years to come.

1. Phishing

Phishing attacks occur when a system-generated message is sent to an individual’s email, fooling him/her to click on a link that will download and install malware or ransomware into that individual’s computer system. There are other ways of phishing but this is the most common method being used. Nowadays, due to advancements in artificial intelligence, hackers can compose and distribute more convincing fake messages and they have gotten more ambitious by turning to organizations as primary targets of their cyber attacks.

2. Ransomware

Another cyber security threat that organizations are most susceptible to is ransomware. Using more advanced technologies, hackers can kidnap an organization’s database containing highly confidential information and will only release it once a ransom has been paid. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin enable these hackers to get paid and remain completely anonymous, without their location or identity being traced or exposed.

3. Cryptojacking

There is a limited supply of cryptocurrency like just gold. And comparable to gold, one of the ways to acquire cryptocurrency is through mining, which requires tremendous amounts of computer processing power. And so, hackers hijack other computer systems to mine for cryptocurrency, causing serious performance issues or even malfunction in the hijacked system while the hackers reap the rewards.

4. Cyber-Physical Attacks

Critical infrastructure and public systems that are connected to the internet such as the electrical grid, transportation system, water treatment facilities, and even military systems are at high-risk of being the target of major cyber attacks. Cyber security efforts are focused on these systems as they can affect the general public and may cause civil unrest and even wars.

5. Cyber Warfare

In the past decade, many countries have started investing and paying attention to cyber warfare. The internet has become another battleground in this digital age. State-sponsored cyber attacks are ongoing daily without us even realizing it. Individuals are not the only ones vulnerable but the whole nation as well.

6. Internet of Things (IoT) Attack

Almost all of our gadgets and appliances are now connected to the internet – computers, mobile phones, routers, smart watches, automobiles, smart televisions, refrigerators, and home security systems. The information that we store in these gadgets and appliances can be easily used by companies and hackers alike to their benefit. The ability to access these things through the internet can also enable them to control its functions without them being at close proximity, which is just a scary thought.

7. Smart Medical Devices and Electronic Medical Records (EMRs)

Many people have come to rely on smart medical devices and a lot of hospitals and clinics use EMRs to monitor the health of their patients. The cyber security threat against these technology is that hackers can access and manipulate the information to their advantage, to the detriment of the people relying on these devices.

Top 5 Anti-Virus Software

As the latest technological advancements keep taking place from time to time, there are several risks that keep coming up at the same time. As we are headed towards a digital revolution, there is also an increased risk of various Internet security threats that we need to keep note of in the modern era. Online security has become worse due to the wide number of malicious threats from the potential hackers and other groups that aim at stealing away confidential data for their profits.

Thankfully, to safeguard your computer system from the potential threats out there, you can come across several feature-rich antivirus software solutions. Some of the famous ones are:

  1. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2019: This is one of the best antivirus software solutions out there that goes beyond the concept of merely being referred to as “competent.” The antivirus software comes with robust web filters that help in preventing access to suspicious websites. In the latest edition, Bitdefender antivirus software has fortified the antivirus package with advanced ransomware protection offering additional protection from malicious threats on the web.

 

  1. Norton AntiVirus Basic 2018: In addition to serving a wide range of antivirus protection features, the Norton AntiVirus Basic software is highly cost-effective at the same time. With this antivirus software, the PC remains defended with help from the threefold protection layers that are available in the form of URL blocker. Moreover, the advanced behavior monitoring algorithm helps in removing any intruder exhibiting suspicious behavior.

 

  1. ESET NOD32 Antivirus: The highly real-time anti-ransomware and anti-malware protection offered by the ESET NOD32 antivirus software helps you achieve peace of mind for the protection of your PC. Understanding the importance of antivirus protection beyond the arena of the web, the ESET NOD32 antivirus software also offers a dedicated device control module that prevents the spreading of the virus from the USB & other connected devices.

 

  1. Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus: This is a famous cloud-based antivirus software solution includes an anti-phishing engine offering protection in real-time. The antivirus software also features anti-ransomware and intelligent behavioral monitoring specifications for enhanced results.

 

  1. Kaspersky Antivirus 2018: With the all-new, advanced version of the Kaspersky Antivirus 2018 software solution, the users are offered the benefits of the web as well as URL filtering. The antivirus aims at blocking & cleaning any malware in your system effectively.

 

Make use of the best antivirus software out there!

Top Cyber Security Threats to Remain Safe From

With the rise of the Internet and its applications, the cyber security threats are not going away anywhere. Various news flashes are constantly seeking the attention of the global Internet users to remain safe from the several kinds of potential cyber security threats that keep coming up every now & then. Some of the online threats pose significant harm to the personal data, financial information, and the overall businesses of various organizations out there.

While some of the cybersecurity threats might be easy to detect & correct, there are others that involve the minds of hacking geniuses and involve a wide range of complicated devices to snatch out confidential information. As the threat to online security keeps rising, here are some of the top cybersecurity threats that you must be aware of:

  • Ransomware: This turns out to be one of the biggest and major concerns that threaten the digital existence of the individuals and organizations worldwide. Ransomware is the type of online threat that tends to lock up your computer system and threatens to encrypt every last thread of data present in the given system. If you wish to remain safe from the potential ransomware attack, it is recommended that you must create a regular backup of your computer system. This will help in preventing any major data loss even after computer lock down.

 

  • Phishing Scams: A majority of the world’s population gets stuck up in various phishing scams going implemented by hackers & scammers all around the globe. The phishing scams have been engineered to make the users click on a particular link or download certain infectious attachments. This helps the scammers in transferring the virus or threat into the recipient’s computer system. Through this mechanism, the hackers are able to obtain confidential information about the end users. One way to protect oneself from the phishing attacks is to strengthen your email accounts with a strong password. In addition to this, you should also refrain yourself from clicking on any suspicious or unauthorized links.

 

  • Ad Fraud: Online ad threats or frauds are becoming more common nowadays. Under this fraud scheme, only a few people known that they have been subjected to a particular cybersecurity attack. The human verification process on the Internet is considered potentially one of the biggest online ad frauds that most of the cybercriminals might be exploiting to con people for their confidential information and other benefits.

 

  • Social Media Schemes: As enticing as the different social media platforms might appear, these are equally dangerous when it comes to online frauds and cyber security attacks. Being grounds of the most vital & personal information about the users, these social media platforms are subject to the most influential attacks by the cyber criminals. To remain safe from social media cyber frauds, it is essential to protect your accounts with a strong password.

 

Remain safe from the potential cyber security attacks by following these tips.

Tips to Improve Your Personal Cyber Security

The world we live in today is obsessed with the Internet and its services. Though it might appear highly enticing, there are several threats imposed over personal security as potential hackers and cyber thieves out there keep looking for ways to breach your personal information and vital data. As such, personal cyber security plays a vital role in protecting your personal information including bank account details, name, photographs, and so more.

With the wide range of financial, personal, and medical information that gets stored online, it is high time that you consider strengthening your online security that can help in saving you ample time, money as well as the aggravation to a greater extent. If you are looking for ways towards improving your personal cyber security, then here are some top tips for you:

  • Install a Reliable Anti-malware Software: There are several anti-malware software solutions out there claiming to be offering top-notch security from the potential threats out there. However, it is advisable to be smart and go for purchasing & installing a highly reliable anti-malware software solution. Even some of the best corporate firewall systems are subject to potential phishing attacks or corrupted files that you might unknowingly install. By making sure that you install some high-quality, paid anti-malware solution on your device, you can reduce the overall risk of becoming infected only significantly.

 

  • Make Use of 2-factor Authentication: Most of the social media networks along with major email providers and various other online accounts nowadays offer 2-factor authentication (2FA) security systems for the users. You can consider making use of the same to strengthen your existing cyber security schemes. SMS-based 2-factor authentication system also turns out to be highly advanced than the mere password-alone online security. This can help you in minimizing the personal risks of cyber security threats.

 

  • De-Complicate Your Passwords: Though this might sound a bit unusual, a recent update to the password standards & best practices recommend that overly complicated passwords are quite difficult to remember and are not actually that complex for a computer system to guess. Instead of making a password with different complex characters including letters, alphabets, special characters, numeric characters, and so more, you can try making use of an unusual combination of easy letters and words that you can remember.

 

  • Make Use of Biometric Authentication: Definitely, one of the best ways of improving your personal cyber security is through doing away with the root cause that is behind around 80 percent of the information breaches globally. When you switch from online passwords to a highly secure biometric authentication system, it takes your personal cyber security to another level. This practice is becoming more common in the recent times and more apps as well as devices are making use of this high-end security technology.

 

Make use of the latest and the most secure means of ensuring your personal cyber security. Secure yourself online and remain safe from the potential cyber threats across the globe!

HOW SOCIAL MEDIA PRIVACY AND SECURITY POLICY IS A SHAM

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Due to rising popularity of social networks, it is little surprise that there have been several high

profile breaches of security on sites like Facebook and Myspace. Over 350 million members

combined, all it takes is one single person to cause significant damage.

 

A security and privacy issue are two different things. A security issue occurs when a

hacker gains unauthorized access to sites protected coding or written language while privacy

problem involves the unwarranted access to private information. One doesn’t necessarily

need to bend security breaches. In fact, a hacker can gain access to your confidential information by merely

watching you type your password or standing next to you with a cloning device.

 

The reason social network security and privacy lapses exist result directly from the astronomical

amount of information sites process every day that ends up making it that much

easier to exploit a single flaw in the system. Features that invite user participation are message

invitations, photos, open platform applications and many others.

 

This potential privacy breach is built into the systematic framework of apps like Facebook, and

unfortunately, the flaw renders the system almost defenseless. “The question for social

networks is resolving the difference between mistakes in implementation and what the design of

the application platform is intended to allow,” David Evans, Assistant Professor of computer

science at the University of Virginia, says. There is also the question of whom we should hold

responsible for the over sharing of user data?

 

The problems are plaguing social network security and privacy issues, for now, we all can only be

careful and be mindful of what we share and how much on social media platforms. With the

growth of social networks, it is becoming harder to effectively monitor and protect users and

their activities because the tasks of security programmers grow increasingly spread out and cumbersome.

 

Despite this insecurities, users still post tons of personal data on social networks without batting an eye. Its only

natural, anonymity and the fact that you are communicating with a machine instead of an actual

person makes sharing a lot easier. “People should exercise common sense online, but the

problem with common sense is that it’s not very common. If you don’t invite this person to see

your cat, you certainly won’t let them see pictures from holiday”. Says Cluley.

 

To finish with, the only tried and true solution to social network privacy and security issues is to

limit your presence altogether. Don’t post anything you would not mind telling a complete

stranger because in reality that is the potential for access. Be careful who you add as a “friend” because there is simply no way of verifying a user’s actual identity online. Cluley compares it to a rep from your company’s IT department calling to ask for your login passwords- “most people

will give it over with no proof of the IT rep actually existing. The caller might be your IT rep, or

they might not. “This kind of scam happens at all the time,” says Cluley.

 

Hacking: Terms you must know

How to understand cybersecurity and avoid being hacked if you don’t know the jargon and terminologies that are commonly used in the digital security world. In this post, you’ll understand more about this world and you’ll be able to analyze the different threats that are on the prowl. Understanding is the key to take the proper action to something. If you know how it works, you’ll find the better way to approach or solve anything.

So here you have a little glossary you should know:

Malware: means malicious or malevolent software. Attackers use the software to enter into a victim’s computer and disrupt your privacy. This one is a general expression to refer to the different forms of invasive software’s.

Black hat: This term refers to someone that brakes illegally into someone else computer for financial gain. They can steal or modify your information, destroy your system, and more. Why the black hat? If you ever saw a western film you may relate to the villains.

White hat: Yes, we have the white hat too. In this case, the hackers search any vulnerability or bugs into company’s system. The idea is to know if your company is exposed to any cyber-attack, and them protect it from it. This type of hackers has become more important in the business world, helping companies to prevent any violation of its privacy.

Encryption: Is related to the protection you give to anything that you want to send to someone else. From photos to bank accounts, your computer creates a code of the information to the person you’re sending it is the only one with the access. Hackers try constantly to break this in order to find relevant information such as social security numbers, and more.

DDoS: Distribute Denial of Service is the most common technique that hackers use to break a company’s information. They incorporate numerous hosts to bombard a website with different requests that freeze your computer for several minutes. These types of attacks have been happening constantly and a large scale worldwide and are worrying cybersecurity specialists.

Darknet: Is the scariest spot on the Internet where most of the illegal things take place. Is an illicit market for drugs, guns, and also, a resource for black hackers to discover relevant and private information.

Bug: Is a common term you probably heard before. A bug is an error that occurs in a software, some of them can be merely annoying but others can use it by hackers.

IP: Is like the fingerprint of your computer and can use it to identify the person who is using the device, reveal its location, and also, track the activity.

Virus: Is the most common malware that can attack your system. Can easily destroy a hard drive and hackers can use it to steal your personal information.

Spyware: Another common malware that is programmed to get into your system unnoticed and send your data to the hacker.

There are so many more terms that are relevant to understanding cybersecurity, we’ll discuss them in the next post where we’ll give you the second part of terms you must know.

Hacking techniques you should know

 

Knowing the most common hacking methods can help you to understand how you can do to upgrade your safety. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of people that continuously work to find new ways to hack others site, personal accounts, and more. It’s vital for your company and personal information that you be at the forefront of these malicious methods.

We know that hacking is an unethical and illegal activity that has evolved over the years. The goal? Get unauthorized information through the modification of systems. Nowadays, where the Internet plays an important role in the society, hacking provides a unique opportunity to obtain unclassified details that could have considerable value. Cybersecurity has become essential all over the world, and you can be the next victim.

Therefore, you should know some of the hacking trends that are frequently used so you can do something about it.

Brute forcing. This technique is the oldest one but is essential to mention. Brute forcing is when the hacker uses permutations and combinations of characters of a particular set. Namely, if the hacker wants to know your password, he will try all the combinations possible until he finds the correct code.

Keylogging. The technique where all began. This can be the most useful method for hacking people information. Keylogging is the procedure of creating a record of all typed keystroked on a system. Next, all the data that has been recompiled will be sent to the hacker’s server sporadically.

Virus. You may know something about this one, right? Virus or trojans are malicious programs that are installed on your system that allows the hacker get your private information. They can sniff your data, lock your files, and much more. Don’t open or install anything that you don’t know; it’s essential that you only use software that you trust and know the origin.

Cookies. Do you know when you open a website and a messages pop that says: this site uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. Well, that’s normal, the majority of sites use this. The thing is, they’re used to identify authenticate and remember a particular user from the millions of others users. The hacker will steal the cookies and gain access to your computer and some of your information.

Bait and switch. As the virus, this technique uses a malicious program that you’ll believe is authentic and trustworthy. After installing the malicious software, the hacker will have total access to your computer and personal information.

Phishing. One of the most common and deadliest techniques that you should be aware of. The hacker will replicate one of the most accessed sites and will trap the victim by sending the spoofed link. Once the person bites the hook and tries to log in and enter the data, the hacker will get all the information using the trojan running the site he created. Several Hollywood celebrities have been victims of this technique where the personal information has been released to the world.

These were the most common techniques that you should know about. Of course, there is a ton more that are more elaborated and complicated to understand. Hacking usually takes advantage of your ignorance, don’t let them!

The Things Your ISP Can Do Once The FCC Privacy Rules Are Repealed

The topic that has been on the mind of countless internet users lately is the FCC privacy rules. If you aren’t familiar with it, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) set up some rules that protects the privacy of internet users in the US. Their rules made it so your Internet Service Provider (ISP) would be unable to monetize their clients without express consent.

However, Congress is well on its way to repeal those rules and allow ISPs full access to their client’s information without needing their permission. Today, we’re going to discuss the different things that your ISP will be able to do once the FCC rules are repealed.

Sell Your Data To Marketers

Several ISPs have already expressed the idea that they’re sitting on a veritable gold mine of user data that they do want to sell to marketers. What some people may not realize is that some are already doing it.

SAP sells a service called Consumer Insights 365 that ingests regularly updated data representing as many as 300 cellphone events per day for each of the 20 to 25 million mobile subscribers. The service also combines data from telecos with other information, telling businesses whether shoppers are checking out competitor prices.

Marketers need to build consumer profiles on people to efficiently target ads that will practically ensure a sale. This data will only be available if the ISPs sell this information to them. If the FCC rules are fully repealed, this exchange which effectively monetize the clients of ISP shall be a reality.

Hijack Search Results

This occurrence was already recorded in 2011 where several ISPs were caught working with a company named Paxfire to hijack their clients’ search queries to Bing, Yahoo!, and Google.

Whenever a client would enter a search term in their browser’s search box or URL bar, the ISP directed that query to Paxfire instead to an actual search engine. Paxfire then checked what the clients were searching for to see if it matched a list of companies that had paid them for more traffic. If the queries matched one of several such companies or brands, Paxfire would then send clients directly to that company’s website instead of sending them to a search engine which normally would list several results.

In other words, ISPs were effectively hijacking their customer’s search queries and redirecting them to a place customers hadn’t asked for all the while pocketing a little cash from the process.

Sift Through Net Traffic and Insert Ads

AT&T, Charter, and CMA have been caught doing this before. When the FCC privacy rules are repealed, ISPs have every incentive to snoop through clients’ traffic, record their browsing history, and inject ads into their traffic based on this information.

Have you ever noticed this: after searching for something on Google then logging on to Facebook, the ads are now reflecting deals and ads related to the search result of what you looked for?

You can agree that this if pretty invasive and it is this information that companies use to target potential clients.

Putting In Pre-installed Software On Phones

We’re not going to mince words on this one. The pre-installed software? It’s going to spyware. When an android phone is bought, it’s expected that it’s going to come with bloatware. These are apps installed by the manufacturer that buyers will probably never use. What is sinister about this is that some of these apps will now come pre-installed software that will log which apps are used and what websites you visit and this data is sent back to your ISP.

Carrier IQ is one such app. This app came pre-installed in phones sold by AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Such an app gives your ISP a window into all that you do on your phone.

Putting In Undetectable Tracking Cookies In Your HTTP Traffic That Cannot Be Deleted

Back in 2014, Verizon Wireless decided that it was a good thing to insert supercookies into all of its mobile customer’s traffic. It was a feature that could not be turned off by the users.

One would think that using incognito mode would solve the privacy issue but you would be wrong.

Verizon ignored all this and inserted a unique identifier into all your unencrypted outbound traffic anyway. According to the FCC, it wasn’t until “two years after Verizon Wireless first began inserting UIDH, that the company updated its privacy policy to disclose its use of UIDH and began to offer consumers the opportunity to opt-out of the insertion of unique identifier headers into their Internet traffic.”

As a result, anyone—not just advertisers—could track you as you browsed the web. Even if you cleaned out the cookies, advertisers could make use of Verizon’s tracking header to revive them.

This is why the FCC privacy rules are very important. They protect the rights to privacy of users and in the same vein, protect their cyber security. If congress successfully repeals the FCC privacy rules, you can fully expect these practices to be resurrected and there’s very little clients can do about it.