Identity Theft: Preventing and Responding to Identity Fraud

Identity theft: a criminal running away with stolen personal information from a compromised tablet computer.

Following the recent public disclosure that hackers believed to be operating on behalf of a foreign government breached the networks of the U.S. government and multiple US companies, it is safe to assume that online frauds and scams like identity theft will follow.

Identity theft, or identity fraud, is a crime that can have substantial financial and emotional consequences. Take precautions with personal information. If you become a victim, act immediately to minimize the damage.

Is identity theft just a problem for people who submit information online?

You can be a victim of identity theft even if you never use a computer. Malicious people may be able to obtain personal information (such as credit card numbers, phone numbers, account numbers, and addresses) by stealing your wallet, overhearing a phone conversation, rummaging through your trash (a practice known as dumpster diving), or picking up a receipt at a restaurant that has your account number on it.

If a thief has enough information, he or she may be able to impersonate you to purchase items, open new accounts, or apply for loans.

The internet has made it easier for thieves to obtain personal and financial data. Most companies and other institutions store information about their clients in databases; if a thief can access that database, he or she can obtain information about many people at once rather than focus on one person at a time.

The internet has also made it easier for thieves to sell or trade the information, making it more difficult for law enforcement to identify and apprehend the criminals.

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Internet Safety for Children: Keeping Them Safe Online

Internet safety for kids using parental controls

Internet safety for children involves not only keeping them safe, but parents and guardians taking some simple steps to dramatically reduce online threats, especially those that prey on kids, protect the data on computer devices, and keep them safe online.

This is even more critical now as we are in the middle of a health pandemic and children are made to learn from home, and have limited physical interactions with their peers.

What unique Internet safety risks are associated with children?

In terms of Internet safety, when a child is using your computer, normal safeguards and security practices may not be sufficient. Children present additional challenges because of their natural characteristics: innocence, curiosity, desire for independence, and fear of punishment.

You need to consider these characteristics when determining how to protect your data and the child.

You may think that because the child is only playing a game, or researching a term paper, or typing a homework assignment, they can’t cause any harm. But what if, when saving their paper, the child deletes a necessary program file?

Or what if they are tricked by a malicious advertisement to unintentionally visit a web page with inapprorpiate content, or accidentally download a malware that infects the computer with a virus?

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7 Ways to Secure Microsoft 365 Office for Business

Microsoft 365 Office Applications

Most small or medium-size organizations today are using, or migrating to one of Microsoft’s 365 suite of applications. With the recent shift to remote work, and the attendant increase in the use of collaboration tools included with Office 365 business plans, organizations are bound to be targeted by cyber criminals and hackers.

More critically, due to the speed of these deployments, many small organizations may not be fully equipped to consider the security configurations of the cloud-based platforms they are migrating to.

There are continued instances where businesses and organizations, especially those in the small and medium-sized business (SMB) category are not implementing best security practices in regard to their Microsoft Office 365 implementation.

The ultimate result, inevitably, will be the increased vulnerability of these environments to attacks by threat actors or hackers.

If you are in charge of securing the technology infrastructure and applications used in your organization, you can use the guidance in this article to increase the security of your Microsoft 365 Office Suite deployments. (more…)

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Remote Working: 3 Ways Technology Can Close The Productivity Gap

People in various remote working scenarios

Now, more than ever, we’re seeing a rapid change in the way the world does business, and where the world does business from, making technology more essential than ever. And when it comes to getting work done, 71% of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) use desktops as their primary computer, which can make working at home or remote working, a huge challenge for many and has greatly increased the demand for mobile, work-from-home devices.

If there’s one thing that current events have shown, it is that nothing will be the same again. In particular, the way we work. The new workforce, now spanning the different work styles of five generations, has already changed the way our businesses are organized.

Our workplaces have to be far more flexible.

Remote workplaces need to support the shiny, new technologies we’re increasingly used to as consumers, while delivering the superior performance and reliability that business demands. Work is no longer a designated space in the office but an activity that we do, when and where we choose, whether that’s a coffee shop or in a home office. (more…)

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Web Conferencing: Getting The Most Out of Business Collaboration

web conferencing business users

You need the right technology to get the best value from web conferencing. Without good connectivity; via wired, wireless or WiFi networks and high-performance hardware and software needed to support great video and audio, it will be hard to achieve the optimal experience.

It’s all about the app

Ultimately, everything depends on the capabilities of the app you use for your web conferencing. Even with great connections and hardware, you won’t get the best outcomes from your online meetings unless your app can deliver what you need.

Your app should be well integrated with your operating system and business suites such as Microsoft 365. This makes Microsoft Teams, the Windows conferencing and collaboration app included with Microsoft 365, the ideal option for anyone using a Windows PC. It’s already built-in with the software they are using every day. (more…)

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Two-Factor Authentication: Protecting Your Online Accounts

Laptop and two-factor authentication devices

Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, is one of the easiest and most available multi-factor authentication approaches to protecting online accounts.

Analysis of recent online account breaches indicate that weak and reused passwords continue to be a common entry point for account or identity takeover and network intrusions.

Some simple steps and tools like two-factor authentication can help your end users employ unique, strong passwords for their dozens of accounts.

Wouldn’t it be nice if your accounts could let you know when someone new is trying to get into them? Even better, wouldn’t it be terrific to make a stolen password useless to others?

Were you tricked into revealing your password through a phishing scam? Rest easy, your account is safe! That’s essentially the control that two-factor authentication (2FA) — also known as two-step verification or login approval — gives to you. And, it only takes about two minutes to set up and two seconds to use. That’s a lot of power for very little effort!

How does it work?

Once you’ve activated two-factor authentication on an account, whenever an account login with your password comes from a different device from what you’ve already permitted, an authorization check will come to your smartphone or other registered device.

Without your approval or current code, a password thief can’t get into your account. (more…)

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