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How You Can Protect Yourself from This Year’s Biggest Cybersecurity Risks
July 20, 2015
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Take a moment and think about all of the personal information you store online: your financial details on your bank’s website; your date of birth, family details, and travel plans on Facebook; your intimate thoughts by email or on a microblogging service like Twitter or Tumblr. It’s no surprise that cybersecurity has never been more important. Thanks to ACCL (http://www.network-data-cabling.co.uk/) for supporting us in this article. Cybersecurity_image

We rely on computers and third party providers to protect more and more of our personal data, and yet cyberhackers just get more sophisticated and cunning. Managed service providers like Revolution Networks stay on top of the biggest cybersecurity risks to keep you protected. Here’s how you can prevent your private data from being targeted by evil hackers:

Security Risk: Weak Passwords

We get it…our memories only have so much capacity, do we really have to have individual usernames and passwords for every site we visit? It’s so much easier to log into my bank and Twitter and supershadywebsite.com with a password like” secret123.” If you’re using the same passwords for all your sites, a hacker can easily break the code on a site with weak security, or set up a phishing site and get your password that way. Then they visit your bank website and…voila.

Challenge yourself and create harder passwords. Use unique passwords for every important site that you use. Use a combination of alphanumeric characters, special characters, upper and lower case letters, and so on.

Security Risk: Password Recovery

Another big cybersecurity risk this year is password recovery. Even if your password is unbreakable, all a hacker has to do is click “forgot password.” Say your bank has a security code about your childhood street. They shift over to your Facebook profile and see a #tbt (Throwback Thursday) about the joys of growing up on Maple Street. Easy access, just like that.

Be careful about what personal information you share on Facebook. If you insist, keep your pictures and status updates limited to friends only, not the general public. Avoid choosing password recovery questions that include easily found information. For an added layer of security, use the password recovery field to enter another strong password, not just the name of your favourite author.

Security Risk: Credit Card Breach

Have you read the news this year about credit card data breaches at major retails like Home Depot and Target? In July, more than 60,000 Canadians had their data exposed by a breach at the Walmart online photo centre. We trust major corporations with our credit card data, but if they are breached we are put at risk.

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Security
Preparing your Business for the worst!
December 3, 2014
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With the worsening climate today, companies now feel the impact of natural disasters in their business. Like in the case of Hurricane Katrina, most cities in the US went underwater, and with no power. Since most firms weren’t really prepared for a great storm, a lot of them experienced heavy losses during this unfortunate event.

Besides the damaged infrastructure, people actually lost the opportunity to rake in profits because their businesses were not operational during the disaster. As such, it is imperative for any company, whether big or small, to prepare for the worst says Prosyn.

Business Continuity in a Nutshell

Business continuity and disaster recovery enables a company to survive and thrive in a disaster. These two systems require businesses to have these three key surviving characteristics, which are the following: resilience, recovery, and contingency.

By resilience, a company should be able to continue its operations by setting up critical systems in another location in case of a disruption. Of course, this won’t work without contingencies in place, such as temporary staffing. More importantly, as the business is operating its skeletal workforce, a team should be in charge of recovery process to bring the business back to normal.

Why Plan for Business Continuity?

Disasters are not limited to natural calamities. It has been reported that at least 20% of companies may suffer from fire, flood damage, power failures, hardware disaster, or terrorism in the duration of their businesses. However, most people fail to realize that these catastrophic events could actually bring their businesses down.

According to the below infographic by ARC Systems, a staggering 80% of companies fail within a year of operation due to lack of a contingency plan. With that, most organizations around the globe have collaborated in order to create better business continuity and disaster recovery plans. Through these continuity systems, firms can turn any catastrophe into a profitable one.

Have you planned for a bad day

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Security
Simple Ways to Send Encrypted Emails for Free
December 1, 2014
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According to FBI Director James Comey, there are only two kinds of companies in the US: those that have been hacked by the Chinese, and those that have no idea that they have been hacked. This is indeed true, as hackers have reportedly breached the systems of prominent companies such as Facebook and Microsoft.

If large US companies with “highly secured” systems are prone to hacking, what more if you’re just an ordinary individual who relies on basic email programs? As such, you should find ways on how you can send confidential data over the Internet. Some people prefer to pay for added email security, but here you will learn how you can encrypt your emails for free.

Programs

Several programs can provide you the security that you need. You need to install these softwares first in your computer before you can use its encryption abilities. Here are some of the programs that you can try: Crypto Anywhere, Crypt4Free, dsCrypt, Encrypt Files, Free File Camouflage, iSafeguard, MEO, Opolis Secure Email Service, Rmail, SafeHouse Explorer, Sophos Free Encryption, Steganos LockNote, and TrueCrypt.

Extensions

Most people are already comfortable with their email program, so switching to another platform may not be an option for them. Fortunately, some programs do offer extensions, or applications that add certain capabilities to a program.

Most extensions such as include Enigmail, Mailvelope, and SafeGmail use the OpenPGP standard to encrypt messages. On the other hand, the Trend Micro Email Encryption Client uses the 256-bit AES as its encryption standard, which is used by government agencies in the US.

Web-based Services

Most people use a web-based application for their personal emails, such as Yahoo! Mail or EmailOctopus (recommended!). However, most of these services don’t encrypt your emails unless you prompt them to. If you want to send an encrypted message automatically, here are your alternatives:

There are several ways on how email programs encrypt data. One is to use an algorithm to “mask” the data while it is being transmitted through the Web. Thus, you can read the email as you usually would; you don’t have to use passwords. Examples include Hushmail, Mobrien, and Safe-mail.

A more traditional way of securing data is to encrypt the message, then manually providing the password to the recipient so that he or she can decrypt the message. Web applications such as Safemess, Sbwave Enkryptor, Sendinc, and ThreadThat offer such services.

Web emails also use self-destructing messages as part of their security features. Once the recipient reads the message, it will automatically get deleted in the system. Burn Note, Infoencrypt, Lockbin, OneShar.es, Privnote, and QuickForget are some of the web-based apps that use this function.

FBI Director James Comey has implied that the encryption process doesn’t ensure that no one can break into your email. However, by at least using these encryption applications, you are now one step ahead of the hackers. You need to make sure that your web server is as secure as possible. If you must use a shared hosting provider, choose a reputable one with a history of keeping their customers’ sites secure – like A Small Orange. You can read a legitimate A Small Orange review or BlueHost review by a user to know what can you expect from them.

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Storage
Top Cloud Storage Apps for Small Businesses in 2015
November 28, 2014
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When starting a business, most entrepreneurs are keen about increasing their business efficiency in order to minimize costs. A prominent example would be outsourcing their file storage to a cloud service. So if you’re looking for the best cloud storage for your business, here are your possible options for 2015 and beyond.

OneDrive for Business

Microsoft has packaged its cloud storage service into the Windows 8 and Windows Phones, so for those who are currently using these tools, you might want to consider getting the OneDrive for Business. You will only have to pay for £3.10 per user per month to get 1TB of cloud storage. A more economical choice would be to get the £7 per user per month plan, where you can get the Office 365 suite for free. While OneDrive is primarily aimed for Windows products, it is also compatible with other OS such as Android and iOS. Note, however, that it has a file size limit of 10GB, so if you’re dealing with files much larger than that, you should check other options.

Google Drive

You can get Google Drive as part of the Google Apps for Business suite. What’s not to love about it when it’s also bundled with useful business tools such as Gmail and Google Docs? For only £6.60 per user per month, your company can make use of all Google applications and unlimited cloud storage. Its file size restriction is 5TB, which is stellar compared to OneDrive.

Dropbox

Valued at £11 per month for every user (with a minimum of five users), Dropbox may seem relatively costly compared to the others. Despite the steep pricing, this cloud storage service boasts of over 300 million users, primarily because of its ease of use. With its clean interface, users won’t have any problems navigating the Dropbox platform. It also supports other operating systems such as Linux and Blackberry, unlike OneDrive for Business and Google Drive that only support the major ones like Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Moreover, it doesn’t have any size restrictions when you upload your file via the Dropbox application.

Many alternatives are in the market, but most people flock to these three cloud services for their reliability and flexibility. Then again, cloud computing isn’t a perfect application. Most people are concerned with security (given that data is transmitted over a network), as well as file recovery (in case any software or hardware problems persist in the network). Thus, besides the pricing and features, you also have to weigh in if your cloud storage provider can address these issues properly.

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Blog
Welcome to Alternative CPU
November 20, 2014
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Hello and thanks for stopping by Alternative CPU.

We will be talking all things geeky in the computer and technology world, we’re currently in the final stages of setup so please do keep checking back!

 

If you want to get in touch with the team then head on over to our contact page.

Cheers

The Alternative CPU Team.

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