(COVID-19) continues to spread and infect more and more people worldwide, we
wonder if or how businesses and people are ready or planning the possibility of
working remotely in isolation at home? This poses a lot of questions and setup
options for many in a variety of different fields. All businesses rely on office
roles, to one degree or another to help keep their business running smoothly
using cloud-based services, video conference & chat scenarios, file sharing
while allowing secure access in increasing world of cybercrime. Trying to keep
this simple yet broad and informative we have compiled a list of possible
scenarios to help or prompt what course of action to prepare your business,
staff or self to keep working in this critical period. Something that will be
easier to setup and plan now rather than after a probable isolation period for
these options do cross over to a certain degree or tie in with each other:
Remote to individual work computer or to take it home? – Think about the best option for each
user or business. Your IT support person more than likely will have to setup internal
services and privileges to enable external access for you to remote in or if
you take your computer with you. Your support people may even need to remote to
that external computer whilst setting up for that external access.
Cloud based services – Lots of fields use cloud-based subscriptions or services and can just
work remotely relatively easy. Remember safe password sharing practices to
avoid unwarranted external access. There are also user privilege levels that
can be assigned eg, Admin, Editor, Viewer etc to many of these services. Turn
on and use 2 Factor Authentication where possible. More suggestions in
Password availability and sharing – Rather than just handing users a password list,
think about password managers as there are options to share passwords to users
without disclosing the actual password. Once the user does not require access
to that system then remove them from that shared password. This will be much
quicker than changing passwords for everything in future that you more than
likely will not get around to doing.
Video calls, conference and chat options – Video suggests via camera so the majority of
users will be fine having access to a laptop or phone however if you need a
webcam, you may want to look at buying one sooner rather than later. There are
a number of chat programs that allow individual messages or to groups, so all see
the all members can converse at the same time.
File sharing – Crossing over with the above topic is sharing files with other team
members as these chat programs will do. However, remembering to update your
master/source files may need some thought especially if have multiple users
accessing and updating the same files.
Email access options – Most users and businesses will have email systems or services that allow
people to use an email client (outlook, thunderbird etc) or login via webmail for
quick access rather than needing a potential setup on a user pc. Shared
mailboxes are an option within these mail services or mail forwarding and alias
options can be setup to suit the individual or businesses scenario.
We hope all
people stay safe during this tough time and businesses can keep functioning as
best possible. Keeping in mind working via remote access and external to
companies will be at greater cybersecurity risk and scams.
We at iRepair PC Adelaide are always trying to make computer and technology users aware of ways to stay safer online by our stories on passwords, scams, backups and safer internet day 2018. We are now putting in that extra effort and spreading the word further by assisting and teaming up with other groups, media outlets and technology specialists for a more secure and safer internet.
Tuesday 6th of February 2018 is an important day in the online world. It is SID2018 or better known as Safer Internet Day. It’s main focus is to acknowledge and recognise the “Respect” aspect that what you share can have a hurtful or degrading affect to others. We’ve all seen and heard the dreadful news stories of cyberbullying, stalking or the vulnerable being sculpted online.
However, I would like to use this occasion to focus on being safer online in all aspects. Not only watching what you post and say about others but what you put up about yourself. It’s in our nature to want to be seen and liked for something we did or possessions we have. But there are people all over the world that are opportunistic and will look to take advantage if too much info is “put out there”. All these little bits of information can make you a target to scammers and other fraudulent activity.
Some technology tips and reminders in an attempt to help keep you safer are, keep your software updated (Operating system and Antivirus), don’t click strange links in emails (no you haven’t won US$4,000,000), avoid FREE download and software sites, update your password or change to a passphrase (not some easy to find info you posted online like your street name, birthdate or best friends name) and Microsoft don’t ring you saying you have a problem with your computer.
The eSaftey site has some great links and information regarding all of the above, however if you are still not sure on the technical aspects then don’t hesitate to send us a message. For more information on SID2018 and other online help then check out Australian Gov’s eSaftey site at https://www.esafety.gov.au/
For password ideas then this link will give you some great tips for being more secure. https://pcrepairsadelaide.com.au/2018/01/welcome-new-year-new-secure-passwords/
One of your new year’s resolutions should be updating ALL of your passwords and account security. With cybercrime on the rise, we all need to be more vigilant and make that extra effort to lock down and control our login details to keep accounts safe and in the rightful owner’s hands. No matter what it is. I have tried to cover all angles here for users to take on board.
Don’t use names, birth dates or other easy to find information. Just ask yourself “how much do I have visible on social media?” more than you realise.
The 8 + 4 rule. Using eight characters with one upper and lower case, a number and a special character will make a strong password. Spread the “4” out in the password.
Avoid using dictionary words. There are many tools out there that in early stage of cracking uses dictionary method so that can make it quicker to reveal your password
Multifactor authentication if possible. Eg. Sms or alternate email for additional login code.
Password managers can make life easier if you have trouble remembering all your account details. But remember, make the master password extra strong as if this is compromised will obviously give them access to everything you own. And use the more reputable known tools like LastPass, KeePass, Dashlane to name a few.
Different password for each site. Imagine you use email with password then sign up for “X” amount of online accounts with that same email account as login and same password. If one of them is compromised, then your email account is an easy target making it very easy to take over all you have ever signed up to.
Split up with your partner? I have had the pleasure of unlocking client’s computers and accounts that their Ex had locked out.
DO NOT save passwords in your web browser when it asks. Yes, they offer this for ease of use. That Is just saving the login details (username & password) in an easy to find place for the bad guys. I have had plenty of clients bring their computer in for assessment after scammers remotely connected to it. Not surprisingly I had to show them the great list of login details stored in each of the web browsers including bank details.
NEVER use the same password as any other account, especially for your online bank accounts.
Always lock your computer and phones. Set to auto lock after a short period of inactivity for those times you get interrupted.
Concerned one of your accounts has been compromised. Check if you have an account that has been compromised in a data breach. https://haveibeenpwned.com/
We all think it will never happen to me. It’ll be fine. Just remember what is in these accounts that you have and how much work it will take to get it back if you lost it or got locked out of it.
In the below couple of email images I have tried to point out ways for you to spot illegitimate emails that are only out to harm you in one way or another. Scam or phishing emails to either infect your computer or gain access to your accounts and steal login details. In the paypal image we have highlighted the From: address that is not paypal. This email clearly wants your login details. DO NOT CLICK on the link highlighted as login to your Paypal Account. Hover your mouse cursor over that link and it will show the actual link to where that will either record your login details or install something nasty on your computer. Your virus software will more than likely not save you.
Again in the second email image from Telstra the From: address is not Telstra. This one is set to have you intrigued to click around as you have the potential credit awaiting you. The extra “0” doesn’t look correct. All the links looked legitimate in this particular email however you the scammers want you to open that attached document with my red cross beside it. Clicking that will load something harmful to your system.
IF you do need to login to your accounts to confirm whatever it is that you are concerned about then safest way is to open your web browser and type in the address yourself. DO NOT CLICK THE LINK IN THE EMAIL.
However if you are already infected or have computer problems then contact us and we’ll gladly help.