Security tips, Reading the Fine Print and Windows 10 beta

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It’s National Cyber Security Month

This year, for NCSM let’s talk about the iCloud hacks.  If you haven’t heard about this, welcome back from whatever planet you’ve been visiting.  Starting in August some “private” photos of celebrities started being leaked.  More are being leaked even now.

Most likely, these accounts just had simple or easily guessed passwords.  There are no reports as of now showing that the problem was with Apple’s security.

So I want to take a moment and suggest you do two things.

Use Unique Passwords

I have said it before but it bears repeating… Use different passwords for every site.  They can be similar, but they should be different.  Here’s why.

If one account is hacked then any accounts you have with the same username and password are vulnerable.

“But how are they going to know which sites I use?”

Fair question.  The answer is “they won’t”.  But hackers have software that will test hundreds or thousands of sites with you username and password.  And if the username and password work, they may have access to your online banking portal, trading account, whatever high value targets you may have.

Enable 2FA

Turn on two-factor authentication (2FA).

Not all sites have this option, but many do and more are hopping on the bandwagon every day.  The way 2FA works is, after you enter your username and password, you get prompted for a second form of authentication.  This is usually a code (there are other methods but this one is most prevalent) sent to your cell phone as a text message.  The code is unique, has an expiration time and can only be used once.  Thus, if someone has hacked your password they still need a unique code to complete the login process.

Here’s a site that shows which popular sites support 2FA, which don’t and which are in the process of implementing it.  They even link to setup instructions for those that do.

Read the fine print!

If you’re like me, you never read the fine print.  For all I know, Apple may have rights I wouldn’t give my attorney.  How far can these agreements go? Well, the Cyber Security Research Institute added a “Herod clause” to the terms and conditions of a free Wi-Fi hotspot in London.

Here’s the link to the full story.

Here comes Windows 10

Microsoft has recently released a beta version (or what they now call a “technical preview”) of the next version of Windows.  Speculation as to why they skipped a number is a popular subject and there are several theories.  My guess is that “Windows 9” is far to easy to refer to as “Windows NEIN!”

I have just downloaded the beta version and will be testing it over the next couple weeks but here’s what I know so far…

The START button is back.  You can start programs just like you used to in Windows 7 and earlier.

And the desktop has changed, too. No longer designed with a “tablet first” mandate, the new desktop is not “touch-centric” when used on a desktop or PC.

I am not much for predictions, but I think these two changes will be enough to make Windows 10 widely adopted by businesses.  I will post a follow-up on this after I have had some time to test it.

As always, questions or comments are welcome below.

Looking to enable 2FA within your company?  Give us a call at 866-753-6279 or email us.

I play with computers for a living and I'm from New Jersey. Jealous?

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