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Monday, 15 December 2014

An Early Christmas Present?

Last week I received a telephone call in the office from a man with a very strong Indian accent; he told me that his name was Peter and he was calling from the windows technical team. They had become aware that my computer had a very nasty virus.  He went on to say that there were some very nasty people around and to show that he was genuine he was able to give me the windows licence key.   Peter would be able to fix my computer remotely if I entered a web-site and gave him access to my machine.  The service would be completely free of charge.

I asked him how he knew that my computer was infected but he stuck to his script telling me that his name was Peter…. etc.

Before I put the phone down I mentioned that this company was involved in Management Standards and in particular ISO 27001 Information Security and we wouldn’t give anyone access to our systems let alone someone pretending to be from the windows technical team.  Once the call was terminated I tried 1471 to see what the number was, but it was ‘number withheld’, surprise!!.

There are quite a few scams going around at this time of year but targeting companies is something of a departure from the norm.   Don’t be fooled into giving unauthorised access to your systems under any circumstances.

We are off to a well-deserved rest for Christmas and we hope that our clients and readers of our blog have a very merry Christmas and a prosperous and Happy New Year.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

10 Web Security Myths Debunked

Myth 1:  Web security is for big companies.
False.  Most small companies (and individuals) are targeted at some time.

Myth 2:  Firewalls and antivirus software are sufficient to protect my computer.
False.  Anti-Virus software is only one area for protection, but it must be updated regularly.  Clearly antivirus software can only defend against known viruses.

Myth 3:  The internet is so big that nobody would single out my computer.
False.  Hackers use automated systems to continuously probe the internet for unprotected computers. 

Myth 4 :  here is nothing on my computer worth stealing.
False.  There may well be sensitive information contained in hidden files, such as stored passwords, email addresses, and account numbers.

Myth 5:  I have turned off the Microsoft Automatic Update to protect my Windows computer.
False.  Auto-update provides security patches to help protect your computer.

Myth 6:  Email is a secure method of communication.
False.  Unless you encrypt your email, it is visible.

Myth 7:  I cannot remember complex passwords so I use my dog's name, but that is secure.
False.  A hacker can run a dictionary test to find easy passwords like this.

Myth 8:  My company insists on 8 digit complex passwords so I have to write them down – but this is safe.
False.  Writing down passwords is a bad idea and is full of risk.

Myth 9:  In my company we all share a generic password but this is secure.
False.  If there is problem with a generic password is it almost impossible to find out who is responsible.

Myth 10:  When we get new computers we always format the old hard disks to ensure they cannot be hacked.
False.  Hard disks should be physically destroyed otherwise data can be recovered, sometimes by simply un-formatting.

It is important to be security aware, particularly at this time of the year when online shopping is at a peak.

We are grateful to SINGLEHOP of Chicago, Illinois for giving us some of these myths about security best practices, and are happy to spread the word to our readers.

30 November 2014 is Computer Security Day.

Quality Matters

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