In this day and age, one of the most commonly used forms of communication is email. We use it at home, on our mobile devices, and in our workplace. This leads us to the question, what are workplaces doing to keep their email system secure from attacks? According to PhishMe, 91 percent of cyber-attacks start with an email. Email-based attacks come in various ways:
Phishing: Attempt to obtain personal information such as passwords and credit card details.
Spear Phishing: Personal and highly customized phishing attacks. This is a type of phishing that usually will come from a trusted source and seem legitimate. Spear phishing is highly personalized, attackers usually have done research on the victim.
Malware: Malicious software in the form of attachments, links, and drive-by downloads. Malware is usually delivered by spam emails. Spam emails can appear to be sent by legitimate sources, which then increases the chance of download.
Email security solutions
Undoubtedly, organizations must provide protection for their employee’s email communication. Determining the best solution for email security varies from business to business, you should carefully consider what will protect your email communications from attacks.
Endpoint Security: Endpoint security is the process of securing various endpoints in a network, mostly end-user devices such as smartphones, desktops, laptops and tablets. Endpoint security systems can either be a software application or hardware that allows the system admin to manage and discover any devices trying to connect to the network. This will prevent from malware downloaded on the network, but will not prevent from phishing.
Anti-Spam: Anti-spam is software, hardware, or even a process that combats spam by filtration. It is key to realize that not one anti-spam method is perfect, end users should be encouraged to be careful about providing corporate email address information. Anti-spamware can be installed to strengthen the security level of your businesses email provider by conducting screening prior to delivery.
Secure Email Gateways: Secure email gateways come in many forms: public cloud-based, hybrid cloud based, hardware, virtual appliance, and email server based. Secure email gateways monitor emails being sent to a company and prevent unwanted content from being delivered. Secure email gateways prevent from malware, phishing, and spear phishing.
Email Security Training: Human error is considered the biggest risk in email security. End users can click on malicious links, fail to keep their security solutions up to date, and divulge confidential information about the company. Training employees on cybersecurity and email best practices is crucial in preventing unwanted content and unauthorized users.
Email security takeaway
Email security approaches differ from organization to organization, not one single approach will work for all businesses. Every business has risks, issues, budget restrictions, and current security solutions to consider. With that said, a strong well-implemented system should have multiple solutions to cover every end of the organizations network. Businesses should also set up a reporting system, where employees are able to report all suspicious emails in a convenient way.
No email security system is completely secure, but implementing the right solutions can maximize efficiency and minimize risk.
Technology is not built to last, in most cases, upgrading your technology usually stems from having problems with older more outdated equipment. This usually leads most businesses and homes to have a designated area where older technology is currently gathering dust.
So what should you do with old technology? Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
Do NOT Throw Tech in The Trash
Unwanted technology should never be thrown away. Once a business’s technology is too far gone it is considered e-waste. E-waste is a term for old technology, so it is fine in a home or office setting. E-waste becomes harmful when it is thrown away improperly. Tons of e-waste is shipped overseas where it is dumped and burned, which then releases harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. Consider this before tossing your old tech:
It Could Be Illegal: States such as California, have laws against throwing away electronics and computers in a landfill.
E-waste Contains Hazardous Materials: Most technology is built with heavy metals & toxic materials, including mercury, lead, and carcinogenic chemicals. It is important to dispose of technology correctly to prevent harm to the environment.
E-waste Is Still Valuable: Recoverable materials such as copper, aluminum, gold, silver, plastic and ferrous metals all hold value. Conserve natural resources and the energy needed to produce new electronics by finding a new option to dispose or utilize your old electronics.
Consider Donating Your Technology
More than likely, your businesses technology could be useful to someone your community. Organizations must wipe technology to industry regulation before donating. Research organizations that will take older electronics and refurbish them back into use. Here at CompuOne, we donate our old IT to an organization who will either refurbish it for children in San Diego or recycle it as e-waste.
Recycle Your Obsolete IT Assets
Recycling e-waste is not only an environmentally friendly option but is also considered privacy protector. Old technology, such as servers, must be wiped to industry and regulation standards before being recycled.
When recycling e-waste it is important to use certified recyclers. Certified e-waste recyclers break down every piece of technology and gather recoverable materials which then will be put back into use.
CompuOne is committed to the donating and recycling technology. For more information on how to recycle your unused electronics, contact us.
Private browsing otherwise known as “Privacy mode” or “Incognito” is a feature in most web browsers that disables web cache and browsing history. This allows users to browse the playground of the internet without being able to retrieve their local data at a later point in time. It also means that browsers are not storing data in cookies.
When is Going “Incognito” Useful?
Private browsing is handy for a number of reasons. Usually, authorized users are taking advantage of it to prevent people who have access to their machine from viewing their search history. Here are some ways to utilize private browsing:
Blocking sites that you visit from collecting your personal information. Notice that Amazon will show you products based on your search history? Private browsing prevents sites from gathering data based on your searches and cookie information. Sites like Amazon won’t show products based on past purchases. Google will not autofill a search with something you’ve searched for previously.
Getting the best price from an online purchase. Browsing on incognito can prevent from online retailers varying prices based on browsing history and location. Booking accommodations such as hotels and airfare are notorious for varying prices, going incognito may help prevent hiked prices based on search history.
Logging into multiple accounts on the same site. If you have more than one account for the same site, private browsing allows you to log into multiple accounts at once. This can be especially handy if you have two emails on one site – you would be able to pull them up side by side.
Bypass article limits. News and sites filled with articles may have free to read content to a certain extent. Once you reach their free article limit some sites will prompt you to either purchase the article you are reading or a subscription to their site content. Private browsing can bypass this if they are using cookies to remember when you have visited that site before.
Private Browsing Misconceptions
While people who have access to a user’s machine are unable to view search history when browsing privately, there is a common misconception that private browsing will prevent anyone from seeing search activity. Here is some information to take into account when proceeding to search incognito:
Private browsing is not a firewall. Whether or not you are choosing to browse publicly or privately, private browsing does not prevent from malware or other attacks such as spyware and key logging.
Private browsing doesn’t protect your data on public networks. Private browsing doesn’t stop an unauthorized user from stealing your data on public WiFi. Public WiFi may not be encrypted, or the user may willingly connect to a fake access point, allowing cybercriminals to gain access to the machine without their knowledge.
Some Tips On How to Browse Securely
Private browsing can help in terms of browsing history and preventing certain sites from viewing personal information about you. It can also be utilized if you are concerned about unauthorized users taking advantage of your machine to gain access to your history and online accounts. However, private browsing does not protect your data from cyber theft or other kinds of unwanted snooping.
Keep your OS and Firewall Updated:Attackers are more likely to target machines that are outdated, it is critical you keep your operating system up to date as developers are usually patching to cover up vulnerability. If you only have your machines built-in firewall, consider investing in a decent anti-virus program, but don’t forget to update!
Practice Safe Browsing Habits:Don’t download anything from a website you are not 100% sure of. A quick tip for downloading something off the internet is to hover your mouse over the download, a link will show up in your browser footer telling you exactly what the file name is.
Avoid public WiFi all together: If you choose to use it, then refrain from doing anything involving your personal information and sensitive data, including accessing your email account.
Always Use HTTPS: The “S” stands for secure, the website is using SSL encryption. Using SSL technology ensures all data transmitted on that web server and browser remains encrypted. Check for the padlock icon or “https:” to verify that the site you are viewing is secure.
If Available, Use A VPN: VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network,” which is essentially a private solution within a public network. It creates a tunnel to browse in privacy online, which is helpful in preventing attackers from accessing your personal information.
Don’t Confuse Private Browsing with Browsing Securely
The key take away is to remember that private browsing SHOULD NOT be used a safeguard against cyber criminals. While is does prevent sites from seeing your history & cookies, it should not be used a preventive measure against hacking.
Cyber thieves can just as easily steal data while you are browsing privately. They can gain access to your machine in various ways to get ahold of your personal information. Personal information can include: account names & passwords, information regarding finances & credit card information. It is important to differentiate between using a private browser and browsing securely.
For more information about VPN and safe browsing habits, please feel free to contact CompuOne at 858-404-7000 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.