“How Clean Is Your PC?”

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“How Clean Is Your PC?”

Dear Blast Readers,

 

When it comes to your PC’s Cyber security do you do everything possible to prevent Cyber-attacks and data breaches? Do you use strong passwords? Do you know what constitutes a strong password? Do you avoid any suspicious emails that could lead you into a phishing attack? Do you use two-factor authentication on the accounts that allows you to do so? Have you ever wondered if that is enough? If that is really all it takes to secure your digital information?

 

When you hear the phrase “spring cleaning” you automatically think of cleaning your home. Doing the dishes, sorting cloths, and scrubbing every inch of your home. But, “Spring cleaning” can also refer to cleaning up and separating your digital junk from your valued digital information.

 

If you think that you do not have digital junk, you do. Whether it is old and forgotten email accounts, forgotten thumb-drives, or years’ worth of information in the download folder, everyone has digital junk

 

All unwanted and forgotten files are considered liabilities, a danger to you and your valuable digital information. In the event your digital devices are hacked, stolen, and/or lost, holding onto accounts and files you do not want and/or need opens you up to all kinds of risks. So, cleaning your digital devices is important when securing them.

 

So, where do you start your digital “spring cleaning”?

  1. Address your physical devices. Devices should be cleaned, destroyed, and disposed of properly. Only after you go through all the data and back-up what you want to keep.
  2. Go through your desktop and all your documents. It is important to go through and get rid of any old documents containing personal information, such as: medical and banking information.
  3. Delete any emails you don’t need or want. With your email being the data center of your online life, secure the emails you want to keep and delete the ones that you do not want.
  4. Cancel any account you no longer use. Before deleting any software, clean out and close the account. By doing so, this makes sure the company retains the smallest amount of information as possible about you. It also prevents any more information about you from being collected.
  5. Cancel any email account you no longer use.

 

If you have any questions about Data Security, Cyber Attacks, Cyber Security, or Computer Forensics contact FDS Global. You can reach us at our office at (954) 727-1957 or by email at RMoody@FDS.Global. Please feel free to visit our website at www.FDS.Global.


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“Every Post You Make, Every Status Update, I Will Be Watching You”

Dear Blast Readers,

 

Do you ever feel like someone is watching you? Even when you are just sitting behind your computer? Feeling like someone is taking account of every keystroke that you make and every website you visit? This is the type of feeling that sends shivers down your spine. You don’t know who, or what, is giving you that feeling. This is a feeling that cannot be remedied. Whenever you go online, whenever you sit behind your computer you feel like there are eyes on you.

Cyber stalking is when you are being constantly frightened and/or harassed by someone through electronic means, such as the internet. Some of the forms that Cyber stalking take on, including:

  • Harassing a victim.
  • Embarrassing and/or humiliation of a victim.
  • Gaining financial control over a victim. Usually, by destroying their credit or by draining their bank accounts.
  • Harassing friends and family members of the victim.
  • Frightening a victim, using scare tactics and threats.

 

Within the United States of America, there are 14 out of 50 states that have laws against cyber stalking and cyber harassment. Under the “American Anti-Stalking, Slander & Harassment Law”, Cyber stalking is considered a criminal offense. The results of being convicted include:

  • A restraining order
  • Probation
  • Criminal Penalties (including prison time)

 

If convicted, the sentences range from a fourth-degree charge to a second-degree charge. A fourth-degree charge means 18 months in prison with a fine of $10,000. A second-degree charge means 10 years in prison with a $150,000 fine.

 

So, how do you protect yourself, your family, and/or your PC from Cyber stalkers?

Here are a few tips:

  1. Maintain caution over the physical access to your computer, and any other web-enabled device, including your cellphone.
  2. Make sure you ALWAYS log out of computer programs when you leave the computer. Also, remember to lock your computer when stepping away.
  3. When it comes to online calendars or itineraries, delete them or make them private.
  4. Use privacy settings on any, and all online accounts.
  5. Use trusted and updated security software to stop spyware from getting onto your computer through an infected web page or phishing attack.
  6. If you do suspect that someone is using spyware to track your day-to-day activities, seek help.

 

If you have any questions about Cyber stalking, Spyware, Computer Forensics or Cyber Security contact FDS Global. You can reach us at our office at (954) 727-1957 or by email at RMoody@FDS.Global. Please feel free to visit our website at www.FDS.Global.


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“A Travelers Guide To Protecting Your Data”

Dear Blast Readers,

 

When you hear the word “summer”, what is the first thing you think of? Vacation? Travel? Did you know that most people wont leave home without their smartphones, tablets, and/or computers? Have you ever wondered how traveling can compromise your digital security?

 

People tend to think of vacations as a time to get away and un-plug from the world, both the digital world and physical world. But, it is not realistic to believe that you will NEVER go online while traveling. Yes, it is fun to post pictures and status updates on your social media accounts in real time. But, did you know that by doing so, there is a possibility you are opening yourself, and your digital devices, to cyber criminals?

 

When traveling, public Wi-Fi might seem like a great thing. It allows you to check your email, work, and post updates to your social media accounts. But, as convent as it is, connecting to public Wi-Fi can also be dangerous. Cyber Criminals can take over public networks, and logging onto a corrupted network allows cyber criminals access to your:

  • Personal details
  • Credit card numbers
  • Passwords

 

The data that you, as a traveler, bring wherever you go is valuable and desired. It is important that while traveling you do everything in your power to keep your digital information safely out of the reach of cyber criminals.

 

How? Here are a few tips.

  • Only Use Secure Wi-Fi Networks. When connecting to a public network, consider using a Virtual Private Network, or VPN. This will ensure that your confidential information stays private. A VPN will also ensure that your data goes directly from your device to the network that you are connecting to.
  • Update Your Devices. Updating the software on your devices, as well as the applications updates, is important. Even though the constant update reminder can be annoying, it is your devices way of protecting you and your data.
  • Do Not Use Public Computers. Never use public computers when logging into to banking, email and social media accounts. This means computers in hotel business centers, as well as in-room iPads. Crooks can install keylogging software to track your keystrokes.
  • Secure Your Mobile Devices. Set a PIN for your devices. Setting a PIN can protect your device from unauthorized users.
  • Use Cash Whenever Possible. Using cash whenever possible while traveling keeps your credit/debit card safe from fraudsters. But, if you are to use your credit/debit cards, be cautious.
  • Backup all your devices. Before going on your trip, whether it is for business or vacation, it is a good idea to back up your mobile devices. This allows you to be able to retrieve your information if lost, in case of emergency, or stolen.
  • Critical information should be stored in a different location. When traveling, it is a good idea to store any critical and private information temporarily in a different location. Examples of different locations are: Flash Drives, Mobile Devices, or Cloud Storage.
  • Make sure your computer’s firewall is enabled. Enabling your computer’s firewall helps stop hackers from getting into your system, as well as keeping viruses from spreading and safeguards outgoing computer traffic.

 

If you have any questions about Digital Security, Hacking, Cyber Security, Computer Forensics, or Mobile Forensics contact FDS Global. You can reach us at our office at (954) 727-1957 or by email at RMoody@FDS.Global. Please feel free to visit our website at www.FDS.Global.


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“Your Medical Records Are Next

Dear Blast Readers,

 

Have you ever worried about your credit/debit card information being stolen by hackers? Did you ever think that by visiting your doctor’s office your identity could be stolen? Did you know that, when it comes to protecting customer information, the healthcare system is behind the financial sector by about 10 years?

 

As more hospitals, doctor’s offices, and healthcare facilities go from paper records to digital records more hacking issues are expected. More personal information can be accessed by hackers because more is accessible online.

 

One of the challenges of protecting patient data is that the data is stored digitally. By storing patient information digitally, all devices that have access to this information have access to the internet. With internet access, these devices and the information they have access to can be breached by hackers. Also, data breaches can potentially occur when the patient data is being transmitted over the internet to the cloud. Many hospitals and doctor’s offices utilize cloud servers to store patient data without the patient’s knowledge. Hackers can exploit a vulnerability on the devices, with access to the cloud, compromising millions of patient files.

 

What makes health records so valuable to cyber criminals is the personal nature and its shelf life. Health records contain information such as:

  • Policy Numbers
  • Medical History
  • Billing Information
  • Social Security Numbers

 

Even though some patient data, such as Credit/Debit card information, can be shut down when fraudulent activity is detected. Other data cannot be changed that easily, such as Social Security numbers. So, it is important to protect that information so data breaches do not occur.

 

How can Doctor’s offices, hospitals and healthcare facilities protect patient data?

There are multiple ways that patient data can be protected. Some ways include:

  • Encryption Platforms. Encrypting data makes sure that all data that is being exchanged is done so safely.
  • Back-up patient records. By backing-up patient records this gives hackers less motivation to go after those organizations and their records. All back-ups should be kept in a secure environment.
  • Employ biometric authentication. This helps control and limit access to labs and records to only authorized personnel.
  • Device Management. Device management protects devices in case of theft.

 

If you have any questions about Hacking, Data Security, Cyber Security or Computer Forensics contact FDS Global. You can reach us at our office at (954) 727-1957 or by email at RMoody@FDS.Global. Please feel free to visit our website at www.FDS.Global.