Blog Post Archive - Archives
Think about this scenario: A friend tells you that they received a message from your email address that wasn’t really sent from you. They think you’ve been hacked and your account is sending malicious emails to friends. How do you know if your email address account has been compromised, or if this malicious attempt is just spoofing your email address?
Email “spoofing” means that an attacker is impersonating you by pretending to send an email from your account. The recipient of the email will see your email… but if you dig deeper into the email message’s contents, you can often see whether the email was truly sent from your account or only made to appear so.
This type of impersonation is possible because email messages can show a difference between “display” information and the actual information embedded in what’s called the “email header”. Spoofing is an attempt to forge the email header, taking advantage of email protocols’ lack of authentication. Read more...
used with permission from Microsoft Industry Blogs
Small businesses can use AI to improve their bottom line
Chatbots cut business costs by $20 million last year. By 2022, that savings is expected to jump to $8 billion. That’s an increase of about 75% in five years. Artificial intelligence (AI) allows customers to ask questions, compare products and pricing, and make purchases, without speaking to a sales representative. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their enterprise relationships without interacting with a human. Not only does this empower consumers, but it saves your business time and money with fewer personnel on the payroll.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
To understand what AI means today, it helps to go back in time. In the mid-19th century, when a person carried out a task that required thinking, problem solving, planning, learning, or reasoning, it was said that they had to “apply intelligence” to accomplish the job. Read more...
used with permission from Microsoft, by Athima Chansanchai
If you need to allot time to take care of the items on your to-do list, wouldn’t it be great if you could drag and drop those tasks right into your calendar? Now, you can.
The new Tasks experience in Outlook.com helps you manage tasks without breaking your flow or leaving your inbox. Powered by To-Do, you can now create tasks by dragging and dropping an email to your task list. Or, easily schedule items by dragging a task to your calendar. Your tasks then travel with you on the To-Do app.
Check it out in action:Read more...
used with permission from SBA.gov., by Anita Campbell
Bad online reviews can cause potential customers to shop elsewhere, negatively impacting your business’ bottom line. If your business has received a bad online review, here are steps you can take to handle it and minimize the damage.
Respond to Customer Reviews
Ignoring a bad review won’t make it go away. On the other hand, responding to customer reviews can result in better ratings and improve your business’ online reputation.
The Harvard Business Review analyzed tens of thousands of hotel reviews and responses from TripAdvisor. The study found that around a third of reviews on TripAdvisor receive a response and almost a half of hotels respond to reviews. According to the study, hotels that respond to customer reviews receive 12 percent more reviews and their ratings increase by an average of 0.12 stars.
used with permission from FTC.gov., by Andrew Smith, Director, FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection
Mention the word “ransomware” at a meeting of small business owners and you’ll feel the temperature in the room drop by 20 degrees. A ransomware attack is a chilling prospect that could freeze you out of the files you need to run your business. When FTC staff met with business owners across the country, you cited ransomware as a particular concern. New resources from the FTC can help protect your company from this threat.
Ransomware: How It Happens
What is a ransomware attack? It can start innocently enough. An employee clicks on a link, downloads an email attachment, or visits a website where malicious code is lurking in the background. With just one keystroke, they inadvertently install software that locks you out of your own files. The cyber crook then demands a ransom, often in the form of cryptocurrency. Read more...
We are starting to hear from clients interested in IT capital expenditures or projects they want to accomplish before the end of the calendar year for both operational and tax deduction purposes – in many instances equipment purchases and IT projects can be strategically structured to make the tax savings substantial. If you are also looking at end of year IT spending, we encourage you to get in touch as soon as possible so that we can help meet your goals and timing. Read more...
used with permission from Microsoft On the Issues, by Athima Chansanchai
And then, before you know it, responding to these warnings has delivered your passwords and personal information to scammers, your PC is under their control and now they’re extorting you by peddling bogus security software and services.
A new Microsoft survey of 16 countries released this month, focused on tech support scams and their impact on consumers, shows less people are now susceptible to these scams. And the percentage of respondents who’ve been exposed to them is decreasing. Overall, people are losing less money. This 2018 Global Tech Support Scam Research report follows an earlier one Microsoft released in 2016.
Just in time for October, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, this research revealed consumers have developed a healthy skepticism about unsolicited contact from technology and software companies. Read more...
used with permission from Tektonika (HP), by Karen Gilleland
“Gimme the dough—or you’ll never see your files again!” In this scenario, the thug in the mask is ransomware, and it’s only one of the ways cybercriminals attack businesses—which are often left vulnerable due to poor business security or cybersecurity practices. Alongside the devastating effects cyber attacks can have on individuals, cybercriminals are sucking billions of dollars out of the economy, and you do not want your business in that position.
Toward the end of 2017, the US government passed H.R.2105, a law aimed at helping businesses beef up their cybersecurity by providing guidelines about effective tools and strategies to combat the rise of cybercrime. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been charged with developing a comprehensive set of guidelines by October 2018, but what can you do while waiting around for that to happen? Start firming up your IT environment with the following tips, of course. Read more...
Update: Microsoft has stopped deploying build 1809 due to reports of lost data. At this time there is not a new release window. More information can be found at this link.
Microsoft Windows runs 87% of the world’s computers.
Windows 10 is the latest version and keeps evolving to bring you the best experience when it comes to your phone and PC.
In October 2018 the latest update to the popular software is rolling out and there are even more changes. But which features are really worth your while and which are just fluff?
Here are five of the most exciting Windows 10 features new in October.
One of the most simplest yet biggest updates to Windows is Dark Mode.
But why is dark mode so popular? There are three main reasons.
used with permission from FTC.gov., by Amy Hebert
Tech support scams, which get people to pay for fake computer help or steal their personal information, are convincing. You might already know the signs of a tech support scam, but do your friends and family? Here’s what they need to know now:
- Companies like Microsoft don’t call and ask for access to your computer. If you get a call like that, it’s a scam.
- Real companies also won’t ask for your account passwords. Only scammers do.
- Tech support scammers try to convince you they’re legitimate. They’ll pretend to know about a problem on your computer. They’ll ask you to open normal files that look alarming to make you think you need help.
- If you do need computer help, go directly to a person, business, or website you know you can trust. General online searches are risky because they might pull up another scam.