The Internet has fundamentally changed how we communicate, learn, work, and play. While this has been a helpful tool for increasing access and opportunities for everyone, it has also given rise to cybercrimes such as identity theft, stalking, harassment, and more. In order to stay safe and private online, it’s important to understand how the Internet works and what you can do to protect your personal information and privacy.
Set up Strong Passwords
Strong passwords are the most important part of staying private online. A stolen password allows people to access your account even if you’ve locked it with a passcode or PIN. Make sure each password is different and unique. You can use websites that secure your passwords and make them more difficult to steal.
Secure Your Device
Your device, whether it be your phone, laptop, or personal computer, is the gateway to your personal information. If your device is old or damaged, then scammers are more likely to hack into it and access your accounts. Make sure your device is up-to-date, has a strong operating system, and has been updated with the latest security patches.
When using public Wi-Fi, assume that everything you do is public. This includes what you search for, who you talk to, and any browser history you create. Public Wi-Fi is unsecured, meaning that anyone can log onto it with a password. This is common in coffee shops, malls, and other public places. Avoid sharing sensitive information such as logins, passwords, and emails while you are on public Wi-Fi.
Turn On Incognito Mode
Many browsers have incognito mode. This means that none of your search history or login information will be saved. Use this feature when you are entering private information into websites or in public.
Don’t Share Personal Data
One of the best ways to maintain privacy on the Internet is to not share personal data with anyone. This includes not using pictures of you or your real name on social media accounts.
When sharing photos online, be careful with who you share them with. Make sure that the people you share photos with are not also sharing photos of you. When giving out personal information such as phone numbers, make sure that you’re giving it to people you trust. If you are not sure whether you are about to participate in a scam, take steps to assure you are keeping your information safe first!
Seek Professional Help
Today’s Internet is complicated and dangerous. Often, the best thing you can do to make sure all of your devices are secured and your information is protected is find data protection services UK. With the help of a professional, you will be able to make sure that all of your devices are updated to the newest security benefits so that your information is as safe as possible!
It can be difficult to keep your information protected in today’s world. However, with these tips, it becomes simple and easy to make sure you are safe on the Internet!
There are a lot of mistakes an online business owner can make. Sure, the online world is a very accessible place, but when it comes to navigating these waters safely, there’s a lot you need to account for in the early days. And if you don’t, there’s a good chance you could be working with a foundation that’s not as secure as you’d like it to be!
After all, you’ve got cyber security to always keep an eye on, and the social media landscape to attune to, and doing so gets more complicated as you go on. So you need to know you’re working with a reliable, well-built website. But don’t worry, there’s lots you can do right now to refocus your energy for the better, especially in the areas below.
Not Having a Quality Customer Service
Customer service is always a necessity. You need to have a reliable and dedicated ‘desk’ to answer any and all queries and complaints you receive, otherwise, your business will be swamped with unhappy customers and no way to placate them. At the least, you need to be able to filter out the emails and/or direct messages you get to the right place, to make them easier to sort through and answer.
So think about how you’ve been dealing with customers until now. How long is your average response time? Do you have a chat bot to rely on? Do you even make it easy for customers to get in contact with you, by displaying your details clearly on the website? If not, it’s time to rearrange your homepage a little!
Not Focusing on Cyber Security
Cyber security should always be a top priority for you. Keeping customer data safe is a business’ number one job, after turning a profit, and you should never compromise the details of those who have shopped with you. Not only does it prove you’re not a trustworthy company, but it could cost you a lot of money in the long run.
Which means it’s time to look into your online business security; start making backups at least once a week, make sure any software you use is updated to the latest patch, and change any passwords you’ve been using. This should be done about every 30 days anyway, and try not to use a similar arrangement of characters each time either.
Not Enough Social Media Coverage
Finally, do you put much thought into your social media coverage? How often do you post? Because without a proper use of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, it’s going to be hard to get your name out there. People will find it harder to relate to your brand, and your chance of recognition will go out the window. So think about putting a content schedule in place, and use social media much more constructively in the future.
It’s easy to make a mistake when working online, but it’s not that hard to rectify them either.
Whatever sized business you have, whether it’s a one-man-band or a multinational, you have to invest in protecting your data. The web is filled with malware and cyber criminals all looking for a way into your precious data gold mine. If they are successful, then this could cause you a lot of problems. You are also vulnerable to powercuts or other such breaks in the normal running of things. Data is precious, yet at the same time quite vulnerable. Threats can come in many forms, and the consequences of this may be enough to put a business, especially a small one, out of business. However, with the right procedures and security, you can protect your business from this ever-growing threat.
It may be in your best interests to work with a professional and audit all your IT infrastructure. You need to know exactly what needs to be protected, so you are able to secure it appropriately. Think about the computers, backup system, any mobiles devices you may use, and the network. All this needs to be assessed in order to protect it fully.
In the event that you have something stolen, encryption is a valuable asset. That is because no one will be able to access the data on a hard disk or thumb drive. You may lose the physical hardware but the data will be safe a secure.
If you do not have the capabilities to have a fully comprehensive security solution in-house, it is wise to outsource. Firstly you will know that your data is being properly protected by professionals who do this day in and day out. You will not have to worry that something was set up incorrectly. If there are any problems, you know they will be able to come and fix them straight away. Also, in the long run, it will save you time, money, and a lot of potential stress.
Use multiple-security solutions.
To protect against cybercrime, aka hackers, and their ever more sophisticated techniques, you need multi-layered protection on all the devices you have. A multi-security solution will be able to block attacks targeting your network, and it will notify you of this issue, so you are able to take immediate action. If you implement the right solutions, a hacker will see that your security is more trouble than it is worth.
If you don’t have a server room with the associated backup, your data requires you may experience a whole range of issues. A server room keeps things at an ambient temperature to avoid the problem of over-heating, for example. They can also provide additional power should you suffer from a blackout which could result in the loss of a lot of data. You should consider data centre ups solutions. In an age where energy reduction is paramount, you should be thinking about ways to reduce your carbon foot front too. With this sort of solution, there is scope for you to balance your power output and make it more cost-effective.
IoT, or the internet of things, has taken the world by storm. In 2018, the smart devices market value is estimated at a whopping $164 billion and will grow exponentially in the next few years.
Every discerning business owner might be wondering whether IoT is ideal for their business and what they stand to lose by not investing in it.
Well, here is all the information you need to decide whether to invest in IoT.
What Is the Internet of Things?
Simply put, IoT refers to all the devices that collect and transmit data over the internet. Also known as smart devices, these appliances help to make life more convenient for users.
For example, IoT devices include smart fridges that regulate temperature independently and smartwatches that double as health devices.
What Are the IoT Advantages for Business Owners?
IoT use is highly prominent in the personal sphere. However, the past few years have seen increased use of this technology in the corporate and manufacturing world. Some of the benefits that organisations enjoy by employing this technology include:
Lower Operational Costs
Smart devices can help businesses save a lot on their utilities. An innovative HVAC system, for instance, maintains a building’s temperature to a suitable degree. This minimises unnecessary heating or cooling that often leads to energy wastage. Over time, you will end up saving a substantial amount of money.
Additionally, you can use IoT devices to reduce your labour costs. For instance, voice assistants can competently accomplish most tasks that assistants do, like organising your calendars, connecting with customers on live chat video software and reminding you of when projects are due.
Offers More Convenience
IoT devices make life much easier for everyone at the office. Take a smart printer, for example. Rather than deal with disgruntled employees inconvenienced by a lack of ink in the printer, you can have smart printers that detect ink levels and inform you when you are running low.
Some devices even pinpoint issues as they arise, thus giving you ample time to rectify them. This can save your company a lot of inconvenience and worry.
Smart locks are yet another IoT device that offers incredible convenience. With them, you don’t need to carry keys around all day. Additionally, since you can use an app to open the door, it is easier to access buildings when you are in a hurry.
Improve Your Competitiveness
There is no denying that the IoT is the future of business. Therefore, a company that fails to take advantage of this new technology will lose its competitive edge in the coming decade.
For instance, in the manufacturing field, IoT for automation can tremendously improve a company’s efficiency. The more efficient an organisation is, the better it will be at handling its customer’s needs. This enables it to retain its current customers and attract new ones.
Granted, IoT has its fair share of concerns. However, the most prominent one is the security risk the devices pose due to their susceptibility to hackers.
By and large, the pros of using IoT in your company far outweigh the cons. However, before you decide to invest in it, ensure that it will help you meet your company goals. If it will, do not hesitate to incorporate it into your entity.
Connecting to the internet securely at home is no longer a matter of just enabling your antivirus and firewall software. We no longer connect using our PCs. Instead, many devices are connected to our networks, including smartphones, TVs, smart assistants, streaming boxes, games consoles, and even lightbulbs. I even have internet-connected curtains!
PCs and Smartphones have additional security enabled, but once you start looking at these other devices, you soon find that there are limitations. Hence, a home network security solution out of the box is a welcome product.
Wouldn’t it be fantastic if a box you could install on your network would help secure your internet connection before it even touches these devices? Well, it appears there are indeed such devices.
Enter the Bitdefender BOX, a device (or security hub) that protects all of our internet-connected devices from one single place. The BOX uses machine learning to pick up potential threats and filter unsafe data. It ensures that everything connected to your network is protected from intrusion as new threats are detected.
The Bitdefender BOX also includes software that you can install on your Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS devices. It works alongside the hub.
All of this is achieved by replacing your existing WiFi network with a new, highly secure version run from the hub. There is a short process where you will need to connect your devices to this new network. The most straightforward option I found was to disable my existing WiFi network on my ISP’s router and then click the hub via the Ethernet Port.
Suppose you have any network extensions such as a powerline ethernet connector. In that case, you also need to unplug this from your router and connect them to the Bitdefender BOX.
The app takes you through the process in a simple, step-by-step process, which is straightforward to follow. You should be able to keep it up and running. Further, it allows you to monitor threats and warnings moving forward efficiently. If you do get stuck, there is a free setup hotline that you can call 24 hours a day.
One of the things that caught my attention was the protection for younger internet users, including filtering and parental control. It includes ‘predator detection’ options which will come as a relief for parents of young children.
What Bitdefender is offering is not just a simple firewall for your home network. It is much more than a dedicated device protecting your home PCs and Laptops. It is also an IoT security platform protecting the smart devices that you might well have plugged in and forgotten.
The first year of updates is included in the price. However, you will need to subscribe after this to continue to receive updates.
Currently, the Bitdefender Box is priced at £129 and can be purchased directly from their website by clicking here.
Such are the strange times we live in, many of us now face working from home for the first time along with caring for our children.
I have worked from home extensively over the past 20 years and I thought I would try and share some tips on how I have been able to work effectively in a home environment.
This morning I spoke to James Hazell at BBC Radio Suffolk about the trials and tribulations about working from home. Listen in to the stream to hear what I had to say and especially the advice at the end.
Stay Safe and Healthy
If you have been given a laptop to use at home, then there is a danger that you may find yourself sitting in an armchair trying to work and you will soon find this isn’t going to work well.
Set up a work environment in a spare room or even your bedroom where you can away from disturbances and distractions as best as possible.
Find a comfortable chair and if possible sit near a window so you can get fresh air while you are working.
Set up your computer, so that is a semi-permanent environment and will allow you to separate work from home and give you a place to ‘go to work’
Get dressed, you don’t go to your place of work in your pyjamas, so again, getting dressed gets your prepared for work.
Take plenty of breaks. If you have children at home, you will need to be able to give them attention. If you can set specific times during the day to stop work, get up and walk around and make yourself a drink.
Try to begin and end your work-day as you would if you were going to your place of work. Let your employer know that these are your work times. Setting these boundaries will mean that you aren’t on-call 24/7.
Most home-working requires an internet connection. Over the coming months, our communications links are going to be under a great deal of strain. The video streaming services are going to be used extensively and this will put a great deal of pressure on internet connection speeds. Home internet is very different to work internet due to what’s called ‘contention ratios’, so you should be prepared for slower than normal connection speeds.
Ask your employer to provide you with a mobile device that can be used as a ‘tether’. This means that should traditional broadband experience issues, you can fall back onto connecting to the internet by connecting via a ‘personal mobile hotspot’.
Make sure all of your internet-connected devices are up to date. This means ensuring anti-virus is updated where applicable and any operating systems updates on your computers, set-top boxes, TV’s, IpCams etc are updated
Keep all of your battery-powered devices charged up, but don’t leave mobile phones plugged in all of the time as the batteries don’t work as effectively if they all continuously charged.
Use a trusted VPN connection to secure your broadband connection further. I recommend Ivacy VPN. Using a VPN or Virtual Private Network secures your connection.
Finally, regardless of whether you are working at home or not, you WILL find the number of scam calls you receive will increase, mainly because you will find yourself at home so much more. NEVER give out any personal bank details over the phone including PIN numbers or passwords. Ignore all automated calls and just hang up. These people care little for the health or financial wellbeing of their victims. If in doubt, speak to a trusted friend or member of your family before taking any action that will cost you money.
In this week’s Gadget Man, I talk to James Hazell about phantom phone calls when phones are set to silent, Zombie Bot Networks, Dyson Hair Straighteners and VAT is finally removed from eBooks!
You can listen to the stream (above) or play the video (below)
James Hazell: [00:00:00] It’s time. We looked at technology, several things to discuss, not least of which can scammers really make your phone ring when it’s set to silent cause mine just did that is find out more from the gadget guru Matt Porter of Matt thought a web designer. Hi Matt.
Matt Porter: [00:00:23] Hi,
James Hazell: [00:00:24] good to speak to you. As always, my friend.
Now I’ve just read this and I don’t know if it’s true or not, but my phone, Jeff definitely just rang in the middle of an interview and it is set to silent and this particular website says, Oh yes, banners can do that. They can make your phone ring even if it’s on silent. Is that true, Matt?
Matt Porter: [00:00:44] I’ve certainly heard of strange things occurring with phones and things like that.
there are. I think particular codes, which can override these kinds of silent system so that you are contacted if necessary, in an event of an emergency. What happens
James Hazell: [00:01:03] despite it said, yeah, emergency call. but it was just an ordinary number, some, you know, a one, three, three or something. So, you know,
Matt Porter: [00:01:12] interesting.
James Hazell: [00:01:13] yeah.
Matt Porter: [00:01:14] It’s similar to the traffic. the traffic alert system on cars that even if you have them switched off, there are certain, instances where they will switch on even if you don’t want them to. So then you can, the idea of being, you can be alerted to something that’s very urgent.
James Hazell: [00:01:30] Well, I guess what we can learn from this is that if your phone rings.
And it’s set to silent and you don’t recognize the number. Then as every Bob possibility could be spat, but then if I go say that people won’t answer the emergency calls, so ignore that advice.
Matt Porter: [00:01:44] Well, this is the problem yet.
James Hazell: [00:01:46] Yeah. Okay. anyway, look, yesterday the budget and that map included a VAT scrap.
On eBooks and newspapers. It’s quite specific that,
Matt Porter: [00:02:00] yeah, this has been something that’s been going on for quite a while where, the, the, I mean there’s, it’s very contentious, the sale of eBooks and things like that, or eat publications. But the fact that we. don’t have to pay VAT. If we buy newspapers, books, journals, magazines, et cetera.
It’s VAT exempt, I believe, but eBooks and eat papers and all of those other things aren’t. This has been, now overturned or, or abolished so that from the 1st of December, we won’t have to pay VAT on our eBooks, magazines, et cetera, which is. A great thing. What it doesn’t cover, unfortunately, is audiobooks.
So you still pay VAT on audiobooks, the nib set. That was disappointing.
James Hazell: [00:02:40] Yeah. They, have, issued a statement to say that they find that very disappointing. Is this, do you think an oversight? Because I, I can’t imagine any politician is going to want to deliberately upset a group of people such as the IB.
Matt Porter: [00:02:55] It, it surely must be an oversight, I guess. and I, I, I listened to audio books all the time. I’m not disabled. However, I’m still having to pay a 20% premium on my audio book that I wouldn’t be if I bought the book from a store. So I think that maybe it needs to be looked at. we’ve got a bit of time before this comes into effect of the 1st of December, so hopefully it will be.
but yeah, I don’t see there’s any difference between, reading something online or reading in a book form. In fact, it’s probably. Less, environmentally damaging to read it online, hopefully.
James Hazell: [00:03:27] Yeah, absolutely. And that’s the basis behind this a VAT Carson environment thing, right? Yeah.
Matt Porter: [00:03:34] Hopefully. Yeah.
James Hazell: [00:03:35] from
Matt Porter: [00:03:36] the bedroom
James Hazell: [00:03:37] to the bathroom and specifically hair straighteners and something new from Dyson.
Matt Porter: [00:03:43] Yes. Dyson, wanting to be the forefront of all things, domestic with their vacuum cleaners and all kinds of other things. Hand dryers, they’ve now, announced a cordless hair straightener, which apparently, requires less heat, so it’s less damaging on, on the person’s hair.
And it also. apparently the straighteners are 65 microns thick, which is the width of a human hair. And thus, can effectively, from what I understand, it almost straighten each individual follicule or each individual hair individually so you don’t have to keep going over and over and over and over the hair repeatedly and thus damaging it.
so it’s made from. Ah, goodness me. I did write it. And McEleney manganese, copper alloy. It’s slightly flexible as well, guys. Yeah,
James Hazell: [00:04:32] they, I had no idea how important has straighteners were until quite recently. Actually. I failed to
Matt Porter: [00:04:40] pack them
James Hazell: [00:04:41] and then I said, why or what do you need those for? Put them in the bag now won’t go anywhere without the hair.
Matt Porter: [00:04:48] wow. We live in a, we live in a world where looks and appearance are very important to people. And you know, some people, it helps them with their self confidence. So you can’t really argue against these things. If it makes people feel better, I’m sure they feel delighted to know that this is around 400 pounds less hair straightener but 400 pounds.
Yeah. But conveniently just to lessen that blow. It’s available apparently in dark nickel and fuchsia, or purple and black. So that should make people fill out all the holes. It better make one purchase
James Hazell: [00:05:20] a difference. Vic, would you spend 400 pounds on air? Straighteners.
Matt Porter: [00:05:24] Well, Joe.
James Hazell: [00:05:25] Oh my goodness. She’s thinking about an
Matt Porter: [00:05:28] eight.
James Hazell: [00:05:28] I do have a
Matt Porter: [00:05:30] inexpensive pair of straighteners
James Hazell: [00:05:31] and they’ve lasted me
Matt Porter: [00:05:32] years and they are brilliant.
James Hazell: [00:05:33] So I would consider that what? Consider yes hundred pounds on her splints.
Matt Porter: [00:05:39] Yes, but then I would on my own a flight if that much,
James Hazell: [00:05:42] here’s what’s going to be the problem though, Matt. People are going to be straightening their hair like on the bus and on the tube and things like that.
Only now if they are going to be cordless.
Matt Porter: [00:05:50] Maybe, who knows?
James Hazell: [00:05:52] if they do, I’ll start saving. I’ll start shaving. That’s what I’ll do.
Matt Porter: [00:05:55] Yeah. I may be going to have people having, instead of having the expensive headphones stolen on the tube, they’ll be having their hair straighteners stolen
James Hazell: [00:06:02] out. That’ll be the next crime wave.
Matt Porter: [00:06:04] that’s right. You will not, in no way, even in fact, because the crime straight
James Hazell: [00:06:13] on a crime, which I’m finally in Microsoft have said they are part all they are responsible. for dismantling a large international network of zombie bots that were causing 9 million computers, problems accessing or facilitating crime.
And goodness knows what is this story man.
Matt Porter: [00:06:37] Yeah. This is a, this is something that’s been apparently eight years in the planning with 35 countries, partners in 35 countries around the world. Basically, there were these, automated systems. A botnet is an automated system that does generally unpleasant things.
In this case, it was finding and registering domain names automatically building websites and then uploading. Infected software onto those websites. The emails would then be sent out to people unsuspected saying, please connect to your X, Y, Zed, and reset your password. They would unwittingly click on those, which would send them to these.
Malicious websites, which would then do things such as steel, identity, gain, access to your bank accounts, and all of those kinds of unpleasant things as stinging passwords, sell you pharmaceuticals and all of that kind of unpleasant stuff. what Microsoft managed to do here was they used an algorithm, which I assume was some kind of artificial intelligence, which could.
In advance, predict the domain names that were going to be registered next and block them before in advance so that people actually couldn’t access them at all, which is really, really good use of technology where you’re blocking stuff before even becomes a problem. And apparently this has resulted in the dismantling of this, this zombie botnet.
James Hazell: [00:08:06] obviously had some success. I do worry though, and Microsoft, I’m by no means alone in this, but their product outlook will frequently put emails from my producer Vick into the spam folder. And you know, there’s, there is a, a balance to be drawn. If we’re too strict with all of this stuff, we end up missing stuff.
Matt Porter: [00:08:27] Yeah. Listen, I, I manage, email delivery for, for dozens and dozens and dozens of customers and many, many times I’m having to contact different providers and not pleading with them, but trying to sort of explain to them that this email shouldn’t be put into spam. That’s billions of emails are sent.
Spam emails are sent on a daily basis, and the fact that these systems are in place that can, you know, we would have, our mailbox is absolutely full with rubbish. Yeah. Well more rubbish to the normal. if the systems weren’t in place and he’s just, you know, you’re chasing your tail because you get these folks positives all the time.
And I get them, I get people, I’m fat. I had a company ring up and berating me saying, why did you delete our email when you asked? You told us we were interested, and I go look in my spam and it’s sitting in there. absolutely. Yeah.
James Hazell: [00:09:21] That’s right. So
Matt Porter: [00:09:22] that is great news that they’re working against these things.
James Hazell: [00:09:24] The advice, never click on a link unless you are absolutely certain it is a genuinely, right.
Matt Porter: [00:09:30] Yeah. These malicious, you know, there’s popups that come up on websites, anything like that, saying, your computer’s infected, all of those things, please, please, please don’t ever click on any of those links. Don’t ring any of those numbers.
They are not there to help you. They’re there to steal your money and they don’t care a jot about what situation you might be in financially or in health. They just want your money. So don’t click on anything like that. Don’t ring any numbers. Just go to go to the, you know, go to your nearest supplier or something and speak to somebody you trust.
James Hazell: [00:10:02] Matt bought it of Matt bought at web design with the tech update for this week. Might have a great week. Thank you my friend.
This week’s Podcast / Vlog-cast comes from the second floor of Gadget Towers! In this episode, I talk to James Hazell at BBC Radio Suffolk about Apple’s class action settlement regarding the perceived slowing down of older iPhone models.
Running a website with an SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt? Check that you don’t need to request a new one as there has been issues with a large number over the past couple of days.
Boston Dynamics are at it again, this time they have their ever advance automation working in warehouses. Watch the videos after the Vlog to find out more.
Keeping backup copies of your data has never been so important and only this week it has been revealed that a fire at Universal Music has resulted in the loss of the original master tapes of some of the worlds most famous artists.
To compound the issue, the backups were kept in the same vaults and seemingly perished resulting in the total loss of the original recordings of the likes of Buddy Holly, Eminem, Sheryl Crow, Tupac and Tom Petty (to same but a few!).
With digital photography now the primary method of capturing images, it is now more important than ever that these sometimes precious images are also kept safe. Hardware failure or loss of devices is more common than ever before, so multiple backups are extremely important!
Today I spoke to James Hazell on BBC Radio Suffolk about backups and my experience of how to keep your data safe.
To find out more, listen into the stream above. Don’t forget to Like, Subscribe and Comment with your experiences of backup successes and failures.
For the last 24 hours, there has been collective panic across the digital world! Was this panic caused by the continued disaster that is the Brexit negotiations and repeated House of Commons votes?
No, it was because the worlds largest Social Networks were failing all around us. Literally MILLIONS of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp users were panicking at the loss or at least interruption of their services.
There are many reasons for these failures, Facebook has denied DDoS attacks, but there is a myriad of other reasons, software corruption, network failure or hardware issues. There has even been the discussion of AI being involved in the problems!
** UPDATE – 14/03/19 21:59 ***
Facebook has now officially explained the reasons for the issues suffered over the past 24 hours as follows:-
Yesterday, as a result of a server configuration change, many people had trouble accessing our apps and services. We've now resolved the issues and our systems are recovering. We’re very sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate everyone’s patience.
Currently, we haven’t had an explanation and as soon as we do (see above), I will post it on this blog, until then, you can listen in to me talking to James Hazell at BBC Radio Suffolk about the problem.
Before I go, make sure you watch The Truman Show, in particular watch the very end, as the show draws to an end, everyone goes back to their normal lives. Maybe, we should too.
Don’t forget to Like, Subscribe and Share using the appropriate buttons.
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