Do You Really Need Two-Factor Authentication?

The most common security method used to access your accounts online is with an email address and a password.  You use these steps every day in some way with your computer, email, banking, social media and countless other online locations.  Another layer of protection for authentication that is being commonly added is called Two-Factor Authentication, 2FA, Two-Step Security or Multi-Factor Authentication.

You should be activating this extra layer of authentication with you online accounts. With so much Internet fraud, two-factor authentication is a method which can help keep your online accounts and personal information better protected. 


How does it work?

Two-factor authentication is a security process in which the user provides two means of unique information from different sources; one is something you may have memorized, like a password, and the other is something physical, like a security code sent to you in a text message.  Sometimes, this code can be generated and sent to you as an email.

You are already using the password process, and the new piece is the security code generated in the form of text message.  Most of the time, this 2FA process is used only when accessing your account from a new web browser or computer.  More secure online services will require 2FA at every login, but this is rare.

Which accounts should you use 2FA?

Many financial organizations are already making this mandatory.  Other online accounts, which hold valuable personal information, make it an option, and you may need to turn on: Apple, Google, Facebook, Comcast, and bigger brands.  Very few online shopping sites have established any kind of 2FA yet.

How do you set up 2FA?

After you have logged-in to your account, you would go to your personal settings.  Next, you would have to make sure your cell phone number is established in your account information. Then, in security settings, you would find the option to turn on login authentication from your phone or text message. Each organization is different regarding how it is handled, but once set-up, a text message is sent to your phone as a new step for your log-in process to access your account. 

To learn more about out to keep yourself better protected watch a recording of our recent webinar - Keeping Your Business Secure Online here. 

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[Webinar] Are you ready for the Internet of Things (IoT)?

Join us for our October Lunch and Learn: Sign Up Page

ios 10It is estimated there are already 6.4 billion devices as a part of the Internet of Things (IoT) which will more then triple by 2020. Businesses, governments and home users are quickly adopting these devices being used across the Internet. 

The Internet of Things will be effecting  everything from how we monitor the health conditions of a family member, how crops are managed, the way we commute, supply chain management and countless other ways effecting all of us.

How does IoT work? What does the IoT mean to you? What are the business opportunities and challenges with embracing this new category of computing devices?

Topic areas in the webinar

• IoT overview
• Sensors, switches and screens
• Personal uses
• Privacy and Security issues
• Business opportunities

When: Wed, Oct 26, 2016 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT

Where: Online

Join us for our October Lunch and Learn: Sign Up Page

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How to prepare your iPhone and iPad before updating to iOS 10

Apple is releasing iOS 10 for iPhones and iPads on September 13th.  Like previous software updates, iOS 10 offers many new compelling features and improved security for your Apple devices.  Take a little time preparing before rushing into a new major operating system (OS) update.  Often, there are a few incompatibility and technical issues that are only uncovered after the final release to the public.  When it is time to upgrade your iOS device, there are a few steps to take before you get started.

ios 10Can you upgrade your device?
Before upgrading, you need to know if your device is compatible with iOS 10. Apple has identified these devices as upgradable to iOS 10:
• iPhones 5, 5s, 5c, SE, 6, Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus
• iPad Pro, Air, Air 2, 4th Gen, mini 2, mini 3, mini 4
• iPod 6 Gen

Do you have enough space?
It’s a good time to look at your device to see if you have enough space and clean up some storage.  Check under Settings>General>Storage & iCloud Usage to uncover how much storage space is being used and available.  If there’s anything less than about 1 GB, it’s time to remove some older items.  A full list of apps and storage demands by those apps are listed under Manage Storage.  Apps that are using GB’s and hundreds of MB’s of data should be further examined. You can delete songs and some files from this setting. Go through your apps list and delete those unused games and never used apps.  
Clean up media
The biggest storage hogs are your photos and videos.  After a year of birthday parties and vacations, there will be plenty of videos and photos you no longer may need.  Save the good ones, but there is no need to keep everything.  You can use Dropbox or iCloud as a way to regularly store those photos and then permanently delete that media off your iPhone. 

Update Your Apps
Update you current applications before upgrading the OS. Most all App developers update their applications with a major OS update, and you will likely need that update in combination with the OS upgrade.  It can take time to update a dozen or more apps on your device, so do it ahead of time.  This can be accomplished by going to the App Store on your iPhone and selecting Updates. 

Backup everything in iTunes
A non-negotiable element is backing up your device before you start the upgrade to iOS 10.  Many things can go wrong and having a fall back option is critical. I like to do the backup in iTunes with the Encrypted iPhone backup option using a USB cable connection.  This way, most all the passwords I have installed on that device are backed up in the process.  This is also the process I would take before transferring my old iPhone to a new iPhone 7.

Getting started
Finally, make sure your device is fully charged and you can start your upgrade.  Often, it’s best to wait a day or so to upgrade after the release date. With millions of people trying to update, there can be real slow-downs in getting the update. Very rarely, there can be an issue with a major update and waiting a day or so is a safe bet. 

The update can be found under Settings>General>Software Update.  The process can take up to an hour or more, depending on demand.  

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Six Tips for Secure File Sharing in the Cloud

cloud file sharingThe convenience of easy-to-use features for cloud file sharing along with a low price point have made Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and others frequently used by many organizations.  Shared cloud drives are often accessed across multiple devices like your office laptop, smartphone, and home computers.  Sensitive business documents are readily being shared between employees, customers and family members on the same accounts.  Files can be easily spread far and wide. 

It's not that services like Dropbox are inherently insecure, but rather, how people are using them.  Here are six tips to help you stay more secure while using file sharing services.

Use Upgraded Services
There are plenty of cloud sharing services that offer gigabytes of storage for free.  Paid or business versions of these services typically offer enhanced security and disaster recovery features.  Invest in and use the extra security features.

Set Permissions
The more important the information, the more controls you want to put on the documents you are sharing.  You can assign different levels of permissions for folders and documents.  Some information can be read-only, and others can be given complete access.  Sometimes, you may want to create drop-boxes that people can add documents to, but where they cannot see the contents of the folders.  Providing full read-write and open access to your shared folders leaves your documents too open, increasing the risk of potential security breaches.

Use Complex Passwords
Use a combination of at least eight characters - uppercase, lowercase, symbols and numbers - to create a more complex password.  The two most popular passwords are "password" and "123456", even to this day, and are fine examples of passwords not to create.  

Make Passwords
Don't use the same password across multiple sites.  It would be very troubling to have your Facebook account compromised, but foolish to give those same cyber thieves access to your bank, email and credit cards too. 

Multi-factor Authentication
Other security features such as multi or two-factor authentication should also be used.  Services that use this method will send users a message with a one-time access code they must enter before accessing the system.  This is often an option and is typically set up with a text message sent to your smartphone.

Device Auto-locking
Most file sharing services provide round-trip access of your documents on your PC, web browser, iPhone and iPad.  Ensure all of your devices have auto-locking set up to keep all points of access locked down.     

To learn about even more enhanced cloud security, check out our video on the Ease Cloud Workspace.  Our powerful cloud offering provides the ability for everyone in your office to securely work from anywhere, anytime and on any device.  Watch our overview video to learn more here.

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Keeping Your Business Secure Online [Recorded August 2016]

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) and countless other organizations are cyber targets. A data breach can have a major effect on your business - loss of customers, reduced brand reputation, significant financial impact and more. If you think your business is too small to be an attractive target for cyber criminals or you don't have anything worth stealing, think again. 

Watch our recorded webinar to get caught up!

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