TRI Newsletter – October 2020
TRI Newsletter – Oct 2020
Most of us are concerned about our online and email security. There are so many accounts that we use all the time that involve a username & password that need to be secure. This is a rabbit hole that goes very deep, but we have some rules of thumb that can help.
2 Factor Authentication (2FA)
2FA means that when you, or anybody else tries to log into your account, they will need a second type of confirmation that you are actually who you say you are in order to log in. Typically this will mean a text to your cell phone, a phone call with a code, a device/app generated code, or a USB Key that gets inserted into the computer.
While 2FA is becoming a more and more common option to secure your accounts, it’s by no means universal. So, start by checking your accounts to see if they include 2FA as a security option. If it’s available, it is usually just a matter of checking a few boxes and setting up your preferred method of confirmation.
There are a lot of misconceptions about strong passwords, mainly stemming from how much the process of compromising passwords and accounts have changed over the years. Historical best practices like adding symbols, and frequently changing passwords are a good defense against someone you know randomly guessing your password. However, the advanced cracking software out there today makes symbol addition less effective, and frequent password changes oftentimes actually lead to weaker passwords overall, since you have to remember so many.
The best thing you can do when creating a strong password is to make a long password. Many services and websites will require at least 8 characters, which is a good start, but as a general rule the longer your password is, the harder it is to crack.
With the frequency of big businesses’ password databases being compromised, it’s more important than ever to try and use a unique password for every website that requires one. Even using simple passwords this can be very difficult to keep track of! Password managers come in as a potential solution to this problem, but these can come with their own set of risks.
The key benefit is that all of your passwords are easily accessible by you in a single location. But, this also carries the risk that if your password manager account or the company providing you the service gets compromised, then all your accounts are now vulnerable. If you forget the password to the manager that can cause issues as well as you are locked out of all of your accounts.
It’s important to weigh your risks and rewards when choosing to use a service like this, and determine what you are comfortable with. Some people use a password manager and love it others use a notebook and still others use a spreadsheet. Whatever way you are using to keep track of your passwords make sure it is secure, precise & you can read it.
Technical Reinforcements is among those who worked from home during the Shelter in place order and for the most part we still are. The office is now open for contactless drop off and pick up and we are doing remote support. As long as you have an internet connection we can do a remote. In some instances we can do phone support when your internet is not available. We are still not doing onsite visits to homes yet.
What is Scareware? Scareware is a pop up that shows up while on the internet or in email telling you, you’re infected. It is called Scareware because it does just that. Scares you into taking action. Stop! You are not infected! It is not until you take the action they want that you are in trouble and get infected (by clicking or calling). Just Shut Down!
Think of it like the telemarketing calls you get about your extended warranty on your car or Good News- Your credit card limit has been raised. No, it’s not, they just want you to give them your info. What do you do when you get those calls? Hang up! Shutting Down your computer does the same thing.
The first thing I will ask when called is did you shut down your computer. If shutting down didn’t solve the problem, we can schedule a remote to get you fixed up.
If you clicked on/or called the number, Shut Down your computer and call us. Most spyware can be cleaned off your computer in about an hour or less @ $125\hr.
Call your bank/CC company if you gave out that info and have the charges reversed and account info changed.
The best way to reach us is by calling the mainline at 612-720-0233 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not text or contact the techs directly. If they are on a call they will not answer your call, email or text until free. Calling 612-720-0233 is the fastest way to get an appointment or a question answered.
James, Chris, Clint, Brett, Adam & Suzi