Online Privacy and Cookies

Have you ever been on Google looking for something and then it shows up in your Facebook feed? Have you noticed that advertisements on the internet seem more and more applicable to your wants and needs? Well, you can thank (or scorn) big data for that. The practice is commonly known as “targeted advertising” uses data to target the most receptive candidates. Advertisers know that someone browsing for socks might very well purchase socks from an online retailer that gets in front of them. This sort of data can come from a variety of sources. One of the most common …

How To: Successful Remote Teams

  Technology has given business owners and manager an abundance of options in how, where, and when to do business. Many companies have introduced technologies that enable employees to telecommute. Giving employees this option increases productivity 13%, reduces turnover, improves morale, reduces a firm’s environmental impact, and can save an average of $11,000 per employee annually. Sound too good to be true? It is and it isn’t. The key to reaping all of the benefits of telecommuting means putting in work up-front to ensure that you can build and manage teams that are able to effectively operate remotely. Small business …

Turning Data into Information (Part 2)

How Data is Collected Data collection used to be fairly simple. You wrote down the numbers that you had to and someone would throw it in a spreadsheet, turn it into a nice colorful graph, and present it to the decision makers. Today data can be collected in a continuous stream from a variety of sources and the risk becomes collecting the wrong data rather than not collecting enough data. Some ways to collect data include: Census: Obtains data from every member of a population (usually not practical because of time and cost) Sample Surveys: Obtains data from a subset …

Turning Data into Information (Part 1)

Data and business have traveled hand in hand through the ages. Before the first great stories were recorded in writing, traders and businessmen were chiseling numbers on stones to keep records of their transactions. The days of the stone tablet have long since passed, and the data that was once recorded on them have gone digital – in a BIG way. The sheer amount of data that can or is collected has given way to a vast industry of new and improved products, innovative approaches, and three letter acronyms. What is Data? Most of you can skip right down to …

Symantec 2016 Internet Security Threat Report

Software giant Symantec, best known for its Norton AntiVirus, released a survey of the state of cyber security in 17 countries. According to the report, consumers lost $150 billion (USD) to cybercrime in the past year. Of that, $28.9 billion (USD) was lost in the United States. The majority of respondents worried that they would be a victim of online crime and think using public Wi-Fi is riskier than using a public restroom. Most respondents believed that their credit card was more vulnerable to online attacks than physical theft from a wallet or purse. The respondent’s concerns are well founded. According …

Malware Campaign Tricked Networks Since 2015

About AdGholas  According to IT News, there has been a long-running malvertising campaign – known as AdGholas – that infected thousands of computer each day. This resulted in between 1 million and 5 million page hits from malicious advertisements in over 100 ad exchanges. It is estimated that AdGholas current configuration has been running since summer of 2015, but evidence suggests that a separate configuration may have been running since 2013. Once the network of OS  was infected, the web-based attacker attempted to exploit vulnerabilities in popular applications and install malware. Why Did It Last So Long? The techniques that …

Small Business Hardware

If you are starting a small business, or expanding your existing business, here are some technology tips for planning your hardware needs. Remember that the minute you launch your website or hand out a business card you are visible to the world. Potential customers should see you with your best foot forward, but what do you need to make that happen? The right technology is a major step in the right direction. Let’s talk about some hardware: Computers Avoid the Cheapest: You may be tempted by the price tag on a computer, but remember that with computers you are paying …

An Introduction to Passwords

Most of us – especially those reading this blog – have used one or more passwords in the past 24 hours. Passwords protect our personal and business information, but how secure are they? The first computer passwords were developed in 1961 by MIT for CTSS applications. Since then, passwords have become ever more present and important. Some of us use one password for everything. The teachings of cyber security deem that one password for everything – no matter how secure or complex – is a vulnerability. This is because if a hacker were to breach a single site that does …

Introduction to Encryption

If your passwords are not encrypted, then you are leaving your data open to hackers. Encryption, simply put, converts readable strings of text into a secret code. Simple encryption might be “banana” as “21141141” where 1 = A, 2 = B, and 14 = N. Obviously encryption codes are well beyond this numeric system, but the concept is the same. When passwords are encrypted they are passed through a code that stores them in this illegible format and then returns them back to a readable format when being accessed for credentials. Computers are far better at quickly identifying patterns and …