Archive for May, 2017

Most Important Things To Keep Your Android Device Secure

29th May, 2017

Keeping an Android smartphone and tablet secure requires a lot more than adding a PIN or password lock. Any malicious app download or connection to an unsecure wireless network can not only jeopardize your online privacy, but also increase the risk of loss/theft of your confidential data.

Given below are some tips that can help you to improve the security of your Android device:

Lock all the apps and media

In addition to the screen lock, you can add an extra layer of protection by restricting access to the apps and media. This is particularly important for the apps that hold your private and sensitive information, such as social networking, email, online banking etc. This will prevent anyone from using your Android device, specifically if it has been lost or stolen. Make sure you select different PIN and password combinations for each app.

Download apps only from trusted sources

Your device’s default settings restrict downloading apps from any other source except Google Play Store. You should not change these settings as it may put your device’s security at risk. All apps on the Play Store are scanned for malware and other potential threat, which makes them safe to use. If you want to download third party applications, ascertain that you check their reliability and reviews before doing so. You should also go through the app permissions carefully. Do not install an app that seems to ask for permissions that are not required for its functioning.

Get virus and malware protection

Android, being open source software, is at a higher risk of hacking attacks and security breaches. Simply clicking on a link or downloading a file can infect your device with viruses and malware. Therefore, it is recommended that you download an anti-virus and anti-malware software. Run frequent scans to identify and remove any potentially harmful files from your device.

Use Android device manager

Android device manager can be really helpful in case your phone is lost or stolen. It allows you to lock your device and erase all the data stored on it, from a remote location. You can also track the location of the device using GPS technology. Once enabled, Android device manager works even after someone uninstalls the app from your device.

For more information on Android device security, feel free to contact Centex Technologies at (855) 375 – 9654.

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Bloatware: What It Is And How To Get Rid Of It

22nd May, 2017

Bloatware, also known as crapware, refers to the multiple pre-installed applications and software programs on a computer system that do not serve any important function. It usually consumes a lot of RAM and storage space on the hard disk, causing the system to work slowly. Certain types of bloatware are easy to detect, i.e. they may be present as a desktop icon or a start menu shortcut. However, some of them may remain unidentified and just clutter the computer system.

Types Of Bloatware

Trialware: These are the trial versions of software that are installed for a specific period of time, usually a week or a month. They mainly include anti-virus and anti-malware programs, which need to be purchased if one wants to use them after the trial period is over. In most cases, trialware can be easily identified and uninstalled.

Adware: This is one of the most annoying types of trialware that pops up unwanted ads on the computer screen. It can not only hamper your internet browsing experience, but also slow down your PC and make it vulnerable to various hacking attacks.

Utility Applications: Computer manufacturers may install certain utility applications that allow users to troubleshoot any hardware/software problems, update programs, install third party browser toolbars etc. The purpose served by these applications is similar to the in-built programs of the operating system. Add-on software to create videos, edit photos, play DVDs and other media or write CDs also come under the category of bloatware.

Tips To Remove Bloatware From Computer System

One of the best ways to completely uninstall bloatware from your computer is to wipe off the hard drive and re-install the operating system. This will delete all software installed on the system and you can install the ones that are required. If you simply use the system’s recovery utility, it will install all the applications again, including the bloatware.

Another option is to perform the uninstallation process manually from the control panel. Identify and delete the software that you do not use. However, it may leave certain associated files or programs on your computer. For applications that are operated by the Windows registry, it is recommended that you perform a complete uninstall from the software vendor’s website.

We, at Centex Technologies, offer efficient computer security solutions to the organizations in Central Texas. For more information on bloatware, you can call us at (855) 375 – 9654.

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Pervasive Computing: Benefits And Considerations

15th May 2017

Pervasive computing is an emerging technological trend that works on the principle of enabling internet connectivity in everyday objects with an aim of improving their functionality. Also known as ubiquitous computing, it involves embedding microprocessors in electrical appliances, cars, lighting systems, wearable devices etc. to minimize the need to interact with computers. The users can access the internet any time through these network connected devices.

Considerations For Implementing Persuasive Computing In An Organization:

  • Define goals

Firstly, you need to have a clear idea in your mind about the usage and purpose of pervasive computing in your organization. Determine the features it should have and the functionality you want the devices to serve. Also, identify the type of devices that will be connected to the network. You can consider implementing a pilot project to test the results of pervasive computing before executing it throughout the organization.

  • Understand the work environment

This step involves three aspects. First, gather information about the type of network and bandwidth available in your area. Make sure there are no connectivity issues in any part of your office. If you are planning to incorporate Wi-Fi connectivity, check if there are problems in getting coverage for the entire building.

Second, analyze the costs involved in the project. If your business activities involve massive data sharing and constant internet connectivity, you may need to evaluate the capital investment required for pervasive computing.

Third, determine the type of devices needed, i.e. if you require a laptop, tablet, wearables or any other type of internet compatible system. Also zero-in on the other important aspects such as the device’s screen size, in-built and expandable memory, stand-by time etc.

Address the potential security issues

Network security is one of the major concerns of IT professionals which gets further aggravated with the use of internet connected mobile devices. Therefore, you should identify and resolve any potential security vulnerabilities to prevent your entire network from getting compromised.

Choose the right software vendor

There are a number of wireless software companies offering solutions for implementation of pervasive computing. However, you should choose only the reliable provider who has experience in handling wireless technologies. The products it provides should have strict security features and be updated frequently.

Centex Technologies is a leading IT security consulting company serving business firms across Central Texas. For more information, you can call us at (855) 375 – 9654.

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The Five Key Steps To Take After A Security Breach

8th May 2017

Every business firm implements stringent security policies to mitigate the risk of a data breach. However, as hackers are becoming more sophisticated in the use of advanced tools and technologies, ensuring complete security against an attack may not be possible. It is important that you formulate an incident response plan that specifies what needs to be done in the event of a data breach in order to minimize its impact on the business operations.

Listed below are the five key steps that you need to take if your organization witnesses a security breach:

Conduct Complete Investigation

Clear thinking and immediate action is important to deal with a security breach in an efficient manner. Analyze when the attack occurred, how the hackers got access to the network, which systems have been compromised as well as what information has been leaked. This will give you an idea about the steps required to reduce the impact of the incident.

Ensure Containment

All the potential causes of the security breach should be controlled with immediate effect. Install software updates and patches to make sure your network does not remain vulnerable for a long period. Change the password for all the compromised accounts as well as those that use the same log in credentials. Restrict the infected computer systems from accessing the corporate network.

Communication

There should be constant communication between the company management and incident response team. Providing frequent updates to the customers, regulatory authorities or third party investigation agencies may also be necessary, depending upon the extent and nature of the data breach. In order to avoid any delays or miscommunication, lay out a specified medium through which information should be conveyed.

Implement And Test The Security Fix

Once the vulnerability has been identified and fixed, you must ensure that you have completely recovered from the breach. The IT security team should review the server logs and network traffic. You can also consider executing a penetration test to identify any unpatched security flaws.

Prevention Of Future Breaches

Lastly, you should thoroughly audit your data security practices to determine if there is a scope for improvement. Provide training to your employees on the best practices to keep their official accounts and data safe. Regularly re-evaluate your security policies to identify any modifications or additions required to stay protected against attacks.

We, at Centex Technologies, can help you prevent deal with a security breach and minimize its impact on your business. For more information, you can call us at (855) 375 – 9654.

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