Posts Tagged Computer Security

How To Defend Yourself Against Adware

You might have come across a number of advertisements while browsing on web. Have you ever wondered why such advertisements pop up from nowhere and sometimes even crash the programs that might be running on your system.

Adware is nothing but an advertizing based software. The advertisements that are displayed on your screens may seem legit and harmless but can install adware into your computers. When once it is installed, it can track your personal information such as age, location, buying habits etc. Also it can gain access to your browser history which means your personal and confidential information is no more private. The main reason behind the whole mechanism is to fool you and make you install illegitimate programs that display hoax advertisements.

How Do You Know If Adware Is Installed In Your Computer?
You can identify if your computer has an adware in it or not. Here are some signs that you must lookout for –

  • You are subjected to a numerous number of pop- ups and advertisements.
  • The performance and speed of your computer becomes slow for absolutely no reasons.
  • An unfamiliar search bar appears in the web browser.
  • There is continuous change in the browser homepage.
  • You search for some website but you are redirected to another website.
  • Programs start crashing.

How To Defend Yourself –

  • Don’t download free programs as they can increase the chances of injecting adware to your system.
  • Install pop-up blockers to keep unnecessary advertisements at bay.
  • Be wary of files and links from untrusted sources. Make sure that you do not download or click them.
  • If you are suspicious of the content of a particular website then it is best to avoid it for security reasons, lest you will lose your important information and credentials.
  • Usually permission to install such adware’s is deeply embedded in the licensing agreement. So ensure that you read it thoroughly before granting any permission to install or download a particular program or file.
  • Do not click on forwarded emails and messages unless you are sure about the source from which it is sent.
  • Update your system regularly.
  • Install an appropriate anti-virus software.
  • Remove the cookies every now and then.
  • Install a firewall to stay away from such adware.
  • Do not click ‘OK’ or ‘YES’ without reading what a particular pop up says, as this sudden haste can lead to a multitude of problems.
  • Adjust your browser settings such that your internet zone setting is on medium security or above.
  • Do not install an unwanted program or software even if it is free.
  • Run an anti-adware software on regular basis to prevent any major issue.
  • If you witness a suspicious activity which can result in installation of adware or some malware onto your system, then it is best to turn off your computer using the power button.

It is extremely important to be aware about adware and the effect it can have. For more information on IT Security, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213-4740.

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Ways To Fortify Your Firm’s Computer Security

9 August, 2016

Data breach has become a common occurrence these days. However, owing to the increasing focus on computer security, many organizations have taken the necessary steps to protect themselves against online attacks. As a result, small businesses are turning to be an easy target for the hackers due to the absence of a stringent cyber security policy.

Listed below are steps to fortify your firm’s computer security:

Understand The Potential Risks

Though technological advancements, BYOD policy and cloud computing have simplified business operations to a great extent, they have also increased the risk for a potential data loss. Therefore, you should evaluate the risks and benefits before implementing these in your organization. Make sure you employ strong password policies, enforce installation of security software and enable remote wiping in case a device is stolen or lost. Devices that support data encryption should only be allowed to access the corporate network.

Restrict Access To Confidential Data

The computer systems that have confidential information should be accessed only by a limited number of employees. Important official accounts and server room should also be protected against unauthorized access. Password protect all the computers and encourage the employees to lock the systems when they are not around. You can also use biometric authentication to further intensify computer security.

Educate Your Employees

Even with all the cyber security measures in place, your organization is at risk if the employees are not well-informed about the potential threats. It is important to educate your employees on the adverse effects of these attacks and the best ways to protect against them. They should also be informed about the common attack vectors, such as spear phishing and drive-by downloads. Make sure they understand the rules and regulations regarding handling of removable media, operating official email accounts as well maintaining privacy of sensitive information.

Regularly Backup Your Data

Even if you have implemented an infallible cyber security policy, it makes sense to backup all the important information stored on the computer systems. In case your computer is infected with a malware, it may manipulate, delete or restrict access to the files. If you have a backup on Cloud or an external removable device, a data breach would not have much effect on your company’s operations.

We, at Centex Technologies, can review and suggest measures to fortify the computer security of your business firm in Central Texas. For more information, you can call us at (855) 375 – 9654.

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Types And Advantages Of Access Control

16 July, 2016

Access control can be defined as a security technique utilized to restrict access to the physical and logical assets within an organization. The physical assets include the computer system or server room whereas the logical assets comprise networks, data, files etc. Having complete control over who can view, use or manipulate the resources in a computing environment, the companies can mitigate the likelihood of a potential security breach.

Types Of Access Control Systems

  • Mandatory Access Control (MAC): This is the most stringent form of access control mechanism. In this, the access restrictions are monitored by the operating system according to the specifications provided by the system administrator. Each user or device on a network is assigned a classification label. When a user tries to view or edit any file on the server, the computer system verifies his credentials to determine if access should be granted.
  • Discretionary Access Control (DAC): It allows each user to control access rights for their own file or program. Unlike Mandatory Access Control, the DAC is much more flexible when it comes to data security. It allows you to create customized access policies for each user. For instance, you can allow read and write access to one user as well as read-only access to another one for the same file.
  • Role Based Access Control (RBAC): Also known as Non-Discretionary Access Control, it allows access depending upon the role of a user. Role is defined according to the job profile, responsibilities and authority of an employee within the organization. For instance, an accountant would be provided access to all the files that contain financial data.
  • Rule Based Access Control (RB-RBAC): Under this type, access is allowed on the basis of a set of criteria defined by the system administrator. It is a good option if you need to stipulate access rights for a specific account during certain hours of the day. The rules set by the administrator are stored in Access Control Lists (ACLs).

Advantages Of Access Control

  • It helps to increase data security and confidentiality in an organization
  • It reduces administrative work needed to monitor unauthorized access to important files
  • Access rights and protocols are easy to implement by the system administrator
  • Access control systems decrease the possibility of security errors as the permissions are automatically monitored and regulated according to the specified criterion

We at Centex Technologies provide complete IT security & networking solutions to our clients. For consultation regarding implementation of access control in your organization, feel free to contact us at (855) 375 – 9654.

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Using Unsecured Wi-Fi Hotspots

July 15, 2013

Public Wi-Fi hotspots are trendy and popular, for the obvious convenience that they offer. No wonder most restraints, cafes, hotels, and other public places are jumping on the bandwagon and allowing visitors to freely access their Wi-Fi networks without needing a password. Despite how tempting it is to simply go ahead and connect to these networks, you need to be prudent while doing so, as you could unknowingly put your computer at a risk of getting hacked.

The following tips guide you on how to use unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots smartly, while keeping your computer protected:

  • Remember that Wi-Fi hotspots are always unsecured connections, even if they require a password to access them. This means that hackers can easily access your private information if you are not careful.
  • Some operating systems like Mac OS X and Windows have built-in security features that can protect your computer when you are accessing the internet through such a connection. Make use of your “Firewall” by checking the “block all incoming traffic” option. Another effective security measure is to disable fire sharing.
  • One of the most targeted personal information is passwords. Installing a browser add-on like LastPass could be effective in keeping your passwords safe. Normally, a hacker can easily view your passwords by accessing your Registry or viewing your keyboard activity through something like keyloggers. LastPass stores all your passwords in a cloud which means that neither do you have to type your passwords, nor will they be stored in your computer.
  • Websites that encrypt your activity are usually safe to use, since all the information accessed on these sites remains confidential. You can identify such websites either by looking for a padlock in the address bar, or checking the URL for https:// Even if a website does not have HTTPS, you can download an add-on like HTTPS Everywhere, which will convert the connection on most popular websites into an encrypted one.
  • Before accessing any public Wi-Fi network, you want to confirm from the owner of the venue that you have the correct name of the network. This is because hackers can create their own fake network with a similar name to the original, putting your information at a high risk.
  • Finally, even after taking all the above-mentioned measures, you still need to exercise some common sense while using an unsecured Wi-Fi network. Avoid activities that expose your private details, such as banking and online shopping.

Centex Technologies based in Dallas and Killeen TX provide Computer Network Security solutions. Call us at (855) 375-9654 for more information.

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How To Eliminate Security Threats For Your Computer

May 8 2013

With the increasing number of internet hackers and miscreants, it is every computer user’s responsibility to understand how computer security works, and ensure that they are taking the necessary steps to safeguard their computer from security threats. With just a few simple precautions, you can go a long way in keeping your computer safe from these negative elements. The following tips guide you on how to eliminate security threats for your computer-

  • The internet browser you choose has an impact on the security of your computer, so ensure that you are using a safe and trusted browser. Also remember to adjust your browser settings to avoid pop-ups and other auto downloads on the websites.
  • Be careful about the source that you choose to install antivirus software and other computer protection. Using a shady website for free downloads of these software could do more harm than good, infesting your computer with malicious code.
  • Use one reliable antivirus software with positive user reviews, instead of installing multiple software on your computer. Also be sure not to play around with the settings of the antivirus, unless you are absolutely sure about what you are doing, as you could end up leaving loopholes for threats.
  • It is recommended to delete all your browsing data, including cookies and passwords, after each browsing session. Making this a habit could help to save your sensitive information and protect your accounts from hackers.
  • Do not overlook the need to scan external storage devices for viruses each time you use them on your computer.
  • Be cautious before submitting your credit card details online, as phishing scams are getting alarmingly common.
  • Beware of emails from unknown sources and think twice before responding to these emails, as you could end up being permanently listed on spam lists. Also do not click on links to websites that you are not sure about.
  • Make the most of your antivirus by running weekly scans, and keeping it regularly updated.
  • Keeping a backup of all the important files and data on your computer is a good idea, as this could be of great help in the event of an attack on your PC.
  • You need to be particularly careful and install a firewall in you are using the internet on a shared network. Sometimes the worst hackers could be right next door to you.

Centex Technologies is a Central Texas based networking and IT firm engaged in providing complete networking and IT security solutions. For more information, call us at our Dallas office – (972) 375-9654

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