Severe weather can wreak havoc on computer systems and networks. Having trouble getting online after the recent storms? IT Xpress can help! We stock many replacement parts and can do emergency repairs on site or in our shop. Contact us at 336-525-5005 or [email protected]
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  • As news of the LastPass compromise spreads, many users are wondering if using a password manager is smart (all your eggs in one basket protected by one password). Setup properly, the answer is an emphatic yes. The key is two factor authentication. LastPass allows you to enable two factor authentication, so even if your master password was compromised, the attackers still could not get in without your cellphone, Yubikey, etc. More importantly – you should have two factor authentication enabled on your primary email account as that can be used to reset most account passwords anyway.


    Am I An Idiot for Still Using a Password Manager? 
    gizmodo.com
    Hackers broke into popular password manager LastPass this week, which raises some obvious questions: If the service you use to protect your passwords from getting compromised gets compromised, should you still use it? Is it really wise to store all our passwords in the cloud?

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  • As news of the LastPass compromise spreads, many users are wondering if using a password manager is smart (all your eggs in one basket protected by one password). Setup properly, the answer is an emphatic yes. The key is two factor authentication. LastPass allows you to enable two factor authentication, so even if your master password was compromised, the attackers still could not get in without your cellphone, Yubikey, etc. More importantly – you should have two factor authentication enabled on your primary email account as that can be used to reset most account passwords anyway.
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  • We're seeing more and more Macs infected with malware/adware that can be difficult to remove. The Bitdefender tools have done an excellent job removing most of it. We recommend running this tool and the Bitdefender Virus Scanner (available from the App Store). Worried you might not remove everything? Bring your Mac in for a cleaning and we'll also ensure it's running the latest version of OSX that it can!


    Bitdefender Adware Removal Tool for Mac – Genieo Removal Tool
    www.bitdefender.com
    Bitdefender Adware Removal Tool is a free app that quickly eliminates adware from your Mac. The current version detects and removes Genieo.

  • Comments Off on We're seeing more and more Macs infected with malware/adware that can be difficu…
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  • We're seeing more and more Macs infected with malware/adware that can be difficult to remove. The Bitdefender tools have done an excellent job removing most of it. We recommend running this tool and the Bitdefender Virus Scanner (available from the App Store). Worried you might not remove everything? Bring your Mac in for a cleaning and we'll also ensure it's running the latest version of OSX that it can!
  • Comments Off on We’re seeing more and more Macs infected with malware/adware that can be difficult to remove. The Bitdefender…
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  • Ten Security Issues Small Businesses Face…

    Having a dedicated IT person is a luxury most small businesses can't afford. Yet in today's hostile online environment, it's more important than ever to keep your business secure… Here are some common security issues we've found with small business clients:

    1) Open or insecure WiFi networks. If your WiFi is not using WPA2 encryption, your network is vulnerable to outside attack.
    2) Not locking accessible computers. Leaving your computer unlocked on the counter while you help a customer allows someone else to install malware/control software in a matter of seconds. Always lock your computer (Window+L is a handy keyboard shortcut) when you leave it.
    3) Shared drives. We often see businesses with multiple computers sharing the entire C: drive on their network instead of individual folders. Many malware attacks will scan a network for ANY accessible folder and infect, or worse, encrypt them. Only share folders you NEED access to and only give write access if necessary.
    4) Expired Antivirus. Free antivirus programs are OK, but paid versions provide much better overall security. You have to renew the license annually. If it expires, you won't get any new virus signature updates, or worse the program will completely deactivate.
    5) Password Post It Notes. It's one thing to have a password on your monitor in an office that's locked when you aren't there. But many people put vital passwords (bank accounts!) on a post it note that can be seen easy if a 'customer' peers around the monitor when you are distracted. Use a password manager instead.
    6) No backups. Many business rely on Quickbooks and their company file is their lifeline. If you're infected by an encryption virus or you suffer a hard drive failure – you could lose EVERYthing. External drive backups are not enough as encryption viruses will attack those too. Only offsite backups can protect you completely.
    7) Not using two factor authentication or strong challenge…

  • Comments Off on Ten Security Issues Small Businesses Face… Having a dedicated IT person is a…
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  • Ten Security Issues Small Businesses Face…

    Having a dedicated IT person is a luxury most small businesses can't afford. Yet in today's hostile online environment, it's more important than ever to keep your business secure… Here are some common security issues we've found with small business clients:

    1) Open or insecure WiFi networks. If your WiFi is not using WPA2 encryption, your network is vulnerable to outside attack.
    2) Not locking accessible computers. Leaving your computer unlocked on the counter while you help a customer allows someone else to install malware/control software in a matter of seconds. Always lock your computer (Window+L is a handy keyboard shortcut) when you leave it.
    3) Shared drives. We often see businesses with multiple computers sharing the entire C: drive on their network instead of individual folders. Many malware attacks will scan a network for ANY accessible folder and infect, or worse, encrypt them. Only share folders you NEED access to and only give write access if necessary.
    4) Expired Antivirus. Free antivirus programs are OK, but paid versions provide much better overall security. You have to renew the license annually. If it expires, you won't get any new virus signature updates, or worse the program will completely deactivate.
    5) Password Post It Notes. It's one thing to have a password on your monitor in an office that's locked when you aren't there. But many people put vital passwords (bank accounts!) on a post it note that can be seen easy if a 'customer' peers around the monitor when you are distracted. Use a password manager instead.
    6) No backups. Many business rely on Quickbooks and their company file is their lifeline. If you're infected by an encryption virus or you suffer a hard drive failure – you could lose EVERYthing. External drive backups are not enough as encryption viruses will attack those too. Only offsite backups can protect you completely.
    7) Not using two factor authentication or strong challenge questions. Most small businesses run off of a single bank account. If hackers gain access to that account and wire the money overseas, you have 24 hours to reverse it, or it's gone forever Could your company survive that? The easiest way for hackers to gain access to critical accounts? Your email. If they can get to your email, they can often reset passwords. Enable two factor authentication on EVERY account you can, and then use an app like Google Authenticator to make it easy to use. Make sure your bank account security questions are obscure – not something a hacker could figure out from your Facebook profile.
    8) Using Windows XP. Windows XP has not received security updates in over a year now. Your systems should all be running Windows 7 or better if possible.
    9) Out of date software. Many users will just close popups prompting to update programs like Java, Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, and more. These are common virus infection points and those updates close critical security holes. Keep your software up to date. Running an ad-blocker in your web browser can also help protect you.
    10) Out of date router software. Most small businesses use off the shelf consumer routers to protect their networks. However, these devices must be updated manually and millions contain vulnerabilities that hackers are taking advantage of daily. If they can compromise your router, they can access your network. If your router has new firmware, update it. If the manufacturer hasn't released an update for it in a few years, replace it. Even better? Use a security gateway with advanced malware and intrusion detection.

    This is is not an exhaustive list. Overwhelmed? IT Xpress can help! We have affordable service and security plans that will ensure your network, computers, and online presence are secure and hardened against attack. Contact us today (336-525-5005/[email protected]) for your free security audit! 

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  • Malware attacks net hackers, in average, a 1,425% return on their investment. This is one reason why it seems like attacks are coming from everywhere…


    Malware attacks give criminals 1,425% return on investment
    www.net-security.org
    Trustwave released a new report which reveals the top cybercrime, data breach and security threat trends from 2014. They gathered the data f…

  • Comments Off on Malware attacks net hackers, in average, a 1,425% return on their investment. Th…
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  • Malware attacks net hackers, in average, a 1,425% return on their investment. This is one reason why it seems like attacks are coming from everywhere…
  • Comments Off on Malware attacks net hackers, in average, a 1,425% return on their investment. This is one reason why…
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  • If you use LastPass to store your passwords, you should change your master PW ASAP. Actual password data was NOT compromised, just some account info that could help attackers try to gain access to your account if you don't use two factor authentication.


    LastPass Hacked, Change Your Master Password Now
    lifehacker.com
    Bad news first, folks. LastPass, our favorite password manager (and yours) has been hacked. It’s time to change your master password. The good news is, the passwords you have saved for other sites should be safe. The Intermediate Guide to Mastering Passwords with LastPass The Intermediate Guide to M…

  • Comments Off on If you use LastPass to store your passwords, you should change your master PW AS…
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  • If you use LastPass to store your passwords, you should change your master PW ASAP. Actual password data was NOT compromised, just some account info that could help attackers try to gain access to your account if you don't use two factor authentication.


    LastPass Hacked, Change Your Master Password Now
    lifehacker.com
    Bad news first, folks. LastPass, our favorite password manager (and yours) has been hacked. It’s time to change your master password. The good news is, the passwords you have saved for other sites should be safe. The Intermediate Guide to Mastering Passwords with LastPass The Intermediate Guide to M…

  • Comments Off on If you use LastPass to store your passwords, you should change your master PW AS…
  • Filed under: News
  • If you use LastPass to store your passwords, you should change your master PW ASAP. Actual password data was NOT compromised, just some account info that could help attackers try to gain access to your account if you don't use two factor authentication.
  • Comments Off on If you use LastPass to store your passwords, you should change your master PW ASAP. Actual password …
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  • Looking for a new laptop? Considering a high def or ultra high def screen? Be careful what you wish for. High resolution screens make pictures and movies look better plus allow you to fit more on your screen, but they also make text smaller and harder to read. Windows has features to scale text sizes up, but a lot of programs aren't designed to handle this – so they look fuzzy and sometimes just bad when you scale things up. So before getting that high resolution screen, try it out with normal text size (can you see it clearly) and with the text sized scaled up to 125 or 150%. Here are some tips for high resolution computers.


    How to Make Windows Work Better with Super High Resolution Displays
    lifehacker.com
    Super high resolution displays are becoming more common on Windows laptops, but densely packing pixels into a small screen comes with some trade-offs. The resulting image can be great—text looks smooth and high quality images are stunning—but not all applications are designed to run at high resoluti…

  • Comments Off on Looking for a new laptop? Considering a high def or ultra high def screen? Be ca…
  • Filed under: News
  • Looking for a new laptop? Considering a high def or ultra high def screen? Be careful what you wish for. High resolution screens make pictures and movies look better plus allow you to fit more on your screen, but they also make text smaller and harder to read. Windows has features to scale text sizes up, but a lot of programs aren't designed to handle this – so they look fuzzy and sometimes just bad when you scale things up. So before getting that high resolution screen, try it out with normal text size (can you see it clearly) and with the text sized scaled up to 125 or 150%. Here are some tips for high resolution computers.
  • Comments Off on Looking for a new laptop? Considering a high def or ultra high def screen? Be careful what you wish …
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  • If you use Windows 8 and use Outlook/HotMail for your email, your online life can be exposed in no time if someone has physical access to your laptop because Windows 8 uses your Microsoft password as your login and it's not complex enough. Simple dictionary words and some numbers are not enough.


    How Best Buy’s computer-wiping error turned me into an amateur blackhat
    arstechnica.com
    Or, how to compromise Windows 8.1 through Web search and open source software.

  • Comments Off on If you use Windows 8 and use Outlook/HotMail for your email, your online life ca…
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