Unified Technology Blog

Phishing, Malware and More

on February 22, 2019 No comments

Our last two posts were about Phishing, and you are probably wondering where we are heading with all of this phishy stuff.

Phishing is how hackers figure out where you are vulnerable. They can ask you for information you should never give them. They can also attach files which will not ask you for any information. They will, however, take information from you, and leave you a “gift”.

Not a gift you would ever want, however. This gift will be a set of instructions which can clean off your data, it can hold your computer hostage. Sometimes it can piggy back on to the data you send out to others and install it on their systems as well.

We talked about a few things you can do to protect your systems from Phishing, now let’s go further and discuss what can be done to prevent Malware from getting installed on your system. Or, if the installation has already occurred, how to remove it from your system.

From Security In A Box”

“You can sometimes clear up a malware infection just by running your anti-malware software and letting it take care of the problem. On the other hand, some malware is designed to survive a full re-installation of the operating system. Most infections falls somewhere in the middle. In order from least to most effort (and, unfortunately, from least to most effective), the following are a few options:

  1. Do a full scan with your existing anti-malware tool.
  2. If the suspect device is a computer, restart it from an anti-malware rescue disk (such as Windows Defender Offline or the AVG RescueCD) and then discard the USB memory stick you used to create the rescue disk.
  3. If you have a way to restore your device to its “factory settings,” backup your important files and do so. Do not backup any software. Be careful with the storage device you used for backup. Make sure it is clean before plugging it into your restored device.
  4. If the suspect device is a computer, you can reinstall the operating system after backing up your important data. Once again, make sure your backup disk is clean before plugging it into the device on which you reinstalled the operating system. If you use a USB stick to reinstall the operating system, consider discarding it.”

Better still, if you are part of a network, the moment you suspect something is wrong, unplug your computer or laptop from that network. Take it OFF LINE immediately and do not access any websites which would require you to type in a user name or password. Then call us.

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Your IT GuyPhishing, Malware and More

How To Prevent Phishing

on February 15, 2019 No comments

At Unified Technology Solutions, we get calls from customers who have unwittingly become the victims of Phishing Scams. Inadvertently, someone in their organization had received an email that looks like it has come from a trusted company they do business with only to discover it was not legitimate. 

Whether that’s an email that looks like it’s coming from your bank, a tech support scam, or a fishy social media campaign, cybercriminals have become sophisticated enough to trick even tech-savvy individuals. By being aware of the following top tactics, you can fend off uninvited malware guests:

Before you open any email, carefully check the sender’s address. Is it from the actual company he or she claims?  Often the phisher will misspell the company name by a letter or two.

Hover over links provided in the body of the email. Is the URL legit? You can often tell by once again checking the spelling. The URL will look official, but it will have an extra letter or a different extension.

Read the language of the email carefully. Are there weird line breaks?  Awkwardly-constructed sentences that sound foreign?

And finally, know the typical methods of communication for important organizations. For example, the IRS will never contact you via email. If something doesn’t look right, send an email from your account to the person at the original account and just ask them if they did indeed send you an email.

If it is a personal email, once again, carefully check the sender information. When in doubt, call your healthcare, bank, or other potentially-spoofed organization directly.  PayPal has a dedicated email address to forward spoofs and scammy emails to try to stay on top of these scammers. 


Phishing is spreading to other forms of communication.  It has spread to our cellphones and text messaging now too.  Bonus mobile phone tip: Cybercriminals love spoofing banks via SMS/text message or fake bank apps. Do not confirm personal data via text, especially social security numbers. Again, when in doubt, contact your bank directly.

It’s also very important to have good Anti-Virus/ Anti Malware software on your systems. It’s important to keep it up to date and make certain your anti-malware software updates itself regularly.

 New malware is written and distributed every day, and your computer will quickly become vulnerable if you do not keep up with new malware definitions. If possible, you should configure your software to install updates automatically.

Most professionals agree a multi-layer approach—using not only multiple layers of security technology but also user awareness—helps keep you protected from the bad guys and your own mistakes.  So, take time to check out what you are reading and keep your info safe. 

You can always call on us to come in and get your systems protected.

Your Tech Guys

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Your IT GuyHow To Prevent Phishing

What Is Phishing?

on February 8, 2019 No comments

Fishing vs. Phishing

What is Phishing ?

Fishing is, for some, a pleasurable activity consisting of a rod, a reel, some bait, a body of water and fish. Sometimes people use a boat when they go fishing, sometimes they fish off a pier or on the beach.

Phishing is something nefarious. It’s when cyber criminals figuratively throw a line into the water we call the internet, and phish for data.

According to the FTC Website:

“Phishing is when a scammer uses fraudulent emails or texts, or copycat websites to get you to share valuable personal information – such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, or your login IDs and passwords. Scammers use your information to steal your money or your identity or both.

Scammers also use phishing emails to get access to your computer or network then they install programs like ransomware that can lock you out of important files on your computer.

Phishing scammers lure their targets into a false sense of security by spoofing the familiar, trusted logos of established, legitimate companies. Or they pretend to be a friend or family member.

Phishing scammers make it seem like they need your information or someone else’s, quickly – or something bad will happen. They might say your account will be frozen, you’ll fail to get a tax refund, your boss will get mad, even that a family member will be hurt or you could be arrested. They tell lies to get to you to give them information.”

Unlike the type of fishing some of us enjoy out on the water, Phishing is dangerous. If the Phisher is successful and convinces you to give them information, it could cause all manner of problems.

Check back for our next blog posts where we talk more about the subject of Phishing and Ransomware.

Your Tech Guys

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Your IT GuyWhat Is Phishing?

Tech Support For Companies

on January 25, 2019 No comments

You’re a business owner and you’ve been doing just fine without a huge staff or a dedicated IT guy. So far, so good. Like everything else these days, your business depends on technology: email, databases, documents and spreadsheets—maybe even software unique to your industry. What happens when things stop running smoothly?

Perhaps you and your staff are becoming frustrated with computers that aren’t working properly, and network that’s too slow and you’ve been troubleshooting computer/printer/router problems—your business needs IT support. In fact, we think it need us, UTS.

As you pile more and more work on an older system, it will slow down. At some point, it will heave a sigh and stop working all together. It’s important to perform preventative maintenance on the components of your network. It’s also important to ensure you are using the type of computer, servers and network equipment that is made to handle higher volumes of data.

Rather then waiting until something catastrophic happens, let us go through your current configuration and make recommendations. Adding new devices to your network may seem easy, and in some cases it might be, but it’s not always the case. It is a delicate process that needs to be done by professionals to ensure that it is set up right for the sake of your business.

As the new year begins, it is the very best time to re-evaluate your tech operations, and if your business doesn’t already have an IT strategy, you might need to consider finding  an IT partner as soon as possible. We hope that will be Unified Technology Solutions.

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managed IT services vero beach, sebastian, ft pierce, port St Lucie West Pam beach, Palm bay, melbourne,Managed business IT services in Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Sebastian

Your Tech Guys,

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Your IT GuyTech Support For Companies

Getting More Control of Your Web Presence

on January 17, 2019 No comments

The World Wide Web is less than 30 years old. Today, there are those of you who will read this post and have no idea there was indeed a world without web. In fact, until around 1990, trying to access the Internet was not for the average pc user.

Beginning in the late 1980’s and early 1990s the tech geniuses of the day began to build search engines and browsers, but they each had their own way of coding and indexing data.

Then in 1991 a man named Tim Berner-Lee and a woman named
” Nicola Pellow, a math student intern working at CERN, to write the Line Mode Browser a cross-platform web browser that displayed web-pages on old terminals and was released in May 1991.[14] ” This according to Wikipedia.

For all intents and purposes Berner-Lee and Nicola Pellow were the founders of what we now call the World Wide Web. It looked nothing like it does today, with all the ads and fancy, colorful photos. But still, it became a great way to find things without having to run around looking in different reference books.

There were several iterations of search engines that came and went before Google took hold of all of us. And once they did get us hooked, they began to collect all sorts of data about us which they could then monotize by selling it to others.

Today, everyone knows everything about everybody, and this same man, Tim Berner-Lee is starting a new company to try and given us all some measure of control over that data and perhaps some income from what we choose to sell from that data pool.

It is an interesting article. Mr. Berner-Lee ” ….has a proposal called Solid, and a startup called Inrupt to promote it, which aims to allow people to have control of their own data, as opposed to the big corporations.

He described this as “web technology repurposed,” and said he is driven by the belief that you should control your data and receive a share of the revenue derived from it. “You shouldn’t worry about someone monetizing your data and influencing elections,” he said, and described Solid as a private repository—or “Pod”—which has a common API for all websites. This would separate applications on the web from your data, and you could then write the data to a generic website and share it via an API with anyone you wish, such as your family or your doctor.” taken from www.pcmag November issue.

Check out the link from our Facebook Page

Let us know what you think.

Your Tech Guys

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Your IT GuyGetting More Control of Your Web Presence

How Important Is Cybersecurity?

on January 7, 2019 No comments

Who cares about my little business? No one would bother to hack my system. I don’t have anything important enough for them to bother.

These are some of the things I here from small business owners, and they are just plain wrong. Cyber thieves and stalkers don’t necessarily care about how valuable your data is. They love it when a site is easy to hack. The data itself might not even be what they are looking for. It could be they are looking to network systems from all over the world in order to give themselves free computing power.

Business News Daily cites cybersecurity as one of the hot buttons for small business in 2019

“Importance of cybersecurity

With several data breaches over the last few years, small businesses are still being targeted by cyberattacks. According to a poll from Insureon and Manta, only 16 percent of small business owners think they are susceptible to a cyberattack. Yet, 61 percent of attacks occur at smaller businesses.

2019 could see the beginning of a cybersecurity movement among SMBs. Jim Lippie, general manager of cloud computing for software company Kaseya, said small businesses will start viewing security through the lens of an enterprise business.

“They will finally take security measures to heart,” he said. “SMBs, like their large enterprise counterparts, will lock down on a comprehensive backup and disaster recovery solution to keep protected, and also form new standardized blocking and tackling game plans to keep the business even more safe.”

Many small businesses have been targeted in the past, so 2019 could be the first year where SMBs start fighting back.”

At UTS, we can make certain you are up to date on the software which can protect your data. Just give us a call and let us show you how we can help YOUR company fight back against cyber thieves.

Your Tech Guys

managed IT services vero beach, sebastian, ft pierce, port St Lucie West Pam beach, Palm bay, melbourne,Managed business IT services in Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Sebastian
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Your IT GuyHow Important Is Cybersecurity?

A Thought For The New Year

on December 31, 2018 No comments

“We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives…not looking for flaws, but for potential.”
― Ellen Goodman

All of us here at UTS wish you and yours a Happy New Year.

We are going to be here, ready to help you patch any cracks in your IT structure. To upgrade your phone system, to replace old, worn out computers. And to help you move forward into a productive and successful 2019.

Brian and Michael

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Your IT GuyA Thought For The New Year

Managed IT Services Offered by UTS

on December 13, 2018 No comments

 

Cloud Computing, Managed IT Services for Vero Beach Florida Area.The holidays are coming up fast. We are almost at the very end of what was, for many here in Vero Beach, one of the busiest and most productive in their company’s history. And we want to do that again next year. What about you?

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Your IT GuyManaged IT Services Offered by UTS

End of The Year Planning

on December 4, 2018 No comments

 

Managed IT Services, Vero Beach

It’s that time.  In a few weeks 2018 will end and 2019 begins. Things are changing and if you don’t keep up you will fall behind. It’s time to make certain that all of your valuable data from 2018 is backed up and secure. It is also time to think ahead if you havent begun to already. 

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Your IT GuyEnd of The Year Planning

Tech Trends for 2019

on November 20, 2018 No comments

 

UTS,tech Advice from Gartner, tech changes coming to us, vero beach computer experts

tech trends for 2019

Technology as we knew it even 10 years ago is evolving much differently than any of us would have imagined. Our smart phones have more computing power than many of the devices we owned when we were younger.

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Your IT GuyTech Trends for 2019