Preventing Cyber Attacks

Why Strong, Unique Passwords Matter.

on June 12, 2019 No comments

Strong password policies have come a long way. How many people remember the 1995 movie Hackers. It had a very young short haired Angelina Jolie in it but the point was the entire mess started with one of the hackers being able to access files that should have been secure. All because the executive with the company had his password as “god”.

Fact: Every extra character in your password increases the difficulty for hackers to crack it.
The most commonly used password is…123456.

And it’s closely followed by just as insecure passwords like “password”, “welcome”, and “12345″.

Think one extra letter or number doesn’t mean much? Consider this:

A 6-character password with only letters has 308,915,776 possible combinations.
An 8-character password with only letters has 208,827,064,576 possible combinations.
An 8-character password with letters (upper & lower case) and includes numbers and symbols has 6,095,689,385,410,816 possible combinations.

Creating a strong password policy is key to helping users safeguard these critical systems they rely on every day. While additional complexity can seem like an inconvenience to many users, it shouldn’t prevent a strong password policy being implemented in your organization.

Now that you’ve come up with the strongest password possible, it’s time to absorb some principles of good password security practice in daily life:

  • Never disclose usernames and passwords to third parties
  • Never store usernames and passwords on paper or in an unencrypted computer file
  • Update your account password at least every 6 months
  • Do not use passwords that have been used in the past
  • Never provide credentials when requested through email
  • Run regular virus scans on your computer
  • Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). With 2FA, you will receive a text message for login and password reset requests. You may choose between SMS, OneTouch, and TOTP (Time-Based One-Time Password) 2FA authentication.

If you have to share a password, use a site like a one-time secret. This site creates a link to a page with your password info (or whatever info you choose), and once the page is viewed once, it is gone forever.
Don’t save passwords or use “remember me” on public computers

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Your IT GuyWhy Strong, Unique Passwords Matter.

Strong Passwords Are Important

on March 21, 2019 No comments

Want to keep your business safe from cyber breaches? When your employees are online, threats come in multiple forms. These include phishing, cross-site scripting, scams, malware and various other forms of hacking. Keeping employees safe online is the responsibility of everyone in the organization. At the highest level, however, it is the responsibility of management and people with the ultimate authority.

When it comes to keeping employees safe at the personal level, having an especially strong password policy can limit external threats. Hackers typically exploit employees’ use of weak or common passwords, using brute force to guess and crack passwords.  Who doesn’t remember the movie “Hackers”?  Employees had not listened to the IT support and had weak common passwords (I believe it was god) and that was how the hackers gained access.

These days, constructing a strong password will consist of condensing an entire sentence, at least 12 characters long, into one cohesive word. These sentences can be shortened or abbreviated, but the point is, single words just don’t cut it anymore.

If you’re using numbers, never use ones that are related to addresses, birthdays, and other searchable information as those details are easily accessible by hackers. Also as convenient as it may be, do not let your browser remember your password. This information is open to hackers, especially if your device is misplaced or stolen.


More importantly have different passwords for different accounts.  It is common for individuals to utilize the same password for multiple accounts, but even at a minimum, employees should have at least two separate passwords for personal and business accounts. 

A strong password policy makes it harder for hackers to crack passwords and breach your network. Passwords should be changed on a regular basis. In addition, you should invest in your workers’ education concerning threats and cyber security practices. Everyone in the organization needs to adhere to strong cybersecurity practices that protect the individual and the entire company network.

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Malware Removal

on September 6, 2018 No comments

How do you remove malicious software, Malware, from your system? There are do it yourself instructions you can find on Google and the other search engines, but our advice is, call UTS. There are several different versions of Malware floating around, just waiting to get into your network, and if you aren’t proficient in it’s removal, you could end up doing more harm than good.

How can you tell if you have Malware on your system? If your network has been running fine and the response time on the various computers within your network was good, and now all of a sudden things seem to have slowed to a crawl, there is a very good chance something has infected your system.

There are other signs as well, like extensions added to your search bar, or redirects from the home page you normally see.

If you have a strong antivirus software currently installed on your system, the programs usually have a scan component you can initiate to go out and check for viruses. Before you do anything else, go ahead and run the scan. It will notify you of any viruses it detects and sometimes it will even isolate the code in a special area. Then before you do anything else, give us a call. Sometimes the virus you have will bury itself deep in your system, and once you reboot the software, it’s almost impossible to find.

In the meantime, it could be a good idea to take your system offline until we get there and can run our diagnostic programs to try to isolate the virus.

Trying to clean up Malware or Viruses yourself, unless you have some pretty high level technical skills, could be kind of like trying to re-wire your own home. You can cause a mess and it may cost you twice as much time and money to fix any mistakes you might make.

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Cybersecurity Threats to Your Business

on July 25, 2018 No comments

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Cybersecurity is a hot topic and at Unified Technology we are continually looking for the latest information regarding the prevention of cyber threats. What was once thought of as a big company/governmental issue is trickling down to end users, both in business and personal use. It’s just too easy for someone to send a phishing email with a virus embedded or attached and there is almost always someone within the company who isn’t paying attention. Once these emails are open and the software gets on your server, you are in trouble.

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