By -- 2016-04-15 in Blog

Did you know that Microsoft regularly issues its patches and updates on the second Tuesday of every month? With a few exceptions regarding large or emergency issues needing patches, this is when you should be looking to update your computer systems. This last patch date, Microsoft had 31 separate vulnerabilities it needed to fix.

One of these fixes was a bug named Badlock. It was so bad that it garnered its own website and logo. System Admins were on the lookout and eagerly waiting for this fix which affected both Windows and Samba.

So why are we telling you about all of this? Because while companies without IT support sometimes struggle to ensure all their laptops, desktops, and other gadgets are patched, we here at Optfinity do all that for our clients. Keeping our clients up-to-date with everything they need is one way we ensure our clients never have to worry about being a victim of hackers or bugs. Not currently a client with us yet? Contact us and we’ll stop in for a free assessment so you’ll know exactly where you and your company stand with regards to your technology needs.

By -- 2016-04-14 in OptfinITy News

Do you or your company have mobile apps? When was the last time you tested it for flaws, holes, or other vulnerabilities? If you haven’t, you’re not alone. Even very large companies such as Dominos have failed this test.

In this article, a security consultant from the UK stumbled upon a pretty big bug in Dominos’ ordering process. Because their payments were processed on the client side instead of the server side, he was able to change the values of the payment codes and pay for his pizza using a fake credit card number.

Not to worry, this computer guru was an honest man and not only notified Dominos, but also paid for his pizza when it arrived. But don’t think all hackers who stumble across a bug in your system will be this magnanimous. So be sure that your website and apps are as infallible as possible by testing them thoroughly. Not sure how to do this or where to start? Then it’s a good time to contact the experts at Optfinity!

By -- 2016-04-13 in Blog

Adobe currently has a vulnerability, known as CVE-2016-1019, which could potentially allow hackers to take control of your systems. Rest assured, there is a patch in place which you should download immediately to mitigate the problem. This is also a good time to remind you that you should be constantly downloading and running all updates and patches officially pushed out from the providers themselves. These updates are not just for Windows users, but for Adobe Flash Player for Macintosh, Linux and ChromeOS as well.

If a hacker does manage to exploit your system through this vulnerability, it could open you up to the Cerber ransomware problem we have mentioned before. So if you don’t want to have to pay someone thousands of dollars to get your data back, be sure to update your system, or at the very least enable “Click to Play” which stops Flash from automatically playing unless you specifically give it permission.

If you’re still confused or have any more concerns or questions, now is a good time to give us a call and we will be more than happy to ensure that you, your company, and all your data are safe and secure. We will even do a free assessment so you can know beforehand if you’re vulnerable to dangerous hackers. Click here to read more details in Adobe’s latest security bulletin.

By -- 2016-04-12 in Blog

WordPress just announced that all of their users hosting their sites on their servers now have access to force the use of HTTPS for free. As WordPress pointed out in a blog, “strong encryption protects our users in various ways, including defending against surveillance of content and communications, cookie theft, account hijacking, and other web security flaws.”

Aside from the various security and privacy benefits in sending and receiving information to and from your website, you might find your site ranked higher as Google recently announced it would be giving precedence to HTTPS-enabled sites.

To clarify, this only affects those hosting on wordpress.com, not wordpress.org. If you’re not sure what this means or you want to secure your site but are not sure how to and are not a wordpress user, contact Optfinity and we can help to secure your website as well as ensure you have a backup system in place. For more on this topic read the full article here.

By -- 2016-04-4 in OptfinITy News

So you’re working hard throughout the day when all of a sudden your computer screen goes blank, turns blue, or just shuts down altogether. If this problem is becoming more frequent than you’d like, consider these 5 tips from this article before going out and buying a new computer.

1) Corrupted System Registry Files: The best way to rule this possibility in or out is by running a Windows registry cleaning program. Such programs scan your Windows registry for problems then automatically make repairs.

2) Disorganized Files: By running a defragmentation once every few months, you may be able to keep those pesky computer crashes at bay.

3) Malicious Software: Download and run malware or adware programs which regularly scan your computer for the presence of these problems and also guard against them. There are many free versions, so consider these before paying for one.

4) Too Little Available Memory: If it appears that your available memory is low, you can use a PC cleanup program to remove unnecessary files; such programs remove things like temporary Internet files and other file debris that can suck away much-needed memory.

5) Overheating: Sometimes, the fan on your computer wears down and doesn’t work as efficiently; other times, it’s just not able to handle the work that your computer has to do. In either case, buying a bigger, better fan isn’t very expensive.

If you’ve gone through all these tips and your computer is still crashing, it may be time for a new computer. Don’t forget that, just like your car, regular care and maintenance from the beginning will help prolong the health and life of your tech gadgets. So don’t wait till there’s a problem before you do many of these tips. Contact us here at Optfinity if you need more advice, are still experiencing problems, want help on buying new gadgets, or just want a free assessment.

P.s. Don’t forget to periodically save your work throughout the day so that you don’t lose all your work in the event of a crash.

By -- 2016-03-23 in Blog

Most of us have our banking institution’s app downloaded onto our mobile phones, tablets, and other devices in order to simplify our banking experience and lesson our time in the branch or at an ATM. But did you know that these apps might be the cause of someone stealing your personal information?

Our friends at the Dell SonicWall Threats Research Team have discovered a malware attached to some banking apps that gets downloaded to your device along with the banking app. Once infected, this malicious app can steal your credit card and banking account information.

Read the full article for examples, pictures, screenshots, and more details on what to look out for and how to protect yourself. Thankfully, only certain banking institutions are affected for the moment, and the Research Team has listed them in their article; however, this does not mean to sit on your laurels if your bank is not on the list. Keep a wary eye out anytime you’re downloading apps and be sure you know what you’re saying “yes” to.

If you or your company have found yourselves to be victims of these attacks or you would like to protect your work-related equipment, contact us right away. All of our clients are safe and protected with our services and experts at the ready.

By -- 2016-03-18 in Blog

Many of us think we are experts when it comes to the wellbeing and care of our most important electronic device, your computer or laptop. Most of us don’t just get a pet, have a child, or take care of another living being without getting some advice or reading up to ensure we’re doing everything we can to ensure their safety. Why should your laptop or computer be treated any differently?

The article on the 10 dumb things that most of us have done is a quick read on how to ensure your best friend, who gives you access to the world, is kept safe from hackers, viruses, and strangers. If you think you know the advice that goes along with each item, you might be surprised. Even some of our best here were surprised with a few of these. So take five minutes out of your day to read the article and be smarter than the average user.

Click here for the full article and to read more about these ten deadly sins for your tech gadgets.

#1: Plug into the Wall without Surge Protection

#2: Surf the Internet without a Hardware Firewall and a Software Firewall

#3: Turn off the Antivirus Because It Slows Down Your System

#4: Install and Uninstall Lots of Programs, Especially Freeware

#5: Keep Your Hard Drive Full and Fragmented

#6: Open All Email Attachments

#7: Click on Everything

#8: Believe that Macs Don’t Get Viruses

#9: Use Easy, Quick passwords

#10: Don’t Bother with Backups

For fun, take the true or false test below and then read the article and see how many you have right.

“True” or “False” – Test Yourself

a. You should never open any attachment that ends in “exe” or “cmd” or “dll.”

b. Attachments ending in “doc” or “xls” or “ppt” don’t contain any executable code (see #1 above), so they are safe to open.

c. Attachments ending with “txt,” “gif,” ”jpg,” or “bmp” are safe to open.

d. You should open attachments only when they’re from someone you know.

e. You should open an attachment only when it’s from someone you know and you are expecting it.

f. You can’t open any attachment without taking some risk.

If your issue is not listed or you have other questions, give our specialists a call at (703)-790-0400 or send us an email at sales@optfinity.com.

By -- 2016-03-2 in Blog

Windows 10 offers a new built in feature called Game DVR which will allow the user to record video of ANY open windows application or software (excluding File Explorer/ Desktop). To activate this feature, simply press the Windows Key + G on an open window. A dialog box will then open asking if this is a game. Check the box yes and now you should see a bar with several different options including the Xbox icon.

To start any recording, simply click the red record button or Win + Alt + G. To stop the recording, press Win + Alt + R. You have now created a video which can be found under Libraries > Videos > Captures. There are many different settings you can enable/disable in Game DVR such as Microphone use and Hot Keys. Theare are all accessible through the Settings Menu on the recording bar indicated by the Gear Icon.

By -- 2016-03-1 in Blog

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water….

For those of you who run offices with computers, you may be aware of a virus in the wild called Cryptolocker. Cryptolocker is a virus which encrypts your files and then requires you to pay a ransom to get your files back. In fact, it recently happened with this hospital. Now, that virus is attacking WordPress based websites. Instead of being unable to get your files, the website files become encrypted and the system replaces the index.php or index.html files with a version that demands payment. The author will then prove to you that your files are still attainable by giving you two of them back for free, but keeps every other document encrypted.

The ransom note displayed on your encrypted website, shown above, provides a link to a news story where an FBI spokesman advised victims to pay the ransom. The article is true, but the advice is not.

Reports from The Register show that hundreds of sites have most likely been attacked. Many of these sites are running out-of-date versions of WordPress, poorly configured or have plugins with security holes. Website owners should back up their websites regularly and make sure everything is up-to-date, patched and protected. Owners should also strengthen the authentication measures in the backend of their sites.

If you think you’ve been attacked by this ransomware or want to make sure your site is protected, give our specialists a call at (703)-790-0400 or send us an email at sales@optfinity.com.

By -- 2016-03-1 in Blog

With 2016 underway, there are a lot of technology trends that small businesses could possibly take advantage of. We have highlighted what we expect to be the top three trends:

1. Utilizing the Cloud
As businesses continue to grow and utilize more data, it might be a better move to switch from using an on-premise server to using a cloud-based system. Cloud service providers take care of keeping your files secure and know how to take care of all the technology so you don’t have to. Things to keep in mind are that switching can lead to slower internet when everyone is trying to access files or uploading large files. There are many different ways to store your files and many companies that provide cloud storage but the most important thing to keep in mind is how they are keeping your data secure.

2. Maintaining Security

Security can become very complex but when done correctly, can help protect you against ransomware and other cyberattacks that can cost you large sums of money and valuable work time. The easiest way to stay secure is to keep the most important data protected the most. Another way is to provide training to employees about what they should be doing in the office to help prevent their workstation from being attacked.

3. Mobile Technology for Small Businesses
As users become more mobile, it would seem inevitable that small businesses should also become mobile in some capacity as well. The best way to gauge which features to make mobile would be to think about how you want customers and employees to interact with your company. Small Businesses should focus on what its users will be utilizing the most. For example, a law firm doesn’t need an app to place orders but could strongly benefit from a mobile-friendly website, whereas a retailer can utilize both.

If you’re interested in learning more about the cloud, security or mobile technology for your business, give us a call at (703)-790-0400 ext 394 or send us an email at info@optfinity.com