By -- 2017-05-9 in Blog

 

Recently, both Google and Facebook were victims of fraud in which the criminal managed to convincingly impersonate an Asian manufacturer, generate fraudulent emails from the company, and invoice those huge companies for millions of dollars.  This was done by simply forging invoices, contracts, and letters from the victim companies.

Luckily, Google and Facebook are large enough to have weathered this crime and could recover almost all the money that was swindled away.  But could your company survive a similar fraud attempt, if even for a small fraction of the dollars stolen?

How often are you double checking invoices, letters, and contracts to ensure they are legally representative of the company you are doing business with?  It doesn’t take but a minute to call your trusted point of contact at the company you’re contracting with to verify addresses, bank accounts, etc.  You may think this is redundant or a waste of employees’ time, but don’t forget that a simple verification task can potentially save you from sending your money to a fraudster trying to steal your hard-earned money.

By -- 2017-04-26 in Blog

 

As in every case involving your personal information, you should be wary of giving it out to strangers, especially when being solicited.  The newest scammer craze is being targeted through LinkedIn by a spammer emailing contacts letting them know they are urgently seeking workers.

These emails inform the person that they match qualifications they are seeking for jobs in your region.  There is no specificity in the email, it does not originate from a real LinkedIn address, and has countless spelling and grammatical errors.  Those red flags alone should be enough to stop you in your tracks.  But there are still many out there who would fall for this.

Aside from endangering yourself and your personal data, you also open your company to fraud.  These cases, also known as CEO fraud, have resulted in companies losing upwards of tens of millions of dollars.  So, ensuring your staff is well trained on how to avoid being a victim of scammers not only protects them, but also your company’s bottom line.

By -- 2017-04-26 in Blog

 

This is a fascinating article on artificial intelligence, where its been and where its going, and how we got there; but moreover, have you thought about how AI may affect your business years down the road?  Are you prepared for the changes and challenges that such technology might present?

The article talks about three waves of AI, the first including such technology as Google Maps, smart phones, and traffic lights.  Do you think every business which made maps for your car is still in business?  How about encyclopedia companies, pagers, or crossing guards?  Future AI technology is anticipated to replace most human workers in many fields.  What are you doing to anticipate and prepare for this new technology tidal wave to ensure your business does not go under?

A first step in all this is to ensure you have a fully-functioning and knowledgeable IT component within your organization looking out for your best interests.  There are many basic steps companies fail at, such as fully integrated websites, mobile apps, cloud storage, and disaster recovery systems.  Once you’ve read the article and watched the fascinating video, contact Optfinity today for a free assessment and take your first step in putting your company on the right path to navigating the technology maze just ahead.

By -- 2017-04-26 in Blog

 

As a company or organization, you have a legal requirement to retain information and communication.  Studies show that most employees have no idea what these policies are, and chances are, neither do you.  Read the full article to see what the actual statistics are.

These policies should not only include what to retain and for how long, but also your company’s policies on personal computer usage, personal emails, and social media.  Not only can these issues pose problems for the company and its data retention, but it can also pose privacy problems of which most employees are not aware.

Don’t forget, if you’re using your company’s WiFi on your personal device, that data is not private and your company now has access to it.  Likewise, when you use your company email to contact your doctor, financial advisor, or lawyer, your private information is now the property of your company. 

By -- 2017-04-17 in Blog

 

How would you feel if you knew you were responsible for the hacking of others’ websites?  What if you could have prevented it?   The problem is that in today’s technology connected world, things like this are happening all the time because every device out there is a mini computer and if not updated and secured, that device could be taken over to bring down websites all over the world.   Check out this article for more information and, if you are concerned about your businesses devices, contact us at OptfinITy. 

 

By -- 2017-03-29 in Blog

 

We all write emails all day long, sending them to friends, family, colleagues, vendors, existing and future clients/customers.  Are you aware that how you end your email can directly affect the response rate from these emails, especially if you’re asking for advice or help and expecting a reply?

The least effective way to end an email is with “regards” or “best”, and the most effective way to end is with some form of “thanks or thanks in advance”.  Likewise, your sign-off should be equally grateful as “thanks in advance” had the highest response rate and “best” had the lowest.

Don’t forget to be equally appreciative when on the receiving end of these emails.  And while you’re welcome and no problem are just fine, “I know you’d do the same for me” tops the list.  As an IT service support company, we try to always thank all our clients every time we communicate with them.  So, if you’re missing out on having a vendor show you their appreciation, we’ll show you how much we care by first offering a free assessment of your IT systems.

By -- 2017-03-29 in Blog

 

Do you have your elevator pitch ready?  You know, those 90 second speeches you have prepared to give at networking events and run-ins with colleagues.  Did you know, even if you haven’t given one professionally, you’ve probably already given them when trying to explain to your family and friends what you do for a living? 

There are four simple things to include to help you perfect these pitches.  Capturing your audience’s attention by talking about how great your company is doing, who your customers are and what problem you’re solving, how the problem is currently being solved and how you’ll do it differently, and explaining how your solution is the best.  There are a few more steps if you’re trying to attract venture capitalists, but the concept is the same.

Not sure how a strong IT services support fits into all this?  Well, you won’t have a functioning business if all your systems go down due to hacking, or you will lose your customers if your phone systems and website go down, you also won’t have a good presentation to give if you’re staff are not up to date on their software knowledge to put it all together.  Not to mention that most businesses run entirely online, in the cloud, or behind software.  Optfinity offers free assessments to help every business truly understand their demands, needs, and wants to function at peak capacity.

By -- 2017-03-29 in Uncategorized

 

We have been dealing with artificial intelligence in our lives well before we first started playing against the computer on our gaming consoles.  While there are now countless ways AI has integrated into our daily lives, the system’s learning abilities have been ten times slower than human’s.  But now Google has developed an AI which learns almost as fast as a human through deep learning.

And while “true AI”, a computer capable of learning as fast or matching the intelligence of a human, is not predicted in our near future, this new development brings us closer to that path.  There are many benefits to this fast-growing technology from health and medicine to agriculture, not to mention improving the bottom line and efficiency for many businesses and retailers.  Contact Optfinity to see how AI is already affecting your business in big and small ways.

By -- 2017-03-28 in Blog, Uncategorized

 

A website cookie is a file that helps websites identify who you are and whether you have been to a website before.  This is useful for remembering your preferences or items you may have ordered, making your website experience a better one.  The problem occurs when hackers can manipulate this data, as evidenced in this article about the recent Yahoo hacker attacks.

What happened with Yahoo was that hackers could forge cookies for Yahoo’s users which would potentially allow them access to accounts without the need for a password because your cookie and history identified you and Yahoo accepted that information as authentic.

Additionally, browsers use other methods to identify you including your active logins, browsing and download history, cache, cookies, form and search bar data, offline website data, and site preferences.  As a result, you want to regularly wipe clean this information from your computer. 

For more information on this issue you can read the linked article or give us a call at Optfinity (703-790-0400) and we will help ensure all your computers and servers are constantly cleared of possibly damaging items that pose threats to you and your company’s data. 

 

 

By -- 2017-03-27 in Blog

Recently, a terrorist used WhatsApp to send and receive encrypted messages to help plan an attack, and there have been demands by some that there should be a weakening or banning of this type of encryption.  Would this help prevent this type of terrorist communication?  Absolutely not.

Some have also called for backdoor systems to allow our politicians and law enforcement agencies access to this data.  The danger therein is a surrender of our personal liberties and right to privacy.  Not to mention that criminals would just find other ways around these channels, like compiling their own end-to-end encryption messaging system.

We must remember that encryption protects everyone, which unfortunately includes the “bad guys”, and prevents hackers from gaining access to our sensitive data which abounds on the internet.  Every time you make an online purchase or access your bank account, these encryptions are ensuring your safety and security.  Be wary of those fighting to weaken your privacy rights and ensure your systems are set up accordingly, and don’t forget, Optfinity provides free assessments to make your business life a little easier.