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TechStar Solutions Blogs

TechStar Solutions has been in business since 2013, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Don’t Be Fooled When Scammers Threaten to Spill a Dirty Little Secret

Don’t Be Fooled When Scammers Threaten to Spill a Dirty Little Secret

What would you do if a stranger claimed to have compromising webcam footage of you and threatened to share it with your contacts? A new, very convincing email scam is making some users very nervous.

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Using a QR Code to Log In

Using a QR Code to Log In

Passwords are still an incredibly valuable part of security, but it’s becoming quite difficult to maximize network security through passwords alone. Even if you somehow manage to sell the idea of network security to your staff, whether or not they follow through is another thing entirely. It’s critical that you make it as easy as possible for your employees to stay secure, and that’s where scannable QR codes come in.

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Encryption Helps Keep your Smartphone Secure

Encryption Helps Keep your Smartphone Secure

These days everyone has a smartphone; and, they can do some pretty incredible things. One place that the average smartphone may seem to be a little loose is in the arena of data security. Today’s smartphones do, in fact, come with encryption by default, so there is some semblance of device security on every device. What does this mean? We’ll break it down.

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Preventing Identity Theft Should be a Priority, But Do You Know How to Handle It?

Preventing Identity Theft Should be a Priority, But Do You Know How to Handle It?

The more people use technology, the more they have to deal with the negative aspects of doing so. One of the most prevalent problems users experience today is cybercrime that leads to identity theft. What can you do to prevent this from happening to you?

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Tip of the Week: ‘Secure’ Browsing Doesn’t Mean ‘Private’

Tip of the Week: ‘Secure’ Browsing Doesn’t Mean ‘Private’

Internet browsers, by in large, provide enough security for the average user to come out unscathed. Nowadays, people deal with many more threats than they once did, but by in large, users stay secure when using today’s most popular browsers. Privacy, however, is a whole different matter.

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Do You Use 2FA? If So, You’re in the Minority

Do You Use 2FA? If So, You’re in the Minority

Two-factor authentication, also known as 2FA, is a very beneficial addition to consider for your cybersecurity. However, a research study unearthed a few surprising takeaways that indicate that 2FA may not be adopted as much as one might expect it to be.

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Would Your Users be Tricked by Social Engineering?

Would Your Users be Tricked by Social Engineering?

The term social engineering may not seem nearly as intimidating as other cybersecurity terms like ransomware or denial of service. Don’t be deceived! Some of the biggest threats to your company’s data and network security use social engineering to manipulate targets into taking a specific action - like disclosing personal information that can be stolen and exploited.

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Boosting Your Security Only Takes Another Layer of Authentication

Boosting Your Security Only Takes Another Layer of Authentication

Data breaches are so common nowadays that you’re lucky not to see one in the breaking news section of any news outlet. How is your business preparing for the inevitable data breach of intellectual properly and sensitive information? You need to start considering preventative measures, like two-factor authentication, to keep your data secure.

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Google Is Increasing Security For High-Risk Users

Google Is Increasing Security For High-Risk Users

Wouldn’t it be great if you could take advantage of a built-in security feature that could lock down your Google services in the event of a potential data breach? Thanks to attacks on high-profile users, Google is now offering this service to those who are at considerable risk of having their accounts hacked. This type of advanced service, called the Advanced Protection Program, is only available to a select few, but it promises to assist in the challenge of protecting sensitive information.

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Tip of the Week: The Holidays Can Be A Time Of Work And Play, Even While Traveling

Tip of the Week: The Holidays Can Be A Time Of Work And Play, Even While Traveling

The holidays are approaching, whether we are ready for them or not. With the holidays comes time off, which means that it’s awfully easy to fall behind post-vacation. Another concern is the amount of identity theft and credit card fraud that comes about during this time of year. We’ll discuss some of the many ways that your organization can take advantage of technology this holiday season without putting yourself in harm’s way.

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Tip of the Week: Make Facebook More Private By Enabling the Follow Feature

Tip of the Week: Make Facebook More Private By Enabling the Follow Feature

While it’s a security best practice to keep strangers off of your Facebook account, you might feel that it’s understandable to accept an unknown request for the sake of networking or otherwise. This isn’t the ideal way to approach Facebook, but you do have a unique opportunity to allow users to view your profile and follow your public posts, without the need to accept a friend request.

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Don’t Worry, Your Samsung Phone “Winking” at You is Just a Cool Feature

Don’t Worry, Your Samsung Phone “Winking” at You is Just a Cool Feature

If you’re a Samsung smartphone user, have you ever seen a little eyeball symbol appear at the top of the screen? You might notice that it will show up for a minute, and then disappear again. Since this kind of activity usually makes users question what’s going on with their device, let’s get down to the bottom of this weird occurrence.

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Tip of the Week: Stuck Using a Public PC? Be Sure to Follow These 2 Privacy Tips

Tip of the Week: Stuck Using a Public PC? Be Sure to Follow These 2 Privacy Tips

Full disclosure: we don’t recommend doing anything important, or really anything at all, on a public computer. However, we understand that sometimes life works out in an unideal fashion, and sometimes you can be stuck doing something you shouldn’t, and otherwise wouldn’t. Even in these cases, there are steps you can take to preserve your security.

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How Vizio Got Busted for Spying on Its Customers

How Vizio Got Busted for Spying on Its Customers

What have you watched on TV lately? Actually, never mind; if you don’t want to tell us, we can just ask Vizio. Relax--we’re not actually going through with this, but the fact remains that 11 million owners of Vizio televisions had their viewing habits tracked by the manufacturer. Were you one of them?

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How Safe is Your Email?

 

Email is (and has been) a prime method of communication for businesses of all sizes. With email comes a whole slew of issues that are essentially synonymous with the technology; spam, information overload, phishing, and information privacy. Even Pennsylvania small businesses that only do business locally are at risk of these issues. Personal email accounts are equally at risk. Employing proper precautions and practices whenever communicating via email is very important to prevent the risk of security compromises, monetary loss, and even legality issues.

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What is your Identity Worth to You?

Your identity has quite a lot of value, especially in the wrong hands. Security firm ZoneAlarm put together some numbers in 2011 concerning identity fraud, and it even shocked us. Let's talk about a few of these statistics and what it means.


First of all, what shocked us the most is that according to the FTC, in the United States, 9 million individuals have their identities stolen each year. Identity theft is a little different than identity fraud, however. Theft is when personal information is exposed and taken without permission. This is happening all the time by malicious software like spyware, but it can also happen when legitimate websites and services get infiltrated by cybercriminals. If a reputable online store (or even a database for a brick and mortar store) gets hacked into, your personal information can be stolen. That's identity theft.

Identity fraud is when that data is misused for financial gain. This is when things start to get very dangerous. In 2009, $56 billion dollars were accumulated by cyber criminals through identity fraud. The good news is in 2010 that number went down to "only" $37 billion. What does that mean to the average person? On average, victims of identity fraud had $4,841 dollars stolen per victim. Trouble is, the world has had to improve drastically to protect consumers from identity fraud. This means higher costs of doing business which then get reflected on prices of products and services. In other words, because of identity fraud, we all lose.

How does your data get stolen?  There are plenty of ways, but here are a few popular methods:

  1. Hackers can pick up credentials via public Wi-Fi and public PCs.
  2. Credit Card Skimming - a process that involves your credit card data being stolen when your credit card is swiped at a standard ATM or credit card terminal.
  3. Selling or discarding used computer equipment that isn't properly wiped can expose personal information.
  4. Hackers can infiltrate networks and databases.
  5. Dumpster diving and paper mail theft.
  6. Malware and viruses
  7. Phishing.


In almost half of reported identity theft cases, the victim knew the criminal.

What do you do if your identity is stolen?

Almost half of all reports of identity frauds are discovered by the user first, although banks and credit card companies have methods in place to stay on top of it as well. If your financial credentials are stolen, you need to contact your bank and/or credit card companies immediately, both by phone and in writing. You'll want to file a police report with details about where your identity was stolen, what you believe was or could have been stolen, and documented proof of the crime.

You don't want to risk identity fraud. Monitor your credit reports closely, shred sensitive mail and documents before throwing them away, and ensure your computers and network are running latest security updates and antivirus, as well as other security measures. For a complete review of your security, contact us at (800) 424-3860 and we will help pinpoint vulnerabilities and fill in the cracks before a costly event occurs.

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