Emails

5 Ways to Help Your Business Be More Cyber-safe! | Chilliwack & Abbotsford IT Support

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and the need for awareness has never been higher! The stats are alarming...

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For businesses, the situation is just as scary.

50% of small businesses don't think that they will be targets of cyber crime.

BUT 40% of all cyber attacks in 2011 were on small to medium sized businesses.

The cost of cybercrime is about to reach $6 TRILLION, with no signs of slowing down!!

Put simply, EVERYONE is a target for cyber crime - the bad guys are not picky about size of business or the industry. As with so many things in life, prevention is much better than cure... but in the business world, cyber crime prevention can save hassle, time AND a LOT of money.

This month, we are sharing tips and advice here and on our Facebook Page ... but to start, here are 5 ways you can help make your business a #cybersafebusiness !

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1. Secure personal devices. Personal devices allow us to do business "on the road", but limit how much you use them, avoid public wifi for work use when you can, and make sure employees follow a security policy.

2. Train employees on the threats. If your staff are online at your business, include training on the latest threats, such as email scams, viruses, phishing and malware.

3. Teach smart clicking. Make yourself, and your staff, familiar with what a suspicious link and email looks like. Things to look out for include hyphens, numbers, spelling mistakes and symbols replacing regular characters. (We have a blog post illustrating some ways to safely spot bad links.)

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4. Use strong passwords. Make your passwords obscure, long and a good mix of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols. Use different passwords for different places and do not write them on scraps of paper where they can be taken or copied.

5. A have a good plan in place for when employees leave. When an employee leaves, make sure their account passwords are changed immediately, and documents are secure.

To celebrate Cyber Security Awareness Month, and to help give local businesses a leg-up on getting #cybersafe, we are offering 30% off our Tech Health Check-ups!  These check-ups do cover way more than just your security vulnerabilities. We look at all of your technology and the way you use it, to see where you can avoid future problems, and find out how you can work smarter while saving money.

When Your Email Feels Like Snail-mail... | Chilliwack & Abbotsford IT Support

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Most of us have had “that” moment . You know the one. That moment when someone says to you “yeh, I’ll email it straight over to you”, and then you sit there … and wait… and a couple of minutes pass…which feel like an ETERNITY… and nothing pops up in your inbox. In those dreadfully, long, painful 2 minutes (well… it usually starts after a mere 20 seconds of waiting), a million thoughts pass through your head…

"Is there something wrong with my computer?"

“Did they actually send it?”

“Could it be a problem with my router?”

“Maybe I have a virus!!?!”

"Has the zombie apocalypse started and no-one has told me??!!!" 

Well, before you run off to bug your IT department with a frantic request to test your internet speed and perform a full computer diagnostic scan with a tracking program sent off to find where your rogue email has been intercepted (because… you know… you saw it on that movie once, so you think  they can do that!), first consider this. Whilst we do live in this high-tech world of faster communication, and most emails arrive at super speed without you thinking about it, there could be a heap of reasons as to why your one important email may be delayed.

In most cases, it is simply down to the route that your email has taken to get to you. Your email has had to travel a complicated journey. It has to leave the sender’s computer and email server, and then take a route that makes it pass through several other servers on the way. Each server receives the email, and then passes it onto the next. Who knows what else these servers are also trying to pass on at the same time as your email! Some work faster than others. Some are busier than others. And your email is competing for delivery space with millions of others, including the vast quantities of Nigerian princes trying to offer their wealth to those unsuspecting, lonely victims. (Yes… I am talking about those phishing schemes, not real actual Nigerian princes!)

In truth, email is one of the original, and therefore oldest, services used on the internet. When email was designed, we didn’t keep our computers connected to the internet 24/7. So, it is pretty resilient. If it hits a legitimate blockage, like a full mailbox, it’ll typically keep trying or just bounce it back to the sender.

However, if you REALLY have been a patient person, and your expected email has definitely not shown signs of arriving after a sensible amount of waiting time (actual, real, measured time and not the mysterious void of slowed-down time you can experience while waiting for a kettle to boil, when you are desperate for a coffee on a Monday morning!), we advise that you...

  1. Check your junk folder. The simplest term or word can make a filter think it is spam, and redirect it.

  2. Ask the sender to try again, checking the email address (a VERY common error, and it only takes 1 wrong character to mess up completely!)

  3. Check your internet connection.

  4. Try using a different provider/browser or an instant messaging service instead.