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Your Fingers Have Digital Prints. Here’s How To Protect Them.

Much like a human fingerprint, you leave a trail of “digital fingerprints” on the web that companies use to collect personal information about the things you do online. Every time you visit a website, click a button, or make a purchase, you leave behind a mark. Companies use tracking tools to record those marks and put them together in a profile, with the goal of showing you ads you’re more likely to click on. These tracking techniques bypass online privacy rights by hiding terms of agreement discretely in the site’s footer – with a visit used to trigger consent. The grouping of your personal data also exposes you to a high level of risk in the event those tracking tools and/or companies experience a data breach. If you’re wondering how safe your information is, Google, Facebook, Target, Macy’s, Adidas, Sears, Kmart, Best Buy, Panera Bread, Sonic, Whole Foods, and Arby’s have all been hacked – the majority in the last year – exposing the personal information of their customers. While it may seem like your personal data is doomed to fall into the wrong hands, there are a few ways you can cover your tracks and protect your privacy. Here are three ways to hide your digital fingerprints: 1. Regularly clear your cookies and browsing history A ‘cookie’ is a message that web servers send to your web browser when you visit a site. Your browser stores that message until you go to a new page then sends it back to the server. Think of it as a nosy neighbor reporting on where you’ve been. While traditional tracking relies on browser cookies that are tied to a single device, today’s tracking technology can identify you across multiple devices. Clearing your cookies and browsing history on a regular basis only protects you from older tracking tools, but leaves you exposed to the more modern and powerful tracking threats being used today. When you clear your browser cookies and history, you delete this information from your browser – like shutting the windows and locking the door so that neighbor can’t see what you’re doing. These…

Security Holes are Growing: How to Survive in a World of Voice, IoT, AI, and More

Security breaches can be complex, far-reaching, and have a major and long-lasting impact on your business. It’s critical to be proactive. Don’t wait until you have a security breach to beef up your prevention and protection! Growing businesses are not only responsible for safeguarding their own data but are now responsible for protecting the information of potential and current clients. With National Cyber Security Month just passing, here are a few tips to help close some security holes in your small business: Employee Training One of the biggest security holes and major causes of data breaches within small businesses is employees. With absolutely no bad intentions, employees are simply unaware of how best to store and protect your company’s data in the most secure way. While educating employees on good cybersecurity practices is nothing new, it’s vital to the security of your business that you educate your employees on things such as: How to properly dispose of documents containing personally identifiable information. Knowing how to recognize potential phishing emails or suspicious email attachments. Creating strong passwords for their business accounts. Not accessing sensitive business data on personal devices. Is technology evolving faster than your data security plan? Here’s how to protect yourself in a world of voice, IoT, AI, and more Internet of Things (IoT) There is a reason you want to train your employees to have strong passwords for their business accounts. Poor passwords are often the cause of IoT-related security breaches, a major security hole in many small businesses. IoT devices are often easy targets for hackers to exploit due to their poor security features. To close up the security hole and protect your internet-connected devices take the following precautions: If possible, password protect your IoT devices. Change the default password that so many IoT devices come with immediately. Secure IoT devices such as your network printer which is an easy access point to your entire network for hackers, or get a Xerox printer with security features like ConnectKey which requires a password, key card, or mobile device authentication allowing access only to authorized users. Regularly perform security…

Hacker Hacks: Know Who is Calling – and What Google Has to Say About You

Ask most security experts and they’ll tell you that their number one rule for phone calls is, unless the caller is a saved contact in your phone, don’t answer.  Hackers use many tricks to attempt to record your voice or lure you to answer certain questions just through a phone call.  Instead, allow unknown callers to leave a message and you decide if you want or need to call them back. Cyber Tip:  Don’t answer the phone unless you know the number. If you aren’t among the curious few who already do this regularly, google your name every now and then to see what the world knows about you. You may be surprised at the amount of information that is there. Don’t just look at the first page of search results. Take the time to look through several pages to see what is out there. @dralissajay shares two simple cyber tips to help protect you from hackers Cyber Tip:  Google yourself. Know what others know and consider how it can be used against you. Also, take the time to google your name along with a keyword. For example,  search for your name and your employer or school and see the list of things that you either have participated/been identified in, or which someone else has shared about you. Why is this important? Hackers use this information to figure out things about you. This way, they can use targeted attacks to gain access to your personal information. Here is an example: Let’s say you were listed as a Xerox employee on your LinkedIn profile. With very little research, a hacker can figure out when the Xerox benefits open enrollment occurs. With that information, they may target you during the company’s open enrollment time through phone calls, emails, etc. asking you to log into seemingly harmless sites. If you are not careful, you may enter the wrong site and submit your secure credentials. For more tips on protecting your personal information and that of your business, subscribe to the Small Business Solutions blog today.   Share this on Twitter! Tweet: Something as simple as not answering unknown callers and a…

13 Quick Fixes for Your Company’s Data Security

What’s your favorite solution for quickly improving your company’s data security? Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC)  is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co. 1. Add a Web Application Firewall With the internet of things rapidly on the rise, I think it’s important for businesses to turn to web application firewalls (WAFs) for safeguarding their websites. Fortunately, services such as Sucuri and Cloudflare provide the required protection against cross-site scripting (XXS) vulnerabilities, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks and other online threats. Equally imperative is keeping real-time backups of all important information. – Derek Robinson, Top Notch Dezigns 2. Never Use Public Wi-Fi If at all possible, always use your personal hotspot instead of free or public Wi-Fi. Hotspots are often included in data plans, and if not, are usually cheap add-ons. – Karlo Tanjuakio, GoLeanSixSigma.com 3. Create Strict Password Protocols Password protocols are an easy first step to improving an organization’s data security. These protocols encompass things like the frequency of password changes, the complexity requirements of the passwords, the number of password-protected programs, levels of access, etc. If you need to improve security, then the first step is to look at how your organization manages passwords. – Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure 4. Implement Two-Factor Authentication Implementing a two-factor authentication process for email is simple to do and has helped cut down on our employee accounts being hacked. Education on email phishing scams has helped prevent suspicious emails being opened, which can allow for viruses access to our systems. Phishing emails can appear to come from within the company, but a little attention to details within the email can weed them out. – Jeff Pitta, Senior Market Advisors 5. Conduct Internal Phishing Tests to Identify Weak Links I think the No. 1 risk to corporate security is human error. This boils down to phishing, spear phishing and social engineering. Basically, people fall for fake log-in screens or accidentally divulge passwords and other secure information. I run random automated tests on my team to identify weak links and then provide targeted training to those individuals. – Ryan D Matzner, Fueled 6. Digitize Everything There is no underestimating the importance of digital security,…

4 Reasons Big Technology is a Must for Small Business

Small business owners wear a lot of hats and have many obligations, that include overseeing all of the technology in the workplace. As important as that task is, it’s easy for it to fall to the bottom of the to-do list. Staying on top of technology as it evolves is not only the best way to run your business efficiently, it’s also necessary if you want to keep up with – and stay ahead of – your competition. Despite understanding its importance, many business owners don’t understand the power of technology and just how transformational it can be. Here’s a look at what technology can do for your business. Find New Customers Digital marketing can help you attract more customers and raise awareness of your business, and there are plenty of tools available to help you get started, starting with social marketing tools. Nearly every business is using – or should be using – social marketing, and managing your accounts is now easier than ever before. Some of the most popular social marketing tools include: Google Analytics – One of the easiest to use, this tool helps you track website traffic, conversions, and opt-ins that came from social media. Hootsuite Impact – This tool can measure and improve the ROI of your social media efforts across paid, owned, and earned social channels by optimizing your activity. Facebook Pixels – Facebook Pixels allows you to capture the Facebook users that are visiting your site or other landing pages so that you can retarget them later with relevant Facebook ads. You can also use technology to help you collect information about your potential customers, making it easier to reach them and meet their specific needs. Email marketing is still one of the most effective tools used to build and enhance customer relationships. Build your email list by employ an opt-in form to collect visitors contact information and any other details that will help personalize their experience with your business. Starting from scratch? Once again, technology can help. If marketing is still new to you, don’t worry. There is a wide range of marketing planning software available…

Five Ways the Print Industry Uses AI from Xerox

If you take an interest in annual industry predictions you’ll have noticed artificial intelligence (AI) tops nearly every reputable 2018 list. Amidst the sensationalist claims of robots stealing human jobs and societal concerns about AI spinning out of control, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was on hand to ground the AI conversation firmly in the present. In its 2018 AI Predictions, PwC stated that 2018 is the year that “AI will come down to earth – and get to work.” PwC predicts that in 2018 AI will finally start doing things, yet not necessarily in ways which set the world alight per certain overzealous media headlines. For AI to come down to earth, it needs to function at its most basic level and this boils down to automating processes – something the print industry has talked about for some time. Here’s how Xerox puts artificial intelligence to work for the print industry right now The four types of artificial intelligence Before I discuss how the print industry uses AI from Xerox today, let’s agree on some terms and concepts. The definition of AI is generally accepted to mean the ability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior. Admittedly, this definition is an umbrella term for a broad spectrum of technology so the industry coined four types of AI: Reactive machines. The most basic functionality of AI where the machine can only react to current scenarios, with no ability to use experience to inform decisions. Limited memory. The machine can make observations about its environment to inform a decision i.e. the technology behind self-driving cars. Theory of mind. At this point, AI becomes more futuristic. To fall into this category, AI must have the ability to understand thoughts and emotions and use this to react to the world around it. Self-aware AI. The most advanced type of AI and requires the machine to have its own consciousness, something that does not exist — yet. 5 examples of artificial intelligence for the print industry There may be a lot of hype and speculation around the latter two categories, but in reality, it’s the AI which falls into the…

Small Business Beware: Employee Devices are Risks You Didn’t Realize

Here’s a scenario: you enter an elevator with several other people. One of those people, you find out after the doors close has the flu – which you didn’t discover until that “minor” cough in the elevator became two weeks of bed rest. And you weren’t the only one that was infected. Another person on that elevator also became sick, and you know of at least one other person who the bug was passed onto. Cybersecurity issues at small businesses (SMBs) are comparable to the elevator scene. Everyone’s personal devices carry vulnerabilities (aka germs). Some lack passwords, others have downloaded malicious apps; some run on very outdated software. Now, it’s very easy to imagine an employee joining free, public Wi-Fi while waiting for a friend at a coffee shop. Unbeknownst to that employee is that his device has several vulnerabilities, and simply by connecting to a network that he thought was secure (but wasn’t), he inadvertently opened up his entire company to attack. The outdated software on the device is similar to an immune system. Because it wasn’t properly taken care of, it was prone to infection, and because most people don’t practice the most secure and technological hygienic practices with their personal devices, an SMB is at higher risk of a small incident growing into a much larger problem.   The World in the Palm of Your Hand, and All the Problems with It The technology we own and use every day has allowed us to make great advances in both personal knowledge and productivity. It has even enabled small businesses to skirt costly overhead by avoiding the need to provide employees with phones and computers. Those savings, however, do not come without risks. Today, SMB employees occasionally sign technology policies, but they are rarely enforced. And if employees use a personal phone for work, which most small business workers do, you can bet that even the most well-intentioned rule-followers aren’t thinking of device policy at night or over the weekend; instead they connect to any public Wi-Fi with a signal and often fail to update operating systems and…

Three Hacks to Thwart a Hacker

Challenge questions are those questions that you set up with your own personal answers to help websites know that it’s you – not a hacker. This only works if you are the only one who knows the answers. Most of the time we answer our challenge questions truthfully, and other people know those truthful answers. This is how the hacker wins. Questions about your mother’s maiden name, dog’s name, and favorite color are easy to answer by looking at your various social media accounts like Facebook or Instagram. Your answers can also be easy to derive from online resources, pictures, friends, etc. Hack the hackers with these surprising security challenge question tips (hint: if you’re telling the truth, you’re doing it wrong) Three quick tips to securely answer challenge questions: Don’t answer truthfully. No one says your challenge questions have to really apply to you, or that you have to be honest in answering them. They make these questions relevant to you, so that it is easy to remember the answer. But it is also easy for the hacker to figure out as well. The key is being consistent. For example, if your favorite color is pink, don’t use that as an answer to a challenge question. For online purposes use the color blue. Just a little work in creating new answers for challenge questions can go a long way to protect your information. Consider creating a different persona. Create a completely different persona when answering any questions online about yourself: Use a favorite celebrity’s information as yours, or your spouse’s information, or create a completely different persona just for online challenge questions. The key is to be consistent so that you won’t forget. Put in the work! I cannot stress enough the importance of putting in a little work when creating your answers. Tips online tell you not to choose questions with hard to remember answers. That is a great tip to make it easy for you, but if it is easy for you to remember, it will be easy for a hacker to figure out.  Put in the…

Counterfeit Money: How to Spot Fake Bills

How can you tell if money is counterfeit? What do fake bills look like? Here’s how retail employees can learn to recognize fake bills.

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