Wednesday, June 13, 2018

What to Do When Browser Pop-Ups Warn a Device is at Risk

Websites contain far more than just text, they often include images, videos, ads, pop-ups, banners and more. Some features are more intrusive than others. Almost everyone has been to a site where an ad began playing in the background and you were forced to hunt it down to pause it. Unfortunately, because these ads load automatically and are constantly changing, they are often targeted by hackers. 

There is a history of ads being injected with malicious code before being presented to the visitor and every so often articles are released about this issue. Phishing browser pop-ups are presented in different ways including those:
  • Stating your device may have been infected by malware and to call a number for assistance. This attack often claims to be coming from Microsoft which it is not!
  • Stating there has been a problem with your computer and to call a number for assistance. The number typically claims to be tech support.
  • With a warning message and an accompanying audio message. The audio typically loops for dramatic effect and follows the script of the pop-up.
An example of a browser pop-up.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Managing Mobile Devices - 3 Controls you Need to Know

From smartphones to tablets to laptops, these devices connect us to mail, social media, business documents, photos and videos, and more. Whether for work or for personal reasons, the purpose of these devices is to make our lives easier, and to provide timely information in a convenient way. The drawback to easy and quick access to information is the potential for unknown individuals to gain unauthorized access to that data.

Personal devices typically have less important information than business devices, but security threats can be detrimental to both. For a business the threat is constant and measurable. Loss of client personally identifiable information, or PII, can lead to financial penalties, loss of reputation and much more. Mobile devices present greater management issues than those in main office buildings managed by firewall and content filter rules. Mobile devices are often targeted more actively while having less protections. Luckily, there is software that provides management tools which has been created specifically for assisting in managing mobile devices and the security threats that target them.

Managing Mobile Devices - 3 Controls you Need to Know

Consider the following:
  • An employee traveling for work has their laptop stolen and an unknown individual may gain access to the files on that device
  • A family member leaves a device behind in a coffee shop
  • Someone who is no longer an employee fails to return a device provided to them

Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Security Risks Presented when Using Public WiFi

Connecting computers and laptops to WiFi provides the ability to browse the internet. Connecting smart phones to WiFi allows them to browse the internet without the data being transferred counting against a data plan. Additionally, local WiFi can often provide faster transfer rates than using a smartphone's built-in cellular connection because of the close proximity.

Taking advantage of the many benefits provided by utilizing WiFi seems like a win-win! Unfortunately, there is a big difference between using secure WiFi at your home or office and connecting to public WiFi.

The Security Risks Presented when Using Public WiFi

Connecting to your wireless network at home should not provide security risks when the network is secured with a unique password that is changed at least 1-2 times per year. When your wireless router supports it, create two wireless networks and implement them like this:
  • Use one to connect computers, laptops, shared storage devices, and printers. 
  • Use the other to connect smart phones and all IoT items like fans and thermostats, streaming devices like Roku and Chromecast, and for guest devices.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

How to Fix the Slow Printing Issue in Sage 100 AP Module

The ability to have business data readily available, in any format desired, is important for tracking business processes, costs, and much more. Having access to data like this requires the right software for your business type and even more importantly, accurate and timely data input. Unfortunately, quick access to data is not enough. Printing, whether physical or to a pdf, also needs to be efficient. When the process is long or fails, this is especially tedious because the device can also be less responsive during this time. 

There are a few reasons why this can happen, including the wrong file permissions and insufficient device resources. If these check out, Windows Defender may be the cause for any slowness.

How to Fix the Slow Printing Issue in Sage 100 Accounts Payable Module

Whether printing to a print device or to a pdf file, if the Sage 100 2017 accounts payable software module is really slow to respond, or fails altogether, try adding the folder to the Windows Defender exclusion list since Windows Defender cannot be disabled in Windows Server 2016.

Monday, May 14, 2018

How to Fix the Rogue Mouse Issue

Sometimes the most trivial issues can become exhausting problems. The mouse and keyboard are often the unsung heroes of our computers and laptops. If you do not believe this, try working without one or the other for a day, or even an hour! These devices can wear out over time and it is normal to replace the batteries for wireless versions of these peripherals when they stop working. Sometimes though, they seem to be functioning but are providing unexpected results. 

When a mouse behaves erratically, accomplishing normal tasks can be nearly impossible. Luckily, there is a way to fix the rogue mouse issue.

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How to Fix the Rogue Mouse Issue

Before explaining how to fix a rouge mouse issue, it is important to mention that the following items can also cause a mouse to respond in erratic and unexpected ways, similar to the following issue:
  • A dying battery in the case of wireless mice
  • A device suffering from performance issues due to high demands on available resources
  • A USB port that is going bad

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Broken Printers? How to Block the Windows Update that Caused this

If multiple printers on the same device suddenly stop printing, and nothing else has changed, a recent Windows update may be causing the issue. An update released weeks ago, KB4093112, has had some unexpected results causing installed printers to stop working on some devices. To find out if this update is causing printers to fail on a device, try accessing the printer properties. If you get an error stating that the printer driver is not installed, when it was previously working fine, the update may be the cause.

To fix the broken printer issue, uninstall the Windows update. However, you are not done there because if that is all you do, the update will simply install itself again. To prevent the issue from coming back, you must block that update from installing again.

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Broken Printers? How to Block the Windows Update that Caused this

Uninstall the offending update
  • Open Control Panel, and select "Programs & Features".
  • In the left panel, click "View installed updates" to access all installed Windows updates.

  • Scroll down to the offending update. Click on the update and click the "Uninstall" button listed above the updates.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

How to Always Run a Program as an Administrator

There are many ways a user account can have admin access to the local computer. It can come from the domain account settings on a network, by being the only account on that computer, or because the user account was added to the local users administrative group. Admin access is what allows users to install apps, add-ons and software updates. Unfortunately, even an admin account does not run programs as an administrator by default. Instead, programs are run in standard mode to reduce security risks. 

Running in standard mode can sometimes present problems. Certain features might not be available or function properly. Running the program as an administrator often fixes this issue.

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How to Always Run a Program as an Administrator

Running programs in standard mode is fine for many programs and reduces the access which provides better security controls. However, there are times when running the program as an administrator is a necessity. This post explains how to do this once, and how to set this as the default.