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fake error codeThe latest malware is hitting the streets.  This one has been found from google search, Bing search, and facebook link.  One person told me they were just scrolling through Facebook and this popped up.  We had another client researching some medical symptoms and clicked on a link and this message took over the screen.  If you try to close it, it continues to pop-up.  At this point you have been infected and you will need to TAKE your computer to reliable IT person.  If there is anytime to SHOP LOCAL; this would be the time!  Its not a costly clean up unless you let it continue.  They want you to call that number and give them  your credit card.  DO NOT CALL THE NUMBER ON THE SCREEN.  You need to shutdown your computer and have it cleaned up before you do any more surfing on the internet or working on your computer.  It has come to the time where it is not if you get hacked; It is when will you get hacked.



Dr. Drew Pinsky, a well-known internist, recently had his Gmail account hacked. The culprit sent out spam requesting money. They changed his password. The culprit then added a new security layer, two factor authentication. Google’s two factor authentication is a great feature to help keep your email secure. In this case it helped the hacker keep Dr. Pinsky from changing back his own password.

How did this happen? The hacker was able to get Dr. Pinsky’s email account password. The hacker then logged into the email account and change the Gmail security level. The new security level will either text or call you with a random code. You then enter your user name, password and random code. This meant Dr. Drew no longer had ANY control over his own email account.

The hacker spun a story using Dr. Drew and his wife, Susan. The story said they were stuck in Cyprus without any documentation or money. Because the hacker used Susan’s name, it gave it even more authenticity. Dr. Drew received more than 160 texts and phone calls about his safety. In a radio interview, he mentioned that many people  did NOT receive this spam email. Those people had a strong, secure firewall in place to block the spam phishing attempt.

To reset his password, he had Google send him over a massive document that he had to sign and send back. Google said it would be about a week before they could reset his account password. The reset was to give him control of his email again. One WEEK! In an interview on a national radio show on another topic, he brought up the hack. A Google executive, who was listening to the show, contacted Dr. Drew immediately to fix the issue.

The moral of the story? Use every security feature available in your email. Consider making your password stronger and changing it every three or four months. You should use passwords that combine words and numbers. Try creating an acronym of your favorite book title or song lyric. You can also use a password safe to manage all your passwords with a single sign-on. It’s not a matter of IF you get hacked, it’s WHEN you get hacked.


You Don’t Have to Backup All Your Data …

Last week I was at the dentist office for my semi-annual checkup. Every 6 months I sit with my mouth stretched open and stare at a poster on his wall, “You Don’t Have to Floss All Your Teeth, Only the Ones You Want to Keep.”  Cute.

Flash back 20 something years earlier (I sat in the same chair looking at the same poster even then), I started a property management company. We managed over 250 residential rental units.  In the beginning, everything was done by hand – dozens of green ledger sheets for rent-rolls, hand writing over 150 checks per month, manually balancing over a dozen checkbooks.  Yikes!  Then I had my first experience with computers.  We put everything on an old pre-DOS PC.  Wow, was it great!  No more ledger sheets.  Checks were printed on the old dot-matrix printer with the push of a button!  The checkbooks balanced themselves!  I was saving a ton of time every day!  I abandoned all that manual paperwork.  Life was good.


The hard drive crashed. Back then, who knew?   I still remember that feeling.  You know that sinking feeling.  It starts in your gut and roils up through your chest then drains the blood from your face.  And about the time it hits your brain, your knees start to buckle.

Now, picture this. A young guy, on the phone, calling tenant after tenant after tenant, 250 of them, asking “Did you pay your rent this month?  Uh, how about last month, do you owe anything from last month?”  To this day I don’t know exactly how much money I lost.  It was many, many thousands.  And countless hours.  But I was lucky.  I was able to stay in business.

Back then, who knew to back up their data? Today, it’s different.  Today we know that 93% of businesses that experience a total data loss, like I did, go out of business within a year. Ninety Three Percent.  I was lucky enough to be one of the 7% that survived.

20 something years ago I became an expert on disaster recovery and business continuity. Warren Buffet said, “What the wise do in the beginning, fools do in the end.”  If you can’t learn from the mistakes of others, you do so at your own peril – and the peril of everyone who counts on you.

“You Don’t Have to Backup All Your Data, Only the Data You Want to Keep.”

The risky business of outdated technology

Is your tech out of date? Outdated software leaves you open to cyberattacks. This can slow your business as you work to fix the security holes, or worse, it can expose your data to cybercriminals.

Failing to keep up with the times by using outdated technology could be putting your business in danger.

Dangers of outdated tech

  • Security holes may expose data
  • Loss of productivity fixing old PCs
  • Customers lose trust in your business
  • Unsupported software risks fines from auditors

Read our informative infographic to learn more about the risks of not updating your software, and benefits to using modern technology.

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Cortana’s voice – “you have been infected”

I just returned from my quarterly meeting with the and had the chance to talk with our FBI agent.  We were talking about the latest scam that is happening.  You get “drive by” malware on a windows 8 or windows 10 computer from clicking on something and it actually runs a script that uses Cortana’s voice and says “Your computer has been infected you will need to call this number”.  They say it takes you buy surprise and is a little freaky because of the sound usage.  DO NOT CALL THE NUMBER.  This is a scam.  You are going to need to have your computer cleaned up and typically these are not bad infections; but if you let them into your computer it will get WORSE!  Contact one of the companies from IT Pro Alliance and we can get you back into business.

We had another infection last week from a business owner that misspelled  the URL for Wal-mart.  This infection was a nasty one.  That is why it is recommended to use bookmarks or search engine.  With search engine; you need to be careful on the clicks too!

Can Apple devices get infected?

They sure can!  My daughter, yes the daughter of an IT company owner, managed to infect her iMac!  She said, “Well someone at school told me to search for this movie on google and then you can watch it.”  So she did!  So if anyone tells you a Mac can’t get infected; I have proof.

Google Ads

I was at a committee meeting the other night and we were talking about doing advertising on the internet.  I was surprised to find out most of the people at the table did not realize that it costs the company $ anytime you click on that ad.  Obviously if you are interested in the product, it makes sense but someone said they use those links all the time to go to the same site.

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