Latest facebook email threat

A new SPAM email is making it's way to everyone's inboxes. It is faked so that it appears to be a normal facebook notification email. One easy way to tell is if you receive it to an email account that facebook doesn't know about. Also, only giving facebook one of your email addresses is a great idea if only for this reason.

Here is a screenshot:

Here are a few more clues:

1) It's from - not

2) If you hold your mouse over either of the long links at the bottom the real link will show up. It show's it will go to which is a really bad site.

3) Normally a facebook email will show a preview of the message. This one does not show you anything in an attempt to get you to click the link.

So, what should you do? I'm glad you asked. As with all emails that have imbedded links, NEVER CLICK THEM. You should open a new web browser and type in the URL yourself. Then in this case you would see that you don;t have this message waiting for you on facebook.

Happy & safe web surfing!

The Most Common Motive for Cyber Attack

Everyone is at risk of a Cyber attack because data is profitable and everyone has data. According to the Financial Times, the most common motive for cyber attack is theft, so we are all at risk. Read the article here. The answer is to decrease your vulnerability to the attack itself. With zero day flaws being found almost daily it is difficult, especially considering the recently discovered flaw that's been around for 17 years. It's due to be patched next week, but how many more like it do the bad guys know about that we don't?

Fake Outlook alert screen spreading banking trojans

Fake Outlook updates have emerged in recent weeks to install banking Trojans which bad guys use to access your online account to make fraudulent transfers. Email filtering company Red Condor has been intercepting an email phishing campaign spreading faked Microsoft Outlook alerts at a phenomenal rate.

They work because the intended victim receives a personalized email message that appears to come from a techie using a return email address from the same domain as the target. Read More...

I.T. Resolutions for 2010

No is the time everyone makes resolutions to eat healthy, lose weight and exercise so why not make some related to your business?Here are a few recommendations from my area of expertise-

#1: Automate Repetitive I.T. Tasks.

Many tasks can be automated, from the very simple to the more complex. A great place to start is to make sure your servers and systems all run security updates, system patches, and antivirus/malware definitions automatically and apply them. Next up would be to find all the places where time is consumed moving files around or even duplicating effort entering data into multiple systems. With automated importing and exporting these redundant tasks can free up your time and make you more efficient.

#2: Invest in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software.

Turn your customer data into something you can use to help you become more efficient and to grow your business. So many companies store their customer data in spreadsheets or in files scattered across the office. Customer Relationship Management Software helps you manage your customer relationships and track not only their orders but also their interaction with you via phone, email or other means. With a few clicks you can find out who your most valuable customers are, which ones are consuming large amounts of your time and which ones are prospects for growth in the upcoming year. There are many packages on the market that can help you with this, ranging from off-the-shelf varieties that can suit most business needs and are available at your local office supply store to fully customizable one from big vendors such as Microsoft and Oracle. Take some time this New Year to read up more on CRM software and learn how it can be a valuable tool in managing your customers and your business.

#3: Back Up Your Data.

Backup, Backup, Backup. What would happen to your business come tomorrow if you woke up and found out that your computer with all your finances, customer information and invoices had died? All too often small businesses don’t back up their data and as a result their computers turn into ticking time bombs. Resolve in 2010 to make better use of backup software and other technology that helps keep you protected from the failure that will happen sooner or later.

#4: Install a Good Accounting Package.

2010 should be the year you stop using spreadsheets to track your finances and invest in a good accounting package. Spreadsheets are good for very small businesses, but the moment when you start growing you will find that you are being held back by their lack of ability to manage complex financial transactions. Another benefit you will receive from investing in a good accounting package is that tax time will be a breeze. Many accounting packages on the market today have modules that let you literally point, click and print your tax returns for your business! A good accounting package can pay for itself within weeks. Think how much more effectively you could run your business when you can get up in the morning and see, at-a-glance, how well your business is doing.

Last but not least...

#5: Bring In an I.T. Professional!

Your business is not I.T., so why invest your valuable time? The time spent making sure everything's backed up, up to date, running efficiently, malware scanned, clear of viruses, and so on should be done by an expert in that field. When your vehicle needs maintenance you go to a mechanic and when it's tax time you go to an accountant. Your business network and systems need the same attention.

So now it’s time for you to act. Start by making an action plan to put in place now to guide you through the 2010.

It's Rational to Reject [Good] Security Advice?

In a recent article from Microsoft Research, users are behaving rationally when they reject security advice. According to the paper, the cost of many security policies outweighs their benefits. So, rational or not... Is it really the right thing to do?

Well, my opinion is still that the advice of experts that is based on proven best practices is worth following.

Read the article here. (pdf)

Is Google abandoning their ethics?

The first 3 words in Google's published Code of Conduct are "Don't be evil." - I've been wondering for a while how well they are doing measuring up to that.According to this article, not so well. My favorite line from the author is "doing good does not mean you are not also doing evil."

Is all this a little paranoid? Maybe, but I like the way he thinks and I'm going to be paying more attention from now on.