Keeping Your Personal Data Safe – Is It Impossible?

Believe it or not, two out of three people in the United States have had their personal information stolen by cyber-criminals.  The likelihood is that this has already happened to you, and if not, it will happen eventually.  And if it has happened, it will probably happen again.  Why is this?

Even if you never click on a phishing email, and ...

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Passwords Are On Life Support

Passwords are not dead – not yet.  But they are on life support.  They are no longer enough to truly secure anything on their own.

I just read an sobering, eye-popping article on NetMux that discussed easy ways to crack passwords that are longer than 12 characters.

What makes this so disheartening for me is that I have been telling everyone to increase their password length ...

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Opera Web Browser Offers Secure VPN

On Wednesday we took a broader look at the web browser.  Today we are going take a deeper look at the Opera web browser, because they are doing some interesting things with privacy, security, and functionality.

As I mentioned towards the end of Wednesday’s post, I am having concerns with my deep relationship with Google.  Google for me has been like a really great girlfriend who anticipated my every need, and has now become just ...

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New European Regulations Could Affect Your Business.

On May 25 2018, new regulations will go into effect in the European Union called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  If you are doing business in Europe, this will affect your business.  If your website collects personal information and other data from European site visitors or customers, this will affect your business.

The Europeans take personal privacy, especially online privacy, much more ...

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Why The Bad Guys Love Ransomware

Crypto-ransomware continues to be one of the most popular money making exploits for cyber criminals.  The reason for this is simple; its works, and the return on investment is quite high.  According to a recent article in Naked Security, the score will reach $1 billion in 2017.

A poll by the IBM company found that nearly 50% of the businesses polled had been hit by ransomware, and of those 70% paid ...

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U.S. House Supports Encryption

The House Judiciary Committee’s Encryption Working Group has released a report that comes out in favor of strong encryption, and opposed to the daft notion of creating encryption  “backdoors” for law enforcement and government to use.  As we have expressed in this blog previously, the concept that the secret backdoor keys could somehow be kept securely, when nothing else seems to be able to be kept secret, is the main fatal ...

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End of the Road for SHA-1?

sha-1SHA-1 or Secure Hashing Algorithm 1 was developed in 1993 by the National Security Agency (NSA).  It has been used to provide both hashing functions and digital signatures that validate that a certain document, web site, or other resource is genuine, original, and unchanged.

SHA-1 is used in common services such as SSL (secure websites) and TLS (secure email).  There has been discussion about the low security of SHA-1 going back to 2005. ...

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How Are Passwords Cracked?

password1The answer to this question is complicated, but not impossible to understand.  The first thing to know is that most passwords are not cracked by guessing, or trying thousands of possibilities one at a time on a typical login screen.  Most systems will lock the account after a certain small number of failed attempts, like 5 or 6. This makes the kind of password ...

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Cybersecurity Top 10

cybersecurity_436x270As we approach year-end, many small and medium sized business owners and managers are coming to the realization that their best intentions for creating a cybersecurity program in their organization have fallen short.  This was the year, you promised yourself, that we get a handle on computer and network security.

Well it is not too late to get a start, and here is a short ...

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Notes from the Cyber Security Summit 2016

cyber-security-summit-2016A couple of weeks ago I attended the Minneapolis Cyber Security Summit 2016 at the J.W. Marriot Hotel in Bloomington Minnesota.  There were two days of presentations on cybersecurity issues, and here are a few of the takeaways for small and medium sized business owners.

  • There are 28 million small businesses in the United States.  The Small Business Administration classifies a business with fewer than 500 employees as a small business.
  • Small businesses account ...
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