Network securityYour #1 Data Security Threat
(And How To Defeat It)

If you thought spam (junk e-mail) was just an annoying nuisance, think again.

Unfortunately, human beings communicating by e-mail often turn out to be the weakest link in your network’s defenses. That’s why cyber-criminals often rely on spamming to inject their toxic code into their victims’ computers. And, just as malware is becoming ever more potent, so are the tactics used by spammers to dupe the unwary. All of which is to say…

Spam may pose the greatest threat to your data.

So what tactics are spammers using these days to deliver their malicious payloads?

The ruse of appearing as a credible sender with an urgent and alarming inquiry, such as an overdue notice from the IRS, or an e-mail from a familiar-looking vendor with an attached invoice asking why payment wasn’t made, can trigger an emotional response in even the most coolheaded of today’s harried e-mail recipients.

Attached files now carry familiar extensions, such as *.rar, *.zip, *.gif, *.tiff, *.docx, *.pdf, *.png and *.jpg, and the message may seem like it’s all part of a day’s correspondence. In a recent typical scenario, an HR manager at an expanding company had asked several job candidates to e-mail her their résumés. Within minutes after clicking on what she thought was a résumé, all her data was encrypted and she was faced with a ransom message demanding $800 to unlock it.

Outrageous? Yes.

And, unfortunately, all too common. Spam may well be THE weapon of choice for cyber-criminals because it can be so devastatingly effective against unwary victims.

What’s particularly troubling is that the malware it delivers via booby-trapped e-mails can infect not only the victim’s machine, but the entire network as well. And once installed, it can be very hard to detect.

So, what can you and your IT manager or consultant do about it?

Here are four ways to “FITE” back:

  1. Filter. Performance varies widely among spam filters. Look for the highest degree of accuracy in identifying spam, with the least number of false positives. You also want a filter that’s easy to use and won’t bog down your system.
  2. Identify. Watch for tip-offs that an e-mail may be spam if 1) you don’t know the sender, 2) you’re asked for a password, money or account information, or 3) you detect anything fishy about the sender, subject line or body of the e-mail.
  3. Think before taking action. If you don’t know the sender, don’t even open the e-mail. By opening a spam e-mail, you are signaling to the sender that your e-mail address is active. More spam is sure to follow.

If the e-mail looks at all suspicious, DO NOT CLICK any links or download any documents. If it’s obviously spam, delete it or mark it as spam. If you’re not sure, verify with the sender by separate e-mail or phone call before clicking or downloading anything.

Keep your e-mail address private and read privacy statements before revealing it. Use an alias when providing your e-mail address to commercial sites to keep your personal address from being shared.

  1. Educate. Don’t let untrained users into your network who are not aware of the dangers of e-mail spam. Train your team in best practices. Remember, they’ll benefit as well. After all, who wants to lose an important personal document or family photo due to an ill-advised click?

As spammers become more sophisticated, the threat goes beyond mere annoyance. Your company’s data and financial security are at risk. Now is the time to update your spam protection practices – it’s far less costly than dealing with the aftermath of an attack.

When was the last time your company’s spam protection program had a checkup?  Through the end of May, we will provide a FREE Spam Checkup to the first seven companies that request it. Contact us today at (610) 433-1000 or to reserve yours while you still can. Do it now…before a ransom demand – or worse – shows up in your in-box.


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Locky Ransomware Attack

Top 3 Security Threats for 2016

Protect Against Ransomware

E-mail – Ransomware story

Identify and Think



Free Report Download: If You Are Considering Cloud Computing For Your Company, DON’T, Until You Read This...

If you are considering cloud computing or Office 365 to save money and simplify IT, it is extremely important that you get and read this special report, “5 Critical Facts Every Business Owner Must Know Before Moving Their Network To The Cloud.”

This report discusses in simple, non-technical terms the pros and cons of cloud computing, data security, how to choose a cloud provider, as well as three little- known facts that most IT consultants don’t know or won’t tell you about cloud computing that could end up causing you MORE problems and costing you more money than you anticipated.

Even if you aren’t ready to move to the cloud yet, this report will give you the right information and questions to ask when the time comes.

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Darren Hardy_x_hsFear Not!

By Darren Hardy

There is a Japanese proverb, “Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.”

Fear, while an instinctual part of each and every one of us, should not control us or drive our actions, except in the case of extreme danger, like being attacked by a shark or other such creatures. Obvious, right?

Then why do so many let fear – some knowingly and most unknowingly – drive their daily actions and limit the life they can lead? Well, it doesn’t limit everyone.

Torre DeRoche suffers from selachophobia, or what she fondly has renamed Horriblehorriblesharkydeathphobia. This is merely one among many of her fears when it comes to the ocean.

Yet she agreed to embark on an adventure that would mean sailing across the Pacific Ocean and facing every single one of those maritime-related fears head-on.

Let me paint the picture for you. Torre was in her mid-20s, a recent Australian transplant, and she met a man in a bar in San Francisco. Typical girl-meets-boy story, except for one thing. This boy asked the girl to go on a trip across the ocean with him. Well, the love-struck girl agreed.

Torre, who wrote a memoir about her journey, reflects that love trumped fear and she didn’t want fear to be the reason she said no.

So what did she do? Like any intelligent person, she dug deep and learned. She read books, signed up for classes and talked to various people all about what she feared most: “being in the middle of the ocean in the middle of the night” – and, oh yeah, the sharks too.

Eventually, Torre embarked on the fearsome journey and, to her surprise, she did more than just survive – she thrived. Torre discovered that fear is “often all about the anticipation” and that when “something bad is actually happening, you click into action and the anxiety goes away.”

Now, Torre is careful to note that she didn’t eradicate her fears. But she realized how to separate reasonable from unreasonable fears. She realized that the unreasonable ones, once acknowledged, would fade away. The reasonable fears could still be conquered but not removed.

There is a key lesson in Torre’s discovery: To conquer means to overcome and take control.

Overcoming and conquering fear is something I’ve studied intensely because of my mentoring and training of CEOs and entrepreneurs in helping them to reach and realize their inner potential and achieve their big ideas.

You might not be able to eradicate your fears, but you can certainly take control of them and use them to work for you and not against you, or at least prevent them from stopping you from doing the things you want in life, like Torre did.

The only thing stopping you from realizing your God-given talents and capabilities is fear. Turn fear into fun and you will open the floodgates of your potential. Nothing – and I mean nothing – will be able to stop you then.


Darren Hardy is the visionary force behind SUCCESS magazine as the Founding Publisher and Editor, and is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of what has been called “the modern day Think and Grow Rich”: The Compound Effect— Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success ( and the world-wide movement to onboard 10 million new entrepreneurs through his latest book The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster--Why Now is the Time to #JoinTheRide ( Access Darren: and get free daily mentoring:


IFTTT connects the apps you love. Create simple connections between apps like Facebook, Dropbox or Gmail – or any physical device that links to the web, such as your fridge, thermostat or light dimmers. The beautifully simple concept “IF This, Then That” connects a Trigger (If This) with an Action (Then That). For instance, a movement detected by your Nest camera at home sends you an e-mail, text or other warning. Each trigger-action pairing is what IFTTT terms a “recipe.” You can easily whip up your own recipes, or use any of the thousands already created at Or get “IF” at the App Store or Google Play. With IFTTT, the only limit to your productivity may be your imagination. Live-Smart, 03.01.16

Considering a web conferencing service? Adobe Connect, WebEx, Citrix, and Zoom lead the pack in online conferencing services. They all allow you to meet anyone online, anytime, anywhere you have a mobile or desktop device linked to the web. While Adobe Connect is more suited for larger-scale enterprise environments, seems aimed at smaller companies and solos. Still, each one of the top dogs listed here covers a wide range of features and pricing, and each includes a robust feature set worth considering. Aspects to compare include technical capabilities, AV quality, ease of use and value. And most offer a low-end free plan you can try out, to sample their wares, with varying restrictions. Info-World, 12.02.15

Facebook Audience Insights helps you build awesome ad campaigns. Imagine a treasure trove of highly granular data about your ideal audience – all yours for the taking. Facebook helps you target by age, income, education, career, gender, location, buying behavior and Facebook activity. With that data, you can define your audience according to your desired conversion goal. From there you can fine-tune your marketing strategy, discover popular content and start attracting more attention. For example, if you notice that a lot of your visitors follow a certain publisher, you may want to strike up a deal for a private ad buy with that publisher. Just be aware that the data Facebook provides may not be applicable in other media, such as Twitter or Google Adwords. Entrepreneur, 03.08.16

End article clutter forever with this dynamic duo. Smartphone app Pocket lets you easily clip articles you want to read later, but can get cluttered with articles you’ve already read. Evernote, on the other hand, is great for articles you want to keep, but can get cluttered with articles you’ve already read and don’t want to keep. Team them up and say, “Goodbye, clutter!” Here’s how: dump clippings from web articles, Twitter and your RSS reader into Pocket. Check off the ones you’ve read, delete what you don’t want to keep and store the keepers for long-term reference in Evernote. That way, Evernote becomes your uncluttered storage tool and Pocket helps you capture all those “read later” pieces. Lifehacker 01.29.14

“App overwhelm” got you down? With so many apps online these days, it’s tough to know where to start – and stop. Here’s how to overcome app overwhelm: 1) To start, pick three or four apps. Learn each one thoroughly. Take a class, read or check out YouTube. And don’t forget good ol’ trial and error – whatever works for you. 2) Give yourself at least 30 days to see how each works in your life and business. Then reevaluate. If you like it, keep it. If not, hit delete – don’t let it clutter up your life. 3) Avoid “bright shiny object” syndrome – stay focused and stick with what works for you. At the end of the day, that’s what counts., 09.14.15,-Breadth-and-Simplicity/,-Breadth-and-Simplicity/


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