Online Safety

Online safety is very important and as our homes and businesses have more and more smart devices in them it has to be taken more seriously.

1. Invest correctly in your network, two examples are provided below, since you are only as secure as your weakest device. Make sure you replace devices as their firmware / software reaches EOL (End Of Life) status.

online safety bcsbiznetworkthumb

(IF YOU TAKE CREDIT CARDS YOU MUST BE PCI COMPLIANT)
(IF YOU HANDLE MEDICAL RECORDS YOU MUST BE HIPAA COMPLIANT)

online safety bcsbiznetworkthumb

2. Do monthly maintenance to every device on your network, or have us do it for you.

3. Make your passwords long and difficult, if you must write them down do so in an encrypted Excel spreedsheet that is password protected (and for maximum security do not store this file on your computer - keep it on a few encrypted flash drives, one of which stays in your safe/safety deposit box at all times). You should also activate two-factor authentication (2FA) on every service/site you use that supports it. Authy is a fantastic app to use on your Android or Apple smartphone to generate your 30 to 60 second codes.

4. Never use password management programs, these are focal points for hackers. If your network is breached and they get their hands on this one file it will be just a matter of time before they break it's encryption and have access to all of your passwords.

5. Make all passwords at least 13 characters or longer. Make sure you use uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols (where allowed) in your passwords. The following information should make you really worried about the 4 digit pin number used with your debit card....

online safety timetocrackpasswords1
This is the reason that I keep even my simple passwords at 13+ characters, the chart shows crack times for 2011 CPU technology.
online safety timetocrackpasswords2
Simple video cards gone rogue! - This $12,000 computer contains eight AMD Radeon HD7970 GPU cards. It requires just 12 hours to brute force the entire keyspace for any eight-character password containing upper- or lower-case letters, digits or symbols. It aided Team Hashcat in winning the 2012 Crack Me If You Can contest.

6. Don't think you are safe by using an on screen touch keyboard. While this makes it harder for someone to steal your "keystrokes" all they have to do is learn two or three reference points and they can figure out what you are doing. Every on screen keyboard works by touching coordinates on the screen. They will assume you are using the default Windows on screen keyboard first but then try other on screen keyboards or steal a screen shot from your computer to figure out what "keys" you are pressing.