5. Check your computers regularly. Small businesses are favorite places for criminals to stick their data — credit card numbers, child pornography and other malware. They like small businesses because security is more lax and they can move their data in and out with ease. Do a sweep of every computer on a regular basis, looking for anything that does not belong, including personal files of employees that are not work related.
The days when we could be relaxed about computer security are over. And while the measures you need to take may seem time-consuming and unnecessary, they are preferable to a visit from law enforcement investigating cyber-crimes originating from your location. n
A compendium of ideas, products, rants and raves from the viewpoint of the author. Note that the author has no financial interests in any of the products mentioned. Feel free to disagree, or to share your ideas by sending them to email@example.com.
Internet Site of the Month: Market America (http://www.marketamerica.com). One of the fastest-growing e-commerce sites on the planet, a “trusted partner” of the better business bureau, and shoppers get cash back when they shop at such major sites as Walmart.com and Amazon.com. It’s also a more secure way to shop, since you know that the website has been vetted properly. Nope, I am not affiliated with them, but I do like their model for safe shopping online.
[Thumbs Up] – The Blackpad. Here’s competition for the iPad (and Samsung’s Galaxy) tablet computer from BlackBerry. Dubbed the Blackpad, it gives the “crackberry” addicts a pad of their own. An estimated 25 million units are in production, featuring a 7-inch display, two cameras (including one that can be used for video conferencing), Bluetooth and wi-fi capabilities. The down side? No 3G or 4G capability so far.
[Thumbs Down] – Email Retention Policies. Chances are good you don’t have any, and that can be a costly mistake. If you are sued, you will be compelled to produce ALL documents, including email, that may pertain to the case. Don’t have them, or can’t easily search them? You’ll pay dearly for this oversight.
[Thumbs Sideways] – Wiretapping Your Cell Phone. Legislation expected to be introduced into Congress next year would extend the wiretapping laws to computing devices and cell phones, as well as social networks. As with most security laws, this is both good news and bad. Do we protect terrorists and criminals or do we protect the privacy of consumers. Law enforcement agencies generally have a poor record when it comes to abusing wiretap laws, but it makes sense to update the laws we have for 21st Century technologies. This will bear some watching.
[Thumbs Down] – USB Technologies. Now that the super-fast Universal Serial Bus 3.0 devices are hitting the market, it’s time to stomp our feet and demand that USB become a flash-updateable technology. It is ridiculous that you can’t update a computer to a new USB standard without buying all-new hardware. Wires and connectors don’t change from one standard to the next, so why can’t we just download an update to get USB 3.0 on all ports?
[Thumbs Up] – Comcast’s Xfinity Online. While I am an old DirecTV guy, I am following with interest the moves being made by cable giant Comcast. The latest is an effort to update the company’s “TV Anywhere” strategy by offering cable content where you want to watch it — on TV, online or on a cell phone. It’s a good use of emerging technologies and will be interesting to watch as television services evolve.