Password hygiene and why you need a password manager

Did you know that over a billion personal data records were compromised in the USA alone in 2015? I don’t know about you, but that scares me!

Password tips and why you need a password manager
Much of the compromised data was in the form of passwords, which as we know are generally used by people across several services, both inside company networks and for personal use.
Password tips and why you need a password manager to protect yourself and your business from cyber-attacks:
1. Choose a COMPLEX password
In general, the longer the password, the more secure it will be. Start with a password of at least eight characters, with alpha numeric characters, different cases (UPPER and lower case) and special characters (@, *, &, #, !, $). A password can be made stronger for example by replacing “o” with “0,” “e” with “3,” or “a” with “@.”
2. Use a pass phrase rather than a password.
Using several unconnected words is less likely to be guessed by an attacker. Good examples are quotes, lines from songs or addresses. Avoid any word that appears in a dictionary, commonly used words or phrases, or easily guessed choices such as 1234567890, password, qwerty or abc123.
For example: your middle name, your dog’s name, the name of your street or a popular athlete, are all weak passwords as they are likely already in the database password hackers would use to easily guess your passwords. If you do use words like “dog”, “Lawler”, or “Jones” in your password you should use at least four of them in the same password, and in a way that decreases the chances it could be brute force attacked, like “MyD0g$Lawl%r4j)n3S”.
3. Use Two-factor authentication when offered
Two-factor authentication simply means you need two different authentication methods to login. An example of this is Password + PIN or Password + Token/Phone code. The advantage of this approach is that even if someone “cracks” your password, they’d also need your phone to be able to login to the website as you.
4. Never reveal (or share) your password
Reputable companies will NEVER ask you what your password is. You should never divulge your password verbally to anyone, nor should you share it with a colleague, or write it down on a post-it note or notebook etc.
5. Change passwords regularly
It’s important to change your passwords on a regular basis. Many of the passwords that are hacked and sold online are several years old. If you change your passwords regularly, the threat of a successful attack and re-use of your password is significantly lower. The more important the password, the more often it needs to be changed.
6. Use a different password for each website or service.
If an attacker manages to steal a password for one website, they can’t then use the same password to access other websites. This is extremely important, as your internet banking password is much more important than say your blog subscription password.
7. Ensure you are visiting the intended site
When visiting a web site that asks for your password, you should ensure that you are actually connected to the intended web site before entering your login name or password. There are many “phishing” emails that try and direct you to a fake site in an attempt to capture your password and then use it maliciously.
If you’ve made it this far and decided the above really isn’t practical, you need a password manager!
Back in the early days of the internet, you probably only had a couple of passwords to juggle. Maybe your PC login and eBay password. These days, it’s not uncommon for people to have hundreds of sites or applications that require a password. As such, a good password manager is vital these days to assist in handling the multitude of passwords that are becoming increasingly complex.
Password managers can help you create, use, and recall strong and unique passwords for every website or application you use. A good password manager will work across all your devices and automatically log you in to the sites, services and applications you use, so you never need to enter a password.
There are many free and paid password managers out there, just ensure the one you choose is encrypted using a strong password or passphrase.

Good password hygiene isn’t easy, but is extremely important for both individuals and businesses. Don’t let another year pass without changing your passwords and/or moving to a password manager. You won’t regret it!


Need help with security or password management? Call Evolocity today for a free site assessment.

Social Care- the future of IT support

Social Care- the future of IT support

online-942408_1920Customer service expectations are rising year on year and it’s clear that consumers prefer dealing with real people than with nameless people at faceless corporations. Recent surveys have shown that up to 50% of customers turn to social media for IT support.

Historically, IT Support has an unfortunate reputation of being untimely and not customer centric. Legacy tooling and processes have created a support culture that’s built on policies, rules and autocracy rather than agility. The pendulum however is slowly swinging towards customers (and users), and their preferences for interactions.

At Evolocity, we believe it’s clear- the future of IT support is Social Care.

What’s Social Care you ask? Consider it the paradigm shift from traditional IT service management to incorporate social media as a support mechanism. This shift allows businesses to listen to their customers, take action to resolve issues while at the same time incorporating this feedback into continuous improvement initiatives. It’s all about customer service meeting your customers in their own playground- on social media.

Social care, or multi-channel support involves a mixture of social media and traditional IT support such as tried and tested IT help desk or call centre solutions.

We believe it’s crucial for businesses to move towards a multi-channel approach, where several channels such as phone, email, chat and social media are used simultaneously to support your customers.

Organisations that have implemented the use of social media to support IT service management have found a significant improvement in the speed of incident resolution and an improvement in customer satisfaction.

What do I need to make this happen?

Primarily, a social strategy. Without a social strategy, how else will you create meaningful relationships with your customers? A social strategy will also help to anaylse your customers and their needs via their social interactions

Also, the skills (and time) to manage your IT support and social strategy. Having good IT knowledge, customer service and social media skills can be a rare skillset. You can either train staff to perform this function, or outsource your IT support and social media management to experts.

Social care significantly impact IT Satisfaction. To read more on the topic, click here.

Contact Evolocity today to learn how we can assist your business with Social Care and how we can help to provide excellence in IT support and drive improvement in customer satisfaction.

Why your business needs remote IT support

Why your business needs Remote IT Support

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If your business currently doesn’t have any form of IT support, this article will explain why your business needs Remote IT support.

There are four main types of IT support:

  •  Take your IT assets to your local computer shop for repairs and maintenance
  • Subscribe to a remote support service
  • Subscribe for periodic on-site visits from a technician
  • Hire an on-site IT staff member.

We recommend starting with a remote support IT managed service provider, for the following reasons:

Most IT issues can be resolved remotely

In the past, an on-site technician was required to perform all but the most basic tasks. With recent advances in monitoring, remote control and troubleshooting tools, the majority of proactive and reactive IT support tasks can be performed remotely. Such tasks include: network and computer monitoring, anti-virus, operating system patching, file backups and restoration.

 Remote support is cost effective

There is no “call-out” fee as is the case for on-site support technicians. Your business usually only pays for the actual time the technician spent fixing the issue. Over time, this is likely to save you a considerable amount of money.

Faster response time

 As there is no need for an on-site technician that needs to be dispatched, as well as no travel time required for the technician to reach your users, response time is significantly faster with remote support. Since you also don’t need to take the affected equipment to the repair shop, this approach reduces lost productivity for your staff and can increase organizational efficiency for your business.

Flexibility

Many businesses require their staff to travel for business, or allow staff to work from a remote location (such as their homes) from time to time. Often, a laptop or mobile device such as a tablet or smart phone is used for this purpose. Remote support is an ideal model for staff that are away from the office for extended periods of time, as there is much flexibility built into remote support such as location independence, extended support hours etc.

Monitoring and security

If you only request an on-site technician visit when you experience an issue with your IT equipment, your business may be at risk. Regular scanning and IT maintenance is required to ensure your data and IT assets are protected. Virus, malware, data corruption and operating system vulnerabilities could result in data loss or corruption for your business.

 Evolocity provides cost effective and flexible remote support arrangements. Please contact us to find out how we can add value for your business.