Have you ever received an email or text message assuring you that you won a luxury award? It may have included a link, and if you clicked on it, you
What is a VPN?
Are you interested in getting more privacy online? Installing a VPN is the perfect way to start. A Virtual Private Network or VPN is a service that protects your Internet
What is SaaS? A Quick Guide For Your Business
Software as a Service (SaaS), also known as cloud-based software, is a cloud-based service where you can access an application via a web browser instead of downloading the sof...
5 Methods to Build Your Business with a Quality Website
There’s more to a quality website than the basics of your business. A quality website can help you build your business and attract more customers, especially when you are fu...
Technology in Education: 2 Free Classroom Tools For Your School
Do you use free classroom tools? The evolution of technology reached education years ago. Many classrooms incorporate technology in a variety of ways: some offer or allow lapt...
Quantum Computing: The Coming Horizon
Ever wanted to upgrade your computer? Want that browser to run faster, your game you’re playing in the office while your boss is telling you to write an article to
What is Phishing?
Have you ever received an email or text message assuring you that you won a luxury award? It may have included a link, and if you clicked on it, you probably landed on a website that asked you to fill out personal information, including your Social Security Number. The problem? These emails and text messages are part of a scam tool called phishing used by cybercriminals and a threat to your cybersecurity.
So, What’s Phishing?
Phishing is a cybercrime in which a person or company is contacted via email, phone, or text message by someone, posing as a trusted entity, to steal user data. This includes personally identifiable information, bank and credit card details, and passwords.The recipient is tricked into clicking a malicious link, which can lead to the installation of malware, the freezing of the system as part of a ransomware attack, or the revealing of sensitive information. The ultimate goal is to access important accounts that can result in identity theft and/or financial loss.
Types of Phishing Attacks
Phishing has evolved into very highly specialized tactics and some specific types of phishing scams use more targeted methods to attack certain individuals or organizations.
Standard Email Phishing
It's the most widely known form of phishing. This attack is an attempt to steal sensitive information via an email that appears to be from a legitimate organization. It's not a targeted attack and can be conducted en masse.
Spear phishing attackers will often gather information about their targets to fill emails with more authentic context. Some scammers even hijack business email communications and create highly customized messages.
Search Engine Phishing
In this case, cybercriminals create fraudulent websites designed to collect personal information and direct payments. These sites can show up in organic search results or as paid advertisements.
Attackers can view legitimate, previously delivered email messages, make a nearly identical copy of them (clone), and then change an attachment or link to something malicious.
SMS-enabled phishing delivers malicious short links to smartphone users, often disguised as account notices, prize notifications, and political messages.
Utilizing the same techniques as email phishing, this attack encourages targets to click a link or download an attachment so malware can be installed on the device.
How to Recognize Phishing
Scammers use email and text messages to trick you into giving them your information. They will try to steal your passwords, account logins, or social security numbers. If they get that information, they could access your email, bank, or other accounts.These people often update their tactics, but here are some signs to help you recognize a phishing email or text message.
Too Good To Be True
Lucrative offers and eye-catching statements are designed to grab people's attention right away. For example, some emails claim that you have won an iPhone, a lottery, or some other luxury prize. Remember that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. So, just don't click on any suspicious emails.
Whether it looks like someone you don't know is emailing you or something that seems out of the ordinary, unexpected, or just generally suspicious, don't click on it.
If you see an attachment in an email that you didn't expect or doesn't make sense, don't open it. They often contain payloads such as ransomware or other viruses.
Sense of Urgency
A favorite tactic of cybercriminals is to ask you to act fast because the "super deals are for a limited time only". Some will even tell you that you only have a few minutes to respond. When you come across these types of emails, it is best to ignore them. Keep in mind that reputable organizations allow enough time before canceling an account and never ask users to update their personal details over the Internet.
A link may not be all that it seems. A good tip is to hover over a link to display the actual URL that you will be directed to upon clicking on it. It could be completely different or it could be a popular website with a misspelling. For example, www.chasebannk.com has an extra "n" in the middle.
Prevent Phishing Attacks With S-FX Small Business Solutions
S-FX Small Business Solutions is an NJ-based technology consulting agency that provided customized and cost-effective solutions for companies. We offer a combination of IT access management and web application security solutions to counter phishing attempts. Get in touch with us today and learn more about our top-notch services. CONTACT US NOW
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What is a VPN?
Are you interested in getting more privacy online? Installing a VPN is the perfect way to start. A Virtual Private Network or VPN is a service that protects your Internet connection and your privacy online. It creates an encrypted tunnel for your data, protects your online identity by hiding your IP address, and allows you to use public Wi-Fi access points safely. A VPN is the easiest and most effective way for people to protect their internet traffic and keep their identities private. Here's a complete guide to the basics of VPNs, including how they work, their benefits, and why you shouldn't surf without one.
Why Do You Need a VPN?
Change Your Location
Your IP address is a unique set of numbers that identifies your device when it connects to the Internet. You can think of it as a home address for your device, but it looks like this: 192.158.1. 1.38. When using a VPN, your IP address changes and allows you to browse the internet as you wish. Sometimes the content that you're trying to access is restricted where you're located, so you won't be able to see it.
Encrypt Your Data
Changing your IP address with a VPN helps shield your identity from websites, apps, and services that want to track you. Good VPNs also prevent your internet provider, mobile carrier, and anyone else who may be listening from seeing your activity, due to a strong layer of protection. This way, you'll protect your internet traffic and minimize your online footprint. As a result, your internet service provider won’t be able to sell your entire browsing history to the highest bidder.
Access Blocked Content
One of the main benefits a VPN stands for is universal content access. If you’re in a part of the world that restricts access to Google, Wikipedia, YouTube, or any other site, a VPN will let you regain access to the free internet. Also, If using streaming services and social networks while being abroad is important to you, a VPN can help.
How a VPN Works
A VPN works by creating a secure and private tunnel between your device and the rest of the Internet. With a VPN connection, your traffic first goes to the VPN server, and only then is it forwarded to the rest of the web. On the other hand, without a VPN, all of your internet traffic is potentially exposed. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP), the Government, hackers, and other people on a shared network can see what you're doing.
VPNs we recommend
Not all VPNs offer the same features at the same price. We recommend researching the best VPNs out there and comparing features and price points based on your needs. However, here are some of our favorites:
Nord VPN: Nord VPN is very secure and great for large tasks like streaming. You'll pay for what you get, and it's a worthwhile buy.
Express VPN is possibly the best VPN available out there currently. It's very fast, reliable, customizable in terms of privacy, and you can try it for free if you want to.
Surfshark is your bargain VPN at just a few dollars a month. It has excellent performance and you can use it on a lot of devices.
Get Started With S-FX Small Business Solutions
S-FX Small Business Solutions is an NJ-based web design & technology consulting agency that offers a wide range of services, including VPN software installation and monitoring. We’re experienced professionals who create customized solutions based on our customers' needs. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our cost-effective services. CONTACT US NOW
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What is SaaS? A Quick Guide For Your Business
Software as a Service (SaaS), also known as cloud-based software, is a cloud-based service where you can access an application via a web browser instead of downloading the software on your desktop PC or business network. These apps can be anything from simple office software to very complex and powerful business apps.From small shops to big companies, SaaS is mainstream and one of the default deployment methods nowadays. Business apps delivered via cloud services are easier to use, less expensive, and don’t have as many compatibility issues as software that would otherwise be installed on your computer.
How SaaS Works And Why It Is So Relevant
Software as a Service allows you and your company to use the same software without certain limitations such as compatibility with Operating Systems, software, and hardware. The application resides on a remote cloud network and can be accessed through the web, and instead of purchasing the software you usually pay an annual (or sometimes monthly) subscription, which also means that the upfront cost is much lower.Some good examples of SaaS are most Google Apps, and certain applications like Salesforce, Mailchimp, Hubspot, ZenDesk, and Dropbox. If you’ve ever used one of these then you already know how easy to use and convenient they can be, as long as you have an internet connection. You do not need specialized software, you don’t have to worry about updates, and you can access them for any device.
Advantages of SaaS for your business
This is probably one of the most noticeable and benefits of SaaS. Medium and Big companies can save thousands or even millions of dollars in software by subscribing to a cloud-based service, small companies can even benefit from SaaS without paying a single cent.
You and your team can access your apps from anywhere in the world without having to worry about compatibility with the machine they’re using. If your PC crashes and stops working, simply move to another computer. If some of your employees use a different OS, no problem either. All they need is a proper internet connection and a web browser.
This is a big one. Cloud-based software does not require any maintenance on your part. Regular checkup and computer maintenance will still be necessary, but your provider is in charge of everything related to bugs, compatibility, functionality, and updates of the software.
You don’t need to pay thousands of dollars upfront if you only have 3 employees using the software. Plans are inexpensive and in most cases, the bigger your plan is the less you pay. Even if you’re a multinational, you won’t have to worry about setting up new servers, and licenses.
Your Company Will Benefit From Using SaaS
Not all software is created equal, not every business has the same needs, and not every provider will be a perfect fit for you and your business. However, once you find the right provider you will notice how beneficial and impactful SaaS can be. The only downside is that you need a stable internet connection, which is simply not possible for every business due to their nature.----S-FX.com Small Business Solutions is a boutique web design and technology consulting agency geared towards start-up businesses, small businesses and non-profit businesses. We specialize in implementing low cost technology solutions to maximize efficiency and reduce business operating costs.Discover how to elevate your business getting the right tools and services!
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5 Methods to Build Your Business with a Quality Website
There’s more to a quality website than the basics of your business. A quality website can help you build your business and attract more customers, especially when you are fully virtual. Here are a few ways to enhance your website with engaging and interactive elements.
Offer Online Ordering
More than ever, customers are looking for ways to order online, especially food. If you have a restaurant, bar, cafe, or similar, you should offer online ordering on your site.Implementing an online order form is a great way to draw customers into a sale directly on your website. And even if you don’t want to go that complex, simply putting your menu online and telling customers on the site that you take online orders by phone or text can bring in huge amounts of business.Tip: Make sure this message is very easy to find, maybe as a banner, or above the fold on the homepage. Also, make sure your menu is easy to find from the homepage. The longer it takes a customer to find information, the quicker you lose them, so a quality website makes information accessible.
E-commerce & Shopping Carts
For stores that aren’t restaurants, shopping is shifting to online, so e-commerce is a must. Your website developer can create an online shop, shopping cart, and checkout for you so customers can order from you online. Even posting a partial inventory online can bring in more sales. Also, it’s a great way to keep track of your inventory.Tip: Use high-quality photos and reviews to spice up your e-commerce site and make it more attractive to shoppers.
Every quality website should make use of contact forms. Contact forms help you gather leads who are interested enough to give you their information. It’s also an excellent way of gathering emails for e-marketing. Contact forms can generate a list of emails for you to contact through an email marketing campaign.Tip: You don’t have to limit yourself to a Contact Us page. You can place contact forms strategically throughout your site to target customers when they’re most interested, without making them click on a new page.
Updating your website is a key way to draw in new customers and build a customer base. A stale website gets boring quickly, so add new pictures, update your inventory, post new blogs, and post the weekly specials or recent offers. This shows your customers that you have a quality website that is active and engaging, and encourages them to visit often for new information.Tip: Blog posts help your quality website's SEO; meanwhile, new offers/specials and blog posts are perfect content to cross-post on your social media.
Offer a Freebie
If your business offers services or consulting, giving a potential customer free tools, like a free template or a short e-book, builds trust and good will in them towards your business. Also, they get to see how much you actually know, and can have proven results that you are a valuable resource they want to pay more for.Tip: Put your freebie behind a contact form -- i.e. make them give you their name and email to download the freebie. This is another way to build that email list and send them a follow-up email.Try out some (or all) of these methods and put your quality website to work for your business. You’ll see improved engagement, leads, and sales, and your business will grow thanks to your efforts.-----S-FX.com Small Business Solutions is a boutique web design and technology consulting agency geared towards start-up businesses, small businesses and non-profit businesses. We specialize in implementing low cost technology solutions to maximize efficiency and reduce business operating costs.
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Technology in Education: 2 Free Classroom Tools For Your School
Do you use free classroom tools?The evolution of technology reached education years ago. Many classrooms incorporate technology in a variety of ways: some offer or allow laptops for students, and others are making efforts to go paperless. With so much of education happening online nowadays, your classroom needs the right tools to educate, collaborate, and complete projects. (Bonus: students will learn to use the programs that employers will expect them to use in the future.)Technology can get expensive, especially on such a large scale, so free classroom tools are a huge advantage. Luckily, the two big providers of productivity suites, Microsoft and Google, offer their suites for free to schools. Other free collaboration and productivity options are also available to add higher levels of communication to your classroom.
Office 365 is "a line of subscription services offered by Microsoft as part of the Microsoft Office product line." Although usually they require a paid subcription, Microsoft offers it for free for schools.What it includes:
OneNote, excellent for note-taking
Teams, a collaboration tool
OneDrive, for easy online access to files
Forms, especially good for self-grading quizzes
How to get it: all you need is a valid school email address to sign up.Microsoft Teams is a big draw of Office 365 Education. The collaboration program allows students to work together on projects; teachers can also use them to communicate and collaborate online with their classes. For video collaboration, Skype is your best choice, which can be integrated into Office 365.
How to get it: you can sign up here.For collaboration, G Suite’s applications are very collaborative and perfect for teamwork. However, G Suite does not include an option like Teams for project communication. However, it does include Hangouts, which allows classmates and classrooms to hold video meetings easily.
Other free classroom Tools To Consider
Slack allows real-time chats and collaboration in a platform similar to Teams.
GoToMeeting is perfect for scheduling and holding group meetings and sharing screens if your classroom requires it.
Trello offers virtual organization through “boards,” which can be used in a variety of ways in your classroom, especially for task management and completion.
Take advantage of free classroom tools for your school now and enhance your students’ productivity and educational service exponentially.-----S-FX.com Small Business Solutions is a boutique web design and technology consulting agency geared towards start-up businesses, small businesses and non-profit businesses. We specialize in implementing low cost technology solutions to maximize efficiency and reduce business operating costs.
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Quantum Computing: The Coming Horizon
Ever wanted to upgrade your computer? Want that browser to run faster, your game you're playing in the office while your boss is telling you to write an article to run a little smoother, or to have those calculations for how likely you are to get in trouble to complete just a bit quicker? Well, there is always an upgrade to Random Access Memory or your Central Processing Unit, but there has to be something better, right? In steps Quantum Computing. Welcome back to #TechTuesday, where we discuss what quantum computing is, and why Microsoft thinks we are nearly at that breakthrough.
More Than Just Zeroes and Ones
In computing as it is today, our processors act upon a basic premise. Electrons flow through transistor gates that either are open, as designated by a one, or closed, as designated by a 0 in binary coding. These gates are where the data and the instructional code for all of our processes are stored, and the manner in which these gates are executed is what acts as the binary machine code for programming. We refer to these as "bits", the smallest amount of data on a machine.In quantum computing, we instead focus on the electrons, rather than the gates. These electrons are referred to as a qubit, or a quantum bit. Rather than the gates, which are represented by "0" or "1" individually, a qubit represents the zero, the one, and everything in between these values. Now, if you could string together a series of these qubits into a quantum computer, how much data do you think you could store? Almost an immeasurable amount, is the proper answer. Couple that with the realization that one operation in this quantum computer does the same amount of computing as many processes executing in a modern machine, you now have a system that executes and runs processes far faster and more efficient.While this all sounds like a dream for computing, there are some major blockades in the advancement of quantum computing. These come in the form of the massive heat generation from these exotic matters, or how to make a qubit that is stable enough to not lose its result before being referenced by the machine. This field of study has a legacy for its difficulty, with many researching it attempting any number of methods just to solve the cooling issue alone. But, in steps Microsoft, who think they may have a solution to our problems.
Not A Solution, But A Progression
Most researchers in the field of qubits have attempted a method of controlling the strings called superconducting. While the process is possible, over a length of time, they have never managed to achieve a solution that prevents the qubits from collapsing in matters of microseconds. The more qubits added to the mixture, the more severe this issue becomes. While it is functional, even if barely, it is not a plausible solution. We can take this step in progress and compare it easily to the creation of vacuum tubes for digital computing. It was functional, but not a viable long term solution, nor about to be easily scaled to every day usage.Microsoft instead has been tempering a solution called "topological qubits". Instead of relying on the electrons at the center of the qubits, which can be effected by something as simple as the electric field of devices nearby, they rely on the order in which particles such as "Majorana Fermions", or "Anyons", change position. Confusing terms, right? Well, the science of it is essentially that under certain magnetic conditions, these Anyons orbit in certain patterns. If you imagine them like they had a tail as they orbit one another, these tails would braid into a sort of pattern. This pattern would be what encodes the computing. While not pretty, it is a far more stable creation. We don't think it's a definite solution, nor does even Microsoft, but its definitely the next step in solving the riddle.
What The Future Holds
We don't know quite when we will see this technology fully realized just yet. But the advances made here by Microsoft are quite telling, putting them on the threshold of teetering into a new era for computing. With that new era comes limitless applications of the technology, too. Once upon a time, we just designed machines with the purpose of targeting a missile better. Now that same technology sits in your pocket every day so you can browse pictures of cats on your lunch break. With quantum computing, our applications can be truly limitless, with advancements potentially being made in chemistry, biology, even human artificial intelligence! What do you think the future holds?