Miscellaneous Musings to End 2020

2020 is winding down – and not a moment too soon for most of us. 2021 and hopes for a better new year are right around the corner. And that’s got us both looking forward and looking back.

Cyber threats: Looking back, IT in 2020 was marked by an absolute explosion of ransomware attacks.

How long is too long?

We’ve been looking at a lot of older computer gear lately. And by older, we do actually mean a few machines with “Designed for Windows XP” stickers! There’s many reasons why people hold onto their computer systems longer than they really should…

Maybe, the current computer is running fine (if it ain’t broke don’t fix it). There’s the cost of the new gear.

Email phishers hope you’re biting…

Sitting down to write this month’s column, I’m looking back over the past few weeks -- and EVERY DAY, I’ve either received or had a client forward me a “phishing” email. As you may already know, a phishing e-mail is a bogus e-mail that is carefully designed to look like a legitimate request (or attached file) from a person or site you likely know and trust.

Google hates your Website (again)…

…or maybe “still” hates it. In the spring of 2015, Google announced and implemented a significant search algorithm change that began to strongly favor “mobile friendly” Websites – and conversely, punish the non-mobile friendly sites. If you missed that, check out “Why Google is about to bury your Website”. Our follow-up article “Website mobile friendly? Google still hates it…” is a good companion piece.

A New Year With Some Familiar Old Problems

By the time we press “send” on this, January will be nearly over.

Happy New Year, anyway!

And the new year greeted us with some of the same old problems we’re used to seeing.

We know this first one is an “old problem” as we’re reprinting the next three paragraphs from our January 2010 column….

Outside of the “computer room,” data backup continues to be an issue, especially for that remote laptop, or the PC on a network, but storing data locally.

After Holiday Season…

…comes “tax season” -- and it’s already not that far away for anyone wanting to minimize this year’s business taxes.

With that in mind, it makes sense to review your IT and other high value assets now. If there are capital items overdue for replacement, or gaps in your IT plan (like the cheap Internet router that really ought to be a business-class firewall), now is an excellent time to address those – and maybe get a significant tax savings as well.

Wi-fi KRACKED, what now?

When I started thinking about this column last week, today’s topic wasn’t even on the radar. But by now you may have heard of a newly disclosed major security vulnerability, called ‘KRACK” for Key Reinstallation AttaCK. KRACK compromises WPA2, the current protocol of choice for the vast majority of Wi-Fi security.

Equifax follies

On September 11th this year, credit reporting company Equifax disclosed that, in an apparent hack, it had exposed data from over 140 million Americans. That’s most of the adult population.

Included in the theft was information including Social Security numbers, addresses and driver’s license numbers – effectively everything that an identity thief would need to impersonate you.

Where’s your art?

“I need your company logo, can you send it to me?”

Lately, as we help more and more clients with their Websites, social media, and company Web portals, that’s a question we’re asking way more often that we used to.

All too often the answer (or the question back) is “can’t you pull it off our Website and use THAT?”

Well, yes, maybe.

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