Take action to avoid a devious new phishing scam

Another day, another scam. And this is a sneaky one.

Cyber criminals are getting smarter. This recent malware threat is unusually smart. It impersonates a highly trusted brand name to get a foot in the door.

Targets receive a convincing looking email that appears to come from a widely used e-signature platform.

Attached to the email is a blank image that’s loaded with empty svg files, which are carefully encoded inside an HTML file attachment (stay with us here).

In short, it’s very clever and it’s tricking its way past a lot of security software.

When did you last have a health check?

How’s the January health kick going?

Lots of us take our health seriously – once a year, anyway – and it’s good to spend time thinking about whether you’ve been looking after yourself (and better still, doing something about it).

Your doctor would probably like to see you once a year for a health check, just to pick up any small problems and stop them getting worse.

It’s exactly the same principle with your technology.

So why not book in for an IT check-up, to make sure everything’s in great shape for the journey ahead?

You do this for yourself, you do it for your car, and it’s a good plan to think the same way about your workplace tech. Because it might have to work pretty hard in the year to come.

Getting everything checked out now will pay dividends later.

Are your younger employees experiencing ‘tech shame’?

It seems that Gen Z and even some Millennial employees are less tech savvy than many employers might expect. It’s an assumption that’s leading to a sense of ‘tech shame’.

Younger workers may have grown up using Snapchat, TikTok and Minecraft, but they’re not always equipped with the skills they need to adapt to the workplace.

A recent study has found that one in five employees aged 18 to 29 feel judged when they encounter technical issues at work. That’s compared to just one in 25 employees aged 40 or over.

The solution may lie in providing better training, not just for younger colleagues and first-jobbers, but for the whole team. Some Gen Z workers may have started their careers during the pandemic. That means they will never have experienced anything other than a digital working environment. Especially if they work remotely or in a hybrid role.

A little trust can go a long way

Countless employers still don’t trust their people to do their best work unless they’re physically in the office. But while managers may be struggling to adjust to our new hybrid world, this perception is a long way from the truth.

Research from around the world reveals that greater flexibility from remote and hybrid working often results in a major boost to productivity. Yet still some firms are bringing back an office-only policy.

Employers may be grappling with the fallout of the last few years and hoping that a return to the office will result in a post-pandemic productivity boost.

But seeing as hybrid workers show improved morale, greater creativity and better collaboration (compared with pre-pandemic levels), this could be a big step in the wrong direction.

Season’s Greetings from tKnowIT

Season’s Greetings to one and all,

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

As in previous years, be caution from calls or emails claiming to be from BT or Microsoft suggesting that your computer has been hacked. If your computer pops up a message to say you are infected and to call a number, or it even talks to you, turn it off and call me for advice, it’s usually a browser ‘pop-up’ trying to scare you into thinking your computer is infected.

Are your people Christmas shopping from work?

Almost half of people with social media accounts have admitted to falling for shopping scams. So if members of your team are doing a little last minute Christmas shopping from work, how can you be sure your business is protected?

New research shows that a massive 47% of people have clicked on links hoping to get a great deal, and instead ended up giving financial and personal details to cyber criminals.

That could mean they’re not only putting their own data and money at risk, but your device – and even your network – could be exposed, too.

It’s not just shopping scams that are fooling people online. Phishing links have tricked 36% of people into revealing personal data. Phishing is where you get an email that seems to be from a person or brand you trust, but it’s not.

Zoom wants to be the new Teams

You think Zoom, you think video calls. For millions around the world, it’s a tool they rely on at work every day.

But for productivity, collaboration and workplace integration (as well as video calls), it’s Microsoft Teams that’s leading the way. Its tight integration with other Microsoft 365 services makes it so easy.

Now Zoom is looking for a piece of that action with the launch of a whole suite of features and services. They’re clearly designed to take on Teams and Slack head-to-head.

These will include email, a calendar app, and a virtual co-working space called Zoom Spots. Meanwhile a bunch of upgrades to the Zoom One platform are aiming to improve collaboration, keep chats flowing, and keep projects moving.

While it feels like a logical step for the video conferencing giant, it remains to be seen how widely adopted the new services will be. And before we recommend it to our clients, we’ll want to know that the levels of support, reliability and security are all bulletproof.

Many businesses are already committed to Microsoft Teams, which releases its own improvements almost on a weekly basis. But this is an interesting new development and we’ll be watching what happens carefully.

If you want to know more about the best tools to keep your team working smoothly together, just get in touch.

Published with permission from Your Tech Updates.

Why you will not be fine on this Cloud9

We go to a lot of effort working to protect our clients from online security threats. These could come in the form of key loggers that record you as you enter your login information, or DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks, which overwhelm a service with fake traffic, causing it to crash.

As part of our service, we always advise our clients to install software updates as soon as they become available, and support them through the process where they need help.

But if you visit a website that asks you to install an Adobe Flash update… STOP!

Flash itself was actually discontinued in 2020 and is no longer supported, so you should assume that any Flash update messages will be a security threat.

Currently, fake Flash messages are being used as a cover for a new ‘botnet’ campaign that installs a malicious browser extension, called Cloud9. If you use Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge you could be a target.

Are you losing hours each week setting up video calls?

You could be losing a full-time working week for every member of your team, thanks to the hassle of setting up video calls.

Video conferencing has revolutionised team meetings, and saves a huge amount of travel time. But we’re still not getting the full benefit from the new technology, according to new research.

Employees aged between 18 and 24 take up to 10 minutes to get set up for each remote meeting.

Times that by a typical five meetings a week, and it’s suddenly lost you 40 hours every year. That’s a whole working week of wasted time – a figure that gets even higher when you look at older age brackets.

Don’t walk the plank with pirated software

A huge number of small and medium-sized businesses would consider using pirated software to try and save money. A new study has revealed a surprising number of businesses willing to break the law to save costs. Our advice? Think twice before you walk the plank.

Right now, the most popular types of pirated software are project management tools, and marketing and sales software. But a huge 56% of business owners said they’d even think about using illegal cyber security software in an effort to cut costs.

Don’t do it.