Once hackers have your information there are a number of ways to access your accounts.
With enough information, a determined hacker can gain access to your accounts.
Phishing – acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication
Man-in-the-middle attack (MITM) – attacker secretly relays and possibly alters the communication between two parties who believe they are directly communicating with each other.
Session stealing(cookie hijacking) – exploitation of a valid computer session (session key) to gain unauthorized access to information or services in a computer system. … theft of a magic cookie used to authenticate a user to a remote server.
Keylogging (Keystroke logging/keyboard capturing) – recording (logging) the keys struck on a keyboard, typically covertly.
Social Engineering – psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information
Hacking your computer – malware planted on your computer allows hackers complete access to your data
If a hacker has access to your computer you need to have it cleaned.
Doesn’t SSL Secure My Email?
Using SSL for your email provides security between you and your email host.
Prior to SSL (Secure Socket Layer) emails were sent in plain text from your email client like Outlook to the host server.
Google’s chart below shows that most email to and from Gmail in the America’s uses SSL.
SSL is helpful but it doesn’t keep anyone with access to the server from reading your email or necessarily guarantee that it will be transported to the recipient via SSL.
Client-side SSL is a step in the right direction but encrypting you email is much more secure.
Using SSL and SSL Email Setup?
If you want to check whether you are using SSL you can use Comcast’s guide to interrogate various email clients.
If you need to setup an email account to use SSL you can contact your provider or Google setup “Provider Name” email.
“Provider Name” is the provider who sends you a bill each month.
Implementing Secure Email
We encrypted email for our clients back in the late 1980s but it was tedious to setup and use.
Consequently, secure email was not considered a priority and seldom used.
We need encryption to ensure that sensitive email is not compromised.
This requires some inconvenience on the clients but it’s the best way to secure our email.
HIPAA Compliant Email
With the advent of the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) companies have become more security aware.
If you send sensitive email or work in the medical industry you may be required to secure your email or face penalties.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), sets the standard for protecting sensitive patient data. Any organization dealing with protected health information (PHI) must ensure that all the required physical, network, and process security measures are in place and followed.
HIPAA compliance requires partners to sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA).
HIPAA Compliant Hosts
GoDaddy and other hosts offer HIPAA compliant email.
GoDaddy was the least expensive of the providers we found using Exchange email.
HIPAA COMPLIANT EMAIL
HIPAA requires health care providers to ensure that their business associates will safeguard Protected Health Information (PHI). If you are interested in emailing with your patients, or sending any patient data through email, you need to be sure that your email is protected in a HIPAA-compliant manner.
Adding a Network Drop can be intimidating depending on the location and how the wires are run. If you are OK with matching wires to connectors and finding the right wire the essence of the job won’t be too difficult.
Planning Your Network Drop
When you look at the overall plan it’s simply a wire from point to point with properly terminated connectors.
That doesn’t mean the wire will be that easy to run since you may have to “fish” the fire through the attic/drop ceiling, and wall.
You will want to add a data cable into an existing outlet or add a new outlet.
If the wiring closet looks like the picture, you may wonder where to even start.
Pulling cables can be accomplished with a single person but it is much easier to do it with a second person. The additional person doesn’t have to know how to add a network drop but they can be very helpful in keeping the wires from tangling.
If you end up adding the network drop alone, be prepared to go back and forth and up and down on ladders.
Which Wire Goes Where?
Task number one is to identify the existing wiring. As likely as not data
and phone wiring will be in the same closet.
If you are lucky the last installer left you a clue as to the endpoint of a wire.
Be kind and leave some sort of documentation for the next person.
Ideally you should leave a label on cables and/or outlets.
What Kind of Wire ?
If the network wire is going through the ceiling then you must use plenum wire. It’s much more expensive and may be more difficult to use.
Downs Consulting suggests uses a box of cable since this is less likely to tangle. if you are forced to use a roll, prep the cable by winding on a cable roll.
If the wiring will be exposed then you need exterior grade cabling.
CAT5E or CAT6?
If you are installing a new network then CAT-6 makes sense since you will have the best network backbone.
Your network will only be as fast as the slowest link.
Wiring is the most difficult component to change so opt for the best on newer networks.
An older network will likely have CAT5E components so there’s no need to use the more expensive CAT 6 in this instance.
Where Do You Want the data Drop?
If you are adding to an existing outlet then you will probably need to fish cable through conduit to the existing outlet and replace the wall plate with one that provides another port.
Fish sticks and tape are good to have for these sorts of jobs.
Add Data Drop to Existing Outlet
Fishing wire into an existing outlet is the preferred install but it may take a bit more time.
Fish sticks are great for fishing up wire through walls if there is a enough room to maneuver them in the outlet box. If the conduit comes in at an angle you may find it near impossible to get your fish stick through it.
It may be better to drop string down from the top with a fishing weight.
Add Data Drop to New Outlet
If you are adding a wall plate then you will need to cut a hole in the wall or add a surface mount box. Cutting drywall is pretty easy unless it’s an
If it is an exterior be prepared to cut through insulation and stay well away from any electrical runs. This could be messy so opt for the surface mount box if it’s acceptable to your customer.
If there are already surface mounted conduit then one more box is not going to change the appearance. You can add wire channel to cover the exposed network wire or leave it exposed if it’s exterior rated wire.
Fishing the wire through a new outlet should be much easier since you can install low voltage boxes. Lots of room to maneuver your fish of choice.
Best Home Small Business Printer – where do I find one? The problem these days is that there are too many choices.
While a color laser printer used to be out of reach for home and small businesses they can be had for a reasonable price these days.
The initial cost of the Best Home Small Business Printer is just the beginning.
Keeping them in ink or toner can be expensive.
Bells and Whistles for Best Home Small Business Printer
Adding to the confusion of finding the Best Home Small Business Printer is all the bells and whistles that are available.
ADF (Automatic Document Feeder)
print-shop-quality color prints
laser-sharp black and color text
multiple paper trays
monthly duty cycle (pages/month)
auto 2-sided print/copy/scan/fax.
Wireless printers allows printing from tablets (e.g., iPad) and
smartphones (e.g., iPhone). Not all printers make this easy.
Some printers may require mobile devices to print to the cloud (Internet).
While this can be useful we want our Best Home Small Business Printer to connect directly to.
Some may require you to print to their cloud or allow popular clouds like Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive.
Printing to the cloud may not be a concern if you have high-speed Internet but it might be a problem if you depend on a cellular data plan to upload the files.
There are also security concerns for uploading sensitive documents to the cloud.
Downs Consulting recommends a wireless printer that doesn’t require printing to the cloud. We prefer our Best Home Small Business Printer to print directly via WiFi.
Printing to the cloud is a nice feature but we don’t want all our print jobs to go through it.
Wireless setup sounds nice. In theory you setup your Best Home Small Business Printer anywhere you have
power and WiFi reception and you are “good to go”.
The printer forums are littered with complaints about printers connected or rather not connected via WiFi.
It’s common for WiFi to drop the connections. It’s similar to mobile phone connections.
Dropping a connection in the middle of a big print job could cause problems. Maybe you would have to start all over again after waiting minutes for it to enter the print queue.
The reality is that WiFi is not as dependable as an Ethernet connection.
Our advice is to use a wired connection if at all possible. This requires an Ethernet connections which some models may not have.
This is our preferred method of connecting our printer. We
can still use WiFi to connect to our mobile devices.
Downs Consulting recommends a networked printer that is not tied to a computer.
Many printers limit their functions if connected via USB.
Some printers may not have this capability.
Footprint and Noise
A noisy printer right next to you in a small office is no small intrusion on
Likewise, a huge printer is not going to very welcome either.
While there are plenty of small printers they tend to skimp on some features.
A small printer may be better for a Home user that doesn’t need all the “bells and whistles”.
When we settled on our Best Home Small Business Printer we still had to convince our office that we had room for it.
Printer Maintenance Costs – Ink & Toner
A major concern is operating costs. It’s common to see the ink/toner
replacement cost more than the printer.
Printers often come with starter
supplies that don’t last as long as the standard capacity.
Usually, you can find high-yield supplies that are a better buy in the long run.
It also saves on the aggravation of running to the store for supplies.
Some printers may refuse to work at all if one of their cartridges are low. This is particularly frustrating if you don’t need that cartridge for the job you have queued up.
New Color Inkjet printers can be up to 50% cheaper to operate than a color laser.
Review sites are a good place to start looking for available features, costs,
and buyer or editor opinions.
Preferably the site has lost of reviews so the overall score can’t be skewed one way or another by a few one-sided reviews.
If there are not many reviews you may not get an accurate assessment.
Likewise, the site should not have a vested interest in the sale of the product and reviewers should be able to post sincere remarks.
A lack of disparaging or complimentary remarks could be a sign of bias.
Consumer Reports is a great resource for buying appliances like this but you need a subscription to see their reviews online. They compile statistics on the main categories including maintenance cost, print quality, photo quality, and speed.
You can usually get a free trial for online or magazines. The magazines come with a buyers guide and is a good resource in itself.
The Consumer Reports interactive video below offers some good advice. You can click on the sections you are most interested in.
Other Review Sites
Some websites like PC Magazine have editor and user reviews.
To uninstall Windows 10 within the first month, go to the Start menu and choose “settings.” From the resulting menu, choose “update and security,” then click “recovery.” You’ll be given the option to “go back” to Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, depending on what you had previously. Click “get started.”
If you are beyond the thirty-day window you are looking at a re-install of
If you made an image backup of your system you may want to restore it
but that will wipe out all your data too.
Likewise you could use the factory image backup to restore everything back to the day your computer arrived.
To install the factory image backup, you probably have to press specific keys during start-up. F8 & Advanced Boot Options work for some Dell computers.
Image backups will restore all software that was installed at the time the image was made.
A factory image may contain trail software that they sent with the computer.
A personal image will have the software, data and updates that resided on the computer at the time of the backup.
New installation is not for the faint at heart but it may keep your files in
Windows.old. This is a nice backup but we recommend backing up your files to an external drive as a precaution.
You will have to restore all the Windows updates and any software you use .
Obtaining Recovery Media
Ideally you created backup disks when you received your computer. If you
can locate these disks then you can restore the factory image backup.
If you don’t have recovery media then you will have to contact the computer manufacturer. This may be a nominal fee if you are no longer in warranty.
Our Experience Obtaining Recovery Media
Hopefully you won’t have as much trouble obtaining recovery media as we
did. Maybe you can avoid some of the pitfalls of our experience.
It started out well enough with our first contact at Dell and we were prepared to pay the $20 or so since we were no longer in warranty. So far, so good.
We ran into problems when they wanted our account. Since we were logged into our Dell Advantage account this didn’t seem to be a problem but they wanted an account number.
We didn’t have an account number on our purchases or our online account.
Seven conversations and two hours later we assume the original person wanted a financial account which we didn’t have. We finally explained we wanted to pay by credit card and got the media in a couple of days.
To add insult to injury, we discovered later that we had a $20 credit we could have used for this transaction.
Backup You Files
As a general rule, most of your files will be in your User folder. If the user
is “Randy” then the user folder will look something like the following:
C:\Windows.old\Users\Randy – backup profile in previous Windows
C:\Users\Randy – profile in current Windows
Once you have you files backed up you can initiate a new install and preferably keep old files in Windows.old.
You can always remove this later if space is an issue.
Here’s the proper way to delete the Windows.old folder: Step 1: Click in Windows‘ search field, type Cleanup, then click Disk Cleanup. Step 2: Click the “Clean up system files” button. Step 3: Wait a bit while Windows scans for files, then scroll down the list until you see “Previous Windows installation(s).