This past weekend, the world experienced the first truly international ransomware attack. The WannaCry ransomware has infected over 100,000 organizations in 150 countries since it was first discovered on Friday. WannaCry exploits a vulnerability in older or unpatched versions of Windows in order to carry out its mission: to encrypt victims’ data, holding it hostage until the user pays a ransom of $300. It has been spread largely through the use of spam emails containing malicious attachments.Read More
When working with parents to create personalized internet safety plans for their families, we often hear concerns about screen time. Prolonged screen time is especially common this time of year. Kids are getting out of school and have more unstructured time to spend flipping through their smartphones or tablets, or sitting on the couch playing videogames.
Based on a recent report by the American Association of Pediatrics, parents’ worries about screen time are legitimate. While there are certainly benefits to kids and teens interacting with technology – for example, educational apps and staying in touch with extended family – there are still good reasons for placing healthy, age-appropriate limits on screen time.Read More
If you’ve outsourced your technology needs to a managed service provider (MSP) within the last decade or so, you’ve probably heard about remote monitoring and management (RMM) software. When listed in an agreement or on an invoice, that line item might raise at least a couple of questions: “What is this, and do I really need it?”Read More
We're thrilled to announce that, for a second year in a row, Sean Wright, Affinity's Founder and President, will speak at the Pathway Women's Business Center's Tech Academy, a tech conference for entrepreneurs. The conference, which takes place on 5/30 at the Tennessee Bankers Association, aims to help entrepreneurs understand how technology, when rightly leveraged, can positively impact the bottom line of their start-ups.Read More
By now, we’re all used to using passwords to authenticate our identities online. But as we’ve grown more accustomed to coming up with and remembering passwords, cybercriminals have gotten far better at stealing them. The result is that many of our online accounts are at high risk for breach, especially because most people have bad habits when it comes to passwords. A study in 2015 found that nearly 3 out of 4 people use the same password for multiple accounts, and that 68% of people were using passwords that were five years old or older. Unsurprisingly, this same study found that 2 in 5 people surveyed had experienced some sort of security incident online.
The problem, of course, is that good password habits are difficult to learn and even harder to carry out. Thankfully, tools now exist that can drastically improve your password security. They’re called password managers.Read More
When businesses are deciding where to host their vital resources—email, key applications, and company data—the conversation usually revolves around two options: company-owned servers at the office or servers owned and maintained by a cloud vendor (commonly referred to as “the cloud”). But a third option, though not discussed as often, might be a better fit for some businesses. And that’s data center colocation.Read More
A couple months back, we reviewed a social media app called After School. Because the app allows teens to post anonymously, we raised the caution flag. We acknowledged, however, that After School’s developer does seem to have implemented some important safeguards to minimize inappropriate or dangerous content. Yik Yak is a different story.
Like After School, Yik Yak is asocial media app that allows it’s users to post anonymously. Unlike After school, the app contains relatively few safety features to protect younger users.Read More
We’re thrilled to announce a couple of exciting changes to the Affinity team! Michael Maxwell has been promoted from Systems Engineer to Manager of Technical Sales. And we’ve also added Keith Benion to the team as our first full-time Client Service Dispatcher.Read More
As we continue to move more aspects of our daily lives online, cybercriminals are developing more sophisticated ways of hacking our accounts and stealing our passwords. From banking to grocery shopping to managing household appliances, we’re putting ourselves at risk every time we create a new account. It’s gotten to the point that usernames and passwords just aren’t enough to protect our privacy.Read More
Technology has enabled today’s workforce to become increasingly mobile. Your company may have employees in numerous locations across the country. And even if it doesn’t, odds are you and your employees do at least some of your work outside the confines of your office—whether from home, coffee shops, or customer locations.
Unfortunately, cybercriminals have also developed sophisticated ways to use this increased mobility to gain access to your network and your data. Thankfully, there is a security measure that can drastically reduce the risk of a breach while still allowing for mobility— a Virtual Private Network (VPN).Read More
We’ve written in the past about phone scams where a criminal poses as a representative from “Microsoft Support,” asking for credit card payment to perform some necessary maintenance on someone’s computer. Thankfully, increased education on cybersecurity has raised consumer awareness of scams like these, but criminals have gotten even smarter at figuring out ways to steal your information.
Over the last six months, and increasingly in the last few weeks, though, we’ve seen multiple instances, as well as reports from others, of a new variation on this scam, which is even trickier.Read More
When you compare these cheap chargers with the more expensive ones manufactured by phone vendors like Apple and Samsung, the choice seems obvious – go cheap. But as often is the case with cheap, less expensive chargers are cheap for a reason, and some could put your phone, your home, and even your data at risk.Read More
Odds are, you spend most of your day staring into a web browser. We’ve come a long way from the days when web browsing primarily meant consuming news and other content on the internet. Now, we can do everything from grocery shopping to word processing—or even work in browser-based versions of serious business applications—without leaving a browser window. Part of what has made web browsers so useful—but also potentially hazardous—is the proliferation of browser extensions.Read More
There’s a good chance that many of the gifts you got your children during the holiday season involved technology. From smartphones and tablets to gaming systems, kids and teens love devices that keep them connected.
As fun as these devices are, they carry dangers along with them, such as exposure to pornography, sexting, and cyberbullying. So, now that we’re all back in the swing of things after the holidays, it’s time to get serious about putting safeguards around the technology we’ve given kids and teens.Read More
For many business owners, a new year sparks renewed focus on putting ideas into action that will help their businesses grow.
As you sit through brainstorming sessions and consider ways to do things different this year, don’t forget to pay attention to the health of your technology systems. Odds are, you rely on technology to communicate, make business decisions, and complete projects. In other words, it’s just as crucial to your success as a new hire.
So, here are 10 tips for making sure your technology can take your business to the next level in 2017:Read More
As we celebrate the holiday season, we’re delighted to announce two new additions to the Affinity family! Please help us welcome our newest Systems Engineers, Mike Olson and Marvin Stephens. Read on to get to know them.Read More
Think you may be getting tech gifts this Christmas? Smart home devices—from light bulbs to thermostats to coffee pots—make great gift items. These devices, referred to collectively as the Internet of Things (IoT), are on the frontier of tech innovation, changing the way we interact with everyday household items in some helpful ways.
But with these innovative new devices come security risks.Read More
One of our favorite things to do each year during the holiday season is to comb through the innovations of the last 12 months pull out the best ones for gift ideas. Here's a guide to the top 25 tech gifts of 2016, curated by our team of technology experts.Read More