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Ransomware: Recognizing the Signs

Ransomware: Recognizing the Signs

Ransomware is a kind of malware that blocks computer users from their systems. It does this either by locking some folders or locking the system’s screen until a ransom pays.

The history of this malicious software dates back to 1980. In 1980, the first ransomware identified to be PC Cyborg also known as AIDS began. This malware could encode files in the C: Directory after forcing the computer system to reboot up to 90 times. Its victims were forced to pay $189 ransom via mail. This ransomware was easy to decrypt by people who understand computer systems and therefore posed only a little threat

Pop-ups Everywhere

A woman at a desk working on her computer

Image by DynaGrace Enterprises

Real ransomware graced the scene in 2004 known as Gpcode. Gpcode also used an RSA encryption that encrypts files until paying a certain amount. The year 2007 had WinLock trending as ransomware. It displayed pornographic images, limiting users’ access to their screen and demanded payment via SMS. The next generation of ransomware are called the law enforcement ransomware, or Reveton was born in 2012. This malware was designed to show the logo or symbols of crime-fighting agencies like Interpol, FBI or local PDs. It accuses its victims of indulgence in different crimes ranging from child pornography to computer hacking.

Other vices include a download of classified files demanding ransom up to $300. As the years go by, ransomware is becoming more dangerous and ruthless, especially with the advent of CryptoLocker. CryptoLocker uses encryptions of military standards to WannaCry and Petya of May and June 2017 respectively. This ransomware with their complex encodings stifles business as well as limit cyber freedom all around the globe.

Types of Ransomware

Different types of ransomware exist based on the extent of their severity. The major ones are as follows.

Screen lockers

Screen lockers lock you out of your computer entirely by taking hold of your computer screen. Shutting down the system does you no good as it is starting. An FBI logo or that of the Justice Department appears claiming that illegal activity has been carried out on this system and they need to pay a fine. Victims often forget that these law enforcement agencies don’t collect penalties for unlawful activity forcefully via the computer. Agencies follow appropriate and legitimate routes.

Encrypting ransomware

These types of ransomware collect your files, encode them and then asks for a ransom before its release can take place. This ransomware is the most dangerous of all ransomware as your encrypted files may not be inaccessible until paying the money. Sometimes after paying the ransom, the data are still not returned by the cybercriminals, and this is the most painful part.

Scareware

Scareware involves tech support or rogue security scams. They tend to send a different kind of pop-up messages claiming malware has infected your system. They go further to explain that the only way to eradicate it is to pay a certain amount. This trend continues and sometimes becomes an online disturbance especially if you ignore these messages. Interestingly, most times these are mere scare tactics as the name implies, as your files may be safe.

Protecting yourself from ransomware

Though there are different types of ransomware, the mode of entry into their victims’ cyberspace is not much different. Also, the best way of protecting your cyberspace from ransomware is by understanding how this malware can infect your computer system.

Recently, one of the most popular ways computer systems become infected by malware is via malicious advertising also called mail advertising. Mail advertising uses the platform of online adverts to disburse ransomware with minimal user interactions.  They appear as pop-ups even on legitimate sites which are often not clicked and redirects users to criminal servers. This malware is linked to these servers to gather the victim’s system’ details and take advantage of them. All these happen without the knowledge of the victims.

Malicious spam

Malicious spam is another way systems get infected; they are unsolicited mail used to distribute malware. These emails contain attachments, word documents or even links to unsafe websites creating an access point for the ransomware.

Cyber Security

Image by DoDLive

If the mode of entrance of ransomware into the system is well understood and blocked, the following are steps to taken to ensure you are safe from ransomware;

  • Invest in cybersecurity. Get cyber software that can protect your computer from powerful ransomware attacks. Plus they should have features that shield vulnerable programs in your system
  • Always create secure backups for your systems files and data daily. The use of external storage devices that can be detached immediately after data backup is a good start. However most recommended is the use of cloud storage that utilizes powerful encryptions. As well as multiple factor authentication for security purposes.
  • Your system needs updating. Though it is not still easy to be up to date in a fast-changing tech world, recommending activating automatic updating.

Finally, be informed. Be abreast of the latest facts as regards cybersecurity. Avoid suspicious links and website. Be purposeful, exercise some discipline, discreetness and avoid wandering as you browse the internet.

Linda Rawson is the CEO, and Founder of DynaGrace Enterprises, (http://DynaGrace.com) which is a Women-Owned, Small Business. She is also the author of The Minority and Women-Owned Small Business Guide to Government Contracts.

Resource: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIDS_(Trojan_horse)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PGPCoderhttps://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA13-309Ahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WannaCry_ransomware_attackhttps://www.symantec.com/blogs/threat-intelligence/petya-ransomware-wiper

Image Resource: DynaGrace Enterprises; http://www.dodlive.mil/2013/10/05/national-cyber-security-awareness-month/https://pxhere.com/en/photo/540556

Most Common Web Hosting Problems

Most Common Web Hosting Problems

In recent time, any business that is serious about growth finds a way to establish an online presence. A presence has led to an increase in the demand for websites and also the proliferation of web hosting service providers. However, there is a need to apply caution while selecting a web hosting service provider. Also to note the necessary parameters to look out for before hosting a website. These tips help save you a lot of hassle and stress.

Below are some of the problems associated with hosting a site

1. Slow response from Web Hosting Service providers

Like any other venture on earth, web hosting has its challenges. However, it becomes a source of worry when you face issues while hosting your sites. Sometimes it is taking ages to get a response from a provider. As well, it is even trying to find a contact platform on their websites. Therefore it becomes necessary before subscribing to any web hosting service, to check the quality of the support they provide. Some provide around-the-clock support service. Others give out manuals and others direct you to their FAQ platforms. Deciding on the platform that best suits your company helps the web hosting process.

2. The inability of the Web Hosting Company to provide adequate security

Security is another severe issue of web hosting. Many web hosting companies cannot prevent your websites from being hacked, giving a false sense of security. This facade leaves the business very vulnerable to cyber-attacks. A cyber-attack punctures the confidence of the clients in a brand and negates the of the actual reason for hosting websites.

It becomes necessary for Web Hosting Company to assure the customers as well as develop the capacity to guarantee safety. Assurance is also a factor to consider when selecting a web hosting provider.

3. Expensive Web Hosting Plans

Be aware when signing up for a web hosting plan, be careful to scrutinize the details to avoid being cut into a trap. Being cautious is because some companies offer real service for your money while others provide free web service. Then without your knowledge charge you more as your site succeeds. Also, be smart enough to check if the plan you are with has the right bandwidth that you require. Check if it’s flexible to permit an upgrade to a better program in the future.

4. Server limitations

Some clients are ignorant of the capacity of the servers of web hosting companies. Ignorance leads to consistent bounces especially when your site starts to generate massive traffic. The primary cause of this is the reluctance of most web hosting service providers to reveal their real limits to their customers to minimize costs. However, it is essential to have a good grasp on the capacity of the server. Such as the bandwidth and disk place to ensure you are not stretching this limits to your detriment.

5. Slow web servers

A manifestation of a slow server is delaying while a webpage is loading. Although the number of scripts, size of graphics files and connections in the database might play a role in the delay. When this occurs frequently, it could also be as a result of poor internet network. However, it is advised to check other websites supported by different servers.

A slow loading web page frustrates a visitor and reduces the chances of generating traffic; numbers will decrease. Also, this will lower the ranking of the website, placing it very low on the search result list. The solution to a slow server is to use web hosting companies whose data centers are closer to your web users.

Finally, to ensure you avoid these problems and have an excellent web hosting experience you have to choose a web hosting companies carefully. You can contact friends and colleagues who have organized their sites and get their experiences. Consulting reviews and reading about web hosting trends will be of help in finding the suitable web hosting company that will make the entire experience worthwhile.

Linda Rawson is the CEO, and Founder of DynaGrace Enterprises, (http://DynaGrace.com) which is a Women-Owned, Small Business. She is also the author of The Minority and Women-Owned Small Business Guide to Government Contracts.

Resource: http://www.itarticle.net/moving-beyond-the-marketing-hype-what-does-unlimited-web-hosting-really-mean/https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc181325.aspx

Image Resource: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/989227https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1003060; Featured Image by DynaGrace Enterprises

Social Media Marketing With Linkedin

Social Media Marketing With Linkedin

Recently, LinkedIn has been the most professional of all the major social networking sites we have today. With the presence of millions of subscribers worldwide, LinkedIn would make an essential part of your social media marketing strategy.

Here are some tips on how you can take your LinkedIn to the next level.

Creating a company page

Create a page where you share stories about your company, the products, and services. Here, you can also share updates engage in recruitment of employees.

A company page features
  • The banner page which reflects the company’s image and product brand.
  • Quality description of products and services in the form of images, YouTube videos, and even links.
  • Updating your website contents with links to details. The update posts should have regular postings.
  • Update posts on open positions for recruitment of new employees.

 Boost your LinkedIn profile

How do you achieve this? In addition to the conventional listing information on your work experience and education.

You could beef up your LinkedIn profile by
  • Posting brief, useful statements about your happenings and relating them to your You will keep your connections informed at the same time it has them visit your website to grab more info.
  • Creating articles on your profile will help establish you as a thought leader and get you more exposed to the LinkedIn community.
  • Add relevant videos and presentations which will attract more viewers who find the content valuable.
  • Placing recommendations which will display your expertise and experience and boost your profile.
  • Showcasing relevant publication which in any way have featured a project you are currently working on or one already done.

Leverage LinkedIn as a marketing tool

Linkedin presents an essential tool for social media marketing.

This tool can be achieved by;
  • How do you brand your LinkedIn address? When you are done creating your profile, there is a link assigned to your account which is represented by a collection of letters and numbers. You can edit or customize the link to your name. Customizing attracts other users to your profile.
  • Becoming an expert by regularly posting educational status updates and actively participating in group discussions.
  • Connecting to a prospective buyer through other active connections. By making use of Linkedin’s introduction features, you are sure to bring yourself closer to your target.

Taking advantage of LinkedIn features

On the LinkedIn community, there are features which help you communicate with many people at the same time. These features include groups which help you be in touch with people who share your interest. It also offers you the opportunity to create your group while inviting other people or join an already existing one. This feature will help you increase your influence over a large number of people.

Linkedin holds so much prospect as a social media marketing tool. With its many features, you are sure to grow your business. For social networking, LinkedIn provides the perfect platform without any marketing stress.

Linda Rawson is the CEO, and Founder of DynaGrace Enterprises, (http://DynaGrace.com) which is a Women-Owned, Small Business. She is also the author of The Minority and Women-Owned Small Business Guide to Government Contracts.

Resource: https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/45902/troubleshooting-adding-a-banner-image-to-a-company-page-or-showcase-page?lang=enhttps://business.linkedin.com/marketing-solutions/blog/l/linkedin-groups-101-how-to-build-an-engaged-community-on-linkedinhttps://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/87/customizing-your-public-profile-url?lang=en

Image Resource: https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/create-a-linkedin-company-page-to-promote-your-business/; Featured Image by https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1028519

The Drone Shopping Assistants

The Drone Shopping Assistants

When you hear the word ‘Drone’ you don’t necessarily think, ‘shopping’. The idea of technology is to make life a lot easier and less stressful. It is a transition from complexity to simplicity. One fantastic invention would be a drone shopping assistant. There is no doubt that most times, you spend a lot of time trying to locate or verify the price of an item in a typical shopping mall. Even when signs are available to direct you to the different product categories, it still appears difficult picking out a specific brand. Too much searching could be frustrating mainly when has already been a long day. The idea of drone shopping assistants is indeed perfect to take care of the situation.

The Drones as a Future Helper

The drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) controlled by instructions from a centralized computer. This shopping assistant is fitted with sensors to guide each drone from colliding with other drones, items in the store and shoppers. There are suggestions that it should be equipped with speakers to serve as an audio aid. Also, play screens with visual maps to direct customers to the specific location of products.

How does the drone work?

After the order is submitting from a customer, it will transmit to the drone. The drone UAV identifies the customer in need of assistance and leads the shopper to the exact location of the products. With the aid of the sensor, the drone verifies the price of the item through transmission from the central computer. It can also do this by scanning the barcode on the item to check the information stored in the database. An audio aid as speakers on the mobile electronic device will pronounce the price rather than displaying on the play screen.

There are prospects that requests are made then summon the drone, using smartphones either personal or temporarily provided. Again, there are proposals for a wearable device which on arrival are given to shoppers in the store. This device will serve as a target for the drone to follow as the customer moves around the store.

Why these drone shopping assistants?

The drone shopping assistants technology will go a long way in saving time for the staff. They would instead focus on engaging in other activities that will help the customer in need. For the business, staffing issues won’t be a big problem. Customers won’t have to waste extra time trying to locate a product or negotiate its figure the price list.

Though the idea of the drone shopping assistants is still in proposals and patenting by major retailers such as the Walmart, the primary purpose is to create quality and better customer experience. For the success of the business, it will help in keeping an accurate record of sales and increase staff efficiency. Again, the technology has the potency of dynamically changing the way customers shop. That would be a significant breakthrough for the modern society.

Linda Rawson is the CEO, and Founder of DynaGrace Enterprises, (http://DynaGrace.com) which is a Women-Owned, Small Business. She is also the author of The Minority and Women-Owned Small Business Guide to Government Contracts.

Image Resource: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/935666; Featured Image https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1097998

Email Etiquette for Your Business

Email Etiquette for Your Business

Today, many employees spend several hours each day either sending or receiving emails as an essential aspect of their job. Most employees who claim to be professionals don’t know the required standards while using the email. They end up making mistakes which do not suite a professional interaction. Such mistakes could be seen in missing spelling errors while typing an email especially on your phone, or inappropriate tone used in the content or text of the email. These mistakes may be detrimental to the entire business in the form of loss of significant clients.

Explained here are most of the essential email etiquettes which are necessary for any business:

Tips on how to have more Professional Emails

Use of a professional email address

Your company email address should be official and the most appropriate to use. But if you are self-employed or like presenting your personal email address on occasions, then the choice of the address is essential. A proper email address for a corporate job should convey your name so that the recipient is confident of your identity. It shouldn’t be your nickname, school, pet name or what you love most. Any of these is deviant of the standards or email etiquette for business.

Don’t rush to click the “reply”

An octagon sign that says 'Don't Panic'

An octagon sign that says ‘Don’t Panic’

Always think twice before hitting the reply unless it becomes essential that everyone on the list gets the email. Constant mistakes can happen if you rush to reply. It may be disturbing to recipients.

Always include a subject line objective

Choosing a subject line which addresses the concerns of your readers or the current business issues is essential while sending an email. Why? The decision to either open an email or not is almost entirely dependent on the subject line. Busy readers will not waste their time opening emails which may likely not be relevant to prevailing issues. Again, the subject line should be precise and concise too. A good example would be “change of meeting date”.

Avoid frequent use of exclamations

Use exclamations sparingly in your text to convey excitement and avoid it appearing immature or too emotional.

Include a signature block

It is essential to provide your reader with some information about you such as your full name, contact, company name and sometimes little publicity for yourself.

Use professional salutations

Formal salutations such as “Good day” and “Hello” should be used before the content. Avoid laid-back colloquial expressions such as “hey guys” as they are unprofessional.

Be cautious with humor

A cartoon with feet poking out of a pile of letters with a monitor that says 'You've got mail'

‘You’ve got mail’ Cartoon

Sometimes, what you perceive as humor may not appear same to someone else. So, it is essential you leave humor out to avoid appearing unprofessional.

Proofread every message before sending

Always read your typed email a couple of times before submitting. And do not solely rely on spell-checks as they may imply words with entirely different meanings.

Insert the email address last

To avoid accidentally sending unfinished and unchecked email, always insert the email address last.

Choose classic fonts

The font style and size for your email should be easy to read. Font sie between 10-12 is ideal while time new Roman, Calibri or Arial is perfect.

Try replying your emails even when not intended for you

Though replying emails may appear unnecessary and stressful, it is proper email etiquette especially when the sender works in the same company with you.

In addition to these essential email etiquettes, it is also necessary to keep tabs on your tone. Preferably, you should read out loud before hitting the send. For your business, always assume everyone will see what you write.

Linda Rawson is the CEO, and Founder of DynaGrace Enterprises, (http://DynaGrace.com) which is a Women-Owned, Small Business. She is also the author of The Minority and Women-Owned Small Business Guide to Government Contracts.

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