Tag : software

The Best VPN Services of 2018

“A virtual private network is the best way to stay anonymous online and to secure your web traffic. We’ve tested more than 50 VPNs, and these are our top performers” stated PC Mag’s, Max Eddy

Best VPN Services of 2018


What Is a VPN?

In the simplest terms, a VPN is used to create a secure, encrypted connection—which can be thought of as a tunnel—between your computer and a server operated by the VPN service. In a professional setting, this tunnel makes you part of the company’s network, as if you were physically sitting in the office—hence the name.

While you’re connected to a VPN, all your network traffic passes through this protected tunnel, and no one—not even your ISP—can see your traffic until it exits the tunnel from the VPN server and enters the public internet. If you make sure to only connect to websites secured with HTTPS, your data will continue to be encrypted even after it leaves the VPN.

Think about it this way: If your car pulls out of your driveway, someone can follow you and see where you are going, how long you are at your destination, and when you are coming back. They might even be able to peek inside your car and learn more about you. With a VPN service, you are essentially driving into a closed parking garage, switching to a different car, and driving out, so that no one who was originally following you knows where you went.

VPNs Keep You Safe Online

Have you become so comfortable with the idea of transmitting your data via Wi-Fi that you’ve stopped worrying about the safety of said data—and of who else might be looking at it? You’re not alone. In fact, you’re probably in the majority. That’s a huge privacy and security problem. Public Wi-Fi networks, which are commonplace and convenient, are unfortunately also highly convenient for attackers who are looking to compromise your personal information. When even your ISP is allowed to sell your browsing history it’s time to begin thinking about protecting your data. That’s where virtual private networks, or VPNs, come in.


Who Needs a VPN?

The protection provided by a VPN offers users many advantages. First and foremost, it prevents anyone on the same network access point (or anywhere else) from intercepting your web traffic in a man-in-the-middle attack. This is especially handy for travelers and for those using public Wi-Fi networks, such as web surfers at hotels, airports, and coffee shops. VPNs also cloak your computer’s actual IP address, making it harder for advertisers (or spies, or hackers) to track you online.


How to Choose a VPN Service

The VPN services market has exploded in the past few years, and a small competition has turned into an all-out melee. Many providers are capitalizing on the general population’s growing concerns about surveillance and cybercrime, which means it’s getting hard to tell when a company is actually providing a secure service and when it’s throwing out a lot of fancy words while selling snake oil. In fact, since VPN services have become so popular in the wake of Congress killing ISP privacy rules, there have even been fake VPNs popping up, so be careful. It’s important to keep a few things in mind when evaluating which VPN service is right for you: reputation, performance, type of encryption used, transparency, ease of use, support, and extra features. Don’t just focus on price, though that is an important factor.


For the original content, please visit:


Antivirus – Top 4 on the Market in 2016


Keep your computer healthy and your stress low, with an easy to manage antivirus software. A wealth of options exist, so with the help of researcher Neil Rubenking at PCMag, we have comprised a list of the top antivirus programs. Each product has been reviewed and lab tested in order to provide real results and data. In times of trouble no one wants a program that can’t handle the pressure.

Top 4 Commercial Antivirus Software on the Market

Kaspersky Anti-Virus (2016)1444039371_kaspersky-antivirus-2016-

  • On Demand Malware Scan
  • On Access Malware Scan
  • Malicious URL Blocking
  • Phishing Protection
  • Bonus – Vulnerability Scan



Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2016

Both Bitdefender and Kaspersky performed at the top of the scale in independent Lab tests.

  • On Demand Malware Scan
  • On Access Malware Scan
  • Malicious URL Blocking
  • Phishing Protection
  • Bonus – Vulnerability Scan
  • Website Ratingbd2016-boxshots-av-online-en_1_2

McAfee AntiVirus Plus (2016)

A single subscription of McAfee AntiVirus Plus allows you to install protection on all of your Windows, Android, Mac OS, and iOS devices.

  • On Demand Malware Scan Product_Page_Product-Overview_Pack-image_AntiVirus-Plus_320x430
  • On Access Malware Scan
  • Malicious URL Blocking
  • Phishing Protection
  • Bonus – Vulnerability Scan
  • Website Rating




Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus (2016)

Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus uses an  unusual behavior based detection technology. This makes Webroot the tiniest antivirus on the market today. This is both good and bad. In theory this Antivirus can protection you from malware, but it can also flag legitimate behaviors made by legitimate users.

  • On Demand Malware Scan
  • On Access Malware Scan
  • Malicious URL Blocking
  • Phishing Protection
  • Website Rating

Antivirus program



If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit:The Best Antivirus Utilities for 2016

Businesses Beware- FBI warns Ransomware is on the rise

ransomeThe FBI released statements of warning this week about the rapid growth of ransomware attacks. As attacks become more frequent and sophisticated, it is crucial that businesses are proactive about ransomware prevention. The influx of attacks against hospitals has made ransomware a major threat to the U.S. healthcare industry this year and will only continue without proper protection.

Years prior, ransomware was delivered through email. Now that email systems have evolved, and spam settings have become more sensitive, cyber criminals have stepped away from email delivery. Seeding legitimate websites with malicious code and taking advantage of unpatched software on end-user computers, there is no need for an individual to click on a link in order to be infected. In a usual email attack, a user may see an email addressed to them and open it. Unsuspectingly clicking on the attachment that appears no different than any other attachment, the malware code is then able to access the victims machine and the rest is history.

Once the machine has been infected, the malware begins encrypting the files and folders on local drives, including attached drives, backups and even other computers on a shared network. As seen many times this year, organizations are often unaware of the attack until they are unable to open their files and retrieve data. Sometimes organizations are not made aware of the encryption until messages start to display ransom payment in exchange for a decryption key.

Whether or not to pay the ransom is still under debate. The FBI does not encourage payment, only because paying the bitcoin does not guarantee the safe return of sensitive data. Morally, payment would be frowned upon, as it is most certainly funding illicit criminal activity and encouraging more attacks. However, it is understandable why many have been forced to pay, simply put businesses need their data in order to survive. Unfortunately ransomware criminals know that all too well.

Prevention Measures 

  • Make sure employees are aware of ransomware and of their critical roles in protecting the organization’s data.
  • Patch operating system, software, and firmware on digital devices (which may be made easier through a centralized patch management system).
  • Ensure antivirus and anti-malware solutions are set to automatically update and conduct regular scans.
  • Manage the use of privileged accounts—no users should be assigned administrative access unless absolutely needed, and only use administrator accounts when necessary.
  • Configure access controls, including file, directory, and network share permissions appropriately. If users only need read specific information, they don’t need write-access to those files or directories.
  • Implement software restriction policies or other controls to prevent programs from executing from common ransomware locations (e.g., temporary folders supporting popular Internet browsers, compression/decompression programs).
  • Back up data regularly.
  • Secure your backups. Make sure they aren’t connected to the computers and networks they are backing up.

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: FBI: Ransomware threat at all-time high; how to protect company jewels

What to do if you suspect Malware? We have the answers

Most often one does not know that they are infected with Malware until it is indefinitely too late. A few signs can lead you too believe you might be infected, such as incredibly slow PC performance, browser pop-ups when no browser is open, and security warnings from security programs that have never been installed on your computer, can make you feel uneasy about your machine. Try these tools to kick Malware in the butt. malware-microsoft

Update Antivirus

The software IDs within antivirus software identify existing malware based on what has come before and the latest updates available. Make sure your antivirus software is current, with all of the latest installs. Having software that is even one day out of date leaves your machine at risk for encryption. Antivirus vendors offer updates based on viruses they encounter both in the lab and in the field.

Find Safe Mode

Most malware, when designed correctly, is ready to evade System Restore points set in Windows. Perhaps this might be enough to fix the problem, but say that its not, as it most likely won’t be, try running a program designed to kill any known malware process in progress, such as RKill. The other option in this case is to boot Windows in a way that will not allow malware to get started, aka Safe Mode. By first restarting your PC (Windows 8 or 10), hold down the shift key during the boot sequence, and choose Safe Mode within the troubleshooting options.

Delete Hiding Places

You should then delete all temp files that could hide malware. To delete temp files, open the Start menu, type Disk Cleanup into the search bar and it will check the C:drive for all temp files that can be safely deleted. The software IDs within antivirus software identify existing malware based on what has come before and the latest updates available. Make sure your antivirus software is current, with all of the latest installs. Having software that is even one day out of date leaves your machine at risk for encryption. Antivirus vendors offer updates based on viruses they encounter both in the lab and in the field. After this process it is advised that you run an antivirus on-demand scanner, such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. This program is a great line of second defense against malware because it often comes to the rescue if your initial antivirus fails.

No Connection

A RAT, means that someone is remotely accessing your PC. Your first step in this case is to get off the internet. Turn off the Wi-Fi, remove the Ethernet cable, turn off the router, whatever needs to be done in order to detach from the internet. Now, being disconnected from the internet ensures that you are no longer able to be controlled, but it makes it a great deal harder to receive the latest antivirus without access to the internet. The latest software will need to be retrieved from a third party PC, at a different location preferably, then transferred to the RAT PC via USB flash drive. Another option would be to reboot the computer with a CD. Running a full anti-malware utility, these CDs are sometimes called “rescue CD” and can be used without internet connection. Of course, in order to use this option, a CD player will be necessary.

Portable Help

If all other options have failed, it may be the Operating System that has already been infected, making it impossible to even download the newest antivirus software. In order avoid the OS and let the antivirus do its job, you will need to utilize portable apps through a USB flash drive. These portable apps do not require a direct installation. Apps like this consist of Microsoft Safety Scanner, CLamWin, McAfee Stinger, or Kaspersky Security Scan. You can also try a mix of many portable apps since they will not conflict as you have to run each scan individually. There are also other software options such as Spybot and Symantec’s Norton Power Eraser that specifically target a type of malware called crimeware, that run scams. Although this is measure is aggressive, and often times deletes files that might not be malware, all in the effort of safety of course.


If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: How to Remove Malware From Your PC

Microsoft – Thousands of Dollars in Free Support for Azure Users



Microsoft is offering a new incentive for Azure users, up to $12,000 in free support for those who make a prepaid commitment to Microsoft Azure cloud for the year. This is Microsoft’s latest ploy to get more of it’s traditional users to use Azure. All offers are available May 1st, 2016 through June 30th, 2017.

For those who are already on an Azure Enterprise Agreement (EA), Microsoft plans to move you to a higher support tier for a year starting May 1st. No extra charge no matter if you are a new or existing customer. Customers within the Azure Enterprise Agreement without support, will get a year of free support, usually priced around $4,000. Those customers that have a prepaid commitment of $100,000 or that use $10,000 per month will get a even bigger present. Free ProDirect Support for the year, which is valued at about $12,000.

In addition to ProDirect Support, these customers will also receive six App Consulting sessions, in which a Azure technical professional is available for questions about cloud, app design and implementation, and workload deployment.

Microsoft is pushing hard for Azure in the enterprise, where many businesses prefer to use their own infrastructure rather than Azure. Allowing customers to try before they buy appears to be Microsoft’s focus when it comes to Azure.

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit:Microsoft: Pay for Azure upfront and we’ll give you $12,000 in free support


Easy and Free- 5 security apps for Windows 10

These 5 free security apps allow for safe browsing while protecting your computer against viruses, and even remembers all your passwords for you. Sounds great to us. apps.31776.9007199266248614.e32fdc94-77ee-4dac-af90-52ca48b6eb41

Password Padlock –  Password Padlock manages all your passwords securely by first having you select a single master password. This master password is used to encrypt all the other passwords in your collection using AES-256 encryption. You can rest well knowing that your master password is never stored. Encrypted passwords are easily backed up to OneDrive, and you can backup on one device and restore to another with ease.

LastPass- LastPass remembers all your passwords for you so you can spend time working on more important things. Creating strong passwords for every account you have, LastPass keeps such passwords locked up in the easy to navigate LastPass password manager. Automatic sync across every browser and device ensures you are never left scratching your head for your password. LastPass will sign into all your online accounts for you. Similar to Password Padlock, Last Pass also gives the option to create one secure password for ultimate protection. 

Super Password Generator – The Super Password Generator uses Cryptographic Random Number Generator to make sure the password generated with the given characters are unique and never gets duplicated. This generator can also generate QR code so you can scan it with any device that supports QR Code decoding such as a Windows Phone.

Avast Antivirus Download Center- The Avast Antivirus Download Center App allows for easy access to downloads of PC security products from Avast product portfolio. It also streams the latest security news from Avast Blog directly into your windows 10 PC.

Touch VPN- Unable to access some websites or apps? Worried about unprotected Wi-Fi hotspots? Want to be anonymous and protected from surveillance and hackers? Touch VPN – the Secure VPN Proxy– is the best solution for you!

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: 5 top-rated free security apps

5 New Tech Tested Products for Your Business

Ever wondered what the best in tech products are at this very moment? The experts at Network World weigh in and give us a little glimpse of the newest innovations on the market.

Vidder PrecisionAccess – By rendering applications invisible to unauthorized users PrecisionAccess does a fantastic job at preventing application hacking. Even with stolen credentials hackers can’t access protected applications with unauthorized devices.precision-vpn_clip_image002

VeloCloud SD-WAN – VeloCloud provides a hybrid WAN solution that works with MPLS private links as well as ATT-U-Verse with cable or any broadband DSL links. One tech pro reported an increase from almost zero network visibility to nearly 100% network visibility. A great tool for IT management across multiple locations without staff needing to be onsite at all times. Facilitates communication and network visibility.  velocloudlogo

Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) – With so many features that help with managing user-facing ports and devices, whats not to love about Cisco ISE. One huge factor reported by tech pros is the integration of TACACS within Cisco ISE, making it easy to run Cisco ISE as a Radius server or TACACS server for network devices. In addition to this, Cisco ISE significantly improves management of devices especially restricting machines from devices and sites they are not permitted to visit.Cisco_ISE









Intermedia SecuriSync – For backup and file sharing SecuriSync is the way to go. As a two-in-one tool for consolidated file backup and management of continuous file backups, Intermedia SecuriSync makes relevant files easier to access as they are all stored in a secured shared folder. If you have team members spread across different locations, this tool is very helpful in making sure the data is always backed up and kept secure. One platform with a master source keeps project collaboration as safe as it can be.securisync-logo-247x300

OpenSpan Transformation Platform – OpenSpan collects all employee desktop activities both productive and nonproductive, including time away from the computer. This platform allows businesses to evaluate from employee activities how employees work best and what can be improved upon in order to drive down operational costs and maximize revenue. Providing data about employee activities takes away the need for manual employee logs. Lack of employee logs that need to be analyzed by supervisors for key performance indicators (KPIs), such as call volumes, proves to be a huge time saver. OpenSpan Transformation Platform takes working smarter to a higher level.


If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Fave Raves: 29 tech pros share their favorite IT products 

Software Defined Networking – 5 best practices


Software Defined Networking, (SDN) provides cost-effective, easily adaptable management of network control and forwarding functions. In simple terms, SDN is the physical separation of the network control plane from the forwarding plane, where a control plane controls multiple devices. Software Defined Networking is an emerging technology and therefore lacks long term examples to be used as a guideline for success. Greg Stemberger, Principal Solutions Architect, has laid out what he has seen in his experience with SDN, creating a five step process for best practices of implementation.

The first step, as it most often it with any new technology employment it to define usage. Bringing in a new technology for your company is only helpful if the technology fits the needs of your organization. Determine the problems your company is facing and proceed to evaluate whether the desired technology will be able to handle and alleviate such problems accordingly. No one technology will be able to solve all your problems. Identify specific problems you believe SDN can fix, specifically just one problem at a time. As Stemberger suggests, “A single use case with tangible, positive results, offers more reliable, measurable outcomes than implementing SDN across your entire network.”

It is crucial to assemble a cross functional team with SDN. Utilizing SDN in the correct manner means having a skilled team with a united approach. A team of well versed members is the best way to manage SDN. You need people who can combine skill sets to work together. Increasing efficiency lets you IT staff spend more of their time on you IT infrastructure rather than operational overhead. Get everyone on the same page, toward a universal goal.

Remember to test in a less critical network area. This is common sense for most. Find a less critical network that you can play with first before moving to your network. This way you avoid uprooting your entire network and facing the wrath of angry coworkers. A small-scale SDN test allows the flexibility to learn and make mistakes.

After testing for a while, make sure to go over the data you gather and review your test case. Did it solve your current problem? Is it a wise investment to expand SDN to the entire network? Do you have the infrastructure ready on both a personnel and technical level?

As a gentle reminder that it’s okay to stay on the cautious side, it is suggested that you gain maturity before expanding deployment.  Rather than diving head first, proceed slowly and make the implementation gradual. Even if the SDN went better than expected in one area of the network, this is not a gurantee that the entire network will function at the same caliber. How will SDN performance change across higher trafficked areas of the network?

These steps are meant to evaluate risks, gain perspective and ensure efficiency. In order to get the most out of Software Defined Networking, it’s best to get all your ducks in a row.

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: 5 steps to launching Software Defined Networking

Ransomware Attacked My Mom’s Computer

How My Mom Got Hacked, a real life story about Brooklyn artist who receives a panicked phone call from her mom one day complaining her personal computer has been taken over by some sort of strange encryption. The story unravels the journey Alina Simone and her mom Inna endure in order to restore the files back from the hackers. After the initial shock of the situation sets in the two research their options and realize, as many do, that there is little to no answer as to how to get the files back without paying the hefty $500 ransom fee.

“I thought it was a typical mom rant about hr hardware crashing and having to pay the repair people $500 because her computer crashed.” Like many of us do when our parents call us after a long days work, Alina didnt take her mom seriously. Seeing as it was Thanksgiving weekend, a major snowstorm had just hit, and the ransom deadline was already decreasing to less than a 24 hour bracket, Alina and her mother were frantic. Her mother didn’t make the deadline, and according the the hackers the ransom would double due to this. Inna pleaded with the hackers and they let her off with $500 ransom and all her files. Luckily.

Others, such as the case of the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center that was hacked in early February and had to pay a whooping 40 bitcoin, $17,000 ransom, in order to get their system back on track.

“The value of my personal files and pictures caps off somewhere. But [if] I encrypt the back-end of your corporate system and prevent you from processing payments, that has a tremendous value. And if the hacker can recognize the value of what he has, the ransom can be more dynamically set based on the content of the data.”explains Grayson Milbourne, Security Intelligence Director for Internet security firm Webroot.

From personal to corporate, ransomware is most certainly an eye opening experience to security vulnerabilities.



If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: The Growing Threat of Ransomware

VPN, you need one

tunnelA Virtual Private Network, or VPN, is used to connect a private network, such as a company’s internal network, using public wires. In other words you can use an other IP other than your own to appear you are something other than where you actually are. Pretty nifty.

The use of VPNs started as a way for work at home users to access their workplace network just like if they were working in the office. Benefits reach farther now than just work from home capabilities. It is difficult for advanced malware to self install through open ports because the computer will always appear to be another system someplace else. This other machine is often a server that is more heavily protected and harder to attack. Not a sure fire way to avoid attack, but most certainly a viable preventative option.

This presents an extra method of protection, basically playing a little hid and go seek with potential malware. Increased mobile internet usage will eventual open a new vulnerability for hackers to infiltrate, and VPNs could be the eventual answer to avoiding attacks on mobile devices as well. Need for mobile phone VPNs could be the next big thing for data protection.



If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: You Need a VPN, or You’re Screwed