Still using Windows 7? It will be a risk!

All good things must come to an end, even Windows 7. After January 14, 2020, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or support for PCs running Windows 7. But you can keep the good times rolling by moving to Windows 10.

Between now and then, the operating system (OS) is in an in-between phase known as “extended support.” During this phase, Microsoft is offering paid support, though not the complimentary support that comes with the license; and will continue to provide security updates, but not design and feature updates.

Every Product has a Life Cycle

Every Windows product has a life cycle.  Like many Microsoft products, Windows 7 came with a predetermined support timeline. It’s good to know a product’s support life cycle so that you know when to upgrade.
However, there’s absolutely nothing stopping you from using Windows 7 even after its End of Life. But you should know that using an outdated operating system makes your computer vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

Vulnerable to Viruses & Threats

“End of life” is the date after which an application is no longer supported by the company that makes it. Imagine using a product that a company doesn’t want to take responsibility for anymore. You’ll be using the product at your own risk. This means that Microsoft will not take responsibility for loss of data due to security breaches on Windows 7. New computer viruses and other malware are developed all the time and, without the security updates to fight them off, your data and your system are vulnerable.

Upgradation is the Solution

Windows 7 has been one of the most successful operating systems developed by Microsoft. Its resilience has been boosted by many conspiracies and controversies surrounding Windows 8. In fact, millions of organizations skipped the Windows 8 upgrade and stuck with Window 7. Many businesses are still not convinced that Windows 10 is any better than Windows 8. Even though there are numerous valid reasons to stay with Windows 7, it’s time to start preparing for the inevitable upgrade.

Now you know that the Windows 7 OS will not be a safe product to use over the internet in a couple of years. So you have to ask yourself if you’re ready to move into the future with the more modern Windows 10 operating system. Windows 10 gets regular patches and updates to keep it secure. It will install on most devices and machines with no problems or issues, but Microsoft does have a vast array of help and support documents on their website in case you run into trouble.

Contact our Microsoft specialists who can provide more information on upgrading your system to Windows 10 without any hassle. Email us at helpdesk@cspro.com.au or call us at 1300 660 368.

Update Windows platforms to protect yourself from a security threat

What’s happened?

Microsoft has released a software update to fix a security flaw in some older versions of Windows including Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2. The update addresses a vulnerability that attackers may use to gain unauthorised access or to perform other malicious activity.

Does it affect me?

If you are using an older version of Windows including Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2, you could be affected.

If you have Windows 8 or 10, Microsoft advises you are not affected by this vulnerability.

To find out which Windows operating system you’re using, check the Microsoft website.

How do I stay safe?

To protect yourself, you should install the software update to older versions of Windows as soon as possible. Microsoft has issued customer guidance on how to update older Microsoft operating systems.

Why is using current software important?

Microsoft will not provide official security updates or fixes to Windows 7 after 14 January 2020. To ensure you are using secure software that is supported by Microsoft, you should consider upgrading to Windows 8 or 10 in the near future.

For more information, please visit: www.staysmartonline.gov.au

Update WhatsApp to protect yourself from a security threat

What’s happened?

WhatsApp users are urged to update their WhatsApp app with the latest software update.

The update was released this week to address a security vulnerability that could allow a cybercriminal to remotely install surveillance software on a user’s device.

WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, is a popular messaging app for smartphones. It offers a secure messaging service for one-on-one or small group conversations. As a result, it is a target for scammers trying to hack into users’ confidential conversations and perform other malicious activities.

How to make sure your WhatsApp app is up-to-date

On an iPhone or iOS device:

Go to the App Store and search for WhatsApp. Tap UPDATE next to WhatsApp Messenger.

On an Android device:

Go to Play Store and search for WhatsApp. Tap UPDATE under WhatsApp Messenger.

Why are software updates so important?

Software and security updates fix vulnerabilities in your apps, devices and operating systems that cybercriminals may use to gain unauthorized access or to perform other malicious activity.

Typically attackers exploit vulnerabilities in order to perform other malicious actions, such as stealing or corrupting information, installing malware or stopping the affected system from working correctly.

How do I stay safe?

Whenever possible, choosing to automatically apply security updates when they become available. Automatic updates minimize the risk of delaying or forgetting to apply an update and limit the chance that cybercriminals will gain access to your devices and sensitive personal and financial data.

For more information, please visit: www.staysmartonline.gov.au

Why IT Security is Important for Medical Practices

In healthcare, instant access to patient data could be critical. If doctors can’t get the patient’s
info they need, the standard of healthcare can be severely compromised with potentially
unpredictable consequences.

The privacy and security of patient health information is a top priority for patients and their
families, health care providers and professionals, and the government. Laws require many of the key
persons and organizations that handle health information to have policies and security safeguards
in place to protect your health information — whether it is stored on paper or electronically.

This means that the data privacy and storage is of vital importance in healthcare. Downtime must be
avoided at all costs. However the data storage and privacy has become increasingly diffi cult,
time-consuming and expensive for healthcare organizations.

REASONS

There are several reasons for this. To begin with, the volume of healthcare data is growing at an
astronomical rate, driven in part by necessary efforts at healthcare organizations to digitize all
their patient health records.

Another driver of data growth is diagnostic devices like CT scanners, MRIs and X-ray machines,
which produce massive amounts of imaging data. As these technologies continue to advance, the image
files they produce become better, have higher resolution and grow larger and larger in
file-size. Connected devices like fitness monitors and in-room sensors all produce their own
streams of data, all of which must be stored and managed.

The storage demand at even a small medical practice can quickly reach petabyte-size. However the
challenge does not stop there – as the data grows, the time, budget and resources required to
store,
protect and manage this critical patient data grows as well.

SOLUTION

Medical Practices need proper data backup and security management solutions that delivers con-
stant data availability. The solution must be reliable and cost effective, also covers Virus
protection covering ransomware and cyberattacks, because healthcare organizations are increasingly
under attack from a growing list of threats.

Data breaches in health care come in a variety of forms. They can include cases in which criminal
hackers steal protected health information to commit medical identity theft, or instances when an
employee views the records of one patient without authorization.

This is partly why healthcare suffered more ransomware attacks than any other industry in 2017,
according to a report from global cybersecurity insurance company Beazley. The report found that 45
per cent of all ransomware attacks in 2017 were aimed at the healthcare sector.

GOOD NEWS

The good news is that the market offers solutions designed to handle the ever-increasing amounts of
healthcare data securely and cost-effectively, ensuring that quality care is never risked by lack
of access to vital information.

SECURE YOUR PRACTICE

Here are five ways healthcare organizations can protect themselves against the triple threat of out
of control data costs, system downtime and loss of data integrity:

1: Look for converged primary and secondary storage
To properly deal with explosive data growth, healthcare centers need to integrate primary,
secondary and cloud data-management capabilities which can eliminate storage and data protection
silos while decreasing the risk of any downtime.

2: Benefit from cost-effective, scale-out storage
Small and medium-size healthcare practices with fewer resources and smaller budgets, need scalable
storage that will adapt to their data needs.

3: Protect against data degradation
Medical images, in particular, are highly vulnerable to data degradation. The silent corruption of
data in medical images caused by bit rot is a significant concern. The problem is compounded
because legacy systems store images such as X-rays to a picture archiving and communication system
and may not detect if data has been compromised. As a result, the information read from the legacy
storage system may be corrupt and unusable. Healthcare organizations need modern data solutions
that can guard against this kind of data degradation.

4: Inoculate against ransomware
Data protection is a top priority for practices as they battle against the constant threat of
cyberat- tacks. Modern healthcare practices solve this issue by implementing a storage solution
that protects information continuously and takes data snapshots every 90 seconds. Because the
object store is immutable, these snapshots remain completely unaffected in the event of an attack.
As a result, medical practices can recover the most recent version of data, and thus thwart any
ransomware attack.

5. Insist on a tangible ROI
Cyberattacks are increasingly common and as a result, practices are seeking insurance policies that
provide coverage in the event of a data breach or loss. As every medical record is assigned a
dollar value by insurance companies as part of the risk assessment, this can quickly add up to tens
of mil- lions of dollars in premiums. However, these insurance premiums can be reduced when
practices can demonstrate they have effective data management and protection strategies in place.
With the right data management solution, healthcare facilities can not only protect their data and
decrease costs, they can better treat their patients and ultimately save more lives.

For more information, please visit Medical IT Services

Why Website is Important?

As business trends are emerging, consumer behavior are also evolving. From buying new furniture to fixing a computer, individuals look for a quick solution online rather than lurking in the market physically. Life is busy and everyone needs a swift and cost effective resolution on their fingertips.

This buying behavior trend emphasizes the importance of a website for today’s businesses. 93% of Business decisions start with a search online, if you don’t have website you are only targeting 7% of the market. A website itself can be used to accomplish many different marketing strategies to help your business grow.

Websites helps in:

Why regular website maintenance is important?

The importance of a well-structured website can’t be ignored. But only having the website up and running is not enough. Proper maintenance of your site is vital to ensure that your site is running at full capacity.

  1. Improved Security

 

 

Security is crucial for any business entity. One has to ensure that the website is keeping up with all latest software patches and security updates. Negligence could result into a variety of reasons such as mining Bitcoin, stealing bandwith, drive by downloads, or Blackhat SEO spam campaigns, there’s usually one common denominator: an older site. A regular maintenance helps in preventing your site from being hacked.

  1. It boosts site traffic

To provide searchers with the most effective content, search engines raise rankings for websites that are updated often. A higher ranking boosts your site’s visibility among your targeted audiences. Updating your site with valuable information, fixing broken links, removing duplicate pages, and keeping your content updated will help drive both new and returning customers.

  1. It optimizes the visitor experience

According to a research, by the year 2020 customer experience will be overtaking product and price as the critical differentiator for branding. Faster websites, user-friendly web navigation and customized content are essential for enhanced customer experience. Engage with your audience by including actionable items such as a newsletter signup form and social media icons that link to your organization’s profile. A well-maintained website helps promote your brand, work, and mission.

Computer Support Professionals is passionately producing and maintaining websites that are search engine optimized, work flawlessly on personal devices (including iPad, iPhone, Droid, etc.), are artistically alluring, secure and completely user-friendly. We have affordable web packages to cater all your business needs.

Scammers impersonate ATO phone numbers

What’s happened?

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is warning about the continuation of unprecedented numbers of pre-recorded phone calls experienced last year which impersonate legitimate tax office phone numbers.

The scammers are sending pre-recorded messages claiming that you have a debt with the ATO, and if you don’t call to arrange payment, a warrant for your arrest will be issued.

The scammers are using technology to manipulate the caller identification so that your phone displays a legitimate ATO phone number (otherwise known as ‘spoofing’).

Does it affect me?

Calls are being received by hundreds of Australian taxpayers.

How do I stay safe?

Calls from the ATO do not show a number on caller ID (they always appear as a private number) and the ATO don’t use pre-recorded messages.

If you receive a pre-recorded message claiming to be from the ATO, do not return the call and do not provide any personal details, either hang up or simply delete the voicemail.

Remember that a legitimate caller from the ATO will never:

  • threaten you with immediate arrest
  • demand immediate payment, particularly through unusual means such as bitcoin, pre-paid credit cards or gift cards
  • refuse to allow you to speak with a trusted adviser or your regular tax agent
  • keep you on the line until payment is made.

If you are in doubt about a call claiming to be from the ATO, hang up and phone the ATO’s official scam line on 1800 008 540 to check if the call was legitimate or to report a scam.

For more information, please visit: www.staysmartonline.gov.au

Watch out – fake myGov tax refund email

What’s happened?

It’s tax time and the common scam email informing that you’re eligible for a tax refund is doing the rounds again!

Scammers have long used the promise of a tax refund to trick people into sharing their personal information or to download malware.

The email, which has the subject line ‘Important information regarding your account’, includes the myGov logo and claims to be from the myGov team. Instead, the email is a phishing scam designed to steal your personal and financial information.

The email asks you to click on a link to claim your refund. If you click the link a fake tax refund claim form will open in your browser.

Screenshot of myGov phishing scam designed to steal your personal and financial information

The form asks for your name and contact details, your myGov password and your credit card number.  After you supply this information and click the ‘Continue’ button, you’ll be automatically redirected to the myGov website. By then it’s too late and the scammer has your details.

Screenshot of the fake tax refund claim form

The scammers use this information to commit credit card fraud and identity theft.

If you receive an email like this one, do not click any links or open any attachments.

Remember: the ATO and myGov will NEVER send an email or SMS asking you to click on a link and provide login, personal or financial information, download a file or open an attachment.

How do I stay safe?

Know the status of your tax affairs. If you are aware of the details of any debts owed, refunds due and lodgments outstanding, you are less likely to fall victim to a scam.

Here are some simple steps you can take to avoid an email scam:

  • Be suspicious of messages offering you a tax refund in return for a fee, or ‘confirmation’ of your details.
  • Login to your official myGov account to check your status or contact your registered tax professional.
  • Do not click on links in emails or text messages claiming to be from myGov. myGov will never send you a text, email or attachment with hyperlinks or web addresses.
  • Don’t open messages if you don’t know the sender, or if you’re not expecting them.
  • Be suspicious of messages that aren’t addressed directly to you, or don’t use your correct name.
  • Login to your official myGov account by typing the web address into your browser, to check your inbox for any legitimate emails.
  • The messages you get in your official myGov Inbox are secure and it is safe to open links included in myGov Inbox messages.
  • If you’re ever unsure about the validity of a tax related message or phone call, contact the ATO Scam Hotline on 1800 008 540, or visit ato.gov.au/scams

If you are concerned that your personal information has been compromised and misused, you can contact Australia’s National Identity and Cyber Support Service, IDCare or use their free Cyber First Aid Kit.

If you have been a victim of a cybercrime such as fraud, report it to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN).

For more information, please visit: www.staysmartonline.gov.au

Tips to stay safe online this tax time

Tax time is a prime time for cybercriminals to get their hands on your money and personal details! In 2017 the Australian Taxation Office received over 81,000 reports of scams, with $2.3 million reported lost and almost 10,000 people accidently sharing their personal information.

Here are some tips to help you stay one step ahead and keep safe online this tax time!

Keep your personal information private

Your personal information is valuable so stop and think before sharing it with anyone. Cybercriminals use all kinds of tricks to disguise their true identity and get you to hand over your personal information or money.

What to do:

  • Don’t give out your Tax File Number (TFN), date of birth or bank details unless you’ve checked the person you’re dealing with is who they say they are and they genuinely require these details.
  • You should always verify the identity of the person you’re dealing with through an independent source, such as a phone book or online search. Don’t ever use the contact details provided by the caller or in the message they sent to you.

Beware of ATO impersonation scams

Impersonating trusted agencies like the ATO is a common trick used by scammers. Be wary of emails, phone calls and text messages demanding payment for fake tax debts.

A scammer’s approach may sound legitimate, but remember, the ATO will never ask you to pay your tax debt into a non-ATO bank account, via pre-paid cards or with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

If something doesn’t sound right, you can always check your myGov account, ask your registered tax professional, or call the ATO directly on 1800 008 540.

Read more about the latest ATO impersonation scams.

Create unique passwords

We have so many online accounts now and it’s hard to keep track of all our passwords! Many of us still use the same password for multiple accounts. The problem is that if a cybercriminal gets into one of your accounts, it can give them access to your other accounts.

What to do:

  • Secure your myGov account with a strong password that’s easy for you to remember but hard for others to guess.
  • Use two-factor authentication, like a code sent to your mobile phone. To set up your myGov security code, sign in to your account and turn it on in ‘Account settings’.
  • Use a unique password for every account you create online. You can use a password manager to help you securely store your passwords.
  • Don’t share your passwords with anyone, not even your partner, your parents, or your children.

Watch out for tax refund scams

Know the status of your tax affairs. If you are aware of the details of any debts owed, refunds due and lodgements outstanding, you are less likely to fall victim to a scam.

What to do:

  • Look out for messages offering you a tax refund in return for a fee.
  • Login to your official myGov account to check your status or contact your registered tax professional.
  • If you’re ever unsure about whether any message is really from the ATO, call the ATO Scam Hotline on 1800 008 540, or visit ato.gov.au/scams.

Get savvy about Wi-Fi hotspots

Be careful about what you do online when you’re connected to a hotpsot or free WiFi. So while it’s ok to check the news or the weather, avoid doing tax time transactions when you’re connected to public Wi-Fi. These networks are unsecured and it’s possible that others can see what you’re doing when you use them.

Read more about how to stay safe when using public WiFi.

Be smart with social media

We’re so used to sharing our personal information online that we don’t really think about where it’s going. This window into your life not only lets your friends and family know what you’re up to, it also gives cybercriminals information to steal your identity or hack into your online accounts.

What to do:

  • Change your privacy settings so only friends can see your details.
  • Don’t share your Tax File Number (TFN) on social media.
  • Think before you post! Once information is online it’s almost impossible to remove.

Read more on socialising online including steps you can take if you think you’ve been scammed and how to protect yourself from these threats online.

Think before you click

Scammers are becoming more sophisticated so it might be hard to tell if a message is really from the ATO or a scam! These deceptive messages can be sent via email, SMS, instant messaging or social media platforms.  They often contain a link to a fake website and you’re encouraged to enter your personal details.

What to do:

  • Avoid downloading attachments or clicking links in emails or text messages even if they appear to come from someone you know.
  • If you’re not sure, contact the ATO on 1800 008 540 to check if they have sent the message.

Keep your devices up to date

When you’re alerted to a security update for your operating system or one of your apps, don’t ignore it — install it as soon as possible. These updates aren’t just about adding new features. They’re also about fixing weaknesses that cybercriminals use to gain access to your device.

What to do:

  • Install updates on your device and apps when new versions become available.
  • Run regular anti-virus scans to help you detect and remove malware (viruses) from your device.
  • Remove any apps you don’t use anymore.

For more information, please visit: www.staysmartonline.gov.au

Beware of fake Medicare email

What’s happened?

Scammers have set up a clone of the myGov website to trick you into sharing your login and bank account details.

The scam starts with a phishing email that looks like it is from Medicare, asking you to update your Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) details, so you can start receiving payments for Medicare benefits and claims.

Screenshot of the phishing email that looks like it is from Medicare

If you click on the link in the email you are taken a replica of the real myGov website. You’ll note the URL includes ‘.net’ instead of ‘.gov.au’, which is an indication the website is not a legitimate Australian Government domain!

Screenshot of the replica of the real myGov website

If you input your login details you are directed to also enter your secret security question and answer, before you’re taken to the fake Medicare website to input your bank account details.

Screenshot of the fake Medicare website

These emails and web pages feature myGov and Medicare design and branding, making them appear legitimate.

Remember, clicking on the link and sharing your details gives these scammers access to your personal information, which they then use to steal your money and identity!

How do I stay safe?

Email continues to be a popular method for criminals hoping to trick you into handing over your money or personal information.

There are some simple steps you can take to avoid an email scam:

  • Do not click on links in emails or text messages claiming to be from myGov or Medicare. myGov will never send you a text, email or attachment with hyperlinks or web addresses.
  • Don’t open messages if you don’t know the sender, or if you’re not expecting them.
  • Be suspicious of messages that aren’t addressed directly to you, or don’t use your correct name.
  • Login to your official myGov account by typing the web address into your browser, to check your inbox for any legitimate emails from Medicare.
  • You can also contact the organisation separately to check if they have sent the message.

If you are concerned that your personal information has been compromised and misused, you can contact Australia’s National Identity and Cyber Support Service, IDCare or use their free Cyber First Aid Kit.

If you have been a victim of a cybercrime such as fraud, report it to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN).

For more information, please visit: www.staysmartonline.gov.au

Ticketmaster Data Breach

What’s happened?

On Saturday, June 23, 2018, Ticketmaster UK identified malicious software on their network.

Early reports indicate a compromise of sensitive personal information within Ticketmaster’s database.

Does it affect me?

Ticketmaster has notified by email, Australian customers who may have been affected.

All notified customers are being asked to reset their password before they next log into their account.

How do I stay safe?

There are a few simple steps you can take to help keep your information safe:

  • Change your password on any accounts where you may have used the same email and password combination.
  • Monitor your accounts for unusual activity.
  • Use a strong password and don’t reuse the same password on other websites.
  • Use two-factor authentication so your account is protected by a second layer of security.
  • Use a password manager to keep stock of all your passwords and login details.

If you are concerned that your personal information has been compromised and misused, you can contact Australia’s National Identity and Cyber Support Service, IDCare or use their free Cyber First Aid Kit.

If you have been a victim of a cybercrime such as fraud, report it to the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN).

For more information, please visit: www.staysmartonline.gov.au