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Computerware Blog

Computerware has been serving the Vienna area since 1976, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

E.U.’s GDPR Setting a Precedent for Data Privacy

E.U.’s GDPR Setting a Precedent for Data Privacy

Legislation to protect the data of users is nothing new, but it has entered a new stage--one where the user has more control over their privacy than ever before. We’re talking, of course, about the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, which has sparked a lot of discussion about how companies collect and protect data by its users. In fact, more data privacy regulations have begun to spring up here and there in response to the affect GDPR has had on the industry.

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Virtual Private Networks and Their Role In Your Business

Virtual Private Networks and Their Role In Your Business

Employees don’t always get all of their work done from the comfort of their office. They often find themselves on the road for conferences or trying to stay ahead during their downtime at home. Unfortunately, security can become a problem, and access to data needs to be as secure as possible when outside the company network. A virtual private network, or VPN, can be an integral part of your remote business strategy.

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Technology Basics: Proxy Server

Technology Basics: Proxy Server

If you’re not tech-oriented, the mere sight of a server room might be a lot to take in. With wires everywhere and mechanical boxes filled with moving parts, you’re looking at the life’s blood of your business and the heart that pumps it through your business’ veins. While proxy servers are a little different from your standard server, this doesn’t change the fact that you probably shouldn’t mess with it. What is a proxy server, and what does it do?

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Scam Claims to Have Compromising Video… of You

Scam Claims to Have Compromising Video… of You

Every business (and every individual, for that matter) needs to be wary of Internet scams and other online tricks. This is because those scammers are wily and have many means of finding a user in a compromising position… or so they claim in a recent scam.

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Technology Basics: Encryption

Technology Basics: Encryption

Secrets need to be protected. That’s why humans created cryptography. Cryptography can be traced back to around the time the pharaohs ruled Egypt, but today’s cryptography is a lot different than simple hieroglyph replacement. Cryptography used in the computing systems today is called encryption. For this week’s tech term we will look back at the history of encryption and how it is used today to facilitate data security and personal privacy.

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The CLOUD Act Explained

The CLOUD Act Explained

Another eleventh-hour spending bill passed through the U.S. Congress and was signed into law on March 23, 2018. This time, however, there was a certain earmark that may work to erode individual privacy protection around the globe. The new law, called the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (or CLOUD) Act, amends the Stored Communications Act of 1986 and gives unelected American officials extensive powers over global digital privacy rights.

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These Gifts Can Come with Security Issues

These Gifts Can Come with Security Issues

The holiday season is coming to a close, with meals shared and gifts opened. You may have even received a new gizmo or doodad that you’re looking forward to trying out. Not to burst your bubble, but there is unfortunately a chance that the gizmo you had hoped to get (or purchased for a loved one) may lead to a security breach.

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Equifax Freeze PINs Aren’t As Secure As They Could Be

Equifax Freeze PINs Aren’t As Secure As They Could Be

The Equifax data breach has been a considerable issue for countless individuals, exposing sensitive information that could lead to identity theft and so much more. In response to this breach, some experts are recommending that consumers go as far as freezing their credit lines because of the potential for breaches. Well, it all comes down to a PIN--something that can be easily guessed by a hacker under the right circumstances.

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Cybersecurity Awareness Is a Featured Theme in October

Cybersecurity Awareness Is a Featured Theme in October

Every October, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) join forces to drive cyber security awareness. Cybercrime is a constant threat to individuals and businesses, alike. In fact, the risk is so significant that the US government decided to step up and offer information and resources stressing the importance of cyber security and raise awareness on the best practices to utilize when protect your nonpublic information.

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Hackers Are Hunting for This Particular Information

Hackers Are Hunting for This Particular Information

While not always the case, hackers will generally act with a purpose. They might be looking to snatch some personally identifiable information from a database, or account credentials form unwary users. Regardless, hackers will go to any length to collect this information from unsuspecting users, and you need to do what you can to protect it.

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A VPN Allows Productivity Without Sacrificing Security

A VPN Allows Productivity Without Sacrificing Security

Security needs to be a priority for everyone involved with business. This has led to a rise in the use of solutions that will protect the security and privacy of the user and their systems. A very common, yet effective, means of securing your data is to use a virtual private network, or VPN.

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Tip of the Week: Preserve Your Privacy With These 3 Websites

Tip of the Week: Preserve Your Privacy With These 3 Websites

With the explosive popularity of social networking, the Internet seems to be a less private place than ever. With both communication and cyber crime rising in commonality, online privacy seems to be turning into a less attainable goal than ever. However, for this week’s tip, we’ll review some of the tools out there that can help you fight for your right to privacy.

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LeakerLocker Takes Exposure to New Heights By Sharing Your Mobile Browser History

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Ransomware, the malware that locks down its victim’s files until they pay up, has always been a frustrating issue to deal with. However, a recent mobile ransomware will make the issue a little more personal… by sharing the victim’s mobile browsing history.

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It’s Now Legal for ISPs to Sell Your Online Browsing History

It’s Now Legal for ISPs to Sell Your Online Browsing History

Due to recent legislative activity, the rules and regulations that the Federal Communications Commission put in place to protect the personal data of Internet users have been struck down. This change now allows ISPs, or Internet Service Providers, to sell the browsing information of their customers to advertisers without consent--a move many consider to be a threat to net neutrality. This is what you need to know.

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$100 Million Hacking Incident Shows that No Company is Immune

$100 Million Hacking Incident Shows that No Company is Immune

It’s a tough lesson to learn, but almost any company is susceptible to cyber-attacks that take advantage of any security setup’s weakest link: the people involved. This lesson was most recently learned the hard way by two unnamed tech companies that fell victim to a phishing campaign that was allegedly run by Evaldas Rimasauskas, a Lithuanian man accused of stealing $100 million from them.

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Don’t Sleep on These 4 Game-Changing Technologies

Don’t Sleep on These 4 Game-Changing Technologies

Your business has always used technology as a way to move forward and differentiate itself from other businesses, but you can’t take full advantage of the benefits that technology brings if you don’t take a chance with new devices. Here are four new technologies that may have exactly what you need to make a significant improvement in your business operations.


Smart Virtual Personal Assistants (SVPAs)
SVPAs are apps that make use of predictive intelligence as well as voice recognition to find specific information from personal data, like email messages, address books, calendars, and task lists. This has the potential to give your organization an efficiency boost. Apple, Google, and Yahoo have all acquired SVPA apps that can be used in their products, such as mobile apps and smart speakers. This type of technology can let people really hunker down and get work done, especially since they don’t have to remember tasks, and the fact that they will be given a sense of direction means they can finish tasks in an easier way.

Privacy and Security Technology
According to a poll by Pew Internet and Society, approximately 91 percent of consumers have, at some point, lost control of their personal data. Just look at these major data breaches as a starting point; Adobe, Dropbox, and Snapchat have all experienced huge password breaches, while major retailers like Target and Home Depot experienced credit card breaches. Of course, when big companies deal with data breaches, they enter damage control mode and spend millions of dollars mitigating public scrutiny from the media and consumers alike. To avoid this fallout, businesses tend to invest heavily in security solutions like encryption and two-factor authentication.

Internet of Things Devices
The Internet of Things has brought with it an immense number of connected devices, many of which have somewhat limited practical use in the modern office. Although, there are some devices like a connected coffee maker or a security camera system which can provide some value for your business. If you want to run a modern business, your organization shouldn’t fear the Internet of Things, and should instead focus on embracing it in a cautious manner.

Collaboration Software
Many software providers are hoping to take advantage of the increasing amount of collaboration that’s being done in the workplace, and they do this by making it easier than ever to communicate and work on projects together. Through the use of email, instant messaging, intranet solutions, and cloud storage, employees can take full advantage of one single platform for all of their communication needs. Some examples of these are Salesforce’s Chatter and Microsoft’s Yammer, but other apps like Facebook for Work could make some splashes in this industry.

With these four technologies, you could improve the way that your organization functions. Computerware wants to help your business fully leverage the power of technology and improve your operations. To learn more, reach out to us at (703) 821-8200.

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With These 3 Features, a Thief May Take Your Phone, But They’ll Never Take Your Data

With These 3 Features, a Thief May Take Your Phone, But They’ll Never Take Your Data

One of the biggest fears of every smartphone user is having their phone stolen. Compounding this fear is the additional risk of the thief accessing the contents of the device and doing with it as they please. To help reduce the injury that comes from the insult of a stolen phone, security developers have come up with several clever solutions.

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Simple Solutions to Make Sure Your Webcam Isn’t Spying on You

Simple Solutions to Make Sure Your Webcam Isn’t Spying on You

Did you know that many webcams are infested with RATs? Not unlike their furry counterparts, RATs (or Remote Access Tools) are a nuisance that can cross the line into hazardous. This form of software allows a non-user to spy on a computer, giving them the ability to steal information or even record you and your environment with a PC’s webcam.

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3 Security Shortcomings to Sharing Files Over the Cloud

3 Security Shortcomings to Sharing Files Over the Cloud

One major advantage of the cloud is that it allows users to easily share files. Although, due to just how easy it is to share files, this advantage may also prove to be a disadvantage, especially when inexperienced users are the ones doing the sharing. The next time your business shares a file with a cloud-based file sharing service, be sure to account for these three risks.

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Don’t Overlook Internal Threats as You Safeguard Your Network From External Ones

Don’t Overlook Internal Threats as You Safeguard Your Network From External Ones

Doing business on the Internet is a dangerous gambit, and not one which should be taken lightly. Every small business uses some kind of sensitive information that is valuable to hackers. Most think that preventative measures are enough to ensure their security, but the fact remains that only through threat detection and elimination can you guarantee that all issues are promptly handled.


The threats to your organization’s infrastructure are numerous and plentiful, and while some will make themselves known immediately, others will hide in plain sight. These threats are designed to either leak information or provide new outlets for hacking attacks. Regardless, it’s important to identify attacks that have weaseled their way through your defenses before they have been around long enough to cause damage.

Breaches are Inevitable
To truly understand how threat detection is just as important as threat prevention, you need to come to grips with the worst-case scenario. It’s not an uncertainty that you’ll be hacked at some point--in fact, it’s very likely, and as such, you need to make sure that you’re prepared for any and all situations, including a data breach. Even large organizations and enterprises that pride themselves on security can experience data breaches. Consider the high-profile hacks of Sony and the United States Office of Personnel, as well as the health care provider Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. If these organizations had anticipated data breaches, perhaps they may have been able to prevent them--or at least mitigate the damage.

This is why you absolutely need to expect the worst in order to keep it from happening. While preventative solutions can help, it’s also imperative that you implement ways to detect intrusions, as well as ways to eliminate threats. Only then can you be ready to tackle any and all threats that want to hurt your business.

What You Can Do
CIO recommends what they call a preventative “triad” of sorts. This includes protection, detection, and reaction. You’ll need both security solutions like a firewall, and monitoring tools that allow you to check (and eject) threats from your network.

Computerware can get your business started with solutions designed to mitigate threats and prevent infections in the first place. A Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution provides a firewall, antivirus, spam blocker, and content filter, which is a great way to keep threats from accessing your network. Furthermore, we also offer a Remote Monitoring and maintenance (RMM) tool that can help our technicians keep an eye on your network for any discrepancies or inefficiencies.

To learn more, reach out to us at (703) 821-8200.

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