Some Security Tips

BNI Crossroads Connections

My networking group

We are not security experts, but we take security very seriously in our office. I recently went outside my comfort zone and spoke to my networking group about recent developments and software we use. I hope you find it helpful.

FBI Recommendations on Ransomware

– excerpted from the FBI web site

  • You should not pay the ransom. However, if you do decide to pay the ransom, there is a chance that you still will not get your files back.
  • The ransomware threat is evolving as cyber criminals target businesses, local governments, and other organizations.
  • They’re seeing that there’s more money in these larger enterprises as opposed to someone like your grandma or my grandma that just has one computer.
  • The best way to protect yourself and your organization is to have a backup of your data, maintain it, and disconnect it from your computer. (We recommend PogoPlug for off site backup in the cloud.)
  • The second thing is, scrutinize the e-mails and the links that you get in those e-mails. Don’t open attachments, especially from those from unsolicited sources.
  • If you become a victim of ransomware, immediately call your local FBI office.

Software Recommendations

– from David Broadwater at xPert Computer Services – our tech support go to guy

  • CCleaner – Run ccleaner before you shut down your computer. Most malware is triggered when you start up your machine. This will help get rid of bad stuff right before you reboot.
  • With Windows 10, I’m told that you don’t need security software. I don’t have good intel on what you may want to do in addition to what Microsoft gives you.
  • Spybot Search and Destroy for Malware
  • Some sort of anti-virus. We have used Zonealarm for years.
  • PogoPlug works great for automatic backup in the cloud. it is only $49.95 / year for unlimited storage. We have it automatically backup all the data on our server. We can access all our files from any computer, tablet or phone anywhere.
    It also gets great reviews from the WSJ and Bloomberg. It is super handy.
  • We use Dropbox for backing up photographs from our phones and tablets, and for sharing files with clients. We have our son store all his data on Dropbox because it is so easy to use and integrates well with Windows.


  • Use strong passwords, not 12345 or “passw0rd”. You may laugh (or cry) reading the Worst Passwords of 2015.
  • Because remembering all our passwords is so painful, we use Lastpass to remember them. It integrates well with all your browsers, and there is an app for your phone. It seems to be at the top of everyone’s recommendation list.


Because WordPress is so popular for web development, it is unfortunately also popular with hackers.

  • Plugins: Use Limit logins and Wordfence
  • Host with an ISP that backups your site at least daily so it can be recovered if hacked.
    Because your site is in the cloud, if you don’t have a backup, you are gone. Many cheap hosts do not back up.
    We host most of our web sites with Newtek Web Services. They have excellent technical support, and up time. And when bad things happen, they stick with us and help us sort things out. Bad things happen to everyone today. Just a matter or when, not if.

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