Singlesource IT has been an integral partner in managing and implementing our technology needs. They not only provide exceptional service and responsiveness, they anticipate and prepare to help in guiding the direction of growth in our company. By assisting in making us more efficient and economical they ultimately help make us more profitable.”

Meyers + Associates Architecture, LLC.

Christopher Meyers, Principal Architect

 

 

Friday
Jan122018

Meltdown & Spectre: What You Need To Know

You've seen the news. Two new computer vulnerabilities are on the loose: Meltdown and Spectre. We've been following this story closely, and we'd like to make sure that you have the facts that you need to avoid these new threats.

These exploits represent a new type of threat as they target the CPU - or the chip - itself, potentially reading information as it's passed through the processor. We say "potential" for a reason - so far there have been no known attacks using these methods.

Microsoft is working on, and has rolled out, updates for all of their current operating systems. However, as these threats are a brand new category of exploit, patching older versions of their software (specifically Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2012) presents Microsoft with significant challenges. Updates are not available at this time.

Again, these threats have yet to lead to any instances of data theft. However, the best way to protect yourself against the possibility of a breach is to install the latest updates, and if you're on an older verions of Windows Server, to migrate to the latest version. A move to Windows Server 2016 would provide you with a solution that has been securely hardened against Meltdown, Spectre and other similar exploits that may follow.

Let us know if you'd like to discuss your options. We're here to help, and keep you informed as this story continues to break.

Wednesday
Nov292017

Singlesource IT named #9 on Columbus Business First's Fast 50.

At Singlesource IT we usually let our work speak for itself, but this time we have to brag a little. Columbus Business First has awarded Singlesource IT the #9 slot in their annual ranking of the top 50 fastest growing companies in Central Ohio.

We've been keeping an eye on the Fast 50 for a few years, congratulating clients and partners who have made the list in the past. And we're honored to join them and be a part of it now.

A ranking like this goes to prove what our clients already know: if you're looking for a forward-focused, solutions-based IT partner, Singlesource IT is ready to take on the challenge.
Tuesday
Nov142017

New Spam Scam Targets Office 365 Customers - That means you!

Using Office 365 to run your mission-critical office operations?  If you're a Singlesource IT customer there's a good chance that you are. Microsoft's Office software has been the cornerstone of business productivity since the dawn of the PC era. And with the launch of Office 365, there are no signs of that slowing down.

That success makes Office a juicy target for spammers. We've been receiving reports of targeted spam messages sent to Office 365 users. (See graphic above.) They look legit, correctly listing your domain and email address, claiming that "Your Office 365 Business statement is ready."

But on inspection, you'll see that the important links don't point back to Microsoft. Most likely they will redirect you to a compromised 3rd party website - a website set up to install viruses, ransomware, or to steal financial details. If you get one of these emails, don't take the bait. Ignore it, delete it, but don't click those links!

If you have any questions, just give us a call. We can double-check any suspicious emails, and make sure that you've got a legitimate copy of any invoices or statements that you might need.
Friday
Oct132017

Put a Lid on Junk Email with Microsoft Outlook!


Call it junk mail or call it spam, unsolicited email is a daily hassle for everyone. Fortunately, Microsoft Outlook has an excellent built-in tool to filter out the worst of it before it ever gets to your inbox.

By default, Outlook's Junk Email filter is turned on and ready to go right out of the box. However, it's still waiting for some instructions from you. If you're having trouble - either seeing too much spam or missing something legitimate, here are a few things that you can do to customize your settings.

Once you open Outlook, start by going here:  Home --> Junk --> Junk Email Options. This will open a pop-up window that lets you take a look at your settings.

First, lets take a look at Automatic Filtering.

Automatic Filtering applies Microsoft's experience and algorithms to your incoming messages, automatically moving spam to your Junk Email mailbox. You have a range of options available, from No Automatic Filtering (accepting messages from everyone unless they are specifically blocked) to Safe Lists Only (blocking everything unless you specifically mark a sender as "Safe.") Here's the complete breakdown:

  • No Automatic Filtering     Although this turns off the automatic Junk Email Filter, messages are still evaluated by using the domain names and email addresses in your Blocked Senders List.

  • Low     If you don't receive many junk messages, or want to filter only the messages that are the most obvious junk, select this option.

  • High     If you receive lots of junk messages, but don’t want to restrict messages from senders on your safe lists, select this option. You should periodically review messages moved to the Junk Email folder, because some legitimate messages might also be moved.

  • Safe Lists Only     This is the most restrictive option. Any message that is sent neither from someone on your Safe Senders List nor to a mailing list on your Safe Recipients List, is classified as junk.

     

Adjusting these settings should be enough to keep your incoming spam to a reasonable level. Give it a try and then modify as need be.

But what if you're missing something important? Or, what if you're still getting bombarded by a few annoying spammers?

No filter is perfect, and there are many technical reasons as to why a "good guy" might get blocked or an irritating sender is given a pass. To allow or block email from a specific sender or service, take a look at the other tabs in the pop up window: Safe Senders, Safe Recipients, and Blocked Senders.

The options under these tabs let you enter specific email addresses or domains to be always blocked, or always allowed.  As an example, if joe@mycompany.com is important, enter his address under Safe Senders. (Or if everyone "@mycompany.com" should never be blocked, enter their domain instead.) Here are few details on the settings:

  • Safe Senders list     Email addresses and domain names in the Safe Senders List are never treated as junk email, regardless of the content of the message. You can add your Contacts and other correspondents to this list. If you use a Microsoft Exchange Server account, all names and addresses in the global address list (GAL) are automatically considered safe. The Safe Sender limit is 1024.

  • Safe Recipients list     If you belong to a mailing list or a distribution list, you can add the list sender to the Safe Recipients List. Messages sent to these email addresses or domain names are never treated as junk, regardless of the content of the message.

  • Blocked Senders list     You can easily block messages from particular senders by adding their email addresses or domain names to the Blocked Senders List. When you add a name or email address to this list, Outlook moves any incoming message from that source to the Junk Email folder. Messages from people or domain names that appear in this list are always classified as junk, regardless of the content of the message. The blocked sender limit is 500.

The good news is that the War On Spam is a battle we're winning. Email providers have caught on to many spammer's tricks, and a lot of nefarious traffic is blocked before it ever gets anywhere near your computer. But until the war is won, these tips should make your day-to-day a little easier.

Thursday
Aug032017

Romance Scams: Fraudsters Learn to Hack Your Heart.

Social Media has revolutionized communication. Sites like Facebook and LinkedIn keep old associates in touch and bring new people together every day.

However, not everyone who looks you up is a friend.

A recent FBI report profiled a woman in Texas who was ultimately taken for $2 million by a group of Nigerian con artists. They claimed to be a businessman named Charlie, a friend-of-a-facebook-friend, who needed some loans to cover temporary cash-flow problems in his international construction business. “Charlie” was patient. He took two years to build the relationship – and the romance – before siphoning off his victim’s funds with a string of bad-luck tales.

From the FBI:

It’s called a romance scam, and this devastating Internet crime is on the rise. Victims—predominantly older widowed or divorced women targeted by criminal groups usually from Nigeria—are, for the most part, computer literate and educated. But they are also emotionally vulnerable. And con artists know exactly how to exploit that vulnerability because potential victims freely post details about their lives and personalities on dating and social media sites.
Trolling for victims online “is like throwing a fishing line,” said Special Agent Christine Beining, a veteran financial fraud investigator in the FBI’s Houston Division who has seen a substantial increase in the number of romance scam cases. “The Internet makes this type of crime easy because you can pretend to be anybody you want to be. You can be anywhere in the world and victimize people,” she said. “The perpetrators will reach out to a lot of people on various networking sites to find somebody who may be a good target. Then they use what the victims have on their profile pages and try to work those relationships and see which ones develop.”

While the tools have changed, the con is still the same: Earn the victim’s trust, gain access, and then commit the crime. This is true for phishing attacks, fraudulent websites, and all sorts of online scams: The fraudster presents something that looks believable, but under investigation is not.

They might trick you in a click, or like Charlie, string you along for years. Either way, it’s up to you to be vigilant, stay savvy, and vet the information that you find online. If you need a second opinion, we’re here to help.

From keeping your computer and devices secure to tracing the source of suspicious emails, we have the tools to keep you safe. Social Media can be a wonderful, useful thing. Don’t be afraid to get out there, network, and make friends. But when someone offers something too good to be true – whether in business or love – think it through before you say “I do.”