Category Archives: Tips

The Dark Side of Shopping On Cyber Monday

For some, nothing is more exciting than finding the best deals on Cyber Monday. But could you be putting your online identity at risk? Worse yet, your business data? Follow these 3 simple guidelines, to make your Cyber Monday shopping experience safe.

Choose your payment method wisely

Nowadays there are quite a few ways to purchase online. Apple Pay, Google Pay, credit card or debit card, but which one should you use? One of the most unsecured ways is to use your debit card. When you use your debit card money comes straight out of your checking account. If this number is stolen or compromised it can take days, weeks or even longer to straighten out and in the meantime, you are at risk for overdrafts or defaulting on bills.

Using a credit card online is more secure, however, for the best online protection use Apple Pay or Google Pay whenever possible. These payment methods have layered security and use a onetime encrypted number each time a payment is made, keeping your actual credit card number secure.

Never use public Wi-Fi

This is a good rule no matter what you are doing online but especially when shopping. Public wi-fi can leave you and your transactions exposed. Use a personal wi-fi hotspot or the network connection on your smartphone instead.

Beware of Cloned Websites

Look for secured websites before making a purchase. The secured website will have HTTPS at the beginning of the retailer’s URL for example https://www.retailer.com. It is always safer to directly enter the URL of the store than to click on a link.

Keeping your data safe

We hope that these tips keep your payments and data secure while shopping online. But keeping your company’s data safe is what we do best at Network Security Associate. We use the 3-2-1 backup rule. It’s simple to remember. We keep at least 3 copies of your data, store 2 backup copies on different storage devices and 1 of them is located off-site. For more information regarding backing up your company’s data please call us at 702-547-9800 or click here.

Take the Fear Out of Encrypted Email

When some people think of encrypted email, their minds conjure up images of secret codes, espionage, and a scene right out of Mission Impossible, where the message will self-destruct. Also, they may think that it’s just too difficult to send an encrypted email, as the recipient won’t open it, or their email simply doesn’t need to be encrypted. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Here are 3 facts that you may not know about email encryption.

Tales of the Encryption

  • Email is like a postcard: it has no privacy.
    Many people believe an email is just sent from one computer to another, the reality is an email can travel along an intricate path from the time it’s sent to the time it’s received. Without proper encryption, there may be multiple opportunities for the email to be intercepted.
  • Avoid data leaks caused by human error.
    Email can be set to automatically be encrypted if sensitive and confidential information such as credit card numbers, bank account information, and social security numbers are detected in an email. Medical facilities must use encrypted email when sending PHI to be HIPAA compliant.
  • Emailing a large document can be cumbersome. Some email platforms limit the size of an attachment. A side perk of some email encryption services is that email file size limits can be circumvented (shh… don’t tell IT).

At Network Security Associates your data security is our Number One Priority. Adding email encryption to your email is easy and affordable. Contact Network Security Associates today for information by filling out the form below or call us at 702-547-9800.

Does VoIP Offer Better Network Security Solutions than Traditional Telephony?

The advantages of VoIP grow every year for businesses, but it’s important for practices with HIPAA security concerns to carefully vet this and other technologies before adopting them — or, barring that, carefully assess the technology they’ve already adopted to close loopholes and maintain stringent compliance. Here’s a look at how VoIP compares to traditional telephony for network security solutions, what VoIP security looks like and how to ensure your system is as safe as possible.

VoIP Vs. Traditional Telephony

Traditional telephone services operate using what’s known as the public switched telephone network (PSTN), but did you know even traditional PSTN connections now travel, in part, over the internet? This means, any vulnerabilities which exist in a VoIP system can exist in a PSTN system — with the added concern that it’s relatively simple for a determined attacker to physically hack into your analog telephone lines and record anything and everything that comes through. 

Exposure on PSTN only grows when you add various modern amenities, such as PBX used for business lines; in these cases, and many others, a well-encrypted VoIP system is far more secure and reliable. Add in PBX component failures, dated security protocols as PSTN and PBX fall out of favor, and VoIP offers a consistency that’s difficult to argue with — and far safer for your patient, vendor and employee data to travel on. 

Maximizing Security

Get the Best Network Security Solutions from Network Security Associates

Of course, all VoIP is not created equal. There are a few factors you’ll want to consider:

  • HIPAA-compliant service providers are a particular subsection of VoIP providers, so don’t assume just any business telephone service will be adequate. Certain VoIP features are wholly non-compliant and must be disabled, while other aspects of HIPAA compliance involve the technologies used by the company; encryption, handling of data between endpoints, etc. 
  • Otherwise, user error will be the biggest risk with VoIP security (and most other network security solutions). Make sure you educate yourself on digital best practices, then disseminate this information to everyone who will be using your networks — for their sakes and the sake of your practice. 

Logging and Proactive Protection

VoIP also allows for easy and effective logging of all inbound and outbound traffic, be it calls or other media. This makes it simple to identify problems when they arise, or catch them via monitoring if you pay for in-house or third-party network security solutions. 

Modern telephony, even traditional solutions, must have some level of exposure to hacks, accidental breaches and more. VoIP, by comparison, offers a wealth of protective measures that overlap with and integrate with existing network security solutions.

Get Better Network Security Solutions with VoIP

To put it simply, if you’re worried about secure phone lines, VoIP can be the stronger option for a modern practice. Make sure you take the proper measures to secure your lines, ensure safe end-user behaviors and track what’s happening in your system, and you’ll never be taken by surprise. To find out more, contact Network Security Associates today and inquire about our VoIP, HIPAA compliance checks and other network security solutions.  

Keys to Making Excellent Conference Call Small Talk

Follow These Tips to Mitigate Awkwardness on Conference Calls

The beginning of the conference call is a particularly vulnerable period. It can take a few moments for all the callers to phone in, and it can be awkward to try to make conversation while you wait. Get your conference call off to a strong start with these small talk tips:

1. Make Sure Each Call Has a Designated Leader
An easy way to make sure your calls go smoothly is to assign a leader to direct each one. The leader will be responsible for initiating conversation if silence starts to emerge and will take steps to involve the other collaborators in the conversation if the same two or three callers are the only ones talking. If a team member begins to rant, the call leader can get the meeting back on track.

2. Consider Directing Questions to Specific People
It can be uncomfortable when one or two people knowingly or unknowingly take over the conference call. Prevent this from happening by directing questions to specific people on the call. If you know a team member has just returned from vacation, you might ask them about their trip. Someone may be working on a big project or undertaking; ask this person how it’s going (even if the project isn’t related to work). Not only does this mitigate any awkwardness, it also helps you build rapport with team members.

3. Check That Your Equipment Functions Properly
One of the easiest ways to help conference call small talk flow smoothly is to make sure that your equipment functions correctly. The last thing you want is for your conference call to begin with multiple individuals requesting technical assistance or asking questions about the equipment no one on the call knows the answer to. Encourage employees to test their systems before the call. You may even want to implement regular training sessions regarding the equipment and how to correctly use it. 

4. Broaden Your Conversational Topics
You want to avoid controversial topics (like politics or potentially volatile current issues), but don’t feel as if your small talk must be limited to the weather or company matters. It’s fine to branch out and incorporate more personal conversation. Some topics that are generally acceptable include travel plans, weekend activities, hobbies (especially activities that multiple team members enjoy), upcoming sporting events, and current entertainment (movies, TV shows and music). Use discretion; avoid bringing up an event, hobby or movie with mature or contentious subject matter.

These are just a few tips to help you make the most of conference call small talk. Remember, even on an internal call with colleagues, it’s important not to request or provide sensitive information, such as passwords. This, along with other network security best practices, will help ensure your data remains protected. To determine whether or not your company is in need of greater cyber security, contact us at 702-547-9800 to schedule a free network security assessment today.