Chicago IT Support Blog

The Anatomy of a Recent Fraud Attempt

Posted by Steven Thom on Mar 30, 2017 12:18:53 PM

As a Chicago-area computer firm, we regularly receive emails containing bid requests from complete strangers. In nearly every case the request is fraudulent and the individual making the request is merely trying to get some unsuspecting computer dealer to part with a bunch of expensive materials in exchange for payment from a credit card that later turns out to be fraudulent. Any guess who takes the hit when the fraud becomes evident? You guessed it, the merchant (i.e. me)!

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Topics: chicago computer support, chicago IT support, Chicago PC Support, PCI, Security, cybersecurity, fraud, cybertheft

Are Turkish Hackers planning to wipe your iPhone, iPad, or Mac?

Posted by Steven Thom on Mar 29, 2017 11:34:26 PM

Are Turkish hackers planning to wipe your iPhone, iPad, or Mac on April 7th? Evidently they are. When news of the threat first came out, many didn't take it seriously. After further review, experts are growing more and more concerned. Here's what you need to know.

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Topics: Apple, breach, catastrophic data loss, chicago computer support, chicago IT support, Chicago PC Support, Data Backup, hacker, Mac, Security, iphone, cybersecurity

What is two-factor authentication (and why should you care)?

Posted by Steven Thom on Mar 26, 2017 8:18:11 PM

Much has been said in recent stories about two-factor authentication (also known as "2FA"), with Instagram, Nest, Apple, Ebay, and many others making it available on their respective websites. A solution that sounded nerdy as recently as a few years ago is starting to sound almost mandatory for average folks. So what is two-factor authentication and why should you care?

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Topics: breach, Business Continuity, cardholder data environment, catastrophic data loss, chicago computer support, chicago IT support, disaster preparedness, disclosure, hacker, PCI, Security, threat, vulnerability

It May Be Time to Outsource Your Computer Support

Posted by Steven Thom on Mar 19, 2017 2:25:58 PM
Is it Time to Outsource Your Computer Support? Many businesses are beginning to reach that conclusion.

"prevention is better than cure"

-Erasmus

Setting up a small business computer network used to be a relatively simple affair. A small business owner merely needed a few computers, an internet connection with a cable or DSL modem, some cable connections, and the job was essentially done. The situation has changed dramatically in recent years, with proliferation of threats such as:

  • Viruses
  • Malware
  • Ransomware
  • Password stealing Trojans
  • Spearfishing attacks
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Topics: 0-day, antivirus, breach, business continuity planning, cardholder data environment, catastrophic data loss, chicago computer support, chicago IT support, Chicago PC Support, Disaster Recovery, exploit, hacker, Healthcare IT, Hipaa, Hippa, malware, medical, patch, PCI, PHI, privacy, Security, virus, viruses, vulnerability, zero-day, natural disaster

Is your business in a high-crime area?

Posted by Steven Thom on Oct 28, 2016 4:32:41 PM
 Is your business in a high-crime area? Many business owners eventually face the choice of locating (or relocating) a business, and one of the key features they consider is the criminal reputation of the prospective commercial office neighborhood. This is for good reason. Making a poor choice could result in frequent business disruptions, the inability to attract clientele and employees, higher insurance rates, and so on.
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Topics: Business, Business Continuity, Hipaa, Security

Beware of recycling old computers

Posted by Steven Thom on Aug 6, 2015 1:07:11 PM

I recently had a chat with a colleague who recounted his recent experience with a computer he recovered from a local electronics recycling center. His story was a bit shocking and I thought it really deserved a write-up.

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Topics: Hipaa, Security

Lessons learned from the Target PCI Breach

Posted by Steven Thom on Feb 15, 2014 1:51:31 PM

More information has been trickling out regarding the massive Target PCI breach that took place during the 2013 Christmas shopping season. Forensic researchers first learned that hackers penetrated Target's network by means of a business transaction portal. It appears that Fazio Mechanical Services was the source. Fazio is a Pittsburgh-area nationwide mechanical contractor that services many large retailers. Now more details are emerging about the mechanism hackers used to infect the HVAC contractor. There are serious lessons here that businesses of all sizes need to learn. It's safe to say the face of PCI compliance will forever be changed as a result of the findings.

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Topics: 0day, breach, business continuity, cardholder data environment, chicago computer support, chicago IT support, Chicago PC Support, disclosure, exploit, firefox, firewall, hacker, homeland security, internet, internet explorer, java, Mac, malware, PCI, privacy, security, Security, software, update, virus, vulnerability, zero-day

Defend Against the CryptoLocker Virus

Posted by Steven Thom on Nov 16, 2013 7:39:06 PM

The "CryptoLocker" virus has been making a great deal of noise lately. Though we at Thom Infotech have not personally encountered it, we know others who have. We've written this post to help you to understand and defend against the CryptoLocker virus.

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Topics: 0day, adobe, breach, business continuity, Business Continuity, catastrophic data loss, chicago computer support, chicago IT support, Chicago PC Support, cryptolocker, disaster, disclosure, email, encrypt, encryption, ePHI, exploit, explorer, facebook, firefox, firewall, flash, google, hacker, Hipaa, Hippa, homeland security, infection, internet, internet explorer, java, malware, microsoft, oracle, patch, privacy, security, Security, software, update, UTM, virus, viruses, vulnerability, zero-day

179 Reasons to Upgrade Before January 2014

Posted by Steven Thom on Nov 15, 2013 1:06:06 PM

As of this writing there are roughly four useble business weeks left in the current year.  As 2013 winds down, businesses should consider performing needed upgrades sooner rather than later. At the risk of creating a lengthy blog post I'm planning to provide 179 reasons to upgrade before January 2014.

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Topics: business continuity, Business Continuity, chicago computer support, chicago IT support, Chicago PC Support, exploit, firewall, Healthcare IT, Hipaa, Hippa, homeland security, internet, internet explorer, java, malware, microsoft, patch, Section 179, security, Security, software, update, virus, viruses, vulnerability, zero-day

WordPress now offers automatic updates

Posted by Steven Thom on Oct 31, 2013 6:37:41 PM

There is welcome news for web developers this week as WordPress now offers automatic updates to the uber-popular web development platform. Starting out as a blogging tool, WordPress has morphed into a full website development ecosystem. Like many, this author has embraced WordPress due to its simplicity, flexibility, and easy search engine optimization.

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Topics: 0day, adobe, Apple, breach, chicago computer support, chicago IT support, Chicago PC Support, disclosure, email, exploit, firefox, firewall, flash, hacker, Hipaa, homeland security, internet, internet explorer, java, Mac, malware, microsoft, oracle, privacy, security, Security, software, threat, unpatched, update, virus, viruses, vulnerability, Wordpress, zero-day

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Thom Infotech has been providing quality IT support for the Chicago area and beyond since 2000. We deliver proactive IT services that improve security and reliability. Our flexible pricing plans make it possible for small to medium businesses to leverage enterprise-grade solutions for security and business continuity.

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