The 5 Most Dangerous Pieces Of Information
To Give In An E-mail

In the book Spam Nation, investigative journalist and cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs revealed the single most effective (and relied upon) way cybercrime rings gain access to your bank account, credit cards and identity. Ready for it? E-mail.

Whether it’s opening an attachment infected by a virus, or a phishing scam where you unknowingly give up your login to a critical web site, e-mail still remains the most popular and reliable way digital thieves can rob you blind, steal your identity and wreak havoc on your network.

Worst of all? You’re INVITING them in! Email is NOT secure (unless its encrypted).

While there are a number of things you need to do to protect yourself, here are five pieces of information you (and your team) should NEVER put in an e-mail.

  1. Your social security number. Think of this as your “bank account” number with the government. You should never e-mail this to anyone because it can be used to open credit cards and steal your identity.
  2. Banking information. Your bank account numbers, routing number and online banking login credentials should never be e-mailed. Further, avoid sending a voided, blank check as an attachment to an e-mail.
  3. Your credit and/or debit card information. NEVER update a credit card via an e-mail! If you need to update a card with a vendor, there are two safe ways to do this. The first is to log in to your vendor’s secured site by going to the URL and logging in. Do NOT click on a link in an e-mail to go to any web site to update your account password or credit card! Hackers are masters at creating VERY legit-looking e-mails designed to fool you into logging in to their spoof site, which LOOKS very similar to a trusted web site, to enter your username, password and other financial details, thereby gaining access. Another way to update your account is to simply CALL the vendor direct.
  4. Login credentials and passwords. You should never share your passwords or answers to security questions with anyone for any site, period.
  5. Financial documents. An ATTACHMENT that includes any of the above is just as dangerous to e-mail as typing it in. Never e-mail any type of financial documents (or scans of documents) to your CPA, financial advisor, bank, etc.

Remember: If you get an e-mail requesting you to update any of the above information, there’s a good chance it’s a phishing e-mail from a hacker. Don’t be fooled!

P.S.—InTech does provide Email Encryption and Staff Training on Cyber Security/Technology Hygiene. Call us today at 724.235.8750 to sign up.

10 Years Of Progress

Ten Years Ago:

  • The first video was uploaded to YouTube.
  • Facebook, then just a year old, dropped "the" from its old URL "thefacebook.com" after acquiring "facebook.com" for $200K.
  • An early prototype of an autonomous car completed the DARPA Grand Challenge for the first time.
  • The term "Drone" meant a military weapon system.
  • Bitcoin and blockchain didn't exist, and wouldn't be created for three more years.
  • Android was a small startup that Google had just acquired.
  • There were 6.4 billion humans on Earth, only ~1 billion were online, and none of them had heard of Uber or AirBnb.

Today:

  • YouTube has more than a billion users, who watch hundreds of millions of hours of video every day. Three hundred hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
  • Facebook has 1.4 billion users from every country on Earth.
  • Every major car manufacturer is working on an autonomous model, and Google's autonomous cars have logged over 1 million miles driving themselves.
  • Drones are now used by children, can be purchased at prices ranging from $50 to $1,500. The largest consumer drone company DJI (which was started in 2006) is valued at $10 billion.
  • Bitcoin and blockchain companies have raised hundreds of millions in venture capital and are poised to be potentially as disruptive as the Internet itself (see below).
  • Google now has over 1 billion active Android users.
  • Today, there are close to 7.4 billion humans on Earth, and ~3 billion are now online.
  • Uber, which was started in 2009, is valued at over $40 billion, and AirBnb, started in 2007, valued over $20 billion.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN 10 MORE YEARS?

“It Never Hurts To Ask”

“It never hurts to ask.”

We often hear that said. But is it true? Recently someone asked me for a favor. The request came in an impersonal form e-mail. I had some business dealings with this person many years ago. Since then, I had heard from them only once when they asked another favor.

I was being asked to promote something on my social media network. The request did not offer an excerpt, a preview, a sample or any compelling reason why I should offer my assistance and ping the people on my e-mail list.

I thought, “Why should I help?” The implied assumption that I owed this individual something, or that I should help for no reason other than that they asked, seemed a bit off-putting.

Have I helped an unfamiliar person before? Yes, there have been circumstances where I was glad to do so. But “Do this for me because our paths crossed” is not a good reason. Sometimes it does hurt to ask. Sometimes it comes across as inappropriate or entitled. Asking someone for a favor when you have no relationship with them is a bad idea. Naturally, most people like to help — but very few people like to waste their time or energy. And nobody likes to feel someone has taken advantage of them.

There’s nothing wrong with asking for a favor or assistance. Just make sure you ask the right person for the right reason in the right way. Otherwise, you might damage your reputation and your relationships.

VACATION ALERT! STAY SECURE!

’Tis the season when you and your team will be taking a little time off to head to the beach or your favorite vacation spot, and while we know we should completely disconnect from work, most of us will still check e-mail and do a little work while away — and that could end up causing some issues if you’re not careful while working remote.

So before you head off to have a little fun with your laptop tucked under your arm, keep this in mind: never automatically connect to “any available network.” Not all Internet connections are secure, so ONLY do so on a trusted, secured WiFi and NEVER a public one. We recommend investing in a personal MiFi device that acts as a mobile WiFi hotspot IF you’re going to be traveling a lot and accessing company info.

Second, turn off the ability to automatically connect for all of your mobile devices and laptops. You will still be able to connect manually, but it will prevent your laptop or device from connecting to a questionable network without your consent or knowledge.

Don’t forget to follow these quick tips to stay secure!

Shiny New Gadget Of The Month:
Navdy

Many of us realize how dangerous it is to check e-mail or text messages while we’re driving, but we don’t feel like we can afford to ignore our phone. Brand-new product Navdy to the rescue!

Navdy is a transparent Head-Up Display (HUD) that projects information as if it’s floating six feet in front of you. It’s very similar to what commercial airline pilots use. Navdy works with any car, and with all iPhones and Androids.

Using the apps you already have on your phone, and with no service plans required, Navdy allows you to focus on the road and not on your phone.
As a phone call comes in, Navdy’s built-in camera allows you to simply swipe in midair to answer calls (or dismiss them), so you no longer have to fumble with buttons or touch screens. Plus, Navdy’s voice recognition uses the voice commands you’re already familiar with, whether you use Google Now or Siri.

Any notification on your phone (such as text messages or social media) can be played, read aloud or disabled, based on your preferences. Navdy even allows you to keep your teenagers safe by giving you parental controls.

“WHO”

I’m sure you’ve heard before “Our greatest asset is our people.” And while I do believe that’s how it should be, your people can also be your greatest liability. But how are you supposed to know in a short snap shot of talking to someone if they are going to be a good fit for job and your company’s culture?

The single biggest problem in business today is unsuccessful hiring. In fact, the current successful hiring rate of managers is only 50%! When you consider the cost of hiring the wrong person is about 1.5-2 times their salary, that’s an expensive mistake. So how do you increase your chances of choosing the right person?

In May I had the opportunity to learn from Geoff Smart, son of Topgrading author, Dr. Brad Smart. Geoff took on the mission of his father to help companies make great hiring choices, and even wrote an amazing How-To book on the subject called “WHO.”

While I highly recommend reading the book, I will share 2 tips that I bet you aren’t doing right now in your hiring process.

Geoff asked us “What are the challenges with hiring?” Yep. I jumped up to the mic on that one.

Geoff asked us “What are the challenges with hiring?” Yep. I jumped up to the mic on that one.

First, Geoff recommends creating a score card for each position, including the specific and measureable outcomes/results that this person will deliver, as well as the competencies necessary for achieve them. Use this scorecard when writing the job posting, as well as during the interview. (HINT: Competencies are not just technical skills, they are also things like creative/innovative and analytical)

Second, deep-dive all past jobs. For EACH position, ask “What were you hired to do?” “What accomplishments are you most proud of?” “What were some low points during that job?” “Who were the people you worked with?” “What was it like working with ____” “Why did you leave that job?” And consider it a red flag if they can’t answer any of these questions, are vague, or try to side step you.

Pick the right people; grow and scale faster.

Who Else Wants To Win A $25 Gift Card?

The Grand Prize Winner from last month’s Trivia Challenge was Karen McClelland from Sebring & Associates!

Here’s this month’s trivia question. The winner will receive a $25 VISA Gift Card.

Which kind of animal did Florence Nightingale often carry around in her pocket?

a) Kitten
b) Puppy
c) Owl
d) Snake

Email us right now with your answer! info@intechit.net