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Top 10 Cyber Security Concerns

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HO HO HO... or UH OH. It's that time again for traveling and messing up your daily routines. So as you are focused on running around town or traveling home for the holidays, we've assembled ten top concerns you should keep close in your mind, about staying cyber safe with your electronic devices.

10. Mischievous Greetings
December often brings an influx of e-mail greetings from distant family and friends, inviting recipients to "click here" to view an e-card, watch a video, or see some funny cat animation. Unfortunately not all messages are honest. While some are harmless hoax emails, cyber-criminals have been known to disguise viruses, adware or spyware as phony holiday greetings. So be extra careful when opening all file attachments and URLs.

9. Phishing for new contacts
From LinkedIn or Instagram to Facebook and Twitter, many users will use this time of year to catch up on social networking. Regrettably, social networking websites have become an increasing pathway for phishing. Double chack to make sure that old high school buddy is really the one inviting you to friend. Always be suspicious before clicking any invite and make sure that you never send your personal information to new "friends" that may not be really be your friends.

8. Rebellious PDAs 
You are running around and somewhere between your car, or office, or hotel, or cab, or airports, you may lose your laptop, PDA, or smartphone this holiday season. To prove this point, many airports around the nation have lost-and-found departments with thousands of unclaimed mobile devices. So don't leave an airport gate, a personal or rented vehicle, or security checkpoint without taking a mental inventory of your electronics. Always make sure that you have your electronics in your possession. Considering the wealth of data and investment into your devices, you may wish to register all of your laptops and smartphones with services that can locate and recover or kill lost or stolen devices, such as Apple's MobileMe, Lost Android, or Microsoft's MyPhone.

7. Dangerous hotspots
You are at a coffee shop, an airport, or favorite retail store. Be very suspicious of Internet hotspots. Surveys show that viral SSIDs like "FreePublicWifi" are advertised by 5 to 10 percent of Wi-Fi clients used in highly-traveled public places. Many are fellow travelers that unquestioningly try to connect to similarly-named fake hotspots in the past. But a few might be criminals looking to steal your logins and passwords. So avoid free sounding Wi-Fi peers or networks that are probably too good to be true. Our engineers also recommend that you protect hotspot traffic using VPN tunnels or SSL/TLS sessions.

6. Risky public PCs
When you travel this Holiday season you may choose to leave your laptop at home. At your destination or when you are in transit you may be faced with using someone else's computer to check e-mail or print a boarding pass. Whether that computer is a public PC at some kiosk or your brother-in-law's laptop sitting in his kitchen, you're about to enter some rather risky waters. Try to avoid typing in ordinary passwords that are easily captured by hidden keystroke loggers. If you can, protect public PC Internet access by using secure remote desktop or clientless VPN solutions that mitigate common public PC threats, such as such as LogMeIn or GoToMyPC. Some travelers may choose to change their passwords before their journey begins, and then again when safely back to home base.

5. Leaping logons
The Holidays are a great time to visit with friends and loved ones but this also is a great time to forget to protect your logons. Remember to log out of all authenticated browser and VPN sessions, clear the browser's cache of saved pages and passwords, and exit all programs that you were using. Always avoid leaving your laptop unattended, but if you get up for a short time, make sure you password-lock the screen. Our security team recommends that you shut down and lock it away in a hotel room safe. Think ahead and be extra cautious, it can help you avoid wasting precious holiday time dealing with the consequences of unauthorized laptop use or theft.

4. Abandoned USB drives
Holiday time is a great time to put pictures and other valuable files on USB thumb drives. When traveling you may remember to protect your laptop and smartphone, but you can still leave USB thumb drives plugged into public PCs, in car coffee holders, stuck in between cushions, and bouncing out of your pocket. The files saved on those lost drives could haunt you for a very long time. Make sure you've protected that removable drive's content with data encryption. The same goes for data on devices that double as USB storage, such as Pens, flashlights, MP3 players or iPods.

3. Internet tip-toeing
Yes, it is the gift giving time and many of us will be unwrapping a gorgeous new Laptop. Sure it may have some trial adware or anti-virus software installed, you really don't have a good handle on how protected or up-to-date that preloaded software is. As soon as you get it booted up, you want to start surfing. But accessing the Internet without security upgrades complete is a very bad idea. Take the needed time to get the updates and the security software up-to-date. Then you can feel a bit better when downloading your favorite holiday goodies. 

2. Insecure smartphones
Santa Claus has just delivered a smartphone to your stocking. You probably will immediately start configuring it with usernames and passwords for Gmail, Yahoo!, iTunes, Twitter, Facebook, and perhaps a corporate Exchange server. Unfortunately, you will probably forget to protect that new phone with strong authentication—much less data encryption. By forgetting this it creates an opportunity for personal and business identity theft. Remember to always enable built-in smartphone security measures. There is also 3rd party security apps that will provided a higher level of protection, as well.

1. Hazardous downloads
Make sure you use common sense when you download apps, games, file sharing tools, music clients, and any other third-party apps this holiday season. Downloaded apps are a must to get added value out of your electronic devices. Many of the good ones are free or in-app purchased from marketplaces and app stores. Before downloading anything, make sure to read and understand what these apps will do before you install them. Be very suspicious of any unsigned apps from unknown developers. If possible, use anti-virus/spyware to detect any downloaded malware.

 

Conclusion
You may have some time off this holiday season, but remember that the Cyber Criminals are working full time!!

 

 

Metropark Communications focuses on cutting edge technologies for Small & Medium Sized businesses.  Reducing costs while increasing productivity is an extremely difficult process, but it is one that we have mastered. We have relationships with every communication vendor out there today. Metropark provides businesses and organizations one low monthly payment and one number to call for all business communication issues and desires.

Reducing Complexity - Reducing Confusion - Reducing Costs

Metropark Sponsors the St. Louis Business Expo at St. Charles Convention Center

Tuesday (10/20/15) the St. Louis Business Expo brought together the brightest business leaders from the most dynamic companies throughout the St. Louis Metro region. Metropark was proud to sponsor and contribute to the success of the Expo!

At the event, Senior Account Executive Jimmie Wantuck, Corporate Sales Executive Brendan Glancy, and Vice President of Sales Erica Hagen.

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Metropark Communications focuses on cutting edge technologies for Small & Medium Sized businesses.  Reducing costs while increasing productivity is an extremely difficult process, but it is one that we have mastered. We have relationships with every communication vendor out there today. Metropark provides businesses and oganizations one low monthly payment and one number to call for all business communication issues and desires.

Reducing Complexity - Reducing Confusion - Reducing Costs

Metropark Sponsors the Fenton Area 
Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament

Monday (8/17/15) the Fenton Area Chamber of Commerce held their 26th Annual Celebrity Golf Tournament. Metropark's Jimmie Wantuck proudly enjoyed the entire work day riding around the beautiful Tapawingo National Golf Club... lucky!

 

Metropark Communications focuses on cutting edge technologies for Small & Medium Sized businesses.  Reducing costs while increasing productivity is an extremely difficult process, but it is one that we have mastered. We have relationships with every communication vendor out there today. Metropark provides businesses and organizations one low monthly payment and one number to call for all business communication issues and desires.

Reducing Complexity - Reducing Confusion - Reducing Costs

New High-Speed Internet Option Heats up with 9 More Markets

Just in time for summer, hot Internet speeds are now available in more places. Customers in Chicago, Cincinnati, Little Rock, Tulsa and five more markets will get faster speeds as we roll out AT&T U-verse® High Speed Internet 75.


The 75Mbps speed option helps make every minute of your summer count. Faster speeds make it easier for you to plan your vacation, organize slots for family members’ swimming lessons, camp plans and other activities, or just enjoy a staycation on the back patio. Across 21 states – from coast to coast – sports fans, gamers, TV devotees, music lovers, people using multiple electronic devices can access U-verse High Speed Internet with 99.9% reliability to:

Download a 5-minute song from the Internet in about half a second.
Download an hour long TV show in 35 seconds.*
The new high-speed 75 megabit per second Internet option is now available in parts of more than 100 cities across more than 70 markets.** We’ll announce more markets as service becomes available.

Here’s the full list of the newest 75Mbps markets:

  • Chicago
  • Cincinnati
  • Columbus/Tupelo/West Point/Hattiesburg, Miss.
  • Gainesville, Fla.
  • Little Rock
  • Monroe, La./El Dorado, Ark.
  • Panama City, Fla.
  • Tulsa
  • Wilmington, N.C.

The rollout is taking place this summer, but benefits of the new speed option last all year. We’re delivering download speeds that are twice as fast. We upgraded our network with a new 17 MHz signal, which is twice the 8.5 MHz signal previously available.

The end result: faster speeds, a reliable connection and a better customer experience. It’s part of our network evolution to help you accomplish tasks online with lightning speed.

Introductory prices for the new speed option start as low as $39.95 a month when bundled with other U-verse services.***

There’s more good news. Eligible customers in parts of these markets can bundle High Speed Internet 75 with a qualifying U-verse TV package.**** Not only can you watch our award-winning U-verse TV service, but you can also use the AT&T U-verse App on more than 30 smartphones and tablets to watch more than 230 live channels inside the home and more than 170 live channels outside the home. The U-verse App has more than twice as many live channels available outside the home than any cable TV provider.

Visit att.com/uverse for more information, or to check availability.

* 75Mbps service currently available only in select areas. May not be available in your area. Visit att.com/uverse to check service availability.

** Speed/time estimates are examples. Internet speed claims represent maximum network service capability speeds. Actual customer speeds may vary and are not guaranteed. Actual speeds vary based on factors including site traffic, content provider server capacity, internal network management factors, customer device capabilities and use of other U-verse services. Max speeds may not be realized if 2 or more HD shows viewed at same time. For more information, go to www.att.com/speed101

*** Offers may not be combined with other promotional offers on the same services and may be modified or discontinued at any time without notice. Other conditions apply to all offers.

**** Geographic and service restrictions apply to AT&T U-verse services. Call or go to www.att.com/uverse to see if you qualify.