PhishPoint attack looks like SharePoint

By EDITOR 

Have you ever received an email that claimed to come from a bank or government office when it obviously didn’t? It was probably a phishing scam trying to trick you into downloading malware. The most recent campaign duplicates a trustworthy Office 365 email and can fool even the most skeptical users. Here’s how to stay safe.

Step 1 – Invitation to collaborate email

The first thing victims receive from hackers is a message that looks identical to an email from Microsoft’s file sharing platform SharePoint. It says, “John Doe has sent you a file, to view it click the link below…”

In most cases, the sender will be an unfamiliar name. However, some hackers research your organization to make the email more convincing.

Step 2 – Fake file sharing portal

Clicking the link opens a SharePoint file that looks like another trusted invitation from a Microsoft app, usually OneDrive. This is a big red flag since there’s no reason to send an email containing a link to a page with nothing but another link.

Step 2 allows hackers to evade Outlook’s security scans, which monitor links inside emails for possible phishing scams. But Outlook’s current features cannot scan the text within a file linked in the email. Once you’ve opened the file, SharePoint has almost no way to flag suspicious links.

Step 3 – Fake Office 365 login page

The malicious link in Step 2 leads to an almost perfect replica of an Office 365 login page, managed by whoever sent the email in Step 1. If you enter your username and password on this page, all your Office 365 documents will be compromised.

Microsoft has designed hundreds of cybersecurity features to prevent phishing scams and a solution to this problem is likely on the way. Until then, you can stay safe with these simple rules:

  • Check the sender’s address every time you receive an email. You might not notice the number one in this email at first glance: johndoe@gma1l.com.
  • Confirm with the sender that the links inside the shared document are safe.
  • Open cloud files by typing in the correct address and checking your sharing notifications to avoid fake collaboration invitations.
  • Double check a site’s URL before entering your password. A zero can look very similar to the letter ‘o’ (e.g. 0ffice.com/signin).

Third-party IT solutions exist to prevent these types of scams, but setting them up and keeping them running requires a lot of time and attention. Give Lanlogic a call today at (925) 273-2333 for information about our unlimited support plans for Microsoft products.

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Boost productivity with valuable Word tricks

By EDITOR 

Microsoft Word is the top choice for businesses when it comes to word processing. You can create professional documents and even incorporate tables and graphs when you’ve got lots of data. But there are a number of hidden features that, when utilized properly, could greatly enhance your Microsoft Word experience. And since Word is updated constantly, let’s take a look at a few tricks that will help you get things done faster.

Edit simultaneously
You and your colleagues can now edit the same Word document at the same time. Just save yours in the cloud on OneDrive, click Share, then send the link to your colleagues. You’ll even be able to see them editing in real time.

Continue your work with Word Online
Don’t have the Word app on your computer, tablet, or smartphone? Go to word.office.com, sign in with your Microsoft account, and open Word Online, the browser version of Word. By clicking the blue Share button, your colleagues can access your document using Word Online or the Word app, which means anyone with the link and an internet connection can jump right in

Keep editorial control
With the Track Changes function, Word monitors all the edits that everyone makes to your document so you can go through the changes and accept or reject them accordingly.

To turn on Track Changes, click on the Review tab then select Track Changes. When reviewing a colleague’s edits, you have control to click on Accept or Reject as you see fit.

Format the easy way: Write first, format later
The Style Gallery in Word makes it easy to format your document, despite the huge number of font types, sizes, colors, and effects to choose from. After finishing writing and editing your document, click the Home tab and you will see the Style Gallery prominently on top. Select the appropriate Headings in the font, size, and color that you like, and change any other text in any way you like — just make sure you don’t make any changes to the actual content that’s already been edited!

Insert photos faster, more conveniently
No need to open your browser to look for photos for your document. Just place the cursor on the area where you intend to insert the photo, click on the Inserttab, select Online pictures (type “clip art” on the search box if that’s what you need), select a photo, then click Insert.

Edit a PDF file
Click on the File menu, select Open, and choose Browse. Highlight the PDF you want to edit, then click Open. Word will convert files to the new format using text recognition, so double-check if the conversion is correct. Make the appropriate changes, then click File, then Save As, then Browse. A “Save as type:” dropdown menu will appear at which point you will choose “PDF” then click Save.

These tips may seem straightforward, but over time they can make a big difference in helping you work faster. Want to learn more about Microsoft products? Get in touch with our Lanlogic Microsoft experts today! Call us at (925) 273-2333.

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How to protect private info on Windows 10

By EDITOR 

It takes seconds to infiltrate and obtain private information. Although it’s unlikely that Microsoft will cause your business financial ruin with their data collection, the fact is that Windows 10 gathers a large amount of private information from users. So here are some tips that will enhance your privacy when using the operating system.

Slip off the grid

Thanks to location tracking, nearby restaurants and future weather predictions are at your fingertips. While some might not mind this feature, there are others who wish to enjoy some privacy from their smartphones every once in a while.

To turn it off, launch the Settings app, tap Privacy, and disable the Location tab. If you wish to share your location with certain apps, scroll down and activate the ‘Choose apps that can use your location’ tab and choose your desired apps.

Say goodbye to ad tracking

Every time you surf the net, you leave a trail of breadcrumbs that lead directly to your online profile. This problem is easily solved by deactivating ad tracking. Windows 10, however, goes a tad further by using an advertising ID, which gathers information based on web browsing usage and whenever you use Windows 10 apps.

To take care of that, launch the Settings app, go to General, look for “Change privacy options,” then move the slider from on to off. If you want to make sure you have no virtual stalkers, head to choice.microsoft.com/en-us/opt-out and disable the “Personalized ads whenever I use my Microsoft account” tab.

Disable Wi-Fi Sense

This feature is designed to let you easily share Wi-Fi connections with specific users, but hackers can misuse it to log on to your network without your permission. To disable it, launch the Setting app, go to Network & Internet > Wi-Fi > and click on Wi-Fi Sense. From there, deactivate two bars: “Connect to suggested open hotspots” and “Connect to networks shared my contacts”.

Cortana, why so clingy?

Albeit helpful, the digital assistant Cortana requires access to your personal information. But you can stop her from collecting data by logging in to your Microsoft account and clearing all the information Cortana and other Microsoft services (ex. Bing maps) have gathered.

You can also clear the information in your interests section or head over to the “interest manager” tab to edit the interests you want Cortana to track.

More privacy options

All of these tips are easy to follow and will take only five to ten minutes to implement, but if you like to make very detailed adjustments to your system’s privacy setup, launch the Settings app and go to Privacy.

We hope you find these five privacy protection tips helpful. If you need more help protecting your information or securing your network, give Lanlogic a call.

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How does virtualization improve business?

By EDITOR 

Truly understanding the ins and outs of virtualization is not for the faint hearted. It’s a complicated field that is constantly evolving, but one thing mostly remains the same: its benefits. Read on for a simple recap of just a few of virtualization’s greatest advantages.

More technology uptime
Virtualization vendors use fancy names for the features of their technology, but behind all the technobabble are some revolutionary concepts. Take “fault tolerance” for example. When you use virtualization to pool multiple servers in a way that they can be used as a single supercomputer, you can drastically increase uptime. If one of those servers goes down, the others continue working uninterrupted.

Another example of this is “live migrations,” which is just a fancy way of saying that employee computers can be worked on by technicians while users are still using them. Let’s say you’ve built a bare-bones workstation (as a virtual machine on the server), but you need to upgrade its storage capacity. Virtualization solutions of today can do that without disconnecting the user and restarting their computer.

Better disaster recovery
Data backups are much simpler in a virtualized environment. In a traditional system, you could create an “image” backup of your server — complete with operating system, applications and system settings. But it could be restored to a computer only with the exact same hardware specifications.

With virtualization, images of your servers and workstations are much more uniform and can be restored to a wider array of computer hardware setups. This is far more convenient and much faster to restore compared to more traditional backups.

More secure applications
In an effort to increase security, IT technicians usually advocate isolating software and applications from each other. If malware is able to find a way into your system through a software security gap, you want to do everything in your power to keep it from spreading.

Virtualization can put your applications into quarantined spaces that are allowed to use only minimum system resources and storage, reducing the opportunities they have to wreak havoc on other components of the system.

Longer technology lifespans
The same features that quarantine applications can also create customized virtual spaces for old software. If your business needs a piece of software that won’t work on modern operating systems, virtualization allows you to build a small-scale machine with everything the program needs to run. In that virtual space, the application will be more secure, use fewer resources, and remain quarantined from new programs.

In addition to software, virtualization also encourages longer life spans of old hardware components. With virtualization, the hardware an employee uses is little more than a window to the powerful virtual machine on the server. Employee computers need only the hardware required to run the virtualization window, and the majority of the processing takes place on the server. Hardware requirements are much lower for employees and equipment can be used for several years.

Easier cloud migrations
There are several ways virtualization and cloud technology overlap. Both help users separate processing power from local hardware and software, delivering computing power over a local network or the internet. Because of these similarities, migrating to the cloud from a virtualized environment is a much simpler task.

There is no debate about the benefits of this technology. The only thing standing between your business and more affordable, efficient computing is an IT provider that can manage it for you. For unlimited technology support, virtualization or otherwise, on a flat monthly fee — get in touch with Lanlogic today!

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Get more done on Google Drive with these tips

By EDITOR 

Google Drive provides flexibility and accessibility for organizations across the country. But whether you’re new to the platform or a long-time user, you may not be using the service to its maximum abilities. If you’re unsure whether or not this applies to you, read on to discover some Google Drive tips you may not be aware of.

Use keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are all the rage these days, and Google Drive is not immune to this phenomenon. Here are a few that are quite helpful:

  • n: rename a selected item
  • d: show or hide the details pane
  • /: search Drive
  • z: move selected item to a folder
  • Shift + s: add a new spreadsheet
  • Shift + p: add a new presentation
  • Shift + t: add a new document

For a complete list of all Google Drive shortcuts, check out the official Google page.

Utilize revisions

Perhaps you want to see the revisions a coworker made to one of your documents. Or perhaps you hate your latest draft and want to recover an older version of it. With Google Drive, it’s all possible. Simply open the desired document, click File>See revision history, and all your revisions will appear in a sidebar to the right of the document. Then click on the revision you wish to see. If you’d like to revert to an older version, instead of your current draft, click on Restore this revision in the right sidebar.

Benefit from Suggesting mode

If you’re collaborating with another person on a document, Suggesting mode allows you to make suggestions to it without actually changing the text. Your suggestions will be seen by the initial writer, and he or she can then either approve or disapprove of them. To switch to Suggesting mode, click on the pencil shaped icon in the upper right corner of a document. When the drop down menu appears, click on Suggesting (Edits become suggestions).

Share large files

There has likely been an occasion where you wanted to send a very large file to another colleague, friend or family member, and were unable to do so through a free service. Google Drive offers a workaround for this dilemma. To take advantage of it, create a shared folder and upload your file to that folder. Once complete, you can share the file with whomever you wish by right-clicking on it, selecting Share, and then entering the person’s email address of who you wish to share it with. They’ll receive an email with the link to the file, and can access it from there.

Try Google Drive add-ons

Add-ons have become quite popular with Google Drive. To discover the wonderful world of Google Drive add-ons for yourself, click Add-ons in between Table and Help in the upper menu (above the toolbar). There are plenty of helpful add-ons to choose from, including tools such as writing aids, mind mapping, charts, music notation and more. Once you install an add-on, it will appear in your Add-ons drop down menu.

If you follow these five Google Drive tips, you are one step closer to getting the most out the service. If you’d like to learn how else you can leverage Google’s products to better your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Lanlogic experts.

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Cloud: 4 common myths debunked

By EDITOR 

Overhyped reports of cloud hacks and server failures can lead some small business owners to be wary of a service that has so much to offer. So what are these common misconceptions about cloud computing? Here are a few myths people believe about the cloud.

#1. Cloud infrastructures are unsecure

Information security is a necessity for every business. And the most prevalent misconception about the cloud is the idea that cloud services lack appropriate security measures to keep data safe from intruders. Most users also think that the data stored in the cloud can be easily accessed by anyone, from anywhere, and at any time.

But the truth is it’s actually more secure for small businesses to use cloud services. Small companies usually can’t afford to hire an IT department let alone train them to deal with online security threats. Cloud providers, on the other hand, offer services such as multi-layered security systems and antivirus protection that not only specialize in keeping infrastructures safe from hackers but are available at a price that is much lower than you would pay for in-house IT staff.

Additionally, large cloud-based services such as G Suite and Office 365 are supported by an infrastructure that constantly installs updates and patches, which helps manage security breaches. This frees you from the burden of installing the updates yourself and managing the overall security of your system.

Users should understand that no company is completely safe from security threats regardless of their IT infrastructure. But data is likely to be more secure in the hands of cloud providers as they are the most prepared and qualified to protect your digital property.

#2. The cloud lacks proper encryption

Most people misunderstand how encryption is implemented to keep your data safe. For example, encryption is generally used for data in transition, where data is protected from anyone seeing it as it travels from one internet address to another. But encryption can also be applied to data at rest, where data is encrypted on a storage drive.

With this in mind, you should understand what types of encryption your business and its data require. When it comes to choosing the right cloud service, it is best to inform yourself about the security measures that a cloud infrastructure implements and look at how it can protect your company’s digital property.

#3. With the cloud you are no longer responsible for data security

While cloud security is important, protecting data ultimately rests on the users who have access to it. Misplacing unlocked mobile devices can leave your data vulnerable and compromise your entire cloud infrastructure. This is why we recommend strong verification mechanisms in place for devices that are used to access the cloud.

#4. The cloud is never faulty

Like many IT services, cloud-based services are not immune to technical difficulties. For example, some cloud businesses have suffered outages and server failures which corrupted files and may have lost data in the process.

Hacking is another reason why some cloud services fail. Using a less than optimal cloud service that is vulnerable to attacks can lead to stolen or deleted data, which would be near impossible to recover if you did not have any offline backups.

Before signing up for any type of cloud service, clarify with its provider what is guaranteed. Most cloud providers make promises about a service’s uptime or its safety from provider-related breaches.

Security is truly one of the biggest barriers to the adoption of cloud computing in a small business. But as cloud services expand and encryption technologies advance, cloud adoption is increasingly becoming the most cost-effective solution to meet the small business owner’s IT demands. Contact Lanlogic today to learn how your business can take advantage of all the cloud has to offer.

 

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New Spectre-style attack discovered

By EDITOR 

Security experts are constantly discovering new potential threats, and quite recently, they’ve found a new type of Spectre-style attack more dangerous than the original. Here’s a quick rundown of the new Spectre variant.

Spectre 101
For those who don’t know, Spectre is a vulnerability in modern computer chips like Intel and AMD that allows hackers to steal confidential information stored in an application’s memory, including passwords, instant messages, and emails. Malicious code running on a computer or web browser could be used to exploit this vulnerability, but ever since Spectre was discovered, Microsoft, AMD, Intel, and other tech companies released a series of updates to fix it.

What is NetSpectre?
To perform Spectre attacks, malware would have to run on a targeted machine to extract sensitive data. But in late July, Austrian security researchers found a way to launch Spectre-style attacks remotely without locally installed malware. The new attack is called NetSpectre and it can be conducted over a local area network or via the cloud.

So far, it’s impractical for average hackers to use this method to steal data. In tests, researchers were able to steal data at a rate of between 15 to 60 bits per hour, which means it would take days to gather corporate secrets and passwords. As such, NetSpectre will probably be used by hackers who want to target specific individuals but don’t want to resort to obvious methods like phishing scams or spyware.

Experts also warn that while NetSpectre may be impractical now, hackers may develop faster and more powerful variants in the future.

How should you protect your business?
NetSpectre attacks exploit the same vulnerabilities as the original Spectre so it’s important to install the latest firmware and security updates. You should also secure your networks with advanced firewalls and intrusion prevention systems to detect potential NetSpectre attacks.

Last but not least, working with a reputable managed services provider that offers proactive network monitoring and security consulting services can go a long way in protecting your business from a slew of cyberthreats.

If you’re looking for a leading managed security services provider, why not talk to Lanlogic? We provide cutting-edge security software and comprehensive, 24/7 support. Call us today for more information.

 

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Lanlogic Partners with 8×8 to Help Companies with Cloud Communications

Lanlogic delivers fast, state-of-the-art, scalable solutions when you need them

LIVERMORE, CA, JULY 16, 2018 Lanlogic, a leader in delivering IT solutions individually-tailored by experienced consultants, today announced that they have entered into a strategic partnership with 8×8, Inc., a leading provider of secure and reliable global cloud communications, contact center and customer engagement solutions.

For over 23 years, Lanlogic has been providing IT solutions and services for 5,000 plus customers across the San Francisco Bay Area. The breadth and depth of expertise of the Lanlogic team enables Lanlogic to deliver IT solutions and services designed to meet your needs now and in the future. Lanlogic’s US-based support team is top tier, providing white glove service to keep your business running, ensuring the ultimate customer experience.

“Our understanding of our customers’ business at any stage of development, whether just starting out as a small business or those at the large enterprise level, we pride ourselves in delivering IT solutions, individually-tailored to meet the desired business operational results.” said Dan Ferguson, President and CEO of Lanlogic. “For our customers looking to migrate over to the cloud or building their cloud infrastructure from scratch, the 8×8 unified cloud communication solution portfolio is a natural fit and we are excited to have 8×8 as one of our key cloud communication partners.”

8×8 X Series offers an integrated cloud platform for communications and contact center solutions to over a million business users worldwide, and was named a Leader in the 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service, Worldwide[1] for the sixth year in a row.

[1] Gartner “Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications as a Service, Worldwide” by Daniel O’Connell, Bern Elliot, Rafael A Benitez, September 6, 2017.

About 8×8, Inc.

8×8, Inc. (NYSE:EGHT) is a leading provider of cloud phone, meeting, collaboration and contact center solutions with over a million business users worldwide. 8×8 helps enterprises engage at the speed of employee and customer expectations by putting the collective intelligence of the organization in the hands of every employee. For additional information, visit www.8×8.com, or follow 8×8 on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

About Lanlogic

Lanlogic is an IT Services, Support and Consulting firm located in Livermore, California. Our network management and support services provide peace of mind to organizations that are looking for a comprehensive approach to IT service management. In business since 1995, we offer corporate-level support with an unmatched passion for service and a personal touch.
LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Media Contact
Salena Ferguson
Lanlogic, Inc.
925.273.2328
www.lanlogic.com

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What we know about Google Pixel 3 so far

By EDITOR 

In terms of hardware and features, the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2XL gave other smartphones like the iPhone a run for their money. This year it looks like Google will roll out Google Pixel 3 to compete with the best smartphones on the market. Here’s what we know about the Google Pixel 3 so far, plus a few predictions.

Design
What we’re hearing through the grapevine is that the Pixel 3 will look a lot like its predecessor, featuring its classic backside shade, a USB-C port, and speakers in the bottom bezel. However, the larger Pixel 3 XL model could have a notch for the front-facing camera just like the iPhone X. The Pixel 3 will be around 5.3 inches, while the 3 XL version will be around 6.2 inches.

Google also hinted that there might be a third model released this year that could be a more compact, mid-range model for consumers on a budget.

Wireless charging
Leaked images show that the Pixel 3 has a glass back like the iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S9 series. Although nothing is set in stone, this could be an indication that the Pixel 3 will have wireless charging features.

Improved camera
While several other companies’ smartphones come with two rear cameras, it looks like Google is sticking with one. However, the single-lens rear camera will probably be powered by Google’s AI camera technology to take higher-quality photos with more background blur.

Faster hardware
Experts anticipate that the Pixel 3 will have significant improvements in its internal components. One leak has revealed that the Pixel 3 model will have at least 4GB of RAM and a modern, 2.8 GHz smartphone processor. That’s as fast as some mid-range laptops today, making the Pixel 3 an attractive option for executives who need a bit more power in their mobile devices.

Release date
Google has typically unveiled Pixel phones in early October, so look for the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL sometime this autumn. It’s also expected to be the first device to come with the highly anticipated Android P operating system, so think of it as an early Christmas present.

But remember, Google is still working on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, so there’s plenty of time for more changes and more updates.

To follow all the updates about the Pixel 3 and be the first to hear about the release date, stay tuned to our blog. We stay on top of the latest tech trends to help you sharpen your competitive edge.

 

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Windows 10: Tips to make your life easy

By EDITOR 

Perhaps you’re one of the thousands of Windows 8 users who rejoiced in the return of the Start Menu, the improved multitasking feature, and a more prominent Cortana display in Windows 10. But there are more key functions in Windows 10 you probably didn’t know about.

Performance/Power slider

There are two kinds of computer users: those who value battery longevity and those who prefer optimized system performance. The Performance/Power slider in Windows 10 lets you easily toggle between the ‘Best battery life’ (when you’re trying to save battery) and the ‘Best performance’ (when you need your system to perform optimally), or set a balanced battery and system performance setting.

Just click the battery icon in the taskbar and adjust the slider based on your preference.

Night Light

Those who use computers late at night can turn on Night Light to reduce the amount of blue light emitted from the screen. This feature substitutes the blue light with warmer colors, which reduces eye strain and helps you sleep easily.

Night Light is disabled by default, so you need to enable it by following these steps:

  • Click the Start Menu
  • Click the Settings app (or press WIN + I to quickly open Settings)
  • Click the System icon>Display
  • Set Night light to ‘On’ or ‘Off’

Taskbar pin

It takes only a few seconds to open a browser and type a website’s address or click Bookmarks and choose from a list of websites you frequently visit. But Windows 10 offers an even quicker way to access your go-to sites by allowing you to pin websites on the Windows 10 taskbar.

Simply click “Pin this page to the taskbar” on the Microsoft Edge menu, and the site’s icon will appear on the taskbar for easy perusal.

Drag to pin windows

Need to organize your screen but can’t help having many open windows? Reduce screen clutter by dragging any window to a corner so it can take a quarter of the screen. For multiple screens, drag a window to any border and wait for the prompt that tells you to put the window in the selected corner.

Focus Assist

Notifications can be distracting, but Windows 10’s Focus Assist feature can manage the notifications you receive from contacts and applications. This function also lets you customize the list of notifications you wish to prioritize.

To enable Focus Assist, go to:

  • Settings
  • System
  • Focus Assist
  • Adjust the notifications settings based on your preference

If you wish to disable it and receive all notifications, click ‘Off.’

The features we’ve included here are just some of the many Windows 10 functions that save time and add value to business-users’ lives. For more software and productivity recommendations, give our Lanlogic IT consultants a call today.

 

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