How To Stay Cyber Safe When Travelling

Mobile Cyber SecurityWith cloud computing people are embracing the flexibility of working away from the office (whether at home or travelling) and working by simply accessing the relevant data or applications via the internet..

When in the office, you are protected by professionally designed firewalls, security infrastructure, and robust software. As soon as you step away from that network those protections disappear and leave your device and the data inside at greater risk.

Cyber attackers love to collect any data they can obtain – business or personal doesn’t matter to them as it can all be sold. These days the information stored on your device can be worth much more than the actual device.

Here are 3 ways a hacker may attack:

Random Opportunity: If you have left your laptop at a café or a thief has stolen the phone from your pocket, the outcome is the same – that device is gone. Hackers take any opportunity they can to gain access to a device: including taking them from hotel rooms and even asking to ‘borrow’ them for a few minutes – if they don’t steal it the device is handed back laden with spyware.

Creating a fake Wi-Fi Hotspot: We’ve all come to expect free Wi-Fi networks wherever we go. Hackers though will take advantage of this to create their own free, unsecure network just waiting for someone to connect. Once a user is connected a hacker can  grab any unsecured passwords sent across the network.

Intercepting an Unsecure Network: Hackers don’t even need to own the Wi-Fi network to steal content from it. Data traveling across an unsecure network is visible and available to anyone with the right software.

Don’t let these issues stop you using the Internet when out side the office. Just take the following precautions to increase your cyber safety and help protect your valuable data:

  1. Regularly make backups: In the event your device is lost or damaged, you’ll be able to replace the device with a new one and quickly restore all the data from a backup, all with minimal downtime.
  2. Be careful when using public Wi-Fi: Don’t use passwords or email when on a public network. Use a VPN or a 4G connection (ie tether your computer to your phones data connection) when you are accessing sensitive data or logging in to secure sites.
  3. Use passwords and encryption: At a minimum, make sure your device is password protected and has full drive encryption. With a password and drive encryption even if your storage drive is removed from the device the contents are inaccessible.
  4. Act fast after loss: If your device is lost or stolen, immediately notify the appropriate companies and people. This might include your IT provider so they can change passwords, your bank and any other financial institutions so they can lock down accounts, and any staff who need to be aware of the breach so they aren’t tricked into allowing further breaches.

If you need further help with mobile cyber security contact us on (08) 8326 4364 or on support@dpcomputing.com.au.

SSD – Is It The Best Upgrade For You?

SSD versus HDD - which are better?

SSD versus HDD – which are better?

If you have a computer or laptop that is a few years old and running slow you may think it is time for a replacement. There is a better option – upgrade to a super fast SSD drive. A SSD (or Solid State Drive) performs the same job as a normal hard drive (ie it stores data). A SSD though stores the data in solid state memory (similar to a USB or thumb drive) while a hard drives stores data on a spinning disk. This makes data access much much faster on a SSD.

Before you all rush out and upgrade to SSD’s though there are a few things to consider with pros and cons for both devices. So first take into account the following:

Hard Disk Drives (HDD)

The main advantage of a hard drive is storage capacity, you can often find a hard drive with a storage capacity of several terabytes (you can store roughly 200 movies on a terabyte hard drive). Inside each hard drive, is lots of spinning parts and it is the speed of these spinning parts that determine how quick your computer can open your files such as pictures, word documents and music.

As a hard drive fills up with data, files can become scattered across the hard drive. This can result in a sluggish feel to the device you are using – defragmenting the drive can improve this but there is only a finite amount of speed to be gained from older hard drives..

Solid State Drives (SSD)

Solid state drives are built for speed. They do this by storing the data on them using a motionless technology, meaning there are no moving parts and the data can be accessed almost instantly. They are ideal for laptop users as hard drives can be easily damaged if you move your laptop while it is still powered on. They also run cooler and use less power than traditional hard drives meaning your battery lasts a lot longer.

The downside to SSDs is the cost. They are more expensive compared to a traditional hard drives. If you are not using all of your existing drive space, then seriously consider swapping it for an SSD – they are much faster compared to a traditional hard drive.

So which one should I choose?

The bottleneck on most computers comes from the hard drive, so if you are looking at improving the performance of your computer, and have less than 200GB of data, it is worth upgrading to a SSD. However, if you have a lot of data and want to keep costs down, a hard drive is perfectly fine.

If you need help upgrading to a SSD please contact us.