Technology Advisor Blog

Why Does My Office Computer Cost More Than My Home Computer?

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 12/28/20 3:31 PM

This is the time of year when many businesses decide to upgrade hardware to expense for the end of the tax year.  Every December we see a surge of urgency around getting things done at the end of the year.  If your computers are five years old or more, its time to replace! 

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Tags: small business, computer

Google Top Searches 2020 - The Year of "Why?"

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 12/21/20 4:40 PM

Google published its annual report of top searches, revealing the most popular search terms across many categories.  2020 was a year like no other, and its always fascinating to see the compiled results.

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Tags: data, google

Help! The Cloud can Disappear?

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 12/14/20 7:31 PM

When Google experienced a major outage this morning, we all got a reminder that our "always on" world isn't always on.  Google Docs, gMail, Google Classroom and YouTube were all down early this morning.  The problems were mostly resolved within around an hour, but some users experienced longer outages.

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Don't Click on that Message from the IRS

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 12/7/20 9:43 AM

Hackers thrive on uncertainty, and with COVID-19 cases climbing, a long election cycle, and the holidays approaching, there's a lot of stress and chaos in our lives. This is an important time to remember that hackers take advantage of this uncertainty and it's more important than ever to stay vigilant on line.

Small businesses have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, and with the financial crisis, any stimulus funds from the government are greatly needed, but don't click too fast! Phishing scams and business email compromise (BEC) scams are an ongoing part of cybersecurity awareness training, but it's important to be aware that hackers have more choices including text messages.

We see this in a recent warning from the Internal Revenue Service to not click on any text messages that you receive which claim to have economic stimulus check information in them. In the scam, victims are instructed to provide banking information for the $1200 check to be deposited into. This trick is just another way that online crime is being committed against unsuspecting consumers – the same consumers who are likely vulnerable and looking for assistance during the pandemic.

The IRS will never ask you for your banking information via a text or phone call and will not send unsolicited texts and emails that are asking you for personal information. If you receive any of the above, get the contact information for the caller, or close the website and go to the official IRS website to call in and inquire about the request or demand. Remember, hackers can disguise links to look legitimate, but most – if not all, government websites should end in the .gov extension – but that does not always ensure it is safe! This is just a factor that can help to determine legitimacy. Also, just because a website address includes the "s" with "https" and has a "lock" icon, it doesn't mean the site is safe.

Even if you keep your security up to date with security patches, antivirus updates, firewall, and more,  these types of attacks are designed to basically get you to effectively open the front door. Years ago, fake websites looked fake - it was easy to spot them. Today, fake website are very convincing - great graphics and text, and you may not be to tell you're at a bad site.

This current scam takes you to a site that appears legitimate, and you may be inclined to enter banking information – don't do it. The verbiage will alert you that you’ve already received the stimulus check, you just need to accept it – sounds easy, but don't do it. Do not click on the link. The Get My Payment site that you are likely being redirected to is not legitimate, even if it looks like the real one.

If you receive this text, screenshot it and email it to along with the date that you got the text, the phone number from which it came from, and your own number. Reporting these scams helps organizations increase awareness so others are less likely to be hacked.

At Ekaru, we strongly recommend ongoing security awareness training to keep your business and your employees safe. A strong foundation of security protection is critical, but for threats that are designed to sneak through and trick users, the human factor is so important. If you know how the scam works, you'll be one step ahead of the hackers.

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Tags: cybersecurity

November 30th is "Computer Security Day"

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 11/30/20 11:38 AM

October was National Cybersecurity Awareness month, and today, November 30th is "Computer Security Day".  Security awareness is a big part of keeping your business safe - keep security top of mind for you, your employees, and your family today and everyday

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Tags: Microsoft Security Patches, cybersecurity

Think Big.  Shop Small.  31 Million and Counting...

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 11/23/20 3:31 PM

2020 has been a challenging year for all, especially small businesses.  Did you know that there are over 31 million small businesses in the United States?  At Ekaru, our mission from the start has been to provide enterprise class IT services to small business.  During the past several months, working closely with our small business community has reinforced how much small business means to all of us.

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Tags: small business, small business technology

October was Cybersecurity Awareness Month, but Don't Stop!

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 11/12/20 10:43 AM

Each year the National Cyber Security Alliance promotes Cybersecurity Awareness Month during the Month of October.  It's estimated that over 90% of breaches occur as the result of user error, so developing a culture of cybersecurity in your organization is more important than ever.  Each day in October we posted a Myth or a Tip on our social media, and as much as a month of increased awareness helps, Cybersecurity is really an ongoing effort.

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Tags: Compliance, cybersecurity, ransomware, security awareness training

Cyber Tip:  Know what breaches include your data before a phishing email hits your inbox

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 10/30/20 3:59 PM

Cyber criminals can use data leaked in big breaches to cause more harm to you with phishing emails.  Data from big breaches, which have almost become commonplace, wind up on the Dark Web quite quickly.  After they have your info via the Dark Web, they can craft some very convincing emails to you.  They can use identifiable information to customize the email to make it look legit.

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Tags: e-Mail, cybersecurity, data security

Ransomware - Don't Pay the Ransom!

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 10/26/20 1:52 PM

Ransomware threats are on the rise in recent years, and new threats are accelerating.  This type of malware is extremely destructive as it encrypts the files of infected users and locks you out of your own data unless you pay the ransom, typically in the form of Bitcoin cryptocurrency, which enables criminals to hide.  Its a big money maker for criminals, and as long as victims continue to pay the ransom, the threats will continue. 

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Tags: Cybersecurity, email scams, ransomware

Ekaru Announces Commitment to Global Efforts Supporting and Promoting Online Safety and Privacy for Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 10/7/20 5:42 PM

This year’s initiative highlights the importance of empowering individuals and organizations to better protect their part of cyberspace in an increasingly connected world

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Tags: small business, small business technology, cybersecurity

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