Browsing the Ascentek Blog

Tech Alert: CryptoLocker Ransomware Infection

Oct 26, 2013   //   by admin

In early September, a new and very serious ransomware threat emerged. This threat holds the files on an infected computer hostage for a sum of money. The infection encrypts user data on the local computer, attached USB drives, and any network shares, making them inaccessible without the decryption key, which can only be obtained by paying the ransom the attacker has asked for. At this time, there doesn’t appear to be any way to rescue the encrypted files without restoring from a system back-up or by actually paying the ransom.

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Safer Online Holiday Shopping

Nov 30, 2011   //   by admin

The holiday shopping season is once again upon us, and over the next few weeks we will be spending lots of time searching for the perfect gifts for our loved ones and maybe even spoiling ourselves with something nice too. Regardless of whom you are shopping for, chances are some of that shopping will be done online. Online shopping is very convenient and generally safe, but it is important to keep in mind a few simple rules to make sure that your online shopping experience remains safe and enjoyable.

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Repurposing Old Computers

Oct 5, 2011   //   by admin

It would be great if we never had to replace our computers because they are no longer able to perform the day-to-day tasks that we ask of them. When computers reach the end of their usefulness, they are replaced with newer and faster machines. But, what happens to that old computer that was just replaced? Most of the time that outdated computer ends up getting tossed in the trash or stored in a closet to collect dust. However, with a little bit of creativity and tech savvy, there are ways to breathe new life into those obsolete computers and have them provide a useful function rather than take up space.

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Add Inexpensive Storage to Your Network with a NAS Device

Aug 3, 2011   //   by admin

There are many reasons why having large amounts of extra storage space available on your network can be beneficial. The extra storage space can be used for archiving old data, backing-up computers, storing large data files such as pictures, videos, CAD files, or as a location for organizations that are going paperless to store their electronic documents. No matter what the reason, having a low-cost, yet highly expandable storage device can be very beneficial.

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Wireless Security

Jun 14, 2011   //   by admin

Wireless networks are popping up everywhere. Whether at home, the office, the airport, or your local coffee shop, it isn’t hard to find a connection to the internet. Wireless networks use radio waves rather than wires to connect computers that are in range of the wireless signal to the network to access data or the internet.  What makes wireless great is the mobility that it provides. No longer are we tethered to one spot by a cable to get online or access our data. What makes wireless not so great is the potential security risks that arise if the wireless network in our home or office is not properly secured.

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How Strong is Your Password?

May 17, 2011   //   by admin

If you are like most people, you probably have a number of passwords that you need to remember to log into your computer or access websites such as your online banking, Facebook account, or one of countless others. The more passwords we have, the harder it becomes to keep track of them all. Because of this, most people tend to use very simple passwords or the same password for everything. Although using a simple and easy to remember password, or one password for everything is more convenient and easier to remember, it also poses a major security risk.

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Don’t get Scared by Scareware

Mar 12, 2011   //   by admin

It’s just another typical day. You turn on your computer and start going about your day to day computer tasks. All of a sudden your computer starts to run slow and messages appear on your screen, that you can’t seem to close out of, telling you that your computer is infected with viruses and spyware and that you need to run a scan of your computer to clean the infections. In a panic you click scan and you see an assortment of infections have been detected. Then you get another message telling you that your anti-virus and anti-spyware protection has expired and you need to purchase an upgraded version in order to clean the infections. The notification provides you with a link to a web site where you can purchase the remedy to these problems. Chances are you are going to go ahead and buy the software. Unfortunately, your decision to purchase the protection you need to keep your computer free of those infections, has most likely compromised your personal and financial information.

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Quick Tips for Taking Screen Shots

Feb 15, 2011   //   by admin

If you use a computer, you have probably run into situations where you want to take a quick snapshot of an open window or even your whole desktop, to save or print out. An example of such a situation is when you get a pesky error message or a strange pop-up that you want to show to your computer consultant, but know that the message or pop-up might not be there when the computer tech is at your desk. Using some of the following quick and easy methods, you will be able to take a screen shot that you can save or to print for future reference.

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Have you Written your WISP?

Apr 14, 2010   //   by admin

Last month’s Tech Tip covered some of the main technological security requirements mandated by new Massachusetts’ data security regulations that went into effect on March 1st 2010. E-mail encryption and portable device encryption are among the requirements for organizations which deal with confidential information. In conjunction with the data encryption requirements, a written information security plan must also be implemented.

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