SLK Blog

The official SLK I.T. Solutions Inc. blog

Un-Spam Your Life: Tips & Tools For a Healthy Digital Life

domenico loia EhTcC9sYXsw unsplash 2

Photo by Domenico Loia on Unsplash

 

In recent weeks Google has seen more than 18 million daily malware and phishing emails related to COVID-19. 

 

Spam is annoying and dangerous. It’s also everywhere. With the current coronavirus crisis, cybercriminals are hard at work with securing domains and emails to take advantage of people’s fear and need for information. There has been a significant increase in both potentially malicious websites and scam emails being sent through the web. Emails like CDC-Covid19@cdc[.]gov. look like highly credible sources, but only lead to hackers taking advantage of your lack of knowledge. Hackers may even create content that you think is real, and while you are visiting their site, they have full access to your information. You may have seen the Coronavirus map below and might have thought of it as credible. Beware, because while you are viewing the map hackers are downloading malware onto your computer. 

 

Screen Shot 2020 06 23 at 15.54.12

Reason Labs 

 

It is important for you to know how to navigate safely online, and most importantly how to recognize spam emails being sent to you so you can be protected from potentially damaging situations. When navigating the web make sure you access only websites from credible and reputable sources. When in doubt, let your cautious judgment take over. If you are looking for information, there are always credible sources. When you receive an email, always verify the information. If a quick search comes out empty, chances are, the topic and email sent to you are fake. 

 

While you cannot get rid of scam emails and spam completely, there are tricks and tools you can use to make your mailbox more efficient:

 

1. Train your mailbox 

The easy mindless thing to do when you see spam in your mailbox is to delete it. Resist the urge. DO NOT DELETE IT. Report the email as spam and have your mailbox learn from this action so that in the future it can learn to detect spam more effectively.


Go a step further and also teach your mailbox what ISN’T spam. Go through your spam folder to make sure everything is filtered correctly both ways. This helps your mailbox learn, and also assures you don’t miss any important emails. Even with most email providers now dividing messages into various folders, they still need human help to learn and adapt so that they can do their job more efficiently and keep you working optimally. 

 

2. Do not respond to spam 

If you believe that an email is spam DO NOT open it. Place it directly in the spam or junk folder. If you are in doubt, you can open the email and read through it. If it is spam close it again WITHOUT CLICKING ON ANY LINKS, and mark it as spam. It is important not to interact with spam as you never know what the spam sender has put in the email (virus, malware, etc.). 

 

If you have clicked on a link and later realized that the sender is spam, email your contact list and make them aware that the specific sender is sending spam messages, and you have inadvertently opened one of their spam emails. It’s important to warn your contacts because the spam sender may have accessed your contact list information when you clicked on links they put in the email they sent you. This puts your contacts at risk of becoming spamming victims themselves. 

 

Here is a little anecdote to keep your mind sharp concerning spam: 

An acquaintance once opened a spam email by accident and deleted it after they realized it was spam. They didn’t warn their contacts, whom all received an email “from them” which was in reality from the spammer, asking for a sum of money for investment. The person’s father received the email, and as a business person used to diversified investments, he started to get a wire transfer ready. Because of doubt with the sum, the person’s father called them to ask a question about the investment, which is where they realized the email was sent by a spammer and were saved from losing money. Had the person’s father not called them, a very real possibility, the spammer would have gotten away with it. Do not risk a loss of any kind, if you think the email you opened is spam, warn your contacts. The last thing you want is to harm them in any way. 

 

mathilde lmd PTiQqAKzbmM unsplash 2

Photo by Mathilde LMD on Unsplash

3. Keep an eye out for spoofs

Recently the World Health Organisation (WHO) sent out an email from “This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.” asking for donations to help with the coronavirus crisis, only the email was not sent out by WHO but by a scammer. Spoof emails can be harder to detect because they use real domain names (who.int is WHO’s domain) in order to convince users of their legitimacy. If you do receive a spoof email make sure you read it attentively. In the case of the WHO spoof email, the email guided individuals to send money via Bitcoin, something a reputable international organisation would never do. There are always hints of falsification, make sure you keep your eyes open before taking any action from an unfamiliar source. If you have any doubts, use search engines to confirm information, or call the company or organisation directly to inquire about the email you received. Better safe than sorry! 

 

4. Keep your email address as private as you can 

In today’s digital world where businesses and websites ask for your email address to sign up to newsletters, receive discounts etc. it has become increasingly hard to keep emails private. What many users do is keep a separate email for sharing online and another email that is used for more sensitive information. 

 

5. Change your email 

If you are receiving too many spam emails, there probably isn’t a good solution for you at this point. You can start using the old email as the email to sign up for different things online, especially for websites with low-security settings. Make sure to migrate all the accounts that have sensitive information to your new email that way your old email contains no risk of a spammer or hacker getting their hands on your private information. 

 

6. Make sure your anti-virus is running 

Protect your online space and your computer data by using strong anti-virus protection when browsing online and opening email attachments.

 

Here are the anti-virus programs we suggest: Bitdefender, TrendMicro, Kaspersky, AVG, Norton and McAfee

 

Remaining vigilant and thoughtful about online navigation and emails is a must in today’s tech-savvy world. Going the extra mile with your security can save you significantly in both money and headaches. So be smart. If you need any advice/help, you know who to call.

 

 

Continue reading
  468 Hits
  0 Comments
468 Hits
0 Comments

How to deal with COVID-19 and Working from home

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) has taken the world by storm. Many of us are worried about the current climate and how to proceed in these uncertain times. Globally, businesses and individuals are doing their best to adapt to the changing situations, with many staying indoors for health and safety reasons. As many businesses shift from offices to remote work, employees at all levels attempt to adapt to the new reality.

For those that are able to work from home, it can sometimes be daunting changing a routine. Being used to commuting, changing space and environment, breathing different air, staying home can feel daunting. Moreover, office communication and transparency, agenda setting and collaboration are all key in bringing a company forward. As we all attempt to move forward together, Here are some tips and free tools for your business to use to make remote work and working from home a little easier.

Most of these tools are free to use, they may have different pricing packages and trials available, so as you get into a new routine, find what works best for you and your employees.

 

Continue reading
  743 Hits
  0 Comments
743 Hits
0 Comments

New Website Launched for Tacey Atkinson

Tacey Atkinson, like many other independent entrepreneurs, was at a loss. She had spent months working with unreliable website builders only to be left with a product that still did not meet her standards. She had a clear vision, a modern site that kept her “customers first” mission at the focus. Frustrated she turned to her peers hoping for some advice, luckily she was able to get a referral to SLK by a previous client. SLK was quick to act. Click the link to find out how we helped Tacey show her passion in an elegant way.


Visit Website  Visit PORTFOLIO
tacey atkinson portfolio screen
Continue reading
  531 Hits
  0 Comments
531 Hits
0 Comments

New Logo and Website Launched for Hodur Construction Inc

John wanted a new elegant website with the ability to manage his content and projects in house. With a fresh modern logo and website John is now able to keep his content fresh and updated as projects are completed. Having multiple galleries based on each project allows his visitors to see all stages of a project and to see the potential of their own next project. John's visitors now have a direct avenue to contact him and to start the process for their next big project. Click the link to find out how we helped John show his passion in an elegant way.


Visit Website  Visit PORTFOLIO
Hodur Construction portfolio screen
Continue reading
  954 Hits
  0 Comments
954 Hits
0 Comments

New Website Launched for European Monuments

European Monuments needed the ability to showcase the amazing hard work and dedication that goes into creating each one of a kind piece at their Oakville location. Using high resolution images and beautiful galleries partnered with a clean and modern website has given them the ability to reach a boarder audience. Having an open line of communication and the ability to keep the content fresh and up to date was just one way we helped bring their outdated website into this responsive world. Click the link to find out how else we helped this estabilished business stand out in the heart of Oakville.


Visit Website  Visit PORTFOLIO
european monuments portfolio screen
Continue reading
  1037 Hits
  0 Comments
1037 Hits
0 Comments

New Website Launched for First Choice Office Moving

First Choice Office Moving needed a website that would set them apart and showcase why they are the only place in GTA for your office moving and office furniture needs. First Choice's dedication to providing the best experience when moving your office or when fully furnishing your new or old office was the foundation to creating a simple and modern website. Providing all the informaiton in an easy to read platform that was responsive on any device allowed them to manage the site on the go. Click to find out how else we helped First Choice bring their idenity to a broader audience.


Visit Website  Visit PORTFOLIO
First Choice Office Moving portfolio screen
Continue reading
  1003 Hits
  0 Comments
1003 Hits
0 Comments

New Logo and Website Launched for Embrace Health Services

Arlene needed the ability to spread her message to a greater audience. With a fresh new modern logo and easy to manage website, Arlene is able to show her passion for all things health and to build discussions around important topics that affect everyone. Having a blog allows her to raise awareness for issues that are affecting society in this modern age. Click the link to find out how else we helped Arlene bring her message to life.


Visit Website  Visit PORTFOLIO
embrace health services portfolio screen
Continue reading
  1117 Hits
  0 Comments
1117 Hits
0 Comments

New Website Launched for Edges Skate Sharpening

Kyle needed a website that would set him apart and showcase why he is the best place in Milton to get your skates sharpened. Kyle's passion and dedication was the foundation to creating a modern and clean website that was fully responsive plus easy for him to manage. Big and bright images make Edges website a pleasure to view. Click the link below to find out how else we helped Kyle bring the right edge to Milton's skating scene.


Visit Website  Visit PORTFOLIO
edges skate sharpening portfolio screen
Continue reading
  1396 Hits
  0 Comments
1396 Hits
0 Comments

New Website Launched for Danmare Group Inc

Easy to manage, clean, responsive and professional, plus the ability to have a direct line with clients on any device is what set Danmare's website apart from everyone else. Danmare needed the ability to change their content to reflect all projects as they are completed. We choose the bright blue and grey from their logo to bring life to their outdated site.


Visit Website  Visit PORTFOLIO
danmare group portfolio screen
Continue reading
  1075 Hits
  0 Comments
1075 Hits
0 Comments

Tips to Strengthen Your Passwords

 

tips password

Whether it’s for social media, work, shopping, or your own business, you have a password. Hopefully, more than one. But are those passwords really as secure as you think they are? Recently even Bill Burr, regarded as the father of the modern password, has said even he has regrets on the advice he gave on password strength.

So how do you improve your passwords to make sure they are as secure as they can be? Here are some simple tips:

1. Use multiple passwords

You’ve probably heard this before but are you actually putting it into practice? Creating a new password for every account you have may seem tedious at first but there is nothing worse than a hacker getting a hold of one of your accounts and now having access to all of them. A good tip for creating multiple passwords is to stick to a central theme to create passwords for certain sites. For example, all of your social media passwords may start with the letter “H”, or maybe all your work accounts have a fruit related word in them.

 

2. Keep it simple… sort of

When we say keep it simple we don’t mean name your passwords “Password!1”. Use difficult to guess yet easy to remember words or phrases rather than a short, complicated string of numbers, letters, and symbols. Speaking with CBS news, Burr said “It's probably better to do fairly long passwords that are phrases or something like that that you can remember than to try to get people to do lots of funny characters,".

The trick here is the length rather than the complexity. The longer the password the harder it is for a hacker to brute force their way into. That said, it doesn’t hurt to add a few numbers and symbols into your passwords, just try to put them in less predictable places.

 

3. Do not share your passwords!

Again, if this one seems obvious to you, that’s a good thing. You should never share your passwords with anyone, not even close friends. Sharing your passwords either online or in public increases the potential of someone learning your password that you didn’t intend.

If using a group or company account where there is no individual access password, be sure everyone in the group is aware that this information is confidential. Furthermore, be careful of where you log in with your passwords. If you are on a public computer or using public Wi-Fi, you may not be as secure as you think. Think twice before signing in with your precious information.

 

4. Consider a password manager

There are a variety of free programs and web services out there that allow you to generate powerful passwords for every site you go to but only require you to remember one master password.

These managers are great for work or home computers where you may be frequenting several sites on a regular basis and don’t want to constantly try to remember everyone of your passwords.

 

So, the next time you're asked to create a password, keep these tips in mind and remember a strong password is hard to guess but easy to remember.

 

Continue reading
  1171 Hits
  0 Comments
1171 Hits
0 Comments

New Webiste and Logo Adjustments for Chasing Happiness

Word travel and life happiness is what made this website stand out. Redesigned logo and custom mockup let SLK transform this outdated website into an easy to manage outlet for Crystal to stay in contact with all her readers and followers. Visit our portfolio to read more of how SLK helped Chasing Happiness reach her audience easier.


Visit Website  Visit PORTFOLIO
chasing happiness portfolio screen
Continue reading
  1150 Hits
  0 Comments
1150 Hits
0 Comments

New Website for Hitherfield School

Elegance and a touch of nature is what made Hitherfield School’s website come to life. Freshened up the logo and a full mock-up allowed SLK the ability to transform their outdated site to a newly modernized and easy to use website that will stand apart from other private schools. Visit our portfolio to read more of how SLK helped Hitherfield School with the transition.


Visit Website  Visit PORTFOLIO
hitherfield school desktop
Continue reading
  1177 Hits
  0 Comments
1177 Hits
0 Comments

Watch Out for Domain Phishing and Scams

slk phishing social

Whenever you receive an email or letter parcel asking for information regarding your domain and you are unsure about it, don’t hesitate to contact us for clarification. These emails are created to scare you into providing personal information without investigating. They use words and phrases like ‘final’, ‘failure to pay’, ‘failure to reply’, ‘and immediate attention required’. These are all used to trigger the fear of the unknown. Always remember to take some extra steps to verify when your personal information is requested.

Continue reading
  1538 Hits
  0 Comments
1538 Hits
0 Comments

Ransomware – A Lethal Malware Continues To Grow Stronger

9 easy tips ransomware webFor most of us the Internet has become an irreplaceable force in our lives. Just by surfing the web and punching in vital personal information, we can conduct many of our daily activities such as, banking, grocery shopping and applying for health insurance, etc. Many of us are aware of the threats that malware, viruses and Trojans pose to our information but there is a growing threat worldwide that can actually cost you a hefty price tag.


What’s the name of this new threat?
Its name is RANSOMWARE, which is a type of malware that prohibits or limits people from accessing their computer – putting your vital personal information at risk. Users are then forced to pay a ransom so they can access their computers again, pretty serious stuff.


How can Ransomware infect your computer?
Your computer can become infected with ransomware in different ways.
1) It can secretly be installed on to your computer with out you knowing or realizing it until its too late.
2) It can act as a legitimate file and then infect your computer once its been installed. This method is known as a Trojan and according to the FBI, the Trojan known as CRYPTOWALL had accumulated over $18,000,000 from early 2014 to June 2015.

 


Major Ransomware Events
Just recently the Kansas Heart Hospital in Wichita had all their systems and records locked for a ransom – the amount is undisclosed. The Hospital gave in and paid their ransom but all they received was “partial access” and a second demand for more money. The Hospital’s President, Dr. Greg Duick refuses to pay the second demand, calling it unwise. Another high-profile case was the attack on Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital. Their internal I.T. Systems were attacked and the hospital paid 40 Bitcoins which is the equivalent of $17,000 to gain back access.

 


What should you do if you are a victim of Ransomware?
The FBI urges and advises victims not to give in and pay the ransom because the money can be funding a criminal organization.

 

What can SLK do for you?
Our team of experts can perform regular back ups on your systems so there is an option to revert back to a stable version, keeping your work safe and secure.

Continue reading
  2060 Hits
  0 Comments
2060 Hits
0 Comments