MERIT Solutions Blog

MERIT Solutions has been serving the Chesapeake area since 1982, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Do Inherent Security Risks Make Smart Devices Dumb?

Do Inherent Security Risks Make Smart Devices Dumb?

Over the past few years, there has been a general fascination with smart devices in the home, and to a certain extent, the office. These Internet of Things-powered appliances and gadgets can help add to the convenience of rote tasks and other everyday activities, but is it actually a good idea to use them? As it turns out, unless you’ve taken the proper precautions, maybe not.

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Tip of the Week: 3 Considerations When Securing Personal Information

Tip of the Week: 3 Considerations When Securing Personal Information

Personal information is precious, especially in this increasingly digital day and age. This makes it incredibly important that you are doing everything you can to protect it in your business - whether it is your own or belongs to somebody else. Here, we’ll go over a few tips to help you better protect the data you’re responsible for.

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Best Practices for Your Access Management

Best Practices for Your Access Management

As you oversee your business, there is a lot that you’re going to have to manage - including how much access your employees have to the data you have collected and generated throughout your operations. An access management policy can help you to accomplish this. Here, we’ll review a few key features you need to include in your strategy.

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This is Your Last Chance to Abandon Windows 7

This is Your Last Chance to Abandon Windows 7

In just over a week, Microsoft is retiring two of its most popular operating systems - although this shouldn’t be news at this point. Microsoft has consistently been reminding Windows 7 users that they need to upgrade before January 14, running a major campaign to do so, but there are still a quarter of all desktop users that haven’t done so.

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What Are the Biggest Cybersecurity Concerns Going into 2020?

What Are the Biggest Cybersecurity Concerns Going into 2020?

Cybersecurity should always be a priority for a business, and cyber criminals are always evolving their tactics. As a result, it pays to keep an eye on the horizon for the next looming threats. Here, we’re reviewing a few threats that cybersecurity professionals say that businesses should be concerned about in the near future.

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Google Knows a Lot About You. Here’s How to Control It

Google Knows a Lot About You. Here’s How to Control It

Nearly everyone uses Google in some way or another. The search engine is, by far, the most common way people get answers and find content online. The margins aren’t even close, either. Currently, Google handles about 90% of search queries, while the second and third place goes to Yahoo and Bing, who share just below 5% of the search market share.

Google curates the search results on the fly based on a lot of variables including where you are located, what kind of device you are on, and your online surfing habits. This means Google is collecting a lot of information about how we use the web to give us a better experience. Let’s look at how you can control what Google knows about you to better protect your privacy.

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Tip of the Week: Taking Your Password Practices to the Next Level

Tip of the Week: Taking Your Password Practices to the Next Level

Passwords… can be annoying, if we’re being honest. They are, however, also incredibly important to your business’ overall security strategy. We’ve all heard the suggestions on how to create secure passwords. As it turns out, there is more to modern security then that. Let’s explore a few options to help you create useful passwords, and take a look why passwords are only the beginning. 

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Automation Plays a Critical Role in Cybersecurity

Automation Plays a Critical Role in Cybersecurity

Automation is sometimes misconceived as a troublesome or unreliable addition to business. It’s not about replacing people with machines, it’s about getting more done with the people you have. Having an attitude that doubts technology and believes nothing can replace human processing can quickly put you at a disadvantage compared to your competitors.

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Is 2FA Worth the Trouble?

Is 2FA Worth the Trouble?

I want to start this article out by admitting that there are a lot of active threats out there these days. There are hackers--hacking collectives, actually--that’s whole purpose is to infiltrate businesses and steal data, money, and most often, the trust people have in their technology. One way to help keep your stuff secure is by relying on two-factor authentication. 

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Some Hackers Promote Cybersecurity

Some Hackers Promote Cybersecurity

Most people have acquired much of their familiarity with what a hacker is through the mixed representation seen in pop culture today… but does this impression match up to a hacker in real life? Popular entertainment unfortunately doesn’t differentiate between different hacker types and their motivations very well, so that’s what we’ll handle here.

Understanding Hackers, Based on Motive

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How To Get Control Over Your Facebook

How To Get Control Over Your Facebook

For many, Facebook is a huge part of daily life, whether you want to think of it that way or not. There are more than two billion active users. That means if you pluck any 4 random human beings from anywhere in the world, at least one of them likely logged into Facebook today. 

It’s important to know that you still have control over your information, so in today’s blog we’re going to talk about a few ways you can take control over your online identity on the world’s largest social network.

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Why is URL Manipulation a Security Concern?

Why is URL Manipulation a Security Concern?

If you’ve spent any time using a computer, you probably know what a URL is. It is the address of a website. It typically starts with “http//:” or “https://” and directs the Internet browser on where the user would like to surf. Nowadays a threat could be created by manipulating the URL. Today, we’ll take you through this threat. 

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Microsoft Does Some Patching Off Schedule

Microsoft Does Some Patching Off Schedule

To keep your business’ network free from threats, and to keep your software working effectively, patching the software it uses is extremely important. The reason is that the threat landscape is always evolving. Recently, Microsoft announced that they have released an emergency out-of-band security update to fix two security issues, an atypical act for the software giant. 

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Taking a Look at the Future of Cybersecurity

Taking a Look at the Future of Cybersecurity

How concerned are you with your business' cybersecurity? When you envision your business in the future, do you see yourself constantly fighting cyberattacks, or paying ransom? Hopefully not, but what if cybersecurity turns into one of the most difficult parts to maintaining a steady business? Today, we will look into the future and hypothesize what your business may need to do to defend against cybercriminals. 

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Tip of the Week: Smartphones Security Tips

Tip of the Week: Smartphones Security Tips

If you were given the task to look up a phone number, call a business, and navigate to the new-to-you area, would you be able to without your smartphone? For some of us the answer will still be yes, for a vast majority, the answer is no. Smartphones have quickly transitioned from a calling device, to one of our most valuable tools. Shopping, navigating, video streaming, and an unbelievable amount of other capabilities are all at the palm of your hand. 

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Cybersecurity Throughout History

Cybersecurity Throughout History

The way a business approaches its network security is a crucial consideration - especially to a business that is planning to have a future. This has contributed to cybersecurity becoming a multi-hundred-billion-dollar (per year) industry. In its short history, cybersecurity has had a huge impact on businesses, so we felt it would be useful to go through some of the highlights of its deployment.

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Should Big Tech Be Reined In?

Should Big Tech Be Reined In?

It’s not a secret (well, not anymore) that the big tech companies have influence. These companies, that include Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook, have been in the spotlight more and more as the argument of data privacy has gotten louder and louder. Public sentiment is starting to blow back on their business model--and since, Yahoo, once the predominant name in Internet-based services, was broken up and sold to Verizon for cents on the dollar after being at the center of the largest data breach in recorded history--there have been rumblings that there has to be something done to protect the public from major publicly-traded technology companies that use individual’s data in ways that some deem unethical.

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Can Apps Provide Secure Password Management?

Can Apps Provide Secure Password Management?

Do you use different passwords on every account you’ve created? Are these passwords sufficiently complex? Chances are at some point you have used a repeating password. Remembering 35 different logins for 35 different applications is hard enough, so it’s not surprising that the majority of people will use the same password for many applications. Bad password practices are all too common. So, how can you fix this?

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Hacking Doesn’t Take a Computer Science Degree

Hacking Doesn’t Take a Computer Science Degree

There’s a reason that cybercrime is so popular: it is no longer reserved for those with extensive programming knowledge to profit from. Now, according to a report by Deloitte entitled Black Market Ecosystem: Estimating the Cost of “Pwnership”, there is a complete economy built around easily accessible hacking tools that don’t require specialized knowledge to leverage.

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Are You Ready for a Ransomware Resurgence?

Are You Ready for a Ransomware Resurgence?

Ransomware attacks grew less common in both 2018 and thus far in 2019 when compared to 2017. Unfortunately, recent events have made it more likely that this trend will reverse in the near future. Why is that? Simple: some municipalities have set a precedent of paying up.

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