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.

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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Making Sense of Facebook’s Privacy Settings

Making Sense of Facebook’s Privacy Settings

We’ve been talking about Facebook quite a bit on our blog, and for good reason - we’re all concerned with our privacy, and Facebook has been notoriously front-and-center when it comes to Internet privacy. In this post we will break down Facebook’s privacy settings to help you gain control over your personal identity while using the social network.

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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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3 Ways Email Encryption Keeps Your Messages Safe

3 Ways Email Encryption Keeps Your Messages Safe

Encryption is a very important tool in today’s business environment, especially if you are trying to protect your email communications. Today, we’ll discuss the benefits of using encryption for your business’ communications solutions, but without an understanding of what encryption actually is, the conversation might be a little harder to understand.

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The Internet of Things Continues to Expand

The Internet of Things Continues to Expand

The Internet of Things is now made up of over 15 billion devices. 15 billion. This number includes both consumer devices in a home environment as well as business devices that are typically used in an office setting. As such, you cannot risk ignoring this phenomenon, whether it’s from a security standpoint or one of practicality. We’ll discuss the many ways the IoT is shaping business practices in today’s modern office.

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Internet of Things Causing Multiple Problems

Internet of Things Causing Multiple Problems

The Internet of things can be described simply as devices that have connectivity to the Internet, and thus to a computing network. Many times these connected devices aren’t manufactured with security solutions onboard (or any security-minded foresight at all) so they can be fickle instruments when trying to onerously secure a network that includes numerous IoT devices. Today, we'll go over some of the threats IoT devices pose to your network, and how to reliably secure it from these threats.

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Would You Fall for this Adult Scam if You Saw an Old Password?

Would You Fall for this Adult Scam if You Saw an Old Password?

As you may expect, the average Internet scammer isn’t above resorting to dirty tricks to claim their ill-gotten prize from their victims. A recent scam demonstrates just how dirty these tricks can truly be, and unfortunately, how ill-prepared many are to handle them.

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Save Money, Be Spied On?

Save Money, Be Spied On?

Although we’re in the habit of discussing ways to keep your business more secure, we unfortunately have to discuss how to keep yourself more secure against a business. Walmart recently filed a patent that could potentially be used to undermine the security of everyone there, from shoppers to employees. We took the time and dug into the jargon in the patent to give you a better look at the situation.

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Growth of the Internet of Things Is Concerning IT Administrators

Growth of the Internet of Things Is Concerning IT Administrators

The Internet of Things might be a considerable step up in terms of connectivity for a lot of users and organizations, but this comes at a cost. With more devices accessing connected networks than ever before, security becomes a main focal point of discussion for the Internet of Things. How can you make sure that your network is secure while these devices run rampant all around you?

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The Blockchain May Soon Protect Your Entire Identity

The Blockchain May Soon Protect Your Entire Identity

Blockchain is one of the latest and greatest developments to come in computing. The spotlight is on Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, Dogecoin, and several other cryptocurrencies that take advantage of the blockchain, but it’s important to remember that it’s not exclusive to cryptocurrencies. In fact, it has several great uses, with some of the most important being cyber security, transparency, and privacy.

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The Value Managed IT Services Gives Your Business

The Value Managed IT Services Gives Your Business

Whether you’re just a small business looking to get operations moving in your chosen location, or you’re an enterprise with multiple offices across the country, one thing is universally the same: you need IT support in some capacity. As more technology is added to networks of all sizes and complexities, the need to manage this technology improves. Thankfully, you don’t necessarily have to go at it alone--you have third-party outsourcing at your disposal, which can save you both time and money in the long run.

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How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Public Wi-Fi

How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Public Wi-Fi

Someday, you’re going to encounter a situation where you absolutely need Wi-Fi and the only option will be a public connection. This becomes rather problematic, as a public Wi-Fi connection is far from secure for business purposes. A method to maximize productivity without compromising security is needed for every business that has employees working out of the office, but what’s the best way to do it?

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At What Point Does a Service Become Spyware?

At What Point Does a Service Become Spyware?

Spyware, like other malware, is a problem for any organization. Since your business generates, collects, and uses considerable amounts of data, there are plenty of organizations that want to get their hands on it. You spend so much time and money protecting your data against threats on the Internet, but what if the spyware were to just come standard on the computer you just bought?

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Links Discovered Between WannaCry and North Korea

Links Discovered Between WannaCry and North Korea

In a statement given by Tom Bossert, the homeland security adviser to the White House, blame for the WannaCry attacks leveraged from May 12th to the 15th in 2017 was attributed to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. This assertion is in line with the conclusions that New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and Japan have come to, according to Bossert.

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Credit Card Theft and Identity Theft are Not the Same Thing

Credit Card Theft and Identity Theft are Not the Same Thing

While many might see having a credit card stolen as identity theft, this is an oversimplification that can prove dangerous. While credit card theft can be an element of identity theft, equating the two means that other forms of identity theft are overlooked. In today’s blog, we’ll go over why identity theft and credit card theft aren’t exactly the same thing, and what you can do to help keep your business safe from damage.

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Google Is Becoming More Secure for Certain Users

Google Is Becoming More Secure for Certain Users

Google is taking steps to protect the data of a small group of its users who run the highest risk of experiencing a data breach or hack. This new service, the Advance Protection Program, shows promise in protecting the information that these select few can access.

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Hackers May Meet Their Match With AI

Hackers May Meet Their Match With AI

There are many organizations in the world that simply can’t have cybercriminals and hackers interfering with their data. One of these organizations, CERN (whose acronym translates to the European Laboratory for Particle Physics) has far too powerful of a computer grid to allow hackers to access it. To keep it safe, CERN has deployed what may be the future of cybersecurity: artificial intelligence.

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Your State Dictates Data Security Notifications… Will You Be Notified?

Your State Dictates Data Security Notifications… Will You Be Notified?

In the last few months, there have been several high-profile data security breaches that resulted in the theft of millions upon millions of non-public information records. Though much of the focus in the aftermath of the breaches was on personal identity theft and prevention, it’s important to keep in mind that not all the stolen data records target individuals. Business entities are also at risk. Vendors and partners that you do business with regularly will probably have record of your company’s non-public information, payment information, or tax ID number.

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Is Combining Mobile Apps and ATMs a Good Idea?

Is Combining Mobile Apps and ATMs a Good Idea?

ATMs are, surprisingly enough, not the most secure pieces of technology out there, though there are efforts to improve security by taking advantage of mobile devices. Granted, this won’t be enough to protect against the considerable vulnerabilities in ATMs. In order to maximize security and minimize the amount of damage done by vulnerabilities, the user needs to understand how to protect themselves while using ATMs.

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Colleges Begin to Implement Two-Factor Authentication to Improve Network Security

Colleges Begin to Implement Two-Factor Authentication to Improve Network Security

Has your business dealt with a phishing attack? If not, consider yourself lucky. There has been a massive spike in phishing attacks as hackers are aggressively going after organizations and the personal identifiable information they hold. These attacks are just not focused on typical businesses either, they are going after organizations that provide public goods. One place that has become a major target for hackers (and phishing attacks) are schools.

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