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.

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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The Cisco Vulnerability Requires Multiple Patches

The Cisco Vulnerability Requires Multiple Patches

Virtual private networks are vulnerable to an exploit that was recently brought to light. Cisco has announced that this exploit undermines its ASA, or Adaptive Security Appliance tool. If this issue isn’t patched immediately, you could find your organization vulnerable through remote code exploitation.

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Tip of the Week: Which Browser Provides the Best Security?

Tip of the Week: Which Browser Provides the Best Security?

For most users the Internet browser is one of the most utilized applications on their computer or mobile device. With the influx of aggressive problems, it is mighty useful to know which Internet browser is the best for keeping your data, identity, and network secure. Today, we will take a look at the five most popular Internet browsers found on desktop and laptop computers and decipher which are the most reliable.

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Is Your Password Security Up to Par?

Is Your Password Security Up to Par?

Passwords are all over the place these days, whether they’re required to access an online account, or access the devices used to open these accounts. While both types of passwords can make for ideal security conditions, this is only the case if the passwords are strong. If your passwords can be guessed by just about anyone, can you really call it a security measure? New insights from SplashData show that passwords aren’t being considered as much as they need to be.

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4 Uses for Blockchain that Don’t Involve Cryptocurrency

4 Uses for Blockchain that Don’t Involve Cryptocurrency

With the meteoric rise of Bitcoin’s value, and just as sudden decline to less than half of its highest value, cryptocurrency has been pulled into the public eye. However, cryptocurrency is only one use of blockchain technology. We’ll examine a few of its other potential applications.

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Tip of the Week: Awareness Is Important When Surfing the Web

Tip of the Week: Awareness Is Important When Surfing the Web

We all love the Internet. We all use it almost every day. For this week’s tip, we’ll review a few ways to help keep yourself from getting in trouble while browsing.

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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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People May Not Trust the IoT, But They Still Use It

People May Not Trust the IoT, But They Still Use It

Connectivity is one of the major benefits of mobile technology, but some developments have taken this aspect to crazy (and borderline ridiculous) heights. The Internet of Things is forcing businesses to rethink the conventions of connectivity in ways which previously weren’t particularly necessary. Unsurprisingly, the Internet of Things is forcing business owners and normal users alike to remain skeptical of connected technology to a certain degree, and a survey from Cisco showcases this trend perfectly.

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Keep Your End Users From Contributing to Security Issues

Keep Your End Users From Contributing to Security Issues

Insider threats contribute to a significant number of data breaches. These cases of data exposure are enabled by a member of your staff, whether they intended to harm your business or simply made an honest mistake. With so much focus directed toward the threats out in the world, sometimes we forget that the biggest dangers can be among our ranks. To make up for this, we’ll discuss a few ways to keep insider threats from doing your business too much harm.

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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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The Voting Machine You Use May Have Serious Security Issues

The Voting Machine You Use May Have Serious Security Issues

The ability to vote is considered one of the great rights in the world, putting one’s voice and opinion into action to shape history. However, it has been demonstrated that the electronic voting machines that some states in the U.S. use simply aren’t secure enough to ensure that the democratic process is preserved.

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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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Scammers and Skimmers Are a Bad Combination

Scammers and Skimmers Are a Bad Combination

Considering how often hackers target financial credentials like credit card numbers and expiration dates, it’s not surprising that ATMs can provide a wealth of information to them. Hackers are willing to go exceedingly far just to get their hands on these credentials--including physically altering the devices themselves to install skimmers and other technology on them. Unless you know what to look for, it can be difficult to tell if a machine has been tampered with.

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Protect Yourself in the Future By Learning from These Past Phishing Scams

Protect Yourself in the Future By Learning from These Past Phishing Scams

Would you be surprised if we told you that cybercrime is one of the biggest threats to the success of your organization? Unfortunately, there’s no escaping the fact that your business will be under fire from all sides by security threats. One of the most notorious methods includes phishing--email scams that are designed to harvest credentials and other information from unsuspecting users.

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Your Employees Can Be One Of Your Biggest Security Risks

Your Employees Can Be One Of Your Biggest Security Risks

A surprising number of security issues come from inside your organization. User error on the part of the employee can present major problems for your workflow, data security, and the integrity of your business. User error could be something as simple as an employee clicking on the wrong links when they receive a suspicious email in their inbox, or if they are accessing data that they simply have no business accessing in the first place. Sometimes businesses will even completely forget to remove employee credentials when they leave a project or the company creating a breachable hole in your network. Regardless of the reason, user error can be a detrimental occurrence, and one which must be prepared for.

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Why You Should Pay Attention to Data Security Notifications

Why You Should Pay Attention to Data Security Notifications

If you’ve watched the news lately, chances are you’ve seen the Equifax breach and the ridiculous fallout it has caused. Over 133 million personal records have been stolen. While it’s difficult not to feel individually victimized by such a breach, it’s important to remember that it’s often not your specific credentials targeted by hackers. Since businesses often hold onto valuable information, they have big crosshairs painted onto them. It doesn’t even stop there--any vendors or partners you deal with are also in danger of hacking attacks.

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Virginia To Upgrade Voting Machines. Hopefully Other States Follow Suit

Virginia To Upgrade Voting Machines. Hopefully Other States Follow Suit

The 2016 United States presidential election was an ugly one for multiple reasons--chief among them the accusation that hacked voting machines could have altered the outcome of the election significantly. Thankfully, there are steps being taken to alleviate the worries that third parties might alter the outcome of such important events.

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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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Your Business Needs To Manage Mobile Devices For The Sake Of Its Security

Your Business Needs To Manage Mobile Devices For The Sake Of Its Security

Businesses can benefit from the use of personal mobile devices in the workplace, yet there are also potential dangers in allowing mobile and Internet of Things devices to access your network. In order to reduce these dangers, you need to put some limits and guidelines on the use of such devices in the workplace.

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Is It A Good Idea To Bait A Phishing Scam?

Is It A Good Idea To Bait A Phishing Scam?

Phishing scams have had a supporting role in many of the latest cyber threats, often as the means the attacker has used to start off their attack. This attack vector is relatively easy to avoid in most cases, but requires education for the end user.

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