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BrightWire Networks blog

BrightWire Networks has been serving the Olympia area since 2005, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Do and Don'ts of Managing Your Passwords

Password security is a tricky part of running a business. After all, it’s not just dealing with your own password, but those of the many employees all throughout your organization. In times like this, it’s helpful to provide them with a list of how to make the best passwords possible. Here are a couple of examples for what to do, as well as what you shouldn’t do, when building a proper password.

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Tip of the Week: Password Protecting a Word Document

The funny thing about some documents is how the data written on them can strongly influence how important they are. If, for instance, there were two pieces of paper on a table, there is objectively no difference between the two, and so they are objectively equivalent in value.

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Want to Keep Your “Personal” Browsing a Secret? Scam Says: Pay Up!

A new email scam is making its rounds and it has a lot of people concerned with just how much a hacker can peer into one’s private life. How would you react if a stranger emailed you saying they had inappropriate webcam footage of you?

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A QR Code Could Be your New Wi-Fi Password

There is no understating the importance of strong, reliable passwords to your organization’s network security, especially to protect its wireless connection. However, this can create some friction with your staff when they try to connect to Wi-Fi using their mobile device. To make accessing the Internet easier, scannable QR codes can be used to connect to the Internet.

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Let’s All Move on From These 4 IT Frustrations

Technology is supposed to make things easier, yet it’s a common source of frustration when it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. As an IT company, we experience technology frustrations all the time, and we wish that many of these frustrations could just be eliminated altogether. In our opinion, here are four technology frustrations that need to go.

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Tip of the Week: 4 Security Best Practices that Every Employee Needs to Adopt

Security is a hot-button issue for all types of businesses, but cyber security is such a complex subject that it’s difficult to jam-pack its many intricacies into one blog article. Sometimes understanding just a few ways to improve your business’s security practices can be a significant benefit for your organization.


Here are four simple best practices that you and your employees can use to keep your organization’s infrastructure as secure as possible.

  • Change passwords regularly: How often do your employees change important credentials? This is an important part of maximizing the security of your user and administrative credentials. Passwords should be changed regularly, and they should always be complex; use upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols, and make them as long as possible. Granted, long complex passwords can be difficult to remember, so you’ll also want to use an enterprise-level password manager to keep them all in check.
  • Keep your software solutions up to date: Your business has software solutions that are critical to day-to-day operations, but without the proper security patches, you could be running software that’s putting your company at risk. You need to ensure that you’re using software that’s supported by Microsoft and is regularly receiving patches and updates required to optimize security. BrightWire Networks can do this remotely for you with our remote monitoring and maintenance solution, so reach out to us if this responsibility has grown too burdensome.
  • Use two-factor authentication: In a world where passwords just don’t cut it anymore, two-factor authentication is a new norm that can dramatically change the way that your organization secures accounts. Two-factor authentication basically adds an additional layer of security to an online account, making it much more difficult for hackers to access information hidden within. Two-factor authentication tactics include, but aren’t limited to: biometrics, smartphone integration, location verification, and more.
  • Have preventative measures put in place: Remember, your ultimate goal should be to prevent virus and malware infections, rather than react to data breaches as they happen. A great way to take preventative steps is to implement powerful security solutions designed with the enterprise in mind. Consumer-grade antivirus and firewalls aren’t going to be enough to stop a hacker who’s bent on stealing your information.

BrightWire Networks has several security solutions that are geared toward keeping your network safe, such as a firewall, antivirus, spam blocker, and content filter. When all of these are combined, you get what’s called a Unified Threat Management solution, which is a comprehensive way to maximize your business’s network security. Still, the best way to ensure that your network stays safe is to educate your staff.

For more information about UTMs or security best practices, give us a call at (360) 528-6017.

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Tip of the Week: Revamp Your Password Policy with a Password Manager

b2ap3_thumbnail_password_security_400.jpgChanging your password is a pain. After you’ve gone several months with the same one, it can be difficult to remember your new password. Despite this, it’s always recommended that you change your passwords often. Unfortunately, when you change all of your passwords often, it’s even easier to forget them. Instead of using a post-it note on your monitor, you should instead try using a password manager.

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Personal and Private Data Continues to Leak from Sony

b2ap3_thumbnail_password_protection_400.jpgThis holiday season might leave technology and entertainment supergiant Sony with nothing but a big lump of coal in its stocking. In a high-profile hack, hackers continue to leak Sony’s employees’ sensitive information like Social Security numbers, passports, and even personal emails. This is obviously an issue for the company, but so is its lack of IT security, as shown by their passwords being stored in a folder named “Passwords.”

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When it Rains, it Pours – Keep Your Cloud-Based Data Safe

b2ap3_thumbnail_keep_cloud_data_safe_400.jpgDo you see those black clouds culminating on the horizon? They represent the possibility that hackers will gain access to your cloud storage. Though it is protected a number of ways, it will not stop an experienced hacker. To them, your defenses are as transparent as those thin, wispy, cirrus clouds that are so welcome on a boiling hot summer day.

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3 Handy Tools to Remember Your Passwords, Part 2

Last time, we spoke about password security, we went over the importance of using strong passwords to avoid identity theft. In part two, we will discuss three easy password solutions that can help you manage all of your different passwords.

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Prevent your Web Browser from Storing Passwords

For sites you need to log into often, having your browser remember your password can save you time logging in, especially if you are using secure passwords that you might need to look up otherwise. There are circumstances where you might want to manage what personal information gets stored in your web browser.

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6 Million Passwords Stolen from LinkedIn

LinkedIn, the popular social network geared towards business networking and communication, has reported a major breach in security. A file containing over six million passwords was leaked and posted on the Internet. What does this mean for you, and what course of action should you take?

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What to do if your Laptop is Stolen

The problem with carrying around an expensive, portable piece of equipment is that it's possible for someone to pick it up and run with it. According to LoJack, a security firm that focuses on stolen property, two million laptops are stolen each year. What should you do if you are a victim of laptop theft?

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What to do when your Data is Breached

This has been a pretty common topic for us on the BrightWire Networks blog. We've seen a lot of Olympia and Tacoma clients and customers suffer the consequences when online retailers and other account providers experience a security breach. It is equally vital for consumers to know what to do in the event of a security breach as it is the company that is actually breached.

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Over 45 thousand Facebook Logins Stolen by a Worm

We recently posted a blog on the topic of identity theft and social media accounts are fast becoming a lucrative target for hackers, especially for spreading malicious software capable of stealing your personal information. To some, losing control over their Facebook or Twitter accounts could be just as devastating as having their credit card stolen. To make matters worse, for many users, having one login account stolen means hackers have access to their other accounts as well.

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What is your Identity Worth to You?

Your identity has quite a lot of value, especially in the wrong hands. Security firm ZoneAlarm put together some numbers in 2011 concerning identity fraud, and it even shocked us. Let's talk about a few of these statistics and what it means.

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Protect Yourself with Secure Passwords

Despite the increasingly vast trust we put into the Internet to keep our personal and business information safe and secure, many users take their passwords very lightly. In an analysis studying over 32 million passwords from RockYou, a company that develops software for social networks, it's been discovered just how little effort is put in to keep things secure. The results are shocking.

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