Heart of Texas Network Consultants Blog

Heart of Texas Network Consultants has been serving the Central Texas area since 1992, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

ALERT: Massive Ransomware Attack is the Biggest Ever

ALERT: Massive Ransomware Attack is the Biggest Ever

Run your Windows Updates and be very skeptical about opening unsolicited emails. Failure to do so may result in a very dangerous strain of ransomware that could infect your entire network and spread to your clients, partners, and prospects.

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Alaskan Healthcare Organization Hit with Huge Fine for HIPAA Violation

b2ap3_thumbnail_fines_imposed_for_hipaa_400.jpgAmerican healthcare organizations must store and exchange patient data in ways that comply with the HIPAA law, or else face hefty fines. One mental health service in Alaska recently learned this lesson the hard way after being hit with a $150,000 fine. Is your healthcare organization’s IT infrastructure 100 percent HIPAA compliant?

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Cooler Drives Won’t Prevail

b2ap3_thumbnail_cold_hard_drives_400.jpgEverybody knows operating a computer under cooler temperatures increases its performance. This is why some server closets feel like a walk-in refrigerator. One thing about computers that you may not have known is whether or not running a PC at cooler temperatures extends its life. Logically, one would assume yes, however, the research says otherwise.

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4 Google Glass Etiquette Tips

b2ap3_thumbnail_google_glass_etiquette_400.jpgWearable technology is still relatively new. While technologies like Google Glass have found enthusiastic users, in the eyes of the general public, the verdict is still out. The best thing a Google Glass user can do with their favorite new tech is to use it responsibly. Here's some tips on how to be a good AmGlassador!

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You Gotta Fight. For Your Right. To Net Neutrality!

b2ap3_thumbnail_net_neutrality_gross_inequality_400.jpgWe're seeing a lot of buzz about a controversial issue known as "net neutrality." It's primarily being discussed in the realms of American politics, but its ramifications affect every user of the Internet from around the world! We believe that what's happening to net neutrality is important, and that everyone should be informed about it.

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CryptoLocker and GameOver Zeus: When Bad Meets Ugly

b2ap3_thumbnail_alert_malware_400.jpgIt's been a few weeks since we've reported on the GameOver Zeus virus, and a few months since we first told you about the nasty ransomware known as Cryptolocker. Now, we're seeing the two threats merge into one code-red-mega threat that your business needs to be prepared for!

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5 Good Reasons Your Business Should Use a Virtual Private Network

b2ap3_thumbnail_virtual_private_network_400.jpgWhether you're on the move or at the workplace, your WiFi connection isn't the most secure method of browsing the Internet. Hacking techniques are growing more sophisticated, and you never know who could be observing your connection and Internet activity. Thankfully, there are ways to remediate this issue, like using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

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The Future of Data Storage, or Just a Really Long Cassette Tape?

b2ap3_thumbnail_sony_185tb_tape_revolutionary_400.jpgIn this day and age, your company's data is extremely important. Without it, your company would likely cease to exist. But, it's not just you - the entire world is this way, and the more information that's out there, the more storage and backup that is needed. Professionals are constantly looking for ways to expand the way we store data, and last month, Sony managed to discover something entirely new that may change the way that we store our information.

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3 Tips to Shield Your Business From A Data Disaster

b2ap3_thumbnail_the_data_shield_400.jpgTake a moment to consider your answer to this question, "What would you do if all of your business's data was somehow lost overnight?" How would you react, and what would you do about it? Your data is valuable, so much in fact that your business would be lost without it, and likely wouldn't be able to run properly.

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Be Wary of Bitcoin Fraud

b2ap3_thumbnail_bitcoin_400.jpgOn May 7, 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a news alert declaring Bitcoin, and all other virtual currencies insecure and unsafe. Due to a rise in Bitcoin popularity, many investors and business owners like to use it for worldwide transactions. But, how safe is it, and how likely are you to run into a Bitcoin fraud scheme?

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IT Security Could Cost You Your Job!

b2ap3_thumbnail_lock_it_down_400.jpgIn December 2013, retail superpower Target was the target (hehe) of a massive data breach that could have affected as many as 110 million customers. On Monday, May 5, 2014, the CEO of Target, Gregg Steinhafel, announced that he would be stepping down, no doubt a result of the chaos that engulfed his company in the aftermath of this data breach. Target's CFO, John Mulligan, has stepped in as interim CEO until the position is filled once again.

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Alert: New Botnet Thunders Into View For Windows Users

b2ap3_thumbnail_go_zeus_400.jpgGameOver Zeus, a member of the Zeus family of malware, has been discovered and disrupted by the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Department of Justice. But, this is only a temporary respite from the danger the malware poses - in two weeks, the threat will be back, and very much alive.

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Make Your Chromebook Shine With These Two Easy Tips

b2ap3_thumbnail_chromebook_tips_400.jpgMobile devices are designed for different purposes than the big, bulky desktops are. The Chrome operating system of the Google Chromebook is a perfect example of this - it looks like nothing but a browser with a keyboard. Sure, it can't do everything a real computer can do, but it sure can do a lot more than some people give it credit for.

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Internet Explorer 8 Zero-Day Vulnerability Found, but Not Patched

b2ap3_thumbnail_vulnerability_microsoft_400.jpgWith the world still on edge about the recent vulnerability found in most versions of Internet Explorer, another one has been discovered, this time in Internet Explorer 8. This bug allows a hacker to execute malicious code when a user opens an infected email or webpage.

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Tomorrow Never Downloads: Protecting Your Database from Corporate and International Espionage

b2ap3_thumbnail_security_from_espionage_400.jpgFirewalls are the first thing companies think of when it comes to data security. What is the last security risk on an organization's mind? Your most tech-savvy employee. If someone were to "get to" the employee overseeing your network, they would be able to do some serious damage. What are you doing to protect your data from the employees you trust the most?

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Is It Possible to Encrypt the Entire Internet?

b2ap3_thumbnail_encrypt_the_internet_400.jpgMany websites around the world are still suffering from the nasty little bug called Heartbleed that we covered last month. This prompted over 30,000 TLS/SSL certificates to be revoked and reissued, but many of them were reissued with the same keys. If this was going to happen, why revoke and reissue them in the first place? They're still just as vulnerable as before, since Heartbleed could have leaked those same keys weeks ago.

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Ebay Hacked - Hold Onto Your Shopping Cart (And Your Password)!

b2ap3_thumbnail_ebay_400.jpgeBay issued an official declaration on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 that one of its databases had been hacked. The worst part? This database, which housed users' passwords, was compromised. But, there is a silver lining to all of this - no information has been stolen.

None that they know of, anyway. The auctioning website is still cautioning users to change their passwords in light of the attack.

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Save Money and Go Green with These Printing Tips!

b2ap3_thumbnail_change_it_400.jpgHow much paper and ink does your company use every week? Every month? Every year? More importantly, how much does this wind up costing your company in the long run? According to a study by 14 year-old science fair wiz Suvir Mirchandani, it was discovered that his Pittsburgh-area school district could reduce ink consumption by 24 percent and save an average of $21,000 a year by simply switching fonts. That's half of what the average American's annual salary is!

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Don’t Let New Technology Blind You

b2ap3_thumbnail_eye_pain_400.jpgIf your workplace is filled with computers, you likely experience a number of eye-straining problems related to your technology. According to All About Vision, symptoms of computer eye strain impair 50-to-90 percent of all computer workers. That's a pretty good-sized chunk of your employees, and they probably don't enjoy any of these symptoms, including physical fatigue, decreased productivity, and even increased error rate.

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New iPhone Vulnerability: Lock Screen Can Leak Your Contacts!

b2ap3_thumbnail_ios_siri_400.jpgThink your data is safe when you lock your phone? Thanks to a newly discovered vulnerability with iOS 7.1.1 (the latest version), a hacker has the ability to bypass your lock screen and easily access your contact information.

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