October 2017 - CusterAgency

Windows 10 Spying – Find Out What Data You Give Away

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Anytime a software platform updates you really should read the small print. The private investigators in Boise suggest that with all programs but are most concerned about the new Windows 10 and what it has been designed to do inside your computer. There is no doubt that Microsoft intends to protect all of its data and programming. However, it also means in order for them to do that, they need data to do this with.

What The Small Print Says

In a nutshell, the Windows 10 Privacy Statement says a whole lot about what the world of computer programming has become. One section in the statement says that, “We will access, disclose and preserve personal data…” This includes you content. Microsoft explains that the content of your computer (e-mails, other forms of private communication, files and private folders) all fall under this category. Sure, they say it is to protect you from breaches in security but if you didn’t say Microsoft could do this, is that considered a breach?

What The Private Investigators In Boise Suggest

When you upgraded your computer, you basically gave Microsoft permission to load your system with the software that allows them to gather your personal data. In other words, you’ve already opted in. The good news is that you can actually opt out. The private investigators in Boise say this is a good thing if you don’t want your computer to be spying on you and your online activities.

The Four Steps To Opting Out

There are just four steps you have to follow in order to opt out of the extra bonus features of Windows 10. Here there are and what you need to do with each of them:

Step 1 – Privacy

Your first step is to open the Settings section and click on Privacy. You will need to go through a total of 13 different screens where you can disable just about anything that gets you a bit twitchy. The General tab will be a key location to visit.

Step 2 – Cortana

The voice-driven assistant known as Cortana is a new feature with Windows 10. Unfortunately, Cortana does not appear to take protection of your data as seriously as you do. The solution is to uninstall Cortana. It will be worth it in the long run.

Step 3 – Disable Ad Tracking

The next step will involve visiting the ‘net and Microsoft’s new Edge browser. In it set both advertising options (personalized ads in this browser and personalized ads wherever I use my Microsoft account) to off. This stops Microsoft’s ad tracking features from following you around.

Step 4 – Removing Your Account

This final step is required in order to completely opt out of Windows 10. You will need to remove your existing Microsoft account from Windows 10. You can create a local account to use instead. What this does, according to the private investigators in Boise, is that it stops Microsoft from latching onto your data and syncing it across machines.

Trust the Private Investigators In Boise

For any information regarding cyber security, contact the private investigators in Boise at Custer Agency. They can help you protect yourself and those you love from any kind of cyber attack.

2017 Latest – Hackers Getting Smarter by Going Old School

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You’ve heard the phrase that everything eventually cycles back to where it started, right? Well, the private investigators in Boise want to tell you that although technology does not appear to be cycling back, the ways in which hackers operate has taken a trip back to simpler technology. The incredible thing is that the ‘retro’ approach has become very successful for hackers.

Here’s How It Works

Hackers continue to become sophisticated in how they steal the information they use. In fact, because they continue to increase their abilities, security designers are no longer leading the way, in most cases they are just catching up to where the hackers are. But now hackers have combined new and old in order to steal your information. A typical scenario may look like this:

1 – No More Blanket E-Mails

Hackers are aware that corporate e-mail filters can spot a generic and unprompted e-mail from miles away. So they have dropped that tactic opting for something more personal in nature.

2 – Personalization

The average hacker knows how to search for specific data. The private investigators in Boise say this is where they excel. By locating some small nugget of information from a social media site a target can be identified. This leads to a person to make contact with. The hacker has a credible ruse already in place and makes a call. It could be for general information about the company or just about any other item that would sound like a normal, ordinary inquiry.

3 – Follow-Up E-Mail

During the telephone conversation the hacker makes reference to a follow-up e-mail which will be related to the conversation. The e-mail is sent and passes through the corporate e-mail filters as it is an expected piece of mail. The e-mail would include an attached Word doc that would be expected from the telephone conversation.

4 – Opening The E-Mail

As the e-mail is expected, the target has no fear and goes ahead and opens the attachment. However, in order to do that he or she must disable macros on their computer. The private investigators in Boise say this request should be your red flag. Once the macros are disabled a batch script is executed and the hacker’s malware gets downloaded.

How To Protect Yourself From This Happening To You

The private investigators in Boise point to online and e-mail security measures as being a good first line of defense. However, these systems work only if they are used. People are often the weakest link and therefore staff and management need to stay diligent in the war against cyber crime. To find out how to better protect your e-mail system or how to train your staff to watch for signs that may lead to a breach in security contact the private investigators in Boise at Custer Agency.

USPS Informed Delivery – What It Is And Why You Should Avoid It

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The private investigators in Boise want to bring your attention to a relatively new postal service. It is called Informed Delivery and has been around in a limited manner in several states since 2014. It has since expanded and now contains over 6.3-million accounts.

How It Works

Eligible residents can sign up by creating a free account online at USPS.com. The requirements are basic and include your name, address and an email address. The final step in the process is to validate your account with the use of a series of four questions. The question process is known as “knowledge-based authentication” and once you are signed up, you can view scanned images of what is on the front of each incoming piece of mail to your address prior to it arriving there. For many on the system, this is a great way of knowing what mail is coming, especially if you are expecting something and have been tracking it.

Why You Should Avoid It

The use of knowledge-based authentication or KBA is the main problem according to the private investigators in Boise. They point to this method as being an unreliable way to authenticate someone’s identity simply because the answers are easy to farm from other online sources, including social media. In other words, KBA is a weak system. More secure methods exist using what is known as multi-channel authentication. In fact, multi-channel authentication is quickly becoming the norm used online because it poses less risk.

What Informed Delivery Can Do

On the positive side, USPS says Informed Delivery will reduce mail theft. However, the private investigators in Boise also point to the KBA system as being an aid to identity thieves. As to why USPS won’t upgrade the authentication process, with the technology already in existence to protect customers is unclear. They do say that each household resident should have their own personal account to prevent someone in the same home from accessing an existing account. That still does not address the potential risk coming from security breaches and identity thieves.

Stay Safe When Using Online Programs

Informed Delivery is a great program if it was to be used only in the way it was designed. But with a weak authentication system, it creates a potential mine of personal information that could easily be used in a much more negative way. The private investigators in Boise say you should steer clear of this program until USPS tightens up the security features. For more information on cyber security, contact the private investigators in Boise at Custer Agency.