Sklar Technology Partners - March 2019

March 2019

7462 Old Hickory Drive, Mechanicsville, VA 23111 • • 804-730-2628

I Can Get Your Password in 5 Seconds ... Here’s How

You’ve Made It Easy to Scam Your Company

I heard from one woman who lost thousands of dollars after her company’s payroll was breached.The hacker had broken in, added a fake employee, and made off with thousands in a single transaction. It turns out she used the same password for everything, including Facebook. My guess is that someone got her password after the Facebook breach and was able to access the payroll system that way. If you use the same password for multiple accounts, every data breach is a threat to almost every area of your digital life. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: You need to start protecting your reputation and your business with a password vault. Don’t have the time or resources to create a company- wide password vault? Good news: Sklar Technology Partners is offering a new service that can take care of the hassle for you. Our Online Identity Security Service will set up a vault, seal up weak points in your password system, and teach your employees how to keep sensitive passwords from falling into the wrong hands. I’ve seen too many businesses suffer because of poor password management. Give us a call to learn about the Online Identity Security Service, or, at the very least, Google “password vault” and set one up today! Stop Trading Security for Convenience

compromising video of you.That said, they do have your password, which might pose a bigger threat.

“How do they know my password?”

With the constant barrage of database leaks in the last decade, it’s not surprising that hackers have easy access to countless emails and the passwords associated with them. Last year alone, massive websites like Facebook, Reddit, andWordPress were compromised, exposing the sensitive data of millions of users.These breaches aren’t forgotten. Most of this exposed data is gathered up and sold to cybercriminals on the dark web or through sites like DeHashed. DeHashed alone has a database of emails and passwords from everywhere, from LinkedIn to Dungeons & Dragons Online.There are almost 6.5 million passwords on DeHashed, and it costs just $4 to access passwords associated with an email.

Recently, I’ve received several phone calls from panicked clients who had just received an email that scared the hell out of them.The email appeared in their inbox with the subject line “Your Password is ___” and named one of their legitimate passwords. After opening the email, they read a threatening message from some hacker who claimed to know they have been doing illegal or compromising things on their computer. My client was ordered to buy a ransom in Bitcoin or the hacker would send a compromising video to their friends and colleagues. Faced with this frightening email, it’s no wonder security researcher SecGuru found that victims who received this email paid over $50,000 in just one week. But they didn’t have to pay to keep their personal lives secret — because this email is a total scam. If you ever get an email like this, just delete it.As Brian Krebs from Krebs on Security pointed out, this is likely a semi-automated email.You haven’t been targeted personally, and the hacker doesn’t have a An Email Worse Than Spam

Don’t believe me? I dare you to visit and search your personal email.

New Passwords Can’t Protect You

After a major data breach, these websites urged users to change their passwords. But changing your Facebook or eBay password isn’t enough to protect you from the damage that’s been done. Despite the danger, so many people insist on using the same password for multiple sites, which is why it’s so easy for hackers to make a profit.

Unless you think a hacker won’t be willing to pay $4 for access to your bank accounts.

–Randy Sklar


Spring Has Sprung

Is Two-Factor Authentication Worth the Effort?

In 2012,Wired journalist Mat Honan saw his entire digital life destroyed in less than an hour. A hacker gained access to his Google account and then quickly began posting harmful messages from Honan’s Twitter profile before logging into his Apple ID and erasing all the data on his devices. This highly publicized virtual nightmare exposed major security flaws in popular websites and became the rallying cry for two-factor authentication. Had Honan been notified when someone tried to log into his Google account, the whole disaster might have been averted. Today, two-factor authentication is available on almost every major platform, but most people still don’t use it. Google estimated that 90 percent of users have not enabled two-factor authentication. A security step that should be as common as passwords is overlooked because most people still don’t understand what it does. Let’s clear up some major myths about two-factor authentication. Myth: All forms of two-factor authentication are the same. Most people are familiarity with SMS-based two-factor authentication. You attach your phone number to an account and when you log in, you’ll receive a text with a code that you’ll need to input to finish logging in. However, there are also authenticator apps, like Google Authenticator; push-based authentication, which links to a specific device; and USB security keys like Yubikey that must be inserted into a computer in order for the account to be accessed. Myth: Two-factor authentication will stop all account breaches. There’s one rule in data security: Nothing is safe. If anyone claims to offer guaranteed protection against hackers, they either don’t know enough about IT, or they’re selling snake oil. It is possible for hackers to get around two-factor authentication, especially if the two-factor system is SMS-based. That said, passwords themselves do not guarantee your account’s safety, but that doesn’t mean you should stop using passwords. More security is always better. And as hackers become more sophisticated, you need all the security available. Myth: Two-factor authentication is annoying, time-consuming, and only necessary to appease compliance. Yes, using two-factor authentication demands a little more time when logging into your accounts. But is saving an extra 60 seconds really worth putting your accounts at risk? Two-factor authentication isn’t perfect, but it’s a whole lot better than leaving your accounts next to defenseless. Start by enabling two-factor authentication on all your accounts. If a service you use regularly does not offer the option for two-factor authentication, consider switching to a new service.

4 Factors That Might Be Affecting Your Business’s Growth This Season

Spring is here, and watching flowers sneak up through the soil in your front yard may remind you to consider growth of a different kind — the growth of your business. Regardless of whether you soared over your revenue goals the previous quarter or you took these last few months to recover from failed marketing efforts and missed opportunities, spring provides a great opportunity for overall growth. Still, it’s hard to know where you should focus your energy. To aid your efforts, here are four factors to consider for strategic business growth. 1. Leadership Similar to nature’s processes during springtime, business growth begins far below the surface through good leadership. Your employees’ perception of you and your company’s mission is what determines their motivation to work hard. Take a step back to evaluate your leadership tactics and determine if they match your ideal business model. Often, replacing poor leaders with stronger ones makes all the difference in a company’s success. 2. Employee Training Business growth doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Just as leadership from your management team should be a major focus, your employees need a standard but solid foundation of knowledge in order to cultivate their own growth in the company. This spring, consider revamping your training programs by moving to online platforms that customize learning paths for each new employee based on previous employees’ feedback. 3. Customer Loyalty While it is important to increase brand awareness and expand your customer base, it is essential to also increase sales potential with your existing customers. Look for opportunities to grow your profits with the customers you already have through add-on sales, customer loyalty programs, and referral business. 4. Social Responsibility When you adopt policies of social responsibility, you affect your community — and therefore your customers — in a positive way. Take the month of March, for example, which is National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Month. You can get your business involved in various organizations geared toward raising awareness. Through sponsoring events and donating money, you can increase your client base while simultaneously helping others.

Your Browser Knows All Your Passwords The Worst Kept Secrets

remember passwords, and they all list these passwords in an unsecure location that’s only a few clicks away. Check out the pathways to access saved passwords on some other browsers: • Mozilla Firefox: Settings > Security > Saved Passwords • Safari: Keychain Access • Microsoft Edge: Control Panel > Microsoft Credential Manager If you want to keep your digital life secure, you cannot store passwords on your browser.The next time you’re online, go to your browser’s security settings, remove all stored passwords, and turn off the auto-prompt that offers to store passwords in the first place. Don’t leave the key to your valuable data unprotected. Do you have a hard time remembering passwords? Sklar Technology Partners has you covered with our new Online Identity Security Service. Check out the free demo at and learn the steps you need to take to protect your data on every platform. Autofill is a time-saver, but it’s yet another example of how we keep trading security for convenience.

Do you use your browser’s autofill option?Why wouldn’t you? You can save so much time online shopping when you don’t have to fill out your address manually each time you make a purchase. It can even make using secure passwords easier when you elect to have your browser remember the password for your Facebook or email rather than type it in every time. But using autofill for your passwords might be the single biggest security risk you make on a daily basis. If you’re fond of Google Chrome, try clicking your profile avatar near the address.A list of options will appear, the first one being “Passwords.” Just click that link, and you’ll find yourself on a page that lists every password saved to your browser.This means the password to your social media accounts, emails, banking information, work software, are all saved on the same page.Yes, the passwords are blocked, but they can easily be viewed if someone learns the password to your Google account.This means a hacker only needs to break into your Google account, and they can gain access to every other account you’ve ever used with Chrome.

It’s not just Chrome that has this glaring security flaw. Every major browser offers the option to

Asparagus and Avocado Soup This hearty soup is the perfect meal for those late winter days when you think spring will never come. It can be made vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth for the chicken stock.


• 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed • Juice of 1/2 lemon • 1 tablespoon ghee or coconut oil • Salt and pepper, to taste

• 12 ounces asparagus • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped • 2 cups chicken stock

Directions 1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss asparagus and garlic with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes. 3. Transfer asparagus to blender. Add remaining ingredients and puree until smooth. 4. Season to taste and serve.

Inspired by

7462 Old Hickory Drive Mechanicsville, VA 23111 804-730-2628


Inside This Issue


Why Are You Still Using Compromised Passwords? Reorganizing Your Efforts for Strategic Growth This Spring Step One: Password. Step Two: ? Your Passwords Are Just Two Clicks Away Avocado and Asparagus Soup The History of Snoozing




The History of Snoozing How the Art of Sleep Has Changed Over Time

sleep sessions each night entirely receded from the social consciousness. Historians attribute this shift to innovations in artificial lighting and work schedules during the Industrial Revolution that required workers to stay up longer and sleep less. Cozy Blankets Most people find it difficult to sleep without some kind of covering, like a blanket, over their bodies.While researchers of the past entertained the idea that blankets offer some kind of primal protection for sleepers, they now believe the coverings help with temperature regulation, as maintaining a comfortable body temperature is necessary for good sleep. However, according to a recent study conducted in Sweden, weighted blankets help with much more than just temperature. Due to the added pressure, weighted blankets provide deep pressure touch (DTP), which increases the body’s amount of serotonin — a chemical that helps decrease blood pressure and rapid heart rate. Because of the effects of increased serotonin, weighted blankets are believed to help with anxiety and insomnia. While sleep patterns may change over time, the human need for sleep will not. As you crawl into your bed tonight, take some time to think about the way your ancestors approached their nightly snooze sessions. It’ll put you to sleep faster than counting sheep.

There are few things in life that feel better than crawling into a comfy bed after a long day. Sleep is an essential part of human health. After a mere 24 hours of sleep deprivation, bodily functions and mental faculties start to go haywire, and

11 days seems to be the longest a person can live without sleep.While people acknowledge that sleep has always been a necessary part of human existence, very few know how drastically nightly routines have changed over time. Here are three significantly different historical approaches to sleep. Brain Floods For centuries, theorists associated sleep with blood loss and other health problems. But by the 1800s, notable physicians blamed sleep on a process known as congestion theory. In this theory, sleep was thought to be brought on by an overwhelming flow of blood to the brain, effectively flooding it and sending sleepers into a dreamlike state. Sleep Gaps While many modern sleep experts support the consecutive eight-hour sleep regimen, historically, people had completely different sleep schedules. Medieval society actually had two sleep sessions a night — known as biphasic sleep — with a gap of wakefulness in between to eat, pray, talk, read, or write by candlelight. But by the 1920s, this practice of having two

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