Friday, January 6, 2017

Background checks

I was recently asked to undergo a background check. With my Military Police background, and just having passed the US Border Patrols background check a few years ago, I was more than confident that this was nothing more than routine, but it got me thinking that some people may suffer some anxiety about having to do this, so I reached out to my friend, Casey Donaldson, over at Accurate Investigations LLC in Edgewater to see if she could give some advice for people about to go through this process. Here is what she had to say:

"Most background checks are required for pre-employment screenings.
Criminal and civil records are checked, it's better to be honest from the very beginning if you've had any legal problems.

Social media...... if you put pictures of yourself doing drugs, drunk or half naked up on the internet, the entire world is watching; including your new employer.

If you are being investigated for a security clearance..... do not lie about anything. Depending on the reasons for the background check, interviews with current and past employers, family members, friends and past/present associates will be conducted...."

Depending on the purpose of the background check, this could take a couple of days or up to a year for some security clearance positions. Having been through this process several times myself I can attest to being honest about everything. The more forthcoming you are with the investigator the quicker the process moves along.

Casey also added to our conversation:

" Most employers require drug testing, which is done in a lab and reported back to their employer directly. Drugs stay in your system for a very long time. If you are taking prescription meds that could come up in your lab tests, let your prospective employer know because they'll find out anyway."

Again, this goes with being honest and forthcoming. Past discretions will not necessarily preclude you from the prospective position or business opportunity, however, not disclosing information most assuredly will.  

Lead Tech

Friday, December 30, 2016

Wireless Security Basics.

We live in a fascinating time. The amount of resources at our fingertips is astounding, we can search through the annals of time to find out information on a vast number of topics, from how the solar system was formed, to the theoretical dynamics of quarks. But to take that one step further, we can do that without being tethered to a desk, free to roam about our home, or at the local coffee joint, (like Joe Digs) And as much of an amazing technology this is, we still need to take some basic steps to protect ourselves from the would be online predators. Simple things that you can do yourself with some simple Goggle searches, or a simple call to VeteranIT to do a full wireless security assessment, will take you a long way to keeping you and your devices secure.

#1 The first step you should take is to change the default settings on your home router. Each device comes with a generic log in, such as

Login: Admin
Password: Admin

Now this is a pragmatic approach for the manufacturer, and aids in troubleshooting out of the box, however, these passwords are easily accessible to anyone. (Check out the link for yourself.)
This is an easy step and will help thwart any would be hackers from accessing your system.

#2 The next thing would be to change your Service Set Identifier, or SSID. This is the name of your wireless network  connection. And the cool thing is you can change the name to anything you would like....I've used "Death Star Station" before! Be creative.

#3  Turn on wireless encryption. All devices will come with some sort of encryption. This will allow all that data being transmitted to be scrambled and keep others from viewing your info. You will want to pick the best encryption available, and with several available like WPA and WPA2, there is no reason not to secure your traffic.

These are just a few tips, but as I stated, a simple google search will show you how to accomplish some of these basic steps for those technologically inclined. And as with any of your tech issues, Veteran IT is here to help you get secure and squared away!!!

Happy New Year!!!

Lead Tech,

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

PC Health!

We all know it is routine to see the Doctor for a regular check up and an auto mechanic for regular maintenance on our vehicles, doesn't it make sense to take care of your computer as well? You should almost think of your computer as a living growing entity that needs some TLC and protection from the dangerous underbelly of the world.

From the day you purchase your computer it is changing. On a daily basis we navigate the world via our fingertips, circumnavigating the globe looking for a rare spice, a gaming hack, or to research our dream vacation to Bora Bora. And during this journey we are just as susceptible to dangers just as if you were visiting these places in person. And just like the State Department, you have a team of experts on your side operating to keep you protected and informed.

Experts are continually modifying your system, creating security patches to keep the hackers out,  malware at bay and viruses quarantined. From a system stand point, your computer is constantly changing, evolving thanks to a team of experts dedicated to keeping your personal information safe. However, without routine maintenance, these changes are being ignored and your system becomes more and more vulnerable to attack.

There is plenty of information out there for the do-it-yourself-er, or there our teams such as that will assist you in getting your systems squared away. Which ever path you choose, remember your health, and your PCs health, is an investment, not an expense.

Lead Tech

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Computer Safety Basics - 3 Basics

We live in a world where constant computer breaches inundate us on a seemingly weekly basis. And these breaches aren't about some small intrusion. Think about the attacks on Target or Sony, or more recently the Yahoo Breach affecting some 1 billion users. That has to cause some concern to you, I know it does me.

Therefore I have compiled some basic safety protocols that every computer user should follow. These tips are simple enough for everyone to follow, and they don't take much time.

#1 Install Updates:
                 Your computer, tablets, phones are all complicated devices that are constantly being updated by their respective companies. They regularly release updates to not only enhance the security, but also the usability of your device. This only takes a few minutes, do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to install these updates.

#2 Backup your Data:
                  We have all heard the horror stories of Ransomeware, or a hard drive crash where years of pictures, or work is gone. Setting up a simple back up can minimize these frustrating events.

#3 Do Not Open Attachments from unknown sources:
                  That email that claims you have just won the lottery, or the promise of a job offer. Just click on the attachment and all your worries will disappear? Sound to good to be true? Chances are it is, and the attachment you just clicked has installed a virus or malware on your system. Don't do it!!!Edit

These are just 3 simple ways to protect yourself. Even for the novice all it takes is some googling to understand these processes. Do yourself a favor and protect yourself!

Lead Tech
Veteran IT