I recently heard a story which reminded me of how we can all play a part in keeping our computer systems secure. You may have heard that the Democratic National Convention emails were leaked during the presidential campaign in America. It has since been revealed that Hilary Clinton's presidential campaign chairman used the password "password". This would be one of the first passwords checked by Script Kiddies and also true hackers who are trying to gain access. So, it's just a reminder to us all to keep using strong passwords and to continue to operate with a security mindset in our Birthlight and personal work. I can tell you from the logs on my own web servers that there are always a number of attempts each day to login to my servers by illicit individuals. That's just the world we live in. Best to use both capital and lowercase letter, special characters and numbers in your password and make sure that the password has a minimum of 12 characters in it (at least as of this date/writing).
Just a reminder that when sending an email to a large number of recipients it is best to use Mailchimp or Constant Contact or some similar marketing email software. The reason is that we have email limits set on our email server by our ISP's (Internet SErvice Providers). If we don't respect these limits our emails will not be received and we could get put on a blacklist (and recognized as spammers). Mailchimp and other email marketing software is setup to especially deal with these limits and also removes the errors which can be involved with sending such large and numerous emails with Outlook or any other email client running on your desktop. So, in so many words, please use mailchimp or the like when sending to large numbers of recipients
You may have heard of the recent worldwide ransomeware attack which is now affecting the NHS and various other worldwide organizations and demanding £300 payment in bitcoins immediately (which doubles after 3 days). The attack exploits a vulnerability which was patched by Microsoft in March and so our updated office computers should be fine. Our computers have always been set to automatically update any security patches. Please remember to keep your computers updated - both operating system and application software.
This is a little more broad ranging than my normal tips on preventing computer malware, etc but when I saw this I thought it would be worth running by you all as there is overlap. The other day in our neighbourhood the police were called because someone spotted a man following the postie - he was pulling post out of the letter flaps apparently in search of people's identity!!
The 5 points below seem pretty obvious but check out the video clip below them and it will make you think:
- Never disclose security details, such as your PIN or full banking password
- Don’t assume an email, text or phone call is authentic (** My note: esp. phone calls - I've refused giving info plenty of times)
- Don’t be rushed – a genuine organisation won’t mind waiting
- Listen to your instincts – you know if something doesn’t feel right (1 in 4 victims knew immediately they'd made a mistake)
- Stay in control – don’t panic and make a decision you’ll regret
The forums exist to help you along in your Birthlight experience so please do draw on the experience of others who have been at it for years and years. Tutors, teachers, and other Birthlighters including Francoise are eager to help when they can. Some tips in using the forum:
1. Firstly, pleaes login because not all forums will be visible until you login. Then click on the "Forum" tab on the top navigation menu of this site to go to post a message to the forum. When there at the Forums page you will see that there are many different categories. Please post in the category most appropriate to your question/concern (e.g. "Baby Swimming" (former Infant Aquatics), Baby Yoga, Aqua Yoga, Perinatal Yoga, etc).
2. Make full use of the "Search" feature on this site as it can search posts which go back years and years. So, do take advantage of the years and years of information by first searching on your topic to see if your question may have been already addressed in previous years.
It is important to keep your computer free of malware which can contribute to lifting personal information and even your identity from your computer. One such piece of software which comes recommended by me and which I've used in the past is Malwarebytes which can be used to detect and clean off malware from both Windows and Apple Mac computers. It is a trusted programme industry-wide and does a great job in detecting such problems. When downloading your free copy just download the file and install. During installation make sure that you do not tick any boxes to accept free trials as this has further requirements which are not necessary (leave unticked). Download Malwarebytes and rid your computer of malware.
You have heard it said that you should backup your computer. You can't say it enough. Anyone running their own courses should have backups of their records. No matter which backup solution you choose you should start with a full backup of your system and then run backups on any files that have changed perferably at the end of each day (these are called "incremental backups"). Also, before you begin trusting this backup system try restoring a file and make sure it works! Not only should we backup our computers but also our phones. What if you lose your phone - would you lose valuable contact details?
All the best,
Netweavings Web Design and IT Support
Sophos Security has informed us that there is an increase in phishing emails with PayPal and Apple phishing emails as the top 2 most used phishing emails. If you did not expect to receive an email or if you do not know the sender then be suspicious especially if the email asks you to open an attachment or to click on a link. (more: http://bit.ly/1JJmMTQ ). Then it is most likely an email which is going to unload malware onto your computer as soon as you open the attachment or click the link. So my advice : leave it alone and don't touch it.
Btw Sophos also weighed in on the Baby Yoga Video on Facebook that caused people worldwide to be distressed at what they saw: