Top tech quick tips of 2021

Privacy, passwords, smishing and vishing — these topics resonated most

By Mark HoffmannKENOSHA.COM

A leader in the IT industry for nearly three decades, Hoffmann has helped small and large businesses take advantage of technology to better serve their customers and employees. Hoffmann is owner of CMIT Solutions of SE Wisconsin.

As 2021 draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on the year behind us. Full of challenges, commemorations, obstacles, and celebrations, the last 12 months were certainly informative and enlightening, if also frustrating and excruciating.

We learned how to live with hybrid work and new variants of COVID-19. We faced bigger data breaches and more online privacy threats than ever before. We mastered new platforms and applications. And through it all, CMIT Solutions’ weekly Tech Thursday column kept readers regularly informed.

We hope you enjoy this rumination on the most popular subjects from 2021. All of us at CMIT Solutions wish you good holiday cheer — and a safe and healthy New Year celebration.

Protect your email and your digital privacy

LinkedIn faced a dilemma last month. Hackers on the dark web offered up the personal details of 700 million users of the popular social networking application — employment histories, email addresses, and the geolocation records attached to them. Read the full article HERE.

Windows 11 is replacing Windows 10 in a phased rollout.

Windows 11 is coming

Microsoft announced its plans to release Windows 11 on Oct. 5, 2021. The updated operating system won’t be available all at once, however. Instead, Windows 11 will start replacing Windows 10 in a phased rollout. Read the full article HERE.

Use Microsoft 365? Read this now

Recently, Microsoft’s Security Intelligence team alerted Microsoft 365 users and administrators about a clever new phishing attempt that uses spoofed sender addresses and names — and even approximations of Microsoft logos. Read the full article HERE.

Stay safe in today’s digitally connected world.

Is your Wi-Fi connection secure?

Would you believe that your wireless router is the most important device your company uses every day? Routers monitor all network traffic coming and act as an initial line of defense to prevent unauthorized access—and protect sensitive information. Read the full article HERE.

Vishing attempts ramp up in advance of the holidays

As the holidays approach, a new type of malicious email is landing in inboxes. These fresh attacks — “vishing,” short for “voice phishing” — direct recipients to call a certain number and claim a refund or reimbursement. Read the full article HERE.

Panic buying ensued in states like North Carolina, where 75 percent of stations were out of gas.

Gas shortages highlight the severity of ransomware threat

Until recently, many of us considered ransomware a distant threat — something that happened to others but never directly affected us. That may have changed after the cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline. Read the full article HERE.

Time to take password security seriously

We’ve all been there before: you’re trying to log in to an important account or application, but a forgotten password locks you out. You’re redirected to a change password page, but before you can enter a new one, you have to enter the old one. Read the full article HERE.

Smishing is a unique form of phishing.

What the heck is smishing?

Cybersecurity experts are raising alarms about “smishing,” a unique form of phishing that attempts to deliver malicious links or infected applications to cell phones via text or SMS messages. The challenge is that a message like this cannot be authenticated. Read the full article HERE.

You can also check out our spot on FOX6 HERE.

When severe weather strikes, will you be ready?

Severe tornados that swept through the Midwest and Southeast on Dec. 10 left a trail of unprecedented devastation: hundreds of deaths and injuries, thousands of buildings destroyed, and billions of dollars in economic damage. Read the full article HERE.

Across 12 months of cyber challenges and tech innovations, CMIT Solutions worked nonstop to help clients across North America navigate the ins and outs of IT security. Whether you need help with device protection, data backup, or network security, we are here to help. Here’s to more collaboration and mutual success in 2022.