We anticipate and solve problems before they arise. Our tailored Managed Services give you peace of mind so you can focus on your business.

We anticipate and solve problems before they arise. Our tailored Managed Services give you peace of mind so you can focus on your business.

Our MDL Technology help desk is staffed Monday-Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM CST with techs ready to handle all your computer problems. And, if it’s after business hours, call    816 781-3006, we are always available to serve you.

Our MDL Technology help desk is staffed Monday-Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM CST with techs ready to handle all your computer problems. And, if it’s after business hours, call 816 781-3006, we are always available to serve you.

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Trial Microsoft CRM for 30 days for FREE! Did you know that Microsoft CRM enables businesses to help grow sales, manage marketing and care for customers, all in one convenient location? Click the Free 30-Day Trial button to learn more...

A Prescription To Avoid Computer Viruses

We’ve talked a lot lately about different kinds of computer viruses out there that could be lurking and waiting to attack your computer. From Ebola to Jimmy Kimmel, you never can be too sure of what’s safe and what’s dangerous. So we’ve compiled a list (a prescription of sorts) of ways you can be vigilant in keeping your computer, files and personal information safe.

How To Keep Your Computer From Becoming Infected
Photo credit: IntelFreePress / Foter / CC BY

According to AngiesList, the number one way you can protect your computer from hackers is to not use the same password over and over again. You’ve probably seen a lot about company security breaches lately – from Target to Home Depot and even Dairy Queen – which brings fear about the number of people affected by the breach. Change your passwords often, and if they are hard for you to remember, write them down in a safe location. Don’t use the same password for multiple sites, either. That makes it easier for hackers to find their way into many of your accounts.

Another way to keep viruses and hackers at bay is to always make sure your software, especially your security software, is updated. Sure, those windows about “software ready to update” and “please restart your computer” can be annoying, but they are nowhere near as annoying as what could happen if your computer becomes infected. Make sure to take the few minutes to download all software updates and restart your computer. Oftentimes the updates include patches that can protect you from new strains of malware and other viruses.

Don’t download illegal files, either. It might be tempting to download that Taylor Swift song you can’t get out of your head without paying for it. But hackers are betting on your willingness to test the boundaries of illegal sharing sites and are likely waiting with a virus attached to a song you download from a file sharing site. Your best bet is to either pay for the downloads you want or wait for the album to come out a buy a physical copy. It’s still a lot cheaper than having to buy a new computer or spend money to get your computer cleaned.

Above all, the best way to save your computer from being attacked by a virus is to be smart. Don’t click on things you aren’t familiar with and don’t let fake download or update popups trick you into clicking. Have a good quality security program running and when it tells you a site is dangerous, believe it. You don’t want to take any chances. And like we’ve told you before – if you get an email you don’t know about or that contains a suspicious link, it’s best to trash it. Browse the internet smartly and your computer will thank you for it.

Ebola Virus Could Be Coming To Your Inbox

You’ve probably heard about a fair share of viruses that could infect your computer just from clicking a link in your email – from sweepstakes scams to fake password reset links from online shopping sites. Now there’s even more reason to be mindful of the emails you open and links you click: an Ebola hack could be lurking in your inbox.

Ebola Could Infect Your ComputerPhoto credit: NIAID / Foter / CC BY

According to The International Business Times, a new strain of malware is being distributed by hackers in the form of an email from the World Health Organization, WHO. The email is being sent with headlines like “Ebola Survival Guide” and “Health Alert: Ebola is Spreading.” If you open the email, hackers can easily take control of your computer.

The International Business Times points out the emails do not actually have any tips on avoiding Ebola, a disease which has killed and infected many people in West Africa and a few people in the United States. Instead of tips, emails allegedly from the WHO contain a DarkComet Remote Access Trojan (RAT) virus. The virus can elude your computer’s antivirus software and can take control of your files, webcam, passwords and other information.

This is the latest in the trend of hackers using high-visibility events to try to infect your computer. Hackers have also targeted email inboxes recently using headlines associated with the crash of Malaysian Airlines flight 370 and the fighting going on between Ukraine and Russia.

The best way to avoid malware and other viruses is to be aware of emails you are opening. If you aren’t familiar with the sender, don’t open the email, and if you think a link looks suspicious, don’t click on it and delete the email.

Celebrities: How They Can Attack Your Computer With Viruses

Celebrities Associated with Viruses
Photo credit:
Don Hankins / Foter / CC BY

The next time you search for your favorite celebrity online, you might want to think twice before clicking a link from a site you aren’t familiar with. That’s because some celebrities are more likely than others to link you to a website with spyware, malware or other viruses.

According to McAfee, Jimmy Kimmel is the most dangerous celebrity to search for online. McAfee said Kimmel has a 19 percent chance of sending your computer to a site that could cause harm. Cyber-criminals use malware and spyware in an attempt to steal your personal information and passwords. Since celebrities are very popular searches online, cyber-criminals target the most popular celebrities to raise their chances of stealing your information.

Dangerous Celebrities on the Web
Jimmy Kimmel
Photo credit: kwc / Foter / CC BY-SA

McAfee lists Bruce Springsteen, Chelsea Handler and Jon Bon Jovi as other dangerous celebrities to search for. And if you’re searching the web in the UK, McAfee wants you to watch out for threats from Cheryl Cole, David Beckham and One Direction band members.

So should you stop clicking on links related to “dangerous” celebrities? No, but there are ways to keep your computer and mobile devices safe. McAfee offers the following advice:

  • Beware of clicking on third party links
  • Use web protection
  • Don’t download videos from sites you don’t know
  • Watch out for “free downloads” – they are the most virus-prone
  • Always use password protection
  • Don’t “log-in” to third party sites – it’s a common form of phishing
  • Utilize a program like Site Advisor when searching online

There’s no reason to be afraid of searching for the celebrities listed above, but you should use caution when visiting sites new to you or that you aren’t familiar with.

Keeping Data Out Of Hackers’ Hands

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Photo credit: Johan Larsson / Foter/ Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Recently, Russian hackers made off with 1.2 billion username/password combinations and over 500 million email addresses, in what the New York Times says is “the largest known collection of stolen Internet credentials.”

Here are a few simple but effective steps Forbes has shared that should be taken to protect yourself from hackers.

-Wi-Fi hotspots should be used with caution. The free Wi-Fi in your hotel lobby or the downtown coffee shop is never going to be secure, even if you have to ask for the password. Being free to the public makes them targets.

-Use a VPN, virtual private network, when going online. When you connect to a network, the internet and your computer communicate directly. This communication is not encrypted and anyone logging that traffic can see what you’re doing. A VPN interrupts this communication and encrypts the communication between it and your computer.

-Change all passwords when you think you may be at risk, and do not use the same password or username across multiple sites.

Securing Mobile Device Data

Image courtesy of adamr at freedigitalphotos.net.

Image courtesy of adamr at freedigitalphotos.net.

Between smartphones, laptops, USB drives and tablets, your data and personal information is often spread across multiple devices. This could put your privacy and company data at high risk.

While mobile devices can store large amounts of data, they are often unprotected. They are also easy to lose or steal.

According to CSOonline, mobile devices are just as much at risk as a PC and mobile operating systems like iOS and Android are targets. They recommend having anti-malware software installed and frequently updated on any device that is used to access the internet, or used for work.

Mark Dryer, CEO of MDL Technologies, reminds mobile users that it is essential to use passwords for laptops and mobile storage devices that contain sensitive data in order to prevent them from being accessed in the event that they are lost or stolen. Dryer also highly suggests that any and all emails containing sensitive data be encrypted.

A frequent mistake made by users is having the same password across all accounts, if a hacker cracks one account they now can access them all. Each account should have their own. The New York Times recommends using a password manager like Password Safe or LastPass to create stronger passwords. These sites make a password for each website you need and store them in a database that is then protected by a master password.

CRM: How it Can Increase Your Sales

Image courtesy of tiramisustudio

Image courtesy of tiramisustudio

Client Relationship Management, or CRM, can be extremely valuable. According the Forbes, a recent study found that companies with a fully utilized CRM system increased sales by 29% and sales productivity by 34%.

“CRM is a customer focused business strategy designed to optimise revenue, profit and customer satisfaction,” explains Jason Nash, product marketing manager for Microsoft CRM UK. “The more you understand your customers, the easier it is to target new prospects and boost sales. CRM simply manages critical customer information, like history, preferences, social media presence, past interactions, past sales, etc. and stores it all in one, easy-to-use interface.

It can also provide notifications and reminders for important contacts. The system can be used every day and in real time. CRM will also monitor the steps your team is taking and keep your sales manager in the know. It can track each stage a deal is in and allows the sales manager to see the entire process.

Overall CRM enables your sales team to build stronger relationships with customers while being more efficient. More information can be found here.

PF Chang’s is Latest Victim of Data Breach

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Data breaches have affected several major U.S. corporations recently, Target Corp., Michaels Stores Inc., Sally Beauty Holding Inc. and Neiman Marcus to name a few. PF Chang’s China Bistro Inc. can now be added to the list. The restaurant chain, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, has provided a list of 33 locations where credit and debit cards used may have had information stolen. The potentially stolen data includes the card number and possibly the cardholders name and/or the card’s expiration date.

Mark Dryer, CEO of MDL Technology, an IT and managed services firm in Kansas City, said that companies need to make sure they are maintaining and updating their security policies frequently. “Policies need to be reviewed on a regular basis. The exact time frame depends on what kind of IT infrastructure is in place, the expertise level of in-house and external consultants, the pace of changes in network, server platforms, applications configuration and implementation of new technologies and whether the business can bear the cost of revision process,” he said.

Find more information and a complete list of locations affected today.

MDL Press Release Published on YahooFinance

MDL Technology, LLC issued a press release this week about their case study with the The Raytown Police Department regarding data security. The press release was published on YahooFinance.

The police department retained the IT firm to virtualize its network infrastructure, implement offsite back-up storage, cut costs and power consumption and allow sensitive data to be securely housed with cloud services.

Captain Doug Goode said they chose MDL for its cloud storage capabilities, knowledgeable technicians, reasonable service packages and the ability to identify the issues and IT needs the Raytown Police Department struggled to fix.

Dryer, explained, “the need for a solid backup solution and an offsite copy of backups is something every customer should be aware of.”

Big Kansas City To Be Hosted At Hangar9 2014

 

Silicon Prairie News is hosting this years Big Kansas City which will be taking place in Hangar9 from October 8-10.

Forbes has declared Big Kansas City as, “one of the top conferences to attend for entrepreneurs.”

It’s a conference where founders, designers, developers, investors and more, converging on the Midwest for a span of two and a half days. While sharing ideas, offering advice, co-creating experiences, and inspiring one another.

Notable speakers include co-founder and co-CEO of Warby Parker, Neil Blumenthal. Warby Parker is a designer eyewear company that sells at revolutionary prices while offering a buy one, give one program helping those in need.

Founder and President of Beespace, a non-profit incubator, Marissa Sackler is another speaker.

Entrepreneurs, innovators, college students, everyone is welcome.

Tickets are still available and can be purchase at bigkansascity.co

 

What You Need To Know About Computer Viruses:

‘Virus’ is a blanket term typically used to reference computer malware. Malware simply stands for malicious software. Viruses and malware usually have two main functions: to spread and do cause damage or theft. They also possess the ability to avoid detection and replicate.

 

Hoax emails that warn about viruses are becoming increasingly popular. According to the University of Cambridge, emails such as these typically ask you to forward the “warning” to as many people as possible. Do not open or forward these, delete them.

A study by toptenreviews revealed that 32% of the worlds computers were affected with some type of malware, of that 57% is viruses. Even more shocking 27 million new strains of malware were developed last year.

It’s becoming increasingly important that your computer have some sort of antivirus or security program. In addition to having software protection on your computer, it’s also highly important that you make smart choices while surfing the web and opening up emails.