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A Brief Overview of the Windows Built In Firewall

Windows has had a built in firewall since Windows XP, and maintained that feature during transitions to Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8. The goal of the firewall is to enhance security for users, particularly those who are not thoroughly experienced with potential online hazards. Some more advanced users consider the Windows firewall to be a bit too cumbersome. This guide will give you a quick rundown on the firewall and when it should and should not be used.

Different Version of the Built In Firewall

The Windows built in firewall has seen steady evolution since it began in XP. In a base install of Windows XP, the firewall blocks only inbound connections that have not been initiated by your computer, and the setting is turned off by default. Service Pack 2, however, turns on the firewall default and also gives administrators group control over the firewall. Vista saw additional filters put on the firewall, and Windows 7 and 8 have worked to provide the user with more control over what information you allow. This includes being able to designate different connections as either a home network, a work network, or a public network.

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7 Tips to Secure Your Network

The Internet has created a vast network for business that has improved communications and operations exponentially. Unfortunately, the Internet has also created a new environment primed for security threats and cybercrime. A network attack can result in consequences that may range from being mildly troublesome to completely debilitating. Businesses have faced the loss of important data, privacy violations, and hours or sometimes days, of network downtime.

Regardless of your company’s size and the kind of business it performs, you face several inherent threats to your network security. There are hackers who develop botnets and other automated scanning techniques that are focused on finding holes in your network security to exploit. From within, companies have faced security threats at the hands of disgruntled, unaware and even nosy employees. However, businesses that take a holistic approach to their network security can easily overcome these threats and successfully protect their most important information and operations.

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Remote Utilities Software Review

For most businesses, and some individuals, there will come a time when a remote desktop access solution becomes a necessity. Remote computing software can help businesses by allowing IT to instantaneously manage and monitor hardware and software by accessing systems remotely to provide support and increase productivity, from anywhere in the world. The ability to successfully manage, monitor and maintain computer software and hardware can add convenience and save you and your business time and money.

“For power users, there's plenty to like about Remote Utilities. Several connection modes are offered beyond the full remote desktop experience. There's also a file transfer mode, remote device manager, registry viewer, remote webcam access, and a terminal mode--which is an excellent way to perform simple command line tasks from a distance.” - PC World

Remote Utilities really shines in its professional versions, which are designed to satisfy the needs of systems administrators, IT professionals and help desk providers. Remote Utilities allows users to see the actual remote computer’s monitor, as well as control the computer’s mouse and keyboard. It is the second best thing to actually being physically seated at the computer. The software puts you in control of the remote computer, and makes it possible for you to perform any function you could at the remote desktop.

The program can link via a LAN or the Internet in several connection modes. It can also be scaled up to accommodate bigger atmospheres with thousands of PCs and Windows servers. As a result, Remote Utilities is a dynamic tool for small and mid-sized businesses seeking a flexible and economical remote administration solution.

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How to Configure the Host for Attended-Only Support

As many of you know, Remote Utilities provides a separate module called the “Agent” for spontaneous remote support. This program is actually a modified Host that can be run as an application without administrative privileges. The advantage of using the Agent is that it does not require installation. The remote user can run it, give the help desk technician their ID and password and wait until a remote session starts.

Agent

The Agent grants remote access only when explicitly run by the remote user. This makes many helpdesk technicians think that remote users must run the Agent (and not the Host) if they want to have some degree of control over the remote connection. This is not true.

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Potential Storms on the Cloud

Cloud computing, the delivery of computer hardware and software services over the internet, is being hailed as THE solution for many business IT challenges. There are many advantages to Cloud computing, including data storage, mobile access, potential savings in system hardware and more. However, there are many disadvantages to Cloud computing as well. Depending on your needs, the best solution for your business may be to stick with a more traditional product delivery. Before you throw caution to the winds and dedicate your IT needs to the Cloud, it is important to understand the weaknesses of the Cloud and how these may affect your business.

Weather Delays and Storm Outages

The first link in your connection to the Cloud relies on your Internet service. The second link in your connection to the Cloud relies on the servers of your Cloud service provider. Therefore, one of the biggest weaknesses of the cloud is the inevitability of a Cloud server going down or your internet connection failing. It’s really not a matter of “if” it will happen, because it will. Instead, you must focus your concern on how often will it happen. In both cases, you will not be able to access the programs, processes and information that are delivered over the Cloud. This will result in interruptions that can easily translate into lost revenues, employee downtime, project delays, and other cost increasing outcomes.

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RATs Pest Control

Throughout history, rats have been regarded as filthy vermin responsible for damaging property, destroying food, and spreading parasites and diseases that have caused great devastation. At the slightest sign of a rat infestation, most people act immediately to eliminate the invading pests and prevent future intrusion, damage and risk.

Remote Administration Tools (RATs), like their namesake, often cause great damage. RATs are potentially harmful software created with the intent of providing an undetected operator unauthorized access and control of a remote system. Unlike many desktop sharing and remote administration systems that have been developed for legitimate, authorized and legal use, "RAT" software is commonly used for malicious, illegal activity.

RAT Infestation

RAT software is generally installed covertly and used without the victim's knowledge. The malicious software is intentionally designed to hide its presence and operation from the victim and from the host computer’s security software, and in many cases may be fully undetectable. In order to install a RAT program, a RAT controller must somehow get his victim’s IP address, or infect the victim’s computer with a disguised RAT trojan file.

RAT controllers stalk their victims on the internet, frequently using social media channels and chat rooms where they share their malware with unsuspecting victims. They also disguise their files as popular programs, music or movie files and embed them in file sharing networks, Peer-to-Peer Software and free internet downloads. After the malware has been downloaded onto the victim’s computer it will clandestinely install itself and may also disable or delete antivirus and firewall software, rendering the victim and their computer completely defenseless.

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