Is Facebook a waste of time?

How much time does your staff spend on Facebook?

Are you concerned that your people are spending too much time not working while at work? Facebook, Hi5, Twitter, chats, LinkedIn and on and on – social networking is here to stay and it could be the biggest time waster since the water cooler was invented OR… it could be a useful business tool.

Two articles that tell why you shouldn’t totally ban social media in the workplace…

Social Networking Here To Stay Despite Security Risks

How to stop social media ruining your office productivity

If you are interested in more, Google search the term – “should you block facebook in your business” – and you will find a number of business forums discussing the topic. It is clear, even from a brief read – there is no consensus. Opinions run from one extreme to another. Ban all except strictly work sites or allow some access, especially for business related social networking.

Network Box and similar products can enforce organization policy on social network sites whether it is a full ban, timed access or access by job title or by department. Strong, focused content filtering brings added benefits as well. One of the biggest and one with real ROI is increased bandwidth. Content filters decrease traffic from bandwidth hogging sites like You Tube or game sites thus making your internet connection faster.

Let us hear about your company and how you deal with social networking in the workplace. We can help you manage your people and increase productivity – we’d love to show you how. For a free network security analysis click here.

Take care out there – best from Vic on the far side of Bangkok.



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A Question of Security

Recently I was shown an advertising piece from another network computer consulting firm. The questions asked in Content Filterthe piece were about computer networks and were all very good, so good in fact that I used many of them for the basis of our own questions to our clients and prospective customers.

The answers to all of these questions should be available fairly quickly from your company IT provider, whether it be in house or by an outside  service provider. So here they are and I would love to have your feedback.

Thinking about your computer network – when was the last time you asked your IT for any of the following?

  • I’d like to see a report on how much working time the staff spends on Facebook, Hi5 or non-work related web sites.
  • Could we produce the 90-day staff Internet browsing records as required by Thai law? (Thai CCA)
  • How many illegal copies of software are installed on our computers?
  • Can we improve Internet speed without paying more money? Are we paying too much?
  • How do we know our anti-virus applications are up to date?
  • How can we securely access files while out of the office?
  • What if one of our people sent the wrong price list or other private file to a customer? Even accidentally? Can our IT security protocol prevent this?
  • How can we prevent private company data from being transmitted, downloaded or accessed without proper authorization?
  • How many attempts to hack into our systems have occurred and were they all stopped?
  • How much spam is blocked from reaching our workers? How much time will be saved if our employees do not have to deal with it?
  • What if data is deleted or lost, can it be recovered? How quickly?

If you are not confidently positive about all of these questions and cannot quickly and accurately receive answers you should be talking to Network Consulting. Our experts and our leading edge products – Network Box™ and DeskCenter® take the worry out managing business data.

Count yourself and your company in a very small minority of organizations if you DO have the answers to these questions. But it is not difficult or prohibitively expensive to get them on an ongoing basis and to add a level of security and control to your company data at the same time. Some of our clients save the cost of our services by reducing expenditures on internet bandwidth alone and one tangle with the BSA (Business Software Alliance) over illegal software copies will pay for our services many times over.

No matter how you manage your computers or who does it for you, ask these questions and somehow, figure out a good way to get the answers when ever you need them.

Take care out there, from the far side of Bangkok, best to you, Vic

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Small Business – Big Target for Online Fraudsters

This video report is about how small businesses fail to protect themselves from hackers, identity theft and all the other threats that are more routine for the big guys and even for many individuals. Small business is targeted at a rate 15% higher than consumers and the costs are far greater. Two things you can do to protect your business? 1- A strong, up to date anti-virus program and 2- a well managed firewall.

What's the cost of NOT having good computer security?

Check out the full story – Fox Business, Technology.

Shameless plug – Network Box managed security service for small business puts a team of experts on your business computer security 24/7/365. Anti-virus with instant real-time updates, the strongest firewall available anywhere, block unauthorized and unintentional downloads, block unwanted web browsing, load balance ISP’s for increased speed and reliability and the list goes on., check us out and ask for a free security analysis today.

From the far side of Bangkok – Vic


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The Perils of Open WiFi Networks

How many have ever used someone’s WiFi connection without their permission? How many have ever had their own wireless network that was not password protected? I know I have, hundreds of times and in hundreds of places, I have “stolen” a wireless connection to download email or browse the net for a few minutes. And, for many years my home had a wireless router that was not password protected. So, my network was open to passers by to use.

I never thought of this more than as if I allow people cut through my yard as a shortcut to the next street or giving a hitchhiker a ride somewhere. It turns out like the chance you take that the hitchhiker might be a serial hatchet murderer, that unknown guy glomming on to your wireless network may be no less a threat.

Associated Press in the April 24 issue of Businessweek reported on a guy in Buffalo who woke up one morning to agents from ICE, Immigration Customs Enforcement, breaking down his front door, holding him down on the floor and calling him a pedophile and a pervert. The FBI did the same thing to a Florida man for similar reason. The crime? Their wireless routers were not password protected so someone – NOT them – used their signal to access the internet and download illegal images. Both glommer’s on were eventually caught.

This makes me wonder about two things – one is, as the story pointed out, had the agents stepped back and tried  a smart phone with wireless or actually booted up a laptop close to the “suspects” homes they would have seen that the wireless networks were open to anyone to use and at least raised the “possibility” that someone else was guilty of the downloads in question. Then a simple knock on the door would have been more appropriate than an assault force.

The second thing I thought about is, protecting yourself today in an electronic world. Back when someone used my yard as a cut through to the other street, I either knew them or at least had seen them in the neighborhood before. But when someone is passing through your computer – everything changes. They are faceless and nameless. I’m not talking only about local wireless networks either. Sometimes the person getting into your computer and your life can be half a world away. Protecting yourself isn’t always as easy as a password. Sometimes experts are needed especially in the case of your business. Do your homework, make sure you and your data are secure. A little prevention will go a long way. Let me know if we can help. So… in the immortal words of Sgt. Phil Esterhaus (ask an American over 40), “Let’s be careful out there.”

So long from the east side of Bangkok… Vic

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Data Leakage and my Visit to Network Box

Visting the marketing directors at Network Box - Esker (L) & Meki

Yesterday I had the great pleasure to visit with Meki Sin and Esker Li, marketing directors at Network Box corporate headquarters in Hong Kong. Recently Esker and Miki planned and then worked a four day computer products exhibition in Hong Kong meeting and talking with over 200 potential Network Box customers. Check out their pictures from the Hong Kong ICT Expo on Facebook, here.

One of the big topics of interest to me during my visit and for visitors to the trade fair was the addition of DLP+ or Data Leakage Prevention to the family of Network Box protection products. Think of the consequences if one of your competitors had full access to your customer database. Or, what if someone emailed your company’s cost prices to all of your customers, even accidentally? Are your company private files vulnerable to theft or unauthorized transmission? In any case, prevention may be way better than the cure.

See the full Network Box press release on DLP+ here.

If you would like a free assessment of how secure your company data is and how protected you are from the threats of the Internet, drop me an email here or give me a call, +66 (0)85 248 8769.

Take care – so long from Hong Kong – Vic Rollins

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