SNX I.T. Provides Tips for Protecting Your Identify

identity theft prevention

According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft was the number one fraud complaint during calendar year 2008. Not unlike other organizations in the Information Technology industry today, SNX I.T. aims to inform its customers and prospects alike of the best ways to protect oneself from identity theft. The National Crime Prevention Council, United States Postal System, and the IRS help consumers prevent the threat of identity theft by posting helpful prevention tips and security measures that should be taken in order to avoid this hassle.

Facts about Identity Theft:

  • Limiting your use of your personal computer may not help much: a study released by Javelin Strategy and Research reported that in 2009 most identity thefts were taking place offline, not online…the opposite of what most people think.
  • The above study found that 43 percent of all identity thefts are committed by someone the victim knows.
  • All a thief needs is your Social Security number to commit identity theft.

Identity thieves commit their crime in several ways:

  • Stealing credit card payments and other outgoing mail from private, curbside mailboxes.
  • Digging through garbage cans or communal dumpsters in search of cancelled checks, credit card and bank statements, and preapproved credit card offers.
  • Hacking into computers that contain personal records and steal the data.
  • Filing a change of address form in the victim’s name to divert mail and gather personal and financial data.

Tips for Preventing Identity Theft:

  • Don’t give a business your SSN or ITIN just because they ask. Give it only when required.
  • Don’t carry your Social Security card or birth certificateleave them in a secure location. Also, never give out your Social Security number; treat it as confidential information.
  • Protect your financial information.
  • Check your credit report every 12 months.
  • Secure personal information in your home.
  • Protect your personal computers by using firewalls, antispam/virus software, update security patches and change passwords for Internet accounts.
  • Don’t give personal information over the phone, through the mail or on the Internet unless you have initiated the contact or you are sure you know who you are dealing with.
  • Report lost or stolen credit cards immediately.
  • Closely monitor the expiration dates on your credit cards and contact the issuer if you don’t receive a replacement prior to the expiration date.
  • Sign new credit cards immediately-before someone else does.
  • Memorize your Social Security number and passwords. Don’t use your date of birth as your password and don’t record passwords on papers you carry with you.
  • Never leave transaction receipts at ATM machines, on counters at financial institutions, or at gasoline pumps.
  • Commit all passwords to memory. Never write them down or carry them with you.
  • When using an ATM machine, make sure no one is hovering over you and can see you enter your password.
  • Tell your children never to give out their address telephone number password school name or any other personal information.
  • Make sure your children know to never agree to meet face-to-face with someone they’ve met online without discussing it with you. Only if you decide that it’s okay to meet their “cyber-friend” should they arrange to meet this person, and then the meeting should be in a familiar public place in the presence of a trusted adult.
  • Tell your children never to enter an area that charges for services without asking you first.
  • Tell your children never to send a picture of themselves to anyone without your permission.
  • Make sure that access to the Internet at your children’s school is monitored by adults.
  • Beware of mail or telephone solicitations that offer prizes or awards-especially if the person offering asks you for personal information or financial account numbers.
  • Match your credit card receipts against your monthly bills and check your monthly financial statements for accuracy.
  • Watch for your monthly financial statements and bills. If you don’t get them when expected, contact the sender.

If you believe you’re a victim of identity theft…

The Internal Revenue Service is taking additional steps during the 2013 tax season to protect taxpayers and help victims of identity theft and refund fraud. If you believe you’re a victim of identity theft, follow the steps below.

  • Be alert to possible identity theft if you receive a notice from the IRS or learn from your tax professional that:
    • More than one tax return for you was filed;
    • You have a balance due, refund offset or have had collection actions taken against you for a year you did not file a tax return;
    • IRS records indicate you received more wages than you actually earned or
    • Your state or federal benefits were reduced or cancelled because the agency received information reporting an income change.
  • If you receive a notice from IRS and you suspect your identity has been used fraudulently, respond immediately by calling the number on the notice.
  • If you did not receive a notice but believe you’ve been the victim of identity theft, contact the IRS Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 8009084490, extension 245 right away so we can take steps to secure your tax account and match your SSN or ITIN.
  • Fill out the IRS Identity Theft Affidavit, Form 14039.
  • Report incidents of identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission at www.consumer.ftc.gov or the FTC Identity Theft hotline at 8774384338 or TTY 8666534261.
  • File a report with the local police.
  • Contact the fraud departments of the three major credit bureaus:
    • Equifax – www.equifax.com, 8005256285
    • Experian – www.experian.com, 8883973742
    • TransUnion – www.transunion.com, 8006807289
  • Close any accounts that have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.

 

More information:

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How SNX I.T. Can Save Your Business Time & Money

FAQ: Everything You Need to Know About SNX I.T.

Q: What is SNX I.T.?

SNX I.T. is the premiere IT support company for businesses and organizations of all sizes. We manage all aspects of information technology, so you can focus on managing the business. By keeping the IT environment dependable, safe and functional, we increase the return on your business infrastructure and limit the time your network is down. IT service is pivotal for success and should be within everyone’s reach. That’s why we’re committed to providing exceptional service.

Q: How does SNX I.T. work?

As a SNX I.T. client, your business will receive computer, network and IT infrastructure care from a team of deeply experienced technology management professionals. SNX I.T. provides local and national service backed by a central support services organization that monitors and remotely supports your organization 24/7.

Q: How do you define a small to medium-sized business? How will I know if you can help me?

Exceptional customer service is paramount to our long-term success. Therefore, SNX I.T. focuses on businesses that have 5 to 250 computers per office or location. This allows us to ensure that every client receives prompt, courteous service. You’ll always know you can count on us to be there when you need us. If you have a network, we can help.

Q: What kind of network monitoring and backups do you offer?

Most organizations can’t afford to have a support engineer on site constantly managing their network. So supplemental monitoring is essential when something unexpected happens and your in-house IT staff is unavailable. At SNX I.T., we feel this service is so important that we’ve included it in each of our IT Support Plans.

Q: What if we already have an internal technical support staff?

No problem! Many companies have a designated IT support person or in-house IT staff to handle day-to-day technical issues and minor network problems. You can count on SNX I.T. for the most critical network support functions, such as server maintenance, user account administration, security and advanced applications support.

IT services come down to efficiency, reliability and quality. Ask yourself: Does it make sense for my business to employ a full-time in-house IT person(s) or would it be more cost-effective to have an IT service partner provide these capabilities?

Are your technology needs great enough to warrant having full-time staff? Can your in-house staff stay knowledgeable on the wide range of technology used in your business today and needed tomorrow? Can your business attract and retain a high-level technical professional who can handle all of your computer and network support needs?

Most small-to-medium-sized businesses do not need a full-time, in-house IT professional. However, they do need a wide range of technology expertise that no single in-house person or small staff is able to accommodate. For those companies, using a reliable, skilled IT services partner like SNX I.T. is the right business choice. Contact us today to discuss your business technology support requirements.

Q: How much should I expect to pay for your services?

SNX I.T. rates are very competitive. We customize our services to meet your unique needs. Most of our clients choose the simplicity of an IT Support Plan with a monthly fixed fee option. Projects that enhance or augment the current environment are outside the scope of the IT Support Plans and are charged accordingly. Email us to set up a consultation and discuss pricing.

Most SNX I.T. clients begin with a comprehensive Network Assessment to determine the reliability and stability of their computing environment. The results of the Network Assessment help determine how we can help you resolve the amount of ongoing monthly care your network requires.

Q: What about a business that’s just starting out? Can you help us, too?

Exceptional customer service is vital to our long-term success. We provide the same professionalism to businesses of all sizes without sacrificing diligent, prompt service. We work on smaller, Special Projects, too, so you can experience what we provide without a heavy commitment. Contact us for a quote, and we can pair you with the service package that best meets your needs.

 Q: What if we already have an internal technical support staff?

Your designated IT support staff handles day-to-day technical issues and minor network problems while SNX I.T. covers the most critical network support functions, such as server maintenance, user account administration, security and advanced applications support.

Even the most capable in-house support staff can be overwhelmed, or, for newer businesses, your IT staff may have other responsibilities in the office. In either case, they may not have the time to devote to more demanding issues while seeing to other duties. Situations like that call for a more experienced IT firm. For those companies, using a reliable, skilled IT services partner like SNX I.T. is the right business choice.

 

In sum, SNX I.T. will provide your business with an affordable and efficient solution to your IT needs. Contact us today to set up a free business consultation, or visit our website.

 

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Keep Your Personal Information And Data Safe With These 4 Quick Tricks

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At SNX I.T. and SNX Fix I.T., we work based on the belief that customers and prospects alike should be armed with as much information about the technological world as possible; all business is run from an educational standpoint. Our goal is to empower and educate customers, not take advantage of anyone’s lack of expertise.

These 4 quick IT tips below provide simple solutions to what could be time-consuming, painful events if not followed.

1)      Beware of “Shoulder Surfing”.

When entering personal information while filling out a form, or entering your PIN number in the check-out line, beware of anyone standing nearby. They may be doing more than just waiting their turn. To help prevent “shoulder surfing”, make an effort to shield your paperwork from view using your body, or cup your hand over the keypad when entering your PIN. Hackers and scam-artists use this method to steal personal information, identities, and money; always be aware of who is watching you enter your personal information.

2)      Make your password hard to hack.

When deciding on a password, one handy tip for making it hard to hack is by coming up with a sentence that’s easy for you to remember, then picking the first letter of each word and adding some special characters or numbers to the beginning and end. For example: “I want a new phone for Christmas” = IWANPFC. Then use a variation of upper case/lower case letters, add some special characters, and the result is = iW@nP4c!. This is a handy way to come up with easy to remember passwords that are hard to crack. The result is an account that is much harder to hack into by anyone attempting to break into your account.

3)      Use a separate email address for web postings.

At SNX we suggest that customers secure their data and reduce the amount of incoming spam by using a dedicated email address for web/social media posts. It is also best to never use a business email address for posting guest book entries, votes, or for Q&As in online forums and surveys. It’s great to be reachable in these situations, but best to be anonymous. Another benefit to following this suggestion is a personal email account with much less spam.

4)      Backup your computer.

Backing up your hard drive (click here to view a prior blog on computer optimization) is a relatively inexpensive way to avoid the total disaster of losing your data to a system crash. Backup drives cost around $75, backup software is around $30 or less, and an SNX I.T. technician can install it for you in less than an hour at an affordable price. Contact us today for help getting your information backed up and secure.

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Inspirational Quotes from Great Entrepreneurs

Jeremy Anderson, CEO/Founder of SNX I.T. and SNX Fix I.T., is not only an entrepreneur and business owner, but a leader as well. Being a great leader entails surrounding yourself with the words of other leaders and inspirational figures, both past and present. Below are some inspirational and relevant quotes from a few of our favorites: Michael Hyatt, Dave Ramsey, Ray Bradbury, and others.

Words of Wisdom from Michael Hyatt:

“You’re never as smart as you think you are when you are winning and never as dumb as you feel when you are losing.”

“Perfectionism is the mother of procrastination.”

“Good guys can finish first.”

“The most interesting things in life happen just on the other side of your comfort zone.”

“When you are leading, you have to take initiative.”

Dave Ramsey:

“If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.”

“Pray like it all depends on God, but work like it all depends on you.”

“For your own good, for the good of your family and your future, grow a backbone. When something is wrong, stand up and say it is wrong, and don’t back down.”

“Fear is the enemy of hope.”

“Without a mission statement, you may get to the top of the ladder and then realize it was leaning against the wrong building!”

Others:

“Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand.” –Colin Powell

“Very few of the great leaders ever get through their careers without failing, sometimes dramatically.” –Phil Crosby

“Enlightenment is not about knowing as much as it is about unknowing; it is not so much learning as unlearning. It is about surrendering and letting go rather than achieving and possessing. It’s more about entering the mystery than arriving at a mental certitude.” –Richard Rohr

“If we stop learning today, we stop teaching tomorrow.” –Howard Hendricks

“You cannot be anything you want to be—but you can be a lot more of who you already are.” –Tom Rath

“Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you are doomed.” –Ray Bradbury

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Reblogged: The Evolution of Labor Day from http://gigaom.com

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With the upcoming Labor Day holiday this Monday, SNX I.T. found the following intriguing article on how technology has changed the meaning of Labor Day for those of us that use technology to work almost 24/7, and hardly ever stop working.

SNX I.T. isn’t the only company out there that offers services available 24/7 (by remote access), with employees that work both on the job, but also from other off-site locations. The evolution of technology and its effects on the modern worker make it hard for some of us to truly not labor on Labor Day, which would require us to put down our smartphones or tablets and not work.

The following article was written by Nancy Nally on http://gigaom.com/2009/09/07/the-evolution-of-labor-day/ and elaborates on this topic:

“The origins of Labor Day, which takes place the first Monday of September in North America, are somewhat uncertain. The holiday originated in Canada, born out of the worker’s rights movement there in the 1870s. By the 1880s, it had spread across the border, and the first organized Labor Day celebration in the U.S. was held in New York City in 1882.

Throughout the 1880s the honoring of Labor Day gradually made its way throughout the U.S., until it became a federal holiday during the administration of President Grover Cleveland in 1894. Rather than being a day of rest for the worker, however, Labor Day was initially a day of activism. Early celebrations relied on parades and festivals centered around union organizations and their workers. Homage was paid to the rights of these workers and their incredible importance in the growing industrial economy of the country.

What is certain is that since then, the world of work has changed dramatically. The American worker is migrating from the factory to service and knowledge work. Union membership is falling. More and more of us work for small businesses, or even ourselves, instead of large corporations.

As the worker evolved, so did Labor Day. It became a day of rest for office workers. Or at least it was until technology took over. Increasingly, as we’ve discussed often here at WWD, technology makes it difficult for workers to get away from their jobs — even on the supposed holiday meant to honor workers. Our BlackBerrys, laptops and other devices mean our work follows us everywhere we go, 24/7. This is doubly true for web workers. And for self-employed web workers, there is another challenge: taking time off means we aren’t making money.

So how do we web workers celebrate such a holiday when it’s increasingly difficult for us to take a holiday from our work? Maybe we need to get back to Labor Day’s original advocacy-focused roots.

Few web workers are members of unions, or of trade groups that advocate for our interests on a larger stage. That’s because, especially for solo workers, it can be easy to feel like there’s no point in speaking up on issues that relate to us, to just be one voice amidst a chorus of organized groups.

But if we don’t speak up for ourselves, who will?

So this Labor Day, even if we web workers aren’t pausing in our work to honor ourselves, maybe we should all add self-advocacy to our task lists. We need to be reminded of how important it is to stand up for our own interests, just like our ancestors did in the 19th century.

What are you doing for Labor Day? Are you working or honoring the holiday?”

What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you plan to really rest this Labor Day or not?

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