Posts Under Tag: Security

Your Bank Emails

Your bank emailed you…  or did they?

What does an email from a cybercriminal look like compared to your bank?  For example, Bank of America…

The email above LOOKS so authentic…

What is RIGHT?

– Bank of America logo looks real.

– Color and style of email is similar to Bank of America’s customer emails.

– Return email address is one of those used by Bank of America.

– Website appears to be a Bank of America website.

What is WRONG?  (You need to watch for this information.)

– The formatting of the email is not correct.

– The typeface of the P.S. is different.

– The signature is BOA Member Services Team, which is not used today.

– The copyright is BOA LLC, not Bank of America.

The more sophisticated thieves direct you to a website that looks like your bank.  See the example below.  Do you know how to recognize it is a hoax designed to capture some of your private information?

One way / ANSWER:  ALWAYS look at the domain name address.  Make certain you are confident it is correct.  If it appears to be suspicious, then do not proceed.

All of the other aspects explained below about email phishing also apply to a website.  These are relatively simple ways to confirm what you click on is safe.

In general, phishing emails include:

Ways to identify phishing and spoofing emails include:

1. Links that appear to be from your bank… but are NOT – Test any link by placing your cursor it, but do not click.  Your email program should display the destination URL.  Does it match the correct web address to your bank?  If not, you can search past emails you have to see if it is another domain name used by your bank.

2. Urgent requests – Banks do not threaten to close your account if you fail to respond to an email.

3. Warnings about system and security updates – Banks may inform you of pending system upgrades and/or security updates, but they do not require any personal information from you to complete these changes.

4. Requests for personal information – No reputable bank ever asks or demands that you reply via email with your personal information, such as your driver’s license #, Social Security #, ATM or credit card #, PIN #…

5. Do NOT fall for “the deal” – Banks are not hucksters.  They do not push you to ask you to do something and in return you get a huge payoff.  They do not pay you to complete surveys.  They do not ask you to do anything that requires you to enter your account number, PIN…

6. Obvious typos, grammar, and formatting errors – As mentioned above, although cyber thieves are smart they still seem to make mistakes in their email requests.  However, be warned:  Today, the mistakes they make are rare.  The phishing emails and websites now online posing as your bank can be very convincing.  You may have to choose safety over timeliness.

7. Someone once said, “Assumptions are the mother of all mistakes.” Do not assume your computers, mobile devices, and networks are secure from phishing, ransomware, and other cyber theft attempts.  Confirm

Business Needs:  If you are concerned about these risks for your business or nonprofit, then don’t wait.  Contact Inter-Quest online or call (608) 571-3071 to schedule a conversation with Lisa Fichter, one of our Senior Problem Solvers.  She can schedule a free, no obligation conversation about your situation.  She can help you assess your risk, and for a limited time, even provide a free network security assessment if you like.

Personal Needs:  As an individual concerned about an email you received you visit, a good approach is to call your bank to confirm if they sent the email or directed you to a website.


You can avoid most phishing scams and other hacker attacks, including ransomware.  The only solution is to fully protect every computer, mobile device, and network of your organization with the latest anti-virus, firewall, and other applicable security tool.

The most cost effective way to do this is to have your systems kept secure daily by a professional I.T. security firm, such as Inter-Quest, highly qualified, diverse, 20-year-old I.T. services team with offices in Beaver Dam and Madison, Wisconsin.  Their team of computer experts provide IT security and managed services to businesses, government, and nonprofits.

Contact Inter-Quest online or call (608) 571-3071 to schedule a conversation with Lisa Fichter to confirm your employees and sensitive company data are safe from cyber criminals.

Benefits of sound masking

Is Your Company’s Bathroom Really Private?

 Your bathroom might not be as, hmm, private as some other businesses’ lavatories. Companies in Japan and South Korea have been enjoying “sound free” bathrooms using gadgets that mask toilet noise. Reason behind the muffled restroom breaks: it makes it easier for people to go to the bathroom without fear of embarrassment for answering nature’s call. You might not be as concerned with buffering the noises echoing throughout bathroom stalls; but, the concept of masking noise throughout your company’s walls in order to increase privacy, safety and productivity, should be your concern.

Benefits of sound masking

Sound masking has been used by organizations as early as the 19th century. Businesses have discovered that it is essential for their businesses to be successful. Sound masking is one of the few methods that have been proved to reduce office noise.

Sound masking is where noise frequencies are used to mask other forms of noise without providing distractions. It increases the ambient background noise thereby masking the speech of other people making sure their conversation is not audible to other parties. Here are the benefits of incorporating sound masking to your business.

Enhances privacy

Privacy is important in your business and employees want to have a sense of privacy in the business they are working for. There are some industries where privacy laws and standards are considered binding like the medical industry.

Even if you are not in the medical or legal industry, employees will be more comfortable knowing that private information is kept confidential. Sound masking enhances this by ensuring that conversations about the performance of an employee or their financial or medical details are not made public.

Privacy also extends to clients who will be more comfortable dealing with a business where they are assured their private conversations are protected.

Increased retention and improved safety

More businesses are moving towards the open office plan where employees are being encouraged to work with others. While this is all good, there are negative effects of this set up that includes increased fatigue, stress and illnesses among others that could reduce employee morale and reduce the levels of job satisfaction.

Employees need to be protected from these things, and sound masking does that by reducing the levels of noise distraction that goes a long way in reducing the chances of employees suffering these effects. Increased job satisfaction makes it easier for a company to focus on other projects since they will not constantly be hiring new personnel when the existing ones drop out.

Increased productivity

Studies show that people work better in environments with less noise or other disruptions. Noise has been stated as a major contributor to decreased efficiency and sound masking provides a solution to that.

Employees will concentrate better when they have fewer distractions. These distractions come in the form of computer noises or simple daily conversations among employees and other people entering and exiting the office.

Sound masking reduces these noises to levels that cannot be heard by other employees allowing them to have more time to do their tasks in a more efficient manner.

Increased comfort

Another benefit of sound masking is increased comfort for employees. The comfort comes in different ways. First, employees can communicate freely with the management and other personnel knowing that the conversations are kept private. Also, there is less noise making it easier and more enjoyable for them to work on their projects.

Sound masking should be integrated into the running and functioning of organizations. By using the right elements, a business can continue scaling upwards since they will have created a suitable working environment. It will also improve the image of the brand as clients prefer working with companies that value their confidentiality.