data security

How to protect yourself from phone and email hack nightmares

Your telephone and email are vulnerable points of attack by hackers, but you can guard these portals with simple security steps. Ed Bott with reports on devastating hacking incidents that could have been prevented. Continue reading for tips to protect your phone and email data from devastating attacks.

How to protect your devices, data while on vacation


Even if you’re on vacation, don’t expect hackers and other bad actors to take a break from attacking your tech devices. However, there are several steps you can take before and during your vacation to help keep your devices and data safe.

In this article, we summarize tips and best practices from several sources including the National Cyber Security Alliance, Sue Marquette Poremba in Tom’s Guide, and

Before you leave for vacation

  • Conduct financial transactions and download podcasts, books and movies on your own, secure Internet connection.

  • Don’t broadcast your vacation plans on social media. 

  • Clean your web browsers by deleting your browsing history and clearing the cache, especially any stored passwords.

  • Update your security software and applications to ensure the latest security patches are installed.

  • Create new temporary passwords for any accounts you'll use while traveling. We strongly recommend you use unique passwords or passphrases for each online account. Passwords should be at least 14 characters long and utilize special characters and numbers. (For more information about password safety, see Sinu’s blogs: How Secure is Your Password and The New Language of Data Security: From Passwords to Passphrases.)

While on vacation

  • Take only the devices you absolutely need on vacation.

  • Set up the ‘find my phone’ feature on your devices, so you can find, remotely wipe data and/or disable the device if it gets into the wrong hands. 

  • Make sure all devices are password protected. 

  • Use a passcode or security feature (like a finger swipe) to lock your phone or other mobile devices in case they are misplaced or stolen.

  • Limit what you do on public Wi-Fi and avoid logging into accounts that have sensitive information. Set your device settings to ask permission before connecting to a Wi-Fi network.

  • Either keep your devices with you or lock them in a safe if you are staying at a hotel. If a safe is not available, lock them in your luggage. 

  • If you use the business center at a hotel, avoid using public equipment (ex. phones, computers and fax machines) for sensitive communication.

  • Use a credit card rather than a debit card for any purchase (online or otherwise). 

At Sinu, our goal is to provide our clients with full-service managed IT support services that increase productivity while mitigating risk. Should you have questions about device, data, or other tech safety while on vacation, please contact your account manager for assistance. A little bit of preparation and being a little tech security savvy can prevent headaches during your summer vacation and the rest of the year.

Well-meaning employees may be top threat to data security

Employees accessing company data with a multitude of devices present the largest security threat for organizations today, according to a new report from BetterCloud, an independent software vendor based in New York, NY. So how can your organization mitigate the risk from well-meaning employees? Here are a few of the most crucial steps you can take today to protect your data.

Sinu’s Top Data Security Recommendations for 2019

Data Privacy Day, held this year on Monday, January 28, is the perfect opportunity to take stock in your organization’s data privacy and security policies. There are several ways to create a culture of data security within your organization, even with a modest security budget. Here, you will find a list of data security priorities that most organizations can easily adopt with a little time, good internal communication, and without a large investment.

Use a stylus? Windows file could store passwords and other personal data

A handwriting-recognition feature in Windows collects data and stores it, which could represent a security threat, according to digital forensics experts. Passwords and emails could be among the data stored. One of the first lines of defense remains strong passwords, as well as where you store them.

Webinar featuring Sinu’s Larry Velez: “New Administration, New Risks? How To Protect Your Nonprofit’s Data”

The 2016 election brought digital security and surveillance into tight focus. The webinar, “New Administration, New Risks? How To Protect Your Nonprofit’s Data,” held with Idealware and Fission Strategy, encourages organizations to rethink their security. Panelists from several organizations, including Sinu co-founder and CTO, Larry Velez, Idealware board member Leon Wilson of the Cleveland Foundation, and Shauna Dillavou of Community Red, contribute to the conversation about keeping your nonprofit data safe while bringing more productivity and safety to your team and constituents.


Don’t wait! 3 easy steps to protect your Yahoo account

Some time around August 2013, the email system of Yahoo was attacked and the records of more than 1 billion users were stolen. Information included names, birth dates, phone numbers and passwords which were encrypted with an easily broken form of security. Now they are for sale on the Dark Web.

Budgeting for system updates and technology replacement

Most nonprofit organizations work off of a strategic plan to guide them to achieve their mission. Many organizations, however, have not developed a plan for their technology and how it can support that mission. Instead, they take a more reactionary stance toward hardware and software: if hardware breaks down or mission-critical software cannot run on an obsolete operating system, it gets replaced. However, adopting a more strategic approach to technology replacement can help avoid surprise expenses, save money, mitigate data security risks, and increase productivity.

Top Nonprofit Tech Challenges: Data backup and continuity solutions

Business continuity planning includes developing policies and procedures your organization can use to mitigate risk and ensure that your operational work can continue should there be disruption to your technology solutions, whether it's caused by human error or natural disaster. An important part of business continuity planning is identifying which operations are essential and to map out what technologies must be set up through back-up plans or redundant systems to enable your work to continue.

Top Tech Challenges of Nonprofits: Obsolete Technology

Knowing when to upgrade and install updates is critical to keeping your data secure, but it can be challenging to keep up with it all. Sinu takes care of these updates automatically, but if you are managing your IT in-house, here are a few tips on avoiding obsolete technology.

Social engineering: Bad people tricking good people

Social engineering: Bad people tricking good people

Social engineering is the psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential or sensitive data for the purpose of fraud and/or system access. It is often difficult to identify the attacker because it is just one layer in a sophisticated hacking scheme.

The future of enterprise: Apple, GE look to consumer tech

When asked about the future of enterprise technology, the chief executives from two of America's largest companies agree that it is personalization.

7 Data Security Tips

Whether it’s the BASH flaw we blogged about recently, the JP Morgan/Chase hack this summer, or the discovery of the Reddit Mac iWorm, it seems that news about data breaches has been more prevalent than ever. Data security has never been more important – as the amount of data that is stored online continues to increase and hackers get significantly more sophisticated, making even the savviest of computer users susceptible to breaches.

How secure is your password?

In the days after the Heartbleed story broke earlier this year, Sinu, along with other technology experts, advised our customers to change the passwords of their online accounts to protect their data. Since then, a myriad of security breaches have been announced.