QR Codes-malicious or safe?
As we move farther into the era of technology and innovation, the internet and it's uses is becoming more integrated into everyday life. People of all ages use computers, smartphones, and tablets, and as we become more advanced users of these devices so do the unseen hackers that constantly look for ways to attack us. QR codes, a once harmless method of convenience used to access websites, are now being used by hackers across the web to obtain information and inject malware.
Quick reaction codes or QR codes are barcode like images that smartphones cameras can interpret to pull up a website, however since 2019, more hackers have been using the technology to disguise harmful links in emails and websites. Similar to how users can pull up websites at their convenience, hackers use technology to embed harmful websites so that they can initiate a Trojan download which gives hackers the ability to initiate malicious downloads or extract information from a victim's device.
While malicious QR codes can be hard to detect, here are a few guidelines to keep you and your data safe:
Treat every QR code like a link, do not scan codes from people or businesses you do not know or trust. If it looks fake or deceptive avoid it.
It’s important to be leery of using QR codes—even though the pandemic brought about QR code menus, it’s better to still get a hard copy menu if at all possible. Many times the QR code scanned for a restaurant will track when, where, and how often you are scanning a QR code. Personal data can be taken and stored in a database, such as your name, phone number and credit card, which in turn can be shared with other places. Your purchase history can also be tracked as the QR code systems can initiate cookies. Most QR code systems do not offer customers an ability to opt out of anything and do not have clear privacy controls.
Besides the above, hackers are using QR codes to scam people. If you see a special deal pop up stating to click a QR code for a discount, it’s best to think twice or three times, as a hacker could be directing you to malware launching a ransomware attack. There is nothing preventing a QR code from being programmed to start and open anything, even harmful websites and malicious apps.
It’s hard to tell a malicious QR code from a safe one, so if you do plan to scan it’s best to use a QR scanner you can trust. Do your research and find one you feel confident to download. QR codes may seem harmless, but it’s important to know that hackers are at work and since we cannot read QR codes, we need to be diligent.
Custom Website Solutions
Establishing an online presence is important for any business. Choosing the best way to represent your business online can be difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Here at Sierra Corporation we understand how to effectively build a positive and effective online presence. With all the innovative web design tools out on the market today one mighty ask, what makes us different?
While it is true that there are a variety of solutions available today, having an attractive and professional website is only half the battle. There are many aspects to an effective website. Sierra Corporation understands the web industry. We work with you and your business to create innovatively designed websites that not only showcase your company, but also compete with your competitors and attract the right people.
We specialize in a number of areas including:
- Web Design and Development
- Website Maintenance and Security
- Creative Website Content
- Search Engine Optimization
- Local Business Optimization and Management
- Web Hosting
- Offsite Backup
- Social Media Management
- Google Ads
- And more
If you or someone you know is ready to take their online presence to the next level, Sierra Corporation is excited and ready to work with you! Give us a call today at (703) 847-3136 for a free 15 minute consultation.
2021 is here are you ready?
Let's face it, technology in and out of the workplace is becoming more important every day. Is your business equipped for the new normal?
Whatever your needs are, Sierra Corporation is here to help. No matter what industry you are in, having a solid virtual work environment that engages employees and maintains a good customer experience is crucial for any business. Sierra Corporation is proud to offer a variety of robust technology solutions such as:
Home Office Setup Services
At Sierra, we understand the struggles of configuring and maintaining a home office configuration. Focus on your business and we'll handle the rest. Sierra Corporation is very knowledgeable and well equipped to handle home office configurations for you and your employees.
Remote Help Desk Support
- Our experienced engineers provide helpdesk support that is among the best in the industry.
- The support we provide is aimed towards helping your business prevent interruptions in productivity, so you can keep doing the work that is most important to you.
Stay Connected and Secure
Working from home or away from the office can be comforting but online threats never stop, but don't worry we have your back. Sierra Corporation has a dedicated team for network security and administration services. You can rest easy knowing that our team is at work making sure everything is running and secure. To learn more about the wide array of services Sierra Corporation can provide for you and your business please call 703-847-3136 for more information and a free 15 minute consultation.
Managed Services you can trust
Since its founding in 1998, Sierra Corporation has placed great importance on helping its customers grow their businesses through technology. At Sierra, we value the strong relationships we have with our clients. And as a Sierra client, you will find that we take an active interest in doing whatever it takes to keep all of your technology running smoothly. We tailor our managed services to your needs, and that means providing innovative and creative solutions to complex problems. Our staff are experts in the IT profession, and they constantly seek out new ways to provide custom solutions that work for your needs.
The Benefits of Personalized Managed IT Services
Personalized managed IT services are vital to the success of a company. At Sierra we value our customers and we are here to provide you with great service and solutions. We don’t transfer you around to find your solution, we speak with you directly, providing answers and results. Sierra never leaves you stranded when you need an answer.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to IT management. Everyone has different needs and goals. This is where Sierra’s more tailored approach to IT management can be of extra benefit to individuals and businesses. We offer a more personable approach that is unique to you and your business goals. Recently we had a customer contact Google with regards to the loss of their data and the technician was unable to retrieve it, however, after contacting Sierra we were able to find where the data had been placed and it was retrieved—success and a happy customer. Before contacting Microsoft or Google to work on your data or equipment, consider consulting with Sierra for the solution.
We dedicate ourselves to providing quality service with solutions—from common questions to specific service requests our IT support will put forth the effort needed to go above and beyond. A job is never left undone or in disarray and shortcuts are never taken. The end result is better value for cost.
Your time is valuable and selecting the wrong managed IT services provider for your business can be both costly and time-consuming. By having Sierra in your corner you can focus on your business by knowing you have an IT company that understands your financial situation and cares about your business and its overall success and growth!
Happy Independence Day!
From all of us here at Sierra Corporation, we hope that everyone has a happy and safe Fourth of July.
At Sierra it is our priority to continue to provide reliable managed IT services so that you can rest easy knowing that your data is protected on and offline. From remote desktop support services to on site it management, we are here to assist with all of your IT needs.
New Discoveries Await!
As the world begins to reopen again, new discoveries await. Many places are reopening and we hope everyone can find a way to enjoy these new times. Be well and be safe!
While teleworking continues to be a popular option for many businesses, please know that hackers are aware of this and are constantly looking for ways to infiltrate your home network. Do not click on links if you are not confident in the sender, as it could contain a virus that will download into your computer. Be wary of potential phishing emails from the WHO or CDC claiming to have coronavirus info and do not open documents unless you are certain of the source as they could contain malware. Make sure your anti-virus and anti-malware software is up-to-date. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for any concerns you may have regarding your network security.
At Sierra, protecting our clients is our top priority! We are always looking for better more innovative ways to protect against these threats. During these difficult and concerning times one thing is certain, Sierra Corporation is here for you and always will be. Please rest assured that we are here and available to resolve any IT related issue that you may have so you can conduct your business. For support please call (703) 847-3123 and choose Option 5.
Stimulus Check Scams
If you or someone you know is still waiting for their stimulus check please be cautious about any phone calls you may receive. Avoid and refrain from giving out personal information. Please always refer to the official government websites when looking for updates regarding stimulus check:
Internal Revenue Service - https://www.irs.gov
For information regarding stimulus checks to social security beneficiaries please visit:
At the time of this writing, there is only one approved stimulus check. This may be subject to change beyond this date. Always check official government websites and trusted media outlets for the most current and up-to-date information. Please note that some individuals who have not received their stimulus check may receive the new economic impact payment cards issued by the United States Treasury. We encourage everyone to check and read all mail carefully before discarding anything. Official information regarding economic impact payment cards can be found here:
Coronavirus/COVID-19 Scam – claiming Social Security Administration will Suspend/Decrease Benefit
Do not trust a letter received in the U.S. mail that states you need to call the phone number in it or there will be a change in your Social Security payment. If you call the scammer will tell you that because the office is closed they need to get your financial and personal info in order to continue your payments—do not respond, report the call to the Office of the Inspector General - https://oig.ssa.gov/
Sierra is here for you
We hope that you and your family are staying healthy during this very challenging time.
Monday of last week, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Sierra implemented response measures to maintain business continuity and to provide a maximum level of security for our employees, their families, and our clients. As a result of these actions, our employees, including our support department are working remotely from their homes using a secure connection to Sierra’s datacenter HQ.
We will continue to monitor all networks, servers, websites, PCs, and other devices to make sure they are up-to-date and secure. Our commitment to providing quality service remains our top priority.
Please rest assured that we are here and available to resolve any IT related issue that you may have so you can conduct your business. For support please call (703) 847-3123 and choose Option 5.
Our thoughts go out to all the valiant people working on the frontlines to defeat this virus. We are confident that if we each do our part to combat this virus, then in time we will be able to return to a more normal way of life.
Be healthy and well!