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Information Technology: Keeping Your Information Safe

Posted by on Aug 2, 2017 in Bachelor Degree Completion Program, Centura College

By Robb Rajnys and Jul DeGeus

With great technological advances, comes great technological responsibilities; like protecting your personal information.

Thanks to the progress of technology, we are living in an age where you can accomplish almost anything with a swipe of a finger. Track your fitness, manage your bank account or even supervise your lights and lock systems at your home remotely; that is, as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection and a charged smart phone. But like all great things, technology comes with a downfall: cyberattacks.

Understanding Cyberattacks

There severity of a cyberattack is only limited to the imagination of the person who creates the virus. Familiarize yourself with common terms and proactive prevention to ensure the safety of your personal information:

Malware: In Latin, “mal” means “bad,” it’s no surprise that malware is the general term for malicious threats, like Trojans or worms, that try to steal and destroy data.

Malvertising: Keeping in mind that the Latin root of “malware”, malvertising is an ad that has been infected with malware. When you click on the ad, whatever was effect the cyberattacker loaded in the coding of the ad is downloaded on your computer.

Password Attacks: Probably the most obviously attack term, password attacks occur when a hacker tries to steal your password for information. Cyber thieves can use a program to access your passwords, or even resort to old fashioned ways: peering over your shoulder to see your smart phone screen as you type in the pin to your debit card.

Phishing: Another term many people are familiar with is “phishing.” This attack targets your email accounts. The attacker sets up a company and requests personal information or provides a link to click on. The website’s information you’re directed to aligns with the information you received in the email, sometimes creating a false sense of security and legitimacy. As soon as you input your information, the hackers can use it as they see fit.

Ransomware: In a nut shell, Ransomware is a virus that will lock you out of all your data- documents, photos, contacts, etc. – until you pay a fee. If you chose not to pay the fee, you’ll have to wipe your whole computer in order to use it, losing all of your data anyway.

Thwarting the Attacks

Never fear, prevention is out there! To counter the above hazards, ensure you install and adhere to the following:

Firewalls: This is a virtual gate, if you will, that can prevent or allow certain traffic from leaving or gaining access to your PC. To increase effectiveness, the firewall should stay turned on, especially if you are connected to the internet.

Antivirus Software with Ransomware Protection: Invest in a good antivirus software that includes a ransomware protection plan; good meaning that you should pay for it. Most free antivirus protection software only monitors issues and then alert you, not take care of the problem. Purchasing antivirus software provides monitoring and proactive protection.

Keep Your PC Up to Date: Most users do not maintain their updates. Updates are important because they’re purpose is to help keep your computer safe.  Every time a new malware is developed or and old one is updated, programmers hastily work to develop and push out an update to their consumers to counteract its effects, keeping your information all the more protected.

Email: Everyone on the planet has an email now a days. 91% of cyberattacks stem from email. Be wary of emails you receive that:

  • Request passwords
  • Request your Social Security Number
  • Offer anything “free”
  • Alert you with an “urgent” warning or threat of an expiration of an account
  • Request credit card information

Everywhere you go on the internet leaves “footprints;” where you shop, where you bank, what you may want to buy, etc. Malware picks up on your “footprints” and tries to trick you by creating emails and pop-up advertisements that are catered to your internet browsing, searching and buying habits. If something look suspect, treat it as such. However, if you land on a website you’re not so sure about or regret downloading a file, there are handy websites to scan files or sites in question.

File Storage: Backup your computer and all data regularly to ensure its safety. Use a secure file housing website, software, or simply copy important folders and files to a USB disk regularly. This minimizes the impact, headaches and helps to avoid having pay a ransomware to get your vital documents.

Business Training: Cell Phone Etiquette

Posted by on Jul 11, 2017 in Business Accounting Degree, Business Management, Centura Chesapeake, Centura College, Centura Columbia, Centura Newport News, Centura Norfolk, Centura Richmond, Centura Virginia Beach, Tips & Tricks

By Jul DeGeus

Some might argue that professionalism is one of the keys to success in the business world. Knowing the rules of business etiquette can set you apart from other employees, but one of the most commonly abused etiquette rules is the use of cell phones. While you should refer to your company’s rules and regulations for instruction regarding cell phone usage, these are some best practices:

Cellphone Volume and Ringer/ Ringtone

There’s nothing worse than sitting at your cubicle, working on a report in a silent office and having your phone ring. Anxiously, you bustle around through your personal items, quickly trying to hush it. You apologize for disturbing everyone and, red-faced, you get back to work hoping you won’t be made fun of later for your choice of ringtone. Two main rules of etiquette can be learned in this situation:

  • Always remember to silence your phone- Make turning your phone to “silent mode” part of your morning routine to save you some shame. Breakfast, shower, brush your teeth, check your phone, grab coffee and head to work.
  • Pick a professional ring/text tone- While you might know all the words to “Baby Got Back,” and even have a choreographed dance paired with it for special occasions, your ringtone reflects your professionalism. Keep it generic to keep it professional.

Also keep in mind that setting your phone to “vibrate” is not the same as “silencing” your phone. While it is harder for some to pick up the sounds, vibrations are audible, especially if sitting on a tabletop surface.

When and Where to Use Your Cell

Prime Time                                       

Lunch time is the perfect time to take or make personal calls. Most lunches are “off the clock” which is the ideal time to make your calls. Just be aware of your surroundings and understand that in a cafeteria or restaurant setting, others have the opportunity to hear part or all of your conversation. A personal or secluded space, such as your car, will allow for more privacy.

Be Cautious

Most companies allow you to use your phone on break, but take into consideration how long you use your phone. Generally, breaks are 15 minutes. If you exceed this time, it is likely that your boss will notice and could result in discipline.

Avoid Usage

It’s not the best idea to use your phone when in your cubicle. A neighbor can pop their head over the separator and gaze your screen or overhear a chat you are having. Additionally, you do not want to interrupt your peers’ concentration by carrying out a loud, disruptive dialogue.

People often use restrooms to have conversation on their phone. While this seems private, voices can carry through the buildings ventilation system. Not to mention, if your office shares a single or limited number of stalls, you could be holding up someone who needs to use the restroom.

There’s always an exception to the rule and when it comes to cell phones, emergencies are the exception. If there is some sort of emergency that causes your phone to ‘blow up,’ communicate this with your boss so they are aware of why you are on your phone.

Avoid Rudeness

Say you are in a meeting and someone vaguely refers to information you know you have access to via your cell phone. In situations like this, it’s ok to use your phone to access the information, so long as you announce that that is what you are doing. Something as simple as, “I’ll get those exact numbers for you,” or, “I have that email, let me pull it up,” will let everyone in the meeting know you are using your phone to enhance the meeting, rather than ignore it.

When interacting with people, give them your full attention. Try not to use your phone as a timepiece and avoid your smart watch; if you spend too much time looking at your smart watch, people will assume you are checking a text message and ignoring them. Finally, as sneaky as you may be, don’t read text messages under the table, behind a coffee cup or in back of portfolio or clip board.

Helpful Training to Strengthen Your Next Interview

Posted by on Jul 5, 2017 in Career Change, Career Services, Centura Chesapeake, Centura College, Centura Columbia, Centura Newport News, Centura Norfolk, Centura Richmond, Centura Virginia Beach, Lifestyle, Tips & Tricks

Helpful Training to Strengthen Your Next Interview

By Esperanza Poquiz

Some of us find interviews a little nerve-racking while others may be cool, calm and collected. Preparing for the interview process can ease stress. Whether you are a pro or amateur, keep these tips in the forefront of your mind when going to your next interview.

First Impressions

We’ve all heard that making a great first impression is important. A survey showed that 66 out of 2,000 hiring managers knew in 90 seconds if they would hire the job candidate. Ensure that your appearance gives the hiring manager a great first impression by:

  • Smiling
  • Having a firm handshake and great posture
  • Wearing more neutral colors like: black, gray, navy blue and white
  • Communicating with proper vocabulary and grammar

Confidence

Having confidence in yourself definitely shows in an interview. Emitting confidence lets the hiring manager see that you know what you want and you take initiative. Radiate confidence through:

  • Voice projection; don’t mumble
  • Eye contact
  • Body language: don’t fidget, play with your hair, touch your face or cross your hands over your chest
  • Hand gestures, but keep them to a minimum
  • Enthusiasm; Let your personality shine and show warmth

Know Who You Applied For

Before going in your interview be sure to do the following:

  • Research the company and get general information
  • Have a specific position in mind and learn the requirements of the position you seek
  • Come prepared with questions based on the company
  • Know the company’s mission statement and what is important to them

Final Suggestions

  • Have a generic answer about why you lost or left your last job
  • Don’t put down previous positions, employers or peers
  • Don’t focus on pay, schedule or benefits in the initial interview
  • Ask relevant questions

Be sure to keep these suggestions in mind for you next interview. You can also ask family and friends for help through mock interviews. Good luck!

Using Your Resources: The Importance of a Human Resources Manager

Posted by on May 16, 2017 in Adult Education, Business Management, Human Resources, Lifestyle

By Esperanza Poquiz Edited by Jul DeGeus

Human Resources (HR) Managers play an important part in creating a work environment for employees. After all, your work atmosphere has a large effect on your performance. An HR Manager ensures that employees are treated fairly and fulfill the requirements of their roles.

One of the duties of an HR manager is to motivate their employees and place them into positions that best suit them. HR Managers also help companies develop training modules to better equip their staff members for the changing demands of business. Additionally, they can oversee the company workforce is on track to meet their business objectives on time. Below are a few more tasks it takes to be an HR Manager:

  • Organize administrative events
  • Monitor to determine the needs of staff
  • Establish performance issues and set goals to correct them
  • Take care of human resource issues, including sexual harassment, equal opportunities and discrimination
  • Supervise employee relations, unions, collective bargaining, payroll, benefits and compensation
  • Resolve disputes and administer disciplinary actions
  • Assist departments with hiring processes

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics job outlook, employment of Human Resources Managers is projected to grow faster than the average of all occupations, with 9% from the years of 2014 – 2024. With organizations expanding and new companies developing, HR Managers will be needed to oversee and administer their programs. (1)

                Requirements to become an HR Manager are typically a bachelor’s degree and some work experience. If this has sparked your interest in becoming an HR Manager, a great place to start is by looking into our business programs offered at Centura College.

About Centura College

Centura College has been part of an organization dedicated to helping men and women develop careers since 1969. By training working adults in healthcare, technology, business, legal studies and trades, they connect communities with some of the fastest growing career fields in today’s marketplace. The school offers professional facilities, knowledgeable instructors, day or evening classes, job placement assistance and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). To learn more, visit www.CenturaCollege.edu or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/centura.edu.

Source

  1. “Summary.”U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, n.d. Web. 11 May 2017.

Centura College Virginia Beach Announces Two New Programs

Posted by on Aug 26, 2013 in Online

Centura College Virginia Beach Announces Two New Programs

In an effort to maintain the most relevant and up to date curriculum possible for our student body, and to offer degree choices that make a difference and keep pace with today’s workforce demands, Centura College Virginia Beach announces two new programs to our already popular, 100% online bachelor’s degree completion program.  They are… …Read More Here

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