6 Immediate Steps You Should Take If Your Netflix Account is Hacked

Netflix, a renowned and widely used streaming service, is loved by millions of subscribers worldwide, including those in Fresno and Visalia, California. With a staggering subscriber base of nearly 231 million globally, Netflix has become an integral part of people’s daily entertainment routines.

However, like any online service, Netflix accounts can be susceptible to hacking. This inherent risk arises due to the reliance on usernames and passwords for protection. If you suspect that someone has hacked your Netflix account in the Fresno or Visalia area, it’s important to take immediate action while keeping a calm and composed mindset.

And guess what? Firewell Technology Solutions has your back! In this article, we will guide you through the necessary steps to follow if you suspect a Netflix account hack.

How Does a Netflix Hack Typically Work?

Hackers often exploit phishing techniques in Netflix account breaches. They send fake emails, imitating brands like Netflix, to trick users into revealing their login credentials. These deceptive emails claim suspicious account activity and contain links to spoofed login pages. It’s crucial to exercise caution and avoid falling victim to such phishing attempts.

Did you know that hacked Netflix accounts can sell for $12 each on the dark web?

As these phishing emails flood inboxes, recipients tend to overlook genuine notifications from Netflix warning about unauthorized logins. Hackers take advantage of this and bide their time, patiently waiting until users dismiss these warnings. Once they perceive that the user has grown complacent, they strike.

A typical Netflix hack scenario unfolds as follows:

  • The account owner receives an email regarding a suspicious login, often from a different country.
  • The account owner logs into their Netflix account to check for any unknown devices but finds none. The hacker logs out intentionally, aiming to convince the user that the real notice was a phishing attempt.
  • This sequence may repeat 2-4 times within a month, ensuring the user becomes desensitized to the warnings.
  • Once the hacker believes the user is no longer paying attention to Netflix’s alerts, they make their move.
  • The hacker adds their credit card to the compromised account to establish verification with Netflix.
  • They might also upgrade the subscription plan to a higher tier.
  • Typically, the hacker replaces user profile names with numeric placeholders (e.g., 1, 2, 3) to obscure the account owner’s identity.
  • At this point, the account owner usually receives an email notifying them of account information changes, such as email, password, or phone number.
  • The hacker’s objective is to lock the account owner out of their own Netflix account.

What Should You Do If Your Netflix Account Is Hacked?

1. Visit the Netflix Site and Attempt to Log In

If you suspect that your Netflix account has been hacked, directly visit the Netflix website using your preferred browser. Avoid clicking on any links received via email, DM, or SMS. Try logging in using your existing password, as you may still have access before the hacker locks you out. If login is unsuccessful, proceed to Step 4 by contacting Netflix support.

2. Change Your Password Immediately If You Can Log In

If you successfully log into your account, promptly change your password. Ensure that the new password is strong, consisting of at least 10-12 characters with a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using any variations of the compromised password or incorporating any parts of your previous password.

3. Remove Suspicious Payment Methods If You Can Log In

If you still have access to your account settings, navigate to the payment methods section. Hackers often add unauthorized payment cards to verify the account with Netflix support. Remove any unfamiliar payment methods that don’t belong to you. However, if you remove your own payment card, make sure you have an alternative verification method in place before doing so. You may need to contact Netflix support for guidance.

4. Contact Support (Do Not Skip This Step)

Whether you successfully log in or not, it’s crucial to reach out to Netflix support. Their support team has been praised for their fast and helpful assistance in addressing account hacks. Contacting support is essential as there might be actions taken by the hacker that you are unaware of, such as changes to your subscription information.

Inform the Netflix support representative that you suspect your account has been hacked. They will guide you through the process of undoing the hacker’s actions and securing your account.

5. Monitor Your Bank Statements

Remain vigilant and monitor your bank statements for any unusual charges following an account hack. This is a recommended practice after any security breach.

6. Change Passwords for Other Accounts Linked to Netflix

People often reuse passwords across multiple accounts. To enhance security, change the passwords for any other accounts that share the same or similar password to your compromised Netflix account.

Take Steps to Secure Your Passwords and Accounts

Rather than waiting for a hack to occur, it is wise to proactively implement measures to secure your passwords and accounts. Consider seeking professional assistance from Firewell Technology Solutions to ensure robust password security solutions. Schedule a discussion today to explore options for protecting your online accounts.

 


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This article, adapted, has been republished with permission from The Technology Press.

What Is App Fatigue & Why Is It a Security Issue?

Is “app fatigue” a thing? The number of apps and web tools that employees use on a regular basis continues to increase. Most departments have about 40-60 different digital tools that they use. 71% of employees feel they use so many apps that it makes work more complex.

Many of the apps that we use every day have various alerts. We get a “ping” when someone mentions our name on a Teams channel. We get a notification popup that an update is available. We get an alert of errors or security issues.

So we here at Firewell Technology Solutions believe that app fatigue is a very real thing, and it’s actually becoming a cybersecurity problem. The more people get overwhelmed by notifications, the more likely they are to ignore them.

Just think about the various digital alerts that you get. They come in:

  • Software apps on your computer
  • Web-based SaaS tools
  • Websites where you’ve allowed alerts
  • Mobile apps and tools
  • Email banners
  • Text messages
  • Team communication tools

Some employees are getting the same notification on two different devices. This just adds to the problem. This leads to many issues that impact productivity and cybersecurity.

Besides alert bombardment, every time the boss introduces a new app, that means a new password. Employees are already juggling about 191 passwords. They use at least 154 of them sometime during the month.

How Does App Fatigue Put Companies at Risk?

 

Employees Begin Ignoring Updates

When digital alerts interrupt your work, you can feel like you’re always behind. This leads to ignoring small tasks seen as not time-sensitive. Tasks like clicking to install an app update.

Employees overwhelmed with too many app alerts, tend to ignore them. When updates come up, they may quickly click them away. They feel they can’t spare the time right now and aren’t sure how long it will take.
Ignoring app updates on a device is dangerous. Many of those updates include important security patches for found vulnerabilities. When they’re not installed, the device and its network are at a higher risk. It becomes easier to suffer a successful cyberattack.

Employees Reuse Passwords (and They’re Often Weak)

Another security casualty of app fatigue is password security. The more SaaS accounts someone must create, the more likely they are to reuse passwords. It’s estimated that passwords are typically reused 64% of the time.

Credential breach is a key driver of cloud data breaches. Hackers can easily crack weak passwords. The same password used several times leaves many accounts at risk.

Employees May Turn Off Alerts

Some alerts are okay to turn off. For example, do you really need to know every time someone responds to a group thread? Or just when they @name you? But, turning off important security alerts is not good.

There comes a breaking point when one more push notification can push someone over the edge. They may turn off all the alerts they can across all apps. The problem with this is that in the mix of alerts are important ones. Such as an anti-malware app warning about a newly found virus.

What’s the Answer to App Fatigue?

It’s not realistic to just go backward in time before all these apps were around. But you can put a strategy in place that puts people in charge of their tech, and not the other way around.

Streamline Your Business Applications

From both a productivity and security standpoint, fewer apps are better. The fewer apps you have, the less risk. Also, the fewer passwords to remember and notifications to address.

Look at the tools that you use to see where redundancies may be. Many companies are using two or more apps that can do the same function.

Consider using an umbrella platform like Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace. These platforms include several work tools, but users only need a single login to access them.

Have Your IT Team Set up Notifications

It’s difficult for users to know what types of notifications are the most important. Set up their app notifications for them. This ensures they aren’t bombarded yet are still getting the important ones.

Automate Application Updates

A cybersecurity best practice is to automate device and software updates. This takes the process out of employees’ hands. It enhances productivity by removing unnecessary updates from their view.

Automating device updates through a managed services solution improves security. It also mitigates the chance there will be a vulnerable app putting your network at risk.

Open a Two-Way Communication About Alerts

Employees may never turn off an alert because they’re afraid they might get in trouble. Managers may not even realize constant app alert interruptions are hurting productivity.

Communicate with employees and let them know they can communicate with you. Discuss how to use alerts effectively. As well as the best ways to manage alerts for a better and more productive workday.

Need Help Taming Your Cloud App Environment?

Today, it’s easy for cloud tools to get out of hand. Firewell Technology Solutions can help central valley businesses optimize their cloud app environment. Give us a call today.

 


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This Article, adapted, has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

6 Things You Should Do to Handle Data Privacy Updates

Once data began going digital, authorities realized a need to protect it. Thus, the creation of data privacy rules and regulations to address cyber threats. Many organizations have one or more data privacy policies they need to meet.

Those in the U.S. healthcare industry and their service partners need to comply with HIPAA. Anyone collecting payment card data must worry about PCI-DSS. GDPR is a wide-reaching data protection regulation. It impacts anyone selling to EU citizens.

Industry and international data privacy regulations are just the tip of the iceberg. Many state and local jurisdictions also have their own data privacy laws. Organizations must be aware of these compliance requirements. But they also need to know about updates to these rules.

By the end of 2024, about 75% of the population will have its data protected by one or more privacy regulations.

Authorities enact new data privacy regulations all the time. For example, in 2023, four states will have new rules. Colorado, Utah, Connecticut, and Virginia will begin enforcing new data privacy statutes.

Businesses must stay on top of their data privacy compliance requirements. Otherwise, they can suffer. Many standards carry stiff penalties for a data breach. And if security was lacking, fines can be even higher.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) uses a sliding scale. Violators can be fined between $100 to $50,000 per breached record. The more negligent the company is, the higher the fine.

Does all that sound scary?

Don’t worry! Firewell Technology Solutions has some tips for Central Valley and California businesses that can help you keep up with data privacy updates coming your way.

Steps for Staying On Top of Data Privacy Compliance

 

1. Identify the Regulations You Need to Follow

Does your organization have a list of the different data privacy rules it falls under? There could be regulations for:

  • Industry
  • Where you sell (e.g., if you sell to the EU)
  • Statewide
  • City or county
  • Federal (e.g., for government contractors)

Identify all the various data privacy regulations that you may be subject to. This helps ensure you’re not caught off guard by one you didn’t know about.

2. Stay Aware of Data Privacy Regulation Updates

Don’t get blindsided by a data privacy rule change. You can stay on top of any changes by signing up for updates on the appropriate website. Look for the official website for the compliance authority.

For example, if you are in the healthcare field you can sign up for HIPAA updates at HIPAA.gov. You should do this for each of the regulations your business falls under.

You should have updates sent to more than one person. Typically, your Security Officer or equal, and another responsible party. This ensures they don’t get missed if someone is on vacation.

3. Do an Annual Review of Your Data Security Standards

Companies are always evolving their technology. This doesn’t always mean a big enterprise transition. Sometimes you may add a new server or a new computer to the mix.

Any changes to your IT environment can mean falling out of compliance. A new employee mobile device added, but not properly protected is a problem. One new cloud tool an employee decides to use can also cause a compliance issue.

It’s important to do at least an annual review of your data security. Match that with your data privacy compliance requirements to make sure you’re still good.

4. Audit Your Security Policies and Procedures

Something else you should audit at least annually is your policies and procedures. These written documents that tell employees what’s expected from them. They also give direction when it comes to data privacy and how to handle a breach.

Audit your security policies annually. Additionally, audit them whenever there is a data privacy regulation update. You want to ensure that you’re encompassing any new changes to your requirements.

5. Update Your Technical, Physical & Administrative Safeguards As Needed

When you receive a notification that a data privacy update is coming, plan ahead. It’s best to comply before the rule kicks in, if possible.

Look at three areas of your IT security:

  • Technical safeguards – Systems, devices, software, etc.
  • Administrative safeguards – Policies, manuals, training, etc.
  • Physical safeguards – Doors, keypads, building security, etc.

6. Keep Employees Trained on Compliance and Data Privacy Policies

Employees should be aware of any changes to data privacy policies that impact them. When you receive news about an upcoming update, add this to your ongoing training.

Good cybersecurity practice is to conduct ongoing cybersecurity training for staff. This keeps their anti-breach skills sharp and reminds them of what’s expected.
Include updates they need to know about so they can be properly prepared.

Remember to always log your training activities. It’s a good idea to log the date, the employees educated, and the topic. This way, you have this documentation if you do suffer a breach at some point.

Get Help Ensuring Your Systems Meet Compliance Needs

Data privacy compliance can be complex, but you don’t have to figure it all out yourself. Firewell Technology Solutions is well-versed in data privacy compliance needs. Give us a call today to schedule a chat.

 


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This Article, adapted, has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

Windows 8.1 Just Lost All Support. Here’s What You Need to Know

Companies both large and small share this one cybersecurity problem. They have computers that are still running older operating systems. Staff might use these devices only occasionally. Or the company may be running customized software that won’t run on newer OS versions.

The problem is that when the OS becomes outdated, the system is open to cyberattacks. When Microsoft or another developer retires an OS, it means that it is no longer supported. No more feature updates and no more security patches for newly found vulnerabilities.

The latest operating system to lose all support is Windows 8.1. Microsoft released the OS in 2013, and it was officially retired on January 10, 2023. Microsoft issued the following warning for companies:

“Continuing to use Windows 8.1 after January 10, 2023 may increase an organization’s exposure to security risks or impact its ability to meet compliance obligations.”

Here are a few facts we here at Firewell Technology Solutions believes you should know about what this retirement of Windows 8.1 means.

The OS Will Still Technically Work

When an operating system reaches its end of life, it doesn’t just stop working. Thus, many companies go on using it without realizing the security risk. Technically, the OS will work as it did the day before retirement. But it’s a lot less safe due to the loss of support.

Your System Will No Longer Receive Security Patches

Software and OS vulnerabilities are sought out and exploited all the time. This is what hackers do for a living. The vulnerability cycle usually begins with hackers finding a software “loophole.” They then write code to exploit it that allows them some type of system access.

The software developer learns of this, usually once hackers start breaching systems. They write code to fix that vulnerability. Developers then send the fix to users via an update that they install. This protects the device from one or more hacker exploits.

When an OS reaches its end of life, these fixes are no longer made. The developer has moved on to focus on its newer products. So, the vulnerability remains. It leaves a device vulnerable to hacks for days, months, or years afterward.

Approximately 61% of security vulnerabilities in corporate networks are over five years old.

Options for Upgrading

If you have a computer that is still running Windows 8.1, you have two options for upgrading. You can opt for Windows 10 or Windows 11. If the computer is running such an old OS, there is a chance your system may not meet the requirements for one or both. In this case, you may need to buy a new device altogether.

Microsoft states that there is no free option to upgrade from 8.1 to Windows 10 or 11. Some of the advantages you gain when upgrading include:

  • Better built-in security
  • Faster processing
  • Capability for more modern features (like facial recognition)
  • Improved accessibility features
  • Updated productivity tools (like snap layouts in Windows 11)

What Happens If I Don’t Upgrade?

 

Security & Compliance Issues

Your data security is at risk if you stay on Windows 8.1. Without any security updates, any vulnerabilities will stay unpatched. This leaves your system highly vulnerable to a breach. One hacked system on a network can also cause the breach or malware infection to spread to newer devices.

If you have to comply with a data privacy regulation, like HIPAA, you’ll also run into issues. Data privacy rules dictate making reasonable efforts to protect data. Using a device with an outdated OS jeopardizes meeting compliance.

Slowed Productivity

The older systems get, the slower they get. Staff that must work on outdated software often complain that it hurts productivity. 77% of surveyed employees were frustrated with outdated tech. Employees dealing with outmoded systems may also quit. They are 450% more likely to want to leave and work elsewhere.

An outdated operating system can hold your staff back. They miss out on modern time-saving features. They can also run into problems with bugs that will no longer get fixed.

Incompatibility With Newer Tools

Software and hardware developers aren’t looking back. Once Microsoft retires an OS, they aren’t prioritizing its compatibility. In fact, some may not want their product to be compatible with it because of the liability.

When you have issues using modern software and hardware it hurts your business. You become less competitive and begin to fall behind. Staying on an outmoded OS keeps you stuck in the past.

Get Help With Your Windows Upgrades

Firewell Technology Solutions can you help upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 or Windows 11. If you need a new system, we can point you in the right direction for the best value. Give us a call today to schedule a chat about upgrades and where your security stands.

 


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This Article, adapted, has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

Data Backup Is Not Enough, You Also Need Data Protection

The need to back up data has been around since floppy disks. Data loss happens due to viruses, hard drive crashes, and other mishaps. Most people using any type of technology have experienced data loss at least once where a data protection strategy would have come in handy.

There are about 140,000 hard drive crashes in the US weekly. Every five years, 20% of SMBs suffer data loss due to a major disaster. This has helped to drive a robust cloud backup market that continues to grow.

But one thing that’s changed with data backup in the last few years is security. Simply backing up data so you don’t lose it isn’t enough anymore. Backing up has morphed into data protection.

What does this mean?

Ever cybersecurity-minded, Firewell Technology Solutions believes this means that backups need more cybersecurity protection. They face threats such as sleeper ransomware and supply chain attacks. Cloud-based backup has the benefit of being convenient, accessible, and effective. But there is also a need for certain security considerations with an online service.

Companies need to consider data protection when planning a backup and recovery strategy. The tools used need to protect against the growing number of threats.

Some of the modern threats to data backups include:

  • Data Center Outage: The “cloud” basically means data on a server. That server is internet accessible. Those servers can crash. Data centers holding the servers can also have outages.
  • Sleeper Ransomware: This type of ransomware stays silent after infecting a device. The goal is to have it infect all backups. Then, when it’s activated, the victim doesn’t have a clean backup to restore.
  • Supply Chain Attacks: Supply chain attacks have been growing. They include attacks on cloud vendors that companies use. Those vendors suffer a cyberattack that then spreads throughout their clients.
  • Misconfiguration: Misconfiguration of security settings can be a problem. It can allow attackers to gain access to cloud storage. Those attackers can then download and delete files as they like.

What to Look for in a Data Protection Backup System

Just backing up data isn’t enough. You need to make sure the application you use provides adequate data protection. Here are some of the things to look for when reviewing a backup solution.

Ransomware Prevention

Ransomware can spread throughout a network to infect any data that exists. This includes data on computers, servers, and mobile devices. It also includes data in cloud platforms syncing with those devices.

95% of ransomware attacks also try to infect data backup systems.

It’s important that any data backup solution you use have protection from ransomware. This type of feature restricts automated file changes that can happen to documents.

Continuous Data Protection

Continuous data protection is a feature that will back up files as users make changes. This differs from systems that back up on a schedule, such as once per day.

Continuous data protection ensures that the system captures the latest file changes. This mitigates data loss that can occur if a system crashes before the next backup. With the speed of data generation these days, losing a day’s worth of data can be very costly.

Threat Identification

Data protection incorporates proactive measures to protect files. Look for threat identification functions in a backup service. Threat identification is a type of malware and virus prevention tool.

It looks for malware in new and existing backups. This helps stop sleeper ransomware and similar malware from infecting all backups.

Zero-Trust Tactics

Cybersecurity professionals around the world promote zero-trust security measures. This includes measures such as multi-factor authentication and application safelisting.

A zero-trust approach holds that all users and applications need ongoing authentication. So, just because a user is logged into the system today, doesn’t mean they are completely trusted.

Some of the zero-trust features to look for include:

  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Distinct file and folder permissions
  • Contextual authentication
  • Verification of permissions for file changes

Backup Redundancy

If you back up to a USB drive or CD, you have one copy of those files. If something happens to that copy, you could experience data loss.

Cloud backup providers should have backup redundancy in place. This means that the server holding your data mirrors that data to another server. This prevents data loss in the case of a server crash, natural disaster, or cyberattack.

Air Gapping for More Sensitive Data

Air gapping is a system that keeps a copy of your data offline or separated in another way. This would entail making a second backup copy of your data. Then, putting it on another server. A server disconnected from external sources.

This is a feature that you may want to seek out if you deal with highly sensitive data. It helps to ensure that you have at least one other copy of your backup. A copy walled off from common internet-based attacks.

Need Help With Secure Backup & Data Protection Solutions?

Firewell Technology Solutions are experts at backup and data protection strategies. Have you updated your backup process for today’s threats? Give us a call today to schedule a chat about data backup and protection.

 


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This Article, adapted, has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

6 Steps to Effective Vulnerability Management for Your Technology

Technology vulnerabilities are an unfortunate side effect of innovation. When software companies push new updates, there are often weaknesses in the code. Hackers exploit these. Software makers then address the vulnerabilities with a security patch. The cycle continues with each new software or hardware update.

It’s estimated that about 93% of corporate networks are susceptible to hacker penetration. Assessing and managing these network weaknesses isn’t always a priority for organizations. Many suffer breaches because of poor vulnerability management.

61% of security vulnerabilities in corporate networks are over 5 years old.

Many types of attacks take advantage of unpatched vulnerabilities in software code. This includes ransomware attacks, account takeover, and other common cyberattacks.

Whenever you see the term “exploit” when reading about a data breach, that’s an exploit of a vulnerability. Hackers write malicious code to take advantage of these “loopholes.” That code can allow them to elevate privileges. Or to run system commands or perform other dangerous network intrusions.

Putting together an effective vulnerability management process can reduce your risk. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Just follow the steps we’ve outlined below to get started.

Vulnerability Management Process

 

Step 1. Identify Your Assets

First, you need to identify all the devices and software that you will need to assess. You’ll want to include all devices that connect to your network, including:

  • Computers
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • IoT devices
  • Servers
  • Cloud services

Vulnerabilities can appear in many places. Such as the code for an operating system, a cloud platform, software, or firmware. So, you’ll want a full inventory of all systems and endpoints in your network.

This is an important first step, so you will know what you need to include in the scope of your assessment.

Step 2: Perform a Vulnerability Assessment

Next will be performing a vulnerability assessment. This is usually done by an IT professional using assessment software. This could also include penetration testing.

During the assessment, the professional scans your systems for any known vulnerabilities. The assessment tool matches found software versions against vulnerability databases.

For example, a database may note that a version of Microsoft Exchange has a vulnerability. If it detects that you have a server running that same version, it will note it as a found weakness in your security.

Step 3: Prioritize Vulnerabilities by Threat Level

The assessment results provide a roadmap for mitigating network vulnerabilities. There will usually be several, and not all are as severe as others. You will next need to rank which ones to address first.

At the top of the list should be those experts consider severe. Many vulnerability assessment tools will use the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS). This categorizes vulnerabilities with a rating score from low to critical severity.

You’ll also want to rank vulnerabilities by your own business needs. If a software is only used occasionally on one device, you may consider it a lower priority to address. While a vulnerability in software used on all employee devices, you may rank as a high priority.

Step 4: Remediate Vulnerabilities

Remediate vulnerabilities according to the prioritized list. Remediation often means applying an issued update or security patch. But it may also mean upgrading hardware that may be too old for you to update.

Another form of remediation may be ringfencing. This is when you “wall off” an application or device from others in the network. A company may do this if a scan turns up a vulnerability for which a patch does not yet exist.

Increasing advanced threat protection settings in your network can also help. Once you’ve remediated the weaknesses, you should confirm the fixes.

Step 5: Document Activities

It’s important to document the vulnerability assessment and management process. This is vital both for cybersecurity needs and compliance.

You’ll want to document when you performed the last vulnerability assessment. Then document all the steps taken to remediate each vulnerability. Keeping these logs will be vital in the case of a future breach. They also can inform the next vulnerability assessment.

Step 6. Schedule Your Next Vulnerability Assessment Scan

Once you go through a round of vulnerability assessment and mitigation, you’re not done. Vulnerability management is an ongoing process.

In 2022, there were over 22,500 new vulnerabilities documented. Developers continue to update their software continuously. Each of those updates can introduce new vulnerabilities into your network.

It’s a best practice to have a schedule for regular vulnerability assessments. The cycle of assessment, prioritization, mitigation, and documentation should be ongoing. This fortifies your network against cyberattacks. It removes one of the main enablers of hackers.

Get Started with a Vulnerability Assessment

Take the first step towards effective vulnerability management. Firewell Technology Solutions can help you fortify your network against attacks. Give us a call today to schedule a vulnerability assessment to get started.

 


Featured Image Credit

This Article, adapted, has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.