Partnering with the Pros: “Cyber Security, Always on Guard”


WAYNESBORO- This is Part 2 of 6 parts of an interview by Samantha Wolfe of the Law Offices of Samantha K. Wolfe LLC, with Cermak Technologies, Inc. owner Mike Cermak, Jr. The interview is lightly edited.

Sam: Tell me what steps you recommend for an everyday home user, maybe not in a business.

Mike: There are a couple of guidelines. First, keep your computer up to date. If you are running Windows, it is easy. Often it will tell you when you need to restart. It is making it less and less of a choice anymore because it is forcing you to update.

It is a good idea to periodically hit your start button, then go to “Settings” and “Windows Updates.” Just check and make sure everything is getting installed correctly. Sometimes the updates don’t install correctly.

Windows has a built-in antivirus program and is set up so that is usually enough for your average person at home. It is still a good idea to go in there occasionally and make sure it is updating properly, scanning properly, and not throwing any errors.

One of the biggest things I see people do, not just at home but anywhere, is poor password management. It is so easy to have a single password or a slight variation of it that you just use everywhere.

It is best practice to use a password manager. This may be worth getting into later, but the problem with using the same password everywhere, or a variation of it, is that eventually, a website that you use is going to get hacked.

There are literally databases online of millions of email addresses and the passwords associated with them from hacked websites. It is really a simple thing to get.

Bad guys do that. They download lists, and they say, “Here is Samantha’s email address and here’s the password she used on whatever website.” So they think, “Why don’t I go over to Facebook or to Microsoft or to her bank or whatever and see if that same combination of email and password works there?”

Humans cannot remember an infinite number of passwords. That’s the biggest problem. Even if it gets hacked some other way, sometimes you get tricked into giving someone your password.

If a bad guy has your password for one website, there is a lot less risk than having the password to all your websites. They’ve not only accessed your email, but they have also accessed everything. If I can access your email, I can go into your bank and say, “I forgot my password, send me an email to reset it.” It is simple at that point.

So password managers are critical. It is something a lot of people are afraid of, but once you have used it for a day or two, you wonder how you ever survived without it.

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See part 3 of this interview in next week’s edition. If you have technical questions you would like to ask, email [email protected] with the title “Ask the Tech Guy”. Mike will respond to your questions in the Voices section of

Mike Cermak is President of Cermak Technologies Inc, with offices at 46 South Potomac Street in Waynesboro and 201 Prospect Avenue in Hagerstown. For over 20 years, Cermak has managed computers and networks for businesses in Franklin County, PA and Washington County, MD. They specialize in IT services for small businesses, including computer service, system management, business phone systems, surveillance cameras, and website development. Cermak Technologies can be reached at (717) 762-8234, 1-888-4-CERMAK, or [email protected].

Samantha Wolfe is an attorney in Waynesboro PA, located at 20 East Sixth Street, Suite 206, Waynesboro PA 17268. She can be contacted at 717-655-2676, or through her website,

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