Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Fast Rhino named Arizona’s Top Rated Local® Business in Arizona, Computer IT Services (#1 in 2019)

Fast Rhino ranked #1 Computer IT Service
in the entire state of Arizona for 2019!

We felt extremely proud to have been ranked in the top ten of Arizona's Computer IT services in 2018, but this year's 1st place award left us speechless! We cannot thank our clients enough for sharing their experience with others about Fast Rhino.  We are truly fortunate to work with such generous voices.

Find out more about how we were ranked across various review sites and how our rating score was achieved using aggregate data by Top Rated Local®.

Top Rated Local® Business in Arizona, Computer IT Services (#10 in 2018)
Top Rated Local® Business in Arizona, Computer IT Services (#1 in 2019)
Top Rated Local® Business in Arizona (#27 in 2019) - Out of all business categories in Arizona.

Contact Fast Rhino today for top rated service!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Modern Password Security Policies

How secure are your passwords? 
Today's passwords need to be a lot more complicated to be effective.

by Merlin Benningfield, Managing Partner - Fast Rhino, LLC

Pull your house key out of your pocket and take a good look at it. Now put it back in your pocket and grab a pen and paper. Could you draw the notches or teeth exactly as they appear on your key?  Most people answer that question with a resounding, "Of course not!".  My next question is, "Why?".  The answer is because the notches in the key are complicated, and for good reason. 

Passwords are modern day keys. No one expects people to remember the exact shape of their house keys, so why do people think they should somehow remember their passwords, especially since most of them have several?  If you have a password that you can remember, chances are it isn't a very good one.  

Let's look at some modern password policies you should be following today (bear in mind that based on how fast technology is moving, this list will need to be updated regularly):

Password Length:  12-14 characters (the old requirement of "8 character" passwords are easily broken by computers now).

Character Types: You should use all of the following types of characters in your password: 
  • Upper case letters
  • Lower case letters
  • Numbers
  • Special Characters ($, @, *, ?, etc.)

Uniqueness: It is not recommended that you use the same password twice, since it is common that once a hacker has successfully stolen a password, they immediately try using it elsewhere.

How often do I change them?: As a rule, you should be changing your passwords once every 90 days to help defend against data breaches.  Companies are targeted by hackers all the time and if you have an account with one of these companies and their network is breached, its possible your account information (username and password) are stolen and then sold on the dark web.   No matter how complicated your password, a data breach could reveal it.  The idea is that if you are regularly changing your passwords, a data breach might not affect you since it takes time to steal, distribute and then use the stolen account data. Most data breaches include millions of records, so the criminals don't usually use them right away and this gives you the ability to hopefully have changed them before they can be used against you.
Documenting all your passwords in an organized fashion so that you can easily find them is a good idea, however keeping that list safe is important.  Password managers can be a good way of storing and accessing your passwords also, but many are cloud-based, which should also be a consideration regarding security.

The bad guys are not sitting in their underwear late at night lounging around in their grandmother's basement trying to break into your account one password attempt at a time.  They've gotten a lot smarter and are now using super computers with extremely fast processors running brute force logarithms.In summary, the majority of passwords we used last decade are not strong enough to stop these brute force attacks.  If we want to protect ourselves, we have to change our defensive computing strategies.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Fast Rhino's 15 Year Anniversary

Celebrate Fast Rhino's
15 Year Anniversary
and take 15% off any service call!
Offer may not be used with any other discount
and does not apply to bench work or products.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Fast Rhino named Arizona’s Top Rated Local® Computer IT Services Award Winner

Top Rated Local® is pleased to announce that Fast Rhino is a 2018 award winner for computer IT services in Arizona!

Posted on
by Top Rated Local

From malware removal and data recovery to system diagnostics and troubleshooting, when you need computer IT services in Tucson, no company beats Fast Rhino.

Fast Rhino has earned dozens of online reviews with an average rating of 4.89 stars, an impressive 94.86 Rating Score™ and a 2018 Top Rated Local award for being rated among the top 10 computer IT service companies in all of Arizona!
Here is just one of the many five-star reviews they’ve received from their happy clients:

“I had a problem with Error Code 43, tried to find a solution online and ended up disabling my server connection. I called Fast Rhino, and within a day, Merlin from Fast Rhino arrived at my door and solved the problem. He was professional, knowledgeable and solved the problem within minutes. I highly recommend Fast Rhino!” – Wendy J

Not Your Average Computer IT Services Company

Clients at Fast Rhino are pleasantly surprised to learn that they offer a lot of services that other companies do not, and best of all, clients get a ton of services included in one low price. For example, when a client buys a computer at Fast Rhino, set-up, delivery, data transfer, installation, the first year of anti-virus software and a full, one-year warranty are all included.

Another thing that sets Fast Rhino apart is that they don’t force their clients to wait around for them by giving them appointment windows. When they say they’ll show up at 8 AM, they’ll show up at 8 AM.

The team at Fast Rhino is incredibly experienced, and they work hard to keep their clients informed so they feel good about their purchase. They live and breathe by their value proposition: Experience. Enjoyable. Computing.

We asked the owner of Fast Rhino, Merlin Benningfield, why they do what they do. Here’s what he had to say:
“We understand computers and know that many people need someone who not only understands but also who cares about their needs. There is an old saying that we live by every day and keep in mind with every customer interaction, ‘Customers don’t care how much you know; customers want to know how much you care.’

You can read more of the article here.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

2018 Summer Promotion

This summer is the time to buy a computer from Fast Rhino!
Now until September 1st, 2018 get a great deal on any of our certified pre-owned systems or get a $50 gift card you can use towards any product or service when you purchase any NEW Fast Rhino computer. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Credit Monitoring or Credit Freeze?

by Merlin Benningfield, Managing Partner - Fast Rhino, LLC

In today's volatile world of digital hacks and data breaches,the chances of having your identity stolen is becoming more and more a certainty than just a possibility.  So how do you protect yourself?

A common way in which criminals can ruin your life is by gaining access to enough personal information about you that they can then apply for credit under your identity.  Your name, address, date of birth, and social security number can be enough information to apply for credit, perform tax refund fraud, medical services fraud, etc...   and this information is quickly finding itself available to criminals on the dark web.

There are a host of companies now that promote credit monitoring services, which may sound like an effective and affordable solution, however, they only detect fraudulent use of your credit file after the fact. A better solution would be to implement a credit freeze.  This helps lock down your credit record and prevents anyone from accessing it without you first "thawing" it.

The United States Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG) published a comprehensive document (PDF) discussing the importance of why you should consider placing a freeze on your credit report before your information is stolen. They also have some good advice regarding the recent Equifax breach and how you can protect yourself in that regard.

As I continue to say, the bad guys are using the Internet against us.  The more we learn about their tactics, the less likely we are to become a statistic.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

WWW Now Stands for the Wild Wild West

by Merlin Benningfield, Managing Partner - Fast Rhino, LLC

For more than a dozen years, Fast Rhino has identified and removed thousands of threats from our client's systems.  It has since become a daily routine due to the alarming growth rate of both the volume and type of infections we are encountering.  We cannot express how important it is to incorporate defensive computing skills during your Internet travels. What we once knew as the "World Wide Web" has quickly morphed into the "Wild Wild West".

The bad guys are rapidly learning how to turn the Internet against us and use it as a tool to attack our computers and mobile devices. Those of us who do not adapt and educate ourselves will quickly become targets and eventually statistics of their online crime.

If you were to attend a defensive driving class, you would learn to follow some basic rules when behind the wheel, such as looking both ways before proceeding through an intersection, keeping a good eye on your blind spots and using your turn signals before turning.  These are just a few of the actions that could help you avoid an unwanted accident out on the road.  Defensive computing also requires you to implement some basic rules designed to help prevent your system from getting infected in this new Wild Wild West.

One of the most common ways we see systems getting infected is via the browser. We all use our web browsers to search for various information over the Internet.  Some of us may feel that since we only visit "mainstream" web sites, we are safe from any sort of threat. This is a compete misconception.  If you believe that you are immune from malicious software simply because you only visit a few select web sites and you have a name brand anti-virus program, you are mistaken.  Times have changed and so has the Internet.

Just like in the real world, if you were to go downtown, there may be dark alleys, red light districts or gambling halls that you might avoid to stay out of harm's way.  We've all been programmed to believe the same is true when traveling over the Internet.  This programming is false.  You can now get "mugged" in broad daylight visiting popular destinations that you thought were safe to visit.  Using defensive computing skills can help you protect yourself even if you decide to stroll down a questionable path.

So what are some elements of defensive computing?  The list is ongoing but here are just a few:

Use a Script Blocker:  If you only do one thing on this list, this is probably the most important. Blocking potentially dangerous scripts is one of the most effective ways to defend against common web-based infections.  When used properly, a script blocker protects your web browser from contracting infections from tainted web sites. This type of attack is growing exponentially because so many people don’t yet know about the dangers of scripting language and how it being used against us.  If you are using a web browser without a script blocker, you are simply asking for trouble.  Learn more about script blocking for Firefox here and for Chrome here.

Avoid Links and Attachments in Email: People tell me on a daily basis that they don’t open or click on associated links/attachments of emails sent by strangers.  That's a good start, but they should seriously question the emails from people they do know, as well.  Infectious email links and attachments commonly spread via circles of association such as through address books. This means the odds weigh more on you getting infected by opening an attachment or clicking on a link within an email that is from someone you know.

Question Everything: Just because something you see online seems legitimate, does not make it so. The Internet is full of scams and compelling imitations designed to take you for a ride.  You are playing it safe by not clicking, downloading, installing, etc.. when prompted by something with which you do not  have 100% confidence.

Keep Your Security Products Up To Date: Having a comprehensive anti-virus program and anti-malware program are good preventatives, however, if they are not updated regularly, they can lose their effectiveness against newly distributed threats.

Never Allow a Stranger Remote Access: Regardless of whether they initiate the conversation or you do, it is unwise to allow anyone with whom you do not have a personal relationship to remotely access your computer. This is by far one of the most common tactics used by criminal organizations to extract money from willing participants.

Use Different Email Addresses for Specific Purposes:  A large number of our clients only have one email address.  This is simply inviting spam over to harass you. We all at one time or another are asked for our email address by someone or some entity who we don't necessarily know or trust.  This process puts our email address at risk of being sold to spammers and increases our exposure to receiving infected emails.  Anyone can create free email accounts today (ie..,,, etc…) and use these different accounts for specific reasons.  If you have a personal email address you check daily, you probably don’t want it getting inundated with spam.  So the solution is to only give that email address out to people you trust.  For other scenarios, use a different, free email address. This way if you are purchasing something online or filling out some web form that wants your email address, you can give them a different email address, thereby cutting down on your personal email address' exposure.

In summary, these are just a few defensive computing tips that can help keep you safer while navigating the Wild Wild West.  Stay tuned to our blog for more!