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Directive Blogs

Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Tip of the Week: You Better Test Your Backup

Data backup can be the difference between a business that fails and a business that succeeds. After all, if an organization suffers from a data loss incident so bad that it has to deploy its data backup, it wouldn’t be able to survive without it. With a data backup and disaster solution, you can ensure business continuity. But what does this kind of system need in order to succeed, and how can you make sure your organization benefits from a data backup system in place?

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Are You Prepared to Weather Any Disaster?

Hurricane season can be a scary time for business owners, as those in at-risk climates can never feel safe from these kinds of unpredictable and devastating storms. In particular, those who aren’t prepared to face this destruction are in considerable danger of having their organizations ended for good following a disaster event like a hurricane. We’ll help you make sure your business doesn’t suffer this same fate the next time it stares down a disaster.

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Tip of the Week: Who Should Have Admin Accounts?

Depending on their work roles within your organization, your employees will either have an ordinary user account or an administrator account. This can be one of the more stressful parts of managing a network, as the answer for who gets administrator access isn’t always clear. We’ll explain what an admin account is and why it’s important to have restraint when looking at who should have an admin account.

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Tip of the Week: Don’t Let Former Employees Haunt Your Business

For the modern small business owner, there are situations that you are forced to deal with that are frustrating; but, in the course of doing business would be considered normal. Then there are other situations that arise where, every step of the way, the figurative floor falls out from under your feet and you are forced to react quickly. Some of these circumstances can be pretty spooky for your business. This Halloween, we’ve decided to outline three scary circumstances your business may have to deal with, and how to keep your cool.

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What Could Possibly Be Wrong with Your Computer?

Slow computers are one of the small annoyances in an office that can implicate a much larger issue is hidden. The frustration stems from not being able to get anything done, whether it’s because the computer isn’t responding to your commands or it’s so slow that you can’t accomplish anything noteworthy in your day. Thankfully, you can take some steps to check the speed of your computer so as to take proper action when it’s not working at expected.

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Tip of the Week: How Technology Covers a Business’ Needs

If you look around your company, there’s a good chance that it has a lot of technology that you completely take for granted. No matter if you run a small retail store, a factory, or a multi-location office, your business needs IT to function properly. Today, we will take a look into several ways your organization can use technology to improve your business.

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Tip of the Week: Easy to Remember Tricks for Windows 10

Working with your computer for so much of the day means you need to get as much productivity out of it as possible. If you can speed up some of the ways you access specific information, you can get even more done. Shortcuts are very helpful to this end. Here are some of the easiest and best ways you can save time while working with a computer.

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Tip of the Week: Managing Your Windows Arrangement

The modern worker (or really, the modern person) spends a lot of their time looking at a computer screen. Considering this, it only makes sense that their screens and the items displayed on them are arranged in a way that they like. Our tip covers a few shortcuts to help you arrange and view the items on your workstation a little quicker.

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Tech Terminology: Bookmark

The Internet is home to a vast amount of knowledge. Undoubtedly you’ll find yourself revisiting certain sites more often than others to take advantage of the information contained within. Thankfully, the bookmark system is a great way to make this happen, giving users an easy and efficient way to navigate back to frequently-visited websites.

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Tip of the Week: 4 Ways Technology Can Benefit Businesses

The way that business is conducted today, the right technology is more of a necessity than a privilege. There are plenty of benefits that it can bring that an organization requires in order to stay competitive. For our tip, we’ll walk through a few ways that your business can be improved through the adoption of certain solutions.

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Is It Safe to Have Your Browser Remember Your Passwords?

Let’s be honest - not all of us have the best memories. This makes the ability for many browsers to remember our passwords seem like a godsend. However, is this capability actually a good thing for your cybersecurity? The answer may not surprise you.

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Tip of the Week: How to Spot a Scam

What would you do if you sat down at your desk one morning, coffee still kicking in, to discover a pop-up message on your computer announcing that Microsoft has detected a fatal issue with your workstation, and if they aren’t allowed to remote in and fix it, the entire network could be at risk? Would you be able to, in the heat of the moment, recognize it for the scam that it is and disregard it?

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Tip of the Week: 5 Simple Browser Tricks

We all know how to use the Internet (you’re here now, after all), but there are a lot of hidden secrets to it that far fewer people know. Today, we’ll let you in on five of them to try and make some basics a little easier.

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Tech Term: Hacker

The term “hacker” is possibly one of the best-known technology-related terms there is, thanks to popular culture. Properties like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the Die Hard franchise have given the layman a distinct impression of what a hacker is. Unfortunately, this impression isn’t always accurate. Here, we’ll discuss what real-life hackers are like, and the different varieties there are.

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Does Your Business Have a Social Media Policy in Place?

Recently we’ve seen figures, public and private, lose their jobs and sometimes even their careers over things they’ve posted not only in the present but the past on social media. While public figures may have the resources to put up a fight, those in the private arena often don’t, and so the double-edged sword of attention can be particularly sharp. Once average people attract the all-seeing eye, never forgetting and unforgiving memory of the Internet, they find the weight of public opinion brought down upon them; with all the consequences - positive and negative - such attention may bring.

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Backup and Recovery of Collaborative Environments

As the cloud is being utilized by more individuals and organizations to meet their computing needs, more very important data is hosted outside of local computer networks. As a result, people utilize cloud storage for their backup and recovery strategies. In fact, it has become the primary use of cloud-hosted platforms, but just how does backup and recovery from these collaborative cloud-based platforms work?

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Incorporate Sales With Your SEO Strategy

When we think of SEO strategy, we usually focus on developing great content to drive visitors to our website in order to collect data, which will be used to optimize our SEO strategy to drive visitors to our website and rinse and repeat. However, what is often forgotten in our desire to drive traffic is the reason why we’re doing all of this in the first place: Sales.

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Getting to Know Technology: Hackers

It doesn’t matter how much of a technology novice someone is, chances are, they’ve heard the term “hacker” before. A favorite character trope of Hollywood films and television dramas, these cybercriminals have appeared in productions like Die Hard and Mr. Robot with varying degrees of accuracy. Below, we explore what makes a hacker, and the kinds that exist in reality.

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Tip of the Week: How OneNote Helps Your Project Management

Microsoft OneNote is an extremely useful application in the professional setting, with plenty of features and capabilities to assist in keeping you and your employees organized. These features are actually comprehensive enough that OneNote could feasibly serve as your project management tool. For this week’s tip, we’ll review how.

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Tech Term: Network

It sure does seem that the term “network” is tossed around an awful lot. Network security, network maintenance, social networking, network switch… but what is a network, really? That is precisely what we shall dive into here.

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Getting to Know Technology: Username

When you sign up for any service online, you will be asked to create a username and a password. Today, we will be going over the purpose of a username and provide you with some best practices on how to create a username that works to your benefit.

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Tip of the Week: Why Shutting Down a Computer Takes So Long

There’s a considerable difference between turning off some appliance, like a television or a vacuum cleaner, and turning off your computer. Why does the computer take so long to power down, and is there any way to speed up the process? This tip will explore these subjects, and give you a few ideas as to how to speed up the shutdown process.

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How To Get Rid of Those Pesky Extra Cables

Do you have cords, wires, and adapters just sitting in a cupboard or drawer, with no purpose other than taking up space? Of course you do. The average person will replace old or broken devices, and find the new devices aren’t compatible with the old cables, leaving them stuffed in a junk drawer or in a random box that they’ve kept “just in case.” Every home or business has the same scenario going on: lots of wires and cables left over from all the e-waste they have discarded over the years. If you want to get rid of your unwanted cables, here are a couple of tips on how to do so properly.

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Is Your Password Policy A Security Risk?

With every successful intrusion and theft of data, the images of hackers as criminal masterminds and unstoppable forces of technology gone awry grow. In fact, there’s an increasing narrative that hackers are everywhere, just waiting to use their mad ‘skillz’ to steal your credit card information and buy their limited edition dolls, sorry, “action figures.” Worse, they’re just waiting to hold your data hostage and extort ransom from your business.

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Leave the Big Stuff Home: Productivity On the Go

Have you ever found yourself packing too many things for a short trip? What about your technology? Do you have multiple devices? The truth is that no matter the reason you are traveling, you don’t need to pack like royalty to be able to be productive while you are on the road. Today, we talk about how scaling down your technology while you travel is a solid practice.

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Tip of the Week: Keep Employees Off of Distracting Websites

As incredible a tool as the Internet truly is, for every website that is beneficial to the workplace, there is another that is certainly the opposite. Naturally, it is these sites that your employees would most likely want to visit if left to their own devices. Sometimes, the best course of action is to remove the temptation and block these websites. For this week’s tip, we’ll talk about a few ways to do so.

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Tip of the Week: Changing Your Network Profile

The Windows operating system has different settings for connecting to different networks. While this may seem like a minor detail, it actually can have considerable ramifications to your cybersecurity, not to mention that of your business. For this week’s tip, we’ll discuss how to use your network profile to stay secure, based on your situation.

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Tech Term: Safe Mode

Sometimes it can be hard to diagnose a problem with your PC. While it might not be something system-breaking, it’s still important to find the root of an issue before it becomes a major problem. One of the best ways to diagnose an issue with your computer is by logging in using Safe Mode. We’ll talk about when and how you can use Safe Mode to your computer’s benefit.

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Getting to Know Technology: Processor

A computer is a complicated device, so it needs something to help it “think.” Because of this weighty responsibility, the component that serves this purpose is arguably one of the most important of all a computer’s pieces. Known as a CPU, this little chip is truly essential to the computer’s function. For today’s Tech Term, we’ll examine it a little more closely.

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Managing Your Software Requires Three Actions

It’s imperative that your organization’s software is managed properly. If you can’t do this, then your operations can suffer in the long run. While this might sound like a lot of work, software management isn’t as difficult as it sounds if you break it down into compartmentalized tasks. Ultimately, you can group it into three major steps: leveraging available assets, testing strategies, and understanding the software.

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Three Keys to Proper Software Management

Nowadays, every company relies on some kind of software in order to properly function, so you need to ensure that this software is properly managed in order to maintain operations. While this may sound like a grand undertaking, software management is relatively simple and can be whittled down into three steps: leveraging the assets available, testing your strategies, and understanding what it is you have.

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Why You Need to Be Careful when Discarding Technology

Nothing lasts forever - especially your business’ technology. However, you shouldn’t just get rid of your old technology willy-nilly. This is mostly for two reasons: one, many of the components in our technology are really bad for the environment; two, carelessly disposing of technology is a great way to put your data at risk. In order to protect your data, you need to make sure that your old equipment is properly disposed of.

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Are You Properly Backing Up Your Business?

It’s critical that you protect your business’ important assets, including perhaps the most important of all: its data. One of the best ways to do this is by implementing a solid backup solution. But what’s the best way to approach data backup? After all, every business is going to have different needs. We’re here to tell you all about these different needs, and how your organization can implement a reliable backup solution based on yours.

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Bias Can Impact Your Business from Within

Despite what you may have heard, a bias is not an inherently bad thing. However, if not considered rationally, a bias can easily lead you to make a business decision that does more harm than good. Researchers have uncovered why we hold the biases we do, and how we might work to overcome them.

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Power Off, or Leave It On?

At the end of the day, do you shut down your computer or do you put it into sleep mode? Depending on what you need from your device the next day, you might want to consider which option benefits you the most. Here are some of the pros and cons of both approaches so that you can pick which one best suits your situation.

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Can You Recognize the Risks that Appear in Your Email?

Email is often touted as a favorite medium for launching cyberattacks against businesses and individuals. This is because it’s easy to hide the true intent behind an email attack within its contents, whether they are embedded images in the message itself, or links to external sources. How can you know for sure whether the links in your email inbox are legitimate?

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Updates and Patches are Critical to Your Infrastructure’s Security

When you get a new device, you’re getting more than just the physical device and whatever software is currently installed on it. You’re also getting any updates and patches that the manufacturer and software developers release. However, many users neglect to incorporate these key improvements. Today, we’ll go over why updates and patches are so crucial.

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Tech Term: What are Proxy Servers?

While proxy server is a tech term that is frequently cited, it is not understood by a vast majority of people. Today we will describe what a proxy server is, and why organizations like yours use them.

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A “Disaster” Covers More Than You’d Think

What one organization considers a disaster might be much different than what another business might see as disastrous. Perhaps one sees the loss of a few hours and a few files as something that can be recovered, while another sees every lost moment and each iota of data as a catastrophe. Whichever camp you find yourself in, you need to be able to do two things: first, gauge how serious a given data loss disaster is, and secondly, establish what must be done to get back in action following said disaster.

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Tech Term: An Introduction to Proxy Servers

There are plenty of technical terms and solutions that, while heard of frequently enough, it may not be completely clear what they mean or refer to. A proxy server is an excellent example of such a solution. This week, we’ll examine this tech term and review how utilizing proxy servers can help your business.

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Tech Term: Understanding HTML and Plain Text

During your time around computers, chances are high that you’ve heard the phrase “plain text” and the acronym “HTML” tossed around when it comes to your email. If you aren’t sure what these statements refer to, we’re here to help. Today, we’ll examine both HTML and plain text to produce a better understanding of these tech terms.

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Remote Work is a Huge Help, With the Right Preparation

There are plenty of benefits to allowing your employees to work from home, but that doesn’t mean you can just implement it without consideration and planning. You have to have a system in place that allows you to enjoy the benefits of remote capabilities while mitigating some of its potential risks.

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Ransomware Makes Backup a Necessity

Your business relies on its data to succeed, which lends itself to the fact that your organization needs to have some sort of security measures put into place to guarantee its safety. 2018 is thought to be the year of ransomware, so it stands to reason that your business should prepare to deal with it. One of the best ways to deal with ransomware is to make sure that your company has a plan to restore data affected by said ransomware.

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Overburdened Business Owners Should Consider Managed IT

It’s no secret that a business owner has more than enough to deal with, regardless of that business’ size.

Whether the business has 10 employees or 100, the business owner has to deal with the stress of managing the minutiae of everyday operations, along with any other issues that may pop up. As one might assume, financial concerns can contribute considerably to that stress.

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Your Business Can Take Advantage of Black Friday Deals, Too

Black Friday: it’s the name given to the unofficial first day of the holiday shopping season, and is associated with the generally unparalleled deals on consumer products. Many consumers use this day’s incredible deals to justify spending their day buying (and often fighting over) a limited amount of goods. However, have you ever considered that Black Friday can also be a good day to both advance your B2B operations and take advantage of some deals yourself?

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Your Mouse Can Do More Than You Think

You’ve used a mouse for years, but do you know of all the neat little tricks that it’s capable of? We’ll show you just how much you can get done with your mouse.

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Is Your BYOD Strategy Up to Standards?

BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, policies have proven to be a highly effective way for companies to save money. However, these policies need to address some of the shortcomings, potential costs and issues that comes with employees bringing and using their own devices could present to your business--not to mention security concerns.

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Protect Yourself Against Bad Luck With Data Backup

Whether you are suspicious or not, today seems like a good day to talk out what can happen if some bad luck interferes with your business. Disasters can come in all shapes and sizes, from a freak storm destroying your place of business and every IT component you had inside, to an employee whose path was crossed by a black cat accidentally spilling their coffee on their keyboard as they access some key data.

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Do Your IT Solutions Support You the Way They Should?

When selecting which solutions, your business will need as a part of its information technology infrastructure, it helps to look to the future and your plans to advance and expand. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt to make sure that you and your needs are covered, just in case something were to go wrong. This is why it is important to be sure you know the answers to the following questions, especially when someone else is managing your IT solutions.

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Have You Lost Control Of Your Network?

There are some tasks that are essential to the health of your business’ network. For example, you need to make sure that you are engaging in regular network management activities. Do you know what this task entails?

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On A Scale of "Um...?" To "Safe," How Well Managed Is Your Data?

Putting together your workforce is something that requires painstaking attention to detail. You found workers who are willing to work as hard as possible to further your organization’s goals. Yet, you have to remember that even the most perfect employees are still human, and that they can make mistakes and can put the organization’s data at risk. User error is a common problem, and it is one of the most important things to keep in mind while you set up your information systems.

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While Dragons Might Not Stand Guard, HBO Is Serious About Data Security

With the mountainous success of Game of Thrones, the BBC-produced show has always been understandably concerned with their security. However, with the show officially overtaking the original source material, A Song of Ice and Fire, there is an increased presence of curious fans and members of the press with an eye out for a sneak peek at the action. This has led to more; somewhat more modern measures being adopted to keep the production’s secrets safe.

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Keep Bring Your Own Device From Becoming Bring Your Own Disaster

Do you let your employees bring their own devices in for use on your company network or Wi-Fi connection? If so, we’re sure that they love the freedom that you provide for them, but we must warn you of the dangers that this can bring to an otherwise careful business. We’ll discuss some of the benefits, as well as the pitfalls, of allowing your employees to use personal devices in the workplace.

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You Can’t Afford to Let Your Network Go Unmanaged

While maintaining any system can be a pain, your business can’t afford not to maintain your network. An MSP can help you to do so, delivering the benefits of regular network maintenance.

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Why it’s Important to Monitor Your Event Logs

Do you understand what the event logs of your network are, and how they keep your organization secure? If not, you could be ignoring one of the most basic components of network security. Event logs are important for spotting significant issues on a workstation or laptop.

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Tip of the Week: 4 Easy Ways to Share Files

There are many ways to share a file between two computers. Being familiar with multiple options will certainly come in handy, especially when your preferred method of file sharing isn’t an option (like when you can’t find your flash drive, or maybe you lose Internet connection). For this week’s tip, here are four options to help your business more effectively share files.

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Tip of the Week: 2 Ways to Ensure Privacy When Using a Public PC

Before we dive into this week’s tip, it has to be said: if you have a choice, you should probably avoid using a public computer. As a rule, these machines feature minimal security precautions, along with maximum risk to any data accessed by the PC. Although, if a situation ever arises in which you have no choice but to use a public computer, be sure to follow these security best practices.

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Tip of the Week: 6 Ways to Charge Your Mobile Device Battery Faster

You only care about how long your device’s battery lasts when it’s in the red, and at that point, it’s almost too late to find somewhere to charge. In situations like this, your first thought is, “Where is the nearest outlet?” Subsequently, your next thought might be, “How can I charge the battery faster?”

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Tip of the Week: Simple Ways to Help Your Employees Know More About IT

How much of managing your IT resources are your employees responsible for? SMBs will often have their employees service their own workstations to some degree, primarily because they don’t have the resources to devote entirely to IT management and maintenance. This lack of IT talent can largely be made up for by training your employees on basic computer tasks.

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Tip of the Week: 4 Key Spots Every Business Should Cover With Security Cameras

Whether you are looking to prevent theft, curb employee time-wasting, or get a handle on workplace efficiency, security cameras are a solution that prevents and protects you from a wide variety of issues.

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Tip of the Week: Protecting Against Identity Theft in the Workplace is as Easy as Following These Tips

On average, how many people do you think are affected by identity theft? According to the United States Bureau of Justice, about five percent of its population; about 11.7 million people, are victims of identity theft. Their methods might vary, but the one thing that all victims have in common is that they hold information that presents value to hackers. Among these victims could be a few that hit close to home: your employees.

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Tip of the Week: How You Can Beat These 4 Common Scams

Cybersecurity is one of the most important aspects of running a business. Therefore, here are some of the best ways that your employees can contribute to your company’s technology security practices.

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Tip of the Week: How to Get the Most Out of Your Meetings

Meetings: they’re known in the business world as a necessary evil. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. With a few adjustments, you can create the ideal conditions for effective and efficient meetings.

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Tip of the Week: 3 PC Maintenance Tips Every User Should Know

Owning any piece of technology in today’s day and age is like a playing with fire. While it’s a great tool that has allowed civilization to grow and make great strides toward a better future, there’s also significant risk involved with owning such an expensive piece of technology. If it breaks down on you, you’ll be left with both a dent in your pocket and possibly even a chunk of your data missing. Here are three ways that even the average PC user can improve the performance of their technology and extend its life cycle considerably.

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Tip of the Week: 3 Tips to Cleaning a Computer that Anyone Can Do

When you invest in a new computing device, you should know that a little bit of tender loving care goes a long way toward prolonging its lifespan. Yet, cleaning your device can be a bit tricky, especially if you don’t want to risk permanent damage to its components. Thankfully, it’s not rocket science to clean up your PC, especially when you have this step-by-step guide.

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Tip of the Week: Shop Safe While Online With These 3 Common-Sense Tactics

It seems that you can find absolutely anything while shopping online, but unfortunately, this also includes cyber threats. No deal is worth the risk of a hacking attack, but some best practices can help you stay safe while searching for that great bargain.

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Tip of the Week: 4 Ways to Resolve the Blue Screen of Death

It’s quite possibly the most infamous screen image in computing: the Blue Screen of Death. Encountering this screen will often cause two thoughts to run through a user’s mind: what just happened, and how can I fix it?

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Tip of the Week: Overwhelmed With Email? Try These 3 Helpful Tips

Email is a central part of any functional modern office, but if you aren’t proactive in keeping your inbox under control, you could be wasting time on unnecessary messages or spam. If you want to get the most out of your workday, it’s imperative that you take back control of your business email inbox. Here are three ways that yourself and your employees can clean up your inboxes and waste less time throughout the work day.

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Tip of the Week: 3 Exercises to Offset the Pain of Working From a Desk

Welp, we’re all doomed. It turns out that sitting all day at your desk is one of the worst things you can do for your health. Alternatively, numerous studies have shown the health benefits of trading your traditional desk in for a standing desk. One study even goes so far as to claim that standing at work is the best anti-aging technique you can do!

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Use Your Smartphone With the Lights Off and Risk Temporary Blindness

You may have heard of digital eye strain. The Vision Council defines it as “the physical discomfort felt after two or more hours in front of a digital screen and is associated with the close to mid-range distance of digital screens.” As annoying as this condition is, in some cases, it has actually developed into something far worse, like temporary blindness.

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Tip of the Week: How Instant Messaging Can Be Used to Improve Workplace Collaboration

Instant messaging is commonplace in today’s society. It used to be primarily for social interaction, but its success was so overwhelming that business professionals have implemented it into their daily communications. Although, despite the advantages that instant messaging can provide, you still have to jump through some hoops in order to bypass what it’s become; an immense annoyance.

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Tip of the Week: Why Routinely Changing Your Password May Be a Bad Idea

You’ve heard it said that it’s a best security practice to routinely change your passwords. The idea here is that, if a password were stolen, then it would lose its value when the user goes to change it. While this sounds like solid logic, new research shows that it may actually be better NOT to change your passwords.

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Tip of the Week: Stop Micromanaging and Improve Employee Focus and Collaboration

With the opportunity to track metrics becoming more readily available for all types of businesses, some organizations invest heavily into time-tracking software and other KPIs that they believe will help their team be more efficient in the workplace. However, this might be having a negative effect on the quality of work being performed. Irv Shapiro, CEO of DialogTech, suggests that, instead of tracking time, employers should be tracking results.

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The Top 3 Threats Eliminated By Backing Up Your Data

Businesses these days practically need to expect disaster, as even the most careful and calculated security practices could result in a data disaster. Some businesses don’t fear for their data enough, and this leads them to neglect planning for threats such as hackers, natural disasters, and user error. As the business owner, you need to stay informed about how best to handle these situations.

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Tip of the Week: Protect Your Online Identity With These 8 Tips

The Internet has long been a great tool for business, but you can’t take advantage of it without putting your sensitive data at risk of threats, like hackers and malware. Granted, when it comes to cyber security, even the most cautious business will have a lot on their plate. We’ll go over eight of the most important security best practices, and how you can implement them for your business.

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Tip of the Week: 6 PC Troubleshooting Guidelines that Every User Should Know

When was the last time that you ran into a problem that was easily solvable, simply by restarting your computer or unplugging a device from the wall, then plugging it back in? Often times, simple troubleshooting tactics can be enough to resolve a problem, but more often than not, there are issues that can’t be easily resolved. It’s these ones that hold businesses back, and we’re here to help.

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Tip of the Week: Why Having an Extra Workstation is Worth It

For every business, it’s essential to be prepared for any unforeseen problems that can disrupt day-to-day operations. One easy way to do this is by keeping an extra workstation on hand.

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Tip of the Week: How to Avoid Back Pain and Eye Strain in the Office

Working at a desk is a fairly inescapable for the modern office worker. The trouble with sitting at a desk for long intervals is that it causes physical issues, especially if the workspace isn’t properly set up. Fortunately, you don’t have to invest in specialized equipment; it’s fairly simple to establish best practices that will ensure employee comfort and productivity.

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Tip of the Week: 6 Tips to Becoming a Morning Person

If you’ve ever tried to wake up before 6:00am, you know how difficult it can be. Crawling out of bed can be pure torture, and the thought of working for another eight, ten, or even twelve hours can be soul-crushing. Despite how difficult it can be to wake up, getting out of bed early and starting your day on a positive note can set the tone for your entire workday. Here are six ways that you can make your mornings less painful and build a productive routine.

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Take it From This Poor Schmo, One Wrong Click Can Delete Your Entire Company

It’s every business owner’s worst nightmare: one mistake, and all of their data is wiped out. This very situation happened recently to a hosting provider, and his story serves as a cautionary tale in regard to data storage best practices.

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Tip of the Week: 4 Ways to Get a Handle on Social Media in the Workplace

Social media may be a great way to connect with other professionals and communicate with your friends, but it can be dangerous if you have poor posting habits. Before you share something, think twice about whether it contains any sensitive information that could be risky to yourself and your business.

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Tip of the Week: 5 Surefire Ways to Ruin Your Smartphone

b2ap3_thumbnail_smartphone_break_400.jpgThe best way to get the most life out of your smartphone is to take care of it. Or, you can ignore proven best practices and witness your smartphone meet its untimely demise. By not taking care of your smartphone in these five ways, you’ll be sure to doom your device.

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The 4 Most Pressing IT Issues You Have to Be Aware Of

b2ap3_thumbnail_it_lessons_400.jpgRegardless of how your business’s administration is set up, you should be aware that anyone in a position of authority must have a basic understanding of how IT, and its related responsibilities, functions for your business. Here are four ways that you can learn more about how IT works within your organization.

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Tip of the Week: How to Effectively Take Advantage of Multiple Displays

b2ap3_thumbnail_multiple_displays_pros_and_cons_400.jpgOne of the best ways businesses are providing employees with the means to be more productive with their workstations is by issuing them multiple displays. There are various advantages and disadvantages to using multiple displays that you should be aware of.

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Why Does Rebooting Your PC Take Care of So Many Issues?

b2ap3_thumbnail_what_does_a_reboot_do_400.jpgWhen you call tech support, you’re probably going to get the same response every single time: “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” There’s a reason that this happens so often, and it’s because restarting your computer is a great, low-tech way to resolve some basic issues with your system. However, it’s still good to be cautious about more serious issues that a reboot won't fix. We’ll walk you through what a reboot does, and it can be effective at fixing minor issues with your PC.

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Tip of the Week: 4 Brilliant Ways to Get More Work Done

b2ap3_thumbnail_productivity_tips_400.jpgThere are some workdays where distractions are abound and you can’t even remember what you’re supposed to be doing. In trying times like these, you need all the help you can get, just to stay focused and on task. Here are four simple adjustments to your work routine that have been proven to do wonders to increase productivity.

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5 Ways to Put Your Staff Ahead of Frivolous Office Expenses

b2ap3_thumbnail_cut_your_costs_400.jpgEvery business wants to be like Google and provide employees with a dynamic place to work, filled with amenities. It would probably be a dream come true for your organization to sit next to Google on Glassdoor’s annual list of “50 Best Places to Work.” Reality check: you’re not Google, as you’re reminded of this every time you attempt to balance your company’s budget.

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Tip of the Week: Follow These 4 Best Practices to Keep Your Computer Clean

b2ap3_thumbnail_clean_your_pc_400.jpgA computer is a complex machine that demands routine maintenance and intentional caretaking. If ignored, the machine’s lifespan will be cut short. Here are four best practices that will ensure you get the most out of your PC.

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Tip of the Week: How to Clean Your Monitor, Keyboard, and the Inside of Your PC

b2ap3_thumbnail_clean_computer_tips_400.jpgA clean computer is a happy computer. Just like any other piece of gadgetry, a computer requires regular cleanup sessions that allow users to get the most from them. In fact, January is known as Clean Up Your Computer Month, so what better way is there to ring in the new year than making sure your computer is in tip-top shape?

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Tip of the Week: On or Off, Which is Better For Your PC at the End of the Day?

b2ap3_thumbnail_on_or_off_400.jpgAfter a long, hard day at the office, you might be tempted to just log off of your workstation so you can get right back into it the next day. However, you also have the option to shut down the PC, which can be beneficial at times. So, what should you do; power down your desktop, or simply log off? Both have their own pros and cons, so it’s important that you’re informed of how you make this decision.

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77% of Businesses Virtualize Their IT In Some Capacity, What About You?

b2ap3_thumbnail_virtualization_400.jpgTechnology solutions for small and medium-sized businesses can be complex, which is why simplification is at the top of a lot of executives’ priorities. To this end, virtualization is a key component, helping organizations make their IT easier to manage. What effect does this have on data security?

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Tip of the Week: Notifications are What’s Draining Your Battery, Not Open Apps

b2ap3_thumbnail_dont_close_apps_400.jpgWe’ve all run into the trouble of keeping our smartphone’s battery preserved for as long as possible. Many people think that the apps themselves are what bogs down the battery and drains its charge, but we’re here to tell you that this is not the case. Instead, let’s determine what really drains your device’s battery.

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Tip of the Week: 4 Reasons Your WiFi May Be Slow

b2ap3_thumbnail_wifi_interuption_400.jpgWireless Internet access is a luxury that seems commonplace, but there are many who experience trouble with their connections on a daily basis. Sometimes the problem stems from familiar issues that could happen at any minute, but other times the issues might not be so obvious. Either way, you should be aware of the most common disruptions to your WiFi signal, even those that you might not consider problems.

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Tip of the Week: Hate Spoilers? You’ll Love This App!

b2ap3_thumbnail_spoiler_alert_400.jpgThe average human being spends a significant portion of their life online, especially now that smartphones make staying connected to the latest happenings in both news and entertainment even easier than before. This, unfortunately, makes it rather easy to see spoilers for major plot points in your favorite movies, TV shows, or video games. To avoid these, try out the Spoiler Alert extension for Google Chrome.

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Tip of the Week: Don’t Underestimate How These 3 Mistakes Can Ruin Your Computer

b2ap3_thumbnail_pc_mistakes_400.jpgNothing can damage a computer quite like user error. It’s sad when this happens because it’s often the case that the resulting issues could’ve easily been prevented if the user simply knew of PC best practices. Take for example these three easily-preventable PC mistakes that will do your computer harm.

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Tip of Week: Manage Your Photo’s File Sizes to Save Disk Space

b2ap3_thumbnail_resize_images_that_you_share_400.jpgToday, just about everyone has a digital camera in their pockets, which has led to an unprecedented amount of picture taking compared to the days when photos had to be developed. Having more cameras has turned us into a more visual society, but not every amateur photographer understands how to best manage all of their photos, which causes problems.

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Tip of the Week: Even the Most Careful People Fall For These 4 Email Mistakes

b2ap3_thumbnail_email_gaffes_400.jpgDespite the rapid advancements of business technology in the past decade, enterprises the world over are still heavily dependent upon email. Therefore, every modern worker needs to be trained on how to send a professional email. If not, classic email mistakes will be made that could bruise your company’s reputation, like these four common email blunders.

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Make Your Digital Life Easier By Consolidating Your Various Email Accounts

b2ap3_thumbnail_solutions_400.jpgHow many email accounts do you have? At the very least, you have one for work and for one that’s personal, and if you’ve been doing email long enough, then you may have a few accounts left over from years ago which you rarely check (like your email address from college). Is there a way to combine these scattered accounts into an email address of your choice?

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Disaster Preparedness Includes Planning For Data Recovery

b2ap3_thumbnail_prepare_for_the_worst_400.jpgToday is Disaster Preparedness Day! This means that there’s no time quite like the present for preparing for potential future data emergencies. While the type of disasters vary immensely depending on your business’s geographical location, every business needs a disaster recovery plan implemented as soon as possible.

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4 Data-Loss Causing Disasters that You Must Be Prepared For

b2ap3_thumbnail_disaster_recovery_400.jpgSeptember 30th is Disaster Preparedness Day. This gives us a great reason to go over some of the most common disasters that can potentially affect your businesses. There are dozens of potential disasters to choose from, but since we’re an IT company, we’re going to focus on the four top disasters that can mess with your company’s IT infrastructure.

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