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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.

Choosing the Right Hard Drives: HDD vs SSD

When you’re on the hunt for some new technology, you have to sort through the options available to you to find what’s best for your use case. One of these decisions is what type of hard drives are installed in new workstations, laptops, and servers. Today, we will go through the two main types of hard drives and what they are good for. 

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No Matter Your Needs, Managed IT Can Be Beneficial for Your Business

All businesses have different goals when it comes to developing their IT infrastructure. While some might struggle just making ends meet with important maintenance, others might decide that it’s time to branch out and try innovative new solutions to take their infrastructures to the next level. We want to make one thing clear; both situations are perfectly fine, so long as you are willing to accept that you could always be doing things better, and today is the perfect time to take the next steps.

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Training is Crucial to Establishing a Security Strategy

Cybersecurity is one of those components to an IT strategy that is absolutely critical; you cannot ignore it in today’s age of ransomware and other high-profile hacks. In order to make sure that you are prepared to handle anything that comes your way, you must periodically test your security practices and assess how well your team can prepare for attacks. The question remains as to how often you should do this.

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The Biggest Cybersecurity Problems Small Businesses Have in 2021

Data breaches have become all too common for small businesses over the past several years and when it seems like there is a solution to one problem, something even worse pops up. Part of a comprehensive risk management strategy is identifying problems and doing what you can to keep them from affecting your business. Let’s take a look at the major cybersecurity threats small businesses are facing in 2021 and what you can do to keep them from hurting your business.

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Proactive Remote Maintenance is the Key to Success Long-Term

Many businesses struggle with IT maintenance and management. Maybe they don’t have the resources to perform in-house maintenance due to a lack of funding and, consequently, the inability to hire full-time technicians. Maybe they believe that their technology is perfectly fine as is and doesn’t require regular maintenance. We’re here to burst that bubble; you should always have maintenance at the top of mind, and in today’s business environment, there is no excuse not to.

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Tip of the Week: How to Catch Potential Hacks

“Hackers are a serious threat to modern businesses” isn’t exactly a novel statement, is it? However, if a hacker was to be lurking on your network, would you know the signs to help you catch them? Just in case, we wanted to share a few strategies that can help highlight these warnings so you can more effectively catch any threats present on your network—particularly when your workforce is accessing it remotely.

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Vulnerability Leads to the Deletion of All Data on My Book NAS Devices

Nothing is more frustrating than going to log into your device and finding out that you either cannot access it or that files you thought were there have been wiped. Unfortunately, this is the situation that many users of a specific device have recently gone through. Thanks to an unpatched vulnerability, users of Western Digital’s My Book network-attached storage device are suffering from lost files and lost account access stemming from remote access.

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New Study Addresses the Challenges of Readjusting to the Office Environment

For the past year or so, most workers around the world were forced to work remotely in order to adhere to the strict social distancing guidelines imposed by governing bodies. Now that the time has come to return to the office, many workers are finding that their expectations are a bit different than they were previously, forcing business owners to respond.

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Smart Technology Is Changing Small Business

A lot has been made about 5G and the way that it is going to significantly alter what is possible, without much mention about the other technology that will fuel this complete digital transformation. We thought that we would talk a little bit about smart technology, how your business can use it to your advantage, and what this technology needs to do to be ready for the world to come. 

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How Managed IT Services Can Benefit Your Business’ Bottom Line

For many businesses, despite the incredible benefits that technology can provide, it is often a source of great stress. This is especially true for the small business owner, who often has much more restrictive parameters to work with, such as a limited budget, workforce, and even the workspace or office. How can organizations like yours stay competitive against companies that have so many more resources available to them? One answer, in terms of technology management, is managed services.

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Build Great Habits with These 3 Tips

As a business owner, we are sure that you have your fair share of day-to-day stressors. Oftentimes, these stressors can lead to the development of bad habits. When this happens, you might get the urge to correct the bad behavior and replace it with good, productive habits. That said, it’s easier said than done to build good habits, especially when you have so much else on your plate.

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4 Outdated Office Conventions (and the Technology That Replaces Them)

The office environment has changed a lot over the years with technology being the impetus for such change. In your years doing business, how much has changed? How much of that change was driven by technology? Many of the traditional conventions of conducting business have been changed for the better as a result of these technological developments; here are just a few of them.

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Bring Your Technology Together With Managed IT

Does your business depend on technology from different eras? Are you spending more time trouble-shooting compatibility issues than chasing leads? Managed IT can bring your tech together and keep your team focused on their jobs and not the IT.

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Is Discord a Viable Choice for Your Business?

While it isn’t officially a business solution, per se, the collaboration platform known as Discord has seen some popularity as a means of facilitating a business’ internal communications. Let’s go over some handy tips to improve your use of the platform, in case you are part of an organization that does so. Who knows… this might inspire you to give it a chance for yourself.

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The LinkedIn Breach Exposes Nearly 700 Million People

Almost daily there is another data breach reported that exposes data for hundreds of thousands or millions of people. This is a troubling trend. One of the most troubling events happened recently as 700 million profiles from the social media network LinkedIn were found for sale on a popular hackers forum. What’s worse is that the company isn’t admitting that it had been breached recently. Let’s take a brief look at this situation and try to unpack what is going on with LinkedIn.

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How Your Employees’ Social Media Behavior Could Impact Your Business

Social media: love it or hate it, it has transitioned from a casual pastime to a business necessity in the relatively few years it has been around. However, as beneficial as it can be to your business’ efforts, it can easily have the opposite effect if it isn’t used appropriately. 

Let’s explore this increasingly complicated topic, including what needs to be done to ensure that your business’ social media presence isn’t actually harming its success. We recommend that you also share this information with your employees, even directing them to this blog to read it for themselves.

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Taking a Look at Some Cloud Complications

When it comes to implementing new technology solutions, it’s easy to get distracted by all of the great possibilities and miss all of the challenges that it represents. The cloud in particular represents countless chances to improve operations and enhance efficiency, but the side of this is that there are many issues that could arise during the cloud migration process. Let’s consider some of these challenges and how we can help you get around them.

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Why All Businesses Should Implement a Virtual Private Network

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations were forced to transition to remote work, even though they would have preferred to keep operations within the office. While the transition was rough at first, these organizations may have found that remote work offers certain flexibilities that were impossible in the traditional office environment. That said, one looming threat was (and still is) a major concern for the remote workplace: security.

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The Global Chip Shortage a Real Problem for Many

With such a heavy focus on remote work over the past year or so, if you have tried to procure equipment or technology solutions during this period, you may have noticed that it is much harder than usual to do so. The global chip shortage has led to many challenges for organizations, chief among them getting the parts needed to put together critical technology solutions. This opens up a whole other set of issues, though, particularly in regards to disruption of the supply chain.

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If Your Google Drive Links Stop Working, It Might Be Due to an Update

While we cannot express how important it is to update your software and hardware in a timely manner, it is important to keep in mind that some of these updates aren’t going to be perfect. An upcoming update to Google Workspace serves as the perfect example, as the company has recently released an alert to inform users about an issue affecting Google Drive.

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Data Backup is More Important Than You Think

All businesses store and transmit data on a regular basis. From financial spreadsheets to client information to employee records, there is no shortage of data required by most organizations to maintain operations. What would you do if all that data were to suddenly vanish into thin air, or worse, be stolen by hackers?

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4 Basic Technology Maintenance Practices for Small Businesses

If you are one of the many small businesses out there that does not have reliable technical support for the myriad of devices on your network, it might be difficult to imagine a world where your technology gets the maintenance it needs to thrive. Thankfully, you’re not alone. Here are some basic technology maintenance tips that anyone can implement, plus one at the end that we think small businesses, in particular, will benefit from!

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Software as a Service Solves the Software Licensing Issue for SMBs

All businesses require software of some sort, but utilizing software comes with its own fair share of frustrations. How do you manage all of the licenses? How do you even afford the often high capital expense that comes with equipping all of your users with the programs they need? Thankfully, the cloud comes to the rescue once again with what’s called Software as a Service.

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4 Best Practices for Implementing New Technology Solutions

When you are looking to implement new technology solutions for your business, the last thing you should do is skip the planning process. You need to carefully consider all of your options, your business’ specific needs, and the various benefits that can come from all of these options. Today we will discuss how your business can choose the best technology that suits your organization and its operations.

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New Study Finds That Paying Off Your Ransomware Attackers Has Some Severe Consequences

We know, we know; you’re probably sick of seeing ransomware in headlines, and so are we, but we cannot stress enough how important having an awareness of it is for any business owner. A new study has found that businesses infected by ransomware who choose to pay up experience a different type of fallout--one that is a major cause for concern and a stark reminder that there are no guarantees with ransomware. Ever.

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Agent Tesla Malware Is After Your Data (And Your Cryptocurrency)

It doesn’t matter if you are a small locally-owned business or a larger-scale enterprise. Network security is equally important, as all businesses by default collect valuable information for hackers. It makes sense to protect your valuable assets, and your data is one of them. A recent threat called Agent Tesla is just another example of phishing malware designed to steal data from businesses just like yours.

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Three Useful Tips for Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is one of the most utilized platforms in business today because it delivers the results that organizations need. Unfortunately for some of these businesses, their employees may not be as proficient with Word as they need to be. Today, we thought we would provide a few quick tips about using Microsoft Word that you can share. Let’s take a look:

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Best Practices in IT Decision Making

For some companies, their IT is like a boat to a fisherman: they could conceivably do the work without it, but they wouldn’t have a business. For this reason it is important to know how to ascertain which technology investments are right for your business at any given time. Let’s go through a few considerations decision makers should highlight when choosing new technology for their businesses. 

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The Real Lesson of the Colonial Pipeline Ransomware Attack

Most businesses are aware of the recent rash of ransomware attacks. Attacks have recently shut down gas flow to several states, meat processing plants, and even government agencies such as the MTA. However, what many businesses may not realize is that one thing could have prevented the pain, loss, and disruption from an attack like this: a solid backup solution.

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Examining the Potential Impacts of Big Tech Antitrust Legislation

There are now five bipartisan bills being considered in the United States House of Representatives, strictly intended to help put some checks on the power that today’s modern technology giants have. Let’s consider what these bills are, and why the current business environment has inspired them.

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Being Prepared Goes a Long Way Toward Averting Disaster

Data recovery is a major pain point for small businesses, but not all organizations have the same resources and assets that make it possible. Small businesses in particular are more prone to forego data backup and disaster recovery because it does not provide an immediate return on investment. Well, we’re here to tell you that this mindset is wrong.

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Fast Food Data Breach is Another in Line of Major Cyberattacks

It seems that the last few months have been filled with major cyberattacks, particularly those taking advantage of major businesses that might not initially be considered targets for these kinds of acts. For instance, McDonald’s Restaurants was recently breached. Let’s examine the situation, and how it plays into the recent trends we’ve witnessed. 

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There Are Serious Benefits to Setting Up a Knowledge Base

If you are looking for a way to smooth out the edges of your business, consider putting together a knowledge base that includes all policies, procedures, and other information so it is readily accessible by the people that interact within and from outside your business. Businesses that have well-documented policies and procedures have a tendency to have less difficulty onboarding new hires, fewer operational problems, and can always provide access to resources needed by employees, customers, and vendors. Today we will give you a few tips on how to successfully create a working knowledge base.

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Tip of the Week: How to Keep Your Emails from Being Flagged as Spam

While spam filtering can be great for your business’ own defenses, the spam filtering that your contacts have in place could very well keep your messages from reaching them. This simply will not do. Let’s go over a few ways that you can help prevent your emails from being caught up in these filters before your contacts or prospects can read them.

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Considerations That You Need to Make When Adding New Technologies

It’s no secret that new technology can be useful for a business, unfortunately too many businesses struggle with their technology implementations. When adding new tools to your business, you will need to understand that the more deliberate you are, the more success you will find. Rushing any new deployment is sure to have some types of issues. For today’s blog, we take you through some of the best practices of adding new technology to your business.

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The Pitfalls of Cloud Computing and How to Overcome Them

Businesses use cloud resources all the time; and, they use them for many different reasons. Some use them because they have to support a remote workforce, some use them so they don’t have to come up with large swaths of capital or don’t want to pay interest rates for financing their central hardware. Some only use them sparingly to fill in the gaps created by product and service demand.

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Where are Business’ Security Priorities Right Now?

According to a survey conducted by Splunk and Enterprise Strategy Group, more business leaders intend to funnel funding into their cybersecurity—88 percent of respondents reporting a planned increase into their investments, 35 percent reporting that these boosts will be substantial. Let’s examine a few of the insights that this survey has revealed.

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Controlling Distractions Can Improve Productivity

Technology is such a wonderful tool for productivity, but one thing that you need to understand is that it cannot work miracles. At the end of the day, we are all still human; distractions creep in that technology cannot prevent. Some users struggle with staying focused, which in turn leads to unproductive behaviors, all of which compounds to create wasted time and money. Let’s discuss some ways that your employees can overcome distractions in the workplace.

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Privacy Engineering is the Key to a More Secure Future

Data privacy is a bit of a hot topic in today’s business environment, especially with high-profile hacks and ransomware attacks emerging and putting organizations at risk. In particular, the emerging concept of “privacy engineering” has a lot of businesses thinking about how they can secure their organization and future-proof their data privacy infrastructures.

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Use These 3 Services to Boost IT Efficiency

Efficiency is king in the business world. In order to reach optimal productivity, organizations are always aiming to prevent operational issues, eliminate unnecessary costs, and cut down on anything that keeps them from reaching their goals. Technology is a major tool in this effort, offering solutions that can enhance productivity, automate processes, facilitate collaboration, and maintain critical systems. All of this and more can be done by working with a great IT services provider.

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A Basic Understanding of Informatics

Many professionals see the word “informatics” and think of one of two things. First, what the heck is it? Second, isn’t that just computer science? While the two certainly are similar and often used interchangeably, they are quite different. Let’s take a deeper dive and see what the field of informatics entails, how it can be applied to computer science and business, and why it’s important to consider for your organization.

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Ransomware Has Gotten So Bad, It’s Aligned with Terrorism

Ransomware has rapidly progressed from an irritating annoyance to a legitimate global threat, with the U.S. Justice Department officially going on the record and establishing that future ransomware investigations will be handled the same way that terrorism cases are now. Let’s review the reasons behind this policy change and how your business should respond.

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Hackers Use the Pandemic to Send Out Phishing Threats

The first half of this year has seen its fair share of ups and downs, especially on a global scale. With a global pandemic still taking the world by storm, it’s despicable that hackers would take advantage of the opportunity to make a quick buck using phishing tactics. Yet, here we are. Let’s take a look at how hackers have turned the world’s great misfortune into a boon, as well as how you can keep a lookout for these threats.

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Cloud Migration Challenges You May Run Into

The cloud is a well-established option for businesses to embrace nowadays. So much so, in fact, that the benefits of migrating their data environment to the cloud have encouraged many to take the plunge (or would that thematically be ascent?) into cloud-delivered services. These transitions don’t come without their issues, of course. Let’s go over a few of the most common challenges that a business encounters when performing a cloud migration.

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A Major Update to Windows 10 Is On the Horizon

Back in 2015, Microsoft confirmed that Windows 10 would be the last version of Windows, meaning that we should not expect Windows 11 anytime soon. Still, a major update to the Windows 10 operating system has been confirmed to be on its way. What’s coming with this next update to Windows 10, and what does it mean for your business?

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Businesses Have Access to These 3 Powerful Communications Tools

What kinds of communication tools does your business utilize on a daily basis? Chances are that your communication infrastructure can benefit from some of the latest and greatest solutions on the market. Communication is one aspect of your business that you definitely do not want to skimp on, as failing to implement the proper tools can bleed into other aspects of your organization, including operations and, in return, your bottom line.

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Tip of the Week: 11 Ways to Instill Security Awareness in Your Team

While it really would be a nice thing to have, there is no magic bullet for your business’ cybersecurity—no single tool that allows you to avoid any and all issues. However, there is one way to help make most threats far less likely to be successful: building up your company’s internal security awareness amongst your employees and team members. Let’s go over eleven ways that you can help ensure your company is properly protected, simply by encouraging your employees to take a more active role in guarding it.

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How to Set Up Two-Factor Authentication for Your Google, Apple, and Microsoft Accounts

Two-factor authentication is commonplace in the office environment, but it’s not commonplace enough, if you ask us. Too many organizations pass on it, placing their security at risk for no good reason. While the methods might vary, the benefits of two-factor authentication are too good to ignore. We’ll walk you through how to set up two-factor authentication for three of the most common accounts in the business environment: Microsoft, Google, and Apple.

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Hackers Start Beef with JBS Ransomware Attack

Last weekend saw a significant cyberattack waged against the world’s largest meat processor and distributor, JBS S.A., that completely suspended the company’s operations in both North America and Australia… and as a result, has impacted the supply chains associated with the company. Let’s examine the situation to see what lessons we can take away from all this.

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Understanding the Relationship Between HIPAA and HITRUST

HIPAA—the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act—is a serious concern for all healthcare providers that operate within the United States, and for good reason! Since August 1996, HIPAA has mandated that these healthcare providers comply with various best practices. While HIPAA is relatively familiar to many people for assorted reasons, fewer know about HITRUST (the Health Information Trust Alliance) and how these acronyms ultimately cooperate with one another.

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A Solid Mobile Device Strategy Needs These 3 Components

It’s no surprise that mobile technology has infiltrated the workplace in more ways than one. Many businesses issue company-owned devices to their employees to get work done while out of the office, while others allow employees to bring their own devices, or use their own laptops and smartphones for fulfilling their day-to-day duties. That being said, it’s important to remember that mobile devices need to be managed in a very specific way to maintain security.

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Tip of the Week: Properly Manage Your Browser’s Saved Passwords (or Disable The Features Entirely)

Most accounts these days require a password of some sort, and as such, the average user has countless of these codes that need to be kept both secure and top-of-mind. Some web browsers have built-in password management tools to help make them more user-friendly, but with so much convenience involved, one has to ask whether or not these built-in management tools are as secure as they should be.

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Tip of the Week: How to Properly Inventory Your Technology

Businesses use technology to varying degrees, but even small businesses have a lot of technology that must be tracked on a daily basis. With so many devices floating around the office, how are you making sure that you know who has which device, when it was issued, and how it’s being used? We suppose the question is not “how” you are keeping track of it all, but “if.” For this task, we recommend implementing an inventory tracking system for your business’ technological assets.

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Understanding the Different Kinds of Blockchain and Their Purpose

The blockchain has made quite a splash, beginning as the technology that powers Bitcoin before branching out into different use cases that many businesses are already taking advantage of. Let’s go over the benefits—and shortcomings—of the various varieties that blockchain now comes in, and how they are commonly used.

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How to Determine Which Cloud Solutions Are Right for Your Business

When we talk about the cloud, what springs to your mind? The cloud might sound like a business buzzword, but in reality it’s one of the most important components of a technology infrastructure, especially in today’s online environment. Considering the ongoing pandemic and unpredictability that the situation brings, you don’t want to wait any longer; you should have started thinking about implementing the cloud yesterday.

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Make Sure Your Staff Understands the Importance of Their Role in Your Organization’s Cybersecurity

Today, employees have to be a major part of every business’ cybersecurity attempts. The reasoning is simple: attacks are more likely to come in the form of end user correspondence than on a direct assault of the network. As a result, it is important that cybersecurity is more than just another line item on a task list, it has to be built into the culture. Let’s discuss a few ways to get your employees to care about cybersecurity.

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Do We Really Need a Computer Feature to Tell Us We Need a Break?

Workplace stress has increasingly been focused on as a prescient problem for businesses, with an increased focus on identifying the causes and mitigating the impacts. A recently published patent from Microsoft helps to demonstrate how seriously this is now taken… although it also begs the question: do we really need technology’s help to identify when we feel stressed?

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3 Ways Your Small Business Might Benefit from Artificial Intelligence Technology

Artificial intelligence has taken the world by storm, and the advent of emerging technologies has many small businesses thinking about how they can utilize it to cut costs, improve operations, and eliminate unnecessary or repetitive tasks. Let’s take a look at three ways your business can leverage artificial intelligence to the best of its ability.

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3 Ways Modern Businesses Leverage the Cloud

Whether you are just a fledgling small business just trying to get your feet off the ground or a larger-scale enterprise with a multitude of clients, one thing will always remain the same: in today’s business world, the cloud is king, and it has the potential to change the way that your business operates for the better. 

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Is Low-Cost Broadband Internet Coming to Oneonta, NY?

One of the lessons learned from the pandemic is how many of us take high-speed Internet for granted. While many of us have been able to continue to work or go to school remotely, this isn’t the reality for a significant number of people. The crisis has crystalized how many communities don’t have adequate access to broadband, which in turn can have far-reaching effects on a community’s long-term survival.

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The Components of a Successful Business Continuity Strategy

With the future so uncertain, it’s no surprise that many organizations are turning their focus toward business continuity. There are a lot of components that go into making a successful continuity plan, and if you want to optimize your chances of survival in the face of a disaster, you need to ensure that all your bases are covered.

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Cybersecurity Lessons to Be Learned from the Colonial Pipeline Attack

Headlines have been filled with news pertaining to the recent hack of Colonial Pipeline, which has created significant gasoline shortages up the east coast of the nation. While the pipeline has been restored, the way this was accomplished sets a dangerous precedent. On top of this, the attack seems to have set off bigger infrastructural changes in the political space.

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How Will the Lessons of the Pandemic Apply to Businesses Operations?

If the pandemic has done anything for businesses, it has given them a reason to innovate that cannot be denied—although many have let the opportunity pass them by. Let’s consider how technology has assisted businesses in various industries in their operations as they have needed to adjust.

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Password Best Practices from the National Institute of Standards and Technology

Passwords are probably the most important part of keeping accounts secure. That’s why it is so important to follow industry best practices when creating them. Today, we’ll take a look at the standards outlined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in creating the best and most secure passwords.

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Hackers Spark Major Gas Crisis Throughout the Southern U.S.

You’ve probably heard by now, a Russia-based hacking collective by the name of DarkSide targeted Colonial Pipeline, a company that supplies nearly 45 percent of the fuel used along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, with a ransomware attack. Not only does this hack have an effect on fuel prices and availability, it highlights just how vulnerable much of the nation’s energy infrastructure is. Let’s discuss the details of the hack and the raging discussion about cybersecurity that’s happening as a result. 

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Productivity Apps Aren’t Just a Fad

Businesses need to maximize productivity any way they can. Some look to software to make this happen. When searching for productivity software, it may seem like you are looking at the same thing over and over again. While we admit that many productivity programs are similar, it’s important that you acquire the software that will give your team the tools it needs to succeed. Let’s take a look at how you can find the right productivity apps for your business’ needs.

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A Company’s Boss Needs to Take the Lead on Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is critically important to businesses of all sizes, which means that all businesses need to put forth a concerted effort to ensure their security is locked down. This, in turn, will require someone to take point on developing a cybersecurity-focused internal culture.

Who better to do this than the boss?

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Maps May Soon Be Less Trustworthy Than Ever

Did you know that maps as we know them are remarkably skewed? Due to some centuries-old superiority complexes and prejudices, the maps we’ve all been raised looking at have never been completely accurate. However, this problem could soon be an element of cybercrime thanks to a developing technology that many have yet to take seriously, deepfake images, and how they could revolutionize cyberattacks moving forward.

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How to Get the Most Out of Your VoIP System

By now you’ve heard of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), the telephone system that runs through your Internet connection rather than a phone line. VoIP can save your business up to 60 percent off your current phone bill. What many people don’t know—even ones that utilize a VoIP platform—is that there are many available options that can have major benefits for your business. Companies that have VoIP typically only use between one-third and one-half of the available options. Today, we wanted to showcase five VoIP features that you may not be taking advantage of.

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Need a Reason to Invest in RMM? Here’s Four

It is undeniable that businesses have increasingly been relying on technology. The past year has been especially digital as millions of people were working remotely. Many of these people required some type of technology support. Today, we are going to discuss how companies like ours were able to provide comprehensive IT support to so many people while they worked from home.

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Tip of the Week: Three Steps to Better Backups

Because of the protection it can offer your organization, data backup is a necessary tool for you to have—that is, provided it has the requisite security and reliability you’ll need should you ever have to lean on it. Let’s go over a few guidelines to help you be sure that your backup is trustworthy enough to stake your business’ future on.

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Building Trust in Business with a Consistent Approach

For a worker, one of the most maddening things that can happen at work is when there is a lack of consistency with the leadership. It can throw a figurative wrench into everything that you are trying to accomplish. Some examples of people not being consistent include:

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What You Need to Do If Your Business is Hacked

Few things are scarier for a modern business to consider than the idea that they will be hacked, regardless of that business’ size or industry. After all, hacking can, will, and does cause significant damage across basically all aspects of your organization. This is precisely why it is so important that—should a business be hacked—the proper steps are taken in response.

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3 Ways to Improve Communication In Your Small Business

When we say “improve communications” you probably are expecting an article about telephone systems or which video conferencing platform works the best. Normally, you’d be right, but today we decided to briefly go over four ways that you can foster better communications between management and their employees inside of your business.

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Getting Accessible Internet to the Disabled Isn’t So Easy

Accessibility to the Internet is a hot topic because, at this point, almost everyone should be afforded Internet access. The fact that some people don’t have access to the Internet puts them at a severe disadvantage. One group that has major problems with accessibility are disabled people. Let’s discuss what can be done about that.

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Patch Management and How It Can Save Your Business

Software runs our lives. It certainly runs your business. What if I told you that this essential cog in your business’ operations can also be the thing that is most susceptible to being exposed by outside attackers? It’s true, software can be the very door that hackers and scammers need to get into your network and run amok. Let’s take a look at the unsung service that is patch management and why it is so important. 

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Tip of the Week: The ABCs of Windows Shortcuts

Windows has no shortage of capabilities to offer its users, with many of these tools coming with an associated Windows shortcut. Since keeping track of all of them can be a challenge, we wanted to assemble a list of most of them for you. This blog will serve as that list, so make sure you add it to your browser’s favorites for quick reference!

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Tip of the Week: Keeping Peeping Eyes Out of Your Webcam

With many—if not most—computers and especially laptops featuring integrated webcams at this point, it isn’t hard to imagine how disastrous it would be to be spied on through it. Let’s take a few moments and go over a few ways to be sure that your webcam isn’t being used without your consent by someone else.

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Companies Need to Keep Their Vendors’ Security In Mind

Data breaches have a tendency to destabilize relationships. With so many data-related problems befalling businesses nowadays, it is important that each side of every data-driven relationship understands their role in the protection of other organizations’ data. Today, we’ll take a look at the issue and how to determine if your partners are putting in the effort required to keep your data secure. 

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Cyberattack Discovery Time is Decreasing (But This Isn’t All Good News)

Research has revealed that cyberattacks are spending decreasing amounts of time on their targeted networks before they are discovered. While this may sound like a good thing—a faster discovery of a threat is better than a slower one, after all—this unfortunately is not the case.

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The Pros and Cons Remote Work Has to the Environment

Remote work is often lauded for its various benefits—and don’t get us wrong, there are certainly plenty of them to account for. However, it must also be said that remote work is far from perfect. Take the environmental impacts it can have, for instance. Let’s discuss how working from home can prove better for the environment, while also addressing the serious problems it has contributed to—and, just maybe, how we can help minimize some of them.

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Voice over Internet Protocol is a Solid Business Tool

For many businesses, their telephone system can be extremely expensive, especially considering the need for extra mobility as many people are still working remotely. VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, presents a cost-effective solution for any business’ telephone needs. Let’s take a brief look at VoIP and how it can be a game changer for your business’ communications.

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Tip of the Week: Ergonomics Tips For the At-Home Worker

Not everyone has a living situation that is conducive to working from home. That’s why many people have some problems as they are forced to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the problems with not having a dedicated space or the right type of situation to get work done from home is that your physical health starts to suffer. Today, we thought we would go through a couple of ergonomic suggestions that can help any remote worker feel better when working long hours from home.

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Tip of the Week: How to Share Documents in Google Drive

Collaboration is something that no modern business can do without, which helps to explain why so many current applications feature it so heavily. Let’s focus on Google Drive and its multitude of collaborative capabilities that so many businesses are now making use of.

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We’re Going to Get You Out of the Technology Rut

Is the technology your business relies upon composed of bits and pieces of tech you’ve incorporated gradually over the years? While all of your computers and devices may work, are they actually working for you? Your investment into IT was supposed to make your staff more productive—is it, or has it plateaued?

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The Federal Communications Commission is Evaluating Mobile Broadband

Broadband Internet access is a critical consideration for today’s world, considering how much of daily life and business is now conducted online. Having said that, Internet access is still far from a given. In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission wants to work to fix this—but to do so, they need data. To help collect this data, the FCC wants you to install a speed test application on your smartphone.

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Managed Services Isn’t Just IT Support

Managed IT services are well known for being an incredibly useful service for a business as it helps offset the cost of keeping their technology up and running. What they aren’t as well known for are all the other services that they do to add value for their customers. 

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What We Can Learn from Coca-Cola’s Insider Trade Secret Theft

Your business’ data is perhaps its most crucial resource—which is why it is so important that it remains protected against all threats (including those that come from within your own business). Consider, for a moment, the ongoing trial of Xiaorong You, going on in Greenville, Tennessee. Accused of stealing trade secrets and committing economic espionage, You allegedly stole various BPA-free technologies from various companies—including Coca-Cola and the Eastman Chemical Company, amongst others—to the tune of $119.6 million.

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Remote Work is Not Without Its Issues… How Can They Be Addressed?

The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it no small amount of uncertainty, including amongst business owners who were looking at a very up-in-the-air future. With so many lacking the technology needed to support remote operations—never mind the fact that remote work was a new concept for so many—the learning curve was a considerable hurdle. However, with vaccines being administered and restrictions lifted, it now becomes critical to find a balance.

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Using YouTube to Improve Everything

Training your staff to be better at their jobs is not only a business owner’s responsibility, but it’s also expensive and time-consuming. When someone suggests that you use YouTube for your business’ training purposes, the first thought is: “Are you crazy? We don’t have the money for that!” That is a reasonable response if the suggestion was that you start making YouTube videos for your business’ training purposes, sure, but if you use YouTube resources that are already there, you can quickly improve your business with nary a penny spent. Today, we will discuss the options that can make using YouTube a strong resource for your business.

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Tips to Help You Keep Your Workstation Clean

If you are like many other people, your desktop computer just sits there, day after day, allowing you to run your business. Unfortunately, like any other machine, it will fail. One way to prolong the lifespan of your computer is to keep it clean. Today, we thought we’d give you some pointers on how to do so. 

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Your Guide to the Modern Varieties of Cybercriminal

There is an entire litany of stereotypes that are commonly linked to the term “hacker”… too many for us to dig into here, especially since they do little but form a caricature of just one form that today’s cybercriminal can take. Let’s go into the different varieties that are covered nowadays under the blanket term of “hacker,” and the threat that each pose to businesses today.

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Productivity in a Very Difficult Time

Some people may say that operational efficiency and productivity are only measures of how well managers are able to manage. Make no mistake about it, productivity is important to workers, too. When COVID-19 spurred lawmakers to create stay-at-home orders in March of 2020, the fear was that productivity would decrease so much that it would destroy society. This obviously didn’t happen, but there has been some ebb and flow of the productivity metrics since the beginning of the pandemic. Let’s take a look at productivity during COVID-19.

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A Hacker Could Steal All Of Your Text Messages for a Few Bucks

We always picture hackers as these foreboding, black-clad criminals, smirking through the shadows cast in their dark room by their computer monitor. Hardened, uncaring individuals who don’t go outside very often, staring at code as if they were able to decipher the Matrix.

It’s time we give up this persona and stop mystifying cybercriminals. Why?

It only takes a few bucks and some spare time to truly hold an individual’s data hostage.

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Counting the Reasons for the 3-2-1 Data Backup Rule

I hope I don’t have to tell you how important your business’ data is to its continued survival, just as I hope I don’t need to explain why this makes this data a priority to protect, regardless of your business’ size. What I do want to explain is the concept of the 3-2-1 Rule and how it pertains to your data backup, and why we would recommend that one for your business’ purposes.

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Tip of the Week: Tips that Can Help You Be More Productive with Microsoft Word

A lot of businesses rely on Microsoft Word, the leading word processing app for companies, but the question is, are you using it to its fullest potential? Today, we thought we’d go through some of the features that can help you be more productive with Microsoft Word.

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Tip of the Week: How to Take a Screenshot in Windows 10

Okay, so first off: when it comes to taking a screenshot, today’s user has a lot of options baked into Windows. Of course, there’s the Print Screen key on most keyboards—but that only allows the user to literally take a screenshot of their entire display and edit it down in some other program.

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How’s Your Password Hygiene?

I’m not sure we need to tell you how important passwords are: they are the front-line defense to most of the accounts you create. What is often overlooked is the strategy of how to use a password to successfully protect accounts and data. Today, we will discuss best practices   when creating and managing your passwords and how you are likely approaching your password strategy improperly. 

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Facebook’s Massive Data Leak

Facebook is many people’s favorite—or at least most used—app and it does bring value to people by letting them keep tabs on friends and family, or grow their businesses. It has grown to be one of the largest, most successful software technology companies in the world. Unfortunately, with that type of exposure comes the responsibility of securing massive amounts of personal data. In this quest, they leave a lot to be decided. Today, we take a look at the situation Facebook is in as they are dealing with one of the largest data leaks in history.

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What Options Do SMBs Have for Their Server Hosting?

Today’s technology provides businesses with more options than they’ve ever had, including where they want to host their critical infrastructures. This decision will often boil down to between an onsite hardware implementation or utilizing the cloud. Let’s consider the differences that your decision needs to reflect.

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