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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.

The Internet Continues to Change Business

With so many people depending on the Internet for a litany of reasons, there might not be the general acknowledgment of just how powerful the ubiquitous use of the Internet really is for businesses. From the storage and redundancy of business’ data to virtualized computing platforms to browser-based interfaces that provide access to productivity and communications software, today’s Internet is filled with solutions for the modern business.

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Setting Android’s Security Options

You might be shocked to find out that your mobile device holds a considerable amount of personally identifiable information on it. This has prompted many users to secure their phones at all times, but others simply ignore the threat and brush it aside. Since Google makes it so easy, there’s no excuse for Android users not to secure their devices. Here’s how you can do it.

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CPT: The Perfect Combo

Today for lunch, we decided that we wanted to put a little spin on an office favorite - Crack Chicken. But, how could we make this already amazing recipe even tastier?

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Tip of the Week: Introducing Evernote Templates

Evernote is a neat note-taking app that many users have found works for them, as it can be used to keep notes organized in a better way than a traditional notebook. With new features that can offer you plenty of functionality, Evernote might just be the note-taking solution you’ve been looking for all these years. This week’s tip is dedicated to one of the best new features of Evernote: templates.

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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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Human Error is a Major Problem for Businesses

There is always going to be user error in the workplace. Even the best workers make mistakes sometimes. You naturally want to reduce these occurrences as often as possible, but for the purposes of training and whatnot, you want to assume the worst: that any worker, even the most dedicated veteran, could potentially make a business-ending mistake. Thankfully, there are ways you can make sure this doesn’t happen for your business.

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Automation is Exciting, But your Employees Might Be Worried

It’s no secret that business operations have a lot of moving parts that need to be considered. The thing is, these parts are most likely the simplest elements of any workflow, but take up large portions of time simply due to the number of them that need to be addressed.

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How to Frame Your Marketing Around Major Holidays

Whenever a major holiday is coming up, you’re likely confronted with multiple reminders of it in your daily lives. You may see commercials on TV, receive emails from companies, get flyers in the mail. You’ll see specialized packaging for brands you buy every day that reflects the upcoming holiday. It makes sense why companies are doing this - holidays celebrated by the general population give a business an excuse to get in contact with the consumer. And, this often leads to an uptick in sales.

You can do the same for your small business. The key to succeeding with holiday marketing is framing your marketing correctly in terms of your language and the imagery you use.

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Your Business May Be Most Vulnerable from the Inside

It can be easy, with all the threats covered in the news, to assume that the biggest dangers to your business all come from the outside. This is a dangerous mistake, as there are plenty of vulnerabilities that originate from within your organization, making it easier for outside threats to come in, if not being bigger threats in and of themselves. Below, we’ll review some of the biggest, mostly internal dangers that your business may face.

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3 Ways Email Encryption Keeps Your Messages Safe

Encryption is a very important tool in today’s business environment, especially if you are trying to protect your email communications. Today, we’ll discuss the benefits of using encryption for your business’ communications solutions, but without an understanding of what encryption actually is, the conversation might be a little harder to understand.

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Tip of the Week: Extremely Useful Word Tips

Microsoft Word is one of those computer applications that has so many tricks hidden in it that you constantly have opportunities to show off how much you’ve learned. These skills could make or break your job performance under the right conditions, and if you know how to use them efficiently, they can help you save your job if it’s in peril.

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Tech Term: Zero-Day

You might hear the term “zero-day” when discussing security threats, but do you know what they actually are? A zero-day threat is arguably one of the most devastating and dangerous security issues your business could face, and if you’re not prepared, they could be the end of it.

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Monitoring is Essential to IT Success

More small businesses today depend on their IT. If that technology isn’t working as intended, it can really stymie an organization’s ability to be effective. Our strategy of managed IT support and services can do quite a bit towards keeping a business running efficiently. Today, we’ll take a look at managed IT to see how proactive monitoring can deliver enhanced efficiency to businesses.

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Bing Offers Malware and Filth

With a meager market share that is one-third the size of Google’s, one would think that Bing would be trying to keep controversy away from a user’s search results. However, the Microsoft search engine has recently encountered a few notable PR disasters that may be enough to convince some not to use it - especially if it leads to a security breach.

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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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4 Backup and Recovery Terms You Should Understand

With data looked on as more of an asset than ever organizations are finding that their data backup and recovery system needs to be comprehensive. By knowing more about backup and recovery, you stand to be able to plan the solution to meet your company’s needs. Today, we will look at the different types of data backup and introduce you to four terms you need to understand.

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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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Uber Demonstrates the Importance of Disclosing a Data Breach

If your business was breached, would it be better to keep it a secret, or should you disclose it to your clients? Uber has proven that trying to hide it is a mistake, and a costly one at that.

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Understanding the Basics of Server Maintenance

Server units--you’ll find them in most offices out there, but they are all used for different purposes. Since well-maintained data is so essential to the success of many organizations, it’s important to keep your server units in proper working order. Today we’ll discuss the best ways to make sure your servers are in peak performance.

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The Internet of Things Continues to Expand

The Internet of Things is now made up of over 15 billion devices. 15 billion. This number includes both consumer devices in a home environment as well as business devices that are typically used in an office setting. As such, you cannot risk ignoring this phenomenon, whether it’s from a security standpoint or one of practicality. We’ll discuss the many ways the IoT is shaping business practices in today’s modern office.

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CPT: Happy World Pasta Day! Celebrate with This Recipe

It's World Pasta Day today, so we couldn't NOT eat pasta for today's Crock-Pot Thursday lunch. We settled on a little twist on traditional Italian pasta dish - spaghetti, and baked it in the oven with a combination of ingredients that you might not expect to work so well together. This may be your new favorite!

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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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Technology Basics: Accessory

Taking care of your computer is necessary if you want to get the maximum return on investment from such an expensive piece of hardware. Granted, this can be a lot to handle, as it includes cleaning your PC regularly, keeping security at its finest, and organizing all of the information stored on it. When it all works as intended, there is an immense feeling of satisfaction. This is when it’s most effective to look at accessories.

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reCAPTCHA: The First Line of Defense

Security is paramount. These days, hackers are aggressive and relentless when it comes to using exploits to test your security. So much so that even when applying multiple layers of protection across a site, the server, and keeping everything patched, threats can sneak in. This is why it is critical to have a first line of defense; in this case, a CAPTCHA.

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Instant Messaging Is a Valuable Tool for Businesses

Once thought to just be a cool feature of the Internet--or the entirety of the Internet to your Great Aunt Maddie--instant messaging has a long history on the web. In fact, one could argue that it was the first great Internet-based application. Today, we take a look back at the history of Instant Messaging and how your organization can use it to create a better business.

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A Busy Staff Isn’t Always a Productive Staff

Productivity is one of the most vital parts of running a business, as without it no work can get done. Even if your employees look like they are keeping themselves busy, a study from the Harvard Business School suggests they may not be as busy as you think they are. How does this work, and what can you do to resolve this issue?

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Cloud-Based Security Is Concerning for Small Businesses

The cloud is such an important part of today’s business environment that most organizations use it to some extent, even if it’s just for basic storage needs. However, the cloud needs to be properly maintained, starting with the way you secure your cloud services. Take a moment to ask yourself if your cloud--whether it’s hosted on-site or by a provider--is safe and secure.

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Google’s Making Changes to Chrome, and Not Everyone’s Happy

Chrome 70 is yet another example of how divisive technology has the potential to be. On the one hand, a few of the changes have people excited about some clear benefits to security, but others worry that Chrome will no longer be as secure or as user-friendly. We’ll review some of the changes coming with Chrome 70, so you can decide for yourself.

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CPT: Holding Back Tears...

Don’t worry - we’re not sad! Actually, quite the opposite.

When Directive team members entered the kitchen today while today’s Crock-Pot Thursday meal was cooking, it was hard to not let a few tears fall. To make enough of the French Onion Chicken recipe for everyone in the office, we had to slice and cook NINE POUNDS of onions. As you can imagine, entering that room was a bit overwhelming.

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Tech Term: Responsive Web Design

We all have our favorite websites to visit, as well as those we often have to visit to fulfill our responsibilities. As a result, it isn’t uncommon for us to try and access the same websites on both a desktop workstation and a mobile device, but some websites work better than others while trying this. This is because of something called responsive web design, which we’ll review below for our weekly Tech Term.

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Getting to Know Technology: Link

Navigation is important for any computing system--particularly the Internet, where there are countless destinations. The Internet is comprised of various web pages, images, videos, and many other valuable little bits of content that are all connected by a web of links. These links are the cornerstone of the Internet, and we’ll explain the details of how they work and what they are.

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3 Ways VoIP Can Enhance Your Employees’ Collaboration: Here’s How

It’s not every day that you encounter a business technology solution that’s capable of connecting all of your employees together in a quick and easy way. Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is a great way for your business’ employees to collaborate, both in and out of the office. We’ll go into three reasons why your business should invest in VoIP now to further improve operations and efficiency regarding employee collaboration.

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Is Election Technology Solid or Simply Antiquated

Election Day in the United States is coming up quick on November 6th. It doesn’t matter what your thoughts or opinions on U.S. politics are--the fact remains that millions of Americans will be using the technology available at polling places to cast their ballots, and if this technology isn’t secured properly, the integrity of the voting system will be at risk.

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Co-Managed Services Can Help Build a Better Business

Let’s say that your organization has experienced considerable growth over the past couple of years. It’s not outpacing your IT infrastructure, and the cracks are starting to show in more ways than one. This makes it difficult to plan for the future, implement new IT initiatives, and react to issues as they crop up. If your business doesn’t have an internal IT department heading these developments, outsourcing can be a viable option to make sure all of your organization’s technological needs keep your progress moving forward.

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Just How Important Is the Data Recovery Process?

Data recovery can make your break your business’ continuity plan, and you absolutely cannot underestimate how important this is for the future of your organization. There are countless ways your business could lose data, and if you encounter even a single one of them, your organization could be put at serious risk. We’ll take a look at operational data loss and how your organization needs to strategize data recovery.

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Tip of the Week: Keep Your IT Optimized

IT management is critical to the success of your business, but it’s easier said than done. There are countless moving parts that all go into keeping your business’ IT organized. Here are three ways you can make sure IT doesn’t hold your business back from its full potential.

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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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Otsego County Target of Significant Cyberattack

We continually cite just how important IT security is, but like most things, people may not completely understand just how crucial it is until it hits home. Otsego County, would seem to be too small of a place to attract a hacker’s attention, but the Otsego County county government network was reportedly attacked. County Information Technology Director Brian Pokorny said hackers gained access to the county website and other files through a zero-day vulnerability,

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OLED Is Changing the Way We Look at Things

Displays are cropping up everywhere these days, from electronic billboards to office televisions to just about any consumer electronic device. Due to the high demand for these displays, many manufacturers have turned to OLED technology to make high definition capabilities more accessible. We’ll focus on the differences between OLED displays and how they are fundamentally superior options compared to the traditional LED displays.

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Windows 10 Itself Helps Keep You Secure

Windows 10 is the most utilized operating system on PCs today. As a result, Microsoft has made it a priority to take on some of today’s most prevalent threats. We’ll go through these security features based on the state of the computer’s usage to get a better idea of how much is done to improve your security.

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Putting The Social in Social Media

Recently, we have been sharing insights on some best practices regarding social media. This time, we’re going to discuss the primary function of social media: engagement. Engagement is simply how you interact with your audience and whether or not you are able to develop a relationship with them. Engagement is also one of the most important and resource-consuming aspects of using social media as a tool for marketing and the promotion of your services.

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Can You Use Help with Your Customer Relationships?

Understanding what your customers need is a crucial first step toward improving the way your organization communicates with them. They expect a certain level of service, so how can you make sure to maintain it while still leveling with them on what they require of your business? A customer relationship management software, or CRM, is invaluable toward this end.

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If You Haven’t, Upgrading from Windows 7 Should Be a Priority

If your computer is running Windows 7 as its operating system, it’s time to start thinking about the future. Microsoft has officially unveiled the End-of-Life date for Windows 7, meaning that they will eventually stop supporting computers running the much-loved operating system. What does this mean for your business? Let’s find out.

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CPT: It’s Taco Time Today!

Did you know that today, October 4th, is National Taco Day? We didn’t either when the day first started. But, the taco-gods smiled down upon us at Directive and made sure that tacos were on the menu for today’s Crock-pot Thursday and we sure appreciated their generosity!

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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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Investigating the Value of Managed IT Services

Managed IT services can present a lot of benefits for small businesses. Since not many smaller businesses can afford to staff expert IT technicians, managed IT services are an attractive alternative that allows an organization to get the IT support and management they need to keep their business running efficiently. Today, we’ll go over all the benefits a managed service provider can present a small business,and just how a MSP delivers significant returns on your IT support investments.

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October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

It’s October, and time again for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to bring extra attention to the issue of security. This year there is a focus on the personal and professional interactions that intersect in the virtual space. The more these two worlds become connected, the more likely the possibility of a hacker gaining access to one or both worlds, using access they acquired from one or the other.

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Improving Your Collaboration Can Improve Performance

With the exception of a sole proprietorship, a business of any size relies on its team in order to function properly. As a result, this team needs to be able to work together towards a common goal in order to succeed. To accomplish this, collaboration technologies are becoming more and more common in office environments, and generally benefit the performance of the business in its operations.

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Fake Tech Support Knows Way More than It Should

Tech-support scammers traditionally are people who dial random numbers and try to convince the people on the other end of the phone that their computer has problems and they can fix them if the user allows them to remote into the device. They use tactics that are as generic and vague as possible, to avoid having to mention any specifics; and, since some people (especially those who have computers that are a few years old) find that their system’s performance is sluggish, they will give these people access. This typically ends in disaster.

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Looking Back at This Year’s Cybersecurity Issues

Every business in operation today needs to have some kind of comprehensive network security. Simply put, there are too many threats that can come in through an Internet connection for them to continue doing otherwise. The past year provides plenty of anecdotal proof of this fact, as a quick glance back can show.

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How Much Time Do You Spend Managing Vendors?

Vendors… how many do you have to deal with? Chances are, quite a few. Now consider how much time is spent managing each of them. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some way to reduce this time to effectively nothing? Well, we have some good news for you.

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Getting to Know Technology: Breadcrumbs

In the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel, the titular characters decided to leave a trail of breadcrumbs behind them, so they could find their way back home. While this strategy didn’t work out very well for the siblings, the same concept is used in computing today. We even refer to it as breadcrumb navigation in honor of the German fairy tale.

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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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Help Desk Support Benefits Small Business

Technology support can be one of the major pain points for businesses, and it’s not something that your organization wants to invest in without thinking about the details. Technology support as a service has a lot to offer when compared with the break/fix method. We’ll help you make the right decision by explaining why remote IT services are a major benefit for any business.

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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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Is It Possible For Machine Learning to Help Treat Patients?

There is no denying there is a standing partnership between IT and Healthcare. With costs inflating at a nearly-uncontrollable rate the healthcare industry has started to lean on IT to try and make the delivery of care more efficient. Today, we’ll take a look at healthcare IT, and how the industry is working to use innovative new technologies such as machine learning to provide operational efficiency resulting in better care.

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Here Is a List of this Year’s Most Devastating Hacks

Today, we’ve compiled some statistics that give these threats context, as well as a list of some of the most devastating hacks from the first half of 2018. Hopefully, these lists will put into perspective just how important building a network security strategy is for your company. Here are some statistics to help reinforce just how important cybersecurity is:

In 2017 over 130 large-scale breaches were reported, a 27 percent increase over 2016.Nearly 1-in-3 organization have experienced some sort of cyberattack in the past.Cryptojacking (stealing cryptocurrency) increased 8,500 percent in 2017.100,000 organizations were infected with the WannaCry ransomware (400,000 machines).5.4 billion WannaCry attacks were blocked in 2017.The average monetary cost of a malware attack is $2.4 million.The average time cost of a malware is 50 days.Ransomware cost organization’s over $5 billion in 2017.20 percent of cyberattacks come from China, 11 percent from the United States, and six percent from the Russian Federation.Phone numbers are the most leaked information.21 percent of files are completely unprotected.41 percent of companies have over 1,000 sensitive files left unprotected.Ransomware is growing at 350 percent annually.IoT-based attacks are growing at about 500 percent per year.Ransomware attacks are expected to quadruple by 2020.7.7 percent of web requests lead to malware.There were 54 percent more types of malware in 2017 than there were in 2016.The cybersecurity market will be worth over $1 trillion by 2025.

If that isn’t scary enough, below are some of the attacks that have taken place in 2018. We’ve broken them down into public (individuals, governments, etc.), and private (businesses). Keep in mind all these events took place before the calendar turned to July:

Public January

The Department of Homeland Security was affected by a data breach that exposed information about 247,167 current and former employees.

March

Atlanta, Georgia was targeted by a ransomware attack called SamSam. This resulted in a massive problem for their municipal infrastructure. The ransom price given was $51,000, but Atlanta’s leadership refused to meet these demands. Overall, the numbers show that Atlanta has spent more than 10 times that number in the fallout of the attack. Some estimates place the actual cost of this event at nearly $20 million.India’s national ID database, Aadhaar, leaked data of over a billion people. This is one of the largest data breaches in history. A user could pay 500 rupees, equal to about $7, to get the login credentials that allowed anyone to enter a person’s 12-digit code for their personal information. For 300 rupees, or about $4.20, users could also access software that could print an ID card for anyone associated with the database.Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics company that U.S. President Donald Trump used to help his campaign, harvested personal information from over 50 million Facebook users without asking for their permission. Facebook hasn’t called this a data breach, but Cambridge Analytica has since been banned from using the service thanks to this event.

June

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CPT: You Can Never Go Wrong With Pizza, Especially From Pizza 23 West [VIDEO]

Pizza is one of those foods that is good hot, cold, from the freezer, or freshly made. But, when you taste real pizza that’s made by someone truly passionate about the art of pizza making, you’ll never want to go back to that $5 frozen store-bought pizza ever again.

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Tech Term: Read Only

You open a lot of files and folders during your duties around the office, but some of them might seem a little different from others. These files are marked as “read-only.” What is the significance behind these files, and what does this marking mean? Find out in this week’s tech term.

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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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Faxploit: Hundreds of Printers Putting Businesses at Risk of Malware

Printers, along with every other piece of equipment that is on your network, require careful configuration and regular upkeep to ensure that they aren’t putting your data and users at risk. Security researchers recently discovered two massive vulnerabilities in HP Officejet All-in-One printers that make it incredibly easy for hackers to spread malware and gain access to a company’s network.

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Can You Afford Your IT Initiatives?

Your operations are, more or less, contingent on your budget. As such, your business will rely on its budget to guide it fiscally through the next year of operation. Unfortunately, IT resources care little about your budget, and you can see this in how unpredictable it can be. We’ll discuss ways that you can keep your IT budget from breaking the bank, as well as how you can improve success over time through proper management of your IT assets.

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Are Cloud-Based Solutions Right For Your Organization?

You’d be hard-pressed to find a business these days that doesn’t use the cloud in some way or another. Before investing in the right cloud solutions, it’s important that your organization considers several factors. Here are three of the most common ones that your business should consider before investing in and implementing a new cloud service.

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How to Intelligently Approach Business Analytics

A solid business decision needs to be based on more than just a gut feeling. It takes quantifiable data to choose the right path for your company, leveraged in a process known as business analytics. Today, we’ll explore this process, as well as discuss a few ways you can use it to your advantage.

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Is a Better Camera a Good Reason to Buy a Smartphone?

Today the smartphone camera has become one of the biggest selling points when consumers look to purchase a new phone. This is largely because it is crucial to the use of many of the applications that your average user uses the smartphone for. It just goes to show that in less than two decades how much utility the phone has than it did when the Samsung SCH-V200 first offered users the option of taking pictures with their phone.

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CPT: Getting in the Mood for the Fall Season

The days starting to get shorter, the leaves falling and changing color, apple picking. These are all things that are usually associated with Fall (or, Autumn - if you prefer). And, what better way to get in the spirit than with a pumpkin-themed dessert?

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Getting to Know Technology: A/B Testing

The best way to attract your audience is by understanding what they want from your business. Even something as simple as changing up the color of your branding to be more inviting can be extremely helpful. This kind of process is called A/B testing, and it can help you make improvements to the way your business operates.

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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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How to Ensure Your Business is Hurricane-Ready

As headlines shout about Hurricane Florence approaching the East Coast later this week, with Helene and Isaac also stirring in the Atlantic Ocean, it seems as good a time as any to discuss preparing your business for hurricane season; and, really any adverse weather effects that could negatively influence your business. Preparing your business for events like these is key to its survival, making it crucial that you know what your responsibilities are when awaiting a potentially devastating event such as a hurricane.

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Do You Know How to Determine Your Computing Needs?

In most businesses today, the computer is an essential tool. Taking this into consideration, you need to make sure that your staff is equipped with the right tools for their given job… but which tool is the right tool? Here, we’ll review the determinations that will help you make the best choice of workstation for your employees’ needs.

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Getting Our Bearings: The State of Business Technology in 2018

At every turn, it seems as though there’s another best practice or upcoming trend to learn and implement in the realm of business technology. Are you doing all you can to keep your company up to date, relevant, and competitive? Below, we review some of 2018’s biggest IT revolutions so far.

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Why Smart Cities May Not Be a Smart Idea Just Yet

As of this point, the vast majority of our experience with the Internet of Things has been on a small scale - accessories and appliances that connect to the Internet to gain some added functionality. This technology can also be applied to a larger, more civic purpose - the development of something called a “smart city.” Unfortunately, this application could prove to be as problematic as the IoT we are more accustomed to.

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Smaller Practices are Choosing Cloud-Based EHR

The medical field has spawned all kinds of new technology that takes patient care to the next level. Regulations demand that even smaller practices need to make the jump to electronic medical record systems (also known as electronic health records). These EMR/EHR solutions provide an interface that give providers and patients a way to keep themselves connected to each other--a tool to promote a more efficient delivery method for these services. We’ll take a look at these EMR and EHR solutions that are hosted in the cloud, giving your organization more information to make an educated choice on implementing this software.

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CPT: Phish and Chips [Video]

Since the kids are all going back to school this week, we decided to have a lesson of our own, a phishing lesson.

Phish·ing noun

1. the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.

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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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Tip of the Week: Evernote as a Productivity Tool

Smartphones are handy little devices for a lot of different reasons, not the least of which their availability when a note needs to be taken and the apps that are available for just that purpose. One of these apps, Evernote, stands a step above the rest, especially for use in a business setting. For our tip this week, we’ll go over some of the features that Evernote offers that can help out your business.

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Your Emails Won’t Be Secure Without these Safeguards

Are your employees putting your organization’s security at risk due to poor email practices? This is a question that all business owners need to consider--especially if you deal in sensitive information. We recommend that all businesses utilize a two-pronged approach to email security, including both technology measures to secure communications on the technical side and training to secure on the human side.

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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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Here Are Some VoIP Features That May Surprise You

The business community has embraced Voice over Internet Protocol as the accepted standard for exceptional communications. While there are countless benefits to using VoIP as your chosen communications tool, you might be surprised at how much can be done with them. In fact, you might even overlook some of the best features about VoIP!

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SolMRapoza
Yes, these amazing VoIP features also surprise me and I really happy to get this from here. Your article is superb about the best... Read More
Tuesday, 16 October 2018 05:47
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Is E-Commerce an Option for You?

The Internet has made quite a few common processes easier, including buying and selling goods and even services. However, while e-commerce is experiencing extreme growth, it may not be the right fit for every business. There are a variety of considerations to balance out to determine if e-commerce is something that you should be leveraging.

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Help! My Staff Hates My Company’s IT!

Fellow business owners, do you ever feel like you need to walk around on eggshells when it comes time to implement a new process or policy with your employees? Does it seem like your staff fights back tooth and nail when there is any technology change or IT restriction? You aren’t alone.

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CPT: Eating Healthy Doesn't Have To Be A Chore

Looking for a way to incorporate a bit more fruit into your daily life, but struggle to maintain a balanced diet? Then this recipe is for you! These Hawaiian Pineapple Coconut Lush bars incorporate coconut and pineapple (TWO fruits!) so you can eat it and tell yourself that you’re eating healthier. You can even top them off with cherries and incorporate a THIRD fruit in!

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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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Tip of the Week: How to Speed Up a Windows PC

The personal computer is a remarkable tool, allowing us to accomplish levels of productivity and efficiency at speeds that were once only dreamed of… at least, that’s how it feels at first. However, it doesn’t take very long for a computer to seem like it drags on and on before performing the task requested of it. Why is that, and how can this be resolved?

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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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Why Should Your Vendors Decide What’s Right for Your Business?

You serve as a vendor to your clients, providing them with a necessary good or service. Likewise, you have vendors that provide you with the goods and services that enable you to do so. However, how well are your vendors managed?

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Leave Your Moving Stresses In Your Old Office

There’s nothing quite like signing off on your first business space. It’s like officially saying, “My business is up and running. Visit my office today!” What’s even more exciting, however, is when your organization is growing so quickly that your business space becomes cramped or too small to grow unhindered. Either way, the way you set up your office is going to be an important part of running your business.

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How to Use Your Smartphone as a Productivity Enhancer

There is no shortage of useful devices that a business could benefit from, but the most popular is undoubtedly the smartphone. As a communication tool, it is effectively unparalleled - you can use your device to conduct business and communicate from anywhere. However, this is neglecting many of the other abilities that make the smartphone a smart choice for your business productivity, especially when you’re mobile.

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Which is Best for Your Server Needs, In-House or Hosted?

A server is a necessary component of any business’ IT infrastructure, as its job is to make sure that information and policies are distributed the way they need to be across a network. Once, servers had to be on-site in order to work, there is now the option to have a cloud-hosted virtualized server. Which of these is right for your needs? Let’s do a quick comparison to find out.

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CPT: Ever Heard of ‘Bow Tie Etiquette’? [Video]

There was a bit of a miscommunication today in regards to our Crock-Pot Thursday meal. While the rest of the Directive team was sitting at their desks dying to try the Barbequed Beef and Bow Tie meal they could smell cooking in the kitchen, Sean was putting on his formal attire in preparation for what he thought was a “Bow Tie Event.”

After getting over the initial embarrassment, Sean was able to laugh at the situation. At the end of the day, he is just thankful he managed not to get any of today’s lunch on his nice clothes!

You can get the recipe - and, witness this embarrassing moment - below:

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Tip of the Week: Getting Back to Email Security Basics

Email is a particular favorite attack vector of many who would do wrong by your business, as it is easily one of the most used communications in most businesses today. Do your employees know how large of a responsibility they have to your business’ security just by using email? In order to prevent unfortunate security blunders, you need to make sure you and your employees know a few best practices when it comes to handling email securely.

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Tip of the Week: Assigning Default Apps in Windows 10

Have you ever tried to open up a document and have your computer default to a program that you didn’t intend, or quite frankly, never use? This can often happen for common file types like PDFs. Thankfully, Windows 10 makes it easy to change the default applications for your organization’s file types. We’ll walk you through how it’s done.

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Monitoring Pros and Cons

Dealing with other people, whether in the office or a home environment, can often be troublesome. There is always a case of someone trying to be better than someone else, or trying to take advantage of their naiveté. There are solutions out there that make it easier than ever to help keep your home and business safe. Here are some of the best out there.

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Would You Fall for this Adult Scam if You Saw an Old Password?

As you may expect, the average Internet scammer isn’t above resorting to dirty tricks to claim their ill-gotten prize from their victims. A recent scam demonstrates just how dirty these tricks can truly be, and unfortunately, how ill-prepared many are to handle them.

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How is Blockchain Going to Work with the GDPR?

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has gone into effect, and with this new law comes a lot of information your organization needs to consider regarding individual data protection. In particular, the technology of blockchain is difficult to talk about in regard to GDPR, as it’s basically an encrypted and distributed digital ledger. How can blockchain work properly in tandem with the new GDPR regulations?

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Google’s Inflated Plan to Get the Internet to Billions of People Who Don’t Have It

It’s hard to believe that half of the world still doesn’t have access to the Internet. When so many people in the west take their near-ubiquitous Internet accessibility for granted, over three and half billion people don’t have access at all. Years ago, Google created what came to be known as X (or Google X) which was basically a research-and-development facility.

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