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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.

Fix Any Bit of Data Leakage

How valuable is the data that you’ve collected during your time in business? What would it mean if it were to leak somewhere beyond your control? Today we’ll discuss ways to control your data leakage.

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This is What Happens When Your Office 365 Subscription Lapses

Subscription-based solutions are quite popular these days, and Microsoft Office 365 is perhaps one of the most important ones on the market. However, the services provided by Office 365 are contingent upon successfully renewing the subscription, making it critical that the user understands how this process works. Any user that fails to renew the subscription loses access to it, so we want to make sure you understand what happens when your subscription expires so as to avoid software access issues.

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CPT: Put the Lime in the...Chicken!

A little bit of lime in any recipe adds a bit of zest that is hard to get otherwise. Throw a little bit in with some chicken and a couple of other ingredients, and you have a party!

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Tip of the Week: Rely Less on Your Printer

Going paperless these days is all the rage, even though we understand why some organizations like to keep their hardcopy documentation printed out and available. If you’re careful, you can minimize printing to reduce the costs associated with printing, while still keeping your critical files organized and at the ready.

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Tip of the Week: Where to Find Your Android Downloads

Our smartphones have become an indispensable part of our personal and professional lives. As such, we often download various media to them that we want to find again later… unfortunately, this isn’t always so easy. For this week’s tip, we’ll go over where to find those files that you have downloaded.

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4 Decisions You’ll Make About Your IT

Business is never quite as simple as it’s made out to be, and nowhere is this more true than with your organization’s IT. Today we will be covering some of the most important parts of your IT’s decision making that will need to be addressed, questions and concerns included, especially in regard to business-critical functions.

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USB PC Killer Terrorizes Private College

Network security is a priority for modern organizations of all kinds… after all, threats don’t often discriminate between the computer networks that they try to access. One kind of organization that should be especially diligent is the modern college or university. There are many different kinds of sensitive data stored there, including the personal, medical, and financial trifecta, along with intellectual property.

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ALERT: A SMiShing Scam is Targeting the 607 Area

Mobile devices associated with the 607 area code are being targeted by text message-based phishing attempts, also known as SMiShing. It is important that you are able to identify these messages so that you aren’t added to the list of those fooled by them. The same also goes for your employees.

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None of VoIP’s Issues Are Enough to Prevent You from Using It

Voice over Internet Protocol (or VoIP) solutions were made to give organizations another means of utilizing a service that they were already paying for - their Internet connection. Of course, like any solution, VoIP can have its disadvantages, it is just that most of these disadvantages hinge only around the lack of a strong and reliable bandwidth connection.

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What Could Replace the Keyboard and Mouse?

We hope we aren’t dating ourselves too much by mentioning computer punch cards, but they were once the means of inputting data into a computing device… at least, until the now-ubiquitous mouse and keyboard came into the scene. This variety of interfacing with our devices now seems to be one of the few ways to practically use them. However, other interfaces have emerged - do any of them stand a chance of unseating the keyboard and mouse?

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It’s Never Too Late for a Business IT Resolution

Now that we’re halfway through the new year, how well have you kept up your New Year’s resolutions? If it isn’t well, don’t worry - you can make or adapt them at any time. This loophole even includes any resolutions you may have set for your business operations this year. So, let’s call this a do-over regarding your IT improvement resolutions.

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Tip of the Week: Sync OneDrive with Windows 10

Microsoft OneDrive is a tool that many organizations take advantage of for cloud-based file sharing and real-time access, but did you know that it can sync files to your desktop? OneDrive is often used to save Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote documents, so being able to access them on your Windows 10 device only makes it easier and more efficient to work on them. We’re going to walk you through how to set up this syncing. You can trust us when we say it could change your work life for the better.

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How to Plan Your Data Storage Needs

If your business is looking to use technology beneficially, the ability to store data is going to be a major consideration you are going to have to confront. After all, not having enough storage space, or having too much, can be major problems for most businesses. Today, we’ll ask some of the most pressing questions you’ll need to answer to get the right (and the right amount of) storage space for your needs.

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Ransomware Shuts Down Doctors’ Office - Is Your Business Protected?

Let me ask you a question… let’s say that you’re about one year from your projected retirement, when a ransomware attack encrypts all of your files. What do you do? Pack it in and retire early? This is precisely the situation that the practitioners of Brookside ENT & Hearing Services of Battle Creek, Michigan, have found themselves in - and it may not be over yet.

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What’s New with Blockchain?

Blockchain is one of the most popular emerging technologies, and it’s easy to see why. While the technology behind blockchain was once looked at as having no practical application in the workplace, it is now taking a seat front and center as a security tool for a modern business environment. Let’s take a look at what’s going on in the world of blockchain.

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Taking a Look at a Manufacturer’s IT

Manufacturing products is still a major part of the western economies; and, like other businesses, manufacturers are using information technology to fuel and manage their supply chains and business processes. We’ll take a short look at what IT manufacturers use, and how it helps them forge their business ahead.

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What Will We Use When the Computer Mouse Goes Extinct?

Does anyone remember computer punch cards? Does this date us? Either way, since computing punch cards went the way of the dinosaur, there has been some version of the keyboard and mouse as we know them today. These interfacing tools have become so ingrained into our minds that it is frankly difficult to imagine a computer without them... But this begs the question, will there ever be a user interface impressionable enough to replace them?

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CPT: Fast Food in Slider Form

Sliders are a wonderful thing. They are great appetizers at any party or get-together, and can make a great addition to any meal. It’s a shame that too few restaurants have caught onto just how great they are.

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Tip of the Week: Change Your Tools in Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is a major player in modern word processing programs, and it’s largely due to the many tools and capabilities that are important for users. You can use various techniques to adjust Word so that you can get the most use out of it. This week’s tip is dedicated to these techniques.

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Tip of the Week: Sync the OneDrive Files You Need with Windows 10

Microsoft OneDrive is a cloud file hosting service that uses synchronization to allow users real-time access to saved information. OneDrive, is most associated with Office 365, to which it offers one terabyte of cloud storage (there is a free tier for consumers as well). Since OneDrive is often used to save Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and OneNote documents, having access to this information from your navigation pane inside of Windows 10 makes it simpler for users to get to files inside of OneDrive. Today, we’ll take a look at how to set the feature up to sync with OneDrive.

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Why You Need to Maintain a Data Backup

With World Backup Day coming and going approximately one month ago, it hasn’t been long since we should all have been reminded of the importance of data backup. Regardless, there is never a bad time to discuss the harsh realities of business data loss, and how businesses can avoid it.

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Professional Services Depends on This Technology

Consultation is something that can save businesses a considerable amount of time and resources. After all, you can’t expect a business professional to know everything there is to know about everything. Professional services, like those of lawyers, financial consultants, accountants, advisers, and marketing specialists, are required by just about all businesses to at least some extent. Suffice to say that each of these specialists has dedicated software and IT solutions that are needed for success.

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Why We’re Encouraging You to Step Away From Your Screens

From April 29 to May 5, we’re encouraging everyone to minimize their time in front of a screen as much as possible. Why? Simple - that’s when Screen-Free Week takes place this year.

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Monitoring Your Whole Business is Smart

Managing a business requires a lot of monitoring, and with enough of it, you might be able to enhance productivity through proactive maintenance and management. Let’s take a look at some of the issues that organizations commonly deal with in regard to management and monitoring.

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Taking a Look at Cloud Growth

In today’s modern business world, you’d be hard-pressed to find an organization that doesn’t utilize the cloud to at least some extent. Let’s take a dive into how businesses use the cloud to be more sustainable and efficient.

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Tip of the Week: Excelling at Teamwork

How well do your employees collaborate with one another? Teamwork is essential to the success of any business, but it’s often something that doesn’t come naturally to some users. These days, there are ways you can make communication and teamwork more effective and efficient for your workforce. This week’s tip is dedicated to making this work.

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Tip of the Week: Looking After Your Health at Work

The office can be a stressful place to work, and sitting still for so long can be difficult to handle in terms of both physical and mental wellbeing. Some people can experience health problems or feelings of depression, dissatisfaction, and generally negative emotions. Here are a few pointers to help your staff avoid the feeling of being unsatisfied by their static jobs.

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Big-Business Solutions Also Apply to Oneonta Small Businesses

Enterprise businesses have historically had access to bigger and better technology solutions than their small to medium-sized counterparts, their sheer size allowing them to bulldoze any potential competitors who weren’t of their size or larger. However, with the changes to technology that we have seen, business opportunities for SMBs have become more accessible and affordable. This allows more businesses of all sizes, but particularly SMBs, to embrace solutions that can drive them to success.

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What Innovative Tools Will Businesses Use in 2019?

Technology is taking on a new role for the modern business. With more value placed on data, and new innovations presenting viable options for business use, technology is now front and center for many organizations. We’ll discuss four of the most emerging technologies and how businesses are beginning to use them.

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Conferencing Solutions for the Modern Business

Modern businesses have a lot more room for flexibility than in the past, particularly in regard to meetings. With the inception of conferencing solutions, organizations have access to more dynamic tools to make the most of their meetings. Determining the best one for you, though, is not easy. We’ll help you make that choice in the simplest terms possible.

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3 Transportation Technology Innovations that Will Affect Business

If your business is one that depends on transportation, you know that coordination is extremely important. With consumers’ reliance on a company’s distribution arm, today’s companies are turning old practices on their heads and utilizing a more technology-driven approach to effectively manage their company’s transportation initiatives. This technology is innovating quickly and could mean a major transformation for businesses before too long. Today, we’ll go through three innovations that are working to change how transportation-dependent companies do things.

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Let’s Talk About Wireless Charging

How many times have you sighed about plugging your phone in, reaching behind your desk to get to the outlet? All of this could change with the addition of near-field induction charging, more commonly known as wireless charging. We’ll review what modern wireless charging is capable of, as well as what kind of obstacles could be avoided through its use.

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Why Oneonta Businesses Need Enterprise Cybersecurity

If you run a small business in Oneonta, you might assume that you don’t need to worry about the threat of a cyberattack. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

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Tip of the Week: Helpful YouTube Tips

YouTube might seem fairly straightforward, but it’s a little less so for business use than for personal use. Here are a few features that you will need to be aware of if you want to use YouTube effectively in a business environment.

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Tip of the Week: Optimize Your Chrome Browser

Google Chrome is much more than just any old web browser; it’s the most popular web browser in the world, being installed automatically on Android smartphones and the browser of choice for countless desktop users. Today, we want to help you get the most out of your Google Chrome web browser.

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Planning for On-Premise Infrastructure Deployments

With cloud computing becoming a major benefit for organizations of all sizes, some have abandoned the idea of having on-premise servers at their place of business. This could end up being problematic, however, as data security and privacy of cloud-based resources have been known to be often less than reliable. If you are looking to host your own IT in-house, there are some issues you have to see to before you can start purchasing hardware.

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Ask Your Managed Service Provider These 6 Questions

Your business’ technology solutions might be a major point of contention for your bottom line, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t create value with it. In fact, one of the best ways you can create value for your business’ IT is by implementing a better way of managing it. We’ll walk you through what it means to shift from break-fix IT to managed IT services, as well as what questions you should ask to expedite the process.

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Internet Providers Have Started the 5G Trend

5G will be here eventually, but it’s just a matter of “when” it will arrive. It feels like we’ve been saying that 5G will arrive soon, but the fact remains that it’s not here… at this moment, anyway. Still, the ambiguity surrounding 5G, or the “Fifth Generation” of wireless networking, can get a bit confusing. We’ll help you clear up any confusion you might have about 5G so you can step into the future knowing what this technology might hold.

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How to Prioritize Your Upcoming Technology Implementations

No matter how hard some organizations may try, the technology solutions that a business leverages simply aren’t meant to last forever. You may have noticed that some of your systems are less effective than they once were, and that your competition seems to be playing with a different set of rules. Sounds like it’s high time you implemented a few upgrades.

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CPT: Just a Dip? No...Make it a Meal!

There are some dips that are so good, you could probably eat them by the spoonful without the ‘staple’ food that you usually use as your dipping utensil. One of those is spinach and artichoke dip.

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How to Select a Modem for Your Business

Most Internet providers will ask you to rent your modem from them, but what they don’t tell you is that you often have the opportunity to purchase your own. What are the benefits of doing so, and how can you make the best decision possible while modem shopping? We’re here to give you a hand.

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Tip of the Week: Basic IT Tips for Your Benefit

Look, we get it. All you want is for the technology your business relies on to just… work. While that may not always be possible, there are quite a few things you can do to help prevent issues. For this week’s tip, we’ll go over some basics that will help make your use of your computer much less stressful.

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How to Adjust Your Business for Collaboration

Collaborative work is pushing organizations forward faster today than ever before. With the use of more dynamic and option-rich technology, your organization can benefit from the improved productivity that comes from enhancing your collaborative strategies. Today, we look at some of the technologies used by organizations that prioritize collaborative work.

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Network Security a Challenge for Colleges and Universities

Millions of students--approximately 16 million--call colleges or universities their home for at least a portion of the calendar year. They are educated by another 1.5 million or so faculty, staff, and other employees. Most of these institutions of higher education understand the challenges presented by maintaining networks, particularly the ones that students connect countless devices to. With all this in mind, can a college campus’ network truly be secure, or is it a fool’s errand?

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Social Media Users Should Consider Their Personal Information

Social media has completely changed the dynamics of how people communicate with one another. While some users might only keep in touch with friends through it, others--including businesses and brands--use it to promote their products. In an age where a picture can appear on thousands of devices all over the world, privacy has become a major concern for anyone using social media.

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Automation is Sure to Have an Effect on Workers

Automation does nothing but help businesses, but can the same be said for the people that work at these businesses? With more systems relying on some semblance of artificial intelligence, smart automation could replace up to a quarter of the current workforce over the next ten years. Today, we will take a look at the importance of profitability and how AI is likely going to usher in a whole new era of human existence.

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CPT: Gimme Cheese Please!

One of the best ways to jazz up ANY lunch or dinner recipe is to incorporate some cheese into it. Sharp cheddar, gouda, parmesan, feta, asiago - there are so many choices, and they’re all great!

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Tip of the Week: Match Word to Your Style

Microsoft Word’s massive cache of options and its relative ease of use are two of its defining characteristics. This presents organizations and users alike with a large set of different ways they can set up the word processor. Today, we will take you through Word, providing tips on how to change these settings so that you can get the most out of it.

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Tip of the Week: Evaluating and Assessing Risk

Whenever you decide to implement something in your information technology strategy, you accept some level of risk. Understanding and managing this risk is crucial to your business’ success. For this week’s tip, we’ll review how to manage your IT risks and what your options are.

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With Phishing Attacks Beating 2FA, You Need to Be Able to Spot Them

Unfortunately, one of the most effective defenses against phishing attacks has suddenly become a lot less dependable. This means that you and your users must be ready to catch these attempts instead. Here, we’ll review a few new attacks that can be included in a phishing attempt, and how you and your users can better identify them for yourselves.

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Foldable Smartphones Launching in 2019

Last year saw many rumors regarding foldable screens on mobile devices, but no manufacturer has produced an OLED display flexible enough to fold in half… until now. In fact, there are many manufacturers out there that have committed themselves to producing foldable screens and devices in 2019.

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Analytics Can Fool You

Businesses today are doing more than ever to utilize the data they take in, and it shows. They are operating with more knowledge about their business, and thus are able to successfully create a usable knowledge base that, for some, will allow them to predict positive and negative market dynamics fairly accurately. After seeing how this platform can positively affect individual businesses, many other businesses are taking to the strategies. The problem that many businesses encounter, however, is that they are woefully unprepared to utilize analytics; or, they read too far into them. Today, we’ll take a look at data analytics and confront some of the problem's businesses are having.

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Microsoft Word, an Odyssey

Microsoft Word has been one of the most utilized software titles in the history of personal computing. Despite heavy competition, millions of people use it every day as their daily word processor. Today, we’ll take a look at the history of Microsoft Word, and how it has come to become such a powerful and popular software title.

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Tip of the Week: Understanding Bandwidth

I have a question for you: when did you last examine the bandwidth that your business Internet package provides you? This is a very important consideration to make, for the sake of your productivity. This week, we’ll offer a few tips on how the proper bandwidth can help you get much more out of your IT solutions.

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Is Having a Constant Stream of Notifications Necessary?

Anyone that has used a computer is familiar with the following scenario. A friend tells you a story about an app that is really useful or fun so you take a chance and download it. After you download and fire it up, you get a pop up asking if you want to allow notifications from that app. You blast “yes” just to get to the application and sometime later, you are asleep or working and you get a notification from the company behind the app you downloaded. Then you get another one, and another, and since you’ve blasted “yes” on 25 little pop-ups, you are getting a constant flow of notifications that you could completely do without.

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ALERT: Over a Million Asus Laptops Could Have Been Hacked

If you own an Asus laptop, there is a chance that a recent update could have installed malware, and we are urging anyone who has an Asus device reach out to us to have it looked at.

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Using Technology to Build Your Customer Relationships

Your relationships with your customers and clients are reliant on one thing more than any other: communication. In order to optimize this communication, many businesses are leveraging technology solutions, and are enjoying a variety of operational benefits as a result. Is your business one of them?

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How to Build a Better Backup Strategy for Your Business

Business disasters come in all shapes and sizes, which makes it all the more important that you take the time to prepare for those that your business may be susceptible to. This strategy needs to contain numerous considerations, based on the scenario at hand. After all, there is no shortage of events that can lead to disaster in the business world.

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How to Prevent a Virtual Assistant from Compromising Your Security

Virtual assistants have a lot of promise as a productivity tool, so it only makes sense that they would begin to appear in the workplace. Unfortunately, these devices have also gained a reputation as a security risk. Whether or not you’ve considered bringing virtual assistants into your business, you need to prepare for their presence there.

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How to Leverage Parallelism to Up Your Productivity

As unfortunate as it is to hear, science has pretty definitely kyboshed the notion that multitasking works. However, while multitasking may not actually have any true benefits to productivity, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any ways to accomplish more in less time. Today, we’ll give you a better option than multitasking, a process known as parallelism.

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Tip of the Week: A Few Tips That Will Help You Boost Your Windows 10 Speed

Windows 10 is a great option for businesses that want to get the most out of their computers, but it can be a bit slow at times. This week’s tip is dedicated to helping you get the most out of your Windows 10 PC and speed up certain tasks.

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Tip of the Week: Preparing For a Successful Upgrade

A business’ IT solutions aren’t the kind of thing that you can worry about once and never touch again - this is why manufacturers and developers are always sending out upgrades. However, you also need to have a strategy ready before you go to implement these upgrades. For this week’s tip, we’ll review how to put this strategy together.

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Checking Up on Medical IT in 2019

The healthcare industry has been trying to make the jump to digital for over a decade. While many practices have been able to successfully implement electronic health record (EHR) technologies, a full digital transformation has eluded many others. Nowadays, providers are actively searching for ways to achieve measurable results with these newer technology implementations. Today, we take a look at the healthcare industry’s IT as it stands in early 2019.

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Fishing for Answers to Keep Phishing Attacks from Sinking Your Business

Phishing attacks have been in the social consciousness now for a while, and for good reason: it is the predominant way that hackers gain access to secured networks and data. Unfortunately, awareness to an issue doesn’t always result in positive outcomes. In this case, hackers get more aggressive, and by blanketing everyone under a seemingly limitless phishing net, 57 billion phishing emails go out every year. If a fraction of those emails accomplish their intended goal, the hackers on the other end of them really make out.

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If You’re Struggling Due to Cash Flow, You Aren’t Alone

Between you and me, how is your business doing financially? If you answered with something along the lines of “not great,” you are certainly not alone. Cash flow is an issue for businesses all around the world, as a recent report from Intuit makes all too clear.

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Understanding Biometrics

It’s a familiar scene from many science fiction properties: a person approaches a locked door. They unlock it, but rather than using a key, a red beam scans their eye to confirm their identity and permit them access. The thing is, this and similar biometric authentication technologies are likely to begin appearing in real-world businesses sooner than later. Let’s discuss:

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CPT: Top O’ the Afternoon To Ya!

Whether you’re Irish or not, St. Patrick’s Day is a day to get together with friends, have fun, and eat a bunch of Irish-themed foods. With that holiday just around the corner, you’ve probably already got your weekend plans figured out.

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Tip of the Week: What To Do With a Wet Smartphone

Even though no one will admit to it themselves, everyone knows that person that, for some reason or another, has dropped his/her smartphone in the toilet, or into the sink, or into a puddle. Needless to say that dropping electronics into any bit of water isn’t typically recommended, but today we will talk about what to do if this happens to you.

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Tip of the Week: Android Pie Tips and Tricks

There are over two billion active devices currently using Android. Most of them that have been purchased in the past year or so have come with, or have been subsequently updated to, Android 9.0 Pie. With the introduction of their newest mobile OS, Google has ensured that their software powers more mobile phones than any other software in the world. Today, we’ll take a look at some handy tips you can use to get the most out of your Android Pie experience.

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Windows 7 Support Available, For a Price

Microsoft is coming to the end of its support for the wildly popular Windows 7 operating system, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t make a contingency plan for those organizations that haven’t yet made the jump to new systems. It just won’t be cheap. We’ll break down the upcoming Windows 7 end of life event, and how Microsoft is offering an olive branch of sorts to organizations that simply haven’t upgraded away from this OS.

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How to Make Sure Your Messages are Secure

Messaging applications have carved out a foothold in businesses, clearly proving their operational benefits. However, it simply isn’t responsible to leverage a solution without making sure that the solution is secure. There are a few criteria that you should consider to determine how secure your chosen application really is.

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Social Media Can Cause Security Concerns

Social media is a great tool that your business can use to communicate with clients and prospective customers, but in an age where you can expect your employees to have their own accounts, it can be devastating to overlook the security issues associated with it. Today, we’ll examine how you can protect your organization from its employees’ social media use.

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Checking in on Net Neutrality

When we write about Net Neutrality, we typically write about how it is designed to keep the telecommunications conglomerates, who make Internet service available to individuals on the Internet, honest when laying out their Internet service sales strategy. One way to put it is that without net neutrality in place, the Big Four (which are currently Comcast, Charter, Verizon, and AT&T) have complete control over the amount of Internet their customers can access.

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CPT: A Cheeseburger You Can Eat With a SPOON?

Unless your meat is burnt to a crisp or too undercooked for your liking, it’s pretty difficult to put together a ‘bad’ cheeseburger. But did you know that you can get the same, delicious taste you would get from biting into a delicious cheeseburger from soup?

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Tip of the Week: A Few of Chrome’s Native Capabilities

Google Chrome is the most-used browser in the world by a wide margin, which is part of the reason that it is so incredible that many people don’t know a lot about its built-in features. While we certainly can’t go through all of them in a single blog, we can offer a few tips describing the best of them.

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Tip of the Week: Creating Process Documentation

Businesses are driven by processes. More often than not, these processes are fairly definitive - do this, then do that, then do the other thing - and require a set order of operations. There also happen to be a lot of these processes, which makes it important that they are well-documented so you and your employees can refer to this documentation later. Here, we’ll offer a few tips on how to best document a task.

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The Hybrid Cloud’s Usefulness to the Modern Business

Cloud computing has revolutionized the way business is done, but most businesses don’t always feel comfortable storing data and hosting critical infrastructure in the cloud. Every business has to determine what kind of computing infrastructure is right for them. Many businesses today have decided to spread their technology investments around as they attempt to find solutions for all types of operational needs.

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3 Reasons You Want Experts Handling Your IT

For a moment, I want you to stop and consider something: Who do you turn to when your business’ toilets suddenly stop working? Who do you call for when the lights stop working? Most likely, an expert… so if you turn to the pros for these needs, why would you do anything different for your IT?

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3 Things You Can Do to Hold More Effective Meetings

Do you ever feel like your business’ meetings simply don’t go as planned? These are often the most dangerous kind of meetings, as employees who have better things to do may find that meetings aren’t a great way of using their time (or their skills) properly. If you are having meetings that just seem like a waste of time, it’s your responsibility to start thinking about how you can improve them. Here are a few tips:

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3 VoIP Features That Have Operational Benefit

It isn’t as though we haven't said this before but leveraging a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) solution over a traditional business telephone system can bring your organization a few very clear benefits. Many of these benefits come from the advanced features that VoIP offers as add-ons. We’ll discuss a few of these features and their advantages.

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Tip of the Week: Improve Your Business Communications

For many businesses, communication is a major contributing factor to their success. Technology--when it’s properly implemented, anyway--can play a big part in keeping communication productive, but with certain solutions, it can be difficult to determine context. Here are some ways that you can help your employees be as clear and concise as possible with specific communication methods.

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Tip of the Week: Making a Functional Database in Excel

A database is an incredibly useful tool for organizing a lot of information in a relatively concise and accessible way. Did you know that you can use a relatively common program, Microsoft Excel, to generate a database for your business to use? For this week’s tip, we’ll walk you through this process to help you keep your data organized.

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We Break Down Break/Fix

In business today outsourcing your IT management or project management is routine. It wasn’t always so. For the first couple of decades of IT for business, that was the only way you were going to get a piece of technology up and working again without massive capital investment. Today, we will take a look at the break/fix method to IT management and how it is far more expensive than you may think.

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Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Approaching End of Life

Microsoft is the world’s most profitable software company, and if your business is like any of the millions of businesses that rely on Microsoft’s servers, you know they are both useful and secure. Occasionally, however, Microsoft will retire older software titles as they need constant care and support. On July 9, 2019, Microsoft will officially retire their SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 operating systems. If your organization still uses this software there is no time like the present to get you systems updated, as losing support will be a major problem.

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How to Set Up a Gmail Auto-Response

These days, our society is infamously connected, especially in the business sense. This can make it jarring to not receive a reply back from an email. While we all need a break every now and then, we also need to get back to our contacts efficiently - this is where the ‘out of office’ message in Gmail comes in.

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What is Encryption, and Why Do We Need It?

When encryption is discussed, one of its high points that business professionals try to hammer home is that it’s more secure. But what does encryption really mean for businesses? Does it adequately protect data and devices? We’ll walk you through a brief rundown of how encryption works and the role it plays in keeping your business secure.

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CPT: Cookies So Good, It’s Hard to Stop Eating Them

When it comes to most desserts, it’s hard to go wrong. It’s even better when a delicious dessert recipe is easy to make, only needs a handful of ingredients, and can be made in a short period of time.

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Tip of the Week: How to Improve Your Internal Collaboration

For any business to be successful, its inner workings need to be able to work together seamlessly, each with a defined role and purpose. While we usually stick to talking about how to make your IT more collaborative, we’re devoting this week’s tip to ensuring that your employees are also capable of effective collaboration while using these solutions.

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Don’t Make the Solutions More Complicated Than the Problem

The act of “yak shaving,” also known as “bikeshedding,” is a specific kind of procrastination that can hold you back from getting the most out of your workday. This week’s tip is dedicated to explaining what this nonsensical phrase means and why it’s beneficial to keep your employees on track.

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How to Stack the Building Blocks of Your Brand

The marketing term “brand” has very literal roots, as it comes from the long-antiquated practice of branding livestock with a symbol that signified who owned that particular animal. Nowadays, however, “brand” implies much more than just a company’s ownership in its name or logo--it also suggests the personality and culture that a company exhibits and embraces. A brand, by design, is meant to shape how a company will be perceived by the public and is therefore a precious and fragile thing that requires careful maintenance. However, once started, developing a comprehensive brand identity and corresponding activity is fairly simple.

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Is Your Effort Getting Things Done?

You can’t have a successful business without a little bit of productivity. Unfortunately, some office environments can have a negative influence on the way your employees get their work done. Take a moment to ask yourself this question: “Are you simply busy, or are you actually being productive?”

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Here are 5 Solid IoT Trends for 2019

The Internet of Things is simultaneously the most remarkable and the most dangerous current IT trend. This is because it promotes the use of connected devices, while not supplying the integrated security necessary to keep all these new endpoints from stretching an organization’s network security thin. Today, we will look at five trending topics for the IoT, and what they mean for a business like yours.

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Down and Out in Cyberspace

There has been a lot made in the media about the effect that movies and television has had on society. More often than not, the media that is produced is a result of the ebbs and flows that happen in society, which ironically makes the whole notion that television and movies affect society an interesting paradox. The ludicrous portrayal of criminality in media is one issue that is resoundingly debated by lawmakers and sociologists, alike.

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Google Knows Where You Are: Here’s How to Stop Them

Late in the summer this past year there were several articles written about how Google would continue to track the location of a person’s smartphone after they had chosen to turn their location settings off. A Princeton researcher corroborated those claims for the Associated Press, traveling through New York and New Jersey with locations services off only to be tracked the entire way. Today, we will discuss this issue, and tell you what you need to know to keep Google from tracking you wherever you go.

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CPT: Eat Your Heart Out This Valentine’s Day with This Recipe!

Today is Valentine’s Day - the day where you show the people you care about why they’re such an important part of your life.

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How to Use a Holiday (Like Valentine's Day) to Market Your Business

Valentine’s Day is a day famous for love, expressions of affection, and chocolate. As such, it may not be obviously apparent how the holiday lends itself to marketing your business to other businesses. However, there is potential for the holiday of love to stir up some action for your company.

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Tip of the Week: Is Virtualization Right for You?

Virtualization has opened up a lot of doors for businesses who want to make their operations more flexible, but your business can’t simply implement it all willy-nilly. You need to have specific requirements in mind for your cloud hardware. This week’s tip is dedicated to helping you make the best decisions possible regarding the adoption of virtualization for your business’ needs.

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Tip of the Week: How to Consolidate Your Email Management

Quick question for you: how many email accounts do you have? How many do you have to regularly check? How many different platforms do they utilize? If there’s too many, important communications are easy to miss in the ensuing mess of messages. Fortunately, there are a few ways that this can be avoided, which we’ll review for this week’s tip.

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How to Sculpt a Marketing Budget that Fits Your Needs

Marketing your business is one of the most crucial factors to its success. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most expensive. To avoid this, you must plan a budget for your marketing initiatives. What follows is a step-by-step guide to crafting a budget that best fits your needs as a company.

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Microsoft 365 or Office 365: What Product Is Right for Your Business?

As we’re sure you already know, Microsoft has become a juggernaut in the increasingly competitive business world with its countless solutions for organizations both small and large. With so many options, it can be tricky to figure out the right solution for your business. Thankfully, you don’t have to go about it alone. We’ll help you understand the difference between Microsoft’s Office 365 and Microsoft 365 solution… and yes, they are different.

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