It’s expensive running a business, especially here in Upstate NY. For smaller businesses, sometimes making payroll or getting through the first of the month is a matter of being frugal or cutting back a little.
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Being in IT, we’ve seen and heard it all. Between the campfire horror stories of technicians to the outlandish IT conspiracies and ‘home remedies’ that get passed around, we’ve decided to compile a list of some of our favorite IT and technology myths.
OneNote, Microsoft’s note-taking application, will soon be reaching its end of life, along with the rest of the Office 2016 suite. Thankfully, most PC users already have the heir to OneNote 2016’s throne installed on their devices, so its end of life this October won’t be such a big deal.
65 of any currency doesn’t seem like a lot of money, but when you are dealing in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, it adds up quick. One city on Florida’s Atlantic coast is finding that out the hard way after getting hit with a ransomware that stymied the city of 35,000 government’s ability to function. Let’s take a look at the situation that made the city’s leaders agree to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to scammers.
For much of the last five years, we’ve been told that the Internet of Things was going to be the most important innovation since broadband Internet was introduced. This growth, while its largely happening under the proverbial radar, is happening. There are around seven billion “smart” devices in 2019 with expectations that it will be three times that by 2025. With that many Internet-connected devices, there are bound to be some that come with vulnerabilities, whether it comes from being designed poorly or not frequently updated with modern threat definitions. Today, we’ll take a look to see if the Internet of Things should be considered a threat to your business.
As much as your employees are some of your greatest assets, they also have the potential to be some of the biggest security risks that your business can encounter. To help mitigate these risks, you need to make sure your employees are trained to recognize threats and respond appropriately.
Communication is a key part of the workplace, and modern tools have made it more efficient than ever before to stay in contact with one another. One of the most important tools in the modern business’ repertoire is instant messaging, which is somewhat challenging to utilize without a way of ensuring productivity and professionalism.
One would think that a program called System Restore would be one that would be prioritized as one to get right. Unfortunately, this seems not to be the case, as utilizing one of your restore points after performing a Windows Update can cause some serious issues. For our tip, we’ll go over how to avoid these issues with a workaround.
While it is common to consider social media just another form of entertainment or worse, an outlet for narcissistic behavior, it is for some one of the few outlets people have for their voices to be heard and listened to. A computer, tablet, smart phone and - as the IoT becomes more prevalent - even your appliances will allow average people to not only communicate with their ‘friends’, but with the world. While good social media practices are essential to many a business, we also need to recognize the power that social media brings to the people and by extension to your business.
Avoiding risk is important for every business, unless your business is as a daredevil, then mitigating risk will have to do. Nowadays, with technology being an omnipresent element in most businesses, technology-based risks have grown in concert. As a result, the modern business owner and IT administrators need to understand the new risks and how to proactively work toward avoiding (or mitigating) them.
No doubt you’ve noticed the increased use of smartphones. No matter where you go, people are on their phones. Sometimes they are using them in places you wouldn’t even imagine. For the modern business, employee smartphone usage can be a major pain in the side. Today, we’ll go into how smartphone usage helps and hurts a business and how to go about keeping employees from being on their phones for large chunks of the workday.
Microsoft 365 has been on the market for a while now, and we thought it would be a good time to go into the different tiers of the platform to give you an idea of what it is, why it is useful, and how your business fits into the latest cloud platform offered by Microsoft. Let’s start with what it is.
Two of Microsoft’s most popular relational database management systems, SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2 will be losing support on July 9, 2019. If your business continues to use one of these titles for its database management, you are running out of time before you need to upgrade. Today, we’ll take a brief look at what the software is used for and what options are open to you going forward.
Software runs the world, or so they say, and it’s all thanks to the ability to integrate with one-another through the use of APIs. This tech term, which stands for application programming interface, and it’s crucial to understand what these do in today’s technology environment.
In parts one through four we talked about choosing the right specifications for your desktop, depending on its role. We talked about selecting the right CPU, RAM, storage, and display options. This final post we hit a few other tips and ideas we came up with that didn’t fit into the other posts.
Technology has become so commonplace in the office environment that work can be done from just about anywhere on any device. This has led to many organizations implementing a remote workforce--at least some of the time. There are actually several benefits to remote work, even for the employer, surprisingly enough.
Your new desktop isn’t going to do you much good if you don’t have a screen to plug into it. Let’s talk about considerations to make when purchasing a new desktop when it comes to your display.
We’re on to part three of our Desktop Buyer’s Guide. When comparing all of your options when shopping around for desktops, one of the main features you’ll see is how much storage they have. We’ve seen this with smartphones and tablets as well - you can buy an iPhone with 64 GB (gigabytes) of storage or 128 GB of storage, etc.
Windows is the most popular operating system in the world, and as such, developers are always hard at work on the next new version of the OS. However, organizations are often stuck in a tricky situation whenever end of support occurs for any popular operating system. When your reliable technology solutions finally stop receiving updates and patches, what do you do? Well, users of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will have to answer this question next January.
The office is a place where work gets done, but it’s also known as a sedentary lifestyle. Workplace wellness programs might be an $8 billion industry, but the effectiveness of these programs has yet to be determined. Let’s take a look at what kind of office wellness programs might work for you.
In part two of our desktop buying guide, we talk about one of the most confusing specifications you’ll see whenever you purchase a computer. We’re going to demystify memory, also referred to as RAM.
According to the New York State Police, Otsego County residents have been experiencing and falling victim to a slew of scams that have resulted in the reported loss of nearly $70,000 so far in 2019.
Let’s take a look and talk about how you can protect yourself and inform your friends, family, and coworkers of this threat that is definitely feeling too close to home for many of us.
Are you looking to purchase a new desktop for your business (or for home)? We’ve put together this handy guide to help demystify the computer-buying process. This is the first part of five in our series, selecting the right CPU.
Often times it’s not the big bad hackers out there that pose the biggest threat to your organization's continued survival. More often than not, it’s simple issues that create a world of problems for your business. One common way that an otherwise sound business plan could be disrupted is through an unexpected disaster derailing operations without having an adequate data backup solution in place.
There is one constant in the business environment, and it’s that your organization will be placed in a constant state of being at risk the second you start to make a name for yourself. What a lot of organizations don’t understand is that it doesn’t matter how high or low-profile a business is, there will always be data on a network infrastructure that is valuable to hackers and is targeted by threats.
2018 will be remembered as the year where data privacy was altered forever. From Facebook’s many problems to the launch of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, data privacy has never been a bigger issue than it is today. Let’s take a look at how the GDPR has affected the computing world in 2018-19 and how the past year’s events have created new considerations in individual data privacy.
Here in Oneonta, we have not one, but two institutions of higher education… which means we have quite a bit of talent being developed locally. In 2016, 2,003 degrees were awarded by our local universities - and one of the most popular majors, Business & Managerial Economics, provides a resource that can assist in making educated business decisions. It only makes sense that businesses around Oneonta would want to keep this kind of talent around.
Let me ask you something… how would you describe your ideal employee? Many people would rattle off a list of qualifications and personality traits - dedicated, focused, and experienced - with little issue, but seem to never be satisfied with the experience level of their young applicants. However, another group could make a great source of promising candidates: older workers.
Collaboration is crucial in today’s work environment, which is one reason that solutions like Slack are so popular among businesses. Another reason that Slack is a popular option is how user-friendly it is - especially with the many shortcuts that are built in. We’ll go over a few of these shortcuts.
Working in an office is the reality for a lot of people, but it doesn’t need to be an unpleasant one. There are plenty of ways to make life easier while working in an office. Here, we’ll review five simple adjustments you can make to streamline your time throughout the workday.
It only makes sense that you would want your staff to know what they are doing as they tackle their daily work responsibilities - otherwise, there isn’t really the chance for very much work to be done. This is why training your staff is so important - it’s practically a prerequisite for productivity.
Businesses generally have to make an important choice about which brand of productivity software they will implement for day-to-day operations. Two of the heavy hitters in today’s business environment are Google and Microsoft utilizing their respective productivity solutions. While the choice of which service to work with seems exclusive, Google is making strides to break down this barrier and allow certain file types to be edited in Google Drive.
Technology doesn’t last forever, and this is especially true for software solutions. Granted, software is a little easier to upgrade than hardware, as they can be administered patches and updates remotely, but what happens after that support ends? Well, it turns out that the widely used Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will both be reaching their end of support date soon, meaning businesses will need a plan in place to overcome these challenges.
Old Glory, the Stars and Stripes, the Star Spangled Banner… whatever you call it, the flag of the United States of America is a symbol of this country’s history and its current unity. As such, there are proper ways to handle it… and many, many ways for it to be mishandled. Here, we’ve taken the liberty of outlining the proper etiquette for handling the flag, and how to properly dispose of it if necessary.
As small businesses have to do more with less, they’ve been increasingly looking to technology to fill the gaps. The problem is that many small businesses feel like the big tech companies don’t understand their needs. If you feel like the technology options you have at your disposal don’t necessarily fit your business’ needs, consider that these robust solutions have all the functionality that you need to manage your own business processes. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the enterprise technology SMBs are using to move their businesses forward and some of the considerations you may need to make to leverage a software solution that doesn’t seem like it fits.
Cybercrime has morphed over the past decade or so. With unbreakable encryption making breaking directly into a network all but impossible, phishing, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, and other methods of indirect hacking have become en vogue. As a result, software companies are looking in some strange places to find building blocks for intrusion mitigation. One interesting emerging technology being used for this purpose is blockchain.
With the weather warming up and the layers coming off, everyone starts to think a bit harder about the food that they’re putting into their bodies. Those of us that have difficulty doing this usually struggle because healthy foods don’t always taste quite as good as fatty foods and sweet treats.
Planning for your business’ future is a critical activity to carry out, and we aren’t just talking about next quarter. You need to be sure that you are ready to accept that today’s status quo isn’t permanent. Your business or your position should grow, which means that you and your employees are going to need to embrace more responsibility and authority, exploring different roles.
Unfortunately, your business’ technology doesn’t last forever. At some point in the future, you will have to upgrade away from your current hardware, which, regrettably, is not as simple as it sounds. Here are some tips to help you out during this difficult process.
Computers are great tools to get work done in the office, but only if they are used effectively. Employees looking to get more out of their Windows workstations can utilize the taskbar to get around faster. We’ll discuss some of the ways your business can take better advantage of the taskbar, as well as what it’s capable of.
Make no mistake about it, Huawei is one of the largest technology companies in the entire world. It employs over 200,000 people and in 2018 saw revenues of over $100 billion. Over the past few years, their devices have been pushing the boundaries of what is possible in tech all while being relatively unavailable to one of the major technology markets in the world, the United States. The fact is that outside the U.S., Huawei is a major player.
Small businesses often fall into the trap of thinking that they are too small to be attacked. This misconception could ultimately cost your business too much. The fact of the matter is that all businesses have data that is worth something to hackers, and we’re here to prove it to you and offer a solution to this dilemma.
There was a time when people didn’t have to worry about getting computer viruses on their cell phones. Nowadays, with the exponential growth of mobile technologies, including application development options, mobile malware has become a problem, and it can be a big problem for your business. Today, we’ll take a look at the growing mobile malware market, from the threats to what you can do to keep it from being a problem for you.
Generation Y (or Millennials, as they are more commonly known) have a rough reputation in the business world. Whether they’re being blamed for the death of entire industries or mocked for their fondness for avocado toast, it isn’t often that millennials are taken seriously - especially in the workplace. However, if nurtured correctly, this group has the potential to produce some of your top performers. Here, we’ll get into how to do so.
If there is anything you should know about business computing it is that server maintenance is extremely important. This isn’t exactly a realization, and if it is, you need to call the number below as soon as possible. You have to know that you are not alone. You would be surprised how many business owners don’t actively have a plan for the maintenance of their business’ servers.
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) have historically been restricted in what they can do with their technology infrastructures. However, there are now options that an SMB can leverage that enable it to accomplish more with their infrastructure - but this requires the SMB to have a plan in place.
There aren’t many happier moments for a person than when they score their first big job. The opportunity to use the skills they have learned, and to pay off some of the debt that knowledge set them back, are two activities most people who are in this position relish. However, you can’t expect these opportunities to keep your employees around forever... you need to meet (and sometimes manage) their other expectations of the workplace.
In today’s competitive business environment, you need all the help you can get. One of the biggest advantages you can achieve for your business is to take advantage of a trusted and reliable managed IT provider that can give your organization advice on how to navigate the murky waters of the technology world.
The cloud can bring numerous benefits to a business. Public cloud offerings can reduce technology costs, provide scalability and flexibility to a business’ computing infrastructure, promote collaboration, protect your business from data loss, and much, much more. What it cannot do, however, is guarantee the control some organizations wish to have over their technology infrastructure. Some businesses prioritize that control, while others are bound by industry and government-induced regulations. For those businesses, there is the hybrid cloud.
Although Android Q is on its way, Android Pie still has a lot to offer a user - a lot of which many users may not be aware of. For this week’s tip, we’ve compiled a few ways that Android Pie allows you to customize your phone to be the productivity machine you want at your side.
Collaboration is a crucial business process in many ways, which means you need to be sure that your entire team is on board and prepared to participate. This week, we’re offering some tips to help you accomplish just this in six simple steps.
Businesses have a lot of data to protect and it’s not so simple as implementing a catch-all solution that can keep your data secure. In fact, it takes several solutions working in tandem to maximize data security. We recommend a combination of a unified threat management tool, a Bring Your Own Device policy, and a virtual private network solution. Let’s take a longer look at them:
Wearables have been on the market for quite some time, though the definition of them has certainly changed over the years. Wearables have become far more capable in the past decade, bringing with them a barrage of other issues that need to be addressed. Chief among them is how these devices should be regulated, and by whom.
The fourth generation of wireless technology has lingered for a long time, but with the advent of fifth generation wireless technology, it’s becoming apparent that it will be the next big thing. The issue with this idea, however, is that most device manufacturers are using the term as a marketing ploy--one that’s blown out of context to boot.
Hopefully, you’ve heard of phishing at this point: the method cybercriminals use to scam their targets by impersonating someone that their targets would trust, requesting access credentials or other sensitive information. Did you know that there are specific kinds of phishing? Here, we’ll review one of the biggest risks to your business... spear phishing.
Bring Your Own Device is a hot trend in today’s business environment, as it creates a ton of opportunities for businesses to cut costs. However, this is only true if you implement a BYOD policy that your organization can take advantage of, as it creates considerable problems for your unprepared businesses.
Every time something goes terribly wrong, and you are left assessing the damage of some seemingly unfortunate situation, you typically find that by taking a bit of time preparing for the worst would have kept you from the disaster you are just now dealing with. Those small acts are what we want to talk a little bit about today, because they can save your business.
As a business owner, you need to be able to see the fine line between being comfortable with your position and being dangerously complacent. Otherwise, you run the risk of hindering your business’ growth, or even actively sabotaging its success. Let’s review why this is.
Businesses have a lot of technology to manage. While some organizations have an in-house IT department to manage it, many small businesses are limited due to location factors, budget concerns, and countless other variables. In the past, organizations would turn to break-fix IT management for all of their technology issues, but trends in IT maintenance have given rise to a more popular and more sustainable way for small businesses to get the technology maintenance and management they need.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.