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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.

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

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

Who better to do this than the boss?

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Maps May Soon Be Less Trustworthy Than Ever

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

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How to Get the Most Out of Your VoIP System

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

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

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

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Tip of the Week: Three Steps to Better Backups

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

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Building Trust in Business with a Consistent Approach

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

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What You Need to Do If Your Business is Hacked

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

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3 Ways to Improve Communication In Your Small Business

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

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Getting Accessible Internet to the Disabled Isn’t So Easy

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

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Patch Management and How It Can Save Your Business

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

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Tip of the Week: The ABCs of Windows Shortcuts

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

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

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

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Companies Need to Keep Their Vendors’ Security In Mind

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

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

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

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The Pros and Cons Remote Work Has to the Environment

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

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Voice over Internet Protocol is a Solid Business Tool

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Federal Communications Commission is Evaluating Mobile Broadband

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

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Managed Services Isn’t Just IT Support

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

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

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

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

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

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Using YouTube to Improve Everything

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

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Tips to Help You Keep Your Workstation Clean

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

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Your Guide to the Modern Varieties of Cybercriminal

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

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Productivity in a Very Difficult Time

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How’s Your Password Hygiene?

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

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Facebook’s Massive Data Leak

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

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What Options Do SMBs Have for Their Server Hosting?

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

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Dangerous Android App Masquerading as System Update

Let’s face it, most people are glued to their phones when they have downtime. Many don’t look up to cross the street. With this much dedication to their individual mobile devices you’d think that people would be more careful about what they download.

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Should Your Business See a Bigger Role for IT?

With every business having at least some revenue generation in their list of priorities, it is important that an organization understands how technology can help eliminate inefficiency through improved collaboration and productivity. Let’s consider a few modern tools and solutions that can help a business as it strives towards its goals.

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Tip of the Week: How to Keep Your Team from Burning Out

Considering what the past year has been like, the idea that workplace burnout has been a hot topic isn’t all that surprising—even though less time has been spent in many offices than almost any other time to date. Regardless, burnout simply isn’t an office issue, meaning that remote workers are still susceptible to its ill effects.

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Why Phishing Attacks are Such a Huge Risk for Your Business

As one of the biggest cybersecurity considerations the modern business has to make, how to combat phishing has to be at the top of any business’ cybersecurity strategy. Let’s take a look at phishing and why it’s such a big problem for today’s business. 

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Can a Technology Meant to Sell Donuts Help Detect Cancer?

We’d be the first to admit it—some of the topics we discuss may seem to be inaccessible to small and medium-sized businesses nowadays, bordering on science fiction. For instance, let’s consider the topic of artificial intelligence in business.

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A Document Management System is the Modern Filing Cabinet

Do you realize how much paper you use each year? Do you realize how much paper you have stored in your office? Do you realize that none of that is necessary? Today, digital filing systems as a part of a document management strategy can keep you from wasting your business’ resources on paper, filing, and printing. Here’s how:

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2020 Was Rough for Healthcare Where IT Was Concerned

2020 was, obviously, a challenging year for healthcare providers. In addition to the obvious issue of the COVID-19 pandemic creating serious operational, financial, and supply chain difficulties, cybersecurity concerns didn’t go away during this time. Let’s consider some of the additional stresses that IT security needs can, will, and have placed on healthcare providers.

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World Backup Day Highlights the Importance of Backup Practices

March 31 is World Backup Day. Data is a commodity, but unlike other commodities--it can be replicated without hurting its value. As a result, data backup has become a critical need for the modern business. World Backup Day has been created to remind people to protect their assets by backing up their files.

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Tip of the Week: How Serious is Blue Light Exposure, Really?

Every day, it seems like there’s a new threat to be concerned about. Obviously, there’s the big one that the whole world’s been dealing with, but there’s also the smaller things that we’re supposed to be worried about… like “blue light”, for example. What is that, and what can it really do?

As it turns out, blue light is more than just a marketing gimmick, and can potentially impact your health. Let’s go over a few tips to help you filter it out, and why you may want to do so.

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IT Service Checklist for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

Most business owners that rely on their IT have heard about managed It services. Many already subscribe to some form of outsourced IT service. It is one of the best ways to cut down your business’ operational costs while gaining value through the use of services that, if they were to be purchased intermittently, would cost a lot more. Today, we thought we’d list some of the most important variables you should consider if you are looking to choose a managed IT services provider.

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Android Apps Suddenly Crashing? You May Have Had a Bad Update

Google’s Android operating system has about a 71.9 percent global market share, making it the most used smartphone operating system in the world. It’s well-trusted, and although the experience differs since phone manufacturers customize Android to fit their device, generally the operating system is pretty stable. This wasn’t the case for a massive number of users around March 22nd, 2021.

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Why You Need to Consider Managed IT Now More Than Ever

For most of the past years small business owners have been raked over the coals as dealing with sudden economic and political shifts isn’t often great on the budget. In fact, many businesses haven’t made it this far. If yours has, you are almost certainly looking for value in every business investment that you make. There are few investments that you can make for your business that carry more value than managed IT services. Today, we’ll tell you how.

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The Long and Short of Data Backup

Having a comprehensive data backup and recovery strategy in place can absolutely save your business. This means it’s extremely important. Unfortunately, too many businesses don’t consider their backup and recovery systems until it is too late. Let’s unwrap what makes a successful backup and recovery platform work, and how to get one for your business.

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How Your Business’ IT Future Has Changed in the Past Year

With so much confusion, crisis, and conflict happening over the past year, businesses of all sizes have turned to technology as a necessary means of remaining open. As a result, the perspective many these businesses have of their IT has shifted considerably. Let’s explore some of the revelations that organizations have had, and how they’ll impact operations from this point on.

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Policies that Every BYOD Strategy Needs to Abide By

One of the most effective means for a business to shave a few dollars off its budget (and potentially boost employee engagement, for that matter) is to adopt something called a Bring Your Own Device policy—effectively, an agreement that allows their team members to access business-owned documents and files on devices they personally own to get their work done. While these policies have been shown to be very effective, they also need to be carefully considered so they can be adopted appropriately.

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HAFNIUM Attacks Target Most Microsoft Exchange Servers

The recent discovery of four flaws in Microsoft’s Exchange Server software came too late to prevent a rash of stolen emails, but that doesn’t mean you need to remain vulnerable to this attack. Let’s go over the story so far, and how you can help protect your business.

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Are you Taking Advantage of Backlinks?

While SEO is critical in helping your website rank higher in the search results, long gone are the days where you focus solely on your keywords. Backlinks are one of the numerous SEO tactics you should explore to drive traffic to your site. Take a moment to learn why backlinks should be a part of your SEO marketing strategy. 

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Let’s Take a Look at the Data Breaches So Far in 2021

By now, everyone knows that businesses can be defined on how they approach cybersecurity. Unfortunately, even if your business makes a comprehensive effort to protect your network and data from data breaches, all it takes is one seemingly minor vulnerability to be exploited to make things really hard on your business. Let’s take a look at the major data breaches that have happened since the calendar turned to 2021. 

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An Entire Year Later, Remote Conferencing Still Makes Workers Nervous

For all its benefits, remote conferencing isn’t the easiest means of doing work for many people, as many have found out through experience. With businesses quite literally forced into this approach for some time now, employees are starting to feel the toll. Let’s discuss some of the impacts that long-term remote conferencing has had, and what can be done to minimize them.

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The FCC is Taking Measures to Assist with Internet Connectivity

Whether you’re referring to an individual’s personal needs or their work-related responsibilities, the Internet has become an essential component to most processes. Unfortunately, financial limitations often make sufficient connectivity unattainable for many. This is why the Federal Communications Commission stepped in last month to provide some assistance.

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Do Google’s New Policies on User Data Privacy Indicate Larger Changes?

Just in case you haven’t been paying attention, online privacy has been highlighted significantly in recent years—in no small part due to the sale of our profiles by the tech giants that provide today’s most (in)famous websites… including and especially Google. Having said this, it is also important to acknowledge that some of Google’s recent policy changes could suggest that this may change at some point.

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Tip of the Week: Is Chrome Slowing Down Your Computer?

Are you having issues with your computer slowing down, yet you cannot solve the problem despite all of your trouble-shooting? Before you throw your PC out the window and purchase a new one, there may be an unexpected culprit causing your computer to be sluggish: your Chrome browser. Here’s how you can tell if Chrome is the cause of your computer woes and what you can do to manage it better.

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Tip of the Week: Make Your Laptop Trackpad Less Annoying with ClickLock

The laptop is one of the great productivity tools in modern business. Their portability gives them immense value. There are some cons to using a laptop, however. One is the trackpad. While they have improved over the years, they are still not ideal, which is why you see many people who use a laptop for productivity bring along a wireless mouse. One of the biggest problems people run into is that they have a hard time with the click-and-drag feature on the trackpad and this makes working in certain programs maddening. Today, we have a tip to make this process much simpler. 

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Tip of the Week: Pin a Chrome Tab for Easy Access Later

Google Chrome is far and away from the most used Internet browser on both PC and mobile platforms, so it only makes sense to make using the Chrome browser as convenient as possible. Here’s a tip to help you simplify your Chrome browser tabs management.

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What Your Employees Need to Know to Keep Their Own Data Secure, Too

It is only too common for people to have very different personalities in the office as they do during their off hours, with different standards and practices to suit them. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with that on the surface, you need to be sure that they are at least upholding the kind of security best practices that you expect of them in the office while they are at home.

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How Virtual Environments Can Work For Your Business

Hardware is expensive, this much is certain. When a small or medium-sized business is looking to get the most bang for buck from their technology investments, they have to consider hardware to be the most crucial part of the equation. One option that businesses can take advantage of today is to use virtualized environments. Whether these computing environments are hosted onsite or in the cloud, a business can extend the usefulness of their IT budget by utilizing them. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of virtualization on your business.

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Three Smart Business IT Moves for Any Sized Organization

Seeing as technology is a critical component of most business processes nowadays, it is effectively guaranteed that it will benefit your operations to abide by a few particular best practices. Let’s review these practices now so you can move forward and use your technology to its highest capabilities.

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The Right IT Can Be a Real Moneymaker for Your Business

All businesses, in some way, shape, or form, exist to generate revenue—whether their profits are retained for their own benefit or dedicated to supporting some other cause. Either way, this balance makes the difference between the investments a business makes and the return these investments see a critical consideration. By using modern technology, today’s organizations can tip this balance to be more in their favor.

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VoIP Significantly Improves Business Communications in Multiple Ways

With all the communication tools that businesses use today, there still is no more important option than the telephone system. Unfortunately for small businesses, the telephone system can be expensive and hard to manage. However, there is a way for you to get a fully featured telephone service with some of the most important tools your business needs, at a fraction of the price you currently pay for your enterprise telephone system.

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The 2021 Guide for Stopping Annoying Robocalls

“It was getting to the point where I wouldn’t answer my cell phone anymore.”

Does this sound familiar? If you get a lot of scam calls, you are probably ready to toss your phone off a pier. Not only are these calls annoying, they can be outright dangerous. I’m going to tell you right now—stopping them altogether isn’t easy, but there are ways to prevent them to a degree.

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Solid Data Recovery Strategies Can Get You Through Tough Situations

As most people know, data backup is important, and when things go wrong you’ll be glad your business has it. The thing is, it’s not enough to have a copy of your data when you need to restore it, you’ll also need a recovery strategy. This is because getting your data back working for you is arguably as important as any other part of the process. Today, we’ll take a look at data recovery strategies that will get your business back on track after a disaster.

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Accounting Firms are Finding Their IT Overtaxed

With tax season quickly reaching its crescendo, accountants and CPAs face increased threats to their data security. Your clients' financial information is too good for a cybercriminal to pass up. Now is the time to prepare yourself to fight a cyberattack. Learn how managed IT can support your business in a variety of ways.

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Does Your Organization Have Enough Bandwidth?

A lot of business is being conducted over the Internet right now, in terms of communication and transactions alike, which makes a business’ capability to remain connected to its clientele even more important. Now is not the time to wonder if your business is as connected as it should be, which means that you need to know how much bandwidth you have available—and that what you do have is sufficient.

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HR Tech Can Keep HR Simple

Human resources (HR) may not get the attention that many other parts of your business do, but it remains important. HR plans and coordinates most of the administrative issues of a business. They deal with onboarding and offboarding personnel, are a big part of a business’ strategic planning, and function as a bridge between a business’ workers and its decision makers. With all that responsibility, HR can sometimes get bogged down with work, putting a business behind. 

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Tip of the Week: Highlighting Messages in Outlook

Like any email platform, Microsoft Outlook can easily become overwhelmed with messages and conversations—effectively making it counterproductive rather than an asset to you and your team. Let’s take a few moments to go over a simple way that you can use Outlook’s internal tools to make your messages easier to deal with.

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How to Compose Emails More Quickly with Gmail Templates

With so much time being spent in email, and Gmail holding a 33.7 percent market share, it should come as no surprise that many businesses wouldn’t mind it if a little less time were spent in Gmail if possible. As it happens, one of the most frustrating expenditures of your time—rewriting similar emails repeatedly—can be eliminated by creating Gmail templates.

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Your Google My Business Profile is More Important Than Ever

If you're like most businesses who managed to remain open during these trying times, you have had to make a wide range of changes. The question is, are your customers aware of them? Do they know your new business hours or your COVID-19 precautions? Is your only communication tool a piece of paper taped to your door? Now is the time to take advantage of one of the most potent business communication tools available: Google My Business.

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The Power Button is Capable of More Than On/Off

If you’ve ever used technology, the power button has had a pretty consistent appearance, and an even more consistent use. However, there’s a reason that the power symbol we’re so familiar with looks the way it does. Furthermore, there’s more that the power button can ultimately do.

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Socialization is Even More Crucial While Working Remotely

With remote work becoming the norm for many businesses in their efforts to maintain operations in recent months, this potentially company-saving adoption has not been without its drawbacks. Most notably, the mental health of many employees has been impacted as teams have been working together while keeping apart, in large part because the quick conversations that happen throughout the workday have largely been eliminated.

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Three IT Practices that Can Drive Your Business’ Success

When looking to improve your business via the use of technology, it helps to keep a few basic tenets in mind. Let’s review some strategies to help reinforce their importance.

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Demystifying Abused IT Buzzwords

Nothing will annoy tech-savvy people more than listening to someone that basically doesn't know what they are talking about, but uses technology jargon to seem like they do. It’s pretty confusing for the non-technical too. This annoyance is largely due to the gap between using words and understanding complex and detailed technology processes. So, while there is some respect given to people who work to understand the terminology, most of the time, it’s just too much.

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Tip of the Week: How to Prepare a Data Breach Response

Unfortunately, the more people lean on technology, the more data breaches there are. The correlation makes sense, but with so much innovation in data security and data systems, it’s a shame more can’t be done to keep businesses and individuals from losing data to opportunists and scammers. That’s why knowing how to circumvent these forces is essential to keep your data safe. Let’s take a look at how the people that are best at it keep their data secure. 

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Tip of the Week: The Different Options for Powering Down Windows

While your attention is likely more dedicated to how you use your computer while it’s on, it is just as important to consider the different ways that you can turn your computer off, in a manner of speaking. The varied options present in the Start menu will each have their own effect, so it is important to be aware of what these differences are. Let’s review what each option does so that you’ll be able to use them more appropriately.

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Ready To Invest in Social Media? It’s Time For The Ultimate Social Media Rig

Social media has established itself as a main communication tool for personal use and businesses alike, yet many local businesses aren’t using it to its full potential. If you’re a business struggling with your social media presence, learn how the Ultimate Social Media Rig can get you up and running.

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Blockchain Technology is Advancing Health Technology

Healthcare is a hot-button issue regardless of where you live. As a result you’d think that the industry would be one of the first to implement new information technology. Unfortunately, the healthcare industry has sometimes lagged behind other industries on the deployment of new IT tools. One technology that is being used in the development of new IT tools for healthcare is blockchain. Let’s discuss how blockchain technology is being utilized and how it can change the face of patient care going forward.

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If You Haven’t Already, It’s Time to Thoroughly Document Your Business IT

A business' technology is by all measures a part of its inventory, and as such, it needs to be tracked. Let’s consider why in more detail, and how to do so properly.

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Securing Utilities Has to Be a Priority

It’s been reported that a hacker virtually broke into a Floridian water treatment facility and briefly increased the levels of sodium hydroxide in the Pinellas County water supply. Fortunately, onsite operators noticed the spike and reduced it right away, keeping the public from risk of increased levels of poison in their water. This is just the latest story in a seemingly never-ending supply of them that have to do with public utilities being at risk from cyberattacks. Today, we will take a look at this issue. 

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Pros and Cons of Biometric Security

A lot has been made about biometric authentication over the past decade, so much so that it has been loosely integrated into a lot of the access control mechanisms on most modern mobile devices. Fingerprint scanners, retina scanners, and facial recognition are all part of the transition to biometrics to enhance security and privacy. For modern businesses, however, implementing biometrics can have some major drawbacks. Today, we will go over the pros and cons of biometric authentication.

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Tip of the Week: The Guide to Optimal Password Efficacy

Your business’ security largely depends on how secure the passwords are that keep your resources from being accessed without authorization. Despite this, many users—perhaps even you—frequently sacrifice sufficient security measures in favor of the simple and convenient route, cutting corners when coming up with their passwords. Let’s try and remedy this by reviewing a few practices that can help make a password more effective.

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Tip of the Week: Keep Your Gmail Messages Private

Gmail has proven to be as secure as most other email platforms, but email is email and there are times when you send an email that isn’t opened promptly and you’d rather not have the information in that message get sent around or archived where you can’t control it. Now Gmail has added a feature that allows users to send messages that will delete themselves in a predetermined time frame, and work to keep the contents of those messages from being shared. Let’s take a look at them today.

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Google Search Now Gives More Info into What You’re Clicking On

While Google Search has become eponymous for “online search”, the company has not stopped innovating upon the capabilities of the service. Most recently (as of this writing, of course) one improvement that the company is making is to give more content a bit more context before a user clicks through to a potential threat.

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Test Your Backup Before You Regret Not Doing It

If there is one thing that you could take away from our blog it is that data backup is an integral part of any business continuity strategy. Unfortunately, there are so many different parts to it that it’s not surprising some data could slip through the cracks if not maintained properly. If you’re not actively taking measures to keep disasters from derailing your business’ progress, you stand to lose more than some data. Let’s take a look at some of the critical parts of a data backup and disaster recovery process and why it is essential to give them a test regularly. 

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Have You Prepared Your Employees to Catch Phishing Attempts?

While it initially sounds promising to hear that the number of data breaches seen last year went down significantly, it is important to recognize that the number of data records leaked as a result more than doubled. One clear cause was the resurgence in the use of the underhanded malware variety known as ransomware. With this suggesting an increased threat of ransomware incoming, can you confidently say that your business’ team is ready to deal with it?

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Conduct a Security and Compliance Audit, You Won’t Regret It

If you are an avid reader of our blog, we are constantly saying how there are always a growing number of threats. This is true. Two-in-every-three business owners consider that their cybersecurity risks are increasing each year. The other third must not focus on them, and that is a problem. In fact, many business owners don’t give the proper respect to cyberthreats and many of those businesses pay the price. This is why every business should consider a security and compliance audit a mandatory part of their yearly IT assessment. 

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What Bases Should a BDR Cover?

As much as you hope it will not happen to your business, a disaster could very well strike at any time—statistics have shown as much to be true. To remove some of the risks associated with disasters and the data loss they lead to; we recommend that you implement BDR into your business continuity strategies.

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Tip of the Week: Browser Best Practices for Boosted Security

Privacy is a sensitive subject nowadays, especially online. Regardless of the browser you have elected to use, properly using it will have a large impact. Let’s review a few ways that you and your team can help secure your business and its resources and go over these settings.

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Are Apple Devices Immune to Threats? Don’t Bet On It

For a very long time, Apple has been requested to share a workaround for their platform security with law enforcement, which the company has refused outright. Their argument has been that doing so would inherently undermine their lauded security. Well, the feds have given up asking, because they went ahead and developed a workaround themselves… and in doing so, have revealed that iOS isn’t quite as secure as it was purported to be.

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3 Tips to Help You Make Better IT Decisions

Making solid business decisions can sometimes be confusing. Not that you try to make anything other than good decisions, but a lot of business is, and has always been, trial and error; and, you may know this from experience, error happens to be a big part of it. Today, we thought we would discuss what goes into good technology decisions and how many times it comes down to the results. 

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Improving Society Through Technology

Ask someone what they think social media has done for society, and you will likely hear a series of complaints about how it is the driving force behind the most divisive period in human history. While their perspective is interesting, it is also wrong. Today, we thought we would take a look at how some of today’s most controversial technologies are working to improve society. 

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How AI Can Be Used to Make Your Business More Efficient

Out of all the technologies that have been introduced into the mainstream over the last few years, artificial intelligence—or AI—leads the pack in terms of innovation. Far from the science fiction of autonomous machines bent on the extinction of humanity, AI is now found in many examples of beneficial software. Let’s consider some ways that businesses can now use AI to their considerable advantage.

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Tip of the Week: Use Confidential Mode in Gmail to Feel Like a Secret Agent (or Secure Your Emails)

Gmail is as secure as any comparable email platform, but there may be some messages you send that you’d rather not have hanging around in someone’s inbox. However, did you know that Gmail enables you to send messages that delete themselves after a set timeframe… while also preventing the contents from being forwarded, downloaded, copied, or printed?

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Working with Images on the Web, Part 2 - Resizing Images

In a recent post, we talked about the various image formats you should use when sharing images over email or online. The goal is to generate an image (or images) that are the smallest file size possible to make them easy to share and quick to download, without reducing the overall quality of the image.

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Three Ransomware Tips for Area Businesses for 2021

For 2020, the word in technology was ransomware, and while many businesses were caught off-guard, there are no longer any excuses to not take cybersecurity seriously. Here are three ransomware and cybersecurity lessons businesses should learn before it’s too late.

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Some IT Changes Can Be Problematic for Your Business

The realities of the past year have made some businesses look to adjust their operational strategies. Many businesses that are, look to technology deployments as a way to make these adjustments. If the deployments don’t go as planned, however, it can have a major impact on business operations.

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Working with Images on the Web, Part 1 - Image File Formats

Whether you are sharing them online, emailing them to a colleague, or putting them on your own website, it’s important to understand a few basics when it comes to image files and sizes. This guide will hopefully save you a lot of hassle when trying to email large images, update your website, and use social media, whether it be for your own personal use or for your business.

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How You Can Use Workflow Automation to Make the Office Better

While a lot of the focus on any business’ use of technology may be on its front-facing solutions, there’s a lot to be said about the technology solutions that power these businesses behind the scenes. Let’s consider a few ways that businesses are benefiting from automating some of these background processes.

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