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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.

What Can We Learn from T-Mobile’s Latest Data Breach?

It hasn’t been very long since T-Mobile experienced its latest major hack, but unfortunately, here we are again. Hackers have again accessed customer data, with 37 million customers being affected amongst both their prepaid and subscription-based accounts.

Let’s dive into the situation, and what can be learned from it.

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Sometimes, Business Growth Requires You to Be a Bit Uncomfortable

Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur, largely because there’s a lot that can pop up and cause problems that need to be addressed. Let’s discuss how successful business owners rally through tough times to help attain this kind of success.

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You Can’t Go Wrong with the Value Managed IT Services Bring

Technology is complex, and it’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. This is more the case for business technology than consumer technology. Even those who consider themselves tech-savvy might be lost when it comes to managing business-grade technology solutions. How can you make sure that your business technology is receiving the service it needs to stay operational long-term?

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Patience is a Virtue…Especially Amongst Your Team, Part 2

Our blog last week covered how patience is an important part of the most successful and productive employees’ arsenal. This week, we want to cover how you can help your employees be more patient. If you know someone in your office who could take things down a notch, this is just the blog for you with four suggestions that might do the trick.

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You Need to Take Your Cybersecurity Seriously

Small businesses have a lot to worry about in terms of technology, but one of the things that often gets overlooked is network security. Some small businesses feel that they are too small to be considered a viable target for hackers, but they are wrong; all businesses have data valuable for hackers in some form.

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VoIP Has the Features You Need in a Complete Communications System

Ah, the business telephone solution. You know you need it, but you dislike working with your current telephone provider for a number of reasons. You know you can get a better deal if you look around, but we bet that the best deal around is a hosted Voice over Internet Protocol solution from Directive. How can our VoIP solution save your business time, energy, and resources?

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What’s the Line Between a Security Breach, and a Data Breach?

When security breaches and data breaches are mentioned in the same breath so often, it’s easy to look at them as one and the same. However, we want to take a moment to explain the differentiating factors between the two, as it could be all the most important for protecting your business in the future.

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What Should You Expect out of Artificial Intelligence?

AI has been a hot topic in recent months and years, which only makes sense. Not only has it been used in more public applications, but it has also caused a bit of controversy as it seems to “compete” with people. Back in September, art made by using an artificially intelligent platform caused a stir by winning an art competition, and workplace fears of a computer taking one’s job have seemingly become more well-founded than ever.

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Identifying the Most Valuable Technology for Your Business

We talk a lot about different types of technology, securing your technology and your accounts, and a lot of other technology-related issues on this blog, but because of the generalities of whatever technology (or strategy) we’ve chosen to write about that day, we never confront the thing that is most important to a business: How does any technology fit into what we do here? What value do we get from any type of technology? Today, we thought we’d talk a little bit about what you need to do to find the right technology for your business and how to come up with those decisions. 

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Patience is a Virtue…Especially Amongst Your Team

Most people are capable of productivity, but sometimes it can come a bit harder for some than for others. If you find your staff have difficulty with consistency and productivity, we aren’t here to tell you methods for increasing their productivity; rather, we want to introduce a concept that is often overlooked when trying to get the most out of your team, and is a trait often found in the most productive people, and that is patience.

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In Battle Employee vs. AI, Everyone Can Be a Winner

For many years now, there’s been a bit of a fear of AI—artificial intelligence—in the workplace, all while it has been put into practical use more and more often in many businesses. This all ties back to the work of Alan Turing, who (amongst his accomplishments in computing) created what we know as the Turing Test as a means of gauging how intelligent a computer is. 

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4 Simple Rules for Good Passwords

Simple passwords are just not an effective security practice, so if you’re still using credentials like Password, 123456, Guest, or Qwerty, listen up. You need better password hygiene practices before you suffer from a data breach. Here are some ways you can make a better password to protect your business from threats.

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Migrating Data? Budget in Evaluating End Result

There’s no beating around the bush with this one; moving data from one place to another, also known as data migration, is critical to get right the first time. If you create and follow a migration strategy, evaluating here and there to make sure it’s all going according to plan, you’ll see great success in this effort. Let’s go over how you can make it happen.

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The Bare Necessities of Business Security

For a long time, businesses that didn’t have any cybersecurity problems would never consider investing in additional cybersecurity tools. The decision-makers of these companies simply didn’t find it necessary; and many of them had a point (until they didn’t). Today’s threat landscape is much, much more complex than it was only a few short years ago and therefore businesses need to make a point to set up the security tools that will help them secure their network and infrastructure from threats. Let’s take a look at some strategies that work to help modern businesses secure their digital resources:

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Multi-Layer Security That Works to Keep Your Accounts Secure

Unfortunately, the number of cyberattacks is consistently growing and many of those attacks target business end users. This means that any account that requires a password for access could conceivably be compromised should attackers gain access to its credentials. At Directive, we promote the use of multi-factor authentication (also known as two-factor authentication or 2FA) to mitigate some of the risk inherent with the use of password-based accounts in business. 

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How to Safely Adjust Your IT Budget in Tough Times

When times get tough, businesses are pretty quick to start cutting costs wherever they can…and frequently, the business’ IT is the first thing to hit the chopping block.

While we contend that IT is the last thing you want to cut back on when times are tough, you may not have a choice. Therefore, we wanted to take a few moments to explore how you can resist some of these cuts—and if not, what you need to prioritize.

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Tip of the Week: Unfollow Someone on Facebook Instead of Unfriending Them

Social media can be remarkably overstimulating, and for some users this is a problem which is difficult to navigate without giving it up entirely. If you want a nice middle-ground to terminating your account entirely, you can instead curate your news feed by unfollowing accounts that don’t enrich your day. Let’s go over how you can do this.

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It’s Time to Stop Using Weak Passwords, Period

Simple passwords are often the bane of a business’ existence. If you routinely use strings like Password, 123456, Guest,  or Qwerty to secure an account, then you need to reexamine your password practices before they lead to a data breach. A good password can go a long way toward helping you in this effort.

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Who Handles the IT at Your Company? Are They Doing These Critical Tasks?

Depending on the size and complexity of your organization, managing technology can easily become a full-time job. If you are only calling a technician when you are dealing with a computer issue, then you might be sitting on a ticking time bomb. Whether you have internal staff responsible for managing your IT, or you rely on a third-party, you’ll want to make sure the following tasks are getting done.

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Does Technology Make People Happy?

It’s a technology-driven world. We are surrounded by technology all the time, and some people literally couldn’t do what they do without it. More than would admit, anyway. So with all this technology all over the place, are we happier? This is a big question. Far bigger than we have time for in this blog, but we thought we would unpack the question a little bit and discuss some elements of this new technology-run society that can give us some insight into people’s feelings.

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iPhone Scam Can Pop Up and Cause You Trouble

iPhone users should be aware that, should you encounter a pop-up that reads “Your Apple iPhone is severely damaged”, you don’t need to be concerned—beyond the concern you’d have for any other threat, that is. This pop-up is just a recent iteration of a common phishing scam that aims to fool people into downloading apps that enable hackers to access personal information.

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Tip of the Week: How to Copy Excel Worksheets

If you have ever invested time and effort into an Excel spreadsheet, then you know how irritating it is to move all of that data to a different sheet. Thankfully, you can easily and accurately copy this data using a simple technique. Here’s how you can do it.

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Consider a Switch to VoIP this Year

The telephone, as a technology, has been around for quite a while, more or less serving businesses for that entire time. Of course, we’ve seen quite a few advancements in telephony over the years, which has helped it to remain a cornerstone of modern business communications to this day in the form of Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP.

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A Significant Vulnerability is Present in Apple Devices Through MacKeeper

One of the big advantages that Mac computers have had over the traditional PC is that they “don’t get viruses,” but how true is this claim, really? Research conducted by Elastic Security Labs proves that this is certainly not the case, discrediting the prior claims of ads arguing the former.

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What’s Your Business Continuity Strategy for 2023?

When you suffer a data breach, you might wonder how you can possibly come back from such an event, especially if it leads to a network compromise. Can your business rebound effectively, and if so, what do you need to do to make sure that it doesn’t happen again? It all starts with understanding how much data you need to function, as well as how much downtime you can afford to suffer from.

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Why Your Business Needs Cyber Insurance (and What to Look For)

We get it—nobody likes to think about the prospect of being impacted by a cybersecurity incident, but it’s like any other unpleasant event in that it is best to prepare for it. In fact, today’s businesses can invest in a cyber insurance policy to help prepare for such an eventuality.

Let’s go over some of the ins and outs of cyber insurance so that you are prepared to make the best choice of provider for your business.

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Tip of the Week: Sharing Web Pages Between Chrome and Android

It probably isn’t hard to think of a time when you’ve stumbled across something that would be useful for work while you were doing some personal browsing. What if I told you there was an easy way to send a website to your browser to view later? Thanks to Google Chrome, this is the case.

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Has Your Website Traffic Dropped?

There are a lot of reasons that website traffic can fluctuate. Sometimes, it has little to do with your actual website, and more to do with outside forces. Let’s take a look at some of the things that can cause major ebbs and flows in your website traffic and analytic reports.

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Tip of the Week: Freezing Panes in Your Excel Spreadsheets

Microsoft Excel is a great tool for keeping data and figures organized…until, that is, you need to scroll down at all, leaving some important headers out of sight. Fortunately, there is a way to keep your headings in view: freezing the panes they are present in. Let’s go over how to do so.

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How to Tell Your Business’ Technology Needs an Upgrade

Do your employees have a hard time with the technology that you’ve provided them? Are your digitization efforts lagging behind? Are the systems your business is using coming up on their end of support date? Old technology can cause major problems for a business. In this week’s blog, we go through some of the signs that you may need to upgrade your business’ technology.

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Make Work Simpler Through Automation

All jobs have aspects of them that are simply dull or unengaging. After all, nothing can be exciting all the time. This week we wanted to focus on these rote tasks and what you can do to make them less of an impact on your time and job fulfillment. Turns out, the key to solving this issue stems from technology, specifically the ability to automate said tasks.

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What is a Zero-Day Exploit?

While security researchers do their best to find security vulnerabilities in software and systems before they are actively exploited by attackers, they can’t be successful all the time. There are too many threats and too many variables to consider, and zero-day exploits are often discovered well after they are actively being exploited by threats. How can you keep zero-day exploits from impacting your business?

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Google Got Rid of Search Results Pages

Countless jokes have been made in the IT world about the perfect place to hide something being page two of Google—just hang out with some IT professionals, and there’s a good chance you’ll hear it. Unfortunately, Google is making a change to its search results that will make this joke completely irrelevant.

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Don’t Fall for the Google Business Profile Scam

There is a scam going around that convinces organizations to pay for their Google Business Profile, and if you paid for this free service, you’ve fallen for the trick. Google is taking legal action against the scammers who have dragged their name through the mud, using Google’s notoriety to defraud businesses who just want to look competitive.

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Every Business Now Needs to Be Mindful of IoT

The Internet of Things, or IoT, has grown to over 14 billion connected devices as of this year, and this number is expected to exceed 20 billion devices by the end of 2026. With such a shocking number of devices, you might wonder what types of devices are out there and what they mean for your business. Let’s look at the IoT and what you need to know to keep it at the top of your mind this upcoming year.

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Defining a Zero-Day Exploit

With so many threats out in the world, it’s no surprise that some of them target undiscovered vulnerabilities. These types of threats use what are called zero-day exploits to make attempts at your sensitive data and technology infrastructure. What is it about zero-day exploits that you must keep in mind during your day-to-day operations and in planning for the future?

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Directive Turns 30!

Our business began its journey with the purchase of a personal computer back in 1992. This purchase ignited a passion with Chris Chase, our CEO, and there was no stopping its momentum. Less than one year later, he had his first IT support client (and they are still with us, to this day!). Fast forward 30 years we’ve grown to be the area's largest business technology consulting firm, providing technology implementation and IT management solutions to Oneonta’s businesses and providing careers for our 30+ team members.

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‘Tis the Season to Be Phished

It’s the holiday season, and you know what that means: lots of gift-giving and online shopping. Regardless of what you and your family celebrate this holiday season, you should be prepared to handle the influx of phishing attacks which always surface around this time every year, including both the usual methods and the more sophisticated ones.

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Disney Presents New Tech to Help Re-Age Actors

Have you ever heard of the Uncanny Valley? It’s the theory that explains why the human race tends to prefer humanoid robots, but only up to a point, after which we find them unsettling. It’s one reason why so many people found the 2019 film Cats bothersome to watch. The Uncanny Valley has also been present in film in recent years, especially when actors who have passed are recreated digitally to make an appearance, or when talent needs to look older or younger than they are.

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How to Develop a Security Strategy that Fits Your Business’ Needs

Today’s businesses need to be prepared for threats of all kinds…that’s unfortunately just fact. Modern cyberattacks are not only getting more effective, they’re also able to be a lot less discerning about who they target. This creates exponentially more risk for businesses of all sizes. Let’s go over how you can develop a cybersecurity strategy that helps temper this risk a bit.

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Are Magnets Really Bad for a Computer?

Magnets are often portrayed as the bane of technology’s existence, especially in media where data must be scrubbed from devices through the use of a magnet. How true is this representation of the relationship between magnets and technology? We’ll examine this in today’s blog article.

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Tip of the Week: How to Share a Web Page Between Your Phone and Workstation

How often have you been browsing the web on your phone, only to find something that would be legitimately useful for your work—maybe it was a tip you wanted to try out, or a bit of information that would be helpful to know—so you wanted to be able to access it from your workstation? There’s actually a very easy way to make this happen, thanks to the multi-platform nature of the Google Chrome browser.

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3 Last-Minute Gifts For the Technology Lover in Your Life

The holiday season is getting busier and busier every year and with less and less time afforded to shopping and getting ready for the holiday, you may have overlooked that special someone on your holiday shopping list. This week, we give you three gadgets that would be really nice last minute gifts for that technology lover in your life

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If “Google” Charges You for a Business Profile, You’re Being Scammed

Let me ask you a question: how much did you pay Google for your Business Profile? Unfortunately, if the answer was anything other than “nothing,” you’ve been scammed. Google has actually announced that they are taking legal action against scammers who impersonated the company in order to defraud small businesses.

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Tip of the Week: Make a PDF Out of an Outlook Email

Have you ever found yourself in a position where you wanted to download an email from your inbox? Whether it’s documentation or a different reason, there is a way to download your messages into a PDF. PDFs make for great file-sharing formats, as the document type preserves formatting and makes editing difficult, preserving authenticity. Let’s go over how you can download an email from your Outlook inbox as a PDF.

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How to Manage a Hot Desking Workplace

Hot desking—the workplace organization method wherein there are no assigned workstations—has an assortment of pros and cons to it, but many companies are finding the more fiscal benefits to be worth the trade-offs. Let’s explore some of the pros and cons of hot desking, and go over a few tips and strategies that will help if you choose to implement it. 

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This Setting Helps Cap Google Chrome’s Battery Usage

Google Chrome, used by about two-thirds of Internet users, is an infamous battery hog…or at least, that used to be the case. Google recently released Chrome 108, and with it, a feature called “Energy Saver.” Let’s talk about how to enable it.

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What Should be Expected from a CIO in the Coming Years?

With technology playing such a massive role in modern business processes, having someone in the higher ranks to oversee it is a huge advantage. This is the role of the Chief Information Officer—the CIO—which makes them an integral part of the modern C-suite.

So, what kind of thing does the CIO (or your business’ equivalent of it) need to know and consider in order to fulfill their role? 

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How to Manage Google Drive’s Connected Applications

If your business uses Google Apps, then there is a good chance that you have some sort of integration set up with other services. If you grant permissions to other applications or programs to access and use Google Drive, you should know that you have some power over these permissions, and it’s incredibly important that you understand what permissions you are granting.

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Despite Rough Waters, Expect More AI in 2023

There’s no denying that the economic forecast at the moment is a bit bleak, with murmurings of a recession growing louder by the day. As this situation develops, many companies are likely seeking out opportunities to trim the fat. Despite this, however, we anticipate that artificial intelligence will actually see a bit of an uptick. Let’s go over why.

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The Rubber Ducky Hacking Tool is Back

For millions of people, the rubber ducky is a benign reminder of childhood. Depending on when you were a child, the rendition of Sesame Street’s Ernie singing “Rubber Duckie, you’re the one,” is ingrained in your mind every time you hear the term. Unfortunately, the Rubber Ducky we are going to tell you about today has only fond recollection for people who are looking to breach networks they aren’t authorized to access or deliver malware payloads that are designed to cause havoc. 

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The Metaverse Has Introduced a Complicated Question About Identity

Who are you? While it’s a question that’s been asked in all contexts with all levels of metaphysicality attached—from asking someone their name to prompting someone to follow a path of spiritual self-discovery—the growth of the metaverse once again urges us to ask it in a more literal way. When accessing a conglomeration of various services and platforms, how many identities will each user need to juggle?

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Tip of the Week: Easily Close Browser Tabs

It’s easy to open up far more tabs on your web browser than you need, especially when so many tools are cloud-based. If you find yourself in need of a quick way to close all other tabs besides a handful or so, we’ve got just the tip for you. You can close all open tabs to the right of your preferred window, or you can close all tabs outright.

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How to Make a QR Code in Google Chrome

QR codes have cemented themselves as one of the most common technologies used to direct people to important resources or information about goods or services provided by an organization or company. You see them on menus in restaurants, instruction booklets, and even on business cards. How can you make QR codes for your business?

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Get Busy Setting Your Business Up for Success

Regularly, when a business is searching for ways to move their operations forward, there is a little hand wringing on how to do so. Every decision your business has to make comes with a price tag, and the more that you can do without spending a lot of money, the more value you are going to see. For this week’s blog, we thought we’d take a look at some actions you can take with your technology to ensure that your business is going in the right direction.

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How to Add Dropdown Menus to Your Business Spreadsheets

Modern spreadsheet programs, like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, carry a plethora of functions under the surface that—if used correctly—can take their utility to another level. For instance, the cells in your spreadsheets can be turned into dropdown menus. Let’s go over how to do so in both Excel and Sheets.

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3 Strategies to Help Your Business Get Smarter

If you truly want to run your business effectively, it all starts with understanding how its costs break down. If you are armed with this knowledge, you can make better decisions about solution procurement and operations management. Let’s examine how you can cut costs without harming your business in the process.

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Google Joins the Ranks of Businesses Considering Passwordless Authentication

Passwordless authentication has been increasingly spoken of in favor of the typical password-based method, and is gaining traction the more it is talked about. Google recently took steps toward passwordless that we felt warranted some discussion.

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Don’t Get Caught Falling for These Sneaky Spam Tricks

I’m talking about when the heir to the Nigerian throne would reach out to your Hotmail account to help him secure his inheritance, or when an attractive woman or man you’ve never met before would email you out of the blue asking if you were single; spam has always been annoying, but back then, it was clearly just junk that could be ignored.

Today, it’s not so simple.

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What Search Engine is Truly the Best, Part 2

Last time, we started our discussion on the best search engines by talking about the behemoth, Google. While Google is, by far, the most popular and commonly used, and arguably the most accurate search engine, it doesn’t mean it’s always the right search engine to use. Let’s talk about some other alternatives and see where they might fit in.

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The Simplest Trick to Avoiding 95% of Phishing and Text Scams

It’s easy to get so caught up in what you are doing that you let your guard down. What if there were just one small change you could make in your life that would immediately reduce the chances of falling victim to a phishing attack?

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Could You Soon Have a Four-Day Workweek?

The idea of a four-day workweek has been popular for some time now, to the point where it is actively being tested in practical settings. Let’s discuss how successful this approach has been (spoiler alert: it’s been quite successful indeed).

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What Search Engine is Truly the Best, Part 1

Even if you lived under a rock, you’ve probably done a Google search or two. There are, in fact, other search engines, each with their own pros and cons. We’re going to compare some of the most popular search engines and talk about what makes them different.

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The DBMS Is a Big Part of Your Business Whether You Know It or Not

For the average business, the database plays a big role. How big of a role? Your business won’t function the way you want it to function without it. In order to manage your databases correctly, you need a solid database management system (DBMS). This week, we thought we would discuss the DBMS and how it works to assist your business computing.

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Explaining the Metaverse

The metaverse is a buzzword that many companies have been throwing around in recent years, but what is it, exactly? You might want to sit down for this one, as it is going to get a little complicated and, perhaps, even a bit confusing. We’ll do our best to unpack what the metaverse is, why there is such an emphasis on it these days, and what you might expect to see from a metaverse in the future.

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Tip of the Week: Configure Where to Start in Chrome

If you want to optimize productivity, then you’ll want to take a look at the startup page for your Google Chrome web browser. If you change this setting, you can shave off countless minutes every week while you fumble around trying to find your favorite or most frequently visited page.

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The Pros and Cons of a Digital Dollar

The United States has seen a push for the digitization of the dollar for some time now, with a few pros and cons to consider from this shift. Let’s go over these pros and cons now, and see if there are any parallels to be found to your business.

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4 Facts About Cybersecurity Oneonta Business Owners Need to Know

If you are going to take away any information about cybersecurity, these four facts are the most important. More importantly, taking them seriously will likely help you and your business stay out of serious danger, avoid data loss, and prevent massive unexpected loss in revenue.

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Boosting Employee Morale Isn’t as Hard as You Think

Every business has different types of workers; often to management’s chagrin. Ideally, all of an organization’s workers would be enthusiastic about their jobs and the status of a business as a whole. Unfortunately, people don’t always have like minds about the state of things and can see their morale reduced and their productivity wane. 

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Why the High Costs of Data Privacy are Worth Every Penny

We aren’t going to try and pretend that the investments necessary to preserve your business’ data security are small ones. Especially at first glance, you may very well start to question if such an investment is truly necessary.

The simple fact of the matter is that, compared to the costs that a breach of privacy will incur, the investment you put into your security measures will suddenly seem like a real bargain.

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Who’s Really Hurt the Most by Card Skimmers?

It probably isn’t a question you’ve put much thought to, but tell me: who do you think feels the greatest impact from card skimming schemes, where a payment card’s data is captured so a cybercriminal can make use of the card’s associated account? While it isn’t a good situation for anyone, some are impacted more than others.

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Technology Gives You Near-Ubiquitous Access to Employees. Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Use It

Have you ever gotten a message that just makes your heart sink in your chest? Like, your dread piques the moment you see it? Chances are pretty good that your team members feel that way whenever you send them a particular message, particularly during certain times. Let’s consider why this may be the case, and how you can better manage your communications to more effectively communicate with your team.

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New Technologies That May Soon Be Part of Your Business (If They Aren’t Already)

Every piece of technology we regularly use today was once earth-shakingly innovative, regardless of how mundane and common it seems to us now. Think about it: people once had endless questions about the Internet, about computers…even about electricity. Let’s consider some modern innovations that we have many questions about now, but may someday be just as much of a given as the other tools we so commonly use today.

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These Link Checking Tools Might Save Your Bacon

We often talk about scams and cyberthreats, and lately our advice for dealing with a potential phishing threat is to simply avoid it altogether.

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Remember That Time Apple Officially Told People to Drop Their Computer?

Even though the modern workplace tends to be PC-centric, Apple has had a major impact on technology and computing. It’s undeniable that Apple is pretty consistent with producing sleek, high-end hardware and efficient operating systems. Apple’s former CEO, Steve Jobs, was known to be a visionary and a perfectionist. That’s what makes this story even weirder.

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What Exactly is Personally Identifiable Information?

It’s incredibly important to keep your personally identifiable information secure, but what exactly constitutes PII? Today we offer a definition and suggestions or strategies to help you keep your PII safe.

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Are You Sharing Your Employees with Another Employer?

How many of your employees do you think hold a second job? This isn’t a particularly outlandish concept, but one thing that has come about as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its surge of remote work is that some employees hold two jobs at the same time, and not in the way that you might expect.

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Tip of the Week: Setting Your Out-of-Office Message in Outlook

The holidays are fast approaching and that means people are going to miss work for one reason or another. If you can get away from the office for a little bit, you’ll want to set up an out-of-office message to ensure that others know you will get back to them when you get back to the office. Here’s how you can set up an autoresponder for an out-of-office message in Microsoft Outlook.

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Digital Data is Amazing, Part 2

Last time, we broke down how much data is stored in a typical book, and how much data every book in the Library of Congress contains. This time, let’s really show you what that data consists of, and some other really neat comparisons to put things into perspective. Buckle up!

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Tip of the Week: Translating an Email within Gmail

How often do you receive emails from someone written in another language? We bet the answer is “not often,” but you never know when being able to translate an email might come in handy—especially if you ever do business overseas. Let’s go over the built-in translation functionality that comes with Gmail.

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Choosing the Right Website Platform

Virtually any type of business needs a website. Whether you are a local restaurant, a one-person CPA, or a busy manufacturer, your website is the proof that your business has a pulse. Like it or not, this will be one of the main conduits your prospective customers and clients will use to find you.

Even if your website is an afterthought, you should consider auditing it and refreshing it at least every couple years. That might not mean a full redesign from the ground up, but it definitely needs to reflect your business and provide your visitors with enough information to take the next steps.

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IT Costs are Rising on a Global Scale…Here’s Why

No matter how big your business is, you’ll always have technology expenses. It’s just a fact of the current workplace, and your profits will be inexorably tied to how well your IT works for you. Furthermore, the more IT costs rise, the more impact small and medium-sized businesses will feel from them. Today, we wanted to address this issue and how you can minimize the frustrations that stem from seemingly uncontrollable technology costs.

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Digital Data is Amazing, Part 1

Do you ever think about how incredible technology is? In a world where it’s easy to take advantage of technology and devices that were practically inconceivable just a few short decades ago, it’s really amazing to just look at how far we’ve come, and how something so small can fit so much information.

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ALERT: SFCU Members are Being Targeted by a Phishing Scam in Oneonta

Central NY residents who use Sidney Federal Credit Union have been seeing a rash of phishing scams that could put their information and their money at risk. Here’s what we know so far, and how to protect yourself from this targeted scam.

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Careful! There’s an Infected Version of WhatsApp Out There

WhatsApp is one of the world’s most popular messaging applications. With over 2 billion users, WhatsApp is known for its relative security, as it is one of the few messaging applications that offers end-to-end encryption. A modified version of WhatsApp, called YoWhatsApp, has been reportedly deploying malware.

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Microsoft Office is Dead, Long Live Microsoft 365

In what seems to be the final stage of a plan that Microsoft has been inching towards for years, Microsoft Office will apparently be phased fully into the Microsoft 365 brand. Let’s consider what we know so far about this change.

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Tip of the Week: 11 Google Chrome Shortcuts Worth Knowing

When working in your browser, we know how efficiency is extremely important. Like many other pieces of software the developers at Google have baked some keyboard shortcuts to make getting around their browser easier for the average user. Let’s take a look at some of the most useful shortcuts. 

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Tip of the Week: Reopening Closed Chrome Tabs and Windows

How often does this scenario happen to you? You’re going about your workday and are being quite productive, when all of a sudden you close the wrong tab in your web browser, putting an end to your productivity. This isn’t crippling downtime or anything, but it’s an inconvenience that we know you can do without. Thankfully, modern web browsers let you reopen closed tabs or windows to get back to where you left off.

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IT Wasn’t Always This Way: Let’s Look Back in Time When Technology Was “Simpler”

Who doesn’t love nostalgia? Throughout history, people have always looked back at the “good old days” and we wanted to explore some of the weird and wacky technologies and trends that didn’t quite stick the landing for the long run, and some that ended up unintentionally paving the way.

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The Haunting of North Shore Software

The following story and events are true, however, to protect the families of the innocent, all names have been changed. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or businesses, is purely coincidental. Enjoy and happy Halloween!

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The Tell-Tale Hard Drive

If Edgar Allan Poe worked in an office, here’s what one of his works would sound like:

True!—nervous—very, very dreadfully nervous I have been and am, but why will you say that I am mad? The office had sharpened my senses—not destroyed—not dulled them. Above all was my sense of hearing. I heard all things in heaven and on earth and many things in…the other place. So, how then am I mad, especially when I can so healthily and calmly tell you this story?

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One Hidden Benefit of Managed IT Services

We hate to be the bad guy, but we’re certain that you cannot multitask nearly as well as you think you can. Multitasking is just not how the human brain works, and whether or not you believe in the psychology of it, we think you stand to benefit by outsourcing some of the tasks on your plate to a managed service provider.

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3 Cybersecurity Statistics to Help Inform Your Business’ Safeguards

When it comes to your business’ cybersecurity, it can be too tempting to operate under the assumption that the few cybersecurity events you hear about on the news are all that happen. Unfortunately, this is far from actual fact. Let’s review some of the statistics that might change your impressions, especially if you hold the aforementioned assumption.

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These Devices Are Most Likely to Put Your Business at Risk

How Many of These Devices are in Your Office?

The more complex your technology is, the more secure you need to be. If it connects to the Internet, it needs to be hardened to prevent unauthorized access. Virtually any device can be an entrypoint for a cybercriminal or malicious software, but if you have any of these devices in your office, you need to take serious precautions when it comes to your security.

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AI to Be Included in Select Microsoft Tools

Artificially-intelligent image generation has become a hot topic in recent weeks and months. Not too long ago, an artist created a stir for winning a competition with an image that he largely created using an artificially-intelligent tool. Now, Microsoft has announced that similar AI-powered image generation tools will be integrated into many of their applications.

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Innovations in Manufacturing Tech

Manufacturers have long been at the forefront of technology. Today, this trend continues, but with new, innovative tools that are designed to make business more efficient and workers more productive. This technology has helped much of the manufacturing sector despite costs continually rising, supply chain interruptions, and other variables. Let’s take a look at some of the major technology changes that have fueled manufacturers during the past few years. 

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Tips to Help You Determine How Much Bandwidth You Need

For small businesses, having a fast, reliable Internet connection is needed to run all the digital tools that your staff has come to depend on. If you don’t have the bandwidth in place, you can deal with bottlenecks that can ruin communications, stall productivity, and cause operational issues of all types. Today, we’ll take a look at how to determine the amount of bandwidth you need to support your business’ computing infrastructure.

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Protecting Your Data is Easier Through Network Segmentation

As Miguel de Cervantes wrote in Don Quixote, “...is the part of a wise man to keep himself today for tomorrow, and not venture all his eggs in one basket.” It was wise advice then, and it’s wise advice now—especially when it comes to your business’ network and your data security.

Let’s explore the concept of network segmentation, and how it can help to protect your business.

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Why It’s Important Your Organization Avoids BEC

Sometimes the worst scams out there are the simplest ones. Hackers don’t need a fancy or complicated malware or algorithm to create chaos for your organization; all they have to do is convince you that the email you’ve received in your inbox is from someone of authority within your business. Let’s go over how a business email compromise is pulled off and why you need to be wary of threats like these.

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“No More Ransom” is Leading the Fight Against Ransomware Abroad

Ransomware is one of the more dangerous threats out there today, and since it is so prominent and dangerous, it is a popular choice amongst hackers. To combat this threat, a community has formed around the cause, encouraging users to not pay the ransom by providing free malware removal tools for the most popular ransomware threats.

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