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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.

Email, Banking, and Other Login Credentials of Upstate NY Users Found for Sale on the Dark Web

Our Network Operations Center (NOC) has noticed an alarmingly high number of local business accounts leaked on the Internet.

Is access to your email, your bank accounts, your website, or your social media accounts being bought and sold on the online black market? It’s more likely than you might think.

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How COVID-19 is Impacting the Net Neutrality Discussion

The cloud cast by COVID-19 wouldn’t seem to have very much of a silver lining at all, but if one looks very closely, there is the faintest one there. As more and more people are subscribing to self isolation and similar practices, remote work has become a more pressing need. In response, many Internet service providers and mobile data carriers are taking action and putting changes in place that actually resemble net neutrality.

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A Bit of Fun Can Get Work Done Faster

When you want your workforce to operate more productively, and engagement has been shown to have positive effects on productivity, it makes sense that you would want to actively promote activities that have been shown to improve engagement. One approach that many companies and organizations are now embracing is gamification. Let’s discuss the concept of gamification, and how it might benefit your business.

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HIPPA and the End of Windows 7

Back in January, Windows 7 reached end-of-life. This doesn’t cause your Windows 7 computer to stop working. However, without support and updates, Windows 7 will slowly, but surely, develop security holes. Any software unable to be updated is by default HIPAA non-compliant and that includes any computer still using Windows 7.

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6 Steps in Building a Solid Web Presence

So, you have a brand new website that offers some pretty outstanding products/services, and now you have the expectation that it is going to sell, sell, sell. Great products, after all, are the best marketing you can have. Let me tell you first so you don’t have to hear it from someone else…that is not enough.

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Save Time By Automating These 7 Things in Your Marketing & Sales Efforts

Automation has always been something that is important to us. Fortunately, it’s easier than you think to automate away many of your routine marketing and sales processes, freeing up time and allowing your team to focus on serving customers and closing sales.

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Narrowing Your Marketing Focus

When you market your business’ services you want to make sure you are marketing effectively! With too broad a target market, you could be wasting your marketing efforts. You want to narrow your marketing focus - so try target marketing. By doing this you will be breaking your marketing into groups. Then you will narrow those groups down, to those that would need your product or services the most. 

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5 Digital Marketing Trends to Look Out For in 2020

The world is ever-changing and the marketing world isn’t exempted from that steady change. To keep your marketing up-to-date, we’ve summarized five digital marketing trends that will be key in 2020. Let's look ahead!

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Tip of the Week: New Uses for an Old Mobile Device

Once a mobile device outlives its presumed usefulness, the default assumption is that there is nothing left to do but dispose of it. However, before you do so, reconsider. There may be other ways that your device could show its utility. For today’s tip, we’ll review a few ways that an aged-out smartphone or tablet can still be handy for you (even in the office)!

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Taking a Short Look at Windows 10’s Action Center

Windows 10 has been out for almost five years. Now I ask you, have you ever used the Windows 10 Action Center? If the answer is yes, good for you. If the answer is no, it is time to talk about the almost hidden part of Windows 10, and tell you how you can use it to your advantage.

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Protect Your Network and Keep Your People Productive with a Firewall and Content Filtering

In today’s 24/7 always-online business environment, it is unrealistic to expect your team to spend 8 hours in front of a computer and not access their personal email or click on a non-work-related link. It happens every day. What also happens every day is that an SMB finds its network compromised by malware or a loss of productivity due to a lack of focus.

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Managing Your Business and Remote Workforce During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Companies around the world have or are finding the need to send their workers home to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. For many business owners, managing your staff remotely is a brand new paradigm. Here’s what you need to know.

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Something to Keep in Mind on World Backup Day

March 31st is World Backup Day, which makes it the perfect opportunity to share the benefits of implementing a complete backup plan. Unfortunately, the current COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant business interruptions make World Backup Day only too timely this year. Here, we’ll examine how these times make a business continuity strategy and data backup all the more important to have.

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Backup Delivers Peace of Mind in Times of Crisis

With most businesses dipping into their disaster recovery strategies, and millions of workers either out of work or working remotely, it is honestly a great time to remind you that March 31st is World Backup Day. This is a day where we help promote the idea of taking backups of your crucial IT systems to ensure that you have access to your important information if a disaster were to strike your business.

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In the Age of Coronavirus, Now’s the Time to Reconsider Telework

New York State recently mandated a stay in place order, requiring only essential businesses remain open and all others have their employees stay at home. The goal is to reduce the spread of coronavirus, by increasing social distancing. The best way to do this is by having fewer employees physically in the office. For telecommuting to be successful you need to have a plan in place before you need to use it. Here are 5 steps to allow your employees to work from home in the age of coronavirus.

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Six Things to Consider When Moving Your Business

When you move your business into a new workspace, it can be one of the most exciting times for both you and your staff. It isn’t easy, of course, but today we thought that we would give you a short list of considerations that you should take in order to make this process go smoothly.

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Is Your Business Prepared to Deal with Coronavirus?

World events have always had a big impact on the banks that one finds on Wall Street, but in many ways, the one that coronavirus (COVID-19) has demonstrated has been unprecedented. As such, it almost provides a case study of the importance that disaster recovery planning has for any business… Wall Street institutions included.

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Digital Wallets In the Age Of Coronavirus

New York State recently joined a number of other states in prohibiting businesses from enacting a cash-free policy. A cash-free policy means a business can refuse to accept cash or even charge a ‘service’ fee for taking cash. There was significant pushback against businesses having no cash policies and the measure failed. However, as the world focuses on hygiene, specifically hand-washing or avoiding shaking hands, reducing the exchange of cash could be seen as a good thing. Perhaps it’s time to reconsider the benefits of a cash-free environment.

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3 Reasons Your Business will Benefit from an IT Assessment

Are your security safeguards up to snuff? If a disaster were to happen, would you be able to recover your data and bounce back? Does your team understand and implement best practices when it comes to protecting your customer data? Do you know if any software you are running is about to reach end-of-life? If you’re not sure, then it’s time for an IT Assessment. Don’t think your organization needs it? Here are three benefits an IT Assessment can provide your business.

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For Earth Day, Properly Dispose of All Your Electronics

April 22nd is Earth Day, which began 50 years ago as a means to hold businesses and corporations accountable for the damage that their highly industrialized pollution was introducing into the world. As the digital age has introduced a new environmental concern, it only seems prudent to address the challenge we face today: e-waste.

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Tip of the Week: Work Better From Home

Thanks to the coronavirus, many office workers are working from home to avoid the spread of the virus. For many, this can feel like a nice change of scenery, while others might have a tinge of additional anxiety from it. Regardless of where you stand, working remotely can be both effective and productive, if done right.

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Understanding IT Acronyms You Hear in the Office

Technology can be complicated, and it doesn’t help when all you hear is an alphabet soup of acronyms used to describe it. As professionals, this kind of jargon has become a second language to us and it is easy to forget that not everyone will recognize these acronyms. For your reference, we’ve assembled some common ones you’ll probably hear us use.

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How to Create Cybersecurity Policies for Your Company

If you’re in business today, there are three words that are critical for you keep in mind: Cybersecurity. Is. Important. As such, every business needs to have taken the time to put together a cybersecurity policy--a set of guidelines that instruct the business how to proceed with the highest level of security possible. We’ve taken the liberty of suggesting a few guidelines for your business to follow as you do so.

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What Is a Data Lake?

Big data, or massive data sets that can be used to make inferences and reveal patterns, has become an increasingly important part of modern business and can be leveraged in many different ways. There are a few different options for storing this data available, which the use case for the data will dictate. Here, we’ll evaluate whether a “data lake” or a “data warehouse” would better suit your needs.

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Why File Sync and Share is So Important for Businesses to Have

As the coronavirus outbreak creates global health concerns, we wanted to address how it could impact businesses that lack the preparations needed to account for such an event. More specifically, we wanted to discuss why events like these add even more reasons that a file share and sync solution is an invaluable addition to your IT resources.

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A Brief Introduction to Database Management Systems

Data is one of a business’ most important assets, and as such, it needs to be kept in such a way that it remains organized and utilizable. This has led to widespread use of databases in businesses, which has necessitated the use of database management systems. Let’s take a closer look at these systems, and why they are so crucial.

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Tip of the Week: How to Improve Your Access Control

There is no denying that a business’ security--notably, its access control--is absolutely crucial to consider. Here, we’re offering a few tips to help you improve your business’ security through improvements to your access controls and their policies.

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Are Your Biggest Threats Coming From Inside Your Company?

Most businesses that really lean on their IT go to great lengths and expense to keep those systems secure. Sometimes, however, all those firewalls and antivirus software don’t stop threats that come in from your staff. Today, we are going to go through the three different types of human error that your staff can undertake, and how to deal with each.

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The Security Questions Surrounding Cloud Solutions

All types of businesses use cloud resources as a part of their IT infrastructure. It allows them to turn what was once a major capital expenditure into a controllable operating cost; and, it does it while offering solutions to almost any business problem. The one drawback that most IT professionals agree on is how to gain enough control over a cloud platform to ensure that the platform is secure. 

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How Remote Monitoring and Maintenance Helps Us, Help You

Remote monitoring and management software helps businesses of all sizes avoid issues of equally variable sizes, which is why it is a key facet of the managed IT service model. We wanted to review some of the ways that it benefits the managed service provider, and as a result, benefits our clients.

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Too Many Healthcare Organizations Still Use Windows 7

If there is any industry that connected devices are undeniably useful in, it would have to be the medical field. Unfortunately, recent news would suggest that connected devices should be avoided as the BlueKeep vulnerability is still able to attack medical systems… for an unfortunate reason. Find out more by reading on.

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Is the Hybrid Cloud Something You Should Consider?

Cloud solutions are extremely popular among modern businesses, whether they rely on public cloud resources or maintain their own in-house private cloud. Some businesses, however, elect to take the middle ground and use a “hybrid” cloud solution. Let’s take a few moments to determine if your business could benefit from this approach.

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Why We’re Just Waiting for Break/Fix IT Services to Go Away

As much as we hate to admit it, the first thing that many people still think of when they hear the term “tech support” is the experience that comes with an antiquated approach to technology services: the break/fix method. Fortunately for us, we are seeing many businesses make the better decision, and turn to the clearly superior option, managed IT.

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Tip of the Week: Customizing Google Docs’ Dictionary

Google may know a lot, but believe it or not, it doesn’t know everything. For instance, you may be trying to write up a document in Google Docs that Google doesn’t recognize. Maybe it’s one of your services that you’ve created a name for, or even the name of your business. The problem is that Google likes changing words it deems “wrong”. For this week’s tip, we’ll go over how to stop it from changing words you meant to use.

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Tip of the Week: How to Work on Your Smartphone

Think about how happy you are when you first get your new phone. If you are like most of us you can’t keep your hands off of it. You try all the new features out and mutter to yourself, “wow, this is so cool”. The enthusiasm that people have for their new mobile devices can be a major benefit for the company they work for, too. Today, we are going to discuss how, with all the features and powerful computing power, you can work effectively on your smartphone.

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Automation Challenging Longstanding HR Norms

Human resources are a part of almost any business. That is because there are a lot of Is to dot and Ts to cross in any business. Some HR departments are better than others, but typically the HR department deals with most of the elements of the business that deal with, you guessed it, the human resources (employees). Today, the HR landscape is changing as businesses are now looking to automation to handle much of the heavy lifting. 

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How to Get Rid of an Old Computer Without Sacrificing Security

Time passes, and things get old. This is especially true of technology, as new and better options are developed and released all the time. Sooner or later, you’re likely to find yourself in need of a new system… The only question left is how to get rid of the old one.

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Google Adding Features to the G Suite

It is apparent that Google is deeply invested in the G Suite, as they recently added an assortment of features to make basic processes much simpler and more convenient for their users. Here, we’ll go over a few of these updates, and how they can positively influence your operations.

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Coronavirus: A Threat to Your Staff, Cyberthreat to Your Operations

COVID-19, or coronavirus, has been a major global health concern over the past couple of months. At this point, it is clear that this disease could have serious impacts on the workplace. We wanted to provide a brief rundown of good workplace and network health practices, as well as a few pointers on how you can handle health-based employee absences.

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Get More Done on Your Smartphone with these Tips

The modern smartphone has a lot of computing power. It has enough to be a dynamic tool for today’s workers. It can also be a major distraction. Today, we are going to share a couple tips that will help you be more productive with your smartphone. 

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Tip of the Week: 3 Easy Actions That Will Protect Your Data

The modern business has to deal with a lot of potential security problems. Today’s threat landscape is filled with people looking to prosper off of your misfortune. As a result, doing what you can to maintain the security of your network and data is essential. Today, we will discuss how maintaining your organizational cybersecurity doesn’t have to be costly or time consuming.The best way we’ve found to go about doing this is by highlighting a few key actions that you can take to keep your network secure and your data safe.

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What NY Businesses Need to Know About the SHIELD Act

On July 26, 2019, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security (or SHIELD) Act into law. With the passing of this law, businesses with operations in New York now must put certain safeguards in place to help protect the private information disclosed to them by New York residents.

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Microsoft is Finding Leaving Windows 7 Users Behind Difficult

Windows 7 might not be supported by Microsoft any longer, but millions of people are still using PCs that run the antiquated operating system. Since Microsoft has put an end to extended support for Windows 7 OS, a couple bugs have been found. Let’s take a look at what exactly is behind these issues and discuss your options.

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Shutting Down Your PC May Not Put a Stop to Your Processes

You’re probably familiar with a situation where your technology is on the fritz and someone says to you “Why don’t you turn it off and turn it back on?” What you have no way of knowing is that by turning it off and turning it back on, you aren’t getting the same result you would if you simply restarted the machine.

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Understanding How Technology Impacts C-Level Business Roles

We’ve all heard the title CEO before, business shorthand for Chief Executive Officer. In fact, it may be a title that you hold yourself. While the CEO of a company is undoubtedly important, it is crucial to consider what other c-level roles should also be filled. As a technology-centric company, we often consider roles like the CIO, the CTO, and soon enough, the CDO to be just as important. 

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Benefits of Leaning on a Video Conferencing Solution

It wasn’t too long ago when the idea of video conferencing was a very complicated one. The technology just wasn’t there to make it a major benefit for companies. As conferencing technology has been innovated upon, however, it now presents a laundry list of substantial benefits. Let’s take a look at some benefits you can see by moving to video-driven meetings. 

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Tip of the Week: Avoid These Types of Android Apps

The Google Play Store has a massive selection of applications available for users to download. Unfortunately, just because they’re available to be downloaded, doesn’t necessarily mean that they should be downloaded. In fact, many of these apps should be avoided. For this week’s tip, we’ll go over a few categories of application that you shouldn’t download in the first place.

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Tip of the Week: Activate Microsoft’s Two-Step Verification

Nowadays a lot of accounts give you the option to set up two-step authorization; and, most of the time you probably should. The security and privacy benefits that your business can gain are substantial. Today, we’ll describe how to enable what Microsoft calls two-step verification. 

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Practice Healthy Password Habits on Everything

Your cybersecurity is only as strong as your weakest link, and in many cases, that starts with your passwords. As the Internet of Things continues to become more ubiquitous in our homes and businesses, we risk exposing our private lives to the public-at-large.  When we don’t manage our ‘always connected’ devices, we may be placing the security of our businesses and homes at risk.

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Blockchain Is Moving Into New Industries

Blockchain is one of the most dynamic new technologies, but up until recently, there hasn’t been a lot accomplished in the way of creating viable distributed software titles. In fact, the most practical technology created with blockchain is cryptocurrency. This says quite a bit. Today, we’ll take a look at blockchain-enhanced software and how it’s only a matter of time until it is a commonplace addition to most businesses.

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Tech Giants Are in on AR

Augmented reality has been one of the most cited emerging technologies for the past few years. It was the technology that was supposed to fuel Google Glass, the failed attempt at creating a pair of revolutionary smart glasses. Since then, there hasn’t been much press about AR in the mainstream media and not much is known about major tech companies’ attempts to improve AR technology. 

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As IT and OT Merges, You Need to Be Prepared

Businesses have two different types of technology to contend with each day: their information technology, and their operational technology. As these categories have become less distinct with the introduction of the Internet of Things and other similar advancements, a few new challenges to maintaining security have become apparent. Let’s go over these challenges, and what you need to do to overcome them.

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Why Should You Outsource Business Processes?

There quite a few reasons that it makes sense for a small-to-medium-sized business to lean on outsourced assets. Let’s go over a few of the biggest benefits that you could see from bringing on these kinds of services, from both a financial and operational stance.

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Tip of the Week: Keyboard Shortcuts Using the Windows Key

Keyboard shortcuts have long been used to move things along faster. In 1994, just about the time that Windows 95 was released, Microsoft produced the new keyboard layout that incorporated the brand-pnew Windows key (or Win Key). When pressed, the Windows Key would immediately open the start menu, which debuted in the software.

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Why is My Network Slow?

That’s an interesting question, as there are many things that can create some form of lag in a business’ network. Let’s go into some common causes of this slowness, starting with one clear indication that something is up.

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How to Use a CRM Effectively

There are a lot of businesses that depend on their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform. It’s not just used to manage their customer relationship, it also helps with production, invoicing, operations, human resources, and more. Today, we’ll take a look at the CRM and see how strategic use of this platform can help build your business. 

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Social Engineering and Your Business

As prevalent as cybersecurity threats unfortunately are today, many users tend to overlook major threats that they just aren’t focused on nearly as much: social engineering attacks. Social engineering attacks are just another means for a cybercriminal to reach their desired ends, and therefore needed to be protected against.

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How to Judge the Quality of an IT Provider’s Services

It’s a safe assumption that your business relies on some technology in order to operate (after all, you are reading a blog on the Internet). As a result, it is likely that you will require some level of IT support at some point. While this may sound like something simple enough to find, you need to keep in mind that not all IT service providers will necessarily provide the same quality of service.

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Google is Introducing Verified Business SMS to Android

How often do you find a message in your SMS inbox that has clearly come from a business, but you almost have to wonder, simply because the incoming number seems to be randomized? Google has taken notice of this challenge, and so has rolled out a means for businesses to confirm that they are in fact the ones sending a particular message. 

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Tip of the Week: Useful OneDrive Features

Microsoft has a well-developed reputation for creating software that enables users to achieve their work objectives, especially in the business setting. Here, we’re diving into a few capabilities of one such software title, OneDrive, to review some of the features that a user might want to take advantage of.

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Tip of the Week: 3 Leading Causes of Slow Internet

Slow Internet may be a nuisance in any case, but it has a particularly negative impact on the workplace. Technology should improve your operational efficiency, but if your solutions depend on a connection to the Internet, any issue there can effectively bring your productivity to a halt. In light of this, we wanted to go over a few of the most common issues that might be slowing down your connection, and perhaps tip you off to the problem.

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Automation Options Any Business Can Use

If they are doing their job well, a business’ decision makers are always looking for ways to increase efficiency. For years, businesses were looking to their human resources to improve, but today, technology can fill in the gaps more effectively. A culture of automation--the act of having machines do tasks that humans used to do--is proving to be a potent strategy for all types of tasks. 

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How to Tell When Your Technology Needs Upgrading

The curious thing about information technology is that, while it improves as any other technology would, the environment can accelerate the various changes made to it at various rates. As a result, knowing when your business needs to upgrade its technology isn’t always so cut-and-dry. To help, we’re sharing a few clear indicators that hint that the time has come.

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Why Software as a Service is the Future

The cloud has provided businesses with remarkable capabilities and opportunities, but we wanted to take a moment to focus on one in particular: software as a service, or SaaS. Let’s go over what SaaS is, exactly, and how it can assist you in your operations.

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Defining Shadow IT and Its Risks

IT administrators are pretty particular about what software is used on the networks that they manage. This is not because we have any vested interest in the software itself, it’s because of the inherent reliability of the software they manage. They’ve tested it, they manage it, they know it. When an organization starts dealing with employee-downloaded software--especially if there is no procedure in place to report additions to IT--they can quickly lose control over the network. 

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Windows 10 Search Function is Broken

Microsoft is currently working on a bug that is occuring in various builds of Windows 10 that prevents users from using the built in search function on the start bar.

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Tip of the Week: Simple Practices to Secure Your Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi has swiftly become one of those amenities that we just expect to have, including in the workplace. While it does make work around the office more convenient, it should not be at the cost of your security. To help prevent this, we’re reviewing a few key Wi-Fi security considerations to keep in mind.

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Tip of the Week: Turn It Off and Turn It On, Again

The people that support a business’ information systems are widely renowned as a bunch of nerds sitting in a basement office waiting for someone that matters calls them upstairs. Now, we think this characterization is unfair (of course), but since our jobs are so technical, it can be hard to relate with clients all the time. Fortunately for us, the most useful tool we have in our repertoire is excruciatingly simple. To fix your computer problem, have you tried turning it off, and turning it back on? 

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Any Business Can Benefit from Digital Signage

While there are definitely gimmicks when it comes to technology in the small business (for instance, USB-powered staplers) there are many devices and technologies that have far more utility, although they may not seem to be applicable to all industries. One example would be the digital signage solutions that have grown in popularity. While they may seem to have limited uses outside of retail, there are plenty of ways to use them to your advantage.

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Is HealthCare IT Improving? In a Word: Absolutely

Improvements in technology have allowed us to come a long way since the days of our ancestors, which is made exceptionally clear by our developments in the realm of healthcare. There are so many ways that healthcare providers can use information technology to their advantage, so we’ll cover a select few here.

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Major SMB Tech Trends

All businesses demand a certain amount of technology in order to push their organizational profitability forward. Whether they invest in tried-and-true technologies or they use their capital a little more innovatively, really depends on how decision makers’ forecasts of those investments help the organization become more productive or efficient. Today, we will look at five of the most important technology trends for SMBs in 2020.

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Don’t Migrate to the Cloud Unless You Consider This

We hear a lot about the benefits of moving your business to the cloud. It can reduce that big expense on new infrastructure and the ongoing management costs. The cloud can increase the effectiveness of your IT budget. It can add functionality and increase user satisfaction. 

Businesses are rapidly moving all or portions of their IT to the cloud, and for a lot of good reasons, but before you do, it is important to remember the following:

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Tip of the Week: Spotting a Phishing Attempt

With email being such a huge part of doing business, phishing has become a favorite tool of many scammers. To fight back, it is key that you know how to recognize a phishing email, so we’re dedicating this week’s tip to doing just that.

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Tip of the Week: Restoring Your Android Applications

While there aren’t many reasons that you would want to restore your existing Android applications, the ones that do factor in are pretty compelling. Here, we’ll take you through the process of doing just that.

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Do Inherent Security Risks Make Smart Devices Dumb?

Over the past few years, there has been a general fascination with smart devices in the home, and to a certain extent, the office. These Internet of Things-powered appliances and gadgets can help add to the convenience of rote tasks and other everyday activities, but is it actually a good idea to use them? As it turns out, unless you’ve taken the proper precautions, maybe not.

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Data Virtualization Makes Managing Data Easier

Businesses are using more data than ever. Unfortunately, the data is usually spread out over different systems. Typically, this would make managing this data extraordinarily difficult, but with virtualization, the modern business that wants to use its data, can, efficiently. 

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Is a Hosted Desktop Right for Your Business?

As important as it is to keep your technology up-to-date, it can sometimes be prohibitively expensive to do so throughout your entire business. If you have found yourself in this position, one option you may consider is to resort to hosted desktop solutions. Here, we’ll go over what a hosted desktop is, and how it can serve companies well.

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Work and Fun Don’t Have to Be Mutually Exclusive Concepts

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, as the saying goes, but is this really useful advice if you’re trying to keep Jack, Jill, and the rest of your team engaged in the workplace? As it happens, it is! Let’s explore how you can use gamification to your business’ benefit.

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A Brief Look at Virtual Assistants

There is no doubt that you have come across the virtual assistant (or voice assistant). Whether you have it on a smartphone or you use it via a digital speaker in your home, you have probably spent some time using some type of virtual assistant. 

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Tip of the Week: 3 Considerations When Securing Personal Information

Personal information is precious, especially in this increasingly digital day and age. This makes it incredibly important that you are doing everything you can to protect it in your business - whether it is your own or belongs to somebody else. Here, we’ll go over a few tips to help you better protect the data you’re responsible for.

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A Brief Review of (Some) VoIP Features

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) solutions famously offer businesses some significant cost savings. While this may be the extent of many people’s understanding of its value, VoIP actually has a lot more to offer. That’s why we wanted to go over just a few of its benefits - to provide a bit of insight into what makes VoIP such a great choice for today’s organizations.

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What Happens During an IT Assessment?

With technology being deployed to help businesses solve all manners of operational inefficiency, it’s often difficult to pinpoint what IT will work best for your business. Organizations of all types look to technology; and, at some point you need to ask yourself if your technology is set up to help reach your business’ potential. 

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Hit Back Hard Against Malware

The threat landscape is filled with more types of malware than ever. To keep your business’ network running effectively, it’s important to have a strategy to keep malware out. Today, we’ll talk about a few basics you should know to keep your cybersecurity strategy working properly.

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Best Practices for Your Access Management

As you oversee your business, there is a lot that you’re going to have to manage - including how much access your employees have to the data you have collected and generated throughout your operations. An access management policy can help you to accomplish this. Here, we’ll review a few key features you need to include in your strategy.

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Tip of the Week: Keeping Track of Your Own IT Isn’t Easy

Quick - when was the last time your routers were updated? Not sure? How about your servers, or every other piece of technology in your office?

The truth is, maintaining a business’ IT requires more than just running a virus scan every once and a while, or updating a mission-critical program on each workstation. It requires an in-depth understanding of each component and its history, assisted by the use of specialized tools and extensive record-keeping.

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Tip of the Week: An Intro to Windows 10’s Built-In Virtual Desktops

On a Windows machine, look at your taskbar, near the Start button and the search function. The next little icon, the one that almost looks like a bit of film, is the Task View button, the button that (among other purposes) allows you to create and manage virtual desktops. For this week’s tip, we’ll discuss how to use this handy feature, starting with why you might want to.

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Your Business Processes Are Everything

The word “procedure” can easily be perceived in a negative light nowadays. It just sounds so… rote… compared to the exciting and dynamic buzzwords that so many “thought-leading, influencing, social media innovators” today toss around. Now, we don’t mean to disparage these personalities - we just want to emphasize that these innovations rely on a foundation to support them, and these foundations are based on business procedures and processes.

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The Value That Managed IT Services Bring to the Table

We’re always trying to get our message out, sharing how our services can bring value to just about any kind of business - including nonprofits and municipalities - seeing as just about every business today relies on technology to some degree. Here, we wanted to demonstrate how that value can present itself through managed services.

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Are You Providing Internal Communication Capabilities?

Businesses have a variety of communications to manage, including their internal ones. For many, this may be put on the back burner, as they prioritize their operational and sales-encouraging communications. However, internal communications are just as crucial, which is why we’re going over some of your options here - and how you need to use them.

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Potential Issues Your Server Could Experience

Most businesses nowadays require a server in order to operate properly, but these critical pieces of infrastructure aren’t immune to issues. Here, we’ll go over a few common reasons that you may experience a server crash.

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Tip of the Week: How to Work with PDFs

One of the most common file types you hear about is the Portable Document Format file - although you probably know it simply as a PDF. PDFs are so well known because they are the best way to save a document so that, regardless of the device it is viewed on, the file will always appear the same. Did you know that you can do more than just look at a PDF? Here, we’re providing some tips on how you can make your PDFs work for you.

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Tip of the Week: Business Improvement Resolutions

A full week into the new year, have you resolved to make any improvements to your business? In light of all the resolutions that may (or may not) have been broken by now, we decided to share a few resolutions you could put into place to improve your business and its processes.

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How Improving Communications Improves Your Business

If you were to search Google for “the most important thing for a company to be successful,” there appears to be a wide range of answers - from team management, to sales skills, to relationship building, to decision making. However, among the vast majority of the results, there was one common thread: the ability to communicate. That’s why we’re exploring how to best communicate with people associated with your business.

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How Cloud Services and Pizzerias Offer Similar Benefits

When you look at the cloud service business model, it can be easy to wonder how it is so beneficial to businesses - or really, how it fiscally can be. After all, dollars to donuts, the monthly service charges most likely add up to less than a business would spend for another, comparable service. To understand how the cloud does this, it may help to look at something that often occurs in the office.

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Windows 7 EOL is Not the End of the World

Windows 7 is only days away from being officially retired by Microsoft. The software company has done all it can to try to educate users about the end of the OS, which has its last support update on January 14, 2020, but won’t be getting any more. As of this writing there are still nearly 25 percent of computers running Windows 7. Let’s take a look at why it is imperative that you upgrade or find a solution to get out from under the Windows 7 OS. 

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It’s Time to Take Control Over Your Printers!

It’s pretty easy to ignore the printers around your office - until they run out of toner/ink, or jam, or just disappear from your network for seemingly no reason. Okay, it’s easy to ignore printers most of the time. Unfortunately, business owners do tend to ignore their printers, and this can get really expensive over time.

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Holy Moly It’s 2020: 50 Years of Technology

Today is the first day of the third decade of the 21st century. For some, it’s just another year, but for others it seems almost impossible that we’ve reached this point without floating cars and manned missions to Jupiter. Fifty years ago, some of the technology that is used in the course of doing business was simply fiction or conjecture. We thought it would be neat to take a look at some of the technological changes made since 1970.

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Taking a Short Look at Emerging Technology

New technology can be extremely exciting, but for any business, it can be kind of scary. Implementing technology that isn’t completely established is a major gamble that could have multiple negative impacts. On the other hand, sometimes early adoption of emerging technology will give a business just the boost it needs to blow past projections. Today, we will look at three emerging technologies that the small to medium-sized business will have to consider in the near future.

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How Our Help Desk Benefits You

You’re likely aware that we have a Help Desk for our clients to leverage, but not all companies handle their support the same way. Here, we wanted to share a few reasons that we are confident that our approach to support is better for our clients.

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What is Windows 10’s Timeline?

Microsoft Windows has been a staple of personal computing for almost 35 years. When Microsoft retires their Windows 7 OS in a couple of weeks, they will be left with only two PC OSs functional: Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Today, we will take a look at the Windows 10 OS and when to expect Microsoft to release a new operating system.

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