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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.

How to Host a Watch Party and Watch Hamilton with Friends and Family

Getting tickets to see Hamilton was difficult before the global pandemic. The last time I had checked, ticket prices were over $600 on the low-end, and that was to reserve them 9 months early. With the pandemic, well, it’s just best to stay home.

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When It Comes to Your Technology Policies, Don’t Forget These Three Details

If you haven’t kept your most up-to-date policies and procedures written down somewhere, you absolutely must correct this as soon as possible. A written guide to your business’ policies and procedures is crucial, as it is intended to give your team a resource to turn to for an answer to any questions concerning their employment. Let’s go over some things you must include in your written employee handbook.

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Test Your Backup!

Your data is vital for your organization’s continuity. Your data consists of everything from your company documents, accounting records, client contact information, prospects and leads, procedures, and everything else needed for you to keep operations running smoothly. That’s why all businesses need a solid backup solution that is monitored and tested regularly.

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What We Can Learn from Some Foreboding Security Predictions

With the COVID-19 crisis far from over, many businesses have had their attention pulled away from their cybersecurity needs by the concerns that the current health crisis has generated. Here, we’ll be reviewing some of the observations that a group of 273 cybersecurity professionals have made, courtesy of an annual survey.

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FBI Warns About Banking Scams

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, many people are avoiding human contact by turning to the Internet and mobile apps. On a national scope, mobile banking alone has seen an increase of 50 percent over just the last few months. In what certainly is no coincidence, the Federal Bureau of Investigation recently put out a warning that identified banking apps as likely targets for hackers.

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Your Eyes Will Thank You if You Try This Microsoft Word Dark Mode Trick

If you spend a lot of time in front of a computer, eye strain can be a big problem. Staring at a screen for too long can be irritating, and some even experience headaches and exhaustion from it.

Fortunately, a lot of common applications have been deploying dark or night modes. Microsoft Word’s take on this has been, well, less than desirable. We’ll show you a way around it to help save your eyeballs a lot of strain.

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Tip of the Week: How to Keep Your Wireless Printer Secure

Of all the technology that you have in the office, your printers may not be at the top of your list of security concerns. This is a mistake, as an unprotected printer could easily serve as an access point to someone with less-than-righteous motives. To help correct this, we’re dedicating this week’s tip to improving the security of your printing solutions.

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Automation Will Be Key for Future Businesses

Many businesses have found it extremely hard to cope with restrictions levied by lawmakers because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has sent business owners and decision makers looking for solutions to their revenue problems. The most popular solution is to automate some of the work that was typically done by human resources to try and slice some of the demands on their capital. Today, we will tell you how automation is here to stay in business. 

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Technology You’ll Need as Your Business Grows

If you are an entrepreneur, changing the way that you look at your business can be pretty difficult. Many businesses start out with not much more than a ray of hope, so if your business is doing well, you must be doing something right. When demand makes you think bigger, your technology spend becomes a major priority. Let’s take a look at some of the changes a growing business has to make. 

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Do You Know How Your Hard Drive Saves Data?

A lot of people never stop and consider how their data is saved. It’s something we all have, from old photos of our family vacations to the files kept on the server back at the office, but not many people know the actual mechanics behind it. Today, we wanted to go over these specifics, and hopefully make it clear why we always advocate for backup practices.

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IT Can Fill In a Lot of Gaps

When the stay-at-home orders were reigning down early in March, people weren’t sure just how long precautionary measures would last. Now that a large percentage of the workforce is either out of work, just returning to work, or working from home after nearly 100 days, it has proven to be one of the most challenging periods for businesses in contemporary business history. Today, we’d like to flip the narrative a bit and talk about three technology solutions that can fix some of your business’ problems in a time when there are plenty to fix.

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Tip of the Week: Time Management at Its Best

You can make more money, but you can’t make more time. Making the most of your time at work isn’t always easy. There are all types of unexpected distractions that take up a lot of time, so you should know what works to help you get the most out of the time you do have. Today, we present three considerations that will help you manage your time better.

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How to Optimize Your IT Costs with the Help of an MSP

A business’ budget is the biggest authority over it. As a result, each business needs to spend some time adjusting their operational investments to put itself in the best position to reach its goals… a process that a managed service provider’s help can make much simpler. Let’s review some ways that an MSP can help a business get that much more out of its investment into its IT.

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Reopen Your Business with Confidence

As the COVID-19 pandemic rolls on, many businesses continue to operate remotely with an eye toward reopening their office soon. Today, we thought it would be a perfect time to go over a couple of things that small business owners will need to address as people begin coming back into the workplace. 

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Alert: Hackers Target Mobile Banking Apps, Warns FBI

More people than ever are utilizing the conveniences of the Internet and mobile apps to avoid unnecessary human contact during the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, mobile banking alone has increased by 50 percent over the last few months, nationwide. In a recent PSA, the FBI warned that hackers are likely to be targeting mobile banking apps.

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Why You Need to Consider How Your Data is Stored

If you have a computer, it has data on it that you’ve stored. Whether it’s the novel you’ve been working on in your spare time or pictures from your kid’s sixth grade graduation on your home PC, or the databases and applications that your business’ infrastructure supports, all of this data is generally stored in exactly the same way. Whatever your case, you should know that your data is terrifyingly fragile - far too fragile to ever be kept in just one place. Let’s dive deeper.

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Why You Need to Audit Your Security

A security audit is designed to test the overall integrity of your business when it comes to its IT security. In today’s environment, businesses need to have strengthened fortifications in place to protect themselves from cyberthreats, and these fortifications need to be properly tested and reviewed over time. Let’s talk about some of the types of audits and their benefits, and how you can assess your security.

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4 Excuses Businesses Should Stop Using When it Comes to Social Media

As the owner of a business, one of your number one tasks is to grow your business. Simply put, without the revenue new contacts bring in, you’ll likely grow stagnant. While word of mouth is great, there is a limit to how many people you can meet. You have to market, advertise, and promote your services to reach a wider audience. In terms of reach, social media can provide access to a nearly unlimited source of leads. 

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Tip of the Week: How to Encourage Remote Collaboration

Recent events have shown how useful a remote workforce can prove to be, but this method of maintaining productivity isn’t without its challenges. For instance, a staff that is used to working side-by-side in an office may have difficulties in adjusting to this new work paradigm. Fortunately, there are a few company activities that can help make better remote habits stick. Let’s go over a few for this week’s tip.

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Tip of the Week: How to React When Your Workspace Shifts

While it seems that some business will best be conducted remotely for some time yet, it is still very important to start planning for a return to in-house operations now. This will help them to hit the ground running when the floodgates open back up. For this week’s tip, we’re going over how to return to the office after working remotely, while also reviewing some best practices for adjusting to remote work (just in case).

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PCI Compliance and Your Business

The days of the cash-only business are over. It doesn’t matter if your business is a multinational corporation or you cut grass for a living, accepting payment cards is not only convenient for your customers, most of the time it’s the most secure way to get paid. In an effort to protect the personal and financial information of consumers who have come to depend on their payment cards, the banks that back the credit card industry have developed a regulation that businesses who process cards need to adhere to. Today, we will go over this regulation and how it affects small and medium-sized businesses

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Business Improvements to Consider as You Resume Operations

Businesses are now in the process of reopening. While there are sure to be growing pains and setbacks, this also provides an opportunity for these businesses to make many adjustments and improvements to how they operate. As you reignite your operations (or make the preparations to), it will help to do so with the support of modern technology and the processes it enables.

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What We Can Learn from the 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report

Starting in 2008, Verizon has produced a report outlining the cybersecurity incident trends that the previous year demonstrated. In doing so, they have provided a resource that gives businesses greater insights into where their cybersecurity efforts need to be focused. Let’s go over some of 2019’s trends and insights that were highlighted in the Verizon Business 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR).

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Not All Threats are External

As much as a business relies on its technology, it relies just as much upon its employees to properly put that technology to use. Unfortunately, this can very easily expose the business to various threats that involve their employees. Understanding these insider threats is crucial for a business, especially given how current events may tempt those who would never have considered them otherwise.

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Tip of the Week: Opening Your Needed Programs on Startup

If you were to look at any company’s list of priorities, chances are that “productivity” could be found somewhere at the top of the list. Current circumstances being what they are and many processes shifting as a result, this productivity is likely more of a challenge than normal. As any bit of saved time can increase productivity, we’re dedicating this week’s tip to a minor change you can make to accomplish this goal.

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Tip of the Week: Some Keyboard Shortcuts You May Not Know

Everyone knows some keyboard shortcuts. The normal ones that allow you to copy, cut, paste, lock your computer, select all, and more. Today, we thought we would tell you about some browser-based shortcuts that can definitely save you time and effort. 

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Coronavirus Scams Awareness

We have all been going through tough times recently due to the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent social distancing measures and lockdowns. As we continue to go through rough times, we would like to encourage people to be vigilant and attentive with their security, lest you fall victim to one of the many recent COVID-19 scams out there. Here are several of the scams out there.

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Is Your Staff Holding Up Their End on Security?

It seems as though every business is depending more and more on their IT. This means that their employees have more exposure to their IT systems. Unfortunately, that relationship is where the majority of the problems you will have are. The facts are that any business that has built a strong security policy has the solutions in place to keep direct infiltration from happening. Hackers have to find another way.

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IT Training That Is Sure to Get the Desired Effect

A business without well-trained employees is one that is always on the precipice of disaster. With the threat landscape the way it is, you need your staff to know how to properly maneuver around company IT and you need to ensure they know how to protect themselves and the company in a digital environment. Today, we will take a look at some strategies to promote end-to-end security at your company.

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How the Right Technology Can Help SMBs Reopen Safely

Many small businesses in the United States—most, actually—are in a catch-22 of sorts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While reopening too soon could contribute to a resurgence in infection rates, there is also a very real risk associated with reopening too late. To help avoid either scenario, the right technology solutions will prove to be indispensable.

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Avoid Burning Out While Working From Home

A lot has been made about the newly-remote workforce that has been doing their best during the COVID-19 pandemic. One issue that many ignore is burnout. Sure, it happens in the office too, but there is something unsettling about getting up and going to work walking distance from your bed. Today, we will take a look at at-home worker burnout and give you a few tips to help you keep from suffering the same fate. 

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Tip of the Week: Laptop Battery Best Practices

Nowadays, laptops are the weapon of choice for productivity. They function much like a desktop computer but are mobile enough to go anywhere with. Unfortunately, most laptops chew through their batteries in only a few hours of work and need to be plugged in in order to function. With so many people working from home, many people are using their laptops more like a desktop and keeping them plugged in around the clock. For this week’s tip, we’ll discuss the best practices of a laptop battery. 

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Tip of the Week: How to Effectively Task Out Responsibilities

With so many things that need to be accomplished each day, it always helps to have all the information needed to complete these tasks. If a task has no context assigned to it or no insight into how to approach it, productivity and morale are going to suffer. To prevent this, you need to properly task out your team’s goals. Here, we’ve provided some practices to help.

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For the SMB Returning to Work

Many states’ stay-at-home orders that are/were designed to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus are now lapsing all over the U.S. As a result, business owners are re-opening their doors to a great deal of uncertainty. We have put together this guide to help the business owner understand that, even though you’ve finally been given the go-ahead, you have a responsibility to keep your staff and customers safe.

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Cybersecurity Takes Effort at 3 Levels

The way people talk about cybersecurity, it’s as if it is something like a television or a new phone: something you can just buy. That’s not the truth. When you are seriously looking at how you can keep unwanted entities off your network, while having control over what you do with your technology, you need to look at it as three levels of security.

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Remote Work Has Been Around for Longer than You’d Think

A lot of people aren’t aware that working from home is not a recent innovation. It can arguably be traced back over a million and a half years, when our ancestors would work relatively close to their dwelling places. Throughout our history, work has shifted away and back again to the remote methodology. Let’s look back through the years to see the progression of how people worked, based on the technology that was available.

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What Are the Most Important IT Solutions for an SMB?

While all a business’ technology solutions are important, some are bound to take priority over the others, especially when certain ones become an industry-wide focus. A recent survey evaluated the top concerns of small-to-medium-sized businesses for the coming year. The results of the survey identified a few telling trends regarding the priorities that SMBs hold now, and for good reason.

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Protecting Your Data Privacy Is Harder than Ever

If you consider it, it’s amazing how much trust people have in Internet-based companies. They not only believe that these companies will fulfill their expectations, but that they will work to provide protection for some of their most valuable and sensitive information. Let’s take a look at some of the data collection practices that companies use and what they do with that data. 

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Tip of the Week: Backup’s Value, in Two Scenarios

Each week, we try to provide some tips to help you out in some way. This time, we want to take a somewhat different approach and instead present you with two potential scenarios that your business could encounter—one with and one without a backup solution in play—and let you see the benefit that our tip this week (protect your business with a backup solution) can present.

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Tip of the Week: How to Efficiently Use Chrome in Android

Productivity is a huge priority in any business. This makes it crucial that all tasks can be picked up and put down as efficiently as possible. With mobile browsing now playing a major role in most users’ lives, the version of Chrome for Android devices is a very utilized tool. With these factors in mind, we’re sharing tips to make your use of Android Chrome that much more efficient and productive.

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Email Scams Continue to Plague Oneonta

As if Oneonta residents didn’t have enough to worry about during the coronavirus crisis, there’s a new email cyberattack to keep on the lookout for. While it follows the similar pattern of using social engineering to trick its targets into providing funds, this time the attackers have reached a new low. Read on to learn how you can protect yourself.

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Business Continuity Planning is Your Greatest Tool

Disasters, at least in the business sense, have long been underestimated. While you always, always, hear about disasters that are often seen, there are some (as we are witnessing now) that can go under the radar until they strike. Regardless of the nature of the disaster, however, you need to be prepared to continue both your operations and your communications to some degree.

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Businesses are Dashing to the Cloud. Is Yours?

This is a strange time for everyone. For business owners, it’s filled with uncertainty as many of their businesses have had to shut down in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Others were forced into embracing remote operations. For these companies, their cloud platforms are turning out to be major benefits. Today, we’ll explain why.

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How to Make Video Conferencing Less Awkward for Everyone

Right now, more business than ever is now conducted over video chat. You may have found yourself using it as a tool as you work remotely. However, while these conversations may help keep your team connected to one another, the experience certainly isn’t the same as what would be found in the office conference room. Here, we’re sharing a way to get rid of one of the biggest hurdles in remote collaboration.

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I Didn’t Realize How Much I Needed This: Color-Coded Chrome Tabs

Google Chrome is rolling out a neat little update for everyone over the next week (it may already be out for some users by the time this posts). It’s a feature that I know I’m personally going to love, and I didn’t even realize how badly I needed it until now.

Let’s take a look!

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Tip of the Week: Three Ways Collaboration Can Be Improved

Collaboration is critical for a business’ success, but with more teams than ever split amongst their homes, it is arguably even more crucial to their operations. For this week’s tip, we’re going over three ways that your team can collaborate more effectively while making remote operations work.

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Tip of the Week: Make Email Simpler

A strong email solution can bring a great deal of continuity to a business. If it is mismanaged, however, it can quickly become a major pain point. Today, we thought we would go over a couple of ways that you can use your email platform to boost productivity, rather than waste time with it.

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Two Tips for Managing Your Email in Outlook Better

Email! We all know it. We all stare at it every day (or it stares down at us, depending on how you look at it). Microsoft Outlook has some neat features to help cut down on the time you spend managing your email. Let’s jump right into it.

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We Need to Flatten the Curve of Cybersecurity Risk

People have been examining the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic and social shutdown from every angle. Unfortunately, some of those people took it as the opportunity they’ve been waiting for to try and steal data and in some cases money from unprotected and unprepared people and businesses online. Let’s examine how the events surrounding COVID-19 have had an effect on cybercrime.

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Three Ways the Cloud is a Cost-Effective Option for Businesses

As technology has developed, the tools available for businesses to use have gained considerable benefits. One particularly paradigm-shifting advancement, the cloud, has allowed businesses access to better solutions than ever before, and with the bonus of making them easier to manage. Let’s go over a few such solutions that many businesses are now embracing.

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The Pandmeic Era Internet

The Internet has never been more valuable than it is today. Over the past couple of months tens of millions of students have been introduced to telelearning, millions of businesses have promoted telework, people are meeting with their friends online, and consuming content from their living rooms (or their home offices) at rates never before seen. So what about security? Today we’ll take a look at how all this use is changing the Internet. 

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Tip of the Week: Four Essential Network Management Practices

Businesses depend on their networks to effectively complete the tasks they need to accomplish, making it critically important that the one you rely on is managed properly. Let’s go over a few tips and best practices that can help you ensure that it is.

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Tip of the Week: Best Practices to Protect Your Business

There are many different varieties of cybercrime that businesses need to be vigilant about. However, most of these varieties can largely be avoided through a few basic practices and behaviors. Here, we’re giving you a few tips to help you prevent attacks from successfully influencing your business, so make sure you share them with your entire team, as well.

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VoIP Is a Complete Game Changer

Businesses of all types rely on their telephone systems. Today, there is an option that can revolutionize any business’ communications platform, and do so for a fraction of the cost of a traditional telephone system. Today, we’ll take a look at VoiP and why it’s such a good option for your business.

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Why Managed Service Providers are Your Best IT Support Option

Managed services have quickly become the most reasonable option for businesses of any size to use, and based on what we’ve seen recently, will soon be the only real option for most operations. However, when considering the managed service option, you need to make sure you find a provider with the following capabilities and service offerings:

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Technologies that Small Businesses Should Be Using

As time passes and technology is developed, a lot of the processes that businesses rely on become more efficient and stand to deliver greater benefits to the organizations that use them. These benefits are accessible to businesses of all sizes, including small businesses. Let’s go over a few small business needs, and how technology can assist with them.

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For Many Businesses, Working From Home Might Stick

Skipping the commute, wearing comfortable pants, and foregoing everyday office distractions has become the new norm during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s very likely that the businesses that do well with a remote workforce might continue to keep operating that way even after we’re all able to see each other again.

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Don’t Get Phished Out of Your Stimulus Payment

Wherever there is money, there are scammers. So it may not be a big surprise that scammers are out en masse trying to get between you and your federally mandated stimulus money.  It’s bad enough that we’ve already seen a couple of phishing scams using the COVID-19 pandemic that are designed to help hackers get into accounts they have no business in, now that these scammers know that people are getting cash, the scams are kicked up a notch.

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Tip of the Week: Monitor Your Hardware While Out of the Office

Businesses are just now starting to reopen as stay-at-home orders are lapsing or going to lapse. For many of those businesses, remote solutions have got them through this ordeal and for many others they continue to deploy a remote workforce. For companies still promoting telework, monitoring your local IT environment is something that you need a solution for. For this week’s tip, we’ll discuss some of the best practices you can use to monitor your IT while out of the office.

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The Importance of Secure Conferencing

Conferencing has been an important tool for businesses as stay-at-home orders have moved their operations out of the office and into worker’s homes. While there are dozens of video conferencing solutions on the market, businesses should consider security just as much as they consider functionality. Today, we’ll take a look at security for your company’s conferencing solutions.

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Efficient IT Goes a Long Way

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing businesses to rethink their operational strategies, many businesses have had to make a quick digital transformation. Many businesses have accomplished this before the stay-at-home orders, but with employees working from home, we thought this was the perfect time to take a look at four tools businesses can use to improve their work-from-home strategies. 

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The Cloud Is Coming of Age

For the past decade, cloud computing has grown fairly rapidly, but as a new decade, and a pesky virus has people (and businesses) leaning on hosted computing solutions more now than ever, it seems like a good time to review the types of cloud options that are available, and how they provide value to businesses just like yours.

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Why Your Business Needs a Social Media Presence Right Now

Businesses around the world now find themselves in a situation unlike what most have ever seen. With so many trying to keep their distance from one another, many workplaces have deemed it necessary to close down for the time being or to operate remotely in order to reduce the risk they present to their clients and customers… but it isn’t as though these clients and customers are going to expect radio silence from these businesses.

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Zoom Addresses Security Shortcomings, But Users Should Always be Careful

Remote workers have an increasing number of tools to allow them to remain productive as COVID-19 concerns force them out of their office due to social distancing requirements. Yet many newly remote workers are finding unexpected problems in their new world as they adopt new technologies such as Zoom. Take a moment to learn how to keep your Zoom meetings safe and give your remote workers the tools they need to remain productive.

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Tip of the Week: Making Sure Your Workstation is Sanitized

We spend a lot of time on this blog talking about virus avoidance, but today we thought we would go into things you can do to keep another type of virus--specifically COVID-19--away from you and your technology.

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Tip of the Week: How to Adapt to a Business Disaster

“Stuff” happens. While this may not be the kind of thing you want to consider in terms of your business’ operations, it is something that must be done if you want to be prepared for the moment when all of that “stuff” hits the fan (as so many businesses are now learning firsthand). We wanted to share a few best practices and tips to help you stay positive during this, and other, serious crises.

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Cutting Costs Doesn’t Mean Sacrificing Support

If you’re trying to minimize your operating costs to improve your budget, it is important to keep in mind that sacrifice isn’t your only option. Instead, you also have the option of streamlining and minimizing some of your larger expenses by enlisting a managed services provider and the more sustainable business model we adhere to.

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How to Reposition Yourself for Remote Productivity (Literally!)

As current events have made congregating in an office irresponsible and hazardous, many companies are sustaining their operations by enabling remote work. While we normally focus on how you should properly take care of your technology, we wanted to shift our focus momentarily to the people using this technology, and how they can do so more safely.

To do so, we have to consider ergonomics.

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The Definitive Guide on Password Best Practices

Protecting your online accounts, your data, and your customers’ information is now more important than ever. Industry and state-mandated compliances are now forcing businesses to tighten their cybersecurity, and it’s critical that every human being on the Internet take their own personal security seriously. This guide is designed to provide the best practices for strong passwords.

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How to (And How Not to) Approach Remote Work

Many businesses are currently finding the best course of action for them to take right now for the good of their employees is to adopt remote work policies. However, this puts a lot of responsibility on the employees to conduct themselves appropriately and spend the time they should be working diligently.

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It’s Time to Rebuild Your Business Continuity Process

Every business needs a continuity plan (BCP) so that if their business is forced to deal with problems that arise for any reason, that they have a working plan to get the business back up and operating as intended quickly. It’s one thing to have it all written down on paper, outlining how things are supposed to go, and quite another thing to have a working strategy when faced with operational interruptions. Today, we’ll go through some of the basics of business continuity to help you understand all that goes into a successful plan. 

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Tip of the Week: Pandemic Problems

Now months into the COVID-19 pandemic, stay-at-home orders are still in place causing most financial analysts to suggest that the economies we depend on might not look the same when business returns. Let’s outline a couple of tips that will help get your business through this terrible situation.

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Tip of the Week: How Cloud Solutions Can Preserve Your Productivity

We spend a lot of time considering cloud solutions, and as a result, we have a very easy time seeing how much they can do to help support your office’s productivity (especially now, when it isn’t really recommended that anyone congregate in the office). That’s why, for this week’s tip, we wanted to go over how you can help even your remote workforce be more productive by using cloud technology.

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Communication Practices to Keep Everyone on the Same Page

A lot of people have been working from home for the better part of a month, but the rise of the remote worker was happening long before the COVID-19 outbreak demanded people work from home. Today, business owners that wouldn’t typically be in favor of a remote workforce are starting to come around as they see comparable productivity and less overhead costs than normal. With their remote workforce doing pretty well, one problem that these business owners are seeing is periodic miscommunication. Let’s take a look how to improve your company’s remote communications with technology you probably already have access to. 

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We’ve Answered Some FAQs About Remote Workers

Worldwide, we’re a good few months into dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, with many nonessential businesses shutting their doors for the time being. Even those industries that can’t just stop their operations are seeking alternatives, leading many to turn to implementing as much of a remote workforce as possible. Many still have questions about doing so, however, so we want to do our best to help answer some of the common questions these business people might ask about remote work.

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Be More Productive by Following a Routine

Business efficiency can be greatly helped by putting a concrete process in place, which is why it feels so natural to develop one in the workplace. Of course, these processes should also come into play when working from home. Let’s review what makes a routine so beneficial, and how you can develop one to optimize your success.

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Rethinking Your Budget for a New Reality

With the COVID-19 outbreak forcing businesses into unenviable situations, it’s probably not surprising that business owners and decision makers are looking at what expenses they need to cut in order to keep their businesses afloat. Today, we’ll discuss the trends we are seeing and how managed IT services can be a godsend in situations like this.

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How to Achieve Productivity while Working Remotely

Productivity is a concept that has long been viewed as the gold standard in businesses. However, with so many businesses currently transferring to remote operations in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic, it can be challenging for all involved to work as productively as they would while in the office. On the other side of the coin, the right behaviors can make it quite effective. 

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What You Need to Consider to Securely Permit Remote Work

At any given time, a business needs to consider its security, but this need only exacerbates when its employees are working remotely. With the coronavirus pandemic still in play, the likelihood is that your employees are in this situation has risen dramatically. In order to maintain  your organizational security, you need to consider the many factors that a remote workforce can introduce.

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VoIP is a Great Tool for Remote Work

Social distancing has more or less confined many to their homes, and so many people have begun to adopt remote working to stay busy and to keep their workplaces operational. One way to assist these activities, VoIP (or Voice over Internet Protocol) is a massively helpful tool that many businesses use. Here, we’re going over why this is.

We’ll begin by reviewing the current situation.

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Coronavirus is Shifting the Communications Industry

With COVID-19 urging people to remain at home, many telecommunications companies have started to make concessions to make life easier for their customers. Whether it is used for entertainment, work, or communication, Internet access is crucial right now, and so ISPs and cell carriers are taking steps to help facilitate this. 

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Let’s Look at the Different Types of Ransomware

The growing popularity of ransomware has been disconcerting to many IT professionals, particularly due to the different tactics that this malware variant has been spotted utilizing. In order to protect your business from these attacks, it helps to know how they work. We’ve put together a beginner’s field guide to ransomware types to help you identify (and hopefully avoid) it.

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Working from Home Isn’t Without Significant Cybersecurity Risks

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly disrupted daily life, restricting people to their homes and preventing them from going into the office to work. In response, many companies are hurriedly changing over to a remote-capable workforce and having their employees work from home. This strategy can be highly effective, but if a company and its team isn’t careful, it can also be risky.

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If Your Business Isn’t Considered ‘Essential’ You Need to do This

New York State, along with many others, have mandated a stay at home order as part of their social distancing policy. As such, most businesses have to close in response to the coronavirus crisis. There are, however, 12 business sectors which are exempt from this order, and can remain open because they are considered essential. Do you know if your business is considered essential? Read on to learn more.

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Tip of the Week: Remote Productivity Tips

The COVID-19 outbreak has caused many businesses to enact a work-from-home policy. With so many people working from home, we thought it would be a good idea to write up some simple tips to follow to give yourself the best chance of being productive. 

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Tip of the Week: Getting More Mileage Out of PDFs

PDFs--Portable Document Format files--are a common enough thing to see. However, many people may not realize the extent of what can be done with them… like editing them. For our tip this week, we’ll go over a few of the ways you can create and edit a PDF file.

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What You Need to Know to Manage a Remote Workforce

There are many reasons that your team may want (or need) to work from home, and there are many reasons to allow them to do so. A 2019 survey by OwlLabs indicated that 71 percent of remote workers are happy with their job (as compared to 55 percent of on-site workers); remote workers responded that they are 13   percent more likely than onsite workers to stay in their current job for five more years than onsite workers will; and when respondents claimed to be working longer than 40 hours per week, onsite workers were doing so out of necessity, while remote workers did so out of desire and enjoyment.

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The Employee’s Guide to Working Remotely

It’s not uncommon where a situation arises and you will find yourself working from home. To make this work, it is important that you keep a few additional issues in mind so that you can make the most of it. We have put together a few simple best practices that you should keep in mind as you operate remotely.

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Social Engineering Lessons from an Oneonta Grandmother

Cybercriminals use nasty tricks to gain the confidence of their victims. They often use trust to fool users into providing their passwords or downloading malicious software. We’ve recently seen this happen with local Otsego county residents. First, let’s take a look at what social engineering is.

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It’s Time to Get a VPN

A virtual private network (also known as a VPN) is something that more and more businesses are using, especially now while most of the workforce is now working from home. As a means of encrypting data while it is in transit, the use of a VPN enables you to transmit assorted types of data more safely. Of course, not all VPNs are the same, and so you need to be careful to select the right solution for your needs.

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What are Tech Industry Giants Doing About COVID-19?

While COVID-19 has largely dominated the public awareness and created huge shifts and interruptions to businesses of all sizes, small businesses have clearly been impacted the most--essential and non-essential businesses alike. Of course, this doesn’t mean that large enterprises and corporations aren’t also affected. The difference is, these enterprises and corporations are sometimes better equipped to do something about it… which many have.

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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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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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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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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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