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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.

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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Technology Concerns Heading Into 2020

For most businesses, technology has a major role in what they do. They use it in all manners of ways, but there is no question that it has become a driving force for business. As the calendar flips to a new decade, we thought that it would be good to take a look at what the 2010s brought us, and what to expect in the 2020s. 

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It is a Wonderful Life - IT Edition

Parker sat at his desk looking at a business card. He watched the snow fall lightly outside his window. He was the last person left in the office, as he typically was this time of year. He put down the business card and got up and walked over to the large pane of glass that was the only insulation from the harsh, cold wintery night. He placed his hand on the window and felt the bitter cold meet the palm of his hand. He stood there for a minute; maybe more than a minute. He began to cry. He was so angry at how things were going.

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The Night Before Christmas (A Visit from St. Isidore)

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and with all the work done,
The office was closing for some holiday fun;
Their coats buttoned up, they had all saved their files,
Everyone’s face creased in a big, toothy smile.

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Useful Technology Gifts to Add to Your List

During the holiday, you will often be put in a position where you need to find some useful technology for co-workers or the ones you love. Today, we take a look at four gadgets that are sure to make even the biggest technophile smile. Let’s get into it. 

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The Technology That Protects Your Payment Cards

These days most consumers lean heavily on their payment cards. Whether they use credit cards, debit cards, or gift cards, consumers today are much more apt to use their card then they are to use cash. Why is this? Convenience mostly, but also there is a belief that using a payment card is more secure than walking around with a wad of cash in your pocket. Today, we will get to the bottom of the matter.

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Sometimes Printing Just Doesn’t Make Sense (Or Cents)

There was a time when business was run through the printer. These days, there are many digital solutions that can really limit the need for high-volume printing. Today, we’ll take a look at how the average business can cut their printing costs and do it while improving their business using print management.

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Could You Be Benefitting from Virtualization?

A big part of running a successful operation is knowing how to make the most of your resources, minimizing your operating costs while still generating optimal sources of revenue and other income. One way to do so is by making the most of the hardware you currently have - such as your servers.

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Control Your Profile, Part III

Social media - we can’t live with it, but we really can’t seem to live without it. People who frequently read our blog will notice how often we discuss Facebook, one of the biggest players in the social media space. Seeing as privacy is one of the biggest concerns today, we’re wrapping up our short series on Facebook by reviewing the settings you might not have realized were options on your Facebook profile.

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Tip of the Week: How to Efficiently Manage Your Email

Email is one of the most valuable tools that a business has at its disposal, but even so, its true value can easily be wasted if it isn’t used to its fullest potential. To avoid this, we’ve put together a few of our favorite ways to streamline your business emails - and maybe fix a few bad habits along the way.

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Tip of the Week: Warning Signs of a Phishing Attack

The modern cyberattack is more of a slight of hand than it is a direct attack. With encryption protecting a lot of business data, hackers need to find ways to circumvent that technology. They often do this though phishing. This week, we will take a look at some of the warning signs of phishing to help give you a little better awareness. 

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Spend Smartly… Invest in an MSP

While it is true that many small and medium-sized businesses don’t have access to the resources enterprise-level businesses do, they don’t have to find themselves on the outside looking in. By partnering with an MSP, SMBs can have access to the same IT resources as larger organizations at a price that is within their reach.

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The Ultimate Social Media Rig (Updated May 2014)

Recently, I was asked to speak at a breakout session called "Jumpstart Social Media for your IT Business" at the ConnectWise PSA 2009 Partner Summit. What a great event, we learned so much for our MSP practice, we are still implementing! Some of the power point slides from the breakout show our Project Plan for rolling out our "Ultimate Social Media Rig". We promised to get the project plan posted on the site. Rather than post just screen shots, we made it easier for you to get started and typed it up too, copy/paste ftw.

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Co-Managed IT Can Help Fast-Track Tech Integration

Typically, when a business decides to upgrade their technology it is out of necessity. Either the business grows fast and starts to outpace the existing tech or it is burning through capital and has to find a solution to help optimize its operational efficiency. Of course, a business could very well think that some new technology will improve their profitability, or it could be mandated to change by regulation. 

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What Are the Biggest Cybersecurity Concerns Going into 2020?

Cybersecurity should always be a priority for a business, and cyber criminals are always evolving their tactics. As a result, it pays to keep an eye on the horizon for the next looming threats. Here, we’re reviewing a few threats that cybersecurity professionals say that businesses should be concerned about in the near future.

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Google Knows a Lot About You. Here’s How to Control It

Nearly everyone uses Google in some way or another. The search engine is, by far, the most common way people get answers and find content online. The margins aren’t even close, either. Currently, Google handles about 90% of search queries, while the second and third place goes to Yahoo and Bing, who share just below 5% of the search market share.

Google curates the search results on the fly based on a lot of variables including where you are located, what kind of device you are on, and your online surfing habits. This means Google is collecting a lot of information about how we use the web to give us a better experience. Let’s look at how you can control what Google knows about you to better protect your privacy.

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The Best Smartphones Heading Into 2020

The smartphone has become the most utilized computing device in the world. As a result, consumers are looking for the very best of them to get the functionality they demand. The current set of flagship smartphones that are available provide all types of benefits for business, for commerce, and for networking. Today, we’re going to take a look at the best phones you can buy heading into 2020. 

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5 Tips for Social Media Marketing Success

Social media is not only one of the main drivers of traffic to your site, but it is also a primary tool for the marketing of your business. Social media is particularly valuable to smaller businesses, as it can level the playing field in regards to the ability to communicate with an audience. Unsure of how to find the time to set up, customize and develop an effective social media plan for your business? Now’s the time for The Ultimate Social Media Rig.

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Warning Signs That Your Computer Is on Its Last Legs

It is no secret that a computer that doesn’t seem to want to behave (or seems to experience constant issues) is something that most people just want to replace, no questions asked. However, by nature of how computing devices are put together, it is entirely possible that your device could simply be in need of a (much less expensive) repair.

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Tip of the Week: Taking Your Password Practices to the Next Level

Passwords… can be annoying, if we’re being honest. They are, however, also incredibly important to your business’ overall security strategy. We’ve all heard the suggestions on how to create secure passwords. As it turns out, there is more to modern security then that. Let’s explore a few options to help you create useful passwords, and take a look why passwords are only the beginning. 

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The Security Risks of Using Workarounds to Get iMessage to Work on a PC

If you use an iPhone, iPad, or any other Apple device, you’ve probably used iMessage. iMessage is the popular built-in messaging app. It’s Apple’s version of the text message, but it’s packed with great features that iPhone users have grown very fond of. We looked around online for ways to access your iMessage in Windows, but only found workarounds that compromise your security.

We’re going to discuss these workarounds, but we highly recommend you do NOT attempt them. These are two of the most common procedures people have come up with to try to get iMessage to work on a Windows 10 PC, but both put you at a security risk.

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Disney+ Hacked Within Days of Launching. Here’s What SMBs Can Learn From This

Disney+, Disney’s new Netflix-like streaming service launched with a lot of fanfare on November 12th. The service promises to offer Disney’s massive library of shows and movies, including content from all of the franchises the company has been buying up over the last decade. Unfortunately, many thousands of subscribers have come to find their credentials stolen, and the House of Mouse isn’t exactly giving anyone a clear answer.

This leads to the question, how would your business handle a data breach?

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Some of the Worst Data Breaches Since September

Cybersecurity is becoming a massive issue for every organization due to the immense amount of data breaches that take place regularly. Businesses of all types are looking at strategies to protect their sensitive customer and employee data from hackers, malware, and any other potential danger. The problem is it’s not always as simple as just implementing cybersecurity software.

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Why a Cloud Backup Is a Necessary Part of Your Business Continuity

Modern businesses generate a lot of data, some of which they couldn’t really function without. This makes the prospect of data loss especially dangerous, making a data backup imperative. Today, cloud computing is seen as the premiere option in terms of data redundancy and availability. Today, we’ll look at why you want to consider storing your backed-up data in the cloud.

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Automation Plays a Critical Role in Cybersecurity

Automation is sometimes misconceived as a troublesome or unreliable addition to business. It’s not about replacing people with machines, it’s about getting more done with the people you have. Having an attitude that doubts technology and believes nothing can replace human processing can quickly put you at a disadvantage compared to your competitors.

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Smartphone Malware Is a Serious Threat

We all know how important it is to protect your desktop and laptop computers from malicious threats. Installing antivirus and security software is one of the first steps you take when you get a new computer, and for good reason. An unprotected device is at great risk. With that said, a lot of users don’t think about the threats that target their most-used devices, their smartphones.

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Getting to Know Technology: Fiber Optics

As hokey as it sounds, the Internet almost transcends other pieces of technology. While estimating the economic impact of the Internet is a formidable feat, Cisco came up with 19 trillion dollars - 21 percent of all the money in the world. So, with access to a resource this valuable, it’s silly not to make the most of it.

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Tip of the Week: How Bandwidth Works (and Why It Matters)

Businesses require a lot of their Internet connections, especially if they’re using technologies like VoIP, screen-sharing, and/or webinar platforms. If you’re looking to incorporate these features, you need to be sure you have enough bandwidth to support them. We’re looking at a few reasons that your bandwidth matters, and how to tell if you have enough for your needs.

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It’s Shopping Season, But Let’s Be Safe!

With Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the gift-giving holidays rapidly approaching us (can you believe 2019 is almost over? I feel like I just stopped writing 2018 on my checks!), it’s time to take a look at how we can be as safe as possible while shopping on the Internet.

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Which Email Platform is Better for You, Outlook or Gmail?

Email remains an incredibly useful tool in the business setting, assisting with a wide variety of communication needs. However, in order to make the most of your emails, you need to have an email client that permits you to do so. Here, we’re pitting two major email clients against each other to see which one offers the features that best suit your business and its needs.

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Is 2FA Worth the Trouble?

I want to start this article out by admitting that there are a lot of active threats out there these days. There are hackers--hacking collectives, actually--that’s whole purpose is to infiltrate businesses and steal data, money, and most often, the trust people have in their technology. One way to help keep your stuff secure is by relying on two-factor authentication. 

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Some Hackers Promote Cybersecurity

Most people have acquired much of their familiarity with what a hacker is through the mixed representation seen in pop culture today… but does this impression match up to a hacker in real life? Popular entertainment unfortunately doesn’t differentiate between different hacker types and their motivations very well, so that’s what we’ll handle here.

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You Probably Aren’t Getting the Most Out of Office 365

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who works on a computer who hasn’t used at least one of the applications in Microsoft Office. Office has been a staple for professionals, students, and home users for decades. Over the last few years, Microsoft has reinvented how businesses can collaboratively use Office to improve productivity, security, and adhere to compliances.

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Taking a Long Look at Smartphones

Smartphones are a marvel of modern ingenuity. After looking at employee smartphone use as a problem for much of the past few years, today’s businesses have begun to amend that strategy and are now using employee devices to their advantage. With such a large percentage of today’s workers actively using smartphones, it only makes sense for businesses to try and incorporate their employees’ devices into their day-to-day operational strategy. Today, we’ll take a look at smartphones and how they’ve managed to go from nuisance to necessity. 

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Tip of the Week: Three Best Practices for Project Management

Any project that your business undertakes will have its success defined by the particular goals you have set for it. This means that each project will be different, its own concerns and considerations coming into play. However, when it comes to managing these projects, most of them benefit from largely the same practices. For this week’s tip, we’re reviewing three that every project should incorporate.

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An Experienced Endorsement for Testing Backups

Just because you think that you’re following best practices, doesn’t necessarily mean that you actually are. Take it from this aspiring entrepreneur, who shared his own personal experience with us, so you could benefit:

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Learn Why Backups are Most Crucial to Users

Data loss is no joke - and we’ve heard plenty of stories from people who have experienced it firsthand, when personal or business data was lost. We appreciate everyone who shared their experiences with us, and allowed us to post them here. First, we’ll tell the story of someone who learned something in college that wasn’t in the syllabus.

Don’t forget to share your own stories with us in the comments!

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How VoIP Can Save Your Business Money

It isn’t exactly a secret that small and medium-sized businesses appreciate any opportunity to reduce the amount of money they have to spend to successfully operate. One means that businesses of all sizes have used to do so has been VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephony. Here, we’ll explore just how VoIP solutions are friendlier to a business’ budget.

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A Backup Protects Your Business from Issues of All Kinds

Data has effectively become another currency - and just like any other currency, some is much more valuable than others. This is especially the case where your business’ data is concerned, and why it is so crucial that you keep it safe.

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4 Timeless Cybersecurity Rules to Live By

Cybersecurity has become an overly complicated, increasingly important part of our lives. These days, many people are concerned about their privacy; who is collecting their data, what data is being collected, how to prevent information from being stolen, how to prevent breaches, etc. Then there are the traditional threats like malware, ransomware, and phishing that are not only becoming more common place but are capable of doing more damage. 

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Does Your IT Provider Practice Good Cyberhygiene?

I have a confession to make: it’s actually a pretty trying time to be in the IT business right now. A year ago, the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement for IT and Managed Service Providers (MSPs) about an increased risk of being targeted by cybercriminals.

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Tech Term: Uptime

In managing business technology, we are always talking about downtime--how expensive downtime is, how downtime hurts productivity, how there are a multitude of separate situations that can cause downtime. That kind of doom and gloom may not get you to act, but it may just put you off. Today, instead of downtime, we thought we would talk about uptime. 

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Making Sense of Facebook’s Privacy Settings

We’ve been talking about Facebook quite a bit on our blog, and for good reason - we’re all concerned with our privacy, and Facebook has been notoriously front-and-center when it comes to Internet privacy. In this post we will break down Facebook’s privacy settings to help you gain control over your personal identity while using the social network.

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Take Control Over Your Facebook Security Settings and 2FA

Whether you love, hate, or are just indifferent about Facebook (no judgement here), it’s worth configuring and locking down your account to control what others can see about you.

Facebook is front and center when it comes to privacy-related issues worldwide, so in this blog we are going to discuss how you can take control of your personal information. This post will also serve as an excellent starting point for anyone who doesn’t understand 2-factor authentication.

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A Brief Review of Backup Strategies

For the modern business, not having a backup system in place is inexcusable. If you use digital data to run your business, you need to protect the data you can’t replace by having it backed up regularly. Some businesses have been around long enough to have files that don’t have any practical application in the course of business. You don’t need this data, and you don’t need a copy of it. Today, we will discuss how to select and choose which pieces of data you should seek to protect. 

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How To Get Control Over Your Facebook

For many, Facebook is a huge part of daily life, whether you want to think of it that way or not. There are more than two billion active users. That means if you pluck any 4 random human beings from anywhere in the world, at least one of them likely logged into Facebook today. 

It’s important to know that you still have control over your information, so in today’s blog we’re going to talk about a few ways you can take control over your online identity on the world’s largest social network.

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Tip: Control File Sharing for Employees in Microsoft OneDrive

If your business uses Office 365, your users get access to OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage. Your employees can upload, sync, and share documents to collaborate with colleagues. This can be a good thing, but you may want to control how employees are sharing company documents. 

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Tip of the Week: Four Policies to Keep Your Business More Secure

Did you know that, of all the vulnerabilities your business has to cyberthreats, your employees are one of the riskiest, simply due to their exposure to your business technology? If your business isn’t secure, it will become incredibly more difficult to serve your clientele. For today’s tip, we’re breaking down a few ways that you and your employees can positively contribute to your business’ security.

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Tip of the Week: Managing Your IT Inventory Management

IT inventory management is the process of making sure that your information technology resources are maintained to be their most effective, such as what needs to be updated, which licenses need to be renewed, and whether your resources are helping you accomplish your organizational goals. It is essentially a fancy way of saying asset management, specific to your IT - and it is a very important process for any business.

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What Value Do Managed Services Offer? Finally, Procurement

The information technology solutions that are out there for businesses to utilize are constantly improving. While these improvements are beneficial to your operational abilities, you do need to make sure you are staying up to date. This is where a managed service provider can help. Here, in the final part of our series exploring the value of managed services, we’re considering procurement assistance.

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Google Password Checkup Tool Works to Keep You Secure

Imagine a world where there wasn’t a singular dishonest being. Passwords would simply vanish from our everyday lives, as we would not be paranoid of a breach or other forms of cybercriminal activity. The harsh reality is this will never become reality. Even worse, the cybercriminals don’t just skim for lack of passwords. Instead, the dishonest criminal goes even further; they take advantage of common or recurring passwords. So how do you know if your password practices are leaving you vulnerable? Google is here to help. 

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What Value Do Managed Services Offer? Fourth, Data Services

Data is of key importance to many modern businesses, and with the help of a managed service provider, it can become even more useful. Here, as we continue our series on the value that a managed service provider can offer you, we’ll focus on the ways that data can be harnessed to your business’ advantage.

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What Value Do Managed Services Offer? Secondly, Support

It wasn't too long ago that we had to lug a computer into the shop to get it fixed if something were to go wrong with it. Frankly, with the pace that business is conducted at today, this approach simply isn’t effective for businesses any longer. Now, with the support of a managed service provider, support is available much more efficiently and affordably than ever. Check out our series for more information into other subject. 

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Why Managed Services: IT Procurement

Information technology plays a crucial role for today’s businesses, but in order for it to do so, these businesses need technology to use. IT procurement is a crucial part of any business’ success, which means that any business needs to have a provider that can deliver the value that they need. The last part of our series will take a look at hardware procurement and the value it brings. 

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Why Managed Services: Data Management

Managed services offer businesses an improved means of obtaining and managing the technology they rely on. With data being so important to the modern business, much of this technology is devoted to storing, securing, and leveraging this data. Working with a managed service provider can help a business get the most value out of their data management practices. Let’s go over how.

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Why Managed Services: Consulting

While information technology is an important part of the modern business and its processes, it isn’t always the easiest topic for the average business user to figure out. In this series, we’ve been exploring how a managed service provider can add value to your business and its IT. Here, we’re focusing on how the managed service provider can serve as a knowledgeable consultant.

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Why Managed Services: IT Support

Information technology support has developed and evolved as the methods and equipment used have improved. As a result of this development, there are a variety of ways that managed IT providers can deliver additional value through their services. In this series, we’re exploring the many benefits a business can gather through managed services - here, focusing on the support available.

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Why Managed Services: Proactive Maintenance and Management

In order for one methodology to replace another, it has to provide more value than the one that came before. In terms of IT support, managed services can deliver far greater value than the familiar break/fix method. In this series, we’ll explore the value that managed services contribute to a business, starting with their proactive nature.

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What Value Do Managed Services Offer? Firstly, Proactivity

Why do we focus so strongly on business productivity? In many cases, it can be boiled down to a basic equation: the more productive a business is, the greater the value that its actions will have. This is just one way that managed services can bring a business value - by helping to make its actions more productive. That’s why it is only fitting that we look at productivity in this first installment of our series examining the added value that managed services provide.

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What Value Do Managed Services Offer? Thirdly, Proactivity

Sometimes, your business may have a need that requires you to bring in an external resource, including assistance with the technology it leverages. Here, in the third part of our series, we’ll see how a managed service provider can act as a consultant for your various business needs.

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Tip of the Week: How to Automate Sorting Your Emails

Emails are a wonderfully useful solution, and quite possibly one of the most commonly used ones in the workplace today. However, not everyone is using every capability that their email solutions offer - and it has led to a lot of time being wasted in the workplace. For this week’s tip, we’ll review how to help cut back on the time spent organizing your emails.

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DHS Cybersecurity Shortage a Major Problem

Cybersecurity is a big point of emphasis for the modern IT administrator. For the private business, it’s important for enough to be done in order to secure the business’ assets, and the integrity of the network itself. Unfortunately, when looking at public computing resources, there isn’t enough talent available to properly secure the systems that government entities rely on. 

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How Much TLC Does Your IT Need?

Technology is a requirement in today’s businesses - but just having technology isn’t nearly enough. You need to make sure that you are performing the proper maintenance activities as well, to prolong the useful life of your solutions. Here, we’ll review a few basics to keeping your technology solutions ready for your use… and how we can help with that.

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Tip of the Week: Get Better at Managing Your Mobile Data

You may not think much about managing mobile data, but if your business routinely transmits sensitive data over the Internet, you should. Today, businesses of all types are using the Internet as a tool to drive their sales and marketing processes, but they don’t often consider the threats that come in when they use it for productivity. Today, we will go over what a Mobile Information Management solution is, and how to leverage it for your business. 

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Why is URL Manipulation a Security Concern?

If you’ve spent any time using a computer, you probably know what a URL is. It is the address of a website. It typically starts with “http//:” or “https://” and directs the Internet browser on where the user would like to surf. Nowadays a threat could be created by manipulating the URL. Today, we’ll take you through this threat. 

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Cybersecurity Insurance Gaining Steam

Controlling your organization’s data relies on keeping your network and computing infrastructure free from threats. Early detection allows your business to actively confront risks before they develop into major issues. However, threats are becoming more difficult to detect in early stages, and one hidden threat could doom your entire business. 

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Microsoft Does Some Patching Off Schedule

To keep your business’ network free from threats, and to keep your software working effectively, patching the software it uses is extremely important. The reason is that the threat landscape is always evolving. Recently, Microsoft announced that they have released an emergency out-of-band security update to fix two security issues, an atypical act for the software giant. 

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Don’t Be Snagged by This Google Calendar Phishing Scam

Gmail and the applications associated with it seem to have some level of inherent trust among users. We just don’t anticipate threats to come in via something from Google. However, it does happen, as a recent spat of phishing has shown using Gmail and Google Calendar. What’s worse, this particular scam has been around for some time.

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What is G Suite, Really?

There is no question that Google is an absolute giant in computing, having moved from web search functionality to a much wider variety of applications. These applications now make up the G Suite, and are used by many, many businesses to accomplish their goals. Here, we’ll go over some of these features and how they can benefit your operations.

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How to Keep Your Employees from Burning Out

One of the most - if not the most - critical resource your business relies upon is your workforce. Your employees are what keep your operations, well, operational. As a result, they are one of your most important resources to maintain as well. They are human beings, and without the correct treatment and management, even your best employee could burn out.

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Tip of the Week: What You Need to Know to Avoid Phishing Attacks

Phishing has quickly become the most predominant form of cyberattack due to the method’s simplicity. It solely relies on a user’s gullibility. The weakest link to any business is typically the employees. In order to protect your business, you and your team need to identify these social engineering cyberattack attempts. Let’s look at a few tips on how to recognize a phishing attempt.

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Taking a Look at the Future of Cybersecurity

How concerned are you with your business' cybersecurity? When you envision your business in the future, do you see yourself constantly fighting cyberattacks, or paying ransom? Hopefully not, but what if cybersecurity turns into one of the most difficult parts to maintaining a steady business? Today, we will look into the future and hypothesize what your business may need to do to defend against cybercriminals. 

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Big Data Is Revolutionizing Business

Traditionally, small businesses don’t use their data in the same way as larger companies. This is largely because they may not think they have a lot of data. Well, I’m here to tell you that even small businesses can have big data. Let’s go over three ways small business can use their data to their benefit.

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Augmented Reality Advancements

There have been people talking about the oncoming AR trend for almost a decade now. Google Glass was supposed to revolutionize technology as we know it, but due to security and privacy concerns, it has never come to pass. AR is, however, a growth market and applications for the technology are growing rapidly. Today, we’ll take a look at augmented reality, and what to expect from the technology in the coming years. 

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File Sharing Tips from the Pros

The more time that passes the more files your business accumulates. These files need to be stored in a place where your staff has access to them. Since a lot of today’s work is collaborative, finding the right file sharing and collaboration solution is extremely important for the growing SMB. Today, we will tell you some things you need to do to maintain efficient file management systems.

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Tip of the Week: Smartphones Security Tips

If you were given the task to look up a phone number, call a business, and navigate to the new-to-you area, would you be able to without your smartphone? For some of us the answer will still be yes, for a vast majority, the answer is no. Smartphones have quickly transitioned from a calling device, to one of our most valuable tools. Shopping, navigating, video streaming, and an unbelievable amount of other capabilities are all at the palm of your hand. 

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Why VoIP is a Great Option for Your Business Telephony Needs

With all the communication options available today, it can still be hard to beat the convenience and simplicity of the telephone. However, the phone is far from a perfect solution - it can be expensive, for one. However, what if there was a way for you to get a fully-featured telephone service with a variety of tools, without having to pay an arm and a leg?

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