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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.

Tip of the Week: Highlighting Messages in Outlook

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

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How to Compose Emails More Quickly with Gmail Templates

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

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Your Google My Business Profile is More Important Than Ever

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

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The Power Button is Capable of More Than On/Off

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

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Socialization is Even More Crucial While Working Remotely

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

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Three IT Practices that Can Drive Your Business’ Success

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

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Demystifying Abused IT Buzzwords

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Blockchain Technology is Advancing Health Technology

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

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

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

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Securing Utilities Has to Be a Priority

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

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Pros and Cons of Biometric Security

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

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Tip of the Week: The Guide to Optimal Password Efficacy

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

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Tip of the Week: Keep Your Gmail Messages Private

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

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

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

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Test Your Backup Before You Regret Not Doing It

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

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Have You Prepared Your Employees to Catch Phishing Attempts?

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

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

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

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What Bases Should a BDR Cover?

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

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Tip of the Week: Browser Best Practices for Boosted Security

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

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

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

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3 Tips to Help You Make Better IT Decisions

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

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Improving Society Through Technology

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

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How AI Can Be Used to Make Your Business More Efficient

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

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

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

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

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

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Three Ransomware Tips for Area Businesses for 2021

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

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Some IT Changes Can Be Problematic for Your Business

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

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

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

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How You Can Use Workflow Automation to Make the Office Better

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

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Significant IT Challenges for 2021

2020 was… well, 2020… so it really isn’t any surprise that those businesses that made it to 2021 aren’t quite out of the woods yet. The many difficulties and challenges that 2020 brought will carry over into this year, many of them pertaining to information technology and how businesses utilize it. Let’s take a few moments to anticipate how these IT challenges will manifest this year.

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Is Your Business Ready to Return to “Normal”?

The rollout of vaccinations have brought many businesses the hope of returning to normalcy, to a time before COVID-19 was the driving factor in how they ran their business. However, the reality is, most companies will not be returning to pre-coronavirus operations; the “new” normal is just the norm now. Your team and customers have adapted to the way things are done now, not the way they were done before.  

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Prioritizing Security with Your Messaging Apps

If you asked your average person whether they are okay with their personal information being taken and used by businesses, you’d probably come across quite a bit of dissent. Ironically, it seems that people will give it right over via social media programs, but you are beginning to see some pushback when using apps. WhatsApp, the messaging app owned by Facebook, that is known for end-to-end encryption, has told users that they will soon be forced to share their personal data with Facebook.

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Tip of the Week: Taking You Through Embedding a Video with PowerPoint

When looking to present an idea, the first two options people think of are often to use a video, or to use a slideshow (typically, citing Microsoft PowerPoint). Our question is, why pick? Let’s go over how simple it is to embed a YouTube video right into your next PowerPoint presentation whether you’re using PowerPoint 365 or PowerPoint 2016.

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Helpful Features Found in Google Docs

Within Google Workspace is Google Docs, a useful word processing solution that can be accessed through your web browser. In case you’re new to using Google’s productivity software, we have decided to assemble a short introduction to some of Google Docs’ most useful tools and features.

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The Democratic Republic of Congo’s Near Miss Teaches an Important Security Lesson

To preserve your cybersecurity, you need to have a comprehensive view of everything involved with your technology—and we do mean everything. Let’s consider a recent close call, involving the Democratic Republic of Congo that exemplifies this perfectly that could have potentially exposed millions of Internet users to serious threats.

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CES Goes Virtual: A Look at Some Noteworthy Tech

The annual Consumer Electronics Show is one of the best looks at some of the best consumer technology that is coming down the pipeline over the next couple of years. Most of the technology won’t be readily available for a few years, and a lot of it may not even come to market, but one aspect of the event that is interesting is that for the first time it is completely virtual.

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How to Use Google Drive to the Fullest

For the business seeking out a comprehensive cloud-based content management and collaboration solution, Google Drive is an option that warrants serious consideration. While we don’t want to recommend it over another one of your options, per se, we did want to provide a brief beginner’s guide to putting it to use. That way, any business that does elect to adopt Google Drive—and the associated solutions it comes with—has more information going in.

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Worried About Losing Your Technology While Working Remotely?

Remote work has been on the rise for some time, even before the COVID-19 pandemic made it the safest way for a business to operate. Naturally, this makes organization a particularly crucial thing to consider, especially as public areas reopen as workspace options.

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How to Determine Which Productivity Suite Is Right for Your Business

The productivity suite is one of the most utilized software combos going. Usually it comes with a word processor, a spreadsheet program, a note taking program, and a presentation creator. There are other pieces of software included in some of today’s most dynamic options, but for our purposes we are going to limit it to these. 

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Reconsidering IT Principles Can Help Push Business Forward

It isn’t often that you’ll hear a managed service provider say something like, “There’s no school like the old school.” In many ways, however, the basic principles of a solid business IT strategy haven’t changed all that much… despite the momentous changes that we’ve witnessed in terms of the technology we use. Let’s consider some of these principles, and how they’ve changed over time (if at all).

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Can You Save Money from Going Paperless?

Everyone knows that printing is costly. They come from nearly every direction: paper, ink, machines that seemingly always need some type of maintenance, the list of costs goes on and on. Some businesses, looking to get away from rising printing costs, and from paper files in general, are starting to do their best to eliminate printing and filing costs. Let’s take a brief look at how going paperless can save your organization money in the long run.

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Let’s Look at a Few Collaboration-Themed Applications

Boosting collaboration is a central theme to many companies' operational strategies. The more that people can do as a team, the less costly operations have to be. That is a sound business strategy. Today, many businesses are looking to software to build a successful collaborative situation. Let’s take a look at three such apps that, if used properly, will help any business boost their team’s ability to work together. 

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Be Sure to Update Your Microsoft Passwords

The new year is upon us and after the debacle that 2020 was, it is extremely welcome. If you are like us, you have a new set of goals that you’ve created for yourself and are probably looking to improve your professional and personal well-being. One way to do that is to ensure that your accounts are secure. Today, we will be going through how to update your password with Microsoft.

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Tip of the Week: Lesser-Known Google Play Features

Android device users rely on the Google Play Store to source applications, but many may not be aware of the controls and features that the Play Store has to offer. Let’s go over some of these features that could prove useful.

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How to Make Your Google Account More Secure

Going through your passwords and updating them every so often is a very wise habit to get into, particularly when they are used to protect a lot of data—as the password to your Google account often is. Considering this, let’s go over how to update your Google password and otherwise lock down your account.

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How to Use Social Media to Market Your Business, Without “Marketing”

Social media allows businesses to reach millions of potential customers all over the world. However, most people don't want to be 'marketed' to. Moreover, they have various methods to tune out your message and your business from their Facebook feed. Take a moment to learn how to use social media to create leads without giving the impression you're 'marketing.'

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How Do I Choose the Right Smartphone?

Recently, we discussed a wide range of smartphone options, ranging from budget-friendly to the sharpest of cutting-edge devices. One question we’ve gotten is, “How do I choose the best smartphone for me?”

Read on to learn how.

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Good Practices Often Yield Good Results

If you are a frequent reader of our blog, you will notice that “best practices” is a term that is used generously. That is because there are certain ways to go about things when you are working with technology. Today, we wanted to go over what the term actually means and why they are important when managing your business. 

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What 5G Means for the Internet of Things

Few technologies in our time have been as anticipated as the fifth generation of wireless communications. 5G, as it is colloquially known, is promising to bring a whole new level of automation to society and business. One place 5G is sure to make big waves is with the Internet of Things, the billions of smart devices and services that are increasingly being leaned on as a new economy emerges. Today, we will take a brief look at 5G’s current state, its capabilities, and what it means for the future of the Internet of Things.

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The Cloud Continues Massive Growth

Cloud computing has been one of the most utilized tools for business in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it crucial for businesses to give remote access to tools and one effective way to make that happen was to look to the cloud. This has expanded an already booming market and presents businesses of all sizes with the opportunity to get the computing they need without huge upfront costs. Today, we’ll take a look at the cloud computing market and how you can leverage hosted computing solutions to improve your business. 

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How Employees Can Cause a Threat, and How to Avoid Them

What would you consider to be the biggest threat to your business and its continued operations? Cybercrime? A natural disaster? What if I told you that it was the team members that you have employed—whether they meant to be or not? This is the hard truth that you need to prepare your business to resist.

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Steps to Take When You’ve Lost Your Phone

If you’ve lost or misplaced your smartphone (or tablet), it’s critical that you act quickly. Every second counts, especially if you suspect that your device was stolen. Here are the steps you need to follow immediately, even if you think you simply left it at a restaurant or in the backseat of a taxi.

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Tip of the Week: Simple IT Practices for Business Success

Most businesses nowadays rely quite heavily on information technology to operate, as I’ve no doubt that you’re aware of. That’s why we thought it would be valuable to share some very simple IT best practices to help assist your operations by keeping your resources productive and secured.

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Steps to Take Before You Accidentally Lose Your Phone

Nobody intends to lose their smartphone. For some of us, our mobile device is glued to our hands for a good portion of the day—it’s hard to imagine simply leaving it somewhere, right?

Mistakes happen. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes to set your smartphone up so you can track it down easily if you lose it. 

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Are Your Employees’ Smartwatches Security Risks?

The smartwatch is one of the most popular gifts given to technology lovers; and, they have quite a bit of utility. They can help improve communication, health, and of course give them a sleek accessory. One problem that people don’t often consider is how their employer has to handle the influx of smartwatches and other IoT devices that are brought to work after the holidays. Today, we’ll briefly discuss how Internet of Things devices could be security risks and what a business should do about it. 

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Small Business Trends for 2021

It's no secret that small businesses are facing one of the toughest periods in decades. The COVID-19 pandemic and many other issues have made them change the way they approach operations, sales, and other aspects of their businesses. Today, they need to explore more strategies that can support customers who also have had to adapt. Today, we’ll talk about a couple of the trends we expect to see in IT in 2021. 

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What to Expect from 5G in 2021

2020 was a contentious—and for the wireless industry, momentous—year. Marking the official start of 5G networks, 2020’s events amongst mobile providers helped to reinvigorate an industry, while making some considerable shifts in the balance. Let’s consider some of these changes, and how the industry will continue to change for some time moving forward as 5G continues to grow.

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Tip of the Week: 4 Resolutions for Your Business Technology

2021 is almost here, and if your business isn’t using technology to its fullest capability, you’re missing out on some considerable opportunities. Let’s go over a few winning strategies that you should adopt in the coming year.

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SolarWinds Hack - Everything You Need to Know About The Largest Cyber Attack of All Time

True to form, 2020 has given us a final parting gift: the news that the United States was targeted this year by the biggest cyberespionage attack ever. Let’s go into the ramifications of this attack, and what it should teach us going forward.

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Revisiting Net Neutrality

In the United States, the political scene is extremely divisive. This can be seen in nearly every political arena including the ongoing debate over who should have regulatory power over the Internet. In 2017, the Federal Communications Commission voted, three votes to two, to repeal the Net Neutrality rules that were implemented by the same regulatory body just two years prior. Today, with a new administration being sworn in in less than a month, we thought we’d revisit the net neutrality rules and see where we stand at present. 

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COVID-19 Clouds More than Christmas Plans

Today is Christmas day. In normal years, you would be bundling up to go to visit family and friends or preparing to host them.

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How Managed Services Can Benefit the Busiest Place on Earth Right Now

The holiday season is well known as a time off from work to spend with family, but for some, it’s the busiest time of the year. Let’s get to know one such individual for a moment, and what he’s learning can make his job—and his life—much, much easier.

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Tip of the Week: Introducing Google Chrome’s New Actions Feature

If it is going to remain the most common Internet browser, Google Chrome always needs to have new features added to it to make it the preferable choice for most users. Recently, Chrome Actions was implemented, likely contributing greatly to that goal. Let’s look at what Chrome Actions are, and how they could prove useful.

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How AI Can Help the Burgeoning Small Businesses

The small business owner is always looking for a way to either cut costs or to get more value out of their technology. Today, many businesses are looking to automated tools fueled by AI to do just that. Today, we thought we would talk a little bit about AI for small business and how it works to help increase business productivity.

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Holding Your Own Against Today's Most Pressing Threats

For all the attention that we (and many others) give to cybercrime, people are still falling victim to hacks and scams every day. With most businesses operating more in the digital sphere than ever before, it stands to reason that they need to do more to keep from being a victim of a data breach or worse. Here are six things your business should do to keep from being a victim of a cyberattack.

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How AI Can Make the Internet More Civil

Artificial intelligence can be used in numerous different ways, but one way you might not have anticipated is as a means of making sure people on the Internet mind their manners. Rude and inappropriate comments are remarkably common online, so it stands to reason that many companies and developers are looking for ways to minimize them. Let’s look at what some have implemented, utilizing artificial intelligence to their advantage.

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2020 Had Some Big Tech Fails

2020 has been a rough year for a lot of people. With so many problems presenting themselves this year, technology wasn’t immune. This week, we thought we would look back at some of the technology that failed miserably as the world changed precipitously. 

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Managed IT Can Help You Manage Your Technology Inventory

Let me ask you a quick question: when was your critical business technology last updated? When do your software licenses expire? When did your printer last have any maintenance performed on it?

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Top Fourteen SEO Frequently Asked Questions

Looking to rank your website higher, but not sure where to start? Here are fourteen frequently asked questions that should better help you understand what SEO is and how it can help your business attract traffic to your website, increase your rank, and ultimately generate leads.

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Tip of the Week: Being Courteous and Professional with a Mobile Device

With how business is conducted today, the capability of your workforce to stay connected while mobile is important. However, it can be equally important that this connectivity doesn’t come at the cost of their manners. Let’s go over a few ways to be more polite as you work remotely using a mobile device.

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VoIP is Probably Right for Your Business

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephony is a common technology amongst modern businesses for their communication needs. Let’s go over how VoIP functions and how it can benefit your company.

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Document Your IT Infrastructure

Quick, off the top of your head, how many network switches are in use at your office? How many wireless access points? How many routers are past their warranty or no longer getting support?

That’s not a question most business owners are asked on a regular basis, and we don’t really expect you to be able to rattle off the answers. You should have all of that information documented though.

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Your Success Comes Down to Your People

We’re getting close to the end of 2020. Finally? Has it been a long year for you? Has it gone by really fast? I think every other day I have a different opinion about it.

Either way, it’s time to look at 2021. A fresh start, a clean slate. I think if there is one big mindset all business owners and C-levels need to take into consideration for 2021, it’s their people.

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With Remote Operations, Security is (Even More) Important

Since the beginning of the COVID 19 pandemic, it has been clear that many companies were not prepared to continue their operations remotely. This was largely due to their leadership being convinced in recent years that allowing people to work remotely would lead to a considerable reduction in production, leading them to be unprepared to shift to remote functionality. Cybercriminals have taken advantage of many organizations as a result, so today we’ll discuss what needs to be done to secure endpoints from afar.

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Five Cool Technologies You Can Give for Secret Santa

The strangest year in our lives is coming to a close and the holidays figure to be just as strange. With the COVID-19 pandemic still roaring away, there probably won’t be a lot of the events that are typical this time of year. That doesn’t have to ruin the time of year, however. Today, we thought that we would take a look at five cool tech gadgets and services that won’t break the bank, but will also be a cool addition under the tree or for your secret santa. 

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How to Combat the Digital Divide for Students at Home

As the country continues to embrace remote work and distance learning, the digital divide has become more apparent. In fact, according to a Newsday article, New York State ranks 26th in the nation in regards to the percentage of households with school children not having broadband access, any internet access, or computers. The digital divide has been ongoing for decades, but it has taken the pandemic to finally put the focus on it and bring it top of mind.

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Tip of the Week: Linking Text Across Microsoft Word Documents

Microsoft Word has a lot of time-and-effort-saving capabilities baked in. For instance, did you know that you can paste the same text—down to the formatting—across numerous documents? This makes it simple to replicate text without having to fix it each time, and to make changes everywhere the text appears all at once. Let’s go over how to do so.

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Tip of the Week: Sign a PDF in Windows

PDFs have been around for a while and they have become an extremely useful file format for business. One of the best features of the PDF is that it is useful for securing signatures so that contracts can be handled over the Internet. Today, we’ll go over how you go about signing a PDF in Windows.

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Managed IT Can Change the Way Your Business Functions

Technology has made its way into nearly every business, especially in 2020 with all that has been going on. There really is no choice, but with the commitment to technology there comes risk. If technology fails, your business takes a step back. Today, we will discuss how managed IT services work to manage your risk and keep your IT running effectively. 

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A Field Guide to Phishing Attacks

Despite the name being mildly amusing, phishing attacks are no laughing matter. These scams, in all their different forms, wreak havoc on businesses—ranking as the top breach threat in the 2020 edition of Verizon’s annual Data Breach Investigations Report, and successfully impacting 65 percent of United States organizations in 2019 as reported by Proofpoint’s 2020 State of the Phish Report. Avoiding them requires you to be able to spot them, so let’s go over the different varieties of phishing that can be encountered.

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What the Retirement of Adobe Flash Means to Your Business

Once December 31st brings the New Year around, support for the once-popular Adobe Flash Player will officially end. Of course, it isn’t every day that a 24-year-old software is taken out of commission, so it only makes sense to wonder how much this will impact businesses.

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Social Media Is A Tool For Any Sized Business

Nowadays, social media companies have a lot of power and influence, which is part of the reason that so many of today’s largest businesses have adopted social media as a critical promotional tool. With the average person spending about two hours and 24 minutes on social media and messaging applications per day, this makes social media a clear opportunity for any sized business to embrace. Let’s consider a few ways this can be accomplished for these different businesses.

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Maintaining a Work-Life Balance is Crucial When Working from Home

With all that has gone on in terms of the coronavirus pandemic, it is little wonder that many businesses have suddenly changed their tune concerning the use of remote work. However, some workers are in a bit of a crisis as they try to adapt to their new work environment: suddenly, the place they would go at the end of the day to recover is the same place where work must now be done. This shift has led to a not-insignificant amount of stress and mental fatigue.

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What Exactly is Software-as-a-Service?

Businesses have many problems they need to solve. With technology, the process typically starts with identifying a problem, researching solutions, and finding one that will successfully work to solve the problem. Traditionally, when dealing with technology, a company would procure the hardware and hire technicians to implement the solution and deploy the services needed. If they had to borrow money to do it, they would because the profits would presumably be more than the payments even with banks tacking on interest. 

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Improve Your Business’ Wi-Fi

Today, most businesses (and homes) depend on their Wi-Fi. It provides a lot more flexibility and value than a wired connection in many instances simply because people use a lot of wireless devices today. Today’s wireless internet is easier to install, is faster than ever, and works to protect network security better than ever before, once it is set up correctly. Today, we’ll give you a few tips you should know on how to successfully implement a Wi-Fi platform. 

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Is Security Being Sacrificed for the Sake of Convenience?

While this time of year is always huge for online retail, there is likely to be a much larger number of people turning to the Internet for their holiday purchases than usual… and, it would seem, a larger number of people taking security into consideration as they do so. Let’s examine how consumers are taking their data into their own hands and what this means for your business.

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The Current State of Cybercrime Paints a Grim Picture for Businesses

Over the past year, entrepreneurs have focused on how to do business during the global COVID-19 pandemic. The public health crisis has been an opportunity for fraudsters and hackers, and the result has been an increase in losses (compared to the second-worst period on record) by over 50 percent. Let’s consider the situation, and how it is—unfortunately—getting worse.

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Homeland Security is Warning Businesses to Update Google Chrome

We realize that it’s one thing for us to tell you how important it is to update your software. After all, we’re tech guys, so we worry about that kind of thing all the time. Hopefully, it’s quite another matter when Homeland Security does it, which is why we’re really hoping that you take heed of this warning and update Google Chrome.

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Tip of the Week: Using Your Android Device from Your Desktop

Windows 10 has long played nice with the Android platform, but did you know that there is a way that you can actually use the same apps you would find on your mobile device on your PC? For this week's tip, we'll go over how you can enable this capability.

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Smishing Isn’t as Funny as It Sounds

As serious as they are, cyberattacks aren’t always given the most serious-sounding names. We are, of course, referring to “phishing”: the manipulation of the user, rather than of a computer system, to gain access to data. Phishing can come in many forms, with some—like phishing someone via SMS message—doubling down on the silliness of the name. Let’s examine this variety, and why “smishing” is not something to trifle with.

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More Than 70 Percent of PCs Run Windows 10

Ever since Windows 10 debuted in July of 2015, it has slowly risen in its market share. This has continued throughout the tumultuous times that 2020 has provided, as the OS has now reached a market share of 72.2 percent as of October. Let’s go over why this matters, and why—if you haven’t done so yet—you need to add your organization’s PCs to that number.

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Taking a Look at Budget Smartphone Offerings from Samsung, Apple, and Google

With smartphones becoming more expensive every year, the top offerings from major manufacturers price some out of the market. This provides an opportunity for these companies to offer budget smartphones to a growing market of people who don’t want to drop a $1,000 on a new phone. Today, we discuss options from Samsung, Google, and Apple that can be had for a fraction of the cost of today’s flagship smartphones. 

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How to Work Remotely Without Undermining Security

With remote access being so popular right now, it is important that there is an awareness of how to maintain your business’ security while utilizing it. There are a lot of steps involved in doing so. Let’s go over some of the most important considerations that you need to weigh while your office continues to work remotely.

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Employees Can Be Your Business’ Best (or Worst) Defense Policy

Many businesses believe that if they only had the right security tool, they would be secure from cyberattacks. What they don’t realize is that even the best IT security software and hardware can immediately fall apart if your staff isn’t trained to understand certain security risks. Take a moment to discover how to turn your team into a valuable security resource, and prevent them from being a security liability.

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Tip of the Week: How to Alter the Android 11 Power Menu

If you need a reason to upgrade to Android 11, it comes with a highly useful selection of options when you access the menu that appears when you hold down the power button on your device. However, you have the option to add much more value to this menu. To do this, you’ll need to make a small investment in an automation-driven third-party application known as Tasker. 

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Adobe Retiring Support for Flash at Year’s End

Flash Player—the familiar Adobe web application that first premiered in 1996—is finally going into retirement at the end of the year. This is quite a big deal, as Flash Player was (at least initially) instrumental to many of the platforms that so many rely on these days. However, what will this mean for your business?

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Monitoring Your IT is a Crucial Step to Success

Your business’ technology is extremely important to your business’ success and ensuring that it is functioning as designed has to be an ongoing priority. This can be harder than you may think. Today, we’ll go over how you can actively confront this challenge and keep your IT running as it should. 

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