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Directive Blogs

Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

What Reopening Should Look Like to Businesses

As businesses of all kinds either actively reopen or find themselves swiftly approaching that point, the ongoing status of COVID-19 guarantees that these organizations must carefully evaluate how to proceed. With numbers rising at the time of this writing, it is important that you establish the means to protect your employees from infection and illness.

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Test Your Backup!

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

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Smartphone Addiction and Its Effects

Nowadays, most of us use smartphones; and, yes, probably most of us use them more than is healthy. There are those, however, that have come to depend on their mobile device so much that it completely dominates their lives. As people become even more attached to their phone, the impact this behavior has on their lives becomes more and more detrimental. 

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IT Training That Is Sure to Get the Desired Effect

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

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Tip of the Week: Laptop Battery Best Practices

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

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For the SMB Returning to Work

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

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Cybersecurity Takes Effort at 3 Levels

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

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Let’s Go Through Some Security Best Practices

While there is no question that security is important to any business, there is often a disconnect between this principle and any actual implementations that it reflects. Unfortunately, this can often leave a business vulnerable. To prevent this outcome, it is important that you follow a few best practices when it comes to fortifying your business against attack.

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Data Security is Essential

Today, the threats businesses encounter from the Internet are more frequent and dangerous than any previous threats. To avoid being the victim of a cyberattack, you will need strategies and procedures aimed at mitigating them. Let’s look at some strategies you need to consider if you are to keep the threats off your network. 

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Tip of the Week: Best Practices to Protect Your Business

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

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Don’t Get Phished Out of Your Stimulus Payment

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

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The Definitive Guide on Password Best Practices

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

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How to (And How Not to) Approach Remote Work

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

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Tip of the Week: Pandemic Problems

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

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Six Things to Consider When Moving Your Business

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Taking a Look at the Current Cybercrime Statistics

Organizational cybersecurity has to be a priority for every business. These days, companies are getting hacked left and right and being exposed to some of the very worst malware ever created. Today, we will take a look at some cybercrime statistics that will put in perspective just how damaging cybercrime is.

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

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

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Automation Options Any Business Can Use

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

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How to Tell When Your Technology Needs Upgrading

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

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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: 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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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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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: Five Tricks to Identifying a Phishing Attempt

Despite its whimsical name, phishing is a very serious threat to everyone, especially today’s businesses. This means that you need to be prepared to identify its warning signs and avoid risky situations. Here, we’re offering a few tips to help you do so - make sure you share them with your employees as well!

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Keeping Your Smartphone Safe Helps Everyone

Mobile devices accompany us more or less everywhere, leading us to use them more and more frequently in all aspects of lie, including for business purposes. As a result, cybercriminals have even more motivation to target them. To help you avoid a mobile device being the downfall of your company’s security, we’ve assembled a few practices you and your staff should adopt.

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Are You a Security Threat?

Just like you can form habits to be more productive, you can also form habits that expose your organization to risky situations, namely security problems. Your employees in particular are likely to have picked up a couple of nasty habits over time, so it’s up to you to address them and keep them from becoming an issue in the long term.

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Some Employees are More Hackable than Others

Habits can be a very effective way to improve your internal productivity, but others can expose your business to security risks. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that your employees may have picked up the latter. This means you need to learn what to look for, so you can identify any problem areas within your business - and work to break the habits that led to these problems.

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Best Practices for Setting Up Your Backups and Your Disaster Recovery

When we discuss backup and disaster recovery (BDR), it may seem as though we’re talking about a single process - after all, there’s just one acronym for it. However, the reality is that - while these two processes are related to one another - backup and disaster recovery each require a different preparation process, with different considerations made for each.

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In Cybersecurity It’s Fool Me Once, Shame on Me

In the course of doing business everyone has their own specific responsibilities. One overarching responsibility that all employees need to have today is a keen eye for detail. The health of a business depends on it. A staff’s failure to properly shoulder their load of security can have an immensely negative result for both the employee and the company. Today, we’re going to explain that when your organization gets breached by hackers, that fault is largely found in the mirror. 

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Oneonta Businesses Need to Train Staff on Cybersecurity Best Practices

As much as your employees are some of your greatest assets, they also have the potential to be some of the biggest security risks that your business can encounter. To help mitigate these risks, you need to make sure your employees are trained to recognize threats and respond appropriately.

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Instant Messaging Tips for Greater Productivity

Communication is a key part of the workplace, and modern tools have made it more efficient than ever before to stay in contact with one another. One of the most important tools in the modern business’ repertoire is instant messaging, which is somewhat challenging to utilize without a way of ensuring productivity and professionalism.

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Business Email User Tips

Email is one of modern society’s best ways of staying in contact on both a business and personal level, but only if you’re effectively utilizing it. We’ll help you implement best practices and other methods to get the maximum benefit of your chosen email solution.

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Do and Don'ts of Managing Your Passwords

Password security is a tricky part of running a business. After all, it’s not just dealing with your own password, but those of the many employees all throughout your organization. In times like this, it’s helpful to provide them with a list of how to make the best passwords possible. Here are a couple of examples for what to do, as well as what you shouldn’t do, when building a proper password.

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Tip of the Week: Helpful YouTube Tips

YouTube might seem fairly straightforward, but it’s a little less so for business use than for personal use. Here are a few features that you will need to be aware of if you want to use YouTube effectively in a business environment.

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Planning for On-Premise Infrastructure Deployments

With cloud computing becoming a major benefit for organizations of all sizes, some have abandoned the idea of having on-premise servers at their place of business. This could end up being problematic, however, as data security and privacy of cloud-based resources have been known to be often less than reliable. If you are looking to host your own IT in-house, there are some issues you have to see to before you can start purchasing hardware.

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Tip of the Week: Basic IT Tips for Your Benefit

Look, we get it. All you want is for the technology your business relies on to just… work. While that may not always be possible, there are quite a few things you can do to help prevent issues. For this week’s tip, we’ll go over some basics that will help make your use of your computer much less stressful.

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With Phishing Attacks Beating 2FA, You Need to Be Able to Spot Them

Unfortunately, one of the most effective defenses against phishing attacks has suddenly become a lot less dependable. This means that you and your users must be ready to catch these attempts instead. Here, we’ll review a few new attacks that can be included in a phishing attempt, and how you and your users can better identify them for yourselves.

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How to Leverage Parallelism to Up Your Productivity

As unfortunate as it is to hear, science has pretty definitely kyboshed the notion that multitasking works. However, while multitasking may not actually have any true benefits to productivity, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any ways to accomplish more in less time. Today, we’ll give you a better option than multitasking, a process known as parallelism.

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Tip of the Week: Android Pie Tips and Tricks

There are over two billion active devices currently using Android. Most of them that have been purchased in the past year or so have come with, or have been subsequently updated to, Android 9.0 Pie. With the introduction of their newest mobile OS, Google has ensured that their software powers more mobile phones than any other software in the world. Today, we’ll take a look at some handy tips you can use to get the most out of your Android Pie experience.

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Tip of the Week: Creating Process Documentation

Businesses are driven by processes. More often than not, these processes are fairly definitive - do this, then do that, then do the other thing - and require a set order of operations. There also happen to be a lot of these processes, which makes it important that they are well-documented so you and your employees can refer to this documentation later. Here, we’ll offer a few tips on how to best document a task.

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3 Things You Can Do to Hold More Effective Meetings

Do you ever feel like your business’ meetings simply don’t go as planned? These are often the most dangerous kind of meetings, as employees who have better things to do may find that meetings aren’t a great way of using their time (or their skills) properly. If you are having meetings that just seem like a waste of time, it’s your responsibility to start thinking about how you can improve them. Here are a few tips:

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Tip of the Week: Improve Your Business Communications

For many businesses, communication is a major contributing factor to their success. Technology--when it’s properly implemented, anyway--can play a big part in keeping communication productive, but with certain solutions, it can be difficult to determine context. Here are some ways that you can help your employees be as clear and concise as possible with specific communication methods.

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Why Multitasking Doesn’t Work (and What to Do Instead)

In the business world, productivity is everything, which means that many will try to boost their productivity however they can. Many swear by multitasking, or the practice of juggling tasks to keep themselves fresh and productive. However, evidence shows they are mistaken. We’ll go into why, and offer a few more effective alternatives.

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Tip of the Week: PowerPoint as a Multi-Purpose Tool

Microsoft PowerPoint is a well-known solution - well-known enough that the product has become synonymous with the task, regardless of what program one happens to use. Of course, this doesn’t mean that one necessarily must use it to create a presentation to go with a sales pitch. For this week’s tip, we’ll suggest a few other tasks you could complete with the help of a PowerPoint presentation.

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3 Data Recovery Issues to Consider

Even with a data recovery strategy, you can’t expect all problems related to data continuity to be resolved simply by having a strategy in place. Take a moment to ask yourself if you have the right strategy for your business’ needs. Below you will find several considerations to keep in mind when planning your data backup system, as well as how to make it happen.

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Prioritize the Protection of Your Google Account

Chances are you have a Google account, whether it’s for business or personal use. It’s more accessible today than ever before and provides a solid way to gain access to several important features and accounts. Considering how much can be done with a Google account, users forget that they can put their security and personal data at risk. Here are some ways that your Google account is at risk, as well as what you can do to fix it.

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Why Your Google Account’s Security is So Important

These days, it seems that to have a computer is to have a Google account. If one isn’t used for professional purposes, it is used as a personalized solution - and no wonder. The convenience and accessibility of these accounts alone are compelling, even before one considers the versatility that this account brings with it. Unfortunately, these benefits can be quickly overshadowed by risk if a Google account’s security is overlooked, even if unintentionally.

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How to Use Video on Each Social Network

One of the biggest benefits to using social media in a marketing strategy is the fact that it gives you the opportunity to experiment with different kinds of content--like, for instance, video. Video is a very strong marketing tool to use, but the social media platform will have an influence over what kind of videos are most effective. Today, we’ll explore how to optimize your video strategy for the different social media channels.

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How to Optimize Your Marketing Choices Through A/B Testing

One of the best things about marketing is that it is a very fluid process, heavily informed by how an audience reacts and responds to an initiative. This means that it is very important that you identify what marketing choices will optimize your impact. The process of A/B testing can help with this.

Here, we’ll discuss A/B testing in the context of email marketing to set a familiar scene for our examples.

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During the Holidays, Cybersecurity Matters at Work and Home

We’re right in the thick of the holiday season, which means two things: one, there’s a lot of data being exchanged between businesses and consumers, and (on a related note) two: there’s ample opportunities for cybercrime, targeting business and consumer both. Whichever side of the coin you are on at any moment, you need to be aware of the risks, and how to mitigate them.

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Three Gifts for Your IT Resource

The holiday season is here, and the spirit of giving is in the air. Why not give the IT professional in your life a few things that they’ve been wishing for all year? Here, we’ve compiled a list of things you can give them, some of which will cost you (and your business) nothing.

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Here’s How Companies Struggle with IT Security

No business can be successful if it’s constantly suffering from data breaches. Therefore, you should take measures to mitigate the issues caused by these threats before they present themselves. Here are four of the biggest issues your business could face in the field of network security.

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Tip of the Week: Keyboard Shortcuts to Save You Time

Even the simplest tasks in the office can eat up a surprising amount of time over the span of a year. For example, did you know that switching from your keyboard to your mouse can consume up to eight full work days every year? By taking advantage of keyboard shortcuts, you can cut down on the amount of time wasted on these little tasks.

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Tip of the Week: You Better Test Your Backup

Data backup can be the difference between a business that fails and a business that succeeds. After all, if an organization suffers from a data loss incident so bad that it has to deploy its data backup, it wouldn’t be able to survive without it. With a data backup and disaster solution, you can ensure business continuity. But what does this kind of system need in order to succeed, and how can you make sure your organization benefits from a data backup system in place?

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What Could Possibly Be Wrong with Your Computer?

Slow computers are one of the small annoyances in an office that can implicate a much larger issue is hidden. The frustration stems from not being able to get anything done, whether it’s because the computer isn’t responding to your commands or it’s so slow that you can’t accomplish anything noteworthy in your day. Thankfully, you can take some steps to check the speed of your computer so as to take proper action when it’s not working at expected.

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Just How Important Is the Data Recovery Process?

Data recovery can make your break your business’ continuity plan, and you absolutely cannot underestimate how important this is for the future of your organization. There are countless ways your business could lose data, and if you encounter even a single one of them, your organization could be put at serious risk. We’ll take a look at operational data loss and how your organization needs to strategize data recovery.

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Getting to Know Technology: A/B Testing

The best way to attract your audience is by understanding what they want from your business. Even something as simple as changing up the color of your branding to be more inviting can be extremely helpful. This kind of process is called A/B testing, and it can help you make improvements to the way your business operates.

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How to Ensure Your Business is Hurricane-Ready

As headlines shout about Hurricane Florence approaching the East Coast later this week, with Helene and Isaac also stirring in the Atlantic Ocean, it seems as good a time as any to discuss preparing your business for hurricane season; and, really any adverse weather effects that could negatively influence your business. Preparing your business for events like these is key to its survival, making it crucial that you know what your responsibilities are when awaiting a potentially devastating event such as a hurricane.

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Claim and Manage Your Business Online with Google My Business

You’ve probably noticed that when you search for a particular business using words like or similar to “near me,” Google will display three business options at the top of your search results, and then will load additional businesses once you click “More places.” Remember - people in your area that are looking for a business like yours will probably be doing exactly that. How can you make sure you are in those top three results?

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Have You Really Considered Your Maintenance Costs?

Computers need to be maintained in order to ensure that they are working as optimally as possible. It’s also known that technology solutions are prone to failure, be it from users making mistakes, deliberately ruining something in a fit of rage, or components simply failing. If you’re concerned about the wellbeing of your organization’s IT, then you need to rely on a technology specialist who can manage and maintain it.

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How To Get Rid of Those Pesky Extra Cables

Do you have cords, wires, and adapters just sitting in a cupboard or drawer, with no purpose other than taking up space? Of course you do. The average person will replace old or broken devices, and find the new devices aren’t compatible with the old cables, leaving them stuffed in a junk drawer or in a random box that they’ve kept “just in case.” Every home or business has the same scenario going on: lots of wires and cables left over from all the e-waste they have discarded over the years. If you want to get rid of your unwanted cables, here are a couple of tips on how to do so properly.

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Cloud Can Cover Most of Your Business Needs

The traditional computing structure has been under siege by cloud computing for the past several years. More businesses than ever are seeing the value in cloud-hosted applications and infrastructure, and while that may not be a huge surprise, the perceptions that the cloud can solve any of your organizational computing problems depend largely on the needs of that endeavor. Today, we will take a look at successful small business cloud strategies and tell you why they find success.

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Tip of the Week: Changing Your Network Profile

The Windows operating system has different settings for connecting to different networks. While this may seem like a minor detail, it actually can have considerable ramifications to your cybersecurity, not to mention that of your business. For this week’s tip, we’ll discuss how to use your network profile to stay secure, based on your situation.

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Tip of the Week: How to Better Manage Your Invoices

It doesn’t matter how good of a service your business provides or how incredible your customer service standards are if your business is lousy at ensuring that payments are received and processed properly. Invoices are an invaluable tool to help ensure your payments due are coming in efficiently. For this week’s tip, we’re examining how to leverage them better.

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Are You Ready to Adapt to Network Security Changes?

Humankind has always adapted and improved technology to make life easier, starting all the way back at fire and the wheel. Nowadays, our approach to making life easier through technology is centered around productivity and security - if we can accomplish more than before in the same amount of time, without worrying that it will be stolen, we’re happy.

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Three Keys to Proper Software Management

Nowadays, every company relies on some kind of software in order to properly function, so you need to ensure that this software is properly managed in order to maintain operations. While this may sound like a grand undertaking, software management is relatively simple and can be whittled down into three steps: leveraging the assets available, testing your strategies, and understanding what it is you have.

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Why You Need to Be Careful when Discarding Technology

Nothing lasts forever - especially your business’ technology. However, you shouldn’t just get rid of your old technology willy-nilly. This is mostly for two reasons: one, many of the components in our technology are really bad for the environment; two, carelessly disposing of technology is a great way to put your data at risk. In order to protect your data, you need to make sure that your old equipment is properly disposed of.

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Email Security Basics

Email is a modern classic as far as business solutions are concerned, and you’d be hard-pressed to find an office that didn’t use it in some capacity or another. However, because email is so popular, it has become a favorite attack vector of malicious users. Fortunately, there are some basic practices that will help keep your email account secure and your communications private.

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Bias Can Impact Your Business from Within

Despite what you may have heard, a bias is not an inherently bad thing. However, if not considered rationally, a bias can easily lead you to make a business decision that does more harm than good. Researchers have uncovered why we hold the biases we do, and how we might work to overcome them.

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How to Keep Your Mobile Data Safe

Oh no. You slap your pockets in a sudden panic, but you only confirm what you suddenly feared: you’ve lost your mobile device, the one with all of your business data on it. You haven’t an idea where you might have left it - all you know is that it’s just... gone.

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Power Off, or Leave It On?

At the end of the day, do you shut down your computer or do you put it into sleep mode? Depending on what you need from your device the next day, you might want to consider which option benefits you the most. Here are some of the pros and cons of both approaches so that you can pick which one best suits your situation.

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Spring Cleaning Your Business and Its Technology

Spring seems to be the natural time, after what are commonly dreary winter months, to revitalize and refresh your environment - why shouldn’t your business be included? Not only does it help your operations, a clean environment also has many direct benefits for your employees. Let’s review the effects of keeping your business, and its technology, in order.

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Are You Making Yourself Vulnerable Over Social Media?

Social media might make it easy to stay connected, but it comes with a lot of negative side-effects--particularly in regard to security for both personal and professional use. If social media isn’t used properly, it could spell trouble for your organization. How can you foster proper social media usage so that your organization doesn’t suffer from poor security practices? It all starts by spreading awareness.

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Leveraging Content Marketing in a B2B Strategy

When engaging in business-to-business marketing, your content plays a huge role in your success. Whether you’re creating social media content, blogging, creating articles for your web pages, creating newsletter content, or even working an in-person event, you need to make sure your content is effectively benefitting your marketing.

We’re here to help, so we’ve compiled some key considerations to make as you shape your content marketing strategy through each of the above tactics.

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Can You Spot the Signs of a Malicious Link?

The Internet is notorious for being a minefield of threats, many of which lurk hidden behind innocent-looking links. In order to go about business safely, you need to be able to identify which links you can click; and, which should be skipped.

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Tip of the Week: Is Spam Ruining Your Email?

You don’t need us to tell you that it’s extremely dangerous to hand out information to just anyone that contacts your business. This is important to keep in mind, especially considering how the majority of threats can be sent via email. You’ll likely encounter situations where you need to consider whether or not to click on attachments, as you could potentially put your business at risk.

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Tech Term: What Does “Encryption” Mean?

Email is a solution that needs to be protected, lest you expose important information to any onlookers while messages are in transit. Encryption is one of the key ways you can make sure that your messages are safe, but email hasn’t always used this method to secure messages. In fact, it wasn’t until relatively recently that encryption became a staple of the major email providers.

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Ransomware Makes Backup a Necessity

Your business relies on its data to succeed, which lends itself to the fact that your organization needs to have some sort of security measures put into place to guarantee its safety. 2018 is thought to be the year of ransomware, so it stands to reason that your business should prepare to deal with it. One of the best ways to deal with ransomware is to make sure that your company has a plan to restore data affected by said ransomware.

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Is Your Password Security Up to Par?

Passwords are all over the place these days, whether they’re required to access an online account, or access the devices used to open these accounts. While both types of passwords can make for ideal security conditions, this is only the case if the passwords are strong. If your passwords can be guessed by just about anyone, can you really call it a security measure? New insights from SplashData show that passwords aren’t being considered as much as they need to be.

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Can You Trust Your Mobile Apps?

You can never know whether or not that app you just downloaded to your smartphone can expose your data or identity to risk. While Google Play and the iTunes store certainly put efforts into ensuring that users can safely browse their app stores, it’s unlikely that they can find every single malicious app out there before it infects someone’s device. Therefore, you need to consider the following measures to ensure that you don’t put your business at risk by downloading unsecure apps.

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Data Privacy is Good for Your Business, According to the National Cyber Security Alliance

January 28th marks Data Privacy Day, a day intended to raise awareness of the importance of data privacy and educate users and business owners of its benefits. Spearheaded by the National Cyber Security Alliance, there are plenty of lessons the NCSA has to share with businesses as this day puts their, and their clients’, privacy in the spotlight.

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Tip of the Week: Why You Should Reexamine Your Business Practices

As a business adopts certain “best practices,” it is important for business leaders to consider why they are adopted, and more importantly, are they really for the best? There are many problems that subscribing to false best practices can produce, and so it becomes important to identify, adjust, and resolve them.

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Keep Your End Users From Contributing to Security Issues

Insider threats contribute to a significant number of data breaches. These cases of data exposure are enabled by a member of your staff, whether they intended to harm your business or simply made an honest mistake. With so much focus directed toward the threats out in the world, sometimes we forget that the biggest dangers can be among our ranks. To make up for this, we’ll discuss a few ways to keep insider threats from doing your business too much harm.

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Tip of the Week: Need to Write an Email? Keep These 5 Steps in Mind

There are good emails, and there are bad emails. You know them when you see them, but can you write an email that’s more likely to be read and acted upon? There are a few key steps to writing them more effectively. For this week’s tip, we’ll walk you through five steps to improving your emails.

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Tip of the Week: We All Make Mistakes, but Try To Avoid These Computing Ones

Mistakes happen, especially where technology is involved. There are plenty of ways that user error can occur when using a computer--many of which are avoidable through simple preventative measures. For our tip this week, we’ll go over some behaviors to avoid when using a computer.

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Your Mouse Can Do More Than You Think

You’ve used a mouse for years, but do you know of all the neat little tricks that it’s capable of? We’ll show you just how much you can get done with your mouse.

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Security Comes In Two Parts--Don’t Neglect The Physical Half

Physical security is more or less what it sounds like: security intended to protect the physical infrastructure that houses your business and your critical data. Many of the pieces of physical security will seem very familiar, even if you didn’t know the right terms for them.

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Scammers and Skimmers Are a Bad Combination

Considering how often hackers target financial credentials like credit card numbers and expiration dates, it’s not surprising that ATMs can provide a wealth of information to them. Hackers are willing to go exceedingly far just to get their hands on these credentials--including physically altering the devices themselves to install skimmers and other technology on them. Unless you know what to look for, it can be difficult to tell if a machine has been tampered with.

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3 Ways To Improve Your Business’ Data Security

Data security, always an important topic, has been made even more urgent by the Equifax data breach and the fact that 143 million users had their personal information stolen after entrusting it (or not) to Equifax. You need to consider what would happen if your business were on the receiving end of a data breach, and prepare to handle this truly unpleasant circumstance.

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Tip of the Week: 10 Tech Practices That Make Work Better

Each worker within an organization is delegated some sort of responsibility based on their role. Managers are responsible for managing, while human resources keep all workers accountable for their responsibilities. Yet, there are multiple responsibilities designated to all employees who use technology for their everyday duties.

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How to Best Take Advantage of Data Backup

Some organizations want to better understand the process that they use to take backups of their data and restore them in the event of an emergency. This is great, because the value of being able to do so cannot (and should not) be understated. A proper data backup and disaster recovery system could be all that stands between prosperity and failure.

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On A Scale of "Um...?" To "Safe," How Well Managed Is Your Data?

Putting together your workforce is something that requires painstaking attention to detail. You found workers who are willing to work as hard as possible to further your organization’s goals. Yet, you have to remember that even the most perfect employees are still human, and that they can make mistakes and can put the organization’s data at risk. User error is a common problem, and it is one of the most important things to keep in mind while you set up your information systems.

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Keep Bring Your Own Device From Becoming Bring Your Own Disaster

Do you let your employees bring their own devices in for use on your company network or Wi-Fi connection? If so, we’re sure that they love the freedom that you provide for them, but we must warn you of the dangers that this can bring to an otherwise careful business. We’ll discuss some of the benefits, as well as the pitfalls, of allowing your employees to use personal devices in the workplace.

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Protect Your Business with Strong Network Security Practices

With the surge in the number of small and medium businesses that have fallen prey to malware and cyber criminals, there is a lot of focus of what an organization can do to prevent being a victim and how the company should handle themselves after an attack. There is another key factor to preventing cyber criminals from penetrating into your network: your employees.

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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective PC Users

Security is one of the most crucial pain points of all businesses, but sometimes it can be tricky to implement solutions if you’re not sure what you specifically need. Network security isn’t easy, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be hard. If you have difficulty reinforcing a security state of mind in your office, we have good news for you; by keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be able to keep your business more secure than it would be otherwise.

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What Can You Do to Prevent Lightning From Frying Your Technology?

It doesn’t matter where your business is located--chances are you’re susceptible to thunderstorms. Lightning storms are very unforgiving, and they can lead to all sorts of problems for unprepared businesses. We’ll discuss some of the ways that your organization could be affected by a lightning storm, as well as how you can take measures to mitigate these dangers in the future.

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Tip of the Week: How to Set Your Windows Apps to Automatically Open in Full Screen

Here’s something that you might have noticed about opening Windows applications on your desktop; by default, they will generally open in a smaller window, giving you the ability to customize their size as you see fit. If you want a full size Window, it’s as easy as clicking on the maximize button in the top-right corner, but what if you didn’t want to go through this every time you open the app? There’s a solution for this, and we’ll help you find it.

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