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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.

Why You Shouldn't Say “Humbug” to Your Security

The IT guy, Jacob left last month: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. He left without an exit interview, and he didn’t seem very pleased with the way the situation played out. You could never tell if Scrooge cared or not. His demands have never wavered. He expected perfection and when mistakes were made, they were approached as catastrophic affronts to the sustainability of the business, even if that wasn’t the reality.

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Five Gadgets for the Techie in Your Life

With the holiday season in full swing, finding good gifts for the technology lover in your life may actually be more frustrating than you’d think. Since there are so many options, people will often get paralysis from trying to find the right gift and end up going the gift card route. Today we will look at five great gift ideas for the technology fan in your life.

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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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Technology Has Played a Part in Shaping How We Celebrate the Season

The holiday season has always been one of deep-seated traditions, some that draw from ancient customs, and some that are inspired by more contemporary trends. These traditions have been shaped, and often inspired by, the technology available in the day. Today, we’ll reflect on how the technologies we have now have impacted our celebratory traditions.

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Cybersecurity Can't Stop During the Holidays

This Christmas, technology is everywhere. Traditionally, the holidays were a time when things slowed down for businesses and people spent time with their families and put their work on the back burner. Those days are over. Today’s professional is lucky to get a day off for Christmas; and, because of the way business works today, may be asked to do more than ever around the holidays.

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Are You Accidentally Gifting a Security Breach?

The holidays are a time filled with good food, visits from dear friends and family, and exchanging gifts with those you care about. However, to keep the season bright and merry, you need to be a little cautious during your next gift exchange, as many gifts can present some unexpected risks to your recipient’s security. Be mindful if you see the following items on someone’s wish list.

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This Holiday Season, the Greatest Gift of All Could Be Your Personal Information

Hackers always love the holiday season. Lots of people are spending lots of money (both online and in-store) for the perfect gifts for their loved ones. When there are so many people making purchases all over the world, there are countless opportunities to steal information. Data such as credit card numbers and personally identifiable information can be taken and used to make people’s lives pretty miserable, during what is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year.

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Thieves Materialize Most Around the Holidays

In terms of identity theft, data loss and good ol’ fashioned pickpocketing, the holiday season is one of the riskiest times to travel. When it comes to protecting your personal information, thieves and cybercriminals are counting on you to be distracted and make careless mistakes. In 2016, the number of fraud attempts went up by 31% during the holiday season. In addition, credit cards, mobile devices, and open Wi-Fi are common targets throughout the holidays.

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Happy Holidays from Directive!

We’ve been hard at work putting together a holiday treat for you. This time of year has long been known as a time of happiness, joy, and togetherness, but it can also be a little... competitive. Who will give the most thoughtful presents? Which house has the best decorations? Who makes the nicest gingerbread house? From the bottom of our hearts, we are so grateful for each and every one of our clients, and we look forward to continuing our relationships into the new year and beyond. For now, we want to wish all a very happy holiday season, and a very happy New Year. This year, we decided to channel this competitive holiday spirit into a challenge for a few members of our marketing team. We hope you enjoy what happened next….    
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Choosing Between the Top 3 Video-Streaming Services is Tough

b2ap3_thumbnail_give_video_streaming_apps_400.jpgThe perfect holiday gift needs to be something meaningful. Now, a meaningful gift could be something sentimental, or it could be useful. If you’re looking to give a gift that will get plenty of use throughout the year, then consider giving a video-streaming service subscription.

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If Classic Monsters Were Computer Viruses

b2ap3_thumbnail_halloween_it_400.jpgWhat’s scarier, monsters or computer viruses? While it would be horrifying to be caught in a dark alley with a vampire, it would also be terrifying to lose your data to a hacker. Each entity is scary in its own right, but how frightening would it be if the two were combined?

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Your Droid Phone is Inferior to the Greatest Droid of All, R2-D2

b2ap3_thumbnail_r2d2_400.jpgIn 1977 the first Star Wars movie premiered, entitled “A New Hope.” The science-fiction film became a hit and spawned a franchise that’s still going strong 38 years later, with the upcoming release of its much-anticipated seventh feature film, “The Force Awakens.” In fact, Star Wars is such a big deal that it has its own holiday, celebrated every May 4th (May the 4th be with you).

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A Trap So Devious that Even Admiral Ackbar Missed It

b2ap3_thumbnail_may_the_4th_death_star_400.jpgWith the long-awaited release of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens this December, today’s Star Wars Day holiday may be the biggest yet (May the 4th be with you). As a technology-loving IT company, we’re happy to honor our favorite science fiction franchise by taking a fun look at its futuristic space technology.

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Unsent IE Error Reports Uncovered, You Won’t Believe Where!

b2ap3_thumbnail_old_ie_error_reports_400.jpgEven if you like Internet Explorer, you may have noticed that it can be a bit buggy at times. Perhaps if Microsoft had more information about the causes of its software issues, they could develop a better product. This is the purpose of software error reports, which largely go unsent and unread; or at least, that’s what Microsoft thought.

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Cat Tech Support: You’ve Gotta Be Kitten Me!

b2ap3_thumbnail_kitty_tech_support_400.jpgUnless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that cat memes infest the Internet to the point where it’s difficult to not see one. But, have you considered that it might not be that people are obsessed with cats, and that maybe the cats are simply overwhelmed by their ego as a superior race? Perhaps cats understand technology far better than even humans do, and they are the masterminds behind why the Internet has gone cat-crazy.

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Mark Your Calendars, Folks: World Backup Day is March 31st

b2ap3_thumbnail_world_backup_day_400.jpg2015 isn’t the year to go without backups. If there’s anything 2014 showed the world, it’s that businesses can fall victim to data breaches when they least expect it. You want to be prepared in the event of a data breach or data loss, and the easiest way to do that is by taking advantage of an external backup. Unfortunately, even an essential solution like data backup can be forgotten amidst the everyday operations of the average business owner.

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An IT Christmas Carol

b2ap3_thumbnail_an_it_christmas_carol_400.jpgA technology-based parody of the classic Christmas story, “A Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens.

Once upon a time, in a land not much different from this one, there lived a business owner. His name was Scrooge. He wasn’t an unlikable fellow; jolly and cheerful at any glance, his smile could light up the darkness in anyone’s life. Yet, when the winter months arrived, and a chilled wind blew across the land, so too did a fell gust freeze his heart. It was time to figure out why his systems were hacked (again), and he knew it would be an expensive endeavor. How he hated managing his IT.

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IT Techie, Hurry Up My Downloads Tonight [VIDEO]

b2ap3_thumbnail_hurry_up_downloads_400.jpgAn IT parody song to the tune of “Santa Baby.”

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4 Holiday Tech Gifts for 2014

b2ap3_thumbnail_2014_gifts_400.jpgThe holidays are again upon us and if you are looking for the perfect gift for your favorite business professional, you don’t have to look too far. There are more consumer electronics available today than ever before, and most of them have some sort of novelty attached to them. We have made a list of four gifts that are not only cool, they serve a practical purpose and will probably avoid being re-gifted or recycled.

 

 

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Are Your Employees as Competitive as Black Friday Sales?

b2ap3_thumbnail_workplace_competition_400.jpgBlack Friday is widely regarded as the most competitive day for American retailers, and for consumers standing in line to take advantage of rock-bottom prices, the general consensus is that all of this competition is great for their wallets. In the same way, your business can benefit from a healthy dose of friendly competition.

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The PC on Haunted Hill

b2ap3_thumbnail_pc_on_haunted_hill_400.jpgOur minds often attribute unexplained phenomena with hauntings from ghosts. Most of the time, there's a perfectly good scientific explanation for what's going on. If you ever see your computer's cursor move on its own, your PC isn't haunted. Although, you might prefer a haunting to what's really happening; a hacker is probably stealing your data. Now that's scary!

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Ghost Servers - Who Ya Gonna Call?

b2ap3_thumbnail_ghost_server_400.jpgEveryone has heard horror stories about the spirits of the dead lingering in this world. Every culture on this planet has different beliefs about the nature of these spectral beings. Not much is known about these beings, but people still believe without a doubt that they exist. In regards to technology, ghosts do exist, in the form of ghost servers.

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The Heartbleed Fallout

b2ap3_thumbnail_heartbleed_fallout_400.jpgLast week, the Heartbleed bug was identified as a weakness in the OpenSSL cryptographic library, potentially leaking two-thirds of the Internet's secure information from any websites utilizing this encryption style. While most major websites such as Google, Yahoo, and Facebook released patches quickly, it does little to actually remediate the problem. Your data could have been leaked over the year-plus that the vulnerability could have been accessed. There is no way to know if it has been compromised.

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There’s a Security Flaw!

b2ap3_thumbnail_santa400.jpgA Song In the tune of "Here Comes Santa Claus"

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A Christmas Carol in the Cloud

b2ap3_thumbnail_mchist400.jpgAround the holidays, we are often reminded how important it is to give, and graciously receive good will. One story that sparks these thoughts is Charles Dickens' classic tale, A Christmas Carol. For those of you who are not familiar with the story, Ebenezer Scrooge, a wealthy, shrewd miser gets visits from the three spirits of Christmas after he believes that Christmas is no better than a day of wasted profits. Scared out of his wits by the legacy he would leave behind if he didn't change, Scrooge's transforms into a generous and caring man, literally overnight. This story has been told several different ways over a century, but the premise is still the same, profits aren't always what matters most.

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