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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.

Cyber Censorship is a Complicated Issue

The web is filled with all types of content, and depending on where you live, it can be regulated by a myriad of organizations from all sections of society. From internationally recognized trade organizations to governments to industry regulators, there are a lot of moving parts in data regulation as it now stands. That leads to people wanting more control over data and censorship. Let’s take a look at cyber censorship and how it's a bigger issue than you might think.

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Tip of the Week: Taking a Break from Social Media

In the relatively short time it has been around, social media has fully ingrained itself into our lives, personally, professionally, and socially. While there are considerable benefits to be had in all of these areas, it is also undeniable that social media can easily become overwhelming and negatively impact us. For this reason, occasionally taking a break from social media isn’t a bad idea. Let’s go over a few ways to make this break as successful and effective as possible.

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A Look Back at The Technology That Got Us Here

Think about all the things you’ve experienced thanks to the rapid innovation of technology. We can all agree that technology is cool. Today, we have $10 drones, mugs that keep your coffee warm, and LEDs everywhere. 

So what’s next? 

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The Most Dangerous Things to Search for on Google

The Internet is pretty great. You can watch videos of cats being weird, and then watch the London Philharmonic Orchestra perform Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. Then you can go on Reddit and learn how to replace the drywall in your bathroom. Just another typical Sunday afternoon with the Internet, right? 

Unfortunately, the Internet isn’t always perfect. It can be pretty dangerous, and we’d like to share some surprising terms that can lead to dangerous websites and malware if you search for them on Google.

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Cyberthreats Threaten Your Entire Business

Countless challenges arise for businesses, ranging from supply chain disruptions and employee turnover to the unpredictable forces of natural disasters. Among these challenges, cyberattacks stand out as an inconspicuous yet highly menacing threat. In this article, we delve into the various ways cyberattacks endanger your business and provide insights on how to prepare for them effectively.

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Cyberthreats Can Threaten Your Business in Several Ways

Every organization has a lot of things that could go wrong in the course of doing business. They can run into supply chain issues, employee turnover and poor performance, natural disasters interrupting your “business as usual”, but one of the most unassuming, yet worrisome threats to your business is the cyberattack. This month, we go into a few ways cyberattacks threaten your business and how they play out to give you an idea of how to prepare.

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VoIP is an Extremely Good Option for Business Communication

Effective communication often operates behind the scenes, yet it serves as a vital cog in the smooth operational ability of business, lending support to a multitude of functions. Consequently, making judicious investments in the right tools can markedly elevate your business. In the contemporary landscape, one such indispensable tool is Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

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Which is Better? Wired or Wireless Connection

Make no mistake about it, connectivity to the Internet is paramount for any business. A surefire way to gauge this importance is to observe people's reactions when they are informed that the Wi-Fi will be down for a few hours. In such a context, businesses face a crucial decision: should they opt for wired connections or embrace robust Wi-Fi? To make an informed choice, it's essential to understand the benefits associated with both options.

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Your (Far From Comprehensive) Guide to Google’s Secrets and Easter Eggs

Since its domain was first registered on September 15, 1997, Google has exploded from a relatively simple search engine to the massive assortment of platforms and services that fall under the Alphabet umbrella. That being said, most people tend to think of very specific aspects of Google’s Search function… like the amusing Easter Eggs that the platform has become somewhat famous for.

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Don’t Fall for These 3 Browser Myths

There is a lot of misinformation and misperceptions out there related to network security, especially where small businesses are concerned. In particular, browser security is one aspect where many individuals’ knowledge simply falls flat, and they buy into myths that put their data at risk. Let’s clear up some of these misconceptions so you can go about your day in a more secure way.

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Industrial IoT is Bringing Big Data to Manufacturing

By now you’ve heard of the Internet of Things. It consists of all of the Internet-connected devices found on a given network. Different types of businesses have different ways that they can use the IoT. This month, we thought we would discuss the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and the ways modern manufacturers use it to make big changes to their businesses.

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It’s Important to Be Selective With Your Business’ VPN…Here’s Why

“I just wanted to take a second to thank the sponsor of this video, [insert VPN provider here], for supporting the channel!”

If you’ve been on YouTube in the past few years, this message likely sounds pretty familiar. Virtual private network providers have been taking advantage of the trend of influencer marketing to spread awareness of their largely obscure product—often, offering an enticing deal. While we have and will continue to promote the use of a VPN for business purposes, we wanted to clarify something here: these are not the VPNs we’re saying you should use.

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Custom Building Blocks Coming to Google Workspace, but Not for Everyone

Google continues to build its Workspace platform up with new and innovative tools that can help businesses be more successful and efficient. One such tool is a new solution being offered to select businesses using work or school platforms of Google Workspace: custom building blocks.

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Don’t Be So Quick to Scan Every QR Code You See

There is no denying that Quick Response codes—better known as QR codes—are a handy little invention. Just a few years ago, many businesses heavily adopted these contactless communication tools, allowing customers with a smartphone to access menus, documents, and more with ease. Having said that, we unfortunately can’t deny that cybercriminals are taking advantage of how handy QR codes are, too.

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If You Think a Consumer-Grade VPN is Worth It, Think Again

When it comes to security, one often overlooked tool is the virtual private network, or VPN. We recommend that all businesses use a VPN to keep remote and hybrid workers from inadvertently putting your business’ data at risk while out of the office. Let’s go over why a VPN is so effective, as well as what you should look for in a business-grade VPN tool.

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Tip of the Week: Optimizing Your Business Wi-Fi’s Security

Wi-Fi connectivity is a remarkable technology when you really think about it, and it has fundamentally changed how we work today. What hasn’t changed, unfortunately, is that hackers and cybercriminals will try to use this technology to their own advantage. Therefore, let’s discuss a few relatively simple ways that you can improve your wireless network’s overall security.

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How Internet Speeds Have Changed

The Internet is used for a great many things in business nowadays, but some may not realize just how much Internet speeds have changed over time. This week, we thought we would take a brief look at the evolution of Internet speeds and what today’s speeds allow businesses to do. 

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What Search Engine is Truly the Best, Part 2

Last time, we started our discussion on the best search engines by talking about the behemoth, Google. While Google is, by far, the most popular and commonly used, and arguably the most accurate search engine, it doesn’t mean it’s always the right search engine to use. Let’s talk about some other alternatives and see where they might fit in.

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What Search Engine is Truly the Best, Part 1

Even if you lived under a rock, you’ve probably done a Google search or two. There are, in fact, other search engines, each with their own pros and cons. We’re going to compare some of the most popular search engines and talk about what makes them different.

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These Link Checking Tools Might Save Your Bacon

We often talk about scams and cyberthreats, and lately our advice for dealing with a potential phishing threat is to simply avoid it altogether.

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The IoT Can Do More than You Think

We often talk about how the Internet of Things can create security issues in businesses if not properly handled. While there are some very real threats that can be posed by the IoT in the workplace, there is no denying that it can also serve some very real utility there as well.

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Tips to Help You Determine How Much Bandwidth You Need

For small businesses, having a fast, reliable Internet connection is needed to run all the digital tools that your staff has come to depend on. If you don’t have the bandwidth in place, you can deal with bottlenecks that can ruin communications, stall productivity, and cause operational issues of all types. Today, we’ll take a look at how to determine the amount of bandwidth you need to support your business’ computing infrastructure.

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How Does Streaming Technology Work?

It feels like streaming is everywhere these days, from video content to music to video games. Coincidentally, it also happens that innovations in cloud streaming have allowed these entertainment mediums to flourish in “as-a-service” type offerings. Just how have the innovations in technology allowed streaming services to grow and expand? Let’s investigate.

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Get Your Online Accounts In Order - Part 1

Google, Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIn, Netflix, eBay, Paypal, Hulu, Spectrum, NYSEG, Microsoft—most of us have an overwhelming number of online accounts. That’s not only a lot of entities that have information about you, but you want to be able to access these accounts when you need them without having to do a bunch of detective work just to find your credentials.

I’m going to make your online footprint so much easier to manage. It takes a little bit of work, but let me tell you, this is going to save you a ton of time, and prevent a whole lot of stress.

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Get Your Online Accounts In Order - Part 2

Previously, we talked about why it is important to get control over your online accounts, tie them down under one extremely secure email address, and store all of your unique, complex passwords in a password manager. Now let’s talk about how to gain control over your online footprint as a business or organization.

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Did You Know that Browser Cookies Come in Different Flavors?

When you go to a website you have never been to before, there is often a splash page that asks if you would like to accept cookies. It doesn’t mean you are getting a care package, it just means that you accept a formal interaction with the website you’re on. Let’s take a look at browser cookies

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The Quality of Your Internet Connection Is an Important Metric to Track

The Internet is a critical tool in your business’ toolbox, so it needs to be fast, reliable, and stable. What kinds of factors go into ensuring that you get the best, most reliable Internet connection? Find out in today’s blog.

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Twitch Creator Information Exposed After Hack

Twitch, Amazon’s popular streaming service where gamers and content creators broadcast to wide audiences, recently suffered a data breach. Thanks to this data breach, folks on the Internet now know just how much these content creators make, and it has exposed a whole new issue that Amazon must resolve.

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Tip of the Week: Scaling Your Wi-Fi Network

Most modern businesses rely on wireless internet connectivity in their day-to-day processes. Of course, this means that their potential productivity is tied to the quality of their internet and its capability to serve the entire workforce. As a business grows it becomes more important that its Wi-Fi setup can support it. Let’s go over the process of properly scaling your network to your needs.

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5 Tips to Enhance Your Wireless Connection’s Strength

With more businesses moving in the direction of remote connections and mobile devices, it’s no surprise that wireless Internet is such a pain point for organizations. Sometimes it can be an exercise in frustration to connect to your office’s wireless network, and you might not really know what to do about it. Here are some ideas to try and increase your wireless network’s strength or signal.

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Examining the Potential Impacts of Big Tech Antitrust Legislation

There are now five bipartisan bills being considered in the United States House of Representatives, strictly intended to help put some checks on the power that today’s modern technology giants have. Let’s consider what these bills are, and why the current business environment has inspired them.

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Getting Accessible Internet to the Disabled Isn’t So Easy

Accessibility to the Internet is a hot topic because, at this point, almost everyone should be afforded Internet access. The fact that some people don’t have access to the Internet puts them at a severe disadvantage. One group that has major problems with accessibility are disabled people. Let’s discuss what can be done about that.

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The Federal Communications Commission is Evaluating Mobile Broadband

Broadband Internet access is a critical consideration for today’s world, considering how much of daily life and business is now conducted online. Having said that, Internet access is still far from a given. In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission wants to work to fix this—but to do so, they need data. To help collect this data, the FCC wants you to install a speed test application on your smartphone.

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The FCC is Taking Measures to Assist with Internet Connectivity

Whether you’re referring to an individual’s personal needs or their work-related responsibilities, the Internet has become an essential component to most processes. Unfortunately, financial limitations often make sufficient connectivity unattainable for many. This is why the Federal Communications Commission stepped in last month to provide some assistance.

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Do Google’s New Policies on User Data Privacy Indicate Larger Changes?

Just in case you haven’t been paying attention, online privacy has been highlighted significantly in recent years—in no small part due to the sale of our profiles by the tech giants that provide today’s most (in)famous websites… including and especially Google. Having said this, it is also important to acknowledge that some of Google’s recent policy changes could suggest that this may change at some point.

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Does Your Organization Have Enough Bandwidth?

A lot of business is being conducted over the Internet right now, in terms of communication and transactions alike, which makes a business’ capability to remain connected to its clientele even more important. Now is not the time to wonder if your business is as connected as it should be, which means that you need to know how much bandwidth you have available—and that what you do have is sufficient.

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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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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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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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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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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 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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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: Improving Your Google Searches

Google is the standard for online searches. It seems to be as simple as can be. Think of a question, type it in, get an answer. However, not many people likely know just how specific you can make these Google searches with just a few details. Let’s go over how to use Google most effectively as you search the Internet.

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More Effective for Business: Wireless vs Wired

Businesses’ data needs are rapidly changing. Today, data security is a pressing issue. Unfortunately, the amount of dangerous threats are expanding as well and it is important to ensure that any technology moves you make don’t end up putting your business in harm’s way. This month, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of wiring up your computer network. 

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Putting the IoT to Work in Your Business

Since 1982, the technology known as the Internet of Things has given the devices around us greater capabilities through artificial intelligence and Internet connectivity. While this technology spent a long time existing under the radar, so to speak, many business functions are now relying on its benefits. Let’s take a few moments to look at how the IoT can be of use in your business.

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How the IoT Can Be Used to Help Your Business Processes

The Internet of Things has been around for some time now, with devices being given some level of artificial intelligence and Internet connectivity to improve their intended functions since 1982. After some time as a fringe approach to technology, it has now become an invaluable tool for many business functions. Let’s review the ways that the IoT can be harnessed to your advantage.

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Tip of the Week: Searching Google More Specifically

Everyone knows how to do a Google Search, right? Go to the site, type whatever it is you’re looking for into the search bar, and you’re off to the races. Fewer people are aware, however, of the ways that you can help Google narrow its search a bit. Let’s go over a few handy Google cheat codes that can make your search results more precise.

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What’s the Benefit of Content Filtering?

Wasting time is a big concern in any business, and this is one place where the Internet can potentially hurt as much as it helps. Of course, it does still help, as the Internet is where many of today’s business tools are accessed. How can you ensure that your team is spending their time working, rather than on social media or other distracting websites?

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Protecting Your Data Privacy Is Harder than Ever

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

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The Pandmeic Era Internet

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

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For Many Businesses, Working From Home Might Stick

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

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Coronavirus is Shifting the Communications Industry

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

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How COVID-19 is Impacting the Net Neutrality Discussion

The cloud cast by COVID-19 wouldn’t seem to have very much of a silver lining at all, but if one looks very closely, there is the faintest one there. As more and more people are subscribing to self isolation and similar practices, remote work has become a more pressing need. In response, many Internet service providers and mobile data carriers are taking action and putting changes in place that actually resemble net neutrality.

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Tip of the Week: 3 Leading Causes of Slow Internet

Slow Internet may be a nuisance in any case, but it has a particularly negative impact on the workplace. Technology should improve your operational efficiency, but if your solutions depend on a connection to the Internet, any issue there can effectively bring your productivity to a halt. In light of this, we wanted to go over a few of the most common issues that might be slowing down your connection, and perhaps tip you off to the problem.

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

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

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Why is URL Manipulation a Security Concern?

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

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Building a Secure Wi-Fi Network

Maintaining network security is always a priority for the security-minded company, but if your organization’s strategy is to fly under the radar, you need a new plan. No business is too small to be a victim of a network breach. What most people who are tasked with coming up with a network security strategy for a small business don’t always realize is that threats are everywhere. Today, we’re going to take a look at planning a secure and reliable Wi-Fi strategy that doesn’t inherently add to your business’ risk. 

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Tech Terminology: The Dark Web

Deep web and dark web. What’s the difference? Perhaps you’ve been using these words interchangeably. The dark web has a reputation for being the most toxic place on the internet, and for quite a few good reasons. Today we will dive deep into the dark web and why this reputation has been formed.

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Let’s Take a Look at 50 Years of the Internet

Without a doubt, the Internet is one of humanity's most impressive inventions. 50 years ago, the predecessor to the Internet that most of the world depends on, called ARPANET, was launched. Today, we will talk about how that innovation turned into the Internet, and reorganized the way people interacted with computing systems. 

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Tip of the Week: Spot a Hacker By Investigating Their IP Address

b2ap3_thumbnail_ip_addresses_400.jpgHave you ever wondered how your PC is identified from the billions of devices out there in the world today? Just like every human being has specific physiological traits that make up who they are, your computer’s IP address is somewhat unique to your machine, and it can say a lot about you. Therefore, it’s important that you are able to identify your own IP address when you need to.

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Tip of the Week: Unsure if an Email Address is Valid? Here’s How to Check!

b2ap3_thumbnail_email_verification_400.jpgSometimes you might write an email to someone who you’ve never emailed before (perhaps you scrawled down their email while on the phone or at an event), and questioned the authenticity of your recipient’s email address. Those who use email frequently know all too well what this feels like. It makes the most sense to first make sure that you have the right email address before sending a message.

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Are Consumers Really Going to Benefit from 5G in 2019?

The fourth generation of wireless technology has lingered for a long time, but with the advent of fifth generation wireless technology, it’s becoming apparent that it will be the next big thing. The issue with this idea, however, is that most device manufacturers are using the term as a marketing ploy--one that’s blown out of context to boot.

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Internet Providers Have Started the 5G Trend

5G will be here eventually, but it’s just a matter of “when” it will arrive. It feels like we’ve been saying that 5G will arrive soon, but the fact remains that it’s not here… at this moment, anyway. Still, the ambiguity surrounding 5G, or the “Fifth Generation” of wireless networking, can get a bit confusing. We’ll help you clear up any confusion you might have about 5G so you can step into the future knowing what this technology might hold.

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Social Media Users Should Consider Their Personal Information

Social media has completely changed the dynamics of how people communicate with one another. While some users might only keep in touch with friends through it, others--including businesses and brands--use it to promote their products. In an age where a picture can appear on thousands of devices all over the world, privacy has become a major concern for anyone using social media.

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Tip of the Week: Understanding Bandwidth

I have a question for you: when did you last examine the bandwidth that your business Internet package provides you? This is a very important consideration to make, for the sake of your productivity. This week, we’ll offer a few tips on how the proper bandwidth can help you get much more out of your IT solutions.

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Today’s Small Businesses Lean Heavily on Remote Workers

Were you among the 55.3 percent of employees who took their work devices on the road during this past holiday season? Chances are that if you have employees who find it difficult to complete their duties in the office, they’ll take it home with them over the holidays to make sure they don’t fall behind. Yet, they could potentially be exposing important data to risk, even if it means getting a little bit of work done here and there in the meantime.

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The Internet Continues to Change Business

With so many people depending on the Internet for a litany of reasons, there might not be the general acknowledgment of just how powerful the ubiquitous use of the Internet really is for businesses. From the storage and redundancy of business’ data to virtualized computing platforms to browser-based interfaces that provide access to productivity and communications software, today’s Internet is filled with solutions for the modern business.

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Google’s Making Changes to Chrome, and Not Everyone’s Happy

Chrome 70 is yet another example of how divisive technology has the potential to be. On the one hand, a few of the changes have people excited about some clear benefits to security, but others worry that Chrome will no longer be as secure or as user-friendly. We’ll review some of the changes coming with Chrome 70, so you can decide for yourself.

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Tech Term: Responsive Web Design

We all have our favorite websites to visit, as well as those we often have to visit to fulfill our responsibilities. As a result, it isn’t uncommon for us to try and access the same websites on both a desktop workstation and a mobile device, but some websites work better than others while trying this. This is because of something called responsive web design, which we’ll review below for our weekly Tech Term.

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Getting to Know Technology: Link

Navigation is important for any computing system--particularly the Internet, where there are countless destinations. The Internet is comprised of various web pages, images, videos, and many other valuable little bits of content that are all connected by a web of links. These links are the cornerstone of the Internet, and we’ll explain the details of how they work and what they are.

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Tip of the Week: Keep Employees Off of Distracting Websites

As incredible a tool as the Internet truly is, for every website that is beneficial to the workplace, there is another that is certainly the opposite. Naturally, it is these sites that your employees would most likely want to visit if left to their own devices. Sometimes, the best course of action is to remove the temptation and block these websites. For this week’s tip, we’ll talk about a few ways to do so.

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Tip of the Week: 5 Simple Browser Tricks

We all know how to use the Internet (you’re here now, after all), but there are a lot of hidden secrets to it that far fewer people know. Today, we’ll let you in on five of them to try and make some basics a little easier.

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Tip of the Week: How To Troubleshoot a Faulty Internet Connection

An Internet connection is one of the most crucial parts of running a modern business. However, this type of reliance can be crippling in the event that the Internet goes down. What can you do to make sure that downtime is limited to a minimum?

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Tip of the Week: How to Use Webinars to Take Your Business to the Next Level

Authority. Knowing what your business does well, and using that knowledge, experience, and expertise to increase your company’s position within the market is more crucial for the small business today than ever before. This is because, from a competitive standpoint, the small or midsize business is not able to sport the kind of prices that larger firms can, and still make a profit. One way an organization can utilize this talent to increase the visibility of their offering is by using webinars.

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Tip of the Week: 5 Ways Thieves are Looking to Scam Shoppers

It’s seems unbelievable just how much thought and effort hackers can put into their attacks. Scammers are all over the place, and you can never truly be safe. Here are six scams that you should always be on the lookout for.

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Tip of the Week: Tricks for Better Internet Browsing

If you use the Internet every single day, you’ll start to realize that you can use it more effectively for achieving your goals. In cases like this, it’s important to look at ways you can improve your overall use of the Internet, as it’s the key way you access important information, applications, and contacts. Here are some day-to-day tips that you can use to help improve your mastery of the Internet.

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Tip of the Week: What to Do When the Internet Goes Out

Losing Internet can be a large problem in the business world, as we all become more and more reliant on it. Downtime of this kind can be immensely frustrating. However, not all hope is lost, as there are ways to troubleshoot the cause of an Internet outage.

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Tip of the Week: Keeping Productivity Up When the Internet is Down

Modern businesses rely pretty heavily on the Internet--so much so that, should the Internet go down, many employees will find themselves at a loss as what to do. However, there’s no need to sacrifice productivity just because your Internet isn’t cooperating. There are plenty of ways to get something done on a day that the Internet calls in sick, which we’ll go over for today’s tip.

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Tip of the Week: Are You at Risk Due to the IoT?

The Internet of Things is now a commonality. IoT devices are in our homes, in our offices, and in our pockets. While these devices are incredibly convenient, they also contribute to some major security risks. For today’s tip, we’ll review some of the ways to reduce these risks while still leveraging the IoT.

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Tip of the Week: Awareness Is Important When Surfing the Web

We all love the Internet. We all use it almost every day. For this week’s tip, we’ll review a few ways to help keep yourself from getting in trouble while browsing.

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Tech Term: Understanding HTML and Plain Text

During your time around computers, chances are high that you’ve heard the phrase “plain text” and the acronym “HTML” tossed around when it comes to your email. If you aren’t sure what these statements refer to, we’re here to help. Today, we’ll examine both HTML and plain text to produce a better understanding of these tech terms.

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Tech Term: Router

The more that people depend on mobile devices and portable computers to get work done, the more businesses have to consider how to manage their organization’s wireless network. The router is the piece of hardware that makes the wireless network possible. Today, we will talk a little bit about the router and how its configuration can dictate the strength, reliability, and security of your business’ wireless network.

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Tech Term: Bandwidth Defined

The Internet has become an irreplaceable part of many business’ operations, which brings the thought into question of how much you rely on it for your daily duties. Technology has changed the way that the Internet works for the better, but there is one part of its operations that still lies at the heart of it: bandwidth.

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Tech Term: Bits and Bytes

Running a business sometimes requires attention to very minute details, and some things must be measured in order to achieve optimal efficiency. You’ve likely heard the terms bits and bytes used regarding data storage or transfer, but do you know what the difference is between them? Today’s tech term is dedicated to this explanation.

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Tech Term: Safe Mode

Sometimes it can be hard to diagnose a problem with your PC. While it might not be something system-breaking, it’s still important to find the root of an issue before it becomes a major problem. One of the best ways to diagnose an issue with your computer is by logging in using Safe Mode. We’ll talk about when and how you can use Safe Mode to your computer’s benefit.

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Tech Term: Protocol

Computers use quite a lot of different types of protocol to function. In particular, the Internet takes advantage of protocol to a great degree. You might recognize terms like Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, File Transfer Protocol, Internet Message Protocol, and Post Office Protocol. But what exactly is protocol, and why is it important?

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Shining Light on the Mysterious Dark Web

During your time in the business world, you may have heard about the Dark Web. It’s a place that’s filled with illegal activity, with some of the most notable being online marketplaces where credentials and personal records can be sold to the highest bidder. However, there’s much more to the Dark Web than meets the eye.

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Hackers Beware: IBM Unleashes Supercomputer Watson to Tackle Cybercrime

Sherlock Holmes is one of the most famous detectives in fiction, but without his dear Dr. Watson, he would have been stumped on occasion. There’s a good reason why IBM named its super-intelligent computer, Watson, after the famous character. True to its namesake, Watson is now being used to safeguard 40 organizations from cyber security threats.

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Here’s How to Make the Internet Far Less Distracting for Your Team

The average office worker needs to access the Internet in order to do their job. What they don’t need to access is cat videos, memes, social media, online games, and malware-ridden websites. How can a business owner clamp down on Internet activity in their office? By equipping their network with a content filtering solution, of course.

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Net Neutrality Still Needs Your Help!

December 14th is the last day that our government representatives can vote whether or not to continue the Internet’s protection under the net neutrality rules established in 2015. Without these rules in place, your data can be analyzed by your Internet service provider, and they are free to act on that knowledge and manipulate your Internet in support of their own interests.

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The Monopoly of ISPs

Many of those in favor to end net neutrality focused not on the issues of technology, but on the principles of the 'invisible hand,' otherwise known as the free market. Their argument, as espoused by Ajit Pai, is that regulation - particularly that of net neutrality - stifled innovation, and it’s that lack of variation which is the cause of so many of us being stuck with crummy internet options. In fact, Mr. Pai has a valid point, states and countries with multiple ISP services, do seem to have better outcomes for their customers. The problem is most of us don’t live in those places and don’t have many, if any, choices but one or two.

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Getting to Know Technology: Plug-In

The Internet is an amazing tool in and of itself, but like many tools, it can sometimes work better if other tools are used alongside it. These additional tools are called plug-ins. Here, we’ll discuss what a plug-in is, and how they all help us use the Internet a little better.

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Three Reasons VoIP is a Great Choice for Businesses

If you’re trying to run your business without considering communication, you’re crippling your business unnecessarily. One of the ways that you can improve communications is by capitalizing on a modern phone system that uses the cloud. You might be surprised by how great a cloud-hosted VoIP solution works for your business--especially if you haven’t thrown out the traditional telephone handset yet.

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The Chrome Browser is Redefining Your Security

When you are surfing the web, do you know if you are secure? Typically, your browser will tell you when a site is secure or not. This is especially important if you are putting in sensitive information, like passwords or credit card information. Google Chrome is stepping up it’s game to keep users safe.

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Google’s Inflated Plan to Get the Internet to Billions of People Who Don’t Have It

It’s hard to believe that half of the world still doesn’t have access to the Internet. When so many people in the west take their near-ubiquitous Internet accessibility for granted, over three and half billion people don’t have access at all. Years ago, Google created what came to be known as X (or Google X) which was basically a research-and-development facility.

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Getting to Know Technology: Breadcrumbs

In the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel, the titular characters decided to leave a trail of breadcrumbs behind them, so they could find their way back home. While this strategy didn’t work out very well for the siblings, the same concept is used in computing today. We even refer to it as breadcrumb navigation in honor of the German fairy tale.

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World's Third-largest Botnet Brought Down, Global Spam Cut in Half

Delete Spam keyboard keyEveryone who uses e-mail has become accustomed to finding the occasional Spam e-mail. No matter how careful you are, it's only a matter of time before you receive a Viagra testing e-mail, the South African Inheritance Tied Up in Legal Battles, or the Winning of a Sweepstakes that you never signed up for. Where do those e-mails come from?

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What's New in Firefox 13

Firefox logoFor those who use Mozilla Firefox as our web browser of choice, you may have noticed that there have been a large number of updates over the past year, leaping from version 4 to the now current Firefox 13. Mozilla has been following an aggressive roadmap to improve performance and features.

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What to do when your Data is Breached

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This has been a pretty common topic for us on the Directive blog. We've seen a lot of Upstate New York clients and customers suffer the consequences when online retailers and other account providers experience a security breach. It is equally vital for consumers to know what to do in the event of a security breach as it is the company that is actually breached.

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