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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.

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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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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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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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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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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Almost all users are using the Chrome browser and this is good that the chrome browser is redefining your security. Visit https://... Read More
Thursday, 16 August 2018 00:48
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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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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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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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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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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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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: 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: 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: 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: 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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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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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: 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: 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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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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Get Your Staff to Stop Shopping and Start Working

With the growing popularity of Cyber Monday sales and explosion of all types of eCommerce, employees are more than likely tempted to shop during work hours. There are a lot of promotions exclusively available to online shoppers that take place during a business’ hour of operations. Many companies allow occasional use of company time for personal use. However, some employees are going to take advantage of this generosity and abuse the privilege.

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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: 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: 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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How to Ditch Your Traditional Phone Line and Save on Expenses

When it comes to a business being successful, it’s only natural to eliminate any wasted expenses and focus on those that can serve multiple purposes. Many businesses are very good at doing this, but they overlook a great opportunity to cut costs through the consolidation of their telephony system.

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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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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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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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What a Firewall Does and Doesn’t Do, and Why it Matters for Your Business

So you keep hearing about the need for a firewall, but maybe you’re not exactly sure what it is or even what it does. As a business owner, you don’t need to fully grasp the complexities of network security in order to effectively manage your company. Although, it is beneficial for every business owner to understand the basics of what a firewall is, along with a working knowledge of how it protects an organization’s IT infrastructure.

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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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Making Sense of How the Internet of Things Applies to Different Industries

b2ap3_thumbnail_internet_full_of_things_400.jpgThe Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the way that businesses approach technology solutions, but its biggest impact might be in the consumer environment. With so many new devices connecting to the Internet and communicating with each other, it can be difficult to slap a label on the Internet of Things and associate it with the countless devices being created every day.

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3 Ways the Internet Makes Things Easier, But Not Necessarily Better

b2ap3_thumbnail_internet_is_changing_everything_400.jpgDo you remember the days where you didn’t have the the Internet? Remember going to the library to research information, or using a phone book to find contact information for an important contact? These are only a few ways that the Internet has changed society.

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Tip of the Week: Don’t Be Caught Off Guard By What People Online are Saying About Your Business

b2ap3_thumbnail_manage_your_online_reputation_400.jpgEvery business owner understands that having a good reputation is paramount toward their success. Yet, some business owners may not fully grasp just how much the Internet influences their company’s reputation in today’s business environment. In order to find out what the people of the Internet are saying about your business, you have to manage your company’s online reputation.

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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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How and Why Cyber Crime is so Effective

b2ap3_thumbnail_cyber_crime_is_the_new_norm_400.jpgThe Internet is a fantastic tool that has ushered in an era of productivity and connectivity that we could only previously have dreamed of. Unfortunately, like every great tool, it can be used for darker, malicious purposes. In the Internet’s case, it’s used for anonymous illegal activity, like drug trafficking or selling data on the black market.

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The Overlooked Side of The Internet of Things May Be the Most Important

b2ap3_thumbnail_internet_of_things_400.jpgWhen one thinks about The Internet of Things, new and fantastic devices come to mind, like smart homes, smart cars, mobile devices, and more. While innovations like these are fueling the excitement behind the IoT, it’s actually the smaller, behind-the-scenes IoT devices which are poised to bring about the most significant change to our connected society.

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The Rise, and Fall, and Rise of Bitcoin

b2ap3_thumbnail_bitcoin_resurgence_400.jpgYou might remember Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency known for increasing the anonymity and privacy of transactions on the web. Bitcoin was gaining ground for a while, but a couple of key events left it in the dust, sinking to seeing use only as a currency used by hackers and criminals in online black markets. Now, however, it seems that Bitcoin is being used again, and with a few key innovations in how it’s spent, Bitcoin will continue to grow more popular as a payment option.

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Tip of the Week: 4 Reasons Your WiFi May Be Slow

b2ap3_thumbnail_wifi_interuption_400.jpgWireless Internet access is a luxury that seems commonplace, but there are many who experience trouble with their connections on a daily basis. Sometimes the problem stems from familiar issues that could happen at any minute, but other times the issues might not be so obvious. Either way, you should be aware of the most common disruptions to your WiFi signal, even those that you might not consider problems.

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Malvertising: Hackers are Paying For Ad Space on Popular Websites

b2ap3_thumbnail_click_on_malware_ad_400.jpgA good business practices extreme caution when using the Internet, thanks to hackers using any means possible to unleash threats against organizations of all sizes. You teach your employees how to avoid threats and to avoid suspicious websites, but what if that’s not enough to keep hackers out of your network infrastructure?

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21 Million US Students Lack High Speed Internet Access at Their Schools

b2ap3_thumbnail_superhighway_400.jpgThe Internet is an absolutely essential part of today’s workplace. It helps businesses get the upper hand on their competition by offering practically limitless access to tools, resources, and contacts that can be used for the betterment of their organizations. However, classrooms can reap the benefits of Internet too, and it’s surprising that it’s taken so long for all schools to hop on board with this concept.

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Why Google Fiber is a Game-Changer for the Internet

b2ap3_thumbnail_google_fiber_400.jpgWe all know how important an Internet connection is to the success of any business. In fact, it takes an exceptionally powerful cabling protocol to ensure that your business’s Internet connection remains constant. While many businesses take advantage of big cable companies like Time Warner Cable and Comcast for their Internet needs, a select few have the option of Google Fiber.

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YouTube Red Will Cost You Some Green

b2ap3_thumbnail_youtube_red_400.jpgFor all of you YouTubers out there, you probably already know that the video-playback website is offering a premium service that launched last month. Now you can watch cat videos and other nonsense in an entirely new way. But what do you get with a subscription to YouTube Red? Is it worth the money? Well, let’s find out.

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How One Snip From Sebastian the Crab Could Cripple the Global Economy [Video]

b2ap3_thumbnail_connecting_the_world_400.jpgHave you ever wondered how the Internet is capable of connecting countries on the other side of the world? You may already be aware of this, but the Internet’s cables run deep underneath the ocean’s surface, all around the world. In fact, you might wonder how we could even keep these cables safe when they’re submerged underneath such an immense amount of water.

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The Internet of Things Takes Cyber Security to a Whole New Level

b2ap3_thumbnail_internet_of_things_400.jpgWith the Internet of Things continuing to gain popularity, we’re seeing more devices that connect to the Internet than ever before. However, what the users of these devices might be failing to take into consideration is the fact that the Internet is a dangerous place full of threats and other miscreants. What happens if these criminals decide to attack any of your connected devices? This is a relevant question to ask since October is Cyber Security Month, and The Internet of Things represents the next frontier of cyberspace.

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For Cyber Security Month, Take Extra Care Not to Overshare

b2ap3_thumbnail_oversharing_400.jpgOctober is Cyber Security month. We want to bring attention to this very important issue affecting every person and organization connected to the Internet. When discussing cyber security, we often talk about computer viruses and malware, but these threats are only part of the cyber security equation. It’s just as important that you, your staff, and even your family, are mindful to not overshare information online that can compromise your organization’s security and personal identities.

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Using a Camera With Chicken Grease on Your Hands is a Bad Idea, But Don’t Tell KFC That [VIDEO]

b2ap3_thumbnail_curious_use_of_technology_400.jpgWe’ve seen some pretty incredible technology developed in the past several years, but all of it pales in comparison to the epitome of the Internet of Things: the KFC Memories Bucket. Why? Because nothing says “the future,” like printing your family’s photos out of a family meal chicken bucket.

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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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What’s Your Competition Up to? Use these 6 Apps to Find Out!

b2ap3_thumbnail_track_your_competitors_400.jpgAs a business owner, you might have the sudden and inexplicable urge to creep on (track) your competitors to get a feel for their prices and services. With these six apps, you can make this job a little bit easier by seeing what others have to say about your competitors, including what they are saying about you.

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Check with Your Doctor if “Telemedicine” is Right for You

b2ap3_thumbnail_remote_doctor_400.jpgRemote technology is constantly changing the face of all industries thanks to the versatility and efficiency it provides for its users. Did you know that even doctors are starting to take advantage of it to administer consultation care for their patients in never before seen ways?

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The Internet of Things is Changing the Way Businesses View Online Threats

b2ap3_thumbnail_internet_of_things_400.jpgWhen you think of the Internet of Things, does your mind immediately wander into the realm of connected devices that change the way we interact with each other? Or, does it consider the security issues that can potentially become a threat to your entire network and technology infrastructure? Hopefully it’s a little of both, with an emphasis placed on security.

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Hackers Shop for Vulnerabilities at Online Black Markets

b2ap3_thumbnail_black_market_peddler_400.jpgJust like Silk Road (the illegal online black market designed to smuggle drugs around the world), there exists an online trade for zero-day exploits. Unsurprisingly, hackers find it exceptionally lucrative to sell these exploits for profit. Now, there’s a new marketplace where hackers can get their hands on these vulnerabilities, and it’s all thanks to the anonymity of the Darknet.

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Has the Internet Murdered Society’s Attention Span? [VIDEO]

b2ap3_thumbnail_too_long_did_not_read_400.jpgWhen it comes to challenges, there’s no better place to turn to than the Internet. However, the Internet is also saturated with useless, time-wasting videos and articles that are meant to stimulate the mind and destroy boredom. In the face of all of this media, a lone CollegeHumor video challenges a user to endure boredom for a measly three minutes.

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Tip of the Week: How to Know Who Is Using Your WiFi

b2ap3_thumbnail_how_to_wifi_400.jpgWe all know how annoying WiFi can be at times. Sometimes it’s simply a bad connection, or perhaps there are too many devices accessing your network. Or, maybe it’s your sneaky neighbor stealing your WiFi. Regardless of what the cause is, there’s a way to check your WiFi usage in the Windows operating system.

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4 Old Internet Protocols Increasingly Vulnerable to Hacking Attacks

b2ap3_thumbnail_language_security_400.jpgWhen the Internet was first established, malware and hacking were in their infancy, and not as much of an immediate problem as they are today. Thanks to this fact, the Internet wasn’t really created with a certain security design in mind, and has instead adapted to shifts in its environment. Unfortunately, as hackers grow more powerful, several of these patchwork protocols are growing outdated.

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Introducing Cloud Computing to Your Business

b2ap3_thumbnail_here_is_the_cloud_400.jpgYou’ve probably heard about the cloud and how businesses are taking advantage of it, but due to the way it's marketed and all the different tasks that it’s capable of, there may be some confusion as to how it works and how exactly it can be a game-changer for your business.

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Is Your Favorite Search Engine Showing You Malicious Websites?

b2ap3_thumbnail_search_malware_400.jpgMost search engines are pretty good at keeping malicious websites out of your search results, but just like any other piece of software on your computer, some search engines do a better job of keeping these threats out of your immediate access. According to TV-Test, a German independent testing lab, there’s a huge difference between the security of the world’s top search engines, like Bing and Google.

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Pluto Mail Makes it Possible to Unsend an Email

b2ap3_thumbnail_pluto_mail_flexibility_400.jpgFor those with weak stomachs, it’s not recommended to go back and read an email that was just sent. In doing so, a spelling or grammar error is likely to be found, which will cause one’s stomach to turn and fill with regret. If only there was a do-over button. Thanks to the new app called Pluto Mail, there is one.

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One Failed Restaurant Shows Us Why it’s Vital to Be Listed Correctly on Google Places

b2ap3_thumbnail_google_places_400.jpgWhen a dining establishment goes out of business, it usually doesn’t make the news. After all, running a restaurant is a risky endeavor. However, for one Washington D.C. eatery, it’s blaming its failure a Google Places mishap, which makes you think twice about how important it is for your business to have its online information properly displayed.

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4 Business Goals that Virtualization Improves Upon

b2ap3_thumbnail_virtualization_for_business_400.jpgImplementing virtualization for your network can provide your business with several benefits, like saving money and streamlining operations. Business executives from a variety of different backgrounds are taking advantage of virtualization to meet their goals.

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Darkcoin: Anonymous Cryptocurrency for the Paranoid… and the Criminal

b2ap3_thumbnail_darkcoin_400.jpgThe world of online currency is a strange, bizarre realm. While it’s designed for online transactions, it has gone from the somewhat useful (Bitcoin) to just plain silly (Dogecoin). However, there’s now an anonymous cryptocurrency available for use called Darkcoin, which attempts to make online transactions more difficult to trace.

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3 Ways the Future of the Internet of Things will Shape Up

b2ap3_thumbnail_future_of_internet_of_things_400.jpgThe Internet of Things is changing the face of web-connected devices as we know it. Some would argue that the world isn’t ready for the IoT, but it’s on its way nonetheless. But what really constitutes the Internet of Things? InfoWorld suggests that a lot of what the public sees as the Internet of Things shouldn’t be classified as IoT devices. Therefore, we need a more substantial definition for this revolutionary phenomenon.

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The Internet of Things Might Invoke Murder, Ransom, and More

b2ap3_thumbnail_internet_of_things_death_400.jpgWith the Internet of Things connecting more devices to the Internet, these devices can potentially be turned to nefarious use. Despite all of the benefits of the Internet of Things, like big data analytics, anything connected to the Internet is threatened by cyber crime to at least some degree. In fact, some professionals believe that the Internet of Things will usher in an era of new types of cyber crime; murder included.

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Internet vs. Intranet

b2ap3_thumbnail_intranet_not_internet_400.jpgCan you tell the difference between the two words, Internet and Intranet? The difference is much more than simply two letters. Both are valuable marketing tools, particularly for small businesses, but what exactly differentiates them from each other? The key to understanding this is a simple English lesson.

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Check Out this Freaky Old Internet PSA

b2ap3_thumbnail_in_the_future_400.jpg19 years ago, a class of fifth graders from Helena, Montana was featured in a PSA video that, looking back, made some eerily-close predictions about how the Internet is used today. When this PSA was shot in 1995, only 0.4% of the world's population regularly used the Internet. Today, nearly 39% of the world uses it, and for good reason, as predicted all those years ago.

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Does Your Staff Suffer From Internet Addiction?

b2ap3_thumbnail_internet_addiction_400.jpgWe've all wasted time surfing the Internet, but as we know, there are unfortunately extremes to every action. Wasting time by mindlessly browsing Internet pages can certainly become a problem when it claims huge portions of your time at work, killing your productivity. Can you not seem to get away from surfing the Internet?

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Is Fast WiFi the Most Basic of Human Needs?

b2ap3_thumbnail_hierachry_of_needs_wifi_400.jpgIn 1943, psychologist Abraham Maslow published a paper about human motivation that would become the well-known Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. His theory states that before self-actualization can be achieved, four needs must first be met, like esteem, belonging, safety, and physiological (the most basic which includes, air, food, water, etc.). In 2014, we feel the need to add one more layer to Maslow's pyramid: WiFi.

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Search Anonymously with Duck Duck Go!

b2ap3_thumbnail_duck_duck_go_400.jpgWith the NSA and Edward Snowden making headlines around the world, it's enough to make any user of the Internet think twice about online security and wonder if they are being monitored or not. Google Search has been a popular hub for third party monitoring, which makes Internet users ask, "Is there a more secure search engine available?" There is with DuckDuckGo.

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Bots Outnumber Humans for Web Traffic

b2ap3_thumbnail_webbot400.jpgIt has finally happened, the bots have taken over. While robots have yet to enslave humanity, bots have taken over the Internet, accounting for 62% of all web traffic. Is the bot takeover something you should be concerned about?

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Tips to Search the Web like a Pro, Part 2

b2ap3_thumbnail_mastery400.jpgLast week, we shared four tips to help you search the web and find anything that you're looking for. In part 2, we will take a look at additional search tools that will help you refine your searches so you can become a search master!

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Tips to Search the Web like a Pro, Part 1

b2ap3_thumbnail_goog400.jpgThe Internet is a place of wonderment where you can find almost anything you can imagine, but you have to know how to find it. How good are you at online searches? Anybody can type a query into Google, Bing, or Yahoo, but a simple search like this may not yield the best results.

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The Internet as Conceived in 1969

b2ap3_thumbnail_internety400.jpgThe Internet certainly has changed the way we live, work, shop, and communicate. We may think we're superior to previous generations because of all our Internet-based technology, but we have video proof that the Internet was actually conceptualized in 1969. In many ways, our parents and grandparents were spot on with their predictions. In other ways, not so much.

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Has Illegal Downloading Met its Match?

b2ap3_thumbnail_nodl400.jpgSince the late 1990s, digital information, music, movies, software, and content has been at risk of being illegally shared worldwide for free. Peer-to-peer file sharing has forced entire industries to shift the way they do business as they try to counteract the illegal practice. The new Copyright Alert System will attempt to quell illegal file sharing.

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YouTube Makes an Effort to Be a Nicer Place

b2ap3_thumbnail_comments400.jpgPerouse the YouTube comments on any popular video and it will appear like a teenybopper is texting a neo nazi. The level of stupidity seen in the comments of YouTube is the ultimate proof of human idiocy. Finally, after years of putting up with people's hate and ignorance, YouTube is cracking down on comments!

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4 Mobile Technology Features Every Business Needs

b2ap3_thumbnail_mobileblue400.jpgAre you looking to enhance your business with new mobile technologies to give your workforce the competitive edge? If so, then we recommend that before you go out and purchase new mobile devices, you first need to understand the technology requirements of your organization. Here are four crucial needs you will want to consider.

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A Healthy Intranet = Strong Marketing

b2ap3_thumbnail_intra400.jpgMarketing is not done in a bubble. Instead, it requires input from outside resources. When it comes to effective marketing, communication is key. Having a computer network that acts as a communications hub for every department is one the best ways to help your marketing team.

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How to Set Up and Optimize Your Business in Google Maps

b2ap3_thumbnail_gplace400.jpgEven if your business doesn't have a website, or use social media, you still need to take advantage of at least one important Internet tool to direct people to your organization: Google Places. Getting your business mentioned on the Internet's biggest listing resource will make sure that anybody looking for you can find you.

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Tip: Use YouTube HTML5 to Save CPU Resources

b2ap3_thumbnail_webvid400.jpgAnybody who is a master of multitasking is a fan of YouTube. There's so much useful and entertaining content on YouTube that it's perfect for streaming media in the background while working on a project. Unfortunately, YouTube is a large application that eats up precious CPU resources and may slow down your computer.

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How to Anonymously Browse the Internet

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How to Anonymously Browse the Internet

--> b2ap3_thumbnail_whodat400.jpgSome places on the Internet are only suitable for secret browsing. Maybe you're shopping for a present and don't want your links to show in your browsing history, or maybe you don't want the customized ads to reflect a private interest. Whatever your reason is for wanting to anonymously browse the web, here's how you do it.

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Use Rhythm for Better Sleep

b2ap3_thumbnail_sleep400.pngThere are many different sleep solutions on the market; some are simple like a fluffier pillow, others are more elaborate like a sleep apnea CPAP mask that assists with breathing. According to a new study by the University of Tubingen in Germany, the best sleep solution may be syncing the sounds around you with the rhythms of your brain.

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How to Browse the Web Anonymously

b2ap3_thumbnail_privacy400.jpgWith revelations coming to light on how governments are monitoring citizen's Internet usage, many people are concerned about their online privacy. Most of us are so dependent upon technology that it's almost impossible to totally disconnect off the grid, yet there are a few tricks you can use to browse the Web with anonymity.

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Project Loon by Google, Internet above the Clouds

b2ap3_thumbnail_loon400.pngThe benefits that come with a society that have Internet access can help people in dramatic ways. According to Google, only 1/3 of the world's population is enjoying these benefits. The rest of the world is out of reach from the Internet's communication lines and satellite signals. Google plans on bridging this gap by using balloons.

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The Internet of Things as the Next Big Thing

b2ap3_thumbnail_IoT400.jpgWhen you hear the phrase, "The machines are taking over," you may think of science fiction stories where robots become self-aware and enslave humanity. You may not have realized it, but the machines have already taken over; not with a violent uprising, but through what's called the Internet of Things (IoT).

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Understanding the Makeup of Websites

b2ap3_thumbnail_Web400.jpgWe’re all familiar with the “Dummies” book series, they are helpful when it comes to understanding specific topics, but not all of us have the time to read a manual of information. We want to dummify web knowledge regarding the web’s ever changing buzzwords and platforms. This will help educate you on what web services and products are available for your company’s website. Every business owner should at least be aware of the website platform they are using and be fluent enough to understand its capabilities. If your website breaks, then having at least a basic understanding will make interacting with your website maintenance team go smoother, and give you a foot in the door if you ever want to take the plunge and learn more.

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The Internet, Solving Problems for 20 Years!

b2ap3_thumbnail_90sProblem400.jpgThe Internet was originally designed in 1989 as a tool for the European science agency CERN to help share information among physicist in universities around the world. On April 30th, 1993, the Internet went public. Back in 1993, Internet founders like Tim Berners-Lee did not likely realize that his invention would solve more problems than physics ever could.

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3 Models of Cloud Computing to Consider

b2ap3_thumbnail_threecloud400.jpgDo you have reservations about using a public cloud computing service to host your company’s data and applications? Despite strong security measures taken by public cloud computing companies, there are businesses that choose to play it safe and build their own private cloud infrastructure. SMBs also have a third cloud computing option which is to adopt a hybrid cloud infrastructure.

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Be Sure to Count the Costs of the Cloud

b2ap3_thumbnail_CostCloud400.jpgCloud computing is a hot business technology. Research firm Gartner surveyed businesses worldwide and found that 60% have increased their budgets for cloud services through 2014. Gartner also predicts that the cloud services market will increase 18.5% this year. Are you looking to migrate over to the cloud? Here are a few considerations before your business goes cloud crazy.

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Could Bitcoins become the Next World Currency?

b2ap3_thumbnail_bitcoin400.jpgThe Internet has given us many new and exciting ways to transact business. The newest frontier is in regards to a virtual currency called Bitcoins that is unregulated and accepted by Internet users worldwide. Bitcoins may be too much of a novelty for your business to take seriously, but that does not discredit it as an interesting investment opportunity.

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The E-mail Switchboard

b2ap3_thumbnail_EmailSwitch693.jpgE-mail and other forms of digital communication have revolutionized the way humans interact. Anybody old enough to remember life before e-mail (B.E.), can tell some great stories that include kooky characters like Mr. Stamp and Mrs. Envelope. E-mail has changed things; all of us use it every day, but how does it work?

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Just Step around the Spam

b2ap3_thumbnail_StopSpam400.jpgAnytime you take a step into the Internet, there's a pretty good chance that you are going to step in a fresh and steamy pile of spam. Spam can ruin your company's Internet footprint. Spam can also find its way into the depths of your website and stink up the whole place. It's especially embarrassing when you don't even know that you have spam on the bottom of your virtual shoe; here's how it got there.

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Tip: How To Set Your Homepage on Your Web Browser

b2ap3_thumbnail_Homepage400.jpgIs your web browser's home page looking drab and boring? Do you wish that you could change it to something fresh and exciting but you just don't know how to do it? Introducing Home Page Settings! By using Home Page Settings, you can give your Web Browser that fresh look you have always wanted, and the best part is that it's free!

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Critical Updates on the Way for Windows, Office, and IE

b2ap3_thumbnail_Updates400.jpgMicrosoft will be dishing out multiple security updates this week, including four critical patches for Windows, Internet Explorer, Office, and SharePoint Server. Critical updates are considered Microsoft's highest threat rating, so installing these patches is important.

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Meet Google Spanner: The Largest, Single Database Ever Created

b2ap3_thumbnail_googlespanner400.jpgThe evolution of Google from a search engine company renting a garage, to one of the largest companies on the planet, is a story that can truly boggle the mind. One cause of Google's growth is their investment in developing new technology. This is the case with the Google Spanner, which is a new technology designed to manage Google's growth.

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Don’t Underestimate the Hackers

b2ap3_thumbnail_Hacker400.jpgIn 2011, Ponemon Research surveyed 583 U.S. businesses and found that 90% of respondents reported that their company's computers had been breached at least once by hackers within the past year; 77% of these companies felt like they were attacked multiple times within the same year. If your SMB does not have any protection from hackers, then your sensitive data is at serious risk.

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An Old Internet Explorer Can Harm Your PC

b2ap3_thumbnail_InternetExplorer-logo.jpgIf you never connected your PC to the internet, then you could get away with not updating any of your software. Do to the changing nature of the internet, new security threats are constantly attacking your computer. Internet browsers are your door to the internet and require constant updating in order to keep your PC protected from these threats.

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The Popularity of the Fax Machine

b2ap3_thumbnail_faxmachine400.jpgIt always feels a bit peculiar to come across a fax machine still being used in the modern office. With all of our digital advancements, the fax machine should have gone the way of the floppy disk. Contrary to common sense, it is estimated that there are 131 million fax machines still in operation around the world.

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Get the Internet Speed that You are Paying For

speedWhich is worst, fingernails scraping down a chalkboard or slow internet? A person who would answer the former has likely never experienced internet speeds in excess of 1 Mbps. It is a proven fact that faster is better. Before you decide to complain to your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or even switch providers, make sure that you are informed about what your internet speed is and should be.

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Improve Employee Productivity with Universal Threat Management

b2ap3_thumbnail_productivitygoup400.jpgThe concept behind company time is simple enough: you are employed, and therefore expected to do whatever you agreed upon while "on the clock." To be fair, you are given a few breaks to attend to personal matters; yet, as easy to grasp as this seems, the average employee wastes two hours of company time per day on the internet.

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