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IT Support Blog

News and info on IT Services

We provide a range of Managed IT Services, Business IT Support, and IT Consulting that can help you keep costs down.

We know its hard to make sense of all the options available when it comes to IT. We can keep you posted on the latest trends and info with our IT Support Blog.


 

 

4 Amazing Productivity Apps to Enhance Your Everyday Activities In Your Law Office

Posted by on 6:31 am in IT Support Blog | Comments Off

law office productivityProductivity apps are on the rise, with many being launched in the past few weeks. These apps are essential to businesses in the “bring your own device” era as they raise the overall personal productivity of everyone and efficiency of practice in serving the needs of your clients.

Here’s a look at a few of the best apps available to law offices right now:

  1. Hours Time Tracking

‘Hours Time Tracking’ was created by Tapity, Inc, and it assists in time tracking and making tedious tasks less agonizing. The app is currently $9.99 and its features include:

  • Visual timeline
  • Smart reminders
  • Detailed reporting capabilities
  • Slick, intuitive interface
  1. PlaceUs

‘PlaceUs’ was created by Alohar Mobile Inc, and is currently free in the App Store. This app allows users to share important location information with trusted colleagues, friends, and/or family.    Features of this app include:

  • On-the-Go provides real-time location updates whenever a connected colleague is in transit
  • Privacy mode settings allow you to control who sees your activity
  • Automatically ranks Top 10 places you visit most
  • Supports push notifications
  1. PackPoint

The creators ‘Wawwo’ introduced this app to act as a packing list travel companion for frequent travelers. The app informs users on what types of items they should pack when they’re traveling based on the:

  • Journey length
  • Weather
  • Planned activities
  1. Tinker

Tinker is an app that aims to boost productivity through the creation of duration-based goals. Tinker was created by the company Leef and is currently, $0.99 at the App Store. Tinker’s features include:

  • Create goals with start dates and durations
  • Visualize the progress of your current and future goals
  • Tap a goal or cover the screen to pause a goal’s time
  • Receive notifications when a goal is complete/when it’s time to start a new one

If any of these applications sound like they might be useful to you, download them and start living a more productive life today.

For more information on productivity applications that will help your business, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We are determined to ensure the productivity and efficiency of your day-to-day tasks and activities. 

Looking for the Best IT Consulting Services Around? We Offer IT Consultants Businesses Need to Stay Ahead of the Competition!

Posted by on 7:24 am in IT Support Blog | Comments Off

IT ConsultantDoes your business leverage information technology to the fullest extent? As technology continues to evolve, your business has a wide range of opportunities available – from remotely accessing computers at the office to storing data and applications securely in the cloud, however, it can be difficult to select and implement the right technologies for your unique needs. Fortunately, we offer the IT Consulting businesses need to thrive! 

When you’re looking to leverage information technology to the fullest extent, it can be difficult and time-consuming to select and implement the right business IT systems and applications for your unique needs. But there’s no need to worry! Our team of IT consultants can help you:

  • Determine vulnerabilities in your business IT systems to eliminate risks of performance issues, disruption, and downtime.
  • Assess IT needs to implement the right hardware and software to meet your short and long term business objectives.
  • Create a long term IT plan to make sure your information technology is scalable and flexible to meet your current and future needs.

Ultimately, this allows you to rest assured knowing your business IT systems are secure, reliable, and ready for future organizational growth and success. And when you choose to work with the best IT consultants has to offer, you’re able to have peace of mind knowing we’ll help you:

  • Decrease downtime & risks: We offer managed anti-virus software, firewalls, and various IT security solutions to decrease potential downtime and risks.
  • Increase continuity: We offer data backup and disaster recovery to keep your business IT systems and data available, no matter what comes your way.
  • Improve productivity: We offer various solutions; such as secure remote access solutions and 24/7 monitoring and maintenance, to keep your staff productive.
  • Eliminate unnecessary IT costs: We offer managed IT services to handle all of your technology needs at an affordable flat rate monthly fee.

What are you waiting for? Contact the best IT consultants has to offer businesses like yours! Give us a call or send us an email to learn more or to schedule a complimentary technology assessment. We are the preferred IT support company for businesses across the region, give us a call.

Are Your Digital Ducks In A Row?

Posted by on 6:22 am in IT Support Blog | Comments Off

Digital InsuranceGet your Digital Ducks in a Row Before a Cyber Insurance Audit

Increasingly, cyber insurance is viewed as an essential component of an organization’s overall IT strategy.  Cyber insurance can protect against losses incurred from a variety of sources including data breaches, malicious code and viruses, theft, intellectual property infringement – even defamation.

The added layer of protection cyber insurance offers may provide you with peace of mind, but it may not come cheap! 

Insurers are smart, in evaluating your eligibility and your premiums they will take into account a wide variety of factors:  Do you handle credit card or debit transactions?  Do you store large amounts of personal information?  Social Security Numbers?  HR data?  How is this information stored?  How do you dispose of it?  How are your systems designed?  Are they secure against digital intruders?  Do you have rigorous information handling policies in place for your employees?  Have you had data breaches in the past?

If your systems and policies fall below industry standards, you may find this critical insurance hard to come by, or impossibly expensive.  In order to militate against this risk, you need to have all of your digital ducks in a row.

One important, and often over-looked, criterion for affordable cyber insurance is a well-established information governance policy.  A well-structured policy outlines the processes by which data in your organization is collected, managed, exploited and destroyed.  It also describes who is accountable at each stage of the cycle and outlines training requirements for employees.

Adopting an effective information governance policy will not only reduce your cyber insurance premiums, it will help improve your internal processes and prevent losses in the first place!

Before going through a cyber insurance policy audit, give us a call or send us an email.  We can help you create an information governance policy that works.  Not only that, we can help identify and address any issues in your existing system which may negatively affect your premiums.

How Geolocation Data Collection Can be Useful to Businesses

Posted by on 11:10 am in IT Support Blog | Comments Off

GeolocationIn the age of rapid and constantly growing technology, geolocation is sneaking its way into just about every device and application we use. For some applications, it seems necessary, and for others the purpose is less clear, but consumers are accepting it anyways, because hell, why not?

When your location is tracked and recorded, it is typically meant to add value to the users experience. However, where does one cross the line between geolocation adding value and geolocation being intrusive?

In the retail industry, adding geolocation data to information on customers, can be beneficial in tailoring the marketing target according to customer preferences and locations.

Is Location Important or Intrusive?

For medium-sized businesses, an increased growth in customer engagement and improved business analytics is being seen through the embedding of geolocation data from mobile devices. Businesses with multiple locations may see the value in adding geolocation data, while smaller businesses with only one location may find the idea of embedding location data within mobile applications intrusive. In this sense, customers may not be able to see the value in providing geolocation information to a smaller-sized business.

So what are the benefits of Geolocation use beyond customers?

While geolocation benefits in the retail industry are clear to see in relation to marketing, mobile location data is not solely limited to customers. Geolocation can also aid in business asset locations and a mobile workforce. Geolocation can assist your business in being more efficient and functional by cutting down on resources, and speeding up processes through mobile assistance.

The information provided through geolocation information can be beneficial or intrusive. For businesses, it is easy to use this data as a beneficial asset in the company, assisting in marketing, efficiency, and functionality.

For more information on geolocation information and data collection, feel free to contact our team. You can reach us by phone or send us an email. Geolocation data is a powerful tool, and we will assist your business in making the most out of this information.

New Microsoft Products and Services Agreement Will Benefit Your Small to Medium Sized Business!

Posted by on 7:16 am in IT Support Blog | Comments Off

Microsoft Services AgreementVolume licensing of software makes it easier and more affordable to run software on multiple computers within an organization. So it’s good news for Microsoft volume licensees. Microsoft recently announced that they are replacing its Select Plus agreement with the new Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA).

This replacement will happen gradually over the course of three years, but it is something to look forward to. Microsoft made changes based on customer and partner feedback. The benefits of the new MPSA include:

  1. Agreement size is only 8 pages
  2. Multiple account types are supported
  3. Single signing for all purchase types
  4. Combine on-premise software and Online Services purchases to get the best volume discount
  5. Multiple partners supported on purchasing accounts for transactional purposes

As of July 1st 2015, Select Plus will no longer be made available via new commercial customer agreements, and a year later on July 1st 2016, customers with existing Select Plus agreements will no longer be able to make new purchases after their agreement anniversary, with all future purchases moving to the MPSA. However, Microsoft officials say, “customers will continue to have full rights and access to all software and Software Assurance acquired under Select Plus.”

MPSA is currently available in 13 countries.

Microsoft is making significant changes across its Volume Licensing business. These changes include:

  • More flexibility and accessibility when purchasing
  • New tools to simplify asset management
  • Greater value from your Microsoft assets

The Microsoft Products and Services Agreement will give you more options and offers a single agreement. MPSA is recommended for companies purchasing multiple licenses for cloud services or software.

For more information on the Microsoft Products and Services Agreement, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. Our team wants to ensure your business technologies are kept updated and efficient.

Many Cars to Adopt a Wireless Charging Unit in the Coming Year 

Posted by on 7:54 am in IT Support Blog | Comments Off

Car Phone ChargersWireless charging in cars is quickly becoming a reality! There are already several car models that offer this feature, and many more to come next year. Although projections expect these wireless chargers to accelerate in the year 2015, there are three competing standards for different specifications that have become a barrier for many to adopt this new technology. These varying specifications include:

  • Powermat technology’s Power Matters Alliance
  • Wireless Power Consortium’s Qi (pronounced “Chee”)
  • Alliance for Wireless Power’s Rezence

Here is a look at some of the car models to have already adopted this technology:

  1. Toyota

The 2015 Toyota Avalon, Prius, Camry, and Lexis NX models have a wireless charging option for Qi-enabled smartphones. The wireless charging pad is integrated into the vehicle’s eBin, which rests behind a lid in the vehicle’s center console.

  1. Chrysler

Chrysler currently has a Qi wireless charging option in its 2014 Jeep Cherokee, but in no other vehicles. According to a spokesperson for Chrysler there are no current plans to add a wireless charging unit to any other models.

  1. Cadillac

Cadillac vehicles with the CUE infotainment system will add Powermat and Qi-specification wireless charging of smartphones. GM will start with the 2015 Cadillac ATS sport sedan and coupe launching this fall, followed by the CTS, Escalade and other full-size GM models later this year.

The wireless phone charger is located inside the storage bin behind the motorized center instrument panel faceplate of the car. The phone can also be paired to the car via Bluetooth to stream music and other data wirelessly.

  1. Audi

Although Audi has yet to offer wireless charging capabilities in its production vehicles, earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show, Audi displayed its concepts for a wireless charging unit using the Qi standard.

Look out for this new tech feature in upcoming car models. Don’t get stranded without your phone ever again, these cars offer the capability to charge your phones wirelessly whenever you’re on the go. This will also cut out costs for extra USB charging cords. The benefits are endless.

We are passionate about delivering the most recent tech news to assist your business functionality! 

Three Intuitive Flexible and Customizable Methods to Making a Table in Microsoft Word

Posted by on 7:09 am in IT Support Blog | Comments Off

Microsoft Word TablesCreating a table in Microsoft Word wasn’t always intuitive and efficient. However, in the latest version of Microsoft Word, creating a table is easier than ever. Microsoft now provides different methods for creating tables, and they’re all easily customizable and flexible. Here is a list of three of the many different methods:

  1. Graphic Grid

First open a blank new document, and position the cursor where you want the table to be in the document. Under the Insert tab, click the Table button. The Insert Table dialog box will open. Now, click New and simply move the cursor down to set the size of the table you desire.

  1. Insert Table

the dialog box opens, click New on the left side, and from the drop-down menu, select Insert Table. In the next box that opens, enter the number of columns and rows you want in this table. You can also select the AutoFit option, which will produce very narrow columns that expand as you add info.

  1. Draw Table

For this method, start a new document and then navigate to Insert > Table again. Select Draw in the right corner of the dialog box. The cursor will now turn into a pencil. Simply click and drag on the document where you want your table to be. Once the box is created, you can draw more boxes inside to create rows and columns. Word straightens any crooked lines. This method is great as it allows creativity and great user functionality.

Play around with the options in Microsoft Word to find even more ways to customize and create tables for all your projects. The Table Styles widget is a great way to ensure you aren’t creating mediocre tables. It offers many different styles and color combinations in the table. Experiment and find what speaks to you!

For more information on Microsoft Word table functionality, feel free to contact our team. You can reach us by phone or send us an email. We are here to ensure your needs are met, and that you’re getting the most out of all your needed tools and services. 

Google Provides Incentive to Switch to HTTPS Security

Posted by on 8:33 am in IT Support Blog | Comments Off

Secured Search HTTPSAttention all business owners! Google has recently announced plans to reward websites that uses secure, encrypted HTTPS connections to transmit pages and exchange data a boost in their search result rankings. The change is designed to promote improved online security by encouraging developers to implement a SSL 2048-bit key certificate on their websites.

Google is determined to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web. They are even considering strengthening the signal which will result in a greater search result impact for websites, further encouraging programmers to make the change.

So what should you do to make sure you won’t harm traffic on your website when making the switch? First, communicate to Google that you moved your site from HTTP to HTTPS. Follow these next steps to ensure a safe and proper switch:

  • Decide which certificate you need: single, multi-domain, or wildcard certificate
  • Use 2048-bit key certificates
  • Use protocol relative URLs for all other domains
  • Use relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain
  • Allow indexing of your pages by search engines where possible. Avoid the noindex robots meta tag
  • Don’t block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt

Additionally, Google has updated Google Webmaster Tools to better handle HTTPS sites and the reporting on them as well.

Google has given website owners an incentive for the switch, and they have been telling webmasters it is safe to switch for years, so maybe now is the time to jump on the bandwagon. This is a great opportunity for business owners to improve their ranking on Google!

For more information on search engine optimization and HTTPS, please feel free to contact our team. Give us a call or send us an email. Our team will make ensure that your transition from HTTP to HTTPS is smooth and easy. 

FBI Acquires Legal Search Warrant to Crack Anonymous Network TOR

Posted by on 7:57 am in IT Support Blog | Comments Off

FBI CrackingThis just in! The FBI is cracking TOR anonymously.

Tor is a network or open-source software that allows you to surf the web anonymously. It achieves this by accepting connections from the public Internet, or “clearnet” and encrypting the traffic and bouncing it through series of computers before dumping it back on the web through any of the over 1100, “exit nodes.”

This network was a place for people with privacy concerns to go to, but it was recently discovered that criminals for drugs, child porn, and murder contracts are all using the network.

The system also supports hidden services like websites that make users physical location untraceable. However, once you visit one of these websites, the FBI will trace your every activity legally.

An articled by Wired, revealed a technique called “drive-by-download” under “Operation Torpedo” which is being used by the FBI to target TOR users. Wired writes that, “a hacker infiltrates a high-traffic website and then subverts it to deliver malware to every single visitor. It’s one of the most powerful tools in the black hat arsenal, capable of delivering thousands of fresh victims into a hackers’ clutches within minutes.”

TOR recently confirmed that someone is exploiting TOR Network in order to de-anonymize users. It is now discovered that the FBI is behind the hacking, and no one can deny the hack as the FBI maintains a Legal Search Warrant.

It is rumored that the FBI is using a malware technique called network investigative technique, or NIT. This technique gives the FBI access to your files, location, web history, and webcam for a month at a time.

This story highlights an overall privacy concern emerging; even when a network advertises its privacy there is always a hacker finding a way around it. It is now more important than ever to protect and secure your files.

For more information about TOR and FBI backdoor access, please feel free to contact us. You can reach us by phone, or send us an email. Our team is dedicated to providing clients with the top protective and security strategies.

500,000 Victims of Cryptolocker Can Finally Recover Files Without Paying a Ransom

Posted by on 9:50 pm in IT Support Blog | Comments Off

CryptolockerIn 2013 antivirus companies discovered a new ransomware known as Cryptolocker. Cryptolocker is a ransomware trojan that targets computers running Mirosoft Windows. Ransomware is the type of malware that restricts access to the computer system it infects, and demands a ransom paid to the creator to remove the restriction.

Cryptolocker encrypted files on Windows computers, and demanded a $400 fee before receiving a private key to the lost scrambled files. They also demanded that the fee be paid in 72 hours or all their files would be destroyed forever. However, recent news has been released that all 500,000 victims can now recover their encrypted files by the malware without paying a ransom.

This is now possible because security experts created an online portal where victims can get the key for free. The portal was created after security researchers gained access to a copy of Cryptolocker’s database of victims. Access was made in May, when law enforcement agencies and security companies seized a worldwide network of hijacked computers that were being used to spread Cryptolocker and other malware. The security officials were then able to grab the victim database as it was being sent.

After seizing these computers, agencies were able to determine the man supposedly in charge of the entire operation. They arrested a Russian man, Evgeniy Bogachev, also known by his online personas “lucky12345” and “slavik”.

Fortunately, studies of the recent back-up database showed that only 1.3% of affected users paid for the ransom. Despite this low response rate, it is believed that the gang involved in creating this malware racked up three million dollars. Many victims did not pay because they were able to restore their files from back-ups.

Unfortunately, it can be assumed that many of the victims of the Cryptolocker malware lost large amounts of very important data and information.

Let this horror story be a lesson for you or your business. Backup your files and make sure your system is protected from viruses and malware. If you don’t know where to start, contact a professional to ensure you have the proper security strategies for your business.

For more information on Cryptolocker and other malware, feel free to contact our team. You can give us a call or send us an email. Our team will ensure your company has the best security strategies in place.