Thursday, November 15, 2018

4 Reasons you need to be Hyper-Vigilant Clicking Ads

During the last few months of the year the variety and number of ads and emails increases exponentially. Consumer spending is traditionally higher during this time which helps retailers clear out product and bolster company profits. As consumers spend more during this time of year, they are also looking for purchases that make the best use of their money. 

Unfortunately, with more purchases being made, hackers proportionally increase the number of scam emails and infected ads. The end result is that end users are at a consistently higher risk of running across one. In addition to an increase in infected ads and emails, this time of year is fraught with events, commitments and more limited time. If we allow ourselves to be rushed, we are more likely to make less informed decisions. This can end up costing us time to remedy, money to fix and a great deal of frustration.

4 Reasons you Need to be Hyper-Vigilant Clicking Ads

Listed below are four things to consider before opening emails or clicking ads during the holiday season.

1. Consider the source

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Why Computers Won't be Priced as Cheap this Holiday Season

The holiday season, from the day after Thanksgiving through the end of the year for the purposes of this post, has traditionally been the best time of year to purchase new computers, laptops and tablets. The best deals and biggest discounts are offered during this time, typically beating out Back-to-School sales. One of the reasons for these deeply discounted offers is to get rid of older models being phased out and make room for newer replacement models.

Unfortunately, this year you will not find the same availability of discounted items. The cause for this is due to a shortage of available processors.

Why Computers Won't be Priced as Cheap This Holiday Season

Like all hardware, especially technology-based hardware, processors are consistently being re-engineered. The purpose for this is to create processors that run:
  • Faster
  • Cooler
  • Using less energy and
  • Encompassing less physical space

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Beware: IoT Devices Bring Features AND Security Risks

IoT or Internet of Things devices provide capabilities and functionality that once seemed improbable. From things as simple as making phone calls to more complicated tasks like adding items to a grocery list, ordering food, managing the temperature of rooms and turning lights on, internet connected devices provide a vast array of features. 

IoT devices access the internet to accomplish many of their features. For example, the internet allows them to:
  • Connect with servers that manage their software
  • Connect with other devices and third-party applications
  • Sync with other devices and applications
  • Install security and feature updates
  • Add new features
  • Much more
Unfortunately, like anything connected to the internet, an inherent security risk is introduced by having this capability. A Consumer Reports investigation from earlier this year reported that millions of televisions could potentially be controlled by hackers exploiting security flaws in these devices. You might not be concerned about a hacked television, but other devices that control temperatures and more, present a much larger risk.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

How to Fix Network Discovery on Windows Devices

Connecting multiple devices in the same location can be useful. From accessing database files to the ability to modify documents without worrying about sorting through multiple copies and wondering which one has the most recent changes applied, devices that can browse the files of another device can be invaluable.

There are a few things required when connecting devices including:
  • Being on the same network - devices can connect wirelessly or via a wired connection, but the network must be the same. For example, two devices connected to two different wireless networks would not be able to communicate even though they were both on a wireless network.
  • Both must be powered on - this may seem obvious, but if devices are set to go into sleep or hibernate mode, this can happen and will block access.
  • Network discovery must be enabled.
This post covers how to fix network discovery between devices when it fails.

How to Fix Network Discovery on Windows Devices

If you are having trouble browsing files on another device when it was previously working, try the troubleshooting steps below to get this working again. 

Make sure both devices can talk to one another

Monday, October 15, 2018

How to Postpone Windows Updates After Recent File Loss

This month the Windows 10 update, dubbed update 1809, caused a loss of files on some user devices. After identifying the cause, the update rollout was halted. Unfortunately, some users lost their user profiles and everything including their documents contained within their profile. Currently, there is no guarantee these files can be recovered. Last week the rollout was restarted after the bugs in this update were reportedly fixed.

An issue like this brings many people to wonder how this could happen, and how they can protect themselves in the future when updates are deployed automatically. The answer is you can't opt out of updates, but you can postpone them which might be enough to protect you from an issue like this.

How to Postpone Windows 10 Updates After Recent File Loss

First, it is important to note this update which deleted files is just one of many reasons why it is always important to have an active backup solution. File loss is unpredictable and typically happens without warning. The time to worry about file loss is before anything happens, when file loss seems improbable. For more information about cloud backup solutions, visit our website business continuity page and our cloud backups page.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

How to Get External USB Drives to Work With Macs

External USB drives are used for a variety of reasons including:
  • Holding copies of files in case a device were to crash or get lost
  • Storing files because a device is low on space
  • Providing quick access to files when the original device is not portable
  • Transferring large files that can be rejected by mail servers
External USB drives are extremely useful. They are reasonably priced, compact, and easy to transport. Additionally, USB drives are fairly universal, connecting quickly without requiring additional software. However, not all USB drives natively operate with full functionality when connected to Mac devices.

How to Get External USB Drives to Work With Macs

There are three file format types supported by Windows machines: the original, FAT (File Allocation Table), followed by FAT32 (a 32-bit version of FAT), and finally by NTFS (New Technology File System). In the simplest of terms, each of these protocols are to digital devices what a table of contents is to a book. This means these protocols know where all the information on a drive exists, and without them it can be impossible to find files without the use of forensic tools.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

When you Should Use Firewalls, Content Filters & Anti-Malware Software

Firewalls, content filters and anti-malware software are all items implemented to protect hardware devices and the data on them. To understand when you should implement any of these types of protections, it is important to understand how they work. Like a bicycle, car and a bus which fulfill similar purposes, these devices have similar goals but accomplish them in very different ways.

By better understanding how each device works, it is easier to decide which are best to implement to meet your particular needs.

When you Should Use Firewalls, Content Filters & Anti-Malware Software