25 Sep 2019

Using Windows 7? Time to Upgrade to Windows 10

    Currently At Windows 7? Time Upgrade To Windows 10

    Windows 7 has been the sweetheart among Microsoft users for many years. It swooped in to rescue users from Windows Vista and offered a fast, ease of use and hassle-free platform. As 2019 comes to an end, so will the era of Windows 7 security – unless you’re willing to pay.

    In a recent post, we discussed how Microsoft is halting security support for Windows 7 as of January 14, 2020. This will leave users with three options:

    1. Upgrade
    2. Pay an ever-increasing fee for support, or
    3. Leave their operating system vulnerable to breach.

    The safest option is to upgrade. And yet, the hesitancy to adopt Windows 10 is prevalent. Going from the decade-old Windows 7 to the next OS – Windows 8 – seems like the easiest and more logical approach. Implementing the “modern desktop” (as Microsoft refers to it) may sound like a voyage into the unknown. Users will be pleased to discover that it can be a walk in the park!

    What Are The Benefits of Upgrading Directly to Windows 10?

    Microsoft Windows 10 is the OS of now. It understands and complies with 2019 tech. The Windows 8 OS is still stuck in a time when everyone was using their iPhone 4 to watch video loops on Vine. Windows 10 provides smartphone synchronicity, increased sharing capacity, and a faster start-up.

    Windows 10 knows what the security landscape looks like right now. It can address issues that didn’t exist when Windows 8 was launched. Businesses are compelled to take every precaution when it comes to data. Windows 10 offers Device Guard, along with comprehensive ransomware protection that fortifies data from the threat of attack. Upgrading forces security updates which are vital to the overall wellness of your network.

    For businesses that house large amounts of customer data, the all-encompassing Search function that Windows 10 offers can drastically reduce the time spent looking through files. This function can easily boost productivity by simplifying this routine task.

    Leaping from Windows 7 to Windows 10 doesn’t have to be complicated! It is the safest and most user-friendly approach for all organizations.

    We highly recommend making the switch before security support comes to an end. If you have questions or concerns about upgrading, we encourage you to contact our experts.

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    06 Aug 2019

    Every Website Needs an SSL Certificate

      If you’re operating a business, chances are very high that you have a website that regularly accumulates customer information. As soon as a customer inputs a credit card number or creates an account, this data becomes your legal responsibility. The best way to keep your customers safe from compromise is to maintain a valid Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate.

      How do you know if your site is encrypted? Look for the “s” at the end of your HyperText Transfer Protocol or “http”. This is located at the beginning of your website’s address. If you don’t possess this certificate, your website is at risk of being identified by major web browsers such as Google Chrome as “unsafe” for users to visit.

      Having your website flagged as a hazard is certainly perturbing for customers! This can quickly weaken web traffic and degrade your companies branding.

      If a malicious attack occurs, it can severely damage the reputation of your business. While your intentions are not malevolent, a data leak can instantly peg you as untrustworthy. Re-building your business after an incident can be expensive and time-consuming.

      If you suspect this to be the case, contact a trusted provider like Response I.T. who can install a Comodo SSL certificate within hours. This instantaneous safeguarding means that all data transferred from and to your website will be encrypted at both ends.

      Response I.T. selected Comodo because it is the world leader in cyber-security platforms. A premiere security tool like this ensures that every detail gathered by your website is protected. Being confident in the products that power your website is essential to building trust with customers. No aspect should be overlooked – especially when it comes to security!

      Remember that providing guaranteed safety for your valued customers comes down to one single letter – “s”.

      Contact Us to get a SSL certificate installed on your business website today, it can be done in a few hours!

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      15 Jul 2019

      Response I.T. 20th Anniversary

        Response I.T. Anniversary 1999-2019

        It is definitely an accomplishment to reach 20 years in business, especially in the technology sector. Since 1999, Response I.T. has been assisting Kingston-area customers with their computer repairs, hosting and digital needs.

        What began as a modest on-site computer repair company quickly evolved into a trusted local resource for everything technology related. Whether it’s hardware, managed services, corporate I.T. support, on-site repairs or development, we have the experts to get it done.

        Fast-forward to 2019 and Response I.T. has spawned its own web development agency, Website Design Kingston. What started as a growing web department has, within one year, become one of the top development and marketing studios in South-Eastern Ontario.

        Offering in-demand services has been the key to Response I.T.’s success for the last twenty years. What will the next twenty years hold? Only time will tell. Rest assured, by focusing on life-long learning and paying close attention to technology trends, we are confident we will still be Kingston’s favourite choice in 2039.

        To Celebrate 20 years in business…

        We are holding a contest! If you have been following us on Social Media you are, no doubt familiar with our frequent contests. For our 20th anniversary, we wanted to offer something truly fun and exciting, something most people could enjoy.

        We are giving away 2 Tickets to the Blue Jays Vs New York Yankees MLB game at Rogers Center on Saturday, August 10th. And to put you up in style we have also included a 1-night stay (the night of the game, Aug 10th) at the 4.5 Star One King West Hotel just a short walk away from the Rogers Center. Enjoy a Baseball Game right on the field level on the 1st baseline. Then unwind in one of downtown Toronto’s most luxurious hotels, equipped with a top-tier bar, rooftop terrace, and all modern amenities you would come to expect.

        So how do I enter?

        Just follow this link to our Facebook page. There you can see the rules for entry and officially enter the contest. Draw will be held on Aug 2nd. Good Luck!!!

        Response I.T. 20th Anniversary Contest
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        25 Jun 2019

        Smart Devices: Are They Putting You At Risk?

          How Smart is Smart?

          Smart devices are so prevalent in our homes and workplaces that many people are unaware of how digitally-entangled we are. Beyond cell phones and computers, many spaces now contain smart speakers, remote controlled blinds, video doorbells with facial recognition and ‘thinking’ thermostats.

          All of this technology is undoubtedly cool. It is also unbelievably hazardous when unsupported. Whether you use the Internet of Things (IoT) at home or at the office, you are routinely submitting large amounts of valuable data to these devices. A mildly savvy hacker can compromise the entire network faster than you can say “Hey Google”.

          How to Secure Smart Devices:

          Smart devices are as vulnerable as computers when it comes to cyber attacks. They are at risk of every security concern that a computer is. Therefore, the IoT needs to be protected as diligently as a computer would be. Here are a few suggestions for keeping your devices free from attack, viruses, and manipulation.

          • Ensure software is up-to-date: Ensuring that software on each device is regularly updated can help patch weaknesses and increase fortification.
          • Change default passwords: Make it a priority to replace default passwords with strong, alpha-numeric chains of code that are not easy to guess.
          • Disable unessential features: Smart devices often come with fancy features that provide little benefit other than siphoning your bandwidth. Turning off features that you don’t need will save energy and harden security at the same time.
          • Focus on the big picture: The devices you use are just one component in the grander issue of security. In order for your IoT to be protected, you must consider multiple factors such as network encryption. You must also remember your role in the safety of your own information. Security is an ongoing process and every person plays a part in building a successful IoT environment.
          • Work with security experts: The novelty of smart devices can wear off when the gravity of security threats becomes a reality. A trusted and knowledgeable team, like our experts at Response I.T., can fully safeguard your network. They can keep your personal information out of the hands of cybercriminals by certifying that it is always fully protected.

          When safeguarded, IoT networks can be enormously convenient. Using smart devices to power our spaces provides constant connectivity that keeps our businesses and our families safe. Pairing extraordinary technology with professional security delivers an innovative reality that everyone can benefit from.

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          13 Jun 2019

          Security First Mindset: Why It’s Essential To Managed Services

            Data Protection is the name of the game.

            Society is becoming more and more demanding of tech. Consequently, our daily activities are cyber-centric and require a security first approach. We need smart devices to work, shop, communicate, bank and control the thermostat. What happens when we rely almost explicitly on devices to power our lives? We become targets for criminals.

            The wake of sophisticated cyber attacks has brought a push for ‘security-first’ thinking. Some managed services have been quick to apply solutions that fortify their customers against the rapidly growing list of threats.

            Security First Approach

            It is vital for trusted Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to act accordingly. They must make room for tools that provide continued protection for their customers. This can involve new products and tools that deliver an advanced level of security.

            The biggest cyber threats aimed at businesses are eye-opening. Attacks get more sophisticated every day and show no signs of stopping. With mass amounts of sensitive data accumulating on the web every day, businesses are becoming increasingly more vulnerable.

            Social Engineering Attacks

            Social engineering attacks are a new, intelligent strain of cybercrime. These attacks are like spam email 2.0. Often using thoroughly-researched, cleverly-crafted emails to trick employees into taking the wrong actions.

            DDos + IoT

            Other forms of attack are aimed at The Internet of Things (IoT). This system of interconnected smart devices makes daily tasks easier but when unprotected, are a gateway to exploitation. IoT-based DDoS attacks and malicious manipulation are becoming very common.

            Security first thinking MSPs like Response IT play pivotal roles in helping businesses navigate this new and, at times, treacherous world of cybercrime. Having a security-focused mindset can clearly benefit your company. If you are passionate about rigorous security routines – from interviewing to onboarding and product development to product deployment – it makes sense to work with a provider that shares your standard of excellence.

            If you’re serious about security, then working with a security-first provider is the final component to fully safeguarding your enterprise! Contact Us today for more information.

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            22 May 2019

            Microsoft Ends “Useless” Password Practice

              Counter-Intuitive Practices

              A password is essential for unlocking your online world and protecting the information you store within it.

              Microsoft has recently made headlines with its new and unexpected policy change. The Windows 10 May update will entirely eliminate the operating system’s customary ‘password expiration’.

              Science and the Weak Password

              Complex units of text have been used throughout history as a meaningful form of defense for military and government agencies. It wasn’t until the mid-1990s when computer use exploded among the general population, as did the emergence of the unexceptional password.

              This easy-to-remember selections basically negates the use of a password at all. Many users are guilty of creating these easy-to-hack passwords without even realizing it.

              While a select few admins out there may still be signing on with the digits “123456”, (yikes!) some users that originally utilized a more intricate password are getting stuck in a cycle of simplification. This happens when users change their password every few months in an effort to maintain strong security. They often make each password less complicated than the last or add a “1” at the end of their pre-existing code.

              Extensive scientific analysis has proven this phenomenon within work environments. These minor changes have little to no impact on security, and could potentially open gateways to cybercrime.

              Re-Thinking Passwords

              In light of this change, companies should be working to permanently alter the way that users view password creation. No dictionary words, phrases, anniversary dates or recognizable sequences of numbers should ever be used. The most secure choice is a string of alpha-numeric code.

              Issuing an office bulletin that outlines the rules of password formation (including a list of banned words) is a great way to ensure that everyone is constructing complicated ciphers.

              Keeping employees informed of all security best practices is an important step to protecting your company’s critical data. Managed Services, such as those offered by Response I.T., also play a crucial role in developing a secure digital future. Not only can a trusted provider aid in the management of these elements, but they can also implement successful safety strategies to alleviate the stresses of office security.

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              10 Apr 2019

              How to Safely Migrate Away From Windows Server 2008 Before It’s Too Late

                Windows Server 2008 is reaching its end. On January 14th, 2020, the highly successful and highly secure solution will no longer have support or patches in place. Microsoft released Windows Server 2019 last fall, but millions of enterprises are still relying on the 2008 version to meet their needs.

                If you are among those millions, the time has come to think critically about alternatives. Loyalty to Windows Server 2008 still remains high despite its impending lack of security. This solution is deeply embedded in many daily office functions so naturally switching will cause interference. However, substantial complications can be evaded by choosing the solution that works best for your business.

                Here is our guide to help lead your business through this major transition. We have addressed all the important issues to make your next steps logical, concise and, most importantly, unproblematic.

                What Does The End of Windows Server 2008 Support Mean For My Business?

                The termination of support means that adequate protection will no longer be provided for Windows Server 2008. The solution will continue to run, but without any fortification in place. Unless your business has a specific contract that allows for extended support, or you are willing to spend a lot of money to assure extended support, you will be left helpless. This occurrence invites in a host of problems never encountered before when using this solution.

                Cybercriminals will suddenly have the ability to access sensitive data that, if breached, could trigger considerable trouble for your business. Agencies that handle vulnerable records (such as healthcare organizations) are particularly at risk and should be exceptionally proactive during this change.

                What Should My Business Be Doing Now To Prepare For This Upcoming Change?

                Start seeking a new solution right away. The deadline may seem far off, but the transition will likely be more difficult without sufficient planning. Review the magnitude of the migration, how many components it will affect and how it will impact your budget.

                Work with a professional and knowledge technology partner to help properly direct your efforts. Just like any relationship, choose a partner that you can communicate and connect with. They should always be acting on your behalf, providing you with a strategy that is transparent and valuable. You want to pick a partner that promptly jumps into a task and works diligently to get things done on time and on budget.

                What Alternatives To Windows Server 2008 Should I Consider?

                A trusted partner will help evaluate your business needs in order to find the solution that is most sensible. Here are some common options that many organizations are contemplating:

                Windows Server Upgrade

                Another option is to migrate data to a more modern version of Windows Server that still has support intact, such as Windows Server 2016 or Windows Server 2019. Some businesses respond well to this solution. It all depends on your unique workspace and your long-term goals.

                Our Final Recommendation

                At this time, taking action is not optional. No business is immune to hackers. Operating on a completely insecure platform radically raises the risk of compromise.

                Acting now gives your business time to make a thorough plan, navigate through obstacles and become familiar with your new or upgraded solution. Waiting will only up the odds of attack, so contact a trusted technology partner today to explore your options.

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                10 Jan 2019

                Exciting Changes We Can Expect from Joomla 4

                  Content Management Systems are Robust

                  Content management system, Joomla, is undergoing some exciting changes. Developers will soon be unveiling Joomla 4 which promises to delight users with inventive upgrades.

                  With 4.0.0 Alpha 5 already released, users are eagerly awaiting the announcement that Joomla 4 has arrived. The official launch date has not been confirmed, but details about new features are already circulating.

                  What Users Already Love About Joomla

                  Joomla has been around for nearly a decade. The award-winning CMS launched in 2005 and has established itself as safe, reliable and search engine friendly. Many developers choose Joomla for its world-class user interface, powerful performance and its multitude of extensions (over 7,000 to date).

                  Major Changes Unique to Joomla 4


                  • A new and refined core User Interface
                  • Faster loading pages that will reduce bounce rates
                  • Layer improvements for Model View Controller (MVC) architecture
                  • Service container implementation for global dependency management
                  • A new media manager that delivers immaculate editing capabilities and makes organizing files incredibly easy
                  • A cleaner codebase that allows developers to produce intense, hard-wearing applications
                  • A completely refactored event dispatching system
                  • Improved SEO features


                  The New Publishing Workflow

                  Joomla 4 also provides users with a feature that may transform content management. The new publishing workflow is a way of systematizing articles that are tailored to the needs of each user. This feature will replace static states (such as unpublished or archived) by facilitating the creation of custom states. This is an intuitive feature that was constructed to harmonize with how people work.


                  All of this innovation will be available for instantaneous installation thanks to a faster downloading process. Dynamic colours and beautiful typography also accompany the new Joomla. These improvements and design elements deliver a website that looks as smooth as it functions.

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                  18 Dec 2018

                  WordPress Launches 5.0: Discover The Changes Affecting Your Website

                    WordPress has been upheld as the easiest and most effective system of web content management for many years. What started as a basic blog creation platform has catapulted into an enterprise that powers over 32% of the internet! Now it is taking on a new form with the December release of the brand new update – WordPress 5.0.

                    WordPress 5.0 promises to deliver more than other major updates. Of course, getting to play around with fun new features is always exciting. However, the developers have a little more up their sleeves with this rollout.

                    Substantial buzz is being created around the new blocks-based editor, known as Gutenberg. We will be exploring this feature in an upcoming article. For now, let’s take a look at the other big changes happening to our favorite blogging site:

                    Rest API

                    5.0 has made some improvements to elements such as the REST API. API stands for Application Programming Interface and primarily permits two applications to connect. Representational State Transfer (REST) is a type of API that has been formed with a specific set of guidelines that dictate its behavior.  This allows developers to connect WordPress with nearly all other web applications. It enriches the creation process, increases the exchange of data and generates an abundance of opportunities for developers.

                    Security Updates

                    The popularity of WordPress makes it a viable target for cybercriminals. 5.0 addresses security concerns and aims to strengthen safeguards for its users. Keep in mind that while every update promises better security, the best way to protect your website is to work with a trusted provider and employ multi-factor authentication.


                    The new default theme, Twenty-Nineteen, reflects the Gutenberg vision. It introduces custom styles and a minimalist, type-driven layout. It is intended to be adaptable and unrestricted. Twenty-Nineteen lacks a sidebar but does contain an area in the footer to place widgets. It is highly responsive to screens of all sizes and notably optimized for mobile use.

                    Before You Click That Button!

                    Before diving into the newly deployed WordPress 5.0, remember to create a backup of your current website. You do not want to risk losing any of your data.

                    This update will completely change how you manage your website. It is important to know that you can take time to fully understand all of its intricacies before installing it. Don’t feel pressured to update immediately. There is no harm in waiting a few months to ensure all of your plug-ins are compatible.


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                    07 Nov 2018

                    Artificial Intelligence Explained: Can It Transform Your Business?

                      We have entered the age of the thinking machine. In a very short time, Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and its subset, machine learning, have gone from mere science fiction to the imperative puzzle piece that is successfully streamlining our lives. It can trade stocks, analyze genetic code, write software, drive a car and help you bake the perfect peanut butter cookies.

                      This force, while still technically in its infancy, is continuously outperforming humans at many tasks. With the list of A.I. accomplishments growing by the day, it begs the question: What even is A.I.? How does it work? And how could a small business owner harness its power?

                      What Is AI? How is Machine Learning Defined?

                      Artificial Intelligence is the development of a computer system that is capable of completing sophisticated human tasks. Machine learning is an application of AI that provides computers the ability to learn. They do so through frequent repetition.

                      Initially, humans set up an algorithm for which the machine can begin acquiring knowledge. Performing a high volume of monotonous computerized tasks helps deepen the machine’s neural networks. An incredible load of data is required to teach these digital brains.

                      How Does It Work?

                      Over time, the algorithm becomes self-learning. It becomes capable of making evidence-based predictions without relying on a predetermined equation. It can spot natural patterns in data that allow it to acutely comprehend.

                      Whether building a shopping list or conducting an MRI, an A.I. algorithm can dig deep into its data supply and operate with razor-sharp accuracy. Machines can’t do everything, but they are built to accomplish a range of singular tasks very well.

                      Benefits of Artificial Intelligence for Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises

                      A.I. can morph into the realm of small business very easily. It can undoubtedly improve the e-commerce experience for customers. Commercially accessible chatbots have become commonplace on websites in recent years. They engage users browsing your site and help expedite customer service. Machine learning can intelligently recommend extra items based on user behaviour. For example, when a customer goes to complete their purchase of a scarf, a suggestion is made that they may like a matching set of gloves.

                      Experts have declared that machine learning will be the future of marketing. It is currently allowing companies to analyze unbelievably enormous amounts of data in real time. It can churn out actionable insights instantly.

                      So What’s in it for My Business?

                      What can you do with instant insights? Deliver highly optimized interactions because you now have an in-depth customer profile at your fingertips. Assemble better marketing campaigns because you now know exactly who your target audience is. You know what they love, loath, fear and anticipate. Create better ads that speak to your audience like an old friend. Finally you can give customers what they want before they even realize they want it.

                      This technology prevents you from throwing money at educated guesses. Smaller scale businesses can put their precious dollars towards something they know is going to pay off. Automated emails and social media scheduling can free up your staff’s time so they can focus on important projects. Machine learning’s precision can also pinpoint supply chain issues and determine the most effective channels to use.

                      Computational learning has come a long way from the 1950s when the technology was first imagined. We may not be that far away from simulating a human brain in digital form. These incredible complexities of computer science may await us down the road. For now, the advantages available to the average business could improve productivity and present a distinct competitive edge.

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