09 Jun 2020

Tips to Fix Your Slow Computer

    How to Fix a Slow Computer

    Nothing affects productivity like a slow running computer. Straggling machines can make simple tasks frustrating and futile. You don’t have to make any drastic upgrades in order to achieve faster speeds. Here are our tips for making your computer run like new!

    Restart

    Pushing ‘restart’ is often the go-to method for fixing a slow computer. From frozen screens to crashing programs, a quick reboot will most likely get things back on track. Restarting can close all programs – including those that may be running unnoticed in the background.

    Scan

    If your computer is still sluggish, you may have an undetected virus. Viruses can eat up huge amounts of memory. When memory is limited, your computer starts to slow down. Other symptoms of a virus can include file damage or deletion, peculiar dialog boxes and programs opening on their own. Use your antivirus software to run a scan to determine what exactly the issue is.

    Disable

    Do you have multiple programs set to start up automatically when your computer is turned on? This arrangement may be suppressing your machine’s performance. You can easily manage how programs behave through Windows Task Manager (or System Preferences if you are using a Mac).

    Tips for Slow Internet

    If you find that your browser has been suffering from functionality fatigue, here are some ways to fix the problem!

    Close Those Tabs

    Having multiple tabs open in your browser can put tremendous strain on speed and performance. Make sure that you only open tabs that are essential and verify that you don’t have any duplicate tabs operating.

    Organize Your Add-Ons

    Add-ons, extensions, and plug-ins help us write better emails, schedule meetings and save money while online shopping. Just like tabs, browser add-ons are also notorious for bogging things down. Try removing all unnecessary add-ons to increase speed.

    Sometimes simple remedies can have the most significant impact on tech problems. These straightforward tips can help older machines rival even the latest models! If you try all of these solutions and still nothing works Contact our Specialists today for a more in-depth assessment. 

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    25 May 2020

    What is Your Data Protection Strategy?

      How to Protect Your Data

      Dwelling on the worst-case scenario? That is never a good idea. Preparing for the best outcome in the event of the worst-case scenario? Now that is a brilliant business move.

      Many businesses are operating under a false sense of security. Without routine modifications and maintenance, an organization may be severely impacted by a harmful data breach.

      How To Revise Your Organization’s Data Strategy

      Step One: Prioritize

      Determine the most imperative and sensitive forms of data stored by your business. This will help you to prioritize your storage needs. You may be wasting space on irrelevant information or ignoring critical records.

      Step Two: Schedule

      You now know what data needs to be regularly backed up. Your IT team should proceed to adjust your periodic backups to include all necessary information.

      Step Three: Test

      Your IT team is responsible for performing frequent tests to ensure that your strategy will work in the event of a disaster.

      Why Your Storage Location Matters

      Do you know where your data is stored? A major measure in your organization’s data plan is the location of the information. You may copy data to a secure form of media and store it on-site. Or, you may send your files via the cloud to a database that is off-site.

      Off-site storage protects against all threats – both physical and digital. A fire could engulf your office or a pipe could burst and destroy your equipment. While hardware can be replaced, lost data can never be salvaged. This is a vital consideration when revising your strategy.

      Cyber threats are intensifying and small businesses are most at risk. Careful, considerate and security-minded planning is the best way to mitigate the chances of your organization falling victim to a data disaster. If you wish to protect your valuable investment and all of its data, Contact Us to speak to a cyber-security expert. 

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      11 May 2020

      How to be an Anonymous Web Browser

        Browse the Web Anonymously, Safely

        Surfing the web via an anonymous web browser should become more of a priority. Posing a query to Google is something most people do multiple times a day. Every keystroke constructs your online persona. Without warning, a cybercriminal can hijack this information and reek havoc on your device.

        Using public access points (such as free Wi-Fi in an airport) can be a blatant gateway to infringement of your private data. However, a breach can occur in any location if you are not implementing proper security measures.

        Using a VPN

        A virtual private network (VPN) is a tool used to encrypt information such as your browsing history, your email messages, and your online banking password. A VPN ensures that your connection is continuously private and safe from prying eyes. VPNs work across all devices from your smartphone to your home computer.

        Choosing a VPN

        VPN services are available from online providers for a low monthly fee. Choosing a great service comes down to meeting your individual needs. An easy-to-navigate interface is important for most users. Scan the reviews for customer service, as support is essential. Speed, bandwidth and device compatibility are not to be overlooked.

        Staying Safe In Public

        Even with a VPN or other form of device protection, there is always a slight chance of susceptibility. Those who frequently travel or use public connections should always take precautions. Here are our top tips for staying safe while using a precarious network:

        • Ask the staff for the correct name and spelling of the Wi-Fi network. Some fraudsters can create similar-looking networks that patrons can accidentally access. One letter or number may be missing from the deceptive network name in order to trick users into thinking that they are using the trusted connection. Once they have joined, their private information is up for grabs.
        • Don’t perform any tasks of a sensitive nature – such as filling out an application that requires your Social Insurance Number or logging in to your online banking.
        • Make sure that file sharing is switched off during your public browsing session.

        The Internet provides many conveniences that make our lives easier. The right tools and a security-first mindset can help stop intruders from snooping through our online lives – allowing us to browse confidently and securely. If you have any questions related to using an Anonymous Web Browser please Contact Us to learn more. 

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        28 Apr 2020

        How to Prevent Viruses

          How To Prevent Computer Viruses?

          The pervasiveness of computer viruses is intensifying. Malicious forms of software, known commonly as viruses, can commandeer your computer and meddle with information. Businesses need to be mindful of their online activities and take the appropriate precautions to prevent a serious infection.

          What is the danger of a computer virus?

          Viruses can cause trouble in a variety of areas. They can seize essential programs and delete crucial data. Malicious viruses can reformat your hard drive. They can track Internet searches and behaviours to build a detailed profile of the user.

          Computer viruses can spread rampantly. It is best to catch the disease before it spreads.

          What are the symptoms of a computer virus?

          Early signs of a virus include:

          • Abnormal computer performance (sluggishness, long loading times, freezing and crashing)
          • Strange windows appearing when you turn on the computer
          • Spontaneous changes to your homepage and other programs
          • A drastic reduction of your storage capacity or an enormous increase in your network activity
          • A high volume of messages being sent from your email account that you personally did not author

          These are just some of the signs to look for. Viruses can behave in different ways, so it important to be aware of all out-of-ordinary occurrences.

          How to Prevent Computer Viruses?

          Viruses are devious strings of code that can cause a lot of problems. Just like how washing your hands can help stop the spread of human illness, proper computer hygiene practices can dramatically lower the risk of contagion.

          Always keep your software updated. Take a moment to install a new update as soon as it becomes available. This will fix flaws in existing software that may be making your device vulnerable.

          Use trusted antivirus software and run daily scans. A free antivirus program may be better than going completely unprotected, but it cannot provide the fortification of a paid program.

          Work with a managed service provider who will monitor your network 24 hours a day and spot issues before they have a chance to develop. An experienced MSP can deliver secure cloud storage solutions that will keep your data safe at all times.

          Infectious agents are all over the Internet and they are ready to strike at any time. The right tools can prevent these cyber pathogens from infecting your devices and acquiring your data. Contact Us today to protect your data. 

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          14 Apr 2020

          Are You An Easy Target For Hackers?

            Don’t Be A Target for Hackers

            Take a moment to recount the amount of data that you store on your devices every day. From grocery lists to confidential business emails, family photos to financial records, we are constantly keying in an itemized summary of our lives. A few clicks can reveal what we look like, where we like to eat and who our friends are. A thief can just as easily access the specifics needed to steal, exploit and impersonate us.

            Hacking is a major threat to personal and business security. Once a cybercriminal has access to an account, there is no telling the amount of financial and reputational havoc they can reek. Hackers can drain bank accounts, open fraudulent credit cards and sell information to illicit third parties. They can even hold computer files hostage and demand a ransom be paid for their release.

            Who Is Most At Risk?

            The average victims of cybercrime are median-income individuals and small businesses. Small businesses are typically the most sought-after names on a hacker’s hit list because they usually haven’t established heavy-duty security protocols to keep data safely sealed. It doesn’t take a hacker very long to ‘pick the lock’ of an unsecured business and collect every financial credential and consumer detail available.

            While breaches do occur frequently in top-level organizations, the numbers do not compare to the volume of small to medium-size organizations that are taken down by cybercrime each day. Unlike powerful corporations, smaller businesses do not always recover from these attacks.

            How To Prevent Hacking

            1. Evaluate Your Email Service

            One of the most common ways for a crook to gain access to information is through email. Invest in a hosted email account rather than using a free service. Hosted addresses look professional and offer lots of storage. They also guarantee excellent encryption and an exceptional filtering system to keep malicious mail out of your inbox.

            1. Strengthen Your Passwords

            Every employee within your organization should be using strong, undecipherable passwords that have no ties to personal or company information. The best passwords are long, complex strings of alphanumeric code. Using two-factor authentication is another important component to amplify your security.

            1. Monitor Your System

            Active monitoring – provided by Managed Services or in-house IT staff – is extremely effective for detecting suspicious behaviour so it can be immediately dealt with.

            It is never too late to take action against cybercrime. Please contact us if you would like to know more about how to protect yourself and your business.

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            07 Apr 2020

            The Risks of Ignoring IT

              Technology that Brings us Information

              Information technology, or IT, is an integral part of any organization. Whether your IT staff are in-house or outsourced, they are the backbone of daily operations. Just like every team member within the organization, the folks who watch over your IT require cooperation and support in order to return it to the team.

              IT professionals work to customize systems so they are specifically tailored to a business’s needs. They then strive to maintain these systems so that they run efficiently. Security, vitality and enhanced navigation are some of the strengths that IT professionals infuse into an organization’s computer system. When core functions are sluggish and cause workflow bottlenecks it can be disastrous on productivity, especially in companies with several hundreds of employees. Those lost work hours can add up to a substantial sum.

              IT service can be improved with strong cooperation from other departments. It is important that all staff do their best to aid technicians in identifying and fixing infrastructure.

              How To Cooperate With IT

              • Communicate: Great communication is the most effective tool in any situation. Lots of constructive communication can clarify concerns and lead to faster fixes. If something is amiss, the staff should be inclined to report it promptly.
              • Be Safe: Staff can alleviate many tech headaches by practicing simple safety procedures. Using a strong password and being mindful when web browsing is just two easy ways to avoid hiccups.
              • Stay Up-To-Date: Don’t ignore prompts for software updates. A quick update can patch weak spots in security. If left open, hackers can exploit these weak spots. When every component in the system is updated, it helps to prevent the occurrence of a damaging data breach.
              • Don’t add to the problem: When we know that someone is there to fix a problem, should it arise, we tend to be more careless especially if we didn’t pay for the equipment. This attitude is careless and can put additional stress on your IT team.

              Poor cooperation with IT professionals can lead to major issues. Unreported problems can grow until they impact the functionality of the entire business. Evading basic system upkeep can put every person in the organization at risk.

              Every user is responsible for upholding the wellbeing of their company. Teamwork is at the core of success, and IT professionals are a big part of the team. With communication and care, the whole team can thrive. If you are looking for a Managed Service Provider to manage your company’s IT systems Contact Us today to find out more.

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              24 Mar 2020

              Basic Troubleshooting Tips Everyone Should Know

                Troubleshooting 101

                It is inevitable that computers will eventually screw up. Maybe you are using a PC from 2008 and just riding on the hope that this ticking time bomb doesn’t self-destruct before you can hit save on that important project. Perhaps you are configuring a sleek, expensive new gaming rig when suddenly you’re stuck with a sinister blank screen. Or you are trying your luck at installing some new software and are greeted with the never-ending spinning pinwheel.

                Our natural instinct is to panic when things go wrong – and with good reason. It looks pretty bad when our entire device is stricken with screen paralysis and we have no way of conducting our normal workflow; our minds typically jump to the worst possible conclusion – did we just make a fatal misstep and somehow caused our computer to become obsolete? How much os this going to cost me?

                Often, these crashes are a lot less serious than they seem. They likely can be remedied with the standard, no-brainer hack – rebooting.

                Rebooting (or restarting) a device can cure a multitude of computer issues such as:

                Agonizingly Slow-Running Computer

                A program on your computer may be exhausting the machine’s resources and causing every other function to become sluggish. A quick restart can get everything back up to speed. Pay careful attention to editing software – anything Adobe usually requires a large amount of your CPU’s power. Web browsers like Google Chrome can also be demanding, especially if you have many extensions installed on your browser.

                The “Cannot Connect To Network” Nightmare

                Unplugging your router and then plugging it back in can resolve a network error with ease. HelpDeskGeek has a great article here that explains all the actions you can take in case unplugging and restarting did not work.

                Frozen, Blank or Chronically Loading Screens

                Whether the problem is caused by a program siphoning memory or code getting tangled in an erroneous trap – what is needed most is a system refresh. Restarting can alleviate the issue. Even if this solution is temporary and a greater issue exists within the device, users can at least carry on with daily activities until things can be investigated further.

                Don’t Panic

                If you are tired of dealing with the same IT problems or just want to rest easy knowing your personal or business IT setup is done right, Contact Us today and speak with a pro.

                 

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                10 Mar 2020

                How Safe Is Your Password?

                  Cybersecurity threats are getting stronger and more dangerous by the minute. The more that we fuse technology with our daily lives, the more we put ourselves at risk of a detrimental breach.

                  Taking security seriously is necessary when every personal, professional and confidential detail of your life is potentially accessible to a fraudster. The obvious first step in protecting your data is creating a strong password. While passwords are not completely infallible, strong passwords stand a much better chance of defending your accounts against malicious activity.

                  How To Build A Better Password

                  Despite data breaches occurring at a rate never before seen in our cyber climate, a large number of people are still opting to use their wedding anniversary or street name to keep their financial information away from criminals. Passwords should never have any blatant association with your personal life or your business.

                  Using a random word or phrase may seem obscure enough to ward off the attack. Yet sequential characters are among the easiest passwords to guess. Even if these letters are presented in a pattern that swaps some of the letters for symbols. For example, you could set your passcode to “raspberry” or to “raspb3rry” and experience relatively the same level of protection.

                  Using numbers and symbols is most effective when they are randomized. However, this presents a problem. It can be incredibly difficult for our brains to remember long, complex strings of symbols that have no relevance to us whatsoever. Creating randomized chains of code most often leads to people keeping their passwords Post It-noted on their computer screens or trusting their web browsers to remember the pattern for them.

                  You can avoid these unsafe practices with this one easy trick. Think of a story that has meaning to you. Let’s use “My Grandmother Lived In a 2 Story House At 234 Main Street in Brighton.” You could turn this memorable phrase into “Mglia2$t0ryH@234M$IB”. This creates a long, strong, multi-faceted passcode that, at first glance, is completely arbitrary. It is exactly the kind of puzzle that is indecipherable to brute force hackers.

                  Passwords play a significant role in keeping your information safe. There are a number of other measures that you can take to protect yourself and your business from falling victim to a data breach. Contact our experts to learn more!

                   

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                  25 Feb 2020

                  Which Operating System Best Suits Your Business?

                    All business environments require a robust IT infrastructure. Choosing the right operating system is an important step in ensuring that your business continues to run like a well-oiled machine.

                    Deciding between the two major OS options may seem rather simple. But there are more variances between Apple and Microsoft’s innovations than just their overall aesthetic. Let’s explore their key differences and how they can impact business functionality.

                    Mac OS X

                    Apple’s Mac OS, along with Apple computers and devices, has a reputation for being cooler than Microsoft Windows. Up until recently, Apple has attained an advantage by building sleeker machines and impressive-looking interfaces. Mac OS certainly possesses different capabilities than its rivals and can bring a range of features to your business.

                    Hardware Alignment – A significant advantage that Mac presents is the fact that the same company manufactures its operating system and its hardware. When the two products align, it can minimize the chance of error. This also makes it slightly easier to update security elements.

                    Simplicity – The Mac interface is often favoured for its clean appearance. The Windows design is choppier and can be more difficult for some users to navigate. Many graphic designers, architects, and photographers prefer the look and feel of Mac OS.

                    Connectivity – Apple has a unique appeal in its harmonious ecosystem of devices. From the iPad to Apple Watches and HomePods, you and your employees can stay connected and work from anywhere.

                    Windows 10

                    Windows has upped their game in recent years – rising from the ashes of “Windows Vista” and the missteps of “Windows 8” to bring some really powerful stuff to the OS market. Beyond the new design, Windows 10 is packed with features and upgrades that shouldn’t be overlooked.

                    Choices, Choices, Choices – There is a wide range of device models to support with Windows. Some of the finest Apple computers can barely stand up to the powerful PC constructions of 2020. Desktops with 25-degree tilt, pen support, 100% Adobe RGB support and enhanced touchscreen capabilities are taking center stage.

                    Security – Microsoft has also improved its security profile. They have achieved AI-integrated malware detection, multi-factor authentication and has awarded users with greater control over their personal data. These features diminish the security threats that businesses face on a daily basis.

                    Price Point – Despite their modernization, many PC products remain more affordable than Apple. Budget-conscious business owners can equip their offices for a fraction of the price and not necessarily miss out on any essential features.

                    These systems do share many similarities. Both offer a variety of pre-installed tools such as photo editors, calendars and contact managers.

                    The distinct differentiations that these companies have fashioned over years of development are beginning to blur. There are now some really great business software options out there for Mac. Meanwhile, Windows is dabbling in richer creative applications.

                    Both systems have strong, insightful voice assistants that can send emails, set alarms and calculate numbers. Apple’s Siri is more accurate when it comes to understanding voice commands during periods of excessive background noise. However, Siri is unable to log out of your computer for you as you rush out the door at the end of a tiring workday – a feature that some of us may deem a necessity.

                    Let us know which operating system you find to be the most beneficial to your business! Have you recently considered switching from one OS to the other?

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                    05 Nov 2019

                    Windows Server 2016 Vs 2019 – The Key Differences

                      Windows Server 2019. Key Features

                      Windows Server 2019 has successfully established itself as a reliable operating system that boasts extraordinary possibilities for businesses. This version has been on the market for nearly a year. It has seen substantial improvements from its initial debut – as all of its bugs have now been worked out.

                      If you are currently using Windows Server 2016, you may be eager to make the switch to the latest OS. But before you jump right in, it is important to note the key differences between these systems. A lot has changed in just three short years! Knowing about the features of 2019 will prepare you for the transition and plan for a future with greater OS capabilities.

                      Azure Hybrid Approach 

                      One of Windows Server 2019 features that stand out is the approach to cloud strategy. 2019 creates effortless storage migration from your legacy infrastructure to Azure.

                      It also works proactively to solve problems with the implementation of machine learning. The system insights are generated from high-value data. Analysis of this data can assuage issues before they have the chance to even become issues. This is a much smarter method of problem-solving than the standard reactive approach.

                      Hyper-converged Infrastructure

                      Microsoft achieved Windows Server 2019’s innovation by connecting with industry leaders. The result is a strong, scalable and secure solution. Effective monitoring, high-speed connectivity and network congestion control provide increased efficiency with no impact on resiliency.

                      Cluster-Wide Monitoring

                      Cluster-Wide Monitoring keeps the system’s pulse with live CPU, latency and throughput surveillance.

                      Latency-Optimized Background Transport

                      Latency-Optimized Background Transport stops bandwidth from being drained. It detects and ends any superfluous use by notorious network hogs – particularly applications that secretly siphon bandwidth.

                      Encryption for Linux

                      Windows Server 2016 presented the capacity to encrypt Windows OS-based VMs. 2019 expands to shield Linux as well. Linux users should be aware that delaying the switch to 2019 might leave their system vulnerable to attack.

                      The technology present in 2019 is staggeringly advanced when compared to the proficiencies of its 2016 ancestor. This intelligent new OS perfectly aligns with the needs of today. A thinking OS that provides proactive solutions and hefty security measures? We’re ready for it!

                      Are you ready, too? Response IT can help you make the switch safely and simply! Contact our team to find out more.

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