23 May 2018

Increase Security and Productivity with Windows 10 Spring Creators Update

    The newest Windows 10 update has officially arrived! Hailed as one of Microsoft’s most expertly crafted operating systems, Windows 10 presents the spring creators update. If you haven’t updated your system recently, now is a great time to strengthen security and take advantage of fresh, enhanced features.

    New Privacy Settings for a More Transparent Experience

    • Privacy Settings: The spring creators update allows you to scan through a convenient list of your installed apps and set up permissions for each one. This replaces the complicated process of sorting through your privacy settings.
    • Data Delete Button:  Microsoft has added an easily accessible delete button to erase the data it has collected on users. This is part of the company’s efforts to establish a more open rapport with customers.
    • Password Privacy: This update allows users to set three security questions for a local administrator account, which can be used to gain access if their password is ever forgotten. Previously, Microsoft pushed users to link their Microsoft account with their Windows 10 desktop. But after a major push back from users, the company now delivers local account recovery.

    Innovative Features for Increased Productivity

    • Timeline – This feature showcases a timeline of tasks that you were previously working on, allowing you to easily recall documents you were writing, links you were browsing and messages you were responding to.
    • Near Share – This feature is Apple’s AirDrop for Microsoft users. It lets you share files with nearby computers and has amplified security to prevent spam.
    • Focus Assist – A “Do Not Disturb” feature for when users need to answer important emails or Skype calls.

    Cool features aside, the most imperative reason for running a software update is safety. Older software will continue to have weak spots that cyber criminals can override, while new software helps to safeguard your important documents from these threats. The free spring creators update can save your system from a costly attack.

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    09 May 2018

    Things You Should Know Before Building a Smart Home or Office

      Fantasy has become reality for those who have always dreamed of a digitally powered living space. “Smart” homes and offices are equipped with network-connected products that control features such as temperature, lighting and security. “Smart” homeowners can turn off the coffee maker and check on the pets from anywhere, simply by using their internet enabled device.

      What was once a frill for the tech-savvy wealthy is now a viable option popular with families and business owners. There are some key points to consider when creating your own smart space. Here is our guide for optimizing this technology to meet your needs.

      Is a Smart Space in Your Budget?

      Home and business owners must first figure out how much it will cost to create their AI-based ecosystem. Consider the essential items that your space needs and the extras that you might want but don’t require. For example, an air quality sensor will likely surpass a smart tortilla maker on a list of necessities.

      Google Home vs. Amazon Echo

      Is it Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa who can manage your calendar, order a pizza and set the thermostat the fastest? Both of these AI-powered smart speakers are flying off the shelves and have different designs and skill sets to offer. Google Home is a better option for regularly answering questions. Amazon Echo is better for controlling in-home devices.

      Making the choice between the two comes down to personal preference. Do you use Gmail and Chromecast often? You may pair well with Google Home. Do you like Amazon Fire TV? You may prefer Amazon Echo.

      Home or Office Compatibility

      Before building your smart space, ask yourself if your peripherals are compatible. Is your office already equipped with app-operated smart lights? Products such as Philips Hue lights have built-in Alexa support, making the transition to Amazon Echo a breeze.

      Smart Space Privacy

      When you connect your space to a smart system, your daily habits and those of your co-workers or family are being shared with tech companies. Amazon and Google make money by selling you things and understanding your lifestyle helps them to do so.

      If you want to minimize the amount of data collected on you, start by making shrewd choices about which rooms your smart technology will be located in. Get into the routine of regularly scrubbing voice command data and turning off your device’s microphone and camera.

      Smart Space Security

      A major concern for smart space creators is preventing the loathsome home hack. Sprinklers and smart fridges are more susceptible to hacks when they are connected to a vulnerable network. Encrypting your wireless router and implementing virtual private network (VPN) software can help protect you.

      Have more questions about building your ideal smart space? Contact our experts!

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      10 Apr 2018

      Chrome Update Could Expose Your UN-Encrypted Website

        Google Chrome is set to strengthen security with a new Chrome 68 update. This will present a new challenge for websites that do not have the proper certificate in place and cause users to steer clear of your site!

        Set to be released in July 2018, the update will use a visual cue to alert users when a site does not appear safe. Chrome 64 flagged all un-encrypted HTTP sites. With Chrome 68, all HTTP sites will be regarded as “not safe”. Google hopes that this will encourage more sites to switch to the trusted HTTPS encryption.

        What is HTTPS?

        HTTPS is a secure adaptation of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol. It is the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website that you are connected to. The S stands for “secure” and is an important factor that protects the integrity of your website (whether it handles sensitive information or not). It grants that all of the communications that take place between a browser and a website are encrypted.

        The Chrome 68 update essentially helps to “clean up” the Internet by pushing vulnerable HTTP sites to become secure. The web is destined to gradually leave the old encryption behind and embrace HTTPS as standard.

        What does this mean for businesses?

        Businesses who are still under HTTP may face a fractured user experience. When users are alerted that a website could potentially be dangerous, they will opt not to visit it. As a business incurs less online traffic, they will begin to see a decline in revenue.

        Give us a call to ensure that you maintain a secure connection with your customers and continue to encourage potential customers to visit you online. We can make sure that you are fully compliant with the new update so that you never risk a loss in business!

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        21 Mar 2018

        Why Keeping Plug-Ins Up-To-Date Is Crucial For Your Business

        Website Plug-ins are pieces of software that can be added to your website for additional functionality. Plug-ins for content management system (CMS) sites such as WordPress and Joomla provide unique customization, but require specific care to ensure a consistent user experience.

        Keeping your plug-ins up-to-date is a task that should be at the top of your list of website management priorities. It is like taking out an insurance policy on your website. Updating is a preemptive step that is guaranteed to protect you in the case of an unforeseen event. Here are three ways updating your plug-ins can make all the difference.

        Updated Plug-Ins Keep Your Site Secure

        Recent research revealed that nearly 83% of hacked WordPress blogs had failed to update their plug-ins before the attack occurred! Outdated plug-ins are gateways for hackers to raid. These software weak spots invite in malicious activity that can completely compromise your site. Fixing these issues can be costly and time-consuming. The downtime required to fix these infections can be detrimental to business, leaving users unable to access information or communicate with your company.

        Updated Plug-Ins Fix Malfunctions  

        If users are experiencing bugs on your website (such as slow loading pages or dead-end links), outdated plug-ins may be to blame. Glitches like these can leave customers frustrated and it can prevent them from accessing key materials. Users expect clean-running, high-speed web pages that perform exceptionally well no matter what device they are using. Rather than letting your customers turn to the competition’s website because it was quicker to load, simply remedy these issues with an update.

        Updated Plug-Ins Increase Functionality

        The Internet moves quickly. Businesses who stay on top of the digital evolution will ascend beyond those who don’t. Updates will instantly boost functionality and bring new features to your site.

        Insuring your business will keep it safe from harm. Insuring your website keeps it safe, serviceable and cutting-edge. So next time a reminder pops up regarding your plug-ins, don’t dismiss it. It could cost you a lot more than a few minutes of your time!

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        07 Mar 2018

        Still Using GMail or Hotmail? You Could be Putting Your Business at Risk

        When setting up your business email, many people turn to Hotmail or GMail for a free and easy solution. Putting your trust in large companies may seem like the soundest option, as it would appear they have rigorous security systems in place.

        However, many businesses have learned the hard way that placing their important information in the care of these companies can be costlier than they ever expected. Just ask over one billion Yahoo users who were affected by a major data breach in 2013, causing their accounts to be hacked and personal information to be exposed. If you are still using one of these companies to host your business email, here are three important reasons to reconsider.


        What is most striking about using a middle-company to host your email address is the unprofessional impression it leaves on potential clients. For example, people will likely reach out to Will at will@willscompany.com rather than will_123@hotmail.com. Your emails may even be automatically sent to the trash as free addresses are sometimes regarded as spam. Something as simple as a clean, uncomplicated email address can have an enormous impact on customer retention.


        Unbeknownst to millions of daily users, email services such as GMail are un-encrypted and vulnerable. Cyber-attacks occur too frequently to not have your email account safeguarded. Encryption works by jumbling messages so they appear unreadable to those who are not authorized to receive them. This helps protect personal information shared between staff and clients.


        Free service providers curb costs by offering zero quality technical support to users. When your email goes down (as it often does with these services), your business is left stranded for an unknown amount of time as you wait for one of your most vital forms of communication to be restored.

        Choosing a large company as your email provider can mean gambling with your business’s security. Choosing a reliable host for your business email ensures a professional image, exceptional protection and competent support from a team that has your best interest in mind. Contact our experts to find out how we can help!


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        23 Feb 2018
        09 Feb 2018

        Why updating your plugins should be done with care

        You don’t have to be a tech expert to add functionality, security and new features to your WordPress website. Plugins are pieces of software that, for the most part, can easily be added and updated. However, adding and updating your plugins can cause complications. Find out why it is important to update your plugins with care to avoid potentially breaking your website.

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        26 Jan 2018

        Onsite, bench or remote services? What it all means and how to decide what’s right for you

        There is a range of technology solutions out there for your business. Sorting through the lingo and understanding what ones truly meets your needs is an important first step in taking advantage of these solutions. Let’s break down the differences between onsite, bench and remote services so you can be assured you’re getting the most from your IT support!

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        12 Jan 2018
        27 Dec 2017

        How is VoIP Different from Regular Telephone Service?

        Decades ago, the technological landscape for businesses looked very different. There were landline phones, clunky pieces of computer equipment and an overabundance of wires that connected everything. Nowadays, office technologies have become a lot more sleek and streamlined. This immense change has brought about better quality services such as VoIP.

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