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Tech Hygiene – keeping it clean! (12/14)

This article has some very good suggestions for keeping your technology clean – inside and out! We’ve summarized the tips below:

  1. Don’t save to your desktop. It gets messy, and backup utilities usually don’t backup your desktop so files can easily get lost.
  2. Don’t ignore software updates. When programs such as Java, Windows, Flash, Adobe Reader and Internet Explorer are updated one of the major changes is usually patching software to plug vulnerabilities. Ignoring these updates leaves you with risks that could be easily avoided. BUT – a couple of warnings. (1) if you are on a hotel Wi-Fi or other public network, don’t download updates unless you are sure they are legitimate. Leave this activity for a “trusted” connection such as home or office. (2) Note that some line-of-business applications require specific software versions, so make sure you work with your IT support staff to be sure you remain compatible.
  3. Don’t eat or drink at your computer. Liquid is TERRIBLE for computers, and crumbs can get in the keyboard and cause problems. If you have to eat/drink while using your computer, make sure you keep your distance!
  4. Use two-step verification to access any important accounts. This usually involves a code being sent to your phone or a USB security key.
  5. Backup your data. Use a cloud service or a cheap hard drive. No excuses!
  6. Clean your PC every few months.
  7. Don’t leave your laptop or phone in a hot car. Heat is worse than cold, but electronics are not fond of really cold temperatures either.
  8. Don’t use one password for everything. You can use a password manager, but if nothing else have a password-protected spreadsheet that you use for keeping track of your passwords. Check out this tip for suggestions on strong passwords.
  9. Clean the surface of your phone. Studies show that cell phones are often as dirty as a public restroom!

10. Don’t let your PC get too slow. Upgrade the RAM, clean out your hard drive, don’t visit questionable sites, don’t start too many programs when your computers starts up – all of these suggestions will help!

Glympse – share your location (12/14)

Glympse is an app for your phone that allows you to share your location in real time. You can send someone a Glympse and they can they track your location, estimated speed of travel and estimated time of arrival. If your company is delivering something, it is a way for you to either track the delivery yourself, or to share the tracking with the recipient. It is also very useful for a group of friends who are meeting, or for someone traveling by car – send your host a Glympse and they can have dinner on the table when you arrive!

Farewell to Microsoft Server 2003 (12/14)

Support for Windows Server 2003 is ending on July 14, 2015. What does this mean? Microsoft will no longer patching or updating Server 2003, so if you are running it your IT network will no longer be secure. Hackers target out-of-date operating systems. We are working with our clients for plans for their remaining 2003 servers, but if you would like to discuss your specific situation please give us a call.

Microsoft Azure – fun facts you may not know (12/14)

Did you know….

  • If you are using Active Directory Integration with Office 365, you’re most likely using Azure.
  • You can turn off your Azure server(s) at pre-determined times of the day/week to save money. For example, turn them off between 6 pm and 6 am and save half of the operating expenses associated with the server.
  • You can upgrade your Azure server (RAM, disk drive, processing power) at any time

Who is using Azure? 250,000 customers – over half of the Fortune 500. Examples include 3M, McKesson Xerox, Marks & Spencer, Accuweather, Carnegie Mellon, Capgemini, BMW, Dell, Pier 1, GE Healthcare, Callaway,Trek, Ingram Micro and many more. Click here to read these case studies and more.

Holiday Gifts for your favorite Techie (12/14)

The internet is flooded with suggestions for techie gifts at this time of year. Here is our list of some fun and affordable options:

10 ways to stay on top of emerging technologies (12/14)

Staying on top of technology is important when you work in the field, but not always easy. This article gives you some tips for always staying a step ahead. We’ve summarized it below:

  • 1. Watch the consumer space
  • 2. Find a technophile
  • 3.Read Engadget
  • 4. Call an expert
  • 5. Get your hands dirty
  • 6. Play a game
  • 7. Go to a big box store
  • 8. Have a personal R&D; budget
  • 9. Read the occasional “big brain” book or article
  • 10. Get outside your department or industry

Health IT News for Metro DC: November/December (12/14)

We gave this presentation at a PMA Nova (Practice Manager’s Association of Northern Virginia) meeting and got rave reviews. So, we turned it into an article. You can read the first 15 tips here and the rest here.

Microsoft Azure – what’s it all about? (10/14)

Azure is Microsoft’s cloud platform. You can use Azure to put a server in the cloud – and you can use that server to host an application or a website, store data, backup another server or provide single sign-on for all of your resources.

Azure can be setup very quickly, so you don’t have to wait for a physical server to be delivered. It can grow as your needs change, so there is no need to buy a server that is too big for now, but might be needed in three years. You can buy what you need now and scale it up when you need to. You can also turn it off when it is not needed, and turn it back on what you do – making it ideal for seasonal or other needs that change.

Azure competes with Amazon Web Services and Google’s Cloud Platform. Microsoft has committed to meeting or beating the pricing for each of those services, but with better performance.

Interested in taking a closer look? Contact Jonathan Krasner at jonathan.krasner@beinetworks.com and we’d be glad to discuss how your business might be able to use Azure.

10 areas of IT risk you could be overlooking (10/14)

This article does a good job of summarizing the IT risks to your that you should be aware of, we’ve listed them below but read the article for a more through analysis.

  • Storage media – if you are still using tape, beware!
  • Loss of a key staff member – make sure you have a plan, no one should be indispensable
  • Disgruntled employees who could do serious damage to your IT assets
  • Vendor support for multinational operations
  • Commercial bandwidth availability for cloud – make sure you have enough bandwidth for your cloud services
  • Acquisition of a key vendor/loss of a key vendor account manager
  • Silos that can affect communications and problem solving
  • Interpersonal skills -make sure your IT staff knows how to communicate!
  • Black box code – custom code can be dangerous if those who understand it are no longer there to support it
  • End-user deals with IT vendors – end users often go around the corporate structure, often in an honest effort to get things done. Make sure this won’t bite you in the end.

Farewell to Microsoft Server 2003 (10/14)

Support for Windows Server 2003 is ending on July 14, 2015. What does this mean? Microsoft will no longer patching or updating Server 2003, so if you are running it your IT network will no longer be secure. Hackers target out-of-date operating systems. We are working with our clients for plans for their remaining 2003 servers, but if you would like to discuss your specific situation please give us a call.




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