Unified Technology Blog

Using Public WiFi

on November 6, 2019 No comments

Public wifi, tech adviceYes, it is convenient to have the ability to access WiFi in public places. But is it smart? The answer is no.

It is not even a good idea to plug your smartphone or tablet into public charging stations.

Why? Because people who steal data, personal information and plant software on your very personal devices will have access to your information. Not only that. If you are a lover of smart devices, they can have access to every device in your home that is currently set up to respond to commands from your smartphone, computer or tablet.

Almost every smartphone has the ability to become a mobile hot spot, so if you really need to use WiFi outside your home, then please, call up your hotspot and log into your own WiFi network.

It is also very important you check your settings on your smart devices and make certain to disable the option to automatically connect to any available WiFi network.

Many of us will be travelling to visit friends and family in the coming months. Yes, it’s nice to be able to spend our time watching a movie, reading a book or listening to music. But a better way to do that is to prepare ahead of time and download your books, music, and movies onto your tablet before you go. And perhaps, if you have the option, kick up your data plan for the months you plan to travel. It’s also a good idea to bring your own portable charging device.

Please, in addition to not using public WiFi, install a robust antivirus program on your phones and tablets. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Stolen data can affect your life for years. Your credit can be ruined, private communications could be shared and even your home can be compromised. This is serious, don’t take it lightly.

If you think we are being alarmists, take a look at this excerpt from a post on TripWire.com:

“……WIFI HACKS FLY UNDER THE RADAR

While theft of data from unsuspecting consumers using public WiFi spots is presumed to be fairly pervasive, it doesn’t get the attention that major hacks of corporate or financial systems do. These thefts happen in dribbles – with bad guys stealing bits of information from many users and accounts – rather than a tsunami.

One contributing factor is that WiFi is so pervasive. A 2015 report by WiFi network provider iPass estimated that there were more than 50 million public hotspots worldwide – one for every 150 people, a number which is expected to grow to 340 million by 2018, or one for every 20 people on earth.

Another factor is that so many public WiFi networks are inherently insecure. Kaspersky Security Network recently analyzed some 32 million public hotspots and found that 25 percent do not use any encryption at all, meaning that anyone with an antenna can pick up the communications. Another three percent use an old form of encryption that is essentially ineffective.”

Remember, if you are going to be traveling, take some time to prepare, and for your sake, stay off public WiFi.

Your Tech Guys

managed IT services vero beach, sebastian, ft pierce, port St Lucie West Pam beach, Palm bay, melbourne,Managed business IT services in Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Sebastian

 

 

 

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Your IT GuyUsing Public WiFi

Telecommuting – Good or Bad?

on October 30, 2019 No comments

 

Telecommuting has been around as a work concept for a while now. Some companies allow it, others have begun to pull their employees back into an office environment.

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Your IT GuyTelecommuting – Good or Bad?

Creating and Designing a Computer Network for Business

on October 22, 2019 No comments

how to design and implement a network for business, computer network design and installationWhat is involved in creating and designing a computer network for your business? Well, you would be surprised to know there can be quite a bit of strategy and number crunching which goes into designing then building a strong, robust computer network for your business.

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Your IT GuyCreating and Designing a Computer Network for Business

Computer Repair Company for Business

on October 15, 2019 No comments

Computers are an important tool when you own a business. With them you can track data, you can run spread sheets, create presentations, and communicate with people all over the world. That’s only scratching the surface.

Companies use computers to create visuals, to render videos, to design products. Soon, more companies will be using AI to help build and design new products. The 3d printers will become less expensive and more common and be used to create things that used to take years to design and build. There is no end to what a computer or a network of computers can do.

A computer network, hardware and software keep your laptops, servers and desktops in communications with each other. It can integrate VoIP systems to answer and direct your calls, check in on your Salespeople’s tablets and track all your sale and inventory. Your system can make a person located in another state sound like they are sitting in your office.

Virtual assistants and receptionists can answer your phones, take orders, and manage your schedule from almost anywhere.

That is when the computers are working properly. When they don’t, not only do none of these things happen, they also cost you time and money. Which is actually redundant because, as we all know, time is money. they can even cost you customers.

That’s is where Unified Technology Solutions comes in. We are here, in Vero Beach keeping your computers running properly, your severs doing their job and your phone system answering calls.

We have our Help Desk Services, we have our On Call Services, but the best value for a business in our contract service. UTS will keep your systems running properly.

Your IT Guys

managed IT services vero beach, sebastian, ft pierce, port St Lucie West Pam beach, Palm bay, melbourne,Managed business IT services in Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Sebastian
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Your IT GuyComputer Repair Company for Business

The Advantages of A Virtual Help Desk

on October 3, 2019 No comments

What if you could have one employee who’s dedicated to receiving calls and answering tech support questions from the rest of your staff? Essentially, someone having this role would be like a help desk for your business. 

Virtual help desks are staffed by people who are truly experts in all things tech. This not only benefits your customers and clients (as things are resolved faster), but it benefits your employees, too. Instead of focusing on problems that are not in their area of expertise, they can focus on the tasks in which they excel (and for which they were hired).

But having an on-site staff of experts in every application you use, at every location, around the clock isn’t practical for most companies. Instead, an off-site, virtual help desk can provide access to expertise in your full suite of applications and technologies wherever your employees are, whenever they need assistance. Here are several benefits from having a virtual help desk as part of your team:

  1. 24×7 remote support

No one, it appears, at any company are just working 9-5 at the office any more. With tablets, smart phones and skype they now work from practically everywhere now trying to meet deadlines. So if your customers run into an issue your virtual help desks nver shut down, so you’ll always be able to get an answer and get your work done.

  1. Your team has more time for important work

Getting a phone call when users are having problems distracts your own technology team from working on new technical strategies that will help your business. When those calls go to a virtual help desk, you team stays focused on creating business value rather than addressing routine questions.

  1. Problems get resolved quicker

The team staffing a virtual help desk is comprised of experts in the technology. Armed with a knowledge base of solutions, they’re quickly able to resolve straightforward problems. Tougher problems are easily escalated for higher levels of service.

  1. Better tracking of issues

Virtual help desks track data that lets you see what kinds of issues your team is repeatedly facing, so you can take steps to address the root cause.

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Your IT GuyThe Advantages of A Virtual Help Desk

To Back Up or Not?

on September 11, 2019 No comments

At UTS, we have been in the tech support business for a long time. It is our chosen profession to help those companies in our area who have IT issues. It’s a profession we love. But there is nothing that makes us groan more than when a client calls up and says, “you have got to recover our data, and we haven’t been performing regular backups”. There is nothing more terrifying as a business owner than to lose access your computers and find your most important files are missing. Your data is essential to the smooth operation of any business.

Backing up your data has always been important, and Cloud backup is rapidly becoming the go-to method of backing up data. It is significantly more efficient than other options.  Here in Florida especially. When your data could not only be lost, but your entire information systems structure could be damaged.

Why you should backup

The main purpose of backing up your data is, of course, the ability to roll back and access your archives in the event of local hardware failure. To do business today, you need the confidence of knowing that in the case of catastrophe, your data will be protected and available.

By backing up your information in the cloud, you have the perfect destination for your archives, as your files will be at once everywhere; no longer dependent on any single computer or server. Virtual server environments are in reality vast networks of server centers located around the globe, so that even if an entire facility fails, another failsafe is in place.

Data loss is also a significant hit to your bottom line. Without your data, invoices can’t go out to customers, shipments may be delayed, creative projects could miss their deadlines and the ability to serve your customers will be severely impacted.

Advantages of cloud backup

Ask anyone who lives in Florida, Louisiana or the Carolinas.  Each year we hope and pray that hurricane season will be mild. Or at least that any big storms will pass us by. But there is no way to be certain of exactly when a hurricane or tropical storm will hit.  This is not why we can’t stress enough having methods in place. It’s important to keep a copy of files offsite. Even if business files are backed up on a file server, a hurricane, flood, fire or theft could destroy the computers… and your regular backups. Keeping backed up files in the cloud ensures data is safe no matter what is going on at your office.

Cloud Backup can also be accessed from pretty much anywhere. So, if the power is out and you can’t work in your regular location, it’s possible to take your laptop and set up shop somewhere a few hours away where you have access to power, internet and your data.

So, don’t wait any longer, get yourself set up in the clouds.

Your Tech Guys

managed IT services vero beach, sebastian, ft pierce, port St Lucie West Pam beach, Palm bay, melbourne,Managed business IT services in Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Sebastian

 

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Your IT GuyTo Back Up or Not?

Keep A Handle On Your Inbox

on August 13, 2019 No comments

We hear a lot of you are complaining about managing your inbox, so we wanted to share some very simple strategies to help you manage the onslaught in your inbox.  Whether you get 5 or 1000 emails a day, they add up and they add up fast. What’s more, is that email management seems to take on a life of its own. We spend hours every day “checking email”.  It’s a huge time sucking hole from which there is no escape at times. What happens with email is that everyone else’s demands, requests and even simple “hello’s” become equally important and take precedence over the things that you really want or need to do.

So how can you manage it? Here are 5 strategies for you to try. By the way, these are the same strategies that I use and that I recommend to my clients.

  1. I realize that I am taking a risk by giving you this strategy because I’d rather you don’t unsubscribe from our emails, however, if you are looking at an inbox full of newsletters and other “self help” information that you have subscribed to over the years but never read, pick your favorite few and unsubscribe from the rest. Keeping hundreds of self help emails in your inbox is not going to make you read them or follow the advice. By keeping them the only thing that you are helping yourself to do is get further overwhelmed.
  2. Unclick the box. Almost all online vendors pre-fill a little checkbox which gives them permission to send you emails and offers. Unclick the box! I realize that this may mean that you won’t get information about the upcoming 10% off sale but let’s face it; if you needed something and went online to find it you’re likely to find the 10% off sale anyway. Oh, if for some reason the box isn’t filled in already…do not click on it!
  3. You might be able to guess this one but just in case…as you get offers from vendors that you’ve done business with already, unsubscribe from their list. You already know that vendor and when you need something from them you will go online to find it.
  4. Keep separate email accounts. One account that you will stay current with for friends, family, work and those topics which are most important to you and another for bulk mail, online shopping needs, and those sign up sheets that you end up filling out.
  5. Use the delete key. You do not need to act on or respond to every single email you receive. Choose to respond to the ones that are most important to you and let go of the rest. You can even delete those “older ones” that you haven’t gotten around to answering yet because the sender probably doesn’t remember they sent it or else they just assume that it’s been lost in your inbox. If it’s that important they will contact you again.
  6. If you want to receive less email, send less email. As ridiculously simple as it sounds for such a pervasive problem, I’ve found this to be the golden rule of email management: Send less of it.  I stopped sending emails and instead use Skype for fast questions.

Email not only clutters up your inbox, depending upon the way your system is set up, but it can also be affecting the performance of the entire company. Or it can be eating up cloud storage unnecessarily. So, just like with your closet, perhaps the Mari method of inbox cleaning will work. Keep only those emails which spark joy, or cover yourself, you choose.

What strategies are you using to improve your productivity?  Let us know in the comments.

Your Tech guys

managed IT services vero beach, sebastian, ft pierce, port St Lucie West Pam beach, Palm bay, melbourne,Managed business IT services in Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Sebastian

 

 

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Your IT GuyKeep A Handle On Your Inbox

Productivity Secrets For Business Professionals

on August 7, 2019 No comments

Even though Boston College reports approximately two-thirds of people believe working at home is a positive influence on job success, work/life balance, and job commitment, those of us who use a home office understand the difficulties associated with productivity. A home office means there will be a mingling of personal home responsibilities and those that are demanded by your career. Balancing these two significant parts of your life is a secret sought by stay at home parents and telecommuters. Some have even found the solution.

 

9 To 5 AM

It is illogical to think you will do six hours of parenting, two hours of exercise and eight hours of work all during traditional work hours. One of the reasons you opted for a home office is to be able to do all of your work, personal and professional, throughout the day. Create a schedule that will work for you. Anne Rice, the author of the “Vampire Chronicles,” slept in the daytime and worked at night, theoretically to remove distractions. The schedule you adopt must include those hours when you are the most alert and creative. To stay alert during a long work day, it may be best to schedule a nap to reenergize your body.

 

Have A Cup Of Joe

Caffeine has a long list of positive health benefits, which is why it has become the go-to drink of the work-at-home professional. Caffeine is a stimulant, so a cup of coffee will help keep you awake and alert. If you are working your own schedule and balancing home and career responsibilities, then you may need this little boost throughout the day. Instead of a pot of coffee or a kettle of tea heating all day, a single cup coffee maker may be a good investment. There is even evidence that this caffeine lift can make you smarter. Caffeine blocks neuro-inhibitors, making your brain function faster.

 

Maintain Goals

The to-do list is the tool of choice for the work-at-home pro. Being productive is all about maintaining and hitting your goals. Prioritize your work daily. Create a list of what needs to be accomplished throughout the day. As things come up, use the Two-Minute Rule. Coined by author and business consultant David Allen, the rule says that if you can handle it in two minutes or less, then do it. If not, prioritize it. Using this idea, everything either gets scheduled or is completed immediately.

 

Stay Happy

Juan Casimiro, entrepreneur and founder of the nonprofit business incubator Casimiro Global Foundation, believes people are driven not only by personal success, but by the success of communities. This focus of community success is part of the definition of happiness and is integral to personal productivity. There is a large body of evidence showing happy workers are productive workers. Keeping yourself happy requires you look at the important things in life, assessing your success against them. If you chose to stay home because you wanted to be with the kids, then make this a priority and revel in your time with them. The money may not be there, but the joy will more than make up for it.

 

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Your IT GuyProductivity Secrets For Business Professionals

Supercomputers, Who Uses Them and Why?

on August 6, 2019 No comments

Back in the 1970s and 1980’s, computing was all about big, beefy computers and dumb terminals. Then a new wave hit, and everyone switched to de-centralized processing using networks of PC’s which then uploaded their data to a centralized system for processing.

Today, most small to medium sized companies simply use their own network of desktop computers, laptops, and tablets, and their own servers to run their operations. Most of them also use VoIP systems to handle incoming and outgoing phone calls. But there are large companies who still use large mainframe computers because of the sheer volume of data they need to process.

Then there are the supercomputers. Those are a whole different breed of computers. They actually consist of hundreds, or more probably, thousands of servers in clusters which are used for complex computations and simulations.

Some are put to use trying to forecast storms and other weather conditions. If you aren’t certain why we need a supercomputer to predict weather patterns, I can offer you some examples. Weather conditions will affect crop yields, they will affect the transportation of goods, they will affect whether military operations can be conducted and it can even affect the price of commodities offered on the stock market.

Many of the supercomputers in use today model the effects of nuclear disasters, down to subatomic levels. Though none of us wants to even entertain the threat of a nuclear war, it would be naive not to find ways to understand what would happen and how to prepare.

The big issues for supercomputers in mean time between failure. They run so fast and process such a huge amount of data, that they often fail. The issue now facing the supercomputer industry is the current technology can’t keep up with demands for processing speed. Which means companies are looking for more efficient ways to build servers that use something other than silicone for their memory needs.

What does that mean for the rest of us? Well, I think that in the next decade, much of what we see in the world of computers is going to have to change. That can be exciting for some of us nerds and probably downright mind-blowing for others.

Your Tech Guys

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Your IT GuySupercomputers, Who Uses Them and Why?

Heat and Electronic Devices

on July 27, 2019 No comments

Living in Florida, one of the first lessons anyone learns is that sudden and radical changes in temperature and humidity will totally wreak havoc on your electronic devices. You may not realize this,  but just the simple act of carrying your laptop from your air-conditioned hotel room out to the swimming pool can create real problems.

Condensation can quickly form on the inside of your laptop in situations like this, and when you combine water + electricity + moving parts it is a recipe for disaster. First thing, you must be sure that you power off your machine prior to moving it (good advice regardless of the temperature), and just wait a few minutes for your system to adjust to the new conditions before powering it back on again.

When your laptop or tablet is exposed to excessive heat, especially for extended periods, it causes all sorts of issues for devices. In fact, it’s not unusual for these devices to begin to experience unexplained crashes, random shutdowns, as a result of being left in very hot air. It is likely, in those circumstances that you will most certainly lower the life of your laptop or tablet, so please think about protecting your, or your employer’s investment.

So what should you do first:  Check where the intake and exhaust vents on your laptop are located. Most computer manufacturers place them at the side or rear, while poorly designed ones may put them on the bottom. Regardless, though, it is far too easy to block those vents by using your laptop on a soft surface.

Pillows, beds, even your lap can restrict airflow and cause significant heat build-up. When the surrounding air temperature is already 30+ degrees Celsius, that’s the last thing you need. Always place your laptop on a hard surface such as a table or chair when in use and/or elevate it slightly using a solid object, and it will stay remain much cooler over time.

Please realize that even when turned off your laptop can still be affected by the heat. Leaving your laptop in the car can wreak unspeakable damage.  It’s not unusual for cars parked in direct sunlight to reach temperatures two or three times hotter than the outside air, for example. In that kind of heat, the components in your laptop will start to expand. This can potentially cause both short and long term damage, and as notebooks become ever-smaller and more cramped inside, this problem only gets worse.

Just these simple tips can make such a difference in the longevity of your system.

Your Tech Guys

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Your IT GuyHeat and Electronic Devices