Unified Technology Solutions

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

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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?

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

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Your IT GuyTo Back Up or Not?

Windows 10 Updates!

on July 3, 2019 No comments

Touch keyboard improvements

For many of you, a great physical keyboard is a must. But with dual-display devices making their way through the lab, maybe we’ll all end up typing on glass. In any case, Microsoft made the on-screen keyboard ( the one you’d use with a tablet in tablet mode) more responsive by widening the landing areas of certain keys beyond the drawn boundaries of the key.

Windows 10 April 2019 Update touch keyboard

Mark Hachman / IDG

Microsoft’s diagram of how its touch keyboard will work. Note that this is the keyboard that appears in tablet mode.

Those wider landing pads trigger only in certain cases, though—when Microsoft’s AI predicts you’re trying to type that word. The touch keyboard also can generate the list of items for the revamped emoji/kaomoji/symbols keyboard.

Unconfirmed sighting: RAW image support

It’s unclear whether RAW image support will make it into the Windows 10 May 2019 Update. RAW, a minimally processed image file format, doesn’t include the compression JPG files do, so photographers typically prefer working with the format to make their own edits.

Within the Insider versions of Windows 10, Microsoft included a special build of a Raw Image Extension (Beta) app that should let Windows treat RAW photos just like JPEGs. In practice, it didn’t quite work out that way: Sony .ARW (RAW) files displayed as random noise or fuzzy, thumbnail-quality images, while Fuji’s .RAF files opened in Windows’ Photos app normally.

 

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Your IT GuyWindows 10 Updates!

Email Etiquette For The Workplace

on June 25, 2019 No comments

With the popularity of texting/Facebook Messaging/Slack…email is no longer regarded as an essential tool for online communication among millennials. Most of us probably use our personal inboxes more as a way to collect Uber receipts and track the status of our Amazon purchases than for keeping in touch with friends and family.

Even though it’s used less in our personal lives, whether we like it or not, emails are a part of business. The issue with email comes as you get more and more inundated with email messages. At some point, you want to do everything you can to ensure that your important emails get read. One method you can use on your own outgoing emails is to adopt some best practices for professional email etiquette. From a professional email greeting to professional email format, it can all make a big difference.I have listed below some best practices for business email etiquette tips that will increase the odds of your emails being read rather than trashed..

1. Use a professional email address
Most companies provide a professional email address for their employee’s correspondence. Proper email etiquette calls for sending emails from your business email address rather than from a personal email address. Using a personal email address for business purposes can be seen as unprofessional by some, especially if you’re discussing confidential matters.

2. Use clear and precise subject lines
To ensure your email gets opened, read, and thoroughly understood, start with a short and precise subject line addressing the issue at hand. Ex. “Wednesday Meeting Agenda”. You should title your email in such a way that the recipient immediately knows what the message is actually about.

3. Avoid “reply all.”
It’s usually a good idea to forego the temptation to hit the “reply all” option when sending professional emails. Proper email etiquette aside, it can be quite annoying for people to be included in a group email if the content of the message has nothing to do with them. So be considerate and hit “reply all” only if the message would be of interest to all of the recipients. Otherwise, your email might be considered spam.

4. Acknowledge emails.
With business email, even if you are too busy to reply with a full on answer, it’s always a good idea to at least send an acknowledgment and follow up later.  You should not only acknowledge all emails but also do so in a timely fashion. Since this is not always standard practice, you’ll be surprised at how much your professionalism can set you apart.

Remember to keep these tips in mind next time you open up your inbox at work and in no time you’ll be an email expert!

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Your IT GuyEmail Etiquette For The Workplace

Why Move Your Data To The Cloud?

on May 22, 2019 No comments

Why are so many businesses moving to the cloud? It’s because cloud computing increases efficiency, helps improve cash flow and offers many more benefits.

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Your IT GuyWhy Move Your Data To The Cloud?

Upgrade Your Computer Network

on April 30, 2019 No comments

 

Network Diagram, it solutions for companies, vero beach IT support for networks, VOIP support for companies, non-profit it support,Your business has outgrown your current computer systems. Now’s time to upgrade your entire office and network. Because the network affects everyone, targeted communications must detail the impact of the upgrade. Understanding how end users access and leverage the network for their specific job role is important when explaining how an upgrade will impact their duties both during the maintenance window and after the upgrade is complete.

Determine a rollout strategy

A rollout strategy should finely balance the speed of deployment with the risk of making mistakes that bring down the network. Your goal should be to find the optimal comfort level for the organization such that the upgrade can be performed in a reasonable amount of time without taking any major risks. Unified Technology Solutions is experienced in building just such a strategy for companies.

Have a back-out strategy

Just as the rollout plan is critically important, so too is a back-out strategy. Spend just as much time figuring out a back-out strategy as you do an implementation strategy. Even though you might not ever need it, you’ll be very happy you spent the time and effort in the event you do.

Train support staff

The same people who design, architect, and deploy the new network upgrade may not be the same people supporting it once it goes into production. This is especially true if you work for a large organization or hire outside consultants to handle the upgrade. Proper training is critical to the care and maintenance of a network upgrade from day one and beyond.

Document, document, document!

The step that is most often skipped over – yet is absolutely critical to the success of a network — is to thoroughly document the upgrade, how the new technology works, and how to maintain it once it’s in production. Documentation should also be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. A network upgrade that includes detailed documentation is far more likely to be considered successful when support staffers have the information they can refer to for help.

Just remember that proper planning, communication, and training can help ensure a successful network upgrade. If you don’t have an IT Department of your own, or even if you do, we can work with you to put a comprehensive upgrade plan together and it can make a systems upgrade much less painful.

Give us a call

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Let Unified Technology Solutions Help

on April 4, 2019 No comments

It’s your company. It has your name on the door and your reputation is on the line if things don’t go well. We understand that. But trying to do everything yourself just doesn’t always work. Let us help.

Here in America, we take pride in self reliance. It’s important that we be able to wear many hats and take care of things ourselves. But is that really the best way to do things? Is it the most effective way to run your business? Probably not.

You spend countless hours educating yourself and working with your staff on the things you need to know to be the best you can be in your area of business. How can you also devote the time and resources it would take to be an expert in Information Technology, software and hardware?

We at Unified Technology Solutions can take over that part of your business for you. It’ doesn’t mean that you should stop learning about new advances in technology, it just means that you can trust us to resolve your tech issues so that you can work on your business.

Servers, Cloud storage and back up, internet security, preventing malware attacks and recovering from hardware crashes, that’s what we do. We also have help desk services for when your people encounter a software or hardware problem. Some issues require us to be on site, but there are also issues we can solve by logging in remotely and diagnosing the problem right from our offices.

Give us a call at : 772.539.7667 to set up an appointment for us to come and learn more about your operation and you to learn more about our services.

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Your IT GuyLet Unified Technology Solutions Help

VoIp Phone Systems and 5G

on March 28, 2019 No comments

Voice Over Internet Protocol is a fancy name for you don’t need a landline to have a sophisticated business phone system for your company. Back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, VoIp was clunky and the echoing on phone calls was extremely annoying. Yes, it was cheaper than a landline, but for business use, not very good

All that has changed. VoIp phone systems are sophisticated, the ability to have conversations without the echo is encouraging, and the integration between wireless and office phone systems give employees all the flexibility to be out of the office on work related tasks, while still having the ability to respond to their phone calls.

In case you haven’t been paying attention, things are due to get even better. Wireless systems are being upgraded from 4G networks to 5G networks. Why do you care? Well, for one reason, that means communications and data handling ability are going to be more seamless. Everything will be faster when it comes to wireless, and because VoIp is internet base, that means VoIp communications will be even better.

This is what www.techadvisory.org has to say

Virtual and augmented reality

“With 5G network speeds, virtual and augmented reality will become more common for SMBs. 5G will blow past 4G’s Gbps (gigabits per second) limit, which is currently holding back the adoption of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications.

VR and AR need to process significantly more data because of the visuals they must process as users move, and this puts an enormous strain on mobile networks. 5G is also set to ensure a better user experience by facilitating smoother connections and preventing network delays from affecting your bottom line.

Mobile VoIP

VoIP calls rely heavily on sufficient download and upload speeds. For example, when mobile VoIP users on 4G networks are limited to 12Mbps upload and 2Mbps download speeds, they experience unstable and poor call connectivity and clarity. These limitations could also lead to something called packet loss, which happens when one or more “packets” of data traveling across a computer network fail to reach their destination, typically caused by network congestion.”

Still not sure what all of this means for your company? Give us a call and we can meet and talk about your current phone system, what the advantages and cost savings could be for your company and how to make it all work for you.

Your Tech Guys

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Strong Passwords Are Important

on March 21, 2019 No comments

Want to keep your business safe from cyber breaches? When your employees are online, threats come in multiple forms. These include phishing, cross-site scripting, scams, malware and various other forms of hacking. Keeping employees safe online is the responsibility of everyone in the organization. At the highest level, however, it is the responsibility of management and people with the ultimate authority.

When it comes to keeping employees safe at the personal level, having an especially strong password policy can limit external threats. Hackers typically exploit employees’ use of weak or common passwords, using brute force to guess and crack passwords.  Who doesn’t remember the movie “Hackers”?  Employees had not listened to the IT support and had weak common passwords (I believe it was god) and that was how the hackers gained access.

These days, constructing a strong password will consist of condensing an entire sentence, at least 12 characters long, into one cohesive word. These sentences can be shortened or abbreviated, but the point is, single words just don’t cut it anymore.

If you’re using numbers, never use ones that are related to addresses, birthdays, and other searchable information as those details are easily accessible by hackers. Also as convenient as it may be, do not let your browser remember your password. This information is open to hackers, especially if your device is misplaced or stolen.


More importantly have different passwords for different accounts.  It is common for individuals to utilize the same password for multiple accounts, but even at a minimum, employees should have at least two separate passwords for personal and business accounts. 

A strong password policy makes it harder for hackers to crack passwords and breach your network. Passwords should be changed on a regular basis. In addition, you should invest in your workers’ education concerning threats and cyber security practices. Everyone in the organization needs to adhere to strong cybersecurity practices that protect the individual and the entire company network.

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Your IT GuyStrong Passwords Are Important