19 02, 2019

Professional Businesses Deserve Professional Setup

2019-01-31T10:16:58-06:00February 19th, 2019|Managed Services|0 Comments

Professional Businesses Deserve Professional SetupProfessional Business

Watching a business grow is as satisfying as it is rewarding. Whether opening a new office, starting a new department, or bringing in a new employee; it’s a positive step in the right direction. Upward growth often requires new office tech and IT changes to bring new staff fully online.

At a minimum, a new computer will be needed for employees to get started quickly and hit the ground running. New staff or an entire department may require a server, printer, or additional networking hardware to cope with extra demand.

A tech smart business should give careful consideration to how it sources and sets up its hardware and software. It can be tempting to pick a simple solution off the shelf from the nearest retailer.

Modern manufacturers often make it easy to get set up with a new device straight out the box. Using default settings and a simple setup means a laptop or tablet can be just plugged in and it’s ready to go, right?

Unfortunately, setting up technology to create safe, secure, and reliable business services requires a little more detail.

Setting Up Tech For Business

The hardware you have is at least as important as the hardware you buy. It’s important to ensure new tech on the network is compatible with your existing business systems. Adding the wrong solutions to accommodate new employees can slow down the system for everyone.

Many firms talk themselves into buying the most expensive, or heavily marketed system on the market. Buyers often feel confident that the high price tag and slick design means it’s guaranteed to work with anything you put to it. We wish that were always the case.

Without an eye for fine detail and good IT knowledge, combining certain solutions can cause a significant network slowdown or even fail to work together at all.

Consistency Is Key

It can seem easy, and tempting, to buy technology based on offers and deals around at the time you need it. Some companies do this to save money short term, building their systems using a mixture of hardware from various vendors and manufacturers. When thinking long term, this approach might not get you the great deal that you think.

Mixing suppliers alone can make it difficult to track where components came from in the coming months and years. Warranties, service agreements, and support can become hard to track down when parts fail and hardware dies. Money spent securing your business against failure is completely wasted if you can’t find the right paperwork at the right time.

Sourcing replacement parts and supported peripherals can be made more difficult when components are mixed too.

Planning ahead and purchasing identical hardware can make swapping components fast and straightforward. When systems are consistent, both parts and knowledge can be shared throughout the entire business. A smart decision today can eliminate costs, time, and headaches further down the road.

Unexpected issues appearing at the last minute can have large consequences on workload and deadlines. Sharing everything from chargers to memory can help to reduce and mitigate IT risks. Consistent hardware, swappable components, and even considering a supply of spares can take care of many potential headaches.

Smooth On-boarding

In business, first impressions are critically important. Whether setting up a new office or getting an employee ready to start, a professional attitude goes a long way. Good IT that’s ready to work sets a professional tone to carry your business forward.

IT that supports and enhances operations is infinitely better than IT that gets in the way. Using consistent and well-known solutions in the right way avoids wasting time, maintains performance, and reduces costs where it matters.

Our goal is to ensure your hardware meets your business needs. A professional setup ensures your IT is consistently improved while you watch your business flourish and grow.

Give us a call at 319-227-7000 for a professional setup to make sure nothing stands in the way of growing your business.

12 02, 2019

SSD: Make Your Old Computer Your New Computer

2019-01-31T09:46:17-06:00February 12th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

SSD: Make Your Old Computer Your New ComputerSSD

The solid-state drive (SSD) has swiftly become the go-to upgrade to breathe new life into an aging computer, and for good reason too. An SSD swiftly brings an old laptop or desktop up to date with modern machines in just a single step.

The price of solid-state memory has fallen dramatically in recent years. As costs have dropped, the popularity of the technology has increased exponentially. At one time an SSD was a rare treat for serious PC enthusiasts, now it’s cheaper and more readily available than ever. No other single solution is as cost-effective, quick to swap, and impressively effective as swapping out an old hard drive in favor of the faster and more modern SSD.

Out with The Old

The hard disk drive (HDD) is a technology that dates back as far as the 1950’s. They became the default solution all PCs would use for decades to come. Most old laptop and desktop machines still contain their original, worn hard drives they left the factory with.

The HDD was a mostly mechanical device. Inside a solid outer casing was a series of spinning disks arranged in a delicate stack known as a platter. Each disk could read and save data using a tiny needle moving across the disk’s surface.

The technology looked and worked much like a miniature record player. Like a record player, widely in use at the time that hard drives were developed, the hard drive had some serious drawbacks in their use.

The series of tiny disks and needles that made up the HDD were incredibly fragile. Vulnerable to dust or movement, computers commonly succumbed to hard drive failures that rendered the machine and its stored data unusable. Occasionally, simply moving a laptop while reading or writing data can damage a hard drive’s spinning disk.

In with The New

The primary reason to switch to a more modern SSD, on top of their impressive durability, is the incredible increase in speed. The SSD has no moving parts at all, working more like a digital camera memory card than a vinyl record player.

An SSD simply makes the process of retrieving and saving data to storage many times faster. Eliminating the mechanical component, removing the need to move a physical disk, and not needing to physically pick up the data means a much faster and smoother operation.

Computer startup, where the operating system loads all its data from storage, can take as little as one-quarter of the time of a comparable HDD. Additionally, loading regular applications and data from an SSD takes a fraction of time of an HDD.

An SSD completely breathes new life into an old machine. Computers with an SSD replacement for the hard drive feel like using an entirely new machine for a fraction of the cost.

Replacing the main mechanical component additionally eliminates wear and tear working to break down your machine. While a HDD slows over time, degrades, and can eventually suffer mechanical failure; an SSD remains as durable as the day it was purchased.

Ideal Laptop Upgrade

In a laptop setting, the SSD makes complete sense. They require less power than older hard drives, making the most of your battery charge.

In addition, not needing a large disk platter, mechanical parts, or protective outer case means they are about half the weight of a mechanical drive. Making an old machine lightweight brings it another step closer to a modern machine.

They run almost silently too. The familiar click-clack of the hard drive inside a laptop is a thing of the past. Many users comment on the noise their laptop used to make starting up and loading programs. Noisy laptops are a tech throwback we’re happy to leave behind.

For many who feel like their old laptop or desktop is showing its age, the prohibitive cost of purchasing a whole new machine keeps them invested in their old one. A simple, fast SSD upgrade can make your old machine new again at a much smaller price. If swapping long startups, and slow load times sounds right for you, consider upgrading to an SSD. You won’t look back.

Give us a call at 319-227-7000, and we can give your machine a new lease on life.

5 02, 2019

Don’t Get Hooked by Spear Phishing Attacks

2019-01-30T22:13:00-06:00February 5th, 2019|Security|0 Comments

Don’t Get Hooked by Spear Phishing AttacksPhishing

Phishing attacks have been around for a long time. Designed to steal your credentials or trick you into installing malicious software, they have persisted in the IT world precisely because they have been so devastatingly simple and effective. Today, a more modern and more effective version of the same attack is commonly used.

A typical phishing attack involves an attacker sending out a malicious email to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of users. The attacker’s email is designed to look like it comes from a bank, financial service, or even the tax office. Often aiming to trick you into logging in to a fake online service, a phishing attack captures the login details you enter so an attacker may use them to enter the genuine service later.

By sending out tens of thousands of emails at a time, attackers can guarantee that even if only one half of one percent of people fall for it, there is a lot of profit to be made by draining accounts. Spear phishing is a more modern, more sophisticated, and far more dangerous form of the attack. It’s typically targeted at businesses and their staff.

A Convincing, Dangerous Attack

While a traditional phishing attack throws out a broad net in the hope of capturing as many credentials as possible, spear phishing is targeted and precise. The attack is aimed towards convincing a single business, department, or individual that a fraudulent email or website is genuine.

The attacker focuses on building a relationship and establishing trust with the target. By building trust and convincing the target that they are who they are pretending to be, the user is more likely to open attachments, follow links, or provide sensitive details.

Consider how many times you have followed a link or opened an attachment just because it has come from a contact you have trusted before.

A Trusted E-mail

The malicious email can appear to come from a vendor you deal with regularly. It may even look like an invoice you are expecting to receive. Often attackers can simply substitute the vendors’ banking details for their own, hoping the target will not notice the difference.

Such an attack is very difficult to detect. It takes a keen eye, strong working knowledge, and constant awareness to keep your company protected. Even a single small mistake by an unaware member of staff can compromise your business accounts.

Defending Your Business

The key to stopping a spear phishing attack is education. Learning attack techniques, and how to protect against them is the single biggest thing you can do to enhance business security.

Whenever you deal with a vendor in a business transaction, you should always consider important questions before proceeding. Are you expecting this email? Is the vendor attempting to rush you into a quick decision or transaction? Have you checked all the details are correct and as you expected? Sometimes a simple query to the vendor can protect you against worst-case scenarios.

In many cases, a phishing attack can be halted in its tracks with a strong IT security package. Web filtering prevents most malicious emails and links from entering the network, shutting attacks down before any damage can be done.

Good Security Practice

As with many types of IT threats, good security practices help mitigate damage. Locking down security to ensure employees only access the systems they need helps to prevent damage spreading across the network.

Enforcing unique and strong passwords prevents leaked credentials from affecting systems related to the one that has been compromised. Getting employees set up with a password manager and good security policies can do the world of good to boost your security to the level it needs to be.

Give us a call at 319-227-7000 to audit your security practices. It could be the difference that secures your firm against sophisticated spear phishing attacks.

25 12, 2018

Save Money and Time with Managed IT Services

2018-12-04T17:44:17-06:00December 25th, 2018|Managed Services|0 Comments

Save Money and Time with Managed IT ServicesManaged IT Services

IT services can be one of the largest and most unpredictable expenses within a business. Unexpected failures, mandatory upgrades, and sudden staff changes can happen quickly and be very expensive.

These factors, a part of the IT world, make IT departments costly, hard to manage, and difficult to budget for.

Switching your business to managed IT services can lower costs and reduce unpredictable expenses. Making the switch can cut down management overheads and reduce budgets to a fixed period cost. Here’s how.

Reducing Infrastructure

It’s common in many firms for single tasks to be required to pass through multiple devices before they can be delivered or shipped. Invoices, payroll, and digital deliverables are particularly common culprits. When looking to improve efficiency and lower unnecessary costs, this is typically the first place to trim fat.

Instead of adding office clutter with more devices, cloud resources can streamline processes. Using cloud-based technology to do some of the same tasks as before typically adds more power and improves speed.

Cloud-based services are usually faster and available to more users at once. Files and services are easier to access and less likely to clog up the internal network.

Reducing the overheads associated with running internal servers is commonly a major bonus too. Eliminating associated costs such as maintenance, security, cooling and upgrades is the largest bonus many firms receive.

Cloud technology has the power to simplify and speed up your entire workflow while making large financial savings.

For most businesses, these savings can be put into critical areas of the firm where they can be better used.

Keeping IT costs predictable

In the world of IT, bad news is a fact of life. Systems failures and critical events will always happen eventually, it’s just a question of when. Virus attacks, malware, hackers, and hardware failures occur commonly and can take a system out of operation for days.

Managed IT services focus on tackling these issues before they happen. Continuous monitoring of systems alerts us of hardware issues before their symptoms even begin.

Antivirus, firewall, and security systems are also kept up-to-date every night to prevent threats from being exploited and data being stolen.

Reducing Downtime

IT failures that take your systems offline typically costs far more than the total repair bill to fix it. Every minute your critical systems are unavailable is time spent not creating business income or value. The more staff you employ, the more the cost multiplies too.

It’s important to consider the value of the business’s reputation on top of just downtime. Not having services available when clients or customers need them most can sour relationships fast. Your services may be the difference between meeting and missing a crucial deadline. If your service isn’t reliable then clients may look for one that is.

No Internal IT Hires

As every business owner knows, the cost of staff is far more than just their salary. Holiday pay, retirement, sick leave, training, benefits, and downtime all must be factored into the total cost. Staff costs are the single biggest bill to pay, even in the smallest IT departments.

Managed IT reduces staff costs down to a single lower cost bill that includes all your IT needs.

We train and manage our own staff to service your firm. By doing so, you get all the advantages of an IT department to meet your business needs without the overheads and management of staff that are not central to customer demands.

Managed IT Services for your Firm

While IT and services are complex, expensive, and resource consuming; it doesn’t have to be for your business. Managed IT services present a simple, cost-effective solution to meet your requirements.

We can slash your downtime, secure your business, and keep on top of your infrastructure without adding unnecessary expenses.

Give us a call at 319-227-7000 today to see if managed IT services are the right fit for your firm.

18 12, 2018

Build Better Meetings

2018-11-26T17:37:56-06:00December 18th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Build Better Meetings Build Better Meetings

Business meetings can be a double-edged sword. Often they are as likely to rally staff and build momentum as they are to halt progress and kill productivity.

Productive meetings are key to keeping team members on track and everyone on the same page. A poor meeting is as harmful to the progress of a project as losing multiple members of staff.

Finding the balance is important for good business. There are tools and techniques to make sure that your meetings are not standing in the way of your business.

Streamlined Scheduling

One of the biggest hurdles to planning a meeting can be simply booking a space. Finding an available room, with the right equipment, in a time and place which everyone can agree on can be a logistical nightmare. Repeated emails back and forth to agree on the venue alone can consume hours out of the day.

There are technical tools available to help. Outlook’s scheduling assistant can be a great place to start. The office package is designed to help you find a time and place convenient for everyone.

The software is a key, but underused, component within Office 365. Simply adopting a scheduling assistant can cut down meeting planning from hours to minutes.

With everyone fully connected and on the same page, every meeting is improved from the first minute. The scheduling assistant can be found under New Items > Meeting in the Outlook home tab.

Bringing in Outside Help

Of course, not all meetings are internal affairs. Often, a successful meeting involves staff members from third-party organizations, clients, and consultants too.

This is a prime area for technology tools to help. Tools such as FindTime and Doodle.com both serve as scheduling assistants to arrange suitable times and locations to coordinate meetings with multiple parties.

The process is simple, each party selects available or desired times to meet. This process is done independently and based on priorities for each user. When everyone has added their input a mutually convenient slot can be found for everyone.

With modern technology there’s no reason to spend hours, or even many minutes, wrestling over when and where to meet. Using the tools as they are designed cuts out a huge amount of overhead cost from meeting planning.

Idea Capture

The most common complaint staff have about business meetings is the lack of available participation. Many show up, yet just feel like audience members.

When staff members feel their contribution or input to projects isn’t valued, it can lead to a dramatic drop in morale and much deeper issues within the firm.

Tools such as GoWall.com are changing meetings for the better and giving staff members a bigger voice. The site provides attendees with the resources they need to contribute to meetings without disrupting the flow.

The idea behind GoWall is very simple and highly effective. While concepts are communicated as part of a presentation or ongoing conversation, participants are free to contribute to an “idea wall” in real time. This shared wall contains ideas, contributions, and notes from all participants that add to the conversation.

Since ideas are shared between all participants, everyone can be inspired to contribute. This deceptively simple idea helps all members to feel they have a chance to have their voices heard and their contributions valued.

Worthwhile Meetings

Meetings can be a difficult topic in some workplaces. Some firms have had historic failures and huge losses in productivity as a result of too many meetings running far too long. In some environments, formal meetings have all but been banned already.

Using modern technology solutions, we can put the productivity back into meetings. Cut out the wasted time and get to the points that matter. With these simple yet highly effective tools, we can build meetings that create productivity instead of hampering it.

11 12, 2018

Beat the IT Burden

2018-11-26T16:16:35-06:00December 11th, 2018|Managed Services|0 Comments

Beat the IT Burden

Beat the IT Burden

Technology today allows us to accomplish more tasks faster than ever before. Paperless documents, remote collaboration and video conferencing have all lowered the costs and increased the speed of everyday business at an extraordinary rate.

The benefits of modern IT does however, come at a cost. Consistent maintenance has become a critical component of almost every business. The IT department is now as important to the functioning of a firm as sales, marketing, or management. The advantages that come with modern technology more than outweigh the drawbacks. It’s up to you as a business owner to balance both. In today’s highly competitive business environment the latest tips, tricks, and tools are essential to keeping ahead of the competition.

The Cost of Great IT

While well maintained IT is a powerful asset; poor, crumbling IT can quickly turn into a liability. Servers, laptops and desktops need to be kept up to date with the latest operating system and security patches as a matter of priority. Data requires consistent backup too.

Poor security and data backup measures put both your own and your customer data at risk from attack. Regular security updates close vulnerable gaps, while backups protect valuable data. Strong security protects your liability against losing your own and your customer data.

Determining what is and isn’t good IT practice for your firm takes the experience and knowledge of a professional. Good security involves more than one managed system to protect your assets. Good data backup is ideally done daily, involving more than a single copy in an off-site location. Without taking these steps at a minimum, a business is as little as one glitch away from a complete critical failure.

Managing Internal IT

The IT demands of every firm changes on a near-daily basis. Software is often added or removed, user accounts need to be added, removed, or changed and permissions require modification to suit ever-changing requirements. The time requirement of daily IT changes alone is more than many departments can handle.

Many small firms deal with accounts, permissions, and software at an individual level. Wherever this is the case, complications inevitably happen. Software and services get lost and forgotten in the system, often polluting other packages and causing IT issues throughout the firm. User accounts are often left on the system months or years after an employee has departed.

For reliable and secure IT management, managed group policies prevents bad systems. IT management allows staff to get on with their work without technology getting in the way. Data is managed at a department level, accounts are removed for staff that depart the business and software is installed by professionals. Using this approach the liability of the firm for IT failures is dramatically reduced.

Managing IT Without Added Burden

One of the major complaints about setting up well managed IT is the overhead that it adds to the firm. Staff costs, additional management, and the office space of an IT department is a daunting financial burden to add.

Staff costs alone can make building an equipped IT department prohibitively expensive. Qualified, dependable, knowledgeable IT staff demand a high salary and costly benefits. In addition, equipment costs and lead time to get up and running on your business systems drive the costs even higher. Some firms simply don’t have the space required to add an entirely new department to the business.

That’s why, for many businesses, outsourcing is the most effective way to update their IT without increasing business overhead. Outsourcing provides modern IT for a simple, fixed monthly cost. Removing the distractions of managing an entirely new department allows the business to focus on doing the job they do best.

What We Do

By trusting your IT to us, we ensure that your systems are up-to-date, secure, and fully backed up. We can keep you competitive by allowing you to accomplish more than ever before.

Along with day to day IT management, monitoring, and setup; we can assist your transition to paperless documents, setup remote working, and provide IT assistance to set up the latest technology that will enable you to succeed.

Allow us to help you do more than ever before. Bring your IT demands to us and we’ll provide you with the modern IT you need to let your business thrive. 

Contact us Now 319-227-7000

11 12, 2018

Setup for the Holidays

2018-11-26T18:56:34-06:00December 11th, 2018|Computer Repair|0 Comments

Setup for the Holidays

The holiday season is here again. TV advertisers have released their festive jingles and stores have dusted off their Christmas displays. Most importantly, shopping centers have moved their latest and greatest devices to the front of the store. It’s almost time to eat warming treats in front of a roaring fire.

There may still be work to do, however, before we can invite family to unbox their latest gadgets and watch this year’s Christmas movie. A little maintenance, updates, and set-up goes a long way to ensure the holiday season goes without a hitch.

Sadly, not every device is ready to run straight out of the box. Not every device even comes ready to interact with others when it’s first opened. Each new gadget comes with its own setup and new things to learn.

Often today, devices, toys and computers require extensive updates before they are ready to function. This commonly means large downloads and lengthy installation periods.

In previous years devices have been purchased for Christmas, only to be rendered useless waiting for updates while large numbers of requests crash the company servers. This can be highly frustrating and put a real dampener on the holiday spirit.

Here is how we can help this season:

Setup New Devices

In the modern day simply purchasing a gadget doesn’t make it ready to use. Often they still need setup, updates, and extra steps to make it safe to access the internet too.

Bring your device to us and we can have it safe and ready to use the second you unbox it. We’ll perform initial setup, get it ready for the network, and install mandatory updates. By the time we’re done, your device will be the first one ready to use. For relevant devices, we can install additional features too. Parental protection, antivirus and security features ready to defend your machine against the latest threats.

Whatever the device we can configure it to the way you want to use it.

Transfer Data and Retire Old Devices

Getting a brand new device can be fun and exciting. Before getting carried away with the latest tech, we must consider what happens to our old data too. Depending on the device there are any number of dangers and pitfalls to think about.

Replacing an aging laptop or desktop computer with a brand new model, for example, has inherent danger in data storage. These computers typically use hard disk drives to store all their data.

When disposed of improperly, hard drives are vulnerable to being removed and taken. These can often be read and copied by thieves looking to steal your data. Old devices containing data need just as much care and attention as new ones fresh out of the box.

There are many cases where individuals have had important records stolen this way. In some cases the information has been used to access accounts, and in others, for blackmail.

Mobile devices typically have some form of data storage too. This may store applications or media that has been bought and paid for; but also data such as records and photographs that hold a great deal of value.

We can help transfer old files and data to your new device and safely dispose of your old one too.

We can ensure that every photograph, video, and bit of data is recovered from your mobile device or laptop so that you never lose a single file. We can securely wipe and even physically destroy old hard drives at your request. We strive to ensure you keep every bit of your old data and not a single byte falls into the wrong hands.

Troubleshooting

It sometimes happens that new technology has moved so fast and changed so much that it doesn’t play well with older devices already installed on your network. Sometimes it seems impossible to even connect certain devices at all.

Often simple configuration changes are all that’s required to introduce two pieces of technology successfully. With the right set of eyes and knowledgeable hands the most complex of jobs can be turned into a quick fix.

If your goal is for a smooth, fun and relaxing holiday season, give us a call at 319-227-7000 and we’ll get you up and running in no time.

4 12, 2018

Marriott Hotel Breach Exposed 500 Million Customer Records. Make Sure Your Business Doesn’t Suffer the Same Fate.

2018-12-04T19:38:12-06:00December 4th, 2018|Security|0 Comments

Marriott Hotel Breach Exposed 500 Million Customer Records. Make Sure Your Business Doesn’t Suffer the Same Fate.Marriott Hotel Breach

Up to 500 million travelers could be compromised as hotel chain Marriott International have announced a security breach in their guest database. Analysts recently alerted the firm to a vulnerability that has granted hackers access to the hotel chain’s systems since 2014.

The firm announced their Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) loyalty program was compromised for an extended period which left customers vulnerable. The exploit exposed critical guest information which included names, addresses, passport numbers, and dates of birth. Marriott also announced an unknown number of customers had encrypted credit card details stolen in the attack.

If you have been a member of Marriott’s Preferred Guest Program or a customer of Marriott hotels in the past, you should take steps today to ensure your data security. By doing so, you can protect your finances, prevent identity theft, and defend your data from attackers looking to exploit an opportunity.

Secure Your Data

Changing your Marriott password should, of course, be the first step to protecting your accounts. Even more importantly, sites where that same password may have been reused should be updated with new credentials too. Hackers commonly try details stolen from one site to access popular services and pages. We encourage everyone to use a password manager to store their details for safe use in the future. A good password manager enables unique, random, and strong passwords to be used with ease for every single website.

While we can’t stop hacks on systems outside of our control; we can defend our other accounts from being accessed by criminals.

With secure password management, attacks on your business services or related accounts from a single hack are made impossible.

Performing Damage Control

The damage to the Marriott International brand following news of the leak will be undoubtedly huge. At a minimum, they have lost the trust of their customers worldwide. Asking customers to leave their personal and financial details again to pay for goods and services will be no small feat.

News of the hack made front page news as it broke, further damaging the firm’s reputation among potential future customers too. As a result of a simple security attack, Marriott International will be forced into damage limitation to keep customers returning to the brand. This is why business security matters to us; when done right it’s cheaper by far.

The total cost of this latest attack won’t be known for years to come. The firm is vulnerable to lawsuits worldwide, in some cases liable for financial losses, and required to purchase identity monitoring and security services for affected customers. Business owners can learn from Marriott’s costly lesson.

Stopping an Attack in its Tracks

Marriott’s security breach was recently discovered, hitting the headlines just this week, but the firm admitted unauthorized access took place since 2014. This means the firm had a security hole for four years that they were unable to detect or patch.

For a firm of any size, this should be unacceptable. As business owners, we shouldn’t accept security vulnerabilities that leave our records, finances, or services open to hackers. As customers, we shouldn’t accept our data being treated so carelessly. The recent Marriott hack underlines the need for businesses to maintain constant network monitoring, regular security updates, and a lock-down on data access.

Protect Your Business and your Customers – Any business can find their systems vulnerable to attack at some point. Whether waiting for updates, a newly released zero-day hack, or malicious employee; responsible firms take steps to limit their liability.

As a rule, staff accounts should be locked to only the systems the regularly need to access. Similarly, customer data should only be open on an as-needed basis when a legitimate requirement exists. These steps, alongside systems and data monitoring, prevent a small-scale attack resulting in an enormous data breach. Strong security enables customers to place and maintain their trust in a brand they can keep coming back to again and again.

If your business could use a security update to protect against a Marriott style attack in the future, give us a call today at (319) 227-7000 or fill out our contact form.

4 12, 2018

Buying Tech in Time for Christmas

2018-11-26T18:38:35-06:00December 4th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Buying Tech in Time for ChristmasBuying Tech

Christmas time is back with us again. The latest devices and gadgets are hitting store shelves just in time to keep up with the rush. Magazines, television, and the web are brimming with advertisements and reviews of the latest tech your money can buy.

Before you rush out to buy the gadgets you’ve been waiting all year for, consider a few important questions before parting with your hard-earned cash.

Does This Technology Do What I need?

First, you must ask what problem you are trying to solve with a new piece of tech. The most important thing to consider is how adopting your new device will improve on what you had before.

In some cases, a sleek new gadget or device for fun is good too.

When you’ve answered this question, you should consider whether there is other tech or competing devices out there that can perform even better.

Should I Become an Early Adopter?

Early adopters are people that anticipate the release of new tech, wait in line on release day, and pride themselves on having the latest gadgets to hit the shelves. If you recognize yourself in this description you are likely to snap up the latest devices the day they are released. This eager anticipation, however, is not always the way to get the best deals or the best gadgets.

Companies often rely on new product hype to give sales an early boost. Waiting for the marketing and hype to subside, even a little, can save you a lot of money.

After initial sales fall, companies often mark down their prices to keep their devices attractive and sales high. When newer, faster, sleeker devices hit the market, companies cut prices to maintain strong sales figures. For the budget smart consumer this is an opportunity for a bargain. A device good enough to buy on launch day is well worth waiting for.

Have I checked The Reviews?

We are fortunate enough to have access to seemingly unlimited amounts of information at our fingertips. Often weeks before a product is released, reviews are available across the web.

One of the best things you can do when considering a new device, particularly a high-cost purchase, is to watch and read a wide variety of product reviews. It pays to be cautious of reviews that are particularly glowing, or too downbeat. Keep an eye out for middle of the road reviews that fairly weigh the pros and cons of each device.

Have I Found the Best Deal?

There are many ways to keep an eye out to make sure you get the best deal on your device. If you can, monitor prices over time to see how they rise and fall to find the best time to purchase.

When purchasing online, many sites include a box to add a coupon code when you are ready to buy. It sometimes pays to jump over to Google and search the website name and ‘coupon’ or ‘voucher’ to find out if there are any good deals.

A quick search can save you as much as 10, 15, or 20 percent on some purchases. Sometimes companies send out offers to appeal to groups they want to market to. A company’s Facebook page may get different offers or vouchers than its Twitter followers or newsletter for example.

It can pay to search around for offers and vouchers to get money off before you checkout. Five minutes work can save huge amounts of cash.

Purchase in Confidence

If you have asked yourself these questions, done all your research, and found the answers you’re looking for then you may well be ready to buy.

You can do so with the confidence that you’ve done all your homework and you’re getting the best deal and gadget for your money.

319-227-7000

4 12, 2018

Using Office 365 to Organize Your Work Day

2018-11-26T15:36:16-06:00December 4th, 2018|Office 365|0 Comments

Using Office 365 to Organize Your Work DayUsing Office 365 to Organize Your Work Day

Most of us can admit that we have lost track of time during the workday on occasion. Sometimes time can get away from you, particularly when you’re busy. Often you can be running late before you know it and wondering where the day has gone. Find out how using Office 365 to organize your work day can make your day more streamlined.

Luckily, there is a wide range of technology solutions to help put you in charge of your to-do list.

Office 365 Calendar

We’re often guilty of spending the entire day stuck just in Outlook. In addition to taking up your time, there are a range of features that can help you make the most of it too. With simple tools and tweaks, you’ll be able to manage your calendar like a pro.

Office 365 Calendar allows you to make quick changes, alter your diary, and update items on the go. The Calendar interface allows events and items to be picked up and moved to a different time or date with ease.

Many think of calendar packages in terms of old desktop applications of years gone by. Events, once input, were almost impossible to change, alter, or remove. In old applications it was easier to go without a calendar at all than attempt to use the one included.

The biggest advantage Office calendar has is the ability to access and update it from anywhere. With 2-way sync appointments, meetings, and events can be updated anywhere and accessed everywhere. The days of no longer being able to look at your calendar because you’re not at your PC are long gone now.

Today you can add events straight from your email with a simple click. Participants in events can be contacted with reminders automatically. You can even schedule your own reminders before the event too. Using your calendar to stay on top of your day has never been easier.

OneNote

Office 365 additionally offers OneNote too, an indispensable tool that you shouldn’t do without.

OneNote acts as a virtual notebook to keep your ideas, projects, and notes in line. Using OneNote enables you to power-up your text with drawings and diagrams, tailor your projects with color coding, and record your thoughts with media clips all in one location.

OneNote is the ultimate record keeping tool that you simply can’t go into a meeting without. Physical notebooks begin to seem like a relic of the past, limited by old constraints that no longer apply.

Microsoft To-Do

Included with Office 365 is Microsoft’s To-Do application. To-Do offers simple, straightforward to-do list that makes it easy to plan your day.

Whether plotting your school work, planning your projects, or keeping on top of your home life, To-Do is designed to boost productivity and make the most of your time. The simple interface makes it easy to use and the instant reward for checking of tasks makes it well worth your while.

To-Do sorts your tasks into lists, which are combined into a single day view. The view of your day provides a clear, clutter-free list of tasks to be done. The application syncs with all your devices to give you access from anywhere. This empowers you to quickly add, change, schedule, and tick off tasks as you go.

Keeping On Top Of The Day

Losing track of time is easy to do. It doesn’t take much before your day seems completely off-balance and impossible to retrieve. With these tools from Office 365 and a tiny bit of planning, your days can become more productive than ever.

Back on track, you’ll no longer have to spend your free time making up for lost time. Your spare time will be your own again and everyone will wonder how you manage to remain so productive.

Give some tech tools a try today and you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them.

Contact us Now 319-227-7000

This website uses cookies and third party services. Ok