IT Roadmap Takes the Confusion out of the way forward

Take Your Company Farther in 2018 with an IT Roadmap

Bypass Common Roadblocks with an IT Roadmap

Very successful businesses have one thing in common—strategic planning. It’s your vision of the future and the steps it will take to get there. Likely, one of the big steps you’re going to need to take in 2018 is to upgrade your business technology. It’s changing fast and a well thought out IT Roadmap is vital to moving ahead quickly and with fewer roadblocks along the way.

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Keyboard Num Pad

Upgrade Your Technology and Save On Your Tax Bill Too

Take Advantage of Section 179 of the Tax Code to Upgrade Your Technology Before Time Runs Out

It’s hard to believe that there are only a couple of months to go before 2017 is but a memory. Even so, it’s not too late to use Section 179 of the tax code to your advantage to upgrade your business computers and phone systems.

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IT Security Akron Cleveland IT Security

If You’re Using Wi-Fi, Your Device is Probably Vulnerable

Understanding KRACK WPA2 Vulnerability

Most businesses and homes automatically check the WPA2 box when setting up their Wi-Fi network—as they should. This protocol has been the industry standard for encrypting information shared over Wi-Fi connections since 2004, and its widespread use is a testament to its trusted performance up to this point. We now know, thanks to Mathy Vanhoef and Frank Piessens at KU Leuven, however, that WPA2 WiFi networks are vulnerable to cryptographic attack.

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Microsoft’s 2007 Line Up Retiring After Ten Years

Office 2007 is just one of Microsoft’s 2007 product line that is reaching end-of-life.

And, unless you’re an IT tech, it’s probably the product with which you are most familiar. After all it brought us The Ribbon.

Remember when it came out, how Microsoft’s menu banner or, The Ribbon, was the first update to their Office interface in more than ten years? Most of us hated it. Learning The Ribbon was like starting all over again in Office. We all complained about how the commands we used most frequently in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint were suddenly hidden under menu headings that made no sense. There was a lot of frustration and whining from users. Yet, it survived and so did we. For some of us, Office 2007 is the only suite of Microsoft Apps we’ve ever used.

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IT Companies Cleveland Akron

Get The Most From Your IT

Are you getting the most out of your IT?

We all know that technology makes our lives simpler when it works well.  When technology malfunctions in the workplace, it may mean lost customers or sales.  Many Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) think that they can’t afford or benefit from hiring someone to manage their IT services.  However, by outsourcing some or all of it, SMBs have much to gain.  Here are the top three reasons to ask experts to manage your IT services:
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Illustration of an infected computer

Latest Ransomware Variant Going Global

There’s a new global ransomware threat, it’s a variant of Petya, and it’s spreading fast.

First, if you’re one of our customers, we want you to know that you’ll be okay. Our client backup solutions are monitored daily and tested regularly. So, even if the worst should happen, QualityIP—Knows IT and we’ve got you covered. Read more

Internet Speed Dial

Your Internet Speed

Your Internet Speed—Are you getting what you’re paying for?

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) make lots of promises about the speed and reliability of your Internet connection. Yet, most businesses don’t really know if they’re getting the upload and download speeds for which they are paying. Many factors affect your connection speed including: Read more

Passwords Protection from QualityIP

The Worst Password Mistakes that Compromise Security

Broadcasting your password on national television may be the easiest way to invite hackers, but common password mistakes make it almost as easy for your data security to be compromised.

Password safety may not be one of the most interesting topics in the realm of cybersecurity, but having a strong password is one of the easiest ways to protect your business’ data integrity. The importance of a robust password has been emphasized by many experts, yet often users who think that they are utilizing a secure password are actually opening themselves up to attacks. You may not be broadcasting your password on national television, but if your password falls into one of the following categories, you could be just as vulnerable to hackers.

Passwords

Short and Simple

Short, simple passwords may be easy to remember, but they are also easy to guess. In general, the longer a password is, the harder it is for hackers to break it. Each additional character that you add to your password increases the possible combination of letters, numbers and symbols exponentially. Remember that hackers tend to go after low-hanging fruit, so any steps that you take to make your password harder to crack increases the likelihood that someone trying to break in will move on to the next target instead.

Lacking in Numbers or Symbols

Letters-only passwords may be more intuitive for you–but they are for hackers as well. Just as adding additional characters to your password exponentially increases the number of the possible combinations, so does using numbers and symbols in addition to letters. Just think about it: using letters, symbols and numbers means that each character in your password has almost twice as many options as if you only use letters.

Based on Personal Information

As highlighted in the clip from Jimmy Kimmel Live, using personal information such as a pet’s name or a birthday is incredibly common. Including personal details in your password, however, makes you very vulnerable to hacking. You may think that “Fido111379” is secure and difficult to guess, but blog posts discussing your dog or Facebook comments wishing you a happy birthday can broadcast your personal details to anyone who cares enough to look for them.

Simplistic Patterns

Being able to remember your password is, of course, necessary and utilizing a pattern might seem to be an easy solution to commit it to memory. Complex patterns that use letters, numbers and symbols within a long password are not a security risk. However, most people who use patterns in their password rely on overly simplistic ones, and this makes you vulnerable to hackers, particularly if your password is short. One particular type of pattern that you must avoid is keyboard-based patterns, such as “123qwe” or “1qaz2wsx.”

Worried that your business’ data might be vulnerable to hackers? The experts at {city}’s QualityIP can help you evaluate your security procedures to see if you have any glaring holes. Contact us today at (330) 931-4141 or info@qualityip.com to learn more.

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Wisdom Wednesday Computer System Infection

Wisdom Wednesday: How to Avoid Computer System Infection

Criminals want your company’s financial data, customer lists including credit card information, intellectual property, and anything else they can sell.

Computer System Infection

Cyber crime is a huge endeavor with severe consequences for organizations that are victimized. Criminals want your company’s financial data, customer lists including credit card information, intellectual property, and anything else they can sell.

Besides the immediate impact on your business’ ability to operate (for example ransomware can shut you down), there are significant costs associated with a data breach. These costs include:

  • Potential fines from regulatory agencies for failure to protect personal identification data (PI) or personal financial information (for example a credit card number). Some fines have been in million dollar multiples.
  • The cost of notifying all persons and businesses that had their data breached.
  • Costs of providing credit monitoring and identity theft protection for all involved.
  • The potential cost of defending a class action lawsuit against your company for failure to adequately protect sensitive information.
  • Loss of customers
  • Loss of business reputation
  • Inability to attract new customers or clients

Following are Best Practices for securing your computer system and company data.

Best Practices for Computer System Protection

The following list is the Best Practices for keeping your business’ computer system, programs, and data, safe from prying eyes.

  1. Make sure your firewall is on so that intruders cannot access your system from the internet.
  2. Install security software and keep it updated.
  3. Filter all email for computer viruses.
  4. The more popular a program used by your business is, the more appealing it is a target for cyber criminals. Criminals know that many users do not regularly patch their programs against malware infections, so popular programs give them a wider pool for targeting. Make sure that your computer programs are updated as soon as a security patch is released.
  5. Exercise caution when using free 3rd party software claiming they check for software updates. Free software may be bundled with malicious software.
  6. Instruct employees that they should never open emails from unknown senders since they might be a source of infection to your company’s computer system. Attached malware might be anything from a virus to ransomware.
  7. Tell your employees they should check with senders they know if an email has a suspicious attachment. A phone call to the sender can help avoid the consequences of a data breach.
  8. Inform employees they should not open websites they are not familiar with and they should make sure the address bar is the site they want to visit. A random click could take them to a website that is just waiting to download malware onto your company computer system.
  9. Buy your software from a reputable buyer and never use pirated software as it may be infected with malware.
  10. Before using thumb drives and other portable media, scan them with security software to ensure they are virus free.

Computer security may surpass your company’s IT capabilities. Accordingly, consider a computer managed services provider with a strong background in computer security. For more information about managed services and how an MSP can help your company contact QualityIP in {city}. (330) 931-4141 or contact us by info@qualityip.com.

Future IT Services from QualityIP

The New Outlook for Mac Update Is Great for Businesses: Here’s Why

Outlook for Mac now works with beloved apps like Google Calendar and Contacts: Take a look at the details!

Outlook for Mac began with a simple goal: Provide Outlook services for Mac users with a new app. Many users are familiar with Outlook or prefer using Outlook services for business along with other Microsoft apps, while also preferring to use a MacOS or iOS platform. Outlook for Mac allows people to have it both ways.

Outlook For Mac

However, in the past, OfM has lacked in-depth integration, which may have kept you from considering it. Fortunately, in the latest updates Microsoft has pushed new functionality to the email client: Now it’s more useful for companies than ever before, especially to those who already depend on Google apps for their communication. Here’s what has changed.

Outlook and Gmail

If you have used Outlook for Mac in past years, you may know that it is designed to link to your Gmail account: This is particularly useful for Mac-based companies and sole proprietors who tend to rely on Gmail for their communication before adopting Outlook for Mac. This way, Gmail emails are synced to the Outlook account, and users don’t have to go around telling all their clients about a new email or changing their logins for every site that requires an email. It’s an effective solution, but for a long time it stopped with basic email syncing.

Now, Microsoft is adding new, deeper connections to Gmail services. This way, you don’t have to bounce between Outlook and Gmail tools when trying to organize events or plan out your schedule, significantly increasing the usability of OfM for most Mac users that are still accustomed to Gmail.

Create and Edit Google Calendar Events

One of the biggest features coming to Outlook for Mac is the ability to connect to Google Calendar as well as traditional email. That means that your Outlook Calendar and Google Calendar will be synced. Any events that you have in your Google Calendar will be automatically transferred to Outlook, and vice-versa.

The syncing is adept enough carry changes across programs no matter where you decide to make edits. If you prefer to add events in Outlook, they will carry over to Google. If you want to open up Google Calendar quickly and make an edit to an event, that edit will carry to Outlook as well. Because Calendar can essentially function as a separate app, you don’t even need to be heavily invested in Gmail to take advantage of this feature – just have a Google account and make use of Calendar. This adds a lot of usability for people who were not interested in the original Gmail syncing.

Add and Manage Google Contacts

Really, it’s a little surprising that it took this long for Google Contacts to sync with Outlook. But now that the two programs share information readily, Contacts will now port over to your Outlook list. This change also works both ways, so no matter where contacts are added or modified, they will be synced. This can be especially helpful if you have a sales rep or marketing employee who loves to use Google Contacts, while you are trying to get everyone to use Outlook. They can continue to use the Google version, while Outlook will still be updated with their latest contacts.

Sync with Mobile Devices

Yes, the new version of Outlook for Mac will sync on both iOS and Android devices. If you pull out a mobile device and update a contact or calendar event during a conversation, it will carry over for both Google and Outlook. Since most of our common on-the-fly calendar and contact adjustments tend to occur on the go when our mobile devices are easy to reach for, this feature guarantees that such updates will transfer without trouble.

Gmail Now Benefits from Traditional Outlook Features

Outlook for Mac has several features that tied its emails to other functions. Those features now work with Gmail emails as well. For example, if you talked about an even and its time in an email, Outlook would add that to your events. Now Outlook will look into Gmail emails for the same information and automatic event posting. This also applies to package delivery details, travel reservations, and other relevant information found in emails.

Note on Downloading

The new OfM features are already available if you already have an older version software. Just update your current Outlook for Mac app, and you should now be linked to Calendar and Contacts. If you do not currently have Outlook for Mac, it’s an easy online download and you still have a couple months to download it for free before June 30, 2017, after which Microsoft will put a price tag on the software. It’s in your best interest to act quickly on this one to save money!

For more information on the apps and services that can make your {city} business more efficient (and a lot easier to handle), contact QualityIP at (330) 931-4141 or info@qualityip.com and let us know how we can help!