Does Mesh Wi-Fi Make Sense in Your Home?

Wi-Fi is a top contender for a technology most of us rely upon. After all, Wi-Fi often provides our wireless high-speed internet and network connections. Without Wi-Fi we’d be stuck watching another reality TV show on a cable-connected device. We couldn’t work from wherever we wanted in our homes. Gulp, the horror!

Well, just when you were becoming familiar with Wi-Fi, technology is adapting. Now, you might want to consider Mesh Wi-Fi for your home. If you live in a big house or an apartment with thick interior walls, or your living space is spread out over multiple stories, you may have experienced dead spots. They’re no fun, right?

Enter Mesh Wi-Fi. Traditional Wi-Fi relies on a single router. If you were having connectivity issues, you might have invested in a Wi-Fi booster or Wi-Fi extender, but now you can reach far areas with a Wi-Fi Mesh system.

Mesh networks aren’t new. They’re already in use in businesses and on military bases with their own isolated networks. But now you can also optimize home connectivity with Mesh Wi-Fi.

How Mesh Wi-Fi works

With Mesh Wi-Fi, you’ll place several smaller, connected devices around the house. Instead of having one central routing hub linking Wi-Fi signals via radio waves to the modem, you’ll have many access points (also known as satellites) capturing and rebroadcasting the routing signals you need for connectivity.

Benefits of Mesh Wi-Fi

Having ready access to a strong, reliable Wi-Fi signal wherever you are in your home is a good thing, but that’s not the only advantage of Mesh Wi-Fi. Other benefits include:

  • Greater speed. With all access points broadcasting the same signal, you can cut the lag from having multiple, simultaneous connectivity requests.
  • Better coverage. Typical Mesh Wi-Fi router devices claim to cover from 4,500 to 6,000 square feet.
  • Ease of use. The typical Mesh router system is automated and provides a mobile app for easy management, even remotely.
  • Integration with other Smart Home devices such as Alexa is often a feature.
  • Parental controls are available with certain brands of these router systems.

Securing your Mesh Wi-Fi

Just as with traditional Wi-Fi, the security of your Mesh Wi-Fi will depend on your keeping your router devices safe. This means:

  • changing the device’s administrative credentials and password from their default settings;
  • setting up devices to automatically check for and install security patch updates;
  • changing the network name to something unique, not something that immediately identifies the network as yours (e.g. if you live at 804 Water Wheel, don’t call your network 804 Water);
  • setting up a guest Wi-Fi network allowing visitors to log on instead of providing every guest to your home with your access credentials.

Mesh Wi-Fi is also known as whole-home Wi-Fi, but you may not need this expansive solution. Consider: How often do you have connectivity issues? How many Wi-Fi dead zones are you dealing with? What’s your budget? And do you really want several more devices strewn around your house? You might need only to set up your traditional router and modem more efficiently.

Want to learn more about dealing with slow connectivity or dead spots in your home? Give us a call at 555-5555. Our experts can help you decide on the best Wi-Fi connectivity option for your needs.

Making Technology Another Target for Continuous Improvement

Your business likely talks a lot about continuous improvement. It’s everyone’s goal, right? Yet “set it and forget it” is a common approach to handling business technology. Here’s why IT needs your ongoing attention too.

Your competition is increasing, and it can feel as if it is doing so exponentially. Why? There are lower barriers to entry in many businesses. The marketplace has gone global. Transaction costs are declining. Technological advances, automation, and AI are making processes more efficient and increasing productivity.

Your business can’t stand still. Don’t leave your IT sitting unattended either. Sure, the very term “continuous improvement” may have you twitching with discomfort. Not that buzzword again! Yet taking an “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” approach to IT could be hurting your business. Settling for “alright” or relying on “the way we’ve always done it” could leave you lagging behind competitors.

Your business may not have a CIO lobbying for the latest tech, but every business can benefit from asking itself: “can we be doing this better?”. Of course, you don’t know what you don’t know. You are focusing on your industry, not all the new technology, automation, artificial intelligence, or machine learning to:

  • Innovate process
  • Automate routine, repetitive tasks
  • Increase productivity
  • Enable global collaboration
  • Streamline workflow
  • Integrate existing applications
  • Support informed decisions
  • Optimize information access
  • Enhance document, data exchange
  • Advance analysis-based action

The Value of a Strategic MSP Partnership

A managed services provider (MSP) can answer the technology questions you don’t even know to ask. Don’t rely on the old way of doing things. You don’t need to suffer through long, drawn-out processes and the inefficiency of manual work. Your business can partner with an MSP to embrace the power of digital transformation.

Protecting your business from cyber bad guys isn’t the only thing an MSP can do. An MSP can help you improve processes, exceed customer expectations, and reduce costs, all while minimizing your risk.

The MSP will get to know the ways in which you do business and your vision for the future. The MSP can help your business work smarter and reach its goals faster. Understanding available improvements, the MSP can make recommendations to fit your budget and help you become better, faster, and more agile.

Of course, incorporating continuous improvement in your technology can mean making changes to the way you work. Your employees may shudder. That’s why it’s important to work with a partner that can help you clearly articulate the value of digital transformation.

Your people will want to know “what’s in it for me,” and the MSP can help you provide the answer. Explaining how innovation will help employees do their job better or drive business outcomes is key. Working with an MSP means intentional strategy drives your technology improvements. That’s the foundation for successful implementation and adoption.

Don’t settle for a one-size-fits-all, set-and-sit approach to information technology. Your competition will be happy if you do. Instead, work with an MSP that doesn’t just keep your technology running and your systems secure. Join forces with a service provider who is your strategic partner – they’ll ensure your technology is continuously improving.

You’re not alone. Adapt with us.

Technology’s rapid pace of change was a top threat for business leaders, according to a 2017 survey of business school grads. Digital advances surpassed economic, political, and environmental changes. But you’re not alone in your struggle to continuously improve.

Turn to the experts who can answer your questions and plan strategic improvement. No matter what your industry or business size, you can enjoy our technology expertise. Talk to us about a technology assessment. Our experts will suggest options that suit your needs and help you beat the competition. Reach out to us on 07 855 2169.

To Backup or To Archive? ‘Tis The Question

Hamlet worried about whether to be or not. You may be more preoccupied with whether backup or archiving is better for your business. You know you need to secure your data, but how? This article examines the different benefits of both options.

Back in the day, businesses kept important information on paper. They stored important records and notes in nearby filing cabinets for easy access.

When there were too many files to close the cabinet drawers any longer, someone would do a big clean out. Older, important documents would get boxed for the basement or other storage area. They might still be needed for tax, or compliance, or other reasons. But you didn’t need those files readily accessible any longer.

A similar scenario is true of digital business data. You can back it up to recover from hardware failure, cyberattack, or disaster event. Or you might archive the data for space management and long-term retrieval.

Deciding Between Backup and Archive

When it comes to the right form of data storage you’ll need to weigh:

  • the period of time you need to keep the data;
  • what protections from loss or illicit access your method offers;
  • whether the data can be easily restored or retrieved;
  • how accessible, searchable, and quickly available the data will be;
  • any industry or compliance standards that need to be met.

The backup is a copy of your data. On a regular basis you’ll make a copy of the business data to provide you with a starting point in the event of a disaster. You’ll decide how often to backup based on how often the data changes and the importance of data currency.

Backing up data, an operating system, or application files, doesn’t delete the originals. However, your older backup may be deleted when you make the new copy. If not, the backup can have another use. It can allow users to go back and review or recover earlier versions.

It’s not a bad idea to have several backups. We recommend the “3-2-1” backup strategy. You’ll have three copies of your business data. One would be on the cloud, the other two on different devices (e.g. on your local computer and on a backup drive).

Archiving puts a copy of business data into long-term storage. This is the data equivalent of moving that box of files to the basement. Typically, the archived version becomes the only available copy of that data.

The archives’ permanent record of data may prove useful in future legal disputes. Archived data is often tagged to enable streamlined search down the road. Moving information to archive can also improve processing speed and storage capacity.

While a backup may be overwritten, archived data is generally not altered or deleted. In fact, it’s often physically disconnected from the computer or network. So, you’ll turn to a backup to restore your data if necessary, and to archives to retrieve information data.

Key Takeaway

Both backup and archive can prove useful. It’s not going to happen every day, but entire digital archives can be lost if a server is drowned by a flash flood. All the paper backups can be burnt to cinders in an electrical fire. That external hard drive could be stolen or crushed by falling debris in a hurricane.

It’s best to avoid having a single point of failure. Both backing up and archiving business data is a smart precaution. Ensure business continuity by preparing for the worst. Our computer experts can help you backup, archive, or both. Start securing your business data with our support today! Call us on 07 855 2169.

Facebook is for Sharing, Not Storing

When was the last time you held an actual photo album or actual prints of photographs in your hands? Maybe you look back at older photographs only when Facebook’s TimeHop app reminds you of a pic from five years ago. If so, you may be risking your visual history.

Facebook is a great way to share photos with friends and family around the world. You get to enjoy their comments and the affirmation of their likes. But using Facebook as storage for your photos is not a good plan. Here’s why.

Some people treat Facebook as their photo album archive. They delete the originals from their devices or digital camera when they need more space. But Facebook compresses images for faster download. It satisfies impatient social media users, which means photo quality suffers. If you wanted to print those photos in the future, they wouldn’t look as good as the originals.

That’s not the only drawback. When you trust Facebook with all your photos, you’re letting a company control your visual archive. It’s hard to imagine, given Facebook’s reach today, but what happens to your photos if the company goes defunct? We don’t know. The people who were keeping their photos on Myspace in 2006 might have an idea.

The younger crowd is already moving onto other social platforms. Plus, Facebook’s growth rate in North America and Europe is slowing. Those daily active users are the primary source of revenue. So, you know Mark Zuckerberg is in some meetings about that.

Even if Facebook continues as the business behemoth it is today, we don’t know what policy changes it might make. It could change its terms of service whenever it wanted (if you even read those in the first place). Users have no guarantee for how long Facebook will store their images or any type of content.

Keep in mind also that many of the photos showing up in your timeline are actually taken by friends. Facebook provides an entire album of other people’s photos when they’ve tagged you, but if they decided to untag you or remove it, that photo would be gone.

Finally, there’s also the risk of your account getting shut down or hacked. You’ve probably had friends warn you not to accept any new friend requests from them because they’ve been compromised. You wouldn’t want a thief to steal all your photo albums. Similarly, you don’t want a cybercriminal to gain access to all your images.

Our Recommendation

Just as with data, we recommend you have a “3-2-1” backup system for your digital photographs. This means having three copies of the photos you care about. You don’t need to back up the blurry ones if you don’t want to.

You might keep one copy on the original device, but you’d have two other copies of the high-quality, uncompressed, original image as well. One might be kept on an external storage device such as a USB thumb drive, and the other you could upload to cloud storage.

The cloud backup gives you access to the photos from any device in any location. So, if a flood, hurricane, or fire devastates your home, and you lose your device and the USB thumb drive, you still have a backup. Your Facebook photos and videos are just there to be shared with friends and family.

Not sure where or how to safely store your photos and videos? We can help! Our experts may even become new Facebook friends. Then we can all like each other’s photos with the peace of mind that the original photos aren’t going anywhere.

Failure is Not an Option: Getting Rid of Single Points of Failure

You might think that your business is going to be OK even if a single device goes down. After all, there are other devices your people can use. It’s not as if the entire system is going to fall like dominoes. Or is it? Get rid of single points of failure to make one vulnerability doesn’t take down your network.

A single point of failure (SPOF) can be a design, implementation, or configuration weakness. Star Wars fans will already be thinking of the Death Star’s ill-designed thermal exhaust port. That was the SPOF Luke Skywalker exploited.

Yet, cybercriminals don’t need the Force to target IT fatal weaknesses. SPOFs for technology include:

  • Having only one server that runs an essential application. Without that server, your employees can’t use that particular business tool.
    • Solution: Plan for the worst with built-in server redundancy. Have multiples of any hardware that is business critical. Migrate to the cloud so you can continue accessing applications, software, and storage.
  • Power outages can wreak havoc on computers and devices operating your network.
    • Solution: An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) device can help prevent intermittent power interruptions to your computers, switches, and modems. Cloud solutions reduce the risk of this problem too. Employees can continue to access data and software working at different locations.
  • Your physical location could also be the SPOF. What if road closures, fire, floods, or a violent storm prevent you from being able to get to the office? Without a backup, you’ll struggle for business continuity.
    • Solution: Pool computer resources in the cloud (servers, storage, applications, and voice services). This provides continued access anywhere, anytime, and often from any device.
  • Sorry to say it, but your people could also be your fatal weakness. Perhaps you have one or even two in-house IT experts who know everything about your technology. But, what do you do if they both quit? Or one is sick and the other is on vacation when something goes wrong?
    • Solution: You can’t have every person become a subject matter expert on all aspects of IT. So consider outsourced IT.
  • You can’t get online without an internet connection. Yet you’re reliant on an external provider for that access. Planned downtime for maintenance is easier to plan around. Still, unexpected issues can cause the internet to go out.
    • Solution: Have a backup solution to pick up the slack if the main connection goes down. A router that supports having a 4G modem, for instance, could be a good failover.

Having one device out of commission is frustrating, but not necessarily the end of the world. But, when the damage wrought by a single weakness spreads business-wide, you could face serious consequences.

Downtime for systems failure or data breaches can be:

  • Expensive – In addition to potential overtime for IT staff remedying the situation and possible revenue losses, your company may also face fines.
  • Time consuming – your people must adapt to a new reality while IT resources are spent trying to get back to business as usual.
  • Reputation damaging – any disruption to business as usual could undermine customer trust and prompt churn.

IT professionals understand the danger of SPOF. Avoid weaknesses that can lead to systemwide failures or loss of business information. Partner with computer specialists who can identify and eliminate these vulnerabilities at your business. Contact us today on 07 855 2169!

Why You Need Professional Virus Removal

“Your computer has a virus.” Such a dreaded five words! We don’t want to come down with a human virus; we’ll feel awful and miss work. But when a virus hits our computer, we could lose valuable information or be vulnerable to attack. Chicken soup won’t cut it.

Perhaps you have an antivirus product installed on your computer. This computer software is intended to prevent, detect, and remove viruses. Antivirus tools are designed to keep infections out. They can also delete any viruses that may already be on the computer when the software is installed.

The software provides protection by tracking malicious code and other computer threats via:

  • classifying the actions the file or code drives (as malicious or OK);
  • inspecting file signatures for matches to an existing signature in its virus dictionary;
  • scanning for rootkits that can change how your operating system functions.

However, antivirus software isn’t that good at cleaning up. When it detects a malicious file, it will delete it. But what if the virus spread before discovery? If the infection spreads before virus deletion, it can do all sorts of damage.

Think of it this way: you have a cyst on your knee. Doctors decide it is pre-cancerous and operate to remove the cyst before it spreads. But, that’s all they do. They have seen the cyst. They go for the cyst. However, they don’t notice the cancer that’s in your shin or femur, because they were only working on the cyst. The rest of your leg remains unhealthy, and you don’t even know it!

Getting a Second Opinion on Viruses

If the antivirus software is your primary physician, a computer professional is the specialist you go to for an expert second opinion. For one thing, antivirus products don’t always remove all the malicious files. Many viruses start as one thing but can mutate into several different strains. The antivirus software may not be programmed to identify all of the virus variants. A professional actively looks for undetected strains on your computer.

Viruses are always evolving. A recent strain of malware, SquirtDanger, let hackers take computer screenshots, capture passwords, download files, and empty out cryptocurrency wallets.

Some viruses can change the settings of your computer. For instance, a common virus changes your computer’s DNS, which is like a bit like the Yellow Pages for the internet. On a virus-free computer, when you type in “Google.com”, your browser goes to Google’s servers located at the IP address “216.58.203.100.” However, an infection can make Google.com on your computer go to a different address. Perhaps a server address cybercriminals use to capture your personal data. It still looks to you like Google, but it’s no longer safe. These settings can still remain after the infection is long gone.

Viruses can also leave behind browser toolbars, extensions, and other nasties designed to spy on your Web browsing habits. If you’re consistently redirected to unwanted sites, or seeing unwanted pop-up advertisements, it’s likely your computer’s infected with a browser hijacker.

Ultimately, if you detect a virus on your computer, check with a professional. Don’t trust that your antivirus software is going to do the same, thorough job an expert can offer. Sometimes your computer isn’t fully safe until the operating system is reinstalled, but you can’t know that until someone can go in and see what the virus did and what remnants are still there, lurking.

Cybercriminals are growing more sophisticated and better able to design viruses that disguise their tracks. Avoid being an unwitting victim. A computer security expert can diagnosis when your computer gets a virus, or determine if there are strains on your device you don’t know about. Let a security expert protect your computer from harm today! Call uson 07 855 2169.

Are You Due? What to Do When You Get a Renewal Notice

Your business relies on any number of service providers. You’re likely contracting for domain names, website hosting, data backup, software licenses, to name just a few. And that’s only your online presence! So, when a renewal notice comes in, you might just forward it on or file it away for future reference. Here’s what you should be doing instead.

First, when you get a renewal notice, you should confirm that it’s legitimate. This is especially true of domain names. Your business’s domain name and expiration date are publicly available. Anyone could look them up and send you an invoice. Scammers do. They monitor expiring domain names and then send out emails or convincing physical notices telling you it’s time to renew. They are not doing this as a civic service!

Instead, they will be trying to get you to switch your domain services to a competitor or, worse, hoping you’ll pay your renewal fee to their account, which has no connection to your domain.

  • Look out for the following indicators that the notice is a fraud:
  • The price is much more than you’d expect.
  • The deadline is within seven days.
  • You don’t know the business name.
  • This business has never contacted you before.
  • The notice requires you to send a check.

Handling Authentic Renewal Notices

Once you’ve determined the authenticity of the renewal notice, you’ll want to take stock. Putting your licenses or other online services on auto-renewal plans can be easier, but it may not be cost effective. Before re-upping your plan consider:

  • Are you still using this service?
  • Do you really still need it?
  • Do your current needs meet your current plan?
  • Should you upgrade or downsize?

You might also contact your provider directly and ask:

  • Is there a better product available now?
  • Are you eligible for a loyalty discount?

The company you’re dealing with wants to keep your business (hence, the renewal notice). That can give you some leverage in negotiating what you are paying or what service you are getting. You could treat an annual renewal notice as an opportunity to renegotiate terms. It’s not always going to work, but it can be worth a phone call as you try to keep business expenses under control.

Finally, you should pay attention to any deadlines on the renewal notification. Some are sent months in advance. That seems so helpful, but if you put it away to deal with later, before you know it you’ve missed an important date and the service is stopped.

You should always get a renewal notice for something like a domain name. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) requires companies to send reminders approximately one month and one week before your domain name expires.

Don’t leave your renewal to the last minute. With expired domain names, for instance, you can lose your website! Options and fees for renewing domain names, including expired ones, are going to vary, so be sure you know what your subscription involves.

Also, there are bad actors out there who monitor domain expirations to buy them up at bargain prices. Then, when you notice the subscription has lapsed, you have to pay a king’s ransom to get the Web address back. Yes, it can happen to you. In fact, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) handled a record 3,074 cybersquatting disputes last year.

Avoid being overwhelmed by all the subscriptions and service plans your business relies upon. A managed service provider (MSP) monitors your license and domain expiration dates to ensure your business is current. At the same time, the MSP has the expertise needed to determine what plans best suit your business needs.

Give us a call on 07 855 2169 to enjoy the peace of mind a managed service provider brings!

6 Target Areas to Reduce IT Costs

Your business is always looking to reduce costs. Looking at the information technology budget line items is headache inducing. So much money spent in one area, and there’s so little you can do about it! But is that really true? IT expenses may not be as fixed as you think. Take a look at these target areas where you might reduce costs.

#1 Software

Your business likely pays to license software such as Microsoft Office 365 or Adobe Photoshop. Reviewing these software agreements, you can often find cost savings:

  • You may be able to renegotiate a subscription if the provider wants to move you onto to a new offering.
  • You may find that you are paying for software that your employees are no longer using much. Maybe you can reduce or remove it.
  • Perhaps the pricing has changed, and there are now better plan options available.
  • There may be an open-source software alternative to save acquisition and maintenance costs.

#2 Hardware

Your current hardware may be underused, need refreshing, or have lost productivity. Look for opportunities to run applications on less expensive devices, or link together several computers to replace expensive server equipment. Standardizing platforms can also significantly reduce IT costs while providing consistency.

#3 Cloud Computing

One way to cut IT infrastructure costs is to move to the cloud. You may be able to run software on the cloud for a fraction of the cost. Moving data backup to the cloud to replace an on-premises server can also cut costs, not to mention the utility savings from not having to power the replaced components.

Even if you’re already in the cloud, you can explore whether you are on the best available plan for you and consider:

  • Are you paying for more storage or resources than you need?
  • Are you taking full advantage of mobility and scalability features?
  • Are you duplicating on-premise and cloud-based services?

#4 Internet Services

Your employees need to be online; you’re not going to cut out internet services. However, you may be able to control costs:

Should you buy modems or routers instead of renting them from your provider?

  • Consider the internet speed in your plan. Do you need that level of service?
  • Is slow internet speed costing your company money when, in fact, you’ll be more efficient with an upgrade?
  • Are you able to bundle services to find cost savings?
  • Are you in a position to renegotiate your plan?

#5 IT Staff and Services

Avoid infrastructure costs and the hiring expenses of onsite IT staff by outsourcing. Often your business can pay a set monthly fee or go on a pay-per-use model to gain services such as:

  • IT help desk support
  • security
  • disaster recovery
  • backup

#6 Utilities

Don’t overlook the costs involved in powering your IT components. Review your utility bills to identify trends. Can you save money by turning off equipment? Is there a better plan available with a competing service? Should you renegotiate the terms of your existing plan?

Time for a Technology Audit

Ultimately, the best way to identify specific areas to cut your IT budget is a technology audit.

Your IT needs are always changing, and the technology evolves, too. Many businesses add expensive components or systems with “room to grow.” New tools get added on as needs arise. Your use of certain technologies may expand or shrink.

An IT expert can provide an overview of all the software and services you use, and of bills related to your IT budget to find areas to streamline or cut altogether. It may seem counterintuitive to pay money in an attempt to save money. However, an outsider’s perspective can provide fresh insight into the “way things have always been done” and help you see new opportunities for consolidation.

We can help you meet your budget goals. Contact us today on 07 855 2169.

How to Destroy Data Properly

When we accidentally delete something, it feels like the end of the world. If a client file or new presentation is deleted, you may have to start again. Oh no! Yet deleting files is not as permanent as you may think. When it comes to destroying data properly, you’ll want to take a more thorough approach.

Deleting items, or “trashing” them, doesn’t permanently remove them from computer memory. While the data is still stored on your device’s hard disk, it’s possible someone could restore that deleted data.

Data does reach a point at which it’s no longer useful, and you are no longer required to maintain it. Nevertheless, it may still be valuable to cybercriminals. Bad actors can use names, addresses, credit card numbers, banking accounts, or health data. You need a policy to destroy paper records, magnetic media, hard drives, and any storage media.

Your obligation to protect customer and staff information extends to properly destroying all identifying data. Installing a new operating system isn’t going to do it. Encryption doesn’t do the job if the cybercriminal can figure out the password.

Some industries require you to prove you have correctly destroyed all data. Even if you have no compliance standards to meet, carefully dispose of any computer-related device. Whenever you are recycling, discarding, or donating an old computer, disk drive, USB stick, or mobile device, make sure the data is already properly deleted or destroyed. Otherwise, criminals could get their hands on confidential business information.

Fully, Safely Destroying Your Data

So, what do we mean by “properly” destroyed? You know about shredding paper documents. You can actually do the same with some devices. You might send the computer or device to a company with a mega-shredder. When compliance matters, keep a record of the chain of custody of the data throughout the process.

Overwriting the data, often called zeroing, is another solution. No data is properly deleted until it’s written over – that’s where the information is hidden under layers of nonsensical data and cannot be retrieved through disk or file recovery utilities. Think of this as writing three new books over the top of the pages of an erased book rather than just ripping the pages out.

With magnetic devices, you can neutralize the magnetism (degaussing) to break down the data. This scrambles up the data beyond recovery. A strong degausser will turn the device into a shiny metallic paper weight. An ultraviolet erase could be necessary for some erasable programmable memory. You might also need to perform a full chip erase.

If you’re really committed to destroying data, physically destroy the device. There’s the shredding solution, or you might actually pay to have the device smelted or pulverized.

Other Components to Destroy with Data

Don’t forget proper disposal of printers, too. Run several pages of unimportant information (maybe a font test) before destroying a laser p6rinter. With an impact printer (if you still have one!), you’d want to destroy all ribbons, too.

One last element you might think about? Business monitors. You’ve probably seen a computer screen with information burned onto it. Before donating or recycling a monitor, inspect the screen surface and destroy the cathode ray tube.

Now, that’s what we call being thorough about properly destroying data. Need help with proper disposal of computer data or equipment?

We can help. Contact our experts today on 07 855 2169!

5 Common Computer Myths Debunked

Common urban myths would have us believe alligators live in sewers or people put razor blades in kids’ candy. Common misconceptions about computers are just as persistent. Here are several IT myths debunked for your benefit.

#1 A slow-running computer has a virus

A virus can be to blame. Spyware or other malware can also cause a computer to slow down. However, there are also many other reasons your computer might run slower:

  • You may have a lot of programs that start up when you boot up the computer. You could remove or disable programs that start every time.
  • The computer has gone into power save mode every night, but you haven’t rebooted the computer in a long time.
  • There are many programs running in the background. On a Windows PC, you can go into task manager and see what is running and the computer resources in use.
  • A security utility is running. If it’s an antivirus scanner, let the scan finish first, then see if your computer speed improves.
  • Temporary files or other junk are taking up too much hard drive space. Your computer needs at least 200-500MB of free space on the hard drive to be able to move and manage files.
  • Your computer doesn’t have enough RAM to run programs within memory. If your computer has to swap information on the hard drive to get enough memory to run programs, it’s going to work slower.
  • The computer is old. You may need to upgrade to a computer that can handle current software needs without slowing to a snail’s pace.

#2 Macs don’t get viruses

Many Apple owners believe their Macintosh computers are immune to viruses. If only. Macs do get viruses; they are simply targeted less than PCs. Why? There are many more computers running Windows, which means a bigger, easier target for cybercriminals.

As Apple’s market share rises, the threat to Macs is growing. Apple works to protect its users from malware, but you still need to use caution with downloads and when clicking on links from unknown sources.

#3 My Windows registry needs cleaning up

Registry cleaning companies will say that scanning your Windows registry can speed up the computer and avoid error messages. The cleaner finds unused registry keys and any malware remnants for removal.

But let’s consider the fact that Microsoft has not released its own registry cleaner. Why not? Because it’s really not necessary. Worse still, going in to clean your registry (when you don’t know what you’re doing) can actually do serious damage.

#4 My laptop battery needs to be dead before I recharge if I want it to last longer

This was once true. Nickel-cadmium batteries suffered from what was called a “memory effect.” If discharged and recharged to the same point several times, they would remember that point in the future and not go further.

Now, however, laptops typically come with lithium-ion (or Li-ion) batteries. They don’t suffer from this memory effect. In fact, they function better with partial discharge instead of letting the battery run down to zero.

#5 I don’t have anything hackers would want

Cybersecurity should be a priority for everyone, not only sprawling enterprises. Let’s put it this way:

  • Do you have any money?
  • Do you have an identity cybercriminals could use to access money or sell for money?
  • Do you work anywhere?

Hackers have all kinds of ways to profit from your data or from hijacking your computer’s processing power. They can turn your computer into part of a bot network or use your information as a bridge into a business target’s system.

Keep all your computers at top speed with the best security measures in place with the help of our experts. Contact us today on 855 2169.