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Nick Spicer

Security Patches – The Better Way to Update

Updates often come at the worst moment. You go to shut down your laptop to rush to a meeting, and you get a “Windows is updating. Do not power off” message. Argh! Or you leave your desktop to go to a meeting and come back to find your computer has restarted in your absence. Those unexpected bug fixes and performance improvements lost you all your unsaved work. You know updates are important. They help patch security flaws. These are the vulnerabilities that hackers love to exploit. Updating helps you keep business documents and data safe. Software updates can also add new, useful features and remove outdated ones. Plus, keeping software

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Nick Spicer

The Dark Web and Its Impact on Your Business

Business owners today know the internet is not only a force for good. Some people exploit the Web for ill intent. They congregate on the Dark Web, and small businesses need to understand the risks. What is the Dark Web? You and your employees spend time daily on the Web. They’re researching clients, checking out competitors, and searching for information. They are not accessing the Dark Web. The Dark Web houses dangerous, often illegal activity. This includes black-market drug sales, illegal firearm sales, and illicit pornography. The Dark Web’s collection of websites is inaccessible using standard search engines or browsers. Users employ a Tor or I2P encryption tool to hide

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Nick Spicer

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

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Nick Spicer

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!

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Nick Spicer

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.

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Nick Spicer

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

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Nick Spicer

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

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Nick Spicer

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

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Nick Spicer

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

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Nick Spicer

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

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Nick Spicer

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

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Blog
Nick Spicer

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

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