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  • Wireless Network Security

    What is a Wireless Network Security?

    A wireless network security basically protects a wireless network from malicious and unauthorized access attempts. This security is delivered through a wireless device that helps in encrypting and securing all the communication by default. In case there is a security breach, the wireless network administration is alerted with the help of the wireless intrusion detection and prevention systems. Some of the most common standards to ensure wireless network security includes Wireless Protected Access (WPA) and Wired Equivalent Policy (WEP).

    How to Ensure the Security of Your Network

    Here are some ways you can go about it:

    Make Sure You Change the Name of the Wireless Network

    The very first step is to change the name as well as the SSID (Service Set Identifier). When you change the name, it generally makes it difficult for the hacker to guess the kind of router that you have. If the hacker knows the make and model of the router, it will be easy for them to know the vulnerabilities of the model and then use it against the owner.

    Pick a Strong Password

    Your router comes with a preset password, which is easy to guess. This is the reason why it is recommended that you pick a strong password that should be at least 20 characters long and include numbers, symbols, as well as letters. Another thing that you can do is have a strong administrator password when you set up the network settings. When you change the Wi-Fi name and password, change the name of network admin and the associated password as well.

    Enable Network Encryption

    The wireless network comes with multiple encryption languages such as WPA2, WPA, as well as WEP. According to experts, the strongest Wi-Fi protection is WPA2 AES and most of the wireless networks are compatible with it.

    Switch Off the Device If You Are Not Home

    If you won’t be home for a couple of days, it is recommended that you switch off the device to minimize hacking attempts.

    Be Careful of Where You Are Placing the Router

    Where you place the router can have a bearing on your security. It is recommended that you keep it in the middle of the house so that all the rooms have access to it and to prevent the signals from reaching outside your home. Don’t place the router next to a window or the door because that way, nothing will obstruct the signals leaving the house.

    Keep the Router Up to Date

    If you want to maintain the integrity of the wireless network security, you will have to make sure that the router is up to date. Sometimes, the firmware contains lops and flaws that can leave the network extremely vulnerable to threats.

    Protect the Devices That You Connect Most Frequently

    You need to make sure that your devices have all the latest antivirus software installed.

  • Top Ten Reasons to Switch a VoIP Phone System

    More and more companies are in the process of upgrading their current communicative system to VoIP systems today. But why? Are there any momentous benefits involved or is it only hype? In this article, we shall discuss ten genuinely good reasons why companies are putting their foot down when it comes to the vaunted benefits offered by VoIP phone systems. Here’s why you should switch to one too.

    1. Free Local Calls

    Because phone calls between employees are routed between the existing data network and the internet, employees can make free local calls no matter where they are. Just think about how much money can be saved and more work completed when one doesn’t worry about the charges.

    1. Automated Recording of Voicemails

    With VoIP phone systems, voicemails are automatically transcribed like emails. This means you can finally avoid the pain to have to go through each message in your voicemail inbox and read them like emails in your email inbox.

    1. No Need for New Hardware Installation

    Who says upgrading to new technology has to be super expressive? When purchasing VoIP phone systems from external vendors, you will only have to get IP phones. No other hardware will be required to complete the process of installation.

    1. Convenience

    With a VoIP phone system, it becomes easier to keep track of call activity, manage accounts, view billing information and manage voicemails. All of this can be done by simply logging in to the admin portal. Moreover, all VoIP providers ensure that efficient customer service remains their primary focus. To do so, they have multiple support systems to guide all the users.

    1. Upgrading isn’t time-consuming

    As an employer, we can guarantee that you must have gone through some painful and time-consuming technology upgrades that disrupted the smooth flow of work at some point. Again, this isn’t the case with the upgrading of a VoIP system. The upgrading takes a few hours to a day max and you are ready to make the most of the service.

    1. Boost Employee Productivity

    Most employees use multiple devices to stay connected during working hours. They have a desk phone, a laptop, and personal phone. The ease with VoIP phone systems is that they ensure that phone calls are easily placed and always received no matter which device is being used. We are talking about features like automatic call forwarding, group voicemails, routing or call hunt. Many of these come featured in VoIP plans. The more connected employees are the more productive and up to date, they remain. This also instills transparency of workflow throughout the organization.

    1. Ease of payment

    Most of the times, companies wrongly estimate their needs and end up paying for services and resources they don’t even use. This is not the case with a VoIP phone system. The lines and numbers can be provisioned instantly and redundant services disbanded. This means that with a VoIP phone system, one only has to pay for what they need.

    1. Affordable Calling Rates

    Nearly all VoIP systems offer low per-minute international calling plans and rates. Global plans with unlimited long distance and local calls can be made, which is not the case with traditional phone systems. This comes highly recommended for companies branched globally or which have outsourced their services offshore.

    1. Versatility

    VoIP services can be taken anywhere with the users. With a VoIP phone adapter and high-speed internet, it is easier for users to place and receive calls from any end of the world at any time of the day, without having to pay any additional charges. This feature of VoIP phone system is termed “Work from Anywhere” and now we know why.

    1. Ditch the fax machine

    When trying to eliminate or limit paper waste in your organization, getting rid of the fax machine is one of the first things on every employer’s mind. With an effective VoIP system, this can be limited and the process of faxing can be digitalized. With digital faxing, employees can send and receive important documents on their laptops without actually printing them.

  • Top Reasons Why a Surge Protector Makes Sense for Your Home

    Surge protector devices have become essential for residential as well as commercial buildings. These devices efficiently protect the electrical devices installed in our home that can get damaged due to a sudden rise or drop in voltage. Power surges usually occur due to lightning strikes, external disturbance in the transformer or internal malfunction of your electrical appliances.

    Some people prefer to use surge protectors for a few electrical appliances. However, it has become a necessity these days to protect your whole house with surge protectors. The purpose of these devices is to regulate the voltage in your home. They keep electrical equipment safe and reduce the risk of short circuits and fire breakouts. Let’s take a look at some reasons why it is essential to get a surge protector for your home.

    • Low Maintenance Costs

    If you have to acquire professional maintenance services for electrical equipment quite often, then surge protector can be a good choice for you. These devices prevent damages to appliances over their lifetime and therefore, help you cut down the maintenance costs.

    • Enhance Safety

    Surge protectors are essential to maintaining a safe environment in your home. Electrical equipment often burns or trip due to extreme or abrupt voltage fluctuations. It poses severe threats to your family. With the help of these devices, you can reduce the risk of fire breakouts. Moreover, it allows you to use your electrical devices for long.

    • Reduce Repair Costs

    Electrical surges occur quite often due to internal or external factors. This sudden change in voltage can damage electrical equipment in your home. As a consequence, you will have to spend a large sum in order to repair or replace the affected machines.

    Power surge protectors are efficient devices that help you maintain your devices in optimal form. They reduce the risk of damages to your devices and help you save costs in the long run. Get a large-scale surge protector for your entire home to stay safe from potential damages.

    • Affordable Option

    A surge protector is a safe option for your home. Despite their low prices, the devices can stay intact for long, allowing you to make the most of your investment. Moreover, the installation process of surge protectors is simple and easy. Whether you set the device on your own or acquire professional services for this purpose, the task won’t take long.

    Tips to Choose the Right Surge Protector

    Carry out some research before purchasing a surge protector. Here are a few tips that will help you make the right decision.

    • Check Number of Ports

    Surge protectors are available with a varying number of ports. Estimate your requirements and purchase a product according to your requirement. Usually, the device comes equipped with 8-12 electrical ports.

    • Look for Warranty

    Opt for a high-quality surge protector with a valid warranty. This will minimize the risk and will ensure optimum protection of your electrical appliances.

    • Identify UL Rating

    The surge protector you choose should meet the safety standards of Underwriters Laboratories. It ensures that the devices can actually protect your equipment against potential damages.

  • How to Pick the Best Multi-Function Printer for Your Business

    Choosing a printer for your business can be quite a task because there are so many things that you need to consider. You need to take care of the technology and functions that will work in the favor of your business. Another important thing that you need to take into account is your budget because that will help you to decide on the extra features that you can get. Let’s have a look at this small guide that will help you pick the best printer for your business.

    Inkjet, Laser, LED, or Solid Ink?

    The kind of printer that you pick should be based on your usage. For example, if you usually print text and no graphics, then an LED printer or a monochrome laser will suit your needs more. However, if you need to print a lot of graphics or logos for your business, you should consider getting a color laser as it gives smooth and accurate image prints.

    Don’t Get the Cheapest Printer on the Market

    An important thing that you need to know is that the cheaper your printer e, the higher will be the cost of replacing the toner or ink. The only reason why some people opt for a cheap printer is that they don’t print that often, however, since you are picking one for your business, it is better to invest in a high-quality one.

    See If It Can Handle the Load

    The first thing that you need to take into account is the number of papers that you will be printing in a day and the number of people who will be using the machine. One great way to evaluate the print volume is to see how often you need to refill the paper tray.

    Single-Function or Multifunction?

    If you will be the sole user of the printer, you won’t need a multifunction printer (MFP). However, if your work requires a lot of printing, scanning, and faxing, it may not be a wise decision to rely only on one machine. If you have to scan hundreds of pages, it may be a good idea to get a scanner with its own ADF.

    Calculate the Costs

    Over time, you will increase the cost of the printer with its replacement ink and toner supplies. In order to make sure that you stay within the budget, it is important that you research the price and extra costs first.

    Extra features

    If you are thinking of buying a multifunction printer, it is important to know all the printer codes. Let’s have a look at them:

    • D stands for double-sided printing.
    • E stands for HP ePrint.
    • H for High-capacity
    • L for Light
    • M for Macintosh
    • P for Personal use
    • ph+ for Paper handling
    • S for a Paper Stacker,
    • T for an additional paper-tray
    • V for 11-inch wide paper path
    • W for built-in wireless network card
    • X for combination duplexing
  • How to Pick the Best Copier for Your Business

    Research reveals that a well-performing copier machine is one of the many ways to drastically improve employee’s production levels and also improve the overall operations of the company. Think about it, with an efficient copier machine, no employees have to line up to get their documents printed, scanned, or photocopied. This eliminates the ratio of time wasted which ultimately improves the overall working. Copiers, also known as multifunctional printers, are no less than a Swiss army knife – featuring everything from downloading to printing.

    Keeping that in view, it becomes imperative for businesses to invest in the right one; one that caters to all their paper needs. To help you with the decision, we have created a list of questions that every employer must ask himself/herself before choosing one.

    What Expectations Will The Copier Have To Live Up To?

    The first step calls for an extensive analysis of the needs and priorities. Determine what needs it has to fulfill. For instance, do you only want one for photocopying purposes only or expect it to print documents too? Do you want additional features like faxing and stapling or will you do without them easily? Be sure to make a list of all such needs before going to shop for the right one to streamline the workflow.

    How Much Are Your Current Printing Costs?

    Next, estimate your current printing costs in case you outsource them. Track how much of it will you be able to save annually and see if investing in a copier in worth it or not. While at it, be sure to also take note of the repairs and troubleshooting cots it will incur in case your in-house staff isn’t equipped to handle the repairs.

    What Is Your Monthly Printing Volume?

    Identify, how much will it be used per month. Do you print hundreds or thousands of pages every month or just a few? How many employers need the copier to print important documents? This inference will allow you to better select the many high and low-end models available, that fulfills all your needs.

    How Fast Do You Want It To Print And Copy?

    Have you been receiving complaints from employees about the slow output of prints and copying? Do you often find them standing by the copying machine, chitchatting and waiting for their turn? If so, this means that your current copier has a low output ratio. When it comes to investing in a new copier, be sure to learn about its pages per minute count. This will determine how fast or slow the copier will print, scan or copy pages in a minute.

    Monochrome or Color Copier?

    Last, you must also decide whether to go for a black and white copier or a colored one. Again, it comes down to your needs and nature of work. If you work in a medical or law firm, a black and white copier will be adequate for your needs. However, if you are a photography firm, a colored copier is what you will need.

  • The Differences between Cloud Backup and Hybrid Backup Solutions

    Cloud backup has become the most sought data preserving method in today’s age. With everything becoming virtual, Cloud backup provides companies a way to save their data on a medium that is not tangible. The word “cloud” can be taken literally here as the way data is stored is out of our tangible reach. We cannot see it, we cannot touch the storage place and it cannot be destroyed as other storage mediums can. The virtual space between a user and the cloud makes it the safest and secure form of data storage as compared to other options.

    Cloud backup involves a storage account that is made on the web and accessed through a server provided by the service provider. Users send their files to the server and the files are stored for them. Service providers charge the user monthly fee based on how much capacity they asked for, number of users and bandwidth. There are two cloud backup solutions available; pure cloud backup and hybrid cloud backup.

    Pure Cloud Backup

    Pure cloud backup, as its name suggests, is on the cloud without any medium in between. All the data backups go directly to the cloud provided by the service provider. Pure cloud backup solution is easy to uphold because it does not involve any device to be maintained. It can be implemented easily and is cost effective. Moreover, it is best for the companies that cannot afford separate IT buildings for data storage in large amount. Its cost can be scaled according to the amount of storage you require instead of scaling the full cost of traditional data storage, which can be too tedious and, at times, impossible.

    With a pure cloud solution, all your data is always being integrated into the background over the cloud without you having to repeatedly back it up manually.

    The only drawback pure cloud backup has is that data transmission depends completely on the bandwidth. It would take time to upload or download data files if they are huge in size and it will slow down the internet connection along with it, which is why it is not suitable for organizations, which have large amounts of data storage requirements.

    Hybrid Cloud Backup

    Hybrid cloud solution involves both virtual cloud technology and the traditional storage unit. It has an on-site storage device which is attached to the network and acts as an intermediary between your organization and the main cloud server. The storage device acts as a data target and holds the data in it while synchronizing the data in the background on the cloud. This allows the user to access data immediately as the data is always available on the storage device. This way, you get to keep important and relevant data at an easy access to you without having to wait for the whole data set to be downloaded.

    When it comes to choosing the right cloud backup solution, the choice depends on what type of organization you have and how much data you have to store. For big and complex organizations, hybrid cloud backup is more beneficial while for small organizations, which do not have much data to store, pure cloud backup is optimal as you only pay for the space you require.

  • The Advantage of Off-site Computer Data Storage in Cloud

    In today’s world, digital data is the most valuable asset of any organization and losing that data can mean losing everything. This is why proper data storage options are essential to any business’s success. There are many storage options available, which include off-site Cloud Data Storage and traditional data storage. With changing times, cloud storage has become the most frequent choice of companies, that want to secure their data without dealing with storage hassles.

    Almost any organization can take advantage of off-site cloud storage, however, manufactures, banking institutions, schooling and university systems and retail businesses can benefit the most from cloud storage due to the nature of their business which involves a lot of paperwork, confidential data, and intellectual properties. By redirecting their data storage to cloud storage, they can free themselves from the worry of data management and its protection.

    Here are the advantages of choosing off-site Data Storage Services.

    1. It is cost effective

    One of the obvious advantages of off-site data storage is that it is cost-effective. It frees you from the need of investing in an on-site storage location or getting a separate building to keep all the data in. It also eliminates the cost of people needed to manage onsite data storage devices. With offsite data storage, you only need to pay for how much space you will need according to your organization’s size. You are to pay for monthly subscriptions, which are automatically renewed every month, making it easier for you to manage the data.

    1. It is reliable

    With off-site data storage, you get the flexibility to make real-time changes in the stored data without going any extra lengths. The data stored is automatically updated to a connected server. Off-site Data Storage Services provide quick data recovery and make several extra backups for your stored data, which provides you an ease of mind.

    1. It provides extra security

    Off-site data storage services provide you with an extra layer of security during data transmission. You can easily transmit your data between networks without worrying about intrusions. Cloud services offer complete data encryption, which makes sure that your data is securely delivered at its host destination. Off-site data storages have account passwords, strict access controls and encryption keys, which secure your data ten times compared to the methods of traditional data storage.

    1. Quick transmission

    Another advantage of off-site data storage is that it needs nothing but an internet connection to complete the transmission. This lets you safely transfer your data to a safe site without any delay. This also lets you have a quick access to your data management without you having to go anywhere from your desk.

    1. Always accessible

    Cloud data storage lets you have an access to your data all the time. Whether you are on a vacation or in a business conference in another country, you can always carry your valuable data with you without worrying about it getting lost and damaged. Even if you are not going anywhere, its quick accessibility lets you download your data in an instance on your mobile or your desktop.

  • How to Prevent a Loss of Business Data

    As our world is going more and more digital, each organization is becoming more aware of “virtualizing” their data and shifting it on a network to give broader access to the data to the people involved in the company. Every day, a huge amount of data is transferred digitally and shared among users. This data is the bread and butter of many businesses; it includes their client data, employees’ data, various organizational details, policies, intellectual properties and confidential information. There is no doubt that the digital world has made things very easy for everyone, but just as resourceful technology has become, it also comes with an ever-present threat of malfunctioning, virtual damage, and human error. Such possibilities make the organizational data vulnerable to loss and corruption. Above all, the internet has made things more complicated as it opens your world to almost everyone out there and increases the chances of anyone intruding or sending malicious attack towards your network. This can cause serious damage to your system and the data stored in it.

    Data loss in today’s digital era is one of the biggest problems faced by businesses, where data either is corrupted due to careless activities or is stolen by outsiders for various purposes. Companies do not have any other choice but to follow the digital trend, but they are also at risk of data loss all the time if careful practices and strategies to prevent data loss are not implemented. Here is a list of things businesses or anyone with valuable data in their system can do to prevent data loss.

    1. Creating backups

    Creating a backup of your data is an unspoken rule, which should always be followed. No system should work without having a proper backup for the valuable data present in it. At times, creating one back up is not enough because every machine and software is prone to damages, which is why it is essential for businesses to create multiple backups of their data on cloud drives, portable drives, password protected third party storages and in paper form of course.

    1. Using an antivirus and antimalware software

    One of the main reasons why data is lost is due to foreign invasion through different networks on your system. Computer viruses, malware, spyware and other malicious intrusions easily get an access to your system if your system is not properly protected. The internet is like an unfiltered street where anyone who passes through it, is bound to get infected, which is why companies with strong data security have highly protective antivirus and anti-malware software installed in their system which is always updated and running.

    1. Encrypted data

    Purpose of data encryption is to secure the data saved on your system and to safely transmit it over the network without intruding parties getting access to its content. Every organization should store their data on their system in an encrypted form so confidential details cannot be decoded if stolen.

    1. Using power backups

    Electrical fluctuations can directly affect your system and cause it to stop working with all your data inside it. Even if your area does not face power shortages or fluctuations, you should always backup your systems with an uninterrupted power supply so it does not cause any damage to your hardware or the files inside the system.

  • Secure Wireless Networks and Why They are So Critical

    Did you know that your Wi-Fi is not just limited to your space and extends around 300 feet in the air? If your wireless access point isn’t be secured, you are giving free access to other people to use it. If your office is small, you are allowing other people to connect to your network, which is why it is important that you take steps to protect your network. If you don’t mind other people using your network, you are actually allowing them to do the following things to you:

    • Allowing them to view all the files that are stored in your system and spread malware.
    • Have a look at all the websites that you have visited and got access to your passwords.
    • Read all the emails that are accessed by the network.
    • Slow down your internet connection.
    • Send spam emails through your connection.

    Most companies make sure that their networks are secured so that unauthorized people don’t have access to their Wi-Fi. However, the thing is that hackers have many ways to access the network because the Wi-Fi signals are broadcasted past the walls of the company into the premises, which makes it easier for hackers to get in. Here are some tips that will make sure that your network remains secure:

    Use Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)

    There are a number of access points that offer older Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) standard of security. However, if it is broken, it can make it easier for hackers to break into the network with the help of a hacking method known as Aircrack-ng. In order to make sure this does not happen, using WPA or WPA2 security is recommended.

    Using a Secure WPA Password

    It is a good idea to have a long and unique password to protect your wireless network. Having a complicated and long password makes it difficult for people to guess the password and hack into your system. Make sure that you take out the time to check the strength of your password by using services such as CloudCracker. It is important to not reveal your password in order to succeed. You will be asked for some information, which is exactly what the hackers do as well.

    Look out for Rogue Wi-Fi Access Points

    The thing with rouge wireless access points is that they are a threat to your security. These access points are brought about by employees and visitors, who came to your office, get connected to one and through their devices and then conceal it.

    Have a Separate Network for Visitors

    If you want your Wi-Fi to remain protected, it is important that you have a separate network for guest users. This would mean that the guests will have access to the internet, but they won’t be able to use your main network. This is a great way to stop guests from introducing virus and malware.

  • Managed IT Service Contract and its Advantages for Small Business

    Imagine this scenario. You go to your office, sit down to get the work done and have to coordinate with a colleague on a project. You open your system, only to find out that you have been logged out of the portal and can’t log in anymore. You try everything you can to log back in but to no avail. Had your business opted for managed services, a simple call would have done the job because you would have immediately gotten in touch with an experienced professional and reported the issue.

    What are Managed Services?

    Managed Services is a term used to describe the IT services that are provided to your business by a third party. Your Managed Service Provider (MSP) manages the entire IT infrastructure and works towards resolving your issues.

    Types of Managed Services

    The services can be different for every business, depending on its type and the kind of needs that they have. Here are some common services that are generally provided by MSPs:

    • Custom software solutions
    • Data backup and disaster recovery
    • Hardware maintenance
    • Helpdesk support
    • IT planning and implementation
    • Network security
    • Remote network monitoring
    • Server management and security

    One common mistake that many businesses make is that they think this is only suitable for big business, when in fact, small and medium businesses can also take maximum advantage of managed IT services. Small businesses generally don’t have IT resources required to run a business efficiently. When you subscribe to a managed IT service, you are in fact limiting the downtime, staying up to date with the technology and are taking a very proactive approach in solving technology related problems. By using a managed services provider, you allow your business to achieve the following things:

    • Advance IT planning
    • Controlled IT costs
    • Increased data security
    • Knowledge base
    • Reduced downtime
    • Reduced labor cost

    It Will Prevent Issues

    Gone are the days when businesses only used to address IT issues when something was broken. Today, things are fast changing and there is a greater need for data security and updated technology, which can be done with the help of managed services.

    How Can Managed Services Help Me Out?

    The thing with managed services is it caters to different businesses that have different requirements. In other words, it offers customized IT services tailored to a business’ needs. Some of the services that they can provide you include:

    • 24/7 monitoring
    • Backups management of servers and workstations
    • Hosted email
    • Installation and management of firewalls
    • Installation and management of software updates
    • Installation and management of virus and software
    • Management and monitoring of desktops, servers, and networks
    • Remote diagnostics and troubleshooting
    • Remote support

    Advantages of Managed Services

    Here are some of the advantages that you will enjoy:

    • Centralized Systems
    • Cost-Efficiency
    • Extensive Expertise
    • Resilience and Security
    • Up-to-Date Technology

    In conclusion, managed IT service contract has several advantages for small businesses. So make sure that you get one to optimize your IT operations.

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