The Value of Managed IT Starts with Our Technicians

The Value of Managed IT Starts with Our Technicians

Business technology isn’t going to be a strength of your business if it isn’t properly maintained. Unfortunately, most modern businesses can’t commit the time and resources necessary to do this on their own. This is why partnering with a managed IT services provider brings great value. This value wouldn’t be possible, however, without trained and experienced technicians. Today, we thought we’d take a closer look at the people that deliver that value.

3 Easy Ways to Prepare for a Lost or Stolen Device

With so many employees still working remotely, it’s easy to see how lost or stolen devices can create problems for your business. Therefore, like any security issue, it is critical to take it seriously before it happens rather than react to it as it occurs. Here are four preventative measures you can take today to decrease the odds of a lost or stolen device becoming a major problem for your business.

Are You Doing All You Can to Train Your Employees on Your Technology?

IT solutions have the potential to be major problem-solvers for your organization, but they are only as effective as the team members using them. This means that all employees must not only be trained on the solutions, but also must embrace them as the efficient solutions they are. Here are some ways that you can train your employees to make sure that your team is efficiently using new technology solutions.

Strategies for Remote Workers and Students

Tip #1 – Get a Workspace Sometimes it is hard to rearrange your life, but it is much easier to rearrange your home. If you are being asked to work from home, or if your kids are going to be telelearning or doing a hybrid approach like many schools are doing these days, a space to do work is crucial. It gets a little hairy when online school and work overlap, but most people’s homes are filled to the brim with leisure space. You’ll need a dedicated workspace if you want to get anything done.  Tip #2 – Prepare Like You Always Would Just because you aren’t going to leave the house doesn’t mean you should act like you aren’t. A great way to get yourself in a productive frame of mind is to get up and go through your routine like you would if you were leaving all day. Sure, your cat will still try to sleep on your desk, but getting in the right frame of mind is really important if you want to be your best during the workday. Tip #3 – Limit Your Social Media Use It’s completely understandable that when you are home that you would want to engage with people via social media. The problem is that you are expected to be working or doing schoolwork and social media is a never ending distraction. To facilitate this change, it is a good idea to remove social media shortcuts from your work browser or use a whole other browser for work. You can also choose to use an incognito window for work so that you don’t have as easy of access to your social accounts.  Tip #4 – Understand When You are Most Productive Even when you were working from the office or going to school, you didn’t spend all day focused on your work. Most people don’t work like that. The ones that claim to typically sign the checks. You need to know when you are most effective and buckle down during those times. Save your most difficult tasks for times when you are at your best and your workday will get easier.  Tip #5 – Make Sure Everyone is On the Same Page In order for you to be productive you need to sustain focus. If there are constant distractions coming from the other people at your house, you likely won’t get much done; and what you get done will likely not be your best. You need to communicate your needs and expectations with the people who are around you. Set ground rules that make everyone understand that when you are at work that you are not to be disturbed. It’s hard to work from home if people keep bothering you all day long.  Tip #6 – Communicate with Others While you try to manage your distractions at home, you need to understand that you still have a team out there that works more effectively if you are on the same page, too. Be sure to reach out to your co-workers to talk about work or life every once in a while. You are working from home, not the Sahara Desert (unless that’s where your home is), make sure the people you work with know you’re still alive.  Working from home or going […]

What are the essentials of a business continuity plan?

A list of your key contacts One of the most important elements in your business continuity plan is a list of all your important contacts who should be informed of the disaster. This can include all your C-level execs, HR managers, IT Manager, client facing managers, etc., A comprehensive list of your IT inventory Your business continuity plan should contain a list of all the softwares, apps and hardware that you use in the daily operations of your business. This list should identify each of those as critical or non-critical and mention details pertaining to each of them such as The name of the app/software Version/model number (for software/hardware) Vendor name and contact information for each of them Warranty/support availability details Contact information for customer support for these hardware/apps Frequency of usage Backup information Data backups are critical to your disaster recovery and so your business continuity plan should include information about data backups. It should mention how often data is backed up, in what formats and where. It should also mention what data backups are available–ideally, you should be backing up ALL data already! What’s your Plan B? Make sure your business continuity plan lists a backup operations plan that will come into play in the event of a disaster. Examples include alternative workflows such as options to work remotely or to allow employees to bring their own devices to work (BYOD) until the time regular business premises or systems are ready. Floor plans and location Your business continuity plan should also include floor plans of your offices with the exit and entry points clearly marked up, so they can be used in the event of any emergency. It should also mention the location of data centers, phones, key IT systems and related hardware. Process definition Make sure your business continuity plan defines the SOPs to be followed in the event of an emergency. Think business continuity planning is too complicated? Don’t give up! A lot of SMBs, don’t create a business continuity plan thinking it is too much of a hassle. But this can prove fatal to your business later. A qualified MSP can help you understand business continuity planning and even help you create a business continuity plan that’s best suited for you..

3 Reasons to prepare a business continuity plan if you haven’t done so already

It helps retain clients As a business, if you have problems functioning, it will definitely affect your clients. For example, if your servers are down or your supply-chain mechanism is affected or your delivery process breaks, you won’t be able to fulfill your promise to your clients. Even worse, in some situations you may not even be in a position to communicate about the crisis to your clients adding to their frustration. A business continuity plan addresses these issues beforehand and can help reduce client dissatisfaction. Salvaging brand image and reputation There are certain events that end up affecting only your business. For example, ransomware attacks, virus attacks, data leaks, etc., Having a business continuity plan that caters for such events can be a blessing in times of such crisis. Minimizing revenue loss A business continuity plan can minimize the revenue losses that occur as a result of a crisis that interrupts your business operations. In short, a business continuity plan helps minimize the impact of the crisis on your client relations, your brand image and your revenue by equipping you with a plan to handle the situation better.

Business continuity planning: A must-have, not a luxury

While a business continuity plan cannot completely safeguard your business from all these events, it can certainly minimize the damage inflicted on your business. Top business consultants urge their clients to develop a business continuity plan as they consider it a part of the best practices for running a business. A business continuity plan can make the difference between survival and shutdown of a business during a crisis situation. What is business continuity planning? Business continuity planning is the process of creating a blueprint that helps your business respond and recover effectively from an unforeseen mishap. As discussed before, the unforeseen event could range from natural disasters to pandemics, or even accidents that affect just your place of business like a fire or even a cybercrime attack directed at your business in particular–basically, any event that can paralyze your business. A business continuity plan serves as a step-by-step guide that you can follow during an emergency to keep your business running smoothly. True, a business continuity plan is not a sure shot method to survive a crisis, it won’t instantly eliminate the impact of the disaster, but it gives you the best chances of survival. If you are not sure of what a good business continuity plan entails , you can reach out to a reputable MSP to help you with the preparation and implementation of one.

Too Many Businesses are Still Using Windows 7

As of this writing, nearly a quarter of all businesses are still using Windows 7 for one reason or another. Having chosen not to upgrade to Windows 10 (or didn’t want to upgrade their Windows 7-dependent software) when it was offered free, with fears that it would be more mobile device oriented, it seems these businesses don’t want to fork over the money to upgrade away from Windows 7. The problem with this strategy is that, as we mentioned at the outset, Windows 7 is no longer supported by Microsoft and is a major security problem. With no more security patches and updates, the OS will become filled with vulnerabilities, exposing business data. Is your business one of the whopping 47 percent of businesses that were still using Windows 7 when Microsoft retired it in January? Can your business afford to lose control over its data?  What Makes Using Windows 7 Bad? Windows 7 was released over a decade ago in July of 2009. In that time, Microsoft has upgraded its OS multiple times. So, while its functionality and usability are decent, it is a ticking time bomb because Microsoft no longer patches or updates the software. It’s not hard to fathom hackers taking advantage of this as they try to steal data and access from the millions of people who still use Windows 7. FBI Says Using Windows 7 is Negligent Law enforcement is even mentioning that it’s a liability to use Windows 7. The Federal Bureau of Investigation released the following statement to their corporate partners in the private sector: “As time passes, Windows 7 becomes more vulnerable to exploitation due to lack of security updates and new vulnerabilities discovered.” Although they especially mention enterprises in the release, it’s not just major corporations that have something to lose by using old and unsupported software. You wouldn’t buy a window that is already cracked, would you? Windows 7 is that cracked window.  For companies that utilize legacy software that doesn’t run on Windows 10, it’s probably because there is a better version of that software, too. Besides, if you actually needed to run an old piece of software in order to do your job, there are cloud-based alternatives to run legacy software. There is simply no good reason to run Windows 7 on a machine that is connected to the Internet.  What Should My Company Do? Plan your upgrade today. The IT professionals at SRS Networks can find you the hardware, software, and other technology resources to meet your business’ needs. Our technicians are versed in all manners of business technology and specialize in promoting a secure, efficient computing environment that can take your business where you want it to go. For more information about Windows 7, Windows 10, or any other technology question you may have, call us today at (831) 758-3636.

Tip of the Week: Changing Your Notification Settings on Android Devices

To begin, check the version of Android that you  have installed. A few of these tips will require that you’re using Android 10, and some may not work on all devices. Interacting with Your Android Notifications How to Clear Your Notifications Once a notification has, well, notified you of something, its job is done, so it can be dismissed. Doing so is as simple as swiping it to the right or to the left. Dismissing all your notifications at once only requires you to scroll to the bottom of the notification list and select the Clear all option. Silent notifications can be cleared by tapping Close. Some notifications will only dismiss if the process it describes is no longer active. For instance, a notification that informs you that your music player of choice is active will require you to stop the music before the notification will go away. How to Snooze Your Notifications You can also “pause” your notifications by snoozing them. This will require you to activate snoozing in your Settings. Under Apps & notifications, Notifications, and Advanced, you’ll find the option to Allow notification snoozing. Once you’ve done so, you can snooze an individual notification by slightly dragging it to the side and selecting the Snooze option (which is presented as a small clock icon). The Down arrow allows you to select the time that the notification will be postponed. How to Review Your Options Some notifications have multiple options for you to act upon. Expanding these notifications is just a matter of pressing the Down Arrow and making your selection from the options that pop up. Selecting Your Notifications How to Change Your Device’s Notifications In your Settings, select your Apps & notifications and in there, Notifications. You can then select your default notification options from the following options:       On lock screen       Allow notification dots       Default notification sound       Swipe fingerprint for notifications       Do Not Disturb Activating and Deactivating Notifications for Certain Apps There are multiple options available to you in terms of setting your notifications. In your Settings application:       Select Apps & notifications, and from there, Notifications       Under Recently sent, you can see all the applications that recently sent you notifications. From there, you can turn off all an app’s notifications, among other capabilities. From the notification itself:       Tap and hold your notification, and then tap the gear icon that appears to represent the Settings.       You can then select the settings of your choosing, either to Turn off notifications or to select which notifications are Alerting or Silent. In the actual app, you may have the option to change your notifications in the settings as well. Selecting which Notifications Can Interrupt You Some Android devices enable you to select the notifications that an app will provide. Alerting will alert you with a sound, a lock screen message, and a status bar icon. Silent will obviously not provide a sound or vibrate but will still provide a notification if you swipe down on your screen. You have a few options as to how to select these settings. In the Settings application:       Tap Apps & notifications, and then Notifications     […]