Cloud Computing – The Future of Disaster Recovery

cloud computing the future of disaster recovery
Cloud Computing

Disasters happen. Whether they be natural or man-made – hurricanes that flood your company’s headquarters or viruses that contaminate your IT department’s servers – the consequences can be devastating.

Studies have shown that 43% of companies that cannot retrieve their data due to a disaster strike never reopen and that 29% of these companies close within two years.

How can your business protect itself in the face of these inevitable calamities? Look to the clouds! Cloud computing offers cost-effective solutions to help your business recover lost data and resume normal operations effectively and efficiently.

Despite its lofty nomenclature, cloud computing is really a down-to-earth concept. In simple terms, cloud computing means relying on the Internet – rather than on hardware – to store the information and programs that are vital to your business. This system allows you to access integral data remotely – an especially handy benefit if, say, your hard drives are corrupted.

Cloud computing, therefore, is essential to disaster recovery. A cloud-based system allows you to make a virtual copy of your company’s server – including the operating system, data, software, and other information contained therein. Because it stores this virtual copy on the Internet, no hardware is required. And if no hardware is required, none can be compromised.

When it comes to disaster recovery, cloud computing can save your business more than just time and money – it can flat out save your business. Even if your headquarters had been located in Pompeii on the day that Vesuvius erupted, cloud computing would have made it possible for you to restart your business (hopefully in a volcano-free zone) with a minimal outlay of money, time, and effort.

Disasters happen. But when they do, cloud computing allows your business to look to the sky and keep its feet on the ground.

Should Your Company Move to Office 2019? Here’s What you Need to Know

should your company move to office 2019 here what you need to know
Should Your Company Move to Office 2019

Microsoft recently launched their cloud-based suite of office products, aptly named Office 2019, a successor to their Office 2016 suite. The successor, offered for both Mac and Windows users, contains new versions of all of Microsoft’s popular office software applications. Namely, Microsoft Word, their Excel spreadsheet software, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, Publisher, Visio and Project. As always, it’s important for organizations to research new applications in order to determine the impact upon their organizations, as well as determine their upgrade readiness if they decide to move ahead with the new suite.

Getting Ready for the Cloud

Microsoft’s Office 2019 is cloud-based software. For those organizations who have already made the transition and are ready for cloud-based products, the transition to Office 2019 should be fairly seamless. But what about organizations who for one reason or another, are lagging behind transitioning to the cloud? According to Microsoft’s own support page, although they certainly encourage everyone to make their way to the cloud, they understand that organizations are in varying stages of transition. Therefore, Microsoft remains committed to providing additional releases post Office 2019 to their on-premise users.

Is Upgrading Required? 

Up until fairly recently, Office 2016 users thought they would be required to upgrade either to Office 2019 or Office 365 ProPlus if they wanted to connect to Office 365. Microsoft has reversed this position and is now stating that Office 2016 users will be able to connect to their Office 365 services through at least October 2023. This is good news for Office 365 users since it gives them a little more breathing room before upgrading.

Why Office 2019?

Some organizations may decide they want to move to Office 2019 in order to take advantage of the some of the new features within the suite. The new version of Word will offer features such as text-to-speech and learning capabilities and Excel will offer new functions, 2D maps, and enhancements to both PowerQuery and PowerPivot. The new PowerPoint will have 3D image management, enhanced zoom and will incorporate roaming pencil case capabilities.

If you would like to know more about the new features found in Office 2019, or if you have questions about upgrading, please contact us.

Computer Tip of the Day: Browse Safely

browse safely
Browse Safely

All of us at one point or another have used the internet for work, school, entertainment, etc. We spend countless hours browsing the news, shopping, watching videos, even ordering food all from our computers or smartphones.

In fact, in 2015, it was estimated that young ones between the ages of 16 and 24 spent more than 27 hours a week on the internet. But as activist Simon Wiesenthal once said, “The combination of hatred and technology is the greatest danger threatening mankind.” This is clearly seen in how technology and the internet are being used to hurt people. According to Cybint, there is a hacker attack every 39 seconds, affecting 1 in 3 Americans each year. With all this being said, it’s clear that precautions must be taken to browse safely and protect data.

Use Strong Passwords

Most, if not all websites today store personal information one way or another, and they keep track of this information using passwords created by the user.

When a hacker obtains a password used by a company or individual, they can use it to obtain data such as SSN’s, Card Information, Addresses, etc. When a hacker has the data available to them they can hurt the individual or company by using it for selfish gain. Here are a few tips for better password protection:

  • Between 8 – 12 Characters
  • Use Special Symbols (@, !, $, _)
  • Combine both letters and numbers
  • Use both uppercase and lowercase letters
  • Here’s an example (@P3t3rJ_1215)

Avoid Shady Emails

Especially for those in the workplace, email is used for many things such as communicating with clients or subscribing to a newsletter.

Due to its use, this is a common tool for hackers to corrupt your computer with malware or viruses via hyperlinks. They can even send false emails to obtain personal information from you and steal crucial data. Here are a few tips to open emails carefully:

  • Do not open emails from unknown sources
  • Avoid downloading attachments in emails
  • Do not give out your email to anyone, only trusted sources
  • Delete spam mail as quickly as possible

Ensure Data is Encrypted

Due to an increase in online forms and data sharing over the internet, attackers use un-encrypted sites to steal information such as passwords, usernames, card information, etc.

When visiting a site to fill out a form such as a bank website, for example, ensure that the website is HTTPS encrypted. An easy way to verify if a website is encrypted is to see if a padlock in the address bar is locked as seen here.

Use Antivirus Software

There are thousands of new malware and viruses being launched every day and it can be hard to keep track of how to protect yourself against such threats that can hurt your computer and yourself.

Thankfully, companies have devoted themselves to help protect you against the nastiest of attacks by offering software (both paid and free) to block those attacks. These companies use tools such as encryption and firewalls to protect your computer and your data. Here are a few trusted companies that offer Antivirus software:

While the internet can be a scary and dangerous place, you can protect yourself with the right tools and precautions to enjoy browsing to the fullest.

The above tips are just a few of the many things that can be done to browse safely, yet there are many more that can offer added protection. If you would like to know more about these tips and tricks for safe browsing, please contact us to learn more; we’d love to hear from you and help you browse safely!

Managing The Budget

managing budget
Managing Budget

When it comes to purchasing or installing software onto a computer, computer users are not left without a plethora of options. However, with all the options must come a degree of wisdom in order to make smart choices that work well with a company’s budget. Whether computer software comes free or with a monetary cost, the type of software included in these options ranges simple calculators to sophisticated programs used to run businesses in general. Knowing what the options are will help to make better-educated choices when deciding which software to install on company computers. Understanding the type of software one wishes to install is probably the first hurdle in making a decision.

For example, the category of software that Microsoft Word falls into is “word processor”. Word processor software is a type of software that allows typing and editing documents. If the type of software is known, then all one has to do is enter the type of software into a search engine such as Google and proceed with a search. Using the search criteria “word processors” will yield several results, including but not limited to Microsoft Word, Open Office, Libre Office, and Kingsoft. When presented with the options, the next step is to consider the budget and look closer at the costs and features of each option.

Some options will come with a monetary cost and some are free, regardless of the type of software being sought. Naturally, each has their pros and cons and must be weighed depending on the budget and general interests of the purchaser. Paid software typically comes with ongoing support from the manufacturer or different levels of support from the manufacturer, depending on how much money the purchaser wishes to pay. If the purchaser or its employees are not generally computer savvy, it might be better to go with a paid option, so as to take advantage of the support offered by the software manufacturer. Nevertheless, free software can save a lot of money if the purchaser and/or its employees possess the resources to make efficient use of the software.

Please contact us if assistance is needed in making software-purchasing decisions.

Computer Tip of the Day: Don’t Ignore Updates

computer tip of the day don t ignore updates

For many people, continually updating their computers can get annoying. They seem to need an update so frequently, and the notifications keep getting in the way of what they’re trying to accomplish, primarily when it gets to the critical condition of finally forcing a restart to install those updates. Super frustrating, right?

But what if you were told those updates to your computer are incredibly significant and should frequently be checked? It’d probably make you roll your eyes, but it’s true. Keeping up-to-date on your computer’s installs are essential and will improve your computer in many ways.

It’ll run quicker.

Many times lagging from your computer comes from ignoring updates. Once they’ve piled up enough, your computer will begin punishing you for not taking better care of it. Our computers are supposed to help us in our day-to-day life so ensuring they’re working correctly is essential.

It’ll start faster.

Don’t you hate when you need to use your computer for something, but it won’t start because it’s installing updates? Checking your updates more frequently can prevent this from happening. When you’re doing using your computer for the day, quickly check to see if there are any updates. Testing for this could even be a weekly event. If there are updates pending, let them run while leaving your laptop alone to charge.

No more freezing screens.

Lagging is terrible, but having a screen freeze is worse. Piled updates pending to go can severely decrease the speed of your computer, sometimes making a screen freeze entirely. We know force-restarting devices are never a good thing, so why continuously do it to your computer?

You might even enjoy the update.

It seems impossible to believe considering how much we all hate change, but sometimes updates can improve issues on your computer. That’s what the updates are for, right? To enhance the user’s experience online.

For more information on computers and different daily tips, contact us and check out our website.