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3 Reasons You Should Never Put Off Those Computer Updates

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

computer helpYou’re probably familiar with this situation: you’re in the middle of working on a document or an email when you’re interrupted by the computer update pop-up window. If you’re like most people, you won’t even think twice about clicking the “remind me later” button. But even though these incessant reminders might be annoying, they serve an important purpose (several, actually!). And by putting off these updates, you may be putting your device — along with your personal information and that of your company — at risk. Let’s take a closer look at why you might want to consider clicking the “update now” button next time.

Updates can fix common issues

Programs and applications are always changing. That’s a good thing, since these improvements are meant to make your life a lot easier. If you’re reluctant to perform an update because you’re worried about these changes, think about some computer issues you might be currently experiencing. Slow operating systems will usually speed up with an update, for example. And strange program flaws will be fixed with patches or system updates, too. By neglecting to update, you’re probably going to make these issues worse. But by saying “yes” to that update, you’ll be giving your computer help that it desperately needs.

Updates provide brand new features

Again, some users are reluctant to make changes, lest they have to ask for computer help to relearn how to navigate a program. But you may want to shift your perspective on this. Your IT support company will likely point out that these newest software versions will offer features that have never been seen before. In many cases, these features will eventually become the standard and may even make your job a whole lot easier. Keep in mind that the older versions will eventually stop being supported by the vendor; in those cases, you’ll have to update anyway. In general, it’s better to get used to a new system right away (and benefit from those added offerings) rather than wait until you’re forced to do so.

Updates will protect your computer

One of the most important reasons to update in a timely manner is that it can protect your computer from malicious attacks. The reality is that 57% of small businesses reported staff-related cyber breaches in recent years. While some of those breaches can undoubtedly be attributed to other factors, failure to update comes with huge security risks. When an outdated program or operating system contains some type of vulnerability, you can bet that cyber criminals are going to find it and try to capitalize on it. Unless you want to deal with the need for emergency tech support (and the fear that your personal or company data has been compromised), you should let your computer update when it prompts you to. Your IT services firm may recommend that you set up your computer to update automatically so that you don’t have to even make a choice.

We know it can be a pain to deal with frequent system updates. However, you should remember that these updates are meant to help you use the device more efficiently and protect it from harm. Make sure to schedule any updates right away and see whether they improve your experience. If you don’t see improvements, you may need additional computer help from an expert.

How You Can Keep Your Business Safe From Hackers, Malware, And Viruses

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

it security

As a business, protecting your information from hackers is a top priority. Any breaches in IT security can mean the loss of vital client information and company data. If a client doesn’t feel their information is safe with your company, they’ll take their business elsewhere.

Therefore, it’s essential to maintain the IT security of your computer system as a means of keeping your important information safe and to keep your clients protected. But how can you ensure that your company’s information is truly safe from hackers?

  1. Make sure you’re using strong passwords

    Up to 80% of all breaches in IT security are due to admin passwords that aren’t strong enough. If your password is easy enough for you to remember off the bat, odds are it’s also easy for hackers to get past.

    Use admin passwords that have a variation of capital and lowercase letters as well as special characters and numbers. This makes it more difficult for hackers to guess your password. Additionally, ensure that you’re changing your password periodically every month or so. A strong password can only remain so strong until hackers are able to figure it out.

  2. Use the latest software

    Your computer’s IT security is only as strong as its software. Failing to update your software as soon as a newer version becomes available leaves your information vulnerable to hackers and malware. Update your software as soon as possible and run routine scans on your computer system to ensure you catch any tech bugs before they can become a problem.

  3. Contact IT services

    If your computer system’s experienced a breach in security and you’re worried about your data, contact a professional IT consultant as soon as possible. By having a professional look at the problem, you may be able to keep the amount of information stolen to a minimum and may be able to keep viruses off your computer in the future.

Ensuring your online information is safe from hackers, malware, and viruses can help keep your business and clients safe from identity theft and information loss. For more information regarding how you can keep your business safe from hackers, contact the IT consulting services of IT Scares today.

Importance of Working With Professional IT Support Teams

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

it consultant

Just a few decades ago, companies didn’t have to worry about one of the most important aspects of running a modern business: reliable information technology (IT) services.

In today’s digital realm, however, IT services are as integral to a company’s success as its product or service. That being said, some companies have been slower to adapt to this change, and may be working with outside IT consultants for the first time.

If your company is interested in working with business IT consulting experts to modernize your business, then here are three crucial services to consider. While not every business will require all three of these services, these are just some of the ways your company can benefit from working with IT consultants.

Data storage
There is a truly mind boggling amount of data in the world today, and the vast majority of it exists online. From healthcare records to customer financial information, virtually every company has some degree of data storage needs. While it may seem simple enough to store this data on hard drives on site, this can be an especially dangerous way to store data.

Without regular data backup services, it’s possible to lose all of your information in a digital instant. Working with third-party IT services ensures that all your essential information is not only stored properly, but backed up in case anything ever happens to the servers or the data itself. Even better, IT consulting services can ensure this data is stored in a user friendly way, ensuring that you can examine and search through your data to find actionable insights.

Digital security
Cyber security is another major aspect of today’s business climate. Whether you need to protect sensitive customer data from internal leaks or safeguard credit card information from hackers, it’s important that you keep your company safe and your information protected. Between 75% and 80% of all malicious attacks actually come from within the organization itself, making it all the more necessary to hire outside IT services. Regular security auditing and penetration testing can help protect your digital infrastructure 24/7/365.

Stay up-to-date with latest tech
In the 90s and early 2000s, most companies employed in-house information technology teams. However, in the age of cloud computing, it’s easier than ever to receive the latest software and computer support through the web. By working with managed IT services, your company can leverage the best business technology in the world. Rather than working with dozens of different software vendors, managed IT services can help you set up all of the software your company needs at once.

Simply put, working with IT consultants can help your company save time, money, and run more efficiently. Don’t let your company be susceptible to online hacks and damaging software vulnerabilities — work with a team of trusted business IT professionals to prevent any major digital issues.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of IT services or discover the most trusted IT consulting Charleston has to offer, contact Integrated Technology Services today.

How to Speak With Your IT Provider Part 2: Communication Strategies

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

it servicesCommunicating what you need can be difficult, especially in a highly specialized field like IT. In many ways, it can feel like being in a foreign country without speaking the language: you communicate with gestures and vague generalizations.

Of course, over time you’ll start to develop a language of your own — or at least a methodology for communicating.

This two part series is designed to help you do exactly that, but for the language of IT professionals. In the first part, we discussed framing tools to help define your IT services needs. In this second part, we will look at active strategies to facilitate deeper communication.

Center Your Conversation Around You Business
We spent a whole post giving you the tools to frame the types of services you are looking for, now it is time to put those tools to the test.

When talking to an IT professional, it’s important that you tightly restrict your conversation to the needs of your business. Don’t get bogged down with trying to understand the mechanics of technology, at least not initially. If you are unsure of what a service is or how a piece of technology works, ask them to explain it to you in the context of how it will impact your business specifically, both in a procedural and financial sense.

Be Open-Minded
Once you have explained the needs of your business, you should make an effort to honestly listen to the advice that you are given. While IT services or computer support that your IT consultant is bringing up might seem out of left field, give them the opportunity to explain why those particular IT services would be beneficial

Especially when it comes to security, it is important to defer to their expertise. There have been several very notable cyber attacks lately, but the truth is that they are much more wide spread than you might think. The federal government alone has seen a nearly 680% increase in attacks in the last six years.

Maintain Your Authority
It is very easy when talking to IT consulting services to let your curiosity get the best of you. While the incredible strides made in technology can be incredibly fascinating, or alternative, overwhelming, it is important that you maintain your authority over the situation.

If you feel like a service is not necessary for the success of your business, you shouldn’t hesitate to say so. While it is always important to respect the opinion of experts, you shouldn’t let them convince you that they understand what your business needs better than you do.

The biggest challenge when trying to enlist the help of IT services is communicating clearly what you and your business need. Hopefully, this two part series has given you the tools you need to better communicate with your IT provider.

How to Speak With Your IT Provider Part 1: Build, Guide, or Run

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

it consultant

Whenever you’re outsourcing something as vital to your company’s success as IT is, communication becomes incredibly important. You need to be able to explain the needs of your business in clear enough terms that you receive the support and assistance you require. Failing that, you are basically just wasting time and money.

In order to better assist you with your communication needs, we’ve developed a two-part series in which we will be delving into some important concepts and terms you will need to be familiar with.

In this first part, we will define the three broad lenses through which you can view your IT needs, and explain how to use them to communicate your needs.

Lens 1: Build
Build is likely the easiest of these three concepts to understand. As the name implies, you are looking for an IT consultant or provider that has experience developing IT services and systems that best fit your company’s need. Build style services require a great attention to detail and cutting edge understanding of the IT field.

If you’re experiencing massive problems with your information software that you don’t believe can be solved with better training or small upgrades, or if you have no software at all, then you will likely be looking for a “build” type IT service.

Lens 2: Guide
The guide based lens incorporates a wide number of services, but on the most basic you can think of them as IT consulting services. Guide can help you optimize the way your business utilizes its technology, making you a more efficient and effective business. It can also help you train your staff about general IT best practices and concerns.

One of the main focuses on the guide side is IT compliance. There are a number of mandates, such as PCI, HIPAA, and FISMA, that require your business to handle their information in very particular ways. A “guide” style IT consultant will help you protect, track and control access to information in a way that is in line with any applicable regulations

Lens 3: Run
Run services are the extreme of outsourcing. They provide managed IT services for your business so that you can focus your resources where they are more vitally needed. These services are especially great for small businesses and startups, allowing them to have the best IT care without the expense of an in-house team

Run programs include any number of IT services, from managing your SQL database to installing cloud based servers. What really sets the a “run” lens apart is the fact that you’re having them handled entirely by another company.

You can use these three lenses as a way to help self-diagnose the sort of services that your business needs. From there, you’ll be more able to communicate your needs to an IT consultant or provider.