Maintaining Your Computer for Life: 3 Easy Hacks

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

maintaining your computerWith the amount of time most of us spend on our computers these days, it’s only natural that we develop a certain level of attachment to them. We might want our computers to last forever, but unfortunately, that’s hardly ever the case. However, with a little bit of care and regular maintenance, you can significantly improve the lifespan of your computer and prevent sudden crashes that might cause you a lot of pain, both emotionally and financially.

Here are three simple steps for maintaining your computer for a long and healthy life:

  • Back It Up
    There is nothing more important you can do to keep important files and information safe than routinely backing them up onto an external hard drive or a cloud service. You might even want to back up the back up, too, so that in the event of a crash your IT consulting services can be sure to help you make a speedy recovery in your computer repair.
  • Keep Software Up to Date
    Applying updates to your computer might seem like a real pain, but the truth is that this kind of simple computer maintenance can go a long way in protecting your internal files from being attacked by vicious malware or spam. Approximately nine out of every 1,000 computers are said to be infected with spam, likely because their owners neglected to comply with regular updates or run regular security scans.
  • Stay Clean
    A dirty, dusty work space isn’t just a hazard for spreading germs around the office. It could also make your system work less efficiently and even break down more quickly. Maintaining your computer’s cleanliness can help prevent it from overheating or from getting clogged and bogged down with dust. Be sure to only use products that are safe for computers. Ask a professional if you’re not sure.

Don’t risk a technology meltdown just because you’ve neglected maintaining your computer. The more you do to keep your system working, the more likely you’ll be to notice minor problems before they turn into major risks.

And if you don’t know the first thing about computers or simply don’t want to do it yourself, contact our computer repair technicians in Charleston, SC, for more hands-on help to keep your computer working the way it should.

What to Expect From Your First IT Consultation

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

it consultationIf your company has waited this long to schedule a professional IT consultation — well, what are you waiting for? Staying up to date on all of the latest software tools, digital marketing trends, and security standards are important to maintaining a leading edge in business, no matter your line of work.

A simple IT consultation could help transform how your company works, but even the greatest IT consultant in the world won’t be able to deliver a magic bullet for all of your tech needs without your help and cooperation. Here are three things you can expect to learn from IT consulting services, whether it’s your first or fifteenth visit.

  1. You’re not as cutting edge as you think you are.
    One aspect of project management in IT is identifying areas where you could be using technology to conduct your business more efficiently. That could mean a software upgrade, an overhaul of your company-wide OS, or a better way to monitor and track data. Part of the IT consultant’s job is to sell you new technologies, but they should be able to offer you a wide range of options and possibilities to best suit your needs.
  2. You’re not as secure as you think you are.
    Most of us have a naive “It won’t happen to me” mentality when it comes to cyber attacks or security breaches. However, the reality is that 57% of small businesses have reported cyber breaches in recent years that stem from their own internal staff. This makes it all the more important for upper management to remain vigilant in protecting sensitive information that may be available to employees old and new.
  3. You’ll have to make some compromises.
    In an ideal world, every company would be able to afford the newest state of the art technologies to help them grow and succeed. Of course, business doesn’t work that way. Many firms find themselves caught in the triangular paradox of speed, quality, and affordability: You can choose to have one or two of the three features with your IT upgrades, but it’s unlikely you’ll be able to find a way to have it all. Set your priorities and make your decisions wisely.

IT consultation is a painless process that could pave your way to a brighter and more efficient future. All it takes is the initiative, the patience, and the willingness to change.

Important Things to Consider When Hiring an IT Consultant

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

computer repairDuring the last six years, the federal government has suffered a 680% increase in cybersecurity breaches, which proves that as technology advances, so do cyber criminals. However, the federal government isn’t their only target.

Whether you’re concerned about security breaches or computer repair, hiring an IT consultant is always a good idea. However, there are certain things you should consider before you go about hiring just anybody. Here are a few things to take into account when looking to hire IT services.

Employment Status
This is perhaps the most important thing to consider when hiring. If you’re hiring another employee who happens to specialize in IT consulting, that’s one thing, but creating a brand new IT services position for computer repairs is another matter entirely. Think carefully before you make any decisions.

Protect Your Intellectual Property
The worst thing you could possibly do is hire someone who will hold your social media accounts hostage until they get what they want. Protecting your business and your intellectual property is incredibly important, especially when entrusting your technology to a new employee.

Conduct a Thorough Interview
The interview process is incredibly important to any successful addition to your team. If computer maintenance is something you’re concerned about, be sure to ask questions pertaining to the issue during the interview. However, if you’re more concerned about digital marketing solutions, then your interview questions could take a different path.

Ensure Staff Training
Before you hire any form of IT services, you should consider whether or not you want your staff trained in computer repairs and other IT functions. If this an area of concern for you, then you should make a point to bring it up in the application and the interview process.

Hiring an IT consultant is a big step for any company, and if you don’t take the proper steps and concerns into consideration, then you may not make the most of your IT services. Make sure you’re considering these things before you hire IT services.

BYOD Policy

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

Lost Employee Smartphone?
Do This NOW!

“Hey boss, I lost my smartphone.”

phone
How well have you prepared for this moment? It will happen sooner or later. If your company has a plan in place, no big deal. If not, you may suddenly get that sinking feeling in your gut…
And well you might. You now have three big worries:

Compliance Issues – If your employee had access to information covered by any number of regulations, your company could be subject to stiff penalties. One employer we know of wound up with a $900,000 fine.

Data Security – Sensitive company data in the wrong hands could spell disaster. Access to your network, secure sites, proprietary files, work-related e-mails and corporate secrets may now be out of your control. You must move quickly to prevent serious financial harm.

Employee Privacy and Property Concerns – If a valued employee had family photos and movies on the device, and you remotely delete all data on the phone, you may now have a disgruntled, or even uncooperative, employee. Especially if company policy regarding BYOD (bring your own device) and data loss were not clearly stated and agreed to up-front.

So how do you prevent a relatively minor incident from blowing up into a big problem? Here are seven smart measures you can take right now to prepare for the day an employee smartphone is lost or stolen:

1) Install a mobile device management (MDM) system on any employee device to be used at work. This software can create a virtual wall separating work data from personal. It facilitates any security measures you wish to impose. And to protect employee privacy, it can limit company access to work data only.

2) Determine which devices will be allowed and which types of company data people may access from them.

3) Require that employees agree with an Acceptable Use Policy before they connect to your network. Make sure these include notice as to conditions in which company data may be “wiped” – i.e., destroyed. Also include specific policies regarding device inspection and removal of company records.

4) Put strong data protection practices in place. Require use of hard-to-crack passwords and auto-locking after periods of inactivity. Establish protocols for reporting lost or stolen devices. Mandate antivirus and other protective software as well as regular backups.

5) Designate someone at your company to authorize access to software and critical data. This person can also be your main point of contact for questions about BYOD policy and practices. It might also work well to distribute a resource page or FAQ document to your employees.

6) Establish a standard protocol for what to do when a device is lost or stolen. Both Android and iOS phones have features that allow device owners to locate, lock and/or “wipe” all data on their phones. Make sure your policy requires that these features are set up in advance. Then, when a device is lost or stolen, your employee can be instructed to take appropriate action according to your protocol in order to protect company data.

7) And finally, your best protection is to implement a well-crafted BYOD policy in advance. Develop it in partnership with risk management and operations personnel, as well as legal counsel and IT professionals, to come up with an effective and comprehensive plan.

Don’t risk waiting until an incident occurs!
Know where you stand right now with our FREE BYOD Policy Assessment.
We’ll review your BYOD policy with you to make sure it covers all bases. No BYOD policy yet? No problem. We’ll help you get started and work with you and your team to develop a “bulletproof” BYOD policy to keep your data safe.
This service could easily be worth thousands of dollars to you, not to mention untold headaches and time lost due to an employee phone getting into the wrong hands. Unless you are prepared and can move quickly when an employee device is lost, your company’s confidential data can be leaked and access to critical systems may be compromised.

Contact us today at Service@ITScares.com, or better yet call 843-419-6788 to schedule your initial consultation at absolutely no cost or obligation to you. We offer this complimentary service to give you a taste of our high degree of professionalism, and as a way of caring for our community.
Do not delay on this – it is a serious vulnerability that can and must be addressed in order to assure the safety of your company’s data
and systems.

3 Weird Digital Marketing Trends that Actually Work

Written by Tiffiny Hladczuk. Posted in ITS Blog

digital marketingA lot of online marketing advice repeats the same old tried and true advice: Include a call to action! Engage with your readers! Use catchy headlines! It can all start to feel a little bit like when your mom sent you off on your first day of school and said, “Just be yourself!”

Sometimes, it’s good to be something a little bit more than yourself. Sometimes it’s good to think outside the box — especially when it comes to digital marketing. Consumers have become incredibly savvy to the ways brands have tried to market to them over the years. Today, between 70 and 80% of all web users completely ignore the paid or sponsored ads in search engine queries for this exact reason. People know when they’re being targeted, and more often than not, they don’t like it.

So what are marketing firms supposed to do in order to spice up their strategies? Here are a few trending ideas that might sound a little weird, but have produced amazing results for the brands who are willing to give them a try.

  1. Gamification: How can you make your website or app services more game-like? Think about the success of Pokemon Go, for example. It forced users to literally get on their feet and take action to engage with the brand, and it certainly got people talking. Find a way to turn even a simple computer services list into an interactive experience that rewards users just for playing along.
  2. Be Funny: Okay, so, easier said than done. People are more likely to re-Tweet something that makes them laugh. Topical humor is great, but only when it’s done tastefully. Many social media users love when brands are willing to poke a little bit of fun at themselves, too. So go ahead, release your inner comedian — but make sure it’s actually worth sharing!
  3. Do Something Nice: Showcasing your charitable contributions to the world can also encompass a fine line in digital marketing, since you don’t want to come off as a humblebrag. Casually sponsor a fundraiser and let the charity do the talking for you, or take up a cause that actually connects with your business in some way. A tug at the heartstrings can compel consumers to share your ideas in a way that bolsters your brand in a meaningful way.

The best part about project management in IT is that there’s always new ways to spread content and diversify digital marketing strategies. The possibilities are virtually endless, so long as you’re willing to take a few chances on something weird.