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Upgrading to Windows 10: Keeping Business Computers Secure and Compliant

Posted By Carrie Braaten, Gordian Networks, Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Still using the Windows 7 operating system on your computer? Although Windows 10 has been around since its release in 2015, many small businesses are still using Windows 7. It is time to start upgrading to Windows 10 since Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7 in 2020.

How Do Business Owners Know if their Computers are on Windows 7?

The simplest way to tell if a computer is on Windows 7 is to look at the bottom left of the screen at the start button. If the Windows button is rainbow colored and enclosed in a circle, it is on Windows 7.Windows 7 Start Button If the Windows symbol is white without a circle, it is on Windows 10.Windows 10 Start Button To find out for certain, click start-control panel-system. At the top of the system information page, it will list the version of Windows.

 

 

Why Upgrade?

There are many new additions to Windows 10 that make everyday use easier, faster and more convenient. Even more important reasons to upgrade though are security, compliance, compatibility and its free.

SECURITY
Windows Support states, “An unsupported version of Windows will no longer receive software updates from Windows Update. These updates include security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software which can steal your personal information. Windows Update also installs the latest software updates to improve the reliability of Windows—such as new drivers for your hardware.” So although your computer will still run, it will be more susceptible to potentially dangerous viruses. One of the best defenses against viruses, malware and ransomware is keeping the computer updated.

COMPLIANCE
Healthcare providers or any business that processes, stores or transmits credit card information are required to be HIPAA and PCI compliant. In order to be compliant, each business must utilize a supported operating system. Supported operating systems are continually updated with patches to keep threats to the computer’s security at bay. If businesses do not start upgrading to Windows 10, holes in the security shield will be left open. Consequently, there is a potential for others to access private patient and credit card information. Upgrading to Windows 10, will keep computers more secure and, along with other security measures, will help with compliance.

COMPATIBILITY
Newer software and hardware will require Windows 10 to work. Therefore, upgrading to Windows 10 allows businesses to use required software now and in the future.

NO COST
Microsoft has offered free upgrades to Windows 10 in the past and then discontinued it. It is now available again at no cost. It is unknown when Microsoft will start charging for the upgrade again. So it is a great time to take advantage of the free upgrade to cut potential costs.

Special considerations

TIME
Upgrading to Windows 10 can take each computer about 3 hours to complete depending on processor speed and memory. It is a simple process but does take someone to monitor it. Creating a plan for how to free up a business computer for this amount of time can be helpful to avoid downtime.

MEMORY
In order to complete the upgrade, the computer must have at least 10 GB of free space on the hard drive. Checking the memory ahead of time will prevent any time lost since the upgrade to Windows 10 will fail without available memory.

SPECIALTY SOFTWARE
Healthcare providers and other businesses use many different types of software and equipment that is compatible with different operating systems. Checking the compatibility first will save the company a headache afterwards if the software is not compatible with Windows 10.

BACKING UP DATA
It is important to always back up data on a regular basis and this is good idea before upgrading any software or operating system. While upgrading to Windows 10, all files stay on the computer by making the appropriate selections during the process. Backing up is still a good precaution since it is better to be safe than sorry.

OLDER COMPUTERS
Windows 10 was released in 2015 so many computers that have Windows 7 operating systems are now 4-6 years old. As computers age, they do not work as well and may not take the upgrade successfully. Depending on the situation, it may be worthwhile to buy a new computer with Windows 10 already installed.

Ready to Start Upgrading to Windows 10?

After checking the special considerations and creating a plan for upgrading to Windows 10, follow these easy steps to upgrade.
1. Download the Media Creation Tool from Microsoft’s website.
2. Follow the prompts to download and then install. Make sure to select keep personal files and apps.
3. Wait for the computer to restart several times and then sign back in on the logon page. The page will look different now that it’s on Windows 10. Then the computer will finish loading the new operating system.
4. Congratulations! The computer will now continue to be secure and compliant with Windows 10.

Project Planning and Troubleshooting

Computers with different software installed and in various environments upgrade differently. Sometimes a computer will need additional assistance to overcome barriers to the upgrade. Gordian Networks works with many healthcare providers and small to medium sized businesses to plan out, implement and overcome barriers to upgrading to Windows 10. These upgrade implementations keep businesses more secure and compliant so businesses can concentrate on their missions versus worrying about the security of their networks.

Still worried about Windows 10? Gordian Networks can save the day! We set up each company’s technology with the right balance of security and open communication while keeping your business running smoothly even if disaster strikes. Because Computers Need Heroes Too! http://gordiannetworks.com

Tags:  cyber  Security  small business  Technology 

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Beware of Facebook Fakes!

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Have you recently received a friend request from a duplicate account? Or maybe discovered that someone has been posing as you on Facebook? You're not alone. 
Read on to learn how you can protect your page!

#1. 
The Scam
The way it works is relatively simple. Cybercrooks swipe a photo of you (usually your profile picture), copy any general information you've made public (i.e., birth date, location, career, etc.), and then utilize it to create a fake account and begin reaching out to all of your friends and family. Anyone who accepts a request from one of these falsified accounts immediately compromises their security. 

#2. Spotting a Fake
So, how do you weed out the phonies? Experts suggest asking yourself the following three questions to determine what's real versus fake.
  1. Are they a duplicate? The quickest way to determine whether or not an account is fake is to search through your list of friends to see if someone with the same name already exists. 
     
  2. What do their photo albums look like? If you notice that their photo albums are pretty bare, aside from the profile picture, you've spotted a fake! 
     
  3. Do we have mutual friends? Click on their friends list and peruse through to see how many they have and if you recognize any. If you don't recognize any familiar faces, odds are it's a scammer.
#3. How to Protect Yourself
Lucky for you, we've got a few solutions! 
  1. Never accept a friend request that you deem suspicious. Send shady accounts straight to the trash and then report them. 
     
  2. If you're unsure, ask! If you think an account may be fake, shoot that person a text or e-mail asking whether or not it's legit. 
     
  3. Check and update your privacy settings on Facebook. Make sure you know who can see your profile and posts. 
     
  4. If you do spot a fake, block it, report it, and warn your friends!  
     
  5. Never click on any links you get in an unverified message and always avoid interaction with anyone who send you a chat request out of the blue, even if he or she looks like someone you know. 
Share this with friends and look for more dynamic content from ASBA! 

Tags:  #Facebook #Scam #Technology #Business #News #Updat 

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Productivity Tip: Save Money When You Shop Online

Posted By Amy Geils, The Streamlined Office LLC, Monday, November 21, 2016
Thanksgiving is fast approaching! It's the time of year for reflecting, spending time with family and friends, and giving. Many of my clients are telling me that this time of year is also very stressful, particularly with all of the advertising pressure to start holiday shopping the day after Thanksgiving.

Do you dread the crowds at the stores? The traffic? Does the black Friday advertising leave you wondering where to get the best deal for the things on your shopping list?

If you are like me, you do quite a bit of your holiday shopping online. How do you feel when you get to the checkout page and seethe box that says “enter your coupon or promotional code here”? That always makes me feel like I might be missing out on a better deal. The “Honey” app has solved this problem with the click of a button!

Make your life easier and reduce the stress this holiday season! Install and use "Honey" for your holiday and year round shopping. Here's how it work:

Honey is a FREE browser extension that can save you money in 3 ways
  1. By automatically finding and applying coupon codes to your online purchases
  2. By showing you available sales items at their partner stores
  3. By participating in the HoneyGold Program (optional)

Honey is designed for and tested on most major browsers including Google Chrome, Firefox version 19 and above, Safari versions 5 and above, Internet Explorer version 11 or Edge.

Join Honey and then download and install Honey on your desktop browser.

For a full description and instructions on how to install and use this extension, read the full article Save Money When You Shop Online Using the Honey App

Simplify your life and have more time for what's important to you, especially during the holiday season.  For all of your office organization and productivity needs, contact The Streamlined Office for a FREE consultation. 480-221-0588


Happy Thanksgiving!

Tags:  organizing  productivity  technology  time management 

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How People Use Their Devices

Posted By Gabriel Salcido, Arizona Small Business Association, Thursday, October 27, 2016

Source: thinkwithgoogle.com

In a mobile-first world, people expect answers at their fingertips. They turn to the nearest device to make a decision, learn something new, or get something accomplished. Connecting the dots across these micro-moments is necessary for marketers to tell a single story across devices, channels, and formats. Here are new cross-device insights to help you build a strategy for mobile.

 

Device usage in a typical day

The proliferation of devices has changed the way people interact with the world around them. People freely move back and forth between devices to get things done. And they're more tethered to those devices than ever before. Here's a snapshot of how cross-device users turn to their phones, computers, and tablets in a given day.1

Mobile search helps people meet needs of all types

Nearly 40% of people search only on a smartphone in an average day as they look to meet immediate needs.2 As a result of this shift, more Google searches are happening on smartphones than computers. Here are some themes that are most likely to be searched for on mobile.3

 

1,2 Google Data, “How People Use Their Devices,” based on convenience sample of opt-in U.S. cross-device users, ages 18–49 who signed into Google and turned on Location History (mobile Android-only and IE/Chrome/Firefox desktop browser); calibrated to population studied, Jan. 2016–Mar. 2016; location analysis excludes locations that are not identifiable; apps include browser apps; search includes Google Search only; a store refers to a commercial entity that offers services or goods (examples: department store, big box retailer, clothing store); entertainment venues include movie theaters, stadiums, and other public entertainment spaces.
3 Google Internal Data, U.S., “Most likely to be searched for on mobile” are categories where at least 75% of searches occur on a mobile phone, Jan.–Jun. 2016.

Tags:  Mobile  Technology 

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Pokémon Go Presents Confidentiality, Trade Secret and Privilege Concerns for Users Who Also Use Google Accounts for Business Purposes

Posted By Karen Karr, Clark Hill PLC, Wednesday, July 13, 2016

July 13, 2016

 

Pokémon Go Presents Confidentiality, Trade Secret and Privilege Concerns for Users Who Also Use Google Accounts for Business Purposes

 

By: Elizabeth F. Collura

 

The newest, hottest game, Pokémon Go, has already been downloaded over 7.5 million times on iOS and Android phones since being released less than a week ago. The free-to-download game is bringing in $1.6 million in daily revenue in Apple's iOS store alone, based on in-app purchases. This augmented reality game is currently on the fast track to overtake social media apps in terms of amount of active users.

 

In the early days of the game's release, for users playing the game using a Google account login, the game's standard terms and conditions gives the developer (Niantic) unfettered access to Google Drive. Such access makes device owners' confidential information vulnerable. Those standard terms grant Niantic read and write permissions for documents stored on the user's Google Drive, as well as access to Gmail and contact lists. The permissions also authorize Niantic to sell the information obtained through the accounts.

 

Niantic has publicly stated that they are working to limit the scope of these permissions, and that it is not Niantic's intent to gain full access to users' Google accounts. However, the potential to broadly reach confidential information through an exciting game offering should remind businesses of the importance of reviewing internal confidentiality protocols and protecting confidential information.

 

Businesses must be vigilant to protect confidential information, especially those businesses allowing employees to "BYO" electronic devices for work purposes or who allow employees to use work-issued devices for personal reasons. Broad permissions, such as those in the standard terms for Pokémon Go game, raise questions for:

  • Businesses who use Google Drive to store or any Google account to access their confidential, proprietary or trade secret information.
  • Businesses who use Gmail or Google Drive to communicate with their attorneys, and attorneys using Gmail or Google Drive or any other Google account for client-related reasons. The game's standard terms may raise an argument that, by granting Niantic access to the Google accounts, any applicable privilege under the attorney-client privilege or work product protection has been waived.
  • Businesses in the healthcare field using Google Apps as their HIPAA compliant records platform. At this stage it is unclear how the broad access terms of the game interact with the protections of Google Apps accounts, and whether the game's permissions "open a door" to a HIPAA violation.
  • Any other business who handles information made confidential or protected by law, who stores confidential information in a Google account or uses any Google account for business purposes.


To protect against potential compromise of confidentiality, business best practices include:

 

  • Having a comprehensive policy in place for employees' use of technology, designed to minimize the risk of compromising confidentiality.
  • Limiting employee use of business-related Google accounts to business purposes only. One easy approach for the Pokémon Go game is for players to create a dedicated Google account solely for playing the game.
  • At a minimum, players should revoke Niantic's access to all Google accounts through the game. This is accomplished by: (1) Within your Google account, launch the Google security page; (2) Select Pokémon Go and click "Remove" to revoke full access.


Clark Hill attorneys and professionals have a depth of experience in dealing with potential confidentiality, trade secret and privilege concerns, making our firm an ideal resource for evaluating your business's risks and needs. Since 1890, clients have received an unparalleled level of service that is thorough and appropriately focused.

 

For questions regarding this e-alert, contact Elizabeth F. Colluraat (412) 394-2328 | ecollura@clarkhill.comor another member of Clark Hill's Litigation Practice Group.

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