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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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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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Outsourcing Your IT Why Everyone Is Doing IT

Posted By Matt Maggiora, TeamLogicIT, Monday, November 16, 2015

Today, Technology & Communication  Infrastructure  is the lifeblood of any business. Team Logic IT makes numerous technologies work more efficiently so you can tackle the important business tasks at hand. Your business is too important not to have experts solving your most difficult technology issues.

Having reliable, versatile systems that operate at high levels is no longer an option, it's imperative. Down time cost real money, headaches and a poor customer experience.

Many small business owners understand the value of outsourcing:

1. ISSUE AVOIDANCE:  You may base your current IT strategy on a ‘break/fix’ scenario. This means that by the time you know there is a problem, your business and staff’s productivity has already been affected and you typically experience prolonged periods of costly downtime. Team Logic IT provides pro-active maintenance and monitoring to avoid issues.

2.COST OF IT STAFF MEMBER - PART OR FULL TIME:  The average annual salary of a reasonably skilled IT staff member is about $55,000 add in employment taxes, benefits ect and you exceed $66,000 or $5,500 per month.  TeamLogicIT comparison: (based on full retail pricing), with consulting services, unlimited helpdesk, remote support, proactive maintenance, full documentation, proactive monitoring and full reporting for 35 workstations and 2 servers with 15 hours of onsite labor each month would cost $2,675 a month.

3. INCREASED STAFF PRODUCTIVITY: You may think that you are saving money by keeping the responsibility for your technology in-house and distributing it internally. The likelihood is your employees are not focusing on their primary roles and are being constantly distracted trying to deal with niggling IT issues which is dramatically reducing their productivity. Team Logic IT offers unlimited help desk support. This allows your employees to focus on what you are really paying them for.

There are many other reason to consider paying a small fee each month to have Team Logic IT manage your Technology

Have an entire IT staff at your disposal for less than $1 a day per workstation. We will manage your servers, switches, data connections, phones and more

Our managed services include:

  • Includes dial in help desk support
  • Server & Network Monitoring / Proactive System Alerts
  • Remote Support
  • Proactive maintenance (e.g.: Disk clean-up, defrags, etc)
  • Auto Patch / Security Management
  • Software License management
  • Equipment Serial Number/inventory tracking
  • Reduced rate, priority onsite support for machines under SystemWatch support
  • Monthly system health check reporting

 Visit our website at: www.teamlogicit/nwvalley

Call Me Directly at 480-436-7747 and discuss outsourcing as an option

 Matt Maggiora, mmaggiora@teamlogicit.com

 

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Tags:  Technology 

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Wearable Technology: What Does It Mean For You?

Posted By Amie Mendoza, The Law Offices of Amie Mendoza, Friday, October 2, 2015

We are living in a digital world and that means a lot of info is out there about us. With great advancement in technology comes great advancement in identity theft and data breaches.

I haven't gotten an Apple Watch yet, but I know a lot of you have. Technology like this is completely awesome. However, being an informed consumer will help you avoid a great deal of heartache when it comes to protecting your privacy.

This week, I want to share with you some things to watch out for in your day to day technology use. 

Wearable Technology: What Does It Mean for You?
 
Recent headlines have been replete with data breach stories in the last few years. The number of companies and government agencies that have had their systems hacked is staggering. Names, addresses, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, and other personal information have all been stolen by hackers from companies like Target, J.P. Morgan, Home Depot, and Sony, not to mention government agencies like the Internal Revenue Service and the United States Army.
 
What many people do not know is that they may be providing sensitive personal information to data miners on a regular basis through wearable technology. There is currently an explosion of activity in the development and marketing of electronic gadgets that people can wear to provide information on the go or to keep track of things. Read more....

Tags:  law  technology 

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