Posts Tagged: ‘backup’

Is It Time to Clean Up Your Act?

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“Hey, there’s not a single clean coffee cup in the entire kitchen!”

“How long has that milk been sitting out on the counter?”

“Wasn’t someone supposed to empty the garbage on Friday night?

What a mess! Anyone who works in an office environment has certainly heard their share of those kitchen complaints. If regular maintenance is ignored, things can deteriorate quickly. The same goes for your computers. Except your computers handle your most important assets: accounting, financial records, communications and client information.

Establishing a Maintenance Plan for Your Computers

Last month’s Geeks On Call’s Blog offered tips on keeping the outside of your computers clean. This month, the Blog presents maintenance guidelines for the “nuts and bolts” of your computer with the following tips:

Step 1: Windows and Mac both release security updates for their operating systems. Generally, these updates are set to run automatically. Follow these directions if you aren’t sure if the updates are complete or if you have disabled the automated updates:

Mac: Open the Systems Preference menu and choose Software Update. Select the updates you want to install from the list.

Windows: At the Start Menu, click on All Programs, then click Windows Updates. See the status of your updates and check on the automatic updates settings. You can perform these tasks manually or set your computer to download and install updates.

Step 2: Most recent computers offer hard drive maintenance as an automatic task. It defragments and reorganizes data storage for enhanced efficiency. It also provides disk cleanup by deleting duplicates and unused temporary files. On a Mac, this process is typically automatic. With Windows, if your computer doesn’t provide automatic hard drive maintenance, use the Start Menu to open and run the maintenance program.

Step 3: Periodically you should clear your Internet history or eventually performance issues will occur due to data build up. Internet browser tools can handle the problem with the following instructions:

  • Chrome: Hold Control and Shift, then click Delete to clear data. A new menu will open where you can erase selected data. Click on Clear Browsing Data when you are done.
  • Firefox: See Firefox menu and open Options to click the Clear button. This will erase cookies and cache data.
  • Internet Explorer:  Go to Internet Options control panel and click Delete on the General tab under the Browsing History.

Safari: Use the Edit menu to clear the browsing cache then select Empty Cache.

Step 4: Now that your computer is running more efficiently, be sure that the computer has a reliable backup system in place. There are many different options for backup solutions that are both reliable and affordable. Geeks On Call can advise you on a reliable backup system.

Step 5: Guard against malicious viruses by having an antivirus program on your computer. Protect your computer against losing important data or and save yourself from expensive repairs. Talk to your local Geeks On Call about your security needs

Step 6: Malware creates security holes that will compromise the performance of your computer. There are a variety of paid and free programs that will erase both spyware and malware programs. Also, be on guard and never download anything that comes from an unfamiliar e-mail address. Beware and never open attachments from unknown sources.

Take Care of Your Computers so That You Can Take Care of Your Business!

Regular computer maintenance, service and updates will keep your machine working at optimal efficiency. Geeks On Call can help you with backup solutions, malware virus and protection. Contact your local Geeks On Call to establish a regular maintenance schedule for your computers.

What is your computer doing during while you are taking a summer vacation?

Posting Date: 05/22/2014  |   Filed Under: Data Back-up, Technology, Tips  |   1 Comment
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Your computer gave you a great deal of support and guidance during the planning of your summer vacation.  The time spent looking at travel websites to find the ideal vacation location, the hours of price comparing to find the best deal, the moment of exhilaration when you found those airline tickets for $200 less.  You couldn’t have planned this amazing vacation without the help of your computer, have you taken the steps to protect it?

The Ideal Vacation Experience: Suitcase, Sunscreen and a Computer with reliable backup solution.

Summers are the time many of take a break and enjoy the weather, but it can also provide unpredictable weather situations!  Summer brings extreme heats, hurricanes, heavy rains and flash floods that result in power failures and technology system break downs.

In the event that you leave your computer vulnerable to these weather situations, consider this a warning and a time to get your computer’s backup solution in order! On the off chance that you are truly able to have a worry free vacation, then make certain to protect your machine before you leave.  The last thing you want on the vacation that you spent weeks planning and month’s day dreaming about, is word from home that severe weather has destroyed your computer and you can’t recover any of your information!

Be ready and make a move to ensure you are protects and able to enjoy your summer vacation with these backup suggestions: 

  • Backup for Business: A dependable backup solutions is essential for the security of your business information. Your business information is the most important asset to your business. Imagine how you would run your business without financial, client, and inventory documentation.  Over half of businesses don’t survive after a major data loss, make sure you are not one of these and can easily get back up and running quickly when a data loss occurs.
  • Home Backup Solutions: How are you ensuring the safety of your personal files, information and photos?  Is it with flash drives that are thrown in the back of a drawer, external hard drives stashed next to your computer, have you ever really given it much thought?  Flashes drives and external hard drives are not acceptable backup solutions, and it is something you need to think about!  If you home floods or catches fire, hard drives and flashes drives will also be destroyed.  You need to protect your personal and financial records, and your cherished family photographs with a reliable and backup solution.
  • Work Flexibility: Backup solutions can provide more than just sense of security; it can also provide you greater work and life flexibility.  In the event that you are on beach somewhere or having a fun filled “staycation”, you may need to weigh in with your office at some point. You can stay joined with business data, financial information, or customer matters by means of remote access. You will not have to stress about missing out on your vacation or family time, you can stay up to date and connected to the office and everything you need from anywhere.

 

In the event that a backup solution is not in place at your business or your home, use your impending summer vacation as a target date to aim for and get prepared!  Contact your local IT expert to help you determine and implement a backup solution that meets all of your needs.  With this crossed off your to-do list you can spend your summer relaxing – anywhere!

Why Your Small Business Must Have a Back Up Solution!

Posting Date: 05/16/2014  |   Filed Under: Data Back-up, Technology, Tips  |   No Comments
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It is 2014, and every business needs to have a back up solution and recovery plan in place for their most critical information should a data loss occur.   The cold hard fact is that most businesses are failing in this department because over 40% of Small and Medium Sized Business do not back up their data at all, and that 60% of backups fail when tested!

The time it now for businesses to quit fooling around when it comes to backing up their most important data including client records, QuickBooks files, and other irreplaceable company information.  Here are motivators to convince you to make sure your data is backed up and your business can rapidly bounce back from a data loss disaster.

1.  Human Error: People represent 30% of all data loss; this percentage incorporates accidental deletion, rogue employees, and spills.  While a human error is difficult to prevent, you can at least proactively protect your business by having the ability to revert back to an error free file.  Occasionally employees will not properly update a document or delete a file, so having a plan to restore the lost or inaccurate data is imperative to running your business.

2. Technology Equipment Fails: Technology equipment that you are utilizing to run your business has made great strides forward, but it will not always work flawlessly and may fail.  It is extremely costly, if not impossible for your business to eliminate every failure point in your IT infrastructure, so the best option for your business is to back up your information consistently so you can get the failed equipment back up and running quickly.  This quick action will help you minimize downtime and revenue loss that your business would otherwise incur.

3. Natural Disasters are Unpredictable: Over the last several years Mother Nature has caused chaos when it comes to our technology system though deep freezes, extreme heats, and mass flooding.   Businesses that do not have their data backed up with a recovery plan in place will have a daunting task ahead of them attempting to resume operations in the event of a natural disaster.  In fact, over 80% of all businesses that experience a business interference of more than five days close permanently.

4. Competitive Advantage: It is a bizarre to think that having and backup and recovery solution in place could give you an advantage over your local competition, but it absolutely can! In the event of a local disaster that takes everyone’s technology down, the first one back up has the opportunity to gain all the business of those that are still recovering and not able to meet customer’s needs.

5. Theft: Theft can put your company data at risk in a number of ways including hackers obtaining client information or employee’s computer or mobile device with company information on it being stolen.  Instructing employees about utilizing the internet safely will help protect you against viruses and hackers, but in the event that a device is stolen it gets more difficult to recover.  Having a backup that will make it much easier for that employee to get back to work, and with the growing options in Mobile Device Management you may be able to remotely erase all of the company information off of the stolen device.

6. Compliance Issues: A large number of Professions and industries require all businesses in that niche to have a backup and recovery plan in place.  If you are unsure what is required by your industry you need to find out right away, because if you are out of compliance the fines and penalties that are associated can be costly and is many time more than the actual cost of putting a plan in place.

7. Cold Hard Facts: If the information above has not yet convince you to call your local Geeks On Call owner to discover how our experts can verify you have a reliable and tested back up solution in place, perhaps that facts will:

  • 60% of companies that lose their data will shut down within 6 months of the disaster.
  • Every week 140,000 hard drives crash in the United States. (Mozy Online Backup)
  • 93% of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more due to a disaster filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster. 50% of businesses that found themselves without data management for this same time period filed for bankruptcy immediately. (National Archives & Records Administration in Washington)
  • 34% of companies fail to test their tape backups, and of those that do, 77% have found tape backup failures.
  • 2,000 laptops are stolen or lost every day
  • 46% said each hour of downtime would cost their companies up to $50k

We know that it is human nature to believe your business will not have a data loss, unless you have already been affected by a data loss. Data loss can happen at any time and without warning, and if you do not have a backup and recovery plan in place your business will face issues.

We challenge you to think about how much money you are losing every time a server or desktop fails and your employees are not productive or your clients cannot complete orders.  Putting a proactive backup and recovery plan in place today will save you time and money later when disaster does strikes!

Data Backup is More Important Than Ever

Posting Date: 05/15/2014  |   Filed Under: Data Back-up  |   No Comments
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Do you think a data backup solution is simply too expensive for your business?

That viewpoint is similar to thinking that insurance for your home is too expensive. Insurance might have seemed expensive until your home is wiped out in a fire and you have lost everything. After the fire is snuffed out, how do you plan to recover? Some things can probably be replaced, but regardless of the expense, certain things are simply irreplaceable. It’s similar to protecting another key asset – your business data. Even in business, certain data, documents, photographs, accounting files and client information might be nearly impossible to replace. When it comes to business data, are you safeguarding your most important company asset with a reliable backup solution?

What Causes Data Loss?
Redefining the Role of Your IT Professional

Any device that stores information is vulnerable to data loss. The causes of data loss are due to a wide range of human errors, technology failures and unpredictable natural disasters. Frequently floods, fires, tornados, earthquakes and lightning strikes destroy both the device and the data. Natural disasters are often followed by power failures that can also wreak havoc on technology.

The theft of equipment and attacks by hackers are widespread problems. Laptop and mobile devices are small, valuable and easily re-sold, making them the target of choice for thieves all over the world. Each year in the United States, over 600,000 laptops are stolen with over 65% never recovered. Hackers, viruses, software bugs and cyber-attacks grab the most media attention, but it’s actually human error and hardware failures that account for nearly 75% of all data loss occurrences.

Data Loss Can Cost Your Business More Than You Ever Imagined
Do You Have an IT Strategy That Delivers Efficiency and Accountability?
If you don’t have a backup strategy in place because you considered it too expensive, let’s redefine the term “expensive.” As a business owner, try to imagine what it would cost or if your company could even operate without your business data including QuickBooks files, client records and order information. Consider the time and expense of attempting to recreate the lost data and notifying your customers that their personal data has been compromised? If those scenarios sound terrible, then review these truly sobering data loss statistics and consider the impact this could have on your business if you don’t have a tested backup solution:

  • 93% of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more filed for bankruptcy within a year. (National Archives and Records Administration)
  • 94% of companies suffering from catastrophic data loss do not survive. 43% never reopen and 51% close within 2 years. (University of Texas)
  • 30% of all businesses that have a major fire go out of business within a year and 70% fail within 5 years. (Home Office Computing Magazine)
  • 70% of small companies (fewer than 100 employees) that experience major data loss go out of business within a year. (DTI/Price Waterhouse Coopers)
  • 96% of business workstations are not being backed up and are at serious risk. (Contingency Planning and Strategic Research Corporation)
  • 140,000 hard drives crash each week in the United States. (Mozy Online Backup)

 

Be Prepared with a Backup Solution

Unfortunately, we are at the mercy of this mixed bag of data loss disasters. The only plan is be proactive in safeguarding your business’ data with a tested backup solution. To take action with a backup solution, start by analyzing the needs of your business.

For example, do you need to backup your business’ entire operating system or just certain, essential data? Do you want the automatic data backup performed on a daily or weekly basis? Would a desktop backup device be an option for your business or home office? Which cloud storage or online solutions provide a secure remote backup solution that can complement your local backup strategy? Have you considered a personal cloud as a backup solution?

The backup market is huge and is continuing to grow. For business owners, that means there are lots of backup options with many solutions. Plus a reliable backup solution is not really that expensive when you consider the alternatives. We understand that sifting through options and technical details can be a daunting task. You should rely on your Geeks On Call to develop a customized backup solution or confirm that your current solution is exceeding your needs.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is certainly true when it comes to a backup protection plan for your business”.

Small Business Owners have to Face Technology Issues Head On!

Posting Date: 01/10/2014  |   Filed Under: Technology, Tips  |   No Comments
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Small business owners have to deal with frequent issues that arise within their business each and every day.  Many of these issues stem from technology that is not working correctly or as expected.

Below are some of the most common business technology issues that small business owners face and potential solutions:

Insufficient Backup Solutions: Everyone knows they need for a backup system in place.  And, may even have system in place that they believe is working appropriately and being tested regularly. But is it?  As a business owner you need to be certain your back up system is working properly, because if you are impacted by a data loss it can be detrimental to your business.

Solution: Implement a backup system that fits the needs of your business; additionally creating a testing strategy of your backup system that occurs at least one a month to guarantee you are able to recover from a data loss.  We suggest a managed backup system that also has the ability to expand with your business.

Lost, Stolen, & Unsecure Mobile Devices: Employees are accessing and saving your business data on their mobile device, whether it be a personal device or a device issued by the company.   What happens to your business data if the mobile device is stolen or lost?

Solution: All mobile devices need to be integrated into your IT infrastructure and required to have the same level of protection as your servers, network, and computers.  Integrating solutions for encryption and remote wipes, should a mobile devices be lost or stolen will help protect your company information.

Lost Productivity: Have you ever attempted to measure the time your employees spend online or on their individual cell phones?

Solution: Many small businesses are cracking down on the use of personal devices and online usage by putting Internet and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies in place.  These policies state what workers can and can’t access on company equipment and on their personal mobile devices while they are in the workplace.  Some businesses are taking it one step further and placing access blocks up within the office that disable mobile device features and restrict website access from within the office.

Unsecure Networks: Are they also placing your business network in harm’s way by accessing suspicious websites or opening unsafe email attachments?

Solution: As a business owner it is your obligation to ensure your confidential business information, as well as your client’s information is protected. Each desktop, cell phone and server needs to have sufficient and current security measures installed.  There are noxious bugs and infections developing day by day, and with a single click your whole office might be put at danger.

Increased Efficiencies with Technology: Do your employees continue to manage accounting, payroll, and client information the same way they always have?  If the answer is yes, then your business is not allowing technology to streamline the daily functions of your employees.

Result: Implementing updated technology through cloud based solutions gives businesses the ability to adapt to new technology that can streamline and automate daily tasks.  Taking advantage of cloud based technology also gives your employees access to information from anywhere providing them flexibility in their job and clients a better experience.

The best solution to many common technology questions is for small business owner is to build an relationship with an IT service provider that has experience providing business technology solutions.  Allowing them to manage your technology, while you remain focused on growing your business!