Why Wishing Your Technology Into Progress Won’t Achieve Your Goals

January 30th, 2019 by Julie Lough

align the right technologyIt’s month two of 2019 and no surprise, we’ve been inundated with information about the importance of goal-setting and strategic planning. Depending on how the previous year went, the new year can leave us excited or, in many cases, overwhelmed.

We’ve all heard the quote, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” When it comes to planning change initiatives for your business, whether it’s a big move, creating a new role, or implementing new software, it’s important to sit down and plan out the details, creating a goal rather than just a wish. However, while the thoughtful preparation seems detailed and inclusive, we often see one major missing puzzle piece in many business’ strategic goal setting.

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Beyond Beige: Bringing Your Technology into the 21st Century

January 22nd, 2019 by Julie Lough

Upgrade TechnologyIt’s Friday night. Your spouse is at Blockbuster picking out the newest VHS release. Your kids are at home alone dancing on the couch to MC Hammer. You’re stuck at the office behind your beige computer trying to finish the week’s work so you can start enjoying your weekend.

Does any of this sound familiar? Like, last-week familiar? No, you’re not back in 1992, and you probably aren’t watching VHS tapes or listening to “Too Legit to Quit” anymore. But if your PC is still beige or nearly old enough to drink, it’s definitely time to bring your technology into the 21st century.

Most business owners consider technology upgrades to be too disruptive of business operations and too costly and, thus, they ignore or put them off. They’re further afraid that any new upgrades will hurt employee productivity while they learn new software and hardware solutions.

Nothing could be further from the truth than those worries. Upgrades can be costly, disruptive and cause inefficiencies. However, with the right IT partner, they don’t have to be.

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$150 and Under: Holiday Shopping 2018

December 13th, 2018 by Jennifer Lough

With holiday shopping gearing up, you might be looking for gadgets and devices for the tech lover in your life (or you. Nothing wrong with buying yourself something nice). Here are some things on our under-$150 wish list this year: Read the rest of this entry »


Overcoming Your Hesitation to Moving to the Cloud

November 18th, 2018 by Julie Lough

If you haven’t moved your business to the cloud – partly or completely – you aren’t alone. Business owners in many industries have been reluctant to make the move. But that’s starting to change. Rapidly.

More and more, business owners are realizing the productivity and security improvements they can achieve using cloud and hybrid cloud solutions over relying on their solely on-premises technology infrastructure.

What is “Moving to the Cloud?”

We hear and read the phrase “moving to the cloud,” but what does it actually mean?

Some people seem to believe it’s when you store your data in the cloud – that is, taking advantage of the scalable, predictable expense of having their data redundantly stored in geographically dispersed data centers protecting it from natural or manmade disasters. Indeed, that is one way of “moving to the cloud.” But that’s not all.

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Claim Your Victory: 5 Defensive Strategies to Prevent Cyberattacks

October 3rd, 2018 by Julie Lough

Prevent Cyberattacks

Listen here for a radio interview about this article on WGVU public media.

Is it defense or offense that wins the game? While debate continues around whether defense or offense is key to victory, there is certainly no doubt about the importance of a solid defensive strategy. Similar to a game of football, creating a defensive strategy for your team is crucial to winning against the opponent, a.k.a. the data hackers.

Experienced hackers and sophisticated phishing schemes have affected all organizations, regardless of size. Consider this alarming statistic – 64% of companies have experienced web-based attacks and 43% of cyberattacks target small businesses. Small businesses are easy targets due to their minimal security and moderate amount of data, and because the chances of attack are high, setting up a strong defense is critical to avoiding big issues in the future.

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Need to Declutter? Recycle Old Tech

September 6th, 2018 by Jennifer Lough

Let us suppose, just for a moment, that you’ve just treated yourself to a haul of new gadgets. You probably have a stack of old ones to dispose of. What to do?

 

 

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Going Smishing

August 26th, 2018 by Jennifer Lough

Fun, but very important, fact: your smartphone is not immune to the various hazards that attack computers. You’ve heard of phishing, which typically works through email. Smishing  is similar, but it relies on text messages to reel in victims. Like phishing, a smishing message looks like it comes from someone you trust, like a bank, or a family member. The goal is to get personal information from you, such as your social security number, passwords, and other things the attackers can use. Often, they will then try to steal your identity or your money, but sometimes there will also be malware in the message that gives them access to your phone.

There are a few reasons smishing can be more dangerous to you than phishing. Read the rest of this entry »


Examples of Phishing Emails and How Not to Get Infected

August 9th, 2018 by Julie Lough

Wombat Security Technologies recently released their “State of the Phish 2018” report. This report found that 76% of companies surveyed experienced phishing attacks in 2017.

What is a phishing attack?

Phishing is an attempt to gather sensitive information, such as username and password, credit card information, social security numbers, etc., and use it for malicious purposes. These are often done via email, over the phone, through messenger applications or on social media.

The term “phishing” came about to describe the “bait and switch” style that phishing attacks emulate. They bait you with something that looks legitimate, an email from a friend, an alert from a trusted organization, etc., and then switch out the link with a malicious one, funneling you into phisher’s “net.”

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Types of Malware and How to Beat Them: Part 4

July 23rd, 2018 by Jennifer Lough

This is the fourth of a multipart series on common types of malware and other computer hazards. For those who have managed services with Micro Visions, we’re keeping an eye on threats for you. However, there are always small things you can do to further protect yourself.

Part 4: Trojan Horses

The term “Trojan Horse” comes from Homer’s Iliad. During the Trojan War, the Greeks built a large wooden horse, pretended it was a peace offering, and snuck into the city of Troy by hiding inside the horse. The key to getting inside the city? The people of Troy had to bring the “peace offering” inside the wall. Similarly, victims of Trojan horse malware generally download or click on something that they expect to be innocuous. (Spoiler, it’s usually pretty nasty.) Good news is they don’t replicate (like a virus does), but the bad news is that they can still do damage. They also tend to be pretty invisible while they’re at it.

According to Symantec, there are a few major categories of Trojan: backdoor, downloader, and infostealer. Essentially, the backdoor type allows the attacker to access your machine and its data and programs. Sometimes this results in someone taking control of your computer while you’re not actively using it (or even while you are). The downloader type acts as a carrier for other types of malware. In this case the Trojan malware is the large wooden horse, and the other kinds of malware are the Greeks. Infostealer Trojans include Emotet, which steals sensitive information from your machine. This type can allow the attacker to  monitor your device for passwords and other login information.

What to do?

Micro Visions protects against Trojans and other malware with monitoring and antivirus software. To protect yourself, beware of phishing emails. Avoid websites or links that seem suspicious. IMPORTANT: Your phone can also get Trojans, and it is especially vulnerable to apps with malware. Do your research before downloading.


Thinking of Buying Grey Market? Not the Best Idea.

June 2nd, 2018 by Jennifer Lough

Attention, people in charge of buying things. If you’re anything like me, a large contributor to whether or not you’re going to purchase something is the price. However, if the cost of something is surprisingly low, you should look into the reason it’s so low. Simply put, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. For example, when someone smashes the front end of a 2017 luxury car and has it rebuilt, the value of the car is far lower than the value of an unwrecked, otherwise identical car. Similarly, a product from one company that’s significantly cheaper than the same product from the official distributor or manufacturer will likely be a low price for a reason. This is where the grey market comes in. Read the rest of this entry »