Updated: Apr 12
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Wireless Internet Confusion
WiFi has been getting more popular and more reliable. Although still not as reliable as a wired connection, it’s uses at home and at businesses is at an all-time high. Wireless connections still suffer from inherent issues: signal strength, interference, lost keys (passwords), and some devices (desktop PCs, printers) may not come with built-in WiFi. Many users make the mistake of misdiagnosing problems with their internet connection as a WiFi issue and will purchase additional boosters and routers to fix the issue. This usually causes more problems, as boosters don’t “boost” the signal, they just add networks (SSIDs) and keys (passwords), and the router usually isn’t at fault either. Contact us for some clarity on how your internet and Wireless systems work together. We can provide a proper solution.
Wireless internet, or WiFi, has become very popular in our everyday lives. Our computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones and many other devices use WiFi to get their internet connections. Wireless internet has its issues and limitations. Follow me for my next few articles on this technology. I will address common issues, and how to fix them, plus how to best understand this evolving system. Here is your first terminology tip: SSID = The Wireless Network Name, Key = The Wireless Password.
Many people have heard the word, but what is it? It is a way of scrambling and coding information that can only be decrypted or read with a special key. Much of our internet traffic between computers and webservers is encrypted. This way, if someone intercepts that traffic, they cannot read or interpret it. Storage drives and files can also be encrypted. If you are going to encrypt any file data, be sure to keep all keys stored in a secure location, off of the drive being encrypted.
Multi (Two) Factor Authentication
Hackers may trick you into giving them your passwords, or they may hack someone’s system that may reveal your passwords. Either way, passwords alone should not be enough to gain access to your important accounts. Enable MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) or 2FA (Two Factor Authentication). The most common form of these would send a text or a code to your mobile phone to enter when you login. With 2FA enabled, bad actors cannot gain access to your accounts, even with your password. Many systems support MFA and some are even starting to enforce it. Be ready by finding and enabling this feature before you find yourself the victim of a compromised account.
Company Success in Trying Times
Considering recent situations, we are finding that many companies are forced to make cuts to services, staff, and overall expenses. Supporting our clients and ensuring they can keep doing business through these difficult times is a top priority. We can offer very competitive pricing on many popular products and offer solutions to help save on overall expenses. Using technology properly can help save in other areas, such as physical travel, paper and ink, and utilizing existing hardware over purchasing new. Contact us to see how we can help.
Laptop vs Desktop
I get many requests to quote or replace laptops for users. I always pose the question “Do you really need a laptop?” Half the time, the answer is no. Many people just assume it’s a better option, or they had a laptop before, so the natural choice is for another one. I only suggest laptops if you HAVE to be portable. Too many times my clients will buy laptops and they just sit in one location for the term of their life. Desktops are a much better bang-for-the-buck. Much larger screens, full sized keyboards and mice. They are much less likely to overheat or break down and are much easier to fix if they do… They just aren’t portable.
As an IT company, we at InfoTech provide support for hardware and software issues, including trouble with internet services, email, applications and much more. Many clients and users may not know that much of this help can now be provided over the phone or with a remote connection. This type of support is less expensive, as there is no travel time invoiced, and the rate is lower too. Before you pack-up your computer or ask to have someone come out, call us to see if we can remedy the issue quickly and affordably over the phone.
Microsoft Office has been the mainstay of business applications for many years now, and their current Microsoft 365 platform is very popular and successful. But it is not your only option. Google is also offering a very competitive platform, G-Suite. G-Suite offers Word Processing, Spreadsheet, Presentation and other apps including business email and online file storage. G-Suite is also less expensive, and completely web-based. Google doesn’t offer the desktop apps we’ve been used to using for so many years, but desktop apps are becoming old-fashioned very quickly. Most students are now learning with Google’s Chromebooks on the G-Suite platform.
“Ransomware” is a term used when hackers are able to access your data, encrypt it, then hold the key to decrypt it for ransom. They can access your computer through many methods, including viruses, but often through Remote Desktop. Windows Remote Desktop is convenient and free but has inherent security flaws. InfoTech can offer more secure solutions for Remoting into your computer. And, as always: Backup your data!!
Online File Storage
Company spreadsheets, Accounting information, even family photos, are important data. Keeping this data safe and accessible is also important. Something that can help is to use one of many online storage options. Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, SharePoint, are all technologies from big companies that are easy to use, and the basic packages are usually free to start. Once your data is online, you can access it from any device anywhere in the world. It’s still important to back it up. Contact us for more info.
Everybody’s favorite topic: Passwords. Needing them is inevitable, remembering them can be difficult. It’s very important to have strong passwords comprised of uppercase and lowercase letters with numbers and/or special characters, but how you manage your passwords is even more important. I highly recommend not allowing your browser or apps to save your passwords for you. If your computer were compromised, the offending party could easily log into all your sites and services. Also, if you don’t ‘save’ your password, you are forced to type it in, and are more likely to remember it. Avoid using months, seasons, or years, the hackers have caught on to this idea. Use uncommon names or non-dictionary words. Good Examples: Roscoe8824$ or (Gp Ab 456). Yes! You can use brackets and spaces in a password!
Working Remotely In this current pandemic situation, many of us find that we are working from home or unable to go into the office. We can help. We have new and used laptops, tablets and computers. Also, the know-how to get you connected to business resources remotely. We understand that keeping business moving is a critical part of our economy and livelihoods. Contact us today to see what we can do to help keep you connected.
COVID-19 Response We at InfoTech are committed to the health and safety of our staff and clients. We are paying close attention to the evolving situation and encouraging smart responses amid this growing concern. We are committed to helping our clients keep their businesses successful. As well as other precautions, we will be using social distancing as a way to slow the spread of this or any other infection. We will remain open and at our office working remotely whenever it’s effective. We are, and will remain to be, available for on-site visits when needed. We are expecting an increased demand for our clients to also work remotely and are prepared to assist with any products, solutions and configurations. There are quick and easy ways to access your desktop PCs and many other ways to have information shared through the internet. We have been working with these solutions for many years now and have plenty of experience at hand. Please contact us if you have any questions about our solutions or policies.
Many computer and software vendors have two lines of systems. One for home consumers and one for business professionals. The business systems are more robust and have different feature sets. They don’t waste effort on making it pretty or colourful, rather tougher with higher performance. You won’t find most of the business line at the box stores. Rather, you need to consult a VAR (Value Added Reseller) such as InfoTech. We have partnerships with the product vendors and can provide backed advice and support for the right systems for your business.