The Value of Virtual Machines for Your Business

You invest a lot of time researching the best technology for your business. Your Apple computers work well for your needs, plus, the sleek desktops look great in client-visible locations. Yet occasionally, something comes up that you can’t do on an iMac. It doesn’t work on the Mac operating systems (OSs); only on Windows. That’s where a virtual machine can come in handy.

Perhaps you invested in your Mac technology before finding out about this industry-specific software you need to run. You’re not about to buy new computers for every user in your office.

You know that running Windows XP can be more dangerous. After all, there are many more cybercriminals savvy with Microsoft products. The payoff is much bigger for a bad actor who can find a vulnerability in Windows, as there are so many more users.

The answer, then, is to give your users access to a virtual machine. This lets you run that piece of software that only works on Windows, without starting from square one.

What is a virtual machine (VM)? VM software emulates your computer. It allows you to install an operating system, such as Windows 10, on your Mac. The software maps computer processing, memory, storage, and other components to run properly. Then, the virtual OS (or guest OS) acts as if it’s running on a real system. Yet for your purposes, it’s more of an app on your host OS. You open the software, make it full screen, and your computer looks and feels as if it has Windows installed.

One advantage of the virtual machine approach? You need only the software that you use on occasion and the VM software. You don’t have to get more hardware to accommodate that one Windows-centric tool. You can simply click into the software and do what you need to do. Then, when you’re done, you minimize that screen or close the application, and you’re back in Mac world.

Virtual Machines Not Just for Mac Users

Any computer use can also benefit from VM software. Maybe you’ve been a Mac loyalist but want to try Linux? You can install the OS virtually to check it out. Or perhaps you’re developing software and need to test your offering on other operating systems. The virtual OS helps there, too.

Overlapping the VM on top of the existing operating system can also provide peace of mind. If you have legacy software on an old Windows operating system, you continue to use it safely. Instead of connecting a computer with outdated (and unsupported) software to the internet, you can keep it separate, offline.

A virtual machine also offers a way to browse the internet without the risk of compromising the host OS. The original files and data are separate and won’t be at risk of compromise, theft, encryption, or ransomware.

Businesses can also benefit from a VM when they want to clone an existing system. Make a snapshot of the old computer and run it in on a VM on a new machine. This keeps the business running as usual when you’ve lost a software installer or need specific settings. Or use the VM when you want to move the guest OS to a new host computer.

The VM snapshot can also provide you with a backup of the old settings and legacy systems that you can always go back to. Worried about running an antivirus update or installing a new app? Use the virtual machine software to create a snapshot of your current machine’s state. Then, you can quickly restore it if the worst happens.

Real Help with Virtual Machines

Virtual machines offer real benefits. Our IT experts can help you setup an operating system within your VM. We can also connect the software to printers or the network as needed, securely. Contact us today at (416) 645-2469 or (905) 667-0441 or email us.

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Time to Replace Your Laptop Battery?

Your laptop computer may feel like a lifeline. It has everything important on it, both personal and professional! Regrettably, the time does come when you need to replace it. Yet, some computer problems could be solved instead by replacing the laptop battery.

Some computers now come with a variation on the car dashboard indicator light. You may see a red X on the icon that shows you the power level for your battery. Those with computer models with Windows 7 and up get a message saying, “consider replacing your battery.” But not all of us have this useful warning, in which case you’ll want to be on the lookout for these sure signs that battery replacement is needed.

#1 You Have to Charge the Computer Often

When you buy a battery-powered device the marketing boasts of the many hours it can hold its charge. Expect a fully charged laptop battery to last six hours (depending on the programs used). But as the laptop battery ages, it doesn’t hold its charge for as long.

You might plug it in overnight and wake up to find it still has charging to do. Your solution may be to keep your laptop plugged in at all times, but this cuts into the very mobility a laptop promises, plus, it can be a fire risk.

#2 Your Lap Is Heating Up

You’re working away on your tasks and the computer becomes an unexpected warming blanket in your lap. That didn’t used to happen! Now, your battery is having to work harder to power applications. This causes your computer to overheat, which can strain your computer. Plus, it can be a fire risk (yep, that again).

#3 Your Laptop Keeps Shutting Down

This one is going to get you worried really quickly. You’ll be seeing the dollar signs associated with buying a new computer in your eyes. This may be a sign instead that your battery needs to be replaced. A bad battery doesn’t hold charge for very long, and your computer will unexpectedly power off.

#4 Time Is Not on Your Side

You know your laptop is more than five years old. Don’t be surprised if you experience power issues. Did you know that laptop batteries are typically meant to last only 400 charges? That’s one or two years! So, your laptop battery might already have been living on borrowed time for years.

Be Nice to Your Laptop Battery

Before you buy a new computer, think about whether it could be the battery instead. Laptop batteries are not manufactured for eternal recharging. You might think you’re doing the right thing by keeping it plugged into a wall charger all of the time, but you’re actually doing your battery a favor by unplugging it every once in a while.

One other suggestion: don’t let the computer get below 20% charge before plugging it back in. This can help preserve battery life.

Replacing a laptop battery isn’t always straightforward. Don’t worry. We are here to help. CPI Networks can find the right battery for your laptop and replace it for you. Contact us today at (416) 645-2469 or (905) 667-0441 or email us.

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Pivoting to the Practice of Virtual Law

The law profession has been slow to embrace virtual work. It’s a people-oriented business, and there is great reliance on sensitive files and court documents, yet the pandemic pushed lawyers – and the rest of us – to embrace more digital technology.

Sure, lawyers were using mobile devices before. They worked in satellite offices, on-site with clients, or from home. Still, the profession’s traditionalists were loathing putting paperwork online or meeting virtually. Now they have to do so.

In the United States, 70–90% of firms surveyed by the American Bar Association still used traditional offices in 2019. By early April 2020, 48% were working online, and a further 40% were doing a hybrid of on-site and remote.

While many are eager to get back to the office, digital transformation has still taken hold. Let’s discuss the digital technology available to law firms today.

Digital Technology in the Law Firm

Digitizing documents and uploading them to case and practice management software has many benefits. The law firm gains:

  • collaborative access;
  • streamlined process;
  • improved productivity;
  • storage space previously wasted on boxes of file folders;
  • greater flexibility of interactions with clients familiar with digital upload of documentation;
  • peace of mind data backup is available;
  • centralized systems.

The software also adds a layer of accountability, as firm leaders or administrators can see who is accessing what and when. This enables better measurement of productivity and billable hours.

Clients also enjoy not having to leave home and find parking to drop off documents. Paperless transactions can speed the process on both sides, especially with virtual forms collecting data. This also avoids the inaccuracies that can come from manual data entry.

Another significant development for the virtual law firm? Relying on cloud-based collaboration tools such as Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365). Paralegals and lawyers can work on documents and spreadsheets simultaneously in real-time. With Outlook email and calendar sharing, everyone stays current on any device.

SharePoint and OneDrive also offer secure document sharing. SharePoint is an internal file management tool, whereas OneDrive is a bit simpler.

Communicating Face-to-Virtual-Face

Lawyers now need to meet with clients and opposing counsel, and to appear in virtual courts. Online communication requires a good internet connection, plus a quality camera and microphone to take part in a Zoom or other type of virtual meeting.

Other firms are moving to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Those who have used Skype are already calling via data packets transmitted online. And there are other options available: B2B VoIP vendors offer options integrating call forwarding, call queues, and more. With VoIP, the client calls a local number and connects to an employee anywhere without noticing a difference.

All these digital technologies can have a positive impact on the day-to-day running of the law practice, yet it needs correct installation, as security is critical. You don’t want confidential documents shared publicly or phone conversations carried out on insecure lines.

Enjoy digital transformation efficiency with a managed service provider (MSP) installing the right tools. The technology saves space and frees up resources for other practice priorities. Meanwhile, an MSP like CPI Networks will offer its IT expertise at a consistent set fee you can budget around. Plus, you’ll know you have IT help on speed dial if something goes wrong.

We’ll make sure your digital transformation – whether short- or long-term – is done right. 

We’re here to help. Call us today at (416) 645-2469 or (905) 667-0441 or email us

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Why Law Firms Need Managed Services

The law industry isn’t known for embracing change quickly: tradition can trump a willingness to embrace new technologies. Yet digital technology has become an essential part of many lawyers’ working day. Partnering with a managed service provider (MSP) provides support and enhanced cybersecurity during this evolution.

Lawyers rely on technology today to:

communicate with colleagues and clients;

  • exchange documents;
  • schedule events and share calendars;
  • research precedent and legal issues;
  • streamline file management;
  • automate menial tasks;
  • track billable hours;
  • invoice clients and pay vendors;
  • access information from mobile devices, when and where needed;
  • virtually conference during the pandemic.

Now, imagine the disruption if that tech-savvy firm’s systems went down, even just for a few hours. No, this is not an argument to return to paper-pushing and the old-school methods; it’s a reminder that you need an IT expert at the ready in case something goes wrong. Plus, an MSP can manage and watch systems to help prevent the worst.

The MSP Solution

Legal service provider clients expect digital proficiency. They want to schedule appointments online; they want to upload documents to the cloud instead of coming into the office; they are looking to provide digital signatures and pay securely online. The MSP like CPI Networks can set up software to meet customer expectations without risking compliance or cybersecurity.

An MSP with experience in the legal industry like CPI Networks can also boost competitive advantage. These IT experts can identify opportunities to improve productivity. It may be a faster network or computer upgrades, or you may benefit from improving software integrations and adopting better collaboration tools. The MSP’s initial tech review may also save you money. They’ll identify where you are overpaying or places to streamline software licenses.

Also, on the financial front, the law firm can enjoy a consistent budget line item working with an MSP. Instead of waiting for something to break and then looking for someone to fix it, you’ll have expert ITs on call, which can reduce costly downtime. Better still, the MSP will take preventative action to avoid that downtime in the first place. This includes keeping your antivirus and security updated and checking technological asset health.

The MSP’s small, ongoing fee is something you can plan around. The ongoing monitoring makes a budget blowout less likely, as well.

Managed IT services offer proactive support plus enhanced security. They understand the importance of end-to-end, layered security. They know the threats to a legal firm and can recommend quality precautions. Attorneys need to secure sensitive data and documents to remain compliant. The MSP can suggest secure storage and backup to perform the essential tasks.

Further on security, the MSP has the know-how to help your firm become more mobile, but safely. Your tech partner can put systems in place that allow your team to securely work when and where they need to.

It also helps to have a dedicated support team available. They’ll already know your firm and its technology. This can speed up the response if there are ever issues, plus, you have a consultant to call with questions about new technological innovations.

Keep pace with customer expectations and maintain competitive advantage. Enjoy technology support and cybersecurity peace of mind with an experienced MSP like CPI Networks.

We’re here to help. Call us today at (416) 645-2469 or (905) 667-0441 or email us.

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6 Ways Your Business Could Get Hacked

The following article was written by Myki and originally published on the Seedstars World blog.

Protecting your business from burglars can be as simple as installing a few security cameras and locking the doors every night before heading home.

Hackers, however, tend to be much more creative. As technology continues to evolve and businesses become more aware of the importance of protecting their valuable private data, hackers continue to figure out new and deceptive ways to bypass security measures.

This is why it’s crucial for you and your team members to familiarize yourselves with the various tricks and tactics hackers and cybercriminals have up their sleeves in order to avoid falling victim to them.

Here are just 6 of the ways that your business might get hacked.

1- Credential Stuffing

Credential stuffing works under the assumption that many people use the same password for multiple accounts, which is unfortunately very true.

Suppose a social media site your business uses gets breached, and a hacker obtains your account’s credentials. The hacker might then take those credentials and try using them in some other places around the web, hoping that they work there as well.

If you do use the same password everywhere, this one set of leaked credentials would have effectively given a hacker immediate access to pretty much all your other accounts.

2- Phishing

Cybercriminals send out phishing emails en masse, hoping to trick people into clicking on a shady link or downloading some malicious software (also known as malware).

Suppose one of your team members receives an email which claims to be from “Google”, informing them that their account is at risk and that they need to follow a certain link for instructions on how to fix this issue. The link might take them to a very convincing-looking page which asks them to provide their email address and password.

As you’ve probably guessed, that isn’t actually an email from Google, and that Google login page isn’t the real deal. It’s a direct line to a clever hacker, patiently waiting for anyone gullible enough to willingly send them their private credentials.

3- Spear Phishing

Spear phishing is a much more sophisticated form of phishing where a hacker specifically targets one particular person or organization.

Suppose you receive an email from your longtime team member, Jim. He starts his email with a friendly “Hiya”, like always, and asks if you can send him the credentials for one of your shared work accounts because he forgot them. You’re mildly annoyed but quickly reply to Jim with the password in question so you can carry on with your work.

In reality, “Jim” was a hacker who did a bit of research on the real Jim, in order to convincingly mimic his writing style, and used email spoofing to make it look like the email you received wasn’t from some suspicious unfamiliar email address, but from your trusted coworker.

4- Keylogger

keylogger is a piece of malware that secretly records everything you type on your keyboard and relays it directly to a third party, allowing them to monitor everything you type.

Suppose one of your team members falls for a particularly convincing phishing email and downloads its nasty attachment. If that attachment is a keylogger, then they’ve just given one particularly lucky hacker a window into some very private information.

Since a keylogger records everything you type, it’s not just your passwords that would be relayed to them. Your team member could inadvertently be sharing all kinds of sensitive information about your business, and even personal information, all without realizing it.

5- Ransomware

Ransomware is a form of malware designed to remotely encrypt your files and lock you out of them. As the name suggests, the only way to get all your data back is by paying an often hefty ransom.

Suppose you download an innocuous looking email attachment one night, after which you shut down your computer and head home. The next morning, you log back on, only to be greeted by a popup window informing you that your files have been encrypted, and that you must pay $1000 worth of Bitcoin to regain access to them.

Compared to someone stealing your passwords, this sounds like something straight out of an action thriller. But it’s much more common than you might think. Ransomware has affected all types of businesses and institutions, including shipping companies and hospitals, and even entire cities like Baltimore.

6- Insider Threats

As hard as it might be to believe, sometimes the risks can come from within. An insider threat is defined as a malicious threat to an organization that comes from people within the organization, such as employees, former employees, etc.

The keyword here is “access”. Suppose one of your team members leaves your business on less than favorable terms, but one day they realize that they still have access to all their work accounts and decide to have some sinister fun. Or suppose one of your junior team members accidentally leaks some private information they were never meant to have access to in the first place.

Human error and malicious behavior are often difficult to predict, which makes this one of the toughest security risks to prevent.

Use the right tools

When it comes to protecting your team and your business against these kinds of threats, two of the best tools would have to be: common sense and a password manager.

It’s not exactly a good idea to reuse the same password for all your accounts, but with a password manager, you’ll be able to quickly and easily set strong and unique passwords for each of your accounts and quickly change any of them in case of a data breach.

Be sure to carefully scrutinize any suspicious emails you receive, though it also wouldn’t hurt to use a password manager to set up two-factor authentication, adding an extra layer of security to an account in case its password falls into the wrong hands.

Unfortunately, common sense can’t autofill your passwords for you, but a password manager absolutely can, thwarting any keyloggers that may be monitoring your keystrokes.

Another thing common sense can’t do for you is to make sure none of your ex-team members tries to wreak havoc after they’ve left the company, unlike a password manager, which gives you control over what data each of your team members has access to, current or former.

Use common sense. Use a Team password manager.

To get your team setup with MYKI password manager, call us today at (416) 645-2469 or (905) 667-0441 or email us.

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How MYKI Respects Your Privacy

The following is a reprint from MYKI:

Privacy was one of the biggest issues of the last decade in tech.

From Cambridge Analytica to Siri and Alexa, people have become more aware and concerned with what data is being collected about them and how that data is being used.

Privacy has been our priority from the start, so we thought we’d take this opportunity to remind you about exactly how MYKI handles privacy and the data it collects from you.

No cloud, no problem

First and foremost, MYKI does not have access to any of the data you store in it, which includes passwords, 2FAs, payment card details, secure notes, and anything else you choose to save in MYKI.

Any data you add to MYKI is stored locally on your device and synced P2P across your other

MYKI-enabled devices (desktop, tablet, Apple Watch, etc.). This means that none of your data gets stored on any servers, and is always far out of the reach of hackers and cybercriminals. We ourselves can’t access it either, even if we wanted to.

Only the essentials

Another way MYKI respects the privacy of its users is by only requesting a limited amount of personal information. When creating a MYKI account, all that a user is asked to provide is their phone number.

You are not required to disclose your name, email address, or any other private information. Phone numbers are only collected to allow users to restore their data to a new device and are stored on our servers in a hashed format.

The choice is yours

We also believe in giving our users a choice. Like most apps, MYKI does collect data on how users interact with the app to better understand how we can improve the user experience. However, users are free to opt-out of this by navigating to the Anonymous Data page, located within the Privacy Center section.

It’s also worth noting that MYKI does not record any browsing data, keystrokes, or mouse movements, and does not store any account metadata.

To learn how MYKI handles privacy, visit the Privacy section of the MYKI website.

To learn more about MYKI or to have a MYKI password management account setup for your business, call us today at (416) 645-2469 or (905) 667-0441 or email us.

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More Than 15 Billion Passwords are Circulating on the Dark Web

The following is reprinted from MYKI:

By now, we’re all aware that the Dark Web is full of stolen passwords, but new data revealing how many there actually are floating around on there should be a wakeup call.

Over the course of two and a half years, researchers at Digital Shadows have been investigating how cybercriminals go about taking over online accounts to sell access to them. As it turns out, it’s never been easier for them.

Billions and billions of passwords

According to the recently published findings, there are more than 15 billion credentials in circulation on the Dark Web, up by 300% since 2018 and coming from 100,000+ discrete breaches.

The bulk of these credentials belong to consumer accounts, some of which are just given away for free. The fact that these breached accounts are shared so frequently indicates that the users they belong to are not even aware that they’ve been hacked, otherwise they would have already changed their passwords.

Out of all those billions of usernames and passwords floating around on the Dark Web, only 5 billion were found to be “unique” and not have repeated credential pairs. In other words, only 5 billion of those passwords weren’t reused across multiple accounts.

These unique accounts with passwords that can’t easily be guessed are where the money’s at. Bank login credentials were found to sell for the highest value, at an average price of $70.91, while credentials for antivirus software accounts came in second at $21.67.

The password problem

All these account takeovers are only possible thanks to a handful of bad password habits that a lot of people out there just can’t seem to kick.

Setting weak passwords for accounts and reusing the same password across multiple accounts make it easy for a cybercriminal to figure out these passwords via brute force or credential stuffing attacks.

In some cases, the passwords people could have already been strong and unique, but got compromised in a data breach and were never changed afterwards.

The password solution

The best and easiest way to ensure that you’re practicing good password hygiene is by using a password manager.

The MYKI password manager and authenticator allows you to generate strong and unique passwords for each of your online accounts and securely store them on your own devices. You can also use MYKI’s free Was I Hacked? tool to check if any of your accounts have been compromised in any data breaches and give them new passwords.

Contact CPI Networks today to get your MYKI password management account and start taking control of your digital identity. Call CPI Networks today at (416) 645-2469 or (905) 667-0441 or email us.

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myki-don't store password to your browser

Why You Shouldn’t Let Your Web Browser Store Your Passwords

myki-don't store password to your browser The following is a reprint from MYKI:

When it comes to creating and storing passwords, a web browser just can’t compete with a password manager.

Although most web browsers offer you the options to remember, autofill, and even generate passwords for you, you may want to consider letting a dedicated password manager handle all that for you instead. Here are just a few good reasons why.

Identifying Bad Passwords

If you tell a web browser to remember your account passwords for you, it will do just that, regardless of what those passwords are. A password manager, on the other hand, will actually  let you know if any of the passwords you’re using are weak or reused. That’s exactly what MYKI’s Security Dashboard feature is designed for.

Generating Strong Passwords

When creating a new account, your web browser will suggest a strong and complex password you can use instead of having to come up with one yourself. But while a web browser will just present you with a suggestion, a password manager like MYKI allows you to customize these strong passwords and select the number of characters used and whether the password includes numbers, uppercase letters, lowercase letters, or special characters.

Not Limited to One Browser

We’d all like to stick to one browser, but sometimes you just need to switch over to something different. For those who use their web browsers to store all their passwords, that means constantly having to export and import their passwords every time they make the move to a different browser. If you use a password manager like MYKI, all you need to do is install the MYKI browser

extension that corresponds to your current browser to get immediate access to all your passwords, no matter what browser you’re using.

More Than Just Passwords

It’s true that web browsers can store your passwords for you, but that’s as much as they can do in most cases. Don’t let the name fool you: most password managers allow you to store a lot more than just passwords. With MYKI, you can store not only passwords, but 2FA secrets, payment card information, and much more.

When it comes to protecting your digital identity, there’s just no substitute for a good password manager like MYKI.

Ask CPI Networks to set you up with a password management account. Contact us today at (416) 645-2469 or (905) 667-0441 or email us.

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Are Your Passwords Compromised?

News of a big brand suffering a data breach is all too common today. But if you don’t get an email from such a company, you could mistakenly be thinking it doesn’t affect you.

The thing is, large breaches are happening all the time. Cybercriminals then put access credentials online, and other bad actors buy and exploit those email addresses, usernames, passwords, etc.

Why do the bad guys care to buy these member details? Presumably, the victims of the breach quickly change their passwords to prevent security vulnerabilities. So, what good does that info do?

Take a moment to think about how many unique passwords you actually have. Many of us have dozens of different online accounts but only a handful of distinct passwords. That means a hacker can take that stolen data from, say, LinkedIn and try the same password on your banking site.

Cybercriminals have the capacity to keep on trying. They will take one stolen password and use that data to try and hit other accounts in a massive, brute-force effort.

What can you do about it?

Stop using the same passwords over and over again. Yes, unique passwords for every account are difficult to remember, but they are critical.

One solution is to use a password manager. Many browsers have a pop-up window offering to remember a password for a particular site. If you say “yes,” the browser automatically populates access credentials on your return to the site.

If you use Google Chrome, you can also check if your passwords have been compromised. Google Safety Check compares your saved usernames and passwords against over 4 billion compromised credentials.

To check for leaked passwords, head to “Settings” in the Chrome browser, then navigate to “Safety Check” and “Check Now.” You’ll get a report that identifies any compromised passwords, and allows you to review and fix leaks.

MacOS users will be happy to hear that Safari added similar functionality in its latest release, and Mozilla’s Firefox browser also has password checking built in.

Strengthen your passwords

Creating a strong password is challenging; almost as difficult as remembering all your different passwords. You’re aiming to come up with something a human or computer can’t guess!

Different sites will have different parameters. You need a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Having a different mix of these helps make the password more difficult to crack. And the longer the better; That’s why passwords a browser suggests to you look like a string of gibberish.

Pay attention also to warnings from the site requiring your credentials. If they say your password is weak, believe them. Safari and Chrome suggest stronger passwords when you create a new account.

Change your passwords immediately if you are advised to do so. Password management tools are continuously improving, but there is still the human element, and that’s often the weakest link. If you don’t practice healthy password hygiene, hackers are ready to take advantage of your ambivalence.

Need help checking your passwords and setting up a password manager for your business? Our IT experts can help. Contact us today at at (416) 645-2469 or (905) 667-0441 or email us.

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Ring in the New Year with New IT

For many of us, 2021 can’t come soon enough, and we’re hoping next year will be a better one. One way to get the best start in the new year? Take the time now to review business technology. There are several areas that you might improve to support 2021 success.

First, look at your website. In this digital age, your business website is your calling card to the world. It is where your prospects and customers will go to learn more and buy your product or service. Yet many business websites are at least a few years old. That won’t do these days. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C, your buyers are making a decision about your brand based on your website. If your website looks a decade old, they’re going to doubt you’re on top of your game.

When reviewing your website, priorities should be:

  • ease of site navigation – people have a low tolerance searching for information online;
  • mobile responsiveness – depending on industry, more than 60% of website visits are from mobile devices;
  • call to action – you’re making it clear what you want people to do on your site;
  • visual appeal – if it doesn’t look good, your credibility will be damaged;
  • search engine optimization – are you doing all you can to get people to your site?
  • security – customers care more and more about data security and privacy.

Updates in the Office Environment Of course, there are still people who will pick up a phone and call a business. Traditional phone systems are the reliable business workhorse. But settling for a plain old phone system could mean you’re missing out on a lot. Modern digital phone systems offer you access to a wide range of useful features. With a voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) phone system, businesses of any size can get enterprise-level features. These include:

Updates in the Office Environment

Of course, there are still people who will pick up a phone and call a business. Traditional phone systems are the reliable business workhorse. But settling for a plain old phone system could mean you’re missing out on a lot. Modern digital phone systems offer you access to a wide range of useful features. With a voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) phone system, businesses of any size can get enterprise-level features. These include:

  • interactive voice response (IVR) systems (e.g. “Press 1 to speak to sales, 2 to speak to tech support… etc.”;
  • call queuing that helps distribute incoming calls to the right party;
  • call recording that helps you track compliance, and provides training and sales script intel;
  • local phone numbers, free in-network calling, and consistent international-rate plans.

Also in the office, there may still be employees signing in to desktop workstations running Windows 7. This operating system reached “end of life” on January 14, 2020. That means Microsoft is no longer updating the software. Hackers know that, too, so sticking with the old system could make you vulnerable to cyberattack.

COVID-19 prompted businesses that might have been putting off cloud migration to move up their timetable, but some use virtual private networks or other remote access to enable work from home. It doesn’t look like we’ll be back in the office full-time, full-force at the outset of 2021, so this is also a good time to revisit the idea of cloud computing.

Making Your Business Secure in 2021

Start the new year off right with a resolution to make your business IT more secure. This could mean embracing two-factor authentication as an upgrade to password-only authentication.

Encourage employees to change their passwords. Most people have dozens of online accounts but only two or three unique passwords. So, it’s a good idea to require your people to update their passwords regularly. That way, if a site such as LinkedIn suffers a data breach, you aren’t vulnerable because of an employee’s duplicated password.

End-of-year downtime provides an opportunity to review any long-standing IT problems. Evaluate how much time or productivity was lost in 2020 while troubleshooting IT. It’s also a good idea to proactively plan your backup strategy and set up for disaster recovery. That way, if the worst does happen in 2021, you’re ready.

Keep your business secure and up to date with the help of a managed service provider. We’ll make sure you’ve got the best technology for your needs. We manage and monitor your IT tools, too. You stick to what you do best, and our experts will focus on your IT. Contact us today at (416) 645-2469 or (905) 667-0441 or email us.

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