29 Jan 2018

Why Businesses Need Improved IT Support

Are you a business looking for IT support in Miami? Have you considered all the ways in which IT may be helpful to you? There are several different areas in which your website our company can benefit from improved IT support, relating to customer service; effective data retention and storage, and security. It is true that some businesses have yet to harness the full potential of new technologies available on the market today, but the threat of malware or technological breakdown is too real to overlook. Today there are many companies offering affordable packages aimed at the small and midsize business.

Here are some examples illustrating why you might need IT support:

Technological Issues Abound
The amount of money spent on infrastructure reliability might seem like a lot to your bottom line – but is it doing its job effectively day in and day out? Any system failure that cannot be fixed within hours is going to have a detrimental impact on your productivity. The risk of unplanned downtime is compounded when you are not vigilant with your IT maintenance. The first step is to hire an IT consultancy firm isolate which problem areas are most acute, and proceed from there with finding solutions.

Do You Use the Cloud?
The cloud is only one of many innovative IT products that businesses today can use to improve efficiency and leverage profits. There are potentially countless infrastructural systems you are not using that could save you time and money. Investing in proper IT support means you get the foresight included in the package. Any new software that may prevent virus scams or security issues will instantly be adopted for you so that you don’t have to worry any longer.

Insufficient Synchronization
The main issue with productivity these days is as much to do with technical issues as a lack of synchronization. You want everyone in the company to be able to communicate seamlessly without hassle, and an IT support team can help make such a network function for your business. Getting a CRM is an excellent step forward in synchronizing your team. However, if left to its own devices, problems will abound.

Hacking or Stolen Information
The perennial issue is defending your confidential information from hackers and malware. Small and medium sized businesses are often targets for the very reason that they don’t have sufficient security software installed or carry out adequate maintenance. A ransomware invasion need only happen once to really through your business in a tailspin, and a lack of IT infrastructure is only making such an occasion more possible.

The complex interrelation of so many different software and digital systems makes it more imperative now than ever to grab a hold of your internal operational procedures. Businesses in Miami should stay on top of these challenges and get the IT support they need, otherwise they will lag behind competitors in operational cost and efficiency measurements – not to mention expose themselves to unnecessary risks online.

14 Dec 2017

DELL ERROR CODES

Today we get a phone call reporting error codes on a computer.

All computers in your work workplace have an important task to do but this one specifically has an even more important task for this account of ours. This computer is used to take X-rays. Without the computer there is no way to get these X-rays done for their patients. Low on resources, we still have to give it a try to find out what we can do to repair it. The simple fact that these computers even give off error codes is amazing. Any information given to the troubleshooter is helpful. Once we looked up what these error codes were, it was simply a matter of time before we figured it out. The error pointed us to troubleshoot the memory. When we looked into the memory, we noticed that there was a difference in the memory modules installed. We keep the memory modules that contained the most amount and removed the rest. Once we reconnected it, the computer powered on without any problems and we can get some X-rays done now, finally.

Some computers don’t even show error codes and make the troubleshooting even harder. Thankfully, DELL included that in their design and the troubleshooting was easy, this time.

26 Oct 2017

Windows 7 Pro

Today we get a call from one of our accounts on a maintenance contract, complaining that a computer was not starting up. The user is a remote user and she asked her coworkers to check on the computer for her. They were equally stumped when they saw a black screen with white letters. Any user sees anything that they are either not expecting or don’t recognize and they start to troubleshoot but this time it was beyond their knowledge and had to call in the IT Support team at iTNETWORX. 

This case was one of a few lucky cases for us. The symptoms are bad but the fix was easy and painless. 

The symptoms were described as:

  1. The computer is broken
  2. The computer has a black screen
  3. The computer won’t start
  4. The computer doesn’t work. 

To any IT Manager, those words make them pull their hair out and we almost did that until they sent us a photo of what their screen said. They were panicked but we were relieved because that error showed that the computer still has life and all we need is a quick startup repair and it may fix the problem. 


Thankfully, iTNETWORX arrives prepared for battle. With a Windows 7 x64 Repair Disk in hand, we were able to solve the problem in record time. We expected the worst but any troubleshooter knows to try the simple things first. In a few minutes, the problem was solved and the computer started up quickly. The user was advised and she was able to log in and get her work done. 

Very few times do we get this lucky. Many times we hear those same symptoms and we later find out that we truly do have a dead computer in our hands and we then have to scramble for a new one but not this time. 

iTNETWORX saved the day and on to the next service call in the area. 

11 Oct 2017

Why Self-Driving Cars Still Have a Ways to Go

There’s little doubt at this point that self-driving cars are the future of the automotive world. Despite that, the technology still needs some work before it’s safely made available to the public. The following are some current concerns that have kept the self-driving cars away of the open market – at least for the time being.

Human-Robot Communications

It’s safe to say that, despite the potential readiness of fully autonomous vehicles within the next few years, self-driving cars will likely be preceded by semi-autonomous ones. While not a full leap forward, this will definitely be a step up for drivers looking to catch a few extra Z’s on the way to work.

The current issue, though, is figuring out whether the driver or the car itself should be responsible in certain situations. Developers are trying to determine how the car should notify the passenger when they’re needed to take over a task. If the driver is watching videos or, more importantly, napping, a reliable form of communication between man and machine is needed. The driver must be informed of their needed involvement, and the car must confirm that the driver is ready to take the wheel.

Cybersecurity

In terms of current concerns that plague self-driving cars, cybersecurity is definitely up there.

A 2015 example comes to mind, when hackers dug their way into a Jeep’s computing system, bringing it to a full stop on a highway by accessing its onboard entertainment system to reach steering and braking components. In this instance, we saw that even conventional vehicles can have their vulnerabilities exploited, potentially leading to a road accident.

Of course, self-driving cars, with their cloud-backed maps and updates, would pose an even greater cybersecurity risk.

Dealing with Surprise Encounters

The human mind, while prone to lapses in focus, is built in a way that allows us to judge the best possible reaction to an unexpected encounter. As industry observations have shown, interpreting those situations comes as more of a challenge for self-driving cars. For instance, when analyzing how to respond to a traffic officer directing traffic on a red light, a self-driving car’s programming (based on simple rules) won’t always suffice.

Human beings use contextual clues, such as body language, to judge how to respond in unexpected road encounters. However, it’s difficult for a computer to judge, for instance, whether a traffic officer will be standing perfectly still as the car drives by him, or if he’ll be moving in the vehicle’s way.

Ethical Issues

This point is, of course, complicated. It’s abstract enough for human beings to navigate their way around the ethical dilemmas of driving – it’s a whole other story for machines. If an unexpected situation arises while driving, and a choice of impact location must be made, which option should the car choose?

For instance, should it make a difference whether a jaywalking pedestrian is a 5-year old girl or an elderly woman? Should the fact that they’re jaywalking make a difference to the direction the car swerves in as a response? These are uncomfortable moral matters, but they’ll need to be addressed clearly and directly before drivers – and pedestrians – can fully embrace automation.

21 Nov 2016

3 Common Web Security Errors You Should Steer Clear Of

To celebrate National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), we’ve put together this list of common computing security mishaps. We (along with your IT team) strongly recommend steering clear of these errors, for NCSAM and all months to follow. You can thank us later.

Neglecting to Save Regularly

Of course, no one would ever have a problem saving their work if they weren’t so absorbed in their current project. Despite the obvious benefits of saving (namely, the fact that it allows you to continue your work from when you left off, instead of restarting it), we often skip out on the few clicks needed to safely save the information for next time, especially if our computing habits translate to us leaving our devices on until their next use.

Aside from making it so that your work is saved throughout its checkpoints, saving documents regularly ensures the safety of your data should your device ever be stolen. Your IT team will encrypt your data so it won’t end up in the wrong hands – they just can’t recover that data unless it’s saved somewhere secure.

Treating Sensitive Information Carelessly

Considering the amount of time most people spend on their computing devices, it’s easy to understand why so many security “slips of the tongue” happen so often. Indeed, opportunities for mistakes seem to present themselves at any turn. Accidentally sharing sensitive information can happen by simply sending an email to the wrong recipient, or leaving printed documents unattended in a public space.

Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix that your IT team can offer you if you’ve openly – albeit mistakenly – shared sensitive computing-related info. The only practice to employ here is loss prevention. That means re-reading your emails, ensuring that no sensitive documents are left where they shouldn’t be, and taking any other mindful security measures that will protect your computing privacy.

Forgetting to Lock the Computer

If you’re working in a public space, your computer should be locked whenever you aren’t looking at it. Regardless of the brevity of your next bathroom trip, or how close the water cooler is to your desk, your screen is meant for your eyes only. If left unlocked when you aren’t around, you’re instantly vulnerable to someone slipping in your chair during the few seconds you aren’t around, taking whatever passwords and sensitive information they can find.

It’s unlikely, of course, especially if you work with people you trust, but you have to take whatever security measures are available to you. In this case, that means locking your computer. The security benefits here vastly outweigh any hesitance you might have to perform such a clear security measure in front of coworkers. Follow respective locking direction for Mac and PC.

In all cases, your IT team is available to help clean up the mess. However, it’s important to realize that some things are unrecoverable if they were lost due to computing negligence. In order to prevent security issues before they have a chance to manifest, it’s best to avoid making the mishaps outlined here.

21 Nov 2016

4 Tips on Staying Cyber-Safe This Holiday Season

The holidays are a jolly time of year, there’s no denying that. One thing we also can’t deny is that nothing can put a damper on the holiday season quite like getting your computer hacked into. As it turns out, the holidays present a higher-than-usual risk for online safety. Due to people being so trusting during this time – and due to the obvious increase in online expenditure – it’s easy to overlook some of the common pitfalls of online attacks. Opening oneself up to a cyber-attack during this time risks financial information and private data. Follow these steps in order to minimize online vulnerability during the holidays.

Segment Sensitive Data

Flat, open networks are a playground for cyber attackers, allowing them to navigate as they see fit should they find an opening. The best practice is to segment your sensitive data, keeping your important backups far from being connected to your primary network. This will keep attackers from accessing data you label as privileged.

Keep Your Network Clean

If your device is connected to the internet (which, in all likelihood, it is), it’s important for all connections to be purified. Cleanliness, in regards to network security, means applying recommended security and patch upgrades and updating the computer with the newest software. With the internet of things (IoT) on the come-up, computing potential has been opened up to new degrees, and with this change comes a host of new avenues for cyber attackers to take when targeting users like you. Because of this, it’s now more important than ever to update and patch your devices. If a device is too archaic to patch, it might be time to consider a replacement.

Monitor Device Traffic and Access

Even if your devices are adequately patched and are using defined policies, it’s still important for you to monitor its connections. This means keeping track of all traffic moving in and out of the network and letting your IT team know when your device connects with someone – or something – suspicious. Also, it’s important for you to know who is in your own network and what sort of information they’re accessing. Make a habit of continuously keeping track of internal interactions. This way, if privileged information is being accessed by someone outside your network, you’ll know right away.

Put Your Network to the Test

After taking the above steps, the best way to find out if your network is truly secure is for you to try and hack it yourself. Until your cyber security is put to the test, there’s no telling if the applied patches are valid, or if the data you meant to segment is much easier to get to than it should be.

While compliance with these steps won’t be a bulletproof guarantee of your network security this holiday season (no such guarantees exist in IT, anyway), they will increase your network protection exponentially, and paint you in the least attractive light possible to the legions of cyber attackers out there. As you’ll likely find, a cyber-safe holiday season is a jolly one, indeed.

21 Nov 2016

Pricing a Website Project? Consider These 4 Costs

With web creation and design being more readily available to the average consumer now than ever, it’s possible that you’re considering the move to your very own digital platform. This is encouraged, of course, but it’s best to have an idea of the costs involved before diving in.

Time

Although it doesn’t translate directly to finances, a working person’s time is, ultimately, money. You can outsource your work to a web designer (which, if you don’t have experience in web design, you likely should), but they’ll still need to consult with you regularly in order to establish the direction, development, and design of the platform. If they won’t be taking care of the production’s oversight, you or one of your employees will need to do so. All of this takes time.

Creating content, of course, is also time-demanding. If you have someone on your staff or network who writes well, they can take care of the monthly blog posts and any landing page alterations as needed – if you don’t have that person, it will have to be you.

Whether it’s your time, or an employee’s paid time, building a website will demand a certain amount of it, which costs money.

Marketing

Opening up a website to the public is like starting a second store for your business. Despite all necessary steps being followed, if no one knows about the store, people won’t happen upon it unless by chance. The same applies to your website – no marketing almost always means next to no traffic. That’s why you need the digital equivalent of a “Grand Opening” for your website, and some offline and online advertising – both of those things cost an amount of money.

How you intend on attracting visitors to your site is up to you. You can hire a social media manager or SEO company; you can also use paid traffic like Facebook ads or Google Adwords. There’s some room for play here, and the right choice will lead to the growth you’re looking for, or potentially more.

Maintenance

Starting a website is much like having a child. Financially speaking, it would be great if the child’s only expense was the hospital delivery bill. However, that just isn’t how things work – they’ll eventually be needing clothes, food, schooling, a car, etc. The same applies to a website. Despite the cost of what was needed to erect the platform, there are ongoing maintenance costs to consider.