4 Simple Ways to Improve Security in Small Businesses

With so many more IT options for small businesses now that used to only be reserved for huge organizations,...

Amazon WorkMail – Fully Managed Business Email & Calendar Service

Get started today for free with a 30-day trial of Amazon WorkMail for up to 25 users: http://amzn.to/1IGr80I Amazon...

Microsoft Office 365 Truly Keeps Your Data Safe

Microsoft Office 365 has a lot to offer to its customers. Compared to Microsoft Office 2013, it is significantly...

Keep Track Of Your Busy 21st Century Tech Life With Evernote.

Evernote is one of my favorite freeware apps. Do you spend a lot of time searching for that business...

What's New in Office 365 for November 2015

If you have an Office 365 subscription, these are some of the new features available to use for Office...
IT Support, Technology
4 Simple Ways to Improve Security in Small Businesses
Amazon WorkMail – Fully Managed Business Email & Calendar Service
Cloud Services, Office 365, Technology
Microsoft Office 365 Truly Keeps Your Data Safe
Cloud Services, Technology
Keep Track Of Your Busy 21st Century Tech Life With Evernote.
Cloud Services, Office 365, Technology
What's New in Office 365 for November 2015
hacker in action
IT Support, Technology

4 Simple Ways to Improve Security in Small Businesses

With so many more IT options for small businesses now that used to only be reserved for huge organizations, there are also higher security risks when small businesses choose to use cloud-based storage systems. Cloud-based data storage systems allow a user to store data in a remote location and access it online from anywhere.

Here are four simple ways to improve security in small businesses when using cloud-based storage systems:

1. Advanced Firewall

A basic firewall is one that most cloud-based services have to offer, and while these can keep out most automated access attempts by simple viruses or novice hackers. However according to many small business IT support companies they are not advanced enough to keep out more experienced hackers, nor do they prevent some suspicious traffic from slipping in. Make sure that the cloud-based company you are looking into has advanced firewall techniques in place that are both extremely difficult to penetrate from the outside and fairly easy for you to manage from the inside.

2. Advanced Threat Protection

This goes for both your cloud-based security system as well as the personal computers used by your team members. As technology advances, so do the methods used by cyber-thieves. Many times, their methods are much harder to detect, and the siphoning of data occurs automatically which makes it less likely to set off anti-virus alerts.

Make sure you have software in place on all of your computers that offers the most advanced threat protection available, and that the cloud-based systems you utilize also have similarly advanced virus protection in place to protect your remotely-stored data as well. Many of the viruses today are downloaded through very safe-looking links and websites, and once they settle onto your computer, they steal specific types of data and relay them back to their origins. This can go on for months or even years without detection without proper virus protection in place.

3. Secure Wireless Connection

This is easily one of the simplest steps to take to help protect the data of your small business, and it’s one that many people miss. You need to have a secure wireless connection that has encryption and WPA. WPA stands for Wi-Fi Protected Access and is an important part of protecting your small business’s data.

One way to do this is to keep guest Wi-Fi networks completely separate from your primary network. Guest Wi-Fi networks that allow visitors to your business to access the internet should never be connected to the network that you use to upload and store sensitive information.

4. Advanced Data Leak Protection

Most data leaks occur because the data that is being sent and received by the virus software that may have been implanted on your computer appears to be legitimate traffic. Because this data itself doesn’t appear to be dangerous, it is largely ignored by both firewalls and anti-virus software and continues to allow this data to leak out of your computer and into the hands of people that want to use it for their own good.

To avoid this common kind of data leaks, make sure you find software that has features designed specifically to detect the undirected traveling of this type of information to or from your computer. Two of the most common types of data that are stolen are credit card or bank account numbers or social security numbers. Both of these can then be used for identity theft.

Choosing a cloud-based system that has advanced data leak protection can help keep the sensitive information you have on your customers safe and secure where it belongs. These types of systems will both prevent and notify you if any information is being sent or received by unknown servers.Business security doesn’t stop here, though, make sure you have a comprehensive IT plan in place. Keeping your customer information secure is vitally important for maintaining excellent customer relations and a good reputation.

Amazon WorkMail – Fully Managed Business Email & Calendar Service

Amazon WorkMail – Fully Managed Business Email & Calendar Service

Get started today for free with a 30-day trial of Amazon WorkMail for up to 25 users: http://amzn.to/1IGr80I

Amazon WorkMail is a secure, managed business email and calendar service with support for existing desktop and mobile email clients. Amazon WorkMail gives users the ability to seamlessly access their email, contacts, and calendars using Microsoft Outlook, a web browser, or native iOS and Android email applications. Amazon WorkMail also integrates with your existing corporate directory and allows you to control both, the keys that encrypt your data and the location in which your data is stored.

working on computer
Cloud Services, Office 365, Technology

Microsoft Office 365 Truly Keeps Your Data Safe

Microsoft Office 365 has a lot to offer to its customers. Compared to Microsoft Office 2013, it is significantly better software!

Although the new software scores higher than its predecessor in almost every aspect, its safety features are especially worth noting. And that is exactly what we are going to talk about here.

As far as safety of your data is concerned, these are some things you can do when you rely on Microsoft Office 365:

You can be lazy

If you forget to renew your subscription for some reason, you need not worry about your data getting lost. Microsoft gives you an additional 90 day period during which you can recover your data. That is, even after your subscription is over!

You can act tough

Microsoft Office 365 encourages you to use passwords that are very tough. In case that is not enough for you, you can even use multi-factor authentication. Basically, what that means is that you need not worry about someone else sneaking through your valuable data.

You can sleep better

The fact of the matter is that Office 365 makes use of cloud privacy standard that is approved by the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO. That is not all. Even European authorities approve of Microsoft’s standards in this regard. Believe it or not, the whole thing is far more secure than most people think it is.

You can speculate and wonder

Microsoft does not let anyone know where it stores its data; at least, not anyone who falls among the general public. Also, the corporation manages a number of different facilities scattered all over the world. Even if a hacker wants to go through your data, the first and biggest challenge will be locating the data center where the information is stored!

You can just relax

BitLocker Encryption, SSL, and IRM are just some of the many different encryptions used to protect your data. Whether you want to view your data at rest, or communicate with your data somehow, you can be certain that everything is encrypted all the time. That means, prying eyes cannot even glance at your things for even a second.

When dealing with cloud, there is almost always a certain degree of risk involved. Yet, it seems that Microsoft has managed to minimize that to a great extent with its Office 365. That is evident from the fact that all of the above points are quite exciting and reassuring.

Cloud Services, Technology

Keep Track Of Your Busy 21st Century Tech Life With Evernote.

Evernote is one of my favorite freeware apps. Do you spend a lot of time searching for that business card someone gave you, hunting down login information for your website, shuffling through papers to find those meeting notes from two weeks ago, rummaging around your desk to find an important number you wrote on the back of an envelope, or scouring the web to find a site that you forgot to bookmark? Then you need Evernote.

Advertised as “Your External Brain,” Evernote is the best way to keep up with all the details that tend to get misplaced in our overloaded world.

Think of it as a free-form, never ending roll of paper than you just keep adding to, with an instantaneous search and excellent category tagging features.

You can type, scribble ink notes with a stylus or mouse. You can send a web page directly to Evernote from your browser with the click of a button.

You can add photos to it. You can snap photos of business cards, and it will search for the text inside the image (yes, you heard me!). If you put it in Evernote, you’ll always be able to find it later.

The newest version of Evernote also has a web client, which means that your Evernote database on your computer is always in sync with the one on the web. So if you’re away from your computer, you can access your database on the web to see all your notes!

You can even see all your notes from your phone, or snap a photo with your phone and email it to your Evernote database. When you get back to your computer, you’ll see your photo there too. Be still, my beating heart!

I have been using Evernote for several years. I have two different Evernote databases in constant use: the first one is my Daily Journal. I use it just like a paper journal to write about projects I am working on, random observations, my workouts, blog ideas, etc. It is also full of photos, doodles, scribbles, email clips, web clips and brainstorms.

My second Evernote database is used primarily for work. I use it to jot down phone numbers, temporary passwords, write down notes during a meeting, web clips, voicemail notes, etc.– anything that doesn’t warrant going to a more permanent location like Outlook, but is something I might need to refer to again. Instead of bookmarking websites the old fashioned way,

I will often clip them to Evernote instead– that way, they’re available off-line, and I can also make comments on them. I can’t tell you how much I love and rely on this program. If you live in the 21st busy century tech life, then you need to use Evernote.

How do I get my Office 2016 update?
Cloud Services, Office 365, Technology

How do I get my Office 2016 update?

Office 2016 is here. If you are a home subscriber you can wait for the update—a banner will appear when it’s ready—or watch to learn how to get it now. Learn more at: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/How-do-I-upgrade-to-Office-2016-if-I-have-an-Office-365-subscription-ee68f6cf-422f-464a-82ec-385f65391350?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US%20​

SEO, Web Design, Web Solutions

How to Take Control of Your Website Design Process

If you want your website to be successful, you should learn to differentiate to find the web designing company or freelancer that that meets the need of your company.

Responsiveness, availability and good communication are the factors to be observed first. If you are short on time or if you do not have the skills to choose a good service provider, you can always contact us.

You should aim at getting a website that adapted to your business so that it generates traffic qualified and thus be able to expect a return on investment as quickly as possible. You must first identify your needs in detail. This will involve a thorough research to select the web agency that best meets your needs.

The purpose of this article is to highlight the essential qualities required of a web design company. The choice of the right web design provider is a strategic action of the utmost importance. It requires some basic knowledge of the player at the project level but also web services agencies. This choice will result in the project’s success and the satisfaction of having a matching bill in the best possible option. The goal is to make a winning investment and to be ultimately satisfied with the product.

Consult the search engines.

Some of us use a friend, neighbor or relative and ask them if they know any dependable web-designing company. But if you do not know anyone? In most cases, people use the most popular method: search engines including “Google”.  You can just type in a keyword on the search engine to get an infinity of results.

The plethora of web agencies that appear could be a handicap in the sense that we still do not know where to turn. Indeed, the ranking on Google may suggest a high quality of services by a provider, but it is not necessarily infallible. A good ranking can be the result of a very good SEO site. In fact, most people tend to focus on the first result of the search engine and conclude that this is the best provider.

The truth is, Google is not able to identify the quality of services and can certainly evaluate the quality of a website, but cannot – at least for the moment – judging the value of the service provided. To know for sure if the agency offers a web service, it must meet some specific criteria.

The company must have a good design to show all the readability of the site. If it is done well, it has several features available quickly, and then we can conclude that the agency did a good development. Beware of salespeople who you meet that shoemakers are the worst shod and check for yourself the references of the web agency you are targeting.

For this is very simple, go to the agency website and click on the “Our achievements “or” References” or ” Our Portfolio” and verify that the sites displayed are real and always active (available online). Then you need to find quickly the imprint page in which the claimant must be mentioned.

If you do not see is that the web agency is not very familiar with the legislation. If you find it difficult, you can conclude that the ergonomics have been poorly studied. An index anyway, often this page is accessible through a small link at the bottom of page (footer).


After selecting two or three providers, call them so they will communicate an email contact address. You can then send them to your specifications. Some web agencies also offer their contact form can add an attachment, which facilitates the work. This introduction will help you discover the offers of the company.

The next step would be a physical encounter, or if a telephone interview with the representative of the company or a qualified business to their present your project, but also and especially for advice.

At this time, based on certain criteria you will get a pretty good idea of the agency. Directors’ web agencies are all human beings and as such they certainly have different psychological profiles and different approach. However, the first contact will remain of paramount importance.

Those in whom you can trust and consequently ensure that your project will be in good hands must have certain essential qualities: responsiveness, availability and good communication.

The professionalism of the director and his involvement are generally valid indicators of rigor and expertise of the agency. During the first meetings, you can expect that it directs you to believe that these professionals as “the best solution” for your project.

Do not worry, you will always find differences between agencies: a successful web agency communicates his knowledge; she helps customers make their choice and identify their needs.

It also helps to identify starting points necessary for the smooth running of their project and to have the most information possible. Incomplete information initially may lead to loss of time and a return to square one, which is never pleasant.

The key is to ensure the credibility and seriousness of the agency asking many and varied questions:

  • Have they made ​​websites in this industry?
  • What are the average budgets for this type of project?
  • What time does it take?
  • What solutions do they propose?
  • My specifications or my need is it complete and do you understand?

If the business you have the phone answered “yes” to each question without you ask, it is rather bad sign. This can mean several things:
It seeks to shorten the conversation because he thinks the project has been won – and in this case , you can be sure that the final product does not meet your expectations, or at least, not in your budget. He did not understand your need and do not try to understand – in this case; you will have an unfinished product, and for which he will put his hand in the portfolio for a product that corresponds to the idea that you had.

Customer Service

You have the right to ask questions and seek clarification and as many times as you want. It is based on the responses and the availability of commercial service that you can get an idea about the quality of service of the company and the importance they attach to the product quality.

The agency website

The content of a company’s website is a showcase of the expertise and credibility of the company. Rich content requires the profusion of company resources, but also provides an overview of its powers. A trend stands today. It is perhaps not new, but it is very popular: the corporate blog. Many mobilize resources to write articles, news, etc.

In most cases, the corporate blog helps convey the values of the company, its qualities, its experience, and know-how. It also shows the great interest of the company to its brand image and reputation.

In general, the blog shows the dynamism of the company, its technology watch, it helps to identify the editorial capacities if we ever need to entrust the drafting of its contents to the agency.

The cost of services

The cost of services is one of the main criteria sought by the contractors, and it may be the fundamental criterion for selecting a service provider for some.

It is possible to become acquainted only with a quote that most agencies offer free web.

Working methods

It is important to know if the agency is working with working methods recognized as an agile example. Indeed, the Agile method is an American method that helps manage IT projects, allocate tasks and estimating the duration of each.

All managed iterative form, which allows great flexibility and improved response time. This method is adopted by many companies because it has certainly proven. Recognized worldwide, it is a guarantee of delivery of a project on the specified date.

Benefits to avoid

Avoid providers that offer services website creation through subscriptions: example, $30 per month. You can be sure that these benefits are not recommended even misleading. Not only your project may never see the day, but again, you will find yourself bound to them by a contract that requires you to pay additional rates for a year or more and too often, these rates are not mentioned in the beginning.

Check the forums, bad agencies or agencies of ill repute are listed and even vilified. However, always make sure you stick to the truth of these facts before judging!

It is important to know what you expect from a web agency: Make sure you have a manageable website. Whether a static or dynamic website, it is in your interest to be able to edit your content and make the necessary updates to your website.

Nowadays, mobile devices such as Smartphone and tablets taking a market share of more important, it is essential to specify in your specification requirement of a site called “responsive web design .“

Do not worry, this is a scholarly term fair to say that your site has to adapt to the screen size of the user. Google is also preparing an algorithm to favor sites that adapt to the screen size and mobile friendly. Indeed, if good ergonomics is assessed on a site displayed on a large screen, it is even when it is small.

Make sure you get all the necessary documentation and make sure that the agency will provide training on site and a guide to handling your back office (called the functional specification – the technical specification is available to service providers responsible for maintenance but equally important if you want to change a day of service ) .

Make sure your web agency can provide you with a monthly report on the SEO of your site. We are talking about SEO (search engine optimization) resulting in optimizing for search engines.

The agency must provide you with regular reports positioning your site to several keywords that redirect to your site. One of the simplest and least expensive solutions and claim the presence of “Google Analytics ” on your site.

You will have access to a large number of statistics in several different areas of analysis to the place the most clicked on your pages (click through percentage area).

Similarly, if you need maintenance, claim reports of the work were done and any bug fixes that have been put into production. You’ll have a good view of the work was done and the time it represents.

If the agency does not offer you, you may even be able to make changes in the structure of your site to optimize a part of it. Be careful though if you change the content or worse URLs because keep in mind that Google records URLs (links). You understand that if you change your URLs, visitors will not find your pages. This will be a very strong impact on SEO.

As manager of a consulting firm, I can only recommend you to go through professionals to update your website. The consequences are so serious that it should think twice before changing content or modify a URL indexed in Google.

The quote / commercial proposalIt is preferable that the offer or quotation provider displays the following: A brief description of his agency (expertise, staffing, etc.)  A small section is showing he understood your need and your business, and  He must present his solution and argue technical choice  It must openly display its daily rate (average daily rate) based on profiles that provide.

It should offer you a project schedule clearly showing milestones (dates and times to complete each task). Here is a suggestion of cutting a planning template for this kind of project:

1 – Study and design
2 – Realization of the model ( graphic, visual identity )
3 – Integration, development, and testing
4 – Delivery in pre-production
5 – Minutes Recipe
6 – Delivery in production

Finally, the terms of payment and the period of validity of the license must also appear as well as the warranty period.


Any web agency whose quality of development is not a real problem must offer a warranty period. For information, who participated in a public tender, the institution requested a warranty period of 12 months after delivery in production. Common practice in this environment.

With these pointers in mind, you will be able to finalize a web design company that is ideal for your new website designing or for re-designing your existing website.