Whether you purchased an iPad for personal use or work, there are several things you need to configure before using it. But if you’re not familiar with the menus on the Settings app, these five tips will help.

Touch ID

The first thing you must change is iPadOS’s fingerprint recognition features. When configured properly, this technology not just unlocks your device, but also automatically fills in saved passwords. To configure this feature, open Settings and then tap Touch ID & Passcode (or Face ID & Passcode, if your device supports it) to record several fingerprints and configure what Touch ID can authorize.

Notifications

How embarrassing would it be if someone sent you a private message and it popped up on your iPad’s lock screen where anyone could see it? You can prevent this from happening by opening the Notifications window from within the Settings app. From there, you can change which apps are allowed to show notifications, where those notifications are displayed, and whether or not you get reminders about unread notifications.

Personalize your Control Center

Swiping down from the top right corner of an iPad’s screen opens what Apple calls the Control Center. This window allows users to access frequently used tools such as the alarm, camera, flashlight, and others. To add or remove Control Center apps, or simply rearrange them, open Settings, select Control Center > Customize Controls.

Activate Siri

Apple was the first company to introduce a consumer-grade voice assistant, and they’ve spent years improving it. You can activate Siri by long pressing the home button. Another way to activate it is to say the phrase “Hey, Siri.”

Update your Today View

Swiping to the right on your iPad’s screen opens a screen packed with personalized information. It’s called the Today View, and although it’s smart enough to create content specific to you, there are several ways to improve it.

Open the Today View and select Edit. Similar to Control Center options, this window lets you add, remove, or rearrange what the Today View displays. You can even add page segments generated by non-Apple services and apps.

Don’t fall for the misconception that Apple computers and mobile devices are too rigid to be customized. Every day, countless organizations use them to achieve specific and unique business goals. We know because we’ve seen it happen firsthand with our clients! Give us a call today if you’d like our help making similar improvements.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

It’s an age-old legend…well, at least as old as technology in business. After hearing about benefits gained by other companies, you invest.

After hearing about its benefits from many other companies, a small firm decides to invest extensively in new technology. Including AI. Despite this, days, weeks, and even months pass without the corporation receiving a complete return on its investment. The issue, among entrepreneurs, has only intensified due to the pandemic and the hasty adoption of technology that resulted.

So, what’s the real story behind that? There might be many explanations for this. For starters, the technology implementation may not be as excellent as you had hoped.

Maybe your employees weren’t adequately trained. Perhaps the technology wasn’t a suitable match for your specific requirements.

It’s possible that the technology isn’t all that useful in the first place. And in the context of the pandemic, hasty digital transformation efforts often result in poor technological outcomes.

Unfortunately, anybody dealing with today’s challenges will find that solving them without technology is challenging. (In truth, every business should now be a technology business, but that’s a discussion for another day.)

Fortunately, you can make efforts to ensure that the technology you choose provides you with all you need. Remember that these aren’t fail-safe formulas for success, but rather a set of suggestions that will help you get closer to the results you want from technology.

1. Choose your technology carefully.

This is one of the most often repeated tips, but it bears repeating.

Why? Because you don’t have to employ every single piece of technology available. Sure, some IT basics may drastically transform your business. Meanwhile, you must be reasonable in how and where you use them, even in such circumstances.

When deciding which technology to use, there are a few considerations to consider.

You must consider specific demands, industry circumstances, competitor movements, and future business prospects before making a choice.

However, there is a mentality that may assist you in making better tech decisions. Choose technology that will help you become a more agile and fast-paced firm. Combining DevOps and CI/CD principles with decoupled data, infrastructure, and digital solutions may go a long way.

2. Include cloud computing in your infrastructure as a must-have.

The advent of the everything as a service (XaaS) paradigm allows you to tap into the power of various technologies.

Moreover, without having to make significant expenditures. As a result, you may (and should) use cloud computing to implement technologies.

Utilizing things like artificial intelligence, analytics, and big data can help your company grow.

Yes, cloud computing is ideal for storing data and even running customer relationship management software on top of it.

However, there’s more. Cloud computing allows you the freedom to scale up or down your tech demands at any moment. Meanwhile, you gain access to technologies that would be significantly more expensive if you developed them yourself.

3. Use data to make decisions and track progress.

You must already be aware that you base your selections on the information available to you.

Adopting big data strategies, as well as analytics and artificial intelligence, may help you maximize your company’s potential. This involves technology adoption and performance considerations.

Looking at the correct data may help you figure out which technologies are good for you. Consequently deciding when the optimum moment is to implement them.

Furthermore, when assessing the output and performance of new technology, data should be at the core of your monitoring activities. Data collected from the technology you adopt will offer you insights that will assist you.

Furthermore, you can determine what to alter, adapt, and scale up or down.

4. Invest in technology that will benefit the whole firm.

Because technology can empower your whole business, you should ensure that the digital solutions you implement benefit employees from all departments.

Doesn’t that sound natural? However, you’d be amazed how many firms acquire a specific technology, such as AI-based analytics solutions, and use it solely in one department, such as sales.

The concept is simple. Make as much use of technology benefits as possible.

Even if your new technology doesn’t seem helpful in a given area, try to conceive of other ways it may help you. At least, utilize the output to inform and connect with the rest of your firm. That way, everyone benefits — even if the production is a source of information.

5. Pay special attention to your workforce’s training.

Finally, you’ll need your team members to be well-versed in your new technology.

If you expect to install a new technology without providing extensive and continuing training to the individuals using it, you will be disappointed.

You’ll need extensive training to ensure that your staff understands making the most of the new digital solutions. Perhaps most significantly, the training should be continual rather than a one-time event.

That’s because you could discover new applications, or you might upgrade the solution with new features and capabilities that you wouldn’t have known about if you hadn’t informed other colleagues about them regularly.

If you don’t want to repeat the errors that others have made, do yourself a favor and think carefully about these tips.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from smallbusinesstechnology.com SOURCE

Microsoft’s newest operating system (OS) was released back in October 2021, but most Windows 10 users still haven’t upgraded to it. If you’re one of the many who still haven’t installed Windows 11, these must-know facts about the latest OS might convince you to upgrade.

Windows 11 is relatively new to the market, so it’s no surprise that users have plenty of questions about it. From what Windows 11 is to how to install it, here is a list of everything you need to know about the new Microsoft OS.

What makes Windows 11 different from Windows 10?

Microsoft promises to improve its OS with every release, and that’s also the case with Windows 11. It features refined power and security features and redesigned key visual elements that give the OS a more modern look. It is also packed with new tools, apps, and sounds that come together cohesively to give you a refreshing PC experience.

Does Windows 11 take up more PC space than Windows 10?

No. Both versions of Windows require approximately the same amount of disk space. However, you will need extra space in your PC during the upgrade process. After about 10 days upon completing the update, Windows will clean up this extra disk space.

When can I get a PC that comes with pre-installed Windows 11?

Windows 11 is pre-installed on PCs that were available before the end of 2021, as well as on all new 2022 PCs. Older models with Windows 10 will be able to upgrade to Windows 11, given that they meet the minimum hardware specifications necessary to run the latest Microsoft OS.

What are the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11, and how do I know if my PC meets them?

You can check the complete list of Windows 11 minimum hardware requirements here.

To see if your PC meets these specifications, download and run the PC Health Check app. Apart from providing a comprehensive eligibility check for your device and giving information on why your device is or isn’t eligible, it will also tell you what you can do if your device doesn’t meet the minimum specifications.

Will my current accessories work with Windows 11?

All accessories that work with Windows 10 and meet Windows 11 specifications should have no problems working with Windows 11. To be sure, you can always check with the manufacturers.

If my Windows 10 device meets the minimum requirements, when will I be able to upgrade to Windows 11?

While the Windows 11 rollout is expected to be completed in early 2022, it is already available for most of the devices in use today. But because not all eligible Windows 10 devices will be offered the update at the same time, you should run the PC Health Check app on your device to see if Windows 11 is already available.

What if I want to install Windows 11 on my compatible device but the upgrade isn’t available to me yet?

The good news is that you can install Windows 11 on your eligible PC without waiting for Microsoft to offer the OS to you. From the official Windows 11 download page, simply choose how you’d like to install the update. The best and easiest installation option for most people is via Microsoft installation assistant, but there are also options for installing through a bootable USB, a DVD installer, or a disk image ISO.

What should I do if my PC doesn’t meet the minimum hardware specifications?

If your PC is not eligible for a Windows 11 update, don’t fret. You don’t necessarily have to buy a new PC — at least not yet. You can stay on Windows 10; it remains a great version of Windows and it will be supported until October 14, 2025.

How much is the Windows 11 upgrade?

Upgrading to Windows 11 is free for PCs running the most current version of Windows 10 and have the right hardware specifications. To check if you’re running the latest Windows 10 updates, go to Settings > Windows Update.

Note that the free upgrade offer doesn’t have a specific end date, so there’s no saying how long it will last. It is within Microsoft’s right and discretion when to cancel the free offer, but the end date should be no sooner than one year from Windows 11’s general availability.

If I’m eligible for Windows 11 but decline the upgrade, can I upgrade later?

Definitely. You can upgrade anytime by simply going to Settings > Windows Update.

What will happen to my files when I upgrade to Windows 11?

All your data will transfer by default when you install Windows 11. However, it’s recommended that you back up your files first before installation so you can have a copy of these in case anything goes wrong. Learn more about how to back up your data using OneDrive PC folder Backup here.

If I upgrade to Windows 11 but don’t like it, can I go back to Windows 10?

Yes. Within 10 days of installing the Windows 11 upgrade, you can easily return to Windows 10 while keeping your files and data. To do so, go to Start > Settings > System > Recovery, then click on Go Back.

After 10 days, the “Go Back” option will no longer be available, and you will need to back up your data so you can do a clean install of Windows 10.

These are just some of the questions most users ask about Windows 11. If you have any more queries about the latest Microsoft OS, don’t hesitate to give our experts a call.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Allowing work PCs and mobile devices to accumulate dirt can lead to glitches and hardware failures, both of which can affect productivity. To avoid these issues, you must properly maintain your work devices. Here are a few tips to keep them clean.

Desktop monitors

You spend several hours looking at your computer monitor, so it’s important to make sure it doesn’t have any dust or smudges. To clean your monitor, turn it off first and gently wipe the screen with a microfiber cloth.

If there are still spots, try dampening the cloth before wiping but make sure you don’t spray water onto the screen. Don’t press too hard on the display, as this could damage the pixels on the monitor. Also, don’t use paper products like napkins or tissues, as they can leave a residue and scratch the monitor.

Mobile screens

Mobile devices will usually accumulate fingerprints. The best way to clean your mobile device’s screen is to wipe it down a microfiber cloth. For tougher spots, dip the cloth in a small amount of water and then gently wipe the screen. Don’t splash water onto the device itself, as the liquid could get inside and damage internal components, which can void your warranty.

Some people suggest rubbing alcohol to remove fingerprints and disinfect the device. While this will work for some screens, many manufacturers advise against this because the alcohol can wear down the protective film on some devices.

If you find dust or gunk in the edges or cracks of your screen, take the device to a mobile shop for more thorough cleaning. Do not open the device yourself, as this could also void the warranty.

Keyboards

Debris and dirt can accumulate between the keys of your keyboard. Before you start cleaning your keyboard, be sure to unplug it. Then gently run cotton swabs dipped in water or rubbing alcohol over the keys.

To remove dirt between keys, you can use a keyboard brush or compressed air, which can be purchased at most office supply and computer stores. Spraying compressed air in between keys should be enough to get rid of most of the dust and grit.

Computer mice

Similar to the keyboard, mice can get quite dirty with grime from dust and your fingers. To clean a mouse, unplug it then use cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol.

Computer towers

Before you start cleaning your computer towers, disconnect the power source and all wires to avoid short-circuiting.

Next, take a slightly damp microfiber cloth and wipe down all sides. Be careful when cleaning the front and back, as these parts house sensitive ports and components.

Dust can also clog up cooling fans, causing them to stop working properly. This can potentially lead to other components overheating. To clean the insides of your computer tower, remove the casing with a screwdriver. Then, use a brush or short bursts of compressed air to remove accumulated dust.

Making sure your computer is clean and running optimally is important to staying productive at work. If you want more advice on how to optimize your IT, our technicians are here to help. Call us today.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Microsoft Outlook comes with a raft of features that make managing your busy schedule and boosting your productivity easier. If you find Outlook’s myriad capabilities a little overwhelming, don’t worry — these tips and tricks will have you using Outlook like a pro in no time.

Organize your inbox

Is your Outlook inbox getting a little too cluttered for your liking? Use the Clean Up feature to tidy up your inbox.

From your inbox, click the Home tab and choose from one of three Clean Up options:

  • Clean Up Conversation – reviews an email thread or a conversation and deletes redundant messages
  • Clean Up Folder – reviews conversations in a selected folder and deletes redundant messages
  • Clean Up Folder & Subfolders – reviews all messages in a selected folder and any subfolders, and deletes redundant messages in all of them

Ignore conversations

Besides redundant messages, group conversations that aren’t relevant to you can clutter up your inbox. The Ignore button helps you organize your inbox and focus on relevant emails.

To activate this feature, select a message, then click Home > Ignore > Ignore Conversation. Alternatively, you can open a message in a new window and click Ignore under the Delete function. You can easily revert this action by going to the Deleted Items folder and clicking Ignore > Stop Ignoring Conversation.

Send links to files

This function is especially useful when you need to send large files to your coworkers or clients. You can send a link to the file instead of the file itself as well as set permissions to allow recipients to edit and collaborate on linked files in real time.

To do this, upload the file you wish to send to OneDrive. Then from the message box, click Attach File > Browse web locations > OneDrive.

Tag contacts

To get the attention of a specific person in a group email or meeting invite, use the @Mention function. This works particularly well for emails sent to multiple recipients or if you want to convey the urgency of your message.

In the body of your email or invite message, type the @ symbol followed by the name of the person you want to tag (e.g., @johndoe). Doing so will highlight the name in the message and automatically add it to the To line of your message.

You can also search for messages you’re tagged in by selecting Filter Email from the Home tab, and then clicking Mentioned.

Add notes to emails

With Outlook, you can add sticky notes to specific parts of an email. To add a sticky note, simply drag your cursor to highlight your chosen text in the email, and then release the mouse button to trigger a pop-up object menu. On that object menu, select Add Note. This will open a OneNote feed within Outlook, where you can add text or images to your sticky note.

Schedule a Teams meeting

Teams is Microsoft’s unified communication and collaboration platform, and it includes the Outlook add-in. This feature allows you to set up Teams meetings directly from Outlook. It also lets you view, accept, or join meetings while in either app.

To schedule a Teams meeting on Outlook, follow these steps:

  1. Switch to the calendar view on Outlook. Click the New Teams Meeting tab.
  2. Add individual participants or entire contact groups to the Required or Optional fields.
  3. Type in the topic, start time, and end time of the meeting. There’s no need to add the dial-in phone numbers and conferencing IDs to the invite, as Outlook does this automatically for you.
  4. Create a message inviting the recipients to the meeting, then click Send.

Share emails to Teams

With Outlook, you can easily share an email from your inbox directly to a specific Teams channel. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Select the email you want to share.
  2. Click the Share to Teams button.
  3. On the Share to Microsoft Teams pop-up menu, type the name of the person or channel you want to share to. Check the “Include attachments” tickbox if you want to include the email’s attachments.

These are just some of the things you can do to improve your Outlook experience. For more on how to get the most out of Outlook and other Microsoft products, drop us a line today.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Windows 11 has an attractive new look and some of the niftiest features ever seen in previous iterations of the operating system. These include the new placement of the Start button, improved security, Microsoft Teams’ Chat integration into the taskbar, a more personalized Widgets feed, and much more. Some users, however, would have liked to see certain Windows 10 features and capabilities brought over to the latest OS.

Customizable taskbar

In Windows 10, users can move the taskbar from its default horizontal position to the right or left edge or the top of the screen. In Windows 11, the taskbar stays at the bottom and there’s no option to customize its dimensions. Although the taskbar is commonly kept at the bottom of the screen, some users may want to change its position for different reasons.

Additionally, there’s no longer an option to move the Date and Time on the taskbar. In Windows 10, users can move Date and Time, which is placed in the right-hand corner of the taskbar’s System Tray area, by toggling off Clock in Settings. Some users may be perfectly fine with the default taskbar settings, but others might prefer greater customizability.

Drag and drop

Also absent in Windows 11 is the ability to drag and drop a file on your desktop into a program on the taskbar. In Windows 10 and earlier versions, you can drag, say, an Excel document saved on your desktop onto the Excel icon on the taskbar, and it will open. You can’t do this anymore on Windows 11. Users can also no longer drag and drop/save a file or any program onto the taskbar.

Live Tiles

The Start Menu in Windows 11 comes with new features, mainly a refurbished design, the “Pinned” icons, and a “Recommended” section. But gone are Live Tiles, previously available in earlier Windows versions, beginning with Windows 10. Those who’ve updated to Windows 11 will get the new “Widgets” features in place of the Live Tiles, but the latter serves an entirely different function.

Easier activation

To activate Windows 11 Home, users must have a Microsoft account, a 64-bit processor, and an internet connection. These are part of Microsoft’s minimum system requirements to activate the OS — on top of the need for a device with at least 4 GB of memory and 64 GB of storage.

On one hand, this can be useful. For one, business users signing into Windows with their Microsoft account automatically backs up their files through the company’s OneDrive storage device. However, for many users who don’t have a Microsoft account yet, it would be a lot easier not to have to connect a Microsoft account (or create one) when activating Windows 11.

Cortana integration

Cortana is a much less popular counterpart to the more established voice assistants of Apple (Siri), Amazon (Alexa), and Google (Google Assistant). But people who’ve gotten used to Windows’ very own assistant, which is integrated into Windows 10, might feel let down that Cortana is no longer part of the system setup nor can it be found within the Start Menu. Note, however, that the Cortana application is still available. You can find and enable it in Settings > Apps > Apps & Features > Cortana.

Internet Explorer support

To a lesser extent, some Windows 11 users will be disappointed by the absence of Internet Explorer, which will cease to receive support from June 15, 2022 onwards.

Faster shutdown

The slow shutdown of PCs running on Windows 10 is commonly attributed to Windows system files or corrupted drivers. Users would have liked to see faster shutdowns in Windows 11, but alas, that is not the case. Wake-from-sleep and restart times also remain unenhanced.

Windows 11 is not going to please everyone, but its other new functions will nevertheless please others. If you want to maximize all that the new OS has to offer, give our team a call. Our IT professionals would be more than happy to make your new system work for you.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Windows 10 Updates

Windows 10 users are well aware that installing updates can take a long time. We hear users complaining about it all the time. Why are Windows 10 updates so slow, and what can users do to speed things up? Here’s our take.

Windows 10 updates take a while to complete because Microsoft is constantly adding larger files and features to the operating system. The biggest updates, released in the spring and fall of every year, take upwards of four hours to install if there are no unexpected glitches. The process takes even longer if you have a fragmented or nearly full hard drive.

In addition to the large files and numerous features included in Windows 10 updates, internet speed can significantly affect installation times. This is especially true if your office network is overburdened by multiple people downloading the update at the same time.

However, if you still experience slow speed even when there aren’t simultaneous downloads, then it’s likely that there is a problem that is preventing the installation from running smoothly.

When you experience slow updates, try the following:

1. Free up storage space and defragment your hard drive

Windows 10 updates often take up a lot of hard drive space, so you need to make room for them to speed up the installation. This means deleting old files and uninstalling software you no longer need.

You’ll also want to defragment your hard drive, a process that organizes how data is stored on your hard drive so it can create, open, and save files faster. Defragmenting a drive is as easy as pressing the Windows button and typing Defragment and Optimize Drives. From there, just select the hard drive, click Analyze, and if the drive is more than 10% fragmented, press Optimize.

2. Run Windows Update Troubleshooter

If faulty software components are causing installation problems, Windows Update Troubleshooter may be able to fix the issue and decrease download and install times. Simply press the Windows button and type Troubleshoot Settings. That will open a new window with an option for Windows Update.

3. Disable startup software

Before your update begins, you should also disable third-party applications that might cause disruptions. To do this, press and hold Ctrl + Shift + Escape to access the Task Manager. In the window that opens, click the tab labeled Startup. This will show you all the apps that have permission to open themselves when you log in to Windows 10. Right-click any apps that aren’t important and select Disable (don’t disable Microsoft tasks) to speed up the update installation process.

4. Optimize your network

Sometimes, a faster connection is all you need. Consider upgrading to a fiber optic connection or purchasing more bandwidth from your internet service provider. It’s also a good idea to use bandwidth management tools to make sure sufficient network resources are reserved for things like Windows 10 updates, rather than bandwidth hogs like Microsoft Teams or YouTube.

5. Schedule updates for low-traffic periods

Massive updates with long installation times are unavoidable sometimes. So instead of installing them during the day, schedule them for after hours when your computers and office network aren’t in use. Go to Settings > Update & Security and specify when you prefer updates to be installed.

If you need help with any of the tips above, we’re always here to help. Call us today to meet with our Windows specialists!

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

A record number of businesses said goodbye to the traditional in-office work model in 2020. They embraced the remote work model as they adapted to the new COVID-19 reality. This switch to remote work was a huge shift that came with many challenges, and some of those challenges are still felt today.

One of those challenges was – and is – cyber security. Businesses wanted to get their remote workforce up and running, but there were a lot of questions about how they would keep their newly remote employees secure.

So, how can you enable remote work while keeping your business and your employees secure? How do you keep cybercriminals out? The answer is multifaceted. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to cyber security — that would make things much easier! But there are several steps you can take to help your remote team stay productive while keeping the cybercriminals out. Here are three things you need to do:

  1. Skip the public WiFi. This is Cyber Security 101. Never use unsecured, public WiFi, especially when working. For remote employees who have the option to work from anywhere, using public WiFi is tempting. It’s easy to access, but it comes with huge risks, including the potential to expose your device to intruders.Thankfully, there are plenty of options to help keep employees connected without having to worry about snoops. The most popular is the VPN, or virtual private network. VPNs allow remote workers to securely access the Internet, even through public WiFi. VPNs are ideal for remote workers who need to routinely access your network.Another option is the personal hotspot. This is a portable WiFi access point, usually paired with data service through a telecom like Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile. these devices give remote workers flexibility to work anywhere they can get high-speed data service. Because the remote worker is the only person on the hotspot (and should be the only person), there is less worry about hackers snooping for your data.
  2. Have a strong device policy. When it comes to cost-cutting, it can be appealing to let employees use their own devices while working remotely. Avoid this, if possible. The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) approach has its benefits, including keeping costs down. We need to keep in mind the security costs could be massive, especially if an employee gets hacked or misplaces crucial data. In short, BYOD can get complicated fast, especially for businesses unfamiliar with the BYOD approach.That said, many businesses work with an IT services company to create a list of approved devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones) that employees can use. Then those devices are loaded up with malware protection, a VPN, and other security solutions. So, while employees may be using a variety of devices, they all have the same security and other necessary software in order to perform their duties.The best device policy, however, is to provide employees with work devices. This ensures that everyone is using the same hardware and software, and this makes it much easier to keep everyone up-to-date and secure. It takes a little more effort logistically, and it has a higher up-front cost, but when it comes to keeping your business secure, it’s worth it.
  3. Don’t forget about physical security. While businesses are focusing on digital security right now, they’re not putting a similar focus on physical security. They may have a team of people working remotely spread across different neighborhoods, towns, states or countries. This mobility comes with the risk of device theft or loss.
    If employees will be carrying their work devices with them, those devices should be kept nearby at all times. That means never leaving work devices in vehicles or unattended at a café or airport (or any location). Never leave a device where it has the potential to be taken.It’s important to remind employees to not only keep their doors locked, but also keep work devices out of sight. You wouldn’t want to set up a home office in a room facing the street outside while leaving the windows open and the door unlocked. Just as cybercriminals are looking for ways to break into your network, criminals are looking for opportunities to take high-value items.

The way we work is changing, so we must be prepared for whatever happens next. Implementing these three steps will give you a starting point, but they aren’t the end point. Work with an experienced MSP to get the most out of your remote work approach. Businesses may not return to an in-office model, so the more steps we take to secure our businesses and our remote teams, the better off we’ll all be.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Windows 10 features

Windows is the most popular operating system in history, but despite its popularity, many users still do not know about all of its functionalities. Here are some Windows 10 features from the latest update that you might have missed.

Night light

This feature lets you reduce the amount of blue light emitted from your screen, which helps reduce eye strain and boost sleep efficiency. Night Light is disabled by default, so you need to enable it by following these steps:

  1. Click the Start Menu.
  2. Open the Settings app (or press the Windows key + I to quickly open Settings).
  3. Select the System icon followed by the Display option in the left-hand pane.
  4. Set Night light to “On” or “Off.”

Taskbar pin

Opening browsers and typing in web addresses are simple tasks as they were, but Windows 10’s taskbar pin feature makes it even easier than before. This is an essential shortcut for anyone who relies on specific web-based apps such as email or company intranets. Simply right click on the app or document you wish to gain easy access to and choose “Pin to Taskbar”.

Organize your open windows

Do you struggle to organize a screen cluttered with open windows? Holding the Windows key and pressing an arrow should solve most of your problems:

  1. Windows key + Left – Resize the current window’s width to half the size of the screen and align it to the left
  2. Windows key + Right – Resize the current window’s width to half the size of the screen and align it to the right
  3. Windows key + Up – Maximize the current window to fit the entire screen
  4. Windows key + Down – Downsize the current window

When none of those keys are enough to set you straight, holding the Windows key and pressing the Tab button will show you all the apps you currently have open.

Focus Assist

Notifications are frustratingly distracting. Windows 10’s Focus Assist feature helps you tackle this issue by customizing which contacts and applications can interrupt you during predetermined periods of time. Try it out by:

  1. Opening the Settings window
  2. Clicking the System icon
  3. Selecting Focus Assist from the left-hand pane
  4. Adjusting the notifications settings based on your preference

If you wish to disable Focus Assist and receive all notifications, simply click Off.

These are just a few of our favorites. For more software and productivity recommendations, give our experts a call today.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE

Data breaches are serious problems with business-crippling results. Some organizations are unaware of the multiple ways cybercriminals can attack and are often unprepared to combat the issues that arise when such activities occur. Others let fear of attack control their response and deploy common solutions that they presume will protect them but may later find themselves compromised because of gaps in their data protection approach.

Cybercriminals thrive on both of these scenarios–using lack of preparation or overconfidence in what was deployed to their advantage.

In this eWEEK Data Points article, Index Engines Vice-President Jim McGann offers valuable industry information about how to thwart the possibility of succumbing to a ransomware attack. Enterprises should implement the following five defensive strategies:

Data Point No. 1: Deploy a real-time malware detector.

Cybercriminals are looking for the path of least resistance when attempting to break into data centers. Whether it is a remittance of old attacks hoping to find an unsecure target or one of the many new threats created each day hoping to infiltrate a system before they’ve been identified, having one of the commercially available anti-malware software protection solutions deployed is an important first line of defense. Ensure that the software is scheduled for frequent system scans, and that updates and patches are installed automatically to minimize protection gaps.

Data Point No. 2: Deploy a backup solution that supports full-content analysis of your data.

Many backup products on the market today have some level of analytics functionality to determine whether any particular data has been corrupted. However, many of these solutions are metadata-only based, only looking at basic information about a file or database. Others use metadata analytics on the first pass and then follow up on suspicious results with content-based analytics. But this approach is flawed and can miss more sophisticated attack vectors, providing a false sense of confidence. A comprehensive content-based analytic scan deployed from the start validates the data’s integrity and delivers the high level of confidence that advanced or hidden attacks are found and neutralized.   

Data Point No. 3: Use forensic analysis that includes machine learning.

Because of the efforts of real-time malware detection providers and content-based analytic backup solutions, most cybercriminals have to consistently change approaches in their efforts to infect and attack business operations. What was once a bunch of loosely affiliated opportunists have turned into well-funded and organized syndicates using advanced technologies to re-engineer their attacks. Forensic analysis software that employs machine learning and artificial intelligence as part of its learning can detect patterns and anticipate changes that human-based intervention cannot. The cybercriminals are using ML to their advantage; so should you!

Data Point No. 4: Don’t pay a ransom.

Because of the swiftness and scale of these cybercriminal activities, it is possible that they may still find a way into your computing and storage infrastructure. Human error, falling for phishing schemes or intentional damage from a disgruntled employee can be the gaps that data thieves need to penetrate organizations that have deployed the proper security defenses. As overwhelming as it may be to find out that your data has been compromised and/or encrypted, don’t play into the hackers’ hands by paying a ransom for a return of your business-critical information. It is possible that you may still not recover your data even after paying. The security exploit that was leveraged may still be intact and cybercriminals may re-target your systems. Criminals may see you as an easy mark for having paid the ransom and have reason to come at you again, knowing that you’re willing to pay to get back up and running.

Data Point No. 5: Focus on best practices for cyber-recovery.

Not paying a ransom does not mean that you cannot get your systems back and operational. Nor does it mean that there has to be an excruciatingly long recovery period. The right protection software can turn a ransomware attack into just another disaster-recovery scenario. It can find the most recent clean backup prior to an attack and help recover any lost or infected data. In addition, the right cyber-recovery tool can launch a post-attack forensic discovery to find the breach and the malware that executed the attack in order to guide the post-attack recovery process and protect against future intrusions.

“Cybercriminals will strike any organization, no matter how big or small, if they feel like there is a good chance of collecting a ransom,” McGann said. “Taking steps to fortify your defenses and ensure fast, efficient recovery in case you do fall victim is paramount for protecting against ransomware in the first place. Criminals want the easy score. Deploying a solution like CyberSense that serves as a safety net against ransomware makes working for a win not worth the time and effort.”

To learn more about how to safeguard your business, or if you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment.

Published with consideration from eweek.com  SOURCE