Network Support Doesn’t End When It’s Time to Trash or Give Away Your Used Devices and Equipment

Network Support Doesn’t End When It’s Time to Trash or Give Away Your Used Devices and Equipment

network supportIf you’re like most companies today, there comes a time when the devices, desktops and laptops you’re using just don’t offer what the new models can.

It becomes important to upgrade so that your staff has access to all the resources and software they need to do their jobs, and so that your company can grow. However, getting rid of old equipment and devices is not something that any manager or business owner should take lightly.

A typical Google search for device cleaning, data wiping and hard drive erasure software programs will yield a plethora of consumer results. However, though many of these product manufacturers talk tough in their online marketing campaigns, their products often don’t do what they claim they do.

As a business owner, you must completely purge any device you are thinking of giving away.

Maybe you’re planning to donate used desktops to the local high school or church. Maybe you’re going to give some used laptops to staff family members. However, you must prepare for the rogue element in any equation.

  • There might be a 17-year-old high school student that runs with a rough crime-happy crowd of 18 to 30-year-olds that would love to have access to your company’s data. Did you know that many young people have computer skills that rival even the most skilled hackers? In fact, many hackers start hacking well before their 18th birthdays.
  • Your secretary’s sister in college might be dating the wrong guy, or might allow her roommates to have regular access to the used laptop your company donated to her. Any of these people might be able to quickly gain access to the data still on the laptop, and use it for criminal ends.

The good news is, when people actually use classified information to carry out crimes, they will eventually go to jail. Internet activity like this is easily traceable. However, when you run a business, there is more to consider. You’re risking

  • Bad press,
  • Accusations of improper data handling,
  • Customer lawsuits, and
  • The loss of company resources while the problem gets resolved

There’s no need to deal with headaches like these.

Most business owners and managers would be shocked to learn digital forensic experts and garden variety hackers alike routinely recover tons of PII, (personally identifiable information) such as:

  • Financial records,
  • Resumes,
  • Medical insurance information,
  • Customer data,
  • CRM records,
  • Social security numbers,
  • Company emails,
  • Spreadsheets, and
  • Much more

… from resold or gifted HDDs and SDDs, (hard disk drives and solid state drives).

When you delete a file and it goes to the recycling bin, it’s still on your computer somewhere. In addition, many encryption products offered on the general consumer market still don’t offer enough security, since your average criminal is now learning more about how to reverse, decode and piece back together data after encryption.

The only way to truly make sure your company data is completely gone before you resell or gift your used devices is to work with a network support specialist that offers secure data erasure.

No consumer product on the market to date can offer this level of protection. This type of data removal sanitizes all necessary IT assets including desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, virtual drives, extra SSDs and HDDs and even your server. Contact us today to learn more.

Improving Router Security | Network Support Tips

Improving Router Security | Network Support Tips

Improving Router SecurityA recent article from Alphr makes interesting predictions about the future of computer security. As people come to rely on a wider variety of Internet-enabled devices – not just their laptops or phones, but objects like thermostats, cameras, and sensors – traditional antivirus programs will likely become less important than programs designed to protect routers and entire networks of devices. This shift in focus aims to keep hackers from seizing control of any one device and then hopping over to any or all other devices on your network – including your computer.

You should still keeping using a high-quality antivirus program as an extra layer of protection for your computers. What the article remind us of is the importance of paying attention to vulnerabilities in other parts of your network. Beyond protecting specific computing devices, you need to keep in mind the overall picture of network security and strengthen various components of your network, such as your router.

What are some of the things you can do, starting today, to improve your router’s security?

  • If your router came with default admin passwords, make sure you aren’t using them. Choose a long, complex password.
  • Use powerful encryption. There are different encryption standards and protocols available. Select the ones that meet the highest, most recent standards. For example, a WPA2 encryption standard and AES encryption protocol make for a solidly secure choice.
  • Set up a guest network, so that visiting clients and business partners don’t tap into your primary network with their devices.
  • Check if the firmware for your router is up-to-date.

These are just some of the basic steps for strengthening router security. Part of our network support services involves configuring your router in the most secure way possible and monitoring your network to reduce the chances of outages and cyber attacks.

Don’t hesitate to contact us for further assistance.

Questions to Ask When Outsourcing IT Support

Questions to Ask When Outsourcing IT Support

it support

Just about every business needs IT support to operate smoothly and efficiently. While some businesses opt to have an entire IT department on site, many choose to outsource IT support to receive the same quality services at a lower cost.

If you’re thinking about outsourcing IT support, here are two questions you should ask service providers.

Do you have experience serving businesses in my industry?

Technology needs for businesses differ from industry to industry. For example, a business in the restaurant industry won’t have the same technology needs as a business in the finance industry.

Before you hire an IT support company, you should ask whether the IT experts have experience serving businesses in your industry. The answer to this question will help you ensure your technology needs will be met to a T.

What sort of customer service can I expect?

As you may know from experience, disasters can strike at any time. Therefore, you want to outsource IT support to a company that offers excellent customer service.

You should ask about the time frame in which you can expect technology issues to be resolved. That way, if your server crashes, you won’t be left wondering when the IT technicians will be on site to deal with the issue. Look for service providers that offer 24/7 customer service.

More and more businesses are transitioning to outsourced IT support due to the quality services and lower costs.

For more information about the questions you should ask when outsourcing IT support, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Computer Tip of the Day: Choosing a Brand for Your Small Business

Computer Tip of the Day: Choosing a Brand for Your Small Business

Computer Tip of the Day

In order to create an effective digital business network for a small company, you must decide on a brand for the office.

The computer tip of the day is how to effectively choose a brand that will create an effective network for you.

Choosing an OS

There is now very little difference between the two major operating systems, Windows and the Apple Mac OS. Choose whichever platform supports the software that your critical employees use, and make sure that you buy computers for the same operating system for all departments.

If you are in the tech industry, you may benefit from the Linux system, but only if you have in-house staff with in-depth computer knowledge.

Investing in Mobility

If you want your employees to move with your data, you will need to invest in a mobile platform that connects to your office network. Ensure that the OS on your mobile devices matches the brand for your stationary computers.

CPU vs GPU Power

You will spend much more money upgrading your CPU power than you will GPU power; however, GPU upgrades can give you up to 1000 times the efficiency of a CPU power up.

No matter which OS you choose, make sure that you have computers that are modern enough to upgrade through their GPU. You will pay more upfront, but you will save tens of thousands of dollars later.

Please feel free to contact us for your IT support. Focus your efforts where they need to be while we focus on protecting your hard work.