Tech Talk

Welcome to Tech Talk with Array!

Tech Talk is a blog written by Array Systems President Sid Kato featuring helpful articles about common information technology challenges faced by small businesses. If you have an idea for an article, a technology issue you are currently facing, or a question you'd like answered, please contact us today and submit your questions and suggestions at the bottom of this page.

What is the best way to protect against viruses?

By : Array Systems, Inc. |February 09, 2015 |Security, Small Business IT |Comments Off on What is the best way to protect against viruses?

Top 10 Small Business IT Questions

#5 What is the best way to protect against viruses?

Viruses are computer programs written by malicious programmers to infect your computers. Most people aren’t aware their computer has contracted a virus because a virus can come from an email (usually at attachment), website, social media site like Facebook, or even your phone.

The best way to protect your computer against viruses is by using anti-virus software. There are several software companies providing good solutions. I did a search for the “Best antivirus software” and the top three on the website www.top10antivirussoftware.com are:

  1. McAfee
  2. Kaspersky
  3. Bullguard

I currently use the free version of AVG on my computer but there are higher rated software companies available. I did another search on “Best free antivirus software” and the top three on the website www.pcmag.com are:

  1. Malwarebytes
  2. Panda free antivirus
  3. Bitdefender antivirus free version

Virus Alert

UPDATE 12/17/2015: Consumer Affairs (www.consumeraffairs.com) lists their top 10 Antivirus Software products:

  1. MyCleanPC
  2. Norton Security
  3. McAffee
  4. Trend Micro
  5. AVG
  6. BullGuard
  7. Avira
  8. Webroot
  9. ESET Antivirus
  10. Kaspersky

Anti-virus software works by scanning your computer for viruses and can run in either an active or passive mode, based on settings you control. When the setting is passive, you need to schedule the scan or manually click the scan. The scan could take several minutes to complete. Using the active setting means your computer is constantly scanning for viruses. I recommend the active setting, which will slow down your computer, but provides the best defense against viruses.

Good antivirus software will detect the virus and then ask you to delete or quarantine the virus. Sometimes, the virus can’t be deleted without impacting the operations of your computer. For these types of viruses, the anti-virus software will isolate the virus into a separate “quarantine area” of your computer where it cannot cause harm.

Antivirus software is critical to maintaining the health of your computer, so make sure to do your part to defend your computer from attack.

I wish you the best of luck and remember to always use protection!

Array can help ensure your company’s computer systems are protected.

 

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How do I protect myself from hackers?

By : Array Systems, Inc. |February 02, 2015 |Security, Small Business IT |Comments Off on How do I protect myself from hackers?

Top 10 Small Business IT Questions

#4 How do I protect myself from hackers?

Hackers are people that want to get access to your computer network and access your data from your servers and computers.Hacker

A few year ago, hackers would most often gain access through your wireless network. Hopefully, we’ve all secured our wireless networks and have these access points protected with hard-to-break passwords.

Today, hackers may get access by stealing equipment. Laptops, desktop computers, servers, USB drives, and phones can be a “jackpot” for hackers. Most small businesses don’t secure their equipment with cables and physical locks. Additionally, when equipment is stolen if your data is not encrypted, your storage device is easily accessible and can be moved right onto the hacker’s computer.

Believe it or not, the most common way hackers access your information is by invitation. An employee invites a hacker into the system without their knowledge. This may happen when opening an email attachment that looks like an electronic birthday card from a friend. Once the file is opened (by clicking on it) a program is installed onto your computer and notification is sent to the hacker that it has successfully infiltrated your system. Another common way a hacker gains access is by an employee accessing a website on the internet that contains a hackers program. If you don’t have updated anti-virus or anti-malware software installed software on your computer you will not even know it has happened.

One of the most frustrating attacks, sadly, is also becoming more common. Crypto Locking programs encrypt your files so you can’t use your computer. The only way to eliminate this program is to completely wipe out your hard drive and restore from a backup. If you don’t have a backup then you are held ransom. Typically the hackers demand “ransom money”, usually about $500, to “release” your data. The payment is made in bitcoin – the new online currency that is hard to trace.

As we’ve seen recently it’s getting more and more difficult to keep hackers out. Like most criminals, they look for the easiest prey. So please, don’t make it easier by inviting them in.

Array can help ensure your company’s computer systems are protected.

 

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I’m concerned about identity theft, how do I protect myself?

By : Array Systems, Inc. |January 20, 2015 |Security, Small Business IT |Comments Off on I’m concerned about identity theft, how do I protect myself?

Top 10 Small Business IT Questions

#3 I’m concerned about identity theft, how do I protect myself?

Identity theft for your business is different than identity theft for an individual. Rules governing your business are stricter which could result in greater exposure. Here are a few tips to follow to protect your business:

  • Review your banking agreements. There are shorter timelines for fraudulent activity on business accounts. In some instances, if you don’t notice fraud until you reconcile your checking account at month end, it will be too late. Other activity like wire transfers require reporting almost immediately!Thief Through the Internet, Business Identity Theft
  • Implement two-factor authentication (two people) for any outgoing wire transfers. Even better, implement multi-factor authentication, using different people and different facilities (email, fax, telephone or special tokens).
  • Utilize online banking and increase your reconciliation frequency, especially if your transaction volume is high. Along with online banking, implement an electronic alerting system, i.e. email alerts that will notify you of potential fraudulent activity.
  • Use a different computer, than the one you use for email, when accessing your account online. The best set-up is to use one computer only for financial transactions and connect it to your network when you need to access online banking. Make sure that this computer has all the latest security patches and virus upgrades.
  • Enroll in Positive Pay with your financial institution. Positive Pay requires a financial institution to process transactions only if information regarding the payee and amount has been provided by the account holder in advance of each transaction.
  • Use high security checks and always keep your check stock, deposit slips, and authorization materials in a secured location.

It’s better to be safe than sorry in today’s world. If you would like to better educate yourself on Identity Theft, access the website: www.businessidtheft.org.

Want to know how Array can help protect your business identity and secure your computer systems?

 

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Using Social Media to find your customers.

How can Social Media help me find potential customers?

By : Array Systems, Inc. |December 15, 2014 |Small Business IT |Comments Off on How can Social Media help me find potential customers?

Top 10 Small Business IT Questions

#2 How can Social Media help me find potential customers?

Let’s look at Social Media in the context of Marketing. The focus of any good Marketing plan is to understand your customers – where are they located and how can you create a message that resonates with them. Let’s assume as a small business you don’t have the big budget that some of your competitors have. Your best strategy may be a focused rather than shotgun approach. And Social Media may be just what you need to do it!

There are several social media platforms used today, the most popular being Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, with Pinterest coming up fast. Each platform has a unique customer demographic. Here’s how I would categorize them. Over the past 5 years, Facebook has transitioned from a younger audience to an older audience with a focus mainly on social connections. LinkedIn has many professional contacts and is good for Business to Business connections. For a younger audience, Twitter is your best bet, attracting mostly those in the Millennial age group. Finally, Pinterest is used primarily by a female population of various ages. So, for example, if you’re selling your product or service to another business then your focus should be on LinkedIn. Always start by seeking out the best social media match to your customer base.

internet marketing via social mediaNow that you’ve focused on the platform, think next in terms of extending your messaging to reach a vast audience. This is the great advantage of social media over traditional networking. Through traditional networking you can make contact with 25+ people at an event. Through social media you can reach hundreds, thousands and sometime many, many more.

The messaging in social media is quite different than in traditional networking. Previously, your business card, 30-second commercial, and trifold were often the most common components to convey your message. With social media it’s all about content and how that content resonates with your customer. You’ve seen this when a YouTube video goes viral or your website receives 24,000 hits overnight. With this type of reach, you need to think differently. No longer is your goal to reach the 25 people you met at an event last week but instead, to reach the 24,000 people who saw the message you posted last night.

Want to learn how Social Media can help you find more customers?

 

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What is the Cloud?

What is the Cloud?

By : Array Systems, Inc. |December 03, 2014 |Small Business IT |Comments Off on What is the Cloud?

Top 10 Small Business IT Questions

#1 What is the Cloud?

The name Cloud sounds mysterious and difficult to grasp. It really isn’t. In its simplest form anything outside of your physical location, i.e. your house or office, is the Cloud. The way most of us access things outside of our physical location is through the public information highway known as the Internet. The Cloud has become synonymous with the Internet.

If you travel back in time when the dinosaurs walked the earth (25+ years ago) before the Internet, everything was self-contained in your office. The software, hardware and data you needed to perform your daily duties were all located in one location – usually on a PC or server sitting under a desk. If you were connected to another office location, your company owned and managed the connection of these “self-contained” locations. Dinosaur in a cave using the InternetToday our world is ubiquitous because of the Internet. Not only are you connecting to other offices through the Internet but you are also accessing software and hardware through the Internet. You can even store your data on the Internet.

The Cloud, then, is all that stuff outside of your current physical location or, if you’re a dinosaur like me, outside of your cave!

Want to learn how migrating some of your IT services to the Cloud can help your business improve efficiency, accessibility, and flexibility?

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Top 10 Small Business IT Questions

The Top 10 Most Common IT Questions Asked by Small Business Owners

By : Array Systems, Inc. |December 02, 2014 |Small Business IT |Comments Off on The Top 10 Most Common IT Questions Asked by Small Business Owners

Below are the top ten most common information technology questions we hear from small business owners.  Over the next couple weeks our President Sid Kato will be answering these questions here on Tech Talk with Array.  If you are a small business owner and you don’t see your question listed here, please let us know by submitting an article suggestion to the right –>

We’re here to help!

  1. What is the Cloud?

  2. How can Social Media help me find potential customers?

  3. I’m concerned about identity theft, how do I protect myself?

  4. How do I protect myself from hackers?

  5. What is the best way to protect against viruses?

  6. Do I need a website?

  7. What is the best method for backup of my data?

  8. What email system should I be using?

  9. I have some old equipment still in use, what is the typical lifecycle for this equipment?

  10. My Internet connection is slow should I change providers?

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Hello world! Welcome to Tech Talk

By : Array Systems, Inc. |December 01, 2014 |News |0 Comment

Thank you for visiting the future home of “Tech Talk” with Array. Here you will be able to find helpful articles about common information technology challenges faced by small businesses. If you have an idea for an article or a question you’d like answered, please contact us today and submit your questions and suggestions in the right-hand column –>

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