I Have Some Old Equipment Still in Use, What is the Typical Lifecycle for This Equipment?

By : Joaquin Hernandez |August 24, 2017 |Security, Small Business IT |Comments Off on I Have Some Old Equipment Still in Use, What is the Typical Lifecycle for This Equipment?

Top 10 Small Business IT Questions

#9 ? I Have Some Old Equipment Still In Use, What is the Typical Lifecycle for This Equipment?

The typical lifecycle of computer equipment is 3 to 5 years. Your computer becomes obsolete because the manufacturers no longer support your computer’s hardware, software, or both. Even though your computer may continue to function past its expected “life”, finding a replacement for a broken or failing component becomes difficult. Software that fails beyond its expected life is no longer supported by the manufacturer. And failures always seem to have a way of happening at the most inopportune times! In these instances, maintaining an older computer, especially if you don’t have the expertise yourself, becomes more costly than replacement.

Disposing old equipment is a subject for a later column. However, for the basics, follow your local e-Waste guidelines as computers contain toxic components and have to be disposed of properly. Also, be sure to eliminate all personal information from your computer. You certainly don’t want a hacker to find your information on a computer they found in the trash!

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What is the Best Method For Backup of My Data?

By : Joaquin Hernandez |August 10, 2017 |Security, Small Business IT |Comments Off on What is the Best Method For Backup of My Data?

Top 10 Small Business IT Questions

#7 What is the Best Method for Backup of My Data?

Backing up data should be a priority for your business.  All businesses depend on documents and data to function. Even small business, like mine, need to protect their information. This is especially critical if you’re ever victimized by ransomware or viruses.

Financial records, significant documents, and communications are some of the basics a small business needs to back up. For these needs, an online backup solution will suffice. Several of the most popular options available are identified in this recent article:

Online backup services provide you a built-in capability to retrieve files or documents, without having to figure out some complicated process on your own. Also, these solutions are incremental, meaning only the changes are transmitted to the cloud. The system “knows” it does not need to back-up identical information over and over again.

To me, the best feature of online backup services is that offsite storage is already built into the solution. You no longer need to be concerned with moving portable disks or backup tapes to a secure offsite location. In my case, I no longer need to remember to take them home with me!

One of the oldest companies, used by many of my customers, is Carbonite. It is ranked third in the report evaluation above. Its ease-of-use makes it a popular choice. However, if your backup requirements are more extensive, Consumer Reports wrote a nice report which identifies several options available for backing up your data:

Don’t forget to test your backup solution as part of your annual maintenance plan. Once your information is backed-up and secure, make sure you know the steps to recover you company’s information and that you actually “practice” how to do it!

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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 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 are:

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

Virus Alert

UPDATE 12/17/2015: Consumer Affairs ( 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:

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


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