Friday Funnies – IT humour at the end of the week – August 1, 2014


computer humour cartoons12

Originally posted on: http://www.teluguone.com/comedy/pictures/Computer-Humour-Cartoons-28230.html

powerswitch

Originally posted on: http://imgarcade.com/1/computer-engineering-cartoon/

Maxine1

Originally posted on: http://www.dezynetek.com/humour.htm

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Why is your office WIFI still at risk?


Most people today are comfortable with using WiFi services. In today’s world with smartphones, tablets and WiFi enabled devices most businesses and individual users have learned to apply basic security to protect their Wifi from unwanted access however, there is more to WiFi protection than just having a complex passphrase.

Basic security for most home users means having a complex password. They don’t necessarily understand the difference between a security protocol, access control, bandwidth control or content control.

For example, when you ask the casual business or personal user if their network connection is encrypted, they say “yes, my password is 8 digits with capitals and symbols.” Though this is partially correct, the tech understanding behind it is different.

So let’s review the WiFi security elements that pertain to having a good secured WiFi connection:

1)Security Protocols – These are the elements that have the common names of WPA, WPA2, WEP etc. These protocols use a password combined with a randomly assigned portions to create an encrypted connection between your WiFi device and WiFi access point. WEP being the older technology is easily hacked and even WPA and WPA2 can be decoded by a hacker given enough time. For most personal use, the WPA and WPA2 levels are sufficient because in order for hacker to get in, they need to be within the signal range of the WiFi and if you are in a house or apartment, the range of signal is usually limited to your space. For Businesses, where individuals can publicly sit somewhere within your signal range, this has more risk. An evaluation of each protocol needs to be done to determine what best fits your environment.

2)In conjunction with a security protocol, the next level of access control is known commonly as MAC Address verification. Each WiFi device has a unique serial number that identifies it on the network. This includes laptops, smartphones, wireless computers/tablets or kiosks. Your router/firewall/WAP(wireless access point) can be programmed not only to require the security protocol password but also only allow a predetermined set of devices with specific MAC Addresses. This additional layer of security is a significant increase in defense because a hacker would need to know your MAC address as well as the password for the chosen protocol in order to gain access. Hacking a MAC address itself is very difficult, which makes combining both elements for your WiFi security very strong. The downside with enabling this feature is that you cannot easily give “wireless access” to your friends or clients for casual use. That is also why a lot of retail or public facing companies are offering a separate “guest” network which is not connected or is a separate zone from their work network.

3)Another element of your WiFi network is actually your bandwidth or “speed”. WiFi standards today can reach speeds almost as fast as standard wired(copper) networks. These speed classifications are termed with letters such as A,B, G and N. N being the newest standard and supporting the fastest speeds. The thing to keep in mind is that just like your wired connections, having multiple WiFi connections at the same time SHARES your bandwidth. Generally speaking, the more devices that are operating wirelessly, the less overall speed you will have. This especially applies to businesses using standard or minimum internet packages instead of top level or fiber based internet services. Most WAP and routers today have bandwidth control capabilities allowing administrators to choose how much speed they want to distribute to the WiFi connection and can even determine access times, user limits and peak/non-peak settings.

4)The last element of WiFi control for businesses which also applies to standard network controls is the ability to control what content is allowed to flow through your connection. This can be specific to websites, or can be used in conjunction with white and black lists and by categories. This allows employers and companies to control who accesses facebook, porn sites, game sites, email etc through their internet service. This usually combines with company policy to determine how much restrictions, if any is to be applied.

All these elements should be part of an overall company usage policy that is reviewed between management and IT for the best solution.

Feel free to contact us anytime about this article.

If you liked this article you may be interested in:

Top 10 scariest things about technology that businesses should know!

or

What is a Technology Audit?

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Verizon To Match Upload Speeds With Downloads | Geeks are Sexy Technology News


An interesting announcement from the US provider Verizon. As competition increases for bandwidth and speed, it will be interesting to see how that translates to Canada.

Verizon To Match Upload Speeds With Downloads | Geeks are Sexy Technology News.

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Friday Funnies – IT humour at the end of the week – July 25, 2014


This week I found 3 cartoons that made me chuckle out loud:

TweetANON

Originally posted on New Yorker Cartoon – Tweeters Anonymous

driver

Originally posted on www.andertoons.com

dogbert tech support

Originally posted on Dilbert by Scott Adams

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Where there is smoke…there is DEAD DATA!


I thought it would be interesting to show you how we GUARANTEE that any media we receive for recycling is destroyed beyond any possible recovery. As an Ontrack Data recovery partner, we know exactly what needs to be done and here is the video to prove it:

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5 things to remember about your technology move


Part of our services is to help our clients who are moving and need to take their technology with them. Though there are some things that are similar to setting up a new business, moving business locations can present their own challenges. In many cases, clients try to plan and execute their office moves on their own.

In some cases, they may ask a furniture or design consultant to help if their are any modifications or construction issues at the new location but rarely do they consult their IT provider (if external) to help plan their technology move. Generally, in our experience, we get the call AFTER all the plans have been made or actually the day of the move which can end up being disastrous.

We recommend having your IT involved right from the planning stage. Not only can they help act to manage the transition but can recommend avenues of opportunity that you may not have considered which could save you time and money or both.

1) Plan your internet and phone provisioning well in advance. This refers to tell your providers you are moving and figuring out what services need to be moved, cancelled and/or re-established. The most common mistake is to wait until the last minute to place the move order with the provider or worse, forget completely until the day of the move. Move order can take anywhere between 1 to 10 business days and usually it is the latter. Also note, that if your new space is to be constructed, that could affect your move order time.

2) Technology teardown and setup. This is the phase where you actually pack and unpack your hardware. In a lot of cases, movers will be engaged to this for workstations but who is responsible for your servers, network gear and specialty equipment? Who will shutddown and properly backup things prior to packing? When the movers unpack, will they be responsible for reconnection? All good questions to find out who is responsible and more importantly who is accountable.

3) Cabling for data and voice. If you are moving into the new space, has a review of your cabling been done? What about wifi? If it is under construction is your contractor taking care of it? Is your contractor qualified to do it? If you are not sure, here is an article you should read first: Why you should NOT let your electrician run your data cabling!

4) Systems Furniture refers to modular workstation style furniture that is designed to have electrical, data and voice cabling hidden inside and allows for easy configuration of your desk layout. If you have to get new furniture for your move, this is the time to consider a furniture change. For smaller offices that are using traditional single user desks, they should consider where their computer and technology will be located in relation to the wall jacks and electrical outlets.

5) Environmental concerns – Does the new space have the proper power requirements or do they suffer from brownouts, blackouts or surges? Many times, the new location may not have the right power configuration for servers or UPS systems and in fact, may not have sufficient electrical outlets for all the technology. A review of the power of the new location is always advised.

Over all, moving is stressful and usually annoying. Downtime and employee time are always of a concern so getting your IT involved early can help minimize the potential problems and unexpected situations.

Feel free to contact us anytime on this or any topic.

If you liked this article, you may be interested in: Why backing up your data is more important than worrying about your anti-virus software

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Friday Funnies – IT humour at the end of the week – July 18, 2014


Another round of funny items for the week:

ethernet key chain

Originally posted on Thechive.com

cpu cooling

Originally posted on Cheezburger.com

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What is a Technology Audit?


Simply put, it is a review of the systems that operate your business.

More specifically, it is a review of your technology in terms of physical, environmental, security, policy, practical and financial evaluations and how your dollars are spent versus what you are getting in return.

Every minute of downtime can cost you money, efficiency and credibility. Audits identify where the risks and critical weak points of your systems are most likely to arise.

Our consultants investigate all aspects of your business technology and report back on the following categories:

Physical Network – The actual cabling, modems, routers, switches and devices for your connections.
Server Review – Detailed analysis of the servers features, performance, capabilities and potential.
Workstation Review – Detailed analysis of each station hardware, software, operating system and application usage.
Security – A review of all levels of security from anti-virus, anti-spyware to authorized users and access controls.
Backup – The type, method, appropriateness and effectiveness of a backup in case of data loss.
Environment – Physical attributes like heating/cooling of servers, location, users furniture and other conditions that may affect technology.

Our review will look at all these areas without downtime and minimal invasion of space (i.e. we may need to use somebody’s computer for a few minutes to gather data).

We do utilize small programs on occasion that gather details of each workstation and gives us a written report on the status of things that we can then analyze.

Our Consultants analyze the gathered data, compare it to industry standard “best practices” guidelines, research your industries requirements and evaluate the life expectancy of the technology in question.

The end result is to provide recommendations based on our observations to illustrate where things are good, where things need improvement and where things are require critical attention.

Our report groups these into three categories of required attention and then you will be able to identify where things need to change and how to estimate the timelines for that.

You will receive a written report with all the items mentioned, combined with a recommendations list and estimated pricing based on our provision of equipment or labour to resolve any issues.

Audits generally take 2-3 hours to complete and we will require access to the server, router and workstations at various intervals so we may need passwords or at least somebody to enter in passwords for us.

Approximately 50% of the time is spent on the server, 30% on the workstations and 20% on networks, security and environmental.

Once you have a report on the status of your technology, our work is not done. We offer ongoing service and support to help address items found in the audit.

We offer the following support services:

• Monthly Onsite and Remote Maintenance Service Packages
• Online Backup Solutions
• Server and Workstation Troubleshooting services
• Emergency Response
• Server, Workstation and Network Upgrades/Migrations/Purchases
• Technology Consulting for business plan, moving or operational growth

Talk to one of our consultants if you have any questions or would like more details on any of the information presented here.

If you liked this article, you may also be interested in Top 10 Scary IT things…

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Friday Funnies – IT humour at the end of the week


Here at Fix My Computer Now Inc. HQ we come across IT related (and sometimes geek related) humour occasionally that makes use snort, chuckle and cough. We’ve decided to share some of these from our favorite geek websites.

windowsfamilymember

Repost from Faildesk.net

and another favorite…

puppylan

Repost from Faildesk.net

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Has the Canadian Anti-Spam Law created malware threats?


A valid point and argument to the fact that in the rush for all Canadian businesses to get consent in compliance with the new law, phishing and malware opportunities increased signficantly with the huge influx of email.

Effectively, in order to comply with the anti-spam law, you had to spam your mailing lists for approval.

Ah the irony.

For more, visit the Intronis article here at : Intronis Blog

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