What Every Business Needs to Know about the Impact of Social Media on Security and Employee Productivity

If you are a CEO that is concerned about employees wasting time online  using non-work related web sites like Facebook or Twitter-OR WORSE, using company resources to access pornography, gambling sites, hate groups or more-then read on.

Why You Should be Concerned

While it’s not uncommon for employees to waste a bit of work time on relatively harmless activities, such as shopping or visiting a favorite sports site, times have changed; employers are learning the hard way that employee use or abuse of a companies Internet system can lead to significant liability and time wasted if not monitored.

For example, one business owner (who will remain nameless) shared that they received a panicked phone call from the office while traveling.  The police had shown up and arrested one of their staff for soliciting a minor online.  Since he was doing this during work hours from the office, that’s where the police showed up to arrest him—clearly a PR nightmare.  And stories like this are happening EVERYWHERE.

Then there’s the wasted time.  Social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are addictive.  If your employees are constantly “plugged in” to those sites, they won’t be nearly as productive at work as they should be.

How To Solve This Problem

Protecting your company requires two simple steps at a minimum.  The first is to have a written company policy that details what employees can and can’t do with company resources or during company hours.  Next, you’ll want to have a content filtering system in place that will enforce your policy by automatically  “policing” your company e-mail and Internet usage, blocking sites and content you don’t want your employees to access without hindering their ability to work online.

Mark Twain once said, “Supposing is good, but knowing is better.”  If you want to know for sure how much time your employees are spending on non-work related surfing and what web sites they are accessing, call us at 763-229-4467 to discuss content filtering software.  We’ll discuss the options and find a solution that is right for you.

 

5 Smart Tips to Know before Moving Your Data To a Cloud-Based Application

1.Back It Up!

Migrating data to any new location is a mess and anything can (and usually does) go wrong. Therefore, make sure you have good, recent backup copies of everything before you make the move.

2.Maintain An On-site Copy

At first, moving to the cloud can be a bit scary. What can help mitigate the risk (and the fear) is keeping a local, on-site copy of your data and network image on a NAS (network-attached storage) device. That way you have a local on-site copy in addition to the working cloud copy.

3.Have A “Plan B” To Access The Internet

One of the biggest questions about moving IT to the cloud is, “What if the Internet goes down?” To mitigate that fail point, have a business-class Internet connection as your initial and main way to connect, and then also have a second Internet connection service as a backup. If Comcast is your main connection, you might consider keeping a Verizon wireless account as a backup.

4.Use It As An Opportunity To Do Some Housekeeping

You could just copy and paste your files from your local machines into the cloud, but why not take this as an opportunity to re-evaluate the structure and organization of that data? Here are some ideas:

  • Re-evaluate and/or update your file naming conventions and file organization. A good file naming policy will make it much easier to find files and information. Also, consider reorganizing all the folders into smarter, more efficient categories.
  • Consider who will be using what and what levels of permissions are required to access files. Revisiting your permission levels will help keep sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands.
  • Look at old files and consider deleting them or archiving them so they aren’t cluttering up your server and costing you money for storing and backing them up.

5.Phase The Move

Don’t try to migrate everything all at once. Create a transition plan and implement it. Make sure you move your files in bite-size pieces so that the changes are easy to digest for your clients, employees, partners and everyone else involved. This also gives you the opportunity to test the water before taking the plunge, and it allows you to put out one fire at a time instead of having all systems down or broken.

 

10 Steps You Can Take to Physically Protect Your Network

  1. Secure entry points: Use a key card for employee access in and out of your building.  This will help prevent unauthorized entry.
  2. Lock screens when away from computer: Have a policy in place for employees to lock their screens when they are away from their desk. Unlocked computers are one of the easiest ways for others to gain access to your network and sensitive information.
  3. Install alarms: While we usually think of cyber-crime as a hacker sitting behind a screen, physical theft of servers and computer equipment is another method criminals will use to gain access to your system. Installing an alarm will act as a deterrent and alert you if there is a break in.
  4. Secure server room: If you have an on-site server, be sure to house it in a secure room that has limited access. The server room should be locked when unoccupied and keys, or passcodes, should only be given to those who need access to the server.
  5. Rack mount your servers: Rack mounted servers are easier to secure. Servers can be locked into closed racks that can be bolted to the floor, making them difficult to move.
  6. Use case locks: Thieves can open a computer, take out the hard drive and slip it into a pocket or bag without being noticed. Use these locks on the actual computers and servers to prevent them from being opened and hard drive stolen.
  7. Secure laptops and other portable devices: Laptops, tablets, and cell phones are an easy target for thieves. They are meant to be portable and no one questions when someone is walking around with one of these devices.  Portable devices should be locked up when not in use for work.
  8. Lockup the backups: Backing up your data is a great way to protect it, but you’ll also want to make sure you have a secure location to store your backups. It is a best practice not to store your backups in, or even near, your server room.
  9. Secure your printers: When a file is sent to a printer it is often stored on the hard drive of the printer both before it prints and even after. If the printer is stolen, the thief could have access to sensitive information and even your network. Keep printers in a secure location. You can also make sure printers are bolted to a table or the floor depending on their size.
  10. Locate your equipment to minimize disaster damage: In addition to making sure your fire alarm is operational you can take some extra precautions to protect your equipment from fire and flood damage. Your server room should have fire-proof doors and a sprinkler system. Keep fire extinguishers throughout your business. Place and store equipment off the floor to help prevent damage in if your building is flooded.

 

Post-Christmas Recycling Event: January 2019

Is Santa Clause is bring a new laptop, smart phone or tablet for Christmas? Recycle your old technology fast, easy and free.* Your Computer Hero is hosting a Free* Electronics Recycling event January 7-12, 2019 just after Christmas.  Drop off items at our shop at 7962 Sunwood Dr. NW Ramsey, MN 55303 during regular business hours: M-F 10-6 and Saturday 10-2.

Free Items to bring:

  • Game Consoles
  • Cell phones and PDAs
  • Cords, Cables and Mice
  • Switches, Routers and Hubs
  • CPUs, Memory and Disk Drives
  • Laptops, Desktops and Tablets
  • eReaders and Cameras
  • Satellite, Cable and TiVo Receivers
  • Peripheral Cords and Hardware

Do not bring: 

  • Humidifiers
  • Microwaves
  • Dishwashers
  • Water heaters
  • Space heaters
  • Washers and Dryers
  • Refrigerators/Freezers

*Items with a recycling fee:

  • Tube TV’s: $1/diagonal inch
  • Flat Screen TV’s: $.50/diagonal inch
  • Tube monitors: $15
  • Flat screen monitors: $5

All recycling will be handled by B & E Recycling Station.

Business Owners: Is your technology keeping up with your goals?

Business owners are all different in their technology requirements, the urgency with which they approach their business objectives and their stress level when their technology isn’t performing optimally.  At Your Computer Hero, partnering with strategic, goal oriented business owners who want their technology to run as fast and efficient as they do is our specialty.   Accomplish more, eliminate wasted time and rest easy knowing your information is secure.

At Your Computer Hero, we have been providing IT services management Minnesota since 2004.

Reputation, Relationships and Recreation

Life requires technology. Keep it efficient, secure and connected. Your reputation, relationships and recreation count on it!

  • Security means sensitive information is protected.  A great reputation is built over years, but can be destroyed in a day.  When business systems and client information are protected from outside threats, this so a good reputation!
  • Connectivity means communication and relationships. Potential clients, colleagues, friends and family members have easy access to you and your goods or services when needed.
  • Efficiency means more work gets done faster.  Important deadlines get met and recreation time is more abundant.

Your Computer Hero has been an IT Services Management specialist in Minnesota since 2004.  Call our shop at 763-229-4467 to talk to an expert Computer Hero about our business technology needs.

Living Well and Doing Good with Technology: Stephanie Paige, Stories Foundation

In this interview, Stephanie Paige, founder of Stores Foundation and host Jenna MacLennan, co-owner of Your Computer Hero have a candid conversation about human trafficking and how to equip and protect our children from predatory influences online.

This is a bold conversation about the influences we face in our culture with great tips from someone on the front lines of this widespread problem.

Stephanie references a number of ways to get involved in the fight against human trafficking.  The links below bring you directly to more information:

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