The bad guys have been targeting Microsoft Office 365 users lately with multiple phishing attacks. Below is a sample of what to be on the lookout for. I would recommend sending this article to your employees to improve security awareness.
“From” email address is not a Microsoft address. Even if it does show a Microsoft address it could be spoofed.
It’s addressed to a generic person such as “Client” and not the recipient by name.
It doesn’t look polished as you would expect an email from Microsoft to be.
Sent with High Importance.
It contains an attachment. Microsoft will never send you an email with an attachment.
Involves a threat of data loss.
English may not be proper.
If you move your mouse on top of a link in the email without clicking in Outlook it will show where the link really goes (to the attacker’s web site).
I have highlighted these red flags in the samples below.
One of our most common issues we run across is wireless connectivity problems. These may be reports of wireless speed being too slow, connections dropping, short ranges, low quality audio/video, etc.. There are many reasons why your wifi connection is poor and here are a few of the top ones:
Too many devices on the network using too much bandwidth
Does your office (or home) have desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, smart watches, cameras, personal assistance devices (e.g. Alexa), TV boxes, audio steaming systems, or any other Internet of Things (IoT) items connected to the wireless network? Now are any of them streaming 4K video from Netflix, running video games online, or listening to music? Each device connected to your network will take a slice of the bandwidth pie. If you are seeing performance issues try turning off the bandwidth eaters to see if there is any improvement. If so, time to purchase more speed from your Internet provider or manage your usage better.
Too many networks
Is your office in the city or a commercial park? Do you live in an apartment? You may be experiencing too many overlapping wireless networks. If your network channel overlaps with other wireless networks then you may see slowness, network drops, and other issues randomly throughout the day. Go to the app store and install a wifi analyzerand see what your wireless environment looks like. If your network overlaps others log into your router or access point and move to a less busy channel and, if you have it available, use the 5GHz range instead of the 2.4GHz. Below is an example of a congested wireless environment.
Your physical environment can make or break your wireless signal strength. What is between your wireless access point (WAP) and your laptop makes all the difference in the world. Some common items that cause problems are:
Microwaves and older portable phones (not cell phones)
WAP placed behind or near a brick wall, chimney, lighting fixtures, metal framed wall, pipes, air ducts, solid wood/metal doors
WAP placed near electrical boxes
WAP placed in basement, false ceiling, or in attic
WAP antennas not pointed / placed in correct manner
Here are some visual examples of poor placement of WAPs.
To make your wireless signal better move your access point to better location (line of sight with the devices you are using) and make sure any external antennas are configured correctly.
When was the last time you updated your Wireless Access Points? When was the last time your Internet provider replaced your wireless router? If is has been a while you may be using outdated wireless technology. If your access point says 802.11 (n , g, or b) and not 802.11ac then you have an older access point. If you are reading this article in 2018 then 802.11ax may be rolling out as the latest and greatest.
You also want to make sure that if you are purchasing a new WAP that it has multiple antennas (external or internal). This may be shown as 2×2, 2:2, 3×3, 3:3 (the number is the amount of antennas). The more antennas the more pathways for your wireless devices to communicate as long as your devices supports it. Many laptops are 2×2 but phones may only be 1×1.
We have been so busy lately that we forgot to celebrate our 16 year anniversary! Well, better late than never. Thank you to all our clients new and old. We look forward to providing another 16 more years of top notch technical guidance and support. Not a Wireguided client yet? Contact us today and see how you can join the club of happy businesses.
Many new technologies were announced or rolled out in 2016. Others were on the market before but didn’t deliver as we hoped, were too expensive, or the industry hadn’t fully standardized on them yet. Now that 2017 is well underway and some of these technologies have shaken out, we are ready to put our recommendations forward to help you improve your IT infrastructure and your business.
Collaboration (Office 365)
We are big fans of Office 365. There is no other cloud based solution that offers so much for such a reasonable price. One of the top things we love about it is the constant new services that are rolled out for no additional charge. Two of these we really like are Teams and Planner.
Microsoft Teams is a brand new feature of Office 365. With Teams you can collaborate in a more social and fluid way than just email. It is a “chat based workspace” which allows employees to work together. You can create a group for Sales, Marketing, Finance,etc.. Inside each team would be a group chat from which you can add files, start on the fly video meetings, or view team task lists (via Planner). You can also create channels inside each team to further focus discussions. For more information and to see it in action please Click Here and Here.
Microsoft Planner is a shared task list which makes keeping track of group tasks more efficient and visible. Planner allows you to assign, monitor, and manage tasks for individuals and groups. It is integrated with Microsoft Teams to centralize task management and group communication. For more information (video) please Click Here.
OneDrive & SharePoint
OneDrive and SharePoint have been around for a bit. OneDrive is Microsoft’s private cloud (e.g., Your ‘My Documents’ folder in the cloud) and SharePoint is the cloud version of a shared network drive. This is one of technologies that did not deliver as we had hoped. SharePoint had many problems with syncing which caused many a headache for us and our clients. Microsoft had know about this and has now released updated software which allows for both products to use the same, upgraded, software. Clients that have been using the new software have reported much improved results so we can now recommend it once again. OneDrive is a pretty universal win for all clients while SharePoint needs to be recommended on a case by case basis due to some remaining limitations. For more informationClick Here(includes a short video).
Access to files and folders from anywhere in the world on any platform (Windows, Mac, phone, tablet)
Quickly and securely share documents with anyone either inside or outside the organization.
Utilize web based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint to edit documents.
Ability to work on document with multiple people at the same time.
Stores documents in the cloud instead of on local (possible aging servers). Internal power, internet, or system failures would not hamper access to documents.
New Standards and Lower Costs
New technologies were announced in 2016 and others had significant price drops. It is looking like 2017 may be the year for computer upgrades of any 3-4 year old system. Let’s go through the tech and why you should care.
7th Generation CPUs: Intel’s new 7th generation processors allow for much improved video playback, longer battery life for laptops, and the use of new memory/storage technologies just coming on the market.
Solid State Drives (SSD): While on the market for a few years 2016/2017 has shown the price of SSDs come down while performance and capacity increase. By replacing spinning disks you speed up your computer and lower the risk of data loss.
Monitors and DisplayPort (DP): The old VGA connection is going away fast and DP is the replacement. Better images and ability to connect multiple monitors are the key improvements here. DP enabled monitors have also come down in price where they are now our standard.
USB Type C: How many times have you tried to plug a USB based device in only to have to flip it over to put it in the right way. USB Type C fixes that annoyance as well as a whole bunch of speed and capability improvements.
90-95% of our clients’ computer infrastructures have been migrated to Windows 10. We can comfortably say that if you have a Windows 7/8 based computer it is time for an upgrade. Multiple new features have been rolled out since it was released and it looks like each one make this product better. Much improved security features as well as better performance and stability make this a must have upgrade.
Cloud User Accounting Services (Azure AD)
With Windows 10 Professional we can now create a single sign on experience between Office 365 and the employee’s desktop. By utilizing this feature your email address and password would also be used to access your desktop. The benefits to Azure Active Directory synchronization are:
Streamlined employee onboarding and termination.
Improved security via password expiration and enforcement policies.
Easier for employees (one login and password).
Single Sign On (SSO) ability with various 3rd party websites such as SalesForce.
Moves user authentication services from aging onsite server or local account to the cloud.
Happy New Year everyone. Let’s kick off 2017 with a reminder on how important security awareness training is. Employees are responsible for 80% of data leaks. All it takes is a single employee clicking on a link to make your company’s security go bye-bye. Here are three good sources on the subject:
Many business owners do not understand that purchasing a computer from the local retailer is a bad idea. A computer is a computer right? Well there is a reason that system is only $300.
Reasons to avoid buying a computer for your business from a retailer
Warranty – Retail systems usually have only a 30-60 day warranty and after that you may have to mail your system back for repairs. Can you be without your computer for two weeks?
Bloatware – Retail systems are loaded with lots of useless applications which slow your machine down over time. You may end up replacing your PC earlier than you had too because it was ‘old and slow’ when it is really what was pre-loaded onto it bogging it down.
Made for cost – Cheap parts = cheap price.
Operating System – Retail computers come with the Home version of Windows which may not work if you have a server based environment at the office.
Support – Good luck. Most retail manufacturers have no phone based support. If they do, it’s usually not worth the time on hold.
Old Tech – Many retail models use older versions of standards such as USB 2.0 and 802.11n. These older standards can mean much slower performance.
Reasons to purchase Business level systems
Warranty – Most business computers come with 1-3 year next business day onsite warranties. Something goes wrong and you have a tech at your office to fix it. Also, many business level systems allow you to extend warranties if need be.
Streamlined – Very limited bloatware means a much longer time before the need to replace them. Unlike home users businesses should be able to get 3-5 years out of their computers if maintained.
Made to Last – Built better and usually with the same predictable parts.
Support – US based support is normal and if you go through a partner business to purchase your hardware they can usually get to higher up support to get your issue resolved much faster.
Customizable – Many vendors have websites where you can customize your systems for your specific business needs. For example, if you still need Windows 7 you can still get it pre-installed.
We have had great luck with Dell products for many many years (we’re Dell Partners). The Optiplex line is great for desktops (some as small as your hand) and the Latitude line is known for its solid performance and longevity. If you have money to burn and you want a light and powerful, the XPS laptop line is rated #1.
Memory – At least 8GB
CPU – Core i3 or better (6th Gen)
Disk – Solid State (for laptops it’s a must)
Wireless – 802.11ac
Ports – USB 3.0 (and soon USB Type-C)
Video – DisplayPort and VGA (for older monitor support)
One of the latest trends for the bad guys is to hack into your website, not to steal your information, but to infect visitors with drive by malware or to display spam messages on your web pages. Most of the time the company is not even aware that they have been compromised which can lead to infected clients, bad publicity, and maybe even legal action.
The good news is that there are free site scanner out there that can do a pretty good job of detecting the most common types of website malware. Click the links below to scan your site. You can ignore any messages that they have to purchase their products (the sites are free for a reason). I recommend running both.
This scanner does a pretty good job locating malware infected pages. If you manage a WordPress site you can install their Sucuri plug-in which does a local scan and recommends ways to secure your site.
This site goes a little deeper and will find things Sucuri sometimes misses.
Many website infection can be removed either by automated tools or by going to each page on your site, opening the page editor intext mode, and deleting the code inserted (usually at the bottom of each page).
If you do detect an infection and need assistance in not only cleaning up your site but securing it from future attacks please contact Wireguided to help. Thank you.
Over the past few months we have noticed some critical problems with our current support management software. Some responses were not getting to our clients, submitted issues would not reach us for hours, and the system would randomly crash without generating an alert. As you can imagine this was major issue. So, what we decided to do was throw out our current system and start searching for a better solution. We think we finally found one that is great and will allow for a better support experience.
Please hang in there if there are any bugs we need to squash as we roll it out. Thank you for your patience and we thank you for partnering with Wireguided.
Connect with us in more ways
You can now reach us via social media and directly from our web site (in addition to email and phone). We now offer support via Twitter and Facebook and live chat via our web page.CLICK HEREfor the full details.
Connect with us faster
Our previous support system had problems where some messages sent to us would be delayed by random amounts of time and our ticket updates would never reach you (or be recorded in the system). That of course was unacceptable and had to be fixed ASAP. The new system should instantly send you a response to let you know we received your request. Ticket updates from you and to you should also take under a minute.
Improved Request Management
Communication is key. Especially when time critical issues are involved. Our new system can now view embedded images so when you send screen captures we can view them instantly. To help avoid confusion on the status of a request we have created a one of a kind visual status indicator which will be included in each response to you.
Your ticket has been received by us but has not been assigned to anyone yet.
Your ticket has been assigned and is being worked on.
We are waiting on you or a 3rd party (e.g. Vendor) for information.
Your ticket has been closed / resolved.
We know when our clients have a problem they expect a fast and clear response. We believe that these upgrades will improve our service to ensure that all issues are resolved on time, every time. If you have any questions or other concerns please contact us and let us know how we can meet your needs. Thank you.כיסוילרכבארבעעונות
I always get asked which phone I recommend for business and general use. With all the mobile devices that answer changes all the time. This month however Motorola just released the Droid Turbo 2. This phone has two great features no other phone can touch (right now) which make it perfect for business use (especially if you travel).
The Droid Turbo 2 has a special multi layer screen which is indeed uncrackable (many have tried). While it will scratch and ding it will not break. If somehow you manage to do it you can get it replaced for free.
Fast Charging for Lots of Extra Juice
How does 15 minutes of charging for 13 HOURS of battery life sound? Sounds good to me. You should be able to get more than 24 hours of use before having to charge (they claim up to 48 hours).
The only catch is that you need to be on Verizon to purchase it and it is very expensive if you do not have a plan.
To Sum it all up
While this phone may not be the lightest or best looking it sure is a workhorse which looks perfect for people looking for a phone that works no matter what time of day. I use the older version and look forward to the upgrade.модульные дома под ключ
With all the hacking of websites (and the exposure of private user information) going on we thought it would be a good idea to post some links where you can type in your email address and see if your accounts have been exposed. If you do find yourself on this list please make sure to change your password.
For the non-nerds out there, ‘Pwned’ implies domination or humiliation of a rival, used primarily in the Internet-based video game culture to taunt an opponent who has just been soundly defeated (e.g., “You just got pwned!”). (Thank you Wikipedia)