IT Storm Checklist

IT Storm Checklist

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As you might have heard on the news a large storm is headed our way here in New England. There are a few things you should check / do before the storm hits to make sure your technology works and you data does not get lost.

  • Before you leave for the day TURN OFF all devices (e.g., PCs, printers, scanners, copiers, etc.) Also, unplug them from the wall. If the power goes out the resulting surge when it is turned back on can overload that power strip you bought at staples.
  • If you have a server(s) make sure you have a UPS between it and the wall. A good UPS can handle the surge and shutdown your server gracefully when battery power gets low.
  • Following up on the previous item, if you do have a battery backup please check it to make sure the battery is working. Some have digital displays you can check, others lights (red = bad),  and others you need to press a button.
  • Make sure you have your data backed up. If it is backed up run a test restore to make sure it really is backed up and recoverable. If you do not have a cloud back up (e.g., tape, USB drive, etc). make sure the media is in a safe location not near the devices it has backed up in case of flooding, fire, structural damage. Get more info on cloud backups HERE.
  • Your business may be closed for a few days so make sure you have remote access to your data (terminal server, Office 365, OneDrive, Google Docs, etc.) A storm like this is why cloud services like Microsoft Office 365 were designed for. Those monthly fees suddenly are worth it when your business can stay open (and make money) instead of being down for days.
  • If your phone system can handle it reroute calls to your main number / emergency number to a cell phone so your customers can reach you.
  • If you use Twitter, email your clients your Twitter ID so they may receive updates on your business if your company is having issues getting back in service. (We are @Wireguided).

If you do need assistance getting your business back up you can reach us at our emergency # at 781-679-0660 x1.

Good luck and stay safe!

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2015 Check list

2015 Check list

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Now that the holidays are behind us it is time to get back to work and prepare for 2015. Below are a few items to check to help get your business started on the right foot.

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  • While reviewing your expenses for 2014 take a look at your phone and Internet bills. Many times you can lower each by getting competitors’ pricing and presenting that to your existing vendor. If you have business owned mobile phones it may be the year to dump them and move towards using employee’s own phones with business management software.
  • Find out if you (or any key employees) have been hacked. Visit haveibeenpwned.com and enter in your email address to find out. Which leads to…
  • Change all your passwords for local administrator accounts, cloud services, and other key systems. At least 8 characters. Take the first letter of a memorable phrase and add some other items you will remember to it such as your childhood house #.
  • Clean up old user and email accounts as well as old directories on the file server. Not only is it good for security and productivity it can also lower your expenses if you are paying for account or space based services such as online backup or Microsoft Office 365.
  • Do you have a local email server or are you still using a POP account from GoDaddy? This is the year to move to the cloud to save yourself costs and get improve productivity. $4/user/month is a good budget number to plan with for a direct email cloud migration.
  • Still using inkjet printers? Swap them out for laser printers for lower long term costs.
  • Check your UPS (battery backup systems). Some have buttons to test them other have lights (red = bad) or digital displays.
  • Count how many PCs are older than 4 years old. Ballpark $600/machine for replacement. They may work but they are probably so slow it is hurting employee productivity.
  • Test restoring a file from your backup solution. Not using cloud based backups yet? You should be (we can help).
  • …and of course contact Wireguided if you are not happy with your current IT service provider.

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