COVID-19: IT Preparation & FAQ

COVID-19: IT Preparation & FAQ

Cloud disaster planning Education News

UPDATED: 3/19/2020

DISINFECTING DEVICES

What can I disinfect my computer and laptop with?
Lysol Wipes or Clorox Kitchen Disinfecting Wipes can safely be used on all non-screen surfaces. Avoid sprays. Turn off power to your computer or laptop before wiping down. It is recommended to unplug laptops before disinfecting.

What can I disinfect my computer screen with?
Do not use standard cleaning sprays such as Windex. The best way is to use products made specifically to clean screens (spay on cloth first, then wipe screen). Consult your manufacture's website before using disinfecting wipes. You may also use a combination of 70% isopropyl alcohol and water.

What can I disinfect my mobile phone with?
Unless you share your mobile phone it is probably not necessary to disinfect it. If you do want to we recommend visiting the manufacture's website. Mobile phone screens have special coating so you want to make sure you are using the recommended technique. Otherwise dedicate screen wipes may be used.

[UPDATE: New tests  show most phones / tablets can be cleaned with household disinfectant wipes with no damage to the screen coating.]

What can I disinfect my office phone with?
Lysol Wipes or Clorox Kitchen Disinfecting Wipes can safely be used. Try to avoid any screens.

WORKING FROM HOME

What products / services are available to gain access to my desktop remotely?
Assuming your IT department (if you have one) does not have a standard method of accessing your work environment there are many companies that offer remote desktop access. Prices are for their business services.

My organization uses Microsoft Office 365 / G Suite / Dropbox / Sharefile / Box. Can I work from home?
If your business uses a cloud storage / email solution there is a good chance at least some of your work information can be accessed remotely.. You will need to contact your IT department for details.

How can my employees / co-workers collaborate when not in the office?
There are three top services to use to have employees work together from different locations. These services act as a type of Facebook for business with the ability to chat, video conference, share files, etc.

PREPARING YOUR IT INFRASTRUCTURE

Prepare your IT department to support personal devices
Your IT department may have to provide support for employees home machines which may increase workload and decrease the ability to provide support. We recommend the following:

  • Ensure remote workers have both a phone # and email address for contacting IT support.
  • Setting expectations for remote workers of what IT can and cannot support (e.g., will not come to your home to fix a printer).
  • If your IT provider/department has the technology to install management agents on personal computers for remote desktop access / anti-malware software this should be discussed before implementing.
    • What will it cost for the additional software agents?
    • What happens if installing the software breaks a personal computer?
    • What are the privacy concerns?

What should I do with office phones?
Many business phone systems allow you to forward extensions to mobile phones. If so, this option may be the easiest. Voicemail to email will also allow messages to be listened to outside the office. Some hosted VoIP phone may even be able to be plugged in at home and work seamlessly. Please contact your telco provider and / or IT Department. We also recommend adding employee home/cell phone numbers to internal departmental directories.

What should I do with office computers?
A few things that should be considered if you will be working from outside the office for an extended period but need access to your physical desktop. Some of these items may be managed by your IT department.

What about my Internet connection?
If a large amount of your employees will switch from office to home, and you are not using cloud services for file or desktop access, you may want to increase your bandwidth to the increased inbound connections.

  • Verizon FiOS:  800-837-4966
  • Comcast Business: 800-391-3000

Security Concerns
If the office will be closed for an extended period of time please consider the following:

  • Are cameras able to be monitored remotely?
  • Can individual offices be locked (HR, Finance, CEO/President)? Who has the keys / passcodes to the building if access is needed?
  • Are laptops locked up?
  • Are screens locked?
  • Before closing the office, a walk around should be done to make sure any passwords posted in works paces are taken down and locked away if offices cannot be locked. Make sure to look under keyboards.
  • Have the backups been tested and can they be monitored remotely?
CONTACT WIREGUIDED

If you have any questions or require IT assistance please reach out to our support team at:

PHONE: 781-679-0660

EMAIL: support@wireguided.com


Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Official Website - https://www.cdc.gov/

Thank you and stay safe.

-Tim

Support Improvements

Support Improvements

Contacting Us News

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 HERE for 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.

Ticket Status - Submitted

Your ticket has been received by us but has not been assigned to anyone yet.

Ticket Status - Open

Your ticket has been assigned and is being worked on.

Ticket Status - Wait

We are waiting on you or a 3rd party (e.g. Vendor) for information.

Ticket Status - Closed

Your ticket has been closed / resolved.

Moving Forward

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

Windows 10 – Need to know

Windows 10 – Need to know

News Windows

It looks like Microsoft has a winner on its hands with Windows 10. Over 75 million computers have already been upgraded. Not only will it be replacing the operating system on your personal computer but businesses are likely to pull the trigger and upgrade from the good ol’ Windows 7. Let’s take a look at its most important features:

It’s a FREE Upgrade (with a small catch)

Microsoft wants everyone to install Windows 10. To help this along it will be a free upgrade for a year (until of July 2016) for all Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 computers. The upgrade will come via a Windows update. You will see a small white Windows icon in the lower right taskbar (near the clock). Just click on it to register (takes under a minute) for the upgrade (downloaded in the background). You will need 3GB of free space on your system.

Win10upgrade

The Start Menu and Desktop are back. 

Windows 10 automatically switches from desktop mode to tablet mode depending on if a keyboard is attached to your device. An updated start menu will now be shown instead of the Metro tiles in Windows 8. This is really an improvement that all desktop users were asking for.

Virtual Desktops.

Current desktop cluttered with icons? No worries, you can now have multiple desktops (e.g.one for business apps and one home).

multiple-desktops

Goodbye to Internet Explorer.

Microsoft new web browser is called ‘Microsoft Edge’. It has many modern features found in other browsers such as Chrome or Firefox. Internet Explorer will still be around if you need it though (but you might need to dig around to find it).

New Personal Assistant.

Microsoft’s Cortana integrates right into Windows 10. It (She?) lives on the taskbar and will help with all your search needs. Think Google Now or Siri but integrated and personalized. Go to a restaurant’s web page and Cortana will show the menu. You can even say “Tell me a joke”.

This is the last “version” of Windows.

Going forward Windows will receive rolling updates as fixes and new features are added. No more service packs. This is basically the same model as Apple.

The above items are some of the biggest updates in Windows 10. There are others welcome features such as being able to log in via your face (Biometrics), full integration with OneDrive (cloud storage), Universal Apps, Xbox streaming, and a few others.

If you or your business has any questions about Windows 10 or need some assistance with planning and implementing a smooth rollout, please give us a ring.

-Tim

Cloud Backup Prices have Dropped 60%

Cloud Backup Prices have Dropped 60%

Budget Savings Cloud disaster planning News

The good thing about technology is that the price of things usually drops over time. With the competition in the cloud space at an all time high our backup provider just dramatically lowered our pricing. So we did what any good IT partner would do and lowered our prices to match.

Lower Pricing and More Services

Not only did prices drop an amazing 60% but we can now offer additional services. All our plans now include at no additional charge the following:

  • Live database backups (Microsoft SQL & Microsoft Exchange)
  • Virtual Machine Backups (VMware & Hyper-V)
  • Option to backup your data locally
  • Self-Managing Portal

New Unlimited Plan

We are very excited that we can now offer an unlimited backup option. For one low rate you can back up as much data as you want. No limits mean no more worries about missing items or overage charges.

[button url=”http://wireguided.com/managed-cloud-backup/” size=”Large”]Click Here to View our New Plans & Pricing[/button]

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2013 – Year of Improvements

2013 – Year of Improvements

News

In 2013 we made a number of changes to improve things. Below are some stats and our most noticeable upgrades.

[list icon=”check”]

  • Migrated 73% of our partner’s email to the cloud via Microsoft Office365
  • Migrated 92% of our partners to cloud based Antivirus. Malware issues dropped 99% for upgraded partners.
  • Simplified our Referral Rewards program.
  • Upgraded our Helpdesk system to improve responsiveness and tracking.
  • Upgraded our network management tools to improve proactive maintenance.
  • Implemented new mobile device management tools.
  • Modernized our remote management software.
  • Rolled out new software installation tools to lessen downtime during upgrades.
  • Renegotiated Cloud provider agreements to remove yearly contract requirements.
  • Switched from quarterly to monthly billing based on your feedback. (Thank you!)
  • Enabled the ability to pay via Credit Card.

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Wireguided 2.0 is Here!

Wireguided 2.0 is Here!

Cloud News

[slogan]After 12 years in business it was time for an upgrade. We have put into place improvements in every area of our business to make sure we continue to provide the best IT services for our partners.[/slogan]

Billing Improvements

    Invoices will now be sent monthly – You spoke, we listened. Invoices for managed services will be switched from quarterly to monthly starting with your next invoice.

    We now accept credit cards You can now pay for anything via credit card. There is no difference in price and a portion of the fees we pay go to support the Disabled American Veterans. Optional auto-payment is available to make remittance even easier for our managed service clients.

CC_Charity

►    Online invoices We recently switched to a much improved accounting system so you may now view the status of all your invoices online.

Cloud Upgrades  

►    New cloud services We are now able to offer industry leading cloud based anti-virus from Symantec and phone service from Nextiva.

SEP_Cloud_Sample
Symantec Cloud Antivirus Console

    No more long term contracts for cloud services – We successfully renegotiated new terms with our cloud partners (e.g. online backups). After the end of your current cloud service contract it will automatically be switched to month-to-month. Auto payment by credit card will be required.

    We are in the cloud– All our internal services are now cloud based to improve our ability to communicate with you no matter what. We no longer fear Nor’easters.

Management Enhancements

    Improved executive report – Our newly designed executive report (which will be arriving shortly) now includes updated recommendations based on the latest version of our 150 point best practices infrastructure audit.

IR Sample
New Executive Report Sample

►    Upgraded Desktop Support We have migrated to a greatly enhanced remote desktop support system. Improvements include support for Macs, fully encrypted connections, chat function, whiteboard, user notification, faster response times and the ability to access any Internet connected system.  We can even turn on computers (if supported).

    Faster Proactive Maintenance With our improved system tools we are rolling out faster software updates then ever before with less user interruption. In fact, we just upgraded three critical applications for all our clients in just two days and nobody noticed a thing.

►    Enhanced System Management – With our upgraded software we can better manage your infrastructure. Improvements include faster software updates, better cloud service integration and the ability to monitor the health of systems outside the office (laptops & home based systems).

mgmt_console_sample
Management Console Sample
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Upgrade your Java and Adobe

Upgrade your Java and Adobe

News Security

There has been a lot of news lately about business networks (and home PCs) being infected by viruses, malware, botnets, and other bad things. The most common method of infection is by exploiting bugs in common software applications such as Adobe Reader and Java. To avoid being a the next victim make sure your are running the latest versions of the software. The links below will take you where you need to go. The upgrades are fast and straightforward.

Note: During the installations you will be prompted to install 3rd party software such as McAfee Anti-virus or Google’s Chrome Browser. Uncheck these options before clicking ‘Next’.

Java 

Click Here to Upgrade your Java Software

Adobe Products

Click Here to Upgrade your Adobe Reader

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Storm Preparation for your Technology

Storm Preparation for your Technology

Contacting Us disaster planning News

With a huge blizzard descending upon the Northeast here are a few tips to prepare your business’s information technology infrastructure.

Turn off your computers (even better, unplug them)

During storms the loss of power is very common. When the power is eventually restored a power surge can occur damaging electronics. Make sure your employees turn off their desktops and unplug them from the wall if possible. Double check that your network gear is protected by a UPS or power strip. While you are at it, run a battery test on your UPS devices (there should be a button on them for this).

Check and protect your backups

Make sure your last few backups were successful. If you use media for your backup solution (e.g., tapes or other removable media) make sure they are in a safe place just in case disaster strikes (e.g., flooding or other physical disaster). If you have a fireproof safe that should do it. If you use a cloud provider make sure the last backup report was successful. Just a note, you really should be incorporating a cloud solution in your disaster recovery planning. Pricing are reasonable and not having to worry about getting your company up and running after a major event is worth every penny. Wireguided offers a business level cloud backup solution which will allow you to sleep well at night.

Have an updated contact list for your critical employees

Make sure you have an up-to-date list of employee home and mobile numbers if their expertise would be needed in the event of a disaster. Mobile numbers are important because even in the event of power failure (aka no Internet) you can reach the people you need to.

Remote Access

With large storms it is hard to predict when business will resume. Each day your office is closed is productivity (and money) lost. Make sure you have a remote access solution for your business to allow at least some level of work to continue even if all your employees are stuck at home, or on a beach in a much warmer climate.

If you need any assistance Wireguided is always here to help. Our emergency contact number is 781-679-0660, ext 1.

Good luck and stay safe.

-Tim