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So far Chris Wanamaker has created 437 blog entries.

Ways MSPs are empowering businesses amid a global crisis

To make it through the heightened economic uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are protecting their cash flows and focusing on their core competencies. Managed IT services providers (MSPs) are lending a hand, too — by empowering remote teams and helping small businesses leverage technology to keep operating despite the myriad challenges. Here’s exactly what MSPs are doing.

Providing infrastructure and service desk capabilities

In today’s digital work landscape, MSPs are keeping their noses to the grindstone to fulfill customer demands and help keep businesses running. While many small companies have taken the first step of transitioning to remote work, they still need help managing the logistics.

Right now, MSPs are providing customers with IT infrastructures and taking on a host of network tasks, including configuring hardware, establishing remote connections, and managing backup and storage options, among other activities. These all help to ensure that company networks are reliable enough to facilitate a remote workforce.

MSPs are also offering service desk capabilities, providing companies with a centralized resource for […]

Ways MSPs are empowering businesses amid a global crisis2020-07-09T10:38:04-07:00

How to bypass the Windows 10 v2004 update block

Some PC users are being blocked by Microsoft from updating their systems to the latest version of Windows 10, the May 2020 Update. The company has acknowledged the presence of some known issues preventing the update from being installed on some PCs. Here’s what you need to know.

Known issues

The update block is present on devices such as the Surface Pro X and 7, Surface Laptop 3, and Surface Book 3, according to a test by The Verge. The block is also present on other devices with the following configurations:

  1. PCs with games using GameInput Redistributable. Installing the Windows 10 May 2020 Update on these systems may result in mouse input loss.
  2. Always On, Always Connected PCs. Devices with more than one Always On, Always Connected network adapter may experience unexpected restarts.
  3. PCs with integrated Intel graphics. Systems may encounter substandard variable refresh rates after installing the update.
  4. Systems with Conexant or Synaptics audio drivers. PCs may display a blue screen of death (BSOD) error message if the May 2020 Update is […]
How to bypass the Windows 10 v2004 update block2020-06-12T08:00:03-07:00

Researchers uncover new strain of Android malware

The Android operating system (OS) relies on an open-source code that allows users and manufacturers to modify their phones’ or tablets’ OSs. The problem is, Android’s open-sourced nature also makes it susceptible to cyberthreats. Recently, security experts found DEFENSOR ID — a new type of Android malware exploiting the system’s Accessibility Services.

What is DEFENSOR ID?

DEFENSOR ID is a banking Trojan that minimizes its malicious capabilities to sneak past security checks and infiltrate the Google Play Store. The malware’s primary function is to request access to an Android device’s Accessibility Service, which would allow hackers to execute a variety of commands.

For starters, if unwitting users grant access to DEFENSOR ID, the malware can observe any launched apps and send sensitive information back to hackers. This means hackers can steal anything from passwords and private emails to banking information and one-time SMS activation codes for two-step verification processes.

DEFENSOR ID also allows hackers to remotely uninstall apps, launch programs, and perform gestures (e.g., tap, swipe, click) within the launched program. In […]

Researchers uncover new strain of Android malware2020-06-10T08:00:22-07:00

Are you tracking your Android’s data use?

If you’re frustrated that you still have to deal with mobile data limitations in 2020, so are we. Sure, there are service plans that offer unlimited data, but they’re often expensive and throttle internet speeds after a certain threshold. Check out these tips for monitoring your mobile data usage so you can stretch it further.

Here are three things you can do to track and subsequently optimize the amount of data you are using on your Android device.

Tip #1: Turn off or limit your mobile data consumption

Using Wi-Fi is one of the easiest ways to reduce data consumption. These networks are everywhere nowadays, even malls and shopping centers often offer free Wi-Fi. In fact, Android devices can automatically switch between Wi-Fi and cellular connections. There is a chance, though, that your phone may lose a Wi-Fi connection and switch to a data network without your knowledge.

Preempt this issue by disabling mobile data entirely. You can often accomplish this by pressing your finger along the top of the screen […]

Are you tracking your Android’s data use?2020-07-09T10:37:28-07:00

What’s next for iOS this 2020

Apple’s WWDC — and their scheduled preview of iOS 14 and other OS iterations — is just a few weeks away. But if you want to know some of the juicier things their next-gen operating systems have in store for you right now, then read on.

Nifty app tweaks

Apple is developing new features for some of its prominent apps, and these tweaks may just make the cut come September.

Messages

  • Mention will let users tag people with the @ symbol, just like in Slack. This will also allow users to mute conversations but receive push notifications whenever they are directly mentioned.
  • Mark as unread will allow users to highlight messages so they would not forget requests or tasks and get back to these at a later time.
  • Retract will enable users to delete messages they’ve sent, with the deletion action visible to both sender and recipient.

Activity

  • Kids mode on the watchOS 7 will track movement time instead of calories burned. This is because the first metric is deemed healthier to track (from a mental […]
What’s next for iOS this 20202020-06-05T08:00:18-07:00

Boosting home Wi-Fi with wireless repeaters and access points

Fast, reliable Wi-Fi is a business necessity, whether you’re working in an office or at home. Now that more and more people are working remotely, having good home Wi-Fi is more important than ever. A wireless repeater device and additional access points may just be what you need to ensure a stable and lightning-fast wireless connection throughout your home.

Both wireless repeaters and access points are simple and inexpensive, and getting either or both of these devices can improve your home Wi-Fi.

Wireless repeaters are devices that extend the limited reach that Wi-Fi routers tend to have, especially in structures with thick walls and multiple floors. They receive a signal from a Wi-Fi router and rebroadcast it as a new network. This new network is an extension of the main network, enabling the signal from your router to be transmitted over long distances or to the other side of obstructions, such as a wall, post, or ductwork.

On the other hand, access points are devices that allow wireless devices to connect […]

Boosting home Wi-Fi with wireless repeaters and access points2020-06-03T08:00:59-07:00

What’s the difference between VoIP and VoLTE?

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has been around for quite some time. Businesses today prefer VoIP telephony systems over old landline phone system because the former has more features that are useful for day-to-day operations. But slowly gaining buzz is Voice over Long-Term Evolution (VoLTE). What is this new technology, and why is it gaining popularity?

To know the difference between VoIP and VoLTE, let’s first examine the older of the two technologies.

What is VoIP?

Unlike analog telephones that use phone cables, VoIP uses the internet to transmit voice calls. VoIP calls can be made using laptops, desktop computers, smartphones, tablets, and even old handsets fitted with appropriate converters.

VoIP also supports a range of call features such as voice messaging, call forwarding, SMS text messaging, fax transmission, voicemail, and a host of other services. For businesses, VoIP is a convenient one-stop solution for all their communication needs that will not cost them an arm and a leg.

However, VoIP was introduced at a time when the world was still using 2G […]

What’s the difference between VoIP and VoLTE?2020-06-01T08:00:21-07:00

What’s new with Microsoft’s update channels

Companies that use Microsoft 365 usually want the latest features of the productivity suite’s apps. However, not all companies want to receive updates at the same cadence. Whether you prefer to receive new app features ASAP or get them only once a month, there’s a way to customize your preferences, thanks to Microsoft’s update channels.

New update channel: Microsoft Enterprise Channel

The new Microsoft Enterprise Channel is for organizations that prefer to get updates on a predictable schedule. With this update channel, users can receive new features and patches on the second Tuesday of every month, which Microsoft famously calls Patch Tuesdays.

This update channel is ideal for companies with IT departments that want to reduce the burden of updating systems at irregular intervals. This will allow them to have a fixed schedule of downloading the latest productivity features, system improvements, and essential security patches.

Recommended update channel: Current Channel

Current Channel is great for companies that want to receive feature updates as soon as they become available. New Office features are released […]

What’s new with Microsoft’s update channels2020-05-29T08:00:11-07:00

How the cloud helps businesses survive COVID-19

Many businesses have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you want your business to survive and maintain its operational efficiency, then you need to invest in the right technology. Investing in the cloud will ensure business continuity while helping you save money.

Ensuring continuity and efficiency with the cloud

The need to stay at home and practice social distancing have changed the way many businesses operate. With their employees unable to come to the office, organizations are forced to function with a remote team whose members are often miles away from each other.

This is where cloud technology helps. When you migrate your data to the cloud, your files are stored in a centralized server that can be accessed via the internet. So as long as a user has an internet-connected device (like a smartphone or laptop) and has the right login credentials, they can access these files from any location.

The cloud also allows multiple users to work on a single file at the same time. Any change to […]

How the cloud helps businesses survive COVID-192020-05-27T08:00:57-07:00

Does your company have a business continuity plan (BCP)?

Do you know why some small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) succeed while others fail during the first five years of operation? Poor leadership is one reason, the lack of capital is another. Another big reason is they didn’t prepare for major disruptions, such as natural disasters and cyberattacks, that can bring their business to a grinding halt. This is why you need a BCP.
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What is a BCP?

A BCP is a predefined set of protocols on how your business should respond in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. It contains contingency plans for every aspect of your organization, including human resources, assets, and business processes.

Key threats to business continuity

Various types of threats can affect SMBs such as:

Natural disasters – These are natural phenomena such as storms, earthquakes, and wildfires.
Man-made disasters – These include cyberattacks, intentional sabotage, and human negligence.
Equipment and utility failures – These include unexpected power failure, internet downtime, and disruption of communication services.

How to build an effective BCP

If your organization does not have a BCP […]

Does your company have a business continuity plan (BCP)?2020-05-25T08:00:33-07:00