Blog

March 19th, 2014

One of the great advantages to taking a proactive approach to your technology is the reduction in costly downtime. Remote monitoring and management is a great way to help reduce downtime. Patches can be applied as they become available and general maintenance can be performed to help prevent failures. But another approach to reducing downtime that is often overlooked is having a spare computer on hand.

When a failure happens, your employees may end up spending time having to wait for their computer repaired, or twiddling their thumbs while another computer is prepped with all their necessary programs. The benefit of having a spare or two onsite is that downtime is reduced from potentially hours to the span of time it takes to unplug one computer and plug in another. You see, the spare computer can be prepared ahead of time with all the necessary programs and applications used within your company. That way, when a failure occurs, you can simply unplug the computer needing the spare, plug in the spare computer and login to your profile. ComputerCare will then retrieve the failed machine, make the repairs and return it to you without you missing a beat.

While ComputerCare does have a loaner program available, the downside is that your employee still must wait until the computer is prepared, then delivered onsite and set up. This is costly and over time could quickly come to outweigh the cost of a new machine.

What many of our clients do is buy a newer computer for themselves or a team member, then convert the old computer into a spare. This minimizes the cost and maximizes the new purchase.

If you currently are on a service plan with ComputerCare and are interested in investing in a spare computer or two, give us a call. You may be eligible for a new business grade Dell computer at a significant discount. Best of all, we will waive the cost of prepping the system for you (up to two hours) for a limited time.

Give Mike a call at (352) 378-8433 or email Sales at sales@computercarellc.com.

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February 3rd, 2014

Voice over IP or VoIP is essentially a means to deliver phone service using the internet (Internet Protocol) instead of using traditional phone lines. This can be in the form of a cloud based solution or a phone system that is physically at your premise. For businesses in which VoIP is a good fit, implementing a VoIP system can have a profound impact on efficiency. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Easily scale-able
  • Less expensive than a traditional phone service
  • Incredibly mobile
  • Can be managed in-house
  • Convenient
  • Increases employee productivity
  • Still allows advanced features like service desk capabilities
  • Unified Messaging
  • Bridges the gap between your phone system and IT Infrastructure

Many businesses are reporting VoIP as an excellent fit for their growing businesses because it provides flexibility without pricey contracts that limit cash flow while allowing your team to stay in contact utilizing the company’s phone system from any location. If you are interested in finding out if a VoIP system is right for you, give us a call to learn more.

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January 22nd, 2014

Ask any medical provider and they will tell you that HIPAA compliance can be a pain. The information can be convoluted and cumbersome. We recognize that medical providers need to be treating patients, not performing HIPAA risk assessments. That’s why we’ve added HIPAA Risk Assessments and ongoing HIPAA Compliance to our list of service offerings.

So if you are a medical provider or know of one that feels a little unsure about where they stand with HIPAA regulations, give us a call. We can give them the peace of mind that they need, as well as set them up with ongoing monitoring.

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October 30th, 2013

Steve Gibson joins Leo to talk about a dangerous new virus called CyptoLocker. Steve says an alarming number of people are falling victim to it. CyptoLock locks out all user data files and uses strong encryption on them. Leo calls it ransomware, but this is at a new level. If you get bit, they will demand $300 from you in USD, Euros, or even BitCoin. You’ll have 72 hours to send them the money and if you don’t, they delete the key and your data is useless. There’s no guarantee that even if you pay it, you’ll get your files back. Steve says this will become the new model that will dominate viruses from here on out.

How do you get it? Usually through Phishing. It typically comes from a legitimate looking address such as your bank. Steve says that backing up is now more important than ever. Be extremely careful before you click on a link. Leo says to go a step further, and don’t click on links from Facebook, Twitter, or any direct or private messages. Steve agrees and says if you didn’t go seek it, don’t do it. Always initiate the action, don’t let an action get pushed on you.


Episode 1026 (28:11)

GRC.com, @SGgrc

Source: http://techguylabs.com/episodes/1026/steve-gibson-and-cryptolocker

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October 25th, 2013

Below you will find important information regarding a new ransomware that is coming through as attachments to certain emails. As of now this program is impossible to remove, can be very costly to remedy and can result in significant data loss. Please forward this link to your team members.

CryptoLocker is new a ransomware program that was released around the beginning of September 2013. It will encrypt certain files on your computer and when done, it will display a CryptoLocker payment program that prompts you to send a ransom of either $100 or $300 in order to decrypt the files. This screen will also display a timer stating that you have 96 hours, or 4 days, to pay the ransom or it will delete your encryption key and you will not have any way to decrypt your files. This ransom must be paid using MoneyPak vouchers or Bitcoins.

Unfortunately should you be infected with CryptoLocker, there is no way as of yet to retrieve the key to decrypt your files.

HOW DO YOU BECOME INFECTED

This infection is typically spread through emails sent to company email addresses that pretend to be customer support related issues from Fedex, UPS, DHS, etc. These emails would contain a zip attachment that when opened would infect the computer. These zip files contain executables that are disguised as PDF files as they have a PDF icon and are typically named something like FORM_101513.exe or FORM_101513.pdf.exe. Since Microsoft does not show extensions by default, they look like normal PDF files and people open them.

An example Zbot/CryptoLocker email message is:

From: John Doe
Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 10:34 AM
To: Jane Doe
Subject: Annual Form – Authorization to Use Privately Owned Vehicle on State Business
All employees need to have on file this form STD 261 (attached). The original is retained by supervisor and copy goes to Accounting. Accounting need this form to approve mileage reimbursement.
The form can be used for multiple years, however it needs to re-signed annually by employee and supervisor.
Please confirm all employees that may travel using their private car on state business (including training) has a current STD 261 on file. Not having a current copy of this form on file in Accounting may delay a travel reimbursement claim.

Avoid opening files of this nature or any email from an entity you do not know. DO NOT open the attachment. If you are unsure about an email, call our help desk. We can log in to your computer and help you identify the risk. As always, ensure you are backing up all of your data regularly.

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October 23rd, 2013

Are you tired of feeling bombarded with emails every day? Do you feel like you can never get out from under all those messages? Are you angry about the amount of time you waste processing useless messages?

Heather Remer will be hosting an Email Bootcamp on November 7th at 11:45 where she will provide you with the tools to help you tackle this endless frustration once and for all and gain valuable time back into your day.

This workshop will be especially beneficial for outlook users. If you are interested, please send us an email noting “Email Bootcamp” in the subject line for more information. Space is very limited, so please contact us as soon as possible.

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October 23rd, 2013

APC is recalling 37 model numbers of their “7 Series” and “8 Series” devices due to overheating and/or melting. A full list of the recalled items can be located on the company’s website at www.recall.apc.com.

The safety commission urges the public to stop using the surge protectors, and to contact the company for a replacement.

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October 16th, 2013

Jim Lilkendey, of Apogee Coaching, recently introduced us to an innovative employee assessment, called WorkTraits, that we wanted to share with you.

WorkTraits is designed to provide managers and team members with the information they need to build teams that simply work better together. You may already be familiar with Myers-Briggs (MBTI) and DiSC, and so you are also familiar with the fact that they are frequently used just once (often during the hiring process) and provide such a volume of information that employees tend to find it hard to remember, let alone tack action on, unless they are provided with ongoing support.

WorkTraits takes an innovative approach to assessment, by providing an accessible, online portal where employees get brief actionable reports and managers get real-time tools for compatibility matching of individuals and teams. Imagine you’re a manager and you’re thinking about adding a new person to one of your teams. WorkTraits allows you to perform a match in their Employee Lab, providing you a score for the individual’s compatibility with the team and each of its members, as well as compatibility and conflict resolution reports with specific feedback as to how this employee can best work with each of their teammates.

Since WorkTraits focuses on supporting individuals and teams, it is ideal for organizations as small as 10 employees or as large 10,000. If you’re interested in learning more, I’d encourage you to contact Jim at Jim@ApogeeCoaching.com or 352-433-0433.

Best wishes for your continued business success!

Heather Remer – ComputerCare

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June 23rd, 2013

Please join us in welcoming our newest superstar, Erica! Erica has joined our business office as our new Administrative Assistant and she is already helping to whip things into shape. Here is a little bit about her!

Where are you from? Lancaster, OH.

What are your career goals? My long-term goals involve growing with a company where I can continue to learn, take on additional responsibilities, and contribute as much of value as I can.

Favorite thing to do that’s not working? Anything that involves the outdoors and nature.

What’s your favorite thing about ComputerCare so far? Everyone’s friendly and helpful personalities.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Never settle for less than what you know you are worth.

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May 21st, 2013

Meet our team! We’d like to introduce you to Josian. Josian has just been promoted to a full time position with our Support Center. Call our help desk for support? Josian will often be a friendly voice you hear.

Here is a little bit about him!

Where are you from? I’m from Puerto Rico. Picture an endless Florida summer with many mountains.

What are your career goals? I always wanted to be a doctor, but I gravitated towards computers. Luckily Healthcare IT has emerged as a career option over the last several years, so I hope to combine my interests in both IT and the medical field as my career evolves.

Favorite thing to do that’s not working? I enjoy nature walks and stargazing. Spotting the International Space Station in the awesome Florida night skies is especially fun.

What’s your favorite thing about ComputerCare? Working with a professional team and the right tools to get the job done. It’s amazing how solutions are created and applied everyday due to the varied companies we serve. Help Desk has never been so enjoyable.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? Have fun and enjoy your day at work.

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