Benefits of Kinetic’s Network Security

wireless kinetic technology group

Benefits of Kinetic’s Network Security

You already know how critical keeping your data protected is to your business. You spend your valuable time, money, and resources developing projects and new products and services for your customers. Unfortunately, hackers, viruses, spyware, and malware can steal, damage, or corrupt the data on your network. Here are some of the benefits of Kinetic’s Network Security. We monitor your network 24/7 so you don’t have to, providing peace of mind and ensuring that your data is kept safe at all times. Online threats such as viruses and malware are always evolving as hackers become more sophisticated, trying to find new ways around existing firewalls and antivirus products. Our team continually updates our network security processes, so we can adapt to new and evolving online threats and keep them away from your network.

Kinetic strives to make sure that your network is protected at all times. We will maintain the integrity of your servers with a deep data packet inspection that can keep viruses, malware, and other online threats from infecting your network. We’ll provide you with detailed usage reporting so that you know exactly what’s going on with your network security. Let our team at Kinetic get to work for you, securing your network and all of your critical data.

 

Network Firewall

Our network firewall solutions are specifically designed to let your authorized users move through your network while keeping out the unwanted viruses, malware, and hacker threats. Our network firewalls work on any sized network, regardless of how much traffic comes through on a regular basis.

Intrusion Detection and Prevention

What use is a network security service if it can only deal with an online threat after your network has been breached? Our team at Kinetic can identify potential threats and
keep them out of your network before they become an immediate problem adversely affecting your business. We take prevention seriously, acting proactively to keep our clients’ businesses up and running without work disruptions. In the rare event that there is a successful intrusion, we’ll notify you in real time and take immediate action to rid your network of the threat.

Gateway Antivirus

With our Gateway Antivirus service, we’ll scan all incoming and outgoing traffic from your network to determine if any files have been infected with viruses, worms, or malware.
If we detect any potential threats, we will notify you immediately and block the file upon your request. Infected files can also be quarantined so that they never touch your network and expose your critical data to a virus. With flexible controls, you determine what actions your network should take based on file type, specific user or group, and the type of threat encountered.

Security Education

Cyber criminals are very smart and always changing their tactics to take advantage of your business and employees. CEO Fraud and Ransomware are big business for hackers, netting them billions of dollars just this year alone. Earlier this year Spyware made a comeback as a security threat repackaged in Adware which tends to be lower on the security threat level. Identifying Phishing Emails is not always easy. They are one of the fastest growing security threats facing businesses today. It is important to educate your employees on the techniques that a phishing artist will use to manipulate them. Kinetic Technology Group can educate you and your staff on Email Phishing, CEO Fraud and Ransomware so that you are equipped with the knowledge to know when these threats occur. Cyber attacks are becoming more frequent and more costly. A big cost that is rarely calculated is downtime. When workstations and servers are down, it costs your company valuable time you cannot afford to waste. Putting a solid network plan in place will guard against threats and unwanted downtime.

Stay secure and save money by partnering with a Managed IT Service Provider that truly cares about your business operations and security. Kinetic Technology Group is simply the best managed IT provider in the Dallas and Fort Worth area. Give us a call at (214) 269-1200 or click here to work with us. 

Identifying Phishing Emails

Tips for Spotting Social Engineered (Phishing) Emails

Identifying Phishing Emails is not always easy. They are one of the fastest growing security threats facing businesses today. It is important to educate your employees on the techniques that a phishing artist will use to manipulate them. The following is a list of key points to look for when receiving suspicious email.

1. The message asks for personal information
No matter how official an email message might look, it’s always a bad sign if the message asks for personal information.
 
2. The message contains a mismatched URL
Check the integrity of any embedded URLs in a suspicious email message. Oftentimes the URL in a phishing message will appear to be perfectly valid. However, if you hover your mouse over the top of the URL, you should see the actual hyperlinked address
 
3. URLs contain a misleading domain name
A phishing artist can create a child domain bearing the name Microsoft, Apple, or whatever. The resulting domain name looks something like this: Microsoft.maliciousdomainname.com which can lead you believe this is a legitimate or official email.
 
4. You’re asked to send money
One telltale sign of a phishing email is that you will eventually be asked for money. Maybe not right away, but sooner or later, phishing artists will likely ask for money to cover expenses, taxes, fees, or something similar.
 
Wire transfer fraud is currently one of the fastest growing email scams. Requests appear to come from a CEO or other financial person in your company and as many companies perform wire transfers regularly this type of phishing email is highly effective. According to the FBI wire transfer fraud costs the US and several other countries billions of dollars each year. It is recommended that companies setup an internal process for 2 step verification before allowing a wire transfer.
 
5. The message appears to be from a government agency
In the US, Government and law enforcement agencies follow certain protocols. Banks and other financial or government agencies rarely if ever use email as a means of requesting personal information.
 
6. Use good old common sense
You know the old saying that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. That holds true for email messages too. If you receive a message from someone unknown to you who is making grandiose promises, the message is probably a scam.
Trust your gut! If you receive a message that seems suspicious, it usually is. Simply avoid acting on the message and delete it immediately
  

Let’s look at a phishing email line by line to better understand how the phishing artist crafts their fraudulent message.

From:
You don’t recognize the sender’s email address.
Not from someone in your company or someone you have a business relationship with.
To:
You were CC’d on an email sent to one or more people but you don’t know the other people.
Received an email that was also sent to an unusual mix of people or seemingly random group.
Date:
Email was sent at an unusual time like 3am or 1:59am, when you do not normally receive business or personal related emails.
Subject:
Subject line could be irrelevant or does not match the content.
The email message seems to be a reply that you never sent or requested.
Content:
Sender is asking you to click a link or open an attachment to avoid a negative consequence or gain something of value.
Email is out of the ordinary and may contain bad grammar or spelling.
Sender is requesting a wire transfer for a large sum of money
Do you get an uncomfortable feeling about the sender’s request to open an attachment or click a link.
Hyperlinks:
If you hover over the link with your mouse in the email message and the link displayed does not match this is a big red flag.
The spelling of the hyperlink is slightly off but close to something familiar to you.
Attachments:
The attachment is possibly a dangerous file type or one that you do not recognize.

Making your Mac or Windows Computer Secure

Making your Mac or Windows Computer Secure is not a matter of should you, but rather why would you not. Given the amount of security threats we see in the news recently it is important to know there are steps you can take to make sure your Mac or Windows machine is safe and secure from out side threats

In another blog post we discussed password creation and some do’s and dont’s to keep in mind. Here is a little refresher on that:
Don’t use any personal info that you think is private, birthday (yours or a family member’s), phone number, social security numbers etc…don’t use your email password for signing up to a shopping website. If you are on a Mac using Safari you can let Safari auto generate a password and save it in Keychain, a password management application built in to your Mac. There are a plethora of password management tools to choose from for multiple computer platforms these days. Choose a password or pass phrase that you can easily remember and be sure to use upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. For example, Minnesota is a simple password but could be more cryptic if written like M!nn3sot@. Be creative and have fun with it.

Is your data encrypted?

Computer encryption is another layer of security to safeguard your data in the event your computer is lost or stolen. Encrypting your data will prevent unauthorized access to the information on your startup disk.  On the Mac you can employe Filevault 2 which gives you full-disk encryption. FileVault 2 uses XTS-AES-128 encryption with a 256-bit key that can be  stored in iCloud for safe keeping. Filevault 2 comes standard on all Macs and there is no additional fee.

Windows 10 does not offer integrated encryption tools to everyone. You may have to pay for the Professional edition of Windows 10 or use a third-party encryption solution to encrypt your Windows 10 computer data. On most Windows 10 machines where the encryption is offered, it is turned on by default when you login to Windows using a Microsoft Account. A recovery key is then uploaded to Microsoft’s servers for file recovery should you ever need it. Another option for Windows users is Microsoft’s BitLocker encryption tool. This encryption tool has been part of Windows for several versions. However, Microsoft does restrict BitLocker to the following Windows 10 editions; Professional, Enterprise, and Education.

Keep your guard up!

Mac users have always touted they do not get viruses or malware like Windows users do. However with Macs having more exposure to businesses they too are becoming more susceptible to outside threats. Phishing emails, Spyware, Viruses, Malware and most recently Ransomware can be avoided if you stay vigilant. Phishing emails that look like they are from reputable sources can easily get you to click on what you think is a safe link, before you know it you have entered a site that is deploying malware on your PC or you are wire transferring large sums of money to what you think are legitimate companies. That last part is sadly a true story.

There are many third party subscription based services to guard against the attacks on your computer as well as tools that ship with your particular OS. Deciding which of these services or tools to use can be confusing. For a hands on approach you can turn on your computer’s firewall, and most modern day browsers such as Safari, Chrome or Microsoft Edge have very robust security features built in to help you guard against malicious sites and questionable downloads. If you like a more automated approach you can subscribe to an online service that will scan your computer regularly and quarantine any suspicious files found in email or downloads. Whatever you choose, it is recommend to also employ a good dose of common sense, being aware of suspicious emails and websites that encourage you to download something to your computer. When receiving a suspicious looking email it is best to not open it and delete right then and there, eliminating the threat.

Kinetic Technology Group is an Innovative Managed IT Service Provider for innovative companies with experience in computer security and has been safeguarding company computers from malicious attacks for many years. Kinetic can help you choose the right security software for your computer and keep you safe from outside attacks. If you would like to know more about Anti Virus software and subscription services for your SMB give us a call today!

 

Securing SMB Wireless Networks

When choosing a wireless network for your SMB, whether you are upgrading to a more robust solution or building a new wireless network, there are many factors to consider such as wireless security, ease of setup, guest access and scalability. The most important of these factors is often security.

Secure Wifi

Securing your wifi with authentication is not the only consideration. You will need to be concerned with who you are granting access to. Obviously your employees will need access, but there will be guests in your office who will need connectivity and possibly contractors or vendors. For non employee access to your wifi, you should have the ability to setup a Guest Wifi that will restrict the guest from the local network and data, only granting them access to the internet.

When setting up a new wifi network you must consider the possibility of advanced threats which can be used to access data from local storage devices and disrupt wireless connectivity, both of which are incredibly damaging to your business. Using both authentication and segmenting your wifi are crucial to keeping your data safe and secure. BYOD (bring your own device) is a top consideration when implementing best security practices for your wireless LAN. Not having control over the devices that access internal resources requires a new layer of security between the foreign end device and the wireless network.

Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 — typically referred to as WPA2 — is a security protocol that incorporates all of the necessary security elements found in the 802.11i IEEE security specification. WPA2 is the protocol that is most widely used for protecting your wifi network. You should also make sure that any local access to the WAP management requires a unique username and password.

In addition to securing your wireless network and WAP with the proper protocols and authentication methods another option is hiding your SSID (service set identifier) or name of your wifi, from the world to see. By doing this you hide the otherwise visible name of  the wireless network from potential malicious attackers seeking to gain access to your network and data. Only your employees and the trusted people you have granted access should know the SSID.

When choosing a new Wifi for your SMB, do your research and don’t settle for an easy to install consumer solution from your local computer store.

Kinetic Technology Group is an Innovative Managed IT Service Provider for innovative companies with extensive experience designing and deploying secure wireless networks. Kinetic can help you choose the right wireless for your network and keep it safe from outside attacks. If you would like to know more about wireless for your SMB give us a call today!

Advantages of Migrating Email to O365

There are many advantages to migrating email to O365, here are a few that we feel are important for you to know. For those who do not know by now, Microsoft Office 365 is a cloud hosted solution for your company email as well as desktop applications including Word, Excel and Powerpoint. O365 is a subscription based solution and not only saves you money but eliminates the need for hosting a costly Exchange server on site.

Work From Anywhere

If you have an internet connection you can check email using Microsoft Outlook which is part of the O365 applications or through a favorite web browser on your Mac or Windows computer, iOS device or Tablet.  This is great for remote or contract employees who might use their own computer for work. Employees who travel will enjoy this feature with their work laptop, all they will need is an internet connection in their hotel or in the client’s office to access emails and important documents. Because O365 is Cloud Based and highly secure there is no need for employees to access VPN to the company network before checking their email.

Latest Versions Up to Date

Unlike many software solutions which require you to run time consuming updates with downtime to your business, not to mention costly annual upgrades, O365 updates require little time from the end user or IT Provider and does not require a lengthy uninstall and re-install to keep your computers up to date with the latest and greatest versions and features. Compatibility with other computers or clients are not an issue with O365’s ability to save back a version or two if needed.

Collaborate With Your Team

O365 offers many collaboration tools for business professionals. With O365 sharing capabilities there is no need to email documents around the office and possibly lose track of the latest version. You can easily add, respond to, and even track comments and status updates on a document. Keep your team in sync and up to date with the latest project emails and files all in one easy to find location. O365 allows your business and employees to keep moving forward as a team. Click here for a complete list of all collaboration tools that O365 offers.

You Are Secure With O365

With security threats in the news nearly everyday, businesses are concerned with email and file security. O365 has a very thorough set of security features which include Data Prevention Loss that complies with the strictest business standards and industry regulations. Mobile devices play a big part in how business gets done these days with employees using them anytime and anywhere. Using O365’s Mobile Device Management (MDM) you can rest assured that your company’s devices are protected by setting device security policies, access rules, and even wipe mobile devices if they’re lost or stolen.

Kinetic Technology Group is an Innovative Managed IT Service Provider for innovative companies and has extensive experience migrating businesses to Office 365 with great success and minimal downtime. If you would like to know more about migrating from your current email to O365, give us a call today!

 

New Mac Pro is Not Quite Here

While we have had a long wait for the new Mac Pro we are going to have to wait a little longer it seems before we see a complete redesign, as the new Mac Pro is not quite here yet. Apple originally released the Mac Pro at WWDC in June 2013 and just recently brought the price points down to the current design, for $2,999 we now get a 6-core Intel Xeon processor, dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs and 16GB of memory, and for $3,999 an 8-core processor and dual D700 GPUs.

Mac Pro

Although Apple has just announced a change to the pricing/specs structure for 2017 it is likely we will not see a brand new redesign, what Apple is calling “modular”, until possibly Summer of 2018.  As many of us have wondered whether Apple had forgotten about the Mac Pro we were recently reassured they have not. Speaking to a number of journalists at their Product Realization Lab in April, Phil Schiller, Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing  said, “If we’ve had a pause in upgrades and updates, we’re sorry for that” adding: “What happened with the Mac Pro – and we’re going to come out with something great to replace it.” Schiller went on to say: “We have a team working hard on it right now. We want to architect it so that we can keep it fresh with regular improvements, and we’re committed to making it our highest-end, high-throughput desktop system, designed for our demanding pro customers.” According to Schiller, Apple is also working on developing a pro-level display they will hopefully release the same time as the newly designed Mac Pro.

It’s not the first time that the devoted Mac Pro users have had to wait a lengthy amount of time for an update to what is supposed to be the ultimate Mac. Prior to their launch of the redesigned Mac Pro in 2013 customers had been waiting since 2006 for the update from Apple. Craig Federighi, Apple’s SVP of Software Engineering when speaking about the current Mac Pro said, “We designed ourselves into a bit of a corner, what we didn’t appreciate completely at the time was how we had so tailored that design to a specific vision that in the future we would find ourselves a bit boxed in — into a circular shape.” Schiller added, “We’ve asked the team to go and re-architect and design something great for the future that those Mac Pro customers who want more expandability, more upgradability in the future”.

So until the Summer of 2018 we will all have to wait and see what the new redesign of the Mac Pro will look like and what it’s configuration will be. Meanwhile if your company has a current Mac Pro, laptop or server in need of ongoing support, don’t hesitate to call Kinetic Technology group and learn about our Managed IT Services. Give us a call today, we look forward to talking to you.

 

The Future of Wireless Technology

Everyone has had their own predictions for the future. This was evident especially after Marty McFly and Doctor Emmett Brown traveled back into the future and landed in a highly advanced 2015. Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, co-writers of Back to the Future Part II, did their best animation of what they envisioned the advancement of technology would be like and where it would take us. Through the power of imagination and creativity, many pictured the invention and innovation of technology more as fantasy rather than reality. However, today, the future of wireless technology has now come to life, and the concepts for this year are accurate as they are thrilling. 

wireless kinetic technology group

What to Expect from Wireless Technology:

  • The telecom industry has already started working on the next 5G.
  • On February 12th, AT&T, America’s second-largest mobile operator, said it would begin testing whether prototype 5G circuitry works indoors, following similar news in September from Verizon, the number one operator.
  • South Korea wants to have a 5G network up and running when it hosts the Winter Olympics in 2018.
  • On February 11th, Qualcomm, a chip-design firm, introduced the world’s first 4G chip set that allows for data-transmission speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second.

The innovation of wireless technology will provide many life changing solutions to everyday problems we did not know existed. The Internet of Things is driving the market expansion with virtual reality, smart watches, smart homes, and drones with every passing moment. These new applications will open doors to a more creative and productive society if embraced correctly. New devices and wireless technology products and services will set higher standards for consumers. If these new applications are leveraged wisely, our society will be able extend a new range of technical possibilities. The new Wi-Fi product announcements highlight what more we can expect from wireless technology.

If you are seeking highly skilled gurus, we are your IT professionals. Let’s prepare for the future of wireless technology together! Call today for your free consultation.

Benefits of Hiring Managed IT Services

In-house IT helpdesks, while historically were more familiar with the ins-and-outs of the company’s IT set-up and systems, usually require a large sum to start and maintain. This would mean added costs due to hiring and training IT experts, which is a rather heavy load for small to mid-sized business (SMB). For people with small to mid-sized businesses, the benefits of hiring Managed IT Services is generally more cost-effective due to having staff trained to handle a wide variety of IT problems.

This helps businesses focus on their their core business instead of being distracted with things outside their field of expertise. That being said, if you’re considering switching to an outsourced IT support company, here are a number of benefits you can expect from making that decision:

1. Better Cost Management

With start-ups and SMBs attempting to cut back costs, a more consistent budget allotted for Managed IT Service support becomes more feasible compared to the enormous expenses incurred from in-house IT staff. An in-house IT support team incurs quite a lot of expenses, from training to equipment purchases, upgrades, and maintenance.

This makes it hard for companies to track and manage their finances, as expenditures would keep popping out of nowhere, from a server that suddenly crashes, to IT employees who quit. Surges in terms of expenses can cripple a small company and bog down operations, especially if the in-house IT team fails to keep the company’s operations up and running.

An outsourced IT support team, on the other hand, apart from being able to solve IT-related problems quicker, can also give you a more consistent and controlled monthly expense that only increases as your company grows.

2. Focus on Your Unique Selling Proposition

One of the main reasons why a lot of start-up companies fail is that they don’t have a Unique Selling Proposition (USP), which is a factor that separates a company from its competitors, whether it’s having the lowest price or being the first of its kind.

In a world where one’s survival is contingent upon one’s relevance, companies have to keep finding new ways to grow and innovate; otherwise, they become redundant and eventually perish. That being said, one should focus on developing the company’s USP and delegate unrelated but time-consuming tasks to companies that specialize in doing them.

By outsourcing an IT team, you no longer need to allocate company resources just to maintain an in-house team. Instead of wasting time trying to figure out why technology in your company doesn’t work the way it should, you can let other companies who’ve spent years of training in solving IT problems do it for you. That way, you can focus on what truly matters, doing what you do best, and doing it better than your competitors.

3. Better Security

Going back to point number two, if your company doesn’t specialize in IT, then chances are that an in-house IT team, especially at the beginning, will make a few security mistakes that could put your company’s sensitive information at risk.

Security breaches often come from unscrupulous hackers using a mix of social engineering and other black hat techniques to steal confidential data. Fortunately, IT companies, having studied and dealt with a lot of attacks from these hackers, are more familiar with their techniques, and therefore have faster and more efficient ways to deal with the security issues of your company.

4. A Complete IT Toolbox in Your Fingertips

Imagine if you had only learned to add numbers all your life and then all of a sudden, you’re asked to divide, multiply, or subtract, a problem that one has never encountered before, it can take an immense amount of time to solve.

This is why, wherever your company is located, enlisting an experienced IT support company should be a core part of your business strategy. A good IT company will have dealt with a wide range of IT-related tasks, and with their comparative wealth of experience in the field, they can locate issues faster and help users get up and running in much less time than you are likely to be able to.

5. Disaster Recovery

Whether due to a fire, flood, or cyber-attack, a business’s data is its most precious resource. Most businesses are ill-equipped for recovery from such disasters, any of which can cause a company to have to halt its operations indefinitely.

While disaster can strike at any minute, all businesses will get back on their feet far more quickly with the help of outside professionals who are well-versed in the latest disaster recovery and backup technologies.

6. More Available Resources

When you own a startup or SMB, you can’t afford to waste time handling IT-related issues while your competitors are busy developing their products, winning over customers, and coming up with innovative content marketing strategies.

By outsourcing an IT support team, you can free up valuable company resources so you can focus on marketing, product development, and customer experience.

It can seem rather daunting to make even the smallest changes, especially if one is still starting up or if one doesn’t feel the need to fix a working system, but growth requires change. If there’s one thing companies like Nokia learned through failure, it’s that you don’t pass up a chance to learn, a chance to change, and a chance to make it big.

A Managed IT Service Provider will give you a chance to free up your company’s internal resources so you can focus on finding new opportunities and staying relevant to the industry.

Avoid distractions and save money by partnering with a Managed IT Service Provider that truly cares about your business operations and growth. Kinetic Technology Group is simply the best managed IT provider in the Dallas and Fort Worth area. Give us a call at (214) 269-1200 and reap the many benefits associated with partnering with our team.

6 Signs an Email Message is SPAM

6 Signs an Email Message is SPAM, If you have an email address, you have received a spam message at some point in your life. Spam filters are getting better and catching these bogus weight loss offers, deals on medications, and other sketchy offers, but no filter is perfect, and a few of these messages are sure to make it through.

 

The good news is that bogus email messages tend to come with a few key warning signs. If you know what to look for, you can keep your email box safe from these scams and send these messages to the spam folder where they belong.

Grammar Errors and Misspellings

The scammers have gotten a lot better in recent years, outsourcing their writing to native English-speakers and working hard to clean up obvious grammar problems and spelling mistakes. Even so, some problems still sneak through, and these types of mistakes should be big red flags.

Always read unexpected or unknown email messages thoroughly, going beyond the headline to see what the entire message has to say. Be wary if you spot obvious word usage problems, spelling errors, and other signs that the sender is not who they say they are.

A Warning to ACT NOW

A great deal will still be a great deal tomorrow. An exhortation to ACT NOW, or ORDER TODAY, should always be a warning sign. Watch out for emails that try to scare you into action by implying that something terrible will happen if you fail to act; these are almost always warning signs of a phishing scam or bogus email offer.

Even if you want to ACT NOW, take a step back, set the email aside, and come back to it in a few days. If you still think it is worth your time, take a closer look and check for other signs that the email is a scam before making your move.

A Personal Email Address

Be skeptical of email offers that original from personal email addresses. Emails with an @yahoo.com, @gmail.com, or other such suffix are always cause for concern, as many scammers use these free and easily available addresses to spread their scams around the world.

A professional email address is no guarantee that the offer is legitimate, but a personal email address is a big warning sign that the offer is less than it seems. Many people simply ignore the email address, but they do so at their peril.

Strange Links

Embedded links are a scammer’s best friend, and every year millions of people are taken in. They click on a seemingly legitimate link from their bank or a retailer they trust. When the link opens in a new window, they are prompted to enter their username and password, and they do so in complete trust.

That is a big mistake, since the link goes to a scammer site on a random server somewhere. Fortunately, you do not have to click on a link to see where it goes; just hover your mouse over the link to see the link address. If it does not belong to the proposed sender of the email, simply delete the message and get on with your life.

Unusual Instructions

If there is a legitimate problem with your bank account or product order, the email should include instructions for contacting customer service or logging on to your account. A fake email, on the other hand, might include a warning to change your password (using the embedded link of course) or click a link.

Always read the email carefully and look for alternate ways to contact the purported sender. Look for a phone number or a way to reach the sender without clicking a sketchy link or putting your identity at risk.

The Fine Print

Most scammers do not take the time to write their fine print from scratch. Instead they lift that section of their emails from legitimate sites. As a result, the fine print of a phishing email may not match the rest of the message.

It may take some time (and possibly a magnifying glass), but you should read the fine print carefully before responding in any way. If the email claims to be from your bank but the fine print still shows Amazon.com or eBay, you know you are dealing with a scammer.

Email scams are spreading fast, and if you are not careful, you could be putting your identity at risk. Knowing what to look for is the best way to avoid getting scammed, and the list above is a good place to start.

Want to get rid of spam in your Inbox once and for all? Give Kinetic Technology Group a call at (214) 269-1200 or email info@kinetictg.com. Our spam protection service will block spam and viruses and keep your business secure. Contact us today!

5 Signs You Have A Virus On Your PC

Potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) are malware applications that run on your PC without your knowledge. They’re contained in software that packages PUPs with legitimate installation processes. You can also become a victim of PUPs by visiting a malicious website. Here are 5 Signs You Have A Virus On Your PC.

 

When a PUP is packaged with legitimate software, it seems like you’re installing just one application, but these third-party add-ons are installed without your knowledge. These programs perform a number of malicious activities such as installing adware, redirecting your search engine queries to ad sites, or sending hackers private information stored on your computer. PUPs are not only annoying, but they can also cause identity theft when they expose your computer and data to a hacker. Most PUPs run silently, but there are specific signs that alert you to the possibility of malicious software running on your computer.

Home Page Redirection

Some malware is meant to hijack your browser window and redirect you to a malicious site. The malicious site could host more malware, or it could be a page full of advertisements that help the hacker make money.

Typically, PUPs replace your home page with its own website page. When you open your browser — whether it’s Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox — your preferred home page is no longer active and a third-party site opens instead. This is a clear sign that your computer has malware intended to hijack your browser. Some PUPs switch your home page back to the malicious page even when you change it in the browser’s settings. If your home page settings don’t stick, you might have malware running in the background.

Search Engine Redirection

Search engine redirection is usually combined with home page redirection. When you type your favorite search engine into your browser, a different website shows up. For instance, when you type “google.com” into your browser’s address bar, an alternative search engine appears. This browser hijack is intended to get you to buy third-party software or send you to an ad site where the hijacker makes money on ad clicks. In some cases, the third-party website wants to install even more malware on your computer using ad popups.

Random Ad Popups

Malware often adds random popups to your computer system. Popups happen at random occasions depending on your computer activity. The goal for the malware writer is to identify your computer activity and send a popup that makes the malware owner money. For instance, popups display when you open a search engine page, when you play music, open certain software, or even just browse a website randomly. These popups are usually adware that display website content or try to download software to your computer. One sign that you have this type of PUP is that your ad blocker is disabled. If you notice your browser’s popup blocker no longer works, you probably have a PUP.

Your Email Gets Hacked

Hackers like to access your email and send malicious links to your contact list. When an email comes from a friend, you’re more likely to click the link and trust the website. Hackers bank on this concept and send malware from your own email address. However, hackers indiscriminately send email in bulk without checking if the email is valid. Old email addresses that aren’t active anymore send a return message to your inbox telling you that the email was undeliverable. You receive these errors in your email inbox, which is a sign that your email has been hacked. If you receive undeliverable return messages from emails you did not send, your email is hacked and you should change your password. This hack can happen if you’re unknowingly running a keylogger on your system or you fell for a phishing website scam.

Antivirus or Firewall Software Sends Warnings

As long as you continue to keep your antivirus and firewall software active and updated, these programs will detect some malware. If your antivirus software displays a warning for any program, you should immediately scan your system for more unwanted programs or malware. Malware usually replicates itself to install on the system in several places, and it tries to hide from antivirus software. Update your antivirus definition files and scan your entire computer if you get a warning.

PUPs are dangerous programs as well as annoying. Most people assume that third-party sites such as Google or Bing are hacked when they receive popups. When their browser redirects from Google to another site, they blame Google. However, in most cases, the user’s computer has malware and it must be removed. You can avoid PUPs by downloading and installing software only from official sites. Always keep your antivirus and firewall software updated and know the signs of malware before it exposes private data. With the right security precautions, you can ensure that your computer is free from PUPs.

Worried about viruses on your business computers? Contact Kinetic Technology Group today at (214) 269-1200 or email info@kinetictg.com. We’ll keep your computers and data protected better than other IT companies in the Dallas and Fort Worth area.

4 Tips Creating Secure Passwords You Can Remember

Given how valuable your passwords are, it’s important that they be secure, yet not too hard to remember so here are 4 Tips Creating Secure Passwords You Can Remember. Not only do passwords protect your Facebook information, your bank account and your e-mail account, but also many accounts linked to your credit card, such as your Amazon, eBay and PayPal accounts.

Here are 4 tips showing how you can create secure passwords:

Tip #1: Size Matters

With passwords, bigger is better. A 4-character password can be cracked using “brute force” techniques – where a computer simply tries every possible combination of characters – fairly quickly. A 6-character password will take much longer; 8 characters even longer. If you want to be really secure, go for 12 characters or longer.

Tip #2: Variety is the Spice of Life

There are four types of characters you can use in passwords:

lower-case letters (a, b, c)
upper-case letters (A, B, C)
digits (1, 2 3)
“special characters,” which include punctuation (. ; !) and other characters (# * &)

There are 26 lower-case letters, 26 upper-case letters, 10 digits and, depending on the web site, as many as a couple of dozen special characters (some sites won’t let you use certain characters). If you create a password with 6 digits, there are a million possibilities. If you use, however, six lower-case letters, the number jumps to over 300 million. And if you use a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, you get 2 billion different combinations. Add in special characters and the number of possibilities is in the hundreds of billions.

Combine this with tip #1 and use a longer password, and see these numbers expand faster than the universe during the Big Bang. If you only use letters and digits, an 8-character password can have as many as 200 trillion possibilities. Move to 12-character passwords and the number is so big I don’t even know how to define it (it’s 1023, plus a bit).

Tip #3: Create Unique Passwords

Here’s an easy way to create unique, memorable passwords that are impossible to crack. (Well, the NSA might be able to do it…) You should set a password like this for the user account on your personal computer, because if anyone can get into your account, they can access a lot of your files and personal information.

To start with, you want something memorable. As an example, let’s say you’re a fan of the Game of Thrones TV series. You could create a password like this:

gameofthrones: That’s 13 characters, so it’s fairly long, but it’s all lower-case letters. Let’s throw in a couple of upper-case letters to make it more complex, but not in the expected locations, such as the “g” or “t”:

gAmeoftHroneS: That’s a bit better. But now, let’s spice it up with a couple of digits. These have to still be easy to remember, right? How about this:

gAm3oftHr0neS: And the addition of even one special character makes this much, much harder to crack:

gAm3oftHr0n&S: This isn’t too hard to remember, but it could be a bit easier. So let’s just use one capital letter, one digit, and one special character; that’s more than enough to make it unbreakable:

gAm3ofthron&s: You now have a password that is secure. According to the site HowSecureIsMyPassword.net, it would take about 423 million years for a desktop computer to crack this password.

Tip #4: Use Your Keychain to Store Passwords, or Use a Password Manager

While you have a really secure password, you still don’t want to use it on all your web sites. You can use a password manager application to keep track of all your passwords. You can also use one of many programs that store passwords, but make sure that the master password you use for this software is as strong as the example above. If you have a Mac, you can use the built-in Keychain application. If you use Windows, LastPass is a popular option.

Need help with implementing a password policy at your office? Kinetic Technology Group has the best IT security experts in the Dallas and Fort Worth area. Give us a call at (214) 269-1200 or email info@kinetictg.com.

Keep Your Wireless Network Safe

According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, 1 in 5 small businesses falls victim to cyber crime each year, and of those, some 60% go out of business within six months as a result of the associated financial damages. Keep Your Wireless Network Safe

Most small business owners are unaware of these threats, as 77% say their company is safe from cyber-attacks, yet 83% have no formal cyber security plan.With the number of security attacks and threats out there today, even small businesses need to make sure that they have appropriate IT security features in place.

Unlike a traditional wired network, which requires a “rat-nest” of wires to connect all one’s devices to the internet, Wi-Fi networks are much more convenient and practical as they allow for easy internet access and scalability of necessary bandwidth for small business owners.

However, this convenience doesn’t come without shortcomings and unlike traditional wired networks, which are extremely difficult for someone to hack into, an unsecured Wi-Fi network exposes the business or network owner to necessary risk from outside intrusion.

When left unsecured, Wi-Fi networks can present unnecessary risks:

–Decreased Internet access speed when you end up sharing an internet connection with unauthorized users
–Security hazards when hackers get access to sensitive files or download malware or illegal files through an owned network

Securing a Wireless Network …

For small business owners, many of whom are already running on tight margins, these additional risks can lead to catastrophic losses, data breaches, and ultimately, business failure if left unchecked. Fortunately, these risks can largely be mitigated, and in some cases even avoided, by taking proper precautions to secure the network:

Enable Encryption

WPA or WPA2 protocols are needed to replace the older WEP protocol that most wireless networks typically rely on

Change your network’s SSID name and password to something unique

This makes it harder for malicious users to find a Wi-Fi network and attempt to gain access by impersonating the owner. A large majority of people use ‘Admin’ or ‘Linksys’ and hackers know that. Also, most default, factory-setting passwords are publicly known and if you’re still using the same password, it’s only a matter of time before someone gains access to the system.

Update Your Wireless Router’s Firmware

You can find the existing firmware version is the router’s basic configuration screen.

Disable Remote Login

This is often the first strategy of a brute force attack by a router worm/virus attempting to gain access to a network.

Disable Wireless Administration

Change the setting that allows administrating the router through a wireless connection to ‘OFF’ (meaning that someone would need to connect with a LAN cable for administration). This disables any wireless hacking into the router.

In short, by using a WPA2 encryption, creating a complex password, and using up-to-date firmware should provide sufficient security for most wireless networks against most common attacks. But if a business network contains something of value, like credit card information or sensitive data, hackers will be more motivated to gain access, at which point more security may be warranted.

While it may seem like a lose-lose situation for small business owners, securing the Wi-Fi connection for a business will go a long way towards preventing the most common types of threats and forms of attack found online.

Additionally, recent technological developments like cloud computing have made adding these types of security features to smaller outfits more practical. They can also be relatively painless if you go the route of a plug-and-play solution designed specifically for non-tech savvy individuals that requires only a small, router-like device that plugs in to the internet connection and sits between any data collection device at a store, like a point-of-sale (POS) computer, desktop PC, or credit card terminal.

Wondering how you can better secure your wireless network? Contact Kinetic Technology Group at (214) 269-1200 or info@kinetictg.com. Our IT experts will ensure your wireless network is ironclad and secure. We are the go-to provider for IT Services in the Dallas and Fort Worth area.

The True Cost of Business Downtime

In a recent survey, 78% of companies reported some sort of major disruption to their business operations in the past five years. On average the true cost of business downtime across all respondents was $204,850 per hour and the average cost for a small-to-medium sized business was $11,500 per hour. The numbers are staggering and the risks increase each year.

 

What causes downtime?

The majority of downtime is small and mid-sized businesses related to power, hardware, software, viruses, cyber crime and natural disaster. Almost all incidents that cause outages and downtime are entirely preventable with a good managed IT service provider who is able to put the correct technology and procedures in place.

Avoiding Business Downtime

Your clients and employees count on your IT systems to always be available. Your network is the backbone of your entire business and even a few moments of downtime can cost you big money. Downtime not only chips away at your team’s productivity, it frustrates clients and prevents you from closing new sales. Having redundant, fail-over technologies in place combined with a reliable offsite disaster recovery plan is a great way to avoid downtime.

Solution: A Partner Who Can Help

Despite the potentially devastating consequences that downtime can have on small businesses, more than half of small businesses reportedly do not have a disaster recovery and business resumption plan. One of the most common reasons business owners cite for not having a plan is cost. However, when considering the cost of downtime and all the associated ripple effects, contracting with a reputable IT Services provider will save you big bucks in the long run and keep your business operational.

Tired of your network going down? Need a better IT company? Contact Kinetic Technology Group at (214) 269-1200 or email info@kinetictg.com and we’ll implement IT solutions that eliminate downtime and increase productivity in your business.

6 Reasons To Implement Cloud Backups

One of the most recent developments in this new world of online computing is the accessibility of cloud services. As with many tech buzzwords, “the cloud” can be used to refer to many different things, but in the context of data backup, it’s especially noteworthy.

Businesses today can purchase server space in the cloud from services that specialize in technology to make backup seamless and more secure. Cloud backup technology is safe and scalable while being extremely cost-efficient. Let’s look at the benefits companies can take advantage of by utilizing cloud backup technology.

 

The Top Benefits of Cloud Backup for Business

The main purpose of backing up your data is, of course, the ability to roll back and access your archives in the event of local hardware failure. To do business today, you need the confidence of knowing that in the case of catastrophe, your data will be protected and available.

By backing up your information in the cloud, you have the perfect destination for your archives, as your files will be at once everywhere; no longer dependent on any single computer or server. Virtual server environments are in reality vast networks of server centers located around the globe, so that even if an entire facility fails, another failsafe is in place.

The cloud has other advantages as well. With virtual server-based remote backup, in the event that you need to restore your data, you should be able to do so extremely quickly and smoothly – as compared to digitally reconstructing damaged drives. Simply managing your data in the cloud, moreover, should be as simple, mindless and seamless as managing files on any computer.

The cloud is also remarkably affordable.

It has the advantage of requiring no physical location that you’ll need to handle maintaining on your own. A competent IT administrator can keep you connected and can manage your data remotely without too much hassle.

Six Key Benefits of Cloud Backup

As you can see, the benefits of taking your backups to the cloud are numerous. Let’s break them all down into six primary elements.

1. Zero Infrastructure Investment

With cloud-based data backups, your existing corporate computer network is all you need in terms of hardware. Your backup – and potential recovery – is as simple as a download and doesn’t require any expensive additional equipment.

2. Set It and Forget It

Once your data is backed up in the cloud for the first time, you can determine the settings you want for automated backup times, and all of your company’s data is synced once again without you needing to do anything further. That is, you simply establish an automatic backup routine whereby your company data is saved automatically at a set time every day (or hour or week, depending on your needs) or intervals (every six hours or every 12 hours, for example). From that point on, you don’t need to do anything to make it happen – the backup occurs on schedule, and you can relax.

3. Quick Recovery

Compared to antiquated solutions like tape backup, the cloud offers extremely fast recovery time in the event that it is necessary. It should be a straightforward and speedy process – almost as fast as you can communicate with your provider.

It’s important to consider and understand how much bandwidth is available to you as well. This will impact the speed, as well as the amount of data you are backing up; which should be measured as well. The details should all be spelled out in your service level agreement (SLA).

4. No More IT Headaches

Relying on the cloud also means that your IT department can focus on doing IT development and other such tasks for the ongoing maintenance and growth of your company. They’ll no longer need to worry about managing your backup hardware and protocol – or at least the work involved will be severely reduced.

5. Much Better than Tape Backup

Backing up data on tape involves some serious pitfalls that cloud backup avoids. Tape backup is often highly expensive, and it’s at risk of becoming obsolete any minute. Moreover, tape is a physical entity that can be lost in transit, or stolen without resorting to cybercrime – merely pilfering the tape while it is being transported offsite is all it takes for your data to get into the wrong hands when you aren’t using virtual backups.

Aside from tape being notoriously unreliable, they can also be time-consuming when recovering your data. Think of it in this way: to play a certain track on a CD, you can push a couple buttons and go there immediately. But finding that same track on a cassette tape takes time fast-forwarding or rewinding to find the right play point.

6. Tiered Cost-Value Alignment

You know those files from several years ago that you never look at but really ought to be kept regardless? That’s what happens – your data loses value over time. It only makes sense that the resources invested in maintaining archives should diminish commensurately. Thanks to “backup lifecycle management” capabilities, cloud solutions allow you to align your data accessibility needs with the costs involved since you’re able to assign different accessibility statuses to different sections of your archives.

Transitioning to the Cloud

With so many advantages associated with cloud backup, it’s amazing that there are still companies relying on antiquated, inferior systems – or worse, no solution for data backup at all.

Need help backing up your business data to the cloud? Contact Kinetic Technology Group at (214) 269-1200 or info@kinetictg.com today. Our industry-leading cloud backup service gives you a worry-free solution and keeps your business protected. We are the premier IT provider in Dallas and Fort Worth.

6 Tricks to Improve Windows 10 Performance

Windows 10, Microsoft’s latest offering, has been recognized as a success and back to form after the disastrous Windows 8. Windows 10 performs better, it brought back the classic start menu, and it looks stunning when compared with previous versions.

It’s possible to tweak some of the settings to get Windows 10 to run faster. One of the biggest problems with improving the performance of Windows 10 is that most people will tell you to turn off some of the better visual features.

windows 10

Here are some ways to improve the performance of Windows 10 for free, without sacrificing some of the prettier features that Windows 10 has to offer.

Remove Bloatware

Many manufacturers of laptops and desktops will include a whole range of “helpful” apps which will pop up and often interrupt you when you’re otherwise happily using your computer. These apps run in the background and cause your computer to slow down. If you don’t use or need any of them, you should remove them.

To remove apps installed by the Windows Store, you can go to the “Apps & Features” settings and select the ones you want to remove from the list. If you’ve got more traditional style apps (i.e., ones that weren’t installed via the Windows Store), you can remove them from the control panel.

Reduce Startup Processes

The more programs and services you have running during startup, the slower your computer will run. In Windows 10, you can stop programs from running at startup by using the Task Manager. To access the Task Manager, either right click on the task bar and select “Task Manager” or press Ctrl-Shift-Esc at the same time. Click on the startup tab at the top of the window and you’ll see a list of programs which load during startup, run silently in the background, and otherwise slow down your computer.

If there are any programs in the list which you don’t use, or you use rarely, then it would be a good idea to disable them during startup. This will free up valuable resources and speed up the general operation of your computer.

Clean Your Computer

Download and install the free version of CCleaner to clean your hard drive and fix registry errors. As your hard drive begins to get full to capacity, you’ll notice a negative effect on the speed of your computer. Therefore, reducing the amount of data stored on a hard drive will help to keep it running as fast as possible.

Also, errors in the Windows Registry can cause Windows 10 to run slower. Keep the registry free of errors to ensure that Windows 10 is running as fast as possible.

Disk Defrag

If you’re using one of the old-fashioned mechanical hard drives, then you should regularly run disk defrag. As data on hard drives become more fragmented, it takes longer to find the various sectors which make up a file. The longer it takes to find these sectors, then the slower the computer will become.

By defragmenting your hard drive, you can rearrange the data so that it’s easier to find. If the data is easier to find, your computer will run faster as it takes less time to find all the sectors required to open a program or file.

Perform a Virus Scan

Viruses, malware, and spyware can all cause your computer to slow down. Use a free anti-virus program to ensure that your computer is clean. Usually viruses will cause your computer to divert hardware resources away from your other programs and slow down your computer.

Viruses can be a huge drain on your computer’s resources, and removing them will cause a noticeable effect on the speed of your computer.

Maximum Power Settings

In the power options of Windows 10, you’ll find options that can help you to save electricity. If you want to improve the performance of Windows 10, you’ll want to ensure that it’s running at full power and not in power saving mode.

Go to “Power Options” in the Control Panel and then select “Change Advanced Power Settings.” At the top of the window select “High Performance” from the dropdown list. This will ensure that Windows isn’t intentionally slowing down your PC to save you a few cents on your electricity bill.

Although Windows 10 is probably the fastest operating system produced by Microsoft, there are a few things you can do to speed it up even further. However, to preserve all the animations and other visual features which look good you can try tweaking a few of the settings to get the most out of your computer.

It’s possible to improve the performance of Windows 10 for free by changing a few settings and keeping your computer free of bloatware, viruses, and unnecessary data. If you’re looking to improve performance even further, you can try removing some of the visual effects which take up a lot of hardware resources and slow down your computer.

Need help implementing Windows 10 in your business? Give Kinetic Technology Group a call at (214) 269-1200 or email info@kinetictg.com and our IT experts help you with Windows 10 and keep your business operating at full speed.

Is My Printer Really a Security Risk?

One of the most commonly overlooked resources in a network is printers. They may seem harmless and uninteresting to hackers, but printers are indeed a risk in an enterprise environment. So is my printer really a security risk?

Document Theft

Printers aren’t normally monitored in the same way as a critical server, router or desktop. Companies don’t usually place any security cameras on the printer, and no one thinks twice when someone removes a document from it. This leaves printers open to document theft. Theft could be done by a disgruntled employee planning to resign or a social engineering hacker who was able to gain access to the premises.

One way to stop document theft is to place printers in an open area where other employees can see who is accessing the printer’s documents. You can also place cameras on printers, but these devices are usually for finding a root cause after theft occurs rather than being a preventative measure. You can place cameras in obvious areas of a printer room to deter thieves. If they see the camera, they might be less inclined to steal documents from the device.

Saved Documents

Most high-end printers have memory where documents are stored and then printed when the user is ready. Users can also print documents to memory and have them faxed. A hardcopy is never actually printed, but this makes the printer vulnerable to hackers who can gain access to printer memory.

Printer memory should be treated just like you treat security on a regular desktop. Password protect printer copies stored in memory. Some printers allow you to password protect configuration changes or access to any part of the control panel. This helps prevents hackers from redirecting printer memory content to another location such as the hacker’s hard drive or web server.

Eavesdropping on Printer Communication

Printer traffic is just as vulnerable to eavesdropping as regular network traffic. If it’s not encrypted network communication, a hacker can intercept it and read the document content. The hacker doesn’t need the full image of the document. He just needs the text contained within the file. If the hacker can obtain even a small portion of a sensitive document, he’s successfully breached your data security.

Eavesdropping can happen from the internal network or when a user connects to an insecure Wi-Fi hotspot. Always encrypt traffic that communicates across the Internet. internal network protection is a little more complicated, because it’s assumed that employees aren’t attempting to breach security. However, disgruntled employees are a prominent threat in the workplace. Encryption within the organization and using a switched network environment helps prevent internal eavesdropping.

Dumpster Diving

One social engineering technique in the hacking world is a method called dumpster diving. You can probably guess what this means. The hacker digs through your trash to find sensitive documentation. While this isn’t a direct printer hack, it can be successful due to poor printer security.

When a user prints a document and isn’t satisfied with the result, he puts it in a trash can next to the device. The document isn’t shredded, because it’s not a full document printout or it wasn’t a quality print job. This means that readable information is still contained on the document and thrown away.

Even if the print job isn’t a full document, small snippets of information can be taken from it. Dumpster divers steal bags of paperwork, take them home, and sort through all of your trash. If the right information is found, the hacker can sell the data to your competitors or the black market.

Some hackers will actually ask for blackmail money in exchange for keeping the blunder a secret. For instance, suppose you run a HIPAA compliant healthcare facility. A user throws away paperwork that contains patient information and health records. The hacker knows that this is a huge HIPAA violation and asks you for a ransom to keep the mistake a secret.

The answer to this security issue is to place a shredder next to a printer and ask users to shred any documents that contain sensitive information.

How to Combat This Problem: Secure Your Printers

While you can’t completely ensure your printed documents are safe, you can take the necessary steps to improve security. Keep printers in open areas of the office or place a visible camera next to them to deter dishonest employees.

Don’t assume printer traffic isn’t important. Encrypt any communication across the network even printer data. Finally, keep a shredder next to printers and ask employees to shred documents if they decide to throw them away.

Need someone you can trust in Dallas and Fort Worth to secure not only your printers — but ALL devices used in your business? Look no further. Contact Kinetic Technology Group at (214) 269-1200 or email info@kinetictg.com and our IT Security experts will ironclad your network right away!

5 Benefits You Gain with Offsite Backups

Disasters can strike a business at any time. Many business owners fail to prepare themselves from the devastating effects of data loss or employee sabotage. With viruses and malware becoming more sophisticated and easier to get, your business operations are threatened. We see it time and time again, an employee of a business using unsafe email and web browsing and accidentally downloading a virus to their computer and the virus corrupts the entire organization’s data and brings the business to a screeching halt. Your business needs to need be prepared for disaster recovery. It’s not a matter of IF you’ll need it, but WHEN. Every good disaster recovery plan includes offsite backups. It’s not enough to have a backup system only at your office. What if a tornado wipes out your building? What if there is a fire that destroys everything? Or flood? Hardware can easily be replaced, but a company’s data cannot. Here are 5 benefits you gain with offsite backups.

 

 

Backup Automation

A major benefit of remote backup is that it can be automated. Your files are updated on a daily basis, or you can set a schedule for when your data backs up offsite (such as after hours, overnight). Because these solutions work over the Internet, you will be able to recover files quickly. Beyond that, the servers that offer this solution are often located in numerous locations, which ensures that your backups are always available, even if one server crashes.

Reduced Workload

Traditional backup solutions require a person, whether you or an IT professional or an employee, to manually back up or copy files. Because these processes are highly automated, if they are conducted in-house, there is need to take time and manually change backup media. If you go with remote backup, you won’t have to spend time changing backup media or worrying about locating where it is stored. This will save you time.

Pain-free Setup

No need to worry about paying a fortune to setup offsite backups. In general, the setup of offsite backups requires very little configuration and setup needed. Typically offsite backups can be setup in under 30 minutes, so you can rest assured you don’t have to break the bank to get this functionality in your business.

Secure, Encrypted Backups

Any reputable offsite backup provider will ensure your data is securely stored offsite. This is accomplished by using advanced encryption tools to ensure data security. Not only is the storage of your offsite backup secure, but the transmission of the data from your office to the offsite storage is all secure and encrypted.

Save Money

If you have numerous computers with large amounts of data that you back up regularly, you know that physical storage solutions can be costly. The majority of remote backup solutions are billed on a monthly-basis and support a near unlimited amount of backup space. If your company operates in an industry where backups are mandatory, or you have a large amount of files to back up, these options will save you money.

Contact Kinetic Technology Group today at (214) 269-1200 or info@kinetictg.com and learn more about the value of offsite backups and how we can fully manage your offsite backups.

What is a firewall and why do you need it?

With cyber threats at an all-time high, network security is more important than ever. Protecting the computer systems of your business is just as important as installing locks and security cameras to keep intruders out. Having a firewall appliance device in place prevents malicious users from breaking into your network and stealing your data. What is a firewall and why do you need it?

 

The Threat is Real

Any computer that is connected to the internet is at risk for an attack. Malicious software might divert a portion of your bandwidth for its use (to host pirated software, for example). Other attackers might try to bring down your network or delete crucial data. Online criminals may charge purchases to your company’s credit cards or even steal money from your corporate accounts. With the internet being democratized and increased computer know-how, more and more businesses may become threats. Even your competitors may be able to access your customer data, gaining an advantage.

Importance of A Firewall

The firewall is a key tool for network security, and no serious company can afford to operate without one. Luckily, these devices are affordable with numerous options available.

A firewall is a cornerstone of a network security strategy. It functions like a high-tech gate—it inspects the data that passes in or out of your company network to ensure that all the traffic is legitimate. A properly configured firewall allows legitimate users to access to all of the resources they require while keeping malicious programs or users out.

Firewall protection should be a part of your company’s overall computer security plan. Your plan may also include written policies about using external networks, data storage, bringing flash drives or disks from other computers, and other such activities. Aside from a robust firewall, you might also need to implement malware and virus scanners, encryption for your data-storage devices, business-class wireless security, email encryption, web content control, and spam protection. It is highly recommended to bring in an IT service provider to take care of the setup of your firewall and other critical IT security services if your company currently does not have expertise in-house (which most do not).

Need a new firewall? Worried about IT security? Contact Kinetic Technology Group by calling (214) 269-1200 or email info@kinetictg.com and you’ll have instant access to our IT security experts.

5 Reasons Why You Need an Annual Risk Assessment

5 Reasons for Annual Risk Assessment

Have you conducted your annual risk assessment? If not, you’re not alone. Many small businesses fail to perform an IT security risk assessment. Some business owners do not even know an annual risk assessment is actually required in their industry. A security risk assessment provides the framework for keeping your company at a desired security level by assessing the risks you face, deciding how you will mitigate them, and planning for how to keep your security practices up-to-date. Given that most small businesses cannot operate without technology, an IT risk assessment is critical. Here are 5 reasons for annual risk assessment.

Data Protection

If you retain confidential information from clients or customers, you’re often contractually obliged to protect that data as if it were your own. If you fail to protect it, you could face a loss of goodwill, and even legal consequences.

Regulatory Requirements

It’s critical that small businesses understand all of the privacy and security laws related to the data they store. These include state breach notification laws, FTC Red Flags Rule, and the HIPAA-HITECH data breach requirements.

PCI Compliance

Small businesses should pay close attention to Payment Card Industry (PCI) regulations associated to credit card transactions, especially as more small businesses use mobile devices to swipe credit cards. Failure to comply with these regulations could have a significant financial impact on your business.

Physical Security

Often times physical security is overlooked in small business. It is important for company servers and networking equipment to be located in a secure, locked area of your building with only authorized access. Old equipment needs to be properly disposed. A building alarm system and surveillance system is helpful for physical security as well.

Administrative Safeguards

Your annual risk assessment also takes a deep look into administrative procedures as it relates to data protection. Often times threats come from within. Meaning employees getting viruses that corrupts company information or a disgruntled staff member that deletes important company files. The security assessment will provide valuable information and recommended risk mitigation.

Today it’s vital that every small business conduct an IT risk assessment to ensure that its security is keeping its businesses network and data safe, preventing cyber threats, and meeting regulatory guidelines. Ensuring your businesses is meeting these security essentials will help prevent your business from being impacted by today’s most common security risks.

Need someone you can trust to conduct your security analysis? Contact Kinetic Technology Group today at (214) 269-1200 or info@kinetictg.com and our IT experts will perform our top-notch IT Security Risk Assessment and help keep your network safe.

What to Expect from a Flat Rate IT Support Service

Today, many small and midsize business owners are moving away toward maintaining in-house IT staff, in favor of working with outsourced IT support services. Flat rate IT support presents you with a single fixed rate for a set of services you need, rather than charging hourly and potentially incurring overtime.

computer support service

For many businesses, paying for a full-time IT staff just doesn’t make sense. IT professionals are far from being cheap minimum wage workers, and their expertise and training command a considerable salary. In-house IT workers also may not be equipped to handle every situation, as “IT” is a broad umbrella term that covers a range of different technologies and skill sets. A software security specialist may not be as experienced at server and networking equipment installation. This is where partnering with an IT provider with a wide array of skillsets will benefit you greatly.

Flat rate IT support gives your business access to the services you need, at a set price that won’t fluctuate unpredictably or change unexpectedly. It’s more cost-effective than in-house staff, while affording you and your employees peace of mind.

Flat Rate versus Hourly IT Support

Some companies and consultants charge a flat rate for their IT support services, while others will bill you by the hour. The problem with hourly rates is that when something goes wrong, and takes an unusual amount of time to fix, the IT workers’ long hours translate into a higher cost. Flat rate services avoid this problem. In fact, with flat rate IT support it is in best interest of your IT provider to ensure your computer system and business applications are always functioning properly.

Flat rate IT services are distinguished by stable, predictable pricing, a clearly defined set of services, and scalable features. Some of the benefits of going with a flat rate service rather than paying a consultant hourly include:

  • You’ll have constant access to a dedicated “help desk” service, preventing costly downtime.
  • Your IT support will constantly monitor and maintain your systems, even when your business is closed for the night.
  • Your rate won’t change for overtime, or if more than one technician is needed, or if the IT support service brings in additional outside contractors.
  • You won’t be charged more for disaster mitigation or data recovery.
  • Flat rate IT services are scalable, and can support your business as it continues to grow.

What You’ll Get with Flat Rate IT Support

Flat rate IT support guarantees you 24/7 access to vital maintenance and repair services, regardless of overtime or the number of personnel involved. Some of the key services that you can expect from a flat rate IT service include: Server and PC Troubleshooting, Network Management, 24 Hour Helpdesk & Onsite Tech Support, Backup Solutions, 24/7 Network Monitoring, Software Update and Patch Installation, Network Security, Malware & Spyware Protection & Removal, and Hardware Installation & Support.

Essentially, managed IT services function as your IT department, but at a lower cost than in-house staff.

Your Options for Outsourced IT Services

If you run a small or medium sized business, a flat rate IT support service probably makes more sense than hiring full-time in-house IT staff or paying someone by the hour. At Kinetic Technology Group, we offer a full suite of business IT solutions at a single, manageable flat rate that stays constant no matter what.

Give Kinetic Technology Group a call at (214) 269-1200 or email info@kinetictg.com and we’ll provide you with a fair monthly flat rate that gives you all-inclusive managed IT services.

What Encryption Can Do for Your Business

Your business doesn’t have to handle top secret government files to need encryption. You have a responsibility to your customers, vendors, stakeholders, and employees to keep their data safe, and you need to protect your business information from competitors. To maintain your reputation, the people you do business with must have confidence in your ability to keep data secure and use it wisely. What Encryption Can Do for Your Business

Data Encryption Services

Consider all the ways encryption can protect you from loss of business and reputation:

Neutralize Hackers

Encryption can prevent the use of your information by hackers. Even if they get into to your network, they won’t be able to use the information they find if it is encrypted.

Note that encryption cannot prevent access like a firewall can, but by rendering your data useless to prying eyes, it can eliminate the use of stolen data by hackers.

Protect External Drives

If your company backs up data on external hard drives, that means information that you store is neatly packaged for an enterprising thief. You could be subject to theft of those drives. This includes USB devices.

Encryption makes it impossible to read your data, so a compromised external drive will not harm your company.

Secure Internal Hard Drives

The drives in your computers are some of the most vulnerable access points in your entire information network. Hackers can come in through email accounts or your internet connection and get directly into your hard drives. This makes any information a user has stored vulnerable to theft.
Encryption can secure information while it is being stored. This process is automatic, so that the user doesn’t have to remember do it. Such encryption provides timely protection as data is created.

Make Cloud Storage Safer

Storing data in the cloud presents some problems. One of the most dangerous situations is sharing cloud storage space with other firms. Any hacker who gets into other companies’ data on a shared cloud server has access to your information.

Encryption is your best line of defense to these “back door” cloud hackers. Your information remains unreadable, and hackers may move on to less vigilant prey.

Some cloud storage services have decryption keys, and if those are stolen, your information may be read by intruders. This mean you shouldn’t rely entirely on the cloud service’s encryption. You can add an extra layer of encryption on your own to help protect your stored data from stolen decryption keys.

Hide Internet Traffic

Using public internet access for laptops makes your data vulnerable. The same applies to remote employees who use their home Wi-Fi connections.
A virtual private network (VPN) encrypts all communications to and from a laptop. The network is protected. Requiring a VPN connection for all employees helps lock out criminals who use the internet to attack companies.

Guard Email

Email can be the biggest leak in your security system. Employees may send sensitive information through emails, and if this information is intercepted, your company and your customers could be at risk.

Secure email applications can protect email communications not only while they are being sent, but also while they sit in inboxes. You receive an added benefit, because encryption means unauthorized recipients, such as friends and acquaintances of employees, will not be able to read company email.

Lock Lost Devices

Half of data breaches come from lost or stolen USB drives, laptops, phones, and tablets. Not only should you make sure that each of these devices is password-protected, but you also should have employees use encryption applications for sending, receiving, and storing data.

Neutralizing Employee Mistakes

Employees may grant access to a file by attaching it or giving a link to a non-employee. Encryption will nullify the effect of this error.

Safeguarding File Transfers

When you send files through a file transfer service, data thieves can intercept them in transit. Even a secured network can be vulnerable. Encrypting files before you send them ensures that if they are stolen, they will be unreadable.

Encryption technology is readily available and relatively inexpensive, especially when you compare the price of encryption to the cost of lost data and lost business due to thieves or error. All businesses today have some kind of internet vulnerability, and enterprising data thieves are always seeking new access points to steal your data. Make sure that if they get into your network or devices, the data they retrieve will be rendered useless by encryption.

Need help encrypting your company data? Contact Kinetic Technology Group by calling (214) 269-1200 or email info@kinetictg.com and our IT security experts will implement encryption and keep you protected.

Kerio Control keeps your company network secure.

In today’s fast paced world of business, security is a major concern. Attacks on your network are inevitable with hackers constantly trying to gain access. Companies have numerous choices when it comes to network security and finding the right firewall to fit their needs and budget. Kinetic Technology Group is a Kerio Preferred Partner because we trust their technology to keep our client’s networks safe and secure.

Kerio Control keeps your networks, users and assets safe and secure with a powerful all-in-one security solution. Kerio’s NG series of hardware appliances combine Kerio’s award winning Kerio Control software with specially matched hardware to create a complete network security solution for small to mid-sized organizations. Hardware appliances arrive with the latest version of Kerio Control software and use the same proprietary linux-based operating system found in the software appliance. Kerio Control hardware appliances bundle all of Kerio’s available security technologies including Sophos Anti-Virus and Kerio Control Web Filter w/ application awareness.

Key features:

Next-Generation Firewall, Router and Leading-Edge IPS

Preserve the integrity of your servers with deep packet inspection and advanced network routing capabilities — including simultaneous IPv4 and IPv6 support. Create inbound and outbound traffic policies, restricting communication by specific URL, traffic type, content category and time of day.

Industry-Leading Web Content and Application Filtering

Selectively block, allow or log access to 141 continuously updated categories of web content and applications with the optional Kerio Control Web Filter w/ application awareness. Keep your users from visiting malware sites that are known to contain viruses and spyware or to engage in phishing or identity theft.

Advanced Gateway Antivirus

Keep viruses, worms, trojans and spyware from infesting your network with integrated Sophos Gateway Antivirus.

Productivity-Boosting Usage Reporting and Bandwidth Management

View individual users’ web and application activity, refine traffic-shaping rules and more with automatic, detailed reports from Kerio Control Statistics sent to your email inbox. Manage network bandwidth via prioritization and traffic monitoring, Internet link load balancing and limiting access to streaming video and peer-to-peer networks.

If you are ready to secure your network, Kinetic Technology Group is ready help.  Call today for your free consultation.

Astronaut businessman traveling into the future of wireless technology with satellite receiver for his tablet on dramatic lunar landscape.

The Future of Wireless Technology in 2016

Everyone has had their own predictions for the future. This was evident especially after Marty McFly and Doctor Emmett Brown traveled back into the future and landed in a highly advanced 2015. Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, co-writers of Back to the Future Part II, did their best animation of what they envisioned the advancement of technology would be like and where it would take us. Through the power of imagination and creativity, many pictured the invention and innovation of technology more as fantasy rather than reality. However, in 2016, the future of wireless technology has now come to life, and the concepts for this year are accurate as they are thrilling.

What to Expect from Wireless Technology:

  • The telecom industry has already started working on the next 5G.
  • On February 12th, AT&T, America’s second-largest mobile operator, said it would begin testing whether prototype 5G circuitry works indoors, following similar news in September from Verizon, the number one operator.
  • South Korea wants to have a 5G network up and running when it hosts the Winter Olympics in 2018.
  • On February 11th, Qualcomm, a chip-design firm, introduced the world’s first 4G chip set that allows for data-transmission speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second.

The innovation of wireless technology will provide many life changing solutions to everyday problems we did not know existed. The Internet of Things is driving the market expansion with virtual reality, smart watches, smart homes, and drones with every passing moment. These new applications will open doors to a more creative and productive society if embraced correctly. New devices and wireless technology products and services will set higher standards for consumers. If these new applications are leveraged wisely, our society will be able extend a new range of technical possibilities. The new Wi-Fi product announcements highlight what more we can expect from wireless technology.
If you are seeking highly skilled gurus, we are your IT professionals. Let’s prepare for the future of wireless technology together! Call today for your free consultation.

5-Steps-to-an-Easy-Cloud-Migration

5 Steps to an Easy Cloud Migration

What’s the big deal with the Cloud, and why are so many businesses planning for a Cloud migration? In recent years, the number of Cloud deployments have increased dramatically. Here are five Cloud computing stats that every CIO should know:

  • It is predicted that the global market for cloud equipment will reach $79.1 billion by 2018
  • Throughout the next five years, a 44% annual growth in workloads for the public cloud versus an 8.9% growth for “on-premise” computing workloads is expected
  • 80% of cloud adopters saw improvements within 6 months of moving to the cloud
  • 82% of companies reportedly saved money by moving to the cloud
  • If given the choice of only being able to move one application to the cloud, 25% of respondents would choose storage

Many organizations are finding major benefits of moving their data and applications to the Cloud rather than hosting them on-premise. The most popular reasons being: to extend existing apps, utilize Desktop as a Service (DaaS), strengthen Disaster Recovery, deploy automatic software updates, and increase flexibility.

Here are five steps to guide you through your next Cloud migration:

1. Basic Assessment

Identify which applications, workloads, services, and operations need to be migrated to the Cloud and determine what needs to be done to make them Cloud-friendly.

2. Compliance is Key

Be mindful of the latest regulatory compliance regulations and make sure you consider how to keep your infrastructure compliant in a Cloud context.

3. Address Security

Assess the current state of your IT security – everything from data encryption and patch management to mobile security and secure web browsing.

4. Seek an Expert

Those with little Cloud experience should partner with a solutions provider with expertise in navigating various Cloud options and guiding organizations through a successful Cloud migration.

5. Provide Training

Proper training can make or break a Cloud migration. Keep your employees informed and aware of how the software operates and how they can properly use it.

Here at Kinetic, we provide the best cloud computing services to make your work life easier and stress-free. For more information, please contact us for a free consultation!

Hybrid-Cloud-Computing-Delivers-the-Best-of-Both-Worlds

Hybrid Cloud Computing Delivers the Best of Both Worlds

Hybrid cloud computing comes with an array of benefits such as reduced deployment time and greater ease of use. This method of cloud computing has grown tremendously over the years, and in fact, 99% of businesses predict some of their IT systems and applications will be cloud-based in the next five years.

But first, let’s dive into the differences between a public and private cloud. For public cloud services, the most commonly known platforms are Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, or Microsoft Azure. A public cloud is based on the standard cloud computing model – one where a service provider makes resources available to users over the Internet. On the other hand, a private cloud (also known as an internal or corporate cloud) allows cloud computing capabilities with existing, on-premise equipment. Unlike public cloud services, which deliver services to multiple organizations, a private cloud is dedicated to your single organization.

A hybrid cloud approach provides a safe middle ground that allows for the best of both worlds. Here’s a simple overview of the hybrid cloud computing model.

What is it?

The hybrid cloud is a combination of public cloud services and private, on-premise hardware. It allows you to manage a diverse mix of workloads – so you can keep some data in-house or on private infrastructure, and host other resources on a public cloud when it’s more appropriate or convenient.

Why does it matter?

A hybrid cloud system can be effectively leveraged for industries with variable workloads. Because you’re given direct access to on-premise, private infrastructure – as well as public services – you’re able to reduce latency and accomplish more, faster. Also, hybrid clouds do not have a single point of failure which can bring down the normal operations of an entire company.

How do I get it?

Building a hybrid cloud system for your organization requires the right timing, planning, and forethought. Choosing the right vendor to find solutions for your needs is highly advisable.

Here at Kinetic, we provide the best cloud computing services to make your work life easier and stress-free. For more information, please contact us for a free consultation!

What’s-the-Difference-Between-a-Break-Fix-IT-Guy-and-an-MSP?

What’s the Difference Between a Break-Fix IT Guy and an MSP?

With innovations in technology such as virtualization, Cloud computing, and VoIP, companies are faced with making adjustments to their IT infrastructure in order to stay relevant. When it comes to choosing the right IT provider to give you support and coverage, there are many options to consider.

Here are some questions that can help you determine which type of partner you should be looking for:

Is technology aligned with your business processes?

No matter what kind of organization you run, it’s important to ensure that every business process is optimized and streamlined to lower the risk of failure and increase uptime. With the guidance of a Managed Service Provider (MSP), you’ll be equipped with a complete set of solutions and services to support your operations and gain the assurance that all of your processes are working as efficiently as possible. Unlike break-fix IT guys – who only address surface-level problems without a strategic focus – MSPs are capable of providing tailored solutions that cater to your business-specific needs and demands. Are you having problems servicing customers due to a poor communications infrastructure? With the help of an MSP, you’ll gain secure, stable, and complete support for any and all challenges you face.

What kind of support are you getting?

For break-fix IT guys, there is no incentive for them to make your network as efficient and stable as possible. Their only duty is to provide reactive support whenever something goes wrong. Essentially, they thrive off of your destruction and don’t invest in network management tools that could help you increase productivity. An MSP, on the other hand, can sufficiently support clients with proactive support. By monitoring your systems 24/7, an MSP can prevent problems before they strike – saving you from unwanted downtime and business disruption. With proactive support, your network can maintain its health at all times.

Have you looked at ROI?

Return on investment, or ROI, is one way to measure whether or not you are saving money and being more efficient with the assets you currently have as opposed to your past way of doing things. With break-fix IT, it’s almost impossible to measure your ROI because you’re paying for upfront costs whenever something breaks. MSPs on the other hand, will go above and beyond to ensure the best ROI outcome possible. According to a survey from Business Solutions Magazine, 30% of respondents saw an increase in managed IT services revenue between 25-100%. Additionally, 7% of respondents saw an increase in managed services revenue over 100% – a huge growth potential for any industry.

MSPs offer a lot more savings and efficiency potential for small and growing companies because they can offer unprecedented experience. Asking the right questions before you make your partner selection can help you find the right managed service provider.

Here at Kinetic, we provide the best managed IT services to save businesses valuable time, resources, and revenue. For more information, please contact us for a free consultation!

5-IT-Solutions-to-Get-You-Ahead-of-Your-Competition

5 IT Solutions to Get You Ahead of Your Competition

In order for you to grow your business and stay ahead of the curve, you must know how to think outside of the box. By being equipped with the best IT solutions suited to your unique needs, you can easily get your creative juices flowing to gain an advantageous lead over your competitors.

Technology is always evolving, and business owners must realize the importance of keeping their business up-to-date with the latest IT solutions in order to grow more successful and competitive. Here are five IT solutions to help you hit your stride.

Reach Out to an IT Consultant

Your job is to oversee your business and employees to make sure everything’s running smoothly. You may not know everything there is to know about your IT infrastructure – and you’re not expected to! Don’t let inefficient and outdated technology distract you from focusing on the management of your business. With the help of an IT consultant, you can determine what IT solutions are needed to improve your daily operations, safeguard your network, and grow more productive. By allowing technology to foster your team’s efficiency and ability to be productive, you’ll easily outshine your competitors.

Adopt a BYOD Policy

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a growing trend where people bring their own devices to work to access corporate data and become more self-sufficient. Often times, these devices are newer and much more advanced than corporate-issued devices, and since employees are familiar with their personal devices, they’re happier and able to work faster. An empowered workforce can help you service clients better and increase your bottom line – things that all add up to you coming out on top.

Consider Web Teleconferencing

Ensuring a pleasant and hassle-free customer experience is paramount to your competitive edge. You probably already have basic IT solutions in place like a website, an email system, and company phones. But there’s one technology that can dramatically expand your communications capabilities – teleconferencing. With IT solutions like VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol), you can easily engage clients, communicate with employees, and unify your business communications with simple web-based services. And you can do this all without buying special hardware or equipment – allowing you to spend more resources on becoming more innovative and competitive.

Utilize Cloud-Based Servers

Imagine being able to cut back your budget while continuously growing more powerful and productive. With cloud-based servers, you’re able to diminish the upfront costs of hardware and receive the added benefit of technical support as needed. All the resources you require are available with a click and at a moment’s notice. You can expand your working capabilities and crush your competition.

Make the Most of Remote Desktops

Remote desktop technology frees your workforce from the cuffs of the 9 to 5 grind. By offering employees a seamless connection to all of their sensitive data from almost anywhere at any time, your team has the freedom to work from home, during a move, or when they are out of town. Businesses that offer this flexibility to their employees are the ones that foster greater productivity. By giving employees a portal to their office to get work done while on-the-go, you can maximize your potential and leverage your competition to the fullest.

Here at Kinetic, we have helped many clients adopt custom IT solutions to grow more competitive and successful. For more information, please contact us for a free consultation!

IT-support-for-new-mac-users

IT Support: 4 Tips for All Mac Users

Whether your computer is brand new or many years past its prime, you’ll always encounter a problem with it at some point in time. Macs are pretty easy to maintain, with a user-friendly and streamlined interface, but you still have to deal with all the common computer problems that arise over time. Some reoccurring problems include sudden slow downs, defective apps, misplaced files, and more. Here are four IT support tips to help get your Mac back into tip-top condition.

Update your software regularly.

As you navigate the online realm, do you ever come across those annoying notification pop-ups telling you it’s time to update your computer? It’s easy to ignore these prompts over and over again – and totally understandable! Maybe you just got used to the layout of your current interface and all the applications that came with it. Or perhaps you don’t have the time or energy to relearn additional new features that accompany an update. But truth be told, there’s very little reason not to click yes and accept. By neglecting critical software updates, you could slow down your Mac’s performance and be more vulnerable to security threats – which brings us to the next IT support tip…

Always install security updates.

To stay protected against cyber-attacks and other malicious threats, you’ll also want to be sure to click yes to any security updates to your Mac. These updates should appear at the top of the list, and they are your main priority among all others. This is because hackers, virus developers, and other ill-intentioned individuals are constantly scheming new and inventive ways to attack innocent targets. Once downloaded, security software is only as good as the time it was developed, and it doesn’t account for newer and more evolved threats. By staying on top of all your security updates, you can save yourself from a host of potential problems.

Stop unused or irrelevant apps from popping open.

This is another great, time-saving IT support tip for Mac users. Once you figure out which apps you use on a regular basis, it’s worth taking the extra step and making sure that unnecessary apps don’t pop up every time you start your computer. To prevent this, go to your System Preferences and under Users & Groups, select the “login items” tab which will display a list of every app that runs at startup. Then you can go ahead and uncheck the ones that you never use. You also have the power to remove apps that you don’t need or want to be hidden.

Remove the things you don’t need and hold onto the ones you do.

Maybe your hard drive is starting to get full, and it’s time to remove some apps and files that you don’t need. A good place to start is your downloads folder, which can pile up a lot of junk over time. Before you go in and start deleting left and right, take a minute to see how the storage on your Mac is being used. To view your storage space, simply click the Apple on the top left corner of your screen and select “About This Mac.” There will be a tab called Storage that can tell you whether your storage space is being dominated by music, apps, movies, photos, or any other kind of file. A full drive can definitely lend itself to slowing your computer down, so be sure to clean out anything that isn’t of value.

To learn how can get foolproof and unlimited IT support for your Macs at work, contact Kinetic for a free consultation!

IT-Consultant-Saves-Time-and-Money

How an IT Consultant Saves You Time and Money

An IT consultant is your go-to expert in making sure your business technology aligns with your needs and goals.

Think of it like this – you’d rely on an accounting professional to handle your company’s finances or a marketing specialist to increase customer engagement. You should adopt the same approach when it comes to planning your technology infrastructure.

Here are the top four ways an IT consultant can offer in-depth experience and resources to help your business thrive.

1. Access Highly Specialized IT Experts

Let’s face it – technology can be extremely complicated. Especially in this digital age – with technology constantly changing – it’s an uphill battle just trying to keep up. New technological trends are always emerging and shaping various sectors of business. That’s why it’s best to leave your IT infrastructure in the hands of experts who know how to manage your assets efficiently and consistently. An IT consultant can answer any questions you have and simplify technology to make your work life easier.

2. Streamline Work Processes

An IT consultant can pinpoint holes in your existing infrastructure and figure out which solutions can help you get back on track. By giving proactive recommendations such as virtualization and cloud computing, you can figure out the best way to streamline work processes and improve workflow. This ultimately helps you increase efficiency and employee productivity.

3. Smart Planning and Budgeting

How great does the thought of predictable IT spending sound to you? With the help of an IT consultant, you can strategically plan and stabilize your budget. Outsourcing IT means you no longer have to dish out tons of money on an in-house IT team. In most cases, businesses will spend 25% to 50% less when they utilize managed services over the cost of even a single internal technology employee. You further save on expenses deducted from recruiting, training, turnover, and vacation days. With a dedicated MSP, costs are budgeted and controlled.

4. Return Focus Back to Core Mission

Employees perform best doing the things they are good at. With the help of an IT consultant, you can free up technical headaches and burdens that distract you from carrying out your essential day-to-day tasks. The time and energy spent wasted on figuring out technology can add up. By delegating your technology to an expert IT consultant, you can free up time and resources – getting your focus back on revenue-generating projects and opportunities.

To learn how IT consulting can help grow your business and plan for the future, contact Kinetic for a free consultation!

managed IT services, outsourced IT

4 Business Benefits of Managed IT Services

Why is having a managed service provider smart for your business? By outsourcing your day-to-day computer network support and IT management to a team of technology experts, you’re allowing your business to maximize its potential. With managed IT services, you have complete support and the IT assets to help your business grow. Instead of settling for your current IT infrastructure and the limits that come with it, why not let leverage technology around your organization’s needs and goals? Managed IT services allow just that. Here are the top four business benefits of managed IT services.

1. Managed IT Services Take a Proactive Approach

The traditional “break-fix” method – where an IT guy comes in only when something in your system breaks or needs upgrading – is not an effective way to manage technology. Your employees waste a lot of valuable time and money when they’re prevented from carrying out their job due to annoying technical issues.

With managed IT services, you no longer have to worry if technology is running how it should. Instead, you can get back to focusing on your assignments and day-to-day tasks while a team of IT experts proactively monitor and maintain your IT. Highly trained IT professionals are constantly on the lookout to detect problems within your infrastructure before they arise and have the ability to provide top-notch IT support from virtually anywhere. Maybe you have a huge presentation to give out of the office and your files get corrupted? Don’t worry – with managed IT services, you’ll have the problem fixed in no time.

2. Managed IT Services Give You Access to Tech Experts

Your business runs with several departments with employees who are experts in their associated field. When outsourcing your IT, you delegate technology to expert technicians and engineers with a vast amount of experience in the IT industry. Managed IT services mean getting access to tech experts with in-depth tech knowledge that your in-house IT department may lack.

A team of IT professionals will regularly oversee your network to ensure that it’s running up-to-speed and fix any problem that gets in the way of your duties. You get 24/7 network monitoring to keep your systems secure and prevent unwanted downtime.

3. Managed IT Services Give You Peace of Mind

With the rise of data breaches and hacks, cyber-security is a hot topic these days for businesses. Managed IT services provide all-around protection with antivirus programs, firewall installations, and password protection. Keeping your intellectual property out of the hands of sneaky hackers and intruders means your business can keep running without interruptions.

With a comprehensive IT security plan in place, you and your employees gain a greater peace of mind.

4. Managed IT Services Are Cost-Effective

“Fix-it” IT services – when you have someone come in on the spot to fix broken or damaged hardware – equates to unpredictable hardware and maintenance fees. Nobody likes the sound of that! With managed IT services, you get a flat, monthly fee for constant IT support. You don’t have to pay out benefits or a salary commitment when you outsource your IT. You also don’t have to waste resources on training new IT staff or compensate for sick days/time off. Managed IT services take care of all your tech-related needs so you can have an easier worklife.