Backup - 101

Backup 101

 

A Brief History of Computer Backup Systems

 

We’ve talked Backup before, but what do you know about how it all started, and how far it has come? Here’s your chance to shine, history buffs! A good Maya Angelou quote fits into today’s topic: “You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.”

 

So where exactly HAVE we been? Lets dive into the past and find out! Buckle your seat belts and lets TIME TRAVEL!

 

Univac_I

Univac I

 

Its 1951, The UNIVAC I (The first computer EVER) by Mauchly and Eckert has just been released, and punch cards told the computer all the data that needed stored internally or externally. There were extra copies made of these punch cards, in case they  were damaged, lost, or stolen… this, technically, was the first form of a computer ‘Backup’.  Same logic, old format. Not valid for today’s systems, so it has been retired.

 

Magnetic Tape Backups

Magnetic Tape Backups

 

Fast Forward to the 60’s, and punch cards are taking up TONS of space, because there’s all this data to store and only so many safe places to put it. So into the market rolls Magnetic Tapes and Tape Backups. Tape backups caught on quickly, since one roll of tape, convenient to store, could hold the same as 10,000 punch cards.  But here’s their biggest fault, We know now that these have been GUARANTEED TO FAIL. They are old tech, and while they had a good run, their time is quickly coming to an end, though some people have yet to make the switch.

 

Old HDD Backup

An early Hard Drive

 

Around the same time as these Tape Backups came out, Hard Drives started appearing in computers. The problem is, that this early in the game (60’s and 70’s), they are big, heavy, and EXPENSIVE. No one could afford a ‘backup’ hard drive until much later.

 

Floppy Disk Backup

8″, 5.25″ and 3.5″ floppy disks

 

Floppy Discs came in not long after those Hard Drives and Magnetic Tapes. They started off in 1969, as a read only 8” version with 80KB of data, but some still preferred their Magnetic Tapes. Then came 1973 and the Rewritable floppy at 256KB, and then it wasn’t until the late 1990’s that you could store 250MB on a 3” Floppy Disc.  Some used floppy discs, some kept with their tapes. Small business and residential users found floppy discs more their style than these big reels of magnetic tape, since they were cheaper and handier than the other options at the time.

 

The biggest problem for many with the floppy discs was its limited capacity… and since we all know how supply and demand works, a new generation of disks was born… CDs both R (Recordable) & RW (Re-writeable) were released as the newest form of storage, taking storage to a new level, but they didn’t catch on until the 1990’s since they were less cost effective than a floppy disc.

 

CD & DVD Ba ckup

CDs & DVDs

 

What changed in the 90’s that caused almost everything to become more available to the average person? Computers standardized, becoming cheaper, and even started coming with CD-RW Drives pre-installed into them, which lowered the cost of the discs considerably as well.

 

USB Backup Drives

USB Backup Drives

 

It’s now 1998, and Flash(USB) Drives are being introduced into the market, and they caught on almost instantly. The smaller ones still hold more than your 3” floppy disc. I’ve recently seen Costco displaying (2) 64GB flash drives for less than $30! Why did they catch on so fast? They were compact, powerful, cost-effective, and they were also easier to transport when you needed to move your data. I would venture a guess that you’ve probably used these more than once in your life for something or other in the recent past.

Blue-Ray Backup

Blue-Ray Drives

 

The next generation we saw since the Flash Drive is the Blue-ray or HD-DVD disc. Most people encounter this drive when they buy their movies, because it can store more data, ranging between 23 GB and 54 GB, which allows better quality of movies, but they can also be used to store higher amounts of data in a disc backup. These started in 2006 and have been thriving.

 

Cloud backup

Cloud Backup

 

Now we are getting back to present technologies, with Local Network backups and Cloud based backups. We have multiple blogs on these topics, but the internet’s  growth and how computers are connecting to each other closely relates to this, so I’ll try to keep this pretty simple and concise.

 

LAN (Local Area Network)s were created in the late 1970s and were created to provide high-speed connections between a few computes in one place or building at the same time.

           

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) started in 1985 and was made to connect two computers over the internet so that they can share files with each other.

 

NAS Backup

NAS Backup

 

NAS (Network Attached Storage) systems were designed in 1992 to attach to traditional data networks and it caught on quickly. A NAS device may have multiple multi-Terabyte hard drives in one box so a whole network can be backed up.  Many manufacturers added it to their service line.

 

SAN Backup

                       

SAN (Storage Area Network) is made to attach computer storage devices such as disk array controllers and tape libraries to servers, allowing backups to take place even without a hardwired connection.

 

Online Backup Services did not come into play until the 90’s, when the modern Internet started to take shape, allowing your backups to be stored elsewhere, making them safe from damage to your office. It is, however, sometimes not the most cost-effective way to house the data for your business.

 

If you stuck with us for this bout of time warp, Congratulations!

 

Enjoy your weekend everybody!

 

 

How Can MCS Help?

 

MCS specializes in computer and network, security and management, for small businesses. If you feel like you are not getting what you expected from your current IT solution provider, it’s time to look at alternatives. 

 

Call us today at (636) 614-0866 for a free consultation.

 

Brought to you by: Managed Computer Services (MCS)

 

Need more time in your day?

 

Is it time to think about outsourcing your IT.

 

Call MCS at (636) 614-0866

to schedule a free consultation!

 

MCS is a full-service technology solutions provider offering affordable solutions that meet the unique needs and budgets of small businesses. Our ideal client is a small business with 1-35 computers.

We typically start with a free consultation to determine what you want to accomplish, by when, and then decide how we can meet your needs.

 

Contact Us For More Information

 

FREE IT Consulting
Vulnerabilities Risk Assessments ($20/computer)
Computer & Network Repair ($60-$75/hour)
Business Computer Security (Only $35/computer/month)
Many Backup & Recovery Options
Computer & Network Management
Managed Firewall
Managed Networks
PCI Assessments
Managed PCI Compliance
Telephone Systems

 

Call us if you have any questions at (636) 614-0866.

Give us an opportunity to talk with you or someone you know

about affordable technology solutions.

 

Hacker 102 - Psychology of a Hacker

Hacker 102

 

Psychology of a Hacker

 

In “Hacker 101” we talked about what the hacker does, what they want… but WHY do they “hack” in the first place? While there are always exceptions to every rule, there are times where narrowing down the facets of what a TYPICAL group does is necessary and/or helpful, such as suspects in a criminal case or a specific type of buyer… or hackers.

 

The psychology of a hacker may seem quite eccentric and simple-minded… all about themselves, no care for anyone else, sociopath… but that isn’t really true. They are highly complex, just like you and me.

 

Disclaimer: There will always be an exception to a rule, but these are observations that some very knowledgeable people have found, and this list is compiled from those observations.

 

Hackers have a ‘Code of Honor’ of sorts, and if one hacker is found to have broken that Code, other Hackers may turn against that specified Hacker. This code goes along the lines of “Take only Memories”, which is from a part of a quote by Chief Seattle, from the book “Brother Eagle, Sister Sky”. The book was asking for preservation of nature, and in the case of hackers, they may hold your computer for ransom, or keylog it so that they can access your password, but their goal is not to destroy your computer, they only want copies of your data.

 

Of course, that’s not really comforting.

 

These people are very smart, and have studied how to do the tasks they take on. Hackers don’t just come up with this stuff. They learn it, and typically mastered it.

 

They tend to feel out of their element in certain social environments, but tend to have normal lives like the rest of us, not some grungy mastermind wringing his hands in a dim basement and laughing maniacally. Save that for the movies.

 

The life of hacking seems to be opening up to women more and more. It’s not all guys like many seem to believe. And it’s not just for those that are less than flawless on the outside, plenty of hackers are fairly attractive, according to typical social standards.

 

THE POINT IS…  you will never be able to see someone walk into your office and just KNOW they are a hacker. So, you have to be prepared for ANYONE to be a hacker, and protect yourself (and your business) accordingly.

 

DO NOT allow someone you don’t know to walk into your business and start working on your computers and networks without showing you their credentials and the work order.

 

Hackers may share some qualities, but come on people, they aren’t robots. Usually.

 

Enjoy your week everybody! Watch out for Cyborgs!

 

 

 

How Can MCS Help?

 

MCS specializes in computer and network, security and management, for small businesses. If you feel like you are not getting what you expected from your current IT solution provider, it’s time to look at alternatives. 

 

Call us today at (636) 614-0866 for a free consultation.

 

Brought to you by: Managed Computer Services (MCS)

 

Need more time in your day?

 

Is it time to think about outsourcing your IT.

 

Call MCS at (636) 614-0866

to schedule a free consultation!

 

MCS is a full-service technology solutions provider offering affordable solutions that meet the unique needs and budgets of small businesses. Our ideal client is a small business with 1-35 computers.

We typically start with a free consultation to determine what you want to accomplish, by when, and then decide how we can meet your needs.

 

Contact Us For More Information

 

FREE IT Consulting
Vulnerabilities Risk Assessments ($20/computer)
Computer & Network Repair ($60-$75/hour)
Business Computer Security (Only $35/computer/month)
Many Backup & Recovery Options
Computer & Network Management
Managed Firewall
Managed Networks
PCI Assessments
Managed PCI Compliance
Telephone Systems

 

Call us if you have any questions at (636) 614-0866.

Give us an opportunity to talk with you or someone you know

about affordable technology solutions.

 

Computer Security 101

Thanks to Intego for the great Infographic. While this graphic speaks specifically to Mac users, the same information applies to Windows user too!

Computer Security 101

 

Why IT Companies

are doing it WRONG

 

According to StrongArm,  Spiceworks, BizTech Magazine, Cisco and lots more: Network (firewall) and endpoint (antivirus) defenses are not enough to protect your business, because they react to malicious communications and code after attacks have launched. To simplify, that means they are REACTIVE solutions.

 

Do you really want to wait
until your computer is infected
before you try to stop the attack?

 

This may work for large businesses, who can spend hundreds of thousands, or millions of dollars every year for specifically trained security teams and high-end software, and who can have dozens of computers pre-configured for quick placement, should a malware attack a few computers here and there.

 

The Industry Norm…

Waiting to be infected before going to Work

 

We already know how attacks work, so why are we waiting until the computer is infected?  Surely, we’ve come out of the “Dark Ages” of installing a firewall on the network (which is often poorly configured) and some cheap (mostly ineffective) antivirus on the computer(s).

 

In reality, the answer is NO, in the vast majority of businesses, both large and small, the IT industry is still using the same old fashion techniques.

 

So what are small businesses supposed to do?

 

Layered Security to the Rescue…

And Why It’s Better

 

In our opinion, layered security is the only way for small businesses to be truly protected from cyber attacks.

 

Since there is a solution for small businesses, why aren’t big businesses implementing a similar solution.

 

IT security is NOT a simple matter of a firewall and antivirus! It requires a layered approach. Each step of the attacker’s operation provides an opportunity for security providers to observe its presence and defend its intrusion.

 

So how is this accomplished? By analyzing how the attack process flows and how attackers get into your network and computers.

 

The following is a high-level view

of the attack process.

 

Step 1. Research

  1. The hacker decides to use an automated attack.
  2. The hacker decides to target a specific business or person.

 

Step 2. Creation

  1. The hacker decides to buy an existing attack software (exploit kit) from the black market.
  2. The hacker creates custom code (or redesigns) to design a new malware. every 4-5 seconds a new malware strain is found

 

Step 3. Delivery

  1. Malware is delivered to your PC, by infected links, phishing attacks or malicious ads or by other means.

 

Step 4. Exploit

  1. Malware attacks the vulnerabilities in your network and computers.

 

Removing VULNERABILITIES
in your network and computers
is the key to stopping malware attacks!

 

Step 5. Install

  1. Malware is installed on your PC.
    1. Malware today is designed to install and hide from malware scanning tools. You may have malware on your computer for months and never know.
    2. The initial malware may do nothing but provide a back door into your computer(s) that the attacker can use later to download other malware such as:
      1. Key Loggers
      2. Other Viruses, Worms or other threats
      3. Ransomware

 

Step 6. Activate

  1. The malware calls home for instructions from the attacker. This is when the malware’s mission is activated.

 

Step 7. Infected

  1. The malware has infected your computer(s). The attacker can now steal your data and or cause damage to your computer, and possibly spread to other computers and devices on your network AND cloud storage services.

 

See diagram below

 

Computer Security 101

 

So, the question remains; if we know all of this why isn’t somebody offering a solution that stops malware before it gets into your computers?

 

I’m glad you asked!

 

This is exactly the layered security solution that Managed Computer Services (MCS) has developed, and has been installing on small business computers for the last 3 years. This solution has been on 200 computers for nearly 3 years, and not one of those computers has been infected by any kind of malware

 

While we will never tell you ‘we guarantee you will never get hacked, or never get a malware’ (nobody can guarantee that), our track record speaks for itself.

 

Why is MCS different?

 

We provide several layers of protection, working together, to keep you safe.

 

We still believe in firewalls and antivirus software, but they are just two pieces of a larger puzzle.

 

So, here’s what you need to include!

 

If you are serious about protecting your business (large or small) from cyber threats, the following list will stop 99% of attacks from reaching your computer(s) and network.

 

  1. DNS Management
  2. Patch Management
  3. User Access Control
  4. Signature based scans
  5. Behavioral based scans
  6. A solid backup solution
  7. Password management
  8. Procedures and best practices established and enforced
  9. Cyber security awareness training for all employees.
  10. Network Management

 

If your business does not have the time or experienced personnel to handle these processes please call us at (636) 614-0866. We would be happy to answer your questions and either help you or manage your security for you.

 

For just one of our clients in 2016, who operated several servers and nearly 100 computers, our DNS solution by itself, stopped 303,000 malware attacks.

 

Not every small business needs all of these processes which is why we offer free consultations.

 

To see what vulnerabilities are hiding in your computers, we offer a Vulnerabilities Risk Assessment for just $20 per computer. To see a sample of what this report will show you type this address into your browser…  https://bit.ly/VRA_Sample 

 

 

To learn more about how these layers work together to provide a superior security solution call MCS today at (636) 614-0866 for a free consultation.

 

How Can MCS Help?

 

MCS specializes in computer and network, security and management, for small businesses. If you feel like you are not getting what you expected from your current IT solution provider, it’s time to look at alternatives. 

 

Call us today at (636) 614-0866 for a free consultation.

 

Brought to you by: Managed Computer Services (MCS)

 

Need more time in your day?

Is it time to think about outsourcing your IT.

 

Call MCS at (636) 614-0866

to schedule a free consultation!

 

MCS is a full-service technology solutions provider offering affordable solutions that meet the unique needs and budgets of small businesses. Our ideal client is a small business with 1-35 computers.

We typically start with a free consultation to determine what you want to accomplish, by when, and then decide how we can meet your needs.

 

Contact Us For More Information

 

FREE IT Consulting
Vulnerabilities Risk Assessments ($20/computer)
Computer & Network Repair ($60-$75/hour)
Business Computer Security (Only $35/computer/month)
Many Backup & Recovery Options
Computer & Network Management
Managed Firewall
Managed Networks
PCI Assessments
Managed PCI Compliance
Telephone Systems

 

Call us if you have any questions at (636) 614-0866.

Give us an opportunity to talk with you or someone you know

about affordable technology solutions.

 

Hacker 101

Hacker 101

 

Think Like a Hacker,

Defend Like the Pros

 

So, we’ve talked hackers, hacking, and how to protect yourself… now let’s do some studying about our adversaries. In our “10 Point Hacker Watch List”, we did a sort of ‘Intro to Hackers’…feel free to check that out if you haven’t yet, but for this blog, let’s get right into the useful stuff!

 

THINK LIKE A HACKER

 

Many people seem to believe that hackers are just some kid playing war games without a care in the world, but in reality, most hackers don’t sit around just ‘playing’ hacker.

 

They are trained professionals.

The assassins of the cyber world.

 

Now, imagine everyone has a target on their back… because you do.

Would you rather have all the information that the assassin who is coming after you has, more information than they do, or less?

 

If your answer isn’t more information than your trained foe, maybe you should think this through again.

 

The biggest difference between hackers and others in similar fields, is their lack of following any kind of code of ethics. Here is an example if you would like to read through it.

 

There are three main types of hackers,

but just like anything else, there will always be exceptions.

 

Cyber Espionage: These operatives are HIGHLY trained, likely working for either a governmental or corporate entity. They have specific targets, and their intents range from information gathering of corporate trade secrets, to disabling enemy missiles. Serious stuff.

 

Hacktivists: These hackers are looking to show how THEY feel about something, usually a controversial issue, and it’s typically a bullying tactic to stop something such a website from being able to function.

 

Hackers-For-Hire: Have low morals and want to make your competitors look like absolute fools so that people will shop with you instead, but don’t have the money to keep a hacker on staff yet? HAVE NO FEAR! Hackers-For-Hire are here! But seriously, these people are sort of like the mercenary. Or freelance artists. Depending on which end of the code you’re on.

 

If you’re a pretty normal type of business, you may not have to worry about hacktivists… but your big competitors may have a Cyber espionage team and can use it to get your client data and steal them from you. Or maybe a smaller competitor hires a hacker to make you look bad to your clients with a major data breach, leaving them an opening to take in those clients and surpass you. This isn’t as far fetched as you might think!

 

Your opponent, that hacker coming after you, may know information about you, may even be able to guess how you think… but what they DON’T know is what you know.

 

If you know what to look for, how hackers think, what they do, and what they are gunning for, YOU hold the most information. You are fighting from the high ground on the battlefield of cyber security.

 

USE IT

 

Hide that target on your back out of sight and out of reach, and you’ll stay safer.

 

Enjoy the high ground, everyone. Don’t give the enemy eyes on the target.

 

How much data do you have

that is exposed?

 

If you don’t know you better find out before you get hacked.

 

MCS can scan your computers for just $20 per computer.  These scans just might save you thousands of dollars. Just fill out the form below and we will call you to setup a free consultation.

 

 

 

 How Can MCS Help?

 

MCS specializes in computer and network, security and management, for small businesses. If you feel like you are not getting what you expected from your current IT solution provider, it’s time to look at alternatives. 

 

Call us today at (636) 614-0866 for a free consultation.

 

Brought to you by: Managed Computer Services (MCS)

 

Need more time in your day?

 

Is it time to think about outsourcing your IT.

 

Call MCS at (636) 614-0866

to schedule a free consultation!

 

MCS is a full-service technology solutions provider offering affordable solution that meet the unique needs and budgets of small businesses. Our ideal client is a small business with 1-35 computers.

We typically start with a free consultation to determine what you want to accomplish, by when, and then decide how we can meet your needs.

 

Contact Us For More Information

 

FREE IT Consulting
Vulnerabilities Risk Assessments ($20/computer)
Computer & Network Repair ($60-$75/hour)
Business Computer Security (Only $35/computers/month)
Many Backup & Recovery Options
Computer & Network Management
Managed Firewall
Managed Networks
PCI Assessments
Managed PCI Compliance
Telephone Systems

 

Call us if you have any questions at (636) 614-0866.

Give us an opportunity to talk with you or someone you know

about affordable technology solutions.

 

Know Your Risks

Do You REALLY Know
Your Risks?

 

So, we talk about RISK a lot, to anyone willing to listen (or to captive audiences, like my networking groups) but only because we want you to stay safe… but that’s because we’ve heard it again and again. “I’m too small”, “I don’t have anything worth stealing”, or even “If it happens I’ll just close down and move on” … but do you know your risks, and what can happen if you don’t start taking security more seriously? Do you understand what’s at stake?

 

First and foremost, the trust your clients put in YOU, not your business, because we all know that business in 2017 is all about building relationships with our clients. Estimates say that up to 60% of your clients will move their business to a competitor if “YOU” get hacked and compromise their personal data.

 

Then there are fines (and maybe regulatory penalties), Breach Notification Laws to follow, ID Theft protection for every one of your clients, civil suits, and on, and on…

 

Yet, there is a mass of business owners that don’t even seem to realize what the risks are. That – or they just flat don’t care, which is even worse.

 

Hackers don’t want just YOUR data… they want the data you have on your CLIENTS too.

  1. Let’s face it, without people to buy your service or product, you don’t have a business. There’s no way around that. If your client’s data is hacked, and those clients see you as somewhere unsafe to do business with, do you REALLY think they are THAT loyal to you? Don’t be delusional. No client in their right mind is going to simply come back after they lose everything BECAUSE OF YOU.

 

Small and Medium Businesses are more likely to be hacked because they don’t take cyber risks seriously…

and hackers know it!!! Come on folks, you’re a sitting duck, just waiting to be blasted. Waiting to take action before you get hacked is like waiting to get killed in a car accident before putting on your seat belt.

 

Have you even LOOKED at your ‘security protocols’ recently? Do you REQUIRE your employees to follow them? Do your employees even KNOW you have them?

That is… if you even have any. All those unsecured, unencrypted mobile devices connecting to your network are just ticking time bombs waiting to blow up your network.

 

Do any of your vendors, partners, or customers connect directly to YOUR network?

If they do…and your network is not configured with the correct security protocols, what they are doing could very easily be YOUR problem.

 

Do you work with anyone outside your area?

Most people do… but what are the rules they have to play by? Are they different from yours? And if they are… who will be held liable for any issues that arise from that interaction. Because in all reality… the answer is likely YOU.

 

Got a vacation coming up soon? Know the risks if you are intending to travel somewhere.

Make sure you have a safe way to connect. Make sure you know if there has been a lot of cyber-crime there recently. Be sure your devices are secure and protected from this possibility, so that when you get back, you won’t risk bringing back the virtual equivalent of smallpox to infect the rest of your network, and EVERYTHING connected to it!

 

 

Long story short (-  I know, too late 😉  -), people, DO YOUR RESEARCH. Protect your business. Life is full of surprises… and not all of them are good.

 

There is a great post on Business.com that I suggest you read. The title: Security Breach: 4 Disturbing Stories About Getting Hacked – and you can read it here: https://www.business.com/articles/security-breach-4-disturbing-stories-about-getting-hacked/

To be more secure, don’t click on ANY links – copy and paste them into your browser.

 

Would you like to Know your risks? For just $20 per computer we can show you the risk that are already sitting inside your computers? And, we will provide actionable steps to remove or minimize those risks.

 

 

Have a safe weekend everyone, and be careful out there!

 

 

How Can MCS Help Your Business?

 

MCS specializes in computer and network, security and management, for small businesses. If you feel like you are not getting what you expected from your current IT solution provider, it’s time to look at alternatives. 

 

Call us today at (636) 614-0866 for a free consultation.

 

Brought to you by: Managed Computer Services (MCS)

 

Need more time in your day?

 

Is it time to think about outsourcing your IT.

 

Call MCS at (636) 614-0866

to schedule a free consultation!

MCS is a full-service technology solutions provider offering affordable solution that meet the unique needs and budgets of small businesses. Our ideal client is a small business with 1-35 computers.

We typically start with a free consultation to determine what you want to accomplish, by when, and then decide how we can meet your needs.

 

Contact Us For More Information

 

FREE IT Consulting
Vulnerabilities Risk Assessments ($20/computer)
Computer & Network Repair ($60-$75/hour)
Business Computer Security (Only $35/computers/month)
Many Backup & Recovery Options
Computer & Network Management
Managed Firewall
Managed Networks
PCI Assessments
Managed PCI Compliance
Telephone Systems

 

Call us if you have any questions at (636) 614-0866.

Give us an opportunity to talk with you or someone you know

about affordable technology solutions.

 

Father’s Day 2017

Tech & Gift Ideas for Dad

 

Here are a few “Tech” ideas that you can give dad this weekend. You can be the hero – stop by and make sure dad’s computer is relatively safe from hackers. How can you do that? 

 

Here are some ideas you can do to help keep dad’s computer(s) safe:

 

  • Make sure dad has an Anti-malware installed, that it is up to date and that it scans automatically. Many of the free programs require you to manually update the software and manually run scans.
  • Make sure all of dad;s software applications have been patched patched and are up to date!
  • Download MalwareBytes free trial (malwarebytes.com) and scan dad’s computer (then uninstall Malwarebytes).
  • Check Add & Remove Programs and uninstall any programs dad doesn’t use.

 

If dad is on a tight budget, and can’t afford to upgrade MS Office all the time, install LibreOffice for him (https://www.libreoffice.org/). It’s a little different, but it’s FREE, and you can set the preferences to save all documents in an MS Office format (.docx, .xlsx, and .pptx)

 

Are You Looking For Gift Ideas?

Here are some ideas for dad this father’s day…

 

 

Amazon Echo Dot

(Credit: Google Images)

 

Amazon’s second-generation Echo Dot allows users to play music, control smart devices, make calls, send messages and do other tasks. It sells for $49.99 on Amazon’s site. The first generation Echo Dot is pictured above.

 

Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa

(Credit: Google Images)

 

The next generation of the Amazon Fire TV stick has Alexa, and 15,000 apps, games, and Alexa skills including Netflix, Hulu, HBO NOW, YouTube, Amazon Video, NBC, WatchESPN, Disney and more. It sells for $39.95 on Amazon.

 

Amazon Kindle

(Credit: Google Images)

 

For dads who are bookworms, Amazon has Kindles in several price ranges, starting at $79.99.

 

Google Home

(Credit: Google Images)

 

Google Home can distinguish dad’s voice from others, and answer questions and do things for him. It retails for $129.

 

Apple TV

(Credit: Google Images)

 

If your dad wants to use Apple TV, you can get one for around $150. The latest version also offers access to live sports.

 

Baratza Coffee Grinder

(Credit: Google Images)

 

The Baratza Coffee Grinder is a good gift for a coffee-loving dad, and they start at $129.

 

Nest Protect

(Credit: Google Images)

 

The Nest Protect is a high-tech carbon monoxide and smoke detector that allows the user to check remotely. It sells for $249.

 

Insignia 115-Can Beverage Cooler

(Credit: Google Images)

 

If dad likes to entertain, Insignia’s 115-can cooler is a good way to keep the soda or beer cold. It sells for $299.99 at Best Buy.

 

 

For even more ideas check out the original post here:

 

http://www.newsday.com/business/technology/father-s-day-tech-gifts-include-amazon-echo-apple-ipad-nintendo-switch-google-chromecast-1.13695955

 

How Can MCS Help?

 

MCS specializes in computer and network, security and management, for small businesses. If you feel like you are not getting what you expected from your current IT solution provider, it’s time to look at alternatives. 

 

Call us today at (636) 614-0866 for a free consultation.

 

Brought to you by: Managed Computer Services (MCS)

 

Need more time in your day?

 

Is it time to think about outsourcing your IT.

 

Call MCS at (636) 614-0866

to schedule a free consultation!

MCS is a full-service technology solutions provider offering affordable solution that meet the unique needs and budgets of small businesses. Our ideal client is a small business with 1-35 computers.

We typically start with a free consultation to determine what you want to accomplish, by when, and then decide how we can meet your needs.

 

Contact Us For More Information

 

FREE IT Consulting
Vulnerabilities Risk Assessments ($20/computer)
Computer & Network Repair ($60-$75/hour)
Business Computer Security (Only $35/computers/month)
Many Backup & Recovery Options
Computer & Network Management
Managed Firewall
Managed Networks
PCI Assessments
Managed PCI Compliance
Telephone Systems

 

Call us if you have any questions at (636) 614-0866.

Give us an opportunity to talk with you or someone you know

about affordable technology solutions.

 

Patching

Patching is Critical

(Look for the limited time special offer at the end of this post!)

 

 With all the data hacking going on today,
there are plenty of things to worry about.

 

But what can YOU do
to stay safe from most of these threats?

 

One great way is to keep your operating system (OS) and all of your other software applications patched. A patch is an update to a software, designed to provide new features to users or fix security vulnerabilities and/or performance issues.

 

Un-patched software like Java, Adobe Flash, Adobe PDF Reader, QuickTime, Microsoft Office and other similar apps are prime targets for hackers.

 

According to PCWorld, this is currently the primary initial infection method used to compromise computers that have Internet access. Those same vulnerabilities are exploited by attackers when users visit infected web sites.

 

Un-pactched software has been a security risk since before 2012 when Roger Grimes published a list of the top 5 most common cyber threats, which included:

 

  • Social Engineering
  • Unpatched Software (such as Java, Adobe Reader, Flash…)
  • Phishing
  • Network worms, and
  • Advanced Persistent Threats

 

So, if patching concerns have been around since before 2012, why is it still an issue?

 

Because “people” don’t know what they don’t know. The vast majority of small business owners don’t know squat about computer security, and don’t know who to ask, or they just don’t care.

 

According to Finland-based cyber security firm F-Secure, most companies fall victim to cyber attackers either because of un-patched software with known vulnerabilities or because of the human factor, like people falling victim to phishing emails.

 

The exploitation of known vulnerabilities is still the root cause of most breaches while all other security measures are just secondary measures designed to catch attacks that happen because of these two reasons.

 

Patching can be simple, or REALLY tricky, and the longer you go without patching… the trickier it gets. Patches may change how something works, or runs, they sort of stack from the previous version. If you install them out of order, it can lead to an absolute mess.

 

If you want to do this yourself… tread carefully. You might even reach out to the software’s tech support department. They may be able to walk you through it.

 

As a final note… if you think this is a little over your head, or you don’t want to spend a couple of hours a day (every day) searching the web for software updates, but you understand the risk involved in NOT taking these important steps, or even just have a question about why patching is so important… give David a call at 314-546-7832 or email him at david.weir@mcs-stl.com. He is very knowledgeable and will be happy to help you.

 

MCS patches all of our clients computers and software daily, nearly 100 different application, automatically.

 

Special Offer…

MCS is offering a new service to perform daily patching.

 

For a limited time, at this price, we will patch your computers for you – daily – for just $10 per computer per month. This service is just to keep your computers up to date. There is no security solution included, but since un-patched software is one of the two primary attack methods, it’s a great first step.

 

If you would like MCS to handle patching your software for you, simply give us a call at (636) 614-0866 and we can discuss what options are available.

 

Have a great weekend everyone, and PATCH, PATCH, PATCH!

 

Did you know that if you take credit cards as a form of payment you are required to comply with PCI-DSS? PCI-DSS stands for Payment Card Industry – Digital Security Standards. One of the newer requirements is that you must have a quarterly internal vulnerability scan. 

 

MCS can perform those scans for you for just $20 per computer. These scans show you what data in exposed in the computer and will show you how to correct the problems. Failing a PCI audit can take away your ability to accept credit cards, and may cost a lot of money in fines.

 

To learn more fill out the form below and we will contact you. Our consultations are free. Is your business worth protecting?

 

 

How Can MCS Help?

 

MCS specializes in computer and network, security and management, for small businesses. If you feel like you are not getting what you expected from your current IT solution provider, it’s time to look at alternatives. 

 

Call us today at (636) 614-0866 for a free consultation.

 

Brought to you by: Managed Computer Services (MCS)

 

Need more time in your day?

 

Is it time to think about outsourcing your IT.

 

Call MCS at (636) 614-0866

to schedule a free consultation!

MCS is a full-service technology solutions provider offering affordable solution that meet the unique needs and budgets of small businesses. Our ideal client is a small business with 1-35 computers.

We typically start with a free consultation to determine what you want to accomplish, by when, and then decide how we can meet your needs.

 

Contact Us For More Information

 

FREE IT Consulting
Vulnerabilities Risk Assessments ($20/computer)
Computer & Network Repair ($60-$75/hour)
Business Computer Security (Only $35/computers/month)
Many Backup & Recovery Options
Computer & Network Management
Managed Firewall
Managed Networks
PCI Assessments
Managed PCI Compliance
Telephone Systems

 

Call us if you have any questions at (636) 614-0866.

Give us an opportunity to talk with you or someone you know

about affordable technology solutions.

 

Cyber Insurance

Cyber Insurance
‘Pre-Existing Conditions’

 

Some of you security savvy people may have already gotten on the bandwagon of Cyber Insurance, and others of you may be considering making the jump.

 

Insuring your business against cyber attacks is no different than insuring against fire, tornadoes or someone falling in your parking lot. It really is important to be insured against cyber threats too! But how do you know what is the best way to handle it all?

 

One of the biggest questions, as always, will be price. You have to be able to pay for the insurance, right? But what if you aren’t getting the right coverage? Even Cyber Insurance has its own sort of ‘Pre-Existing Conditions’ that will exclude you from coverage if you don’t CAREFULLY read the fine print.

 

Here are some questions to ask…

 

from KnowBe4, a Cyber Security Awareness Training Company:

 

“Here are three issues you need to be aware of when you buy cyber insurance, or when you review your existing policy:

 

  • Is a known vulnerability that you have not patched a pre-existing condition?
  • Should an un-patched system be covered under a clause for errors and omissions?
  • When an employee falls for a phishing attack and infects the network, is that covered?

 

Different policies will respond in different ways on what is covered and what is not. This means you need to have a lawyer look into this carefully.

 

Always remember…
READ THE FINE PRINT! 

 

CAUTION! It would be impossible for every attorney to understands every facet of the law. And every insurance company’s Cyber Insurance coverage will be different. Some insurance companies may give you a list of protections you must have in place before they will “fully” cover you with a Cyber Insurance policy.

 

If you already have Cyber Insurance, why not give your Rep a call and ask those important questions? Find out exactly how covered you are, and what you can do to protect yourself a little bit more for those ‘Pre-Existing Conditions’ that you just aren’t covered for. And If all else fails… shop around. This is important guys. Be sure you know what you are buying.

 

Enjoy your week everybody, and be sure to leave a comment if you have an insurance company you would recommend that covers the little things and the big!

 

Before an insurance company will insure your business for Cyber Insurance they will likely want to know what security you currently have in place. By having a recent Vulnerabilities Risk Assessment scan performed and having evidence of your computers being secured and patched will significantly increase your chances of of being “insurable”.

 

To get a Vulnerabilities Risk Assessment scan run on all of your computers, for only $20 per computer, simply complete the form below and someone from out team will contact you to schedule the assessment scans.

 

 

How Can MCS Help?

 

MCS specializes in computer and network, security and management, for small businesses. If you feel like you are not getting what you expected from your current IT solution provider, it’s time to look at alternatives. 

 

Call us today at (636) 614-0866 for a free consultation.

 

Brought to you by: Managed Computer Services (MCS)

 

Need more time in your day?

 

Is it time to think about outsourcing your IT.

 

Call MCS at (636) 614-0866

to schedule a free consultation!

 

MCS is a full-service technology solutions provider offering affordable solution that meet the unique needs and budgets of small businesses. Our ideal client is a small business with 1-35 computers.

We typically start with a free consultation to determine what you want to accomplish, by when, and then decide how we can meet your needs.

 

Contact Us For More Information

 

FREE IT Consulting
Vulnerabilities Risk Assessments ($20/computer)
Computer & Network Repair ($60-$75/hour)
Business Computer Security (Only $35/computers/month)
Many Backup & Recovery Options
Computer & Network Management
Managed Firewall
Managed Networks
PCI Assessments
Managed PCI Compliance
Telephone Systems

 

Call us if you have any questions at (636) 614-0866.

Give us an opportunity to talk with you or someone you know

about affordable technology solutions.

 

Keyboard-Shortcuts

Tips & Tricks
for a Quick Fix:

Try These Shortcuts

When Your Mouse Won’t Work

 

So you have a big project due TOMORROW and your mouse just died. You don’t have time to WAIT for anyone to help you, and you just have to find a way to power through it, and get the current job done.

 

If your working on a desktop computer and your mouse suddenly dies, who ya gonna callMouse Busters? Well – maybe not….   Sorry!!!

 

Here are some keyboard shortcuts…

for those that don’t have a touchpad as a backup, or just want some secondary ways to do basic operations with your computer.

 

If you are a great typist, these shortcuts could keep you from having to use the mouse at all in many instances.

 

Ctrl + S: Save                            Ctrl + A: Select All

Ctrl + X: Cut                              Ctrl + Z: Undo

Ctrl + C: Copy                            Ctrl + B: Bold

Ctrl + V: Paste                            Ctrl + I: Italic

 

Ctrl + U: Underline                    Ctrl + : Enlarge Screen

Ctrl + P: Print                             Ctrl – : Shrink Screen

Ctrl + F: Find                              Ctrl + Y: Redo Everything

Ctrl + 0: Restore Screen Size     Ctrl + R: Refresh Website

 

Mac users simply insert Command (Cmd) for Control (Ctrl) in these shortcuts.

 

Here are some “Windows Key
shortcuts for Windows 10 users:

(The Windows Key is located between the left CTRL and ALT keys)

 

Windows                             Toggels the Windows 10 Start Menu

Windows + Tab                   Launch Windows 10 Task View

Windows + Q                      Search the web and Windows with Cortana (speech)

Windows + S                       Search the web and Windows with Cortana (keyboard input)

Windows + I                        Open Windows 10 settings

Windows + A                       Open Windows 10 notifications

Windows + L                        Lock your Windows 10 device

Windows + Ctrl + D             Create new virtual desktop

Windows + Ctrl + F4            Close current virtual desktop

 

Windows + Ctrl + [Left][Right]    Switch between virtual desktops

Windows + [Left][Right][Up][Down]    Position windows on your screen

 

Windows + D                       Show Windows desktop

Windows + E                        Open Windows Explorer

Windows + down arrow     Minimize current window
Windows + up arrow          Maximize current window
Windows + M                      Minimize all windows
Windows + Shift+up arrow Stretch windows to top and bottom but retain width
Windows + Shft+M             Restore all minimize windows
Windows + O                       Lock orientation
Windows + “+”                    Zoom in
Windows + “-”                     Zoom out
Windows + T                        Cycle through taskbar apps
Windows + F1                      Open help support in browser
Windows + Shift+number  Open new instance of pinned taskbar item
Windows + Ctrl+number    Open the last active number window for pinned taskbar item
Windows + Alt+number     Open jump list for pinned taskbar item
Windows + Home               Minimize all but active desktop, restore on second hit)

Windows + Space               Switch keyboard input language (if you have                                               added at least a second one)

 

Windows + [1][2][3][…]    Open programs that are pinned to task bar

E.g. if first pinned program on your task bar is Windows Explorer (from left to right), the shortcut Windows + 1 opens Windows Explorer for you.

 

Windows + Shift + [Left][Right]  Move current Window from one monitor to another (when using a multiple monitor setup)

 

And if you really want to go all out with shortcuts…

 

What do the Function keys
(F1 – F12) do?

 

F1

 

F-1 is almost always used as the help key, almost every program opens a help screen when F1 is pressed.

The Windows Key + F1 will open the Microsoft Windows help and support center.

 

F2

 

In Windows, the F2 key renames a highlighted icon, file, or folder  in all versions of Windows.

Alt+Ctrl+F2 opens the “open document” window in Microsoft Word .

Ctrl+F2 displays the print preview window in Microsoft Word.

Or you can use F2 to quickly  rename a selected file or folder.

 

F3

 

F3 often opens a search feature for many programs including Microsoft Windows when at the Windows Desktop .

Shift+F3 will change the text in Microsoft Word from upper to lower case or a capital letter at the beginning of every word.

 Windows Key + F3 opens the Advanced find window in Microsoft Outlook.

In Windows Explorer – F3 starts the search function.

 

F4

 

F4 opens the address bar in Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer .

F4 repeat the last action performed ( in Word 2000+).

Alt+F4 closes the program window currently active in Microsoft Windows.

Ctrl+F4 closes the open window within the current active window in Microsoft Windows.

 

F5

 

In all modern Internet browsers, pressing F5 will refresh or reload the page or document window.

Ctrl+F5 forces a complete refresh of the web page, clearing the cache and downloading all contents of the page again

F5 refreshes the list of contents in a folder.

F5 open the “find, replace, and go to window” in Microsoft Word.

F5 starts a slideshow in PowerPoint.

 

F6

 

F6 moves the cursor to the address bar in Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and most other Internet browsers.

Ctrl+Shift+F6 opens to another open Microsoft Word document.

F6 is used to reduce laptop speaker volume on some laptops.

 

F7

 

F7 is commonly used to spell check and grammar check a document in Microsoft programs such as Microsoft Word, Outlook, etc.

Shift+F7 runs a Thesaurus check on the word highlighted.

F7 Increases laptop speaker volume on some laptops.

 

F8

 

The F8 Function Key is often used to enter the Windows startup menu during the system boot up, usually to access Windows Safe Mode.

F8 displays a thumbnail image for all workspaces in MacOS.

 

F9

 

F9 refreshes documents in Microsoft Word.

F9 will issue a Send and Receive command in Microsoft Outlook.

F9 is used to reduce laptop screen brightness on some laptops.

With macOS 10.3 or later, F9 displays a thumbnail for each window in a single workspace.

Using the Function (Fn) key and F9 at the same time opens Mission Control on an Apple computer running MacOS X.

 

F10

 

In Microsoft Windows, F10 activates the menu bar of an open application.

Shift+F10 is the same as right-clicking on a highlighted icon, file, or Internet link.

F10 increases laptop screen brightness on some laptops.

With MacOS 10.3 or later, F10 shows all open Windows for the active program.

 

F11

 

F11 will toggle fullscreen mode on and off in all modern Internet browsers.

With MacOS 10.4 or later, F10 hides all open windows and shows the Desktop.

 

F12

 

F12 will open the “Save as” window in Microsoft Word .

Ctrl+F12 opens a document In Word.

Shift+F12 saves the Microsoft Word document (just like Ctrl+S will).

Ctrl+Shift+F12 prints a document in Microsoft Word.

With an Apple running MacOS 10.4 or later, F12 shows or hides the dashboard.

 

This is by no means a complete list of every shortcut key available.

 

There are plenty more Keyboard shortcuts, some applications even have specific shortcuts for their program as shown with the Function Keys above. Feel free to google for more or leave a comment with some of your favorite keyboard shortcuts!

 

April showers bring May flowers. June just brings mosquitos!

 

Have a great weekend everyone! Welcome to June!

 

 

How Can MCS Help?

 

MCS specializes in computer and network, security and management, for small businesses. If you feel like you are not getting what you expected from your current IT solution provider, it’s time to look at alternatives. 

 

Call us today at (636) 614-0866 for a free consultation.

 

Brought to you by: Managed Computer Services (MCS)

 

Need more time in your day?

 

Is it time to think about outsourcing your IT.

 

Call MCS at (636) 614-0866

to schedule a free consultation!

MCS is a full-service technology solutions provider offering affordable solution that meet the unique needs and budgets of small businesses. Our ideal client is a small business with 1-35 computers.

We typically start with a free consultation to determine what you want to accomplish, by when, and then decide how we can meet your needs.

 

Contact Us For More Information

 

FREE IT Consulting
Vulnerabilities Risk Assessments ($20/computer)
Computer & Network Repair ($60-$75/hour)
Business Computer Security (Only $35/computers/month)
Many Backup & Recovery Options
Computer & Network Management
Managed Firewall
Managed Networks
PCI Assessments
Managed PCI Compliance
Telephone Systems

 

Call us if you have any questions at (636) 614-0866.

Give us an opportunity to talk with you or someone you know

about affordable technology solutions.

 

Small-Business-Backup-Infographic

Hard Drive Failure Rates

Backup – Scmackup

Just tell me what I need!

 

And most of our peers will do just that, tell you what you need. But are they just putting you into a backup plan that they use for all of their clients, or one that is suited to your specific needs, now, and for the future?

 

What Backup Plan Do You REALLY Need for Your Business?

 

At MCS, we are dedicated to making sure your solution fits YOUR business needs. To be able to do this, we offer variations and levels to our service types. Because we are security focused, we recommend services from a basic HIPPA-Compliant Secure File Sync & Share with backup (of those files only) for as little as $10 per user per month, to a daily Managed File/Folder Backup for your PCs ($35/month per PC), all the way up to our Managed Image Backup for both PCs ($55/month per PC) and Servers ($115/month per server).

 

Let’s compare these different services, and what each really does and doesn’t include:

 

Secure File Sync & Share with Backup:

 

  • Description
    • Sync your files across multiple devices and share them with others. Includes the ability to keep a backup of the files you are syncing. A great secure alternative to Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive (which are NOT secure).
  • Price per user
    • $10 (10GB), $15 (100GB), $25 (Unlimited GB)
  • Pros
    • Easy, Cheap, convenient access to files
  • Cons
    • Only backs up synced data, little protection from ransomware

 

Managed File/Folder Backup:  

 

  • Description
    • A complete backup of all your important files, stored securely offsite in a secure cloud location. Backups happen automatically every night.
  • Price per PC
    • $35 (100GB)
  • Pros
    • Automatic, complete backup of files regardless of location of the device, Backup stored offsite in secure cloud.
  • Cons
    • Does not backup system settings, no local copy means restore time is dependent on internet connection speeds.

 

Managed Image Backup:

 

  • Description
    • A full image or (snapshot) of your computer is taken as often as every hour. A copy of the backup is stored locally for quick restores and offsite in a secure cloud in case of a disaster.
  • Price per PC/Server
    • $55 (2TB)
  • Pros
    • All data guaranteed to be backed up, Images are verifiable and guaranteed to work should you need to restore, Whole system is backed up meaning you don’t have to setup all your programs before importing your backup data, much faster restore times in the event of hardware failure or a major disaster.
  • Cons
    • Requires onsite equipment for local storage, higher cost, overkill for simple and quick file restores.

 

There are a lot of confusing things about Security, Backups, and all that goes with working with technology these days. Our goal is to make sure you know what you are getting into, what is good and bad about these options, and help you make the decisions that work best for YOU, not OUR pocketbook.

 

Enjoy your week everybody, and I hope I was able to clear up a little confusion from your life!

 

How Can MCS Help?

 

MCS specializes in computer and network, security and management, for small businesses. If you feel like you are not getting what you expected from your current IT solution provider, it’s time to look at alternatives. 

 

Call us today at (636) 614-0866 for a free consultation.

 

Brought to you by: Managed Computer Services (MCS)

 

Need more time in your day?

 

Is it time to think about outsourcing your IT.

 

Call MCS at (636) 614-0866

to schedule a free consultation!

 

MCS is a full-service technology solutions provider offering affordable solution that meet the unique needs and budgets of small businesses. Our ideal client is a small business with 1-35 computers.

We typically start with a free consultation to determine what you want to accomplish, by when, and then decide how we can meet your needs.

 

Contact Us For More Information

 

FREE IT Consulting
Vulnerabilities Risk Assessments ($20/computer)
Computer & Network Repair ($60-$75/hour)
Business Computer Security (Only $35/computers/month)
Many Backup & Recovery Options
Computer & Network Management
Managed Firewall
Managed Networks
PCI Assessments
Managed PCI Compliance
Telephone Systems

 

Call us if you have any questions at (636) 614-0866.

Give us an opportunity to talk with you or someone you know

about affordable technology solutions.