WiFi and Your Business

We live in a wonderful world where we can get work done just about anywhere with the wonders of WiFi. Whether it is at a public coffee shop or at a client meeting outside the office, WiFi has opened up many doors to conducting business wherever and whenever. Does your business offer WiFi? More and more businesses are doing just that. By offering WiFi to visitors, clients, and consumers, owners hope to increase customer satisfaction or possibly make doing business just that much easier.

 

Here are some more benefits of offering secured WiFi at your place of business.

 

  • Increase Marketing – Promote your business when allowing customers or clients to log in through your WiFi. For example, businesses can create a custom landing page when clients log in through their WiFi. And don’t forget about social media. Many people “check in” via social media when they log in to a company’s free WiFi.
  • Create Comfort – When clients or customers have access to WiFi they tend to stick around since they know they can access data at your place of business. This sense of comfort means that they will visit and revisit your business. This means they will potentially spend more money and feel more comfortable at your company than at those not offering WiFi.
  • The Competitive Edge – Most workers today rely on mobile devices, whether it is a smartphone, tablet, or laptop to get some aspect of their work done. For those who are “on-the-go” regularly, they count on companies such as yours to give them access to files, data, and information while traveling. When your company offers this, it gives your company a competitive edge over other companies who do not offer secure WiFi and a means to get the daily work done.
  • Boost Profits – Companies that offer free and secured WiFi can see a boost in profits since they are encouraging clients and consumers to stick around. For example, if a business traveler sets up shop in your bookstore to get his/her work done they will most likely purchase a coffee, book, or other item while visiting. It is a small investment for a good return.

 

To find out more about WiFi at your business call M&H Consulting today at 1-(866)-964-8324 or visit our website M&H Consults

 

Security Tips When Using Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is needed and used everywhere: cafes, bookstores, retail or department stores, museums, and local pizzerias. Anywhere public you can think of may have wi-fi. Once logging on, you are immediately part of the internet through your phone or computer. However, with public wi-fi also comes with the danger of hackers and intruders gaining your private information faster.

Here are a few best tips to maintain your security at all times:

    • Strong passwords – The use of strong passwords can come in handy when it is most needed. Having a sufficiently strong password limits the chance of anyone cracking through password or  getting through your information. When using a weak password, it simply increases your chances of your system being compromised, especially when working on public Wi-Fi.

 

  • Wireless encryption – Encryption has become more and more common from WhatsApp to Google encryption. WPA is a current and common encryption standard that works great.

 

    • Turn off sharing – When using your phone, it is important to know what settings and apps can keep you secure. For example at home, sharing files to other computers on a network is safe and easy. However, on public Wi-Fi, it’s safer to turn off sharing. Simply go to your control panel on Windows or system preferences on OS X > sharing and then make sure that all boxes are off. This should also include your wireless network interface. It should be turned off by default, and only turn it on when in need to connect to a wireless network. Having it open allows attacks for malicious security crackers to use as a target.

 

  • Consider your mobile device – If you need to access websites that require input of sensitive information, it could be safe to do it from your mobile phone network, instead of a public Wi-Fi connection. This includes social media sites, online shopping and online banking as well.

 

 

What is Wi-Fi Certified TimeSync?

Do you have wireless connecting surround systems in your home of various other wireless connected devices throughout your home that don’t seem to sync correctly? Maybe your surround system, although sounding amazing, is a second or a few milliseconds delayed. This can all change later on this year thanks to Wi-Fi Certified TimeSync.

According to studies shared by Wi-Fi Alliance, an average home has about eight connected devices per home, which makes TimeSync useful for everyone. This is a tool that is designed to keep time and functions synced all the way down to the microsecond. This tool will work with audio playback, which means that you will no longer have to deal with mismatched audio and video play. This tool will also support vehicles with multiple video screens, allowing visuals to appear at the same exact time.

Although home systems will surely benefit from TimeSync, this new tool will be of greater help for the manufacturing and healthcare industries. In the manufacturing industry timing is of essence. Many tasks in the industry have to be completed in precise and perfect alignment. This is what helps manufacturers complet materials with limited errors and of great quantity. This is where TimeSync will come in to make sure tasks are completed in perfect alignment.

TimeSync will play an important role in the healthcare industry for many reasons. One major reason for its importance has to do with the fact that different sensors on patients need to be time synced in order to help doctors fully understand how one particular action in time can affect the patient. In order to do this accurately, the timing of each event has to be accurate as well. Having this tool in hospitals and throughout the many healthcare devices will help create accurate and effective data.

For more information on what TimeSync is and how it can affect your business, contact M&H for help.

Tech Life Hacks (Pt. 2)

This post is a continuation of the two-part tech hack series. We will be provide the second set of tips to make your life with technology more simple! If you would like to learn about these hacks, follow along.

To maintain the life of your phone charger:

This tip is a common one that can be applied to any charger, not just that of your phone. Take apart a clicking pen and use the pen’s spring to wrap it around the top of the charging cord. This will help keep the wire from bending and breaking out.

In case you lose your phone:

Here is a tip so simple that you’ve probably not thought of it before. In your note section, type your name and contact information and then save a screenshot of it. Change your lockscreen to the screenshot image, this way, if it gets lost, someone will know how to return it to you.

Picture Taking:

Taking pictures with one hand, especially when it is a selfie, can be difficult and cause your hands to cramp. Solving this issue is very simple. Once you have gotten into the right pose or gotten the phone in the right position, use the volume buttons to snap the picture.

For charging your phone:

Charging your phone can be a tedious process, especially when you are in a rush and need it to charge quickly. The best way to charge your phone quickly is to set it on airplane mode while it is on the charger.

For “resetting” your phone:

Many times, when your phone has a hard time connecting to a signal, or has a glitch, we shut off the phone entirely or reboot it. An easier way to do this is to set your phone on airplane mode for a minute. This will help your phone to connect to a signal.

If you haven’t read the first post on this series, click here to check it out.

Twitter Update Mutes Hate

In the past year, there have been many Twitter updates, like the one that stopped counting images and links as characters. Although this was a tweet-revolution, the most thoughtful update has to be their most recent one. Like any other social platform, Twitter is filled with anonymous online trolls who simply find pleasure in spreading hate speech and bullying others, including celebrities. Because of this, Twitter executives have come up with an update that will allow users to completely mute hate out of their feeds!

“The amount of abuse, bullying and harassment we’ve seen across the Internet has risen sharply over the past few years. These behaviors inhibit people from participating on Twitter, or anywhere.”

This statement is visible on Twitter’s blog post where they announce the new update.

Even though their statement mentions how the rising rate of online harassment and bullying is the reason for the update, it has come after recent elections and the bullying case of Leslie Jones. Throughout the election there were numerous candidates bickering back and forth, using Twitter as one of their platforms. This played a role in the spread of hate speech in relation to race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, religious affiliation, age, disabilities and, even, disease. Comedian and Actress Leslie Jones herself became a victim of sexist and racist abuse so strong that it drove her towards taking a break from social media.

The new update will feature:

  • Expansion of Mute Option, which will allow for users to mute any notification based on keywords, phrases, conversations and even emojis.
  • Stronger Support Team who are trained to better understand abusive language and will be responsible for investigating reports of code violations and re-enforcing those codes.

To activate your mute option, go to “Notifications” and then to “Settings.” Once there, select “Muted Words” and choose the phrases, words and emoticons you would like to mute.

The Hazards of Public WiFi

 

According to Cisco’s Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast, there are already more mobile-connected devices than the entire world’s population and by 2018 it is expected that there will be more mobile traffic on WiFi than on cellular networks. Free public Wi-Fi hotspots can be found everywhere now – in coffee shops, hotels, restaurants, malls and airports. The incredible convenience of free wireless hotspots means that you can do business practically everywhere! Unfortunately, this free access doesn’t come without a price. Along with the ease and accessibility of free Wi-Fi comes the risk of identity thieves and cyber criminals.

 

Millions of Americans who use public Wi-Fi do not realize that their personal information is at risk of being stolen, according to a survey released by the cyber security company Symantec. More than 60 percent of consumers think their information is safe when using public internet. Since Wi-Fi uses radio waves, cyber criminals and hackers can use the openness of those signals (and along the right eavesdropping software), take your information including: pin numbers, passwords, data, log-ins and other personal data.

 

Here are a few tips to keep your information safe. If you want a complete evaluation of your mobile devices and further information about the hazards of public Wi-Fi, contact M&H Consultants.

 

  • To protect yourself when using public Wi-Fi use a virtual private network (VPN), which will encrypt and anonymize traffic. VPNs create a network-within-a-network solution to keep everything you do on public Wi-Fi private. Even on a password-protected network, people can still intercept the signal. To set-up VPN, you need to download an app and then follow your smartphone’s steps to set it up.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Make sure there are no people watching as you enter passwords or pin numbers. These “shoulder surfers” can be just as dangerous as software that can find out your pin numbers and passwords.
  • Be careful what sites you visit. Save banking and social media sites for when you can get to a private network that is secure. Don’t do online banking or access sensitive data on public Wi-Fi if possible, even if the sites are encrypted with HTTPS. A VPN connection would likely protect you, so it’s a worthy investment if you find yourself regularly using public Wi-Fi.
  • Keep your device up-to-date on software and firewalls. The latest versions can be a safer bet than older versions that have been accessed by hackers already.

Why is my Internet Network Slow?

So, we pay for a speedy networking service and later realize that it is not as speedy of a service as it is advertised to be. Most of the time, however, service providers are not the ones to blame. A lot of the time, the issue with our network speed can be easily fixed. Before you go off on your network’s service company, find out all the other reasons for why your Internet network could be slow.

  1. It’s your device.

Sometime the device you are using your network on could be the actual reason for why your service is so slow. Make sure your device is free of viruses or, any other malware, and that your system is updated to its newest software.

  1. It’s a program in your device.

Go through your device and make sure there are no major programs of files loading in the background. Some major files or programs reboot on their own while you are using your computer. When this happens, the program uses a large amount of your network as well, which can slow down the speed of your service.

  1. It’s your router.

A lot of times, the issue can actually lie in your router. Most of the times, the router just needs to be rebooted. Doing this once in awhile can help your internet network to work just as fast as it did when you first had it. If this doesn’t work, your router may need an update. After a few years, the router can become outdated.

  1. It’s the location of your router.

Do you ever think about whether or not your router is in the best location? Well, you should. You never want to place your router behind the door (i.e. a closet), in a corner out of the center of your home/office, or behind a metal wall. These walls and doors, in particular, can cause a barrier between the signals and make it difficult to connect to your device.

  1. It’s a cluttered network.

When multiple devices are connected to your Internet network, it can become cluttered and thus slow down your service. If this is the case, consider upgrading your service and expanding your network.

  1. It’s your location.

Your location can play a major part in your lack of network speed. If you live in a rural region, specifically, your region probably received an overall small and slow connection.

If you are having a difficult time determining why your Internet network is slow, or solving the issue, contact M&H for help.

Extending your Wireless Network

We’ve guided you towards the right steps in moving or expanding your network. Now, today we’ll help you in extending your network when its wireless and you need a wider range of wifi. Before we get into the different ways to extend a wireless network, you need to take into consideration the following: your network needs to be placed in the center of your home or office and avoid placing it behind a door or near any metal walls that could prevent the wireless network from flowing through. Now, let’s get into the more technical ways in which to extend your network.

One option for extending your network is by purchasing a wireless extender in your home. The wireless extender takes the wireless signal you currently have and boosts it for greater use. When setting up the extender, make sure it is plugged in an area with a solid wireless signal. Although this may be the easiest and most affordable way of extending your network, it could be problematic in other areas. Because the connections all happen wirelessly, it is more likely to cause dropped connections and slow down your Internet speed.

The next option is getting a powerline network kit. This kit is a wired network with hidden wires. The kit usually comes together with two Ethernet cables, and two adapters. This extends your network by connecting one of the Ethernet cables to the router while taking the other Ethernet cable and plugging it into whatever other device you would like the network to extend to. Of course, you would have to plug each adapter to each device in order for them to detect each other. Although this can be effective for specific devices, it can take away from extending the wireless to other ones if they aren’t connected to a powerline.

An alternative to the powerline kit is to simply use an Ethernet with a range extender. This option extends better to multiple powerline kits as well as wireless access points (WAP). This option can also help maintain your Internet’s speed and extends coverage better than other options.

The best option, however, is connecting the Ethernet to the WAP directly. This option is best because it doesn’t connect wirelessly and it direct, which means you get fast and reliable Internet. There are many ways in which this can be done. For consultation on which way is the best option for your home or business, contact M&H.

Protecting your Technology While on Vacation

Vacation! You have been waiting all year to kick back, relax and step out of the rat race for a while. You may have travel plans and are finally getting to visit the places you have only dreamed of all year. The last thing on your mind is protecting your technology. While we don’t want to ruin your blissfully happy vacation plans, we also don’t want you to have a technology induced headache upon your return, or even while you are off on this idyllic vacation. Thus we have compiled a list of ways you can protect your technology while you are on your dream vacation.

 

  • Back Up – Before you head off into the sunset and dive into vacation be sure to back up your family and work devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets. Backing up your devices will protect your work, photos, and stored information in case of a lost or stolen device while on vacation.
  • Keep your Devices Nearby – While you are focused on jumping in the pool, playing frisbee on the beach, or getting up to capture the perfect photo, criminals are focused on how to grab any unattended devices or bags. Carry your smart phone in a fanny pack that stays around your waist. Be sure to secure external USB and hard drives, and pay a little extra for a room safe in your hotel.
  • Be Wary of Internet Logins – Avoid doing anything that requires me to log in if I’m on a completely open network at an airport, cafe or anywhere else to protect your data as much as possible. If something seems odd about your connection such as pop-up boxes start flashing on the screen, strange messages, etc.,  immediately disconnect and go somewhere else. Always try to connect to a password-protected network associated with the cafe or hotel.
  • Quit the posting Check ins and Geo-tagging – While it might be fun to post socially where you are on vacation, this comes with some risk, especially abroad where cyber attackers can zero in on you.
  • Physically Protect your Travel Devices – Be sure to have strong protective covers for all of your mobile devices. Smashing your phone can be a real bummer and can cut you off from communicating with your group depending upon how badly damaged the device is. Protective covers are useful for avoiding splashes and keeping dirt and sand away from your phone’s inner workings. Tablet covers also work in a similar way, and they’re very useful if you plan on reading, browsing the Web or checking email while on vacation.

Be safe and have fun by taking a few simple technology checks before you head off for your vacation this summer.

How to Move or Expand your Network

Moving and expanding your network can be a tedious and costly process, especially if your network isn’t wireless. Here are a few tips we’ve gathered to on how to move and/or expand your network.

Physical Network:

First you want to disassemble your network and make sure your equipment is prepared for transportation, if moving.

Then, you want to organize and plan out the location of the network in the new office space. While doing this you want to ensure that the network gets placed in the center of the office with proper ventilation and cooling and that it is in a secure area with a backup system.

Next, you should consider what IT professional you should hire to do the wiring correctly in order to have a successfully running network.

Before you go on and move, you should also alert your Internet service about any change you will be making. This also goes for when attempting to expand your network. Getting successful Internet service is critical for any job, so make sure you communicate changes properly.

Lastly, when moving your network, you want to ensure that you have all updated system documentations. Collect them all before your company moves out of the office.

When taking these steps in consideration, you can see how much of a hassle and how costly it can really be when moving a physical network. Hundreds of dollars can be wasted on the moving process itself let alone in all the details of hiring professionals for wiring, paying to expand or change your Internet service, and more. It can also be difficult to keep track of all the documentation while moving; many things can get lost or misplaced. This is when wireless network should be considered.

Wireless Network:

With wireless network, moving and expanding can be easier and much more cost efficient. It cuts down rewiring and hardware moving costs instantly. Another great aspect of having wireless network is that you don’t have to spend as much downtime as you would otherwise. Setting up new employees can be done easily, with no professional wiring.

Having wireless network and access to cloud service is non-user and non-location specific. So you can make your move whenever, wherever. Plus, increasing storage capacity can be as easy as a simple phone call to your network server.

Contact M&H if you are looking for help or advice on moving your physical network, or if you want to know more information on making the switch.