What you Need to know about Servers

Not many people know the use and function of servers, and for those who are not tech savvy or experts in IT, it is important to know the use and function of your computers server.

A server is a computer, or computer program, that is setup to run one or multiple server applications such as mail, network, applications, print and web servers among many others. Basically, it is the main component of a network, since it manages access to the resources, files, programs used by all other computers. Many believe they have to be custom-built, but that isn’t the case. Servers simply have to be able to run server applications when you need them to. Older and less expensive computers can also be setup as servers.

There are different types of servers, such as:

  • Dedicated servers – A dedicated server is a single computer within a network that is used for only one single purpose. They are mainly used when talking about web hosting, which allows you to make a website that is accessible to the internet.
  • Virtual Private servers – Instead of having one physical computer used for one business’ needs, a virtual private server (VPS) is used on a single server computer but services multiple customers.
  • Cloud servers – A cloud server is created, hosted and delivered through a cloud platform. A cloud server is made up of remote servers that are all hosted online. When using a cloud server, you are renting virtual server space and accessing it remotely through a cloud provider.

Servers are essentially the spine and life blood of your business. If it crashes, then your business crashes. As a result, you want to take reasonable precaution to get rid off any single points of failure in your server’s architecture. Many ‘server-class’ computer has multiple levels of redundancies and typically has hot-plug capabilities.
Now you can know the importance of servers without being an IT expert.

Why Regular Updates on Phones and Computers Are Important

Frequent updates are important for technology. New updates include new codes for the phone, apps, even java settings need to maintain its updates in order to keep your laptop functioning fast and properly.

Updates are simply designed to keep your phone and laptop up to date on the newest software and programs.

Technology is improving rapidly, and a consumer’s demand is for smarter and faster phones. Updates on smartphones help maintain the software working as it should, this includes working on glitches and simple functions such as helping from not freezing or screen not working on command. This is very useful to help maintain problems from becoming frequent. They also are used to help add new features and capabilities that further help and provide a better smartphone experience.

The same goes with laptops. Along with updating bug fixes and enhancing the computer experience by bringing you new software development and features, it helps users adapt to security vulnerabilities. If you wait a while to update your computer’s software, it can become slow and vulnerable to security breaches. Computer updates are important to stay protected from cyber attacks and malicious threats that are more seen through non updated softwares. Leaving your computer open to infection. Whether your laptop is running on Windows or Mac OS, updating and restarting your laptop can keep you secure and allow your laptop to speed things up.
Updates are not something that need to be done every week, but should be done at regular intervals. They can be very helpful and improve the way it looks and its function all while providing stronger security.

Preserving Your Smartphone Battery

Let’s face it, we all hate having to wait hours for our phones to charge or are terrified that leaving it plugged overnight will overcharge the battery. A smartphone battery can either last a long time, or they can no longer maintain the same fully charged system. Between myths and obvious warnings, there are ways to better preserve your battery and prolong its life and initially the phone as well. Follow along to find out the different ways to maintain the staying power of your battery.

    1. Brightness – Dimming the brightness on your phone is a great way to help your battery. This also includes using auto brightness. Having large and colorful display is easily the #1 enemy to your battery life. Lowering the brightness uses less power, as well as lowering it to the lowest setting you can tolerate can make a huge difference.
    2. Don’t leave apps running – Another big battery drainer is leaving apps running in the background. This can burn a lot of energy, and some apps are very heavy on battery life such as Facebook and Snapchat. By no longer leaving them running in the back, it will drastically reduce its power consumption, giving you an extra hour or two in battery life.  
    3. Turn off Wi-Fi – Constantly leaving the Wi-Fi still running on apps is a serious drainage to battery life. Rather than leaving it on, turn off your Wi-Fi radio and other apps that still use the Wi-Fi even when you are not using it.

 

  • Battery charge – Try avoiding a full 100% charge. Fully charging it to 100% will shorten the battery’s lifespan. Instead, only do a full battery charge once a month, as it helps recalibrate the battery. With a daily charge, a good range to maintain in is between 40-80%. It is also important to not let the battery drop below 20%.

Following these four helpful tips will help keep your battery from draining in a matter of 3 hours. When combined together, they will make a significant impact on your smartphone.

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.

 

 

Laptops for Business

 

Finding the right technology for your business needs can be tricky work. There are so many choices out there for software, hardware and office tech that it can become overwhelming without some direction. In today’s blog we are discussing work technology in the form of the much beloved business laptop. We will look at the options out there as well as some things that you may want to consider before making your purchase.

 

According to PC Mag, business owners are looking for something that is durable, secure, powerful, light and has the battery capacity to last through an entire work day. Things to consider, then when researching the best business laptop for your needs are:

 

  • Storage – How much storage you need for your files, presentation or security software? Do you use multimedia presentations or merely need access to files?  
  • Memory – The right amount of memory allows you to keep more programs and windows open while you work.
  • Graphics – Make sure your laptop has the right type of graphics and displays for the needs of your company.
  • Connectivity – Getting connect to the web through a wifi location when you are on-the-go is important for business travelers. Choose a laptop that has options for how easily and how securely you can connect.
  • Battery Life – Most business laptops come with options of battery. No one wants to be on a long business trip only to stop every few hours to recharge. You can choose between the number of batteries and cells. The higher you go, the heavier the device will be so you need to decide if the battery performance is worth the weight.

 

Resources – Click on the following links if you would like to continue your laptop search and are looking at rankings.

 

PC Mag Top Laptops 2017

 

The 8 Best Business Laptops to Buy in 2017

Top 10 best business laptops in 2017

What If . . . things go wrong with your computer?

Accidents happen especially when we are stressed and overworked. Accidents on and around technology can be a whole lot more than a “whoops” moment. They can be downright damaging to the hardware and potentially files that are on the hard drive. We have compiled a few “What If. . . “ moments in case you are wondering what will happen to your technology if  (insert horrible event here) happens.  Here’s hoping you don’t have one of these events any time soon.

  • What if you spill a drink on your keyboard? The answer according to Guardian Online is fairly straightforward. “If you‘ve only spilled a small amount of clean water on it, you may well get away with it. You can remove and clean a sticky keyboard using a damp cloth or soft toothbrush and distilled water before drying it thoroughly, and in extreme cases, people try methylated spirits (ethanol) or solvents (isopropyl alcohol).”
  • What if your hard drive gets physically damaged? The answer really depends on the extent of the damage and if data can be recovered. If the damage is minimal try to get the data off the drive and take it in for a check up. If the drive is seriously damaged now is not the time to find out that your data recovery strategy is not up-to-date. Contact your IT department or the consultants working with your department who may be able to find backed up data or recover the data on that drive.
  • What if I accidentally open suspicious email? Obviously don’t click on emails that look suspicious in the first place but if your mouse gets moved or something unforeseen happens, disconnect your device, backup your files, and then call your IT department or IT consulting company to check your machine for malware or other suspicious content.
  • What if I get ransomware? According to PC World, “Don’t negotiate with e-terrorists. Instead, remove many ransomware viruses without losing your files. The process varies and depends on the type of invader. Some procedures involve a simple virus scan, while others require offline scans and advanced recovery of your files.” For specifics read here.

Mastering the Google Drive

Google, the big name from search engines to personal email, does it all. In fact your small or medium sized business may now be using Google Drive as a primary mode of organization and communicating in and out of the office. If your company, like many successful businesses, uses Google Drive to communicate, share and document client content and emails, you may need some tutorial on how to become a Google Drive Master. Here are a few tips to help you “up your game” with Google Drive.

  • Get Organized – Organization is key to being able to navigate Google Drive seamlessly, especially when you have a lot of files. Organize your files, spreadsheets and documents in folders using stars and color features so they are easy to find and access. Google Drive also allows you to select and move or open multiple files at once.
  • Look at History – If you have been looking at multiple drafts of a document you can easily look at revision history of Google Drive to choose an older version you may have liked better. With Revision History, you can see up to 30 days of file revisions with each person’s changes showing in a unique color. You can even click ‘Show more detailed revisions’ button at the bottom to get a minute by minute view of the edits that have been made to the document.
  • Insert Links Easily – To add a link in Google Drive, simply type Command + K. Based on the word highlighted, Google automatically shows the top search results for that word.
  • Use Translator – If you want to read a file written in another language or translate a document you have written, it is simple to do within Google Drive. Simply click to Tools -> Translate document.
  • Add Ons – There are a large number of add ons that can be chosen to do specific tasks for your unique business. While there are tons of options that you can personalize to your own needs, but here is a link so some of the more useful ones here.

 

Common Email Deliverability Terms and Concepts

In our last blog we discussed email marketing services. This week we are touching on common terms and concepts for email deliverability and success. It is not enough anymore to send out email newsletters or announcements and hope that they are opened and read. It is important to understand which emails get opened, why and how long the viewer read the email and what will work in future campaigns. If you or your company are just beginners when it comes to the email marketing strategizing, here are a few terms that can help steer you in the right direction when planning your next email campaign. Once you understand what the numbers mean, then you can start strategizing your next email campaign.

 

  • Acceptance Rate – The percentage of email messages that are accepted by the mail server. Note that an email being accepted by the mail server does not necessarily mean it will get to an inbox.
  • Open Rate – The percentage of recipients who opened your email message. When someone clicks on an email, an image pixel in the email loads and is counted as an open. However, remember to use click through rate for reader engagement metrics.
  • Click Through RateThe proportion of the audience who clicked on one more links contained in an email message. This will give you a better idea of how engaged the viewer was on your email.
  • Bounce Rate – The percentage of total emails sent that could not be delivered to the recipient’s inbox, known as a “bounce.”
  • Conversion RateThe percentage of recipients who clicked on a link within an email and completed a desired action, such as filling out a lead generation form or purchasing a product.
  • Read LengthThe length of time when a person opens an email, until they close it.
  • Black List – A list that denotes a sender as a spammer, making it difficult for the sender to get future emails into an inbox.
  • SpamNot asked for, or not work-safe email. Over 90% of email sent is classified as spam.
  • HamEmail that is generally desired and isn’t considered spam.

 

Top Email Marketing Services

Email has been around since the first one was sent in 1971. Since then, most of us have developed a love/hate relationship with email. It endlessly piles up in our “inbox”, making the typical office worker collect on average 121 emails daily. According to DMR Stats Online, most employees check their email about 74 times a day! While this may seem time consuming and counterproductive, email is still the most pervasive communication tool around in 2017.

 

Email marketing has spanned the numerous stages of digital marketing evolution and is still going stronger than ever. This is no surprise given that 269 billion emails are sent daily worldwide. Email marketers however are not all that concerned with how many emails are being sent, but are more concerned about the click through and click open rate for marketing emails. Too many consumers and clients are inundated with too many emails that they do not bother to open or even click on at all.  That is where email marketing services come in handy.

 

In order to conduct a successful email marketing campaign and get consumers to actually open and read your business’s email is a huge feat!  Email marketing services can help with some of the following issues surrounding this marketing strategy including:

  • Increasing Customer Mailing Lists
  • Engage Customers
  • Eye-catching Subject Lines
  • Personalizing the Email
  • Adding Images and Graphics
  • Creating a Relevant Call-to-Action
  • Optimizing for Mobile

 

Some of the top email marketing services can be found if you follow these links. Read and research each for the specific needs of your company.

 

7 Best Email Marketing Services for Small Business (2017)

 

PCMag’s Best Email Software Review

 

Review’s Best Email Services

 

The use of Google Cloud

Google Cloud has been in the long time running and provides many features for personal and business use, too. Adopting Google Cloud is simple. Secure and affordable. Google Cloud is focused on the future. With fast mobile broadband and faster connections in homes and offices, Google Cloud is efficient and provides the necessary needs that are needed with the right security and set up.

The cloud platform provides highly scalable infrastructure for developers to test, build, and deploy apps. It covers application, storage and computer services for mobile and web solutions.

One master server is located to each cluster, otherwise known as networks. The system coordinates data requests through these master servers. As a result, users’ actions get translated into data requests whenever they interact with the cloud. With the use of Google cloud, everyone can use and edit the cloud copy of the file, becoming the master document. Google cloud then assigns a unique URL to each file. If anyone also makes changes to the document, changes will be visible to all who the document is shared with, Google even allows the document owner to select the changes to keep or delete. Google Cloud also inserts metadata into a file when uploaded to the service, helping to identify the file and track changes across the copies.

Aside from these cool features, Google Cloud’s advantages also include:

  • Higher productivity – Google’s systems can distribute updates and deliver functionality on a weekly and faster basis. It also delivers manageable improvements on a continuous stream
  • Quick Collaboration – More than one user can contribute to and access projects at the same time.
  • Work Anywhere – Employees can gain full access to information from anywhere through web based apps powered by Google Cloud.
  • Economies of Scale – With Google Cloud. It minimizes overheads and consolidates a small number of server configurations.
  • Less Data on Vulnerable Devices –  Less data is stored on computers that could be at a security risk.