What are The Top Operating Systems for Businesses

When it comes to Operating Systems (OS), there are definitely two that stand out among the many, and those are Windows and Apple’s OSX. If you are wondering which one would be the best for your company to use, then read on to the following where we will be comparing and contrasting these OS for you.

Windows (7-10):

Windows is a widely popular operating system in the business world. This OS has had many versions, like Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 (most popular version today). Here are the pros and cons available with the OS.

Pros:

  • Minimizes compatibility issues
  • Has the largest library of commercial software
  • Has fast start up
  • Free upgrades are available
  • Built-in digital voice-responsive assistant named Cortana (Available with Windows 10)

Cons:

  • Less touch-friendly because of the need for browser extension
  • Is more susceptible to crashes, viruses and malware
  • Less open source software (OSS) available to users

Apple OSX Yosemite:

Apple’s OSX operating system is thought to be one of the more easy to use systems. This OS is more popular when it comes to creative content, whether it is visual or written. Here are some pros and cons available with the OS.

Pros:

  • Less viruses and malware, therefore less crashes
  • Revamped new looks consistently
  • Free updates available for Macs made in 2008 or later
  • Extension of usage on iPhones and/or iPods from your Mac
  • Most efficient screen landscape with social media, and Apple ecosystem assimilation

Cons:

  • Expenses for software upgrades each year can become expensive
  • Software upgrades can cause a small learning curve for new features
  • OS is only available on Apple hardware

Overall, both of these OS are popular today. When deciding which one you think is best for your company, you must take into consideration the types of jobs you would want to use the OS for. If you are looking for a system to do more factual or business-type work, then considering a Windows OS would be best. If your company is more creative based both visually and in writing, then you should consider OSX.

Tips on Streamlining Data Management

Having an efficient streamlining data management system is crucial to the growth of your business. Here, we put together some tips that could help your business better manage data.

Keep an organized data:

Sure, having a spreadsheet and manually typing in all the important inventory data could be the best way to keep information accurate. But, in all honesty, who has the time to punch in numbers when your inventory is growing?

Using an inventory management system, or and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, can help manage all customer, inventory, e-commerce, and manufacturing data in a single database.

By doing this, not only would it make work go faster, but it could also help obtain and achieve increase in profits.

Give ERP access to relevant employers:

Everyone knows that communication is the key to a successful anything. By giving relevant employers access to the ERP system, employers throughout the company. This way everyone will see and know how much inventory is left and see the sales data.

Keep up stock levels:

By keeping an organized data, you could determine an accurate sales forecast in order to predict stock levels for items in your inventory. This way you would know how much should be spent on building up stock.

Do some micro managing:

Track each SKU’s pricing, inventory levels, and lead time by using an ERP system. This way you can track whenever an inventory level reaches a minimum and it will notify you to let you know that order need to be made.

You could also set up the ERP to automatically create purchase orders whenever inventory levels are low so that it could be ready to send to vendors.

Keep detailed records:

Keeping records of inventory and sales can make it easier to track SKU numbers and lot numbers. By doing this, you could make better decisions on future decisions.

Why You Need 24 Hour IT Services

IT services are needed throughout the day everyday in order to eliminate any business disruption. Because of this, companies are contracting outside 24-hour IT services for the benefit of their businesses.

By hiring these 24-hour IT services, your company would be saving money. The company would no longer have to support in-house IT departments or invest tons of money in their infrastructure. You would also save a ton of money in maintaining their department.

Having an IT service provider is also important because, with many cloud services on the rise, becoming major use for businesses nowadays, it is crucial to have IT available whenever there is something going wrong with the service.

It is also crucial to have your IT service providers involved in every technological implementation so that everyone could be on the same page in case of any further tech issues. This way your employers could reduce time being wasted, as well as energy, trying to figure out what could be going wrong.

Now, we are all aware that at times, not all departments get along. Usually, due to poor communication, the business department and the IT department tend to have trouble seeing eye to eye on certain situations and have differences of opinion. Clarity can be enforced between business priorities and IT priorities if outside IT services are appropriated.

Overall, having a 24-hour IT service provided by outside sources can be more efficient. They are available whenever you may need them, can help ensure that all departments are working well together, and can keep business moving along faster and more precise.

 

Make Your Computer Run Faster

You know how computers begin to slow down after a few years of working with them every day? Well, we put together some ways for you to keep your work computer running like new without actually having to spend money on a new one.

Here are some ways to rejuvenate your computer:

Get Rid of Dust:

Dust can clog up the airflow in the system ultimately leading to overheating, which makes it run slower.

To clean it out, a small vacuum can be used on the low setting. Before doing this, though, make sure all cables are disconnected and that the computer has been off for at least a half hour.

Get Rid of Unused Programs:

After a while, it can take a long time to start up your computer. This is because there are programs you may not know about, running background processes at the same time. Just because you are not using the program, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t run.

To get rid of these, go through your control panel’s program and disable all those you do not use.

Get Rid of Temp Files:

Temporary files that download from the Internet can accumulate over time, cluttering your hard drive, and slowing down your computer.

One way to get rid of temp files is by cleaning up the disk by going into your System Tools. Another way is to go to your “Temp” folder and delete all the unnecessary files. If you do this one, make sure to go into your recycling bin after and delete them from there also.

Defragment Hard Drive:

Sometimes, files can become fragmented and wind up spread out around your computer’s hard drive causing it to work slower.

Go through your computer’s properties to defragment your hard drive.

Replace Hard Drive:

Depending on the kind of work you do, your hard drive can eventually fill up pretty quickly. For example, if you are working on videos and other big files, you should consider purchasing a new one with a lot of storage space. One with at least 1TB.

 

Get More RAM:

Also depending on what kind of work you use your computer for, RAM (Random Access Memory) is important to keep your computer from slowing down or freezing when downloading/uploading large files. RAM works as a temporary memory storage while using many programs.

You can add more RAM with a memory stick or by purchasing new memory.

Install an SSD:

A Solid State Drive (SSD), can help speed up your computer with its fast reading time and by speeding up the startup process. It essentially works like a USB memory stick but saves files through microchips instead.

Reinstall Windows on PC:

If your computer is a PC and is really running slow, you can solve this by backing up the important files and reinstalling a newer version of windows.

Cloud Options for Small Businesses

Are you an owner of a small business wondering about the best ways to keep your employees connected to important files they can access online wherever they may be? If you are, I am sure you have heard about cloud services and have wondered about which ones would be the best fit for you.

Here is a list of the top 3 cloud services to check out:

OneDrive (Microsoft):

OneDrive is a cloud service that comes built in Windows 8 and 10, but can also be downloaded onto different computer software. With this you could file photos, videos and documents that can be accessed from any computer or mobile devices.

An app is also available. With it you could download and save Microsoft Office files if you already have the Microsoft Office app available. When downloading files, OneDrive automatically organizes your files by type, and allows you to edit them directly from the drive. By signing up for this, you automatically get access to Outlook, Xbox Live, and Microsoft Office.

The downfall for this cloud service is that it limits users to only 1TB storage space and doesn’t always store your files into the correct folder.

Dropbox:

Dropbox is reliable and easy to use and set up. You can access this tool directly from the website, through the desktop app from any computer software, or a mobile device software like IOS, Android, Blackberry, and Kindle. An awesome component about it is that there’s no size limit to files uploaded. However, the larger files are, the longer it would take to download (also depends on your connection speed).

The initial storage space available is only 2GB, but the service gives you opportunities to gain extra storage through web participations (like video trainings), automatic photo uploads, and referrals to friends.

Some downfalls are that the website design is in basic format with limitations on organization. Because of this, it also doesn’t allow you much control on how to display files. However, the desktop app blends well with the computer’s file system.

Google Drive:

Google Drive is a cloud tool that combines a complete set of office tools (word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation builder) with the cloud. This service automatically comes with any of your Google accounts. It comes with 15GB of free storage space, which is shared with Gmail, photos on Google+, and files created on the drive.

With this tool, you are able to access all your files online or through a desktop app. If an important file was sent to you through Gmail, Google Drive allows you to preview the document and save it to the drive directly form your email. Files are easy to download with a quick drag and drop.

You would also be able to edit any file directly from the cloud, even if the documents were created in other programs. Unfortunately, tools created on Google Drive would need to export first in order to be edited in a different program.

 

Issues with Spam

Spam—the annoying, most irritable, thing to come across the cyber world. It has made email into an unreliable Internet tool with their unwanted junk messages causing us to miss the actual important ones, and sometimes even jeopardizing our computers. But, aside from all the minor irritable issues, are you aware of what the serious ones that spamming could cause? Spam mails have been the cause of lost money worldwide, identity theft, loss of Internet performance, and much more.

Identity theft:

Spammers usually send messages as other companies to make it appear as if the message is of importance. Although this may seem as an easy fix (just ignore and delete them, right?) these emails can, sometimes, carry malicious viruses or malware hidden in them, which can help them get access to personal information you may have saved in your hard drive.

Another issue this brings is that, because spammers are going through as other companies, it can cost the actual company a lot of time and money to try and clean out all the spam messages, which brings me to…

Expenses:

Receivers of these annoying messages end up paying more money for getting the spam than the spammers do to actually send them. In addition, these spammers also put fake return addresses on their emails so that they don’t have to deal with the costs of receiving responses from people who message them back to get off the list.

Spam can also cause your mail server to crash and can fill up your hard drive, which in then end jeopardizes your computer in its entirety causing you to have to spend more money to fix, or clean out, your hard drive.

TOO Much Spam:

The most annoying part about these spam emails is that, even though you can sometimes email them back with a “REMOVE” message to get off a list, it can become difficult and almost impossible to go through every single message that is being sent.

Simply because your Internet provider may have enforced methods to reduce spam, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your computer has all the protection it needs. It is important to constantly change and maintain spam protection schemes, even though this can be more expensive.

 

Mobile Security

If you have a smartphone, which is quite likely since nearly two-thirds of American adults are smartphone users, then you probably love being able to have instant access to things like the internet or work files.  However, with this extended list of capabilities comes the introduction of new security risks.  Let’s take a closer look at some of the statistics about mobile security as well as examine some simple steps you can take to make your smartphone more secure.

Mobile Security Statistics:

According to Pew Research and AirWatch Online, the numbers are quite terrifying on the number of security breaches in the last year.

  • 1,023,108,267 records breached in the last year via mobile devices.
  • 5.2 million smartphones were lost or stolen in the U.S. in the last year.
  • 25% of all mobile devices encounter a threat each month.
  • Mobile is the fastest growing enterprise vulnerability with 75% year-over-year increase in U.S. mobile malware rates in 2014.
  • 75% or more mobile apps would fail basic security tests.

Simple Steps you can take to make your phone more secure.

  • Use a Screen Lock – Without one of the many screen lock options of your phone, anyone can have access to your emails, bank accounts, photos, texts and other personal information.
  • Password Protection – Use a unique password for each account to ensure that if a hacker gets into one he can not access all of your accounts.The best bet is to use a mixed combination of letters, numbers and special characters. Also don’t forget to change it regularly.
  • Be Aware of Apps – The more apps you have the more chance that one of them has some sort of malicious software on it.
  • Be Aware of Public WiFi- Try to avoid public hotspots and always turn your Bluetooth and Wifi connections off when not in use.  If a hacker can access your accounts via public wifi, then your info is not secure!
  • Use Security – There are many choices out there to help beef up your mobile device. Install an antivirus to protect you from malicious apps, phishing websites and other security threats.

Spyware

There are many types of cyber threats that business owners and individuals need to be alert for in our tech driven world today.  Spyware is one such malicious threat.  Let’s examine what spyware is, how it can impact your system or your business computer system and steps to take to prevent spyware in the future.

What is Spyware?

Spyware is software designed with the goal of gathering information about a person or organization without their knowledge and that may send such information to another entity without the consumer’s consent, or that takes control over a computer without the consumer’s knowledge. Spyware is usually in one of the following categories:  system monitors, trojans, adware, and tracking cookies. The main use of spyware is tracking and storing Internet users’ movements on the Web and serving up pop-up ads to Internet users. Spyware can get in a computer as a software virus or as the result of installing a new program. In addition, spyware is often installed without the user’s consent, as a drive-by download, or as the result of clicking some option in a deceptive pop-up window. Software designed to serve advertising, known as adware, can usually be thought of as spyware as well because it almost invariably includes components for tracking and reporting user information.

How does it impact your system?

  • Spyware can gather information about e-mail addresses and even passwords and credit card numbers.
  • Spyware can also negatively affect a computer’s performance by installing additional software, redirecting web browser searches, changing computer settings, reducing connection speeds, changing the homepage or even completely disrupting network connection ability.
  • Spyware software uses valuable Internet bandwidth that isn’t available for your other activities. Not only is the spyware sending your personal information without your consent, it is slowing down your computer to do it.

Preventing Spyware – Here are a few tips from the US Computer Emergency Readiness Team.

  • Don’t click on links within pop-up windows.
  • Choose “no” when asked unexpected questions on your device.
  • Be wary of free downloadable software.
  • Don’t follow email links claiming to offer anti-spyware software.
  • Adjust your browser preferences to limit pop-up windows and cookies.

If you suspect an installation of spyware on your system contact M&H Consulting. We will be able to run a full scan on your computer with your anti-virus software, run a legitimate product specifically designed to remove spyware, and make sure that your anti-virus and anti-spyware software are compatible.

The Latest on Global Hacking

Right at this moment a cyber breach, whether it is hacking, theft or a cyber attack, are happening somewhere, right now in the world. In fact, there is a new online map by Norse that lets you watch in real time as it happens.  Hard to believe the absolute magnitude and depth of these breaches into our personal, professional and business worlds. Let’s examine what a data breach is, what the different types include, and what are the latest statistics on these types of cyber issues.

A data breach is commonly defined as the unlawful and unauthorized acquisition of personal, professional or business information that compromises the security, confidentiality, or integrity of the information. For businesses who keep financial, personal and credit card records stored online or on their hard drives or storage facilities it is critical to take steps to safeguard against these types of breaches.

Most breaches fall into one of three categories including: human errors, system glitches, or malicious or criminal attacks. Human errors could include delivering information to the wrong email address, disposing of information improperly or losing an unencrypted laptop, cellphone or storage device such as a USB key. A system glitch is a sudden, unexpected and usually temporary malfunction in a computer system or network. System glitches can include software failures, programming errors, identity or authentication failures (wrongful access) and/or data recovery failures. Finally, the largest category that breaches fall into is the malicious or criminal attacks.  These could include: theft, Phishing, Pharming, attacks on web applications, payment card skimmers, viruses, worms and Trojan Horses to name a few.

For the latest visual on the most recent cyber attacks in 2015 and the millions of pieces of data that were compromised follow the link to the World’s Biggest Data Breaches by Information is Beautiful. If you feel your company may need to review the systems you have in place for your business or personal security please contact M & H Consulting.

Anti-Virus Choices

Cyber attacks, hacking and security breaches are in the news almost daily.  No one is immune.  Small businesses and large corporations are at risk for Trojans, rootkits, adware, spyware, malware, ransomware, and all kinds of malicious software. Thankfully, anti-virus experts are trying to stay up-to-date and aware of the latest virus threats.  Let’s examine some of the traditional, full-scale, or free antivirus tool as reviewed by PC Magazine.  

PC Mag has reviewed over 30 different commercial antivirus utilities, and that’s not even counting the many free antivirus tools. Out of that extensive field, they named four Editors’ Choice products.

  • Webroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus (2015) – This top rated (Editor’s score 4.5) personal and  professional anti-virus that is compatible with Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10
  • Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2016– Editor rating as excellent at 4.5.  Compatible with Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10. Editors’ Choice winner Bitdefender Antivirus Plus earns top scores in lab tests and PC’s own tests, and also packs in a wealth of useful bonus features.
  • Kaspersky Anti-Virus (2016) – Editor’s rating of excellent at 4.5. Kaspersky Anti-Virus (2016) looks a little different from last year’s model, but it still delivers excellent protection, as proven by its excellent scores in independent lab tests and our own hands-on tests. It is compatible with Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10.
  • McAfee AntiVirus Plus (2016)– Again a top rated Editor’s choice at 4.5 (excellent). McAfee AntiVirus Plus is very capable, and it includes a raft of bonus features. But what pushes it into stardom is the fact that a single subscription lets you install protection on every Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS device that you own.