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Virtual Collaboration: How to Improve Remote Work Processes

Due to the recent pandemic, more people are choosing to work remotely. In fact, studies have shown that by the year 2025 more businesses will go fully remote. Although this is good for some businesses, people are voicing their concerns about the decrease of productivity from working from home. Here are some tips to increase productivity by using virtual collaboration when working remotely: 

 

What is Virtual Collaboration?

Virtual collaboration is any effort to collaborate or communicate with others who are not physically present. This includes different applications, instant messaging software, and video calls or conferencing platforms. 

 

Collaboration Software

Collaboration software is one of the most effective tools you can use when working remotely. This allows you to work with one another on different projects in real time. This also helps connect the workplace and builds internal relationships. Popular softwares that help with collaboration are: 

  • Video Chat services such as Zoom or Skype 
  • Instant Messaging
  • Productivity Apps that track tasks or time 

When these softwares are used, workers will have more motivation and remain productive. 

 

Centralize Communication 

Communication is a big part of working remotely, but one issue many people have is finding information for their work or projects. One way to resolve this issue is to invest in a centralized information system that allows for workers to find all the information necessary for their work. Popular systems include Google Drive and RingCentral. This will keep all information secured and accessible for remote workers. 

 

Leadership 

It is no surprise that leaders of businesses or companies are always watched. Workers will usually follow the footsteps of their leaders in many situations, including working remotely. It is a good idea to have leaders also work remotely and do all of their tasks efficiently to motivate employees to do the same. It gives employees the opportunity to work alongside superiors and give them a sense of normalcy. This is also a good time to place employee incentives. By implementing this, employees will have the right motivation to complete their tasks. 

 



Have any questions about the right technology services for you or your business? WesTec services can help. Contact us with any questions you may have and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

 

The Dangers of Shadow IT Projects

Cloud computing is one the most beneficial ways for businesses to operate, but still creates online threats. Many threats can appear, but Shadow IT can interfere with devices, technology systems, applications and software. Learn about the dangers of Shadow IT and why is it being used: 

 

What is it?

Shadow IT can be described as projects or networks that are managed by outside providers, without prior approval from the IT department. With cloud database popularity, shadow IT is growing and creates vulnerabilities including data leaks and database violations. 

 

Risks

Now that you know what shadow IT is, what are the risks? The main risk is data leaks. Oftentimes when shadow IT is being used, it prevents certain backups from being performed. This means important data could be lost forever. From sending a document to a personal email, to file sharing on the cloud, this makes it possible for shadow IT to intervene and allow the information to be compromised by outside networks that cannot be monitored by the IT department. 

 

These risks can go beyond simply leaking information. Depending on the network, shadow IT can harm financials, internal communications and errors within the system. When systems have access to this vital information, they can duplicate it and cause harm to your business and result in losing money. 

 

Not all networks who use shadow IT are purposely doing it to cause harm, and most of the time big companies use this to increase productivity. Companies who use this include Google Drive, Dropbox and Microsoft Office. It is important to know that even though shadow IT can be beneficial, it still makes companies vulnerable to internal harm and should be dealt with. 

 

Prevention

It can be determined that shadow IT will not be going away soon, which is why educating employees on this issue will be the best prevention plan. Along with knowing the risks, routinely checking your data will help manage and determine if shadow IT is affecting your business. 

Want to know more about shadow IT? WesTec services can help! Feel free to contact us and check out our services to see how we can assist you. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for updates.

Smart Shopping

 

Shopping online has many risks that some shoppers fall victim to. Whether it be personal information stolen, wifi breach or virtual viruses, it is important to know how to become a smart shopper and prevent these risks from becoming a reality. Here are some tips to be a smart shopper: 

 

Know What You’re Buying

Popular smart devices can easily help us and make our lives easier, but it is important to know exactly what you want and what risks might be present. Things to know are: 

 

  • Who makes it?
  • What is its purpose?
  • Do you trust the company?
  • Have you read the reviews?

 

All of these things can prevent negative things from happening and make you more aware of what devices you are potentially bringing into your life or home. 

 

Buy Familiar Brands 

To limit the risks of buying alone, it is a good idea to buy from familiar or well known brands. These top brands are more likely to have stronger security on devices that hackers will have a hard time getting into and less likely to have any security breaches. Also, top brands are constantly updating their system and creating a safer place for the devices. Rarely hackers get into the system but when they do, these big companies are quick to fix it and will most likely send out a message to customers making them aware of the threat. It is important to be able to trust the brand or company and feel confident is how they handle these risks. 

 

 Are you having issues with becoming a smart shopper and protecting your information? Westec services can help!  Schedule a call with one of our professionals today!

 

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Quantum Computing

 

Quantum mechanics are more powerful than ever. Different from the average computer, quantum computing offers an advanced level of algorithms and benefits that continue to develop and transform. Due to their advancements, they are continuing to grow in popularity and change the way we use technology.  

 

 

What is Quantum Computing?

Quantum computing can be described as a unique set of equations and algorithms that are based on quantum mechanics and physics. They have collective properties including interference, superposition and entanglement that perform tasks such as completing calculations. These unique systems are then introduced to computing making it possible to solve many problems and aid in traditional programming methods. 

 

How does it work?

To understand how quantum computing works, it is important to know the certain elements used including qubits. Qubits are the unit measurement for quantum computing. They have potential to do things differently and can hold lots of information. The quantum system has a house or a storage facility that keeps the qubits and keeps them at a temperature above absolute zero. This is to prevent interference that might happen with the signals. Some systems also use a vacuum chamber to stop internal vibrations.  In order to use them in this type of computing, the system must have a method for transferring signals. This is embedded in quantum systems. More common systems include lasers, microwaves and voltage. Then from the transfer stage, it gets sent to a classic computer that can then read and run the desired program. 

 

Benefits

There are multiple benefits when it comes to this specialized hardware. One being optimization. With the help of quantum computing, researchers can use a specific algorithm that cannot be used with average computers. Not only that but it can then create even more complex systems and equations that aid in online traffic within the system, deliveries and energy storage. Another benefit is searching online. With the help of this computing, it can sort through lots of data and present the desired results that classic commuters and algorithms can’t do. 

 

Have any questions about the right technology services for you or your business? WesTec services can help. Contact us with any questions you may have and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

Future of Algorithms

Algorithms are one of the most used technologies in the world. They are used for anything and everything, including cell phones, computers, security systems and more. Businesses also use algorithms for a better success rate and improve their optimization. Here’s how businesses are using algorithms.  

Human Resources

Algorithms are most used in the human resource field. Certain algorithms sort people or items into categories that can later be used by the business. This is also used in popular job posting websites. They can easily sort through candidates based on specific qualifications the job has put in place. Overall, with the help of algorithms, this leads to more efficiency and productivity in all work fields. 

 

Healthcare

Algorithms can soon find themselves in the healthcare industry. With them, doctors can easily input symptoms into the system and find the right medication or treatment for the illness. Not only that, but it can track and categorize patients that make it easier for doctors to pull records. Algorithm programs specifically for this have already made their way to the healthcare field and can be used with other technologies such as artificial intelligence making a more advanced healthcare system. 

 

Internet

Have you ever opened a social media app and seen an advertisement for something you recently looked up or interested in? That is a result of an algorithm. They take into account anything you have looked up, liked, or typed and put it through a filter system that shows certain information, items or advertisements that are catered to you. This is the most popular way algorithms are used. 

 

It is also important to know that everyone has access to algorithms and correlating data. From big, well known companies to small start up businesses, algorithms can be used and be beneficial for all. 

 

Want to know more about how algorithms can help your business? WesTec services can help! Feel free to contact us and check out our services to see how we can assist you. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for updates.

Phishing Scams During the Holiday Season

With holiday’s right around the corner, this makes for a scammer’s perfect opportunity to conduct phishing scams. Researchers have stated that this year, phishing scams are going to increase significantly. More phishing scams are done via mobile devices, making it easier than ever to have your information stolen. But how do we protect ourselves during this vulnerable time? 

 

Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are intensified during the holiday season due to the high traffic of online shoppers and the urge for people to look for deals. One popular way scammers do this is by sending emails or text messages about an offer that is too good to be passed up. For example, they list a popular technology device for cheap. Most people would just look at the price and proceed with the scam. Another scam is when they mimic bigger companies online to get credit card information or being able to log onto the device when a certain URL is clicked. These mainly happen through emails. They might send an email about a recent fake purchase to get you to click on the URL. These scams are going unnoticed and can do lots of harm. It is important to know how to prevent these scams and protect your information. 

 

Prevention 

It is inevitable that these scams will make their way to you. One way to identify a scam is to check the grammar of the message. Usually scams will be misspelled or the message came from a third party source. This is the easiest way to quickly identify the scam. 

 

Be cautious about providing personal information such as phone numbers or credit card numbers. Make sure before you provide information that it is a reliable and trustworthy source. 

 

If a phishing scam is sent to you, it is best to not respond. A response to these scams lets the scammer know you are a ‘real’ person and will likely be targeted again. If this does happen, there is an option to report the scam to the Spam Reporting Service. 

 

Holidays make for a great time to buy gifts for loved ones, but this also means it is more likely to come across a phishing scam. It is important to know how to identify the scam and how to prevent and protect yourself. 

 

Scams can be irritating and hard to effectively prevent them. WesTec services can help you in any way. We offer skilled expertise in all technologies and are ready to help. Contact us for any further information on phishing and how to protect yourself. 

What is Blockchain Technology?

Blockchain technology is one of the most effective ways to have secure and connected information. It stores information and then ‘chains’ it with more databases linking them together. This creates an irreversible timeline of data that can be beneficial.

 

 

How Does it Work?

The main purpose of a blockchain is to send information that can be sent to other databases but cannot be edited. This is important when distributing important information. The first step in this process is the transaction. This is when the information is first introduced to the database. As more information is entered, it creates a chain that can spread to other systems. 

 

How Secure is it? 

The main question regarding blockchain technology is how safe it is. Due to its inability to edit any information, this makes this one of the safest ways to spread information. Not only that, but it stores everything chronologically and linearly. Even if hackers try to interrupt a chain, it wouldn’t line up with the rest of the block, immediately notifying users. 

 

Ways to Use Blockchains

This technology can be used in many ways including banking, currency, healthcare, smart contacts, supply chains and voting. Since this system is secure and easily distributed, many companies find this the most effective way to store their information. Big companies such as Walmart and  Pfizer actively use blockchains to distribute their records or important documents. 

 

Blockchain technology is finally making it’s way into modern life. From its effectiveness and security, more companies are finding ways to incorporate this technology into their businesses. 

 

Have any questions about the right technology services for you or your business? WesTec services can help. Contact us with any questions you may have and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter

 

The Benefits of Server Virtualization

In this age of technology we try to find a way to make it work faster and more effectively. Server virtualization helps companies do multiple things at once and create an up to date workspace. 

What is Server Virtualization?

Server virtualization is described as dividing hardwares into multiple separate servers. Each of these servers can do many tasks all at the same time. They have the capability to run at a faster speed without any internal complications. They can either be connected with other servers or work singly. 

Benefits 

With any type of  virtualization, it maximizes the power used to do the job of multiple machines all on one server. They can be programmed to do exactly what you need and at what pace. Specific solutions, safety protocols can all be used with specific servers. There are multiple servers to choose from including:

  • Full- Virtualization: Specialized server that conducts power to remaining servers and cross operating systems. 
  • Para- Virtualization: This server is aware of other servers in the systems and relies on them. This server works together with others to manage jobs and information. 
  • OS- Level Virtualization: Most basic level of virtualization. This system is managed by the physical server’s operating system. 

 

Modern technologies and companies are using virtualization to work more efficiently. This different type of server can reach full potential and take the stress off of the workload. In the long run, this is also a cheaper alternative as if any problems occur, it can be resolved internally and then connected to the other servers. 

 

Server virtualization is the most powerful way to run a business. A single server can do the job of multiple machines at a faster pace and with less issues. They are unique and can be used for anything and any type of business. Virtualization is extremely beneficial and is becoming more of a must in technology. 

 

 

 Virtualization can be overwhelming, but WesTec is here to help! Any further questions about server virtualization? Feel free to contact us. We would love to hear from you. 

 

Leasing vs. Financing IT Equipment

 

IT equipment is essential for businesses in 2021. The main question is — leasing vs financing IT equipment? There are pros and cons for both options, but it depends on the kind of working environment, efficiency requirements, and budget. 

Leasing 

One of the greatest advantages of leasing is not being financially responsible for the equipment. Rather than having your company held responsible, you would be passing the financials to the leasing company. Instead of paying up front for the equipment needed, leasing allows you to set a monthly payment. A lease is also an option that will guarantee the same equipment with fixed monthly payments. 

Financials aside, leasing provides access to the newest, up-to-date equipment. Once your equipment has run its course, you can easily upgrade. Newer equipment requires less maintenance, which allows for greater productivity. 

However, there are some disadvantages to leasing IT equipment. Depending on your leasing terms and IT needs, leasing can be more expensive than financing — especially if you sign a lease and don’t end up using the equipment, as you are still obligated to pay. 

Financing

If leasing isn’t for you, you also have the option to finance. When financing, there are no contracts involved — you simply buy the equipment directly from the source. If maintenance is required, financing allows you to go about it at your own discretion. You won’t need to make an appointment with the leasing company or be stuck with damaged equipment. When you own the equipment, you can simply take care of everything on your own. 

For businesses on a tight budget, financing is the more cost-effective option. With one simple payment, the equipment is yours! 

However, there are a few downsides when it comes to financing. Depending on the business, making a big investment like this could max out your credit lines. Furthermore, you could be stuck with outdated equipment, whereas in leasing, updated equipment is always available. 

The Final Decision 

Between financing and leasing IT equipment, both have their pros and cons. However, it is up to you to decide which option is most cost-efficient, given your budget and IT needs. For the most advanced models that don’t require one big payment, leasing would be the best option. For a one-time payment and maintenance freedom, the best option would be financing. 

 

  Not sure whether to finance or lease IT equipment? We can help!    Feel free to give us a call or visit our website

Internet Security in Education: 3 Laws that Protect Students and Their Information

In the era of technology, some have concerns about their privacy. In schools, the top priority is to protect students and their information. With students constantly engaging in technology, whether it be submitting homework, emails with teachers, or saving documents, state and federal internet security laws protect all this information. 

 

 

FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act 

FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is one of the most widely known federal laws regarding student privacy. It applies to every educational institution or those of a similar rank. This law protects the education records of all students and sets boundaries between what information students’ parents have access to when the student becomes 18 years of age. If educational records are needed by another school, parent, or in medical cases, there must be a written permission letter from the student or guardian to release that information. Details such as name, birthdate, phone number and school attendance is not under this law and does not require a written permission. 

 

COPPA: Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act

Different from FERPA, COPPA: Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act is specific to the online services used by children 13 years and younger. This act controls what personal information is collected from young children. Applications and websites all have to abide by this act and schools can intervene as parental consent if needed. 

 

CIPA: Children’s Internet Protection Act 

In addition to protecting the privacy of students, it prevents them from seeing unwanted information while on the internet. CIPA: Children’s Internet Protection Act uses a filtered web system that schools and libraries use. This system blocks and hides harmful information or acts such as chat rooms and cyberbullying. CIPA also sets a curriculum on how to protect minors on the internet. This curriculum is required to use this program. Schools and libraries must implement these guidelines addressing a new internet safety policy. 

 

These three acts and laws are a preventative measure from harmful internet activities and exploitation. With the main goal of protecting students’ privacy and engaging them in new internet safety protocols these acts are required by law. 

 

Technology can be confusing, and it’s important to know your rights! Have any further questions on internet privacy? Contact WesTec today! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

Mission: WesTec will be a “turn-key” solution for all of its clients’ business connectivity needs. It will offer efficient and effective solutions, directly and with strategic partners, that create tangible value for its clients at every point of contact. Westec will serve all people and entities with a servant’s heart.

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