Summer is right around the corner. If you haven’t tackled Spring cleaning yet, now is your opportunity! Here are a few ways to clean up your system and improve its overall performance with regular maintenance:
Dust with compressed air and wipe down the monitor
Starting with the outside of your system, dust the keyboard and mouse with a can of compressed air. Compressed air is strong and will clean out any built up dust particles and other grime. You may also consider wiping down your keyboard and mouse with an antibacterial solution, to rid the surfaces of germs and bacteria. Avoid spraying the keyboard and mouse directly — instead, lightly spritz a rag and wipe. Wipe down your monitor with a microfiber cloth to remove fingerprints and anything else that may be crusted to the monitor.
Clean hardware system
Once you have dusted the outside of your system, you should focus on cleaning your hardware. Before you begin, close any active programs/files, shut your computer down, and unplug the computer from the wall. Unscrew the hardware casing and use compressed air to dust all the nooks and crannies of your system. Compressed air is safe to use on hardware and should not cause any damage.
Turn your computer off or restart regularly
Simply putting your computer to sleep while it is not in use will cause your system minimal damage. However, you should make a habit of restarting or shutting your system down every now and then — especially if you use an older system. Rebooting your computer will prevent overheating and will allow your system to refresh its settings and resources. Allowing your computer to reboot and refresh will improve its overall performance.
Clear up drive space
One thing that will slow your computer’s performance is a full drive. Improve your computer’s performance by clearing up drive space regularly — there’s no reason to hold on to files and downloads you no longer need! Delete any unnecessary files and consider moving files you wish to keep to an external harddrive.
Remove malware and viruses
Malware can affect operability and cause data loss or theft. There are a number of ways your system can be infected by malware and other viruses. Therefore, it is important that you use antivirus software to protect your computer and remove any potential threats. This software will run diagnostics, identify viruses, and resolve these.
It is important that you install program updates regularly, as to ensure all programs are running efficiently. Failing to install new updates can affect the speed and performance of your programs. Most programs have regular updates that will address security holes and minimize unnecessary features.
At WesTec Services, we believe regular maintenance is crucial for maintaining the health of your system. With regular maintenance, you can prevent the worst from happening — and prevention is key!
Most IT consultants simply put band-aid fixes on computer network problems and react to problems instead of looking for ways to prevent them from happening in the first place. As with most things in life, prevention really is better than cure — and it’s no surprise to find that prevention is the secret of good IT support too. Interested in learning more about our IT services? Contact us today!
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If you work on a computer all day long, you’re likely to encounter tech issues. At WesTec, we believe knowledge is power. Therefore, we have compiled a list of a few quick fixes to common tech issues:
For a number of reasons, you may receive a dialogue box stating that the application you are trying to use is unresponsive. This issue will prevent you from using the application and will likely slow the performance of your system. Fortunately, there’s no need to call IT support, as this issue has an easy fix!
On PC, press Ctrl + Alt + Delete in order to access your Task Manager. From this dialogue box, you can end specific tasks. Your Task Manager will indicate which applications are unresponsive, and you can hit “End Task” to close the application.
On Mac, you can achieve the same result by pressing Command + Option + Esc. You will receive a pop-up displaying active applications. Select the unresponsive application and click “Force Quit.”
Slow or poor internet connection
There’s nothing more disruptive than a slow or poor internet connection. When you encounter this issue, minimize downtime with this quick fix.
Your wireless internet connection is supported by a router. Restart your router by unplugging its power source for 30 – 60 seconds. Then, plug the router back in. You will notice it may take a few minutes before you have a stable internet connection. If this does not work, try restarting your computer and checking your connection again.
You may also consider clearing your browsing history and cache. A collection of cookies and cache could be slowing specific sites. Every internet browser is different, but you can easily clear your cache in your general settings.
Slow computer performance
Is your system underperforming? There could be several reasons for this! Before calling IT, there are a few things you can try in order to improve the speed of your computer.
If you have too many windows or programs open and running at once, this could be affecting your computer’s performance. Close any windows or programs you are not using. If your computer is full of downloads, try deleting any files you no longer need and empty your trash bin. This will likely improve your computer’s performance, but it also wouldn’t hurt to restart your computer.
If this issue persists, we recommend calling IT, as you may have a virus that is affecting your system.
Struggling to troubleshoot your tech issues? Minimize the downtime spent searching for solutions and outsource IT support with WesTec Services! Interested in learning more? Contact us today!
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The PC vs. Mac debate has the tech world divided. Whether it’s PC or Mac, users are loyal to their system. This begs the question: which system is better? What are the pros and cons of each system? WesTec Services has created a breakdown for each computer:
One of the most obvious benefits to purchasing a PC is the price. PCs not only offer a wide range of products, but these products are more affordable than Mac products. According to VoltCave, a standard PC in 2021 costs anywhere from $500-$1000. Meanwhile, a Mac starts at $1299.
PCs also offer better hardware and configuration than Mac products. Boasting superior hardware and graphics cards, a PC is the better option for someone with interests in gaming.
PCs use Windows operating systems, which allows users more freedom to customize and modify their system’s functionality and storage. Since Windows is the most commonly used operating system, there is more compatible software available for PCs.
Apple is known for their user-friendly, intuitive systems, making Mac computers the obvious choice for beginners. Meanwhile, PCs using Windows operating systems come with a bit of learning curve.
Though superficial, Mac is the preferred choice for its sleek appearance, as Mac products are more aesthetically pleasing than most PCs. For those with iPhones, iPads, or iPods, Mac’s easy multi-device integration allows its users to seamlessly sync all their Apple products together. When integrating devices, users can place calls and send iMessages directly from their computer, and easily access/share files directly from their devices.
Additionally, Mac systems boast clear, built-in “Retina” displays. Therefore, these systems are ideal for those who require superior visual elements, such as graphic designers and artists.
When choosing between PC and Mac, it’s important to understand that not one system is better than the other — you simply must consider what system meets your needs and budget! Regardless of what system your company favors, WesTec Services is here to provide superior IT support. Interested in learning more about our Managed Services or IT Consulting? Contact us today!
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For many computer novices, IT protocol is widely misunderstood. Given the complexity of some of these procedures, computer users are left feeling frustrated with IT support. However, IT is only here to help! Here are 4 things your IT support team wants you to know:
Your network is being monitored
Whether you have an internal IT department or you outsource your IT support, there is a chance that your network is being monitored around the clock. This often does not occur to many people. Therefore, you should avoid storing personal information or searching sensitive material on your work computer. If you wouldn’t want your boss or coworkers seeing it, it’s safe to say it shouldn’t be on your work computer.
IT has to assume you have zero tech knowledge
In order for your IT support team to assist you in resolving issues, they must first assume you have very little knowledge of computers. This means they will offer simple solutions to start. For someone with a basic understanding of computer functions, it may be frustrating to be asked, “Have you tried restarting your computer?” These questions seem like no-brainers, but IT wants to find the solution to your problem as quickly and efficiently as possible. If there’s a quick fix, they can find this solution by asking basic questions.
They’re not magicians
For IT professionals with years of knowledge and experience, most tech issues will have easy, obvious solutions. However, that does not mean IT won’t encounter issues from time to time that require a little more thought and effort. Be patient with IT — they want to find a solution to your problem just as badly as you do. Remember, they’re people, not miracle workers.
Suggestions are meant to help you, not make your job harder
There’s a reason IT recommends you update your passwords regularly and perform program updates — they want to ensure your computer is secure and performing as it should be! When you take these suggestions seriously, you spend less time on the phone with IT resolving issues that could have been avoided to begin with; less time on the phone with IT means less downtime.
WesTec Services is your one-stop-source for all things IT support & consulting in Houston! Does your business require network installation, backup & disaster recovery, managed services, consulting, and more? We’ve got you covered! Contact us today.
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Modern technology is a huge asset for businesses across all industries. However, with implementing new technology comes a major learning curve. So how do businesses properly execute new technology implementation in order to achieve the maximum sustainable results?
As a business owner, outsourcing your technical support is not only cost-efficient, but will allow you to prioritize your business objectives. Here are a few benefits of IT consulting:
With IT consulting, you can rely on the expertise of seasoned IT professionals. When an IT mishap occurs or you simply require guidance, IT professionals can assist you in making decisions and producing solutions that will allow you to optimize your technology in order to support the growth of your company.
In an effort to cut costs, many companies are hesitant to invest in quality IT consulting. However, IT consulting can actually save you money! Without proper guidance on how to optimize your new business technology, you will be left to find solutions to problems you may not know how to address – and a simple human error can end up costing you a lot of money! Reduce unnecessary spending and consult with an IT professional.
With limited knowledge, you will likely encounter issues navigating your new business technology – and searching for solutions can take hours or even days! An IT mishap can put you behind schedule or even cause you to miss major deadlines. IT consulting is convenient, as you can team up with a professional to develop quick solutions that will put you and your business back on track.
WesTec Services offers customized IT consulting for small and large businesses. Our professionals are trained to effectively guide clients in positioning their strengths so they can properly utilize their technology to meet the constantly changing marketplace and the influence of technology. Interested in learning more about IT consulting? Contact us today and schedule a call with one of our professionals!
Have you ever been the victim of a cyber attack? Do you use the same password for all of your accounts? Follow our guide to outsmart the hackers with increased password security.
How Hackers Get Your Passwords
Before you can better protect your accounts, you must understand how cybercriminals access steal your information. Typically, a hacker will compromise your account in one of three ways.
- Personal attack: Hackers target your account specifically. They will typically guess your email password and use password recovery options to access other accounts.
- Brute-Force attack: Hackers systematically check all possible passwords until the correct one is found.
- Data Breach: Hackers attack large companies, resulting in millions of compromised accounts.
What Makes a Good Password?
Ideally, your password should be at least 16 letters and contain a combination of numbers, symbols, uppercase and lowercase letters. Passwords should not include any repetition, dictionary words, usernames, pronouns or IDs. Make a strong password by thinking of a phrase and then use the initials of each word, as well as the numbers and symbols, to combat potential attacks. For example, if your phrase is “Do you think a hacker will guess my 16 character password for Facebook?!”, your password might be: Dytahwgm16cp4F?!
Enable Two-Step Authentication When Possible
If any sites or accounts offer two-factor authentication, take advantage of it. This system works to limit hacking attempts by making a user authenticate their identity with a second method of verification. Check out our recent blog post about two-factor authentication for more information.
Use a Password Manager
The best thing you can do for your accounts is have a different password for each one. However, if you follow this one cardinal rule of password security, keeping up with all passwords can be difficult. Using a password manager allows you to save all of your passwords in a secure spot with a strong master password.
WesTec offers consulting for any individuals or businesses wanting more information about password security, network installation, or managed IT services. Contact us for more information.
Access control systems continuously evolve with the newest technology trends. In fact, they must keep up with updates to protect companies, their employees and data from threats. With a rising number of security breaches, we can expect more companies to install access control systems.
Access Control Reviews
Security breaches are encouraging companies to conduct full audits of access controls. Enterprises will review risks by user, role and business process to isolate and mitigate risks before they turn into high-profile breaches. By noting weak security measures, companies can make changes to better protect assets.
In 2019, we saw to see a rising trend in individualized access. This ensures each person has their own username, password or identification code. Companies now have access to automated provisioning, which sets up user accounts and creates automated workflows based on job duties.
Hackers will do anything to break into security systems. While this has been a problem for decades, hackers are now specifically targeting overlooked points of access. To combat external threats, we expect access control systems to begin patching vulnerabilities, even if it means temporarily disrupting productivity.
Next year, systems will continue and expand their use of data analytics to monitor and mitigate threats. Companies will use their dashboards to monitor access, but they will also run possible scenarios to reduce risk and conflict.
The need for analytics, automation and access will encourage more businesses to install cloud-based control systems. As companies increase their technology and mobile tools, they will want to protect their system in an effective way.
As we prepare to enter a new year and decade, businesses shouldn’t ignore threats from potential breaches. Our expert IT professionals at WesTec Services can help you analyze your current strategies and install a system designed to deflect security breaches. Contact us to learn more about our access control systems.
Places of business who have frequent visitors can benefit from having an additional WiFi network for guests. With a guest Wifi network, temporary visitors enjoy full internet connectivity without being able to access sensitive internal network information. Continue reading to find out how both your business and customers can benefit from a guest wifi account.
Security and Privacy
By reserving a section of your WiFi for guests, you protect your company’s data. This allows you to control who has access to the network of computers, servers and printers. Giving guests their own WiFi account also limits the ability of viruses and malware to infect your server.
Offering a guest network allows you to keep your primary password a secret. Guest passwords are also cached differently, meaning guests do not have permanent access to your network.
Access and Parental Controls
A guest WiFi account allows you to set different levels of access. With a guest network, you can also implement parental controls to limit the types of sites your customers can visit, providing added security to your business.
Network Usage Controls
Guest networks can limit the amount of data your customers can use. By regulating the bandwidth of your guests’ WiFi network, you can limit the speed of customer internet access. This means their network usage will not affect the business network and employee efficiency.
The experts at WesTec are ready to answer any questions you may have about installing a guest WiFi network at your place of business. Contact us today for more information.
Small businesses can benefit from outsourcing their IT to a qualified business technology company. With managed IT service, WesTec can monitor and improve your company’s IT practices to ensure your employees can focus on their daily duties.
What is Managed IT Service?
Managed IT service allows a company to pay a fixed monthly rate for IT services and equipment. With a fixed monthly rate, customers benefit from automatic software updates, regular equipment upgrades and relief from the day-to-day IT frustrations. Partnering with WesTec gives a company flexibility to set clear goals and objectives.
WesTec Services offers two plans with fixed fees for network management solutions. With WesTec Guardian Professional, companies receive network management and basic IT needs based on their current network infrastructure. With this program, businesses also benefit from discounted on-site support rates. WesTec Guardian All Covered provides our clients with maintenance, network management and technical support needs all in one fixed monthly rate. This ensures a company’s network is running efficiently without hourly rates.
Why Your Business Needs to Outsource IT
In today’s society, technology is crucial for a company to thrive in a competitive market. Because of this, businesses can not wait until something is broken to fix it. Managed IT service changes the way companies are looking at technology. Instead of embracing the old fix-it mentality, IT companies can manage a company’s IT and prevent any issues that might disrupt employees or clients.
Let WesTec Services manage your IT and keep your company on its toes. Our managed IT services reduce the cost of replacing new equipment and keep you from paying hourly rates when your network fails by offering all-inclusive, fixed rates. Contact us to learn more about managed IT today.
Threats to a company’s data come in many forms. Cyber-attacks like malware, spyware and viruses attack valuable data from companies each day. While anti-malware and anti-virus can help prevent breaches, these softwares can’t protect data from physical disasters. Data backup is imperative for a company’s continued success.
Local and Network Backups
Storing information on-site is one of the easiest ways to backup data. It can be stored on hard drives, tape drives, or other storage systems connected to a company’s network. Copying files to USB drives or external drives also provide an easily accessible copy of files. However, this should not be the sole method of data backup. Physical disaster, theft and ransomware all pose threats to local backups.
Cloud backups are quickly being integrated into businesses looking for added protection. This method of data backup allows copies of data to be stored on remote servers and accessed by internet connection. Unlike other methods, the cloud allows for automated backup of data to provide up-to-date copies of files.
Online File Storage
Similar to cloud backup, online file storage stores files on the internet. Sites like Dropbox and Google Drive allow businesses to store and share files off-site. While online file storage works well as an additional backup method, it also comes with limitations. Depending on the files, backup can cost time and bandwidth.
The experts at WesTec Services recommend a business keep at least three copies of data in different places and on two different formats for proper data backup. Our team can help protect your data from threats. Contact us to get started.