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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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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As a business, you have assets to protect. Therefore, you need a high-quality security system that protects against external and internal threats, and provides peace of mind. Here are a few ways an access control system could benefit your business:
Restricts access to certain areas
Transitioning from using traditional building keys to key cards with an access control system allows you to control the flow of traffic within your facility. Key cards can be customized to each employee and their needs. With key card customization, you can control who has access to certain areas. This is especially beneficial for offices or rooms that store personal and confidential information.
Monitors and tracks who enters the building
With an access control system, you are able to monitor who enters your facility. When one of your employees scans their key card, the system creates time stamps and records the location of entry and details about the entrant. If an issue arises, you can easily reference this information.
Provides flexibility and convenience
Business can be unpredictable. With deadlines to meet and last-minute projects to complete, working overtime may be necessary. With an access control system, employees can work outside of regular business hours. With customizable key cards, your employees can access the facility at all hours of the day. Additionally, key cards can be deactivated at any time. If an employee is terminated or loses their key card, you can deactivate their card with ease.
Access Control Systems allow a building owner to have complete control over their Houston-based facility, using technology such as ID key entries, fingerprinting scanners, and video monitoring. Interested in learning more about these systems? Contact WesTec Services 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!
As business continues to shift towards long term remote work practices, our tendency to fall for phishing scams has risen exponentially. While many businesses used to have one or two locations, workers are now spread out all over the country, working from their home phones and computers. While we now see more screen sharing services and video conferencing, a lot of these newer services are still perfecting their security measures. Here are a few changes businesses can make to protect company security during remote work conditions:
Use video conferencing passwords
Video conferencing apps such as Zoom or WebEx have had security breaches in the past, random people joining a call without invitation and “bombing” it. Many of these services have already made improvements to prevent this, but when possible, enable a meeting password and share it only with those welcome on the call.
When possible, protect equipment and increase security
Many employees do not have the necessary equipment at home, such as computers and monitors, to work as efficiently in the office. By allowing employees to bring home computers from the office or providing them with security for their home computers, the business can feel more confident in the security of their data. It is also common that home computers lack the security measures of work equipment, making them easier for hackers to access and leak valuable information. Whether you are using company equipment or your own, talk to your company and discuss how to best protect sensitive company data from your home.
Be cautious opening emails
With basically all office communication occurring now through email, employees are much more active, and most likely responsive, on their inboxes. This provides more opportunities for phishing scams to sneak in and imitate legitimate people or companies.Use caution when opening emails from unknown addresses, and if it seems unsafe, never click on a link or download. While transitioning to remote work may be difficult, the security of your data does not have to be. WesTec Services have been providing technology services for over 20 years. To discuss your IT, business telephone, or video security needs, contact WesTec today.
Sometimes, accounts will ask you to update your passwords for security reasons. This often feels like an unnecessary task meant to make your life more complicated. However, in a world full of hackers and online predators, one must regularly update their password to protect valuable information.
Change Your Passwords Regularly…
By regularly changing your login information and passwords, you make it harder for someone to steal information. This is increasingly important for accounts without two-factor authentication. Communication accounts, like email and chatting apps, should also be updated every so often for increased protection.
…But Don’t Change Them Too Often
Traditionally, experts recommended you change passwords every 30 to 60 days–this is no longer the case. Mandatory password updates lead to money loss and lack of productivity with minimal security payoff. Now, changing your password doesn’t hold near the protection it used to. Because cybercriminals continue to learn more advanced hardware and software, they can typically discover your password if they look hard enough.
As humans, we tend to create patterns. This is no different in password creation. Typically, we use similar letters, numbers and themes when updating a password. Updating your password too often leads to confusion with little added benefit.
Keep Your Data Secure
As a rule of thumb, update your passwords when there is proof of some sort of security breach or online attack. This includes unauthorized use of an account or evidence of malware. By doing so, you’re preventing a hacker from gaining access into your personal accounts and obtaining sensitive, private information or data.
There are other ways to protect your data. Contact the experts at WesTec Services for more information about our cybersecurity services.
If you’re not sure how to create a secure password that will outsmart the online hackers, read our recent article for tips.
Doesn’t your computer always seem to lag when you have a rapidly approaching deadline? A slow computer can decrease productivity and increase frustration. To help eliminate frustration, try one of these tips to increase your computer’s speed and performance.
Uninstall Unused Programs
Programs take a lot of space on your computer. Over time, you accumulate programs that might run in the background without your knowledge. Uninstalling the programs you don’t use on a regular basis may increase your computer’s speed and response time.
Delete Temporary Files
Every time you download or install a file on your PC, it keeps a temporary file. If your computer is running slow, you can delete these files to free up space. To do this, find the “Temp” folder in your drive. Select older files and press the delete key. Make sure you empty the recycling bin to completely wipe files from the computer.
Invest in Hard Drive Storage
Sometimes you might need to have easy access to many files. However, keeping them all in once place will affect your computer’s speed. To keep your computer tidy, you can purchase an external storage drive to store thousands of files.
Random Access Memory (RAM) acts as your computer’s short-term memory. It quickly loads items it thinks it will need to access soon. But, if your RAM can’t handle several applications at once, your computer will lag. Increasing the RAM can be an easy and cost-effective way to improve your computer’s speed.
Work with Our IT Professionals
Our trusted IT professionals at WesTec Services can help diagnose why your computer is slow and offer solutions to improve its speed through our managed IT and IT consulting services. Contact us for more information.
Business mobile phones can be used for a range of commercial operations, including inventory control, customer relations, advertising, marketing, banking and more.
Here are few ways to ensure your mobile phone and its valuable data is protected against hackers and malware:
1. Update your phone.
Most of us are guilty of ignoring operating system updates on our business mobile phones. However, the longer you wait to update your phone, the more out of date your systems are, making you an easier target for hackers who can easily identify and exploit system vulnerabilities.
2. Lock your device.
If your business mobile phone contains private information about you or your business, it is important to always engage the four- or six-digit passcode on your device. Don’t use the same password for all your accounts and be sure to change your password occasionally for good measure.
3. Manage app permissions.
On your mobile phone, you can grant apps permissions, like access to the camera, microphone, your contacts, your location, your pictures, and more. Be sure to keep track of which permissions you’ve given to which apps, and revoke permissions that are not completely necessary.
4. Back up your data.
Things happen, but you can always be prepared. When you back up the data on business mobile phones, you are able to protect your important documents and images in case of any loss.
5. Ignore spam and phishing emails.
One of the easiest ways for hackers to access your information is through email. Be sure you don’t click on links in promotional emails, open suspicious attachments or run updates that are promoted through emails. If you need to access sensitive information, report directly to the organization’s website to login.
Connecting the dots with business mobile phones can be confusing, time consuming and costly. For a reliable business mobile phone provider in Houston, contact the experts at WesTec today.
Because computers are powerful tools that we are likely to use in our everyday business or personal lives, we want to be able to get the most out of them. Here are a few tips to help prevent the most common causes of a PC meltdown:
Keep it cool
Computers are complex electrical devices that hate to get overheated. The most common cause of overheating in your PC is dust accumulation inside the case, resulting in a slow-running, stopping and starting, and even a failed processor. To avoid overheating, locate and use your PC on a desk or other hard surface, as blankets or pillows block the cooling vents on the underside of the case.
Keep it secure
Passwords are important to keep malicious intrusion out of your wireless network, keep documents on your PC secure, and for use on internet sites where payments may be required. A strong password uses at least eight characters that combine upper and lower case letters, numerals, and punctuation marks. It is advised to avoid the use of personal information in your passwords and to not use the same password for every account you have.
Keep it backed up
Due either to your hard drive wearing out or due to software corruption, you may need to replace your PC or hard drive in the future. To preserve personal or business-related data, is it important to keep a current backup of it on a separate device (with an external hard drive) or with a Cloud-based service. If you don’t have a lot of data, flash drives will work well. Backups can be configured to occur automatically.
Whether you need backup disaster or recovery services, a network installation, or IT consulting, the experts at WesTec have you and your PC covered. For reliable IT managed services, give us a call today.