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Phishing Scams During the Holiday Season

What is Blockchain Technology?

The Benefits of Server Virtualization

Leasing vs. Financing IT Equipment

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

3 Small Business Tech Trends of 2021

What is 5G?

Last-Minute Spring Cleaning: Maintaining Your Business Technology

Quick Fixes to Common Tech Issues

PC vs. Mac: Which is the Right Option for Me?

Posts Tagged ‘it’

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

3 Small Business Tech Trends of 2021 - WesTec Services

3 Small Business Tech Trends of 2021

It’s hard to believe we are already halfway through 2021! It’s been a whirlwind year thus far, but we have seen many advancements in business technology. As remote work becomes the new normal, businesses everywhere have begun adopting new technology and software to make this transition easier. Here are a few small business tech trends that have proven to be revolutionary this year:

3 Small Business Tech Trends of 2021 - WesTec Services

AI-Operated CRMs

In 2021, small businesses everywhere are looking to streamline their work with CRM software. AI-operated CRMs (Customer Relationship Management) allow businesses to effectively identify, track, and target leads through automated campaigns. Businesses have found that CRMs are a more effective approach to their sales processes, as this software produces more personalized customer engagement.

 

Remote Onboarding

Since the pandemic, many industries are making the switch to remote work. As smooth and successful as this transition has been for some, remote work may become a more long-term option. Now, businesses are implementing remote onboarding software to simplify and expedite the hiring process. This new software is more convenient and cost-effective than traditional hiring processes.

3 Small Business Tech Trends of 2021 - WesTec Services

Centralized, Comprehensive HR Software

Remote work provides so much ease and convenience for employees and executives alike. However, with limited human-to-human contact, HR departments have had difficulty keeping up with the needs of their employees. With the introduction of centralized HR software, HR professionals can automate daily processes and store data. This software will also improve performance management and employee communication.

 

At WesTec Services, business technology is our specialty. From Managed Services and Network Installation to IT Consulting and more, we’re your one-stop shop. From computer hardware and software to telephone systems and integrated security, we’ll make it all work seamlessly together. 

Interested in learning more about the services we offer? Visit our website or contact WesTec Services today!

Want to stay up-to-date on emerging business technology trends? Visit our blog.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

What is 5G? - WesTec Services

What is 5G?

The world of technology is constantly evolving and presenting new ideas that promise ease, reliability, and productivity. 5G is one of these innovations and is not falling short of its promises. 

5G has revolutionized telecommunications as we know it. You’ve probably heard of 5G, but what is it and why do we need it? Here’s everything you need to know:

 

What is it?

5G is the fifth-generation mobile network that creates an Internet of Things (IoT) by connecting everything, including machines, objects, and devices. 5G boasts better data speeds, greater network capacity, and lower latency — ultimately creating an enhanced mobile broadband and improving user experience.

With these new, more reliable capabilities, this network has opened the door to new possibilities for industries across the board. For instance, 5G has made remote healthcare possible; this was especially groundbreaking for the healthcare industry in the midst of the recent global pandemic.

 

The Benefits  

The perceived benefits of 5G surpass those of its predecessors. With its ability to support a wide range of industries, we can expect to see massive economic growth. According to QualComm, it is projected that this network will enable a $13.1 trillion flow of goods and services by 2035. Additionally, with all the new, emerging applications, this network has the opportunity to create 22.8 million new jobs.

With lower latency, industries like agriculture, manufacturing, and logistics will experience less wait time before completing a data transfer — less wait time means increased productivity! Furthermore, with its enhanced network capacity, 5G enables businesses everywhere to scale their technology.

For gamers, the higher speeds and minimal lag will improve the gaming experience. We can also expect virtual reality and augmented reality applications to become more popular, as the improved connectivity will allow for a more immersive experience.

 

5G was introduced in late 2019, so its availability is still somewhat limited in the United States. Want to stay up-to-date on all things 5G? Visit our blog for updates as we receive them.

Interested in learning more about the services we offer? Visit our website or contact WesTec Services today!

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

Last-Minute Spring Cleaning: Maintaining Your Business Technology - Westec Services

Last-Minute Spring Cleaning: Maintaining Your Business Technology

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:

 

Business Technology MaintenanceDust 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.

 

Business Technology MaintenanceClear 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.

 

Install updates

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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Quick Fixes to Common Tech Issues - WesTec Services

Quick Fixes to Common Tech Issues

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:

 

Unresponsive applications

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!

Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn!

PC vs. Mac: Which is the Right Option for Me? - WesTec Services

PC vs. Mac: Which is the Right Option for Me?

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:

PC

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.

Mac

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!

Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter, 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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