Trends and Tips for 2016
We hope your 2016 is going well! We noticed a trend or two last year that we want to share with you in this issue. Remember to contact us if you have any questions about your phone or IT system.
Biggest trend of 2015? Cyber attacks are up.
Unfortunately, we saw an increase in computer cyber threats in 2015. In fact, one of the world’s leading sources for threat research and intelligence reported in November that 327 new threats occur every minute. And every hour, more than 7.4 million attempts are made (via emails, browser searches, etc.) to entice computer users to connect to risky URLs.
Ransomware was more prevalent than ever before in 2015. This form of malware takes your data hostage until you pay a monetary ransom, and attacks are expected to continue to increase. Here’s how you can protect your business and home computers:
• If you receive a Word, PDF or .ZIP file from someone you know who doesn’t normally send you attachments, DON’T OPEN IT. Be cautious. Opening an attachment – even one that appears to come from a trusted source – could put you in peril.
• If you get a message on your PC that your files have been encrypted, unplug it from the network or disconnect from your wireless network ASAP. Ransomware programs generally encrypt the data on local PCs and then attempt to do the same to network data.
• Back up nightly. If you do fall victim to ransomware, having a current backup is the key to recovery without going through the costly and time-consuming process of paying the ransom.
Adding new equipment or upgrading? Here are 3 additional pieces of advice for 2016:
#1) Windows 10 rocks, but be aware.
If you’re purchasing a new PC for your business, go ahead and get Windows 10 Pro. It has all the features of Windows 10 Home, plus important business functionality for encryption, remote login, creating virtual machines and more.
NOTE: While upgrading to Windows 10 is free until July 29, 2016, the process often does not go smoothly. This leads us to Tip #2. See below!
#2) Still have Windows 7 or Windows 8? Keep it.
Just in case you experience problems with the Windows 10 upgrade. (We’ve heard about a few issues from some of our customers who’ve chosen to perform their own upgrades. Instances of existing programs not always working and problems with printing have also been reported.) Remember, we’re here for you. Give us a call if you need help!
#3) New purchase? Choose SSD.
If you’re purchasing a new desktop or laptop, make sure the hard drive is a Solid State Drive (SSD). These drives are much faster than legacy mechanical drives, use less energy, and will extend the life of your new machine.
As always, if you have a question or concern, give us a call at (804) 918-7815 or send us an email. We’re standing by, ready to help.