This Small Business Intruder Is Stealing Your Money And Ruining The Environment

save money on ITSpam. Everyone knows what a pain it is but few truly understand the costly impact it has on their business and the environment. The average employee spends up to15 minutes per day cleaning out the e-mails on Viagra; if you have 25 employees earning an average of $45K per year, that means you are paying them approximately $2,200 per month to press the delete key.

According to Ferris Research, spam cost businesses more than $30 billion dollars last year in lost productivity, IT costs, and spam control software—that’s more than $4.48 for every man, woman, and child on the planet!

To top it off, spam also has an environmental impact. The “Yale Environment 360” report cited that transmitting, deleting, and reading spam wasted enough electricity to power 2.4 million American homes and created greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 3.1 million cars. The majority of the electricity used (80%) was from sifting through and deleting junk mail.

3 Ways To Stop The Spam Invasion!

Check out these 3 ways you can reduce this costly and time-sucking e-mail pest from hindering your company’s productivity.

1) Don’t Respond To Or Opt Out Of Spam E-mails

Don’t assume these are legitimate communications! If you try and opt out of these lists, you are basically verifying your e-mail address to the spammers, ensuring even MORE junk e-mail than before. And you certainly don’t want to respond; that will make you an even bigger target!

2) Use Your Junk Mail Folder

Microsoft Outlook  will automatically separate spam into your junk mail folder so you can spend less time sorting through your inbox. It also reduces your chances of opening a malicious junk message which may contain a virus or worm.  The downside of this folder: you might have to periodically check it to make sure no “good” messages are sitting in there.

3) Get A GOOD Spam Filter

Whether the spam filter you choose is a hardware appliance, software you install locally on your network, or a third-party spam filter that cleans and captures messages before they arrive on your network, having one is important. Over time, you can “train” these filters to know which messages to block and which to keep.

The Absolute Best Spam Filter

After looking at dozens of spam filters, we’ve discovered one that is by far the best there is. Not only will it rid your inbox of those annoying, time-consuming, unsolicited junk messages finally and forever, but it also prevents loss of email even if your server crashes or your Internet connection goes down.  Our spam solution is easy to use, simple to set up and is guaranteed to reduce your spam by 96% – or your money back.

Call or e-mail us now to get started:  314-414-8400 or info@cioservicesllc.com.

 

Fresh-Picked Gadget the Z3 Compact

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The Z3 Compact is a premium phone that returns to a more palm-friendly size, with a 4.6-inch display. Its battery  lasts two days with average use, runs the latest version of Android, and it’s water-resistant .

Want to see these gadgets in real life? Come visit our “gadget grove” of tech toys you can try out yourself.

 

Windows Server 2003: RIP 2015

In 2014, Microsoft ended support for Windows XP. In 2015, Windows Server 2003 is on the chopping block. Are you ready? Support ends July 14, 2015, which means you need to start planning your transition now.

Why It Matters

Your first question may be, “why does this matter?” If you have an old server running, and it’s completely stable, why mess with it, right? Aside from the obvious – no support – a key reason to upgrade is security.

We’ve had wave after wave of major security exploits this year. In many cases these exploits targeted older technology that was seemingly secure – for example, the HeartBleed bug. If new exploits come out that impact Windows Server 2003, there will be no patch. You will be vulnerable, which means you will be scrambling to upgrade on an emergency basis. If you get hit with a virus that exposes customer information, it could be a public relations nightmare.

Even if your own server doesn’t get hit, performing a server upgrade under those circumstances isn’t likely to go well. Bear in mind that software designed to run on Windows Server 2003 isn’t likely to play nicely with Windows Server 2012 (the current version). That means you’ll have to upgrade your software at the same time you upgrade your server.

A related issue is regulatory compliance. Most regulated industries, like medical or financial, require you to run on supported software. After July 14, 2015, you will be out of compliance and could be subject to penalties.

Your Options

The most obvious solution is to upgrade your server to a newer version. 2012 is the latest, although you can still get the 2008 version through Microsoft’s Volume Licensing Program.

However, you shouldn’t automatically assume a new server is the way to go. If you are running a software applications on an old server, check with your vendor to see if they have a hosted “cloud” version. If they do, consider migrating your software there. Then you can retire the server instead of replacing it.

If it’s running email and sharing files, check out cloud services like Office365 (from Microsoft). You’ll need a fast and reliable internet connection, but this is another case where you may be able to migrate to the cloud instead of replacing an old server.

There is one last option: you can pay Microsoft an exorbitant fee for ongoing support, but it is unbelievably expensive and intended only for large corporations.

If You Upgrade

If you decide to replace your Windows 2003 Server, where do you start? How do you plan?

First, inventory all software applications running on your old servers, so you know what you have to move. For each one, contact the vendor. Find out what has to be upgraded and how to handle migration. Renew your support contracts and be prepared to spend extra for upgrades. Don’t forget to check out training. New versions will likely be more intuitive and more efficient, but your team will need help if the latest version of the software looks completely different from what they use today.

Your worst case situation will be if you have old, custom software, or anything that cannot be upgraded to a new version. If you run into this, consider switching to a new software application that does the same function. It is terribly risky and expensive to keep running on old unsupported software versions, especially when it’s critical to business operations.

Next, check your hardware. If your server is more than four years old, you should upgrade to improve performance and reliability. In most cases it makes sense to virtualize your servers. This means that you use a tool like VMWare or Hyper-V that allows you to install multiple “virtual” servers on one physical server. It’s much like buying a building and having several tenants share the space and resources.

Finally, check your Microsoft software licenses. If you already have some newer servers, it’s possible you are already covered. In a virtual environment, there are a few exceptions but generally one Windows Server license can be used for two virtual servers. If not, you will need a Windows Server 2012 license. You will also need the appropriate number of CALs (client access licenses) which are dependent on the number of users or devices on your network. This is a one-time purchase that applies to the environment overall, so if you add more servers in the future you don’t need more CALs. You only add CALs when you add users or devices. If you are running Microsoft SQL Server, you’ll need to upgrade that as well.

At this point you know what you are migrating, but you still need to create a step-by-step plan. You can set up the new server in advance, but any software migrations will need to be carefully coordinated. Bring in the expertise you need to ensure a smooth transition; otherwise you could experience significant disruption to your business.

If You Move to the Cloud

If you are able to migrate your software to cloud applications, enlist your vendor early on to create a migration plan. The cloud version of your software may have different features that need to be configured, and your team may need training. There will be a data conversion step, where they take your data from the current system and move it into the online version. You’ll normally do this first in a test environment, to make sure it all works. Then you’ll pick a date for the actual migration. This could take an hour or a few days – it just depends on the complexity of your software.

Final Steps

Whether you upgrade or move to the cloud, there’s one last step: retiring your old servers. Turn them off, but keep them around for just a few months. Better safe than sorry – you may find something you missed. After that, have the data on the hard drives destroyed and turn them in for recycling. And enjoy your new applications and the efficiency they bring!

Juicy Read: First, Break All the Rules

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First, Break All the Rules

By Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman

This book encourages managers to personalize and break away from traditional, one-size-fits-all leadership techniques. One of many takeaways: the best managers are “revolutionaries” who cast the right people for the right roles and then leave them to do their best work.

 

 

 

Happy Holidays!

wendyheadshot2cropHappy Holidays from all of us at CIO Services! We have had a fun filled year with many reasons to celebrate. Here are a few of my 2014 highlights.

Rachel and I visited Nashville a couple times to meet with our Technology Mastermind Group. We have been working hard to implement a business system called traction with the help of our group and can’t wait to see how it takes hold in the new year! We have hired a couple new team members and are still looking for an ‘A’ player or two to expand our team.

Despite all the hard work, we still found time to play. We have celebrated birthdays and anniversaries as usual, with streamers, balloons, and plenty of goodies. We made it out for many company happy hours and events, and we had a wonderful time supporting our client the USO at their benefit concert ‘Red, Rock and Blue.’ And four of our techs survived the USO Mudrun this year, a grueling 5K cross country mud race to benefit our troops.

We added a few games to our Xbox 360 with Kinect library, our little way of getting away from our desks to move and distress so we can be more productive. Stop by and we’ll get you playing too!

Outside of work, I have decided to take up new hobbies and go on a few adventures this year, to face fears and expand my comfort zone. I have zip lined on a tree top adventure obstacle course, taken up pottery, started scuba diving again and even walked on fire!

This year was all about igniting old passions, doing more of what I love and trying new things…even if they scare me a little. And I am so grateful for each and every adventure!

What have you done or overcome this year that you are grateful for?

I wish you a happy holiday season and a new year filled with lots of joy, fun and reasons to celebrate and feel grateful!

Thank you for your business and continued support…we couldn’t have done it without YOU! Happy holidays!!

wendysig

 

Your Company’s Hidden Security Weakness: Your Home Wireless Network

Work From Home Free ReportAs a business owner who also spends time working from home, do you make assumptions about your home’s wireless network security?

Between your home and business, chances are your home wireless security is lacking. This can prove to be a serious liability.

WiFi security at home tends to be more lax. It isn’t something business owners worry about. You feel safe at home and you might assume since your business’s network is locked down tight, your data is secure. When an intruder wants to access your business’s proprietary information, they’re going to search for the easiest point of entry.

That is often the home. Intruders are looking for information they can profit from, including financial and identity-related documents. The fact is, there are people who roam around searching for unprotected or poorly protected wireless access.

Never assume your data—personal or business—isn’t accessible.

You may inadvertently share critical data without realizing it. You may share files among colleagues and employees and simply forget to turn off sharing permissions. You may place documents and files in a publicly accessible folder. Data-sharing is convenient when you need it, but a liability when it’s readily accessible.

What can you do to protect yourself and your company assets?

  • Be aware of when you’re sharing data. If you have any files in a public folder, move them to a more secure location.
  • Use a strong password for all your wireless networks. A string of letters, numbers and symbols about 14 characters long is ideal.
  • Use WPA2 security. Make sure your router is set up correctly. If you are using WEP or WPA security, change it as soon as possible.
  • Change your network’s name (SSID). Routers include a default name, and keeping the default tells potential intruders lax security measures may be in place.

And ask yourself how protected your network—and your data—really is.

Want more info? Call us or check out our free report:

http://www.cioservicesllc.com/report/

 

 

 

 

 

Fresh-Picked Gadget: Pebble Steel

pebble

Pebble Steel, a smart watch, displays e-mail, text messages, caller ID and other notifications from your favorite apps, reading them straight from your smart phone.

Want to see these gadgets in real life? Come visit our “gadget grove” of tech toys you can try out yourself.