5 Ways to Stay Secure Online

Tech Quick Tips by Interactive Solutions, LLC

 1. Hook up to a network that you know.

Free Wi-Fi is tempting, but be sure that you consider who is providing the connection. Public connections at the local coffee shop are usually unsecured and leave your machine open to outsiders. While these networks provide a convenience, there are risks to be aware of.

 

2. Bank and shop with caution.

Shopping from familiar websites is a good place to start. Stick with the reputable sites that are tried and true – like Amazon or eBay. Also, when checking out and finalizing the purchase, look for the ‘padlock’ symbol or the abbreviation ‘https’ in the address bar at the top of your browser. This will ensure that you are on a secure, encrypted part of this webpage. Keeping an eye on your bank statements for suspicious activity is always a good idea, among these other best practices for shopping online.

 

 

3. Use secure passwords.

Passwords for logging into any website should contain a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters – as well as be different for each website that you log into. It can definitely be a pain to remember all of these passwords, but ask yourself which is more of a pain – remembering these, or recovering stolen personal information.

 

 

4. Lock Your Computer.

When you walk away from your machine, lock it. In Windows, it is as easy as pressing the Windows key + L. On an Apple Mac, pressing “Control+Shift+Eject” will do the trick (unless you do not have an optical drive, then you can hit the “Power” key instead of “Eject”). This practice would be the equivalent to deadbolting the front door of your home. It acts as a deterrent to the bad guys as well as a line of defense. It may even be worth setting up a password lock on your Apple or Windows machine as well.

 

5. Do not click on anything unfamiliar.If an offer is too good to be true, it probably is. If you get an email from an unknown source, do not click any of the links within it – and immediately report it to your IT Team. If a window pops up while browsing a website, immediately close it. Familiarity is always your friend. Using your judgment and trusting your gut is the ultimate defense when online. Always play it safe!

 

Managed IT Services

Managed Services (IT)

The buzz word “Managed Services” has become a common description for many services in information technology. Before managed services, most technology and IT providers delivered their services under a couple of different options; mostly, defined around how you might have paid for the services. Hourly charges or blocks of time were two of the most popular and still might be what is commonly called “Break Fix” providers.

“Break Fix”, is a term used to describe how services are provided under an hourly or sometimes blocks of time setup. Quite simply, when something breaks, you call your provider and they fix it (hopefully). Break-Fix leaves little room for proactive or preventative types of service.

IT needs preventative maintenance, least of which is the countless updates, security patches, and changes made on at least a monthly basis and sometimes even daily or hourly. IT needs monitoring to ensure items are addressed (before if possible) they become BIG issues or cause downtime. Downtime is no fun for anyone and can cost your business lots of money in lost productivity, lost customers, and a damaged business reputation. The mindset of both the customer and service provider change with a managed service arrangement. The service provider wants to do everything possible to protect and prevent downtime or unexpected issues from popping up, and so does the customer. The service provider has the ability to work proactively without receiving monetary approval each time they need to work on an issue. All in all, it is much more productive for both parties.

Most managed services companies provide a core service that centers around a flat fee based on the number of devices (desktops, servers, laptops, mobile devices, printers, etc.). Based on the number, complexity, and serviceability of the devices a managed service provider in many ways acts as a type of insurance provider. The insurance portion can best be described as a partnership.

The partnership is based on the customer relationship that both the customer and the managed service provider want the same thing: customer up time, productivity, and the customer’s business to succeed. The way the service is setup is fundamentally different, with managed services having the advantage of a more effective outcome for both the customer and service provider.

Some managed service providers include services bundled together to bring the best services and solutions for the customer. Common equipment that can go without updates or attention can become the greatest risk for a business. Providing monitoring and proactive services with unlimited support to customers allows them to focus their efforts on the business instead of being lost in the weeds of technology.

Having the same goals and objectives enables the managed service provider to focus on reducing downtime, increasing productivity, and helping the customer succeed. It can be quite the reverse of the Break-Fix model.  Also, customers become a higher priority to service providers and receive preferential treatment over one time break fix calls from customers that might not call for a while.

Interactive Solutions, LLC is located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and exclusively provides managed services due to its many benefits and change of mentality for both the customer and service provider. We want to be your managed service partner. Please click here to find out more about our services.

 

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