Latest blog entries | West Virginia | Netranom https://www.netranom.com/blog Sun, 20 Aug 2017 22:16:09 -0400 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Is Your In-House Email Server Worth It? Probably Not https://www.netranom.com/blog/is-your-in-house-email-server-worth-it-probably-not https://www.netranom.com/blog/is-your-in-house-email-server-worth-it-probably-not

If you’re like most businesses, you almost certainly rely on email on a daily basis. However, if your email is hosted on an in-house server, you are becoming less like many businesses, as they are moving their solutions to the cloud. Here’s why you should follow suit and make the switch yourself.

There Are Less Expensive Alternatives
If you’re like most businesses, your exchange server is likely one of your older pieces of hardware. As such, it will be more expensive to run and maintain -- and not only is an in-house server a more expensive option, it is an outdated one. Cloud services provided by Microsoft, Google, and others can complete many of your necessary tasks.

Control Is Decreasing as a Factor
While an in-house server is still the choice that provides the user with a greater level of control, that will no longer be the case before long. In fact, cloud-hosted solutions are able to be more customized than ever--and are protected against issues that may arise in your physical location, like a power outage or fire. Can your in-house email server say the same?

Plus, when you host your email in the cloud, it automatically has protections against threats, like viruses and malware. Email is still a critical tool for many offices, which means that it needs to be isolated from issues that affect the rest of the organization in question.

You’ll Have Less On-Premise Infrastructure to Deal With
You rely on your infrastructure for your business to function. Each piece has a job to do, and progress halts if that job goes undone. When your infrastructure--including your email server--encounters an issue, your priority becomes resolving that issue. As a result, many other responsibilities may fall by the wayside.

However, a cloud-hosted infrastructure allows you to remove much of your in-house components, including your email server. This means that you will have less in-house to cause an issue, and what you have left will be easier to maintain.

Netranom can help you with your email server needs. Reach out to us at (304) 562-4700 to get started.

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aanderson@netranom.com (Aaron Anderson) Cloud Fri, 18 Aug 2017 08:30:04 -0400
Tip of the Week: Four Microsoft Word Tricks You Didn’t Know You Missed https://www.netranom.com/blog/tip-of-the-week-four-microsoft-word-tricks-you-didn-t-know-you-missed https://www.netranom.com/blog/tip-of-the-week-four-microsoft-word-tricks-you-didn-t-know-you-missed

Microsoft Word is more or less synonymous with word processing, but with the right tricks, you can do so much more. For this week’s tip, we’ll go over four neat and useful capabilities that Microsoft Word has.

Generate Dummy Text
For those responsible for making sure a document will look the way it’s supposed to, some basic dummy text can be a very useful thing. Rather than forcing you to search online for some to copy and paste in, Microsoft Word allows you to generate some as needed. All you have to do is type =rand(#) (replace # with the number of paragraphs you want) and press Enter, and your document is suddenly filled with text for you to experiment with. This is useful for creating formatted documents and testing the appearance of fonts.

Quick Bullets
If you need to add a bulleted list to your document, you don’t need to scan the toolbar for the button to do so. Instead, by just typing in an asterisk (*) followed by a space, and then the text you want bulleted, Microsoft Word will add the bulleted formatting in for you. By replacing the asterisk with a hyphen, you can make a quick dashed list as well, or use numbers for a numbered list.

Selecting a Single Sentence
Anyone who has used a mouse to select a sentence by clicking and dragging over their selection has likely found it to be inaccurate at best. However, Microsoft Word provides a shortcut that makes this process much faster, and again, more accurate. Press the Ctrl key and click a word in the sentence you’re selecting. This will select that sentence and that sentence alone, letting you move it, delete it, or do as you like. You can even quick copy the sentence if you click and drag it before releasing Ctrl. Want to select a whole paragraph? Just click on a word in that paragraph 3 times in a row.

Quick Tables
Sometimes you need a table in your Word document, but don’t have the time to access Excel and build one out there. However, Microsoft Word provides a quick and easy way to create a table. Pressing +, followed by a quick press of the Tab button, followed by another + and another Tab, and so on, will create an empty table when you press Enter after inputting a final + sign.

What are your favorite tips for Microsoft Word? Share some of your tricks in the comments, and be sure to subscribe for more handy IT timesavers!

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aanderson@netranom.com (Aaron Anderson) How To Wed, 16 Aug 2017 08:30:47 -0400
Google Will No Longer Display Results As You Type--Here’s Why https://www.netranom.com/blog/google-will-no-longer-display-results-as-your-type-heres-why https://www.netranom.com/blog/google-will-no-longer-display-results-as-your-type-heres-why

If you hadn’t yet noticed, there’s been a change made to the Google search engine that will influence how search results are presented to users. Google’s ‘Instant’ feature, introduced in 2010, is no more.

Instant was what would cause results to begin appearing the moment you started to type a query into the search engine’s homepage. This function was different than the search suggestions that users see in a drop-down as they type their search, which will continue to appear.

The elimination of Google Instant is the result of an effort by Google to focus more strongly on how people are searching, given the variety of devices that may now be used. Google’s statement reads:

“We launched Google Instant back in 2010 with the goal to provide users with the information they need as quickly as possible, even as they typed their searches on desktop devices. Since then, many more of our searches happen on mobile, with very different input and interaction and screen constraints.”

In other words, so many people have transitioned from using Google on a desktop to using Google on a mobile device that it is no longer practical for Google to continue supporting Instant. That, combined with the tendency for many to use their browser’s address bar to initiate a search (which Instant wasn’t compatible with), reduced the efficacy of the feature to the point that it wasn’t worth maintaining.

This only shows that all businesses, even those as large as Google, need to adapt their business strategy to suit their customers. Otherwise, they will find an alternative that meets their needs better.

So, what do you think about Google Instant going away? Do you anticipate that its loss will impact your browsing habits? Tell us what you think in the comments, and make sure you subscribe to our blog!

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aanderson@netranom.com (Aaron Anderson) Technology Mon, 14 Aug 2017 08:30:56 -0400
Your Computer's Infected... What Do You Do Next? https://www.netranom.com/blog/your-computers-infected-what-do-you-do-next https://www.netranom.com/blog/your-computers-infected-what-do-you-do-next

It’s one of the most commonly-known computer issues: infection. There are plenty of threats out there that could potentially take hold of your PC. The question is, do you know how to proceed if one does? This blog will go into just that.

But first, some terms may need to be clarified: virus and malware. In reality, a virus is just one of the many forms of malware, which also covers spyware, Trojans, adware, and many other varieties of computer threats. However, the term “antivirus” is so well-known due to some awareness-based marketing, software systems that protect against other forms of malware are still given this title.

Now that the terminology of virus/malware has been covered, it is important to know how to remove these threats from your system.

First, at bare minimum, you should call in an MSP, like Netranom, to oversee the process. Observation by a professional will help you to avoid making a mistake that only makes the situation worse. Better yet, you should entrust Netranom to handle the monitoring and maintenance of your systems, so they will take care of issues such as these. In fact, these issues can often be avoided in the first place.

Netranom will remotely access your PC and take the steps necessary to remove the malware. Removing temporary files will help the scan progress faster, and might even remove some hidden malware in the process. Once your systems have been scanned and the infected files have been cleaned out, your web browser and your operating system may need to be repaired or reinstalled. This is one reason that it is so important to keep a backup, so any local files won’t be lost with the OS reinstall.

Once your system is cleaned out and restored, Netranom will make sure that programs designed to protect against malware are installed. All of your programs should be kept up-to-date, in order to make sure they are as protected as possible against attack from viruses or other malwares. We can even provide enterprise-level antivirus that we will monitor for updates and maintain to ensure your business has optimal security.

It is also a good idea to change the passwords to any of your online accounts, as the malware may have recorded them. Once the infection has been removed, make sure your staff knows how to identify the risk factors that indicate when they may be infected.

Let us know how we can help protect your business against malware by calling (304) 562-4700.

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aanderson@netranom.com (Aaron Anderson) Security Fri, 11 Aug 2017 08:30:28 -0400
Tip of the Week: Lock Your Computer By Simply Walking Away With Dynamic Lock https://www.netranom.com/blog/tip-of-the-week-lock-your-computer-by-simply-walking-away-with-dynamic-lock https://www.netranom.com/blog/tip-of-the-week-lock-your-computer-by-simply-walking-away-with-dynamic-lock

Security best practices demand that a workstation should never be left unlocked. However, it can be really tempting to leave it unlocked if you only plan on stepping away for a moment--but unfortunately, that moment can easily turn into many if you are distracted from your task. Fortunately, there is now a fix that relies on the one device most of us are never without: our phones.

If your computer has the Windows 10 Creators Update in place, you can connect your phone to your PC via Bluetooth so that the PC will automatically lock if the two devices are separated. This is accomplished with the help of a piconet, a short-range radio-wave network that Bluetooth devices use to function. Depending on the strength of the piconet, the devices can remain connected while further and further apart from each other.

The Creators Update allows you to create a piconet between your desktop and your phone, which keeps the Dynamic Lock from activating. However, if the phone is taken out of the piconet’s range, Dynamic Lock will lock the computer, protecting it from unauthorized users using it to access the network.

However, it must be said that Dynamic Lock is not instantaneous. First, your device has to be out of range, and secondly, the computer has to register the fact that the connection has been lost before Dynamic Lock will take affect. Regardless, activating Dynamic Lock is more secure than leaving a workstation unlocked indefinitely.

How to Set Dynamic Lock
Pairing your phone to your PC is a fairly simple process, but you should be sure to confirm the configuration with your IT department before activating Dynamic Lock.

If IT has approved the use of the Dynamic Lock feature, here is how it can be set up.

With Bluetooth enabled on the mobile device you want paired, open Settings and access Bluetooth & Other Devices. Make sure that Bluetooth is set to on. Click Add Bluetooth or Other Device, and a dialog box Add a device will open.

Once it does, select Bluetooth. Once you do, Windows will take a few moments to locate your device. Once it does, you will be prompted to confirm that the codes displayed on both your computer and your mobile device match. Once you click Done, you will be taken back to the Bluetooth & Other Devices page in Settings, where you should see your device displayed.

Now, select Home, navigate to Accounts, and select Sign-In Options. Find Dynamic Lock and make sure the box labelled Allow Windows To Detect When You're Away And Automatically Lock The Device is checked. Restart to ensure the settings are saved, and Dynamic Lock should be enabled and linked to your mobile device.

Your device should now automatically lock your workstation if brought too far out of range.

For more tips, be sure to subscribe to our blog!

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aanderson@netranom.com (Aaron Anderson) Security Wed, 09 Aug 2017 08:30:27 -0400