Posts Tagged IT Support Phoenix

Tip of the Week: View Your Current Google Sessions for Optimal Security

b2ap3_thumbnail_google_sessions_400.jpgLogging into an account only to find out that you’ve been hacked can be a real hassle. If you’re wondering why and how this could have happened, you’re in luck; some accounts, like Google, record when and how the account is accessed, and finding out how is as easy as checking out your security settings. Here’s how you can see who is accessing your account, and how.

The first step is to sign into your Google account. Hopefully, whoever is tampering with your account hasn’t changed your password on you. Click the grid-like icon in the top right corner of the screen that appears right next to your account name. Click on My Account.

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This is the central location of all things related to the settings of your Google account. Click on Sign-in & security.

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Next, you can scroll down to the Device activity & notifications section, or select it in the table of contents that appears in the left sidebar. This will show you which devices were last used to access your account.

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Now, all you have to do is click on Review Devices. This selection shows you what’s going on in your account, including approximate locations for where your account was accessed, the browser they used, and the country. This powerful tool for your Google account security is very simple to use and can effectively help you keep strangers from causing too much trouble.

If you notice that there’s some unsavory activity going on, you should reset your password immediately and set up security notifications that inform you when a hacker or other malicious entity tries to sign into your account. The ability to review devices that are accessing your account gives you the chance to review your account’s security policies and take greater precautions against attacks.

Your Google account also has a ton of other great security features available, with some of the most important ones being two-step verification, recovery options, password resetting, and application settings. Take the time to go through each of these options and optimize your security settings to mitigate the possibility of any future hacking activity.

For more tips on how to keep your online accounts secure, subscribe to Total Networks’s blog.

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Uber Used Technology to Break the Mold, Can Your Business?

b2ap3_thumbnail_what_about_uber_400.jpgAt a September tradeshow event, Travis Kalanick, cofounder and CEO of Uber, said five words in an interview that made everyone give pause to the potential for technology to shape our world for the better, “Every car should be Uber.”

In case you’re unfamiliar with Uber (it’s not yet available in every city), Uber is a technologies company which provides services for taxis and for-hire vehicles by allowing passengers to request trips to the closest for-hire Uber driver, through its mobile app. What makes the ride-hailing app unique is that it can turn anyone with a car and a smartphone into an Uber driver, allowing them to easily make extra income on the side by providing rides to Uber users. Plus, all transactions are handled via the app so that drivers don’t have to risk carrying cash.

Founded in 2009, the popularity of Uber has skyrocketed. Uber rapidly expanded to international markets beginning in 2012, and the company is currently valued at $50 billion. It should also be noted that Uber was honored by USA Today as “Tech Company of the Year” for 2013.

Looking back at Kalanick’s “Uber everywhere” comment, it’s not surprising that a CEO tasked with expanding a popular company would say such a thing. While a taxi/transportation service isn’t anything new, Uber’s adoption of new technology is what makes them stand out. Instead of thinking about ease-of-use and integration with mobile technology as an afterthought, Uber puts that first. Businesses that focus on consumers often sacrifice being cutting-edge so they can stick with what has always worked. Kalanick proves that it pays to think outside the norm.

Essentially, what he is proposing is a future where transportation becomes so commonplace and accessible, that hitching a ride with Uber will make more fiscal sense and be more convenient than owning a car. Kalanick explains:

If every car in San Francisco was Ubered there would be no traffic. If everyone in the city took an Uber instead, it would give back an hour of time every day to every person. What would you do with that time? You could give it back to your family.

It just so happens that Uber is headquartered in San Francisco, and it’s also the case that San Francisco is one of the worst cities in the U.S. in terms of how much time commuters lose per year due to being stuck in traffic–78 hours per year, according to a recent traffic study by Texas A&M University. Following Kalanick’s logic: more Uber cars on the road will equate to more people using the service, which means more people opting out of car ownership altogether, and that means less cars on the road and less traffic jams.

Uber has gone so far as to implement new technologies in order to make their ride-sharing service more efficient. Otherwise, an increased amount of Uber drivers would be sitting in their cars competing with each other while not having enough customers to give rides to. InformationWeek explains how this will work:

How does Uber plan to reduce the cost of transportation? Mostly by predicting demand. The cost of transportation comes in the downtime. If a driver has to spend 15 minutes traveling to pick up a fare, that’s 15 minutes the driver isn’t making any money. Uber is investing in predicting demand so it can move drivers to points of demand before that demand even occurs. He described heat maps for drivers that allowed them to move to areas of high demand so cars could “[take] the heat out of the area.”

Therefore, as driver downtime is minimized, the fares will decrease along with it. Truly, it’s a bold vision of the future that has the potential to change things for the better–assuming that Uber is profitable enough that being an Uber driver will offset the insurance and wear-and-tear put on one’s car.

Uber is utilizing technology in an attempt to change the way people travel, to eliminate unnecessary costs and expenditures, and to make day-to-day travel more efficient. Similarly, technology can help your business stand out from your competitors and “defy the norm,” so to speak. The latest technology helps your business innovate and provide more valuable services to your clients. If you’re ready to take advantage of modern technology solutions that can thrust your business to the forefront of your industry, give Total Networks a call at (602)412-5025 and ask about our managed IT services.

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Tip of the Week: 3 IT Tips Your Budget Will Thank You For

b2ap3_thumbnail_three_services_400.jpgStaying on top of your company’s budget is a key component to increasing your revenue. By failing to do so, major expenses will blindside you and cancel out any progress that might have otherwise been made from increased sales. For many companies, one of the worst budget busters comes from their IT.

IT expenses have a tendency to wreak havoc on a budget when they’re not planned for, especially when something major happens like a server going down. Plus, IT problems seem to happen at the worst possible time, like in the middle of the day, which leads to expensive downtime for your staff. One of the best ways to get a grip on unforeseen IT expenses is to implement technologies and IT services that are intentionally designed to aid your company’s budget.

Here are three IT solutions that will help you get a handle on your company’s budget, AND improve productivity. Basically, these technologies are a win-win for your business:

Managed IT Services/Co-Managed IT
The advantage of managed IT services is that it takes a highly unpredictable expense (like IT maintenance) and turns it into something that can be budgeted around with a regular fee. Additionally, because managed IT takes a proactive approach to IT maintenance, your system will experience far fewer breakdowns than if you only took care of IT problems whenever they surfaced (an expensive approach known as break-fix).

Managed IT allows you to budget around maintenance for your company’s IT systems, as well as these other IT services:

  • Remote hardware monitoring and management
  • Network security
  • Helpdesk support
  • Data backup and recovery
  • Vendor management
  • Business technology reviews and consulting

As a bonus, with managed IT you’re getting professional IT technicians to monitor your systems, instead of simply bringing in a break-fix technician whenever something goes wrong. Obviously, managed IT is the better way, which makes it so astounding that it actually costs less than traditional IT support!

Cloud Computing
Why withdraw precious capital from your budget to purchase and maintain in-house computer hardware when you can instead host your data and applications in the cloud? Essentially, the more of your IT infrastructure that you migrate to the cloud, equates to more savings for your company’s operations budget (an expense that can be budgeted around). Plus, many business owners that have moved to the cloud have found that cloud services actually allow them to do more with their IT by allowing their entire staff to easily access it from anywhere with an Internet connection. The cloud is a classic example of how utilizing the right technology can let you do more, for less!

Voice Over Internet Protocol
Another easy way to bolster your budget is to switch to VoIP. If your business is using traditional phone lines and paying for long distance fees, then you’re using an outdated technology that’s draining your budget. VoIP takes a modern approach to communications by using your company’s Internet connection and network infrastructure to make phone calls, as well as provide other tools like instant messaging, video conferencing, and much more. Plus, like with the previous two examples, your company’s VoIP solution can be managed and hosted by Total Networks so that you don’t have to be bothered with it. This will save you time and money, allowing you to focus more of your company’s energy and resources on more profitable ventures.

Total Networks can set up your business with all three of these money-saving IT solutions. Contact us at (602)412-5025 to find out how you can do more with your technology, AND save money. Once your company’s budget is under control, your revenue will actually end up going where you want it to–your bottom line!

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