Author Archives: Greg Chamblin, Sr

Internet Explorer 10 broke my favorite website!!

Nobody likes IE10.

Bank websites don’t work on it. News websites don’t work on it. Porn sites don’t work on it.

GOOD! We’re getting what we’ve been asking for from Microsoft forever. IE10 is the most secure browser ever released by Microsoft and is far more effective than it’s nearest competitor, Google Chrome. Firefox, Opera and Safari fall waaayyy back from there.ie10

NSS Labs, one of the world’s leading information security research and advisory companies, recently released a study showing that IE10 blocked 99.96% of malicious software from downloading. That means that only 4 of every 1000 malicious downloads got past IE10 vs 170 of every 1000 for Chrome. Safari and Firefox blocked around 10% and Opera a frightening 1.9%!

If your favorite/most needed website doesn’t work, why blame Microsoft? The IE10 development platform was released in April 2011. Companies have had over two years to work out any bugs. If they are committed to keeping your data secure, why haven’t they made their website compatable with the most secure browser on the market?

So, while sometimes the only choice you have to use your favorite website is to download Google Chrome, remember that you are instantly more vunerable to malicious downloads. It’s not our choice.

Client Spotlight – 5 Bean Coffee

5 Bean Coffee is the official remote office of PC Geeks!

5 Bean serves CrimsonCup Coffee and loose leaf tea. They offer free Wi-Fi all day, TV, and a convenient drive thru and a patio.  There is something for everyone!  The staff is super-friendly and has one goal in mind – to take care of YOU!

They have a great variety of hot, over ice and blended espresso based drinks.  With over 40 different syrups and sauces, they can mix up some fabulous, unique beverages.  Don’t do coffee?  They have frozen hot chocolate, iced teas, and 12 different loose leaf teas.  Hungry? They have Sammy’s bagels, muffins, cake pops from Fantasy Cupcake, home  made cookies and caramels.

Don’t forget they can CATER!  Pick up coffee and bagels for a morning meeting.

Meet us there. We’ll buy your first drink!

HOURS Stop in to see them Monday – Friday 6 a.m. – 8 p.m.,
Saturday 7:00 a.m. – 8 p.m., and Sunday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Tracy Heitmeyer
5 Bean Coffee
2087 A St. Rt. 256
Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068

BYOD – Let the party begin!!

byodBYOD? Don’t you mean BYOB? What the heck is BYOD?

BYOD is short for Bring Your Own Device. BYOD refers to the practice of employees or clients bringing their own computing devices – such as smartphones, laptops and tablets – to the workplace for use and connectivity on the corporate network.

OH! No big deal right?

Let’s put it this way…it doesn’t have to be a big deal. But, if you don’t adapt a BYOD policy for your employees and guests, it could be! Tablets and smartphones are capable of carrying and transmitting viruses and enabling unauthorized access to your network and data, just like any PC or laptop.

BYOD Security

BYOD security starts with the company establishing (and enforcing) a BYOD security policy that clearly states the company’s position so that they can better manage these devices and ensure network security is not compromised by employees using their own devices at work.

Setting up a ‘guest’ network can allow your employees and guests to access the Internet while keeping your corporate network secure. But, if you want to allow your employees to access corporate resources via their personal devices, your BYOD security must provide detailed security requirements for each type of personal device that is used in the workplace and connected to the corporate network. You should require devices to be configured with passwords, prohibit specific types of applications from being installed on the device or require all data on the device to be encrypted. Limiting what programs or apps are permissible or requiring an approved anti-virus be installed are also recommended.

For an interesting look at how BYOD is affecting the business world, check out this infographic –

We say – Join the party. It’s BYOD!
Just make sure you hold the keys.

Client Spotlight – Small Business Payroll Services

Small Business Payroll Services

Small Business Payroll Services

Having a company that takes care of all the frustrating things that go along with processing your company’s payroll – filing the paperwork, depositing the taxes, keeping up with the regulations – can be invaluable. And, having owners that put an exceptionally high value on quality, makes it even better.

Maria and Phil Reese started Small Business Payroll Services, LLC (SBPS, LLC) in 2002 and have been providing valuable payroll advice to small and medium size businesses since day one.  They assist the companies that drive this economy with every aspect of payroll processing, tackling the more challenging tasks such as administering BWC, solving complex IRS issues and facilitating audits in their office.  SBPS will be more than a payroll company to your business, you will be more than a number to them, they will develop a meaningful business partnership, removing payroll issues from your worries.

SBPS partners with businesses to provide payroll and payroll tax guidance, compliance and management solutions. SBPS prides itself on exemplary customer service and is dedicated to providing every partner with Professional, Personal and Reliable quality service.

We greatly appreciate all the work that SBPS does for us and are thrilled that they rely on PC Geeks to maintain and support the technology in their office.

Small Business Payroll Services, LLC (SBPS, LLC)
48 West Columbus Street
Pickerington, Ohio 43147

P@$$w0rd$ – Make ’em STRONG

Security starts with your password

Keeping your data secure can be a big job these days. The first thing (and one of the easiest) to do is to use passwords, change them regularly, and make them strong.

Your PC and, especially, your laptop should have a logon password. When you walk away from your PC, you should always ‘lock’ your PC. Click the ‘Windows key + L’ and your laptop will be automatically locked. You can also do the familiar ‘Alt/Ctrl/Del’ and then choose the ‘Lock this computer’. Doing this will require that your password be entered to gain access to your PC or laptop and your data.

Don’t make it easy on the bad guys

A recent article in Time Magazine referenced the 25 worst passwords of 2012. The vast majority of the passwords on this list were passwords that anybody would guess. A successive string of numbers (123456 or 987654) or a string of letters (abcdefg or qwerty.)

Other bad passwords include your name or your email address or your phone number. That information can be easily gathered from your business card or a listing on your website. Your birthday, pet names or home address may be harder to guess but, are still less than optimal.

Make your password STRONG

A good password is one that is difficult to guess. There are ways to make your password hard for even the best ‘hacking’ tools to figure out. Making your password STRONG (hard to guess) is a matter of being just a little creative.

      • Use CAPS – Most password algorithms recognize the difference between a capital letter and a lower case letter. A capital letter or a number thrown into a password is a good way to mix it up a bit. Even using a capital letter with your name (not the first letter!) adds a small degree of difficulty for the hacker – miKe is different than mIke and Mike!
      • Add a number – just putting a number in the password makes it harder to guess. Even if you use your name, a 6 at the beginning, end or in the middle will make it a bit more difficult.
      • Consider a symbol – Adding a symbol (Ex. – @#$!%^&*) can make it really hard on the human hacker and will slow down the hacking program. Watch out for substituting symbols that resemble the letters like the one I used in the title – P@$$w0rd. Hackers have caught on to that little trick…
      • Add one more character – with 26 letters, 10 numbers and 15 or so symbols, adding one more character to your password makes it exponentially harder to break.
      • Try a ‘pass phrase’ – using a phrase versus a word is one of the best ways to create a strong password that is easy to remember. ‘Ilivenear1234AnywhereDr’ has enough letters and characters in it to keep a hacker (human or machine) busy for a long time.

The bottom line is – security is up to you. Use passwords. Make ’em strong. Change them regularly.

Backing up your data is only the first step.

When we ask a potential client ‘Who is responsible for managing your backups?’, far too often a blank stare is all we get in return. Business owners know they need to backup their data and may have invested time and money in a backup product but, many times that’s where it stops.

IT research company, Baroudi Bloor International, found that over 90% of small businesses that had a catastrophic data loss (hard drive failure that resulted in unrecoverable data) are forced to close their doors within two years due to the expense and effort required to try to recreate the data or loss of business due to lost information. Having a backup of your data is a minimum.

The next level of protection is ‘Disaster Recovery’ (DR). Not only do you need to backup your critical files by those files need to get off-site, away from your PC or server. If, heaven forbid, you have a fire in your office and the backup drive is sitting right next to the server, then your backup was in vain.

A simple solution for providing a DR plan for your data is running your backups to an external hard drive that is taken off-site nightly or weekly. It’s recommended that two or three external drives are used in a rotation so that your most recent backups are never in the same location as your data.

Better yet, is an ‘Online Backup Solution’. Software (such as IBackup) is installed on the machine to be backed up. The software copies the data, over the Internet, to a storage device hosted by a backup service. It runs on a given schedule and the data is automatically off-site and safe from any disaster. For the busy business owner, this solution offers the ultimate in DR.

There are several factors to consider when choosing a backup solution but, we’ll hit those later.

Just get your data backed up!!!

Right now is a GREAT time to buy new technology

Increase Productivity

     If your PC or laptop is more than 3 or 4 years old you are missing out on a lot of potential time savings.

     Multi-core processors are the norm now and they make boot-up faster, your applications open faster, and those multi-taskers that have 27 apps open at the same time will notice a perkier machine.

    Solid-State hard drives (SSD) are radically different than they’re older counterparts. With no moving parts, they can reduce boot-up and application startup times by up to 50%. They’re a bit more expensive right now but, you’ll make it up by getting more done.

     With the introduction of Windows 7, 64-bit processing has hit full-tilt. Without getting too ‘geeky’, applications utilize and share system resources better and performance gets a big boost. 64-bit systems can handle more RAM, as well, which can cut more time from your work.

Uncle Sam wants YOU – to upgrade!

     The IRS has given businesses several incentives for upgrading their business equipment – including their PCs, laptops and servers.

    Businesses can write off up to $125,000 of qualifying equipment purchases in 2012. This is commonly known as the Section 179 deduction. Under current law the maximum Section 179 deduction will decrease to $25,000 in 2013.

    Businesses that have little or no profit in 2012 can still deduct the cost of new business equipment through bonus depreciation.  Unlike the Section 179 deduction, bonus depreciation can create or add to a business loss. However, bonus depreciation only applies to qualifying property purchased and put in service on or before December 31, 2012.

     Obviously, every business’ situation is different and we highly recommend you check with your accountant to make sure you can utilize these deductions.

Quality will save you money

     Businesses rely heavily on their technology. Downtime, due to equipment failure costs a lot more than the replacement of the hardware. Cheap systems will fail sooner.

    PC Geeks only sells the highest quality equipment. Our PCs and servers carry a full three year, parts and labor warranty, included! We resell only Lenovo brand laptops because they are consistently recognized as the top in quality and reliability in the industry.

    Contact us today so that we can help you get the most out of your technology!

Getting the most out of your technology.

The title above reflects the gist of what PC Geeks is all about.

We LOVE small business and small businesses need every edge they can find to, not only survive but, to grow and thrive. Technology can be a huge differentiator. We strive to help our clients use their technology to it’s fullest. And, today, it’s more than just PC’s and software.

There’s online backups, email marketing, and cloud computing. Cellular phones and tablets. Electronic documents and social media.

In future entries here, we will share some of that info with anyone who happens upon it. There will be tips and tricks for Microsoft Office and Windows. How to be more effective with your email marketing and social media. Cool new gadgets.

Some of this info will be basic for many. Some may be more geeky than most can handle. But, that’s our clients – some are newbies, some could be working for us! That’s what we love about them!

Check back soon.