August 2014

August 2014

Trivia Contest
Who Else Wants To Win A $50 Gift Card?

Last month’s Trivia Challenge Quiz was: During which year did Congress pass a bill to make July 4th an official holiday? The correct answer was b) 1870.

Now, here’s this month’s trivia question. The winner will receive a $50 Gift Card.

Through what part of the body do dogs sweat?
A) Mouth B) Ears C) Nose D) Paws

E-mail Us Right Now With Your Answer!

*Trivia winners are eligible to win again after 90 days of previous win.

Could The Dog Days Of Summer Be A Threat To Your Business?

How To Ensure The Heat Doesn’t Fry Your Server (And Your Profits!)

With the “dog days” of summer upon us, most business owners are looking for ways to keep their company’s sales and profits HOT, while keeping their IT expenses COOL. But if proper attention is not given to your server and network equipment during the summer, all that heat outside can actually bring your company’s growth to a grinding halt and increase your IT expenses significantly.
Excess heat can be a big problem for your business servers, since a server that becomes overheated usually costs more in energy, fails more often and is more likely to crash. For most companies, a server crash can mean hours or days of downtime, unproductive employees, HUGE amounts of stress and thousands of dollars in lost opportunity.

“7 Steps Every Business Owner Must Take To Prevent a Server Crash”

Here are a few simple things you can do to prevent your server and network equipment from overheating and crashing this summer:

  1. Tidy up the server room; a neater room will increase airflow.
  2. Keep the doors to the server room closed and seal off the space.
  3. Make sure cold air reaches all the equipment.
  4. Have a redundant A/C that is specifically designed for computers.
  5. Buy a rack enclosure where the cooling is built into the bottom of the rack.
  6. Keep the temperature at no more than 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Consider virtualization or cloud computing so that you are generating a lower amount of heat in the first place.

Protect your server and computer equipment from frying with our FREE “Beat The Heat” Network Audit. Schedule your “Beat The Heat” Audit today by calling our office at 214-329-1349. Offer Expires 8/31/14.

Student Laptop Buyer’s Guide: Use These 6 Tips When Buying Your Student’s New Laptop This Fall

School is almost back in session. If you’re in the market for purchasing a new laptop for one of your children (it seems like anyone from elementary schoolchildren to college graduates need a laptop these days, right?), here are 7 tips to get the most out of your laptop purchase.

  1. Bigger is NOT necessarily better when it comes to laptops. If your student is on the go, smaller laptops are going to be your best bet. Go for less than 4 lbs. and either 11” or 13” screen size. The SurfacePro, UltraBook or MacBook Airs are all solid options for most students.
  2. Pay for a good design. A student will be using their laptop day in and day out. Choose sleek over clunky. Also opt for a design that is made to protect the display and resist wear and tear over the next few years of use.
  3. Buy for the long haul. Think about how long you want your student’s computer to last. Make the mistake of saving a few bucks now for a cheaper processor, lower memory or smaller hard drive and you’ll be regretting that decision when you’re buying another laptop in 2 years instead of 3 or 4.
  4. Go for long battery life … your student will use it! Six hours of battery life is the MINIMUM spec you should purchase. If you can get 10+ hours of battery life in your budget, go for it.
  5. Consider touch-screen hybrids. Many Windows 8 devices such as the SurfacePro allow you to use the device as a sort of tablet/laptop hybrid. For kids that grew up on tablets and smartphones, these hybrids make them feel right at home with their new computer and actually make them more efficient.
  6. Mac versus PC. This decision is really up to you and your preferences. Software choices these days allow your student to do just fine with either choice. Choose whichever operating system your student is used to using and they’ll do just fine.

Still unsure what to buy? Don’t hesitate to give us a call and we’ll be happy to guide you in the right direction. We’re here to help.

Virus of the month: Botnet

A collection of infected computers that are remotely controlled by a hacker.

Once a computer is infected with a bot, the hacker can control the computer remotely over the Internet. From then on, the computer is a zombie, doing the bidding of the hacker, although the user is completely unaware. Collectively, such computers are called a botnet.
The hacker can share or sell access to control the botnet, allowing others to use it for malicious purposes. For example, a spammer can use a botnet to send out spam email. Up to 99% of all spam is distributed this way. This allows the spammers to avoid detection and to get around any blacklisting applied to their own servers. It can also reduce their costs because the computer’s owner is paying for the Internet access.

Hackers can also use zombies to launch a distributed denial-of-service attack, also known as a DDoS. They arrange for thousands of computers to attempt to access the same website simultaneously, so that the web server is unable to handle all the requests reaching it. The website thus becomes inaccessible.

Ransomeware.: Threatsaurus: the a-z of computer and data security threats. Boston: Sophos, 2009. 17. Print


There’s much to remember to be a successful leader. Sometimes leaders get so busy and engrossed with day-to-day operations that they forget some critical activities. Here are 6 items that need to be on your leadership agenda:

1. Grow a replacement
Your employer can’t promote you until they have someone to replace you. You can’t move up in the organization if you’re the only one who can do that job where you’re at right now. And if you’re the top boss, you can’t let succession planning languish or the fate of your entire organization hangs in the balance.

2. Anticipate problems
Most problems simmer on the back burner before they start to boil over. Like a professional pilot, you’ve got to be scanning all your instruments and the horizon to make sure you don’t get slammed by a potential problem (or at least be completely ready for the problems you can’t avoid).

3. Exploit opportunities
Most leaders know what (and who) is wrong, but they become oblivious to opportunities. Who are the star performers who need recognition and development? What are the great opportunities just waiting to be seized? It isn’t simply positive/negative thinking: it is about being as focused on the good and opportunistic as you are on the bad and problematic.

4. Change before it is necessary
We all know about the power of disruption and its potential to ruin us. Why do we wait until the last moment to change? Why not preempt? Staying successful isn’t based on your ability to change: it is based on your ability to change faster than your competitors, the needs of your customers and the demands of the marketplace. If you have to change just to keep up, you’ve lost whatever competitive advantage you could have enjoyed by changing sooner.

5. Stay relevant
What does it even mean to be relevant? Relevancy is about being closely connected: your colleagues, your customer and vendors, and your marketplace. You are deemed relevant when others believe you affect them and their success, and that therefore you and your work matter. In business, customers make the evaluation as to a firm’s relevance. What are you doing to stay up-to-date and salient about what matters most to those you lead and serve?

6. Take care of themselves
“Taking care of yourself” seems selfish, doesn’t it? Maybe that’s why so many leaders neglect to do so. Consider: if you’re going to model the energy you expect from others, give support and lead the way, you need to be at the top of your game, mentally, emotionally and physically. Burned-out leaders burn out followers. The right diet, exercise and rest aren’t luxuries but very real necessities for successful leadership.

With so much to do, you need to keep a clear and up-to-date agenda of the truly important things you consistently need to do. To work without an agenda—and to forget to do the 6 things above—puts you at risk as a leader.

Mark Sanborn, CSP, CPAE, is president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio dedicated to developing leaders in business and in life. Mark is an international best-selling author and noted authority on leadership, team-building, customer service and change. Mark is the author of 8 books, including the best seller The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary into the Extraordinary, which has sold more than 1.6 million copies internationally. Learn more about Mark at

Shiny New Gadget Of The Month: CuePrompter Online Teleprompter

CuePrompter is a free teleprompter/autocue service. Your browser works like a teleprompter—no extra software needed! You can use it for free in both commercial and non-commercial settings!

Videos are a great way to get clients to hear what you have to say, whether you post your video on Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+, or whether you e-mail it out to your clients. CuePrompter makes creating those videos so much easier—now you don’t have to look down at your notes or memorize your three-minute speech, and the best part of this neat web site? It’s totally free.

CuePrompter works well with most operating systems and browsers and allows you to make the text as big as you need it to be. It’s easy to control the speed settings as well as reverse and fast-forward as needed.

This handy gadget can be found for FREE at Just type in what you want to say, and you’re in business. Now go out and make a video!

Warning: If You Are Using WordPress For Your Company Web Site,
There Is A 73% Chance Your Site Is Vulnerable To Be Hacked

Hackers are crazy busy right now, and WordPress web sites are their favorite target! So far this year, hackers have broken every record to date. In 2012, there were roughly 192,000 WordPress sites worldwide. In March 2014 alone, a single hacker used 162,000 hacked WordPress web sites in just one single attack.

A recent study by EnableSecurity concluded that 73% of the 40,000 most popular web sites that use WordPress software are vulnerable to attack. WordPress is the most popular blogging and content management system in the world and powers one out of every 5 web sites.

The main culprit in these vulnerabilities is violating the first rule of WordPress security—not running the most up-to-date version of WordPress. In fact, if you’re not running the very latest version of WordPress, then chances are that your site is vulnerable to any hackers using simple, free, automated tools.

Here are 5 quick tips on keeping your WordPress web site secure:

  1. Always run the very latest version of WordPress.
  2. Be conservative in your selection of plug-ins and themes (and run the latest versions of these).
  3. Make sure every user has their own strong password.
  4. Put a Web Application Firewall (WAF) in front of your web site.
  5. Force logins and admin access to use HTTPS.

The Lighter Side: Silly Summer Stories

Farmer Evans was driving his John Deere tractor along the road with a trailer load of fertilizer. Tim, a little boy of 8, was playing in his yard when he saw the farmer and asked, “What’ve you got in your trailer?”
“Manure,” Farmer Evans replied.
“What are you going to do with it?” asked Tim.
“Put it on my strawberries,” answered the farmer.
Tim replied, “You ought to come and eat with us, we put ice cream on our strawberries.”

Robert, who was 6 years old, was looking at the ripe red tomatoes growing in Farmer White’s garden. “I’ll give you my 2 pennies for that tomato,” said Robert, pointing to a beautiful, large, ripe fruit hanging on the vine.
“No, I can’t do that,” replied Farmer White. “I can get a dime for a tomato like that one.”
So Robert pointed to a smaller green tomato: “Will you take 2 pennies for that one?”
“Oh, yes,” answered the farmer. “I’ll give you that one for 2 cents.”
“Okay,” said Robert smiling, sealing the deal by putting the coins in Farmer White’s hand. “I’ll collect it in a week’s time.”