June 2014

June 2014

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

The Grand Prize Winner of last month’s Trivia Challenge Quiz is James Lumby from iControl ESI! He was the first person to correctly answer my quiz question from last month: Spindletop was the first major Texan…? The correct answer was c) Oil Well.

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

The highest temperature ever recorded in Texas was ___F in Seymour on August 12, 1936.

a) 115 b) 135 c) 120 d) 139

Call Us Right Now With Your Answer!


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

My Computer Network Doesn’t Need Regular Monitoring And Maintenance, Does It?

This is probably one of the biggest and most costly misconceptions that many business owners have. Usually this is because they’ve been fortunate enough to never have encountered a major computer-related disaster, but that’s similar to someone thinking they don’t need to wear a seat belt when driving a car because they’ve never had an accident.

Computer networks are complex and dynamic systems that need regular updates and maintenance to stay up, running fast and problem-free. In fact, it’s surprising how fast a brand-new computer will slow down after a few weeks or months of use without proper updates and maintenance. Here are just a FEW of the critical updates that need to be done on a weekly – if not daily – basis:

  • Security patches applied – with NEW viruses and hacker attacks cropping up DAILY, this is a CRITICAL part of maintaining your network
  • Antivirus updates and monitoring
  • Firewall updates and monitoring
  • Backup monitoring and test restores
  • Spam-filter installation and updates
  • Spyware detection and removal
  • Monitoring disk space on workstations and servers
  • Monitoring hardware for signs of failure
  • Optimizing systems for maximum speed

A computer is just like a car: if you don’t change the oil, replace the filter, rotate the tires, flush the transmission and perform other regular maintenance on your car, it will eventually break down and cost you FAR MORE to repair than the cost of the basic maintenance – and cars are far simpler than a computer network!

7 Ways To Keep Your Tablet Secure

  1. Don’t leave it lying around
    Although this is common sense, you’ve probably violated this rule more than once. Tablets are easy targets for thieves, so don’t let it out of your sight when in a public place – and don’t leave it in plain view in your car or you might end of up with a broken window in addition to a stolen tablet.
  2. Use a passcode
    Although it’s not 100% hacker-proof, it will block unauthorized users from accessing your information.
  3. Consider enabling automatic data erasing
    You can configure your iPad to erase your data after 10 failed pass-code attempts. Clearly this is not a good solution for anyone who constantly forgets a password or for those who have kids trying to log in repeatedly. However, if you have a Microsoft Exchange account connected to your mobile device, your IT guy can remotely wipe your mobile device as soon as you report that it has been lost.
  4. Encrypt your hard drive
    On your iPad, simply enabling the password will turn on encryption. All iOS devices also come with a second layer of encryption (called data protection) that protects your e-mails and attachments. This protection can’t be broken, even if the passcode is stripped. On Android tablets, you need to enable hard-drive encryption in the security settings.
  5. Enable iCloud Find My Phone or Android Device Manager
    These are valuable tools to use when you misplace your tablet. Both of these services allow you to log in and find your tablet or even wipe it if you have sensitive data on it.
  6. Install software updates
    As with all software, make sure you have the latest security updates and patches installed to protect against hackers and viruses.
  7. Only connect to trusted WiFi networks
    Public WiFis are open territory for hackers and identity thieves. Whenever you connect, make sure it’s a legitimate, secure connection.

VIRUS OF THE MONTH: Remote access Trojan (RAT)

“A RAT is a malware program that includes a back door for administrative control over the target computer.

RATs are usually downloaded invisibly with a user-requested program — such as a game — or sent as an email attachment. Once the host system is compromised, the intruder may use it to distribute RATs to other vulnerable computers and establish a botnet.

Because a RAT enables administrative control, it makes it possible for the intruder to do just about anything on the targeted computer, including:
Monitoring user behavior through key loggers or other spyware.

  • Accessing confidential information, such as credit card and social security numbers.
  • Activating a system’s webcam and recording video.
  • Taking screenshots.
  • Distributing viruses and other malware.
  • Formatting drives.
  • Deleting, downloading or altering files and file systems.

The Back Orifice rootkit is one of the best known examples of a RAT. A hacker group known as the Cult of the Dead Cow created Back Orifice to expose the security deficiencies of Microsoft’s Windows operating systems.

RATs can be difficult to detect because they usually don’t show up in lists of running programs or tasks. The actions they perform can be similar to those of legitimate programs. Furthermore, an intruder will often manage the level of resource use so that a drop in performance doesn’t alert the user that something’s amiss.

To protect your system from RATs, follow the same procedures you use to prevent other malware infections: Keep antivirus software up to date and refrain from downloading programs or opening attachments that aren’t from a trusted source. At the administrative level, it’s always a good idea to block unused ports, turn off unused services and monitor outgoing traffic.”

Rouse, Margaret. “RAT (remote Access Trojan).”
Seacrch Security. N.p., n.d. Web. June-July 2014.

“I Quit!”

THE BOSS: “Don’t think of me as your boss, think of me as a friend who is never wrong!” … “When I want your opinion, I’ll ask for it.” … “We don’t pay you to think. We pay you to work.” … “You want recognition? We recognize you every time you get a paycheck.” … “Your job is what I say it is.” … “You’re lucky to even have a job.” … “I don’t know what it is that you need to improve, but something is definitely wrong and you should work on fixing it.”

THE EMPLOYEE: “The only way I would ever work here again is if the world were coming to an end … because every day working here feels like an eternity.” … “You can’t pay me enough to ever want to work here again.” … “You treat us all the same – AWFUL.” … “I QUIT.”

I was recently talking to staffing industry expert Daniel Abramson about why people leave companies. I met him when he was the president of an international staffing firm with 120 offices. He now has his own firm (www.staffdynamics.biz) and is helping companies in their hiring and retention practices. I wanted his input on the troublesome problem of WHY qualified, talented and needed employees leave companies, especially when it costs so much money to find, hire and train them. The last three words of his first statement to me were very disconcerting. He first stated the obvious – “there are several reasons why good people quit” – but then added … “MOST ARE PREVENTABLE.” OUCH!

Here are his 5 Top Reasons Why Employees Leave Firms:

  1. Lack of corporate compatibility and fit
  2. Lack of appreciation by management
  3. Lack of support from inside staff
  4. Limited advancement and personal growth opportunities
  5. Money and compensation issues

He also mentioned that … People don’t quit their company, they generally quit their boss … and Too much emphasis is placed on the technical aspects of the job and not the soft people skills. I suggest if you are having a problem with a particular employee, you might want to move them to a different department, reporting to a different boss, before firing someone you have invested so much money in; some people just aren’t meant to work with each other. And while you are doing your reassignments, make sure you give both the manager and employee some help with their soft skills.
It costs a lot of money to replace an employee; some experts say it can cost up to 20% of a worker’s salary to replace them, so it’s in every business’s best interests to keep their top performers. Interestingly, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, 46% of employees leave their job because they do not feel appreciated. I would be starting there. It doesn’t cost a dime to tell people …

  • You are doing a great job
  • I really appreciate your contribution
  • This company is a better place because of you
  • I don’t know what I would do without you
  • You made it happen – thanks for all your effort

It’s free, effective and smart! Compliments Cost Nothing – Unspoken Praise Is Costly

Robert Stevenson is a highly sought after, internationally known speaker. He is the author of the best-selling books How to Soar Like An Eagle in a World Full of Turkeys and 52 Essential Habits For Success. Robert is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and is a former All-American Athlete. He started his first business at 24 and has owned several companies. Robert has international sales experience dealing in over 20 countries, and his client list reads like a Who’s Who in Business. He has shared the podium with such renowned names as Generals Colin Powell and Norman Schwarzkopf, Former President George H.W. Bush, Anthony Robbins and Steven Covey. www.robertstevenson.org/

Shiny New Gadget Of The Month: Laser Projection Virtual Keyboard

Put the future at your fingertips with our virtual laser keyboard.
This revolutionary little gadget uses state-of-the-art laser to project a virtual keyboard onto any flat surface. It tracks your fingers like magic using advanced optics and connects via Bluetooth to any Apple or Android device – it can even connect to your laptop!

You touch, it types.
Transform any flat surface into an instant workstation and type up a storm any time and virtually anywhere you may want. The Bluetooth technology allows a quick and easy pairing with your tablets, your smartphones and most laptops, and this little device comes with a USB cord for easy charging. It can last up to two hours of continuous typing.

Revolutionize the way you work.
It’s the future of technology – get it first at www.Brookstone.com and show it off. It packs plenty of punch for $120.

Have You Installed Microsoft Office On Your iPad Yet?

After years of rumors, Microsoft finally unveiled Office for iPad in late March. This is a huge addition to the iPad, as demonstrated by the more than 12 million downloads of the product in the first week it was released.

The iPad Just Got More Business-Friendly

One of the biggest business complaints about the iPad has been that it’s great as a personal device and for catching up on e-mail, but you really couldn’t do real work on it. You can now use the core 3 of Word, Excel and Powerpoint on your iPad fairly seamlessly. Microsoft has integrated Office for iPad into their Office 365 suite of products with an annual fee of only $100, which includes online file storage (or you can simply view files in Office for iPad, but not work on them, for free).

A Familiar Interface And Functionality

Just about everything you’re used to within the Office Suite is here on the iPad, optimized for touch screens. These three apps are feature-rich, powerful business tools. And while a menu item or two might be out of place, you’ll soon quickly adapt to the user interface. If you’ve used an iPad and you’ve used Office on your desktop, you’ll be just fine. Advanced features such as change tracking, find and replace are all there, and while there still may be a few things you need to do on your desktop, we’re hard-pressed to find many of them.

The Lighter Side:

  1. Did you know it is Candy Month? Go ahead and satisfy your sweet tooth – you’re supposed to!
  2. Also, the polar opposite: it is also Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Month.
  3. Aside from that, June is National Turkey Lovers’ Month. Americans consume more than 353 million pounds of turkey during National Turkey Lovers’ Month.
  4. Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jeane Baker Mortenson) was born June 1st, 1926.
  5. On June 19th, 1997, Cats became the longest-running show in the history of Broadway.
  6. The American War of Independence began in June of 1775 with the battle of Bunker Hill outside of Boston.
  7. The very first baseball game was played on June 19th, 1845, across the Hudson River in Hoboken, New York.
  8. June 1st also marks the start of Atlantic Hurricane Season – be careful!
  9. And, of course, we can’t forget the holidays in June – Flag Day is the 14th, Father’s Day is the 19th, and the first day of summer also falls in June!