4 Reasons You Fall Out Of Love With Your Computers

Computers can be a powerful tool you leverage in your business, or a millstone around your neck that you claim is a necessary evil to doing business... Its all about your approach and strategy.

So during this month of LOVE, lets look at the Top 4 Reasons your computers start to make you feel like a jilted lover on Valentines Day:

  1. Computers Slow Your Beating Hear The lightning-fast speed you experienced at the beginning of your relationship slowly fades over time. There are so many reasons this can happen (from virus removal, aging hardware, bloatware, and need to maintenance just to name a few). Reignite your love. Don't let your hardware get so old you get so frustrated? Keep your systems well maintained and protected so it stays zippy longer. Let us help you into a new computer, or have Worry Free IT maintain your systems.
  1. Spam Becomes Enamored With Your Inbox. Some days you may ponder how you got on the spammer's list and why they love your email address so m Without a proper spam filter, that is properly configured, you can count on spam filling up your Inbox and draining your heart and your time. Empty your Inbox with InTech's Total Control Spam Filter.
  1. Viruses Decide They Love Your Network. Even if you try really hard, sometimes you find those little buggers have weaseled their way into your network. And they love to stay there, sometimes without your knowledge! Don't be a statisti Get your Circle of Protection (Antivirus, Web Filter, Spam Filter, Monitoring, and Automated Maintenance) to keep those viruses out of YOUR network.
  1. Your Favorite Program Breaks Your Heart. Ok, maybe its not your favorite, but you need it to work every day. And when it just doesn't work right, it gets annoying, frustrating, and downright irritating. There is always a reason it isn't working right. Don't wait, get it checked today!

Fall back in love with computing and call us to get to the root of your problem.

Call us today at 724.235.8750!

How To Keep Your Laptop Secure
When Using Public WiFi Hotspots

They are everywhere these days. WiFi hotspots for checking e-mail and hopping on the Internet can be found in airports, coffee shops and even most fast-food joints.

But have you ever wondered, just how safe is it to connect?

If you listened in on our 2015 Cyber Threat Report webinar last month you'd already know to be wary of any public wifi.

Unfortunately, it is easy for a hacker to set up a WiFi spot to access your laptop. Sometimes referred to in the industry as an "evil twin," this rogue wireless hotspot is set up by someone up to no good. They use it to lure people from a nearby, legitimate hotspot.

For instance, when you log in at your favorite coffee shop, you may inadvertently log in to an evil twin Internet connection set up by the person working on a laptop at the next table.

Just like legitimate wifi, evil twins allow you access to the Internet, but in the background they record everything you are typing. Log on to your e-mail, investment web site or bank account, or buy something online, and they are recording your keystrokes.

Tip: Do you want an easy way to securely access your network and the Internet from anywhere? Call us today at 724.235.8750 about setting up a VPN for your office!

So now you're asking yourself, "How do I protect myself at WiFi hotspots?"

First you need to make sure the hotspot is legitimate. You can do this by asking someone who works at the WiFi location; in fact, some businesses will give you printed instructions that include the hotspot name.

But you still need to be careful. Many times, in an attempt to make you feel comfortable, the hacker will use an evil twin name that mimics the legitimate hotspot and, on some occasions, the fake site may even show up at the top of your network list by having a stronger signal than the legitimate site. These guys are smart, which means YOU have to be more vigilant!

The best protection you can have is connecting via
your company's VPN (virtual private network).

A VPN protects your online information by encrypting your data and activity even if you're connected through an evil twin.

If you don't have a VPN, the best protection is to surf the net, but never type in password, credit card, social security, bank account or other sensitive information when connect- ed to a public WiFi hotspot.

How to Grow Star Performers

A study of computer programmers at Bell Laboratories showed that the star performers outperformed moderate performers by a margin of 8 to 1. If that holds true in your organization, the conversion of five of your moderate performers into star performers would be the equivalent of adding 35 moderate performers to your workforce.

Where are you going to find the five additional star performers? You don't find them. You develop them. The Bell Labs study identified nine work strategies that characterize star performers. All of them are qualities that can be inculcated through a good corporate education system.

According to researchers Robert Kelly and Janet Caplan, these qualities are:

  1. Taking initiative: accepting responsibility above and beyond your stated job, volunteering for additional activities and promoting new ideas.
  2. Networking: getting direct and immediate access to coworkers with technical expertise and sharing your own knowledge with those who need it.
  3. Self-management: regulating your own work commitments, time, performance level and career growth.
  4. Teamwork effectiveness: assuming joint responsibility for work activities, coordinating efforts and accomplishing shared goals with workers.
  5. Leadership: formulating, stating and building consensus on common goals and working to accomplish them.
  6. Followership: helping the leader to accomplish the organization's goals and thinking for yourself rather than relying solely on managerial direction.
  7. Perspective: seeing your job in its larger context and taking on other viewpoints, like those of the customer, manager and work team.
  8. Show-and-tell: presenting your ideas persuasively in written or oral form.
  9. Organizational savvy: navigating the competing interests in an organization, be they individual or group, to promote cooperation, address conflicts and get things done.

Star performers considered initiative, technical competence and other cognitive abilities to be core competencies. Show-and-tell and organizational savvy were on the outer edge of their circle of importance. Middle performers placed show-and-tell and organizational savvy at the center. While star performers were focused on performance, middle performers were focused on impressing management.

Star performers and middle performers also showed marked differences in their attitudes toward networking. The middle performers waited until after they had encountered problems before looking around for someone who could provide help and support. The star performers built a network of helpers and supporters in advance, so they could call on them immediately when needed.

The study concluded that "Individual productivity. depends on the ability to channel one's expertise, creativity and insight into working with other professionals."

Star performers emerge from educational systems tailored to the individual company and the individual job. They don't want to become clones. Too many companies today are content with training programs that provide people with knowledge and expertise, but skimp on educational processes that teach them to apply what they learn. You can't train them to seek excellence. You change that attitude through consistent input that appeals to an individual's self-interest and organizational spirit.

Dr. Nido Qubein is president of High Point University, an undergraduate and graduate institution with 4,300 students from 40 countries. He has authored two dozen books and audio programs distributed worldwide. As a business leader, he is chairman of the Great Harvest Bread Company, with 220 stores in 43 states. He serves on the boards of several national organizations, including BB&T (a Fortune 500 company with $185 billion in assets), the La-Z-Boy Corporation (one of the largest and most recognized furniture brands worldwide) and Dots Stores (a chain of fashion boutiques with more than 400 locations across the country). As a professional speaker, Dr. Qubein has received many distinctions, including the Golden Gavel Medal, induction into the International Speaker Hall of Fame and as the founder of the NSA Foundation in Arizona. To learn more about Dr. Qubein, go to: http://www.nidoqubein.com/

Shiny New Gadget 0f The Month:

This month's gadget is so new, it isn't even off the assembly line. Meet Prizm — a small, pyramid-shaped device designed to make your home-audio experience as hands-off as humanly possible. The device was recently backed on Kickstarter this past November. The French company behind the audio device wanted to create an intuitive music experience that brings users new music, while learning what they really love to listen to.

The device streams music from cloud services such as Deezer, Spotify and SoundCloud, with more services planned in the future. lt works by accessing your WiFi network. lt doesn't contain any speakers, so you'll have to supply your own (it connects via Bluetooth, 3.5 mm stereo jack and optical audio). And despite being called hands-off, the device sports buttons to let you like or skip songs to customize your listening experience.

lt can currently be pre-ordered from www.meetprizm.com for $139.

"How You Do One Thing Is How You Do Everything"

It's a saying that you've heard before. Who knows where it originally came from because it rings true now, about our past and into our future.

I'm obsessed with the continuous improvement of my business and I sometimes find it hard to get everyone on the same page with my thoughts. Simple mantras like, "How you do one thing is how you do everything" help to solidify the team to one phrase that they can grasp and say over and over all day long.

I asked my team what this saying meant to them. The first comment was that if you choose to be sloppy in one thing, chances are, you'll choose to be sloppy in MOST things you do. Another comment took it further suggesting that it also has to do with client impressions. If we hit it on a project, the client is more likely to think we elegantly deliver all our projects, and conversely, if we fail miserably, they tend to believe that we will fail at other tasks they hand us.

Both are true. Perception is everything and you client's perception of how you do things is their TRUTH, whether it is based in wider facts or not. And it has generally been my experience that when someone delivers me a job that is sloppy that they are a sloppy shop I probably don't want to do business with.

What can you do to motivate and inspire your team towards excellence? Sometimes is the small, simple, and deliberate focus we have that makes all the difference.

To Your Continued Success,

Who Else Wants To Win A $25 Gift Card?

The Grand Prize Winner from last month's Trivia Challenge was Victoria Kolakowski of the Valley Points YMCA!

Here's this month's trivia question. The winner will receive a $25 VISA Gift Card.

Which country consumes the most chocolate per person at 26 bls or 11.9 kg per year?

a) Belgium
b) Switzerland
c) United States
d) Bazil

Email us right now with your answer! info@intechit.net