DIY tech workarounds waste time, increase risk

There are times when I choose to spend time over money, like when I repair my old classic German cars versus taking them to a mechanic, but with only 16 waking hours to create value from each day, I need to make the most of each one. (And I like working on my old Volkswagen.) However, rolling my own music playing solution in lieu of buying an iPad to use the Sonos app is not the way I want to spend my time.
 

What do people really want? A personal connection.

In the book, Social, scientist Matthew Lieberman makes the case that our need to connect is as fundamental as our need for food and water. We need to connect and communicate with others, and I would suggest that this extends to how we connect with businesses and nonprofits. Is there a real person we can communicate with if we have questions or need assistance? Is that a satisfying experience? And, are the organizations that understand the basic human need to communicate and provide human interaction more successful?

Why Small Business Matters

There are 28 million small businesses in the U.S. They are the backbone and spirit of our economy. In fact, they are the very reason Sinu was formed back in 2000 because we wanted to give small businesses an edge by providing the enterprise-level technology and expertise which big business could afford, but were out of reach of most smaller organizations.

3 Reasons to Recycle Your Technology

With today’s hardware replacement cycle growing shorter and shorter each year, many organizations find themselves with a closet full of old solutions. You don’t want to just throw them out or donate them, as they may contain sensitive data and, if they end up in a land fill, they can release dangerous substances such as lead and mercury into the soil and water supplies.

With hack threat deadline looming, Apple users should secure their data today

Recent hack threats on iCloud have caused concern about the security of the data of over 782 million iCloud users. According to several media sources, hackers are demanding Apple pay a ransom in bitcoin or they'll expose millions of iCloud account credentials and could potentially remotely erase customer iPhones, iPads, or Macs, causing a catastrophic loss of personal data. With so many people using their Apple devices in the workplace, this could result in huge losses of business data and productivity.

Be wary of unknown USB sticks

Be wary of the USB stick you plug into your computer. These small flash-memory drives used to easily share files from computer to computer have become one of the easiest ways for hackers to install malicious software and gain access to a computer.

There are three ways these malicious attackers use USB sticks to compromise your data and hardware. 

 

How safe is your online bank account? Many banks not using a basic security measure.

You may be surprised to learn that your bank may not have some of the data security systems in place that are now standard for your email and social media accounts. One of the concerns is that many of the largest and most popular banks, including TD Bank, Citibank and Citizens, do not use a simple but effective method of protecting online accounts called two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized logins. With so much at risk, why don’t the banks use this standard technology to help protect our data? The answer may not comfort you.

‘High touch’ over high tech: What people want from customer service today by Larry Velez, co-founder and CTO

For decades, most businesses have been working off the same customer service model. You help someone complete a purchase and trouble shoot a few simple problems. But, today’s customers need more. They are coming to customer service with more complex issues and only after trying to resolve problems themselves.

Thank you for making Sinu one of North America’s top managed service providers!

CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Sinu to its 2017 Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list in the Pioneer 250 categoryWe could not continue to grow without your referrals, which give us the opportunity to support additional organizations and help them reach their goals through affordable IT solutions. Thank you for your support and loyalty. 

What small businesses need to know about ransomware (and why backups are so important)

Ransomware is a family of malware that blocks access to a PC, server or mobile device, or encrypts all the data stored on that machine. It's typically delivered via malicious email or infected third-party websites. To regain access or control of the data, the user must pay a ransom — typically via bitcoin. The encryption is unbreakable and simply removing the malware will not solve the problem. The victim is forced to pay for the unique software key that will unlock everything. Malwarebytes reports that 60 percent of all malware observed last year was ransomware.

Do you have control of your IT assets? These stories may give you pause…

An employee or consultant leaves (often dismissed) and takes critical information with them, such as sales reports, prospect and vendor lists, or instructions to keep the HVAC running at just the right temperature. It’s disruptive, and can take significant time and resources to retrieve. But, when someone has critical information or access to your IT, it can be a nightmare and create real risk for your business.

Webinar featuring Sinu’s Larry Velez: “New Administration, New Risks? How To Protect Your Nonprofit’s Data”

The 2016 election brought digital security and surveillance into tight focus. The webinar, “New Administration, New Risks? How To Protect Your Nonprofit’s Data,” held with Idealware and Fission Strategy, encourages organizations to rethink their security. Panelists from several organizations, including Sinu co-founder and CTO, Larry Velez, Idealware board member Leon Wilson of the Cleveland Foundation, and Shauna Dillavou of Community Red, contribute to the conversation about keeping your nonprofit data safe while bringing more productivity and safety to your team and constituents.

 

Small businesses have edge with consumer trust

Americans trust small businesses.  If you are a small business, you rank second only to the military in consumer confidence. So what can you do to build upon and grow that trust?

Based on best practices we have seen with our small business customers (and within our own business), here are a few tips:

Internet of Things: A convenience-risk balancing act

There is a subtle but profound paradigm shift occurring in technology. Cloud-connected hardware is becoming the preferred standard, replacing self-contained hardware. It’s the Internet of Things and it’s happening in just about every industry across consumer and enterprise solutions..

Don’t wait! 3 easy steps to protect your Yahoo account

Some time around August 2013, the email system of Yahoo was attacked and the records of more than 1 billion users were stolen. Information included names, birth dates, phone numbers and passwords which were encrypted with an easily broken form of security. Now they are for sale on the Dark Web.

Tech gifts and services that keep giving

‘Tis the season for holiday office parties, family gatherings, and end-of-year business deadlines that can often leave us feeling maxed out. Not to mention planning for the New Year ahead. For many small business owners and nonprofit professionals, the gift of efficiency is the one thing we all could use more of as we juggle and balance the numerous commitments this time of year demands of us while effectively maintaining operations. 

 

Buyer Beware: Fake Mobile Apps Target Holiday Shoppers

In our attempt to avoid the holiday rush while securing the best deals on brands we love,  it is tempting to seek out apps promising a more convenient shopping experience – but mobile buyers BEWARE! The Washington Post reports that a recent study by researchers at RiskIQ found an estimated one in 10 apps advertising Black Friday deals was fraudulent.

Looking ahead to 2017: Microsoft to end support for Office 2007 and Exchange 2007

As you budget for 2017, note that Microsoft will end support for several of their most prominent products in 2017: The final security updates for Windows Vista  is April 11, 2017 for and Office 2007 ends on October 10, 2017. Support of Office Exchange 2007 servers will also end in 2017.

Budgeting for system updates and technology replacement

Most nonprofit organizations work off of a strategic plan to guide them to achieve their mission. Many organizations, however, have not developed a plan for their technology and how it can support that mission. Instead, they take a more reactionary stance toward hardware and software: if hardware breaks down or mission-critical software cannot run on an obsolete operating system, it gets replaced. However, adopting a more strategic approach to technology replacement can help avoid surprise expenses, save money, mitigate data security risks, and increase productivity.

What's the future of technology? Our top picks from Wall Street Journal's 3rd Technology Conference

Wall Street Journal’s much anticipated WSJ.D Live Conference brought together some of the most recognized influencers, thought leaders and innovators to unveil their top predictions on the state of technology and where it’s headed in 2017 and beyond. ­