August 29th, 2016

Here are 3 ways LinkedIn can generate new business for you.
1) Above all, earn the ask. The more value you provide in the relationship, the more “right” you have to phone time, a free consultation, or the opportunity to make your pitch. 2) Build a sales funnel. Organize your contacts and planned interactions for best results. Recognize and engage with inbound warm leads. And remember, timing is everything! 3) Target and engage your ideal prospects. LinkedIn’s search engine gives you direct access to over 450 million professionals in more than 200 countries. In minutes, you can build a hyper-targeted prospect list by job title, industry type, and/or location. With just these few tactics, LinkedIn can become a powerful business-building ally.

Did you notice the day Windows became malware?
If malware is any piece of software that gets into your computer through stealth means – even if it’s a premier operating system – then Windows 10 fits the definition. Microsoft has been very aggressively asserting its self-imposed deadline of August 29 for free upgrades from Windows 7 and 8.1. And if it hasn’t been yet, you may find your computer hijacked and converted into a Windows 10 machine – whether you give permission or not. By default, Windows 10 collects advertising and personal data. It changes your computer’s configuration. And if you try to stop the upgrade by clicking the X on its dialog box, it installs it anyway. Aw, c’mon, tell us that’s not malware!

Imagine owning the domain rights to – even for just 60 seconds…
When Babson College MBA student Sanmay Ved happened to notice the domain up for sale, he figured why not go ahead and try to buy it. To his huge surprise, the sale actually went through! He had just purchased for the princely sum of $12. It didn’t take Google long to become aware that something had gone horribly wrong – less than 60 seconds, in fact. They fired off an e-mail to Sanmay, telling him they’d cancelled his order and refunded his $12. As an afterthought, Google sent Sanmay a little spiff for his cooperation: $6,000.13, to be exact. If you squint, you might see that the number spells “Google.”

Is the IoT a “Clear And Present Danger”?
According to a U.S. government report, the “Internet of Things” could deliver a disabling global attack. With smart cars, smart homes, and new apps that reach into every nook and cranny of our personal lives, the IoT poses greater risks to our safety than ever before. And revealing more about your life than a novelist, it takes the invasion of privacy to new heights. True, it may help folks live longer, healthier lives. And it may boost food production. Or even improve job and lifestyle options for some. Yet the question isn’t whether it’s good or not … it’s how do we deal with it? One thing is for sure: good or bad, buckle up because here it comes!

Topic Newsletter
August 28th, 2016

Hardware virtualization and software emulation technologies have come a long way in terms of their power and affordability with virtual machines. Virtual machines are now more practical and viable solutions for businesses and power users. They have a number of advantages over physical machines. VM’s share some strengths as well as vulnerabilities as physical hosts. There is potential for file system corruption and data loss.

Virtualized environment
Basically, the rise of virtualized x86 servers is changing disaster recovery process. It is easier and more affordable and provides better planning. Server virtualization helps make disaster recovery less complicated by representing everything in logical terms and doing away with the need for a physical replica of your environment.

Now, in a virtualized environment, you can cover protection of everything for a comprehensive cost with improved disaster recovery process. Planning is more deliberate and changes the process while improving it.

Disaster recovery in a virtualized environment
A real advantage is that recovery procedures become less knowledge and more process-based. Data, applications, and operating system are systemized into a virtual machine (VM) that is hardware-independent, and data reside on shared storage. You can copy VMs and data by traditional backup or replicate everything at regular, pre-defined intervals. A wide-area network to the second server and storage environment at a remote data center connected to VM can prevent failovers. The replication process is halted to prevent data corruption and storage in secondary site is activated to live. Because the process is automated, it reduces the amount of day-to-day administration required to keep systems at remote sites configured correctly. Disaster recovery becomes more planning at this point.

August 25th, 2016

164_C_FbookThese days, everyone is short on time. And whether you’re using Twitter, YouTube, or Facebook, you likely don’t want to waste valuable minutes trying to figure out how to use these sites beyond the bare minimum necessary. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of five lesser-known tips to make your Facebook experience more secure and convenient, so you don’t have to waste time searching for them on your own.

Know if you forget to logout

It happens to the best of us. You used a computer other than your own and are unsure if you logged out. So what do you do? No need to worry, Facebook makes it incredibly easy to find out which devices you’re currently logged in on.

Just navigate to Settings, Security and then Where You’re Logged In. From there, you can see all the devices you’re logged into, and logout remotely from any of them.

Save interesting articles for later

Have you ever noticed an interesting article in your news feed that you’d love to read, but don’t have the time to do so there and then? Have you tried to find that same article later with little luck? Never deal with this annoyance again. Many people are completely unaware that Facebook allows you to conveniently save articles for later reading.

To do this, click on the drop-down arrow in the upper right-hand corner of the article, and then click Save link. When you finally have a free moment to give the article a read, click on the Saved tab located under Favorites in the left-hand sidebar on the news feed page.

Export important event dates to your calendars

If you’ve ever missed a birthday or an event because you forgot to list them on your main calendar, this Facebook tip may come in handy. You can export all these important dates to your Google or Apple calendar.

To the left of your news feed, click on the Events tab. Navigate to the highlighted box at the very bottom of the right-hand side of the page, that reads You can add your events to…, and then click the Learn More link. This will take you to a page that explains how to export your events and birthdays.

Set alerts for new logins

Paranoid about someone hacking into your account? If so, you can easily set alerts to notify you right away if someone logs into your account from a new device.

Navigate to Settings, Security and then Login Alerts. From here, simply choose how you’d like to be notified of suspicious logins from new devices or browsers: by email, text message, or Facebook notification.

Lose the targeted ads

You may have noticed that ads of businesses you’ve visited on the web have somehow found their way into your Facebook news feed. This is by no means an accident. Like other websites that use targeted ads, Facebook uses cookies to determine which sites you’ve visited, and then shows you ads from those same sites.

If you’d like to turn ad targeting off, navigate to Settings and then Ads. From here you can change all the settings that determine the types of ads you see in your Facebook news feed. While there’s no way to completely turn off ads altogether, by changing your settings here you can make the ads you see more random and less personal. Essentially, your internet activity will no longer be tracked by Facebook cookies.

Interested in more Facebook tips? Want to learn how to leverage the social network to grow your business? Get in touch with our IT experts today.

Published with permission from Source.
Topic Facebook
August 3rd, 2016

2016August3__MicrosoftWindowsNewsAndTips_CThere’s no such thing as perfection. This is especially true for Windows 10. While it’s highly praised for the removal of annoying functions in the previous Windows, still, there are a number of new issues to address: from the Window Updates that don’t function properly to the disappearance of the DVD player app. But read on, we have the solutions to your problems.

1. Decreased storage space

You might not be aware that after the upgrade to Windows 10, the old version of Windows isn’t deleted but is kept in the C:/ drive by the name of windows.old, which eats up a huge chunk of your disk space. Microsoft makes it this way just in case you change your mind and want to go back to your previous version. However, if you’re sure you want to permanently delete it, just follow these steps:

Click the Windows Start button and search for the Disk Cleanup app by typing cleanup. The drive selection box will appear, choose the drive your OS is installed on (the default drive is C:/drive), then wait for Windows to scan your system. Afterward, a box will pop up.

At this point, the system might present you with a list of files to delete, but if that’s not visible, select the Clean up system files option on the bottom left of the window. Windows will then present you with another box with the option to delete Previous Windows Installation(s). Tick the option and click OK, then click Delete Files to confirm your decision.

2. Updates that don’t work

First off, check if you’ve upgraded to the Windows 10 Fall update. If the problems still occur, download and run the Windows Update Troubleshooter, then restart the system and try to update again.

If that still doesn’t work, check that System Restore is configured (see number 3 below) and create a restore point. Type Window+X and select Command Prompt (Admin), type net stop wuauserv and hit Enter, then type net stop bits and Enter. Then open Explorer, go to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution and delete its contents including any sub-folders. Restart your PC, open Windows Update and click Check for updates.

3. System Restore isn’t enabled

In Windows 10, the System Restore isn’t enabled by default. To turn it on, go to the Start Menu and search for Create a restore point. The System Properties box will appear. From there, choose the system drive and click the Configure button, then select Turn on system protection. Use the slider to set an appropriate amount of maximum disk space (about 5GB should be enough). Note that the update to Windows 10 version 10586 turns this off again so make sure to turn it back on after you update.

4. Privacy violations

Windows 10 faces a lot of criticism over its data-sharing defaults. We recommend you review them from time to time. To change the privacy settings, go to the Start Menu and go to Settings, open the app and select Privacy. At this point, you’ll see on the left-hand side a list of data such as your computer’s camera, microphone, account information and so on. Turn off the ones that you don’t want Windows to have access to.

If you use Windows Defender, click the back arrow, select Update & Security, then select Windows Defender, see if you’re ok with the default setting that enables Cloud-based detection and Automatic sample submission.

Another privacy issue is Window Wi-Fi Sense, which is initially designed to get you connected to wireless networks more quickly. But if you’re not comfortable with the idea of sharing your network’s wireless credentials among devices you can’t control, you can go to Start > Settings > Network & Internet, then click Manage Wi-Fi settings in the right of the window, tick all of the boxes under For networks I select, share them with my to disable Wi-Fi sense.

5. Windows 10 uses up all the 4G data

Windows 10 uses your internet bandwidth in the background. Follow these steps to stop it from consuming all your cellular data without you knowing: go to Settings and then Network & Internet, select Wi-Fi and then Advanced Options, turn on Set as metered connection. Note that this tip won’t work if your PC connects to the internet via Ethernet.

6. There’s no DVD player app

Strangely, Windows 10 was launched without a DVD player app, which means you can’t watch films on your PC. However, if you upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 8 with Windows Media Center or Windows 8.1 with Windows Media Center, you’ll find a late released DVD app from Microsoft in Window Store for free download. But if you’re not one of the lucky users mentioned above, we recommend you to download VLC Media Player instead. It’s free!

We hope these 6 fixes will help smoothen your experience with Windows 10. But while there are some issues you can cover by yourself, others are more complicated and would better be handled by IT experts. Why not call us today? Our staff is here to eliminate your Windows 10 headaches.

Published with permission from Source.
Topic Windows
August 2nd, 2016

White horse up and close, sunny blue sky.

It’s only natural that when you hear of a disaster you think it couldn’t happen to you.

That’s why, even though we’re told constantly that we should diligently maintain a working backup recovery system because all our company’s data could be lost in an instant, we tend to brush off the advice.

Yet disasters do happen when you least expect them, and they can happen to anyone. So to illustrate the importance of staying on top of your data recovery system, here are three tales of “data gone wrong.” After all, there’s nothing quite like a good horror story to inspire action!

Toy Story 2: Gone!
One morning in 1998, the animators at Pixar Studios working on Toy Story 2 noticed that Woody’s hat started disappearing. Then his boots… Then all of Woody – gone! Other characters started disappearing too.

A rogue command in their system had started wiping out data. No problem, the team thought, as they pulled out the backups. Unfortunately, the backups were bad and only had data from 10 months ago.

Luckily, one of the project leaders who’d just had a baby had recently asked to have a copy of the film installed at her house. So they drove to her house and escorted her computer back to the studios “like an Egyptian Pharoah.” And as we now know, Toy Story 2 was saved.

Moral: It’s not enough to simply run backups. You need to periodically check to make sure the data is actually getting backed up and nothing is corrupted.

46,000 Insurance Customer Records: Lost!
In 2010, Zurich Insurance announced it had lost a backup tape containing confidential data from 46,000 customer records as it was being transferred from one site to another. To make matters worse, it was later revealed that it took a full year for their headquarters to learn that the tape was missing.

While there was no evidence that the data had fallen into the wrong hands, it was not encrypted and therefore easily accessible by anyone in possession of the tape. The company was slapped with a £2.3 million fine from the British Financial Services Authority.

Moral: If your backups are physical, make sure they’re transported and stored securely in a location away from your computer. And regardless of whether your backups are physical or in the cloud or both, make sure they are encrypted with high-level security.

Why MegaPetCo Closed Their Doors
The fast-growing set of chain stores MegaPetCo had refused to upgrade their IT system to one that could handle their needs. One day a systems developer accidentally programmed a query that wiped out their entire database. All of a sudden, operations ground to a halt; from sales to payroll to purchasing and reporting, everything had been tied into that one database. And no backup.

They tried to sue their ISP, but between recommendations to upgrade and failure to do so, the lawsuit was dropped. Three months later, MegaPetCo filed for bankruptcy.

Moral: Backups may seem like a low priority, or even an unnecessary expense. Yet surely there is data that if lost would cost your company dearly. And when you compare the cost of replacement to the relatively minor expense of keeping good backups, the choice is clear.

Why Take A Chance That Your Backups Are Safe?
Our FREE Data Recovery Audit Will Help You Know For Sure!

The effects of a data disaster run the gamut from minor annoyance to a death knell for the organization it happens to. We don’t want that for you. That’s why until August 31, 2016 we’re offering our complete audit, normally valued at $997, free to qualifying companies here in the Bay Area.

At no charge, one of our data security specialists will come onsite and audit your current data backup and security procedures and determine whether your current system can guarantee you a fast, safe, and full recovery of your data.

Depending on what we find, we’ll either give you a clean bill of health or reveal gaps in your data backup system that could prove catastrophic. Then, if appropriate, we’ll provide you with an action plan for further securing your data with one of our MNS-CARE Service Plans.

Call (408) 483-1881 TODAY and let’s make sure your company isn’t betting the farm on a flawed recovery system.

Topic Newsletter
August 2nd, 2016

Report Work From Home coverYou will learn:

  • What telecommuting is and why so many small businesses are rapidly implementing work-from-home programs.
  • The single most important thing you MUST have in place before starting any work-from-home or remote office initiative.
  • How one computer company slashed its turnover rate from 33% to nearly 0% – and increased productivity by 18% – by implementing a work-from-home program.
  • How to get a FREE “Home Office Action Pack” (a $97 value).

Claim Your FREE Copy Today at


Topic Newsletter
August 2nd, 2016

Marketing is about connecting with consumers.

Great marketing, though, is about transforming those consumers into fans, raving fans – people who feel loyalty, and feel invested in your business and its success. Here are some creative ways to start converting your customers into your biggest fans.

1. Have your clients do some of the work.

This isn’t about being lazy; it’s about involving your clients in a memorable experience. Build-A-Bear is the perfect example of this technique. Children receive many stuffed animals over the course of their childhoods, but none so special as the bear they build themselves, selecting the fabric and components. The consumer’s investment in the experience cultivates loyalty, and their unique experience can’t be duplicated anywhere else. Offer your clients a way to personalize their experience with you.

2. Reject clients.

It’s human nature to want what you’ve been told you can’t have. The more limited an item or service is, the more we value it, and if your customers feel like they have achieved something by managing to get your attention, or having earned the privilege of spending money with you, they’ll give you a lifetime of loyalty. As long as your product meets or exceeds expectations, then making it clear that you’re selective about who you do business with will make you more appealing.

3. Deny your own existence.

Though now a much more public item, the American Express Black Card was long the subject of curiosity. The company refused to confirm its existence or answer any questions about what the card might offer. Now customers beg for an invitation to the Black Card, despite the ridiculously high annual fee. Think about it… Customers clamoring to spend money with you? Cultivate mystery and clients will seek you out.

4. Encourage tattoos.

Extreme? Maybe. Effective? Absolutely! Not only are folks who get logos tattooed on themselves acting as walking advertisements, they’re also absolutely certain to be loyal customers. Encourage tattoos by creating a cool logo and cultivating a reputation that’s unique and appealing. Is this practical? Two words: Harley-Davidson. For folks with Harley tattoos, the brand isn’t just a commodity; it’s a lifestyle.

5. Create your version of boot camp.

Organizations like fraternities or the military create cohesion and loyalty by putting new recruits through tests and challenges. Let your customers know that your business runs differently than others, that you will require work and dedication from them. They will realize they’re part of a special group, and they’ll feel invested in promoting your services. Providing code words and emblems of membership makes customers feel like they’re one of the elite, special few who have made it through boot camp. It’s no secret that marketing today is radically different than it was even ten years ago. We have to work harder to promote our brands, but the potential upside is huge, because devoted, raving fans will take up your banner and do some of the work for you. Creating and nurturing these fans will reward your efforts for years to come.

Guest article provided by:

Boost productivity in your firm with cloud technologies.MIKE MICHALOWICZ (pronounced mi-KAL-o-wits) started his first business at the age of 24, moving his young family to the only safe place he could afford—a retirement building. With no experience, no contacts and no savings, he systematically bootstrapped a multimillion-dollar business. Then he did it again. And again. Now he is doing it for other entrepreneurs. Mike is the CEO of Provendus Group, a consulting firm that ignites explosive growth in companies that have plateaued; a former small-business columnist for The Wall Street Journal; MSNBC’s business makeover expert; and the author of the cult classic book The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. His newest book, The Pumpkin Plan, has already been called “the next E-Myth!” For more information, visit

Topic Newsletter
August 2nd, 2016

Sleeping man in bad vector illustrationThe techno-geeks over at Hello Inc. have just released Sense, a device that helps you wake up feeling great. A tad smaller than a baseball, this little sphere sits on your nightstand next to your bed and monitors conditions in your room while you sleep. Things like temperature, humidity, light, and sound in your bedroom are tracked, along with your body’s slightest movements as you sleep. It pairs with your smartphone so you can see patterns and change conditions in your room to get the best night’s sleep possible. Sense can play any number of soothing sounds to help you drift off to sleep. Then, when it’s time to rise and shine, it gently wakes you up at the best time in your sleep cycle. It’s priced at $129, and you can find it at and other online retailers.

Topic Newsletter
July 3rd, 2016

laptop happy familyHave kids aged 6 to 16?

Circle With Disney is a new device that helps make Internet struggles at home a thing of the past. Imagine: no more negotiating with kids to get off the web and come to dinner (or get their homework done).

This 3½-inch white cube with rounded corners (it’s not exactly a circle…) lets you control Internet usage around your house with a tap on your iPhone. (Android compatibility coming soon.)

With presets by age group, or custom controls, Circle helps you restrict who in your family surfs what, and when. It also tallies how much time each person spends on any site. You might even want to monitor your own Facebook or Pinterest time (or maybe not…).

Circle also lets you put your whole home network on pause, sets up in about five minutes, and works with your router.

Just $99 at may be all you need to win your family back from the web – at least for a few minutes a day.

Topic Newsletter
July 2nd, 2016

road straight arrows aheadWant to know your Lyft or Uber passenger rating?

Ratings are a two-way street with both Uber and Lyft. Of course, as a passenger you can rate your driver. Yet passengers are rated too, by their drivers. To find your average Uber passenger rating, open your Uber app and tap the menu bar in the top left corner. Then follow this path: Help > Account > “I’d like to know my rating.” Tap “Submit” on the explanation page and your rating should then appear. Lyft has no such system, however their support team may send your average passenger score to you if you request it. Want to improve your score? Be nice to your driver and show up at your pickup location on time.   –

Forget apps…here comes the voice-controlled future.

Soon, we won’t be fumbling around with a gazillion different apps, trying to figure out which one turns off the sprinklers in the front yard… Apple Siri, Amazon Echo, and now Google Home all point to the future of digital living. When it comes to voice plus smart machines vs. finger taps on a phone, voice wins, hands down. You don’t want to use a weather app, you just want the forecast. Your customers won’t go to your website and download an app; they’ll interact with your business in some way by voice. That future will arrive in the next 5 to 10 years. Will your business be ready?   –

Skip the airport – just hop in your e-jet and fly!

By 2018, owning your own battery-powered VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) two-seater could be one step closer to reality. That’s the plan for the Lilium Jet, being developed in Germany under the auspices of the European Space Agency. This Jetsons-looking aircraft sports “fly-by-wire” joystick controls, retractable landing gear, and gull-wing doors. Its developers claim it will have a top speed of 250 miles per hour and could be available to the public as soon as 2018. Designed for daytime recreational flying, it’s quieter – and safer – than a helicopter, thanks to its battery-powered ducted fan motors and intelligent, computer-controlled takeoffs and landings. And pricing, according to its developers, will be far less than similar-sized aircraft.   – GizMag

Is your mobile website stressing people out?

Of course, page-load times can affect conversion and brand perception. But did you know they also affect user heart rate and stress levels? According to a 2016 study on mobility by Ericsson, page-loading delays lead to an average 38% jump in heart rate. Remember the last time you watched a horror movie? It’s about that stressful… Not how you want your visitors to feel. To keep your page loads painless and your visitors happy, make sure your website is mobile-friendly. It needs to be quick and easy to navigate and engage with. You have a lot at stake in your website – and making it stress-free for visitors could make a big difference.   – HubSpot Blog

Topic Newsletter