Partners

Tucson Business Technology Partners

Leading through great partnerships.

Nextrio is dedicated to the southern Arizona business community. We are proud to collaborate with local, state and national organizations to meet challenges and affect change at every level. Some of the organization’s we partner with are:

Assessing Your IT Security Needs

Cybersecurity isn’t just a concern for major credit card companies and banks. A company of any size could become a target. And with cybercrimes on an upward trend, it’s safest to assume that your IT security could be better than it is. Of course, if you have a small business, you probably won’t want to build an in-house IT department. Outsourcing your cybersecurity needs to an IT company is a great alternative solution.

Securing Your Network

These days, practically every business has its own Wi-Fi network—from coffee shops to car washes. Is yours secure? If you aren’t sure, ask an IT professional to evaluate your network. He or she can encrypt your network and configure your wireless router to hide its Service Set Identifier (SSID).

Controlling Network Access

Securing the network itself isn’t enough to protect your company. Take steps to limit the physical accessibility of computers by unauthorized individuals. Each employee should have a unique user account with a strong password that is routinely changed.

Backing Up Your Data

If data breaches are like headaches, then data losses are like brain aneurysms: Unpredictable and catastrophic. Have the IT company evaluate your data storage system and determine the most secure method of backing up your data. Depending on the unique needs of your business, you may need to have your data backed up daily or weekly, with the copies safely stored in the cloud or in an external location.

Training Your Employees

The most well-written cybersecurity policy won’t matter much if your employees don’t know how to follow it. Ideally, the IT company you hire should also offer user training programs, like small group workshops and one-on-one guidance. Your employees should know how to identify common cybersecurity threats and scams, and how to respond to them appropriately.

Still not sure what your IT security needs are or how to go about fulfilling them? Call Nextrio at (520) 545-7100 and we’ll chat about bringing our managed services to your company. Our IT company in Tucson connects small and mid-size companies in southern Arizona to the customizable tech solutions they need.

Managing Your Company’s Digital Footprint

Your digital footprint and your carbon footprint are very different from each other, but you should do your best to reduce both. A digital footprint represents who you are and what you do on the Internet, and if you run a business, it’s not always a good idea to have a deep one. Read ahead for advice on managing your company’s digital footprint.

Understanding What It Is

Everything you do online is tracked in some way or another, and all your activity adds up to create your digital footprint. The links you click on, the comments you make, and the products you buy, for example, contribute to your digital footprint. How private or public your footprint is can make a huge difference in terms of your privacy and your reputation, so you should do your best to manage it for your business. The more you understand about your digital footprint, the more you can use it to your advantage.

Recognizing Its Impact

Just about anything you do while you’re online will influence your digital footprint, and you need to know what this means for you. As an individual, it lets employers conduct background checks and helps advertisers learn what you’re shopping for. As a business, you may be more concerned with keeping your activity under wraps by reducing your digital footprint.

Focusing on Cybersecurity

Your company should be relatively transparent with customers and clientele, especially when you deal with affairs that impact them directly. However, there’s a lot of information you’ll want to keep internal. Stepping up your cybersecurity practices by securing your connection can help reduce your digital footprint and keep your secrets safe, from new projects to financial reports.  

 

You can keep your digital footprint to a minimum by calling Nextrio at (520) 545-7100. We can help you with managed services in Tucson, so you can minimize both your digital and carbon footprints. Visit our website to see what we’re all about.

The Power of Patching

We’ve all had this moment. While working diligently, a little box appears on the corner of our screen letting us know it’s time for an update. We reflexively select “remind me later” and continue our work. Eventually, a pop up lets us know that Windows is going to update, whether we like it or not.

Although pop ups and automatic updates can cause frustration, they’re not to be ignored. Updates provide software patches that help protect computers from being exposed to malware and viruses.

So, what exactly are these patches?

Patching is the periodic process of updating software code to fix potential issues that come up after a software’s release. Think of it in terms of a pair of jeans. When you rip a hole in your jeans, you have three options:

  • Leave them ripped and risk exposing your body to whatever the jeans would have protected you from.
  • Buy a new pair of jeans.
  • Patch the hole as  a semi-permanent fix until a new patch is put on or there’s enough reason to replace the entire pair of jeans.

Software patches work the same way – they’re a way for flaws in software to be fixed to protect you from malicious danger, until a new patch or version is released. The timing is often inconvenient, but as soon as a developer is aware of an issue, they put out patches as soon as possible.

IT providers are able to use patch management software to proactively scan for patches that are needed, and apply them during business down time. Take heed, and apply any updates as soon as possible.

Contact Nextrio today at (520) 519-6301 or visit us online at www.nextrio.com for more information on help with patch management.

How Wearable Technology Can Be Incorporated into Your Business

Technology has already grown to a level that people wouldn’t have been able to fathom just a few decades ago. Tech will continue to grow, and it will most likely grow faster and faster as it becomes more developed. At this point we need to think about what we use, how we use it, and how to keep it out of the wrong hands. Here’s a look at how wearable technology can be incorporated into your business.

Security Access

Real life isn’t just catching up to sci-fi movies—in many ways modern technology is surpassing what we’ve seen on the big screen. In today’s society, it’s not at all unreasonable or even unaffordable to use keycard access. If you issue each of your employees a lanyard with his or her own personal keycard on it, you can ensure that only these people will be able to cross physical boundaries within your business.

USB Drives

It’s smart to keep a USB drive on your person at all times, just in case you need to take some files off of your work computer, so you can go over them at home. USB or thumb drives are so compact that you can put them on your keychain, in your wallet, or even on your necklace.

Enhanced Training

VR is one type of wearable technology that many businesses haven’t taken advantage of yet. Virtual reality training can create the best role-playing scenarios, so your employees will feel like they’re really in the situation and act in real time. This helps your new hires start off on the right foot and helps employees adjust to new systems.

 

It’s time to start thinking outside the box when it comes to technology, and sometimes you need an IT company in Tucson to help you do that. At Nextrio, we can improve your cybersecurity and your IT department. Call us at (520) 545-7100 or look through our website to find out how.

Simplifying the Internet of Things

If you referred to the Internet of Things a decade ago, people would have no idea what you were talking about. The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a relatively new concept, but understanding it will be helpful to current businesses. If you’re not sure what it’s all about, keep reading as we simplify the IoT.

What exactly is it?

Essentially, the Internet of Things is the connection of all different types of everyday devices tied to the Internet, sharing information between devices and creating data for decision making. It basically applies to just about every kind of electronic device out there, and the number of “things” is constantly growing.

Why would it be important to my business?

More and more devices connect to the Internet and behavior is monitored and tracked.  Information about how, when, why, and what devices are used for is fed back to companies for a variety of uses. It’s important to know how information is shared and used if it comes from your business devices, and there’s opportunity to gather useful information about your customers and their behavior as they use their devices.

Understanding the latest and greatest technology isn’t always easy, but the Nextrio team is ready to help. Contact us at (520) 519-6301 to learn about our IT company in Tucson today.

Google or Office365: Which Is Right for Your Business?

Advancements in technology have provided many options for busy professionals to be productive. Selecting the right tools for the job requires some front end research. Read on to help determine if Google G Suite or Microsoft Office 365 is right for your business.

Cost

Both solutions offer monthly subscription pricing, which is the pricing model you will continue to find more available in the market. As you develop your budget, for either solution you will need to factor in the monthly operating expense based on the number of staff using the tools and the level each staff member needs. The cost difference depends on the level of service selected for each employee, and there’s flexibility in feature sets.  There is no one-size-fits-all situation.

Features

Google’s G Suite is broken down into basic, business, and enterprise packages, with each level adding to the features from the previous one. The most advanced level includes everything from shared online calendars and unlimited online storage to advanced security and administrative controls. Microsoft Office 365 plans also have different levels, which can include mail and the Office suite of products that most are familiar with at work.

The Verdict

It’s great to have choices, and both are good one.  Most will select the one that’s most familiar, based on past experience.  However, with new options it might be time to consider something new.

A reliable IT company in Tucson can help you align your technology with your business goals. Call Nextrio at (520) 519-6301 and let’s talk about how we can help today.

Communication in the Workplace

As technology has advanced, so have the ways we communicate. Although email is still the gold standard, instant messaging has added opportunities for quick responses, on the go and from far away. Tools such as Skype, HipChat, Microsoft Teams, and Slack, to name a few, help with the process. Colleagues are working remotely and collaborating more than ever before. So, here are some best practices to keep the “IM”ing productive:

Stay Professional
Although you may be more casual with personal apps, the same business standards used with other communication methods should apply.

Avoid Confidential Information
Not all IM systems are encrypted, so keep this in mind before sharing personal information.

Post in Appropriate Places
Use group messages wisely, as some communication doesn’t require a long list of recipients.

Keep it Short and Sweet
Think small spurts of information that elicit quick responses.

Set your Status
Let folks know when you’re available, and when you’re not.

Be Responsive
Check periodically and respond briefly to messages.

Follow Company Policy
Create a policy and roll it out to staff, so everyone is aware of the rules and etiquette when using IM.

For more information on workplace communication or help with other IT needs, contact us today at (520) 519-6301 or www.nextrio.com.

 

 

 

 

The Buzz Around Big Data

The term “big data” is relatively new; however, the concept of collecting, analyzing, and using large sets of data for decision making is ages old. As more and more data is created through advances in technology, the value is becoming more mainstream for organizations of all sizes.

The Bits and Bytes
Big data is a culmination of the high-volume, variety, and velocity of which data is produced and shared. Today, data is created at an exponential rate and comes from all sources and different types. The speed at which data is gathered and processed has significantly increased over the past decade, due to advances in technology.

Big Data and your Business
Information is king. However, on its own it doesn’t mean much unless data is evaluated, organized, and interpreted with the goal of adding value to decision making. Here’s some examples of how big data can help your business:

  • Increase sales and revenue
  • Advise in the development of new products
  • Improve customer experience
  • Provide opportunities to grow
  • Find variability and optimize production

As technology continues to advance, more data will be created. The continual rise of the Internet of Things, as an example of a new variety, will continue to add to the mix.

Big data is here to stay, and will be helpful for Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike. Let Nextrio help you with your IT strategy or day-to-day needs by contacting us at (520) 519-6301 or visit us online at www.nextrio.com.

 

 

 

 

On Cloud Nine

Cloud computing is nothing new, but many don’t realize it’s the backbone of daily communication tools. For business or everyday life, here’s a refresh about services and applications that leverage the power and storage capabilities of the cloud.

Social Media
Across the globe, people are using Facebook (over two billion), Twitter (300 million), LinkedIn (450 million), Instagram (800 million), and the list goes on. These applications use the cloud for exchanges. Upload a photo – it’s stored in the cloud. Send your friend a message – it’s in the cloud.

File Sharing and Online Storage
Services such as Dropbox, OneDrive, Box, Google Drive, and others are all hosted in the cloud. All the information you send, use, and store is being transported between your device and the servers that make up the cloud.

Web-based Email Services
You check it on your laptop, phone, tablet…you access it everywhere. That’s all thanks to the cloud. The cloud allows you to send, store, and give you access to your email whenever and wherever you need it.

Video Calls and Instant Messaging
Services such as Skype, FaceTime, and Google Hangouts have made it possible to connect with people across the globe. Additionally, the cloud has enabled users to share instant messages through chat applications such as WhatsApp and Slack.

The cloud is ubiquitous and not going away anytime soon. Embrace it, and use it to your advantage at work or at play.

For more information on cloud computing for your business, contact Nextrio today at (520) 519-6301 or visit us online at www.nextrio.com.

 

 

 

How to Get More Out of Microsoft Office 365

It used to be that word processors and other office software was purchased in a physical format, which required regular upgrades, updates, and patches to function properly. In the era of cloud computing, these headaches are a thing of the past. Office 365 is a perfect example of the modern convenience of office computing, and it can be just what your company needs to become more efficient. With access to Outlook, Word, Excel, and more all for a monthly subscription, you can ensure that your employees are able to do their jobs with ease and from anywhere. Here’s how your staff would get the most out of Microsoft Office 365.

Gain Access Through Multiple Devices
Cloud computing ensures that you can access your information from many devices and at any time. With this level of access, employees can easily work remotely or from home, which is becoming and increasingly important perk that’s valued by the workforce.

Train Your Employees on Newer Features
Almost everyone knows how to use Microsoft Word, but some employees might not have a full grasp of Excel or the modern features of Outlook. With Office 365, features are continuously added, to the benefit of organizations. Keeping up-to-date on the latest and greatest is important, so look at free webinars, training documents, or hands-on support to help staff stay current.

Extend Beyond Office
If you use solutions such as SharePoint or Skype for Business, you can leverage Office 365 as a single point of access for all your productivity needs.

To learn more about Microsoft Office 365 and other cloud computing solutions for your Southern Arizona business, contact the IT experts at Nextrio. You can reach us online or by calling (520) 519-6301.

Is Your IT Department Ready for the New Year?

As the New Year begins, you might be setting resolutions not only for yourself, but also for your business. When you look at areas for improvement, you should take a look at your technology and security posture. Ask the following questions ensure that you have the right technology in place as you welcome in 2018. Seek the services of a technology solutions provider if you find you are not quite yet ready for the year ahead.

Do you have adequate support and monitoring?
Do your employees have dedicated support they can call on when their computers aren’t working or the network is down? Is your anti-virus and other software being consistently patched and updated? If it’s a challenge to keep up with the behind the scenes tasks, managed IT services might help you take care of the day-to-day so you can focus on your business.

Are you confident your network is secure?
Do you have a firewall that’s configured to meet your security needs? Are you backing up your data consistently, to prevent loss in the event of a disaster or ransomware attack. Do you institute policies with staff, such as secure password management and proper user behavior.

Is your business using the cloud?
Is it time to assess your cloud readiness.  It might be time to do a cost/benefit analysis of your legacy systems, to see if it makes sense to venture to the cloud. Often, a hybrid environment is the best approach but assessing the impact on your network, users, and budget would be prudent.

To keep your business competitive, secure, and efficient in the coming year, call Nextrio at (520) 519-6301, or browse our website to learn more about our company.

How to Streamline Your IT Department

Streamlining any department is necessary to keep your business running smoothly and efficiently. It is imperative that your IT department be streamlined, because it likely affects all other areas of your business. Thankfully, you can streamline your IT department with regular updates and simple training. Here is a closer look:

Update Your Technology

Technology is constantly improving and changing in every industry. It is imperative that your IT department invest in new and improved technology to ensure it is always running at peak efficiency. If your IT department works with outdated or badly-performing equipment, then it spends more time troubleshooting than being strategic. This will result in backlogged issues, constant repairs, and slow production across your entire company.

Train Your Workforce

In addition to maintaining new equipment, you must ensure your workforce is constantly trained in the newest technology. This training will be focused heavily on your IT employees, but you should include the rest of your staff in training. If your entire workforce is educated on the latest technology—and how it can positively impact your business—then your employees will be better able to perform their daily duties and maintain productivity.

Streamline Your Office

Streamlining your IT department should extend to the rest of your company. If you phase out unneeded equipment—such as paper filing systems—then you can reduce the time spent by your employees on unnecessary tasks. You can also streamline the day-to-day operations by cutting out redundant tasks or routines. This streamlining effort will result in more productivity between your employees and departments. It will also result in higher profits and satisfaction for your employees and customers.

Learn all the ways your IT department can be streamlined with Nextrio. We offer many services to help your company grow, become more productive, and stay secure. Please call us at (520) 519-6301 to schedule a consultation with our IT experts.

Common Employee Errors That Can Cost Your Business

Errors can happen every day, and that can mean lost profits and unhappy customers. You can prevent some of these common errors by keeping your employees trained on new technology and aware of different security issues that might affect your business. Let’s take a closer look at some common employee errors that might cost your business.

Misusing Equipment

Misuse of equipment or software can be one of the most common errors that can severely impact your business. If an employee pushes the wrong button, or series of buttons, then he or she could cause a ripple effect of mistakes. Setting access parameters based on role or responsibility level helps limit access to sensitive data.

Misunderstanding Security Measures

Security is crucial to the continued safety of your business, your employees, and your customers. Although keeping the hardware, software, and network secure and up-to-date is critical. There is the change for human error as well. If an employee accidentally opens a phishing email—spam that is meant to look legitimate—then your entire network could be compromised. It is imperative that your employees understand how important security is to your business.

Using Outdated Technology

If technology is not kept current, there’s the risk of the device no longer being supported by the vendor.  And, there’s a risk that there will be security issues due to no more patches and updates.  Also, staff may be burdened with a slow and cumbersome device that costs productivity.

Let Nextrio help you keep your staff productive and your business secure. Please call us at (520) 519-6301 to schedule an appointment.

Which Video Conferencing Software is Right for Your Business?

Not all business is conducted in a singular location, and you need to be able to communicate with your teammates. One of the most comprehensive ways to do this is through video conferencing, but a choppy video can be distracting and discouraging. Keep reading and see which video conferencing software is right for your business.

Skype

There is something to be said for companies that are pioneers of their software. Skype is an example of a video conferencing program that has been around for long enough that many people associate video chatting itself with the Skype brand. It’s important to understand that while the basic Skype application can get the job done for casual, personal video conferencing, it might not have everything you need for your business. However, Microsoft Skype for Business aims to give small businesses the extra features they need.

ClickMeeting

Although the only way you can use this application without paying is through a free trial, ClickMeeting is an affordable and effective video conferencing option. It’s also intuitive and easy to use, so employees should have no problem figuring it out. The host of the meeting has a range of controls at his or her disposal, from blocking out latecomers to recording the meeting.

join.me

join.me starts with a free plan, but there are a few tiers of upgrades you can purchase. Even with the free plan, you can conference with nine other people at the same time, and there’s an array of features to take advantage of. With this software, a participant can take over as the presenter and share presentations via iOS devices.

You need an IT company in Tucson to meet your company’s technological needs so call Nextrio at (520) 545-7100. A clear audio and visual connection removes distractions and keeps your meeting focused. Our managed services will keep your office tech up to date, so check out our website today.

Tech Trends that Have Shaped Business in 2017

You need to understand modern technology to make it work for your business. Since it’s always changing and evolving, there’s no time to waste. Technology influences security and augments our reality. Here’s a look at some tech trends that have shaped business in 2017.

Adaptable Security

We’ve known for a long time that technology was going to play an increasingly more important role in our society, but we didn’t immediately understand the necessity of cybersecurity. From small independent businesses to massive corporations, no one is completely immune to a hack. A security breach is bad for the business and its customers, so adaptable security has become a more prominent need for modern companies. Adaptive security keeps track of user behavior to prevent leaks from the inside, and when used right, it can keep millions of people’s information safe from criminals.

VR and AR

Virtual and augmented reality systems have been introduced in the past, but they’re catching on more than they have before. This technology still hasn’t made itself a staple of the workplace, but consumers are having fun with it in a lot of different ways. Between Google Glass, Samsung VR systems, and even apps like Pokémon GO, augmented reality is slowly being integrated into our daily lives. We can expect this type of technology to become more and more present and take on more applications in the future.

Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is not a new concept. On the other hand, most of us might not have realized just how intelligent our technology would become over such a short period of time. Our machines are now capable of learning, meaning they can adapt to certain circumstances without the need for human input.

 

Today’s businesses need to understand modern technology, which is where an IT company in Tucson will come in. Nextrio can give you the edge you need to keep your business ahead of the game. Call us at (520) 545-7100 or browse our website for information.

Illegal Spam Operation Exposed

Email has been one of the most defining inventions of the modern age, but it’s also given way to a much less appreciated innovation called spam. The most dangerous part of the bigger entities that promote spam is the threat of their databases being hacked. River City Media is a spam operator that has had access to a massive amount of personal information, and they were the subject of a cybersecurity breach that in some way affected a large portion of the world.

Database Leak

Whenever a single person’s confidential information is leaked, something has clearly gone wrong. When River City Media was hacked, 1.37 billion email addresses were exposed. This was a massive breach that can have real life impacts on each of these individuals, and spam messages are no longer the primary threat.

Legality of Spam

As annoying as it is, spam is technically legal. The term “spamming” has come to describe the act of promoting or advertising something to an abrasive degree, but for the most part, it is a legal practice. River City Media runs a legal and legitimate operation, even if it’s in the business of something that people by default don’t want to be part of.

Illegal Techniques

While spamming is legal, hacking any kind of company is not. In today’s day and age, hacking is the informational equivalent of breaking and entering. In addition to exposing more than one billion email accounts, this hack leaked River City Media’s business strategies and employee accounts.

Simple Strategies to Improve Computer Literacy

Computer literacy is vital in today’s digital workplace. Help your staff learn new ways to get the most out the technology they use and improve productivity. Here are a few strategies that might help everyone get better.

Schedule Ongoing Training

In order to keep up with the latest software and technologies, your business may need to upgrade its computers and systems frequently. To improve your staff’s computer literacy, consider setting up ongoing training sessions. These training sessions will provide your workers with the time and instruction that they need to master the essentials of operating your computers. Even if a worker has been with you for years, he or she could probably benefit from a refresher course.

Hire a Professional Training Company

Rather than attempting to boost your employee’s computing skills on your own, think about hiring a professional training company for assistance. The staff at your training company will know how to use individualized learning methods to help your workers master the basics of computing in the workplace.

Set Up Performance Reviews

Performance reviews can provide your workers with an incentive to make sure that they are remaining literate with your work computers. During an annual performance review, you can ask your worker to take an exam that demonstrates that they have mastered your business technology. If a worker fails to pass the exam, he or she may need to undergo additional training.

At Nextrio, our team can help your workforce understand the ins and outs of working on the computer. With our user training and managed services in Tucson, you can rest assured that your business is on the cutting edge of technological advances for businesses. Give us a call at (520) 545-7100 to schedule a consultation with a member of our first-class IT company.

Maintain Communication with Multiple Offices

As your company grows, you may expand geographically and open additional offices. With physical distance, effective use of communication technology is important for productivity, teamwork, and a shared company culture. Here’s some tips for maintaining communication between multiple offices.

Leverage Cloud Technology

Collaboration between multiple locations can be consistent and accelerated with the use of cloud technology. One of the many benefits is the elimination of tracking different versions when working on a project.  Team members can work together on a project with instant updates, access anytime, and on any device.

Establish Employee Chats

Instant messaging or chats make it easy for your workers to communicate, even if they are not located in the same office space. To enable staff to benefit from instant communication throughout the day, consider establishing a dedicated chat channel for specific departments. Your team may find that sending a chat is easier and less formal than writing an email or placing a phone call.

Set up Remote Meetings

Save time and money by leveraging online meeting technology.  You can still have the benefits of a face-to-face or team meeting, but using the Internet to connect everyone can be helpful with multiple locations. With the use of webcams, screen sharing, and online meeting software, you can easily host monthly or weekly meetings with staff, customers or partners.

 

If you need help with your technology, the team at Nextrio can assist you. Give us a call at (520) 519-6301 and we’d be happy to talk about your IT needs.

Hackers Get Friendly with FriendFinder Data

Hacks are a part of life today, and without a good IT company, you could find your business and your clientele vulnerable. Hackers steal all kinds of personal information, and they do it for many different reasons. In the case of the FriendFinder Networks hack, even the reveal that you have an account on one of these websites can be damaging to your family, career, and overall reputation. This hack affected hundreds of millions of accounts. Although the hackers are to blame for their cyber trespassing, the FriendFinder team could have done many things to lessen the damage or prevent the problem entirely. Continue reading to see how hackers got friendly with FriendFinder data.

FriendFinder Networks

Hacking one website can leak a great deal of data, but hacking a parent network can turn into a criminal’s jackpot. AdultFriendFinder, Stripshow, and Cams.com are all under the FriendFinder Networks umbrella, so they all became vulnerable. These websites involve sexual content, so exposing accounts and their holders can be extremely damaging. More than 300 million of the exposed accounts belong to AdultFriendFinder users, which is especially incriminating because of the website’s tagline as a sex and swinger community.

What They Did Wrong

FriendFinder has upped their cybersecurity measures and personnel, but they may be too late. The way they stored passwords, as well as holding onto passwords from a site they sold, made their users especially vulnerable to the hack. They also kept information from millions of deleted accounts.

What Are the Potential Costs of a Data Breach?

A data breach can be devastating for any type of business. By creating a secure network and server with the help of an experienced IT company, you can help to make sure that your business is protected from data breaches and other forms of cyber crime. Since one in four businesses are attacked by cyber criminals each year, you will be glad that your business is safe from data breaches and other types of crime. Let’s review the potential costs of a data breach for a business.

Lost Information

During a data breach, hackers may gain access to your company’s financial records, client accounts, bank statements, and other sensitive data. When your private information is hacked and made public, you may end up paying major fines and fees. If hackers are able to gain information about your banking accounts, you may also lose significant funds as a result of the breach.

Damaged Trust

When a client hires your company, he will trust you to protect his private information. In the aftermath of a data breach, your client’s sensitive records and data will have been compromised. As a result, you may damage the trust of your client and lose out on future business.

Higher Insurance Rates

Insurance companies recognize the dangers that cyber crime poses to today’s businesses. After you are subjected to a data breach, you may find that your business insurance rates are elevated significantly. To keep your insurance rates low and avoid the costs of a data breach, invest in IT protection for your company’s important information.

At Nextrio, our Tucson IT company offers managed services that will help to keep your business protected against data breaches and other cyber security issues. If you are seeking a reputable IT company to help you create a secure server for your company, look no further than our team. Call us at (520) 545-7100 to schedule a consultation with a member of our IT team.

Tips for Designing Better Passwords

Passwords are used to protect the online security of your business. From your email accounts to your financial records and more, chances are that many aspects of your business are password protected. Without strong passwords and support from an IT company, your sensitive information could be vulnerable to hackers. Let’s take a look at some tips that can help you to design better passwords.

Use At Least 12 Characters

Length is a key characteristic for any strong password. Many IT experts agree that a password needs to be at least 12 characters in length in order to be secure. If your password is shorter than 12 characters, it may be too easy for a hacker to break your code. An online password generator can help you to create new passwords of the appropriate length.

Avoid Dictionary Words

While common terms and phrases may make your password easier to remember, using dictionary words could make your password vulnerable to cyber attacks. Whenever possible, avoid using common words that can be found in the dictionary. Instead, random combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols will make a much stronger password. If you have trouble remembering your passwords, consider storing them in a secure database.

Add Various Characters

Various keyboard characters can be included in your password to increase its strength. When you are designing your next password, explore your keyboard to find different symbols, capital letters, and other characters that can make up your new password creation. It is important to note, however, that your symbols should not be used as obvious substitutions in actual words.

 

If you need help keeping your business’ digital information secure, contact Nextrio. Our IT company offers managed services in Tucson, and we will be thrilled to help you create a new computer network that is protected from hackers and other types of cyber criminals. To learn more about the advantages of working with our IT company in Southern Arizona, give us a call at (520) 545-7100.

Dailymotion Attack Compromises User Data

Since 2005, Dailymotion has been one of the world’s most popular video sharing platforms. With millions of daily users, the Dailymotion site was a prime target for cyber criminals. In October of last year, hackers infiltrated the Dailymotion database and stole user information. To highlight the importance of network security for your business, here is a look at how the Dailymotion attack compromised user data.

Initial Attack

The Dailymotion attack can be traced to October 20, 2016, when a single hacker was able to break through the site’s protective barriers. In as little as a few minutes after the first security breach, the hacker was able to obtain the usernames and passwords of thousands of Dailymotion users.

Company Follow Up

In the aftermath of the cyber attack, Dailymotion was asked to comment on the status of their users’ private information and passwords. While Dailymotion did not comment specifically about what types of information were stolen, they did urge their users to reset their passwords and user names. Choosing a long password that is make up of random letters, numbers, and symbols can help to make a user’s account secure against cybercrime.

Future Measures

Whether you are a Dailymotion user, or you are a business owner, it is important to ensure that all your digital information is protected from crimes that are similar to the one that was committed last October. If you are concerned about the safety of your data and passwords, consider hiring an IT company to provide you with network security services.  

Secure your Work Environment

The right technology plays a key part in securing your company’s network; however, staff behavior also plays a part in the process. Integrating the right tools with proper staff training creates a more comprehensive approach to your security.

Passwords & Two-factor Authentication

Remind staff that passwords are to be unique or different for each application or software they use. Also, employees should never share passwords with others. In addition to a single sign on password, you should also consider implementing two-factor authentication to add a second layer of security. In addition to a regular password, a login code or USB device grants access to the individual user as a second step in the process.

Wireless Connection

It’s important to differentiate your company’s Wi-Fi network from your guest network, to ensure those who shouldn’t have access to your data aren’t able to enter through a wireless connection. Also, staff members should be set up to access data through secure remote access, and not openly access data using public Wi-Fi.

Data Backup

Hopefully you won’t need to access the data you backup, but if the moment arises, you’ll want it all. Remind staff to store files on the shared drives, and not locally on their computers.  If something were to happen to a computer and the files were not stored on a server or in the cloud, they may not be retrievable. Also, don’t forget a consistent backup strategy for all of your company’s data.

If you want suggestions on how to improve your security, and need an IT company in Tucson, Nextrio is happy to help. Visit our website or call us at (520) 519-6301 for more information.

Budgeting & Your IT

Your business runs on IT, and staying ahead of security needs and new technology requires thoughtful financial planning. Thinking through the budget needed to allocate for maintenance, updates, and new installations takes some planning and forethought.  There are different models and ways to get the job done, and it helps to know your needs.

Don’t Cut Corners

Certain aspects of your IT are worth the expense, and security and data backup are two of them. Invest time and money into making your network and environment as secure as you need, based on parameters you determine meet your risk tolerance level.  In addition, having your data backed up consistently is important with the prevalence of ransomware.

Consider the Size of Your Business

Depending on your needs, outsourcing the management of your IT may make the most sense as it provides expertise you’re not able to hire for, and smooths your expenses monthly. Larger businesses may have unfulfilled, niche needs that require a partner to help with strategy and execution from time-to-time.  IT costs money, but there are different ways to allocate the funds based on needs.

Understand the Importance of IT

Information technology is crucial for every business in today’s day and age, and it’s continuously changing. There are many ways to get the most out of your IT budget, often with modifications and smart planning over time. Moving from equipment at your location to a cloud-based solution may or may not make financial sense, but having experts help navigate the options is the smart way to go.

If you need help with planning and budgeting for your technology needs, call the IT professionals at Nextrio at (520) 519-6301 or visit our website.

Project management and your IT

Keeping up with and aligning all the security needs, hardware and software lifecycles, resource management, and budget allocation requires unique project management skills in an IT environment. In addition to the general project management pieces such as planning, scheduling, implementing, documenting, and testing, here’s some areas to keep in mind as you manage the process for IT:

  • Budget for capital expenditures such as a new server, switch, UPS, workstations, firewalls, etc., plus consider ongoing operating expenses related to service and support
  • Develop a timeframe for new installations, upgrades, and general maintenance of your network.
  • Include time and determine frequency for researching upgrades or new solutions to improve your environment.

If you need help with managing your IT projects or the day-to-day needs of your staff, contact Nextrio at 520.519.6301 or visit www.nextrio.com for more information.

Bring Your Company into the Future with these Tips

Digital technology is expanding and evolving at a rapid rate. It’s important to keep pace with the latest and greatest ways to engage with clients. Here are some tips to help you improve your digital posture in the marketplace.

Embrace Mobile Technology

Businesses and clients alike are increasing their use of mobile technologies, such as smartphones and tablets. If your website, apps, and other solutions are not optimized for mobile, you may find that you’re losing customers and missing important business opportunities.

Target Social Media

Social media represents the present and the future of how businesses and their customers interact. Websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Yelp can be powerful sources of influence and leads. Making sure that your social media profiles are up to date and continually refreshed with engaging content will help drive new business your way.

Consider Digital Payment Systems

Fewer transactions are made with cash currency. While credit cards and debit cards remain relevant today, the future will see an increase in digital transactions. By allowing your clients to pay using digital technology, you can streamline the payment process and make it easier to keep track of billing and invoices.

If you need help with your organization’s technology, the team at Nextrio can help you. Our managed IT services provide the proactive and consistent IT support you need to stay productive and secure. Give us a call at (520) 519-6301 to learn more about how our IT experts can help you improve your business operations.  

Criminals Hack the IRS

It’s scary when you think about a government institution like the Internal Revenue Service being hacked, and it forces you to wonder just how safe and secure you are when entering personal information online. It turns out that the recent IRS hack was intended to be much bigger than it turned out to be, although it was still a large-scale attack. Hackers were able to use a feature on the IRS website to steal information, which is bad news on a few different levels.

Scale and Implications of the Hack

In 2015, hackers were able to come away with personal information from more than 100,000 people. Although this number seems substantial in the first place, it only represents about half of the 200,000 people that the crime syndicate had targeted. The attack didn’t just leak personal information like names and birthdays, but also financial information that can be used to acquire tax returns. Hackers got right to work, and used the information to claim thousands of tax returns. With all of this information in the wrong hands, criminals can convincingly open credit lines and bank accounts under other people’s identities.

How It Was Done

The key to the hack was the IRS website, specifically a tool called Get Transcript. What was supposed to be a tool to help people download old forms turned into a convenient way for criminals to gather a great deal of personal information at once. The IRS shut down the feature, but only after the damage was done.

Get ahead of the monsoon season in Southern Arizona

The monsoons are finally here! With the amazing thunder and lightning, often come power issues.

The microprocessors found in much of our electronic equipment is sensitive to power surges or instant power loss, which can occur during storms. Damage to a computer or server can lead to shorter equipment lifespan, loss of data, or even the machine’s destruction.

There’s no time like the present to ensure your technology is protected as the storms roll through!

  1. Ensure there’s a UPS for each server and workstation, and check for any replacement needs.
  2. Determine the need for a redundant Internet connection, especially if you leverage the cloud.
  3. Deploy a backup solution to protect your critical data.

If you need help with your technology, contact Nextrio at 520.519.6301 or visit www.nextrio.com for more information.

Get a Look at the History of IT

Information technology is critical for the successful operations of nearly every contemporary business. Getting to where we are today has been a process that started decades ago. IT has evolved over the years starting with the advent of computers, to the development of the Internet.

While IT professionals keep you up-to-date with the latest technology trends, it’s helpful to step back in time and learn how IT has developed over the years.

1940s: Invention of the Electronic Discrete Variable Automatic Computer

The computers that we use today can trace their origins back to the 1940s, when scientists created the first EDVAC, or Electronic Discreet Variable Automatic Computer. The EDVAC was invented by scientists Mauchly and Eckert, who developed a “stored program” model where instructions to the computer would be stored basically the same as the data. This computer storage technology paved the way for many technology systems we know today.

1970s: Creation of the Personal Computer

When computers were first invented, they were incredibly large and cumbersome devices that could take up an entire room’s worth of space. By the 1970s, the need for compact computers to be operated by single users was addressed. In 1976, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs released their desktop computer to the general market, setting the stage for the Apple revolution.

1980s: Development of the World Wide Web

The IT systems that we use today are heavily dependent on the World Wide Web. The origins of the Internet date back to the 1980s, when Tim Berners-Lee worked with CERN he released the ENQUIRE project. Throughout the 1990s, ENQUIRE was refined and used as a foundation to develop the Internet that we use today.

If you’re in need of IT support for your business, look no further than Nextrio. Call us at (520) 519-6301 for more information today.

Yahoo’s Biggest Breach Ever

The bigger your company, the more disastrous a cybersecurity breach could stand to be. Since you have more users, you have more information that could leak. This also makes you a bigger target to larger scale hackers. Although the information didn’t come out until 2016, Yahoo was the victim of a massive hack in 2014. Hackers gained access to all kinds of customer information, and the timing couldn’t have been worse in terms of Yahoo’s merger with Verizon. Keep reading to learn all about Yahoo’s biggest breach ever.

The Scope of the Hack

Yahoo is a massive company, and it suffered a proportionately massive hack in 2014. In late 2016, it came out that hackers had gained access to a great deal of user account information. Although it is not believed that financial information was leaked, information like email addresses, passwords, and phone numbers got out. What makes this security breach unique is that hackers got away with information from half a billion accounts. If it was indeed the more than 500 million accounts that Yahoo reported, it was the biggest breach that the world has seen.

What It Means for Verizon

Unfortunately for Yahoo, matters were made worse by the fact that Verizon was in the process of acquiring the company. According to the original terms of the deal, Verizon would purchase Yahoo for $4.8 billion. After the security breach, however, Verizon tried to knock the price down by almost a billion dollars. Yahoo ultimately sold at a $350 million discount.

The Importance of IT Sustainability

When you are setting up an IT department for your business, you may want to figure out how to go green with your computing. In fact, many of today’s businesses are choosing sustainable practices and devices for their IT departments. A company that offers managed services can work with you to help you promote IT sustainability in your workplace. Let’s take a look at why IT sustainability is so important for your business.

Reduce Carbon Footprint

If you are concerned about the impact that your business is having on the environment, it may be time to look into IT sustainability. Some smart sustainability measures that you can take for your IT department include installing high-efficiency monitors and encouraging workers to turn off their computers and other office devices at the end of the workday. After several months of practicing sustainable IT measures, the overall carbon footprint of your business will have been reduced significantly.

Ensure Longevity of Devices

Another aspect of IT sustainability is purchasing devices that are designed to last. With proper maintenance and care, your computers, fax machines, and other office equipment can last for many years before needing replacement. When the time comes to purchase new electronics, you should consider sending your old e-waste to a recycling facility.

Promote Environmental Awareness

Sustainability in your company’s IT department can help you promote environmental awareness throughout your company. By sending your workers a strong message that you are dedicated to protecting the environment and conserving energy, you can help to make sure that all of your employees practice eco-friendly habits when they are at work.

If you are seeking an innovative IT company in Tucson, look no further than Nextrio. From strategic IT planning to managed services and more, our company offers all of the technical support that you need to create and maintain a functional IT department for your business. Give us a call at (520) 519-6301 to hear more about how we can assist you with a sustainable IT plan.

How to Keep Your Digital Information Secure

In today’s technologically-focused society, much of our important information is stored in digital databases, such as the cloud. If your IT department uses cloud computing or other digital services to store your company’s important data and information, you will need to make sure that this information is protected from hackers and other criminals. To provide you with peace of mind, here is a look at three steps that you can take to keep your digital information secure.

Use Password Protection

Strong passwords provide your information with protection against anyone who decides to hack into your computer or online accounts. To ensure that your passwords are inpenetrable to hackers, you will want to make sure that they are strong. A strong password contains upper and lower case letters, numbers, symbols, and cannot be easily guessed using information about yourself or your business. Ideally, you should change your passwords at least every 90 days.

Rely on Data Encryption

Information that is particularly sensitive, such as financial statements, may need to be protected using data encryption. Data encryption services will make your information unreadable, even if a hacker is able to access your database. An IT specialist will be able to create a strong data encryption program that adds an additional layer of protection to your information.

Avoid Falling for Scams

Online scams, such as email phishing schemes, are becoming more prevalent. If you accidentally open a hacked email, your digital information could become vulnerable to thieves. As a general rule, it is best to never open an email from an unfamiliar sender. A spam filter can also help to remove these harmful messages from your inbox.

For additional data protection services, be sure to contact Nextrio by calling (520) 519-6301. Our IT and strategic planning company can help you create a secure and safe cloud computing program for your business. With our managed services, you can rest assured that your computers and digital information are fully protected and secured.

Don’t Believe These Myths About IT and Business Practices

It can be difficult to survive if you don’t know truth from fiction, which is why you should be able to tell if what you know about IT and business practices is true or not. If you think that wired connections are faster than wireless ones, your apps always slow your processing down, or it’s too expensive to go green, you might be buying into some common misconceptions. Continue on and don’t believe these myths about IT and business practices.

Wireless Means Slower

You might feel like plugging a cable into your computer gets you to the source faster, and in some cases this may be true. However, using a wireless connection doesn’t always mean that your computer will operate slower than it would if it was connected by wire. If you need the fastest connection possible, consider your Internet plan rather than the way your computer connects to it.

Apps Are Slowing You Down

Sometimes having applications open in the background can drain your battery and slow down your processing speed, but this dynamic only occurs if the apps are open and running. In many cases, the apps you have open in the task list are not actually running. This means that closing them down won’t necessarily help your processing speed.

Sustainability Is Too Expensive

There is more to sustainability than your equipment. In fact, the strategy that you employ tends to play a much bigger role in your sustainability than the actual equipment that you use. If you think that making your business sustainable is the wrong move, it may be time to reevaluate your strategy.

If you need any kind of help from an IT company in Tucson, don’t wait to call Nextrio at (520) 545-7100. We will support you with the IT help you need to keep your business running strong. Check out our website for more on the services we can offer you.

Red Cross Suffers Data Emergency

Donating blood is an altruistic act that can help save lives, so our society should do its best to encourage this kind of giving. Unfortunately, cybersecurity issues like the one that Red Cross Blood Service ended up dealing with in late 2016 can have the opposite effect. According to some, this was actually the largest data breach that the nation of Australia has experienced to date. A great deal of information was leaked, including the answers to true-false questionnaires containing private data. On the upside, it does not appear that there is much potential for this information to be used for harm. Keep reading to learn about Red Cross and the data emergency they suffered.

Breach and Data

Part of the problem with the Red Cross data emergency is the scope of people affected. It’s estimated that about half a million people who donated blood through Red Cross between 2010 and 2016 had some of their information leaked during the breach. An eligibility questionnaire asked potential donors if they had engaged in potentially risky sexual behavior in the previous year, which is private information that can have harmful consequences on a person’s career and image.

Potential for Damages

Although this type of security scare is important to learn from, it appears that the potential for damage is low. A security expert claims that the files have been deleted, but this was still one of the largest—if not the largest overall—cyber security leak that Australia has experienced to this point.

Understanding the Different Tiers of IT Help

Most businesses will need help from an IT company at some point, but there are different tiers of help to look at. Depending on your problem you may need basic, technical, or even specialized support. Read on if you’d like some help understanding the different tiers of IT help.

Basic Support

The first tier of IT help is the basic support level. An employee who works at this level of IT support will usually have a general idea of the products and services that the company offers, but he or she may not have much more intimate knowledge. This level of support might make use of outsourcing, so the professional on the phone might not actually work for the company that you are calling about. Tier 1 employees aren’t always able to resolve the problem, so you might end up moving up the ladder if you can’t get your issue figured out.

Technical Support

Those who work in the second level of IT help tend to have a bit more technical knowledge than those on the first tier. How your second tier IT assistant handles your problem depends on its nature. If your problem is brand new, your professional will add it to the bug list. If it’s an existing problem, he or she will help you fix it.

Specialized Support

Tier three is the highest tier of IT support that many companies offer. Your third tier IT professional will collaborate with the employees at the first and second tiers to gather information. Then he or she will use specialized knowledge to analyze your situation and offer you the best solution to your problem.

If you need any kind of help from an IT company in Tucson, don’t wait to call Nextrio at (520) 545-7100. We will support you with the IT help you need to keep your business running strong. Check out our website for more on the services we can offer you.

Why One Size Doesn’t Fit All in IT

The concept of “one size fits all” is usually impractical, and this is the case when it comes to Tucson IT companies and the businesses they serve. Businesses of different sizes have different needs, and an IT plan that doesn’t fit yours may leave people pointing fingers. Take a look ahead to find out why one size doesn’t fit all in IT.

Assessing Your Needs

One size rarely fits all. While you might be able to stretch out a sweater or hold up your pants with a belt, there’s much less flexibility when it comes to information technology. A small business will have very different needs than a large corporation, and the IT team that works with them should be sensitive to this fact. Some companies already have IT staff personnel and some don’t, and others have too many members in their department. A team of IT professionals that considers the size of your company will be able to adapt to your needs and ensure that the project is completed efficiently. Looking for a second opinion and looking for an IT staff are two very different things, so make sure you choose a company that is qualified to work with a business of your caliber.

Accepting Responsibility

Sometimes when you hire an IT company, you run into certain problems. If your IT department is already overstaffed and you hire third party professionals for a second opinion, you’ll want to make sure everyone is on the same page. A company that respects and understands the size of your company will bring team members together and help to avoid conflict rather than create it.

Do you want to work with an IT company in Tucson that understands and respects the needs of a business your size? Call the Nextrio team at (520) 545-7100. We are happy to provide you with managed services so you can enjoy the support that you need. Visit our website or stop by and see us for more information.

Netflix Twitter Account Taken Over

There wasn’t much “chilling” going on when Netflix suffered a cyber security mishap in late 2016. A Netflix Twitter account was hacked, and the hackers sent out a series of tweets that mocked the organization’s security. The hackers were identified as the OurMine hacker group, and they are no strangers to social media takeovers. Read ahead to learn more about what happened when Netflix had their Twitter account taken over.

The Tweets

When Netflix had their Twitter account hacked in 2016, the hackers seemed to see it as a power move. While in control of the account, hackers claimed that it was their job to prove that the world’s security is not where it should be. A number of tweets were sent out from the Netflix US Twitter account, but many were deleted in a matter of minutes. Fortunately the Netflix US Twitter account isn’t associated with customers’ credit card information or other personal details. If these hackers could get into such a high profile Twitter account, however, they could move onto other databases.

OurMine Hacker Group

It turns out that the group behind the 2016 Netflix Twitter takeover is called OurMine. This group of hackers are already known in the IT and cyber security world, as they have given social media executives problems in the past. OurMine took credit for the hack during the investigation, and they may have gotten into the account well before anyone realized. Aside from a customer support tweet, Netflix did not comment at the time.

What Digital Information Should Be Kept Secure?

Digital information is more important than ever in the age of technology, and IT companies play an integral role in keeping it secure. Your business’ digital information might include client details, tax records, and insider conversations and strategies. Read ahead for a closer look at what digital information should be kept secure.

Client Information

Your customers and clients trust you with their personal information, and the last thing you would want to do is compromise it. Losing customer information can attach a stigma to your brand, as it has for countless companies in the digital era already. If you don’t keep your client information secure you could lose names, phone numbers, addresses, and even credit card numbers. By keeping your client information secure, you can preserve your brand’s image as well as the trust and respect of your customers.

Tax Records

It’s easy to do your taxes online these days, but you must be careful to keep your information secure. There is no reason for your competitors—or anyone else—to have your business’s tax information without going through your administration. An IT company can keep your tax records secure and avoid unauthorized access.

Company Conversations

Whether there’s a secret ingredient that makes your pasta the best or a unique strategy that has catapulted your marketing company, you don’t want your methods getting out. Consider hiring an IT company to ensure that conversations between employees stay private. This can help you maintain your edge over the competition.

If you want to take every measure necessary to ensure that your digital information is kept secure, you’ll need the help of a quality IT company in Tucson. At Nextrio, we will do what it takes to keep your information protected so you can focus on your business. Check out our website or call us at (520) 545-7100 to learn more about what we can do for you.

What Is Required of a Good IT Project Manager?

When you hire an IT company, it’s important to make sure you hire a reputable IT provider with the necessary skills to oversee your projects. The right project manager can help you bring your project to fruition without any hassle, while the wrong one can cause more harm than good. Continue reading to find out what is required of a good IT project manager.

Communication and Management Skills

Those who are in a management position of any kind should have excellent communication skills. When you hire an outsider to manage an IT project, people on both sides need to be kept informed throughout its duration. In addition to reporting to management, your IT project manager should be able to manage a group of people efficiently. Make sure you do your research before hiring a project manager to ensure that you find someone who will be a strong and capable leader.

Industry Experience

Nobody starts off as an expert, and some up and coming IT project managers might surprise you with their skills. When you set out to find a manager for your IT project, however, it’s typically a good idea to look for a company that has been around for a while. Industry experience is invaluable, and an experienced IT project manager can show you real life examples of projects he or she has successfully led.

Risk Assessment Abilities

Sometimes you need to take risks in order to be successful, but it’s crucial to know which risks are worth taking and which are not. A good IT project manager will understand how to assess a risk and determine whether it’s worth taking.

Are you looking for managed services in Tucson? Talk to the professionals at Nextrio. Our job is to make sure your business has all its technological needs taken care of. Please feel free to give us a call at (520) 545-7100 or head over to our website if you are looking for a good IT project manager for your company.

Try These Green Computing Tips

The way we handle our energy usage today has serious implications for our future, which is one reason green computing is such a good idea. Simply changing the power settings on your computer, turning off your gear when you’re done for the day, and working with an IT company can reduce your carbon footprint and help the entire planet. Keep reading and try these green computing tips.

Change Your Power Settings

If your company wants to be green, your technology can help you. That’s why your computers and related accessories come with power saving options that can reduce your energy use and your impact on the environment. When you go into your computer’s settings, you can adjust how long it takes for it to go to sleep after a period of inactivity. Most computers offer even more advanced settings that allow you to decide how long it will take for the screen to dim.

Turn Your Equipment Off

It’s nice to show up to work with your computer all set to go, but this isn’t the best for the environment or your electric bill. If you want your company to go green, encourage your employees to turn off all of their devices once they are done for the day. It will only take a few minutes to fire them back up in the morning, and the difference can be significant.

Work with an IT Company

Not everyone is an expert in going green. If you want your company to be more environmentally responsible, you can always work with an IT company. The professionals will teach you how to cut your energy costs and reduce your carbon footprint.

Green computing helps everyone, including your business. If you’re looking for an IT company in Tucson to help you switch over to more environmentally-friendly methods, feel free to call Nextrio at (520) 545-7100. You can also stop by and see us or visit our website to learn more about our managed IT services.

A Look Inside the Cellebrite Hack

Hacking has become so commonplace in modern society that specialized hacking companies have come to exist as a byproduct of the constant thirst for information and data that has been created through the widespread use of computers and smartphones. Cellebrite is one such company that is most well-known for Universal Forensic Extraction Devices (UFEDs), which can rip data from mobile phones ranging from contact information to call logs to emails and more. Early this year, it was revealed that Cellebrite was itself the target of a major hack, making it another in a string of major attacks on companies specializing in hacking and surveillance.

How much data was taken?

Data appears to have been gathered from Cellebrite’s website, which is logged into by end users for software updates among other tools. In the 900 GB of data taken, there were email addresses and personal information of users as well as what appears to be data dumped from phones and Cellebrite devices.

How was the hack discovered?

Motherboard obtained the 900 GB of data in January and notified Cellebrite of the hack. Representatives from the company noted that they recently experienced unauthorized access to an external web server and is investigating the breach.

What happened next?

Cellebrite has done little to respond to the hack beyond issuing a statement advising customers to change their passwords and login information. It seems that the motive for the hack is a vigilante approach to a changing climate in government surveillance and privacy issues, so it may only be one of many to come within a shaky political climate.

What Is Green Computing and Why Your Business Should Do It

The focus on environmental impact has become more pronounced as the effects of irresponsible practices have surfaced. Having your IT company help you with green computing can make your business more environmentally responsible, which comes with a host of benefits. If you’re wondering what green computing is and why your business should do it, read ahead.

Green Computing

The point of green computing is to reduce electronic waste as well as use technology more efficiently and responsibly. Your business can do this by calculating the amount of energy you typically use and deciding where you can cut back. You should also think about the way you dispose of your business’s waste, as this is important to consider when it comes to determining how environmentally friendly your practices really are.

Business Benefits

Cutting down on waste and using energy more responsibly can benefit your business in countless ways. Less waste means a reduced need for waste management services, and it can clear up space as well as cut down costs. Using energy more responsibly should bring down the overall cost of your operation and immediately turn into tangible savings that you can use elsewhere.

Certification

On top of increasing your business efficiency and decreasing your carbon footprint, green computing can land you a certification that you can proudly show off. Customers who are particularly conscious of the environment may limit their patronage to businesses that adopt those same ideals, and a certification in green computing sends the right message. This can keep you open to a particular group of customers, and it can garner respect from the community.

The right IT company in Tucson can help you better understand green computing, and Nextrio can serve a wide range of business needs. We specialize in managed services and are eager to help you improve your business. Call us at (520) 545-7100 or check out our website for details on our services.

The Advantages of Cloud Computing

The fact that so many businesses are moving towards cloud computing suggests that it must come with some benefits, but what are they? When you work with an IT company to maximize your cloud computing efficiency, you benefit from smaller data centers, reliable access to your material, and the flexibility your business needs to adapt to changing times. Here is more on the advantages of cloud computing.

Reduced Data Centers

You might not think of the data on your computer as taking up physical space, but your data centers do need physical space to support your business. With cloud computing, however, you can reduce the size of your data center or even eliminate it entirely. Since everything will be hosted for you, you won’t be placing high demands on a data center.

Reliable Access

Cloud computing allows you to access programs and data that are stored in the cloud rather than on your actual devices. This will take some of the pressure off your data centers and allow you to downgrade them, but the prospect of not having what you need on your device might not sit right at first. The good news is that cloud servers are incredibly reliable, so you should be able to access your programs and data whenever you need them. This ensures that business keeps moving forward, and it makes it easy to get what you need no matter where you are.

Flexibility and Versatility

It’s easy to collaborate with cloud computing, because you and your coworkers can both access the same materials while in different locations. You can also easily adjust the way you use cloud computing and how much capacity you pay for based on your needs.

If you have decided that it’s time to move your business to the cloud, call Nextrio at (520) 545-7100. Our IT company in Tucson has a great deal of experience working with cloud computing, so we can make sure everything goes according to plan. Head over to our website to learn more about us.

ClixSense Compromises Extensive Customer Data

With great power comes great responsibility; the bigger your pool of customers, the more trust they will place into your hands. ClixSense is one online company that has had millions of active user accounts, making a cyber-attack even more dangerous for them. The nature of the website played an additional role in the severity of their infamous hack, and the executives were reluctant to divulge the details.

The Hack

While ClixSense might not be as popular as Google or Facebook, it still has millions of user accounts on file. This company offers people a way to make money online by taking surveys and watching advertisements. If you think like a hacker, you already know why this makes the business a prime target for a cyber-attack: A company with a large customer base that works with money can mean a huge payday for hackers.

The Nature of ClixSense

Hackers typically come up with usernames, passwords, email addresses, and other personal yet somewhat peripheral information through their cyber-attacks. Due to the nature of ClixSense’s business, hackers could come away with much more. You need to have some sort of financial information on file in order for ClixSense to be able to pay you for the ads you watch and the surveys you take. This means that in addition to passwords and email addresses, hackers made off with access to people’s credit card information, home addresses, and more personal details.

Not the Whole Truth

The 6.6 million users who had lost their information through the attack didn’t get the whole truth when ClixSense execs first made the incident public, and the news they did get came a week after the attack. Users were encouraged to change their ClixSense passwords, but it’d be wiser for them to change all their passwords.

Why You Need Outsourced IT Project Management

IT services are a must for most companies, and it can help to seek the help of an independent IT company. When you work with a professional IT company you can depend on professional results, efficient management, and a point of view that you might not have considered. Continue to see why you need outsourced IT project management.

Professional Results

Unless you have a background in IT or a department of specialists, handling your IT management in-house can be tricky. On the other hand, you can count on results of the utmost quality when you hire a professional IT company to handle your IT project management. IT professionals will come with intimate knowledge and a strong grasp of what will work best for your business. Strong leadership and direction can make or break your project, and a professional IT company can lead you in the right direction.

Efficient Management

Anything you do for your business will likely cost some amount of money, so make sure you spend it wisely. By outsourcing and working with an IT company, you can rest assured that you are operating your company as efficiently as possible. You can hire an IT company for a single project, and then they will come off the payroll as soon as the project has been completed.

Diversity

Even if you are an IT pro, you could always benefit from a second opinion. Bringing in an outside IT company can help you gain a perspective that you might not have otherwise seen, and this can have a real impact on the success of your business and your IT project. Your outsourced professional will come in with fresh insight that can help you pull off your next IT venture.

If outsourced IT project management is what you’re looking for, look no further than Nextrio. We are a Tucson IT company that is happy to help you with your next IT project. Give us a call at (520) 545-7100 or visit our website to learn more about our services.

Mossack Fonseca Hacked

While any major hack can reflect poorly on even the most trusted businesses, the release of the Panama Papers from the law firm and corporate service provider Mossack Fonseca created a disaster for the firm, which led to a widespread investigation on part of the Panamanian, Peruvian, and Salvadorian police. In addition to the questionable business practices revealed through the data breach, the hack showcased multiple vulnerabilities within the company’s email server, which was using poor, outdated versions of key security tools.

A massive data breach

On April 3, 2016, German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, revealed that 11.5 million confidential documents from Mossack Fonseca had been leaked. These documents would later be dubbed the Panama Papers; they dated back to 1970 and revealed that a number of the firm’s clients hid billions of dollars in tax havens. The data was so extensive that SZ required the help of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists to sort through each of the confidential documents. The source of the breach was primarily through compromised email servers, which contained emails, database formats, PDFs, images, and text documents.

Questionable business practices

In many corporate data breaches, those who suffer most are individual clients. In the case of Mossack Fonseca, the clients whose information was leaked were large corporations themselves, and they had participated in compromising activities that launched an investigation of Mossack Fonseca and its clients. The company defended its actions and those of its clients by stating that the responsibility for potential legal violations lied with other institutions.

How IT Solutions Benefit Different Industries

IT companies are not designed to work with just one or two types of industries; rather, they can help in every field. The services they offer tend to be particularly helpful in the legal, education, and healthcare industries. Feel free to keep reading to find out how IT solutions can benefit many kinds of industries.

Law

In today’s day and age, IT solutions are necessary for just about everyone. Modern lawyers use technological software to keep track of appointments they’ve scheduled as well as details regarding their clients’ cases. Losing these files can be detrimental for your practice, and it can also serve as an invasion of clients’ privacy. IT solutions can up your security and help you stay organized so that you can handle each case to the best of your ability and offer your clients the attention that they deserve.

Education

Blended learning is still a relatively new concept, but it’s been catching on across the world. Today’s classrooms are making more use of technology than ever before, and computers and tablets may play an important role when it comes to lesson plans. If you want to make sure that your lesson stays on track and your kids stay focused, consider having an IT company help you keep your tech in working order.

Healthcare

Professional IT solutions from an IT company can be crucial in a healthcare setting. From patients’ records to complicated medical equipment, your hospital, clinic, or other practice should always be operating at full steam. Your IT company can ensure that your systems stay online so that your patients get the healthcare they need when they need it the most.

Are you interested in experiencing how a quality IT company in Tucson could benefit your industry? Please call Nextrio at (520) 545-7100 or visit our website to find out how our managed services can help you today.

How an IT Audit Will Improve Your Business

In today’s competitive society, any business that isn’t constantly improving itself will run the risk of falling behind. One crucial way you can make improvements is by making the most of your technology, especially because your competition will be striving to do the same. Keep reading for a quick look at how an IT audit will improve your business.

Understanding Your Current Setup

Don’t be afraid of the word audit; although you might associate it with your tax return, an audit isn’t always a bad thing. An audit is simply an analysis, and an IT audit comes with plenty of benefits. Firstly, an IT audit from a professional IT company can help you fully understand what you are currently working with. The better you understand your setup, the better use you can make of it.

Increasing Efficiency

When your IT company looks at your technology and assesses your current situation, your specialists will have the opportunity to identify problem areas. By recognizing what doesn’t work, you can adjust your strategy and focus on what does. Even small improvements of this nature can help to increase your overall technological efficiency, which can reduce costs and increase productivity.

Keeping Up with Competition

If you want to stay on top, there is no time to sit back. Your IT company will look at your technology, your employees, your budget, and many other factors to ensure that you are using your resources wisely. In this way an IT audit can help you stay up to speed and prevent the competition from taking over.

Contact the professionals at Nextrio if you would like to find out what an IT audit can do to improve your particular business. We can help you understand and improve your technology so you can stay ahead of the competition. Give us a call at (520) 545-7100 or check out our website to learn more about our IT company in Tucson.

Technological Solutions for the Decision Makers

If it’s your job to make important decisions for your company, the consequences could fall on your shoulders. This is why you need your IT company in Tucson to help you make the best decisions for your business. Keep reading for a quick look at some technological solutions for the decision makers.

IT Professionals

As a leader in the IT department, you might play an important role in ensuring that projects are completed effectively and efficiently. You can use all kinds of technological solutions to do so, like cloud computing strategies. If you come across a project that might warrant some outside help, it’s a good idea to hire an IT company for assistance. An outside specialist from an IT company will be able to help you make the right decisions for your business, resulting in greater success for both parties.

Office Managers

In order for the team to stay motivated and the office to continue to buzz, a little help might be needed. The decisions that office managers make can affect productivity and downtime, which in turn impacts the overall efficiency of the operation. If your tech suddenly goes down, you will need to get it back up as soon as possible to keep everything on track. Your IT company can address your tech issue and keep your network up and running.

Executives

Your business strategy and your technology must work hand-in-hand, and IT companies can make sure this happens. Executives can benefit from security analysis technology, user training modules, and network review. This will help you make informed decisions based on your company’s technological capabilities.

It’s tough for your business to stay competitive when you don’t have the technological solutions that others do, which is why you should call Nextrio at (520) 545-7100. Our IT company in Tucson can help you make the most of your tech so your company can flourish. Visit our website for more on our services.

Gamers Beware: Minecraft’s 7 Million Account Hack

Minecraft is a popular and highly-praised sandbox game that encourages players to create and explore virtual worlds. As of June of 2016, Minecraft had sold more than 106 million copies and maintained a player base of over 40 million players on numerous servers each month. One such server, Lifeboat, was hacked in early 2016, putting the passwords of seven million users at risk.

The Lifeboat Hack

The Lifeboat server supports player activities for the smartphone version of Minecraft, called Minecraft: Pocket Edition. According to Minecraft representatives, hackers stole information from seven million Lifeboat accounts in January of 2016, potentially gaining access to user passwords. Although Minecraft passwords are encrypted, Lifeboat had chosen to hash passwords with a notoriously weak algorithm called MD5. This made it easy to use available online resources to decode stolen passwords, despite attempts to protect them. Once hackers had determined a user’s password, they could potentially gain access to all other accounts that required the same password.

A Quiet Affair

Although the hack took place in January, Lifeboat administrators chose to keep it quiet. Rather than announcing to users that their accounts had been hacked, game administration simply required affected players to reset their passwords shortly after the hack occurred. Although this action protected the vulnerable accounts, it still allowed hackers to continue using passwords that might gain them access to other online accounts. However, Lifeboat administrators maintain that the stolen information is not a concern, as the server doesn’t retain personal information about its users, which should render the stolen passwords useless. While there have been no reports of unauthorized access via these stolen passwords, many users remain unhappy that they were not informed of the breach at the time it occurred.

Hackers Unlock Millions of VK Accounts in Russia

In today’s society, you need a quality IT company to help you devise and enforce a cyber security plan. If you don’t protect your company as carefully as possible, you could find yourself dealing with security breaches, data hacks, and stolen information. This is what happened to a social media website in Russia, and it had serious repercussions for users as well as owners of the website. Keep reading to see how hackers unlocked millions of VK accounts in Russia.

VK.com

Russia’s VK.com is much like Facebook, in that it is a go-to social media site with an incredible base of users. Facebook was even a primary inspiration for VK.com, and as such it includes many of the same features, such as profiles, photos, and personal messages. Although the founder of this company has sold his stake and moved on to pursue other projects, VK.com has had more than 100 million users since 2014.

The Hack

Although the actual date of the VK.com hack is unknown, it is presumed to have happened between 2011 and 2013 and compromised phone numbers, account passwords, and email addresses. Interestingly, there was no need to crack the account passwords; they were already in plain text at the time of the hack.

Implications

Part of the reason that this hack was so successful was the simplicity of the passwords. Hundreds of thousands of accounts used the same simple passwords, so individual account security could have been much better. It helps to create unique passwords for every website you use in order to protect yourself from such a threat.

Improve Employee Performance with User Training

The better your employees perform, the smoother your company can run. If you feel like performance could be increased, you might need the help of an IT company in Tucson. The right company will help you boost performance through meticulous user training, which can provide real results for your business. Here’s a look at how you can improve employee performance with user training.

Boosting Performance

The more money your business generates, the more successful you stand to be. Unless you are a one-person business, this means you’ll need the help of your employees. User training can prepare your employees to put their best foot forward each day, allowing the entire company to benefit as a result. The more comfortable your employees are in the workplace, the more likely they will be to share their ideas and contribute to the task at hand with confidence.  

How It Works

User training techniques can be employed in a few different ways. They may include webinars on a monthly basis, traditional classes led by instructors, or even online courses. The purpose is for employees to understand their tasks and duties and how to handle them as efficiently as possible, and these methods have been used to yield real results. Through a variety of training methods, employees with different learning styles should all stand to benefit in their own ways.

Long-Term Implications

Preparing your employees to keep your business running full speed ahead is one of the best things you can do for your company. Employees will be more comfortable in the workplace and perhaps foster positive and helpful relationships with other employees.

Any way you can boost productivity and performance in the office should be looked into, so call Nextrio at (520) 545-7100 to find out how we can help. We are an IT company in Tucson that specializes in managed services. Head over to our website for a closer look at our services.

Plan Your Company’s Future with IT Strategic Planning

Information technology continues to grow in importance as our society takes tech to the next level. If you want to stay on top of the game, you’ll need an IT company to help you with your planning. Then you can look at your finances and plan for a successful future for your business. Plan your company’s future with IT strategic planning.

Establishing a Partnership

As important as IT strategic planning is, not everyone is equally qualified to help. Once you have recognized this need for your business, it’s time to find an IT company that can deliver the necessary services. Even if you think you have an idea about the next step for your business to take, it is always helpful to have a second opinion from an informed party. Make sure your IT company will bring everything you need to the table.

Financial Management

Information technology is somewhat specialized, but it also covers a broad range of areas. IT strategic planning seeks to analyze your budget in order to find out how much money can be allocated to a specific avenue, and it also helps to identify the factors that restrict your spending. Your IT strategic planning specialist will also compare your incoming funds to the costs of operating your business.

Planning and Preparation

You never know what to expect in today’s day and age, so it’s best to plan for the worst. IT strategic planning can help you prepare for potential disasters down the road so you can minimize the damage done. You’ll also get a better idea of your security needs as well as IT audits.

If you’re not looking towards the future, you’re not preparing your company for a lifetime of success. The team at Nextrio, an IT company in Tucson, can help you with planning so your business can flourish. Call us at (520) 545-7100 and plan your company’s future with IT strategic planning.

Benefits of Outsourced IT

160840867Outsourcing your IT services allows you to receive the computing support you need without maintaining and staffing your own onsite IT department. This solution makes getting the help you need easier and more cost-effective, reducing wasted time and increasing productivity. Working with an IT company in Tucson is a great way to take advantage of the expertise and efficiency of a dedicated IT department without adding this burden to your company’s daily operating costs.

Reduced IT and Labor Costs

One of the major benefits of outsourcing your IT services is reduced IT and labor costs. When you hire an IT team within your own company, you must pay these employees regularly and purchase the equipment they need, regardless of how often you actually require IT services. Maintaining your own IT department also comes with costs that include continued employee education and physical space requirements. Outsourcing your IT needs allows you to reduce your IT budget by eliminating many of these upfront costs and paying for computing help only when you need it.

Faster Computer and Software Fixes

Hiring an IT company to handle your computing needs means reducing the time it takes to solve software and equipment problems. Because your IT company specializes in handling computing issues, you’ll receive the benefits of working with an experienced professional whose services include staying up to date on the latest software, security, and computing solutions. Rather than your employees to take time out of their schedules to research solutions or troubleshoot on their own, hiring an IT service to handle these situations will improve the speed with which problems are solved to keep your hardware and software working for your company.

At Nextrio, we are pleased to offer many technology services in Tucson, including managed IT, cloud services, and security management. You can check us out online to learn more about our staff and our commitment to providing fast, friendly IT service suited to your needs. If you’re ready to get started, please give us a call at (520) 519-6301.

Office 365

o365_devicesOffice 365 allows your business to take advantage of the widely-used Microsoft Office applications for business purposes. This subscription service gives you cloud-based access to the same familiar programs you use such as Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in addition to more such as Skype for Business. And, you have the additional flexibility of easily using Office across all your devices. If you’re considering an Office 365 subscription to meet your business needs, the team at Nextrio can help you manage this and other cloud software solutions.

Universal Accessibility and Sharing

As a cloud-based subscription, Microsoft Office 365 increases the accessibility of your important business documents and emails whenever you need them. Employees and clients can easily access Office programs and documents from any device anywhere in the world. This feature instantly streamlines the creation, manipulation, and sharing of documentation for your business by making software and documents accessible via the web. Also, everyone on your team will be on the same version, enjoying automatic updates and the latest and greatest features and functionality.

Data Backup and Protection

Cloud-based data storage is a safe solution for many reasons. When files are stored in the cloud, they are not kept on personal or office devices, ensuring data is safe even if these devices are hacked or physically stolen. Also, Microsoft has instituted redundancy and security to ensure there services are available and secure.

Nextrio can help your business grow in the digital age with our comprehensive IT and managed solutions in Tucson. You can find out more about us and our commitment to improving your organization’s technology on our website or by calling at (520) 519-6301.

Valve Online Game Services Hacked

As the host to games including Skyrim, Modern Warfare 3, and LA Noire as well as an extensive library of free and independent games, Steam is a gaming service with a massive pool of users, who experienced a breach in trust with Steam and its owner/operator, Valve when a 2011 hack put user data in compromise. This article will take a look at how this gaming giant was hacked along with the steps it took to resolve user mistrust and lost information.

A forum-based hack

Initially, the hack was indicated by a breach of discussion forums, which then facilitated the hack of a database containing the information of up to 35 million Steam users. Hackers used login details from the forums to access the database, which not only contained user IDs but also encrypted credit card numbers.

Lost consumer trust

Because of the company’s delay in announcing the data breach and a substantial loss in uptime for discussion forums—which were initially taken offline with no details of the hack—consumers had their trust in Valve shaken. Still, the company was able to bounce back, likely due to upgrades in password and encryption coding that have facilitated safer and more secure gameplay for millions around the world.

Code improvements

Many large companies have experienced a hack similar to that of Valve, which served as a wakeup call to improve online security and warn users of the risks involved with online transactions. By urging users to change their passwords and monitor credit card information while making security improvements in the service’s code, Valve was able to recuperate successfully following this breach.

Smart IT Training: September 2016 Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get  free   productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s  smart IT training  webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are  free   every other Friday from 12:30pm – 1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email  training@nextrio.com  today!

September 2nd – Tips and Tricks for Facebook users and their Business Pages!
Join Nextrio this Friday as we show you some tips and tricks to help you make the most out of Facebook. We will also provide you with some best practices around Facebook’s Business pages and how to best utilize the new and improved features!

September 16th – Introduction to Basecamp!
Are you constantly working on numerous projects? Do you wish there was an easier way to communicate and collaborate with your team members? Then join Nextrio this Friday as we dive into one of the most popular project management applications available. We will show you all that Basecamp has to offer for you and your business!

Mobile Device Management Tips

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We operate in the land of mobile devices, and the options seem endless. As companies enjoy the benefits of a more mobile workforce, there’s an increased need for mobile device management. Let an IT company in Tucson like Nextrio help you smartly and safely integrate mobile in your business. Here are a few mobile device management tips.

Stay Safe and Secure

While mobile devices can be extremely convenient, they can be equally dangerous if they fall into the wrong hands. This is why it is crucial that you keep all of your business devices as safe and secure as possible. Ensure devices are password protected with strong passwords that are frequently changed. Multifactor authentication is another option to ensure access is limited to those they belong to.

Keep Your Devices Backed Up

In the event that you lose your mobile device, having your data backed up will get you up and running quickly. Don’t risk losing all of your precious information, photos, and contacts by not frequently backing up your device.

Leverage the Cloud

Thanks to the cloud, you don’t need to store everything on your device. Not only does this help in case of a loss of access, this minimizes the storage and processing required on a daily basis.

If you need help with your mobile device management, contact the professionals at Nextrio or visit our website. Our company in Tucson specializes in helping small and medium businesses improve their IT. Feel free to give us a call at (520) 519-6301 to find out more about what we can do for you today.

Smart IT Training: August 2016 Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get  free   productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s  smart IT training  webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are  free   every other Friday from 12:30pm – 1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email  training@nextrio.com  today!

August 5th – What in the Word?
Do you want to make the most of your Word documents? If so, join Nextrio as we take you through the most note-worthy features Word 2013 has to offer. We will show you a live demo so you can see first-hand the best ways to use them, too!

August 19th – Pay for What you Need, When you Need IT…with 24×7 Nextrio Support!
Your IT support needs don’t always fall neatly in an 8am-5pm schedule. Often, technology is accessed and required at all times of the day and night…especially if it’s critical for your business. Join us this Friday as we highlight the best practices with 24×7 IT support and the different options to keep your business up and running.

Cloud Computing

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Businesses are transitioning to the cloud as accessibility and pricing models are now making it an advantage. There’s no one-size-fits-all with the cloud and it’s often not an immediate decision as there’s planning and budgeting involved. Here’s an overview of the cloud basics and how it might help your business.

What It Is

We’ve been using elements of cloud computing for some time. But, for a business it means moving all, or parts, of the productivity and data management that’s traditionally been taken care of by hardware and servers at your physical location to an off-premise location. Many companies are finding ways to move to the cloud by taking a hybrid approach, determining what needs to be owned and on premise, compared to what is best managed by a third party.

How It Helps

There are many benefits, but there are a few that stand out.  The cloud service you need, might be less expensive than keeping up with new hardware purchases and associated licensing. You also typically pay only for what you need and the costs are smoothed, so you can make informed budgeting decisions. You also will enjoy the latest and greatest technology, without having to upgrade hardware or update software.  An example of this is Microsoft’s Office 365.  You pay for only what services you need, as a monthly fee, and Microsoft keeps up-to-date with the technology.

Working with the Experts

Having a basic understand of cloud computing is great, but it’s helpful to partner with trained and experienced professionals. An IT company that specializes in cloud computing can ensure that you are prudently making the right choices to meet your business needs and budget, too.

Want to learn more about cloud computing and how it can help your business? Call the Nextrio team at (520) 519-6301. We are proud to offer managed services in Tucson and the surrounding areas. If you are interested in discovering how our IT company can work for you, please do not hesitate to stop by and see us or visit our website.

Smart IT Training: July 2016 Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get  free   productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s  smart IT training  webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are  free   every other Friday from 12:30pm – 1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email  training@nextrio.com  today!

July 8th – Windows 10: It’s Time to Upgrade!
If you’re considering upgrading or have already taken the leap, then join Nextrio this Friday as we jump into Windows 10 and show you all it has to offer. Familiar features and new ones are a plenty. It’s the Windows you’ve come to rely on to be productive, but better!

July 22nd – Key Building Blocks to Help Secure your Network!
Building a secure network is unique to each organization. Taking a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t often prudent and can be cost prohibitive. Join Nextrio as we discuss how you can smartly snap together the building blocks you need to protect your company’s network and data.

VTech

When you think about data breaches, you likely do not imagine that the victims of these crimes are children, but in the case of the VTech security breach that took place in 2015, about 6.4 million children were put in danger of fraud and identity theft. VTech is a toymaker based in Hong Kong that produces tablets, computers, and other digital toys all geared toward children. Many of the users of these products are enrolled in the Learning Lodge database, which allows access to downloadable content. It is through this database that one hacker was able to acquire the names, email addresses, passwords, download histories, and home addresses of 12 million individuals, about half of which were children.

A unique vulnerability

While no credit card information was taken, there was heavy controversy over this attack, because so many of the victims of the data breach were kids. Children’s identities are valuable for hackers, because it is easy to qualify for credit cards, government benefits, and more with the clean credit history that a child has. Additionally, there was more than just fraud-worthy personal info at stake with the breach. Hackers gained access to accounts that included photos and chat logs as well as the birthdays and genders of more than 6.4 million children.

A quick arrest

Many large scale hacks will go unresolved, but the VTech data breach was quickly followed with an arrest. In December, 2015—just one month after the breach was announced—a 21-year old man was arrested in England in connection with the incident. He had used a fairly simple and primitive hacking technique called SQL injection, which allowed him to command that the database dump its contents. Upon his arrest, he claimed that he had no intention of selling the data for a profit, but he simply wanted to expose weaknesses in the company’s online security.

Smart IT Training: June 2016 Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get  free   productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s  smart IT training  webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are  free   every other Friday from 12:30pm – 1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email  training@nextrio.com  today!

June 10th – Budgeting for your Organization’s Technology Needs!
IT expenses can creep up on you…capital vs. operational, subscriptions vs. licensing, hardware replacement timing, moving to the cloud, and much more. Creating a multi-prong road map for your IT budgeting process gets the most out of your dollars and the best out of your technology. Join us this Friday as we give tangible steps to prioritize and spend wisely!

June 24th – Tips, Tricks and Clicks to Mastering Outlook, Part 2!
Looking to become an Outlook wizard? Join Nextrio as we demonstrate some tips and tricks to help you make the most of its features. Let us show you how a few simple clicks can save you time and help you work more efficiently!

Securus

Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 2.42.05 PMIncarcerated individuals in the United States have limited rights, particularly when it comes to their right to privacy. However, there is still the right of attorney-client privilege, which appears to have been violated with a massive hack of Securus, which was revealed last year. Securus is a telecommunications company based in Dallas that specializes in phone and video visitation for those behind bars. In 2015, it was revealed that the company sustained a huge data breach that compromised the records of more than 70 million phone calls over a 2.5 year period.

Millions of phone records leaked

It is not uncommon for phone records to be recorded when calls are made or received by prison inmates. That’s why there was an abundance of available recordings that hackers gained access to before leaking the content via SecureDrop. The hacker remains anonymous, but the case has stirred up significant controversy because a large number of calls appear to be conversations between clients and their attorneys. While few things remain sacred when a person is incarcerated, attorney-client privilege is still a protected constitutional right.

Attorney-client privilege potentially violated

It is estimated that about 14,000 of the leaked calls were attorney-client calls, a large handful of which were likely confidential communications. Therefore, they never should have been recorded in the first place, yet alone leaked.

Action from the FCC

The high cost that Securus charges to inmates for phone calls already had the company under scrutiny when the breach was revealed, but now the FCC is taking action to change the company’s policies, pricing, and security measures. Additionally, the public is now questioning the company’s promise of high standards of security, which it states are backed by the most technologically advanced system available. With a data breach on such a large scale, there is clearly a gap between the services the company provides and the ones they promise.

Neiman Marcus

neiman-marcus_couponsUpscale retailer Neiman Marcus revealed in late 2013 that they had been the victim of a cyberattack that resulted in the theft of consumer credit card information of about 350,000 customers. It was not until early in 2014 that the full scale of the attack was actually discovered, revealing that the number of compromised credit cards was closer to 1.1 million. In 2013, there were several large-scale cyberattacks that revealed significant faults in the security of credit card data among major retailers. Neiman Marcus is only one example, though their case is significant, because it led to a court ruling that would change the accountability of companies that were at the center of data breaches that compromised customer or employee information.

A Target-Style Malware Attack

The Neiman Marcus data breach was very similar to the breach that Target suffered during the holiday season of 2013, in which 110 million credit card numbers were compromised. The attack was carried out with the same type of malware installed on store terminals at Neiman Marcus, which would copy credit card numbers when cards were swiped. It is uncertain if the same group of hackers was behind the two attacks, but it is clear that the same faults in security were responsible for the infiltration.

Late Discovery of the Attack’s Impact

Initially, it was thought that the breach only affected less than half a million customers, but a late-release statement from Neiman Marcus revealed that malware had been stealing payment data for a much longer period than suspected, putting about 1.1 million customers at risk for fraud.

Lasting Changes for Company Liability

While the Neiman Marcus case is not the largest attack of this nature to have occurred in 2013, it was among the most significant. The reason being that a class-action lawsuit against Neiman Marcus following the breach made it to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that the lawsuit was a legitimate claim because of the potential injury to affected customers. Until that point, it was much more difficult for consumers to bring legal action against retailers who were at the center of data breaches revealing their personal or financial information.

Smart IT Training: May 2016 Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get  free   productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s  smart IT training  webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are  free   every other Friday from 12:30pm – 1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email  training@nextrio.com  today!

May 13th – Password Management & Personal Security!
Feeling overrun by all the user IDs and passwords you’ve created? Are they so complex you can’t remember them? Are they so simple that they are all “password123”? Everyone needs a password manager, for your personal security and ID management, as well as when sharing passwords among a team. There are some great choices out there-some free and some low cost. We will show you those must-have features and give you our recommendations for best practices that will have you tearing up that secret post-it-note full of passwords you have been hiding under your keyboard!

May 27th  – Is Cloud the Way to go for your Business?
Most organizations use some cloud-based services, but usually on a case-by-case basis. Determining when and what makes sense with a move to the cloud may seem daunting. Join us this Friday as we talk Cloud, demystify the options, and help you decide how it might be the perfect fit for your organization.

Nationwide Building Society

Nationwide Building SocietyThe Nationwide Building Society is the largest building society in the world and the second-largest provider of mortgages and household savings services in the United Kingdom. However, even its massive size and influence was not able to protect this building society in 2006, when an unencrypted company laptop was stolen and millions of users’ information put at risk.

The Incident

In August of 2015, a company laptop used by an employee of the Nationwide Building Society was stolen. Because this laptop was not encrypted, the information and programming contained on it allowed the thieves potential access to 11 million accounts. While the company stated that the information accessible via the stolen laptop did not include user names or passwords for online banking services, the Nationwide Building Society did not explicitly state the type of data that was at risk. Because the United Kingdom does not have data disclosure laws requiring the company to release this information, users will likely never find out exactly the type of data that was stolen.

The Fallout

The Nationwide Building Society waited three months to announce the theft of the laptop and the potential security breach it had created. Although the company stated that this delay was for security purposes, many of the company’s clients were displeased with the lack of timely, useful information regarding Nationwide’s data breach. The UK’s Financial Services Authority fined the company £980,000, which is the largest sum imposed for data loss to date in the United Kingdom; however, it remains unclear whether other companies have taken this incident as a lesson regarding their own security risks.

Data theft is a very real and very serious concern for large and small businesses alike. At Nextrio, we can help you evaluate and address your company’s risks with our managed IT services in Tucson. Please visit us on the web or contact us today by calling (520) 519-6301 to find out how we can help you manage your company’s online and digital security.

Smart IT Training: April 2016 Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get  free   productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s  smart IT training  webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are  free   every other Friday from 12:30pm – 1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email  training@nextrio.com  today!

April 1st  – Excel 2013: Introduction to Pivot Tables!
Ready to take your Excel skill set to the next level? Join Nextrio this Friday to learn all about Pivot Tables in Excel 2013. We will explore how this useful tool can be used to simplify the way that your data is displayed!

April 15th  – LinkedIn 101 for Business!
Join Nextrio this Friday as we dive into LinkedIn for business. During this webinar we will show you how to use your LinkedIn company page to build relationships, promote brand awareness and drive engagement. Register now to learn how a LinkedIn company page can benefit you and your business today!

April 29th – Managing Your Digital Footprint & Online Privacy
You chat, you post, you share, you like, you shop, you bank…it all happens online, which brings valuable connections and convenience to your day. With that comes the heady responsibility of doing so securely and judiciously. Join Nextrio this Friday as we share best practices to help you protect your identity and manage your online presence.

JP Morgan Chase

JP-Morgan-ChaseJP Morgan Chase & Co. is the largest bank in the United States and the sixth-largest bank in the world in terms of total assets. Specializing in investment banking and wealth management, this company has long been associated with top-quality customer service and success. In 2014, this prestigious company became one of eight financial institutions targeted by Russian hackers in an attempt to gain the personal information required to wipe out clients’ entire bank accounts.

The Attack

JP Morgan Chase & Co., along with several other financial institutions, came under cyber-attack during the summer of 2014. This attack compromised approximately 76 million household accounts and seven million small business accounts. The attack began in June, but persisted for nearly a month before it was discovered in July; attackers were able to gain access to account holders’ names, phone numbers, addresses, and email contact information by breaching the bank’s systems through company applications and programs.

The Result

At the time of the attack on JP Morgan Chase & Co., many individuals and businesses believed that while companies such as Target and Home Depot could be easily breached by thieves, banks and other financial institutions were relatively safe from cyber-attacks. Thus, the susceptibility of such a large back to cyber-attack illuminated this false belief and suggested to banks across the globe that a more aggressive defense against data theft was needed. As a result of the breach, JP Morgan Chase & Co. began the months-long process of changing and updating its computer systems and programs to prevent a future attack by addressing the company’s vulnerabilities.

At Nextrio, we take your company’s online security seriously. Our team can help you develop an effective strategy to protect your business and your clients’ online security that will keep you ahead of the curve and prevent problems as you take advantage of the latest cloud and IT solutions and services in Tucson. You can find out more by calling us at (520) 519-6301 or clicking through our website.

This article is part of our collection of WORLD FAMOUS SECURITY BREACHES!

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Monster.com

Monster-logo-1999The saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Unfortunately for Monster.com, the 2009 attack they suffered was not the first time they were fooled, and this put them in a difficult position. Continue on to find out what happened and learn how they could have dealt with it better.

The Attack

Job-finding website Monster.com was initially attacked in 2008, and it suffered another in 2009. As a website that directs people to employment opportunities and stores resumes, Monster.com stores a great deal of sensitive information in its database. Cyber criminals were able to download personal data like names and email addresses as well as phone numbers and even home addresses. When it comes to disclosing this information to your users, the process can be tricky.

The PR Challenge

After the first attack, users received correspondences from both Monster.com and US AJOBS describing the incident. While US AJOBS took a straightforward approach, Monster.com understandably tried to soften the blow by reminding users that the company keeps their best interests in mind when conducting business. When it came time to draft a new letter, Monster.com wasted less time in getting to the point. However, there were still some key points missing.

How It Was Handled

After experiencing not one, but two cyber attacks, it is important to be as transparent as possible when communicating with your users. The second letter that Monster.com issued was more direct, expressing that the information was accessed illegally and that the company is not the only target of such attacks. They made no mention of even vague details regarding how the attack happened though, or how they will protect users in the future.

Nextrio is dedicated to protecting businesses and customers. If you would like to learn more about our managed services in Tucson, call our IT company at (520) 519-6301 or visit our website today.

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Google


google
Google is one of the most innovative, famous, and powerful companies in the world today, which makes it hard for some to believe that they suffered a cyber attack in 2009. Take a look ahead to find out what happened, how it was received, and what the attacks meant for the search engine and email provider and its users.

Operation Aurora

2009 saw a multitude of cyber attacks linked to groups in China, and this series is known as Operation Aurora. The purpose of these attacks by groups like the People’s Liberation Army and the Elderwood Group was to access the email accounts of Chinese human rights activists who used Gmail as an email provider. Yahoo, Adobe Systems, Juniper Networks, and many others were also targets of Operation Aurora.

Release and Response

Google informed its users and the public of this cyber attack through its blog in 2010. The corporation claimed that the theft of PDF files as well as vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer programs contributed to the attack. They also alerted readers that the attacks may have had a greater purpose than spying on Chinese human rights activists; China may have been attempting to steal a great deal of industrial intellectual property from the United States. Many entities warned against the continued use of Internet Explorer as a result.

Implications

The 2009 cyber attack on Google came with a few important implications for the technological age. The first lesson gained from this attack is that it is wise to use different web browsers to protect your information, indicated by the role of Internet Explorer in the attack. Additionally, human error is still a security concern; the phishing of PDF files may have been thwarted if certain emails had not been opened.

You never know when a cyber attack may occur, so it is important that you always have your bases covered. It helps to work with an IT company in Tucson like Nextrio to ensure that your network is as secure as possible. Feel free to visit our website or call us at (520) 519-6301 for more on our services.

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Smart IT Training: March 2016 Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get  free   productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s  smart IT training  webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are  free   every other Friday from 12:30pm – 1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email  training@nextrio.com  today!

March 4th  – Wearables Aren’t Just for Fun, but Help in Business Too!
Wearables for play is here today. But, did you know there’s value to business as well. Join us this Friday as we delve into the world of wearables to learn what’s trendy now and what’s in the works for tomorrow. Immediate communication, valuable data, analytics, and mobility at your fingertips, all while being stylish too!

March 18th  – 13 Ways You Really Should Be Using Excel 2013!
So you want to be a spreadsheet ninja, but you’re intimidated by all the mystifying options? Join Nextrio as we unlock the power of 13 useful skills in Excel 2013, the most widely used spreadsheet software in business. We will demonstrate them live and give you sample use cases for when each skill is particularly handy!

 

The Living Social Data Breach: a Not-So-Good Deal For Users

livingSocialYou know LivingSocial, right? The website where you can get good deals on cool things like travel, clothes, restaurants, and lots more. It’s a useful site, so it’s not surprising that lots and lots of people use it: over 70 million in fact. But no matter how benign and good-natured a company is, disaster can strike, and strike it did in the form of a massive data breach!

What Happened?

In 2013, the company announced that the personal data of 50 million people was compromised by hackers. The attack was unprecedented, quickly made international headlines. However, not every user had to worry: Thai, Korean, Indonesian, and Filipino users did not have their info compromised: pretty much every other country with a LivingSocial user base had plenty to worry about though! LivingSocial owned up to the attack on their servers early on, sending messages to all of its affected users informing them of the attack and urging them to change their passwords.

The Fallout

Although credit card information was luckily not accessed, the ramifications of a stolen password can be remarkable and profitable for the people doing the stealing. Would you believe me if I told you that a single password can be regularly bought and sold on the black market for $20? It’s true! If that’s not enough to get you serious about changing your password regularly, nothing is.

The scary part of this breach isn’t just the fact that data was compromised from a well-known and popular site: if you’ve seen our World Famous Security Breaches site, you know that it’s happened very often and to a very diverse field of websites. It’s that no matter what kind of company you are, if you’re storing valuable customer data, you may find yourself a target of hackers.

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Smart IT Training: Feb 2016 Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get  free   productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s  smart IT training  webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are  free   every other Friday from 12:30pm – 1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email  training@nextrio.com  today!

February 5th  – Improve Your Business with Office 365!
Join us this Friday to learn more about Office 365 and how it can benefit you, your business, and your staff! We will show you how Office 365 can boost your organization’s productivity, accessibility, and efficiency, while also providing your business with the latest and greatest features that Microsoft has to offer!

February 19th  – Would Your Business Survive a Disaster?
Hardware fails, humans make mistakes, customers have timely expectations, and natural disasters will occur. Do you have a recovery plan to get your business back up and running quickly if an event occurs? Join us this week as we identify some of the key aspects of disaster recovery to make an actionable plan that works for you!

 

Department of Veterans Affairs Security Breach

US-DeptOfVeteransAffairs-Seal-LargeWhile many cases of widely publicized security breaches involve sophisticated hacking measures or perhaps even the creation of a super worm capable of infiltrating some of the world’s most secure data systems, there are some instances where a simple misstep can lead to a massive loss of sensitive data. In 2006, the Department of Veterans Affairs experienced such a blunder when the records and personal information of up to 26.5 million veterans and active duty personnel was compromised after one minor theft. Here’s a closer look at what happened along with the fallout that the VA had to face following the incident.

A lost laptop

The entire data breach could have been avoided were it not for a single stolen laptop on which a VA data analyst had loaded the information of millions of veterans and military personnel. After the laptop was stolen, the VA responded quickly to the theft, though there was an initial 3-week delay in notifying possible victims of the incident.

Uncertain data security

The stolen laptop at the heart of this incident was recovered with all data intact, but there is no way to guarantee that the information was not copied. Because the data included birthdays, social security numbers, and names, there was a widespread worry of credit fraud and identity theft on part of the millions of individuals affected.

A class action lawsuit

As proof that added security measures can pay off in the long run, the VA was ordered to pay $20 million in a class action lawsuit, which could have totaled more than $26 billion in damages if the original terms of the suit had been met. Payments were issued to any individual who could prove some harm resulting from the incident, and the money funding the lawsuit was taken directly from taxpayers.

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Adobe Hacked

adobeMany of the largest, high-profile data breaches that have occurred over the past two decades have compromised the information of individuals that might potentially lead to credit fraud or identity theft, but when Adobe experienced a massive hack in 2013, credit and debit card numbers were among the data acquired. This put Adobe customers at a particularly high risk for theft and fraud, and it was only the tip of the iceberg. In addition to about 3.1 million credit and debit card numbers, the attack compromised tens of millions of user accounts across a wide range of the company’s platforms, including the Photoshop family of products. Read on to learn more about what happened and the impact that it had on the software giant.

Encrypted credit card information stolen

The data breach was first announced on October 3, 2013, though it occurred in mid-September. In the announcement it was made clear that about 3 million encrypted customer credit card records were stolen as well as an unknown number of user accounts’ login data. The information was gathered through a source code link that allowed hackers to access and upload data through their own servers.

Widespread compromised customer login data

Because many directories of customer data were password protected on the hackers’ server, it was initially unclear just how many accounts were affected by the breach. However, the number became evident when a file was uploaded onto AnonNews.org that included about 150 million username and password pairs. After further analysis, it was determined that nearly 40 million of these were active user accounts and the remainder was invalid or inactive account data.

Data breach fallout

To attempt to mend customer relationships and protect users’ credit data, Adobe offered free use of credit monitoring services from Experian, which had recently experienced its own breach after being tricked into selling consumer records to an online identity theft service.

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Smart IT Training: Jan 2016 Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get  free   productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s  smart IT training  webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are  free   every other Friday from 12:30pm – 1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email  training@nextrio.com  today!

January 8th  – Top Tech Resolutions for 2016!
Happy 2016! It’s a new year, which often means resolutions. While the eating better, working out more, and spending time with family are important, so is managing your technology. Join us for an informative session that discusses the best practices for running gadgets, gizmos, and great apps of successful businesses!

January 22nd  – Get Organized in 2016 with Outlook Calendars!
Start the new year off right by staying organized with your Outlook calendar! Join us as we show you some tips and tricks to have all your meetings and “to-dos” at the ready. We will tackle some basic features, while also digging in a little deeper to make the most out of your calendars for 2016!

 

Fidelity National Information Services Security Breach

Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) provides financial IT solutions, software, and technology to clients across the globe. In 2007, this Jacksonville-based company became the victim of a serious security breach, perpetrated by a database administrator employed by one of FIS’s subsidiaries, a company called Certegy Check Services Inc. Millions of customers were affected by this breach, with the number of affected clients rising from an initial estimate of 2.3 million to an eventual 8.3 million consumers, whose data was stolen and later sold.

The Stolen Information
On July 3, 2007, Fidelity National Information Services learned that client information had been illegally obtained and sold by a database administrator working for one of the company’s subsidiaries. This information, which consisted of names, birthdates, and financial information such as checking account and credit card details, was then sold to an unidentified data broker. The broker, in turn, sold several subsets of FIS client contact information to marketers for targeted advertising purposes. Although the company originally stated that approximately 2.3 million customers were affected, this number was later raised to 8.3 million affected customers.

Employee Trial and Class Action Suit
The database administrator responsible for the theft, William G. Sullivan, pled guilty to charges of federal fraud. He was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison, as well as a $3.2 million fine. In July of 2008, approximately one year after the data breach occurred, a class action settlement entitled each affected client a payment of up to $20,000 for identity theft losses between August 24, 1998 and December 31, 2010. Furthermore, Certegy Check Services Inc. donated $125,000 to the Attorney General’s Seniors vs. Crime Program and paid $850,000 to cover costs incurred by the state during the investigation process.

At Nextrio, we can help you protect your company and your clients with IT and cloud services tailored to meet your needs. You can check us out online to find out more about our Tucson IT company, or call (520) 519-6301 to discuss your IT needs with our experienced staff.

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Smart IT Training: Nov 2015 Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get  free   productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s  smart IT training  webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are  free   every other Friday from 12:30pm – 1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email  training@nextrio.com  today!

November 6th  – PowerPoint Presentations That Will WOW!
Want to create a presentation that will WOW your audience? Join us as we show you some tips to make your PowerPoint presentations more exciting and more engaging! We will also demonstrate how to use some of the best features that PowerPoint has to offer!

November 20th – Mail Merging, Holiday Edition!
It’s the end of the year, and with the flurry of activities and events wrapped around the holiday season it can be overwhelming, to say the least! Holiday cards and end of the year notes to clients can feel like a big task! But, you can make efficient work of the job through the use of mail merge tips & tricks for your letters, labels and envelopes. Whether it’s for personal use or for your business, this webinar will show you how to effortlessly tackle mail merging, so you can move on to enjoying hot cocoa and cookies by the fire!

 

Monster.com Security Breach

Monster LogoMonster.com is one of the world’s largest employment websites, and also one of the most popular job-searching sites in the United States. During August of 2007, Monster.com suffered a major data breach, during which hackers stole millions of users’ resume data from the site. In the years since information about this breach was originally released, several other aspects of the site’s IT solutions and practices have come under fire as well.

The Data Breach
On August 17, 2007, Monster.com’s managers learned that data on their website had been compromised using stolen credentials. These credentials had been obtained by hackers that had infected several personal computers with malware and, using stolen information, then broke into Monster.com’s database and obtained information about approximately 1.3 users. The stolen user information consisted primarily of contact information such as names, email addresses, telephone numbers, and physical addresses. Monster.com’s security team had the offending servers shut down within three to four days of the initial breach; however, the stolen information allowed hackers and scammers to send fraudulent emails to Monster.com users, providing links or program downloads to infect computer equipment with malware.

The Lesson
Despite the fact that Monster.com learned of the breach on August 17, no notification to the site’s users was provided until August 22—five days after the breach. While Monster.com claimed that this delay was based on the importance of first identifying and eliminating the threat, this allowed hackers to cause serious trouble in the interim. The lack of communication between Monster.com and its users gave added credulity to fraudulent emails, which caused users to subsequently lose confidence in Monster.com’s ability to protect their personal information after they were notified of the incident.

Since the original 2007 breach, Monster.com has suffered several other online attacks and the company has come under fire for poorly-updated IT security measures. Nextrio can help you protect your business from such attacks—please call (520) 519-6301 or visit our website to find out more about our managed IT services in Tucson.

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CardSystems Solutions Hacked

cardsystemsCompanies often promise you that your information is safe, but are they always telling the truth? CardSystems Solutions Inc. lost a great deal of important information and suffered a PR disaster as a result. Fortunately there are IT companies in Tucson that can help you stay safe. Keep reading if you’re interested in learning more about what happened to CardSystems Solutions, Inc. in 2005.

What Happened

CardSystems Solutions Inc. was unfortunate enough to have a hacker break into a third party processor and obtain tens of millions of customers’ credit card numbers, many of which were MasterCard accounts. Birthdays, Social Security numbers, and other important and private information were not stolen. While CardSystems remained relatively quiet during the wake of their infiltration, they worked with the FBI in order to identify and prosecute the offender.  

CardSystems and MasterCard Reactions

Although the surmised amount of credit card accounts at risk was upwards of 40 million, CardSystems Solutions Inc. would not offer confirmation. It was MasterCard that identified the problem and traced it back to CardSystems, although CardSystems claims to have reported the issue to the FBI. Information such as the way the system was hacked and the number of account numbers that were stolen is not available to the public. There is no suggestion that the culprit was a virus; however, a lack of protection and security was still clearly an issue.

Bank Reaction

While the banks could have potentially mitigated this substantial security breach, it is up to each individual bank to decide whether or not to issue new credit cards and cancel old ones. Many wait until evidence of fraud has been presented for each account before canceling old cards and issuing new ones.

If you would like to avoid a similar fiasco and keep your business safe in an increasingly digital world, call Nextrio at (520) 519-6301. As a Tucson-based IT consulting firm, we offer a range of services that help companies improve productivity and keep their networks safe.

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AOL hacked

aollogoAOL has been a household name since the Internet was in its early stages, and yet the company has not always made the best decisions. Consulting with IT companies in Tucson to protect users from the consequences of lack of security looked to not be on their radar. Read on for a quick look at the scandal involving AOL in 2006.

The Decision

You might hear of security breaches and mistakes and remark on the unfortunate situation, but the situation AOL was involved with in 2006 was not a security breach or an accident. Rather, AOL voluntarily decided to release a substantial amount of data regarding users’ Internet searches. Hundreds of thousands of AOL users had their search histories released, and these histories spanned over 3 months of Internet use.  

The Implications

The data that AOL released allows people to view every web query a specific user has made over the previous quarter of a year. While each specific user may not be identified by name, three months’ worth of queries can be used to both identify and incriminate the user. Since there is no limit to what you can type into a search box, a substantial amount of personal and private information was released. Many individuals may have used this information to essentially spy on their neighbors, employees, and friends.

The Result

Due to the multitude of consequences that can occur when someone acquires your personal information, AOL users reacted in an appropriately furious manner. AOL executives had made the conscious decision to betray their customers and release private information, much of which might have led to terminated employment, arrests, divorces, and other regretful situations. Some spoke their minds, while others boycotted the company.

Are you interested in making sure that your business never suffers the same fate as AOL? Contact Nextrio or visit our website. Our IT company offers managed services in Tucson. If you would like to learn more about our cloud services, user training, or IT projects, call us at (520) 519-6301 today.

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Gawker Media Data Breach

gawkerIn 2010, the popular celebrity gossip site, Gawker.com, was subject to an embarrassing data breach that compromised the information of about 1.5 million users—including the founder of the site, Nick Denton. While this data breach is actually on the low side as far as compromised users, it did create a big controversy with the reaction of the site as well as the motivation of the attackers. Read on to get the details of this hack and the missteps that followed with Gawker Media.

What happened?

The attack was initially suspected when Gawker Media’s gadget site Gizmodo had a compromised Twitter feed with updates indicating that 1.5 million usernames, passwords, and email addresses had been taken. Initially, Gawker denied that the attack had taken place, but that passwords were encrypted anyway. However, an anonymous source came out and claimed responsibility for the attack, threatening to release the private user data. As a result, the site warned users to change their passwords, and database dump of the private data took place the next day. The source code of Gawker.com was also made available.

Why was Gawker targeted?

Eventually it was discovered that a group called Gnosis was responsible for the data breach. The group had targeted Gawker because of their “outright arrogance” in a previous feud with 4Chan. In order to collect the data released following the attack, hackers gained root access to Gawker’s Linux-based servers, allowing them further access to the source code, databases, and real-time chat logs from Campfire.

What was the outcome?

Gawker has a big negative backlash following the attack, not just due to the loss of user data. Along with the motivation for the attack, which quickly became public knowledge, there were controversial conversations seen on a Campfire chat among Gawker staff pertaining to the hack. Part of the conversation referred to Gawker users as “peasants”, which did not sit well with the sites followers.

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VeriSign Hack

As a company responsible for a wide range of network infrastructure and security systems, VeriSign is a hot target for potential hackers who might do some severe reputation damage and pursue a veritable gold mine of private info ranging from site certificates to DNS systems. In 2010, however, an attack did occur, and it was kept under wraps for nearly 2 years before the public was made aware. This article will take a closer look at what happened in this data breach and how it impacted VeriSign.

Breach details

Because the breach was kept out of the public eye until February 2012, the specific details about the loss of data are not fully known. What is known is that VeriSign was victim to repeated data breaches throughout 2010, though administrators did not alert higher management until September 2011. Even still, it is evident that administrators were aware of the breaches and responded shortly after they took place. VeriSign did report that that they believed the attacks did not penetrate servers supporting their Domain Name System (DNS) Network.

Public awareness

VeriSign was under big scrutiny following the release of breach information, because they did not disclose the hack sooner and attempted to hide the details in a 2011 SEC filing. One of the biggest controversies that arose from the late reveal of the breach was a lack of clarity in regards to the Certificate Signing business that VeriSign sold to Symantec in late 2010. Because there was no certainty of whether or not SSL systems were impacted by the breach, significant distrust was of existing certificates associated with VeriSign, and subsequently, Symantec. The VeriSign breach was actually one of multiple hacks involving a certificate authority in 2010-2011, as DigiNotar was hacked in July of 2011. This resulted in the development of the super worm, Stuxnet, which utilized stolen certificates.

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Home Depot Hacked in 2014

homedepotThe Home Depot is a big-box home improvement store that operates throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. As the largest home improvement retailer in the United States, The Home Depot hack of 2014 affected millions of customers and demonstrated the continuing need for managed IT solutions and security for all businesses, both large and small. Keep reading to learn more about the details of this famous incident and how your business can prevent data leakage with the help of an experienced IT service.

The Breach

Following The Home Depot’s information breach, it was revealed that hackers had gained access to the company’s computer system for a period of approximately five months via stolen information from a third-party vendor associated. Following the initial break-in, a weakness in the company’s Microsoft Windows operating system made data access even easier. During the breach, the perpetrators stole information that included email addresses and credit card and debit card numbers from those who had shopped in the company’s American and Canadian stores. Months after the attack, The Home Depot announced that as many as 53-56 million customers had been affected by the data breach.

Possible Prevention

Following The Home Depot’s system breach, reports emerged stating that the company had failed to instate certain additional security measures, despite multiple warnings from IT security consultants and the mounting number of hacks affecting other large companies, such as Target and Michaels. Consultants have stated that these security measures may have provided the added layers of protection needed to keep consumer payment information private when paying at the register. Thus, The Home Depot’s breach serves to underscore the importance and responsibility of businesses to maintain and utilize security software to protect user data.

Nextrio is dedicated to delivering top-quality managed IT and cloud services in Tucson, regardless of your industry or business size. We can help you maintain your information security with up-to-date patches, security solutions, and more. Please call (520) 519-6301 to discuss your needs with one of our experienced staff, or click through our website for more up-to-date IT news and tips.

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The Evernote Hack of 2013

evernoteIn today’s digital world, high-quality security means protecting your business’ information, as well as the privacy of your clients and users. Hacks and data breaches put this vital information at risk and can affect both your image and the confidence your clients feel in your competence. Taking advantage of smart managed security solutions is the best way to prevent your company from coming under attack and suffering a breach that could result in lost information and profits.

The Evernote Hack

Evernote is a cloud-based service that provides users with a virtual workspace for note taking and other organizational tasks. In 2013, Evernote revealed that it had suffered a breach in security that had allowed hackers to gain access to user information, including usernames and their associated email addresses, as well as password information. Although Evernote officials claimed the password information obtained by the hackers was encrypted, the service still required each of its 50 million users to reset their passwords as a security precaution.

How Evernote Handled the Hack

The way in which Evernote officials handled the hack demonstrated the company’s competence and dedication to user security. Rather than tracking down the individual passwords that had been stolen, the company mandated that all passwords be resent to protect every user. Additionally, Evernote clearly stated in communications to consumers which information had been taken and how it had been protected, which provided the extra time needed to change passwords and protect user information. Furthermore, Evernote warned users in official communications of possible phishing scam behavior to help users arm themselves against scammers who may have obtained their username and email address.

Although Evernote handled its 2013 breach competently, this incident still demonstrates the vulnerability of user data in the cloud. At Nextrio, we can help you assess your cloud services and ensure they are secure to protect your information and provide the confidence you need to grow your business today and in the future. You can reach us by calling (520) 519-6301 or visiting our website to contact us online.

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ESTsoft, 2011

estsoftRecent advances in cloud computing, particularly managed cloud services, have provided tremendous benefits for companies that keep their data infrastructure in the cloud. Unfortunately, even the slightest vulnerability in a company’s IT infrastructure can have huge consequences if (and when) exploited by cyber attackers. As one of Tucson’s premier managed services providers, Nextrio wants to raise awareness about the importance of carefully designed and monitored data infrastructures by reliving some of the worst cyber security nightmares in recent years. This week we’re focusing on the ESTsoft incident of 2011.

It’s jokingly been referred to as “hackocalypse,” but there was nothing funny about South Korea’s biggest theft of information in history. In 2011, the general purpose software company ESTsoft was the target of a devastating attack that impacted a majority of South Korea’s population.

Attackers uploaded malware to an ESTsoft server that eventually compromised more than 60 PCs at SK Communications, a company that made use of the ESTsoft program. The infected computers then stole records of roughly 35 million individuals—in a nation with a total population of just 49 million. Attackers were able to steal addresses, passwords, telephone numbers, birthdates, and gender, basically all the information needed to commit identity theft on a massive scale.

Although ESTsoft has yet to disclose their own financial losses, industry experts and IT analysts estimate that the data breach cost the company millions of dollars. There have already been numerous lawsuits filed against ESTsoft and SK Communications by and on behalf of those affected by the attack.

Can your business afford a security breach of even a fraction of one this size? Whether you’re already in the cloud or thinking about transitioning to the cloud, Nextrio can provide guidance and recommendations to help keep your company (and your customers) secure.

Call us at (520) 519-6301 to learn more about our managed services or to schedule an IT strategic planning consultation. We’re proud to be the trusted IT company in Tucson that keeps businesses secure and up and running.

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Smart IT Training: Oct 2015 Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get  free   productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s  smart IT training  webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are  free   each Friday from 12:30pm – 1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6301 or email  training@nextrio.com  today!

October 9th  – What in the Word? Get the most out of the features offered with Microsoft Word 2013!
Do you want to make the most of your Word documents? If so, join Nextrio as we take you through the most noteworthy features Word 2013 has to offer. We will show you a live demo so you can see first-hand the best ways to use them, too!

October 23rd – Tips, Tricks, and Clicks to Mastering Outlook!
Looking to become an Outlook wizard? Join Nextrio as we demonstrate some tips & tricks to help you make the most of its features. Let us how you how a few simple clicks can save you time and help you work more efficiently!

 

Smart IT Training: Sept 2015 Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get  free   productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s  smart IT training  webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are  free   each Friday from 12:30pm – 1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6301 or email  training@nextrio.com  today!

September 11th  – Just Tell Me The Buttons I Should Click!
We will show you some of the most frequently used settings for privacy, security, and data management on your iPhone, Windows PC, or web-based applications. Join us as we spend a full 30 minutes actually explaining and clicking the boxes and buttons you’ve always wondered about…or have had on your to-do list for months!

September 25th – Password Management & Personal Security
Feelings overrun by all the user IDs and passwords you’ve created? Are they so complex you can’t remember them? Are they so simple that they are all “password123”? Everyone needs a password manager, for your personal security and ID management, as well as when sharing passwords among a team. There are some great choices out there – some free and some low cost. We will show you those must have features and give you our recommendations for best practices that will have you tearing up that secret post-it-note full of passwords you have been hiding under your keyboard!

 

Smart IT Training: Aug 2015 Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get  free   productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s  smart IT training  webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are  free   each Friday from 12:30pm – 1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6301 or email  training@nextrio.com  today!

August 14th  – 13 Ways You Should Really Be Using Excel 2013!
So you want to be a spreadsheet ninja, but you’re intimidated by all the mystifying options? Join Nextrio as we unlock the power of 13 useful skills in Excel 2013, the most widely used spreadsheet software in business. We will demonstrate them live and give you sample use cases for when each skill is particularly handy.

August 28th  – Mobile Devices & Your Privacy!
If you use a mobile device to access the internal network or applications for your business, you need to know the policies and procedures that will keep your business data safe and your personal information private. In this jam-packed webinar, we will cover what you should know and what you never knew about mobile privacy in the age of BYOD (bring your own device)!

 

Gawker Media Data Breach of 2010

gawkermediaIn 2010, the popular celebrity gossip site, Gawker.com, was subject to an embarrassing data breach that compromised the information of about 1.5 million users—including the founder of the site, Nick Denton. While this data breach is actually on the low side as far as compromised users, it did create a big controversy with the reaction of the site as well as the motivation of the attackers. Read on to get the details of this hack and the missteps that followed with Gawker Media.

What happened?

The attack was initially suspected when Gawker Media’s gadget site Gizmodo had a compromised Twitter feed with updates indicating that 1.5 million usernames, passwords, and email addresses had been taken. Initially, Gawker denied that the attack had taken place, but that passwords were encrypted anyway. However, an anonymous source came out and claimed responsibility for the attack, threatening to release the private user data. As a result, the site warned users to change their passwords, and database dump of the private data took place the next day. The source code of Gawker.com was also made available.

Why was Gawker targeted?

Eventually it was discovered that a group called Gnosis was responsible for the data breach. The group had targeted Gawker because of their “outright arrogance” in a previous feud with 4Chan. In order to collect the data released following the attack, hackers gained root access to Gawker’s Linux-based servers, allowing them further access to the source code, databases, and real-time chat logs from Campfire.

What was the outcome?

Gawker has a big negative backlash following the attack, not just due to the loss of user data. Along with the motivation for the attack, which quickly became public knowledge, there were controversial conversations seen on a Campfire chat among Gawker staff pertaining to the hack. Part of the conversation referred to Gawker users as “peasants”, which did not sit well with the sites followers.

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Heartland Payment Systems Security Breach 2008-2009

hps-logoWhile the leak of personally identifiable information can be problematic and frustrating for consumers, leaked credit and debit card numbers can cause much more immediate and expensive problems. In 2008 and 2009, many consumers experienced this headache when Heartland Payment Systems experienced a data breach that compromised of at least 100 million credit cards, leading to a significant change in the company’s practices to protect consumer information.

Credit card data accessed

Heartland Payment Systems is one of the largest credit card payment processing companies in the United States. When customers swipe their credit cards, companies like Heartland will process that information and communicate it to credit card companies. During the 2008 data breach, the information encoded in millions of credit cards processed by Heartland was stolen, and the theft was confirmed and announced in January of 2009.

Total losses

As a result of the breach, Heartland paid more than $110 million in settlements with major credit card companies. The Heartland Payment Systems stock dipped down by as much as 77.6% following the breach. A computer hacker named Albert Gonzales was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2010 due to his role in the organization that broke into the Heartland computer system.

Heartland’s response

While the breach did take a big toll on Heartland Payment Systems, the company used the incident as an opportunity to warn other members of the industry of the dangers that modern hackers may pose. In 2010, Heartland implemented end-to-end encryption to scramble valuable card information as soon as a card is swiped so that data is not so easily stolen traveling unencrypted through networks.
As cybercrimes evolve, it is necessary to remain invested in more advanced security solutions that can minimize your business’s risk. To explore the IT security needs of your Southern Arizona business, call Nextrio at (520) 519-6301.

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The VeriSign Hack of 2015

verisign_logo_2636As a company responsible for a wide range of network infrastructure and security systems, VeriSign is a hot target for potential hackers who might do some severe reputation damage and pursue a veritable gold mine of private info ranging from site certificates to DNS systems. In 2010, however, an attack did occur, and it was kept under wraps for nearly 2 years before the public was made aware. This article will take a closer look at what happened in this data breach and how it impacted VeriSign.

Breach details

Because the breach was kept out of the public eye until February 2012, the specific details about the loss of data are not fully known. What is known is that VeriSign was victim to repeated data breaches throughout 2010, though administrators did not alert higher management until September 2011. Even still, it is evident that administrators were aware of the breaches and responded shortly after they took place. VeriSign did report that that they believed the attacks did not penetrate servers supporting their Domain Name System (DNS) Network.

Public awareness

VeriSign was under big scrutiny following the release of breach information, because they did not disclose the hack sooner and attempted to hide the details in a 2011 SEC filing. One of the biggest controversies that arose from the late reveal of the breach was a lack of clarity in regards to the Certificate Signing business that VeriSign sold to Symantec in late 2010. Because there was no certainty of whether or not SSL systems were impacted by the breach, significant distrust was of existing certificates associated with VeriSign, and subsequently, Symantec. The VeriSign breach was actually one of multiple hacks involving a certificate authority in 2010-2011, as DigiNotar was hacked in July of 2011. This resulted in the development of the super worm, Stuxnet, which utilized stolen certificates.

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TJX Companies, 2006

TJX logoHow secure is your organization’s computer network? Presumably, not as strong as a multi-billion dollar company. But considering the security breaches these large corporations endure on a regular basis, that should make you pause to consider the status of your own IT security. Case in point: TJX Companies.

In 2006, TJX Companies—a large retailer that operates over 2,000 stores under such brands as Marshalls, T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods and A.J. Wright—suffered one of the worst ever data breaches when 45.6 million credit and debit card numbers were stolen from one of its servers over a period of more than 18 months by unknown cyber assailants. Prior to this incident, the largest breach at CardSystems Solutions had resulted in 40 million records being compromised.

The breach of TJX Companies’ computer systems had far-reaching financial consequences in addition to the estimated $5 million the company had spent in connection with the attack. Several major banks and credit unions around the country and in other affected regions (Canada, Puerto Rico, and even as far as Ireland and the U.K.) had to block and reissue thousands of payments cards as a result of the breach, resulting in millions of dollars in direct and indirect costs.

Since the attack, TJX Companies has significantly strengthened the security of its computer network. The computer security experts hired by TJX Companies confirmed that the containment plan implemented by TJX was appropriate to prevent future intrusions.

The world of cyber security is extremely fluid, as cyber attackers are constantly thinking of new ways to bypass the latest security measures set in place by the leading IT experts in the field. To see where your computer network stacks up in this ongoing cyber war, contact Nextrio, Tucson’s trusted IT company for business. Our experts will assess your IT needs and make detailed and actionable recommendations to increase your security, productivity, and efficiency.

Call Nextrio at (520) 519-6301 to learn more about the services our IT professionals provide, including migration to the cloud, strategic IT planning, and the day-to-day management of your technology.

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Smart IT Training: July 2015 Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get  free   productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s  smart IT training  webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are  free   each Friday from 12:30pm – 1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6301 or email  training@nextrio.com  today!

July 17 – Troubleshooting: Fix It or Find Help!
Computer problems can bring your business day to a grinding halt. Getting back to work requires quick troubleshooting and accurate diagnosis, so let Nextrio arm you with a few tips and tricks that the pros use. We will break down the most frequent problems by symptom and give you simple ways to try and fix it yourself and details for when to find help.

 

Target Stores Data Breach 2013

target-logoMost people swipe their debit and credit cards multiple times a day without a second thought, expecting that retailers will protect credit card information and the identities of their customers. While this is the goal of retailers large and small, sometimes there can be data breaches that compromise credit card numbers and the personal information that can goes along with those digits. In winter of 2013, Target experienced such a breach that racked up $3.6 billion in damages, putting the information of 70 million customers in the wrong hands.

Data breach timeline

During peak holiday shopping season from November 27 to December 15, customer information was collected and stolen. The timing of this attack made it the largest and highest-profile breach in recent years at the time. Throughout this time, an estimated 40 million debit and credit cards were reported stolen.

Point-of-sale software

The likely source of the massive theft was software installed on Target’s point-of-sale systems. In addition to credit card numbers and PIN data, thieves gathered information such as names, addresses, and email addresses for about 70 million customers.

Harsh impact on sales

Target’s data breach put a massive dent in the company’s Q4 earnings for 2013. Early estimates of sales anticipated stronger-than-expected sales, but the breach put the company behind with a 2.5% decline in sales for the quarter. The financial damages that the breach initially reflected only represent a fraction of the damage done by this data leak. When customers have their information compromised, they lose trust in companies, even those as established and well-recognized as Target.

Is your business protected with security solutions that keep valuable information private? If you are unsure of how well your security infrastructure would hold up to an attack, call Nextrio at (520) 519-6301. Our IT services in Southern Arizona can be fine-tuned to meet your needs and keep your business strong.

This article is part of our collection of WORLD FAMOUS SECURITY BREACHES!

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National Archive and Records Administration Security Breach 2008

sotnaara-logoThe National Archive and Records Administration (NARA) is responsible for handling some of the most sensitive information of veterans, government employees, and national records. Yet, even this organization fell victim to a massive loss of data in 2008, which may have actually been avoided with more effective practices in software encryption and hardware management. Below you will get a look at how this information leak took place and the impact that it had on the security of this agency.

Negligence in data management

NARA’s data breach took place when a malfunctioning hard drive was returned to the contractor from which it was sold. The data stored on the drive—health records and social security numbers of millions of veterans dating back to 1972—was not wiped before the drive was returned and ultimately passed along for recycling after it was unable to be fixed. The incident was the single largest breach of personally identifiable information on part of a government agency.

Lack of encryption software

Not only was there a misstep taken in not wiping the hard drive, but the data that it contained was not encrypted. Similar to the Heartland breach that took place around the same time, information could have been protected by scrambling sensitive data with encryption software.

70 million veterans affected

The number of individuals with personally identifiable information compromised in the NARA breach was staggering—about 70 million. Controversy of the information leak was compounded by internal criticism of the security practices of NARA and the attempts of the agency to subvert the significance of this mismanagement of sensitive information.
With the right security solutions in place, data breaches large and small can be prevented for the protection of individuals and organizations. Nextrio can help your business identify the right measures for your security to keep data breach disasters from affecting your company. To contact us, call (520) 519-6301 today.

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Anthem Security Breach in 2015

anthem-logoThe second-largest American health insurer, Anthem, is at the center of the most recent data breach in the United States, which has affected about 80 million people with the leak of personal information such as names, addresses, social security numbers, email addresses, and employment information. Announced in February of 2015, this attack is suspected to have begun at least six weeks prior to the discovery of the breach. Here is a closer look at the details of this cyber attack, which may still have lingering effects for Anthem and affected individuals.

Extensive data losses

Not only is Anthem one of the largest health insurance providers in the nation, but it houses information from a number of smaller independent providers, which has driven the number of impacted individuals to about 80 million. Some of the individuals affected were previously unaware that their information was stored with Anthem until alerts of the breach were mailed to customers. While the attack is still under investigation, there is indication that phishing may have been involved with employees who have high level IT access.

Customer outreach

Because many customers are at risk of identity theft, Anthem has offered free credit monitoring and resources to help detect fraud with leaked personal information. Unfortunately, these tools do not actually prevent the use of personal data, they only alert individuals faster when suspicious activity has taken place.

Common breach patterns

Anthem is not the first company to fall victim to a massive cyber attack with losses of this magnitude. However, the company has come under criticism due to the lack of security measures that may have limited this attack and the typical response offered to consumers. Historically, companies will offer free credit monitoring and make immediate attempts to reach out to consumers, but measures are not always taken to prevent attacks of the same nature in the future.
Nextrio can help protect your business from cyber threats of the modern age with a complete suite of IT services offered throughout Southern Arizona. To learn more about what we can do for your business, call us at (520) 519-6301.

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Epsilon Security Breach in 2011

ep-logo2011 saw many large data breaches, and the email marketing firm Epsilon was just one of many large organizations to be the target of a major cyber attack. In April 2011, a spear-phishing attack led to the loss of data from 75 of Epsilon’s major clients. This particular case of data theft was notably complex and massive, since Epsilon serves such major brands such as Kroger, TiVo, Marriott Rewards, Brookstone, and Walgreens. All of these companies were affected by the attack, since their customers’ data was the information that had been leaked.

Outsourced email marketing gone wrong

It is not uncommon for companies to outsource their web marketing to firms like Epsilon, but when there is a breach that allows information to get into the hands of cyber criminals, there are some complex liabilities to consider. While Epsilon is ultimately responsible for the security of their clients’ information, businesses are still held responsible in the eyes of consumers. As individuals lose faith and trust in companies after having their personal information compromised, Epsilon saw major backlash from the companies affected.

Estimated damages

The scope of damage caused by this attack is still hard to assess, though estimates put the number of email addresses stolen around 60 million. Determining how many of these email addresses facilitated phishing attacks targeted at individuals is difficult, but it is likely that many people had personal information compromised through emails containing viruses or those appearing to come from trusted companies requesting account information. The liabilities faced by Epsilon in 2011 totaled about $225 million along with another $45 million in lost business.

Even on a much smaller scale, cyber attacks can be devastating events for businesses. You can keep your Southern Arizona business protected with IT strategic planning and assessments provided by Nextrio. For a closer look at our services, call us at (520) 519-6301.

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Sony Online Hacked in 2011

Sony12011 was not a great year for Sony thanks to a series of natural disasters affecting manufacturing and overall slow sales, but the most incredible loss for Sony in 2011 by far was the massive PlayStation data breach that took place in April of that year. The breach was followed by a 23-day system outage that limited the use of PlayStation systems around the world, preventing access to many games and streaming services. Below you can get a look at how one of the largest electronics companies on the planet became the victim of this huge breach.

77 million accounts compromised

The attack on the PlayStation Network took place between April 17 and April 19 of 2011, which led to the temporary shutdown of the network on April 20. It was on May 4 that Sony announced that personally identifiable information from every one of PlayStation Network’s 77 million accounts had been leaked. The delay in sharing the news of a data breach to customers caused additional uproar from users already frustrated with the network outage.

Massive outage

PlayStation Network suffered an outage lasting 23 days, during which time many promises to get online services running were not met. Following the restoration of service, Sony offered packages of free games, services and premium content to the 77 million affected customers, which contributed to a $5.7 billion loss in 2011.

Public response

Sony came under fire with a series of lawsuits, concerns from government officials around the world, and criticism concerning the lack of encryption for users’ personal information. While credit card information was encrypted, user passwords and other information were not, leading to the breach caused by hacking collective, Lulzsec.
No business is immune from data breaches and security failures, which is why Nextrio offers a spectrum of IT services for small businesses in Tucson and Southern Arizona. To contact us for a look at what we can do for your company, call us at (520) 519-6301 today.

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Home Depot Security Breach in 2014

downloadThe Home Depot is a big-box home improvement store that operates throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. As the largest home improvement retailer in the United States, The Home Depot hack of 2014 affected millions of customers and demonstrated the continuing need for managed IT solutions and security for all businesses, both large and small. Keep reading to learn more about the details of this famous incident and how your business can prevent data leakage with the help of an experienced IT service.

The Breach

Following The Home Depot’s information breach, it was revealed that hackers had gained access to the company’s computer system for a period of approximately five months via stolen information from a third-party vendor associated. Following the initial break-in, a weakness in the company’s Microsoft Windows operating system made data access even easier. During the breach, the perpetrators stole information that included email addresses and credit card and debit card numbers from those who had shopped in the company’s American and Canadian stores. Months after the attack, The Home Depot announced that as many as 53-56 million customers had been affected by the data breach.

Possible Prevention

Following The Home Depot’s system breach, reports emerged stating that the company had failed to instate certain additional security measures, despite multiple warnings from IT security consultants and the mounting number of hacks affecting other large companies, such as Target and Michaels. Consultants have stated that these security measures may have provided the added layers of protection needed to keep consumer payment information private when paying at the register. Thus, The Home Depot’s breach serves to underscore the importance and responsibility of businesses to maintain and utilize security software to protect user data.

Nextrio is dedicated to delivering top-quality managed IT and cloud services in Tucson, regardless of your industry or business size. We can help you maintain your information security with up-to-date patches, security solutions, and more. Please call (520) 519-6301 to discuss your needs with one of our experienced staff, or click through our website for more up-to-date IT news and tips.

This article is part of our collection of WORLD FAMOUS SECURITY BREACHES!

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Evernote Security Breach in 2013

evernote-logo-design-centerIn today’s digital world, high-quality security means protecting your business’ information, as well as the privacy of your clients and users. Hacks and data breaches put this vital information at risk and can affect both your image and the confidence your clients feel in your competence. Taking advantage of smart managed security solutions is the best way to prevent your company from coming under attack and suffering a breach that could result in lost information and profits.

The Evernote Hack

Evernote is a cloud-based service that provides users with a virtual workspace for note taking and other organizational tasks. In 2013, Evernote revealed that it had suffered a breach in security that had allowed hackers to gain access to user information, including usernames and their associated email addresses, as well as password information. Although Evernote officials claimed the password information obtained by the hackers was encrypted, the service still required each of its 50 million users to reset their passwords as a security precaution.

How Evernote Handled the Hack

The way in which Evernote officials handled the hack demonstrated the company’s competence and dedication to user security. Rather than tracking down the individual passwords that had been stolen, the company mandated that all passwords be resent to protect every user. Additionally, Evernote clearly stated in communications to consumers which information had been taken and how it had been protected, which provided the extra time needed to change passwords and protect user information. Furthermore, Evernote warned users in official communications of possible phishing scam behavior to help users arm themselves against scammers who may have obtained their username and email address.

Although Evernote handled its 2013 breach competently, this incident still demonstrates the vulnerability of user data in the cloud. At Nextrio, we can help you assess your cloud services and ensure they are secure to protect your information and provide the confidence you need to grow your business today and in the future. You can reach us by calling (520) 519-6301 or visiting our website to contact us online.

This article is part of our collection of WORLD FAMOUS SECURITY BREACHES!

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Lessons Business Leaders Can Learn from the Sony Hack

460256911In 2014, Sony Pictures Entertainment suffered a breach in IT security that allowed hackers to gain access to executive emails and company documents containing salary information, potential projects, and confidential employee information. This serious breach in computing security has had far-reaching effects for the company; however, it can also be viewed as a valuable lesson for other businesses to consider as online security management becomes an increasingly important issue.

Don’t Take Privacy for Granted

One of the most important lessons to take away from the Sony hack is that you should never take your privacy for granted. While you should always take steps to manage your online security, being prepared for a security breach is also a valuable practice to follow at all times. Before sending any type of email or communication, consider how it would reflect on you and your company if it were to become public knowledge.

Consider Your Image

Maintaining a positive image is an important part of a smart business plan. You should always keep email discussions civil and avoid gossip or derogatory terms that others could find offensive; this practice is not simply good manners, it will also protect you in case of a breach. Holding yourself to high standards will ensure your company always puts forth an appealing and approachable image, even in the event of a security problem.

Use Smart Security Practices

Smart security practices are one of the best ways to protect your company from information leaks. In the aftermath of the Sony hack, it was discovered that Sony had stored passwords in a folder clearly labeled as such, making it simple for hackers to find this valuable information. Talk to your IT management team about developing smarter, more effective passwords and other strategies to better secure your private information against a breach.

Could your business benefit from upgraded security and network management solutions in Tucson? You can reach Nextrio by calling (520) 519-6301 or clicking on our web contact form for more information about our managed IT, security, and consulting options for your company.

Cloud Computing Forecasts and Estimates

453612803Business usage of the cloud has been on the rise for several years, as small and large companies alike recognize the value of this networking solution. As cloud strategies continue to evolve, numerous studies have attempted to ascertain where cloud computing and networking services are headed over the next year, based on current and past usage trends. The overall picture is clear—the cloud continues to play an important role in business computing, a position that is not expected to change in the near future.

Software as a Service is on the Rise

As cloud usage increases, so do subscriptions to Software as a Service, or SaaS. SaaS provides clients with access to software via the cloud, without requiring that software be downloaded or run on physical hardware within a company. This frees up computing workspace in the company for other purposes, while also eliminating the need to spend time or money on software upgrades or security.

Cloud Spending is on the Rise

As the cloud’s popularity continues to increase, more businesses are placing a priority on improving or increasing their usage of the cloud as well. Budgets for cloud computing and network management are growing as these services become increasingly vital to company productivity and success. Both small and large companies are expected to increase spending on cloud management services over the next year.

Outsourced IT Management is on the Rise

Managing and maintaining the cloud requires specialized skills and technology. As companies turn to cloud service providers for these solutions, the often consider outsourcing their IT management as well. This provides many benefits including some cost savings, increased focus on a company’s core business, and increasing employee productivity.

Assess your needs and take advantage of these emerging trends by working with Nextrio. We have the expertise and experience it takes to advance your company’s technology to the next level—call us at (520) 519-6301 or visit our website to learn more.

 

Questions to Ask Before Engaging in Cloud Computing

174101590Cloud services offer tremendous flexibility and convenience in today’s increasingly mobile-based business world. Even small and medium-sized businesses can experience the benefits. However, before moving all your data and infrastructure to the cloud it’s important to assess the pros and cons, costs, and timing to determine if it’s the right move for your business.

Why Move to the Cloud?

The cloud is a versatile computing medium that can offer many benefits to your company. However, before you jump to the cloud, evaluate the reasons why you would want to do so, aligning your decision with your business goals. Do you want to provide easier access to information or data? Do you want the ability for data to be shared among different locations/users? Do you like the idea of smoother operating costs? Answering these questions and more will help determine how best to leverage the cloud.

How Will You Manage Cloud Computing?

There’s the option of managing your own cloud, or taking advantage of the expertise and investment of others by using a public cloud. If you use a cloud service provider, they manage the day-to-day operation and infrastructure, and you just pay any usage fees. Working with a cloud service provider allows you to enjoy the full benefits of moving to the cloud without sacrificing your own time or your employees’ time to ensure stability and security of this valuable service.

Nextrio is dedicated to providing up-to-date cloud computing and IT management solutions throughout Tucson and Southern Arizona. We invite you to check out our website, where you’ll find more details about our services and additional information about the benefits of cloud computing. Let us help you determine if cloud is right for you by calling us today at (520) 519-6301.

Mobile Device Management Tips

155242276Mobile devices are everywhere! They’re also becoming prevalent in business, at an exponential rate. Although they allow for work to take place anywhere and at any time, this also exposes businesses to more and more entry points into a network. Mobile device management is critical for keeping your business secure. Create a mobile device management strategy today.

Internet of Things

The concept behind the Internet of Things (IoT) relies on the transmission of data over a network through any device with an IP address, including traditional ones such as cell phones, laptops, tablets to any other equipment capable of carrying a chip or sensor. Although there are many options, mobile devices are still the most widespread type under the umbrella of the Internet of Things.

Security Precautions

As with all networked technology, mobile devices are just as susceptible to malware, hacking, and other security concerns. Thus, taking security precautions is a valuable step toward protecting your business, your employees, and your clients. Investing in IT mobile device management can help you keep devices proactively protected with the latest up-to-date information. Implementing simple security steps, such as setting device preferences to auto-lock and requiring a password, biometric verification, or multi-factor authentication to access each device, will protect your company’s information in the event that a device is lost or stolen. Also, don’t forget about user training, to make sure employees know best practices and important usage policies.

Nextrio can help you manage your company’s mobile devices, day-to-day network, and other IT requirement for companies of all sizes. Visit our website or call us at (520) 519-6301 to discuss your IT needs.

What is the HIPAA Security Rule?

Doctor talking to patient

The Security Rule was instituted in 1996 with the passage of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This rule set forth a number of regulations regarding the management and security of certain types of personal healthcare information. The Security Rule was developed as a response to the emergence of new computing technology, its use in healthcare management, and associated security issues. Today, all healthcare providers and institutions are required to follow the Security Rule when handling, storing and transferring patient data and records.

The Purpose

The Security Rule was developed to protect patient’s electronic personal health information. All medical documents entered in electronic format and maintained are subject to the Security Rule, which requires those entities covered by the Rule to ensure that information is kept confidential and protected against “reasonably anticipated” threats or disclosures.

Application of the Rule

The Security Rule applies to any healthcare provider, health insurance company, or clearinghouse that deals with patient data in electronic form. This includes the transfer of patient information, medical records, test results, diagnoses, and treatment plans or schedules over any kind of computing network. The entities that fall under the Security Rule are not only required to institute adequate safeguards, but to ensure total employee compliance with the Security Rule as well.

Security Rule Safeguards

There are a wide range of safeguards required by the Security Rule to protect confidential patient information. These safeguards include practices at the administrative level, such as employee training in security protocols and consistent network management to ensure computing security remains complete and up to date. Physical safeguards are also required, which limit access to and log the use of computing equipment to reduce the likelihood of unauthorized access.

If you’re a healthcare entity covered by the Security Rule, secure management of patient information is a top priority. At Nextrio, we work closing with healthcare organizations to assess their current security status, determine needs for improvement, and provide specific network security solutions to meet the Security Rule mandates. For more information contact us at (520) 519-6301 or visit our website.

Benefits of Outsourcing Day-to-Day IT Management and Help Desk Services

78483394IT management and help desk services play an essential role in the productivity of your workforce. If not proactive and efficient, these services can take up valuable employee time and resources, limiting their ability to be effective at their work. Outsourcing this function is an option that might make sense for your Tucson-based business.

Reduced Cost

IT infrastructure and the associated management of it can be expensive. One way to mitigate or reduce the cost is by partnering with an IT managed services provider that will provide proactive maintenance, suggest improvements, and for a fixed fee ensure you’re costs are smooth from month-to-month. Outsourcing basic IT and help desk services frees you up to focus on bigger issues.

Improved Productivity

Outsourcing the day-to-day management of your IT allows you to focus on what is most important to your business. Having a full-serve IT service provider as a partner gives your employees a dedicated team to assess issues and restore functionality. Keeping downtime to a minimum is critical to improved productivity.

Access to Data Analytics

Outsourcing your basic IT management and help desk services allows for focus on how to best utilize technology and improve business productivity. Leveraging technology usage data, metrics and analytics can be helpful when evaluating ways to improve performance.

If you’re looking for an outsourced IT solution in Arizona, Nextrio has the resources you need to improve productivity. Check out our website or contact us at (520) 519-6301 to explore our range of IT solutions.

Storage in the Cloud

467088643More and more content and data is created daily than ever before. Like its physical counterparts, digital documents and information require storage space as well. The cloud offers a secure and scalable storage solution that’s an appealing alternative to local, physical storage options. As the paper trail moves to the cloud, discover how cloud-based storage works and the benefits to your business.

The Basics

Offered as a service, rather than storing all your data on hardware at your physical location, cloud storage includes the functions of file hosting, file sharing and remote data backup. When you engage with a cloud storage provider, you are basically renting space from them and using their equipment to host your data which is transferred via the Internet. You have immediate access to your data, just as you would if it was stored at your physical location.

Cloud Storage Benefits

181629983There are many benefits to using a cloud storage solution. One of those is redundancy, which ensures less exposure to data loss. Leveraging the scale of cloud storage gives you peace of mind knowing there are multiple copies of your data. If one server becomes damaged or goes offline, you still have access to your data via a stored copy on another server. You will also save by not having the capital expense of company-owned equipment and the operating expense of maintaining physical storage.

Cloud storage offers your business the flexibility and scalability you need to grow. At Nextrio, we’re dedicated to helping you find the right IT and cloud solutions you need to securely manage all your business data and information. For more information about our services check out our informative blog, or contact us at (520) 519-6301.

 

 

Are You Ready? Microsoft Ends Support for Windows Server 2003 in July

iStock_000010719239XSmallIf your business currently has the Windows Server 2003 operating system on its network, you should note that Microsoft is officially ending support for this operating system on July 14, 2015. This means that Microsoft will no longer issue patches and security updates, potentially leaving your network and business exposed and vulnerable. Take steps today to discuss your needs to migrate to a new solution with your IT service provider to ensure a timely and smooth transition.

Why You Need to Take Action

The impending end of support for Windows Server 2003 means you need to take action for your business now. With the end of support, you’ll lose the critical ongoing security updates issued to maintain and protect your server. Without these updates, your network will be vulnerable to cyber-attacks, putting your information and that of your clients at unnecessary risk. Also, depending on your industry you might fail to meet compliance rules and regulatory mandates.

Evaluating Your Server Options

iStock_000016066249XLargeThe end of support for Windows Server 2003 provides a valuable opportunity. As you prepare to change your server solution, now’s a great time to consider all of your server options. You can upgrade your current solution to the latest version, or you can look at how virtualizing your network environment would add value. You could also migrate all your data to the cloud, leveraging its scalability and flexibility. Not one size fits all, so take this opportunity to determine the best solution for your business today and moving forward.

If you currently have Microsoft’s Windows Server 2003 operating system on your network, now’s the time to act. Nextrio’s helped numerous businesses with upgrades and data migrations, and can also help assess options such as cloud or virtualization. You can find out more about the end of Microsoft Windows Server 2003 support on our blog, and make a plan today by calling (520) 519-6301.

Create a Clear IT Project Plan

121198306Has it been a while since you conducted an audit of your IT network? Do you know what you have, where it is, and if you use it? Are you tinkering with the idea of moving to the cloud? Have you acquired another business, or grown over the past few years? Times like this are well-served by making a plan.

Once you’ve determined a plan is needed and have established the goals, a clear strategy including follow through with smart management of your IT plan will ensure that your project will be a success.

Develop Roles and Responsibilities

Put together the best team to managed and complete the project, which includes internal staff and consultants or business partners outside of the company. Ensure that each team member understands the goals, why they’ve been chosen to participate, and how it all goes together. Getting buy-in from team members will allow for everyone to pull in the same direction for positive project outcomes.

Measure Success

iStock_000010735600XSmallMeeting your goals is the ultimate measure of success, however, it’s important to establish milestones along the way. This ensures the team stays on track, and also gives incremental “wins” for the team to keep everyone motivated. Develop a rubric to assess and measure accomplishments throughout the process that point to the end goal. If issues arise, changes can be made to adapt to the situation. After your project is finished, a project debrief will provide valuable information about the process and how it can be improved for implementation on future IT projects.

The experienced staff at Nextrio will help you develop and implement comprehensive IT project plans to meet your business goals. We offer numerous IT solutions tailored to any size, industry, and business need. You can find additional details on our website or contact us at (520) 519-6301.

Get Your Head in the Cloud

ThinkstockPhotos-162049206Cloud computing is a valuable and versatile part of IT that is changing the way businesses operate. Rather than storing and transferring information locally to and from a physical server, cloud computing takes advantage of the Internet’s speed, scale, and accessibility through remote networks that do this work at other locations.

The Basics of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing leverages the physical hardware and storage capabilities, procured and managed elsewhere, to enable businesses the flexibility of using a third party’s technology on an as needed basis. A cloud service provider supplies access to its cloud depending on usage needs. There are many different layers offered via the cloud, including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). Together, these make up what you would typically see in a traditional on-premises environment and include the baseline infrastructure and storage, the operating system that makes the applications work, and the applications staff would use to do their day-to-day work.  You also have the option of deploying a private, public or hybrid cloud environment, depending on your company’s needs.

The Prevalence of Cloud Computing

Since its introduction as a mainstream concept over the past two decades, cloud computing has been growing in popularity. Today, it’s estimated that over half of U.S. businesses are currently use the cloud, while up to 80% of large companies in North America either use or are preparing to implement cloud computing. And, usage of the cloud by small companies is expected to double by the year 2020.  The business benefits and value of leveraging the cloud have become mainstream, giving confidence that the solution will be secure, safe, and cost effective. The scalability of cloud computing is also a benefit to small and medium-sized businesses that want flexibility as they grow, without the capital expenditures.

Let Nextrio help you navigate your cloud options, to find a solution that gets the most out of the technology you currently use for your business. We can help align your IT with your business needs as they evolve. Contact us at (520) 519-6301 or visit www.nextrio.com for additional information.

How to Avoid IT Outsourcing Mistakes

ThinkstockPhotos-87687000Focus on your strengths. As a business grows, it’s tough to be good at everything and making permanent staffing commitments might not be feasible. One area of your business that is a great candidate for outsourcing is your day-to-day IT management. Placing the management of your IT support and management in the hands of experienced professionals, allows your staff to focus on what they do best for your business.  However, selecting the best partner to manage your IT takes consideration to avoid common pitfalls in the process.

Look at Long-Term Value

When selecting any key business partner to work with, consider the long-term value to your business. Selecting the right outsourced IT management consultant should be taken as seriously as when selecting your accountant or attorney. Ensure that the IT Company’s services align with your long-term business goals, taking time to develop scalable, smart and comprehensive solutions to your IT needs.

Reputation is Everything

Don’t forget to check references, and look for feedback from reputable sources that aren’t just provided as references. Treat any prospective outsourced IT company as you would any employee looked at for consideration. Determine the level of IT support they provide, such as having customer service representatives, timely communication, and a dedicated team-approach. The cost of making a bad choice could be significant.

Aren’t all IT Services the Same

It might seem prudent to partner with the lowest cost provider, as all IT services are the same. Wrong! Make sure you compare apples to apples, such as service levels and what’s included with each proposal. Also, consider the value of the services based on depth and breadth of experience and overall understanding of the intersection between business and technology. Also, make sure the level of security you need for your type of business is being met or exceeded, to adhere to compliance rules and regulations.

Are you looking to outsource the management of your company’s IT in Tucson or Southern Arizona? Nextrio offers the IT management solutions you need to ensure success, from managed desktops and servers to backup, storage, security and managed Wi-Fi. Check out our website or give us a call at (520) 519-6301 for more information today.

How the Cloud Will Transform Businesses by 2020

ThinkstockPhotos-178737057Rooted in research and innovation that began decades ago, the functionality of cloud computing has been in the marketplace for years.  The concept of cloud computing is now mainstream, and there are examples of it at work everywhere. It’s quickly gained popularity among small and medium-sized businesses for cost reduction, improved efficiency and scalability. Trending data indicates that adoption of the cloud will continue to grow. By 2020, industry experts estimate that up to 80% of small businesses across the U.S. will have made the leap to cloud computing.

Niche Services

Cloud computing more easily and efficiently allows companies to develop and deliver specialized products and services that can be used to improve productivity. Cloud-based service providers that offer solutions for payroll and HR, cash flow management, and analytics needs are examples. Taking advantage of niche cloud-based services allows the experts to help you while you focus on your business goals.

Global Workforce

ThinkstockPhotos-482364649Another benefit of cloud computing is that it connects employees, customers and suppliers who are located anywhere around the world. As small and medium-sized businesses grow, so does their geographic footprint.  Cloud services gives you and your staff the flexibility and access needed to work with anyone, anywhere, and at any time.

Improved Project Management

Cloud computing also improves the facilitation, workflow, and efficiency of project management. With the increased ease of managing and tracking projects, individuals and companies gain the capability of managing more projects simultaneously, improving overall productivity.

Is your business getting the most out of cloud technology? Let the experts at Nextrio help you navigate the cloud, to determine the best solutions to help your business move forward. Contact us at (520) 519-6301 for more information about our IT services.

Why Cloud Computing and Working from Home Go Hand-in-Hand

459082897Over the past decade, more and more people have found that they can easily work from home. Advances in technology have allowed new generations to aspire toward work/life balance, by removing the physical requirements of constantly “being on the job” in many industries. This is also beneficial for businesses, as productivity is increased through the many ways to complete work. Cloud computing, the ability to access, share, and store data through the Internet from a hosted environment, has made working from home easier than ever. Here’s a brief look at how cloud computing and working from home are interconnected.

Expanding Communication

The development and proliferation of cloud computing has accelerated the rate of communication. The Internet has made it possible to communicate globally through email, voice, and face-to-face instantly with the click of a key. Cloud computing provides the enhanced feature of allowing colleagues to share and collaborate with documents and projects. Long gone is a meeting in the conference room the only option to get the job done.

Staying Productive from Wherever

Your workstation is where you are. You don’t need to worry about not having all the traditional tools you think you need to work effectively. Cloud computing makes it possible for employees to have access to important tools and applications at all times, enabling productivity. Thanks to Google’s cloud computing apps and programs from Dropbox, as examples, you can work wherever there’s a computer or device and an Internet connection.

Maintaining Consistency

Historically, home and office were two distinct worlds. Even if you could and did work from home, the level of work performed was at a much lower level than what was performed at the office. Now you have access to the same information and the ability to work together with colleagues without being in the same room. Cloud computing makes it easy to maintain consistency between home and office work, as it provides continuous access to the very same tools and documents. Thanks to cloud computing, you can collaborate and implement a great idea in the moment.

You’d be amazed by all the benefits cloud computing would add to your business. For more information about the cloud and how to make it work for you, reach out to the team at Nextrio, experts at helping Tucson businesses get the most out of their technology.

What You Should Know About Virtualization

470796649“Virtualization” might sound like a term that hearkens back to the original Star Trek. However, it’s a reality that enables companies to get the most utilization out of their technology. Creating a virtual environment is about leveraging existing hardware to enable more than one operating system to run simultaneously, which historically was not available. In essence, you turn one computer into many.

Basics

Using virtualization software makes simple use of one computer or server to operate multiple operating systems. In essence, by adding a layer of virtualization software, more than one operating system and associated applications are able to share the resources found on one piece of hardware. These resources such as memory, processing power, disk space, etc., are shared and deployed based on usage.

Benefits

Although virtualization may involve software costs on the front end, it’s usually worth it in the long run. One of the primary benefits is that you can increase scalability by using existing server infrastructure without investing in additional hardware. Also, you can run multiple types of operating systems concurrently and allocate hardware resources based on utilization, getting the most out of your hardware. In addition, you could save with energy costs, improve ease of use, and reduce backup and recovery time, to name a few.

If you think it’s time to consider virtualization for your business, reach out to the team at Nextrio. In addition to providing IT strategic planning and managed IT services we have experts who can determine how virtualization might benefit your business. Contact our Tucson IT solutions company today to get started.

The Great Debate: Capex vs. Opex

100561014To run a business effectively, you need to reconcile your entrepreneurial spirit with fiscal reality. There are two approaches to managing business expenditures that are important to IT budgeting. Determining the right mix of these two aspects, capital expenditures (capex) and operating expenditures (opex), to align with fiscal management is paramount.  Determining the right technology can go a long way toward determining the capex and opex mix, building your business, and staying ahead of the competition.

The Long View

Capex is typically a capital purchase that is planned with a locked in investment. Line items that fall into this category appear on the balance sheet and have historically included servers, telephone systems, software, etc. A CFO looks at ways to amortize and depreciate to spread out the costs over long periods of time.

Smoothed Expenses

Opex refers to monthly spending that allows your business to continue the aspects of the day-to-day operations. This includes employee wages, maintenance, utilities, and other regularly occurring expenses. At different times, business owners are hesitant to make large capital investments, finding value in maintaining smooth operational expenses. The options of cloud technology and IT managed services are examples of leveraging technology that falls in the opex category for business leaders.

Striking a Balance

Focusing too much on the future can cause problems, while focusing too much on day-to-day operations could leave you with missed opportunities by not making important investments. For a business to succeed, it must strike a balance between capex and opex. Smart technology planning can help determine which option, capex vs. opex, would help your business stay ahead of the competition.

For more information about managed IT services and IT strategic planning, contact the team at Nextrio. We are dedicated to providing Tucson businesses with the technology services they need.

 

IT Services Tailored to your Business Needs

477531609Over the past several decades, technology has vastly changed the way business is conducted. However, “technology” is not a single, monolithic concept that all businesses can adopt in order to succeed. Rather, technology is multi-faceted and customized to need. You can’t just fit a square peg in a round hole. To make technology work for your business, you should carefully analyze your needs, budget, operations, and overall goals so you can build an effective IT infrastructure to fit your unique situation.

By Company Size

Determine the type of software and equipment that will deliver the most advantages as aligned with the size of your business. If you make too big of an IT investment, it might cost more than you benefit. On the other hand, if you underestimate your needs, it could stymie productivity and growth. Assess your situation, matching IT to the size you are today and where you’re going tomorrow.

By Decision Maker

While IT decision-making was once relegated to the IT or office manager, business leaders are now involved in the IT strategic planning process. Technology touches all lines of business including operations, marketing, and human resources. For buy-in and support, consideration for who will be using the technology is important in the IT strategic planning process.

By Industry

There are many types of software designed for specific industry needs. So many, in fact, that it can be difficult for businesses to identify which software best complements their operations. Partnering with an IT professional to help during the planning process will go a long way toward identifying suitable software and hardware for your business.

By Technology

Identify the areas of your business that stand to gain the most from newer technology. There are so many options from cloud to on-premise to hybrid solutions. You also have options regarding how to manage your capital and operating expenditures.

 

Nextrio offers comprehensive IT solutions for small and medium-sized businesses, including those in healthcare, manufacturing, non-profits, legal, and many more industries. Whatever your business expertise, our Tucson IT solutions firm can help you do it better.

Is it Time for an IT Audit?

160840798Running a business can feel like a juggling act, with more and more balls added to the mix. Over time, it’s easy to be pulled into current projects and managing the moment at hand. Thinking about an IT audit is as dreaded as going to the doctor for a long-needed checkup. You don’t really want to know the results, so why bother. However, periodically taking time to assess how well your technology infrastructure is performing for your business is important for growth. Here’s a few indicators that it’s time for your business to consider an IT audit.

You’re still using Windows XP

Technology changes at lightning speed, and technology vendors are focusing on what’s new, not in the past. They are systematically instituting “end of support” deadlines for out-of-date technology which is too costly to keep current. Recent examples are the end of support for Windows XP last year, and in July this year Microsoft Windows Server 2003 will be put on the shelf. An IT audit can at least determine when upgrading is a necessity. Look at your inventory and make a plan today.

Slow as a Snail…or a Tortoise, too.

Are your computers running at the most optimal speed? Your employees shouldn’t be wasting time waiting for their computers to “think”, as processing speed continuously improves. Computers should provide instantaneous results to improve productivity, not hinder it. An IT audit will help pinpoint any problems, so you can take action to optimize.

Losing your Edge?

Are there better, cheaper or faster ways to do what you’re doing? If your business isn’t growing or you feel that you’re falling behind in the marketplace, it could be due to competitors having an edge with how they use technology. Conducting an IT audit and making the recommended upgrades can help you leapfrog over the competition and conquer the market.

Even if you think your business is at the forefront of technology, you’ll find that a professional IT audit is a worthwhile investment. The team at Nextrio can help identify big and small opportunities to get the most out of your technology.

What to Expect from Cloud Computing in 2015

453612803Cloud isn’t new. We’ve been using the basics for years, having our emails stored for us. Now, we’re increasing the type and volume of information we’re willing to store off-premise. With advances in technology and functionality, cloud services continue to drop in price and are more readily available to small and medium-sized businesses than in the past.  Here’s what you can expect from cloud computing in the upcoming year.

Increased Spending on IT Services

Companies have been sitting on the sidelines, waiting to see how cloud computing could benefit or impact their business.  This is the year that mainstream support will begin, and experts believe that more budget dollars will be spent on cloud technology in 2015. From increased security concerns and the need to manage the huge volumes of data, attention will be spent on funding the appropriate technology to keep businesses safe, and allow them to best service customers and grow.

Integrated Cloud Services

In 2015, companies should be able to take advantage of cloud APIs that link together a variety of services. This improved interconnectivity will be a huge benefit to organizations that use multiple types of technology in their environment. This also allows for a hybrid environment with a combination of on-premise and off-premise solutions to work in tandem.

The Need for User Training

The majority of security incidents are a result of user error.  Investing in user training will significantly improve the odds of staying secure, especially if new cloud technology is introduced.  Anytime new technology is deployed, training is important for both productivity and security.

Vendor Management

Keeping all the vendors straight can be a daunting task. This includes knowing who to call to troubleshoot issues, how different services and applications work together, and managing technology issues when they arise.  As more and more types of technology enter a business, managing the vendor relationships becomes an important function.

Turn to Nextrio for help to determine how cloud technology can help your business grow. As a Tucson-based IT company, we will help you figure out the best solution for you. To learn more about our cloud services or our other IT managed services, visit us online or call (520) 519-6301.

The Value of Tablets

155242276You’ve probably heard of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), which includes all mobile devices that employees bring to the office. Of those, tablets are the latest craze, whether to improve work productivity, watch media, or to entertain kids. They come in all shapes and sizes. And, there are many benefits that add value to the business environment.

No More Printing

Instead of wasting paper and a lot of money to print out certain documents, employees can now access important information on their tablets. Whether they’re in a meeting, on the road or on the job site, they can easily take their tablet and look up information when they need it. Not only does this keep them from lugging heavy stacks of paper, but it can also save you a whole lot of money with printing costs.

Hello Video

Tablets make it easier than ever to work from anywhere. An employee can use a tablet to participate in a video conference, for example, without having to travel to the meeting. And, they have flexibility to participate wherever there’s a wireless connection. The convenience of this technology gives everyone flexibility to participate on the go.

Apps to Assist Customers

Whether you run a cosmetics company that wants to show customers how certain products work through before and after video, or you run an automotive company and want to diagnose a vehicle using an app, tablets allow for a much richer customer experience. They can replace big, heavy cash registers, ensure staff has the most current information, and provide an interactive moment with customers.  These all add value with regard to sales and marketing.

With the help of Nextrio, you can determine the best way to align technology with your business model. To learn more about our services and how we can help you, call (520) 519-6301.

Your Guide to Online Privacy

97429798Without proper security measures, working and being online could put your personal information at risk. Keep reading to learn more about online privacy and how to protect your information so it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.

Know the Threats

Even if you don’t actively give out your password and login information, connecting your computer to a network or the Internet makes you vulnerable to an attack. Someone can access your computer remotely and get to your private information. You might not even realize that they’ve intercepted this information. Your information is susceptible to viruses, hackers, worms, Trojan horses, and spyware that might provide your personal information to the wrong people. With the right security habits, you can avoid these issues and protect your identity.

Social Media

Think through all the windows to your life that may leave you exposed.  Social media is a great way to get and stay connected, but beware of what you share. Your online footprint will follow you and information you share should never be considered private.

Wi-Fi

Be aware of unsecured Wi-Fi, which can be used as an access point to gain admission to your computer. If it’s easy for you to gain access, think about how easy it is for the nefarious. And, they know what to do once they enter to dig through your information.

Be Proactive

With the help of a qualified IT company, eliciting their expertise you can also enhance your security and make it more difficult for an outsider to access your information. With proactive and continuous antivirus protection, patch management monitoring, and a managed firewall you can make access to your information much more difficult. Deliberately staying on top of things will ensure that your system is as protected as possible.

If you are worried about your online security, Nextrio can help. As one of the top IT companies in Tucson, we know what it takes to keep your information secure. Whether you have a small or large office environment, we offer proactive prevention to help keep you safe. To learn more about our IT services, visit us online or call (520) 519-6301.

 

 

Windows Server 2003: What You Need to Know

136389892As long as you make the effort to keep up with IT, new technology will add value and increase productivity in your organization. These benefits are lost if old technology is held longer than its shelf life.  Are you still running Microsoft Windows Server 2003? There will be no more support for Windows Server 2003 after July 14, 2015. Beware of the issues if you don’t have a new solution.

Increased Cost

If you don’t replace Windows Server 2003, it will cost you. Without standardized and consistent upgrades, you’ll be faced with huge fees for service, if you can get it. That doesn’t include loss of productivity if the system goes down. Being proactive to determine a new solution now will save you later.

Less Security

As most businesses are moving newer servers, developers will no longer spend as much time fixing bugs or enacting other security measures for Windows Server 2003. This means all other touch points will be vulnerable, exposing your business to the risk of a cyber-attack.

Compliance Issues

Another disadvantage of keeping Windows Server 2003 is if you’re in an industry with strict regulation and compliance rules such as healthcare, legal or retail. The hassle and cost of being out of compliance can be huge, and should be taken in to consideration.

New Options for the New Year

Take this moment as an opportunity to get with the times and upgrade to the latest technology, and even consider the pros and cons with moving to the cloud. There are more options than ever, so take action now.

Whether you’re considering a new server option or moving to the cloud, Nextrio is here to help you. We make it easy to implement IT services that will benefit your company and allow you to make the most of new technology. To learn more about our services and how they can help you, visit us online or call (520) 519-6301.

Why Is User Training Essential to Your Business?

152142618Just as athletes train for optimal performance, if you want your team to operate at the highest level of productivity it’s important to provide user training. Here are some reasons it will benefit your organization moving forward.

Uniformity

User training helps to ensure that everyone in your company is on the same page. Whether your team members are dealing with customers, doing data entry, or working with suppliers, technology is involved. Standardized user training on basic office productivity software will ensure the basics are being implemented. Customized training should also be deployed where there are specific needs.

Current & Relevant

It seems like there’s new technology coming out on the market every week. Identify and focus on what’s important to your business, and make a plan to deploy it. Then, train on it. Staying current and relevant with new technology is important, be even more so is training staff on how to use it.  Especially if it’s new.

Consistency

User training also comes in handy when there’s internal communication messages that need to be delivered to the team. Consistent training can be leveraged as a process to update on important company issues. Just like being on a sports team, getting everyone on the same page is a good thing.

At Nextrio, we help companies with the IT resources needed to thrive. From user training to IT strategic planning, we can help you figure out the most effective way to leverage technology in your business. For more information on how we can help you, visit us online or call (520) 519-6301.

Benefits of IT Strategic Planning for a Growing Business

483147081In this tech-driven world, it’s impossible to run a business without a functioning and capable IT department, and a plan. Keep reading to find out how IT strategic planning can help you make the most of your growing business.

Budget Planning

One of the most difficult aspects of IT planning is figuring out the budget. If you assume the break/fix model, you can’t anticipate how much something will cost if it breaks. And, rest assured that something will break. This brings a lot of uncertainty into the equation.  Planning your capital and operating expenses related to technology is important. Determining your tolerance for uncertainty when you decide on a fixed fee versus break/fix model will help with budgeting as well.

Security Needs Assessment

Protect your castle! Determine and prioritize your security needs, and focus on the most critical aspects of your business immediately. Also, consider any regulatory or compliance issues that may impact your business by not being secure.

Audit Your Current IT

Do you know what technology you have? Do you know if you need it all? Are licenses up to date? How old is your stuff? Are you getting the most out of your current IT? Completing an audit of your current IT situation will set the stage for improving it, to improve your business moving forward.

Prepare for the Unknown

Whether there’s a massive power outage or your system gets hacked, the best way to deal with IT disasters is to have a plan in place before they happen. An IT disaster recovery plan is part technology, part process, and part implementation. All three pieces must be in place to know you’ll make it through a disaster.

Nextrio is here to help you with your IT strategic planning. As one of Tucson’s top IT companies, we have the depth and breadth of experience to elevate your IT game. To learn more about our services and how we can help you with your IT, visit us online or call (520) 519-6301.

Company Data Storage and Security: What You Need to Know

454406931Just when we thought we’d seen it all in 2014, Sony’s network was attacked exposing scandalous, private correspondence embarrassing many and creating an international incident.  If Sony isn’t secure, how can we expect small businesses to be secure, especially with the cloud?  No one is invincible, but taking prudent steps is important in the continuous process of network security.

Recognize the risk.

While larger companies rely on dedicated personnel for protecting against security breaches, smaller businesses don’t always recognize the serious risks of data theft. Although breaches against large companies like Sony receive considerable attention, companies of all sizes are also vulnerable to data breaches. This is especially true when employees work remotely, as their laptops and mobile devices still require the same level of security as their office technology.

Devise difficult passwords.

The most secure passwords for businesses use several characteristics, including upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols, to deter against breach. An employee’s password or account should be protected with a password of at least 10 characters. At the same time, third party vendors should be limited in their access to a company’s data. Third party IT companies should only have access to the necessary data for performing their jobs.

Separate personal and corporate data.

It should be intuitive to keep personal and business data separate in a professional environment, but this is difficult in an increasingly “bring your own device” culture. When employees are able to use their personal cell phones or laptops at work, managers need to discuss cybersecurity policies regarding these devices. For example, employers need to make it clear what company information can’t be stored on personal computers and what encryption methods are required.

Call (520) 519-6301 to learn about securing your network. Nextrio is the trusted IT advisor for more than 1,000 small and medium sized organizations in the Southwest.

What to Do if Your Business Experiences a Security Breach

450575991Your company holds personally identifiable information about employees and customers, including names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and financial information. If someone manages to hack into your IT network and steal this information, it places these individuals at risk for identity theft, and makes you liable for loss. Even with the most sophisticated IT security technology, you need to have a plan in place to quickly respond to data security breaches.

Contact law enforcement.

Not all data breaches result in identity theft, but the type of information stolen will inform the degree of potential damage. If you discover your data has been compromised, you should check with state laws and regulations for specific requirements of your business. If the data breach puts at risk critical business or client information, you need to contact the police as soon as possible.

Notify affected businesses.

If your business has been compromised, the breach will likely affect other businesses you work with, including banks and credit issuers. To protect these businesses from harm, you need to notify them of the breach. If you know that personal Social Security numbers were compromised, you should reach out to major credit bureaus to seek additional information or advice.

Reach out to individuals.

The sooner you notify individuals that their personal information is compromised, the better chance they have to mitigate the problem. You can let your clients or employees know what steps to take if their Social Security number was stolen. In particular, you should advise individual victims to follow recommendations outlined by the Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft, which is available on the Internal Revenue Service’s official website. The Federal Trade Commission also has resources for businesses that have had sensitive information stolen.

Insurance

Cyber liability insurance should be considered to protect your business assets in situations that are out of your control.  Conduct a risk analysis to determine the best type of coverage for our organization.

Nextrio has been the trusted IT advisor for more than 1,000 small and medium sized businesses in the Southwest since 2002. To learn about our Tucson managed services  and IT consulting please call (520) 519-6301.

The Finer Points of E-mail Etiquette

466311079In today’s busy business environment, e-mail is the preferred communication type over face-to-face or phone discussions. Through e-mail, employees can quickly send messages to clients and colleagues, making the workplace more efficient. However, in order for e-mail to enhance a business’s communication efforts, employees need to be reminded of appropriate business e-mail etiquette.

Salutation

Even though e-mail replaces in-person communication, each message should still begin with a proper greeting. Although it seems trivial, remembering to begin correspondence with “Good Morning” or “Dear John” or “Hello Team” sets the tone of the communication.

Who’s Included, and How

Too often an e-mail is sent out to a large group of people with only a small number really needing to be added in the “to” line.  Only folks expected to respond to the e-mail should be included in this line.  All others who are included for informational purposes only, and not expected to respond, should be added to the “cc” line.  Exercise caution when assigning the “bcc” line, using it only when protecting the recipient’s e-mail address is necessary.

What’s Your Point?

The subject line of the e-mail should succinctly and distinctly describe the contents of the e-mail body. Many busy business professionals will gauge the immediate importance of a message by scanning through subject lines.

Scan for Safety

Hackers often spread viruses through simple e-mail exchanges, which can severely damage a recipient’s computer and company network. Senders can protect their colleagues and e-mail recipients by scanning all documents and attachments with an anti-virus software program before sending messages.

Your John Hancock

After properly signing off, senders should include an e-mail signature containing name, title, company and contact information. Many professionals will also include the business logo or a link to the company website.

Nextrio is the trusted IT advisor for more than 1,000 small and medium organizations throughout the Southwest. We offer IT managed services, support, and security solutions to best help companies grow. Call (520) 519-6301 to learn more about our Tucson IT services.

 

 

Keeping Up with the Joneses: Do You Need the Latest and Greatest Technology?

166107706 (1)You engage with your accountant and lawyer on a continuous basis to assess financial and legal needs for your business. An assessment of your technology needs should be in the mix as well.  Depending on the type of business you operate, you may need the latest and greatest. However, before you begin investing in any specialized technology, you need to start with the basics.

Computers

What do you need and when is it time to upgrade? These two questions are often pondered by business leaders who want to minimize costs while maximizing productivity. It depends on the type of work being done, but computers have become faster, better and cheaper to the point of being a commodity. You can expect a 3-4 year shelf life, depending on expectations. Due to this expected timeframe, the best and most expensive might not be prudent. Develop a replacement plan that allows for proactive budgeting and smoothing of capital expenditures.

New Software

It’s time to upgrade your software.  Should you just buy the latest version and deploy it across the organization? Or, maybe moving some of your technology to the cloud would be more cost effective and ensure the latest versions.  Determine your business goals and employee usage to select the best path moving forward.  One size does not fit all.

Data Security

Security is not an area to take short cuts. Data security and backup are as essential to your business as computers and a high-speed Internet connection. Ensure you have the most current anti-virus software and firewall protection. Automatic updates and proactive patching are key to protecting your network.

Ask an Expert

When in doubt, bring a trustworthy, reputable and knowledgeable technology consultant to your team to help guide you company through technology updates and changes. With the same due diligence that you used to select your accountant and lawyer, select the best IT partner for your business.

Nextrio in Tucson operates as the sole outsourced “IT Department” for many businesses across the Southwest. Call (520) 519-6301 to learn about our Tucson managed services and IT projects.

Cybersecurity Tips for Your Small Business

460256911Compared to larger organizations, small businesses typically have limited resources and manpower to manage network security. As a result, small businesses become an easy target for criminals looking to access sensitive data. Luckily, there are a few steps business owners can take to protect against cyber attacks.

Assess security risk.

The first question any business should ask is what information it should protect. Many cyber criminals will access minimally protected small businesses in order to access and attack larger firms with which they have a relationship. If cyber criminals are able to successfully use this bridge, larger businesses may be hesitant to enter into relationships with a smaller, unprotected firm.

Create a cybersecurity plan.

The FCC offers a Small Biz Cyber Planner for businesses lacking the resources to hire personnel to guard against threats. The Planner walks users through a series of questions to help determine which cybersecurity strategy would be optimal. The Planner then generates a customized PDF for each user, a cybersecurity strategy template tailored to specific needs.

Educate employees.

Regardless of business size, managers should establish policies for handling and protecting personally identifiable information electronically. Often, it’s innocent employee behavior that causes problems. Managers need to continuously educate employees on how to protect highly sensitive information, and there should be penalties applied to violations of company policy. Prevention is key.

Back up business data.

Managers should regularly back up the data on computers. Documents, spreadsheets, databases, financial files, and human resource documents are all eligible for backup. Ideally, businesses should automate this process and monitor to ensure this happens when scheduled.

Nextrio is a privately-held technology solutions provider headquartered in Tucson, Arizona. Since 2002, we have provided IT services to businesses in Tucson. For more information about protecting your business from cyber-attacks, call (520) 519-6301.

When Is It Time to Upgrade Your Technology

78744300Technology is changing and there’s a continuous stream of new ways to solve your business problems. Leveraging existing technology and considering new requires a strategy that aligns with business goals and budget constraints. How do you know when it’s time to upgrade, make a change or add new?

Love the One You’re With

You spent a lot of time and money on what you have. Too many companies rush to update to new technology systems without ever really learning what their old system could do. It is important to take the time to look at ways to leverage and repurpose the technology that you have in your office. Whether you need to hire an outside IT company to identify ways to get the most out of your existing technology or devote time to training, consider making an effort to understand what gaps can be fulfilled with what you already have.

Create a Technology Plan

Bring in an expert to assess how you use technology today and what you need to meet business goals for the future.  A thoughtful expert will conduct an audit of your current situation, and architect a plan that uses current technology, introduces new technology, and presents options that all meet the goals and needs of the business. They can help you develop a timeline that gives you a general ideal of when you should start investing in new technology.

Make Smart Purchases

If you have decided that it is time to update your office technology, you have to be sure you are making a wise purchase for the business. Think about how the technology can benefit your office, whether or not you can achieve the benefits right away, and how to train your staff. Also, look at the option of operationalizing expenses versus heavy up front capital expenditures.

Nextrio is here to help you optimize your business technology. Whether you want to come up with a technology plan or want to outsource the management of your IT, we can help. To learn more, call (520) 519-6301.

4 Important Tips for your Users Today

175206709Your computer network is open to security breaches and technology failures.  It’s just a fact that can’t be avoided, but taking a few steps helps mitigate the risks. Your computer network is essential to the functioning of your business, so taking some important steps to optimize your IT solutions will keep everyone productive and data safe.

Don’t Turn It Off

The computers on your network need updating often.  To ensure updates are taking place in a timely manner employees need to keep their computers on at all times. Downloading and installing updates at the desktop is one step in the quest to stop malware from breaching your network.

Layered Defense Strategy

Another proactive approach to improving network security is implementing multi-factor authentication. This involves creating multiple levels of passwords and answers to questions that only the user would know.

Password Creativity

Remembering passwords is a daunting task.  Most people like to create easy passwords that can be remembered.  But, what’s easy for you, is also easy for hackers. Users should create strong passwords that include upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Use different ones for different accounts. Also, have a policy that requires password changes every few months to keep those hackers on their toes.

Send that Data to the Network

Your company should have secure network infrastructure where your employees’ data can be stored. Keeping important data off the desktops and laptops and stored on the network ensures no one loses it all if a computer goes kaput. Get help architecting the right network that’s scalable and secure based on your needs.

Nextrio can help you create the best solution for your network and help with user needs. Call (520) 519-6301 to learn more about our technology services.

User Training: Making the Most of Technology in the Workplace

iStock_000008042110XSmallDo you have the most innovative technology, but no one knows how to use it? Stay fresh and up-to-date! Help your users get the most out of the technology in your organization.  Features and functionality change with each upgrade, so deploying a training plan throughout the year ensures users are as up to date as possible. Here’s some tips on how you can streamline your user training to ensure that you’re making the most of your office technology.

Skip the Overview and Cut to the Chase!

Instead of providing your staff with a general training session that barely skims the surface, target your training based on user need. Drilling down with specific, targeted training ensures staff are learning what they will put into action. Targeted training might require more involved content development, but focus on the right topics will pay off.

Some Like a Personal Touch

Some people don’t learn well in groups. As a follow on to group training, identify if there are ways to address individual questions and needs.  One-on-one mentoring and training catered to the individual ensures more stickiness and follow-through. Leverage power users as mentors to help with this.

Birds of a Feather

Create training sessions tailored to specific line of business groups in the organization.  Content can be created to align with technology that is used by different work groups.

When you work in small groups, you can move through the information at a pace that works for them. And, people are more likely to ask questions in smaller groups, too, which helps everyone.

Change is Inevitable

Technology is continuously changing, which is why it’s important to conduct regular trainings that help your staff stay up to date with the latest and greatest of the features and functionality that matter the most.

If you need help with your user training, Nextrio is here for you. As one of the top IT companies in Tucson, we give you the support you need to make the most of the technology at your office. To learn more about our services, call (520) 519-6301.

Types of Business Applications to Consider as Your Business Grows

128959709Businesses are starting to grow again.  It’s important to align your technology to meet your business growth goals, allowing for flexibility and scalability. Consider using business applications such as the following to move your business to the next level.

Customer Relationship Management

Customer relationship management (CRM) applications are designed to manage all aspects of prospect and customer engagement. From initial lead tracking through customer service and retention, CRM applications are developed to help you grow. When selecting the best solution, consider your needs today and potential needs in the future. Map out your customer acquisition and retention process and align this with the features and functionality that best matches your overall business strategy.

Line of Business

As your company grows, it is also important to focus on your line of business (LOB) needs, which touch all aspects of your organization. These applications cover everything from accounting to marketing to supply chain management. Stay current with new processes and identify opportunities to leverage new cloud technologies that are continuously changing to meet market needs. Work with an IT partner to help with vendor management, ensuring the most efficient use of resources.

Network Management

Improving internal staff productivity is key to top and bottom line growth.  As your current networking technology ages, consider hybrid or cloud solutions to replace old hardware and software. Also, include updated storage and security technology to protect your important company data. Identifying the best solution can be daunting so work with IT professionals who can design the best approach, depending on your specific needs.

Nextrio is here to help as you assess your technology needs to meet growing market demand.  Our technology experts will help you with the entire spectrum of IT planning and implementation including selection of the best technology for you. To learn more about our Tucson IT company and our wide range of services, visit us online or call (520) 519-6301.

Tips to Educate Staff when Rolling out New Technology

164123455New technology should help make your business more efficient and productive, but it’s only productive if people know how to use it. If you’re thinking about incorporating new types of technology to your company’s IT, use the following tips to educate your staff about the changes.

Develop a Technology Plan

Outline how the new technology integrates with legacy technology within your business, and the work flow that impacts employees.  Identify the roles staff members play with regard to using the new technology and develop a plan to introduce the new benefits and features, reason for the addition, and impact on users.

Ask for Help from a Small Group of Employees

It’s best to test out the impact of new technology with a small test group. Create a small, representative group to experience the new technology, and encourage feedback through a Q&A process.  These individuals will become champions and power users for the company-wide rollout, as they help resolve potential user issues and create training content for a full rollout.

Set Up a Training Schedule

Now it’s time to roll out the new technology through the rest of the organization.  Depending on the complexity of the technology, training should be developed in phases so users can absorb the content.  Repetition of content, hands-on training, and written instructions to meet the needs of different learners will generate the best results.

Whether you need help with your technology plan or with your user training, Nextrio is here for you. We are a Tucson-based technology solutions company that can help you optimize your IT department and improve your company’s productivity. To learn more about our services, call (520) 519-6301.

Cybersecurity: What You Need to Do to Protect Your Company

177283686Data is being transferred online through numerous devices at an ever-increasing rate. As a larger percentage of your business operates online, it is extremely important to protect your company and your customers from a cyber-attack.

The Need for Security

Your business is handing sensitive information online. From customer contact information to your employees’ Social Security numbers, your company is exposed to risk and liability if you don’t deploy a security solution. If you host your own data or use a third-party vendor, you are responsible if you’re attacked. Develop a strategy and implement a data security plan that aligns with customer and employee expectations.

The Need for Insurance

Cyber liability insurance won’t stop an attack, but it can protect your business assets in the event of an unexpected incident.  This is not just a large business problem. With the majority of businesses touching the Internet, small companies need to invest in cyber liability insurance. There are many levels of coverage with premiums that won’t break the budget. The investment might save you a lot of money in the long-run.

The Need for Protection

Although you can take measures to prevent a cyber-attack, it is extremely difficult to completely avoid any kind of incident. If you enact a security strategy and hold cyber liability insurance, you’ll be covered for a variety of situations. Cyber liability insurance policies also often offer “first party” coverage, which helps with things like business interruption, public relations costs, and the expense of informing your customers about the breach.

Nextrio is a technology solutions provider based in Tucson that can help you with your IT needs. Need to re-think your data security strategy, let us know how we can help create the best plan to protect your business. To learn more about our services, visit us online or call (520) 519-6301.

Smart IT Training: Dec 2014 Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get free productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s smart IT training webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are free each Friday from 12:30pm-1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email training@nextrio.com today!

December 5 – Merge Right! Personalize those Holiday letters!
Warm up your holiday family and friends letter with a personalized greeting to everyone on your list. Sound like a lot of work? Mail merge can be a powerful partner and a real time saver but, you have to start out on the right foot. We’ll show you how!

December 12 – Animate Your Holidays: Put some life in your seasonal greetings!
With powerful multimedia tools built right in, PowerPoint isn’t just for presentations! You can make your season’s greetings a lively affair of cheery music, dancing snowflakes and more. Give new life to your holiday greeting and some have fun while learning to use these multimedia tools.

December 19 – Excel Pro Moves: Freeze Panes, Split Sheets and other fast navigation tips!
Ever lost your way in an Excel spreadsheet? Ever thought, “I see the number but what does it mean?” Knowing where you’re going and getting there fast makes Excel a much more satisfying tool. Blast through Excel spreadsheets like a pro with freeze panes, spreadsheet splits, End Mode and more! We’ll teach you how to know where you’ve been, where you’re going and how to get there faster than an Indy 500 racer!

December 26 – Turn the Tables on Your Data! (pre-recorded)
Analyzing and managing data in Excel can be much easier than you may think. Simple tables enable many automated features that will speed up everyday tasks in Excel. Join us as we take the mystery out of data tables and make you a master of your data.

Aligning Technology with Business Growth

178589874The technology available today has been an enabler for new small businesses to grow and thrive. The cost and performance of technology continuously improves through innovation, competition, and adoption. No longer is it cost prohibitive to apply new technology to grow a business. There are many ways for a small business to leverage its capabilities for success. Here is a closer look at what any small business owner should know about the role of technology in business growth.

Create a digital edge

A digital edge can mean a wide range of things, depending on the industry and company goals. In some cases, the digital edge may relate to the use of technology to streamline customer interactions and cut down wait times so that clients feel more satisfied with their overall experience. A digital edge may also be non-customer facing. For example, you might use technology to facilitate easier, faster communication with your suppliers to cut down on unnecessary expenses.

Leverage technology to stay engaged

At the same time technology can reduce face time with customers, it can also present new opportunities for you to stay engaged and learn what it is that your customers really want. Social media has created a platform where customers are engaging with marketing tactics, often without even realizing it. By connecting in more subtle ways with your clients through social media, you can boost customer engagement at a low expense.

Stay on top of tech trends

Some small business owners do shy away from technology in general, because tech trends evolve, fade and often go away.  Fear not! Learning about the latest and greatest will give you an edge.  Keeping in mind the need to be budget conscious, focus on selecting proven technology that allows for effective use of money and resources.

Are you in need of personalized IT solutions for your Southern Arizona small business? If so, call Nextrio at 520-519-6301 to see what we have to offer for your company.

Steps to Keep Your Business’s Data Secure

157075354With increased amounts of data continuously being shared across multiple devices, securing data can seem like an overwhelming task. Recent data security breaches at well-known retail chains such as Target and Home Depot have personalized the possibility of a breach for everyone. Companies should assume that their organization’s data has the potential for being compromised. Take these critical steps to establish more effective security that will hold up over time.

Take extra care of sensitive data

Identifying sensitive data may sound simple, but business owners often treat all digital information the same way. Extra thought should be given to where and how important financial, personal, and sensitive information is stored.

Limit the access

External threats are only part of the problem when it comes to securing data. Granting too much access can create issues, such as unintended disclosure, which happens when data is too widely shared with employees or IT administrators.  Also, a plan needs to be in place to disable computer, network and data access when employees leave a company and had access to cloud-stored data.

Consult IT professionals

Many small business don’t has the full resources of an internal IT departments, so it would make sense to partner with an outside company to assist. With help from the pros, you can increase accountability and reduce your risk with data security.

Go completely paperless

It can be easy to forget about physical security when you are thinking about protecting digital data, but physical data can still pose a risk when it is easily recovered from trash cans or recycling bins. You can reduce this risk by going completely paperless with your business, which will also promote sustainability and save you money in the long run.

With Nextrio on your side, you can rest assured that valuable data will be kept safe so that you can maximize your IT ROI and minimize your risks. For a closer look at what we can do for your business, visit our website or call us at 520-519-6301.

Picking the Best ISP for Your Small Business

121202153There’s no doubt that a reliable internet connection is integral to the day-to-day activities of your small business, regardless of the industry. Because internet service is so important, you should know what to look for in a quality internet service provider. The cost of services for small businesses is fairly competitive among major and local providers, so you should take these other considerations into account when you are choosing the right type of service for your company.

Seek out customer support

When you think about the best ISP available, your leading concern might not be how the network functions when it is working as expected. You may be more worried about how to get the network back up and running when there is a problem. This is where reliable 24/7 customer service can come into play. Without strong customer service, even the fastest network is not going to meet your needs. Consider local ISPs with a solid customer support reputation.

Know your need for speed

An area where small businesses often overspend is in selecting a level of bandwidth for their network. It can be easy to overestimate your need for higher bandwidth, so make sure that you know what you will actually use before you select a package that is larger than your company requires.

Consider web security

Finally, you will want to explore added security options through your ISP that can protect your business from common risks such as cloud storage vulnerability. Make sure that you know what security services your provider can offer and which ones will be most beneficial to your business.

As you consider the network needs for your small business, you can rely on Nextrio to offer strategic IT planning that is tailored to your company. We are committed to your success, and we will work closely with you to ensure that you are covered with the latest technology for SMBs. Call us today at 520-519-6301 or visit our website to learn how we can enhance your business.

Finding a Balance with Social Media in the Workplace

156979600Social media has become so embedded in the daily lives of anyone who owns a computer or smartphone that it can be difficult to separate social media from the workplace. Interestingly, making a full detachment from sites like Twitter and Facebook can actually have a negative impact on your business. This means that you may have to offer some leeway when it comes to employees checking their newsfeeds on the job or posting status updates related to the workplace. You don’t want out of control social media use to negatively impact productivity, but the use of social sites can be an advantage if you know how to maintain the right balance.

Social media and marketing

One of the most advantageous ways to use social media at work is by using social sites to market your business. This type of marketing is fast, easy, and often-free, but you should know the rules of posting so that you don’t run into legal issues. Still, having a tech-savvy employee run your business’s social page can be a satisfying task for the employee and a welcome opportunity to expand your marketing reach.

Employee use of social media

When it comes to personal status updates and browsing newsfeeds, a less-restrictive approach is generally best. If you ban access completely, you will have time-wasting disciplinary action on your hands when employees use their phones to check their pages on the clock. A good social media policy is simple and logical, making it easy for employees to remember and follow.

Online company image

A key area of focus for your social media policy should be rules for posting updates that directly relate to the workplace. A slanderous statement from a disgruntled employee or an inappropriate status from a known employee can tarnish the company’s image, so make sure that the rules are clear and agreed upon by your staff.

Nextrio can offer reliable support when it comes to managing the network for your small business, so give us a call at 520-519-6301 to discover our customized IT services in Southern Arizona.

Cloud and Security—What You Need to Know for Your Business

489751597Cloud computing can offer great convenience and cost savings for businesses looking for a smarter way to store and back up data. However, mitigating security risks will remove the vulnerability of storing important data in the cloud. Below are some considerations with cloud security to help you keep sensitive information safe and secure.

Predictable passwords equals trouble

Recent celebrity photo scandals have proven that poorly chosen and predictable passwords allows almost anyone to have access to sensitive data. You need to step up your game when it comes to password selection. The first step? Choose different passwords for each account, service, or even each file. Use strong passwords that include combinations of symbols, upper and lower case letters and numbers.  Consider the benefit of using a password management solution such as Last Pass, to alleviate memorizing each one.

User agreements vary

Before you begin storing information using a cloud service, you will want to read through the user agreement. This may be a tedious task, but it will let you know exactly who may access your information, who owns your information, etc. User privacy should be a priority, as this will be one baseline indicator that your data is safe.

Encryption offers a second level of protection

Aside from choosing strong passwords, you can reduce the worry of a data breach with encryption, which adds secondary passwords to specific files. This adds an extra layer of security for any files containing employee or client’s personal and financial information.

To tap into the advantages of cloud computing without worrying about the security of your data, connect with Nextrio at 520-519-6301. We provide smart IT solutions for small businesses throughout southern Arizona.

Cloud Computing for Small Businesses

122578143For today’s small businesses, cloud computing is inevitable. What used to be an innovative solution used unintentionally for storing data and information, is now mainstream and considered an affordable option for small businesses.  If you’re interested in learning more about how cloud computing might fit with your company, the information below answers some of the many questions around this possible IT solution for your small to medium-sized business.

Types of cloud?

Although presented as one, there are different types of clouds.  The public cloud is often the low cost solution, as you would be sharing infrastructure, data centers, software, and hardware with other users. Advantages to this are best-of-breed processes, affordability and access to solutions that would otherwise be cost prohibitive to a small business. The private cloud provides greater control and security while allowing for increased performance and flexibility as the main shared resource is infrastructure.  Your database and applications are stored separately.  Finally, the hybrid cloud allows for a combination of both public and private to be implemented.

What are the options?

You may quickly find that there is a seemingly endless list of cloud service providers out there, so it can be a challenge to select one that is right for your business. It might be tempting to go with a low cost, big-name cloud solution from companies such as Google or Amazon, but you might want more support and control of your data. Service features to look for that will help you choose include upgrade frequency, security guidelines, data control and customer support. Like any transition there are associated costs, so take the time to research the best solution.

What information should be moved to the cloud?

Now that you’re considering options, you might wonder how much you should rely on the cloud for your data storage. Your risk threshold for information such as financial data, customer data, and personnel information might be higher, so take into consideration data security needs. If you consider that hackers may target cloud storage systems based on the volume of information they might acquire from one source, you might be wary of what you store in the cloud.

For an IT and cloud computing partner invested in your company’s success, call Nextrio at 520-519-6301. We’ll help you explore the most cost-effective and efficient services so that you can remain up-to-date with the latest technology.

Smart IT Training: Nov 2014 Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get free productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s smart IT training webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are free each Friday from 12:30pm-1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email training@nextrio.com today!

November 7 – PivotTables, PivotCharts and Slicers! This Friday!
You asked for it. . . Learn to make a basic Pivot Table, a basic Pivot Chart, add Slicers and more. Teach those rows and columns of data who’s the boss and make it learn some new tricks. Make your data sit up and speak!

November 14 – Word 2013 – Edit a PDF? Yes, you can!
Word has always been the go-to application for document creation but, what do you do when you want to edit a PDF?  Now you can!  That’s just one of the new features in Word 2013 along with tons of beautiful templates, themes, tools for video files, improved image tools and so much more.  We’ll see real time demonstrations of all these powerful Word features in this session.

November 21 -Inside Outlook: 10 Tips to Rock Your Inbox!
It’s back… Ten Outlook tips that help make the most of this powerful tool. We’ll dive beneath the surface and explore some options and features that can turn your Inbox into a finely tuned communication machine.

November 28 – Anatomically Correct Word Documents! Headers, footers and other body parts.
All new for Word 2013. Join us for this newly updated session featuring many automated features of Word 2007/2010/2013.  We’ll dissect and examine the more intimate parts of a Word document, learn to make surgical alterations to headers and footer, graft a few Quick Parts and cure your Navigation Panes. With automated features in Word you can click your way to more complete and professional documents!

Transitioning to the Cloud via Hybrid

168730816Pure cloud storage solutions leverage multiple servers to maintain a company’s data, typically through a third-party hosting service. The benefits of this storage solution include a reduced requirement for on premise physical storage, as well as providing employees access to data from offsite locations. If you’ve thought to transition your Tucson business to cloud storage but aren’t quite ready, the hybrid cloud model might be a good first step.

What is the Hybrid Cloud Model?

The hybrid cloud model combines public and private cloud-based data storage options as a step toward moving all your business operations to public cloud storage and computing. Alternatively, the hybrid cloud can be an end in and of itself if you wish to retain some private data storage options. Using the hybrid cloud model, non-critical data is transferred to the public cloud first, while critical or sensitive data is maintained on your current servers as part of a private cloud. This allows employees and clients to access some data via the cloud, while still allowing you to retain some control of your current IT environment and specified data.

What are the Benefits of the Hybrid Cloud Model?

Using the hybrid cloud model, either as a transitory or final step in the move to cloud-based computing, offers your business many benefits. Your hybrid cloud can be easily scaled to meet your growing and changing needs, whether you need more storage at a private or public level. Additionally, your hybrid cloud can be accessed from anywhere in the world, provided employees or clients have the proper authentication to reach secure data on your private cloud. This allows for security while gaining the unique benefits and flexibility of cloud-based computing.

Let Tucson-based Nextrio help you transition to the cloud with hosted services including servers, desktops, and email.  Call us at (520) 519-6301 for more details or to request a quote.

Integrating Mobile Devices into the Workplace

172587852The use of mobile technology in the workplace is on the rise. Encouraging the effective use of mobile devices can improve communication and productivity regardless of your industry. Whether you choose to issue company-owned devices or encourage employees to use their own mobile technology for workplace benefit, effective technology management is an essential step in integrating modern technology into your business.

Device Distribution

There are two major methods of mobile technology integration into the workplace. Companies can choose to purchase equipment for use by employees, either on an individualized basis or to be signed out and returned as needed. Alternatively, companies can encourage the use of personal devices for workplace purposes, called Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). While the second approach can be less costly to your business, it does raise issues of security with regard to information exchange. If you choose to encourage a BYOD policy, it’s important to develop usage policies and maintain secure network access requirements.

Device Syncing and Cloud Storage

Device syncing and cloud storage can improve workplace productivity by maximizing the unique benefits of mobile technology. These practices allow for the instantaneous transfer of information among two or more devices, which allows information and applications to be “carried” easily from place to place. In some cases, software applications allow syncing regardless of the brand of device being used; in other cases, brands such as Apple allow easy syncing among all devices they manufacture. Cloud storage is often more versatile in terms of device brand, but requires the use of an outside server to host documents and information. The applications you need to make available to your employees may in part play a role in determining whether company-issued technology or a BYOD policy is best for you.

Mobile technology integration could enhance your business operations and improve employee productivity. Let Nextrio help you integrate devices and more into your workplace today—visit our website or call (520) 519-6301 to find out more about our information technology management services.

How Technology Is Transforming Industry

500098495Recent advances in technology are not only beneficial to consumers wishing to purchase the latest gadget. From tablets to interactive screenless displays, technology is transforming modern-day industry in ways never before imagined. Nextrio of Tucson partners with customers to develop cutting edge technology solutions to manage the technology of today and tomorrow, keeping your business at the front of the pack.

Wireless Tablets

The use of wireless tablets has revolutionized the ease with which data can be accessed and transferred impacting a variety of industries. Tablets have become popular in healthcare, retail, foodservice, and many others, serving as a medium to take notes, update information, process orders, and provide details about products and services. As the use of tablets increases, however, it’s important to keep in mind that an accessible, secure, and adequate wireless network becomes an integral part of the successful use of this technology.

Online and Mobile Shopping

Online and mobile shopping has been steadily gaining popularity in recent years. As this trend continues, retailers are introducing even more ways to shop online, including providing apps, virtual dressing rooms, and comparative shopping options on company websites. The increased development of secure and easy-to-use mobile shopping sites has increased sales by allowing consumers to purchase goods at any time and from any location.

Screenless Displays

Screenless displays are now being integrated into select retail locations—however, these amazing displays have the potential to impact a larger number of industries as well. Screenless displays utilize projection, motion-tracking, and RFID technology to provide shoppers with a more personalized experience, which helps to drive interest and sales. Screenless displays also have potential in environments such as museums, educational institutions, healthcare settings, and workplace conference rooms, where interactive technology can be used to enhance presentations and information transfer.

At Nextrio, we offer IT strategic planning and solutions for every industry. If you need something new, we can help you integrate the latest technology into your business seamlessly and securely—just call (520) 519-6301 to request a quote.

The Generation Gap and Technology in the Workplace

Things just aren’t the way they used to be. Over the past few decades, technology has drastically changed the way individuals communicate. Regardless of the products or services your company offers, chances are that IT has become an integral part of your daily operations. Keep reading to learn more about how older and younger generations view and use technology in the workplace today.

Communication Styles

Prior to the advent of widespread email, texting, and video chat services, employees primarily relied upon telephone interactions, paper documentation, and face-to-face meetings. When employees were out of the office, they were generally considered out of reach. Today, the widespread use of wireless and internet communication has made it nearly impossible to be “out of touch,” even after working hours. This concept can also be seen in reverse—up to 50% of employees younger than 43 admit to accessing personal email and websites while at work, as opposed to 13% of employees aged 44-60. The modern workplace has also seen a rise in the use of emoticons and other “internet acronyms.” Many older employees (age 44-60) feel that the use of acronyms and emoticons in the workplace is unprofessional, while younger employees feel these terms are both concise and suitable for office use.

Personal Electronics Usage

As the volume of laptop and personal device usage increases, views regarding office etiquette are changing as well. Nearly 75% of employees aged 44-60 believe that the use of laptops, phones, and other PDAs is both distracting and unprofessional during office meetings. However, only 44% of employees younger than the age of 43 agree with this assessment, as many younger professionals prefer to record video, audio, or notes on electronics during meetings for review later.

The multi-generational workplace of today should consider the needs and characteristics of all generations, and the different approaches each has for work-place communication and productivity.

Nextrio offers a wide variety of IT solutions for Tucson companies of every size across a wide range of industries. We can help with all your IT needs including managed IT, transitioning to the cloud, and improving employee skills through our training webinars. Call (520) 519-6301 to learn more.

Confidentiality and Security in the Digital Age

174101590Regulations such as HIPAA, PCI, FISMA, and GLBA call for high standards of security, confidentiality and compliance with regard to the handling of sensitive information across many industries. Ensuring compliance with these mandates requires IT management strategy and consideration from the highest level at an organization. Understanding the steps you can take to manage your company’s technology effectively will prevent information breaches that could put your business at risk for violations of these important laws.

Establish Usage Rules and Regulations

The key to ensuring confidential management of company and client information requires proactive measures regarding the security of your network. Although you may trust your employees, it is still necessary to regulate the use of company and, at times, personal technology in the workplace. Understanding that even an unintentional transgression could put your business at risk is the first step. Identify and document best practices and guidelines for technology use that aligns with regulation requirements. Update and share this information with employees on a regular basis.

Managing Information Security
There are a few simple first steps you can take toward better information security in the workplace. If you have a wireless network, make sure all information is encrypted and that network access requires a username and password. Logging all network activity and technology usage allows you to maintain records if needed to identify a possible violation or for an audit.

Today’s information security standards make it essential for businesses to maintain careful control of sensitive information. If you’re looking for IT solutions to improve your business in Tucson, call Nextrio today at (520) 519-6301 to discuss your needs.

All About Multi-factor Authentication

459434713Information security is a growing concern in today’s tech-laden business world as more and more information is shared across more and more mediums. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a form of robust security authentication that requires two or more independent criteria to be met before access is granted. The use of MFA can improve the management of confidential information within your business to ensure company information and customer records remain secure.

Credentials Required By MFA

There are three types of credentials that can be used during the multi-factor authentication process, and MFA requires a combination of at least two of these credentials to grant access. The first type of credential is a knowledge factor. This credential can be a password, PIN, or pattern such as a barcode. The second type of credential used in MFA is a possession factor. A possession factor works like a key—it may be a magnetic stripe card, smartcard, physical authentication token, or even a computer-simulated software-based token. The third type of credential that can be used through MFA is an inherence factor. This type of factor is typically a biometric security credential, such as a thumbprint, voiceprint, or eye scan.

Importance of MFA

Multi-factor authentication plays an important role in the safety and security of company and customer information. In the face of the many recent security breaches on social networks such as Twitter, it has become increasingly clear that private information can be extremely accessible to hackers. Simply requiring a password to log in to your business network or access private information may not be enough to keep this information out of the hands of those who might misuse it. By requiring multiple and separate credentials, MFA decreases the chances of a security breach, keeping your information safer. This will provide peace of mind not only for you and your employees, but for your clients as well.

Are you looking for a more secure data management solution tailored to your industry’s needs? At Nextrio, we provide general and industry-based IT services, based on your needs. You can reach us by phone at (520) 519-6301 or via our web contact form.

Smart IT Training: Oct 2014 Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get free productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s smart IT training webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are free each Friday from 12:30pm-1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email training@nextrio.com today!

October 3 – Google Apps and Google Drive:  Free Yourself for FREE!
Free yourself from being tethered to your desk, your computer and USB storage. Fifteen GB of Google Drive and Google Apps are free to use on any device with an internet connection and a browser. Word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, surveys, drawings and more. Learn to use Google Apps for all your office productivity needs. No more lost files!

October 10 – Throw Out Your Thumb Drive – OneDrive and Office Online are FREE!
Never lose your files again. Use FREE Microsoft Office anywhere you have a browser, on your phone, on your iPad, at the office or from your favorite coffee shop. Work together, buy no software, free cloud storage and free cloud productivity apps!

October 17 – Inside Outlook: 10 Tips to Rock Your Inbox!
Ten Outlook tips that help make the most of this powerful tool. We’ll dive beneath the surface and explore some options and features that can turn your Inbox into a finely tuned communication machine.

October 24 – Basic Data Analysis with Excel!
Learn to use an Excel spreadsheet for basic data analysis. Turn hundreds of columns or rows of data into meaningful results with a few clicks. The automatic features in both basic tables and PivotTables make short work of long spreadsheets. We’ll also learn to use the new Quick Data Analysis feature in Excel 2013. It all adds up to a “must attend” webinar session.

October 31  –  Work Together in Word  – edit, review, comment and track changes.
Learn to use the tools on the Review tab to edit, comment and track document changes! Make coauthoring and collaboration easier by using Word’s copy editing tools to their best advantage. We’ll show you how to edit, make comments and track changes in Word like a pro!

Technology Secrets as You Grow Your Small Business

78483394Utilizing technology is a smart way to grow your business and find new ways to improve profitability. If you are looking to increase the size of your company, consider the following technology secrets that will help you get there.

Move to the Cloud

Scalability and flexibility are found in the cloud. As you increase revenues or grow your user base, scalable technology will be an asset.  You also aren’t on the hook for maintaining and installing updates.  Streamlining your technology allows for you to focus on what you really need to improve your business.

IT Managed Services

Leverage the power of managed services to keep your operation running smoothly.  Also scalable, managed services removes the day-to-day hassle of keeping your network up and running.  With monthly fixed fee service you know what to expect with your operational IT costs.

Technology and Marketing

Find ways to increase awareness and generate leads for your business through the use of technology.  Put to use the appropriate technology to automate your customer acquisition process, as well as your supply chain or fulfillment process.

As one of the top IT companies in Tucson, Nextrio is here to make the most of technology in your business. Whether you are just starting out or you want to find new ways to grow your business, we can help. To learn more about our cloud and IT managed services, call (520) 519-6301.

IT Risk Management Issues Your Company Shouldn’t Overlook

145163227An important aspect of IT strategic planning is having a risk management plan that accounts for potential issues with your technology and network. Make sure your plan includes contingencies to ensure that your IT systems and business are well protected.

Adequate Documentation

It’s easy for a company to rely on its internal experts to “just take care of things” and “get it done”, but documenting the processes and procedures that keep your technology up and running is crucial.  Archived and documented legacy information is valuable in mitigating risk.

Disaster Recovery Plan

Again, highlighting the need for IT documentation, it’s extremely important to create a disaster recovery plan.  There’s always the chance that the unthinkable might happen, so creating a disaster recovery plan that gives you concrete communication tactics and a roadmap to recovery is crucial to your business.

Consolidate Technology

If possible, you should make an effort to keep all of your servers in one location to simplify your IT and make them easily accessible for servicing.  Also, consider virtualizing your server environment to consolidate your technology infrastructure even more.  Less stuff equals less to worry about.

Backup/Security

Whether you decide to save all of your information to backup servers or save it to the cloud, consistent and comprehensive backup is imperative. Also, consider implementing multi-factor authentication to access your network as a step to protect your data.

With the help of Nextrio, you can develop a thorough risk management plan to prepare for the unknown. From strategic planning to managed IT, we help you stay on top of your technology so you can focus on your business. To learn more about our IT managed services, visit us online or call (520) 519-6301.

Save Money with IT Managed Services

money in the handsManaged services from an IT company can help you cut costs and improve the way your technology infrastructure functions as a whole. Here’s how these managed services can save you money while enhancing your productivity.

Fixed Rate Services

A fixed monthly fee sets you free.  With proactive and all-inclusive support at a fixed fee you know what you’re getting and how much it’s going to cost.  This helps with budget and operational planning, and reduces break-fix emergency needs.

Less Staff

Hiring full-time IT staff requires you pay for training, salaries, and benefits which may not make the best use of a limited budget, and you’re limited to what they know. Leveraging an IT managed services company to fill in the gaps is an option that might make sense for your business.

Keep the Technology You Already Have

Managed services gives you the depth and breadth of technical expertise often not available with a small in-house IT staff. A fresh set of eyes may find better ways to use or enhance the technology you already have. You might not need to replace and start from scratch, but be in a position to repurpose or reallocate your existing assets.

Improved Security

Proactive IT managed services ensures the most current updates and patches are applied to your network, providing protection and security.  Limiting your exposure to malware and other nefarious means to breach your security, mitigates the potential costs associated with cyber liability.

Nextrio is here to help you with all of your IT needs. From managed services to IT strategic planning, we want to help you best utilize your IT budget. To learn more about our Tucson-area IT options and managed services, visit us online or call (520) 519-6301.

IT Strategic Planning Mistakes to Avoid

134945545IT strategic planning is the process of aligning an organization’s technology with its overall business strategy. Technology requirements and needs should be developed in conjunction with revenue, profit and productivity decision-making.  There are some pitfalls to avoid in developing your IT strategic plan. Making mistakes with your planning might hinder your business, though, so be sure to avoid the following.

A Plan that Is Too Complex

No need to waste paper.  The best IT strategic plan doesn’t have to be the longest.  Identify and align the technology strategies to best attain company goals.  Consider developing a comprehensive checklist that’s prioritized and includes time and budget constraints.  Also, take into account the requisite skills need to implement.

Putting It Off Until Next Year

Make it a priority. Strategic planning for your organization should include IT.  It’s most cost effective to plan ahead for IT needs, and ensuring the right technology is in place will assist with overall company goal attainment.  There may be great ways for automation to increase productivity, or new technology to lower costs and improve the bottom line.

Stuck in a Rut

The most effective IT strategic plans are those that change with the times. Technology is ever changing and improving, so being open to new ways of doing the same thing will be a benefit to your organization. New technology can be intimidating, so consider bringing in experts who are current with the marketplace.

Using Jargon

There’s no need to fill your IT strategic plan with confusing words and terms. Keep it simple and consider the stakeholders who will be implementing on the plan and using the technology.

Nextrio can help you develop a customized IT strategic plan for your business. As one of Tucson’s top IT companies, we understand the importance of a solid plan. Call (520) 519-6301 to get started.

How Net Neutrality Affects Your Business

452677713Net neutrality is an important element of Internet business that currently gives your smaller company the opportunity to compete with websites and businesses of any size. Learn more about net neutrality and why it is essential to have it in order for your business to have any kind of impact with its Internet presence.

How Net Neutrality Works

Currently, the Internet works on an open network. This means that Internet service providers do not give any company or person special treatment when they send and receive information. When everything is functioning properly, net neutrality maintains equality among all kinds of Internet traffic. This means that anyone who is connected to the Internet has the ability to find your website.

How the Loss of Net Neutrality Would Affect You

If net neutrality no longer existed, an Internet service provider could offer special treatment to companies who pay extra fees. These businesses would then be privy to faster services, which would make it harder for smaller businesses that cannot afford the fee to compete with these larger companies. Internet service providers could also opt to slow down services to businesses that refuse to pay these fees. Without net neutrality, it might eventually reach the point where an Internet user could only visit specific websites if they were paying for a particular Internet package.

How to Handle Your Internet Presence

Regardless of any possible changes to net neutrality, you should do everything you can to increase your company’s Internet presence now. Improve the opportunity for your organization’s website to move up on the search list through search engine optimization and digital marketing.

Nextrio is one of the top IT companies in Tucson. Since 2002, we have provided quality managed services and IT strategic planning to a variety of businesses. To learn more about our services, check out our website or call (520) 519-6301.

Is Your Small Business Ready for the Cloud?

453612803The cloud provides a new way to manage your technology. With useful features like virtual servers, hosted email and web services, and collaboration tools, making the switch to the cloud could bring new advantages to the way you run your business. Keep reading to determine if the cloud can really help your small business.

You Have IT Managed Services

Your IT managed services provider should be looked at as a partner that will help navigate the pros and cons associated with moving to the cloud.  Consulting with your managed services provider will ensure you develop the most effective cloud or hybrid solution to meet your business goals.

Your Business Strategy May Change

Cloud technology will definitely change to adapt to the marketplace, and your business strategy may also. The scalability offered by using the services of the cloud may make sense for small businesses as they grow. Cloud services give small businesses the ability to leverage technology’s most current features and functionality.

You Have Quality Choices

There are options.  You have choices about how you use the cloud and can select the service provider that best fits your business needs.  The most effective solutions are tailored, leveraging the capabilities and scalability of a third-party solution while enhancing your current in-house technology.

At Nextrio, we understand how cloud technology can help a small business. We provide managed services and introduce the best cloud solutions for our clients’ needs. If you think you are ready to make the leap to the cloud, we can help. Visit us online or call (520) 519-6301 to learn more.

Using the Cloud Correctly for Your Business

181629983The cloud offers a unique type of storage solution that helps you break free from the constraints of traditional hard drives and makes your entire business more effective. These tips to ensure that you can successfully incorporate the cloud and all of its benefits into your business model.

Cloud, or Not

Determine if the cloud is for you. Conduct an audit of your systems and determine how you use technology today.  Going straight to the cloud may make sense, but also a hybrid solution should be considered.  No options should be off the table.

Decide How Your Employees Access Information

If you work in a small company with only a few staff members, you might want to have one username and password so that everyone can easily access the information on the cloud. If you work for a larger company, however, it might be a better idea to give every employee their own username and password so that you can monitor who uses what information.

Take Advantage of Cloud Services

Once you and your staff learn the basics of the cloud, it is time to start putting it to work for your business. On top of the amazing storage potential, you can also have employees in different locations work on the same project. With live document creation, real-time editing, and shared brainstorming capabilities, the cloud makes it easier than ever to bring unity to your company even when there is a lot of physical distance involved between employees.

The IT experts at Tucson’s Nextrio can help you and your staff learn the ins and outs of the cloud. We can teach you about the best way to secure and use cloud in your business. To learn more about our cloud services or our managed services, visit us online or call (520) 519-6301.

Smart IT Training: September 2014 Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get free productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s smart IT training webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are free each Friday from 12:30pm-1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email training@nextrio.com today!

September 5 – Anatomically Correct Word Documents: Headers, footers, other body parts!
Join us as we dissect and examine the more intimate parts of a Word document.  We’ll learn to make surgical alterations to headers and footer, graft a few Quick Parts, cure your Navigation Panes and heal a few section breaks.

September 12 – Turn the Tables on Your Data!
Analyzing and managing data in Excel can be much easier than you may think. Simple tables enable many automated features that will speed up everyday tasks in Excel.  Join us as we take the mystery out of data tables and make you a master of your data.

September 19 – Just Check the Box! – Creating Automated Forms in Word.
Learn to make automated forms that others can complete with check boxes, drop-down menus, and more.  Get the responses you need in the “form” you need it. Post them online for others to complete.

September 26 – Office Templates: Models for Success!
Leverage free Microsoft template for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook 2010.  Cure your formatting headaches. Take the pain out of creating great looking documents. Learn to create your own templates, modify existing templates and make all your Office documents look more professional.

Copper Cactus Awards finalist

Copper-Cactus-logo-2014

Nextrio has been selected as a finalist for the Tucson Metro Chamber Copper Cactus Awards in the category of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Southern Arizona Best Place to Work.

Tips for Improving Your IT Infrastructure Compliance Strategy

452677713There’s nothing good about being non-compliant…fees, hits to your reputation, etc. Your IT infrastructure compliance strategy will help you maintain effective IT while considering regulatory compliance requirements. If you feel like your compliance strategy is currently lacking, the following tips may increase its effectiveness.

Conduct an Audit

Determine your industry-related compliance requirements and what IT infrastructure needs to be in place to ensure compliance. Take into consideration customer-centric issues such as ethics and privacy, and audit your current systems to see if they meet the mark.  IT consultants can help with this as they are up-to-date with all of the latest technology and requirements to help determine what you need.

Create a Plan

Once you know where you stand, create and implement a plan focused on attaining and maintaining compliance. Create a strategy and implementation plan that focuses on the critical needs first.  Consider all stakeholder including staff and customers, and the impact IT changes will have on them.

Talk to Your Staff About the Changes

Once you implement a new compliance strategy, it is important to discuss it with your employees so they understand the changes in the system. You might want to enlist help with any training needed to ensure that your staff is on the same page about the new compliance strategy and how it changes their daily interactions with technology.

As one of Tucson’s top IT companies, Nextrio understands the importance for companies to maintain compliance. To learn more about our service or to request a consultation, visit us online or call (520) 519-6301.

The Anatomy of an IT Strategic Plan

160840867Creating an effective IT strategic plan is extremely important for the success of your business. If you can determine your IT needs as related to business goals, it can benefit every facet of your organization. Use this guide to learn more about the process so you can find a way to come up with a plan that really works for your company.

The Timing of Your Planning

If you want to be successful with your IT plan, narrow your focus to a specific timeframe to determine upcoming technical needs and budget requirements. Most IT companies suggest that you create a plan that can cover the company’s technology needs for the next three to five years.

The Way You Relate It to Your Company

Determine the type of technology you will need to reach company goals and ensure the most productive work environment for your staff.  Alignment with overall business strategy is key to creating the most effective IT strategic plan.

Spread the Word

Provide some context that helps your staff understand the new direction of your IT strategy and what it means for their daily use of technology. The communication of the plan should be as simple and easy to process as possible, applicable to all users in your organization. Try to create either a document in Microsoft Word or a PowerPoint presentation that lets you easily spread the word to staff.

If you need help coming up with or implementing an IT strategic plan, look to the experts at Nextrio. Our Tucson-based managed services help you focus on your business. To learn more, visit us at our website or call (520) 519-6301.

Reasons to Conduct an IT Audit

80615158In today’s technology-driven corporate world, it’s essential to have an effective IT model for your business. Conducting a thorough IT audit is the first step to ensure that everything is running smoothly.

It Sets a Baseline

One of the most important reasons to conduct an IT audit is to see where your system is currently lacking, to create solutions that will help you improve its effectiveness. This in-depth look at how you use your technology is a first step to make the entire system more efficient to ultimately optimize your productivity.

It Allows You to Get Rid of Inefficient Systems

During an IT audit, you can also see certain aspects of your IT system that might be out-of-date. If you’re still using an old storage system, for example, the audit might show you why it’s inefficient so you can consider transitioning to more effective ways of storing your information.

It Can Benefit Your Bottom Line

Once you determine which aspects of your IT system are working and which ones need to go, it gives you information for budgeting. If you’re wasting money on IT products or old technology you don’t need, it could negatively impact your bottom line. Performing an IT audit gives you a better understanding of how you can most wisely allocate your IT budget. Take advantage of the audit so you can tighten your company budget.

Nextrio is one of the top-rated IT companies in Tucson and we’re here to help you ensure that your technology is running as smoothly as possible. If you think an IT audit can benefit your company, we are here to help. To learn more about our services, call (520) 519-6301.

How to Make User Training Effective

120172739New technology makes it easier than ever to conduct business. However, it can be difficult for you and your staff to catch on to the functionality of new technology. Use the following tips to create user training that’s informative, helpful, and easy to apply.

Think About Your Audience

Everyone thinks and learns differently, which is why it’s hard to create one uniform presentation that can effectively teach everyone about a new system. If you can tailor the training to your employees’ needs, it will be much more effective than if you give one general presentation.

Use Realistic Examples

Some people are tactile learners and learn by doing. Examples can become a useful tool for employees who need to try a task to learn it. You should add some interactive examples into your presentation to ensure that everyone has a chance to test out a new skill or system before they are expected to use it in an actual work setting. Your examples must directly relate to how a person will use this new skill on a daily basis otherwise it might not be helpful.

Make a Transition from the Old System

One of the best ways to give your staff a quality introduction to the new system is to show them how it relates to and differs from the old system. When you compare it to a system that they already understand, it will be much easier for them to make the leap toward the new one.

If you’re not sure how to effectively develop and deliver user training for your staff, Nextrio can help. As one of Tucson’s top IT companies, we provide user training services that can help you and your staff figure out how to get the most out of your technology. Call (520) 519-6301 to learn more about our services.

Cyber Security and Your Business

460256911Now that technology plays such a huge part in business, it is more important than ever to focus on IT security to ensure the continued success of your company. Here are some ways to learn about how protecting your company’s technology can positively affect your entire business.

Size Does Not Matter

Many small businesses think that they are safe from being targeted by a cyber-attack and that hackers only focus on larger companies. Unfortunately, size has no impact on a business’s risk for a cyber attack. Even if you are just starting out as a business, you should keep an eye on cyber security to protect your company and your clients from an attack. When you can keep your customers’ information secure, they will be more likely to trust you.

Other Networks Can Affect Your Own

Some companies focus so much on protecting their own networks that they do not realize the vulnerability that comes with working with other businesses and even clients who have unprotected networks. Consider the impact of other networks to which you are connected when you are thinking about ways to protect your company from a cyber-attack.

Always Be Prepared

The best way to avoid an issue is to plan ahead and be prepared for anything. You should always have a plan about how to handle the worst-case scenario. Try to discuss what will happen if your system is breached and talk to your IT partner about how you can move forward if you ever have to face a serious cyber-attack.

With the help of Nextrio Managed Services, you can protect your Tucson business from the threat of an online attack. As one of the city’s leading IT companies, we can protect your network and your systems from this very real threat to keep your business running strong. For more information about our services, visit us online or call (520) 519-6301.

Smart IT Training: August 2014 Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get free productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s smart IT training webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are free each Friday from 12:30pm-1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email training@nextrio.com today!

August 1 – Word 2013 – Edit a PDF?
Yes, you can! Word has always been the go-to application for document creation but, what do you do when you want to edit a PDF? Now you can! That’s just one of the new features in Word 2013 along with tons of beautiful templates, themes, tools for video files, improved image tools and so much more. We’ll see real time demonstrations of all these powerful Word features in this session.

August 8 – PivotTables, PivotCharts and Slicers!
You asked for it. . .Learn to make a basic Pivot Table, a basic Pivot Chart, add Slicers and more. Teach those rows and columns of data who’s the boss and make it learn some new tricks. Make your data sit up and speak!

August 15 – Let’s Get Graphic! – Work with Images in Word.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Let pictures and graphic elements add their power to the Word documents you create. Learn the basics of manipulating graphic elements and make your message seen and heard!

August 22 – Get More Out of Outlook!
Learn to make Outlook a real personal assistant! Work smarter, faster and better using tools and settings that are already a part of Outlook. You just need to know where they are and how to use them. Let Outlook work for you so you have more time to do what you need to do…or not!

August 29 – Excel Pro Moves: Freeze Panes, Split Sheets and more fast navigation tips!
Ever lost your way in an Excel spreadsheet? Ever thought, “I see the number but what does it mean?” Knowing where you’re going and getting there fast makes Excel a much more satisfying tool. Blast through Excel spreadsheets like a pro with freeze panes, spreadsheet splits, End Mode and more! We’ll teach you how to know where you’ve been, where you’re going and how to get there faster than an Indy 500 racer!

How Technology Influences Risk Management for Businesses

Adopting new technology may be the key to enhancing your business, but there are inherent risks to be aware of. Cloud computing, desktop virtualization, and other advances have dramatically changed the delivery and management of IT services, including the ways in which people interact with—and exploit—technology. With the help of a managed IT services provider, your business can implement effective risk management methods without missing opportunities to benefit from today’s technology.

Cloud Computing

Companies may move information assets to the cloud to lower in-house IT costs, back up important data, and make data accessible to remote employees. With these many benefits come certain risks. Who at the cloud provider has access to your sensitive information? How is your data encrypted? What is the provider’s data recovery plan for disaster scenarios? With the right provider, using cloud computing infrastructure is very low risk, but be sure to understand the options and limitations presented by the technology. Ask the right questions to make sure it’s the right solution for you.

Data Volume and Quality

Storing, tracking, and reviewing huge volumes of data is becoming increasingly important to all types of businesses. Your company may benefit from tracking transactions and customer browsing habits to evaluate your sales and online presence. While the quality of your products and services is important, so is the quality of the data you collect.

Employees’ Computer Use

Many businesses underestimate the reach of social media, especially when employees are off the clock. A company should educate staff about social media usage and make them aware of the footprint they leave on the Internet. Seemingly innocuous information can be used to compromise security or gain access to a corporate network. Companies can even set up policies about not using company computers for personal use if they feel it is warranted.

At Nextrio, we offer small and medium-sized businesses the options they need for managing IT services. We present cost-effective ways to manage technology tasks, improve security, lower IT risks, and back up mission-critical data. Call us at (520) 519-6301 for managed IT services in Tucson.

Benefits of the Scalability in Cloud Computing

Hosting and operating IT resources in-house can be an expensive, restrictive undertaking for small businesses. Cloud computing, on the other hand, enables your company to quickly react to the needs of your business, improves operation efficiency, and frees up resources. Utilizing scalable IT resources through the cloud will offer your business the following benefits.

Greater Flexibility and Mobility

Cloud computing and mobile technology go hand in hand. By making files and data accessible through the cloud—instead of storing them on a local computer’s hard drive—employees can be more flexible both in and out of the office. Using a smartphone, laptop, desktop, or notebook, employees can instantly share files over the Web and access data quickly and securely. Thanks to the scalability of cloud computing, any number of users can be easily removed or added. This is especially helpful for businesses that rely on seasonal workers or contractors. If your business suddenly grows because of a merger or acquisition, your scalable cloud-based infrastructure can instantly accommodate more users and data. Cloud computing also eliminates the headache of data migration and relocation.

Lower Costs

Without a hosted server or network, your company would have to purchase, store, secure, and manage its own physical servers and networked computers. Many small and medium-sized businesses simply don’t have the resources to support local servers and an in-house IT team to maintain the network. Cloud computing allows you to easily downscale or upscale your IT requirements as needed, supporting changes to your business without expensive, time-consuming modifications to your existing system. Also, the IT experts at managed data centers will carefully monitor the allocation of resources so that overloading or insufficient processing power is never a concern. Desktop and other software applications can even be managed as services via the cloud, which can lower costs.

Nextrio will help you determine if the cloud is for you. Call our Tucson IT company at (520) 519-6301 or visit our website today!

Qualities to Look for in an Excellent IT Provider

As every business owner knows, IT resources have a huge impact on day-to-day operations. When your business is looking for a managed IT services provider, you will want a reliable, experienced company you can count on. Here are some qualities of leading IT service providers.

The Right Support for You

Even when you sleep, it’s good to know your IT infrastructure can be managed and monitored. The option of online and/or onsite support is also valuable as it provides flexible options when troubleshooting your systems.

Unbeatable Customer Service

An IT services provider that has a strong sense of accountability and professionalism is sure to have a high standard of customer service. Look for an IT company that focuses on its relationships and prides itself on having friendly, approachable staff. You might also explore the company’s website or search online for customer testimonials.

Ample Experience

Choose a managed IT services provider that is reputable in your local community and works with other clients in your industry. Consider the depth and breadth of technical expertise, and ensure the provider can scale up or down depending on your needs.

Comprehensive Services

To ensure IT continuity and dependability, you will want to choose a company that serves as a one-stop shop. Your IT services provider should act as your strategic partner and offer an array of services, including server management, network support, managed security, data backup and storage, data migration, virtualization, user training, and more. Small businesses can especially benefit from partnering with an IT company that offers CIO-level engagement.

With Nextrio, you will find all of these qualities and more. Since 2002, we have been providing professional IT network services for more than 1,000 small and medium-sized organizations throughout Tucson and the Southwest. Our experienced engineers and technicians are always available to offer their support and expertise. For more information on our strategic IT planning and managed IT services, call us at (520) 519-6301.

How Cloud Computing Works

Have you purchased computers and software licenses for every employee at your business? Do you constantly have to buy more physical servers and storage devices to accommodate your ever-growing data? Are your employees limited in their flexibility because important files are only accessible through a single computer? If so, moving your business infrastructure to the cloud may be the perfect alternative. Here’s a closer look at cloud computing and how it works.

Overview

Instead of installing an entire suite of software on each computer, cloud computing allows you to log into one web-based service that hosts all the programs and files the user needs. Remote machines owned and operated by another company handle the heavy lifting when it comes to running the programs, processing data, and storing information.

Front End and Back End Architecture

The front end and back end of the cloud computing system are connected to each other through a network, usually the Internet. The front end is what you, the user, sees. The “cloud” is the back end of the system. The front end includes your computer and the web-based application required to log into the cloud. The back end includes a system of various computers, servers, and data storage devices that make up the cloud of computing services.

Middleware

A central server in the back end ensures that everything runs smoothly by monitoring user demands and traffic. This server administers the system by following set protocols and using a special kind of software called “middleware.” Networked computers on the cloud are able to communicate with one another via middleware, thereby allowing them to allocate processing power and maximize output of individual servers for optimal efficiency.

Storage and Redundancy

Like all computers, the machines that make up a cloud computing system may occasionally break down. For this reason, the cloud system needs enough digital storage to keep its users’ information, and copies of that information, stored on multiple devices for guaranteed retrieval. Making backup copies of data is called redundancy.

Would you like more information about cloud computing and how it could benefit your business? Nextrio will help you implement cloud computing and customized services like hosted email, virtual desktops, and more. Our Tucson IT company has the tools your business needs, so call us today at (520) 519-6301.

A Look at Cyber Security Issues for Small Businesses

Criminals often target small businesses because they have fewer resources available to identify and combat cyber threats. Also, many businesses falsely believe they are immune to cyber-attacks because they are “too small” to be worthwhile targets. With the help of an experienced IT company, you can assess your cyber security vulnerabilities and implement the following strategies.

Password Strength

Everyone knows they should have strong passwords, but how exactly can you make a password hard to hack? Never use common words or words with personal meaning that can be easily guessed, such as your dog’s name or your high school mascot. Your password should be at least 12 characters long—random characters are ideal—and contain upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts; if one account’s security is compromised, all of your accounts become vulnerable.

Employee Education

All of your employees should stay up-to-date on issues related to cyber security, and a written security policy is recommended. Are your employees allowed to store personal documents on their work computers? Conversely, is it permitted for company information to be stored on workers’ personal devices? If a device is lost or stolen, criminals may use its data to infiltrate your network. Stress the importance of cyber security with your employees and make sure a clear policy is in place.

Data Encryption

You should have an extra layer of security in place so that if cyber criminals do access your system, they may still be unable to access your data. Encryption tools will convert your data into unreadable code that can’t be easily deciphered by unauthorized parties. With cloud computing, any data stored on the cloud is also kept secure with encryption. If your business sells products or collects sensitive information through the Web, your online transactions should be encrypted to protect against cyber criminals.

The IT experts at Nextrio can advise your small business on the security tools it needs. We can also train your employees to be savvy, productive technology users. For more information about our managed IT services in Tucson, give us a call at (520) 519-6301 or explore our website.

Benefits of Managed IT Services to a Small or Medium Business

Today’s business climate is becoming increasingly reliant on technology, and companies that don’t embrace a robust IT plan are liable to get left in the dust. Even as a small or medium-sized business, you can take full advantage of today’s technologies with the help of a managed IT services provider. Managed IT services are more reliable and cost-effective than in-house teams in many ways.

Reduce and Control Costs

If you plan to keep all your IT services in-house, you will have to hire and train IT staff, which can be especially costly if you do not require IT experts on a daily basis. With outsourced IT services, you would make monthly fixed-fee payments, allowing you to budget in advance and manage your IT expenses.

Increase Efficiency to Stay Competitive

By utilizing managed IT services, you can reduce your R&D and implementation time, all of which lowers costs. Ultimately, these savings may be passed on to your customers, helping you get a competitive leg up in your market. You will also have access to the same expertise and technologies that large companies enjoy, effectively leveling the playing field.

Focus on Your Business

You’re not an IT expert, so why waste valuable company resources on areas outside your wheelhouse when you could be putting your specialized skills to use? Devote your time and attention to your core business without being derailed by IT decisions. Managed IT service engineers are experts in their field, equipped with years of experience and industry certifications. Few problems are novel for leading IT service providers, who have seen and tackled similar IT issues many times.

For managed IT services in Tucson, turn to Nextrio. The superior value and predictability of our IT services allow your company to stay competitive in today’s technology-focused business world. For more information about our managed security, backup, storage, desktops, and servers, call our IT experts at (520) 519-6301.

Smart IT Training: July 2014 Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get free productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s smart IT training webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are free each Friday from 12:30pm-1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email training@nextrio.com today!

July 3 – Special Date! Thursday July 3rd 12:30 PM – Inside Outlook: 10 Tips to Rock Your Inbox! In observance of the 4th of July, Nextrio employees will be celebrating Independence Day with their families. So you don’t have to miss your weekly infusion of valuable productivity skills, Nextrio is holding a special Thursday presentation of one of our most popular webinars. Ten Outlook tips that help make the most of this powerful tool. We’ll dive beneath the surface and explore some options and features that can turn your Inbox into a finely tuned communication machine

July 11 – Throw Out Your Thumb Drive – OneDrive and Office Online are FREE!
Never lose your files again. Use FREE Microsoft Office anywhere you have a browser, on your phone, on your iPad, at the office or from your favorite coffee shop. Work together, buy no software, free cloud storage and free cloud productivity apps!

July 18 – Google Apps and Google Drive: Free Yourself for FREE!
Free yourself from being tethered to your desk, your computer and USB storage. Fifteen GB of Google Drive and Google Apps are free to use on any device with an internet connection and a browser. Word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, surveys, drawings and more. Learn to use Google Apps for all your office productivity needs. No more lost files!

July 25 – Basic Data Analysis – new tools for Excel 2013!
Learn to use an Excel spreadsheet for basic data analysis in Excel. Turn hundreds of columns or rows of data into meaningful results with a few clicks. The automatic features in both basic tables and PivotTables make short work of long spreadsheets. We’ll also learn to use the new Quick Data Analysis feature in Excel 2013. It all adds up to a “must attend” webinar session.

The Next Windows XP

Partnering with an IT company can help you learn about the latest trends in technology. This includes information such as the end of support for Windows XP and tips about choosing a new operating system for your business. For over 12 years, Windows XP was the mainstream choice for businesses of all sizes since its introduction. Many companies preferred Windows XP for its simple aesthetics and easy-to-use interface. Windows XP was very similar to Windows 95 and Windows 98, making it an easy transition for businesses. Now that support has ended, businesses must choose a new operating system to help them run their companies.

Windows 7

It may not be the most recent Windows operating system, but Windows 7 is still a popular choice among businesses. This operating system features a simple and user-friendly interface, making it a fantastic choice for companies that want something reminiscent of Windows XP. Windows 7 is also known for offering great security features that appeal to companies of all sizes and in all industries.

Windows 8.1

Choose Windows 8.1 to stay up-to-date with the latest operating system. This newest Microsoft system has a totally different look than the style seen in Windows 7 and Windows XP. Windows 8.1 uses a tile layout that works well on computers, tablets, and smartphones. Switching to Windows 8.1 might make it easier for employees to successfully work on a variety of devices.

Mac OSX

If you are ready for a completely new system, consider switching your company over to Apple products. These devices use the Mac OSX, which provides a very different look and feel than any Windows operating system. Research the Mac operating system to find out if it offers everything your employees need to stay productive.

Get more information about technology trends by working with Nextrio. We help Tucson’s small and medium businesses by providing IT managed services. You can learn more about the services we offer by calling us today at (520) 519-6301.

How To Increase the Productivity of Your Business

Productivity makes all the difference between a good business and a great one. When employees are motivated to work hard, they produce better results that help companies succeed and grow. Read on to discover how learning to boost employee productivity can help your small business.

Keep the Conversation Going

Your employees need to be in constant communication, even if they are working independently on different tasks. Staying connected is essential for maintaining a strong and successful company, which is why it is so important for employees to keep a conversation going at all times. This can be accomplished by email, using online chat software, and holding regular meetings where employees can discuss their most recent projects.

Stay Up-To-Date on New Technology

If your business relies on computers, learning about the latest advancements in technology can help you and your employees stay productive. Outdated machines or software do not run as quickly as their newer counterparts. This can be frustrating to employees, negatively affecting their productivity both at the office and at home. Upgrading software and machines is important for keeping everything running smoothly and boosting employee productivity.

Stick to Simplicity

Employees work best when they know what they have to do and have the opportunity to fully focus on it. Sticking to simplicity will allow employees to focus on their work without having any distractions. Keep simplicity in mind when choosing computer software and machines as well as your physical office layout. Fewer distractions mean more productivity.

Find Management Balance

Nobody likes a micromanager, but employees also dislike having zero direction from their superiors. It is important to find balance between doing too little and too much as a manager. If you do too little, employees may not be motivated to work to their fullest potential. If you do too much, employees can feel irritated or overprotected and uncomfortable.

Get more tips for boosting employee productivity from the IT experts at Nextrio. We can help you upgrade your technology and maintain a productive and secure business for your employees and your customers. Give us a call at (520) 519-6301 to learn more.

Heartbleed and Other Security Vulnerabilities

Information security is a big concern for both consumers and companies. Consumers constantly share personal information online while ordering and making payments. Without information security, companies put their consumers at risk for having their personal data accessed by others. Keep your company safe by learning about Heartbleed and other security vulnerabilities.

What Is Heartbleed?

Many websites use OpenSSL software to keep users connected and protected. This software stores encrypted information, allowing visitors to log on to websites and access different pages without their login information being shared with other website visitors. OpenSSL has a feature that helps websites and computers communicate the information they need for visitors to gain access. This feature is called the heartbeat and is essential for regular usage. Unfortunately, some hackers have been able to access the heartbeat and request more information than normally exchanged. Officially known as “Heartbleed,” this action gives hackers access to encrypted information.

What are Other Security Vulnerabilities?

Heartbleed may have been popularly discussed in the news recently, but it is not the only security vulnerability for small and medium business owners to keep in mind. It seems that there is a new concern almost every day—from Target’s credit card breach to eBay’s recent scandal. Many small business owners believe that data security is not as important for them as it is for larger businesses. This leaves many small businesses without proper security, making them vulnerable to hackers. Proper protection is essential for protecting your company, employees, customers, and yourself.

How Can You Protect Your Company?

Working with an IT company can help you protect your company from security vulnerabilities. These experts will help you assess what information needs to be protected as well as the best ways to protect it. You and your employees can do your part by maintaining strong passwords and changing them frequently.

Nextrio has the tools and training to help your company stay safe from security vulnerabilities. Our IT company offers managed services and other essentials for small and medium businesses. Contact us at (520) 519-6301 to learn more.

Exploring Some Amazing Keyboard Shortcuts for PCs

Hiring an IT company can help your small business stay competitive in the technology department. This also allows your employees to focus on their own responsibilities, but that does not mean they cannot use a little help! Encourage your team by teaching them about these amazing keyboard shortcuts for PCs.

Win+Home

Sometimes you need numerous windows and programs open to take care of all of your responsibilities. But having too many windows and programs on your screen can be overwhelming, making it difficult to focus on the task at hand. Pressing the Windows key and the Home key at the same time will minimize all windows and programs open on your computer except for the one you are on when you perform the command.

Win+1, 2, 3, 4…

Your taskbar provides a spot for program shortcuts, allowing you to open these programs quickly and easily. Pressing the Windows key followed by one of your number keys makes it even easier to launch these programs. Place the programs you use most often in your taskbar in order of how often you use them. Choose the Windows key and the 1 key to open the first program in the taskbar, followed by the Windows key and 2 key to open the second program, and continue the process.

Win+T

Another command allows you to hover over the items in your taskbar, giving you more options other than just opening them right away. Pressing the Windows key along with the T key provides the same result as hovering over programs in your taskbar. This command gives you the option to then open the programs you have selected by simply pressing the Space bar or Enter key.

Win+Pause/Break

If you need specific information about the computer you are using, use the Win+Pause/Break command. Press the Windows key as well as the Pause or Break key to gain access to the system properties window. Use this window to discover the computer’s name or other unique details about its system.

Nextrio can help your Tucson business learn more about how to get the most out of your IT solutions. Give us a call at (520) 519-6301 to discover our managed services and how they can help your small business.

Data Security Tips for Your Business

If you run a small business, it is important to know how to safely store your data. This protects your company, your employees, and your customers, making it easier to run a successful business. Use this guide to find data security tips to help your business.

Create Data Security Rules for Your Company

All employees must be on the same page when it comes to your company’s data security policy. When all team members are aware of data security issues and what information needs to be protected, it is easier to manage. Create a security policy and hold workshops to help employees understand your company’s security requirements. Make sure potential employees are aware of your needs and meet your standards before bringing them on to your team.

Keep Track of Sensitive Information

It is important to know what information is most sensitive in order to protect it. This can include customer names, passwords, addresses, and financials as well as private information about your company and employees. Make a list of all of the information you want to protect as well as where it is stored. Try keeping sensitive information on as few computers as possible, as this will help improve security and reduce the risk of information getting leaked or accessed by someone who is not supposed to have access to it.

Stay on Top of Your Passwords

If your company has had the same passwords for more than a few months or you use the same password for multiple accounts, now is the time to make a change! Using a totally random password for each account is essential for keeping hackers away and keeping information protected. It is also important to change passwords every few months to stop any hackers who may have gotten your information from using it for a long period of time.

Learn more techniques for securing data with help from Nextrio. Our Tucson IT company can help your small and medium business be as secure as possible. Call us at (520) 519-6301 to get started.

A Look At Some Common IT Mistakes

Who’s in charge of IT for your small business? If one of your employees has to tackle IT needs on top of his or her other responsibilities, it might leave your company at risk with some common IT mistakes. Read about common IT mistakes to see why working with an IT company is a great option.

Having No Backups

Technology is truly amazing, but that does not mean it is perfect. Even if you have the latest system and most advanced machines, you can still suffer from loss due to some sort of glitch or error. It is not always possible to get data back once it has been lost, which is why backups are essential for every business. Secure all of your data by creating physical backups you can rely on in case of technological failure.

Neglecting Mobile Trends

You know how your website looks on a computer, but how does it look on a tablet or smartphone? Many of today’s consumers rely on their mobile devices for their Internet needs, making it important for companies to adapt their websites. Neglecting mobile trends can result in a website that looks bad and respond poorly to visitors using their tablets or smartphones. If your website is hard to view or navigate on a tablet or smartphone, you may be pushing potential customers away.

Putting Too Much Information on the Cloud

Cloud computing offers a number of benefits for businesses of all sizes. Using the cloud allows you to reduce physical clutter in the office and gives employees the ability to work from almost anywhere. Relying too much on cloud computing can be similar to having no backups; it can leave you without your data as a result of a simple computing error. Take advantage of cloud computing, but do not view it as the only option for your company.

Avoid these common IT mistakes by working with the IT experts at Nextrio. Our Tucson managed services are the perfect option for small and medium businesses that need a little help when it comes to managing IT. Contact us at (520) 519-6301 to learn more.

Smart IT Training: June 2014 Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get free productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s smart IT training webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are free each Friday from 12:30pm-1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email training@nextrio.com today!

June 6 – PivotTables, PivotCharts and Slicers!

You asked for it…learn to make a basic Pivot Table, a basic Pivot Chart, add Slicers and more. Teach those rows and columns of data who’s the boss and make them learn some new tricks. Make your data sit up and speak!

June 13 – Hey! Let’s Be Careful Out There
The Internet…it’s a jungle but well worth exploring. We’ve got a map and a guide for your caravan. Follow these simple steps and make your online safari a whole lot safer. Tips to save your online life!

June 20 – Office Templates: Models for Success!
Leverage free Microsoft templates for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook 2010. Cure your formatting headaches and take the pain out of creating great looking documents. Learn to create your own templates, modify existing templates and make all your Office documents look more professional.

June 27 – Merge Right!
Mail merge can be a powerful partner and a real time saver, but you have to start out on the right foot. We’ll put together a Word mail merge document and merge customer address data from an Excel spreadsheet. We’ll also learn to use the new Flash Fill feature in Excel 2013 with our address data and start you on your way!

Twitter’s New Profile – What You Should Know

Social media provides businesses with an interactive and attractive form of advertisement. Using websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter can help you reach out to customers and share facts about your products and services. Jump into social media by learning about Twitter’s new profile.

New Banner Image

One of the most noticeable changes found in the new Twitter profile is the larger banner image. The banner is not a totally new idea to Twitter profiles, though the former image was much smaller and did not necessarily call too much attention to itself. The new banner covers the entire top portion of the page, making it similar to Facebook’s profile pages.

Pinned Tweets

Your Twitter bio allows you to share what you think is most important about your company. Unfortunately, some users skip over the bio section and go straight to the tweets. The new Twitter profile has a pinned tweet feature, allowing you to keep your favorite tweet at the top of your page so users will see it as soon as they visit.

Different Sized Tweets

Another noticeable change comes in the form of tweet size based on popularity. After switching to the new profile, you will notice that your most popular tweets become larger than less popular ones. Popularity is based on favorites and retweets so that new users can easily find the tweets that other users have enjoyed the most. This is a great feature for companies running contests and promotions on Twitter.

Following List

Twitter users have always been able to see who other users follow, but the new profile makes this feature more visible than ever. Each profile has a “following list” that features a small collage containing Twitter pictures of users you follow. This is similar to LinkedIn profile pages that show collages of connections between users.

Get more information about managed services and how they can help your business by contacting Nextrio. Our Tucson IT professionals can enhance your company’s network services if you call us today at (520) 519-6301.

Tips for Creating a Strong Password

Turning to managed services can help you improve your business by attracting new customers and maintaining professionalism. Working with professionals can give you the skills needed to give your company a boost, but only if you already have a good understanding of the basics! Brush up on the basics with these password creation tips.

Create Long Passwords

If your password is only three or four characters, it may be easy for hackers to figure it out based on a variety of elements. Many websites have features where users must create passwords that meet certain length requirements. Try to make each password long enough to meet these requirements, even for websites that do not have them.

Use Letters, Numbers, and Symbols

While it might be less work to remember simple words or phrases, it is also less work for hackers to access these types of passwords. Combining letters, numbers, and symbols is the best way to create a secure password that is hard to guess. This also makes it easier to create totally random passwords that provide the best security for your IT needs.

Give Each Account a Unique Password

Do you use the same password for multiple accounts? This is a bad habit that can lead to serious security issues. Create a unique password for each account to ensure security for information on all of these websites. If you use the same password for multiple sites and someone is able to access one password, they may be able to access multiple accounts.

Change Your Passwords Often

A good password does not have a long shelf life. Over time, even the most random passwords can be cracked by people who want to steal information from your and your customers. Changing your passwords often can help you maintain top security for all of your accounts at all times.

Nextrio offers managed services for small companies throughout Tucson. See how your business can benefit from our IT company by checking us out online or giving us a call today at (520) 519-6301.

 

The Benefits of Choosing Managed IT Services

Managed IT services are a great option for many of today’s small businesses. Instead of trying to stay on top of technological advancements, employees can focus on their main responsibilities and leave the technology to the experts. Read on to learn about the benefits of choosing managed IT services as a consideration for your company.

Working With Experts

Your company needs every advantage possible to stand apart from the competition and draw customers in. Choosing managed IT services is one way to get an edge that your competitors may not have. Managed IT services are performed by IT professionals. These experts know how to properly maintain your company’s technological needs, making it easy to stay secure, stay online, and provide the best for your customers.

Saving on IT Costs

Many companies create IT teams that focus on the company’s technologically influenced needs and responsibilities. This may work for companies that are involved in the technology industry, but it is not the most cost-effective option for all companies. Instead of hiring and training an IT team, choose managed IT services and be nicer to your budget.

Learning About New Technology

Using the latest technology is important for staying relevant in today’s business world. It can be difficult to stay on top of new trends and advancements in technology on your own. Luckily, IT companies offering managed services spend more time focused on new technology and can pass the information on to you and your business!

Staying Safe

The Internet makes it easy to promote your business, but it also puts your business at risk to hackers looking to score information. Working with a professional IT company means having a more secure website and network in your office. Managed IT services will improve your business while keeping it safe.

Find more benefits of choosing managed IT services by contacting Nextrio today! Visit our website for more information about our services or call us at (520) 519-6301 to see what we can do for your Tucson business.

Looking Back at Some of History’s Worst Computer Viruses

Computer security is essential both at home and in the office. Whether you are storing client data or simply sharing something on Facebook, your computer needs to be clean and secure in order to keep your online and offline life safe. Computer viruses affect this safety by taking information and spreading themselves to other users. Here are some of the worst computer viruses users have experienced so far.

Stoned

Computer viruses may be a concern for Internet users, but they existed before the Internet became such a commonly used service. In 1987, a computer virus called Stoned was spread from one user to the next through a floppy disk. Once infected, machines would display the message “Your computer is now stoned,” leaving users unable to use their devices.

Melissa

One of the first well-known computer viruses shared on the Internet was called Melissa. Created by David L. Smith in 1999, the Melissa virus was spread from one user to the next through email. The incriminating email typically featured a message about an expected document complete with an attachment. Unsuspecting users downloaded the attachment, automatically allowing the virus to send itself the same way to 50 others found in the user’s email list.

ILOVEYOU

In the year 2000, a new computer virus known as ILOVEYOU was unleashed on Windows users. This virus came from the Philippines and was spread to users as an attachment on an email. The email subject read “ILOVEYOU” and the attachment was titled “LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.txt.vbs”. Unfortunately, the “vbs” part of the attachment was hidden, making many users believe the attachment was a standard text document.

Netsky and Sasser

Eventually, computer viruses started to come into contact with one another on users machines. Later in the 2000s, the Netsky and Sasser viruses would remove other viruses found on a user’s computer before infecting it themselves. Both viruses were the creation of a German teenager.

Protect the security of your company with help from Nextrio. Our Tucson IT company can enhance your company by providing better security and teaching you how to avoid viruses. You can learn more by contacting us at (520) 519-6301.

Exploring How Mac Products Can Be Integrated Into a Windows Network

Your company relies on computers to stay relevant and stand up against the competition. Working with Nextrio can help you learn more about the importance of computer networks and what they mean for your business. Get a basic understanding of how Mac products can be integrated into a Windows network with this guide.

Existing on the Same Network

If you plan to incorporate Mac products into your business toolbox as you move or expand, you can connect these new devices to your company’s Windows network. Microsoft updates have made this once difficult process a lot easier, enabling companies of all types and sizes to use both Mac and Windows products without suffering from any integration complications or distractions.

Troubleshooting Your Network

Did you know that you can use Mac machines to troubleshoot problems with your Windows network? There are two separate ways to troubleshoot the network using a Mac device, with one technique being similar to that already used by people on a Windows network. Learning how to troubleshoot problems using a newer Mac machine can make it easier to solve problems with the network and get back to work!

Sharing Files

Use your company’s new Mac devices to connect to shared files found on your Windows network. You can also create files on a Mac device that can be placed into shared folders easily accessible from your Windows devices. This makes it easy for coworkers to share information without having to leave their desks.

Printing Documents and Images

It may be hard to believe, but adding Macs to a Windows network can help you enjoy an easier printing process! Connecting a Mac device to a Windows network allows you to print information from the Mac on the printers hooked up to your Windows system.

Get more information about how to integrate Mac products into a Windows network by contacting Nextrio. Discover the benefits of working with our Tucson IT company by giving us a call today at (520) 519-6301.

A Look at the Business Benefits of Cloud Computing

Has your company embraced cloud computing yet? If not, now is the time to consider switching to this modern alternative to big and bulky computers. Cloud computing offers numerous advantages for small businesses, including the following perks.

Sharing Files Quickly and Easily

Cloud computing allows employees to share files at any time of day or night. Your team members can save all of their work-related files to your cloud. Other team members will then be able to access these files without having to leave their own desks. This can result in less time spent on tasks, making more time for new tasks.

Allowing Employees to Work Anywhere

Gone are the days of spending long hours in an office. Many of today’s workers enjoy the ability to work from home on a regular basis. Incorporating cloud computing into your company will allow your employees to enjoy this same advantage. You can cut down on office space costs by giving employees the freedom to work from home and share and submit items via the cloud.

Saving Physical Space

Are you running short on space in the office? Get rid of bulky computer equipment and switch to slimmer options by using cloud computing! Instead of storing information on big machines that collect dust, you can keep everything in the cloud and clear up room in your space. Employees can use slimmer options such as laptops, tablets, and smart phones.

Improving Customer Service

Nobody ever wants to get a complaint from a customer, but if you do it is important to tend to it as quickly as possible. Cloud computing allows you to access important company information from any location with Internet access. This will make it easier to fix any problems customers have quickly and efficiently.

Start experiencing the benefits of cloud computing with help from Nextrio. Give us a call at (520) 519-6301 to get answers to your questions about cloud computing and IT services available from our Tucson company.

Smart IT Training: May 2014 Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get free productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s smart IT training webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are free each Friday from 12:30pm-1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email training@nextrio.com today!

Upcoming Webinars

May 2 – Basic Data Analysis – new tools for Excel 2013! Learn to use an Excel spreadsheet for basic data analysis in Excel. 
Turn hundreds of columns or rows of data into meaningful results with a few clicks. The automatic features in both basic tables and PivotTables make short work of long spreadsheets. We’ll also learn to use the new Quick Data Analysis feature in Excel 2013. It all adds up to a “must attend” webinar session.

May 9 – Word 2013 – Edit a PDF?  Yes, you can!
Word has always been the go-to application for document creation but, what do you do when you want to edit a PDF?  Now you can!  That’s just one of the new features in Word 2013 along with tons of beautiful templates, themes, tools for video files, improved image tools and so much more.  We’ll see real time demonstrations of all these powerful Word features in this session.

May 16 – Excel Charts – Look I’ll Show You!
If a picture is worth a thousand words then a chart is worth a million!  Concise, insightful and meaningful, a chart can show what your data really means at a glance.  Chart the way to new success and get a bigger piece of the pie.  Raise the bar or spot a bubble. We’ll show you how!

May 23 – Work Together in Word! – editing, reviewing, commenting and tracking changes! 
Learn to use the tools on the Review tab to edit, comment and track document changes!  Make coauthoring and collaboration easier by using Word’s copy editing tools to their best advantage.  We’ll show you how to edit, make comments, and track changes in Word like a pro!

May 30 – Fast, faster, fastest! – 10 Tips to Speed Up Your PC!
Remember how fast it was when it was new?  Now you’re ready to toss your PC or laptop out the window every time you boot up.  Hold on there, partner! A few simple tweaks, some small but smart investments and you could be running like new.  But then… maybe it’s time for putting it out to pasture. What you should know.

Smart IT Training: May 2014 Lunch and Learn Webinars

Get free productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s smart IT training webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are free each Friday from 12:30pm-1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email training@nextrio.com today!

Upcoming Webinars

May 2 – Basic Data Analysis – new tools for Excel 2013! Learn to use an Excel spreadsheet for basic data analysis in Excel. 
Turn hundreds of columns or rows of data into meaningful results with a few clicks. The automatic features in both basic tables and PivotTables make short work of long spreadsheets. We’ll also learn to use the new Quick Data Analysis feature in Excel 2013. It all adds up to a “must attend” webinar session.

May 9 – Word 2013 – Edit a PDF?  Yes, you can!
Word has always been the go-to application for document creation but, what do you do when you want to edit a PDF?  Now you can!  That’s just one of the new features in Word 2013 along with tons of beautiful templates, themes, tools for video files, improved image tools and so much more.  We’ll see real time demonstrations of all these powerful Word features in this session.

May 16 – Excel Charts – Look I’ll Show You!
If a picture is worth a thousand words then a chart is worth a million!  Concise, insightful and meaningful, a chart can show what your data really means at a glance.  Chart the way to new success and get a bigger piece of the pie.  Raise the bar or spot a bubble. We’ll show you how!

May 23 – Work Together in Word! – editing, reviewing, commenting and tracking changes! 
Learn to use the tools on the Review tab to edit, comment and track document changes!  Make coauthoring and collaboration easier by using Word’s copy editing tools to their best advantage.  We’ll show you how to edit, make comments, and track changes in Word like a pro!

May 30 – Fast, faster, fastest! – 10 Tips to Speed Up Your PC!
Remember how fast it was when it was new?  Now you’re ready to toss your PC or laptop out the window every time you boot up.  Hold on there, partner! A few simple tweaks, some small but smart investments and you could be running like new.  But then… maybe it’s time for putting it out to pasture. What you should know.

Signs That Your Computer Needs an Upgrade

New computers have the latest features and elements designed to provide the best user experience. If you have an older computer, you may not be experiencing websites or programs as smoothly or efficiently as you should. Check out these signs that it is time to upgrade.

Your Computer Monitor Looks Like an Old TV

Computers and TVs are much thinner and more compact than they have ever been before. This trend is not just aesthetically pleasing; it also shows how technology has advanced to create smaller and simpler ways to connect that fit inside thinner machines. If your current computer monitor looks like an old TV set, it might be time to upgrade. Not only will your desk look sleeker and more attractive, but your new computer will also be able to keep up with modern software and websites.

You Have a Desktop But Do Not Need It

Desktop computers do not make sense for a lot of today’s companies. But there are still many businesses that supply desktop computers to employees in their offices and at cubicles. These computers take up a lot of space on desks, leaving little room for other activities or tasks. They also use a lot more power than their smaller counterparts. Upgrade your machine by switching to something smaller! A laptop offers the same abilities in a smaller package that can easily be transported from home to work.

Your Computer Has Started Making Strange Noises

Some computer problems are not easy to spot during regular use. Others cannot be missed! Hard drives tend to make strange noises when they are on their way out, making it easy to know when it is time for an upgrade. If you can hear your computer working, consider investing in a new machine that can keep up.

Is it time for you to upgrade? Get help learning how to use a new machine and system from Nextrio! Give us a call at (520) 545-7101 for information about our Tucson IT services that can help your business stay current.

Green Computing Tips for Your Business

Everyone is trying to go green these days! From home life to company life, going green helps reduce energy use and create a more stable and healthy environment. If you want to create a more eco-friendly workspace, try incorporating some of these green computing tips.

Print on Both Sides

In today’s world, it is easy for businesses to cut down on paper usage by relying more on computers and other devices. But even with the help of mobile devices, you may find yourself needing to print out a few items. Make the most of your printing needs by using both sides of the paper. This will help you maintain a greener work environment and consolidate important documents to avoid clutter.

Turn Computers Off When They Are Not In Use

Many employees are guilty of leaving their computers running all day, even when they are not sitting down and using them. Turning electronics off when they are not in use is a simple and highly effective way to create a greener working environment. Encourage employees to turn computers off when they leave for lunch and other times when they are not using them. Employees can also learn more about the energy-saving features on their computers to cut down on usage.

Switch to Laptops

Laptops typically use less power than desktop computers, making them a great choice for office employees. If your team currently uses desktop computers, consider making the switch to energy-saving laptops. Employees who do not need large screens or full desktop computers can easily complete their work with these devices.

Use Cloud Computing

Your company may be able to get rid of some electronic devices taking up space and using energy! Cloud computing lets you store different types of information virtually, meaning you do not need to save it to physical items kept in the office.

Learn more about how cloud computing can help your company from the IT experts at Nextrio! Check out our services on our website or call our Tucson office today at (520) 519-6301.

A Look At How Cloud Computing Works

Many of today’s small businesses are turning to cloud computing as a way to keep information secure and accessible to employees. If your company is still using traditional computers and storage devices, it might be time to make the switch and find out what makes cloud computing such a great choice.

What Is Cloud Computing?

Traditional computer systems rely on physical machinery to store important information. Companies have been using these systems successfully for years, but modern technology has made it easier to access information while using fewer pieces of machinery. Cloud computing refers to the practice of storing documents, files, and other important information on a cloud. This cloud combines networks, hardware, services, interfaces, and storage to allow companies to store information on an easily accessible cloud instead of storing information on physical computers, flash drives, and other storage devices.

Why Is It Useful?

In today’s technology-driven world, work does not end when you leave the office. Employees have gotten used to working outside of the office and tending to work responsibilities by using mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, and smart phones. Traditional computer storage systems do not mesh well with this type of working environment. If employees do not have a flash drive or access to a specific computer, they may be unable to get the important information they need to finish their work. Cloud computing keeps all of the information online, letting employees access it from any device in any location!

Why Should Your Company Use Cloud Computing?

While cloud computing has many uses in both personal and professional atmospheres, it is exceptionally beneficial for small businesses. Companies can focus on their services while getting assistance from an outside IT company to maintain a cloud. Employees will have an easier time getting work done efficiently when they have easy access to the cloud.

Nextrio offers IT services to help companies make the most of their cloud computing! Learn about our Tucson managed services by checking us out online or giving us a call today at (520) 519-6301. 

Examining the Benefits of Using a Tablet for Your Business Operations

Do your employees use computers or tablets? If you are still relying solely on computers, it may be time to consider adding tablets to the mix. These smaller devices are user-friendly, easy to carry, and may be the perfect new tools for your employees.

Saving Money

One of the biggest advantages of choosing tablets over laptops or desktop computers is the cost. Laptops and computers can be pricey, especially when you are buying them for multiple employees. Tablets are much less expensive but provide employees with many of the same functions offered by laptops and desktops. Avoid spending thousands on new laptops and desktops every few years by providing employees with tablets instead.

Reducing Support Needs

Tablets are designed to be user-friendly. That is why people of all ages and employees from a variety of industries have fallen for these mobile devices! The easier it is to use a device, the less outside help your company will need to maintain it. Investing in easy-to-use tablets will reduce your company’s need for outside support, helping you save even more money.

Becoming Mobile

When was the last time an employee brought his entire desktop computer into an office meeting? This situation may be more common with laptops, but these devices can be distracting and take up too much space. It is much easier to bring a tablet into an office meeting. This device can be handheld or take up a small amount of desk space and allows employees to take their work almost anywhere.

Lugging Less Stuff Around

Carrying a computer bag with a laptop and accessories can be heavy and annoying. Tablets can help your employees lighten their loads by making it easier to bring work home and other places outside of the office.

If you are ready to add tablets to your company, get the support you need from Nextrio! Our Tucson IT company helps small businesses find the right tools and services to grow and gain new customers. Learn more by calling us at (520) 519-6301.

Creating a Social Media Policy

If your company is not using social media, you are missing out on great opportunities! Social media pages make it easier than ever for companies to interact with current customers and reach out to new ones. Bring your company into the modern online age by creating a social media policy.

Make Sure Everyone Knows the Policy

Some companies have employees who are hired to handle social media responsibilities while others make posting and liking a team effort. No matter which option you prefer, it is important to make sure all employees are on the same page regarding your social media policy. Hold a meeting to discuss what websites you want to use as well as what goals you have for reaching out to customers and creating an online presence.

Know What You Can Share and What You Cannot Share

Sharing content is an easy way to reach out to new customers and spread information about certain products and services. But it is important to know what you should share and what you should avoid sharing on your social media pages to protect your company. If you plan to share any content that you have not created, be aware of copyright concerns to ensure that you can legally share whatever it is you are trying to share. It is also a good idea to figure out an endorsement policy for content you share from other sources.

Stay Active

A poorly designed website used to be a red flag for customers searching for new companies. Today, customers now look to social media pages just as much, if not more, than they look to company’s websites. If your social media pages are inactive, customers may see you as unprofessional or outdated. Maintaining active pages will help you reach out to more customers and create a better reputation for your business. 

Nextrio offers IT services and more to help Tucson companies expand! Contact us at (520) 519-6301 to learn about our managed services and find out if we can help you build your online presence and your customer base. 

CIAO to our old friend, Windows XP!

It’s the end of XP as we know it…

Today marks a momentous occasion in the history of business computing. It is the end of Windows XP, the first major adoption of Microsoft’s Windows family of products and the first time experts have asked the business community to expend effort to expedite the death of a seemingly functional product.

Without a doubt, the bad guys have stock piled new exploits designed to expose the remaining vulnerabilities of this 12-year old operating system (quite ancient, really, in computer years). Regardless of how long XP has been part of your life, everyone from expats to local taxpayers have fully expensed the initial cash outlay for this operating system and it’s time to explore a new option! Today is the deadline to fully expunge Windows XP from your network… perhaps even explant it to the History of Computing Museum… and invest your sixpence in something modern. The expanse of options are not strictly limited to Windows anymore, as many businesses now expound the virtues of Mac and Linux systems.

At Nextrio, we find ourselves in the position of messenger and educator, with particular emphasis on explaining the business liabilities and security risks associated with this XP deadline. Even as the exponent of change, we truly don’t know what to expect tomorrow, but we know none of us want to be in the position of expiator, apologizing for being asleep at the IT wheel.

Whether the world explodes, expires or simply continues to expand tomorrow… today, we feel fine!

www.byebyeXP.com

Examining the Signs of a Computer Virus

Did you know that Windows XP support is ending soon? That means companies who still use Windows XP will need to reevaluate their software needs as well as their security measures. Learning about the most common signs of a computer virus can help you prepare for tackling security needs once Windows XP support ends. If your company needs some help determining when a computer is affected, look to these common signs for guidance.

Running Slowly

Viruses commonly cause computers to run more slowly than they normally run. If you have noticed a decrease in your computer’s speed, it may be a sign of a virus. Certain documents, files, and websites can cause your computer to experience a decrease in performance because of their size or features. It is important to take note of whether your computer only runs slowly during a certain task or if it has become slower overall.

Constantly Crashing

Have you experienced multiple computer crashes recently? This is a common sign of a computer virus. Crash can affect individual programs or entire computers, often resulting in the need to turn off or restart the machine. A crash may happen if you visit a certain website or try to load a file that is too large, but constant crashes during different tasks may be a warning sign of a virus on your computer.

Missing or Adding Files

Computer viruses can affect the files on your machine. Some viruses may delete certain files, leaving you unable to open them. Other viruses can add files to your computer to access certain elements or important information. If you notice changes to your computer files and do not remember making them, your computer may have a virus affecting it. Keep track of your files so you will know when one goes missing or when a new one is added.

Keep your business up-to-date by choosing new software with help from Nextrio. Our Tucson IT company offers managed services to help businesses stay on top of their online responsibilities. Learn more by calling us at (520) 519-6301.

 

Windows XP Support Ends April 2014!

As a business owner, you should do everything you can to keep your employees, your clients, and yourself safe from cyber attacks. It’s also important to have an operating system that can perform all the functions your business requires and more. If your business computers currently run Windows XP, you should know that Microsoft will stop providing technical support for XP in April.

What This Means for Your Business

If your employees experience any problems with Windows XP, they can ask Microsoft to provide technical support and deliver a speedy solution. However, Microsoft will stop providing support on April 8, 2014, leaving your employees high and dry in the event of an operating system malfunction. Microsoft will also discontinue security updates for Windows XP on April 8, leaving systems vulnerable to malware and other cyber attacks.   

How You Can Protect Your Interests

Though your employees may have grown comfortable with Windows XP, upgrading your operating system is your best course of action. Microsoft has since released Windows 7 and 8, and will provide technical support for both operating systems for quite a while. Windows 7 will look more familiar to Windows XP users, though you might consider upgrading to Windows 8 so your business can stay ahead of the curve.  

Benefits of Upgrading Your Operating System

If you upgrade to a new operating system, you and your employees will be able to receive technical support and optimum security protection. Operating systems have come a long way in the 12 years since Windows XP was released—once you make the switch, you’ll have an easier time organizing files and you’ll be able to run more sophisticated applications. In short, upgrading your operating system can help your Tucson business stay competitive. 

If your business’s computers still run Windows XP, let Tucson managed services company Nextrio help you make the upgrade to Windows 7 or 8. Our IT services can make work easier for your employees and help your Tucson business provide better services for your clients. Call us at (520) 519-6301 to speak with an IT representative.    

Smart IT Training: April 2014 Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get free productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s smart IT training webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are free each Friday from 12:30pm-1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email training@nextrio.com today!

Upcoming Webinars

April 4 – Turn the Tables on Your Data! 
Managing data in Excel 2010 is much easier than you may think. Tables enable many automated features that will speed up everyday tasks in Excel.  Join us as we take the mystery out of data tables and make you a master of your data. 

April 11 – Google Apps and Google Drive:  Who Needs a Desktop?
Google Apps are free to use on any device with an internet connection and a browser.  Word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, surveys, drawings and more.  Learn to use Google Apps for all your office productivity needs.  After all, if a company as large and successful as Google can run their entire company with Google Apps, maybe you can too! 

April 18 – Inside Outlook:  10 Tips to Rock Your Inbox!  Get Graphic!
Ten Outlook tips that help make the most of this powerful tool. We’ll dive beneath the surface and explore some options and features that can turn your Inbox into a finely tuned communication machine. 

April 25 – Anatomically Correct Word Documents:  Headers, footers and other body parts!
Join us as we dissect and examine the more intimate parts of a Word document.  We’ll learn to make surgical alterations to headers and footer, graft a few Quick Parts, cure your Navigation Panels, and heal a few section breaks.

Smart IT Training: April 2014 Lunch and Learn Webinars

Get free productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s smart IT training webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are free each Friday from 12:30pm-1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email training@nextrio.com today!

Upcoming Webinars

April 4 – Turn the Tables on Your Data! 
Managing data in Excel 2010 is much easier than you may think. Tables enable many automated features that will speed up everyday tasks in Excel.  Join us as we take the mystery out of data tables and make you a master of your data. 

April 11 – Google Apps and Google Drive:  Who Needs a Desktop?
Google Apps are free to use on any device with an internet connection and a browser.  Word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, surveys, drawings and more.  Learn to use Google Apps for all your office productivity needs.  After all, if a company as large and successful as Google can run their entire company with Google Apps, maybe you can too! 

April 18 – Inside Outlook:  10 Tips to Rock Your Inbox!  Get Graphic!
Ten Outlook tips that help make the most of this powerful tool. We’ll dive beneath the surface and explore some options and features that can turn your Inbox into a finely tuned communication machine. 

April 25 – Anatomically Correct Word Documents:  Headers, footers and other body parts!
Join us as we dissect and examine the more intimate parts of a Word document.  We’ll learn to make surgical alterations to headers and footer, graft a few Quick Parts, cure your Navigation Panels, and heal a few section breaks.

The Value of Aligning Business Needs with Appropriate Technology

In business, change is the only constant. As your business gains new employees, products, and customers, you’re bound to change the way you approach the marketplace. When building a successful business, another important factor to consider is technology—if your Tucson business fails to change with the times, it could fade into obscurity. Here are a few benefits of coordinating your business needs and technology infrastructure.

Satisfying Growth Demands

If business is good, you’ll need to create an effective strategy for growth. While a single wireless router may provide enough bandwidth for a small office, you may need something more substantial as you hire more people. Your growing business may also need new strategies for marketing, data storage, and other important facets. Coordinating your business’s growth and technology needs is tricky, but it can be done with the help of an IT services firm.

Staying Ahead of the Competition

Product offerings, customer service, and low prices are all tools that businesses use to compete for customers. Another way to gain an edge over your competitors is to invest in better technology. Instead of investing in the technology you need now, consider building the technology infrastructure you’ll need a few years from now—that way, your business will have room to grow.

Utilizing Employee Talents

Though investing in technology can help your business grow in countless ways, computers and programs are only tools. Your company’s real assets are your talented employees. Still, upgrading your operating systems, installing new programs, and acquiring faster internet services can help make the most of your employees’ abilities. The more freedom your employees have to innovate, the better off your Tucson business will be in the long run.

Tucson managed services company Nextrio has been helping businesses throughout Southern Arizona upgrade their IT infrastructure since 2002. If you’re in dire need of IT services, call our Tucson computer support specialists at (520) 519-6301. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and provide you with whatever services your business needs to succeed.

What Are Network Managed Services?

Even if you think of yourself as a technological wizard, managing your business’s whole technology infrastructure can be a huge challenge. If multiple computer problems occur at once, your business could lose productivity and profits. Hiring a network managed services provider can help your Tucson business run smoothly at all times. Here’s a brief look at the network managed services that Nextrio provides.

Hardware Maintenance

An IT professional can perform regular maintenance to prevent your computers and other hardware from malfunctioning. This might involve operating system upgrades, adding new accessories, or installing new software. IT professionals are trained to identify small problems and address them before they cause serious issues.     

Resource Allocation

Network managed services also involve system performance monitoring and the appropriate allocation of resources. For example, an IT professional can track which applications are using more than their fair share of bandwidth and take steps to streamline operations. Resource allocation can help your business run smoothly on a daily basis.

Security Upgrades

Cyber security should be one of your business’s chief concerns—especially if your clients trust you with their financial information. Fortunately, managed IT services involve frequent security upgrades that rebuff the efforts of malware and other cyber attacks. When it comes to protecting your business’s network and private information, it’s important to have a sophisticated and up-to-date security system in place.

IT Troubleshooting

Computers, printers, scanners, and other pieces of equipment malfunction all the time. Instead of spending an afternoon grappling with a problem yourself, consider having a network managed services firm quickly identify the problem and provide the appropriate repairs. Leaving troubleshooting and repairs up to a professional will allow your employees to make better use of their time.

Tucson managed services company Nextrio can provide all the above IT services and many more. To speak with an IT professional about computer support, call (520) 519-6301. We’re proud to serve businesses in Tucson and elsewhere in Southern Arizona.

The Best New Apps for Your Business

Technology has been steadily making business easier for thousands of years. The modern marketplace is flooded with fascinating gadgets and applications; if you discover and adopt new ways to use technology before your competitors do, you may have an easier time reaching customers. Here are a few apps you should consider for your Tucson business.

Office Mobile

Office 365 is a subscription-based service that allows businesses to share their data “in the cloud.” To make the most of Office 365, consider downloading the Office Mobile app, which allows you view and edit Microsoft Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, and Excel spreadsheets on tablets and smartphones.

Square Register

Square Register makes it easier than ever for businesses to sell goods and services. This app comes with a card reader that attaches to mobile devices, allowing customers to pay with credit cards outside of a normal store setting. This app is great for selling items at trade shows and conventions.

CardMunch

Collecting business cards is a great way to find new clients and potential business partners—if you can keep the cards organized, that is. CardMunch allows you to take pictures of all the business cards you collect so you can keep better track of your connections.

Dropbox

Many modern employees spend much of their time working at a home office. If you have employees who work from home, encourage them to use Dropbox. This app automatically syncs files across several devices, allowing employees to access and edit their work from virtually anywhere.

TripIt

Figuring out the logistics of a business trip can take up a lot of your valuable time. TripIt can help organize your reservations so you know where to be and when to be there. TripIt also allows you to share your travel itinerary with associates so they know precisely when to contact you.

Tucson manged services company Nextrio is dedicated to helping Tucson businesses harness technology in helpful and productive ways. To learn all about our IT services, please call our Tucson office at (520) 519-6301. You can also visit our website to find out how our computer support services can aid your business.

What Is the XP Timebomb and How Can You Avoid It?

Windows XP was first released in August 2001, which means it turns 13 years old this summer. Though Windows may have served your business well in the past, 13 years is too long to stick with any one operating system. Tucson credit unions that still use Windows XP for their ATMs will become more vulnerable to security risks after April of 2014. Read on to gain a better understanding of the “XP timebomb.”

XP Timebomb Basics

The XP timebomb is set to “go off” on April 8th, when Microsoft will stop issuing security updates for Windows XP, its well-loved operating system. This will affect all kinds of businesses by leaving them more vulnerable to cyber attacks. Among these companies are Tucson credit unions, whose ATMs may become targets. While ATMs will not immediately stop working on April 8th, after that date it will only be a matter of time before significant cash amounts are lost.    

How to Keep Your Business Safe

If you operate a credit union in Tucson or elsewhere in Southern Arizona, you should strongly consider upgrading the operating system on your ATMs. Windows 7 is XP’s successor, and Microsoft will continue to issue security updates for Windows 7 for years to come. It’s also a good idea for other businesses to upgrade their operating systems so they can better protect their sensitive information.    

How Nextrio Can Help

Though upgrading to a new operating system can be difficult and frustrating at first, the security and operational benefits will far outweigh the initial struggles. If you run a credit union in Tucson, Nextrio can help you make a smooth transition to Windows 7 and handle any logistical challenges that arise. We can also provide a range of IT solutions for all other Tucson businesses.

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your business’s operating system or train your employees to embrace the next generation of computing, Tucson managed services company Nextrio can lend a helping hand. Our computer support and IT services can keep your business competitive in the Tucson marketplace. Call (520) 519-6301 if you have any questions.    

Is Upgrading Your Infrastructure Worth Your Investment?

These days, technology is moving so fast that many businesses are hesitant to upgrade their systems. If the next big thing is just around the corner, what’s the point of upgrading now? Unfortunately, this way of thinking can cause businesses to fall behind their competitors. If it’s been a while since your Tucson business upgraded its IT infrastructure, you might consider calling a Tucson IT solutions firm. Here are a few reasons to make an upgrade:  

Stay Competitive

Though your business may be hesitant to upgrade, industry competitors likely won’t be as hesitant. Updating your hardware and network may be difficult at first, but it can help you stay on an even keel with your competitors and even gain a significant edge over them.   

Facilitate Growth

As your business grows, it’ll likely outgrow its space, initial business plan, and IT infrastructure. Investing in new infrastructure can help ease your business’s growing pains and help take your company to a whole new level. For example, upgrading your bandwidth can allow your business to download and send files faster, thus increasing productivity. 

Organize Data

Upgrading your IT infrastructure can help make your business leaner and more efficient, and you’ll see dividends on your investment almost immediately. For example, switching to a sophisticated virtual filing system can make it easier for employees to locate files, giving them more time to focus on more important business matters.

Empower Your Employees

Though some of your employees may be hesitant to upgrade their software and hardware, the benefits will far outweigh the initial frustration. Introducing your employees to new pieces of technology will allow them to make better presentations, organize data, and provide new services. All of this will help your business become a major force in the marketplace.

If you’re ready to upgrade your Tucson business’s main operating system, network configuration, or other aspects of your IT infrastructure, call Tucson managed services company Nextrio at (520) 519-6301. Our IT solutions experts will help determine which upgrades will provide the greatest benefit for your business going forward. We can also train your Tucson employees to use the new technology. 

Smart IT Training: March 2014 Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get free productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s smart IT training webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are free each Friday from 12:30pm-1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email training@nextrio.com today!

Upcoming Webinars

March 7 – Office Templates: Models for Success 
Leverage free Microsoft templates for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook 2010. Cure your formatting headaches. Take the pain out of creating great looking documents. Learn to create your own templates, modify existing templates and make all your Office documents look more professional.

March 14 – PivotTables, PivotCharts and Slicers
You asked for it. Learn to make a basic Pivot Table, a basic Pivot Chart, add Slicers and more. Teach those rows and columns of data who’s the boss and make it learn some new tricks. Make your data sit up and speak!

March 21 – Windows 8.1 – Let’s Get Graphic! – Work with Images in Word
A picture is worth a thousand words. Let pictures and graphic elements add their power to the Word documents you create. Learn the basics of manipulating graphic elements to make your message be seen and heard.

March 28 – Throw Out Your Thumb Drive, OneDrive and Office Online are FREE!
Never lose your files again. Use FREE Microsoft Office anywhere, on your phone, on your iPad, at the office or from your favorite coffee shop.  All you need is an internet connected device with a modern browser.  Work simultaneously together with others on the same documents, buy no software and get free cloud storage!

Smart IT Training: March 2014 Lunch andLearn Webinars

Get free productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s smart IT training webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are free each Friday from 12:30pm-1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email training@nextrio.com today!

Upcoming Webinars

March 7 – Office Templates: Models for Success 
Leverage free Microsoft templates for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook 2010. Cure your formatting headaches. Take the pain out of creating great looking documents. Learn to create your own templates, modify existing templates and make all your Office documents look more professional.

March 14 – PivotTables, PivotCharts and Slicers
You asked for it. Learn to make a basic Pivot Table, a basic Pivot Chart, add Slicers and more. Teach those rows and columns of data who’s the boss and make it learn some new tricks. Make your data sit up and speak!

March 21 – Windows 8.1 – Let’s Get Graphic! – Work with Images in Word
A picture is worth a thousand words. Let pictures and graphic elements add their power to the Word documents you create. Learn the basics of manipulating graphic elements to make your message be seen and heard.

March 28 – Throw Out Your Thumb Drive, OneDrive and Office Online are FREE!
Never lose your files again. Use FREE Microsoft Office anywhere, on your phone, on your iPad, at the office or from your favorite coffee shop.  All you need is an internet connected device with a modern browser.  Work simultaneously together with others on the same documents, buy no software and get free cloud storage!

Amazon: Smartphone Developer?

Do you depend on your smartphone or tablet to keep you connected? If so, then you’ll want to pay close attention to recent rumors claiming Amazon is set to enter the smartphone market in 2014.

The Amazon smartphone has been whispered about in tech circles for years. But the rumor mill began buzzing again when a report in the Financial Times said that Amazon and HTC are almost done developing the first version. This rumor is not that hard to believe, as other companies like Google and Facebook have entered into the mobile hardware arena before with varying degrees of success.

The most recent reports pointed to an unnamed source who said that the first device is almost ready to be unveiled. The source claimed that Amazon had initially planned an early 2014 release, but may be pushing the date back. This smartphone is also believed to be one of several new devices set to release from the HTC collaboration. While Amazon and HTC did not provide any solid comments on the rumor, many experts believe that a smartphone is on the way.

This will be an exciting space to watch, as HTC also partnered with Facebook to develop the HTC First. Known as the “Facebook” phone, the HTC first debuted in the spring of 2013, and was a huge flop. AT&T even dropped the phone’s price from $99 dollars to $0.99 with a two-year contract. It’s too early to tell what adoption rates might be like for an Amazon phone. In previous reports, sources noted that Amazon plans to give the phone away for free, through its own website.

Amazon has already made a successful entrance into the hardware field with its Kindle products. Since Amazon recently unveiled a third generation of the Kindle Fire HDX tablet, many experts believe that a smartphone is not far behind in 2014.

Would you be interested in trying a new Amazon smartphone? Need help optimizing your mobile devices and computers for business use? Then contact the IT technology experts at Nextrio by calling (520) 519-6301.

Study Reveals Only 8.7% of Consumers Plan To Use Their Tablet To Replace Their Laptop

A new survey released by IDC indicates that, while tablets are definitely a popular commodity, they are by no means replacing their predecessors: laptops. Only 8.7% of tablet buyers plan to actually use their tablets in place of their laptops.

Rather, 58.5% of people surveyed planned on using their tablets along with their laptops. Tom Mainelli, an International Data Corporation (IDC) analyst, speculates that this may be because of some shortcomings the tablets present in tasks we perform in day to day life. “A huge percentage of people still see a lot of value in a laptop for one kind of app or service they use on it,” Mainelli stated. “Would they want to do their taxes on a tablet? They haven’t quite made the leap to being comfortable with a mobile device like a tablet.”

Mainelli added, “Professionals still rely on laptops and a lot of them are just not really even thinking about the possibilities that the tablet offers and instead are concerned that a tablet doesn’t run Flash or can only open one app at a time.” To bridge this gap, companies like Amazon are gearing up to introduce tablets with a higher emphasis on business utility.

While the results of the survey definitely show the open market for business-based tablets, the results may be somewhat skewed since people under the age of 17 were not surveyed. Mainelli commented that their views may differ since they have grown up with tablets since the dawn of the first iPad. He mused, “The younger generation has different sentiments about phones and tablets and how useful they are.”

Whether the number was low because teens were not surveyed or because most business applications of tablets are not readily carried out in a streamlined fashion, Mainelli does believe the numbers will increase over the next year.

Get in touch with Nextrio to learn how to keep your business IT cutting-edge and secure. Visit us online or call (520) 519-6301.

What Was The Best Android Tablet at CES 2014?

http://youtu.be/vYbCBrixI2M

Every year the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) sets the bar for the latest and greatest in tech innovation. Consumers keep a close watch for product announcements and experts weigh in on which phones, tablets, and other cool devices will be trending.

At this year’s show, PC Magazine picked the Samsung Galazy NotePRO as the best tablet available. The editors selected this Android tablet due to its thin, light shape and productivity-enhancing features including office software and multi-window capability. Watch this clip for a quick review of the Galaxy NotePRO to see if this tablet is right for your business needs. For PC Magazine’s entire list of the Best of CES, visit their website.

If your organization needs help adopting the latest technologies like cloud computing and tablet devices, then contact Nextrio. We help Southern Arizona businesses to securely manage their IT needs. Learn more on the Nextrio website, or by calling (520) 519-6301

Discussing Data Security In Cloud Computing

Today a majority of new software and mobile applications are cloud-based, meaning they transmit data from the user’s device to a remote server. While cloud technology can decrease your business IT costs and enhance your overall productivity, there are a few security concerns when it comes to sending and hosting information in the cloud. 

A 2013 report from The Cloud Security Alliance lists the top nine security threats impacting cloud computing. Below we’ll share the top five threats from this report and provide some background information about each one.

Top Five Cloud Security Threats

1. Data Breaches: A flaw in a cloud application can allow an outside organization to view proprietary data and information. Both encryption and offline data backup can help to secure your data when using cloud software.

2. Data Loss: When you entrust your data to a cloud provider there is always a risk of data loss. If, for example, a data center suffers a hardware failure due to an act of God, then your sensitive data may be lost. That’s why offline data backup remains key to IT security.

3. Account Hijacking: Your cloud accounts may fall into the hands of a nefarious user if your passwords are not secure or you are targeted by a phishing scheme. To prevent account hijacking, it is key to use password best practices company-wide and take advantage of account authentication whenever this is offered.

4. Insecure APIs: Cloud software will many times act as a platform and offer an API that can integrate with other third-party apps and programs. When two different APIs connect, there is sometimes an increased security risk. The social media scheduling application Buffer integrates with Twitter and Facebook. Buffer recently got hacked and user accounts were compromised,and sending out SPAM social media updates across those other networks.

5. Denial of Service Attacks: A denial of service attack occurs when a perpetrator forces a cloud service to accept more ‘requests’ than it can handle. This type of attack will slow down or crash the software. When cloud software provider gets hit with such an attack it can mean a loss of productivity and often revenue for its end-users.

Get in touch with Nextrio to learn how to keep your business IT cutting-edge and secure. Visit us online or call (520) 519-6301.

Laptop Battery Life: Who’s The King?

The entire point of having a laptop is to be able to conveniently use your computer on the go or from any location in your home or office. When your laptop battery does not hold a charge, it can be inconvenient and damage your productivity.

  • The Lenovo ThinkPad X230 is a compact 13-inch that packs a serious battery-life. With the 9-cell battery option, this laptop can last for 12 hours without a recharge. If you add a sheet-battery to the 9-cell, then you are looking at 20 hours of sustained battery life!
  • Apple enthusiasts looking for long-lasting battery life should check out the MacBook Air 13 inch. This model lasts for 11 hours and 40 minutes on one charge. If you are constantly on the go, then you’ll like that the Air is also super light at 2.96 pounds.
  • Dell’s Latitude E6430 is a 14-inch laptop with fast processing speeds and a durable design. It even has a spill-resistant keyboard. This model also features a 9-cell battery add-on for only $79 dollars that lasts for 10 hours and 30 minutes at a time.
  • Sony’s VAIO Pro 13 has an out of the box battery that lasts 7 hours and 20 minutes. With a $150 dollar sheet battery add-on, you can double that to about 14 hours and 30 minutes of battery life. This model weighs in at 2.4 pounds and also features quick processing speeds.

These four models are great choices for battery life. To maintain the longevity of your computer battery, follow these two expert tips:

Use the 80 / 40 rule: If you continually charge to 100 percent it can reduce your battery life over time. Instead, plug your laptop in until it’s 80 percent charged and then unplug and let the battery drain to around 40 percent before recharging again.

Keep it cool: Avoid using your laptop on your lap and don’t let the machine overheat, as that may deplete the battery life over time. Try a laptop stand or cooling feet to keep the temperature down.

For more tech and IT tips, stay tuned to the Nextrio blog. We’re Southern Arizona’s leading IT services provider. Learn more about us on our website or by calling (520) 519-6301.

 

Android’s Growth Spurt

Google purchased Android, Inc. in 2005, and the first commercial Android smartphone was released in 2008. Apple’s iPhone was a rising star at that time with many fans and a growing share of the market, according to Gartner. Fast forward to 2014…IDC reports that Android now accounts for over 80% of all smartphones shipped. What’s causing the stir?

FLEXIBILITY
Operating systems are the heart of devices, and Android is a popular one. Its open source code and liberal licensing structure lets manufacturers and developers change/distribute code freely. This flexibility allows for a wide variety of device choices and features. The non-proprietary design is a bonus for consumers who appreciate the power and freedom to customize/personalize their systems.

PRICE
Android also has iPhone beat when it comes to pricing. IDC Research Manager, Ramon Llamas, noted that Android has a “…selection of devices available at prices low enough to be affordable to the mass market, and it is the mass market that is driving the entire market forward.” When you purchase an Android phone, you get a lot of features for your money.

INTEGRATION
Being part of Google has its advantages. Android phones are tightly coupled with Gmail, Google Maps, Chrome browser and other Google services. Due to the openness of the architecture, developers can create apps that more easily talk to one another and facilitate the sharing of all kinds of data.

When it comes to market share, it is clear that Android smartphones dominate and will continue to grow. Gartner estimates that Android will reach 1.1 billion users in 2014, a 26 percent increase from 2013. Flexibility, price and integration are just a few reasons for the increase in popularity. However, this increase means that there are choices like never before. If you have questions about the technological strategy of your business, and would like to partner with an experienced solutions provider, Nextrio can help. Nextrio’s friendly and knowledgeable staff offers IT and managed services to help you navigate a sea of choices.

Smart IT Training: February Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get free productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s smart IT training webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are free each Friday from 12:30pm-1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email training@nextrio.com today!

Upcoming Webinars

February 7 – Merge Right! A basic overview of Office mail merge.
Mail merge can be a powerful partner and a real time saver but, you have to start out on the right foot. We’ll put together a mail merge document and merge customer address data from an Excel spreadsheet. We’ll also learn to use the new Flash Fill feature in Excel 2013 with our address data and start you out the right way!

February 14 – Inside Outlook: 10 Tips to Rock Your Inbox
Ten Outlook tips that help make the most of this powerful tool. We’ll dive beneath the surface and explore some options and features that can turn your Inbox into a finely tuned communication machine.

February 21 – Windows 8.1 – Get Started… without a Start Button!
Got a new PC with Windows 8.1?  So where do you start?  Literally, where do you start?  The new Windows has so many great improvements but, people can be confused by the navigation and the lack of the familiar Start Button.  Get started right with Windows 8 and learn to enjoy it for the impressive things it has to offer.  You’ll start being able to enjoy your fast new computer with these easy tips!

February 28 – Word 2013 – Edit a PDF? Yes, you can!
Word has always been the go-to application for document creation but, what do you do when you want to edit a PDF? Now you can! That’s just one of the new features in Word 2013 along with tons of beautiful templates, themes, insert and edit video files, improved image tools and so much more. We’ll see real time demonstrations of all these powerful Word features in this session.

 

Smart IT Training: February Lunch and Learn Webinars

Get free productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s smart IT training webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are free each Friday from 12:30pm-1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email training@nextrio.com today!

Upcoming Webinars

February 7 – Merge Right! A basic overview of Office mail merge.
Mail merge can be a powerful partner and a real time saver but, you have to start out on the right foot. We’ll put together a mail merge document and merge customer address data from an Excel spreadsheet. We’ll also learn to use the new Flash Fill feature in Excel 2013 with our address data and start you out the right way!

February 14 – Inside Outlook: 10 Tips to Rock Your Inbox
Ten Outlook tips that help make the most of this powerful tool. We’ll dive beneath the surface and explore some options and features that can turn your Inbox into a finely tuned communication machine.

February 21 – Windows 8.1 – Get Started… without a Start Button!
Got a new PC with Windows 8.1?  So where do you start?  Literally, where do you start?  The new Windows has so many great improvements but, people can be confused by the navigation and the lack of the familiar Start Button.  Get started right with Windows 8 and learn to enjoy it for the impressive things it has to offer.  You’ll start being able to enjoy your fast new computer with these easy tips!

February 28 – Word 2013 – Edit a PDF? Yes, you can!
Word has always been the go-to application for document creation but, what do you do when you want to edit a PDF? Now you can! That’s just one of the new features in Word 2013 along with tons of beautiful templates, themes, insert and edit video files, improved image tools and so much more. We’ll see real time demonstrations of all these powerful Word features in this session.

 

HIPAA Regulations Regarding Personal Data and Why They Matter

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)is an important law that was created to protect the privacy of Americans. It only relates to healthcare, and was enacted for consumers only. Healthcare providers must become familiar with this law and its regulations. Learn more about HIPAA and how it effects you.

What is HIPAA?

The HIPAA law protects consumer privacy by creating rules and standards for the storing of private information, such as healthcare records. It was implemented to protect consumers in the digital age. It also governs who is able to speak on your behalf when necessary in medical situations.

Your Rights

Under the HIPAA law, you, as a consumer, have several different rights. You have the right to request copies of your medical records from your healthcare provider. Under the HIPAA law, healthcare providers are allowed to charge you money for copies of your records. Your provider must tell you an exact time frame of when the documents will be available for you. You are allowed to request all of your records, or specific parts only. You can also allow your provider to share your records with other medical professionals.

You also have the right to have as many people as you want to be able to speak on your behalf. You must fill out a form for this, which is available at your healthcare provider.

Why It Matters

HIPAA regulations protect consumers, but also help healthcare providers. By understanding this law thoroughly, you can ensure that your practice is legally sound. It is vital to provide a HIPAA form to all new patients. They must read it and sign it before receiving treatment. A compliance office is also required under the HIPAA law.

Patient records must be stored according to rules set under HIPAA. These safeguards protect patient’s privacy, and ensure that documents are safe. All healthcare businesses must follow the HIPAA regulations carefully.

The HIPAA law is a privacy act that protects consumers. It is important to understand why it was created, as well as how it works to protect you.

If you have questions about keeping your business systems and data more secure, contact the IT experts at Nextrio by calling (520) 519-6301. They offer managed services as well as IT services for your Tucson business.

IT Careers That are in Demand

Information Technology is one of the fastest growing and most promising career paths available. Since 2003, the IT industry has grown by 37 percent, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Even during the recent recession, the industry only lost 1 percent of its workforce and fully recovered by 2010.

Employment in computer science and IT is expected to increase by 3.9 percent annually between 2010 and 2020, compared to 1.3 percent projected growth for all other industries. Below we’ll take a closer look at two IT careers that are in high demand:

Database Administrator:

Databases are the backbone of many different types of software and business processes. Database administrators (DBAs) work to build and maintain these critical tools. They help with data back up and troubleshooting problems if the system fails.

The median salary for a DBA is $88,800 with the highest paid professionals earning about $123,000 annually. Professional certifications in database programming and work experience are two key factors for becoming a DBA. It is also helpful to obtain an undergraduate degree in computer science or a related field.

Data Architect or Data Modeler

A data architect or modeler supports business needs with information systems. The data architect position combines analytical business skills with hands on IT and computer science methodology. You must be able to identify ways to keep enterprise databases, software, and information systems streamlined and up to date.

The average salary of a data architect is $105,000 annually and between 2012 and 2013 salaries for data architects increased by about 7.6% overall. To become a data architect, you will need a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related discipline. Many data modeling professionals will also pursue graduate studies and seek appropriate computer certifications.

At Nextrio, we see business IT and computer science needs growing rapidly, and the growth in IT employment is due to the increased IT needs of businesses.  Nextrio and its team of IT experts are here to help with a company’s growing IT needs. If your organization is looking for comprehensive IT solutions in 2014, then give us a call at (520) 519-6301.

News: Google Says Government “Bombards” Them With Data Requests

In our increasingly wireless culture, we’ve become comfortable publicly posting images of our friends and family, transmitting sensitive financial information, and even broadcasting our physical locations online. We do all of this under the assumption that big corporations like Google mean it when they say “Don’t be evil.”

Yet, ever since Edward Snowden leaked documents exposing domestic spying, the controversy around privacy and user protection has escalated.  Many technology users wonder if telecommunications and social media companies are protecting or compromising their rights to privacy.

In a nod toward transparency, Google recently published a blog post indicating that it receives thousands of government requests for user data. Since Google last updated its figures in 2010, the number of government requests for user information has surged by 100 percent, not including the data requests which government agencies restrict Google from reporting.

 A recent post on CNET highlights the following facts about Google’s findings:

  • Google received about 11,000 requests for user information from the U.S. government between January and June of 2013.
  • U.S. government requests comprise about 42 percent of all global requests.
  • 68 percent of U.S. requests involved a subpoena and 22 percent were linked to a warrant.
  • 9 percent of U.S. requests were classified as “other court orders,” “pen register orders,” or “emergency disclosure requests.”
  • Google produced data for 83 percent of the U.S. requests.
  • The U.S. government will not allow Google to share the number of requests it receives under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Do you feel safe conducting personal and professional business online?  Please leave your thoughts or concerns in the comments below. If you have questions about keeping your business systems and data more secure, contact the Tucson Computer Support experts at Nextrio by calling (520) 519-6301.

 

How Cloud Computing Is Changing Business Communication

Have you been wondering about what cloud computing is and how it may benefit your business? In the early days of computing, all files and data transmission went through a local server or hard drive. Newer cloud software and applications use a network of remote servers to store information and processes requests.

Cloud computing gives everyday computer users more processing speed and power. The cloud enables users to store large swaths of information without having an in-house server.

Microsoft now offers Office 365, which is a cloud solution for businesses. Office 365 takes all of your favorite programs such as Word, PowerPoint, and Excel and moves your files into a shared, collaborative work environment. Below we’ll outline the benefits of adopting a cloud technology like Office 365 for your small businesses:

Enhance Collaboration and Teamwork
Have you ever sent the wrong version of a file or overwritten important work because you are emailing too many files back and forth with your team? With cloud technology, you can view and edit documents in real time as a team. The software will show you who is viewing the document, what that person is editing, and even allow you to chat using instant messaging. When putting together a presentation, report, or proposal, this can be an invaluable tool to boost collaboration and productivity.

Work Remotely on Any Device

If your business or position requires a lot of travel or you’d like to offer employees more flexible schedules, then the cloud can help. There’s no need for workers to be stuck at their desks anymore. With Office 365, employees can access work files from any device with a secure internet connection. This allows workers to check-in from home or while they are on the go using a tablet or mobile device.

Have questions about adopting cloud solutions for your business? Contact the IT experts at Nextrio in Tucson by calling (520) 519-6301. We assist hundreds of Arizona organizations with their IT and computer support needs.

 

Personality Types That Can Derail Your Information Technology (IT) Project

An Information Technology project is only as good as its parts and one of those parts is the team involved in the project’s creation. Many factors can derail an IT project, including a clash of personalities.

In an interview, businessman Richard Branson revealed that he hires based on personality since skills can be taught. Branson believes that it takes a new hire three months to adapt to their new environment, personality however, is not likely to change.

Knowing that personalities are deeply embedded, there are three specific personality types that are likely to derail an IT project and they are the Know-It-All, the unrealistic deadline setter and the person that only wants to work in one platform.

The Know-It-All personality is the programming Ninja. This team member is dangerous because they consider themselves to be the best and may be less likely to listen to others. Even if the Ninja is correct, this personality does not allow for effective collaboration among the team. If team members begin to feel like their contributions are overlooked, they may not contribute to the fullest of their ability, thereby slowing down the project and derailing the results.

The IT industry does carry its pressure points, so unnecessary stress and unrealistic deadlines make it worse. Therefore, the second personality that can derail an IT project is the one that sets those unrealistic deadlines. While unexpected changes can be requested and additional features might need to be added at the last minute, a wise project manager will have already taken this into consideration.

Lastly, the team member that is unwilling to work outside of one platform is the third personality that can derail an IT project. Technology keeps evolving and one platform can’t accomplish all parts of a project efficiently all the time. Software engineers have found that they have to pack their tool belt from more than just one stack, so working in just one platform is not always enough.

Personality clashes are nothing new, but being on the look for the three that are most likely to negatively affect an IT project will minimize any possible damage.

Looking for managed services or IT services here in Tucson? Look no further than Nextrio, your trusted Tucson IT Services company. Give them a call at (520) 519-6301 today.

The Target Security Breach: What Went Wrong?

The recent attack on Target’s credit card systems happened despite the millions of dollars spent yearly on credit card security measures. Experts believe that the breach was bound to happen; outdated technology and lax consumer protections make stealing credit card information from retailers an extremely profitable endeavor.

It is believed that Target’s breach was caused by a malicious virus that was installed on their systems. It is extremely likely that the breach was an inside job; usually, when breaches like this occur, they only happen at a single store or terminal. The size of this breach suggests that an employee or someone with access to Target’s network installed the virus on all of their systems.

The technology that American credit cards use is outdated and easy to exploit; the magnetic strips on the back of American credit cards are easily duplicated. These strips are responsible for sending all of your financial information between retailers and the banks. When thieves have access to this, they have access to your credit card account.

Countries in Europe have patched this vulnerability by embedding computer chips in all of their credit cards. The chips create a unique PIN number to encrypt your credit card every time it is swiped at a terminal; this PIN makes it very difficult to spoof credit card activity.

Generally, businesses have their own self-regulated standards when it comes to protecting a customer’s data. Many of these businesses concentrate on the aftermath of a breach, and and they don’t concentrate on preventing it from happening.

Until laws change in the United States, a company like Target needs to concentrate on notifying customers as soon as a suspected breach occurs. Today, reporting laws vary from state to state; to qualify as a breach, a combination of personal information needs to be leaked. Some states give free passes to big businesses; this can allow a breach to get out of control.

To prevent future problems, retailers need to keep on top of their data. If they notice particular information being leaked, they need to tell consumers immediately. If they do this, people can take proactive measures to help stop the bad guys from printing up new credit cards using stolen data.

Looking for managed services or desktop virtualization services? Or are you concerned about your network security? Look no further than Nextrio, your trusted Tucson IT Services company. They offer proven IT security solutions in addition to their various other services. Call them at (520) 519-6301 today for more information.

Smart IT Training: January Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get free productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s smart IT training webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are free each Friday from 12:30pm-1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email training@nextrio.com today!

Upcoming Webinars

January 3 – Windows 8.1: Get Started… without a Start Button!
So, you did it… Got a new PC with Windows 8.  So where do you start?  Literally, where do you start?  The new Windows has so many great improvements but, people can be confused by the new navigation and the lack of the familiar Start Button on which they have relied since “the very beginning”.  Get started right with Windows 8 and learn to enjoy it for the impressive things it has to offer.  We’ll start you gently and you’ll start being able to enjoy your fast new computer with these easy tips!

January 10 – Office 2013 Forecast:  Cloudy, with a very big chance of collaboration!
Office 2013 takes the best of 2007/2010 and makes Office even better.  The secret sauce is the cloud and the cloud will change how you work and play, not in the future but, RIGHT NOW.  Real time collaboration is “where it’s at” and smart people are there waiting for you.  We’ll help you leave the fog and find the silver linings of cloud collaboration with Office 2013!

January 17 – Working with Office Web Apps
Learn to use Office Web Apps for basic document creation, simple editing, group collaboration and sharing.  All you need is an internet connected device with a browser.  Don’t have Microsoft Office?  No problem.  Office Web Apps are free and able to do all of the above activities and more!  Work from your iPad, iPhone, Android tablet or smartphone.  Free yourself and save money too!

January 24 – Google Apps: Who Needs A Desktop?
Google Apps are free to use on any device with an internet connection and a browser.  Word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, surveys, drawings and more.  Learn to use Google Apps for all your office productivity needs.  After all, if a company as large and successful as Google can run their entire company with Google Apps, maybe you can too!

January 31 – Basic Data Analysis in Excel!
Learn to use an Excel spreadsheet for basic data analysis in Excel. Turn hundreds of columns or rows of data into meaningful results with a few clicks.  The automatic features in both basic tables and PivotTables make short work of long spreadsheets. We’ll also learn to use the new Quick Data Analysis feature in Excel 2013. It all adds up to a “must attend” webinar session.

Smart IT Training: January Lunch and Learn Webinars

Get free productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s smart IT training webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are free each Friday from 12:30pm-1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email training@nextrio.com today!

Upcoming Webinars

January 3 – Windows 8.1: Get Started… without a Start Button!
So, you did it… Got a new PC with Windows 8.  So where do you start?  Literally, where do you start?  The new Windows has so many great improvements but, people can be confused by the new navigation and the lack of the familiar Start Button on which they have relied since “the very beginning”.  Get started right with Windows 8 and learn to enjoy it for the impressive things it has to offer.  We’ll start you gently and you’ll start being able to enjoy your fast new computer with these easy tips!

January 10 – Office 2013 Forecast:  Cloudy, with a very big chance of collaboration!
Office 2013 takes the best of 2007/2010 and makes Office even better.  The secret sauce is the cloud and the cloud will change how you work and play, not in the future but, RIGHT NOW.  Real time collaboration is “where it’s at” and smart people are there waiting for you.  We’ll help you leave the fog and find the silver linings of cloud collaboration with Office 2013!

January 17 – Working with Office Web Apps
Learn to use Office Web Apps for basic document creation, simple editing, group collaboration and sharing.  All you need is an internet connected device with a browser.  Don’t have Microsoft Office?  No problem.  Office Web Apps are free and able to do all of the above activities and more!  Work from your iPad, iPhone, Android tablet or smartphone.  Free yourself and save money too!

January 24 – Google Apps: Who Needs A Desktop?
Google Apps are free to use on any device with an internet connection and a browser.  Word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, surveys, drawings and more.  Learn to use Google Apps for all your office productivity needs.  After all, if a company as large and successful as Google can run their entire company with Google Apps, maybe you can too!

January 31 – Basic Data Analysis in Excel!
Learn to use an Excel spreadsheet for basic data analysis in Excel. Turn hundreds of columns or rows of data into meaningful results with a few clicks.  The automatic features in both basic tables and PivotTables make short work of long spreadsheets. We’ll also learn to use the new Quick Data Analysis feature in Excel 2013. It all adds up to a “must attend” webinar session.

Today’s Most Exciting New Apps

Mobile phone apps are constantly changing the way that we interact with each other and with our environment. Here are some of the most exciting new apps.

Google Wallet
Google Wallet is a very interesting application. Essentially, it allows you to load credit/debit card information onto your phone. Using this, you can make transactions simply by tapping your phone against a kiosk at the checkout line. It uses technology known as Near Field Communication, or NFC, to make the transaction. While this app has been out for a while, it’s just now starting to gain traction. The new update for Android, 4.4 KitKat, has allowed Tap and Pay to be used regardless of carrier interference. More merchants have also installed NFC kiosks at their checkout counters as well.

Google Now
Google Now provides the user with a ridiculous amount of new possibilities. You can use Google Now as a search engine. By asking it, “How far is the moon away from Earth?” Google Now will search and it will give a verb answer to your query. You can also use Google Now to quickly navigate to places. By telling it, “Google, navigate to Pizza Hut” it will quickly give your turn by turn directions to the nearest Pizza Hut. All in all, people are still discovering ways that they can control their phone just using Google Now and their voice. It’s truly remarkable software.

NetFlix
NetFlix has truly taken the world by storm. NetFlix is the absolute best app for streaming movies and TV shows. An interesting thing about NetFlix is that it has truly changed the way that we consume media. A lot of people are ditching their cable plans altogether and just using NetFlix. What cable companies allow you to stream TV on the go? NetFlix got even better when Google recently released Chromecast. Chromecast allows you to stream NetFlix content from your mobile device to your TV set, using HDMI. This allows people without video games consoles and smart TVs to still enjoy their NetFlix on the big screen. NetFlix has become one of the biggest game changers in the history of media.

Find IT solutions for your company by contacting Nextrio at (520) 545-7101! Call us to see if our computer support is the right option to help your Tucson small business reach the next level. 

Website Security: What You Need To Know

Website security grows increasingly more important every day. No one is exempt form the risk that an improperly secured website can bring.

Businesses, government agencies and even charity organizations have made headlines not because they’ve done something amazing, but because their website security has was breached and it resulted in heavy losses for everyone involved.

Below is a list of potential security breaches and how to avoid them.

Software Exploits

In March 2008, the information of 134 million credit cards was stolen from one of the biggest credit card payment processors, Heartland Payment Systems.

The reason this happened was due to a vulnerability in MySQL

Once hackers have access to a website using exploits, they can do whatever they want with it. That includes planting root kits, viruses and a host of malware programs that could have potentially compromise users of a website even further.

The unfortunate thing to note is that this could have completely been avoided. You can prevent similar software exploits by doing the following things:

Stay updated on the latest security exploits. Hire a trustworthy, independent firm to test your website for security flaws. Check your website for malware in the event that a past breach has gone unnoticed. Practice sanitization of user input, which is the method that most exploits use to breach security.

Social Engineering

No matter how strong of a castle you make, the weakest link will always be the guardsman at the gate. This holds true even for websites.

In May 2006, the Department of Veterans Affairs had its entire unencrypted database stolen as a result of burglary from a Veterans Affairs analyst’s home.

This resulted in the personal information of 26.5 million veterans, including active-duty personnel and their spouses, having their personal information exposed. That includes their names, Social Security Numbers, and dates of births.

The best way that you can protect from social engineering attacks is to make sure that you can limit the amount of damage that hackers and thieves can do. Never allow anyone access to your entire business unless you can absolutely depend on them.

Viruses

Viruses can take either of the aforementioned routes. They can be delivered via an exploit or by the clever use of social engineering. Smarter hackers will incorporate both, which will allow them to put a Trojan Horse inside even the best available firewall for a business.

Once a virus infects your business’s website, it can do a number of harmful things. That includes accessing your user’s information or infesting your website so that it can provide drive-by downloads to your visitors.

The best way to prevent this is to keep updated security protocols for your employees while updating your software when necessary. Patches for exploits to software like Apache web servers, PHP and Microsoft server operating software come out on a regular basis in an effort to prevent security breaches.

Want to know more? Take a look at our IT services by visiting our website or call us at (520) 545-7101 to find out how we can help your business stay protected.

Media Summary

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/quip/id647922896?mt=8

An iPad alternative to Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office may be the go-to option for work-related document needs, but it is not the best option for all devices. Today’s companies use a variety of mobile devices, making it necessary to find software that works for them on multiple platforms.

Luckily, the Quip app provides the perfect alternative to Microsoft Office. This iTunes App works on almost any mobile device, including iPads, iPhones, and desktops. Your company can use Quip as a word processor and share messages and edits both online and offline.

This app is a simple yet effective way to boost your company’s business. Find other ways to boost your company’s business by working with the IT experts at Nextrio. Contact our Tucson computer support team by calling us at (520) 545-7101.

 

3 Reasons Why More Small Businesses Are Adopting Virtualization

Small businesses can earn a number of benefits by utilizing professional computer services. Working with Nextrio gives you access to a variety of helpful IT services, including virtualization. Find out if your company should adopt virtualization by checking out some of its most appealing advantages:

Provides More Security

Virtualization provides a number of benefits that are especially useful to small and medium businesses. Enhanced security is one of the most appealing of these benefits, enabling small businesses to provide comparable security to that offered by larger companies. Be replacing a room full of personal computers with one central server to which all employee computers are connected, companies can reduce both the cost and time associated with maintaining security. This makes it easier to commit to security for services and client information.

Allows Easier Access

Switching from a traditional personal computer setup to the modern virtualization option helps both clients as well as employees when it comes to accessing information. Virtualization speeds services up by relying on one server instead of multiple different machines. This makes it easier for clients to access information quickly and conveniently. By getting rid of each employee’s personal computer, you can also give them easier access to important information. Employees can use their smart phones, tablets, laptops, and other mobile devices to access work information from a variety of places!

Reduces Company Costs

Your company can also benefit financially by making the switch to virtualization. Instead of having to maintain a number of personal computers, you can remove the clutter and reduce the maintenance responsibilities. Virtualization makes it easy to update and enhance all machines at once, allowing your company to save money on computer support and other services. Your employees can cut down on costs, save time, and avoid unnecessary frustration due to personal computer issues.

Find out if virtualization is the right choice for your company by contacting Nextrio at (520) 545-7101! Call us to see if our computer support is the right option to help your Tucson small business reach the next level. 

Keep Up With The Latest IT Trends At These Websites

Learn more about IT trends that can help small businesses by checking out these helpful resources. Contact Nextrio at (520) 545-7101 to find out how our IT services can help your business grow!

Take a closer look at the need for protection from cyber-crime by checking out this article from BusinessWire.com. 

Click over to this page from StartupNation.com for a list of tips to help you prevent cyber-crime from harming your business.

Look over this list from SBA.gov for more advice to help your company avoid online fraud.

Discover more of the benefits of switching to virtualization by reading over this analysis from Insights.Wired.com.

Find more advantages offered by virtualization by checking out this list from InfoWorld.com.

How Does Your Business Protect Against Cyber-Crime?

Cyber-crime is a serious problem that affects people around the world every day. But it is not just individuals that have to worry about cyber-crime; businesses can also fall victim to this modern concern. Luckily, IT services can provide the help you need to protect your company from the risks of online fraud. Here is a look at protecting your business from cyber-crime:

 

Know the Facts

One of the most important aspects of protecting your company from cyber-crime is learning about the dangers of cyber-crime. Small businesses tend to be at a higher risk of becoming victims of fraud than their larger counterparts. This is due in large part to the smaller budgets that these companies have for security purposes. Studies show that only 17% of organizations have proper information security to protect them from cyber-crime. More companies have turned their focus to online security, but it is still a major concern due to lack of skill and knowledge.

 

Evaluate Your Current Strategies

Does your company have the security it needs to stay protected? Evaluating your company’s current security strategies is essential for determining whether or not you require professional guidance to prevent cyber-crime. Start by educating your employees about the dangers of cyber-crime to get the entire company on the same page about this issue. Next, inspect your company’s website as well as any information you store online to figure out where you need help and how you can provide the best protection for your company and for your clients.

 

Find the Help You Need

Hiring an outside IT department is a great way to keep your company protected from cyber-crime. Nextrio offers a variety of computer support and IT services, making it easy to maintain a successful business without suffering from the risks of fraud. Our experts can manage security, provide backup storage, and even perform security assessments to let you see what is at risk and what needs help.

 

Learn more about the risks of cyber-crime by contacting Nextrio today. Take a look at our IT services by visiting our website or call us at (520) 545-7101 to find out how we can help your business stay protected.

 

The End of Windows XP Support in April

If your business is running Microsoft Windows XP or Office 2003, then you will need to change to a newer operating system in the coming months. Microsoft offers support for its business products for 10 years, and support for Windows XP and Office 2003 is scheduled to end on April 8, 2014. 

Organizations that have not yet migrated to newer versions risk running unsupported software. Plus, most hardware manufacturers and software providers will not support or integrate with Windows XP going forward. 

Don’t wait until it’s too late to make the switch to a new product. Here’s what your business needs to know about the end of support for these Windows products: 

Begin Migrating to Windows 7 or 8 Today

On its website, Microsoft claims that an enterprise level switch to a new software system can take between 18 and 32 months. For smaller organizations, the timeline will be quicker, but switching systems does require some advanced planning. Contact your managed IT expert for help migrating your business to newer versions of Windows and Office products before April. 

Do Not Risk Using Unsupported Software

Those users who continue running unsupported versions of Windows and Office may expose their data and computers to breaches and harmful malware and viruses. When Microsoft discontinues its support for these products, users will no longer receive security updates to protect against outside threats. Stay protected by migrating to newer, fully supported products. 

Take Advantage of New Technology

Moving to a newer version of Windows and Office affords your business many benefits.  Newer Microsoft products incorporate greater security protection. A recent Microsoft blog post showed how Windows XP users are seven times more likely to become infected with a virus than Windows 8 users. Newer software also enables your team to save time and collaborate more fluidly online using desktop virtualization and cloud applications.

For help with migrating to a newer version of Windows, contact the IT experts at Nextrio by calling (520) 519-6301. We assist hundreds of Southern Arizona businesses with their security, software, and managed IT needs.

Smart IT Training: December Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get free productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s smart IT training webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are free each Friday from 12:30pm-1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email training@nextrio.com today!

Upcoming Webinars

December 6 – Google Apps and Drive: Share and Collaborate in the Workplace.
Google Apps and Google Drive may be the answer to collaborative projects and sharing of documents in your organization.  Free cloud storage, free cloud productivity apps and the ability to grant others access, editing rights or limit to view items means you have choices for how and when you work with or without other.  Documents, spreadsheets, presentations and forms are all in a familiar web based interface.  Learn what it can mean for you and your organization.

December 13 – Turn the Tables on Your Data!
Pivot, slice and sort!  Managing data in Excel tables is much easier than you think.  Join us as we take the mystery out of data tables and make you a master of your data.

December 20 – Let’s Get Graphic! Work with Images in Word.
A picture is worth a thousand words.  Let pictures and graphic elements add their power to the Word documents you create.  Learn the basics of manipulating graphic elements and make your message heard!

December 27 – Throw Out Your Thumb drive! SkyDrive and Office Web Apps are FREE!
Never lose your files again.  Use FREE Microsoft Office anywhere you have a browser, on your phone, on your iPad, at the office or from your favorite coffee shop. Work together, buy no software, free cloud storage and free cloud productivity apps!

Smart IT Training: December Lunch and Learn Webinars

Get free productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s smart IT training webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are free each Friday from 12:30pm-1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email training@nextrio.com today!

Upcoming Webinars

December 6 – Google Apps and Drive: Share and Collaborate in the Workplace.
Google Apps and Google Drive may be the answer to collaborative projects and sharing of documents in your organization.  Free cloud storage, free cloud productivity apps and the ability to grant others access, editing rights or limit to view items means you have choices for how and when you work with or without other.  Documents, spreadsheets, presentations and forms are all in a familiar web based interface.  Learn what it can mean for you and your organization.

December 13 – Turn the Tables on Your Data!
Pivot, slice and sort!  Managing data in Excel tables is much easier than you think.  Join us as we take the mystery out of data tables and make you a master of your data.

December 20 – Let’s Get Graphic! Work with Images in Word.
A picture is worth a thousand words.  Let pictures and graphic elements add their power to the Word documents you create.  Learn the basics of manipulating graphic elements and make your message heard!

December 27 – Throw Out Your Thumb drive! SkyDrive and Office Web Apps are FREE!
Never lose your files again.  Use FREE Microsoft Office anywhere you have a browser, on your phone, on your iPad, at the office or from your favorite coffee shop. Work together, buy no software, free cloud storage and free cloud productivity apps!

Check Out These Links Recommended By Nextrio’s IT Experts

Our recent blog posts have covered Microsoft discontinuing support for Windows XP and how to keep your small business IT secure. For more information on these topics and more, visit the following websites: 

  • Information Week discusses how the threat of malware attacks for Windows XP users is six times higher than for Windows 8 users.   
  • Which top security threats do most small businesses overlook? Businessnewsdaily.com has the answers.
  • Read about the end of Microsoft antivirus support for Windows XP on ZDNet.com.
  • Are your internet passwords hackable? Find out with this CNET article.
  • Fox News shares details about how one cyber attack may cost your business $9,000 dollars. 

Contact Nextrio for help managing your business IT and software updates. Call us today at (520) 519-6301.

Password Manager APP for iOS

To protect your data online, experts recommend secure passwords that do not include personal information like birthdays or easy sequences like 1, 2, 3. Passwords should also mix numbers and letters, alternate between capital and lowercase characters, and be changed as frequently as once a month. 

It can be challenging to update and remember all of your rotating passwords. This free password manager app for iOS devices stores your username and password information and automatically logs you in to frequently visited websites. The app uses AES 256-bit encryption to provide top-notch security. You can take advantage of auto complete to save time when filling out online forms and organize account information using easy-to-edit folders and subfolders. 

For the latest news and tips regarding small business tech, stay tuned to the Nextrio blog. Nextrio provides managed IT services and strategy for businesses throughout Southern Arizona. To learn more about how we may be able to help your business upgrade to newer technology, contact us at (520) 519-6301.

IT Security Tips for Small Businesses

Do you think your small business is protected from security threats and viruses? Think again. According to a 2013 report by Symantec, cyber-espionage attacks against small businesses have tripled since 2011.

What can your organization do to keep its data and systems secure from threats? Follow these IT security tips to protect your small business:

Keep Passwords Secure

Your organization increases its risk of a breach or threat when employees use simple passwords or re-use the same passwords across programs, users, and devices. Changing your passwords monthly or quarterly can help to keep your business systems and information safe. 

Implement an IT Policy

Make password update standards, safe internet usage, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) rules, and backup protocols a part of a formal IT policy. We recommend including this information in your general human resources guidelines and confirming annually or biannually that all employees are on board. 

Provide User Training

You can also train members of your organization in best practices for identifying a threat and who to notify if they believe their security has been compromised. Contact your local IT experts to set up user training for safe internet usage, password security, and more. 

Update Across All Devices and Programs

From e-commerce platforms, to CRMs or content management software, different vendors will issue security updates and patches throughout the year. Maintain general security updates on all your software programs and across any computer, tablet, or phone that your organization uses for business purposes. Desktop virtualization is a solution that can help your IT personnel to remotely update multiple devices with the latest software and patches. 

To learn more about maintaining IT security with desktop virtualization, or the benefits of user training sessions, call Nextrio at (520) 519-6301. We specialize in assisting Tucson and Southern Arizona businesses with all of their IT needs.

Read Up On Desktop Virtualization And Managed IT With These Links

If you need help implementing or managing your company’s IT policies, contact the professionals at Nextrio. In addition to IT consulting and project planning, we also provide managed IT services that will keep your technology infrastructure operating smoothly. Because we are in the business of helping businesses, here are some excellent resources that will help you understand the IT topics discussed in our most recent blog posts. If you have any questions, please call our Tucson corporate headquarters at (520) 545-7100.

This article from Processor.com will tell you how to create an acceptable computer use policy in the office.

The Texas Workforce Commission offers tips on how to monitor employees’ use of company computers.

If you are weighing the costs and benefits of upgrading your technology solutions, read this article on Chron.com to learn more about the importance of technology in the workplace.

Forbes.com offers tips for small and medium-sized business on how to buy computer hardware.  

Visit PCWorld.com to learn about the 25 best software tools and web services for businesses.

Smart IT Training: November Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get free productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s smart IT training webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are free each Friday from 12:30pm-1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email training@nextrio.com today!

Upcoming Webinars

November 1 – PivotTables, PivotCharts and Slicers!
You asked for it. . .  Learn to make a basic Pivot Table, a basic Pivot Chart, add Slicers and more. Teach those rows and columns of data who’s the boss and make it learn some new tricks. Make your data sit up and speak!

November 8 – Work Together in Word 2010: Reviewing, commenting and tracking changes.
Learn to use the tools on the Review tab to edit, comment and track document changes!  Make working on a collaborative project easier by using copy editing tools to their best advantage.  We’ll show you how to edit copy, make comments and track changes in a Word document like a pro!

November 15 – Excel Charts: Look I’ll Show You!
If a picture is worth a thousand words then a chart is worth a million!  Concise, insightful and meaningful, a chart can show what your data really means at a glance.  Chart the way to new success and get a bigger piece of the pie.  Raise the bar or spot a bubble. We’ll show you how!

November 22 – Office Templates: Models for Success!
Leverage free Microsoft template for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook 2010.  Cure your formatting headaches. Take the pain out of creating great looking documents. Learn to create your own templates, modify existing templates and make all your Office documents look more professional.

November 29 – PowerPoint Pointers: Make points, not bullets, with your PowerPoint presentations.
It’s no coincidence that words describing our demise are associated with presenting.  People fear public speaking almost as much as death, audiences fear bullets and “death by PowerPoint”.   We’ve all been there!  Saved yourself and grant your audiences a reprieve.  People are dying for you to attend this one!

Smart IT Training: November Lunch and Learn Webinars

Get free productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s smart IT training webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are free each Friday from 12:30pm-1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email training@nextrio.com today!

Upcoming Webinars

November 1 – PivotTables, PivotCharts and Slicers!
You asked for it. . .  Learn to make a basic Pivot Table, a basic Pivot Chart, add Slicers and more. Teach those rows and columns of data who’s the boss and make it learn some new tricks. Make your data sit up and speak!

November 8 – Work Together in Word 2010: Reviewing, commenting and tracking changes.
Learn to use the tools on the Review tab to edit, comment and track document changes!  Make working on a collaborative project easier by using copy editing tools to their best advantage.  We’ll show you how to edit copy, make comments and track changes in a Word document like a pro!

November 15 – Excel Charts: Look I’ll Show You!
If a picture is worth a thousand words then a chart is worth a million!  Concise, insightful and meaningful, a chart can show what your data really means at a glance.  Chart the way to new success and get a bigger piece of the pie.  Raise the bar or spot a bubble. We’ll show you how!

November 22 – Office Templates: Models for Success!
Leverage free Microsoft template for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook 2010.  Cure your formatting headaches. Take the pain out of creating great looking documents. Learn to create your own templates, modify existing templates and make all your Office documents look more professional.

November 29 – PowerPoint Pointers: Make points, not bullets, with your PowerPoint presentations.
It’s no coincidence that words describing our demise are associated with presenting.  People fear public speaking almost as much as death, audiences fear bullets and “death by PowerPoint”.   We’ve all been there!  Saved yourself and grant your audiences a reprieve.  People are dying for you to attend this one!

When is it Time to Replace Old Hardware?

Regardless of the industry you are in, your company’s success is largely determined by the speed and performance of your computer equipment. Old computers make it difficult to complete even the simplest of business tasks, which can directly affect employee productivity. By upgrading or replacing old hardware, you will give your employees the tools they need to complete their work quickly and effectively. But how do you know when it’s time to replace old computers and computer equipment? Here are a few signs to look out for.

Employees Complain About Hardware

Because your employees use office computers and computer equipment on a daily basis, they will be able to give a fair estimate of the equipment’s performance. If your employees say that they need newer and faster computers to complete their work, listen to them. By replacing old hardware, you will demonstrate that you are committed to giving your employees all of the tools they need for success.

Hardware Constantly Requires Repair

If your computer support provider is making daily or even weekly visits to your office to fix computer problems, you may want to consider upgrading your old hardware. It may be a hefty investment to replace all of your hardware at once, but with all of the money you will save on computer support costs you can recoup a significant portion of your investment.  

New Software or Hardware is Incompatible with Old Equipment

If you are unable to utilize new software or hardware because your computers are too old and slow, contact an IT provider to learn about upgrading your office technology. New software and hardware are constantly being developed for businesses, so make sure that your technology setup does not hinder your ability to take advantage of these powerful new business tools.

If you need help upgrading your office technology setup, contact the IT experts at Nextrio. Located in Tucson, Nextrio offers managed IT services, including IT strategy planning and consulting. Visit our website to learn more about our dedicated IT services, or call us at (520) 545-7100. 

The Link Between BYOD and Data Breaches

Before you allow employees to connect to your data network while in the office, consider that smartphones and tablets now pose the biggest security threat. Studies show that there is a definite link between bring your own device (BYOD) policies and data breaches. To learn more about this correlation, watch this video from the Enterprise CIO Forum. In this video you will also learn how to give your employees the access they need without breaking your infrastructure and threatening your data security.

If you want to keep your business IT operating smoothly, contact the IT professionals at Nextrio. Located in Tucson, we provide managed IT services for small- and medium-sized businesses throughout Southern Arizona. Call us today at (520) 545-7101 to learn how your company can benefit from our IT services. 

3 Reasons to Incorporate IT Policies in Your HR Manual

Your HR manual includes policies and procedures that are important for day-to-day business operations. In addition to clearly outlining company rules and expectations, HR manuals are also important tools to ensure that your employees know how to properly use company-owned computer equipment. Update your HR manual if necessary to include important IT policies covering how to request computer support and personal use of company computers. Here are three reasons why:

1. Clearly Outline Grounds for Termination

Improper use of company computers and computer equipment is one of the leading causes of early termination. By clearly outlining policies regarding the use of company computers, including personal use limitations, you can hopefully cut down on the amount of disciplinary actions against employees for improper technology use. Clearly outlining these policies will also make it easier if you must fire employees who violate them.

2. Protect Your Computer Equipment

Another benefit of outlining policies regarding the use of company computers in your HR manual is that you can protect your equipment from damage stemming from improper use. For example, telling employees that they are not allowed to take laptops home with them can prevent loss from theft. Banning personal use of company computers can also lower the odds of catching a computer virus.

Streamline IT Support Policies

Incorporating IT policies into your HR manual can also help streamline policies and procedures regarding IT support. For instance, you can outline the steps an employee should take in the event of a hardware- or software-related issue. You may even want to include basic troubleshooting steps for common computer problems such as frozen screens and log-in errors.

If you need help developing your company’s IT policies, contact the experts at Nextrio. We offer a full suite of managed IT services designed for small- to medium-sized businesses. To speak with some of the most experienced and talented IT professionals in Tucson, contact Nextrio by calling (520) 545-7100.

Smart IT Training: October Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get free productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s smart IT training webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are free each Friday from 12:30pm-1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email training@nextrio.com today!

Upcoming Webinars

October 4 – Basic Data Analysis in Excel 2010! (pre-recorded session)
Learn to use an Excel spreadsheet for basic data analysis.  Turn hundreds of columns or rows of data into meaningful results with a few clicks.  The automatic features in both basic tables and PivotTables make short work of long spreadsheets.  It all adds up to a “must attend” webinar session.

October 11 – Merge Right! A basic overview of Office mail merge.
Mail merge can be a powerful partner and a real time saver, but you have to start out on the right foot. We’ll put together a mail merge document, merge customer address data from an Excel spreadsheet and start you out the right way!

October 18 – Let’s Get Graphic! Work with Images in Word.
A picture is worth a thousand words.  Let pictures and graphic elements add their power to the Word documents you create.  Learn the basics of manipulating graphic elements and make your message heard!

October 25 – Get More Out of Outlook!
Learn to make Outlook a real personal assistant!  Work smarter, faster and better using tools and settings that are already a part of Outlook 2010.  You just need to know where they are and how to use them.  Let Outlook work for you so you have more time to do what you need to do. . . or not!

 

Smart IT Training: October Lunch and Learn Webinars

Get free productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s smart IT training webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are free each Friday from 12:30pm-1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email training@nextrio.com today!

Upcoming Webinars

October 4 – Basic Data Analysis in Excel 2010! (pre-recorded session)
Learn to use an Excel spreadsheet for basic data analysis.  Turn hundreds of columns or rows of data into meaningful results with a few clicks.  The automatic features in both basic tables and PivotTables make short work of long spreadsheets.  It all adds up to a “must attend” webinar session.

October 11 – Merge Right! A basic overview of Office mail merge.
Mail merge can be a powerful partner and a real time saver, but you have to start out on the right foot. We’ll put together a mail merge document, merge customer address data from an Excel spreadsheet and start you out the right way!

October 18 – Let’s Get Graphic! Work with Images in Word.
A picture is worth a thousand words.  Let pictures and graphic elements add their power to the Word documents you create.  Learn the basics of manipulating graphic elements and make your message heard!

October 25 – Get More Out of Outlook!
Learn to make Outlook a real personal assistant!  Work smarter, faster and better using tools and settings that are already a part of Outlook 2010.  You just need to know where they are and how to use them.  Let Outlook work for you so you have more time to do what you need to do. . . or not!

 

The LA Times Reviews Microsoft Surface Pro

The Microsoft Surface Pro is scheduled for release in October of 2013. If you are considering purchasing this tablet for business use, then definitely check out this video review.

With a faster processer than the RT, the Pro can run programs as quickly as a traditional laptop or desktop. This means you can hook it up to your keyboard and monitor for everyday office use. Due to its hefty processing power, the Pro also comes with a fan system to keep the tablet nice and cool.

The only downside the reviewer shares is the Microsoft Pro’s short three-and-a-half hour battery life. Watch the full clip to learn more about the pros and cons of this new Microsoft tablet. When you are ready to upgrade IT solutions for your small business, call the experts at Nextrio at (520) 545-7101. We’ve helped hundreds of Southern Arizona businesses improve their IT infrastructure.

A Glossary for Computer and Tablet Shopping

Are you looking to purchase a new computer or tablet for your office this fall? Before you go out and begin comparing products, prices, and features, brush-up on your hardware terminology with this helpful glossary: 

OS (Operating System): This is the software interface that you will use to interact with your new tablet or PC. It is also the platform the hardware will use to manage processes and store information. Some common examples of operating systems include Android, Windows, and Apple. 

RAM (Random Access Memory): This number indicates the amount of short-term memory a device has. RAM is measured in bytes and a device with more RAM may be able to run programs more quickly and seamlessly. 

MBs and GBs (Megabytes and Gigabytes): Bytes are units measuring data. A MB is equal to 1,000 bytes and a gigabyte is equal to 1,000 megabytes. Use these measurements to find out how much storage capability a device has. Remember that with the wide availability of cloud storage and external hard drives, you may not require a lot of hard drive disk space. Here’s a fun fact: When IBM released the first hard drive in excess of 1GB in 1980, the drive was about the size of a refrigerator and weighed 550 pounds! 

MHz (megahertz): Is a unit that measures how fast a computer processor runs. The more MhZ the device has, the greater its processing speed. With a high MHz count you will have the ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously and quickly! 

4G or 3G: For tablet users who are mostly on the go, 3G and 4G devices will give you greater connectivity when you are away from your standard Wi-Fi connection. A 4G tablet will provide the fastest connection speeds available and a 3G version will ensure that you can stay connected in most locations. Do you plan to use a tablet mostly in your home or your office, where a strong Wi-Fi signal is already available? If you are only using the tablet at home or the office, then you may not need a 4G or 3G capable model. 

Do you have questions about selecting the right hardware for your business? Leave your questions in the comments and we’ll be happy to respond. For more insights into streamlining your business IT with cloud solutions and managed IT services, contact Nextrio in Tucson at (520) 519-6301.

4 Productivity-Boosting Tips for Small Businesses

Today many small businesses are trying to do more with fewer resources. As a result, “productivity” is a popular buzzword in management and human resources circles. 

Yet many of us may still get distracted or off-task throughout the day and don’t get a chance to put forth our maximum effort. To increase productivity in your office, test out these five tips: 

1. Hold Walking Meetings

Take your meetings outside and on the move to get your team inspired. A recent blog on Harvard Business Review called “Sitting is the Smoking of Our Generation,” popularized the idea of walking meetings as a way to combat the negative side effects of sitting for too long. Walking and talking increases focus and helps people feel they are part of a team conquering a shared goal. 

2. Use Desktop Virtualization

Desktop virtualization solutions make it easier for workers to get things done from home or during business travel. This type of solution also makes it easy for IT staff to set up new employees with company software or troubleshoot a problem on someone’s PC by logging in remotely to their desktop. 

3. Schedule Breaks

It may seem counterintuitive, but planning for a few breaks in your day can actually boost your overall productivity. Studies show that we can focus for about 90 minutes at a time before our focus and accuracy decrease. For every 90 minutes you work, try taking a three to five minute break where you stand and walk away from your desk. This will help you stay energized and more focused. 

4. Try Microsoft SharePoint

Cloud solutions like Microsoft SharePoint increase collaboration and limit the headaches of sending file revisions back and forth via email or a server. Microsoft SharePoint is an online cloud-based application of its Office products. You can collaboratively edit documents in real time, hold impromptu virtual meetings, manage projects, chat, and more. SharePoint will even help your office to reduce paper usage by eliminating the need to frequently print and share documents. 

What are your favorite tips for keeping productivity high in your office? Leave your suggestions in the comments below. If you want to learn how cloud solutions can increase your team’s productivity, call Nextrio at (520) 545-7100. We’ve helped hundreds of Southern Arizona businesses improve their IT solutions.

Smart IT Training: September Lunch & Learn Webinars

Get free productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s smart IT training webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are free each Friday from 12:30pm-1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email training@nextrio.com today!

Upcoming Webinars

September 6 – Make Outlook Work for You!
Outlook is one of the most customizable tools in the Office suite.  Learn to make Outlook work the way that is best for you.  Customize Outlook 2010 to work the way you want it to.  We’ll show you how!

September 13 – Excel Charts:  Look, I’ll Show You!
If a picture is worth a thousand words then a chart is worth a million!  Concise, insightful and meaningful, a chart can show what your data really means at a glance.  Chart the way to new success and get a bigger piece of the pie.  Raise the bar or spot a bubble. We’ll show you how!

September 20 – Office Templates: Models for Success!
Leverage free Microsoft template for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook 2010.  Cure your formatting headaches. Take the pain out of creating great looking documents. Learn to create your own templates, modify existing templates and make all your Office documents look more professional.

September 27– Google Docs and Google Drive
This may be the answer to collaborative projects and sharing documents in your organization.  Free cloud storage, free cloud productivity apps and the ability to grant others access or editing rights means you have choices for how and when you work with others.

Smart IT Training: September Lunch and Learn Webinars

Get free productivity and office training! Join us each Friday for an informative half hour focusing on the skills you need to compete in the fast changing world of information technology and computer skills.

Grab your lunch and join Nextrio’s smart IT training webinars from the comfort of your own desk. We’ll teach you how to get the most out of the applications you use most.

Webinars are free each Friday from 12:30pm-1:00pm, but space is limited! Request a registration invitation today for the sessions you would like to attend! Call 520-519-6304 or email training@nextrio.com today!

Upcoming Webinars

September 6 – Make Outlook Work for You!
Outlook is one of the most customizable tools in the Office suite.  Learn to make Outlook work the way that is best for you.  Customize Outlook 2010 to work the way you want it to.  We’ll show you how!

September 13 – Excel Charts:  Look, I’ll Show You!
If a picture is worth a thousand words then a chart is worth a million!  Concise, insightful and meaningful, a chart can show what your data really means at a glance.  Chart the way to new success and get a bigger piece of the pie.  Raise the bar or spot a bubble. We’ll show you how!

September 20 – Office Templates: Models for Success!
Leverage free Microsoft template for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook 2010.  Cure your formatting headaches. Take the pain out of creating great looking documents. Learn to create your own templates, modify existing templates and make all your Office documents look more professional.

September 27– Google Docs and Google Drive
This may be the answer to collaborative projects and sharing documents in your organization.  Free cloud storage, free cloud productivity apps and the ability to grant others access or editing rights means you have choices for how and when you work with others.

The Latest IT News At These Websites

We hope you’ve enjoyed our recent posts on productivity and computer terminology. To read more about the latest in IT and office technology, check out the links below: 

  • Real customer stories may help you decide if Microsoft SharePoint is the right cloud solution for your business.
  • Is sitting for too long at work killing you? Read the article that sparked a sitting versus standing debate on Harvard Business Review.
  • Before your buy your next piece of hardware, get reviews from Maximum PC’s website.
  • InformationWeek is a great resource for learning about the latest trends and opinions in cloud computing.
  • ZDNet lists its top ten cloud apps for business users. 

To streamline your business IT, contact Nextrio in Tucson at (520) 545-7101.

Signs It’s Time to Migrate Your Business to the Cloud

Cloud-based computing allows you to access data from anywhere in the country or the world, as long as you have an internet connection. More and more businesses are migrating their data to the cloud, which has many benefits, including improved access and data security, since your information will not be lost if a fire or other disaster damages your physical office. If you still haven’t moved to the cloud, it might be time to do so if:

Your Physical Servers Are More Than 10 Years Old

Like all pieces of technology, servers have a limited life span. The electronic components in these large computers can age, and eventually you will need to replace them to prevent information loss. With cloud-based database solutions, there is no need to purchase a new physical server to store in your office, since all your data will be accessible remotely.

Your Employees Are Travelling More

If your business is expanding to other cities and towns, congratulations on your success! As your employees begin to travel more and more, however, you will need to provide them with a way to access company information from afar. Cloud computing allows you to do so quickly and easily. Employees at your office can collaborate on presentations that your representative can access while meeting with clients 1,000 miles away.

You Use Multiple Databases

When you keep a detailed inventory of products and supplies, a list of preferred clients, a compendium of sales data from past fiscal years, or any other type of corporate database, you want to ensure that this data is secure for your future use. By moving your database to the cloud, you can be sure that your information will be accessible no matter what.

Nextrio of Southern Arizona can help your business migrate to the cloud with our professional managed IT services. For more information about what cloud computing can do for you, call us at (520) 545-7100 or visit us online. 

Safe Browsing Tips

Today’s viruses and malware are smarter and more pervasive than ever, but there are best practices that can increase your protection and decrease your chances of infection.  Try following these simple rules:

  • If you don’t know who sent you an attachment or e-mail, delete it without opening it.
  • If you get an e-mail telling you about a virus, about something not to do or do, etc., it’s likely a hoax. Check it out here: www.hoaxbusters.org.
  • Don’t fall for Phishing scams. These are e-mails that look like they come from your bank, from ebay, from Pay Pal or other organizations. They want you to update your information, usually a very official looking website that you are directed to from a link in the e-mail. Delete them, or better yet, do what we do. Report them to the company they are pretending to be from. Most companies now want to get these e-mails so they can follow up on and close down the illegal sites.
  • Shopping online: This is generally a secure way to purchase, no more risky than ordering over the phone or handing your credit card to someone at a store. Things to look for: Make sure the site is reputable. If you are uncertain, order over the phone instead of online. Look for the http:// to change to https://. This means that the information is encrypted between your browser and the site you are purchasing from, which keeps it safe from prying eyes. Don’t let sites keep your credit card information on file. While it may be easy and convenient for you, most issues have been caused by person’s breaking into company servers and taking the credit card records, not by someone intercepting a card number during an order submission.
  • Physical access: You can do a lot to keep yourself safe, but if someone else uses your PC and you don’t know their browsing habits, you could potentially make yourself vulnerable. If someone else uses your machine, make sure they are aware of what good computer habits are and how they can keep your machine safe.
  • Use different passwords for online accounts. 
  • Do not email personal information, Social Security Numbers, passwords, etc.
  • Keep your PC up to date with Windows Updates as well as updates for third party software, such as Java, Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, etc.
  • When on the Internet, if you didn’t initiate it, STOP it. 
  •  When on the Internet, if you are not sure, DON’T. 

 

A Dell Executive Discusses Benefits of Desktop Virtualization

Virtual desktop technology allows a company’s employees to access their work computer remotely, which enables them to work from anywhere. This allows workers the flexibility to work while traveling or simply from the comfort of their own homes should the need arise.

Telecommuting via virtual desktop technology can also help a company reduce costs and conserve natural resources. Watch this video to heart Steve Felice of Dell discuss some of the ways that desktop virtualization can benefit your business and the planet.

Nextrio offers full IT service, including desktop virtualization and cloud-based computing solutions, to businesses throughout Southern Arizona. Call us today at (520) 545-7100 to learn how we can streamline your company’s computing practices.

3 HR Benefits of Desktop Virtualization

As business operations become more and more digitized, many companies are discovering the benefits of desktop virtualization. This technology allows you to separate the files and software that an employee uses from the physical computer, so they can access their workspace from any computer in any location. Some of the benefits of desktop virtualization, from a human resources standpoint, include:

1. Improved Employee Job Satisfaction

Desktop virtualization provides your employees with flexibility: on days when they have to be at home or travel, they do not have to come in to the office. For example, an employee might need to wait for an important delivery, babysit a child in the family, or supervise a contractor. With a virtual desktop, the employee can complete his or her work while still fulfilling home obligations.

2. Increased Talent Pool

When you are looking to hire new workers for your company, desktop virtualization technology allows you to expand the potential talent pool. If the position does not require your employee to be physically present at all, you can hire candidates in other cities who have the skills that you need. This means you can access a wider range of qualified potential hires than companies who don’t allow telecommuting.

3. Simplified IT Operations

Desktop virtualization greatly simplifies technology and software management for your IT staff. If an employee is having a problem with an application or a virus, the IT department can use the virtual desktop to access the employee’s computer remotely and examine the hard drive. This also allows IT to resolve issues that may arrive if an employee is at a conference, working with a client in another city, or is otherwise away from the office.

If you need help implementing desktop virtualization for your business, call Nextrio today at (520) 545-7100. We provide cloud-based computing solutions as well as managed IT services for businesses in Tucson and other areas of Southern Arizona. Visit our website or contact us today to learn what we can do for you. 

Additional Information About Gmail And Green Computing

When you are designing a computing solution for your business, you want to make sure that your devices are user friendly and also friendly to the environment. To learn more about Gmail and green computing, visit these sites:

For a look at the history of green computing, visit TechTarget.com.

At Energy.gov, see this article to learn more about energy efficient computer use.

At Forbes.com, you can find more information about purchasing Apple products for your business.

For some helpful tips on how to use Gmail for your business needs, read this article from Gmailblog.Blogspot.com.

Contact Nextrio of Tucson for all of your computer support needs. We serve the Southern Arizona area with a full range of IT and computer support services, and we will be happy to help you with your IT management project. To learn more about the services we can provide to your business, call us at (520) 545-7100.

Track Expenses on the Go with This App

Expensify is an easy to use app that allows you to track your expenses, manage your receipts, and create expense reports. If you are looking for an easy way to organize your travel or business expenses, this app is the perfect tool. To learn more about Expensify, check it out in the Google app store.

At Nextrio of Tucson, we will provide your business with a comprehensive IT management solution. When you work with our expert team, we will ensure that all of your business computing is smoothly and seamlessly integrated. For more information about the computer support services we offer, call us at (520) 545-7100. 

Using Apple Products in a Windows Business Network

When you are investing in technology for your business, you want to make sure that you purchase products that promote productivity and are easy to integrate into your existing network. Some business owners wonder if they should be using Apple or Microsoft products. Here’s a look at using Apple products in a Windows business network:

Advantages of Apple Products

Apple offers an extensive range of products, from computers such as MacBooks and iMacs to tablets and handheld devices such as iPhones and iPads. These products are user friendly and offer a broad range of apps. Apple products are also equipped with great software and hardware for graphic design and other visually based computing tasks. If your business is focused extensively on visual processing and design, you might want to consider investing in Apple products.

Integrating Apple Products and Windows

Many businesses rely extensively on Microsoft Office applications. These applications are most effectively used when running the Windows operating system. Some computers can be equipped to run both Windows and Mac OS, but this requires a large amount of memory and data processing ability. If your business is already running Windows, and you are thinking about purchasing Apple products, you should carefully consider your computing needs. To achieve the best possible network integration, all of your computers should run on one operating system. Since Microsoft offers the best database software and IT support, many small, medium, and large sized businesses will benefit from running their computers on Windows.

At Nextrio, we can provide your business with a full range of computer and IT support services. If you are considering purchasing new computers or technology for your business, our experts can help you with your decision. To learn more about the computing services we provide to Tucson and the Southern Arizona area, call us at (520) 545-7100. 

What Is Green Computing?

Businesses around the world are taking steps to ensure that they are following environmentally friendly practices. Some familiar eco-friendly measures include starting a recycling program or installing energy saving appliances. Did you know that your computers can also go green? Here is some vital information about green computing: 

Origins of Green Computing

The term green computing describes the environmentally responsible usage of computers and computing technology. Green computing was first initiated by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1992. At this time, the EPA introduced measures to increase the energy efficiency in computers, CPUs, servers, and other computing devices. To promote the green computing program, the EPA created the Energy Star label, which is now commonly seen on many energy efficient devices.

Philosophy of Green Computing

Energy Star labeled computers are just one way that you can develop a green computing program for your business. There are other measures you that you can take to ensure that your computer usage is energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Be sure to invest in LCD monitors, which use less energy than CRT monitors. Finally, be sure to correctly recycle all of your paper and electronic waste.

To learn more about green computing for your business, contact Nextrio. We offer a broad range of computer support and IT services, and our team of IT experts can provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to make sure that your computer use is friendly on the environment. To schedule a consultation for your business in the Tucson area, call us at (520) 545-7100. 

Resources For More Information on Our Recent Posts

To stay on top of the latest business computing trends, and to guard against such potential problems as misuse of company email and computer virus attacks, consult the resources below:

Learn what motivates people to create computer viruses in this article from TechNibble.

If you use cloud-based computing to allow your workers to telecommute, this article from Time will help you evaluate them fairly.

Protect yourself against data mining with help from this article at SmallBizTrends.

Visit Microsoft’s official website to learn more about computer viruses.

Contact Nextrio at (520) 545-7101 if you have any questions about topics related to IT, business computers, or corporate technology applications.

Why Are There Still Viruses in 2013?

Many users are not aware that viruses can still plague their personal or work computers. While increasingly advanced virus protection software coupled with professional IT services can protect computers from many attacks, innovative hackers can still create malicious programs that can wreak havoc on your systems. Here are some of the common reasons that people create viruses:

To Demonstrate Programming Skill

Often, viruses are merely the by-products of a talented programmer’s ego. Those who feel the need to demonstrate their prowess may create viruses to sneak by even the most powerful anti-viral software, for no other reason than personal satisfaction. Some of these viruses are merely annoying, while others can wreak havoc on your data.

To Perpetrate Identity Theft

Because people frequently make purchases online, credit card numbers, addresses, and even social security numbers may be stored in auto-complete data on your web browser. Also, viruses can be designed to intercept data you send to online merchants, which unscrupulous hackers can then use to steal your identity and make purchases with your credit cards.

To Engage in Illegal Downloading

Though the practice is illegal, many people still download copyrighted files including music, e-books, television episodes, and feature-length films. Because some companies have cracked down and sued online content pirates, smarter ones have begun to create viruses that allow them to download contraband content through your computer, so they themselves remain untraceable.

To Generate Revenue

Some viruses are more insidious—they may even pose as anti-viral programs, then provide fake alerts telling you that you have a virus and prompting you to pay for cleanup services. The creators of the virus then bill your card for the false product to make money for themselves.

 

Don’t lose your data to malicious software or fall victim to the so-called “Trojan horse” type computer viruses. With help from Nextrio, you can protect your business computers against this type of program. To learn more about our comprehensive, fully managed IT services, including safe cloud computing, call us today at (520) 545-7101

Access Your Microsoft Office Files on Your Mobile Device

In today’s fast-paced business world, it’s important to have instant access to all your documents no matter where you go. Because you don’t always have time to boot up your laptop and connect to a WiFi network, mobile connectivity is often crucial.

With Documents To Go Premium, you can access Microsoft Office files directly from your iPhone or iPad. Whether they are spreadsheets or Word documents, all your files are right at your fingertips, complete with editing and cut and paste capabilities.

This is just one of the many cloud-based business computing solutions that Nextrio can help you implement for your business. To learn more about our IT services, give us a call today at (520) 545-7101.

The Risks of Having Company Email on Your Personal Phone

As businesses become increasingly reliant upon digital data and cloud-based IT management, more and more workers are beginning to access company data, including email, from their personal mobile devices. While this is a convenient way to stay in the loop while you are out of the office, it may have unpleasant consequences that you don’t expect, including:

Phone Confiscation

If you company needs access to your data for legal reasons, and you have a company email account on your personal phone, corporate lawyers may be able to force you to surrender your phone to a court. Because of various legal and bureaucratic processes, you probably won’t get your device back for weeks or even months after it is confiscated.

Data Discovery

Once your personal phone is in the hands of a court or other legal entity, it can be searched for any and all relevant data that may pertain to the case in question. Your personal phone calls, text messages, and even photographs may be available to scrutiny, depending on the severity of the litigation involved. This can apply even if you have merely synced your personal phone to your company computer and shared contacts between the two devices.  

Information Loss

While they are searching your phone for relevant data, authorities are not obligated to take care of your personal information. If you have personal emails, photographs, or other irreplaceable files in your phone’s memory, you may find upon the device’s return that all this information has been erased by the officers of the court or the company lawyers. On the other hand, if you are an employer who allows employees to use their own devices, you can lose valuable information if you cannot compel legally terminated employees to surrender the contents of their phones.

If you need help managing your company’s information technology needs, Nextrio can help. We provided complete managed IT services to companies of all sizes in Phoenix and Tucson. Schedule a consultation with us today by calling (520) 545-7191.

 

Learn More About Cloud Computing And IT Services At These Sites

Technology is growing and developing at an exponential rate these days, and business owners can sometimes feel overwhelmed when attempting to keep up with the latest technological developments and running their businesses at the same time. The articles below will help you stay informed about the latest trends in IT and cloud computing.

For more information about IT management services and cloud-based computing solutions for your business, call Nextrio today at 520-545-7100.

Stay Connected With Onvelop

Remote access to data is key for businesses with multiple locations, and for any company that does business in several cities or several states. When you are on the go, you need to be able to quickly and securely access your calendar, contacts list, and documents.

With Onvelop, you can access your full suite of Microsoft applications, including Lync, SharePoint, and Office 365, from any Android smartphone or tablet. Because this app uses device-level encryption, your sensitive data will be protected no matter where you choose to access it from.

Download Onvelop!

If you would like to explore implementing cloud-based data management for your business, call Nextrio today at 520-545-7100. We offer a variety of IT solutions for Tucson businesses of all sizes.

The Benefits of Managed IT Services

As technology develops at an ever-increasing pace, companies of all sizes have found that they need to find a way to effectively manage the large amounts of digital information that they amass. As purchase orders, invoices, contracts, and other types of documents migrate from the paper realm to the digital realm, businesses find themselves increasingly burdened by information technology management. Contracting with a third party that offers managed IT services provides your business with the following benefits:

Reduced Expenses

In the vast majority of cases, managed IT services are less expensive for a small business than hiring IT staff. Staff members must be put on the payroll, and you will have to offer them the same benefits you provide to your other employees. Also, depending on the size of your business, you won’t require IT service each and every day, so it makes sense to keep costs down by hiring an outside service.

Professional Expertise

The technicians who provide your managed IT services are professionals whose only duties are to service businesses like yours, and make sure that your computer hardware and software are performing as well as they should. Although some smaller businesses leave IT duties to employees with working knowledge of computers, these employees rarely have the in-depth skills and knowledge that come with years of IT-specific experience and training.

Increased Productivity

Ultimately, whether you are in the construction industry, the catering business, or the manufacturing business, your focus is on delivering quality products and services to your customers. If you have to spend time troubleshooting an overheating computer or figuring out a software glitch in your invoice management database, you won’t have as much time to provide the quality service that will build your brand and maintain your reputation.

Nextrio, a Tucson based IT business, offers managed IT solutions for a variety of companies across many different industries. To set up a consultation with us, call 520-545-7100 today.

Why Cloud Computing Is the Next Big Thing

In the early days of computing, sharing documents digitally was a tedious and laborious process. Before the widespread use of the Internet and email, you had to save a file to a physical disc to transport it to a computer outside your local area network. Even with email, document sharing can sometimes be problematic, especially if you and your recipient are running different operating systems or using different versions of the same software. Cloud computing eliminates most of these difficulties, and offers many other advantages:

Increased Shareability

Although almost every computer can read a Microsoft Word document these days, you may lose some important formatting if you attempt to open a file created with a newer version of Word on a computer that is running an older version. Cloud-based services such as Google Drive allow you to instantly share a document, any virtually any computer with a web browser will be able to view it instantly.

Enhanced Collaboration

In order to make group edits to large text documents or spreadsheets, companies used to have to send out mass emails to employees, who would then edit the file on their own computer and forward the latest version to everyone. Naturally, this imprecise method of working can cause minor edits to become lost in the shuffle. With cloud computing, multiple users can simultaneously edit one document from multiple computers, or even multiple locations—you could collaborate with a colleague in another state from the comfort of your local office.

Improved Data Security

When you store all your data on local servers or hard drives, you are still vulnerable to data loss should your hardware fail. Cloud-based servers, however, are often backed up in multiple physical locations on advanced, high-capacity hardware owned by professional multinational corporations.

If you would like to set up cloud-based document and information management systems for your company, call Nextrio today at 520-545-7100. One of our specialists can speak with you about implementing cloud-based information technology for your business.

Tips for Growing Your Business

Contrary to popular belief, it is still possible for your business to grow in a lean economy. All you need are some foolproof tips and a drive to make your dreams for your business become reality. All businesses have different needs, but here are two foolproof ways that will help any company expand, no matter what its industry:

Stay Competitive By Using Technology

There are countless ways you can use technology to keep your business competitive, and one of the best of these is having a contemporary, up-to-date website. In today’s Internet-connected society, a website can help you improve communications, allow sales to be conducted 24 hours a day, and boost visibility. You can also utilize cloud computing to help you better store data at a much lower cost than in-house services, or invest in smartphones or tablets to help your employees stay in touch while traveling. From a software standpoint, countless applications can help you streamline your daily business proceedings, including email, time tracking, budgeting spreadsheets, and advanced calendar systems.

Create a Solid Marketing Plan

Every entrepreneur has a goal that he or she aspires to see his or her business reach and exceed. In order to make this a reality, a business needs a marketing plan that will help it expand into new markets and thrive. Your business’s marketing plan should begin with your goal, such as a certain amount of revenue, more customers, or an expansion into new sales territory. You should also include steps that you plan to take to reach the goal and the cost associated with each. Some steps you might consider include hiring a public relations contractor, redesigning your website, or starting up social media accounts.

For over 10 years, Nextrio has helped business owners in Tucson and beyond grow their businesses with the latest IT technology. We are proud of our track record of overwhelming success and impeccable customer service. To learn more about how our solutions can help you grow your business, call us at (520) 545-7100.

More About Growing Your Business And Cloud Computing Can Be Found At These Sites

Every business owner wants to see his or her business not just grow, but thrive. You can learn more about how you can make this happen at your business by checking out the information at the sites listed below.

  • Check out this page from the Small Business Administration to find out how entrepreneurs can use technology to help their businesses prosper.
  • Visit Trend Micro’s blog for a look at five myths surrounding cloud computing.
  • Explore the benefits of cloud computing for small businesses when you read this article from USA Today.
  • Entrepreneur.com has an article explaining how to create a good marketing plan, which is essential to growing a business.
  • If your business has a product that you think the government might be interested in, read this article from Inc.com to learn how you can secure a lucrative government contract.
  • To learn how you can use IT services and computer support to your business’s advantage, call Nextrio at (520) 545-7100.

Access SBA Programs and Resources on Your Smartphone

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has a wealth of great resources that are invaluable to small-business owners across the country. If you happen to have an Android smartphone, you can now access these great offerings from anywhere with a great new app.

The SBA Gems app gives business owners the ability to access and utilize all of the programs and resources that the SBA has to offers through their Androids. Features include a search engine for grants and loans, SBA office locator, recommended sites database, and other helpful components.

Another great way to help your business grow is to contact Nextrio of Tucson. Our experts will help you identify the solutions that will take your business to the next level. Call us at (520) 545-7100 for more information.

Check out the SBA Gems app.

4 Facts About Cloud Computing All Small Business Owners Should Know

Cloud computing is rapidly gaining popularity as a convenient and economical alternative to in-house data storage. The benefits that cloud computing can offer any company are quite impressive, but for small businesses, the benefits are nothing short of astounding. Read on to learn more about how cloud computing can help your small business:

Saves Money

Cloud computing utilizes a near-infinite virtual space to store data, applications, and software. This is in stark contrast to in-house data storage, with which you will need to constantly buy newer and bigger hardware devices to accommodate growing amounts of data. This can add up to be a huge expense, especially compared to cloud computing’s reasonable monthly subscription fee.

Ensures Security

While you may have a hard time adjusting to the idea of sending your sensitive information to a third-party cloud computing company, this is actually very secure. Cloud computing companies go to great lengths to ensure that you, the client, can feel comfortable trusting them with your data. Everything you upload is encrypted and secured within the cloud, making it just as safe as in-house storage, and in many cases even safer.

Boosts Productivity

Cloud computing’s secure nature means that your business can still operate even after a disaster. For example, cloud computing stores all your data virtually, so there is no chance that it could be stolen in the event of a break-in or lost if something were to happen to your building. By ensuring that your employees can always access everything they need to work, your productivity levels will still be consistent.

Provides Mobility

Numerous cloud computing companies offer mobile access to stored data, recognizing the active nature of business dealing. With this handy service, you can access your cloud from anywhere in the world and pull up data right when you need it most.

Nextrio of Tucson offers quality cloud-computing services for small- to medium-sized businesses throughout the Southwest. We can help you identify the best cloud service for your business, and if you can’t find anything you like, we’ll even build one for you from scratch. Call us today at (520) 545-7100 to set up a consultation.

Save Money with Cloud Computing

Businesses produce a great deal of data that must be saved, and an excess of data creates a need for efficient storage methods. One such method that has gained popularity is cloud computing, which stores information virtually and at a very reasonable cost. Read on for a look at just three of the many ways cloud computing can save you money:

Lower IT Expenses

The alternative to cloud computing is storing all of your data on hardware, such as external hard drives. However, these machines can only hold so much data, and you will constantly have to buy more and more as each device fills up. As you do this, the used-up machines will simply take up space. Cloud computing, being a virtual storage system, does not require a great deal of specialized equipment and has an almost infinite capacity for data.

Greater Flexibility

Rather than spending a fortune on a monstrous external hard drive for your small business that you may never use, you can buy cloud-computing space to match your business’ size. For example, if your business is just starting up, you can purchase a reasonable amount of storage space, such as 16GB. As your business expands and outgrows its 16GB capacity, you can simply add more space a little at a time to match its needs. This is much more economical than constantly buying hardware.

Lower Power Cost

An in-house data-storage system can eat up a huge amount of bandwidth and electricity, especially when you consider the fact that some of your servers will not be used and simply waste energy. Cloud computing is conducted efficiently from a remote location, and because a provider’s clients all share a portion of the total energy cost, the savings is quite noticeable.

Every business requires a different solution for its cloud computing needs. That’s why Nextrio of Tucson offers a number of flexible cloud computing plans at a very reasonable price. We also offer expert IT management, strategy planning, and other services to ensure that your business is always on top of the latest technology. Call (520) 545-7101 to speak with one of our friendly representatives.

Download This App to Work Remotely on Your Mac or PC

Mobile tablets like Android are a great way to work on-the-go, but they do not yet have the functionality and capabilities of computers. Luckily, there are several apps that you can use to solve this problem.

PocketCloud is an easy-to-install app that allows you to connect to and use your Mac or PC remotely. This allows you to access all of the important files and applications on your computer, no matter where you are. Click the link to learn more about this exciting tool.

Nextrio has been Tucson’s leading IT solutions provider for more than a decade. To speak with a member of our team about your business technology needs, call us at 520-545-7101 today.

Do You Know These Outlook Tips and Tricks?

As one of the most commonly used email applications for business, a solid understanding of Microsoft Outlook goes a long way in the workforce. There are many lesser-known tips and tricks of Outlook you can learn easily and impress even your boss. Here are just three to get you started:

Save Attachments with a Single Click

Rather than wasting time tracking down and opening every attachment individually, Outlook lets you save your attachments with just one click. All you have to do is hold down the Ctrl key when you click EZDetach button in the Outlook toolbar. Your selected attachments will automatically save. This can save a great deal of time, especially when working with multiple emails.

Store Outlook Messages on a CD or DVD

CDs are great storage devices for emails that must be saved for future reference, but are not worth the space they take up on an overloaded computer. The MessageSave button on the Outlook toolbar allows you to store individual emails as files on a CD or DVD, as Outlook cannot export actual emails. Your emails will be archived as files on the disk, at which time you can organize them however you would like. You can also use MessageSave to store important emails as files on your computer.

Save Sent Files in Different Outlook Folders

Outlook automatically saves sent emails in the “Sent” folder. However, some sent emails are important enough to have their own folder for later access, such as those sent to important customers or regarding a specific matter. The SimplyFile application in the toolbar allows you to organize your sent emails however you would like, and can also remember filing patterns to save you time. SimplyFile can be downloaded for free off of the Internet.

If you want to get a better understand of business technology like Outlook for your employees, your coworkers, or just yourself, call Nextrio of Tucson at (520) 519-6301. From strategic planning to cloud computing, our IT experts can help solve all of your toughest technology needs. You can also visit our website to sign up for our upcoming Outlook workshop on February 22.

For More On Outlook And Cloud Computing, Visit These Sites

Microsoft Outlook and cloud computing are two of the best-known business technology solutions. Outlook’s easy-to-understand email system and cloud computing’s huge economic benefits have been helping businesses save time and money for years. Learn more about these solutions by following these links:

  •  Learn some helpful tricks to using Microsoft Outlook at TechHit.com.
  •  SAP.com has a blog entry about the potential financial savings of using cloud-computing technology over hardware.
  •  The benefits of using cloud computing for data storage are huge. Learn about five of them when you read this article from WebRoot.com.
  •  Microsoft Office has a page where you can look up all of Outlook’s timesaving keyboard shortcuts.
  • Government IT contractor NJVC conducted a study to determine if the economic benefits of cloud computing are worth it over the long run. Check out their executive summary at Forbes.com to see their conclusion
  •  For more helpful information on Outlook, cloud computing, and other technology solutions, contact Nextrio of Tucson at 520-545-7101 or visit us on the web.

IT Trends and Solutions for Small Business

Our recent blog posts covered the top technology trends for 2013 as well as Microsoft Excel tips for beginner users. Read more about these topics at the websites below:

  • Social Media Today shares key business strategies and trends for 2013.
  • Has your small business adopted cloud technology yet? This Information Week post shares five cloud application trends to watch out for in the coming year.
  • Save time with these Excel tips and shortcuts from Techradar.com.
  • Sales of tablets are set to outpace sales of notebook computers in 2013. Find out more about this trend in Silicon Valley Business Journal.
  • Read about Nextrio’s recent case competition for MBA and Master’s MIS students at the University of Arizona.

To truly leverage technology for your Tucson business, contact the IT experts at Nextrio. Call us today at (520) 519-6301.

3 Microsoft Excel Tips for Small Businesses

Every executive and administrative employee should have a good handle on how to use Microsoft Excel. Today, small businesses use Excel to manage databases, financials, project workflow, and much more.

Knowing how to organize and manipulate data in Excel can save time and reveal valuable insights that drive your organization’s strategy. Below are our top three tips for small businesses looking to learn Excel in 2013:

 

1. Be Consistent

When managing large sets of information in Excel, it’s best to come up with standard names for what’s in each cell or column. For example, if you are using Excel to manage a mailing list, you may want to always name your address fields “Address1,” for the street address and “Address2,” for an accompanying unit number. Consistent field names and formatting allow you to more easily combine and segment lists into new files.

 

2. Break Data Down into Fields

A good rule of thumb in Excel is to separate out information into the most specific fields possible. Many times, people new to Excel will combine first and last names into one single field. This can be a problematic choice if the user wants to sort by last name in the future. When in doubt, separate it out! It is easy to combine two cells using a quick CONCATENATE formula, but it is much more difficult to break apart information housed in one cell.

 

3. Learn Your Go-To Formulas

Do you ever find yourself wishing that two Excel sheets could talk to each other, or that you could filter certain information out of a column? Microsoft Excel is so robust, that many times you will find a formula or feature that meets your needs. To discover new tricks, use the built-in formula bar to look up common functions or go to Microsoft’s site. A quick Google search can turn up helpful video and blog tutorials as well.

 

Is your Tucson organization taking full advantage of today’s cutting-edge software and IT capabilities? To find out how you can streamline your business and increase productivity in 2013, contact the experts at Nextrio. We have years of experience assisting Tucson businesses with technology needs. Call us today at (520) 519-6301 or visit us online.

A Handy File Viewer for The iPad

Have you ever needed to open a file for work on your iPad? Perhaps you’ve incorporated an iPad into your workplace setting and need to access a variety of files formats each day.

If you use an iPad for business, then check out this useful app, File Viewer XL. This application allows users to open and view a variety of file formats right on an iPad. Presentations, videos, text documents, and spreadsheets can all be downloaded and viewed in a user-friendly PDF format. This application can really enhance your iPad and keep you connected and informed when you’re on the go.

Read more about using iPads and tablets in the workplace on the Nextrio blog. Give our friendly IT experts a call today at (520) 519-6301. We can develop software and IT solutions for your Southern Arizona business.

4 Small Business Technology Trends for 2013

Right after the New Year, we noticed an uptick in blog posts and articles forecasting technology trends for 2013. So what does the year ahead have in store for personal and business technology?  Below we’ll highlight a few of our favorite predictions for 2013:

 

1. Increased Tablet and Smartphone Use for Business
Along with other tech industry predictions, TechRadar.com believes that business computing will evolve to include more tablets, phones, and devices other than personal computers. There are many applications for tablets and smartphones in a small business setting, and in 2013, small business owners should consider adding different hardware to the mix. To get started, here are some recommendations on managing the use of personal devices in the office.

 

2. Better Leverage of Data and Analytics

 Gartner Inc. announced its top 10 strategic technology trends for the coming year. We’d like to call out trend number seven: actionable analytics. Many small businesses use software like Google Analytics or Salesforce, which collect huge swaths of data. Yet small business owners do not take advantage of the data insights these applications offer. Business owners that use data and analytics to drive strategies and foster growth will stay ahead of the curve in 2013.

 

3. More Human IT Professionals

At Nextrio, we’ve always taken pride in the fact that our IT experts are personable and business-savvy. This makes it easy for our team to communicate with clients and find solutions that really work for Tucson small businesses. That’s why we were happy to see trend number four listed as, “IT’s Human Side,” in ITBusinessEdge.com’s slideshow. We agree that IT professionals need to focus on end users and get them involved in the process in order to build successful IT solutions.

 

4. Telecommuting Goes Mainstream

Wide adoption of cloud-based collaboration tools and desktop virtualization software allows workers to get their jobs done anywhere and anytime. In a post on 2013 business trends, the OPEN Forum calls out this change and predicts that remote workers will become more mainstream. Small businesses that adopt a more flexible telecommuting policy may see increased productivity, improved morale, and even more collaboration using video conferencing and document sharing tools!

 

What is your small business resolution for 2013? If you want to improve the way your Tucson organization uses technology in the workplace, then call Nextrio at (520) 519-6301. Our friendly IT professionals can help your business stay on top of technology trends!

 

Check Out These Links For More IT Tips

IT security is a paramount concern for any business, but you don’t necessarily have to be computer-savvy to safeguard your information.  Take a look at these resources about data security and malware to determine how to protect your assets:

 

  • Malware attacks cause billions of dollars of economic damage every year.  Just read through this article from ComputerEconomy.com to see the economic impact of malware over the past several years.
  • Malware is a generic term for a wide range of harmful programs.  Get more in-depth information about different types of malware and what they do with this helpful guide from LifeHacker.com.
  • The 2010 hack on the RockYou website was one of the biggest password leaks in history.  Take a look at this article from The New York Times to see the dangers of easy password policies.
  • Want more tips to keep your personal and professional data safe?  Read through this article from Swithced.com for a few simple data security tips.

 

Nextrio is an award-winning IT firm based in Tucson, AZ.  We specialized in creating custom IT solutions for a wide range of business models, including managed security and backups, cloud computing, desktop virtualization, and more.  Assess your business’s security needs with an IT specialist and call (520) 545-7100 or contact us online today.

A Mini-IT Glossary for Small Business Owners

Virtual security is a critical concern for businesses of all sizes, but the various abbreviations, acronyms, and other industry-specific IT terms are enough to confuse any casual computer user.  Fortunately, we’ve compiled some of the most common IT terms to help you articulate your business’s needs.

Apps: An abbreviation for “applications.”  Although apps are commonly used to refer to smartphone programs, the term can also be applied to desktop computer programs.

Backup: A backup is an archive of an entire hard drive or other critical data on a server or other external storage media.

Cloud: A “cloud” technically refers to any network which transmits information through a series of cables, router, switches, and servers—the Internet is a prime example.  Cloud computing services allow users to store and access data in a centralized network without the burden of additional hardware, and they can be Web-based, private, or hybrid.

Malware: Abbreviation for “malicious software.”  Malware programs vary widely in terms of design and execution, but they can monitor, steal, or otherwise corrupt sensitive data.  Common types of malware include viruses, Trojans, worms, and spyware.

Managed IT: Managed IT outsources critical IT services such as backup/storage, security, and servers, alleviating the overhead costs and liability of maintaining extra equipment.

Password Policy: An automated policy which prevents users from using overly predictable passwords, such as “password” or “123456.”

PCI Compliance: A procedure established by the PCI Security Standards Council which includes guidelines for user authentication, firewalls, antivirus, encryption, maintenance, and accounts handling.

Saas: Common abbreviation for “software-as-a-service.”  Various Web apps use this model such as e-mail providers, Google apps, or cloud-based storage.  These services are becoming extremely popular due to their scalability, speed, and low maintenance.

SSL Encryption: Abbreviation for “secure sockets layer,” an Internet security protocol which is used to authenticate business websites and encrypt connections.

Virtualization: Refers to the process in which a business’s data infrastructure is pooled and streamlined for maximum efficiency.

No matter what your IT needs are, we here at Nextrio can provide secure, customized IT services to meet your business’s needs.  Whether your priorities lie in data security, workflow management, or network design, we can help.  Call (520) 545-7100 or contact us online today.

SSL Certificates Explained

 

The Internet enables virtually any business to market their products globally, but how do you ensure that your customers’ information stays protected?  Through SSL certificates.  Take a look at this video for a brief description of how SSL provides security for both you and you customers.

SSL, or secure socket layer, is security protocol which performs two functions: authenticating your website as a legitimate business, and encrypting connections between the customer and your server.  This prevents unauthorized parties from accessing sensitive information such as order details, shipping info, or credit card numbers.

Nextrio is an award-winning IT services provider for more than 1,000 small and medium-sized businesses throughout the Southwest.  Based out of Tucson, AZ, we’ve been repeatedly recognized for our customized approach to IT solutions and commitment to community outreach.  Contact us online or call (520) 545-7100 today for more information.

How to Keep Your Customer Data Secure

Online security is a major concern for any business, but how do you protect your customers’ information from a myriad of online hazards?  According to ComputerEconomics.com, malware attacks cost an estimated $13.3 billion in 2006 alone.  Fortunately, you can take steps to keep both your employees and your customers’ information safe with these tips below:

Secure your Connection

SSL certificates are issued by an authorized web services company.  This SSL certificate verifies your organization and encrypts information sent to and from your server.  However, SSL certificates are only a small part of PCI (payment card industry) compliance.  PCI guidelines also require organizations to protect stored customer information and prevent unauthorized access.

Manage Customer Information

Legal restrictions may require you to store customer information and protect it from unauthorized access for a finite period of time.  Fortunately, outsourcing data storage and backups can help you control overhead costs without compromising security, since all of the equipment and software is maintained by third-party IT service providers.

Follow General Security Tips

Simple passwords are one of the easiest ways to compromise security for both business end-users and consumers.  After a 2010 hack on the RockYou website released 32 million passwords, studies showed that as much as 20% of users chose from a small pool of only 5,000 passwords, some of the most common passwords being variations of “123456789” and first names.  Instituting a password policy for employees and consumer accounts is a simple way to avoid potential trouble.

 

Nextrio is an award-winning IT organization specializing in a wide range of IT management services, including desktop virtualization, cloud computing, data security, online backups, and more.  Nextrio is based out of Tucson, AZ, and we serve more than 1,000 SMBs throughout the Southwest.  Let us design customized IT solutions for your business and call (520) 545-7100 or contact us online today.

Nextrio Network Design Case Competition for MIS Students

For the second year in a row, Nextrio, founded by Eller Executive MBA alumna Cristie Street, sponsored a network design case competition for MIS Master’s students at the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Business.  The competition was part of the MIS 543 Business Data Communications and Networking class.

Classroom theory was combined with practical application by using a real-world complex business problem provided by Tucson non-profit Pima Council on Aging (PCOA).  80+ master’s students were divided into teams and were assigned to come up with the best networking solution for PCOA.

The team’s solutions included customized software and networking recommendations, strategies for data backup, remote access and disaster recovery – all while taking costs into consideration.  The student teams presented their results to a judging panel of local professionals on November 30, 2012.

 

How to Use Tablets in the Workplace

Many consumers use tablet computers to play games, view pictures, and watch movies. But these amazing devices have many capabilities beyond amusement and recreation. Companies of all sizes, from small local businesses to Fortune 500 corporations, are integrating tablets into their IT infrastructure. Whether you choose the iPad, the Nexus, the Galaxy, or the Playbook for your business, you can use tablet computers to:

Streamline Meetings

Providing employees with company tablets can help keep everyone on task during meetings. Rather than printing out stacks of documents, simply email them to all the attendees, and they can view them on their tablet. Most tablets also have a variety of note-taking applications, so users can quickly jot down ideas while still viewing common content. Certain tablets and programs allow instant collaboration, so users can comment on a document during the meeting.

Manage Files

Cloud-based business computing allows you to access the programs and files you need from anywhere, on any device—including a tablet computer. Viewing and editing content is much easier on a tablet than on a smartphone, and tablets are much more portable than laptops. During long flights and business trips, a tablet allows you to easily access your data, and even create new documents and answer emails.

Engage Customers

No matter what product you manufacture or what service you provide, you can capture customers’ attention through tablet-optimized content. Equip your salespeople with tablets and they can instantly present photos and videos related to your business to potential customers on the go. Conducting off-site sales is also easy with a tablet. Applications allow you to accept payments at any location where you have an internet connection.

To explore the full range of productivity and sales advantages that tablets can bring to your company, consult the IT experts at Nextrio of Tucson. We can help you find innovative ways to integrate these devices into your business. Give us a call today at (520) 545-7100 and we will help you choose the brand of tablet that’s right for your business needs.

Get More Tech Tips for Your Business With These Links

Technology can make every aspect of your business easier. Sales, communication, and data management can be hassle-free with modern computing solutions. Read these articles to find out more about how new hardware and software can benefit your business:

The Tucson-based IT specialists at Nextrio can help you set up new hardware or software solutions for your business, and even train your employees to use these items quickly and efficiently. Consult with us now by calling (520) 545-7100.

Why You Need a Tablet for Business

Tablet computers are more than just hi-tech toys—in the right hands, these devices can be powerful tools for your business. All tablet operating systems can run apps that enhance key aspects of any business, from external sales to internal paperwork.  

Join the majority of Fortune 100 companies and start using tablets today. Never spend money on costly brochures or flyers again—you can instantly deliver high-quality, portable content to every single salesperson or employee who uses a company tablet. Watch the video below for more ideas on how to use tablets in your business.

If you would like to launch a tablet program for your company, call Nextrio of Tucson today at (520) 545-7100. Our IT professionals can equip your employees with the skills and hardware they need for maximum productivity in the digital age.  

A Guide to Using Google Products for Business

In today’s cloud-based computing world, you no longer need to install programs on specific computers to keep your data safe and secure. Google offers a comprehensive suite of office products that can streamline your IT infrastructure. These programs work on most computers, tablets, and smartphones, which allows you and your employees secure access to data from any location. Read on to find out what these Google apps can do for your business:

Gmail

Millions of people around the world already use personal Gmail accounts because Google has designed the interface to be intuitive and user-friendly. When you sign up for Google Apps, you will be able to assign a custom domain name to your Gmail, so everyone at your company has a recognizable, standardized email address: employeename@yourbusiness.com. Co-workers can initiate text and video chats right from their inbox for instant feedback and communication.

Calendar

You can share Google calendars with every user in your company so that all employees can instantly see when their co-workers and supervisors are available for meetings. Now you can always know where everyone is during business hours. Google calendars can also automatically cross-reference everyone’s schedule to suggest optimal meeting times. This feature is indispensable when employees travel to different time zones and need to remotely connect to online staff meetings.  

Drive

Google Drive offers quick, accessible, and collaborative document creation. Instantly create charts, spreadsheets, and presentations, which are automatically backed up to the cloud for security and safety. Multiple users can simultaneously edit the same document from any computer, smartphone, or tablet, allowing easy collaboration even when telecommuting. Google Drive also supports uploads, so you can work offline and then consolidate your documents when you’re connected again.

Nextrio can help you set up Google Apps for your business. We offer a variety of IT support solutions so you can run your company effortlessly. Call us at (520) 545-7100 to learn more about our technology services.

More Business IT Tips

For More Business IT Tips Visit the Following Websites

There are numerous ways you can use technology to streamline business operations. In order to successfully harness the newest innovations, you should consider getting help from a team of IT professionals. For more information, call Nextrio at (520) 232-5419.

  • How can you keep your business’s data safe? This page from the Bureau of Consumer Protection has the answer.
  • An effective backup system can help protect files in the event of a system crash. Learn more at this page from ConsumerReports.org.
  • Are your business’s utility bills too high? Find out how to reduce them at this page from the U.S. Small Business Association.
  • Proper BYOD management is important for business security. Visit ComputerWorld.com for more information.
  • How can you reduce your business’s paper use? Find out at this page from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

5 B.Y.O.D Tips for Offices

Media Summary:

http://youtu.be/Ia4D8u_shCQ

5 B.Y.O.D Tips for Offices

Allowing employees to bring their own devices to work is a great way to save on hardware and streamline operations. However, it can also create a number of IT problems if improperly managed.

In this short video, an IT expert offers a few pieces of advice for BYOD businesses. First, he says it’s important to create a policy that applies to everyone. He also says your BYOD policy should be employee-driven, so as not to burden the IT crew. Lastly, you should have a way to revoke access to a device in case it gets stolen.

If you’d like your employees to start bringing their smartphones and tablets to work, contact the IT experts at Nextrio. We’ll gladly help you put together a sensible BYOD policy that will help your Tucson business thrive. Call us today at (520) 232-5419 to get started.  

How to Better Manage B.Y.O.D (Bring Your Own Device) IT Risks

Smartphones have become more than amusing diversions—businesses all over the country are discovering their potential for enhanced productivity. That said, the concept of “bring your own device”—also known as BYOD—comes with its fair share of risks. Luckily, you should be able to mitigate or eliminate these risks with clever IT management.  

Creating a policy

Before you permit employees to bring their smartphones to work, you should first lay down a specific set of rules. A good BYOD policy should indicate which devices employees can bring, which applications they’re permitted to use, and other important factors. Since creating a BYOD policy is tricky business, you should enlist the help of a skilled IT professional.

Preventing attacks

If you’re not careful, bringing in dozens of new devices can compromise your business’s security. Since your employees may also use their devices in their personal lives, there’s some risk of cyber-attacks. Still, you should be able to minimize these attacks with a strict security policy and effective security software.

Backing up data

Since smartphones, tablets, and other BYOD devices are portable, they’re in constant risk of breaking or getting lost. Once a BYOD device is compromised, the user could lose many important files. Luckily, a smart BYOD strategy and backup system can keep your data safe under any circumstances.

Revoking access

Though a BYOD strategy can be extremely beneficial, a device can also cause harm to your business if it falls into the wrong hands. In order to keep your important business data from your competitors, you should ensure every BYOD device is password protected. In some cases, you may even need to revoke access to devices independently.

Though the concept of BYOD may seem complicated, the IT experts at Nextrio can help your employees harness its power. We’ve been providing Tucson businesses with computer support services since 2002. If you call us today at (520) 232-5419, we’ll gladly lend our IT solutions to your business, too.

3 IT Tips for Reducing Paper Usage in Your Office

Though paper itself is relatively inexpensive, toner, ink cartridges, and printer maintenance can cost hundreds of dollars. Also, the more paper your business uses, the more of an impact you have on the environment. If you’re interested in saving money while reducing your office’s carbon footprint, you should consider these simple paper-saving tips:

Use data backups

Some businesses still prefer to print out every single document for their records. However, technology has given us much easier, cheaper, safer, and more compact ways of storing and organizing data. For example, you can keep important documents safe by storing them on external hard drives, online backup services, or both. For help finding the best backup solutions for your office, you should speak with an IT professional.  

Get a scanner

Copiers are one of the biggest culprits of excessive paper use. Luckily, a good scanner can help reduce the burden on your copiers and printers. Instead of making dozens of copies of a document, you should scan it once and send it to your coworkers as an electronic file. That way, they can still get all the necessary information without bringing paper into the equation. Since there are dozens of kinds of scanners out there, you shouldn’t have trouble finding the perfect one for your office.   

Print double-sided

Many people only use items once before throwing them away. If you’re printing on one side of your paper, for example, you’re using twice as much paper as necessary. One way to reduce paper use is to buy printers and copiers that print on both sides of the paper—another is to place used sheets of paper back into your machines and print on the other side before recycling.

Reducing paper is just one of the many ways you can streamline your business. For help exploring more sophisticated IT solutions, you should contact the computer support professionals at Nextrio. We’re proud to provide businesses throughout Tucson and the Southwest with the IT support they need to stay competitive in the 21st century. Call us today at (520) 232-5419 for more information.   

Business Technology And Productivity Tips

In our recent posts we’ve shared tips for better email management and reviewed the features of Microsoft’s SharePoint platform. To get more IT tips for your Tucson business, visit the links below. 

 

  • Read this Harvard Business Review blog post about fostering better teamwork in the workplace.
  • Learn more about SharePoint Online, Microsoft’s document sharing service than can make collaboration easier for your organization.
  • Are you constantly bogged down by your email inbox? PC Magazine shares eleven tips for better email management.
  • Visit this page from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to protect yourself from the latest e-scams.
  • If the daily deluge of emails overwhelms you, then seek help from this Psychology Today article.

For expert managed IT services in Tucson, call Nextrio at (520) 545-7100.

Take A Tour of Microsoft Outlook 2010

 

Email plays a large role in our everyday workflow, document storage, and project management.  Today, Microsoft Outlook 2010 makes it easier than ever to send, receive, and organize emails and stay on-track at work.

Users new to Microsoft Outlook, or just looking for a refresher, should watch this short video highlighting features in Outlook 2010. This video reviews Outlook’s interface, including the useful ribbon and conversation views, which make it easier to stay connected and in control. You can also see Outlook’s MailTips in action. This tool helps to prevent missteps by alerting users whenever they email third parties.

If you need help unlocking Outlook’s true potential, then contact Nextrio—a Tucson-based IT solutions company. Our experts will gladly help you and your employees use technology to streamline your business operations and stimulate productivity. Call us today at 520-545-7100 get started.

How to Overcome Email Overload

In today’s technology-driven business world, email dominates communication. It’s quick, easy, and versatile, but still causes its fair share of headaches. Though you may be able to get through dozens of emails in a day, dozens more go unanswered; meanwhile, coworkers, clients, and potential business partners grow impatient. Luckily, there are several ways you can overcome email overload:  

 

Set time aside for emails

Though you may be tempted to check your inbox throughout the day, doing so is an inefficient use of time. In order to give your emails the focus they deserve, you should schedule uninterrupted time for them each day. Doing so can vastly improve your organization, overall response time, and time management.

 

Create multiple folders

In a given day, you’ll likely get dozens of emails regarding several different subjects. In order to make this wall of communication seem less daunting, you should create a folder for each subject and organize your emails accordingly. That way, you can easily locate emails for future reference.

 

Unsubscribe to spam

Though many of your emails are relevant to work, you probably get quite a few spam emails from travel websites, political parties, non-profit organizations, and so on. In order to prevent your relevant emails from getting buried, you should either unsubscribe to these spam emails or keep them out of your inbox by marking them as spam.

 

Get to know your software

Every email program has features that make it easy to send, receive, and organize emails. For instance, Microsoft Outlook 2010 allows you to filter out redundant information in email discussions. In order to get the most out of your email experience, you should learn all you can about your email software—either from a tutorial or a computer support professional.

 

If you’d like to discover new ways for your business to effectively use technology, then contact the experts at Nextrio. Over the past decade, we’ve provided business IT services to more than 1000 organizations throughout Tucson and the Southwest. Don’t let your IT problems impact productivity—call us today at (520) 545-7100 for outstanding computer support.    

A Closer Look at Microsoft Office 365’s SharePoint Technology

Since its debut in 2011, Microsoft Office 365 has provided offices all around the world with a number of effective cloud-based services. For instance, Office 365’s SharePoint Technology makes it possible for workers to share documents and collaborate on important projects. If you’re interested in subscribing to SharePoint Online, read on to learn more about its capabilities:  

 

Sharing and managing documents

Like many of Office 365’s other features, SharePoint Technology operates in the cloud. With SharePoint Online, a team of coworkers can create a series of websites for easy project management and file sharing. Since documents live online, you can share them from the office, from home, or while on a business trip—the possibilities are endless. You can even manage some documents offline when you’re out of reach of a Wi-Fi hotspot.  

 

Encouraging project collaboration

SharePoint Technology promotes teamwork by making it easy for members of your organization to work on various projects simultaneously. If you’re trying to draft an important presentation, for example, you can open it up to others for real-time editing and feedback via SharePoint until you have a polished finished product. Since SharePoint operates online, you and your colleagues can telecommute or work from multiple locations.

 

Keeping people informed

SharePoint Technology is also an excellent means of conveying important information to colleagues, potential partners, and clients. Whether you’re looking to keep employees up to date on company news or inform customers of upcoming sales, SharePoint Online can help. Creating sites, coordinating project efforts, and posting relevant information are all exceedingly easy with SharePoint.

 

If you have any questions about SharePoint Online and other cloud-based services, contact the IT support specialists at Nextrio. From our headquarters in Tucson, we provide clear, effective computer support services for organizations throughout the Southwest. Technology should make life easier, not more difficult; if you’re having a tough time with your business IT, call us today at (520) 545-7100.

Desktop Virtualization And Data Security

Though technology has enabled businesses to do more, it’s also opened a new realm of possibilities to hackers and information thieves. If your company is going to update its network, you’ll need some of the best data security available. For more information, call Nextrio at (520) 545-7100.

  • Are you looking for ways to reduce your operating costs? Check out this page from BusinessWeek.com.
  • You never know when disaster will strike—that’s why it’s essential to keep your business data backed up at all times. Learn more at this page from Microsoft.com.
  • Desktop virtualization is one of the business world’s best kept secrets. Read this article from ZDNet.com to learn more.
  • Are you interested in VMware desktop virtualization? Find out how it can benefit your business at VMware’s official website.
  • In an age of advanced hackers, it’s important that you do everything you can to keep your data safe. Find out how to protect your information at this page from Time Magazine. 

How One Company is Using Desktop Virtualization

 

Many businesses today enjoy more streamlined computing through desktop virtualization. This technology gives businesses more flexibility and increases productivity by allowing workers to stay connected on-the-go.

In this short video, we get a look at how VMware desktop virtualization has revolutionized the way one law firm works. Though several of their branches have suffered difficulties over the years, desktop virtualization has allowed this business to grow. In the video you will see how virtualization also allows for greater flexibility and optimum energy efficiency.

If you’re interested in taking your business to the next level, contact the IT experts at Nextrio in Tucson. At Nextrio, we’re dedicated to providing reliable computer support and workable IT solutions to business throughout the Tucson area. Call us today at (520) 545-7100, and we’ll help prepare your company for the future.

The Business Benefits of VMware Desktop Virtualization

Over the past few years, businesses have updated their operations to center around sophisticated software and networks. One of the latest pieces of technology to hit the business world is VMware desktop virtualization.

Desktop virtualization basically allows an organization to update all computers from one central location. This setup also gives workers the ability to securely access their important files and applications from a mobile device or remote computer. Here’s a brief look at desktop virtualization and how it can benefit your business:

Reduced operating costs

Most office environments need several IT personnel buzzing around, configuring the network and addressing various computer issues. With VMware desktop virtualization, however, sophisticated virtual machine templates reduce the role of IT personnel, thus reducing labor and overall operating costs.  

Efficient system updates

Now that technology is advancing faster than ever, the average piece of software sees dozens of updates in a given year. Instead of updating each computer individually, VMware desktop virtualization allows IT administrators to instantly distribute updates through a network. It also bypasses the labor-intensive task of recoding applications in order to bring them up to the latest standards.    

Heightened data security

Unfortunately, software developers aren’t the only clever ones. There are many hackers out there who can jeopardize a business’ data and systems. Desktop virtualization can prevent malware and viruses while still giving employees full use of their applications. VM (virtual machine) files can also be encrypted to protected valuable company data.

Streamlined growth

Every time an office updates its computers and software, it experiences some lost productivity and down time. Luckily, VM files contain the appropriate operating system, drivers, and applications to get new computers up and running in no time. If you’re looking to expand your business quickly, you’ll find that VMware provides the means to do so.

 If you need help implementing VMware desktop virtualization, don’t hesitate to contact Nextrio the business IT experts in Tucson. We’re proud to provide our clients with a wide range of computer support and IT solutions. Call us today at (520) 545-7100 to get started.

Is Your Business Data Safe?

These days, few thieves are brazen enough to break into offices and steal valuable items. However, advanced computing techniques have shifted criminal activity to cyberspace, which in many cases leaves businesses even more vulnerable.

What would your organization do if client information, financial data, or intellectual property was stolen or lost from your servers? Luckily, there are a number of IT solutions that can help businesses defend their digital assets against disasters and criminal activities. Here’s a brief look at how you can keep your business data safe:

 

Preventing data theft

There are numerous websites that trick unwitting employees into downloading harmful malware and viruses. Though some of these attacks are meant to disarm networks, many are designed to steal information. By installing antivirus software and training your employees about safe internet practices, you can keep your data from falling into the wrong hands.

 

Post-disaster data recovery

Some might say that Mother Nature is the worst malware of all. Severe storms and floods during Tucson’s monsoon season and other natural disasters are known to destroy computers or cause power outages, jeopardizing vast amounts of data. The right backup systems can make your business data fully recoverable after even the worst disaster.   

 

Desktop virtualization

Constant antivirus updates are important for keeping your information safe from attacks. Unfortunately, updating every computer in an office can take a lot of time and effort. That’s why desktop virtualization is designed to provide updates to many linked computers at once. That way, you can keep your data safe without sacrificing productivity.  

 

Managed IT Services

Though sophisticated software is extremely helpful for keeping your data protected, nothing beats a personal touch. Luckily, computer support companies like Nextrio can provide your office with managed IT services. These services may include backup monitoring, data security, IT support, and employee training.

 

If you’d like to better protect your company’s valuable data, contact Nextrio in Tucson right away. From day one, you’ll notice how our computer support and IT services can help your business to run more smoothly. Call us today at (520) 545-7100 to get started.

Resources to Keep Your Business Technology Up-To-Date

Our recent blog posts have discussed common IT pitfalls and what to look for when purchasing new office computers. To learn more about keeping your business IT current, check out these helpful business technology resources from around the web:

 

Contact Nextrio for all of your business technology and computer support needs. Located in Tucson, we are one of the premier IT services company in the Southwest. For additional information about our IT services, contact us online or call (520) 545-7100.

What to Consider When Purchasing New Office Computers

Regardless of how many employees you have or the industry you work in, one of the most crucial steps you can take to help expand your business is to improve your company’s IT infrastructure. The better your company’s IT services and products are, the easier it will be for your organization to stay ahead of the competition in what is now the digital age. To begin, you will need to invest in new computers for the office.

 

Here are a few considerations to make while shopping around for new office computers:

 

  • Mobility – When purchasing new office computers, you will need to decide whether you want to provide your employees with laptop or desktop computers. The obvious advantage of laptop computers is the amount of mobility they offer. However, if you are concerned about your employees taking the computers home or using them for personal business while away from the office, consider desktop computers instead.

 

  • Performance – To ensure that your new office computers do not hamper employee productivity, look for a laptop or desktop that comes with enough power to run the latest software and apps. We recommend looking for computers that come with at least 4GB of DDR2 or DDR3 SDRAM and a Dual-core or Quad-Core CPU.

 

  • Storage – While looking for office computers, do not focus too heavily on the amount of internal storage space that a particular model comes with. That’s because a professional IT services company can provide you with managed backup and cloud computing services to ensure that all of your company’s vital information is securely stored in an off-site server.

 

If you’re not sure about which direction to go with your company’s new office computers, contact the IT professionals at Nextrio today. We offer individualized strategy planning to help your Tucson business make the best IT decisions. We also provide managed IT services and computer support to help your company stay updated. For more information about our IT services, contact our Tucson offices at (520) 545-7100.

How to Clear Your DNS Cache

If your net connection is working fine but you constantly encounter DNS errors or 404 pages in your browser, it might be time to flush your DNS cache. Your computer’s DNS cache is like a big digital telephone directory that stores the web address for sites you frequently visit. If one or more of these web addresses change, you may be unable to visit certain sites until you clear out your computer’s DNS cache. Fortunately, this process is not as difficult as it might sound.

This video demonstrates exactly what you need to do to flush out your computer’s DNS cache. Simply launch the command prompt and type in “ipconfig/flushdns.” After you press return, your computer’s DNS cache should be completely cleared out. It’s really that simple.

If you still encounter connectivity issues after clearing your computer’s DNS cache, contact the computer support professionals here at Nextrio. Based in Tucson, Arizona, Nextrio is the trusted IT advisor for more than 1,000 small- and medium-sized organizations throughout the Southwest. Contact us online or by calling (520) 545-7100.

Avoid These 3 Small Business IT Oversights

Running a small business is tough work. From scheduling employees and managing inventory to filling orders and dealing with customer complaints, small business owners have a lot to think about each day. Unfortunately, one of the most important factors of running a successful small business is oftentimes the most overlooked. IT services are what keep your business running smoothly, especially in today’s online world. And yet, it’s easy to overlook some of the crucial components of good small business IT.

To ensure that your company’s IT infrastructure is as strong as possible, here is a look at a few of the most common small business IT oversights that you should avoid at all costs:

 

  • Poor Security Measures – As a business owner, you take numerous precautions to ensure that your assets are safe. Unfortunately, one of your most important assets might actually be more vulnerable than you think. Your office’s computers and IT hardware are constantly at risk of being attacked by viruses and other online threats. Unless these valuable components are actively protected and monitored by an experienced IT services company, you may find them rendered useless by a computer virus or hacker.

 

  • Inadequate Data Backup – Even if your company’s data is protected against cyber-attacks and computer viruses, it may still be vulnerable. Most small businesses simply backup data directly onto office computers or external hard drives. Unfortunately, all of this valuable data can be lost completely in the event of a burglary or catastrophic hardware failure. Fortunately, a professional IT services company can safely and securely store all of your company’s data in the cloud, where it can be accessed whenever and wherever you need it.

 

  • In-House IT Support – One of the most unnecessary small business expenses is having an in-house IT support staff. By outsourcing your computer support needs to a managed IT services company, your company can save money without sacrificing security or performance. With all of the money you’ll save by outsourcing your company’s IT services, you can invest in new technology, new equipment, or even a new office. 

From data backup and computer security to company-specific IT strategy planning, Nextrio offers all of the IT services your small business needs to run smoothly. Based in Tucson, Arizona, Nextrio is one of the premier IT advisors in the Southwest. And with more than 1,000 small- and medium-sized clients, we are also one of the most trusted. To learn more about the IT services we offer, contact us online or call us at (520) 545-7100.

How Cloud And IT Solutions Can Streamline Your Business

Our recent blog posts have covered the timesaving features of Office 365 and how to establish a secure office password policy. To learn more about how to get your business IT up-to-date, contact Nextrio’s computer support experts at (520) 545-7100.

 

  • Check out this ComputerWorld.com article to find out why CIO’s believe that instant messaging will eventually replace email in the workplace.
  • This Entrepreneur article shows how cloud computing saved several businesses from the brink of extinction.
  • Find out more about how technology makes it possible to manage and communicate with remote workers.

How Microsoft’s Office 365 Can Improve Communication and Productivity

Office 365 is Microsoft’s cloud solution for business, allowing workers to access and share the tools and files they need from anywhere.  The cloud aspect of Office 365 means that applications like email or video conferencing, programs like Word and PowerPoint, and documents themselves are all hosted remotely on secure servers.

With a cloud solution like Office 365 in place, a business does not have to worry about running costly and troublesome in-house servers. Workers with Office 365 can access the tools and documents they need from any internet connection. Below, we’ll review four Office 365 features that can increase your company’s communication and productivity.

File Sharing

This feature allows teams to share and collaborate on documents in real time. Two colleagues can open and edit a document simultaneously. This eliminates the hassle of editing, saving, and emailing revised files back and forth between team members. Users can also set up a team site to manage all of the files, team members, and deadlines associated with a project.

Instant Messaging  (IM)

Instant messaging is the ultimate collaboration tool, allowing co-workers to connect any time they are online. IM can save workers time by allowing them to ask a colleague a quick question or share a link, without having to compose an email or get up and walk down the hall to another office. IM also gives remote workers a way to be ‘present’ and accessible without being at the office.

Online Meetings

Office 365’s online conferencing tool allows members of your team to hold face-to-face video or audio meetings from any location. This feature integrates with Outlook email and calendar and includes screen-sharing capabilities. Online conferencing is an excellent tool for organizations with remote workers or more flexible policies that allow employees to work from home. 

Mobile Apps

Office 365 allows you to take all of these timesaving and collaborative tools with you on your mobile device. Sales people or remote employees can stay productive by remaining connected to their company email, calendar, documents, and more from almost any mobile device.  

If you want to grow your business by increasing productivity and collaboration, get in touch with Nextrio in Tucson. Our computer support experts offer leading IT solutions that can help your business to work smarter. Visit us online, or call (520) 545-7100.

How To Hold Online Meetings with Office 365

Microsoft’s Office 365 is a suite of cloud-based business applications that can increase productivity and collaboration while virtualizing your office.

In this video, an Office 365 user shows viewers how easy it is to create and manage online meetings. The Office 365 meeting application integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Outlook. Users can create a meeting, add participants, and get a quick meeting link, all within the Outlook email client. Once inside a virtual meeting, users can share screens, add new participants with a drag and drop tool, and make any participant into the presenter.

To find out more about Office 365, contact Nextrio, Tucson’s leader in computer support and IT services. The experts at Nextrio can help your Tucson business adopt the latest IT solutions. Call us today at (520) 545-7100.

Does Your Office Have a Password Policy?

When you think of IT security, you may imagine invasive malware or spyware and wonder how an antivirus program can protect your business network from such threats.

Yet, there is an often-overlooked component of IT Security that starts with the computer users in your office. Think about your workplace and how much sensitive information and data resides on workers’ computers and within cloud-hosted documents.

What if information like your company financial statements, clients’ credit card information, or even sensitive intellectual property got into the wrong hands? The entire future of your organization could become compromised.  To protect against such risks, Nextrio suggests that businesses develop and enforce password policies. Read on below for more tips on how to create an office password policy:

Come up with a list of password best practices. Create a policy document and cull some of the best practices for secure password creation from thought-leaders on the Web. Some best practices include using seven or more characters and incorporating upper- and lower-case letters and numbers. Experts also recommend changing passwords every two to three months and avoiding series of numbers, like “123” or letter combinations that spell real words.

Educate employees about password security.

Distribute your password policy document to all employees. Take a few minutes at your next meeting to review the policy, stress why it is important, and answer any questions. If workers understand the risks of poor passwords, then they will be more likely to follow your new password guidelines.

Leverage built-in software security features. Most software today requires complex passwords with at least eight characters, one capital letter, and one numeral. Office 365, the cloud-based business productivity suite from Microsoft, includes a 90-day password expiration feature. This setting automatically prompts users to change their passwords every three months for heightened security. There are also tools like LastPass and OneLogin that can help users to manage all of their password needs securely in one place.

To learn more about keeping your Tucson business IT secure, contact the computer support experts at Nextrio. We can get your business IT and network security up-to-speed. Visit Nextrio online, or contact us today by calling (520) 545-7100.

Tech Solutions For Businesses

Our recent posts have described productivity-enhancing computer shortcuts and tips for safer internet usage. To learn more about these topics, visit the suggested resources below. For more information about improving your Tucson business IT, call Nextrio at (520) 545-7100

 

  • The efficient use of technology is essential for staying competitive in today’s business world. Learn more at this page from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
  • Microsoft Office has a number of shortcuts that make work even easier. Learn a few of these shortcuts at Microsoft.com.
  • Learn about the benefits of cloud applications for small businesses, with this article from SmallBizTrends.com.

Quick Windows and Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

There are only so many hours in a day. Today’s workers are being asked to do more with less resources and time. One way to increase your productivity at work is to learn useful keyboard shortcuts that can help you complete tasks more quickly. Below are a few common keyboard shortcuts that our computer support experts recommend:

 

  • Quick editing:     Document editing is generally a tedious process, no matter which way you cut it. Still, you can enhance the editing and formatting process with a few choice shortcuts. Windows users can cut selected text by pressing Ctrl + X, copy with Ctrl + C, paste with Ctrl + V, and undo an action with Crtl + Z. Editing shortcuts for Mac users are all the same, except instead of the Ctrl key, you use the ⌘, or command key.  
  • Quick research:     There are also a number of shortcuts to make web browsing go a lot quicker. For example, Ctrl or ⌘ + F can help you find a particular word on any web page, saving you the trouble of scanning the page yourself. Also, Ctrl or ⌘ + N instantly summons a new browsing window, while Ctrl or ⌘ + T pulls up a new tab.  When filling out online forms, hit the Tab key to jump to the next blank field.
  • Quick screenshots:     Taking a screenshot of your desktop can be very useful for explaining a problem to computer support or putting together an informative presentation. For Windows, taking a screenshot is as simple as pressing Alt + Print Screen and pasting the resulting image into Microsoft Paint. Mac users need to press Shift + ⌘ + 3, then save the screenshot as a file. To select only part of the screen, Mac users can press Shift + ⌘ + 4 and use the crosshairs to select the desired area.
  • Additional tips:     At first it may seem difficult trying to press all of the shortcut keys at exactly the same time. The most effective approach is to hold down Crtl or ⌘, then press the next key at your leisure.

 

If your business needs better computer support and IT solutions, then contact the experts at Nextrio. We’re happy to provide Tucson-area businesses with all the computer support they need—including user training, IT strategy planning, and managed IT. Call Nextrio today at (520) 545-7100, and we’ll help your Tucson business use technology more effectively.

Office 365 Overview

Has your business considered using Office 365, Microsoft’s cloud solution that allows workers to stay productive on-the-go or from home?

To get a closer look at the features of Office 365, check out this quick informative video. You’ll see how Office 365 incorporates the convenience and practicality of Microsoft Office products, with instant messaging, cloud-based document sharing, online meetings, video chat, and more. Office 365 is also reliable and secure, to ensure that your workforce stays productive and your data stays protected.

If your business is considering Office 365 or other cloud solutions, then contact Nextrio. We can help your Tucson business evaluate and install cloud solutions and assist with managed IT services. Call us today at (520) 232-5419 to get started.

 

How to Ensure Safe Internet Usage in Your Organization

Today’s office workers use the internet for a variety of tasks. Whether they are accessing vital cloud software applications, conducting research, or communicating with clients or remote colleagues, internet usage is a daily need.

With employees regularly accessing the web, how do you ensure that your company’s computers and network stay protected against online threats? Here’s a quick look at how an IT services company can help to ensure safe internet usage within your organization: 

 

  • Antivirus software:     Although hackers have designed sophisticated viruses, worms, spyware, and malware, antivirus developers have matched them stroke for stroke. Installing effective antivirus software on all of your system’s computers is the first step toward total security. An IT services company can suggest the right antivirus software to protect your network from malicious attacks and keep sensitive company information from falling into the wrong hands.   

 

  • Password protection:     Create a company password policy that requires employees to generate unique, complex passwords for their business accounts. This can ensure that proprietary or sensitive data stays secure. To enhance your password protection, have employees change their passwords regularly. Consider implementing password management tools, like LastPass to help streamline this process.

 

  • Internet usage policy:     Develop an organization-wide internet usage policy to set guidelines for appropriate browsing. Not only will this type of policy protect your computers and accounts from threats, it can also enhance productivity and protect against inappropriate or negligent online behavior. For guidance on putting together an internet usage policy, partner with your trusted IT solutions provider.

 

  • Training your coworkers:     In order to educate your employees about responsible internet usage and online security risks, have an IT services company provide on-site user training sessions. IT training can also help build a tech-savvy office culture!

 

If you need help with internet security for your Tucson business, then contact the experts at Nextrio. We provide Tucson businesses with top-notch computer support—including managed IT, cloud services, and much more. Call us today at (520) 545-7100.

What is Cloud Computing?

In this easy-to-follow video, cloud computing analyst Ben Kepes explains the basic concept behind cloud computing and why it has become such an indispensable tool for businesses and organizations everywhere.

Just as businesses were obliged to produce their own electricity until utilities sprang up to provide them with it, businesses were once forced to handle their own website and internal IT services. Today, cloud computing service providers can not only provide you with a server for your website, but also give you the server space you need to permit your business to operate efficiently.

Nextrio LLC is a computer support and IT services provider located in Tucson, Arizona. When you need cloud services for your business, contact us at (520) 545-7100 or visit our website to learn more about our range of IT services.

Nextrio’s Rounded Up These Business Technology Links Just For You

If you’re wondering how to make your organization run more efficiently, perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at your office’s information technology. For help understanding the core concept of IT organization and efficiency, check out these invaluable online resources.

If you’re looking for a dependable IT services provider in the Southwest, contact Nextrio today at (520) 545-7100.

The Benefits of Cloud Computing for Businesses

The advent of the computer age has given business owners powerful tools for streamlining office affairs. The most important of those tools is cloud computing.

The concept of cloud computing is simple. It involves a single network that enables you to access all the programs and information that you need. If you have used Gmail or Google Documents, you have used a cloud-based computer service. For an organization, the advantages of a cloud computing system include:

Fewer demands on you and your employees. Maintaining the level of hardware and software that your business needs—and buying the software and licenses your employees need to work—is a full-time job. A cloud computing system provides a Web-based host for those programs and applications and relieves the memory load that each individual computer at your business needs to carry. Instead of worrying about updating your applications and various servers, you can concentrate on expansion, innovation, and the day-to-day operation of your business.

More storage space. The amount of storage space available to a private computer system is inevitably limited, but the storage needs of expanding businesses can rapidly exceed those limits. By working with a company that specializes in IT services, you can always have access to more cloud server space if you need it.

Greater ease of access. Cloud computing networks allow you to compartmentalize your organization while still giving you immediate access to each component. Instead of running to different employees and departments when you need to access a certain program, you can access it all from any computer at work or home.

Are you looking for computer support in the Tucson area? Nextrio LLC is a privately held IT services provider serving more than a thousand organizations in the Southwest. Whether you need computer support or a complete IT services provider, we can help. To learn more about our services, call us today at (520) 545-7100.

3 Reasons To Invest In An iPad3

If there’s anything that the most successful businesses have in common, it’s efficiency. Smart business owners are continually looking for new and better ways to make their businesses run more proficiently, and this means paying attention to the latest technological innovations on the market that could help you streamline your IT system. The new iPad3 can enhance your business in a number of important ways:

  • Productive meetings are the backbone of any successful business or organization, but even the best ideas have a way of languishing on the smudgy notebook page where you took note of them. Having an iPad3 eliminates the need for taking notes; instead, you can use the iPad’s convenient dictation function to record all of your meeting’s best ideas as soon as you and your partners think of them.
  • The dictation function can be a great tool for sales representatives on the go. When you’re touring a trade show and talking to multiple people within the space of a few minutes, having an iPad3 handy means you can dispense with the hassle of writing notes to yourself. In addition, the iPad3 can serve so many purposes—from reading PDFs and commenting on them to giving presentations and holding webinars—that you can leave your laptop behind when you head out for your next business trip. It’s easier to carry than a laptop and you don’t have to plug it in as often. With some apps, you can even access your home or office computer’s desktop applications!
  • An iPad3 can even transform the way your business does point of sale. Instead of using traditional cumbersome POS equipment, you can do check out and send a wireless email receipt to customers. It’s the perfect tool for managing inventory, keeping a customer database, and organizing operations across multiple stores.

When you need IT services or computer support in Tucson or the surrounding area, contact Nextrio LLC. We are the sole IT services provider for hundreds of businesses and organizations around the Southwest. Our skilled engineers and technicians are friendly, knowledgeable, and professional. For more information about our services, call (520) 545-7100.

Nextrio Case Competition for MBA and Master’s in MIS Students

Nextrio, the Tucson-based IT company  founded by Eller Executive MBA alumna Cristie Street, approached faculty in the Business Communication and the MIS master’s  programs to sponsor a case competition. The Network Design Case Competition was  conducted in conjunction with a business workshop for local businesses in  November. Students were broken into teams and given a complex business problem.

The student teams were required to  form a solution to the problem, and present their results to a judging panel of  local professionals. “We were asked to provide a solution of networking  architecture for Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, including all the wired  network, software, hardware,” said Mengwen Chen, who, along with Mark Grimes, Naren Sulur, Surya Munukutla, and Steve Loitz, was on the winning team.

“We provided a solution that not  only satisfied the clients’ needs but also brought them added value,” Chen  said. The most important lesson learned from this case competition was teamwork:  “I learned that all members in the group have to cooperate well to win.”

Read more at http://www.eller.arizona.edu/buzz/2012/jan/connections.asp

IT Horror Story winner!

We have a winner! You, our Nextrio fans, voted and Dave Chojnacki of Signs Now is the winner with his entry “Packers QB Aaron Rodgers”. Congratulations Dave and have fun with your new iPad 2!

Since this year’s HalloWIN entries garnered so many votes (1,372 to be exact!), we thought a few additional awards were in order to recognize the creativity and dedication of our participants!
 
Geek’s Nightmare Award – “When Worlds Collide” (Windows for Mac) by Paul Rose of Film Creations, Ltd.

 Most Artistic – “Watch Out, Grasshopper!” by Tania Corliss of Munger Chadwick, PLC

Most Dramatic – “HanApple Lector” by Brian Darling of Fat Trees

Déjà vu Dedication Award – Cheryl Berry of Chapman Management Group and Claire Kyle of Horizon Moving (thanks for being on the ball the last two years!)
 
These entries received an honorable mention gift for their exceptional effort!  Check out these and all of the other great entries on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Nextrio.  We’re already looking forward to seeing what spooky surprises you come up with next year!

ITHorrorStory.com is ALIVE…again!

Feel like your computer has a personality all its own?  Put your PC or Mac’s best face forward… and help Nextrio celebrate Halloween (or as we call it – HalloWIN)!  Submit your computer costume photo through our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Nextrio) and you be the judge. The Tucson costume with the most votes wins a free Apple iPad 2!  Check out the Starter Images photo album on our page to get some ideas!

Nextrio Named to Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies

Inc. Magazine Unveils Its Annual Exclusive List of
America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies—the Inc.500|5000

Nextrio Ranks No. 4329 on the 2011 Inc. 500|5000
with Three-Year Sales Growth of 23%

NEW YORK, August 23, 2011Inc. magazine today ranked Nextrio NO. 4329 on its fifth annual Inc. 500|5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy—America’s independent entrepreneurs. Online retailer ideeli tops this year’s list. Nextrio joins Spirit Airlines, television maker Vizio, Honest Tea, Dunkin Donuts and Metrokane, makers of the Rabbit corkscrew, among other prominent brands featured on this year’s list.

 In a stagnant economic environment, median growth rate of 2011 Inc. 500|5000 companies remains an impressive 94 percent. The companies on this year’s list report having created 350,000 jobs in the past three years, and aggregate revenue among the honorees reached $366 billion, up 14 percent from last year.

 Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at www.inc.com/5000.

 “Now, more than ever, we depend on Inc. 500/5000 companies to spur innovation, provide jobs, and drive the economy forward.  Growth companies, not large corporations, are where the action is,” says Inc. magazine Editor Jane Berentson.

CONTACT:  
Cristie Street
Managing Partner, Nextrio
520-545-7110
cbs@nextrio.com

 

More about Inc. and the Inc. 500|5000

Methodology

The 2011 Inc. 500 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2007 to 2010. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2007. Additionally, they had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2010. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2007 is $100,000; the minimum for 2010 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. Companies on the Inc. 500 are featured in Inc.’s September issue. They represent the top tier of the Inc. 5000, which can be found at www.inc.com/500.

 About Inc. Magazine

Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures LLC, Inc.(www.inc.com) is the only major business magazine dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies that delivers real solutions for today’s innovative company builders. With a total paid circulation of 710,106, Inc. provides hands-on tools and market-tested strategies for managing people, finances, sales, marketing, and technology. Visit us online at www.inc.com.

About the Inc. 500|5000 Conference

 Each year, Inc. and Inc.com celebrate the remarkable achievements of today’s entrepreneurial superstars—the privately held small businesses that drive our economy. The Inc. 500|5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony brings together members of the Inc. community, both a new class of Inc. 500|5000 honorees and the list’s alumni, for three days of powerful networking, inspired learning, and momentous celebration. Please join us September 22–24, 2011, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, located minutes from downtown Washington, D.C. For more information about the 2011 Inc. 500|5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony and to register, visit www.inc500conference.com or call 866-901-3205.

Nextrio Recognized by CRN Magazine in top 250 IT Service Providers to watch

Nextrio Named to CRN’s Inaugural Next-Gen 250 List 

Ranking Highlights the Up and Coming VARS in North America

Tucson Arizona, August 23, 2011 Nextrio, Southern Arizona’s largest IT services firm, today announced Everything Channel has named the company to the first ever 2011 CRN Next-Gen 250 list.  The CRN Next-Gen 250 is an annual listing of innovative and nimble business and technology integrators, solution providers, and resellers in North America offering solutions and services in cloud computing, mobility, unified communications, virtualization and other emerging technologies. 

The CRN Next-Generation 250 list is comprised of the most exciting new solution provider organizations (founded 2000-2011) bringing new and emerging implementation ideas and business models to the market. “To be named one of the most exciting businesses in an industry known for innovations is a tribute to our staff and clients,” stated Cristie Street, Managing Partner, Nextrio.

 “In today’s competitive environment solution providers have to do more than just talk about innovation. The ability to quickly implement new processes, models and technologies is what drives margins and the bottom line,” said Kelley Damore, VP, Editorial Director, Everything Channel. “The CRN Next-gen 250 highlights the most interesting new solution providers who are demonstrating such innovation and uncovers the new techniques and technologies that are driving their success.”

Nextrio

Nextrio, LLC provides comprehensive Information Technology (IT) solutions for businesses.  Founded in 2002, Nextrio employs 30 technology consultants and has worked with over 1,000 companies in Southern Arizona.   www.nextrio.com

Everything Channel

Everything Channel is the premier provider of IT channel-focused events, media, research, consulting, and sales and marketing services. With over 30 years of experience and engagement, Everything Channel has the unmatched channel expertise to execute integrated solutions for technology executives managing partner recruitment, enablement and go-to-market strategy in order to accelerate technology sales. Everything Channel is a UBM company. To learn more about Everything Channel, visit us at http://www.everythingchannel.com. Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/everythingchnl.

UBM plc (www.ubm.com)

UBM plc is a leading global business media company. We inform markets and bring the world’s buyers and sellers together at events, online, in print and provide them with the information they need to do business successfully. We focus on serving professional commercial communities, from doctors to game developers, from journalists to jewelry traders, from farmers to pharmacists around the world. Our 6,000 staff in more than 30 countries are organized into specialist teams that serve these communities, helping them to do business and their markets to work effectively and efficiently.

Local IT hero honored on Tucson System Administrator Appreciation Day

TUCSON, Ariz. (August 3, 2010) – Nextrio, a Tucson based IT consulting firm, is pleased to announce that Jeff Strength of Tierra Right of Way Services, Ltd. has received the top award for 2011 Tucson Sys Admin Day. “We are happy to honor Jeff for his awesome IT accomplishments including successful updates, moves and support of an IT critical, multi-office business. Although the national appreciation day is only once a year, our team at Nextrio believes the geeks in shining armor should be celebrated every day,” stated Cristie Street, Managing Partner at Nextrio.

Nextrio sponsors the yearly event in Tucson in conjunction with the National System Administrator Appreciation Day, celebrated the last Friday of every July, www.tucsonsysadmin.com. System administrators are most often the person responsible for the daily operation of computer networks within an organization. As a member of the information technology department, the system administrator is responsible for troubleshooting and technical support, often under tight deadlines and in stressful situations.

About Nextrio

Nextrio, LLC provides comprehensive Information Technology (IT) solutions for businesses. Founded in 2002, Nextrio employs 30 technology consultants and has worked with over 1,000 companies in Southern Arizona. www.nextrio.com

Nextrio Finalist for BBB Ethics Award

May 12, 2011

By Alex Dalenberg, Arizona Daily Star

Nine local businesses were honored Thursday by the Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona at the organization’s annual Torch Awards, which were expanded this year to include more small businesses.

In addition to its annual Ethics Award, the BBB added two award categories this year, the Good Neighbor Award for community service and the Customer Excellence Award for customer service.

Bureau president Kim States said the awards were expanded to recognize smaller “Mom and Pop” businesses that may not have been able to participate in the lengthy application process for the Ethics Award.

“We really wanted to recognize more awesome small businesses that contribute a lot to our community,” States said.

This year’s award winners were:

  • Green Valley Cooling and Heating, which won the Ethics Award.  Nextrio and Tucson Coin and Autograph LLC were also finalists.
  • Raskob Kambourian Financial Advisors, which won the Good Neighbor Award.  National Bank of Arizona and 911 Collision Centers were also finalists.
  • Milex Auto Service Centers, which won the Customer Excellence Award.  Temco Air Environmental and Quik Mart were also finalists.

Information technology is an industry that has for the past 20 years been rapidly growing and evolving.  Tucson-based Nextrio has not only been able to keep pace with the growth of the industry, they’ve been able to distinguish themselves as one of Southern Arizona’s premier IT providers.  They’ve done this by providing top-notch service, and by earning their clients’ trust while holding themselves to the highest possible ethical standards.

Nextrio has built their business on trust.  Their clients trust that they are advocating for their technical business interests; their employees thrust the company will support and reward them for outstanding work.  Nextrio’s vendors, partners, and suppliers trust that they will be transparent and forthright in all their business dealings.

By always putting themselves in their clients’’ shoes during interactions with customers, Nextrio has successfully crafted a business model that leaves clients satisfied, and employees feeling  like they’ve been able to help someone.

Nextrio’s staff deals with some of their clients’ most sensitive issues – from human resources issues to financial disclosures – and it’s imperative that the company employ the utmost discretion with their clients’’ information.  The company believes that a true ethical compass is engaged in both public and private, and should serve as a guide in every business decision.

As one of Arizona’s leading IT providers, Nextrio takes pride in being  a beacon of ethical excellence to other companies in their industry, and looks forward to providing high=-value services to Southern Arizona for years to come.