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6 Tips to Increase Your PC Speed: What The Experts Have To Say

cartoon laptop with watch on the display and the banner reads 6 tips to increase you pc speed

It’s frustrating when you’re in the middle of something, and your computer is running slowly. Before you start pulling your hair out, check out these quick computer tips that can give your PC speed a boost:

Delete all the programs and files you don’t use.

Did you install programs like Skype or Dropbox and then lose the need for them after a while?  Go ahead and uninstall them. There’s no point in having programs or files you don’t use, as they only eat up space.

Limit startup processes.

Many programs have processes that run each time the computer restarts, which can slow down your computer. You can stop this by selecting which programs load each time your computer reboots.

Change your power settings.

Windows 10 offers a Power Saver plan that while conserving energy, actually decreases your computer’s performance. Switching to the High Performance or Balanced option may help improve the speed.

Disable visual effects.

Fancy graphics can be pleasant to look at, but they can also be a culprit behind a slow PC. You can change your visual settings by letting Windows decide what’s best for your computer, adjusting for best appearance, performance, or customizing what you want to see.

Make sure you have the latest updates.

Although those little pop-up windows can be annoying, it’s important to pay attention to them.  Software updates add new features, remove old ones, and fix security defects that could harm your computer.

Check for malware and other security threats.

It’s advised to regularly scan your computer for malware or other malicious software such as viruses, worms, and spyware that could be causing damage.



The Top 7 Benefits of Outsourced IT

Man touching smartphone tablet with the banner reading the top 7 benefits of outsourced it

The rapid and continuous evolvement of technology has caused many businesses to question the best way to meet their IT needs. Outsourced IT is a viable option when it comes to selecting your company’s IT services. Outsourced IT is the process of hiring workers outside of the organization for all or part of an IT job, rather than conducting all operations through internal employees.

Outsourcing Provides You With Efficient Technology Services

  1. Outsourced IT companies participate in proactive problem-solving strategies rather than being reactive. They analyze the company’s infrastructure from a top-down perspective.
  2. External companies are made up of multiple individuals with a wide spectrum of skill sets that enable them to field a variety of questions and handle diverse issues.
  3. When you hire an outsourced company, you pay only for their services. You don’t pay benefits or any extra costs that come with hiring an employee and you get an entire team for far less than the cost of a full-time hire.
  4. An external IT company is available 24/7, eliminating the possibility of sick days or out-of-office time that can affect productivity.
  5. Because of their specialized experience and their team approach, it’s highly probable that your outsourced company has seen your problem before and already has a solution in place to solve it.
  6. Outsourced IT providers mitigate risk as they work with a variety of clients and remain up-to-date on best practices and the latest software.
  7. Every manager has limited time and attention, but with the help of outsourcing, you can be free from IT worries and focus your internal resources on your business.

IT Trends: The Internet of Things and 3 Things You Need to Know in 2018

IT Trends: The Internet of Things and 3 Things You Need to Know in 2018

The Internet of Things, also known as “IoT,” is the connection of devices to the Internet and/or to each other, and it’s set to be one of the biggest trends of 2018. The IoT can include a variety of things such as smart watches, coffee makers, and any other electrical devices with the ability to connect to the Internet.

However, it mainly refers to things that can communicate with the network without a person’s help. IoT can create solutions to specific problems, improving efficiency in many aspects of our lives. For example, what if your office devices could recognize when it was time to buy supplies and automatically ordered more? The possibilities are endless.

Here are three things to be aware of when it comes to IoT:

Your Private Information Could Be At Risk…Right Now.

When everything’s connected, it’s important to question how your sensitive information will remain safe. After all, being part of the digital movement means sharing loads of personal data with third parties. Developers are aware of the privacy issue and are currently working to solve it as best they can. However, it very well may come to a point where users enter the IoT world at their own risk.

“IOT” Mostly Refers To Electric Devices You Wouldn’t Think Would Have An Internet Connection.

Technically, PCs and smartphones aren’t IoT devices. The term is dedicated to things that can join the network without human action. Some examples include thermostats, light bulbs, refrigerators, etc.

Virtually All Industries Will Be Impacted.

Since technology has become such a crucial part of our work lives, every industry that uses it will be affected. Manufacturing, retail, transportation, and healthcare are just a few.

Keep IoT on your radar in 2018 and the years to come. Although numerous challenges will come with it, there are also many exciting development opportunities that will hopefully change our lives for the better. For more news on information technology, gadgets, and computing, be sure to check out all of our blog posts. 

The Cost of Information Technology Management

The Cost of IT Management

As technology evolves, IT services are becoming a necessity for businesses big and small. With information technology management, you get a dedicated team of professionals who solve your problems quickly and efficiently. You may understand all the benefits of managed IT support, but what about the cost?

Costs of managed IT services vary based on the provider’s experience level and amount of services offered. It’s important to recognize your business’s goals and then match your technology needs accordingly.

There are a variety of pricing plans for Managed IT services, including per user, per device, tiered, and “all-you-can-eat”. However, many companies utilize the per-user plan, in which the customer is charged a flat monthly fee with the additional users increasing the cost. In this plan, customers know exactly what’s coming when they receive their bill because the price is directly related to the growth of their business. Most enjoy this pricing plan because they are simply paying for what they need without the worry of receiving an expensive surprise.

Reactive vs. Proactive Customer Service Models: What’s the Difference?

It’s good to know the difference between reactive and proactive IT models because it can impact the price you pay later.

In reactive IT models, professionals are on standby, responding to service calls and fixing issues immediately as they arise. It’s a break/fix type of service, requiring systems to fail before problems are solved. However, just one outage can cause you thousands of dollars in damage. You also lose productivity when your systems are down, which can ultimately lead to a loss of business.

In proactive customer service models, the providers are always anticipating issues and strategically planning solutions through constant monitoring of your systems. This preventative thinking gives providers the upper hand when it comes to solving problems quickly. It also lessens the likelihood of outages and other technical disasters, saving business both time and money.

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The Importance of Network Security Management at Work

image of laptop and the words: network security management

As the number of hackers continues to rise, so does the risk of encountering security threats in your business’s network. Network Security is the process of protecting and monitoring a network’s usability, data, and integrity from unauthorized use. Keeping your network safe is more complicated than you’d think, involving a complex combination of hardware, i.e., router firewalls, and anti-malware software to do the job.

Most threats come through the internet, with the most common including viruses, worms, spyware, adware and identity theft. Since there isn’t one complete security bundle that will protect against every single threat your network may encounter, it’s essential to use multiple layers of security.

Secure Your Company With Network Security Management


Here are some steps you can take to avoid a security breach in your network from cyber attacks:

1. Keep Your Passwords in Check.

Utilize strong and unpredictable passwords and change them frequently.

2. Update On A Regular Basis.

Although we all despise those annoying pop-up update messages, they are there to help us. Make sure to update your systems and applications to the latest versions when these messages appear.

3. Secure Your Router.

Hackers can access your data without even entering your business through your router. Ensuring that encryption is enabled can prevent cyber attacks.

4. Back Up All Data.

Your organization’s data is extremely valuable, and you don’t want to lose it. Backing up your information will make sure that doesn’t happen.

5. Conduct Frequent Audits.

Regularly check your systems to identify potential problems and suspicious activity. Proactively analyzing your network can save money and time later.

It is best to always ere on the side of caution when it comes to dealing with potential security threats. For example, if you receive a strange email or an email from an address you don’t know, get it checked out by your IT company first. It’s much cheaper and less time-consuming in the long-run if you prevent problems through network security management instead of reacting to them after a security breach.

The Equifax Data Breach: 3 Crucial Things to Do Now

lock and the words: what to do in the equifax data breach

In late spring of 2017, hackers gained access to sensitive data from Equifax, one of the three major consumer credit reporting agencies in the U.S. This left approximately 143 million Americans’ social security numbers, birth dates, and other personal information exposed. If you have a credit report, you have a higher risk of being among those affected by credit fraud, identity theft, and other harmful situations. Here are three crucial steps you need to take immediately to ensure that your information is secured:

Steps To Take To Avoid Cybercriminals From Destroying Your Identity

  1. First, you need to find out if your data was exposed. To do this, visit Equifax’s security website and click on the “Am I impacted?” button. Enter your last name. Then, the last six digits of your Social Security number. Finally, hit submit. The site will immediately inform you whether you’re at risk. However, it may be best to assume your information has been compromised. Take this precaution just in case the online system is flawed.
  2. Second, if you do not want to participate in a credit freeze, you should consider placing a free credit fraud alert on your files. A fraud alert lets creditors know that you are a potential identity theft victim and that they should confirm your identity every time there is a credit request.
  3. Finally, staying on top of your account activity is essential. Look out for charges you don’t recognize and other suspicious activity. Equifax offers a free year of credit monitoring. These services are offered to everyone, but only if they enroll on Equifax’s security site before January 31st, 2018.

Cybercriminals can even use the information from the Equifax data breach to impersonate people such as creditors and service providers. Assume you are at risk.  Protect yourself from credit fraud by enrolling for credit monitoring services and remaining alert. Although no further information has leaked since the announcement, it is advised to take the proper measures to ensure the safety of your sensitive information.

The Cloud: What Is It?

InfoTech Explains What Cloud Computing is in Central Illinois

Ever heard an IT person mention the cloud and wondered what they were talking about? We’re here to clear things up.

The cloud is a term referring to a collection of network servers that each have a different job. Some allow you to store and access information, while others provide online services.  The truth is you’re already utilizing the cloud if you’re a social media user or you use online data drives such as Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive to store information. These services function solely through Internet connection instead of your computer’s hard drive.

Here’s an example: you take a selfie on your cell phone. That picture is stored in your phone’s internal memory, but when you upload that photo to a social media site like Instagram, you are delivering it to the cloud. The majority of cloud services can be opened in web browsers like Google Chrome and Firefox, and some companies even offer mobile apps with cloud-like features. A few examples of cloud services include iCloud, Netflix, Yahoo Mail, and Dropbox.

Advantages of Cloud Services for Businesses

Cloud computing refers to the products, services, and platforms that give both businesses and customers complete access to resources delivered to them through the Internet and other types of networks. The cloud offers companies a variety of benefits, as it allows one to access their information on any device with a stable Internet connection. It is what allows a person edit a document in one place and begin where they left off on another computer. It also allows multiple people to work together on the same document in real-time, making collaboration easier and more efficient.

A little over a decade ago, computers began securing reliable, high-speed Internet, with mobile devices following soon after. Experts soon realized that because of constant online connection and faster data transfer rates, practically everything could be stored online. Data distribution across many servers has also lessened the load on web-based applications, allowing them to run more smoothly. Furthermore, since the cloud servers are continuously updating, there are always backups prepared in case one of them crashes.

The cloud has significantly helped both business owners and private users. It has assisted businesses by letting them pay only for space they use on an as-needed basis rather than having to buy data storage equipment of their own that may or may not be enough, thus saving them thousands of dollars each year.

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3 IT Trends Sure to Dominate 2018

2018 IT Trends

Technology never ceases to amaze, especially the newest. As the year is quickly concluding, we’ve noticed three major tech trends that could significantly improve your business practices in the coming year. These technological solutions are guaranteed to enhance your business’s performance and strengthen your connection with your customers through their favorite devices. You can effectively utilize these tools to reach your target audience in a variety of creative ways. Here are three trends to keep in mind:

AR and VR

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology have sailed along in the mainstream for the past five years. Augmented reality technology consists of a live view of a real-world environment whose elements are “augmented,” meaning they are computer-generated sounds, videos, graphics, and data. Virtual reality technology involves a computer simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment.

After the release of Oculus Rift, a crowd-favorite virtual reality headset, thousands of VR apps followed. Pokémon Go, a popular AR game, exploded with over 100 million downloads. The market is ready for AR and VR, and you’ll need to be prepared for 360 immersive versions of virtually everything—and ample marketing opportunities to follow.

Machine Learning

Machine learning is a field of computer science that gives computers the ability to learn without being specially programmed. This study has made tremendous developments within the past few years, even emerging to assist and enhance Google’s core search engine algorithm. In 2018, expect to see more machine learning updates entering all types of consumer applications. These updates will offer better-recommended products based on prior purchase history, gradually improving the user’s application experience.

Self-Automated Home Delivery

From the countless movies about futuristic times and the rapid growth of technology, we all knew robots would take over eventually. We’ve heard of places like Dominos, Amazon, and Google using self-automated cars and drones to deliver everything from to pizzas packages, but a company called Starship has recently produced small delivery bots using similar technology. These little robots, weighing about forty pounds, look like rolling ice-boxes and are designed to handle curbs and other obstacles on streets and sidewalks of metropolitan areas. They can travel for two to three hours on a single charge and can hold up to two shopping bags.  The bots are always in contact with a human correspondent who can take over if necessary and the purchaser is the only one who can access the items.

Looking ahead can prepare your business strategies (or your budget) accordingly. Whatever the case may be, it’s exciting to think about the new information technology revolution that’s headed our way. Welcome to the future!

What You Need to Know About KRACK Attacks Now

KRACK attack protection

What is KRACK?

Virtually any Wi-Fi network that relies on WPA or WPA2 encryption is vulnerable; this means practically every Wi-Fi system in the world is exposed. The attacker takes advantage of this weakness by setting up a Wi-Fi network with the same name (SSID) as an existing system that targets a specific user or groups of users. When they detect someone trying to connect to the original network, they send packages of data that force the device to switch to another channel and join the artificial system. Hackers change the encryption key and gain access to information that the user uploads or downloads, without them ever knowing. Conventional operating systems like iOS, Android, Windows, OSX, and others are much more susceptible to this type of intrusion.

Don’t Let Attackers Steal Your Privacy

Attacks like this are easily preventable by making sure your router is up-to-date. Router vulnerability has the tech world scrambling to eliminate this risk, and many companies have issued firmware updates allowing users to upgrade their networks as a form of prevention.

If your router’s hardware company hasn’t issued an update yet, other options are still available. These alternatives are especially useful for people who use public Wi-Fi as these services may not have upgraded their firmware recently.

Be sure to check for a green lock icon in front of a URL, to guarantee the website you are visiting is using an SSL Certificate, which prevents the KRACK vulnerability on that specific site. Also, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which adds an additional layer of encryption when you are on Wi-Fi. These networks allow you to establish a VPN on your device on any Wi-Fi connections you make.

Don’t let a fake network fool you into giving up your credentials and confidential information. Updating your router, surfing secure sites, and finding the best VPN for you are steps you can take to prevent a KRACK attack from wreaking havoc on your data.

Risks of Using Public Wi-Fi

Internet Security

So, you’re enjoying some coffee at your local coffee shop casually using the free Wi-Fi to check your bank account. Sounds safe enough, right? Wrong. Although this paints a typical scene for most of us, many are unaware of the dangers lurking in the background of public signals. Because these hotspots are so frequently used, people often connect to them without giving it a second thought. Some businesses may believe they’re providing a valuable service to their customers, but in reality, they could be benefiting hackers instead.

Hackers Can Easily Invade Your Privacy

The same features that make free Wi-Fi hotspots desirable for you also make them desirable for hackers. Logging on doesn’t require a network connection, which seems great if you’re on the go or in an unfamiliar place, but this creates an opportunity for unwanted access. Hackers can eavesdrop on you and the connection point, so instead of talking directly with the hotspot, your conversation is going through the hacker first.

When a computer connects to the internet, information is sent from the computer to the service/website. Vulnerabilities can allow an attacker to squeeze into this transmission and read your private data. Unfortunately, cybercriminals can even buy special software and devices that help them access everything you are doing online from pages you have visited to your various account login information. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use public Wi-Fi, but there are eight things you can do to protect your information:

Use a VPN

A virtual private network (VPN) connection is critical when connecting to your business through an unsecured connection like a hotspot. Even if a hacker manages to position himself in the middle of your connection, the data will be strongly encrypted, meaning they will be completely blocked from seeing your information.

If you are unable to use a VPA, use an SSL connection.

You aren’t likely to have a VPN available for general internet browsing, but you can still add a layer of encryption to your communication.  Enable the “Always Use HTTPS” option on websites that you visit frequently or that require user credentials. Remember, hackers understand how people reuse passwords so your username and password for a random forum may be the same as it is for your bank or corporate network. Sending these credentials in an unencrypted manner could open the door to any knowledgeable hacker. Other tips include:

  • Don’t allow your Wi-Fi to auto-connect to networks
  • Turn your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth off when you are not using them
  • Don’t access websites that hold your private data
  • Don’t log onto a network that doesn’t require a password
  • Log out of your accounts when you aren’t using them
  • Disable file sharing while surfing the web


Nobody wants their information stolen, especially if you own a business and have large quantities of sensitive data. Using these tips will help protect your personal and private information safe from the hands of hackers and the damage they can cause.

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