What Is An Andromeda C‑CAT?A C‑CAT (Client-Centric Action Team) is a dedicated team that includes one or more two Remote Service Techs, and one or more IT Field Techs whose activities are curated by a Service Coordinator(SC)—each specifically appointed to service your organization. With cat-like reflexes and precision, your Andromeda C-CAT will pounce on any IT issue, upgrade, or project. It's really the cat's meow for your IT needs!)
Professional IT Services that Andromeda Provides for Addison, IL Businesses:
What A Few Of Our Clients Have To Say
AndroPedia Tech Library
As part of our service, it is important to keep our client-partners well informed on IT developments, news, and best practices. Here is just a sampling of typical items from our AndroPediaSM library archive:
5 Ways To Keep Cyber Criminals At Bay This Holiday Dec 04, 2017
The holidays are a magical time. Snow covered trees, festive lights decorating houses, time with family, parties . . . and an incredible increase in cybercrime and cyber criminals.
Didn’t see that one coming did you?
The cyber criminals think and hope so too.
While people hit the web to shop for holiday gifts, deals and plane tickets to visit loved ones, hackers are doing their best to steal your data and use it for their own purposes.
In the spirit of giving, check out these 5 quick tips to keep cyber criminals and hackers at bay during the holiday!
5 quick tips to keep cyber criminals and hackers at bay during the holiday
1. Make sure that you do your shopping at secure websites
Any time you are purchasing something online you want to make sure you are doing so from a secure website. A secure website will encrypt your information. The means that only the authorized parties (the seller) receives that information and it can’t fall into the hands of hackers or criminals.
You can tell if a website is secure by looking at the URL. If the URL begins with https:// that means it is secure. Specifically you are looking for the S after the http portion. You may also see a lock symbol. Make sure that you never enter information into a website without this. Look out for locks with warning symbols like question marks or red lines – this signals that the site is only partially encrypted and you should never trust it. Buy your stuff somewhere else.
2. Use Credit Cards instead of Debit Cards online – and probably in general where possible
There are so many different ways scammers attack your data. Think back to the big breaches of the last few years – Target, Home Depot etc. Your data can get stolen both online and at brick and mortar locations.
The most secure thing – aside from cash which obviously cannot be used for shopping online – is to shop with a credit card. Credit card companies are required to protect you from fraudulent purchases, if your account number is stolen or even if you purchase something online and it is never delivered.
The protections a consumer is guaranteed by credit cards far outweighs protections offered with debit cards and obviously, if your info is stolen, you’d much rather have that happen on a credit card than having your bank account liquidated.
3. Sign up for alerts
There are many options out there for alert programs and applications. Some let you know any time your social security number is used, some monitor your credit score and other vital information.
In regard to your credit cards and bank accounts specifically, you can have alerts sent to your email or your smartphone via text for activity. For example, you can have any purchase made on your bank card/credit card alert your phone. If that seems a bit overboard, you can set it up to alert you to purchases over a specific threshold.
Additionally, you want to make sure you are checking your bank account every day or so just to make sure nothing strange is occurring. That goes for holiday season and the rest of the year.
4. Check out third party payment systems
You’ve probably heard of PayPal but have you ever looked into why using a third party payment system like PayPal is beneficial for both the buyer and the seller?
Systems like these are middle men that help protect both sides of a transaction. The seller knows that the funds are verified but the seller also gets NO ACCESS to your account information. This is a great benefit to you. Instead of using your card and spreading your information from site to site and exposing your information to different destinations, your information is shared with one company.
Another benefit is that these third party payment options are readily available at most stores online and even at brick and mortar locations these days.
Some popular options are PayPal as mentioned, Apple Pay, Amazon Payments, Venmo, Samsung Pay and more.
5. Check Reviews and beware of the “Too Good To Be True”
It is the season for deals without a doubt. But be smart when you see an offer for something that is well below the market value.
That new iPhone isn’t going to retail for $200 no matter how great a deal they are giving you. Hate to say it but there is no free lunch and one of the best ways for criminals to get you on their sites is by advertising an incredible price for a product.
Even Amazon isn’t immune to this. Bogus retailers will advertise products that are never delivered or that have no resemblance to the pictures online. Pretty sure we have all fallen victim to that, holiday season or not.
But this time of year, make sure you read reviews. Do your research and take all the steps available to you to ensure you are protected.
We hope you have a great end of year and that you start 2018 without any personal stories about how cybercrime impacted your holidays.
If you have any further questions, feel free to reach our team and shop safe!
The post 5 Ways To Keep Cyber Criminals At Bay This Holiday appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Andromeda’s Top Windows 10 Tips & Tricks for Increased Productivity and Ease of Use Mar 30, 2018
In our business and personal lives, we’re all racing to fit 26 hours into a 24 hour day.
Any tip or trick that shaves off time and saves a few seconds can pay off big time in the long run.
We recently did a poll around the Andromeda office to grab some of our favorite tricks and tips that save time, keep us organized and help with overall productivity.
We kept this list specific to Windows 10 but many of these tricks and features will work on older versions of Windows as well.
So – without further ado –
Andromeda’s Top Windows 10 Tips & Tricks for Increased Productivity and Ease of Use:
The snip tool is very useful when you want to grab a photo or screen shot of a specific element on your screen but don’t want to capture your entire screen.
This is a pre-installed app you can find in your start menu.
For more information on exactly how to use this function check out this helpful article.
Built In Search with Windows Key
There are a lot of different commands that begin with the ‘Windows Key’ (See above for photo example). We will dive into a few of those later but our staff thought that the built in search tool deserved its own mention.
Simply hit the Windows Key and start typing out what you are looking for. This helps avoid searching and clicking around through files.
For example hit your Windows Key and start typing any program you have installed. For our example, type in iTunes then press the Enter key.
iTunes will start automatically.
Mark Up Feature in Windows Edge
There are many different web browsers out there and most people have their favorite. Windows 10 has their own web browser called Windows Edge (an update to the classic Internet Explorer).
Once you open up a web browser with Windows Edge, locate the Mark Up Feature in the top right hand corner (highlighted below):
Once you click this feature you will notice a purple navigation bar at the top of your screen. You can now markup web pages for whatever purposes you like on any tablet or device with writing capabilities.
Pin Popular Apps to Taskbar
Windows 10 tries to make it as easy as possible to access your favorite applications and software. You can create desktop shortcuts but another accessibility option is pinning commonly used apps to your Taskbar.
Simply locate the app you are looking for and right click on it. You’ll see an option for “Add to Taskbar”. Select that and you are good to go.
This is a great way to make that Snip Tool we mentioned above more accessible.
Start Menu Organization
Some users dislike the Windows 10 start menu – but it has some great organization capabilities.
Similar to pinning apps to your Taskbar as described above, you can pin programs to your start menu. Additionally, you can group applications and software together for quick navigation.
This is all done via drag and drop. Simply click on the program you want, drag it to the right and drop it where you want.
For heavy computer users, brightness settings can cause eye strain and can even contribute to difficulty falling asleep at night.
This is because our computer screens (tablets and smartphones included) emit ‘blue light’. This blue light can be harsh on the eyes over time and messes with your natural sleep rhythms in some cases.
If you’re interested in turning on the Night Light function you can find it in the display settings menu.
“Hot Keys” are just another form of shortcut you can use to perform different functions quickly with only your keyboard.
Depending on your job and needs, you may use some, many, none or all of them (there are a ton).
Here are a few of our favorites for you to try.
Windows + L – Lock your screen
Windows + D – Show Desktop
Windows + Tab – Open Windows between Virtual Desktops
Alt + Tab – Cycle through open apps/windows
Ctrl + Z – Undo
Ctrl + X – Cut
Ctrl + V – Paste
Ctrl + C – Copy
Ctrl + A – Select All
For a more extensive list of Hot Keys check out this article from Windows Central.
We hope you found this article helpful and if you have a favorite shortcut that wasn’t listed, please let us know!
The post Andromeda’s Top Windows 10 Tips & Tricks for Increased Productivity and Ease of Use appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Microsoft Outlook is Rolling Out New Design Changes Sep 20, 2018
Microsoft is making some long overdue and welcome changes to Outlook to include the Windows and the Web-based version.
People who use either one will now see a "Coming Soon" option that allows users to toggle between the version they've got now, and the new and improved version with the changes.
As to those changes, they fall broadly into three groups:
- Better Organization - The improved Outlook offers intelligent technology, specialized icons, visual changes and a "highlights" feature that are all designed to help you manage your time better and provide a greater level of focus on your daily and weekly activities.
- Improved Speed and Efficiency - The redesign is sleeker and faster. Using it will allow you to schedule meetings, read and act on emails and write new emails much more quickly than the old version.
- More Customization - Hotmail users know only too well that Outlook on the web has lagged behind its competitors in terms of customization, and the redesign seeks to change that. Microsoft is playing a bit of catch up here, but any improvements on this front are welcome indeed. Among other things, you can now apply additional themes, personalize your inbox and simplify the ribbon.
There's no word yet on how long the new features will be offered as an opt-in option, but of course, at some point, the company will mandate the change.
On balance, these are good changes. Perhaps more modest than long-time users would like to have seen, but again, any changes to one of the oldest email systems still around have to be counted as a positive.
Kudos to Microsoft for keeping Outlook reasonably up to date, and here's hoping that the user base embraces them. which we hope hope will encourage the company to make additional improvements.