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 Joliet, 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:
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.HTTPs Encryption: Why You Should Use SSL Certificates Jan 20, 2019
2018 was an eventful year for technology and it’s only going to increase in 2019. Between the Facebook security breach, the Google+ API vulnerability, and many other less famous incidents – one thing is for certain. Cybersecurity dominated 2018 and 2019 is expected to be no different.
With cyber attacks being so prevalent, businesses are starting to notice a shift in public perception when it comes to the companies they work with when it comes to data security. Feeling safe is priority: people don’t want to have to worry about their information being breached on or off the web.
While this has been a growing trend for a several years now, it has also transitioned cyber security from being a feature, to a necessity.
2019 is the year of HTTPs.
What Exactly is HTTPs?
To understand what HTTPs means and how it works, you need to know a few definitions.
HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol): In simple terms, this is an application layer protocol. Essentially, HTTP is the protocol that involves information sent between a browser (ex: Google Chrome or Firefox) and a website itself. If you were to interrupt that connection and intercept it, you’d see in plain text what was being communicated between the website and the browser.
This can create extremely vulnerable conditions in certain situations. For example, if you are purchasing products on a website with a basic HTTP, your personal information like your address, credit card info and whatever else you submit can be intercepted and stolen.
The thieves are the only ones who want this to happen – so HTTPs encryption was introduced as a secure option.
HTTPs (HyperText Transfer Protocol Security): Adding additional security components, the language being transmitted between website and browser is encrypted and kept from being read cyber criminals.
SSL (Secure Socket Layer): This is a certificate that enhances your security protocol. This is just another way of saying that your site has the technology in place to securely encrypt transactions between the website and browsers etc.
The types of SSL Certificates may vary, but their basic coding provides security and encryption.
You can always tell if a website is secure by looking for certain factors:
- https:// shows before the URL destination (ex: https://www.google.com)
- A lock (sometimes green) icon may appear in the left corner of your navigation bar
Today, many users look for these key signals to see if they are using a secured website.
When this was first being used, its primary purpose was a security feature for websites that utilized ecommerce and to transfer personal information (ex: financial, medical, legal). However, it has transitioned into having an HTTPs encryption as a standard.
After going through the basics of this HTTPs encryption, you may still have some additional questions about which feature would best suit your business. Here are a few of the most common topics and questions below:
I Don’t Have A Large Business – Do I Still Need HTTPs?
Providing An SSL Tells Your Customers That You Care About Their Security
By utilizing an SSL certificate and transforming it from HTTP to HTTPs, you are providing an extra layer of security for your consumers. They know right away that your website is secure. Nothing they are viewing or how they are interacting on your website is being monitored or watched by a malicious user. It shows that you care about your customer’s user experience – and that reflects highly for company brand.
It Provides Additional Security Against Hackers
Having an SSL certificate installed on your website also helps protect your website from potential breaches or hacking attempts. The extra layer of HTTPs encryption provides an external wall that is difficult for hackers to break and infect. While you might not exactly need one for the style of your business’ website, it still helps protect against possible attacks and saves you capital on potential cleanup and patches once a website does get infected or breached.
HTTPs Improves SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Having this HTTPs encryption applied on your website shows popular search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing! that you take your user’s experience and security seriously. They are able to recognize this and return with increased rankings on their engines.
We all know that higher rankings lead to more traffic – this leads to more clients and customers.
Google has been favoring websites with HTTPs for awhile now. However, after recent technology-related world events, they have doubled-down.
Starting July 2018, websites that do not use HTTPs will be labeled “Not Secure”. The last thing you want your prospective clients to see when visiting your site is a message about poor security.
More than 70% of websites are utilizing HTTPs and Google is really trying to make it the norm across the board.
Failure to increase security on your site risks lower search rankings and even increases bounce rates. It is also proven that HTTP sites load slower, causing Google to penalize them for site speed. Overall, the industry is punishing sites that do not value security because they are striving to give the best user experience possible.
So, what should you take away from all of this?
An SSL does incur minimal extra costs, but failure to secure your website can cost you a lot more: potential customers, reduced website traffic and impact overall user experience.
Your IT partner or web hosting provider should have the necessary tools to help you with your website security. It should be simple and affordable enough to keep from breaking your budget.
Want to take the next step and convert to HTTPs, but not sure how?
Andromeda has trained technicians and developers that are more than happy to help you with the conversion. Just give us a call to get started today!
The post HTTPs Encryption: Why You Should Use SSL Certificates appeared first on Andromeda Technology Solutions.Email Provider VFEmail Had All Data Destroyed By Attacker Mar 12, 2019
Do you use VFEmail?� If so, we've got bad news for you.
Hackers have successfully attacked the system and wiped all data from all of its servers in the US.
All data on those servers has been lost.� That means every email you had in your inbox and everything you had archived is gone.
According to a company spokesman, "At this time, the attacker has formatted all the disks on every server.� Every VM is lost.� Every file server is lost.� Every backup server is lost."
The hackers made no attempt to lock files and ransom them.� They simply went in and destroyed, opting for maximum damage, and they succeeded. Although attempts are being made to restore the data, the outlook isn't good.� Odds are overwhelmingly against anyone ever getting so much as a single email back.� Even if some data is ultimately recovered, users should not expect to get more than a fraction of their data back.
At this point, the company's website is up and running again, but all of its secondary domains are down.�These include:
When you log onto your VFEmail account, you'll be greeted with an empty inbox.
This isn't the first time that VFEmail has come into the crosshairs of a hacking group.� In late 2015 a group called the Armada Collective targeted VFE and others with a massive DDoS attack, demanding ransom payments to halt the attack.� Unfortunately, this time, the hackers weren't interested in taking prisoners or making money.
Sadly, this isn't the first time a company has been brought to almost complete destruction.� In 2014, a company called Code Spaces was forced to close its doors when hackers breached their system and did the same thing.
If it can happen to Code Spaces and VFEmail, it can happen to your company too.� Beware.