SMART Blog

Smart Services has been providing independent agents with proactive, fast, and expert technology services since 1991.

Tip of the Week: Don’t Be Duped By These 4 Battery Myths

b2ap3_thumbnail_batteries_that_last_400.jpgWhen was the last time you let your phone’s battery die on you? Due to the takeover of mobile technology in the workplace, smartphones have basically become inseparable from their owners, particularly the ever-busy business owner. Despite the imperative role that smartphones have in the workplace, you should know that there are several battery myths that might be holding you back from achieving maximum efficiency with your device.

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Time to Go Mobile: 3 Mobile Device Tethering Options

b2ap3_thumbnail_wireless_signal_400.jpgMobile WiFi is an imperative part of how you get things done while you’re out and about, but did you know that you can use your mobile device as a hotspot? This is one of the many features that modern smartphones come equipped with that are designed to help you remain as productive as possible. There are three ways of tethering your device to your smartphone to take advantage of a mobile WiFi hotspot, but which one is the most efficient?

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5 Tips to Enhance Your Next PowerPoint Presentation

b2ap3_thumbnail_presentation_with_powerpoint_400.jpgAs a business leader, you’re expected to make a presentation from time to time. This is where Microsoft PowerPoint comes in handy. However, if your PowerPoint presentation is lame, your message will suffer because of it. Here are five tips to help you make a dynamic PowerPoint presentation.

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Tip of the Week: How to Prevent Your Mobile Data from Leaking Away

b2ap3_thumbnail_mobile_data_eats_money_400.jpgWith more businesses moving toward Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) than ever before, the workforce grows more mobile by the day. These workers generally need a network connection in order to access important data and applications that are crucial to their day-to-day responsibilities. One way to do this is to use your service provider’s mobile data plan, but this can be both expensive and draining when used excessively.

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Twitter Can Be a Valuable Business Asset

b2ap3_thumbnail_twittastic_400.jpgDespite the fact that 255 million people use Twitter, some businesses want nothing to do with it. They see it as little more than a waste of time. However, these anti-Twitter activists fail to realize that the social media outlet has an unmistakably large influence in the marketing industry. Unlike Facebook, Twitter gives you the opportunity to customize your audience to suit the precise needs of your business, and the best part of this is that it’s completely free.

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There’s an Important Difference Between Data and Information

b2ap3_thumbnail_information_data_400.jpgYou can’t have IT without information, you can’t have information without data, and technology is what creates data so that you can better use your company’s technology to increase sales. Got it? Understanding the flow of data can be confusing. It’s important to have a handle on it so you can leverage your data for the success of your business.

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Tip of the Week: 5 Smart Productivity Tips to Slash Stress Levels

b2ap3_thumbnail_beat_workplace_stress_400.jpgWe all know the story of the overworked employee. They put everything they have into their job, but they still don’t know why they can’t get everything done on time, or why their work productivity suffers. The truth of the matter is that they are pushing themselves too hard.

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How Windows Tablets Can Enhance Your Business, Part I

b2ap3_thumbnail_windows_8.1_tablet_400.jpgSmartphones and tablets are the new norm. Most professionals have begun to utilize mobile devices to accomplish tasks when they are away from their work PC. Not to say that these devices offer all that much in the way of productivity. Sure, there are plenty of software titles either ported over from the PC or developed directly for the mobile environment, but sometimes these titles don’t offer the functionality, or they take up too many of the device’s resources to be of much use. With these variables to consider, manufacturers are searching for the best way to deliver devices with enhanced productivity capabilities, right out of the box. One of these manufacturers is Microsoft.

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Why You Should Go With a Solid State Drive if You Can Afford It

b2ap3_thumbnail_solid_state_drive_400.jpgIf you’re in the market for a new computer, then you’re going to have to make a decision: Go with a traditional hard drive (HDD), or a solid state drive (SSD). While a computer equipped with an HDD will cost you less money, an SSD promises to faster speeds and a longer lifespan. This begs the question, is SSD worth the extra money?

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HIPAA Protects Patient Privacy

b2ap3_thumbnail_hipaa_protects_you_400.jpgThis subject isn’t very interesting outside of hospital administrators… or for hospital administrators, but there’s no denying that healthcare is one of the most important industries in our society today; and one that is having a technology overhaul at present. The influx of cheaper and more powerful technology is surely going to be a driving force for healthcare in the 21st century. Under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), the United States government has followed the lead of other Western nations in forcing entities to upgrade their healthcare practice’s information technology for the betterment of patients, insurers, and health care providers.

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What Does Your 2015 IT Budget Look Like?

b2ap3_thumbnail_it_budget_info_400.jpgAs we near the end of 2014, the topic of IT budgeting is on everyone’s minds. How much are you willing to spend, and on what? In order to provide optimal figures for the new year, you need to take some time to plan out what you think you need to spend, versus how much you’re willing to spend, on IT. Thankfully, you don’t have to do this alone.

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As Seen in Zoolander, Tech Support Miscommunication Can Be Frustrating

b2ap3_thumbnail_tech_support_miscommunication_400.jpgIT support is heavily reliant upon communication between both parties involved. Without both sides being on the same page, IT support miscommunications are far more likely to happen. Sometimes you just can’t help but laugh at poor communication skills, as seen in the 2001 movie Zoolander. But thankfully, these situations don’t arise too often in the non-fictional universe… right?

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Caution: Enhanced Cryptowall Ransomware Threatens Networks

b2ap3_thumbnail_cryptowall_2_0_400.jpgAs a business owner, you have an obligation to keep your data and network files safe from prying eyes and criminals. The latest threats, like the new Cryptowall 2.0 ransomware, can be a difficult hurdle to jump, especially when they are disguised and designed to ruin you. Thankfully, you don’t have to take on these threats alone.

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Do You Have an IT Professional Aiding Your Technology Choices?

b2ap3_thumbnail_outsource_it_400.jpgWho's in charge of making the decisions in your business concerning technology? Ideally, you want an internal IT manager or a CIO with IT experience calling the tech shots. However, many businesses don't have this luxury. According to a CompTIA survey from last November, 48 percent of businesses have managers making decisions about technology implementation that don't have IT experience.

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Mountains of Old Monitors are Creating an Ecological Disaster!

b2ap3_thumbnail_ecological_disaster_400.jpgRemember when you upgraded to a flat screen TV or monitor just a few years ago? You may have marveled at the increased picture quality and celebrated getting rid of your old and bulky equipment, but do you know what happened to the old CRT monitor after you threw it out? Unfortunately, the answer doesn't bode well for the environment.

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Be Wary of Bitcoin Fraud

b2ap3_thumbnail_bitcoin_400.jpgOn May 7, 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a news alert declaring Bitcoin, and all other virtual currencies insecure and unsafe. Due to a rise in Bitcoin popularity, many investors and business owners like to use it for worldwide transactions. But, how safe is it, and how likely are you to run into a Bitcoin fraud scheme?

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Alert: New Botnet Thunders Into View For Windows Users

b2ap3_thumbnail_go_zeus_400.jpgGameOver Zeus, a member of the Zeus family of malware, has been discovered and disrupted by the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Department of Justice. But, this is only a temporary respite from the danger the malware poses - in two weeks, the threat will be back, and very much alive.

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3 Tips to Shield Your Business From A Data Disaster

b2ap3_thumbnail_the_data_shield_400.jpgTake a moment to consider your answer to this question, "What would you do if all of your business's data was somehow lost overnight?" How would you react, and what would you do about it? Your data is valuable, so much in fact that your business would be lost without it, and likely wouldn't be able to run properly.

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Is It Possible to Encrypt the Entire Internet?

b2ap3_thumbnail_encrypt_the_internet_400.jpgMany websites around the world are still suffering from the nasty little bug called Heartbleed that we covered last month. This prompted over 30,000 TLS/SSL certificates to be revoked and reissued, but many of them were reissued with the same keys. If this was going to happen, why revoke and reissue them in the first place? They're still just as vulnerable as before, since Heartbleed could have leaked those same keys weeks ago.

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IT Security Could Cost You Your Job!

b2ap3_thumbnail_lock_it_down_400.jpgIn December 2013, retail superpower Target was the target (hehe) of a massive data breach that could have affected as many as 110 million customers. On Monday, May 5, 2014, the CEO of Target, Gregg Steinhafel, announced that he would be stepping down, no doubt a result of the chaos that engulfed his company in the aftermath of this data breach. Target's CFO, John Mulligan, has stepped in as interim CEO until the position is filled once again.

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