SMART Blog

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

Disaster Recovery and Why it Matters to Detroit Michigan Businesses

Disaster Recovery and Why it Matters to Detroit Michigan Businesses

b2ap3_thumbnail_thumb_disaster-recovery_20120727-152922_1_20130104-033953_1.jpgWhen you mention the term 'disaster recovery,' most people think about the big ground-shattering events like earthquakes, fires, floods, tropical storms, etc. While these natural events are certainly disasters and devastating in their own right, smaller things can constitute as a disaster for your business, and they aren't seasonal.  99% of disasters happen in the office, most are server failures or some type of data loss.

0 Comments
Continue reading

The Internet as Conceived in 1969

b2ap3_thumbnail_internety400.jpgThe Internet certainly has changed the way we live, work, shop, and communicate. We may think we're superior to previous generations because of all our Internet-based technology, but we have video proof that the Internet was actually conceptualized in 1969. In many ways, our parents and grandparents were spot on with their predictions. In other ways, not so much.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Tech Tip: Secure Your iPad


While mobile devices such as iPads have increased convenience and provided some business benefits, these devices are not without risks.

Here are some basic steps you can take to improve the security of your iPad.

Configure mobile devices securely.
Some simple configurations can aid in the security of your iPad. Enable password authentication, ensure SSL protection is enabled, utilize remote wipe capabilities, and avoid using auto-complete features that remember user names and passwords.

Connect to secure Wi-Fi networks.
Avoid joining unknown Wi-Fi networks.

Update mobile devices frequently.
Be sure to maintain up-to-date software including operating systems and applications.

Utilize anti-virus programs and configure automatic updates if possible.
Just as your PC should have a proper anti-virus solution, your mobile devices should be equipped with anti-virus protection where possible.

Use an encryption solution to keep portable data secure in transit.
If confidential data must be accessed or stored, make sure users have installed an encryption solution.

Properly wipe devices and dispose of properly.
Get your device properly wiped – don’t just pitch it!

Develop guidelines for acceptable iPad and mobile device usage.


Additionally, there are solutions that allow you to secure and manage multiple devices that include functionality like device tracking, profile management, and preventing unauthorized app downloads. One such solution is SMARTmobile Security from SMART I.T. Services. Contact us to learn more about how to secure your mobile devices and make managing them a breeze with SMARTmobile Security.
0 Comments
Continue reading

Security Bulletin: Microsoft Outlook Reading Pane Vulnerability

We all have our preferences when it comes to how we work. Our Microsoft Outlook settings are no different.

Many people like to have their inbox set up with the reading pane to preview emails at a glance without fully opening them. This is a common practice that, unfortunately, opens up users for unwanted viruses and threats via email.

Emails sent to your inbox containing viruses or malware will install the threats when the emails are viewed in the preview pane, whether or not you've fully opened them or not.

To avoid this potential danger, simply turn off your Outlook reading pane. To do this, go to View > Reading Pane > Off.

This should be done for Outlook Web Access as well because the threat is the same.

 
0 Comments
Continue reading

Is Your Agency HIPAA and HITECH Compliant?




Does your agency have a benefits side? If so, you are required to protect the health information of your clients when transmitted via email.

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, passed as part of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), calls for protected health information (PHI) to be rendered unreadable and unusable.

Encryption is a logical and easy way to protect client information sent via email. There is a lot of confusion on the subject, so we have setup a page on our website with more information about HIPAA and HITECH compliance.

While you're there, you can learn about the solution we offer to help you achieve compliance.

Learn more.
 
0 Comments
Continue reading

Michigan Agents Gather for the Nation’s Longest Running State Technology Conference



The longest running state agent technology conference in the nation, Great Lakes Automation Day (GLAD) was presented by the Michigan Association of Insurance Agents on November 11, 2010.

The event drew over 150 agents to hear presentations from agents on the leading edge of technology, carrier technology representatives, agency IT leaders, and more. GLAD’s day-long format was topped-off with numerous vendor booths and wonderful networking opportunities.

Steve Brooks of B & B Premier Insurance Solutions kicked off the day with his keynote presentation regarding the latest tools and opportunities for agents to grow their personal lines business, despite intense competition from captive and direct agents.

Mike Steger, Communications Manager at Michigan State University, followed with a fast-paced session that highlighted 45 technology tips in a mere 45 minutes. His presentation included a slew of websites and resources, most of which are free to agents, which can be used for improving online presence, productivity, and more.

After two additional sessions and a delicious lunch, Jerry Fetty took the Kellogg Center stage to present Mobile Computing Today. Jerry discussed the latest developments and reviewed a variety of devices, emphasizing the need to understand how agents plan to work remotely in order for them to select the mobile platform and device that will allow them to be the most productive.

A concurrent Michigan NetVU user group meeting rounded out the information-packed day.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by the SMART I.T. Services and MySalesResults booths and congratulations to Ashley Whitney of Harbor Brenn Insurance Agency, winner of our raffle for an Archos 2.8 internet tablet device. We hope to see you all again at the MAIA’s Annual Convention on February 22-24, 2011 in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan!

 
0 Comments
Continue reading

How to Protect Yourself Against Malicious Online Pop-ups

Malicious online pop-ups are becoming more and more complex, making it harder for everyday users to decipher what is legit and what is harmful. These pop-ups go so far as to trick you into installing malware on your computer, potentially compromising personal and company data while making your computer run slow.

This webinar recording provides you with guidance for preventing the installation of malware on your computer.




 
0 Comments
Continue reading

Protect Your Agency Against Fake Anti-Virus Software Pop-Ups


An online threat becoming more and more problematic is fake anti-virus and anti-spyware software pop-ups. You may have run into these malicious pop-ups when you're surfing online. A seemingly legit pop-up appears saying, "Your Computer Has Been Infected!" The pop-up prompts you to click it to buy software to rid your computer of the infection.

However, clicking on the pop-up actually installs malware that it claims to be helping you protect against. The malware can compromise your personal data, make your PC extremely slow or unusable, and more. Worse yet, if you proceed to buy the software that the pop-up presents you, your credit card information falls into the hands of thieves.

Here are some things you can do to protect yourself:

• Do NOT click on any pop-up that advertises anti-virus or anti-spyware software, especially a program promising to provide every feature known to mankind. In general, do not click on any pop-up advertisements, as many of them are malicious.
• Use ALT + F4 to close a pop-up window... this is the only safe method for closing one.
• If a virus alert appears on your screen, do NOT touch it. Do not use your mouse to eliminate or scan for viruses, and DON'T use your mouse to close the window. Contact SMART Services immediately. Clicking anywhere on the pop-up will allow the software to install itself.
• Never open an email attachment unless you are POSITIVE about the source.
• Do not download freeware or shareware.
• Avoid questionable websites. Some sites may automatically download malicious software onto your computer.

 
Tags:
0 Comments
Continue reading

Webinar: Exploring Windows 7 and Office 2010


You have probably heard the hype and seen the commercials, but what are the features of Windows 7 that everyone’s so excited about? Microsoft recently released Office 2010 as well, but what are the enhancements that may be valuable for your agency?

Get your first-hand look at both by joining us for “Exploring Windows 7 and Office 2010,” our free webinar on July 28, 2010. You will get to see the new features of Windows 7 that can help your agency increase productivity, enhance communication, improve security, and more. You will also get a peek at Office 2010 to see all that it has to offer.

Date: Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Time: 10 AM - 11 AM EST
Register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/644177642
 
 
 
0 Comments
Continue reading

What You Missed at Take Your Agency to the Next Level 2010

 
0 Comments
Continue reading

Take Your Agency to the Next Level 2010 Photos

Thank you for attending Take Your Agency to the Next Level 2010, presented by SMART I.T. Services! Check out some photos below from this seminar that took place on April 29-30, 2010.

 
0 Comments
Continue reading

MySalesResults Joins SMART I.T. Services, Inc.'s Suite of Insurance Agency Technology Tools

STERLING HEIGHTS, MI (February 1, 2010) – SMART I.T. Services, Inc., an information technology services provider focused on serving independent insurance agencies, recently acquired MySalesResults, a web-based sales management tool designed specifically for independent insurance agencies.

MySalesResults will join SMART I.T Services’ set of IT services and solutions for insurance agencies, including proactive network monitoring and management, data backup and standby server, electronic document management, communications solutions, and more.

MySalesResults is designed to be a simple, effective, producer prospecting and results tracking tool. It allows producers to track and manage their prospect pipeline throughout the sales process and it allows managers to review producer sales results compared to their sales goals, by individual producer, department and agency.

Jessica Stevenson, Account Executive for MySalesResults, will continue with MySalesResults providing sales and customer support to agency customers throughout the United States and Canada.

“MySalesResults is a well proven and respected tool for agencies to manage their sales team. It is a welcome compliment to the technology services we currently offer to independent insurance agencies.” stated Jerry Fetty, Founder and CEO of SMART I.T. Services, Inc.

Hetrick & Associates Insurance Agency from Marquette, Michigan, along with Jessica Stevenson and a program developer, created MySalesResults in 2006 as a solution to streamline their sales management and tracking abilities.

“We are confident that Jerry and the SMART I.T. Services team will bring MySalesResults to the next level of success in the industry. We have brought MySalesResults from an idea, to an actual service that independent insurance agencies utilize throughout the United States and Canada. Agencies find success in MySalesResults assisting them in organizing and managing their producers, sales processes, and goals. We are also looking forward to working with Jessica and continuing as a customer of MySalesResults,” said Scott White, VP & Sales Manager of Hetrick & Associates Insurance Agency.


About SMART I.T. Services, Inc.
SMART I.T. Services, Inc. is an information technology (IT) services provider that has been serving insurance agencies since 1991. Agencies have turned to SMART I.T. Services, Inc. to reduce their IT costs, increase productivity, and gain peace of mind. Additionally, SMART I.T. Services is a Microsoft Gold Certified partner and is certified under the Managed Service Providers Accreditation Program (MSAP) by the MSP Alliance. SMART I.T. Services is also the only endorsed and recommended technology services provider of the Michigan Association of Insurance Agents (MAIA). For more information, visit SMARTservices.com.

 
0 Comments
Continue reading

Gearing Up for the MAIA's 19th Annual Convention


The Michigan Association of Insurance Agents' 19th Annual Convention is right around the corner and will take place February 23-25, 2010 at the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids. This conference is the largest annual gathering of insurance professionals in Michigan.

Jerry Fetty (SMART I.T. Services) and Wayne Joubert (MAIA) will be presenting The Benefits and Pitfalls of Using Social Media at Your Agency on Tuesday, February 23rd at 1:30 pm. You will see examples of how some agencies are using social media to extend customer service and build relationships. The session will also explore some of the pitfalls and how to make sure social media tools are used appropriately.

You can view all of the other great convention topics and get more information here.

Be sure to drop by our booth #41 and find out about our technology services and solutions that can save your agency money, increase employee productivity, and reduce risk.
 
0 Comments
Continue reading

The Newest (and Coolest Looking) SMART Services Vehicle

Check out the latest edition to the SMART Services vehicle fleet - a 2009 Chevy HHR. The car is decked-out in a colorful graphic wrap that features circuits, chips, cables, and other computer components incorporated into a classic "hot rod" look.

Click here to check it out on YouTube!

 
0 Comments
Continue reading

GLAD 2009 Recap


0 Comments
Continue reading

Are You Being Buried in Paper?


0 Comments
Continue reading

Great Lakes Automation Day (GLAD) 2009


The Michigan Association of Insurance Agents will be holding its annual Great Lakes Automation Day (GLAD) event on November 6, 2009 at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing, Michigan. The theme for this year's event is "Agencies in the Age of Social Media."

Do you think social media is just a fad? Come find out what the experts think about its potential benefits and the best practices to utilizing it at your insurance agency.

Speakers for GLAD 2009 include Bryant Caudill of SMART I.T. Services, Steve Anderson, and Angelyn Treautel of the IIABA's Agents Council for Technology.

Don't miss out on this great event! Visit http://www.michagent.org/more information and to register.

 
0 Comments
Continue reading

Webinar: Best Practices for IT Budgeting


Tags:
0 Comments
Continue reading

SMARTservices.com Gets a New Look


Tags:
0 Comments
Continue reading

Another Successful Lunch & Learn


SMART I.T. Services would like to thank everyone who attended our Lunch & Learn on the topic of electronic document management. Turnout was excellent and feedback we received was very positive.

 
Jerry Fetty of SMART I.T. Services presented the many benefits of electronic document management and Rusty Keighron of DocStar demonstrated the latest and greatest features of DocStar 3ten.

Information about our next Lunch & Learn being held in Grand Rapids will be available in the coming weeks.
 
0 Comments
Continue reading

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://smartservices.com/

Mobile? Grab this Article!

QR-Code dieser Seite

Blog Archive

2020
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2012
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
2011
January
February
March
April
May
July
August
September
October
December

Sign up for our Newsletter!

  • Company Name *
  • First Name *
  • Last Name *