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polarverse new years resolution jan2018

A new year, a fresh start.

It’s out with the old and with the new, as they say. But there’s no need to throw out your computer or laptop. If you’ve been experiencing slow boot-up times, random freeze-ups, or have been worried about viruses or malware, you don’t need to buy a new machine. Instead of shelling out a few hundred dollars, you can make a few new year’s resolutions to solve these problems.

Here are our top 5 resolutions for any computer user.

#5: I will get malware protection.

Love to download music or videos? Find yourself browsing the Internet everyday? You might want to consider protecting your machine from viruses and spyware. Internet attacks are becoming more frequent and, with the latest advances in technology, they’re getting more vicious. This year, protect yourself from potential harm and corruption with an anti-virus software.

(If you need help picking out the software best suited for your needs, give us a call!)

#4: I will organize my files.

Is your downloads folder chock full of random files you’ve downloaded in 2017? Are your files named something incomprehensible because some time has passed since “That Thing” was relevant/important? Set aside half an hour this month to go through your files and delete the unnecessary ones. Then, re-name some of them so you know what the heck they are. Think of the files on your computer like books at a library; they’re of no use if you don’t know what they are or where you can find them. One way is to create new folders and name them appropriately, like Taxes from Early 2000 or Pictures from Family Vacation to Hawaii in 2014.

#3: I will fight back against spam.

This might seem a little off topic but it’s a common issue that needs to be addressed. Studies have shown that the average email user receives up to 88 emails PER DAY, but that emails only have an open rate of 30%. That means, on average, we delete 61-62 emails every day without even opening it. What a waste of time and energy!

To save yourself future hassle (and data usage!), open up the spam-y emails and unsubscribe wherever possible. The Canadian Anti Spam Legislation (CASL) mandates all marketing/mass sent emails to provide an unsubscribe button within the email. All you have to do is click it!

#2: I will backup my data regularly.

Everyone’s heard horror stories about corrupted hard drives or broken laptops. It’s happened to us or someone we know. The worst part about the ordeal is that your files, your pictures – your everything – is lost forever. So, in 2018, make a solemn promise to yourself and your data that you will back up your data regularly.

Get an external hard drive so that you can keep a copy of everything on a separate device. If you’re not keen on everything, you can make do with a small USB stick. Nowadays, these ‘small’ storage devices can hold up to almost 100GB of data, which is plenty if all you’ve got are pictures and documents. Remember, though, all of this is no good if you don’t follow through on your promise. Make a schedule; set aside a few minutes every month to complete a new backup.

Pro tip: backup your data on both an external hard drive (separate from your computer/laptop) and with cloud storage. That way, you have two backup options!

#1: I will take care of myself.

If you’re sitting at a computer for 8 hours a day, your body needs a break. We love computers but they can take a toll on your health! This year, try to take a 5-minute screen break every hour or so to ensure that you’re not straining your eyes. If you find yourself getting sore every night, get off your chair and stretch too. There’s no point in having the best machine if you’re not well enough to use it!

You can also try upgrading your monitor or replacing your keyboard. There are a lot of good devices out there and a lot of stores are still offering holiday specials. Take advantage of it now so you can enjoy using your computer more in 2018.

As always, if you need some advice on picking out the device best suited for your needs, or to implement any of these resolutions, give us a call. We’d love to help you!

polarverse jan special blogpost 2018

Polarverse would like to let you know that memory isolation issues affecting Intel, AMD, and ARM processors has been discovered. Here’s what you need to know and what you need to do.

polarverse blog xmas tech gifts shopping

It’s that time of year again! Everyone’s gone a little crazy with the holiday season… and holiday shopping. We know it can get a little challenging when you’re shopping for the tech-y guy in your life, so we thought we would make your life a little easier by putting together a wish-list. Here are our top 10 picks for the guy (or gal) on your list that loves everything technology.

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So, you want to buy a new laptop, eh? Good for you! Computer/laptop manufacturers are constantly improving the way machines are being made, so it’s natural to feel the temptation to upgrade your device every 2-4 years. When you run a business and your laptop is an integral resource for you, 3 years is an important milestone. If you had purchased a warranty, it’s probably up for renewal now. So you’ll have to decide whether you want to extend the warranty or replace the machine.

Windows Would Like to Install Updates for Your Computer: Should You Accept or Decline?

windows updates important blog Polarverse IT

If you have a PC, you know just how pesky those updates can be. A message will pop up on your screen prompting you to reboot your machine so that Windows can install its updates. It sounds so innocent and ever so helpful, but a lot of us have felt anguish and anger when the updates take a couple of hours to install. Because of this, some PC users have stopped installing Windows updates – but is that wise?

polarverse IT ISP internet speed guide

Your friends are over and you’re watching the latest season of your favourite show when the episode freezes. You press pause and play, over and over again, to no avail. Then, finally, the spinning circle of death (that indicates buffering problems) appears. Game over. Your friends start to complain. One of them asks, “What’s wrong with your Internet?” The guy you always hated adds, “How can you live like this?!”

If you can relate to this story, it might be time to investigate your Internet service plan. It might be that you don’t have the service you need. On the other hand, if you’ve never had a problem with your online connection, you might be paying for more than what you need.

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Public wifi networks can be dangerous. The biggest concern is that your private information can be visible to other people. So when you’re using a public network, you don’t do any important banking, etc.

But what about at your home?

Are you sure that your home wifi network is safe and secure?

We’ve come up with 10 quick fixes to protect your home network. Despite how savvy most internet users are, a large fraction of those users don’t know how to protect their own wifi connection.

polarverse IT replace repair laptop computer JULY 2017

For our next scenario… Ways you can describe your ideal laptop but not your current one.

It has a sexy design.

It’s got the latest features.

It’s super fast.

I’ll never have to replace it.

polarverse IT computer cleaning software update May 2017

Don’t forget to clean your computer! We’re not talking about the hardware, you’ve already done that, right? You’ve heard about things like RAM and Memory, and you’re well acquainted with the word “Loading.” Spring cleaning the digital portion of your computer (and tablet, and smartphone) will help keep your system user-friendly for as long as possible.

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Your network closet is the cave or corner of your office (sometimes under a desk) that houses your main internet and network connections. Here lives your modem, your router, your printer, your scanner, the photocopier, likely a shredder, and a terrifying tangle of cables. Time to shed some light in there and find out what you’re dealing with before disaster strikes.

 
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  • When was the last time you reviewed your company’s continuity plan?
  • How will you process orders if your online shop goes down?
  • What work-around will you adopt if your email app quits and you can’t connect with customers?
  • What if you can’t access your customer database because the server is down or your power is out?

Last month on the blog we talked about the importance of your business continuity plan and why we trust Datto’s Intelligent Business Continuity suite of high-performing, low-maintenance, electronic business continuity enhancing hardware and software components. One our favourite features in this comprehensive strategy is Datto’s superior instant virtualization component.


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Ransomware is a hot topic of 2016. By now you probably know what it is – when hackers use software to take control of a computer and either lock it up entirely or just the files. The hackers demand a ransom anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars to unlock the data. Attacks are directed at everyone: individuals, SMBs, large corporations, government institutions. Neither PCs nor Macs are safe from this threat, and reports of smartphones becoming infected have begun to surface.

It’s the start of a New Year and resolutions are in the air! You’ve vowed to lose weight, dwell on the positive, and renovate the kitchen. You’re going to spend more time with your family, take up a new hobby, and find out what the big deal is about yoga.

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Dave loved tweaking photos on his Android phone.

He’d heard rave reviews from his friends with iPhones about Prisma, a new iOS app for image editing. So when he heard Prisma would soon be released for Android, he logged in to the Google Play Store to see if it was there yet.

To his surprise, he found one that looked just like what his friends were describing. Delighted, he downloaded and started using it. Meanwhile, the app (a fake) was busy installing a Trojan horse on his phone.

 

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There’s a huge misunderstanding about pro-activity in information technology (IT) management. That misunderstanding isn’t about the benefits of proactive IT management; everyone knows that preventative measures against a systematic failure within your business’ computer network saves you thousands of dollars and weeks’ worth of staff/down time.  No, the trouble with executing strong proactive IT management is the false belief that in order to do so, you have to get ahead in your To Do List in order to carve out enough time to get the system embedded within your network. This false belief stops plans to introduce automated network monitoring to many businesses during the research stage because, “we don’t have time for that kind of disruption right now.”

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The Pros of Buying Your Corporate Laptop from your IT Service

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The term “Shadow IT” refers to apps and devices used at work that operate outside your company’s sanctioned policies and protocols. Shadow IT takes many forms, like conversations on Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, Gmail or Skype. It can include software from Excel macros to cloud-based data storage apps such as Dropbox, Google Docs and Evernote. Or collaboration spaces like Slack, Asana and Wrike. And then there are devices: USB sticks, smartphones, tablets and laptops within your network that you have no control over.

Cyber security Polarverse

 

A common question we get asked is whether you need virus protection, anti-malware software or a backup system? The answer is yes – you need it all.

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At Polarverse our policy is if we don’t use it, wedon’t sell it. This starts with computers, to phones to cloud services. I’d like to share with you a personal experience I had recently that made me very glad that we eat our own dog food.

It’s only natural that when you hear of a disaster you think it couldn’t happen to you. That’s why, even though we’re told constantly that we should diligently maintain a working backup recovery system because all our company’s data could be lost in an instant, we tend to brush off the advice.Yet disasters do happen when you least expect them, and they can happen to anyone.

 

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Whether the term “cloud storage” causes you to shudder or roll your eyes be aware that cloud storage has come a long way in terms of capability and security in the last few years.

 

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Polarverse IT Services: trusted computer support for businesses throughout the Waterloo Region

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Maybe you’re concerned with the current rising costs of your IT services, or maybe you are just running short on time because of your expanding business and need to hand over the reins of some services to someone else. Whatever your reason, we can help you with quality IT services today.

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If so, we would at least like to send you a copy of our recently published report, 21 Questions You Should Ask Before Selecting a Computer Support Company.

Even if you aren’t ready to make a change right now, this report will give you important questions you should ask your current IT person to make sure that their policies, procedures and service standards won’t leave you vulnerable to expensive problems, lost data, viruses, hacker attacks and a host of other problems.

Simply fill out the form here and we’ll send you a copy today!

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