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Ferrum Technology Services blog

Ferrum Technology Services has been serving the Elgin area since 2007, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Don’t Let Online Banking Leave Your Data Vulnerable

Don’t Let Online Banking Leave Your Data Vulnerable

In today’s financially motivated world, financial technology - AKA “fintech” - has allowed people to manage their finances without stepping into a bank. In fact, a Bank of America study found that 62 percent of people now use digital banking. Therefore, it seems prudent to share a few ways to keep yourself safe while using these kinds of mobile apps.

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Tip of the Week: How to Switch Microsoft Word to Dark Mode

Tip of the Week: How to Switch Microsoft Word to Dark Mode

Anyone who spends a lot of time sitting in front of a computer screen knows how much of a problem eye strain can be. With symptoms ranging from irritation to headaches and exhaustion, it is no wonder that many applications are trying to address this issue with varying success with “dark” or “night” modes. Let’s consider Microsoft Word’s approach to this and see if we can’t find a simpler way to adjust your settings and save your eyes no small amount of hassle.

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What’s the Best Antivirus for Businesses?

What’s the Best Antivirus for Businesses?

Quick Marty! Hop into the DeLorean! Let’s time travel back to a simpler time, back in the late 90’s!

Back then, you could walk into any store that sold software and you’d see two types of antivirus protection - orange boxes that said Norton, and red boxes that said McAfee.

Today, like most things, life isn’t as simple. There are a lot of choices, and… well, you shouldn’t be going to a store to buy your antivirus these days. Let’s discuss!

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3 Technologies Your Business Can Use Right Now

3 Technologies Your Business Can Use Right Now

A lot of people didn’t take the novel Coronavirus seriously when it was first discovered outside of China in late February. Now four months later, as the pandemic rages on, people continue to work from home, have their hours cut, or be completely out of a job. For the business owner, this period has been filled with difficult decisions, including halting all major IT projects. If your business is looking for a solution to help them add the technology they need at a price that works for this period, here are three useful options.

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Why Overworking is a Serious Issue for Your Remote Workers

Why Overworking is a Serious Issue for Your Remote Workers

As so many businesses have had to close their doors recently, remote work has become a very popular option. Unfortunately, this sudden shift has not been without negative side-effects. One such byproduct of this shift has been a serious overworking problem. This is a big problem, and one that you need to address if it has presented itself in your operations.

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VoIP Is a Strong Communications Option

VoIP Is a Strong Communications Option

Over the past few years, VoIP has become an extremely popular solution for small businesses. In fact, 30 percent of today’s businesses use some sort of VoIP platform. There are many reasons why businesses are making the switch to VoIP. Today, we’ll explain a few. 

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Avoiding Cybersecurity Placebos in Your Business

Avoiding Cybersecurity Placebos in Your Business

When it comes to your business, especially its technology, some of the buzzwords you hear floating around can be pretty convincing, almost intoxicating. Unfortunately, like most buzzwords, many of these are aggrandized beyond their worth to the average small-to-medium-sized business. Let’s take a look at how this can impact a business’ perception of its cybersecurity, as well as dig into the reality behind these terms.

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Tip of the Week: Improve Your Management of Remote Workers

Tip of the Week: Improve Your Management of Remote Workers

For the past few months, a much larger percentage of people have been working from home. This remote workforce has proven to be much more effective than many would have thought, but some companies haven’t had the success getting the production out of their remote workers that others have. Today, we present three tips that will help you get the most out of your remote workforce.

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How Automation Will Play into the Post-COVID-19 Workplace

How Automation Will Play into the Post-COVID-19 Workplace

As workplaces and offices everywhere have struggled to cope with the restrictions brought on by social distancing mandates, the adoption of automated solutions has surged ahead. Of course, this does open a few important questions to consider. For instance, what this could mean for employment post-pandemic, and how automation may be used in the future to mitigate the impacts we’re currently experiencing.

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The Basics of PCI Compliance

The Basics of PCI Compliance

Businesses today should be accepting card-based payments, regardless of their size. In addition to the convenience it offers to customers, it’s the most secure means you have of being paid. To protect consumers and their personal and financial information, many card providers have adopted a unified regulation that applies to businesses that accept these payments. Let’s review this regulation and how it impacts the average small-to-medium-sized business.

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Tip of the Week: Using Google Drive’s Workspaces to Stay Organized

Tip of the Week: Using Google Drive’s Workspaces to Stay Organized

Many businesses looking to consolidate their tools are turning to cloud services and software suites that offer a centralized collection of solutions—such as the G Suite, as offered by Google. While G Suite offers the Google Drive as a means of organizing your work resources and documents, different files can sometimes be saved in different places. This week, our tip is going to cover how you can work around this fact with a feature called Workspaces.

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Shifting IT Strategies as Your Business Grows

Shifting IT Strategies as Your Business Grows

There is a saying that you hear a lot in business: Plan for the worst, hope for the best. This is typically related to data redundancy, cybersecurity, or one of any other proactive steps a business should take to control the continuity of their business. What happens when you plan for the worst, but the best comes to fruition? What happens when your business consistently meets demand, prospers without issue, and grows quickly? Today, we will take a look at some issues the small business owner has to deal with when his/her business isn’t so small anymore. 

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Storing Data Is a Miracle of Physics That We All Put Too Much Trust Into

Storing Data Is a Miracle of Physics That We All Put Too Much Trust Into

We all store data on our computers. Whether you have family photos and text documents on your home computer, or databases and on-premises applications running your entire business, data is typically stored in exactly the same way. If you knew how delicate your data actually was, you’d never let a single file exist in one place ever again. Let’s explore that.

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Tip of the Week: Easing the Shift Between Remote and In-House Work

Tip of the Week: Easing the Shift Between Remote and In-House Work

While many businesses right now have found it best for their operations to shift to a remote strategy, it is important to consider how these operations will return in-house when it is again appropriate to do so. For this week’s tip, we’re reviewing a few best practices to help you contend with both processes.

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There’s a Reason Some Scams are Painfully Transparent

There’s a Reason Some Scams are Painfully Transparent

“Hello sir/ma’am, I am a member of royal [sic] family and I am in grave danger in my country. If you send me money to get out safely, I will share my great riches with you as reward.”

Scams like this one have become a punchline for many, which makes you wonder why they are still commonly used by cybercriminals. As it turns out, there’s a very compelling reason that they do so, one that’s been known for years.

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What Are Your Biggest Issues, IT Challenges and Priorities?

What Are Your Biggest Issues, IT Challenges and Priorities?

All a business’ technology is important to its operations, but based on its industry, certain priorities are bound to arise. A recent survey cast a light on some of these priorities, giving us a view of what small to medium-sized businesses are concerning themselves with. Let’s review some of the trends this survey revealed to see how well your priorities match up.

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Tip of the Week: Maintain and Backup Your IT

Tip of the Week: Maintain and Backup Your IT

Imagine for a minute that you work in a small factory or machine shop. Some wind comes through and drops a 200-year-old maple tree through the roof onto the machines that you use to create your product. The devastation is total. If you have a second factory built to scale from the first, you could just ship your workers over to that one and keep productivity high. Chances are, however, there is no second factory. Your business is done until you can get the situation fixed. It could take days, weeks, or even months to get your business back on track; and if the stats are any indication, it probably won’t. 

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You Need to Plan for the Worst and Hope for the Best

You Need to Plan for the Worst and Hope for the Best

Hope can be a big part of a person’s notion to start their own business. Needless to say that entrepreneurial hope doesn’t always consider that there will be a global pandemic that grinds the operational effectiveness that you’ve spent years building to a halt. Hope does, however, play a big part in the creation of a business continuity plan. Today, we’ll briefly discuss why you should never lose hope and how being prepared stems from the same notion as starting a business.

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Addressing the Toughest Challenge in Remote Conferencing

Addressing the Toughest Challenge in Remote Conferencing

Video conferencing is a crucial technology for businesses, especially now. Although, while it has the benefits of accessibility, it certainly is a different animal than your run-of-the-mill in-person meeting… as due to this, it has a challenge that an in-person meeting does not. Let’s go over what this challenge is, and how to overcome it.

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Tip of the Week: Collaborate Better

Tip of the Week: Collaborate Better

Today’s businesses are more dependent on collaboration than ever before, and that’s without even taking the current social climate into consideration. However, accounting for these considerations, it seemed appropriate that we shared a few tips to help increase your collaborative capabilities while your team is working remotely.

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