Is Your Computer Properly Protected?

Oct 31
2013

On average, about a handful out of the customers that call into our tech support hotline during the week, have a computer virus. Proper virus, malware and spyware protection is vital to insure the safety and health of your computer. If you’re not protected you are putting your personal information such as online banking information, passwords, emails, photographs and any other document stored, at risk of being hacked. Most of us have some form of virus protection software  installed on our computers, however, not everyone does. Furthermore, not everyone utilizes the software properly, either. 

In order for your software to be effective, it has to be up to date. Most programs offer automatic updating but in most cases it’s an option and you have to set it up to pull updates on it’s own. No worries, this is not hard by any stretch of the imagination and most likely will be presented in the initial setup but always make sure you check auto updates. Also, proper use is important to think about. Regularly scanning your computer can greatly increase the effectiveness of the software  as well as the overall performance of your computer. Most programs allow you to schedule auto scans but, again, you have to set that up on your own. Once a week is usually sufficient and you can schedule it, in most cases, at a specific time of your choosing. 

What kind should you use? Well, in the end, that call is up to you. There are some pretty pricey options and there are some not so expensive options. Anti-Virus software is one of those things in which the most expensive doesn’t necessarily mean the best protection. There are many cheaper, more affordable versions that offer basically the same protection but may not have all the extra features such as smartphone protection. From my personal experience, Webroot has a good basic product for less than $50 which I’ve used in the past. Also, for good protection at no cost, AVG provides a free version of their anti-virus software that covers you in every category you’d need to be covered. 

Ultimately, it’s up to you to be vigilant in protecting yourself from online threats. Going without any virus protection should not be an option. With the growing number of hackers and groups that are around for the sole purpose of making others miserable online, it’s just not responsible to ignore online safety. If you ever have any questions regarding your virus protection software or are looking for a little guidance, feel free to gives us a shout.

Contact Access US For More Information:

Please call us today with questions, or to get Access US working for you.
Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM CST | 314.655.7700 | Toll Free: 800.638.6373 Or email us at info@accessus.net | Online Contact Form

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Technology is Booming in St. Louis

Sep 30
2013

St. Louis has seen the biggest year-over-year growth in technology jobs and according to Dice.com, ranks as the fastest-growing city for technology jobs in the country. About 5 years ago, St. Louis set out to attract companies with our inexpensive (that’s in the eye of the beholder) utilities and excellent IT infrastructure, particularly our fiber network. Fortune magazine indicated we saw a one year growth of 25% in IT jobs in 2012 as well as a 13% rise in salaries in this sector. A top executive at Digital Realty Trust, an IT real estate company in San Francisco, was quoted as saying, “St. Louis is a very important market for us because it is such a desirable location for data centers.” To say that this development is encouraging for our region would be an understatement. 

With the big boys like Monsanto making a big time financial commitment to the St. Louis area by hiring 675 people and making a $400 million investment to upgrade it’s Chesterfield research facility, it signals great things for the city of St. Louis. With the rising wages and the amount of new jobs this boom is creating, the local economy has improved and figures to keep improving in years to come. One reason for this is due to the region’s lower cost of living. This attracts smart younger people with good jobs who are flocking to downtown to live among the hustle and bustle. With that comes development and re-development. According to Mayor Francis Slay, the city of St. Louis has seen over 130 new restaurants and retail stores open  since the boom first started. 

What does this mean for the IT consumers? Well, first and foremost, you’re going to get the best quality service and experts the country has to offer. With new businesses forming seemingly every day here, competition goes up and firms are forced to maintain higher standards of service and talent. The higher level of competition should also drive prices down so the budget will become a little more flexible. Overall, this has been great for all of St. Louis and the surrounding suburbs. Whether directly or indirectly we are all impacted by this in a positive way. The addition of an ultra-modern high-tech economy has breathed new life into a city that has long been an economic powerhouse. 

Contact Access US For More Information:

Please call us today with questions, or to get Access US working for you.
Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM CST | 314.655.7700 | Toll Free: 800.638.6373 Or email us at info@accessus.net | Online Contact Form

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Websites Are Vital For New Businesses

Aug 30
2013

We all know that public relations and advertising go a long way in the success of a business. The reality is, however, that traditional advertising campaigns including print, radio and TV are crazy expensive. Most start-ups and businesses still in their infancy simply cannot afford that expense. So, why not spend a fraction of that cost and have a website built? You’re going to need it anyway, right? Sure, you could pay somebody to hit the streets and phones but what good is that if you don’t have anything to reference them to? Let’s face it, we’re growing into a culture that wants convenience, convenience and more convenience while relying heavily upon Google to research our potential goods and services providers. What’s the first thing people will ask for? “What’s your web address, I’d like to check you guys out?”.

Not only does a good website lend gobs of credibility to a new business, it’s also “free” advertising. Yes, the site itself costs money but that’s a one time development cost. After that, it’s free advertising and if the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is done right, you’ll be found across the board.  Depending on the industry you’re in, the cost of the website could be paid for within the first few sales it generates. I mean, that’s a no brain-er. Here is another little factoid that might be of interest. E-Commerce, which is people purchasing goods and services online, went over $1 trillion dollars for the first time ever in 2012. That should set off alarms, bells, wind chimes, sprinkler systems, well, you get my point, that if you either have no website, a poor website or do not have e-commerce functionality on your site, you need to get one or upgrade.

In summary, if you’re a new business of any kind and are lacking in online presence, you should budget in a website ASAP. It’s been said that the first 2 years for any business are the most crucial in terms of long range success. A solid website with needed capabilities can go a long way in generating revenue and creating stability in that crucial time period. Once a solid foundation is in place, you can build to the sky.

Contact Access US For More Information:

Please call us today with questions, or to get Access US working for you.
Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM CST | 314.655.7700 | Toll Free: 800.638.6373 Or email us at info@accessus.net | Online Contact Form

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Network Infrastructure: The Future Is Today

Jul 31
2013

It’s probably safe to say that your office or building’s IT Infrastructure (commonly referred to as “network”) could perform better. In years past, words and phrases like “simple”, “total control” and “easy to utilize”, would not be accurate for describing your network. Today, however, these words are the only one’s that SHOULD be describing your network infrastructure. Why waste time and money trying to do your best “Weekend at Bernie’s” impression with your current situation when there is a much simpler solution for access and connectivity with exponentially more functions and benefits?

Here at Access US we believe innovation and cutting edge technology will keep companies, schools, businesses and government agencies safe and running as efficiently as possible. You might be asking, “How can you use ‘efficient’ and ‘government agency’ in the same sentence?” Yes, yes, it’s hard to believe but with this new, leading feature, first of it’s kind technology, it’s more than possible. In order to accommodate the growing demand for this technology, we have founded a new, spin-off company called Core Networks LLC.

Core Networks has partnered with Enterasys, the innovator of this new technology, to bring first of it’s kind access control, safety and convenience to your office, school, government building, sporting/concert venues, etc. Core Networks and Access US have been trained in all of the switches, routers and access points that are available to implement this unique technology. You might be thinking, “OK, great, so what does all this mean?”. I would say, I’m glad you asked! For some real world practicality, I’ll share a brief example of the application without all the technical jargon.

At a college campus utilizing this equipment, a young lady was researching for a paper in the library. She went to retrieve her iPad but realized it was no longer in a pouch on the back of her backpack. She reported it to the library attendant whom then alerted campus police. Using this technology, the IT department was able to locate her iPad in a dorm using a form of GPS from a unique address on the device. Police retrieved her iPad and arrested the thief.

There are countless other uses and features to this equipment that I could literally write a small novel. For all of our sanity, I will not do that, however, I will ask that if this sounds like something you’d like to know more about, please contact us for more specific details. Even if it’s just to talk about cool technology!

Contact Access US For More Information:

Please call us today with questions, or to get Access US working for you.
Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM CST | 314.655.7700 | Toll Free: 800.638.6373 Or email us at info@accessus.net | Online Contact Form

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Losing Power Should Be No Big Deal

Jul 01
2013

So, can I get a show of clicks of how many of you work in an office that experiences at least 1 power outage per year? I’d be willing to bet it’s most of all of us. I’d also be willing to bet that about 40% of the companies that do, have ZERO backup power or any sort of disaster recovery planning. We all can’t be so lucky to be on a priority line and get first response when an outage occurs. If losing power is still something that has your fingernails in perpetual disfigurement, you need to read on. 

For most of us, a power outage can be fun and bring people together. We might light candles, make shadow puppets with a flashlight, tell scary stories or have a picnic lunch outside. For most business owners, however, it’s not fun at all. From their perspective, it’s not time to party, it’s time to panic. With no backup power, the whole operation shuts down. They lose money every minute the network is down. No orders can be processed and employees get paid to see who can make the best shadow bunny. It’s easy to avoid if you have the right plan in place. Something as simple as purchasing a handful of batter backups to plug important machines into can go a long way to ensuring you don’t experience financial hemorrhaging. This, however, is only a small portion of a good disaster recovery plan. There are also other options to consider to avoid worrying altogether.

If you don’t have an IT guy or would like a more experienced team to get things squared away or make sure you’re fully protected, give a local Network Services company a ring.

Contact Access US For More Information:

Please call us today with questions, or to get Access US working for you.
Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM CST | 314.655.7700 | Toll Free: 800.638.6373 Or email us at info@accessus.net | Online Contact Form

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