Tech Talk Newsletter – March 2016

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March 2016 Edition

What’s New

Is your email a distraction?TS Mail email manage distraction

Or is your email an essential tool for productivity? Or is it both? Quite frankly, a good amount of the time, the latter is the answer. Because email is an ongoing form of communication, we can’t control when it comes in. However, we can control how we manage it. Here are a few tips on how to manage your email in a way that supports productivity instead of eating away at it!

♦ Turn off notifications:
Turn off new message notifications on both your smartphone and computer. You should be checking your email when you have time. Not just because you hear a “ding” or a pop up!

♦ Organize your Inbox:
How you organize and use your inbox is up to you but you should make sure it doesn’t become a catchall. Create folders and move email to them and only keep what is both Urgent and Important in the inbox.

♦ Create email whitelists and blacklists:
Most email clients allow you to manage your safe sender lists. Mark those that are Junk and block them from being a distraction!

♦ Set a schedule to check:
It pays to set time to check your email throughout the day. This way you control how much time you spend on it and it doesn’t “Squirrel” you away from what you are needing to accomplish.

♦ Create rules:
To help in managing and automating your email management, you can create rules that move mail based on specific criteria. You can flag based on importance or file away in folders for review later.

♦ If you don’t read it, unsubscribe:
Over time, you tend to get placed on a lot of email lists! I know that most of what you receive is nowhere near as good as this newsletter!! So if you don’t read it, unsubscribe! Reduce the noise and you can accomplish more.

Your email is an extremely valuable business resource that can truly manage workflow, streamline communication and keep you on task.  If you’re experiencing email issues, check out our TS Mail solution, powered by TS Conard, Inc. Technology Solutions.

Dave Cooksey
Chief Operating Officer
TS Conard, Inc. Technology Solutions


Your Luckiest Move This Yearweb content filtering security

Do your employees bring their own smartphones, tablets or laptops to work?  If your company is like most these days, they do. And that raises a whole new security risk to your computer network. One of the best strategies your company can employ to defend against this emerging threat is what’s known as “web content filtering.”

Here’s a quick but essential guide to what you need to know about web content filtering. It might even prompt you to make a move so lucky, it would turn a leprechaun green with envy…

New Gaps In Your Network’s Firewall
It used to be, when your employees needed a desktop computer to get work done, locking cyber threats out of your network was relatively simple. However, now when employees work on a mobile device, the boundaries of your firewall can walk out the door and into a “Wild West” of unknown security risks at any minute of the day.
At the same time, threats to your network from malware, hackers, cyber gangs and even foreign governments show no signs of abating.
The best way to bolster your network’s defenses against this emerging threat is through web content filtering. Older “in-line” filtering programs just filter at the network level. For complete protection as workers become more mobile, you need an “endpoint” web content filtering system that works at the device level.

So What Exactly Is “Web Content Filtering”?
Web content filtering restricts access to certain types of material delivered over the web or by e-mail. It blocks things like phishing e-mails, infected web sites, adult content, pop-up ads, spambots and other intrusions that can penetrate your network’s defenses. The latest web content filtering programs protect your network even with a highly mobile workforce. Rather than just filtering content at the network level, they filter content on each employee’s device. Web content filtering is not just a great investment in your network’s security – it’s an absolute must in today’s crime-ridden “cyberscape.”

Questions To Ask
How can you tell if a proposed content filtering solution is a good one? Here are a few key features to look for:

Activity-Triggered Logging – Allows the filtering system to start logging events when suspect activities occur. Helps assure vigilance against new and emerging threats.

Password Release – Lets a user with the right password visit sites that would otherwise be off-limits. Gives your company added flexibility as needed for trusted employees.

Download Blocker – Keeps employees from downloading files from any but approved sites. Greatly reduces the risk that somebody will unwittingly unleash a vicious piece of code into your network.

BYOD Support – Accommodates the “Bring Your Own Device” trend so you can monitor and manage employee use or abuse while on
the job.

Time Settings – Allows employees access to certain sites only during preselected times of day. Adds flexibility so employees can, for instance, visit Facebook only during off-hours. There are others, and not every company needs all these features. But knowing what to look for gives you a head start on putting the best system in place.

Now It’s Your Move…
As today’s workforce becomes ever more mobile and interactive outside the company network, endpoint web content filtering becomes a must-have weapon in your company’s network security arsenal. By understanding the emerging threat posed by mobile devices to your company’s network, and gaining a basic grasp of how endpoint web content filtering works, you can allocate resources to button up this potential threat to your company’s finances, data and efficiency.

Let Us Help!
Here at TS Conard, our first priority is to keep your network safe and secure. Let us help you make sure your web content filtering system is on guard 24/7. Now through the end of March, we are offering a free Internet Usage Audit for the “lucky” first 10 companies in the Saint Joseph area who request this valuable service. Contact us today at (816) 233-3777 or and we’ll get started for you right away. But don’t delay – we can only serve the first 10 companies who take us up on this uncommon offer.

Free Report Download: The Business Owner’s Guide To IT Support Services And Fees
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Fun Stuff

The revolution has begun – and it’s right on your wrist.
It began with the Apple Watch and its gentle “taps” for reminders. Now, a whole new wave of digital technology known as “haptics” lets you literally feel what you’re working with. Imagine an employee skillfully maneuvering a precision machine in a distant factory. Or a surgical resident actually feeling what it’s like to operate on a patient’s brain – with no real patient in danger. Lechal, for instance, makes footwear that works with a smartphone app to help with navigation. Set your destination and your left or right shoe vibrates when it’s time to turn in that direction – especially useful for the visually impaired. And this is just the beginning…             –Inc. magazine

Missing these two key ingredients could make
your marketing fall flat in 2016.

Want to make your marketing irresistible to your target audience? Make sure it includes content on platforms besides your blog. Nowadays, everyone’s got a blog. Stand out by adding a YouTube channel, or live streaming. No fancy gear needed – smart firms use smartphones to capture content. You’ll also need “mobile-first” focus. Now that more adults access the net on a smartphone than on a desktop device, content and calls-to-action must be clear and actionable on a mobile screen. If you’re running pay-per-click ads, consider a Google AdWords call-only campaign to drive calls with buyer intent. For best results, blend well and implement often.      –Entrepreneur

A healthy workforce starts – or stops – at the top.
Some programs foster real worker wellness. But going too far can backfire on you. For instance, a weight-loss contest can create a host of problems. First, not all workers need to lose weight. Plus, some already suffer from eating disorders. And weight loss doesn’t do anything to address high blood pressure, cholesterol or overall nutrition. Instead, replace candy, chips and soft drinks with healthy snacks and beverages. People will tend to eat what’s there, and you can make it easy for them to make healthy choices. Also, make it easier to exercise: install showers and offer standup desks. Just a few key changes could put a healthier, more productive team in your court.
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