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Your Backup Should Have A Backup

Is Two Better Than One?

It was a cold Thursday morning on January 15, 2009, when Bill Wiley boarded US Airways flight 1549 bound for Charlotte. Wiley was on his way to an important meeting for his employer, Computer Associates. 

As you might expect he was diligent about backing up his information.  In fact, he used two computers for safety; one for daily use and the other simply as a backup for redundancy. He also kept all his data on thumb drives and rarely carried both laptops at once. 

As Bill planned for the meeting the night before his flight, the thought never crossed his mind that carrying both of his laptops could be a problem. After all, what are the odds of both machines failing at once? 

Eighteen hours and an emergency landing later, Bill would quickly find the answer to that question when he was quoted as saying “I had no idea how screwed I was about to be.” 

Even though the machines did not have classic hard drive failures, they were ultimately plunged into the ice cold water in the Hudson River, rendering them useless to their owner. When they were finally dredged up from the bottom of the lake, they were held as “crash evidence” by the federal government. More than three months later, Bill still hasn’t recovered his machines or any of the critical information stored on them.

Compare Bill’s story to that of passenger Paul Jorgensen who also carried his laptop on flight 1549.  Immediately after the crash landing, Jorgensen panicked and thought, “I was going to be in pretty deep trouble…my life is in that laptop.” Pretty incredible that he’s thinking about his laptop when he was just spared his life.

Fortunately for Paul, he backed up his laptop to a “cloud” based service. The crash landing happened on a Thursday, and the following Monday Jorgensen was back up and running again with all of his data, files and favorites intact.

So ask yourself today, if my PC or Laptop crashes what data will I lose forever?  I think you will find if you weigh that against the cost of a solid cloud based backup solution, you will find it’s well worth the investment.

Backup Often – Backup Regularly – Backup TODAY!

Daniel A. FitzGerald
Owner & President
StormsEdge Technology

iTunes. Love It Or Hate It

Love it or hate it, iTunes has reshaped the music industry and the way many people purchase music as well as books, movies, TV shows and video games. My IT guy calls it a virus, but I love iTunes—some days just in theory to be sure.

My love of music started at an early age, but I think many would agree that music plays an integral part of our middle school/junior high school and high school years. It did for me. Remember the power ballads of the 1980s? Don’t Stop Believin’ and Open Arms by Journey, Keep on Loving You by REO Speedwagon, and Heaven by Bryan Adams, just to name a few. Yeah—that’s when I started wanting to own music.

Back then you could still buy real records, but cassettes were the norm. The biggest issue for me was that I just wanted the one song I heard on the radio. The only way to get that one song was to record it onto a cassette from the radio. As you can imagine, it wasn’t the best quality, but we made do.

Fast forward a couple of decades. iTunes’ was initially released in 2001, but not available on anything but Apple products for a few more years. I didn’t discover it myself until the late 2000s, but when I did, it was manna from heaven. I could now buy one song at a time.

I could create playlists depending on my mood. I could listen to one song over and over and over, and no one else had to be driven crazy by my current song obsession. My first iPod was the first generation classic. My second iPod was a first gen classic with a larger hard drive—I’d discovered how to convert my TV shows on DVD to an mp3/mp4 format. And somewhere along the way TV shows and movies were available directly from iTunes—no converting necessary. Not that I buy every single show I watch. That’d be too expensive.

Of course now, there are several different platforms and iTunes is no longer the only game in town. Are you a fan of iTunes or do you prefer another platform to satisfy your musical madness?

Jen FitzGerald
Office Manager
StormsEdge Technology

Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Last year alone, 67% of businesses detected at least one cybercrime, with over 50% of those hit reporting losses of $10,000 or more.

Ask any security expert about strengthening your computer's security, and they would advise setting up a VPN. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It is a connection between a secure server and your computer, which allows you secure your internet browsing, online purchases, and personal information no matter where you are, and yes even public hotspots. To put it simply, a VPN is essential for anyone who regularly uses a laptop from outside the office to connect with a company network. If you think your company does not need one, think again.

Client VPNs allow individual users to connect to a central location via their mobile device or computer. Once authenticated, they then have access to the company’s network to use the resources as if they were at the office. The largest benefit is that even if you are at the coffee shop, your data is encrypted through the VPN tunnel that does not allow anyone to access your transmitted data.

So as you can see this can be beneficial to any company that has employees that are out in the field or just want to be secure when not in the office.

Tracy Hazelton
System Technologist
StormsEdge Technology

SEO: The Essential Tool

Today, many companies are making a renewed commitment to investing into developing solid, SEO optimization that is search-engine friendly and will improve their rankings over time.

Here’s a list of seven specific reasons why your business should definitely consider investing in your organic SEO:

  1. It still works – First and foremost, the techniques employed to improve SEO still work. Even though data and tactics regarding organic traffic from Google changes fairly recently, the techniques themselves still remain sound
  2. It is not going to stop working any time soon – Based on the way search engines appear to be developing, it is not likely that SEO will cease to be effective any time in the near future. To some extent, even audio and video searches ultimately depend on keywords to drive traffic to its content
  3. It is cost-effective – Compared to the costs associated with other forms of online marketing such as PPC advertising, social media marketing, or purchasing leads for an email marketing program, SEO provides fairly good results, usually at a decent price. While PPC may drive more revenue and social media may be more important for your image, your organic SEO in many ways remains a foundation of your online presence.
  4. Search engines grabbing more shared information – Somewhere between 80-90% of customers now check online reviews prior to making a purchase, and this number is only expected to increase. It won’t be long before virtually everyone is searching for products and services online. Do you want them to be able to locate your business, or not? Without SEO in place, people will have a very hard time finding you and will instead find your competitors.
  5. Not having a healthy content profile is damaging – With each and every update to its search algorithm, Google and other engines change the way they look at websites. Things which didn’t exist a few years ago, such as social media indicators, are now given fairly high importance in terms of their impact on your rankings. Not building a healthy content profile spread out months and years is potentially damaging to your business, as it is one of the factors Google evaluates when looking at your site.
  6. Your competitors are doing it – Remember, SEO is a never-ending process. If you’re not moving forward and improving your position in web searches, you’re losing ground to a competitor who is. That’s a simple fact of how the process works.  Don’t let your competitors out maneuver you by ignoring this valuable tool for your business.

 

Zachary T. Brown
Marketing Director
StormsEdge Technology

Is Your Technology Working For You or Against You?

Stop allowing your business to be held back by the wrong technology and get back into the competition!

If you find yourself constantly feeling like technology is slowing you down or holding you back, your technology may have not been properly integrated into your business processes.  As an example let’s take a look at a client of ours.  There’s a small marketing and advertising company in the Dallas / Fort Worth area that handles promotional based advertisement for some rather well-known brands. We were brought us in to evaluate if they need more Internet bandwidth.                                                                 

You see, one of the greatest challenges for marketing and advertisement firms is getting the Graphics and Design work completed and off to the client for their approval by the deadlines.  With graphics becoming more advanced and complex over the years, the files (pictures) have become huge.  Making it take longer and longer to get them sent to their client.

Sure you could just purchase more bandwidth, but this is a never ending tug-of-war as the company would grow and would have to continue purchasing more and more bandwidth at an alarming and expensive rate.

However, having a technology expert to ensure your leveraging technology correctly in order for it to work for your company and not against it, can prevent issue like this from happening. Want to know more? Read the full HERE!

Daniel A. FitzGerald
Owner & President
StormsEdge Technology

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