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Just Toss It?

Yesterday we received a call from an organization needing to responsibly dispose of some computers. They wondered how to do so safely without inadvertently providing access of computer data to strangers.

Keep in mind, many disposal methods appear to be safe but are far from it.

For example, deleting files will not necessarily keep others from accessing private information. Even if the computer “recycle bin” or “trash bin” are emptied, the data is often still accessible.

Even reinstalling the operating system could still permit data retrieval. A computer hard drive, while far from perfect in protecting files from damage, can be remarkably helpful to a foe who wants to access your data.

Further, don’t forget that other electronic devices like smart phones, tablets, servers, thumb drives, memory cards, external drives, backup storage devices, printers, firewalls, and cameras may also hold sensitive data.

Some tools for more secure deletion of sensitive data:

  1. Physically Remove The Drive – Removing the data storage drive(s) will insure that your data is out of the hands of strangers.
  2. Shred All Files On The Drive – Just as one can shred paper documents, computer drives can also be electronically shredded to securely remove ALL data without damaging the drive.
  3. Physically Shred The Drive – This method will insure that all the data is truly gone.
  4. Recycle Computer With Trusted Firm – Professional firms will perform the disposal while insuring data security.

Give us a call and let us help you determine the best solutions for your needs!

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Does Your Spare Have Air?

Want the definition of a bad day? You discover your car has a flat. After changing the tire, you find your spare is flat also!  Major headache…you are stranded; a spare without air is no help at all.

It isn’t unusual for businesses to give thought to the first steps of a backup system (think spare tire), but instead of insuring the backup is workable, preparations stop there—sadly when a failure happens, the backup is not adequate (no air in the spare). Businesses that don’t want to be caught unprepared think through the worst case scenarios to insure a successful recovery in a timely manner.

A well prepared business will actually simulate a disaster recovery scenario to test its system. It follows its documented process and recovers to the equipment designated for recovery and evaluates its level of success. If there were any steps that failed, or if the process required excessive time to complete, revisions to the plan would be made and the plan retested.

Some effective disaster preparedness suggestions:

  1. Determine Your Worst Case Scenarios – What might go wrong and how completely and quickly would you need to recover?
  2. Design The Process And Tools – Plan and document the recovery scenario and determine what personnel, hardware, and software will be needed. Document this.
  3. Test / Revise – Prove the recovery process actually works on a frequency that makes sense. If you find any gaps, address and retest.

Give us a call and let us help you determine the best solutions for your needs!

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Go Team!

Would you agree that a baseball team would perform poorly without teamwork? Even if all the players were first round draft picks and All-Star athletes, they would be ineffective if they did not play as a team.

When no unified software system exists, businesses often resort to piecing together whatever software tools are at hand. No coordinated effort…ineffective teamwork! These businesses will be hard pressed to win the division let alone the World Series.

Some effective business applications (Go team!):

  1. Line of business application – Industry specific software designed to provide just what a business like yours needs.
  2. Enterprise Resource Planning – The right solution can be modular, customizable, and cost effective.
  3. Custom designed software – Custom created for the business. Can be a good solution if executed well.

Give us a call and let us help you determine the best choice for your needs!

Interested in improving and protecting your business? We have many solutions available. Contact us – we’re here to help. To learn more, click Here

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Your Mobile Office

Need the capability to work in multiple locations—a “mobile office” of sorts? Confused as to how to choose an optimal and efficient solution? Truth is, there are many options—it’s easy to become confused shuffling through the wide range of choices.

We can help! Begin by confirming your specific requirements.

For example:

Do you need remote access to files, or to the entire computer? Will you have reliable internet access in the locations where you will work? Will multiple people need access, or just you? How critical is the security of your data? Is this for business or personal use?

Answers to questions like these can help us help you determine the best choice.

Some of the common solutions involve one or more of the following:

  1. Remote Computer Control – Provides the ability to access a computer or server from a distant location
  2. Cloud Based Data Sharing – Allows Access to files from a remote location
  3. Virtual Desktop – Supports a portable server based desktop computer not tied to a specific physical computer
  4. Cloud Based Services – Provides computer software and services hosted on the internet

Give us a call and let us help you determine the best choice for your needs!

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Have you ever known an individual who spends much of his time entrenched in daily problems instead of planning ahead how to avoid such problems? We might as well call this fella “Hindsight,” because he has plenty of clarity concerning his past and present troubles—along with a good deal of regret.

Hindsight is exceptionally busy. He wholeheartedly applies his efforts to overcoming life’s present difficulties; life holds many a regular mishap, and recovery from these calamities requires constant effort on his part—hey, it’s a full-time job!

What about his business computer system? Malware, network slowdowns, data loss, and system downtime—he has seen it all. Hindsight bemoans his lack of planning, but he feels far too overwhelmed by the present to actually invest time or money in preventative measures aimed at quelling future catastrophes. “One of these days,” says he.

What’s wrong with this picture? Remember the old adage, “He who fails to plan, plans to fail”. A little time and money aimed at preventing problems would reduce time spent dealing with calamity.

Don’t let this happen to you. Invest in:

  1. Efficiency – “…do not squander time, for time is the stuff life is made of”– Ben Franklin.
  2. Reliability – System down-time can be significantly reduced.
  3. Security – The security of your information and the information of your customers is critical and must be protected.

Think ForeSight…

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Many computers utilize Java–a popular program from a large respected company, Oracle. As you may have heard, recent exploits have successfully attacked Java. Perhaps you aren’t concerned about the attacks if you believe you have not installed the software. However, you should be aware that even though you may not use Java, other programs on your computer may.And yes, this can apply to Windows, Mac, and Linux computers.

As is common with all good software companies, updates have been released to improve security. These updates are sometimes installed automatically, but often they are not. If you are unsure about your situation, please let us know—we can help with appropriate updates, configuration changes or removal from a computer.

As you know, the Windows, Mac, and Linux computer operating systems need to be updated to insure fast, reliable, and secure operation. But what other aspects of your system also need updates? Software applications, utilities, and attached devices like printers are all likely candidates. Even your computer itself may need firmware updates from time to time.


  1. Vital Few – If you no longer use a piece of software, it is best to remove it.
  2. Updates – Install important updates soon after they become available.
  3. Configuration – Adjust security settings of your operating system and applications to meet your needs, without causing undue risk to you and your business.

Click here for an article from the: Department of Homeland Security – United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team.

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We’ve all heard the flu outbreak warnings; this year the illness is widespread, and in many cases, quite severe. The medical pros sternly warn that those with flu-like symptoms should avoid contact with others in order to not worsen the overall situation.

Are you concerned that an epidemic will necessitate employee downtime and adversely affect your business? Wondering how to both protect worker health and limit the impact to your business?

Consider remote login—allowing key employees to access office computers from home.


  1. Enabling Employees – Determine which employees may need access and the extent of the access to be provided.
  2. Enabling Your IT Provider – If desired, enable your IT provider to access your system when necessary; repairs/ updates to your system can often be made remotely.
  3. Security – Make wise selections concerning technology to assure the security of your business and customers.

Interested in improving and protecting your business? We have many solutions available. Contact us – we’re here to help.

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Whom Will You Trust?

Every so often we hear a news report of a crook who impersonates a police officer and attempts to commit a crime against a trusting and unsuspecting victim.

Did you know you may be subject to a somewhat similar ploy? It happens thus: a credible looking but false security warning appears on your computer screen; the warning will indicate that viruses have been found in your system and will instruct you to follow a set of directions in order to eliminate the threat.

While you may not have a virus yet, you very likely will if you accept the advice. Don’t follow bogus advice.

What should you do?

  1. Know your internet security software—how it works and what its icons and interface look like
  2. Only accept guidance from a trusted source
  3. When in doubt, disconnect the computer from the network, turn off the computer, and contact ForeSight

Click here for more information from ForeSight Computer Solutions.

Interested in protecting and improving your business? Contact us – we’re here to help.

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Christmas Wish List

Want to know what I want for Christmas? Don’t worry—that question is not as self-serving as it seems!

What I would really like is quite simple: I want computer backups for all.

So often I hear from folks who have lost critically important data. Sometimes recovery or partial recovery is possible; sadly, sometimes it is not. Computer catastrophes such as accidents, theft, component failure, viruses, etc., would all be non-events if… (Drum roll, please) the computer has recently been backed up.

Once victims lose data, they are filled with regret and then become first-rate advocates of computer backups. Were you to experience such a calamity, you would feel similarly. Don’t wait until you’ve lost valuable important documents, family pictures, financial information, work, etc., before you implement this cost-effective procedure! Begin now!

A Few Suggestions:

  1. Local / Offsite storage – An ideal backup solution keeps backup data both close by and far off.
  2. Frequency – The more frequently you backup, the less data you will lose in a disaster.
  3. Verification – At least once in a while, test the backup to make sure it is working properly.

Caution: You risk losing what you don’t backup!

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The Little Things

These days it seems that everyone has a tablet computer and a smart phone! Though we frequently discuss security and data protection relative to computers and servers, what about these mini-computers? Some might think that since the device is small, the risk is likewise small. Not so! In fact, security risks are as great for tablet computers and smart phones, and yet in some ways, these devices are more difficult to protect than larger devices.

Consider these factors. These devices are easier to lose than your desktop computers yet frequently contain most or all of your sensitive data. Further, they utilize wireless and cell phone networks for communication, making data security more difficult. Synchronization of data between devices is handy but can result in missing, corrupted, or infected files on all your devices. An attack through your email account(s) on these devices can be just as damaging as an attack on larger devices.

Then too, it seems there is an app for everything. Email, remote computer access, phone conversations, text messages, banking information, navigation, web browsing, camera, calendar, contacts, social media, voice mail, etc. The more apps you employ, the more data your device contains. Realize that the more data you carry, the more security and backups are critical.

Please don’t treat devices in proportion to their size and cost. Let’s not learn lessons the hard way.

A Few Suggestions:

  1. Research – Not all hardware and software companies design and support their products well. Before purchasing, carefully review how you will use and protect these devices.
  2. Purchase – Remember the caveats concerning the purchase of hardware and software for a computer or server. The same rules apply to small devices.
  3. Secure – Passwords, software selection, updates, physical security, wireless security, and device disposal are all critical.
  4. Backup – Imperative. How will you backup your data?

Don’t let convenience control your security. Big or small, take care of it all!

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