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First Column IT blog

First Column IT has been serving the Manassas area since 2002, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Your Computer May be Older than You

Your Computer May be Older than You

Think about how much office technology has changed over just the last 10 years. Remember those bulky, 60-pound CRT monitors? Remember thinking a 32” screen was a TV, not a computer monitor? While you more than likely have replaced those old computer monitors, what is the status of your computer hardware? If you purchased your computer at the same time as that monitor, your hardware is also extremely outdated. How do you know exactly how old your computer is, and when it’s nearing retirement?

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Patch Procedure Insight

Patch Procedure Insight

Patches are one of the most important aspects of your technology. As with anything, technology is constantly changing, so shouldn’t your software? Today we will discuss three tips, sharing advice on optimizing your patch management process. 

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No Free Wi-Fi For You!

No Free Wi-Fi For You!

As the quantity of Wi-Fi compatible devices increases, the demand for wirelessly-transmitted networks follow. While wired connections might seem inferior, Wi-Fi’s accessibility brings a new challenge -- security.

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You Need to Have Your Software Licenses in Check

You Need to Have Your Software Licenses in Check

When you own a vehicle, you get a little document called a vehicle title. This certificate establishes the legal owner of the vehicle. When you own software, you are given a software license. Like any contract, things can go south if you violate the terms.

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Tip of the Week: Reduce Your Costs with Managed IT Services

Tip of the Week: Reduce Your Costs with Managed IT Services

Small business owners are always looking for a way to shave some of that overhead off of their budgets. While this is probably true for most business owners, the more capital a small business can save, the more it can do. Outsourcing its IT management is one way to either cut down the company’s technology maintenance costs--or, if your company doesn’t currently have a dedicated technician--can keep you from paying way too much to keep your business running smoothly. 

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Ransomware Revisited

Ransomware Revisited

Ransom: a sum of money is demanded in order for the release of goods.
Software: the programs and other operating information used by a computer.

What do you get when you combine the two? Ransomware. 

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Using Smartphones to Be More Productive

Using Smartphones to Be More Productive

The smartphone is the defining invention of our time, and as a result, it has to be used for more than gaming, social media, and messaging. The smartphone is a great device to supplement your productivity efforts while you are on the go. Since these devices can do more than they ever have, more can be done by using mobile apps designed specifically to increase interdepartmental collaboration and business-to-client communications. 

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Opening the Cybercriminal Toolbox

Opening the Cybercriminal Toolbox

People’s exposure to cybercrime has been increasing for some time. Today, people with very little coding experience can infiltrate systems and steal data. There is demand for data, and now there is a supply of low-cost--or even free--hacking tools available on the dark web that allows people to get closer to that data. In fact, according to a report by Deloitte entitled Black Market Ecosystem: Estimating the Cost of “Pwnership”, there is a complete economy built around these readily-available hacking tools that are relatively easy to use.

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Collaboration Tools You Can Integrate Easily

Collaboration Tools You Can Integrate Easily

Integrating collaboration tools ensures your team has the correct solutions to complete a project. Enabling these tools allows your business to put the co-op, in cooperation. Today, we will talk about how collaboration tools can be implemented, along with the benefits they bring.

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Important Elements of Disaster Recovery

Important Elements of Disaster Recovery

Imagine having a data backup and disaster recovery solution, thinking you’re prepared to handle anything that comes your way. Then disaster strikes and recovery is impossible. If you had tested your solution beforehand, it may have been possible to prevent this misstep entirely. What kind of disasters need to be prepared for, and how can you make sure your testing takes them into account?

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