March 2014

I think Spring might be coming. Got a glimpse of it this weekend! I’m excited about the forecast this week – I’m not sure how many would agree with me, but I just love a good spring day-time thunderstorm. Dark outside with rumbles of thunder and the rain pouring down – of course it’s like snow, the first one or two are fun, and then I’m ready to move on.

Don’t forget that Microsoft ends support for Windows XP next week. Despite what some are reporting, there has been no meaningful extension of support. They have agreed to extend malware updates for 1 year, but that is only one small piece of the puzzle, and certainly it’s intended to help home users buy a little more time. There is no justification for using XP in a business setting any longer, and we haven’t come across any compatibility situation that could not be addressed.

We’ll get to start this process over again, as support for Windows Server 2003 ends next spring, and it is also still widely in use for small businesses. I am a strong proponent for making wise investments in technology and ensuring that you get the most return out of that investment that you can, but in the case of XP and Server 2003 it is time to move on, and the benefits will justify the expense. Let me know what questions you have.

Don’t forget that spring time is a great time to review your Internet & Phone service bills. These recurring charges add up to a significant expense. Let me help you review your current situation and advise you on the new options available. It’s not unheard of for us to help a client to increase bandwidth and save thousands of dollars at the same time, many times with the same carrier. I’m happy to review your bills and help, just give me a call!

Toll-Fraud is still a big issue we are seeing out there, so it is extremely important to make sure that you have the proper security measures in place on your phone system. I’ve listed some guidelines below to assist you in securing your system. Please note there may be other factors to consider, and if you would like us to audit your security, we are happy to help.

Use strong voicemail-box passwords and change them routinely. Do not keep default passwords. Consider passwords longer than 4 digits.
Consider not allowing your users to make calls from their voicemail-box.
Review user rights and limit the ability to forward or conference to an outside number to only those users needing that feature.
Phone systems should be behind firewalls or have the built-in firewall enabled. Review your firewall configuration for maximum security.
Contact your PBX vendor to discuss the proper security measures to be taken on your system.

February 2012, Do you like me?

 

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I will ask:  Do you like me?  Please like our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NetInnovations or our twitter account at http://www.twitter.com/NetInnovations.  If you like our newsletter articles, you will find other great articles about technology and improving your business as I find them.   You’ll also find alerts and information that won’t keep for a monthly newsletter.

 

Toll Fraud is on the rise in 2012!  Toll fraud occurs when someone hacks your voicemail password, and then uses that access to make long distance phone calls from your company phone system.  We didn’t see any toll fraud issues within our client base in 2011, and we’ve seen 4 in 2012!  In most cases, the hacking is done by “brute force” with an automated system that just repeatedly dials and attempts to access voicemail until a password works.  There are many ways to reduce your risk, I will list several below.  Let me know if you would like our assistance in securing or auditing your system.

  • Use longer passwords, 5-6 digits if possible
  • Use complex passwords (don’t use the default password you were assigned, your extension number, phone number or address)
  • Delete unused extensions
  • Disable voicemail and/or calling from voicemail for extensions that don’t need it
  • Disable international calling both on the system itself and with your carrier unless required

 

I should have exciting updates on the AltiGen phone system next month – our dealer council meeting at AltiGen HQ is the first week of March.  Once again Network Innovations is proud to be among AltiGen’s top 3 dealers.  I have served for many years on AltiGen’s Dealer Council, and appreciate AltiGen’s willingness to allow me to help shape the future of such a great system.  I’ll be planning our annual user group meeting when I return, I hope to see you there!

Last month I promised a few more Google search tips, here goes:

  • Explicit Phrase – enclose your search phrase in quotations to only find results with that exact phrase in the same order.  i.e “AltiGen Olathe”
  • Convert units of measure – search for a phrase such as “cups in a pint” or “31 kilometers in miles” (quotes not needed in the actual search).  Instant results!
  • Google is a calculator!  Enter an equation for your search term and instantly get the result.  i.e. 45% of 39, 9*5, etc.  Read more about operators in the Google Guide: http://bit.ly/zf3w.  I will include even more next month!