Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Finding the Cloud Solution that’s Right for Your Business

Implementing a cloud solution is a difficult choice for many businesses, primarily because it represents a change in the way your organization functions. If you make a rash decision before doing your research, it might lead to downtime or a decrease in operability. Therefore, it’s important to understand why businesses move to the cloud, as well as what’s available for implementation.
Why is the Cloud Such a Great Investment? 
Organizations have found that the reliable access to data and applications is too good to pass up--especially considering that all you need is an Internet connection and a mobile device. The increase in mobility and productivity has provided countless businesses around the world with the ability to break down workplace barriers. Professionals who were once limited to the office can now work wherever--and however--they want.
We wish it were as simple as explaining how the cloud works, but it’s not. There are several different types of cloud solutions, and the one you want to use will vary depending on what you have planned for your cloud. Here are the three different types of cloud solutions, including their advantages and disadvantages.
The public cloud is usually offered by a third-party cloud provider, and the basic definition of it is that it’s a shared online space where users can store files and applications. Users can only see their own storage space. These solutions are for consumers, but some offer additional features for businesses or enterprises. The public cloud is ideal if your business doesn’t have someone on-hand to take care of an internal cloud system. Since it’s maintained by professional technicians within the provider’s organization, you won’t have to deal with updates or maintenance.
However, the public cloud provides limited control of your data, and you can’t take additional security measures that you might be able to with the private cloud.
The private cloud is generally hosted in an on-site location on company hardware, but some cloud providers will partition off a section of their infrastructure for private cloud clients. If you choose to host your own private cloud, you’ll be responsible for the upkeep, management, and maintenance of it. This is usually only possible if you have an internal IT department with the technical knowhow, but managed service providers offer a workaround in most cases.
If you want a hands-off private cloud solution, but still want the security benefits, a hybrid cloud can work well for you.
Hybrid clouds are a combination cloud solution that combines the previously mentioned services into one dynamic package. A hybrid cloud keeps your data safe while minimizing the amount of maintenance your business must perform. Hybrid clouds can be private clouds managed on-site by an outsourced IT provider like Net It On. Or, we could host your private cloud on our own servers--whichever you prefer.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Why You Need to Be Cautious About How Your Company Approaches Social Media

Social Media allows businesses to share their brand with the outside world in entirely new ways. While the benefit of social media is that everyone and their mother is on it, the problem with social media is that everyone and their mother is on it. People put all sorts of information on their accounts, which translates into a major security risk in the form of targeted phishing attacks.
Social media urges people to share information about their lives with others on the Internet. If you think about it, this trend has shown people that, despite the countless threats that can be found on the Internet, it’s “okay” to share information with others who want to contact you. This causes people to put their trust in social media, which can have dangerous side-effects. In particular, it makes them vulnerable to phishing attacks performed by hackers. Plus, you need to take into account that all of your employees likely have social media accounts, and that they share their contact information with anyone who can view their profile.
This becomes another vector that a hacker can use to exploit your business. Even if your business blocks access to these websites, employees will use these sites off of your network, be it through mobile devices or otherwise. Hackers could pose as an employee’s old friend, reaching out for the first time in ages--perhaps asking for a small loan. Or, maybe they’ll ask employees for sensitive credentials or personally identifiable information. Either way, you can bet that any compromised accounts will attempt to spread malware through suspicious links or advanced phishing attacks designed to target the user’s trusting nature.
After all, social media can be trusted, right? Wrong.
Too many businesses think that social media is simply another waste of time, rather than a legitimate threat. It’s a matter of perspective; users aren’t going to suspect that threats could lie on trusted websites like social media accounts; and the more connections someone has, the more potential outlets for hackers. The reality of the matter is that threats come in all shapes and sizes, and will take whatever measures needed to steal sensitive data or infect machines with malware. Plus, the more employees you have, the greater your chances of encountering situations like the aforementioned scenarios.
Is your business nervous about experiencing social media attacks? Your first line of defense is to educate your employees on security best practices. This includes how to identify incoming threats, especially through social media websites, where hackers could pretend to be someone familiar. It’s your responsibility to ensure that your employees understand how to keep themselves safe both in and out of the office.
You should then augment your best practices by implementing a content filtering solution from Net It On. A content filter can keep your employees from accessing risky or time-wasting websites, which includes social media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and so on. Furthermore, you can block access to social media on a per user level to keep the problem employees in check.

Tip of the Week: 3 Ways to Travel Without Fear of Hacking

Cyber threats are everywhere. If you’re one to travel, then you’ll encounter many of these threats on public Wi-Fi networks. Therefore, remote workers need a secure way to access company files. Here are three tips to protect your digital assets while traveling.
Connect With ConsiderationPublic hotspots are a problem, especially for corporate data. One of the favorite ways for hackers to steal information from unsuspecting users is to create their own Wi-Fi network that mimics the name of an establishment’s official network. For example, if you’re staying at the Motel California and attempt to connect to its Wi-Fi, you are given the options of MOTEL_CALIFORNIA_GUEST or MOTELCALIFORNIA_FREEWIFI. In a fictitious scenario such as this, it may be difficult to determine which connection is legitimate.
Just to be sure, confirm which network is real by asking the establishment’s staff. Plus, if the Internet connection claims to require a software update, disconnect and inform management immediately.
The Briefer, the Better
The longer that you’re logged in to a wireless connection, the more time you’re giving hackers to access your data. If you’re not using the Wi-Fi for any particular reason, disconnect from it and log back in at a later time. This practice might be annoying, but it’s much more secure than staying connected longer than you need to.
Rely on Your Own Resources 
If you have a mobile data plan that can sustain your usage, you should use that connection to create your own hotspot rather than relying on a potentially unsecured connection. At the very least, you’ll significantly decrease your chances of falling victim to a hack attack.
Bonus tip: Be sure to keep your devices close at hand. This includes storage solutions, especially those that are unsecured. If you have to leave your devices alone for any period of time, be sure to keep them locked away in cases, just to be safe.
Traveling doesn’t give you an excuse to ignore data security. By taking advantage of the proper layers of protection, as well as a security solution like a Virtual Private Network, you can make sure that your data is safe while you’re on the go. 

Every Business Owner Needs Their Technology to Do These 2 Things

Every business is different, and will require technology solutions specifically designed with their organization in mind. However, it can often be difficult to implement new solutions, especially if you don’t know what your options are. By taking a careful analysis of your current IT assets, as well as where you plan to be in the next few years, you can accurately gauge your business’s expectations and implement the right solutions.
There are a few concepts that technology solutions should meet for SMBs; functionality, interoperability, and flexibility.
Interoperability and Functionality
Your organization needs technology that works with other solutions that your organization provides. This can be difficult to gauge, especially since managing your business comes first and handling your IT comes second. Or, rather, it should be this way for a business owner, but it’s often the case that managing IT interferes with business operations. Since you don’t have the time to properly vet a solution, it might be tempting to implement it before you know it’s compatible with your infrastructure. It’s best to consult a trusted technician before implementing new technology solutions, as doing so without first understanding compatibility can cause wasteful downtime.
Plus, it helps to have professional technicians on-hand who can help your business identify good technology deals. Without having an intimate knowledge of the latest technology, it’s easy to purchase new hardware or software and have it fall short of your expectations.
Scalable, Flexible Solutions
In particular, cloud and communication solutions are designed to retain a certain flexibility for the consumer. This means that they are easy to scale to your business’s specific needs, and you will only pay for services that you want, rather than expensive bundles. Think of it like cable television; sure, it’s nice to have, but not when it also comes with several other functions and services that you’ll never use, but are still paying money for. You can see a great parallel to this type of saving in regards to cord cutters, who favor services like Netflix and Hulu Plus compared to spending much more on cable.
Some of the many IT solutions that are both flexible and scalable to meet your needs include:
  • Cloud services
  • Virtual helpdesk and support
  • VoIP telephony
  • Hosted email
  • Productivity suites and software as a service
This flexibility is what keeps organizations coming back to managed IT services, as it allows organizations to create solutions that are specific to their needs. Doing so guarantees them that they will have solutions put into place that can be increased or decreased with demand, or with corporate growth.
It should also be noted, it can be difficult to implement solutions without having a solid goal in mind, especially if you’re hoping to grow. Using an IT roadmap can dramatically increase the return on investment of your business’s technology solutions, as it takes into account your goals and how your business adjusts to growth. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Security Lessons Taken Right From the Hacker’s Playbook

As we hear news about large-scale hacks and data breaches, there’s a temptation to picture attacks like those in television shows and films like Mr. Robot, Live Free or Die Hard and other works of fiction. These attacks are often carried out by criminal geniuses or nefarious nation-states, utilizing of a crippling zero-day vulnerability or superbug to bring society to its knees.
While such stories can make for great entertainment, is this trend toward huge, sophisticated hacks in fiction representative of real life? As it turns out, apparently not.
Penetration company SafeBreach released the second edition of their Hacker’s Playbook, which describes the experience the company’s researchers had as they simulated almost four million methods of data breaches between January and September of 2016. Those that succeeded were analyzed to establish how the hacker entered the system, how they moved about the system, and how they stole data away.
The results were surprising, to say the least. The most successful attacks that were run were those that have been around for years. The old “.exe file in the email attachment” trick was effective in a quarter of all attempts that were tested, and assorted malware-distributing exploit kits and zip files tested to be very effective as well. In short, the vast majority of vulnerabilities came--not from the cinematic doomsday plots of superbug-wielding geniuses--but from the old, tried-and-true issues and user errors. Oftentimes, measures meant to stop malware aren’t configured properly, leaving a system exposed and underprotected.
So what does this mean for your business?
Quite a bit, actually. Reflecting upon such trends, it is essentially guaranteed that a hacker could make off with whatever data they could want. However, businesses can still take preventative measures against this by implementing the proper solutions (like firewalls and spam blocking tools), educating their employees as to the threats that are out there, and properly maintaining their systems.

Tip of the Week: 4 Tips for a Smooth Transition to a New Office

So you have elected to relocate your operations to a new office space. While this can be a great way to make progress toward a variety of goals, there are important considerations you need to take into account during your search to find a space that is just right for you and your business’s needs. What follows is a list of factors to keep in mind as you narrow your real estate search.
Building Systems
Not all office spaces are created equal, and so some will have some functionality that others lack. Does the office you’re considering feature enough space for not only your employees, but also for the on-premises infrastructure? Is the HVAC system powerful enough to keep your technology cool enough and your staff comfortable enough to function properly? The ability to install a backup generator is an important consideration to take into account as well depending on the importance of uptime. An extremely important factor, while not always immediately considered, is parking. Will your workforce have enough parking space for all of its members at any given time?
Cables (Phone and LAN)
If you are moving 25 workers into a new office, you’ll need drops for their workstations to plug in to. Have the network cables been tested? How are they ran? There are many factors to consider when running networking cable, such as; making sure they aren’t ran around florescent lighting and power cables, terminating and labeling them properly, and it’s always been a good practice to run two drops for each desk in case something goes wrong.
With a wireless solution, you could get away from using some of the network cables, but setting that up requires some planning as well.
As far as phone cables go, with good network cables you could consider VoIP, which eliminates the need for separate phone cables and utilizes your network and the internet to make and receive calls.
Efficiency and Expenses
This will require a bit of math and comparative consideration, as factors other than price must be accounted for in determining the best value for your company and its needs. One key example is a property’s load factor, or how much space is used up by other features that prevent utility (like hallways, restrooms, and elevators). For example, let’s consider two properties that each have total areas of 15,000-square-feet. The cheaper of the two has an 18 percent load, while the more expensive has a 7 percent load. Despite the higher price, the second option may actually be the more economic decision as the lesser load would allow more resources to fit inside the office’s walls.
Furthermore, there are the other costs associated with being a tenant in someone’s building--maintenance, energy, and the other costs that are added to the rent--that should also factor into deliberations. Is the building equipped with features to cut costs that would otherwise increase the cost of occupancy?
Management Concerns
If a building you are looking into houses more than one business, ask yourself, “What other businesses operate here?” Are any those that you would consider your competition, a factor that would almost assuredly create some tension down the line. Talk to some of the other tenants about their experience in establishing themselves in that building. Are the building utilities well seen to? The janitorial staff will need to be proficient and efficient at their jobs, elevator and climate-control systems will need to be reliably operational. Parking will need to be accessible and conveniently located for everyone.
These are all considerations to take into account as you move your business into a new location. However, one consideration that stands above all is how you plan on moving your organization’s mission-critical technology. Net It On can help evaluate your new location and compare it to the infrastructure you already have running to make sure moving doesn’t cause major hangups in your productivity.

Big Data is Only Beneficial if You Know What to Do With It

Big data continues to be a big topic for businesses, as organizations stand to gain much from analyzing data and identifying trends. This can help you understand how your business will function in the future, but there are two topics of concern that you need to consider before using the data: how exactly do you want to use the data, and will the data that you’ve collected help you in achieving that goal?
Big data, according to Gartner’s IT glossary, is “high-volume, high-velocity and/or high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing that enable enhanced insight, decision making, and process automation.” Organizations collect data and use analytical tools to discover trends and other useful information that can be used to augment their business endeavor. Of course, there will always be one thing that holds back any business that collects data for this intention, and that’s the data itself. Is it even useful for its intended purpose?
It’s actually quite simple. You can collect as much data as you want, but how useful that data is for your organization could be up for debate. For example, a restaurant using surveys to track what kind of meals its customers like would be an effective way to introduce new and exciting dishes, while tracking what they wear and how they act likely won’t prove to be of much help. Basically, you want solid feedback that helps you provide better services to your existing customers, and data that can help you better target new clients.
In other words, your organization wants to collect data that helps you better target your audience and provide better services. Therefore, you’ll need big data that takes into account both your current audience and your target audience. Information that’s outside of this realm doesn’t help you at all.
Of course, big data doesn’t always seem to work as intended. Tom Goodwin at Forbes makes a claim that the human condition is counterproductive to big data, and that our behavior is often too unpredictable to fully use big data to its greatest potential: “Big Data doesn’t get how weird we are. Big data can’t explain how I can be a Guardian reading, Whole Foods loving, Golf playing guy that owns an old lowered plastidipped BMW with spinning chrome wheels. Well, I know I can’t. People are irrational, they do things for strange reasons that even they don’t understand. They may explain it, but they will post rationalize to seem more logical.”
Ultimately, big data means more than just analyzing data that’s collected, and your success with it may rely on what you choose to do with it. While you can potentially predict shifts in your industry, it’s important to take the results with a grain of salt. There will always be exceptions to the norm, and you need to take this into account. That’s just how we are as individuals, and until an algorithm can understand that, big data will be an interesting way to “almost” guess an outcome. Think of it as an educated guess; it might be right, but then again, it might not be.
So, how does your business use big data to its advantage?

Monday, November 7, 2016

Research Shows Why it May Be Time to Rethink the 8-Hour Workday

If we asked you to tell us how many hours a day you actually work, what would the figure look like? Chances are that you as a business owner put in a little more than the average worker, but would it total over the requisite eight hours? A recent study shows that while eight hours of work 200 years ago was considered revolutionary, it might be a bit on the long side to expect good work from good employees.
The origin of the eight-hour workday has its roots in the Industrial Revolution. In an attempt to make shorter and more productive workdays, a Welsh activist named Robert Owen said in 1817, “Eight hours labor, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest.” At the time, it was a major suggestion that seemed radical--workdays often exceeded 12 hours, sometimes lasting for as long as 16 hours. This concept came to fruition in the 20th century when the Ford Motor Company implemented the eight-hour workday, which led to enhanced productivity while doubling wages.
Naturally, productivity increased, all while simultaneously improving both work ethic and working conditions. Do you think today’s workplace could benefit from another development similar to this one? If not, hold that thought--let’s take a look at a study first, which analyzed 2,000 full-time office workers.
The study found that your employees might only be productive for up to three hours a day. While this might be shocking to hear, it shouldn’t be. As you well know, there are way too many distractions that could be wasting time for your employees. Here are some of the distractions that the study found were most prominent:
  • Reading news websites: 1 hour 5 min
  • Checking social media: 44 min
  • Discussing non-work-related things with coworkers: 40 min
  • Searching for new jobs: 26 min
  • Taking smoke breaks: 23 min
  • Making calls to partners/friends: 18 min
  • Making hot drinks: 17 min
  • Texting or instant messaging: 14 min
  • Eating snacks: 8 min
  • Making food in office: 7 mins
Many of these distractions can be removed by using a content filtering system on your network. Time-wasting and inappropriate websites, like social media and pornography, can easily be blocked with the intention of retaining productivity and security.

Tip of the Week: 2 Cool Services that Let You Try a Gadget Before You Buy It

The Internet is a great place to find information on a technology solution before going all-in on the purchase. Yet, sometimes you’ll purchase a hardware component that doesn’t quite meet your expectations. While it’s sometimes possible to go through the hassle of returning it, you can avoid this problem altogether by renting the technology rather than purchasing it immediately.
Today, most gadget rental services primarily deal with popular consumer electronics, such as smartphones, cameras, wearables, drones, headphones, and so much more. Still, some of these devices might be handy to have around the office. Even if not for business practices, some of these consumer devices might be just what you’ve been looking for, but haven’t been fully committed to purchasing.
In most cases, these rental systems are remarkably straightforward. You browse a website and select the item you want to try. You then pay a small fee to cover the cost of you possessing the item for a certain degree of time. The item is then mailed to you and the trial period starts once you’ve obtained your device. You can use the product as you see fit, and when you’re finished, you send it back and pay for the time you used it.
If you decide that you would like to keep the product, you pay for it and part of the rental fee will be deducted from the price. Of course, the rates will depend on which rental company you go with, as well as the type of product that you’ve been renting.
This presents a clear advantage; you only have to invest in technology that you’re sure you want and need. Plus, if you only need it for a specific amount of time, you can take advantage of the technology for a fraction of what it would cost to purchase outright--like if you just need two turntables and a microphone for an event.
You also need to take into account that some new gadgets are only fun for a finite amount of time and swiftly lose their value as you use them. Renting a drone might sound fun, but you might find that instead of using it to reap some sort of benefit, it’s just sitting in your garage collecting dust. In this situation, it’s better to just pay to rent it for a weekend rather than purchasing it outright.
Two popular websites to check out if you’re wanting to rent cool technology are Lumoid and Grover.
Lumoid is a great way to purchase specialized equipment like camera gear and wearables. Additionally, they have a nice selection of drones, high-end headphones, and others. PCMag offers this review: “You can try several devices at once for a reasonable cost, or simply rent items, such as the new Apple Watch or a drone quadcopter, on a short-term basis... Prices vary, shipping took more than two weeks in my trial, and the loan times can be a little tight, but Lumoid's convenience makes it a worthwhile service.”
Grover is new to the United States, but unlike Lumoid, Grover offers a more diverse selection of gadgetry. Gadgets like smartphones, virtual reality devices, laptops, projectors, and video game consoles are all available on a rent-to-own plan. In an interview with PCMag, Grover CEO Michael Cassau is quick to explain what sets his company apart: "Grover is not about trying before buying but about replacing buying altogether because it's unnecessary and largely debt financed. Consumers are granted the freedom from purchasing one gadget at a large upfront cost and given the ability to experience multiple gadgets at a reasonable price point. How long a consumer wants to keep a product is up to them."
In much the same way, there are several IT hardware companies that offer leasing services so your business can get the technology it needs at a reasonable rate. If this sounds like a good deal, you can reach out to Net It On at (732) 360-2999. We’ll work with your business to find the technology you need, when you need it.

This Halloween, Hackers are Pretending to Be You

Halloween is a great time for people of all ages to let loose and embrace their spookier, darker side--even though they aren’t. For hackers, however, every day is like Halloween, but with ill intentions. Hackers will pretend to be someone they’re not in order to scam you out of sensitive data or personal information. By identifying their tricks, you can keep hackers from getting their treats.
The aforementioned tricks are typically characterized as social engineering tactics, where a hacker will trick users into thinking that they’re a trusted organization, or even someone within their own business. Unlike those who participate in Halloween dressed in silly costumes, it’s not so easy to distinguish a social engineering attack from normal everyday occurrences. This is what makes the trick so convincing. Therefore, it’s imperative that you know what to look for, and how to address it properly. Also, in the same way you check your kid’s trick-or-treat candy for anything that might be harmful, you need to view unsolicited digital communications with a degree of healthy skepticism.
The unfortunate fact is that social engineering attacks (including phishing scams) work, which is why they’re commonly used by hackers. Even the most vigilant user can fall victim to a social engineering scam, which prompts people to wonder what makes a social engineering attack so effective. Researchers from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany decided to pursue this thought and performed research into what makes people want to click on suspicious links.
Zinaida Benenson presented the university’s findings at the most recent Black Hat convention in Las Vegas. It was discovered that the success of social engineering attacks was largely due to the hacker understanding the circumstances of the scam and personalizing the link to appeal to the victim at that specific time: “By a careful design and timing of the message, it should be possible to make virtually any person to click on a link, as any person will be curious about something, or interested in some topic, or find themselves in a life situation that fits the message content and context."
In other words, proactive training and education aren’t enough. Even the best employee could click on a link that aligns with their personal interests. ZDNet uses the example of an employee who has recently attended an event and is then sent a link to an online photo album containing memories of the event. The user will want to click on the link to see what the photos are, regardless of who it’s from. Once he has done so, the hacker succeeds; he has appealed to the natural curiosity of the user, and thanks to the timing of the message, the user is almost guaranteed to click it.
Another common example is an employee who is experiencing persistent technical trouble with their workstation. They might receive an email from “tech support” claiming that the problem can be resolved by downloading remote access software. The frustrated employee will click on the link because it fits their current needs and situation and because users typically trust tech support.
Just like how it takes energy to build an impressive Halloween persona, these hackers require immense time and preparation in order to successfully pull off a social engineering scam. These types of personalized attacks make social engineering scams challenging to protect yourself against. Yet, not all hope is lost. Educating your employees on security best practices and implementing spam blocking solutions designed to eliminate spammy emails may be the best way to avoid a fright.

DDoS-for-Hire Botnets are Causing Major Headaches for Business Owners

Botnets are a growing concern for businesses all over the world. Between massive DDoS attacks that can knock out servers, and hordes of remote-controlled zombie computers that are subject to a controllers’ whims, businesses have a lot to worry about. Has your business fallen victim to a botnet in the past, and what can you do to keep it safe in the future?
For those who are unaware, botnets are often-malicious groups of infected computers that serve a single host server. These computers are slaves to the command-and-control server, and can serve a variety of purposes. Owners of infected computers often can’t tell that their systems have been infected in the first place, and find out the hard way when their computers don’t perform as intended. These computers will then continue to spread the infection for as long as they can. In the event of a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack, these infected computers constantly ping a website or server to overwhelm it and bring it down.
Perhaps one of the most dangerous qualities of today’s botnet attacks are how accessible they are for just about anyone who wants to use them. DDoS-for-hire botnets are particularly popular and available at a reasonable price, even for the average user, and they require virtually no experience to pull off. These easily-purchased DDoS botnets are estimated to be behind up to 40 percent of all attacks on networks.
Though it’s safe to say that many of these attacks are caused by those who want to make a little chaos, there are, of course, more powerful botnets that can normally only be utilized by government agencies and criminal organizations due to their hefty price tags. These botnets are capable of producing massive DDoS attacks of up to several GB/second. Corero Network Security has found that there has been a significant increase in attacks of 10GB/second or higher, at about 25 percent.
It’s more likely that the type of botnet you will encounter in the wild is the zombified botnet, which recruits other computers into the fold and coerces them into doing its bidding. These botnets are often used to send spam or spread malware, with the goal of infecting as many systems as possible. When their reach is always increasing, it gradually becomes difficult to contain such a vast network.
Due to the nature of botnets and DDoS attacks in general, it can be challenging to protect your business’s network from them. Having security solutions in place can keep threats that would spread malware to your system away, but the botnets that are known for assaulting servers and networks with traffic are a different story. These are often automated and difficult to track. It takes someone who’s watching your network at all times to do anything about these attacks.
Ultimately, it helps to have someone on your side that understands the technicalities of these complex attackers. Net It On would be happy to answer any questions or concerns that you have about botnets and their uses.

Tip of the Week: 4 Easy Ways to Merge 2 Smartphones

Have you ever tried lugging around two smartphones? It’s not as fun as it sounds, especially since having two devices means double the chance of losing one. Often times, this two-phone dilemma results from having both a work-issued phone and a personal phone. Thankfully, merging two phones is easy to do.
Use Call Forwarding
If the only reason you carry the extra phone is to take phone calls, then utilizing your phone’s call forwarding feature is a great way to consolidate your two devices. This feature is found on pretty much every cell phone and it’s easy to setup. To activate call forwarding on Android, follow these steps (steps will vary for each version of Android); open the phone app > Call settings > Additional settings > Call forwarding, you’ll then select which call forwarding option you want and enter the phone number of the second device. When you no longer need your calls forwarded, be sure to turn the feature off so that the original device will once again receive phone calls.
For businesses taking advantage of a VoIP communications systems, remember that VoIP allows you to forward your business number to your personal cell phone, meaning that you don’t necessarily have to carry an extra device just for taking company calls. With VoIP, setting up your smartphone to receive company calls is as easy as downloading an app.
Mirror Text Messages
Unlike call forwarding, forwarding text messages (known as mirroring text messages) isn’t as easy to set up. In fact, the standard cell phone doesn’t have this as a feature, which means that, if you want it, you’ll have to use a third party solution. One reliable text messaging mirroring solution is MySMS, which costs a nominal fee of $9.99 per year.
Set Up Multiple Accounts on One Device
If you’re using two devices only because you have to keep track of two Android or iOS accounts (like your work account and your personal account), then you’ll be happy to learn that a single mobile device is capable of hosting two separate accounts. Two things to keep in mind when setting up multiple accounts on a single device: 1) correctly install important apps like calendar and email so you don’t get these mixed up, and 2) if you’re adding a work account, review your company’s mobile device security policy so you don’t put sensitive data at risk.
Sync Your Apps to the Cloud 
When using multiple devices, it’s easy to lose track of files that are stored on one device but not on the others. Therefore, it’s best to sync your data across all of the devices you use. Cloud computing provides an easy way to sync your files, and you’ve got a variety of mobile apps to choose from, like Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox, Office 365, etc. Thanks to the cloud, syncing information on multiple devices can be done automatically, allowing you to finally leave the extra device behind.
These four tips will help you merge your mobile devices. Again, before doing so on a device that deals with company information, you’ll want to first check your company’s mobile security policy so you don’t put sensitive information at risk, or violate any compliance laws like HIPAA.

Getting Started With BYOD? Be Sure to Cover These 3 Concerns

Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, continues to grow into one of the most accepted practices within an organization. Yet, one major problem has always plagued BYOD in the form of security. Thankfully, with the help of mobile device management, businesses are able to minimize this risk while leveraging the benefits that BYOD offers.
About 92 percent of employees at organizations which allow BYOD claim that they use smartphones for work purposes at least once every week and 40 percent from a survey by Software Advice found that users ran into fewer technical problems with their own devices. Since users are more familiar with their personal devices, it makes it easier to avoid technical problems that could require help desk support or maintenance.
While BYOD can be great when implemented properly, you need to remember that your employees’ personal devices are connecting to your in-house network. This presents a risk that needs to be approached strategically. To address these issues, try following these three guidelines for your Bring Your Own Device policy.
Data and User Access
Your data’s security should always be a top priority, especially when considering new technology solutions like BYOD. Your data security is only as strong as the security of the devices accessing it. It’s logical that the more devices accessing your business’s data, the more potential threats that it will be exposed to. Therefore, you should limit which devices and user accounts can access certain data. Thankfully, a BYOD policy lets you restrict data on a per-user and per-device basis, allowing you to keep sensitive information away from employees that have no business accessing it. The result is greater security without hindering operations.
Whitelisting and Blacklisting Applications
Some applications will request access to device data which may not sit well with your organization, such as an application demanding access to information not necessary for its functionality. For example, a smartphone flashlight app probably doesn’t need access to your contacts or text messages. A good BYOD policy will include mobile device management that allows your organization to whitelist and blacklist apps, keeping your data safe from unapproved access.
Security Best Practices
Employee education is one of the most important parts of implementing a BYOD policy. Since your users will be using their own devices to perform work-related tasks, they will need to understand how to keep themselves safe, both in the office and at home. Regularly quiz them on security best practices and take care to show them why it’s important. Doing so lets you protect your infrastructure while improving your employees’ knowledge of security, making them greater assets in the long run. If your business doesn’t have time to train your staff, perhaps an outsourced provider like Net It On can lend a hand.