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Copeland Data News - October, 2015

Welcome...

FallWelcome to the October 2015 edition of Copeland Data News.

Windows 10 is making headlines and has been well-received on the home front, yet continues to have some small concerns lingering in the business community.

Virus activity, specifically CryptoLocker, has seen a resurgence and every business needs to be aware of this assault on their organization's data.

If anything in this newsletter raises ideas or questions, please let us know. We are here to happily serve the Information Technology needs of your business.

Thank you,

Tom

In this issue of Copeland Data News

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Windows 10

Windows 10 has been released and generally speaking, has been well-received by the masses.  For business, Windows 10 still presents the following challenges:

  1. Various business-level anti-virus software vendors are working on the Windows 10 release of their anti-virus client. Please do not assume that the business-centric solution you are using will "just work," as that is typically not the case.
  2. Your business may be using software that is not compatible with Windows 10. Each software application is different and you should verify that they are Windows 10 compatible prior to upgrading.
  3. Users have experienced various navigational issues, like when the Start menu and associated links do not work on a given day. These kinds of issues are typical with any new operating system release and should be corrected as updates are released.
  4. Windows 10 provides many ways to customize the user experience and is built on an "apps" mentality.  It can be thought of as a navigational playground as its look and feel will be more of an iPhone or Android device. There is a possibility that users will spend time configuring Windows 10 and this can lead to productivity issues.  Policies can be configured to minimize the users' ability to customize their Windows 10 environment.

From a non-Microsoft perspective, you may find this article on Windows 10 interesting.

In summary, we recommend that you let the dust settle before installing Windows 10 in a corporate environment. Many business leaders are not racing to upgrade Windows 10, as the risk is currently too great.  Time is on your side as most Windows 7 and 8 installations can be upgraded until July 2016 at no charge.

On the home front, it may be time for Windows 10!

Windows Updates - Do You Need Them?

Secured LaptopWindows updates are a necessary component and they have to be part of your computer systems policies and procedures. While there are times where a Windows update can cause some changes or issues, for the most part, they are there to prevent future problems.

We find that machines that do not get Windows updates installed on a regular basis are more susceptible to malware, spyware and virus activity.

Very large companies are able to manage these updates a bit better because they can spend the time (hours) investigating each patch and what it may or may not do for the organization if installed. Even then, problems can still trickle through.

Small and medium-size companies do not have the resources to do that type of "preemptive review", and they take Windows updates as they are, knowing there are risks in everything. Again, the risk of not installing an update is much greater than installing an untested update.  Any update can always be uninstalled if required.

Did You Know?

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The CryptoLocker Virus is back. This virus is extremely destructive.  It deletes PDF files, Office documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), etc. on the infected PC but more importantly, across the whole network.  The infection is caused when an end-user opens an email attachment.  These emails have become very deceptive and may trick users into opening the attached "invoice" or "fax."  Please educate your users that if there is any question as to the validity of an attachment, ALWAYS err on the safe side and do not open the attachment. CryptoLocker infections can cripple a business for up to a week's time period so it is important to educate your user base as to how these threats are best manged and avoided.

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All Windows 10 updates are automatic. In Windows 7 and 8, the user controls when the updates get installed. In Windows 10, the updates happen without interaction with the user. Additionally, updates can come from neighboring PCs and likewise, a Windows 10 PC can "seed" neighboring PC's.

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You can extend the life of a PC or laptop that is three to five years old by replacing its hard disk drive (HDD) with a Solid State Drive (SSD). The SSD is imaged with the contents of the current hard drive and once completed, the drives are swapped. If you have a PC or laptop that is useful but is starting to run a lot slower, swapping the hard drive for an SSD can bring back some performance. We offer HDD-to-SSD migration services and can assist you with this process.

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Is your organization prepared for a disaster that affects your business continuity?  Even with hardware warranties and backups, recovering from a fire, theft or other altering event can take weeks. There have been countless stories where companies folded as they could not bounce back from such a disaster.  If you don't already have one in place, it is time to discuss a Disaster Recovery Plan with us.

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Ian HaskinsMeet Ian Haskins...

Ian is a new Copeland Data Systems team member and has been assisting customers with PC and Server related issues.

You can learn all about Ian on his profile page.

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Office 2016 is now available and replaces Office 2013 as the latest Microsoft Office release. In fact, Office 2013 is no longer available with the sale of a new PC as of 9/30/2015.  Office 2016 is very much like Office 2013 with a continued slant into the cloud world. You can find out more about Office 2016 here.

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Email, once handled with in-house Exchange Servers or website-based POP mail, is quickly shifting to the cloud. Businesses with in-house Exchange Servers or POP-based email have been moving these services to Office 365.  It offers cost savings, increased stability and functionality enhancements. As business incorporate more and more mobile devices into their infrastructure, the need for synchronization becomes the critical piece with which POP implementations cannot compete.

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Document Management continues to be a focus for many businesses, as they realize the "old ways" of managing electronic documents, paper documents, and email no longer work.  Document Management can be integrated into your business systems or as a standalone application, both of which allow for streamlined access and proper filing.

Your comments are always appreciated...

Have a comment on anything in this issue of Copeland Data News, or maybe an idea for a future topic you would like us to cover?  Please connect with us on Facebook and let us know your thoughts!