Technology Training

HitmanPro! Remove Though Malware

Antivirus does not always catch every little detail and for this reason it is a good idea to run a backup scan on your computer in addition to your antivirus so that you can be sure that your computer is in top running condition. HitmanPro is a program that runs independently from your antivirus to help you clean up some really difficult infections. In some cases you can even use HitmanPro to help you remove various forms of ransomeware that will not let you boot your computer form the Windows screen.
One of the many nice features of HitmanPro is that it allows you to run scans from the web or from an application that you can download to your computer. Downloading this application to your computer allows you to run scans without having to connect to the internet. If you are looking for a quick fix, HitmanPro gives you a free seven day trial that you can use to access a full licence of their software.
Once downloaded, HitmanPro will preform a scan on your computer that can take some time. This is due to the fact that this program is vary thorough and will search every file on your computer. Once finished, HitmanPro will give you a list of suspicious programs that you can review, delete if necessary or ignore if you deem them nonthreatening.
At eTop Technology, we use this program frequently when helping our clients with malware issues. If you think your computer is at risk of an infection, try running this program first. It may save you from having to take your computer into the repair shop.

Technology Training

Microsoft Excel 2016 Introduction to Worksheets

Microsoft Excel 2016 is an extremely useful tool that can make sense of almost any data you put into it once you learn how to use it. There are a few updates to the functionality and user interface in Excel 2016 that we will be reviewing so that you will be up to speed with all the latest features. In this video we will explore a few of the basic features such as how to open and use a workbook. First we will show you how to open multiple sheets inside of a workbook. Once you have the basics of the cells, columns and rows down, we will show you how to add, subtract, multiply and divide the numbers by their columns or rows.

Like any great peace of software, Excel 2016 has many shortcuts to make your life easier. Once you have learned how to add, subtract, multiply and divide your columns and rows, you will want to learn how to multiply your efforts by using the drag features. This will duplicate the chosen functions for each column or row so that you can see values for each row or column. If you are trying to add up numbers for a set of rows, all you will need to do is set the SUM function for one row. Once Excel understands the function you are trying to accomplish for that row, you will be able to drag and select all of the subsequent boxes to find the SUM values for the remaining rows without having to repeat the SUM process for each row.

Stay tuned for more great Microsoft Excel 2016 videos!


How To Fire Your IT Guy

Have you ever had to consider changing a service provider such as your IT support partner? This poses some particular problems that are unique when you are talking about someone who has complete access to all of your company data. Its rather obvious that if you are facing a hostile transition, the provider could literally log into your network and shut your company down temporarily or worse. This is highly unscrupulous and should not happen, however, in some rather unfortunate circumstances it has happened. On the other hand the transition can be civil and follow the train of thought that “the easier it is to leave, the easier it is to come back”. These situations can lead to headaches, law suits and awkward conversations that nobody wants to have.

We hope that you never have to experience this headache, that being said, it is better to set yourself up for success with a little foresight. After having taken over support for many companies, we have learned a few things that are valuable tips and best practices to keep in mind before things turn sour. Good fences make good neighbors and if your IT partner is smart, they will agree with this statement. You should never feel like you are at the mercy of your IT partner no matter how bad the circumstances get.

One of the most important and ever changing elements of any network is the passwords. Do you have an up to date list of every password on your network? Most business owners do not and in the case of a hostile transition, this can cause a big headache. At the very least, you should have ease of access to all of your passwords from your IT partner whenever you ask for them. Just for general peace of mind, you should be confident that there is a list of passwords. Most IT companies should have a “hit by a bus policy”. This means that, should something tragic ever happen to your IT partner, it will not effect your business because you will have all of your credentials, passwords and network documentation ready to go. In the unfortunate event that something happens to your IT partner, your new support company will be able to pick up where the other company left off. Not only is this best practice for emergency purposes but it is useful when it comes to changing IT support partners because it means that you have complete control of your data.

Another very important peace of the puzzle is knowing who owns the rights to your domain credentials. When you set up your domain, you have to put it under an account and if you don’t own that account, you don’t own your domain. Your domain lets the internet know who you are, almost like an address. It controls your email, website and network structure. Usually, there is no malicious intent involved when your IT partner sets up your domain under their account. Most of the time this is done out of convenience because it is easier to administer. This is great up until the point where you need to change providers and you realize that everything that identifies your business online, is not owned by you. This could be said about any account, not just your domain. In most cases your IT partner can be added to the account as an administrator, however, you should always own your online accounts.

SaaS (Software as a Service) is important to note here as well. In some cases you may not own the software that you use to run your business. Unless you have entered into a contract where you understand your ownership rights, you should always own your software license keys. In most cases you will be on a time crunch and for convenience you will purchase all of your software through your IT partner. If your IT partner is buying the software in their name and not yours, you could find that none of your software belongs to you.

This similar story can repeat itself with the service providers that you have entrusted your IT partner to help you manage. Service provider such as internet and phone provider can be managed by your IT partner but you should always have access and ownership over those accounts as well.

Changing service providers rarely turns out to be a pleasant experience. With a little planning and by setting up good expectations, you can pave the way to an easy transition should a problem ever arise. As a business owner you need complete access and control of your network and all of the moving parts. Having this understanding in place with each IT partner will save you from having unnecessary data loss, lawyer fees, downtime and hard conversations.


Make Good IT Investments

It might seem early to be thinking about the end of the financial year, but by starting to plan your end of year strategy now, you can ensure that you are left in the best possible position for when tax season comes around.

Equipment prints dollars. Isolated on white background
One of the most common strategies for small businesses looking to decrease their taxes is to decrease the amount of revenue they report for the year. Since small businesses are usually taxed based on the profit that they earn during the year, decreasing the overall profit results in a small tax payment.
Most small businesses decrease their revenue by increasing the amount that they spend on qualified business expenses – anything you spend money on that will facilitate you earning additional business income.

Many people choose to decrease their revenue by spending money on business expenses such as office supplies, new equipment relevant to their field, or by paying bills for the next year in advance.

While all of these choices are great options for decreasing taxable income, another area of spending worth considering for your business is your technology setup. Technology is constantly changing, and investing some of your available profits into upgrading your computers, strengthening your security measures, or purchasing new and improved software may be one of the best steps that you can take for your business.

If you want to get the most value for your money, your best bet is to begin planning these investments with your IT professional in the near future. This will allow them to assess your current computer set-up and to work with you to develop an improvement plan that will best fit your needs and budget.

Improving your existing technology set-up can help to ensure that your business has an up-to-date security strategy and keep your information safe from recent threats. You may also find that new equipment helps you to complete your work more efficiently, or that re-thinking other aspects of your current IT setup helps your business to run more smoothly overall.

Your IT professional will be able to ensure that any investments you make in your technology are ones that are worthwhile and that are tailored exactly to your business’ needs. You will also want to ensure that you communicate with your accountant before making an investment like this – while the principle of spending more to decrease taxes seems simple enough, your accountant is your best resource when it comes to ensuring that your financial choices work out in your business’ best interest.

By partnering with both your accountant and your IT professional, you should be able to come up with a strategy that allows you to invest in your technology – an investment that will definitely pay for itself over time, while also helping to cut down on the taxes that you’ll need to pay this financial year.

Technology Training

Remote Access Computer Support

In the world of information technology you need to be able to help customers globally and in real time so that you can resolve issues on the fly. Remote access support makes that possible. With remote support capabilities, it is as if we were sitting in front of your computer fixing the issue. In reality, you could be half way around the world on a business trip and our tools would allow us to help you anywhere, any time.
In this video we debut a remote connection between Redlands California and Bangkok Thailand by helping a customer with their email signature issues. When an eTop Technology client needs support, they email the support email address with their issue. They receive a remote access code that allows them to begin a remote access session. Once the code is entered into our online portal, our technicians can log in within seconds and resolve any issues.
This tools allows us to be more responsive to our customers needs. By not needing to be at your physical location, we are able to solve more issues in less time, keeping our clients happy and productive. If you are in need of IT support and want to be sure that no matter where you are, you can have access to the help you need. Give eTop Technology a call, we’re here to help!