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5 CRUCIAL UPGRADES

“Upgrade” —  Can strike fear in the hearts of humble computer users.Upgrading doesn’t have to be a dreaded deed, especially when the health and safety of your computers are on the line.

Don’t believe us? Take a look at the recent changes announced by Microsoft. Along with the retirement of its CEO, Steve Ballmer, in August  — and the heated search for his successor — the Pacific Northwest-based tech giant has stepped up its marketing efforts in relation to several major upgrades on the horizon. CMIT Solutions has compiled a list of the five most crucial ones, along with reasons why you should act now.

1)    The biggie: Windows XP. If you haven’t heard, Microsoft will discontinue all support for Windows XP on April 8th, 2014. Why? Per the company’s Support Lifecycle policy, all Microsoft products are entitled to 10 years of support — five at the mainstream level and five at the extended level

2)    The blue-collar hero: Office 2003. In tandem with Microsoft’s big push away from Microsoft XP comes a similar end-of-support breakclick here to read more from Office 2003. The good news for frightened upgraders? Moving to Microsoft Office 2007, 2010, or 2013 provides for a much more seamless transition than moving from, say, Windows XP to Windows 8…[ Click here to read more]. 

3)    The nerve center: Windows Server and Small Business Server 2003. While these business server solutions are intrinsically linked to Windows XP, Microsoft has mercifully extended both products’ support lifecycles through July 2015…[click here to read more].

4)    The efficiency keeper: Exchange 2003. Although Microsoft has no plans to discontinue support of this version of its business email, calendaring, and contact database software, the company’s general rule of thumb is that support stretches back two previous versions…[click here to read more].

5)    The sleeper: Windows Vista.  Anyone using Windows Vista is probably breathing a huge sigh of relief that they’re not part of the 37% of current PC users still using Windows XP. But even Charles Songhurst, former Microsoft Head of Corporate Strategy, once admitted that Vista is a “less good product.” With Windows XP on the chopping block, Windows 7 the new norm, and Windows 8 rolling out a top-to-bottom updated version next month, Vista will soon be the odd man out. Plus, as Computer World said back in 2009, “Windows 7 simply does everything Vista does, except better.”

Need help navigating the tricky upgrade paths listed above? RCS Technology Solutions has years of experience working within the Windows environment.  Call today, 978 606 5432, and let us put that relationship to work for you and your business.

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5 Password Management Tools and Why You Need to Use Them

Need a reminder of why strong passwords should be at the top of your technological priority list? Consider the story of Houston, TX, parents Marc and Lauren Gilbert, who on August 10th discovered a hacker had compromised their video baby monitor and was shouting lewd comments at their sleeping two-year-old daughter. 

 

How did it happen? According to the family’s Internet service provider, a weak or nonexistent password for their Wi-Fi connection was the main culprit. Other high-profile password breaches include the Syrian Electronic Army hacking into the Facebook and Twitter accounts of national news outlets like The New York Post and Washington Post, along with the recent proliferation of security researchers (or “ethical hackers”) pointing out the vulnerabilities of home automation systems.

 

What does this mean for you?  As RCS Technology Solutions  has pointed out before, creating strong and unique passwords at least eight characters long that mix upper- and lower-case numbers, letters, and symbols is a necessity for online security. But what do you do with all of those unique passwords once they’re created? Write them down on a “secure” piece of paper? Count on your browser to remember them all? Hope you can figure them out when you’re using a mobile device?

 

That’s where password management tools come in handy. Some are free, some charge a nominal fee, and some are capable of doing much more than just remembering that random string of characters you generated.


But remember,  passwords represent just one facet of robust technological health. If you’re concerned about the safety of cloud computing, the critical nature of data backup and disaster recovery, or the essential need for anti-spam software, call or email  RCS Technology Solutions today. We take your online security seriously!