July 2013

In this issue. . .

~ Protecting You Privacy
~ Internet Redundancy
~ Windows 8.1 Preview

Beverly Satellite Office

In July, our Beverly office is moving. Don't worry! It's just down the hall. We're staying in the Cummings Center, but moving down the hall to Suite 242G. Stop by and say hello if you're in the area!

Have a Safe and Happy 4th of July!

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Protecting Your Privacy Online

If the recent news about the government's ability to peek into your private data worries you, there are some steps you can take that will at least give you a little protection. Even if you aren't concerned, enacting some security measures is a good idea: it can help keep your information private and out of the hands of hackers and marketers.

First and foremost, always read a site's privacy policy before you give it your information. If a site seems fishy, or its privacy policy says it may sell or give away your personal data, it's best to avoid it.  If you want to keep what you're searching for to yourself, try DuckDuckGo, which doesn't track any of your information or pass it on to others. If you want to browse anonymously on the internet, check out this list of apps and settings you can install on your browser.

If you want to take the next steps toward online privacy, check out the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Prism Break website, which recommends a number of more secure alternatives to the websites and services we use every day.

On the Importance of Internet Failover

A fire in a Boston manhole last week led to the damage of some underground fiber in the Verizon network. This caused Internet outages for many businesses for several days, as it was unsafe for workers to get into the manhole to begin repair work. With the heightened dependency on connectivity these days (for everything from e-mail to cloud services), being without the internet for any period of time is potentially devastating to your livelihood.

This is just our friendly reminder to consider adding internet failover and redundancy into your environment. If downtime is not an option, a second internet connection may be an affordable and worthy investment. We can help you plan and implement this; please let us know if this is something you are interested in.

Windows 8.1 Preview Now Available

Microsoft has released the preview version of Windows 8.1. This update includes new features like boot to desktop, faster shutdown, improved mouse and keyboard navigation, and a more-flexible Snap function, which allows you to have multiple apps open at once.

Microsoft has taken the opportunity to make SkyDrive a more cohesive part of the operating system. Now you can tell Windows to automatically back up your documents to SkyDrive, for example.

Another cool enhancement is Windows 8.1’s Smart Search. Rather than separating search results into distinct Apps, Settings, and Files categories, Windows 8.1 now pools everything into a single cohesive search results page, complete with results from other apps, including SkyDrive, web search, and the video and music apps. If you already have Windows 8 and want to try the preview, you can download it here.

If you do choose to install Windows 8.1, be advised: it is, of course, a beta, so you should be sure to back up your PC before proceeding.