Carter Tech Blog
Both methods had their advantages and disadvantages - video conferencing equipment was expensive and required a fair amount of space but allowed for good quality calls and supported features like group video calls; while instant messaging was cheap (only needing an Internet connection and webcam) but had poor quality and didn't have features like group video calls.
Today, instant messaging applications like Skype provide advanced features like group calls and provide good video and voice quality. It's hard to now suggest to a SME to spend $5,000 on a dedicated video conferencing system when you can use Skype on a TV for around $1,200.
Any SME needing a video conferencing system can contact us to discuss the best solution for them.
On numerous occasions I have started with a new client and discovered that their last support person/company left their wireless LAN unsecured. The most common reason I am told for this is because "it wouldn't work properly with the key turned on". Instead of fixing whatever caused the network to not work with a security key enabled, they have simply left a gaping big hole in the organisation's network that anyone could exploit.
All the firewalls and security systems in the world won't protect you if your network is open to anyone within wireless range. It's like locking the doors of your car and leaving the window down. Do you really think the thieves are going to jimmy the locks when you have left an alternate way in? Networks are the same.
Not only is having a security key on your wireless LAN important but so is the method of security you use. Having a security key with no encryption is pointless - every piece of information sent over the network can be snooped by someone within range (including the key). Using WEP is a little better, however a WEP-secured network can be hacked in as little as three minutes by someone who knows what they are doing.
To better protect your network, set the security on your wireless access point to WPA2 (or at the absolute minimum WPA). If you have devices which can not use this method of encryption you should check to see if they can be updated or replaced - only if the device is essential to your business and can't be replaced to another that is WPA compatible should you consider downgrading your network encryption to WEP.
After keys and encryption the next layer of security which you can use to enhance your wireless security is to use MAC filtering. Every wireless device has a unique identifier known a Media Access Control (MAC) address. Most access points will allow you to only allow connections from specified MAC addresses (and therefore only devices matching one of those addresses), however this security isn't as valuable as it may appear as MAC addresses can be easily faked but it does provide another layer of security.
No wireless security method is guaranteed to keep the bad guys out, however using WPA2 and MAC filtering will make hacking into your wireless network a little harder. We always suggest that businesses with a wireless network should consider using a system based on 802.1x authenticaation which issues each user with a unique username and password and changes encryption keys on the fly. This provides the best possible security on the network. Keep your eyes out for a new post about why you should use 802.1x soon!
Every business wants their website towards the top of the search results in Google and other search engines. Being towards the top of the search results allows for your business to be easy to find by potential clients. You may have heard of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), a process which makes web content more accessible for search engines and searchers.
Many SEO companies will tell you they can get you the #1 position on Google by going with them. These companies are selling false hope as there are no guarantees about where your site will appear in the search rankings. SEO is a science and an art and all you can do is improve your search ranking for your chosen keywords by having a site which is easily indexed by the three major search engines (Google, Bing and Yahoo).
You can improve your search ranking by using keywords that people would search for when looking for a business like yours in your content. Your content should be relevant, unique and concise. Just as your potential customers don't want to see pages of keywords when they click a search result, neither do the search engines - they are looking for content to show searchers.
Having your own domain name shows that your business is professional, proud of its brand and wants to be taken seriously. It also allows you to change your ISP without losing your email address.
Your own email address is extremely easy to setup, you purchase a domain name from a registrar and either redirect it to another email address or obtain email hosting. Most registrars will provide email hosting for a small additional fee. Alternatively, if you don't want to setup your own email yourself you can call Carter Tech and we can do it for you!