PCS Blog

PCS has been serving the Knoxville area since 1996, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

8 Data Backup Terms You Should Know

8 Data Backup Terms You Should Know

Data is an asset, there’s no getting around this fact. Therefore, your business needs to consider it important enough to protect with a data backup and disaster recovery solution, as even something unlikely, like a natural disaster or hacking attack, could place your organization in peril. We’re going to take a look at some of the different kinds of data backup and disaster recovery you can expect to see, as well as four terms that you should understand.

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Your Office Deserves a Good Spring Cleaning

Your Office Deserves a Good Spring Cleaning

In keeping with the freshly rejuvenated feel that springtime brings, many people take advantage of this energy by doing some much-needed spring cleaning after the long winter months. Why shouldn’t the workplace join in the fun? In this blog, we’ll explain how a fresh and clean office can benefit your employees and your business as a whole - and just as importantly, how to go about tidying up properly.

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Tip of the Week: How to Avoid Spam Emails

Tip of the Week: How to Avoid Spam Emails

Would you just give your bank account information to anyone who called you up and asked for it? Probably not. For the same reason, you wouldn’t just download attachments from your email messages without a second thought. This can be a dangerous practice, as some of the most common threats nowadays spread themselves via unwanted email attachments. It’s important that you can identify when it’s the right time to download an attachment, and when it’s best to just leave it be without exposing your business to unnecessary risk.

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Tip of the Week: A Secure 2018 Relies on Powerful Passwords

Tip of the Week: A Secure 2018 Relies on Powerful Passwords

Password security is one of the most important parts of using an online account. It seems that the average user runs into the paradox of password security by using either complex, hard-to-remember passwords, or simple and less-secure passwords that put their accounts at risk. Even if the user is aware of the benefits that come from using a secure password, chances are that they will sideline security in favor of ease of access.

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Tip of the Week: Using Your Smartphone More Effectively in Five Ways

Tip of the Week: Using Your Smartphone More Effectively in Five Ways

It’s getting to the point where most people have a smartphone, even if they shouldn’t necessarily have one. If you go all-in on a device like this to boost your productivity and efficiency, then you know how difficult it can be at times. We’re here to provide you with some tips to help you better take advantage of your smart device.

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Tip of the Week: Give Your Desktop Some TLC

Tip of the Week: Give Your Desktop Some TLC

Maintaining a network of PCs can be a lot of work. We wouldn’t blame you for having trouble keeping your business’ computers up-to-date - especially if you don’t have a dedicated IT department on-site. It doesn’t have to feel impossible, though. With proactive technology maintenance and the following tips, you’ll be sure to stay productive throughout the workday.

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Tip of the Week: 10 Technology Practices To Improve Business As Usual

Tip of the Week: 10 Technology Practices To Improve Business As Usual

In a business, some jobs belong to certain people: managers make sure that work is done when it needs to be, human resources make sure the workforce is accounted for, and so on. However, some jobs belong to everyone in the modern workplace who works with technology, For our tip of the week, we’ll go over some of these shared responsibilities.

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Tip of the Week: Resolve a Poor Internet Connection By Following These 3 Steps

Tip of the Week: Resolve a Poor Internet Connection By Following These 3 Steps

When the Internet goes down in the modern office, chaos ensues. The only way to subdue the panicked masses is to provide answers and to resolve the issue, ASAP. If you happen to find yourself in such an Internet-less predicament, then be sure to follow these three troubleshooting tips.

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Tip of the Week: Ways to Be Active and Proactive With Your Network Security

Tip of the Week: Ways to Be Active and Proactive With Your Network Security

Security troubles have many causes, but the only way to protect your business from any of them is to implement a comprehensive enterprise-level security solution. There are two other ways that you can work to protect your business, implementing software patches, and avoiding social engineering attempts.


Applying Software Patches
It should be clear that software patches are designed to fix security problems and improve the functionality of the software, but some organizations simply don’t have time to implement them manually, or they simply don’t understand the purpose for them. Part of the problem is that sometimes the developers aren’t necessarily clear that patches are available, while other times those within your organization may not even know how to administer them. Regardless of the reason, there are usually problems on a network that will go unattended for extended periods of time.

Most hackers only want to take advantage of the issues they can detect. Thus, there could be countless threats out there designed to target countless unpatched vulnerabilities on your network that not even the hackers can know about. It makes sense for a hacker to use just one exploit to target a handful of vulnerabilities. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that all software that you use is updated and patched.

Additionally, your systems shouldn’t be running unused programs. The more software you have, the more ways hackers can take advantage of your organization’s network vulnerabilities. Moreover, you might even be wasting revenue on renewing software licenses that you don’t even need, so it’s best perform a network audit from time to time to get the worthless software off your infrastructure.

Dodging Social Engineering Attempts
Social engineering is broadly categorized as any method that takes advantage of unprepared users or those who are ignorant of solid network security practices. Examples include a phone call or email message claiming that the network has been breached by a foreign entity and that “tech support” needs to remote into the computer and resolve the issue. There are other, more subtle methods as well, such as targeted spear phishing attacks that go after specific users with personal information that convince them that the hacker is someone in authority.

These types of attacks vary in sophistication, but they can range anywhere from an employee receiving a message claiming that they’ve won a prize, to the intruder physically following your employees into the office and stealing sensitive data manually. In instances like these, a little bit of employee training can go a long way. Teach them to look for anything suspicious, and inform them that vigilance is incredibly important in the workplace.

These two security improvements barely scratch the surface of what your organization should be focusing on for network security. If you want to fully protect your business to the best of your ability, give us a call at (865) 273-1960.

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Tip of the Week: Activate These Solutions Now Before You Misplace Your Mobile Device Later

Tip of the Week: Activate These Solutions Now Before You Misplace Your Mobile Device Later

Can’t find your mobile device? If you’ve taken precautions and enabled solutions designed to track the whereabouts of your device, then you’ve got no reason to panic. Of course, hindsight is 20/20, so you’ll want to make sure you activate a phone-finding solution now (while you’ve got your device in your sights).


For an iPhone or Apple Device
If you’re an Apple enthusiast, you can use the Find My iPhone feature to locate any device connected to your Apple account. Log into your iCloud account or download the Find My iPhone app (before you lose your device, of course), which will help you keep track of your devices should you lose them. You can even track where your device is and where it has been. You can even lock the device and send it a message telling whoever finds it how to contact you! 

For an Android Device
Android makes finding your lost device as easy as performing a Google search. If you’re signed into your Google account, and you have your device linked to it, all you have to do is type into the search bar, “Find my Phone.” As long as there’s a device connected to your Google account, you’ll be shown a small map in the search results which shows you where the device is located. You can then proceed to ring the device and find it, if it is turned on and nearby.

For Other Devices
If you lose a more obscure device, you might have a little more trouble locating it. Thanks to a great app called Prey, you can find just about any laptop or smartphone that may be missing. You can install Prey for free on up to three devices, and as long as a thief hasn’t completely wiped your device, you’ll have a decent shot at discovering who has found it. Provided that your device has a Wi-Fi chip, a webcam, and the app installed, Prey can take a picture of whoever has found the device as well as where it is located.

Any devices that have Prey installed on them will automatically issue a report to you every so often, starting at 20 minutes. This can tell you exactly what’s happening with your device. This includes webcam snapshots, desktop captures, program installations, changed files, and so much more. Of course, if you think that maybe someone has just found your device and hasn’t stolen it, you have the option of letting them know how to contact you through various methods. Worst case scenario, you can lock it or remotely wipe it to secure any data located on it.

For more great tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your technology, subscribe to PCS’s blog.

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Tip of the Week: Worried About Identity Theft at Work? Follow These Tips for Peace of Mind

Tip of the Week: Worried About Identity Theft at Work? Follow These Tips for Peace of Mind

The Bureau of Justice estimated that five percent of the entire U.S. population were victimized by identity thieves, a total of 11.7 million people. While the methods of collecting the data that identity thieves need to commit their crime vary from dumpster diving for carelessly discarded documents, to email phishing scams, there is a particular target that can easily supply them with the data they will need: the workplace.


While many businesses must collect a lot of personal data from their clients for billing purposes, their employees are also made vulnerable if some of that data was to be absconded with. After all, in order to properly pay an employee for their work, an employer will need a lot of their personally identifiable information on record. As a result, a workplace becomes a high-value target for someone seeking the data necessary to complete fraudulent actions in someone else’s name and becomes the responsibility of the entire business to safeguard that data, for the sake of their employees and their clients.

To that end, every employee should be educated in the best practices for protecting a company’s trove of sensitive information, and policies need to be implemented and enforced to ensure that these best practices are followed. To get you started with securing your office, make sure these four best practices are followed by everyone associated with your company.

Don’t Leave Workstations Unattended
Computers need to be locked and only accessible by its user’s password. Otherwise, anyone (be it a less-than-trustworthy employee or someone off the street stumbling across an opportunity) could access that workstation and any company documents available to that employee.

Go Paperless
Identity thieves love paper trails. Whether it be copies of sensitive files that make their way to the trash, or even documents that get left lying around the office, the fact of the matter is that having paper copies of sensitive information only increases the risk that this information will get stolen. Going paperless is a way to minimize this risk entirely.

Train Employees to Know What Email Scams Looks Like
Scams targeting email inboxes are some of the top ways that identities are compromised. Therefore, in addition to having a good spam blocking solution in place, you’re going to want to make sure that every worker knows what an email scam looks like so they won’t fall for one. You may know how to spot an obvious email scam, like an unsolicited email requesting sensitive information, but how sure are you that your staff knows what a scam looks like as well?

Implement Enterprise-Level Security Solutions
Without proactive solutions in place to protect your company's sensitive data, it could easily fall into the wrong hands if a hacker breached your network. Every business needs to have security tools in place like antivirus, firewalls, spam-blocking, and content filtering. Thankfully, a solution like a Unified Threat Management tool offers businesses an easy way to get this kind of comprehensive protection in one easy-to-implement package!

Of course, there are many other steps to take to prevent your workplace from becoming an identity thief’s jackpot. PCS can help advise you on the other steps your business needs to take in order to keep the identities it deals with properly protected. Call us today at (865) 273-1960 for more information on the steps you need to take to prevent identity theft.

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