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.

A Story of Caution

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A couple of months ago, I shared some content on LinkedIn. It was something that Gary Vaynerchuk had posted. I have been listening and reading his content off and on for the last 7 or so years. What happened next was really unexpected. Within a couple of minutes of sharing that post, I was sent an invitation to connect. I thought this was really exciting that someone I had been following for so long had wanted to personally connect. Next, he sent me a message via LinkedIn. I started down a conversation that was pretty involved and well played. Spoiler, it wasn’t Gary V.

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Tip of the Week: How to Speed Up a Slow Windows 10 Device

Tip of the Week: How to Speed Up a Slow Windows 10 Device

Windows 10 is a remarkable tool. Having said this, it can sometimes seem to slow to a crawl… not the ideal situation when you’re trying to be productive. That’s why we’re devoting this week’s tip to speeding up Windows 10.

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Getting to Know About Phishing Attacks Can Keep Your Business Safe

Getting to Know About Phishing Attacks Can Keep Your Business Safe

There’s a big reason why phishing is a primary threat to businesses, and it’s because this method gives hackers a relatively risk-free way of gaining access to a network or other resources. Even being aware of the issue is often not enough to prevent it, as hackers are known to get quite aggressive and crafty with their phishing campaigns. If only a fraction of the 57 billion phishing emails that go out every year are taken seriously, hackers make quite a bit of profit off of users.

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No Phishing Allowed

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Recently I came across an online plea for help from someone who fell prey to a phishing scam. He said someone claiming to be the company CEO sent him an email asking him to buy Google Play gift cards for a bonus and then send him the details. He was out sick that day, the CEO is off-site a lot, and he didn’t suspect this was a scam. He bought the cards and sent the scammer all the details. It wasn’t until the scammer asked for a second batch of cards that he realized it might not be the CEO. At that point he called the office only to discover it had been a scam all along.

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When It Is Too Late…

Most business owners and leaders are aware of the potential catastrophic loss of everything from a physical stand point. However, over the 24 years I have worked in IT, the non-tangible loss is rarely considered, until it is too late.  

Recently, we have started working with several new clients, after it has been too late. It genuinely pains me to see a business lose everything they have worked so hard to build, knowing it could have been easily prevented. It is not always a building fire, hardware failure, theft, or something physically catastrophic that leads to loss. With the ever-changing landscape in technology, viruses and hackers have been bringing businesses to their knees.  

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Tip of the Week: 4 Tech Questions, Answered

Tip of the Week: 4 Tech Questions, Answered

Have you ever thought about why we use certain techniques to get the most out of our technology? Believe it or not, there is often a rhyme and a reason for why certain tactics are most useful for business technology solutions. We’ll try to get to the bottom of some of the strangest questions you might have about how to use your business technology.

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Focus Your Technology on Producing Efficiency

Focus Your Technology on Producing Efficiency

Technology can go a long way toward helping businesses be more productive with their time, but only if the solutions implemented are right and proper for your organization. We’ll discuss three services that you can provide for your business that can maximize productivity with technology solutions.

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Top Cybersecurity Threats Right Now

Top Cybersecurity Threats Right Now

Cybersecurity has to be a major consideration for every business owner or manager in business today. The prevalence of people looking to rip your company off has never been higher, and that is the truth for nearly every company that uses the internet for anything. Today, we take a look at some of the most serious cybersecurity threats that everyone should be aware of right now.

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Job Opportunity - Level III Network Operations Center Engineer

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Position Summary:  This position requires communicating with clients and following appropriate processes and procedures in order to resolve the client’s technical issues. The person in this position helps the network operations center to achieve success and our clients to achieve satisfaction with our service. The person in this position will work with Project Managers, Account Executives, Inside Account Managers, and Senior Technical Project Engineers to deliver positive and profitable client experiences.

PCS has been serving Knoxville and surrounding areas since 1996, providing an array of IT products and services such as networking, interactive technologies, security, and flat rate IT to businesses and schools across the state. At PCS we value our employees, and we are always looking for talented new people to join our team!

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Job Opportunity - Level II Network Operations Center Engineer

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Position Summary:  This position requires communicating with clients and following appropriate processes and procedures in order to resolve the client’s technical issues. The person in this position helps the network operations center to achieve success and our clients to achieve satisfaction with our service. The person in this position will work with Project Managers, Account Executives, Inside Account Managers, and Senior Technical Project Engineers to deliver positive and profitable client experiences.

PCS has been serving Knoxville and surrounding areas since 1996, providing an array of IT products and services such as networking, interactive technologies, security, and flat rate IT to businesses and schools across the state. At PCS we value our employees, and we are always looking for talented new people to join our team!

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How Secure Are Your Passwords?

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In the role of a PCS NOC Engineer, we deal with clients and their equipment daily. While helping to keep their businesses running smoothly, we periodically encounter security issues that our clients are not aware of and in many cases, inadvertently cause. One of the most common, most exploitable, and most preventable is the weak password. Weak passwords are a common cause of costly data breaches, which can wreak havoc in many ways, from stolen money to sensitive (sometimes embarrassing) personal information being sold to the highest bidder or released on the internet. In today’s world, a four-character password, even if there are numbers and symbols in it, can be cracked in minutes (if not seconds) and is simply not acceptable.

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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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The Basics of Computer Networks

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To many, computer networking is some sort of dark magic practiced by mystical people called “Network Engineers.” Computer Networking (Networking for our purposes) is just getting information from one computer/device to another. I added ‘device’ to include smart phones, tablets, smart watches and such. These can all be considered computers when it comes to networking.

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How to Get the Best Wireless Connections in Your Office

How to Get the Best Wireless Connections in Your Office

There are plenty of small irritations to be found in the office, from a pot of coffee that someone neglected to refill to the sound of a squeaky chair under the office fidgeter. However, none are quite as infuriating (or as detrimental to productivity) as an inconsistent Wi-Fi signal. What makes the Wi-Fi so spotty, and how do you resolve that?

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Why (and How) You Need to Maintain Your Servers

Why (and How) You Need to Maintain Your Servers

It is impossible to understate the importance of a server to today’s businesses. We talk a big game as to how important data is, but we don’t often broach the topic of how important it is to ensure that your server is well-maintained. Below, we discuss how to determine what your servers need for optimal performance, and how you can be sure that they get it.

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The Most Devastating Hacks of 2018… So Far

The Most Devastating Hacks of 2018… So Far

Network security is a crucial consideration for every contemporary business owner, as there are just too many threats that originate from an Internet connection to be overlooked. One only has to look at what businesses of all sizes have dealt with, even within this calendar year, to gain an appreciation for how crucial it is that every business owner consider their cybersecurity.

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Faxploit: Hundreds of Printers Putting Businesses at Risk of Malware

Faxploit: Hundreds of Printers Putting Businesses at Risk of Malware

Printers, along with every other piece of equipment that is on your network, require careful configuration and regular upkeep to ensure that they aren’t putting your data and users at risk. Security researchers recently discovered two massive vulnerabilities in HP Officejet All-in-One printers that make it incredibly easy for hackers to spread malware and gain access to a company’s network.

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Budgeting for IT Can Benefit Your Business’ Bottom Line

Budgeting for IT Can Benefit Your Business’ Bottom Line

Your business depends on a budget to come out in the black at the end of the fiscal year, and the way you invest that budget will have a considerable impact. As you create this budget, your IT needs to be one of your top considerations - after all, it is what effectively powers the modern business. Here, we’ll discuss how diligently incorporating your IT into your budget can help your business be more successful down the line.

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UTM is a Strong Solution to Ward Off Hackers

UTM is a Strong Solution to Ward Off Hackers

When your employees think about hackers and network security, do they picture some cloaked or hooded figure in a dark room typing away at a keyboard? Do they see a recluse living in their mother’s basement? Popular culture has given many users a false sense of reality regarding hacking attacks and the culture surrounding them, and it can come at the detriment of your business.

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Benefits of Upgrading to 802.11ax and Should You Do It

Benefits of 802.11ax

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Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access - this is the new modulation technique introduced with 802.11ax and replaces OFDM that has been around since 802.11a. This is the same modulation used by cell phone carriers to transmit data to and from your cell phone. This modulation assigns each client resources units (RU) that can dynamically change based on the application needs of the client. Without going too in depth, I’ll use an analogy to show the difference between OFDM and OFDMA – OFDM would be the equivalent to driving a country road and getting to a one lane bridge and OFDMA would equate to a multi-lane interstate. When driving the country road, it doesn’t matter what you drive or how fast you go, if it isn’t your turn to cross the bridge, you aren’t moving. In OFDM, only one device can transmit at a time. If 2 vehicles crossed that bridge at the same time, they have a collision and then all the cars waiting are now affected. The same is true for OFDM. If two clients try to transmit at the same time, such as a hidden node, the frames from the clients will be corrupt and will have to retransmit. Constant retransmissions eat away available airtime for other clients and therefore slow your wireless network down. In contrast, OFDMA is like a huge multi-lane interstate where you have lanes for the fast cars and the slow cars. You even have enough lanes for the wide load trucks to occupy 2 lanes without impacting the flow of traffic. OFDMA lets multiple clients send and receive data at the same time. This is done by breaking one channel into a lot of subchannels or resource units (RU). The AP can then dynamically assign RUs to each client based on their needs. This is a much more efficient way to transfer data over the air and aggregate throughput in a wireless network will increase greatly over an 802.11ac network.

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