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February 2014 
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Data Dispatch:

IT Updates for Small Business Owners

Pop Quiz: You Just Discovered One Of Your
Employees Had Their Smartphone Stolen…
Quick, What Do You Do?


"As a business owner, you don't have time to waste on technical and operational issues.  That's where we shine!  Call us and put an end to your IT problems finally and forever!"  
-Robert E. "Chuck" Bell, III, President & CEO, BEL Network Integration & Support
Over the last couple of months, we’ve come across some alarming statistics that you should know. Studies show that as many as 16% of smartphones are lost or stolen each year with only 7% of the stolen devices ever being recovered. Despite the fact that 60% of the missing smartphones are deemed to contain sensitive or confidential information, 57% of these phones were not protected with available security features, leaving the company exposed! In fact, only 14% of companies currently have a mobile-device security policy in place. The bottom line is, no matter how careful your employees are with their smartphones, losing a smartphone (or having one stolen) is likely to happen to you or your employees at some point in time.

In the hands of even a relatively unsophisticated hacker, all of your smartphone information can quickly be siphoned off. And time is of the essence for taking action. Criminals will remove the battery of your phone to prevent “remote wipes” of your data by your IT staff and then use a room without mobile access to break into the phone. This is akin to giving a thief the key to your data and the code to deactivate the alarm.

Asking employees to be more careful IS a good step in the right direction, but accidents happen and thieves are always on the prowl. That’s why it’s so important to take measures to lock down and secure any mobile devices you and your staff use to access your company’s network.
Here are just a few steps you can take now to be prepared:
 
1. Strong Passwords. Enforce a strong mobile-device password policy and make sure your employees can’t leave devices unlocked and vulnerable.
2. Enable Device Wiping. Prepare to be able to wipe both company-issued and personally owned devices that access company data. Make sure your employees are signing off on this before they add company data to their phones.
3. Have A Plan In Place. If a phone is lost or stolen, act quickly! If you happen to find the phone again, then the data can likely be replaced; however, stolen data in the hands of a criminal can rarely ever be taken back!
 
I Need Help Reviewing My Company's Mobile Device Policy

 Shiny New Gadget

Of The Month:

 
 



 
FitBit
 
It’s the No. 1 New Year’s Resolution – lose weight and get in shape. And by now you are either well on your way to achieving that resolution or you have gotten sidetracked and are back to your old ways. Either way, this little gadget can help you. Whether you want to get on track or just stay there, the FitBit One™ can keep you in line.

This little device uses Bluetooth technology to track and report your steps, distance, calories burned and stairs climbed. Come nightfall, it measures your sleep quality, helps you learn how to sleep better and wakes you in the morning. You can even sync it with a smartphone app to track the food you eat and other activities you perform that burn additional calories.

For just $99, it’s a great companion to help keep you motivated and on track with your fitness goals. Remember Pearson’s Law: “That which is measured improves. That which is measured and reported improves exponentially.” Check it out at www.fitbit.com

How Long Do Hard Drives Really Last?


One-hundred percent of all hard drives will eventually fail. This is a fact. Some will fail prematurely due to manufacturers’ defects while others will fail because a mechanical part finally wears out. The question is, how long until that happens? 
Online backup provider Backblaze.com has kept 25,000 consumer-grade hard drives constantly running for the last four years, diligently noting whenever a hard drive breaks down. The results are very interesting.
  1. Ninety-two percent of all hard drives will survive the first 18 months. These failures are typically due to manufacturers’ defects (oftentimes called the “lemon effect”). Hard drives’ warranties are typically one to three years, which is basically the manufacturers saying that they are only on the hook to replace the lemons.
  2.  During the next 18 months, only a very small percentage of drives (~2%) will fail. These failures are from random “unlucky” issues and occur rarely anytime during the life of the drive.
  3. Beginning in year three, hard drives start to wear out due to usage. They are simply mechanical devices that are getting old. 80% of drives will make it to year four and then they drop off at about 12% or more per year thereafter.
  4. The failure rate is essentially a U curve with most failures very early on or after the three-year mark.
So, What Does This Mean?
 Simple. Back up your data. With a 1-in-10 chance that your hard drive dies in the first three years of its life and an accelerating chance of failure after that, there is no excuse for being caught without a solid backup. Ever.
 Make a plan. Build equipment replacement into your budget at least every four years for most devices, with a 10% equipment-replacement expense built in over the 1st year and then again starting in year three.
As for that 10-year-old PC in the back room still running Windows XP and your most critical reporting software, the clock is ticking …
 

How To Unlock The Secrets
Hiding In Your Website Report
 

Website reports can tell you a LOT about the visitors to your website IF you know how to read them. Here’s a quick lesson on how to decipher those reports …

Hits vs. Unique Visitors
 It’s been said that “hits” is short for “How Idiots Track Sales.” Total hits is a deceptive number because a single visitor on a single page could easily pull a dozen files or more.
We focus on “unique visitors,” the best indicator of how many individual people are actually visiting your site. If your number of unique visitors is extremely low, it’s either a sign of weak marketing or a technical issue. Note however that 61.5% of web traffic is via “bots” (non-human traffic) searching the web.
 
Browsers
 What web browsers are visitors using when coming to your site? There are many browsers in use today, including mobile browsers. You need to test that your site works with all the browsers identified in your reports.
 
Exit Page
 Your “Exit Page” shows the last page someone is at before they leave your site. If you’re not getting visitors to “convert” to a customer or lead, take a closer look. There may be a technical issue, a bad website headline, no offer, slow-loading graphics or confusing copy. Something on this page is making your visitors leave without doing what you want them to do.
Experiment with various headlines, offers and designs until you find something more successful.
 
Update Keywords and Keyword Phrases
 Be sure your website keywords line up with the words people use when searching for products or services you offer. Keeping these aligned will allow you to optimize your conversion rate and minimize your expenses when using pay-per-click search-engine marketing.

The Lighter Side:

Amazing Facts About Love

February is traditionally love month, so here are some random love facts (or myths) that might surprise you:
 
1. People are more likely to tilt their heads to the right when kissing instead of the left (65% of people go to the right!).
2. Falling in love can induce a calming effect on the body and mind and raises levels of nerve-growth factor for about a year, which helps to restore the nervous system and improves the lover’s memory.
3. Love can also exert the same stress on your body as deep fear. You see the same physiological responses – pupil dilation, sweaty palms and increased heart rate.
4. Philadelphia International Airport finished as the No. 1 best airport for making a love connection, according to a recent survey.
5. Men who kiss their wives in the morning live five years longer than those who don’t.
6. The tradition of the diamond engagement ring comes from Archduke Maximilian of Austria who, in the 15th century, gave a diamond ring to his fiancée, Mary of Burgundy.
7. People who are newly in love produce decreased levels of the hormone serotonin – as low as levels seen in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Perhaps that’s why it’s so easy to feel obsessed when you’re smitten. 
8. According to mathematical theory, we should date a dozen people before choosing a long-term partner; that provides the best chance that you’ll make a love match

3 Ways to Schedule your FREE IT Network Audit with BEL Network Integration & Support:
 
1) Go to www.belnis.com/contact-us/confidential-audit/ and complete the online form
2) Email us at info@belnis.com
3) Call our office at 804-796-2631 or 888-341-3999
 

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