IoT SMB: The “Second Mover Benefit” for Small Business

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There is yet another storm brewing where mobile left off, with a new world called “The Internet of Things” (IoT). Twenty-six billion new devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020 (Gartner Group). IoT homes, known as smarthomes, or Connect Homes, are, and will be, the first adopters of these new devices. Small businesses will be the second.
McKinley IoT article-2Small business owners are also home owners, many of whom will try out new IoT devices in their homes. The decision process is much quicker for SMBs, and if decision makers like what they see, they can quickly translate, implement, and deploy new things in the workplace.

In order to gain a “second mover benefit,” however, you need to know what technologies will migrate from home to business. You also need to understand which ones will provide a high ROI (return on investment).

The top two types of devices on which SMB owners should educate themselves – and implement in their homes as a trial – are energy and security devices. Ten percent of US households with broadband have at least one smart device with energy-related functions, including eight percent with a smart thermostat and six percent with smart lighting (Parks Associates, Feb 2015).  Canary is one of the first smarthome security devices ($249 USD). It tracks motion, temperature and vibrations. http://canary.is/ SMB will move faster than enterprise companies, and they will have an immediate, positive ROI by implementing solutions which reduce energy consumption and increase security.

To further learn which technologies are best suited for both your home and business, look at solutions that address these key areas: smart thermostats, smart locks, smart light bulbs, smart smoke detectors, smart energy management devices, smart alarms, surveillance IP cameras, and smart hubs. You should note that some solutions are still in their infancy, but manufacturers have already begun to identify vital opportunities to improve both product and business continuity.

Then, regardless of the device you select to migrate to your business, after evaluating your potential ROI, it’s important to examine the security risk of exposing more of your network and critical data to yet another device that is linked to the Cloud. Work with your managed service provider or internal IT department to assess the exposure. An experienced tech team, like Everon, can ensure you have the best protections in place to be able to safely implement home solutions in your small business.

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What Is a Network?

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Before working in the Business Operations Department at an IT Support company, I lived in a bubble of blissful ignorance, free of terms like “firewalls” and “switches.” But those days have long passed. Now I hear these terms — and more — on a daily basis and have more than once been confused by the conversations around me, as well as items that come across my desk. So I decided I would like to learn the basics. Thanks to a caring Account Manager, Curt Kelley at Everon, who initiated a “Back to Basics” training course, I can now understand the basic terms and functions of a Network. You can, too:

Taking a look at the diagram, let’s start at the top with “The Cloud.” This term always made me nervous because I didn’t understand what it was or how it was different from the internet. Curt explained that it’s pretty much just a rebranded name for “The Internet” — or where all the data is coming from.

Sam - Network blog graphic

Image created by Curt Kelley.

This data is transmitted from the cloud to your ISP (Internet Service Provider), then to you through your “modem” or “router.”  This modem, or router, device receives service from your ISP and allows you to access the Cloud.  For a lot of us, in our homes, this is pretty much the extent of our network. But for our businesses there are a few more devices involved.

Moving down the chain we see the firewall. Basically what the firewall does is put up a barrier between your network (all your internal information/devices) and the Internet so nobody can see your personal  information from outside your network. The firewall acts as roadblock from the Internet to your network.

Next we see the switch or “hub” as it is sometimes called. The switch is basically an outlet strip that allows all your printers, workstations, phones, wireless, and server to be connected. I know we all know what phones are, but what I did not know was that VoIP phones are different from normal “plug into the wall” type phones. These are phones that you use via your Internet connection. VoIP stands for  Voice Over Internet Protocol.

Servers also plug into the switch and hold all of your internal data. Also, when you log onto your computer, this is the device that you are logging onto to verify that you are who you say you are. This device authenticates your credentials and allows you access to the network. Lastly,  workstations are another word for your laptop or desktop computer setup, printers and the wireless Internet access are pretty self-explanatory, but these also are plugged in through the switch.

I hope this helps you, like it did me, to have a better understanding of network basics. If you need IT support or would like to install additional devices in your network — you can always contact us at Everon 888-244-1748 (or email us at info@everonit.com). We’re here for you 24/7, 365.

Remove yourself from the internet with Just Delete Me

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Social media, gaming hubs and other internet websites come and go.  Its very easy to forget to remove your accounts from websites that you don’t use anymore.  Just Delete Me is a site that provides you with direct links to doing just that.

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Just Delete Me is website that is dedicated to you.  They are providing the links and step by step processes to remove personal accounts.  Each one is color coded. Green is easy, yellow is medium, red is difficult, and black is impossible.

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Clicking on the page will take you to the sign in page, that will allow to you to remove your account so there is no searching for it.

Just Delete Me

How to connect to a wireless network using Windows 8

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Windows 8 constantly searches for a working Internet connection. If it finds one that you’ve used previously, you’re set: Windows passes the news along to Internet Explorer, and you’re ready to visit the web.

When you’re traveling, however, the wireless networks around you will often be new, so you’ll have to authorize these new connections. Whenever you want to connect with a new network, you need to tell Windows that you want to connect, please.

To connect to a nearby wireless network for the first time, either one in your own home or in a public place, follow these steps:

  1. Summon the Charms bar and click or tap the Settings icon.Any of these three tricks summons the Charms bar and its Settings screen:
    • Mouse: Point at the screen’s top- or bottom-right edge; when the Charms bar appears, click the Settings icon.
    • Keyboard: Press Windows+I to head straight for the Charms bar’s Settings screen.
    • Touchscreen: Slide your finger inward from the screen’s right edge; when the Charms bar appears, tap the Settings icon.
  2. Click or tap the wireless network icon.Among the Settings screen’s six bottom icons, the one in the top left represents wireless networks. The icon changes shape, depending on your surroundings:
    • Available: When the icon says Available, like the one in the margin, you’re within range of a wireless network. Start salivating and move to the next step.
    • Unavailable: When the icon says Unavailable, like the one in the margin, you’re out of range. Time to head for a different seat in the coffee shop or perhaps a different coffee shop altogether. Then return to Step 1.
  3. Click or tap the Available icon if it’s present.Windows lists all the wireless networks within range of your PC. Don’t be surprised to see several networks listed; if you’re at home, your neighbors probably see your network listed, too.win8charms
  4. Choose to connect to the desired network by clicking its name and clicking the Connect button.If you select the adjacent Connect Automatically check box before clicking the Connect button, Windows automatically connects to that network the next time you’re within range, sparing you from connecting manually each time.If you’re connecting to an unsecured network — a network that doesn’t require a password — you’ve finished. Windows warns you about connecting to an unsecured network, but a click or tap of the Connect button lets you connect, anyway. (Don’t do any shopping or banking on an unsecured connection.)
  5. Enter a password if needed.If you try to connect to a security-enabled wireless connection, Windows asks you to enter a network security key — technospeak for password. If you’re at home, here’s where you type in the same password you entered into your router when setting up your wireless network.If you’re connecting to somebody else’s password-protected wireless network, ask the network’s owner for the password. If you’re in a hotel, pull out your credit card. You probably need to buy some connection time from the people behind the front desk.
  6. Choose whether you want to share your files with other people on the network.If you’re connecting on your own home or office network, choose “Yes, turn on sharing and connect to devices.” That lets you share files with others and use handy devices, like printers.If you’re connecting in a public area, by contrast, choose “No, don’t turn on sharing or connect to devices.” That keeps out snoops.