Remove Your IT Frustrations, Call (435) 817-9471

  • Newsletter
  • Chat

Just an hour of server downtime can be disastrous. Imagine an IT company that makes you wait A FULL MONTH to have your server fully up and running again? It’s a nightmare, we understand. What we’re describing is a “Brand X” scenario — the story of one of our new clients who jumped from what we would call “Nightmare on IT Services Street” to our team. With SymTec handling their server monitoring and maintenance, they can now avoid the nightmare and have server issues fixed same-hour at most.

“Their pricing was low but the service was horrendous,” said our new clients, seeking reliability and diligence.

“We’re looking for real value and benefit in a computer services firm…can you help us?” said they.

“Yes,” said we. “Never again will your IT support fail you-you can trust us completely.”

And so, they gave us the green light, and we went to work. Servers are one of our specialties, so we put theirs through the paces and back on the right course.  Some companies put managed IT services as a secondary focus and some IT guys have full-time jobs but do small business network services on the side.

SymTec makes priorities out of all the above. We make sure companies in Idaho and Southern Utah have the right level of IT support matched to the nuances and requirements of their networks.

Is a slightly cheaper price tag actually saving you money?

Actually, paying less for your IT services will, in many cases, end up costing you much more in the long run than if you’d chosen an IT company worth their price tag. We believe in IT done right the first time, and done in an expert manner. Being able to do this requires those experienced in things like server monitoring, server backup and replication, and routine server maintenance.

There are ways you can stay on top of your server maintenance – in lieu of having us work on it. Or, you can have us watchdog your server full-time as part of our managed IT services.

Here are 10 Server Maintenance Tips we’ve compiled:

  1. Verify your backups are working.

Before making any changes to your production system, be sure that your backups are working. You may even want to run some test recoveries if you are going to delete critical data. While focused on backups, you may want to make sure you have selected the right backup location.

  1. Check disk usage.

Don’t use your production system as an archival system. Delete old logs, emails, and software versions no longer used. Keeping your system free of old software limits security issues. A smaller data footprint means faster recovery.  If your usage is exceeding 90% of disk capacity, either reduce usage or add more storage. If your partition reaches 100%, your server may stop responding, database tables can corrupt and data may be lost.

  1. Update Your OS.

Updates for Linux systems are released frequently. Staying on top of these updates can be challenging.  Consequently, we use automated patch management tools and have monitoring in place to alert us when a system is out of date.  If you are updating your server manually (or not at all), you may miss important security updates.  Hackers often scan for vulnerable systems within hours of an issue is disclosed. So, rapid response is key.  If you cannot automate your updates, then create a schedule to update your system.  We recommend weekly updates at a minimum for current versions and perhaps monthly for older OS versions. You should also monitor release notices from your distribution so you are aware of any major security threats and can respond quickly.

  1. Update your Control Panel.

If you are using a hosting or server control panel, be sure to update it as well. Sometimes this means updating not only the control panel itself but also software it controls. For example, with WHM/cPanel, you must manually update PHP versions to fix known issues. Simply updating the control panel does not also update the underlying Apache and PHP versions used by your OS.

  1. Check application updates.

Web applications account for more than 95% of all security breaches investigated by certain well-known IT engineers.  Be sure to update your web applications, especially popular programs like WordPress.

  1. Check remote management tools.

If your server is co-located or with a dedicated server provider, you will want to check that your remote management tools work. Remote console, remote reboot, and rescue mode are three essential tools for remote server management. You want to know that these will work when you need them.

  1. Check for hardware errors.

You may want to review the logs for any signs of hardware problems. early indicators of potential hardware failure could be overheating notices, disk read errors and network failures. These are rare but worth checking, especially if the system has not been working within normal ranges.

  1. Check server utilization.

Review your server’s disk, CPU, RAM and network utilization. If you are nearing limits, you may need to plan on adding resources to your server or migrating to a new one.  If you are not using a performance monitoring tool, you can install systat on most Linux servers.  This will provide you some baseline performance data.

  1. Review user accounts.

If you have had staff changes, client cancellations or other user changes, you will want to remove these users from your system. Storing old sites and users is both a security and legal risk. Depending on your service contracts, you may not have the right to retain a client’s data after they have terminated services. We also recommend changing passwords every 6 to 12 months, especially if you have given out passwords to others for maintenance.

  1. Check system security.

We suggest a periodic review of your server’s security using a remote auditing tool such as Nessus (or, SymTec can handle it). Regular security audits serve as a check on system configuration, OS updates, and other potential security risks. I suggest this at least 4 times a year and preferably monthly.

Don’t get caught with an IT company that will put your server in jeopardy! Choose SymTec instead – the choice of many companies throughout the inner-mountain west who need the rapid-response assurance we provide them.

Prevent Server Mishaps – Be Proactive

As part of our IT management services, we monitor over a dozen server health metrics. By keeping track of things like swap usage, loads, mail queue depth and more, our IT company’s team of sysadmin often spot issues before they become failures.

Should server mishaps or failures occur, our team can focus on fixing the issue rather than worrying about maintenance items?  This allows us to resolve most service outages in minutes.  This way, we don’t have to stop and apply six months of OS updates to see if a known bug is the issue.

Are you in need of server specialists in Utah or Idaho (Cedar City, St. George UT and Idaho Falls ID)? We can help – and you’ll never have to wait more than an hour for a fix!

Give us a call at (435) 817-9471 or email us at sales@symtec.com for more info on how to get the best, most reliable IT company and server maintenance pros in your corner!

Read More

LinkedIn is the largest professional marketing site with 500 million users, and 40% of them use the platform daily. LinkedIn is still growing in popularity and remains one of the best online platforms to market your business. Here we’ll discuss some ways to optimize your LinkedIn use.

Branding

Your banner image, logo, photos and messages on LinkedIn should be consistent with those you use on other social media channels and marketing materials. Consistency is important for people to readily recognize your business. Make sure you use the same colors, fonts and messaging across all your branding for LinkedIn pages as well as other online platforms like Facebook. Consider including your phone number and URL in your banner image to make them readily available. Include a call to action, taglines, and hashtags to make reading your page, gleaning content, and reaching you easy for viewers. Promote a specialized landing page with images based on your brand to incrementally promote special events, product launches, showcase something new, or to share your company culture using photos of your team.

Screen%20Shot%202018-01-18%20at%2010.58.27%20AM.png

Your Company Description

Make sure this speaks directly to your prospects. You can always include a copy of the “About” page on your website, but, also take this opportunity to speak directly to your audience and tell your story. This might include some pain points you experienced and how you overcame them. Promote your expertise and industry focus, and how your company is different from others. Be aware that Google previews up to 156 characters of your page text, so it’s important that your description includes some keywords that best describe who you are and what you do.

Screen%20Shot%202018-01-18%20at%2011.02.46%20AM.png

Content

To get the viewership you need, it’s also important that you post updates to your page at least once a week. (Although, two or three times a week is better.) Make sure it’s content that will draw people to your page. Always be helpful and informative in your posts, and not salesy. (80% of your content should be informative with no more than 20% selling) Remember that LinkedIn is about sharing expertise, advice, and networking.

Post things that will keep people coming back to your page, like a series of 5 to 10 tips, countdowns to “top tens,” or any other topics that fit your brand. Posting a series will encourage people to come back to your next post. Plus, these posts are great ways to link back to your website to increase traffic.

Build a Following

A lot of people have difficulty with this. Try doing some cross-promotion using your other social-media pages like LinkedIn and Twitter. Add icons for these pages on your LinkedIn profile so people can find them.

Try sending out an email blast to directly invite people to follow your LinkedIn page. Also, encourage your employees to share and engage appropriate content on your page so people in their circles can find your posts as well. Even family and friends should be invited to see your content so they can share it with others.

You have the option to use sponsored content to build a following on LinkedIn. Otherwise, the best way to do this is to be consistent and invest time in building an organic following.

Screen%20Shot%202018-01-18%20at%2011.22.51%20AM.png

Engage with Your Community

Make sure that when someone comments on your page, you reply right away. Also, keep tabs on your analytics to see if what you’re posting is resonating with your audience. If not, you might need to make some changes. Invite people to respond to your content and provide their opinions and feedback. Post a question on your LinkedIn company page and see who responds. Ask what they struggle with most in your industry, and how they overcame it. People love to talk about their own experiences. Build a rapport and continue to invite others to comment. (Be sure to always answer and address their comments!) This not only increases your engagement but gives you some tips on what you need to do to better your posts. Those who engage with others tend to get better readership numbers.

Screen%20Shot%202018-01-18%20at%2011.26.13%20AM.png

Showcase Pages

These are separate and different from your company pages. They are an extension of your LinkedIn company page but allow you to promote certain products and/ or events to a specific audience. For example, a company like Adobe may create a showcase page to advertise their cloud services, or Apple their newest iPhone. Think of this as a “mini-LinkedIn page” for your company product. LinkedIn allows you to create up to 10 of them. (If you’d like to include more, contact LinkedIn Customer Support and they’ll help you with this.) They will appear on your company page under the “About Us” section.

Your showcase pages should have unique names to differentiate them from your company page. However, be sure to continue your branding throughout the different pages for consistency and brand recognition. Add a link to your product page so readers can learn more specifics. Just like anything else worthwhile, creating showcase pages takes time and commitment. You shouldn’t set them and forget them. You must follow up just like you do with your LinkedIn company page to ensure success.

To get started, go to your company page and open up the admin tools on the top right corner and this will bring up a drop-down menu you can use.

Screen%20Shot%202018-01-18%20at%2011.36.08%20AM.png

Screen%20Shot%202018-01-18%20at%2011.43.34%20AM.png

These images indicate the showcase pages you can go to.

Screen%20Shot%202018-01-18%20at%2011.47.40%20AM.png

When you click on one of the images, you’ll be taken to the showcase page.

Optimize Your Personal LinkedIn Profile

What some people forget to do is to make sure their LinkedIn profile is visible to everyone and posts are public. If not, people can’t share them and they won’t show up in Google searches. Go to “Edit Public Profile in URL” > “Edit visibility” and customize this according to your needs.

You should develop a headline that relays more than just your job title. Get creative and write a headline that really describes who you are. You can edit this in your profile section. What do you want to be known for? What’s your industry focus? Add samples of your work to promote your experience and skills. Use a professional headshot. Posting a “selfie” will tarnish your image as a professional. Finally, link your profile to your company page. This helps people find both you and your company.

Screen%20Shot%202018-01-18%20at%2011.55.51%20AM.png

The summary is where you can really impress your viewers with your experience and know-how. Be sure to use keywords you want Google to pick up so your profile will reach as many interested parties as possible. Also, link to your company website’s main page, or a page you want to highlight. Include an invitation for the types of people you want to contact you, or other calls to action such as connecting to your company website.

Screen%20Shot%202018-01-18%20at%2012.00.31%20PM.png

Make sure you keep the content of your profile up to date, including what your duties are and how you contribute to your organization. Archive information from places you’ve previously worked so people there can find you. If you get a promotion, be sure to include this as well.

If you need more content, add publications, certifications, languages you speak, honors, awards, and anything else that you think will appeal to your followers, that will set you apart from your competitors, and position you as an expert in your field. Similar to items in a professional resume that will draw the right people’s attention.

Endorsements & Recommendations

There’s a lot of confusion about the differences between these two features on LinkedIn. We’ll clarify this for you:

Endorsements provide an opportunity for you to network either online or in person. Endorsements help you affirm your experience and skills with recruiters and others. When a viewer endorses you on LinkedIn, they are confirming that you have the experience you say you do. When you showcase your “Skills” on LinkedIn, others who know you can endorse them to confirm what you’ve posted is true. Ask reliable people to endorse your skills. You can ask them via a direct message, or you can endorse their skills on LinkedIn so they’ll return the favor. Add your skills to the “Edit Profile” section.

Screen%20Shot%202018-01-18%20at%2012.22.55%20PM.png

Recommendations are different, although they fall into the same category as Endorsements because they provide social proof that you are who you say you are. This is when another LinkedIn member, such as a business partner, colleague or customer, writes a statement recognizing the good work you’ve done. You can solicit a recommendation from someone by navigating to their profile, select the “More” icon and the “Request a recommendation.” Add a note if you like. You can even request a revision of a recommendation when they come back to you. You also have the option to approve the recommendation before it’s posted to your profile.

Screen%20Shot%202018-01-18%20at%2012.33.55%20PM.png

The LinkedIn Mobile Application

The faster you respond to messages, the more opportunities and potential connections you’ll gain. This is why you should consider using LinkedIn’s mobile app on your smartphone. You can do most of what you can do on the desktop site with just a few exceptions. What’s missing are the analytics and the LinkedIn Publisher feature. You will have to download the separate applications for groups, sales navigator, and LinkedIn Learning Recruiter. It’s best to make a folder on your phone and store them here. The good news is that the LinkedIn Mobile App now allows you to upload and post videos to your profile.

Screen%20Shot%202018-01-18%20at%2012.46.37%20PM.png

Why Use LinkedIn Videos?

LinkedIn exclusively favors content that doesn’t take you outside of their application. For this reason, you should use native LinkedIn Videos rather than ones stored on other platforms. To access this feature, you’ll need to use the mobile app and follow the directions below.

Screen%20Shot%202018-01-18%20at%201.04.19%20PM.png

If you have problems, you may need to update your LinkedIn Mobile app. Tag people, use hashtags if relevant, add posts, include talking points in your description, along with a brief overview of the video. Three minutes is an ideal for a video.

How to Use LinkedIn Videos

You can pre-record a professional video and edit it to your liking. Use videos for client testimonials or to showcase a product. Try to use videos that include closed captioning, as the videos in LinkedIn are muted by default.

Upload real-time coverage like a segment from an event you’re attending. You can post a video to share more about yourself and what you do. Upload a video biography or walk around your office and feature some of your co-workers (and be sure to tag them in your video).

Post a video with tips that you believe your viewers would be interested in. This will keep them coming back for more.

It’s best to have a plan for your video in advance so you’re sure to focus on what you want to cover. Above all, be personable but professional with your content, appearance, and demeanor.

Screen%20Shot%202018-01-18%20at%201.04.19%20PM.png

LinkedIn Groups

Use LinkedIn Groups to find like-minded professionals, share your experiences, and learn from theirs. It’s like a virtual “coffee group” with other experts in your industry. You can post your comments, ask questions and even add photos to your group pages. Try not to sell in these groups. This will turn people off. If you can’t find a group that works for you, start your own! This is a good way to build some valuable relationships, possibly get some referrals, or turn them into prospects. Again, this an opportunity to position yourself as an expert in your field. Participating in Groups isn’t something you can set and forget. The more you invest in Groups, the more you’ll gain.

Screen%20Shot%202018-01-18%20at%201.20.04%20PM.png

LinkedIn Analytics

You should always monitor the data you receive from Analytics and adjust your posting schedule and content accordingly. Perhaps your posts with images are getting more feedback than others, or content you post in the morning gets more attention than those in the afternoon. Taking note of these details can help you get the most from your time and investment in LinkedIn. Check in weekly to see how your posts are performing. Another way to determine if you’re getting the results you want is to “Pin” a post to the top of your page and check the analytics to see if it’s being viewed by the audience you want to target. Use Analytics to set a baseline for target performance, and set some short- and long-term goals for engagement and getting people to share your posts.

Screen%20Shot%202018-01-18%20at%201.30.39%20PM.png

Impressions, Clicks, Interactions & Engagement

These are the main measures you’ll want to review in Analytics:

  • Impressions are the number of times your LinkedIn updates are viewed by members. It doesn’t mean people read them or clicked anything on them; just that they were viewed.
  • Clicks are the number of times people clicked on your content.
  • Interactions are the number of times viewers liked, shared or commented on your update.
  • Engagement is the number of interactions, plus the number of clicks and followers you have, divided by the number of impressions. (The percentage of people who engaged vs. the number posts they viewed.)

Screen%20Shot%202018-01-18%20at%201.42.12%20PM.png

The Benefits of Using LinkedIn Analytics for Your Business

The key to engaging your LinkedIn audience is to know as much as you can about them. Analytics provides this detail. You can determine the age, gender, location and more about your viewers. This will help you make the adjustments you need to get the most viewership. You can view analytics from individual posts as well, so you can see how they stand up against others, and determine what made some more successful than others. Was it a Call to Action that drew followers, or a special offer for an e-Book? Or was the success due to the type of content you included? You can adjust your future posts based on the success of previous ones.

LinkedIn Analytics provides various charts and graphs so you can easily view and interpret your data and demographics.

Screen%20Shot%202018-01-18%20at%201.49.16%20PM.png

This example page hasn’t been updated but should give you an idea of what a company analytics page might look like.

Screen%20Shot%202018-01-18%20at%201.57.43%20PM.png

This next page highlights how you can choose what you want your graph to display.

Screen%20Shot%202018-01-18%20at%201.59.40%20PM.png

Again, this graph is empty now but will prove very useful when it’s populated. It will show your most recent posts and how people responded to them. This will be useful for developing your future content. You can sort by which post did the best and more.

Screen%20Shot%202018-01-18%20at%202.01.23%20PM.png

That’s it. But there’s still more. We’ll be featuring another Webinar about LinkedIn Analytics, Paid Ads and Premium Features soon. In the meantime, if you need more information about anything presented here, please contact your friendly IT services team immediately.

Read More

Social is here to stay.

Linkedin business networking

That’s the unanimous sentiment regarding social media as a communication tool – and as a marketing channel. LinkedIn launched publicly before Facebook (2003 and 2006, respectively), and in these past 15 years we’ve seen an evolution, and some might say a revolution. Social media has redefined how society interacts, even at the most basic level. Social interaction has been transformed by the 6-second soundbite and the meme. More and more families keep Instagram accounts instead of family photo albums. Newspaper subscriptions are vastly reduced, and more and more news outlets are required to become more creative in delivering stories digitally. What does this mean for brands? That’s a challenging question with a multi-faceted answer.

Where do we start?

Too often, social platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are daily buzzwords, and while these independently offer a great voice for your brand, a brand’s social footprint needs thoughtful and customized messaging to effectively reach a target audience.

Careful crafting takes time, and each platform should have a message catered to its unique audience.

It’s not personal, it’s business.

To avoid confusion, ask yourself if you understand the fundamental difference between LinkedIn and channels like Facebook. LinkedIn, at its most basic level, is a professional matchmaker, linking individuals who wish to connect on a professional level. That statement conveys the critical nature of LinkedIn’s purpose – connecting professionals.

How can we use LinkedIn to help our brand?

The question should be, how can we not use LinkedIn to help our brand? Like most of the social platforms out there, LinkedIn has become a very popular channel for brands to effectively spread their message – either via paid advertising or through organic reach.

How can I maximize my reach?

LinkedIn offers brands the perfect platform to do what they do best – talk about themselves! LinkedIn users often visit simply to absorb information: what colleagues have made job changes lately, are various companies hiring, what is the latest technology employed by Fortune 500 companies that users need to keep their skills updated, or just to find the hiring manager for a position for which a user is applying.

This unique position translates into an audience that is actively seeking news from a brand. How a brand can use this to their advantage is simple: post content.

Content is King

Regular content posts make a brand appear active and engaged, and improve top-of-mind recall for their audience. The primary factor in considering a LinkedIn content post is the perceived value to the LinkedIn reader. Readers want content that will inform, educate, and offer support.

Tailored messages, not templates

Don’t generalize LinkedIn as a numbers game – use each content post as an opportunity to show interest in aiding your readers, creating the opportunity for readers to want more from your brand. Remember above, when we told you careful crafting takes time? In this case, time is money – and you’re trying to find the most cost-effective way to deliver a message to the widest audience possible but in the most efficient manner. Personalizing content creates an engaged connection between your brand and your reader. Don’t waste your reader’s time and they’ll feel valued, generating a connection – and, more importantly, a brand follower.

Be Mindful of Networking No-No’s

  • Duplicating social status updates

While you can certainly use programs like Hootsuite to organize your social content, don’t fall into the trap of oversimplifying and avoid the habit of duplicating content using a “copy-and-paste” process; heed the advice above regarding carefully catering a post message to your audience within a channel.

  • Polished, not punny

Comedy has a place – in a nightclub, on a stage, and delivered via microphone. LinkedIn content should be polished above all else, given the professional audience. Cleverly delivered content that reaches your audience can invoke wit – and even the occasional joke or pun – so long as you reinforce the position above, to inform, educate, and offer support for your readers.

  • Connection abuse

The greatest of all sins on LinkedIn is the abuse of connections. Building relationships and nurturing connections on LinkedIn is the basic goal of the social medium. Is there value in an individual having 500+ connections? Yes, and it’s this same value that leads brands to want a larger follower base. There are individuals and brands that will try to expand their connection base to include their mother’s brother’s colleague’s sister’s best friend’s supervisor. Clearly, this connection isn’t a meaningful one – and LinkedIn knows this. Did you know that if too many attempted connections click “I do not know this person”, LinkedIn will restrict your account? Value is lost, credibility is damaged, and relationships are forever severed by careless actions like this.

Also, another no-no is collecting email addresses from your connection list to use in any way. Deliver content that informs, educates, and offers support to readers in content posts, and cultivate these connections organically to achieve your goals, and you’ll build a better brand reputation.

What does all this mean for my brand?

This is a great question! The good news is, there is no singular answer, giving you and your brand seemingly endless options to use LinkedIn as a viable social medium. Here are tips to help your brand find its footing on LinkedIn, build solid connections, and engage with your audience.

  • Publish Content

You already know that publishing content on LinkedIn to be shared in the content feed is an amazing resource – but did you know that this tool was once only available to a pool of “super influencers”? Organizations like Microsoft led this groundbreaking feature, and now brands have the opportunity to post content – positioned to inform, educate, and offer support – that reinforces engagement, as well as a brand’s value proposition.

  • Don’t stop at JUST content!

People love to be heard! Engaging with your audience doesn’t end at achieving a like, a share, or a follow. When readers leave comments, respond! Did you know that when a LinkedIn user comments on a content post, that content is then visible to their entire 1st network? Imagine the power of your response when your brand is seen giving readers the respect of a direct response.

  • Don’t stop at JUST content and comments!

Including rich content in your delivery increases the value of the user experience. Offering a 2-minute (or less) video delivering content instead of in paragraphs of text offers much more than just information. Video offers far more flexibility as a marketing tool, and its versatility is limitless. Video is humanizing and is capable of conveying emotion and nuance in ways text literally cannot.

Every brand must absolutely represent itself throughout social media, but take great care. LinkedIn users surpassed the 500 million count in 2017. Thus, mistakes on LinkedIn can be costly, but if a brand follows LinkedIn’s protocol for use and guidelines detailed above for etiquette, the potential for brand growth is immeasurable.

Read More

We Can Guide You on Cybersecurity Issues, Too

We get numerous inquiries from people looking for Symantec, unfortunately.  And, although we’re NOT Symantec — we are SymTec, one of the American West’s premier IT services companies — we can also assist you with any IT network security issues you may be having. We realize there have been some upset people trying to reach Symantec, but we can also help with some of the very same cybersecurity apps and issues that Symantec does.

So, we see the unintended interactions those who are trying to reach Symantec are having with us as a win-win situation.

We never intended, in the naming of our company, any kind of similarity to “Symantec,” we can still help you resolve your computer security issues with things like antivirus, email security, and cybersecurity tools.

In fact, we meant our name to evoke something along the lines of “SYMpathetic TEChnichian,” or “SYMbiotic TEChnology,” not the popular security company that has created some of the best tools to fight cyber-threats with endpoint protection that we can also help facilitate for you.

We apologize for any confusion and inconvenience and would like to make it up to you with a free evaluation of your cybersecurity defenses.

Our security solutions consist of much more than just a firewall and antivirus. True security starts in your company culture and expands out from the core of your business – your staff.

SymTec is one of the top computer security companies in Utah and Idaho. When your company partners with SymTec as your trusted Information Technology consulting company, your organization will have a sound cybersecurity strategy designed to minimize your organization’s exposure to cybercriminals, ransomware attacks, hackers and crackers, viruses, and much more.

We routinely help guide Symantec subscribers (and those of other popular security app providers) on how to do security updates, upgrades, new installations, and more. You haven’t reached Symantec, but you have reached cybersecurity experts in Utah and Idaho who can help optimize your IT network with Complete Security Packages that raise your overall security levels to their maximum.

As a result, our full-scale cybersecurity services cover all of the following:

Employee Education

SymTec’s approach to cybersecurity starts with your team members. When you engage with SymTec, one of the first “get down to business” activities is hosting cyber education training with your entire staff. During this short education session, SymTec will help your team understand the risks associated with:

  • Social Engineering
  • Email Spoofing
  • Ransomware Detection
  • Security Best Practices
  • And, much more!

SymTec believes that security starts with education, and ends with perpetual vigilance.

Network Security

SymTec works with you and your team to ensure you have the most reliable network security solutions. Our cybersecurity professionals will ensure you have the right firewall service, wireless networking security, endpoint protection, and even web security solutions to keep your entire network secure from all threats impacting businesses today.

Perimeter Security

SymTec has many years of experience securing the perimeter of a company’s network. We work with many of the top firewall vendors and network security organizations. SymTec’s seasoned security experts will ensure that your company’s perimeter protection has deep packet inspection technology, gateway antivirus, antimalware, and even zero-day protection.

SymTec also works with our clients to provide ethical hacking and penetration testing services to verify the overall perimeter network protection.

Data Protection

SymTec understands that your business data must be protected, either in motion or at rest. Secure data storage, proper data backup solutions, and business continuity systems are cornerstones in ensuring that data is protected from loss.

Next, businesses must have proper authentication mechanisms in place, proper access controls, and overall network security that will ensure only authorized members of your team have access to files. SymTec will also ensure that if required, compliance and regulatory standards for data protection will be addressed.

When your team sends files and information to customers, partners, and vendors, SymTec will ensure that your data is protected while in motion with encrypted emails, secure file sharing, and other technologies available to make sure your data is protected always.

Email Security

SymTec recommends all companies have the best email security solutions in place, adding an extra layer of protection from email-borne threats. Many security threats start by entering a company through email. This is why education is crucial, but also having a top email security solution in place that scans every single email coming into your network is just as crucial. This protects your company from unwanted email (spam) and email cyber-threats.

Web Security

SymTec believes that a company must have a robust web security solution that protects websites and web properties (portals etc.) from hackers. Company websites are a prime target for those looking at distributing malware and viruses. SymTec will ensure your website is properly protected from all such threats.

SymTec’s security specialists will also ensure that your company has web security on each desktop that scans websites and web services your staff is accessing when they are at work. Web scanning is a “must have” solution that scans all web traffic, and if the website or web service passes its security check, then your staff can access good sites online.

Wireless Network Security

More and more companies are implementing wireless networks. Wireless networks must be secure. Even some of the top encryption technologies have revealed vulnerabilities, and this is the reason SymTec ensures that the wireless networks our clients use are under constant scrutiny. We ensure your company’s guest wireless network is setup properly, keeping it segregated from your main company WIFI network and making sure that only authorized team members to have access to your main company network.

SymTec has many years of experience helping small businesses, dental practices, accounting firms, car dealerships, and larger enterprises set up and maintain complex wireless networks – as well as helping them with compliance assurance, consistent, predictable IT services, and much more.

Though We’re Not Symantec, We Provide Top Business Cybersecurity Solutions

You’ve reached SymTec, your “Sympathetic Technicians” who can provide Symantec help, and a plethora of computer security solutions to keep your venture viable, compliant, and productive – give us a call at (435) 817-9471 or email us at sales@symtec.com for more info on how to get a free security evaluation and our premium cybersecurity services right away!

Read More

Google Hangouts is a convenient and user-friendly way to have a video call with clients, coworkers, or friends. These meetings can be easily recorded for playback later or to upload to YouTube. Of course, this video meeting software is designed to work with G Suite, Google’s suite of products that includes Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Calendar for business.

Google Hangouts

While you may be running G Suite for all your business needs, or maybe you just enjoy their Hangouts app, not everyone you need to chat or meet with will be a Google user. Google realized this and has made it possible for users of the other guys (Microsoft, Yahoo, etc.) to join your Hangouts. The process is pretty simple, really.

Google gives external users the ability to join a Hangouts call if the call is added to the Google calendar or someone already on the call invites them during the call. To make this process even simpler, all you have to do is supply the person you are wanting to have in the call, with the link. This way, as long as they have the link they can request access to your Hangouts call.

Having external users available for the calls in Hangouts has several advantages, including:

  • External users can always request access to video calls using the meeting link. There’s no need for them to be invited, and there’s no need to have to share manually enabled.
  • It provides the best experience when using non-Google software to join Hangouts calls. Allowing guest to request access by default provides the best experience.
  • Simplifies access to video calls when G Suite accounts are not provided to all users.
  • Ensures all users in your company are allowed to request to join when being migrated.

Allowing external guests to join by default is an easy menu option that can be turned on before the Hangouts call gets underway. All you need is the link, then visit the menu:

  • Sign-in to the Google Admin console
  • Find apps, then click on G Suite, then Talk/Hangouts
  • Click Global Settings
  • Under Hangouts video calls, click All Classic Hangouts video calls begin with external guests allowed to request access…

The user only needs to click the link or put it into a browser, where they will be prompted to input their name when they click the link to request access. Google account not required.

IMPORTANT: Someone in your company must approve the external guest that is requesting access who is trying to get in through the link.

Inviting users without a G Suites account opens up a world of collaboration, but it also comes with a few restrictions. For example, external users are restricted to presenting and participating in the call, but cannot use text chat or other Hangout apps. External guests are able to join your Hangouts meeting from a PC, Mac, tablet, smartphone, or Chromebox.

Read More

And here’s why: the “basic” or low-grade business-level data backups just won’t cut it anymore. Companies from Cedar City and St. George UT to Idaho Falls ID, though, can trust SymTec to deliver the right solutions to their data problems — including enhanced disaster recovery planning that goes beyond data replication to include full security and continuity planning, that ensures your business can survive the myriad disasters that plague today’s computer-networked companies.

It’s remarkable how unreliable some company data backups are.

Some companies in Southern Utah and Idaho have substandard data backup solutions, and can’t expect any kind of viable recovery when they can’t trust those backups. Or, they get a false sense of failover security from only a basic level of data backup.

It may surprise you to know that there’s a lot more to back up data than a Disaster Recovery solution, though. You really need a DR solution that works organically and consistently with multiple backup solutions to ensure your business survival.

With a dynamic data backup solution, you can save time not having to do work again, and you can successfully recover from any mistakes.

Did your files get corrupted because they got so large? No problem, with a SymTec Full Data and Disaster Recovery solution. In just minutes, you can recover the file because you finally have the right type of data backup solution.

“SymTec provides IT services for our company in Cedar City, and they are lightning fast, always know how to solve our problems no matter how big or small.”
Adam Stevens

Basically, you need a clear and present Backup and Disaster Recovery plan (BDR planning).

What is BDR?

As a small business owner, you’ve probably asked yourself this simple question at least once: “What is BDR?” Well, the most basic definition is a combination of data backup and disaster recovery solutions that are designed to work together to ensure uptime, diminish data loss, and maximize productivity in the midst of an attack, natural disaster, or other compromising situation. In other words, BDR solutions keep businesses safe when trouble strikes.

According to research by Security Week, the total volume of data loss at the enterprise level has increased more than 400 percent over the past couple of years and the trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. With the rise of big data, cloud computing, and BYOD policies in the workplace, it’s becoming increasingly challenging for businesses to protect their private data.

Importantly, also – IT Web suggests that the total cost of data breaches will be more than $2.1 trillion by 2019. This is in part due to the fact that small businesses don’t always take security seriously. They wrongly assume that it’s the big corporations that face the highest risks. Unfortunately, this is a false assumption.

A Verizon report says that small data breaches — those with fewer than 100 files lost — cost between $18,120 and $35,730. Unless these are expenses that you can easily sustain, it’s time to implement a BDR plan.

Related: Don’t Wait for a Disaster to Interrupt Business. Prepare Now

Top Reasons Why Idaho and Utah Businesses Need a BDR plan.

If you don’t currently have a BDR solution/plan in place, it’s probably that you’re unclear about the true value of BDR – and how it goes miles beyond basic data backup solutions.

We’ve provided some of the top benefits to give you an idea of why these solutions are so important to the health of your small business:

  1. They protect against natural disasters. Whether it’s a flood, earthquake, hurricane, blizzard, or other extreme natural disasters, there are plenty of uncontrollable circumstances that can cause your business to experience downtime. And, according to the National Archives and Records Administration, more than 90 percent of companies that experience a minimum of seven days of data center downtime go out of business within a year. Take a moment and ponder that. While a BDR plan won’t prevent a natural disaster from occurring, it will protect your data and ensure that downtime doesn’t compromise your company.
  2. Mitigates the effects of cyber attacks. As more and more data is moved online, cyber criminals are increasing their efforts and focusing on businesses that they believe are unprotected. In most cases, this means small businesses that appear vulnerable. Once again, a BDR plan can limit the impact of an attack and can prevent your business from losing valuable data.
  3. Keeps your client data safe. Do you store a lot of confidential client or customer data? If so, you can’t afford to lose this data or let it slip into the wrong hands. A BDR plan ensures that all this information is properly stored and controlled. Accordingly, you don’t have to worry about damaging your brand reputation, should an unforeseeable incident arise.
  4. Guards against human error. While natural disasters and cyber attacks are discussed more than anything else, the reality is that your own employees can be responsible for the biggest data losses. Mistakes happen and a single poor choice can end up compromising company data. That’s why it’s so important for businesses not only to train employees properly but also invest in the proper data backup solutions.
  5. Worry less about system failures.Finally, we all know that hardware, machines, and other systems fail. Regardless of how much you spend on your technology, no solution is perfect. Even systems that come with 99.9 percent uptime guarantees will falter every now and then. As such, businesses must invest in robust BDR plans that account for all such risks.

[Source credit: Entrepreneur.com]

“I have used several “Techies” in Cedar City and SymTec are by far the best.”
Brittney Cardone,
Another Happy SymTec Client

So, there’s just a smidgen of the evidence pointing the way to a full Backup and Disaster Recovery overhaul for your company. We do complimentary assessments to give you a better picture of your data backup situation and can get started working virtually right away on your new and improved BDR plan.

Let SymTec Craft Your New Data Backup and Disaster Recovery Solution

Contact us at our Cedar City office at (435) 817-9471, our Idaho Falls office at (208) 417-4530, and our St George Office at (435) 817-9471, or email us at sales@symtec.com for more info or to get started right away with the kind of Data Backup Solutions and Disaster Recovery you can truly grow a business on!

Read More
Mitchel CarlsonMitch is celebrating two years with us at SymTec. His favorite part of working here is the positive environment and having the opportunity to work with such a great group of people.
Fun facts about Mitch:
He’s always wanted to travel to Japan.
His favorite book is Ender’s game.
In his spare time, he builds miniatures and watches movies with his friends and family.
If he won the lottery, the first thing he would buy is a top of the line computer.

We asked Mitch: “If you could have a conversation with any historical figure, past or present, who would it be and why?”

Answer: “I would have a conversation with George Washington and talk to him about his life and choices.”

To learn more about how Mitch can help your business prosper, reach out to the experts at SymTec today!

Read More

Read More

W-2 Phishing season is about to begin – without the right IT security services, your business will be left vulnerable.

You and I know that effective communication with co-workers and clients is crucial, but are you sure your employees are practicing safe email and messaging conduct? If you don’t already have the best technical security services, your answer is probably, “I’m not sure”, right?

Cybercriminals are smart – they adapt quickly and continually come up with new ways to take advantage of businesses like yours. A popular tactic among hackers today is “phishing”, a method in which they send fraudulent emails that appear to be from reputable sources in order to get recipients to reveal sensitive information and execute significant financial transfers. With only a surprisingly small amount of information, cybercriminals can convincingly pose as business members and superiors in order to persuade employees to give them money, data or crucial information.

At this point, phishing attempts are nothing new, but without the right computer security services, you can still fall victim to a common phishing scam. This is especially a danger in the coming weeks when phishing will be primarily used to target W-2 data being processed for your employees during tax season.

This is nothing new. Over the past few years, cybercriminals have been very successful during tax season, executing social engineering campaigns against thousands of targets in order to access and steal valuable W-2 data. By sending phishing emails to unsuspecting workers in the payroll and HR departments in target businesses, cybercriminals have caused extensive damage, leaving companies like yours liable for fraudulent tax returns, identity theft, and class action lawsuits.

What does a W-2 Phishing Email Look Like?

As dangerous and damaging as these types of social engineering scams can be for you and your employees, the good news is that they are avoidable – if you know what you’re looking for. The key identifiers of a phishing email like this include:

  • Sender: Typically, the email will appear to come from a high-level executive or someone that the target employee wouldn’t want questions or ignore. Often the cybercriminal will go so far as to mimic the executive’s email signature to enhance the authenticity.
  • Request: The email will request W-2 or other tax information to be sent via reply, sent to another email address, or to be uploaded to a server.
  • Timeframe: The cybercriminal will likely try to create a sense of urgency so that the target doesn’t have time to think about the request or confirm it through other means.

Once the user’s email, password, and other information have been entered into the fraudulent website, the damage is done. The hacker can then take the information and do even more damage with it. It’s the new and constantly evolving cybercrime threats like these that make network security services so vital.

The key to phishing methodology is that it doesn’t rely on digital security vulnerabilities or cutting edge hacking technology; phishing targets the user, who, without the right training, will always be a security risk, regardless of the IT measures set in place. The reality is that small and medium-sized businesses like yours are put at great risk if you don’t have cybersecurity services.

What Can You Do About Phishing?

So what’s the answer? What can the average business member do to keep themselves and their company safe when criminals are employing such deceitful methods? In addition to equipping your business with the best technical security services, you should also be sure to educate and test your employees on IT security best practices and knowledge. Make sure they understand the following:

  • Never give out private information: The trusted institutions with which you do business will not ask you for your private information. They already have your account numbers, social security number, and your passwords. They won’t have any good reason to ask for it again, right? If an email from a superior or external contact asks for that info, it is likely a scam, so be sure to confirm the request by phone or in person.
  • Never click on a link before you hover over it with your mouse: If you hover over a link with your mouse, your computer will show you where that link is actually taking you. Many times, criminals will give you what looks like the right link (such as www.YourBank.com) but when you hover over the link with your mouse it actually will show something different (such as
    www.YourBank/2340937fvt5.com). If the link is not as advertised, then don’t click.
  • Always check up on unexpected email attachments. If you get an email from someone you know with an attachment that you weren’t expecting, give them a call or send them an email to confirm that the attachment is from them and is legitimate before you open it.

How Can You Be Sure Your Employees Know About Phishing?

The best way to ensure your employees know how to deal with a phishing threat is to test them. Allow us to help. We’ve prepared an example phishing email template that you can fill out and send to employees in just minutes to test their knowledge of phishing threats.

Check out this screenshot of an effective test email you can send to your employees to prepare them for the W-2 phishing season:

W2 PHISHING

Read More

If you run a business, chances are that you’ve thought about moving to an online productivity suite. The two most popular in recent years is Google’s G Suite and Microsoft’s Office 365. Touted as “innovative” and “the next big thing,” Microsoft’s productivity suite is a revolutionary concept when it comes to operating systems and computing. But why should you choose Microsoft over the other guys?

Because:

Microsoft Office 365

  • It’s cloud-based. Doing all your computing in the cloud means that you always have access to your files as long as you’re connected to the Internet. All of Office 365’s tools will work on any PC/Mac, tablet, or smartphone. With O365, you can use the online versions of the productivity suite, or install them to your device.
  •  It’s secure. Whether you’re using the version of O365 installed on your machine, or the cloud version, you’ll get the best level of security and encryption. The same set of Rights Management Services applies to both. None of your files can be accessed without the proper user credentials that are set up and monitored by Microsoft Azure. This provides the best security and control over your Office 365 data.
  • Data is backed up. Microsoft’s Office 365 offers its own form of checks and balances, 24/7 support that’s always on-call, and OneDrive to store all your files. But it’s always a good idea to have an extra layer of protection by using a Managed Services Provider (MSP) who can monitor your backups and add an extra layer of security if your data is compromised or lost.

Office 365 offers major advantages over others. As with anything worth doing, there are pros and cons when moving your operations to the cloud. However, there are some major advantages when using the Microsoft Cloud:

  • You can work anywhere. If you have an internet connection, you can use your data from anywhere and on any device. You can check emails, access files, and work on a project all from the same place – even if that place happens to be the other side of the world.
  • Easy collaboration between coworkers. How many times have you had multiple people working together on the same project only to have one version go missing. With Office 365 you can avoid this. Collaborators can work on the same file and get changes in real time. You can also share files as links right from OneDrive, rather than as attachments.
  • Access to the latest versions of programs. Imagine having access to the most current versions of Word, Excel, and Outlook without having to pay extra or reinstall programs. All the most recent versions of everything in the Microsoft Office Suite are available with an Office 365 subscription.
  • Great security features. How secure the Cloud is for you depends on what security measures you have in place. With Office 365, there are quite a few built-in security features to keep your data safe. These include:
  • Encrypted email. Only the intended recipient can read an email.
  • Data loss prevention. O365 checks and ensures that sensitive data (like your social security number) doesn’t get sent out via email.
  • Mobile device management. You can control Office 365 on your employees’ phones, and protect company information.
  • Advanced threat analytics. O365 learns and protects company data, and alerts you of suspicious activity on the network.

Alongside all the advantages of using Office 365, there are also a few cons:

  • Subscription-based model. You must pay a monthly or annual subscription for your Office 365.
  • If the Internet is down, your data is down. Because Office 365 is cloud-based, if the Internet goes out, you could be without access to your data. Plus, if you have a slow connection, working with a cloud-based system isn’t ideal.
  • Most people don’t use all of its features. Most users don’t use everything that Office 365 has to offer. They only use email, file storage, and access to Office programs. This isn’t a terrible thing, but it means you’re paying for features that you aren’t using.
  • Microsoft throws in some great extras. Office 365 comes with 1TB of storage space in Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage service, free web hosting and the tools to use it, and a full 60 minutes of Skype each month for making landline calls.

Microsoft Office 365 is a very good example of not only what a cloud service can be, but what more businesses are turning to for their cloud needs. Cloud computing is becoming a big part of more companies’ tech strategy, and Office 365 is an excellent way to jump into the cloud.

Our IT experts can walk you through your Office 365 set up. Give Symtec a call at (435) 817-9471 , or email us at sales@symtec.com, and we’ll make sure you get the full benefit of this great service.   

Read More
Page 1 of 2312345...1020...Last »