Covid-19 Computing Center Status Update

 

 

Friday, March 20, 2020 @1:00pm

 

The events of the past week have affected every business, organization, and person. Nothing has been unaffected. A long-time friend contacted us Wednesday evening and during the conversation, we talked about what the Covid-19 pandemic would have been like before the Internet; say 25 years ago.  We would have been getting the news from the newspaper, listening to the radio, and from mostly broadcast TV and the fledgling cable news channels.  The shutdown of non-essential businesses would have been essentially 100%. No remote computing, little or no email, and only a very few people being able to work from home. We would have hunkered down and sat. Maybe it would have been simpler.

 

As of this writing 100% of non-essential employees can no longer report to work.  Because of what The Computing Center does in supporting essential businesses in our community, we are allowed to maintain in-house operations. Some of the essential local organizations we directly are supporting include:

  • Healthcare organizations, hospitals, and physicians’ offices
  • Financial institutions including banks, credit unions, and insurance companies
  • Accountants offices
  • Animal shelters
  • Human Services organizations
  • County and other government offices
  • Tompkins International Airport
  • Logistics companies

 

To be clear, we are doing this with virtually our entire staff operating remotely.  Only a small skeleton group that handles product logistics and in-house repair are reporting to work.

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Exercising in the Office

At the Computing Center, our logistics people, technicians, and engineers get a reaonable amount of exercise daily.  Just part of their jobs. Up, down, moving equipment and inventory, as well as delivering products all over town. Others "fly a desk".  It's hard to keep fit doing that without some conscious thought. Here are some ideas.

Stay fit and focused

You've probably already heard that sitting at a desk all day is bad for your health. According to the World Health Organization, physical inactivity is classified as the fourth leading cause of global deaths, causing 6% of deaths globally.1 But don't quit your desk job just yet! There are new innovative gadgets that can help you stay fit while working. We take a look at the top fitness inspired solutions designed to help you power through your workday.

Watch your posture

Bad posture while sitting creates a host of problems, from jaw pain to pinched nerves in your back. New wearables are designed to help keep you sitting straight and tall at your desk. These posture-training devices are about the size of a lapel pin and attach to your skin or clothing. They gently vibrate when they sense slouching, training you to improve your posture throughout the day.

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Is the Text Message that you just received a Scam?

You may be skeptical when someone you don’t know sends you a text message you didn’t expect and it tells you to click on a link. Maybe that little voice in your head starts talking to you. I know mine does. It says, “Hmm, this could be a scam. Maybe someone wants to steal my personal information. Or get me to pay for something.”

I guess that's why scammers come up with new stories all the time, like a package tracking scam we're hearing about. Here's how it works.

Scammers send a text message with a fake shipment tracking code and a link to update your delivery preferences. In this case, the message says it’s from FedEx.

But they might use the name of another well-known shipping company, or the good old U.S. Postal Service.

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Password Managers and Your Office

Every week, our technicians and engineers visit new client offices (and some of our existing client offices) and find  passwords on post-it notes, under keyboards, and sill find the "12345" password being used. Norton makes free password managers and there are some truly excellent product while not free, can fully manage your company's passwords and be able to control the passwords of former employees. Above all, use something to help manage your passwords.

Let’s say you have 25 different online accounts. That means you should have 25 unique — and complex — passwords to manage. And since you know better than to write them down on sticky notes or in a notebook, what are you supposed to do?

A password manager may be just the solution. But what are they, how do they work, and how secure are they? Let’s try to answer some of those questions.

What is a password manager?

A password manager is a program that houses all your passwords, as well as other information, in one convenient location with one master password. The benefits to using a password manager are:

  • A password manager will do the work of creating the complicated passwords you need to help protect your online accounts.

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Office of the Future

We know it’s coming. The Office of the Future, that place straight out of science fiction where everything’s connected to everything else, heavily automated and full of technology to help small businesses and their employees be more productive and drive new business.
 
Yet, figuring out which technologies to bank on can be confusing, if not overwhelming. In fact, based on IDC’s definition of future readiness, 82 percent of organizations fall short – with only 18 percent believing they’re deploying the right technology to drive and support the way most people will work.
 
What are we talking about? Here are the five technologies you should be thinking about now if you want to get in front of what’s coming and avoid the disappointment of seeing your competitors get there first.

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