UniComData Blogs

This blog is about all things IT, including cloud computing, VoIP, virtualization, storage, networking, servers, and desktops. We also cover products from ShoreTel, Toshiba, Dell, Microsoft, Cisco, Juniper, Palo Alto Networks, and LifeSize.

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Gain valuable business tools & save money at the same time!

December 3rd, 2012 · 1 Comment

UniComData’s’ products and services can help your business become more efficient, effective, productive, and profitable.  Want to know how to make them more affordable too?Most people think the Section 179 deduction sounds like some arcane or complicated section of the IRS tax code (and in reality it is). Essentially, Section 179 allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the tax year. That means that if you buy (or lease) a piece of qualifying equipment, you can deduct the FULL PURCHASE PRICE from gross income.

It’s an incentive provided by the U.S. Government to encourage businesses to invest in themselves. With the IRS Sec. 179 regulation you can purchase up to $560,000 and write off up to 100% of it in the current tax year instead of depreciating it over 3-7 years. Of course we’re technologists and not tax accountants, so you’ll need to get the official word from your advisor to take full advantage of this write-off.

Here’s the official website where you can get more information: www.section179.org. Moreover, if leasing is the best method of financing for you, we’ve got great additional savings for this month only!

Once you’ve determined your technology needs and consulted with your tax advisor, call us. We appreciate your business and look forward to continuing as your trusted technology partner.

Take the first step to making your business more efficient, effective, productive, & profitable.

Call Us Today! 972.993.8800
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Shopping Safely Online

November 23rd, 2012 · No Comments

HOW CAN YOU PROTECT YOURSELF?

  • Use and maintain anti-virus software, a firewall, and anti-spyware software - Protect yourself against viruses and Trojan horses that may steal or modify the data on your own computer and leave you vulnerable by using anti-virus software and a firewall. Make sure to keep your virus definitions up to date.
  • Keep software, particularly your web browser, up to date - Install software updates so that attackers cannot take advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities.
  • Evaluate your software’s settings - The default settings of most software enable all available functionality. However, attackers may be able to take advantage of this functionality to access your computer. It is especially important to check the settings for software that connects to the internet (browsers, email clients, etc.). Apply the highest level of security available that still gives you the functionality you need.
  • Do business with reputable vendors - Before providing any personal or financial information, make sure that you are interacting with a reputable, established vendor. Some attackers may try to trick you by creating malicious websites that appear to be legitimate, so you should verify the legitimacy before supplying any information. Attackers may obtain a site certificate for a malicious website to appear more authentic, so review the certificate information, particularly the “issued to” information. Locate and note phone numbers and physical addresses of vendors in case there is a problem with your transaction or your bill.
  • Take advantage of security features - Passwords and other security features add layers of protection if used appropriately.
  • Be wary of emails requesting information -Attackers may attempt to gather information by sending emails requesting that you confirm purchase or account. Legitimate businesses will not solicit this type of information through email. Do not provide sensitive information through email, and use caution when clicking on links in email messages.
  • Check privacy policies - Before providing personal or financial information, check the website’s privacy policy. Make sure you understand how your information will be stored and used.
  • Make sure your information is being encrypted -Many sites use SSL, or secure sockets layer, to encrypt information. Indications that your information will be encrypted include a URL that begins with “https:” instead of “http:” and a padlock icon. If the padlock is closed, the information is encrypted. The location of the icon varies by browser; for example, it may be to the right of the address bar or at the bottom of the window. Some attackers try to trick users by adding a fake padlock icon, so make sure that the icon is in the appropriate location for your browser.
  • Use a credit card - There are laws to limit your liability for fraudulent credit card charges, and you may not have the same level of protection for your debit card. Additionally, because a debit card draws money directly from your bank account, unauthorized charges could leave you with insufficient funds to pay other bills. You can further minimize damage by using a single credit card with a low credit line for all of your online purchases.
  • Check your statements - Keep a record of your purchases and copies of confirmation pages, and compare them to your bank statements. If there is a discrepancy, report it immediately.

Let our security experts help keep what is important to you and your business safe!
Call Us Today! 972.973.8800

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Browsing Safely – Understanding Cookies

October 25th, 2012 · No Comments

What are cookies?

When you browse the Internet, information about your computer may be collected and stored. This information might be general information about your computer (such as IP address, the domain you used to connect (e.g., .edu, .com, .net), and the type of browser you used). It might also be more specific information about your browsing habits (such as the last time you visited a particular web site or your personal preferences for viewing that site).

Cookies can be saved for varying lengths of time:

  • Session cookies - Session cookies store information only as long as you’re using the browser; once you close the browser, the information is erased. The primary purpose of session cookies is to help with navigation, such as by indicating whether or not you’ve already visited a particular page and retaining information about your preferences once you’ve visited a page.
  • Persistent cookies - Persistent cookies are stored on your computer so that your personal preferences can be retained. In most browsers, you can adjust the length of time that persistent cookies are stored. It is because of these cookies that your email address appears by default when you open your Yahoo! or Hotmail email account, or your personalized home page appears when you visit your favorite online merchant. If an attacker gains access to your computer, he or she may be able to gather personal information about you through these files.

To increase your level of security, consider adjusting your privacy and security settings to block or limit cookies in your web browser. To make sure that other sites are not collecting personal information about you without your knowledge, choose to only allow cookies for the web site you are visiting; block or limit cookies from a third-party. If you are using a public computer, you should make sure that cookies are disabled to prevent other people from accessing or using your personal information.

Worried about your network security? Let our experts make sure your business data is safe! Call Us Today!  800.326.6059

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You Dream it. We Build it.

September 27th, 2012 · No Comments

UniComData is a leader in the software development industry and has been delivering innovative solutions for clients across the nation for nearly thirty years.

If you are looking for ways to streamline processes, cut costs, manage inventory, and reduce costly errors in your business then put the IT experts at UniComData to work for you.

Our software services include:
  • Custom Software Development
  • System integration
  • Process Automation
  • Website & Mobile App Design
  • Hardware & System Upgrades
Let our software experts design the right tool for your business.
Call Us Today! 972-993-8800
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Software That Fits Your Business

September 13th, 2012 · 2 Comments

One very critical business decision involves the choice of software to help run your enterprise. If you’ve ever requested a modification to an “off-the-shelf” software package, you know a major revision can be challenging and costly.

That’s why more and more businesses are looking at the potential for building their own software solutions. At High Touch, we have nearly 30 years experience delivering innovative software solutions for clients across the nation.

Our software services include:
  • Custom Software Development
  • System integration
  • Process Automation
  • Website & Mobile App Design
  • Hardware & System Upgrades
If you can dream it, we can build it. Let our software experts design the right tool for your business. Call Us Today!  972.993.8800
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Paper Free Is The Way To Be

August 23rd, 2012 · 1 Comment

Over the last decade, it has become standard business practice to use digital solutions for basic administrative purposes. Customer information, which used to only be accessed by computer, is now available through laptops, phones, and tablets. So, why are we still taking down information with pen and paper?

Your business runs on digital resources. Why not start the process digitally too? Have your customers and employees input their data quickly and efficiently with Envia Forms.

This powerful application is compatible on any iOS device and manages your forms and information with ease. Take down customer signatures on the spot; embed pictures in to your notes or even record conversations to reference later.

Maximize your employees’ time by reducing piles of unnecessary paperwork so they can concentrate on what is important in your business

- increasing the bottom line.

Let our experts handle your social media and digital marketing needs! Call Us Today! 972.993.8800

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Ring, Ring. Who’s There? It’s ShoreTel VoIP Calling to Save You Money!

August 9th, 2012 · No Comments

What is VoIP? Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is technology that allows you to make and receive calls over data networks. Instead of traditional phone services, which channel analog signals such as the sound of your voice over copper wires, VoIP converts these sounds to digital form. Because VoIP technology uses the same idea behind data networking and allows use of the same networks used by computers, voice traffic can be routed through the Internet and dramatically reduce the cost of voice communications!

Here are five reasons to switch to VoIP for your phone and office communication systems:

  1. VoIP allows you to dramatically reduce the cost of communications, especially for interstate or international communications, since everything can go through the Internet instead of having to go through expensive long distance toll charges.
  2. You can make and receive calls from multiple devices–for instance, on a desk phone, your PC via a software-based phone, or even a mobile phone with VoIP capabilities.
  3. It is easier to add extensions to your phone. You can provide a local number or extension for all your staff without additional costs or cabling.
  4. VoIP allows companies to maximize investments already made in their network infrastructure. The same network that handles the flow of data such as web access and email can now accommodate voice as well–no need to add and maintain additional wires and devices.
  5. VoIP reduces the complexity associated with having to manage multiple networks and devices for communication. A company can potentially set up their office network so that each employee can use a single device such as a computer or a Smartphone to handle everything from mail, chat, messages, faxes, and more.

Contact us and we can help you make the switch to a ShoreTel VoIP phone system today! Call Us Today! 972.993.8800

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Social Media Explained

July 26th, 2012 · No Comments

Social media can be complicated, but it is becoming an essential part of any business plan and a necessary contributor to every marketing campaign.The web is social and it’s where marketing happens in real time.

Between tweets, posts and pictures, it can become overwhelming when trying to find a strategy that works for you and your business.It can become even more frustrating when those goals aren’t met due to lack of planning or, simply, lack of staff.

High Touch Technologies has dedicated digital marketing experts to help you cut through all the social clutter.Our comprehensive approach leads with compelling content and optimizes the power of analytics to reach the right consumer, at the right time.

Let our experts handle your social media and digital marketing needs! Call Us Today!  972.993.8800
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Reach New Heights With Our Cloud Solution!

July 12th, 2012 · No Comments

Today, “The Cloud” is a frequently used technology term, but the use of cloud technology has been around for some time. So, what do they really mean by cloud computing, and how can it give your business the competitive edge?

What is cloud technology?

Simply put, cloud computing is a subscription-based service that offers networked storage space and computer resources. In the UniComData Cloud IT Services environment, all IT services reside in our secure, reliable, high performance, scalable “cloud” data center, located in Dallas, TX.

Where did the idea come from?

In the early days of computing, mainframes delivered application services to companies.  However, when the personal computer began making its mark as common technology, localized infrastructures began having to support, manage and configure personal networks. With the exploding complexities of data centers, companies were faced with ever increasing IT departments, rising capital expenditures, and the challenge of dealing with infrastructure obsolescence and increasing operating expenses.  So, how can a company have the best of both worlds-personalized services and lower overhead? The answer is: UniComData Cloud IT Services.

With our Managed Cloud IT Services you can expect:

  • Lower Costs
  • Increased Productivity
  • Enterprise Continuity
  • Improved Flexibility

By partnering with UniComData, your IT systems are in the hands of industry experts whose core competency is to manage and deliver those services to your enterprise.

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Recovering From a Trojan Horse or Virus

June 28th, 2012 · No Comments

It can happen to anyone. Considering the vast number of viruses and Trojan horses traversing the internet, it’s amazing it doesn’t happen to everyone. When you know your machine is infected with a Trojan Horse or virus, what can you do? The following steps may help save your computer and your files.

  1. Call IT support: If you have an IT support team, notify them immediately and follow their instructions.
  2. Disconnect your computer from the Internet: Depending on what type of virus you have, intruders may have access to your personal information and may even be using your computer to attack others. You can stop this activity by physically disconnecting your cable or phone line or simply “disabling” your network connection.
  3. Back up your important files: If possible, combine all of your files onto a CD, DVD or other external storage device. It is VITAL to note these files cannot be trusted since they are still potentially infected. It is good practice to back up your computer regularly, even if you don’t suspect your files are corrupted.
  4. Scan your machine: Since your computer may be infected, it is safest to scan the machine from a live CD or “rescue” CD rather than a previously installed antivirus program.
  5. Reinstall your operating system: If the previous step failed, the most effective option is to wipe the hard drive and reinstall the operating system. Although this corrective action will result in the loss of all your programs and files, it is the only way to ensure your computer is free from backdoors and intruder modifications. Many computer vendors offer a rescue disc that will do a factory restore of the system. Check your computer’s user manual to find out whether one of these is provided and how to run it. Before conducting the reinstall, make a note of all your programs and settings so that you can return your computer to its original condition.
  6. Restore your files: If you made a backup in Step 3, you can now restore your files. Before placing the files back in directories on your computer, you should scan them with your anti-virus software.

Keep your system and data safe with our security, backup and recovery solutions. Call Us Today! 972.993.8800

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