WOOF! Newsletter

July 11, 2024
Using free authenticator apps is good, but they still have risks. Luckily, next-level MFA is here with Cisco's Duo app.
June 11, 2024
Got a backup in the cloud? Good! Did you put in a secondary cloud backup, too? You might want to after reading about Google’s latest accident.
May 08, 2024
Are you getting the most out of Teams' communications tools? Maybe...but these 5 'power-ups' can save you time & effort.
April 10, 2024
Is it possible to keep threats & malware out of your network entirely? It is, if you deploy DNS filtering as one of your tools.
March 14, 2024
Digital Marketing—when is it time to bring in the pros?
February 14, 2024
How should we plan for emergencies that disrupt IT? Channel your inner Prepper!
January 11, 2024
Preserve your ability to send bulk emails (newsletters, promotions, etc.) to Google and Yahoo emails with this fix.
December 13, 2023
If IT hampered your team’s productivity at all this year, tackling those issues is a good place to start 2024.
November 09, 2023
What does email encryption do? How can you use it to protect against data theft? Yves Lacombe from Vircom has the answers.
October 12, 2023
This month we speak with Yves Lacombe from Vircom about email security technology, and how the engineers at Vircom work to protect the #1 cyberattack vector out there - your business email.
September 14, 2023
If your company relies on mobile phones to conduct business, then backing up those phones is a business necessity. Let's talk business-grade backup for phones.
August 10, 2023
Teams users reporting a flood of spam calls? Here's how you can keep them at bay.
July 13, 2023
MFA plays a critical role in securing your online accounts. Unfortunately, cybercriminals have found ways to get around MFA...and unless you take steps to block their attempts, they’ll get access to your data. Here’s how to keep MFA strong.
June 14, 2023
With summer upon us, it’s a great time to reassess your IT progress this year, check budgets, and make plans for the second half of the year. What should you prioritize? These articles, selected by PlanetMagpie Founder & CEO Robert Douglas, will help you zero in.
May 10, 2023
Smartphones became hacking targets years ago, but only recently have cybercriminals used them as backdoors into corporate networks. This is how they do it, and what you can do to stop it.
April 12, 2023
Hacking via remote access is nothing new. The remote work explosion made it worse. Millions of computers now connecting to company networks remotely...using unsecured technology and creating millions of security holes ripe for attack. What's the solution?
March 09, 2023
Your marketing emails won't work if they don't make it into your customers' inboxes. One way to increase their deliverability is to use email authentication records, such as DMARC, SPF, and DKIM. Here’s what you should know about email authentication, and how easy it is to put in place.
February 13, 2023
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has regained popularity in the past few years. While some businesses might see this as a plus, it's our job to remind you of the risks, and provide ways to help you mitigate those risks.
January 11, 2023
Are we still in a chip shortage? It's complicated. Market conditions in 2022 went haywire, disrupting every aspect of the computer industry. The good news is businesses can look forward to deals on IT hardware...if you act soon.
December 15, 2022
As more and more businesses look for ways to save money on IT, some consider outsourcing their IT support. A number of different service methods exist when it comes to network maintenance...but what’s the right one for you?
November 09, 2022
Every cloud service has to deal with fraudulent logins. Microsoft 365 is one of the biggest cloud service providers and one of the most targeted. If your team uses MS365, you need to secure your accounts. Here are 10 proven methods to keep fraudulent logins at bay.
October 13, 2022
Contracting an agency to assist with your company’s web design and branding makes a lot of sense. It helps you get the professional results you need to rank in today’s competitive online environment. How do you make sure you get the best results from your agency partner? Follow these 7 tips!
September 15, 2022
Where do you host your company’s data? Do you have Intellectual Property to protect? Should you worry about cyberattacks or even espionage? If your IP gets into the wrong hands, could it ruin your company? Many business leaders worry about these risks...and they should. The solution? Relocate your IP to hosts you control.
August 10, 2022
Hiring an IT consultant enhances your team's ability to solve problems...but to IT team members, it may feel threatening. Avoid that by planning the process out. Here's a blueprint.
July 15, 2022
Domain controllers facilitate user authentication for your network. Many businesses have explored 'hybridizing' their Domain Controllers…should you? Here's what a Hybrid DC rollout looks like.
June 08, 2022
Website Cookies are almost as old as the Web itself. Most of us just click "Allow" and forget about them. But should we? What do they really do? Sometimes it's just a privacy requirement. Sometimes Cookies enable ads from companies you've never heard of. Sometimes it's both. Bottom Line: Cookies aren't the worst threat to online privacy out there, but you should always know what clicking "Allow" means.
May 11, 2022
We use browsers and search engines every day, both for work and personal benefit. The only trouble is that most browsers and search engines keep a record of everything you do with them. Luckily, privacy-friendly browsers and search engines do exist, and they're easy to install.
April 13, 2022
How long would your network password last in a prolonged cyberattack? Hours, days maybe? It depends on how strong the password is. Here's how to measure password strength, and how to make your passwords nearly unhackable.
March 10, 2022
Would your backups save you in an emergency? Let's test that. With this 5-minute checklist you can assess your backups' ability to protect your data, and restore your systems, if a worst-case scenario ever happens.
February 14, 2022
Here's a message direct from PlanetMagpie President Robert Douglas. With a year of changes ahead, Robert has some thank you's to give and plans to share.
January 13, 2022
We buy car insurance to protect us in the event of a car accident. Business insurance to protect against legal trouble and property damage. Now we can buy cyber insurance to protect against cyberattacks.

Should you get cyber insurance? Yes—and here's how.
December 09, 2021
Working on the budget for next year's IT expenses? We researched IT spending trends & predictions for 2021-2022 to make it easy. Find out where your priorities should focus here.
November 10, 2021
The survey results are in, and it looks like many of you agreed on the "scariest threats" to your company's IT. Your top fears centered around disaster recovery ability, unauthorized access to your company network, and the risks of using old computer hardware. Here's how to quickly and easily manage those risks so you can enjoy the holidays!
September 08, 2021
What's making laptops & network hardware more expensive? A shortage of "chips," the brains of today's electronics. Harsh truth time – the shortage will get worse before it gets better. So if you plan to buy new computers, here's what you should do right now.
August 12, 2021
"I hear the term, 'IT Consulting' all the time, but I don't know exactly what it means." You're not the only one. It’s a broad term covering various roles, services, and specialties. Read on for guidance on how to pick the right one for your company.
July 15, 2021
What should you expect to pay if you upgrade your cybersecurity? If you've ever wondered, this is the WOOF for you. You'll find out the real-world costs for putting in/upgrading cyber security protections, and the business-crippling costs of the cyberattacks they protect against.
June 09, 2021
It seems a day doesn’t go by without news of a major cyberattack. Every company, large or small, should be concerned about securing their networks right now. But where do you start? Start with the 7 'weakest' entry points into your company network – and systemically secure each one.
May 13, 2021
Planning an office move? When it comes to moving your IT, it’s easy to miss critical steps that can cause you unexpected downtime...and even lost business. Learn the IT Move tips of the pros, and be your company’s office move hero!
April 14, 2021
If you build your IT infrastructure right, it does more than enable a remote workforce. The infrastructure improves data access, security and performance, and lowers cost of ownership. It's not 'too good to be true’ . . . it's Hybrid IT.
March 10, 2021
Where do your servers live? Your security? Your backups? IT infrastructure has to live somewhere. Some companies put them in the cloud; others put them in their office. Is one approach better than the other?
February 11, 2021
Cloud services allow organizations to build up their operations quickly without a large hardware investment. But cloud services present a risk to the data you store on them. You don't own the hardware or control the cloud service where your data resides.
January 14, 2021
The Internet suffered a huge strain last year - millions of newly-remote workers, VPNs, and cyberattacks. This led to many cases of "Bandwidth Overload" - a frustrating, but preventable issue with network access. Here's how to spot Bandwidth Overload, and how to stop it from ruining your team's productivity.
December 10, 2020
To close out a year rife with cyberattacks, let's discuss one of the worst kinds—the Insider Attack. These types of attacks can come from your own employees and trusted contractors, which is why they are so dangerous.
November 12, 2020
Texting is here to stay in the workplace. However, it does present a security risk. Eliminate that risk with a secure messaging app, and everyone can keep on texting. Here are two methods you can use to text safely.
October 14, 2020
Every company needs dependable network-level protections against cyberattack, but that’s only half the equation. The other half is the human side of cybersecurity – how each employee behaves online while working. Use this scorecard to rate your company’s IT security behavior, in practice. Are you following best practices? Or do you need to make some changes?
September 10, 2020
How well does your network protect you from cyberattacks? It's hard to measure…unless you have a measurement guide! In this back-to-school edition of WOOF!, we created a report card to guide you through a quick security check. It only takes 5 minutes to grade your network, but it could save you from a business-ending cyberattack.
August 13, 2020
Just when you thought ransomware attacks couldn’t get any more insidious…now they blackmail you with your own data, take payment, and expose it anyway.
June 10, 2020
The COVID-19 lockdown has taught every business in the world the importance of being prepared for the unexpected. As some businesses begin to reopen, our president offers his best advice on how to be prepared for the next business disruption.
May 13, 2020
Right now, what our economy needs is a big opportunity. A major change that will kick-start growth, hire people who need the work, and reinvigorate our nation. We have such an opportunity right in front of us—moving technology manufacturing back to the U.S. from overseas.
April 08, 2020
While everyone who can work remotely does, we must rely on email, the phone, and video conferences to keep our businesses going. How can you make your video conferencing experience the most professional? We gathered tips for presenting your "best self" on video, from our experience with a major player in the space: Microsoft's Skype for Business.
March 11, 2020
When was the last time you tested your backups? If you're thinking, "I don't know…never?" this WOOF is for you. It's important to have daily backups of your company systems. It's also important to verify those backups will provide the business continuity you'll need in an emergency.
February 12, 2020
Should you use a Cloud VPN service, or run your own VPN on premise? VPNs play a critical role in online privacy, which means it's important to compare the advantages of each option, and see which fits your business better.
January 15, 2020
While we're all working on our 2020 goals, let us add an item to the list: "Defend Against Cyberattacks." They're coming whether we like it or not. You can mount an effective defense though, for low cost and not a lot of time.
December 11, 2019
Like websites and marketing materials, company logos need design updates over time. Depending on the kind of update, whether a small refinement or a completely new design, logo updates can spell powerful gains to a company's perception, traffic, and sales.
November 13, 2019
Looking for hard-working, motivated, ethical employees? Aren't we all! There's a place we can find them too, and it's open to everyone. It's our military veterans. To show our thanks this month, let's talk about how you benefit from hiring veterans.
October 09, 2019
Businesses adopting "Green IT" aim to use their technology in the most environmentally-friendly way as possible. Admirable, but doesn't that raise IT costs? Not necessarily. In fact, Green IT technologies can deliver a notable cost savings if done right.
September 11, 2019
If you work at a municipality (city office, school district, etc.) or your company works on a shoestring IT budget, you need to read this article. Municipal networks face a relentless wave of ransomware attacks…and they're losing the battle. We're laying out the reasons behind this "plague" – and 5 ways to avoid becoming the next victim.
August 14, 2019
We asked PlanetMagpie’s IT Consultants for the top signs of impending disaster they see when visiting new customer sites. Take heed! If your IT has any of these "danger signs," act now to avoid an oncoming IT disaster.
July 10, 2019
Why would you want computers made in America? To avoid spying & security risks, for one. To support the American economy, for two. To help protect the environment, for three. Luckily for all of us, a few brands still make their computers & parts in the U.S.
June 12, 2019
In Part 2 you'll learn how to order Internet service for new offices, and how IT Consultants can save you money & make for a smoother turn up.
May 08, 2019
It's time to move to a new office. Right away you have a challenge to overcome: the new office needs Internet access. How much bandwidth will you need? What will the process entail? This two-part article will lay it all out for you.
April 10, 2019
When coworkers have an IT issue, do they call you? Even though you’re not an IT professional, you want to help when they call. Then you help with another issue, and another. Over time, you may have unwittingly become your company’s De Facto IT Manager!
March 06, 2019
Lots of things can slow a computer down. Some are innocuous and temporary; some signal a growing problem. Which do you have? Use this checklist to find out.
February 07, 2019
Almost every application you can run on a PC is also available on a Mac. But do they operate the same in business environments? No . . . and that's part of what drives up Mac IT support costs.
January 09, 2019
Want to protect your privacy while online? Sure you do. What if you could cut off the biggest privacy violators—online activity trackers—with just two changes to your daily browsing?
December 12, 2018
Cybercriminals attack Microsoft 365 email servers constantly. While Microsoft's internal security is good, it's not perfect. Your email can become vulnerable. Unless you use a third-party device to "detour" those cyberattacks before they reach your email.
November 07, 2018
The tariffs are coming! Tariffs on thousands of products imported from China have just started up. How does that work out for buying laptops, phones, or networking equipment?
October 10, 2018
During an office relocation, don't treat your computers & servers like furniture. Moving IT hardware improperly can wreak havoc on your systems. Avoid damaging your IT during a move with these safety precautions.
September 12, 2018
Power outages can damage your IT at two points – when the power goes out, and when the power comes back on. You can guard against both if you know where & how to protect your servers, PCs, and networking equipment.
August 07, 2018
All company PCs need replacing eventually. But when—after they die? Waiting too long can hamper workers’ productivity, and balloon your support costs. Instead, use a simple replacement strategy and save on TCO.
July 12, 2018
Since Office 365 is cloud-based, all data you save to your account is automatically backed up, right? Well, not exactly. Here are 6 reasons you need a separate cloud backup.
June 07, 2018
In this issue, we detail how a Bay Area hotel suffered a ransomware attack. It took days to clean off their systems, taking data with it. Avoid the same fate with three safeguards protecting against cyberattack.
May 10, 2018
Many companies try to reduce their IT costs by buying consumer-grade hardware and software, but they only end up spending more over time. Part 2 of 2.
April 05, 2018
When it comes to your company’s IT hardware/software, think Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Allowing employees to pick a PC or a Mac, or saving a little money by buying home-grade computers or software, creates a mixed environment…which may dramatically increase your costs over time. Part 1 of 2.
March 08, 2018
The FCC has rolled back the power of government to control the Internet. States and big tech companies want to reinstitute "Net Neutrality." But they're missing something important about private enterprise vs. government bureaucracy.
February 08, 2018
SSL Certificates protect your website, email, and more. In the past you could buy them for a 3-year term called a 'lifetime.' The authorities controlling SSL certificate distribution voted to reduce that to 825 days. Here's why, and what it means for your website's security.
January 11, 2018
California's 2017 fires wreaked havoc across the State. Many businesses will never reopen. But one will, because it put disaster recovery plans in place beforehand. Here's how they did it.
December 07, 2017
Outlook can slow down if you have an extremely large Exchange mailbox. Some users have tens or even hundreds of thousands of business emails from many years of work. Without an archiving solution, those accounts may experience performance issues due to “Mailbox Bloat”!
November 09, 2017
Do you have a data protection plan in place? If you don’t, how will your company recover if a disaster strikes (natural or man-made)? Without data protection, your business can easily go the way of the dinosaurs.
October 05, 2017
Businesses that plan for disasters minimize their IT losses. Preparations like cloud backups today, can mean the difference between your business surviving a disaster . . . or crumbling in its wake.
September 07, 2017
Depending on the growth stage of your business, using IT consultants may save you money and give better support. Let's look at both support options.
August 03, 2017
A company’s visual identity is the most recognizable part of their brand. Over time, a brand can become stale and lose its impact. When that happens, it’s time for a brand refresh. These are the signs to watch out for.
July 06, 2017
The American Technology Council is a new entity, tasked with modernizing government IT services and protecting the U.S. from cyberattack. To kick it off, President Trump asked for the help of major technology executives. Are they up to the job?
June 07, 2017
Shadow IT damages a business’ bandwidth, drains its productivity, and puts you at risk of cyberattack. Stopping it requires oversight, access control, network testing, and good backups. (Part 2 of 2)
May 11, 2017
Shadow IT isn’t some masked intruder stealing your data. It’s your own employees eating up bandwidth and placing your data’s security in jeopardy. (Part 1 of 2)
April 06, 2017
Need some tips on how to keep your laptop safe while traveling for work? We've got 7!
March 09, 2017
For publicly-traded companies, SOX is a necessity, but there are some unexpected benefits. Five to be exact.
February 09, 2017
Defense against ransomware involves more than backing up data. Versioning of backups is the practice that can make your data ransom-proof.
January 10, 2017
Where are your backups stored? If they're on an external drive in the server room, your data is still at risk. Start 2017 off right—make sure your backups are tested, reliable, and off-site!
December 06, 2016
Vulnerability testing can help locate potential security holes in your network. Running vulnerability tests regularly means you close those holes before a cybercriminal breaches your network!
November 02, 2016
Even software has a lifespan. Some people still decide to put off the inevitable and not upgrade, and do so for several reasons. In this month's WOOF! article, we provide reasons people don't upgrade, as well as the potential ramifications.
October 07, 2016
When it's time to replace servers, which is better? Staying on-premise, or moving servers to the cloud? The answer depends on how your business operates, and what goals you have. In this month's WOOF! article we lay out criteria to help you make the choice.
September 08, 2016
How old are your servers? If they're over 3 years old, you may need replacements soon. Why so short a lifespan? Many factors affect servers as they age. Find out how to tell if your server needs replacing in this month's WOOF.
July 05, 2016
Now that Microsoft has acquired LinkedIn, what changes should we expect? LinkedIn News in Office 365? Cortana with full access to your LinkedIn profile (and everyone else's)? In this month's WOOF! we address the potential reasons for the acquisition, and the potential risks to your privacy they create.
May 31, 2016
"Sold Out" lays bare the true extent of government-corporate collusion on H-1B visa fraud. It goes further than even we knew. American IT workers face a growing threat to their livelihoods and futures. Read the details for yourself, right here in WOOF!.
April 29, 2016
We interviewed Thomas Reed, Malwarebytes' Director of Mac Offerings, about the state of malware on Mac & mobile. He said that for a while Mac users only had to deal with adware. But now, the Mac malware's growing.
March 28, 2016
We interviewed Adam Kujawa, Head of Malwarebytes Intelligence, on the growing dangers of ransomware. He urges everyone to take it seriously. Ransomware doesn't target computers...it targets YOU.
February 23, 2016
Video surveillance has become "smart." Now you can watch your building for your phone, record video in HD, store footage on your servers instead of tapes, and more. In this WOOF! issue we look at the video surveillance's advancements, and what they can do to protect your business.
November 24, 2015
As technology evolves, so do cybersecurity threats. Research indicates that not only are threats like ransomware and integrity attacks evolving, but new threats are on the horizon. Here's what to expect, and some advice on how you can stay on-guard.
October 23, 2015
If your IT manager had an accident, could someone else do their job? Yes, if you document your critical IT processes. Here's the mission-critical IT to document, and the reasons you must do so before anything happens.
September 28, 2015
Is a bathroom a good place to put a server? Of course not. Yet some businesses place servers in downright toxic environments. In this WOOF! we discuss "Bad Ideas" for server conditions, and the environmental risks to watch out for.
August 06, 2015
Buying new IT hardware costs a lot up front. What if you could cut that cost down - by leasing the hardware instead? In this month's WOOF! we ask a leasing agency about the pros & cons of leasing IT hardware.
July 15, 2015
Windows 10 launches July 29. Coming to a Windows 7 or 8.1 PC/tablet near you. In this WOOF! article we talk about the six Windows 10 versions (or Editions), what features to look forward to in each, and which version you'll get.
June 03, 2015
Using free Wi-Fi at the coffee shop, hotels & airport is convenient. It's also a huge security risk. You could have data stolen right off your computer in a matter of minutes, and you'd never know it. These are the dangers lurking on public Wi-Fi networks, and how you can protect yourself.
April 08, 2015
Hillary Clinton used personal email while Secretary of State. Exposing her office to theft, spying and legal trouble--risks that can affect your business as well, if anyone in the office uses a personal email account for work purposes. Read about these risks, and 7 things you can do to prevent them.
February 03, 2015
"Should I use a template for our new site?" While website templates are easy to work with, they can make your business look like a thousand others. In this WOOF! we make the case for custom web design...how "what you see" (branding, content) makes a custom site better than a template.
November 19, 2014
When did you last change your work password? If you aren't sure when, you need to read this WOOF. Using multiple passwords, and changing them frequently, is one of the most important - and least used - cybersecurity practices.
October 02, 2014
Hundreds of cyberattacks are taking place right now. Most target datacenters, particularly in the U.S., after private data. But datacenters aren't the only target of attackers--power grids are also at risk. And the U.S. electrical grid is vulnerable.
September 03, 2014
IT Support is necessary for businesses. But that doesn't mean you have to pay high support costs. In fact, some simple practices will help you reduce IT support costs. Here are 16 examples, direct from PlanetMagpie's own Support Team.
June 30, 2014
Where do your computers come from? Your servers? Wireless? Where a piece of hardware is made, and who makes it, is more important to your business' operations and security than you might think.
May 30, 2014
Should the Internet be open (Net Neutrality) or closed (paid priority)? Most Web users are on the side of Net Neutrality...but if we look closer, the issue is not so black-and-white. This WOOF examines the possible consequences of Net Neutrality, and what the future may hold.
May 01, 2014
ICANN, the organization responsible for the "roots" of the Internet, is looking for a new oversight body. The U.S. has decided to transition ICANN to a more global governance. Does this move risk the Internet's safety?
February 26, 2014
"Why do we need MailChimp? We can send our newsletter from Outlook, right?" Wrong. Don't do that. You can destroy your entire business' ability to send ANY emails!
January 16, 2014
Many startups use public cloud services like Google Apps and Amazon to get started fast. But these services pose a serious security risk for a startup's new intellectual property. There's a smarter way to start.
December 04, 2013
Do you use video in your online marketing? If not, now's the time to start. Video is one of the most powerful marketing tools on the Web - and more affordable to make than ever.
October 31, 2013
Are you archiving all emails, instant messages and blog posts into your regular backups? Could you find a specific email if needed? The California Electronic Discovery Act says you must be able to do so. Here's what the Act is about, and how you can stay in compliance.
October 27, 2013
So you've determined that you need help with your network. To save time and money, it's best to have some technical information on-hand when a networking consultant arrives. What kind? That's what this Network Upgrade Checklist will help you with.
September 30, 2013
What's the harm in employees using personal email for work purposes? Plenty: privacy violations, disrupting legal compliance, potential for data theft, and more. This WOOF! article documents the risks, and gives you some ways to stop employees from using personal email at work.
August 26, 2013
How dangerous is BYOD? We know of 10 ways employees using personal devices risks network security and your data's privacy. You'll also find several ways to protect against privacy threats...and none require overhauling the network.
May 30, 2013
We often think of cybercriminals as a Hollywood archetype. But they're very real, and very damaging. Cyber-espionage is running rampant, threatening thousands of businesses every day. Read about where cyber-espionage comes from, how it works & and what you can do to stop it.
April 09, 2013
No one wants to suspect their own employees of violating security. But the scary fact is, U.S. businesses lost $300 billion to trade secret theft in 2012...and most of that came from internal theft. This is how it happens, why, and what you can do.
February 06, 2013
Slow Internet speeds? Dropped connections? Errors popping up on workstations? Your network is showing signs of age. In this WOOF! Bill Wester, a 20-year networking expert, talks network hardware & upgrades to think about.
June 27, 2012
We're taking a break from our usual fare in WOOF! this month. Instead of a big informative article on web design, we went straight to our own award-winning web designer, Mike Woodburn. And asked him what's happening with web design.
May 03, 2012
Despite the similar names, big differences exist between the public cloud and private cloud service. Private Clouds are better on security, and you have more control over which applications to run.
March 01, 2012
Your IT Staffing Model determines who you hire (and when) to build and support your technology infrastructure. What's the best approach: full-time workers only? Outsource to IT consultants? A mix of both? And how does the Cloud play into it?
February 02, 2012
It's easy to overspend on communications hardware if you don't know the ins and outs. These are the technologies that bring the Internet to your office, and make communication within the office possible.
December 01, 2011
Are you budgeting out the next year's IT expenses? We researched IT spending trends & predictions for 2012-2014. Find out what your competitors will spend on IT in this month's WOOF!.