Did you say RBSK IT Road Show?

27 01 2016

Yes, that is what we have taken to calling our group of individuals in the IT Department here at RBSK Partners, PC. Ok, so it is really just a fun name we have given ourselves.  Our IT Department is actually made up of four individuals.  Three IT Consultants: Andy Koetter, Barry Bailey & Brian McReynolds; and our IT Administrative Assistant: (Me) Jennifer Gunter.

The members of our IT Department have been making appearances all month. We began our “Road Show” by speaking at the Optimist Club Breakfast on January 7th.  Our next engagement was at the Rotary Club Luncheon Meeting on January 18th.  Our most recent appearance was on the WTRE Chamber Chat January 25th.

We are having a great time meeting new people and getting the chance to inform everyone that we at RBSK Partners do more than the typical Accounting firm. You might be surprised to know that we offer computer services as well.  Our IT Department can help with all your computer needs.

During our Road Show we have had a few questions that have been asked frequently. People want to know how long your computer should last.  Obviously not all PC’s are the same.  As a general rule of thumb, a PC used in the business world should be replaced after 4 or 5 years.  Yes, they may still be running at that time, but probably not at their top speed or as well as they once did.  The fact of the matter is that technology changes and the needs of the software running on your PC requires more resources than they used to.

RBSK IT Road Show 2Another question we were asked on our Road Show was what we thought of Windows 10. With the release of Windows 10, we see good things.  The main thing you want to think about when considering upgrading to Windows 10 is to be sure the software you use for your business is compatible.  Software companies are not always on the cutting edge as you would think.  If the software you use is compatible, you are probably safe to move up.  Microsoft brought back a lot of the look and feel of Windows 7 that we like and some of the new features offered by Windows 8 that went over well.  As with any Windows upgrade there is a bit of a learning curve.  Overall, we like it.  We would caution you to be sure to take a look at the privacy settings while upgrading to Windows 10.  With the introduction of Cortana, Windows is asking for more approval to monitor how you use your PC to better assist you.  You do have the option to restrict that monitoring.  We recommend restricting that information.

We were also asked about backups and the cloud. There was a movie preview not long ago where the couple are discussing “The Cloud”.   One of them says “Nobody understands the cloud.  It’s a mystery.”  Well, that about sums it up for most of us.  We all know it is important to back up our data.  But do we want it in the illusive cloud?  The answer to that is “Yes”!  Backing up to the cloud is actually a good thing.  If you are running a business, the safest way to be sure your business can stay up and running in the case of a disaster is to backup to the cloud.  Backing up to the cloud means you are saving your data to another location.  So if your building blows away, you can still access your data.  Your building may be gone, but not your business.  You can breathe a little easier knowing that your data is not just out there in La La Land.  The backup software companies actually go to great lengths to keep your data safe by encrypting it so that no one can just happen across it.  Only you have the ability to access your data.

The last thing on everyone’s minds was about us individually. Who we are?  What is our background?  How long have we been in the technology field?  Well I mentioned at the beginning we are calling ourselves the RBSK IT Road Show.  If you have more questions, we can bring our Road Show to you.  We would love to hear from you!

SM Jennifer

Submitted by: Jennifer Gunter





What is Ransomware?

22 12 2015

Ransomware is one of the more dangerous types of malware. It can be downloaded from a compromised website or received as an email with a link or attachment. Once executed it can lock the computer or encrypt the files (documents, spreadsheets, PDF’s & pictures) on your computer and pop-up a message saying to recover your files you need to pay a ransom through some type of online payment method.

If your files have been encrypted, you are in trouble. Usually it is not possible to unlock the files because the decryption key is stored on the cybercriminal’s server. You could pay the ransom. I DO NOT recommend doing this. It does not guarantee that the criminal will unlock your files. The other option is to restore from a backup. This is one reason you should be backing up your important files regularly.

The first step in preventing ransomware from hitting you is to be cautious browsing online. Don’t open unexpected email attachments and be cautious when clicking on a suspicious web page or link. Installing a free browser extension like Web of Trust (www.mywot.com) will help you determine which websites you can trust when doing internet searches.

Add an extra layer of protection by keeping your computer Operating System up-to-date with the latest Security patches using Microsoft Updates and have anti-virus software installed and up-to-date to help protect from the latest viruses and malware.

Backup important files regularly either with an online service or to a local backup device. When using local backup devices, keep at least three backup copies of your data, each on a different media (hard drive, flash drive, etc.) and the third at an offsite location.

Andy 2013

Submitted by Andy Koetter, RBSK IT Consultant





Is Your Data Safe?

24 07 2015

RBSK has received several calls recently from businesses affected by the Crypto Wall Virus. This type of virus is known as Ransomware which encrypts your data and renders it unreadable. Therefore, it is crucial that you have a data backup and recovery system in place.

There are many steps businesses take to protect themselves from threats and disasters. One very important step is to invest in data backup and recovery services. Protecting your business in the event that anything should happen should be at the top of every business owner’s “To Do” list.

Data backup and recovery ensures that your business is protected. A backup is a representative copy of data at a specific time. The phrase “backup and recovery” usually refers to the transfer of copied files from one location to another, along with the various operations performed on those files.

A good backup strategy is essential for data security. Backup is the last defense against data loss, providing a way to restore original data. There are many advantages to making sure your business is protected from potential threats and disasters.

These benefits include:

  • Protecting you in the event of hardware failure, accidental deletions or disaster;
  • Protecting you against unauthorized changes made by an intruder;
  • Peace of Mind knowing that your business is protected;
  • Protection/Preservation of Clients’ Contact information and files;
  • Easy recovery of data in the unfortunate loss of the business location

With the recent attacks it is important that you have taken the proper steps to protect your data. For more information on protecting your data or to review your current backup solution, please contact the IT Staff of RBSK Partners PC at 812-663-7567.

Jennifer 2013





5 Tips to keep your electronics cool this summer

4 06 2015

Summer is almost here.  As the days get warmer, make sure to keep your computer and other electronic gadgets nice and cool.  Extreme heat can potentially damage your expensive toys. So keep these five tips in mind as you go through the summer months: 

1. Allow for Airflow
Give your equipment a little breathing room. Make sure there is ample space around your devices – about 2-3 inches, and make sure the vents are clear and that there are no loose items that could obstruct airflow around your electronic devices.

Most printers, computers, routers and other electronic devices have vents located on the back or on the side.  This configuration allows cool air to be pulled in to the device from the front or from the sides and for the hot air to be forced out through the back or to the sides.    If the equipment is stored in an enclosed area, hot air tends to cycle through it making it hotter and hotter the longer it is running.

2. Position Electronics Away from Heat
Never place your computer by a window under direct sunlight.  Move the computer to a cooler and cleaner area.  It is best to position it along the path of airflow from a fan or air conditioner.  You will be amazed how this can help cool down your equipment.  Hot air rises, so store things on the basement or ground level if needed.

3. Don’t Stack Them
Electronic devices get hot enough on their own. Stacking them on top of each other produces and conducts even higher temperatures. Keep your devices spread out and use shelves whenever possible.

4. Keep It Clean
The fans inside your computer and other equipment are there to keep it cool. Dirt in the form of dust, human or pet hair, etc. may slow down the fan and eventually cause it to stop.  Use a can of compressed air to blow the dust away from all of your gadgets. Remember to keep all of the vents clean and unobstructed.

5. In Case of Emergency, Shut Down
If one of your gadgets begins to overheat and malfunction during the hot summer months, shut it down and disconnect its power supply. Let it sit and cool down until the casing is no longer hot to the touch, and then try to use it again. Make sure it’s not stacked with any other devices, and keep the area clear to allow for proper airflow.

Submitted by Jennifer Gunter

Jennifer 2013