Tag Archives: Windows Support

Moving On From Windows XP

If you haven’t already, you should seriously consider making the move away from Windows XP because in case you haven’t heard: Microsoft has stopped providing support for the operating system. Not only does this make your business’s computers much more vulnerable to viruses and spyware, but the lack of support automatically puts you behind the curve in both the personal and professional business setting.

We’ve done some internal and external research on the importance of moving away from Windows XP Here are a few tips we’ve compiled.

Before you make the switch:

  1. Download the final XP update that was issued on April 8th 2014.
  2. Make sure your anit-virus and anti-malware are up to date.
    • Microsoft has agreed to provide anti-malware updates to Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows XP until 2015.
    • You might have to uninstall and reinstall your current software to ensure that you have the latest version.
    • iSU recommends using one or more of the following programs: Kapersky, WebRoot, Avast! or AVG. Read more about our recommendations here.
  3. Use a secure and updated internet browser. We recommend Firefox or Chrome, especially since they are supporting Windows XP until 2015.

Making the Switch:

  1. windows XP RIPChoose a new operating system. And along with that, make sure your machine is new enough to support a secure and efficient OS. If not, you might want to consider upgrading your entire machine…and that’s a whole different ball game we won’t get into right now.
  2. Back-Up Your Data: It should go without saying that you should be doing this on a regular basis but at this time backing up your data is probably the most important step in the entire process.
  3. Migrate and Begin the Upgrade: there are several ways to go about doing this:
    • With plenty of DIY programs out there to choose from, migrating the data yourself is pretty easy to do. Some of the available options are: PC Mover Express, XP Migration with HP and Windows Migration Assistant
    • Microsoft has kindly provided a tutorial online for anyone looking to upgrade to Windows 7.
    • If you don’t feel comfortable taking this task on alone, another option is to switch to OSX by taking your Mac into the Genius Bar and having them help you out.

We know making a tech upgrade like this can be pretty scary unless you are savvy with these kinds of things but we cannot stress enough how important it is to adapt and change as technology does. Resisting these changes can put you and your business at a huge risk to hackers. Windows XP is now the most targeted operating system out there yet it’s still commonly used everywhere – every hacker knows this.

For more information on the demise of Windows XP and how to stay ahead of the game, check out these articles:

Why You Should Ditch Windows XP Now

Windows XP Isn’t Safe to Use Anymore

Benefits of Managed Services for Business IT

Why Managed Services Makes Sense for Your Business.

iSupportU is rolling out its new Managed Services offering to our clients starting on January 1.  Here are some of the advantages ofManaged Services Boulder Denver using a service like this instead of traditional ‘fix it when it breaks’ IT:

  • Control Costs:  The systems required to run a business are more complex now than they were a few years ago.  If a system is poorly managed, it can easily cost more than it’s worth in the first place.  The benefits of technology should always outweigh the costs.  By having a fixed fee for that baseline of support, budgeting becomes more predictable.  Of course, there will always be incidents that can be considered ‘Acts of God’ in the world of IT, but most of IT support can be predicted.  And it should be predicted.
  • Consistent Systems:  It’s important for employees to know how to get help when they need it.  As an example, users who are covered under the iSupportU Managed Services offering can report an issue by calling, emailing or sending a request right from the desktop agent.  By having all of these options, the end user can get their problem resolved more quickly.  Quickly resolved problems lead to better up-time.  Better up-time leads to more productivity.  More productivity leads to a happy business.
  • Increased Knowledge:  Hiring an individual IT administrator for a company only gives you the abilities of a single person.  By leveraging the knowledge and experience of an entire IT team, companies get more value for their dollar.
  • Service Level Agreement: By having an agreement with a company, you have a certain agreement from that company to provide a certain level of service.  You do not need to worry if one of the technicians got sick this morning or needs a raise.  The support company worries about those problems.  Worry less.

For the past three years, iSupportU has been providing high quality IT support for businesses along the front range.  We have been offering this service on either a retainer basis or pay-as-you-go.  The problem with this model has been that we have been reactive with our clients’ issues.  Traditionally, they have  notified us when there is a problem.  This means that we are usually  seeing them when things are not working well.  Putting out fires is not fun for anybody.

As an alternative to being reactive, we decided to invest the necessary time and money into the development of a proactive system that will allow for 24/7/365 monitoring of any computer or server.  This means that we will be immediately notified if there are any problems with a client’s computer.  These issues might be very small when we discover them, but it means that they will not grow into larger issues.

Managed Services is a great fit for IT administrators who do not want to deal with the support burden of the desktops in their company.  By freeing up this service, they can focus on the IT strategy development of the company and the other high-level needs of the organization.

Contact us for a free initial assessment of your environment and a quote for support.

Five Programs You Seriously Need To Start Using

It’s a new year; resolve to find some new software.

Our recent post, five programs you seriously need to stop using, attracted a lot of interest and its fair share of controversy. That was fun, but let’s start 2011 different.

Enough negativity; here are some programs we think are just plain awesome. You will too.

1. Dropbox

This program is so simple, so elegant, so mind-bogglingly useful, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

A folder on your computer – the “dropbox” – is automatically synced with the web. This alone makes it a great backup service, but it’s not all the program can do.

No, the real wonder here happens when you install Dropbox on multiple computers. Files are synced between all of your systems, meaning you’ll never have to mess around with a flash drive or emailing files to yourself ever again. Files you need are on all of your computers, automatically.

As if this weren’t enough, you can also access your information on your iPhone, iPad, Android phone and just about anywhere else via a web browser.

Check out Dropbox now. You won’t regret it.

Need more information? Check out the unofficial Dropbox manual, edited by our very own Justin Pot.

2. Chrome

There’s simply no browser this fast and usable. Google’s browser focuses on the modern web, where the distinction between webpages and applications is blurred. It does a good job at that, because webapps–such as Gmail, WordPress or

Not a heck of a lot else needs to be said; just go ahead and download Chrome to see what I’m talking about.

Runner-up: Firefox

Not so sure about Chrome? Some of us as iSupportU still prefer Firefox, a solid browser with a familiar interface. If Chrome isn’t your cup of tea, go ahead and download Firefox to try out something else.

3. VLC

VLC has long been a favorite of geeks, but that doesn’t mean you won’t love it. This video play can open any video file, and that’s not an exaggeration. Files that other players, like QuickTime or Windows Media Player, struggle to play work quickly and easily with VLC. Even if you don’t want to use it for every video you open. VLC is a program worth having around just in case you might need it.

Download VLC now; you won’t regret it.

4. WordPress

Stop calling your web developer every time you want to change a few lines of text. Set up WordPress on your web server and take care of your website yourself.

WordPress is an open source content management system with an insanely simple backend, giving you the power to change content on your website whenever you wish.

Our website runs on it. We set up clients’ to run with it. We can’t recommend it enough.

Go ahead and read more about WordPress. Interested, but not sure if you can get WordPress set up on your own? Give us a call; we specialize in setting up WordPress and teaching how to best make use of it.

5. Microsoft Security Essentials

How much are you paying for antivirus software? Too much, if it’s anything at all. Our favorite antivirus is a free antivirus, and it’s provided by Microsoft.

Sporting a clean user interface, a no-nonsense approach to bugging the end user and protection consistently ranked higher than the likes of Norton and McAfee, Microsoft Security Essentials is arguable the best antivirus on the market.

That’s it!

So, there are five programs you should seriously start using. If you have any favorites we missed, fill us in in the comments below. We love to learn.

If you need a hand getting the most out of any of these programs go ahead and get in touch with us. We love setting up good software for good people.

Vista to Windows 7 Upgrade…. Only $199!

Here at iSupportU, we work to speed up lots of computers.  These computers run XP, Vista and Windows 7.  There are many things that we can do to increase the performance of an XP or a Windows 7 computer.  We can also attempt to speed up a Vista computer.  The problem is that it’s a bit like putting new shoes and saddle bags on a slow, grumpy donkey with the expectation that the donkey will turn into a stallion.  We would rather not waste our time or our client’s money.

Therefore, we are offering a special to turn that donkey of a computer into a stallion.  We will offer an install disc with product key for the Windows 7 upgrade as well as the install all for $199.  The license alone is about $100, so it’s a steal of a deal.  Check it out before we change our minds on this one…

ps- This price is based on the upgrade path for Vista Home.  Other versions of Vista may incur a higher fee for the license… we’ll blame Microsoft for that one.

Wondering how your PC got infected?

NetworkWorld.com has a great article on where the majority of malicious software infections are coming from.  You’ll be surprised when you learn how new tactics are taking advantage of many parts of the computer you may not have considered vulnerable.

The 17 Most Dangerous Places on the Web

Threat 1 >> Malicious Flash files that can infect your PC
The Place: Websites that use Flash

Threat 2 >> Shortened links that lead you to potentially harmful places
The Place: Twitter

Threat 3 >> E-mail scams or attachments that get you to install malware or give up personal info
The Place: Your e-mail inbox

Threat 4 >> Malware hiding in video, music, or software downloads
The Place: Torrent sites

Threat 5 >> Malware in photos or videos of scantily clad women
The Place: ‘Legitimate’ porn sites

Threat 6 >> Trojan horses disguised as video codecs, infecting your PC with malware
The Place: Video download sites, peer-to-peer networks

Threat 7 >> Geolocation–your smartphone and perhaps other parties know where you are
The Place: Your smartphone

Threat 8 >> ‘Poisoned’ search engine results that go to malware-carrying Websites
The Place: Search engines

Threat 9 >> Malicious PDFs that try to fool you into installing malware
The Place: Hacked Websites, plus your inbox

Threat 10 >> Malicious video files using flaws in player software to hijack PCs
The Place: Video download sites

Threat 11 >> Drive-by downloads that install malware when you visit a site
The Place: Hacked legitimate sites

Threat 12 >> Fake antivirus software that extorts money–and your credit card information
The Place: Your inbox, hacked legitimate sites

Threat 13 >> Fraudulent ads on sites that lead you to scams or malware
The Place: Just about any ad-supported Website

Threat 14 >> Questionable Facebook apps
The Place: Facebook

Threat 15 >> Sites that lure you in, get you to sign up, then sell your e-mail address for spam
The Place: ‘Free electronics’ sites

Threat 16 >> Phishing 2.0 on social networks that tricks you into downloading malware or giving your Facebook login information to a criminal
The Place: Social networks

Threat 17 >> Oversharing–exposing too much personal information on your social network profiles
The Place: Social networks

We deal with clients’ virus and malicious software infections on a daily basis here and have a wealth of information and expertise to share with you.  Your best defense is to stay informed and we love to educate our clients on the best practices with regard to computer security.