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CTN Solutions has been serving the greater Philadelphia area since 1997, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Business Email User Tips

Business Email User Tips

Email is one of modern society’s best ways of staying in contact on both a business and personal level, but only if you’re effectively utilizing it. We’ll help you implement best practices and other methods to get the maximum benefit of your chosen email solution.

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Do and Don'ts of Managing Your Passwords

Do and Don'ts of Managing Your Passwords

Password security is a tricky part of running a business. After all, it’s not just dealing with your own password, but those of the many employees all throughout your organization. In times like this, it’s helpful to provide them with a list of how to make the best passwords possible. Here are a couple of examples for what to do, as well as what you shouldn’t do, when building a proper password.

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Planning for On-Premise Infrastructure Deployments

Planning for On-Premise Infrastructure Deployments

With cloud computing becoming a major benefit for organizations of all sizes, some have abandoned the idea of having on-premise servers at their place of business. This could end up being problematic, however, as data security and privacy of cloud-based resources have been known to be often less than reliable. If you are looking to host your own IT in-house, there are some issues you have to see to before you can start purchasing hardware.

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Tip of the Week: Basic IT Tips for Your Benefit

Tip of the Week: Basic IT Tips for Your Benefit

Look, we get it. All you want is for the technology your business relies on to just… work. While that may not always be possible, there are quite a few things you can do to help prevent issues. For this week’s tip, we’ll go over some basics that will help make your computer usage much less stressful.

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With Phishing Attacks Beating 2FA, You Need to Be Able to Spot Them

With Phishing Attacks Beating 2FA, You Need to Be Able to Spot Them

Unfortunately, one of the most effective defenses against phishing attacks has suddenly become a lot less dependable. This means that you and your users must be ready to catch these attempts. Here, we’ll review a few new attacks that can be included in a phishing attempt, and how you and your users can better identify them for yourselves.

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How to Leverage Parallelism to Up Your Productivity

How to Leverage Parallelism to Up Your Productivity

As unfortunate as it is to hear, science has kyboshed the notion that multitasking works. However, while multitasking may not actually have any true benefits to productivity, this doesn’t mean that it is impossible to accomplish more in less time. Today, we’ll give you a better option than multitasking, a process known as parallelism.

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Tip of the Week: Android Pie Tips and Tricks

Tip of the Week: Android Pie Tips and Tricks

There are over two billion active devices currently using Android. Most of them that have been purchased in the past year have come with, or have been subsequently updated to, Android 9.0 Pie. With the introduction of their newest mobile OS, Google has ensured that their software powers more mobile phones than any other software in the world. Today, we’ll take a look at some handy tips you can use to get the most out of your Android Pie experience.

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Tip of the Week: Creating Process Documentation

Tip of the Week: Creating Process Documentation

Businesses are driven by processes. More often than not, these processes are fairly definitive - do this, then do that, then do the other thing - and require a set order of operations. There are many of these processes, which makes it important that they are well-documented so you and your employees can refer to this documentation later. Here, we’ll offer a few tips on how to best document a task.

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Why Multitasking Doesn’t Work (and What to Do Instead)

Why Multitasking Doesn’t Work (and What to Do Instead)

In the business world, productivity is everything, which means that many will try to boost their productivity however they can. Many swear by multitasking, or the practice of juggling tasks to keep themselves fresh and productive. However, evidence shows they are mistaken. We’ll go into why, and offer a few more effective alternatives.

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Tip of the Week: PowerPoint as a Multi-Purpose Tool

Tip of the Week: PowerPoint as a Multi-Purpose Tool

Microsoft PowerPoint is a well-known solution, well-known enough that the product has become synonymous with the task, regardless of what program one happens to use. Of course, this doesn’t mean that one necessarily must use it to create a presentation to go with a sales pitch. For this week’s tip, we’ll suggest a few other tasks you could complete with the help of a PowerPoint presentation.

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Prioritize the Protection of Your Google Account

Prioritize the Protection of Your Google Account

Chances are you have a Google account, whether it’s for business or personal use. It’s more accessible today than ever and provides a solid way to gain access to important features and accounts. Considering how much can be done with a Google account, users forget that they can put their security and personal data at risk. Here are some ways that your Google account is at risk, as well as what you can do to fix it.

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During the Holidays, Cybersecurity Matters at Work and Home

During the Holidays, Cybersecurity Matters at Work and Home

We’re right in the thick of the holiday season, which means two things: one, there’s a lot of data being exchanged between businesses and consumers, and, on a related note, two: there’s ample opportunities for cybercrime, targeting business and consumer both. Whichever side of the coin you are on at any moment, you need to be aware of the risks, and how to mitigate them.

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Tip of the Week: You Better Test Your Backup

Tip of the Week: You Better Test Your Backup

Data backup can be the difference between a business that fails and a business that succeeds. If an organization suffers from a data loss incident, it wouldn’t be able to survive without data backup. With a data backup and disaster solution, you can ensure business continuity. But what does this kind of system need in order to succeed, and how can you make sure your organization benefits from a data backup system in place?

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Just How Important Is the Data Recovery Process?

Just How Important Is the Data Recovery Process?

Data recovery can make you break your business continuity plan, and you absolutely cannot underestimate how important this is for the future of your organization. There are countless ways your business could lose data, and if you encounter even a single one of them, your organization could be put at serious risk. We’ll take a look at operational data loss and how your organization needs to strategize data recovery.

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How To Get Rid of Those Pesky Extra Cables

How To Get Rid of Those Pesky Extra Cables

Do you have cords, wires, and adapters just sitting in a cupboard or drawer, with no purpose other than taking up space? Of course you do. The average person will replace old or broken devices, and find the new devices aren’t compatible with the old cables, leaving them stuffed in a junk drawer or in a random box that they’ve kept “just in case.” Every home or business has the same scenario going on; lots of wires and cables left over from all the e-waste they have discarded over the years. If you want to get rid of your unwanted cables, here are a couple of tips on how to do so properly.

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Cloud Can Cover Most of Your Business Needs

Cloud Can Cover Most of Your Business Needs

The traditional computing structure has been under siege by cloud computing for the past several years. More businesses than ever are seeing the value in cloud-hosted applications and infrastructure, and while that may not be a huge surprise, the perceptions that the cloud can solve any of your organizational computing problems depend largely on the needs of that endeavor. Today, we will take a look at successful small business cloud strategies and tell you why they find success.

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Are You Ready to Adapt to Network Security Changes?

Are You Ready to Adapt to Network Security Changes?

Humankind has always adapted and improved technology to make life easier, starting all the way back at fire and the wheel. Nowadays, our approach to making life easier through technology is centered around productivity and security. If we can accomplish more than before, in the same amount of time, without worrying that it will be stolen, we’re happy.


This, in addition to the growing assortment of threats there are to business networks, is why network security is projected to continue its growth and development in the near future. Here, we’ve compiled a few predictions for how this growth and development will take shape.

Prediction 1: Penetration testing will happen more often than ever, thanks to A.I. and automation.
Penetration testing is an invaluable process, as it allows you to identify weak points in your network security that your staff may have missed. By hiring an external third party, you make it much more likely that errors and oversights made by your internal staff are noticed. The trade-offs: not only is it a time-intensive process, it can be expensive enough that it can only be justifiably run once a year, if that.

However, this may not be the case for much longer. The integration of new technologies, like artificial intelligence and automation, have made it so that both of these trade-offs have less and less effect on the frequency of penetration testing. This is a good thing, because the rate at which new technology is being integrated into the office is rising. Penetration testing is to be run more often to ensure network security.

Prediction 2: Unified policies will appear that bridge between public and private clouds.
Cloud technology has been advancing, with both private cloud solutions and public cloud solutions proving useful for so many applications. This has led to a widespread move to leverage both to accomplish different aspects of business goals and strategies in adopting what is called a hybrid cloud solution. However, one shortcoming of hybrid clouds is that there aren't any real means of consolidating security policies to simplify management as a part of a larger system.

Once again, this may soon change. It is anticipated that multi-cloud management platforms will be able to synchronize private clouds and those provided to the public through a single control panel, greatly simplifying the cloud management process.

Prediction 3: Endpoint security will be more on point.
It should come as no surprise that the greatest internal threat to your security is your own team and their devices. Using social engineering and leveraging the notoriously unreliable security of consumer devices, cybercriminals are often able to access your network through the employees who use it. While many companies have taken steps to minimize the efficacy of these methods, there hasn’t really been a single, unified solution, making security measures extra time-consuming to manage.

This last point is most likely to change in the near future, as businesses will want a security solution that is leaner, more efficient, and is only one thing to be managed. It is likely that we’ll see these kinds of network security solutions start to take shape and be put to use.

In order to remain secure, you need to adapt to meet the threats that are constantly developing. CTN can help. Reach out to us at (610) 828-5500 for more information.

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Why You Need to Be Careful when Discarding Technology

Why You Need to Be Careful when Discarding Technology

Nothing lasts forever - especially business technology. However, you shouldn’t get rid of your old technology haphazardly. Consider two important reasons. For one, many of the components in our technology are really bad for the environment. Secondly, carelessly disposing of technology is a great way to put your data at risk. In order to protect your data, you need to make sure that your old equipment is properly disposed.

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Email Security Basics

Email Security Basics

Email is a modern classic as far as business solutions are concerned, and you’d be hard-pressed to find an office that didn’t use it in some capacity or another. However, because email is so popular, it has become a favorite attack vector of malicious users. Fortunately, there are some basic practices that will help keep your email account secure and your communications private.


Follow Password Guidelines
As you might imagine, one of the most important, basic ways that you can lock down your email account is to ensure that your password is sufficiently strong. Too often, breach statistics (and similar data sets) reveal that passwords are still overwhelmingly insecure. Pet names, birthdates, anniversaries, and favorite sports teams are used as passwords far more than they should be. Some minimal social engineering could very easily provide someone with access to an email account.

To counter this, avoid the temptation to resort to formulaic, easy-to-guess password systems, for instance, smushing your alma mater’s mascot together with the number of your childhood home. Again, these password conventions are the first things that a cybercriminal will try to get into your email account. Instead, do your best to rely on an as-random-as-possible string of numbers and letters, creating a different one for each of your accounts. This will ensure that your passwords are as strong as possible with the added benefit of protecting the rest of your accounts if one of your passwords is discovered.

Of course, for the sake of pragmatism, is it totally realistic to remember a completely random string of alphanumeric characters for everything that requires a password? For many, it isn’t. That’s why many resort to using, rather than a password, a passphrase. A passphrase takes a sentence memorable to the individual and turns it into a mnemonic device. So, a fan of films by Rob Reiner could take a line from one of his works and create a password from it, like “uRdBS” or “HFSTC” from The Princess Bride, or “UCHTT” from A Few Good Men.

Avoid the Unknown
Once you’ve accessed your email, there are a few ways that you can avoid putting yourself at risk. One very important way is to avoid the links in email unless you have verified that they do, in fact, go to (and come from) where they appear.

First, where will the included link direct you? Links can be tricky things, which makes them a favorite of cybercriminals to use in emails. If the link is attached to text, you should hover over it and peek at the status bar that pops up before clicking on it. While the text might say that it brings you to the sender’s official webpage, the link could very well actually direct you to a domain that uploads a virus into your system. If the status bar says that you will be directed to someplace that doesn’t look quite right, skip the link.

You also shouldn’t blindly open an email that hasn’t come from a known or verified source, and even that can now be dangerous. There is a tactic that can be used to great effect as a way to snare even the most cybersecurity-mindful targets called email spoofing. As its name suggests, email spoofing is the act of forging an email’s header so that it appears to have come from someone else, likely someone trusted enough that the email will be opened, interacted with, and read.

As a result, it is best to verify the email with the cited sender whenever possible, through a different means of communication. Whether that means a quick phone call or instant message before you open the email, it is better to be safe than it is to be sorry.

What are some other ways that you keep your email from becoming a security risk? Share them in the comments, and make sure you take a moment and subscribe to this blog!

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Power Off, or Leave It On?

Power Off, or Leave It On?

At the end of the day, do you shut down your computer or do you put it into sleep mode? Depending on what you need from your device the next day, consider the pros and cons of both approaches so that you can pick which one best suits your situation.

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