Pittsburgh’s IT Service and Support Specialists


Pittsburgh, Cranberry, Greensburg, Indiana
Uniontown and throughout Southwestern PA

4th Quarter 2011 - October Issue

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Smartphones and Corporate Email

Recently the world mourned the untimely passing of Steve Jobs. If you tuned in to the coverage, one recurring theme was the "ease of use" Steve pioneered in making everything from Apple's computers and iPods to iPhones.

But whether you own an iPhone or one of the many Android based smartphones offered by the competition, there's one inconvenient secret that isn't in their advertising: corporate email is still a little difficult to set up.

 Oh, they've managed to make Gmail, Yahoo, or AOL mail easy to use, but what about your corporate mail – MyName@mycompany.com? The problem is the many technical factors to consider in linking your new phone to your company's mail server:

  • Is your email service Microsoft Exchange, IMAP, or POP3?
  •  What is the name of the server for incoming and outgoing mail?
  • When they ask for your "Username," is that your full email address or something else?
  • Is your email secure, and if so, which security protocol is used: SSL or TLS?
  • What are the port settings for incoming and outgoing mail?

The guys at the phone store are often no help when it comes to this – they don't know the answers to these questions any more than you do and will have to contact your email provider; even then, they may still not set up your phone correctly.

Reliable Smartphone Setup from Shiloh

At Shiloh, we've been on top of the smartphone situation for years. We can make accessing your corporate email, even monitoring multiple accounts on one phone, as easy as pie. And what about synchronizing your contacts, documents, and spreadsheets between your computer and phone? We can help. And you can be sure Shiloh will be on top of things when smartphone viruses start popping up (coming soon to a phone near you).

Contact Shiloh today to ask about adding your company smartphones to your service contract. It's inexpensive and can open up whole new worlds of efficiency, where your smartphones truly become "smart." Call us today at 724-863-0190.

Is Windows XP Still Supported?

Is support for Windows XP really ending, and what does that mean? Yes. Support for some versions, up to and including XP SP2 has already ended. Extended Support for XP Service Pack 3 will continue through April of 2014.

In extended support, business computers still receive automatic updates, mainly for security patches; however, warranty support and no-charge incident support no longer apply.

On a practical level, as time goes by XP will become less and less compatible with new advances in software. Even now, Microsoft's latest and most secure web browser (IE 9) will not install on XP systems.

Should you be considering the jump to Windows 7? That depends on what's best for your business. Windows 7 is proving far more popular than XP's immediate successor, Vista, and is generally acknowledged as more secure and easier to use. It runs faster, and even has significant support for legacy systems, meaning it can run programs in XP mode.

If it's time to replace an aging workstation, Shiloh recommends Windows 7 as the way to go. Beyond that, Windows 7 may have specific applications in making your business run smoother. To find out what's best in your office or on your shop floor, contact Shiloh today for a FREE consultation.

The Importance of Good Passwords

Is your Password "password" or the more secretive "abc123?"

You probably worry about hackers breaking into your business systems and stealing credit card info or compromising your bank accounts. At the same time, you want a password that is easy to remember.

Unfortunately, these two goals are at odds with one another. Thieves have no need to "hack" anything when your password is the name of your favorite poodle. All they need do is engage you in a friendly conversation about pets and they have access to some of your most personal information.

Often, people not only choose easy-to-guess passwords, they use them across multiple programs and web applications, from QuickBooks and email to online banking. A single breach can send you scrambling to change passwords across a dozen systems, if you can remember them all.

So what is a good password?

A secure password, unfortunately, is not based on things about your life that are easy to remember. It is at least 8 characters long and mixes Capital and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols such as # and !. Where "abc123" is not a good password, "5Ypb#X9!" is fairly strong.

Must secure passwords be so inconvenient?

Well, yes, but they don't necessarily need to inconvenience you. Most users have multiple passwords for online systems (email, websites, and web applications), and there are a variety of password managers that can keep track of such logins for you and keep them secure, such as RoboForm from SiberSystems.  Other Enterprise level "single-sign-on" and password vault systems can secure your network as well.

Of course, you still need to remember 1 truly secure login for the password manager itself, but that saves dozens of sticky notes with obscure password hints posted all around your monitor and desk!

Looking for someone to sort out your password situation and keep you secure? Get a FREE consultation by Contacting Shiloh today!

What are They Saying About Your Business Online

Whether you know it or not, people may be talking about you online. From personal blogs to reviews on your Google Places page, people may be commenting about your products and services, even complaining about a problem of which you are unaware.

If you don't take charge, your reputation may suffer and an easily answered complaint may get out of control, making your company the butt of a well-shared Internet punch line.

More and more, companies are turning to Facebook, Twitter, and other Social Media to engage online with their customers and potential customers. These are not traditional, information based websites. On Facebook, for example, people expect you to answer their concerns and engage in a conversation, one that everyone who is interested can see.

But what about comments beyond your Facebook page? One way to keep abreast of things is to use Google Alerts. Google Alerts notifies you when new content (matching keywords you choose) is posted online from news services, websites, blogs, video, discussion groups, and more. Notifications are sent by email or displayed on your iGoogle page.

This could give you a heads up, not only to complaints, but to opportunities to promote your goods and services. If someone is posting an article on how hard it is to find a better mousetrap, and you happen to make one, wouldn't it be good to receive that alert, visit the article, and post a comment of your own?

You can learn more about Google Alerts and sign up at www.Google.com/alerts.

Keeping Your Network in Shape

What distinguishes Shiloh Service from much of our competition? After all, there are many computer repair services that are both competent and responsive.

The truth is, most IT support companies use "fire department" rules. They come to put out the fire when you network is down, your backups fail, and your data is lost forever.

At Shiloh, we believe a "fire prevention" model is in your best interests. We proactively monitor your systems, applying security patches, virus protections, and recommending replacements long before aging systems fail.

 We think peace-of-mind and smooth day-to-day operations are better than the drama of solving expensive meltdowns and critical emergencies. Of course, we're great at emergency response too, but with Shiloh's system monitoring and service plans, time and money-wasting emergencies have become an endangered species.

Free 30 Day Trial of Monitoring Software

Shiloh offers a FREE 30 day trial to introduce you to our remote monitoring system. It will help you identify problems within your network, and you don't have to be a current customer to take advantage. Contact Shiloh Service today to learn more.

 Shiloh's Remote Monitoring:

  •  Assures timely installation of all patches and service packs.
  •  Saves on deployment of new software installations and software updates.
  •  Keeps expensive downtime and on-site service visits to a minimum.
  •  Dramatically improves service response time.

Remote monitoring and management is just one way in which Shiloh helps small businesses do big things. Visit our website at www.ShilohService.com to learn more.


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