OverUnder Billing,Work in Progress (WIP)
Mention ‘Work in Pro-gress’ in a construction setting, and you’ll get different definitions and explanations about what this means. For our Sub-contractors, it is a way to measure the expenses against the budget, deter-mine the percent-complete, and therefore, measure revenue earned compared to revenue booked on a job.
Many years ago (more than we thought!), Sys-con wrote a custom Over/Under billing re-port that integrates with Sage 100 Contractor (formerly Master Build-er). The goal was to create a report that would help our contractors determine the status on a job each month or quarter, providing re-quired financials, or project management tools, depend-ing on the size of the company.
Updates and Tips from Syscon Password Security -There has to be an easi-er way!
And there is… I’d like to introduce you to the Pass-word Vault, but before I start, let me clarify some password Best Practices. Recently, a friend was tricked; they got an email from what looked like a known vendor asking to confirm their password; so they clicked the link, typed the user name and pass-word, and that was the be-ginning of a very big or-deal—they had just given a
hacker their password, the one they used for all their bank sites, credit cards, and so on. What a nightmare!
Syscon Field Data Connector
One of the biggest issues our clients share with us is the time and effort it takes to collect data from the field and shop staff. Monday becomes a tug-of-war to get all the time in, on-time, accurately, and process payroll by the pay dates. Have you tried to read the writing on timesheets that have been faxed, or pic-tures from a phone, or even hand-written time that has been brought to the office? You’d think they’re all doc-tors based on the hand-writing!
Windows 10 Upgrade—Now or Wait?
We strongly encourage you to wait to do this upgrade. We’ve had some experience with the upgrade, and we’ve done some research on it, confirming our recommendation to hold off for now.
Emergency Planning for Computers
It seems like every time you turn on the news, there’s another disaster somewhere—flooding, tornados, hurricane winds, fire, earthquake. No one expects a disaster to happen to them; then again, that’s why we have insurance, backup our data, have a spare key with the neighbor, and so on. Passwords—many of our clients click ‘remember my password’ for their remote desktop log in to our cloud or their private cloud. Although convenient, if you have to use a backup log on icon, or your computer needs to be rebuilt, you’ll need that password. Don’t write it down or leave it in your drawer—keep passwords in a secure safe, lock box, or some other locked area.
Anti-Virus Services—What Changed?
These days, good anti-virus is absolutely mission critical for all business and home computers. Black Hat Hackers and virus/malware writers have been stepping up their game, and have been launching very suc-cessful attacks on large and small organizations and home users worldwide. It seems like every time we watch the news we hear about another data breach. No anti-virus is 100% per-fect; it is a constant cat-and-mouse game between the virus writers and the anti-virus companies. When the virus writers come out with a new exploit unknown to anyone, it is called a ‘Zero Day Exploit.’ When this happens, it is open season until the anti-virus compa-nies come up with a ‘fix’called a Definition, which will recognize the attack signa-ture and stop it before it can
infect the machine or server.
Anti-SPAM Services—Changes Coming
Many of our clients have anti-SPAM services to ‘scrub’ the incoming email before it gets to your In Box. This is an important step in protecting your en-tire system from malware of all types (see our Jan/Feb newsletter).
For our Exchange Hosting clients, we also provide Outbound email scrubbing to protect your server from being flagged as a source of SPAM.The amount of SPAM caught by the filter, can be anywhere between 95% and 99.8% of incoming email; just another confirmation that anti-SPAM is a neces-sary service.
Virus or Malware—what’s the difference?
Virus or Malware? You can’t own a computer for long these days without having heard the terms mal-ware, spyware, or virus. Malware is a commonly used term, but viruses are actually a particular type of malware, as are Trojans, spyware, and many other types of attacks.
Viruses can attack through several points of entry such as an email at-tachment, or a file on a USB drive, or an infected file on a network. Each of those vectors involves running an application on your local machine; you have to download a file and run it, open the email attachment, or run a file from a flash drive. Once it is executed by the computer, you are infected. Then the virus tries to spread to other com-puters connected to the infected one. Some search your email for contacts and set up a way to send email to everyone on your list. Some are network-aware, meaning they can look at any shared folders on your network and place copies of the virus in the folders, hoping someone will open them and get infected.