We’ve discussed in previous Hybridge blogs the many advantages of deploying two factor authentication to protect this information. User names and passwords are not enough to protect your accounts and data and there are a lot of people out there working hard to get your personal data.Read More
Our Blog: advice and opinions from Hybridge
Please contact us with your feedback and questions
Many Hybridge clients have Welcome Screens in their lobbies. Sometimes these display content about the company, sometimes they welcome guests, publicize upcoming corporate events, or celebrate recent successes. While there are many ways to do this, recently we’ve been setting up a powerful cloud-hosted digital signage app that plays over an Amazon Fire TV Stick. This is a cost effective, flexible, and easy-to-use way to create a great first impression for visitors.Read More
Something new, something cool, not the same old thing!
There are a lot of great options for “cool toys” this holiday season, here are some of our favorites to give you some ideas and get you started:Read More
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. VPNs are used to access systems and services remotely while outside of the corporate environment. There are three main reasons why you may require a VPN and each case requires a different solution.Read More
Bring sanity to your browser
Having an ad-blocker installed on your browser has become as important as having an anti-virus on your computer. More and more viruses are now being downloaded directly along with easy-to-execute ads, making the threat potentially much more dangerous.Read More
An outdated computer is a vulnerable computer
Software security updates are what keep your computer healthy, running smoothly, and most importantly, keep it protected from many silent attackers and newly released viruses.Read More
Our favorite browser gets better
Recently Google launched a new design update that added a few nifty features. Staying true to the vision to be a “window to the web”, Google Chrome is now expanding that vision on its 10th anniversary to allow its users to “See more and do more”.Read More
A major update with minor improvements
With any major software upgrade it’s always best to wait a few weeks so that any bugs not caught during the beta release are found and remedied.Read More
Make sure you know what you install
Not every plug-in will be beneficial to your daily tasks. It is imperative that you be careful with what you choose to install and allow access to your browser history.Read More
Social media platforms are not one size fits all
While precise hashtags can help increase visibility, and the purchasing feature can help business such as retailers earn direct sales, Instagram is not for every business.Read More
Revise your third-party app permissions…
Most people would object to third parties reading their email and text messages but what they don’t realize is that most of us are routinely granting permission to developers and third parties to read our email when we opt in to their services.Read More
Phishing gets more sophisticated
Targeted phishing attacks are called “spear-phishing” or “whaling” and are usually used to impersonate a C-level executive that requires immediate support to execute some sort of financial transaction. Here are a few tips on how you may recognize these type of scam attacks:Read More
Take a load off!
Whether you’re going away on vacation or your kids are at home, these clever apps and gadgets can help keep a remote eye on those you love.Read More
What is it and what should you do about it…
We are sure you have heard the buzz about TLS 1.0 being deprecated, and when data security is on your mind, Hybridge is here to help.Read More
Enjoy it! But don't let it compromise your network!
Russia is hosting the world cup this year and because of time zone differences, this means that most times avid fans are at work when their favorite team is playing. In an effort to show team support, you may be tempted to look for a free service that will show the game live – DON’T DO IT!Read More
Moving is not just packing boxes...
When faced with an office move, you may start thinking about packing boxes and scheduling movers, but don’t forget about the invisible yet essential items that make your office function properly—Internet, the phone network, cabling, etc.Read More
Check out Gmail's new features!
Google has redesigned Gmail and added several new features that will help you handle your emails more efficiently.
You should note that unless you have upgraded to the latest version of Chrome, some of the new features will not be available. Similarly, if you can only use Outlook (which can cause errors and is not recommended), these features will not be available at all.Read More
What are they and why should you care?
PCI, PII, GDPR and HIPAA are all standards that have been defined to ensure data security. They are all different, created by different bodies and have different compliance guidelines. Why should you care? Because as a business, you are subject to these safeguards and breaching any of these can result in material losses to your business in the form of penalties, loss of business, and in some cases, possible criminal charges.Read More
Maximize team production with these video conference applications.
Although every business is different, one thing is true for all businesses – communication is the key. Communication is not just voice. In today’s world it includes the exchange of data and real-time collaboration with others for most job functions. Therefore, the need for a communications platform that allows your employees to collaborate both internally and externally, and seamlessly, has become a priority for most businesses.Read More
Register for a fun run this quarter!
Are you starting to plan your Q2 team outing? Switch it up this quarter and do an outing that involves exercise and being outdoors. Fun runs and marathons are happening almost every weekend throughout the next couple months. This gives your team a chance to do something new together while having fun and getting exercise. Maybe you’ll even decide to check “run a marathon” off your bucket list.Read More
Collaboration and File Sharing
What are file sharing services? File sharing services allow you to store and access documents, data, photos, videos, etc. in the cloud rather than locally on your hard drive. These services allow you to easily share data with your team, collaborate on files, backup all your critical information in the cloud, and they add security to make sure corporate data is protected.Read More
The idea of spring cleaning is believed to have many origins, but their underlying theme is cleansing your home and space prior to the new year or springtime. Every year, Hybridge reminds you to do some spring cleaning around your office. Taking the time to organize and throw out unnecessary items will make work and your personal space more inviting and welcoming. Here are some ideas of how to spring clean your computer and desk space:Read More
What is the biggest risk or threat to your organization’s data? Many people would answer hackers. Although hackers are the underlying cause, employees present a bigger risk by unknowingly granting hackers access to your organization’s data. The number one way hacker’s gain access? Email breaches through phishing emails.Read More
Hacking, digital crime, and internet fraud is unfortunately becoming more common. This is why Hybridge constantly stresses the importance of security and protection. One of the best lines of defense against hacking is creating strong passwords for all your accounts. For an overview of what a “strong password” means, check out "Secure Your Passwords Now!". One of the tips in this article is to turn on two factor authentication. But what exactly is two factor authentication?Read More
A little over a year ago Hybridge moved about 100 yards down the street. Our old office building and the surrounding buildings were demolished to make way for Stanford University’s new Redwood City campus. Over the past 14 months we have watched huge teams come in to perform many different projects – demolish the buildings, level the land, redo the surrounding roads and cabling, and begin building numerous structures. It is awe-inspiring to watch this huge project come to fruition in such a short amount of time.Read More
New Year’s Resolution lists – they can be easy to make, but hard to achieve. Although personal New Year’s resolution lists are important, it is just as important to create a list of goals and resolutions for your company. One resolution to add to this list is: upgrade your IT! This resolution will help improve your company’s overall productivity and make a more secure and protected environment.Read More
As a company in the heart of the Silicon Valley, Hybridge sees technology advancements from our clients constantly. Last January, we took this knowledge and evaluated what technology might advance in 2017 in our article "Technology trends to look out for in 2017". Our predictions for 2017 were pretty spot on. So, what are our predictions for 2018? Here are the top 4 technology advancements we believe you should look out for this year.Read More
Are you stressed and distracted by holiday shopping? Do you wish you were on vacation on a beach somewhere instead of sitting at your desk? There are many different demands and expectations during the holiday season that make it difficult to juggle everything. From holiday parties to gift shopping to traveling for the holiday, it can be hard to stay focused and productive at work. It is also easy to simply become unmotivated and just want to curl up with a blanket and a cup of hot cocoa instead of going to work. So how do you stay productive and motivated this month?Read More
You know that popup that keeps asking if you want to install an update to your computer or mobile device? Many of us click “remind me later” to avoid going through the process of downloading and restarting. However, these updates often involve security fixes that are necessary to keep your computer and mobile device running smoothly and securely. If you are a Hybridge client, we will schedule update maintenance with you and can do updates for you remotely so you don’t have to worry about staying up-to-date.Read More
Your company’s CFO is speaking at a conference and you get an email from the CEO saying a new vendor needs to be paid immediately. However, the CEO can’t reach the CFO because she is on a plane so he needs your helps sending the money to the vendor ASAP. You open the email and send the money only to find out it wasn’t actually the CEO that contacted you, but instead a scammer.Read More
My Apple Watch just buzzed again and told me, “Check your rings. Your exercise ring isn’t as far as it normally is at this time.” If you are part of the population that wears a smart watch, you’re reminded if you are being lazy and sitting at your desk for too long. Although Apple gets a little passive aggressive at times, it is a good reminder to get up and move around. However, it is difficult to be active when you have a desk job that requires you to sit at a computer all day. Here are a few tips that will get your smart watch off your back and create a happier and healthier you.Read More
On Monday, articles popped up everywhere telling you to beware of the KRACK Hack. This hack brought to everyone’s attention a vulnerability that impacts WiFi, specifically the WPA2 encryption protocol used to encrypt your WiFi traffic. While the vulnerability is serious, the press coverage is overly-alarming. You are more likely to fall prey to a hacker by clicking on a false link in an email, or navigating to shady websites, than to be hacked by the KRACK hack.Read More
Hybridge understands that a strong and secure network is imperative to keep your business running. This is why we use the best equipment when designing your network. We work with a number of different vendors and brands, but Cisco Meraki is our go-to solution for demanding and complex environments. In fact, Hybridge is one of the largest Meraki partners in Silicon Valley and San Francisco.Read More
October is here! With that comes confusing weather (do I wear a jacket or not?), pumpkin flavored everything, and of course, Halloween. This year, October 31st falls on a Tuesday which means you will most likely be spending your day at work. However, there are ways to still celebrate the holiday even if you are at your desk most of the day.Read More
Have you updated your Apple devices to iOS 11 or macOS High Sierra? Apple’s new operating systems promise a lot of new features and a new look and feel to your Apple device. However, like most new operating systems, there are still a few issues and glitches that need to get worked out. Because of these, Hybridge recommends that you do not update any of your Apple devices until the 2nd or 3rd release. This allows Apple time to work out the glitches that always come with major changes to operating systems.Read More
What is AutoSave?
Microsoft has done it again! They have created a “new feature” to try and get users to buy their online services. This “new feature” is called AutoSave and it is found in Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint for Office 2016 and Office 365. As the name suggests, it automatically saves your files every few seconds so you don’t have to. However, it is only enabled when a file is stored on OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, or SharePoint Online.Read More
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is quickly becoming the norm, especially in the Silicon Valley. We talk to our phones, our cars, and gadgets in our house. If you’re driving through Mountain View, you might drive by a Google self-driving car. If you’re walking around downtown Redwood City around lunch time, you will most likely walk by a DoorDash robot out delivering lunch to someone.Read More
A lot of changes are happening with Google’s cloud platform and applications. About a year ago, Google rebranded their platform from Google Apps to G Suite. Since then, they have updated many of their applications. One of those updates is the introduction of Team Drives within Google Drive. If your company is currently using Google Drive to share files, you should consider adopting Team Drives.Read More
Corporate outings are supposed to be fun and bring your office closer together. There is also a lot of other potential benefits to an outing – fitness, bonding, brand recognition, break in health insurance premiums, etc. Depending on the type of outing you choose, you can achieve a number of different goals.Read More
If the sprinklers go off over your server, is your data safe? How long will it take you to get back in business? Or are you still using tape backups or insecure manual copies to external hard drives? It’s time to look for a comprehensive solution that will ensure your business will survive catastrophic data loss!Read More
Are you still using an old school phone system like ShoreTel, Nortel, or Avaya? If so, it’s time to change. Cloud PBX will give you better features, more flexibility, and save you a lot of money over a traditional on-premise system.
A dependable phone solution is a necessity for your business, but it’s hard to know exactly which one to choose. VoIP vs Traditional vs Cloud PBX – you have probably heard the different terms, but what do they all mean? And what is the best phone system?Read More
You have probably heard and read a lot about WannaCry ransomware, which used NSA exploits to compromise out-of-date Windows computers on large networks. For those affected it was devastating, and we feel for their pain. But for the vast majority of businesses, particularly the startups, Venture Capital firms, and growing businesses that Hybridge serves in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, WannaCry was not a real threat.Read More
In today's work culture, many people find it difficult to take some time for themselves and take a vacation away from the office. This is especially true in fast-paced areas like Silicon Valley and San Francisco, where sometimes the work can feel like it's never-ending. Studies have shown, however, that people work better after they've taken a breather. With summer right around the corner, it's a perfect time to take some time off and get away from the office! How do you appropriately handle leaving the office and all your work behind, though? And how do you jump back into work when you get back from vacation?Read More
Last weekend a Hybridge client left his phone in a taxi. Luckily, he had device management installed on his phone as well as Find my iPhone activated. Hybridge locked his phone and set it to lost mode which ensured his data was secure. In lost mode, we also set the phone to display a message with his contact information and a reward for the phone to be returned.Read More
On May 31, 2017, Intuit will stop supporting QuickBooks 2014 and will discontinue access to add-on services. But don’t worry, Hybridge will break down what this means.
How does this affect you?
After May 31st, all add-on services to QuickBooks 2014 will no longer work.Read More
Many of us trust Microsoft Office’s AutoSave function. We hope it is saving our work every few minutes (if you don’t know how often, please check now or call us and we can check for you). As a Silicon Valley Microsoft Partner, Hybridge has seen many cases where this assumption has led to losing important information, specifically for two of our clients just this past month. This is because AutoSave has a dirty secret – you have to save the file at least once before it will start AutoSaving.Read More
Does your business allow wheel chair access and accept service animals? How about provide accommodations for those with vision impairment on your website? Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in places of public accommodation. In this digital age, that includes websites and mobile applications.Read More
As you all know, Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Although Pi Day isn’t a real holiday and we don’t celebrate circles, they are found everywhere in life. Without circles we would have square pizzas and pies. We also wouldn’t have tires, camera lens, or rings. And perhaps the most important circle is the circle of life (I know, cheesy…but bear with us here).Read More
In “Move to Something New: Migrate to the cloud today,” we discussed spring cleaning your office by getting rid of servers and moving to the cloud. But what about spring cleaning your desk and personal space? Cleaning and organizing may be time consuming, but it can make you more efficient and will definitely make your personal space at work feel more welcoming. Here are some steps on how to clean your desk space thoroughly this spring.Read More
In November, Hybridge moved to a new building right down the street from our old location in Redwood City. Throughout the past couple months, we have seen our old building torn down in preparation for the new Stanford Redwood City Campus. Watching this transformation reminded us of the importance of leaving the old behind and embracing something new. And what better time to do that than spring when new beginnings are happening everywhere?Read More
Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, which web browser do you use? Sometimes you are forced to use one over another due to capabilities of a specific application. However, if you get to choose, Hybridge recommends using Chrome, especially if you use G Suite. Here are some features you should know about Chrome as well as nuances to look out for.Read More
Valentine’s Day - a day of chocolates, roses, and cheesy greeting cards. Some people love the holiday while others would prefer to just skip over February 14th. This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a workday, but that doesn’t mean that the romance and presents should make it into the office. Whether you are lovesick or sick of love, here are some guidelines for how to handle the holiday in your office...Read More
It's estimated that 205 billion emails are sent every day. With that many emails being processed, you need to make sure you are using the best email service and that you know how to efficiently use it. As discussed before in "Time to Switch from Your Obsolete Email Account", Hybridge recommends that you use Gmail through our G Suite service or Outlook with our cloud Microsoft Exchange...Read More
Eat healthier. Save money. Start a new hobby. At the beginning of 2017 you probably made a few personal New Year’s Resolutions. But what about resolutions to improve your business, specifically on the technology side? Technology is a vital part of your business that needs to be updated and tested often. Here are some things you’ll want to add to that New Year’s Resolution list:Read More
Every year new technology and advancements are introduced to the marketplace. Some are completely new while others are advancements to what is already out there. It’s hard to predict “the next Uber,” but there are a few technology sectors you’ll want to keep an eye on in 2017.Read More
Beware of Spam Emails
Never ever click on anything in email, no matter how authentic-looking. And never believe anything in email related to money.Read More
Hybridge is the technology partner for many of the top startups in Silicon Valley, so we see amazing apps and technologies every day.
But for this newsletter we thought we’d highlight a few cool tech gift ideas from outside Silicon Valley. All tried and tested by the Hybridge team.Read More
We are in the midst of the Holiday season which means numerous Holiday parties as well as gift buying and giving. You might have the holidays figured out for your friends and family, but what about for your office? December can get a little stressful if you have to plan a Holiday office party and gift exchange, so here are a few tips to help you out.Read More
You might have heard about the new MacBook Pros that Apple announced at their Keynote on October 27th. Faster. Lighter. Touch Bar. USB-C. Just like every reveal, Apple absolutely knows how to make their products look appealing. But should you actually buy the new MacBook Pro...Read More
You might have heard about the new MacBook Pros that Apple announced at their Keynote on October 27th. Faster. Lighter. Touch Bar. USB-C. Just like every reveal, Apple absolutely knows how to make their products look appealing. But should you actually buy the new MacBook Pro...Read More
On October 21st, a major network attack paralyzed the domain name systems of over a million companies, including Twitter, Box, Spotify, and Netflix. This attack took down the email systems and websites of the victims for several hours...Read More
October 31st – a day full of candy and costumes, what’s not to love? Gone are the days when dressing up is just for kids, adults can do it too! But if you want to dress up during the day, you need to check that it is okay with your employer and make sure to wear a work-appropriate costume...Read More
Do you have an iPhone or iPad? Then it is time for you to update to iOS 10! This update came out on September 13th and contains many great new features, some of which you might have overlooked. Although iOS 10 is specifically designed for the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models, it is also compatible with iPhone 5 and up along with iPad 2 and the iPad mini, iPad Air, iPad Pro models. However, we recommend only updating to iOS 10 if you have a 2015 or later iPhone or iPad model...Read More
It’s time for you to update your Mac computer, or is it? On September 20th, Apple released the macOS Sierra update which has many new features and upgrades, some of which are comparable to the iOS 10 update for iPhones and iPads. Although it has many great features, it still has a couple glitches like most new updates. Therefore, we recommend waiting a couple months before downloading it, especially if you do not have a newer computer...Read More
Do you often host video web conferences, but still haven’t found a service you like? Try Zoom! You may have seen billboard advertisements with their slogan – video conferencing that doesn’t suck! And it lives up to that hype most of the time. There are many video conferencing options, from the traditional and incredibly expensive Cisco or Lifesize, to the free and okay ones like Skype or Facetime...Read More
Keyboard shortcuts are great! They can help you get things done faster and even eliminate using your mouse or touchpad. You may already know every shortcut there is, or you might not know how to take a screenshot. Whatever your skill level is, check out these basic and handy keyboard shortcuts...Read More
How do you communicate with your team?
Internal communication in companies has significantly changed in the last couple years. One reason for this is Generation Y (aka Millennials) who are the largest generation in America and makeup the majority of the workforce. Millennials grew up with digital communication and expect it in the workplace now too...Read More
Work is supposed to be a serious and professional environment at all times, right? Wrong, and that’s been proven! Many studies over the past few decades have invalidated this belief. For example, a 2015 study from the University of Warwick found that happy employees had a 12% spike in productivity while unhappy workers were 10% less productive. A fun workplace not only leads to happier and more productive employees, but also...Read More
Do you use the same password for the majority of your accounts? Do you have a list written down at your desk of all your passwords? Passwords are intended to protect you, your data, and your different accounts, but many people don’t take the extra steps necessary to ensuring protection. Even if you answered no to those questions, there is always room to improve your password security...Read More
At Hybridge, we stress the importance of keeping your data safe—from creating secure and different passwords to using cloud storage. However, protecting your workplace and personal objects is just as important. It does you no good to secure your data, and then get your computer stolen...Read More
At Hybridge, we always recommend that our clients use two internet service providers. Why? Well, internet service providers are a lot like airlines - often they have problems and delays, sometimes within their control and sometimes not, and when there is a problem there is not much that can be done besides just wait for them to investigate and fix it...Read More
Do you have a desk job that requires you to sit for the majority of the day? Although sitting is relaxing, it can also be painful to do for an extended period of time. Sitting all day may lead to eye strain and pain in your shoulder, back, arm, wrist, and neck. However, there are ways to help avoid and alleviate these pains without having to invest in a standing desk or when the pain persists even with a standing desk...Read More
5 Reasons Why Hybridge's Cloud Technology Makes Sense:
1. Security: Putting your data in a professionally managed data center is infinitely safer than a closet in your office where anyone can access the information...Read More
Summer is here which means warm weather and the chance to travel or just get out of the office for a couple days. A vacation should be fun and relaxing, but sometimes it can also be complicated and frustrating. Luckily, there are applications available to help make traveling easier...Read More
Mobile Device Management is the answer
An increasingly mobile workforce means that many of your physical assets (computers), and the proprietary corporate data found on those assets, are more often than not out of the confines of your corporate offices...Read More
More and more devices nowadays use Bluetooth wireless technology to connect to your computer. But, how do you know if your computer supports Bluetooth?
Here's how to tell if your Windows device has Bluetooth:
Open the Device Manager - Accessing the device manager is a little different for each version...Read More
While having an anti-virus suite on your computer is extremely important to mitigate risks and viruses, having an ad-blocker is becoming just as important. More and more viruses are now being downloaded directly along with ads – both built in ads in a web page as well as pop-up ads – which are much easier to execute, and therefore potentially much more dangerous. Additionally, many ads now are intrusive, privacy-invading, and just plain rude. Because of these factors we’re recommending....Read More
No, really, it isn’t you when your CFO gets an email from you asking to do a last minute wire transfer. Or one of your customers gets an email to change the account number they normally wire payments to. Or your accountant gets an email to send you a copy of your tax return.
The unfortunate fact is that anyone can put anything they want in the “From” address of an email. ....
Mobile Device Management (MDM) keeps track, manages, and monitors all devices that are accessing your corporate network. MDM is not just a nice-to-have functionality, it is a must for your organization...
Like any other system or application, QuickBooks needs maintenance and a little TLC.
You may notice over time that QuickBooks performance deteriorates or that it is randomly unable to connect. This results in frustration, lost time and a loss of productivity.
One common cause of this subpar Quickbooks performance can be excessively large transaction log...
Microsoft has released information regarding End of Life support (EoL) for a number of their platforms including older versions of Internet Explorer and Windows 8. As of January 12th, Microsoft only supports the most current version of Internet Explorer, which is Internet Explorer 11 and can only be found in Windows 7 and later. In addition...Read More
Have you ever had multiple applications running when suddenly one of the programs just "locks up"? Most likely. While this tip isn't new, it's amazing how many computer users choose to shut down or hard reboot their system. Here's a better way....Read More
As a Hybridge client, you have access to the best technology solutions available. One of the latest weapons in our arsenal is McAfee Email Protection.
This vastly improved spam filter will significantly reduce the number of junk emails that will make their way into your inbox. The impact on your organization is minimal as Hybridge manages the upgrade for you. However, it is a departure from how spam email was previously handled and you need to be aware of how it works...Read More
IT policies are a critical, yet often neglected area in most growing businesses. Clear policies around data management and ownership (personal versus corporate), email and internet usage, and hardware and software inventory are necessary for the protection of both the company and the employee. Guidelines and written policies in these areas need to be defined, communicated and implemented whether your company has 5, 50, or 5000 employees...Read More
Your computer's memory chips (RAM) will likely outlast most of the other PC components, but on occasion, they do go bad.
Signs of a RAM problem:
1. Your computer freezes up for a few minutes no matter what application you are using.
2. Loading common applications, even small ones, seems to take forever.
3. Your PC randomly restarts when you're in the middle of task...
Step 1: Move to the cloud
One of the many benefits of the cloud is that you can say good-bye to closets full of hot, dusty servers that were never meant to house hot, dusty servers. As you move your applications to the cloud with Hybridge you can dispose of costly servers, maintenance contracts and expensive software licenses for those servers...Read More
Beware of Ransomware
Think before you click! You could lose everything - you are the most powerful tool in system security.
We have seen a recent spike in the number of computers being infected with Ransomware. People’s computers are crypto-lockered: this infection will encrypt all the files within your computer and hold them ransom. The only way to get your files back is to pay the ransom with Bitcoin – a lengthy, difficult and expensive process. If you do not pay the ransom within a certain time frame, the ransom goes up...Read More
"Is it just me, or is my computer getting noisier and more annoying?" you think to yourself one quiet morning. If your once nearly-silent computer is seemingly getting louder, it probably is the computer and not you imagining it. A computer fan that is always running is a sign that worse things are just around the corner...Read More