eGuard Tech Blog

eGuard Tech has been serving the Washington area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Do You Accept Credit Cards? Watch Out For These 5 Pitfalls That Could Lead To Lawsuits

Do You Accept Credit Cards? Watch Out For These 5 Pitfalls That Could Lead To Lawsuits
If your company is not fully compliant with Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards, you could be at risk of a serious tangle with attorneys.  Technically, PCI guidelines are not a hard-and-fast set of laws. However, merchants can still face hefty liabilities for not meeting them. Avoid these mistakes to keep your company out of hot water with attorneys:  Avoid these mistakes to keep your company out of hot water with attorneys:
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The ONE Thing Your And Your Employees Should NEVER Do When On Vacation

The ONE Thing Your And Your Employees Should NEVER Do When On Vacation
’Tis the season when you and your team will be taking a little time off to head to the beach or your favorite vacation spot, and while we know we should completely disconnect from work, most of us will still check e-mail and do a little work while away — and that could end up causing some issues if you’re not careful while working remote.
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Conquering Connecting

Conquering Connecting
  “Everyone looks so much better when they smile.” – Jimmy Fallon, host of the legendary The Tonight Show What a meteoric ride Jimmy Fallon has had to the top! How did this son of an IBM machine repairman get to the chair once occupied by maybe the most legendary figure in comedy TV for 30 years straight; Johnny Carson? He did it through exceptional networking.
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Is Your Computer Data Truly Protected From Fire, Flood, Severe Storms Or Even Theft?

Is Your Computer Data Truly Protected From Fire, Flood, Severe Storms Or Even Theft?
During this time of year the threat of fire, flood, severe storms, water damage from office sprinklers, and even theft is very real. One of the most valuable assets for any company is its data. Hardware and software can easily be replaced, but a company’s data cannot! As a reminder to all of our clients and friends, here are some simple things you should do to make sure your company is ready for any natural disaster.
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Which Flavor Of The Cloud Is Right For You?

Which Flavor Of The Cloud Is Right For You?
Secure data backup, greater reliability, better resource and growth management options, and improved collaboration are just a few of the reasons to take full advantage of cloud computing today.  Yet understanding the choices you have can help you avoid some VERY costly mistakes you could wind up seriously regretting later.  To help you move forward with confidence her are some important points to consider.
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Forget Something?

Forget Something?
A while back I did a huge favor for someone and never heard anything from them... Zip, zilch, nada, nothing. Just a simple “thank you” would have been nice...but they acted as if it was expected of me. To say that I was disappointed is putting it mildly.  To me, disappointed is a very powerful and scary word. You see, disappointed can turn into other “dis” words, such as disgruntled, discouraged, disenthralled, disillusioned, disheartened and possibly even dissatisfied with our current personal or business relationship. I might start noticing that this relationship (business or personal) is really all about YOU and how YOU can benefit; the words reciprocation or gratitude don’t seem to be in your vocabulary.
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Relying On A Good Luck Charm?

Relying On A Good Luck Charm?
Carrying a four-leaf clover might work for leprechauns. But when it comes to Internet abuse by employees, you’re gonna need more than sheer luck…   Did you know that…   ●         70% of all web traffic to Internet pornography sites occurs during the work hours of 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.   ●         Non-work-related Internet surfing results in up to a 40% loss in productivity each year at American businesses.   ●         According to a survey by International Data Corp (IDC), 30% to 40% of Internet access is spent on non-work-related browsing, and a staggering 60% of all online purchases are made during working hours. The list goes on, and the costs to your company can be staggering .
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Business Briefings March 2016

Business Briefings March 2016
Is Google siphoning off worker productivity? ■     Your employees may be doing work-related searches online.  Or they may be checking out a hot new vacation package, or the next episode of their favorite TV show. It's tempting to think of personal browsing on company time as stealing from the company.  Yet cracking down can backfire on you.  Instead, focus on personal work outcomes.  If employees get all their work done on schedule in spite of wasting half the day, it may be time to add more duties to their job descriptions.  On the other hand, if productivity is in the pits, a focus on discipline rather than policing minute-by-minute activities will likely yield a greater payoff .
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4 Phrases of Amazing Customer Service

4 Phrases of Amazing Customer Service
I’ve grown my companies by focusing on great customer service.  We didn’t always have the biggest names in business working at the firm, and we sure couldn’t always afford the flashiest equipment.  What we did better than all our competitors was ensure that our customers were thrilled.   In fact, superlative customer service can be your very best (and cheapest!) form of marketing.  Customers talk about their experiences, especially if those experiences are unexpectedly good.  Sometimes even the most difficult situations can yield satisfied customers, depending on how you and your team handle the problems that arise.  Even a failure to meet expectations can offer an opportunity for a great recovery and a happy customer.       Here are four phrases that will help you bring up the level of service your customers receive:
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Business Briefings for January 2016

Business Briefings for January 2016
Your Vacation ■   Resolved to see more of the world this year? Here are three surprisingly great places to visit, according to travel-guide publisher Lonely Planet: 1) For cutting-edge art scenes, emerging nightlife, great skiing and rich wildlife-watching, including bison, wolves, lynx and bears, Transylvania tops the list. 2) Celebrating 50 years of independence in 2016, Botswana features luxury camps, self-guided tours, community projects and award-winning family safaris. 3) For postcard-worthy views of the stunning Sapphire Bay, as well as charming alleyways, tasty food and its still-traditional way of life, Kotor, Montenegro, deserves a top spot on your short list. This year, get off the beaten path for a vacation that can’t be beat!
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Business Briefings for February 2016

Business Briefings for February 2016
Microsoft Outlook for iOS and Android – Worth a try? ■     The new Outlook for iOS and Android connects e-mail accounts, calendars and files all in one place. So what’s the verdict from users? It gets mixed reviews, for an average of 3.5 out of 5 stars on Google Play. On the plus side, it’s got a lean, easy-to- use UI. It sorts incoming e-mail by “Focus” and “Other” with an easy-to-use swipe gesture to move between the two. The scheduler uses color-coding and grays out info you don’t need. On the minus side, some users report syncing and sign-in errors and incompatibility with certain systems. Still, once the bugs are worked out, it’s certainly worth a test drive.
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SKILL...And WILL

SKILL...And WILL
Let’s get one thing straight...we all begin as a NOVICE.   No one – let me repeat that – NO ONE starts as an expert. We all have to learn to walk, talk, eat, swim, count, write and read. We all start at zero, the bottom, from scratch, zip...with absolutely no knowledge, experience or understanding of the “THING” we are about to learn. So, then the journey begins: your progression from being a Novice, to being Average, then Skilled, then a Specialist and finally an Expert is all up to you. I really like the title of “EXPERT” because it has to be earned. You can assign someone a title of Vice President or Sales Manager, Boss or Director...but EXPERT – that title is something to be revered, respected and admired.
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A Backup Plan You're Sure To Fall In Love With

A Backup Plan You're Sure To Fall In Love With
In today’s fast-paced, data-driven world, backups are mission critical to your company’s survival and success.   Yet your data may be just one damaged drive, lost laptop, natural disaster, accidental deletion, malware attack, equipment failure, power spike or petty theft away from a profit-sucking, heartbreaking disaster.   So what measures must you take to keep your data safe, secure and where you need it, when you need it? While there’s no one-size-fits-all-guns silver bullet, there are some general principles to be aware of.
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Geoff Smart: The 5 Biggest Mistakes All Leaders Make

Geoff Smart: The 5 Biggest Mistakes All Leaders Make
Although everyone agrees that hiring is tough, most managers struggle with an even more prevalent leadership mistake. It’s an affliction as prevalent as the common cold, and one of the least recognized in the workplace today. Over the last 20 years at ghSMART, we have been able to empirically observe where executives excel and where they get in their own way. We have conducted five-hour interviews with more than 15,000 leaders across every major industry, producing more than 9 million data points. So, what is the No. 1 most common mistake that holds leaders back?
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Upgrading To Windows 10? Avoid Headaches, Downtime And Frustrations By Following This Advice

Upgrading To Windows 10? Avoid Headaches, Downtime And Frustrations By Following This Advice
For the past few months, we’ve been swamped with questions about Windows 10.    If you’re wondering whether now is the best time to upgrade your system, here’s what you need to know:   First and foremost, if your organization relies on your computers in any way to make money or save lives, consider the risks carefully.   As with any software upgrade – but especially your computer’s operating system – you’ve got to weigh the advantages of upgrading now against potential downtime if there are problems with the new code.   A good rule of thumb regarding any operating-system upgrade is to wait six months after the product release before deploying it into any system or group of systems that your business depends on.   Since January 29 marks six months since the Windows 10 official release date, it’s a good time to look at whether it’s wiser to...
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iTranslate Makes It Easier Than Ever To Speak With Interesting People

iTranslate Makes It Easier Than Ever To Speak With Interesting People
Other than the occasional epic (and hilarious) fail, translation apps are getting pretty good.  And one of the best, iTranslate, now gives you voice translations on the spot. Here’s an “at-a-glance” rundown of all that iTranslate can do:
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Voice Tips For Effective Speaking

Voice Tips For Effective Speaking
When George H. W. Bush ran for president in 1988, he hired a voice coach to help him lower his voice an octave.  Why?  Because the candidate's high-pitched voice had helped saddle him with the "wimp" image, even though Bush had proved his valor as a Navy combat pilot during World War II. Fairly or unfairly, we impute strengh and confidence to the person who speaks with a low-pitched, well-modulated voice. We convey feelings, moods and attitudes through a variety of voice qualities, which are sometimes called paralanguage.   Among these qualities are volume, pace, intonation and juncture.
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Last Chance To Save Up To $25,000 In Taxes On IT Software, Equipment And Services

Last Chance To Save Up To $25,000 In Taxes On IT Software, Equipment And Services
While many tax incentives for small business have been shot down in recent years, Section 179 of the IRS tax code remains one legal “loophole” worth looking into. This year (unless Congress changes it at the last minute, which they have done in the past several years) Section 179 allows you to purchase up to $200,00 of qualified equipment and software.  With that purchase, you can write off up to $25,000 as a Section 179 deduction.
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Real Leadership Is Power With People (Not Over Them)

Real Leadership Is Power With People (Not Over Them)
Everything we accomplish happens not just because of our efforts but also through the efforts of others. The biggest difference between people who manage others versus people who lead others is how they develop those under them. As all leaders know, untitled or not, leadership is power with people, not power over people. Do you build people up or tear them down? Encourage or discourage others? Try to be the hero, or make heroes out of those around you?
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Turn Your Biggest Weakness Into Your Greatest Strength

Turn Your Biggest Weakness Into Your Greatest Strength
You know the standard approach – first, identify your company’s weakness and then do everything you can to fix it. Practice at it relentlessly, feed your team (and yourself) with constant affirmations, do anything you can to dive deep into your weakness and fix it once and for all. If you can’t fix it, then go to Plan B by burying the weakness in hopes that none of your prospects or competitors find out.
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