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Systems and Software Inc
Who We Are .
And why we get up in the morning.
We are the outsourced IT Department for 100 local companies where we provide services ranging from project management to IT Help Desk support. We specialize in providing innovative solutions to our clients - from Google and other cloud providers. We are the leading Google Apps Authorized Partner in the Baltimore area. Email info@SystemsAndSoftware.com for more information.
"Do, or do not. There is no try."
Yoda
Services .
Expert technology consulting and recommendations based on 26 years of industry experience

Cloud Solutions

Cloud solutions for email, file servers, and application servers - A Cloud Server is the future for your small/medium sized business

Anti-virus

Anti-virus and anti-malware protocol employing four industry solutions designed to protect your systems collaboratively.

Project Management

Expert project management of your technology projects

IT support

On demand IT support for servers, computers and software without minimums or retainers

Internet Presence

Domain, web and DNS hosting for your internet presence

Live Support

Click here for live support (or request when available)

What We Do. Why You Need It.
"Creativity is contagious, pass it on."
Albert Einstein
Staff .
Our staff is your staff

  • Edward Ko

    President and Owner

    Your first paid job?
    Washed test tubes for a research doctor.

    Favorite Star Trek captain:
    Picard

    Sonic or Mario?
    Sonic

    Cork or Screwcap?
    Yes

  • Chris Warner

    IT Specialist

    PC or Xbox?
    Xbox

    Coffee or Tea?
    Energy Drinks

    If you could be a bird it would be…
    An Oriole, my favorite team!

    How are you so awesome?
    I was just born this way.

  • Kris Rippel

    Kris has been a business colleague of Systems and Software for over 10 years and formally joined our team in 2016.  She adds her extensive experience to our team in both project management and G Suite expertise. Please reach her via the email link below.

  • Brandon del Pilar

    We’d like to introduce Brandon Del Pilar, who joined Systems and Software in early 2017.  Brandon has been working closely with us for several years as an associate and is now a fully fledged member of our team.  He brings a wide range of technical expertise to Systems and Software and we are happy to offer up his added talents.  Please feel free to reach out to Brandon or say hello if he visits or calls your office.

"The cloud is a democracy."
Marc Benioff, CEO SalesForce.com
News and Resources .

A new, expensive computer isn’t the only solution for your sluggish office workhorse

Just because your laptop is sluggish doesn’t always mean it must be replaced.   Your office desktop may slow down just because you looked up the weather report while editing a PDF.   

When a computer needs space to ‘spread out’ and work, it requires memory – or RAM – to process your requests.  With so many applications requesting memory, your computer sometimes compensates for a memory shortage by using disk space — which works much slower than RAM.  

Sometimes we confuse the two – memory and disk space.  One has nothing to do with the other – except when memory runs low and disk space is used as a slow substitute.

Good news!  RAM is inexpensive and our team can double or even triple the RAM in your current computer and make it feel new.   Please contact our office or use this handy form to request your upgrade!

 

Security Best Practices

Security Best Practices

Passwords

Tip: Use an 8+ character password with mixed case/numbers/symbols along with 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication)

Passwords are among the first lines of defense to fail. It won’t surprise anyone that the two most commonly used passwords are ‘123456’ and ‘password’. Many of us are afraid to create complex passwords for fear of forgetting them.

The easiest method to harden your password security is to think of at least three 8+ character passwords with mixed case/numbers/symbols. ‘Mentally label’ each of the three passwords as green/yellow/red. Choose the green password for the lowest security sites that have no real personal info — save the red passwords for banking or shopping sites that retain your account numbers and credit cards. As these passwords are used for more and more sites, rotate out your green password and replace it with yellow and red — making them the new green password. Lastly, establish a new red password for your highest security sites.

Even an 8+ character password, though, can be guessed by special hacking computers within 5-6 hours. We must also pair our complex passwords with 2-step verification or 2-factor authentication where a successful login then prompts us to confirm our identity with a code sent to our mobile phone or email address. Google has supported 2-Step-Verification for years and if not already using it for your Google/Gmail accounts, you should enable it immediately.

Any site that holds sensitive information that does not support 2FA, should really be reconsidered as a site you continue using or at least should have a 12 or 15 or 20 character complex password — or better, passphrase such as, “my b1rthplace 1s Cleveland” (include spaces).

Website Security

Tip: Login to websites only if they display a ‘lock’ in the address bar

Websites that require a user to login with an established username and password are responsible for protecting the information they retain — passwords, addresses, credit card info, etc — with a security protocol called SSL. This protocol prevents unauthorized websites to mimic or ‘pose’ as valid sites and also prevents ‘eavesdropping’ of data while traveling between your computer and the site.

You can recognize websites that have established this security certification by looking in the web browser address bar when visiting the site.

 

Make it a policy to check for this security ‘lock’ before logging into any website and entering any personal information.

 

Web Browser

Tip: Use a Standards Compliant Web Browser such as Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Your continued use of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer may be the cause of your past computer infections. The standards used to deliver web data have been notoriously non-standard when involving Internet Explorer historically. Though recent versions (like Microsoft Edge) have improved, there is little reason to maintain a loyalty to IE. Even if a website recommends its use, consider an alternative website that does NOT require it. Your security may be at risk.

Popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox and Safari allow for plug-ins, or helper programs, to add features and functionality by 3rd party software companies. We recommend adding the HTTPS Everywhere plug-in to your web browser. This plugin enforces the use of SSL or https on websites.

 

VPNs

Tip: Install a browser based or standalone VPN (Virtual Private Network) service for ~$4/month

Although mostly used by computer techies and foreign dissidents speaking out against their censoring governments, the use of VPNs is gaining attention in today’s security addled climate. This PC Magazine article best describes the function of a VPN and the excerpt below offers a brief summary.

We use and recommend KeepSolid’s VPN Unlimited which is reviewed in the article and selected as an Editor’s Choice.

What Is a VPN?
A VPN is a lot more than just something you need for remotely accessing your work files. When you switch on your VPN, it creates an encrypted tunnel between your computer and the VPN server, which can foil hackers or even government snoops trying to eavesdrop on your activities. From the server, your web traffic travels off into the public internet, but your actual IP address remains hidden. Data-hungry website advertisers see the IP address of the VPN server instead of your own. We recommend using a VPN as often as you can, but especially when your PC is connected to a public Wi-Fi network. When you hop on an unsecured network at the airport or coffee shop, you have no way of knowing whether the network is what it claims to be. Instead of a convenience offered to thirsty customers and weary travelers, the network could have been created by a hacker looking to intercept your data.  VPNs can also be used to disguise your actual location, which is why these services are often used by journalists and political activists operating in countries with restrictive internet controls.

Recovering a Stolen or Hacked Gmail Account

Q. Does Google have a precise protocol for restoring a hacked Gmail account?

A. Google has two plans of action for compromised Gmail accounts, and the one you use depends on whether you can still sign in to the hacked account. Even if you suspect that your account has been hacked, try logging in anyway. Warning signs of a hijacked email account can include friends complaining of suspicious messages from your address, logins from unknown gadgets shown on the Recently Used Devices area of your account activity page, missing contacts or messages, or even Gmail’s own security alerts based on your last account activity.

Photo

When you turn on two-step verification in your Gmail settings, you log into your account with both your password and a code sent to your phone. CreditThe New York Times

If you can still get into your account, immediately change your Gmail password. While you are in your Gmail security settings, turn on two-step verification, which requires both a password and a code (sent to your smartphone) to log into your account — an extra step that stops those who merely crack your password. Google’s Gmail Help site has a security checklist that offers further suggestions, and the federal government’s site for Internet awareness,OnGuardOnline.gov, has a few safety tips as well.

If you cannot get into your account, fill out the account recovery form on the Gmail Help site. It may take a frustrating bit of time to regain control of your account, but once you do, visit your Gmail security settings to update the recovery options you can use (like an alternative email address or a mobile phone number) to regain access to your account if someone else tries to steal it. To avoid losing your address book from a compromised account, you should also consider exporting your Gmail contacts to a backup file for safekeeping.

Dropbox finally adds Gmail Compose Integration

Dropbox for Gmail extension

The Dropbox for Gmail extension makes attaching and viewing files simpler and more powerful:

  • Easily send large files. Just click the Dropbox icon in the compose window, select files or folders, and click Insert Link(s). No waiting for uploads to complete, no file size limit, and no eating up space in your inbox.
  • Say goodbye to zip files. Attach folders and multiple files instantly, without having to zip files up.
  • Send files to anyone. Even if they don’t have Dropbox or the extension, recipients can see and download the attachments you send them.
  • Quickly save files sent to you. Add files to your Dropbox with a click so you can access them anywhere.

Get started today by downloading the Dropbox for Gmail extension from the Chrome Web Store. If you already have the extension installed, you’ll receive the update automatically. You’ll also notice that you can now select multiple files, as well as folders, when you share.

Windows 10

 

 

 

 

 

The New York Times review of the Windows 10 release offers us a sober and articulate summary of what Windows 10 will offer.

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Systems and Software

2 East Wheeling Street.Ste 101.Baltimore MD.21230

Main Phone: 410.750.0121
Fax Number: 410.387.7600

Staff Direct Lines

Ed Ko: 410.696.4693
Matt Jones: 410.929.1149
Chris Warner: 443.574.5525