Welcome to Our Blog!

Shape Integrations is a collection of IT resources and professionals who come together to bring special relationships to our clients through various services. Our blog reflects the sum of our diverse talents in addition to perspectives on the relevant and emerging technology that impact our followers.

Thanks for visiting our blog and we look forward to sharing with you!

Use VR to Keep Track of Belongings

Microsoft’s pending VR patent proposes headset to track objects, communicate between headsets and provide location data to user.

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Self-Driving Cars Are So Safe, It Kills

The industry that turns tragedy into hope may not deliver when autonomous cars go mainstream.

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Rethinking Consumer Design Capabilities

Adobe, the once design powerhouse, overshadowed by new consumer design tech?

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Dodge Blacklists with Email Services

Always reach your audience without the hassle of bounce backs and black lists.

Did You Know…

Sending an email to too many people may lead to mail account suspension and send message failure! While different email providers have their own regulations and limits, they’re each equipped with filters designed to protect users from spammers and other cyber threats. Thus, sending out a mass mailer from your daily mail client is not recommended. If your recipient list is over 50, we recommend taking a look at our suggested web apps below.

So, Now What?

Mass emailing services, like MailChimp, Vertical Response or Emma are just a few of the free service designed for exactly this purpose. While you may need a paid subscription once you reach a certain number of emails, you’ll eliminate and avoid most blacklists or bounce backs.

Where Do I Start?

Take a look at any of our recommended sites, sign up and begin setting up your mail service. Once your account is set up, give Shape Integrations a call and we’ll be happy to verify everything is working smoothly!

 

“…parking has finally entered the 21st century”

Does parking in the city stress you out? Soon you’ll have (hopefully) 85,000 spots available from your phone.

Starting December 19, the ParkNYC smartphone app allows users to pay for spots via mobile device or by phone call, so frantically finding change and scouring the city for meters isn’t a daily struggle anymore. Though meters will still have traditional functionality if you don’t want to use the app, the 85,000 devices should be live by end of summer 2017.

Read more from the De Blasio administration here.

 

Quickbooks, Really?

Yes Quickbooks! I felt compelled to write this after I got a call from a client wanting to switch from Quickbooks to SAGE 100. Not that there’s anything wrong with SAGE 100, i actually love the product, it’s that the client only has 3 users! I begged that before they pull the trigger they should call me to discuss the issues they had using Quickbooks.

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Data Security Best Practices

As the year comes to a close, SHAPE wants to promote smart IT security decisions to take you into the new year. While SHAPE has your business covered, we’d like to share a few best practices that will promote safety and efficiency in all your personal computing endeavors.

LOCK YOUR COMPUTER

Windows: Control + Windows Key
Mac: control + shift + power (control + shift + eject for devices with optical drives)
While this may seem unnecessary, users may leave valuable corporate information exposed even while away from their machine for just a few minutes. Unfortunately, social engineering (using human interaction to bypass security protocols and/or access valuable information) is a real and unexpected threat. Additionally, it’s possible for co-workers to move, alter or delete valuable information unknowingly while using an unfamiliar machine for only a few minutes.

USE COMPLEX PASSWORDS AND CHANGE OFTEN

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Many programs and corporate IT departments now require more complex passwords, but it’s smart to take this habit to personal devices and accounts as well.  A few good password best practices include: never reusing old passwords, never give away or write down passwords, especially on a laptop or around a desk, don’t use common words like your name or the word password, and make your password complex by incorporating uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters to make your password unique and unpredictable. Also, be sure to change your password every 60-90 days or, if remembering passwords becomes too much of a burden, consider looking into two-factor authentication for your apps and data.

USE LATEST SOFTWARE

Always ask a SHAPE representative what your upgrade policy is, but it’s always a good idea to use a manufacturers latest software version to prevent issue. Not only can this improve functionality, an update, or patch, may be specifically designed to combat a security threat not addressed in the initial release. Additionally, always update from the manufacturers site; don’t search through third party sites to find new software and, when necessary, get a second opinion. This goes for new software and especially attachments received from unfamiliar email addresses.

BACKUP OFTEN

Deciding where to store information can be tough now that there are so many cloud options in addition to corporate drives and various local storage locations. Familiarize yourself with SHAPE’s storage policy and additional options for personal information. Then, stick to a back up plan. IT companies exist for one main reason: computers don’t always act the way we want them to. Eliminate the headache of lost data in the event of a disaster by performing regular backups to planned locations.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Again, SHAPE practices the highest level of security when guarding your data, but we cannot emphasize enough the important of data security in today’s dynamic tech landscape. Here are the highlights:

  1. Lock your device every time you walk away from it.
  2. Use complex, unpredictable passwords and change them often.
  3. Keep software up-to-date via the manufacturer’s website.
  4. Know your storage options and keep data secure in case of outages.

If you have any questions regarding the state of your data security, or would like SHAPE to start securing your company, reach out to us at info@shapeint.com. Thanks!

 

SECURITY ADVISORY: Phishing Scam Targeting Business Users, Important Please Read

Several users have received calls from anonymous individuals posing as technical support. It has been ascertained that these individuals are requesting security information and/or instructing users to log into their “remote servers” in order to receive “computer maintenance.”

Furthermore, several users have received pop-up notifications on their computers that state “your computer has a virus, please call this number to have it removed.” The number claims to represent a “technical support team.” Should you receive this pop-up, DO NOT CALL THE NUMBER, and report it to us immediately. Some screenshots of the message are attached.

Please be aware that THESE CALLERS ARE IMPOSTORS, participants in a phishing-scam with the intention of stealing valuable information and data from companies by installing malicious software/viruses on their users’ computers and servers.

If you have received one of the aforementioned pop-up notifications, please call us immediately as your computer may be infected with malicious software.

Should you receive a call from a different number and/or blocked number in which the caller is offering IT support, please hang up immediately and report the incident to us.

SHAPEINTEGRATIONS.COM | T – 212.660.9962

IT / TELECOM / CABLING

FOR TECHNICAL SUPPORT PLEASE EMAIL SUPPORT@SHAPEINT.COM

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What is Cryptolocker and How to Prevent it?

So you’re working on your computer and you are greeted with a pop up like the image below, you have been infected with Cryptolocker. Cryptolocker is a malicious software that criminals use to encrypt your files for ransom, which cannot be opened until the ransom is paid. Failure to pay results in all your files being deleted forever!

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What’s that New Chip on My Credit Card?

Many of you may have noticed that you’ve been receiving replacement credit cards over the last few months. Anyone wondering why? Although the credit card numbers match up, there is one difference, it’s at the top right of the new card and resembles your mobile phone’s SIM card, it’s called the EMV chip.

The EMV chip is named after its developers – Europay, MasterCard and Visa. It’s purpose is to phase out “swiping” when paying at the register and increasing security of the cardholders information. Beginning in October, merchants will be required to upgrade their credit card machines to allow consumers to dip their card into the EMV slot to pay. This technology is already implemented in Europe and Canada, and credit card fraud has dramatically declined since.

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