Meet at The Oaks - Neal Isaacs

In our first of many meetings Alan met Neal Isaacs of VR Business Brokers at the Oaks of Lake Benson Park. We walked about 2 miles over about 45 minutes while discussing business, life in Garner, and of course tech!

Meet at the Oaks of Lake Benson. Call our business number 919-480-1547 or see the bottom of our Home Page for more details to schedule a walk in the park to talk tech and how our business can help you!

Alan and Neal at Lake Benson
From Left – Alan of Oak City IT and Neal Isaacs of VR Business Brokers

Neal is an ambassador at the Garner Chamber of Commerce and Alan has been getting to know other people and businesses at the chamber. It’s a fantastic group of people who are all passionate about community, their work, and helping others. Neal prioritizes relationships and has great ideas for improving businesses.

If you own a business and you’re looking to sell I encourage you to chat with Neal. You can find more info at his company’s website.

We talked tech briefly because I know not everyone wants to geek out like I do. Neal had asked about Internet Service options which seems to be a popular topic from other businesses I’ve heard. There’s often some relatively cheap and easy ways to boost your Internet speeds and I’m always excited to help clients discover those.

We shared our company goals and some strategies for how we’re both adapting to the rapidly changing market. I always appreciate chatting about business and helping others. This time around Neal may have shared more sage advice with me which I’m grateful. I’m sure it won’t be long before I pay it forward and help others like you!

Quick Tips: Why you need HTTPS,SSL now

Why you need HTTPS and SSL now: October’s Google Chrome update

HTTPS and SSL are ready for you, but are you ready for them? Visit your website. Do you see the green padlock informing you that you have a secure SSL certified connection. If not you will lose up to 60% of your web traffic after this October. Why is that? In October’s update 62 for Google Chrome users will get warnings if they attempt to visit an insecure HTTP only site. Chrome is a browser that is used by 60% of all people on the web. Warnings of security problems will scare away anyone visiting your site for business or personal reasons.

Don’t take our word for it, view Net Market Share’s report on how the majority of Internet users prefer Google Chrome

View our Web Services Offered and Security Consulting Services

View a quick video Explanation of HTTPS for Web Security

An example of a securely configured site:

HTTPS in Google Chrome
HTTPS and SSL installed and securing website


Quick Tips: RansomWare and Simple Security

Definition | RansomWare : software that is designed to encrypt (basically garble) your files and data with a password that only the malicious hackers know, holding your computer “hostage” while they name a price for you to pay to have the password and decrypt/re-access your own files.

You’ve probably seen the reports of the WannaCry hack and those that have recently been hitting companies all over the world like Merck, Maersk, Ukrainian ATM’s (Cash Machines), and Chernobyl’s Nuclear Power Plant.

Most ransomware attacks are simple enough to evade with some preparation:

  1. Never work with the hackers, always assume that the people hacking your computer have a malicious intent and be especially wary of those who offer you a fix to a computer problem they could have given to you in the first place. Find someone local that you can trust, whether it’s me or your local IT staff.
  2. Backup important data today. It’s much cheaper to purchase an external hard drive and setup a backup now than having to deal with a multitude of problems later.
  3. Do regular backups after the initial one, you can set up weekly, monthly, or what ever frequency works for you.
  4. Once you have your backups, there’s no reason to panic. Some systems can take a while to re-install from that backup, but it’s an easy process and it puts you back in control of your data and computers even if something seemingly catastrophic like a ransomware attack happens. Best of all, a good plan and backups can resolve many other problems like accidentally deleting important files, or even unexpected threats.

Backups are a great defense against many computer problems, if you have any questions, feel free to ask!

Thoughts on Security in the 21st Century

Hi folks,

The much publicized hacking cyber-attacks over this past weekend have brought this issue up for many people the world-wide.

As an IT geek, I’ve certainly been in-tune to it for a while. It’s a conundrum at times – even to those of us in the know – because perfect security is never possible. That however shouldn’t keep us from improving our security, privacy, and digital protections. I could go into how woefully bad everyone is about cyber-security, but for now suffice it to say it’s really needing help. On the other hand, there’s plenty of room for improvements and I’d like to offer as many quick, easy tips on this blog as I can. Because it’s such a large problem, there’s really no way to tackle all of it at once with a single blog, a single action, or even a single service contract with my business – Oak City IT. While I hope to provide services as I have already to many happy clients that are based out of Raleigh, North Carolina, the facts remain that I simply cannot address all that needs to be done in my professional life and my private life.

There is a distinct lack of technical literacy and it’s effects are growing exponentially as our technology improves rapidly and many of us just give up. Since so much of our lives are negotiated through things like sharing baby photos on instagram, colloborating in a database of clients at work, or even down to mundane things you don’t think about like traffic light controllers and ATM’s at your local bank. Many ATM’s still run Operating Systems that were vulnerable to this past weekend’s hacks, which means you may have had trouble getting cash even if you’ve got the funds in your account. It may seem daunting at times that technology is taking off and we either don’t have the time to learn it, don’t care to, or simply choose not to. But progress marches on and our best way forward is to help each other learn and utilize technology better in our daily lives. Instead of being afraid of the change, we can learn to embrace it and leverage it to continue doing the things we love and find fulfillment from doing.

I’m currently reading Marc Goodman’s book Future Crimes which is a great guide to how hacking and technological crime syndicates are currently using technology much better than law enforcement and the rest of us. He gives great advice after discussing the threats and I’d like to share the practical parts of that once I’m finished. My approach will be to make things easy, and where possible, fun, so that we can all work together to improve our digital lives – even those of us who think we don’t have any data. (Spoiler alert: you do). I’ve often said that “helping everyone helps everyone.” While that seems silly and redundant I mean that it’s actually good practice to help out other folks with things and ends up helping our communities which also include us ourselves, again benefiting from the benevolence. Plus, it makes life more fulfilling and fun!