Network Uptime: Signs Your Network is Slowing Down

Network uptime has never been more important for business than it is today. Employees, customers, and business partners expect fast and continuous access to applications and information at all times. It is critical that IT managed services providers prioritize network uptime. Developing an IT strategy that works to eliminate network downtime is becoming vital as companies’ relationships with both staff and clients become more dependent on reliable network support and IT services.

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Does Outsourced IT Matter?

In today’s technology-driven business climate, managed IT solutions are now more important than ever. Through outsourcing, companies can reap the benefits of implementing advanced IT strategies without having to support in-house IT departments or pour inefficient investment into IT infrastructure. Below are a few reasons why outsourcing your IT support can have a major positive impact on your business.

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Outsourced IT in Nashville: A Guide for Healthcare Providers

The amount of electronic information and data healthcare providers are responsible for is undeniably massive. The industry thus requires a wide range of complex technology services, which are often best served through outsourced IT solutions. The ever-growing number of people covered by insurance policies in accordance with the HIPAA Act and various new regulations (including ICD 10) similarly increase the need for outsourced IT health solutions.

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The Affinity Story: From "Computer Fixers" to Growth Engine

Every company has a story. If the company is growing, that story likely includes how they have overcome obstacles and matured past growing pains. What worked in the beginning, when they were looking to build an initial client base, may not have continued to work as they grew. Hard decisions were made. New people entered the mix. And while the company’s core values didn’t change, they grew into new and, hopefully, better ways of living those values out.

If you’re part of a growing company that has been in business for a number of years, a story of change and evolution may resonate with you. That’s why we wanted to share the story of how, since our founding in 2002, we have learned from experience how best to live out our passion for transforming businesses’ IT into engines for growth.

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Secure Email: Reducing the Risks of a Hyper-Connected Workforce

We live in a time of great change, a fact that becomes especially visible when you look at our workforce, our work environment, and our technology. As more and more digital natives enter the labor force, it is increasingly important to connect anytime, anywhere. As your trusted managed services provider, Affinity Technology Partners offer secure email services that bolster your overall IT security in today’s hyper-connected workplace.

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3 Reasons to Wait on Upgrading to macOS Mojave

Apple recently announced that it will release its latest operating system (OS), macOS Mojave, on September 24. Current Mac users will be able to install an upgrade to Mojave for free, which many will want to do in order to take advantage of some of the great new features it offers.

As helpful or as fun as the new features may be, though, we strongly recommend that users wait at least 3 to 6 months to upgrade to High Sierra, especially if they use their computers for business. Why, you ask, would a technology company be giving this advice? The short answer is that experience has taught us that upgrading to a new OS too soon can affect users' productivity. There are three reasons why this is the case.

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Apple Announcements at a Glance: iPhone Xr, XS, and XS Max, and More!

You may have missed it. Apple announcement events aren’t quite as exciting or all over the news as they have been in the past. Nevertheless, they held an event today where they announced a number of interesting new products today, including new iPhones (spoiler alert: this includes a less expensive iPhone X-like device!), a new Apple Watch, and a new operating system.

So, whether you’re a gadget fanatic, or just interested in thinking through your next smartphone upgrade, here’s a brief rundown of what was announced.

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Affinity Welcomes New Systems Administrator Ben Long!

Affinity is excited to announce that Ben Long has joined our team as a Systems Administrator on our Support Team! In this role, he will work with Affinity’s clients to ensure the smooth operation, efficiency, and security of their systems.

Ben comes to us after serving as a Sr. Help Desk Specialist at Churchill Mortgage. He also has experience serving clients in diverse environments as a Systems Administrator at a managed services provider. He holds an AAS in Computer Information Systems from Laramie Community College, as well as CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications.

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Affinity Partners with Pinnacle Financial Partners for Real-World Cyber Security Seminar

Affinity has teamed up with Pinnacle Financial Partners to host a lunch seminar to give businesses real-world, actionable tips on boosting their cyber security. The seminar features a panel of experts from every angle—legal, law enforcement, technology, and insurance—to give business leaders a full picture of why cyber security is important, and how they can achieve it. The event will take place at Pinnacle Financial Partners’ 1717 Mallory Lane location in Cool Springs (Brentwood) from 11:30 to 1pm. A complimentary lunch is included, but registration is required.

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Necessary Evil or Competitive Advantage: How Does Your Company View IT?

With very few exceptions, all businesses rely on technology to some degree, and most rely on it heavily. But businesses differ in terms of how they view their IT investment. Some view technology as a money pit that they can’t live without – a necessary evil. Others view technology as a tool that can help them compete in an economy of “disruption.” They know that in the 21st century, the companies who use technology as an engine for innovation and transformation (think Uber) are the ones likely to succeed.

While there are certainly valid reasons for some business owners to view their IT as a necessary evil, it is possible for every business – regardless of size – to transform their technology into an engine for growth.

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VPNFilter: What Your Business Needs to Know

The number of widespread cyber security issues in the news seems to be growing, doesn’t it? VPNFilter – malware that affects consumer and small-business grade routers and other network devices – is just the latest threat to make headlines.

The FBI is advising everyone to restart their home or small business routers to mitigate the effects of VPNFilter. But how does this affect your business? Read on to find out.

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Scam Alert: What You Need to Know About Pop-Up Phishing

As your managed IT services provider, we want to provide as much awareness as possible of the latest scams and tactics that may put your data and company assets at risk. One such tactic that we’ve seen in play recently is pop-up phishing – a type of social engineering attack used by criminals to trick people into giving access to their computers and/or payment information.

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5 Cyber Security Risks Facing Your Business

Cyber security is a nebulous concept for many business leaders. There are, it’s true, a complicated array of risks to data security, and, as a result, it can be easy to throw one’s hands up and ignore them all together. After all, you have a business to run, and that’s complicated enough. However, as countless companies making news headlines have found out, turning a blind eye to cyber security can be catastrophic for your business.

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What Is vCIO, and Is it Valuable to Your Company?

If you’ve ever worked with a Managed Services Provider (MSP), you’ve probably heard the term “vCIO.” “What does that mean?” you might have wondered. You might have been told that the “v” stands for “virtual,” and CIO stands for “Chief Information Officer”—the position in a corporate environment responsible for aligning technology strategy with business strategy. The idea is that, with the MSP, your business will have a virtual CIO – someone to provide strategic technology consulting.

But not all vCIO services are created equal. Just because two MSPs both offer vCIO, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can expect the same thing from both of them. The right kind of vCIO service is truly valuable. But, in some cases, it doesn’t amount to much more than project sales pitches.

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Two Opportunities to Hear Sean Wright Speak on Cyber Security!

Two Opportunities to Hear Sean Wright Speak on Cyber Security!

This month, Sean Wright, Affinity’s President and Founder is speaking at two cyber security events that are open to the public. On March 6th, Sean will speak at a SCORE Network event titled “Cyber Security for Small Business: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” held at the Pathway Women’s Business Center. And on March 15th, Sean will join a panel of experts for an seminar titled “Real-World Cyber Security” at Pinnacle Financial Partners’ Brentwood office. Information and registration for both events can be found below.

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Why It's Not OK to Use Personal Dropbox Accounts for Work

One common instance of the drive for convenience leading to poor security—and poor business practice—is the use of personal file syncing accounts, such as Dropbox, for work purposes. Perhaps an employee uses his personal Dropbox account to access work files at home. Or a CEO uses her personal Dropbox account to share a file for review with an important potential client.

While it may seem like the employee is simply taking praiseworthy initiative and that the CEO is taking necessary steps to grow the business, the use of personal file-syncing accounts is highly problematic from a technical perspective for at least two reasons.

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