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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3 Hidden IT Costs, and What You Can Do About Them

When you think of your company’s IT costs, what comes to mind? Odds are, hardware and software top the list, as well as the costs of IT support, like salary and benefits for in-house staff or fees for an outsourced IT provider. These costs are easy to quantify and predict. The problem is that they are just the tip of the iceberg. Within your organization, there may be hidden costs associated with your IT that can linger under the surface and hinder your business’s growth.

Here are three examples of hidden IT costs that many businesses face:

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Meltdown and Spectre: What Your Business Needs to Know

2017 was a year of highly-publicized malware attacks and security vulnerabilities, and it appears that 2018 will be no different. You may have heard about Meltdown and Spectre—two widespread security vulnerabilities—in the news recently. But how do they affect your business, and what (if anything) can you do about it? Read our quick guide below to find out.

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Does Your Team Work Remotely? You Need a VPN

Technology has enabled today’s workforce to become increasingly mobile. Your company may have employees in numerous locations across the country. And even if it doesn’t, odds are you and your employees do at least some of your work outside the confines of your office—whether from home, coffee shops, or customer locations.

Unfortunately, cybercriminals have also developed sophisticated ways to use this increased mobility to gain access to your network and your data. Thankfully, there is a security measure that can drastically reduce the risk of a breach while still allowing for mobility— a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

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The Affinity Team Volunteers at ThriftSmart

The Affinity Team Volunteers at ThriftSmart

Part of Affinity's vision is "to benefit our community and the greater world through philanthropic partnerships and servant leadership." For us, that means rolling up our sleeves and helping in our community.

This holiday season, we did that by spending a morning volunteering at ThriftSmart, a nonprofit thrift store whose proceeds support worthy charities in our community and around the world. We spent our time sorting donations, organizing clothes on racks, and moving furniture.

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10 Tech Tips for Growing Your Business in 2018

For many business owners, a new year sparks renewed focus on putting ideas into action that will help their businesses grow.

As you sit through brainstorming sessions and consider ways to do things differently in the new year, don’t forget to pay attention to the health of your technology systems. Odds are, you rely on technology to communicate, make business decisions, and complete projects. In other words, it’s just as crucial to your success as a new hire.

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What Parents Need to Know About Facebook Messenger Kids

Last week, Facebook released Messenger Kids, a version of its popular Messenger app designed specifically for kids under 13. These younger kids are technically not allowed to create full Facebook profiles, so Facebook developed Messenger Kids as a standalone app with some important parental control and safety features.

Still, while Facebook seems to have put a lot of effort into safety, some parents may feel uncomfortable with allowing their children to use this app. To help you make the best decision for your family, read on to learn what Messenger Kids does well, as well as what concerns it might still raise for some parents.

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Why Your Business Needs Email Journaling

While cloud based team collaboration tools are rising in popularity, good ole’ fashioned email is still the primary tool for communication within many organizations. It’s familiar and easily shared among customers, vendors, and work teams. Because of its reach, we take the usual steps to keep our email safe and accessible, like implementing backups and archiving old emails so that we can restore deleted or lost messages or access old ones. But, there’s an extra step that many of us miss in our efforts to safeguard company email contents: email journaling.

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 Is Your IT Services Provider Proactive or Reactive?

An internal IT department’s primary responsibility is to make your whole operation run more efficiently. So that means consistently making sure that your company’s systems are up to date, secure, and efficient.

Affinity believes that you should expect the same thing from your outsourced IT provider (sometimes called a ‘Managed Services Provider’ or MSP). But how can you tell if your provider is truly proactive or just telling you want you want to hear? Here are 4 questions to ask.

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3 Safety Tips for Parents Buying Tech Gifts

3 Safety Tips for Parents Buying Tech Gifts

It’s that time of year again! Time to make your holiday shopping lists and find the best deals on gifts for friends and family. And if you’re shopping for kids and teens, there’s a good chance that a number of those gifts involve technology. From smartphones and tablets to gaming systems, kids and teens love devices that keep them connected.

As fun as these devices are, they carry hidden dangers, such as potential exposure to pornography, sexting, and cyberbullying. So, before you hit the stores on Black Friday, gift yourself peace of mind by putting healthy guardrails around the technology you give your kids this holiday season.

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Affinity Proudly Sponsors "The Bike Thing," an Annual Fundraiser for Daystar Counseling Ministries

We're thrilled to announce our sponsorship of "The Bike Thing," an annual bike ride fundraiser for our friends at Daystar Counseling Ministries, a nonprofit organization providing counseling to kids and their families in the Middle Tennessee Area. Daystar provides these services on a sliding scale, allowing them to help kids in need.

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5 Must-Read Personal Security Posts for National Cyber Security Awareness Month

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month! It’s a great time for all of us to get serious about cyber security both at work and in our personal lives.

With all that we do online—from social media to shopping and banking—cyber security has become as important for individuals as it is for businesses. The good news is that awareness is half the battle.

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5 Low-Tech Tips for Preventing Data Breaches

Many of the precautions businesses need to protect their data involve sophisticated, high-tech safeguards, such as antivirus software or virtual disaster recovery solutions. While these are important, it’s also critical that businesses don’t forget the actual, physical security of the devices and infrastructure that store and transmit their data. While not as sexy as high-tech safeguards, these low-tech precautions are essential components of any business’s cybersecurity strategy.

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