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Info Advantage has been serving the Upstate New York area since 1993 , providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

How Backup and Recovery Can Save Your Company

How Backup and Recovery Can Save Your Company

It’s every business owner’s worst nightmare: one mistake, and all of their data is wiped out. This very situation happened recently to a hosting provider, and his story serves as a cautionary tale in regard to data storage best practices.

Hosting provider Marco Marsala was brought under fire after he posted on a server forum seeking advice for dealing with a catastrophic error he made while trying to erase a few files. Stating that he had utilized the “rm -rf” command with undefined variables, he had inadvertently destroyed all data on the computer. What’s worse, his backups were mounted to the computers and were wiped as well.

This is actually a similar blunder that Pixar experienced, almost deleting Toy Story 2 prior to its release.

As a result, everything Marsala had for his company was destroyed (including the websites he had created and hosted for his 1,535 customers) with no backups surviving to restore from.

Needless to say, the responses from other users on the forum were decidedly negative - a few dismissed the possibility of his company surviving the error, and others questioned his abilities as a programmer. One poster recommended Marsala seek legal counsel rather than technical advice, as he predicted that Marsala was “going out of business.”

There was a consensus on the feed that the best chance for any data recovery was to recruit the help of a data recovery firm. Fortunately for Marsala, such a data recovery company was able to recover his files and his biggest hit was financial--both from the recovery company’s fees and from the reduced income due to the loss of business he suffered.

By neglecting to follow best practices in regard to backups, Marsala essentially invited this disaster to strike. Following basic best practices would have mitigated much, if not all, of Marsala’s problem. What happened to his data is exactly the reason that all data backups should be kept offline, isolated from the original file on a separate system.

Without such measures in place your data is subject to not only human error, as was the case here, but also other dangers. Fire, electrical surges, accidental equipment damage, theft, all of these events have the potential to jeopardize data that’s critical to your business.

Are your data backups as secure as they should be? Do you even have a backup and disaster recovery solution put into place? Be certain by calling Info Advantage at (585) 254-8710. Our experts can advise you on what your business needs to survive the worst disasters, and assure that you and your clients’ information are prepared for anything.

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Moving Your Office? Make Sure Your Tech Can Handle It First

Moving your office is a difficult task. Moving furniture, personal objects, and technology can be a hassle that you don’t even want to think about. There’s nothing easy about moving your office’s technology to a new location, and we’re not going to let you do it alone!

For reference, let’s examine the technology that you’re currently using in your office. You probably have plenty of workstations; one for each employee, and some spares just in case something happens. These workstations need to be connected to your business’s network so that users can access mission-critical software, crucial information systems, and other important resources. A cabling infrastructure can quickly grow uncontrollable, especially if you’re not practicing proper cabling procedures.

Another problem that often comes up is the task of equipping your team with the right communications solutions. Setting up phone lines for each of your employees can be challenging, and you often need to consult both your budget and your organization’s floor plans in order to adjust for growth. There’s no better time to plan for the future and ensure that you can add or remove phone users as needed, than when you move to a new building.

Then, there’s the topic that you might not even want to think about; moving your physical files. Lugging around heavy and unwieldy filing cabinets can be a pain in the neck. You should be asking yourself if you’re willing to forsake physical file storage in favor of a digital file storage format. You also need to consider which files you absolutely need to keep, and which ones you can do without. It’s imperative that you perform a full assessment of your business’s current assets, paper or otherwise, and ensure that you take only what you need. Doing so can lessen the burden of moving your office. Be certain to shred any outdated files that contain sensitive information before disposing of them.

Info Advantage can assist your business with solutions specifically designed to increase mobility and communications in the workplace; many of which can make your move easier and improve operations.

  • Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP): With VoIP, your business can take advantage of telephony communication from anywhere with an Internet connection. Since the only connection you need is your network, you can avoid the complex cabling required for landline telephone systems. You just need to keep a close eye on your network resources and ensure that your bandwidth is enough to handle the quantity of calls. Info Advantage can assist you with both a network assessment and the implementation of your chosen VoIP system.
  • The cloud and virtualization: Delegating information to your entire workforce can be challenging, but with cloud computing, it’s as simple as providing access to the Internet. Your employees can access software, data, and other important information through the cloud, all wirelessly without the need for intensive cabling. As long as your team has an Internet connection, they can use WiFi to connect to the cloud and access critical information. This allows for anytime, anywhere access.
  • Electronic records storage: If your organization is having trouble with file storage, Info Advantage can equip your business with a solution that’s designed to help you eliminate unnecessary physical file storage systems in the office. Instead, you can store your files in a digital, compliant space, that’s optimized for your file’s security. Since your files will be stored digitally and protected with data backup and such, you’ll be able to quickly get back up to speed without the frustration of digging through bulky filing cabinets.

Moving your office is a great reason to start fresh with your technology solutions. To get started, give Info Advantage a call at (585) 254-8710.

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Proactive Cyber-Security: How to Stop Data Breaches Before They Happen

Proactive Cyber-Security: How to Stop Data Breaches Before They Happen

These days you can’t go anywhere on the Internet without hearing about some sort of data breach. With cyber-attacks on the rise, many companies are trying a new approach to data security; proactive security plans. These plans focus on preventing data breaches, rather than reacting to an attack as it happens.

Understand the Threats

Knowledge is one of the most important tools used to fight against data breaches. Before you’re able to work towards creating a system that prevents cyber-attacks, you need to make sure that everyone involved knows what threats they are dealing with. Companies should take the time to review the different attack types that are common in their particular industry, and should have a meeting with whoever handles their IT at least twice a year to make sure they are up-to-date on the newest threats.

Map Out Your Protection

After you create your list of major attack types you want to look out for, you will need to map out your company’s technology environment to see how these attacks could threaten each individual piece. This includes any device that connects to the Internet, what services are currently protecting those devices, and the type of data they have access to. This will give you a better picture of what areas need more attention.

Create a Security Baseline

Once you get a better understanding of the current threats and how they apply to your IT environment, it’s time to create a baseline for your company security. This can be done by creating a variety of different real-life scenarios, and testing them out on your current network. This will help you to discover the strengths and weaknesses of your network.

Once you have your system mapped out, it’s time to implement your security plan. These plans will allow you to focus on preventing things that cause data leaks or downtime, rather than reacting to issues as they come along. This will lead to an increase of productivity and efficiency.

If you’re looking to buff up your security, don’t wait any longer! Call Info Advantage at (585) 254-8710 to speak to a security professional about how you can prevent potential cyber-attacks.  

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Do Your Employees Know What to Do During a Disaster?

Do Your Employees Know What to Do During a Disaster?

Disasters can strike at any moment to anyone, with very little warning. While many businesses are prepared with their Business Continuity Plan (BCP,) many organizations may not take the time to fully explain their BCP to their employees, leaving them scrambling when a disaster does strike. Here are a few steps every business should take to ensure that their employees know exactly what to do in the event of a disaster.

Plan Ahead

For any plan to work, there needs to be proper preparation to ensure that everything runs smoothly. You want to give your employees a clear direction to follow in the case of a disaster, so they know exactly what to do the moment it happens. The best way to work through the execution of a BCP is to hold a meeting with all your employees to talk about what needs to be done, and who will do it. You want clearly defined roles and open lines of communication, so employees will know exactly what to do and who to contact in an emergency.

Have the Proper Tools

A plan can only work if you have the right tools to execute it. In the event that your business goes down, it can mean the inability to work and loss of important data. One way to avoid these issues is by hosting some or all of your business activities through a cloud service. These services will allow you and your employees to access important work documents from just about anywhere. This means that even if the office is down, employees will be able to set up their workstation from another location almost instantly. Investing in a cloud-based VoIP will allow any calls sent to a down phone line to be redirected to another location, such as the employee’s personal cellphone.

Practice Your Plan

When it comes to executing a BCP, practice makes perfect. Let your employees get a feel for the tools you have provided them so that they will know exactly what they are dealing with in the case of a disaster. This includes providing them training for any hardware or software they need to use, creating a sense of familiarity that will directly relate to a seamlessly executed BCP.  Take the time to review with each employee, and make sure they completely understand what needs to be done by them.

Don’t wait until a disaster hits to worry about your business continuity plan. Contact Info Advantage today at (585) 254-8710 to speak to a professional about how you can ensure your business will run smoothly even when faced with a disaster.

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Defining the Most Common Types of Malware

Defining the Most Common Types of Malware

Malware is a term that stands for ‘malicious software,’ and are created by hackers in order to get access to things they normally should not be able to. There are thousands of different malware programs floating around the internet, waiting for someone to mistakenly download it to wreak havoc on your computers. With so many different types of malware, it can get a little difficult to recognize malicious programs before it’s too late. Here are a few of the most popular types of malware you’ll want to look out for, and how they work to steal your valuable assets.


Adware, short for advertising-supported software, is a special type of malware that is meant to deliver advertisements where they normally wouldn’t appear. These types of malware are often attached to ‘free’ software or applications, and are most often used as a way to generate revenue.



These programs are created to automatically a specific operation automatically, such as collecting information. Hackers can install bots onto a network or personal device for DDoS attacks, use them as a form of adware, hide them in sites to collect data, or even distribute other types of malware when downloaded.


This kind of program is able to track anything a user does on their device, including anything they enter into their computer. This can include things such a passwords, personal information, or even credit card numbers. In addition, many spyware programs have other uses, such as the ability to modify security setting or interrupting internet connections.



Ransomware is a type of malware that will lock a user out of their device or network until a transaction is completed. This is done either by encrypting the data stored on the device, or by shutting the system down entirely. Typically, these programs will ask a user to send hundreds of dollars in order to get their data back.



A rootkit is designed to remotely access a device or network without being detected by either the user or any security programs. These programs often activate during a time when the device is not being used, making it one of the hardest forms of malware to detect. Once inside, a rootkit can access files, change settings, steal information, or even hide other types of malware.


One of the most well-known forms of malware, a Trojan malware disguise itself as a normal, safe file or program to try and trick users into downloading it. Once downloaded, the Trojan gives access to the affected user, allowing them to steal data, monitor activity, or install more malware.



Much like viruses in the human body, a computer virus is able to copy itself to other computers or systems, infecting them as they continue to spread. Typically, viruses attach to a program and will activate when the infected program is launched. However, they can also be spread by documents, script files, or any other file that is shared.


Worms are similar to a virus in that they can create copies of themselves to spread from device to device, infecting every one as it goes along. The major difference is that while a virus needs to be spread via a human or host program, a worm is able to self-replicate itself and spread on its own.

If you think your computer or network is infected with malware, your data can be at a severe risk. Contact Info Advantage today at (585) 254-8710 to speak to a technology professional about how you can fight back against malicious programs!

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