ACS - Advanced Computer Solutions

Category: Tech Talk
Traverse City businesses need enhanced security to protect their customers
November 6, 2018

We at ACS recently had our credit card stolen. Everyone knows that this is a hassle, but for us it’s a costly hassle. This card is primarily used to pay recurring payments to close to a dozen vendors. This means that when the card is stolen it takes hours of staff time to setup our payments with our vendors. What is interesting about this situation is that we had the card stolen shortly after doing something we rarely do, using the card at a local vendor.

Do Not Disable the ‘UAC’ Feature on Your Windows Computer
September 27, 2018

Without UAC, User Access Control,  your computer would be installing software, changing settings and potentially doing many other dangerous things without your permission. UAC is there to ensure that what is going on in your computer is precisely what you want going on in your computer.  

Do Not Disable Your Computer’s Built-In Firewall
September 16, 2018

During my years working with businesses here in Traverse City and throughout Northern Michigan, I’ve needed to turn off the built-in firewall in Windows, dozens, if not hundreds of times. In the past this practice was often commonplace, today it is a severe security risk. 

Antivirus tips for small business
July 10, 2017

Antivirus tips for small business

Today, I want to talk about antivirus. We had a client the other day ask me, ‘Hey, I’ve spent all this money on antivirus. Do I really need that and is that working for me?’

Security- DNS filtering
July 3, 2017

I’m Albert Steed with Advanced Computer Solutions talking about security. So far we’ve talked about antivirus and we’ve talked about OS patching and we’ve talked about third-party software patching. Now I want to talk about the fourth tool that we use which is called OpenDNS.

Security- Application patching
June 26, 2017

I’m Albert Steed with Advanced Computer Solutions talking about small business security kind of progressing from antivirus to Microsoft’s patching, so your OS and maybe your Office tools, Excel and Word.

Should you pay your ransom?
June 19, 2017

Today we’re talking about security, ransonware and we’re going to talk about paying your ransom. Should you pay your ransom?

The importance of cloud backup.
June 5, 2017

So why cloud backup?

Small Business Software Tips
May 19, 2017

Learn about the software ACS uses to run its business!

Phishing isn’t about Trout Season Opening Day
May 9, 2017

A new Pew Research Center survey titled "What the Public Knows About Cybersecurity” revealed some startling statistics about how little most Americans know about cybersecurity. While most Americans understand the need for strong passwords and know public Wi-Fi hotspots are not very secure, a surprisingly low number of respondents to this survey were able to explain what phishing is or how to determine whether the website they are about to put the credit card info into is secure.

Cyber Criminals Attack Tax Records
May 2, 2017

Spring is in the air. For many of us that means more daylight hours to enjoy the outdoors; warmer temperatures, so we can open windows and air out the house; and trout season is just about to begin. For some of us though, this time of the year brings a lot of dread as the deadline for filing our taxes looms ever closer.

Should Your Business Hire a Network Security Specialist or Use a Managed Service Provider?
April 25, 2017

The past few years have seen cybercrime increase dramatically. While many business owners feel this is a problem for large companies, small to medium sized business (SMB) are suffering more attacks than larger organizations.

Does Your Network Security Provide Peace of Mind?
April 7, 2017

Data breach continues to be a major topic of concern for business owners in all industries.  In 2016 the number of reported data breaches grew from about 600 million to a startling 4 billion according to IBM Security’s X-Force Threat Intelligence Index.  This is more than the total number of breaches from the previous two years.

Ransomware is a constant threat
May 27, 2016

Ransomware is a real threat to both businesses and consumers.

What You Need To Know About the Cryptolocker Virus
February 3, 2015

A quick 2 minute video about the Cryptolocker Virus -- what it is and how you can prevent being infected!

RAID5 is Dead
January 27, 2015

A few weeks ago, I asked if your backup solution was sufficient and David shared a bit about unrecoverable read errors."   

Is Your Backup Solution Sufficient?
January 13, 2015

As businesses store and create data, it becomes more and more likely to just, disappear.  Find out more about the odds of a data crash and find out if your backup solution is sufficient for your needs.   


Do You Need to Be HIPAA Compliant?
November 4, 2014


Lately, we have gotten a lot of questions and concerns from customers about HIPAA compliance.   Because security is a big piece of that and computers are central to the question, we are going to talk a bit about HIPAA compliance this month on our blog.

New Video - What You Can Learn in a Network Audit
October 30, 2014

What am I really going to get out of a network audit?

We recently made a short (under 2 minute) video summarizing what you can learn by getting a network audit.   



Server 2003 End of Life - Are You Ready?
October 14, 2014


Another Microsoft Product is reaching the end of it's life.  Instead of it being Windows XP, this time it's Microsoft Server 2003.   As of July 2015, Microsoft will no longer be providing support.   Are you ready?

3 Reasons to Pay for Business Email
October 7, 2014

Everyone loves Google. They are easy to set up, they are everywhere and you can access 20 things with one login.  But all that connectedness and "free" has a price. Here are 3 reasons why it's worth your money to pay for your business email instead of using Gmail.

3 Reasons You Should Do a Computer Audit
September 29, 2014

Everyone has a computer at their business.  It's nearly impossible to work without one!   Do you know what is on your computers?  Are you sure?  Here are three reasons to do an audit on all of the computers at your business.

When Managed Services May Not Be Right For Your Business
February 20, 2014

So you keep hearing about managed services.  You might have even talked to your IT company about it. But do you REALLY need it? Not every business does, you know. Here are a few flags that having managed services might not be a good fit.

4 Essential Business Documents to Back Up
January 23, 2014

You've heard it a million times -- back up your data. Well you have thousands of files.  You may even have terabytes of data.   So what do you really NEED to back up? Unfortunately, it greatly depends upon your business, but there are 5 essential business documents that you should back up regularly (i.e. daily).

Top 10 Posts of 2013
January 14, 2014

We had a pretty fun year in 2013 at ACS as we got our blog rolling.   A lot of people foun

Small Business Backup for All Your Devices
January 9, 2014

For most small business owners, you are on call 24-7.   So how do you make sure that every devi

Be More Effective on Windows 8 With A Few Simple Keystrokes
December 17, 2013

Are you having trouble navigating Windows 8?   Learn to be more efficient with a few simpl

Windows XP Will No Longer Be Supported after 4/2014. Are You Ready?
November 19, 2013

As of 4/8/2014, Windows XP will no longer be supported by Microsoft.   Is your business re

Secure PDF's for Lawyers
October 31, 2013

Short on time?   The ABA's Law Practice Division, just released a new book - Adobe Ac

October 23, 2013

In my most recent newsletter from David Allen at Getting Things Done, I noticed that they releas

2 (BIG!) Benefits of Having a Network Audit Done
October 18, 2013

Due to the Syrian geo-political climate, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has deemed Oct

Instagram Guide {Social Media Tip}
October 16, 2013

Do you provide a product or service that lends itself to visual images?   Like maybe a hair dresser or nail technician?   Or how about classic car insurer or car condo provider?    A racer or a biker?     Would taking pictures of things in your industry get someone excited?  

What Does Free REALLY Cost?
October 11, 2013

The other day, I read an article on FutureLawyer that I read to see if it was worth sharing -- The Frugal Lawyer- Free Software That You Can Use.   In it, he links to an article in PC World article listing free software for everything from malware & antivirus to recording software.  

Why the Cloud is an Essential Piece of Small Business Disaster Planning
October 9, 2013

Even though Michigan is not well known for it's natural disasters, we are frequent recipients of blizzards and thunderstorms which can wreak havoc on your computer systems. 

How Healthy Are Your Computers?
October 4, 2013

In this hyper-connected age of computers, if your computers go down, so does your business.  Without them, you have no calendar, email, bookkeeping, customer records or a myriad of other information.   So how healthy are your computers?

Technology Tips for Law Firm Management From Advanced Computer Solutions {Press Release}
October 2, 2013

Advanced Computer Solutions, a leading provider of simple & effective business solutions for small to medium businesses and law firms, offered an educational seminar to Traverse City area lawyers & law firms on technology tips for law firm management after the ABA TechShow 2013(R).

The REAL Cost of Web Hosting
September 11, 2013

So you get or renew your business's internet contract and your sales guy tells you that for only x dollars more, he can host your website and email, too.   "Well, heck yeah, sign me up!" you think.  "That's way cheaper than paying for the service by itself." 

15 of the Most Used Tech Tools by Entrepreneurs
September 6, 2013

I recently found this great infographic on 15 of the most used tech tools by Entrepreneurs covering Sales, Technology,  Marketing, Accounting, and legal.   

6 More Mistakes Businesses Make When Doing Their Own IT {SlideShare}
August 20, 2013

Do you have all the tools you need to do your own IT?   Are you sure?    Here is a short slide show we made titled 6 More Mistakes Businesses Make When Doing Their Own IT.

How The Cloud is Vital to the Success of YOUR Small Business
August 15, 2013

A few months ago, I read this article on how The Cloud is Vital to Small Business Success.  It's a really great article outlining all the ways that the cloud can be useful to your small business, but it doesn't really tell you WHAT exactly those things might look like for you.   Here are some articles we have previously written on some of the various areas.

How to Determine if a Cloud Service is Safe Enough for Your Business
July 30, 2013

This spring, I attended the American Bar Association technology conference in Chicago.  The conference was held for attorneys and firm managers in order to gain knowledge of new technologies and learn the state of technology within the legal industry.

Web Productivity Tip - Using Your Domain in Gmail
July 18, 2013

I don't know if you are like me or not, but I like to keep things in separate boxes as much as possible.   I don't like to make business phone calls when I'm playing with my kids and I don't like to answer business email when I'm talking to my sister-in-law. 

5 Steps to Effective Document Management
July 11, 2013

While it's common for people to say that you can be more efficient and save space by storing your documents electronically, there are a few steps you need to take to make your document management work for you. 

ABA TechShow 2013 Review {PowerPoint}
June 18, 2013

Last month, we held a seminar recap of the 2013 ABA TechShow.  If you were unable to attend, here are the slides from our presentation of that event. 

Three Questions To Determine Whether You Need a Security Audit
June 11, 2013

Nearly all businesses have a computer these days, but not enough of them have them properly set up.   While having a computer helps you keep core aspects of your business running -- correspondence, accounts payable & receivable, and more -- it needs to be working for YOU as well.   

Cloud Computing - Are You More Prone to Attack on the Cloud or In Your Office?
June 4, 2013

Do you think your data is more likely to be hacked on the cloud or on your local office computers?   While security has long been cited as an obstacle of adopting more cloud computing services, this article shows that cloud data is actually attacked less than your local computers.

The Cloud Doesn't Equal Zero Maintenance
May 16, 2013

To a lot of people, there is a perception that putting your data on the cloud means you don't have to do anything to it or with it unless you need it. 

7 Mistakes Businesses Make when Doing Their Own IT {PowerPoint}
April 30, 2013

We decided to do something different this month and so we made a short PowerPoint presentation about 7 (Common) Mistakes Businesses Make When Doing Their Own IT.  

Exchange Migration Tips - From Your Own Servers to Hosted Exchange
April 9, 2013

The dollar for dollar benefits of switching from having your own MS Exchange Servers to a hosted exchange solution may appear to be easy.    You could spend $1000's for new servers and updated software every few years in addition to needing someone to maintain it.   Or you could spend a fraction of that monthly and not have to worry.  

Why Do We Recommend Cloud Computing?
March 14, 2013

I read a great article the other day at Forbes -- In the Rush to Cloud Computing, Here's One Question Not Enough People Are Asking.   So what aren't they asking? --  Why?   No one is asking WHY they are moving to the cloud, what they hope to accomplish. 

Easy Web Productivity Tip - Open Multiple Tabs on Startup in Google Chrome
March 12, 2013

Recently, I was set up with a new computer to do my work on.  Since I do all my work on the cloud, each time I go into my office to get ready to work for the day, I have to open up at least 5 different tabs on my web browser just to get started. 


Technology for Lawyers - 2013 Conferences
March 5, 2013

We have been looking into several legal conferences that center around technology and running your business better. 

How to Keep Up on Social Media in an Hour a Week {Social Media Minute}
February 28, 2013

Most marketing experts say that social media is not something you can ignore, but as you probably know from using things like Facebook and Pinterest at home, it can be a real time sink. 

Small Business & The Cloud
February 26, 2013

I found this gorgeous infographic from Microsoft Office365 & Jess3 about small business and cloud computing.

7 Reasons Why Clio is Better For Legal Billing Than What You Use Now
February 5, 2013

Most law firms run their billing systems on their desktop computers.    Once upon a time, I had gotten training in using Timeslips and was helping a lawyer get his monthly billing out.    It was SLOW.   The database that a time-based billing system uses is HUGE!    There is a much more effective way to bill for your time -- enter Clio.   

Three Easy Ways to Reduce Computer Downtime
January 30, 2013

Your computers are the backbone of your business and without them, your business stops in its tracks.   Now that the holidays are over and everyone is back in their productive groove, it's a great time to take stock of your computers. 

Top Business Technologies of 2012
January 3, 2013

 The past year has been quite a year for technology and it's no surprise.   Technology permeates nearly aspect of our lives -- and our businesses! 

Getting an Online Presence for Your Small Business - Part II
November 14, 2012

A few weeks ago, we looked at ways to get your small business online via a website, Facebook and Twitter and I promised to share a little about Pinterest, FourSquare and online business listings.

Windows 8 - The Lowdown
November 7, 2012

Windows 8 is the latest and greatest release of the Windows OS and it seems to be generating a buzz that hasn't been seen since the release of Windows XP.  

The Simplest Thing You Can Do To Secure Your Data Online
October 24, 2012

The simplest thing you can do to secure your data online is to have a GOOD password.   Unfortunately, having a great password takes some thinking.   And you need more than one.   Luckily for you, we have provided 6 tips for creating passwords that can help secure your data online. 

Getting an Online Presence for Your Small Business
October 17, 2012

Is your business online?   Can you be found in a Google search?   Are you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Four-Squared?   If not, you could be missing out on a big source of customers for your company. 

How Can Cloud Computing Improve YOUR Business?
October 10, 2012

I read a great article on Five Ways Cloud Computing Can Speed Up Your Projects last week and it got me thinking...

Would You Know if You Had a Backup Failure?
September 19, 2012

So you've had a backup for years.   But is it working right?    Would you know if it failed? If you haven't been periodically checking up on it, it may not be working properly, especially if you've been doing the same old tape backup for years! 

So Just What is the CLOUD Anyway?
September 12, 2012

 Everyone talks about the cloud.   Why it's good to be on the cloud, why it's bad to be on the cloud, why the cloud is secure, how it's not.   But that still doesn't answer the question: What is the Cloud?