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How to get Back Online after DNSChanger Malware

If you woke up this morning to discover that your computer is not connecting to the internet then it is possible you are one of the victims of DNSChanger malware. Per our previous post found here, the FBI shut down the affected servers today, leaving many without the ability to successfully get online.

 So if you find yourself here (most likely on a mobile device) and are looking for a fix, we suggest the following:

  1.  Contact your Internet service provider to let them know you’re having problems – they should be able to guide you
  2. Be prepared to back up important files in case you have to reinstall your OS
  3. Run a virus scan if you’ve got one
  4. Check your router and modem, it’s possible you may need to reset the settings

For more tips, the DNSChanger Working Group has a detailed list of suggestions on troubleshooting that can be found here.

Unsuspecting Users to Lose Internet Access on Monday

As many as 300,000 users will lose access to the internet on Monday, July 9th. These users have systems infected with the DNSChanger Trojan and haven’t scrubbed the malware yet. The virus causes the DNS settings in the computer to change and redirects the users to different websites. The FBI plans to shut down the malicious servers connected to the virus on July 9 which means users with infected systems won’t be able to access the internet due to the incorrect DNS Settings.

Despite the press on the subject, it’s expected many users and organizations will be affected. In fact, According to Computerworld, “Scans showed 12% of Fortune 500 firms, or about one out of every eight, harbored DNSChanger-compromised computers or routers. And two out of 55 scanned U.S. government departments or agencies — or 3.6% — also had failed to scrub all their PCs and Macs.”

So, what can you do?

The easiest thing to do is go to http://www.dns-ok.us/  in your browser to see if your system is infected (a green screen means your system is ok and red indicates infection)  or you can check out McAfee’s free online test to check if your DNS settings are wrong and receive instructions for the fix. NOTE: Expect a high volume of traffic at these sites.  For more on the DNS Changer malware, check out the FBI website or this handy FAQ page from cnet.

 

At DLS Studios, we want to provide you with the very best IT solutions for your business (including general health, performance, and security assessments of your IT systems)Contact us today to discuss how
 IT consulting can bring cost-effective, best in class solutions to your organization. From custom software development to systems analysis, we’ve got you covered.

While we are located in the Chicago area, we take on projects throughout the country. Any project, anywhere, any time – We’ve got the solution for you.

Why Consider SharePoint 2010 for Document Management?

As Chicago IT Consultants, our projects range in size and scope. However, document management software continues to be a hot topic and SharePoint 2010, a product that allows users to connect and share information, is an often discussed solution.

Why SharePoint 2010?

The launch of SharePoint 2010 was one of the biggest releases to date; not only were updates made to the overall look and feel but additional enhancements, fixes and new features were added making it easier for people to work together.

Here are a few of the benefits your organization could experience when using SharePoint 2010 as your document management solution:

Improved Search 

SharePoint 2010 comes with huge improvements on its findability features allowing for quick and easy access to information. Regardless of how large or small your company is, when you want information you want it now. Users can be more productive and make better and faster business decisions when they can get to the information they need with little hassle.

SharePoint makes search easier by allowing users to use metadata to filter through content. Results can be refined by the user, the audience, author or by the applications used most often (Word, Excel, etc). The number of views a document has had and its rating are also taken into account. System Administrators can also manage who can access and update documents and restrict changes on official documents.

SharePoint 2010 also comes with added accessibility through mobile phones. Users can now link to the office and access files on the go with their mobile devices.

Time savings with Workflow tools

SharePoint 2007 introduced workflow tools and SharePoint 2010 has improved on them by providing more choices to better create and maintain workflow models. Workflows can help streamline processes through automation. Examples of how workflows can help are as follows:

  • Help employees boost productivity by automating and minimizing lengthy manual tasks like submitting vacation requests, expense reimbursement forms, time sheets and IT requests.
  • Help managers maintain visibility of their departments with an overview of requests requiring attention and requests that have been completed. Workflows can also help managers enforce compliance of policies and reduce human error as the tool will manage the steps in the process.

One of the most noticeable changes to SharePoint 2010 was the upgrade to the user profile pages. The look is similar to Facebook and Twitter and offers features which are familiar to those involved in social networking. Users can tag pages or content they like, add comments on pages that are visible to other users and customize their own personal page where their own content and projects are stored.

More examples of how SharePoint can help your business:

  • Human Resources can have a single receptacle to manage their documents for all relevant employee data that is easily searchable.
  •  Discussion boards and group calendars can be utilized to share information across teams

Whether you are upgrading from an older version or rolling out SharePoint for the first time there are some decisions you must make that will affect how well the solution works for your team. To learn more about document management best practices and how to implement this product while avoiding struggles that might affect performance contact us today!

 

At DLS Studios, we want to provide you with the very best IT solutions for your business. Contact us today to discuss how IT consulting can bring cost-effective, best in class solutions to your organization. From custom software development to systems analysis, we’ve got you covered. While we are located in the Chicago area, we take on projects throughout the country. Any project, anywhere, any time – We’ve got the solution for you.

Firefox 13 – Privacy Risk

IT Consulting - Security issue Firefox

If you’re using Firefox 13, your private information may be at risk, especially if you’re using a shared computer to log into secure sites that contain sensitive or confidential information.

The issue?

According to reports from The Register and PC Mag, when users opened a new tab in Firefox 13, a list of most visited pages appears. This feature is convenient but it is also flawed because at the moment, Firefox takes a snapshot of the page contents and saves it. This is problematic if you were viewing secure content. For example, if you were to check out an earlier online banking session, you may be able to view account numbers, balances, etc. This is of the most concern when using a shared or public computer. The fix is expected to be released in a future version of Firefox.

What to do?

For now, take advantage of the private browsing mode option. Turn off the feature to display most visited sites – Firefox will then show a blank page instead upon new tab. Lastly you could consider using a different browser until the next (and hopefully corrected) version of Firefox is available.

 

 

 

At DLS Studios, we want to provide you with the very best IT solutions for your business. Contact us today to discuss how Chicago IT consulting can bring cost-effective, best in class solutions to your organization. From custom software development to systems analysis, we’ve got you covered.

While we are located in the Chicago area, we take on projects throughout the country. Any project, anywhere, any time – We’ve got the solution for you.

 

IT Consulting Blog – Improving Operations Through Technology

As IT Consultants in Chicago, we’re always striving to help organizations improve their operations through the use of technology. I recently read an article on computerworld.com about a new Google application that is a great example of how technology can help an organization work smarter.

Google has created an application called “Google Maps Coordinate.” This is a new location-based app that deploys field employees to the problem site that is closest to their location at the time. This is a great example of how technology can increase efficiency through the use of a workflow management tool. The location sharing application can integrate with the organization’s existing systems and works in real-time, ensuring employees have accurate, up to date information. In addition, employees can enter information about the client or details on the issue. This seamless transition of data helps the organization run more smoothly.

With all of the advancements in technology, many don’t realize that there are many solutions just waiting to be implemented. In some cases, an existing solution may already exist that can be used out of the box to improve your operations. In other instances, components of an existing solution can be used. However, in the event that an existing third party application or  component doesn’t exist,  we can create a custom solution specific to your needs.

If you think your organization could work more efficiently and effectively, take the step to reach out to an IT consultant like DLS Studios to investigate how easy it may be to create  positive changes in your organization through the use of technology.

At DLS Studios, we want to provide you with the very best IT solutions for your business. Contact us today to discuss how Chicago IT consulting can bring cost-effective, best in class solutions to your organization. From custom software development to systems analysis, we’ve got you covered.

While we are located in the Chicago area, we take on projects throughout the country. Any project, anywhere, any time – We’ve got the solution for you.

Software Development – Microsoft Adds to Visual Studio 2012 Express

Microsoft has pleased many in the software development community as they have announced Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows Desktop!

This is a change from Microsoft’s previous plan where it was to release 4 versions of no-cost Visual Studio Express Suite for the following:

  • Metro apps
  • Web apps
  • Azure cloud apps
  • Windows phone apps

But, there was no express, no-cost product to be used by developers to create command-line and desktop applications. Any development for desktops had required the $400 Visual Studio 2012 Professional version.

This late change came as a surprise as Microsoft had stuck to their plan in May when the official line up was finalized and didn’t include the express desktop version.

Visual Studio Custom Application Development Chicago