Why Training Is Extremely Important

Why Training Is Extremely Important

Technology is changing at such an incredibly fast rate in today’s world that we sometimes forget that there are people out there whose knowledge of these changes hasn’t kept pace. Our customers represent many types of businesses, some of which employ volunteers to assist with their operations. These good-hearted people want to help with whatever is needed, but sometimes lack the training for the job for which they have been assigned.

One of these people called in for help recently, and to our tech’s astonishment, didn’t know what a “mouse” was! This is an extreme example, of course, of the point I’m addressing. It does point out, however, that POS training is very important for a business to provide for its employees.

At CCS, we offer training classes from an expert instructor who will help you get the best benefit from your Counterpoint POS System. This can be done in our classroom, on-site at your business, or even remotely. We can accommodate several people or just one – whatever you need. You can choose just an Overview, or pick from many different topics available. Manuals are provided to allow you to have “look-up” material for later reference. Hands-on practice is a part of classroom instruction.

You might want to take a class individually, and then go back to your business and use that information to relay just what is needed for a specific worker.

Training will certainly eliminate the time, stress, and expense involved in fixing problems that are created when employees are not knowledgeable about how to use their system.

Need some training for your company? Call us now at 425-672-4806 or email us for more information. You’ll be glad you did!

Marlene

Protecting Your Business

Protecting Your Business

Hopefully, the severe weather is over for this winter, but severe weather conditions can happen during any time of the year. Excessive winds, rain, fires, flooding—all can cause power outages that can affect your computer systems and your business. Also, other unexpected events, like theft, can impact your business. Knowing what to do, in advance, can protect you from losses that could have been prevented.

Your first line of defense should be your attention to backing up your system, consistently, and storing that information in a safe place. In that way, if the unexpected does happen, everything can be restored once the event is over.

Recently, a friend of mine who owns and operates a small engineering business had his building broken into one night. The thieves took a laptop computer on which a large number of his engineering designs were stored. The thieves were caught, and the computer was recovered, but the files were overwritten with computer games. Unfortunately, the files had not been backed up, so much valuable information was lost.

Don’t wait for a disaster like this to happen, or for weather conditions to damage your system. If you need help with your backup setup, or if you need to restore files from your backups, we’re here to assist you. We can be reached at 425-672-4806 or you can email us.

Be safe. Plan now.

Marlene

Tech Support Scams

Tech Support Scams

Lately, I have been receiving lots of pop-up messages on my computer that tell me that something needs to be “fixed” on my computer. The message may say that my computer is running too slow because it has registry errors or someone can “see” my information. Sometimes it tells me that a virus or malware has been detected on my computer. Often, a free “security” scan is offered, or a website is shown that I can access as a way to correct my computer’s “ills.”

The messages usually come from what looks like a legitimate company, complete with the appropriate logo, like Microsoft or Apple. Sometimes free software is offered that I can download, guaranteed to make my computer run faster and better.

Unfortunately, most of these pop-ups are from scammers. They want to convince me that I have computer problems so that they can sell me worthless software, try to enroll me in cheap computer maintenance or warranty programs, or trick me into giving them access to my computer so they can steal sensitive data, like usernames and passwords.

How do I know this? I already have my computer loaded with security protection from trustworthy companies. Some of it is free and some I purchased. I use these software programs regularly to keep my computer safe.

So how do you cope with these malicious pop-ups? Don’t click on messages that look questionable. Never go to an unknown website that is suggested in one of these pop-ups, or call a phone number that claims to be “tech support.” Make sure you are using appropriate, legitimate anti-virus software on a regular basis. And most of all, think before you act when it comes to anything unsolicited that pops up on your computer screen.

If you need help or advice on computer security, we can help you. Our number is 425-672-4806, or you can email us. Be safe, not sorry.

Marlene

Tech Support Scams

Tech Support Scams

Lately, I have been receiving lots of pop-up messages on my computer that tell me that something needs to be “fixed” on my computer. The message may say that my computer is running too slow because it has registry errors or someone can “see” my information. Sometimes it tells me that a virus or malware has been detected on my computer. Often, a free “security” scan is offered, or a website is shown that I can access as a way to correct my computer’s “ills.”

The messages usually come from what looks like a legitimate company, complete with the appropriate logo, like Microsoft or Apple. Sometimes free software is offered that I can download, guaranteed to make my computer run faster and better.

Unfortunately, most of these pop-ups are from scammers. They want to convince me that I have computer problems so that they can sell me worthless software, try to enroll me in cheap computer maintenance or warranty programs, or trick me into giving them access to my computer so they can steal sensitive data, like usernames and passwords.

How do I know this? I already have my computer loaded with security protection from trustworthy companies. Some of it is free and some I purchased. I use these software programs on a regular basis to keep my computer safe.

So how do you cope with these malicious pop-ups? Don’t click on messages that look questionable. Never go to an unknown website that is suggested in one of these pop-ups, or call a phone number that claims to be “tech support.” Make sure you are using appropriate, legitimate anti-virus software on a regular basis. And most of all, think before you act when it comes to anything unsolicited that pops up on your computer screen.

If you need help or advice on computer security, we can help you. Our number is 425-672-4806, or you can email us. Be safe, not sorry.

Marlene

‘Tis the Season to be Careful!

‘Tis the Season to be Careful!

‘Tis the season to be jolly, right? That’s what the song tells us, but the holidays will not seem so jolly if you are victimized by a hacker! Although it may not be possible to eliminate all of the hazards, there are precautions that you can take to minimize dangers to your devices and your life! It begins with the recognition of where intruders are most likely to invade.

Cell phones and laptops are frequently lost, especially when people are traveling. Airports, hotels, restaurants, taxi companies—all report hundreds of unclaimed mobile devices that have been left behind. Being extremely cautious with your devices, and perhaps registering them with services that can locate, recover, and kill lost or stolen devices, will keep you safer.

Email greetings are sent in abundance during the holiday season. Not all email greetings, however, are what they seem! Cybercriminals have been known to disguise viruses and spyware into what seems like an innocent greeting from friends or relatives. Open attachments with great care!

Using social networking is a very popular way to reconnect with friends during the holidays, but these sites are frequently targeted for phishing attacks. Be careful what you click on—that new “friend” may not be a friend at all.

USB thumb drives, like cell phones and laptops, are often lost when people are traveling. USB drives are so small, making them easy to misplace or leave plugged into public PC’s; creating a hazard if those removable drives are not protected.

New gift devices, like smartphones and computers, are many times put into operation before security measures like anti-virus software are installed. Recipients are so anxious to use the new tools that they don’t take time in advance for necessary precautions. The lack of precautions makes the devices vulnerable to a host of problems.

Downloading games and free apps can expose users to malware. Be sure to examine carefully before installing them, and be wary of unsigned apps from unknown developers.

We hope your holidays are happy and safe. If the unthinkable happens, however, we’re here to help you. Just give us a call at 425-672-4806 or email us.

Marlene

Preparing for the Holidays

Preparing for the Holidays

The weather is turning colder, the clock has returned to Standard Time, and the holiday season looms before us. Already I am seeing candy canes on display in supermarkets! This makes me wonder if you are doing the necessary preparations in your business to make sure this holiday season is well-organized and profitable.

What can you be doing right now to get ready? Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Make sure your inventory is stocked sufficiently and numbers are accurate. Eliminate errors now that could cost you sales later!
  • See those products on display are all labeled. Customers find it annoying when prices aren’t readily available.
  • Add needed information on your receipts, like return policy.
  • Clean up the store and arrange displays for best customer visibility. Polish that glass front door.
  • Make sure you have on hand sufficient gift cards; these are always a favorite for holiday gift-giving!
  • Update/prepare to use your customer information to send flyers and emails to advertise holiday sales.
  • Install newer, faster hardware, like printers or scanners. Waiting until the last minute to take care of your business “tools” could become a real hassle once the season begins.
  • Make sure that your security system is up to date. Remember, this is prime time for unscrupulous scamming.
  • Arrange for new employees’ training now to avoid problems later.
  • Consistently back up all of your files in case of the unexpected, like power outages from winter storms, or malicious ransomware attacks.

We can help you with many of these preparations, (but we don’t do windows!). All it takes is a quick call to 485-672-4806, or you can email us. We’re here to help you have a great holiday season!

Marlene

Beware of Fake Emails

Beware of Fake Emails

Recently, I have noticed a great increase of emails, both at home and at work, that appear to come from legitimate sources, but are bogus emails. Sent under recognizable names, either personal or professional, the sender wants you to open the attachment so your information can be stolen, a virus installed, and your computer shut down for a ransom.

The fake emails that come to me most often are supposedly from my daughter, who lives in another state and works for a university. The email address looks correct, yet the subject information is something that I know my daughter would never say to me. The first thing I did, before opening the first one like this, was to call her and ask if she sent me an email. When she said, “No,” I immediately set my computer to block further emails from this address. That worked for a while, but now they have returned with a small change from the original email address used. Hackers can be very sneaky.

Other malicious emails I have received say they are from UPS about a package that may have been lost, from the Internal Revenue Service about a tax I supposedly owe, and from DHL about a delivery.

The best way to deal with fake emails is to install a good anti-virus program, and also use extreme caution before opening any attachment that looks even remotely “fishy.” Carefully assess the email address, subject line, and even the language used. Ask yourself if this is an expected email, or something unexpected. Be careful and be safe!

If you ever think you may have been hacked, call us at once for help. Our techs can work with you to get you back on track! Our number Is 425-672-4806 or you can email us.

Marlene

Minor Changes That Make a Difference

 

Minor Changes That Make a Difference

So you’ve had your new system for a while, and everything seems to be going along pretty well. You have noticed, however, that there are a few minor changes that you would like to make, but are unsure about how to go about making those changes.

Perhaps you would like your receipts to contain more information about your return policy or your product descriptions to be expanded. Maybe your labels are printing incorrectly, or your employees have not mastered how to change passwords.

Do you need a report, but don’t know how to go about setting it up? Do you have a new user and need help adding this person into your system? Maybe you need to purge files to speed up your system.

Don’t put off fixing those little ongoing issues that can make your business run more smoothly when properly addressed. We can help you with all of these things and much more! Call us today at 425-672-4806 or email us at support.

Marlene

Calling for Support

Calling for Support

Having something go wrong with your system or software is often a stressful problem that costs you time, money, and physical distress. When you need our help, our aim is to give you fast, accurate, and worry-free assistance. We do, however, need a little help from you when you call in for support.

We know that your “hair is on fire”, but it helps us serve you better if you have, at hand, the information we need to get rolling:

  • Your name, and who to contact if a return call is needed.
  • Your company name.
  • Your telephone number and extension, if it is required. Remember that in today’s world, people call from landlines and cell phones, and from many different extension numbers! You may think our tech has your number already, but it may not be the one you’re using now.
  • The location of the store(s) having the problem (many of our customers have multiple stores).
  • A brief explanation of the issue. From this, we can determine who is available and can best handle the problem that you’re encountering. It helps if you can relate what task you were doing when the problem began.

Remember, when speed is essential in getting your problem addressed, it helps to have the necessary information gathered before you call for support!

Marlene

About Procrastination

About Procrastination

Sometimes when things become a little hectic, we tend to put off doing some of the things that we know should be done. As an example, a few weeks ago my computer monitor started doing some unusual things. It would occasionally “flicker” when I was using my computer, and sometimes it would not turn off or on as it should. I delayed taking care of the issue for a while because I could still coax the monitor into usage, usually.

Of course, it eventually “died,” and of course it “died” when I was expecting emailed copies of important tax documents, airline tickets, and medical information, all of which could not be accessed with no computer monitor! I had to drop everything and look into monitor replacement options.

This type of procrastination can happen in the office as well. What have you been putting off? Maybe you need a software upgrade. Maybe you or your employees need some additional training on the use of your POS Software. Maybe you need to re-arrange your office for better efficiency and need help moving your technical equipment safely. Perhaps you just haven’t gotten around to paying your Subscription Renewal!

CCS is here to help you with those occasional “glitches” that cause interference with your POS operations. Sometimes it can be something unexpected, like a power outage that shuts you down. Often it is an issue that could have been prevented if it had been addressed sooner, rather than later.

Don’t procrastinate! We can help you find and fix the problems that interfere with your day-to-day business before they become greater issues that can happen at inopportune times.

Our phone number is 425-672-4806, or you can email us.

Marlene