# k_Street Consulting, LLC Blog

k_Street Consulting, LLC has been serving the Washington area since 2009, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

## While Useful, Remote Work Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be for the Climate

While we would never suggest that remote work is a bad thing, it wouldn’t be right for us to pretend that it is a perfect solution. It just isn’t. For a few glaring examples, let’s turn to the complicated impact that remote work can have on the environment. While we’ll still acknowledge the benefits of remote solutions, this kind of reflection may just help you to determine how to shape your business’ future: namely, how much of that future will be based on remote operations.

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## Tip of the Week: Designing an Effective Work-from-Home Workstation

Working from home has made it clear to many that they weren’t prepared to do so—not by a long shot. In addition to the many other stresses that came with these challenging times, the lack of a sufficient and proper workspace has proved to have its impacts on the human body. To perhaps help remedy this, we wanted to offer a few considerations that might help a remote worker benefit ergonomically.

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## Five Solutions to Simplify Remote Work Strategies

Working from home adds quite a few additional wrinkles into the workday, including a few that pertain to your team’s communicative capabilities. With many different people operating at their best through different forms of communication, establishing which of these forms best suits your needs is crucial. Let us consider some of the options you have, whether you’re fully investing in a future of remote operations, or simply planning a more hybrid approach as time passes.

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## Physical Security Tools Every Business Can Use

Many small and medium-sized businesses don’t consider making physical security investments if they already have some type of workable solution in place. The problem is that there have been a lot of innovative moves made that would make those investments strategically smart at the time. So, while a physical security upgrade may not be a priority for your business, we thought we’d go through some of the tools used, and how they have improved.

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## Tip of the Week: Stop the Spying Webcam

Have you ever been using your computer and you realize the operational indicator light next to your webcam is activated, only to realize that you never closed the video conference you were just on? Well, what would happen if you noticed it and you didn’t have that software up and running? If you are not an exhibitionist, it would likely freak you out to know that someone might be looking at you as you use your computer. Today, we will get into what to do to ensure that you aren’t being spied on through your webcam.

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## How Many Types of Cybercriminals Can You Name?

We’re all familiar with the idea that pop culture has cultivated in our minds about computer hackers, but as it happens, this impression is just one of the many shapes that the modern hacker can take. This kind of closed-off view is dangerously shortsighted, so let’s take a few moments to dig into the kinds of hackers there are, in ascending order of the threat they pose to your business.

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## How Big of a Threat is the Dark Web Gig Economy?

Contemporary movies are filled with high-stakes cybercrime, where a lovable criminal syndicate breaks into a company’s systems to help wreak havoc on the true villains of the film, all the while exposing the company’s dirty laundry. Naturally, this idea can be frightening for any business, whether or not they have any dirty laundry to air out—after all, nobody wants a ruined reputation—and is unfortunately less and less of a fantasy all the time.

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## Tip of the Week: The Better Way to Take a Screenshot on Windows

For the Windows user seeking to take a screenshot, there is no lack of options. Most notably, many keyboards today offer a Print Screen key that allows the user to capture an image of their entire display. Having said this, there are better options, such as the platform’s integrated Snip & Sketch tool, with its greater functionality and greater ease of use.

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## Don’t Pull Your Hair Out Over Human Resources

Businesses go about their human resources in all different ways, but in today’s small and medium-sized business, it may not be looked on as crucially as it once was. The HR department may have a lot of responsibilities, but today there are tools that are available that can keep organizations from investing large amounts of capital into HR. Let’s take a look at the way HR is being approached today.

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## Don’t Let a Malicious Application Undermine Your Mobile Security

While you’ll probably hear us recommend that you update as soon as possible at every opportunity, the source of these updates is important to consider. This is especially the case now that mobile security firm Zimperium has discovered a new mobile spyware that pretends to update your mobile device… but actually steals data and monitors the user’s search history and location.

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It can be said that most of 2020 and the first couple of months of 2021 have been difficult for most people. Not billionaires, of course, but most other people have found the past year difficult on some level. That’s why it isn’t surprising to hear people talk about workplace burnout. Today, we’ll define burnout and what is being said about it.

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## What Makes a Ransomware Attack So Expensive?

Ransomware is no laughing matter, especially in terms of the costs it can impose on its victims—this is, after all, what ransomware is famous for. However, some of these costs can be derived from unexpected expenses and exacerbate the already significant issues that ransomware poses. Let’s go over some of the costs that you should anticipate, should you be targeted by a successful ransomware attempt.

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## Taking a Close-Up Look at the 3-2-1 Backup Rule

Data, at least nowadays, effectively makes the world go ‘round. Data is responsible for powering the operations that a business needs to undergo if it is to survive. This—as you may imagine—makes data incredibly important for businesses of all sizes to protect.

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## The SMB’s Checklist for Necessary IT Services

Managed IT services have grown from a niche offering to a well-known concept in recent years, with many businesses already relying on outsourced IT services to some degree. In many ways, this only makes sense, as it allows businesses to enjoy access to services that would otherwise cost too much for them to independently adopt and support.

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## Frustrated by Your Android Device Lately? A Bad Update Might be Why

With a global market share of 71.9 percent, the Android operating system that Google provides is well and away the most utilized there is today. Despite the fact that different phone manufacturers will fiddle with the OS to fit into the devices they create, Android tends to be pretty stable—which is part of the reason why many users were surprised around March 22nd, 2021. This is when these users discovered that their applications were crashing incessantly.

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Every business’ goal is to turn enough of a profit, and some businesses are better at it than others. One way that modern businesses can improve their revenue generation is by utilizing technology to cut down on inefficiencies and fuel productivity through collaboration. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the ways that businesses can expand their business through technology.

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## Tip of the Week: Rearranging Your Gmail Messages

Email remains a popular tool in the business setting because of its undeniable usefulness in the office—but having said that, it can have its negative impacts on your productivity simply due to how much it can take to manage it appropriately. With so many messages that are crucial for you to keep track of coming through email, let’s go over a fancy trick to help you manage your messages in Gmail.

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## Going Over the Basics of Collaboration Solutions

With businesses depending on technology more now than ever, it stands to reason that the collaboration solutions that are available would improve as demand increases. Today’s business needs a collaboration solution that allows them to communicate, manage tasks, and be a reliable solution for teams separated by more than just a wall. Let’s take a look at the modern collaboration tool and how they provide powerful benefits for the modern business.

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## Why a Document Management System Can Be Advantageous

“Paperwork” has long been associated closely with life in the office, but like so many other “classic” workplace elements, it has been replaced by more modern means. In this case, a Document Management System (or DMS) offers a small-to-medium-sized business far more utility than its predecessor, the filing cabinet.

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## Tip of the Week: Politely Protect Your Data with Android Guest Mode

For many people, their mobile device contains a mixture of sensitive information and personal details. In some cases, some of the data isn’t even theirs—instead, it belongs to their workplace. Naturally, this makes many people less inclined to share the use of their device, but most people also want to avoid being rude.

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Today’s business is always searching for a leg up, and this often means doing what it can to improve their operational efficiency. Companies can approach this in several ways. They can try to cut out redundancies, they can invest in training, or for many businesses, it means leveraging innovative new technological tools that are designed specifically for this purpose.

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## Building a Reliable Remote Workforce with Managed IT Services

Remote work has been a popular topic for a few years, but over the past year, with so many people forced into working from home, a lot has been written about it. Today, we wanted to briefly talk about some of the technology that is suggested for the remote business, and what we can do to help you support remote workers.

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For all the communication services and tools available to businesses nowadays, the telephone remains a staple in everyday processes—despite it often being difficult to manage and expensive to maintain. This is largely because today’s technology enables businesses to use a telephone system that exceeds the capabilities once provided by telephony, for a far more manageable investment.

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## Look How Much the Internet has Changed

When the Internet was established, it was a marvel. Now people could move information across the world in a matter of seconds. This is why the term “world wide web” was coined. Nowadays, there are literally billions of users on the Internet and the rules have had to be changed. This has some online services in conflict with government regulations and has an impact on how users are able to use the Internet. Let’s look at a couple of examples.

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## How Software as a Service Fits Into Your Business’ Technology Plans

Traditionally, if a business needed a solution to a problem, they would research which technology is the best for the problem they had and go out and buy it. If a company didn’t have the money to buy that solution, they would borrow to buy it so that their business wouldn’t stagnate and fail. In today’s tech-driven business environment there is a much better option than mortgaging your business just to save it.

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## How SMBs Use Social Media

Social media companies are some of the most powerful entities in today’s world. Their ability to connect people with others of like mind or specific wants and needs often goes overlooked because much of the experience of operating online in today’s climate is adversarial. With the average user spending roughly two hours and 24 minutes per day on social media and messaging apps, companies can use that exposure to promote themselves. Let’s take a look at how small and medium-sized businesses use social media to their advantage.

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## Flip and Fold: Innovative New Smartphones

Last week, we explored the flagship smartphone market. This week we thought we would explore some innovative new devices. There have been some advances in some of the technology used by smartphone manufacturers to create cool new features. Today, we take a look at some of these devices.

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## Tip of the Week: Keep Google Keep Working For You

There are a lot of Android apps that are good for productivity, but Google Keep offers a particularly significant advantage. Today we’ll take a brief look at Google Keep and tell you about some features that will help you use it proficiently.

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There is no denying that gifts are a major part of the typical festivities around this time of year, so it only seems that having some ideas as to what you’d like to receive to share with others is a helpful contribution. As our way of helping, we’ve decided to share a few tech-based suggestions that would find a welcome home in any home office or remote workspace.

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## Smartphone Flagships to Consider Going into 2021

The modern smartphone user is dedicated, spending an average of three hours and 15 minutes per day using them. On average, people check their phones 58 times a day. With this amount of traction, it’s not a surprise that people want to get the best devices they can. Today, we will take a look at what makes a flagship phone, and give you a couple of popular options that are available for the power user right now.

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## Why is VoIP Seen as Such a Great Business Solution?

Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, is a common business communication solution nowadays… but it is still possible that you aren’t aware of what VoIP is and the many benefits it can deliver to your operations. To remedy this, let’s briefly review the concepts behind VoIP, and how your business can embrace them to its advantage.

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## The User Experience Using Windows Apps on Chrome OS

After a long period, punctuated by no shortness of user demand, Chromebooks can now finally support Windows applications. Well, in a manner of speaking. Let’s examine the process that now allows a user access to the applications once denied to ChromeOS users, to consider if it is worth using after all.

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## Examining Some Unusual Cybercrime Patterns in 2020

As compared to the past few years, there have been considerably fewer successful data breaches in 2020. While this may sound like exclusively good news, there are a few reasons why this information should be taken with a grain of salt.

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## How Listening to Your Team Can Improve Your Use of Technology

Business leadership is an important trait for more than just a business’ leader by title. It is something that should be present at every level, encouraged by the individual at the top. To do so, it helps to ask your team the right questions to put them in a mindset of responsibility for the business’ well-being. Here, we’ve shared some of these questions to get you started.

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For a couple years leading up to 2020, the Internet of Things was all the rage, but for obvious reasons, IoT hasn’t been at the top of many IT administrator’s minds unless it was in an effort to secure file access for the endpoints of a newly remote workforce. Despite the questions surrounding revenue and budgets, IoT can bring a lot of value to the small business. Let’s take a look at today’s IoT and talk about a few options that you can use for yours.

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## Clearing the Ethical Hurdles of Employee Monitoring

Employee monitoring—the practice of keeping an eye on your employees and their computer activity during work hours—isn’t exactly a new practice. However, with remote work suddenly seeing a huge boost in popularity, many businesses have sought to confirm that their workers are spending their work time as productively as possible. If you do choose to go this route, however, it is important to be aware of the lines that you cannot cross.

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## How to Establish Fast, Secure Wi-Fi for Guests to Your Healthcare Organization

Patients and hospital visitors have come to expect Wi-Fi internet access. It’s no longer seen as an extra convenience, but a requirement for the comfort and confidence of your patients. That said, it’s your responsibility to provide reliable Wi-Fi access that is reasonably fast, secure, and easy to sign into.

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## Collaborate Better with Microsoft SharePoint

As businesses continue to adapt to the ever-evolving workforce, many are now supporting a variety of environments. Ranging from hybrid, remote, and in-office, the one constant is the need for your team and clients to communicate with each other. Learn how Microsoft SharePoint can help.

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## Should You Use Wired or Wireless Connections?

It hasn’t been too long since connectivity required an actual physical connection between the connecting endpoints, making a wired connection the de facto option for businesses. However, now that wireless connectivity is so widely available, businesses now have a choice… but which is the better option? Let’s compare some of the pros of each to make the answer a little clearer.

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Mobility has to be one of the most talked about technology trends in business, and for good reason. Consumers use mobile. They use it for shopping, banking, checking the weather, for driving directions; and today, they use it for productivity. Let’s take a look at the rise in mobility and how small businesses can use it to their benefit.

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## Drones Use Up in Several Industries

Drones are a technology that comes with some controversy, but also some real utility. Known best as an unmanned deterrent measure used by governments, today drones are used for a multitude of different tasks. Today we’ll discuss how drone technology has expanded over the past several years.

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## Today’s VoIP Platform is Completely Customizable

A business has to have a telephone system. It is the simplest and most utilized method of communication. Many businesses, however, have to consider many variables before choosing theirs and it adds up to a lot of confusion. They need to take into account the cost, yes, but also the feature set, and the phone system’s ability to support much-needed mobility. Today, we will tell you about an option that checks all the boxes: a hosted VoIP system.

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## Tip of the Week: Keeping Track of Changes Made in Excel

With today’s software solutions, the fact that collaboration is possible has helped many business processes move more efficiently. Despite this, there is also the potential for these solutions to contribute to confusion within your business. Take, for instance, changes people make in Microsoft Excel. Fortunately, Excel offers a means for you to track changes made.

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## CAPTCHA and Its Many Challenges

We’re all familiar to some degree with the security measure known as CAPTCHA. You know the one—you usually see it when filling out forms or logging into sites online, where you have to prove that you’re a human being by identifying which of a variety of images fit a certain description. You may have noticed that these tests have gotten far more difficult over time. This is because, predictably, computers are getting better at beating them.

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## Become an Email Champion by Spending Less Time Dealing with Email

Email is important, but it seems to steal so much of your valuable time, doesn’t it?

Conquering your never-ending inbox can seem like a feat all in itself—let alone having it done before lunchtime. There’s an easier way, and when done properly, you’ll be able to spend less time sifting through your email and more time on the more important stuff.

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## Tip of the Week: What Google Lens Can Do

Not many Android users are aware of the Google Lens application, and the supplemented utility that it can bring to your device’s camera. Let’s fix that by going over what Google Lens is, and how you can use it to your advantage.

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## Why Business Technology Won’t Change Back

There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused some major operational shifts in how most businesses conduct themselves and their processes, with many of these shifts relying on technology solutions. While there’s still no telling for certain how much longer these conditions will persist, we predict that many businesses won’t abandon these solutions once the present danger has passed. Let’s discuss why we have this expectation.

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## What You Need to Know to Stay Ahead of Hackers in 2020

Let’s face it, it is nearly impossible for the modern business to stay ahead of every cyberthreat. It is just too much to proactively ward against. Today’s best practices will try to keep your network from being breached and your data from being stolen, but they may just allow you to understand how your network was breached and how your data was stolen. Unfortunately, cybersecurity is not foolproof, but let’s look at a few strategies you can use to improve your chances of holding onto your data and keeping unwanted actors out of your network.

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## Tip of the Week: Minding Your Manners in the Office Again

In the office, there are certain courtesies that most people follow, simply to make sure that the environment remains a peaceful and effective place to work. Working at home (as many have) makes many of these courtesies redundant. As many return to the office, resuming these manners will be important. Let’s go over some of the biggest shifts that your employees should remember as they head back to the office.

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As the pandemic enters its third quarter, many places have the spread of the COVID-19 virus under control and are starting to open up offices and other workplaces. Ultimately, it is the business owners’ and managers’ decision whether or not to demand attendance in an office, as most jobs completed in one can be effectively completed from home. For businesses that are opening their office and inviting their employees back, technology is still going to play a significant role. Let’s take a look at what IT is going to be important for people returning to the office after all this time.

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## Partition Your Network to Prioritize Network Resources

Wi-Fi can be found in many homes and businesses alike, as it is perhaps the simplest means of connecting your various computers and mobile devices to the Internet without installing networking cables or risking going over any data caps you may deal with. Of course, some devices may take priority in such a setup, so it could be very useful for you to partition your Wi-Fi.

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## Tip of the Week: Simple Solutions to a Few Android Problems

While the Android platform is a highly capable mobile platform, there are a few oddities baked in that can create some annoyances for the user. To help you out, we’ve assembled a few tips to help you prevent these annoyances from impacting your use of your mobile device.

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## Are Developers Going to Eliminate the Password?

A lot is made about data breaches and hackers, but I think you’d be surprised to find out that over 80 percent of cyberattacks are the result of stolen authentication credentials. This has led many security-minded IT administrators to try and find a better way than the old username & password strategy that we’ve all been using for as long as there have been user accounts. One organization that is actively making waves trying to replace the username/password combo is Microsoft. They are at the forefront of the move to passwordless authentication.

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## Gmail Templates Can Speed Up Your Communications

Email is one of the most popular business communication tools, with Google’s Gmail service being a popular choice with a market share of around 33.7 percent. It therefore makes sense that a lot of time is spent using Gmail, time that you might like spent on other initiatives. To help reduce the amount of time spent in Gmail on routine correspondence, we’re sharing how you can use Gmail templates to get the job done.

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