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Windows 10 Tip: How to recover your pin and password from the lock screen

used with permission from Microsoft, by Elana Pidgeon

Did you know with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, you can now easily reset your pin or password, right from your device’s lock screen?

Here’s how to get started:

On your PC’s lock screen, click I forgot my password and sign in with your MSA account. From there, you’ll be asked to prove you’re not a robot by typing the code shown on the screen – once that’s done, click next.

Select a recovery email address or phone from the drop-down menu where you want the code to recover your password to be sent. Fill out the hidden part of the email address or phone number and click Send code.

Log into the account you chose for recovery from a phone or another device, fill in the code you were sent on the screen, enter a new password – and you’re done! You can […]

By | 2018-04-17T21:36:09+00:00 April 17th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Windows 10 Tip: How to recover your pin and password from the lock screen

Update on Spectre and Meltdown security updates for Windows devices

used with permission from Windows Blogs, by John Cable

Microsoft continues to work diligently with our industry partners to address the Spectre and Meltdown hardware-based vulnerabilities. Our top priority is clear: Help protect the safety and security of our customers’ devices and data. Today, I’d like to provide an update on some of that work, including Windows security update availability for additional devices, our role in helping distribute available Intel firmware (microcode), and progress driving anti-virus compatibility.

Additional steps being taken to address Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities

Windows devices need both software and firmware updates to help protect them against these new vulnerabilities. Recently we added software coverage for x86 editions of Windows 10, and we continue to work to provide updates for other supported versions of Windows. You can find more information and a table of updated Windows editions in our Windows customer guidance article. We will update this documentation when new mitigations become […]

By | 2018-04-17T21:36:00+00:00 April 17th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Update on Spectre and Meltdown security updates for Windows devices

Spire Turns 25 years old

Spire reaches another milestone –  our 25th anniversary! 

SpireTech turned 25 years old on Feb 25th, 2018.  In the technology business, that’s a few lifetimes.  While our services continue to evolve with new technologies many of our clients have been with us since day one!  We want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of our valued clients — we appreciate your business!

Our birthday is a good time to reflect on why we founded SpireTech, and how we chose our name.  For a trip down memory lane read on.

Why SpireTech was founded

Spire’s founders, who worked in the IT department of a large Civil Engineering firm, noticed that there were no IT firms in PDX supporting the specialized needs of Architects and Engineers who required both networking and CAD expertise.

A lot of our work focused on end-user productivity – if you save all your employees 10 minutes a day, it can […]

By | 2018-03-08T22:24:22+00:00 March 8th, 2018|Newsletter, Spiretech|Comments Off on Spire Turns 25 years old

Hiring a web host? FTC has security tips for small businesses

used with permission from FTC.gov, by Lesley Fair

Engage, connect, protect was the theme of a series of Small Business Security Roundtables the FTC sponsored last summer. We listened to businesses talk about the challenges they face in securing sensitive information and fending off cyber threats. We also heard that they want concrete advice from the FTC. For example, how can a small company – especially one that may not have the in-house expertise to host its own website – get down to business while also addressing these concerns?

In search of a solution, many businesses turn to web hosting firms to set up their website and email systems. In a just-published Staff Perspective, Do Web Hosts Protect Their Small Business Customers with Secure Hosting and Anti-Phishing Technologies?, the FTC’s Office of Technology Research & Investigation (OTech) looked at 11 web hosts that market their services to small businesses. (The Staff Perspective […]

By | 2018-03-08T00:11:17+00:00 March 6th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Hiring a web host? FTC has security tips for small businesses

Are passwords passé?

used with permission from HP Tech@Work

Is my password still enough, or do I need more?

Without question, security is critical these days. Whether it’s device, online, or mobile security, the need for protection is obvious, and the risk can’t be ignored. For years, that protection has centered on a login…and a password. But has that changed?

Oh, that password. We’ve been reminded us for years not to write it down. Not to keep it anywhere that someone could find it. Which has made more than a few people prone to forgetting it. Show of hands, anyone?

Then there’s the issue of using a unique password for every account. Considering we have an ever-increasing number of password-protected accounts, for everything from banking to gaming – and the apps that go with them – this can be exhausting.

Add to that the known problems with public networks, and the risks you and your mobile workers face daily when […]

By | 2018-03-08T22:23:01+00:00 March 6th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Are passwords passé?

How Retargeting and Remarketing Helps Your Advertising

used with permission from SBA.gov., by Anita Campbell

When it comes to online advertising, there’s a powerful technique called “retargeting.” On Google Adwords the approach has another name. Google calls it “remarketing,” but no matter what you call this method, it can be a game changer.

Retargeting enables you to show your ad to someone who has visited your site or seen your product online, even after they have left your site.  You can also use this technique to turn an abandoned shopping cart into a sale. That’s because retargeting allows shoppers to see the product several times again in ads across the Web.

There are other marketing objectives you may want to consider, too. You can set retargeted ads to appear to users who visited your site, encouraging them to come back and register or sign up for your newsletter.

You are not limited to Google AdWords if you want to do retargeting. You can also do […]

By | 2018-02-02T22:56:46+00:00 February 2nd, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on How Retargeting and Remarketing Helps Your Advertising

8 in 18

used with permission from HP Tech@Work

8 business trends for 2018 – and beyond

As the calendar rolls over into 2018, we’re looking into the crystal ball at business trends that will shape the upcoming year – and years to come.

Community engagement over social media interaction

Despite the proliferation of smartphones and connected devices, companies are recognizing that social media and virtual connections cannot replace the value of live, in-person interaction with their customers, or the communities they’ve created.

Smart companies will recognize that social media and technology can enhance the value, and effectiveness, of face-to-face interactions, making them even more meaningful.

Generation Z making waves in the talent pool

Generation Z – those born after 1998 – reaching an age where they’re entering the workforce, and their influence on business is starting to be felt. Estimated at nearly 70 million strong, the upper reaches of this group are into college or joining the workforce, and will soon […]

By | 2018-02-02T22:56:36+00:00 February 2nd, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on 8 in 18

Boost Cybersecurity with Managed Services

Did you know your organization could be subject to data breach notification laws and possible fines for data breaches and losing sensitive client data? The exact laws and regulations do vary by state and industry, among other factors. But the fact remains that poor cybersecurity can lead to grave consequences, either financial or for your reputation.

Common sense advice is that any organization should establish and maintain a plan for managing cybersecurity risks. This security plans should be informed by applicable laws and regulations.

Are you concerned about the state of your security and your ability to protect your organization’s sensitive information? Managed IT services can help. Managed IT services are the constant remote monitoring of your IT network and technology services, such as:

  • Automatic software updates and security patches for your computers and servers
  • Up-to-date anti-virus, anti-malware, and anti-spam solutions for your devices and email
  • Secure, tested offsite backup and […]
By | 2018-02-02T23:02:20+00:00 February 2nd, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Boost Cybersecurity with Managed Services

Back Where We Belong

In July of 2017 2140 SW Jefferson Street, home of SpireTech, suffered damage from a dumpster fire. While the majority of the building was unharmed, insurance completely remodeled the building to remove the smoke odor. During the renovations,  SpireTech relocated our “people space” to 2130 SW Jefferson St. while while our home of 20+ years was being remodeled.

We are happy to announce that we will be moving back across the parking lot to the 2140 building!  The moving process will be underway Friday, Feb 9th, and Saturday, Feb 10th.  Aside from our physical address all contact information will stay the same.  Helpdesk and phone coverage will continue during business hours while the move is taking place.

We expect to be ready to welcome visitors to our renovated space by Monday February 12th. If you are in the area feel free to stop by and check out our ‘new’ offices!

By | 2018-02-02T22:17:28+00:00 February 2nd, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on Back Where We Belong

New Vulnerabilities Disclosed– ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’

What are they and can they affect you?

These are two computer security vulnerabilities that were publicly disclosed on January 3, 2018.  Due to technical issues involved with modern processors, each of these vulnerabilities pose a potential risk for theft of sensitive user and system data that had previously been believed to be secure.  Both vulnerabilities take advantage of a feature of modern Intel CPU’s called Speculative Execution, this allows the processor to speed up branching operations by starting to execute what it thinks is the most likely outcome before the results have returned. In modern Intel processors this technique is beneficial as it significantly increases execution speed in most workloads. However, Meltdown specifically allows an attacker to exploit Speculative Execution and see the contents of Kernel space memory.  Spectre allows programs to execute code they should not be able to, and view data within other user-space programs. Any system that allows arbitrary code to be executed is potentially vulnerable to these […]

By | 2018-01-11T17:50:10+00:00 January 10th, 2018|Newsletter|Comments Off on New Vulnerabilities Disclosed– ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’