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Tech Tip Tuesday – Backwards day and how to pick the right IT consultant for you…

Today is National Backwards Day. It has me thinking about how many companies pick their IT consultant completely backwards. Even more backwards why you keep your IT consultant. Let’s break it down a bit.

How you select your IT consultant, or any consultant for that matter.

1.       The internet
2.       Direct advertising
3.       Cold call – walk-in or on the phone
4.       Part of a trusted network or professional organization that you belong too
5.       Word of mouth/recommendation

Once you have found them then the process of interviewing, meeting with staff, trying to figure out if they are in fact a good fit for you and your organization. You look at their character, experience, problem solving skills, communication skills and even their interpersonal skills.  Let’s face it there is a lot riding on the decision. You trust someone or organization outside of your company to do what is right by you and by industry standards.

Now you have made your choice and you move forward with your shiny new consultant. They hit the ground running. They are responsive to your calls. They fix your problems, sometimes before they are even problems. They are just what you have been looking for…..or oops you made the wrong decision. They over promised and under delivered. They make mistakes every time they touch your computers, your data, your network. Back to square one. And so the cycle continues.

In a perfect world, the first choice is your best choice. The consultant does exactly what you expect and even goes the extra mile. They take your calls after hours, as they know that your work is as important in the evening and weekend as it is during “normal” business hours.  You grow with them […]

By |February 1st, 2017|Tech Tips|0 Comments|

Tech Tip Tuesday – Ex spouse day and international laughter day

Yes, it is true and likely, (for good reason) that Ex-spouse Day and International Laughter Day are the same day. Let’s think about how we can apply these days to technology……ok… might have had some thoughts (and so did I).

I am relating to these days as, “Ex-IT Company” and how that affects your business. We are regularly asked to come in and audit some other IT consultant’s work. We are asked to replace and take over for someone that is not doing a great job. We believe that regular yearly audits are a great thing. This can be done with your current IT consultant, a second consultant or an altogether new consultant. It is a fast and rapidly changing world of technology and staying on top of all aspects can be a bit much. There are several things to keep in mind when having these discussions:

 Every consultant does things a bit differently
Just because it is different does not mean I needs to be changed or upgraded
Asking for more information from your IT consultant or staff can be a great way to uncover a weakness in the system
Always, always, ALWAYS think about how changes to your IT hardware and/or software will affect the overall ability to be more productive.

We feel it is a good idea to have a conversation with the leadership group yearly about where the business is and where it intends to go in the next 1, 5 and even 10 years. In order to make the best decision regarding IT purchasing it is a great idea to involve your IT consultant in the conversation.

Ok, so now that you have the audit, what do we do? Audits are likely going to come back […]

By |April 20th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Tech Tip Tuesday – Back it up now baby

I woke up this morning and had no idea it was World Backup Day. In a world where there is a day for everything there is certainly a day for backups. In fact every day is a good day for backups.

Close your eyes and imagine for a moment that you start your day by seeing your office on fire. A host of fire fighters with hoses spraying water everywhere. On your desks, walls and even on your server. It is a total loss. If you are insured chances are you can rebuild….at least your physical space. Then the thought occurs….AHHHH…..WHAT ABOUT OUR DATA???

I cannot stress enough how important daily backups of your data become in a situation like the one above. Ok that is the worst case scenario a catastrophic loss – 100% gone. If you have a solid backup strategy in place then getting back to the business of your business will be easy. There are a lot of great options for backup.

We recommend at a minimum having a couple of hard drives that do not stay at your place of business and a cloud backup of the same data. Depending on the amount of data you have it can be as easy as a 2 USB hard drives and a cloud backup service. If you are on the higher end of backups and the amount of data you produce you may be looking at a near line storage device and a managed backup provider.

Some backup facts that Word backup day offers – :


30% of people have never backed up
113 phones are lost or stolen every minute
29% of disasters are caused by accident
1 in 10 computers are infected with viruses each month

Give […]

By |April 20th, 2015|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Tech Tip Tuesday

Today a new spam/phishing method caught my eye. This looks something like “Notice: Your background information was just ordered by someone #105930”. This is the latest attempt in getting your valuable information and logins. I have now seen a couple of these messages in my Junk Mail. This is a great start for those of you who use Microsoft Outlook as it is doing just as it should in moving the message to a suspected junk area. The message is simple yet provocative in that it speaks to your credit. Most are very sensitive about that and any mention of someone else trying to get your credit brings up an immediate fear….What if that really happened and now I am exposed. The message is then opened and the links are clicked. Without much more thought you enter your email and password so you can clear up the matter. This is a horrible idea. This series of actions will likely be the cause of future hacks and unwanted access to your valuable information.


What can we do to keep you safe? There are several tips to be mindful about in this situation.

If the message is in your inbox consider your activity on the web and whether or not you needed to be pulling credit information. If not this is likely a scam.
If the message is in your junk mail there is a better chance that the message is spam.
If the messages has logos of know places on the internet that is not an indication that it is valid. Most of the companies that send this type of information will not send it unless it is requested by you. They will likely send a series of messages […]

By |October 10th, 2014|Tech Tips|0 Comments|

Providing First Class Service

“I have had the pleasure of working with Mr. Hill for the past 15 years. Steve has always provided me with first class service. Steve has literally built every computer and server my company has ever owned. Steve is always responsive to my requests for service and his technical knowledge is second to none.”

“I highly recommend Hilltop Technology Consulting.”
John V. Propp

By |December 24th, 2013|Testimonials|0 Comments|

Willing to Work with Apple Computers

“Three years ago we converted our whole office to Macs and it was hard to find a network guy who was willing to work on this platform. Steve immediately jumped in, learned what he needed and got it done! He comes every other week to do maintenance but if we have a problem in the interim, he’s always available and accommodating. All this with a cheerful smile makes him a terrific tech person.”
Kristin Nelson
President, Nelson Literary Agency

By |December 24th, 2013|Testimonials|0 Comments|

Why exotic passwords are so important

12345, Ashley, password, and iloveyou may be easy passwords to remember, but to hackers they look more like “hack me”. In a world where hackers can crack most common codes in mere seconds, passwords like “suzy1959,” “admin123” are just not cutting it. The combination of poor passwords and automated attacks means that in just 110 attempts, a hacker will typically gain access to one new account or a mere 17 minutes to break into 1000 accounts.

We expect a certain level of security when working on our computers, whether we’re filling out private account information, making online purchases, or uploading files to a trusted site. But just because a site provides the login screen (the “lock”) doesn’t mean your key is doing its part to protect your information.

A study on password worst practices by Imperva ( revealed half of us use the same (or very similar) password to all websites that require logging in, and if allowed we will choose very weak passwords even for sites that hold our most private and important data.

As we continue to dedicate more of our lives to the digital world, it’s imperative that we safeguard personal information. Even seemingly silly or irrelevant accounts can reveal pertinent information like your email account, last name, nickname or location — all of which can be used to unlock other areas of your private data.

Choosing the right password can exponentially improve your security. And while trying to be meaningfully random is not always easy, there are a few guidelines that can help you create a password that is both fool-proof and easy to remember.

Do Not:

Use a default password, such as “password” or “admin”. Check out this NY Times article for examples of the […]

By |May 2nd, 2013|Security|0 Comments|