The Connection, Inc Blog

The Connection, Inc has been serving the New Jersey area since 1992, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Managed IT Services for Your Remote Workforce

Managed IT Services for Your Remote Workforce

Whether your business is just starting to open up, or your staff is diligently working remotely, the effects of COVID-19 are going to be long lasting for most businesses. For those of us who were lucky enough to get our employees situated and productive without putting them at risk, we’ve started to see the value in having the infrastructure to allow for remote access.

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Working at the Office Has Its Benefits, Too

Working at the Office Has Its Benefits, Too

It’s incredible how working from home has become the new normal. Just a short time ago most business owners wouldn’t have batted an eye at shutting down the dreams of remote work, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they were forced to adjust the way they looked at the situation. Employees in several industries have been working from home ever since. Now that most places have begun to re-open, we thought we would remind you that there are actually some benefits to coming to the office. 

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Avoid Burning Out While Working From Home

Avoid Burning Out While Working From Home

A lot has been made about the newly-remote workforce that has been doing their best during the COVID-19 pandemic. One issue that many ignore is burnout. Sure, it happens in the office too, but there is something unsettling about getting up and going to work walking distance from your bed. Today, we will take a look at at-home worker burnout and give you a few tips to help you keep from suffering the same fate. 

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Vendor Management Saves You Time and Money

Vendor Management Saves You Time and Money

The small businesses that rely on technology typically logs a lot of phone time with technology vendors. Decision makers that may not know more than the average person about IT can be left making important technology decisions when they think they are just making financial decisions. Today, we’re going to explain how they are different and what your next step is. 

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Google is Introducing Verified Business SMS to Android

Google is Introducing Verified Business SMS to Android

How often do you find a message in your SMS inbox that has clearly come from a business, but you almost have to wonder, simply because the incoming number seems to be randomized? Google has taken notice of this challenge, and so has rolled out a means for businesses to confirm that they are in fact the ones sending a particular message. 


If you are currently using text messaging via the Android platform’s Messages application as a way to communicate, taking advantage of Verified SMS is something that you shouldn’t pass up.

How Does Verified SMS Actually Work?

Take yourself out of the role of a business owner for a moment. Instead, consider the following from the perspective of someone talking to a business as a prospect or customer.

Let’s say that you are inquiring with a business about their services, or a deal you saw advertised, and you are exercising your capability to communicate through text. At least, you hope that you’re talking to the business… each time you have a new conversation, the number it comes from changes. Weird, right?

When a business uses Verified SMS, each bit of content that they send out is verified per message to have actually come from them. Once the message is verified, the user will receive it, tagged with the business’ name, logo, and confirmed with a verification badge.

According to Google, a message’s content is never revealed to them, and all of these communications are secure.

How to Turn on Verified SMS

If you have an Android device, you can turn on Verified SMS to increase your own confidence in your own communications. Doing so is simple:

  • Open the stock Android Messages app
  • In the three-dot menu, access your Settings
  • Access Verified SMS
  • Switch on Verify business message sender 

Communication is a key part of any successful business. Find out how The Connection, Inc can help you optimize yours! Give us a call at (732) 291-5938 today.

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Holy Moly It’s 2020: 50 Years of Technology

Holy Moly It’s 2020: 50 Years of Technology

Today is the first day of the third decade of the 21st century. For some, it’s just another year, but for others it seems almost impossible that we’ve reached this point without floating cars and manned missions to Jupiter. Fifty years ago, some of the technology that is used in the course of doing business was simply fiction or conjecture. We thought it would be neat to take a look at some of the technological changes made since 1970.


Using our time machine, we want to travel through time to identify some technologies that have been invented in the past 50 years. The microchip (microprocessor) was invented in 1959, so that doesn’t quite fit the criteria of our list. Multi-location networking was also a thing as the ARPANET had just rolled out the year before. These technologies were the predecessors for some of the best tech we’ve seen developed over the past 50 years.

We start in the 1970s... 

1970s

Like most of society, the technology world was changing rapidly in the early 1970s. In quick succession, computing went from something that businesses and individuals only thought of in passing to a revolution that could change the world. New technologies that we would laugh at today were just reaching the market. Here is a brief list of some of the technologies that debuted in the 1970s:

  • Automated Teller Machine (ATM) - Introduced automated banking.
  • Intel 1103 memory chip - It was the first memory chip produced by Intel that introduced their dynamic random-access memory (DRAM). 
  • Intel 4004 microprocessor - Intel also released the very first microprocessor.
  • Email - The first emails were introduced and sent over the ARPANET.
  • Xerox Laser Printer - The Xerox 9700, the first laser printer was developed.
  • SuperPaint - The first computer used for digital imaging manipulation was introduced.
  • Mobile Networking - ARPA developed the first wireless network out of a van in San Francisco and tested out early versions of VoIP. 
  • The First Cell Phone - Motorola introduced the cell phone in 1973.
  • Groundwork for the Internet - European researchers created “networks of networks” in a process called internetworking.
  • Local Area Networks (LAN) - Using ethernet, Xerox created the first commercial LAN. IBM and Datapoint also introduced solutions.
  • First Mass Storage - IBM introduces their 3850 mass storage system. It stored up to 236 GB of data. 
  • Business Networks Expand - Packet-switched business networks like CompuServe, Telenet, and Tymnet are introduced, connecting business terminals to servers. 
  • PC Wars - Apple’s first commercial personal computer, the Apple II was released in 1977 as were the Commodore PET, and the Tandy/Radio Shack PC called the TRS-80. 
  • LaserDisc - The forerunner to the CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray disk, the LaserDisk was expensive, but offered superior audio and visual quality than the tape-based systems of the time. 
  • WordStar - One of the most popular word processors of the early PC age. 
  • Introduction of Online Services - Services such as MicroNet (also known as CompuServe Information Service) and The Source started what could be described as a precursor to the Internet. These services provided early versions of what you would find with AOL and Prodigy in the early 90s. 
  • Business PCs - VisiCalc, a software that automated the recalculation of spreadsheets effectively turned the growing PC market into a business PC market overnight. 
  • The First Malware - In 1979 the first Internet worm was created as a way to search for idle processors on the ARPANET. 

1980s

After the immense amount of technological invention in the 1970s, innovation was the name of the game going forward. In the 1980s, many of the systems that were lauded as revolutionary got a new look, and many of the technologies expanded, especially for businesses. Here are some of the computing technologies that were introduced--or improved upon--in the 1980s:

  • 3½-inch Floppy Disk Drive - There was a 5½-inch disk drive, there was a 3-inch, 3¼-inch, and the 3.9-inch floppy drive, but Sony developed the 3½-inch drive that Hewlett-Packard started putting in their PCs. It quickly grew to become the standard. 
  • Hard Disk Drive for Microcomputers - Seagate Technology’s ST506 was the first hard disk drive created for microcomputers. The drive held 5 MB of data, five times your average floppy disk. 
  • Business Workstations - Both Apollo and Sun Microsystems created hardware that would run resource-intensive graphics programs used for engineering and scientific research. 
  • MS-DOS - Microsoft Disk Operating System, or MS-DOS, was released for IBM computers. 
  • Lotus 1-2-3 - The first software suite that offered a word processor, spreadsheet program, and a database. It helped businesses get the tools they needed in one single software suite. 
  • Apple Lisa - The first personal computer that came with a functioning graphical user interface (GUI).
  • Bernoulli Box - The Bernoulli Box was the first hard drive that was removable. Disks ranged from 5MB to 230MB.
  • CD-ROM - The CD was already catching on in the mid-1980s when the CD-ROM, a construct that could store 550MB of data caught on and was the standard for years to come.  
  • Apple Macintosh - Apple’s Macintosh was the first mainstream mouse-driven computer, that came equipped with several applications that set the standard for personal computing of the time including MacWrite (first to use WYSIWYG) and MacPaint, which was the first mouse-based drawing program. 
  • Flash Memory - Flash memory, which can be quickly erased and written over several times was invented in a Toshiba lab.
  • PC Limited - Michael Dell dropped out of school to focus on a business where he built IBM-compatible computers from stock components. It soon became one of the most successful computer retailers in the world. 
  • The Internet - U.S. Internet protocols are improved by the formation of NSFNET, the last step in what would become the Internet. 
  • GSM Standard - Setting a standard for mobile networks, and introducing text messaging, the mobile revolution started in the late 1980s in Europe. 
  • Computer Fraud and Abuse Act - The result from Robert T. Morris sent a nondestructive worm through the new Internet causing major damage. He was tried and convicted and had to serve community service for hacking the Internet.
  • Macintosh Portable - It may not have sold well or been a success by any measure, but it did start computer manufacturers in their quest to build portable computers; something most users today completely appreciate. 

1990s

The 1990s saw a complete shift in the way that people used technology. Businesses, schools, and home users increased their use of computing technology and the growth of the Internet, which brought with it extreme prosperity followed by a crash that threatened the economies of some of the most technologically-savvy countries in the world. Here is a look at some of the technologies introduced in the 1990s.

  • High Performance Computing and Communication Act - The U.S. Congress created the National Information Infrastructure that spent nearly a billion dollars on various networking initiatives that were aimed at improving commercial and individual access to the Internet. 
  • NSF Lifts Internet Restrictions - Soon after the National Science Foundation (NSF), the entity that oversaw the modern Internet, removed its restrictions, giving businesses and individuals access to Internet-based materials. At this time the Internet service provider (ISP) is introduced as well.
  • JPEG - The JPEG compression standard for images was introduced. 
  • Solid State Drive - The first commercially available solid-state drive was introduced by SunDisk (today SanDisk).
  • Personal Data Assistant - Before there was Siri and the Google Assistant, there were devices that aimed to help people keep organized. Apple’s Newton and Palm’s Pilot are two examples of mobile computing platforms aimed to help users.
  • Intel Releases Pentium - Pentium was the fifth generation of the “x86” line of microprocessors. The new processors made programs run faster as multi-instructional computing became more necessary. 
  • Microsoft Windows NT - It was the first 32-bit version of Windows, making it a powerful option for IBM and IBM-compatible machines. 
  • Mosaic - The first true Internet browser, it had provided users a new level of access to Internet resources. 
  • The First Online Ads - As people started to join the “world wide web” en masse, online ads were a rare occurrence. As you know, today, the Internet is one large billboard.
  • CompactFlash - SanDisk introduced flash disks which were then incorporated into many consumer and professional electronic devices. 
  • Zip Disk - Understanding the need for more data storage, Iomega introduced the Zip Disk that provided users the ability to get 100MB of storage on a disk not much bigger than the standard 3.5-inch disks that had become standard. Over time Zip drives could store up to 2GB before the technology became antiquated.
  • Browser wars - Half of Mosaic's team broke off and started Netscape, while Microsoft used the source code of the Mosaic browser to create their Internet Explorer browser. The two browsers went head-to-head. Netscape thrived for a short time, but since IE was shipped with every Windows OS, it was hard for them to compete. Today, Microsoft has scrapped IE and features the Edge browser, while Netscape failed and became the basis for Mozilla’s Firefox browser that is still popular today. 
  • The ThinkPad 701C - Manufacturers had been trying to make a laptop computer for several years, but the ThinkPad 701 gave users a full desktop experience in a portable machine. 
  • Java - Sun Microsystems introduced Java, which let a program run on any system, opening up development for modern PCs from just the major players in computing. The language JavaScript was developed at the same time, but stands independently despite sharing the same handle. 
  • Online Services - AOL, Prodigy, and CompuServe had been the major players for much of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, giving users a “walled garden” experience of the web, but with the development of Microsoft Network (MSN) it opened up the web much more to the end user.
  • Windows 95 - The first modern OS that focused on an Internet-connected experience. It also introduced the concept of plug and play, a great innovation for allowing peripherals to connect without having to initiate setup from a driver disk. 
  • CD-RW - An optical disk used for data storage and could be written and written over several hundred times; a feature not many people actually took advantage of.
  • Visual Studio - Programming new software became big business and essential to the sustainability of new web-based platforms. Visual Studio 97 helped push this along. 
  • Digital Millennium Copyright Act - A law passed by the U.S. congress that began to crack down on the sharing of copyrighted intellectual property over the Internet.
  • Wi-Fi - The establishment of Wi-Fi expanded the ability for computers to access networks and the Internet without wires.

2000s

As the millennium approached there were fears that the software developed wouldn’t work when the calendar changed. Millions of dollars were spent ensuring the world wouldn’t stop. After Y2K (as it was called), the 2000s would produce some of the most amazing technology the world had ever seen; and, would change the way people look at the world, forever. Let’s take a look at the list:

  • The Camera Phone - Japanese manufacturer SoftBank introduced the first cellular phone with a built-in camera. 
  • USB Flash Drive - The USB flash drive, jump drive, or memory stick was just a way for people to take data on the go, but it has turned out to be the basis of many other technologies as well. 
  • BitTorrent - A peer-to-peer file sharing service that allows users to upload and download files, typically media. It has seen controversy as lawyers of the music and movie industry have claimed that BitTorrent facilitates the theft of their clients’ intellectual property. 
  • iTunes - iTunes introduced the sale of new music through a digital medium. Unlike the peer-to-peer sharing, iTunes was set up as a store for music. 
  • Myspace - Myspace might not have been the first or the largest social network, but it was the most important in the early 2000s. Facebook soon entered the market and is now one of the world’s most important and divisive companies. 
  • Google - Google’s IPO was a seminal moment for the Internet as we know it. Already a popular search engine, Google cracked the code for how to monetize search results online. Today, it is one of the largest, and most lucrative companies in all of tech.
  • AWS Cloud Services - The retail giant Amazon launched its Amazon Web Services providing companies the computing hardware they need in the cloud. Services like Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure followed. 
  • Netflix - A streaming movie service that has changed the way people look at media. 
  • Apple iPhone - In what was one of the most important technology inventions in decades, Apple released the iPhone, which may have not been the first smartphone, but it sure seems like it was.
  • Bitcoin - The first cryptocurrency was the result of a blockchain created by a person (or people) that goes/go by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Releasing the source code as open-source software has resulted in thousands of other cryptocurrencies, as well as many innovations using the blockchain ledger technology.
  • BDR - Before backup and disaster recovery, there was mostly tape. When the cloud-based network-attached storage solutions came to be, businesses had a better solution to protect their data. 

2010s

The more that technology was innovated upon, the less was going into developing new technology. After the launch of the iPhone, there was a definite trend in the way that people began to look at their tech. If it wasn’t mobile or simple to use, it had no function. Let’s take a look at how those ideas came to pass in the 2010s:

  • IBM’s Watson - The world was introduced to Watson when the AI defeated some of the very best humans at Jeopardy! Unfortunately, that is the end of lots of people’s exposure to Watson. Watson has subsequently been used in several fields to improve efficiency, education, cooperation and more. 
  • Apple iPad - Just as they did with the iPhone, a few years later Apple introduced the iPad. The tablet computer that was completely touchscreen and used the same App store found on the iPhone was the beginning of one of the largest consumer electronics booms since the advent of the TV. 
  • Adobe Creative Cloud - Just as Amazon Web Services and Azure provide virtual hardware services, Software as a Service (SaaS) started to expand rapidly at the beginning of the last decade. One title (of the many) was Adobe Creative Cloud, which gives users access to all the creative Adobe software through a monthly subscription service. 
  • Arab Spring Protests - For the first time in human history, social media became the center of a series of organized protests that resulted in regime change, election transparency, and more. 
  • Spotify - A music streaming service competes directly with other streaming services like Google Play Music, iTunes, and more. This Netflix-style model is proving to be a huge selling point for users.
  • The Internet of Things - Smart devices started popping up quickly and with exponential growth now find themselves almost everywhere. 
  • Virtual Assistants - Using AI, the development of Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s Google Assistant have started integrating technology into moment-to-moment situations.
  • Ransomware - A devastating strain of malware that locks down a user’s files and demands a ransom payment. It has affected millions of users, thousands of businesses, and some municipalities.
  • Net Neutrality and Its Repeal - Trying to find an equitable arrangement on who controls the Internet has been nothing but contentious over the past decade. As it stands today the ISPs hold the power, but for much of the past decade the FCC did. Stay tuned.

Technology has come a long way in the past 50 years, and it will be interesting to see where it goes in the next 50. Is there anything we missed? If so, share it with us in the comments section below. Happy New Year! 

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Conferencing Solutions for the Modern Business

Conferencing Solutions for the Modern Business

Modern businesses have a lot more room for flexibility than in the past, particularly in regard to meetings. With the inception of conferencing solutions, organizations have access to more dynamic tools to make the most of their meetings. Determining the best one for you, though, is not easy. We’ll help you make that choice in the simplest terms possible.

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If You’re Struggling Due to Cash Flow, You Aren’t Alone

If You’re Struggling Due to Cash Flow, You Aren’t Alone

Between you and me, how is your business doing financially? If you answered with something along the lines of “not great,” you are certainly not alone. Cash flow is an issue for businesses all around the world, as a recent report from Intuit makes all too clear.

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Onboarding Remote Workers to Build a Better Business

Onboarding Remote Workers to Build a Better Business

The funny thing about entrepreneurs is that they have to be very detail-oriented in order to find any modicum of success. This often leads them to inevitably becoming controlling people overall. For years the technology has been present to utilize remote workers, but only recently has the practice become commonplace. This is largely because businesses have begun to seriously consider reducing costs as a strategy to gain profits.

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Human Error is a Major Problem for Businesses

Human Error is a Major Problem for Businesses

There is always going to be user error in the workplace. Even the best workers make mistakes sometimes. You naturally want to reduce these occurrences as often as possible, but for the purposes of training and whatnot, you want to assume the worst: that any worker, even the most dedicated veteran, could potentially make a business-ending mistake. Thankfully, there are ways you can make sure this doesn’t happen for your business.

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Understanding the Basics of Server Maintenance

Understanding the Basics of Server Maintenance

Server units--you’ll find them in most offices out there, but they are all used for different purposes. Since well-maintained data is so essential to the success of many organizations, it’s important to keep your server units in proper working order. Today we’ll discuss the best ways to make sure your servers are in peak performance.


What Causes Server Room Problems?
Even some of the little problems facing server rooms can create considerable trouble for your business. Of course, we are talking about an excess amount of dust and other small contaminants. It’s difficult to control and tricky to clean, as it can be blown all over the place (including into server components). When lots of dust accumulates, it can act as an insulator, increasing the overall temperature of server units by about 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Just like the human body, an increase of temperature like this can be catastrophic.

Other contaminants include particles generated by humans, like skin particles and dander. Wear and tear from the devices themselves can also become a culprit in this regard, as belt debris and metal shavings can accumulate over time. By far the worst culprit is the soles of the feet. It’s estimated that around 80 percent of this damaging debris enters a server room in this fashion.

Mitigating Issues Through Maintenance and Prevention
Imagine how much damage could be done to your business if your server were to fail. All of the data you were supposed to protect is suddenly lost in a puff of smoke, despite your careful efforts to ensure it stays secure from both internal and external threats. Therefore, it’s extremely important your business keeps maintenance and prevention as a priority. This can be accomplished by adhering to strict cleanliness standards and keeping contaminants to a minimum.

Keep Things Clean
If you can keep your server room free of dust and grime, it’s much easier to keep it in proper working order. You should always leave comprehensive cleaning jobs to professionals, but you can take action now to minimize the chance of this dust influencing your server’s operations. For example, if your server room has people frequently coming and going, you can vacuum it to keep the floors clear of any contaminants. If cleaning your server components has you concerned, you can use an antistatic cloth to keep them clean, as well as cans of compressed air to blow dust out of the way of particularly important components.

Minimizing Contamination
You can also take certain measures to ensure the dust and grime that accumulates in your server room doesn’t become a problem. You can try installing air filters, as well as using an entryway room with special mats to keep grime and dirt from getting in. Other measures like hats and booties can be used to minimize the amount of human contamination that makes it into your server room. In fact… that’s the best way to keep your server room clean--just not going in at all.

To learn more about how The Connection, Inc can help your business take care of this important technology, reach out to us at (732) 291-5938.

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Tip of the Week: 4 Ways Technology Can Benefit Businesses

Tip of the Week: 4 Ways Technology Can Benefit Businesses

The way that business is conducted today, the right technology is more of a necessity than a privilege. There are plenty of benefits that it can bring that an organization requires in order to stay competitive. For our tip, we’ll walk through a few ways that your business can be improved through the adoption of certain solutions.

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How to Intelligently Approach Business Analytics

How to Intelligently Approach Business Analytics

A solid business decision needs to be based on more than just a gut feeling. It takes quantifiable data to choose the right path for your company, leveraged in a process known as business analytics. Today, we’ll explore this process, as well as discuss a few ways you can use it to your advantage.

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Getting Our Bearings: The State of Business Technology in 2018

Getting Our Bearings: The State of Business Technology in 2018

At every turn, it seems as though there’s another best practice or upcoming trend to learn and implement in the realm of business technology. Are you doing all you can to keep your company up to date, relevant, and competitive? Below, we review some of 2018’s biggest IT revolutions so far.

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How to Boost Your Business’ Success in 3 Easy Steps

How to Boost Your Business’ Success in 3 Easy Steps

Running a business is never easy. There are so many moving parts to juggle and decisions to prioritize, it can be easy to skip over key steps on the path to success. While good business savvy is obviously a key requirement for this success to happen, there are certain things that can be done to give your business an extra push in the right direction. Today, we’ll go over three such seeds of success.

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Why Businesses and Government Approach Technology Very Differently

Why Businesses and Government Approach Technology Very Differently

When security and efficiency are some of the biggest benefits to updated information technology, it sounds that IT is something that a governing body should prioritize internally. However, many governments have trouble doing so, oftentimes to their own detriment. Why is that, and what can a business learn from this phenomenon?

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How Technology Allows Fake News to Spread

How Technology Allows Fake News to Spread

In today’s political, social, and economic environment, information is more valuable than ever. However, this increased importance, paired with the speed that data can be dispersed via the Internet, has enabled many to use false information to manipulate the general public into agreeing with their views and acting upon them.


Fake News and You
Many researchers believe that cyber propaganda campaigns rely on three factors in order to succeed in their mission: the tools and services used, social networking, and the motivation behind the campaign in question. Without any of these elements, spreading fake news becomes almost impossible.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of resources out there that can be used to spread a fake news campaign.

For instance, the Dark Web can provide those attempting to spread their propaganda with the tools they need to do so, safe behind a veil of anonymity. Social media offers platforms that encourage sharing, allowing what could be an exponential spread of a story with little hands-on effort from those responsible. Finally, while the majority of fake news that has been heard of as of late has been politically motivated, it can just as easily be used to manipulate businesses. In addition to its use as a political tool, fake news and information warfare can be used to promote a company and increase or decrease its stock--both financially and where public opinion is concerned.

China’s Fake News Marketplace
One example of the effects that fake news can have on businesses is demonstrated in the Chinese marketplace. One content distribution service, Xiezuobang, charges a user based on where the article is to be published. Services like this are easy to abuse for one’s own purposes.

Furthermore, aided by systems that enable public opinions to be measured and modified, posts can be automatically posted to 3000 websites at a rate of 100 posts per minute.

In addition to these tactics, many Chinese social networks are filled with posts shared by influential users who have been paid to promote that particular content. Based on that user’s popularity, the price of their content sharing services goes up.

A Global Problem
Of course, these practices are present in more areas than just China. Researchers have been able to collect and compare disinformation campaigns from the US, Russia, and Middle Eastern countries, and have resultantly been able to identify trends in what tools are used and how these campaigns are shaped to each region.

No matter where you are located, you need to keep an eye out for misinformation and cyber propaganda online. Whether it's politically motivated, or intended to manipulate business and the market, fake news is divisive and only benefits those that spread it.

What’s your opinion of fake news? Do you feel that it’s a real problem, or is it being overblown? Sound off in the comments!

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Your Business Can Take Advantage of Black Friday Deals, Too

Your Business Can Take Advantage of Black Friday Deals, Too

Black Friday: it’s the name given to the unofficial first day of the holiday shopping season, and is associated with the generally unparalleled deals on consumer products. Many consumers use this day’s incredible deals to justify spending their day buying (and often fighting over) a limited amount of goods. However, have you ever considered that Black Friday can also be a good day to both advance your B2B operations and take advantage of some deals yourself?


Boosting Your Service’s Perceived Value
If there’s a single concept at the heart of Black Friday, it’s maximizing the value that one gets out of a transaction. The less one can spend on a product, the better the deal. You can take advantage of a similar concept in your business as well, albeit a slightly modified one.

After all, an unfortunate side effect of discounts and price cuts is that these methods can sometimes make the brand itself seem cheaper and of lower quality. Naturally, this should be avoided. You don’t want to alienate potential clients when you’re trying to draw them in.

Instead, Black Friday is a good day for B2B businesses to embrace bundled deals and free add-on services. This way, you’re offering your bargain-hunting prospects increased value without potentially damaging your brand’s reputation, even unconsciously.

Black Friday for Your Business’ Benefit
Of course, why should your clients and prospects have all the fun on Black Friday--or, for that matter, Cyber Monday? Your business can easily also enjoy the benefits of this infamous day of deals.

For example, many suppliers and dealers will offer some invaluable deals on hardware and especially software solutions, as the profit margins on software allow for the deals on them to be much more generous to the purchaser. It may be invaluable to ask your vendors what kind of deals they plan to offer in a public forum, like social media. This way, they can see some benefit if they answer by piquing the interest of their other followers.

It may also be of benefit to have a ‘wishlist,’ of sorts, for you and your vendors to reference as you seek the best deals on particular items.

However, it is also important to consider that many Black Friday deals have caps, where you can only buy x-amount of a particular piece of equipment. This means that bulk purchasing a particular laptop to standardize your office may be out of the question--but if there’s a big-ticket item that your office only needs one or two of, or you need to restock some of the basics that your office uses regularly, Black Friday might be your best bet.

Of course, the term ‘Black Friday’ has grown to cover what is more or less a week-long period of sales and deals. This means that you have an increased opportunity to nurture your audience and send them through their sales process. The urgency that Black Friday lends to it may help encourage their decision-making at a faster-than-normal pace, allowing you to encourage more sales and services in less time.

Whether you’re on the selling or purchasing end of a transaction, The Connection, Inc is here to help. For assistance, give us a call at (732) 291-5938.

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Solid Vendor Management Leads To Solid Successes

Solid Vendor Management Leads To Solid Successes

In order to function properly, any business will need to procure certain pieces of equipment. Some of this equipment will be specialized to the business’ purpose, while some will be the sort that may be more commonly found in offices everywhere. This equipment must be procured from somewhere, and this is where vendors come in--but who in your organization is responsible for your vendor management?

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You Know Who’s Looking Forward to Tax Season? Identity Thieves

You Know Who’s Looking Forward to Tax Season? Identity Thieves

One of the most high-profile hacking attacks in the United States struck last year when the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was breached. 464,000 Social Security numbers were swiped; enough to file 101,000 tax returns using false personal identification numbers. Every organization can learn how to better protect themselves during tax return season, especially since you have so much on the line every year.


In response to the aforementioned threat, the IRS has made several improvements that allow the organization to (hopefully) better protect taxpayers as they perform their financial obligations. Specifically, these improvements are effective “before, during, and after a tax return is filed.” On the IRS’s official website, “This is highlighted by the number of new people reporting stolen identities on federal tax returns falling by more than 50 percent, with nearly 275,000 fewer victims compared to a year ago.”

One of the best tools that the IRS has used to cut down on these concerning identity theft numbers is an annual security summit. In part, the following results have been attributed to the summit:

  • Fraudulent returns are being stopped more frequently before processing: The IRS accounted for almost 50 percent fewer fraudulent returns, which amounts to about 787,000 identity theft returns from January 2016 to September 2016. These returns would have totaled well over $4 billion.
  • A significant decrease in fraudulent refunds: 106 new institutions became bank partners since 2015, and this played a role in cutting fraudulent refunds. The number of refunds that seemed questionable and were stopped by banks increased by more than 50 percent, and these suspect refunds were brought back to the IRS for further examination.
  • A sharp decrease in identity theft affidavits: Throughout the first nine months of 2016, the number of identity theft affidavits was cut in half.
  • New data on tax returns: With more data required to properly fill out a tax return, the IRS has managed to keep over 74,000 suspicious returns from processing, which in turn kept $372 million out of the pockets of identity thieves.
  • Shared information stopped false returns: The sharing of data was instrumental in preventing 57,000 fraudulent tax returns, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the cooperation of various industry and state partners.

While these improvements are quite a start, any business owner who is also a taxpayer will want to know that the IRS still needs to improve the way that they handle sensitive data. This is only one reason why you need to take the matters of your own identity security into your own hands. For your review, the IRS has created a list of steps that should be taken in order to protect your organization and all of those that your business engages with from identity theft. You can find a list of these steps on the IRS’s website.

To learn more about how you can keep better track of sensitive information, reach out to The Connection, Inc at (732) 291-5938.

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The Connection, Inc
51 Village CT
Hazlet, New Jersey 07730