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Is Your Password Strong?

Ask yourself the following questions:

“Self. When was the last time you changed your passwords?” 

“Self. Are you using the same password for multiple accounts?”

“Self. Can my password be putting my business and personal life in jeopardy?”

Depending on your answers, it may be time to dive deeply into those passwords and make some alterations. 

Let’s get educated first. What does it mean to have a strong password? We mentioned brute force attacks in our last article, and if you have a strong password, you won’t fall victim to them.  

You’ve seen what a strong password looks like when saving new login information on your phone. It’s 12 characters or more, a mix of numbers, letters, and symbols, and not easily remembered or obvious. If you’ve been using Fido123456, it will not take a genius to figure that out. If you think you’re clever because you recently added an asterisk to it (Fido123456*), think again. 

That hacker you envision with a dark hoodie typing in passwords to crack the code still exists; however, in today’s world, complicated computer programs handle that. You’re putting yourself at risk if your best friend’s name from first grade is your hackproof password. 

Using personal information is never good, no matter how far back it goes. With social media, everything about your life is out there for everyone to see without you even realizing it. Do you know those fun quizzes on social media where they ask you your favorite color, street you grew up on, and your first best friend’s name? You’re sharing important security question answers with the enemy.

Like your phone, most password managers will generate a strong password for you to keep your company’s data safe. A good example is NordPass, which allows you to select the length of your new password, choose what symbols to include, and copy your password easily to put it in a very safe place. 

Some may even prevent you from setting a ‘weak password,’ that’s easy to guess. Yep, we’re referring to Fido again. If you ask your two-year-old to hit random keys are your keyboard, that’s a fitting example of a strong password. 

The good news is your password manager cannot decipher your data if they implement zero-knowledge encryption because they don’t know your master password. If your password manager gets breached, which, as mentioned in our last article, does happen, attackers won’t be able to find your master password or read any encrypted information stored in your vault. Only you hold the key. Don’t make copies of that key. 

Whatever you, your two-year-old, or even Fido choose for your master password, do not, we repeat, do not use it for anything else. That means your online banking, Netflix subscription, and social media passwords, which should also be individual strong passwords, can’t put your business at risk. 

Learn how Sandra Network can help protect your most crucial assets.

Why Your Company Needs Managed Services?

Where would we be today without technology? While the pandemic has kept us apart, cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT) and other types of tech have made it possible for us to stay connected with colleagues and customers, facilitated medical treatment from a distance and so much more. 

Information TECHNOLOGY drives innovation and innovation is the path to business success. Innovation in business has the same impact that steam had on the industrial revolution. Subsequently, it’s no surprise that many organizations plan to invest more in IT this year despite the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. According to a press release by Gartner,

IT spending worldwide in 2021 is expected to reach $3.9 trillion. This is a 6.2% increase compared to 2020.

This increase is likely due to the continuing need to accommodate remote workers, enable virtual learning and the advancement of additional digital transformation initiatives. In a recent technology survey of 1000 companies in North America & Europe, 

44% of businesses planned to increase their IT spending budget in 2020. In North America, the most common factors for this increase as reported by respondents was their need to upgrade outdated infrastructure (71%) and increased security concerns (50%) – Spiceworks 

Many small and medium size businesses operate on a strict budget and do not have the luxury or resources necessary to meet all these operational IT demands. Servers and the staff to maintain them is expensive. A managed service provider maintains and manages all needs of your IT infrastructure for only a fraction of the cost of servicing and maintaining it. If you do choose an in-house IT employee they may not have the resources necessary and the outcome is often a compromise to the quality of support or a disaster resulting in downtime, security issues, limited support, and reduced productivity. Outsourcing these activities to a reputable Managed Service Provider (MSP) helps business owners avoid these and other IT related issues, some they may never even have considered. 

With IT spending among small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) predicted to enjoy a significant increase, the role of managed service providers (MSPs) is becoming increasingly important as these businesses seek to adopt managed services. The answer to the question Why your business needs Managed Service Provider?, can come in the form of an explanation of work that is done by a MSP.

A managed service provider is simply your network administrator, security consultant and disaster recovery expert, all rolled into one. They are there to manage your IT infrastructure and user interface within your systems.  Your savings can then be used on better revenue producing activities. Your business also benefits as you can now focus on your core competencies and business goals while your MSP manages your IT infrastructure. 

Managed Service Provider - Services

Services offered by Managed Service Provider 

Most MSPs offer a wide variety of IT services in multiple configurations. They work with your company to plan, implement and manage various IT functionalities such as User and Workstation Management, Web Servers, Email, Server Monitoring and more.  

If you choose to work with Sandra Network, we will review every corner of your company’s current IT infrastructure. Once reviewed, we will put together a working plan of action to ensure you are always up to date, secure, and supported. Our goal is to make sure your technology infrastructure is running smoothly and efficiently in order to support your business goals. Our proposal will include the specific IT components we recommend and the steps necessary to set them up. Once our proposal is accepted, we will on-board your company, implement the steps and begin managing your IT services giving you the full support of an IT Helpdesk without the costs of a full-time IT department. 

Ready to transform your business? Let’s get started.

What to do when a File is Potentially Corrupted

Sometimes while sitting at your computer, drinking your tea and minding your own business, a file SUDDENLY goes rogue.

  • It runs amok
  • It will not open
  • It throws an error
  • There is a hitch in the giddyup
  • It takes the sunshine in your day and blocks it with a dark cloud

There are things that may be done before crying, throwing that tea cup against the wall or well… running around the room with your arms flailing over your head in a fit of panic.

Inform you to restart your system

Because you were preemptive, and you already have worked with setting up backup with Sandra Network and have Mozy in your pocket, all you need to do is give us a call, or email us at [email protected]

Or, in the case you have not yet set up a backup plan with us, we may be able to repair this file for you, if you are not comfortable doing so yourself. Generally, it is best to have someone with this experience help you out so more damage is not done. Again, you can give us a call at 978-535-0202 #3 or email and we will be glad to help you out.

If you are feeling adventurous, there is an option you may take.

Boot in “Troubleshooting tools by rebooting and continuously hitting you <F8> key until you are given the option.

Select Troubleshoot Option

Select Troubleshoot

select Advanced Options

Here you will want to select Advanced Options and Startup Repair

Now… if this does not repair, and you have not set up a restore point in the past… THIS is when you will want to call Sandra Network! We have ALL sorts of tricks up our sleeves for you!!!

What is Coming This Holiday? A Computer Maybe?

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With the Holidays Coming… is a Computer in Your Future?

This is a charged question, leading to MANY other computer questions.

  • How much memory do you need?
  • What is it going to be used for?
  • Do you also need a monitor?
  • Do you need a printer?
  • Do you want to bring it with you?
  • Do you think you just want a tablet?

The list goes on and on. The main things that may be answered by “someone in the know” is how much memory is going to be needed and what applications are you planning on using in its daily use? There are lots of deals out there and lots of brands and LOTS of misinformation out there.


Sometimes going to that “big box” store is not the best option, and can be antiseptic, leaving you with a frustrated or misinformed state at the end of a large purchase.

One way to prevent this is to sit down with highlighter, notebook, cell phone, millennial and as much online research as you can find, prior to your purchase.

The OTHER and far more efficient way is to give us a call at Sandra Network for hardware services where we determine what the best tool is for your needs, without the techno-geek-speak. Not only will you not be wasting money, but you will have the tools you need at a reasonable price. Click here to discover an exciting deal from Sandra Network.

Make those holidays happy!

Give us a call at Sandra Network 978-535-0202 #3 or email us at [email protected]



To be USB 2.0 or USB 3.0… That is the Question

What may be one of the most frustrating things when connecting new “Plug-n-Play” equipment with USB cables, is the difficulties faced upon connecting them… and they neither Plug… nor play (Insert primal scream here). Frustration tends to mount while moving a file from one drive to another and it is doing so, seemingly at a snail’s pace.

We at Sandra Network would like to help with this BEFORE you are forwarded from phone extension to phone extension, continent to continent, waiting on hold for the answer that may be right there in the clear blue! (You will see what I did there… in a moment, and laugh… just wait)

One common issue is the age of the equipment, be it a keyboard/mouse/ flash drive, external drive or printer, they all may cause the same frustrations. It is all about speed, and the simple way to tell (if you no longer have the box with the description, or the “Read me” file) is the color of the connector or the icon next to the connector on the computer.

USB 3.0 is the third major version of the Universal Serial Bus (USB) standard for connecting computers and electronic devices. USB 3.0 is usually distinguishable from USB 2.0 by blue color-coding of the ports and plugs, and by the initials “SS”.

USB 2.0 and 3.0 Ports

USB 2.0

USB 3.0

480 Mbps (Megabits per second) 4.8 Gbps (Giga bits per second)
Can either send or receive data, i.e. copy or paste Can simultaneously send and receive data, i.e. copy and paste


  • If you want seamless speed as an option in transferring data,
  • If something you plugged in as a new device is not properly connecting or is giving USB errors
  • If there is the option of USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 on the computer.
  • check to see what color the port is, that choice can make all of the difference in speed or connectivity

If you are still unsure PLEASE give Sandra Network a call at 978-535-0202 or email [email protected] and we will help you out!

Yet another form of Ransom-ware!

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Your screen just went to this:
What do you do?

It could be a Ransomware – Just look at that color!!!

Ohh NOOOOO!!!!
Do you call the phone number?
Do you click on the page and find as many links as you can?


This is the doorway for ransomware that will only bring you sadness and destruction.
There are a couple of tell-tale signs that will only bring you sadness and destruction. There are a couple of tell-tale signs:

The URL. In most cases, it is something that should throw red flags. In THIS case, it is…
Windows Security Essentials does not send a phone number to their help desk and that hints towards a potential ransomware attack. Many times, ransomware attacks can also come through email viruses too.
You may not even have Windows Defender turned on, but it will never blank out your screen with an error, it might send a “notification”.

What should you do?

  1. You will want to start the Task Manager. There are two ways to get to it:
    <Ctrl><Alt><Del> at the same time
  2. Right click on your taskbar
  3. Select the browser you are in (Chrome, IE, Firefox)
  4. Select “End Task”. (this will close out the application
  5. Download an Anti-Malware app for example:
  6. Call Sandra Network: 978-535-0202 #3 or email: [email protected]

Sandra Definition


LogMeIn is the Right Thing Baby! Call Us.

Think about the Summer and LogMeIn

Though Sandra Bullock in The Net could do it without a thought, very few (if any) could work remotely from a beach in 1995, let alone use VI shell to program on a Macintosh Laptop. Sorry, I was speaking geek… I digress… Now add LogMeIn into the plot.

The Net - LogMeIn

Scene: The Net (1995)

It is 2017 and you have the option to work anywhere you want to You can WAH (Work At Home) or WAB (Work At Beach) or just about anything. How do you do this you ask?

  1. Call Sandra Network at 978-535-0202 #3 or [email protected]
  2. Ask about setting up LogMeIn for your business, or personal use
  3. Log into the new account
  4. Roll over in the sun and enjoy that margarita on the beach, while working on your computer in the stuffy old office.

There are many options, and you can get in touch with us to discuss some of them and break the leash of the office and get out and enjoy the sun while being productive.

Do you wanna cry? Call Sandra Network!

There is a new form of Ransomware out there, once again, Called WannaCry.


WannaCry Man

It encrypts the files on your machine, THEN demands an average of $300 in bitcoin. If payment is not received within three days, the demand doubles. Should, no action be taken after seven days, the affected files will be deleted.

What if I do not want to run my Windows updates, because some software will no longer run properly?

What can you do to prevent the WannaCry ransomware? There are steps that may be taken, should you not want to update Windows presently. The entry of the virus to your device, which is dependent on a gap in the Windows system and the gap is present in all types of Windows is that the feature is open. If you did not update your windows, turn off SMP . following are the steps.

  • Control Panel\Programs\Programs and Features.
    • Select the Turn Windows features on or off option on the left
      Control Panel WannaCry




  • Remove check box SMB1.0/CIF File Sharing Support
    • File Sharing Support WannaCry






  • You must restart your computer to complete this change.
    • Once this is completed,  you are safe from this specific ransomware.

Keeping updates in order is usually the best option to prevent the introduction of WannaCry ransomware, but it is always good to STILL follow these guidelines:

  • If you receive a message from your friend with a link, ask him before opening the link to confirm, (infected machines send random messages with links).
  • Keep your files backed up regularly and periodically.
  • Be aware of fraudulent e-mail messages that use names similar to popular services such as ‘PayePal’ instead of ‘PayPal’ or use popular service names without commas or excessive characters.
  • Use anti virus and Always make have the last update.

If you still run into any issues, or it is too late, please contact our Support at Sandra Network

Verizon email Moving to AOL – Be Prepared!

Outlook Email SetupSo, you have probably heard through that pesky grapevine… Verizon is no longer going to be supporting or hosting email, the company will be having it hosted by AOL within the next couple of weeks. When logging into the there will be an “Email service notice“. Click on “Keep email address” or “Use any other email provider” to complete the setup. There will be no action to take until you receive an email service notice from them. Through all of the shuffling, it may  have been missed, AOL is a Verizon company. Verizon is looking to put their focus on their FIOS and phone markets.

Does this mean my Email is going away?

No, once you have received this notice.. you will probably say… AOL? WHAT??!! Do I need to find one of those diskettes they sent me through the mail in 1990… so what do I do next?
There are a few options, hold on..

  • Follow the directions and forward your email to AOL and continue from there. In this scenario, you will keep your email, while navigating the AOL Mail website.
  • Do nothing and let that email account fade to digital dust
  • Set up an Office 365 account and have all of your emails forward through one account, making it MUCH easier for you! (We can actually do this for you at Sandra Network!)

Not sure WHAT to do? 

There are still a lot of options; these are but a few. If you are still unsure what your next steps should be you should give us a call at 978-535-0202 or email us at [email protected] and we will walk you through or set you up with the correct options just for you!