Thursday, October 28

Email Security

by Colin MacDonald

I have noticed the past few months a lot of clients getting viruses on their machines.There hasn’t been the usual scare of “OH NO! Look out, there’s a worm virus attack happening!!” and everyone freaks out, it’s just a normal day in the virus world. As it affects me and the amount of work that I do, I wanted to find out how they were getting these viruses and then come up with a few easy ways to prevent them. I decided to look at their emails, all these steps I have implemented at at least 1 company, with most of them scattered throughout other clients.

1. Problems

Attachments – Of course everyone should be wary of opening attachments in emails. If it’s a video or pictures, it may be infected with malware or a virus.

Forwards – The funny jokes and touching stories that people share online. You can tell that you’re getting these by the “fwd fwd fwd fwd…..” in the subject line. I personally don’t read forwards. It’s that easy of a choice to make. For the 30 seconds that I may chuckle or feel good about reading what the story was, it’s not worth the 3 hours worth of work that I must do to clean my computer of infections

Fake Emails – Is your brother the kind of guy that would write you an email that says “Hello. Check this out!”? Or would your brother be more like mine and say “Hey punk. I saw this video and thought of you and that time when that basketball hit you in the face (note: that totally never happened in our childhood, I was a way better ball player than he was) and I laughed until I couldn’t breathe. Which one of those links would you click on? Figure out what is real and what isn’t. Spammers will try and trick you into opening their emails by sounding legit. Subject lines will say things “Good seeing you the other day” “Want to do lunch tomorrow?” “Check out this website that I found!”. Some will go as far as to enter in your name to try and personalize it even more, thus getting you to click on it.

With all the social networking sites out there, you are bound to be one of the millions using them informing the world of your thoughts in up the minute broadcasts. These sites have a system where notification emails can be sent to you. Spammers will try and mimick these also. Facebook will send you a notification using the email address Spammers will use the address The trick is to know which of these are real and which aren’t.

2. Solutions

Outlook Reading Pane – Outlook has a function where it will automatically open your individual emails when highlighted. This can pose a risk in the sense that highlighting an infected email will automatically open it thus infecting the computer. My advice is to turn it off. That way if you need to read an email, you must double click on it.

Setup an alternate email address – Don’t ever sign up for anything using your business email. There are plenty of free email sites out there to use. Some of the more popular ones:, and my personal favourite Tell your friends to send forwards (if you’re one of those who absolutely needs to read them) to it. That way if your email account starts to spam, it won’t be from your company email (your system administrator will thank you for that).
When signing up for other things (such as Facebook, fantasy football, software trials) use this email address, if you’re added to a spam list, you don’t see all of the messages about getting Viagra that are gonna come to you, because you’ll get enough of those already from that sales guy you upset that one time who uses your email address to sign up for every credit card and magazine offer he gets.

Notification emails – In regards to the Facebook notifications, it’s simple enough. If you get an email from Facebook saying how Aunt Peggy just commented on a photo of you (hopefully not the photo of the last party you went to…) delete the notification email, open a new browser window and log into your Facebook account through it’s main page. Sure, that email has a link in it, but what if you were too late to see that it was from a fake email address?

Now these aren’t going to prevent any user from ever getting a virus or malware on their machine. However, these are just a few of the little things that I have seen from my years in the IT business. In the end it boils down to common sense about what you do online and what you open in your email

Monday, October 18

5 biggest items to keep in mind when building a budget for the next 1 to 5 years?

1: Review.
Review Your past IT budgets and compare what you planed verses what you spent. This will help you get a good idea of what to expect, and where you can plan better for the years to come. If you are in the first year of business and do not have any data to review, you’re not out of luck but you might need some help with this step. Not to plug QeH2 but you can talk to us about this and we can help you know what to expect.

2: Know the Company Plan.
Know what growth plan the company has projected over the next 1 to 5 years. Are they looking at adding 5, or 10 new employees a month or are they planning on keeping head count the same. Are they planning on moving to more of a remote work from home model or move jobs overseas? All of this can have effect on your planning. Estimate how much each person on your staff will cost to give them the needed computer and set up of applications. This also might include having multiple positions costing models. Production workers normally do not cost as much as an executive position will.

3: You are here--->
Know where you are and where you want to be. If you have 25 computers that are all 7 years old and they are running windows 2000 and you want to be running Windows 7 with office 2010 then find out what it will take to get there and make that a part of your plan. Make an inventory of each computer and the software licensing you have and make a plan for when it needs to be upgraded. Look at your servers and ask yourself the question. Will this server work for my company in 12 months? Most computers have a life span is 3 to 5 years. Servers are any ware from 4 to 7 years depending on who you talk to. Most important is can you get parts? If you cannot get parts or it is no longer covered under a warrantee then maybe you should consider the risks and what you are running on that server.

4: Did that Expire?
Know your expiration dates. This is simple make an excel document that has some basic information on it. Track What, When, Cost, and what is affected. This is more than just your simple antivirus and support contracts. This is a warning list of any and all items that will need to be renewed over the next 1 to 5 years. Then I like to set up outlook appointments to remind me when I need to get a quote or fill out the purchase request for that item. This is a simple way to make you look like the hero.

5: RFP’s are your friend.
Scope out any new projects over the next 12 months, and list out all the details of your projects. This will help you understand what cost they might have on your budget. It will also help you understand how long those projects will take. Remember you are not only budgeting your money but also your IT resources, and time. You only have so many hours in a day. Will you need to bring in any assistance to meet your goals? Is this something that someone else can do for less or complete faster than your recourses can? Building all of your RFP’s will help even if you are going to keep this as an internal project.

Wednesday, October 13

QEH2 Celebrates 4th Anniversary With Castle Rock Chamber Ribbon Cutting Event

by Alex Repola

Over the past year, QeH2 has focused some of their attention on reconnecting with the Castle Rock community. After almost four years of business and expanding into many of the small-to-medium business markets along the Front Range, QeH2 invited the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce to their downtown office to celebrate their fourth anniversary with a ribbon cutting event.

“QeH2 is very proud of their Castle Rock roots and we believe this event further solidifies our appreciation and dedication to this community,” said Eric Pratt, Director of Sales and Marketing. Pratt, who has been with QeH2 since early 2009, understands that building long-lasting relationships through associations like the chamber and the Castle Rock Economic Development Council, is essential in building trust.

The name, QeH2, is an acronym made up after the four owners of the company; Quentin Jaksch, Darrin Eisele, and brothers Ian and Jim Holt. With a century of technology and business experience among the four of them, producing results and growing the organization by leveraging technology in every aspect of business, is proving to be a very successful way of building a business.

QeH2 was created based on some revolutionary principles; the first being ‘Say-Do’ which literally translates into, if they say they are going to do something, they do it. QeH2 prides on always delivering solutions on time and to specifications. Another distinguishing principle is that they DO NOT make clients sign contracts. Their services provide clients with a limited risk engagement; this revolutionary one-week agreement empowers clients by providing flexibility to focus only on priorities. Additionally, QeH2 provides premium documentation on everything they work on with clients. Focusing on providing clients with detailed, clear documentation helps to promote trust and creates a map of where QeH2 can help organizations improve business processes through leveraging technology.

This past year, QeH2 was named one of Denver’s Fastest Growing Small Businesses by the Denver Business Journal. In the past two months, QeH2 has opened offices in both Colorado Springs and Highlands Ranch, giving them even more of local presence in Denver and Southern Colorado. 17 employees, 15-plus in-house skill sets, over 100 clients; QeH2 isn’t going anywhere. Their continuous devotion to building and leveraging relationships is an important part to how QeH2 does business.

For more information on services, the business process, or to follow the QeH2 blog, visit

Monday, October 11

10 Easy Steps to Share Your Outlook Calendar

A helpful tip by the QEH2 IT support staff.

Outlook 2007 and 2010 have made it very easy to share your calendar via E-mail. Embedding your schedule right into an email message allows you to show your availability to others in your organization and clients. Follow the steps below and eliminate the hassle of coordinating and arranging meetings over the phone or through multiple E-mails.

1. Create a new message and address it appropriately.
2. Click the insert tab.
3. Click Calendar in the Include group. The Send A Calendar Via E-Mail dialog offers a number of ways to customize just how much (or little) the recipients see in the embedded calendar.
4. From the Date Range control, choose a specific date, a predefined range, or specified specific dates. That way, you send only the days relevant to the event you're trying to schedule.
5. From the Detail section, you'll probably want to retain the default, Available Only. You can send more information, when warranted.
6. Depending on the situation, you might want to check the Show Time Within My Working Hours Only option. You might not want to share non-work related activities. Outlook's default working hours are 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Click the Set Working Hours link to customize your work hours if necessary.
7. Click the Show Advanced button for more customization (it toggles between Show and Hide).
8. Click OK when you're done and Outlook will embed your calendar, notify events and other information (as required by your settings).

9. Finish the message and click send.

Recipients can quickly discern times when you are both free and suggest a reasonable time for your meetings. This makes setting a meeting so easy, even a caveman can do it!

Friday, October 1

Still Throwing Money at Old Technology?

By Alex Repola

Businesses and IT support specialists are notorious for continuously shoving money into old and outdated technologies. I believe that the real problem is that the saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" has been passed down generation by generation.

What business owners everywhere aren't realizing is that putting a band aid on a machine that you rely on to assist in running your business is a horrible idea. We all know what happens after a few days, the band aid falls off and we are stuck searching for another band aid that sticks better or we say screw it, I'll work through the pain. This is no way to run a business, and eventually it will hurt your organization.

QeH2 has taken a century of IT support and business experience and built a model completely different than anything in the greater-Denver area. Designed from the business owners perspective, QeH2 has created a very different way of doing business. By leveraging and implementing best-of-breed technologies within every department, QeH2 has set the standard by taking a proactive approach to IT support in Colorado. Being on-site, working right along side the business owner and the employees, QeH2 is able to address issues and concerns before it effects business. Instead of putting out fires, we are preventing fires. This is where the majority of IT support companies fail to deliver. Stepping outside of basic maintenance and preventing technical issues from hindering day-to-day business transactions is how QeH2 does business.

Stop shoving money into old and outdated technologies. Let QeH2 come in, no obligation, to assess areas they can work with you to improve on your business processes and really, let you do what you do best. QeH2 has the proven track record within the IT support industry to truly grow your organization.

For more information, visit us at