Onward Technologies Blog

These Innovative Technologies are Helping eBay Move Beyond Passwords

These Innovative Technologies are Helping eBay Move Beyond Passwords

Technology continues to grow more advanced, and with it comes major pain points that need to be resolved. Today’s modern businesses will need to adapt by implementing new solutions for both themselves and their customers or clients. In this fashion, eBay has begun to implement an assortment of new features to assist with the customer experience.

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Tip of the Week: 4 Tools that Provide Your Employees With Greater Flexibility

Tip of the Week: 4 Tools that Provide Your Employees With Greater Flexibility

Flexibility is an important part of the modern work environment, especially as technology has made it much easier to work anytime, anywhere. Employees understand that this flexibility exists in many industries, and they want to reap the benefits of a flexible work environment. However, it’s not that easy; there are quite a few pitfalls that can easily take a stab at your business’s productivity.


On the plus side, flexible work hours allow your team to flourish as people, rather than employees. Your employees no-doubt have families and personal interests of their own that they would like to devote time to. However, the biggest argument for workplace flexibility comes in the form of mobile technology becoming practically omnipresent in today’s environment. In the context of society, mobility is, more or less, a primary concern. Everyone carries a smartphone with them in order to stay up-to-date on email, and to receive important phone calls or to dial into a conference call.

Then there’s the problem of achieving a work-life balance. If an employee is constantly tethered to the office, even while at home, it can feel somewhat invasive to that employee’s domestic life, which can lead to dissatisfaction, and in some cases, disruption. Nobody likes to receive a phone call in the middle of the night, or at the dinner table, about something that can easily be handled the following morning.

Whether or not you want to implement a flexible workplace environment is ultimately up to you, but if you do choose to go all-in on this investment, you’ll need the proper technology solutions to ensure maximum communication and productivity.

  • Voice over Internet Protocol: A VoIP phone system uses your Internet connection to send your voice to the call’s recipient. It’s basically like a traditional phone system without the complex wiring. VoIP systems also come equipped with your standard phone line functions, like transferring, conference calling, etc, and some even have video conferencing technology.
  • Virtual Private Network: A VPN encrypts data that’s sent to and from your business’s infrastructure. They’re great for keeping sensitive data secure from hackers who would steal information while it’s in transit. The reason you’ll want this is because hackers may be lurking on public Wi-Fi connections, just waiting for someone like you to access the network.
  • Cloud Computing: Your business’s data and applications are available to those who are hooked up to your on-site network, but what about those who choose to work remotely? Cloud computing lets you host information and applications in an online environment, where anyone who has access to an Internet connection can utilize it. 
  • Mobile Device Management: If your team is using their own devices to access your company’s sensitive information, you need to make sure that they comply with your BYOD policy. A mobile device management solution can be used to limit access to data on a per user and per device basis, as well as allowing you to remotely wipe devices that are potentially compromised.

If your business is ready and willing to invest in a flexible, modern workforce and workplace, Onward Technologies can help. Our solutions are designed to give you maximum control over your data, while allowing your team to work anytime, anywhere. To learn more, give us a call at 312-795-9500.

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Hollywood is Captivated By Fictional Hackers, But Real Hackers aren’t Entertaining

Hollywood is Captivated By Fictional Hackers, But Real Hackers aren’t Entertaining

It’s not an understatement to suggest that hackers are a hindrance to business. They take what doesn’t belong to them, and worse than that, they use that stolen information to make off with money, misrepresent individual actions, and ultimately, just cause a degree of added entropy that any business simply doesn’t need. Recently, with the hacker group Anonymous consistently in the news and dozens of corporate hacks resulting in millions of people’s personal information being compromised, hackers have been an increased part of the public consciousness.

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Why it May Not Be Worth it to Replace Your Server

Why it May Not Be Worth it to Replace Your Server

When a business undergoes a hardware refresh, it often comes saddled with unexpected costs and downtime. This is sometimes caused by hardware failure, or from unplanned-for data migration. With the advent of virtualized servers, businesses now have a better way to recover from the woes of server refreshes. Rather than purchase new hardware, it’s more economically viable to go with a virtual server that’s hosted in the cloud.


Server virtualization is a great way to save costs and reduce operational expenses in the long run. Virtual servers can separate the computing resources of a server and allocate them within a cloud-like infrastructure. Server virtualization is great for businesses that have limited budgets and resources, since this is a responsibility that’s simple to outsource to a reliable third party service provider.

Here are three major reasons why you should go with virtual servers for your next IT refresh.

Virtual Environments
One of the biggest reasons to use virtual servers is that you can create multiple computing instances on the same virtual machine. For example, if you’re using a legacy application that’s only functional with a specific operating system, you can run a virtual machine dedicated to that application. This keeps you from investing unnecessary capital into an entirely separate server unit for the exclusive use of one application. Keep in mind that this also helps you limit the cost of operation and maintenance that would be needed for a dedicated server.

Save on Operating Costs
Another major benefit that virtual servers offer is the ability to host less hardware in-house. Servers use a lot of electricity and generate a lot of heat, making air conditioning a top priority for server longevity. High energy costs can put a damper on your budget, and server virtualization offers a remedy. You can consolidate your infrastructure onto one device with multiple virtual machines, rather than create a complex infrastructure of network components. This cuts down on your operational expenses.

Effectively Manage Resources
Virtual machines let service providers or IT administrators manage their workloads more-effectively. You can monitor and adjust workloads in a cloud-based interface in real time, allowing operations to progress unhindered. While it’s possible to have your own internal IT department handle this, it’s better to outsource these responsibilities to save internal time and resources for more important matters.

The next time you need a hardware refresh, be sure to keep your server infrastructure at the top of your mind. To learn more, reach out to us at 312-795-9500.

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Ancient Greek Computer in Serious Need of Firmware Update

Ancient Greek Computer in Serious Need of Firmware Update

When you picture an old computer, do you see a giant machine that takes up an entire room? These days, people might consider even something like a CRT monitor and a device running Windows XP to be ancient. Yet, the oldest “computer” in the world may actually be a bronze contraption found off the coast of Greece; the Antikythera mechanism, which was used to predict and track astronomical events, like the movement of the planets and occurrence of eclipses.

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Business Continuity: Prepare For the Worst and Hope For the Best

b2ap3_thumbnail_business_continuity_400.jpgThere are few things more important than the continuity of your business. Your livelihood, and that of your employees, depends on the continued functionality of your organization. Therefore, it becomes necessary to do all that you can to ensure your business is protected from an unexpected downfall, due to data loss, natural disasters, and other means.

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Why the Cloud is the Best Option For Your Data’s Backup Policy

b2ap3_thumbnail_cloud_backup_and_security_400.jpgThe cloud is a great tool that can help your business fully leverage its technology solutions, but one of the most common problems that people associate with the cloud is that they believe it’s not nearly as secure as a private in-house IT network. However, contrary to popular belief, the cloud is a very secure medium for your data storage and deployment, particularly for your data backup needs.

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Tip of the Week: Make Your Password Rhyme Every Time

b2ap3_thumbnail_security_for_your_passwords_400.jpgPassword security is quite the conundrum. We want our passwords to be easy to remember, but the problem is that passwords that are easy to remember are often simple and insecure. Therefore, it becomes a best practice to use complicated passwords with both upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols to compensate. The “passpoem” might resolve this issue in the most obvious way.

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Technology Has the Power to Bring the Office Together Like Never Before

b2ap3_thumbnail_workplace_collaboration_400.jpgThe technological landscape of the office has changed significantly over the years. Only a decade ago collaboration could only be accomplished through sitting down in a conference room and discussing issues face to face. Today, however, technology is changing the way that we as a society view collaboration, and thanks to various achievements in software development, it’s easier than ever to work together on team initiatives.

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Tip of the Week: Take Advantage of Your Mouse’s “Snap To” Feature

b2ap3_thumbnail_snap_to_mouse_400.jpgComputers are designed to save people significant time when it comes to getting work done, and with a few simple tweaks and adjustments, you can trim even more seconds off a project, which really adds up in terms of gaining productivity. Your PC’s Snap To mouse feature is a classic example of this.

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Pay a Hacker Ransom Money and Risk Getting Bamboozled Twice

b2ap3_thumbnail_distributed_denial_of_service_400.jpgRequesting a ransom from victims is an unfortunate trend gaining momentum in the hacking world. This is typically done using ransomware (where hackers encrypt data and request money for the key) and distributed denial of service attacks (where hackers threaten to overwhelm a system with traffic, thus knocking it offline). In both scenarios, hackers are looking for the victim to pay up, or else. Should they?

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Office Workers Still Prefer Using a Traditional Phone Over Mobile

b2ap3_thumbnail_voip_solutions_400.jpgTake a moment to look at your desk telephone and contemplate its usefulness. When was the last time you used it for day-to-day operations? Do you even use it anymore, or do you rely on more recent communications solutions like Voice over Internet Protocol, and the smartphone? Some might argue that the telephone is an antiquated technology for the modern office, but recent studies show that despite its disadvantages, it still has an edge in the office environment.

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Tip of the Week: Use This Chrome Extension to Avoid Online Movie Spoilers

b2ap3_thumbnail_spoiler_alert_400.jpgThe Internet is a great and wondrous thing, giving us information about pretty much anything we could ever hope for. However, this is a dangerous thing for those who want to go about their entertainment “spoiler-free.” In other words, you want to be pleasantly surprised when you watch your favorite movies or TV shows. Sometimes the Internet isn’t so kind toward that goal. Well, here’s a somewhat viable solution: the Spoiler Alert extension for Google Chrome.

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How Fishing Nets May Be the Greatest Security Threat to the Internet [Video]

b2ap3_thumbnail_internet_under_the_sea_400.jpgMany countries around the world have access to the Internet, but have you stopped to consider how this service is deployed and connected to countries on different continents? Well, this is only made possible by the countless miles of wire laid beneath the surface of the ocean, all around the world. In fact, it’s somewhat unnerving to think that international communications depend on the structural integrity of cables submerged at the bottom of the sea.

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Wearable Technology is Trending: Is This Good For the Workplace?

b2ap3_thumbnail_smartwatch_technology_400.jpgYou’ve probably seen the new fancy-schmancy watches that some people wear and wonder to yourself, “What’s so special about them?” Smartwatches like these are considered wearable technology and are typically meant to perform the various functions of a smartphone, minus the phone. Some devices are even used to monitor the body’s physical activity with health apps. They might seem useful now, but what’s the endgame for wearable technology?

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Tip of the Week: Every PC User Should Know NOT to Do These 3 Things

b2ap3_thumbnail_more_PC_mistakes_400.jpgKnowing how to properly use your PC is key to its longevity. Therefore, you should never take for granted basic PC best practices. Here are three basic PC best practices that are easy to overlook.

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Why You Shouldn’t Chuck Your E-Waste In the Garbage

e_waste_management_400.jpgToday’s society practices a policy of upgrading to brand-new devices whenever the next big thing drops. We see this all the time when businesses want to keep up with the latest trends by upgrading to new workstations that utilize recent operating systems, or because their old hardware feels slow. However, this can have a negative effect on the environment in the form of e-waste.

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How a Nearby Hacker Can Access Your Phone Through Google Now and Siri

b2ap3_thumbnail_cell_phone_hack_400.jpgThese days, mobile exploits aren’t anything to be surprised about. Most people consider their smartphones to be more secure than their desktops or laptops, but the fact remains that there are just as many exploits, if not more, for mobile devices as there are for PCs. One of the latest mobile threats that can infiltrate your iPhone or Android device takes advantage of Siri and Google Now.

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Tip of the Week: 4 Common Email Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

b2ap3_thumbnail_email_gaffs_400.jpgEmail is a staple in offices around the world, but many organizations are finding it easier than ever to make simple mistakes that can be easily avoided with proper training procedures. It’s a best practice to ensure that your team is adequately trained on how to efficiently use your chosen email client to its maximum potential. Here are four of the most common email mistakes that the average employee can make, and how they can easily be avoided in the future.

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If a Teenager Can Hack the CIA, You Can Be Hacked Too!

b2ap3_thumbnail_cia_hacked_400.jpgWith new threats emerging all of the time, it’s no wonder that cybersecurity is such a major part of any technological endeavor. Your should be using the most powerful security solutions on the market in order to avoid intensive hacks. Despite the emphasis that our society places on security, it takes a high-notoriety hack to truly shake the public into action; for example, what if the Central Intelligence Agency were hacked by a teenager?

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