Microsoft Certified Partnership

Beach Geeks has partnered with Microsoft to deliver superior customer support and services to our clients.  As a Microsoft Certified Gold Partner, we will be able to help customers with a wide range of IT projects and specific IT solutions.

microsoft gold partnerIf you are looking to implement a Microsoft product into your business’ infrastructure Beach Geeks is happy to assist you as you transition. Whether you are looking to set up Windows 365 for efficient, centralized content management or you are simply needing help with your Outlook e-mail, Beach Geeks can help.

Call us today to set up a consultation!

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Great Router for your Family!

Black Friday sales broke records this year. Chief among those items purchased were tablets, laptops and televisions!  What does this mean?  You might be battling it out for bandwidth after the holidays!!

When everyone in your family is looking to get online, download their favorite song, check their email and watch a streaming movie you will need a powerful wireless router.  Check out this super deal on the Linksys AC1900 Wireless Dual Band Router. Quantities are limited on this factory refurbished item and they can’t guarantee delivery by December 24th but it might be just the item you need to be certain that everyone in yourhouse has a very happy new year!LinkSys Linksys AC1900 Wireless-AC Dual-Band Router – Computers.Woot

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Holiday Credit Card Fraud: Protect Yourself

Halloween is behind us so out come the holiday decorations, right?  Even if you are one to eschew holiday music and decorating until after Thanksgiving you do need to start thinking ahead.  The holiday season in the United States is the perfect time of the year for hackers to attack your hard drive in the hopes that you have pulled out your credit card for some holiday shopping.

How can you protect yourself against credit card fraud during the holidays (aside from not shopping online?!)

  • Use an encrypted network whenever possible.
  • Do not engage in online banking or credit card purchases in internet cafes, book stores and coffee shops.
  • Don’t shop online with your primary debit card.  It is much easier to detect fraud on a card that is used rarely.
  •  Check your credit report annually with a site like FreeCreditReport.com

credit card fraudIt’s not just your credit card information that is at risk.  People travel frequently during the holiday season and when they return to the office they like to ease back into work mode. How to kill those first few mornings back in the office?  Show off those pictures you took! When you use your thumb drive from home in your office computer you can potentially infect your entire workplace network! A better option – upload those precious travel pictures to a free hosting site and share them via the internet.

Even if you are careful with your credit card information the holiday season is still a risky time to pull out your credit card.  Two days prior to Black Friday last year Target experienced a security breach of their point of sale systems resulting in the theft of 40 million credit and debit card records.  Not long after that Home Depot experienced a similar loss, reporting a loss of an excess of 56 million credit card users privacy.

How can you protect yourself against PoS breaches?  That’s not as simple.  I know that I am unlikely to begin carrying cash.  Check your banks statements regularly.  Report any suspicious activities.  Lastly, monitor the fees charged by your banking institutions.  It is likely that the enormous costs shouldered by large banking institutions will begin to trickle down to the end user.

 

 

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Email Tracking: Love it or hate it?

Email Tracking. You either love it or you hate it.  Frequently sending an email is not too dissimilar to sending a letter via the postal service.  You hit “send” and out it goes into the Universe but do you know if it shows up?  There is an increasingly likely chance that your email will be read by the intended recipient and perhaps a text message will appear later from the same person.  Did they get your email? Or is it just a coincidence?

If you use email as part of your business (and who doesn’t) it is often critical that you know whether or not your email was received.  But what about personal email?  This weekend I discovered that I had failed to make note of the time of a teacher conference I needed to attend on Monday morning.  I emailed my daughter’s teacher and I was hoping that she would get it over the weekend – and then I got the message “Email Opened.” Perfect!  Even if I did not get a reply (and I did, thank you, kindly!) I knew that she had received my message.

logo-vertical_580x390Last week I dove headfirst into Google Chrome Extensions. Extensions are small programs that run in your browser and enhance or customize your experience.  I recently installed Bananatag.  Bananatag is a Chrome Extension to use with your gmail address that will notify you when an email was opened.  The Basic (5 tracked emails a day) is free and so far, so good! I do not require any extensive reporting, I just occasionally want to know if my email was received.

It’s useful, it’s free. What’s not to like?

I will be testing out additional Google Chrome Extensions. Do you have any favorites?  Anything you would like to be able to do in Google?  I would be happy to see if I can find one.  Just shoot me a like at kelly.doherty@tmi.net!

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Online Trading Academy Donation!

Sometimes things just fall into place! Last week David Isaacson, Beach Geeks CEO, received an email from Jessica Simonetti, General Manager of the Online Trading Academy Washington DC Metro and Baltimore. She was asking if perhaps Beach Geeks would be interested in approximately 50 Dell computers running Windows XP.  “Just let me know, we are going to contact Goodwill if you guys aren’t interested!”

What a perfect opportunity to tell a customer about the TMI Initiative.  The TMI Initiative, operating under TMI Arlington, seeks to help nonprofits serving Arlington to become more efficient, more effective and greener. By providing these non-profits with an updated technology we hope to see them maximize the good that they do in our community!

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It’s not every Monday morning that good news falls in your lap out of your email inbox. Thank you, Jessica Simonetti and the Online Trading Academy.

If you have used computers, laptops, printers, etc. in a closet and you have been wondering how to safely dispose of them, then get in touch by sending an email to donate@tmiarlington.org. Your donated equipment will help a local non-profit improve our community!

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Microsoft Store in Pentagon City!

8867.Microsoft_5F00_Logo_2D00_for_2D00_screenWhat do you think about when you think Microsoft? I think about software.  I think about the suite of Microsoft Office products that remain a constant in an ever-changing world of technology.  I can tell you what I do not immediately think about – one of the almost one hundred brick and mortar stores across the country.

When you walk into a Microsoft store you can pick up any number of their products from desktops to tablets to laptops. But did you know that you can also receive superior customer service? Apple users love to brag about the “genius bar” in an Apple store. But what if you could get that same kind of help setting up your Microsoft product? You can!

David Isaacson, CEO of Beach Geeks, recently had the chance to chat with LaSone Barber of the Pentagon City Microsoft store and is very excited about partnering with this local Microsoft store. Their location features a complimentary meeting space that can be reserved for networking mixers, workshops, class trips, camps, fundraisers, you name it!

Would you be interested in partnering with Beach Geeks and the Pentagon City Microsoft store to host a corporate Lunch & Learn or a tech training? Microsoft is currently booking trainings that can help you maximize OneNote, your Windows 8 device, Office 2013, Office 365, Bing ads and even your new Windows phone.  ALL FOR FREE!

At Beach Geeks we want to make sure that your technology delivers maximum efficiency. Who knew we had this fantastic resource right around the corner?  

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Parking Day Success!!

Parking Day is an annual worldwide event where artists, designers, and citizens transform metered parking spots into temporary public parks. This year during the Arlington Parking Day we were pleased to participate and introduce The Technology Management Initiative  to local Arlington residents.

logoWe were looking forward to a day of collecting donations.  Early in the morning we were bowled over by a generous donation from John Marshall Bank in Arlington.  Located at 2300 Wilson Blvd, John Marshall Bank is just a couple of blocks from Beach Geeks office space.  Their generous donation of used laptops and desktops will be a wonderful addition to the Beach Geeks inventory.

The TMI Initiative, operating under TMI Arlington, seeks to help nonprofits serving Arlington to become more efficient, more effective and greener. John Marshall Bank’s donation of approximately 40 computers will help numerous local nonprofits.  Thank you for all that you do to serve our community.

 

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“Internet Slowdown” Day – Take Action!

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That frustrating “loading…” symbol that we all grew to hate will be displayed by many top websites today as they participate in “Internet Slowdown Day.”  Netflix, WordPress, Reddit, Etsy…. many websites will be showing you what it might be like if we do not maintain net neutrality.

Battle for the Net encourages you to take a stand.  This is the last day to make your voice heard.

 

Does your internet connection seem painfully slow today?  It’s not just you.

Visit the Federal Communications Commission and let your voice be heard.  Click TAKE ACTION and leave a comment.

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Take those laptops “back to school!”

The big box stores seem quiet this week.  Hurried parents, dragging youngsters with ever growing school supply lists are gone.  Nervous looking adults with anxious college freshman are long gone.  Lunchboxes have been packed, dorms have been decorated and the stores are quiet for the time being.  There is a quiet moment between back to school technology shopping and gearing up for the holiday sales.

What was this year’s back to school top sellers for the fifth year in a row? Laptops!

V7-product-series-mainThe Acer Aspire 7 laptops deliver a quality experience on a budget. PC Magazine says “With discrete graphics, diverse port selection, excellent performance, and a reasonable price, the Acer V7-482PG-6629 is a top pick for midrange ultrabooks.”

 

For those studying design or requiring top-notch speed, you still can’t beat Apple MacBook Air 13-Inch.  It continues to be unstoppable.

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The relatively small amount of storage is not a problem provided you are willing to take to the clouds!

 

If you don’t require the full suite of Office software you can more than get by with a netbook and this season’s  top seller was the HP Chromebook.

c04095635You won’t find a student that isn’t connected to the internet.  Even middle schools are now providing (moderated and limited) wi-fi to their students so that they can use tablets and laptops in the classroom. Provided you have wi-fi the HP Chromebook’s sleek design, 14″ diagonal HD BrightView LED-backlit screen and  Intel® Celeron® 2955U with Intel HD Graphics (1.4 GHz, 2 MB cache, 2 cores) will be perfect for a fraction of the cost!

What did you choose for the student in your life? I am lucky enough to have elementary aged kids so I still have time left before I need to make these decisions!

 

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Recycling Your Computer? TMI Awards Synetic Theater

recycling your computerHave you been thinking about recycling your computer? Beach Geeks, Inc and the Arlington Community Foundation have recently joined forces to create TMI – Technology Management Initiative.

This initiative seeks to help nonprofits that serve Arlington become more efficient, more effective and greener by providing donations of used computers and other technological hardware.

You can read more about Beach Geeks in this recent post! Beach Geeks can help you with recycling your computer!

We are excited to announce that Beach Geeks has awarded 4 desktop computers to Synetic Theater in Arlington, VA.  Synetic Theater is a non-profit physical theater company located near the Crystal City Metro Station.  Synetic has received a total of 24 Helen Hayes Awards and an impressive 92 nominations.

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Synetic was chosen based on the strength of their application and the availability of inventory.  It is our hope that these four desktop computers will help them streamline their administrative duties, freeing up even more time to focus on the award-winning and unforgettable theatrical experiences they are creating for our community.

If you are considering recycling your computer, please contact Beach Geeks. We are more than happy to help you donate your computer safely to a local non-profit organization.

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