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Find out what educators at #wvu and business owners are doing to grow #smallbusiness in #westvirginia.

We want to bring your attention to a pioneering program, The West Virginia Governor's School for Entrepreneurship (GSE for short) which sponsors youth entrepreneurship within the state; a program which until recently, was unknown to us.

It started with a phone call to Tekswift's support line...
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Slow Website = Lost Revenue
Find out what you can do to get it back! Click the link for more info and a FREE analysis of your Website.
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Warm weather, blue skies, birds are chirping, and phish-erman are phishing. Don't take the bait!

Read our FREE blog and try your skills at a FREE phishing test, so you don't end up on the hook.
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As a professional tech but also a consumer, I rely on the skill and temperament of professionals, particularly those who are responsible for my health and mobility. As such, I know there is much implicit trust involved as we tepidly and with white-knuckles hand over our possessions. Exacerbating this scenario is a lack of time to research your new service provider. Tekswift abides by the tenets below, but ensure whomever you choose does the same.

So let's dive in and explore what separates the Professional from Faux'fessional.


The first step to finding someone who provides services effectively and efficiently is by identifying where they excel. Hygienists and dentists work side-by-side, but employing a DMD for routine cleaning is overkill. Conversely hygienists may be a bit less comfortable performing bridge work. Make sure your candidates are suited for the task. A stand-up pro will let you know if their skills are within scope of the problem.


This facet is indispensable. The confidence navigate a solution in the roughest waters is a quality of a professional with savvy, patience and creativity. This of course is no slight against those who are taking their first steps in the craft. There are obvious benefits where varying experience is a comfortable variable.


Following the 'holy triangle' rule, as a consumer you have three options: Good, Fast, Cheap... Pick two.

Good, Fast, Cheap: Pick Two
Budgets are important and equally-so is their footing in reality. We all want champagne service on a beer budget, myself included. It is imperative to know this ideology comes at the cost of time. Don't have time to spend? -Be prepared to part with quality or cash in exchange for expediency.

So where it applies to your technician, you'll want to ask: How much? How soon?


Did you notice something missing in the last line of questions? It wasn't accidental. Of course you can ask anyone how good they are at a given task. Sometimes you'll get an honest answer, but moreover the reply will reflect more perception and less reality. Ask your tech for references. And don't stop there. If appropriate, contact their references. It pays dividends in time and frustration saved.

Progress Tracking

Ask your tech if they offer a means to track your repair. While a bonafide ticketing system is optimal, a tech who at the least will keep in touch via telephone is a sign of accountability and honesty.

Sensitive Data Handling

Too often this is a consideration that occurs after you've handed over your item(s), or not at all. Ask your candidate up-front how they handle your personal data. Bear in-mind that top-tier technicians should handle the preservation and destruction (when requested) of your data in accordance with local and federal law.

Formatting is a Last Resort

Without getting buried in the details, your tech should never offer this option without first making an incisive diagnosis of your troubles. If formatting your machine is suggested, you should demand sound reasoning as to why. If you're not satisfied with the explanation in lay terms, get a second opinion.


The single most important aspect of your exchange is the backing of your repair. Simply ask if your candidate offers any guarantee. This question will help eliminate a sizable number of repair firms. For the remaining options, carefully weigh the details of their guarantee.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, call us at 304-241-1396 or send an email to

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By now, you've heard the name. Ransomware is in the news, on the web, and could be attached to your next e-mail.

What is it?

In the simplest terms, ransomware is a computer virus that changes your files into unreadable garbage, and then demands money from you to change them back. Efforts to recover just a handful of files on the cheap are subverted by recent latest versions of this awful software; it will change the name of your files prohibiting cherry-picking important ones.

If you think that's bad, now they'll offer to let you off the hook for infecting two of your "friends".

Ransomware is often delivered via e-mail, as common file attachments. The suspect e-mail messages are very difficult to pick apart from legitimate ones. They are well-written, from known senders (Aunt Dottie, USPS, even the FBI) and compel the reader to open the attachment.

The virus can also be delivered by way of website infection. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to actually click "download" on a website to become infected.

You can't always follow the money.

It's a bit complex but the bad guys are largely accepting BitCoin currency as payment. This screen grab from Swordfish (2001 Warner Bros. Pictures) illustrates a method hackers use to cover their tracks.

The hackers utilize numerous digital wallets (many of which have been stolen) to filter the funds, and distribute them in very small pieces. Though this isn't the only method used, it is one which is very challenging to uncover.

Protect yourself!

Disconnecting from the Internet isn't always a viable choice. The easiest and most effective ways to safeguard your files are:


Whether you're surfing sites, installing software, or reading e-mails, take the time to read through, before allowing a download. Call or send a new e-mail to the colleague(s) asking them if they've sent attachments to you. Lastly, consult a trusted IT adviser if ever in doubt.


No anti-virus is 100% effective. Ransomware is a relatively new threat, and there's no clear champion of protection, yet. You can start by downloading these add-ons:
-CryptoPrevent: Note that this software may not be effective against all existing and emerging threats.
-MalwareBytes: This software is an invaluable companion to your existing anti-virus software.
-Symantec Endpoint Protection: Year after year, we have yet to test a more effective comprehensive anti-virus title; and we've tested many. Interested? Contact Us.


There are an infinite number of backup services available. Here are guidelines for selecting a vendor:

-Ensure the backup utilizes off-site facilities (more than an external drive connected to your computer).
-Be sure the solution has a private or commercial "Cloud Storage" technology built-in.
-Ask your candidate if they throttle your uploads/downloads.

Tekswift offers all of this, and more with our DataGuard cloud backup solution. Get in touch with us for a quote.

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You have been told for so long, an open door means opportunity. But once you check the record, it becomes evident that is not always the case. In fact, the value of capitalizing on closed doors can be far more lucrative.

Don't blame yourself if this sounds confusing. After all, this ideology is the antithetical of what we accept to be true; and that is precisely where from it derives value.

Our subconscious mind associates conditions in our environment with prior experience, to act as a reflex. For example, a dry lake means here's no water to be had. -No digging, no second-guessing. The entire process happens so quickly that we often believe we made the decision. In reality it is only when we challenge that reflex, that we become consciously cognizant.

In business, the same true. In fact, your idea could become wildly successful, given the more remote, or unlikely the venture will pay off.

Take the idea of 'greater risk, greater reward' and apply it to something as unlikely as peddling ice to the Inuit. Seems pretty useless, doesn't it? However, if you bet on the likelihood that they'll buy colored ice, the "closed door" concept begins to take shape.

Well that is precisely what Apple achieved during the last 15 or so years. This is also known as a "Blue Ocean Strategy". In that time, the company made products which had a similar function to competitive electronics, but were essentially non-functional when not tied direct to the manufacturer, thus creating their own market entirely.

So no matter the scale of your dream, remember that success is a relative benchmark.

What does matter, is this: Do not let your doubts do the talking. Harness your passion, discover your purpose and use the energy to reach your goal.

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