Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Visa Announces Non-EMV Compliant Fees

The nationwide shift to EMV-enabled cards - also known as chip or smart cards - began in 2015 with the liability shift, making the party with the least secure technology responsible for chargebacks and fraudulent transactions. Since then, EMV transactions have become a way of life, and consumers have grown more comfortable with the seamless checkout process and security they receive. 

Major card brands have continued to push EMV transactions over swipe. Together we must continue to remain vigilant against the threat of fraud and ensure our shared customers continue to operate in a secure transaction environment.

As a trusted Heartland partner, we wanted to make you aware of two new programs that will be implemented starting with transactions processed on April 1, 2021 to encourage broader adoption of EMV technology in the marketplace...

Visa has announced that they will be issuing a non-EMV Fallback fee beginning in April. If an EMV card is swiped instead of using the EMV chip a fallback fee will be assessed per transaction. These fees will be displayed on the merchant statement in the Visa portion of the Fee Summary section. It is important to note that Visa is the only one that can control this fee and there is no way to bypass it.

We have been urging our clients to upgrade their credit card systems, if necessary. Now may be your last opportunity to do so before being assessed with extra fees.

Give us a call or reach out to your account representative today.

IES, Inc.
781-816-9437
www.iesAdvisors.com

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Lies You Shouldn't Tell the People Fixing Your Computer

The following are common lies that we hear from clients. Please don't say any of these thing when we go to fix your computer! 😀

1). "I've restarted my computer."

We hear this constantly. The first thing we typically ask when someone calls in for help is "have you restarted your computer lately"? The caller always answers yes, but we usually know they haven’t, because the majority of minor tech support issues are resolved with a restart. Rebooting your computer clears out all the minor software hiccups that occur as your computer processes all those millions of lines of code that make it run.

2). "Everything is plugged in."

You might be positive you’ve plugged everything in and are certain there is some other reason you don’t have internet, or your keyboard isn’t working, or your printer isn’t printing. You are wrong. It’s okay. It happens to everyone - even us. Just answer our questions honestly.

Just tell us you have no idea if everything is plugged in. This is especially important if you do not know what an Ethernet cable, USB cable, or power cable are.

3). "I have no idea how I got that ransomware / virus / malware on my computer."

How do you get malware? Well, you go to sites you shouldn’t go to and click on links you shouldn’t click on and download apps you shouldn’t download. Sometimes you hit an OK button you have no business clicking.

It’s very easy to avoid getting malware in most cases. If a Windows looking OK button appears on your computer, don’t click it. If you’re on a free porn site and see a neat ad, if the site promises super expensive software for free, or if it all seems to good to be true, don’t click it. But people click all the time...it's like dangling candy in front of a toddler.

4). "My teenage son has been using my computer."

This is more common than you think. When someone says that, we know where it’s headed. Although, it doesn’t necessarily mean a computer is infected with malware, ransomware, or viruses.

It’s just something people say as they deliver a computer - as if to prep the tech support agent for all the porn they might come across in the course of their repair. But any techie is accustomed to finding porn on a computer.

5). "There's sticky stuff on my computer? I have no idea why. Oh, there's no way it is alcohol."

Do you know how your computer got covered in apple schnapps? You were making an appletini. You drank that appletini. You made another appletini. You drank that appletini. You made another appletini. You spilled that appletini.

We get it, those Zoom meetings from home make us want to drink too! But we can guarantee, as soon as we open the machine -maybe even beforehand - we know what is wrong. It doesn’t matter who spilled it or if you were present at the time, the liquid residue/corrosion voids your warranty and lying about it is just going to waste everyone’s time.

6). "It must have come broken."

Tech agents are not idiots, so trying to con us into giving you a free repair is usually not going to work. If we hear "I opened the box and it was already broken," it's an immediate red flag. We’ll notice that the keys are shiny from days of use, or the scuff on the side that only comes from the laptop getting tossed in a bag.

Over all...

We love helping our customers. But if we hear these any of these six things, there is an immediate damper put in our day. So please, please, please - refrain from saying them!

Friday, June 12, 2020

Client Update: Post COVID-19 Shutdown

We hope you have all been able to begin recovering from the COVID pandemic. We realize businesses have taken a big hit over the last couple months, ours being one of them.

Since 2011 we have been able to avoid rate increases while maintaining our outstanding customer service levels. Infact, we have done extensive research and have found that we are one of the most affordable tech companies in the state of Massachusetts. Unfortunately, with the recent business climate we are in, we have been forced to make some changes. Effective 6/15/20, hourly rates will increase by $25. This minimal increase will help us to continue providing the best service possible to all of our clients in these troubling times.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. We thank you for your understanding in this matter. 


Please remember our address change as of 1/1/2020.

As of January 1, 2020 we have moved our office to 2277 State Road, Suite C1, Plymouth, MA 02360. Payments should be sent to this address only.

Monday, March 23, 2020

COVID-19 Update For Massachusetts Clients

Governor Charlie Baker has ordered all non-essential businesses to close, effective noon Tuesday, March 24. "Baker said non-essential businesses shall close their physical workplaces and facilities to all workers, customers, and the public."
The governor also stated  "Everyone is advised to stay home and limit all unnecessary activities," while announcing that he and state health officials are issuing a stay at home advisory for the residents of Massachusetts.
Both will remain in effect until April 7.

Source:
CBS
What does this mean for our clients?
Businesses that provide essential services are exempt. Among the businesses that will remain open are grocery stores and businesses that support them, gas stations, pharmacies and all medical facilities, and manufacturers of medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, and restaurants. Governor Baker is expected to release a full list of businesses defined as essential later today.

If your business does not fall under an essential category and you would like to get your office setup for remote working, please email us immediately.

We have resources in place to allow us to continue to provide you with the level of service, responsiveness, and support you have come to expect from IES. We are considered an essential business and are available for you, even with these orders in effect. However, effective Monday, March 23 at 10pm, all IES agents will be working remotely to support our clients and will only be legally allowed to go onsite to provide support if your business falls under an essential category.

As always, we are reachable using any of the following methods:

Phone: 781-816-9437
Email: contactus@iesadvisors.com
Live Chat:
iesAdvisors.com
(click the chat icon that appears in the lower right corner of every page)Request Remote Login Setup

Here are some cyber security tips you should know when working remotely.

One of the key preventative measures for the spread of COVID-19 is social distancing. Luckily, in this increasingly connected world we can continue our professional and private lives virtually. However, with huge increases in the number of people working remotely, it is vital that we also take care of our cyber "hygiene".

Awareness and preparedness are both vital - you'll want to be sure you have the following basics:
 
  • Secure wifi connection. Most wifi systems at home these days are correctly secured, but some older installations might not be. With an insecure connection, people in the near vicinity can snoop your traffic.
  • Fully updated antivirus system in place.
  • Up to date security software. Security tools such as privacy tools, add-ons for browsers etc need to be up to date. Patch levels should be regularly checked.
  • Remember to back up periodically. All important files should be backed up regularly. In a worst case scenario, staff could fall foul of ransomware for instance. Then all is lost without a backup.
  • Lock your screen if you work in a shared space. (You really should be avoiding co-working or shared spaces at this moment - social distancing is extremely important to slow down the spread of the virus).
  • Make sure you are using a secure, encrypted connection to your work environment.
Things employers should do: 
  • Provide initial and then regular feedback to staff on how to react in case of problems. Who to call, hours of service, emergency procedures and how they evolve.
  • Give suitable priority to the support of remote access solutions. Employers should provide at least authentication and secure session capabilities (essentially encryption).
  • Ensure adequate support in case of problems.
  • Define a clear procedure to follow in case of a security breach.
  • Consider restricting access to sensitive systems where it makes sense.
If you have any questions about these tips or need to setup remote login to your office, give us a call at 781-816-9437.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Coronavirus COVID-19 Readiness: Work from virtually anywhere, anytime.


Like you, we're monitoring the latest news about the Coronavirus. That's why we're doing all we can to make sure our staff is standing by to aid with all your technology needs.

We want you to have confidence that you can contact us anytime. In the event of a government mandated quarantine, not much will change. You can still:
•Call our office 24/7 at 781-816-9437 to reach a tech
•Open a support ticket 24/7 at iesAdvisors.com/portal
•Chat live instantly with a tech from 9am - 10pm Monday - Saturday via our website
•Email contactus@iesadvisors.com for a same day response

Thankfully we are able to service most of our customers' issues remotely via the Internet using the latest in technology.

Working Remotely

One of the many services available to our clients is the ability to remote into your work computer from another location. Some clients are already utilizing this service. Best of all, there is one low yearly cost.

Here’s what we need to know to setup your account:
•The business owner or manager needs to authorize us to setup your remote access account.
•The name of each computer you want to access remotely and who will access it.
•Each user’s email address. (Once the accounts are setup, we send instructions on how to use the system via email).
•A secure password for each user to access the portal.

Click the button below to launch the request using your default email application. We’ll reach out to setup your remote access up ASAP!
Request Remote Access Now
 

Friday, February 28, 2020

Phishing is real...Just ask Shark Tank host Barbara Corcoran.

Shark Tank judge Barbara Corcoran lost nearly $400,000 in an elaborate email scam that tricked her staff.
Corcoran said someone acting as her assistant sent an invoice to her bookkeeper earlier this week for a renovation payment. Staff believed there was "no reason to be suspicious" about the email because she invests in real estate, so the bookkeeper wired $388,700 to the email address. 
The problem was that the email address didn't belong to her assistant. The scammer imitated her assistant's email address and misspelled it with one letter. The mistake wasn't caught until the bookkeeper emailed the assistant's correct address for a follow-up.
Corcoran fell for a phishing scam, which is common: Nearly 30,000 people reported being a victim of that type of scam last year. Together they reported nearly $50 million in losses, according to the FBI's 2018 Internet Crime Report.
Phishing attacks are common methods of stealing usernames, passwords and money. Hackers pretend to be a trustworthy source to convince you to share personal data. To be safe, it's important to make sure the sender is authentic before clicking on a link.
Source: CNN Business