Just a Brief Update

All client business websites should be back up and running. Many were back up within an hour or two, but several took additional time to restore. There are a few personal web pages that still need to be addressed, but all client business websites should be fully operation at this time. Please visit your website and review the pages within to ensure that everything is as it should be. Backup files of your website were restored and you need to verify that those files were backed up properly. Please confirm for yourself and reply with any issues you may discover.

While viruses and hacking aren’t fully preventable, many precautions are taken to ensure that your data is secure and web services remain dependable, Since the implementation of this particular server configuration in 2008, hundreds of thousands of attempts have been made to penetrate server security measures. While this situation is unfortunate, we hope you’ll put into perspective that for the past six years, none of those many prior attempts had been successful. Furthermore, this breach was ultimately not a result of poor server security, but because one user had a weak password that was compromised. Please, heed this warning and help out but ensuring that you use strong passwords and change them every few months.

The user account in question has been addressed, however, please report any future suspicious activity on your website so that further issues can be addressed immediately. Once again, this situation did not affect any data that was stored within the database or email server. Furthermore, you should have no concern about the security of your personal computer in context to the situation with our web server. This breach of security would only have cosmetically affected a handful of client websites.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to send and email or call.

Thank you again for your patience, understanding, and continued business.

Sincerely, Robert

Attention proVanceTek Customers

It is with regret that I contact you to inform you that one of our servers was compromised in the early hours of this morning.

A vulnerable client password was exploited to gain access to a web server and a malicious attempt to render the websites hosted on that server inaccessible. A number of clients may have noticed that their website either 1) displayed a message from the so-called hacker, or 2) displayed a site maintenance message implemented shortly after discovering the issue. While some of the affected websites were back up and running within minutes of this discovery, others may continue to experience outages for several more hours during a continued effort to fully resolve this affects of this breach.

It is important to note that the web server is the piece of equipment that is used to host your website, and while it was compromised, rest assured that the information stored on the database server and the servers that provide your email service were not. Your private data stored in the database for your website and in your email accounts was not accessed or affected. The database server is much more highly guarded, as a very limited selection of individuals has access, and all use very strong passwords for the accounts on that server. Your email is hosted through proVanceTek, but hosted by Google Apps, and Google has very reliable detection of attempts to compromise accounts on their servers. So, please be assured that this malicious activity, fortunately, only cosmetically affected some client websites.

In an effort to curtail future similar attacks, proVanceTek passwords used to access these servers have all been changed. Additionally, if you have FTP access to the web server to update your website or upload files to your website, an attempt to contact you has been made via text or phone to notify you that your FTP login password has also been changed – If you need further assistance logging into your FTP, please contact proVanceTek asap.

Furthermore, as always, it is recommended that you utilize a strong password (at least six characters using: letters, numbers, capitals, and special characters) to access your email or website content management system and to change that password several times a year. You can change your website password by logging into your website and going to your user account page. You can change your email password by loging into your email by going to gmail.com, using your email address as your username and providing your current password, clicking on yourself in the top right corner, clicking on “account”, and then clicking on the “security” tab.

If you have any questions about this matter or any further concerns or issues, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Thank your for your time and understanding, but especially your continued trust and business.

Sincerely, Robert

Plain City Auction, 6 Years of Partnership

Plain City Auction WebsiteproVanceTek Owner, Robert Vance, has been working with the owners, Dave and Rhoda Helmuth, of Plain City Auction since 2005. His relationship with the owners of the auction house began while he was attending Ohio University and beginning a business with a former high school friend of his. He continued providing support for their website and other various projects at the auction house, along with various support needs at the Helmuth household. When he left the business in 2008 to create proVanceTek, Plain City Auction decided to bring their business to the Robert’s new company.

Recently, after a much deserved retirement of Dave and Rhoda, ownership of the auction house has been transferred to John and Maureen Coffey. proVanceTek, however, continues to host the Plain City Auction website and provide them with general IT support for their computers, servers, and network; support of their security system; and other various technical projects that they need help with.

The website was initially developed with some custom scripts that took Word documents provided by Plain City Auction and generated HTML pages for their website. It was later ported over to the Drupal content management system and has continued to run in that installation for the past half-dozen years. We hope to soon be able to share with you that there will be a new online face of the auction house. We’re working with John and Maureen on developing a more modern and interactive auction website. Stay tuned!

New Website, Old Hilliardfest Art & Street Fair

Old_Hilliardfest_Art_&_Street_Fair_-_2014-03-21_21.41.04We have been working with the Old Hilliardfest Art & Street Fair since 2012.

Old Hilliardfest is a street fair that takes place in downtown Hilliard, Ohio on Main Street each fall on the second Saturday of September. Old Hilliardfest includes a selection of food vendors, various organizations and small businesses with information booths, a number of artisans with merchandise for sale, and several venues with live music. The festival lasts throughout the day. Old Hilliardfest is a non-profit organization with 501(C)(4) tax status. The organization consists entirely of volunteers.

In 2012 we quickly threw together a Drupal website in time for the 2013 festival. Drupal is a free and open-source content management framework written in PHP and distributed under the GNU General Public License.It is used as a back-end framework for at least 2.1% of all websites worldwide, ranging from personal blogs to corporate, political, and government sites including whitehouse.gov and data.gov.uk. It is also used for knowledge management and business collaboration.

In preparation for this year’s festival, we wanted to help Old Hilliardfest spruce up the website and make it a little more esthetically “cool looking”. We developed a WordPress site for themand it’s now live. WordPress is another free and open source blogging tool and a content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL, which runs on a web hosting service. Similar to Drupal, WordPress features include a plug-in architecture and a template system. WordPress is used by more than 18.9% of the top 10 million websites as of August 2013. WordPress is the most popular blogging system in use on the Web, at more than 60 million websites.

Some of the features of the new website include a rather typical blog, a page with testimonials, a section of the website for frequently asked questions, a page with a Google Map and contact form, tons of photos, etc.

proVanceTek offers website design, web development, domain registration, and website hosting. If you’re in the market for a website update or redesign, get in touch with us!

PC to Mac Migrations Made Simple by proVanceTek

MacMigrationMaking the switch from Windows to OS X can be a pretty daunting task, especially if you’ve grown up using one system for your entire life. But migrating across to OS X doesn’t have to be difficult. Given the range of Mac programs now available and the better compatibility with existing Windows peripherals, such as mice and keyboards, it is a lot easier to do than it used to be, especially since the switch over to Intel-based systems.

There are plenty of rumours flitting around that may swing you towards not switching over to a Mac. Of course, opinions are strongly divided between Windows and OS X users, but I can tell you now that most of these rumours are wrong, so don’t let yourself be swayed by them.

One of the main reasons people hold back on switching to OS X is the lack of compatibility with Windows, however this is mostly untrue. Most common Windows programs have a separate Mac version and a lot of external peripherals (such as mice, keyboards, external hard drives and monitors) are fully compatible with OS X.

We recently worked with a client to migrate two of their Windows machines over to Mac, one a Dell laptop to a MacBook Pro and the other a Dell desktop to a MacMini. The process is fairly simple and, generally, can be completed by the even the most novice user. Our client, however, typically ask us to complete these type of projects for them because it’s less hassle for them and because, on the off chance there’s any issues, we can resolve any problems that arise during the migration process.

 

We’re Happy To Help Support Local Organizations

We're Happy To Help Support Local OrganizationsYou know that special feeling you get inside when you help someone else out? We really like that feeling here at proVanceTek. We’re not just talking about helping out our customers by providing timely, quality, and friendly service. We do that because that’s what our customers pay us for. We’re talking about helping out charities.

We have a community oriented focus because we’re a local business and rely on the community to bring their business to us. But our community focus is also because it makes us feel good to know we’re helping other local organizations and because it’s the right thing to do.

Over the years we have provided donations to local school groups and community groups. But we’ve also made an effort to offset our carbon footprint by donating to several reforestation projects.

Our favorite charity, however, has always been St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The hospital provides life saving research and treatment for children. Their daily budget is nearly 1.5 million dollars and nearly 85% of the budget goes to patient care and research.

If you have a local organization that is looking for sponsorship or would be able to utilize an in-kind donation, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Small Business Office Technology

Small Business Office TechnologyproVanceTek offers high quality, cost-effective small business office solutions for businesses just like yours. If you just need your data migrated from one computer to another, a virus removed from your desktop, or need a complete small business office structured media installation, we have the solutions for you.

We offer a wide variety of telecommunications and technology services to our clients. We have experience from professional audio and visual installations to telephony and data networking. Our professional installations are efficient, reliable, good-looking, and inexpensive.

Our motto for structured cabling is to be well wired. We’ve made service calls to countless homeowners residences and small business owners place of work and we find that the original structured media vendor cut corners. Too often this includes to major deficiencies: 1) the client does not have enough wiring to support the technology in a given room, and 2) the client is unable to easily add wiring to the deficient room.

 

Welcome To Our New Website!

Welcome to our new company website!

We’re a Columbus, Ohio based company that also has customers located throughout the Mid-West. We primarily provide web design and hosting services to our clients. We have made it our focus to provide the utmost excellence in customer service.

So, we created a new website to showcase our products and services.

New Website, Columbus Wedding Videography

New Website, Columbus Wedding VideographyColumbus Wedding Videography is a Columbus, Ohio based company that also has customers located throughout the Mid-West and have a combined 20+ years of video production experience. They primarily provide Wedding Videography services to their clients and have made it their focus to provide the utmost excellence in customer service. They offer a wide variety of Wedding Video Production services, including: Engagement Films, Pre-Wedding Day Interview Films, Wedding Ceremony Films, Wedding Reception Filming, Same-Day-Edit Films, 8mm or 16mm Wedding Films, and Other Customized Services. They understand that each bride and groom have a different vision for their wedding day; and though they produce wedding videos, their real job is to accurately capture that vision on video for family and friends to share for lifetimes to come.

The Columbus Wedding Videography website was built on the WordPress platform. WordPress is a free and open source blogging tool and a content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL, which runs on a web hosting service. Features include a plug-in architecture and a template system. WordPress is used by more than 18.9% of the top 10 million websites as of August 2013. WordPress is the most popular blogging system in use on the Web, at more than 60 million websites.

For this particular web development project we chose WordPress because it is suited best for blog-style websites. However, for more complex projects, we often use a more configurable CMS, known as Drupal, which is another open-source CMS. It is used as a back-end framework for at least 2.1% of all websites worldwide, ranging from personal blogs to corporate, political, and government sites including whitehouse.gov and data.gov.uk.

New ARTS Production Services Website

New ARTS Production Services WebsiteproVanceTek created a new website for ARTS Production Services, a small production company in Central Ohio. They’re located in Hilliard, but serve customers throughout the state, with a philosophy to keep cost low and deliver a quality product to our customers. The company started up with friends from high school, post college, and off working in various fields of the industry, who decided that we wanted to work together, instead of scattered all over the country working for other companies. Ergo, the creation of ARTS Production Services. ARTS specialize in audio, lighting, and video production for local live events.

The new website was built on the WordPress content management platform. WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time. The core software is built by hundreds of community volunteers, and when you’re ready for more there are thousands of plugins and themes available to transform your site into almost anything you can imagine. Over 60 million people have chosen WordPress to power the place on the web they call “home” — we’d love you to join the family.

proVanceTek also uses the Drupal content management system for various web development projects. Drupal is much more configurable and designed to be used for web development projects in a much larger scale. For this one, however, there was nothing too complicated involved that wasn’t achievable using WordPress. For blog-style websites, WordPress is perfect.

Working With Client To Address Security Concerns

Working With Client To Address Security Concerns

Client’s security camera monitor before we worked with them to address concerns and develop a strategy for improving their system.

We visited a client recently who had some concerns about their existing security system – Are our cameras focused well, should we add more cameras, does our DVR need upgraded. We were happy to help them out and provide our expert knowledge on the subject.

proVanceTek works with their clients to evaluate their concerns, discuss their options, and develop a plan for resolving any disparities. Often times, people install their own security system or hire a company who doesn’t seem to have much knowledge in security systems. Let’s face it, ATT is a great alarm phone and internet provider, Time Warner is a great cable and internet provider, but neither really know anything about CCTV systems. You need to feel assured that you’re relaxed and safe in your home home and business. Let ATT and Time Warner help you relax, let us help make sure you’re safe.

Security camera systems don’t just help keep your home and business safe by discouraging criminals from taking advantage of your vulnerabilities, they are also there to catch brazen criminals in the act, but also are there for liability purposes. Forget about the criminals, what about a customer who trips over their own feet and then tries to sue you for tripping over a crack in the ground. Security cameras can capture those moments and prove such individuals are trying to cheat the system.

We utilize the latest in professional, quality, high-definition security camera hardware, not some webcam that’s taped to your wall. Our systems can store video for months, not days. We can integrate your security camera system in with your existing alarm system. Our security systems can be remotely viewed while you’re on the go, anywhere. We offer complete, quality, cost-effective security camera systems.

Auditorium Audiovisual Installation

Auditorium Audiovisual InstallationWe offer a wide variety of telecommunications and technology services to our clients. We have experience from professional audiovisual installations to telephony and data networking. Our professional installations are efficient, reliable, good-looking, and inexpensive. We provide expert, cutting-edge structured media design and installation services. Our specialties include cable television, broadband internet, wireless internet, and telephone. We also provide professional overhead paging, in-store marketing, professional sound system, camera surveillance system, audio and video distribution system, and sound masking services. We work with clients to determine what’s just right for their needs. We design and install the infrastructure that fit the customer’s technology requirements and budget.

Recently, we worked with a local high school to outfit their auditorium with the latest in structured media technology. The system included video switcher with preview monitor, auto audio mixer with reference monitor, a DVD player, audio and video inputs for laptops, data connecting to the building computer network, microphone and auxiliary audio inputs, and remote control integration for the projector, projection screen, and architectural lighting.

We offer structured media solutions for both home and business applications and use only the highest quality hardware for our projects, including: Crest, Crown, JBL, EV, Shure, Rane, ETC, Leviton, Extron, Crestron, Epson, and more.

Working With Client With Virus Issues

Working With Client With Virus IssuesA computer virus is a type of malware that, when executed, replicates by inserting copies of itself (possibly modified) into other computer programs, data files, or the boot sector of the hard drive; when this replication succeeds, the affected areas are then said to be “infected”. Viruses often perform some type of harmful activity on infected hosts, such as stealing hard disk space or CPU time, accessing private information, corrupting data, displaying political or humorous messages on the user’s screen, spamming their contacts, or logging their keystrokes. However, not all viruses carry a destructive payload or attempt to hide themselves—the defining characteristic of viruses is that they are self-replicating computer programs which install themselves without the user’s consent. Virus writers use social engineering and exploit detailed knowledge of security vulnerabilities to gain access to their hosts’ computing resources. The vast majority of viruses (over 99%) target systems running Microsoft Windows, employing a variety of mechanisms to infect new hosts, and often using complex anti-detection/stealth strategies to evade antivirus software.

But enough about what a virus is. You care about how to get it off your computer. The answer is not simple, but the solution is, call us. You see, often times, virus software does not do the job. Which is why you find yourself in an endless cycle of quarantining files, then having additional issues, so you run the virus software again, which quarantines more files, and you’re good for a bit, but then you start to have issues again. It’s endless. Why? Because virus software, in our experience, seldomly remove a virus completely. This is because viruses often corrupt necessary system files that cannot be quarantined or bury themselves deep in files that the particular virus software you’re running overlooks.

The tried and true method we’ve used to successfully rid most of our clients from viruses is to 1) backup the clients hard drive completely, 2) take the backup, mount it on another machine, and then run several different virus softwares to clean up the drive, 3) reinstall a clean copy of Windows  on their computer, then 4) migrate their data back to the clean version of Windows we just installed on their machine. It may seem like a bit overkill, but it’s usually the end game anyway, which is why it’s just simpler to give us a call to begin with.

New Website for the Old Hilliardfest Art & Street Fair

New Website for the Old Hilliardfest Art & Street FairOld Hilliardfest is a street fair that takes place in downtown Hilliard, Ohio on Main Street each fall on the second Saturday of September. Old Hilliardfest includes a selection of food vendors, various organizations and small businesses with information booths, a number of artisans with merchandise for sale, and several venues with live music. The festival lasts throughout the day. Old Hilliardfest is a non-profit organization with 501(C)(4) tax status. The organization consists entirely of volunteers.

The Old Hilliardfest website was built with Drupal, a free and open-source content management framework written in PHP and distributed under the GNU General Public License.It is used as a back-end framework for at least 2.1% of all websites worldwide, ranging from personal blogs to corporate, political, and government sites including whitehouse.gov and data.gov.uk. It is also used for knowledge management and business collaboration.

Sometimes we use WordPress, another free and open source blogging tool and a content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL, which runs on a web hosting service. Similar to Drupal, WordPress features include a plug-in architecture and a template system. WordPress is used by more than 18.9% of the top 10 million websites as of August 2013. WordPress is the most popular blogging system in use on the Web, at more than 60 million websites. While a great blogging platform, Drupal was more suited for some of the complicated web application integrations that the Old Hilliardfest organization sees adding to their website in the near future.

Hilliardfest High Volume Printing

proVanceTek Hilliardfest High Volume Printing in Columbus, OhioproVanceTek is a proud partner of the Old Hilliardfest Art & Street Fair. Each year, Hilliardfest distributes 10,000 sunflower coloring sheets to all of the Hilliard City School District elementary school students. On one side is the coloring sheet and on the other side is the official 2013 Old Hilliardfest flyer. The flyer can then be brought to the festival and exchanged for two free tickets to play games in the kids game area. proVanceTek provided the materials, printing, and distribution of this year’s coloring sheets.

Old Hilliardfest is a street fair that takes place in downtown Hilliard, Ohio on Main Street each fall in September. Old Hilliardfest will take place on Saturday, September 14, 2013. The main festival will take place from 10am-5pm, and the After Hours food and music portion of the festival will last into the evening until 11pm. Come join us!

Performing Arts Center A/V Upgrades

proVanceTek Performing Arts Center A/V Upgrades in Columbus, OhioWe recently made some upgrades to an existing to an auditorium’s existing A/V system. The upgrades included modifying the facility’s lectern to accommodate for a three foot tall A/V rack. The rack contains a switchable power strip, video switcher, an eight channel auto mixer, DVD player, audio and video inputs for a laptop computer, microphone inputs, a video preview monitor, drawer to store miscellaneous cables and microphones, and remote controls for auditorium projector, motorized projection screen, architectural lighting.

Our services included the design of the system upgrades; the construction of a custom solid oak rack better blend in with the wood of the podium; and the assembly and installation of the hardware; the integration of the rack with the existing audio / visual systems and equipment.