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Computer Consulting Services: Protecting Client Data

As a provider of computer consulting services, you should communicate to your clients that a dedicated server generally can enforce strong user passwords. This means your clients can: • Force users to change passwords at predetermined intervals • Prevent recycling of previously-chosen passwords • Eliminate the use of blank passwords • Enforce selection of passwords that are a mixture of both letters and numbers, as well as upper and lower case characters Protection Against "Accidental" Reboots When a PC is used in a peer-to-peer network as both a server and a workstation, sooner or later the server will get rebooted accidentally - no matter how careful the server’s primary user is. Let your computer consulting services clients know that whether the peer-to-peer server gets rebooted as a result of installing a new piece of software, or a buggy application with memory leaks causes system crashes, sooner or later their employees will be livid when the server goes down without warning. This will likely cause corrupted data files and lost hours of collective work in progress. A dedicated server system is a simple way to prevent this enormous potential problem. Centralized File Protection With a peer-to-peer network, servers tend to sprout up throughout your computer consulting services clients’ office as multiple end users set up file and printer shares on their own PCs.

With a client/server network, files are centrally protected from data loss and corruption resulting from hardware faults, accidental deletion, power problems, hacking, sabotage, and virus threats. Don't Forget Back Up Solutions As their computer consulting services provider, communicate to your clients that conversely in a peer-to-peer network environment, with decentralized file storage, they should consider how crucial data files will be backed up. Will data backup be a manual process? Will an external tape backup drive get passed from user to user (requiring each end user to take initiative)? The Bottom Line about Computer Consulting Services When providing computer consulting services, have clients consider how often antivirus definitions will get updated on each server. And don’t forget to think about whether each peer-to-peer server has a UPS (battery backup unit) capable of unattended shutdown if power is lost, when no one is around to manually and safely shutdown the "server". Copyright MMI-MMVI, Small Biz Tech Talk.

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