Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – April 2017

We held our last meeting at Grow Pittsburgh for this year on April 5. Thank you Deidra and the GP staff for hosting us again! The weather finally appears to be warming up and we are looking forward to seeing everything in bloom next month when our meeting happens at the Frick Art & Historical Center on May 3!

Notes and resources from this month’s meeting:

  • MAAS 360
    • Protect mobile data
    • Can remotely wipe data for lost devices
    • Can pull out app shortcuts onto your phone desktop
  • Salesforce
    • Free up to 10 licenses
    • Not free to develop it out
    • How to clean up data?
    • Sometimes have to change your business process (like how data gets input)
    • When importing historical data, its frequently advisable to clean it up first
    • There are apps available for data cleanup that work with Salesforce
    • There are dupe record catching mechanisms built into Salesforce, but if data input is too different, they won’t catch everything
    • Set your data input policies in advance (example: abbreviations vs. spelling things out – St. vs. Street)
    • Average time to convert to a new database varies, typically 1-2 years
    • Need to think about the cost of holding onto bad data
    • How much data do you really need to bring over from the old system? You don’t carry all your assets in your pocket as cash, you may not need to carry all your data around in a single system either
    • Data/email cleanup idea: send an email around offering a drawing for a gift card to see who responds
  • Email integration with databases
  • Finding funding for technology
    • Write tech consistently into all of your grant proposals
    • Don’t be afraid to write separate proposals for technology too
  • Accessibility (non-tech discussion)
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Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – March 2017

Grow PittsburghWe had a great meeting again at Grow Pittsburgh! Thank you again to Rebekah and GP staff for hosting us! (We will be back at GP for the April meeting on 4/5, then we go to the Frick Art & Historical Center in May.)

Here are the notes and resources from the meeting. Note that we concentrated very specifically this month on questions and issues raised by group members.

Data security audits for nonprofits

  • Assume banking standards because of donor-related info?
  • HIPAA compliance required for health care orgs
  • PCI-DSS – annual certification needed if accepting credit cards – there’s a 120 page document used to verify compliance on various systems
  • Trustwave – scans monthly for testing purposes
  • TransArmor – a security solution from First Data
  • Think about all security systems by going through PCI certification doc
  • PCI-DSS – limited where info is stored, who has access, etc.
  • If keep paper copies of credit card data, only liable for that – must keep locked up and have procedures in places for storage and destruction
  • If using 3rd party online service, compliance is on them
  • In PA, if a single record in the database is compromised, the organization is liable for $60-70 fine per person for a mandatory three years of a monitoring service
  • Idea: take risk analysis to executive director for org (to prove need to take action and/or make case for changes)
  • Many nonprofits are already in a crisis state and don’t need additional problems added to that
  • PNC Bank does not do merchant services – they resell for First Data
  • In terms of credit card processing, there are really only three processors, with everyone else being resellers: First Data, World Link and ______ (group couldn’t think of third company)

Phone systems, vendors, best practices for implementations

  • If don’t want cloud-based system, what are options? (Want phones that work when Internet goes down)
  • Also want to depreciate as capital expenditure
  • Avaya vendor – Advent Communications (pricey for support, but don’t have to call often – very stable)
  • Can use a broker to do your telecom research and pricing negotiation for you – Connectel, Opticom Consulting
  • Full Service Network – phone vendor, cloud-based retailer – not good for Internet service, only phones
  • Computer Reach – has put in phones, vendor in California
  • Internet configuration – suggest Internet router separate from phones so heavy network traffic doesn’t knock out phone system
  • Prime Communications – sell MyTel system
  • Guardian – owned by Armstrong Cable

OneDrive for Business if no Office 365 or Sharepoint

  • OneDrive is integrated with Windows 10
  • Hotmail is also integrated into OneDrive now
  • Can now simultaneous work in docs on OneDrive
  • TechSoup has Office 365 for $0, but need to purchase other things for it to be fully functional
  • Tech Impact provides migration services for eligible organizations via TechSoup (it’s a partnership – there’s a $10 fee for an assessment first)

If leaving your tech job, what should you document and share with the incoming person?

  • Keep a list of your daily activities for one month
  • Make other lists for weekly/monthly tasks
  • Propose that your org hires you as an independent consultant for a month or two
  • Refer to job description, then list all possible jobs the person might need to do under each heading
  • Get the info out of your head and onto paper
  • Think about the spinning plates act on the Ed Sullivan show – china plates spin most easily but are hard to replace, so are more important (critical tasks). Paper plates are harder to spin but easy to replace, so are less important (busy work).
  • Verbal only – give them the political read on people and relationships – but watch what you say because it’s a small nonprofit world in this geographical area

Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – February 2017

Thank you to everyone who attended our first meeting of the new year at Grow Pittsburgh, and a big thank you to Rebekah and the Grow Pittsburgh team for hosting us!

Our next meetup will take place at the same location on Wednesday, March 1 from 8:30-10 am.

Here are the notes and resources from the meeting:

Affordable wi-fi hotspots available from Mobile Citizen, a division of Sprint

  • Up to 10 people can connect to it
  • 25 MB encryption
  • Available to any nonprofit or household
  • You pay for the Franklin R450 hotspot (~$79 + $9 shipping), then $120 for a year of service
  • Visit MobileCitizen.com and submit NPO information
  • Have to re-certify annually
  • Coverage is anywhere Sprint has coverage (Sprint owns most of the cellphone infrastructure in the U.S.)
  • Cannot tether with it
  • Tech support is reportedly very good
  • If you have questions, email Dave Sevick at Computer Reach, info@computerreach.org
  • Cradlepoint – can plug old Verizon connectivity stick into it; will act like a landline router

Salesforce Resources

Training users

  • Tell them how to do it
  • Show them how to do it
  • Have them do it

Security

  • Ransomware – story about Italian hotel computer system held for ransom by hackers
  • What are nonprofits doing about cryptoware and ransomware?
  • Education is important – educating your staff and volunteers not to fall for scams in emails
  • AV software only does so much good to guard against this
  • Don Rowe and his colleagues are working on a few scripts to help guard against this (for example, one script would unmount the hard drive so it couldn’t be hijacked)
  • Most NPOs don’t seem to be creating disaster recovery plans – we need to get better about this
  • It’s important to check your ability to restore backups on a regular basis
  • Crashplan – online data backup
  • If ransomware were to take over your computer, the best thing you can do is shut it down, disconnect from the Internet and call someone for help
  • Software tools
  • A small office needs, at a minimum:
    • Firewall
    • Spam filtering appliance
    • Antivirus
    • Anti-malware
  • Management will always make the argument of convenience vs. risk – IT is sometimes forced into poor practices (If you are an IT worker in this boat, document everything to CYA)

Password management

Steel City Codefest event, 1st week in April 2017

  • NPOs or government agencies can submit a challenge to be worked on during the event
  • Deadline to submit is Valentine’s Day
  • Developer groups/teams can also sign up
  • Visit the website to submit a challenge

Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – March 2016

Note from CL: I owe a huge thank you to the group for stepping up to self-manage the meetup in my absence!  Extra, extra thanks to Rebekah Jenkins and the Grow Pgh staff, not only for hosting us, but for picking up the breakfast food too.  I’m so grateful and touched by the aspect of “community” that we have in our group.  You all rock!

Bagels & Bytes attendees discussing tech around a large conference tableNext month we will be having our meetup at the Frick Art & Historical Center in Point Breeze on Wednesday, 4/6.  I hope to see you there!

Here are the notes and resources from the meeting (thanks Nicole and Heather!):

General Troubleshooting

  • Discussed a BYOD problem Johna is having
  • Discussed a Office 2013 issue with deleting a recurring appt that then dupes itself

Disposing of Old Equipment

  • Computer Reach – recycling for anything but CRT monitors, they re-image them to Linux OS for redistributing to other orgs (small fee applies for wiping drives)
  • DBAN program – for wiping drives
  • YUMI – turn a flash drive into a Boot Device
    • will check all partitions

Bagels & Bytes attendees discussing tech around a large conference tableAnti-virus Recommendations

  • Best to have same AV software on all equipment for ease of maintenance to serve out updates
  • No McAfee
  • Norton (cloud based, good price through Techsoup)
  • Symantec ($4/license, can clas with Spiceworks and other software)
  • Avast (free AV)
  • Avira (free AV)
  • ClamWin (free, open source AV)
  • ESET (good for Windows OS updates and AV)
  • Webroot
  • Malwarebytes

Internet in the Field

  • phone tether vs hotspot vs tablet with data
  • Tether to cell and reimburse?
  • Mobile app – enter the info offline then synchronize?
  • Voice dictation in Google Docs?
  •  Chromebook – can split between Gmail logins but need wifi
  • Add as tether ($10 on Verizon)
  • Firefox, other programs will tether outside the phone

Google Grants

Bagels & Bytes attendees discussing tech around a large conference tableHacking

Policy re: Encryption

  • Should company sponsored cell phones have encryption?
  • Formatting into partitions w/encryption
  • Diskcrypter

Passwords

Document Sharing in Real Time

  • Google Drive vs secure intranet (Drive is real time, local server would have file locking occurring)
  • Egnyte – cloud-based server with apps or in browser
  • 2 people in the local file on a shared drive can corrupt the file

Encrypted Flash Drives

  • Use an app or can buy some with encrypted options
  • Some external drives are encrypted (some numeric and some biometric) of the hardware (not the software)
  • Enclosure also that takes any laptop drive

Outsourcing IT

Moving Email to the Cloud

  • Moving email to Google or Office 365 can cut IT costs $100K to $60K.
  • Include data migration if you go Exchange to cloud
  • Ask if you can migrate email yourself

Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – February 2016

web-IMG_1594For the first meetup of the new year, we went to a new location: Grow Pittsburgh in the East End.  A big “thank you” to Rebekkah and the GP staff for hosting us this month!

Here are the notes and resources from this month’s meetup:

Random resources and links

Swag winners

This month’s winners of NTEN swag!

  • Other local tech meetup groups
  • Recent Apple press release – working on long range wireless charging for devices
  • KDKA story about devices, including a suitcase that will power all of your devices (the story has been removed, but here’s a link to bluesmart, the maker of “the most powerful carry-on in the world”)

SalesForce

  • What to use for selling items and service online (integrations)

Fair Market Value

  • Got into a discussion about deducting FMV from tickets or auctioned items
  • Some software assists with this process and generates the proper receipts and some does not
  • Can get fined for not giving FMV receipts
  • Learn more about FMV at IRS.gov

Sources of Data About Nonprofits

Legacy Equipment

  • How long should you hold onto old equipment in order to retrieve older data from it (example: SCSI drives and servers that can handle them)?
  • Sometimes, if you really need the backup, you have to purchase duplicates of the equipment in question and keep in the closet “just in case”
  • Better to migrate data to a newer and/or cloud-based system
  • Communication between IT and end users is crucial when considering upgrades

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