Privacy

  • How to Face a Microsoft Audit

    What Happens During a Microsoft Audit?

    It is no secret that most organizations dread software audits. Consequences for failed audits could mean hefty fees. Preparation can be time consuming and frustrating. The benefits of audits are seldom discussed and understanding these benefits, such as lowering costs by getting rid of unused licenses, can relieve some of the frustration that comes from audit preparation.

    The fact stands that every company has a right to protect their intellectual property. Microsoft is listed as one of five companies most likely to perform an audit. A Microsoft audit will not only benefit Microsoft, but will benefit your company by maximizing your current license position.

    As Microsoft tends to prevail in most audit conversations, it’s important to understand its audit process, along with the benefits. When Microsoft requests an audit, it is impossible to tell the reasons behind the request. In most cases, they will not take legal action against you and are just trying to verify that the company is “right licensed”.

     

    microsoft-audit-management

    Types of Audits

    There are four types of requests that you may receive and they go as follows. You will get an email request to self-audit and reply to the email stating that you have performed a self-audit and believe you are in compliance or you will receive a letter or email requesting a self-audit including documents to fill out sent by the SAM manager, you will receive a letter. If compliance is still questioned, Microsoft might take more serious action.

    You could receive an email or phone call requesting to do an audit on behalf of Microsoft, or you will receive a letter or email from Microsoft Legal and Corporate Affairs, which could indicate that your company is on the verge of getting sued.

    Microsoft audits are a way to make sure that all the copies of the installed software in a company is licensed. In addition, they minimize the spread of viruses that can come from uncontrolled software copies. Though failing an audit might lead to fees, the audit itself can save a company from prosecution due to software theft. Overall, the Microsoft auditing process can be beneficial if the proper precautions are taken to prepare.

    How to Escape from a Microsoft Audit

    Royal Discount will never disclose private, personal or business information to Microsoft to initiate an audit. Our services are 100% confidential, and we can often negotiate a position for those who have already received a self-audit letter. Audits are initiated directly by Microsoft through their proprietary systems. These systems look for various red flags. These red flags are what initiate an audit. An example of a red flag event would be not investing in CALs with the purchase of SQL Server or Windows Server (if needed). For more information on audits, or audit prevention, contact our licensing desk for a free consultation.

     


  • Essential Techniques to Protect Your Online Privacy

    If anyone asks you how much you care about your privacy, you’ll probably tell that person that you care a lot. But if you really do, how come everyone knows what’s going in your life? You post tons of information on social media, share your personal information with vendors and manage your bank accounts online.

    There are a lot of people who want to get a hold of your personal information. Malicious hackers are trying to hack your email and social media accounts and are trying to steal from you. Good thing is, there are steps you can take to protect your privacy online.

    Follow the tips below to help increase your online privacy.

    Think before sharing your personal information

    Check to see if the website has a privacy policy page before entering your personal information. If there isn’t, then leave the site immediately. If they didn’t bother to create a privacy policy, then you can’t trust them with sensitive information.

    Turn on private browsing

    Every company that advertises online wants to gather as much information about you. They want to what you like, who you’re friends with on social media and what you buy. They do this because they want to serve you with relevant ads and sell you more products and services. If you don’t want anyone to see where you're hanging out online, be sure to enable private browsing.

    Hide your IP address

    Your ISP assigns an IP address to your device. Each time you use the Internet, your activities are logged by your ISP. Because of this, they can identify your name, location, sites you visit, the browser you use, emails you have sent and receive and pretty much everything you do online.

    Using a VPN is one of the most important steps to protect your privacy. Nobody will be able to associate what you’re doing with who you are since your connection is encrypted.

    Guard your birth date and contact number

    Your birth date is a key piece of information many providers use for verification. The same goes for your contact numbers. Try not to display this information, if possible. For the latest security news, information and releases, contact our software licensing experts at Royal Discount. We are a Certified Microsoft, Symantec and Adobe partner specializing in bulk purchases & discounts. Call us direct at 1-877-292-7712.


  • Windows 10 Privacy Settings You Need to Change Right Now

    You open your browser and noticed that all the banner ads have something to do with your favorite hobby. You search for a restaurant, looking for a nice place to celebrate your mom’s birthday and surprisingly, Bing already knows your location. What is going on?

    If you are currently using Windows 10 and have chosen to keep the default settings, Microsoft now has access to your purchase history, browsing history, your location and a lot more. These features can be convenient, but it can also raise privacy concerns.

    This week, we’ll teach you how to manage your privacy settings to prevent Windows 10 from collecting some of your personal information.

    Disable target ads

    In order to serve you with more targeted ads, Windows 10 has issued a unique advertising ID for you. While there is no option to get rid of the ID permanently, you can prevent 3rd party apps from accessing your data.

    Open the Start menu, choose Settings and then Privacy. From here, disable “Let apps use my advertising ID for experiences across apps”.

    Exercise Cortana caution

    Cortana is the all-knowing digital personal assistant built into Windows 10. But she’ll need to know all sorts of information about you in order to function properly. This information includes anything from contacts, location, data from your text messages, emails, calendars etc.

    To take back a bit of privacy, open your Start menu and launch the Settings app. From here, select “Privacy” and then “Speech, inking and typing”. Then, click the “Stop Getting to Know Me” button.

    Disable Wifi sense

    The wifi sense is one of the most notorious sharing issues with Windows 10. This allows users to connect to protected wifi networks even without a password. The passwords are encrypted and those passwords are stored on a Microsoft server somewhere. This allows you to connect to a wireless network when you visit a friend’s house without the hassle of asking for their password.

    If you’d like to turn that off, just open your Start menu and launch the Settings app. Then, choose “Network and Internet” and click “Manage wifi settings”.


  • McAfee vs Norton: Which AntiVirus Software is Best for Small Businesses?

    Antivirus software is important for any small business. Protecting computer equipment from spyware, malware, and ransomware is essential to daily business operations. In addition to the pain and hassle of dealing with a virus, some of the more severe viruses can compromise client data, financial information, and other sensitive or personally identifiable data.

    Most people are familiar with both McAfee Antivirus and Norton Antivirus, but few know the real differences between them. Although both commercially-available antivirus software providers are widely used in the business world, not all antivirus software is best for small business needs. Before you select your small business antivirus software, consider the four following considerations all small businesses need to be aware of.

    Bulk License Program Options

    McAfee: McAfee offers several volume licensing options at different available tiers. The minimum volume licensing order is 11 nodes, and it goes up to 10,000+ nodes.

    Norton: Norton doesn’t offer flat-out purchasable volume license – rather, they offer an incentive program where you receive discounts on additional licenses based on how many points you’ve accumulated (dollars spent).
    McAfee seems to be better for small business antivirus licensing if you plan on buying all of your licenses up front. Norton is better if you buy antivirus licenses over time, and accumulate points to earn discounts on volume licenses. McAfee’s volume licensing is extremely scalable, and can help small businesses budget up front for licenses better than Norton’s plan.

    Cost Factors

    McAfee: McAfee offers three different pricing packages for small business that are clear and concise. The packages range from $24.90 per license per year at the very low end, to $51.85 per license per year at the very high end. This does not factor in volume licensing pricing, however.

    Norton: Norton doesn’t list clear pricing plans specifically for small businesses or volume licensing on their website, however, the general range is around $35.00-$50.00 per license per year. Norton does, however, offer lots of different branded software solutions for different needs.
    The costs seem about comparable, but McAfee’s pricing is much more simple and clear to understand. Their three packages for small business are easy to get and straightforward. Although Norton offers many small business solutions, their branded names make it difficult for small businesses to figure out what exactly they need.

    Flexibility of System Requirements

    McAfee:

    • PC - Min Windows + 500 MB available hard drive space
    • Mac - OS X 10.6 or higher + 300 MB available hard drive space

    Norton:

    • PC - Windows + 300 MB available hard drive space
    • Mac - Must buy separate Norton for Mac software (for OS X 10.7 or higher) + 1.5 GB available hard drive space

    McAfee is better for organizations who have PCs and Macs, but for organizations that only have PCs, Norton takes up slightly less hard drive space per computer. The hard drive space savings between PC software is marginal though, so McAfee’s ability to work on both Mac and PC without buying additional software is beneficial. Plus, if your organization runs mostly on Macs, the hard drive space savings is more significant when choosing McAfee over Norton.

    Upgradability

    McAfee: McAfee doesn’t list their specific upgrade rules on their website, but they do offer free automatic security updates as they become available. They also provide support solutions for small businesses.

    Norton: Norton upgrades are available to users who have a support account, and they will receive automatic notifications. Users without support accounts can buy one at an additional charge to receive these upgrades and notifications.

    Norton is more clear and upfront about their upgrade policy, and offer more support options for upgrading. McAfee’s failure to list upgrade details is questionable, however, they do offer a number of support services for small businesses.

    Conclusion

    When comparing and contrasting McAfee Antivirus with Norton Antivirus, it seems as though McAfee is slightly better for small businesses for a number of reasons: McAfee is scalable, price-plan predictable, and flexible on a variety of types of computers and operating systems. However, Norton offers many of the same great benefits that McAfee does, and excels in support and a large variety of solutions for specific small business needs.

    Although these four considerations are among the most applicable to small business needs, there are many other considerations and questions that might be specific to different businesses. For example, if your small business needs to remain HIPAA compliant, PCI compliant, or if you store other types of sensitive data, you may require different offerings from an internal source. Either way, investing in antivirus can save your business a lot of time, reputability, and money in the future.

    For more help deciding on the right antivirus program, or for questions, contact our Licensing & Sales experts. Royal Discount is the internet's best source for cheap online software deals. Helping individuals, IT managers and businesses for over 20 years running. Call in direct at 1-877-292-7712 - Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:30pm.