The Simply Smarter Blog

The Simply Smarter Blog

The Crucial Role of Technology Partnerships: Helping Schools Flourish

Anne Beck /

The educational landscape has undergone a profound transformation. Classrooms, once adorned with traditional teaching tools, have evolved into digital hubs where connectivity is no longer a luxury but a fundamental requirement. In fact, recent studies highlight the staggering growth of connected devices. Parks Associates, an IoT market research consulting firm, revealed the number of connected devices per US internet household has increased from 8 devices in 2015 to 17 in 2023.  By 2025, more than half of all educational institutions will have implemented a complete software as a service (SaaS) cloud model.

Don’t Let Your Data Be Compromised – Cybersecurity Tips After the “Mother of All Breaches”


Cybercrime in 2024 is off to a historic start, as we just saw one of the largest data breaches ever, compromising billions of records and exposing confidential data. This most recent attack shows that bad actors are targeting not only large enterprises or government organizations but also smaller businesses and individuals. It’s a sobering reminder to be conscious about what security measures you currently have in place for your organization, where you can improve, and what to do if your data is leaked in a future “Mother of All Breaches” type of attack.

Not so old school anymore! Macon County Schools share a lesson in printing efficiency

 

Educators and school support staff already have a tough enough job as it is. Add outdated and malfunctioning technology to the mix, and you have an academic perfect storm. This is what faced the Macon County School District, located in southwestern North Carolina near the Appalachian Trail. They were dealing with outdated printers and copiers and needed to modernize quickly in order to spend less time worrying about tech and more time focusing on their 4,400 students. As such, they turned to Sharp for updated and innovative solutions to their printing environment needs.   

Is Your Classroom Tech-Savvy? Four Examples of How Technology Improves Learning

Danielle Cerny /

Integrating technology into the classroom is a great way to ensure that students receive a well-rounded education that prepares them not just for the digital challenges of tomorrow, but also for the diverse world they will navigate. If you need help in figuring out how exactly to incorporate the right technology to provide a truly enriching educational experience for our students, you’re in luck. Outlined below are four examples of how technology can be seamlessly folded into the classroom – and some research to back it up!

4 Benefits to Improving Collaboration Within a Hospital

Heather Fudger /

A collaboration display is an interactive touch display that allows the user to interact with the content displayed on it. Collaboration displays offer a platform for staff to present relevant information and updates, facilitating more efficient communication. By visually showcasing patient medication schedules, discharge details and care plans, collaboration displays contribute to lowering the potential for medical errors. Patients can easily access staff names, enabling them to address inquiries or issues promptly. Ultimately, the utilization of collaboration displays can help patient communication and engagement. Here are four benefits to using collaboration displays in a hospital.

Understanding and Managing Digital Exhaust: The Invisible Trail of Data Left Behind

Louis Costantini /

One of the best precautions organizations can take to establish security best practices is to promote proper data management among its employees. Data is generated with every individual’s click, search and interaction online, leaving a trail of data behind while navigating various websites and services. This trail of data, known as "digital exhaust," can leave the individual, and consequently their employer, vulnerable to data breaches and privacy violations if not properly managed and secured. 

As companies increasingly rely on digital platforms for operations, marketing and customer engagement, they inadvertently generate vast amounts of data. The misuse of this sensitive information not only risks compromising customer trust but also opens the door to potential legal and financial repercussions. For businesses, the challenge lies in harnessing the power of digital exhaust for strategic advantage and safeguarding against its pitfalls. Let's dive into the concept of digital exhaust, its implications, and how to manage it effectively.

A Simple Guide to Leasing Office Equipment

Anne Beck /

Are you looking to lease office equipment? Have you questioned whether to buy or lease? In an ever evolving, unpredictable world of modern technology, buying and owning office equipment yields more risk, and less flexibility, convenience, and long-term cost savings than ever before. Leasing, however, offers convenient, flexible, and scalable buying plans, a popular choice among mindful consumers. In this smart guide to leasing, our industry experts share 3 important rules.

Q&A with the Masterminds Behind the BP Series Multifunction Printers

Louis Costantini /

Drawing upon the wealth of technological expertise and insights garnered during a 50-year journey in the document solutions business, Sharp’s BP-70C/60C/50C series of digital full-color multifunction printers (MFPs) encapsulate the core concept of Sharp – to become an indispensable partner in supporting our customers' businesses.

This blog features interview responses from Sharp Corporation’s Mr. Furusawa of Product Planning, Mr. Hirano and Taguchi of Technology, and Mr. Tsutsui of Design, to gain deeper insights into the vision, technology, and design philosophy that have shaped the BP-70C/60C/50C series. 

Best Practices to Protect Your Business from a Cyberattack

Cybersecurity remains top of mind for businesses as our world becomes more digitized. A recent report from IBM discovered that on average globally, the cost of a data breach was $4.45 million in 2023. Cyber-attacks continue to rise, so we sat down with Tony Roessler, Managed Network Services National Manager at Sharp, to share insights on common attacks and best practices that you can take to best protect yourself and your business from a potential breach.

5 Frequently Used IT Security Terms & Acronyms

Louis Costantini /

Have you ever been involved in a conversation with your IT department and thought, "What does that even mean?" Well, you are not alone. Understanding the myriad of security acronyms can be a daunting task, and with the security landscape's constant evolution, even experienced IT professionals occasionally encounter unfamiliar terminology. Whether you are seeking clarity on the latest trends, exploring critical concepts, or simply looking to expand your security vocabulary, you've arrived at the right destination. Below, you will find five frequently used security terms and acronyms and the definitions associated with each.

A3 vs. A4 Printers - What's the Difference?

Naeran Rubio /

Multifunctional devices and printers are essential tools for professional use, allowing us to bring digital content into the physical realm. But when it comes to choosing the right printer, it is not always clear which one is right for your organization’s needs. Two common types of printers and multifunctional devices used in printing are A3 and A4. In this blog, we will explore the difference between A3 and A4 printers to help you make an informed decision when selecting the right printer for your business’ needs.

To Err is Human, Unfortunately: 5 key findings from the 2023 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report

Danielle Cerny /

This year, Verizon released its latest “Data Breach Investigations Report” (DBIR) that analyzed 16,312 security incidents, of which 5,199 were confirmed data breaches.* In contrast to last year’s report, this year’s focused more on the actual data breaches to bring concise and actionable findings to the table. It’s overarching conclusion: in a time of so much uncertainty, hackers found new avenues to exploit the human element, using the same tried and true tactics.

Digital Press Sneak Peek: Q&A with Sharp’s VP of Product Management

Melanie Camacho /

Print enthusiasts, rejoice! There’s a new provider of leading digital presses bursting onto the scene. Earlier this year, Sharp announced its entrance into the production print market. Central reprographic departments (CRDs), in-plant printing facilities and commercial print centers will soon have a new stand-out option to consider when making their next big investment. The highly anticipated digital presses are launching soon, so what better time to sit down with Sharp’s VP of Product Management Shane Coffey. We discussed the Sharp production press support program and why it’s important to dealers and great for customers as well as buzz worthy technology on the upcoming Sharp Digital Press Series. Here’s what Shane had to say.

Q&A with Kent: Sharp's Breakthroughs in Light Production Color Printing

Melanie Camacho /

Hey there, savvy print enthusiasts! Imagine this: blazing printing speeds, colors that dance, and helpful features to unleash your creativity. As you probably know by now, Sharp recently announced the launch of its latest light production printing systems, the BP Color Pro Series. Today, we're catching up with one of the production print geniuses behind it all, Kent Villareal, Sharp's Senior Product Manager, to give you the lowdown on these pioneering Color Pro Series models that are creating a stir. Sit back, relax and learn some key takeaways about these newly released light production models.

4 Things to Know When Deploying Digital Signage

Digital signage solutions can enhance any organization by offering the ability to communicate in a modern, efficient way with your audience. These devices are gaining in popularity and traction, with nearly 60% of businesses planning to invest in digital signage within the next two years. This is because these devices allow for real-time updates and announcements that can be shared seamlessly and can improve overall engagement. Read on to learn a few tips for deploying digital signage in your business and how to make the most of this technology.

Is Your Teenager Cyber-smart?

Heather Fudger / Mary Massarueh /

“Is your teenager cyber-smart?” That question can sound scary, but what does it even mean? As parents or guardians, guiding and empowering your teens to navigate the digital world is crucial. By fostering open communication, educating them about online threats and implementing cybersecurity best practices, you can help keep your teens cyber secure. Encourage teens to participate in offline activities, hobbies and social interactions to develop a well-rounded and healthy lifestyle.

5 DIY Cybersecurity Steps for Small Businesses

Danielle Cerny /

In a landscape where small and medium businesses (SMBs) represent the target of 43% of all data breaches and suffered losses exceeding $2.8 billion in 2020 alone, the need for cybersecurity readiness is starkly evident. While large firms maintain dedicated cybersecurity departments, budget constraints can hinder small businesses from doing the same. Thus, small businesses should empower themselves to handle cybersecurity whenever possible.

Though we always recommend partnering with a managed service provider (MSP) to help augment internal resources, here are a few tips that you can use to help bolster your defense against cyberattacks.

Understanding Printer Vulnerabilities: Common Attack Methods and How to Avoid Them

Louis Costantini /

Multifunction printers (MFPs) play a fundamental role in offices worldwide. However, it is critical to recognize that these devices can pose significant security risks if not correctly protected. With cybercriminals and malicious hackers constantly seeking vulnerabilities to exploit, it is necessary to understand the conventional attack methods they employ and implement robust security measures to mitigate these risks. Below, we address a few common printer vulnerabilities and best practices to identify and avoid them.

When Size Matters: The Case for Larger Displays

Digital displays have become essential communication tools in corporate offices, retail stores, school campuses, event spaces, and other settings because they enhance collaboration, boost commerce, and improve the transmission of marketing messages and other information. In appropriate applications, larger displays — typically measuring 70 inches or more diagonally — provide crucial additional benefits beyond those offered by smaller-sized displays. Let’s examine how larger displays can help you achieve your communication and brand goals.

Think Twice: Why Schools Shouldn’t Rush to a Chromebook Decision

Danielle Cerny /

K-12 educators and school administrators are on a never-ending quest to equip students with the tools to thrive in higher education and the working world – and it’s no small feat! Lesson plans are carefully crafted, teaching techniques are meticulously studied, and extracurricular activities are thoroughly organized. Amidst these efforts, one lever often goes unnoticed—the choice of laptops that students utilize day in and day out.

While Chromebooks have gained popularity in schools across the country, it's crucial to pause and consider if they truly prepare students for the Windows based systems that they will inevitably use in college and beyond. Every choice an educator makes aims to develop skills that align with the evolving demands of their careers. That's why I propose we take a closer look at a more suitable alternative.

Which Collaboration Display is Right for Your Business or Classroom?

It can be intimidating to choose an interactive display that's right for your organization and knowing what to look for is key to making the right choice.

AQUOS BOARD® collaboration display systems are much more than your typical interactive whiteboards. These displays offer smooth and effortless communication along with high-tech features that keep audiences engaged and involved whether in the classroom or boardroom.

3 Legal Superpowers Unleashed: How communication, visual thinking & document management can empower the legal industry

Danielle Cerny /

 

Legal professionals operate in a detail-oriented environment, where effective collaboration and document management are key to efficiency, security, and client service. To keep up with the evolving demands of the legal landscape, law firms are turning to modern technologies that streamline workflows, strengthen information security, and foster seamless communication. In this blog post, we’ll review the evidence proving that collaboration tools, interactive whiteboards, and copiers/printers are 3 superpowers that help alleviate common challenges, reduce billable leakage, and enhance productivity in the legal sector.

How to Use Display Technology to Make Your Doctor's Office More Pleasant

Effective communication is vital to the work of doctors, nurses and their staff - and it’s not exactly overlooked by patients, either. Any visit to a doctor’s office, clinic, urgent care center or hospital should be as stress-free as possible, and keeping patients informed goes a long way in accomplishing that. One effective tool for healthcare professionals to consider is implementing modern devices to enhance decision-making, collaboration and the overall patient experience.

One healthcare organization in New York resolved to innovate communication within their offices. They looked to their technology partners to bring interactive display systems into their facility to improve visibility, navigation and overall engagement.

Down to Business: Which Dynabook laptop is right for you?

Danielle Cerny /

When it comes to reliable and versatile laptops, Sharp’s laptop division, Dynabook, has established itself as a prominent brand, offering a diverse range of products to cater to the varying needs of professionals, schools and business users. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at three laptop series from Sharp’s Dynabook brand: Tecra, Portégé, and Satellite Pro. Each series brings its own unique features and benefits, ensuring that users can find the perfect device to suit their specific requirements.

Remembering Memorial Day – Reflections from the Sharp Veterans Education Resource Group

Angelita Fanas /



The following reflections about Memorial Day have been contributed by the Sharp Veterans Education Resource Group (Veterans ERG), whose mission it is to empower and enable our proud veterans by providing them opportunities to share experiences, improve veteran recruitment, enhance professional growth and provide feedback to improve the overall Sharp community.

Don’t Let the Summer Sun Blind You from Cybersecurity Threats

Summer is nearly here, which means more time for vacations and traveling. With remote and hybrid work, many individuals will be taking calls, answering emails or collaborating with teams while on the go. Although working where you want may be convenient for your personal or business travel plans, it's critical to be aware of potential cyber threats when using devices both en route and at your destination.

A recent article by Cybercrime Magazine predicted that global cybercrime costs will increase by 15% per year, amounting to $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. Here are some tips on how you can make sure to protect your data – and that of your organization – from potential cybersecurity breaches.

Taking a Security-First Approach to Print

A 2023 study found that 68% of organizations in the United States and Europe experienced data loss due to unsecure printing. Modern multi-functional printers (MFPs) offer a wide array of advanced productivity features to keep employees engaged and connect them to various business applications. Given their strategic importance in today’s workplace, how can we ensure MFPs have proper security measures in place so that they avoid becoming weak points that open doors to bad actors? Following are some steps Sharp has taken to address this.

The 5 Benefits of Interactive Displays in the Classroom

Heather Fudger /

Classrooms have completely evolved over the past 20+ years.  We all remember the days of messy chalk on blackboards and overhead projectors.  Those big, bulky pieces of machinery wheeled in on a cart in the middle of the classroom.  Who doesn’t remember the thrill of being allowed to write on the transparency with a dry-erase marker and seeing the results projected on the wall? Fortunately, there has been an evolution in how educators can display their lessons.

How to Catch a Phishing Email

Danielle Cerny /

Phishing remains one of the most common types of cybercrime according to the FBI's Internet Crime Report.  Cybercriminals took advantage of our state of unrest and found ways to profit from our heightened dependence on technology. With $10.2 billion in profits, internet crime is a lucrative business to be in. As cyber criminals get more savvy in the art of deception, these emails are getting harder to recognize. They are no longer desperate requests for money or a plea from an offshore prince. They are simple messages with a simple objective – to get you to click or respond.

Email is a key that cyber criminals can use to comprise you or your employer’s sensitive data - and bank account. It’s time to for us to treat it as such by analyzing every email received to catch phishing attempts. After practice, it will become second nature. Here are a few tips to follow in order to take back our inboxes.

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