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Long ago, before macOS was as stable as it is today, Mac users restarted their Macs regularly. Back then, Macs couldn’t sleep, either, so it was common for users to shut down at the end of the day and start up the next morning, effectively restarting daily.

With modern Macs using the barest trickle of power in sleep and both apps and macOS almost never crashing, many Mac users have gone to the opposite extreme, letting their Macs run for months between restarts. However, such an approach brings with it new problems, and as with so many things, there’s a happy medium.

Why are we banging this particular drum? As an off-the-cuff estimate, about a quarter of the problems reported to us can be solved by a restart. Really! Just click the Apple menu and choose Restart. As long as you save your work first or when prompted, nothing bad will happen.

Here are our top six reasons you should restart periodically:

  • Improved security: Restarting itself doesn’t generally improve security (although it could theoretically clear malicious code running in memory). However, installing macOS updates requires a restart, and we strongly recommend installing security-focused updates shortly after they’re released. If you resist installing updates because of the need to restart, you’re increasing your risk significantly. 

  • Resolve problems: Modern Macs may be more stable than ever, but things can still get funky. If apps are crashing, peripherals aren’t connecting, you’re seeing visual glitches, or anything else seems wrong, the first troubleshooting step is a restart. 

  • Better performance: We all have a feel for how long different tasks on our Macs take. If icons for launching apps bounce longer than usual, windows draw slowly, or you see the spinning pinwheel repeatedly, restart. Performance problems are often caused by a poorly coded app or out-of-control process causing your Mac to run out of physical memory and switch to slower virtual memory. Restarting clears such issues.

  • Recover drive space: Another memory-related bonus of restarting is that it can free up drive space. When macOS starts to rely on virtual memory, it creates swap files that can consume gigabytes of space. Restart, and all that space is returned, at least until your app usage requires it again.

  • Get updates: Most apps notify you of updates at launch, and some automatically download their updates but install them only when you quit. Either way, a restart results in all your apps quitting and relaunching, which ensures they either install or at least notify you of important updates.

  • Start fresh: Even if having 20 or more apps open isn’t affecting your Mac’s performance, a clean slate can help you focus on your work better. A simple restart quits everything and lets you start over with just those apps set to launch at login. For a completely fresh start, make sure to deselect “Reopen windows when logging back in” in the restart dialog. Of course, if you have a lot of documents open and need to return to them, leave that checkbox selected to pick up exactly where you left off.

There’s no set schedule on which you should restart, but if you use a Mac at work and like routines, it wouldn’t be problematic to restart on Friday evening as you wind down to leave for the weekend. That way, you’d return to a clean slate on Monday morning. It’s also totally fine to restart whenever it might be helpful.

Just don’t fear the restart—modern Macs, especially those with Apple silicon, restart quickly, and the benefits far outweigh the few minutes of downtime.

The ease of sending and receiving email makes it an attractive way to run scams like phishing attacks. One telltale mark of a phishing attack is the sender’s address not matching their purported domain; attacks that appear to come from legitimate email addresses are much more likely to fool the victim. 

You can protect your organization’s email accounts from being compromised and used in phishing attacks by training your users to identify forged emails and use password managers, which won’t autofill a password on a malicious site. But how do you prevent bad guys from forging email that looks like it comes from inside your organization? You can’t, but you can reduce the chances that other email servers will accept it. In the process, you’ll enhance the deliverability of legitimate email from your domain.

The rest of this article is aimed at two types of readers. The first is the IT professional who needs an overview of email authentication technologies and pointers to helpful tools. For other readers, this article will give you an idea of what’s involved so you can talk more knowledgeably with your IT staff or better appreciate what they manage for you.

Whether your email is hosted at Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace, or managed by your Internet service provider or IT department, if your organization has its own domain for email addresses——you need to know about and set up three authentication technologies: SPF, DKIM, and DMARC:

  • SPF, which stands for Sender Policy Framework, lets you specify which servers and domains are allowed to send email for your organization. It allows receiving mail servers to verify that incoming messages from your organization are actually from you.

  • DKIM, or DomainKeys Internet Mail, adds a digital signature to every message sent from your organization. Receiving mail servers can use your public key to verify that messages actually came from you and were not changed in transit.

  • DMARC, which expands to Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance, leverages SPF and DKIM to publish policies that tell receiving mail servers what to do with messages that fail authentication: deliver, quarantine, or reject them. A message fails DMARC authentication only if it fails both SPF and DKIM—only one is necessary for the message to pass DMARC’s checks.

These three authentication technologies exist inside DNS (Domain Name System) records. The primary use of DNS is to link your human-usable domain name with the underlying IP addresses of the servers that manage your Internet presence; for example, matching with an IP address like However, DNS can also contain TXT records with additional information about your domain—you configure SPF, DKIM, and DMARC using TXT records.

These TXT records must be carefully constructed to work correctly—an incorrect configuration could cause email failures. You could build them manually, but it’s safer to use a tool that asks you questions and spits out a correctly formatted TXT record for you to add to your DNS configuration. If all that sounds intimidating, work with your ISP or email service provider, or ask us for help. But here are the basics.



SPF is the oldest of these technologies. To get started, all you need to do is specify the names or IP addresses of servers that are allowed to send email from your domain. The mx (mail exchanger) and a radio buttons automatically add the servers listed in your DNS records, and anything you put in the Includes field will allow email sent from anything allowed by a third party that sends email on your behalf. It’s common to put Google, Amazon SES, SendGrid, or other systems there. The IPv4, IPv6, and Hostnames fields let you specify other allowed servers, but aren’t necessary.

The Policy menu is important—you can choose from Fail, SoftFail, and Neutral. Start with Neutral, which should allow messages to be accepted (it prefixes all in the TXT record with a ?). Then bump up to SoftFail (a tilde ~ prefix) to have messages accepted but marked. When you’re confident everything is working correctly, move to Fail, which uses a - prefix.


Because it relies on public key cryptography, DKIM is significantly more complicated. It’s much more likely that you’ll use a tool managed by the company that hosts your email to create your keys. That tool will automatically install the private key and give you the necessary details to add to a TXT record in your DNS settings.


Where SPF and DKIM are all about authenticating email messages, DMARC lets you say what happens when authentication fails. For Policy and Subdomain Policy, you can choose None, Quarantine, or Reject—those specify what will happen to messages that fail both SPF and DKIM authentication. Start with None to see what happens in your reporting, move to Quarantine, and if everything seems OK, end up at Reject. 

To set up reporting, DMARC reports are daily XML digests that aren’t human-readable, so they should be sent to a service that will parse them and provide you with a dashboard for exploring the problems.

Configuring DNS

Once you’ve generated your SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records, you have to configure them in your DNS settings. How you do that depends on your DNS host.

For each case, you’re creating a TXT record, but what goes in the Name and Content fields varies:

  • SPF: The name for an SPF record in most cases should be the @ character, signifying the root level of your domain. Paste the text that the SPF Generator tool created in the Content field. You can have only one SPF record for each domain, although you can set up separate SPF records for subdomains.

  • DKIM: You can have as many DKIM records as services that send email on your behalf, so the first part of the name can vary—we show example below. However, the ._domainkey part is required for each DKIM record. For the content, paste the text given to you by the email-sending service. Note that some email services may require you to create one or more CNAME records instead of a TXT record—just follow their instructions.

  • DMARC: For DMARC, the name must be _dmarc. Once again, you’ll paste the text given to you by the DMARC Generator tool in the Content field.

Reporting and Evaluation

After you set up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, it’s essential to keep an eye on your email. If you’ve started with SPF in Neutral mode and DMARC in None, nothing should go wrong. You can look through the headers of test messages you send to verify. This DMARCLY article explains what to look for. If you’ve signed up for an aggregate reporting service, you’ll be able to see reports like this one from Cloudflare that show the percentage of email that passes each of the authentication technologies.

If everything looks good and most email passes, change SPF to SoftFail and DMARC to Quarantine. Make sure you can send email to some known personal addresses on Gmail, Yahoo, or iCloud. Also, tell people who send email from your domain to be on the alert if they don’t hear back from someone who typically replies quickly—if a misconfiguration is causing your email to be marked as spam, you want to know about that quickly. If you’re using a DMARC reporting service, look at those reports to see if any email services are sending a lot of messages that fail DMARC. 

After you’ve run with those settings for a month or two, bump SPF up to Fail and DMARC to Reject. Continue to monitor your DMARC reporting and pay attention to any complaints from users about the messages they send not arriving.

That’s a lot, we know. Feel free to contact us if you need help with any step of the process. We take care of this for our customers aa part of our standard offerings.

Technology plays a pivotal role in driving efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness. For small businesses, workforce technology modernization is both an opportunity and a challenge.

Embracing modern technology can empower small businesses. It can help them thrive in a digital era. Yet many of them don’t keep up with modernization. For example, over 30% of small businesses haven’t upgraded systems in 4+ years.

Some of the reasons SMBs don’t upgrade their tech include:

·       Limited funding

·       Unsure how to modernize technology

·       Stuck in the “old way is fine” mentality

The benefits of upgrading technology are many. One study found the following. That 45% of businesses modernizing tech saw improved ROI for IT investments. Other important benefits include improved employee retention and decreased cybersecurity risk. Not to mention the productivity and time-saving advantages.

Is your small business looking to modernize its workforce technology? Here are some steps to get you started.

Assess Your Current Technology Landscape

The first step in any technology modernization initiative is to conduct an assessment. You need to fully understand your current technological infrastructure. Identify existing strengths and weaknesses. As well as outdated systems and areas where technology could enhance business processes. Understanding your starting point is crucial. It helps in developing a targeted and effective modernization strategy.

Align Technology Goals with Business Objectives

Technology should not be an isolated component. But rather, a strategic enabler aligned with your business goals. Clearly define how technology can support and enhance your business objectives. Whether it's improving customer engagement. Or streamlining internal processes and expanding market reach. Ensure that your technology modernization efforts align with your overarching business vision.

Focus on Cloud Adoption

The cloud has emerged as a game-changer for businesses of all sizes. Embracing cloud technologies can offer small businesses several benefits. These include scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness.

Consider migrating key applications and data to cloud platforms. This can enhance accessibility, collaboration, and data security. Cloud solutions can also simplify software updates and maintenance. This frees up resources for other strategic initiatives.

Invest in Collaborative Tools

Effective communication and collaboration are essential for small businesses. Invest in collaborative tools and platforms. These ease seamless interaction among team members, regardless of their physical location. Examples are video conferencing, project management, and document sharing tools. These tools can enhance teamwork and productivity. This fosters a cohesive work environment even in remote or hybrid setups.

Look at Cybersecurity Measures

There is an increasing prevalence of cyber threats. So, cybersecurity should be a top priority for small businesses undergoing technology modernization. Put in place robust cybersecurity measures. Focus on protecting sensitive data and customer information. As well as your critical business assets.

Cybersecurity measures include:

·       Firewalls

·       Antivirus software

·       Regular security updates

·       Employee training

·       Threat identification & response

Embrace Mobile-Friendly Solutions

In a world where mobility is paramount, adopting mobile-friendly solutions is key. Ensure that you've optimized business applications and platforms for mobile use. This allows employees to work efficiently from various devices. This enhances flexibility. It also accommodates the evolving expectations of the workforce. Employees value the ability to work on the go.

Look at Remote Work Options

The global shift towards remote work has accelerated. Small businesses should prepare to embrace flexible work arrangements. Modernize your technology infrastructure to support remote work options. These provide employees with the tools and connectivity they need. As well as helping them maintain productivity outside of the traditional office environment.

Consider Automation for Efficiency

Automation can significantly improve operational efficiency for small businesses. Identify repetitive, time-consuming tasks. These can often be automated to streamline workflows. Look at things like customer service chatbots and automated invoicing systems. Embracing automation can free up valuable human resources. As well as reduce the risk of errors in routine tasks.

Provide Ongoing Training and Support

Introducing new technologies requires commitment. A commitment to ongoing training and support for your workforce. Ensure that employees have the necessary skills to leverage the new tools effectively. This may involve providing training sessions. As well as creating user-friendly guides. And offering a support system to address any issues that may arise during the transition.

Watch and Adapt to Evolving Technologies

Technology is a dynamic field. Staying ahead requires a commitment to watching and adapting to emerging trends. Regularly assess the technology landscape. Work with your IT provider. We'll help you identify new solutions that could benefit your business. A proactive approach to staying current ensures your small business remains competitive.

Need Help Upgrading Your Workforce Technology?

Workforce technology modernization is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. It's a strategic journey that requires careful planning. As well as alignment with business objectives. By embracing these practical strategies, small businesses can leverage technology. And use it to enhance their operational capabilities. They also position themselves for sustained success in the digital age.

Need help with workforce technology modernization? Give us a call today to schedule a chat.

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