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HELP! My Hard Drive Ate My WORK FILES!

(Reading time: 3 - 6 minutes)

Backing up your computer is one of the most important tasks in today’s technology era.  We keep everything from family pictures to super sensitive information (correspondence, passwords, financial and legal documents, etc.) on our computers that if lost could be devastating.  It is important to recognize that at any point a hard drive can be damaged, or for that matter, just quit without warning.  Also consider malware attacks,  especially ransomware, where data can be stolen, locked or destroyed  Just as data is important for your life, it is crucial and time sensitive when it comes to your business.  Loss of client information and records, financial transactions and documentation, planning resources can cripple your progress.. So let’s take just a few minutes to look at some important factors when working out what you need to backup, why you need to backup and a path to start a plan to backup your information. 

BIG HUGE ‘GINORMOUS’ RISK FACTORS: Newer ‘Hard Drives’ – SSD / M.2

Most of today’s laptop computers have a different technology than the old spinning drives.  Once, we had hard drives with platters that if something happened, you could possibly send the drive out and gain back some data if not all.  However, many of today’s computers and laptops don’t rely on hard drives with platters.  Instead, they are a series of chips that have a high storage capability such as 512GB to 2 TB.  These types of drives are not as easily recovered if severely damaged.   These drives also do not have the longevity of hardware that the older drive technology has.

Read more: HELP! My Hard Drive Ate My WORK FILES!

Social Media: The Dark Side of Your Personal Data

(Reading time: 3 - 6 minutes)

There is a glut of articles on social media out there today. Some talk about the evils and some the gifts of being on social media. Others have listed Social Media as a taboo subject and quickly exit the room when it’s discussed.  When we talk about social media, most folks see this as an interaction between people.  The comments that go back and forth are often passionate pleas, educational discussions or even just bitter arguments.  I’ll leave the psychology of social media posting to experts in that field.  However, from a data perspective, social media is the largest collector of private data in the world and in history.  From the ads you click-on to the posts you read, each element of your personal data helps to build an immense data structure that stores each and every nuance of what you do and then either sells it to individuals, studies it in labs, exports it to buyers or gives access to slice and dice for political or corporate use.

Many of us have anti-virus software on our computers to keep away malicious software that can steal information, damage our computers, inundate us with horrible ads or even ransom the computer.  Let’s face it, computers in and of themselves are so complicated today that most people do not know what information is inside let alone where it all goes.  To actually know if your computer has malware inside it we need programs to run constantly to test it and even then, tools have been developed and released into the public that allow virtually any knowledgeable computer individual to infiltrate a system fairly quickly (see CIA tools release 2016).

Read more: Social Media: The Dark Side of Your Personal Data

Reworking your Office Software after the Pandemic

(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)

After the pandemic, most workplaces are going to have a whole new series of tasks that have to be tracked and managed.  From cleaning off surfaces to social distancing to who is in the office on what day, each of these transitional tasks will need some sort of monitoring and tracking to see what performance indicators work best for your companies and non-profits.  Often these tracking applications need to be made quickly and be easy to modify as shifting requirements are met or new requirements appear.

Microsoft Access is the perfect platform to create quick tracking applications for small offices.  From cleaning supplies to scheduling, Access can become a very effective tool for this type of application allowing for flexibility in reporting, data management and evaluation.

However, spending time creating these applications can bog you down wasting valuable time even if you have the expertise. If you require Access expertise, professional development may be well worth the cost in time savings and efficiency. Here are a few helpful easy tips to  get your application up and running as fast as possible whether you are doing the work yourself, or to prepare for consultation with a programmer:.

Read more: Reworking your Office Software after the Pandemic

Tips to Maximize Video Conference Quality for You and Others

(Reading time: 3 - 5 minutes)

Clean Bandwidth is critical to a successful web video conference:  

Over time,  streaming video has improved dramatically. Compression algorithms have enabled the video signal feeds to become more compact as time has progressed.  However, video still takes up a huge amount of bandwidth to be able to run.  The ability to use the maximum bandwidth possible will greatly enhance both your audience’s and your video experience  The higher bandwidth you maintain for your video conferencing, the clearer video and audio will come through for your audience. Here are some ways to readily reduce drain on your available bandwidth  

Closing Web Browser Applications:

Chrome, IE or Edge,  Firefox and Safari use a tremendous amount of bandwidth behind the scenes that can slow down a web conference.  Close as many browser windows (& tabs) that you can.  Often these browser windows may seem like a minor issue when it comes to streaming.  Behind the scenes however they can absorb a tremendous amount of bandwidth

Read more: Tips to Maximize Video Conference Quality for You and Others

8 Tips to Get Your Workplace Computer Back On-Line After Quarantine

(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)

 

Getting ready to start your computer equipment at work after the long hiatus can be a challenge for anyone. Here are a 8 tips that can help you avoid damaging your equipment and having a very successful restart with your technology.

 

Plan Additional Time: It's going to take time to restart your office. Time to dust, clean and work through the technology start-ups that are going to happen. The first tip is to plan plenty of time to get your technology up and running. There will be hardware failures, dead batteries, slow networks, dead equipment and a multitude of glitches that are going to happen in the first few days. Planning time around working through the equipment issues will save you frustration and make the tasks easier to complete.

Vacuum and dust:  If you have to dust your desk off, do it before you turn on your computer so the dust doesn’t go into the insides of your computer. Vacuum off your keyboard - after 3 months of sitting in the office, more than likely there will be quite a bit of dust on - and in - it.  

Check for Critters who may have made new homes in your electronics:  It’s always good to remember that after an extended absence, other ‘residents’ may have decided to make a townhouse out of your hardware.  Mice will often go inside printers, copiers to get paper for their nests.  Prior to running your equipment- inspect it to insure no unwanted guests have made a home or shredded some things for a nest. (No kidding!)

Read more: 8 Tips to Get Your Workplace Computer Back On-Line After Quarantine

How not to Cyber-Poison Your Office when you Return to Work

(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

You have managed to survive the pandemic so far and you FINALLY have been given the okay to return to work!!!! WOOT! So now it's time to prep on how you are going to SAFELY get your computer files back into your work system.

Employees and contractors who have been on their home systems will need to transfer files back to the work systems upon returning to the office.  Home systems may not have as robust virus and malware checking, so here are some recommended safe practices:

Big “Do Not” -

  • Don’t grab your USB keydrive, copy your files and throw it straight into your work computer! Many of us don’t have adequate virus protection on our home systems.  
    • Be sure to run your home anti-virus on ANY files you are going to transfer.
    • Remember to update the anti-virus program on your work computer FIRST,  BEFORE downloading any files! 

The Updates are coming

Plan on spending a good amount of time waiting for your computer to update prior to using it when you first get into work. (If you have an IT department, they may be able to turn on your system and get the updates accomplished prior to your arrival.)  

Read more: How not to Cyber-Poison Your Office when you Return to Work

Old Computer

(Reading time: 1 minute)

Daily Computer Humor       Daily Humor 3-28-2013   Daily Computer Humor

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Old Comptuer

You Know Your Need a New Computer When...

 

 

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