Tag Archives: Computer

5 Smart Tips To Know Before Moving Your Data To A Cloud-Based Application

5 Smart Tips To Know Before Moving Your Data To A Cloud-Based Application

Cloud computing is all the rage these days, and while some companies are moving their whole IT infrastructure to the cloud, many others are choosing to streamline their businesses by moving individual business applications.

If you are considering moving any of your company’s software applications “to the cloud,” make sure to consider these 5 tips BEFORE pulling the trigger:

1. Back It Up!
Migrating data to any new location is a mess, and anything can (and usually does) go wrong. Therefore, make sure you have good, recent backup copies of everything before you make the move.

2. Maintain An On-site Copy
At first, moving to the cloud can be a bit scary. What can help mitigate the risk (and the fear) is keeping a local, on-site copy of your data and network image on an NAS (network-attached storage) device. That way you have a local on-site copy in addition to the working cloud copy.

3. Have A “Plan B” To Access The Internet
One of the biggest questions about moving IT to the cloud is “What if the Internet goes down?” To mitigate that fail point, have a business-class Internet connection as your initial and main way to connect, and then also have a second Internet connection service as a backup. If Charter/Cox is your main connection, you might consider keeping a Verizon wireless account as a backup.

4. Use It As An Opportunity To Do Some Housekeeping
You could just copy and paste your files from your local machines into the cloud, but why not take this as an opportunity to reevaluate the structure and organization of that data? Here are some ideas:
• Reevaluate and/or update your file-naming conventions and file organization. A good file-naming policy will make it much easier to find files and information. Also, consider reorganizing all the folders into smarter, more efficient categories.
• Consider who will be using what and what levels of permissions are required to access files. Revisiting your permission levels will help keep sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands.
• Look at old files and consider deleting them or archiving them so they aren’t cluttering up your server and costing you money for storing and backing them up.

5. Phase The Move
Don’t try to migrate everything all at once. Create a transition plan and implement it. Make sure you move your files in bite-size pieces so the changes are easy to digest for your clients, employees, partners and everyone else involved. This also gives you the opportunity to test the water before taking the plunge, and it allows you to put out one fire at a time instead of having all systems down or broken.

I hope you will find this post informative and useful. I am looking forward to hearing your comments. That’s all I have for today, until next time make it a great day!
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7 Secrets To Finding Relevant Information Online

7 Secrets To Finding Relevant
Information Online

Have you ever run into a virtual wall when searching for information on the Internet? With billions of websites online, finding good, relevant information online can sometimes be akin to finding a needle in a haystack.

But take heart! Here are 7 little-known secrets that will help you find what you are looking for in no time at all.

1. Use the “Advanced Search” tool
Almost all search engines have an “advanced search” tool that will provide you with more options for filtering information and websites. This will help you narrow down your search and eliminate irrelevant, off-topic websites.

2. Search with a phrase in quotations
Putting quotations around a phrase will tell the search engine to look for that exact phrase or name instead of each individual word. For example, if you were looking for a chocolate cake recipe, type “chocolate cake recipe” in the search window with the quotes around it. If you left the quotations off, you might get recipes for other cakes or chocolate candy in general because the search engine will look up the words separately: chocolate cake recipe

3. Use synonyms
If your search does not produce the results you want, try synonyms. For example, a dog is also a pet, canine, mutt, pooch, and man’s best friend. Use your Microsoft Word thesaurus tool or Merriam-Webster OnLine to find synonyms for your search term.

4. Use a plus or minus sign
This trick will allow you to narrow down a larger category. If you were looking for a roadside café in Atlanta, you would type in “roadside café + Atlanta”. This will allow you to search on a specific set of keywords that might not be strung together in one phrase as mentioned in tip #2.
This also works in reverse with a minus sign (-). If you wanted to find all roadside cafes that were NOT in Atlanta, you would type in “roadside café – Atlanta”.

5. Just search the domain name
If you know the website you want but can’t seem to find the information you are looking for, you can tell the search engine to search for a specific keyword or phrase within that site. Simply enter the search term you are looking for followed by the word “site” and a colon, and then by the domain name.
For example, if you wanted to find information on spam filter updates for Microsoft Outlook, enter this: spam filter update site:www.microsoft.com

6. Eliminate inappropriate content
To eliminate adult sites clogging your search results, simply activate your favorite web browser’s adult filter setting. MSN has a SafeSearch option on its settings page and Google’s can be found in their advanced search option. It’s not 100% accurate but it will eliminate the most obvious sexually explicit websites from your search.

7. Use your search engine’s categories
Many search engines offer specialized areas such as news, video, audio, pictures, local, and shopping related categories. If you know you are looking for a picture, choose the appropriate category and your chances of finding what you want increase significantly.

I hope you will find this post informative and useful. I am looking forward to hearing your comments. That’s all I have for today, until next time make it a great day!

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9 Steps To Take Now To Be Certain Your Finances Are Protected Online

9 Steps To Take Now To Be Certain Your Finances Are Protected Online

Seems like we’ve been inundated over the past 6 months with rampant cybertheft. Target, Nieman Marcus, Yahoo and even mysterious $9.84 credit-card charges. Unfortunately, in the world we live in, this is most likely the norm going forward and not just a blip on the radar.

So, how can you stay protected online? While there is no way to absolutely, positively, 100% stay safe online, by taking these 9 steps, you will be as safe as possible.at night knowing you have a way to continue to operate when disaster strikes.

1. Only Shop On Secure Websites. Before you type your credit card into a website, ensure it is secure. Look for “https://” in the address bar of your web browser when you are checking out.

2. Avoid Financial Transactions Over Public Wifi. You can’t guarantee that free or shared WiFi access is secure. Ok to connect for browsing the web, but avoid financial transactions on these connections.

3. Use A Secure Network For Financial Transactions. Protect your computer with a firewall, antivirus and anti-spyware software.

4. Setup Banking Alerts For Unusual Or Large Transactions. Ask your bank to notify you of any suspicious or large transactions.

5. Use Credit Cards Instead Of Debit Cards. Most credit cards offer better fraud protection, plus if money is stolen from a debit card, then it has already left your bank account.

6. Pick Complex Passwords. Use phrase acronyms and keyboard combinations. Never use repeat passwords or words in the dictionary for your financial accounts.

7. Never Directly Answer Or Respond To An Email From Your Bank. Criminals have become very adept at appearing that they are a financial institution when they are not. Never rely on links in emails to access your financial accounts.

8. Install Available Security Updates On Your Computer, SmartPhone and Tablets. Many cybercrimes target known security holes on your computing devices. Stay up to date to stay secure.

9. Check Your Bank Balances And Statements Regularly. Good ol’-fashioned visual checks on your balances and a scan of your transactions are the best practice to be sure that nothing has slipped through the cracks.

I hope you will find this post informative and useful. I am looking forward to hearing your comments. That’s all I have for today, until next time make it a great day!
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“3 Lessons From Hurricane Isaac”

“3 Lessons From Hurricane Isaac”

As we are just getting over the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac, I wanted to share 3 of the lessons that we confirmed as we helped our clients get back up and running. Hurricane Isaac confirmed 3 of Ener Systems’ best practices.

1. Having a backup internet connection does make a difference. Having both Charter and AT&T internet connections, kept us from being totally out of commission during Isaac’s aftermath. Our clients with redundant internet connections had the same experience.

2. Having a generator even if you plan to evacuate can help your business get back up and running sooner. Some of our clients evacuated, to come back and find their offices were still without power. Generators help them continue to run their business and help their clients sooner.

3. Having RADAR kept our clients receiving email, even when their email servers were offline due to a power or internet outage. As long as they had an internet connection where they were staying, they were able to send and receive all of their emails. They were never without email communication. This helped with client communication as well as employee communications.

We recommend that all clients have a redundant internet connection, if business continuity is important to their business. Ener Systems has a portable generator that is available to our EnerCare Total Control clients. RADAR is part of our best practices and offered to all clients as an email archive and business continuity solution.

I hope you will find this post informative and useful. I am looking forward to hearing your comments. That’s all I have for today, until next time make it a great day!

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“How To Keep Your Kids Safe Online”

How To Keep Your Kids Safe Online

Now that school is out, thousands of children will be surfing the Internet in their free time.

Although the Internet provides a tremendous learning tool for children, left unchecked it can also expose them to inappropriate material and unscrupulous individuals looking to exploit innocent children.

The statistics of online abuse towards children are alarming. According to a new survey conducted by NetAlert, nearly one child in every five using the Internet has been approached online by a stranger, and 47 per cent of children have been exposed to material that is pornographic, sexually explicit, violent, hateful, or that encourages them to participate in dangerous or illegal activities.

According to Highlights of the Youth Internet Safety Survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice, one in five children received unwanted sexual solicitations online, and there are a growing number of cases of pedophiles using the Internet to gain a child’s confidence and arrange a face-to-face meetings (also known as ‘online grooming’).

These cyber criminals are using everything from spam e-mails to online messaging, children’s chat rooms, and misleading domain names to trap children. If your child is using the Internet, you must take measures to educate and protect them from these dangers. I’ve outlined 3 things you should be doing now to keep your kids safe online:

1. Install web and e-mail filtering software to prevent your children from viewing inappropriate material. A good, inexpensive software is offered on www.bsecure.com. Not only will this keep the trash off your computer screen, but it will also stop inappropriate spam from reaching your children.

2. Talk to your kids about online safety and proper Internet usage. Set limits and guidelines about when they can go online, what they can do, and how long they are allowed to be online. Explain why it is dangerous for them to “chat” with strangers online or download suspicious looking files.

3. Give your children specific online guidelines or rules to follow when using the Internet. It’s not enough to warn them about potential risks; pedophiles know how to cloak their identity and gain a child’s confidence to arrange face-to-face meetings.

Below is list of rules for kids to follow online:
• I will not give out personal information such as my address, telephone number, parents’ work address or telephone number to anyone online.
• I will not give out the name and location of the school I attend to anyone online.
• I will tell my parents right away if I see a web site, e-mail, or message that makes me feel uncomfortable.
• I will never send my picture to anyone online, or upload my picture to any web site without my parents knowledge and permission.
• I will never agree to meet someone face-to-face that I met online without my parents knowledge and permission.
• I will not respond to any messages that are mean or that make me feel uncomfortable in any way. If I get a message like that, I will tell my parents right away so that they can contact the online service.
• I will never give my parent’s financial information out to anyone, especially their credit card information, bank account information, or social security number.

If you want more information on how to keep your children safe online or to report illegal, violent, or explicit acts towards children, go to www.cybertipline.com. This site is run by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and is a great resource for parents, teachers, and guardians.

I hope you will find this post informative and useful. I am looking forward to hearing your comments. That’s all I have for today, until next time make it a great day!
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“9 Warning Signs Your Computer Is Infected With Spyware”

9 Warning Signs Your Computer Is Infected With Spyware

Spyware is Internet jargon for hidden programs that advertisers install on your PC without your permission to spy on you, gather information, and report this information about you and your online activities to a third party.

Spyware is NOT harmless; it can be responsible for delivering a boatload of spam, altering your web browser, slowing down your PC, and serving up a bounty of pop-up ads. In some of the more extreme cases, spyware can also steal your identity, passwords, e-mail address book, and even use your PC for illegal activities.

Most spyware finds its way onto your computer via file downloads including free programs, music files, and screen savers found everywhere on the Internet. These nasty programs piggyback the download and run undetected on your computer collecting information about you and sending it out to a third party until they are removed. Although spyware has malicious components, it is not illegal, and it is not considered a virus because it doesn’t replicate itself or destroy data.

If you are experiencing one or more of these warning signs, chances are your computer is infected and you will need to seek professional help in getting the spyware removed.

#1. Your browser has been hijacked. If you open your Internet browser and a strange-looking homepage pops up and won’t go away, chances are you have a spyware program installed on your computer. You may also discover that you cannot modify your browser settings and that your favorites folder has been modified.

#2. You conduct a search but another (unauthorized) browser completes it for you. For example, you type a search term into Microsoft IE but another browser pops up and lists various websites tied to your search term. This is a surefire sign of a spyware infection. You’ll also notice that if you try and remove this program, it comes right back.

#3. Your computer is unstable, sluggish, locks up, or crashes frequently. Spyware programs run in the background taking up disk space and processor speed which will cause serious performance problems.

#4. You constantly get pop-up ads displayed on your screen, even if you aren’t browsing the Internet. Some of the ads may even be personalized with your name.

#5. You receive expensive phone bills for calls to 900 numbers that you didn’t make. Some spyware programs can use your computer to make calls on both a broadband and dial-up line.

#6. The send and receive lights on your modem blink actively as though you are surfing the Internet or downloading files online, even though you aren’t. More than likely this is due to spyware programs sending and receiving information via your computer without your permission or acknowledgement.

#7. Mysterious files suddenly start appearing on your computer, your files are moved or deleted, or the icons on your desktop and toolbars are blank or missing.

#8. Your CD drawer starts opening and closing by itself.

#9. You find e-mails in your “Sent Items” folder that you didn’t send.

I hope you will find this post informative and useful. I am looking forward to hearing your comments. That’s all I have for today, until next time make it a great day!
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“Learning from your peers is better than learning from your own mistakes”

Learning from your peers is better than learning from your own mistakes.

I am a firm believer in peer groups. I always suggest that business owners look for peer groups in their industries. These groups can be invaluable. They can push you to get the impossible done. Your peers can also help you when you need it, because they have been there too.

Peer groups can allow you and your business to build a nationwide network.

I have found that is it much cheaper and easier to learn from your peers than to learn from your own mistakes.

For me and my business, peer groups have been invaluable.

So get out there and start looking for a group in your industry. You will be surprised at what you will find.

I hope you will find this post informative and useful. I am looking forward to hearing your comments. That’s all I have for today, until next time make it a great day!
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“Making Progress, Getting More Done And Staying Consistent”

Making Progress, Getting More Done And Staying Consistent

What are your daily habits?
•  Do you start each day knowing exactly what you need to accomplish and do you start working on “A-­‐1” the minute you hit your desk?
•  Do you time block (schedule) your day? How about you’re week?
•  Can you stay focused on a particular project or activity for 90 minutes without interruption and without a break? 60 minutes? 30? 20? 10?
•  When you’re sitting with a group of people, where is your cell phone? Do you constantly check e-­‐mail throughout the day?

Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Some key points I want to make:
•  If you’re not successful in a certain area, ask yourself
a) How committed are you to changing it? and
b) Have you REALLY put a focused effort to it long enough?
•  You don’t manage time. You can only manage what you choose to focus on and what to do.
•  To change anything, focus on your HABITS.

My Top 3 Productivity Tips:
1. Know what you are supposed to be doing and move QUICKLY between tasks
2. Have a STOP doing list
3. Work on “Focus” as a skill

I hope you will find this post informative and useful. I am looking forward to hearing your comments. That’s all I have for today, until next time make it a great day!
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“5 Ways To Keep Your Laptop Running – Without Plugging It In”

5 Ways To Keep Your Laptop Running – Without Plugging It In

On the road, in the airport, at a client’s site, or simply at home on the couch … these are places you can’t or don’t want to – plug in your laptop. Want to keep your laptop running as long as possible without searching for an outlet? Here are five tips to help:

1) Keep your screen dim. A laptop’s backlight requires a lot of power. Reducing the brightness conserves battery life.
2) Turn off unused hardware. Your Bluetooth and your Wi-Fi receiver can both be turned off if not in use. Unplug your external mouse or other device. Mute the PC’s sound system. Not only will these steps save power, they will avoid annoying everyone else around you.
3) Don’t multitask. Run as few programs as you can get away with. Stick to one application (word processor, browser, or whatever) if possible. (If online keep your antivirus and firewall on in the background.)
4) Avoid multimedia. Save your photo editing and video watching for when you have AC power. These tasks use immense battery life. To listen to music, use your iPod (or similar device).
5) Sleep, standby or hibernate. Sleep mode (a/k/a “standby” in XP) keeps your PC on. It still uses power, just less than normal. Hibernate uses no power initially, but a lot of battery life to start back up.

I hope you will find this post informative and useful. I am looking forward to hearing your comments. That’s all I have for today, until next time make it a great day!
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“What is your Centerpoint? Meet Blue Angels Pilot, John Foley”

What is your Centerpoint? Meet Blue Angels Pilot, John Foley

Recently while in Dallas at an industry conference for Tigerpaw Software, I had the great pleasure of hearing John Foley speak in person. He is Amazing and the focus that the Blue Angels have is Amazing. When the Blue Angels fly in formation, they start with the planes at 36 inches apart and get the planes as close as 18 inches apart. It must take incredible focus to achieve such precision. John explains that for every show, the Blue Angels have a centerpoint that everyone remains focused on. This centerpoint allows all of the pilots to focus on one thing and achieve unbelievable accuracy. Just imagine what you could do with that kind of focus. What is your centerpoint? What are you going to focus on that will make you achieve unbelievable goals?

I hope you will find this post informative and useful. I am looking forward to hearing your comments. That’s all I have for today, until next time make it a great day!
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