These days, it feels like anyone can start a small business. While is tremendously exciting, it’s important to remember that every business handles sensitive information that should be protected. In this piece, we’re going to look at a handful of techniques that can help increase the cybersecurity of any small business.
Create a Culture of Security
We live in a fast-paced world and some concepts can slip our minds. It’s for this reason that cybersecurity should be emphasized from the top of the company on down. Before sensitive information is shared among staff members and clients, encourage staff to ask them the following questions:
Is this data being shared responsibly?
Who else could possibly access this data?
What can I do to ensure that this data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands?
Make Sure All Hardware and Software Is Secure
This digital age has made work flexible with team members able to work from practically anywhere on any device. In order to keep your organization’s data secure, it is important to make sure that all of your team members’ devices and software systems are secure with the latest software updates. Most reputable software providers are as diligent about cybersecurity as your business as you are — making many advanced security features built into their systems. While this is the case, it is still important to double-check what security is built into any company operating systems.
Set Organization-Wide Cybersecurity Standards
Just like a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, cybersecurity measures should be stressed at every level of an organization. Because mobile devices and laptops run the risk of being stolen more than systems back at the office, it is important to have cybersecurity standards in place to guard devices that can access sensitive information. Even desktop computers, if left with weak password protection, can prove to be vulnerable to attack by the wrong people in the office. Organization-wide security protocols go a long way to risk information falling into the wrong hands.
Have a Secure Data Backup System In Place
As many small businesses specialize in data by means of creating digital products or by manipulating digital information, an organization with no security data backup system can take a huge hit if data is lost. Whether the business technology is damaged, lost, stolen, or mishandled, a big enough loss of data can mean a huge loss of revenue — a loss from which many small businesses may not be able to recover. Having an automated system that makes a secure backup of company data ensures that sensitive or costly data can be recovered in the event of a data loss.
For help making your small business’ data more secure, consult your friends at Geek Rescue for assistance.
Apple put a lot of thought into making their products easy to use. Some of this is obvious, like the way macs can boot up straight out of the box, but other ways take some insider know how. Keyboard shortcuts are a great way to get stuff done faster and easier. Just by pressing a combination of keys, you can do things that normally need a mouse, trackpad, or another input device. Here’s a quick list of the shortcuts (sometimes called hot keys) we think are the most helpful.
Command-C – Copy the selected item to the Clipboard. This also works for files in the Finder.
Command-V – Paste the contents of the Clipboard into the current document or app. This also works for files in the Finder.
Command-Z – Undo the previous command. You can then press Command-Shift-Z to Redo, reversing the undo command. In some apps, you can undo and redo multiple commands.
Command-A – Select All items.
Command-F – Find items in a document or open a Find window.
Command-M – Minimize the front window to the Dock. To minimize all windows of the front app, press Command-Option-M.
Command-N – New: Open a new document or window.
Command-O – Open the selected item, or open a dialog to select a file to open.
Command-P – Print the current document.
Command-S – Save the current document.
Command-Q – Quit the app.
Command-Spacebar – Spotlight: Show or hide the Spotlight search field. To perform a Spotlight search from a Finder window, press Command–Option–Spacebar. If you use multiple input sources to type in different languages, these shortcuts change input sources instead of showing Spotlight.
Command-Tab – Switch apps: Switch to the next most recently used app among your open apps.
There are more shortcuts you can use within specific applications, so be sure to check for those. If you feel like the combination of keys could be more ergonomic, you can change the command combination in settings. Open system preferences, click keyboard, click shortcuts, find the command you want to change, and click on the key combination set to input the new combination.
Computer viruses and malicious software (malware) can delete files, steal personal information, and wreak havoc on a hard drive. Worst of all, it’s not always obvious that you have a computer virus. To help you know when your computer has been infected, here are five telltale signs your computer has a virus.
If you’re dealing with constant pop-ups, make sure you don’t click on any of them, even if they claim to be there to delete the virus. This may be a form of rogueware posing as a solution, when it’s really just there to get you to pay for a service that will never happen.
Overactive Hard Drive
When hard drives are working, they often make an audible spinning sound. Hard drives that continually make this sound, even when you’re not using the computer, may be infected.
No Storage Space
While we’re on the subject of hard drives, if you notice your hard drive suddenly has no room to work it might be a sign of a virus. Often viruses will take up a ton of hard drive space when they get their teeth into a computer.
This one might be obvious, but people in your contact book getting emails from you that you didn’t write is a sign you may have a virus. It could also mean your email has been hacked, which is a little easier to fix. If the entire computer is hacked, anti-virus software will be needed. If it’s the email account that’s been hacked, you might just need to change your password.
When programs or the entire computer keep crashing for no reason, a virus may be to blame. Check for error messages and if the message seems peculiar or you keep getting the same message, your computer may have a virus.
Viruses can be hard to deal with, but Geek Rescue makes it easy. You can drop your computer off at our shop or we can come to you and get rid of any virus that’s giving you trouble. Call us today to see how we can help.
The terms RAM, storage, hard drive space, memory, and disc space all get used interchangeably, but they actually have different meanings and affect your computer’s performance in different ways. To set the record straight, here’s a quick definition guide on RAM vs storage.
Short for random access memory, RAM is a measure of how much work your computer can handle in a given time. Let’s say your computer has 16GBs of ram, or memory, available. Every time you open an application, like Word, or use an internet browser you’ll be using a certain amount of your 16GBs of RAM. If you run too many applications that take up too much RAM, your computer will run slow and may even crash.
The amount of RAM used will vary from application to application. Your standard Microsoft Office applications don’t require much RAM to function, while applications for photo and video editing can eat up a lot of RAM. It’s important to remember that RAM only affects how much work your computer can do, not how much it can store.
Your hard drive is where files and data are stored long term. Every time you hit save on a Word doc or spreadsheet, it gets saved on your hard drive. Think of it as a filing cabinet in an office. Once the files are in the cabinet, no work will happen and the files won’t be changed. They’re just stored there until you need to work on them again. This means the amount of storage or hard drive space won’t have a huge impact on how fast your computer will run, unless it’s just really pushed to the storage limits.
To sum it up, when you’re typing a Word doc, it uses RAM. When you hit save, it’s stored on the hard drive. If you want to increase your computer’s speed and be able to work on more applications at the same time, upgrading your RAM will be your best bet.
If you have more questions about how to improve the performance of your computer call Geek Rescue today.
Working off a laptop gives you the freedom to work from anywhere, as long as you can find an outlet. If you find yourself in a spot with no plugins, you’ll have to survive off whatever your battery has left in the tank. Next time you find yourself in this position, do this to squeeze the most juice out of your laptop’s battery.
Power Saving Mode– Most laptops will come with a battery saving option in the settings menu that is designed to conserve your battery life.
Hit the Lights– While you’re in the settings menu, turn off the backlight on your keyboard. Unless you’re working in a dark room, you don’t need your keyboard to light up and these lights can drain your battery fast.
Close Applications– Having multiple applications and programs running can zap the life out of your battery. If you’re not using it, make sure it’s not running.
A Little TLC- Laptops with removable batteries have the potential for damaged or dirty battery contacts, which can disrupt the flow of power. Make sure battery contacts are clean and in good condition.
When it comes to using computers, we all have a need for speed. Working on a slow computer is a fast way to get frustrated. If you’re looking to push the pedal to the metal with your computer, here are three ways to make your computer run faster.
Uninstall Unused Programs– Computers come equipped with a laundry list of programs you’ll never use, and these programs can dominate your hard drive space. Pull up your control panel and uninstall programs you’re not using to free up space and speed.
Disable Start Up Programs– It’s common for a few programs to automatically open when you hit the on button and then run in the background. Disabling this feature will conserve processing power and only use it when you actually use the programs.
Defrag and Clean Your Disk– As you use your computer it creates a lot of temporary files that can be stored somewhat haphazardly. Defragging your hard drive and running a disk clean up will give your computer a chance to sort through the mess, delete unnecessary temporary files, and reorganize how it stores files for optimum speed.
For more tech tips, contact Geek Rescue for all your Tulsa computer repair need.
Tablets have come a long way since the first iPad. These days tablets are high-powered computing machines that can rival laptops in a lot of respects. Tablets and laptops used to serve two very distinct and separate purposes, but now the lines are getting blurry. Some consumers are throwing caution to the wind and ditching laptops for tablets. This might work for some, but it’s not the right call for everyone. If you’re trying to decide between getting a laptop or a tablet, use the following criteria.
One obvious disadvantage of tablets is that most don’t come with keyboards, which means you’ll be typing on a touchscreen. You’ll want to get a laptop or at least a tablet with a keyboard input if you plan on doing lots of typing.
Size and Weight
If you prefer to travel light, tablets are for you. A laptop will almost always be bigger and heavier than any tablet. Some tablets can weigh as little as two pounds and are ultra-thin, making them ideal for a user on the go.
Surprisingly, tablets tend to have a better battery life than laptops. In fact, most of the space inside tablets is taken up by the battery. Tablets are made to run super efficiently and avoid power-sucking software. This design philosophy helps tablets run much longer than laptops filled with heavy applications.
Although tablets are getting more popular, there’s still quite a bit of software that won’t run on tablets. It’s a good idea to make a list of all the must-have software applications you need before you opt for the tablet. Make sure everything on this list will run on the tablet you’re looking at.
You probably won’t notice a difference between the two if you’re just surfing the web, writing documents, and answering emails. However, if you’re running robust applications for graphics work or video editing, tablets can rarely compete with a laptop. In most cases, a laptop will have more processing power than the average tablet.
A data loss can happen at any time for any reason. Spilling your coffee on the CPU, dropping your laptop, accidentally deleting files, or even a virus from a cyber-attacker. Whatever the reason may be, you need to have a backup ready to go. There are three basic ways you can safely backup your data: clone, external, and cloud.
Sometimes called a bootable backup, a clone doesn’t just copy all your files, it also copies the software on your hard drive. This method requires some sort of external hard drive and some special software. As the name implies, it’s basically an exact clone of the hard drive in your computer. This is helpful because if you experience a total data loss or lose the entire computer, you can just plug in your clone and keep working without interruption. This is not to say a clone is as good as a regular hard drive. You’ll need to eventually transfer all the data back on to the hard drive to have the speed and functionality you need to work efficiently.
Similar to a clone, an external backup stores your data on a secondary hard drive and requires you to manually back up your data. Unlike a clone, a simple external backup doesn’t use any software to capture your entire hard drive with all the software and files. Instead, it just stores the files you select to backup. Meaning you can store a Photoshop file on the external drive, but you wouldn’t be able to open the file unless the computer you’re plugged into has the Photoshop software. An external backup is only intended to be a safety deposit box for Word documents, photos, and other important files.
The best option of the three, doesn’t require you to buy any extra hardware or do manual backups. Opting for a cloud backup only requires you to set up an account with the provider and install the software. From there, the software will automatically backup a snapshot of your hard drive, including software and files, without you having to do anything. Best of all, since all your data is being backed up to a secure data center via the cloud, you won’t have to worry about losing or damaging an external hard drive. A good service provider for cloud backup is Back Blaze.
If you need help setting up a backup for your computer, come by Geek Rescue today.
Cyber Monday is behind us and it sure was a doozy. Price slashing induced online shoppers racked up almost $7 billion worth of sales in just one day. The remainder of the holiday season isn’t likely to see that kind of 24-hour spike, but a steady stream of e-commerce activity is sure to continue well into the yuletide. This is exciting news for online retailers and cyber criminals alike, so shoppers need to be vigilant.
Here are four tips you can use to stay safe while hunting for digital deals this holiday season.
Examine Your Emails
If you haven’t already lost count of all the emails you’re getting from retailers, you will soon. Faking an email from a reputable website is surprisingly easy to do. Don’t trust the name field in your inbox. Check the actual email address to make sure the sender is who they claim to be. If you come across an address like info@hajafia.Amazon.com.kjfasdif, it’s not really from Amazon.
Look for the Lock
You may not have noticed it, but to the left of the URL in the browser search bar there will either be a green lock or a circled i. The green lock means the site is secure and can safely process online payments. Make sure there’s a little green lock before you enter your credit card information.
In an effort to sniff out the best deals some shoppers might resort to apps that boast a list of the hottest deals on the web. This sounds like a great way to expedite the shopping process and cut straight to the good deals, but you can’t trust everything you see in the app store. Despite censorship efforts from Apple and Google, nefarious apps that are out to steal your credit card information can slip through the cracks and onto your phone. Play it safe, and go directly to vendor’s websites.
Most mainstream retailers offer account creation as a shopping feature. These accounts let you easily shop again and again without having to retype your personal and financial information. This feature is convenient, but we’ve seen that no company is safe from cyber-attacks. Checking out as a guest ensures your personal information won’t be compromised if the website gets hacked, so don’t share more than you have to.
You never know what will walk through the door here at Geeks to the Rescue. On a normal day, we’ll get plenty of malware, RAM upgrades, and dead batteries, but once in a blue moon, we get something special. The other day a kind customer came in to take advantage of our computer recycling program and dropped off a Tandy 2500.
This baby was one of the finest computers Radio Shack sold between 1991 and 1994. It has an 85-megabyte hard drive with a whole 20 megahertz of processing power. Compare that to a standard computer today with an 1 Terabyte hard drive and 3.40GHz of power, and you can see how far we’ve come since 1994.
Being the geeks that we are, we definitely got a kick out of seeing one of these beauties again and enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane reminiscing about Tandy’s hay day. If you have an old computer collecting dust in your attic or garage, come by and drop it off free of charge. We’ll make sure it gets recycled responsibly instead of taking up space in your house.