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Want to improve the speed and performance of your current network without investing serious cash into a new PC? Keep reading…
1. Add Memory. One of the most inexpensive and effective ways to improve a computer’s performance is to install more RAM (random access memory.) This will speed up the applications installed on your computer and allow you to open and run more programs simultaneously.
2. Upgrade. Upgrading the processor and adding a graphics accelerator are two easy ways to make your PC run smoother. Data and graphics load faster and the overall speed of your PC in increased.
3. Regular Maintenance.Your PC needs regular maintenance, much like a car, to avoid problems, sluggish performance, and error messages. At a minimum you should run Disk Defragmenter and Disk Cleanup, as well as an up to date Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware.
4. Remove Files. Unnecessary programs on your hard drive use up RAM and slow your computer down.
When your laptop gets stolen, you loose a lot more than your computer and the cost of the replacement; that is why it makes sense to take these simple steps to protect it.
1. Don’t let your computer out of your sight, even for a moment. Wi-Fi hot spots like coffee shops can be distracting and are prime hangouts for laptop thieves. Don’t leave it on a table to get a refill and don’t put it on the floor behind you.
2. Don’t leave in on the seat of your car. Hide it under the seat or in the trunk or you could end up with a stolen laptop and a broken car window.
3. Don’t leave it in your hotel room unless you’ve secured it with a laptop cable lock ($30 to $50 at most stores). If you don’t have a laptop cable lock, take it with you or ask hotel management to lock it up.
4. Write your laptop’s serial number down and store it safely. It will help the police recover your laptop if stolen.
5. Get a tracking device installed. Computrace or CyberAngel can be purchased for around $60 a year and will track your laptop’s location using a stealthy piece of tracking software if it is stolen. Many even offer a guarantee.
And finally, don’t forget to back up your file and keep a copy of the backup in a separate location away from your laptop (not in your laptop bag.) This won’t prevent your laptop from being stolen, but it will take a lot of stress off loosing it.
1. Register all software products and sign up to receive product alerts, patches, and automatic updates.
2. Make sure your anti-virus definitions are always up to date.
3. Back up your data every day and verify the backups once a month. If your data is extremely important, consider an off site backup service that will automatically backup your data daily.
4. Install and run a “spy sweeper” software every week to remove unwanted spyware programs.
5. Never open an email from and unknown source.
6. Never visit or engage peer-to-peer file sharing sites (Limewire, Kazaa.)
7. Never download “enhanced” web browsers, screen savers, cute programs or other programs from unknown web sites.
8. Use a quality surge protector to protect against lighting strikes and power surges.
9. Use Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter monthly to free up more space and help you computer run faster and smoother.
10. Clean out your temporary files directory. In the Internet Explorer Tools menu, click Internet Options. On the General tab, click the Delete Files button in the Temporary Internet Files section.
11. Set your email to auto-archive older messages and to regularly empty your deleted items folder.
12. Install a firewall to keep hackers and viruses from accessing your computer.
Could your organization be a victim of an office supply scam? If you don’t have sufficient purchasing controls, it could already be happening to you. The Federal Trade Commission has put together some helpful tips on avoiding different office supply scams that could be happening to your business.
The Typical Office Supply Scam
The typical office supply scam involves supplies or services that you routinely order such as copier paper, toner and maintenance supplies, equipment maintenance contracts, or classified ads. When scamming telemarketers call, they often lie to get you to pay for items you didn’t order, or to get you to pay more than you agreed to.
How the Scam Works
The caller may falsely claim to be your “regular supplier” or to tell you that the offer is “special” or “good for a limited time only.” Con artists take advantage of holes in your organization’s purchasing procedures or of unsuspecting employees who may not be aware of office practices. What’s worse, the office supplies peddled by these bogus firms often are overpriced and of poor quality; the services usually are worthless.
Protect Your Organization
You can protect your organization from paying for unordered goods and services. Here’s how:
1. Know your rights. If you receive supplies or bills for services you didn’t order, don’t pay, and don’t return the unordered merchandise. You may treat unordered merchandise as a gift. By law, it’s illegal for a seller to send you bills or dunning notices for unordered merchandise, or ask you to return it — even if the seller offers to pay for shipping.
2. Assign designated buyers and document your purchases. For each order, the designated employee should issue a purchase order — electronic or written — to the supplier with an authorized signature and a purchase order number. The order form should instruct the supplier to note the purchase order number on the invoice and bill of lading.
3. Check your documentation before paying bills. When merchandise arrives, the receiving employee should verify that it matches the shipper’s bill of lading — paying special attention to brands and quantity — and your purchase order. Refuse merchandise that doesn’t. If everything’s in order, the employee should send a copy of the bill of lading to your accounts payable department. Bills for services should be reconciled the same way. A supplier should not be paid unless the invoice has the correct purchase order number and the information on the invoice, the purchase order and the bill of lading match.
Buy from people you know and trust, such as North Country Business Products. Authorized employees should be skeptical of “cold” or unsolicited calls and feel comfortable saying “no” to high pressure sales tactics. Legitimate companies liked North Country Business Products won’t pressure you to make a snap decision. Finally, consider asking new suppliers to send a catalog first or information first.
For more information on the topic visit The Federal Trade Commission’s website at ftc.gov.
Is your computer constantly running slow? Does it frequently freeze up, crash, and take forever to open files? If so, there could be several reasons for its sluggish performance. Below is a list of the most common reasons for slow computer syndrome:
Spyware. While they are not quite as dangerous as viruses, spyware programs track and transmit your personal information and web surfing habits to advertisers without your direct consent or permission. These programs take up memory and often cause slow performance and system crashes.
Low Memory. PC Magazine says that adding memory is, “The quickest, easiest, cheapest upgrade.” Adding memory can be one of the easiest ways to significantly increase the speed of a computer.
Unnecessary Programs. Many PCs come with programs automatically installed to run at start up. Over time, these programs (along with all the other programs you install) can significantly slow down your computer. They are often running in the background, but are never used. Removing them will speed up your computer quite a bit.
File Fragmentation. Over time, the files on your hard drive get broken into pieces when saved, which causes your operating system to take more time to find, open, and update files. To defrag your hard drive with Windows XP, go to: Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter.
Do Cookies Give Advertisers Unauthorized Access To Your Computer?
With the endless number of online hoaxes, viruses, phishing scams, and other threats, many people are suspicious of ANY online program that shares their personal information with the rest of the world – and rightfully so. However, cookies are not the menacing tools of surveillance many people believe them to be, and in most cases, they do more good that evil. Unlike viruses and spyware, cookies are not programs that allow unauthorized access to your computer. They are simple text files that, on their own, can’t do much of anything.
Most cookies are designed to enhance web browsing. On a shopping site, they can store a list of items you’ve selected to buy as you browse through an online catalogue. They can also remember your web browsing preferences whenever you revisit the site.
The Type of Internet Cookie You DO Want to Block
Most web browsers allow cookies to be read only by the web site to which they belong to prevent other sites from tracking your online activities. However, some advertisers will put cookies on your computer as a way to recognize your computer at other sites associated with that advertiser. These are called “third-party cookies” and they allow advertisers to track your online activities.
Blocking third-party cookies is easy. In Internet Explorer, click the “Tools” menu and then choose “Internet Options.” Then click the “Privacy” tab and then the “Advanced” button. Make sure the check box “Override automatic cookie handling” is checked. You’ll see options for first-party and third-party cookies. In the third-party cookie options, select “Block.” Then click OK.
Of course, you should always use a firewall, an up-to-date antivirus program and anti-spyware software to protect yourself from REAL online threats.
WARNING: Spam e-mails are not only annoying and time consuming, but they’re also becoming more dangerous to your personal privacy and the security of your computer. Millions of computers users are getting infected, spoofed, and burned by spam e-mails every year, forcing the user to pay hefty fees to clean and restore their PCs back to working order.
There are 3 NEW dangers that all computer users must be aware of:
1. An increase in hijacked and spoofed e-mail addresses. Spammers have discovered new ways to make it appear as though their spam e-mail is coming from YOUR computer. This could result in having your Internet connection terminated or put on hold my your ISP — all without your knowledge.
2. An increase in viruses carrying spam. Accidentally open a spam e-mail carrying a nasty virus and you can end up with big problems ranging from the slowing of your system to more serious threats such as system crashes, data loss, identity theft, redirecting your web browser to unapproved sites, and more.
3. Phishing spam. A phishing e-mail appears to be a legitimate e-mail from a bank, vendor, friend, or other trusted source when in reality, it is a malicious third party that is going to use your information to open credit card accounts, access your account, steal money, and cause your other major identity and financial problems. Phishing e-mails are getting incredibly smart and convincing, and thousands have already fallen victim.
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Most business owners play “Russian Roulette” with their data backups. While they may have an on site copy of their data, they never check to make sure the data is being backed up every day OR the integrity of the data.
That’s why thousands of businesses lose millions of dollars worth of data to disasters like viruses, fires, power outages, theft, equipment failure, and even simple human error. In almost every case, these businesses had some type of backup system in place, but were shocked to find out in wasn’t working when they needed it most.
The Single Most Important Thing You Must Do to Protect Your Data
If your data is important to you, then you absolutely MUST have an off-site backup system in place. The benefits are obvious: