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File Search Speed Up Trick

Every try and search for a file in Windows Explorer and have it take forever?  There are a few things you can do to speed things up.  The first is to stop Explorer from searching the contents of files.

Start by putting your cursor in the search box.  This will activate the Search Tools.

Then, select the Advanced Options and un-check the “File Contents” selection.

Switch Office to Touch Friendly Mode

Switch Office to touch friendly mode for use on tablets and touch-enabled devices. Touch mode adds extra space between the Command icons on the Ribbon, making them easier to use.

 

Must Read for QuickBooks Users!

If you use QuickBooks for your accounting and bookkeeping, then there’s one key thing you must be doing on a regular basis.  Failure to do this can result in the loss of data, months’ worth of work, and critical financial information.

At its core, QuickBooks is a database of information.  Unless you’re using the Enterprise version, the file that stores the information are what we call a ‘flat file’ database.  This means that all your data is stored in a single, proprietary database format file.

The issue is that QuickBooks files are picky.  A sudden computer shutdown, multiple users in the same file, and even large files can all lead to corruptio.  A corrupted file usually means that you are unable to access your data.

On more than one occasion we’ve had someone come to us in a panic because their QuickBooks file is corrupted.   When this happens, you have two avenues of recourse.

First, you can send the file off to Intuit who can repair your file, in most cases.  The cost for this is usually around $900.00.  Of course, there are no guarantees and this can take them days to complete.

Second, you can restore your file from a backup.  You do have a backup correct?  However, if you are not using QuickBooks backup feature, then you really do NOT have a backup.  What?  You say.  You don’t need to use QuickBooks’ built-in backup feature because your file is stored on a server that is being backed up?

Yes, I’m here to tell you that is a false sense of security.  Your file may very well be getting backed up every day, by whatever method backs up your server.  However, all this provides you with is a slightly older version of a file that is probably already corrupted, or may be soon.

You see, the QuickBooks’ built-in backup feature does more than copy your data file from one spot to another.  In the background it performs a very important set of checks and maintenance on this file.  Each time you run the backup, it performs an integrity check on the file, and does any repairs that might be necessary to prevent data corruption from ever occurring in the first place.

So, no matter what you may be doing to back up your file, our recommendation is that you regularly use the QuickBooks backup feature.  It’s perfectly fine to save these backup files on your server, or external drive, if you like.  It adds an extra layer of data protection.

You can set QuickBooks to prompt you to run a backup when you close the file.  To set this up, run a manual backup.

Use the Options to set the data integrity verification, and how often you want to be prompted to back up your file.

If you need help setting up this type of QuickBooks maintenance plan, we can assist!  Call our offices to schedule one of our Solutions Engineers to help you keep your data protected.

IT Security Tip: How to spot a phishing e-mail

A phishing e-mail is a bogus e-mail that is carefully designed to look like a legitimate request (or attached file) from a site you trust in an effort to get you to willingly give up your login information to a particular website or to click and download a virus.

Often these e-mails look 100% legitimate and show up in the form of a PDF (scanned document) or a UPS or FedEx tracking number, bank letter, Facebook alert, bank notification, etc. That’s what makes these so dangerous – they LOOK exactly like a legitimate e-mail. So how can you tell a phishing e-mail from a legitimate one? Here are a few telltale signs…

First, hover over the URL in the e-mail (but DON’T CLICK!) to see the ACTUAL website you’ll be directed to. If there’s a mismatched or suspicious URL, delete the e-mail immediately. In fact, it’s a good practice to just go to the site direct (typing it into your browser) rather than clicking on the link to get to a particular site. Another telltale sign is poor grammar and spelling errors. Another warning sign is that the e-mail is asking you to “verify” or “validate” your login or asking for personal information. Why would your bank need you to verify your account number? They should already have that information. And finally, if the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Want to protect you and your company from other threats that your antivirus and firewall can’t protect you against? Send your staff to our upcoming “Essential Cyber Security Training For Your Staff”. Find out more at: www.securityseminar.info

How to Reduce Your IT Costs, Eliminate Downtime, and Protect Your Data – By Doing One Thing Differently

Do you own a car? Do you change its oil? Rotate its tires? Get it tuned up every so often?

Why?

You do these things because they are preventative maintenance. The minor cost involved in performing these simple duties on a regular basis keeps your vehicle running smoothly longer.

I’ve found, though, that few small business owners give their computers and servers the same kind of respect.  I think much of the reason that people don’t perform regular computer maintenance is simply laziness.  Just like so many other things in life we do, we put off or avoid things like this.

I suspect that you, like most computer users, may also neglect these things simply because you don’t have the faintest idea what needs to be done. Computers aren’t simple machines, and hey, they don’t even come with manuals anymore!

Computer professionals are a lot like doctors in this respect. We keep up with the latest and greatest so that you don’t have to. We encounter more computer problems in one day than you are likely to in your entire lifetime. And, we learn how to solve those problems.

It’s our job to keep our clients’ computers running smoothly. Plus, we’re usually fanatics about our own computers. We’re sort of like the car mechanic that fixes other peoples’ cars all day, and then goes home and works on the hot rod at night.

Most business owners completely avoid this process of preventative computer maintenance altogether.

I know because 90 percent of all the calls I get are to repair problems, not prevent them.

And guess what?

Most of the problems I see could have easily been avoided with the proper preventative maintenance.

Smoke detectors are cheaper than fire engines!

Just last week we were onsite with a client who DOES have us come in and perform quarterly maintenance on their network.  Fortunately, our engineer found a failed hard drive in the server.  This was quickly remedied and replaced (under warranty), without the business having any downtime.  Had this issue not been spotted, the story could have been much different.

I can’t urge you enough have a professional IT company take care of your computers in a very proactive, preventative manner. Check your hardware on a regular basis. Failing fans and hard drives are avoidable.

Just like many diseases, most computer problems have symptoms that can be spotted before a problem becomes serious. Catching them early will almost always be more economical than the costs associated with emergency service calls, downed computers, lost employee productivity, lost data and repairs could ever be.

If I change just one thing about how you think about your computer system, I’d like it to be this point.  Remember the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and apply it to your computer systems.

Spend the extra time and money to get your systems maintained properly by someone who really knows what needs to be done. In the long run, you’ll save money by avoiding catastrophic emergencies.