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TCC Tuesday Tidbits Issue 373

Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.

Biz Stone

IT Security Tip #29: Keep Sensitive Data Off Employee Equipment

If a laptop is stolen, even a strong password will likely get cracked. Once the thief succeeds, any private data that is unencrypted is free for the taking. One solution: keep sensitive data on a secure private cloud service, so it’s never on your employer’s hard drive in the first place. By storing this information in the cloud, you can immediately revoke access when a device goes missing. If you have an internal file server in your office, make sure it’s secured properly – you need to talk to your IT provider and discuss options for shared folders for things like HR that only certain people need. You may have a q:\ drive for documents, and s:\ for accounting, and a p:\ for workflows and processes. Everyone can use q:\ and p:\ but only people who do accounting can use s:\. It’s simple stuff – but think of the possible damages of data on a lost laptop at the airport. If you are in the medical field, this could also engage the Office of Civil Rights as a HIPAA violation. If your laptop hard drive has the option to encrypt, use it!

Excel: Slice Data Your Way

Slicers are buttons that let you filter data easily.

Select any range in a table or PivotTable, and go to Insert > Slicer. Select the column you want to filter by. When you’re done, you’ve got handy buttons that let you filter.

Keyboard Keys

Shortcut of the Week

Quickly access the Microsoft Windows Task Manager to view running applications, process information and performance information by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys all at the same time.

The Computer Center’s Weekly Webinar Series

Take advantage of The Computer Center’s webinar series that helps you learn how to protect your small business and your employees without leaving your office!

  • Thursday, July 18 – What You Need to Know About Microsoft Office 365 Security
  • Thursday, July 25 – Outlook Productivity Tips and Tricks to Make Your Life Easier
  • Thursday, August 1 – Practical Cyber Security for Your Small Business or How to Keep the Bad Guys Out Without Breaking the Bank
  • Thursday, August 8 – The End of Windows 7: Is it Really an Issue for Your Business?
  • Thursday, August 15 – 10 Costly Mistakes Small Businesses Make with their Computer Systems – and How YOU Can Avoid Them
  • Thursday, August 22 – Critical Facts Every Business Owner Must Know Before Moving Their Network to The Cloud
  • Thursday, August 29 – Free Productivity Enhancing Tools Included with Office 365 That You Probably Aren’t Using in Your Business

Follow the link to register for more information.

Have an unfortunate co-worker that’s not getting a copy of the TCC Tuesday Tidbits? Forward them your copy. Or, better yet, have them sign up at http://computer-center.com/tidbits/

Submit your TCC Tuesday Tidbit requests and ideas to me by calling (608) 755-1524.

Sincerely,

James Pearson, President
The Computer Center
One Parker Pl, Ste. #655
Janesville, WI 53545
(608) 755-1524

TCC Tuesday Tidbits Issue 372

Nothing works better than just improving your product.

Joel Spolsky

IT Security Tip #28: Change Your Name, and I Don’t Mean the Last One

Too often we see e-mail usernames and prefixes the same across multiple free e-mail services. For example:

jimmy67chevy@aol.com jimmy67chevy@gmail.com jimmy67chevy@yahoo.com jimmy67chevy@icloud.com

This makes the work of hackers and cybercriminals way too easy. With the first part easy to figure out, they can get access to other online services and data or even spoof your e-mail addresses to others. Variety is the spice of life. Introduce it to your e-mail addresses.

Excel: Make it Visual, Make it Stick With Data Bars

Want to communicate your numbers visually? Data Bars can help.

Select your data range, then go to Home > Conditional Formatting > Data Bars, and select a color scheme.

Keyboard Keys

Shortcut of the Week

Press the Windows Key + D at any time to get to the Windows desktop. Press the same keys to restore the hidden windows.

Another way to get to the Windows desktop with multiple windows open is to press the Windows Key + M to minimize all open programs. To undo all minimized windows, press the Windows Key + Shift + M.

Jason’s Tech Corner

A little tidbit shared by Jason Risner of The Computer Center

Some good cautionary information about using random USB charger ports at airports, restaurants, etc.

Why You Should Never Use Airport USB Charging Stations

“Those oh-so-handy USB power charging stations in the airport may come with a cost you can’t see. Cybercriminals can modify those USB connections to install malware on your phone or download data without your knowledge.”

“It’s much safer to bring your regular charger along and plug it into a wall outlet or, alternatively, bring a portable power bank to recharge your phone when you’re low on bars.”

“The 2019 IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index reveals that the transportation industry has become a priority target for cybercriminals as the second-most attacked industry – from tenth in 2017.”

Click the link to read more by SUZANNE ROWAN KELLEHER Contributor Travel for Forbes.

The Computer Center’s Weekly Webinar Series

Take advantage of The Computer Center’s webinar series that helps you learn how to protect your small business and your employees without leaving your office!

  • Thursday, July 11 – Protecting Your Business and Employees from ID Theft and Phishing Scams
  • Thursday, July 18 – What You Need to Know About Microsoft Office 365 Security
  • Thursday, July 25 – Outlook Productivity Tips and Tricks to Make Your Life Easier
  • Thursday, August 1 – Practical Cyber Security for Your Small Business or How to Keep the Bad Guys Out Without Breaking the Bank
  • Thursday, August 8 – The End of Windows 7: Is it Really an Issue for Your Business?
  • Thursday, August 15 – 10 Costly Mistakes Small Businesses Make with their Computer Systems – and How YOU Can Avoid Them
  • Thursday, August 22 – Critical Facts Every Business Owner Must Know Before Moving Their Network to The Cloud
  • Thursday, August 29 – Free Productivity Enhancing Tools Included with Office 365 That You Probably Aren’t Using in Your Business

Follow the link to register for more information.

Have an unfortunate co-worker that’s not getting a copy of the TCC Tuesday Tidbits? Forward them your copy. Or, better yet, have them sign up at http://computer-center.com/tidbits/

Submit your TCC Tuesday Tidbit requests and ideas to me by calling (608) 755-1524.

Sincerely,

James Pearson, President
The Computer Center
One Parker Pl, Ste. #655
Janesville, WI 53545
(608) 755-1524

TCC Tuesday Tidbits Issue 371

Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.

Golda Meir

IT Security Tip #27: Start With the Basics!

You’ve heard the advice countless times before: you must have antivirus software and a strong firewall. However, in this day and age, there is more to the security “basics” than a solid firewall. What about the employee who inadvertently clicks on an e-mail on her phone from a foreign ambassador trying to move money to the US. She sees it’s a scam, but it’s too late…her phone is infected and now sending a copy of every outgoing e-mail to a Russian crime network. Have you trained your employees? Don’t open an Excel attachment called “Invoice” from someone you don’t know – trust me, they’ll call you if you owe them money. A single crack in your armor can open the door for network attacks. Get serious about locking down your devices, e-mail filtering and teaching your users how to not lose last year’s P&L to a crime ring by trying to help a Nigerian prince. 

Excel: To Pivot or Not to Pivot

YLet’s say you get a report that has data, but you can’t create a PivotTable because it’s already pivoted. Unpivot it!

  1. Select your data, click Data > From Table/Range > OK to create a table.
  2. When Query Editor opens, hold down the CTRL key to select the columns that you want to unpivot.
  3. Go to Transform > Unpivot Columns > Only selected columns.
  4. Go to Home > Close & Load to place the unpivoted data in a new sheet in Excel.

Keyboard Keys

Shortcut of the Week

Many new computer mice also have buttons on the side of the mouse. These buttons can be programmed to do anything. However, by default, the left-thumb button can be used to go back on a web page. Using the thumb button makes browsing the Internet more efficient, because you do not need to move the mouse cursor to the browser’s back arrow button to go back a page.

Jason’s Tech Corner

A little tidbit by Jason Risner of The Computer Center – Why Good Backups are Important:

South Florida city pays $600,000 ransom to save computer records The Riviera Beach City Council voted unanimously this week to pay the hackers’ demands, believing the Palm Beach suburb had no choice if it wanted to retrieve its records, which the hackers encrypted. The council already voted to spend almost $1 million on new computers and hardware after hackers captured the city’s system three weeks ago.

Numerous governments and businesses have been hit in the United States and worldwide in recent years. Baltimore refused to pay hackers $76,000 after an attack last month. The U.S. government indicted two Iranians last year for allegedly unleashing more than 200 ransomware attacks, including against the cities of Atlanta and Newark, New Jersey. The men, who have not been arrested, received more than $6 million in payments and caused $30 million in damage to computer systems, federal prosecutors have said. Click the link to read more By TERRY SPENCER, Associated Press.

Contact The Computer Center by calling (608) 755-1524 to learn how to protect your small business or reserve your FREE Business and Technology Assessment.

The Computer Center’s Weekly Webinar Series

Take advantage of The Computer Center’s webinar series that helps you learn how to protect your small business and your employees without leaving your office!

  • Thursday, July 11 – Protecting Your Business and Employees from ID Theft and Phishing Scams
  • Thursday, July 18 – What You Need to Know About Microsoft Office 365 Security
  • Thursday, July 25 – Outlook Productivity Tips and Tricks to Make Your Life Easier
  • Thursday, August 1 – Practical Cyber Security for Your Small Business or How to Keep the Bad Guys Out Without Breaking the Bank
  • Thursday, August 8 – The End of Windows 7: Is it Really an Issue for Your Business?
  • Thursday, August 15 – 10 Costly Mistakes Small Businesses Make with their Computer Systems – and How YOU Can Avoid Them
  • Thursday, August 22 – Critical Facts Every Business Owner Must Know Before Moving Their Network to The Cloud
  • Thursday, August 29 – Free Productivity Enhancing Tools Included with Office 365 That You Probably Aren’t Using in Your Business

Follow the link to register for more information.

Have an unfortunate co-worker that’s not getting a copy of the TCC Tuesday Tidbits? Forward them your copy. Or, better yet, have them sign up at http://computer-center.com/tidbits/

Submit your TCC Tuesday Tidbit requests and ideas to me by calling (608) 755-1524.

Sincerely,

James Pearson, President
The Computer Center
One Parker Pl, Ste. #655
Janesville, WI 53545
(608) 755-1524

TCC Tuesday Tidbits Issue 370

No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.

Reid Hoffman

IT Security Tip #26: Don’t Download ANYTHING You’re Not Authorized to Download

So you have a big file you need to get over to your printer YESTERDAY and you can’t get it to “send” via e-mail because the file is too big. What should you do? The right thing to do is contact your IT department (us!) so we can assist by installing a secure, commercial-grade file-sharing application. What you shouldn’t do is download a free copy of Dropbox or some other file-sharing software without telling us. Dropbox and other free apps come with a price: SECURITY. These applications are known for security vulnerabilities and hacks. Plus, if we don’t know about it, we can’t manage it or secure it; so the golden rule is this: NEVER download any software or application without checking with your IT department first!

Excel: Where’s That Button? Ask Tell Me

You’ve used a certain Excel feature before…but you can’t remember where it is. No problem, Tell Me can help!

Just click in the box labeled Tell me what you want to do (it’s the one with the light bulb), and search for a button, menu, function – whatever you want. In this example we searched for “freeze” to find the button for freezing columns and rows. What will you search for?

Keyboard Keys

Shortcut of the Week

While holding down the Ctrl key, you can left-click to select multiple objects or highlight multiple sections of text. Certain browsers will allow you to hold down the Ctrl key and individually click on each cell in a table they want to copy. They can also hold down the Ctrl key and drag their mouse down a row to select just that row or text without selecting any of the other text in that table.

FREE Live Cyber Security Seminar!

Join us on June 27th for a live event! Learn how to protect your business from hackers and identity thieves! FREE admissions if you register now!

Essential Cyber Security Training for Your Small Business
1 Parker Place 4th Floor
Janesville, WI 53545
(608) 755-1524

Check-in is 1:30 pm
Seminar begins at 2 pm
Light refreshments provided

Register for FREE Tickets ($30 value)
securityseminar.info

Have an unfortunate co-worker that’s not getting a copy of the TCC Tuesday Tidbits? Forward them your copy. Or, better yet, have them sign up at http://computer-center.com/tidbits/

Submit your TCC Tuesday Tidbit requests and ideas to me by calling (608) 755-1524.

Sincerely,

James Pearson, President
The Computer Center
One Parker Pl, Ste. #655
Janesville, WI 53545
(608) 755-1524

TCC Tuesday Tidbits Issue 369

In the end, a vision without the ability to execute it is probably a hallucination.

Steve Case

IT Security Tip #25: Do Online Banking? READ THIS!

If you do online banking, NEVER access your online account with a PC or device that you use to log in to social media sites or free e-mail accounts (like Hotmail) or to surf the web. Since these are all highly hackable, keeping one PC dedicated to online banking reduces your chances of getting a bank-account-hacking virus. Of course, that PC should have antivirus installed, be behind a well-maintained and well-monitored firewall, have a strong password and be monitored for suspicious activity.

Excel: Tables Make Your Data Pop

Want to turn ordinary data cells into a full-fledged Excel table? Just click anywhere inside your data and press Ctrl+T. A table provides all sorts of handy conveniences, like alternating colored rows and adding AutoFilter buttons. Plus, it just looks better, too.

Keyboard Keys

Shortcut of the Week

Any word can be selected by double-clicking the word. If you want to highlight the whole paragraph or sentence, click the mouse button three times on any word. If you double-click and then drag your mouse, it will highlight one word at a time.

The Computer Center’s Weekly Webinar Series

Take advantage of The Computer Center’s webinar series that helps you learn how to protect your small business and your employees without leaving your office!

  • June 20 – The End of Windows 7: Is it Really an Issue for Your Business?

And then at the end of June, please join us for an in-person Seminar

  • June 27 – Cyber Security Seminar

Follow the link to register for more information.

Have an unfortunate co-worker that’s not getting a copy of the TCC Tuesday Tidbits? Forward them your copy. Or, better yet, have them sign up at http://computer-center.com/tidbits/

Submit your TCC Tuesday Tidbit requests and ideas to me by calling (608) 755-1524.

Sincerely,

James Pearson, President
The Computer Center
One Parker Pl, Ste. #655
Janesville, WI 53545
(608) 755-1524

TCC Tuesday Tidbits Issue 368

I never dreamed about success, I worked for it.

Estee Lauder

IT Security Tip #24: How to Keep Staff From Unintentionally Causing a Security Breach

With so many access points, from cell phones to laptop and home computers, how can anyone hope to keep their network safe from hackers, viruses and other unintentional security breaches? The answer is not “one thing” but a series of things you have to implement and constantly be vigilant about, such as installing and constantly updating your firewall, antivirus, spam-filtering software and backups. This is why clients hire us – it’s a full-time job for someone with specific expertise (which we have!).

Once that basic foundation is in place, the next most important thing you can do is create an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and TRAIN your employees on how to use company devices and other security protocols, such as never accessing company e-mail, data or applications with unprotected home PCs and devices (for example). Also, how to create good passwords, how to recognize a phishing e-mail, what websites to never access, etc. NEVER assume your employees know everything they need to know about IT security. Threats are ever-evolving and attacks are getting more sophisticated and clever by the minute. This e-mail series is one great way to keep your employees informed, but you STILL need a good AUP in place and training.

Excel: Get Your Total by Going Formula Free

Here’s a handy tip for tables: Add a Total Row without writing a formula. Just click anywhere inside an Excel table. Then press Ctrl + Shift + T and Excel will add the Total Row to the bottom.

Keyboard Keys

Shortcut of the Week

In your browser hold the Shift key and scroll down to go back to the previous web page. Some mouse wheels can be pushed left or right to also move back and forward between web pages.

The Computer Center’s Weekly Webinar Series

Take advantage of The Computer Center’s webinar series that helps you learn how to protect your small business and your employees without leaving your office!

  • June 13 – Protecting Your Business and Employees from ID Theft and Phishing Scams
  • June 20 – The End of Windows 7: Is it Really an Issue for Your Business?

And then at the end of June, please join us for an in-person Seminar

  • June 27 – Cyber Security Seminar

Follow the link to register for more information.

Have an unfortunate co-worker that’s not getting a copy of the TCC Tuesday Tidbits? Forward them your copy. Or, better yet, have them sign up at http://computer-center.com/tidbits/

Submit your TCC Tuesday Tidbit requests and ideas to me by calling (608) 755-1524.

Sincerely,

James Pearson, President
The Computer Center
One Parker Pl, Ste. #655
Janesville, WI 53545
(608) 755-1524

The 3 Scariest Threats to Small Business Networks

The 3 Scariest Threats to Small Business Networks

While spam, pop-ups, and hackers are a real threat to any small business network, there are 3 security measures that you should be focusing on FIRST before you do anything else…

Worry About E-mail Attachments, Not Spam

Sure, spam is annoying and wastes your time, but the REAL danger with spam is in the attachments. Viruses and worms are malicious programs that are spread primarily through cleverly disguised attachments to messages that trick you (or your employees) into opening them.

Another huge threat is phishing e-mails that trick the user by appearing to be legitimate e-mails from your bank, eBay, or other password-protected entity.

Here are 2 things you must have in place to avoid this nightmare:

Keep your anti-virus up to date and enabled. Okay, this sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s not uncommon for an employee to disable their anti-virus software unbeknownst to you. Which brings us to #2…

Train employees on what they are (and aren’t) permitted to do with the company’s computer, e-mail, Internet access, etc. One thing that should be on the list is that they should NEVER open suspicious attachments or respond to phishing e-mails. We highly recommend creating an AUP (acceptable use policy) to teach your staff what NOT to do.

Put monitoring software in place to not only maintain the health of employees’ desktops, but also to automatically “police” employees from accidentally (or intentionally) visiting a phishing web site, downloading a virus, or visiting questionable web sites and content online.

Fear Downloads Before Pop-Ups

Did you know that most computers and networks get infected with viruses because the user actually invited the threat in by downloading a file (screen saver, music file, PDF document, pictures, etc.)?

Again, this comes down to training the staff on what they can and cannot do with your computer network; but the best way to avoid this from happening is to remove the temptation by installing monitoring software that will prevent employees from downloading unsavory items to YOUR network. We also recommend installing and maintaining a good firewall, which will block Internet traffic to and from dangerous sites.

Lose Sleep Over Backups Before Hackers

You are more likely to lose data from hardware failure, accidental deletion (human error), flood, fire, natural disaster or software corruption than a hacker. Sure, you should do everything to keep hackers out of your network, but not backing up your data to a remote location is crazy. At a minimum, you should have an onsite AND offsite copy of your data, and you should be testing your data backups regularly to make sure your data CAN be restored in the event of an emergency.

What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You

Since we are on the subject of protecting your network, 99% of the business owners wait FAR too long to check and update their computer network’s health and security. Because they are not performing regular maintenance, almost every single network reviewed completely overlooks these 3 security risks!

At some point, disaster will strike and they find themselves in a real mess with a network that is down (that’s when they call us in a panic). By then, the damage is done and it often costs thousands of dollars to restore their network back to normal. Even then it’s not uncommon for them to permanently lose irreplaceable accounting, client, and business data – not to mention hours of downtime.

Almost every one of these costly disasters could have easily been prevented if someone had checked their network’s security and health to remove these threats on a regular basis.

No More Excuses! Call us Today to Schedule Your FREE Business and Technology Assessment!

For FREE, we will come to your office and check your firewall, anti-virus, and security settings, as well as scan for spyware and hidden viruses. We will also check your backup to see if it’s working properly and accurately as well as verify that you have the most up-to-date security patches installed properly. If you miss one critical update, you become a “sitting duck”. Finally, we will be able to diagnose slow, unstable PCs and perform a quick network “tune-up” to make programs and files load faster.

Why Should You Care About This?

Because your computer network is the core of running your business. Try to imaging what it would be like if you walked into your office one day to discover all of your data was lost or corrupt. That’s why this check-up and regular maintenance is so important.

REMEMBER: Keeping your network safe is a moving target; the security updates you installed today may be rendered useless tomorrow because new threats are emerging daily.

There are numerous system checks and updates that should be done on a daily basis to ensure maximum speed, performance, and security. Ignore them and your system will get progressively slower, unstable, and susceptible to viruses, spyware, and hackers.

To schedule your FREE Business and Technology Assessment

Fill out the form by visiting https://www.computer-center.com/bta/ or call us at 608-755-1524. If we discover a problem, we’ll provide you with a recommended action plan and a fixed-fee quote on what it will cost for us to resolve it.