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TCC Tuesday Tidbits Issue 377

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.

Zig Ziglar

IT Security Tip #33: Physical Security Matters!

An office secretary unknowingly gave some of her law firm’s most private data to a gentleman who had bought a Comcast Cable polo shirt off eBay. He dressed in khakis with a tool belt and told the secretary he was there to audit their cable modem specifications and take pictures of the install for quality assurance. She had no reason to suspect he was part of a now-extinct hacker ring who would gain access to a business’s private network by going inside the office and noting the configuration details and passwords for their firewalls and cable modems. In some cases, they actually built a secure VPN private backdoor they later used to steal data. If someone dressed up in a utility-provider uniform, would you let them in?

Ask for identification and who they have spoken with about the service they are performing, and be gracefully suspicious, as they say in the South. Keep any company policies about how visitors are allowed in the building if such policies exist. If those kinds of policies don’t exist, work to define them. We can help, if needed – but this is a real problem your office needs to address.

Excel: Freeze It And Forget About Scrolling Back And Forth

Want the top row and first column to stick around while you scroll through your worksheet? Select a cell, then click View > Freeze Panes > Freeze Panes. You’ll notice two “frozen lines” will appear, which intersect at the top-left corner of the cell. Everything to the left of the column’s frozen line stays put while you scroll side-to-side; everything above the row’s frozen line stays when you scroll up and down.

Keyboard Keys

Shortcut of the Week

Quickly access the Windows Help by pressing the F1 key from the Windows desktop.

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, 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 376

Every day that we spent not improving our products was a wasted day.

Joel Spolsky

IT Security Tip #32: Routers are $100 at the stores – why do I need an expensive firewall AND pay a maintenance fee? 

Routers and firewalls can be confusing – they essentially serve the same purpose of distributing Internet to devices on the network. A router like you’d purchase at a store is designed to serve the needs of home, not the needs of business. It’s likely more important that the Xbox has a great WiFi signal so little Jimmy can play his game, rather than being able to deny all Internet access from North Korea. A firewall, unlike a router, is intelligent. You typically pay a subscription fee because the firewall is constantly updating itself to protect against the newest cyber-attacks. Unlike a router, the firewall actually looks at all Internet traffic passing through it to make sure it’s legitimate, not a virus, and was requested from a computer inside. They also allow us to block access totally to some third-world countries known for producing cyber-attacks. A good firewall can also let you know what your staff has been up to – who’s that looking on careerbuilder.com for five hours? Don’t cheap out, and don’t buy your gate to the Internet for your business at a store. It truly is the gate between your business and the rest of the world – and you want a strongly armed guard, not a non-intelligent robot. If you can afford to invest in one thing, get a good firewall!

PS – Business-grade firewalls can be used in homes, too – especially if you want to control the content users can access on the Internet, and want to see what the people in the house have been doing. There is no rule that a firewall is just for business – we sell them for use in the homes of lots of CEOs, CIOs and other professionals.

Excel: Accessible Templates are the Practical Choice

You’ve worked hard on your data. Make sure all your stakeholders can appreciate it by using accessible templates.

Click File > New, and search for “accessible.” Choose Accessible Template Sampler to see all of the accessible templates available in Excel.

Keyboard Keys

Shortcut of the Week

Quickly maximize a window by double-clicking on the top title bar of the window, or by pressing the Windows key + up arrow.

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, 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 375

Some people dream of success, while other people get up every morning and make it happen.

Wayne Huizenga

IT Security Tip #31: Lie, Lie, Lie!

Social engineering is big business. What is it? Figuring out who you are and then using that information to make money off of it. People list password challenge and identity verification publicly or at least freely on their Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages and feeds without giving it a second thought. Maiden name? Check. Favorite pet? Check. High school? Check. Town they grew up in? Check. Favorite or first car? Check. Throwback Thursday is a social engineer’s dream! They love this stuff. Combat it by always giving false password and identity challenge and verification information to the sites and services that require it. Keep the answer file off-line or at least in a format that’s not easily guessed. Remember, if it’s a handwritten list, you can still take a photo of it.

Excel: Choosy Analysts Use IFS

When you need a formula that does a bunch of “if this, then that” calculations, use IFS. IFS evaluates multiple conditions so nested formulas aren’t required. In this example, the IFS function looks at a cell in the Score column, and depending on the value of the score, shows a grade letter.

IFS is available in the latest version of Excel for Office 365.

Keyboard Keys

Shortcut of the Week

Keep a log using Microsoft Notepad by opening a new text file in Microsoft Notepad or an existing text file in Notepad and adding “.LOG” (without the quotes) at the beginning of the file. Now each time the file is opened in Notepad a time and date stamp will be automatically added.

Equifax Data Breach

Submitted by Kelly Woods – Director of Operations, The Computer Center

In September of 2017, Equifax announced a data breach that exposed the personal information of 147 million people. Under a settlement filed, Equifax agreed to spend up to $425 million to help people affected by the data breach. Here are the benefits available to you. Instructions on how to file can be found here.

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, 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 374

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

Lakshmi Mittal

IT Security Tip #30: Start With a Fresh Session or Browser Window

You’d like to access the company website or a site for one of your vendors from work. When you click on your favorite browser, it opens to your homepage: msn.com, yahoo.com, espn.com… You get the point. You then select the bookmark for the desired website and go. BIG problem! Most websites these days have tracking cookies, microdots and other advertising and data-collection bots that sit on them. These little spies are now following you across your browser session. Be careful with your information. Web portal sites like I listed are filled with ads, and the site’s overhead is paid for with information they get from you.

 

  1. Consider changing your homepage to something like startpage.com. They don’t spy.
  2. Always open a new browser tab when navigating to a new website. Close the last one to keep things tidy after the new one loads.
  3. Consider using add-ons in your browser to cut down on ads and spies. Not sure how? Ask us.

Excel: Chart Your Data – It’s as Easy as ALT + F1

Select any cell in your data range and press ALT + F1. Voila! You now have a chart.

Keyboard Keys

Shortcut of the Week

Quickly rename multiple files by first, opening File Explorer and selecting the files you would like to rename. Then press F2 and type the name you would like the new group to be such as typing “shortcut” will rename the files “shortcut1”, “shortcut2”, “shortcut3”, etc.

Renaming files individually is similar, start with highlighting one file then hit F2, after renaming that one file, you can tab to the next and duplicate using the F2 key.

Jason’s Tech Corner

Submitted by Jason Risner – Solutions Engineer, The Computer Center

WIRED recently posted an article of best practices to prune your digital life of “zombie” apps and online accounts you never use anymore. This is a good thing to do on a regular basis to help protect yourself from identity theft. Identity thieves can use the information in your “zombie” accounts to break into accounts for services you care about, like your bank or your e-mail provider. 

This is also an excellent time to update the passwords of accounts you actively use. With a password manager like LastPass, you can easily set up different passwords for every account you have, as well as store the fake answers you used for their challenge questions. (You didn’t tell Yahoo your mother’s ACTUAL maiden name or where you ACTUALLY graduated high school, did you?)

WIRED: How to Clear Out Your Zombie Apps and Online Accounts https://www.wired.com/story/delete-old-apps-accounts-online

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 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 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