(608) 755-1524 sales@computer-center.com

FREE RESOURCES

Use these resources to learn a new skill or enhance an existing one

TCC Tuesday Tidbits Issue 429

It takes more than capital to swing business. You’ve got to have the A. I. D. degree to get by — Advertising, Initiative, and Dynamics.
Ren Mulford

Covid-19 and Working Remotely
A How-To Technology Resource

Welcome to The Computer Center’s Covid-19 resource center for small businesses. Our focus is to provide you with the information you need to keep your business running, collaborate with your team, meet with customers, and make the best of the current situation by leveraging technology. Visit www.computer-center.com/covid19/ for access to more helpful information.

IT Security Tip 38

IT Security Tip #38:
Don’t Just Throw Out That Old Computer

Getting rid of old computers or servers? Did you know that the components used in technology equipment are not landfill-safe? On top of the environmental hazards, unprotected e-waste typically contains a lot of confidential and private information in the form of saved passwords, Internet history, and files left on the retired computer or server.

As a first prevention step, find a local recycling facility where e-waste can be safely disposed of. And make sure to take the following #1 security precaution before you haul it off: remove and destroy the hard drives. A drill and hammer usually do the trick just fine. Alternatively, many companies that shred paper documents will also destroy your hard drives.

Don’t forget other e-waste such as mobile phones, copy machines, and any other device that ever touched your company data. Give serious thought to what data is on any device before you recycle it.

Microsoft Tips for Office

Hyperlinks in Living Color

Hyperlinks aren’t just blue anymore. Change the color to match your mood or design. Just select the link and click Home > Font Color. Choose any color you like.

Hyperlinks in Living Color

Keyboard Keys

Shortcut of the Week

Keep the Computer Clean

Keeping the computer physically clean can help keep the computer running smoothly, help prevent issues such as overheating, and help protect you from getting sick. While cleaning the computer, it is also a good idea to clean the data on the computer. Microsoft Windows users can run ScanDisk to check the hard drive for errors and Defrag to keep the data on the hard drive organized. It is also a good idea to go through the installed programs and uninstall anything you no longer use.

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 https://computer-center.com/tuesdaytidbits/

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

Sincerely,

James Pearson, President The Computer Center 39 S. Main St. – Upper Janesville, WI 53545 (608) 755-1524

TCC Tuesday Tidbits Issue 428

Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.
Babe Ruth

Covid-19 and Working Remotely
A How-To Technology Resource

Welcome to The Computer Center’s Covid-19 resource center for small businesses. Our focus is to provide you with the information you need to keep your business running, collaborate with your team, meet with customers, and make the best of the current situation by leveraging technology. Visit www.computer-center.com/covid19/ for access to more helpful information.

Tech Tip 33: Physical Security Matters!

IT Security Tip #37:
Why is it so important to have unique passwords for all your online accounts?

A complex password is a necessity in the current age of cyberthreats, data breaches, and other security incidents. Those of us who live in reality also know how hard it is to keep the seemingly hundreds of passwords straight, secure, and different. Wait, what’s that? All of your passwords aren’t different?

Why is having different passwords so important? When an online retailer, or a website, gets hacked, oftentimes all you hear in the news is about how many credit cards were lost or what the financial damage was. You rarely hear about the user accounts that were compromised. However, if you have an account on a compromised website, the username and password you used very possibly could be published and available to anybody who wants to look at it on the Internet. A clever crook knows that you probably use the same password on the compromised website as you do on your eBay, Amazon, or other online accounts that may have a bank account tied to it. A good enough chance that they’re likely to try it anyway. Sure enough, when you used the same password on your eBay account that you also used to set up an account on the compromised website to reserve hotel rooms, buy clothes, or whatever else, the hacker now has your eBay credentials.

It is possible to keep the password madness under control. Ask us for tricks to having unique but memorable passwords. You might be surprised by how easy it really is. The bottom line is that no matter how much of a pain it is, it is very important to have different passwords for each online account.

Microsoft Tips for Office

Use Microsoft Teams to keep it all organized

Stay in touch no matter where you are with Microsoft Teams. Get to your files on OneDrive, have online meetings and calls, chat with a few colleagues, or make posts to your whole team. Everything you need for productive collaborative work is there.

Chat While You Edit

Keyboard Keys

Shortcut of the Week

Read, Understand, and Watch for Tricks

One of the most common mistakes a new computer user makes is agreeing to dialog text boxes, agreements, or other prompts without reading the dialog text box or understanding it. Before clicking any Ok or an install button, make sure you understand what you are doing. If you don’t understand the prompt, click the Cancel button or close the box. If there is no way to close the prompt try pressing the Esc key.

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 https://computer-center.com/tuesdaytidbits/

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

Sincerely,

James Pearson, President The Computer Center 39 S. Main St. – Upper Janesville, WI 53545 (608) 755-1524

TCC Tuesday Tidbits Issue 427

For all of its faults, it gives most hardworking people a chance to improve themselves economically, even as the deck is stacked in favor of the privileged few. Here are the choices most of us face in such a system: Get bitter or get busy.
Bill O’ Reilly

Covid-19 and Working Remotely
A How-To Technology Resource

Welcome to The Computer Center’s Covid-19 resource center for small businesses. Our focus is to provide you with the information you need to keep your business running, collaborate with your team, meet with customers, and make the best of the current situation by leveraging technology. Visit www.computer-center.com/covid19/ for access to more helpful information.

Tech Tip 33: Physical Security Matters!

IT Security Tip #36:
The Long-forgotten Piece of
Security for Road Warriors…

Do you connect to the office network or VPN (virtual private network) to get some work done in the evenings, on the weekends or when on the road? For many, the answer is yes.

One of the most frequently forgotten pieces of network security is making sure that personal devices used in employee homes conform to the standards in your office. Make sure your road warriors and remote workers have up-to-date antivirus software on the computers they are connecting in from and that a good firewall is in use when possible. Just know that it’s generally safe to connect into work from public hotspots as long as your office VPN is in use. The VPN secures the connection between the computer and the office. Remote login software such as GoToMyPC and others may not use the same type of security as your VPN and therefore may not be safe to connect from a public hotspot.

Microsoft Tips for Office

Translate Text On The Fly

In Word, select some text, right-click it, and then click Translate. Choose a language to see the translation. Click Insert to put it into your document.

Chat While You Edit

Keyboard Keys

Shortcut of the Week

Keep the Computer Safe from Malware

Every computer connected to the Internet needs to be protected from viruses so we recommend having some form of antivirus program installed and running on your computer. It’s also a good idea to have a malware detection program that could pickup any spyware or malware that an antivirus may not detect.

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 https://computer-center.com/tuesdaytidbits/

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

Sincerely,

James Pearson, President The Computer Center 39 S. Main St. – Upper Janesville, WI 53545 (608) 755-1524

TCC Tuesday Tidbits Issue 426

The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.
Debbie Fields

Covid-19 and Working Remotely
A How-To Technology Resource

Welcome to The Computer Center’s Covid-19 resource center for small businesses. Our focus is to provide you with the information you need to keep your business running, collaborate with your team, meet with customers, and make the best of the current situation by leveraging technology. Visit www.computer-center.com/covid19/ for access to more helpful information.

Tech Tip 33: Physical Security Matters!

IT Security Tip #35:
Your Copier is Spying on You…

Modern business equipment has radically changed how we conduct everyday business. Do you realize that copiers and multifunction printers are also one of the leading causes of data breaches?

They are the one device on the network that commonly does not ever have the default password changed. After all, who would want to get in and copy your settings? There might be a different answer if you realize that quite often those copiers keep images of all pages scanned on an internal hard drive. Perfect for someone to anonymously access and steal social security records and sensitive business data.

Take steps to secure your MFP copier today. Change – or ask your IT support firm to change – default passwords on ALL network-connected devices. Don’t forget this rule when the copier lease is up and a new one is installed! A few quick steps can save a lot of personal data breaches and a lot of security headaches down the road.

Microsoft Tips for Office

Chat While You Edit

Collaborate with co-authors without ever leaving Word. Save your document to the cloud to get started. Available in Excel and PowerPoint, too.

Chat While You Edit

Keyboard Keys

Shortcut of the Week

Keep Computer and Programs Updated

There is no such thing as perfect software or hardware drivers. After the developer has released their program, they may discover errors and release updates to fix these problems. In the case of major software programs and operating systems, there can be several hundred updates and service packs released during its lifetime. Making sure your computer and its programs are up-to-date can help prevent problems.

Also, programs with plugins may need updates, for example, keeping your browser plugins up-to-date is important.

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 https://computer-center.com/tuesdaytidbits/

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

Sincerely,

James Pearson, President The Computer Center 39 S. Main St. – Upper Janesville, WI 53545 (608) 755-1524

TCC Tuesday Tidbits Issue 425

Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them!
C.J. Walker

Covid-19 and Working Remotely
A How-To Technology Resource

Welcome to The Computer Center’s Covid-19 resource center for small businesses. Our focus is to provide you with the information you need to keep your business running, collaborate with your team, meet with customers, and make the best of the current situation by leveraging technology. Visit www.computer-center.com/covid19/ for access to more helpful information.

Tech Tip 33: Physical Security Matters!

IT Security Tip #34:
Don’t Send Your Private Information To Anyone!

We’re seeing a new variant of an old scam. Here’s what happens: a secretary gets an e-mail from her boss – who is traveling – to please send him, as soon as possible, scanned copies of all the W2s the company issued at the end of January. The message appears to come from her manager, including having what looks like his actual e-mail address when she looks at in Outlook. She gets suspicious – she has just talked to her boss on the phone that morning, and he never mentioned needing that information. Before she collects the W2 PDFs that are on the HR drive, she decides to text her boss and check on it. Great catch! The boss never requested that information. Had she not been proactive and instead just completed the task assigned to her, she would have given a scammer all of the confidential information that is on a federal W2 form for every employee in her firm! The scammer likely would have used the information to commit identity theft and/or file false returns next year to claim the refund.

Always be vigilant and proactive – it’s better to be suspicious and double-check everything when dealing with confidential information. Try to provide that detail in an encrypted e-mail, or at a minimum with a password on the files (and don’t include the password in the body of the e-mail!). The few extra minutes it takes could save months of heartache for all of your employees.

Microsoft Tips for Office

Join Words With A Curve

Open a Word document and select Draw > Ink Editor. Draw a curve between two words to join them. Make sure the ends of the curve touch the words you want to join.

TCC Tuesday Tidbits Issue 425

Keyboard Keys

Shortcut of the Week

Protect The Computer

Make sure to protect your computer from electrical surges, brownouts, and blackouts. At the very least, every computer user should have a decent surge protector on their computer. Surge protectors can help protect your computer during an electrical storm and could save you hundreds of dollars in repair costs if it were to get damaged. It’s also a good idea to have computers on a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) to prevent damage to a computer during a brownout or blackout.

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 https://computer-center.com/tuesdaytidbits/

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

Sincerely,

James Pearson, President
The Computer Center
39 S. Main St. – Upper
Janesville, WI 53545
(608) 755-1524

TCC Tuesday Tidbits Issue 424

Put yourself in your customer’s place.
Orison Swett Marden

Covid-19 and Working Remotely
A How-To Technology Resource

Welcome to The Computer Center’s Covid-19 resource center for small businesses. Our focus is to provide you with the information you need to keep your business running, collaborate with your team, meet with customers, and make the best of the current situation by leveraging technology. Visit www.computer-center.com/covid19/ for access to more helpful information.

Tech Tip 33: Physical Security Matters!

IT Security Tip #33:
Physical Security Matters!

In a recent incident reported in US news, 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.

Microsoft Tips for Office

Get Office Mobile For Your Phone

Work seamlessly across your PC and your phone in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and more. Office mobile apps are designed for Android phones and tablets and Mac and iOS.

Get Office Mobile For Your Phone

Keyboard Keys

Shortcut of the Week

Backup Important Data

A computer or its hard drive can fail at any time and without warning. When it does, all your documents, letters, pictures, music, and videos are lost or may cost lots of money to be recovered. Make sure you have backups of all your important data in case your computer fails.

Need help with backing up your data? Call us at (608) 755-1524.

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 https://computer-center.com/tuesdaytidbits/

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

Sincerely,

James Pearson, President
The Computer Center
39 S. Main St. – Upper
Janesville, WI 53545
(608) 755-1524

TCC Tuesday Tidbits Issue 423

Storms make trees take deeper root.
Dolly Parton

Covid-19 and Working Remotely
A How-To Technology Resource

Welcome to The Computer Center’s Covid-19 resource center for small businesses. Our focus is to provide you with the information you need to keep your business running, collaborate with your team, meet with customers, and make the best of the current situation by leveraging technology. Visit www.computer-center.com/covid19/ for access to more helpful information.

why do I need a $900 firewall AND pay a maintenance fee?

IT Security Tip #32:
Routers are $100 at the big-box stores
Why do I need a $900 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 big-box store is designed to serve the needs of the home, not the needs of the business. It’s likely more important 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 big-box 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.

Microsoft Tips for Office

We Have The Resume For You

Forget the formatting—use a template. Word has dozens to choose from. In Word, select File > New, type Resume in the search box, and then press Enter.

We Have The Resume For You

Keyboard Keys

Shortcut of the Week

Start a YouTube Video From Anywhere in Timeline

To create a link to a video that doesn’t start at the beginning, follow the instructions below.

  • Open your selected YouTube video and pause it at the time you want the video to start.
  • Right-click on the video and select “Copy video URL at the current time” from the drop-down menu.
  • Once the video URL is copied, you can paste it into an e-mail message or web page.

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 https://computer-center.com/tuesdaytidbits/

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

Sincerely,

James Pearson, President
The Computer Center
39 S. Main St. – Upper
Janesville, WI 53545
(608) 755-1524

TCC Tuesday Tidbits Issue 422

Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.
Vince Lombardi

Covid-19 and Working Remotely
A How-To Technology Resource

Welcome to The Computer Center’s Covid-19 resource center for small businesses. Our focus is to provide you with the information you need to keep your business running, collaborate with your team, meet with customers, and make the best of the current situation by leveraging technology. Visit www.computer-center.com/covid19/ for access to more helpful information.

TCC Tuesday Tidbits Issue 422

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.

Microsoft Tips for Office

Give Your Docs Visual Appeal

A unified font and color scheme make your document stand out. In Word, select Design > Themes. Point to themes to get a preview, then choose one you like.

Give Your Docs Visual Appeal

Keyboard Keys

Shortcut of the Week

Increase or Decrease Font Size In Word

To increase or decrease the font size of text in Microsoft Word, highlight the text that you want to make bigger or smaller.
To increase the font size, press Ctrl+]. (Press and hold the Ctrl key, then press the right Bracket key.)
To decrease the font size, press Ctrl+[. (Press and hold the Ctrl key, then press the left Bracket key.)

    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 https://computer-center.com/tuesdaytidbits/

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

    Sincerely,

    James Pearson, President The Computer Center 39 S. Main St. – Upper Janesville, WI 53545 (608) 755-1524

    TCC Tuesday Tidbits Issue 421

    The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.
    Nolan Bushnell

    Covid-19 and Working Remotely
    A How-To Technology Resource

    Welcome to The Computer Center’s Covid-19 resource center for small businesses. Our focus is to provide you with the information you need to keep your business running, collaborate with your team, meet with customers, and make the best of the current situation by leveraging technology. Visit www.computer-center.com/covid19/ for access to more helpful information.

    Start with a fresh session or browser window

    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, aol.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 the information they get from you. 

    Consider changing your homepage to something like https://startpage.com/. They don’t spy.

    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.

    Consider using add-ons in your browser to cut down on ads and spies. Not sure how? Ask us.

    Microsoft Tips for Office

    Fill Cells In A Flash

    After you type a few entries, Excel fills in the rest of the cells automatically. Press Enter to accept the suggestions.

    Fill Cells In A Flash

    Keyboard Keys

    Shortcut of the Week

    Quickly Insert Bullet Points In Word

    Quickly insert bullets into Microsoft Word by typing an asterisk (*), space, and then your sentence. When enter is pressed Microsoft Word will automatically change your asterisks to a bullet point.

    * This turns into

    • This

    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 https://computer-center.com/tuesdaytidbits/

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

    Sincerely,

    James Pearson, President The Computer Center 39 S. Main St. – Upper Janesville, WI 53545 (608) 755-1524