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Thursday, April 10, 2014 Backup , Business , Career , Customers , Education , Hack things , How to , Industry , Internet , Management Systems , Online , Privacy , Problems , Safety , Services , Social Media , Testing and Optimizing , Web tracking
Everyone has read in the newspapers or heard the five o’clock news stories about cyber attacks on major retailers and banks. Many have been victims in the attacks, having had to deal with systems' security breaches that put their personal and financial information at risk. Small businesses are subject to the same types of security issues, if on a smaller scale.
Business information security is extremely important on many levels, including financial, reputation, and customer service. The Small Business Administration reports that most small businesses that backup their business data only back it up on-site, which leaves them vulnerable to loss in the event of natural disasters or formal emergencies.
The SBA advises small businesses to develop security policies including emergency preparedness and disaster recovery guides. Having a plan in place before disaster strikes helps you recover more quickly in the event of floods, tornadoes, fires, and other emergencies that can damage or destroy a business. You may want to implement a preparedness program that includes a security service such as LifeLock to keep your private business information safe.
Creating a preparedness program includes five steps, including program management, planning, implementation, testing and exercises, and program improvement. The SBA recommends approaching emergency preparedness with management leadership, commitment, and financial support that includes an assessment of risks and a preparedness policy aligned with the business goals. A designated emergency preparedness program coordinator can bring organization and structure, as well as timelines, to the plan until it’s fully implemented.
Secure Social Media
Many small businesses use social media to connect with customers and compete with big brands and larger businesses. There are business risks to using social media that should be mitigated with enforced usage and privacy policies, as Cisco suggests. There should also be double checks on account administration so there isn’t only one person with access to account changes, and training protocols for employees on acceptable, safe business use of the company Facebook page.
Hackers break into small business systems through three common avenues: passwords, holes in outdated security software, and users’ risky computing behaviors. Minimize your risk with basic security measures used consistently throughout your company.
Implement good password security by using different pass phrases for different sites, and never reuse passwords or use a predictable formula. Use high-strength combinations of characters that include numbers as well as upper and lower case letters.
When you don’t update your security software, you leave company systems vulnerable to holes that hackers take advantage of. Regularly update your security software, and designate someone to be responsible for tracking updates to make sure they are installed. Hackers constantly test the internet and use sophisticated tools to search for vulnerabilities and ways into business networks, so you should be constantly reinforcing your security programs to guard against it.
Eliminate users unknowingly or accidentally causing security breaches from email forwarding, unnecessary downloads, and unauthorized web surfing. Conduct regular and ongoing computer security training. Make sure everyone in the company knows the security policy and any other policies related to use of company computer equipment and networks. Small Business Computing recommends training users on safe use of email, Internet, and network systems to raise security awareness levels.
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Wednesday, April 09, 2014 Apps , Business , Career , Converting , Customers , Education , Excel , How to , Industry , Internet , Learning , Office , Online , PDF , Powerpoint , Reviews , Services , Tools , Web and Desktop Apps , Word
Posted by Andreas Christodoulou
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If you are in need of a quick an accurate conversion from PDF into a more editable file format, PDFConverter.com’s free online conversion tool is one of the best available. This is a need that is encountered by many professionals and office workers on a regular basis since the PDF is such a readily used format, but at the same time, very much uneditable. If you receive information in the form of a PDF that you need to convert it into an editable text document or spreadsheet, this is a tool that can save you a lot of time and frustration.
The tool offers four conversion options. Users can convert PDFs into very popular editable formats, namely Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. They can also convert just about any type of document into a PDF using PDFConverter.com’s set of online tools. This comes in just as handy, since many people like to turn their files into PDFs for easier storage and distribution.
The service is incredibly easy to use as well.
Simple head over to this page, and then click on the file conversion type you need. Your document can be converted in just three easy steps.
1. Click on the “Choose file” button to select the file on your computer that you want to convert.
2. Enter your email address.
3. Click “Start!” to begin the conversion process.
And that’s all there is too it. Once the file is converted, you will be sent a notification via email. The email you receive will contain a download link that will enable you to download your newly converted file.
Convert scanned documents as well
This online service sets itself apart from many similar ones by offering OCR conversion options as well. Optical Character Recognition technology is used to convert a scanned PDF document into an editable format. Most similar services don’t offer the option to convert scanned PDFs, but PDFConverter.com does, which makes it fairly unique when it comes to such online tools.
No file size limits
Another interesting feature of this service is that there is no file size limit. You can upload and convert a file of any size. Of course, larger files will take longer to convert, but PDFConverter.com does not limit you by setting a file size limit for your conversion.
Secure and safe
The service also promises that your email information will never be shared with a third party. Also, your converted document and original document are deleted from the server after 24 hours, guaranteeing that your file will never be accessed or viewed by anyone but yourself.
So if you are looking for a quick, convenient and accurate online PDF conversion service that additionally offers scanned document conversion options, look no further than PDFConverter.com.
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Thursday, March 06, 2014 Backup , Cameras , Cloud Computing , CNETTV , Collections , Customers , Data Encryption , Devices , How to , Life , Memory cards , PC , Photography , Photos , Portable , Safety , SD's , Servers , Services , World
Posted by Andreas Christodoulou
Just imagine all the thousands of photos stored in phones, digital cameras and laptops. The Daily Mail estimates that almost 40 percent of such individuals have no backup of those files.
These devices break, wear out or are damaged every day, and with them thousands of photos are lost. Make sure you have backup plan for your treasured memories. Those moments in time can be lost forever if you don't protect them.
Local Backups and Broken Hard Drives
Most people know they should back up their files regularly. This often happens at home to a computer hard drive or maybe to an external drive. Local backups are a good idea because it does make a copy of the files. However, it's not such a good idea for long-term storage because hardware does break.
Backblaze estimates that 22 percent of hard drives, on average, fail in the first four years of use. The failure rate is higher if the computer or hard drive is used continually, or is used in hot, dusty environments. You also could experience a failure if there is a sudden spike on the electric circuit, such as during a lighting storm. You could lose years of photos on one failed drive.
While there are recovery services who will attempt to retrieve files off of a dead hard drive for you, these are expensive with no guarantee the recovery will be 100 percent successful. A better option is to have multiple ways of backing up your photos.
Backing Up to the Cloud
Cloud storage services have matured into an easy way for people to save all types of files, including photos. Most are easy to set up. Some offer automated backup, such as Mozy, so you don't even have to remember to do the backup yourself. Some vendors require you to load small programs onto your computer to do the backup while others rely on a browser-based online application.
Having a combination of backups is safest. Do a local backup of your photos from your phone or camera to the computer and a regular backup to your cloud storage. One way to use your cloud storage is as an archival system.
Since your files are in the cloud, you have access to them anywhere. For example, photos you take during a vacation can be uploaded to your cloud storage from your hotel room and then you can access them again when you get home. Or you can check on photos you took during your last trip to your destination to see if you already have photos of certain scenic spots.
The Safety of Your Photos
USA Today finds that cloud storage is as safe as other storage options. Most cloud service providers use encryption to store your files so they can't be viewed by others. Data is stored on huge disk farms, which are constantly monitored for potential disk failures. The systems cloud providers use allow the replacement of disk drives without creating any downtime. You don't have to worry about a drive failing and losing photos.
Keeping Those Non-Digital Photos Safe
If you have a number of regular film photos, you can keep them save as well. CNET shows how you can scan those photos to create digital copies. Or you can have a service do that for you. A digital copy of a film photo is easier to store, doesn't fade, or get damaged by water or fire. You could scan your print photos and store the originals in a fireproof box or in a safe deposit box with your bank.
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Thursday, February 27, 2014 Backup , Cameras , Cloud Computing , Collections , Customers , History , How to , Lenovo , Life , Memory cards , PC , Photography , Photos , Portable , Safety , SD's , Seagate , Servers , Services , World
Posted by Andreas Christodoulou
It's worse than a punch in the gut—that awful realization that your computer has crashed and your wedding photos are gone, your beach vacation photos are gone, and your baby's first birthday photos ... gone.
You scold yourself for not backing them up, saving them to a disk, or leaving them on your memory card. You swear you'll never make that mistake again, but how can you prevent a virus from wiping out your priceless photos again? Here are a few ways to make sure they're stored safely and securely.
1. Keep them in the Cloud
Upload your precious photos to cloud storage where they'll be safely stored until you need them again. Accessing them at any time is easy, and you'll never again experience that sinking feeling that comes with knowing you've lost an entire year's worth of memories to one annoying computer crash. Different features and fee structures are available at the various providers, so do your research—decide what type of storage you need and research cloud storage rankings for dependability.
2. Save them to Disc
Another efficient way of saving your digital memories is to burn them onto a disc. According to the International Journal for the Preservation of Library and Archival Material, CD-R discs made with phthalocynine dye are the ones that stand the test of time. They're less likely to exhibit laser rot and deterioration over time. The fact that the disc is a CD-R instead of a CD-RW, also means you can't accidently copy over the photos you have stored.
If you choose this method of storage, it's still a good idea to have a backup system in place. Even the best CDs deteriorate over time, so have an alternative storage method.
3. Use an External Hard Drive
Although external hard drives can be susceptible to viruses, they're a good back up to discs and to the regular hard drive on your PC. External hard drives hold a ton of photos without slowing things down and they're easy to retrieve when you need them. PC Magazine recommends the top five external hard drives, which include:
• LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt (1TB SSD)
• LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 Thunderbolt (120GB SSD)
• Lenovo ThinkPad USB 3.0 Secure Hard Drive
• Seagate Backup Plus
• Seagate Backup Plus Portable Drive for Mac (1TB)
4. SD Card
SD Cards are the small memory sticks that go inside your camera before you leave on a photo expedition. These are a viable option for storing photos, except that they have a size limit and can fill up quickly if you're not cautious of your volume of large file sizes. These are also not foolproof for life, but they'll do until you have a chance to upload your memories to the cloud.
5. Combination Storage
Of all these options, cloud storage is the safest file storage method of hanging onto precious digital files. Be extra safe, however, by using a combination of storage solutions. With more than one dependable storage solutions in place, your cherished memories will be safe and secure for years to come.
We’ve shared our ideas, now we want to ask you – how do you preserve your family memories and not lose them forever? Share them with us in a comment below!