Royal Blog

  • Office 365 for Every Day of the Year

    Have you made the move to Office 365 yet? Sure, we understand that change is scarier than a Thanksgiving without Turkey, but your trusted comrades here at Royal are ready to address all of your qualms. Office 365 is a beautiful thing, and once you make the transition, you’ll wonder how you managed to operate your business without it. Here are the top five reasons to jump on board 365:

    1. 365 can be used on up to five devices. That’s right. FIVE devices. Remember when you’d buy a CD and install it on your one computer? Those days are gone. Now, your new Office is downloaded directly from the web and you can use it across all of your devices. That means your phone, your iPad, your work computer and your home PC will all be suited up with the newest version of Office. No CD-ROM necessary.

    2. 365 will be up to date for good. That’s because it all comes to you via online download. So again, your days of manual entering key cards are in the past. Let’s say Microsoft updates their software again in a few years. You’ll have guaranteed access without having to buy a copy of the newest edition. How sweet is that?

    3. You can log in from any machine virtually anywhere to access your OneDrive. Your OneDrive will be where all your documents live, so you’ll have anywhere access to all your saved stuff at any point in time. Your OneDrive is equipped with unlimited storage. Know what this means? External hard drives are VERY close to becoming obsolete. It’s all backed up to the cloud, baby, and that means you can bid adieu to that chunky piece of technology.

    4. The same aforementioned OneDrive gives you the chance to share documents with your coworkers without having to swap versions via email. Your inbox will be so thankful.

    5. 365 will help you run your business in a more timely and efficient manner. Your IT guy should be worried. This is because you now have the power to add and remove employees without having to resell or return used software. Office 365 delivers an unprecedented amount of control to business owners, and will save on capital expenditure costs in the long run.

    Still need convincing? Call up one of our friendly specialists (and avid 365 users) for a few more reasons as to why the new Office 365 is the right thing to do!

  • Backup Your Most Important Data

    Many of us have important files on our computer, but it seems like people don’t know how to take care of them. As a responsible computer user, it is essential that you always back up your most important files and have a plan for recovering from a system failure.

    I often hear end-users say that they don’t have important files on their computer, so they don’t really need to do backups. That’s not true. The truth is, all the important memories in our lives are being looked after by technology – family pictures, vacation photos, wedding photos graduation photos, financial documents etc. It’s really sad when people say that their hard drive died and they lost all their pictures with it. These photos may not cost you money, but losing all those memories can be difficult.

    Most businesses also rely on soft data. Think of all the projects, files, documents, emails, spread sheets, databases and software on your computer. Now imagine what would happen if you lose all these in an instant. What would your clients say? What would happen to your business?

    You may have protected your computer form viruses, malwares and other potential threats, but are you backing up your files regularly? Yes, we understand that this can be a chore for most people since the initial setup could take hours, but your data is valuable.

    Backing up your files is advantageous since you can retrieve some, if not all, of your information in case something happens to your computer. Recreating these data will take time and effort. Worse, some of them cannot be recreated at all.

    The most important files to backup are your pictures, documents, music and other files you can’t replaced easily. If you use your computer every day, please try to back up files you use most often at least every week. If you can do it every day, much better.

    If you’ve put off backing up your computer for too long, now is the perfect time to do so. You never know when your computer would give up or malicious software would destroy the information it holds.

  • Antivirus Myths Debunked

    Everyone wants to keep their computers and mobile devices running smoothly. That’s why we sign up for antivirus, right?

    Over the years, antivirus software has steadily evolved, but a number of obsolete myths still persist. With all these myths spreading around, people find it difficult to separate the facts from the lies.

    Allow us to take a few minutes of your time and share with you some of the most prevalent myths regarding antivirus software.

    My PC is safe because I have installed an antivirus software

    This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions about antivirus. You have to understand that viruses are especially built to trick the anti-xxx capabilities of the software. These viruses are created by people who have advanced knowledge of both viruses and anti-virus software.

    Free antivirus is enough

    It can be tempting to go the unpaid route when it comes to digital protection. There’s no point paying if you download a free trial, right? Wrong! Many of these free antivirus programs only offer basic protection. You need a paid antivirus in order to keep your computer safe against malware and viruses.

    Viruses are created by antivirus companies

    The average users may find this easy to believe. It kind of seems like a good business idea after all. You create a virus, and then sell a software that would keep the devices secure. But that’s not the case.

    The truth is, attackers are the ones who create new viruses in an attempt to keep up with the newer and more up-to-date versions of antivirus software.

    Viruses are only for Windows

    It is true that MAC computers suffer fewer attacks as compared to those that are running on Windows. But that doesn’t mean that MACs don’t get viruses.

    Over the years, attackers have spent most of their time designing viruses for Windows since it is the most dominant system in the marketplace. But now that Apple has gained traction in both private and public sectors, you can never be too complacent. Having a good antivirus program is a must.

  • Tips for Creating a Strong Password

    We live in a password-driven world. We are required to create a password for every account that we make online. They provide the first line of defense against hackers and malicious software.

    Security experts often advise us to use strong passwords at all times. But what qualifies as a strong password?

    Here are 4 tips for creating an unbreakable password.

    Minimum of 12 characters

    While it’s fine to use an 8-character password, we’d like to stress the importance of using a long password. Longer passwords are much harder to crack. Go for passwords with at least 12 characters.

    Mix it up

    To make the password harder to crack, use a mix of different types of characters. Include capital letters, lower-case letters, numbers, symbols and punctuations. Instead of bighouse, try BigH0use$123.

    Avoid common passwords

    Avoid using places, names, birthdays, dates and dictionary words as password. A lot of people use the name of their kids or pets, anniversary date, city of birth, favorite team or even their car license plates as their password. Guess what? That's not a strong password, even if you combine them with numbers. Why? It’s because these are the types of information that hackers would want to know first. If you do use any of these as your password, it would only take a few minutes before they gain access to your accounts.

    Use different passwords

    Why would you use a different password for different accounts when you can easily type in your favorite password? The answer is simple. If your password gets cracked, then the person will now have access to all your accounts – email, Facebook, twitter, Amazon, paypal, bank accounts etc. You can say goodbye to your funds in an instant. Do yourself a favor and use a different password for every account.

    Add an extra layer of protection

    Add an extra layer of protection by enabling 2-step verification. Here, users are required to type in their username and password, along with the code that will be sent to their mobile phone. So even if the hacker gets a hold of your username and password, he still can’t access your account because he doesn’t have your phone.

  • Work and Play Better with Multiple Monitors

    Sometimes, it seems like you’re spending more time switching between programs as compared to the actual work. Anyone who has attempted to squeeze 2 windows on a single screen or tried to juggle the vertical split screens in Microsoft Word knows how frustrating it is to work on one small screen.

    If you’re looking to improve your computing experience, here’s an idea you might want to consider - set up multiple monitors. This will give you room to spread out and make your computer more comfortable to use.

    Here’s how an extra screen makes your PC better for work or play.

    Advantages of having multiple screens

    Increase in productivity is often touted as the main advantage to running a multi-monitor setup. In fact, studies have shown that dual monitors can increase productivity.

    We live in a multitasking world. Having multiple monitors are uniquely useful for keeping track of numerous programs simultaneously on your computer. It opens up many possibilities. You can check emails, browse the web and run multiple apps while completing tasks on a second screen.

    With all those screens spread out before you, you’ll suddenly realize that you spend a lot less time flipping through open programs, files, emails, and looking for what you want. Instead of switching between full-screen windows, you have the option to put the second program on the second monitor. Here, you can have one screen dedicated for displaying critical information while the other can be used for your actual work.

    Disadvantages of multiple screens

    A second monitor takes up additional space. So before purchasing additional monitors, consider whether or not they would fit on your desk. While keeping programs open across two or more screens can be advantageous, it can be distracting for some people. For instance, Keeping email, IM or social media window open all the time can be good thing for communication purposes, but it can also be a productivity killer.

    Despite the disadvantages, a multiple-monitor setup offers more advantages in the long run. Weigh the pros and cons and try to look at the big picture so you can make an educated decision for your office.

  • Microsoft Pushes Emergency Out-of-Band Patch for Critical Internet Explorer Vulnerability

    A dangerous flaw in Internet Explorer has prompted Microsoft to issue an emergency out-of-band security update.

    In an advisory posted last Thursday, Microsoft informed the public about a newly detected security vulnerability in Internet Explorer. Here, they warned that the vulnerability affects all versions of Windows – from Windows 7 to 11, including 8.1 and Vista.

    According to the company, the vulnerability was already exploited and is rated as critical on client operating system and moderate on all server operating system.

    The advisory explains that the CVE-2105-2502 has the potential to hi-jack control of your computer via Internet Explorer. They also warned users that vulnerable computers can be exploited by simply visiting maliciously-crafted websites.

    Attempts would be made to redirect potential victims to booby trapped websites by tricking them into opening an unsolicited email attachment or by using spammed out links.

    Once the computer has been compromised, it may grant the attacker administrator level privileges on the target device. This kind of vulnerability may allow attackers to see personal information. The good news is, they won’t be able to choose what they see.

    If the user has administrative capabilities, the attacker would be able to take complete control over their device and do certain things such as install a program or modify a file. Attackers can do the same thing even if users do not have administrative privileges, but may be slightly better off.

    Microsoft’s new browser, Edge, is not listed on the page and is not at risk through the vulnerability. However, since it also ships with a copy of Internet Explorer 11 installed, they included it in the update as well.

    Microsoft urged Windows users to update their machines as soon as possible to protect their devices from security vulnerabilities affecting Internet Explorer.

    For those that have an automatic updating turned on, Microsoft is delivering the update via its automatic Windows Update. For others, these patches are already available via Microsoft’s Download Center.

  • Essential Techniques to Protect Your Online Privacy

    If anyone asks you how much you care about your privacy, you’ll probably tell that person that you care a lot. But if you really do, how come everyone knows what’s going in your life? You post tons of information on social media, share your personal information with vendors and manage your bank accounts online.

    There are a lot of people who want to get a hold of your personal information. Malicious hackers are trying to hack your email and social media accounts and are trying to steal from you. Good thing is, there are steps you can take to protect your privacy online.

    Follow the tips below to help increase your online privacy.

    Think before sharing your personal information

    Check to see if the website has a privacy policy page before entering your personal information. If there isn’t, then leave the site immediately. If they didn’t bother to create a privacy policy, then you can’t trust them with sensitive information.

    Turn on private browsing

    Every company that advertises online wants to gather as much information about you. They want to what you like, who you’re friends with on social media and what you buy. They do this because they want to serve you with relevant ads and sell you more products and services. If you don’t want anyone to see where you're hanging out online, be sure to enable private browsing.

    Hide your IP address

    Your ISP assigns an IP address to your device. Each time you use the Internet, your activities are logged by your ISP. Because of this, they can identify your name, location, sites you visit, browser you use, emails you have sent and receive and pretty much everything you do online.

    Using a VPN is one of the most important steps to protect your privacy. Nobody will be able to associate what you’re doing with who you are since your connection is encrypted.

    Guard your birth date and contact number

    Your birth date is a key piece of information many providers use for verification. The same goes for your contact numbers. Try not to display these information, if possible.

  • Windows 10 Privacy Settings You Need to Change Right Now

    You open your browser and noticed that all the banner ads have something to do with your favorite hobby. You search for a restaurant, looking for a nice place to celebrate your mom’s birthday and surprisingly, Bing already knows your location. What is going on?

    If you are currently using Windows 10 and have chosen to keep the default settings, Microsoft now has access to your purchase history, browsing history, your location and a lot more. These features can be convenient, but it can also raise privacy concerns.

    This week, we’ll teach you how to manage your privacy settings to prevent Windows 10 from collecting some of your personal information.

    Disable target ads

    In order to serve you with more targeted ads, Windows 10 has issued a unique advertising ID for you. While there is no option to get rid of the ID permanently, you can prevent 3rd party apps from accessing your data.

    Open the Start menu, choose Settings and then Privacy. From here, disable “Let apps use my advertising ID for experiences across apps”.

    Exercise Cortana caution

    Cortana is the all-knowing digital personal assistant built into Windows 10. But she’ll need to know all sorts of information about you in order to function properly. This information includes anything from contacts, location, data from your text messages, emails, calendars etc.

    To take back a bit of privacy, open your Start menu and launch the Settings app. From here, select “Privacy” and then “Speech, inking and typing”. Then, click the “Stop Getting to Know Me” button.

    Disable Wifi sense

    The wifi sense is one of the most notorious sharing issues with Windows 10. This allows users to connect to protected wifi networks even without a password. The passwords are encrypted and those passwords are stored on a Microsoft server somewhere. This allows you to connect to a wireless network when you visit a friend’s house without the hassle of asking for their password.

    If you’d like to turn that off, just open your Start menu and launch the Settings app. Then, choose “Network and Internet” and click “Manage wifi settings”.

  • Mozilla Slams Microsoft on Default Browser Choice in Windows 10

    Browser maker Mozilla isn’t happy with Microsoft’s decision about resetting the default browser.

    A week ago, Mozilla CEO, Chris Beard, has taken his exasperation in public. He decided to write an open letter to Satya Nadella, chief executive of Microsoft, taking aim at the company’s policy on handling changes that were made to the default applications in Windows 10. He called it “disturbing” and slammed the tech giant for making an aggressive move of designating its Edge as a default browser.

    Beard was referring to the Windows 10 upgrade setup process. Here, users who simply clicked on the “Next” button in the express setup will automatically have Edge as their default browser even if they have previously used Google Chrome of Mozilla Firefox.

    This rubbed Beard the wrong way since most users will choose the express settings just because it’s easier. Although users are eventually given the chance to re-assign Firefox of Chrome as their default browser, many of whom will be unlikely to bother. This task would be difficult for majority of users and would just end up abandoning the process.

    Beard said in the letter, “I am writing to you about a very disturbing aspect of Windows 10. Specifically that the upgrade experience appears to have been designed to throw away the choice your customers have made about the Internet experience and they want, and replaced it with the Internet experience Microsoft wants them to have.”

    Beard also said that his company has reached out to Microsoft to address this problem prior to Windows 10 release, but this attempt of opening communication lines has landed on deaf ears; hence this letter.

    To make it easier for users to change their default browser, Mozilla posted a tutorial which includes step-by-step instructions on how to restore Firefox as their default browser. The same instructions can also be used by users who wish to assign Chrome or Opera as their default.

  • Windows 10 Features Business Owners Will Love

    The tech industry has been filled with excitement since Microsoft announced its plan to launch Windows 10 this year. With Windows 10 slated to be released a few days from now, the anticipation is building.

    As we eagerly await the release of Windows 10, we urge business owners to take a look at Window’s latest OS and see how it can benefit your business.

    Here are some of the coolest features you should be looking for in Windows 10.

    Cortana, the digital assistant

    Cortana will help you perform tasks on tasks on the Internet, keep track of your calendar, search for documents and a lot more. You can also ask Cortana to remind you to mail a customer a document when you get back to the office or call someone at a specified time. You can even ask Cortana what the weather is in a certain city. All you need to do is to talk to it.

    Start Menu is back

    The removal of the start menu has been a big issue with the Windows 8. This time around, your employees will be able to see the traditional Windows desktop whenever they load their laptop, PC, tablet or smart phone.

    Built around security

    To ensure that your computer is safe from threats and malware, it is best to have the latest version of Windows and install updates as soon as they’re available. With Windows 10 installed on your computers, you are less likely to get malware. Plus, you’ll get security updates installed automatically.

    In addition to that, Windows will adopt a multi-factor authentication that will provide better defense against hackers and data breaches. Windows 10 will feature fingerprint and face recognition, which is a much safer approach than traditional passwords since most of us tend to forget our passwords.

    Apps across all devices

    Mobile apps play an important role in businesses from different parts of the world, and Windows understands that. Now, you can access these apps from multiple devices – whether it’s your smart phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.

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