• 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.

  • 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 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.

  • Powerful Built-In Windows Tools You Might Not Know About

    Windows contains a variety of systems that are well-hidden. You might be surprised to know that there are a number of powerful tools that can help you troubleshoot or monitor your system. Some of them are buried deep in the start menu, that it’s almost impossible to launch them unless you their names.

    If you are a serious Windows fan, you’re probably familiar about these hidden gems, but if you’re an ordinary person who happens to be using Windows 7, Windows 8 or an older version of Windows, we bet you haven’t heard of these tools before.

    System information

    System information allows users to view all the relevant information about the computer – startup programs, configured environment valuables, Internet settings, driver and application details, hardware resources etc.

    The system might not be able to provide the slickest information, but it does display all the necessary information without forcing users to install any extra tools.

    Registry editor

    Some of you are probably familiar with the registry editor, but we opt to include it on the list since it is hidden. You can use the registry editor to import or export keys for reference or backup, restore the registry from a backup or to default values or to add and edit registry keys and values.

    To launch the registry editor, you need to type in “regedit” on the Start screen or Start menu. If you see a UAC dialog box, click “Yes” to open the registry editor.

    Performance monitor

    Windows comes with a number of tools for monitoring performances, but when it comes to isolating performance issues, this tool is the king.

    With the help of this tool, you can find out how your system performs over a period of time and what you can do to improve the performances.

    Windows memory diagnostic

    Memory problems are often hard to isolate. But if errors are found, the Windows memory diagnostic will attempt to determine which memory module is causing the problem. This process is done by running a set of tests.

  • Migrating Your Windows Server 2003: The Pros and Cons of Azure

    With Windows Server 2003 ending support in July 2015, businesses that still use Windows Server 2003 are looking for new options. The most obvious choice is to replicate the type of system you have now (especially if you have a premises-based solution) and to use either Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2012. Even if you choose one of those options to upgrade to this year, you may want to consider complementing a premises-based solution with a cloud-based server solution: Azure. Continue reading

  • Migrating Your Windows Server 2003: The Migrate Phase

    With an understanding of what is still running on Windows Server 2003, what needs to migrate when, and where to migrate to, you can make a plan and begin server migration. But arriving at this state may require some additional analysis and assistance. Luckily, there are a number of resources and services that can help you with the actual migration of your data. Many IT people conduct the migration themselves in-house, some hire consultants to help with larger Continue reading

  • Migrating Your Windows Server 2003: The Assessment Phase

    If you’re migrating your Windows 2003 server, you should be following the four major steps to a server migration: discover, assess, target, and migrate. After a thorough discovery process using a variety of automated tools such as The Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP), you should have a very good idea about your server migration readiness, what problems you need to address with your system before moving forward, and what kind of bandwidth you’ll need to complete the next step. Continue reading

  • Migrating Your Windows Server 2003: The Targeting Phase

    When migrating your Windows Server 2003 to something more current, you must identify a migration destination for each application and workload. After you’ve gone through the assess phase of the migration process, you should have a catalog of everything that needs to be migrated and its priority in the migration process. Now you must point each application and workflow to its new destination. Continue reading

  • Migrating Your Windows Server 2003: The Discovery Phase

    If you’re still running Windows Server 2003, now is the time to get started on the migration process. Migrating a server takes between 200-300 days to complete, and since the deadline for end of support for Windows Server 2003 is July 2015, delaying the migration process means that your server will be at risk for security threats and malfunctions with no support or backup. Continue reading

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