Thursday, February 14, 2019

How to Make iPhone Contacts Accessible on a Windows Device

Backing up a smart phone to a computer or laptop does not mean the data is stored in a usable format. For instance, backing up an iPhone does not mean you can go directly to the apps, images, calendar or other items easily. Some things sync with iTunes, but most things are not directly accessible from a backup and there are times when you may want some of this data without being on the same device as the backups. 

For instance, having contact or calendar information synced to a local device can be more efficient than referencing your phone every time. Luckily, there is an easy way to sync data, like contacts, making it accessible without installing iTunes or backing up the device to that machine.

How to Make iPhone Contacts Accessible on a Windows Device

To access contacts on your iPhone from a Windows device:
  • First, visit the page to download iCloud for Windows on the Windows device. 
  • Under the heading "Download iCloud for Windows", click the "Download" button to start the installer.
  • Click "Run" to run the installer.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

How to Take Square Payments Without Creating User Logins

As a payment processing service for small businesses, Square is easy to set up and easy to use. There are many benefits to using Square over accepting credit card payments directly, including:
  • Transparent service fees for all types of payments collected
  • Managing PCI compliance
  • Zero monthly and minimum fees, which is especially helpful for new businesses or those who do not need to use the service every month
  • An online presence for the items or services you sell
Another great feature is the ability to send invitations to people to connect additional devices using the Square application. By using an invitation from you, that device can accept payments on behalf of your organization. Additionally, this is done without making them an employee, or creating additional user accounts or credentials. This feature is a secure way for any business, non-profit, or other organization to host events, have remote workers, interns or volunteers, collect funds on behalf of their business. Most importantly is it accomplished all without providing unnecessary account access.

How to Take Square Payments Without Creating User Logins

Another great benefit of inviting a device to accept payments on behalf of your account is that it can be done at no additional cost to you and the setup can be accomplished within a few minutes. Below are instructions for sending an invitation to someone with a device, as well as how to accept that invitation on a device.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Security Round Up: Email, Voicemail and Paycheck Phishing

We are barely a month into 2019 but attacks on our data are as prevalent as ever. Threats can come in many forms, including but not limited to:
  • Company data breaches (which you have no control over)
  • Hacked user accounts often stemming from weak or commonly used passwords (which we can control)
  • Phishing attacks via email, phone calls and more
  • Email attacks
  • Malware embedded images
  • Unsecured wireless networks
  • Unencrypted online forms
  • Man-in-the-middle attacks

This post covers what we need to know and what we can do to protect our data in relation to some of the most recent threats.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Ways to Customize a Computer's Display to Reduce Eye Strain

There are many reasons why we are on our computers and laptops for extended periods of time each day. It might be from our job, a hobby, or just to stay connected to others. Whatever the reason, we know the blue light emitted from monitors, displays and smart phones can be hard on our eyes. This is especially true when sitting for a long time which can cause eye irritation. 

Luckily, there are built-in settings in on both Windows and Mac devices whose purpose is to protect your eyes from extended exposure to blue light. 

Ways to Customize a Computer's Display to Reduce Eye Strain

On Mac devices

On a Mac device, use the Night Shift setting to reduce the level of blue light by using warmer colors. To use Night Shift:
  • Open "System Preferences".
  • In the System Preferences window, select "Displays".

Thursday, January 17, 2019

How to Use Microsoft Word as a Free PDF Editor

For nearly any task you can think of, there are probably multiple software solutions available to meet that need. Deciding which one to use requires research to find which one meets the needs of the project, has the most features and of course comes with the right price. Unfortunately, sometimes the software is only needed for a very limited number of uses or a rare occasion. In these instances, it is hard to justify signing up for a monthly recurring subscription or spending hundreds of dollars up front.

A commonly used type of file that benefits both businesses and individuals are pdf files. PDF files are extremely common because they:
  • Allow documents to be shared while maintaining control over the content
  • Provide the ability to control who can edit the document
  • Maintain the integrity of the formatting and
  • Sharing pdf files means anyone accessing them can do so without paying for proprietary software (perhaps the most important reason to use pdf files)
Since pdf files are so popular, it is possible you may inherit one at a job or find an example of a document you like but want to make some changes. If you need to edit a pdf once or only on occasion, consider using Microsoft Word rather than purchasing additional software.

How to Use Microsoft Word as a Free PDF Editor

Thursday, January 10, 2019

How to be More Efficient by Managing Quick Access Links

Increasing efficiency often feels like a goal that is difficult to obtain. How can we measure efficiency to verify there has been an increase ? How can we consistently increase it without wearing ourselves down? Luckily there are settings in Windows that can be set to best meet our specific needs. For example, modifying the links in the Quick access section in File Explorer can be accomplished within minutes and greatly increase efficiency. 

The Quick access section in File Explorer houses links that reference files, folders, shared drives, or Windows locations like the Desktop or Downloads folders. Quick access links appear in the top left section of every File Explorer window which makes it a great place to link frequently used files and folders. Typically, the longer you have a computer the deeper folders get created. Folders are often organized by year or topic with sub-folders created inside. Creating links in the Quick access section to commonly used, but deep sub-folders, can be a huge time saver.

How to be More Efficient by Managing Quick Access Links

Modifying the settings for the Quick access section

To remove a link listed in the Quick access section:

  • Open File Explorer.
  • Right-click on the link to remove.
  • In the popup menu, select "Remove from Quick access".

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Security Round Up: What Recent Breaches You Should Know

It is the start of a new year which means new goals for most people and a fresh way of looking at things. Unfortunately, one thing that did not change with the start of the new year is the threat to your personal information and data. During the last few months some substantial new threats were released. These threats are in addition to the millions of users' data leaked via companies like Marriott and others and are of particular importance as they affect hardware items people commonly have in their home.

Security Round Up: What Recent Breaches You Should Know

Guardzilla indoor wireless security systems - GZ501W

A vulnerability in some of Guardzilla's indoor wireless security systems allow hard coded security keys to be easily cracked. This vulnerability exists primarily because the keys utilize an outdated algorithm. Once cracked, those keys can be used to access customer data uploaded to Amazon web services where Guardzilla's storage servers reside.