Thursday, December 14, 2017

Ensuring all Important Files get Moved to a New Device

Replacing an older computer or laptop with a new one is an exciting process! With new features, faster response times, upgraded programs and applications, there is so much potential. The only drawback can be configuring the new device to feel like your old one and ensuring all of your important files are successfully transferred. Program files are often stored in places other than you might think of or expect. Files outside of the Documents folder can be more difficult to locate.

Below are examples of programs commonly storing files outside the Documents folder as well as where they are likely to be.

Ensuring all Important Files get Moved to a New Device

Copying an entire user folder can be time consuming, can waste storage and often includes far more data than you need. NOTE: Different operating systems and versions of applications can store files differently. These examples list where files are typically stored, but your results may vary.

QuickBooks typically stores company database files in the Public folder, rather than a user folder. The Public folder is located inside the main Users folder on the local drive. This is a generic location that lives outside of any specific user's folder.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Managing the Password Policy for Microsoft O365 Accounts

Changing an account password every 90 days is more often than most users would prefer if given a choice. So what happens when we are forced to change account passwords too often? Typically some or all of the following will occur:
  • User passwords get simpler rather than more complex so users can remember them.
  • Only one character of a password is changed. For instance, a number might progress to the next highest iteration.
  • New passwords are written down because it can be difficult to remember them when they are changed often.
By default, Microsoft O365 accounts force users to change their password every 90 days. This can be tedious and frustrating as email on phones and in mail applications will stop working when the password policy has been exceeded. As a user, it can be difficult to know what has happened because these applications do not tell you that a password change is required, it simply stops working. Luckily, an O365 administrator can access the management interface and change the password policy to something that works for everyone.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

How to Share Files Faster Using AirDrop

Sharing files between smartphones and other devices can feel tedious. This is especially true with larger files like videos, which famously hijack your device until the file has uploaded. Photos and videos are commonly shared files as we use our smartphones more and more like the small computers they are. Unfortunately, transferring files of any type uses our data plans unless they are connected to a wireless network. 

There is a better way to share files that is not only faster, but also uses a different transfer protocol so it does not use any of your data plan. If you have two devices running iOS or OSX Yosemite or later, and they are in close proximity, you can share files using the AirDrop feature. AirDrop communicates using Bluetooth which is why the devices need to be close to one another, and is also how it is able to work without using a data plan.

How to Share Files Faster Using Airdrop 

Luckily, AirDrop is a built-in feature on Apple devices running iOS 7 or later, as well as OSX Yosemite or later. Since AirDrop was introduced in 2011, most devices already have this feature.  

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

3 Tech Tips for Staying Safe this Holiday Season

Staying safe during the holiday season means many things, but we also need to consider the security of our identity and protecting our credit. Most people use their credit cards more often during this time of year whether it be in person, transactions over the phone, or submitting the information for online orders. Regardless of how you spend during the holiday season, these tips can help keep you safe from those who are otherwise looking to access your information and use it to their advantage.

3 Tech Tips for Staying Safe this Holiday Season

Leave the credit cards in your wallet

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

How to Limit Smartphone Data Usage While Traveling

With larger data plans consistently being offered at lower prices, you probably do not worry about your data usage on a regular basis. There are times when limiting data usage becomes more important. Limiting data usage is helpful when traveling for extended periods of time, when free wireless networks are not available, or when traveling to countries that fall outside your normal coverage area.

During a normal day, applications updating in the background do not add up enough to affect the monthly bill. Smartphones connect to wireless networks we know and trust, especially when we are home, which helps keep the paid data usage within its limits. On the other hand, when we travel, known networks are less common. Plus, some travel areas require add-on plans to enable communication with different networking protocols.

How to Limit Smartphone Data Usage While Traveling

These are a few different ways to prevent getting an unexpected phone bill after travel: 

Plan coverage

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Security Round-Up: WPA2 Vulnerability, Ransomware & More

Among the news of hurricanes, wildfires and flooding, there are many virtual threats  occurring that are important to know about. New threats are released every day, attacking physical hardware, operating systems, protocols, types of users, companies, and more. Some are annoying, some are malicious, while others lie in wait for the best opportunity to use the information they gathered. 

Occasionally a security issue is released that affects the majority of devices, applications or protocols that the majority of people use. The following threats affect items you are likely using every day.

Security Round-Up: WPA2 Vulnerability, Ransomware & More

WPA2 Vulnerability

A brand new threat to the use of wireless was recently exposed. Key Reinstallation Attack, aka KRACK, is a widespread vulnerability that can affect every device using Wi-Fi. This attack undermines the most common wireless encryption used, Wireless Protected Access 2, or WPA2. WPA2 is used to protect users' information when data is exchanged with websites on the Internet and other computer networks.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Allowing Specific Users to Bypass Do Not Disturb Settings

If you use your smart phone for most of your communication, whether that be via messages, calls, emails, or something else altogether, you probably never turn your phone off. A quick reboot when it is necessary is often the only time it is off. The downside to always having your phone on is receiving notifications 24 hours a day. From disturbing sleep to interrupting meetings or your most focused work, constant notifications can become one of your worst distractions.

Using the Do Not Disturb feature is a great way to get some quiet time. However, it is important to understand how this feature works to ensure important communication can still be accomplished.

Allowing Specific Users to Bypass Do Not Disturb Settings

The purpose of the Do Not Disturb setting is to silence incoming notifications so they are not interruptive. The helpfulness of the Do Not Disturb feature can be overshadowed if those people you would always want to hear from cannot reach you. This is why it is important to understand how the Do Not Disturb feature works to properly modify its settings.