Author Archives: Anton Ruighaver

3 Excel Tips That Make Life Easier

Microsoft Excel is now better than ever, thanks to its extremely user-friendly features. Pull yourself up skills-wise by following our three tips below. Take advantage of Ideas in Excel If you’re not sure which type of chart best tells a particular story out of a table of data, don’t worry — Excel’s artificial intelligence (AI) has got your back. Just click any cell in a data range, then go to the Home tab and click the Ideas button. A task pane will appear, showing recommendations for what data visualization you can use. Here’s a quick reference for what some of the most popular charts are for: Column/Bar chart – compares categories with one another by depicting their numerical standing in terms of column height (or bar length, in the case of bar charts) side by side (think of lining children … READ MORE »

Protecting Healthcare Data from Cybercriminals

Hospitals and other healthcare organizations rely on the integrity of their medical data. Unfortunately, healthcare systems — especially those that involve data entry software, prescription management systems, or electronic medical records — are often targeted by hackers. That’s why healthcare providers must do everything they can to protect highly sensitive medical data.   From financial information to medical information In the past few years, cybercriminals have focused on stealing financial data, including credit card numbers, online banking credentials, and other personal information. But things are taking a turn, with financial institutions fortifying their database security and raising client awareness on the growing problems. Stronger data protection measures in the financial industry have forced criminals to turn their attention to medical data, which is typically much less secure. Patient data includes date of birth, medical and physical records, and social security … READ MORE »

Why Your Company Needs a Business Continuity Plan (BCP)

Multiple things can disrupt the operations of small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), such as natural disasters or cyberattacks. This can lead to lost revenue, or in some extreme cases, business closure. But having a concrete business continuity plan (BCP) in place will help your business recover quickly after a disaster.   What is a BCP? A BCP is a predefined set of protocols on how your business should respond in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. It contains contingency plans for every aspect of your organization, including human resources, assets, and business processes. Key threats to business continuity Various types of threats can affect SMBs such as: Natural disasters – These are natural phenomena such as storms, earthquakes, and wildfires. Man-made disasters – These include cyberattacks, intentional sabotage, and human negligence. Equipment and utility failures – These include … READ MORE »

Your Business’s Future is Bright With VoIP

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a phone system that’s been around for over two decades. Though that may seem surprising, it actually makes sense because that’s about how long the internet has been mainstream, and VoIP needs an internet connection to function. Small- and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) should definitely consider VoIP if they want to advance in the future. First, we’d like to give you a quick rundown of what SMBs get from a robust VoIP calling plan today: Convenience – It’s easy to manage. Scalability – It’s even easier to expand. Economy – Calls over the internet are cheap. Portability – Access from anywhere with high-speed internet. Efficiency – Attach emails, send e-faxes, conduct virtual meetings, etc. These are the core qualities that make VoIP systems so beneficial to SMBs. But how will value propositions like these be … READ MORE »

3 Easy Ways to Protect Your Business Data

Most business owners are too busy running their respective offices to be concerned about optimized security settings and other technical matters. To spare them the agony of deciphering IT jargon, here are three easy ways to prevent data theft. Cover your webcam If Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, former FBI Director James Comey, and National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden all believe their webcams could be compromised, there’s no reason you should feel safe. They’re not overreacting because of some ruthless paparazzi that’s hounding them. It’s a fact that cybercriminals can use your webcam to spy on you. Though it might sound like a scene from an action movie or crime thriller, this has actually happened on several occasions. Hackers do this either to satisfy their voyeuristic tendencies or, more commonly, to steal personal information. This is a very real threat … READ MORE »

Productivity-Boosting Tips for PC Users

We all want to be more productive. Business gurus emphasize the importance of time management and taking breaks to avoid burnout. But aside from motivating yourself to work efficiently, there are plenty of tools that help increase your daily output. If you work in front of a computer all day, check out these productivity-boosting tips.   Monitor productivity levels Start by tracking how much work you complete on an average day. There are many useful apps for this. For example, Google Chrome has an extension called RescueTime, which records your most frequently visited sites and tracks how much time you spend away from your computer. The app will provide you with a productivity rating and a detailed log of how you spend your time at work. If you discover you’re wasting a huge portion of your time on social networking … READ MORE »

A Primer on Watering Hole Attacks

Cyberattacks come in many different forms, with new methods being developed all the time. What’s bad is that personal information is now often stored online, be it through social media or through government and healthcare services — and these are juicy targets for criminals. Learn more about one way these criminals steal data — through watering hole attacks. What are watering hole attacks? Watering hole attacks are used to distribute malware onto victims’ computers in a similar way phishing activities are conducted. Cybercriminals infect popular websites with malware, and anyone who has had the misfortune to visit have their computers automatically loaded with malware. The malware used in these attacks usually collects the target’s personal information and sends it back to the hacker’s server. In extreme cases, the hacker will actively take control of the infected computer. But how does … READ MORE »

How Good is Your Disaster Recovery Plan?

You may think you know all about disaster recovery plans (DRP) from attending conferences or reading up on the subject. But one of the best ways to learn is by example, and the following real-life case offers valuable lessons. Learn about the DPR audit of a state government office and the knowledge gained from it. Hosting certain types of data and managing a government network legally bind you to maintain DRPs. After an audit of the Michigan Department of Technology and Budget, several failures led to a trove of helpful tips for small- and medium-sized businesses attempting to create a bulletproof disaster recovery plan. Update and test your plan frequently What was one of the first and most obvious failures of the department’s DRP? It didn’t include plans to restore an essential piece of their infrastructure — the department’s intranet. … READ MORE »

A Smart Approach to Cybersecurity Investment

Cybersecurity is a threat to businesses across industries. Sometimes, organizations invest in security software without realizing the risks that come with it. Here are compelling reasons why identifying threats before buying cybersecurity products is paramount. Uncover threats and vulnerabilities Every business should run a risk assessment to evaluate its current cybersecurity infrastructure. Doing so is one of the easiest ways to identify, correct, and prevent security breaches. After discovering potential issues that cyberterrorists could exploit, rate them based on probability of occurrence and potential impacts on your business.Keep in mind that risk assessments are specific to every business, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach for technology that will work for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Variables like your line of business and operating environment will account for differences in needs and risks. For instance, manufacturing companies and insurance groups have … READ MORE »

Work Smarter in Outlook With These Tips

People are constantly searching for an easier way to keep their email inboxes in order, customize their email signatures, and improve group communications. The good news is that Microsoft Outlook has these features built in, you just need to know where to look.     Clean Up your inbox No matter how meticulously organized your Outlook inbox is, there’s always room for improvement. For a little computer-assisted help, try the ‘Clean Up’ feature. From your Inbox, click the Home tab and choose from Outlook’s three Clean Up options: Clean Up Conversation – Reviews an email thread or a conversation and deletes redundant text. Clean Up Folder – Reviews conversations in a selected folder and deletes redundant messages. Clean Up Folder & Subfolders – Reviews all messages in a selected folder and any subfolders, and deletes redundant messages in all of … READ MORE »