Category Archives: News

OneDrive Can Now Sync Your Documents, Photos and Desktop Folders

OneDrive Can Now Sync Your Documents, Photos and Desktop Folders

OneDrive Can Now Sync Your Documents, Photos and Desktop Folders

Nobody likes backing up all of their important files. It’s tedious work that only really pays off when there’s a disaster, and who really expects something disastrous to happen to them? But anyone who’s lost files–or been forced to keep old devices because they can’t be bothered to move them over to a new one–knows how important backing up and syncing files can be. Good thing Microsoft is making that easier, right?

 

OneDrive Can Now Sync Your Documents, Photos and Desktop Folders

 

Microsoft has started rolling out a “folder protection” feature to all OneDrive users. The feature debuted in June for the service’s business customers, but according to The Verge, now it’s going to be available to anyone who uses Microsoft’s cloud storage tool. Just don’t get too excited; the feature has some limitations that mean you still have to set a few things up before your files are automatically sent up to OneDrive.

 

Right now the feature is limited to your Desktop, Pictures, and Documents folders. Some people will be fine with that. (Who doesn’t have that one relative who keeps every file they’ve ever made, downloaded, or otherwise interacted with on the desktop?) But anyone with more elaborate file organization systems will likely find themselves wishing the feature would just work for any folder on their PC instead of just those three.

 

Microsoft said in a support article that people with access to the folder protection feature will receive a prompt asking them if they want to enable it. That prompt asks you to confirm which folders you want to protect, and once you’ve selected them, you just have to hit “Start protection.” OneDrive will handle the rest, and from that point on your files should remain in sync across your devices and be easily accessible via OneDrive.

 

The primary benefit of folder protection appears to be the automatic syncing. But the feature also lives up to its name by making sure your Desktop, Pictures, and Documents folders are stored in OneDrive with ransomware protection enabled. Given how popular ransomware attacks have become, and how ill-prepared many people are for them, setting up folder protection might be the easiest way to mitigate that risk.

 

Now, there is a very separate discussion around whether or not it’s wise to back up your data to cloud servers you don’t actually control, depending on your need for data privacy. That’s a matter of your own personal preferences and security needs, and one I can’t decide for you. But do you need backup? Yes, you absolutely do, whether you’re running a small business or simply storing family photos from your smartphone.

 

A cloud backup shouldn’t necessarily be your only backup — there’s convenience to having a locally stored backup, such as on an external hard drive – but it’s a whole lot better than nothing.

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Five cool uses for your old Android Tablet

Five cool uses for your old Android Tablet

It doesn’t take long for your stylish new electronic device to become just another outdated model in the waste pile. Your once-fresh Android tablet might have done its due a long time ago, but there’s no need to discard it. There are many things you can do to repurpose your old Android tablet and make it fresh again. Read on to find five cool uses for your old Android tablet!

*Security camera

As long as your Android has a workable battery and screen, you can turn it into a webcam security system. Simply download a security app like Salient Eye (easily found on Google Play) or AtHome Video Streamer, set it up, and place it strategically. It can even be rigged to turn on as it senses movement.

It’s the perfect way to keep an eye on your pets or your valuable home possessions.

*Digital camera photo frame

Don’t spend money on a digital picture frame when you can use an old Android tablet. Again you will have to visit Google Play, search for a program similar to Photo Slides, plug the Android into a wall socket, and you have pictures you can scroll through and display on your mantel.

Battery life isn’t a problem because you can keep the tablet always plugged in, and if you want to get really creative then there’s the option of building out a customized frame or holder for your new digital photo frame.

It’s like a constantly updated window into your favourite memories, with no printing costs involved.

*Portable reference library

You have probably used your Android for book storage already, so why not turn it into a functional library? Visit Amazon Kindle or Google Play Books and download your choice of reference books and eBooks. Kwix, the offline version of Wikipedia, can provide you with encyclopedia-like entries without having to go online.

*Radio or wireless-only device

You can download Pandora or iHeartRadio, and use your Android to play your favourite music without interfering with other open computer programs and without using valuable memory.

*Universal remote

It is so easy to lose the remote in the folds of the couch or slots in a magazine rack. By contrast, it’s not so easy to lose an Android tablet. By installing a universal remote app like Peel Smart Remote, AnyMote, or Irdroid, you can use your old Android as a universal remote for televisions and other electronic systems in the office.

So there you have it: 5 intriguing options for giving new life to your old device. Figure out which one best suits you to repurpose your old Android tablet and make it fresh again.

 

How to speed up your Mac

Few simple steps to speed up your Mac

Enterprise, creative or home user — everyone with a Mac should learn a few simple steps to speed up your Mac. This short collection provides an essential guide.

  1. Update the Mac

Apple releases new versions of OS X as free upgrades, New versions of OS X contain performance enhancements and security improvements to keep your Mac running smoothly and safely.

Check in periodically with the Updates tab of the Mac App Store for OS X updates, and don’t ignore notifications of updates that are ready to install.

  1. Activity Monitor

If your Mac acts like it needs a nap every afternoon, when you are at the height of multitasking, there is an easy way to see which of your open applications is using the most system resources. Open the Activity Monitor.

This illustrates how your Mac is running. Look at the CPU and Memory columns to see if you can recognize an application that seems to be demanding a lot from your system. If there is, just quit that app until next time you need it.

  1. Start up

Do you have any apps that launch themselves when you start up your Mac? Take a look in System Preferences> Users&Groups > Check for your User Name. Enter your password, and you can look at your LogIn items. Select any you don’t need to have start up automatically and tap the Minus – button to remove them from the Start up items list.

  1. Limit the visuals

Macs are great for visuals. All the same, to tweak a little more performance from your computer, you may want to switch some of those effects off.

In System Preferences>Dock uncheck the following sections:

  • Magnification
  • Animate opening applications
  • Automatically hide and show the Dock
  • And set Minimize windows using to Scale Effect.

You may also want to reduce transparency effects. This you can do in Settings> Accessibility > Display, check to Reduce Transparency.

  1. About this Mac

Mac OS has some really helpful built-in tools to help you boost Mac performance by getting rid of items you no longer need.

Open About this Mac in the Menu and tap Storage to access these. Wait a few moments, and you should see a visual representation that shows what is taking up space on your system.

That’s interesting, but to get to the tools tap Manage.

Here you’ll see a selection of different items (Mail, iTunes, iCloud Drive, among others). Tap these to get more information and to find app-specific recommendations. You’ll also see a Recommendations item. Tap this, and you’ll find a series of ideas to help you eliminate space wasting items from your Mac, likely to include:

  • Store in iCloud: Stores all your Photos images and videos in iCloud and lets you reduce the size of the collection kept on your Mac.
  • Optimize Storage: Enable this and in the future, iTunes movies and TV shows you’ve watched already won’t be kept on your Mac. Only recent Mail attachments will be stored on your Mac when storage is low.
  • Empty Trash Automatically: Anything in your Trash will be deleted after 30-days.
  • Reduce Clutter: This tool lets you explore and delete large files, downloads and other items from your Mac.
  1. Add RAM or Upgrade the Hardware

If you have tried all the methods listed above, but your Mac still works slowly. At this moment, you can consider upgrading the RAM to speed up your Mac. As known to us, the Mac computer is very expensive. Compared with getting a new Mac, upgrading your RAM is the simplest way to make your Mac run faster. If you have only one piece of RAM attached in your Mac, consider getting another one.

  1. Replace your Mac hard drive with an SSD

SSD stands for “Solid State Drive”, and an SSD drive is just the same shape and size as a traditional drive. The biggest difference between them is that an SSD drive uses RAM chips instead of a spinning hard disk to store information, which makes it much faster.

Moving from a traditional spinning hard drive to a solid-state drive (SSD) is the single best thing you can do to improve the performance of an ageing Mac.

I do hope these quick tips help you to speed up your Mac. If you would like to learn more please contact us today.

 

 

 

Outlook tips to increase productivity

Outlook tips to increase productivity

Microsoft is constantly updating and improving its Outlook email program, and some users struggle to keep up with all the new and exciting features. If you want to catch up on the latest productivity-enhancing tricks, this is the article for you.

Clean Up your inbox

No matter inbox 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 messages.
    • 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 its subfolder, and deletes redundant messages in all of them.

Ignore (unnecessary) conversations

An overstuffed inbox is often caused by group conversations that aren’t relevant to you. The Ignore button helps you organize your inbox and focus on relevant emails.

  • Select a message, then click Home > Ignore > Ignore Conversation. You can also do this by opening a message in a new window and clicking Ignore under the Delete function. To recover an ignored message, go to the Deleted Items folder, and click Ignore > Stop Ignoring Conversation.

Send links instead of a file copy

Help your colleagues save storage by sending a link to a cloud version of a file instead of the file itself. This is particularly useful when sending massive files. You can also set permissions to allow recipients to edit and collaborate on linked files in real time.

  • Upload the file you wish to send on OneDrive and send it to your recipients. From the message box, click Attach File > Browse web locations > OneDrive.

Improve meetings with Skype and OneNote

Outlook allows you to combine Skype’s HD video and screen-sharing features with OneNote’s organizational and project planning functions. It’s easy:

  • Go to the Meeting tab in Outlook, then click Skype meeting and send the link to participants. After the meeting has started, select Meeting Notes (under the Meeting tab) and choose whether you want to Take notes on your own or Share notes with the meeting.

Tag contacts

To get the attention of a specific person in a group email message, use the @Mention function. This works particularly well for emails to multiple recipients or for if you simply want to convey the urgency of your message.

  • In the email body or meeting request, type the ‘@’ symbol followed by the first and last name of the person you wish to tag (e.g., @firstnamelastname).
  • To search for emails you’re tagged in, select Filter Email from the Home tab and choose Mentioned, then choose Mentioned.

These are just a few strategies for getting more out of Microsoft’s email platform. To unlock Outlook’s true potential, you need the support of certified IT professionals. Give us a call today.

Source: techadvisory.org

 

WhatsApp now allows users to send texts using Siri on iPhone

WhatsApp now allows users to send texts using Siri on iPhone

WhatsApp updated its iOS app to let users incorporate voice-activated controls. Those with iOS 10 installed will be able to use Siri to not only send messages but also place WhatsApp calls. This simplifies the communication process without your even needing to type a single letter.

You can also use the virtual assistant to compose and send replies, so urgent conversations can continue while you’re busy or driving, and you don’t even need to touch your iPhone.

Siri might be falling behind its rivals, but the changes and improvements Apple made with iOS 10 mean it’s now more flexible than ever. WhatsApp is taking advantage of this to give users the ability to listen to their latest messages and reply by voice.

To enjoy this functionality, you’ll need an iPhone running iOS 10.3 and the latest WhatsApp update (version 2.17.20). Once these are installed, you will also need to give Siri permission to use WhatsApp by following the steps below.

  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap Siri
  3. Tap App Support
  4. Toggle WhatsApp to enable

You can now use commands like, “Hey Siri, read my last WhatsApp message,” or, “Hey Siri, send a WhatsApp message to James Smith” to interact with the app by voice. It’s ideal if you need to read or send messages while driving, or you find it difficult to interact with your iPhone using touch.

Siri will guide you step-by-step through the procedure of sending a text message to one of your contacts. After telling Siri, that you want to send a WhatsApp message, Siri will ask you who you want to send a message to. Then she will ask you, what you want to tell the certain person. Afterwards, Siri will verify the message and to finally send the message, you must tap on the “Send” button or loudly say “Send”.
source: cultofmac.com and http://iphone-tricks.com

 

Google Search tips you need to know

Google search tips

What will we do without Google? Sure, there are other search engines out there; but let’s face it, Google has left its competitors in the dust, thanks to its speed and ease of use. What’s more, the search engine is packed with advanced search features that make life a lot easier.

 

Include and exclude keywords

Google will understand most of the search terms you type into it. However, at times the search engine will match only some of the words you typed, be showing limited results. To avoid this, just point out which keywords are the most important by adding a plus symbol (+) in front of words you would like Google to include in the search results.

And if the results you’re looking for getting pushed off the page by similar yet irrelevant articles, adding a minus symbol (-) in front of keywords you don’t want to see will avoid them popping up in the first place. For example, “+cloud services -hybrid cloud” will provide search results about different cloud services while excluding results related to hybrid cloud.

Additionally, searching a phrase within double quotation marks guarantees to retrieve results that include only the exact phrase that matches your query.

 

Do a website search

Ever need to look for information on a specific website? Instead of visiting that website and sifting through different pages, Google makes it a breeze by allowing you to add “site: URL” to the end of your search query.

For example, if you want to find what Forbes has written about security, simply head to Google’s homepage and type “security site:www.forbes.com.” This makes sure Google includes only pages from Forbes that are about security in your search results.

You can also limit search results to university and government websites by adding “site:.edu” or “site:.gov” to your search query. Combining this with the keyword manipulation trick above will narrow your search even more.

 

Search by time period

Google has been indexing the web for decades in order to add web pages into its database. Because of that, it could be quite time-consuming sifting through countless search results to find an old website or page, or even recent stories, too. Time period search minimizes this headache by allowing you to specify a date range so you can find recent stories or archived news faster.

Just run a search like you normally would. Then click on Tools under the search box and hit the Any time drop-down menu. From there, you can choose the time period parameter, such as past month or past week, or fill in an exact time period.

 

Use Google to locate files

While Google mainly focuses on indexing web pages, it also indexes publicly available files like PDFs and spreadsheets. To look for them, just type in “filetype:” after your search query. For example, typing “report filetype: pdf” will provide PDFs with “report” in the title.

 

Advance your search

Advanced Search can be accessed by clicking Settings from the toolbar located under the search box. This gives you more ways to refine your searches, such as by region or language. By default, search results are prioritized based on your location, so you should adjust that according to the topics you’re searching for.

While these tips might not be the most exciting thing from the tech giant, they sure help businesses save time and work smarter instead of harder. And in today’s fast-paced business environment, little things like these make a huge difference. If you have questions about how to use Google products to streamline your daily routine and increase productivity, just give us a call.

Source: techadvisory.org

 

Microsoft Teams tips and tricks

Microsoft Teams tips and tricks

If you think Microsoft Teams is good only for business instant messaging, you’re missing out on a plethora of features Teams has. Microsoft’s chat solution actually integrates with many of its Office 365 applications, including OneNote, SharePoint, and Word, among others. That said, here are some Teams tips and tricks that’ll make your day at the office a lot easier.

 

Use SharePoint to store and share files

You might already be using SharePoint to store files and collaborate with your teammates. But did you know that in every Teams channel, you can click the Files tab to share files from SharePoint with team members? You can also access SharePoint files that are already shared in the channel and use Office Online or Office Desktop to collaborate on those files, too.

 

Forward emails into a channel

You get countless emails every day, some of which might be lost in your inboxes. Fortunately, Microsoft makes it easy to forward any email message from Outlook to a channel in Teams so that messages show up in both places. Just click the ellipsis next to any channel name and select “Get email address”. This generates an email address for the channel which you can copy and use to forward files, documents, and messages.

 

Stick with a few groups

While you can create as many groups within your organization as you like, going overboard can result in a cluttered messaging interface that overwhelms team members. We recommend you create groups based on the number of projects and each member involved; you can always add more if necessary.

 

Set up audio conferencing

Teams lets you host voice meetings in groups or with just one team member. This is particularly useful when communicating with remote workers or clients, in which case you can give them guest access to your Teams channel. This ensures they’re able to communicate with you but not see the history of other confidential information.

 

Test communication strategies

Just because some of the features in Teams overlap with Yammer and Skype for Business doesn’t mean they’re all redundant. Think of it as a chance to test different communication strategies to find out what works best for you. For instance, if most of your clients have a Skype ID, you can use Skype for client calls and Teams for internal calls.

 

Share conversations with new team members

Teams makes onboarding easy. Rather than forwarding numerous emails and documents to new employees, you can use Teams to share conversations with a thread or project with them. This enables everyone to catch up easily without having to deal with cumbersome documents.

source: techadvisory.org

 

Make work easy with Microsoft’s new apps

Make work easy with Microsoft’s new apps

Connections, Listings, and Invoicing are the most recent additions to Microsoft’s software lineup and they’re finally out of the beta testing phase. These apps come with every Office 365 Business Premium subscription and are perfect for companies with fewer than 300 employees. Installing and using them is a breeze, see for yourself.

 

Microsoft Invoicing

Word and Excel have hundreds of templates for generating company invoices, but this new app does much more than just create documents. Invoicing allows you to store the names, descriptions, and prices of your products and services in a connected database. You can also store your tax information, company logo, and a click-to-pay PayPal badge, which means half of the necessary information is automatically filled out the moment you click Create.

In addition to clean and professional looking documents, Invoicing also makes it easy to organize, store, and search past invoices thanks to a built-in QuickBooks integration. Last but not least, all of this is easily accessible from Microsoft’s mobile app.

 

Microsoft Listings

With its centralized dashboard, Listings allows you to manage and update company details displayed by Google, Facebook, Bing, and Yelp. It also helps you monitor your company’s online reputation by tracking page-views, company reviews, and Likes.

 

Microsoft Connections

Connections are the perfect app for small business email marketing. Similar to the Invoicing platform, Connections stores your company information and uses it to create personalized email marketing campaigns with the click of a button.

For example, templates for newsletters, referrals, and promotions include customizable discounts and offers that trigger pre-written follow-up campaigns. Connections tracks and analyzes the performance of all your email-based campaigns to make refining and improving your content a breeze, whether it’s from your desktop or the mobile app.

 

How to enable Invoicing, Listings, and Connections

As long as you have an Office 365 Business Premium subscription, accessing these apps requires only a global admin login. From the Admin Center, click the Settings tab on the left-hand side of the screen, followed by Services & add-ins and then Business apps. In this menu, you can grant specific users permission to use Microsoft’s newest programs.

Setting up these apps is fairly easy. However, it’s even easier to have your Office 365 account managed by us. We could have remotely installed Invoicing, Listings, and Connections for you almost a month ago, and with our information security expertise and unlimited IT support requests, there’s no limit to the value we can add to your Office 365 subscription. Give us a call to get started!

source: TechAdvisory.org

 

Facial recognition technology in Windows 10

facial recognition Technology

Facial recognition technology has been around for some time, but its underdeveloped capabilities meant it could be fooled by masks, photographs, or even painted faces. However, the technology has come a long way since its inception and companies like Microsoft are including it in consumer products like Windows 10.

 

Say hello to fingerprint, iris, and facial scans

Windows Hello is an advanced biometric identity and access control feature in Windows 10. With it, there’s no need to enter a password; all it needs is your fingerprint, eye scan, or just your face.

For those who are worried about privacy, the feature stores your biometric data only on your device, never on Microsoft’s servers. Microsoft has also made it clear that third parties cannot access your biometric data, although, as with every new technology, it’s best to treat this with caution.

 

How to set up Windows Hello

All you need to get started is a laptop or desktop with Windows 10 and a compatible webcam (there is a full list here).

First, go to Settings > Account > Sign-in options. Then, under the Windows Hello section, you’ll see setup options for face, iris, or fingerprint scans. Select which method you want to set up and follow the prompts to create a login profile.

You can also save your biometric data or scan more than once to boost accuracy. Each time you scan, the system collects more data, so it’s worth completing a few scans before enabling the login feature.

However, passwords are still an option when using Windows Hello and should always be configured in case your camera isn’t operational. Once one account is set up, you can start adding family members who share the same device. Each of them can set up their own biometric profile in a separate account.

Source: TechAdvisory.org

 

Chrome Cleanup tool’s enhanced features

Chrome Cleanup Tool's enhanced features

Even if you’re sure that the websites you visit are safe, the harmful software can still slip through, especially when you download and install free programs and applications. As the world’s most popular browser, Chrome is especially prone to infection. Fortunately, Google has improved Chrome’s Cleanup tool for Windows by integrating the following security features.

 

Detect hijacked settings

Many users prefer to enhance their browsing experience by installing extensions or plug-ins, some of which could be malicious. When these extensions are installed, they could inject harmful ads into web pages or allow access to third-party servers without the user’s consent.

Google’s new hijacked settings detection function prevents this from happening. Once it detects an attempt by a third party to change your browser’s settings, it will automatically revert to Chrome’s default settings. And in case you suspect any unauthorized change in your browser, you can manually reset settings in Chrome.

 

Simplify cleanup

You probably don’t remember downloading many of the files in your Downloads folder, but these are actually software and other attachments that were bundled with the software that you do use.

Chrome Cleanup’s newly simplified feature makes it easier for you to determine harmful files, easing the pain of sorting through and deleting tons of downloaded files. Whenever it detects a malicious software, users will get a pop-up message that offers them an easy way to remove the potential threat, get more details about it, or disregard it in case of false detection.

 

Maximize removal of non-essential software

Aside from the simplified interface, Google also made some much-needed improvements in Chrome Cleanup’s performance, so it’s now capable of eliminating more junkware.

Tricking users into installing a program without their consent is one of the many characteristics of unwanted software that Google lists under its Unwanted Software Policy. To help fight against this and other browser security risks, the company has partnered with an IT security team to strengthen Chrome’s ability to detect and remove unwelcome add-ons.

It’s important to note that these upgrades don’t affect Chrome’s performance and speed because they work in the background. In addition, these changes are now available in Windows devices but will soon roll out to other platforms. In the meantime, if you want to find out more about browser and application security, contact our security specialists today!

Source: TechAdvisory.org