With all the problems Queenslanders are experiencing at the moment with storms and flooding (and our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected) I thought I’d write up some tips on how to protect your computers and related equipment during a storm.
The best things to do in a electrical storm is to turn off and unplug all your equipment but more often than not this is unpractical. So what can you do to still use your computer but lessen the chance of problems?
1) Get a UPS (uninterruptible power supply). These provide a dual benefit of battery backup and surge protection. If you lose power the battery will allow you to save your current work and shutdown the computer without any loss of data or software corruption. Remember though as with all batteries their performance decreases over time – so check and replace the unit or the inbuilt battery regularly.
2) Save your work often. Even with a UPS your battery may not last long.
3) Backups. Regularly perform backups and always keep at least one copy of the data offsite. Online or cloud based backups are good but consider the amount of time it will take to download or your data (in case off loss or how you will retrieve that data if your Internet is down).
4) Have a plan so all your staff know what to do when a storm approaches and / or you have a power failure.
5) Test you plan and your backups regularly.
You can get the low end UPS’s from your local electronics store but remember as with all things you get what you pay for. Those cheap power boards with surge protection provide only limited defence in terms of surge protection. If you need a larger UPS to provide longer battery life or need to protect a server please talk to your IT provider or contact us.
We have just uploaded a video to our YouTube site on the Start Screen in Windows 8.
If you are new to Windows 8 or just confused with the new interface check it out for some great info on how to get the best use out of the new features.
The video is viewable at:
Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.
Most email clients have a Junk Email or Spam folder. I often get calls with people saying they haven’t received an email but when they look in their Junk Email or Spam folder it is sitting in there.
Why does this happen? Well as with most things the inbuilt spam filter is not perfect – it will either catch legit emails, let spam through or maybe even a combination of the two. One way to ensure legitimate emails from people you know come through to your inbox is to add them to a whitelist. The method for doing this depends upon the spam filter you are using but try this – right click on the legit email and there should be an option similar to “never block sender” or “add to whitelist”.
So the point of this post is this to remind you to regularly check your junk mail folder at least every other day and add legitimate senders to your whitelist. You may be surprised to find a few emails in there that you were supposed to get and never did. It will only take a few minutes and maybe, just maybe someone won’t be thinking, “wow, they never replied back”.
With the new year here it is a good time to remind everyone to change their passwords for all your accounts. Most people do not ever change their passwords unless forced to by the online sites. Nobody likes changing their passwords and when they do get around to it they change it to a very similar password that they just used. Is that ok? Yes, but it is much better to change it completely.
Are passwords still secure?
Well a complex password (uppercase/lowercase letters, numbers and special characters, at least 8 characters in length) is ok a longer passphrase is much better.
What is a passphrase?
A passphrase is a combination of words or other text (uppercase/lowercase letters, numbers and special characters ). It is the same as a password in usage but is longer for added security.
What are good passwords / passphrases?
If you have a simple password, such as “password” or any of the ones listed on the following website (http://gizmodo.com/5954372/the-25-most-popular-passwords-of-2012 ) you definitely need to change your password! We recommend a passphrase of at least two words containing uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters, at least 10 characters in length
Where you should change your password
Sites where you should change your password include the following:
- Banking sites
- ISP account
Other places you should also change include:
- Modem / router login
- Wireless network key
- Your computer (if it has a password)
- Any servers or databases you have.
If you need any help with your password changes let us know or leave a comment below.
Your Internet is not working, what can you do?
I often get calls from clients that their Internet is not working. Usually it can be solved within a few minutes and this article will show you some steps you can take to get things going again.
The first thing you need to do is work out whether it is your whole Internet connection or just your email provider, a certain website or maybe your actual computer that is having problems. So first check if you can get to a few different websites – if you can it is your email provider or the website that is the issue so contact them. Also check to see if other computers in your home or office are having the same problems – if they aren’t it is your computer that is the issue.
If the Internet is still be problematic turn off the modem / router for 20 minutes, turn it on again, wait a few minutes and see if things work. If not you will need to do an isolation test (this is for an ADSL connection).
- Start by unplugging anything connected to the phone line your Internet is on – including phones, EFTPOS terminals, dialup modems, Foxtel Digital boxes, fax machines and anything else which uses the same telephone line as your ADSL connection. If you have multiple telephone lines coming into your location, you can leave any equipment on non-broadband lines plugged in.
- Once everything is unplugged, connect your modem directly into the telephone wall sockets using a short telephone cable no longer than a metre in length. Wait a few minutes and test again.
- If the Internet is still not working connect a telephone to that socket and make sure that the wall socket you’re using has dial tone. If possible try another telephone socket.
If the Internet returns you can start plugging back in the equipment you previously disconnected one by one. Wait one to two minutes after each device is plugged back in to see if the Internet goes out. If it does the device you just connected is the culprit.
If a piece of equipment is interfering with your Internet, it could be because you don’t have a filter connected or the filter is faulty – install a new ADSL filter if to test this out.
If the Internet doesn’t come back during these tests try another modem if possible. If not give your ISP support a call. Don’t forget to let them know what you’ve already tried as they will probably try to step you through a similar process to the above.
Welcome to our new blog.
We have just moved our blog from the Blogger site to our own hosting. All the old articles have been transferred and we will be adding some new ones shortly
So you get have the “blue screen” or “blue screen of death”…what do you do now?
You need to first narrow down the cause by following these steps and go from there.
- Restart the computer and see if the problems reoccurs.
- Did you just plug in a piece of equipment? If so disconnect it and try it again.
- Turn off the computer and unplug all the cables to the computer. Leave just the monitor connected and turn on the system.
- Plug your mouse and keyboard in and see if the blue screen comes back. If it blue screens, it’s more than likely your mouse or USB port. If the end of your mouse has a circular end, it’s probably not the issue. If it has a 1/2? thin metal end, it’s a USB mouse and could be the issue. Try another mouse if you have one.
- If your computer works fine again, then test your other USB peripherals (camera, webcam, printer, etc). If it bluescreens when you plug in a certain piece of equipment then the issue is related to that item.
- If you are still having issues then it could be software, hard drive or motherboard issue and you will need to either investigate. A full operating system format and reinstall may be needed but get some professional advice first.