Get Away From the Computer Screen – Computer Tip of the Day

get away from the computer screen computer tip of the day

Spending too much time on a computer becomes counterproductive. Instead of getting more work done, you’re more likely to burn out physically and mentally.

Knowing how and why you should take breaks is especially important for office workers who rely on computers daily. Businesses should remind and encourage their employees to take frequent breaks.

Give your eyes a break

Looking at a screen for too long is bad for your eyes. This isn’t just something your parents told you to get you to stop watching television. According to this Spine Universe article, it can actually change the way your eyes work:

“Looking at a computer screen for extended periods causes some changes in how your eyes work, including blinking less often and exposing more of the eye surface to air. Every 15 minutes, briefly look away from the computer screen for a minute or two to a more distant scene, preferably something more than 20 feet away. This lets the muscles inside the eye relax.”

You should frequently give your eyes a break by looking at anything other than a digital screen. That means no laptops, no TVs, and no phones.

Do some stretching

Sitting at a computer too long promotes bad posture. That’s why you see some office employees with their shoulders rolled forward.

You can do two things to fight against this. One is learning how to sit properly by trying not to slouch. The other is learning to take short breaks to stretch and gain some basic mobility back.

Make a schedule

While most people will agree that it’s important to take breaks from the computer, few do it often enough. To make sure you’re getting enough rest, we recommend making a schedule to stick to for a few weeks. Make it a habit to get away from the screen, and you’ll be less likely to burn out in the future.

For more computer tips, contact us today.

Computer Tips: Five Ways to Make Your Passwords Hack-Resistant

computer tips five ways to make your passwords hack resistant

computer tips

Computer tips are a great way to simplify your online experience. Check out these tips on password security:

Creating a secure password is a must in today’s world of online banking and information storage, especially for business-related activity. While it may seem easier to come up with one password and use it for everything, it’s not advisable. Just as in the physical world, there are virtual thieves happy to misappropriate information if you leave yourself and your company unprotected.

Here are 5 ways to make your passwords hack-resistant:

  1. Use a Combination of Letters and Numbers- Using a combination of capital letters, small letters, numbers and symbols makes it harder for a hacker to decipher the password.
  2. The Longer, the Better- Even though it may seem like a hassle to input, a longer password is more secure. The odds of figuring out a four-letter word are much better than those of figuring out a 12-14 letter word.
  3. Password Manager- These programs are available from a multitude of companies. They are basically a repository for all of your passwords and are exceptionally secure. Some of them even generate safe passwords for you and store them. All you have to do is think of a password for the storage site.
  4. No Names!- It is a big no-no to use personal information in a password. Birthdates, given and last names, and anything that is easily identified with you personally should be off-limits.
  5. Using Incomplete Words- While this idea could make you work a little harder to remember your password, it is very effective. Using incomplete words (s2p1d instead of stupid, for example) and substituting numbers and symbols for letters are both great ways to secure your password.

With a little extra effort, it’s not difficult to secure your company’s information. Every step you take to protect information creates one more barrier against hackers, which in turn protects your business information and assets.

Contact us for more tips and tech support.

Computer Tip of the Day: Step Away from Angry Emails

computer tip of the day step away from angry emails

computer tip of the day

Email makes it easy to respond to someone else without actually confronting them face-to-face. This can prove a problem when you’re trying to respond to something negative. You don’t see the other person, so you’re more likely to say something negative, insulting or unprofessional because all you’re doing is typing words to get emotions off your chest. You sometimes forget in the heat of the moment that someone else will be reading your words and if he or she is offended, your business may lose an important client, a responsive vendor, or a valued colleague.

If you feel the anger or other strong emotion welling up inside you when you read a negative email, the advice in this computer tip of the day should help you formulate a good response.

  • Do something else. Spend at least half an hour doing something else, preferably away from your desk. Perhaps you need to file that stack of documents that’s been building up, inventory some supplies, or take a walk outside the office. Any activity can break the stewing of emotions that leads to overly dramatic responses.
  • Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Is the other person behaving normally? In that case, you can respond normally as well. Is the other person uncharacteristically negative? Then put yourself in his or her shoes to uncover the actual reason behind the negative email.
  • Get a second opinion. Go ahead and type your responding email but do not fill in the To field, so you don’t accidentally send it. Then have a trusted co-worker look at the text. A dispassionate set of eyes can tell you if your words are unprofessional and emotional and offer ways to clean it up. If you’re a one-person shop, set the response aside and look at it again the next day. Most people allow at least a day for any responses to come back.

Any unprofessional email that you send can come back to haunt you and your business when it becomes part of the Internet. So it’s worthwhile to judge anything thoroughly you send out, especially email.

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How to Type Faster on the Computer

how to type faster on the computer

how to type faster on the computer

Doing something for years doesn’t guarantee that you’re doing it correctly. This is the case for several people who have never had formal typing training.

Here’s how you can type faster on the computer

Improve your finger placement

Finger placement is the most important factor when it comes to typing. Some users still don’t know what keys their fingers should be on while in the starting position.

It might feel uncomfortable at first, but you’ll get used to it over time. Remember, there’s no real way to improve your typing speed without getting your finger placement down first.

Use all 10 fingers

10 fingers can type faster than 2 fingers. No one argues that, and yet you’ll still see many people in the office who type with their two pointer fingers.

As long as you’ve learned the correct finger placements, you can type with 10 fingers. All you have to do is know which keys each finger is responsible for.

Practice

Once you’ve taken care of the two most important factors — finger placement and using all 10 fingers — there’s not really anything else that you need to learn. However, starting to type this way will undoubtedly feel awkward at first. By using sites like Typingtest.com, you can improve your speed over time. Just start out slow, learn the correct movements, and get better as you go along.

Buy a new laptop

It’s possible that your laptop is limiting your typing speed. Some brands, like Lenovo, are known for having excellent keyboards. If you just picked the cheapest laptop at Best Buy several years ago, then it may be time for a new one. If typing speed is your main focus, then read reviews regarding different laptops and their keyboards.

To talk more about improving your typing speed on the computer, or anything else, contact us today.

No-Cost Data Security Tips

no cost data security tips

computer-securityOne of the most important components of your business is its information. The customer contacts, financial transactions, and supplier contracts that form this important data are under constant threat from hackers and malware. You already protect this information through sophisticated and expensive security software. Improve your safeguards using these no-cost physical security tips.

  • Watch where your displays are facing. Your computer screens can show such confidential information as customer credit card numbers, employee Social Security numbers, and products in development. If these displays face a window, then passersby can easily observe what is being entered either from the sidewalk outside or from the next building with binoculars. If these screens face a public corridor, then office visitors can also view the data. Position your displays so only the person using them can view what’s being entered.
  • Don’t log into public WiFi. You like to keep in touch with work even on your breaks. You also want to save money by using public WiFi on public transportation or coffeehouses. The problem is what you enter on these unsecured networks can easily be collected by hackers who don’t even have to be visible to you. Avoid such theft by not using any websites that require logins, such as your personal email account or the company database.
  • Secure old equipment. You like to buy the latest technology for your employees and yourself because it makes work more efficient. But what happens to the old smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other data access devices that you no longer use? Do you just put them in a drawer or desktop where anyone can steal them to glean what’s on their hard drives? Always put unused devices in a locked cabinet inside a locked room to which only you and a key employee have access. Schedule regular wipes of the memories of such machines before donating them to worthy causes.

If you want more information on how to improve your data security or if you have any issues with your systems, please contact us, your Long Island computer network support specialists.