New to Windows 7? Tips to Make You More Productive

Windows 7 has many features which makes it a great improvement over earlier systems. However, like most things, if you are unaware of all these features you could be missing out.

By mastering a few simple tricks, you can get the most out of Windows 7.

  • If you wish to move images to outside disks, you can now achieve this effortlessly with Windows 7. The operating system permits you to burn ISO images onto CDs or DVDs. To accomplish this, you only have to double-click on the ISO image, tell Windows 7 the drive that holds your blank disc, and click on the “burn” option. Windows 7 will do the rest.
  • Finding issues and repairing them is also simple with Windows 7. To do this choose the “Control Panel” and select the “troubleshooting” option. This will give you access to a number of wizards that look for and fix common OS issues. For example cleaning up adware and removing clutter.
  • Do younger people in your household install cumbersome software that slows down your computer? This can be easily prevented using the Windows 7 AppLocker feature. This feature only allows your pc to run and install programs that have your pre-approval. You can tell AppLocker to only run programs from trustworthy companies, so if someone is trying to run a program from an unknown publisher AppLocker will block it.
  • Another great feature is its power efficiency service. This enables you to monitor how much power your laptop is using. This can be very helpful if you are working remotely and have no access to a power source.

Your Small Business and Data Security

When it comes to data security, you might believe you have enough safeguards in place to protect your small business. After all, you probably frequently update your antivirus software and other security protocols too. And it’s not as if you’re a large company that needs to worry about having their systems breached by sophisticated hacking techniques. With tens of thousands of delicate customer records on file, these massive firms are the ones who must be concerned about cyber attacks, right? As it happens, digital thieves have greatly escalated their efforts when it comes to stealing from small businesses. To help you learn more about your level of danger, let’s look at this important topic in depth below.

Small firms: low-hanging fruit

The facts are, hackers have realized that small enterprises are easier targets, and are increasingly preying upon them. They can infiltrate their systems at a considerably faster rate, and with a better percentage of success as well. This means a cyber criminal can assault multiple targets in the time it would take them to lay siege to a better-guarded system with a higher level of data security. How can it be worth their while to steal from a mom and pop business? In the current modern world, just about any business utilizes digital payment processing methods. When your customers pay using a credit card, this data must run through your system to be verified. This represents a goldmine of data for hackers, as they can lift this data without being detected. With your customers’ credit card numbers, addresses and names, they can make fraudulent charges on their accounts.

How hackers gain access to your data

Hackers usually take a multiple-point-of-entry approach when trying to breach your company. Don’t be fooled that email is the only way a hacker will attempt to infiltrate you. While destructive email attachments are the most popular tactics that hackers use to mine data from a company, they also use low-tech methods as well. Direct phone calls to lower level employees or possibly a in-office visit posing as system administrator are some of the low-tech ways criminals may target your company. You may believe your workers are impervious to these seemingly obvious ploys, but it only takes one mistake to open your company up to an attack.

The buck stops with you

You may think that preserving your data security isn’t that crucial, as the credit card companies are liable for any bogus charges that occur. Although this is true for the consumer, as a business owner you might experience a very different result. Often if your systems have been compromised, they’ll hold you responsible for finding the breach. This could cost thousands of dollars and can ruin your profit margin for the entire year. In fact, some small businesses have been bankrupted by cyber attacks, closing their doors due to only one incident.

An ounce of prevention…

Taking extra precautions when it comes to your business’ data security is a very wise move. Continue to update your programs and passwords on a regular basis. Teach your employees good security practices like setting up strong passwords and instructing them to never give out login information or open suspicious emails. Hiring an outside consultant is another great way to ensure your clients’ information. These measures not only give you peace of mind, they tell your clients that you care about keeping them safe.

Segway Celebrates 10th Anniversary

The name Segway is synonymous with tech failure. After all, inventor Dean Kamen once thought that his two-wheeled scooters would become a substitute for cars. He pictured a future in which people buzzed to the supermarket, library, or work on their Segway PT scooters.

That hasn’t happened. However, Segways are still around. In fact, Segway celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2011, and it is not entirely rare to see the devices zipping along downtown sidewalks. That’s a pretty amazing feat for a tech “failure.”

Let’s talk about how the Segway really works though.

Powering the Segway

Electric motors fueled by phosphate-based lithium batteries power the Segway. The scooters are easily charged by just plugging them into a standard electrical socket. Thanks to a combination of two computers, special software, tilt sensors, and five gyroscopic sensors the Segway stays upright and doesn’t tip over.

Making the Segway Move

The sensors register if the user shifts their body weight to switch the direction and speed of movement. Put simply, when you want to move forward at a quicker pace, you would pull the handlebars closer to your body and lean forward slightly. The Segway’s current top speed is 12.5 mph and is ideal for areas with lots of wide, flat sidewalk space.

Lowered Expectations

The device never did live up to its hype. Many technology specialists predicted that the Segway PT would become a bigger deal than the Internet. Consequently, when company officials unveiled the first Segway scooter in December of 2001 in Manhattan, expectations soared.

Of course, we all know what happened. The Segway looked strange, and people looked strange riding it. That was enough to prevent the Segway from taking off as its promoters anticipated.

Virtualize your IT!

You may have seen the commercial. The tech guy is screaming in his large, empty data center that someone stole all his servers. Except for the one sitting in the middle of the room. Of course, the point of the commercial is that now all of his servers are “virtualized” on one big server, saving money on equipment and electricity – not to mention the environment. Continue reading