How to Protect Your Computer Against Malware

Each year the damages from computer malware cost US businesses billions of dollars. These costs are not only in lost productivity, but permanent loss of critical business data. Arguably, most if not all infections are preventable with the proper understanding, training and protection. Don’t be the next victim, take the steps now to ensure protection and recovery if the worst should happen. First, let’s understand computer malware. Often the term virus is used to describe all malware. Technically speaking, there are viruses, rootkits, Trojan horses, worms and spyware. The attack method may differ but they are all malicious. A virus is a program that runs itself and replicates itself. It can affect files or the boot sector and can delete all your data. The “Melissa” and “I Love You” viruses gained global attention. A rootkit or Trojan horse allows access to your system without … [Read more...]

Clouds in an Azure Sky

Clouds are made of increased bandwidth and storage blended with the advances in virtualization and remote access. Today’s technology allows us to compute anywhere, anytime. The sky is clear blue for cloud computing, but it hasn’t always been that way. Cloud computing grew out of the centralized or mainframe model. For those who remember mainframes, it was the only way to compute. We had remote access, but it was cumbersome, slow and expensive. Programmers got in the habit of coding all night long when rates were the cheapest. Then those long, sleepless nights were replaced by distributed computing, a computer for everyone, but somehow programmers still program all night. The distributed computing model was embraced rapidly. With amazing graphics and Internet availability, the computer became a household appliance.  But distributed computing had its drawbacks, it was hard to … [Read more...]

Managing Rows and Columns in Excel

Guest author David H. Ringstrom, CPA, Users often hide rows or columns in a spreadsheet to conceal private data, or perhaps just to keep a large spreadsheet manageable. This is a helpful feature in Excel, but many users often go about managing rows the hard way: Excel 2007 or later: In the Cells section of the Home tab choose Format, Hide & Hide, and then make a selection as to what to hide or unhide. Excel 2003 and earlier: Choose Row or Column and then Hide or Unhide, respectively. Hiding rows is fairly straight forward, as you can select the rows or columns, and then carry out the aforementioned menu command. To unhide rows or columns, you must select rows above and below the hidden section, or columns to the left and right of the hidden section, and then carry out the menu command. Constantly navigating the menus to hide and unhide rows or … [Read more...]

Top IT Trends for 2011

Compiling our list of the top technology trends for 2011 was enjoyable. We got to review our 2010 predictions and look ahead with optimism. Unfortunately, economic woes continued through 2010 delaying the expected IT expenditures and slowing growth.  Again, the trends haven’t changed much year-over-year as technology is a quiet revolution. But don’t be disappointed, those same trends are driving new models that will revolutionize the way we do business.  As technology advances, the numbers continue to drive IT investments. Businesses will implement common sense infrastructure improvements and avoid the glitz. The glitz will come from consumer electronics this year as mobile devices become better, cheaper and faster. Cloud Computing – The Application Server Provider (ASP) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model is Cloud Computing.  More than ever, this is a technology in search of a … [Read more...]

One-Third of World Spam

With the arrest of Oleg Nikolaenko, the young Russian responsible for billions of spam messages each day, the world is wondering what it would be like with one-third less spam. There are over 250 billion email messages sent each day. With 86,400 seconds in a day, that’s about 3 million email messages a second.  Conservatively, 80% is spam.  That means that 2.5 million emails each second are spam.  Many of those emails are caught by spam filters, but the spam that makes it to inboxes still cause major problems.  Spam is profitable and despite the repeated warnings, people still click on spam. Ordering pharmaceuticals or fake Rolex watches from spam hurts you in two ways. First, they take your money for the item and you get an empty box if you get anything at all.  And second, you can be highjacked and become part of the botnet.  A botnet is like the Borg for computers. Your computer … [Read more...]