Tip of the Week: Your Mouse Can Do a Lot With a Click or Two

You might think you know all of the tricks that a mouse is capable of, but you would be wrong. Here are some of the niftiest uses possible for your mouse.

Highlighting Text
You can highlight any text by clicking and dragging your mouse over it. However, if you don’t want to do this, you can just click on a word at the beginning of the text that you want to copy, hold down Shift, and click where you want the highlight to end. All of the text between the two points will be highlighted–just like it would be if you held your mouse button down and dragged it across the text.

Take Advantage of Your Scrolling Wheel
If you’ve ever tried to press down on the mouse wheel, you can close an open tab in your web browser. By holding down the Ctrl key and scrolling up or down with the wheel, you can zoom in or out of the screen. You can also hold down the Shift key and scroll down to open up a closed tab.

Use Double and Triple Clicks
If you want to select a specific word, you can double-click it with your mouse. You can also triple-click it to select the entire body of text in the paragraph. If you double-click and drag your mouse, it will highlight one word at a time so as best to cater to your specific needs.

Select Multiple Choices in Drop-down Menus
If you’re filling out a drop-down menu where multiple options are viable choices for you, you can select multiple options by holding down the Ctrl key and clicking each of them individually.

Use the Side Buttons
Some mouses come installed with buttons on the side. These can be used to go back and forth to previously visited pages on your web browser. Depending on the model, you can also program the buttons so that they can be customized.

 

Are You Guilty of These Computer Goofs?

Everyone makes mistakes. This is especially true when it comes to the technology that is used by your organization every single day. For this week’s tip, here are some things to avoid when using your computer.

Not Reading Terms

It’s something we’re all guilty of–reflexively clicking ‘Okay’ or ‘Next’ when confronted by a wall of text. However, not reading the terms and conditions of whatever it is you are trying to do (usually downloading and installing software) can potentially put you at risk. These options often include consent to have bloatware and other unpleasant programs installed on your system. Before you click through, make sure you are aware of what each prompt is having you agree to–or better yet, have your IT professional handle any installations.

Not Updating

There is an arms race being waged between software developers and hackers behind the scenes of your computer. Hackers are always seeking out vulnerabilities and weak points in the programs that you have installed. Likewise, developers are also constantly at work, patching and removing the threats caused by those vulnerabilities. If you aren’t regularly updating your solutions, you aren’t receiving the improved protections that these updates deliver, leaving you vulnerable to threats.

Not Using Surge Protection or Uninterruptible Power Supplies

Electricity is a fickle thing. The right amount will power your computer and allow you to use it, while too much can cause a damaging surge that will ruin many of a modern computer’s components. Lightning strikes hitting nearby power lines are notorious for causing these power surges. A good means of protecting your computer is to–rather than plugging it directly into the wall–power it through a surge protector. Better yet, use an Uninterruptible Power Supply, or UPS, to protect your devices. Not only do they also protect against surges, they can maintain your system briefly after a power outage so that you can avoid data loss.

Not Keeping a Backup

This is a subject that we will never stop impressing the importance of–whether or not you have a backup system in place can make or break your business. While it is always tempting to assume “Nothing like that could ever happen to me,” fires, natural disasters, and old-fashioned user error don’t discriminate. Your data’s best insurance is a comprehensive data backup. This backup should meet a few requirements, the first of which being that it is not the only copy of your data, and secondly, that these multiple copies are not stored in the same place. Ideally, your backup would be stored in the cloud, where it could be accessed once you were ready to do so.

Yes, we all make mistakes. COMPANYNAME is here to help you avoid making too many with your IT. For help with recovering when mistakes are made, call us at PHONENUMBER for more information.

 

Are These 3 Challenges Holding Your Patch Implementation Back?

How many applications does your business use on a daily basis? Managing and maintaining them all can be quite the challenge for a number of reasons–particularly if your organization doesn’t have a dedicated IT technician. It’s important that you take a look at your current situation and determine what roadblocks there are that could cause problems for your organization’s security.

First, a short explanation of why patching and security updates are important. Software is often issued with considerations made for the latest cybersecurity threats. However, the current state of network security is typically fluid. New threats develop every day, which results in what is effectively a “state of emergency” for many small businesses. If patches and security updates aren’t implemented properly, you could be exposing your organization to unnecessary threats and risks. Therefore, the need to keep your software as up-to-date as possible is of the utmost importance.

We’ll go over some of the most common roadblocks that are presented with software deployment:

Upper-Level Administration

It’s understandable for upper-level executives, like the CEO and COO, to want a say in the implementation of security solutions for your IT. However, if all options for technology must be run through administration, it’s difficult to get anything greenlit. When it comes to patching, you don’t have time to wait around for this to happen, as threats could be knocking at your door.

Software Developers

It’s important that you remain in contact with the company that develops any software you use. The reasoning is simple: they will be the ones to distribute any software patches, as they will be the ones developing it in the first place. If they aren’t effectively communicating that a new version or patch is available for download, you’re running the risk of threats overtaking your system.

Time and Resources

If you don’t have an internal IT department, chances are that you are having your employees deploy patches and security updates as they are released. However, they are only implemented if you have the time and resources to make it happen. Furthermore, if they are deployed, they could be implemented incorrectly, which means that the patches would have to be installed twice–wasting valuable time and money which could be saved for other ventures.

By working closely with a managed service provider, you can eliminate many of these troubles with remote patching and maintenance. We’ll work directly with your software vendors, should the need arise, to make sure your patches are implemented as swiftly and efficiently as possible. Thanks to remote technology, all of this can be done without an on-site visit, freeing up more time and resources than ever before–all while making security a top priority for your business.

 

Bad Rabbit Ransomware Strikes Targets in Eastern Europe

In yet another widespread ransomware attack, Eastern European countries saw an assortment of their critical establishments and infrastructures struck by an infection known as Bad Rabbit. Government buildings, media establishments, and transportation centers were among the targets of this attack.

Focused in Russia and Ukraine but also spotted in Bulgaria, Germany, and Turkey, Bad Rabbit shut down Russia’s Interfax Agency–a major news outlet–as well as Ukraine’s Kiev Metro, the Odessa International Airport, and both the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Ministry of Finance. The attack on Kiev Metro was found to leverage Diskcoder.D, yet another variant of the infamous Petya ransomware.

Fortunately, there is a considerably lesser chance of Bad Rabbit repeating what WannaCry managed to accomplish during its spread across Europe and, to a lesser extent, North America. This is because, instead of relying on a worm as WannaCry did, Bad Rabbit uses a server message block vulnerability called EternalRomance to spread, after being downloaded while disguised as an Adobe Flash installer on legitimate websites. It would also appear that Bad Rabbit and NotPetya (another significant ransomware attack) were deployed by the same threat actor, as 67 percent of their codebases are the same.

Unfortunately, Bad Rabbit should not have been able to spread as far as it has, as Microsoft released a patch for EternalRomance in March, when the EternalBlue vulnerability was also patched. This makes this attack yet another example of why it is crucial to install patches and updates when they are released–if the organizations affected by Bad Rabbit had done so, they would not be in the position they are now.

KiteTech can help you make sure that your systems are not left vulnerable to attacks like this by managing your patches and updates for you.

 

Tip of the Week: It’s Easy to Color-Code Your Google Drive

By default, folders in Google Drive display as a muted gray color. Unfortunately, this simplistic choice can make certain folders difficult to find in a sea of gray. For this week’s tip, we’ll go through how to change the color that a folder displays in Google Drive.

First, you will need to navigate to the folder whose color you wish to change. Right-clicking on the folder will bring up a menu. About halfway down the menu, you will find the option Change color, with the image of a painter’s palette and an arrow indicating more options. Those options will be the 24 colors the folder icon can display as.

Once you’ve decided on a color to use for that particular folder, click on it. The change will be made immediately, so you will know right away if your choice of color will work for the folder you have edited.

Unfortunately, this feature doesn’t extend to the contents of these folders. Therefore, your Google Docs and Sheets will have to remain blue and green, respectively.

Keep in mind, you will be the only one that sees these color changes. This feature is more of a means for individual users to customize their own experience with Google Drive. Therefore, describing something as “the red folder” will likely mean something very different for someone else as it does for you.

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