Digitisation Of Data – Basic Advice For Reducing Risk

The increased digitisation of data offers many obvious benefits to a small business in terms of keeping track of all your valuable information. However it also brings with it a plethora of new risks and potential problems. These can be avoided or ameliorated by simple planning and thinking ahead (and having someone proficient and skilled in charge of your IT systems, of course!), so it’s handy to have a look at just what they might be so they can be tackled before they become a real issue. Remember, data is just as important to your business as profit is – losing your accounts can be as destructive as burning your money.

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Perhaps the most important thing you can do in order to minimise further problems down the line is effective staff training. This can’t be overstated – if everyone knows what they are doing and what the procedures are, then the likelihood of problems drastically decreases. And that includes yourself, so make sure you’re completely up to speed on all your IT systems before you start teaching everyone else.

 

Having an off-site tech team is recommended, but even once you have one of those in place there are things you need to do yourself in order to make your life easier. Little things, the kind of things a lot of people tend to overlook – such as having strong passwords, for example. “1234” is a recipe for disaster, as are passwords anyone with a knowledge of you or your business would have a decent chance of guessing. Birthdays, children’s names – these are essentially an unlocked door. Use a combination of letters and numbers – preferably one that doesn’t actually mean anything in itself, to make it impossible to guess. And whatever you do don’t write them on Post-It notes stuck around the office!

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Developing an IT strategy is also invaluable. Your IT support provider can help you with this, but it’s good for everyone in the business to know exactly what the procedures are, and that way a lot of problems can be headed off at the pass before you even need to call your off-site support.

As long as you keep ahead of things, and your systems are in good hands, then you’ll be amazed how many problems can be avoided entirely.

If your company requires out-sourced IT support contact 39 Degress today by calling 01279 800039 and speak to an expert about your requirements in further detail. Alternatively fill in our online contact form or visit our website here.

10 Keyboard Shortcuts That Are Absolutely Essential

 

A shortcut is defined as an alternative, more direct route to achieving something, and is identical to the keyboard shortcut that we use in computing. Very much like the regular term, a keyboard shortcut provides quick access to something, and in this case is a function within a computer program.

To use a keyboard shortcut, you have to press a series of keys at the same time, with this leading to a quicker result. These keyboard combinations are very handy for working seamlessly, without being interrupted or losing focus.

Implementing keyboard shortcuts into your IT operations will reduce the number of times you use the mouse and will save time, allowing you to stay focused on your work. Keyboard shortcuts differ depending on the computing program you’re using and whether you’re using a Windows PC or Mac, with Mac having a different style of keyboard.

With a Windows keyboard, there are various shortcuts that will provide instant access to various functions within Microsoft Office and web browsers including Chrome, Edge, Internet Explorer and Firefox. We have narrowed these keyboard shortcuts down and have chosen the 10 Keyboard Shortcuts That Are Absolutely Essential for the day-to-day activities on your PC. These keyboard shortcuts are compatible with Windows, Microsoft Office and most Internet browsers, and are not compatible with all programs.

 

Copy – Ctrl + C

The Ctrl + C keyboard shortcut is very useful and is one that you may already know; with it being one of the most commonly used commands available. This shortcut is activated when both the Ctrl and C keys are pressed, and will trigger the Copy function on Windows. This will copy the selection and store it in the clipboard. You will find this shortcut handy when copying text or an object from a particular place, and then pasting it somewhere else, and this is something we’ll come onto next.

 

Paste – Ctrl + V

Paste is a keyboard shortcut that will more than likely be used after the Ctrl + C shortcut is completed, with the combination of Ctrl + V retrieving the copied selection from the clipboard and placing it in another location. This keyboard shortcut will be most convenient for when you need to quickly move a piece of text or an image from one place to another, rather than using the mouse to right-click the Copy and Paste functions.

 

Cut – Ctrl + X

Ctrl + X is a shortcut that can also be used when copying and pasting text, as when you press the Ctrl + X keys together, it will remove the selected text or image, and will move it to the clipboard. This is very similar to the Ctrl + C shortcut, but rather than just copying the text, it will remove the selection from the text.

 

Text Selection – SHIFT + ←, ↑, ↓, → 

Once you have applied this keyboard shortcut when working with Microsoft Office, it will almost eliminate the need to use the mouse at all and will let you maintain focus throughout the day. When pressing SHIFT and the navigational arrow keys, you can select words, sentences or whole paragraphs at a time, without having to touch the mouse. This means that you can select pieces of a document, Copy or Cut them, and then Paste them somewhere else, using the keyboard shortcuts we mentioned before.

 

Find – Ctrl + F

Find is a keyboard shortcut that you probably have never heard of before, but one that you will instantly find helpful and use daily. When pressing the combination of both Ctrl + F, it will access the Find navigational bar. This will allow you to search the displayed text for particular words or phrases you type in. This shortcut can be used on Microsoft Office, when finding sections of a document, and an Internet browser, to find information on a webpage. By using the Find function, you no longer have to scroll down the document with your mouse and scan the text for information, but use search instead.

 

Save – Ctrl + S

The Ctrl + S shortcut is an easy one to remember and is essential for the security of your documents. This will provide faster access to the Save function within Microsoft Office, and will quickly save the document that is currently open. Using the Save shortcut will not just save you time but will mean the document is updated regularly, just in case the program crashes. It’s also handy for when you get called away from your desk or step out for a break, as you may forget to save your work beforehand.

 

Undo – Ctrl + Z

The keyboard shortcut of Ctrl + Z will mostly be needed for when mistakes are made, whether it’s a minor spelling mistake or you’ve deleted the entire body of a document. You should already know where the Undo button is on Microsoft Office, however, with the Ctrl + Z shortcut, you can quickly undo your mistake without reaching for your mouse and losing your concentration.

 

Redo – Ctrl + Y

The Redo command of Ctrl + Y is one you will use with the Undo shortcut, with this shortcut commanding the computer to reverse the previous Undo. This keyboard shortcut might not be used very often, but is needed for when you press the Undo shortcut too many times.

 

New – Ctrl + N

Ctrl + N can be used on Microsoft Office as well as Edge, Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox, although it will result in a different outcome. When using a web browser, the Ctrl + N combination will open up a new tab, but with Office, the same combination will instead open up a new document. Again with this keyboard shortcut, it will get rid of the need to use the mouse, as you can use the shortcut to open a new tab or document.

 

Lock Device – Windows Key + L

The tenth and final keyboard shortcut that we believe is essential is the Lock command, which is activated when hitting the Windows key and the L key. This keyboard shortcut is vital for the security of your data, as it will immediately lock the PC and require the password for it be unlocked again. You may find this convenient for when you need to step away from your desk to speak to a colleague, pop to the restroom or head out for lunch, as you can come back knowing that your tabs remain the same and that no one has messed around with anything.

 

We hope that you have found these keyboard shortcuts of use and will start to implement them into the daily activities on your PC, whether it’s at work or at home. If you have found this post rewarding and would like to be reminded of these shortcuts, you can print off our PDF Keyboard Shortcut Hand-Out in A5 and leave it on your desk for future reference. This will help you memorise the commands and you can always refer back to them if you forget!

If you’re interested in checking out our other posts, why not head over to our blog? Ghost is an IT company that offer IT support in Essex and surrounding areas of Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire, and if you want further information on our services, you can call us on 01279 800039 or email sales@ghostservices.co.uk.

Data back-up: it’s essential

Your data is probably your most valuable business asset. It holds all the facts, figures and connections for your team and your clients and your company as a whole.  But just how often do you consider how secure, reliable or trustworthy your current data back-up provisions are?

A number of companies rely on either USB memory sticks or portable drives to back up their data either on a daily or weekly basis. Unfortunately this is an extremely risky way of doing so – especially since many people keep their USB on the same fob as their car keys, or in their pocket with loose change – which isn’t good for the device or the data it holds. Alternatively, they often keep their portable drive on the edge of the desk or on top of the computer base, where it is vulnerable to knocks, falls and any kind of spillage.

Your USB or portable drive is designed primarily for data transfer rather than data storage, and to rely on something that isn’t shockproof and is easy to misplace, lose or corrupt to hold such a valuable asset is a recipe for a cyber catastrophe.

Protecting your data is fast, easy and most importantly secure with the Ghost Computer Services “Cloud” based data back-up service. And it all comes at a very reasonable price.

We remove the risks associated with some of the more primitive ways of backing-up your valuable data, plus there is no requirement for you to have any expensive physical hardware or even a member of staff to initiate the back-up. Ghost Computer Services will do it all for you at a pre-specified day and time, and we will even email you once it has been successfully completed for your peace of mind. It will also keep your regulator happy.

As a heightened security measure, we use three independently separate UK-based data centres to store your data, using military-grade advanced encryption to ensure all your data is secure. All of our data centres follow strict Network Reliability Monitoring & Environmental Controls set by Ghost, so should you require a data restore, we can have this completed quickly and without any hassle.

Benefits of Ghost’s Hosted Data Back-Up

  • 1 single monthly fee
  • Future data requirements are easily scalable
  • Automated back-up with E-mail confirmation
  • Ability to speedily restore to “Point in Time”
  • Military-grade advanced encryption at multiple UK-based data centres
  • No need for expensive hardware or additional staff to undertake back-up
  • Removal of risks associated with using easily lost and corruptible USB/portable drives
  • Complements existing business continuity strategies

If you would like further details on the Ghost data back-up service please click- please click