Do you have the most cost efficient home office? Are you taking advantage of the many web based services that can substantially reduce your communication costs? How about a backup, maintenance, and disaster plan?
With more people working from home, it’s important to make sure that your technology supports your efforts. Here are things you need to know about working at home.
– You must have a private area that you can call your own. Do not operate on the kitchen table, play area, or living room. Make sure there are no distractions such as the family TV and dishwasher.
– There is no need for a separate Internet access account. Your modem and router can be used for both personal and business use simultaneously.
– Make sure that your signal strength from your wireless network is strong in the area that you will be working. If not, it is possible to extend the range of your wireless signal.
– If you don’t already have one, get your own computer. State of the art windows based computers are now in the $450-$500 range. Mac computers start at $999.
– Invest in an all-in-one wireless printer. It’s possible for multiple computers to print to one printer.
– All windows based computer on your network must have an anti-virus program installed. I also recommend you download a program such as malwarebytes.com to minimize the risk of having malicious software from entering your computer. At this time, these safeguards are not required for Mac computers.
– You should have a separate e-mail account for business and personal use.
– Use your cell phone as your business line. No need to pay for a separate business phone at home.
– Make sure that you understand how to use Skype. If you are in career transition and looking for a job, recruiters and employers are using it for interviewing purposes instead of flying you to their locations.
– Learn about cloud Computing. Chances are you are spending time out of your office and would love to be able to access your files from the road with either your smartphone or tablet.
– Do you have a backup and disaster strategy? Are your files backed up on an external hard drive or in The Cloud?
– Do you have someone you can call for tech support and maintenance?
If you need help with any of the points outlined above, feel free to contact me for a consultation. In addition, you can access my radio program “Working From Home,” by clicking on the link below.
Tablets have received more attention in the past year than any other technology product. Their popularity has been so great that many traditional computer manufacturers are scrambling to adjust to this change in demand.
Why are tablets so popular? Here are just some of the main reasons.
1. Portability – Smaller and lighter than a laptop
2. Ease of Use – One touch away from your favorite news services, stock reports, restaurant reviews, movie schedule, etc.
3. Immediate Start-up – Much faster than waiting for your computer to “load up.”
4. Video chatting – Keeping in touch with family, friends, and business associates.
5. Reading books
6. Online media – Music, movies, and TV
7. Maintenance free – Tablets don’t crash
8. Affordability – Less expensive than most laptops
Are your friends complaining about random e-mails from you containing only a link or asking for money since you have been stranded on some remote island? If so, chances are that your e-mail program has been “hacked,” meaning that someone has accessed your contact list and sent messages to everyone on your list. Here are some simple rules to follow to minimize the risk that this will happen to you.
1. If you have been hacked, change your password immediately. Don’t use simple passwords such as birthdays, phone numbers or family names. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
2, Change your password frequently; monthly, if you are using AOL
3. Do not use the same password for your e-mail program, online banking, or shopping sites like Amazon, Ebay, etc.
4. When accessing the Internet on the road, be sure that the wi-fi location is secured. Places like hotels, parks, and coffee shops like Starbucks, are not secured since everyone has access to their networks. You do not want to enter passwords, credit card info, or other personal information in a non-secured area, since you are using a public access point.
5. If you are using a Windows computer, make sure you have installed both an anti-virus and malware program and that they have been updated.
If you any questions about “hacking” or other maintenance issues, feel free to contact me either by phone at 917 921-4518 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org/bluetutorold.
Planning a business or pleasure trip overseas? Do you have a child studying abroad? Keeping in touch while traveling to other countries can be very costly. Fortunately, there are many Internet based programs that have reduced the costs of communicating substantially, and in many cases, for free, depending on the country.
While there are many services available, I suggest you look at Viber, MagicJack, and Skype. All three have the ability to communicate for free from anywhere you can access the Internet through a wireless connection.
Many of you already are familiar with Skype which offers free video chatting with a computer, tablet, and a smartphone from a wireless connection. Using Skype on your smartphone or tablet from an area without a wireless connection is not free and the costs will depend on your carrier (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc.) and the country who are in.
Viber offers free telephone calls and text messaging from smartphone to smartphone from a wireless area. Both you and the person you are calling need to have the app installed on your smartphone. The app is free.
MagicJack is a matchbook size device with a USB plug that is plugged into your laptop computer. The price of the MagicJack is $39.95 and the annual cost is under $20. It can be bought either at their website or at any electronics store (Best Buy, etc.). When you register, you select a local US number (where you live) and all calls, placed or received through the MagicJack, from a wireless area, are free.
There are a host of services available, however I am able to communicate with friends, family and business associates in other countries on a regular basis for FREE.
If you would like to discuss any of these services in greater detail, or if you have any other questions regarding how to control your international communication costs, I can be reached at 917 921-4518 or by e-mail at email@example.com
To listen to my latest BlogTalkRadio Program, “How to Control Your International Calling Costs,” click on the site below.
Do you have the right tools to operate in the new mobile world?
Do you own a smartphone? Are you considering an upgrade? Which phone is right for you, an iPhone, Android, or Blackberry? Over 25% of households in the US have a tablet. Should you have one?
If you want to make sure you are ready to be a true road warrior, give me call at 917 921-4518 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org/bluetutorold.
To listen to my most recent BlogTalkRadio program about the mobile world in 2013, click below.
Confused by all the choices?
Kindles, Nooks, iPads, iPhones, Androids, digital cameras, etc. The list is endless. You want to make sure you select the right gift for your friends, family and business associates.
Before you walk into one of the many retailers offering “deals” on the latest and greatest new techie gadgets, consider the following:
Not all people are created equal. While many of us love gadgets, giving your parent or child an ipad might be something they will never be able to use. Make sure your gift is in line with their technology acumen.
Most items listed above vary in price based on their specifications. Make sure you understand the differences between basic and advanced features.
Gift certificates for books for the Kindle and music for the iPhone are just two examples.
For family or friends whom you feel might be confused by all the new technology or need to brush on their technology skills, you should consider giving them a copy of my e-book, which can be ordered and read on both a Kindle and an iPad, directly from Amazon by clicking here.
How about a gift of a few hours of computer lessons?
If you want to make sure your gifts are received with a “Wow” instead of a confused look, give me a call at 917 921-4518 or e-mail me at email@example.com. I can help you make the right choices.
Chances are that your children are more tech savvy than you are.
Are you on the wrong side of the Great Digital Divide?
Do you have the right tools to operate in the new Mobile World?
We are living in a mobile world. Chances are that you are using your smartphone and tablet more than your computer for e-mail and information. Are your mobile devices secure? Do you know how to find them if they are lost?
Within the next couple of years, more people will be accessing the Internet through a mobile device than with a desktop or laptop computer.
Listen in to my BlogTalkRadio program for a discussion with my guest, Neil Forster, President of Forster Technology Solutions, about what you need to know about securing your mobile devices and how to locate them if they are misplaced.