Monthly Archives

March 2016

Is your computer infected with malware?

virus threat protection

Has your computer been running slow lately? Are you getting a bunch of unwanted pop-ups? Then it’s possible your system’s security has been breached. Being able to identify whether or not your computer is infected with malware will allow you to quickly come up with antivirus solutions to protect your system. This means you’ll be saving time and money from doing a fresh reinstall of your operating system. Here is a list of possible symptoms you may encounter if your computer has a malware infection.

Slow computer

The most common symptom of a malware infection is a slow running computer. Are your operating systems and programs taking a while to start up? Is your data bandwidth suspiciously slow? If so, your computer may potentially have a virus.

However, before you immediately assume your computer has a virus, you should check if there are other causes to your computer slowing down. Check if you’re running out of RAM. For Windows, open task manager (Ctrl + Shift + Esc) and go to the Performance tab and check how many gigabytes of RAM you are using under the Memory section. For Mac OS users, you can open the Activity Monitor app and under System Memory you should be able to find out your RAM usage.

Other causes of a slow system include a lack of space on your hard drive and damaged hardware. Once you’ve ruled out the other potential causes, then a virus may have infected your device.

Blue screen of death (BSOD)

If your PC crashes regularly, it’s usually either a technical problem with your system or a malware infection. You might not have installed the latest drivers for your device or the programs you’re running could possibly be incompatible with your hardware. If none of these problems are apparent in your PC then the virus could be conflicting with other programs causing your crashes.
To check what caused your last BSOD go to Control Panel> System and Security> Administrative Tools> Event Viewer and select Windows Logs. Those marked with an “error” are your recorded crashes. For troubleshooting solutions, consult forums or your IT department to figure out what to do next.

Programs opening and closing automatically

Malware can also be present when your programs are opening and closing automatically. However, do check if some programs are meant to behave this way or if they are simply incompatible to run with your hardware first before coming to the conclusion that your computer has a virus.

Lack of storage space

There are several types of malware that can manipulate the files saved on your computer. Most tend to fill up your hard drive with suspicious files. If you find any unknown programs that you have never installed before, don’t open the application, search up the program’s name over the Internet and use antivirus protections once you’re certain that it’s malware.

Suspicious modem and hard drive activity

Combined with the other warning signs, if your hard disk is working excessively while no programs are currently running or if you notice that your external modem is always lit then you should scan your computer for viruses.

Pop-ups, websites, toolbars and other unwanted programs

These are irritating signs that your computer has a virus. Pop-ups come from clicking on suspicious pages, answering survey questions to access a website’s service or installing free applications. Don’t click on ads where Jane says she earned $8000 a month staying at home. When you get pop-ups appearing out of the blue, refrain from clicking anywhere on the pop-up page and just close out of the window and use your anti-malware tool immediately.

Equally, free applications allow you to download their service for free but the installation process can be riddled with malware. When you’re installing a program from the Internet it’s easy to just skim over the terms and conditions page and repeatedly press next. This is where they get you. In the process of skipping over certain installation steps, you might have agreed to accepting a new default browser, opening unwanted websites and other programs filled with viruses. Just be cautious the next time you download something for free. It’s best to try avoiding any of these practices when you can in order to protect your computer.

You’re sending out spam

If your friends are telling you that you’ve been offering them suspicious messages and links over social media or email, you might be a victim of spyware. These may be caused from setting weak passwords to your accounts or forgetting to logout of them.

In the end, it’s best to know how malicious software affects your computer so you can take steps to rectify the situation as soon as possible. Regardless of whether or not your system has experienced these symptoms, it’s always smart to perform regular malware scans to ensure your business is safe. To find out more about malware and IT security, contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Help yourself: use these Office 365 features

IT services

Need help getting some work done? Fortunately, Microsoft constantly releases new Office 365 features that can help you get an edge on the pile of work sitting on your computer. Among some of the new Office 365 features, you can Skype over a document with your coworkers, plot charts into excel with ease, and even sign for a document electronically with any device. So treat yourself, and use these features to increase your productivity in the workplace.

Simultaneously edit a document with other people

With Office 365, people can work together on any Word, PowerPoint or Excel document in real time. This means multiple people can edit a document, figure out what changes have been made and who made them.

So if your employees are still creating documents by themselves, sending them over to their coworkers by email, and silently waiting for a reply, then this Office 365 feature can help cut down on unnecessary email waiting time.

Skype over a document with your coworkers

In addition to being able to work together on a single document, you can also verbally discuss the edits over Skype. This application lets you talk to everyone who is working on the document with a simple click of a button. You can also keep talking to your coworkers even after you’ve left the Office document session.

Link to files, don’t attach them

Is the file you’re sending too big? With the business editor of Office 365, you won’t have to worry about compressing your documents before sending them over email. You can simply attach the link to the file on your cloud application (Outlook Web App) and people with access to the link can immediately begin editing.

Let Bing find presentation images for you

Sometimes you just need that second opinion when you’re picking images for your presentation. That’s where Office Sway comes in. Basically, the application employs Bing image search to locate possible images that you can use for your presentation based on the words you are using.

Laser pointer mouse icon

Forgot your laser pointer on the day of your presentation? Simply go into presentation mode and hold Ctrl and the Left-Click mouse button to replace your mouse cursor with a laser pointer.

Change your electronic scribbles into text

This OneNote feature allows you to convert your electronic scribbles into text in just a few steps. Simply select the “Lasso Select” tool and circle the area you want edited and choose the “Ink to Text” option.

Electronic signatures

Printing out a document to sign it and then scanning it back to digital format is a bit outdated. However, with the Docusign app, you can setup your own electronic signature and sign documents easily from any device.

Create excel charts with ease

Office 365 has built in new features that will allow Excel to better present and format your data. Simply select the cells that you would want in a graph or table, open the Quick Analysis tool and pick however you would like to visually represent your information. Voila! Instant chart.

Turn data from Excel into a map

Speaking of visual representation, did you know that you can convert your data into images? Provided that your data takes note of geographic locations, the Power Map feature can immediately distribute your recorded facts and figures over a 3D map.

Create and Convert PDF Files

You have a variety of choices when creating PDF files from word documents. Exporting your word documents into PDF files can be done by going to File>Export>Create PDF/XPS. You also have the option of saving just a portion of a file by indicating the pages you want to only be converted into PDF.

On the other hand, if you would like to edit a PDF, just open the file in the word document, where the PDF content will be opened in a new file. From here, you can copy and edit any content, images or diagrams.

Consider utilizing some or all of these features to make the most out of Office 365 and make your life a bit easier. If you’d like to know more about other features that Office 365 has to offer, give us a call.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.