If at first you don’t succeed…
As adults, we’ve forgotten what we knew as kids – nobody is an expert the first time. We try a new task and expect to be good right away. When we’re not, we believe its because we can’t learn new things. I recently picked up a new crafting hobby and my first attempt didn’t 100% match the example. Undeterred, I tried again with similar results. Its a struggle because I know I’m getting better, but I want to be awesome today.
Learning new tech works the same way. I met someone recently who opened up MailChimp for the first time, scanned through the pages and options, then decided it wasn’t intuitive enough for her to figure out. Do you have the same reaction? When you are struggling with learning a new program do you seek out video tutorials, blogs, or the FAQ section? Or do you bang your head against the keyboard, hoping the information will work into your brain via osmosis?
These days we have access to more information than we know what to do with. Any problem you have, chances are that somebody else has had the same issue. But where do you go to find the answers?
Is your phone keeping you awake?
We’ve heard the reports that using our mobile devices before bedtime is a sure way to disrupt our sleep. Digital devices are emitting greater amounts of blue LED light these days in comparison to other light sources in our house. Recent studies show that blue light suppresses melatonin (the hormone the brain produces at night to induce sleepiness) more effectively than any other visible wavelength, potentially leaving people more alert when they would otherwise start feeling drowsy.
During the day, a little extra blue light from our computer doesn’t make a difference when we’re already getting so much from the environment. But all that changes at night. How many of us check our email, play a game, or look at Facebook before we turn off the bedside lamp? I know I”m guilty of it almost every night.
So if blue light before bed is bad for us, what are we supposed to do?
CrashPlan is getting out of the online backup business for home owners. Not only is this a bummer for me personally, but CrashPlan has been my primary recommendation for anyone wanting to get started with online backup. So now what?
The great news is, CrashPlan has extended your subscription for 60 days (past when you normally expire) to give you time to make a decision. If you are set to expire Jan 1, 2018, then you will have till March to figure things out.
If you want the easiest route, I would recommend staying with Crashplan and moving to their small business plan for a year. This plan only requires you to log in to migrate your account
. You will be able to backup for free until the end of your current CrashPlan subscription, then enjoy a 75% discount for the first 12 months – $2.50/mo. As far as I can tell, this is $2.50 per device for those coming over from the CrashPlan Home plan.
After that year the cost for CrashPlan’s Small Business Plan is $10/computer, and I would recommend re-evaluating the options available. Currently, Backblaze is a great alternative at $50/computer/year or $4.17/mo. That’s only one Starbucks (if you like your caffeine large)!
Whichever route you choose, remember that online sync – Dropbox/OneDrive/G Drive – is not the same thing as online backup. Do not use Dropbox etc. as a means of backing up your files when there are better options.
Questions? Let me know! I strongly believe that online backup is worth every penny and would be glad to help you get started!
Password Protection and Peace of Mind
Hackers are out there to steal your information. Once they’ve got it, they’ll sell it to the highest bidder and destroy your identity. Or at least, that’s what the media tells us. There are large corporate breaches, and everyone knows someone who’s had their information hacked. You can’t prevent these corporate breaches from happening, but you can take steps to keep you and your information safe during daily use. How? Well, all the articles tell us the same things:
“Don’t use the same password more than once. Use strong passwords. Change your passwords frequently. Don’t tell anyone your passwords.”
It’s good advice, but how are you supposed to remember all that information? Some people manage their passwords in a written notebook near their computer or in a digital file on their computer. I’ve kept mine in Evernote and had Google Chrome’s ‘Save Password’ option to help me out. But other people choose very simple passwords or use the same password for everything. Fortunately, password managers – LastPass, KeyPass, Dashlane, 1Password – were created to address those best practices we keep getting told.
So what is a password manager?
Be an Inbox Hero with Inbox Zero!
Check out any article on email management and you’ll see the phrase ‘Inbox Zero’. Although it’s a been a concept for many years, the current definition explains that having zero emails in your inbox is a sign of success. But did you know that wasn’t the original intent? Merlin Mann, the guy behind Inbox Zero, didn’t see the zero as a reference to the number of messages in an inbox, but “the amount of time an employee’s brain is in his inbox”.
So how do you go about spending less time in your inbox? Especially when your unread messages are climbing past triple digits.
Although we often think of digital disasters as being a software failure, aka the blue screen of death, there are several other ways we put our digital devices (where our data lives) at risk. These include physical damage from fire/flood/accidental destruction, theft, and malware or a virus. What can you do to keep your valuable information safe?