Why You Don’t Need to Encrypt All Your Backup Files

The golden rule pertaining to your data involves carrying out steps to backup and encrypt all your files.

If it wasn’t for backup, all your files be it audio, video, documents and spreadsheets and so on and so forth would be gone in no time from your hard drive.

Also, if your hard drive fell into the wrong hands, they’d have access to all your sensitive (and personal) information which could result in identity theft among other disasters.

Simply put, the best case scenario is to not only backup your files but encrypt the sensitive files in the same hard drive.

While some commercial backup programs come with an option to encrypt files, it doesn’t seem to make sense to some experts to encrypt their backup files.

For the simple reason that if you are worried about people reading sensitive information off your external drive then you should also worry about them being able to access this information from your PC if it’s stole.

So, it should be obvious that you should encrypt your files on your internal drive and which will be encrypted when backed up.

Also, there’s no point in encrypting everything. Well, a thief won’t be able to do much with your vacation pictures either. Of course, legal documents, bank statement or even tax forms are important.

It is for this reason that one should consider trying an open source program such as TrueCrypt but only as a volume in a place that is a part of your regular backup routine (like My Documents) instead of a separate partition itself.

How to Preview PDF Documents in a 64-bit version of Windows 7

It’s common knowledge that the 32-bit version of Windows 7 was able to preview PDFs effortlessly.

The same cannot be said with newer computers which run the 64-bit version of Windows 7 albeit with a powerful processor. And it’s not very different with Windows 8 either.

If one would ask “Why?”, you’d be hard pressed to find the logic behind Microsoft’s decisions.

That said, there are solutions for the 64-bit version of Windows 7 and in particular, we’re talking about Vivid Document Imaging’s “PDF Preview for Windows 7”.

Once you install it, you’ll find that previews of your PDF documents are immediately available. You can also preview the PDF in the Windows Explorer Preview pane…

Of course, there are issues that crop up during its installation since it asks you if you want to place a shortcut on your desktop. Even if you decline, it will place not one but three shortcuts which you can easily delete, of course.

But that’s not all, the program will add its own PDF Viewer which is simply called PDF Viewer but will also tell Windows to make it the default program for .pdfs files. You can change the default viewer back to the one you want.

However, if you choose Adobe Reader, PDF Preview will not show thumbnails of the PDF documents but you will still be able to preview the documents using the Windows Explorer preview pane.

Of course, if Foxit is your preferred viewer, then you won’t have any problems. Yet it must be said that this program still does not work with Windows 8.

How IT Companies in Los Angeles Can Help Solve Crimes

It was finals week, December of 2013. Students at Harvard were just getting started with their exams when something quite unexpected happened. Meanwhile, student Eldo Kim was logging into the school network via a browser he thought was obscuring his location. It was campus IT, in cooperation with police, who ultimately compared time stamps of the emails to police with time stamps of anonymous browsers.

IT infrastructure is increasingly becoming an integral part of solving crime. How companies deal with cyber security will only improve as more industries enter the digital age.

Network Monitoring

Hospitals in Irvine are adapting to changes in the health care laws. That means more patient information is going to the cloud, and these medical facilities are not equipped to deal with data breaches. There are also problems with staff training. Part of the solution is computer support in Irvine to help deal with the flood of new issues. That support also includes network monitoring that will help these businesses detect and react to data leaks faster.

The reality is that security comes down to how quickly you can detect someone is trying to breach your system. Antivirus programs attempt to shield us from these attacks, but sustained attacks will collapse most systems. Monitoring helps detect these breaches as they happen, and emergency response teams can assess the risk and deal with the problem.

Risk Management

Risk management means assessing a company’s likelihood of being attacked, and knowing what the business stands to lose. IT companies in Los Angeles that offer hardware and software consulting base their careers off of making recommendations on the best solutions. These businesses look at the size of the customer base, analyze the access points needed, and craft a system that caters to different “levels” of user.

Emergency Support

Emergency support comes into play when there is a breach in the early hours of the morning, or late in the evening. Companies can maintain staff in-house, and many do. Paying that staff overtime to remain on-call is expensive, so around the clock response is usually outsourced to a firm better equipped to deal with it.

Data Management

In-house teams tend to work with a business’ data sets and create the applications needed to work with that data. They manage the customer and business side of the application, and are better equipped to respond to technical issues that may occur on-site. A combination of these services helps relegate the cost of IT, and keep data manageable as the business scales.


This guest post is brought to you by Cal Net Technology Group, a firm of Los Angeles computer consultants specializing in data management and emergency response. Cal Net offers on-site training for employees, as well as a risk assessment for businesses concerned with digital security.

What You Need to Know About Backing Your Computer Up

Without a doubt, backup is the most important thing to keep in mind when using a PC. However, even though most people consider this task to be difficult to carry out, nothing can be further from the truth.

Since there are a number of ways by which you can back your computer up, there’s only one thing that you should keep in mind when doing so.

Ensure that you have three copies of your files in three different locations. In other words, the original, a backup of the original and a backup of the backup.

That said, here are 2 simple methods (which can be used as a combination as well) to back your computer up:

#1: An online storage service

There are a number of services that one can use namely Carbonite, iDrive, Google Drive, SkyDrive, Mozy and iCloud. Pick a service (which would cost anywhere between $50 to $100) that can sync with most if not all of your devices. Also, use the downloadable app provided by the service you pick and which will create a mirror of all your files online.

#2: Two external hard drives should do

Buy the largest external hard drive that you can possibly afford – in fact, two would be better than one. Now use the Windows built-in app so as to create a system image and a recovery CD or USB drive. Now, Windows Backup to backup your files to the hard drive, be it daily, weekly or monthly.

One advantage of using local backups is that it can be restored as quickly as possible even if using a combination of both methods is successful 99% of the time.

3 Ways By Which You Can Reduce Clutter

A hard drive that gathers much clutter tends to be slow but most of all, is a security hazard. Especially if this pertains to software that has been installed and used only once.

This means that if you rarely use it, there’s every chance that it isn’t patched or updated leaving your computer vulnerable.

That said, here are 3 ways by which you can reduce clutter:

#1: Applications that aren’t used

In using Windows, go to Control Panel, Programs and hit ‘Uninstall a program’. What you will see is a list of application that are currently installed on your PC. Look for unwanted applications that are taking up too much space by sorting this list out by size. You can use the uninstaller that Windows offers or even a more comprehensive tool such as Revo Uninstaller.

#2: Services that aren’t required

Windows services are usually programs that, while not being used, run in the background. Among the many functions that they carry out, performing core system functions and helping software applications to interact with Windows are two important ones.

Yet a number of them need not run and identifying these services can be a bit of a challenge. Look for services that aren’t required in the Services panel by opening the Charm bar, and remove them. For example, Bluetooth devices or even Remote Desktop services among others. Look for assistance over the internet for this.

#3: Obsolete data

All of us are guilty of having duplicate copies of videos, music and other files on our system. This slows your system up for the simple reason that your RAM depends on unused storage space affecting its performance due to too much clutter. You can do a Disk Cleanup or even defragment or optimize your hard drive. You’ll find it in the Tools section.

How to Print All Files in a Folder, or Print a List of Files in the Folder

CTRL-A sounds simple enough to execute if you want to print all the files in a folder, right? Of course, you can also select each file, right-click, and then print them out too. Another way to do this is to select a few files simultaneously, and then print them out accordingly.

However, this doesn’t work this way – every time you right-click a file. The simple reason for that is some files don’t contain data that is printable. Or that have paper-friendly content.

Or there simply might not be a Print command option when you right-click in an empty space within the Windows Explorer folder.

However, there’s another limitation: you can’t print files of different file formats together. For example, you can’t print files that are jpg and docx formats together.

Of course, you can group the files according to type and then print these files out by selecting Group and Type.

As for a way to print a list of all the files, that requires you to use DOS. It’s simpler than you think, actually.

For this, you have to hold down the SHIFT key in the Windows Explorer folder when you right-click the folder and then select “Open command window here”.

What this will do is open a DOS command window. All you have to do is type dir > printit.txt. After this, hit Enter.

You’ll now find a new folder called printit.txt in the Windows Explorer folder. Now you can double-click to load it into Notepad or right-click and select Print.

Why You Should Stop Using Windows XP

April 8, 2014.

That’s the date when Windows XP will stop being supported by Microsoft.

For those who don’t understand what this means, if an exploit is found after this date, it will not be patched – you system will continue to become less secure the more you use this operating system after that date.

Unfortunately, this process of being less insecure might not be all that gradual either.

Most malware authors often target users who run outdated programs. And if you are using an outdated operating system, that makes you more of a target than a person who uses an outdated PDF Reader.

And come April next year, there will hardly be a more tempting target than those who use Windows XP.

Of course, there’s also a possibility where malware authors might only create malware keeping outdated programs or operating systems in mind.

But with the possibility of them doing this, what steps does one take in order to prevent such an intrusion?

First, you can buy a new PC where you will use updated software, and which will keep you safe from malware. But the downside is that this will be an expensive option compared to the others that will be discussed next.

Or if you don’t want to spend that much money, you can choose to upgrade from Windows XP to either Windows 7 or 8. Another inexpensive option would be to try Linux in the form of the numerous versions that are available just by a simple download of an ISO file.

And if you are worried about not being able to use Windows applications, you can try WINE which allows you to do so, when you use a flavor of the Linux operating systems that are out there.

3 Important Bookmarks That Every Computer Should Have

If you’ve recently bought a new PC, sooner or later, you’re going to need help whether you need to know which drivers are required after installing Windows or even what the wattage of the power supply is for a video-card upgrade and so on and so forth.

With that said, it would be necessary for you to access certain sites that will help you to find this information – in this case, websites that can be stored as bookmarks.

So, here are 3 bookmarks that every computer should have:

#1: PC Support Page

This is probably the most important link to have on your computer, which when accessed can give you the information you need most, since it does pertain to your PC. Once you are at the PC maker’s main support page, you can enter the model number and save that page for future reference.

#2: PC User Guide

It’s very rare nowadays for PCs to come with a printed user manual. In most cases, it comes as a preloaded file on your hard drive. If you don’t know where it is or you have deleted it, you can find it at the support page mentioned above. The vendor’s site is also a good place to look for it. Once you do find it, bookmark the page.

#3: PC Driver Download Page

In the situation of a Windows reinstall or even if drivers get corrupted, you’d need to reinstall the drivers again. For this, you’ll have to access the PC driver’s download page.

#4: User Forums

Apart from tech support, another way by which you can solve problems is by checking user forums where your fellow users might have had the same issues. If your PC does not have a dedicated help form, there are other sites where tech issues are discussed based on certain categories.

3 Must Know Right-Click Functions For Windows Users

If you are using Windows 7 or 8 (and who isn’t?), you’d have probably forgotten a few things that you could do with Windows Vista or XP.

Or probably never learned in the first place. In this situation, we’re covering the use of the right-click function that has faded into the background with the most recent versions of Windows.

So, here are 3 right-click tricks that can make your use of Windows faster and easier too:

#1: How to get Bigger Icons

With computers today having higher-resolution displays, your desktop icons might be a little smaller. All you have to do in right-click on any empty spot on your Desktop, move your mouse pointer over View and select either Medium or Large Icons.

And there you have it: bigger icons!

#2: Locating Recent Items and Shortcuts

If you locate the icons in your TaskBar, you’ll find that Windows gives you a list of shortcuts that will save you time as recent documents, most visited sites and even the ability to create a new appointment in Outlook. While this might be a small trick, it helps you to not only launch an app but get to what you really want to do.

#3: Pinning Desktop Icons to Start Menu or Taskbar

When you right-click any icon, you’ll find two options: Pin to Start or Taskbar. While some people might prefer to pin their most-used application to the Taskbar, there are others who prefer to still use the Start Menu, which was popular in prior operating systems released by Windows.

But no matter which one you do prefer, trying this right-click tip will ensure that you reach your apps sooner than think.