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Big News for C-Tech Owner Curt Nisly!

- by Andrew Gould

Curt Nisly has decided to run for Indiana State Representative District 22! Check out his Facebook page here and his website here (designed by C-Tech of course)! Go Curt! You've got all of our support!

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New to Hoosier Backup!

- by Andrew Gould



Hoosier Backup is Getting a Facelift - And More!

Visit Site

HoosierBackup is not only getting a new web site, but also a more competitive pricing structure, even better backup software, vastly improved backup and recovery speeds, in addition to our already outstanding service and support. We can confidently say Hoosier Backup is one of the very best backup solutions on the market today. Don't take our word for it, try it yourself!



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Email Organization

- by Andrew Gould


C-Tip of the Month


As promised, here are a few tips on how to keep your inbox clutter-free and organized.. While it may take a little time to get it all set up, in the long run you will be much more organized with much less effort.

In Outlook, as well as many online email providers like Google, there are 'Filters' or 'Rules' which will automatically categorize emails based on their sender, key words or phrases that are in the email.

So for example, you get an email from joe@companyx.com who is from "Company X", so if you were to set up a rule, any emails coming from joe@companyx.com would be assigned a label or labels (Gmail) or moved to a specific folder (Outlook) that corresponds to Company X.

The process is simple, so let's start with Outlook. The easiest way to get this done is to create the rules as the need arises, so you get an email from joe@companyx.com and you want to create a rule that automatically moves it into a folder. Right click on the email and select Rules -> Create Rule. As pictured below (click for larger version):



This will open the following window:



You will want to select the options you want, and then select "Move the item to folder:". This will allow you to select the folder you want to move the email to, or create a new folder to move the email to. Now every email that comes from, or contains words in the email or subject will be moved to the specified folder.

But wait, it won't be in the Inbox! That's easily remedied by creating a "Search Folder" which will show all of your Unread Messages--regardless of which folder they are in.

If you don't already have an Unread Mail search folder, simply right-click on your Search Folders (bottom of folder view) and select "New Search Folder..."



Select Unread mail and click OK:



And now you can view all unread mail, regardless of the folder it's in.

Next we will take a look at Gmail, another popular email service.

Much like Outlook we will start with an email we have already received, select it in your inbox and click More -> Filter messages like these:



This will bring up the following window which will allow to add more options to the filter.



Next click on "Create filter with this search >>" which will bring up the following window where you will want to select "Apply the label:..."



Select the label you want to automatically apply, and you're done! Now this label will automatically be applied to the emails as soon as they arrive in your inbox. In order to remove them from your inbox and move them to the label, just "Archive" the message.

One of the nice things about labels is that you can have more than one per email, so if more than one person is involved in the email conversation you don't have to decide which folder to put it in, you can assign multiple labels, all while keeping it in the inbox if need be.

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Introducing NetArmor!

- by Andrew Gould


Protect and service your network with a comprehensive suite of tools. NetArmor can do it all, at a fraction of the cost of similar products. Features include:


  • Firewall
  • Web Filter
  • Mail Filter
  • Intrusion Detection
  • Antivirus
  • File and Print Sharing
  • Domain Infrastructure
  • VPN
  • Traffic Shaping
  • Web and Email Server
  • DNS and DHCP
  • Network Monitor
  • Multi-WAN
  • Much More!
Offered with or without affordable service agreements. We can manage the device for you, or you can manage the user friendly web interface to add rules and ensure security updates. Ask your C-Tech representative about your options!


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Organized Desktop

- by Andrew Gould

Keep your life organized! Having so many "shortcuts" on your desktop it takes forever to find anything defeats the purpose of the desktop. Here are a few tips to keep it organized.

  • Don't worry about deleting shortcuts, they can easily be re-created. Many programs create shortcuts on your desktop by default, but they can also be found in the start menu.
  • Make your desktop icons larger! Try holding down the "Ctrl" key on your keyboard and using your middle mouse button (the scroll wheel if you have one) to make your icons larger. This will make them easier to see, and keep you from putting too many of them on there.
  • Keep documents on your desktop? Try creating a link to My Documents on your desktop, and moving your files to that folder instead. *Hint* push the Windows button and type "desktop icons", this will give you the option to add commonly used icons to your desktop.
  • Make the Windows "Search" function your friend. Push the start menu or the "Windows" button, and start typing. Windows will find relevant programs and documents that match your search.
  • Find related documents and create folders for them inside your My Documents folder. One for Business, one for Personal. One for each client you may work with.One for taxes. This will make it much easier to find documents later on.
  • Name your documents something meaningful, like "Tax Return", followed by a date or version number, so something like "Tax Return 2012". If you follow this naming convention for each following year, they will be in order all of the time.
  • Be consistent. Define your procedure and stick to it.
Next C-Tip, organizing your email. How to set up filters so it's almost automatic!

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Alternatives to Microsoft Office

- by Andrew Gould

Microsoft has released a new version of Office for 2013, aptly named Office 2013 and Office 365 for its new subscription-based licensing model. Many people rely on this suite created by Microsoft almost 23 years ago, with an estimated one billion users.


Many people, however, are looking for low-cost or free alternatives, and there are plenty of alternatives out there. We will take a quick look at some of those here.


As the ability to work from anywhere, on any device becomes increasingly necessary, people are looking more to cloud-based alternatives. These cloud-based programs allow you to access your documents from any web browser, on almost any device, as well as the ability for multiple people or computers to have the same file open and edit it simultaneously. These programs typically don't come with all the bells and whistles that your typical Office suite does, but they perform with all the basic functionality you would expect from an office program. Listed below are just a few of the available cloud-based document editing programs.


Google Drive


ZOHO


Thinkfree


If you prefer something that you can install on a computer or device and aren't concerned with being able to access and edit files from multiple locations, here are some programs that can be downloaded and installed on a wide variety of devices. Note that not all of these applications have mobile/tablet apps, so check the availability before making the switch completely. The nice thing about these programs is that if you don't like them, you can just uninstall and move on, as they are all free! You may want to check the licensing terms if you are planning on using these for business purposes.


Open Office


Libre Office


Kingsoft Office


SSuite Office


Soft Maker Free Office


These programs leave something to be desired if you can't get along without Outlook, but there are plenty of free alternatives such as Windows Live Mail which will provide a very familiar interface for your email. There are also web-based options like Gmail, and the new Outlook.com, which provides a familiar interface, at a price you can't beat--free!

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We Have Moved!

- by Andrew Gould

That's right! We have moved just around the corner from our previous location! 541 Roske Drive Suite C. Check out the map below to find us!


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Food Drive

- by Megan Pierson

We are excited to announce that C-Tech Solutions will be hosting a food drive November 12-16 from 9 AM-5 PM with all proceeds being donated to Church Community Services. At C-Tech, we know how important it is to give back to the community. Please join us and give back to those in need.

Anyone who donates will receive 10% everything (excluding tablets) at C-Tech Solutions. 

Below is a list of items Church Community Services is currently in dire need of.

FOOD ITEMS PERSONAL CARE ITEMS BABY ITEMS

Peanut Butter Bar Soap Food- not expired please

Cereal Shampoo Diapers

Hearty Soups Deodorant Formula-not expired please

Pasta Toilet Paper Baby Wipes

Pasta Sauce Tooth Paste

Dry Milk Women's personal pads

Crackers

Canned Meat ( tuna, chicken, salmon etc.)

Flour

Sugar

Granola Bars


Please share this invite on your page to invite your family and friends. We will see you there. :-)

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Tips on Online & Local Back-Up

- by Megan Pierson


Imagine for a moment that one day you go to work to find that all your company data – meaning your email, your Word and Excel documents, PDFs, databases, contact lists, accounting data, billing information, etc. – has simply vanished, permanently. Gone is everything that makes your company what it is and that has allowed it to operate and grow as a business since its inception. Of companies that lost data, approximately 33% lost sales, 20% lost customers, and 25% claimed the data loss caused severe disruptions to the company.


How will your company recover? Are you going to recreate years’ worth of data in a few months, all the while trying to support and manage your current business obligations? For most businesses, small, medium or large, this will probably be too much to bear – 90% of all companies that suffer a major data loss go out of business within two years (London Chamber of Commerce).


A business without a backup and recovery strategy is asking for trouble and taking an unnecessary risk. IT staff should never allow this to happen. There are no excuses; backups should be given as much importance as the overall protection of the organization’s network.


Permanently losing data is a completely preventable disaster, all it takes is a backup and recovery strategy.


The irony is that most businesses recognize the importance of having backups. A recent survey of small and medium-sized enterprises by Rubicon Consulting rated backup as their second-highest computing priority, after defense against viruses and other malware; and ahead of issues like reducing costs and deploying new computers. Yet nearly 33% of companies surveyed do nothing to back up their data.


There are many ways a business can set itself up for crippling data loss. Not conducting regular backups: Roughly 33% of businesses do not have a backup strategy in place. For many that do, the words “thorough” and “complete” do not define their data backup strategy. Some backup their hard drives once a week, if they remember. 20% of companies do not even backup their servers.


Are you relying on your employees? In a growing number of businesses critical data is often stored on individual employee’s desktops or laptops.  Businesses rely on employees to back up their own data, usually, without direction or advice.  The result is more often than not that backups do not take place, in which case, a single failed hard drive or stolen laptop can spell utter disaster to a business.


Not confirming backups: One more oversight that can lead to a permanent data loss is not testing the ability of the organization to recover data. Backups are only as good as the ability to recover data from them. Unless an organization routinely confirms its backups, and its ability to recover lost data with a rigorous testing program, the backup strategy, if one exists may be for nothing. Yet despite this logic, 34% of companies NEVER test their backups and 77% of those who have tested their backups have discovered failed backups before they were needed (US Department of Trade & Industry).


Keeping backup’s onsite: A backup plan is only as good as your ability to recover the data, and one of the most common mistakes is to store the backup at the same location as the original data. If the business is struck by fire, natural disaster or a malicious employee, not only is the data lost but the backup as well.


Some businesses will say the idea of a good backup strategy is essential, but fail when it comes to providing the necessary resources.


So what makes an effective data backup strategy? The first step is knowing what needs to be backed up, including privacy regulations such as HIPPA, which have specific backup requirements. Businesses should also determine whether data should be backed up or archived. Most businesses do both. Backups are copies of active data for short-term use and are frequently overwritten with updated versions. Archives, on the other hand, contain static data, such as inactive document files and old emails.

 


An effective data backup plan consists of five parts:


Plan for data backup


Decide what data needs to be backed up.

Decide where to keep the backup.

Store a full back up at another location or online to protect against fire, theft or other disaster.

If the data are critical it may be a good idea to have a quarterly and yearly backup as well so that you can recover files that may have been deleted, but not discovered until months later.



Begin a backup routine


Make backing up a part of the normal scheduled daily tasks.

Don’t rely on anyone else to back data.

Wherever possible automate the backup process.

 

Tailor the backup strategy to business needs


To determine the best schedule for data backup, it is important to know how often the data changes. If data changes weekly, a daily backup might be overkill. If there is critical data that updates every hour, it may be necessary to back up several times a day.

Full backups can be supplemented by incremental backups. An incremental backup will only back up files that have changed since the last full backup and are normally much quicker than a full backup.

 


Test the backup periodically


To ensure that backups are protecting you; periodically test the backup jobs by attempting to restore them to an alternate location. This will bring out any flaws or corrupt data before it is too late.

Most backup applications also have a “backup log” or generate a “backup report” that can quickly identify any problems or skipped files in the backup job. Be sure to review these logs every time backups are complete, for anything suspicious.



Have at least three different backups of data


A backup is more than simply moving email, financial documents or other important files off to an external hard drive or removable disk. Simply moving data from one location to another isn’t giving you any extra protection in case disaster strikes. If there aren’t at least two separate copies of your data, it isn’t a backup at all.

While a single backup may be a good start (two copies of irreplaceable files), there is still some risk for data loss, especially if both copies are kept in the same location.

The best protection against data loss, especially from catastrophic events, is having at least three copies of your data (the original files, an easily-accessible backup, and an offsite or online copy of your backup). While some large companies may use dedicated off-site data storage services for this, a business doesn’t have to be big to have three copies of your data. Even something as simple as using an inexpensive online backup service to keep a third copy of the data is sufficient.



Summary


Every day without a good backup strategy is like playing a game of Russian roulette and risking the future existence of your business. Any business that cares about the security of its data or future of their company needs to have an effective backup strategy to guard against inevitable data loss. Given the overall negative impact permanent data loss can have on a company, up to and including its bankruptcy, a data backup and recovery strategy that is effective is essential.

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New Addition to Team

- by Andrew Gould


Please help us welcome the newest addition to our team, Stephan Morris!

He brings with him a long record of exceptional account management, and a dedication to customer satisfaction--qualities which exemplify the higher standard of service C-Tech Solutions provides on a daily basis.

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