Hints to improve your Google Search experience

You know what Google is, but do you understand how to maximize its capabilities? Here are some tips and tricks to draw the most gains out of the most powerful search engine in the world.

Include and exclude keywords

Google will understand most of the search terms you type into it. However, at times the search engine will match only some of the words you typed, showing limited results. To avoid this, just point out which keywords are the most important by adding a plus symbol (+) in front of words you would like Google to include in the search results.

And if the results you’re looking for get pushed off the first page by similar-yet-irrelevant articles, adding a minus symbol (-) in front of keywords you don’t want to see will keep them from showing up. For example, “+virtualization -vSphere” will provide search results about different virtualization services while excluding results related to VMWare’s virtualization product, vSphere.

Additionally, searching a phrase within double quotation marks guarantees to retrieve results that include only the word-for-word phrase that matches your query.

Do a website search

Ever need to look for information from a specific website? Instead of visiting that website and sifting through different pages, Google makes it a breeze by allowing you to add “site:url” to the end of your search query.

For example, if you want to find what Forbes has written about security, simply head to Google’s homepage and type “security site:www.forbes.com.” This makes sure Google includes only pages from Forbes that are about security in your search results.

You can also limit search results to university and government websites by adding “site:.edu” or “site:.gov” to your search query. Combining this with the keyword manipulation trick above will further narrow your search.

Search by time period

Google has been indexing the web for decades in order to add web pages into its database. Because of that, it could be quite time-consuming sifting through countless search results to find an old website or page, or even recent stories, too. Time period search helps by allowing you to specify a date range so you can find recent stories or archived news faster.

Just run a search like you normally would. Then click on Tools under the search box and hit the Any time drop-down menu. From there, you can choose the time period parameter, such as the past month or past week, or fill in an exact time period.

Use Google to locate files

While Google mainly focuses on indexing web pages, it also indexes publicly available files like PDFs and spreadsheets. To look for them, just type in “filetype:” after your search query. For example, typing “report filetype:pdf” will provide PDFs with “report” in the title.

Advance your search

Advanced Search can be accessed by clicking Settings from the toolbar located under the search box. This gives you more ways to refine your searches, such as by region or language. By default, search results are prioritized based on your location, so you should adjust that according to the topics you’re searching for.

These tips will help you optimize your search habits so that you get the information you need each time. Optimized Googling means less time is wasted manually sifting through links you may not need and more time accomplishing actual work.

For any questions on how to use Google products to streamline your daily routine and increase productivity, feel free to drop us a line!

Posted in General Articles B, Google | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

Google Search hints for a productive experience

With a wealth of information compiled through the years, Google has become the universal information haystack we all rely upon for information, be it for work or for personal use. There is still, however, much to learn to maximize its capabilities.

Include and exclude keywords

Google will understand most of the search terms you type into it. However, at times the search engine will match only some of the words you typed, showing limited results. To avoid this, just point out which keywords are the most important by adding a plus symbol (+) in front of words you would like Google to include in the search results.

And if the results you’re looking for get pushed off the first page by similar-yet-irrelevant articles, adding a minus symbol (-) in front of keywords you don’t want to see will keep them from showing up. For example, “+virtualization -vSphere” will provide search results about different virtualization services while excluding results related to VMWare’s virtualization product, vSphere.

Additionally, searching a phrase within double quotation marks guarantees to retrieve results that include only the word-for-word phrase that matches your query.

Do a website search

Ever need to look for information from a specific website? Instead of visiting that website and sifting through different pages, Google makes it a breeze by allowing you to add “site:url” to the end of your search query.

For example, if you want to find what Forbes has written about security, simply head to Google’s homepage and type “security site:www.forbes.com.” This makes sure Google includes only pages from Forbes that are about security in your search results.

You can also limit search results to university and government websites by adding “site:.edu” or “site:.gov” to your search query. Combining this with the keyword manipulation trick above will further narrow your search.

Search by time period

Google has been indexing the web for decades in order to add web pages into its database. Because of that, it could be quite time-consuming sifting through countless search results to find an old website or page, or even recent stories, too. Time period search helps by allowing you to specify a date range so you can find recent stories or archived news faster.

Just run a search like you normally would. Then click on Tools under the search box and hit the Any time drop-down menu. From there, you can choose the time period parameter, such as the past month or past week, or fill in an exact time period.

Use Google to locate files

While Google mainly focuses on indexing web pages, it also indexes publicly available files like PDFs and spreadsheets. To look for them, just type in “filetype:” after your search query. For example, typing “report filetype:pdf” will provide PDFs with “report” in the title.

Advance your search

Advanced Search can be accessed by clicking Settings from the toolbar located under the search box. This gives you more ways to refine your searches, such as by region or language. By default, search results are prioritized based on your location, so you should adjust that according to the topics you’re searching for.

These tips will help you optimize your search habits so that you get the information you need each time. Optimized Googling means less time is wasted manually sifting through links you may not need and more time accomplishing actual work.

For any questions on how to use Google products to streamline your daily routine and increase productivity, feel free to drop us a line!

Posted in General Articles C, Google | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

Search like an expert Googler with these tips

Everyone knows how to do a Google search. After all, we use it every day to find the information we need. Ironically, not a lot of people know how to make the most out of this search engine.

Include and exclude keywords

Google will understand most of the search terms you type into it. However, at times the search engine will match only some of the words you typed, showing limited results. To avoid this, just point out which keywords are the most important by adding a plus symbol (+) in front of words you would like Google to include in the search results.

And if the results you’re looking for get pushed off the first page by similar-yet-irrelevant articles, adding a minus symbol (-) in front of keywords you don’t want to see will keep them from showing up. For example, “+virtualization -vSphere” will provide search results about different virtualization services while excluding results related to VMWare’s virtualization product, vSphere.

Additionally, searching a phrase within double quotation marks guarantees to retrieve results that include only the word-for-word phrase that matches your query.

Do a website search

Ever need to look for information from a specific website? Instead of visiting that website and sifting through different pages, Google makes it a breeze by allowing you to add “site:url” to the end of your search query.

For example, if you want to find what Forbes has written about security, simply head to Google’s homepage and type “security site:www.forbes.com.” This makes sure Google includes only pages from Forbes that are about security in your search results.

You can also limit search results to university and government websites by adding “site:.edu” or “site:.gov” to your search query. Combining this with the keyword manipulation trick above will further narrow your search.

Search by time period

Google has been indexing the web for decades in order to add web pages into its database. Because of that, it could be quite time-consuming sifting through countless search results to find an old website or page, or even recent stories, too. Time period search helps by allowing you to specify a date range so you can find recent stories or archived news faster.

Just run a search like you normally would. Then click on Tools under the search box and hit the Any time drop-down menu. From there, you can choose the time period parameter, such as the past month or past week, or fill in an exact time period.

Use Google to locate files

While Google mainly focuses on indexing web pages, it also indexes publicly available files like PDFs and spreadsheets. To look for them, just type in “filetype:” after your search query. For example, typing “report filetype:pdf” will provide PDFs with “report” in the title.

Advance your search

Advanced Search can be accessed by clicking Settings from the toolbar located under the search box. This gives you more ways to refine your searches, such as by region or language. By default, search results are prioritized based on your location, so you should adjust that according to the topics you’re searching for.

These tips will help you optimize your search habits so that you get the information you need each time. Optimized Googling means less time is wasted manually sifting through links you may not need and more time accomplishing actual work.

For any questions on how to use Google products to streamline your daily routine and increase productivity, feel free to drop us a line!

Posted in General Articles A, Google | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

Top ways ERP improves your business

The only way for your business to succeed is for it to keep improving. There are many areas you can always refine, like company policy and customer service. One important improvement you should consider, however, is getting enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, and here’s why.

ERP explained

ERP is a program that integrates all your systems into a single database, so if you want to take a look at human resources, accounting, or sales, you only need to access one system instead of three. In practice, this means that everyone, regardless of department, will be able to access the same information. This also means that employees will no longer have to re-enter data onto their department-specific database, because all databases will already have been linked.

Deeper insight

Simplicity isn’t the only merit of an ERP, however. A single database lets you see all information across every branch of your business and gain actionable insights that enable you to make more informed decisions. Financial reporting, for example, benefits a lot from ERP, since general ledgers, revenue recognition, and tax reporting functionality are built into most ERP software solutions.

In addition to this, ERP systems come equipped with business intelligence features that provide intuitive analysis into your operations and forecast the growth of your company. This helps you and other executives identify bottlenecks and business opportunities.

Better customer service

ERP makes better and faster customer service possible. For instance, if a customer asks whether or not an item is still in stock, customer service representatives can easily access the ERP database and provide a quick answer, instead of having to ask the supply manager.

Simplified compliance

With an ERP, meeting stringent data management regulations is much easier. That’s because the software generally comes with audit functionality, giving you full visibility into your processes. It also provides templates and guidance to help you meet regulations within your industry, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the International Financial Reporting Standards.

Streamlined workflows

ERP streamlines workflows by eliminating redundant and time-consuming tasks through automation. For one, you can set your ERP to instantly reorder materials when stock levels have reached a certain threshold. This ensures that your enterprise won’t have to deal with out-of-stock or overstocking incidents. Moreover, you can even assign workflows that route invoices and reimbursements to the right accountant to make sure tasks are handled quickly and efficiently.

Rich integrations

One of the most beautiful things about ERP is its integration capabilities: you can integrate it with other services to extend its capabilities. For example, if you need to track customer information and sales figures, you can combine ERP with customer relationship management software or pair it with e-commerce services to streamline web-based purchases. This way, your processes will be seamless and everything you need will be at your fingertips.

As your business grows, your business needs change as well. ERP systems can adapt to your ever-changing needs by giving you unparalleled business management solutions. If you need to add further value to your business, call us today.

Posted in Business, General Articles B | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Manage your business better with ERP

From accounting to inventory, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) need various systems to function, and managing them simultaneously is a colossal task. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software can help you manage these systems efficiently and improve business performance.

ERP explained

ERP is a program that integrates all your systems into a single database, so if you want to take a look at human resources, accounting, or sales, you only need to access one system instead of three. In practice, this means that everyone, regardless of department, will be able to access the same information. This also means that employees will no longer have to re-enter data onto their department-specific database, because all databases will already have been linked.

Deeper insight

Simplicity isn’t the only merit of an ERP, however. A single database lets you see all information across every branch of your business and gain actionable insights that enable you to make more informed decisions. Financial reporting, for example, benefits a lot from ERP, since general ledgers, revenue recognition, and tax reporting functionality are built into most ERP software solutions.

In addition to this, ERP systems come equipped with business intelligence features that provide intuitive analysis into your operations and forecast the growth of your company. This helps you and other executives identify bottlenecks and business opportunities.

Better customer service

ERP makes better and faster customer service possible. For instance, if a customer asks whether or not an item is still in stock, customer service representatives can easily access the ERP database and provide a quick answer, instead of having to ask the supply manager.

Simplified compliance

With an ERP, meeting stringent data management regulations is much easier. That’s because the software generally comes with audit functionality, giving you full visibility into your processes. It also provides templates and guidance to help you meet regulations within your industry, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the International Financial Reporting Standards.

Streamlined workflows

ERP streamlines workflows by eliminating redundant and time-consuming tasks through automation. For one, you can set your ERP to instantly reorder materials when stock levels have reached a certain threshold. This ensures that your enterprise won’t have to deal with out-of-stock or overstocking incidents. Moreover, you can even assign workflows that route invoices and reimbursements to the right accountant to make sure tasks are handled quickly and efficiently.

Rich integrations

One of the most beautiful things about ERP is its integration capabilities: you can integrate it with other services to extend its capabilities. For example, if you need to track customer information and sales figures, you can combine ERP with customer relationship management software or pair it with e-commerce services to streamline web-based purchases. This way, your processes will be seamless and everything you need will be at your fingertips.

As your business grows, your business needs change as well. ERP systems can adapt to your ever-changing needs by giving you unparalleled business management solutions. If you need to add further value to your business, call us today.

Posted in Business, General Articles C | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

ERP: the software your business needs

Managing a business is complicated enough: different departments like accounting, management, and sales each have its own software and systems. Don’t you just wish there was a less difficult and more efficient way to manage your enterprise? Wish no more, because enterprise resource planning (ERP) software can solve management problems for you. Read on to find out how.

ERP explained

ERP is a program that integrates all your systems into a single database, so if you want to take a look at human resources, accounting, or sales, you only need to access one system instead of three. In practice, this means that everyone, regardless of department, will be able to access the same information. This also means that employees will no longer have to re-enter data onto their department-specific database, because all databases will already have been linked.

Deeper insight

Simplicity isn’t the only merit of an ERP, however. A single database lets you see all information across every branch of your business and gain actionable insights that enable you to make more informed decisions. Financial reporting, for example, benefits a lot from ERP, since general ledgers, revenue recognition, and tax reporting functionality are built into most ERP software solutions.

In addition to this, ERP systems come equipped with business intelligence features that provide intuitive analysis into your operations and forecast the growth of your company. This helps you and other executives identify bottlenecks and business opportunities.

Better customer service

ERP makes better and faster customer service possible. For instance, if a customer asks whether or not an item is still in stock, customer service representatives can easily access the ERP database and provide a quick answer, instead of having to ask the supply manager.

Simplified compliance

With an ERP, meeting stringent data management regulations is much easier. That’s because the software generally comes with audit functionality, giving you full visibility into your processes. It also provides templates and guidance to help you meet regulations within your industry, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the International Financial Reporting Standards.

Streamlined workflows

ERP streamlines workflows by eliminating redundant and time-consuming tasks through automation. For one, you can set your ERP to instantly reorder materials when stock levels have reached a certain threshold. This ensures that your enterprise won’t have to deal with out-of-stock or overstocking incidents. Moreover, you can even assign workflows that route invoices and reimbursements to the right accountant to make sure tasks are handled quickly and efficiently.

Rich integrations

One of the most beautiful things about ERP is its integration capabilities: you can integrate it with other services to extend its capabilities. For example, if you need to track customer information and sales figures, you can combine ERP with customer relationship management software or pair it with e-commerce services to streamline web-based purchases. This way, your processes will be seamless and everything you need will be at your fingertips.

As your business grows, your business needs change as well. ERP systems can adapt to your ever-changing needs by giving you unparalleled business management solutions. If you need to add further value to your business, call us today.

Posted in Business, General Articles A | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

New security features for your Android device

Mobile devices can be considered an extension of ourselves, containing personal information like web browsing behavior, email exchanges, bank transactions, and other private data. Losing your smartphone or having it stolen is a nightmare, but the good news is that Android devices have security tools you can use to keep your data safe.

Set a strong screen lock

The single most important thing any smartphone owner can do is use a strong, unique passcode or swipe pattern to prevent unwanted access to their device. Avoid using obvious codes such as your birthday or pet’s name; instead, use alphanumeric combinations that are much harder to crack.

To enable a screen lock, simply head over to Settings > Security. Select Screen Lock and pick your preferred password lock type and set Automatic Lock after a certain period of time. From then on, you will need to enter your passcode or swipe pattern each time you try to access your phone.

Use alternative unlocking methods

Newer Android devices have advanced security tools for extra layers of protection. These include features like fingerprint authentication, iris scanning, and facial recognition. To see what features can be enabled on your phone, go to Settings > Security.

In addition, if you are a Google Nexus or Pixel user, your device is equipped with a range of Smart Lock options that, when activated, keeps your phone unlocked when it’s detected to be on your body or near a trusted Bluetooth device. These settings can also be found under Security.

Enable Find My Device

Google’s Find My Device is a locator service that lets you track or wipe data from a lost or stolen Android phone, tablet, or wearable. All you need to do is add your Google account to your Android device and turn on the location feature to enable the service.

To locate your device remotely, install the Find My Device app or access it via a web browser. Once you’re logged in, a dashboard will show an approximate location of your phone and provide you with four options: locate your device, play sound, lock your device (and add a short note), or erase device that permanently deletes all data stored.

Revisit your app permissions

Does that photo-editing app you just downloaded really need access to your Contact list? If you sometimes wonder why some apps need so many permissions or why they request to access data unrelated to their purpose, then you are asking the right questions.

Remember to take control of the features that you allow your apps to access, especially from dubious developers who might steal your information. If you have Marshmallow or later versions of Android, go to Settings > Apps and then select the app. Click on Permissions and revoke all those permissions you’re uncomfortable with.

Encrypt your phone

Device encryption protects your data by converting it into a format that prevents unauthorized individuals from accessing it without the key. This is particularly important if someone manages to find a way around your lock screen and pull data from your device.

Android handsets running on Lollipop or higher have full encryption enabled by default. But if you’re using an older device, encryption options can also be found under Security.

It never hurts to take extra steps to make sure your information is protected. Some of these might take time, but trust us, it’s totally worth the extra minutes. If you need more tips to secure your personal or even your company’s files, email, or data, we’ll be happy to help. Security is what we do best, so give us a call today!

Posted in Android, General Articles A | Tagged , , , , | Comments closed

How to keep your Android device secure

According to this article, more people are relying on their smartphones for tasks such as surfing the internet, booking a taxi or an airline ticket, playing games, and ordering food. While you cannot predict if your Android device will be stolen or lost, the following tools will protect your personal information and give you peace of mind.

Set a strong screen lock

The single most important thing any smartphone owner can do is use a strong, unique passcode or swipe pattern to prevent unwanted access to their device. Avoid using obvious codes such as your birthday or pet’s name; instead, use alphanumeric combinations that are much harder to crack.

To enable a screen lock, simply head over to Settings > Security. Select Screen Lock and pick your preferred password lock type and set Automatic Lock after a certain period of time. From then on, you will need to enter your passcode or swipe pattern each time you try to access your phone.

Use alternative unlocking methods

Newer Android devices have advanced security tools for extra layers of protection. These include features like fingerprint authentication, iris scanning, and facial recognition. To see what features can be enabled on your phone, go to Settings > Security.

In addition, if you are a Google Nexus or Pixel user, your device is equipped with a range of Smart Lock options that, when activated, keeps your phone unlocked when it’s detected to be on your body or near a trusted Bluetooth device. These settings can also be found under Security.

Enable Find My Device

Google’s Find My Device is a locator service that lets you track or wipe data from a lost or stolen Android phone, tablet, or wearable. All you need to do is add your Google account to your Android device and turn on the location feature to enable the service.

To locate your device remotely, install the Find My Device app or access it via a web browser. Once you’re logged in, a dashboard will show an approximate location of your phone and provide you with four options: locate your device, play sound, lock your device (and add a short note), or erase device that permanently deletes all data stored.

Revisit your app permissions

Does that photo-editing app you just downloaded really need access to your Contact list? If you sometimes wonder why some apps need so many permissions or why they request to access data unrelated to their purpose, then you are asking the right questions.

Remember to take control of the features that you allow your apps to access, especially from dubious developers who might steal your information. If you have Marshmallow or later versions of Android, go to Settings > Apps and then select the app. Click on Permissions and revoke all those permissions you’re uncomfortable with.

Encrypt your phone

Device encryption protects your data by converting it into a format that prevents unauthorized individuals from accessing it without the key. This is particularly important if someone manages to find a way around your lock screen and pull data from your device.

Android handsets running on Lollipop or higher have full encryption enabled by default. But if you’re using an older device, encryption options can also be found under Security.

It never hurts to take extra steps to make sure your information is protected. Some of these might take time, but trust us, it’s totally worth the extra minutes. If you need more tips to secure your personal or even your company’s files, email, or data, we’ll be happy to help. Security is what we do best, so give us a call today!

Posted in Android, General Articles C | Tagged , , , , | Comments closed

5 ways to enhance Android security

It’s normal for you to be emotionally attached to your mobile device, which is why you most likely sleep beside it at night. Like with all things important to you, you’ll want to take care of your Android phone. So if you value your personal data or the apps inside your Android device, it’s best to take its security seriously by enabling the following extra features.

Set a strong screen lock

The single most important thing any smartphone owner can do is use a strong, unique passcode or swipe pattern to prevent unwanted access to their device. Avoid using obvious codes such as your birthday or pet’s name; instead, use alphanumeric combinations that are much harder to crack.

To enable a screen lock, simply head over to Settings > Security. Select Screen Lock and pick your preferred password lock type and set Automatic Lock after a certain period of time. From then on, you will need to enter your passcode or swipe pattern each time you try to access your phone.

Use alternative unlocking methods

Newer Android devices have advanced security tools for extra layers of protection. These include features like fingerprint authentication, iris scanning, and facial recognition. To see what features can be enabled on your phone, go to Settings > Security.

In addition, if you are a Google Nexus or Pixel user, your device is equipped with a range of Smart Lock options that, when activated, keeps your phone unlocked when it’s detected to be on your body or near a trusted Bluetooth device. These settings can also be found under Security.

Enable Find My Device

Google’s Find My Device is a locator service that lets you track or wipe data from a lost or stolen Android phone, tablet, or wearable. All you need to do is add your Google account to your Android device and turn on the location feature to enable the service.

To locate your device remotely, install the Find My Device app or access it via a web browser. Once you’re logged in, a dashboard will show an approximate location of your phone and provide you with four options: locate your device, play sound, lock your device (and add a short note), or erase device that permanently deletes all data stored.

Revisit your app permissions

Does that photo-editing app you just downloaded really need access to your Contact list? If you sometimes wonder why some apps need so many permissions or why they request to access data unrelated to their purpose, then you are asking the right questions.

Remember to take control of the features that you allow your apps to access, especially from dubious developers who might steal your information. If you have Marshmallow or later versions of Android, go to Settings > Apps and then select the app. Click on Permissions and revoke all those permissions you’re uncomfortable with.

Encrypt your phone

Device encryption protects your data by converting it into a format that prevents unauthorized individuals from accessing it without the key. This is particularly important if someone manages to find a way around your lock screen and pull data from your device.

Android handsets running on Lollipop or higher have full encryption enabled by default. But if you’re using an older device, encryption options can also be found under Security.

It never hurts to take extra steps to make sure your information is protected. Some of these might take time, but trust us, it’s totally worth the extra minutes. If you need more tips to secure your personal or even your company’s files, email, or data, we’ll be happy to help. Security is what we do best, so give us a call today!

Posted in Android, General Articles B | Tagged , , , , | Comments closed

Stop ransomware with virtualization

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts your data and makes it impossible to access unless you pay a ransom. While it may appear to be difficult to stop, you should never give in to the hacker’s demands. Before you end up being a victim of ransomware, protect yourself with virtual disaster recovery (DR) solutions.

Virtual DR

Virtual DR solutions allow you to create point-in-time copies or “snapshots” of operating systems, data, and virtual machines as they appear at a given point in time. These snapshots can then be loaded onto any workstation with everything still intact. In the event of a ransomware attack, administrators can essentially roll back the system to a point before the malware struck.

What’s great about point-in-time copy features is that they are automated. Just schedule the snapshots and your virtual DR software will do the rest. Although virtual DR solutions vary, most of them have the capacity to store thousands of point-in-time copies, giving you plenty of restore points to choose from.

Why virtual DR trumps traditional DR

Most traditional DR methods don’t have point-in-time copy features. Even though most computers have a system restore functionality, they can be disabled by newer ransomware strains. On the other hand, virtual DR software isolates point-in-time copies and restores functionality from virtual machines. This means they can’t be affected if one virtual machine was compromised with ransomware.

Another reason why traditional DR is not as good of an option is that there is more tedious configuration involved. You have to copy all your data onto a backup drive, reinstall applications, and reconfigure hardware. By the time you’ve recovered from the ransomware attack, the financial and reputational damage caused by downtime will have taken its toll on your business.

When recovering your system, you want as little hassle as possible. With virtual DR, you can load a clean, ransomware-free snapshot onto your system in less than an hour.

However, implementing virtual DR can be complex, especially if you’re not experienced. But if you partner with us, this won’t be a problem. Call us today to get robust solutions that guarantee business continuity.

Posted in General Articles A, Virtualization | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed
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