What you can do to improve Outlook performance

Standard

 

If you’re like me, you are in a constant battle with an ever-growing mailbox that seems to get slower and slower every week. I have used and loved Outlook for a long time. Its stability and ease keep me from moving to its competitors. However, one flaw I have found is that sometimes when I am cleaning up my mailbox, the actual size of the mailbox remains the same. This slows it down. There are a few built-in tools you can use to pep up your mail browsing.

“Compacting” your mailbox removes all the items in your mailbox that you have marked for deletion and lowers the size of your mailbox on your hard drive. Smaller file equals faster access. In Outlook 2010 and 2013 the process is exactly the same.

Select the File tab at the top and press Account Settings > Account Settings.

Screenshot 2014-06-26 08.08.31

Select the Data Files tab > Highlight your data file > Select Settings

Screenshot 2014-06-26 08.08.57

Select Advance and press the Outlook Data File Settings button. Press Compact Now and give it some time (especially if your mailbox is as big as mine!)

 

Screenshot 2014-06-26 08.10.57

 

Once that’s done there should be some improvement to your Outlook performance, depending on how unhealthy your mailbox is. If you have multiple mailboxes you should consider doing this process on all of them. Good Luck! And remember: if you need help, you can always call us at Everon (888-244-1748).

Will Ransomware Cell Phone Attacks Reach the U.S.? (And what to do if you get infected)

Standard

 

cell phone attackTwo weeks ago they hit iPhone users in Australia and New Zealand. This week the reports came in that they’d hit Android users in Eastern Europe, specifically Ukraine. We’re watching, waiting to see if-and-when one of them will hit Western Europe and the U.S. — Oleg Pliss and his kin, Simplocker. They’re not people; they are a new round of cell phone viruses, and the difference is that they’re ransomware. Pay them money, or they threaten to hold your contacts, pictures, or even your whole cell phone hostage.

Sound familiar?

No, viruses for cell phones aren’t new. In fact, there’s a whole slew of mobile device virus protection software (Lookout, AVG, Avast, etc.). Trouble is, ransomware is notorious for getting around anti-virus protection.

Early reports indicate that, at least in the case of Ukraine’s Android virus, Simplocker, the level of encryption isn’t as complex as Cryptolocker. That doesn’t make it any less annoying, though. And according to some reports it does no good to try to pay Oleg’s ransom because the payment is linked to a PayPal account that doesn’t exist.

So, being a bit freaked out about this (even though my phone is a Windows platform, which hasn’t yet been affected), I asked my guys, the techs here at Everon, what I should do if my phone were hit by ransomware.

“The best thing you can do is to just wipe your phone,” Jeff Woods, one of our experienced L2s, said.

“And then reload all of your info from your backup,” Frank Lindsey, the L1 Supervisor added.

Um, okaaaay…? I felt like a kindergartener in college. Wipe my phone? And… is it automatically backed up? How do I do that if it’s not?

“Well,” Frank said, “if your cell phone is registered with us, at Everon, you could call and we can do a factory wipe for you. Or most cell phone providers can also do that, if you just call Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, or whomever.”

“Alternately,” James Schaffer, another of our L2s, said, “you could perform your own wipe in your phone’s settings.”

I checked my phone’s settings and couldn’t find where to do this. James told me to go to “Settings” –> “About,” and then click the button that says “Reset Your Phone.” (Of course, this only works if your phone isn’t locked by a virus.)

As far as doing backups, it turns out most phones do have automatic backup features. But iPhones, for instance, have to be plugged into your computer to perform their backups – something many iPhone users never do (they only charge the battery). And then there are the settings on the backup. If you’ve only told it to back up your contacts, you run the risk of losing any pictures you haven’t manually saved. (Or already posted to Facebook.)

There are programs you can use to do your auto-backups, too. Google Drive will automatically backup your mobile data. Dropbox, Picassa, Facebook, and Google+ are other sites that will also perform auto-backups on your data and/or photos if you adjust their settings correctly. (Ah, more settings. Good thing I have tech support here!)

So if your mobile data is all backed up, and you do get infected with something evil that needs last-resort measures, like ransomware, all you have to do is wipe and restore. (One site I found estimated this process would take no more than an hour.) Easy-peasy. If you’ve backed up your data.

Sometimes the best defense is just the ability to recover.

Wolverine

New Chrome Extension: Checker Plus for Gmail!

Standard

 

Google Chrome is a very powerful and versatile browser. Likewise, Google’s Gmail service is dependable, user friendly and very customizable.  Programmer Jason Savard has brought these two tools together for something I can’t help but get excited about: his new Google Chrome extension CheckerPlusForGmail. This extension brings to Chrome features we didn’t know we could have with webmail.

The amount of options this extension gives you is unbeatable. From managing multiple gmail accounts, desktop notifications, even letting it read your emails to you while you work on something else!

Gmail

  

Gmail4

Example of the Rich Notification which appears when an new email is delivered.

 

The emails can even be read, achived, deleted, marked as spam, or even replied too with even opening another tab! Genius!

Gmail2

Gmail3

I hope you find this as time saving as I did!

http://jasonsavard.com/checkerPlusForGmail

How to Stop Internet Explorer 11′s Browsing “Suggestions”

Standard

 

Whether you like it or not, by now (unless you told the Windows Update not to) you have been updated to Internet Explorer 11.  I, personally, don’t use IE unless I absolutely have too (I prefer Chrome).  But I have noticed that it picked up a new habit from the last version: it seems to be automatically trying to guess the website I am going to, regardless of whether I have ever been there before.  A small nuisance, but a nuisance nonetheless. Here’s how to turn it off.

When in Internet Explorer 11, select the gear in the upper right-hand corner.

Screenshot 2014-05-06 14.10.53

 

From there, open up Internet Options and select the “Content” tab.

Screenshot 2014-05-06 14.13.01

Under Content, go to the AutoComplete section. Press “Settings.”

Screenshot 2014-05-06 14.13.06

 

Here is where all the AutoComplete magic happens — the culprit in question is the Suggested URLs, but feel free to experiment!

Screenshot 2014-05-06 14.13.11

Happy Internet  Exploring!

Android vs iOS vs Windows vs Blackberry! Who will reign supreme?

Standard

Wah - blog image (2)

 

Let’s compare size: you know that size sometimes does matter.

According to a Gartner, a leading information technology research company, Android OS phoned finished 2013 with a 78.4% market share, Apple’s iOS accounted for 15.6 %, Microsoft Windows phones were at 3.2%, Blackberry at 1.9 %, and other operating systems came in at just .9 %. So if size matters, then Android is the way to go. Check out the pretty chart:

Wah - blog image (2b)

So here is my take on the whole situation:

Android

  • I have an Android phone, currently Samsung Galaxy s3.  Aside from the fact I like the virility of the operating system, I really like the phone hardware. I will be upgrading to a Galaxy s5 when it comes out later this year.
  • Majority of the apps are free, and Android has the second largest app market, behind Apple (but you have to pretty much pay for everything on Apple).
  • Good advantages for remote management and has very good integration with Google Cloud and other cloud products.
  • Overall I find the Android OS to be the most well-rounded for both personal and business uses.
  • Android is a really cool name.

 Apple IOS: 

  • My wife has an iPhone 4 or 5 ( not really sure).
  •  If you own various Apple products you’ll have easy integration with them.
  • It has the largest app market, but you pretty much have to pay to play anything good (in my opinion).
  • If you are looking for some bells and whistles but still want grandma to be cool, this is it.
  • I am biased on Apple products. While I think they are great, they can be challenging for integration as well as management in a business environment.
  • It seems all the kids on the playground (and their grandparents) have iPhones nowadays.

Windows Phone: 

  • I am going to buy my parents a Windows phone, due to some very low cost of entry on certain models. Also the fact the tile screen icons are huge and easy on the eyes.
  • I do not think this is ready for business, it really gears towards multimedia and connecting to the web. If you are in the social media space I would really recommend to check it out.
  • Great integration with Office 365, Skype, Facebook and other mainstream cloud products.
  • Small app market, but there are huge pushes already in progress to close the gap.
  • I am a fan of the hardware on some of the phones but I get really annoyed by the Tiling feature of the OS.  Think Windows 8, but on a mini-screen.

Blackberry:

  • I have some old relics and I plan to keep them. When I did have the old Blackberries I loved them: they were fast, light, had a great battery, and the keyboard was just great. I could respond to an email on the phone at the same speed it would take me on my laptop keyboard.
  • It has the best security and integration if you have a Blackberry Enterprise Server.
  • Fastest handle time from when an email gets sent to its delivery on any phone I have seen.
  • Some of the phones that have recently been introduced are not really that great.
  • Blackberry’s app market is not really good. I was on it one time, and I just gave up.
  • Right now there is just no reason to go with them unless you are in banking, government, or really need specific security requirements.

Keep in mind that these are just my personal thoughts. The best way to decide for yourself is to play with the operating system to see what your personal preference is and go from there.