What To Know About Computer Security | Prescott, AZ

The security of our personal computers seems to feel like a bit of a grey area. We want our important files backed up and IP addresses untraceable. Yet, the more we encrypt our computers, the more appealing they become to the everyday hacker.

Cyber security for the everyday computer user doesn’t have to be complicated, here are some tips from our experts:


Change and Secure Passwords – Storing passwords within an encrypted space via a reputable online manager is the best way to keep them. Changing passwords at least four times a year will go a long way in keeping your data secure.

Don’t Overly Secure – There are certain installations such as firewall and a password manager that go a long way in keeping your computer safe from hackers and viruses. Making your personal computer too secure however, makes it attractive to hackers to uncover.

Two Factor Authentication – We understand that two-factor authentication is annoying, but it’s an important security measure. It ensures real people are trying to access your website or email, not a virus.

Unsure of how to make your personal computer secure? Visit us online at urns.net or call us at 951.737.8558 today!

A Guide to Passwords | Prescott, AZ

Creating and re-creating every password for every website we regularly interact with seems like a monumental and tedious task. The everyday person doesn’t want to add “change passwords” to their to-do list when the dangers of hacking seem far from them. Unfortunately once a hack into your files occurs, things can move fast, potentially resulting in a loss of your identity.

Here are some things to know about passwords:

Complexity – We hear all the time that this is the most difficult part of password creation. A mix of letters, symbols and capitols all mixed together in 18 characters. Yet, when it comes to your security, it matters. Long, random combinations help keep hackers at bay.

No Similarities – Please never use personal information such as important numbers, birthdays or names In your passwords. It’s easy for hackers to find this information out, and attempt to break into your accounts that way.

New Platform, Different Password – It’s good practice to not repeat passwords across multiple websites, as it tips hackers off to patterns.

Switch them Out – Yes, you should switch out your passwords. Ideally, once a quarter, or four times a year.

It’s important to keep these tips in mind so you don’t become a target for online hacking. In today’s world anything is possible online.

If you are worried you won’t be able to remember all these passwords, you aren’t alone. There are several password manager options that encrypt your passwords from hackers while keeping them all in one place.

If you want to learn more about password security or advice on the creation of strong passwords, visit us online at urns.net or call us at 951.737.8558 today!

Common Keyboard Shortcuts for Everyday Efficiency | Prescott, AZ

Do you utilize keyboard shortcuts? There are a few every day key combinations you can use to boost productivity whether you use a Windows or Mac computer. If you haven’t been using keyboard shortcuts, they will go a long way to making your day more efficient. We find that those in creative spaces get a lot out of these shortcuts, but of course they are for everyone.

Windows:

Ctrl + Z: Undo

No matter what you have been up to on your computer, Ctrl + Z is a universal life saver.

Ctrl + A: Select all

Rather than clicking and dragging your mouse across a paragraph or URL, simply click the general area of text and use Ctrl + A to save you time and finger strain.

Alt + Tab: Toggle

If you are running multiple applications on your screen and need to go back-and-forth, simply use this shortcut to navigate between them. This will save you time because instead of trying to figure out which application is minimized or open when doing multiple things, this lets you see it all at once.

Ctrl + Esc: Open Start Menu

Older generations of windows computers may not have the windows button that later models feature. To open the start menu to access different applications, Ctrl + Esc is a nifty trick!

Mac:

For Mac users, the command key is the go-to starting point for any shortcuts you may want to make. The trick is to remember which alphabetical keys do what – and try not to mix them up on important projects.

Command + A: Select All

Simply click on the section of text you want to select and use Command + A to highlight the area.

Command + S: Save

This is useful when working on documents when you are in the flow state. We all know saving documents as you go can be a life saver for those files that are too important to lose time on re-typing. Just use Command + S as if it were part of the paragraph, and your content will be saved as you go!

Shift + Command + 4: Screenshot

This little trick will turn your mouse icon into a little plus sign that will allow you to drag it across any area of the screen you want to take a picture of. Once you release the left mouse the photo will save right to your desktop for easy access from there.

Command + Delete: Move to Trash

For new Mac users, it can take time to remember you have to drag unwanted items to the trash icon. Using Command + Delete on a selected item will do it for you!

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of all the interesting and time saving commands you can control through shortcuts, but they are pretty useful! We hope these work to make your day that much more efficient. For a complete list of shortcuts that work for your computer, these are useful pages for Windows and Mac users.

For more computer tips and tricks, visit us online at urns.net or call our experts at 951.737.8558 today!

Easy Computer Maintenance | Prescott, AZ

Computer maintenance may seem like something that is best left to the experts. While you should seek advice and have your computer components cleaned by an expert, basic maintenance can be easier than you think. It’s also important; caring for your computer before things get out of hand goes a long way to the life of your computer.

One of the most important elements of care for our computers may seem like the most simple. It’s important not to eat or drink around your computer and to utilize a padded case whenever it is not being utilized. Over time, seemingly small things like crumbs or a bit of water along the edge of the computer on the desk amount to gunk between the keys. Keeping the components clean will help keep your computer running efficiently for as long as it may go.

External drives are a great investment for computer care. Our computers have limited storage and memory capacity, so when there is an abundance of files it starts to break things down. Transitioning older files or completed projects to an external drive will help keep the amount of files you computer has to track to a minimum. This allows it to become more efficient with other processes and ultimately keeps the hard drive from becoming overworked.

Another great way to continually maintain your computer is to allow for software updates. Updates patch holes in the system or bugs that outdated technology may leave behind. Rather than an inefficient necessity, updates should be viewed as part and parcel to the longevity of your system. Updates also allow your system to handle files sent from others whose computers could be on the latest version so you aren’t left out.

Properly shutting down you computer, putting it to sleep and keeping the brightness at an appropriate level for the lighting conditions also makes a difference. It helps maintain battery life and tells your computer when it can recover; rather than leaving it on all the time which ruins efficiency over time. We recommend charging your computer when it is off, rather than in use to help maintain the battery life.

Want to learn more about computer maintenance? Visit us online at urns.net or call us at 951.737.8558 today!

Keeping Your Hard Drive Safe | Prescott, AZ

The world is full of online security products, because you can never be too safe. It seems there is always another virus or hacker trying to steal someone’s identity or private information. So, we have all of these ways to back up our information. The cloud is secure but can be hacked. It is important that you have a physical hard drive that can keep everything together, in case something happens to your information or internet storage.

Your hard drive is where all of the information on your computer is stored, but like everything, it will begin to develop natural wear and tear, and over time they will start fail. A failure could happen at any time, and without warning. Making sure your hard drive is backed up is also very important.

As your hard drive begins to age, it will begin to show these common signs. If you keep them in mind, you won’t be surprised if it happens to die on you at a moment’s notice.

  • If Windows is always telling you that it needs to check the consistency of your hard drive, it could be trying to tell you your hard drive is about ready to fail.
  • If your computer begins to make strange sounds you don’t typically recognize.
  • Files you use are beginning to suddenly have unexplained errors.
  • A computer begins to slow down doing regular tasks will eventually lead to a complete freeze or crash.

If your computer begins to give you trouble, there’s no need to panic. Make sure that you have everything backed up as much as possible and you won’t become overwhelmed by computer issues.

Call Up & Running Computer Solutions in Prescott, AZ for help with your computer issues at 951-737-8558. Learn more at our website at www.urcs.net.

Up & Running Computer Solutions proudly serves Prescott and all surrounding areas.

Signs Your Computer May Need an Expert Opinion | Prescott, AZ

Whether you use your computer for work or just pleasure, when something goes awry, it tends to cause a bit of panic, especially when you aren’t a computer expert. But when is the time to ask for help? For many of us, we are always unsure. But it is important to know that it’s okay not to know what is happening when your computer is on the fritz. So, if you find that your computer is acting funny, keep these tips in mind:

Little problems nearly always become big problems. There are several key things that a casual computer user does on a daily basis that can result in a massive problem down the road.

  • Overuse of cleaning programs and efficiency scanners
  • Refusal to acknowledge error messages
  • Failure to clean out old programs and files
  • Not getting routine maintenance

When you don’t correct these problems immediately, they get worse. Proper care of a computer and routine check ins with an expert are both important to proper health and your wallet.

Be able to relay what’s going on. Proper communication can mean you get your device back faster than if they have to guess what is wrong. Sometimes the simplest act of giving them a call, and describing what is wrong, can ease your mind about what is happening.

Everything expires. Even with steady replacement of bad parts, good care, and a proper use of a computer it will eventually die. Learning how to judge when enough replacing is enough is an art as much as it is a science.

Call Up & Running Computer Solutions in Prescott, AZ for help with your computer issues at 951-737-8558. Learn more at our website at www.urcs.net.

Up & Running Computer Solutions proudly serves Prescott and all surrounding areas.

IT Services and How They Help You Stay Connected | Prescott, AZ

Information Technology is so woven into our lives that we may not consider the wide variety of services on offer. IT technicians provide the services that allow your enterprise to operate and grow. Here are some of the most common IT services our technicians share with clients to keep them up and running.

The Cloud. Cloud Storage refers to the ability for your computer to reserve space on its hard drive and retain files over the internet for remote access. This is great for teams working across distances or for team members who travel. Computer technicians can help maintain the cloud’s updates and storage, allowing your team members retain access to, and ensure smooth operation of the Cloud.

VoIP. This stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and is a communication tool commonly employed by businesses. It allows team members to communicate via the internet, rather than a phone line. This system is essential for national and international businesses as it bridges the gap in long-distance communications.

Backups. All too often, backing up our computers occurs whenever we get a new device and need to transfer files. Unfortunately, backing up files so infrequently is risky, as a crash can eliminate important documents without retribution. IT specialists can do their best to retrieve missing files, but we recommend backing up your computer at least 4 times per year, or once every three months to avoid a total loss or potential inability to recover lost information.

Network Security. A secure network is paramount to the operation of your business. A technician can build protective firewalls, install anti-virus software and private networks, and provide routine maintenance checks to ensure everything is running smoothly.

Remote Support. If you or a team member are in the field experiencing technological issues, our specialists can assist remotely. By accessing your computer via the internet, we can analyze what is causing your disruption and work to fix it in real time.

Curious about how you or your business could benefit from IT support? Call the team at Up and Running Computer Solutions at 951.737.8558 or visit us online at www.urcs.net to speak with a team member today!

Which Computer is Right For You? | Prescott, AZ

When purchasing a new computer for your home or office, it is important to understand the ways each option may work to better support your needs. With so many options on the market from different providers, we understand it can be a confusing, and sometimes frustrating process to find what is right for you.

We have compiled some of the most common questions we receive regarding computer compatibility to share with you. Of course, this is not a complete list of considerations, but we feel it can help guide you in the right direction.

Processing Power. Commonly referred to as CPU, the processor gives the computer instructions for how to complete a task. There are a lot of processor options for Windows, and Mac computers are being updated with every version. Consider what you are using your computer for; high intensity processors are great for gaming, whereas common processors will allow you to complete your daily tasks.

RAM. This refers to the computer’s memory, or how much you can do at once. Most of us can get away with 8GB of memory to support our daily usage needs. If you utilize your system for video editing or gaming however, you may want to consider a 16GB option, as it will allow you to work more efficiently.

Hard Drive. Your hard drive storage is an important factor for a computer. This is where all your digital content will be stored. While you will have a certain amount of hard drive space on your computer, hard drives can be internally upgraded or externally added, allowing you more storage options as your enterprise grows.

Software. While hardware refers to the physical components of your computer, software comprises all the programs and procedures. Software allows your computer to open and run search engines and remembers your computer preferences. It is important to operate on the latest software updates to maintain computer health.

Graphics. Depending on what you seek to accomplish on your computer, there are two different options for graphics: AMD and NVIDIA. AMD is a great option for gaming, where as NVIDIA works well with Adobe programs.

Still need help deciding which computer configurations are right for you? Call the team at Up and Running Computer Solutions at 951.737.8558 or visit us online at www.urcs.net to consult with a team member today!

Why your computer is Running Slow & How to Solve It | Prescott, AZ

We tend to utilize our computes a lot. Most of us don’t even realize how long we have had our computers until it starts running slowly or begins to fail. For our computers to keep running quickly and seamlessly, its important to update our software and perform basic maintenance on the hardware along the way.

Here are some ways you can keep your computer up and running smoothly.

Storage Space. This is a major contributor to slow computer speed. It is good practice to always have 200- 500 megabytes of space on the hard drive. This is space that will be used to update applications and software. If you notice your storage availability is less, its time to clean out old files and invest in an exterior hard drive to free space on the laptop itself.

Damaged Hardware. Hardware refers to the physical microchips, fans and other equipment that compose the computer itself. Over time, these components can corrode or burn out if not properly maintained or replaced. Damaged hardware could be making your computer run slowly.

Background Programs. When we start our computers, certain applications are activated and take up our computer’s output without us even realizing it. Discovering which programs these may be and disabling them will help to recover your computer’s efficiency.

Windows and Apple Updates. When your computer asks you to update the system, its because the manufacturer fixed bugs and enhanced the plugins of your system. It is important to keep up with these improvements as it contributes to a smoother operation and enhanced features to keep it that way.

Memory Capacity. The larger your business grows, or the longer you use your computer, the more files you will collect. Be sure to monitor the memory capacity on your computer and choose which files need to be stored to your cloud. If your computer doesn’t have a lot of memory storage, it could start to slow down your system.

For more information about computer optimization, or would like the advice of a professional call the experts at 951.737.8558 or visit us online at www.urcs.net today.

4 Tips to Stay Safe on the Internet | Prescott, AZ

There are millions of people uploading pieces of data in the trillions onto the internet all the time. As the internet has expanded, so has the ability to utilize it as a tool with good and bad intent. Its hard to keep up with every development of the internet, and how to keep ourselves and families safe.

Here are a few ways you can avoid getting involved in potential scams and keep your information safe.

Mind your Clicks. Cyber hackers utilize tools such as emails and text messages to pop-ups that work to distract and entice the target. Be cautious when investigating any links to or from unknown sources through email or any kind of instant message service. What may look like a normal link can implant a virus on your computer that can do anything from generate annoying advertisements to stealing private information.

Update Regularly. Updating applications and software on your computer and phone are an easy way to ensure your devices have the latest security features. Regular updates fix any holes in your security, as well as implement code to combat the latest in internet trickery so you can avoid issues all together.

Passwords. Cyber criminals can be quick to discover patterns in your passwords, and create algorithms to uncover them. By keeping passwords varied, it makes it more difficult to learn. Worried you won’t remember them all? We suggest an encrypted excel sheet to store your passwords.

Personally Identifiable Information. Information that identifies you specifically is precious. These are things like your social security number; it is extremely important to keep this information private and only share it with sources you know are legitimate.

Incorporating these tips and tricks will go a long way in protecting you and your family from potentially serious and damaging internet scams and hacks.

For more information about how you may protect yourself online or how IT management may protect your business, call the professionals at 951.737.8558 or visit us online at www.urcs.net today.