Two Ways to Protect Your Computer from a Power Outage

If you have a desktop computer, it’s vulnerable during lightning storms. Because it’s plugged into the socket 24/7 and doesn’t have a battery, you don’t have the same options you would with a smartphone or a laptop. But here’s what you can do to limit the risk of damaging your computer or losing progress:

Two Ways to Protect Your Computer from a Power Outage

The hard stop: Turn off your computer during a storm.

If you know a bad storm is on the way and you don’t have time to buy any protective tools, the best thing you can do is turn off your computer and unplug it completely. While it’s not a fun option, this means lightning can’t reach your computer through your house’s wiring. It also gives you plenty of time to exit out of programs and save files so you aren’t caught unprepared.

Give yourself a small window with a surge protector and a UPS.

If you don’t want to fully unplug your computer, then the most important thing you need to do is to protect it from surges. A surge protector won’t give your computer ongoing power during a blackout, but it will stop a surge from destroying the device. Find a legitimate one that was certified from UL (Underwriter Laboratories) with good reviews.

But a surge protector just stops the worst from happening. Combine it with a UPS, or an uninterruptible power source, to stop the follow-up disaster of losing all of your work. Everyone hopes a storm won’t reach them, and it’s tempting to keep working on your current project through a storm. A UPS gives you a few extra minutes when the power goes out to save your progress. It also means you can save them, transfer them to a flash drive, and keep working on a battery-powered tablet.

Go to PC Geeks here for more ways to protect your desktop and other electronics, no matter what’s going on around them.

What Are Overnight Outages Costing Your Small Business?

Downtime is one of the costliest problems your company can encounter. Not only do you face the direct expenses of replacement equipment and servicing hours, you have revenue losses, too: wasted employee man-hours, loss of business operations, and lack of consumer confidence. The numbers are hard to calculate, but the Aberdeen Group puts the average company’s cost at $110,000 per hour. Small businesses may face a lower dollar risk but a higher percentage of lost profits. Preventing outages should be the goal of every small business. Here’s how even a small outage interrupts your business growth:

What Are Overnight Outages Costing Your Small Business?

Overnight outages extend for several hours.

If your server goes down after the last person leaves the office, the problem might not be noticed until 8 o’clock the next morning. A weekend outage takes even longer to correct. Once the problem is realized, then your company has to wait for a dedicated IT professional, either hired or called in, to start problem-shooting. If you have disaster recovery and business continuity plans, you will need to implement them as soon as possible. But your business will still need to contend with worldwide business operations that should have happened while your hemisphere was asleep. If your company has automated lines of transportation, controls parts of a supply chain, or even offers SaaS tools with contracted service level agreements, those critical operations went down.

Overnight outages are a red flag to investors.

Everything is automating, and even physical hardware is going virtual. If your investor is backed by investors, they are looking for those signs of digital progress. The most profitable and the safest investments are now becoming those that don’t need a constant presence of people to stay running. But if your server doesn’t have even passive monitoring for early problem detection or the ability to shift over to another virtual server for minimally interrupted business, you are that much riskier to invest in.

See what virtualization tools and monitoring systems can start to solve these problems. Contact us at PC Geeks here to learn more.

Tips for Avoiding Ransomware on Your Computer

You’ve probably heard about how common ransomware seems to be now. You may have heard about businesses being locked out of their systems until they paid a fee to get back in. Or, if you were especially unlucky, you may have even been the victim of ransomware yourself. You can avoid this kind of thing so long as you are proactive in stopping it in the future. These tips should help you avoid being caught by ransomware going forward as long as you combine them with a bit of basic common sense.

Tips for Avoiding Ransomware on Your Computer

Don’t click on suspicious-looking links

If a link you find looks suspicious or you think something is off with it then don’t click it. Don’t just push your luck and assume that you’re just being too paranoid. It’s usually the opposite and clicking on a link that seems suspicious will usually result in your computer getting infected. You should make sure to only download software from sources you recognize and always do a custom installation so you can remove anything you don’t recognize and avoid any potential issues.

Upgrade your software

Make sure that your software is regularly being updated. OS and software updates frequently contain security fixes and not upgrading can leave you just as vulnerable as clicking onto so make sure that you are upgrading your software when the option is available and not just putting it off again and again until your computer gets ransomware and you have to pay $7,000 to access your machine again.

Back up your data

This is something that you should be doing already but it’s especially important here. Make sure that you back up your data whenever you can. You won’t always be able to avoid losing data but you can give yourself the option to return to a pre-ransomware state system by rolling back as long as you are frequently backing up your system.

Install Antivirus Software

Antivirus software is not just for stopping viruses: it can be used to stop lots of other things including malware and ransomware. A program with a strong firewall that can prevent your system from being infiltrated is a must as is regularly scanning your system for suspicious files.

Be a little paranoid online

Whenever you’re browsing online, it’s in your best interests to be a little bit paranoid. Doing so may save you from weeks of hassle in trying to remove hostile and unwanted software from your computer. One basic tip that is a must to follow when using any public network is to always run the network through a VPN to ensure that nobody is monitoring your data traffic and there isn’t going to be someone using the network to send ransomware onto your machine through the network in question.

To get extra help and more in-depth tips and tricks for preventing ransomware from getting on your computer in the first place, contact us today!