Have You Backed Up Your Office 365 or G Suite Data? Here's Why You Need to Start


One of the conveniences of cloud-based platforms is that they save data on a remote server that allows it to be accessible from any location and device. You can log in to Office 365 from the office or at home or access your G Suite documents from a tablet while traveling, and they’re all right there for you.

But that convenience can give companies a false sense of security that their cloud data is “safe enough” and doesn’t need to be backed up separately to a third-party solution, which could lead to unexpected data loss. 

Despite all the modern office technology and virtual solutions that we now have access to, data loss can still occur and devastate a business. A majority of smaller companies end up having to close their doors within 6 months of a major data loss incident.

58% of small businesses are not prepared for data loss

While most companies realize that it’s imperative to backup their computer hard drives, mobile devices, and any on site servers they have, they often leave their cloud data vulnerable to loss by not including it in their backup strategy.

Reasons You Need to Back Up Cloud Solutions

The costs of losing data add up to the tune of $150 per lost record, according to IBM Security, with the average number of records lost in a data breach being 25, 575. That’s a cost of over 3.8 million, a loss that’s significant no matter what size company you have.

This coupled with the fact that more of a company’s data is being stored in the cloud due to the convenience and flexibility of cloud-based solutions, mean some major risk if that cloud-based data isn’t backed up.

Aren’t the cloud providers backing up my data?

They may have a copy stored for you, but both Microsoft and Google say they’re not responsible for any data loss:

Microsoft’s service agreement states:

“We strive to keep the Services up and running; however, all online services suffer occasional disruptions and outages, and Microsoft is not liable for any disruption or loss you may suffer as a result. In the event of an outage, you may not be able to retrieve Your Content or Data that you’ve stored. We recommend that you regularly backup Your Content and Data that you store on the Services or store using Third-Party Apps and Services.

Google’s service agreement states:

“When permitted by law, Google, and Google’s suppliers and distributors, will not be responsible for lostprofits, revenues, or data, financial losses or indirect, special, consequential, exemplary, or punitive damages.”

Whether you use Office 365, G Suite, or another cloud solution, here’s why you need to use a 3rdparty backup tool that’s designed specifically to back up the data generated and saved in the cloud.

Accidental Deletion by Users 

It’s great that Office 365 and G Suite allow users to collaborate on the same files to facilitate streamlined workflows, but that also means a user might accidentally overwrite or delete a file.

It’s not uncommon for a G Suite user to find out they’re running out of space, and delete things to free up more, accidentally deleting something they shouldn’t have.

A full back up of your cloud platform will ensure you have an additional copy of all your files, even if they’re accidentally deleted or overwritten.

Cloud Service Outage

When your data is “in the cloud” it’s stored on a physical server, usually within a large data center. That physical device is just as vulnerable to outages as a server in your office and can go down for any number of reasons, including: 

·     Hardware crash

·     Software conflict

·     Physical damage

·     Power outage

·     Brute force or malware attack

If an outage of your cloud provider occurs and you don’t have a backup copy of your data, you’re left at a standstill, hoping they come back online and that your data hasn’t been lost in the process.

Synced Files Spreading Malware

Both G Suite and OneDrive in Office 365 have the ability to sync your files between your device and the cloud storage, but this means that if an employee’s computer is infected with malware that destroys or encrypts files (like Ransomware) your cloud storage could also be infected as well, leaving you without your date, unless you’ve backed it up with a third party tool.

Lost or Stolen Devices

More of our workload is being offloaded to mobile devices in offices around the world. They make working when and where you want easier, but mobile devices are much more susceptible to theft or loss than a desktop computer that can’t fit in your briefcase.

If a tablet that’s logged into your G Suite or Office 365 account gets stolen, the thief could end up wiping out your data entirely if it’s not safely backed up elsewhere.

Get Help Backing Up Your Cloud Services Today! 

There are special types of backup solutions used for backing up programs like G Suite or Office 365. BrainStomp can help you find the right tool and get a backup plan in place, so your cloud data is never at risk of being lost or damaged. 

Contact us today to get started! Just call us at 260-918-3548 or reach out online.

7 Reasons You Need to Upgrade to Windows 10 Right Now


If you’ve still been hanging on to Windows 7, it’s understandable. It was one of the most popular Microsoft operating systems. And, even though it’s nearing its end of support on January 14, 2020, it’s still used by many loyal computer users.

As of June 2019, about 35% of all desktop users were still using Windows 7, just 10% less than Windows 10. We’d guess that many of those 35% haven’t yet realized all the excellent features that Windows 10 has to offer.
Windows 10 is a major upgrade in the user experience that includes many features that used to be enjoyed by Mac users only. It also happens to be a reliably stable OS, which puts many business owners at ease when it comes time to upgrade.

So, why should you upgrade to Windows 10 right away? Here are 7 reasons you’re going to want to make the switch sooner rather than later.

Top Features, Tips & Tricks Offered in Windows 10

At the end of 2018, Windows 10 was active on nearly 700 million devices, with adoption growing rapidly throughout 2019. It’s the number one operating system in the world.

Here are some of the reasons why.

Customize Your Start Menu

The start menu in Windows 10 is designed to give you exactly what you need to launch your most used applications quickly. You don’t have to search through a long list of programs to find what you’re looking for, just drag and drop your favorites into the start panel interface.

You can group similar programs into sections that you can also name. For example, you could have a “Work” section, and include inside for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Slack and Salesforce. Or have a “Play Time” section with Netflix, Xbox, and Solitaire. 

Send and Receive Texts on Your Computer

A feature that iPhone and iMac users have had for a while was the ability to connect their phone and send and receive text messages on their computer. (Much easier if you’re typing a long text!). Windows 10’s latest major update in October of 2018 brought this same feature for Android users. 

Just pair your Android device using the Your Phone app in Windows 10 and enjoy sharing photos, texts, and more between devices.

Dictate Work to Cortana

You can enable Microsoft’s voice assistant, Cortana, on Windows 10 and save yourself some typing or get answers to questions, like “What’s the weather today?”.

Set up Cortana by clicking the Windows Start icon and then typing “Cortana” into the search bar. It will walk you through the setup process to give you access to the powerful speech recognition assistant, which you can use for dictating notes, emails, and more.

Stay Backed Up to OneDrive 

If you have an Office 365 subscription, then each user automatically has a Terabyte of storage on OneDrive and it’s fully integrated with Windows 10. Store and share files across devices easily and securely and automatically back up your computer so every file is being saved as you type it.

OneDrive is a lifesaver if you have a program crash while you’re in the middle of editing a document. Instead of bemoaning the fact that you didn’t save before you crashed, you’ll be retrieving the file through the autosaved OneDrive copy. 

Take Screenshots of Any Area You Like

One feature that could potentially change your life, or at least your computing, is the flexible screenshot feature in Windows 10. This is an example of them “one-upping” Apple by offering more flexibility to how screenshots are done. 

Press the Windows Key-Shift-S, and you’ll get a small screenshot bar at the top of the window. You can choose the first option to drag a rectangle over the area of your screen that you want to screenshot or choose the freeform option to get a circular type screenshot, based upon how you drag the cursor. 

Screenshots are then opened in Snip & Sketch and you can add annotations if you like before saving.

Snap Windows Side-by-Side

Don’t you hate when you’re trying to see two windows at the same time and have to keep toggling back and forth? Maybe you’re typing numbers from a web browser window into an Excel spreadsheet and just wish you could see them both easily.

Windows 10 has a Snap Assist feature to help. Just drag a window to the corner and it will snap into place, taking up half the screen. You can also snap two, three, or four windows evenly just by dragging them to the appropriate corner.

Pin Favorite Webpages to Your Start Menu

Remember that customizable Start Menu? Well you can also save links to your most used webpages there too for quick and easy access when you need it.

You’ll need to pull up the webpage in the Edge browser. Then just click the three dots in the upper right corner and choose “Pin this page to Start.” Note: If you don’t see it, hover over “More tools”.

Get Help with a Smooth Windows 10 Upgrade

Want to ensure your upgrade to Windows 10 goes smoothly without any hiccups? Call BrainStomp! Whether you’re updating the operating system on the same PC or upgrading computers and need to migrate your data, we can make sure the transition is fast and efficient.

Schedule your Windows 10 upgrade today by calling 260-918-3548 or contacting us online.

How Windows 10 Can Make You (and Your Business) a Productivity Machine

Knowing a few tips and tricks can save you hours per week when it comes to your PC workflow. Windows 10 was designed to enhance user experience and basically make tasks easier to accomplish.

But unless you’ve thoroughly explored everything there is to know about this operating system, you or your staff might not be aware of all the great productivity-enhancing tricks that Windows 10 offers.

As a Microsoft Partner, BrainStomp knows Windows inside and out and we’re here to reveal our favorite Windows 10 tips for productivity so you can make the most of them!

Upgrade Your Productivity in Windows 10

75 percent of U.S. employees don’t believe they have access to the latest in efficiency tools to help them do their jobs as well as possible. But it’s possible that many just haven’t yet discovered everything that the tools they do have can do.

Happy workers are 12 percent more productive and being able to get through tasks faster can help remove frustration and boost that happiness quotient.  

Try sharing some of these tips for more productivity power.

1. Stop Distractions with Focus Assistant

Constant interruptions are frustrating and seriously drag down productivity. Studies show it takes an average of 23 minutes to recover from an interruption and get back to the mental space you were in before it happened.

Focus Assistant in Windows 10 helps you take control of notifications for incoming emails, apps, texts, alerts, VoIP calls, and more. You can control them in some key ways: 

·     Turn them all off during certain times of day

·     Prioritize which you want to show and which you don’t

·     Hide all notifications and show alarms only

·     Only show notifications from certain people

Get there by clicking the Windows Start icon and typing “Focus” into the search bar.

2. Get More Space with Virtual Desktops

In the course of a busy workday, you can have multiple Windows open trying to get things done, which can lead to “lost windows” and time wasted trying to click around until you find the one you need. 

The Virtual Desktops feature in Windows 10 helps you keep everything organized by allowing you to use multiple different desktops. For example, you could have your email open in one, your cloud-based CRM program and live chat in another, and a document you’re working on a third.  

Click the Task View icon in your task bar, then click the “+ New desktop” to add a new one. You can toggle between them using the Task View or Windows Key + Ctrl + Left Arrow and Windows Key + Ctrl + Right Arrow.

3. Print to PDF

This might seem like simple feature, but it saves a whole lot of time when you need to export to a PDF from a Word document, webpage, or anything else you might have open. 

Windows 10 shortens the workflow by removing the need to use a third-party application to create a PDF from a document. And it’s natively built in, which means it will work in anything, not just particular apps.

When you go to File > Print, choose “Microsoft Print to PDF” as the Printer.

4. Get a Master Control Panel in “GodMode”

One of the more secret tricks in Windows 10 is what’s referred to as “GodMode.” It’s a folder that you can create that gives you instant access to multiple optimization and program settings and features without having to search them out in the Settings area. 

You can activate this feature by right-clicking on your desktop and creating a new folder.

Name the folder: GodMode.

The icon will then change into a control panel.


Open the folder, and you’ll get all sorts of program tasks that you can execute from that one place. It’s also organized by category, making it even easier to locate what you need fast.  


5. Find Programs & Pages Recently Used in Task View

You just had that website open with some information you needed for a presentation, but you closed it and can’t find it again… or can you? Besides being used to create and toggle between virtual desktops, Task View is incredibly helpful for jumping to one of your open windows or searching for one you recently closed. 

Just open Task View from your tool bar and you’ll see at the top the currently open programs and windows. Just click to jump to one of them. Scroll down and you’ll also see a timeline of past open windows that can make it simple to get back to that webpage you were looking through two days ago.

6. Use the Pin Feature to Pin Settings, People, Documents

How much time to do you spend navigating to things like settings, files or contacts? Windows 10 has a Pin feature that works throughout the OS in several different areas to save you time.

Here are some examples:

·     In a program like Word, you can Pin documents you use most often to show at the top of the open file dialogue box. 

·     In Settings, if there is a specific one you use often, like desktop personalization, you can pin it to your Start menu.

·     Are there certain contacts that you want to always receive notifications from? You can open the People app from Start and pin those contacts to your taskbar. Then when you’re using Focus Assistant you can choose those contacts as a priority.

Need More Productivity Boosting Help at Your Office?

BrainStomp’s team of office efficiency experts can help you with multiple IT solutions that can streamline your operations, save you money, and boost productivity.

Contact us today to schedule your consultation and take the first step towards a more streamlined office. Call us at 260-918-3548 or reach out online.

What’s the Best Way to Manage Password Security?


The number of passwords that we need to use on a weekly basis typically far outmatches our ability to remember them all. That is, if we’re using password security best practices like making a unique password for every login and ensuring they’re at least 10 characters long, with a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. 

But the fact is that most people fall into bad password habits, like using the same password for multiple logins and not making them difficult enough (so they can remember them). The result can be several weak links in your office’s data and network security. 

When working on cybersecurity solutions with our business clients, password security is one of the many areas we address because poor passwords are often the easiest way for a hacker to breach your network.

The balance of user experience with security is one that many companies struggle with, but password management tools can help you have the best of both worlds, secure and unique passwords and a login process that doesn’t slow your team down. 

Why You Should Consider a Password Management Solution

While cybersecurity tools, such as an anti-virus or firewall are important, password security is just as crucial to preventing unauthorized access into your system. 

81% of company data breaches are the fault of poor password management.

Accounting software, bank account access, your entire customer contact list… all of these are usually just a hacked password away from being breached. Weak passwords are one of the top causes of data breaches, which can have costly and dire consequences for businesses of all sizes.

The average cost of a data breach is $148 per record. If just 500 records are stolen (usually, it’s much more), that’s $74,000. Quite a hefty cost for weak passwords. 

One of the best ways to ensure you’re keeping passwords “hack-resistant” while not making it more difficult for your team to get their work done is to use a password management application, like LastPass.

How Does a Password Manager Work? 

A password manager keeps track of all your passwords in a secure and encrypted environment. All you need to remember is a single strong password to get in, and the password manager remembers everything else.

It’s recommended that for your master password you use a passphrase, which tends to be more secure than just one word because of the length and complexity.

LastPass is the password manager that our BrainStomp team trusts and recommends. It’s simple to use and allows you to access your passwords in two ways:

·     Using a browser extension

·     Using a mobile app

Security features include local-only encryption, meaning your data is encrypted and decrypted at the device level. LastPass never receives the encryption keys, ensuring security. You can even enable multi-factor authentication to add an additional layer of security to your login credentials.

Once you set up your master login, you’ll be taken to a password vault where you can set up passwords for each application and website you log into. You can then strengthen any weak passwords by letting OnePass make a new one for you, and can also ensure unique passwords for all logins.

Business Password Management

Have you ever had an employee leave abruptly, and everyone was scrambling to try to find their password to unlock their computer? 

The average employee has to keep track of 191 different passwords and if you multiply that by the number of employees you have, it can be overwhelming if you don’t have a tool to help you centralize password management. 

LastPass has a business version of their application that allows you to manage authentication across your entire organization from a single dashboard. This not only ensures your team’s passwords aren’t going to leave you vulnerable to a hacker, it will also ensure you don’t get locked out of devices when an employee leaves the company.

Some of the features that are especially helpful to businesses include:

·     Adaptive authentication

·     Choice of authentication methods

·     Support for biometric authentication, like face or fingerprint ID

·     Verification through contextual factors, like phone location or IP address

·     Easy user experience across all devices

·     Ability to secure every digital access point

·     Flexibility to automate user provisioning

·     Implement security measures company-wide easily

·     Centralized reporting

The bottom line is that a password manager can help eliminate poor password habits, while actually making the process of logging in easier for your employees. The centralized control also helps you control all ways into your network and data so you can rest easy knowing you’ve secured one of the biggest data breach vulnerabilities.

Talk to BrainStomp for Solid IT Security Solutions

Whether you’re struggling with data privacy compliance or need to ensure you’re protected from that next phishing attack, BrainStomp’s Cybersecurity Team can help you protect your business from a costly data breach and help you with password management.

Contact us today for an IT security consultation at 260-918-3548 or reach out online.

Work Smarter in Microsoft Outlook, Word & Excel with these Super Tips & Tricks

Learning just one software power tip can save you minutes per day and hours per month. While those tips and tricks seem obvious once you learn them, until you’re enlightened, you can be doing things the “hard way” without even knowing it.

Over half of organizations around the world use Microsoft’s Office 365, which includes the popular standards, Outlook, Word, and Excel. It’s #1 most used cloud service of any type, which means many offices rely on it and it’s a huge part of their daily workflow.

As a certified Microsoft partner, BrainStomp has helped many a client increase productivity and reduce inefficiencies by teaching them the best ways to use their Office 365 suite of applications. Through our Modern Office IT, we also prevent downtime by fixing issues before they impact business. 

If your team is spending a good part of their day working in the MS “power programs” Excel, Outlook, and Word, read on for some productivity-boosting super tips that can help you work smarter and faster.

Power Tips for Outlook

Outlook has been around, pretty much since email has been in use in offices around the world. First launched in 1992 for MS-DOS, it’s become synonymous with the term “email” and much of a person’s day is spent there. 

The average office worker spends 2.5 hours per day reading and replying to email.

Here are some tips and tricks for making your use of Outlook more efficiently. 

Filter for Unread Messages

Often, we pick through our inbox, trying to find the most important messages to reply to first. That leaves a bunch of unread messages mixed in with those you already read, and sorting through those can take up unnecessary extra time. 

Just click Filter Email > Unread on your home tab menu to quickly display only unread messages.

Use Live OneDrive Links 

Have you ever collaborated on a document with colleagues, and then end up searching your inbox to find the latest version to work on? Instead of sending several document copies back and forth as file attachments, send a link to the live OneDrive document. This is much more efficient and ensures everyone has the most updated copy. 

Select Attach File > Browse web locations > OneDrive (the attachment icon will show a cloud on it).

Use Clean Up to Help Tame Your Inbox

Email inboxes can easily get out of hand and you end up with multiple email trails that are pretty much duplicates of each other and an unruly inbox to sort through. Using Outlook’s Clean Up option can help you move redundant conversations, folders or subfolders to the Deleted Items folder automatically.

From the Home menu choose Clean Up then either Clean Up Conversation, Clean Up Folder, or Clean Up Folder & Subfolders. 

Power Tips for Word

Word is one of the earliest Microsoft programs for office productivity, being released in 1983. Here are a few tricks to make the most of this popular word processing program. 

Pick Up Where You Left Off

Are you working on a long document and having trouble finding where you last left off? Save yourself some time searching through paragraphs by letting Word take you there automatically.

When you re-open your document press SHIFT+F5 and Word will take you to the last place you were editing.

Create & Share a Custom Dictionary 

Is auto correct continually flagging your company name or a specific technical term you use as being misspelled? It can be annoying (and time consuming) to have to correct it back to a spelling Word doesn’t recognize. Fix this by creating a custom dictionary with words, names, and other technical teams your organization uses. This can then be shared with others to help everyone save time. 

Go to File > Options > Proofing tab then click Custom Dictionaries and create new.  


You can share it by locating the file, typically located in Boot_Drive/Documents and Settings/user_name/Application Data/Microsoft/Proof, then send the file to another user or uploaded to a shared folder.

Find What You Need Faster

Have a paragraph setting that’s leaving extra space in your document? Need to quickly insert a hyperlink? Save time by letting Word take you where you need to go to make the edit fast. 

On the Home tab click into the “Search” bar at the top (Not the one that says “find”), and type in what you need to do, like “paragraph setting” and you’ll get a link that takes you there.

Note, this search area used to be called “Tell Me”.

Power Tips for Excel

 We’ll close out by giving you three helpful tips for the popular spreadsheet program Excel.

Total Without a Formula

 Rushing to get a quick spreadsheet column total to give the boss? You can use a keyboard shortcut that will bypass the need to enter the sum formula and total your column in milliseconds.

Click into the Excel table beneath the column you’re totaling and press Ctrl+Shift+T and Excel will add the total row at the bottom automatically.

Make Your Numbers Stand Out with Data Bars

Sometimes you don’t need a fancy chart to get your data to stand out. Impress your team by using Data Bars in Excel, which include representational bars right inside the data fields. 


Select your data range then go to Home > Conditional Formatting > Data Bars and choose your desired color scheme.

Separate First and Last Name into Their Own Columns

Most of us have had this happen at some point, we have someone gather a list of contacts (or we’ve made this mistake ourselves), and when the spreadsheet comes back, the first and last names are in the same column instead of separated like you need them to be.

Use this trick in Excel to separate them automatically without having to retype them all. 

Select the column to separate, go to Data tab > Data Tools group and choose Text to Columns. In the Wizard select Delimited and then next. Choose one or more delimiters (tab, comma, etc.). Select the data format and destination and click finish. See it step by step here.

Let Us Help You Keep Your Office Efficient

BrainStomp can help you keep your office and your Office productive and efficient. We can help with software, hardware, and IT consulting to take the burden of ensuring your tech is secure and effective always off your shoulders.  

Our brains are here to help. Call 260-918-3548 or reach out online.

How Can I Avoid Becoming a Victim of Spam, Scams, and Phishing Attacks?

How Can I Avoid Becoming a Victim of Spam, Scams, and Phishing Attacks?

The digital workplace has benefited us all through faster communications and the ability to do business anywhere the internet can take us, but it’s also brought along new cyber predators working to infiltrate networks and steal sensitive data. 

Email fraud rose 80% from the third quarter of 2017 to the third quarter of 2018. (Proofpoint

Both email fraud and credential phishing attacks, where malware is planted to steal login credentials, rose significantly in 2018 and the trend continues in 2019. Phishing is the number one cause of data breaches and email is used most often (96% of the time) as the delivery method.

As part of our Modern Office IT support, BrainStomp monitors the health and security of business networks 24/7, preventing costly downtime and dangerous data breaches. We work with businesses to beef up their end user security, which is often the last line of defense against network intrusions via spam and phishing emails. 

What can you and your team do to protect yourselves from falling into a phishing trap? We’ve got five vital tips below to help keep you safe.

5 Important Tips for End User Security

Hackers use email as their favorite form of attack because it works. Phishing emails have become more sophisticated, mimicking the look of an email from a legitimate company and often employing scare tactics or promises of a sale to cause people to click before they think.

Examples of common phishing tactics employed:

·     “Your email account has been compromised, click here now to secure it.”
·     “Please find an urgent purchase order attached and send payment details.”
·     “We’ve just processed your (non-existent)order for $375.22. Click here to see more.”

But despite the shady tactics used by cybercriminals, you can protect yourself from spam, scams, and phishing attacks by employing end user security best practices.

Hover Before You Click

Phishing emails will often hide the true URL of a malicious site behind linked text. You can’t see what the real URL is until you hover over it with your cursor. Get in the habit of hovering over all links in an email or social media post BEFORE you click on them to see whether they’re taking you to a legitimate site.

In this example below, this phishing email is designed to look just like one from AT&T, but when hovering over the linked text “right here,” the true URL is revealed to be a fake going to a malicious site having nothing to do with AT&T. 


Use an Anti-Phishing & Anti-Spam Software 

During the course of a hectic day is when users are most vulnerable to accidentally clicking on a phishing link or downloading a malicious attachment. They’re trying to get through their inbox as fast as possible, and their defenses are down.

 A good anti-phishing and anti-spam software can help users out by being on the lookout for any dangerous emails and sandbox anything suspicious, protecting your system from a virus infection and alerting you to dangerous spam patterns.

Use Two-Factor Authentication 

One of the main pieces of information that malware-laden phishing emails go after are login credentials. If they can plant spyware on your system that records keystrokes, they can gain login access to any number of company applications and access sensitive data.

Two-factor authentication requires a second factor to login beyond just your username/password combination. This is typically a code that’s sent via text message to your phone at the time of login that has to be entered to gain access to the site or application. 

This helps thwart hackers that steal your login credentials, because even with that stolen username and password, they won’t be able to get past the two-factor authentication to breach your account.

Keep Software and Operating Systems Updated

The more users you have, the more chance that all workstation computers aren’t being regularly updated for software, firmware, and operating system updates. It’s easy to hit “remind me later” when an update reminder pops up, but this means your system could be missing important security updates that patch vulnerabilities.

Spammers sending phishing emails often exploit these vulnerabilities, just hoping the user hasn’t applied the latest updates. Using an automated or managed method of keeping all systems updated ensures you won’t fall victim to a breach that could’ve been easily avoided.

Be Suspicious & Get a Second Opinion 

Often after an employee mistakenly clicks on a phishing link and downloads a virus, they’ll say, “I thought that email looked strange, but I wasn’t sure.”

When it comes to email security, being suspicious of anything in your inbox that’s not both expected and from an email address you know is one of the best ways to avoid becoming a victim.

Some things to question are:

·     If the “to” email address line is to “multiple recipients” rather than just to you
·     If the sender’s email address is hidden or unknown to you
·     If you receive an email you’re not expecting (i.e. a PO from an unknown customer)
·     An email that’s trying to elicit an urgent response
·     An email with improper grammar or misspellings 

When in doubt, it’s always better to get a second opinion from someone else at your office or an IT pro that you have a help desk relationship with before you do anything else. A few minutes double checking a strange email can save you days of trying to recover from a virus infection.

How’s Your Cybersecurity Situation?

 If you got hit with a phishing attack tomorrow, would your network and user security protocols hold up? Don’t wonder, get a security review from BrainStomp. We can take a look at your cybersecurity plan and make any needed suggestions to ensure your network safety.

Contact us today to ensure your security at 260-918-3548 or through our contact form.

Prepare Now Before Windows 7 Loses Support for Good

It’s Your Last Chance: Prepare Now Before Windows 7 Loses Support for Good

You’ve been using Windows 7 at your office since it first launched in 2009. It’s been a good stable operating system that everyone’s used to. But even the best of them must come to an end and that time has arrived for Windows 7.

Microsoft product lifecycles tend to run about 10 years, and they come in two phases. The first phase is when mainstream support ends, and the second is when extended support ends (aka end of life).

That critical end of life (EOL) date is fast approaching for Windows 7 and arrives on January 14, 2020. After that date, standard patches and all security updates will be discontinued (unless you purchase a limited extension plan).

With Windows 7 nearly at its end of life date, we’ve been busy helping clients upgrade before the end of the year. If you haven’t upgraded yet, there’s still time if you act now. Read on for our tips on preparing your business for an upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10. 

What Happens If I Use Windows 7 Past January 14, 2020?

If you’ve procrastinated and still have PCs running Windows 7 past its end of life date in January 2020, you’re leaving your business at extreme risk of a data breach. When extended support ends for an OS, it means found vulnerabilities are no longer patched, and your network becomes an easy target for hackers.

Nearly 60% of organizations that had a data breach within the past two years point to an unpatched vulnerability as the cause. 

Here are the key problems with running an operating system after it’s reached the EOL date:

·     Your network and data are at high risk for a data breach
·     Newer peripherals and software will increasingly stop supporting the older OS
·     As technology evolves, you may find that your system is not keeping up and experiences more errors and incompatibilities

Steps to Prepare Your Office for a Phase Out of Windows 7

You still have time to plan and implement a phase-out of the older operating system and upgrade to Windows 10. Here are the steps to take as soon as possible to ensure continued data security for your business.

Identify All Computers Running Windows 7

Before you purchase that first Windows 10 replacement; you first need to know how many replacements you’re going to have in total. Do a full inventory of office desktops and laptops and identify which ones are running the Windows 7 operating system.

Decide Which PCs to Upgrade and Which to Replace

Not all PCs will have the hardware necessary or be worth it to upgrade to Windows 10. Our recommendations for running Windows 10.

·     3 gigahertz or faster processor
·     8 GB Memory  – 16 GB if running Office
·     256GB gigabytes or larger hard disk Solid State Drive (SSD)
·     Graphics card that’s compatible with Direct X 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
·     800x600 display
·     System less than 3 years old

From your list of all computers running Windows 7, separate those that can be upgraded from those that can’t or shouldn’t due to age.

Upgrade and Purchase

You’ll have several months to spread out the cost of the OS and computer upgrades if you start right away. For each non-upgradable PC, you’ll want to price out replacements. Include any IT costs needed to help to migrate the data from the old PC to the new one.

Companies will want to ensure they’re getting Windows 10 Pro and not Windows 10 Home preloaded on any new PCs, so you’ll have all the features you need for business, such as support for Active Directory.

For those PC’s being upgraded, you’ll need to purchase Windows 10 and plan for an OS upgrade. The time it takes to do the upgrade can vary from an hour to several hours, depending upon factors like the age of the computer, how much data is on it, and the speed of your internet connection.

Planning for Staff Transition

Beyond just the hardware and OS upgrades, you have a team that’s going to be impacted by the upgrade to the new system in a couple of key ways that you’ll want to manage.

1.   Work disruption during the time their PC is being upgraded
2.   Learning the new operating system

You can minimize disruptions by planning upgrades during non-working hours or have an alternate device for staff to use while the computer is being upgraded.

Help your team reduce any productivity dips after the switch from Windows 7 to 10 by having a training session on the newer OS to get them up to speed before they’re sitting in front that new desktop environment.

Need Help with a Windows Upgrade?

BrainStomp can ensure a smooth transition for your office before the Windows 7 EOL date, and as a Microsoft partner, we can also help you find the best prices on new PCs and Windows 10.

You don’t have to do this alone.

Our brains are here to help. Call 260-918-3548 or reach out online.

Inside the brain of a Geek: Undo an Accidental Move, Copy or Delete

Have you every attempt a file move only to have your mouse skills falter the process and now you must search to find where the file end up?  Or just delete the wrong file or folder? I’m good at select multiple files and accidently create copies.  In any of these cases using Ctrl + Z or Edit \ Undo will quickly reverse whatever you didn’t mean to do.

In the example, below I selected recipes to move.

I accidentally copied the recipes instead.

I select CTRL + Z or Edit \ Undo

Select Yes to verify that I want to delete the copies made.

Now I’m back to where I started.

Inside the brain of a Geek: Taming cables with binder clips

Crawling around under a desk to retrieve a fallen cable is never a fun task.  There are hundreds if not thousands of product specially design to solve this problem.  Some work (I’ve bought those) and some don’t work (I’ve bought those also). It wasn't until reading an article from one of my favorite websites (lifehacker.com) that I solved my cable problem with binder clips. Clamp the binder clips on the edge of your desk, monitor stand, or book shelf.  Remove the handles, slide the cables into the handle, and then reattached the handles.  Problem solved!

Above is a picture of my desk.  The binder clip holds my network and power cable for my laptop.

Resource: http://lifehacker.com/5499838/binder-clips-as-cable-catchers-redux

Inside the brain of a Geek: New to Office 2013? Start here.

You can download free Quick Start Guides to all Office 2013 applications.  Each guide contains useful tips and shortcuts.  Microsoft offers guides for the following applications.

  • Access
  • Excel
  • OneNote (Attached)
  • Outlook
  • PowerPoint
  • Project
  • Publisher
  • Visio
  • Word

Download Office 2013 Quick Start Guides