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Never stop learning – tips for being a lifelong student

September 10, 2012

Businessman Henry L. Doherty once said, “Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study. Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life.” We probably would all nod our heads in agreement over the truth of this statement, but if we’re honest with ourselves, many of us may also confess to not being the students we aspire to be.

Probably the biggest obstacle keeping us from prioritizing our continuing education is time. None of us seems to have enough of it and though we have all good intentions of getting back into reading notable biographies or taking that evening class at the local community college, it’s all too easy for the demands of life and work to interfere and for being a student to take a backseat until it’s more convenient.

However, as we find ourselves in the midst of back-to-school season, let’s use this as an impetus to actually take some action when it comes to lifelong learning. Doing so will benefit us not only personally but also professionally. For example, keeping our minds fit will help us be more inquisitive and open to new possibilities in the workplace and. As you consider ways you can take yourself “back-to-school,” here are a few ideas you might want to incorporate in your curriculum: (more…)

Secrets of Calling Tech Support

August 3, 2012

Ok, show of hands, how many of you like calling one of those 1-800 tech support numbers? That’s what I thought.

Well, I have some secrets that will get you farther faster with those guys:

1. Make sure you are calling the right number. Sometimes a company will want to force you to use email or some online form to turn in a problem. Finding numbers can be tough, though. Make sure you bookmark the website, It gives you tricks to talking to a person and avoid the automated voice menu systems of large companies, not to mention the actual phone numbers of their support group.

2. If you start to get frustrated with a tech, ask this one question: “What would you do if you were me?” You will be amazed how much faster you find a solution. Trust me… (more…)

Free and Easy Security Software Keeps Your Data Safe

July 27, 2012

The decisions you make about protecting your computer data, networks and PCs are critical to your company’s success and, often, its survival. So you may have some initial skepticism about the advisability of using free security software.

Be assured that a group of security products available at the Microsoft website are built on the company’s track record of world-class, secure software and technology solutions. Microsoft understands that, especially for small businesses, every dollar counts and every digital document is crucial.

So these security offerings are perfect for SMBs with limited IT budgets and smaller IT infrastructures that need to be managed. I urge you to consider checking out these solutions to gain peace-of-mind regarding your business’s digital security: (more…)

My Favorite Free Anti-Virus Program

July 9, 2012

It seems not a day goes by that I don’t get a question from a reader about what antivirus program to use. This can be a tricky question because every tech-guy you run into will have a different opinion.

Here’s mine:

The necessity to “buy” an antivirus program is slowly going away. Large companies are now adding them in to their software offerings at little or no charge. Sometimes, when you buy a new computer, you will get a “free for a limited time” installation of some program, but eventually they will start hounding you for money.

As of this week, my favorite antivirus program is Microsoft Security Essentials. For my Mac friends, check out iAntivirus.They run unobtrusively in the background and have been very good at finding these nasty digital creatures. (more…)

ASK A CPA – a free app for small business

July 4, 2012

As a small business owner wouldn’t it be nice if there was an easier way to lower costs, get answers to tax related questions and eliminate some of the confusion that is typically associated with doing our taxes? Well, with the free Ask A CPA iOS app you can do just that.

Many individuals and small business owners dread the thought of tax time arriving. Not all of us are fans of number crunching or accounting related tasks. Nonetheless, doing our taxes each year is something that cannot (and should not) be avoided.

Similar to those who wait until Christmas eve to do their shopping, many of us scramble to get our taxes done at the last minute. When it comes to taxes however it’s not that we’re all necessarily procrastinators, it’s usually more a case of being intimidated by the plethora of things that can be involved when it comes to filing a proper and accurate tax return and also doing so at the best possible price. (more…)