Archive for January, 2007

Protecting Your Computer From Viruses

Friday, January 12th, 2007 | Small Business Management, technology with 2 Comments

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a virus on your computer.  I went through a week and a half of trying to remove a virus from my computer.  I first tried to remove it myself using my anitivirus software.  Then called the software company to get help from them.  After 3 days of phone calls and tech support, it was still there.  I called a local place who would need my computer for a couple days - my business is totally online.  Giving up my computer was out of the question.  How did I get the virus OUT of my computer?  I finally broke down and paid the bucks to have The Geek Squad come to my office and remove the virus.  A week later and I’m still virus free!! 

I’d like to share with you what I learned in this experience:

1) Backup System - I learned the importance of having a file backup system.  I spent 4 hours backing up all my files onto CD-R so I’d have them if we had to erase the hard drive.  I was talking with a techie person and they recommended “offsite” storage (like Carbonite).  You’ve seen the offers for secure online storage of your files.  That’s what I’m talking about.  Find one that has a way to flag the files you always want to back up and then you just login and click a button to back up your files.  Another option is “onsite” storage.  Like an external hard drive.  I now have a Maxtor external hard drive that I schedule to back up every day.  Offsite is recommended, just in case you have a fire or some other disaster … your files are still accessible. 

2)  Antivirus Software vs. SpyWare Software- Do you need both?  Yes.  Actually, I learned that having 3 programs is ideal.  Antivirus, Spyware and a freebie like Ad-Aware used together can create a safe environment for your computer.  Antivirus software is a great way to prevent viruses, but it doesn’t always prevent you from spyware that gets on your computer.  Spyware software will stop the spyware at the point that it tries to install on your computer.  Ad-Aware provides a different way of scanning your computer, with a different list of viruses and will catch some of the things your regular antivirus and spyware will not. 

3)  Browsers - Internet Explorer is the most widely used browser on the internet.  Therefore virus writers target IE the most.  Same with the most popular antivirus software.  Which is why a little known program like Ad-Aware is good to have.  Keep your browser (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari etc…) updated with the most recent version. Every version has new security measures so you’ll be more secure with the most recent version. 

I am spiffing up the protection on my computer now.  I believe that it is worth it.  Especially when there is confidential information on your computer.  Not to mention your own personal information.  Be safe and be prepared.

Delegating Means Letting Go

Thursday, January 4th, 2007 | Business Life with No Comments »

Delegate.  For some this is a word that brings fear.  For others it brings relief.  Which one does it bring for you?  This is something I have worked on since I was in college.  I like to control the important projects in my life.  It took me a long time to realize that delegating means I need to let go of getting things done “my way.”  As long as the finished product is what I was looking for, then there is no reason to take on more work than I can handle.

The same goes for running your business.  The time comes when there is more work than any one person can handle.  As a Coach, I’m sure you are very aware of how that feels.  You are also very dedicated to your work and you want to make sure that your business runs well.  It’s very admirable to want your business to be in excellent working order.  You don’t have to do it alone.  When the time comes, delegate.  Where to?  Here are some suggestions:

Ask someone who believes in your business as much as you do, to help out.  A friend, spouse, family member or Colleague maybe.

Create a support team that will help you accomplish your business goals.  Who do you know with Marketing, banking or writing skills?  See if they’ll help you when you get swamped.

Pay for services that automate your business so there is less to do.  Get that software program that will do the work for you once set up.  Better yet, higher a VA, CPA or Web Designer to work with you.

Going it alone is great for a while but when it’s time, find people you trust to delegate the work to.  Talk about establishing relationships!!  This is an excellent reason to create a business around the relationships you make.  You’ll already have those trustworthy people in your business life.  So, where can you delegate?  Let go and allow someone else to lighten your load.