FITS & Starts 2010 Newsletter

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18 February 2010                                                                                                                Volume 10, Issue 2

In This Issue

Virtual Server Planning

What’s Important

Software Shorts

On FITS Web

Reduce hardware investment, Save on Power and Cooling costs and get Disaster Recovery…

Easy and Inexpensive Backup Solutions (Click Here)

Want to give customers access to your business 24 x 7? A web page is an inexpensive sales tool…  

Your wireless network should display a ‘lock’ symbol indicating it is secure, if not you are leaving your data exposed. Contact FITS if you are not sure sales@FileBankIT.com or (416) 640-2874 …

Virtual Servers – Essential Planning Steps Launching your virtual Server environment involves more than just buying a “Super-Server” and loading it up. In the race to become virtualized you may miss some key points, that later become your downfall. Proper planning is absolutely essential.

The most common question I am asked is, “how many virtual machines can a host Server accommodate?”  Overloading your host Server is just one of the many pitfalls in your setup and calculating the proper Server load is not simple math.  A lot of the answers start with, “that depends…”

 

Other planning questions include, does your virtualization plan include any single points of failure?  Are all your applications actually supported in a virtual environment?  What about software licencing? - Just to complicate matters, software licencing often works differently in virtual environments, and let’s face it, if you can save a bit of cash in the deployment then all the better.

 

If you really want a headache, let’s talk domain controllers.  Placing all of your domain controllers on a single host can get you into trouble however you also have to decide whether to virtualize them or not. Now, will the host servers be domain members as well?  Yes I know, “pardon me?”  This is the reason you want to have an expert on your side.   

 

Looking to upgrade or install a server – Bring FITS’ wealth of experience with you. Contact FITS Sales@FileBankIT.com (416) 640-2874 for a no-obligation consultation.

 

Don’t Worry, It’s Nothing Important…

I’ve often heard it explained, “There is nothing important on my computer, or in my email, or on my social network site so I don’t need to protect it.”  The truth is your opinion about what is important differs from an attacker's opinion.

Most of us are aware if we have financial or business data on our computer, attackers may be able to collect it and use it for their own gain.  However, average computers and all on-line accounts require protection from those who can take control and use them in attacks directed against you or others. 

Accounts often get hacked because of weak passwords. (Dictionary words, birthdays, pet/family names etc.) I know of two people who recently had their accounts hacked, one who used a simple dictionary password to protect her email account and the other was possibly hacked by using information gained off their facebook profile.  What both failed to comprehend is that social network and email logon credentials are a valuable commodity.  Think about it, messages from someone posing as you are more likely to be trusted and therefore acted on.

Social networks have become entrenched in the day-to-day activities of both businesses and individuals. Their rapid growth, coupled with the lack of security focus design, has made them a natural target for hackers and therefore a significant vehicle for data loss and identity theft.  Be careful what information you publicize - attackers can piece together information from a variety of sources and use it to their advantage.

To give you an idea of the level of sophistication out there, take a look at the “Koobface” malware family as an example.  This rogue program has the capability to register a social network account, activate it by confirming an email, befriend random people, join random groups, and then post messages on the walls of friends (often providing links to enticing videos, which are barbed with malware).  To go one step further, it restricts how many new friends it makes each day in order to avoid detection. This is why we warn you not to make social network ‘friends’ with people you don’t know.

For more information on security and backup solutions, for business or home, contact FITS.  (Sales@FileBankIT.com or 416 640-2874)

 

Paste Special Use in Spreadsheets

For those of you looking for spreadsheet shortcuts you may be able to make use of a built-in command that lets you replace formulas with literal values. It’s a simple process, requiring just a few quick steps (and it works in both Excel and the Open office suite):

1. Select the range of formulas.

2. Press [Ctrl] +C to copy the selected cells to the Clipboard.

3. From the Edit menu, choose Paste Special.

4. In the resulting Paste Special dialog box, click Values in the Paste section. (In Excel 2007, choose Paste Values from the Paste control’s drop-down list. You’ll find this control in the Clipboard group on the Home tab.)

This should help you out when producing new spreadsheets from existing ones where you only want the numeric values and not the formulas.

When in need of expert computer advice contact FITS at Sales@FileBankIT.com or (416) 640-2874 and stay focused on what your business does best.

 

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