tips

3 Microsoft Hacks You Never Knew You Needed

3 Microsoft Hacks You Never Knew You Needed 1280 500 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne
  1. Edit PDFs

Your PDF files open by default in Adobe. But, what if you want to edit them? You cannot do that within Adobe Reader, and the Adobe software that does let you make changes to PDFs is not cheap. Microsoft Word to the rescue!

Launch Microsoft Word. Attempt to open a document like you normally would by selecting “File” and then “Open.” On the bottom right of the window that pops up, click the drop-down menu. Choose “PDF,” and then browse to the file that you wish to edit. Once you open it, you can make your edits. You may lose some of the formatting in the process, but it’s nothing that you cannot overcome.

  1. Collaborate in Real Time

With Microsoft Office, you and a colleague can edit the same document or spreadsheet at the same time. This feature is actually built into Office 2013. No magic needed. It’s a little bit of a process, but will pay off once configured.

First, save your document, spreadsheet, or presentation – whatever it may be within the Microsoft Office suite – to OneDrive. Once the document is saved, select “File,” “Share” (on the left side of the screen), and then send out your invites.

If all goes accordingly, your colleague on the other end will now be able to review and edit your work in real time. You may need to adjust your Microsoft Office settings in order to do this, but you can always request help from your IT department or an IT services company, if you have any trouble.

  1. Ignore Reply-All Email Annoyances

Have you ever been included on one of those spam email threads that have absolutely nothing to do with you, but someone (or multiple people) keep on hitting the reply-all button? Ignore these frequent annoyances with Outlook! 

Select the chain of messages. Then, in the top of the Outlook window, to the left of the “Delete” button, you will see “Ignore.” By choosing this command, any future messages will now be sent straight to the Deleted Items folder, helping you cut down on inbox clutter.

If you use Microsoft Office at home and at work every day, these time-saver tips may be just what you need to kick productivity into high gear!

Here is a very handy tip for you and your staff – Block all ads on the internet

Here is a very handy tip for you and your staff – Block all ads on the internet 1000 450 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

How to install uBlock Origin in Chrome Browser to stop ads. Brilliant for YouTube. Also stops you going to malicious sites.

Chrome is currently the number one browser used worldwide.block ads in chrome

How to install the ad blocker

  1. Open the browser and click on the 3 lines to the top right as shown below.
    chrome2

2. Scroll down until you see Get more extensions as pictured below.

chrome3 chrome4

This will block all Ads in Chrome and give a better browsing experience. No more YouTube Ads etc. It actually speeds up the internet as you are not loading all the ads any more.

How to speed up Virtual Servers

How to speed up Virtual Servers 1000 450 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

virtual server

Cost savings from Virtualisation is driving today’s large and enterprise-scale IT infrastructure deployments. However with this comes the need to make more advanced considerations when planning and provisioning compared to the relatively simpler bare-metal configurations of days of old.

Virtual server – Wikipedia

Virtual server may refer to: Virtual environment (container), a container-based environment where the underlying hardware and OS is unchanged, but the …

There is still a small group of the IT community that maintain a hostile stance towards virtualisation as a whole which almost always stems from the uninformed decisions made during an ultimately unsuccessful wander into the world of virtualisation at some point in the past which has left a bad taste in the mouth.

Virtualisation is obviously a more complex configuration of software and hardware than a bare-metal deployment but the benefits are enormous and can be surmised with one word – density. The ability to run scores of servers in a virtual environment on a single physical host is far more efficient and massively increases cost effectivity.

However, with these benefits comes the requirement of sound planning and knowledge of how hypervisor hosts and their guests operate in order to create a consolidated yet high-performing virtual environment.

One of the primary considerations is virtual CPU allocation and this affects CPU wait time which if carelessly configured can have a drastic performance impact on all the guests on the host.

Conventional logic dictates that if you want a virtual machine’s processing performance to increase then you simply assign it more cores but this is somewhat misunderstood because a machine with a higher number of cores will potentially have to wait longer for that number of processing threads to be available on the physical CPU.

There are of course other factors that determine wait time as well such as the core assignment distribution between all the guests on the host, the number of physical sockets on the host and the amount of logical cores available per socket if hyperthreading is supported on the particular CPU model.

Consider the following example:

  • You have a single-socket host running the vSphere, Hyper-V or XenServer hypervisor.
  • The host has an Intel 10-Core CPU with hyperthreading enabled for a total of 20 logical CPU cores.
  • 9 running virtual machines reside on this host. 8 with 4 vCPUs and 1 with 8 vCPUs. Total provisioned CPU cores = 40 = oversubscription ratio of 2:1.
  • When the virtual machines with 4 cores need to access the physical CPU they must wait for 4 logical cores to become simultaneously available for processing to occur.
  • When the virtual machine with 8 cores needs to access the physical CPU it must wait for 8 logical cores to become simultaneously available for its processing to take place which depending on the workloads of the other guests could be twice the wait time that the others need to conduct processing.

So from experience the lesson to be learnt here is to allocate a fewer number of CPU cores to a virtual machine to start with and increase it as necessary and if required. This is also stated within the best practice guidelines for virtual machine deployment of VMware, Microsoft and Citrix.

  • Plan the vCPU assignments wisely for all VMs on a given host to ensure the best performance.
  • Be conservative not carefree with allocations. Don’t assign a large number of CPU cores to a virtual machine that does not need them.
  • Check the average CPU allocation across the guests and keep it as uniform as possible.
  • If there is a large number of guests with fewer cores and a handful of performance intensive guests with many cores on a moderately-highly oversubscribed host then there is a good chance you will encounter CPU wait time issues.

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How opening a MS Word Doc can hijack every file on your system!

How opening a MS Word Doc can hijack every file on your system! 1000 450 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

If you receive a mail masquerading as a company’s invoice and containing a Microsoft Word file, think twice before clicking on it.
Doing so could cripple your system and could lead to a catastrophic destruction.

Hackers are believed to be carrying out social engineering hoaxes by adopting eye-catching subjects in the spam emails and compromised websites to lure the victims into installing a deadly ransomware, dubbed “Locky,” into their systems.

So if you find .locky extension files on your network shares,
Congratulations! You are infected and left with just two solutions: Rebuild your PC from scratch or Pay the ransom.
Locky ransomware is spreading at the rate of 4000 new infections per hour, which means approximately 100,000 new infections per day.

Source & Credit : http://thehackernews.com/2016/02/locky-ransomware-decrypt.html

Protect your data

Simple Ways to Protect Your Online Data

Simple Ways to Protect Your Online Data 1000 667 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

The Internet is full of threats to your privacy. There are web trackers that you could easily pick up browsing practically any website, actual hackers who are interested in you only for your credit card number, and others who are seeking to steal your identity. I have gathered a few of the best methods that can be used to protect your online privacy without a great deal of effort.

Beware of Open Wi-Fi

People are increasingly choosing restaurants and cafes based on whether or not they have free Wi-Fi because it allows for that instant access to the Internet that we all crave. However, these open Wi-Fi spots are excellent locations for people to mine data that will allow them to steal your identity and financial information. This is because all devices that are connected to the Internet will be able to see the information on any other devices connected to that network. In order to stop this from happening, I recommend avoiding open Wi-Fi altogether or only perform fairly innocuous tasks on open networks, such as looking at pictures of cats. If more sensitive tasks need to be performed, be sure to only go to websites that start with “https.” The “s” means that it is a secure channel. Look for a padlock symbol on the browser, which will indicate that the secure sight is functioning as it ought to.

Update Your Passwords

We are lazy, especially when we are on the Internet, and as a result we have lazy passwords. To have the strongest passwords possible, make sure that they are ten characters or longer and contain both uppercase and lowercase letters. Also make sure that they have letters, numbers, and some sort of special character. If you are having a hard time remembering a password, consider creating a phrase with no spaces and all of the above included. An example of this could be “Myp4ssw0rdisStrongerthanyours!”

Use Secure Cloud Storage

When you store any information in a cloud, it is important to understand that you are entrusting all of that information to a third-party. Before doing so, make sure that you choose a provider of cloud storage that has enough security to properly protect your information. Check the reviews of cloud managers before choosing one.

Update Digital Protection

Make sure that any digital protection that you might have, including firewalls, antivirus software, and antispyware software, is as up to date as possible. It they offer it, make sure that you check the box that will allow them to update automatically. This will save you the effort of having to check to make sure that you haven’t missed anything.

Opt Out of Tracking Cookies

Many sites are now using cookies that want to track your location. This can feel, to many, to be a huge breach of privacy. There are a few simple ways that will allow these cookies to be avoided. The first is to simply set the browser to automatically reject the application of any cookies. This can be done in the settings tab. The second is to install opt-out cookies that will automatically cause your browser to opt-out of any agreements that it did not specifically allow. There are a few dozen of these that need to be installed in order to ensure comprehensive coverage.

By following these simply methods of protecting your data, you will be able to browse the Internet with confidence knowing that your privacy will be maintained and that your financial information will be kept secure.