Lessons From Celebrating a Holiday in a Lockdown

So, how was your 4th of July? Did you celebrate our nation’s independence day with such fun and revelry as you used to. I bet $100 you did not. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. July 4, 2020 will be marked in history as an Independence Day that Americans celebrated indoors. Did that sound sad? Yes, it is. For sure, so many of us had to content themselves with scaled-down celebrations that pale in comparison with past celebrations. Well, July 4th came and went and I am sure so many of us have regrets on how we celebrated Independence Day.

But then, there might still be some more holidays to come with everyone still in the comforts of their home while the threat of coronavirus still rages outdoors. Let’s not hope for that to happen, but if projections are correct, we will still have the pandemic until the vaccines go into production until September, which means we will most certainly spend Labor Day in the pandemic period.  So, with that in mind, let us remember the lessons we learned …

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Sharing Documents in the Time of Remote Working

As every working person has been adjusting to the new reality of everyone in quarantine due to the COVID19 virus, working from home has changed from being an exception to becoming the norm.  There are those of us who have done years in the office, reporting five to six days a week, who are so used to printing documents or manage important data through filing cabinets and in and out trays and thus will have to struggle a bit with dealing with data and information. With this new norm, we may need to embrace email and messaging document hacks.  Don’t worry, it shouldn’t be too long ago when you had to adjust to document and email management hacks in the office, so you should also be on your way to adapting to your own best practices in managing documents. Who knows, you’ll get your own system up and running efficiently soon, if you haven’t already.

Adapting to email and IM attachments

Since you are now working remotely, you do not have the luxury of printing important documents or storing them …

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A Changed World After the COVID19 Crisis

The entire world is currently in the throes of the COVID19 pandemic, affecting all facets of our lives. Governments of various countries have imposed lockdowns that have affected companies and office workers, making them miss their offices more. Financial institutions have concluded that the world economy will be on its worst depression since the Second World War. So many people are still being tested positive of the virus, and there seems to be no end in sight as the possibilities for a cure and a vaccine are still months, if not years away.

But then, the government can only hold their lockdowns as long as they can. China has already lifted its lockdown on Wuhan, believed to be the epicenter and origin of the virus, while reporting that its national economy will be contracting for the first time since the 1980s. Other “early adapter” countries like Japan and South Korea still demand their people to maintaining social distancing and prohibit public assemblies but have already allowed people to go back to work. This the question among people is, what will …

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Want to Be Effective While Working Remotely?

Working With the world population at an estimated 7.9 billion, close to 5 billion people have to work or study from home. With these figures, you would think that the world economy, as a result, would collapse, and rightfully so. Numerous economic analysts are in fact in agreement that we are heading into one of the worst economic contractions in human history, only comparable to the Great Depression in the 1920s and the aftermath of World War II – unless we adapt to this situation.

And adapt most of us have, as working from home has been the saving grace of so many businesses, not to mention entire economies from a total shutdown. Moreover, if done right, working from home cannot just save companies, but allow them to profit. With operating expenses lessened because offices and shops are closed, companies can actually make themselves fiscally strong. Thus, with remote work looking like it’s going to be the norm, how can we maximize it to make it work for our companies? What are the best practices in remote work that will …

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Is Zoom Helping or Destroying Your Remote Work Efforts?

With most of the employed world currently now working at home to avoid the spread of the coronavirus, apps and programs that make remote work easier have become household names. One such program is Zoom, a platform that facilitates video conferencing. However, with the rise of its popularity, many concerns about its security have also emerged. In just the past month since state and national governments started imposing lockdowns, the number of Zoom downloads has increased by more than 500%. High-profile personalities such as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson have been known to use the platform as they are on quarantine to attend video conferences.

However, many sectors have also expressed concern regarding its use, with online security experts questioning its security features and doubting the safety of users’ data in the platform. New York’s attorney general, Letitia James, has already demanded the company to inform the public of measures it had taken for security concerns to be addressed and whether the sudden ballooning of its users is something the company can cope with. Zoom announced then that all its …

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Working From Home Done Right

Right now, it is estimated that four billion people are working from home because of the lockdowns governments all over the world have imposed on their citizens in reaction to the accelerated spread of the COVID19 virus. Since we’re all already reporting to work from the comforts of our homes and trying our best (hopefully) to be our most productive, we may need all the help we can get to do it right. We are in this together and we are not sure of when this lockdown will be over, so might as well make sure our remote work experience is maximized.

So, how do we make the most of remote work to improve our experience, let our companies enjoy the fruits of our efforts, and make the world economy suffer a little less? Here are some ways to make remote work a win-win situation for everyone.

 

Out with voice, in with video

If there’s anything that remote work has removed, the first thing that would come to mind would be face-to-face meetings among colleagues and clients. With the …

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Handle Your Documents Like a Pro While Working at Home

So, weeks into your lockdowns wherever you are in the world, (1) you must already have gotten in the grove of remote working and effectively working at home and (2) you miss working from the office, with all its perks and quirks such as nosy and noisy officemates, free instant coffee, and your important printed documents so much. To have the best of both worlds in terms of having an easy time with work, you need to accept the advantages that remote working presents through technology, where document management and workflow implements may be made available. Here are some great practices that will allow you and your team to develop systems to process your documents over email and messaging. Don’t worry, these are easy and quick to implement, so you shouldn’t have such a hard time.

 

Do other things with documents

A key to seamless and more effective management of documents when everyone is doing remote work is allowing people not just to have copies of their documents but also to do other things. One, there should be an …

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Are You Ready for a Post-COVI19 World?

As in the course of human history, the COVID19 pandemic is bound to end. Some scientists and mathematicians opine that things will return to normal after six months, while some analysts have adapted a more pessimistic view, saying things will not normalize until a cure or a vaccine for the virus is discovered and made public.  Thus, when this turmoil will end, we do not yet know. But as an adage goes, nothing lasts forever and thus, the pandemic will end.

So, while we know that currently, what we will have to do is to stay at home, not get sick and flatten the curve, what do you think the world will be like once the crisis is over? The events as they unfold currently have already changed the way we live, so the post-COVID19 world should be very interesting. What could possibly change and what never be the same again because of this virus that people easily dismissed as just another passing disease months ago?

 

Automation and remote will be the norms

Businesses will be under pressure to …

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Welcome to the Era of Video Conferencing

Most, if not all of us are confined at home, no thanks to this coronavirus crisis we are facing. But then, even if we are undergoing this extremely traumatic experience in fighting an unseen enemy, there’s still work to be done. While it used to be that we need to schedule conference rooms and book restaurants to meet with our teammates and clients, we now need to make sure we have somewhere to accept meetings from our “home offices” – whether it be in the bedroom, living room, kitchen, dining room, or for those with foresight, their home offices. Attending meetings is such a big part of working and whether you are working in the office or in the comforts of home, you need to know how to successfully hold them. With your laptop, videoconferencing platform, and agenda in tow, what else do you prepare as you embark on your journey to becoming a remote working video conferencing pro?

 

Look the part

The way you look in your videoconference doesn’t just matter to the attendees of your meeting, but …

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Don’t Put your Documents at Risk When Working Remotely

Remember the time when people (including you, maybe) dismissed the coronavirus as just some pesky disease from China that will come to pass in weeks? Currently, literally thousands die in the US alone from the disease and confirmed cases now number to over a million. This unprecedented increase has twisted the arms of authorities to impose drastic measures to flatten the curve of new cases and avoid the overwhelming of the healthcare sector. Other countries have imposed border lockdowns, curfews, and the US included, allow those who can, to work from home.

As expected, employees will need to utilize company-provided devices in these uncertain times, as there is no timeline yet as to when the crisis will be completely defeated.  But then, the ambiguity of the situation has been taken advantage of by cybercriminals who will exploit the paranoia of remote workers and expose data and hardware vulnerabilities in the systems they use. How can remote workers then ensure the integrity of the data they get to handle is never compromised during the duration of their remote work period?

 …

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How Do You Ace Working Remotely?

Because of the threat of COVID-19, companies and governments have found themselves implementing what can be considered as the largest work-from-home experiment in recorded human history. Many praise remote work as a great solution, as it allows employees to still work while still distancing themselves from each other during this uncertain time in what is seen as a responsible move to prevent the further spread of the virus. So, while most companies were in the primary stages of considering work-from-home policies only a few months ago, now it seems that they have been forced by circumstances to realize them. But even before the COVID19 pandemic forced this arrangement upon almost the entire world, there have already been enlightened groups that have embraced the benefits of remote work.

But then of course, like anything else, working from home also presents a number of challenges. Because employees are not supervised, productivity may be sacrificed. Moreover, cybersecurity can be a huge challenge, since the networks of employees working from home may not be as fortified as those in the office, making them a …

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Three Things to Do Before Joining a Video Conference

Because of the coronavirus crisis, a majority of us will need to work from home.  And as any veteran telecommuter will tell you, you will have to conduct a meeting with your team or your colleagues through a video conference call. While the technicalities of setting up a video conference may already user-friendly, there is still the issue of doing them properly, in proper etiquette. After all, just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you can slack, especially in these online video meetings. Here are some dos of video conference etiquette that you can do even before the meeting starts so that you can hopefully conduct them as effectively as possible.

Do: Have an Agenda

Doesn’t it irritate you when you attend a meeting where everybody just sits around, waiting for all attendees to be present, and then, when finally is already in the meeting, the person presiding the meeting takes a while to get things in order? At least in actual physical meetings, you can express your frustration to the meeting presider with facial expressions. With virtual meetings, …

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How to Cope With Ransomware

With the coronavirus pandemic severely affecting healthcare organizations, you would think that cybercriminals would tone down on wreaking havoc on them. A lot of them have actually promised to stop their activities for the meantime until the situation improves, with some of them even offering free service for organizations that have been mistakenly encrypted. But then, there are still some gangs who are not promising anything, with one of them actually threatening to take their actions further especially to big pharma sites, as these organizations allegedly take advantage of the public panic to rake in more profits. For these, let’s take those promises with a bit of salt, shall we?

With most computer system and information technology specialists of companies working from home (unless some of them are actually staking out in their offices for the entire lockdown period), the risks companies face of getting cyber attacked is especially high.  When there is no one in the office to physically asses their systems, the response time of these IT people to any threat will be greatly affected. So, unless all …

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Keeping It Clean, Including (and Especially) Our Gadgets

The coronavirus pandemic has changed how we live, and that is no exaggeration. Entire states have declared lockdowns, residents have been instructed to practice social distancing and to stay home. There seems to be no near end in sight yet as cases of patients confirmed positive of the virus have been steadily increasing.  If we are forced to see any upside to what’s happening, it’s that everyone has become more conscious of personal hygiene. All around the world, authorities have regularly campaigned for the public to adhere to sanitation practices like the 20-second rule of handwashing, keeping our hands away from our faces, and maintaining proper coughing and sneezing behavior. For us who can’t seem to live without a social media update every hour, good hygiene should also mean making sure our gadgets are virus-free.

There is still no documentation of the COVID-19 virus being transmitted through surfaces, as the most common means of transmission current is through direct human contact or respiratory droplets. However, health authorities such as the CDC suggest that surfaces should still be cleaned, as recent …

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Tech in the Time of Corona

How exactly will the coronavirus be stopped? Can it be stopped in the first place? According to developing news, the vaccine for it will not be available until a year from now. The effectiveness of people being quarantined and told to stay at home can only do so much, as people positive for the virus may not be fully known until all persons under investigation or monitoring cannot be tested for it. As it is now, there is a worldwide shortage of test kits that determine who has the virus. So, it seems that it may realty take a while before this virus becomes less of a problem for the entire world.

Thank god for science and technology, though as they may have some fixes to help with the current efforts. They may not yet be perfect solutions that will eliminate the problem in one clear swoop, but they can at least make what is being done now more effectively.

Can tracking apps prove useful?  

Tracking apps may as well be an effective tool to contain the coronavirus outbreak, as …

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More Ways of Speeding Up Your Internet

By now, you may already be staying home so that you and your family can be spared from getting sick of the COVID19 virus. With staying at home during this lockdown period, that means you would need to work from home and do everything indoors, so you need to make sure your house is lockdown ready.

Do you have your groceries to last you at least an entire month? Do you have your first aid kit ready? Are all your previous bills settled already? Do you have copies of all your important work documents? Have you installed all the programs and apps needed for you to successfully telecommute? Most importantly, is your internet speed reliable?

Internet speed would prove to be the most important thing aside from food in this lockdown not only because will people try to work from home, which will require a stable internet connection, but also because they will be reliant on the world wide web for the most updated news about what’s happening outside their homes and for their sources of entertainment. From streaming video …

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Another Three Suggestions on What to Do While in a Lockdown

By now, unless you’re on a YOLO mindset, you should already be staying at home. You wouldn’t want to catch the COVID19 virus, would you? Even if you’re the altruistic, other-before-self kind of person, you shouldn’t really be outdoors because if you bring the virus with you home, your family and those who get in contact with you might be the ones to get sick. So really, stay home.

So, now that you’re being a good person and staying home, doing your part to “flatten the curve” and stop the spread of the virus, you can’t really say that you’re bored and left with nothing to do. You’re in the comforts of your home (or wherever it is you’ve chosen to camp during this lockdown period). True, you can’t do any and all outdoor activities, but there are still so any things you can do at home. Think about it: There are so many things we have put in the backburner, activities we have postponed; and now is the time to bring them back to the forefront. Need a bit …

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Keep Busy While Staying at Home  

Aren’t we living in ironic times?

Just when we’ve been feeling so drained and complaining about being overworked, spending 14 hours in the office just to bring home the bacon, not having time to pursue our passions (from crocheting to finally taking the weekend off for a paragliding adventure) because we just don’t have the time, the COVID19 pandemic hits the entire world. So, now we have all the time in the world, but we can’t do a lot outdoors because most of us are in lockdown. We can’t go out, we can’t have drinks with friends in our preferred club, and there goes your dream paragliding adventure.

So, how do we actually keep busy and not lose our sanity for the entire lockdown period? Before cabin fever sets in, here are some recommended activities we hope you’d consider.

Keep fit indoors

Just because you’re cooped up inside your house doesn’t mean you have to live a sedentary lifestyle and forget fitness. Everybody’s stuck up on their houses precisely because of this disease and reliable sources say the mortality rate …

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Be Assured of Your Internet Speed This Lockdown

Because of the COVID19 scare, a lot of people have been working from home. The problem is, many have discovered that their internet is working at a speed that is not to their expectations. Moreover, those who are staying at home and sourcing their entertainment from games and streaming entertainment their internet speeds aren’t up to par with what they were used to. So, in this period of people telecommuting and staying at home, what are the best ways to improve your internet speeds?

A quick note, though: If you are not sure of how exactly your internet is performing, try to run an internet speed test at various times throughout the day. Not only will you get exact numbers, but you will also get to check if there’s actually a fluctuation of your internet speeds, if it’s consistently slow throughout the day, or if there are only particular times of the day when it’s not as fast as the rest of the day.

Reset or reboot? 

If you have an average home network, you can enjoy a lot of …

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Don’t Lose Your Mind (Or Your Files) During This Lockdown

Unless you’ve been living a monastic existence or have been literally living under a rock, you may know that most parts of the world are already under quarantine. Some may call it self-isolation, while some may call it community lockdown, yet others simply call it stay-at-home orders – it’s all the same. From far north as Iceland to the people living Down Under, everyone has been observing various degrees of what has become popularly known as social distancing – giving you and the person closest to you physical distance, in an effort to flatten the curve and stop the spread of the COVI19 virus, which has reached pandemic proportions.

So, in this time of extreme uncertainty, when entire states are already telling citizens to stay home and not go out, what else can you do but follow orders and stay put at home? Chances are, your company has already allowed people to work from home, if no one has yet been forced to do so. And when you’re already home, there’s also a huge chance that after a day or …

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Make Your Wi-Fi Work for You

As one American state after another has started to tell all their citizens to stay at home and be safe amid the coronavirus pandemic, people are depending on their home Wi-Fi for just about everything – from telecommuting to entertainment. After all, the priority now is to contain the COVID 19 situation; so as not to let it affect more people, people should not let themselves be exposed to the virus.

And it is in this light that reliable internet speeds will be of utmost importance so that people can still work from home, be updated with the latest information, and continue to be connected with family and friends. It will be no surprise that internet service providers will be overwhelmed in the coming days, if not weeks. But is there anything you can do to keep your Wi-Fi fast from your end? True, not all of us are tech experts, but the tech experts themselves say that we can do some slight tweaks to make sure that our Wi-Fi experience is maximized.

Lamps and other gadgets – stay away

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Software for Data Recovery DIY

It’s a nightmare everyone using a computer has: files accidentally getting deleted, important documents mysteriously disappearing, things you badly need in your laptop that you can’t find anymore. When this happens and you’ve verified that indeed, you may have lost that file in that particular laptop, you can explore two options. The first option is for you to take advantage of a professional who does a data recovery service for you. But then, you may also opt to take things in your own hands and recover that precious missing file with the help of data recovery software.

If user reviews are to be believed, data recovery software has improved in their performance in leaps and bounds since they were first used. While other software has lousy free trial versions, those who have tried free data recovery tools to salvage lost files have posted glowing reviews as well, comparable to paid versions. So, let’s see which of these programs come most recommended among users on the Internet.

Recuva

Recuva is a paid data recovery service that gets full marks on how …

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Which Streaming Device Should You Have?

It’s the era of media streaming. The days of having to be a slave to cable TV with limited choices of packages with so many unexplainable charges and fees. Cord cutters, rejoice! Future joiners of the cord-cutting bandwagon, feel free to explore your choices! This is because a streaming device that allows you to watch shows and movies and listen to music has become a hot ticket. For those with older models of smart TVs, or anyone who would want a reliable method of streaming can get a streaming device that will provide them exactly that.

But then, you may ask, “Isn’t streaming already available on computers and mobile devices through Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc.?” What do you need a streaming device for?” The advantage of having a streaming device is that you have a gadget that is dedicated only to giving you content, nothing else. Let’s see which of these devices are the most user-friendly, doesn’t lag that much, can play video from the most services, and is easily updated when new services become available.

Amazon Fire TV

Coming …

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Are you Ready for 5G?

All the buzz behind 5G is quite deafening, really. Tech news sites will not be complete without at least one news item every day featuring a country authorizing a particular company to build 5G infrastructure in their area, telcos promoting the technology to be the next big thing to its excited customers, and customers eagerly anticipating what 5G’s benefits are to them.

As its name suggests, 5G is the fifth generation of wireless technology and is set to be faster than the current 4G networks consumers enjoy by at least twenty times. Now, isn’t that exciting? But then, this new technology will also require telco providers to modify their network infrastructure and in turn, may also require consumers who want to enjoy it to change their equipment. So, you might want to get ready to shell out for yet another new smartphone.

Let’s get to know 5G technology more and see what its effects are to us, casual technology consumers.

What is 5G, really?

As mentioned earlier, most of us only know 5G as the 5th generation of technology …

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Why Giving Windows 10 a Chance Isn’t Such a Bad Idea

There is a pattern of consumer behavior when it comes to upgraded stuff – people will hype it in anticipation weeks and days leading to the release date, crucify the developers of inevitable bugs for the earliest adaptors, and then months later, when the release has a gazillion patches and fixes and becomes stable, public opinion will be kinder. Just like most upgrades (particularly Microsoft ones), the launch of Window 10 was quite anticipated in the months and weeks before the release date and a public outcry (or at least those who were earliest to install the 2020 update) happened when bugs were discovered left and right (no audio, no search results, to name a few). Honestly speaking, with the death of Windows 7 still fresh, it might take a while (maybe until the end of the year) before the whole Windows-using public will really cozy up with Windows 10.

To help you in that process, here are a number of features that may come in handy with the ubiquitous OS’s latest update. Who knows, it might get you …

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