Tech Talk: A review of current best practices in information technology

by David Shinn

Safely remove USB devices--- Eject

When using a USB device, like an external hard drive, it’s a good idea to properly eject the device rather than just unplug it from the computer.  Find the USB Safely Remove Hardware icon in the bottom right of your active toolbar, right click it and choose the device you want to eject. A message will appear on the screen, “Safe to remove hardware.” Unplug the device.

Domain Name Registration

Whenever you register a domain name for your use, make sure it is registered in your name with your contact information (address, phone and email). After your web developer sets the DNS, go in and change the password so that only you have access. Also make sure you have a written agreement with your developer/advertiser that you own the domain and the website (and all images on the website)… otherwise if the relationship goes bad, you may find that you own nothing and have to start your corporate branding all over again.

Image Licensing

It is very important in today’s litigious environment that you purchase licensed images to use on your website and internet marketing. Just “taking” an image off the internet can get you sued. A matter of fact, Getty Images sells licensed images--- but they make a lot more money finding and suing people who are using their images without proper license. They prey on people without good legal knowledge and it’s a huge business.

We use Fotolia by Adobe (us.fotolia.com) to purchase all of our project images. They are very affordable and have royalty-free licensing… just create an account, purchase a credit pack and start searching for images. You can purchase 26 credits for $35.00.  Each image is 1 to 3 credits.

Royalty-free vs. Royalty licensing

Royalty-free licenses are a one-time purchase for a particular use. Royalty licenses require an up-front fee and then a timed royalty payment as time goes on (usually quarterly). The royalty fee ends when you stop using the image. We always purchase royalty-free images.

Email Marketing and Staying off the Blacklist

SPAM is a huge problem. No one wants to get a thousand worthless emails a day. There are many resources available today that help your email service provider remove junk emails before you ever see them--- of course it’s a balancing act to not delete emails you want to see from clients and friends. We see many problems with users of AOL, Hotmail, ATT and YAHOO getting blocked as spammers. This is partly because they are old email systems and partly because they do a poor job of policing their outgoing mail load for spamming.

A good way to do email marketing rather than sending them from your personal email address, is through Mail Chimp (MailChimp.com). Mail Chimp is free up to 2000 subscribers and you can send up to 12,000 emails per month. Mail Chimp works with the Blacklist servers to make sure they adhere to the e-marketing ethics and laws.

What is the Blacklist?

There’s a great article on the Mail Chimp site. Go to mailchimp.com and search for How blacklists work.   

Protecting Your Computer from Wandering Eyes

Whether you are in a business or home environment, it’s good practice to setup a logon password and setup your screen saver to return to the login screen after so many minutes of inactivity. The password can be setup under Control Panel / User Accounts. The screen saver return to logon screen can be set under Screen Saver Settings.  Set the time to maybe 10 minutes and put a checkmark in “On resume, display login screen.”

When you are leaving your desk for lunch or a bathroom break, press Control-Alt-Delete and choose “Lock this computer”.

Netgear Router Updates

Netgear announced first quarter of 2018, that they have released new firmware updates for several products to address security issues. The products include routers, gateways, WiFi range extenders, and Powerlines.  There are two ways to update your products.

1) Login to the router, Select Advanced > Administration, click the Firmware Update or Router Update button, click the Check button, and follow the prompts.

2) For all other products visit http://www.netgear.com/support. Type the model number of your product and click Downloads.