Ask CyberGuru: Should I turn off or put my computer to sleep?

Ask CyberGuru: Should I turn off or put my computer to sleep?

In the latest in our Ask CyberGuru series of articles, Merv asks, “should I turn off or put my computer to sleep?”.

This is a good question and always up for debate. The answer really depends on how much you are using your computer and whether you are appropriately prepared.

If you are regularly using your computer over a day or a couple of days during a week, you may choose to select “sleep” rather than to “shut down” your computer. Sleep is also known as a low-power state, also known as “standby” or “hibernate” in earlier versions of Windows, which similar to a television. It still is on, powered by electricity and can easily be brought back to life. In sleep mode, your computer files are temporarily saved to the hard disk and some power is still running to it so it will start back up quickly. However, it is important to note that if power list is lost and you work hasn’t been saved, you may lose it.

Generally tablets are on sleep when they are not in use, and computers can do so also. If is not necessary to turn your computer off, you can set it to sleep automatically after a set period of time. When the computer is not in use, it performance automatic maintenance tasks including disk optimisation (defragmentation), backups, as well as other routine scheduled items.

At the end of the day, it is worthwhile shutting down your computer. This clears the memory of running programs, along with any temporary files and other items that have been used. Often, updates are applied during a shutdown of a computer (and continue during the restart). Depending on your needs, some organisations suggest turning off your computer at least once a week. Some recommend only turning off your computer when absolutely necessary as this can degrade the power button, however we believe it should be performed on a routine basis. Whether you choose daily or weekly, it is up to you.

However, most importantly, during an electrical thunderstorm, we strongly suggest turning off and unplugging any equipment. It is possible a surge may cause your computer to receive an electric shock and surge other equipment in the process. Please refer to our recent blog article, Five tips to be cyclone and storm ready with your technology for more information.

Has Internet Explorer stopped working on your computer?

Has Internet Explorer stopped working on your computer?

A recent update to Norton 360 and Norton Internet Security may have been the cause of such an issue. Norton has released an update to the problem and has documented this solution.

To correct this error, you may need to apply the latest Norton 360 updates to your computer.

Here’s how to do this:

  1. Start Norton 360 or Norton Internet Security.
  2. In Norton 360, click Security, then click Run LiveUpdate.
  3. In Norton Internet Security, click LiveUpdate, and then click Run LiveUpdate.
  4. Norton LiveUpdate will then check, download and process updates.
  5. If there is a patch available, you can choose to click Apply now (recommended) or Apply later.
  6. If prompted, save your work and restart your computer.
Norton LiveUpdate
Norton LiveUpdate – click to open larger image

Once you have applied the update, you should be able to operate Internet Explorer again. If you have any questions or require any further assistance to enlist our Support solution, please feel free to contact us.

Five tips to be cyclone and storm ready with your technology

Five tips to be cyclone and storm ready with your technology

With Cyclone Marsha and heavy storming weather on its way to South East Queensland, we thought that we would share some tips to ensure you are ready and prepared in case of emergency.

Install and have appropriate hardware protection

Along with circuit breakers to protect your home or office premises, we suggest that all businesses and home offices should have uninterrupted power supplies (UPSs) protecting your server and surge protectors protecting your computers, modems and phones. By using a UPSs enables a safe shutdown should power be lost can prevent data loss and corruption, along with expensive recovery bills for devices that have been destroyed.

Turn off and unplug your unnecessary hardware

If possible, keep your hardware turned off during electrical storms to prevent surges and strikes surging your equipment. There have been countless cases of electrical thunderstorms causing surge through telephone or electrical equipment and destroying it because of the physical connections it has with each other. For instance, telephones are connected to modems and routers, which in turn effects the servers and computers connected to it. Whilst it may not be possible to turn and unplug of everything off, do so if possible.

Set up multiple backups in different locations

To be prepared for any event, whether it is a storm or not, it is important to have backups. We suggest having multiple copies on different locations (such as in the office and one at home). Whilst most operating systems provide some capability for automating and setting an automatic backup routine, to do multiple copies of backups requires specialist software. You may also consider cloud-based servers to host backups.

Charge your devices and ready to go

If you do lose power and you need to use technology to remain in touch, ensure you have sufficient power by charging the devices prior to the storm should you require them to remain connected. This may include your laptop, tablet, WiFi modem, mobile phone or other devices. You may also wish to consider buying extra batteries or USB power packs to charge them as required. Where possible, try to save charge on the devices by turning off unnecessary features and not using battery heavy applications such as videos and maps.

Stay connected by using your mobile internet and cloud-based software

Many businesses are now available to remain “online” because of their use cloud-based services, enabling them to work anywhere and anytime using just a web browser and an internet connection. Should a disaster arise, their data is stored comfortably in another location to ensure it is protected. It is important to note that cloud-based services are available for as long as you have internet. If you do have an internet allowance as part of your mobile phone plan, be sure to be aware of your bandwidth restrictions as to not to get a heavy bill next month!

We hope you keep safe in the cyclones and storms and that these tips assist you in being ready with your technology. If you have any questions or would like to know more about being prepared, please feel free to contact us.

Get Microsoft Office free on your mobile or tablet

Get Microsoft Office free on your mobile or tablet

Do you have a mobile device and wish to open and work on Microsoft Office documents? We have great news to share. Microsoft has recently introduced free mobile apps of Microsoft Office which can be easily used on tablet and mobile phone devices including Apple iPad and iPhone, Android tablet and phone and Windows Phone to complement the Windows versions.

You can now use touch-friendly versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps on these devices for free. You can view, create, edit, and print your documents using a simplified mobile interface. Most modern versions of the tablets are supported, Depending on your device, you can also obtain OneNote, Lync, and other applications such as OneDrive also.

To take advantage of this, simply go to your chosen devices’ Store (Apple App Store, Google Play Store or Windows Store) to download the chosen app. You can find out more about the products available from the Microsoft Office Mobile (link opens in new window) website.