Social Media at Work: Where’s the Line?

Business owners constantly have to come to grips with developments in IT services, especially as it relates to maintaining security and up-to-date virus protection. But over the last few years with the increasing presence of social media sites and the almost fanatical usage of Facebook and Twitter, a new issue is emerging.

There is no doubting the popularity of these sites, and it seems that more and more emerge every week. In fact, Wikipedia lists over 160 current sites without including dating and specialist community sites.

Employers have to face the difficulty of managing employee access to these sites during work time, without impacting on morale and without ignoring the possible business benefits that can be derived in using social media sites.

On the downside, businesses are faced with the following issues:

Employees can be tempted to spend hours at a time updating their Facebook pages thereby reducing their normal productive output. Added to this is the complication that social media messaging can interrupt workflow constantly throughout the day making it nearly impossible for an employee to complete normal tasks on time.Banning their use in the workplace has already been shown to be ineffective and in fact some surveys suggest that employees spend more time working out strategies to get around the bans!

On the positive side, some businesses actually use social media sites to promote their business.

It is easy to set up a business fan page on Facebook to promote your business and employees can be encouraged to refer clients to it so they can keep up with your latest product releases or special offers.Staff who use social media sites during work time do so in a way that is equivalent to a casual chat. They are part of everyday life so employers may as well embrace them.

Social psychologists suggest that educating employees on the acceptable use of social media sites is the best way to go. Instead of introducing bans, employers would do better to educate employees about how they can incorporate their online chatting into daily work practice.

Staff are more likely to accept a ‘managed use’ policy which outline the do’s and don’ts. Here are some simple education tips.

Provide details about what type of information is appropriate to share on social media sites so the company secrets and other commercially sensitive issues can be protected.Demonstrate to staff that the company policy is in line with other organizations so they won’t feel they are being singled out or restricted in any way.Train staff in how to use these sites to further your company’s image and how to engage customers in the most appropriate way.

By acknowledging the existence and relevance of social media sites, and then introducing policies to manage your staffs usage, you’ll be well on the way to maintaining a harmonious workplace. Your IT services team can then continue with business as usual.

3 Reasons to Buy an EBook Device

Finally, a new tech product has emerged that’s exciting for people other than those who work in computer repairs! For those book lovers out there who want to store their book collection in a more compact way, or be able to have them with you at all time, the invention of the eBook reader has revolutionised the way we look at reading. For those of you who don’t know, an eBook reader is a device whereby digital copies of books (eBooks) can be purchased, downloaded and read on a small, paperback-sized device with e-ink technology. Think of it in terms of an iPod for books–you can purchase eBooks online and store a large number of them on your device, available to read at any opportunity. eBook readers are set to be a gift phenomenon this Christmas and beyond, so get in line quick because you should have one too. Here’s why:

Environment

It’s no secret that the environment is in grave peril at the moment as a result of the way in which humans have been overtaxing our resources. The amount of paper used to publish books around the world is astronomical, with the book industry in the US using over 1.5 million metric tonnes of paper each year. This translates directly into the cutting down of our world’s forests and can be drastically reduced by this nifty little eBook reader. By publishing digitally instead of on paper, the publishing industry can make a huge reduction in its ecological footprint–but only if consumers take hold!

Space

I don’t know about you, but as an avid book reader and collector, my books had begun to take over my living space. It’s one thing to be fond of collecting books and even to like the way a bookcase (or several) looks in your apartment, but at the end of the day space is an increasingly rare commodity in our cities and the ability to reduce walls and walls of clutter to one small device is something that we all should be looking into!

Traveling

Traveling always presents the problem of which books to take away with you and how many you should plan on reading. For me, I like nothing better than passing travel time with a book, or kicking back on a beach somewhere engrossed in my latest tome. This is problematic for a number of reasons. For example, if I take a book that turns out to be a dud (as some do) I am stuck without another option, especially if I am far from a bookshop or in a country with a foreign language. Another problem is the space books take up in luggage–if I want options to last me the whole trip I have to do some serious luggage reconsideration and I end up in that age-old battle of whether I can squeeze the hardback I’ve been waiting to read or settle for a lightweight paperback by an author I don’t know. With an eBook reading device you can take literally hundreds of books away with you, with many devices being lighter than a paperback!

With easy-to-use, intuitive technology (no need to call computer support simply to turn the thing on!) and a rapidly decreasing price tag, now is the time to get your hot little hands on an eBook reading device.

Wikileaks, Document Security, And Your Business

Did you Know 48% of Breaches Happen from the Inside!

How do they occur?

48% Privilege Misuse40% Hacking38% Malware28% Employed Social Tactics15% Comprised Physical Attacks

Why do breaches occur?

Financial GainMalicious IntentGain Competitor Information

The 2010 Verizon Data Breach Report found that Financial Services was the top industry represented by percent of breaches with the Hospitality industry, Retail, Manufacturing, Technical Services and Business Services respectively. Government only took 4% of the pie, which is alarming considering the leak of hundreds of thousands of confidential documents to Wikileaks.

Data breaches occur most often in mid-sized businesses. 96% of data breaches are easily avoidable with simple or intermediate controls.

98% of data breaches came from servers85% of attacks were not considered highly difficult61% were discovered by a third-party86% of victims had evidence of the breach in log files

There are new technologies available to protect sensitive materials from being compromised. Two note-worthy technologies are Data Loss Prevention and Enterprise Digital Rights Management.

Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

Works best if a company is unsure where there is sensitive information stored on their networksDLP protects data that is “at rest” or “in motion”

Enterprise Digital Rights Management (EDRM)

Works best if a company shares confidential information with partners, financial institutions, healthcare, or mergers and acquisitionsEDRM protects data that is “at rest”, “in motion” or “in use”

A data breach can be very expensive for a company. There could be losses from embezzlement, recovery costs, repair and the most damaging for some companies- the loss of trust from end users. When Providence Health Services had a data breach their total expenses accumulated to nearly 7 million dollars. By assuming the predator is “already in” you can take a proactive approach to protecting your confidential information.

Ways to protect your company from a data breach:

Eliminate any unnecessary dataEnsure essential controls are metTest and review web applicationsAudit user accountsMonitor privileged activityFilter outbound trafficMonitor event logs

The more residuals of confidential data that remains in various hard drives and networks, the less secure your data is.

Ways to protect your confidential data from unauthorized access:Create a formal “end of life” document policyEnsure replacing equipment will not expose confidential documentsIncorporate secure access card technologies to track printingCentralize printing to track activityWatermark or encrypt sensitive documents to prevent copies or alterations

Many multifunction printers have secure operating systems to help keep documents safe by monitoring printing and allowing access controls. Additionally some devices can provide added security measures as an option.

How To Do Calculations Of Binary Data

What is a bit? A bit is the smallest unit of data that can be used. It is a binary digit ( BI nary D Igit). There can be only 0 or 1. Nothing else… So if you write Veur 0, written in binary 0

… And if you want to write one, write in binary, 1. But if you wanted to write 2?

We’re bored… Well no, not that much. 2 is the figure immediately above one which is written with a 1 or 0. So 2 neu can not be written 2 or 3 or 4 or 5, or 6 or 7 or 8 or 9… But 10! Yes, 10 is the smallest number greater than 1 which contains only 0 or 1.

So we have:
0 = 0
1 = 1
2 = 10
and 3? how do we write? Well, 3, in binary, is the number immediately above 10, which is written with 1s and 0s. So: 11
3 = 11
Cons by 4… Can not be 12 or 13 or 20, or 30, not 50 or 80… but 100, which is immediately above the figure 11, which contains only 1 and 0.
4 = 100
And so on:
5 = 101
6 = 110
7 = 111
etc..

And this is how we consider the memory required to operate a computer: For bits. In fact, the memory may contain a number of BITS. And each digit requires a number of different bits. For example, 6 (110) need 3 bits to be written, whereas 2 (10) needs only two bits (1 and 0) to be written.
Go a little exercise to conclude: How many bits are they required to write (it is said to code):

– 12-bit needs _____
– 23-bit needs _____
– 32-bit needs _____

And when you’ve created your short list of binary digits from 1 to 32, look at this little feature:
32 in binary is written: ____________
(And 32 divided by 2 = 16)
16 in binary is written: ___________
(And 16 divided by 2 = 8)
8 in binary is written: ___________
(And 8 divided by 2 = 4)
4 in binary is written: ___________
8 in binary is written: ___________
(And 4 divided by 2 = 2)
2 in binary is written: ___________
(And 2 divided by 2 = 1)
1 written in binary: ___________

And so, without having to calculate it, you should be able to write in binary by simple deduction:
64: ________
128: ___________
256: ____________ (How strange: That is the number of available columns in Excel…)
and 512: ____________
Amazing, no?

Sharp LCD Television – Why Buy LCD?

Buying a television can seem overwhelming – what looks great in the store may look less appealing when you get it home, plus you are faced with a lot of technical talk these days that can be hard to decipher. The truth is, buying a Sharp LCD television needn’t be complicated, there are just a few simple points you need to understand and the rest will fall into place quite easily.

LCD or liquid crystal display is a digital technology that provides high quality images created using the reflective qualities of the liquid crystals. The technology is an advance on previous plasma TV technology, which has been largely replaced by LCD units.

LCD has largely replaced plasma technology and there are many benefits to this. LCD offers high resolution and it is far less prone to ghosting. If you run computer displays through the television, or you use a plasma screen for gaming, then they can be prone to ghosting. LCD is not affected by this issue in the way that the plasma screen is, which makes it a better option if you’re into gaming or you use the computer with your TV screen. On the downside, the angle of viewing with LCD is not as wide as plasma, but for most home entertainment use, this is never likely to cause any genuine issues.

When buying an LCD there are several things to look at – these are resolution, hertz and HD compatibility. In nearly every instance, the HD compatibility is a given these days, so you’re not going to have to hunt around to find this. If you’re comparing a Sharp LCD television to other TV units, then resolution and hertz are the main points of focus for the image quality. This simply refers to the frequency with which the image is displayed per second. A low number could mean ghosting and less fluid looking movement, so again, the higher the number, the better the picture quality.

If you are looking at the Sharp LCD television, then the key is to understanding of the basics of the LCD technology. Keep in mind that higher the resolution and the number of hertz, the better the quality of the image will be. With this information, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about the best television for your home.

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