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10 Dec 2015

3 Easy Steps to Improve Your Battery Life

Here are some tips to make your laptop battery life last longer:


  1. Make sure you unplug you laptop when it is charged. In some cases, overcharging can damage the battery. According to the Battery University, a battery will give you 300 to 500 full discharge cycles or charges, and overcharging can significantly reduce the number of charges a battery is able to produce. Furthermore, Battery University recommends ideally using your laptop between 40% and 80% percent battery life to get the most life out of the battery.
  2. The number one battery drain is the screen brightness, and that goes for any device, including your cell phone. Search for “Power Options” on your machine, and make adjustments. Keep that backlight to a minimum and extend your battery life. While you are in the area of adjusting power settings, you can tell your laptop when to hibernate and sleep. When your machine is not charging or in use, adjust the settings to have the display turn off or dim.
  3. Keeping the vents clear on your laptop will improve your battery life. It is bad practice to set your laptop on a pillow, couch cushion, mattress, or anything soft that hinders airflow. The vents under your laptop will end up drawing up debris and the fans get congested, which in turn makes your machine work harder than it needs to. This will drain your battery very quickly, and over time could do some damage. If your laptop starts to feel very hot or makes a loud buzzing, move it to a hard surface immediately.
10 Dec 2015

Online Security – How Can I Stay Safe?

cyber security

You are sitting at a neighborhood bistro waiting on a friend. They are running late, and so you decide to take advantage of the free Wi-Fi and surf the net on your phone. As you scroll through your emails, you remember you need to pay some bills online and figure now is a perfect time. You log on to your bank and proceed to transfer those funds.

Sound like a familiar scenario? Many people do it every day. While it is a part of daily life, we need to be cautious and know the risks, or you could find your information stolen and vulnerable. How can we protect ourselves, and what can we do to keep our personal information safe?

It is important to make sure you are hooking up to a network that is secure. Their network can be configured to track data going out and being received. Public connections are often unsecured and leave your machine open to outsiders. Be cautious when using free Wi-Fi.

When shopping online, make sure you stick with reputable sites that you know to be legit, such as Amazon or Nordstrom. To ensure that you are on a secure, encrypted part of the webpage, make sure that during checkout you divert your attention to the top of your browser. There should be a padlock symbol or the abbreviation ‘https’ in the address bar at the top of your browser when finalizing your purchases. As always, monitor your banking statements for fraudulent or suspicious activity.

Make sure that you do not click on anything where the source seems suspicious. If a window pops up, do not click on it, and immediately close it. If you received an email from an unknown source, do not follow any links within it.

Another issue to touch on to keep your information safe is password security and keeping your machines locked. When selecting a password, it is better to be complex. They should contain a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and symbols. They should be different for each site.  Finally, lock your machine up when it is not in use. This includes laptops, desktops, tablets and phones. A pin or password is ideal, as it is your first line of defense against someone trying to steal information.

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