10 Tricks That Can Make Anyone An Excel Expert

One of our support team was on a call this week with a business owner that was having a bit of a nightmare with Excel.

Turns out we found a solution using a few tricks that sorted things out in a jiffy, and it made me think… why not share some of these ‘tricks’ with you!

So here’s a handy list of Excel shortcuts to help you out:

F2 is a quick way to edit a selected cell or its contents.

F4 repeats an action. So, if you fill a cell with colour for example, pressing F4 will do the same in the next cell you select when pressing F4.

F7 will spell check a cell or the entire document with the click of one button.

F11 will create a chart from information from cells or highlighted data.

Alt + Enter will allow you to have multiple lines of text within one cell by moving down a line when typing and pressing Alt + Enter.

Alt + = will calculate the sum of all the cells above.

Ctrl + Space highlights a whole column.

Shift + Space highlights a whole row.

Ctrl + F6 will switch between other open windows and worksheets.

Shift + F3 will open up the Formula window to make calculations.

Making an Excel spreadsheet doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Learning a few (or all) of these shortcuts could have you working a lot faster and far more productively.

I hope you found this info useful.

Until next time, happy computing!

Dom

Beware – Ransomware is out there!

Below is some vitally important information taken from the Norton website, about the latest cyber-crime that is sweeping the world…

The latest spin on a ransom note isn’t composed of letters clipped out of a newspaper. Increasingly, criminals are unleashing brash attacks on your PC and its data through a type of malicious software called ransomware.

It’s exasperating enough if your computer is sluggish because of a virus, but what if the virus installs embarrassing pornography on your screen or encrypts your data so you can’t read it?

Ransomware attacks often use these tactics to demand you pay a ransom to remove the pornography or to access your files.

Ransomware on the rise

“There’s more and more documented evidence that this is going on,” says Ori Eisen, founder and chief innovation officer of fraud prevention company 41st Parameter. “It’s more prevalent in the United Kingdom, which is sort of a staging or testing ground. It’s starting there and getting more momentum.”

The FBI recently issued an alert about the broader category of rogueware, which include ransomware and fake antivirus scareware scams. According to the FBI, criminals are netting an estimated $150 million a year through these scams. “Ransomware is actually scarier” than the scareware scams, says Robert Siciliano, a Boston-based identity theft expert. “There’s nothing worse in the field of technology than having a criminal in control of your network. When a ransomware attack occurs, it can easily elevate from a potential data loss to potential identity theft to a data breach in the form of extortion.”

How ransomware works

These aggressive assaults begin in a similar manner to scareware. You’re duped into clicking on an infected popup advertisement or you visit an infected website. However, instead of just trying to trick you into buying fake antivirus software, the bad guys hold your computer hostage and attempt to extort payment.

In some instances, ads for pornographic websites appear on your screen each time you try to click on a Web page. The ads cover a portion of the page you’re trying to view.” Just imagine you’re sitting at work and that happens to you,” says Eisen. One ransomware attack puts time pressure on the victim, stating that a piece of your data will be destroyed every 30 minutes if you don’t pay up. Another attack attempts to force you to purchase a program to de-encrypt your data.

The criminals often ask for a nominal payment, figuring you’ll be more likely to pay to avoid the hassle and heartache of dealing with the virus. They may ask for as little as $10 to be wired through Western Union, paid through a premium text message or sent through a form of online cash.

How to protect yourself from ransomware

As with other attacks, you can work to avoid ransomware. Experts advise taking these steps to avoid attacks or protect yourself after an attack:

  1. Use reputable antivirus software and a firewall. Maintaining a strong firewall and keeping your security software up to date are critical. It’s important to use antivirus software from a reputable company because of all the fake software out there.
  2. Back up often. If you back up files to either an external hard drive or to an online backup service, you diminish the threat, says Eisen. “If you back up your information, you should not be afraid to just turn off your computer and start over with a new install if you come under attack.” Eisen backs up his data regularly, so every six months, he simply restores his computer’s system to default and starts afresh. “I would highly recommend it,” he says.
  3. Enable your popup blocker. Popups are a prime tactic used by the bad guys, so simply avoid even accidentally clicking on an infected popup. If a popup appears, click on the X in the right-hand corner. The buttons within a popup might have been reprogrammed by the criminals, so do not click on them.
  4. Exercise caution. Don’t click on links inside emails, and avoid suspicious websites. If your PC does come under attack, use another computer to research details about the type of attack. But be aware that the bad guys are devious enough to create fake sites, perhaps touting their own fake antivirus software or their de-encryption program.
  5. Disconnect from the Internet. If you receive a ransomware note, disconnect from the Internet so your personal data isn’t transmitted back to the criminals, says Eisen. He recommends simply shutting down the computer. If you have backed up your data, you can re-install software. If you don’t feel comfortable doing so or you are unable to start fresh, you may need to take your computer to a reputable repair shop, says Eisen.
  6. Alert authorities. Ransomware is a serious form of extortion. “Local police are probably not equipped to deal with this,” explains Siciliano. “However, the local FBI would want to know about it.”

Don’t be tempted to give in and pay the ransom, warns Siciliano. “Paying them would be a mistake because they will further extort you and most likely not release your information.” Taking precautions to protect your information and maintaining vigilance are the best solutions to avoid becoming a victim in the first place.

Copyright (c) Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.

Exciting Announcement – We’re Expanding!

Exciting news to share with you today.

We’ve been busy working on something special here at Barton HQ, and we’re absolutely delighted to finally be able to announce it.

Due to the popular demand of our award winning I.T. services in London and the South East, we’re expanding …

And we’ve just opened an office in South Yorkshire!

Want to know the best bit about it?

Our Chessington Surrey HQ will remain – AND we can now offer I.T. Support services UK wide, meaning you can get access to the best I.T. Support out there, wherever you are!

We take great pleasure in announcing this exciting expansion news today as we continue with our quest for 2016 and beyond…

“To support, protect & help 500 small businesses in their success during the next 5 years by leveraging the productive use of technology”

If you have any questions about our expansion, or if there’s anything else we can help you with today – do get in touch.

Call 0208 936 3061 or email hello@barttech.co.uk.

Who doesn’t love a freebie?

Keeping your PC and computer system backed up, secure, and fully functioning can be expensive.

There are a multitude of packages and software that helps protect against malware, backs up data, loads multimedia, modifies images and much more. But you can get these programs without breaking the bank.

We’ve made a list of the top free programs every PC needs:

Anti-virus Software

It is of paramount importance that you protect your computer from malware and spyware. The price of anti-virus software often discourages people from buying it.

However, you can keep your computer and data safe from nasty malware with free anti-virus software like AVG, Avast!, and Malwarebytes.

Sometimes, these programs can even be better than expensive paid anti-virus packages.

Backup Solutions

A good way to store data is on a USB device or external hard-drive. This means if your computer is stolen or damaged your precious data is still intact.

However, if you lose these external backup storage devices you’ll have nothing. That’s why we suggest using Cloud Storage options.

There are paid Cloud Storage providers who say they offer vast amounts of space and secure storage, but there are also free options that do exactly the same thing.

Dropbox and Carbonite are examples of Cloud backup solutions that store your data remotely on a secure server for you to access with a password of your choosing at any time you like.

Image Editors

If you need to edit pictures, photos, or other images for print or online publication you may think your only option is Photoshop.

This software is expensive to buy and if you don’t use it on a daily basis it can feel like a waste of money.

That’s where GIMP comes in. GIMP is an image editor program that you can download to your PC and use for free.

Who doesn’t love a freebie?

What ‘Mom vs Triplets + Toddler’ Can Teach Us About Business

You may have seen this video doing the rounds recently.

The video, titled: Mom vs Triplets + Toddler, gives us a glimpse of a Mother’s manic bedtime routine with her four adorably cheeky kids.

If you haven’t seen this video yet, where have you been?

Since the video was posted on the 4th February, it’s had nearly 14 million views and more than 785,000 shares!

You can watch the video here.

Now you might be thinking ‘yes Pete, I’ve seen the video, it’s funny and all that, but how the heck does this relate to business?’, and rightly so.

But stick with me on this one.

See, when it comes to business, you have a LOT in common with Mom. You know exactly what it feels like to be wearing many hats.

One moment you’re working on accounts, the next fulfilment, product development, and you’re also the ‘go to’ I.T. expert.

The list goes on and on …

And it’s fair to say that juggling all those balls is pretty heroic (just like the Mom in this video).

But, in truth – it’s also very tiring.

I mean, I can pretty much guarantee that watching this video won’t be the most tiring thing you do today… And that’s saying something.

So, I guess my take home message for today is …

If you feel like one of your ‘hats’ is beginning to wriggle, crawl and head near the edge of the bed – maybe it’s time to source an expert.

Not only does this take the pain out of the work you’ve had to cram into your busy schedule (and never ending to do list) …

…but it also frees up some time for you to work ON your business, rather than IN it.

After all, that’s why you got into business in the first place isn’t it? To build a successful business – not work for one?!

Food for thought.

Pete Conway

P.S. If I.T. is a headache in your day-to-day, we’re here to take that pain from you.

For this month only, we’re running a HUGE offer on our Award Winning Platinum Care I.T. Support Packages. Find out more here or give us a call on 020 8454 7488.

This made me smile

All the team here at Barton Technology work extra hard to ensure the I.T. Support Service we offer is second to none.

So you can imagine my face when I received the following news by phone last week:

“Hi Dominic, it’s David here from Network Computing Magazine. I’ve got some fantastic news for you. I’m delighted to say that Barton Technology have been shortlisted as a Finalist for ‘Service Provider Of The Year’ at the Network Computing Awards.”

Cue my big smile and ‘pats on backs’ for all the team.

It really does mean the world when customers and industry professionals tell you you’re doing a grand job.

But we’re not done yet …

We’d absolutely LOVE to win this award – but to do so, we need your help.

So if you’re feeling chipper and fancy giving Barton Technology your vote (for which we’d be immensely grateful!), head over to:

www.networkcomputing.co.uk/ncawards

Note: To vote for us, you need to choose Barton Technology from the drop down bar under ‘SERVICE PROVIDER OF THE YEAR’.

Oh, and if you’re feeling double chipper, we’ve also been nominated for ‘RESELLER OF THE YEAR’ – so feel free to vote for us in that category too 🙂

Thank you in advance.

That’s all from me today. Until next time, happy computing!

Very Best Regards,

Dominic Jones

Founder of Barton Technology

Is this YOUR password, too?

Source: Nitya Rajan (The Huffington Post UK)

The Worst Passwords Of 2015 Revealed!

Some internet users give precious little thought to online security, and this was made frighteningly apparent on a recent blog via The Huffington Post.

Discover the worst password combinations of 2015 …

The most popular (and worst) passwords of 2015 have been unveiled.

Every year, SplashData publishes the ‘25 most common passwords’.  In first place for 2015 is… ‘123456’. No change from 2014!

Take a look down the list of the top 25, compiled by Gizmodo:

1. 123456
2. password
3. 12345678
4. qwerty
5. 12345
6. 123456789
7. football
8. 1234
9. 1234567
10. baseball
11. welcome
12. 1234567890
13. abc123
14. 111111
15. 1qaz2wsx
16. dragon
17. master
18. monkey
19. letmein
20. login
21. princess
22. qwertyuiop
23. solo
24. passw0rd
25. starwars

If your password made it on the list – it’s probably time to update.

Here are a couple of tips on how to improve it:

– Use passwords of eight characters or more with mixed types of characters.

– Avoid using the same username/password combination for multiple websites.

I hope you found this helpful.

If you’d like to discuss business security with Barton Technology, call 0208 936 3061 or email hello@barttech.co.uk.

Latest Scam – Fraudsters Claiming To Be Your Colleague

Source: Katie Morley (http://www.telegraph.co.uk)

Treat emails from senior members of staff asking you to transfer money with extreme caution.

Workers are falling for a new email scam in which fraudsters impersonate a senior member of their company to trick them into transferring money, according to police intelligence.

Financial Fraud Action UK has warned that conmen have started carefully targeting individuals by sending them emails which appear to be from their senior colleagues such as the finance director or chief executive.

The ruse is part of a wave of cyber crime to sweep the UK this year.

According to the latest UK crime figures, overall crime in the UK doubled to 11.6 million last year because for the first time the number included online crimes which totalled 7.6 million.

The fraudsters use software which manipulates the characteristics of an email, including the sender address, so that it looks genuine. This means the spoof email appears in the recipient’s inbox in just the same way as a regular email from the same contact.

How banks are wrongly rejecting hundreds of fraud cases.

FOS-upholds_3442463b

Source: Which? (Via http://www.telegraph.co.uk)

The email requests that an urgent payment is made outside of normal procedures, often giving a pressing reason for needing the money, such as the need to secure an important contract.

But the account to which the payment is made is in fact controlled by the fraudster. Upon receipt of the funds, the money is then quickly withdrawn and the victim is unlikely to ever see their money again.

Action Fraud’s intelligence also found fraudsters have hacked the genuine email accounts of senior staff before sending the fraudulent emails.

Criminals use publicly available information – such as Facebook, Twitter and Companies House – to gain knowledge of target companies, such as the names of senior staff.

Katy Worobec, director of Financial Fraud Action UK, said:

“Fraudsters will do all they can to make these scam emails look genuine, so it’s important for businesses to be alert. While an urgent request from the boss might naturally prompt a swift response, it should in fact be a warning sign of a potential scam. That’s why it’s vital that finance teams carefully check any unusual demands for payment through an alternative method, such as over the phone or face to face, before making the payment.”

How to avoid this scam:

1. Always check any unusual payment requests directly, ideally in person or by telephone, to confirm the instruction is genuine. Do not use contact details from the email.

2. Establish a documented internal process for requesting and authorising all payments and be suspicious of any request to make a payment outside of the company’s standard process.

3. Be cautious about any unexpected emails which request urgent bank transfers, even if the message appears to have originated from someone from your own organisation.

4. Ensure email passwords are robust.

5. Consider whether the email contains unusual language or is written in different style to other emails from the sender.

If you’ve been affected by this, or you’d like to discuss it with the Barton Technology Support Team, call 0203 301 0003 or email support@barttech.co.uk.

Customer Announcement

As of January 2016, we will no longer be using the phone number ‘0845 180 0000’.

This number will cease to exist at the end of this year.

In truth… we haven’t used this number for a while, but there’s a chance it’s listed on some of the documentation or hardware in your office, so please let your staff know as they may have this number listed for us.

To make sure your call reaches the right place, please use the phone number: 0203 301 0003.

That’s all from me for today.

I hope you had a fab Christmas, and best wishes for the New Year.

Very Best Regards,

Dominic Jones
Founder of Barton Technology Ltd

Oh and if you missed it, here’s our opening times over the festive period:

New Year’s Eve – 09:00 to 13:00
New Year’s Day – Closed
4th Jan 2015 – Normal operations

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