Managing Your Information

Files and Folders

File is another term for a computer document; it applies to every program you use. You can create files in lots of different software formats, from text and numerical spreadsheets to calendar appointments and digital photos.

Most of us try to manage many computer files. The key is to organize them so you can find them easily, and that’s by placing them in folders. Folders are a great way to group related files, just as you would place paper files in hanging folders in your office filing cabinet. But there’s a significant difference between a filing cabinet and computer system: on your computer, there’s no limit to the number of files you can place in a folder, and you can even put a folder into another one. By keeping your data organized, you’ll manage your computer’s filing system – and your time – much more efficiently.

A folder can be created for any topic you want, and even can contain documents created in different programs. For example, your “Vacation” folder may have a Word file with a list of sites to see, emails confirming travel arrangements, and an Excel file with your vacation budget. After you return home, you can add photos from your digital camera. By keeping related files in a folder, you’ll find them quickly.

Although you can store folders in a variety of places on your hard drive, we recommend saving them under “My Documents.” That’s because when you back-up your data, you need to go to only one place to find all of it.

There are many options and configurations when setting up files and folders. Let My Favorite Tech design a system that works for you.

Access Controls

As a parent or employer, you may not want your kids or staff accessing certain software on your system or connecting to the Internet. There even may be specific days or times when you don’t want others using the computer at all. You can limit or completely block access by adjusting the computer’s security policy – call My Favorite Tech and we will get you all set up.

Anti-Virus Protection

A virus is a program intentionally designed to harm your hardware and software. It may enter your system through the Internet or an email attachment, or if you install an unauthorized (or “pirate”) program.

Often, you aren’t even aware of the virus until after your system is infected. That’s why it’s important to take protective steps, usually through a specialized software program, to reduce chances a virus will hit you. These programs scan information coming into your system and quarantine anything that’s a potential danger.

Even with the best preventative measures, a computer may still be infected by a virus. If that happens, call My Favorite Tech immediately to ensure damage to your data is minimal.

Let our team set-up a plan to assure your software and hardware remain safe from potential virus damage.

Backing-Up Data and Emergency Saves

A common worry among computer users is losing information. That’s why it’s essential to back-up your files, whether you use your computer all the time or just once in a while.

How: Backing-up information is simple and quick. Depending on your hardware

  • CD Writer: Insert the CD into the CD\DVD drive. Most CD Writers come with software that prompts you step-by-step. If they don’t, call My Favorite Tech and we’ll walk you through the process.
  • USB Key: a portable storage device that’s the size of a car key. It inserts into your system so you can either copy information onto it, providing a safe back-up, or move information onto it to free up space on your hard drive. You can even plug the USB Key into another computer so you can transfer files with ease and convenience.
  • Off Site Backups: available through My Favorite Tech are perhaps the safest method, since even if your computer were to be damaged or stolen, your data would be stored safely in data centers at opposite ends of the country, safe and sound waiting for you to simply retrieve it. These backups are 100% HIPPA compliant, for that extra level of protection, some people, especially medical professional need.

Where: Where you store your disks or CDs is just as important. These copies are crucial if your hard drive crashes, if your system is stolen, or if it’s damaged in an emergency such as a fire, flood or earthquake. Many businesses store back-ups at an off-site location. A personal user might consider a home-size fire-proof safe or a bank safe deposit box, especially for key files like financial and tax data, wills, legal information, and irreplaceable digital photos.

Frequency: How often you back-up data depends on how comfortable you’d be if it were lost and couldn’t be easily re-created. Usually, business documents are more crucial than personal ones, but that’s not to minimize the importance of any data. It’s advisable to back-up files at least once a week, or right away if you’ve input an important document or large amount of data.