How to Stop Robocalls

Robocalls - we all seem to get them these days. And locally, with our large student population from China and Taiwan, Ithaca has its own special kind of madness; robocalls in Chinese! The technology and cost to create and make these kinds of calls is simple and incredibly cheap - hence all the calls at all hours. Here, Hewlett Packard provides some of the basics in attempting to reduce this annoying part of everyones day.
 
How often do you find yourself at your desk in the middle of a critical, time-sensitive project only to have your concentration shattered by the ear-piercing ring of your mobile phone?
 
You look down and see your friend, “Scam Likely,” calling once again. He must be a good friend because you hear from him at work at least twice a day, and he seems relaxed enough to call at the most inopportune times. You want to end your connection with him – given his rude interruptions – but you’re not quite sure how to do it.
 
The first thing you need to know is that you’re most likely dealing with isn’t a person at all but a robocall. What is that? Well, if you answer your mobile phone and hear what sounds like it might be a previously recorded message, it is most likely a robocall.
 
And it could very well be an unlawful attempt to reach you.

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Calendar Tricks that will help Productivity

Nearly all of us are connected to electronic calendars these days. Although this article references Microsoft Outlook, these tricks will work with any electronic calendar and will help make you more productive.

What’s the secret to maximizing productivity and efficiency? There’s no single silver bullet, but one sure-fire way to make gains is with calendar tricks that will keep you organized and focused. From scheduling “no meeting” time blocks to integrating mobile so you never miss a meeting—the art of calendar optimization is crucial.

Here are seven simple calendar tricks you can use to bring your productivity to the next level:

  1. Schedule “no meeting” time blocks—Instead of multitasking, set aside time without interruptions. “When people multitask, often they do multiple things badly,” says David Sanbonmatsu, University of Utah professor of Psychology. “A lot of times, the people who multitask the most are the worst at it…it’s individuals who lack impulse control.” (From Forbes.)

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The Importance of Data Backup

Yeah, we regularly write about data backup. At least monthly, we'll be contacted by someone with an issue that a regular backup could have made much easier to deal with. The Computing Center provides all the backup solutions mentioned in this article and helps clients with backup strategies, best practices, and management of their backup systems. 

Have you ever lost a lot of really important data? Or, short of that, have you ever felt a moment of panic where you thought you did?

Whether it’s images of a family vacation, a report from work, or a semester’s worth of homework, you probably have data on your computer’s hard drive or your mobile device that’s not just valuable, it’s too valuable to lose.  

Data loss can happen to anyone. Having a backup strategy can help you to avoid the crushing feeling that comes with finding out that all your hard work and treasured memories are gone.

It’s a good idea to make backing up data a part of your cyber hygiene. If you happen to lose your data due to a hardware defect or ransomware attack, having a backup could be the respite you’re looking for.

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Mentors and Mentoring

Many of us have mentors. Simply put, it's the people we look up to - those who we want to emulate, whether in business or personally. These days, we're seeing professional mentoring (coaching if you will) even in smaller companies and organizations.  

Reap the benefits of professional relationships

When you think of a mentor, you probably envision a person you’d like to emulate—the walking, talking answer to the old interview question “Where do you see yourself in 10 years?”—who will generously donate their time and set you on the path to get to where they are now. That’s certainly a nice idea. But think about how much technology has changed in the past 10 years; in 10 more, both you (and your potential mentor) will have entirely different jobs anyway.

Enterprise-sized companies often have formal mentoring programs, but most small businesses don’t. So how can you find a mentor who’ll help you navigate our constantly-changing world? By changing how you think about mentors. Here are some do’s and don’ts that’ll help you get started.

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Working Remotely - More than just the technology

Nearly daily, we get requests from clients interested in remote computing. And we keep remote workers working by taking care of their computer technology. However, the actual technology is not the whole story. Being remote or having remote workers presents challenges.

Working remotely is appealing for a lot of reasons: You don’t have to commute, you’re in charge of your daily routine, and you can work for a company you love that just happens to be in a different city. (If you’re a remote worker in Vermont you can even get a cash bonus for being so awesome.) According to research by HR consulting firm Robert Half, 77 percent of employees say they would take a job that allows telecommuting at least some of the time. And since 75 percent of managers say they are open to their employees telecommuting, it’s no surprise that working from home is a commonly-used perk used to attract new hires.

But here’s another interesting stat from the same research: 73 percent of workers would still prefer to work together in groups rather than independently away from the office. That’s a pretty radical contrast to the 12 percent who prefer off-site virtual collaboration and the 5 percent who just want to work autonomously off-site.

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