Computer & Email
Get the Most from Microsoft Outlook
Beware the Empty Inbox
Get the Most from Your Handheld
Do Digital Organizers Save Time - Or Waste It?
Efficient E-mail Habits
Transitioning from Paper to Digital Information Storage
Faxing Without a Fax Machine
Getting Your Files When You're On The Go
Business & the Office
Time Tactics for the Office
Keeping Track of Delegated Tasks
Keeping Track of Your Customers & Prospects
Do Your Employees Really Need Customer Service Training?
Action Files Prevent Desk Clutter /a>
Reclaim Your Desktop with a Tickler File
What To Do With All Those Business Cards?
Managing Project Folders - A Surprising Tip that Works
Time Management & Organizing
The Power of Planning Ahead
Words of Wisdom You Should Ignore
Coping with Information Overload
Thirteen Tips for Working Smarter, Not Harder
© Jan Jasper; 2001-2012
These days, many of us work from multiple locations, and our digital files need to be accessible from anywhere.
Gone are the days when if you worked at home one evening and needed access to a file from your office, you had to
email it to yourself before you left the office.
If you work for a large commpany you may be able to connect remotely to the corporate network, though with the growing
threats to internet security, some companies are restricting remote access. And if you work for a small business it's
up to you to figure out how to get at your files.
Bring Your Laptop Everywhere
The simplest option may be to keep everything in your laptop and take it with you. The drawback is having to carry the
laptop everywhere, but the advantage is you don't need an internet connection to access your file. We're accustomed to
the internet always being there, but what if it goes down and you have work to do - and you can't get at your files?
Working with the Cloud
Your suitcase will be lighter if you use a borrowed computer at your destination and access your files with a service such as
Dropbox*. It's similar, yet different from an internet backup like Mozy* or Carbonite* - DropBox* is not designed to back up
all your thousands of documents on a regular schedule. You just need to plan ahead and know which files you'll need
remote access to, and upload them to Dropbox before you leave. What if you end up needing other files you didn't anticipate?
Regular use of an internet back-up service such as Mozy* will allow you to download (they call it Restore) to a different
computer any file you've backed up to their servers. Of course, if you're planning a long airplane flight and want to work
during the flight, you'll need to download any files you'll need to your laptop before you depart.
Remote Access Software
What if you need not just the files, but programs? If you're working on a borrowed computer you
can use the cloud to access that Photoshop project you're working on - but what if that machine doesn't have Photoshop
installed? Remote access software such as GotoMyPC* lets you access your
computer from another location. (Your computer will have to be left running when you're
away.) GoToMyPC* lets you work just like you're at your own computer. It lives on the internet so it doesn't
require you to install anything - that's important because hotel business centers,
libraries, and copy shops don't allow users to install programs.
The Risks of Public Wireless Hotspots
Last, a word of caution. We all know it's risky to do online banking or shopping on your laptop (or smartphone) at a public
wireless hotspot. What's less well-known is the risk of going online at a hotspot at all, even if you just use email,
because your machine is exposed to malware. Public wireless networks, by definition, are not secure. Merely clicking on an
innocent-looking link could initiate a driveby download. Unbeknownst to you, a keystroke logger is then installed which will capture
your passwords and credit card information as you type them. Malware is more likely to infect your machine in a public hotspot
because they are, by definition, open to anyone, unlike your home or office networks.
Even if you don't use your laptop for shopping or banking while at a hotel or coffee shop, that doesn't mean your computer is
safe. Once your machine is infected, the keystroke logger sits in your machine and wakes up, hours or days later, when you
type a series of numbers that it recognizes as a password, credit card, or bank account number.
The solution is to use a keystroke-logger-blocker such as ZoneAlarm's ForceField*. (I don't gain from mentioning this - or any
other product.) This not only turns your keystrokes to
gobbledy-gook, confounding the thieves, but it also prevents malware from taking a screen shot of your
bank or brokerage account's login page. Yep, these criminals have figured out how to take screen caps of what you're doing on
your computer, just in case you've installed a keystroke-logger-blocker. We've just seen the beginning of this type of crime
and we cannot take it too seriously. So if you ever go on the internet using public wireless networks, take heed.
*The usual disclaimers apply. My mentioning these products is not a guarantee of any sort. Obviously, you should not change anything
until you've completely backed up your files. You already do that, right?
This article is available for a one-time reprint or internet posting if you include my copyright notice, provide a link to www.janjasper.com
and identify me as follows: "Jan Jasper, a productivity expert in the New York City area, is the author
of Take Back Your Time: How to Regain Control of Work, Information, & Technology (St. Martin's Press)."
Read Terms and Conditions for details.
About the Author:
Productivity coach Jan Jasper has been helping busy people work smarter, not harder since 1988. Her customized approach guides clients to manage time,
tasks, and information more effectively. She also provides Microsoft Outlook customization for clients. Jan is the author of
Take Back Your Time: How to Regain Control of Work, Information, & Technology (St. Martin's Press).
She recently completed a North American media tour as the national efficiency spokesperson for IKON Office Solutions,
Inc. She has appeared on radio and TV all over North America and is quoted regularly in print. Jan is an adjunct instructor at
New York University.