Author Archive for CSH

Why Is This Computer Running Slow?

“Why is this computer running so slow?” is a common complaint. The question is whether it’s your computer or your internet connection.

You may feel your computer is moving at a snail’s pace, but it used to be fast – so you’re going to want to identify and address the issue to get back up to speed. Yet it’s hard to know whether to blame your computer or the internet, especially now that so many computer applications rely on internet connectivity.

So, how do you determine whether it’s your computer or connectivity that’s the problem? If you are having the problem only on one device in a network, you can guess it’s the computer not the connectivity. Otherwise, think about when you are having slow woes.

Program Start-ups Can Slow You Down

If you notice programs are taking longer to load up, your computer may not be up to the task. Running large applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office, or some accounting packages can cause slowdowns. The hardware may be overwhelmed. You may not have enough available storage space. Sometimes your computer’s parts are simply too old and not fast enough.

Even a new computer could be the problem if it’s an inexpensive one. Or perhaps you didn’t get enough random access memory (RAM) – your computer needs RAM to run applications or games; it’s the short-term memory of the computer. This is where the computer loads all the things it thinks it might need soon so that it can process them quickly. Without enough available RAM, the computer has to work harder (and slower) to get the results you want.

No wonder common advice for people dealing with slow computers is to invest in more RAM. If your device is less than five years old, you can often upgrade the RAM inexpensively, or switch to a solid-state drive (SSD). An SSD reads and writes differently than a traditional hard drive, which allows it to access information significantly faster – see our previous Blog article here.

Meanwhile, buying a replacement computer may be the answer if your device is more than five years old.

Then Again, Maybe It’s the Internet Connection

On the other hand, you might notice computer slowness when online. Web pages might be slow to load, or you might be waiting ages to access YouTube videos.

If the lag is happening on only one website, it could be that site’s problem. Otherwise, internet slowness could be a provider problem or you might have a poor connection.

One way to confirm a connection issue is to check your internet speed. A site such as fast.com or speedtest.net can measure your speed, then you can compare it against the connection speed you’re paying for. Don’t know that? Check your service bill as you may have a slow internet speed plan. Maybe you haven’t changed it in years but have added many more devices. In that case, you’ll want to call your service provider about an upgrade?

When testing, you are looking for a speed of at least 10Mbps. Anything below that, and you’ll start seeing slowdowns and start hearing the complaints from all corners of the house. To put that in perspective, Netflix needs at least 5mbps to stream in HD.

If the speed seems okay and more than one website is having slowdowns, make sure that the internet browser you are using is up to date.

Other Things to Tackle Slowness

You might also try rebooting your computer or your modem and router. If you leave these running all the time, never actually turning them off, they can get stuck in a slow rut.

If you’re on Wi-Fi, that could also be the root of your problem. Maybe you’re on a network with too many users making demands. For instance, if everyone in your family is streaming on their devices, expect a slowdown unless you have a fast broadband package. You might be in a signal dead zone – in that case, you could look into a Wi-Fi mesh network.

Ultimately, there are many reasons for a slow computer or internet connection. Don’t get stuck with a tortoise of technology.

If you would like some help in speeding up your computer, contact us on 01455 209505.

CSH Computer Services is a local business providing PC and Laptop repair and I.T. support services to Homes and Businesses. We are based near Lutterworth, Hinckley and Broughton Astley in Leicestershire and provide a full range of services, from PC and Laptop repairs, PC and Laptop upgrades, sales of new computers and workstations plus business network support. We also provide Virus and Malware disinfection, Broadband installation and troubleshooting, data recovery, Wireless networking and troubleshooting, plus much more. We work in and around the whole Leicestershire area and can be seen daily in Lutterworth, Hinckley, Broughton Astley, Market Harborough, Nuneaton, Rugby, Leicester and surrounding areas too.

How the Bad Guys Get Your Password

How to make your passwords better

Passwords are essential to your safety, but like everyone else you probably have dozens of passwords to remember. So, you might take shortcuts – but taking advantage of this is one way bad guys access your passwords.

Incredibly, there are still people out there using “password” or “123456” in their access credentials. Also, some people don’t change the default passwords on their devices and this can be dangerous.

So how to make your passwords stronger?

Avoid the obvious passwords

When you have to create a password, make an effort. Steer clear of simple, easily guessed patterns – an ideal way of getting a good password but one that you will remember, is to think of a word (or combination of words) and change letters for numbers and special characters such as exclamation marks. For example, instead of “strongpassword“, make it “sTr0NgpassW0rd!”

Cybercriminals can also guess your password. With a little bit of research about you online, they can make some informed guesses. Common passwords include pet names, birthdays, and anniversaries. These are all easy to find via your social media accounts.

Be careful what you share on social media

Always remember that as well as updating your friends and relatives, you are potentially updating cyber criminals, giving them access to a goldmine of info for personalizing an attack on you.

If that doesn’t work, criminals may try brute force. They might script an automation bot to run thousands of password permutations until they get a hit. The software will try a long list of common passwords and run through dictionary words to gain access, which makes it more important to have a good password (see above).

Don’t duplicate passwords – Company data breaches

The criminal may also be working with info from a data breach. In early 2019, a security researcher found more than 2.7 billion email/password pairs available on the Dark Web. Criminals accessing that database could use the data as a starting point, as many people duplicate their passwords across accounts, so try not to duplicate!

Not only that, a major broadband company in the UK was hacked and millions of accounts compromised, so it can happen here too.

It can be overwhelming to remember all your passwords, and that’s also why you should use a password manager to keep track of it all for you – for more information see our previous Blog page about Passsword Managers.

‘Phishing’ – it’s not what it seems

Of course, there’s one more method of getting your password that we haven’t addressed yet. It’s the familiar ‘phishing attack’ – something pretending to be from a company but is in fact a fake. For instance, you get an email that looks like it was sent by your bank. Phishing typically has an urgent message and a link that directs you to what looks like a credible page.

Pay attention to who is sending the email and hover the mouse over the link to see where it actually ponts to. If you are concerned about your bank account, for example, open up a browser and type the URL manually rather than clicking the link. Many times, you will see that it is not the internet address that you would expect, such as instead of barclays. co.uk it is abcdef.barclays.co.uk.

The most important thing to remember is that if you are in any way not sure, pick up the phone to your bank (or other company involved) to verify that the email is from them. As a rule of thumb, try not to use links in emails as fake web pages can be very convincing.

These tips can help you to protect your valuable passwords. Still, setting up a password manager and amping up your internet security can help too. Need support getting ahead of the cybercriminals?

Contact us on 01455 209505.

Update iTunes and iCloud against Ransomware Vulnerability

Update iTunes - Ransomware Exploit

A vulnerability has been found in the Windows version of iTunes and iCloud, which may allow ransomware to be inserted into Windows computers, bypassing antivirus security programs.

Mac versions are not affected.

Bonjour software exploited

The Bonjour component that both iTunes and iCloud uses, is meant to allow communication between devices on your network and is often used to allow Windows to communicate with Apple devices.

A bug has been found (by security company Morphisec) in Bonjour, called a ‘zero day vulnerability’ which in geek-speak, is an ‘unquoted service path’ – essentially code which has been written incorrectly. As iTunes and iCloud are classed as trusted programs, the vulnerability can avoid antivirus security software and install ransomware software, which can potentially encrypt hard drives and prevent you accessing your data.

Get your iTunes and iCloud update patches

Apple has now patched the vulnerability in iTunes 12.10.1 and iCloud 7.14, so grab your updates if you haven’t already and ensure that automatic updates are enabled, to provide maximum benefit from security fixes in the future – especially as other vulnerabilies were found at the same time, which are yet to be resolved.

Uninstalled iTunes? You can still be vulnerable

Even if you have previously uninstalled iTunes, the Bonjour software is probably still present on your system, as it is a separate program and is not automatically uninstalled when iTunes is removed.

If Bonjour is still on your system it may be still have background services running but in a potentially unpatched state, so you would need to go to your Control Panel and remove it manually.

How to Get Your Devices to Play Nicely Together

Connect your Network Devices

Desktop computers. Laptops. Tablets. Network printers. Routers. Smartphones. Smart speakers. Media players. Gaming systems. Homes today have many, if not all of these. Each has all sorts of features, and they’d be even more useful if they connected to one another. If only it wasn’t so challenging to get all our devices to relay information between each other reliably.

Home networking can bring so many benefits. You might enjoy:
• accessing emails on all your devices, wherever you are;
• surfing the Web using your voice;
• being able to share files, photos, and other media with any other networked device;
• viewing a baby photo album from your computer on your Smart TV
• printing from your smartphone or other devices, even when not connected to the device via cable, using AirPrint or Google Cloud Print;
• backing up all computers in the house to a centralized location via the network;
• securing your activity on all devices at home with a protected Wi-Fi network.

Yes, all that sounds pretty good, but how do we get our devices to do all that?

What Your Home or Business Network Needs

First, take a moment to imagine connecting all the computers and smart devices in your home or office via cables. As if you want more cables snaking around! So, you’ll be looking into a wireless network to connect your devices to the internet and each other. That means setting up a router (we’re assuming you already have an internet service provider).

The router connects you to the internet with its built-in modem, but just as importantly it connects your devices to each other. The router communicates the wireless signal between your devices and gives each device its own address on your network.

If your home or office is spread out over several floors or square feet, or you have to deal with thick walls, you might have difficulties with Wi-Fi dead spots. Don’t worry! You could try a mesh network (where instead of making one device do all the signaling, a primary router and many smaller satellites or nodes relay the signals with equal power) or use a Powerline setup which uses your electrical wiring.

Securing Your Home or Business Network

When you get your devices connected, you’ll want to secure your network. Taking these simple steps helps protect your personal information and prevent cyberattacks.

First, change the default passwords on your router, and choose something more complex than “123456,” “password,” or anything else easily guessable. You may also want to set up a guest network if the router supports it. This allows visitors to access the Wi-Fi without you having to share access to your main network.

Also, rename your Wi-Fi network so that it isn’t obvious that it’s your premises or what broadband router type you have. For example, if you live at 920 Hassell Place, you wouldn’t name it 920Hassell. Or, if you’ve got, for example, a BT router, don’t leave it with the name it came with as it’s a starting point for anyone trying to get into your network – don’t make it easy for someone trying to target you to identify which network they are trying to hack.

For business networks, there are other considerations too, but the above is a good starting point.

You like using all your devices, but getting them all networked seems like a headache. Still, once you have a network set up, you’ll wonder why you waited so long.

We can help you get all your devices playing together nicely and securely. Contact us today on 01455 209505!

Does Wifi Mesh Make Sense for You?

Does Wifi Mesh Make Sense for You?

Wi-Fi is a top contender for a technology most of us rely upon. After all, Wi-Fi often provides our wireless high-speed internet and network connections. We couldn’t work from wherever we wanted in our homes or offices without it.

Well, just when you were becoming familiar with Wi-Fi, the technology is adapting. If you live in a big house or a flat with thick interior walls, or your working space is spread out over multiple stories, you may have experienced dead spots.

Enter Mesh Wi-Fi. Traditional Wi-Fi relies on a single router and if you were having connectivity issues, you might have invested in a Wi-Fi booster or Wi-Fi extender, but now you can reach far areas with the Wi-Fi Mesh system.

Mesh networks aren’t new. They’re already in use in some businesses and on military bases with their own isolated networks. But now you can also optimize home or office connectivity with Mesh Wi-Fi.

How Mesh Wi-Fi works

With Mesh Wi-Fi, you’ll place several smaller, connected devices around the house or office. Instead of having one central routing hub linking Wi-Fi signals via radio waves to the modem, you’ll have many access points (also known as satellites) capturing and rebroadcasting the routing signals you need for connectivity.

Benefits of Mesh Wi-Fi

Having ready access to a strong, reliable Wi-Fi signal wherever you are in your home or office is a good thing, but that’s not the only advantage of Mesh Wi-Fi. Other benefits include:
• Greater speed. With all access points broadcasting the same signal, you can cut the lag from having multiple, simultaneous connectivity requests.
• Better coverage. Typical Mesh Wi-Fi router devices claim to cover from 4,500 to 6,000 square feet.
• Ease of use. The typical Mesh router system is automated and provides a mobile app for easy management, even remotely.
• Integration with other Smart Home devices such as Alexa is often a feature.
• Parental controls are available with certain brands of these router systems.

Securing your Mesh Wi-Fi

Just as with traditional Wi-Fi, the security of your Mesh Wi-Fi will depend on your keeping your router devices safe. This means:
• changing the device’s administrative credentials and password from their default settings;
• setting up devices to automatically check for and install security patch updates;
• changing the network name to something unique, not something that immediately identifies the network as yours (e.g. if you live at 804 Water Road, don’t call your network 804 Water);
• setting up a guest Wi-Fi network allowing visitors to log on instead of providing every guest to your home with your access credentials.

You’ve read the Pro’s – what are the Negatives?

The main consideration is cost – as you can appreciate, multiple devices mean more expense.

Consider: How often do you have connectivity issues? How many Wi-Fi dead zones are you dealing with? What’s your budget? And do you really want several more devices strewn around your house? You might need only to set up your traditional router and modem more efficiently or use Powerline technology if you have enough power sockets.

The important thing is to find out which is the best technology for your circumstances.

Want to learn more about dealing with slow connectivity or dead spots in your home? Give us a call on 01455 209505. We can help you decide on the best Wi-Fi connectivity option for your needs.

Why Computer Repair Is Best Left to Experts

Professional Computer Repair is Better - here's why

When computers go wrong, people often turn to a friend or family member for help in the moment and we quite often hear customers say that they “know someone who knows about computers”. Think of it this way, though: driving a car doesn’t mean you can fix one. Having a lot of cars doesn’t show the owner knows what to do when one of those vehicles breaks down.

Computer repair is better left to experts.

Calling tech support (if that’s an option) can be time-consuming and frustrating, so people turn to the nearest teenager, cousin or friend with all the latest technological gadgets. But consider the investment you’ve made in your computer. Now, ask yourself: when was the last time I backed up? Please, say recently! If not, think about the value of the content you might lose if the computer is not handled with care.

When a computer expert sets out to investigate the problem, they do so with utmost caution. Before doing anything, they’ll know to at least ask if there is a backup of your data, so then, in identifying and solving the problem, they know what is safe to try. Importantly, they also know what actions to avoid.

The Price of Amateur Fixes

Your family/friend might turn to the internet for help. Sure, Google and YouTube will provide some answers, but context matters. Will your helpful friend know which answers are relevant to your situation or all the potential issues to consider? Trying different things can be dangerous if the approach isn’t suited to the problem.

Ask any computer repair expert. They’ll have stories to tell about computers “fixed” by well-meaning amateurs who made the problem worse. They may even have lost data along the way.

Why Professional repair is better

As with most jobs, computer experts draw upon specialized training and hands-on experience. They’re also up on the latest threats, technologies, and solutions. This helps them to diagnose the problem more quickly because they can go in and fix the problem right away, because they’ve seen it before or read about the problem.

Or perhaps they have colleagues who have done something like this before, or they’ve researched the technology to identify different options. Can your Aunt Sue or friend Frank say the same thing?

Someone doing you a favour?

Think of your typical answer when someone asks you for help. You’re human. You want to help, even if you don’t actually know that much about the problem. So, when you ask a family member, they’re likely to say, “sure.” Even when they should be saying, “I’m not sure how to fix that.”

When friends admit the repair is beyond them, you’ve already wasted time letting them take a crack at it. Worse, they may actually break your computer or lose important files. You have to go to the experts now for that new part or in the hope of retrieving the data. Meanwhile, you may be irritated towards the person who created the new problem.

Don’t jeopardize your relationships, and avoid doing more damage to your computer. Bypass the friend/family tech support solution and turn to the professionals first. Fixing a computer isn’t always simple. Get expert help to preserve as much data as you can, and avoid expensive replacements as long as possible.

Don’t trust just anyone with the health of your computer. Computer repair may look simple, but expert and experienced decision-making determines the best solution.

Have computer problems? We can help. Call us on 01455 209505.

Do Macs Get Viruses?

Do Macs get viruses?

Many Apple owners believe their Macintosh computers are immune to viruses. Apple itself has run ad campaigns promising its computers “don’t get viruses” and those who have owned a Mac for years, decades even, are particularly prone to believing. Regrettably, Macs do get viruses, and the threat is growing.

For a long time the argument was that cybercriminals didn’t bother to develop Mac viruses. There weren’t enough users to justify the effort. Instead, they’d focus on the lower hanging fruit – PCs running Windows.

Yet Apple’s market share is on the rise, and it’s increasingly common to see Macs in the workplace, especially in creative industries. Plus, there’s a widespread assumption that Mac users are likely to be better off. So, while Macs remain harder to infect (installing most software requires a password), there’s often a greater payoff.

The research reflects the reality. In 2017, for instance, the iPhone OS and Mac OS X placed #3 and #6 in CVE Details’ top 50 ranked by total number of distinct vulnerabilities. Apple TV and Safari also made the list at #17 and #18, respectively.

In 2017, Malwarebytes also reported it “saw more Mac malware in 2017 than in any previous year”. By the end of 2017, the cybersecurity firm had counted 270% more unique threats on the Mac platform than in 2016.

Finding Apple’s Weak Spots

It’s obvious then that the bad guys are no longer steering clear. They are actively looking for ways to exploit Macs.

A common approach is to use Trojans. Named after a gift wooden horse that hid an army, Trojans look like something you would want to install. So, Mac users happily enter their passwords to download that application and open the gates to the cybercriminal.

In 2011, for instance, a Trojan called “Mac Defender” took advantage of people’s desire to protect their computers. The fake program appeared to be anti-virus software. Once the users installed it, they’d get an onslaught of pop-up ads encouraging them to buy more fake software.

Trojans get through the gates because you let your guard down. You are taken in by that supposed note from a long-lost friend. You think you want to see that pic of that famous celebrity. All it takes to stop this type of attack is suspicion of everything you might install or download.

Everyone, particularly businesses would want to educate its people about the importance of:

• clicking on emails with care;
• validating the source of any files they plan to open;
• checking a website’s URL (being especially wary of those with less common endings such as .cc or .co);
• questioning any promises of Ray-Ban sunglasses for 90% off or the latest iPhone for $129.99!

The Mac App Store threat

A new threat comes from within the Mac App Store, according to Thomas Reed, a Mac security researcher. When a user tries to install an app on a Mac, a Mac OS program called Gatekeeper checks the file’s code signature. The signature helps certify the app is valid.

However, Reed found that cybercriminals could buy a legitimate certificate from Apple, or steal one and trick users. Users would install masked malware that could infect legitimate programs and evade detection, so it is vital not to let your guard down.

Bear in Mind

Apple is always working to protect its users from malware. It has measures in place and user caution can make a big difference, too. Still, it’s not true that Macs are completely safe and you should not fall into a false sense of security.

Find out what you can do to protect your Macs and guard against threats. Call us today on 01455 209505.

Useful Windows Shortcuts

Useful Windows shortcuts

There are a number of Windows shortcuts (combination of pressed keys) that are rarely used by many people, but which can help speed things up. Here are a few of the more commonly used ones.

Ctrl + X to Cut

Think about X marking the spot in the text where you want to cut words, an image, or a URL. Drag your cursor over the selection to highlight the particular text/table/image/file and press this key combination.

See ‘Paste’ below – that is what you use after this shortcut, so if you want to move the selection, this is your first step.

If you don’t want it at all, the cut function is another version of delete.

Ctrl + C to Copy

If you want to merely copy something, such as a piece of text, use this combination and then use ‘Paste’ below, to place it where you want.

If you want to copy everything, press Ctrl + A to select everything.

Ctrl + V to Paste

With this simple shortcut you can place the information you just cut (or copied using Ctrl + C) anywhere you want. The important thing to remember is that the paste function only holds one selection in memory. So, if you cut a phrase from one place, don’t get distracted by an image you want to copy or other text to cut.

Ctrl + Z to Undo

Windows users are able to undo their most recent action with this key combination. Whichever Windows program you’re in, you can use Ctrl + Z to reverse your last action.

(To redo something, go with Ctrl + Y.)

Alt then Tab to Switch Screens

There are many things you can do with Windows. Perhaps you’re multitasking: you have a PowerPoint open, as well as an Excel spreadsheet, and a web browser, too. By pressing Alt and then the Tab key, you can switch between tabs or screens.

If you hold down the Alt button while tapping Tab, you’ll scroll through all screens.

Ctrl + N to open a new window

Pressing Ctrl+N together opens up a new document file or browser window, depending on the program you’re in. It saves you a few drop-down menus and works in most Windows applications and Web browsers.

Ctrl + F to Find

Using the ‘Find’ shortcut calls up a pop-up box where you can enter text or numbers. You can use this shortcut to find what you’re looking for on a Web page, in a PDF document, or in your rough draft of a speech.

In fact, you’ll be able to see how many times your search text appears and toggle from one selection to the next.

Ctrl + Mouse to Zoom

Forget your reading glasses? Looking at a too-small infographic? Having a tough time locating the right tiny file on your desktop? You can zoom in with this shortcut. Using this shortcut on your desktop makes files and folders larger. In your browser, this function zooms in on the page.

Want to know more about Windows and technology to streamline processes? We can help you find the right computer solutions for your home or office. Contact us on 01455 209505.

Looking After Your External Hard Drive

Looking after External Hard Drives

Despite its many advantages, many people still do not use ‘Cloud’ storage as they prefer to use external hard drives that they keep in their home or office. External hard drives free up storage, offer portability, and provide a lifeline in case of computer disaster.

If you are still using external hard drives, it pays to take good care of these compact, convenient devices. Here are some helpful tips.

Don’t knock the drive.

Depending on the type of drive you have, impact could damage it. The hard drive’s mechanical drives work a little like a record player – a bit like spinning platter and a needle arm reading it.

Note, you don’t have to worry about this with a Solid State Drive (SSD) as there are no moving parts.

Don’t pull.

You can damage the drive port with a hard or sideways yank on its USB plug. Remove the device cable with a gentle pull on the plug itself (after ejecting it first).

Then, when you are reconnecting the external drive, inspect the connector before plugging the cable back in. Look for any damage, debris, or corrosion to help maximize the device’s lifespan.

Don’t skip steps.

You may be in a hurry, but always take the time to remove the hard drive from your desktop before physically unplugging it. On Windows, you’ll usually right click on the drive and press Eject. For Macs, you can drag the drive icon to the recycle bin (which changes to an eject button).

Never unplug the drive while moving data to or from the hard drive unless you want to risk data corruption.

Don’t suffocate the drive.

Ever put your hand on the hard drive after prolonged use? It’s hot. Don’t immediately store it away in a bag or tight space. Give it some time to cool off first.

When it’s out, and in use, keep the drive’s vents clear of other objects so that it has some airflow. Set it on a flat, level surface. Avoid placing it on paper, towels, or other cloth items that could add to its heat levels.

Condensation.

Condensation is an enemy to your hard drive. Hard drive failures can be caused by environmental factors such as temperature and air quality too.

Don’t expect immortality or invincibility.

A hard drive isn’t going to last forever. They can also get lost or stolen. Don’t let one external hard drive be the only place you are backing up your data.

If you want to guarantee that your data is safe, have a backup on your computer, on the drive, and if possible, a copy in the Cloud.

If you need help deciding on the best hard drive for your needs, give us a call on 01455 209505.

Managing Your Email Better

Managing Your Email

A staggering 269 billion emails are sent every day. In fact, the typical business employee in 2018 received 90 emails (excluding those pesky spam emails of course), and sent out 40 – and each year the figure goes higher.

Email is a powerful tool but it can easily get out of hand. Here are five strategies for better email management.

Don’t start your day with email.

Many people do, it’s how they set up for the day. However beginning the day with a cup of coffee and clicking through your Inbox, can backfire. Many of those emails become items on your to-do list. You can put off important tasks from your day responding to other people’s requests.

Try to plan your day around your needs first. Even do some of the more important tasks, before diving into that Inbox!

Think twice about checking email constantly.

It’s tempting to open emails as soon as they arrive, but aim to tackle your Inbox when you have the time to take action. If you open an email planning to get back to it later, you’ll likely forget. When you have to revisit an email to remind yourself what it’s about, you’re doubling the time you spend on that message.

Avoid interrupting your momentum by turning off email alert notifications and phone badges. Instead, try to set regular times to read and respond to accumulated emails.

Write clear, concise emails.

Avoid contributing to someone else’s Inbox chaos by providing as much relevant information as possible. Now, that doesn’t mean writing a War and Peace-length email – just focus your message for your audience, anticipate questions, and answer in that email.

Starting the message with an informative subject line can make a big difference too, rather than a generic one, e.g. instead of having a subject line saying “Update” and then going into your email, say what the Update is about, so that the person at the other end knows what it is and when to open it.

Save time with reusable messages.

You often end up answering the same questions over and again. Create templated emails that you can have at the ready to provide relevant details. Depending on your email software, this capability may be built in or you may need to add a plug-in.

Use filters and folders to sort email.

Learn how to use automatically filter your messages into the appropriate folders. For example, if the email is from accounting@yourbusiness.com then send it to your “Accounting” folder. This can save hundreds of hours a year. The better your folder system, the less time you’ll spend looking for specific emails the you need them.

In Outlook, you can also set up a filter to change the colour of email for different senders. Your boss could be red, and you’d know to handle that one first. Also save time by setting up strong filters for junk and spam.

Unsubscribe from mailing lists that you don’t need any longer, although be careful here that you are unsubscribing from emails that you actually subscribed to in the first place! Some spammers send emails with ‘unsubcribe’ links, but if you click on that link, you are merely confirming to them that you have a valid and active email address for further spam.

Cleaning out the clutter can make your Inbox much less overwhelming.

Email is an essential tool today, especially in business. Don’t let it become a drain on your energy and attention. Make the most of the time you spend in your Inbox with smart strategies for email management.

Need help selecting the right email or setting up useful mailbox management tools? Give us a call on 01455 209505.