Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, December 22, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 14



 Mountain Views News Saturday, December 22, 2012 


Keep Your Computer-And Your Information-Safe


 (NAPSI)—Viruses, worms, Trojans—you’ve likely heard or read about them. They’re the nefarious 
“creatures” that can take advantage of vulnerabilities in the software applications you have installed 
on your computer—but you can defeat them. That’s good news, because if they find their way into 
your computer, they can wreak havoc, destroying your files, stealing your personal information, even 
taking control of your computer to help with other insidious cybercrimes. Chances are, if you haven’t 
already been a victim of some kind of malware, you could be soon, especially if you don’t keep your 
software applications current by installing the security updates that software vendors provide.

Staying up to date on the latest security patches is critical given today’s threat environment. In addition 
to the many security initiatives that software companies engage in to keep their products and 
users safe, the single most important advice they give is to always stay up to date. “Research shows 
that up to 99.8 percent of successful cyberattacks today exploit software that is not current with the 
latest security updates,” says Brad Arkin, senior director, security, Adobe products and services. “We 
strongly recommend that users install the latest security updates.” 

Recently, Skype, the popular service that lets you make phone calls using the Internet, commissioned 
a survey that revealed:

• 40 percent of adults don’t always update software on their computers when initially prompted to do 

• Approximately 25 percent of those surveyed said they don’t clearly understand what software updates 
do and an equal percentage don’t understand the benefits of updating. 

• While 75 percent of adults receive update notifications from their software, more than half admitted 
that they needed to see a prompt between two and five times before downloading and installing the 

For most people, then, updating software is more often than not an afterthought. Many complain that 
the process is intrusive and bothersome. It’s just easier to click the “remind me later” button when 
you’re busy finishing up the weekly sales report or adding your latest vacation photos to your online 
album. If you do, however, you leave yourself vulnerable to threats that could take you off-line for a 
long time-or worse. 

Making Updates Easier

The good news is that times have changed. Companies continuously look for ways to make the update 
process less cumbersome for users. For example, the very widely used Adobe Reader—which lets you 
open and read ubiquitous PDF documents—uses a new update mechanism designed to keep you 
current in a much more streamlined and automated way. With the new updater, Windows users have 
the option to choose to download and install updates automatically. You can literally “set it and forget 
it.” Once your update preferences are set to update your software automatically, Adobe Reader and 
Acrobat will automatically check for new updates and download and install available updates—you 
won’t have to think about it again. 

So the next time you get a pop-up window telling you to update that software application, your best 
move is to do it right then. If your software offers an automatic update option, enable it. Don’t wait. 
It’s too easy to forget and it’s too easy for cybercriminals to get to you. 

If your software reminds you again a few days later (and maybe again a few days after that), it’s just 
doing its job, reminding you to do yours. It’s not another update, just a friendly way to tell you how 
important it is to stay up to date.

*I’ll be back next week with an original scoop for you. Merry Christmas - P.J. Carpenter


As you work more and more 
with social media and email 
marketing platforms, you might 
find that these simple tools can 
make your life easier:

• Screen Capture tools: 
A screen shot is a way of taking 
a snapshot or picture of your 
computer screen. It basically 
creates an image that you can 
use in graphic programs, email 
campaigns, posts on Facebook 
etc. If you are on a MAC, simply 
push Shift + Command + 4 and 
drag your mouse over the area 
of your screen you want to 
capture. PC users can download 
a free tool at

• Color Pickers: The best 
way to get a color value from 
something you see on your 
screen is to use a color picker 
tool. This is handy when you 
need to match a color in a logo, 
web page or photo. Mac users 
have a built-in tool called the 
“Digital Color Meter.” For PC 
users, there is a free tool called 
“Color Cop” which can be 
downloaded at

• Photo Editing tools: If 
you’re not a Photoshop guru 
but want to create a cool image, 
crop a photo or take out a 
wrinkle on your head shot, try 
these free tools: PicMonkey.
com or

• To 
easily track your social media 
activity, Nutshell Mail is a free 
tool from Constant Contact 
that will deliver a summary of 
all your activity directly to your 
email inbox. You can tell it how 
often you want to receive these 


• PLR: Private Label 
Rights articles: Sometimes 
coming up with good copy 
is a challenge. Did you 
know that you can purchase 
affordable articles that you can 
change, add to, re-title and 
call your own. A great site for 
these articles is http://www. 

About MJ: MJ and her brother 
David own HUTdogs, a creative 
services business that specializes 
in Social Media Education for 
business owners. Join their 
conversation on Facebook and 
get good tips and tricks about 
social media, www.facebook.

Sign up for their upcoming 
classes and presentations at:


The latest on Business News, Trends and Techniques

By La Quetta M. Shamblee, MBA


Entrepreneurs and small business owners are the engines that drive the economy. The list of 
successful ventures and contrasting business failures continues to grow each year. New businesses 
open in cities across America everyday. Some are able to weather all of the unforeseen challenges of 
starting a new venture, and others watch their dreams fizzle before their eyes. One of the primary 
factors that distinguishes the two outcomes is summed up in the following quote:

“Do more than is required. What is the distance between someone who achieves their goals consistently 
and those who spend their lives and careers merely following? The extra mile.” - Gary Ryan Blair

Aside from raising children, starting and running a successful business is one of the hardest things 
anyone will ever do. Dreamers only dream, but the dreams of entrepreneurs give birth to ideas 
that drive the economy. Whether it involves purchasing a franchise or existing business, or starting 
a business from scratch, entrepreneurs give birth to ideas that create revenue, jobs and economic 

People who work for themselves often work much more than a typical forty hour work week, but the 
tradeoff of being one’s own boss is the satisfaction that can turn hours into minutes. Entrepreneurs 
don’t have the Monday morning dread of starting the preverbal countdown to Friday afternoon as 
soon as the workweek begins. When you love what you do, it’s just doesn’t feel so much like work.

In recent years, I’ve met a growing number of professionals who have been “displaced” from their full-
time careers as a result of corporate downsizings and mergers that have resulted in wave after wave 
of layoffs. Those that embrace this major change with a “glass half full” perspective are sometimes 
drawn into the entrepreneurial arena. They view their job loss as part of a grander plan of “one door 
closing for another to open” and more and more of them are realizing they have interest in walking 
through the newly opened door.

Your idea or product may become the next million-dollar feature story, or it may at least result in a 
secondary income source that pays for the kid’s college tuition or family vacation.

Thousands of Americans who survived the past year as entrepreneurs are poised to make bigger 
and better things happen in the upcoming year. Those who have continued to sit on the sidelines 
dreaming, contemplating and procrastinating are no closer to realizing the benefits of answering the 
inner call to “do one’s own thing”. If the call to try something daring and different continues to ring 
in your head, it may be time for you to move beyond your fear and give it your best shot.

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