Who’s Zooming Who?

Using Zoom safely isn’t that hard. Set a password for joining (don’t make it too simple) and consider using a random meeting ID; make sure you enable the “waiting room”; learn how to turn off participants’ webcam and screen sharing; and figure out how to lock the meeting once all participants are in. When you publicize a Zoom meeting link, limit how you share it. Before anyone shares their screen, remind them not to share other sensitive information during the meeting. If you use other group meeting software, make sure it lets you limit participation to those you want.

Reduce Clutter
One way to reduce inbox clutter is to craft your messages with clear indications of what needs to be answered, what kind of information or help you are seeking (if you want to talk, then provide three available time slots), and maybe most importantly, let the recipient know if they don’t have to reply. I still find it hard not to reply with a one-line thank you, which just fills up someone’s inbox. And don’t worry if you have thousands of emails in your inbox; if you don’t lose emails or forget to reply, it’s fine. Obsessive filing may actually waste more of your time.

Online Safety
As we are all now spending more time online, it is good to remind you what information should never be posted online. The short list is: location, addresses and phone numbers, IDs, credit cards, banking information, work conflicts and trade secrets. You should also understand that digital spaces such as Facebook and Twitter will often reach many more people than you may think.

Task Manager
Just as Ctrl-Alt-Delete, that old Windows standby, can help you launch Task Manager to identify and stop stuck programs, web browsers such as Chrome have their own task manager to let you stop pesky tabs from slowing down your experience. On the desktop version of Chrome, click the three dots at the top right of the browser, then hover over “More Tools” and select “Task Manager.” You will see a list of open tabs, extensions and processes, and you can quickly figure out which are using a lot of RAM or CPU. The general rule for keeping Chrome nimble is to close tabs you aren’t using, uninstall extensions that you don’t need, and figure out which sites really eat up RAM and CPU and remember to close them as soon as you are done with them. Firefox has a similar tool—click on the three horizontal lines at the top right browser corner, then click on “More,” then click “Task Manager.”

Editing on a Mac
On a Mac, if you have been using Grammarly in your web browser to improve your writing and grammar, you can now start using it in Word. Available as an add-in, and currently free, check it out at grammarly.com/office-addin. It’s also available for the Windows version of Word.

Bill Scobie fixes computers and networks for small businesses and home. 628-2354 or bill@scobie.net.

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