Sunday, January 6, 2013

January tech news + tips from On-Site Technical Solutions, Inc.

Monthly tech news + tips from On-Site Technical Solutions, Inc.
Is it Time for Your business to Go “BYOD”?
Is it Time for Your business to Go “BYOD”? What are the advantages and disadvantages of “bring your own device” policies?
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Email Like Bond
Email Like Bond
How to avoid a “spyfall” when emailing.
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How to Safely Use the Reply (to) All Button

How to Safely Use the Reply (to) All ButtonEvery day we get bombarded with email messages we don’t want.
The problem? These unwanted messages make it harder to see the important ones that we do want.

We’re quick to point fingers at anonymous spammers selling fake Rolexes and male enhancement drugs, but maybe the problem is closer to home ...

Is the 'Reply All’ button the major culprit behind our overflowing inboxes? In other words, is spam mostly a problem of our own making?

And to ask a related question: How much humiliation could we spare ourselves if we got smarter about using—or not using—the reply all button?

Lost productivity
According to data cited in a recent Bloomberg Businessweek article, at least 15 percent of a typical office worker’s day is spent on email, and 5 percent of emails received are replies to all. While that might sound like a small percentage, think about those stats over time ...

What you have is “death by a thousand cuts.”

Businessweek reports that the misuse of the reply-all button has some companies considering an outright ban on its use, and a handful of businesses have gone as far as to use in-house programmers to remove the button from employees’ view.

Mistakes were made ...
The reply all button is simply an inanimate thing, of course, which means it’s not something we can truly blame.

The question is how we (as users) use and abuse this button ... it’s a question of etiquette.

But sometimes it’s just simple human error—perhaps compounded by bad design: the Reply All button is just a few short pixels away from the Reply button.

Everyone makes mistakes, right? Even those of us who should know better! Last fall, a student from NYU (who was studying computer science, of all things) accidentally replied to all 40,000 of his classmates—to their extreme annoyance.

The event was soon dubbed the “Reply All-pocalype.”

Fight back
This isn’t a newly diagnosed problem. Back in 2009, Sperry Software developed an Outlook add-on that issued a pop-up warning every time a user clicked the reply all button, making it less likely to accidentally share, say, a delicate HR matter or a snarky comment about a colleague with the entire company.
Since then, most major email providers have begun to take the reply-all problem seriously.

Microsoft introduced its own plug-in called NoReplyAll. And Google, whose Gmail is the most widely used free email service, rolled out a “Mute” button to give weary users an escape from endless email gabfests.

Despite these advances, it’s still up to us, as users, to exercise good judgement and do our part to reduce internal workplace spam.

It’s our policy that you should have a really good reason every time you decide to respond to a mass mailer.

What’s your policy? Just hit reply and let us know!

Read more at Bloomberg Businessweek:
Gmail for Newbies: A Quick Guide
Gmail for Newbies: A Quick Guide
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Must-Have Tech for Emergencies
Must-Have Tech for Emergencies
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Cool Apps for Your New iPad
Cool Apps for Your New iPad
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