14 Aug

Microsoft Office is Now Mobile!

Tablets with Windows 10 installed received a boost recently with the unveiling of the new Office Mobile applications. The mobile versions of the iconic Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote applications are specifically designed for use on tablets. The “touch-first” interface allows users to easily edit documents while on the go. The best news of all is the fact that Office Mobile apps are free for users of Windows 10.

 

One of the biggest complaints about trying to edit a Microsoft Office file from a tablet is usability, or lack thereof. That has all changed, at least for Windows 10 users, with Microsoft’s recent release of Office Mobile apps. The tablet-friendly versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote have been built from the ground up to improve touch functionality.

 

Even if you don’t have Windows 10, you still might be intrigued about the potential of having Office apps that are touch-friendly. Here are some of the new features you can enjoy when using Office Mobile apps.
 

Word

 

Microsoft Word Mobile has all the tools and features of the PC version including more nuanced tasks like being able to track changes and add footnotes. The Read mode, a mobile exclusive, improves the way documents appear by making them flow better on the smaller screens of a tablet while also letting you zoom in and out with a simple tap of the screen.
 

Excel

 

Recommended Charts is the prominent feature of the Excel Mobile app. It allows you to quickly show off your data using a stylish chart or graph with only a few taps. You will also find that reordering columns, adding formulae, changing chart types, and the majority of Excel’s other core functions are easier than ever before.
 

PowerPoint

 

Of course Office wouldn’t be Office without PowerPoint. The mobile version of the app allows you to edit slides with new touch gestures. This makes it easy to insert and edit pictures, tables, shapes, and SmartArt. But the real star here, and of the entire Office Mobile setup, is the Presenter View. This mode gives you full control over what your audience sees on the big screen during a presentation while still letting you view your speaker notes on the tablet.
 

OneNote

 

Windows 10 comes installed with OneNote, so you’re probably already using it. Tablet users will notice that changes made by anyone working in the notebook are automatically saved and synchronized for everyone to see.

The release of Office Mobile apps is just one of three big launches to come from Microsoft in 2015. Both Microsoft Office 2016 and Office Mobile for phones are slated for release this fall. Yet, while these tablet applications represent marked improvements for Windows 10 tablet users, they are probably not quite enough to warrant the switch from other operating systems just yet. In fact, even if you’re in love with the idea of having user-friendly, mobile versions of Office, you might want to hang on in there – it’s likely Microsoft will release them for iOS and Android in the near future, too.

 

Want to know what hardware and software is best for your company? Want to increase productivity in your office? Get in touch with us and we’ll show you how to do it. You can reach us at 1-866-BIT-WISE or sales@eitnetworks.net

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10 Jul

Will Selfies Replace Passwords?

Love them or hate them, selfies are here to stay. And with facial recognition technology becoming both more advanced and more mainstream, selfies have now found their way into the online security world. MasterCard is the most recent global corporation to join in on the trend. Here’s how they’re planning to integrate facial recognition technology into the online payment process.

 

At the beginning of this autumn, MasterCard will acquire the help of 500 customers to test out a new application that enables people to verify their identity and authenticate online transactions with a facial scan. What does this mean? Instead of using a traditional password at the online checkout, MasterCard wants to give you the option to snap a selfie instead. According to the credit card giant, they’ve partnered with every smartphone company in the business to make this mode of identity verification possible.
 

Why is this happening?

 

A quote from Ajay Bhalla, security expert at MasterCard, suggests this is an attempt by the credit card giant to appeal to a younger crowd of digital natives. “The new generation, which is into selfies…I think they’ll find it cool. They’ll embrace it,” Bhalla recently said.

That said, the “cool” appeal to youth is likely not the only reason for this change. The firm is likely attempting to make online purchases both more secure and more convenient.
 

How it works

 

To use this technology, users will have to download a dedicated app, which they can then use to take a photo of themselves at checkout. But how does MasterCard prevent a thief from using a photo of you to fake your verification? Simple – the app requires you to blink to prove that you’re a living, breathing human being.

However, it’s been noted by critics that, in today’s technological world, even a blink can be animated on a static photo. This leaves those of us with security concerns wondering whether MasterCard will make this app more secure before it’s released.

Note as well, though, that MasterCard is not getting rid of traditional passwords completely. Users will still have the option of the more conventional method of verification, as well as the choice of fingerprint scanning to check your identity.
 

Is this where the future of online security is headed?

 

With the release due later this year of a similar Windows 10 security application to identify users using biometrics, it appears that this is where the future of online security is headed. And with ever more applications and online services requiring a password, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the average web user to create one that is both unique and secure for each individual service. So whether it’s facial recognition, a fingerprint scan or some other technology that’s yet to be perfected, it seems as though some sort of more advanced security solution is inevitable.
 

Want more of the latest security news? Looking to implement new security to protect your IT infrastructure from cyber threats? Get in touch wit EIT Networks today at 1-866-BIT-WISE or sales@eitnetworks.net.

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13 Mar

Microsoft’s New Office Suite for Mac

Mac users have a reason to celebrate – after a long wait since its last update in 2011, the Microsoft Office for Mac suite of productivity applications has been given a makeover. The latest look brings on board the power of the cloud to take Office to new levels for Apple fans, including a move to deliver an experience that’s closer to that of the Windows version of the package. Better still, you can upgrade for free while it’s still in preview stage – here are some of the killer features of Office for Mac 2016.

Cloud power

Office for Mac 2016 takes the power of the cloud and puts it to full use, bringing the advantages of its cloud-oriented Office 365 applications to its flagship package. As a result, you can now access your Office documents whenever and wherever, and no matter which device you are using. Aside from Office 365, the new software is also integrated with OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, and SharePoint.

It’s now possible to jointly author Word and PowerPoint documents with colleagues, and to make challenges simultaneously. Much like Google Docs, you can run a chat conversation alongside the document, in order to discuss the changes you are each making. Word and PowerPoint automatically flag up updates to the document that you might not have spotted already. These features are already available to Windows-based users of Office.

Sharing documents also becomes simpler, with a dedicated sharing button in the applications’ top right corner that allows you to invite colleagues to collaborate on the document you’re working on. It’s possible to share a document either as an attachment or as a link, and of course to control access rights for each person to whom you give access. You can open others’ Office documents right from your email account and get straight to editing.

Ribbon refresh

Until now, there have been differences in the options available on the ‘ribbon’ of icons that appear beneath the File, Edit and other menus at the top of the screen. You might see one thing on your Mac but another on your PC, and another still on your tablet. With Office for Mac 2016, Microsoft has taken the opportunity to fix those inconsistencies, so you’ll now find the options you need in the same places across all the platforms you use. A new task pane is also intended to help simplify graphics editing.

Email grouping

The updates to Outlook, and OneNote too, were actually released in 2014 and so are technically not new with this release. But one such useful update that is carried through to Office for Mac 2016 is the organization of Outlook emails by conversation, as is the case with Gmail. Emails can be sorted using a variety of other criteria, too.

Presentation aids

Office for Mac 2016 makes life a little easier for those presenting using PowerPoint slides. While your audience is shown the final product on your big screen, you can benefit from having ‘presenter view’ open on your monitor. This dedicated view gives you access to all of your presentation’s slides, any associated notes, and also a timer to help you keep pace.

The entire suite of Office for Mac 2016 applications – including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook – is available for free upgrade during Microsoft’s preview period, which runs until later this year. Once that comes to an end, you’ll need an Office 365 subscription or perpetual licence in order to keep making the most of the package’s features.

To find out more about boosting your company’s productivity with Microsoft Office applications, give us a call today at 1-866-BIT-WISE or if you would prefer email, sales@eitnetworks.net.

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20 Feb

Tablets: More Than Just Entertainment Devices

Think your tablet is only useful for your favorite Youtube videos, social media updates, or handheld gaming? Think again. Since their introduction, tablets have been synonymous with entertainment but, when properly incorporated into your business, they can boost productivity and help your business thrive. For SMBs, adapting tablets into your work environment can even open up new business opportunities.

You already know that tablets are flexible in use, portable, and make great devices for entertainment. But you can make your tablet contribute much more to your business practices too; it’s just a matter of selecting the right applications and accessories to get the job done. Here are some strategies to turn your tablet into a powerful productivity tool.

Out with the games

Yes, we use tablets to play games. From typical Angry Birds to Valve’s Portal series, there are so many fun games to play. However, for the sake of your business, you need to get rid of all such distractions from your work tablet. Burying the games in folders won’t help when you know they’re there. So if you don’t want to be tempted to play a game instead of working, delete the game. Sure, solving puzzles with portals and physics is fun, but you should do so only once work is done. After you accomplish your business goals, you can celebrate your huge success with a slice of cake, and then kick back to enjoy some entertainment. With all the work you get done, it will be hard for your boss to overstate his or her satisfaction. “This is a triumph!” he or she will exclaim.

In with the work-friendly apps

The pre-installed apps such as calendar, calculator, email, clock/timer are all useful tools you’ll want to have at hand. These are great for quick information checking. But your tablet has the potential to do more than telling you the time or helping with numbers. Just head over to the app store, browse through over a million available apps and take your pick. Here are a few popular ones to get you started:

•Dropbox – This app lets you store, synchronize, and share files online. You can gain access to your files or share them with your colleagues anywhere, anytime. And what’s more, it’s safe! With Dropbox installed, your tablet becomes a powerful device that enables you to bring up anything you might need for references while working. Alternatives include Google Drive and OneDrive.

•Skype – Most businesses are starting to take advantage of the features Skype offers. Need to discuss something with your teammates? You can get in touch with them by using the instant messaging or group call features. Skype also allows you to share files with your colleagues with a simple drag-and-drop function.

•iWork – If you’re an iPad aficionado you’ll find that iWork boosts your productivity, with three combined apps – Keynote, Numbers and Pages – that can act as your entire office suite whether you’re in the office, at home or on the road.

Organize your home screen

You can focus more on work with a well-organized page dedicated solely to productive apps. Make sure all of your work-related apps are on the home screen. The key is to keep the home screen simple and clean. While you can organize it in any way you wish, it’s best to try out a few different schemes before settling on the one you’re most comfortable with.

Get a Bluetooth keyboard

One of the major disadvantages of a tablet is the lack of a physical keyboard. When you need to handle several documents or do a lot of writing, using the tablet’s on-screen keyboard probably isn’t a good idea. Luckily this drawback can be overcome with a portable Bluetooth keyboard. This way you can easily respond to emails or edit documents. So invest in a Bluetooth keyboard to improve your overall tablet experience and productivity. You’ll probably find it soon replaces your laptop.

The tablet trend is in town, and many businesses are already benefiting from these devices. But are you ready to take the plunge? Get in touch with us at 1-866-BIT-WISE or sales2eitnetworks.net to see how tablets can help your business.

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12 Dec

Facebook Goes to Work

At work, the Internet is both a great tool that enables more efficient work and a massive distraction to many, especially those who are active on social media. Check with any employee and you can probably guarantee that they have accessed Facebook while at work. While this can irk some employers, Facebook is tackling this issue head on and is developing a new social network just for businesses, potentially called Facebook at Work.

What is Facebook at Work?

In late November, Facebook announced that they are developing a new social network which may be called Facebook at Work. As you can guess by the clue in the title, this is going to be a business-oriented venture that will bring the popular social network, or elements of it, to the workplace.

For many businesses, this popular social network is not really a part of every business operation. Sure, marketing and sales may use this platform, and others, as a way to reach out and connect with customers, but few organizations are known to use Facebook internally as a communication and social network for employees.

Those who do use the network in the office often use their personal accounts and have noted that they would like an easy way to separate work from personal life, while still remaining on the network. Many businesses would also prefer that employees didn’t bring their personal lives and Facebook accounts to the office because this can lead to breaches in privacy and even important data being compromised, especially if a personal account is hacked.

The best way to think of this new platform is that it is Facebook strictly for work. While it is still in the development stages, some interesting details have emerged. There is no official name for the network, thus far, but sources at Facebook have noted that the codename for the product is Facebook@Work.

What Facebook@Work will look like

From what we can tell, the network will look and work much the same as the existing version of Facebook. Users will be able to create profiles, join groups, post on each other’s News Feeds, and even send messages using the popular Facebook Messenger. Where it will differ is that it will have collaborative tools that allow users to share and work on the same documents.

This network will be completely separate from the personal Facebook site, with users having a different password and username. Information between a personal and work account will not be shared either. This should make the network more secure, or at least minimize the use of personal accounts for work-related tasks.

What we don’t know

We do know that Facebook@Work, or Facebook at Work, is currently being developed by a London-based branch of Facebook who seem to be also acting as the main testers. However, we are unsure at this time if the network is being developed strictly as an internal network, which will be used only within a company, or if it will be more like LinkedIn, where it will allow you to connect with similar professionals.

Interestingly enough, Facebook has been using its own network and various groups as a major part of their own internal communication tools amongst departments. For example, when an employee joins a new department they are added to a secure group and group chat where updates are posted, questions are asked, and work is supposedly assigned and agreed upon. It could be that the company is developing something along these lines for external release too.

We don’t know exactly when this network will be introduced, but you can be sure that it will be debuted sometime in 2015, possibly with a rollout in the next year. If your business uses social platforms, or is looking to integrate social media in the near future, this business-oriented social media platform could be worth keeping your eyes on.

Stay tuned as we will be covering this further in the future. Meanwhile, if you have any questions about how best to utilize Facebook in the office please contact us today at 1-866-BIT-WISE or sales@eitnetworks.net.

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14 Nov

CryptoWall: A Serious Security Threat

Last year saw a number of highly publicized security threats that many companies struggled to deal with. One of those was a nasty bit of malware called Cryptolocker, which held your files for ransom. While this has now largely been dealt with, news is surfacing of a second version – called CryptoWall – that has begun to infect users.

What is Crypto malware?

Crypto malware is a type of trojan horse that when installed onto computers or devices, holds the data and system hostage. This is done by locking valuable or important files with a strong encryption. You then receive a pop-up informing you that you have a set amount of time to pay for a key which will unlock the encryption. If you don’t pay before the deadline, your files are deleted.

When this malware surfaced last year, many users were understandably concerned and took strong precautions to ensure they did not get infected. Despite these efforts, it was not dealt with until this year, when security experts introduced a number of online portals that can un-encrypt files affected by Cryptolocker, essentially neutralizing the threat. Case closed? Not exactly. A recently updated version is threatening users once again.

Cryptolocker 2.0, aka. CryptoWall

Because of efforts by security firms to neutralize the Cryptolocker threat, the various developers of the malware have come back with an improved version, CryptoWall, and it is a threat of which everyone should be aware.

With CryptoWall, the transmission and infection methods remain the same as they did with the first version: It is most commonly found in zipped folders and PDF files sent over email. Most emails with the malware are disguised as invoices, bills, complaints, and other business messages that users are likely to open.

The developers did make some “improvements” to the malware that make it more difficult to deal with for most users. These changes include:

•Unique IDs are used for payment. These are addresses used to verify that the payment is unique and from one person only. If the address is used by another user, payment will now be rejected. This is different from the first version where one person who paid could share the unlock code with other infected users.

•CryptoWall can securely delete files: In the older version of this threat, files were deleted if the ransom was not paid, but they could still be recovered with some effort. In the new version the encryption has increased security which ensures the file is deleted. This leaves you with either the option of paying the ransom or retrieving the file from a backup.

•Payment servers cannot be blocked. With CryptoLocker, when authorities and security experts found the addresses of the servers that accepted payments they were able to add these to blacklists, thus ensuring no traffic would come from, or go to, these servers again. Essentially, this made it impossible for the malware to actually work. Now, it has been found that the developers are using their own servers and gateways which essentially makes them exponentially more difficult to find and ban.

How do I prevent my systems and devices from being infected?

Unlike other viruses and malware, CryptoWall does not go after passwords or account names, so the usual changing of your passwords won’t really help. The best ways to prevent this from getting onto your systems is:

•Do not open any suspicious attachments – Look at each and every email attachment that comes into your inbox. If you spot anything that looks odd, such as say a spelling mistake in the name, or a long string of characters together, then it is best to avoid opening it.

•Do not open emails from unknown sources – Be extra careful about emails from unknown sources, especially ones that say they provide business oriented information e.g., bank statements from banks you don’t have an account with or bills from a utilities company you do not use. Chances are high that they contain some form of malware. Even if the email appears to be from a company with whom you have dealings, it is best to simply access the account in question to check your messages or to call the company directly to check the validity of the email.

Should your files be attacked and encrypted by this malware, the first thing you should do is to contact us (EIT Networks). We can work with you to help find a solution that may keep you from having to pay the ransom to recover your files. CryptoWall may be incredibly difficult to deal with, but do not try to fight it alone.

If you are looking to learn more about CryptoWall malware and how to boost your security to protect your data and systems, contact us at 1-866-BIT-WISE or sales@eitnetworks.net. We could be your first line of defense against this dangerous threat.

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07 Nov

Simple Tips on Wireless Security

Wireless technology has never been more popular, as evidenced by the vast number of wireless electronic devices that can connect to the Internet or local network. The freedom that this technology affords is quite appealing to most. It is liberating to access files, play music, watch videos, or communicate with others online without being tied down to one desk in your home or office. As with most technological conveniences, however, this freedom comes at a higher cost. With all of this information zipping back and forth through the air, how do you protect your network from hackers or nosy neighbors? Here are some simple steps to get started.

Note: This article is geared towards a home or small office network. Many of these ideas can be used for larger businesses, however.

1. Change the default username and password on your router

Routers come with a default username and password. Cybercriminals love default settings. Fortunately, changing the login info is easy. Just access your router (by using a web browser and the router’s IP), find the login settings, and change the defaults to something unique. Concerning the password, make it fairly complex (like bUnn1es@reCute1324). Internet villains have some powerful tools at their disposal, so do not make it easy for them. You probably will not access your router that often, in which case you will not have the chance to memorize your username and password. Therefore, make sure you write them down and store them someplace safe!

2. Change the SSID (also known as Wireless Network Name)

If your router uses a default SSID (like “linksys” or “netgear”), change it. The default Pre-Shared Key (PSK) may be based on this default name, making it easier for cybercriminals to break in. If they see a list of network names, they are more likely to try to hack the ones with a default name in hopes that the PSK has not been changed. If this is the case, the network name is essentially providing a portion of the wireless password, and the bad guys can run software that attempts to obtain the rest of it.

This step man not apply to newer routers that come with a unique SSID and PSK out of the box, but it will not hurt anything to change those as well. Also, if you set a long, complex PSK (see step 3 below), you will make it incredibly difficult to hack in, even if you are still using a default SSID, but if you can deter a hacker just by changing the SSID, why not do it? Another benefit of having a unique name is that it ensures you will not share a default SSID with a neighbor, which could cause confusion.

3. Enable WPA2 security and set a strong passphrase

This is probably already enabled on your router, as WPA2 has been around for quite some time, but you should check it to make sure. The older security protocols (WEP, WPA) have been around a lot longer and have some serious security flaws. WPA2 is not airtight, but it is the best option to use at the moment. Once you have enabled this feature, set a strong, unique PSK passphrase. As an example, something like “dGup@158$*Pld” would work splendidly. Just make sure you write it down and store it in a safe place!

This example may seem excessive, but a weak passphrase can be more easily cracked by a brute-force attack (using software that repeatedly tries various passwords until one of them works). It is best not to take chances when it comes to security. As always, changing your password/passphrase periodically is a good practice.

4. Update router firmware regularly

As routers age, they become more vulnerable to attacks. Router manufacturers issue firmware updates that can help make your router more secure, among other benefits. There is always a risk involved in updating firmware, however, but it is still a good thing to do. Never update firmware when there is an above-average risk that you may lose power, such as during inclement weather. Losing power during a firmware update could turn your router into what is fondly called a “brick.” Fortunately, firmware updates do not take long to apply, so the chances of losing power during that brief time is very slim. If you have any concerns, however, plug your computer and router into a UPS (uninterruptible power supply, not the shipping company….) before attempting a firmware update!

5. Disable WPS if not needed

Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) is a simple, convenient way to connect wireless devices to your network. On newer routers, you merely press a button on the router and a button on the device, and the router will automatically give the device a required 8-digit PIN; there is no setup involved whatsoever. Devices can only connect up to five minutes after the button is pressed, which makes it fairly secure. However, some older routers may not have this feature, which makes them susceptible to brute-force attacks. Using this method, a hacker can guess your PIN in less than a day.

There are differing opinions about WPS, but the general consensus is that it is best to disable it and set up your devices manually. This is more of a hassle, but it will undoubtedly make your network more secure. If needed, check with your router’s manufacturer to see what they have done to make WPS more secure, such as adding a lockout policy to combat brute-force attacks. Some companies have ditched the term “WPS” and have come up with something else that essentially does the same thing but with more security (such as QSS from TP-LINK).

6. Deny wireless devices access to router’s web-based utility

You do not want just anyone to make changes to your router. Go into your router’s web-based utility and find where you can change who has access. It may be in “Local Management” under the “Security” tab or something similar. Do not allow all computers on the LAN to access the router’s web-based utility. Instead, input the MAC addresses for the computer(s) you will be using for access, and only allow those computers access. A really good hacker can find a way around this, but the more roadblocks that are in the way, the safer the network is. The more steps a cybercriminal has to go through, the more likely he or she is to give up and move on to another network.

7. Disable UPnP

Universal Plug and Play is a feature that is on by default in most routers. The basic premise is that it allows programs on your computer to open ports, allowing for NAT traversal when needed. The problem is that UPnP has no built-in authentication, which could pose a security threat. For instance, if you get malware on your desktop, it could use UPnP to open a port indefinitely and send information to nefarious individuals. That could never be good! There is a lot more that can be said about UPnP, but it falls outside the scope of this article. Just know that it could be an issue. If you choose to disable it, and a needed program stops functioning, just utilize port forwarding for that specific program.

8. Ensure that your router cannot be accessed remotely

This option is usually off by default, but you might as well check it while you are changing settings on your router. It can usually be found under a tab named “Remote Management.” If enabled, it allows you to access your router’s web-based utility from any device with internet access and a web browser. You still have to input your password, of course, but it is just another way for unwanted guests to try to access your network. Also, chances are that you will never need this feature.

9. Place your wireless router near the center of your home/office

Unless your wireless network is located inside a huge faraday cage, you will probably end up with the signal bleeding out through the walls of your home or office. Placing your wireless router/access point at the center of your building, however, can lessen this problem. It may not be possible for everyone to do this, but if you do have the option, go for it! By the way, if your wireless network is inside a huge faraday cage, you can safely ignore this entire article….

10. Get a new wireless router

If you have an old router that does not utilize modern security protocols or for which the manufacturer no longer produces firmware updates, it may be time for an upgrade. Yes, this involves spending money, but it may be necessary to maintain proper network security. Unsupported routers are just like an operating system that is no longer supported by its maker; it becomes more vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

Experts recommend replacing your router every 4-5 years, even if it seems to be functioning just fine. For one thing, it is better to replace it while it is working than to wait for it to quit and then have to buy a new one. When there is no rush, you can research routers to find the best option for your budget and network needs. If your router goes down, you will probably run down to the local Buy More (fictional) and hastily grab the first router you see!

There is a lot more that can be said about wireless security, but these are some simple changes you can implement to make it tougher for unwanted individuals to access your network. If you are interested in how EIT Networks can provide network security, 24/7 monitoring, and many other services for your business, call 1-866-BIT-WISE or email us at sales@eitnetworks.net.

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21 Oct

Format hard drives on Mac to work with Windows

Apple’s systems are commonly called a ‘walled garden’. Systems operating within this so called garden just seem to work together without any effort. Try to integrate a system from outside this ecosystem however, and problems usually arise. One such example of this is trying to get a hard drive – USB or external – to work on both Mac and Windows systems.

On the surface, the files and folders of both Windows and Mac do the same thing and are relatively similar. The main difference comes in the file systems used by operating systems to control how information is stored and received on hard drives. This information is represented to us as a file structure – files and folders. Without a file system, we would not be able to tell the difference between information and data stored on the computer.

While it makes perfect sense to have only one type of file system, there are actually over 20 in use today. The most popular are:
•HFS+ – The main file structure used by OS X. All Mac hard drives that the OS is installed on are formatted using this structure. Windows does not natively support this file structure, meaning that when you plug in a hard drive formatted using HFS+, Windows will not be able to read it without installing a third party app first.
•NTFS – The main file structure preferred and recommended by Windows. OS X machines can read files and information on NTFS formatted drives but they cannot write (transfer) files onto them.
•FAT32 – An older file system that is supported by both Windows and OS X. This means that both systems can read and write files to drives formatted using this system. The limitation of FAT32 is that it has trouble supporting files larger than 4GB.
•ExFAT – A newer version of FAT32, sometimes referred to as FAT64. This system was developed to eliminate the file size limitations of FAT32. Windows systems can support this system as can Mac systems running OS X 10.6.5 and above.

Because OS X and Windows don’t support the other’s main file system, it is advisable to ensure that you format your external hard drives and USB drives to be either FAT32 or exFAT. The optimal choice would be exFAT.

How to format your external hard drive or USB on a Mac

If you work in a company that uses both Windows and Mac machines, or would like to be able to transfer files between systems using an external drive, you should first format the drive so that it can be read by both systems. You can do this on a Mac by:

1.Plugging in the drive you would like to format.

2.Clicking on the Magnifying glass in the top-right of the window and typing Disk Utility.

3.Opening Disk Utility by clicking on it from the results and selecting the drive you would like to format.

4.Selecting Erase from the right box.

5.Clicking on the button beside Format and selecting ExFAT.

6.Entering a name for the drive in the box beside Name, left-clicking on Erase and following the prompts

Warning: Before your format any drive, you should be sure that there are no files you need or would like to keep because they will be erased and will be unrecoverable.

If you are looking to learn more about how a Mac can fit into your office, or would like to know more about formatting hard drives please contact us today to see how we can help make this happen.

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