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Technology Training

Microsoft Outlook 2016 Task and ToDo Lists

One feature that frequently goes overlooked in Microsoft Outlook 2016 is the task feature. If you need a to-do list or a task list, you are probably more likely to find a third party tool rather than using the one that is built into Outlook. This feature works well, but is little known even among people who use Outlook frequently.

Since the task feature is integrated into a platform that manages email, contacts, and calendaring, it makes your to-do list flow seamlessly into the rest of your work life. Features such as the ability to assign a to-do to someone in your contacts using an email is just one example of how three of the different features in Outlook can work together.

In this video, we will show you how to set up new tasks and walk you through all of the features such as scheduling, reminders and automatically recurring tasks. Outlook will even allow you to categorize your task lists so that you can separate tasks in any way you like. As simple as this tool is, it is extremely useful and can help you maximize your day when you are wondering what you need to do next.

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Technology Training

Block Access To Websites/Parental Controls

There are many reasons why you may need to limit access to certain websites or entire areas of the web. Maybe you are a parent and you are trying to limit your children’s access to the web. Maybe you are running a school where you have to take the protection of minors into consideration. Maybe you own a company and you want to make sure that your employees are being efficient.

Whatever the case may be, it is useful to know the different ways to block access to websites. One way is to use software that will block access to all social media. This is a great method and there are many programs available to help you with that. For the purpose of this video, we will show you a free method that is build into Windows 10.

You will need to modify the host file on your computer. The host file is hard to find because in most cases you do not want to edit it. In order to do this you will need to open the start menu and type in “notepad”. Right click on the notepad icon and select “run as administrator” from the drop down menu. Once notepad is open, select the file menu and then select “open”. You will need to open your C drive, navigate to “Windows”, open “System 32”, then open the “Drivers” tab and you will see an “ect” tab. Here you will find the host file. In the bottom left corner of the open window you will see a drop down menu. Select “All files”. Open the host file.

From here you will be able to add in any websites that you do not want this computer to have access to. To do this you will want to redirect certain web searches to an unresolved DNS. This means that the search will return nothing. Simply type in 0.0.0.0 followed by the web address that you would like blocked and when the search engine recognizes this web address it will return a blank web page. You can add as may websites as you would like to this list. Before you leave don’t forget to save the edited host file.

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Technology Training

Monitoring Employee Computers

With technology becoming a central component of every business, it is a good idea to know how your company IT resources are being used. As an employer, you need to know that your staff is being efficient and that they are using your company assets appropriately. If you have employees that are accessing parts of the web that are know to be sites where you can pick up a virus, they are not only wasting time, those employees are putting the entire company network at risk.
Typically, there are two ways to deal with this problem. One way is to block access to entire segments of the web so that employees can not access social media for example. This method does not guarantee that your company computers are being used efficiently however. The second approach, which we cover in this video, is to monitor activity on each work station. For this, we recommend ActivTrak, a light weight program that you can download on each of your company computers that will allow you to see incremental screenshots of the workstation throughout the day.
To some this practice will seem intrusive, but the reality is that the cost of recovering from a serious infections such as cryptolocker is far too expensive and this is an effective way to guard your company from that risk. Putting a clear company policy in place that lets employees know that a record is being created of their activity while they are using company resources will help keep everyone focused and honest. If you have concerns about your employees and how efficiently they are using company computers, contact eTop and we will help you put a plan in place to maximize efficiency.