Useful Tips

Please note that these tips are only the opinion of Tratan Executive Consultant and as such we are not liable for any risk you take or any bad outcome that may arise in following our advice.



With today’s technology, you can store your whole life on your hard drive. Computers are being made smaller and smaller, and seem to be disappearing out from under people’s noses.

Without password protection, nothing is safe.

Passwords ensure the security and confidentiality of data that is stored on your or your company's computer.

Weaker passwords are more susceptible to brute-force attacks, where hackers attempt to access accounts through rapid guessing and other more interesting methods. If an identity thief gets his hands on your password, he instantly gains access to your phone messages, email, bank account information, credit card information, social security numbers, and all the other information the angel on our shoulder tells us to keep private.

It is your responsibility as a user, to make sure that all your account passwords are as difficult to guess as possible.

Security firm Splashdata, which every year compiles a list of the most common stolen passwords, found that "123456" moved into the number one slot in 2013. Previously, "password" had dominated the rankings.

Please read our document on passwords

Computer Virus

A computer virus is a malware program that, when executed, replicates by inserting copies of itself into other computer programs, data files, or the boot sector of the hard drive; when this replication succeeds, the affected areas are then said to be 'infected'. Like a human virus, a computer virus can range in severity: some may cause only mildly annoying effects while others can damage your hardware, software or files.

Almost all viruses are attached to an executable file, which means the virus may exist on your computer but it actually cannot infect your computer unless you run or open the malicious program. It is important to note that a virus cannot be spread without a human action, such as running an infected program, to keep it going. Because a virus is spread by human action people will unknowingly continue the spread of a computer virus by sharing infecting files or sending emails with viruses as attachments in the email.



Most of us today use some kind of computer, whether it is Windows, Linux or Apple based and counter to some beliefs are ALL at risk to being infected by a virus. The first computer virus was actually being on an Apple in 1981. It is true that Windows platforms are targeted more by the virus creators but this does not mean that the other platforms are ignored, which means each and everyone one of us needs to take the necessary precautions to keep our computers safe and in-turn the computers of the people around us.

There are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk of infection and below is a list of these.
(Please note they are not listed in order of importance)

1. Keep your Operating System (OS) up-to-date. Most updates can be downloaded from the manufacturer’s website.

2. Install an anti-virus software package. There are many packages on the market, both free and paid.

3. Do not download pirated software, videos, music files etc. They are being given away for free for a reason! This relates to software that you would normally have to buy, not shareware or freeware….although they should still be downloaded from a known source.

4. Do not open attachments in emails if you think that they are suspicious……No one wants to give you $130 million! Even if you know the source of the email, it doesn’t hurt to double check if they did indeed mean to send you the attachment.

5. Always scan memory sticks/external devices before using them on your computer if they have been used on another machine, no matter how safe you think it is. You don’t know how the other person protects their computer and they could be the 'weak link'

6. Keep your anti-virus software up-to-date! New viruses are being made every day and to keep your machine protected you need to get regular updates.

7. Use some kind of Firewall as this will give you additional protection when using the Internet.

8. Perform regular scans. Most anti-virus software these days allow you to configure this option to happen automatically at a set schedule, whether it is daily or weekly. Never leave it longer than a week.

9. Disable autorun as this feature is abused by viruses and allows them to install themselves and result in automatic spreading throughout your network.

10. When online, Surf SMART. If you visit websites that are not reputable the chances of being infected are dramatically increased. Remember to turn on your POP-UP blocker so as to limit the chance or 'drive-by' installs. Never ever use your user accounts, personal, financial or other sensitive/private information on any website that you did not arrive at by your manual choice. Avoid clicking links unless from a trustworthy source

Most of these are common sense to most of us, but we are all prone to the odd mistake. Remember to stay mindful and alert when using the Internet or related services.

I have listed some articles below that make for good reading. Click to follow link (Yes they are safe)

The Best Free Antivirus for 2014
Free and Paid Antivirus Programs Compared
12 Antivirus Apps for the Mac

Windows Keyboard Shortcuts

Below is a list of some common and some not so common shortcuts that you can use on your keyboard.

F1: Help

CTRL+ESC: Open Start menu

ALT+TAB: Switch between open programs

ALT+F4: Quit program

SHIFT+DELETE: Delete item permanently

Windows Logo+L: Lock the computer (without using CTRL+ALT+DELETE)

CTRL+C: Copy


CTRL+V: Paste

CTRL+Z: Undo

CTRL+B: Bold

CTRL+U: Underline

CTRL+I: Italic

CTRL+SHIFT+ESC: Opens Windows Task Manager

SHIFT: Press and hold down the SHIFT key while you insert a CD-ROM to bypass the automatic-run feature

ALT+SPACE: Displays the main window's System menu (from the System menu, you can restore, move, resize, minimize, maximize, or close the window)

ALT+underlined letter in menu: Opens the menu

F2: Rename object

F3: Find all files

SHIFT+DELETE: Delete selection immediately, without moving the item to the Recycle Bin

CTRL+SHIFT while you drag a file to the desktop or a folder creates a shortcut

F5: Refreshes the current window

CTRL+Z: Undo the last command

CTRL+A: Select all the items in the current window

Windows Logo: Start menu

Windows Logo+R: Run dialog box

Windows Logo+M: Minimize all

Windows Logo+L: Log off Windows

Windows Logo+P: Starts Print Manager

Windows Logo+C: Opens Control Panel

Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

Modifier keys include: Command, Shift, Option, Control, Caps Lock, and the fn key. These keys are represented by special symbols when you see them in menus and other parts of OS X:


Startup shortcuts Use these key combinations to change how your computer starts up. Press and hold the key or combination of keys immediately after starting your Mac until the expected function occurs or appears.

Option or Alt : Display all startup volumes (Startup Manager)

Shift : Start up in Safe Mode

Left Shift : Prevent automatic login

C : Start from bootable media (DVD, CD, USB thumb drive)

T : Start up in Target disk mode

X : Force OS X startup (when non-OS X startup volumes are available)

D : Use Apple Hardware Test

Command-R : Use OS X Recovery (OS X Lion or later)

Command-V : Start up in Verbose Mode

Command-S : Start up in Single User Mode

Command-Option-P-R : Reset NVRAM / parameter RAM

Hold F12 : key or mouse button: Eject removable discs

Command-Shift-3 : Capture the screen to a file

Command-Shift-Control-3 : Capture the screen to the Clipboard

Command-Shift-4 : Capture a selection of the screen to a file, or press the spacebar to capture just a window

Command-Shift-Control-4 : Capture a selection of the screen to the Clipboard, , or press the spacebar to capture just a window

Command-Tab : Move forward to the next most recently used application in a list of open applications

Command-Shift-Tab : Move backward through a list of open applications (sorted by recent use)

Shift-Tab : Navigate through controls in a reverse direction

Command-F1 : Toggle "Mirror Displays" on multi-monitor configurations

Command-F3 : Show Desktop

Option-F1 or Option-F2 : Opens "Displays" System Preference

Option-F3 or Option-F4 : Open Mission Control preferences

Option-F10 or -F11 or -F12 : Open Sound preferences

Command-Minus (–) : Decrease the size of the selected item

Command-Colon (:) : Display the Spelling and Grammar window

Command-Semicolon (;) : Find misspelled words in the document

Command-Question Mark (?) : Open the application's help in Help Viewer

Command-Shift-= : Increase the size of the selected item

Command-A : Highlight every item in a document or window, or all characters in a text field

Command-B : Boldface the selected text or toggle boldfaced text on and off

Command-C : Copy the selected data to the Clipboard

Command-Option-V : Paste (apply) the formatting settings from the Clipboard to the selected item

Command-Option-D : Show or hide the Dock

Command-E : Use the selection for a find

Command-F : Open a Find window

Command-H : Hide the windows of the currently running application

Command-Option-H : Hide the windows of all other running applications

Command-I : Italicize the selected text or toggle italic text on or off

Command-M : Minimize the active window to the Dock

Command-Option-M : Minimize all windows of the active application to the Dock

Command-P : Display the Print dialog

Command-Q : Quit the frontmost application

Command-S : Save the active document

Command-U : Underline the selected text or turn underlining on or off

Command-V : Paste the Clipboard contents at the insertion point

Command-W : Close the frontmost window

Command-Shift-W : Close a file and its associated windows

Command-Option-W : Close all windows in the application without quitting it

Command-Z : Undo previous command (some applications allow for multiple Undos)

Command-Option-esc : choose an application to Force Quit