Emails and Cyber security

Free email accounts provided by services like Google, Yahoo, Rediffmail or Hotmail are very useful for correspondences. They have the largest number of users around the world. Not only do these free email providers make sharing of emails easier but they also provide additional features such as sharing anything in the form of attachments, more storage space, spam filtering and protection from certain kinds of viruses.

Because these are free accounts, online cyber security in Singapore is not guaranteed at all times. Here are some tips that you should keep in mind while downloading, opening or sharing emails and attachments.

Verify source – Always check the source of the mail. If the sender’s address is not familiar or trustworthy, it is best not to open that attachment. Spam emails or Spoof emails should at best be deleted without opening. If the email looks suspicious do not open it at any cost.

Keep software updated – Use reliable anti-virus software, malwares, and spywares on your computer. Update these continuously so that the protection provided by them is always up to date. Activate firewalls to get internet protection. Enable the option of automatically updating these anti-viruses on your operating system.

Cancel automatic downloads – Many email providers provide their users with the option of automatically downloading email attachments. If possible turn off this option. This would prevent viruses from affecting your computer.

Save and Scan – Always scan any kind of an attachment before opening or downloading it on to your computer. Scan the file using your computer’s own anti-virus software. Remove any viruses detected and then open the attachment.

Use separate accounts – It is advisable to have separate accounts for different purposes. Have an account for exchanging business emails and another for exchanging correspondences with your family and friends. Because business emails are sent by outsiders and from different service providers, they are more likely to have viruses that can affect your computer.

Use additional security – An effective way of maintaining email security is using certain filters and marking certain unwanted emails as ‘spam’. Block certain addresses to reduce spam emails. The spam tagging feature helps the user to review suspected emails before deleting them. Once marked as spam, those emails will not be delivered to your account as primary mail.

Be careful – Lastly, be a careful and considerate user. Do not share your details (password, email id) with anyone and everyone. Also do not share suspicious emails.

Advanced Excel – Linking, Moving / Copying and Protecting Spreadsheets

If you have a workbook with multiple spreadsheets; linking, moving or copying spreadsheets is very useful.

Linking spreadsheets helps you to access and reference data contained elsewhere in a workbook. For example, there is a spreadsheet with the data of the quarterly expenditures of your department and another spreadsheet with the total expenditures of your department. If these two spreadsheets are linked, updating the data on any one would automatically update the other one.

* Open the two spreadsheets. Select the cells in the source location (one with the quarterly expenditures) that has to be linked with the target spreadsheet (one with the total expenditure).

* Right click on the selected cells. Click Copy on the menu that appears.

* Go to the target location and select the cells where the source data has to be pasted.

* Right click on the selected cells. Click on the Paste Link icon.

Now, whenever the source data is updated the target location will automatically get updated.

Moving or Copying spreadsheets in a workbook is possible.

* On the bottom of the spreadsheet, right click the spreadsheet tab you want to move.

* On the menu that appears, click on Move or Copy.

* Go to Before Sheet on the Move or Copy window that appears. Select where you want to move the currently selected spreadsheet. Then click OK. The spreadsheet will now be placed before the selected position.

* If you want to copy the selected spreadsheet to a different location, click on the Create a Copy checkbox under Before Sheet in the Move or Copy window. Click OK. A copy of the spreadsheet is now available in the desired location.

Protecting spreadsheets is done by locking them.

* Go to Review and click on Protect Sheet. On the Protect Sheet window select Protect worksheet and contents of locked cell.

* Enter a chosen password. Click OK.

Spreadsheets can be partially protected as well, i.e. it allows others to make certain edits to certain cells.

* Select the cells you want other users to edit and Right click on them.

* Click on Format Cells … on the menu that appears.

* Click on Protection on the window that appears.

* Uncheck the Locked checkbox. Click OK.

* Now lock the spreadsheet following the Protecting spreadsheets guide.

* Check Select unlocked cells. Click OK. Only the unlocked cells can now be edited.

You can learn this and a lot more if you enroll yourself in a Microsoft Excel training course.