Picking your business telephone is no longer a simple decision. I will show you ways you can save money and have lots of flexibility in this podcast.

In the old days, say a few years ago, when you wanted to start a new business, the first thing you got was a phone. You paid a lot of money to the local phone company, and you had limited options. Those days are thankfully a thing of the past. Today’s business line runs over your broadband Internet connection — and you have a lot more flexibility and choices.

Here are some of the providers mentioned in the podcast that can offer phone service:


A better way to fax

June 22, 2006

Did you know you can use the Internet for receiving faxes?

I hate getting junk faxes, and coming into my office in the morning to a pile of paper with useless menus and come-ons for printer supplies and such. For many years, I had an unlisted fax number to try to stop this sort of thing. But fax machines always seem to run out of paper just when you are expecting an important fax, and when you travel it is hard to be in the right place for a fax too.

There is an easier way, and that is to link your email inbox with an Internet fax service. Here are some of the providers mentioned in this podcast:

More effective email

June 21, 2006

Most of us are comfortable using email these days, but are you as effective as you can be with email? I don’t know what I would do without email these days, I have been using it for more than 20 years. There are several simple tips to make your email life more pleasant and to be more effective. This podcast gives you some great tips.

Here are the links to some of the desktop search programs that I mention in the podcast:

A few years ago I wrote a book on email with the inventor of the email protocol, Marshall Rose. You can still buy the book here from Amazon.com.

Making better backups

June 21, 2006

Do you have copies of all the necessary files on your computer in case disaster strikes? Probably not. The first rule of backups: make a habit of taking them to another location. If you work at home, bring them to a friend. If you don’t have any friends, then set up a bank safe deposit box.

This podcast shows you some simple strategies that you can do to make better backups, and prepare yourself in case disaster strikes.

Anti-virus updates

June 21, 2006

Think your computer is protected from virus infections? Think again, because you may be at risk. Your anti-virus software needs to be updated regularly, certainly once a week or more, to keep up with what the bad guys are doing and the new viruses that are being created to get around your defenses. And most of us have set the anti-virus program to automatically update itself so we can stay current. That’s good, but not good enough.

Here is a free alternative for Windows users, download the free AVG anti-virus software. My podcast here tells you how to get rid of your old anti-virus software and install it on your computer.

Is your computer protected against the Internet bad guys? You don’t need to be a computer expert to keep your files safe from the outside world. The Internet is awash with plenty of people – and computer programs – that are constantly searching for vulnerable computers such as yours. Once they find them, they can become compromised and used by the bad guys to launch attacks on others, what are called zombies and bot nets. You don’t want to join the zombie league, and surveys have shown all it takes is for you to be online for about 10 minutes before your computer can become compromised.

In this podcast, I talk about what you can do to prevent this from happening, and where you can get your own personal firewall.

Check out ZoneAlarm for the best Windows firewall. And here is where you can download Service Pack 2 for Windows XP. And how you can set up your Mac’s firewall.

We all need web sites and trademarks in order to promote ourselves. But many small business people don’t realize that there is at least three different places in cyberspace that should be carrying their brand. In this podcast, the first in a series, David Strom shows you three simple things that you can do to register your domain name, your blog, and  an email list service provider  to coordinate your cyber-identity.

Check out GoDaddy.com for Internet registration of domain names