Penny McQueen is a regular contributor to Proactive IT Solutions’ Insights column.

Penny is a writer, editor and blogger who works on diverse projects from business educational materials to chamber opera. However obscure, diverse or dry the subject area and need, Penny brings an unfailing enthusiasm and diligence to writing purposeful, targeted content.

CRM software is the ultimate wingman for small business

CRM softwarePosted January 26 2017

Small business owners like myself are aware – no, painfully aware – that our clients are central to the success of our business.

As I’ve discussed before, delighting clients is what drives the growth of my business. So it can be difficult to consider trading-in intensely managed, personal relationships for cold, clerical software. [More…]

2016 cyber threat report: how to protect your business

ACSC Threat Report 2016Posted January 19 2017

Have you ever watched one of those epic nature documentary scenes where wolves are preying on a herd of bison? The wolves eventually pick off a weak individual from the edge of the herd, while most of the bison in the middle of the herd are pretty safe.

If you think about the cyber threat environment like one of those wolf-bison hunts, this year’s ACSC (Australian Cyber Security Centre) threat report paints the following picture: [More…]

How to stop hackers getting to your network

Cyber crime word cloudPosted January 12 2017

Let me give you a solid number to consider from the Australian Cyber Security Centre. In a period between 2014 and 2015, there were 15,000 malware compromises (as in, an incident where a system was successfully harmed) reported daily in Australia. I have my calculator on hand, and I can tell you that is close to 5.5 million breaches in a year. That’s a sobering number. [More…]

Don’t close for Christmas without …

Closed signPosted December 8 2016

Just between you and me, I’ve learned some valuable lessons from office holiday closure ‘hiccups’ in the past. At least one client every year has a server problem during the Christmas break due to high temperatures.

Here are my five tips for closing up with peace of mind. [More…]

When the power goes off …

Power iconPosted December 1 2016

I love heading to the beach during summer, but seasonal heatwaves bring some unfortunate realities. Bushfire season, wild summer storms and blocks of days over 35 degrees all push our emergency and utilities services to their absolute limits. Power disruptions are just one of the inevitable consequences of these conditions.

The unreliability of Melbourne’s power supply in wild weather is a problem not only because of the immediate impact on business operations but also because it’s a big contributor to IT disruption and equipment failure. [More…]

Warning! Free wi-fi might cost you more than you think

Man with tablet in cafePosted November 17 2016

You’re travelling, the cost of data roaming is through the roof, and your hotel has free wi-fi, and you …

… and you don’t connect. Right?

I know how tempting it is to use free wi-fi when you’re on the go, but it’s a big risk to take. I also know that there are times when you find yourself without any other option. So let’s look at the risks and then at your options for protection. [More…]

Unleash your presentations: What you need to know about wireless display options

Wireless display demonstrationPosted November 10 2016

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sick of cables. Cables running between desks … cables taped to the floor … rummaging through the sea of cables to find the one I need … There has to be a better way, right?

Well, whether you’re on the road or office-based, connecting wirelessly to the big screen can be a great cable-free solution for professional presentations. [More…]

Life’s too short for a slow computer – here’s how to get yours back in shape

Full speed aheadPosted November 3 2016

Are you frustrated by a poorly performing computer?

They work so beautifully when they’re new, and often deteriorate so slowly that we don’t even realise the world of pain we’re devolving into as they age. Then, one day, your whole system seems to grind to a halt and you’re left tearing your hair out trying even to open a web browser or send an email. [More…]

Tech how-to: Improve computer performance

Full speed aheadPosted November 3 2016

This article is a technical how-to related to the article Life’s too short for a slow computer – here’s how to get yours back in shape; which outlines some simple ways to add life to your middle-aged PCs and laptops. [More…]

One stolen iPad can ruin your whole day

Man with tablet in cafePosted September 12 2016

A lost or stolen laptop, phone or tablet at the wrong time, and landing in the wrong hands, is disruptive at best and disastrous at worst. With a proactive approach, theft of devices need only be a minor hiccup. [More…]