Zoom Fatigue is real and researchers from Stanford have released the first ever peer-reviewed study that backs this claim. Here are four issues and their solutions to help you battle zoom fatigue.
1. Close-up eye contact is intense
So, in a regular face-to-face meeting people are usually looking around the room, taking notes, looking at the speaker and occasionally making eye contact with each other. In that face-to-face meeting you don’t see a bunch of floating heads 12” from your own. In a Zoom meeting, you get exactly that, and it tricks our brains into thinking we’re in an extremely tense situation. Everyone is constantly staring at the screen which is drastically increasing eye contact. In this Zoom situation, everything feels much more intense than a meeting where you’re sitting around a conference table.
Solution: You can take Zoom out of full-screen mode or reduce the size of the app window. This makes faces appear smaller on screen and less intense. Another quick solution is to sit a little further away from your screen.
2. Seeing your own face all the time is exhausting
There's a big difference between glancing in the mirror a few times a day and having one held up to your face as you talk to other people.
Studies have shown that seeing yourself in a mirror can cause negative emotions. So, when you’re on back-to-back video calls, and you’re constantly forced to look at your own reflection, it can cause us to be more critical of ourselves.
Solution: You can hide yourself from view in the chat window to take a little break but also try to be easier on yourself. You look good!
3. Sitting still and talking is unnatural
In a normal meeting you may be sitting down, but you’re still able to move around a little and get comfortable. You may even be able to get up and walk around. There’s something different about having to sit in an unnatural way with your head fitting in a little square on the screen. There’s even growing research that says when people are moving, they’re thinking better.
Solution: Place more space between you and the camera. If you’re using a laptop, you can get an external keyboard to help you sit back further. Consider turning off your camera now and again to allow you to move around a little.
4. Thinking way too hard
When we talk to someone in person, non-verbal communication plays a huge part. We don’t really think about it. On a video call you’re focused on making sure your head is in the middle of the frame, how others are interpreting your facial expressions, are you doing a big enough head nod or thumbs up? All these things together are extremely taxing on our brains.
Solution: Take an “audio only” break. Turn off the camera, move your body away from the screen and take a break from having to focus so hard on your non-verbal communication.
Videoconferencing isn’t new and won’t be going away any time soon. Zoom, Teams and other similar software help us collaborate and keep the work flowing even when we can’t be physically together. As in all things, moderation is key. Sometimes you just need a break. We hope these tips help reduce your stress so you can stay happy and productive. If you have tech questions, we’re here to help!
You’ve likely heard the term “phishing” before, but what exactly does it mean? Well, phishing refers to when hackers disguise themselves as trusted sources to try to trick you into “taking the bait” so to speak, so that they can steal your sensitive information. These phishing attempts can come in the form of email, text messages or phone calls and often times appear to be legitimate.
Let’s talk about a few tricks you can use to protect yourself from phishing scams:
Never send passwords or personal information via email. Your information is the primary thing that hackers and scammers are looking for, and they’ll use it to access your finances or anything else they can use to make a profit at your expense.
Secondly, don’t click unexpected links or open unexpected attachments. Hackers use these to install viruses on your device, and you likely won’t know the extent of the damage until it’s far too late.
It’s also important to hover your cursor over links to reveal the actual web address. If the real web address is different from the one that appeared to be legitimate, then that’s a huge red flag that something is wrong!
You’ll also want to check the web address and the message for misspellings and poor grammar. It’s incredibly unlikely that a legitimate company will be sending out haphazardly written materials, and far more likely that a criminal would do exactly that.
Please, if you receive an email, text, or voice message that seems phishy, please feel free to contact us here, at Nice Guy Technology! We’re here to help.
For as long as computers have been around, there have also been those who try to use your technology against you through malware. To clarify, malware is a blanket term used to describe any harmful software, including viruses, ransomware, and phishing emails, among others.
The unfortunate truth is that malware is rampant and only getting worse by the day. In fact, there’s at least 350,000 instances of new malware being created and detected every single day. To combat this, we use the latest in anti-virus and anti-malware software to automatically catch unknown and existing threats to your computer.
You may be wondering what software you should be running. The average consumer antivirus product provides only a basic level of protection. Your business has too much valuable information to risk using a consumer grade product.
Our software constantly scans your computer in the background looking for any suspicious activity and can roll back any malicious activity it sees, even ransomware. It even comes with a ransomware warranty should you become infected.
So in short, not all antivirus software is created equally. Be sure you’re running the best business grade antivirus possible.
Simply put, backups are the most important thing you can do to avoid a technology catastrophe.
The negative effects of losing your irreplaceable business data could be devastating. Yet taking the precaution of backing up your important information is such a simple solution. If you have a good and recent backup of your important data, you can survive a malware attack, hardware failure, fire, theft, natural disaster, or about anything else life might decide to throw at you.
Our software backs up your important information to a secure, offsite location multiple times a day so that everything you need will always be recoverable. All of this happens in the background automatically, so you’ll never need to worry about it.
Everything that we do for your business is for the same overall purpose: We take away technology headaches entirely so that you can focus on your business.
You go to use your computer like usual. You start it up, log in, and instead of seeing your empty desktop, there’s a pop-up saying that your computer is in immediate danger due to viruses or other kinds of threats. You might try to close the pop-up, but there is no way to do so. You might then notice that the pop-up gives you a phone number to call for tech support. They’ll claim to be Microsoft, Apple, Google, or some other reputable company, and before they can help you with your computer virus needs, they’ll ask for money. They’ll take that money and you will never hear from them again.
It’s called a tech support scam. A particularly popular scam currently because it works. When you’re being told that your expensive piece of technology is in immediate danger and you’re clearly given a phone number to solve your problems, it can be easy to forget that a world of scammers is out to get you at all times. However, it is important to remember that IT support will never contact you that way. Real support messages can always be closed, and companies like Microsoft will never ask you to send them money for help. If you do see such a pop-up, contact the company that manages your device or your IT provider. Also, you should be able to close the pop-up through the task manager which you can access by pressing the control, alt, and delete keys at the same time.
The most important takeaway, as always with scams, is that you should never send money to anyone who petitions you for it on the internet or over the phone. Also, if anyone ever asks you to pay via gift cards or Bitcoin, they’re most certainly a scammer. If you have any questions, or you’re a business owner in need of simple and effective tech support, feel free to contact us here at Nice Guy Technology. We’re here to help.
You’ve won the lottery, they’ll say! Or maybe your computer is virus-ridden they’ll say. Before receiving your funds or your IT support, they might ask you to pay a small sum… with gift cards?
Gift card scams are relatively easy to spot compared to the majority, but it’s still important to discuss them. A gift card scam is a scam where someone will ask you, for any reason, to direct a sum of money their way using gift cards. They might request gift cards for a service they’re promising to render or as a fee before you receive a prize. It works the same way as any other scam, but gift cards are simpler to steal. There’s a world of fraud and financial complexity that a scammer needs to brave when reaching into your wallet, but getting you to hand over the identification number on a simple gift card is a clean and efficient way of stealing from you.
To put it bluntly, no upstanding institution will ever ask you for a gift card. That’s just not how the trading of goods and services works, and if anyone ever does ask you, they are without a doubt a scammer. Just remember: Gift cards are for giving, nothing else! As always, if you’re a business owner and you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us here at Nice Guy Technology. We’re here to help.
Okay, computers are complicated. Everybody knows it, even IT professionals understand how infuriatingly complex computers can be sometimes! Unfortunately, the average computer owner doesn’t know what it takes to make a computer last, and you may have wondered in the past why that factory new performance and speed turns into the unbearably sluggish piece of junk we’ve all dealt with at some point or another. And you can’t be blamed for not knowing either, because a computer’s need for maintenance isn’t talked about and as widely known as a car’s for instance.
Even if you aren’t a big car person, and I am not, we all know about the basic upkeep that a car requires. Topping up the tank, getting an oil change, putting air in the tires are all things we know we have to do, because if left unchecked, they could cause much bigger problems. Computers are exactly the same way! If you don’t at least occasionally pay attention to your computer’s needs, it can cause lasting damages down the road.
Secondly, both need to be cleaned every once in a while. Neglecting a car’s hygiene won’t only make it look bad, it will also make it rust faster which in turn can interfere with its performance. While your computer won’t quite rust over, you have to be on the lookout for dust. I know, I know, the most common indoor annoyance since the existence of particles is difficult to keep at bay but checking the inside of your computer periodically will really go a long way. If you find dust clogging up the inside, use a can of air to blow it loose and a soft cloth to wipe it down. Dusting the inside of a computer can go a long way towards staving off damage down the road.
Thirdly, we like cars to go fast. Not everyone wants to be a speed demon, but at the very least we want to go fast enough to get where we’re going in a reasonable amount of time. Once again, that sounds exactly like what we expect out of our computers. Waiting for something to load on a computer is a comparable experience to sitting in rush hour traffic sometimes. And just like rush hour, you might be dealing with this problem on a regular basis, if not every day. There are a number of both free and not-so-free tips on how to speed up your computer on our video "How To Speed Up Your Computer".
Another huge similarity is the need for safety features and precautions. We care about them a lot on our cars, and for good reason. There’s a good reason that a car’s brakes can always overpower its engine. Turn signals aren’t only there for convenience, they’re there so that you can let nearby drivers and pedestrians what you’re doing, and everyone’s safer for it. Anti-virus works the same way. Sure, your computer’s security may not be a matter of life and death like a car, but it very much is a matter of financial ruin, identity theft, and losing your control of your social media, which is scary for a myriad of reasons. If you’re a business owner, this is especially important. For example, sixty percent of businesses that are hit with ransom-ware attacks go out of business within six months. Being lax on IT security can lead to the loss of your very livelihood. Consult your IT provider to make sure you have more than enough protection.
If you still need your IT secured, give us a call here at Nice Guy Technology. We’re here to help.
Computers are constantly evolving. In a world where technological innovations are moving faster than ever before, your computer’s speed should be no exception. The days of dial-up, and even low-speed Wi-Fi, are largely antiquated and gone. With these advancements in connectivity and hardware, your computer should always run super quickly... right? Unfortunately, we both know that that’s not always the case. Computer manufacturers rarely prioritize speed over everything else, and because of that, we so often find ourselves in the multi-generations old issue of screaming at your computer because it won’t even Google something quickly let alone download a file. Luckily, we have some tips on how you can speed your computer up and stop dealing with those spinning beach balls and blue rings.
Let’s start with some things you can do that are totally free and won’t pose any cost to you: Firstly we recommend deleting unnecessary files from your main hard drive. Whether it be a solid state or a hard disk drive, your computer may be performing slowly due to the clutter of unneeded files. Scanning your computer for viruses also helps, as removing those viruses could and likely will speed up your computer. Also, if you have a lot of programs open at the same time, this can really slow down your computer, so try keeping your opened programs to a minimum, and see if you notice any difference. This is especially likely to be a culprit if you use particularly taxing programs such as video editors. Keeping your operating system up to date can help as well, because using a computer on an outdated foundation will likely cause various performance issues. It’s also very important to never download a program that promises to speed your computer up for you unless you know for certain that it’s legitimate. There are services such as the anti-virus Bitdefender that comes with a package for performance optimization. Choosing a less than reputable program for this, however, could give you viruses or malware.
If those free, less involved options don’t work for you, you may need to go a bit further in how you improve your speed. Namely, your computer’s hardware might need to be upgraded. The number one hardware upgrade that we recommend is from a regular hard drive to a solid-state drive, or SSD. This will make your computer so much faster with loading and opening programs, assets, and any other files you end up storing on that drive. Our second recommendation is to install larger amounts of RAM into your computer. RAM is also commonly referred to as your computer’s memory. Upgrading memory basically makes the computer a better multitasker so that having multiple programs open won’t be such an issue. Of course, sometimes even a hardware upgrade can’t solve an issue if your computer is too old or too beat up. If your goal is to pump some more life into a decade old computer, we recommend having a professional look at first to let you know if it would be a waste of your money.
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us here at Nice Guy Technology. And, if you’re a business owner, there’s no reason that IT should be yet another responsibility for you. Please give us a call, we want to know how we can help make your life a little bit easier.
It’s important that your business is found online. Thats where you’ll be finding customers and clients, and that’s also where you might be missing out on all the best business. We at Nice Guy Technology: Digital Media want to help you with just that!
We create an internet presence for you, so that you can always be a top result! Through our tested methods and services, we help you get the customers you deserve.
First and foremost, you need a website that converts visitors into customers. Our focus is on creating an attractive, easy to navigate site that brings you business.
Your business’s social media presence is increasingly important, we’ll help you gain exposure with regular posting and engagement on your social media platforms.
But getting your business’s name noticed in the first place is the real trick. Our local search package will add your business’s details to search services such as Google, Yelp, and up to 80 other business directories.
And with review management, we’ll make it easy to manage your online reputation. We’ll help you get more reviews, we’ll respond to the reviews, and we’ll showcase them on your website so that everyone will know exactly why you’re the best choice for them, directly from the mouth of your happiest customers.
We can’t wait to help you find the wider audience you deserve. Give us a call, or visit our website, at Nice Guy Technology. We’re here to help.
It is time for students to start the school year, and with different times comes different procedures. Most kids will be studying online, at least for now. With the internet playing an increasingly vital role in children’s lives, we must be vigilant toward the online dangers that could threaten their safety. We have devised these 6 tips to help you and your children understand how to stay safe so that you can focus on giving your child a great education.