Over 2.4 million searches happen every minute on Google. It’s often the first stop people make when they go online.
We search daily for both personal and work needs, and often searching out the right information can take a lot of time if you have to sift through several irrelevant results.
One study by consulting firm, McKinsey, found that employees spend an average of 1.8 hours daily, or 9.3 hours each week, searching and gathering information. This can be a productivity sinkhole as more web results keep getting added to the internet every day.
One way you can save time on your personal and work-related searches is to learn some “secret” Google search tips. These help you narrow down your search results and improve productivity by helping you find the information you need faster.
Search a Specific Website Using “site:”
Sometimes you need to find information on a specific website. For example, you might need to locate a government statistic that you know is out there but can’t seem to bring up on a general search.
You can use Google to search keywords on a specific website by using the “site” function.
In the search bar use the following: site:(site url) (keyword)
This will bring up search results only for that one specific URL.
Find Flight Information Without Leaving Google
When you need to access flight information, you’re often on the go. Either getting ready to head to the airport or waiting for someone to arrive. Having to load multiple site pages in your browser can take valuable time. Instead, get your flight results directly from Google.
Just type in the flight number and the name of the airlines, and you’ll get a listing of flight information without having to click to another page. You can even tab to choose flight info for that same flight on different days.
Look for Document Types Using “filetype:”
If you’ve just been tasked with coming up with a presentation on sustainable energy, it can be helpful to see what other people have done on the same subject.
Searching websites can give you a lot of details to sift through but searching for another PowerPoint presentation can provide you with even more insight into how others have distilled that information down into a presentation.
Google has a search function that allows you to search on a file type, so instead of webpages showing up in your results, files of the file type you searched will appear.
To use this function, type in the following: filetype:(type) (keyword)
In the case of wanting to find a PowerPoint on sustainable energy, you could use the following in the search bar: filetype:ppt sustainable energy.
All the results will be PPT presentations.
You can also use this function for other file types, such as:
- XLS or XLSX
- and more
Narrow Down Timeframe Using the “Tools” Link
One frustration is when you’re looking up something like a population or cybersecurity statistic and you end up with results that are too old to be relevant. You can spend valuable time paging through the search results, or you can tell Google what time frame you’d like to search.
To narrow your search results by a specific timeframe, do the following:
- Enter your keyword and click to search.
- Under the search bar, click the “Tools” link.
- Click the “Any time” link.
- Choose your timeframe.
You can choose from preset timeframes, like past hour or past year, or you can set a custom date range for your results.
Locate Similar Sites Using “related:”
When you’re researching a topic online, it’s often helpful to find similar websites to the one you are viewing. Seeing related sites can also be used if you’re trying to find a specific product or service online and want to do some comparison shopping.
Google can provide you with a list of related websites when you use the “related” function.
In your search bar, type the following: related:https://website.com
One more way that you can leverage this search tip is to look for competitors by entering your own website URL in the search.
Get Rid of Results You Don’t Want Using “-(keyword)”
Non-relevant results are one of the main timewasters of online searching. You have to page through results that have nothing to do with what you really want to find, just because they use a related keyword.
For example, say you were searching the Ruby Slipper Cafe in New Orleans. But in your search results, you keep getting pages related to the movie the Wizard of Oz. You could eliminate those irrelevant results by using the negative keyword function.
Just type: (keyword) -(keyword)
Basically, you are just putting a minus sign in front of a keyword that you want to exclude from your search. In the example above, you would type: ruby slippers -oz.
Looking for More Ways to Boost Productivity & Save Time?
IT consultants aren’t just for large projects, we can also help you boost productivity in your everyday workflow to make your life easier.
This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.
The global damage of cybercrime has risen to an average of $11 million USD per minute, which is a cost of $190,000 each second.
60% of small and mid-sized companies that have a data breach end up closing their doors within six months because they can’t afford the costs. The costs of falling victim to a cyberattack can include loss of business, downtime/productivity losses, reparation costs for customers that have had data stolen, and more.
You may think that this means investing more in cybersecurity, and it is true that you need to have appropriate IT security safeguards in place (anti-malware, firewall, etc.). However, many of the most damaging breaches are due to common cybersecurity mistakes that companies and their employees make.
The 2021 Sophos Threat Report, which looked at thousands of global data breaches, found that what it termed “everyday threats” were some of the most dangerous. The report stated, “A lack of attention to one or more aspects of basic security hygiene has been found to be at the root cause of many of the most damaging attacks we’ve investigated.”
Is your company making a dangerous cybersecurity mistake that is leaving you at high risk for a data breach, cloud account takeover, or ransomware infection?
Here are several of the most common missteps when it comes to basic IT security best practices.
Not Implementing Muti-Factor Authentication (MFA)
Credential theft has become the top cause of data breaches around the world, according to IBM Security. With most company processes and data now being cloud-based, login credentials hold the key to multiple types of attacks on company networks.
Not protecting your user logins with multi-factor authentication is a common mistake and one that leaves companies at a much higher risk of falling victim to a breach.
MFA reduces fraudulent sign-in attempts by a staggering 99.9%.
Ignoring the Use of Shadow IT
Shadow IT is the use of cloud applications by employees for business data that haven’t been approved and may not even be known about by a company.
Shadow IT use leaves companies at risk for several reasons:
- Data may be used in a non-secure application
- Data isn’t included in company backup strategies
- If the employee leaves, the data could be lost
- The app being used might not meet company compliance requirements
Employees often begin using apps on their own because they’re trying to fill a gap in their workflow and are unaware of the risks involved with using an app that hasn’t been vetted by their company’s IT team.
It’s important to have cloud use policies in place that spell out for employees the applications that can and cannot be used for work.
Thinking You’re Fine With Only an Antivirus Application
No matter how small your business is, a simple antivirus application is not enough to keep you protected. In fact, many of today’s threats don’t use a malicious file at all.
Phishing emails will contain commands sent to legitimate PC systems that aren’t flagged as a virus or malware. Phishing also overwhelmingly uses links these days rather than file attachments to send users to malicious sites. Those links won’t get caught by simple antivirus solutions.
You need to have a multi-layered strategy in place that includes things like:
- Next-gen anti-malware (uses AI and machine learning)
- Next-gen firewall
- Email filtering
- DNS filtering
- Automated application and cloud security policies
- Cloud access monitoring
Not Having Device Management In Place
A majority of companies around the world have had employees working remotely from home since the pandemic, and they’re planning to keep it that way. However, device management for those remote employee devices as well as smartphones used for business hasn’t always been put in place.
If you’re not managing security or data access for all the endpoints (company and employee-owned) in your business, you’re at a higher risk of a data breach.
If you don’t have one already, it’s time to put a device management application in place, like Intune in Microsoft 365.
Not Providing Adequate Training to Employees
An astonishing 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error. Too many companies don’t take the time to continually train their employees, and thus users haven’t developed the skills needed for a culture of good cybersecurity.
Employee IT security awareness training should be done throughout the year, not just annually or during an onboarding process. The more you keep IT security front and center, the better equipped your team will be to identify phishing attacks and follow proper data handling procedures.
Some ways to infuse cybersecurity training into your company culture include:
- Short training videos
- IT security posters
- Team training sessions
- Cybersecurity tips in company newsletters
When Did You Last Have a Cybersecurity Checkup?
Don’t stay in the dark about your IT security vulnerabilities. Schedule a cybersecurity audit to uncover vulnerabilities so they can be fortified to reduce your risk.
This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.