Helping the charity sector with technology

Useful tips, advice and guidance on IT - specifically for charities and other non-profits.

How to work safe online

Work from anywhere without putting your organisation’s data at risk. Editor’s note: This article was originally published in the Lasa Knowledgebase which is designed to help community and voluntary sector organisations access the benefits of information technology. Being able to work from anywhere presents great opportunities, however it’s important to keep security in mind when working away from the office. Here we look at the potential security risks and how to reduce them. Why Be Concerned About Mobile Security? With the advent of remote working, cloud computing, ubiquitous WiFi access (often free) in coffee bars, pubs, and other public places, and the wide…
Read More

Tags:

Comparing online vs. traditional office software

Will traditional desktop or online office software fit your not-for-profit needs best? This article is courtesy of Idealware, which provides candid information to help not-for-profits choose effective software. For more articles and reviews, go to www.idealware.org. Once upon a time, choices were easier. If you wanted software to support word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations for your organisation, traditional installed office software like Microsoft Office (available to qualified organisations through Charity Digital Exchange) was the almost ubiquitous choice. OpenOffice.org followed to provide many of the same features in a free and open-source version. Then came the rise of online office software likeGoogle, Zoho, and ThinkFree. Over the last…
Read More

Tags:

Do I need the 32-bit or 64-bit version?

What’s the difference and which one do I need? As you look at the products available through TechSoup and other sites around the web, you’ll notice that a lot of applications and operating systems are offered in multiple versions these days. First, you have to choose the version that matches your operating system. Are you running Windows 98, Windows XP, Apple’s OSX, Windows 7, or one of the many Linux distributions? That’s been an important question since the dawn of the PC era. Lately though, there’s been a new wrinkle added to this question. Do you want the 32-bit or…
Read More

Replacing and upgrading technology

How to determine when and what to replace when evaluating your not-for-profit’s technology This article was adapted from TechSoup’s MaintainIT Project, an effort funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to gather and distribute stories around maintaining and supporting public computers. MaintainIT content is now hosted at TechSoup for Libraries, our portal of resources for librarians worldwide. When you’re lacking time and money, it’s tempting to wait until a computer breaks or a piece of software becomes obsolete and then think about how you’ll replace it. Even in smaller not-for-profits, this approach leads to unscheduled downtime, inconsistent service, and potential…
Read More

Tags:

Extending the life of your computer

Keep that PC out of the graveyard for a few more years. Find tools and tips for greening your not for profit through TechSoup’s GreenTech Initiative, where social benefit organisations can share and learn more about technology choices that can help to reduce our overall impact on the environment. According to the Electronics TakeBack Coalition (174 KB PDF), manufacturing one desktop computer and monitor requires 530 pounds of fossil fuels, 48 pounds of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water. Unlike most appliances which require more energy to use than to manufacture, it takes much more energy to produce a computer than that computer…
Read More

Tags:

Removing spyware, viruses, and other forms of malware

Sometimes, trouble finds you in the form of malware – software designed to damage a computer system and compromise a user’s privacy. For charity workers who use computers all day, system glitches can bring important work to a grinding halt. While performing routine maintenance chores — such as defragmenting hard drives — can help keep your organisation’s machines running smoothly, sometimes trouble finds you in the form of malware, software designed to damage a computer system and compromise a user’s privacy. Malware Malware — a combination of the terms “malicious” and “software” — is a catchall word used to describe threats such…
Read More