Monday morning brings computer virus blues


Monday starts the week
Any given day of the week challenges happen. If you are like me you dread them more on Monday or Fridays, right? It seems that the month of September was one of those months. Everything was coming together, just like grandma’s cookie recipe.
After eating my grab and go meal of peach oatmeal, taking my daily vitamin and drinking my first cup of Hawaiian coffee I entered the office. This Grammy is such a creature of habit. I boot up the computer, turn on the copier and fax machine. Finally, I open the blinds and start writing out my to do list.
Last week we updated and paid for our annual license for our awesome virus protection software. I felt our system was totally safe and secure. Not being very savvy when it comes to technology or the internet I have learned to not be afraid. My business coach, Sandi Krakowski taught me that I can not break anything that can not be fixed.
Over the past year my knowledge about WordPress, blogging and using both to market my part-time business alongside of my auto transport business has been incredible. Going from being totally mortified to being able to build a page, make a link clickable and inserting a picture is very rewarding. Apparently my lessons are not complete. There is yet another that had been looming on the horizon waiting for just the right moment to attack.

Day's progress stunted by all out attack

The day looked promising. With more on my to-do-list than I knew I could reasonably finish I prioritized them. Then I moved some tasks to the next page for Tuesday. Glancing over the phone messages I did the same and began returning calls to customers.
First on the list our auto transport customers needed free quotes. Many were shopping for future transports and a few were ready to make same day decisions. We were able to book and schedule those few right away. That is always music to our ears, it means money in the bank.
Our next phone calls and tasks were to our referrals for our part-time business. Many wanted to learn more about the product. That was simple – we emailed them the link to a brief video and then called them for a decision. One new friend was excited to start their own part-time business and partner up with us. It is always thrilling to find out what others want for their future and family. Helping them achieve their goals makes me as happy as the clams we saw on the beach on our vacation at the coast.
Finally it was time to check our emails and process the orders and requests there. If memory serves me it was about nine o’clock in the morning (remember my day starts about seven am). I was just cruising through my tasks for the day.
Then the enemy attacked! My computer screen started rolling; it was like something was lying on the keyboard pressing all of the keys at once. Pressing the “esc” button I thought it would stop any program or activity that was running. Such was not the case; as a matter of fact the screen went blank.
Next the computer rebooted itself. Now I knew something was not right. But what was up? I had the best anti-virus software. It has caught multiple bad viruses in the past; it could not be a virus.
After shutting down the computer for awhile and winging it with customers on the phones I decided to call for back up. Two of my trusted computer techs were not available…so on to the next one. I really needed help. Thank goodness Kevin was available. He promised he could get to it within 48 hours.
Grandmas, business owners and entrepreneurs always have a back up plan

So much for a perfect on task Monday morning! My husband agreed to pack the desktop computer tower up and transport it into Kevin’s office. Meanwhile I transferred my laptop from the kitchen counter into my office. After readjusting the printer, speakers and keyboard connections I returned to work. It seemed that these simple changes would get me back on track in the office and back into business mode.
When one of my dispatch clients called in for his load sheet I then realized the worst possible thing had happened. I had no back up of my current working files. I knew better but somehow it was one of those things I just never got around to. I thought it was a trivial time-consuming task that would fill up our day. Boy was I dead wrong. Thankfully there was a way I could pull the information together from my load board and the files in the back office.
However, now there is a plan in place. Besides just having a laptop as a back up computer, we now have external hard drives to back up our data. We do this each and every day before shutting down the system. Below I will share with you the check list we have to make sure we are never caught without back up again.
  • Back up all documents to external hard drive nightly
  • Complete scan of system weekly
  • Never open email with unknown sender or links
  • Do not visit websites unknown or suspicious
  • Regularly check spam filter settings on browser
  • Take supplements to reduce stress in office

I hope you are able to use this list or some form of it so you never get caught on a Monday morning with the computer virus blues.
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Helping Turn Back the Clock,
Carla J Gardiner
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Carla Gardiner is an auto transport broker, dispatcher, health coach and a fiery baby-boomer grandma. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor others in regaining their health while building a part time business, too.
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