top of page

Long ago, before macOS was as stable as it is today, Mac users restarted their Macs regularly. Back then, Macs couldn’t sleep, either, so it was common for users to shut down at the end of the day and start up the next morning, effectively restarting daily.

With modern Macs using the barest trickle of power in sleep and both apps and macOS almost never crashing, many Mac users have gone to the opposite extreme, letting their Macs run for months between restarts. However, such an approach brings with it new problems, and as with so many things, there’s a happy medium.

Why are we banging this particular drum? As an off-the-cuff estimate, about a quarter of the problems reported to us can be solved by a restart. Really! Just click the Apple menu and choose Restart. As long as you save your work first or when prompted, nothing bad will happen.

Here are our top six reasons you should restart periodically:

  • Improved security: Restarting itself doesn’t generally improve security (although it could theoretically clear malicious code running in memory). However, installing macOS updates requires a restart, and we strongly recommend installing security-focused updates shortly after they’re released. If you resist installing updates because of the need to restart, you’re increasing your risk significantly. 

  • Resolve problems: Modern Macs may be more stable than ever, but things can still get funky. If apps are crashing, peripherals aren’t connecting, you’re seeing visual glitches, or anything else seems wrong, the first troubleshooting step is a restart. 

  • Better performance: We all have a feel for how long different tasks on our Macs take. If icons for launching apps bounce longer than usual, windows draw slowly, or you see the spinning pinwheel repeatedly, restart. Performance problems are often caused by a poorly coded app or out-of-control process causing your Mac to run out of physical memory and switch to slower virtual memory. Restarting clears such issues.

  • Recover drive space: Another memory-related bonus of restarting is that it can free up drive space. When macOS starts to rely on virtual memory, it creates swap files that can consume gigabytes of space. Restart, and all that space is returned, at least until your app usage requires it again.

  • Get updates: Most apps notify you of updates at launch, and some automatically download their updates but install them only when you quit. Either way, a restart results in all your apps quitting and relaunching, which ensures they either install or at least notify you of important updates.

  • Start fresh: Even if having 20 or more apps open isn’t affecting your Mac’s performance, a clean slate can help you focus on your work better. A simple restart quits everything and lets you start over with just those apps set to launch at login. For a completely fresh start, make sure to deselect “Reopen windows when logging back in” in the restart dialog. Of course, if you have a lot of documents open and need to return to them, leave that checkbox selected to pick up exactly where you left off.

There’s no set schedule on which you should restart, but if you use a Mac at work and like routines, it wouldn’t be problematic to restart on Friday evening as you wind down to leave for the weekend. That way, you’d return to a clean slate on Monday morning. It’s also totally fine to restart whenever it might be helpful.

Just don’t fear the restart—modern Macs, especially those with Apple silicon, restart quickly, and the benefits far outweigh the few minutes of downtime.

Technology plays a pivotal role in driving efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness. For small businesses, workforce technology modernization is both an opportunity and a challenge.

Embracing modern technology can empower small businesses. It can help them thrive in a digital era. Yet many of them don’t keep up with modernization. For example, over 30% of small businesses haven’t upgraded systems in 4+ years.

Some of the reasons SMBs don’t upgrade their tech include:

·       Limited funding

·       Unsure how to modernize technology

·       Stuck in the “old way is fine” mentality

The benefits of upgrading technology are many. One study found the following. That 45% of businesses modernizing tech saw improved ROI for IT investments. Other important benefits include improved employee retention and decreased cybersecurity risk. Not to mention the productivity and time-saving advantages.

Is your small business looking to modernize its workforce technology? Here are some steps to get you started.

Assess Your Current Technology Landscape

The first step in any technology modernization initiative is to conduct an assessment. You need to fully understand your current technological infrastructure. Identify existing strengths and weaknesses. As well as outdated systems and areas where technology could enhance business processes. Understanding your starting point is crucial. It helps in developing a targeted and effective modernization strategy.

Align Technology Goals with Business Objectives

Technology should not be an isolated component. But rather, a strategic enabler aligned with your business goals. Clearly define how technology can support and enhance your business objectives. Whether it's improving customer engagement. Or streamlining internal processes and expanding market reach. Ensure that your technology modernization efforts align with your overarching business vision.

Focus on Cloud Adoption

The cloud has emerged as a game-changer for businesses of all sizes. Embracing cloud technologies can offer small businesses several benefits. These include scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness.

Consider migrating key applications and data to cloud platforms. This can enhance accessibility, collaboration, and data security. Cloud solutions can also simplify software updates and maintenance. This frees up resources for other strategic initiatives.

Invest in Collaborative Tools

Effective communication and collaboration are essential for small businesses. Invest in collaborative tools and platforms. These ease seamless interaction among team members, regardless of their physical location. Examples are video conferencing, project management, and document sharing tools. These tools can enhance teamwork and productivity. This fosters a cohesive work environment even in remote or hybrid setups.

Look at Cybersecurity Measures

There is an increasing prevalence of cyber threats. So, cybersecurity should be a top priority for small businesses undergoing technology modernization. Put in place robust cybersecurity measures. Focus on protecting sensitive data and customer information. As well as your critical business assets.

Cybersecurity measures include:

·       Firewalls

·       Antivirus software

·       Regular security updates

·       Employee training

·       Threat identification & response

Embrace Mobile-Friendly Solutions

In a world where mobility is paramount, adopting mobile-friendly solutions is key. Ensure that you've optimized business applications and platforms for mobile use. This allows employees to work efficiently from various devices. This enhances flexibility. It also accommodates the evolving expectations of the workforce. Employees value the ability to work on the go.

Look at Remote Work Options

The global shift towards remote work has accelerated. Small businesses should prepare to embrace flexible work arrangements. Modernize your technology infrastructure to support remote work options. These provide employees with the tools and connectivity they need. As well as helping them maintain productivity outside of the traditional office environment.

Consider Automation for Efficiency

Automation can significantly improve operational efficiency for small businesses. Identify repetitive, time-consuming tasks. These can often be automated to streamline workflows. Look at things like customer service chatbots and automated invoicing systems. Embracing automation can free up valuable human resources. As well as reduce the risk of errors in routine tasks.

Provide Ongoing Training and Support

Introducing new technologies requires commitment. A commitment to ongoing training and support for your workforce. Ensure that employees have the necessary skills to leverage the new tools effectively. This may involve providing training sessions. As well as creating user-friendly guides. And offering a support system to address any issues that may arise during the transition.

Watch and Adapt to Evolving Technologies

Technology is a dynamic field. Staying ahead requires a commitment to watching and adapting to emerging trends. Regularly assess the technology landscape. Work with your IT provider. We'll help you identify new solutions that could benefit your business. A proactive approach to staying current ensures your small business remains competitive.

Need Help Upgrading Your Workforce Technology?

Workforce technology modernization is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. It's a strategic journey that requires careful planning. As well as alignment with business objectives. By embracing these practical strategies, small businesses can leverage technology. And use it to enhance their operational capabilities. They also position themselves for sustained success in the digital age.

Need help with workforce technology modernization? Give us a call today to schedule a chat.

We periodically field questions about password-protecting a PDF to prevent the wrong people from reading it. Lawyers want to ensure that drafts of legal documents don’t fall into the wrong hands, financial advisers want to keep confidential financial information private, and authors want to prevent their writing from being shared broadly on the Internet. Others don’t worry so much about a document being read but want to ensure that it can’t be changed or printed.

PDF provides options for password-protecting documents for just these reasons, and you can add such protection to your PDFs in both Apple’s Preview and Adobe Acrobat. We’ll explain how to do that, but before we do, we want to share some best practices to increase the likelihood that your PDFs will remain protected as you wish.

Also, if you’re looking for a comprehensive solution to protecting lots of documents for a wide variety of situations, you’d be better off investigating document digital rights management systems along the lines of LockLizard and Vitrium.

Best Practices for Password-Protecting PDFs

There’s no such thing as perfect security, especially when you want to share information with others rather than just keeping it as your own secret. But you can increase the security of shared documents with these best practices.

  • Use strong passwords: All PDF passwords should be longer than 12 characters and include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and punctuation, without using dictionary words or well-known number/letter substitutions. A plethora of online PDF unlocking tools can remove weak passwords, and passwords should be strong enough to withstand brute force and dictionary attacks from a determined attacker who could bring significant computing resources to bear.

  • Focus on Document Open passwords: PDFs can have two passwords: the Document Open password that users must enter to open the document and a Permissions password that restricts actions like editing, printing, and copying. Even if you mainly want to restrict actions, it’s worth setting a Document Open password because the Permissions password’s restrictions can be bypassed by third-party utilities or by screenshots and Live Text.

  • Share passwords out of band: When sharing a protected PDF with someone, send them the password via a different communications channel. So, if you email the PDF, give them the password via Messages or a voice call. That way, if an attacker gains access to the PDF, they won’t also have the password sitting next to it.

  • Educate recipients: When you share a user password with someone else, they can give it to anyone they want and, depending on how you set things up, remove the protection from the document. In short, your document security is only as strong as your recipients want it to be, so make sure to communicate your wishes to them.

  • Watermark documents: Along those lines, it may be worth adding a header/footer or watermark that identifies the document as Confidential or Draft to clarify why it shouldn’t be shared.

  • Avoid online tools: Numerous websites offer PDF utility functions, such as adding passwords, watermarking, merging and splitting, conversion, and more. There’s no harm in using them with documents you don’t care about, but if you’re concerned enough to password-protect a PDF, don’t upload it to a website with unknown security and document retention policies.

  • Clear metadata: Passwords protect PDF content, but not necessarily metadata that might include the author’s name, employer, and keywords.

  • Use Adobe Acrobat: Apple’s Preview is a decent PDF app and offers basic password-protection capabilities, but for more protection capabilities and options, use the full-featured Adobe Acrobat. Preview is OK for those who need to protect an occasional PDF, but Acrobat is a better choice if protecting PDFs is essential for your situation.

Password-Protect a PDF Using Preview

It’s easy to add password protection to a PDF with Preview. Apple recommends a slightly fussier approach that involves setting the permissions during an export, although we didn’t find that it made any difference. Apple is likely trying to get you to make a copy so you don’t password-protect your original, but it’s easier to duplicate the file in the Finder first with File > Duplicate. Here’s the simple method:

  1. With a copy of a PDF open in Preview, choose File > Edit Permissions to display the permissions dialog.

  2. Select Require Password To Open Document, and enter the desired Document Open password twice.

  3. Deselect desired checkboxes in the Permissions section to restrict those activities.

  4. Enter the Owner (Permissions) password twice at the bottom of the dialog. It should be different from the Document Open password. Either will open the document, but only the Owner (Permissions) password will allow the document to be printed, copied, or edited as per those checkboxes.

  5. Click Apply and save the document.

Password-Protect a PDF Using Adobe Acrobat

Adobe has extensive instructions on password-protecting PDFs using Acrobat in different scenarios, but the basics are still simple.

  1. With a copy of a PDF open in Acrobat, choose File > Protect Using Password to open the password dialog.

  2. Select Viewing to add a Document Open password or Editing to add a Permissions password.

  3. Enter the password, and retype it to confirm it.

  4. Click Apply and save the document.

For a simple Document Open password, you’re all done, but if you want to set specific printing, editing, and copying restrictions, follow these steps:

1. Choose Edit > Protection > Security Properties to open the Document Properties dialog with the Security tab selected.

2. Next to Security Method (which should be set to Password Security), click Change Settings to open the Password Security - Settings dialog.In the Permissions section, select the desired options to restrict printing, editing, and copying text in various ways.

3. In the Permissions section, select the desired options to restrict printing, editing, and copying text in various ways.

4. Click OK and, when prompted, confirm the passwords you’ve entered.

5. Dismiss the Document Properties dialog and save the document.

Password-protecting a PDF can be helpful when you want to ensure a PDF containing sensitive information can’t be viewed or edited by the wrong people. Make sure to use strong passwords since weak passwords are so easily removed!

bottom of page