Back to Top NWLCRA May 3, 2016 Meeting Summary
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Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association newsletter.

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NWLCRA Meeting

May 3, 2016

Our meeting was held at the Country Tavern Barbecue at 6:30 PM.  The meeting was called to order by Chris Shepherd, NWLCRA President, by reading the anti-trust law.  We were led in the Pledge of Allegiance by Abigail Shepherd.  We had some winners of the 2016 SKILLS USA High School competition at the meeting.  Pictured below are Austin Wallace, Automotive Refinish Technology Gold winner, and Levi Glasgow, Collision Repair Technology Gold winner.  They are pictured with their Instructor, Mark Monroe, Collision Repair Instructor for Bossier Parish School of Technology and Innovative Learning.  Not present at the meeting was Clete Stewart, Automotive Refinish Technology Silver winner.  Also present was Joshua Jackson, Collision Refinish Technology Gold winner for the Post Secondary SKILLS USA competition.  Joshua won Bronze in the 2015 competition.  We are fortunate to have this local talent.  Congratulations to all that competed.  The High School winners will be going to Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky, June 20 - 24, 2016.  A motion made by Jackie Boyd of Holmes Auto Group for $100.00 to be given to our local winners from SKILLS USA heading to Nationals, to help with costs.  This motion was seconded by Kevin Adams of Krystal Auto Collision.  The motion passed unanimously.  Other news discussed was grant money that has been obtained to help our local work force developement.  There will be a meeting on May 20 at Caddo Career and Technology Center from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM to discuss the particulars of this grant program.  Those interested or wanting more information, contact Gary Weese at (318) 834-6633.  All Data sent promotional items to the meeting to be given to all that attended.  Thanks to All Data for the mugs, mouse pads, and other items.

Bossier Skills USA winners on NWLCRA.org.
From left to right, Austin Wallace, Mark Monroe - Instructor, and Levi Glasgow.
Post Secondary Skills USA winners on NWLCRA.org.
Joshua Jackson - Post Secondary SKILLS USA winner.

Daniel Wheeler with Software Works Consulting was our guest speaker.  He discussed four major things to keep in mind in order to keep your computers safe.  The first step is the user.  No matter how great your security software is, if someone allows the attack by opening an email that has an attachment without verifying the email was sent from a trusted source, the computer can become compromised.  So educating the computer user on the proper way to use business computers is of the utmost importance.  Keep your employees that use the computers up-to-date on the latest methods hackers use to try and trick people.  Next, is to keep your all of your software current.  Not only the software you use from your venders, i.e., Mitchell, CCC, etc., but even your browsers, operating system, and offline email readers, to name a few.  He demonstrated how to update Google Chrome as an example of updating the browsers.  Daniel also told us of a company that will do all the updating for you automatically.  It's free for personal use, but could possible slow the system down as it runs in the background.  For those interested, this software can be found at www.secunia.com.  Passwords were discussed as being the most sought after by hackers because most people use very simple passwords, and the same password for every account needing a password.  So if the hacker learns the password, they have access to all accounts of that user.  Once that happens, the user is in for a nightmare trying to get new accounts established and canceling the old accounts before damage can be done.  He gave us a demonstration of a free password management program called Keepass.  This program would generate secure passwords for you or allow you to use your own passwords.  It also would open your browser to the login page and type the user name and password for you.  Some simple steps had to be completed before Keepass would do this.  The official website for Keepass can be found by going to http://keepass.info/.  From there, you can read how to install and operate Keepass.  The last thing to keep your computers safe is to always backup your systems.  Daniel stated that things happen that might not be a result of a virus or malware, but could just be an equipment failure of some type.  A hard drive could fail, and without a backup, everything would be lost.  You might be able to re-install the software you were using, but the data the software created would be lost.  The only safe way to keep this from happening is to always have a backup.  There are companys that make backing up an automatic process.  If you use an automatic process, you still need to verify that the process completed.  Some businesses have set up automatic processes and then had a failure, and then learned the process wasn't completing properly.  So, if you have automatic backups, verify they are in fact backing up your data.  

Daniel said the most important way to keep your computers safe is to use a security program.  He said that smartphones are computers and should have security programs too.  Many security software programs slow computers down when the scan for viruses.  Daniel said that he learned of a security program called ESET from an engineer with Mitchell.  ESET is known for having a small footprint, which allows the computer to be used without the slow down seen with most other security programs.  He stated he has used ESET for years and has seen how ESET has successfully kept viruses from spreading from an infected computer on a network to the other computers on that network.  ESET also has security for smartphones.  Daniel said he didn't get anything for recommending ESET, he just knows they offer great security software.  They can be found at www.eset.com.

We adjourned at 7:30 PM.

Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association
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