Biz Bits: Easy solutions to clean up your digital life

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Tip of the Week

Lorie Marrero, certified professional organizer, author and founder of ClutterDiet.com, recommends four easy tips to get digitally organized:

- Unclutter your desktop: Treat your computer desktop as you would the top of your actual desk and keep only active files and shortcuts there for convenience. Use your My Documents folders for more lasting storage.

- Get your files in order: Consider consolidation. Are there old files you can remove, or drafts that are no longer relevant? Remember, archiving to a folder or external storage space is usually a better use of time than wading through lots of old documents.

- Organize your online activities: Have too many social networking and online accounts to keep track of? Consolidate online activities with programs such as Windows Live.

- Optimize your computer's performance: For greater efficiency and avoiding the heartache of technical problems, remember to update and run important utilities like spyware and virus scans and defragment your hard drive periodically.

-- ARA

BBB Watch

Online promotions promising easy wealth by joining a cash gifting program or gifting club are flourishing on the Internet. With many families struggling to make ends meet in the current economy, the Better Business Bureau warns that cash gifting is not a legitimate way to make a few extra dollars, and in fact, is nothing more than a pyramid scheme. Like most pyramid schemes of the past, cash gifting operations are targeting people with some form of an affinity -- such as women's clubs, community groups, church congregations and social clubs. But in keeping with the digital age, schemers have moved operations to the Internet and are now marketing their programs as easy ways to make money in a tough economy through videos on YouTube, paid ads on Google and attractive Web sites that engage victims.

For more information on this scam and others, go to BBB.org.

The List

Forbes recently took a look at the brokerage analysts who are performing the best in this economy. Here are their best analysts:

1. Heather Wolf

2. Edward Najarian

3. Vivek Arya & Tal Liani

4. Ian Weissman

5. Eric Hagen

6. Jessica Reif Cohen

7. Lorraine Maikis Hutchinson

8. Paul Puryear

9. Ken Hoexter

10. David Bleustein

11. Omar Saad

12. Michael Wiederhorn

For more details, go to Forbes.com.

Quote of Note

"The initial indications are encouraging. Many of the banks are well ahead in finding private-sector options for increasing their common equity, and several have announced plans for new equity issues."

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in comments about the effect that recent government stress tests had on banks.

Number to Know

90: Percent of U.S. cities that saw existing-home prices drop since a study at the same point last year. The National Association of Realtors also said that, overall, home prices were down 3.2 percent.

GateHouse News Service