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IT Support

IT – The Magic Keeping Your Business Running This Christmas

By | blog, IT Tips

Similar to how Santa and his elves make sure everything runs smoothly on Christmas Eve, your IT support team ensures everything runs smoothly in your business: your website, emails, network, applications, software and hardware, just to name a few. 

And, while we don’t live in the North Pole, a lot of what we do is invisible to the human eye. Here’s what we get up to 365 days of the year to keep your business up and running. 

IT SupportWe maintain servers. 

Servers are snow joke. We set up and maintain the servers that perform multiple, essential jobs for your business. 

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not Santa’s Elves that look after your server room. Nope, you’ll most likely find your IT team lurking in that secret, dark room full of flashing lights, as they make sure your cables, routers, switches, firewalls and Wi-Fi are correctly configured and maintained. 

Without servers, you wouldn’t be able to:

  • Log in with your username and password to a work computer.
  • Send/receive emails.
  • Access and share files easily with co-workers.

David Gilbey IT Support

We keep everything updated.

IT managers ensure that all the software and applications you rely on every day are up-to-date across all of your devices. 

Not only does this help with your productivity, allowing you to make use of the latest features and releases, updates reduce your chance of being affected by viruses and malware. 

What a bauble-ache it would be if your business was left vulnerable to malicious attacks because you forgot to update a crucial bit of software. 

We back up everything. 

Backups and disaster recovery are the gifts that keep on giving. 

We set up, maintain and test backups of your files and applications regularly to help you reduce business downtime if disaster strikes or an accident happens.

And, disasters are more common than you think. Take a look at these scary statistics.

Just Gilbey IT Support

We keep your business secure.

As cyber threats become more prevalent, and hackers more crafty, security is more essential than ever. 

In a nutshell, all of what we’ve mentioned today needs to be properly maintained and kept secure. Unfortunately, there are one too many Grinches and Scrooges out there who want to steal sensitive data. 

Investing in your IT, whatever size your business is, is essential. By working with your IT team, or hiring an IT consultant who’ll help you with all of this background work, you’ll be able to continue sleighing in business right through to 2020 and beyond.

Take a look at the IT support packages we offer or talk to a member of our team today.

Starting Out: The 3 Things You Need To Do When Setting Up A Business

Starting Out: The 3 Things You Need To Do When Setting Up A Business

By | blog, IT Tips

So, you’ve decided to go ahead with your brand new business idea? 

How exciting! 

There are three must-have things to make sure everything runs smoothly with your startup. 

Buy a domain.

Securing your domain name is one of the most important first steps of setting up a new business. 

Your domain name is the URL of your website – i.e. the online hub of your business – as well as your ticket to a professional, personalised email address. 

Buying a domain first prevents anyone else from getting their paws on it first and you having to settle for a URL that isn’t related to your brand name, or easy for potential customers to remember.

What to consider when buying a domain:

Buy both .com and .co.uk (or the equivalent in your country).

Making sure you own both the local and international domain name, further prevents anyone else stealing your domain or hijacking your brand. 

We also recommend purchasing other top-level domains (that’s the bit after the “.”), depending on your industry. There are so many that people aren’t aware of, such as .edu, .org, .net, .solutions, .events, .engineer. Here is a whole list of the ones you can have. 

They’re usually relatively inexpensive, but it all depends on how far your startup budget stretches. 

Choose a simple and easy-to-use registrar.

Because of the surge in popularity and necessity of domain names, it’s become a booming market and one that can be difficult for people to navigate. 

Many domain providers can overcomplicate the process, encouraging you to spend more money on unnecessary add-ons (more about this below).  

We like and use Name Cheap, because it’s affordable, simple and allows us to register domains on behalf of our clients and later transfer them to their own account. 

Having control over your own domain after someone has set it up for you is vital. We frequently hear stories of businesses not being able to access important settings due to a web design, hosting, or development company holding their domain name to ransom. 

Set up a professional email.

Nothing says untrustworthy more than a business using a @gmail.com, @hotmail.com, @outlook.com or even @yahoo.com email address. 

Sure, these are fine to use for personal accounts, but when you’re communicating with clients and customers, it’s essential to retain your brand’s image and also have a secure, robust email. 

You can still use a trusted provider like Microsoft Office 365 or G-Suite, but your email address will be yourname@yourdomain.com

As we mentioned before, when you first purchase your domain name, the registrar may try to upsell an email solution. However, we don’t recommend going down this route. While they sound cheap and easy to set up, using a nationally-recognised provider like Microsoft is better for security, reliability and uptime. Meanwhile, opting for a trusted provider from the very beginning helps you to avoid hefty migration costs later down the line.

Don’t neglect DNS. 

DNS (Domain Name System, but you don’t really need to know that) is often overlooked, but it’s potentially one of the most crucial things to get right. 

Without it, the email and website we mentioned above simply will not work. 

DNS – essentially – is how the whole internet works, or more specifically, the magic that allows people to visit your website and receive your emails. 

If your DNS goes down, things will break, if you type something wrong in your DNS records, things will break. 

And when we say things will break, we mean people won’t be able to access your website, you will stop being able to receive or send emails, and spam emails may start to leak into your inbox. 

Luckily, when you purchase your domain, you’ll get a free “basic” DNS and, as long as you enter your DNS records correctly, everything should work. But, in our experience, it’s the getting it correct bit that is the challenge. Getting an experienced IT person in to look after this step is highly recommended, as if you make one small mistake, things break. 

A lot of registrars also offer a premium DNS, which although comes at a cost, it means that your domain has more protection against it going down. It’s certainly worth considering. 

If you’d like a hand with any of the above, we offer monthly fixed-cost plans that include all of the above set up and more. Our team can guide you through the choosing and registering a domain, setting up a professional email and sorting out premium DNS. 

Interested? Call us today.  

 

Starting Out: The IT That Is Worth Investing In As A Startup

Starting Out: The IT That Is Worth Investing In As A Startup

By | blog, Productivity

Setting up a business is a busy time, as well as a time when money seems to fly out of your pocket – insurances, equipment, overheads and travel (not to mention wages at the end of the month). 

Forking out for the latest, expensive technology and software isn’t always necessary in your first few months; however, there are some must-haves out there that will save precious hours, as well as pennies. 

We’ve got a list of software, applications and IT processes you should be investing in when you start a business.

The cloud.

Nowadays, almost every business is using cloud-based services.

You probably use cloud technology already – think Spotify or DropBox. Both use the cloud to store files that are readily available on any device with an internet connection.

Working in the cloud and using cloud-based tools like Office 365 and G-Suite allows your team to work from almost anywhere that has Wi-Fi. 

These services use multiple layers of security, as well as managing updates, hardware maintenance and multiple redundancies on your behalf, reducing your chance of downtime and file loss if hardware breaks down or is damaged. 

Meanwhile, most of these services offer fixed prices, enabling you to pay for what you need on a subscription basis.

Regular backups. 

While the cloud provides you with some security and steps to protect against file loss, investing in quality and regular backups is the best way to reduce the impact caused by file and application loss. 

Consider how long it would take to get back up and running if you lost all the files and applications on your computer? How much money could your company potentially lose? Not to mention the reputational damage if you lose your customer’s personal data in the process. 

Start your business as you mean to go on and invest in a quality backup and disaster recovery process.

Automation.

As technology advances, a lot of the tedious admin tasks that come with running a business can be automated – hurray! 

Automating your backups is a perfect way to make sure data is protected. It also means that you can recover from a loss of data, whether accidental or malicious. However, a common misconception is that if it’s in “the cloud” it’s already safe and backed up.

This is not true.

This is why we automatically back up all of our client’s data from one cloud provider to another to ensure you can recover.

Set Up Protection of Important Folders OneDrive

Choose which files you would like to Autosave in OneDrive

 

What good is a backup if it’s empty?

Have you ever been told to make sure that you save all files in a specific location? This location is usually on the server instead of your desktop and this extra step ensures that it is backed up. But, sometimes we simply forget to move/save files into this area, right?

Our backups of the cloud are automated, and making sure all of our client’s data is automatically saved into the cloud business server. So, whether they save files on their desktop, documents or pictures, our clients don’t have to worry. 

One way to do this is via OneDrive’s Known Folder Move (AKA Autosave)

In the meantime, applications like Zapier and Microsoft Flow allow you to connect services like Outlook, Slack, Trello, Asana, Gmail and social media platforms to work better for you. 

With Zapier, your imagination is pretty much your limit. But, to give some examples, you can:

  • Automatically create calendar events.
  • Track your work hours.
  • Send emails when a new Trello card is created.
  • Add Slack channel messages to an Excel spreadsheet.

Starting Out: The IT That Is Worth Investing In As A Startup

Digital accounting software. 

One of the top things new business owners worry about is taxes; submitting tax returns, dealing with expenses and tracking finances. 

By using digital accounting software from the very start, you can ensure everything you need is in one place when it comes to filing that pesky Self Assessment to HMRC. 

“The government is currently undergoing a Making Tax Digital transformation that will eventually require all businesses to use approved digital software to submit records to HMRC,” Vicky Parkinson of VSP Accountancy says.

Popular systems like QuickBooks, Xero, FreeAgent and Sage are another example of cloud-based services. You can access them on-the-go and all the information HMRC and your accountant needs are in one place. It can also be exported to any connected device you own. 

Vicky Parkinson of VSP Accountancy

Vicky Parkinson of VSP Accountancy

Expenses tracking.

Of course, most of the above-mentioned programmes offer some form of expenses tracking. 

One expense that a lot of us business owners struggle to record regularly is mileage. If this sounds like you, you can use a mileage tracker app on your phone, such as MileIQ. 

“MileIQ automatically tracks and records the miles you travel by car for your business, allowing you to claim expenses on your fuel accurately. It turns something that was usually quite admin-heavy into a breeze,” Vicky adds. 

MileIQ unlimited is included with Office 365 Business Premium subscriptions. So, if you’re thinking of transitioning to the cloud, this is just one extra reason to sign up to Microsoft’s cloud offering. 

If you want to find out more about expenses tracking, VSP Accountancy has written guides on digital accounting software and how to claim mileage allowance relief.  

If you’d like a hand with any of the above, we offer monthly fixed-cost plans that include all of the above set up and more. Give us a call today to see how we can help you

Title Image For Improve Your Video Calls With These 7 Easy Steps

Improve Your Video Calls in 7 Easy Steps

By | blog, Productivity

Sometimes, it’s not feasible to have multiple employees or clients visiting one office to have a meeting.

This is where video and conference calls come in handy; being able to discuss business from your own home, or when on-the-go, is a lot more cost-effective, time-efficient and environmentally-friendly than several individuals travelling across the country to be in one place for a few minutes.

However, most of you know that video calls are not always the smoothest of operations. One person can’t hear anything, one person’s picture is distorted, and another’s computer keeps crashing. While some technical difficulties are unavoidable, there are some areas where you can ensure that your business calls run much more smoothly than before.

Set out your objectives.

Let’s face it, many of us have been to meetings, both in-person and virtually, where we have no idea what we’re there for. Start the call with introductions and clear aims. And, if you discover that there’s not much point in having a full-blown meeting, maybe set up a group chat on a messaging app like Slack or Microsoft Teams to discuss your meeting topic instead.

Be organised.

Make sure everyone knows the date and time of the meeting and has everything they need to be prepared, whether that’s documents, images or a mindmap. Tell everyone to add it to their diary, or send out a calendar invite with the day and time of the call.

Send a reminder.

Nowadays, thanks to online calendars like Google and Outlook, we usually get an automatic reminder of our appointments. But, it’s a good idea to send out an email the day before. Some people don’t check their calendars as often as others, so they could still forget if not reminded.

Send out the agenda. 

You should have a structured plan of what needs to be talked about during the meeting. Giving everyone the information beforehand helps everyone get on the same page from the very start of the session.

Arrive early.

Try to be at least 10-15 minutes early so that you can check any equipment and your internet connectivity. This way, if there is an issue, you have some time to address it and fix it. Encourage other attendees to do the same so that they are ready to start before the meeting even begins.

Have a designated note-taker.

It’s always good to take notes, but it can be hard to focus on the conversation while scribbling in a notepad. Your note-taker could act as a moderator for the call, or be one of your employees within the video link. These notes should be sent out to all attendees post-call, just in case someone has missed something or needs to refresh at a later date.

Alternatively, and if everyone agrees to it, you could record your video chat to look back on in the future.

Give everyone a chance to speak.

A moderator is a good way to make sure everyone gets their say. There can be many voices during a business call, so it’s vital that everyone has a chance to contribute.

Of course, face-to-face meetings are often the best way to discuss business. But, we know it’s just not possible sometimes, especially if you have employees or clients across the country or even the world. Using video call technology is a little more personable than an email or phone call, and you can chat with multiple people at any one time. We hope, with these tips, your next video call runs so slickly, that it’ll feel like your colleagues are in the same room as you. 

Speak to a member of our team about how you can boost your team’s productivity with technology. 

Working Remotely Success Tips Title Image

5 Tips For Successfully Working Remotely

By | blog, Productivity

Working remotely from home is on the rise, with flexi-time rising by 12.35% between 2012 and 2016.

In fact, an estimated half of the UK workforce will work remotely by 2020.

Working away from the office can boost productivity, allowing your team to fit their schedule around family and home life. But, there are risks to consider for your business, especially if you jump into remote working blindfolded.

We’re here to give you some starting points to help your team stay secure and productive.

Strengthen your security when working remotely.

Invest in security.

Antivirus, firewalls and backups – even if no one in your team works remotely, you should have quality software to protect your data and applications.

Moreover, it’s essential to push cybersecurity to the forefront of your employees’ and colleagues’ minds. Humans are often the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain and can easily undo any hard work put in by security software and systems.

Raise awareness about cybersecurity. Stop sharing passwords, think before you click on a link in an email and think twice before you hook up to the dodgy free Wi-Fi in your local coffee shop.

Keep your software up to date.

Viruses and ransomware are becoming smarter by the day, with new versions of the malicious software being released all the time.

Your antivirus and security software is only as reliable as its last update. Keep on top of updates and make sure you have the latest release installed so it can battle the most advanced threats.

Set up a VPN.

If your remote workers wish to work on-the-go, you need to consider investing in a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

This creates a secure tunnel between the user and the internet, preventing prying eyes from (notoriously unsecure) public Wi-Fi hotspots peeping in on your connection and data.

Read our blog on how to use public Wi-Fi safely.

Increase productivity when working remotely.

Manage your projects seamlessly.

It’s challenging to stay on the same page when you’re not all in the same office. But, with advancements in software, it is possible to keep everyone on track when they’re scattered around the world.

One simple way to keep on track with deadlines, meetings and dates is to put them in a shared calendar on Outlook or Google Calendar. Meanwhile, project management tools like Trello, Asana and Monday are brilliant for assigning tasks and moving projects forward, quickly.

Communicate and collaborate.

Again, it can be challenging to get everyone in the same room when you have a team of remote workers.

Instant messaging tools Microsoft Teams and Slack are built for businesses like yours. What previously would have been a quick (potentially unnecessary) meeting or long-winded email thread, can now be a five-minute group chat.

However, when you do need a face-to-face discussion, video conferencing software like Zoom and Skype connect people from all over the globe. All you need is an internet connection.


Thinking of remote working, but not sure where to begin? We can help you and your team get off to a great start, give us a call today.

Title image for How to stay secure on public Wi-Fi. Person working in a coffee shop on public Wi-Fi

How To Stay Secure On Public Wi-Fi Networks

By | blog, Security

Hands up who uses free public Wi-Fi when out and about?

We do, we love a freebie! 

However, public Wi-Fi is not always the most secure option. Of course, it’s great to be able to get online and not use our data, but if you’re taking your laptop to your local coffee shop, you need to be aware of the risks. 

Whether you’re on a laptop, phone or tablet, the risk is still the same. You don’t know who has set up the network, or who else is using it.

Hackers also love free Wi-Fi, because it gives them a brilliant opportunity to pry on you and snoop in on your connection – that’s all the data you share over the network by the way; your login details, bank information, information, photos, whatever you share using the Wi-Fi hotspot.

On top of this, people set up fake hotspots. If you’re unsure whether the network is genuine, don’t use it or check with a member of staff in the coffee shop or wherever you’re trying to connect.

We’ve rounded up our best advice to help you stay safe online when you’re not at home.

How can you stay secure on public Wi-Fi networks?

Limit your use of public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Only use them if you must. Use your mobile data primarily and public Wi-Fi if you run out!

Turn off automatic connection.

Make sure you turn your Wi-Fi on and off every time you use public hotspots, or you could be getting hacked without knowing.

Know which networks to trust.

Stick to well-known, trusted networks, such as Starbucks or Costa, as there’s less chance of a security risk. If in doubt, ask a staff member about the correct hotspot.

Use a VPN.

If you use public Wi-Fi a lot, consider using a Virtual Private Network. This handy bit of tech encrypts your data, making it harder to be hacked or for others to see what you’re doing. Do some research beforehand though, as some services are superior to others.

Stick with HTTPS.

Watch out for the little ‘S’ in the HTTP part of URLs. There should also be a green padlock to certify the website is secure.

Install as many security features as possible.

Two-factor authentication, antivirus and firewalls – use them to boost your security when browsing online. Remember to make sure they’re updated regularly.

Don’t use personal, sensitive accounts when on public Wi-Fi.

Avoid using websites that require sensitive information, such as personal banking. Social media and email should be kept to a minimum, as well as any websites that you store personal details on.

‘Forget network’ after you log out.

It’s almost like shutting the door fully instead of leaving it ajar. It will reappear if you choose to use that network again in the future, you’ll just have to re-enter the password.

Public Wi-Fi is a lifesaver, especially for freelancers and small businesses regularly work in coffee shops. But, you need to be cautious and take these steps to avoid getting hacked. Think about your location and the websites you’re using, and always keep your security tools updated. You never know who could be watching.

If you need any more advice on how to stay secure online, please get in touch with a member of our team

Title Image For Backup Statistics Every Business Needs To Know

10 Backup Statistics Every Business Needs To Know

By | Backups and disaster recovery, blog

We’ve rounded up a whole bunch of backup and disaster recovery statistics that highlight the importance of best practice and will hopefully motivate you to take action today, rather than putting off backing up your files until tomorrow.

3/5 of backups are incomplete and half of data restores fail.

Even if you make the effort to back up your files, it doesn’t mean they’re always 100% effective.

That’s right, a backup can fail and you may not realise until it’s too late.

Regularly checking your backups is essential to ensure that – if it comes to it – your files can be restored fully, with no missing data.

We recommend monitoring your backups every few weeks, or as often as you can. This way, you can discover any problems almost straight away, and only have to deal with a few days of data loss, rather than months.

17% do not backup business data at all.

Almost 20% of businesses admit to not backing up their files at all. Neglecting to back up is generally more common among sole traders and small businesses, with medium-sized to large businesses usually being more on it.

Do you fall into the 20%?

If you do, consider how long it would take to get your business back up and earning money if you lost all of your files and applications.

3.8 million UK businesses do not adhere to backup best practice.

Out of those who use backups, many do not follow best practice, such as an offsite backup and regular monitoring.

Half of the respondents to one survey admitted that their backups were kept on a separate system, but within the same office.

We strongly recommend following the 3-2-1 backup method; three copies of your data, stored on (at least) two different types of device, with one of these located offsite.

Read our guide on How To Set Up and Maintain Backups here.

But, what are the chances of data loss for my business?

Data loss is estimated to be up 400% since 2012, with around four million UK businesses at risk of losing data due to their insufficient – and non-existent – backups.

Remember, you can lose your data in a number of ways:

  • Cyberattack.
  • Damage to equipment.
  • Faulty machines.
  • Loss of devices.
  • Accidental deletion.
  • Malicious intent by an (ex)employee.
  • Natural disaster, such as a flood or fire.
  • Burglary or theft.

You are not immune. Everyone says it won’t happen to them, until it does.

Is losing data that bad for my business?

60% of businesses shut down within six months of data loss.

93% of companies that lost data for 10 days file for bankruptcy within one year while half file immediately.

31% of targetted attacks focus on businesses with fewer than 250 employees and 1/5 small businesses will be hacked within one year.

Hackers are turning their ugly heads to smaller businesses just like you, who are typically ill-equipped to deal with a cyberattack. While it used to be just the big guys getting attacked, now anyone and everyone is at risk.

40% of SMBs who manage their own network are affected.

Yep, if you manage your own network and use the internet for more than simply email, you’re very likely to have your network accessed by a cybercriminal, if you haven’t already – half of businesses are unaware when they’ve been breached.

A quality backup strategy and disaster recovery plan are essential for any business. Data loss can be extremely detrimental to your company. By securely storing and managing multiple copies of your most important data on and offsite, your office can recover quickly if disaster does strike. 


We work closely with you to install, configure and monitor backups, providing a proactive resolution that allows you to continue doing what you do best. If you’d like any more information about backups or disaster recovery, please get in touch with a member of our team right now

Sources:

  • IT Pro
  • Gartner Group
  • National Cyber Security Alliance
  • Richmond House Group
  • Symantec
  • Boston Computing
  • National Archives & Records Administration in Washington DC
Why Your Business Doesn't Need IT Support

Why You Don’t Need IT Support For Your Business

By | blog, IT Solutions

An IT company telling you that you don’t need IT support… wait, what?

Hear us out…

It’s a nightmare when something goes wrong with your business’ IT. Whether it’s a laptop breaking, your network going down or a lost internet connection, an unexpected problem can disrupt your day and cost you time and money.

A common attitude is “Let’s get IT support in quickly and get it fixed so we can get back to what we were working on”. 

We get it. Downtime is costly and you really need to get that project finished by close of business on Friday.

But, what if we told you that there was a way to have more control over your IT so you don’t have to worry about unforeseen tech issues?

IT support is not the answer. Managed IT Solutions is. Here’s why.

Proactive rather than reactive.

Waiting until something breaks to fix it might appear to be less expensive and easier. But, in the long run, additional problems will arise if you continue to use the same setup and ignore underlying issues.

A proactive IT company gets to know how your team works and what technology you rely on. This is beneficial for two reasons:

  1. We can pick up on any issues and nip them in the bud before they become a real problem.
  2. We know your IT environment inside out, so can resolve issues more promptly.

Added value rather than a one-time fix.

And, because we work with you to get your IT right, we can advise you on the services, apps, software and hardware that best suit your business.

Managed IT Solutions give you a chance to develop your own technology roadmap and strategy, so you can stay ahead of the game and look forward to how your business is going to grow in the future.

If you only ever get your old technology fixed, how are you going to move things forward in this ever-evolving digital world?

Fixed monthly fees rather than surprise invoices.

One of the worst things about an IT issue is that they always seem to crop up at the most inconvenient time. It could be during a quiet month when funds are slightly lower than usual, or maybe during a busy month where you have landed a few big contracts.

With Managed IT Services, you can enjoy a fixed monthly cost, instead of erratic and unwelcome bills.

One point of contact rather than multiple IT support companies.

Of course, with Managed IT Solutions, problems still rear their ugly heads.

Still, you’ll know exactly who to call when they do – in fact, your Managed IT Solutions company may have picked up on the problem before you.

When you opt for a break/fix approach, you may end up wasting even more time trying to get an IT company to come out to you.

Meanwhile, with a managed solution, a dedicated account manager – who already knows your systems and team – is on hand and committed to resolving your problem.

Still not convinced? Check out the infographic below or get in touch with us to tell us why.

Comparing-Proactive-Reactive

 

How to Create a Strong, Memorable Password

How To Create Unique, Strong Passwords You Will Remember

By | blog, Security

When was the last time you remembered your password correctly on the first try?

You probably can’t remember.

We all know that we’re supposed to have long, complicated and unique passwords for each account we own.

But, when the average user has around 23 online accounts that all require a password (and that number is only increasing), there becomes a point where we must accept that we’re only human and simply not able to master that many quirky combinations.

Especially alongside remembering to floss daily and take the bins out on time…

What if we told you that you can create a unique, secure password without needing a photographic memory?

Introducing the concept of passphrases…

This sketch has been circling the internet for some time.

Passwords V Passphrases

It shows you that choosing found random, common words for your password is a highly efficient way of protecting yourself from brute-force attacks.

This is because four, random words are just as hard for supercomputers to crack than a series of obscure letters, punctuation marks and numbers.

Also, because they are easier for humans to remember, we’re not tempted to change our passwords to something like ‘JustGilbey19’ – which could be cracked by a computer in seconds and a hacker in minutes.

We’d also recommend adding a few letters and symbols in there for good measure. For example, “PineappleTeaCrunch78!”.

You can try out the four common word passphrase trick here to see how long it would take for a computer to guess it.

With this being said, you can never sit too comfortably when it comes to your business’ cybersecurity.

Technology will rapidly advance, supercomputers will get smarter and hackers will become wise to our tricks.

So, it’s important to combine your powerful passphrase with at least one of the following:

Two-Factor or Multi-Factor Authentication.

Nowadays, most online services and platforms boast this security feature. All you need to do is spend a couple of moments switching it on and setting it up.

When 2-factor is activated, you’ll be sent a unique code via text message or email each time you log in. Simply enter that code to access the application or service.

We understand these extra few seconds could slow productivity, but we’d definitely encourage you to take advantage of this security feature – if only for your more sensitive accounts, such as online banking.

Authenticator applications.

An easier way to manage 2-step authentication is using a special app, such as Google Authenticator or Authy.

New codes are generated on your phone or tablet every few minutes and it means that even if someone does crack your password, they’ll have to access to your authentication app in order for them to successfully get into your account.

Touch ID.

More and more laptops, phones, tablets, and apps are supporting biometric security tools – we’re talking thumbprint, face and eye recognition.

This is possibly the quickest way to stay secure – it’s faster than entering a passcode, so you have no excuses!

And, finally, brush up on your password habits.

Unfortunately, the weakest link in the security chain is often human behaviour and silly slip-ups.

Please be wary of the dangers of password sharing and not storing your passwords securely.

If you do need to write your details down, avoid using notebooks and stick notes. Instead, opt for a password manager, such as LastPass.

This affordable tool enables you to securely store your login credentials. Additionally, it tells you if your password is weak and can generate new unique combinations.

If you would like more information about staying secure, please do get in touch with us today and we’d be happy to advise you.

Woman typing on a Windows Laptop

Automatically Sync Important Folders To The Cloud With New Feature

By | blog, Business Updates

OneDrive Known Folder Move – AKA Autosave – is a relatively new feature of Microsoft’s file hosting service but one that could make your work day a whole lot easier.

This nifty tool allows you to automatically sync desktop files to the cloud, with little-to-no disruption to your team’s productivity.

Most of us know the advantages of the cloud by now…

When your files are stored on OneDrive you benefit from being able to access them on any connected device, as well as having a protected version of that data stored on a Microsoft server.

If someone loses their laptop, all synced files are safe. If hardware fails or is damaged, your synced files are safe. When you wish to upgrade your machine, all of your documents are waiting in the cloud ready to access on the new computer from day one.

However, whilst we all know that it’s good to sync and store files to the cloud, the task is a bit like flossing your teeth; many of us forget when we’re going about our day-to-day business.

Windows Known Folders

 

The default setting for most Windows machines is to dump files to the Documents or Desktop folders. So, before OneDrive Autosave, we had to manually import them, which is a bit of a faff.

Once configured, Autosave syncs your Known Folders to OneDrive automatically, without any input from you, so you can go about your day, saving files without worrying if they’re synced in the cloud.

Note: ‘Known Folders’ include Documents, Desktop and Photos, but doesn’t include Downloads.

So how can you set this up?

This feature is not enabled by default and is currently supported for eligible OneDrive For Business users.

If this is you – great! You can switch on Autosave via your OneDrive settings.

Meanwhile, if you have a larger office, your IT admin will be able to enable Autosave across your whole organisation. This will prompt users to auto-sync files the next time they log in.

Set Up Protection of Important Folders OneDrive

Choose which files you would like to Autosave in OneDrive

Don’t confuse syncing to the cloud with backups.

Whilst syncing your files automatically with Autosave gives you some form of protection against data loss, you should never fully rely on it as it isn’t the same as backups.

OneDrive should always be used in tandem with additional backup methods.

For instance, one we like to use is Spanning Backups. Hosted in AWS, you can backup all of the above vendors and set up an offsite copy. It’s also a great choice as it stores multiple copies of the files.

Want to read about how to set up and maintain backups, please check out a previous blog of ours here.

So, are you going to try this new tool from Microsoft? If you need any more advice on setting it up or even getting Office 365 For Business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’d be happy to advise.