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Category Archives: Business

Keeping Control of Your Business with Office 365
Category: Business Comments: 0

Office 365 represents a complete shift in the way we interact with modern business computing. If you haven't been introduced to it yet, now could be the time. Similar to the Microsoft Office desktop package that businesses have relied on for decades; Office 365 does even more to provide the critical tools you need to modernize your business environment and take control of your business.

Built with the cloud in mind, Office 365 allows you to access and modify your documents from any computer, tablet, or smartphone worldwide. These same cloud capabilities bring benefits to collaboration too. Groups and teams can work on a single document or group of files at the same time to maximize productivity and save time ahead of tight deadlines.

Safety, accessibility, and productivity are some of the amazing benefits Office 365 has introduced to modern business. Each one has clear, but obvious benefits that can be applied.

This article breaks down the less obvious, but equally important aspects of Office 365 that could apply within your firm. These features, unique to cloud-ready office packages, allow you to regain and maintain control of your business in any working environment.

Bringing You Additional Resources

There are times on projects where you need to collaborate with external contractors. Whether utilizing a skilled sales copywriter, data entry processor, or extra software developer; your business should be able to make full use of a boost in manpower when it needs it. To do this, you need to provide access to internal resources and systems.

A difficult balancing act comes from providing useful access without exposing confidential or sensitive data held internally. More than just personal preference, restricting access to sensitive data can be a key requirement of modern regulations governing business and commerce.

Rather than providing open access to everything you hold, Office 365 makes it possible to share individual files or entire folders one at a time. Privacy settings give you the power to tailor the amount of system access you provide right down to the individual file.

Files can be protected with edit only or view only access to protect data against unintentional, malicious, or unauthorized changes. When the project reaches its conclusion, access rights for external users can be revoked to revert documents and files to internal staff access only.

Keep Everything Together in The Right Place

Making use of Office 365 provides your business with a single, central platform for company communication and data storage. A unified system means less business time spent on staff training and getting to know the system.

Using a single system means your data is always located in a location where you know how to access it. Data transfer and file sharing are made easy for everyone across the firm. Simply modifying permissions or sharing links provides access to critical files to anyone with an authorized account.

Account Based Service

Office 365 accounts-based services make reflecting the structure of your physical business in its digital systems simple and straightforward. Using your unique domain to identify your business, each staff member can be reachable to both internal staff and external firms.

For Example, jane@yourbusinessname.com may be the address of your sales coordinator or financial director. Using a unique business-based address provides both a professional point of contact and useful account management system. It also provides a simple way to redirect enquiries within the company.

If jane@yourbusinessname.com was the primary point of contact for suppliers to your business, vital emails might otherwise be ignored or lost completely when Jane is unavailable. Office 365 services make it easy to redirect all emails sent to Jane's address to emma@yourbusinessname.com instead.

These simple but highly effective tools make sure you don't miss vital communications from suppliers, contractors, or customers. This suite of tools gives you a competitive advantage to ensure queries never 'fall through the cracks' and your business retains a highly professional reputation.

Keeping in complete control of your business doesn't have to mean sacrificing extra hours, laborious micromanagement, or building complex and costly systems. Office 365 allows you to keep control of your business easily and without hassle.

You'll be surprised at the difference Office 365 can make to the way you manage your firm. Call us at (508) 279-1080 today to help set you up and running using Office 365 the right way.

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Protecting Your Customers and Your Business Too
Category: Business Comments: 0

Security and privacy are at the very top of our priorities when considering business IT. Major data leaks are in mainstream news on a near-daily basis and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of customers are impacted every time they happen. Our number one goal is to make sure our businesses are kept out of danger.

Major institutions, such as multi-national banks and credit card companies, are expected to handle your data well. Unfortunately, less secured businesses require access to our data too.

Even just booking into a hotel often requires you to leave your name, address, date of birth, passport number, and credit card details. These few pieces of information are more than enough to steal your identity, start a line of credit, and access many of your vital services. You can often only hope your chosen hotel handles your information as well as your bank does.

Securing Your Business with Smarter Thinking

There is no way to change how your favorite hotel service operates, but you can affect your own business to improve its security for your customers.

You don't need the manpower or funding of a major banking chain to handle data securely. With simple tweaks and powerful changes, you can minimize the chances of your business suffering a data breach big enough close your doors for good.

By stepping up IT security to meet modern threats, you can help to limit your liability, put customer's minds at ease and give your firm a competitive advantage. Should hackers attack, the work you do today will limit the damage and help you to weather the storm.

Limit Your Data Collection

The single most important thing to consider when securing your business is how much data do you really need to hold anyway? Carefully consider the value of every piece of personal information you collect in any given transaction. Do you have a use for everything you ask for?

Emails, addresses, and contact numbers are useful for receipts and marketing, but additional data many firms collect is often useless and wasteful. Each piece of unnecessary data you hold represents additional value to hackers and thieves. While you may be unable to use your own stored data, hackers will find great value in gathering more personal information. This increases your liability without adding any extra value.

Consider Your Access Requirements

Think carefully about who has access to information within your business and precisely why they need to access it. Often security problems begin when employees have blanket privileges to access everything within the firm.

Access restrictions should be specific to the company structure. Low-level employees should be limited to only what is strictly required for their role. Managers, for example, are likely to need systems that their junior staff cannot access.

Physical access restrictions are critical too. Unattended computers and mobile devices should require a password or identity verification to log on.

Treating Data with Care

The way you treat your data in day-to-day business reflects the impact hackers or IT disaster will have on your business when it is lost. Do you know where your backups are, and when they were last tested? Firms often first know they are in trouble when they realize all their data is stored on a business laptop or device that could be easily lost or stolen. Some firms maintain backups on USB drives or shuttle a portable hard drive between home and work.

These solutions should have no place in a professional business environment. Proper data care means regular, tested backups that are secure against fire, theft, or online hacks. Protecting your customers and your business is all about the smart application of IT knowledge in a cost-effective and efficient way.

We can help you to lock down your business to protect the most valuable assets your business owns, data. Call us at (508) 279-1080

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Has Your Email Been Hijacked?
Category: Business Comments: 0

A common complaint by many users in recent months has been spam emails appearing to come from their own accounts. Despite not knowing why, reports of friends, family, and contacts receiving spam email that appears to come from them has worried many people.

Some have had their accounts suspended or shut down by their service providers as a result. For many, this experience can be highly disruptive. It's a problem that can cause many issues in both your professional and personal life.

The key to defense is learning how these attacks happen, and figuring out what you can do to protect yourself and your contacts against them.

Hackers Using Your Email Against You

Scammers that send out spam messages are continually looking for ways to make the process faster, cheaper, and more efficient. It's the best way in which they can make more money every day by scamming unsuspecting victims for even more cash.

One of the most efficient ways they do this is by hijacking ready-made, trusted email accounts like your own. Hackers have several tools at their disposal to attempt to hijack your accounts.

Some of the principles which make email fast and easy to use means that details, such as those in the 'from' field, are easy to fake. A hacker might change the information supplied to make it appear as if the email comes from anyone.

There's not much you can do to defend your email against such an attack. However, you can work to verify that an email, even one you expect to receive, does come from the person you believe it to. If your email provider flags up an incoming email as 'suspicious', or 'untrustworthy', it may well be.

Stolen Credentials

Hackers often buy large bundles of email addresses and passwords from the dark web. Leaked emails are often put up for sale following hacks of major companies and service providers.

The value of these details comes from passwords being unlikely to have been changed, the details attached to them are trusted, and often get hackers access to additional services too.

How To Detect an Email Intrusion

It can take a long time before you’re aware that malicious hackers are using your details. You might even be the last person in your contacts to know.

The first sign to look out for is a large number of unexpected emails in your inbox. These are likely to be replies to emails you never sent in the first place. Out of office, automatic responses, people complaining about spam, and people responding to the email as if it were genuine may all come to you first.

Keep a close eye on unexpected emails appearing suddenly in either your inbox or outbox. A hacker may be spear-phishing someone that you do business with or trust. By acting as you, using your address and details, they may be able to divert payments or confidential information to their accounts instead.

Protecting Yourself Against Hackers, Attackers, And Hijackers

Sometimes your computer might have been compromised to give hackers access to your services. Malicious software may have infected your machine to steal data and infect your contacts.

Take extra care to change your passwords if you believe your email has been accessed by hacker. Use a different, more secure password for your email than you do for every other service. Your email account is often the key to accessing many of the services you use most.

Run a virus scan and maintain security updates if you think your computer could have been infected. Have your machine and services looked at by a professional if you believe there is a risk your data is being used.

If you think your email could have been hijacked, or your details used elsewhere, give us a call at 508 279-1080 to clean up today.

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