Tag Archive for: Tips & Tricks

Here is your May 2022 “Tech Tips For The Boss” newsletter! This month features man-in-the-middle attacks, how to check if your browser is up to date, credential stuffing, and more! Click here to download it: May 2022 Newsletter

Interested in finding out more? Book a 15 minute, no obligation call with us at www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

The use of Microsoft Teams has just exploded in the last few years. It now boasts over 270 million people using it every month. Its constant growth has been helped by the many improvements and new features being released all the time.

This short video we’ve created will give you the details on three new updates coming soon to Teams. Watch it here:

If you’d like any assistance setting up Teams for your business, book a 15 minute, no obligation call with us at www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

How to Keep Your Business’s Data Safe During the Work from Home Revolution

We’ve all come to accept that working from home and hybrid working are here to stay. In many ways, we’ve embraced this change well. However, one way that many businesses are lacking is in additional security measures for those working away from the office.

Unmanaged devices are a big concern that business’s need to explore, as they have the potential to compromise ALL of your business’s crucial data. We’ve created this brand-new guide to outline the concerns and some ways that your business should be protecting itself. Read it here: The Dangers of Employee’s “Other” Laptop

Want help ensuring your business is protected? Book a 15 minute, no obligation call with us at www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

Your business can benefit a lot from working with an IT provider. However, you need to avoid several key mistakes when choosing your team.

Time spent on trying to figure out the technology you use in your business can be costly. While doing that, you can’t focus on your business needs, which can then result in poor customer satisfaction.

This is where IT providers come into play.

They enable you to outsource hardware and computing-related services, such as managed IT security and cloud computing. IT providers can also provide a robust IT infrastructure so that you can direct your attention to revenue-generating activities.

While there are numerous IT providers to choose from, not all of them will accommodate your business’s specific needs. Integrating with the wrong team can raise your spending due to irrelevant services, recurring security issues, data backup problems, and downtime.

Therefore, you need to be extra careful when selecting your team. The only way to avoid disappointment is to avoid these eight common mistakes when looking for the right IT provider.

THE EIGHT MISTAKES

MISTAKE #1 – INSISTING ON THE NEWEST TECHNOLOGY

Many advertisers want to trick you into believing that the latest technology will resolve all your issues. While the newest virtualization or cloud offerings can boost operations in many enterprises, they might not suit your business.

Hence, don’t let the hype surrounding new products dazzle you.

Carefully consider the results your IT provider will help you achieve and determine if those results are worth the level of investment. Your provider shouldn’t confuse you with state-of-the-art features – they should guide you and allow for seamless integration.

MISTAKE #2 – FAILURE TO CONSIDER THE RESPONSE TIMES

Determining the response times of your prospective IT providers is essential. You need to ask them how long they usually take to reply to queries and resolve problems. Be sure to gauge their onsite support efficiency too.

Not inquiring about their availability is another grave error. Your IT team should provide round-the-clock services, including specialists that will monitor your system.

Constant monitoring and availability can help ensure you can detect IT issues early. With this, the provider can immediately administer patches and updates to safeguard against disasters.

Furthermore, your IT provider should offer simple access to their desk support. You should be able to contact them via email, phone, and chat for instant guidance.

MISTAKE #3 – NEGLECTING THE SECURITY ASPECT

Disregarding the security features of your IT provider might be the most severe mistake. Teams with improper defence mechanisms can’t shield your system from cyber attackers, increasing the risk of losing data and access to resources.

To avoid this, look for IT providers that can protect you from malware and other threats. They also need to prioritize protecting your business’s confidential data, like trade secrets and customer information.

When it comes to specific security measures, your IT provider should have features that prevent data intrusions instantly upon detection. The list includes phishing attacks simulations, web content filtering, DNS security, endpoint protection, mobile device management, and dark web protection.

In addition, responsible teams should eliminate point-of-sale and network intrusions before they compromise your system. Making sure they abide by security compliance and government regulations is also paramount.

MISTAKE #4 – FORGETTING THE BUDGET

Many IT companies operate under pay-as-you-go pricing schemes. Although this helps you minimize upfront investment, adopting a large number of technologies simultaneously without considering the recurring costs can cripple your finances.

Thus, think twice before signing on the dotted line.

Research your providers thoroughly and draft your budget with professional assistance. These steps can prevent considerable frustration down the line.

MISTAKE #5 – NOT DETERMINING SCALABILITY

One of the biggest impediments to growing your company is choosing an IT provider with poor scalability.

In contrast, scalable IT teams allow your business to evolve and grow. They can continually extend their services to accommodate your company’s goals, even if these goals change.

MISTAKE #6 – OPTING FOR A NON-RESPONSIVE SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENT

Service level agreements (SLAs) hold IT providers accountable for their services. It establishes standards for responsibilities, quality, scope, and delivery time in writing. Without it, you’ll have no way of ensuring transparent collaboration.

When selecting your IT provider, find one with a responsive agreement. It can help guarantee the SLA scales with their services while rendering continual improvement.

MISTAKE #7 – LACK OF TEAM TRAINING AND FEEDBACK

The story doesn’t end once you’ve found and partnered with a trustworthy IT provider. New technologies won’t magically increase your bottom line and decrease outputs.

To accomplish your goal, your employees will still need to understand how to use your new tech solutions. Bear in mind though, not every team member may be able to grasp new tools easily. Some may prefer the existing platforms.

Fortunately, you can hire IT experts to train them. These professionals should simplify any complex steps and advise your staff on making the most of your new investment.

Also, some enterprises set up regular training but fail to monitor their team’s performance. This is a huge mistake, as it keeps you from assessing your employee’s response to new technologies.

So, conduct questionnaires and other forms of feedback collection to determine and address any weaknesses.

MISTAKE #8 – IGNORING EXPERIENCES WITH PREVIOUS CLIENTS

Choosing an IT provider is similar to buying standard products and services. Failure to check user reviews can lead to disappointment.

To get a clear picture of your IT team’s capabilities, analyze their current and previous clients from similar industries. Look for reviews, testimonials, and ask the provider for a list of projects and references.

After doing your due diligence, you should be able to tell whether an IT provider is an ideal match for your company.

However, keep in mind that every IT team is different. For instance, they might be well-versed in the healthcare industry but have no experience working with retailers. That’s why as mentioned, stick to IT providers servicing your industry to get the best results.

FIND THE RIGHT FIT

Nobody wants to end up with a poor IT provider that can’t deliver great results, leaves your company open to cyberattacks, and causes other vulnerabilities. Your investment goes down the drain, and your operations suffer.

Luckily, we can show you a way out.

Let’s arrange a 15 minute, no obligation call. We can discuss more ways on how to find the right IT provider for you and ensure you get your money’s worth. Visit www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

 

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

Here is your April 2022 “Tech Tips For The Boss” newsletter! This month features your business’s secret weapon, important need-to-knows about ransomware, and more! Click here to download it: April 2022 Newsletter

Interested in finding out more? Book a 15 minute, no obligation call with us at www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

Updates are crucial for all our devices. They’re released regularly to help protect us from the security flaws and vulnerabilities that cyber criminals love to exploit. Updates also help us by making software and applications more usable and adding new features.

It’s best practice to run updates as soon as possible on every machine across your business. If you already do this, you can give yourself a high five.

Unfortunately, Microsoft has reported that there is an enormous number of Windows PCs that aren’t up to date.

So, what’s happening? Is it just staff clicking the ‘later’ button when they get the update notifications? That certainly may account for some of it. Updates can be time consuming and sometimes people need to get on with their work. Though we certainly don’t condone this behaviour, we do understand it.

Technical problems with updates may account for some of these out-of-date PCs too, but the majority of update issues are coming from something else entirely. It turns out that Windows machines often need to be connected to the internet for a very long time for updates to work properly.

Microsoft’s recently explained that when an update is installed, a device must remain on and connected to Windows Update for a minimum of two consecutive hours, and six hours in total. That gives your device time to successfully download the update and install it.

The best way to make sure all your devices are successfully updated every time is to insist that your team leave their devices powered on and connected overnight.

This also means that you have to check your Power Management settings to stop your devices from going into hibernation mode or deep sleep too quickly.

To offset any environmental impact, you should also ensure you’re following the recommended power settings on each device.

If you’d like any help checking that all your devices are running the latest security updates, book a 15 minute, no obligation call with us at www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

 

Published with permission from Your Tech Updates.

We all tend to have many applications running on our computers throughout our workday. Unfortunately, this can drain our battery quickly, as well as slow down our devices.

Luckily, there soon may be a solution! Experts are currently testing a new Windows 11 feature that could make a big difference. Our newest video tells you all you need to know about “Efficiency Mode”. Watch it here:

Want some helpful tips to speed up your devices and increase battery life? Book a 15 minute, no obligation call with us at www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

OneNote is a digital note-taking tool that comes with plenty of benefits for users. What you may not have realized yet is how powerful this app can be for enhancing team collaboration. 

Notetaking… This is an essential part of day-to-day operations for many business owners, managers, and teams. After all, people can’t rely on their memory alone to recall everything that gets talked about each day, especially when it concerns important matters.

When it comes to notetaking, traditional methods such as pen and paper are effective but take too long. Modern-day businesses need something that allows them to work faster, which why they opt for digital solutions like OneNote.

OneNote is a productivity tool that leverages cloud and Microsoft technologies to make information capturing, storage, and sharing a breeze.

Think of OneNote as a hub for all notes that allows you to organize them in many ways. It even allows pinning multimedia documents next to simple text.

So, if you’re looking for a robust digital note-taking tool, OneNote may be the solution for you.

Keep reading to discover the numerous ways in which this tool can be helpful for you and your business.

Why Should You Rely on OneNote?

OneNote is not just a powerful tool for notetaking. It’s also a useful tool that allows you to perform various functions for easy information processing.

Some of its main benefits include:

BENEFIT #1. PROMOTING REAL-TIME COLLABORATION

OneNote is part of Microsoft’s fully-cloud based Office 365 suite. This means OneNote users can share files with other team members or clients in real-time. Multiple people can view and edit their notes simultaneously, allowing for a seamless collaboration anytime.

A great thing about real-time editing is that you can track all changes to the file. You can even restore the previous version of a document in case of accidents.

Businesses that run in multiple locations can benefit from this feature as well because people located across the country can work on the same project without affecting team collaboration.

Simply put, there’s no need to trade emails and waste time waiting for responses – managers can have an easy time collaborating with their team instantly without ever leaving the office.

BENEFIT #2. SECURING SENSITIVE INFORMATION

Doing business online and sharing sensitive data comes with security risks. This is especially true for notebook software. Fortunately, OneNote comes with a set of security features that protect your data from being exposed to third parties.

For example, you can lock specific sections with passwords while having all your information secured with 3DES encryption at all times. And if your password-protected documents remain inactive for a long time, the software will automatically lock them to prevent data leaks.

BENEFIT #3. INTEGRATION WITH OTHER SOFTWARE

Like other Office 365 suite apps, OneNote has great integration abilities. You can sync your OneNote with Outlook to send email information directly to the app and vice versa.

What’s more, you can integrate this software with non-Microsoft apps as well. Some notable plugins include Zapier, Slack, Trello, Evernote, Dropbox, Salesforce, and many others. All your essential apps will be synchronized, allowing your team to be more productive each day.

BENEFIT #4. PROJECT MANAGEMENT

OneNote has dozens of uses for general business. However, it’s especially suitable for project management.

Project managers often deal with issues such as team member misunderstandings, communication delays, or project bottlenecks. Thanks to Microsoft’s note-taking tool, many of these issues are quickly alleviated.

Project management can become more straightforward because OneNote makes it easy for the manager to track each team member’s achievements. They can update timelines, check off completed tasks, or assign new ones with ease.

TAKE ONENOTE TO THE NEXT LEVEL

If you have never used OneNote before, you may be interested to learn about some tips to help you get the most out of the software.

TIP #1. CREATING QUICK NOTES

Quick Note is a great feature that lets you write down a thought when you’re out having lunch or away from the office.

Imagine being in the store and remembering you haven’t responded to an important email. You can take your phone, open the One Note app, and create a Quick Note reminding you of this task.

The next time you open OneNote on your computer, you’ll see the message there.

This feature is similar to Sticky Notes, as it lets you jot down any idea or thought in a matter of seconds. All your notes will be saved in the “Unfiled Notes” section of your “Quick Notes” notebook, a place where all your notes are saved by default.

TIP #2. SEARCHING ACROSS ALL NOTES

Searching for notes becomes more challenging as time passes. If you’re an active user, you can find yourself storing hundreds of notes in a matter of months. But don’t worry, as there are tons of options to organize your notes as well as search for it.

OneNote has a built-in search option to make note finding easier.

All you need to do is click on the magnifying glass or hit “Ctrl” (or “Command” for Mac) + “F” on your keyboard and look for a phrase or word. The software will go over all your typed, handwritten, and even picture notes.

You can further narrow the search by selecting the drop-down arrow and choosing the desired option. You’ll see all matching results highlighted in your notes.

As you find the note you needed, you can close the search by pressing “X” on the right-hand corner.

TIP #3. USING PRE-MADE TEMPLATES

OneNote is designed to have a blank canvas for each new note to give users a whole lot of flexibility. However, you can find this approach to be too basic sometimes. So, why not add some style, structure, and colour to the app?

Thankfully, there are tons of pre-made templates to choose from. You can download a template with decorative backgrounds, to-do lists, planners, and more.

Note that you can use the templates only on new OneNote files. The ones that already contain text won’t work since most designs require content to appear in a specific place on the page.

If you need to add a template to your existing note, simply create a new one, then copy the existing text over.

TIP #4. SCANNING DOCUMENTS FROM YOUR SMARTPHONE

Do you need to take notes from a scanned document? That’s not an issue for OneNote. You can use the Microsoft Lens: PDF Scanner App (available for Android and iOS) to take high-quality scans of multiple documents using your phone and upload them to OneNote.

BECOME THE MASTER OF NOTE-TAKING

Digital note-taking tools have helped thousands of workers and managers become more productive. OneNote is one such software that seems to have it all – abundant features, flexibility, and ease of use.

Whether you’re a business owner who wants to boost your team’s performance or a project manager that needs better tracking of the project timeline, OneNote has something in store for everyone.

If you’d like to learn more about how this powerful tool can help you make your business better, feel free to book a 15 minute, no obligation call with us at www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

 

Article used with permission from The Technology Press.

By now I’m sure you’ve heard about phishing. It’s one of the biggest concerns when it comes to cybercrime as it targets your business’s weakest link – your staff. With phishing, cybercriminals send emails to your business pretending to be someone they are not, like your bank or a vendor. Their hope is that one of your employees will click a link and accidentally give them access to all your data.

Do you think that anyone on your team would fall for a phishing email? Well, our new video shows you an easy way to check. Watch it here:

If you’re interested in help protecting your business, book a 15 minute, no obligation call with us at www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.

Have you considered moving your business data and applications over to a cloud-based solution? The thought can be a little overwhelming since is can sound very complex.

The reality is, there is a lot that can go wrong – increased downtime, data loss, things not working as they should – but when done correctly, the benefits are countless. You will see big cost savings, increased security, and better scalability, just to name a few. And of course, access to extra features is a plus.

If you’re wondering if a cloud-based solution may be the right fit for you, download our FREE guide here: YOUR ESSENTIAL CLOUD MIGRATION STRATEGY CHECKLIST
If you’re interested in finding out more about cloud migration, book a 15 minute, no obligation call with us at www.durham-it.ca/book-a-call/.