Australian Information Commissioner Angelene Falk on Monday 13th May said 1132 companies reported local breaches in the year to March 31 – compared to just 159 voluntary notifications in the previous 12 months.
It’s been a little over a year since new commonwealth laws forced medium to large organisations to reveal when personal data was improperly accessed.
Some 16.5 million people were affected in the 1132 breaches. In one breach alone in 2019, data on more than 10 million people was exposed.
That’s the reason we would want to discuss
6 Simple ways to protect your privacy on the internet:
1. The Basics:
If in doubt, throw it out: Some malware and phishing scams are getting more and more sophisticated over time. So if you have any doubts about the email specially if they relate to social media, financial services, utility or federal police, Please delete those messages.
Stay Updated: Always keep your computer’s operating system, browser and security software up to date.
2. Privacy settings
Updating privacy settings on websites and services is a must. We should be very particular on Social Media and search site such as Facebook, Instagram, Google, Yahoo.
There is generally an option in the settings menu option so it’s fairly easy and a must do.
We tend to share a lot on social media in today’s world but we should ideally share this information only with people we know. I know this is hard to do but we must make sure that a person with malicious intent has as less information about us as possible which would make it difficult for them to target us.
3. Blocking Cookies:
Blocking third party cookies on your browser is another good way to maintain anonymity while online. Blocking cookies will make sure that websites have a hard time tracking your browser history or user names. We understand it might be less convenient in some cases but its worth it.
4. Stronger Passwords:
We can’t stress enough on this point and feel this is the most critical out of all. We all know the importance of a strong password linked to our accounts but still we tend to get predictable or lazy with our choice of passwords. As every website these days requiring password, we need to make sure that we don’t use the same password over and over again on different websites.
We need to make sure that we choose our passwords wisely.
5. Secure wireless connection:
Always use a secure wireless connection and stop using public wifi networks. Public wifis are one of the primary reasons that a lot of our information gets compromised cause we never know how secure the network is.
6. Better Browsing:
You should delete cookies regularly (in Chrome, for example, go to the Chrome menu and then click Clear Browsing Data.) You should also log out of social media websites like Facebook, and even your Google account when not using them (and don’t keep them open in tabs on your browser).
Office 365 has so many different features that at times it’s hard to keep track.
In fact, with so many to choose from, you are bound to miss some key pieces.
No worries though, as we’ve compiled the best unique features here, so you can get the most out of your Office 365 license.
In fact, you just may find that the software and tools you are purchasing elsewhere can be found right in Office 365.
We’ve taken a closer look at some hidden gems for you, here they are in no particular order.
Microsoft Power BI
Analytics seems to be the latest buzz word and for good reason. From sports to business and everything in between, the ability to analyze large segments of data has been a game changer. The ability to do so in real time without having to outsource it to a third party allows you to own the game.
With Microsoft Power BI, the intelligence you gather could make a huge difference on your bottom line. The drag and drop functionality allows you to be able to go from raw data to actual visual insights and views within minutes.
You can share internally with your team or externally with other key individuals. When a decision needs to be made, you’ll have the data and information you need to make the most informed decision.
Example of the power of Microsoft Flow
What if you had someone that told you immediately when a specific person emailed you? Or what if you could instantly add someone and thank them when they mentioned you on twitter? That would be a huge time saver. If only someone created that…wait, they did.
Microsoft Flow allows you to connect the apps that you like to use, and allow them to “flow” and trigger other apps so that you can save more time. You can even monitor and manage flows directly from your phone. It’s the personal assistant you’ve always wanted that helps you do more and work less.
Project management software and tools can get costly, but they are a necessity. Whether you oversee a project or portfolio, take advantage of Microsoft Project as it is already a part of the Office 365 package.
Select one of the many customizable templates to get started, use features you are already familiar with like Gantt charts and easily pull up customizable timelines to see where you are for each area of your project.
Reporting is done in real time, so whether it’s a team member or stakeholder that needs an update, you can rest assured that you’ll always have up to date information to share.
Are you finding it harder and harder to get on the same page with your team? There’s only so much that emails, text messages and phone calls can do. After a while, you will have to meet, to ensure that you are all moving in the right direction. Enter Microsoft Teams.
You can collaborate on files with apps already built in to Office 365 like Word and Excel, and ensure you are on the same page with functions such as group chat, online conferencing, calling capabilities and setting up online meetings. Regardless of whether you host a team of just a few people, several hundred or even thousands, Microsoft Teams will help bring your group a higher level of efficiency.
If you have staff to manage, whether internally, externally or even overseas, there’s a lot that can affect the relationship between manager and employee. With StaffHub, not only can you keep up with schedules and changes, but you can also foster a sense of community.
Schedules and tasks can be managed within StaffHub, while individual users can have their own space to learn from each other, share their experiences and ideas and can have conversations beyond normal email. You can also post training material and resources so your staff will never feel unequipped.
Ever needed to create a diagram or flowchart and found standalone products and software too challenging? Now with Microsoft Visio, you can create and visually share diagrams, charts and flowcharts. From floor plans to organizational charts, you’ll find the templates you need under the familiar Microsoft umbrella.
One of the key features of Microsoft Visio is the ability to work on diagrams and charts with others at the same time. No longer will you need to go back and make edits and changes and start all over again, now multiple team members can add, delete and edit as needed to get the most comprehensive document for your team.
Imagine if you could just access the documents you needed from someone else’s drive, like a budget sheet or template? The normal course of action would be to request it and wait on the reply email (with or without) the document. Now, with Office Delve, you can get access to the documents from those in your network.
Easily click on someone in your network under “people,” then access the documents that you have been granted permission to see. That’s it. Collaboration gets taken to another level with Delve and you’ll get to choose which documents you wish to share and those you wish to keep private.
If you need an easy to use, visual platform to organize your team and plan out tasks, then you may want to check out Microsoft Planner. It easily integrates with Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Groups, so that the connection is seamless. Each plan that you create has a board attached to it, with tasks being organized into buckets.
You can then move them based on their status, so you will always know who is assigned what task and where they are in the delivery phase.
Last but not least we come to PowerApps. While the previous features on this list have offered a robust offering of tools to help your business, project or agency run more effectively, you may require something more. Instead of paying a developer to create an app suited to your needs, you can now do it yourself – no coding skills necessary.
PowerApps helps you to build out and use custom apps that access your data and works across your mobile devices and the web. You’ll no longer have to find the right app for your needs – now you can build it yourself.
We hope you found this list useful and informative.
Have Any Questions?
If you’d like to learn more about which plans of Office 365 offers the features we covered on this list, or just want to learn more, then contact us today
We can also help you decide which plan is right for your business, as well as assisting you with deployment and support with the specific applications you require.
The recent partnership between Telstra and Microsoft means more than just calls.
While on the surface it may just look like the ability to make calls between teams, what this really means is a more efficient work environment and better relationships.
The old way of doing things would normally call for you to send an email, perhaps with a video or audio alongside shared data and documents, then wait for a response.
This back and forth can create lost communication, long delays and inefficiency.
Bottom line: Lost time = Lost money.
Before we get any further into that though, let’s take a closer look at how the Telstra Calling for Office 365 works.
How Does This All Work?
Imagine if you could do everything from one place.
Make phone calls, talk to anyone anywhere in the world, hold meetings, access all of your apps and tools in Office 365 – ALL from your computer.
That is exactly what you are getting.
Telstra Calling for Office 365 takes all of what you have come to know and love from their voice calling services, and placed it in the cloud, alongside everything else that you have come to enjoy from Office 365 like document sharing, screen sharing and co-editing.
Except now you’ll be able to converse and talk in real time, just as if you were sitting in the same room.
No longer will you have have to wait to hear back about a specific document and no more things lost in translation.
Instead of having to manage a dedicated PABX or PSTN access network or spending enormous amounts of down time having to set things up and start the evaluation process, now all you need to do is let Telstra and Office 365 take care of it.
What If I Have An Existing Phone Number?
If there is a phone number that you already use within your business, you can easily choose to migrate or port your numbers into Office 365.
Users are also given a phone number that’s associated with their Office 365 client, so you can use that number as well.
You are given complete control over what numbers you decide to use, or not use.
How Can Telstra Calling for Office 365 Save My Business Money?
Telstra Calling services alongside Office 365 tools and apps allow users and collaborators the ability to hold virtual meetings anywhere and at any time.
Savings that can be had are things such as:
Cost for paying employee wages for travel to meeting locations
Costs associated with airfare, train or ground transportation
Fees for additional online webinar services
Costs for voice calling services (both locally and internationally)
Costs incurred from lost down time due to set up and integration of similar services
There is also the savings that can be had when your business runs more effectively and efficiently.
Take this scenario for example.
You are ready to launch a new page on your website, but there are many hands that go into the process from designers, coders, content creators, project managers, marketing specialists, and the list goes on and on.
From mock up to design to launch, different segments will need to be reviewed. As it goes through this process the waiting game ensues and days, weeks or months can go by before any of the real work begins.
Emails, voicemails, and memos get sent as it gets passed from individual to individual. Not to mention things having to go back and get changed, essentially restarting the whole process.
Trying to coordinate schedules to meet all at once can be a hassle, especially when some of your team are working remotely from other countries.
This is where the beauty of Telstra Calling comes into play. With voice calling features along with screen sharing and document sharing tools, all you’ll need to do is find a good day and time to for the entire team to meet, regardless of their location.
Leave the rest to Telstra and Office 365.
But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what Justyn Bridge of Peet Limited had to say:
Our teams use the rich productivity features of Office 365 every day, they’re in the office, or out on the road. They can collaborate with colleagues wherever they are and now make voice calls from right within Office 365. The solution allows them to be more accessible, more productive and the already familiar Skype for Business interface contributes to the simplicity and adoption of Telstra Calling for Office 365. (Bondi, 2018)
What Else Can I Expect From Telstra Calling for Office 365?
There’s another crucial benefit that you’ll find from this partnership – Better relationships.
In most work environments, when the relational component is removed and all that is left is email and electronic-only interactions, it’s easy to get mixed signals, relay the incorrect message and have team members moving in the wrong directions.
This is why text messages and emails can sometimes do more harm than good.
The fix for this has always been to pick up the phone and have an actual conversation, and that’s exactly what you can do.
The nuance that adding voice – right at the point you need it – allows for direct, clear messages to flow and ensure everyone’s on the same page. It builds empathy and grows respect within teams leading to more impactful relationships. (Bondi, 2018)
Meaningful and impactful relationships don’t just happen. You have to be intentional about it, which is what Telstra Calling can do for you and your team.
How Can I Get Started?
If you’d like to learn more about how Telstra Calling and Office 365 can impact your bottom line, then reach out to us, we’d be glad to tell you more about what you can expect.
We can let you know all about costs, key features, benefits and whether or not Telstra Calling and Office 365 will be a good fit for your business.
Bondi, R. (2018, July 11). Telstra Calling for Office 365 amplifies employee effectiveness and enterprise opportunity. Retrieved March 8, 2019, from https://news.microsoft.com/en-au/features/telstra-calling-for-office-365-amplifies-employee-effectiveness-and-enterprise-opportunity/
In 2018 Australia was in the top 5 most breached countries in the world. We had the 7th most amount of exposed records. That’s an unbelievable amount of confidential data hacked. Not only that, but it takes on average 197 days for an organisation to realise they have had their data breached. That’s a lot of time and a lot of damage.
Don’t worry, we got you covered. Here are our 9 best ways to prevent your data from being hacked. So you can stay safe this new year.
1. Keep hackers from tricking your employees
User security awareness is one of the best ways to protect your organisation. Every day, 1 in 2 users will receive an email with malware.
On top of that hackers’ trick employees into giving them access to your data (this is known as Social Engineering). They can send fake emails from CEOs, place infected USBs in places employees can easily grab and MUCH more.
By training your users in data security you can stop them from jeopardizing your data.
Here are a few strategies for educating users. Remember you should be creative and consider what type of employees YOU have.
Send fake phishing links to employees which redirects them to a test on how to avoid phishing/malware links
Have training meetings about data security and how hackers can trick employees into giving away data.
Create videos for employees to watch about IT data security
2. Create a Data Security Policy
To make sure your data stays safe it starts with a policy. Create a policy that ensures the safety of your data safety and embeds it in your culture. It is important not only to create a security policy but also enforce it, whether it be through constant meetings or fines/rewards or systems (they range anywhere from Group Policies to physical security to new systems/solutions)
Remember hold suppliers and vendors to these rules. They have YOUR data and they too must act with care.
These are a few examples you can include in your Data Security Policy:
Constantly change passwords
Minimise use of external hard-drives to carry confidential data – this way people are less likely to lose confidential information and they won’t accidentally use
Report Malware – A system where employees can easily report malicious malware when they come in contact with it.
Make people accountable for the sites they visit – make them sign in to visit untrusted sites
3. Clean out malware before your employees can get to it
There’s always a chance an employee accidentally clicks on malware. That’s why you must block malware websites before your employees can get to them. This can be done through web filtering and firewalls which can block potentially harmful sites. There are third party solutions that can help implement this in your organisation
As a bonus they also allow you to control access to non-work related sites so your employees don’t get distracted.
4. Vulnerability Assessments
Consistent Vulnerability Assessments can help find out areas where your security is flawed. These flaws can be exposed and cause a data breach. It is important to address them ASAP.
This sounds like a lot of technical work. And it is. But this is the basic framework for any vulnerability assessment:
1. Assess your business
This is where you identify the risk and importance of each device on your network. From there locate any software applications and data used anywhere in your business.
2. Identify vulnerabilities
After assessing your business you will easily be able to go back and identify vulnerabilities by considering your devices and software applications against your risk tolerance, risk mitigation practices and the business impact of these devices.
Scan each server that runs your software application and your network to find any vulnerabilities. If these servers and networks may not be protected, they will leave you wide open to cyber attacks and data breaches.
Find all hidden data sources that will allow easy access to secure information.
3. Fix vulnerabilities
From here you should have areas you can work on. First, you must identify whether the service that the device/application provides is useful to your company, if it isn’t get rid of it. You must also consider whether the cost to fix the flaw, is worth the impact it can have on your business untreated.
5. Prevent intruders invading your network
If hackers or other unwanted people enter your network your data will be compromised. There are 2 steps to prevent this:
1. Intrusion Detection: Monitor your network checking for any signs of abnormal activity.
2. Intrusion Prevention: This follows intrusion detection and stops any potentially harmful incidents from occurring.
If you want your data to stay secure this step is a must.
6. Restrict data permissions
The more people that have access to private data, the greater the chance that it can be hacked or leaked. Keep your data safe by giving people access to what they need. That way if there is a breach through an employee’s account, they are only allowed access to a certain amount of files.
7. Consistently patch your systems
Developers regularly provide patches and updates for their applications and computer systems. These patches can often provide your systems with more security. If you decide to not patch your systems, it will leave your data vulnerable.
Be warned patches must be administered thoughtfully. This is known as patch management as patches must be used appropriately for different systems, installed properly, tested and more.
8. Encrypt your data
This one’s simple. Private data should always be encrypted. This means data can only be opened by selected users. This along with restricted data permissions will increase your IT data security tenfold.
9. Back up your data
This won’t prevent your data from being breached, but if your data is hacked it makes recovery easier. For instance, imagine all your data is infected with malware and you get locked out. The only way you can get it back is if you pay money to the hackers. If you have backup you don’t have to fork out a lot of cash to save your data.
Bonus tip: If you are not on the cloud. You need to be. Not only does the cloud provide more safety and security for your data. It is just more convenient. Click here to learn more
To make sure you don’t forget these ideas. We made an infographic with the basics of this article that you can constantly refer to!
These steps take a while and if they are not executed correctly, they will be a huge waste of time and money. If you need assistance in protecting your data security Contact Usand see how we can help with these steps and much, much more!
Thanks for reading!
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360 video lets your customers visit a location without actually being there. How you use it depends on your business, but the sky’s the limit – literally. Realtors and property managers, for instance, can give prospective buyers or renters a view from the kitchen where they can look in all directions and get a feel for the place that they just can’t get from 2-D shots. 360 video cams consist of two back-to-back fish-eye lenses and software that “stitches the seam” between them. Just be sure to position the camera where viewers can see everything all around them. With the right camera and headset, you can now put your customers “on location” – virtually. Wired, 02.24.17
If you have any type of social media presence – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube or others – one of the things you must be on CONSTANT alert for is customer complaints. According to a study conducted by Edison Research, consumers post their complaints on social media in order to solicit a FASTER response than going through the normal channels. That’s because smart companies don’t want an unhappy client’s comments hanging out there for the world to see, unanswered and unaddressed. So IF you are going to have a presence on social media, make sure you or someone on your team is constantly monitoring it for client complaints.
Researchers at Japan’s National Institute of Informatics report that fingerprints can be easily reproduced from photos without using any advanced technology. If the image is clear and well-lit, fraudsters can mimic your fingerprints. Swiping biometric data is nothing new. In 2015 a famous hacker recreated German chancellor Angela Merkel’s iris from a photo to unlock a test. The problem is, once biometric data is resold on the dark web, the risk it will be used against you persists for life. New technologies, such as a scanner that also analyzes underlying tissue and pulse, promise to “go deeper,” making this type of theft more difficult. Until then, however, think twice before flashing that peace sign on your next selfie. Telegraph.co.uk, 01.17.17
If you want your business to show up first when potential customers are searching for you or for the services and product you provide, you MUST claim your business on Google. This free service allows you to enter data about your company, products, services and location that will greatly improve your search-engine ranking. Make sure you enter COMPLETE data and information, including hours of business, your phone and photos of your location. You can even post internal photos of your store or office, but you must hire a Google certified photographer (a simple search with Google will allow you to find one in your area). Remember, Google displays search results based on relevance, so the more specific information you can provide on what you do, the better your chances are of coming up in search-engine rankings. For more information, just search “Google My Business” to get started.
Google is working on a new breed of app. They’re calling them “Instant Apps,” and you may start seeing them soon. The idea is for the app to kick in as part of the UI on a web page. Let’s say you’re shopping for a camera bag… You google it on your Android phone and find one you like. Tap the “Buy” button and it’s in you cart. Android Pay already has your info, so you don’t need to go through the ordeal of pulling out your card, typing everything in and hoping you didn’t get even one digit wrong… Just hit “Add to Cart” and your bag is on its way. TechCrunch.com, 01.23.17
A 23-foot-tall tower, built in Beijing last year, sucks in smog, filters out dangerous particles and purifies surrounding air at the rate of 1 million cubic feet per hour. Carbon particles filtered from the smog are then compressed and turned into jewelry. Air around the tower is now reported to be 55% cleaner. Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde, famous for design and architecture solutions to worldwide waste and pollution problems, came up with the idea after seeing kids in Beijing playing indoors due to the area’s notorious smog. The tower’s low-energy ionization technology is borrowed from indoor air filters. A similar tower in Rotterdam, Netherlands, runs on no more electricity than a water boiler. Mashable.com, 01.23.17