Making Your Mobile Devices Safe From Cyberattacks: The 9 Best Practices

The reality is, mobile devices are less safe than desktop computers. Boosting security on such devices is essential if you use them in business. 

Technological breakthroughs have streamlined your operations in several ways. Primarily, you can now use mobile devices to make your communication and data sharing more convenient.

But this technological advancement also means that information on your team members’ mobile devices is no longer limited to just phone numbers and contacts. They now contain much more significant data, such as emails, passwords, and other account details. 

That’s why keeping those mobile devices secure is key to shielding your reputation and minimising the risk of losing money. 

Unfortunately, the protection of tablets and smartphones against cyberattacks isn’t as robust as that of desktops and laptops. Anti-malware applications may be present, but they’re not as powerful as their computer counterparts. In addition, many devices don’t support certain measures and applications that companies develop to enhance business security. 

Fortunately, you can still implement robust safety measures to protect your smartphones and tablets. 

This article will cover the nine best practices in improving cybersecurity on mobile devices.

The Nine Practices

Practice #1 – Establish a Sound Security Policy

Before issuing tablets or smartphones to your teams, create an effective usage policy. Define rules about acceptable use and determine the penalties for violating them. 

Your employees must be aware of the security risks and measures that can help them reduce the risks. They should know that they are the first line of defense against cybercrime. 

Furthermore, be sure to develop a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy if you permit your team to use a personal device for business. Your company policy can include the following: 

  • Requirements for the installation and remote software wiping on any personal device that stores or accesses company data
  • Employee training and education on safeguarding company information when using wireless networks on their mobile devices
  • Data protection methods that include automatic locking or other security measures applicable after long inactivity periods
  • Protocols for lost and stolen devices 
  • The use of security software and antivirus platforms 
  • Backup requirements 

Practice #2 – Ensure the Operating System Is Up To Date

Updating Android and iOS operating systems improve overall user experience, but their most significant role is in addressing security vulnerabilities. 

Therefore, install updates as soon as the developer rolls them out to reduce exposure to cybersecurity threats. Delaying it may give criminals enough time to attack your weaknesses and take advantage of outdated operating systems.

Practice #3 – Enable Password Protection

A complex password or PIN can help prevent cybercriminals from accessing mobile devices. Besides using alphanumeric combinations, you can also use facial or fingerprint recognition, depending on what suits your employees. 

If you opt for digits and letters, don’t share the combination with people outside your company. On top of that, be sure that your staff doesn’t store them on their phones. Unmarked folders and physical wallets are a much safer option.

Practice #4 – Install Business Programs Only

Lenient download policies can allow your team members to install non-business apps. Downloading such apps might seem harmless, but they are also infamous for their harmful advertising codes and many other threats. 

To mitigate this risk, tell your employees they can only download and use apps necessary for their roles. 

Practice #5 – Avoid Public Wi-Fi Connections

Your team may need to use public Wi-Fi networks in emergencies to send crucial emails or schedule a meeting. However, connecting to such networks can expose confidential company information to cybercriminals using the same network. 

The easiest way to minimise this risk is to provide a high-quality internet plan that features roaming services for your remote workers. 

But if there’s no way to avoid public Wi-Fi connections, a reputable virtual private network (VPN) or secure global network (SGN) may do the trick. It can help shield your data by creating direct, secure links from your location to the intended website. 

Practice #6 – Leverage Phone Tracking

Losing company-issued mobile devices is unfortunate, but it’s not the end of the world. 

Enabling Android Phone Tracker, Find My Phone on iOS, or other device-tracking software can help locate your lost smartphones. Some programs also enable you to remove data on your stolen devices remotely. 

Installing these apps takes a couple of minutes and gives you much-needed peace of mind. With it, even if your staff loses their mobile device, cybercriminals are less likely to get their hands on the content. 

Practice #7 – Incorporate MDM (Mobile Device Management Software)

For even more security, you may want to integrate with reliable MDM. It’s an excellent way to separate personal and business information while allowing your team members to set up robust security measures on their devices. 

In most cases, cloud-based software is the most affordable, flexible, and manageable type of MDM. Many platforms let you check out device information, update and manage apps, configure your devices, create usage restrictions, and remove content remotely. 

If possible, implement MDM software that enforces security measures across all devices. As previously mentioned, this can include data encryption, strong passwords, and setting up containers to separate personal information from enterprise data.

Practice #8 – Screen Messages Carefully

Cybercriminals frequently employ SMS phishing to trick your team into clicking dangerous links. They pose as someone credible, asking your staff to share confidential information. 

If your employees encounter such messages, they should delete them or alert the IT department. Another great idea is to avoid opening the SMS and block the sender. 

Practice #9 – Blocking and Whitelisting

Many threats can compromise your company due to employee errors. For example, a team member may not realize they’re downloading a malicious app that allows thieves to steal data from their mobile devices. 

Blocking and whitelisting can enable you to protect your employees from these risks by determining which sites and apps are safe. 

On one hand, blocking certain applications can give your IT department peace of mind and alert them when someone tries to access those applications.

On the other hand, whitelists can work great for highlighting the tools your team should prioritize over social media and games.

Don’t Drop Your Guard

Securing your desktop computers and laptops only is a disaster waiting to happen. 

Your employees may still use their mobile devices to send emails and share sensitive information. That’s why shielding them from cybercriminals should be your top priority. 

So, develop a strict usage policy and follow other recommended practices to make your team’s smartphones and tablets virtually impervious to data theft. 

Get in touch with us today for even more cybersecurity tips. We can schedule a non-salesy chat to help you identify and address any potential security risks.


Featured Image Credit

This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

13 Strategies To Make Your Cybersecurity Failproof

Skilled hackers can easily access your system and steal precious business information. Upgrading your cybersecurity can help address this problem.

Taking your cybersecurity seriously is a must. Otherwise, you leave the door open for criminals to compromise your business’s privacy and cause legal troubles. 

Now, you might think that cybercriminals only target large companies due to more resources. But that’s not the case. 

Whether you’re a small or medium-sized organization, you have a large amount of sensitive data that hackers can utilize. If it ends up in the wrong hands, your reputation can be in shambles, and you may lose access to invaluable information.

The good news is that every business leader can prevent this scenario. And the best way to do so is to take cybersecurity measures to the next level. 

This article will share the 13 most effective strategies for making your cybersecurity disaster-proof. 


The 13 Strategies

Strategy #1 – Upgrade Cloud Security

Data cloud storage is cost-effective and convenient, but that doesn’t mean you should use just any platform. 

Look for the most secure ones that prioritize safety features. Some of your best options include Icedrive, pCloud, and Sync.com.

Strategy #2 – Secure Each Part of Your Network

Mobile devices, computers, and laptops connected to your network can be ideal entry points for hackers. Safeguarding these devices with decisive authentication measures is a great way to prevent cyberattacks. 

You can benefit from having strong Wi-Fi and device passwords. They limit access and help ensure only your team members can enter your system. 

Here are a few guidelines for creating strong yet convenient passwords: 

  • Don’t go overboard while mixing letters, symbols, numbers, and upper-case characters. Instead, come up with something simpler, but it should still have a minimum of eight characters. 
  • Choose something you can easily memorize. 
  • Never leave your password hints publicly available. 
  • Reset your passwords whenever you forget them. In addition, change them once a year to keep things fresh.

Strategy #3 – Use Anti-Fraud Services for Card Payments

Seek advice from banks or your payment processor on selecting trustworthy, validated, and anti-fraud services. Besides protecting your information, they can also shield the data of your clients to help preserve your reputation. 

Strategy #4 – Incorporate Additional Security Measures 

Regardless of the number of your security measures, you can always consider adding more. 

Antivirus protection is a must and is the most common tool to combat cyberattacks. It can block malware from compromising your devices and data. Look for programs from reliable providers and only use one antivirus app per device. 

Investing in firewall protection is another great idea if you want to safeguard your business against hackers. They can screen out viruses and other harmful activities on the internet and determine the traffic that can enter your devices. 

That said, Mac OS X and Windows devices have their own firewalls, named Mac Firewall and Windows Firewall, respectively. But besides your computer, you may also want to set up a firewall on your router to minimize security threats. 

Finally, don’t forget about using virtual private networks (VPNs). They can stop web browsers, software, and people from accessing your connection, keeping the data you send and receive anonymous.

Strategy #5 – Don’t Ignore Upgrades and Updates

After receiving notifications that your technological tools need an update, you might consider ignoring it. However, this can be a huge mistake since outdated systems are more susceptible to hacking. 

To prevent this, regularly upgrade and update your devices and software. It can bolster their defenses against cyberattacks. 

Strategy #6 – Develop Sound Protocols With Your Customers and Suppliers 

Securing your communication and data sharing with suppliers and new clients is also paramount. If possible, only use direct contact channels via trustworthy personnel. Moreover, insist on codewords to denote changes in payments, terms, and other key details. 

To further lower the risk of data theft through suppliers and clients, vet each person before granting them access to your system.

Strategy #7 – Back Up Your Data

Ransomware attacks are a common form of hacking. It involves cybercriminals holding your business hostage by restricting your access to your data until they receive a ransom. 

To eliminate this concern, store your company information on multiple platforms and networks. Backing up your data can prevent your organization from crumbling due to inaccessibility.

Strategy #8 – Only Use Approved Devices and Connections

Remote work is becoming more popular than ever. Although it’s helped enterprises lower costs, it’s also increased security risks. In particular, your employees might be using their own devices or networks that aren’t secure. These are ideal gateways for thieves to steal your information. 

You can address this problem by rolling out your company mobile devices and allowing your team members to only work from them. 

Strategy #9 – Buy Similar Domains

Purchasing similar domains is an effective way to boost your cybersecurity. It can lower the risk of receiving emails with malicious attachments from spoofed addresses and links to spoofed websites. 

Strategy #10 – Train Your Team

A huge number of cyberattacks take place because of employee ignorance. Some employees often click on suspicious emails and fall for phishing schemes or share their passwords without any second thoughts. 

Hence, minimizing human error is a must. 

Set up phishing campaigns and simulations so you can prepare your team for potential security breaches.

Strategy #11 – Restrict Employee Access

Not all cyberattacks originate from outside your company – they can also come from within. 

To reduce the damage someone from your enterprise can inflict with hacking, restrict employee access to only some sections of your system. 

Strategy #12 – Foster a Culture of Security in Your Workplace

Cyber security should be the number one priority in all your departments and not just your IT provider. With everyone working together to shield their workplace from attacks, you’re much more likely to preserve your data. 

Strategy #13 – Regularly Check for Vulnerabilities

You don’t want to be idle after implementing all these defense mechanisms. Instead, conduct regular audits to identify weaknesses of your business’s cybersecurity. Doing so can help ensure that you patch up your vulnerabilities and upgrade your security system.

Keep Hackers at Bay

Enhancing your cybersecurity is a multifaceted procedure. It encompasses all parts of your system and numerous activities, such as incorporating software and backing up your data. 

This makes the process highly complex. 

If you need help in ensuring your cybersecurity is as effective as possible, contact us for a quick 10-15-minute, obligation-free chat. Let’s talk about how we can help you improve your cybersecurity and keep threats at bay. 


Featured Image Credit


This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

How To Choose Your VPN To Boost Protection Against Cyberattacks

Public networks expose your business to security threats. Switching to a VPN can greatly help in reducing those threats.

Many companies rely on public networks for communication and data sharing. It allows them to cut costs and allocate their funds elsewhere. 

However, it also raises several security issues. 

For starters, the network provider might be monitoring the activity, which gives them access to customer details, emails, and critical files. As a result, sensitive information can end up in the wrong hands, compromising the organization’s reputation. 

Another potential consequence is losing access to bank accounts, credit cards, and invaluable resources. These issues can lead to huge losses for any business.

Your business might be facing the same risk whenever a team member connects to a public network. 

To eliminate it, you need to switch to a virtual private network (VPN) or secure global network (SGN). Both offer online anonymity and privacy, enabling you to conduct your operations away from prying eyes. 

Still, you can’t go for just any VPN or SGN. This article features the 10 factors to consider when choosing the right one.

The 10 Factors

Factor #1 – Location

The location of your VPN or SGN servers is essential for a few reasons. 

For example, the greater the distance between your server and your business, the higher the chances of facing latency issues. That’s why to ensure a seamless surfing experience, stick to the nearest server available. 

Furthermore, you can also consider a VPN or SGN from the same place as the content your team needs to access to overcome geographic restrictions. If your work requires research from the UK, for example, find servers from that country. 

Factor #2 – Price

Using free VPNs or SGNs might be tempting, but they deliver a lackluster experience. To start with, they can log you out of internet activities and are often chock-full of disruptive ads. 

You’re much better off investing in a paid platform. They come with various robust features, a larger number of servers, and configurations to bolster your security. 

Factor #3 – Device Compatibility

Another detail you should consider is the compatibility of your VPN or SGN. 

In most cases, you need software that can work with several devices, such as your smartphone, laptop, and tablet. Otherwise, cross-platform work will suffer. 

Factor #4 – Capacity

Before choosing your VPN or SGN, make sure to determine the amount of data you can use. That means if your operations warrant tons of online resources, you should pick a solution that supports considerable data allocation. 

Moreover, check the number of online servers. The higher the number, the more efficiently your platform can support resource-intensive tasks. 

Factor #5 – Protocol Support 

Protocols are rules that stipulate connections between the client (software on your device) and the server. 

There are different protocols, but the most widely used ones include PPTP, OpenVPN, IPSec, SSL, SSH, and SSTP. Each offers varying speeds and levels of security, both of which are vital to your company. 

For instance, OpenVPN is an open-source protocol and one of the safest options for enterprises. It runs on 256-bit encryption keys and advanced ciphers, offering robust protection against cyberattacks. Plus, it features excellent firewall compatibility.

Factor #6 – Data Logging Policies

VPNs and SGNs log user data to streamline customer support and limit available connections. However, you need to consider what information they’re logging. 

In most cases, this includes session times and IP addresses. But some providers can also log your software, downloaded files, and web pages you visit. 

When looking for a suitable VPN or SGN, be sure to read the data logging policy to determine the information the app will store. You should also verify the company is transparent; if someone tries to deceive you, turn down their offer.

Factor #7 – Availability of a Kill Switch

No cybersecurity measure is fail proof – VPNs and SGNs are no exception. Overloaded platforms can trigger IP leaks, interrupting your private connection and exposing your true address when online. 

To avoid this scenario, look for platforms with a built-in kill switch. It disrupts your devices’ access to the internet in case of IP leaks. The kill switch stops transfers of unencrypted information and can help prevent cybercriminals from obtaining your data. 

Factor #8 – Updates

Your VPN or SGN provider needs to roll out regular updates to ensure you can perform your operations safely and efficiently. 

If they don’t openly specify the update frequency on their webpage, find out when the last update was on your app store. It should give you a clue on how frequently the updates get sent out.

Factor #9 – Centralized Management

Centralized management enables you to control VPN or SGN distribution more easily, allowing you to manage access permissions and user accounts. Some of the best apps even feature gateway or role-based access management. It permits users to access only those segments of the network they need to perform their jobs. 

Another important consideration here is control from your console. IT administrators should have permission to open and delete accounts as well as check the devices linked to the platform. 

Lastly, your organization might benefit from VPNs or SGNs with IP whitelisting. They allow administrators to approve the IP addresses of your enterprise to ensure only members with a verified IP can use corporate resources. This feature provides granular control over network accessibility. 

Factor #10 – Customer Support

Customer support might be the most significant factor. Your provider should be easy to contact through different portals, such as telephone, live chat, and email. 

Easy accessibility lets you inform the VPN or SGN developer about various issues. For instance, they can help restore your network if it goes down and prevents unwanted exposure. 

Most client support teams are highly accessible, but make sure to verify this by reading customer reviews. 

Safeguard Against Cyberattacks With a Bulletproof VPN

The digital world is rife with challenges, especially if your business uses public networks. Loss of data can happen at any time, which can give your competitors the upper hand and tarnish your reputation.

That’s why switching to a VPN or SGN is one of the wisest investments you can make. 

To make the most of your service, find an app with dependable security features, customer support, and suitable configurations for your operations. 

You’ll also want to patch up any other cybersecurity vulnerabilities. And we can help you make that happen. 

If you’d like a quick, non-salesy chat to discuss your cybersecurity and find out where you might have any potential risks, contact us today.


Featured Image Credit

This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

How Microsoft 365 Defender Can Shield Your Company From Phishing Scams

Phishing can lose you a lot of money and expose sensitive information. Microsoft 365 Defender can dramatically mitigate this risk with several features. 

Phishing attacks are a severe threat to your business. These fraudulent actions can cause your team members to accidentally share financial, customer, and account information with cybercriminals. 

How does this happen?

The issue is that the attackers seem credible since they’re impersonating trusted sources and high-level executives. As a result, your team members may not even have second thoughts about distributing sensitive personnel or corporate data. 

Despite the attempts to raise user awareness of this fraud, phishing emails are still widespread. 

They’re the starting point of most hacking activities and can make organizations lose millions of dollars. In addition, the victim may face legal action, diminished reputation, reduced customer confidence, and business disruption. 

That’s why protecting your business from phishing attacks is paramount. 

Numerous safety mechanisms are available, but Microsoft 365 Defender might be your best option. It comes with various security layers to safeguard against successful phishing attempts.

This article will list the seven key features of Microsoft 365 Defender that can help protect your business from phishing.

The Seven Key Features

Feature #1 – Phishing Email Protection

The most dangerous type of phishing scam involves emails whose sender seems to be an actual entity. The attacker often uses cunning tactics, like referring to the victim by their name or nickname. Sometimes, they can even use real accounts and use them to trick businesses. 

Using machine learning, Microsoft Defender 365 lists the contacts you regularly communicate with. Then, it uses advanced tools to differentiate suspicious from acceptable behavior. The result is more accurate detection of phishing emails. 

Feature #2 – Malware Defense

Different types of malware can spread through phishing emails. 

For example, ransomware locks your files and systems until the attacker receives a ransom. 

Spyware can be even more dangerous. It steals your information by copying clipboards, taking screenshots, or recording keystrokes. 

Microsoft Defender 365 addresses such malware with robust safety mechanisms, namely: 

  • Layered malware defense – The platform comes with multiple malware scan engines to help diagnose potential threats. They provide a robust heuristic inspection to shield your system even in the earliest stages of an outbreak. This type of protection is superior to using just one anti-malware program. 
  • Real-time response – During outbreaks, the platform provides your team with instant access to devices, allowing you to investigate and contain threats in real-time. It also enables your team to collect data and proactively tackle malware. 
  • Rapid definition deployment – The Microsoft 365 Defender team maintains a close relationship with anti-malware engine developers. Consequently, users of the platform receive malware definitions on time. Plus, the company checks for definition updates every hour to help protect you against the latest malware. 
  • Common attachments filter – Some file types aren’t meant for emails, such as executable documents. With that in mind, the common attachment filter lets you automatically block them without any scanning. Some of the file types it can remove include .ace, .exe, .app, .ani, and .scr.

Feature #3 – Spam Block

Another common culprit for phishing campaigns is spam emails. Blocking them is an excellent way to shield your organization from attacks. 

Defender boasts powerful anti-spam technology to address spam emails by examining the source of the message and the contents. If the email comes from untrustworthy sources or contains suspicious information, it automatically goes to your spam folder. 

On top of that, this feature examines your team members’ activity to help make sure they don’t send spam emails to other users. 

Feature #4 – Safe Links

Phishing emails don’t only contain attachments. They can also include URLs to lead your team members to a fraudulent website. 

These web pages often look legitimate, but they generally require the victim to provide some information. Furthermore, they can lead to websites that install or download malware on your computers. 

Safe Links shield your system from malware transmissions using URL detonation. It scans email links and checks for suspicious behavior. 

Microsoft Defender 365 warns you not to visit links that open malicious websites. Otherwise, you can open your destination URLs normally. It’ll also rescan the service sometime later and look for any security problems. 

Another great thing about this feature is that it scans email links from all personnel within your organization. Moreover, it works great on documents uploaded to SharePoint and Microsoft Teams. 

Feature #5 – Sandbox Isolation

Some users, especially if they’re reckless, commonly open malicious email attachments without second thoughts. They can expose company data to prying eyes as a result, which can ruin your reputation and give your competitors the edge. 

Defender can reduce this risk by opening all email attachments in a sandbox. It serves as isolation, meaning that malicious files can only affect the sandbox rather than your system. 

Once the program isolates malware, it’ll warn you not to open it. But if the attachment is safe, you’ll be able to use it normally.

Feature #6 – Enhanced Filtering

Enhanced Filtering is perfect for enterprises that route emails to on-premises environments with third-party services before sending them to Microsoft 365. 

The platform comes with inbound connectors that verify whether your email sources are trustworthy. The higher the complexity of the routing scenario, the higher the chances are that email connectors don’t reflect their real source. 

What’s more, this feature preserves the authentication signals that may have disappeared while routing emails. It enhances the filtering capabilities of Microsoft 365, allowing it to detect phishing and spam emails more effectively. 

Feature #7 – User Submissions

Microsoft Defender lets you set specific mailboxes where you can send any threatening emails. 

This feature allows you to determine the criteria for safe and malicious email while identifying the mailboxes that will store these messages. Thus, your administrators have more control over flagging emails and reporting them to Microsoft. 

Microsoft 365 Defender Is a Sure-Fire Solution

Phishing attacks can spell disaster for your company. To neutralize the threat, integrate your office’s computers with Microsoft 365 Defender. 

This platform can keep your system intact with dependable security measures. It can also detect malicious activity on time, enabling you to address it before it spreads and compromises your privacy. 

Using Microsoft 365 Defender is just one part of your cybersecurity. If you’d like a non-salesy chat to help determine other potential risks in your network, reach out to us today.


Featured Image Credit

This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

The 8 Key Mistakes That Can Cripple Your Business Continuity Plan

The only way to continue your operations in case of setbacks is to enforce a well-thought-out business continuity plan. However, you’ll need to avoid several mistakes when developing your strategy.

Your operations may seem efficient and failproof, but the reality is that obstacles can happen at any time. Whether you’ve lost a major client or can’t achieve good team dynamics, it’s essential to keep going. 

That’s where your business continuity plan (BCP) comes into play. 

Your BCP outlines how your company will continue its operations during unplanned service disruptions. It’s more detailed than disaster recovery plans and features contingencies for processes, human resources, assets, and partners. It can also include checklists for equipment and supplies, data backups, and information on emergency responders. 

The contents may vary, but a BCP can help you overcome various issues and re-establish productivity to meet critical needs. However, the only way to reap the benefits of your BCP is to avoid making mistakes in the development stage. 

This article will outline the eight biggest mistakes you need to avoid when creating your business continuity plan.

The Eight Mistakes

Mistake #1 – Disregarding Your Employees

Organizations who want to get back on track after an unexpected incident should focus on the needs of their employees when devising a BCP. Otherwise, they may be running serious safety risks. 

So, plan for every situation that can affect your employees during disruptions. The list includes emergency communication protocols, evacuation routes, and many other key details. In doing so, you’ll ensure your team has all they need to weather the storm. 

Moreover, discuss the plan with your staff and elicit their input in critical safety matters. You can also tell them you’ll be there for support if a crisis takes place. This gives them peace of mind, knowing their leader cares about them. 

Mistake #2 – Not Considering Small Details

After creating a general BCP, many enterprises fail to think about specific details that ensure they can execute their plan. This is a huge mistake, as it can result in loss of data. 

The minor points you should incorporate into your BCP include logistical considerations, such as technology and medical aid support. 

For example, informing your medical providers about the plan is crucial because it enables them to make their arrangements on time. You should also tell your key personnel who to contact if they need medical assistance during accidents. Another great idea is to determine how your team can access data securely if they can’t make it to their office. 

Taking the smallest details into account can protect your data and even save your staff’s lives. Therefore, don’t leave the development to chance – go through the BCP regularly to make sure it’s effective and up to date. 

Mistake #3 – Failure To Show Your Staff How the Plan Works

While many leaders brood on downtime, they often fail to demonstrate to their team members how to execute the plan and minimize productivity decrease. 

As previously indicated, your employees are integral to the efficacy of your BCP. And the only way to perform their roles correctly is to become well-versed in the plan. 

To ensure this, explain how the staff should respond during crises. Tell them how to handle their clients if your systems go down. Don’t forget about the location and schedules that will be effective while the main office is off-limits. 

The final part is to have your team practice these tasks so they can complete them more easily when disasters strike. 

Mistake #4 – Prioritising Operational Continuity Over Team Safety

When accidents occur, it’s understandable why business owners focus on assessing the effects on their business. Nevertheless, considering operational continuity only and neglecting your staff’s safety well-being can have dire consequences. 

Your people are crucial to executing your BCP appropriately, so check on them first. Data plans that nobody can facilitate are useless, regardless of their effectiveness. 

You have to make sure your staff is safe and reachable after a crisis. The crisis management task force should be able to contact them easily and see if they can help them. 

This will help guarantee your team can bounce back after an accident and go back to work quickly.

Mistake #5 – Having Improper Tech Solutions

Waiting for natural disasters to strike before establishing toll-free hotlines for your employees is a huge mistake. Likewise, failure to set up data backups might render your systems useless in case of data breaches. 

If you have no proper technology to mitigate accidents, you could be exposing your business to higher risks, revenue loss, and prolonged downtime. 

To avert this, consult technology specialists or your IT sector to verify your system has all features and components that can keep your networks intact. Such a system should allow you to streamline communications, minimize downtime, and secure your workloads

Mistake #6 – Only One Person Manages the Plan

Developing a BCP all by yourself is possible, but it’s also more prone to error. A much better approach is to gather people across all your departments to account for all contingencies. Otherwise, you’ll restrict your team’s insight into all the processes and risks under your plan. 

Forming a BCP management team that involves multiple functions and departments offers a company-wide perspective to your planning. This diversity can help resolve problems and streamline your strategy.

Mistake #7 – Using Broad Generalizations

Continuity plans with broad generalizations often lead to uncertainty and confusion. A BCP needs to be concise and, if possible, explain each detail in short steps. Such forms enable anyone to understand the directions and visualize their roles. 

Mistake #8 – Skipping Risk Assessment

Risk assessments are a critical step that must take place before developing your BCP. As the name suggests, they can you help discover the potential risks in your area. 

Depending on the size of your organization, location, and activities, your company faces different risks. For example, there’s no need to plan for disaster recovery after a hurricane if your region isn’t prone to them. It would only increase your costs and waste time. 

Don’t Let Your Operations Grind to a Halt

A detailed BCP goes a long way in improving your response to disasters. Avoiding the above-mentioned mistakes will put you on the right track and help your staff cope with new conditions more easily. 

If you need help in creating your BCP, give us a call today. Let’s have an obligation-free chat to determine how we can help you.  


Featured Image Credit

This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

The University That Was Hit by a Cybersecurity Attack (and the 6 Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities You Need to Ensure Your Business Doesn’t Have)

Cybercriminals can take advantage of various vulnerabilities in your company. Patching them up is crucial to protecting your reputation.

Taking your cybersecurity seriously is essential regardless of your organization. Otherwise, criminals can easily halt your operations. 

Take the University of Sunderland as an example. 

At first, it seemed like they had a standard IT issue that they would quickly resolve. But they soon realized that they were a victim of a cyberattack. 

As a result, the university had to cancel all its online classes. Its employees also had trouble accessing emails. Their telephone lines and website also went down.

It was a significant setback, as the university couldn’t resume its activities. 

This proves that even academic institutions have vulnerabilities in their cybersecurity systems, leaving them open to attacks. 

Your business might have similar vulnerabilities. 

But the main difference is instead of just disruptions to your operations, such attacks and loss of access to emails can cost you thousands of dollars and entail legal ramifications. 

Therefore, you need to check for weaknesses in your solutions regularly. And this article will share what you should look out for. 

The Six Vulnerabilities

Vulnerability #1 – Lack of Endpoint Defenses

Many enterprises fail to set up endpoint defense mechanisms such as antivirus tools. This means their organization is more susceptible to cyberattacks, allowing targets to easily access their servers. 

Another problem is inadequate endpoint defenses. Several factors can turn them into vulnerabilities, including the use of signature-based antivirus platforms. They’re no longer efficient since many tech-savvy criminals can quickly bypass them. 

Additionally, many programs don’t monitor unexpected or unusual behavior. They may also be unable to investigate or respond to endpoints, especially on larger scales. 

The best way to address these issues is to invest in cutting-edge endpoint defense tools that involve next-generation antivirus, response, and behavioral analysis capabilities. They provide a comprehensive evaluation of malicious actions and flexible prevention options.

If you’re operating a traditional antivirus platform, consider upgrading it to a version with in-depth behavioral inspections. You could also use detailed compromise indicators, forensic details, and real-time response functionality. 

Vulnerability #2 – Poor Account Privilege Control

Limiting the access privileges of your software users is the tenet of controlling vulnerabilities. The less information they can access, the less harm they can do if they have a compromised account. 

The problem comes if your company doesn’t control your user account access, enabling practically any user to have administrator-level privileges. It gets even worse if your configuration allows unprivileged members to set up admin-level accounts. 

Therefore, you should grant access only to those team members who can’t carry out their duties without the access. 

You also need to ensure new accounts don’t have administrator-level access. This helps prevent less-privileged users from creating additional privileged accounts.

Vulnerability #3 – Compromised or Weak Credentials

Your password and username may be the most widely used access credential. And cybercriminals can easily compromise them, exposing your user credentials. 

This usually happens when an unsuspecting team member falls victim to phishing and enters their login information on a fake website. And with compromised credentials, an intruder gains insider access. 

Even though analyzing and monitoring can help identify malicious activity, these credentials can bypass security and impede detection. The consequences vary, depending on the access they provide. 

For example, privileged credentials offer administrative access to systems and devices, posing a higher risk than consumer accounts. 

Keep in mind that humans aren’t the only ones who own credentials. 

Security tools, network devices, and servers generally have passwords to enable communication and integration between devices. Intruders can utilize them to activate movements throughout your enterprise both horizontally and vertically – their access is almost unlimited. 

To avoid this scenario, you should implement stringent password controls. Another great idea is to include longer and complex passwords, as well as frequent changes. Combining these principles is another effective method to prevent compromised credentials. 

Vulnerability #4 – Lack of Network Segmentation

Cybercriminals can target inadequate network monitoring and segmentation to obtain full access to your system. This is a huge vulnerability as it enables attackers to maintain their access longer. 

One of the leading causes of this weakness is the failure to develop subnet monitoring or outbound activity control. 

Overcoming this obstacle in a large company can be challenging if hundreds of systems send outbound traffic and communicate with each other. Nevertheless, solving the problem is a must. 

To do that, you should primarily focus on controlling your network access in systems within your subnets and building robust detection strategies for lateral movements. Plus, make sure to pinpoint strange DNS lookups, behavioral traffic trends, and system-to-system communication. 

Also, microsegmentation, firewalls, and proxies can help create restrictive policies for system communications and traffic. 

Vulnerability #5 – Misconfiguration

Misconfiguration refers to errors in your system configuration. For instance, enabled setup pages and default usernames or passwords can result in breaches. 

If you don’t disable setup or application server configuration, hackers can recognize hidden vulnerabilities, giving them extra information. It’s because misconfigured apps and devices are an easy gateway for cybercriminals to exploit. 

To prevent this, establish systems and procedures to tighten the configuration process and employ automation whenever possible. Monitoring device and application settings and comparing them to the best practices also reveal potential threats across the network.

Vulnerability #6 – Ransomware

Ransomware is cyber extortion that prevents users from accessing their data until the attacker receives a ransom. They instruct the victim to pay a certain fee to obtain their decryption key. The costs can reach thousands of dollars, but many criminals also opt for Bitcoin payments. 

Making sure your system is ready to address a ransomware issue is integral to protecting your data. To do that, keep your system up to date with the latest security standards as it reduces the number of vulnerabilities. Another recommended defense mechanism is to stick to trusted software providers only. 

Neutralize Threats for Peace of Mind

Successfully running a company with poor cybersecurity measures is virtually impossible. The risk of losing precious data and reputation is just too high. 

To ensure your organization isn’t a sitting duck for cyberattackers, you must implement reliable defense strategies. 

If your IT provider can’t take appropriate precautions, know that you’re taking a gamble. You might be paying them a tremendous amount of money for security tactics that aren’t fruitful to your business. 

To figure out the problem with your IT, reach out to us for a quick, obligation-free chat. We’ll see if we can help you boost their performance and set up an impregnable system for your business. 


Featured Image Credit

This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

Creating an IT Compliance Policy – The 7 Things You Need to Consider

Conducting business operations in the digital world is prone to security risks. Mitigating them would be impossible if you don’t have an IT compliance policy.

Setting up a robust IT compliance policy in your business is more important now than ever. And it’s because most organizations now depend on digitized services. 

Online companies rely on e-commerce websites to do business by taking orders and receiving payments. Even brick-and-mortar organizations utilize software to perform various activities, such as order management and back-office accounting. 

In such tech-driven environments, a lack of proper security measures jeopardizes the business leader’s position. Their IT systems get abused, and their technology often becomes a source of scandals. 

The only way to avoid this possibility is to create a strong IT compliance policy. 

This article will cover key considerations when developing your system of IT compliance.

What You Need to Consider for IT Compliance Policies

Factor #1 – People, Processes, and How They Align to Tech

IT compliance isn’t just about technology – it also involves people and processes. And the reality is that many organizations focus heavily on their tech, resulting in failed audits due to their failure to consider the other two aspects. This makes the compliance world more complex. 

Taking the correct approach can help ensure your enterprise abides by the necessary standards.

Factor #2 – Relevant Laws and Regulations

Laws and regulations stipulate the policies that govern IT compliance requirements. Here are the most common ones: 

  • The Sarbanes-Oxley Act – regulating financial reporting
  • The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act – governing non-public personal information and financial data
  • The Health Insurance and Accountability ACT – regulating health information that healthcare organizations process

Ultimately, you can’t start your compliance process without understanding the laws and regulations applicable to your organization.

You should also ascertain the controls that apply to these laws and regulations. They are process-oriented and technical means to adhere to your policies. 

There are various industry and government standards that specify them, including: 

  • Control Objectives for Information and Related IT 
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology 
  • Payment Card Industry Data 

These can have a massive bearing on your sector. Therefore, make sure to familiarize yourself with all relevant controls. 

Factor #3 – Raising Employee Awareness of the Importance of the Policy

One of the biggest threats to your data security is having untrained employees. Their actions can have a huge impact on cybersecurity. For instance, improper software upload, sharing, download, and storing can jeopardize critical information.

The reality is, many employees opt for insecure data transfer methods due to their convenience. Some of the tools they use are personal emails, consumer-grade collaboration apps, and instant messaging. All of these are ideal targets for cybercriminals. 

To prevent your business from becoming a victim, your users must learn and understand where various threats originate from. They should especially understand the actions that can give rise to vulnerabilities. 

Making file sharing a top priority and investing in proper education demonstrates the significance of IT compliance. Your efforts can help team members willing to adopt the best practices in this field. 

When developing your training plan, make sure to include several key topics: 

  • How insecure file transfer methods expose your company to risks 
  • Avoiding phishing scams
  • Precautions to exercise before using or downloading unsanctioned applications
  • The conditions for using and creating strong passwords

Factor #4 – How Your IT Policy Aligns With the Company’s Security Policies

Aligning IT compliance with your business operations involves understanding the culture of your organization. For example, your environment can revolve around either processes or ad-hoc ways of doing things. 

Enterprises aligning with the former are best off issuing in-depth policies to ensure compliance. 

By contrast, companies that match the latter require detective and preventive controls. They need to address specific risks associated with your policy. It helps various auditors understand why you’ve deployed a particular control or decided to face certain risks. 

Factor #5 – Understanding of the IT Environment

IT environments directly affect your IT policy compliance design. That said, there are two main kinds of environments: 

  • Homogeneous environments – These consist of standardized vendors, configurations, and models. They’re largely consistent with your IT deployment. 
  • Heterogeneous environments – The other type uses a wide range of security and compliance applications, versions, and technologies. 

Generally, compliance costs are lower in homogeneous environments. Fewer vendors and technology add-ons provide less complexity and fewer policies. As a result, the price of security and compliance per system isn’t as high as with heterogeneous solutions.

Regardless of your environment, your policy needs to appropriately tackle new technologies, including virtualization and cloud computing. 

Factor #6 – Establishment of Accountability

IT policy compliance doesn’t function without accountability. It entails defining organizational responsibilities and roles that determine the assets individuals need to protect. It also establishes who has the power to make crucial decisions. 

Accountability begins from the top and encompasses executives. And the best way to guarantee involvement is to cast IT policy compliance programs in terms of risks instead of technology. 

As for your IT providers, they have two pivotal roles: 

  • Data/system owners – The owner is part of your management team that’s responsible for data usage and care. Plus, they’re accountable for protecting and managing information. 
  • Data/system custodians – Custodial roles can entail several duties, such as system administration, security analysis, legal counseling, and internal auditing. 

These responsibilities are essential for IT policy compliance. For example, auditors need to carefully verify compliance activity execution. Otherwise, there’s no way to ensure the implementation is going according to plan. 

Factor #7 – Automation of the Compliance Process

Your IT continually evolves and grows. Internal auditors can only review a small number of user accounts and system configurations. 

Automation is the only way to ensure you can evaluate enough systems regularly. 

Breeze Through Your Business’s IT Compliance

Setting up well-designed IT compliance may be a long process, but it can make a world of difference in terms of business security. It keeps your business reputation intact and allows you to avoid penalties and fines. 

However, you’ll need to pay special attention to several aspects. And one of the most significant ones is your IT provider. 

If your IT isn’t living up to its potential, you’re bound to face compliance issues. This can cause tremendous stress and halt your operations. 

Luckily, there might be an easy way out of your predicament. Schedule a quick chat with us to discuss your IT problems and find out how to get more out of your provider. 


Featured Image Credit

This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

How Kohler Uses Office 365 to Create a Culture of Agility (And the 8 Underused Tools That Will Make Your Business More Productive)

There are numerous suites of apps that can improve your productivity. One of them is Office 365, which features an array of underappreciated tools.

Office 365 has helped millions of organizations streamline their operations. One of the most famous examples involves Kohler, the manufacturer of kitchen and bath fixtures and plumbing. 

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, they struggled to manage operations since most of their team had to work remotely. The company had to adjust its activities to stay true to its values. 

That’s where Office 365 came into play. 

It helped them deliver personalized training in a short period. Their employees gained access to curated podcasts, Q&A sessions, microlearning videos, and renowned experts. All of which helped them become more comfortable with their new suite of apps. 

Over time, the platform also enabled them to overcome the limitations of cultures, languages, and time zones with different tools. 

For instance, they used Teams to mobilize professionals who shared insights into worldwide markets. Likewise, SharePoint facilitated the movement of over 400 terabytes of directories, expediting customer communication and support. The enterprise also enhanced its security and device deployment, creating a seamless culture of agility and productivity. 

It’s worth mentioning that Office 365 isn’t just suitable for large companies like Kohler. Any business leader can leverage this productivity suite to increase productivity. The reality is that many of these tools are underused and underappreciated. 

This article will highlight some of the top Office 365 tools you should consider implementing in your business. 

The Tools

Tool – #1 Flow 

Microsoft Flow enables you to automate your workflow across various applications. You can connect it to instant message and email alerts, synchronize files from different apps or copy them from one platform to another. 

For example, if you fill out a SharePoint form, you can use Flow to develop a lead in Dynamics 365. 

Best of all, the tool isn’t limited to Microsoft Services. It lets you extract data from Facebook or upload files to Dropbox. The result is higher productivity through improved connections. 

Tool #2 – Teams

Teams is a meeting, sharing, and chatting hub for your team. This cloud-based platform combines notes, files, conferences, and several apps in real-time. 

The program has dramatically improved collaboration and productivity, bringing people, content, and conversations together into a single hub. It integrates effortlessly with Office 365 apps and features a secure global cloud. 

Another tremendous benefit is real-time communication. It lets all members watch edits in PowerPoint presentations, ensuring input from the entire team. Users can also provide feedback using the chat window to streamline productivity. 

In addition, Teams supports cross-platform cooperation, allowing you to work on your phone, tablet, or computer. 

Tool #3 – To-Do

Microsoft To-Do is a smart task management platform that facilitates planning throughout your day. Not to mention it delivers a personalized and intuitive way to help users stay organized. 

It comes with a robust algorithm that lets you create lists for nearly anything, such as your home projects, work, and grocery shopping. 

Keeping track of reminders is effortless with To-Do. You can add reminders, notes, and due dates while personalizing them with vivid themes. Aside from viewing them on the web, these lists are also accessible on most devices, including Android phones, iPhones, and Windows 10 devices. 

Tool #4 – MyAnalytics 

Although teams spend much of their time in meetings, talking on the phone, and sending emails, they still may not be very productive. To overcome this obstacle, Office 365 introduced MyAnalytics. 

This tool increases employee efficiency by analyzing two productivity factors: who users spend their time with and how they spend it. 

Using robust analytics, the tool suggests how you can be more productive by working less after-hours and reducing idle meeting time. There’s also AI that flags your Outlook commitments to remind you of your daily duties. 

MyAnalytics consists of four components: 

  • Digests – Your Outlook inbox stores weekly digests to highlight the previous week. 
  • Dashboard – The dashboard displays various statistics like productivity insights, work habits, and suggestions on improving them. 
  • Insights Outlook – This feature presents cards that show your work experience and allow you to respond in many ways. 
  • Inline Suggestions – These suggestions are available in your Outlook to help boost productivity.

Also, Microsoft considered your privacy when designing this tool. That’s why you’re the only one who can access your personal insights and data.

Tool #5 – Viva

Microsoft Viva is an employee experience platform that helps to improve learning, wellbeing, and collaboration in the workplace. The tool consists of four modules: Viva Topics, Viva Connections, Viva Insights, and Viva Learning. 

Viva Topics gathers and organizes content and knowledge around any topic in a business using  Microsoft Graph and AI. 

Viva Connections works as a SharePoint app within Teams, allowing you to share curated news and articles with your employers.

Viva Insights provides insight into employees’ work patterns that can cause stress and burnout, such as meeting overload and regular after-hours work. The app enables managers to help their teams find a balance between wellbeing and productivity.

Viva Learning is a learning hub in Teams that makes it easy for you to share learning content and training resources across your business.

Tool #6 – Delve

This is a nifty visualization tool that incorporates social media elements and social learning. It utilizes content from four platforms: Exchange, SharePoint, Yammer, and OneDrive, 

However, it doesn’t aggregate your data points only. Instead, it detects relevant information like user activity and past interactions. 

Tool #7 – Sway

Sway is a presentation app that might someday replace PowerPoint. It boasts an integrated design engine to produce appealing presentations and reports. 

Some of the features include dragging and dropping images, charts, videos, and canvas-based formats. The program can also produce newsletters and stories that can be viewed on various devices.

Tool #8 – Planner

Microsoft Planner is an excellent choice for companies with team members all over the globe and multiple simultaneous projects. The tool can rapidly digitize your task management processes. 

It gives users access to visual organization tools and four key functions: information hub, insights, communication, and flexible categorizations. Also, it enables team members to share files, create plans, assign and assemble tasks, and converse with co-workers while receiving progress updates. 

Reinvigorate Your Business’s Work Environment

Taking your operations to new heights is all about creating an agile and productive workplace. And Office 365 can help you achieve this with a wide range of communication and collaboration tools. 

Whether your team works remotely or in-office, this suite of apps can dramatically improve project management. And Kohler’s example is proof of this.

That said, a subpar IT provider can impede your integration with Office 365. 

If you feel your vendor isn’t delivering the necessary results, give us a call. We can schedule a quick chat and come up with the perfect solution to your business’s IT difficulties to save you from a lot of stress. 


Featured Image Credit

This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

Immersive Experiences Can Scale Your Business – The 5 Ways Virtual Reality Can Save Your Business Time and Money

Scaling your business doesn’t just entail having suitable systems, staff, or partners. It also includes finding new and innovative ways to save time and money. And that’s where Virtual Reality (VR) technology comes in.

What is virtual reality, or VR? 

VR is the technology that immerses you in a simulated digital environment. Wearing headsets and glasses, you enter the digital simulation and have a real-world experience. 

When you think of VR, you might imagine a dark room full of gamers trying to outdo each other in their quest to rebel against alien empires. The truth is that the use of VR technology is currently experiencing an increase in growth not just in the gaming industry. 

Several industry sectors have begun to realise that VR is an up-and-coming enterprise technology. 

You can use VR to build a real-world to showcase products and turn ads into an engaging experience. And you can even use it to find and solve architecture and interior design issues.

Now, you may be thinking, “As a business owner, why should I care about virtual reality?”

The answer is simple: 

Times are changing.

Whether you like it or not, it’s best to keep up to date with the evolving technologies, VR included. Moreover, if appropriately used, VR can take your business to the next level.

This article will share five ways that VR can save your business time and money.

The Five Ways VR Can Save You Time and Money

Way #1 – Create and Test Your Own Product Prototypes

If you’ve experienced developing your own product, you are fully aware by now of the time and costs required. From trail runs to reliability checks, you need to invest thousands of dollars and hours of your time. 

With the help of VR technology, you can save time by prototyping and testing your product using an experimental model. Model creation in VR allows you to analyse your product in great detail at the preproduction and testing stages.

A significant advantage of virtual prototypes is that you can fix any problems in real-time. That means you won’t have to spend time and money to build a physical model.

Also, virtual prototyping allows you to see your product in various environments. Not to mention under different lighting and at different angles. Armed with that knowledge, you can make crucial decisions on colours or materials, among others.

Way #2. Showcase Your Products Worldwide

Imagine you are a manufacturer of tractors.

You’ve built a new line and want to show your fantastic new product at foreign expos abroad. Traditionally, you would need to pay exorbitant fees to transport your tractors so that you can exhibit them in those expos.

But why would you do that when you can use VR to create a realistic 3D model of the tractor at a fraction of the price? 

The virtual 3D model will enable potential customers to see what the tractor looks like from all angles. They will also be able to see how it works in real-time. 

Way #3. Use VR to Train and Educate Your Team

Suppose you’re thinking about training your team in soft skills. In that case, VR training could be a great alternative to using traditional screens and projectors. 

Generally, using VR to train your employees can be done for much less than the cost of using conventional training methods. 

Moreover, immersive VR training delivers intensive, more impactful learning experiences. VR training also removes the risk of unpleasant real-world consequences such as fallouts with team members.

Lastly, employees in VR training can be trained up to four times faster than e-learning and in-classroom trainees. 

Way #4. Collaborate On a Global Scale

Let’s say you’d like to involve a bunch of specialists from around the world to help you develop a product.

While it would be fantastic to have them all brainstorm in one room, that would be an expensive plan. When you tally up the price of flight tickets, accommodation, taxis, and food, you’re looking at thousands and thousands of dollars to make it happen.

But thanks to VR technology, teams from different parts of the world can easily meet without breaking the back. All that’s needed is to buy VR headsets and join a collaboration network. In seconds, everyone can connect, collaborate, and share insights from the comfort of their workspace. 

And since you are all working in the same environment and on the same model, the sharing of feedback happens in real-time and more effectively.

Way #5. Reduce Travel Expenses

Travel expenses can suck up a large part of company budgets. Fortunately, you can create virtual 3D models to show your product to potential customers. All without traveling to another state or country.

For example, a real estate agent might want to save time going from house to house with potential buyers. In that case, VR technology will enable the buyers to see what a property looks like in a virtual 3D setting. There’s no need for them (or the agent) to visit the property each time. 

Similarly, anyone who needs to meet high-touch clients knows that being on the road is a huge time-waster. VR can replace your face-to-face interactions, saving you the trip there and back. 

One of the best parts of VR communication is that your clients can stay up to date with what’s happening in a particular project. And that’s regardless of where they are located

VR to the rescue

VR technology is one of the most innovative ways to save your business time and money.

Initially, it may take time and resources for you to start using the technology. But in the long-term, VR will help you enhance and expand your business in new and exciting ways.

You can use VR in the initial stages of product design to avoid expensive mistakes or as a way to quickly and effectively train your team. VR is also a much cheaper option for you to showcase products aboard or collaborate with international colleagues. 

Investing in VR is something that can greatly benefit any business.

Are you considering applying VR in your company? 

Reach out to us for a quick 15-minute chat. Our tech experts will do their best to help you figure out how you can leverage VR technology in your business practices.


Featured Image Credit

This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.

Organizing Your Office Desktop to Improve Productivity – The 7 Tips

Increasing productivity in your business doesn’t just entail optimizing your equipment and sharpening your attention. Decluttering your computer desktop is also essential.

A clutter-free office is paramount to improving your productivity. Piles of stationery on your desk can cause you to waste a lot of time searching for a critical document. As a result, you’re less likely to meet deadlines. 

Clutter can affect you in various indirect ways, too. 

It can dramatically reduce your cognitive abilities, impairing your decision-making and relationships with your team members. In addition, it can have an adverse effect on your anxiety, focus, sleep, and eating choices. All of these can reduce your workplace performance. 

However, this clutter problem doesn’t just affect your desk or office. 

Your computer desktop can also be cluttered. Disorganized folders and a lackluster display impact your productivity as much as physical clutter. To avoid this scenario, you need to declutter your computer as well.

This article will share seven tips on decluttering your computer desktop.

The Seven Tips

Tip #1 – Develop a Folder System With File Naming Conventions

The most important thing you should do to prevent clutter on your computer is set up an intuitive folder system. You can use several categories, such as file type or name, depending on what suits your research or work best. 

Regardless of your approach, be sure to choose well-established naming conventions that let you quickly navigate through your documents. The system should also be easy to use for many years to come, so consider your plans when creating it. 

You can place these folders in your file share tools (e.g., Google Drive and Dropbox), hard drive, or desktop if you back them up regularly. 

With a fully functional structure, you can bypass your desktop by simply downloading new documents to designated folders. Afterward, you can rapidly locate them with the search command on your computer. Type in the name of your folder, and you’ll reach the desired file within seconds.

Tip #2 – Make Your Desktop Attractive to You

Besides making your computer desktop fully functional, you should also enhance its appeal. So, select a meaningful or beautiful background. It needs to be enjoyable to look at, motivating you to keep your computer tidy. 

To take the aesthetics to the next level, set gridded or lined images as the background to organize files that end up there more easily. 

Another great idea is to use a motivational background. Images with powerful messages encourage you to work harder and remain focused. This type of coaching also enables you to organize your desktop and stay on top of clutter.

Tip #3 – Consider Sectioned Desktop Wallpaper

Sectioned desktop wallpapers are a great way to enhance your desktop organization further. For instance, you can include a section for your vacation or pets. 

There are millions of wallpapers online that can help you declutter your desktop. They complement folder naming conventions to improve your workflow. 

Tip #4 – Consolidate Your Most Used Apps/Software

Having quick access to your most used programs or software is a must. It allows you to start working immediately without wasting time searching for apps. 

To consolidate efficiently, you should first determine which software matters most to you. Your portfolio may comprise two or three apps you use daily or an entire suite of programs that provide the necessary functionality. 

Once you’ve assembled your list, you may be able to merge multiple programs with a comprehensive solution. It puts them in one place to streamline your productivity. 

The taskbar is an effective alternative, as program icons are often responsible for the bulk of your clutter. Keeping the essential icons in the taskbar makes them quickly accessible since you won’t need to browse. 

Tip #5 – Delete or Relocate Unused Files

After categorizing vital apps, you also need to address unused programs. Here’s a tip: if you can’t recall when you last used certain software, uninstall it. Do the same if you don’t think you’ll need a particular application for an upcoming project. 

Since this may be a hard decision, you may want to create a folder for these rarely used apps and files instead. Tuck them away until you figure out if you wish to proceed with the deletion. 

For this wait-and-see approach, you can make use of several folders, such as “miscellaneous” or “to be archived.” In doing so, you won’t accidentally uninstall or remove a crucial program. 

Now, if you take this approach, make sure to check the folders regularly. Determine which files and apps are no longer needed in your business and delete them to avoid clutter. 

To avoid falling behind with your cleaning, set a reminder on your calendar. It can be a monthly or weekly event, depending on your workload.

Tip #6 – Categorize New Content

Dumping new files and programs onto your desktop may be tempting if you’re in a hurry. However, this method is ill-advised because it inhibits your organization. 

Try to allocate a few minutes to organize all new apps and files appropriately, according to your naming conventions. A quick way to do so is to use automatic file sorting by date or alphabetically. It doesn’t take long, yet it can significantly reduce clutter on your computer. 

Tip #7 – Employ Fences

Digital fences group files in specific regions of your desktop to make them more visually accessible. This method works much better than burying all your files in one or two folders. Plus, many people consider it more user-friendly than gridded backgrounds. 

For example, the Stacks feature automatically categorizes content by type or any other specific feature. It’s available for free on Macs with Mojave. 

Likewise, PCs have a similar feature called Fences. It enables you to designate and move fences around the desktop for improved maneuverability. The only downside to this is that it’s not free.

Don’t Let Clutter Get Out of Hand

Decluttering your computer desktop is one of the best ways to advance your productivity. 

Once you’ve organized it appropriately, you’ll be able to find the necessary files and programs effortlessly. You’ll then feel rejuvenated, and your mood may improve dramatically, allowing you to overcome mental obstacles during your workday. 

It might take some time to optimize your desktop, but it’ll be well worth it. 

You can also assign this job to your IT provider. However, they may not understand your needs and that of your business correctly, and their services might be insufficient. 

In that case, let’s have a 10-15-minute chat and see if we can resolve your problem. Give us a call and we’ll do all we can to help you increase office productivity in your business.


Featured Image Credit

This Article has been Republished with Permission from The Technology Press.