The TDSIT Blog

Common Signs of an Email Phishing Scam

Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, Nov 30, 2018 @ 01:50 PM

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No one will argue that email offers many advantages to an organization as it's a fast, efficient and inexpensive form of communication. However, it's important to also realize the vulnerable position that email can put your business in, especially when it comes to cybercrime. 

Email phishing scams are a common way for cyber criminals to gain access to your sensitive data. Email phishing can come in many forms, but these scams are typically sent from a malicious character that is using a counterfeit identity in an attempt to get the recipient to either click on a bad link or share confidential data. 

The real danger that IT managers need to take into account with phishing scams is the human element. No matter how robust your cybersecurity strategy is, your business can be compromised when an unsuspecting employee takes the bait and thereby invites a nefarious character through the front door of your organization. Therefore, it's critical that you take the time to educate your employees about these threats and how to identify them. 

To create the strongest defence against cybercrime for your organization, here are email phishing red flags to include in your cybersecurity policy: 

  1. Inaccurate Names - The biggest telltale sign of a phishing scam is when the email address in the "From" field doesn't correspond exactly to the company in question. For example, maybe the company name includes a hyphen when no hyphen is necessary. This is a classic example of a cybercriminal trying to impersonate a reputable company to try to fool the recipient into sharing sensitive data. 
  1. Urgent Requests - In addition to impersonating an authority figure, phishing emails also typically include some type of urgent request and threaten disciplinary action if not addressed immediately. Your organization should implement a policy to verify these emails over the phone before taking any action. 
  1. Embedded Links - Another common way cybercriminals gain access to data is by embedding malicious links in an email. Instead of clicking on links in an email, a best practice is to have employees type the URL into their own browser. 

Phishing is one of the easiest ways for cybercriminals to steal your data. A cybersecurity policy and employee education can help keep your business safe from a phishing attack. 

 

Tags: TDSIT, Small Medium business

Five Reasons to Hire Millennials

Posted by Tim Stanley on Wed, Nov 21, 2018 @ 01:33 PM

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Millennials (those born between 1985 and 2000) have recently surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest age demographic in the workforce. They are a unique generation, with unique employment expectations.

If you're seeking to hire Millennials you'll need to prepare for what many hiring professionals refer to as the “job hopping” generation. If you're ready to add members of this generation to your workforce, you'll need to adapt your approach to attract talent from this most unique age group.

Why You Should Hire Millennials

Millennials bring a unique set of skills to the office. Here are five reasons you should be hiring them!

  1. They're Naturals at Digital Marketing - Millennials get a bad rap for spending too much time on social media. But the fact is, they use it to communicate more than any other generation. This makes them naturals when it comes to digital marketing. Want to create a buzz online? Task it to a Millennial!
  2. Highly-Educated and Tech Savvy - Millennials are the best-educated generation in history! They're the first generation to grow up surrounded by technology and have a detailed knowledge of all things tech, from website development to implementing cyber security.
  3. Motivated Team Players - Millennials value collaboration, are self-directed, and cherish working on team projects.
  4. Culturally Aware and Involved - Millennials are the most socially and culturally involved generation since the Boomers. If you're company is involved in public service projects, let Millennials represent your company and you'll see!
  5. A New Approach - If you want to grow your business in today's climate, you need to recruit workers who look at problems in a new way. Millennials offer a fresh perspective that fosters innovation.

According to recent studies, Millennials will represent 46% of the workforce by 2020. This is great news if you're ready to embrace this tech-savvy, highly-educated workforce!

 

 

Tags: TDSIT, Small Medium business

Healthy Printers with Managed Print Services

Posted by Tim Stanley on Wed, Oct 31, 2018 @ 02:45 PM

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Today’s office is a digital office, and as such depends on its devices to keep business running. When a printer goes down, projects grind to a halt while you wait for repairs costing you time and money. A Managed Print Services provider can help you understand and manage your print environment to help keep your fleet healthy.

Monitoring Print Volumes

How much do you print each day? Most companies don’t know the true scope of how their printers are used and may be underestimating the burden on these important devices. A Managed Print Services provider carefully tracks your device usage, recording your print volume with a variety of metrics. With this data in hand, you can optimize your print environment to use your printers efficiently.

Consumable Supplies

If you’re ordering print supplies as you need them, you may be wasting money and not even know. Ad-hoc ordering can lead to:

  • Having too many supplies, taking up precious storage space and risking not being able to use supplies before they expire.
  • Supply shortages which jeopardize your workflow.
  • Supply theft, wasting your money.
  • Not understanding your actual print costs.

A Managed Print Services provider, however, can monitor your devices to ship supplies only when you need them. This eliminates shortages and overages, and saves you money.

Repairs and Maintenance

With Managed Print Services you can get preventative maintenance, keeping your printers in top shape. Often problems can be found before the printer needs to be taken offline, so your workflow is not interrupted. Keeping your devices in good shape can help prolong their lifespan and improve your print efficiency.

Even with the best maintenance, sometimes a printer will break down. A Managed Print Services provider can provide expert repair technicians to get you back online quickly. The sooner you can get your printer repaired, the less time and money you will lose.

Every day your printer churns out important documents that keeps your business flowing. Staying on top of your printer fleet with Managed Print Services can help avoid costly breakdowns and make your print environment run smoothly. 

Not sure if Managed Print Services is right for your business? Contact us for a no-obligation print assessment and let's start the discussion!

Print Assessment

 

Tags: TDSIT, Small Medium business, commercial printers, multifunction print devices, managed print services

6 Ways to Boost your Customer Experience (and your Bottom Line)

Posted by Tim Stanley on Mon, Oct 08, 2018 @ 12:31 PM

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When it comes to serving your customers, you can never try too hard. The quality of your customer service is directly linked to your bottom line, with companies who prioritize their customer experience enjoying a 60% higher profit margin. These techniques to personalize your customer service can help take your business to the next level.

  1. Call them by name. When someone recognizes you and uses your name, it makes the experience more positive and memorable. Calling your customers by name shows them that you value them.
  2. Spotlight customers. Having a monthly customer spotlight on your social media or office bulletin board is a public way of acknowledging your appreciation. Customers are what make your business successful – so thank them!
  3. Handwrite notes. Whether it’s a thank you note, a birthday card, or a holiday greeting, take the time to sign it by hand. It only takes a few seconds, but sends a message that you truly value your customers.
  4. Reward feedback. When a customer takes the time to give you feedback, you should listen. Complaints should be dealt with promptly, but also cause you to see if there’s something you can change to prevent the situation in the future. Customer feedback that leads to these changes should be rewarded, perhaps with a gift card or public acknowledgement.
  5. Offer educational experiences. Customers come to your business because they value your expertise. Take the time to share knowledge with your customers by hosting demonstrations and workshops to help give them a better understanding of topics related to your business.
  6. Repay the patronage. Many of your customers own or work for businesses that can benefit your company. By doing business with your customers, you are strengthening the bond between you. Supporting their businesses helps ensure they will continue to support yours as well.

From the moment your customers come into your office or make contact on the phone, they will judge your business on how they are treated. 76% of customers believe the service they receive is a direct reflection of how much they are valued. Excellent customer service helps create loyal customers who will return again and again, even if your prices are higher than the competition. By taking the time to improve your customer service, you’re investing in the long-term health of your company and your bottom line.

 

Tags: TDSIT, Small Medium business, customer service

ConnectKey Apps for Your Office

Posted by Tim Stanley on Thu, Sep 27, 2018 @ 12:20 PM

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Have you ever wished there was an easier way to get things done with your printer, whether in the office or on the go? With Xerox ConnectKey-enabled printers, there is. The powerful apps available for these printers can change the way you work, and are ideal for companies both large and small.

Xerox Scan to Cloud Email

When you scan a document, chances are you need to send it to someone. This can be a tedious process of saving it, then going back to your desk to attach it to an email. Or perhaps you can send it from your printer after a complicated email setup process. The Xerox Scan to Cloud Email app changes this, allowing you to simply email your scanned documents with no email setup, and it’s compatible with pdf, tiff, jpeg, and other formats. 

Xerox Mobile Link

Work doesn’t have to grind to a halt just because you left the office. The Mobile Link app allows you to use your smartphone or tablet to scan, fax, and print wherever you are. With this app you can configure and initiate jobs from the app, so you can keep the work going from anywhere.

Xerox Easy Translator Service

The world is growing smaller every day, so it’s essential for you to be able to communicate with clients and colleagues around the world. With the Xerox Easy Translator Service app you can translate your document into over 40 languages directly from your printer, phone, or computer for truly easy communication. 

Other Apps

Xerox ConnectKey utilizes app technology to help your business thrive and grow. The Xerox App Gallery is an ever-expanding suite of apps to improve function, productivity and organization. From here you can get apps to scan directly to the cloud using DropBox or Google Drive, make your documents searchable, and convert paper files to digital documents. With a ConnectKey-enabled printer, you are getting a future-proofed piece of equipment able to adapt to your changing needs over time.

Apps are everywhere. Never has the statement “there’s an app for that” been more true. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Xerox’s ConnectKey-enabled printers also utilize this technology to bring the power of apps to your print environment. Contact us to learn more.

 

Tags: TDSIT, Small Medium business, office productivity, xerox connectkey, Xerox apps

Distracted at Work? Try These Techniques

Posted by Tim Stanley on Mon, Sep 17, 2018 @ 11:41 AM

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We all get distracted at work sometimes. You've tried everything to stop, but you still find yourself surfing Facebook and not getting your work done. Maybe, you've tried installing extensions to block social media sites or time blocking, and nothing seems to work.

When conventional techniques fail, it's time to check out other options. These five alternative techniques for dealing with distraction might just be the ticket!

Just Let Go

Ever tried really hard to control a situation in the work place and the harder you try, the less it works? A big source of workplace stress is trying to control things that are out of your control! Are you using distractions to avoid dealing with stress? Try and practice just letting it go. It might be exactly what you need to get back on track.

Take Breaks Throughout The Day

When you're distracted it might not feel right to take a break. After all, you've got all that work to do that you've been avoiding. A recent study conducted by Baylor University asked 95 employees who primarily work on computers to track their breaks. Researchers found that whenever they intentionally stepped away from their screens, they reported feeling less empotional exhaustion and increased job satisfaction.

Let Yourself Be Distracted!

Seems counterintuitive, but inspiration sometimes strikes when you are most distracted. Being creative can help you to focus and get excited about what you're doing. If you suspect that a distraction is holding you back, not fighting it can sometimes open your creative floodgates!

Engage in Play

Sometimes starting your day with some mental calisthenics before jumping in can help. Aaron Britt, content brand manager for Herman Miller engages his team with 20-minutes of anagrams to warm up each morning. This type of purposeful play uses the same mental processes that his team uses on the job.

Trying different approaches can often help. These offbeat options just might be what you need to get your focus back.

 

Tags: TDSIT, Small Medium business, office productivity

Six Hacking Terms Every Business Owner Should Know

Posted by Tim Stanley on Fri, Aug 31, 2018 @ 09:10 AM

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It seems like every day we're being told of yet another data breach. As a business owner in today's connected world, it's important to be educated about the risks involved. There are plenty of trade websites, blogs and newsletters where you can learn about today's threats. Like any industry IT professionals have a language they use when discussing these very real issues.

If you're new to IT, or just looking for information, here are six common hacking terms you should know when conversing with your IT security team.

  • Denial Of Service Attack (DoS): DoS attacks are used to lock resources by flooding a network or website with rapid requests that can't be serviced. This effectively shuts down the resource by crashing the network or website.
  • Dictionary Attack: A sophisticated version of the brute force password attack. Hackers try literally thousands, or even millions of randomly generated passwords in order to break through password security.
  • Logic Bomb: A logic bomb is “set off” or triggered by a specific event or sequence of events. Hacked systems are loaded with software that is awaiting a specific event, date, or series of actions to begin the attack. 
  • Malware: Malicious software or malware, is a program that is designed to disrupt a computer or network with malicious intent. 
  • Phishing: This is the most common type of attack. Often sent from a friend's email address which was attacked by a virus that hijacked their address book.
  • Zero-day Attack: A common term, a zero-day attack uses a flaw in an app or OS to gain access or control a system's resources. Zero-day is the day the first attack was identified.

There are new IT threats coming online every day. Regardless of your industry, it's important to stay on top of IT trends, risks and vulnerabilities to reduce your risk of attack.  Want to learn more? Contact us today to learn how to keep your data protected.

 

 

 

Tags: TDSIT, Small Medium business, Managed IT Services, security

Keep Millennials Engaged in the Workplace Using the Latest Technology

Posted by Tim Stanley on Tue, Aug 21, 2018 @ 08:21 AM

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Millennials are defined as people who were born between the early 1980s and late 1990s. These digital natives are not only the largest generation to date, they also represent the highest percentage of the workforce at 35 percent. While they offer a unique perspective, greater diversity, and technological prowess, millennials can also be a challenge to retain—and the cost of replacing an employee can range between one and two times their annual salary.

One of the best ways to retain employees is to keep them engaged, and with the right tools, techniques, and technologies, you can create an environment that is appealing to millennials and adds value to your business. Here are some tips to build an effective strategy to increase engagement, and foster a more connected, efficient workforce. 

Go Mobile

Employees in today's digital work environments can often be seen utilizing multiple devices throughout the course of the work day, and many are given the freedom to use their own devices and choose the applications or processes they prefer. Research on mobile app usage indicates that millennials spend upwards of 90 hours per month on their smartphone apps alone, highlighting their expectations and need for an intuitive user experience, and up-to-the-minute technology. If employees are expected to use outdated systems at work, they may be more likely to seek employment elsewhere. A successful strategy includes cloud-based applications with a mobile component to enhance communication and productivity.  

Encourage Collaboration

Millennials are born collaborators who thrive on teamwork. Technology is one of the easiest ways to facilitate and encourage collaboration in the workplace, and by investing in collaborative tools such as analytical dashboards, interactive portals, and communication platforms, employees remain engaged and satisfied intellectually and socially. With the ability to share insights and knowledge, and gain valuable feedback, your organization can benefit from a more streamlined workflow and increased productivity. 

Gamification 

Not every millennial plays video games, but nearly all are familiar with the mechanics and techniques used in any number of other applications. Using gamification in the workplace can effectively re-engage employees by offering incentives, encouraging exploration, and offering the instant gratification they crave. Gamification can be used as a learning tool to strategize and resolve problems through teamwork, using next-level rewards as a way to combat stagnation. 

Increase employee satisfaction and retention using these, and other strategies for successful engagement. 

Tags: TDSIT, Small Medium business

Improve the Efficiency of Your Finance Department By Digitalizing These 5 Processes

Posted by Tim Stanley on Tue, Jul 31, 2018 @ 10:24 PM

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A finance department that operates efficiently is the key to managing your company's profitability. Despite this, many finance teams are still relying on manual, paper-driven processes that slow productivity and leave room for error. 

When your finance team is using paper-based workflows, an important document such as an invoice can easily become buried under a mound of paperwork. According to a recent study, it can take as long as 14.3 days for an invoice to process if an organization is relying on a paper-based payment system.

If your finance department is still practicing manual data entry, workflows not only take longer to complete but any errors related to the allocation and reconciliation of data can lead to unnecessary bank fees and cash flow problems. 

With today's advancements in technology, your finance department no longer has an excuse to be using manual processes. Digitalizing your finance processes will save your organization time, minimize errors, improve cash flow, and increase productivity. 

Here are 5 processes that your finance team needs to digitalize for maximum efficiency:

  1. Invoice Management - Relying on a manual process to pay invoices increases your risk of errors, missed payments, unnecessary fees, and non-compliance issues. Digitalizing invoice management will allow you to process payments faster and even take advantage of vendor discounts. The up-to-the-minute financial reporting available from a digital accounts payable system will empower your organization to make prudent financial decisions.  
  1. Accounts Receivable - Managing accounts receivable electronically will allow your finance department to process customer payments promptly, which will help to improve cash flow. Digitalizing A/R processes also gives your organization the ability to automatically create and send invoices, helping you to get paid faster. 
  1. Document Management - Eliminate the need for your employees to waste time looking for documents and give them the information that they need at their fingertips by moving to a digital document management system. 
  1. Forms  - Digitalizing forms and making them editable will help your finance department eliminate the need for re-work and move through workflows faster. 
  1. Tax Filing - Once your finance team goes digital, tax season will become a cinch as you can quickly retrieve all of the reporting that you need when it comes time to file. 

Digitalizing your finance processes will save you time, money, and frustration. Contact us to learn more about electronic document management and how going digital will increase the efficiency of your finance team. 

cut print costs

Tags: TDSIT, Small Medium business, Digitization

Vacation Time: Use it to Your Benefit!

Posted by Tim Stanley on Sat, Jul 21, 2018 @ 04:47 PM

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One of the benefits that comes with most jobs is paid time off: vacation time. However, many American workers are forgoing their vacations, citing job responsibilities and other reasons, to the tune of over 200 million vacation days lost in 2017. However, science shows that taking your vacation time is beneficial, in more ways than one.

Physical Benefits

shutterstock_734812891Taking time off from work has a variety of physical benefits to improve your health and mood. Vacations have been shown to:

  • Reduce stress-related pain, such as headaches and backaches, for as much as five weeks after you return from your vacation.
  • Improve your sleep, allowing your body to return to regular, healthy sleep patterns.
  • Lower your risk of a heart attack. Men who skip vacations for five consecutive years raise their risk by 30%.

Vacation time, whether spent on the go or relaxing at home, allows your body to rest and rejuvenate so that you return to work happier and better prepared to do your job.

Work Benefits

In addition to boosting your personal health, taking vacation time has actually been shown to improve your work performance as well. In one study, for every 10 hours of vacation time a worker took, their job performance score went up as much as 8%. Another study showed that workers who were required to take time off worked more productively than those who did not take vacation time.

To operate at peak performance at work, your brain needs an occasional rest. Vacation time can increase your creativity as well, allowing you to approach your job with a new perspective. Those who use their vacation time to see the world often see that benefit with their jobs as well.

shutterstock_377604307The Caveat

Vacations provide a number of benefits, but you not only have to take the time off - you have to actually be off work. As many as 3 in 5 workers still do work while they are on vacation. To avoid this, make sure you arrange for someone to cover for you while you are gone, and avoid checking work-related email and voicemail during your vacation.

American workers are throwing away earned vacation time, and their physical and mental well-being may be suffering for it. Taking time off has a host of benefits, so be sure to schedule your vacation time this year!

 

Tags: TDSIT, Small Medium business