Simple Tips to Transitioning to Working-from-Home

If you’re one of the many office workers who have recently transitioned from working in an office to now working remotely from home, you might be pulling your hair out trying to figure out exactly how to make the environment work best for you. 

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Working from the comfort of your own home has huge pros, and a few cons. The lack of social interaction can be rough, and learning how to navigate meetings and face-to-face discussions via Skype or Zoom can make even the most introverted person wishing to be in the same room as their coworkers. 

One of the ways to reduce that stress though is to make sure that your home office environment is a welcoming place, thoroughly equipped to make your job easier to perform. If you haven’t already, now is the time to consider a dual monitor system. Whether you’re working on spreadsheets, going over a project with coworkers over the phone, or switching between two websites to compare, having two monitors greatly increases productivity. According to a survey performed by Jon Peddie Research, a second monitor increases your average output by 20 to 30 percent. 

Next, let’s talk about docking your laptop. If you’re accustomed to working on a larger monitor, and suddenly only have your laptop, you can consider docking your laptop. This will save on the cost of an entirely new computer, but allow you to use a larger or second monitor, as well as a traditional more ergonomic keyboard and mouse. For short amounts of time, a laptop can be a great machine to work on, but having a docking station is key in making sure your work station is a comfortable place to work. Not all laptop docking stations are made equally, though. If you’d like a thorough breakdown of some of the best options on the market in 2020, check out this review here

Finally, let’s address that persnickety video conference issue. 

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When you set up your video camera and microphone to hold meetings with coworkers or potential clients, take these tips into consideration:

  • Angle the video so that viewers are not looking up at your chin or into your nose. Have a straight-facing camera, or slightly higher than eye level.
  • Even though you’re at home, make sure your area looks professional. That means clear out any clutter from behind you that can be seen.
  • Consider the lighting. Lighting from behind is going to put a shadow on your face, so have your lighting in front or to the side of you. This could be as simple as changing the location of where you sit so that you’re using natural light from a window 
  • Use the mute button. Large conference calls can get noisy. Touch-to-talk can make a meeting much easier to deal with when several people are in attendance. 

If you’re new to working from home, it can be a stretch, but well worth it in the long-run. You may need to remind kids and family members that while you are at home, you do need to focus on work during specific hours. This can greatly decrease interruptions and have you focused and productive throughout your workday.

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4 Cyber Security Apps To Protect Your Business

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Protecting your business encompasses many different tasks and priorities. It would be easy if running a company was plain sailing, with no risk or setbacks on the horizon. Unfortunately, this just isn’t realistic, and so it’s essential to take precautions to protect your company. Commercial insurance is a must-have so that you are covered if a member of the public is injured on your property, or is put at risk due to one of your products.

Property insurance is essential to cover the expenses associated with damages incurred to your building or equipment. Worker’s compensation means that you are protected if your employees fall unwell. Many companies forget about cyber insurance when they are choosing their policies, yet cyber crimes continue to grow. As well as choosing the appropriate Commercial Insurance options, there are several apps you can use to protect your business online.

1 . Perimeter 81 

Perimeter 81 is a VPN platform designed to simplify online security. Using Perimeter 81, you can work remotely while accessing high-level online security protection. With this application, there’s no need for expensive hardware and a lengthy installation process. Perimeter 81 offers professionals full network visibility and the opportunity to identify unusual activity. The software-defined perimeter architecture ensures that users are fully protected when accessing data centers, SaaS apps, and private cloud networks.

2. Flowmon

Flowmon is a security and network monitoring platform that uses IP flow tracking tech to provide users with network visibility. Flowmon detects security threats early and stops such threats before they begin to compromise the network. The application can improve the process of fighting off threats using antiviruses, firewalls, and IDS. One of the best features of Flowmon are the network probes, executed in real-time. This software also provides stats in relation to IP flow and then stores this data for further analysis.

3. TokenEx

TokenEx is a cyber security platform that can help your organization to protect it’s confidential and sensitive data. The application works to lessen the impact of a security breach in a worst-case scenario. External and internal systems commonly use tokens to make transactions. TokenEx functions to ensure that hackers don’t have the chance to break into these systems and steal data. The key benefit of TokenEx is that it provides an end-to-end unified tokenization solution; other features include file transfer, encryption, and various integrations.

4. Netwrix Auditor 

Netwrix Auditor is a governance and visibility platform for IT security operations. It’s been described as an easy to use type of IT management software, making it simple for users to determine risks and threats in their hybrid environments and cloud systems. With Netwrix Auditor, you can track access to data and create reports on any changes deployed by users. Other features of Netwrix include monitoring user behavior, detection of insider threats, blind-spot analysis, and security analytics.
With one of these applications in place, your business can relax about your security, and get on with your critical projects. In our current climate it’s vital to consistently improve your IT systems and security.

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How Poor IT Support Damages Your Business

There are a lot of elements in business that all contribute to the overall success of your company. And when it comes to your IT support, a poor service can be really damaging to your company. Here’s how poor IT support damages your business.

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It Impacts Productivity Levels

When you’ve got a poor response time for IT problems, then productivity levels will drop. They drop because the work that was supposed to be done can’t be done, and then you also have periods where we all naturally get bored and start procrastinating. Our productivity levels can definitely be impacted when we’re finding something difficult, and that can often be to do with slow-running computers or electronic devices that aren’t playing ball. Improving your productivity levels as a business is important, and it’s something that should always be maintained. If they aren’t, then there’s a lot of consequences that can come from it, such as a loss of staff or earnings. Neither of which you really want to happen, right? IT services need to always be on top of their game regardless of the size of the business.

You’re Likely Frustrating Your Staff

Frustrating your staff is something you don’t want to be doing because not allowing them to do their work efficiently, could cause a lot of problems. It’s important that you’re fixing IT problems as soon as they crop up else they’re the ones who won’t be able to get their work done. If they can’t get it done, they either need to spend more time in the office working, or they fail to reach their deadlines because their time was wasted due to under-performing IT equipment. And if the expectation to reach deadlines and complete tasks is pressured on staff, then they’ll likely snap.

It Can Leave You Vulnerable To Cyberattacks

A poor IT support service can leave your business vulnerable to cyberattacks. If something like a virus was accidently downloaded onto a computer and your IT support was very slow to respond, who knows what damage could be done. Within just a few minutes or hours, you could be seeing a huge and negative impact to your business. By leaving yourself vulnerable to cyberattacks, you’re likely to risk more than just your data but your company as a whole.

You Allow Your Business To Fall Behind

With very little support in the way of IT services, you’re allowing your business to fall behind. Not having the support and guidance to further protect your company and provide your business with the right resources, can be impactful to your staff and business. It can be very easy for a company to fall apart if an area of it isn’t working properly, and IT support can definitely be a part of that.

When you’re trying to improve your business, it’s good to make sure your IT support remains at its very best at all times. If it isn’t, then you know what needs to be changed in order for it to improve.

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Four Tech Skills Everyone Should Learn

There’s no escaping it – we live in a digital, technological, computerized, online world. Going “off the grid” may appeal to some, but most of us are fully assimilated into a lifestyle that allows us to order food delivery from a tiny smartphone, hop online to have a meeting via Skype, or read a book on a handheld device. 

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However, when your life is digitized in every way, you become reliant on technology. Not enough people know how basic technology works or how to fix these “smart” items when something goes wrong. Many are able to utilize their technology without any true understanding of it, and that’s a shame. 

We’ve detailed four tech skills that everyone should learn, to better equip themselves in our digital world. 

How the Internet Works

Practically everyone on earth uses the internet, and yet you’d be surprised if you knew how many people have zero clue how it works. 

Having a basic knowledge of the internet, what it is, how it functions and how to do basic troubleshooting is a good rule of thumb for literally everybody. We all use the internet; we should all know the basics. If nothing else so you can reset your own IP address or figure out how to fix an issue with your modem. 

How to Fix your Computer

Now, of course, we’re not talking about major issues here, but it’s a good idea to have a basic working knowledge of how to fix your computer if something small goes wrong. Knowing how to troubleshoot basic software issues, how to clear out the memory a defrag, and even how to replace basic parts (and where to find IT parts, such as on Interbyte), are things you should know if you use a computer often. 

Basic HTML

These days, with sites like wordpress and even apps that do the work for you, nobody really feels the need to use HTML anymore for their blog or website. But you should take the time to learn it. HTML is a valuable language and it’ll serve you well if you know how to write basic tweaks and small bits of code. Those “build your website” platforms are cool, but they’re also slow, clunky and not very intuitive. If you learn HTML, you can whiz through website design in a snap and avoid those overused templates. 

How to Type

Another thing that seems like a no-brainer. But in the day of the smartphone, less and less people are actually learning how to type properly, and instead chicken-peck keys in the rare instances they use a computer. Proper typing has become a bit of a lost art. Failing to type properly, though, slows you down and can hurt your accuracy. 

The ability to type properly (and quickly, not to mention accurately) is an incredibly useful skill and one that will carry you very far in the world of tech. 

These are just four tech skills that the average person should definitely know. If you take the time to learn these, you’ll find the technology as a whole is so much easier for you. You might even open up whole new avenues for yourself in technology.

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How to Succeed in the World of eCommerce

You have a brilliant idea for a new product, so entering the world of eCommerce seems like a natural step. You may have little business experience right now, but you can succeed as long as you’re willing to learn. Whether you’re concerned about the quality of your products or you don’t know how to manage a website, there is a lot to get your head around. If you don’t know how to start selling products, here are a few pointers that will help you get started.

Make Quality a Priority

Even if you know exactly what you want to sell, you need to carry out high quality research. You can’t just hop online, buy a tonne of wholesale products and then sell them on for a higher price. You need to have integrity as a business owner and take pride in the products you’re selling. If you’re looking to import from China to USA, you need to try and minimize your risks too. Getting high quality goods at an affordable price is very doable, but you need to understand what is feasible for you. Once you have done some research on how to import goods, you will be able to decide how the entire process will work for you.

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Always Deliver What Is Being Advertised

If you’re promising a product that is able to do x, y and z, you need to honor this in everything you deliver. You want to build a well trusted brand that your target audience is proud to talk about. Word of mouth means absolutely everything to small businesses so you need to make sure you’re always delivering above and beyond your customers’ expectations.

Make Your Website Easy to Navigate

When you’re running an eCommerce business, your website will make your break your company. If your potential customer doesn’t know exactly what they need to do as soon as they click onto your website, you are going to lose their attention pretty rapidly. Display your products beautifully with high quality images and make sure your item descriptions are grammatically correct and accurate. If you have no idea how to create a website, you can enlist the help of a web designer, who will be able to portray your brand beautifully to the online world.

Analyze Your Competitors Closely

Although you don’t want to focus too much on your competitors it is important to carry out regular research to make sure you’re on the right track with your own business. Having a couple of businesses who do the same thing as you isn’t’ a bad thing; if anything it can help you with inspiration for your own business.

These are the most important things to consider when you are first starting out in the world of business and eCommerce. You should never rush into any quick decisions when you are trying to build a business. Thorough research, proper implementation and well thought through products will bring you long term success rather than quick wins.

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The ABC Of IT Protection

If you have landed on this article then it is likely that you are beginning your search for data racks and you need a bit of help regarding what to look for. First and foremost, it is important to be reminded of the fact that selecting the right server cabinets is something which is highly important because you need to ensure that your equipment is stored in a secure place and that it is in the right environment in order to operate to its optimum level. Luckily for you, finding the best server racks is as easy as A, B, C – literally. When on the lookout the three things that you need to consider are accessibility, brand and cost. These are the most important factors which will guarantee you sever rack shopping success.

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First and foremost, accessibility is highly important and this relates to several different concepts that you need to look out for when shopping for a server rack. First and foremost, it is advisable that you opt for a cabinet which is accessible via the use of a key – in other words, go for a rack with a security lock. After all, servers not only tend to be rather costly, but they are likely to be integral to the operation of your business. Therefore you need to ensure that they are in a safe place whereby only those with a key can access. Furthermore, when considering accessibility you also need to think about things such as whether the cabinet you are considering has a space for cables to be accessed through. Moreover, make sure that the tech cabinet or wall mount rack is in a position which is easy for you to access the server from the front as well as the back.

Once you have considered accessibility, you should then contemplate the brand of the server racks you are contemplating. After all, this is one of the best indications as to whether the product you are opting for is of a high quality or not. Before you buy the product in question you should search around online and read reviews and feedback in order to determine as to whether it has a credible reputation. Moreover, if you are considering buying a data rack which is of the same make as the website itself, then the site should have a section dedicated to testimonials which will make this easier for you.

And finally, you need to contemplate the cost of the server racks you are going to purchase. This is the last factor you need to consider, after all, quality is important first and foremost. Nevertheless, because there are so many different data racks available today, this also means the prices of the products are vast as well. Therefore, budget before you begin to shop in order to ensure you don’t spend over your means. Nonetheless, be careful that you are not blinded by a bargain, as mentioned – quality is the most important thing. Consider your costs as a whole when it comes to IT. Managed IT Services are arguably the most important in today’s tech-heavy environment.

All in all, if you contemplate the points mentioned in this article then finding a server rack will be as easy as A, B, C! 

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5 Things To Consider When Starting A Blog For Your Business

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The internet has opened up a whole new world of marketing possibilities, with one of the most common and successful being, content marketing. Content marketing is a marketing approach focused on the creation and distribution of relevant and valuable content with the goal of attracting and retaining an audience. In terms of businesses, this audience is then nurtured into paying customers, meaning that content marketing can be a relatively inexpensive way for businesses to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise as well as to increase their online presence and boost their bottom line. When starting a content marketing strategy the first thing businesses need to do is decide where they are going to publish their new content, and for most, the answer can be found in the creation of their own business blog. 

Here are a few things to consider if you are thinking of starting your own business blog.

Where will you host it?

Business blogs typically exist as a page on a companies pre-existing website and enable the business to easily link through to their products and services as well as to promote their content through other digital channels such as social media. There are now a number of ways to host a blog and website from google WordPress hosting through to website builders such as Squarespace and each has its own set of pros and cons. In the beginning, just host your blog wherever your website is hosted. 

What will you write about?

For content marketing to work you need to be writing about things that your ideal customer would want to be reading and so deciding what you want to write about is very important. Sit down and think about the pain points of your customers, what would they be searching the internet for? What value can you provide them? With your answers to these questions, begin brainstorming some content title ideas, or if you are still a little stuck then take a sneak peek at what your competitors are doing for some inspiration.

How often should you post?

The key to successful content marketing is to create consistent and valuable content, and this means posting reliably but not for the sake of it. As a general rule once a week is a good place to start when beginning your content marketing, but you may find that this eats up your content ideas quite quickly. Rather than sacrificing the quality of your content, opt for a slightly more spread out publishing rate of perhaps once a fortnight and remember that one of the tricks to content marketing is the repurposing of old content. 

Where should you promote your content?

If your blog posts are SEO optimized then they should appear naturally in Google search results but there’s no harm in also promoting them to your audiences across your social media. When thinking about where to promote your content the question to keep in the back of your mind is ‘do my customers hang out here?’ if the answer is yes, then share away, if it is no, then you may be publishing your content in the wrong place. 

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