Microsoft Teams vs Zoom

Which one is the best for you?

Meeting anyone? Remember the good ole days when we all used to cram in to a conference room, pass around the muffins, slurp on our takeaway lattes, and talk over the top of each other?

Nowadays, with the new remote way of working, video calls ARE the new “business meeting” and often the new “phone call”.

Top perks of video Technology:

  • Streamlined communications.
  • Video ensures people are more engaged.
  • Faster responses and improved team communication.
  • Ability to connect from remote workspaces.
  • Ability to host large global meetings.
  • Improve collaboration and productivity.
  • Recording of meetings for those unable to attend.
  • Great platform for online events to be conducted.
  • Plus, you can see other peoples body language on a meeting (no more secret eye rolling at the boss Susan!)

What is Microsoft Teams?

Microsoft Teams is a communication platform included in Microsoft 365. Though Teams offers video conferencing capabilities, that’s far from its only use. The platform also includes chat and voice calling functionality and enables teams to share and edit files in real time via a shared virtual workspace. Teams is highly integrated with other products in the Microsoft suite, including Word, PowerPoint and Excel, making it a true collaboration platform.

What is Zoom?

Zoom is a communications platform that encompasses audio and video conferencing, chat functionality, video webinars and more. Zoom offers an entire marketplace of application integrations, including MailChimp, Zendesk, Marketo and even Microsoft Teams for additional extensibility. Though Zoom has been around since 2011, it’s seen stunning growth in 2020, increasing from 10 million daily meeting participants in December 2019 to over 300 million daily meeting participants in April 2020.

Consider your audience?

The first step is to consider who and what you are using video calling for. If the main focus is meetings amongst colleagues at an organisation that already uses Microsoft products—especially Office365—then the obvious choice for video calls is Microsoft Teams. Even if you do use Teams at work, you still might want to use Zoom for meetings with people external to your organisation as Zoom is still more well-known than Teams.

The nuts and the bolts:

But how easy are each to use? Both Teams and Zoom give users the option to join via the browser rather than downloading. This means that you can just send them an invitation, they click on the invitation, and the application will open up automatically. Easy!

User Interface 

New users may find Teams more complicated to use than Zoom since it is part of Microsoft’s much larger universe of productivity, collaboration, and communication tools. There is an initial learning curve because of the many ways Teams integrates with other Office apps. That said, the integrations are intuitive, and their usefulness outweighs the required learning. The Zoom video conference controls are similarly simple and user-friendly.

Microsoft Teams and Zoom share many of the same features. Both providers offer:

  • Screen and app sharing
  • Whiteboards
  • Chat functions
  • Voice calling
  • Customized backgrounds
  • Breakout rooms
  • Meeting recordings

*Teams has recently increased to 300 people

Pricing:

Both Teams and Zoom have free and paid versions. Microsoft offers a number of different pricing tiers for Teams, some of which come with varying degrees of access to other Office365 apps

The main differences between free and paid versions are meeting duration limits, participant capacity, file storage and the Microsoft apps you gain access to with each plan

Free plans:

  • Zoom gives its free users just 40 minutes for group meetings but up to 30 hours for one-to-one sessions.
  • Microsoft teams: Microsoft Team users on the free plan are limited to 60-minute meetings.

Paid plans:

Zoom’s paid plans:

  • Meetings can last up to 30 hours
  • Capacity of 1,000 max participants

Microsoft Teams:

  • Caps meeting duration at 24 hours.
  • 300 max meeting participant allowance.

File storage varies by provider plan; Zoom’s top plan offers unlimited file storage, while Microsoft Team caps storage at 1 TB per organisation and 10 GB per license.

So who is the winner on the day?

As you can see, Microsoft Teams and Zoom are both highly intuitive, very comparable platforms, which can be useful in different situations.

Teams also offers so many other benefits beyond just video conferencing including

  • Teams and Channels 
  • File storage within SharePoint Integration 
  • Audio Conferencing 
  • Security and Privacy 

Every business has its own particular requirements, and we are highly trained at matching your business with the best platforms and technology just for you. Reach out to us here, and we will help you out.

Cyber Insurance – Do you need it?

Cyber Security is a very real threat to businesses in New Zealand these days. Here we look at Cyber Insurance, what it is, what the laws are, and why you need it.

Why do you need Cyber Insurance?

Cyber attacks on businesses in Northland are increasing in both sophistication and frequency.

High profile companies like Air New Zealand partner Travelex, Fisher & Paykel Appliances, Toll Group, Garmin, Canon, Honda, BlueScope Steel, Lion, transport giant Toll Group, Twitter, MetService and most recently even the NZX, are just some of the organisations to have been targeted by cyber criminals.

However it is not just the big companies, many small businesses here in Northland are also being targeted.

It really is a matter of ‘when not if’.

What is Cyber insurance?

Cyber insurance is designed to fill the gap that traditional insurance policies don’t cover, minimising the impact of cyber incidents by providing cover for your own loss and third party costs. It provides your business with a structured crisis response plan and assists with returning to ‘business as usual’.

Won’t my general liability policy cover cyber liability?

General liability insurance covers bodily injuries and property damage resulting from your products, services or operations. Cyber insurance is often excluded from a general liability policy.

It pays to check your current policies and ask questions. You may find that your other business cover won’t respond to a cyber or data breach claim.

The law has changed:

The new Privacy Act 2020 which came into effect on 1 December 2020 means that all businesses now have legal requirements surrounding

The new Act requires mandatory data breach reporting if it’s reasonable to believe that the breach would cause serious harm to an individual. For example: If you’re engaging with a service provider to hold your clients’ personal data, for example a cloud-based CRM system, you remain responsible for the security and use of that personal information. If a Cyber breach were to occur, you would be held liable.

What does Cyber Insurance cover?

Ensuring business continuity and safeguarding your business from Business Interruption will enable you to return to the same financial position you were in before a Cyber event.

  • The benefits of Cyber Insurance will depend on the type of policy you take out but can include:
  • Access to a dedicated and experienced team of experts if an attack occurs
  • Protection from loss where you are legally liable to others
  • Cover for your financial loss if your business is interrupted due to a Cyber event.

Things to look out for in your Cyber Insurance policy:

  • Business Interruption: Look for a policy that covers the costs of any business interruption as you can lose time and money trying to get your business back up and running after a cyber attack.
  • Hacker Theft Cover: A plan that covers compensation for loss incurred, including theft or destruction of stored data, hardware, or cyber extortion from employees.
  • Restoration costs: Compensation for expenses incurred to research, replace, restore, or recollect digital assets during the period of restoration.
  • Public Relations: Reimbursement for any costs involved with public relations.
  • Network Extortion: Indemnity for the amount paid to avoid, defend, preclude or resolve a network extortion attempt
  • Data Forensic Expenses: Costs incurred to investigate, examine and analyse a computer network
  • Third-Party Liability: Indemnity for the sums claimed and incurred defending claims in relation to alleged privacy breaches, network security wrongful acts or media and social media wrongful acts.

What is the likely cost of Cyber Insurance?

Like most insurance, premiums vary by insurer, the type of cover selected and your risk profile. As an estimate a policy with $100,000 cover could cost as little as $600 per annum.

All businesses need a security plan to protect their business and they should consider a Cyber Insurance policy as an essential part of this plan.

What else can you do in the war against Cybercrime?

There are basic things that you can do to ensure good Cyber security. In this recent blog we share some top tips for your company.

Top tips to avoid cyber security threats:

CERT NZ has a number of useful and practical resources for businesses on keeping systems and data safe from cyber security attacks, including cyber security risk assessments for business, cyber security awareness for staff, phishing scams and your business and protecting your business online.

CERT NZ offers the following tips for simple, practical steps for businesses:

1. Install software updates

2. Implement two-factor authentication (2FA)

3. Back up your data

4. Set up logs

5. Create a plan for when things go wrong

6. Update your default credentials

7. Choose the right cloud services for your business

8. Only collect the data you really need

9. Secure your devices

10. Secure your network

11. Manually check financial details

For more info and links click here:

So in Summary….

Cyber Security is a very real issue facing business owners these days. If you would like to discuss your individual needs, we provide security assessments to ensure that your business has the best protection.

Please feel free to reach out to us at reception@computer.co.nz

Upgrading to improve productivity & Security:

It’s hard to know where to start when prioritising the upgrade of hardware. Here are the top things we see that businesses could upgrade to improve productivity and add security.

Upgrading those ‘old school’ phones

First, let’s start with those traditional landline phones. Sure, they’ve done their job well for decades, but switching to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has many advantages. Don’t overlook the benefits of:

  • streamlining voice and data services to save on bills and long distance;
  • employees using VoIP communications wherever they have access to an internet connection;
  • accessing features such as call waiting, screening, recording, auto attendant, and voicemail transcription;
  • gaining greater flexibility to scale up and down as needed so you don’t need to pay for phone lines you don’t need;
  • integrating calls with customer relationship management software for better data insights.

Saving, Sharing, and Revising Documents

Next up, those filing cabinets. For one, they may be an eyesore, plus, they’re taking up valuable real estate in your space. Today, many printers allow you to scan many pages at once and easily scan documents into content management software.

Moving to online document management also opens you up to many productivity gains. The software often supports optical character recognition (OCR), which makes scanned content searchable. Plus, the documents are available online, where and when employees need them. This is helpful in remote or hybrid work setups, but it also helps ensure you have a backup of critical documents if disaster strikes.

If you’re still filing documents in cabinets, you may have paper-based processes, too. Forms and folders get passed around for different people to sign off at various stages. This makes it easy for workflow to bottleneck or, worse, for documentation to get lost in the physical shuffle from place to place.

In a step up from this, a business might at least move documents around via email attachments. Everyone gets a chance to see the document and make comments. Then, some poor soul takes all responses and correlates them for the next round of revisions.

Replace these old-school approaches with online business tools built to enable collaboration. Microsoft 365, for example, allows people to work on documents at the same time. There are no more worries about version control, and everyone can track the file’s progress.

Enabling Remote/Hybrid Work

Cloud-based collaboration software not only helps with document exchange. Microsoft 365 also allows users to communicate efficiently via the Teams channels. They can also start video meetings, share screens, and co-work on files and PowerPoints. Plus, integrating Outlook contacts and calendars helps efficiency and scheduling.

All this helps support employees working remotely or coming into the office only some of the time. With online documents and databases, everyone can get work done without coming on-site. Plus, VoIP business calls forward directly to phones or laptops for seamless communication.

Put Away the Post-its, Too

One last thing we’d love to see people replace in their offices? Those Post-its with handwritten passwords stuck to the bottom of computer monitors or oh-so-stealthily under the paperclip organizer in their top desk drawers.

We all have many passwords, and we understand the impulse to write them down, but a safer strategy is to use a password manager. A password manager stores, generates, and manages passwords in an encrypted database. A password management solution – such as Keeper, LastPass, or LogMeOnce – is more cyber secure than that sticky notes.

Feel free to reach out here to discuss any questions you may have about your individual business needs.

Written by Gill Brown

Cyber Security: Expect the best – prepare for the worst!

Cyber Security – “It will never happen to me!”

“Expect the best –  prepare for the worst”

Paul* runs a medium sized business in Northland.  He honestly never thought that he would be the victim of a cyber-attack. After huge expense, and lost productivity, he now speaks to anyone that he can about the importance of sorting out cyber security.

“I just wish that I had taken the time to get it sorted, as it’s so simple and yet it had such an impact on our business, costing us money in lost productivity”

Whilst we don’t want to scare anyone, cyber security is a huge concern for our clients right across Northland. Here are some recent statistics:

The weekly average number of ransomware attacks detected in June of 2021 was more than 149,000. A year prior, it was only 14,000 – making an increase of 966%!

(Source: Fortinet’s FortiGuard Labs 1H 2021 Global Threat Landscape Report)

Most companies now recognise the urgency around sorting out cyber security, however, these are still some common objections that we hear:

Top Four Reasons New Zealand businesses don’t sort out their Cyber Security:

  1. It’s just not a priority.
  2. It will never happen to me, as it only happens to large overseas companies.  
  3. It costs too much money.
  4. I don’t know where to start.

#1. It’s not a priority:

“It’s just not a priority for me right now, and I don’t have time to deal with all of that!”

Believe us when we say, we hear this often from Northland companies. We totally get it. You are doing a thousand things, time is precious, and cyber security just feels like another overwhelming ‘thing’ to take care of.

Many of our clients have felt the same way. What they have found however, is that the time it requires to be on the front foot and take care of security is far less time than it takes to sort out issues caused by attacks.

In fact, we often hear from clients who wish that their I.T provider had warned them, nagged them, and actually made them sort it out!

By the time they have had an attack, they come to us with days, weeks, and even months of lost productivity, plus the costs of having to sort the issues out.

“There was this horrible moment when I realized there was absolutely nothing I could do”

Amy Pascal, the former co-chairman of Sony Pictures on the cyber-attack on the studio that revealed her private emails.

#2. It will never happen to me:

“I’m putting my head in the sand and covering my ears singing lalalalala.  Cyber security attacks only happen to big companies – and definitely not here in little old New Zealand.”

We all want to think the best about life, and positivity is wonderful. But sometimes it is best to ‘expect the best, but prepare for the worst’. 

We know you are a great person, you work hard, and you live in New Zealand. However, Cyber-attacks do not discern where you live, what industry you work in, or how nice a person you are.

Cyber-attacks prey on those that are overly trusting, can’t be bothered, and think that it will never happen to them.

“If you spend more on coffee than on IT security, you will be hacked. What’s more, you deserve to be hacked.”

Richard Clarke – White House Cybersecurity Advisor 1992-2003

#3. It costs too much money:

“Sorting out my security costs too much”

Let’s break this down a little. What are the actual costs of a Cyber-Security attack?

  • In the UK, the average cost of all the cyber security breaches these businesses have experienced in the past 12 months is estimated to be £8,460.
  • For medium and large firms combined, this average cost is higher, at £13,400
  • 35% of businesses report being negatively impacted because they require new post-breach measures, have staff time diverted or suffer wider business disruption.

(DCMS Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021).

Plus, there are the other costs like:

  • Loss of reputation
  • Loss of productivity – meaning clients may have to go elsewhere for a while until you get sorted out. They may not come back.
  • Loss of good faith and trust in your company especially if you are involved in confidential information.

The cost of taking the most prudent and essential steps might be a lot less than you think. By getting a couple of things done, many businesses could significantly increase their level of safety.

#4. I don’t know where to start…

“I’m confused, overwhelmed and have no idea where to start!”

We hear this often from clients and we absolutely understand how overwhelming it can all feel.

Here at the ITA, we have years of experience of looking after cyber security for many different companies, across varying sectors. 

The first step is for us to make a time to sit down with you for a complimentary chat, specific to your business.

This is a great starting point in order for you to get an overview.

Once we’ve discussed your individual needs, we can devise a plan together, working out what your priorities are specific to your business, any legal requirements surrounding security, and a budget and time-frame to instigate this plan.

Too easy!

Contact us here to make a time to have a complimentary chat about your own security requirements.

(*Name changed for confidentiality)

Feel free to reach out here to discuss any questions you may have about your individual business needs.

Written by I.T Alliance

Cyber Security – The Risks and what you can do…

Ransomware threats are on the rise globally, and Cyber Security is the buzzword, even here in Whangarei, and Northland.

Not only is there a very real threat present for businesses large or small, it is also now your responsibility to ensure that you have clear protocols and guidelines around data and cyber security. 

It is no longer a question of IF you need to sort out your security, it is a question of WHEN. 

Cyber Security is a team sport

Just like the All Blacks don’t get a try because of one player, Cyber Security is a team effort. That means that the whole team needs to know the game plan, needs to understand the role they play, and what they need to do to help you win at Cyber Security. 

How to train your team:

Here are some ways to increase ownership of Cyber Security across the whole company, and help everyone to come on board with fighting against potential hackers. 

  • Create an IT policy handbook for your company and discuss this as part of the hiring process. This will allow for accountability to be set up front. 
  • Run regular training programs on security. 
  • Regularly remind employees to update and upgrade technology. 
  • Monitor applications downloaded onto work devices. 
  • Have a clear policy for people bringing in their own devices.
  • Train your employees to recognize phishing emails and other scam.
  • Add multi-factor authentication to remote access.
  • Help them understand the risks associated with using unsecured wireless networks or unencrypted devices.
  • Limit Access: Configure credentials so that employees can access only what’s needed to do their job. One employee may need to read certain files but have no need to edit them. 
  • Encourage staff to only collect the data that is really required. 
  • Remind everyone to be very careful about sharing sensitive data.
  • Manually check financial details

Let’s start with the House-Keeping

Whilst some of these things may seem very obvious, the threat to our security can sometimes be closer to home than we expect.  Maybe it’s not the anonymous Russian cyber-criminal that you need to worry about, but Sam the office gossip, who can’t help having a peek at the boss’s computer after hours. 

Remember if anyone can get into your computer, and your computer is linked to the network, they can potentially access files on another computer, and access sensitive information and emails. 

Internal Physical Security Check:

  1. Do you take precautions and make sure that you lock the office door?
  2. Does your computer have a screen-saver that automatically comes on when you jump up for your fifth coffee of the day?
  3. Does your computer have a password? If so, is it complex and known only to you? Note: Using your dog’s name, when you talk about your dog all the time, might not be the best idea. 
  4. Is your drive encrypted?

External Security:

  • Are you using 2FA (Two factor authentication): 2FA is a fantastic way to ensure that it is much more difficult for people to access your data. 
  • LastPass: This is a great centralized tool to manage your passwords. Teach your staff about the importance of strong passwords, and changing them regularly. 
  • Backup your data: Make sure you have your data backed up both in the cloud or on an external server. 
  • Password protected files: This creates an additional layer of security both internally and externally. 
  • Safe-Links: Safe-links check every attachment that comes to your computer and download it in a sandbox to ensure it is safe before it comes to your computer. 
  • Install regular software updates.
  • Update your default credentials 
  • Use firewalls and email filtering
  • Is the WIFI secure? Or can anyone driving past easily jump on to your company’s Wi-Fi?

Have your Plan B sorted:

Whilst nothing is foolproof at the moment, limiting your risks will ensure that you also limit downtime and help you to get your system functioning again as quickly as possible.

Reach out and contact us here about what is required for your company, and what is the best way to create backups. Using different storage types and having at least one off-site is often advantageous. 

Whilst Cyber-Security can feel overwhelming, we here at @Computer can help you to formulate a plan, create a checklist of what is required first, and help you to win the battle against cyber threats. 

Feel free to reach out here to discuss any questions you may have about your individual business needs.

Written by I.T Alliance

Computer shortage – What can you do?

What do you get when you mix together a global pandemic, an increase in people working from home, plus a lack of silicon chips?

You guessed it!

A global shortage of computer equipment.

Whilst any one of those things would normally have a massive impact on supply, the combination of all of these factors has created the perfect storm.

Unfortunately, this isn’t something that is going to go away overnight either.

In fact, current predictions on the supply of technology are anticipating supply will not return to the ‘new normal’ until mid-2022 to 2023.

What is the impact of this shortage?

#1 Economics 101 – Supply and Demand:

Yes, folks, unfortunately with the increased demand and lack of supply, the predicted net result is an increase in prices across all computers.

#2 Expect delays:

Patience is a virtue… Remember that old saying? Well now we really have to put it to the test. What used to take a matter of weeks, is now taking a matter of months. In fact, for some equipment the delivery dates are just “to be advised” as it is still unknown when they will be available. 

So what can you do?

Whilst this all seems a bit doom and gloom, we have some ideas that can help you to make sure that you manage this situation the best that you can:

#1 Make a plan:

Rather than waiting until you have three new eager recruits, or that old computer takes its last breath, hatch a plan now:

  • How is your business plan impacted by the need for technology?
  • Are you in a growth phase that means you will be hiring new employees?
  • What are your expected needs for upgraded computers within the next 3-6 months?
  • Do you need to ensure your team can work remotely?

#2 What if you need to hire more staff that need laptops:

So often a new hire is due to start next week, and someone says they will need a laptop. That could be an expensive issue if they can’t work for 6-8 weeks.

#3 Recycle:

Recycle and Reuse! Start looking at your team to match use. For example, maybe you need to buy a high end user an equally high-end laptop. That flash laptop may then be able to be passed down to someone who has more standard requirements. Moving hardware around internally and assessing needs can help with managing the shortage.

#4 Keep a spare handy:

Much like a spare tyre, a spare computer can be a life-saver if required. Maybe you used to trade in your old computers, now ensure you keep spares where possible. If that doesn’t fit the cash flow, plan your procurement cycles for the next 3-6 months and beyond.  

#5. Be prepared to make quick decisions on purchases:

If you need a device quickly, be prepared to make a decision on purchasing more quickly then you have in the past. The reality is that it may not be in stock tomorrow.

#6. Be Flexible:

Many brands and models are now out of stock, which means that your IT company will not have as many options available. The longer the list of specifications you require, the shorter the list of choices. To help with this, try to be flexible in your requirements so that your needs can be more easily met.

So what has created this shortage?

  1. Asia and tech – Asia is to tech what crackers are to cheese. With a large part of the world’s technology production coming from Asia, COVID had a massive impact on production and supply of parts. 
  2. Laptop Laptop Laptop – The world has gone mad for laptops. With the new way of working remotely, companies have been moving from p.c’s to laptops, or buying up laptops to ensure their team is able to work from anywhere.
  3. Shipping – New shipping constraints, less planes flying, increased air freight costs, plus ships being unable to dock, have meant that even when the supply is available, the time computers take to arrive is longer.
  4. Silicon Chips –  The global shortage of silicon chips is due in part to  the pandemic, trade policy, regulation, plus this increased demand.
  5. Bitcoin: Video cards have also become in high demand for those that are into Bitcoin. The better the video card, the more money you are likely to make. Hence another increased demand.  Why graphics cards cost so much right now | PCWorld
  6. Mobile phone: Adding to the heat on the demand for these chips, is the continued demand for mobile phones. Basically if it has a plug or battery in it, it probably uses lots of chips. You can read more about the chip shortages here: Chip shortages will continue until 2023, superfoundry TSMC says | PCWorld

What not to do:

Whilst it is tempting to rush out and grab anything that you can get your hands on, it is best not to buy random equipment as a temporary stop gap. This will potentially create additional support costs to your environment in the long term, and may even compromise support from Vendors where equipment isn’t compatible.

How can we help you?

  • Getting expert advice is important as it means that you have recourse if the equipment doesn’t work together.
  • Create a plan with your I.T provider to best suit your business plan.
  • If you are wanting to order hardware, please get in touch with us ASAP.

In this climate, it will be better to have an order placed now rather than wait until it’s too late.

Feel free to reach out here to discuss any questions you may have about your individual business needs.

Written by I.T Alliance

Social Media Scams – not so innocent fun!

Beware the fun social media scam! What may initially seem innocent enough, having a question asked about what your favourite car is, or your star sign, may quickly become a security headache. Many fun social media questionnaires are set up by hackers to steal your identity.


For instance these quizzes might ask for details such as:

  • What was your first job?
  • What was the name of your first-grade teacher?
  • What car did you learn to drive in?
  • What was your first concert?

These popular quizzes promise to tell your “rock star” name or your “silent film villain” name. You know it’s as reliable as the Magic Eight ball, but you play along anyway. We all need a laugh, right?

Except that the people really laughing are hackers. Many of the questions posed are also security prompts used to verify your identity online.

Cybersecurity experts agree: don’t take these quizzes. It’s not as if there is any real value in filling out the social questionnaire. You’re simply taking the bait and risking having your personal data stolen.

Avoiding Social Media Scams

Here are some tips to help keep you safe from social media hackers:

  • Don’t get hooked by clicking on that post that seems too good to be true, especially shocking, or scandalous.
  • Be wary of any quiz that asks for information that could be relevant to your online password.
  • If you must quiz, fill out questionnaires on reputable websites only.
  • Avoid quizzes that ask you to provide your email address.
  • Contact companies through trusted channels only.
  • Make sure that you are dealing with the proper entity’s real website and not a look-alike site created by a scammer.

Also, think twice about apps that change your face into a cartoon character or a painting. Facial recognition is a more common security tool. Be cautious about letting unknown apps collect your photos and facial details.

What to Do If Your Online Accounts Are Hacked

#1 Have your devices inspected by a respected IT provider that you know. 

This is one more area to be wary. Scam artists will set up sites that appear to be affiliated to the manufacturer or phone numbers that appear to go to technical support specialists. It’s best to take your devices to a physical repair shop with a real human doing the work.

#2 Change your passwords. 

When your account is hacked, you’ll want to change that password immediately. Plus, as annoying as it is, change passwords for all accounts accessed on the compromised device. The hackers may have installed a malware that tracked all data transmitted on the device.

#3 Set up credit monitoring. 

Notify any financial institutions or credit card companies if those accounts are hacked. You’ll likely need to have them issue you new cards with fresh account numbers. You can also ask them to monitor your accounts for fraudulent transactions. You might also set up credit monitoring with your region’s credit reporting agencies.

Keep in mind that criminals can be patient and may not use your information right away. So, don’t think you’re in the clear because nothing happens in the first month.

Worried? It’s okay we can help you….

Need help protecting your devices and online accounts? Easy, all you need to do is get in touch with us to find out how to best protect yourself. You can email us  to have a complimentary chat.

ClipTraining – the new efficient way to train!

Imagine having a way that you provide training for your team remotely, upskill your team effortlessly, and increase productivity. 

These days many employees work remotely. Modernised self-service e-learning solutions have become the new gold standard for IT here in Northland.

ClipTraining is a new self-service eLearning solution for Microsoft 365. With it, you can upskill your team with top notch, bite sized training, track their progress, decrease help desk enquiries, provide training remotely… and all for a very, very low cost! 

What is ClipTraining? 

ClipTraining is the new way for companies to provide training to their staff without overwhelming them. Clip Training is an e-learning solution provider, offering task-based training focused on Microsoft Technology.  

It has over 5,000 short 2-3 minute videos covering Microsoft 365, Windows and other productivity apps. It is the ultimate, searchable library of knowledge we have all been waiting for!  

How can ClipTraining benefit your business? 

#1. Increase productivity by upskilling your team effortlessly. 

One of the best ways to boost productivity is to ensure that your team is kept up to date with their skills. ClipTraining means that your team can improve their skills with the software they use every day, without being overwhelmed. 

#2. Teams Teams Teams 

Now you don’t have to go anywhere for training! All of the training videos are available inside a native Teams application. You don’t even need to open a new window. 

#3. No more annoying calls to the Helpdesk!  

Imagine being able to quickly find the exact training video that you needed. Adoptees of ClipTraining have found that client calls to the helpdesk are massively reduced. Not only that, but users also feel more empowered, can get on with their work, making workflow better.   

#4. Bite Sized learning 

Short lessons mean that you and your team can learn in bite sized chunks, rather than being overwhelmed with information. Not only that – but they can explore what they are most passionate about or interested in. 

#5. Training on any device – anywhere, anytime! 

One of the big advantages is that you can upskill on the go! Maybe you or your team need training while out in the field. With a cloud-based Learning Platform and mobile friendly design, users can improve their skills from anywhere using any device – laptops, smartphones and tablets.  

#6. Learn from the BEST. 

The training videos are created by industry experts, meaning that the information you receive is highly reputable and from trusted sources. No need to travel to a big city to get the best training. 

#7. Regular Updates 

Technology is always changing, and ClipTraining keeps up with these changes, with videos being added regularly. That way your team will never be left behind. 

#8. Easily monitor your teams Professional Development 

With ClipTraining you can easily keep track of what your team is learning, their professional development and who has completed any required training videos. This means less time and money tied up in long-winded training programs, less time away from the office and reduced cost. Understanding their interests and needs will also give you great insight into how to develop them too! 

#9. Easy Search Function 

Fully text-indexed search capabilities means your team can find videos quickly. Nothing worse than searching forever, only to find they do not have what you need. 

#10. Easily train new employees… 

Onboarding is always a pretty resource heavy procedure. The best way to get a new employee up to speed is to give them a bit of a plan. With ClipTraining you can set up a specific training curriculum for new-hire onboarding, matched to job roles or departments. Magic! 

#11. Clip-Training provides value for money. 

Clip Training provides GREAT value for money in comparison with other training.  

Want to get started? 

Easy, all you need to do is get in touch with us to find out how this might work for you. You can email us  to have a complimentary chat. We can easily answer your questions, show you a demo of ClipTraining and help you to understand how ClipTraining can work specifically for your organisation. 

By: Derek Morgan – ClipTraining – APAC Representative 

Remote support – What are the benefits?

At @Computers we know how our Northland businesses rely on speedy support. We offer our customers  remote support which includes: updates, maintenance and a complete managed service to ensure minimum disruption to your work.

If you’ve ever had a sudden computer problem, you know it can be very stressful. So much of our day-to-day life requires having access to a working computer. Read more about how one click on a phishing email can cause all sorts of disruption to your business.

Benefits of Remote Support

#1. Speed

If remote repair is a possibility, our team at @Computer can connect via the Internet and have you operational in no time. You might also choose to just leave it turned on in the morning and go to work as normal, while the tech logs in to conduct the repair, ready for your return. Without this option, you’d need to juggle time in your diary to drop the system off as most in-store techs only work 9-5.

#2. Convenience

You get to skip the unpleasant tasks of unplugging the PC, untangling the cables and carting it into the repair store. Even then, once repaired, you’d still be privileged with carrying it back home and playing a game of which-plug-goes-where?

Computers may be getting smaller, but they’re still heavy and fiddly! Laptops are designed to be moved around often and it may not be a problem to stop at the repair store, but traveling with a desktop PC requires a little more effort and a lot more inconvenience.

Negatives of Remote Support:

#1. Limited Repair Options

A remote connection can only repair certain software problems, not hardware problems. It’s impossible for the technician to swap out a failed part remotely, and unless you’re confident in your own repair skills, guided physical repair isn’t viable either.

Occasionally the problem will also be outside the computer, perhaps a troublesome peripheral or connection. Your technician may be able to walk you through correcting some of these minor problems yourself, but most invariably require a physical call-out or taking your computer in-store.

#2. Connection speed

A slow or unstable connection will make a remote repair take longer and increase the difficulty of the task. The extended time impacts the cost for the call, and in extreme cases, can negate any benefits of skipping the physical inspection. Your connection needs to allow the technician to see real-time responses as if they were sitting there in person.

#3. Accessibility

If your computer won’t start or can’t connect to the Internet at all, your technician can’t log in. This includes seeing a ‘blue screen of death’, boot failure and Windows load failure. As much as they’d like to help you, being able to log in to your system is a vital step in the remote repair process.

The winner is….Remote Support!

Remote support and repair is the ideal situation, purely for speed and convenience. As a bonus, in the event the remote repair is unsuccessful, it also means your tech now has a better idea of the problem and can speed up any on-site or in-store repairs.  Remote support is the best option for many repairs and gets your computer working again with minimal disruption and lowest cost.

To find out more about how we can support your Northland business, plus any other IT issues please call us or email us here to book a 1:1 free, no obligation appointment.

Seven Bonuses for Small Business in Office 365

You’ve probably seen all the ads for Office 365. They’re popping up on your desktop, your employees are sending you meaningful looks, and clearly, it’s not going away. You’ve probably even jumped online to see what all the fuss is about. But is Office 365 a necessary upgrade for your small to medium Northland business? The answer is YES. Office 365 is more than a refreshed set of tools, it’s an efficiency and productivity powerhouse. Here are 7 spot-on reasons why small business owners should upgrade now.

#1. Data security is built in

Office 365 was created with data security at its core. The built-in compliance and security protocols mean your cloud storage is safe, and you can control access so your valuable data remains exactly where you want it. Storing your data in the 365 cloud keeps it safe in case of emergency, with 1TB of storage per user included at no extra cost.

#2. Ditch the licensing drama

Software version differences can be a real nightmare in a small office. Not every system can do the same things, and half the time, they can’t even open the same files. It quickly becomes a hodge-podge of workarounds and lost time. Office 365 includes site-wide licenses with upgrades at the same time.

#3. Mail storage for real people

Not everyone lives in the land of inbox zero. In fact, most people tend to leave messages in their inbox forever. Occasionally we’ll do a quick clean up, but only when the alert comes in that the mailbox is full. Meanwhile, new emails from customers may be bouncing away with the old ‘mailbox full’ message. Eek! In Office 365, your employees can communicate without worrying about storage space.

#4. Better time management

Every person in your business is juggling meetings, emails and contacts – usually across multiple platforms. Office 365 brings all those elements together, integrating seamlessly for more efficient time management. Contacts updated via mobile while offsite are automatically updated across all connected devices. Meetings scheduled in an email are added instantly to the calendar. You can even access files from any device, edit on the run and then back in the office, simply pick up where you left off.

#5. Predictable costs

Forget about planning (and delaying) those costly upgrades. Office 365 has small business covered. You can choose a plan based on your unique needs and change at any time. You can even add or decrease the number of users as you scale and streamline. It’s so easy to fit Office 365 into your monthly budget while knowing you’ve got the very best and latest in small business software.

#6. Work on the go

The days of fiddling with private network and security settings are over, thanks to Office 365. You don’t even need any special IT skills or extra software. Users can now securely access their files from home, during their commute, or in meetings for on-the-fly impressive presentations. Got an internet connection? That’s all they’ll need to squeeze productivity out of every day

#7. Stay up and running with no downtime

A whopping 25% of small businesses shut down permanently after flood, fire, crash or cyber-attack. With Office 365, all your data is stored in the cloud with built-in backups for redundancy. No matter what happens, your data will be there, letting you stay up and running – and always ahead of the pack.

We can help you to find out more about Office 365 and how it can best suit your business needs. To find out more about this and other IT issues please call us or email us here to book a 1:1 free, no obligation appointment.