Tip of the Week: Protecting Your Mobile Device in 2 Easy Steps

  • Published byadmin
  • February 7, 2018

Tip of the Week: Protecting Your Mobile Device in 2 Easy Steps

Mobile devices are one of the greatest tools available for business use today. However, because society has come to rely so much on mobile devices, these devices have become a treasure trove for cybercriminals to obtain information from. For this week’s tip, we’ll go over some simple ways to protect yourself from such threats.

Do You Really Need to Connect?
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity give our phones a heightened level of utility, but this benefit can also come with severe risks. Mobile devices, for the sake of simplicity and convenience, are ready and willing to connect with any Wi-Fi or Bluetooth signal they can. Unfortunately, this puts them at risk of being hijacked by any threat that may be lurking on the signal.

To mitigate this risk, make sure that you aren’t connecting to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth signals that aren’t secure and trustworthy. In fact, when not using them, keep these connections disabled just in case.

The same goes for public charging stations. These can also be used to spread threats, so it is better to rely on a portable charger or a wall outlet to power your device.

Furthermore, if you are connecting to something, make sure you aren’t sharing more than you need. For instance, if you need to rent a car while on a business trip, there’s nothing wrong with using Bluetooth to make hands-free calls. However, if prompted, there is no reason to sync your contacts with the car’s storage, effectively handing them to the next person that rents that car. Being cautious as you connect will only help you to stay safe in the long run.

Keep it Locked Up
The contents of your phone shouldn’t be available to just anyone who picks it up. Whether you have access to sensitive business information through the device, or you have apps that help you manage the rest of your life, your information is at risk unless you have protections in place to keep it safe.

The simplest way to do so is to leverage the phone’s built-in security features. Whether your phone accepts PIN numbers, passcodes, or a pattern set it up so that only you know how to open it. Furthermore, with more devices today leveraging biometric and facial recognition technology, there are other means for you to secure your mobile device.

Security is a crucial consideration to keep in mind, whenever you’re using a mobile device. For more information on how you can keep your business resources safe from threats in and out of the office, reach out to Catalyst Technology Group at (317) 705-0333.

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Microsoft SharePoint Makes Team Collaboration Easy

  • Published byadmin
  • December 1, 2017

Microsoft SharePoint Makes Team Collaboration Easy

Businesses are taking advantage of new tools every day to make sure that their projects are handled in the most successful way possible. One of these tools is Microsoft SharePoint, which can eliminate many of the major pain points of project management. Regardless of what type of business you run, we’re confident that Microsoft SharePoint can be a valuable asset for your organization. Here are three ways you can take advantage of SharePoint.

In case you’re unfamiliar with SharePoint, it’s a browser-based method of collaboration and document management. You can either host it on your own premises, or in the cloud so that you can access it anywhere. It’s one of the enterprise-level solutions offered by the Microsoft Office 365 productivity suite. Basically, it provides project team members with a place to view information or collaborate. It even integrates with Office 365 so that it’s simple to deploy any Office applications with ease.

Create Your View of Success
There is always going to be a goal for your projects. SharePoint is designed to help an organization meet the specific goals of that project, and it can do so by providing you with a measure of success as defined by the individual project goals. The best way to find success with SharePoint is to always keep your definition of success in mind, but never change it. If you meet your goals, you want to view it as a success. SharePoint’s most incredible benefit is that it can help you build efficiency, and defining success accurately is the best way to make this happen.

Properly Use SharePoint for YOUR Business
Knowing what your business will use SharePoint for before implementation is key to your success with the program. Your SharePoint platform will inevitably contain a considerable amount of content. The question, however, is if your project has enough content to justify using SharePoint as a platform. It’s important to work with an IT service provider before going all-in on a service like SharePoint.

Train your Staff
SharePoint is an incredible tool that you’ll want to use to store content, deploy applications, and provide custom access to all of your services. It’s the ideal way to provide each of your project managers and resources with everything they need to do their jobs, but only if they know how it works. It takes significant training to make sure that your employees know how to complete their tasks. Doing this ensures that your organization can be successful with SharePoint.

Do you want to make sure that your SharePoint implementation goes as smoothly as possible? If so, reach out to Catalyst Technology Group at (317) 705-0333.

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Tip of the Week: It’s Easy to Color-Code Your Google Drive

  • Published byadmin
  • November 8, 2017

Tip of the Week: It’s Easy to Color-Code Your Google Drive

By default, folders in Google Drive display as a muted gray color. Unfortunately, this simplistic choice can make certain folders difficult to find in a sea of gray. For this week’s tip, we’ll go through how to change the color that a folder displays in Google Drive.

First, you will need to navigate to the folder whose color you wish to change. Right-clicking on the folder will bring up a menu. About halfway down the menu, you will find the option Change color, with the image of a painter’s palette and an arrow indicating more options. Those options will be the 24 colors the folder icon can display as.

Once you’ve decided on a color to use for that particular folder, click on it. The change will be made immediately, so you will know right away if your choice of color will work for the folder you have edited.

Unfortunately, this feature doesn’t extend to the contents of these folders. Therefore, your Google Docs and Sheets will have to remain blue and green, respectively.

Keep in mind, you will be the only one that sees these color changes. This feature is more of a means for individual users to customize their own experience with Google Drive. Therefore, describing something as “the red folder” will likely mean something very different for someone else as it does for you.

Will you have a particular system for color-coding your folders? Let us know in the comments, and make sure to subscribe to Catalyst Technology Group’s blog for more handy tips!

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Business Continuity In 3 Easy Steps

  • Published byadmin
  • September 25, 2017

Business Continuity In 3 Easy Steps

Business continuity is an incredibly important part of running a business, but some smaller organizations underestimate just how crucial it is in the event of a disaster. Although FEMA estimates that more businesses are taking advantage of business continuity than ever before, not enough are. Business continuity is something that must be planned for, practiced consistently, and updated as needed. Does your business have a business continuity plan?

Here are three things to keep in mind when putting together a quality business continuity plan.

Keep Each Department in Mind
Business continuity is something that should be applied to the entirety of your business–not just your IT infrastructure. You want to ensure that your entire in-house team has a say in your business continuity plan, specifically to ensure that–in the event of a disaster–they are able to get back in action as soon as possible. If each of your departments can ensure access to important information post-disaster, it makes it much easier to recover in the long run. A good rule of thumb is to ensure that each department has access to mission-critical data, that their processes are moving forward at a steady pace, and has three points of contact within the organization.

Practice Often
A plan is worthless if you don’t know how to implement it. You should think of practicing your business continuity plan as a fire drill for your organization. By planning for the worst and practicing what you do in the event of a data loss disaster, you ensure that your business can realistically pull off what the business continuity plan demands in your time of need. Make sure that each of your team members knows their individual roles in your business continuity plan, and keep everyone updated on changes made to the process so that your staff is on the same page. Depending on how often you practice your business continuity plan, you’ll start to see whether certain details are missing or obsolete, giving you time to change them before your plan is needed at all.

The 3-2-1 Data Recovery Rule
It wouldn’t be a business continuity plan if it didn’t include data backup and disaster recovery in at least some capacity. Manually backing up your data can be a dangerous tactic, as you’re relying on systems that aren’t automatic and could be subject to user error. Furthermore, you need more than just one copy of your business’ data in order to ensure proper recovery. If one copy is destroyed, you better have a backup in place. A way to guarantee that this doesn’t happen to your organization is the 3-2-1 rule.

Here’s a quick run-down of the 3-2-1 rule:

  1. You should have three backups of your data at the very least.
  2. Two of these should be stored on various types of media, such as a server, external hard drive, USB drive, etc.
  3. One of these should be stored off-site, like in the cloud or a secure data center.

By using this method, if one of your data backups is destroyed it won’t ruin your business (or your comprehensive continuity plan).

Catalyst Technology Group can help your business build a business continuity plan specifically designed to suit the needs of your organization. To learn more, reach out to us at (317) 705-0333.

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Prioritizing Productivity Is Easy With The Right IT

  • Published byadmin
  • July 26, 2017

Prioritizing Productivity Is Easy With The Right IT

With productivity being so important in the modern business, it only makes sense that so much of the technology we have now–and will likely have in the future–is devoted to maximizing the amount of work that can be accomplished by one person in a given time. While not everything we will discuss is always relevant for the typical SMB, if your business continues to grow, more technologies will only become accessible over time. Here are a few technology tips to increase your organization’s productivity.

Work Harder By Working Less
One of the biggest barriers to productivity takes the shape of the tiny, menial tasks that every employee has to attend to every day. While it isn’t that these tasks aren’t necessary, it’s just that they don’t necessarily need to be supervised as they’re completed. What’s the best way to make sure that these necessary tasks aren’t ignored, without spending an exorbitant amount of time on them every day?

Automation. With technologies that can perform certain tasks, it frees up a user to attend to other matters. The boost to productivity that an organization can gain from automation is considerable, as twice as much can presumably be accomplished in the same amount of time. So, instead of an employee being tied up by sorting through email, they can continue with a revenue generating task while their email is sorted for them. The same can be said for data backup–automated solutions are more reliable and less prone to user error. Software patching is also a task that can be easily automated by a knowledgeable technology professional so that you don’t miss out on the most recent versions of your mission-critical software.

Using Televisions to Boost Productivity
While they may be distracting in at least some capacity, having a television in the office can actually benefit your workforce’s productivity. As long as you keep their use strictly for work purposes and not entertainment, you might be surprised by how much they can help. For example, you could display important information, such as upcoming meetings, deadlines, or otherwise to keep your employees focused on meeting their goals. These displays might even lead to some healthy competition in the office so see who can be more productive in either the short or long term.

You can also use televisions to add media to meetings. Imagine being able to pull up spreadsheets or slideshow presentations to drive home key factors or numbers regarding productivity. There is even the option for video conferencing, which can help out-of-office employees attend meetings as well.

Implement Better Working Conditions
Employees work better when they feel better. This simple, common-sense statement can be a great motivator to implement smart desks–Internet of Things devices that are designed to track health and behaviors of employees to help them achieve a better working condition. You may have heard that it’s best not to sit in front of a desk all day and to stand up on occasion, and the smart desk is a way to help alert employees when they are in need of a standing session. Health issues can be caught preemptively and resolved, allowing them to remain productive and keep sick time to a minimum.

Even just giving employees the freedom to pick and choose where they want to work can be empowering. With mobile devices like laptops and smartphones, employees can work from anywhere in the office, so make sure that you have a setup that is intuitive for this type of productivity.

Does your business have a plan to leverage technology to ensure maximum productivity? The right technology can be the game-changing factor in this pursuit. To learn more about what enterprise-level technology solutions can do for your business, reach out to us at (317) 705-0333.

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