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How to Turn On or Off the Focused Inbox

As of December 22, 2017, Microsoft Office 365 has completely replaced the clutter folder for email with the focused and other views for the inbox. What this means for you is that if you were using clutter, it will no longer exist as a separate folder and any items that were previously destined for the clutter folder, will now remain in the inbox but will show up with under the view of ‘other’. The default view of ‘focused’ will now contain your important emails and the ‘other’ view will be a view of emails determined to be less important. This feature of focused or clutter has existed since November 11, 2014, but not all users have noticed this experience. Over the past few weeks, more and more users have had this feature added to their Outlook view. Why was this introduced? The clutter feature added a separate folder that had to be checked. If important emails were inadvertently directed to the clutter folder, they potentially could have gotten missed. Obviously, there were a lot of people that didn’t like this feature. With the focused/other views, the clutter feature has been changed into a view of items that are now not moved but all remain in the inbox. This view can be turned on or off. How to Turn On or Off the Focused Inbox This feature can be turned off for different platforms following this article. In most cases in Outlook, Select the View tab. Select Show Focused Inbox. If the ‘Show Focused Inbox’ is turned off, the Focused and Other tabs will disappear from the top of your...

How to Join an Android Phone to Office 365 Exchange Online Email

On your phone, you’ll need to do the following: Click the Apps button Find Settings and tap the Settings button Tap Accounts   Tap +Add account   Tap Exchange   Enter your email then tap NEXT >   Type your password then tap NEXT >   Tap NEXT > again At Redirect request, click OK Tap NEXT > At Remote security administration, click OK Click ACTIVATE Tap NEXT...

How to Prevent Business Identity Theft

Can Identity Theft Affect Your Business? How to Prevent Business Identity Theft Identity theft is becoming more and more common in the digital age, with around 7% of American adults affected each year. Amid the huge data breaches from the likes of Yahoo! and LinkedIn, a serious and growing issue is being swept under the rug–business identity theft. This underexposed crime is particularly concerning, because it tends to target small and medium-sized businesses more often, since they don’t have the same security mechanisms as their larger rivals. What Is Business Identity Theft? In its most simple sense, identity theft occurs when someone pretends to be someone else, usually for nefarious means. In the business context, it usually involves a thief accessing a business’s sensitive information, often through social engineering, and then using that to impersonate the business for financial gain. Thieves may steal credentials from unwitting employees or even falsify records to gain access. Business identity theft can involve many different scams, such as criminals opening new accounts under the name of the business, draining funds from existing accounts, and even establishing lines of credit for fraudulent transactions. Business identity theft can be tremendously destructive. It can ruin a business’s credit rating and make it much more difficult to access loans. Companies don’t just have to worry about the theft of their own assets, but also the theft of any personal data from customers. Data breaches can be damaging to a brand’s reputation and expensive to deal with.  Why Are Businesses Being Targeted? Business identity theft is becoming popular with criminals because there are several characteristics that make it...

9 Essential Items When Creating a Small Business Network Yourself

9 Essential Items When Creating a Small Business Network Yourself Essential Items Creating Small Business Network Yourself When designing a computer network for a small business these following items must be considered.  When all pieces are in place, you will have a network that is reliable, scalable, and efficient. Network Switch This is what makes the whole thing work.  All devices that will be connected to the network connect to this piece of equipment.  This device is crucial for allowing more than one network device communicate with other network devices.  This can also include wireless access points that allow wireless network devices to connect with the network. Firewall/Router This device is what connects your network to the Internet and protects your local network from Internet traffic.  These can be separate devices.  Most simply put, the router directs all network traffic.  It takes information from one computer and knows how to make that information go to another computer. The firewall is the device that determines what the information is and if it should allow information to go from one computer to another.  The firewall and the router are two separate entities; however you will often see these packaged in one single device. Server A server is the central computer that handles the needs of all the network devices.   In most cases a server acts as a central file location.  It can also perform the duties of a database, an email server, and a print server. Disaster Recovery Plan and Devices Disaster recovery consists of having backup devices and plans in place in case something does go wrong.  This will usually...

Considerations for Your Data Backup Plan

Your data is your businesses biggest asset. What would happen to your business if all of your data was compromised and lost, either partially or completely? Would you be able to recover from this kind of data loss? Having a backup plan is the first step in protecting this valuable asset. You can save yourself time, money, and stress by starting a plan and sticking to that plan. The following are the basic things to consider when developing a data backup plan. Audit your data for requirements When you only have one shared drive, or you only need a single copy of a shared folder, backups are not too involved and are pretty simple to plan for and run. However, once you start adding mail servers, databases, separate servers, different directories, and have different retention periods or archival purposes, backups can start to get more complicated and what’s needed to perform those backups becomes more complicated as well. Performing an audit of your data and requirements can give you a clearer picture of your backups and what to include in your backup plan. When performing your audit, make sure to inventory all the servers that need to be backed up, what function each server holds, as an example if it’s a database server, a mail server, a file server, etc., and how far you need to go back to retrieve data before it’s no longer needed.  Once this is determined you can find software or a service provider that will adhere to these requirements. What will you backup to? With faster Internet speeds and with storage becoming so inexpensive,...

The Costs of Email Mistakes

While often understandable, user error is most commonly the root reason for the majority of IT problems. While not necessarily not only creating technical issues, users making mistakes can cause problems for IT to secure other systems. Something as simple as sending an email to the wrong email address, or replying to all on an email containing confidential information can cause catastrophic problems that cause IT to react quickly to attempt to reverse mistakes. These types of mistakes are often very costly if not caught in time as it allows secured information to quickly become public information that can be used for malicious intent. These issues can also cause compliance issues for some organizations. Examples of Email Mistakes College Accidentally Sends Thousands of Student Records to the Wrong Email Address In 2014 a California community college employee accidentally sent thousands of student records to the wrong email address. What happened is that an employee of the community college was to send these records out to an external address. Because of how large the data was, the mail was rejected and sent back to the employee saying that it couldn’t be sent. This employee then tried to send using a personal email address, but accidentally typed in the incorrect address of the intended recipient and sent the email. At the time the email was sent it appeared that the mistyped email address was an invalid account and the records were never compromised, however the school still had to lock down its systems and provide credit monitoring for all those that would have been potentially affected. Bank Sends Confidential Information to...

Data Center Backup and Disaster Recovery BDR Solution

Project Data Center Backup and Disaster Recovery BDR Solution Company Profile Hosts SaaS solution for a QMS and ERP product Has greater than 400 clients Employs a local development staff and environment Company Situation They want better data retention of their client solution They want to have a backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solution for their data centers They want to backup local data for backup and disaster recovery solution Client Technical Situation Client has a production data center that their clients access their SaaS solution through Client has a backup data center that has a disaster recovery environment for failover that is replicated from production data center Client has a local environment with multiple lab and production development servers 4 server instances at each data center and network location, along with multiple physical host servers Our Discovery The customer is replicating all data from the production data center to the backup data center, however the data has not been backed up incrementally for time period snapshot data recovery. The local environment had backup software, but no images for bare metal recovery and for disaster recovery. Additionally, backups were full backups to an offsite host, containing terabytes of data. The backups were taking too long to complete and accurate data was not consistently backed up. Our Solution TR Technologies, Inc. is a vendor of several Backup and Disaster Recovery solutions. Our solutions vary depending on case. In this case, a unified solution that could be backed up to client specified locations without the use of a 3rd party storage location would be ideal. The client wanted to be able to...

5 Examples of Social Engineering Attacks

In 2012, a Wal-Mart store manager in Canada received a phone call from a “manager in the headquarters of Wal-Mart in Bentonville, AK” about a possibility of winning a large government contract. During the course of this conversation, the “manager” took detailed notes of key corporate information from questions he was asking the Canadian store manager. Of this information the “manager” was able to obtain physical logistics such as the janitor contract, the cafeteria provider, staff schedules and pay periods. He was also able to obtain information on the computer systems in use at the store along with critical pieces of information about the types of security measures that were used. The problem is – THERE WAS NO MANAGER IN THE HEADQUARTERS AND THERE WAS NO GOVERNMENT CONTRACT. The call was part of competition run by DefCon. DefCon is a hacker convention where hackers show each other their newest and cutting edge hacking timps. The “manager” had managed to get the identity of a real manager in the headquarters of Wal-Mart and used this to play a game of ‘capture the flag’ where he was able to capture all items of significance on a checklist in this competition. Examples of Social Engineering This is all social engineering. So much is done technically to thwart attackers when it comes to securing a network, including using firewalls, desktop and server security software, etc., but the use of social engineering can completely circumvent all these protection methods when the inside of an organization can so easily and willingly give away all the information and ways to access it. The following are examples...

How to Join a Computer to a Domain

To check if a computer is joined to a domain 1)  On Windows Vista or newer: Click Start>Right Click Computer, then Click Properties On the left side, click Advanced system settings, then skip to step 3 2)  On Windows XP: Right Click on My Computer, then Click Properties 3)  Click the Computer Name tab 4)  Click the Change button If the Domain: radio button is selected, it’s part of the domain.  If the Workgroup: radio button is selected, it’s part of a workgroup and you’ll need to change to domain. Click Cancel twice to exit out of this process To Join or Rejoin to the domain 1)  You’ll need domain administrator credentials and the domain name to complete the following 2)  Complete steps 1-3 in the first section – ‘To check if a computer is joined to a domain’ 3)  Click the Network ID… button 4)  Make sure that ‘This computer is part of a business network;…’ is selected and click Next 5)  Make sure that My company uses a network with a domain is selected and click Next 6)  Click Next again 7)  Type in your username, password and domain NOTE: don’t type the administrator name here, unless that’s the user you are adding to this computer 8)  If this computer has the same name or if it was previously joined to the domain, you’ll get the following message, Select Yes 9)  To add the user to this computer as a local user, click Next 10)  Choose the account type for this user, then click Next 11)  Click Finish, Then click OK on the System Properties window You’ll...

What is MSP?

What is MSP, or what is a MSP? Broadly speaking, MSP stands for Managed Services Provider.  A Managed Service Provider provides IT, and network services to an end user that may be an individual, a small business, or an enterprise. Managed Services take many forms, but provide a service or set a of services that complement the IT services for an entity.  These MSP’s could be hosting companies, network providers for networking of multiple locations, or telephone service providers. A managed service provider will provide the IT service that is needed, and will typically provide all the hardware and software that facilitate the management of the IT service. Examples of Managed Services could be any of the following: A company that manages the backups and disaster recovery services, ensuring that backups are scheduled and run successfully so that an organization doesn’t spend time wondering if they have good backup information for either recovery/discovery/archival purposes or for complete restoration in the event of a disaster An IT company that provides monitoring, management, and/or helpdesk services or IT services to an entire small business’ or to an enterprise computer and network systems. This takes the burden off of the IT staff in larger organizations or a non IT person in a smaller organization that’s been tasked with taking care of users’ problems by assisting all the users in an organization directly. The managed services provider in this case will typically take care of monitoring all systems to find that they are running properly or notify the organization of a potential systems error, to take action prior to any major systems downtime....