Your Webcam Could Be Spying On You

Your Webcam Could Be Spying On You

In the midst of a global lockdown, many of us have been relying on webcams to stay connected. These cameras let us join virtual meetings for work and online hangouts with friends. But bad actors can also use a webcam to spy.

Someone watching through a small laptop or personal computer camera may sound farfetched. And if you don’t make a hat out of tinfoil, aliens will take over your brain, right?

Except, it is true that webcams can be used for spying.

Seeing someone with a piece of tape over their webcam isn’t that unusual. Even Facebook’s founder does it. At conferences now, you might even receive a branded sliding webcam cover as swag.

How Webcam Spying Works

How can someone access your webcam in the first place? Typically, they’ve installed malware. The malicious software allows them to remotely control your computer and view its webcam.

A cybercriminal might access your webcam using spy software, a remote access trojan (RAT). The software spreads through freeware, spam emails, infected attachments, or fake website links.

The software allows the remote user to take control of your computer. They could view your online activity, read messages, or capture screens and keystrokes, and they’ll be able to turn your webcam on to spy on you – without you knowing it.

The webcam light located near the lens will indicate whether camera is currently recording. However, it’s easy to miss and many people don’t understand what the light means.

What to Do About Webcam Spying

Well, there’s that piece of tape, or you might use a Post-It note to cover the camera, but that doesn’t address the bigger issue. Since we’re talking about malware here, the usual rules apply.

  • Don’t trust attachments, even from people you know.
  • Hover over external links to see where they will take you before clicking.
  • Question the credibility of any freeware you might download onto your computer.
  • Install a good antivirus system, especially one that checks emails.
  • Put a good firewall in place to prevent attackers from accessing your computer.
  • Install patches for your operating system, browser, and software to keep security current.

While we’re talking about webcams, keep in mind your smartphone camera and any surveillance cameras need protection too. On your phone, keep your passcode private and make sure antivirus and security patching is up to date. With a surveillance system, always change the default password – you’d be amazed how many people don’t bother to do so – as that’s just making the hackers job easy for them!

Want to be sure you’re not being spied on? Our IT experts can make sure you have a strong firewall in place to monitor network traffic and block suspicious activity. We can also ensure your antivirus and malware security is top-notch.

Don’t find yourself on camera when you’re not ready for your closeup! Give us a call at (416) 645-2469 or (905) 667-0441 or email us today!

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COVID the Sequel: Revisit Business Continuity Plans

COVID the Sequel: Revisit Business Continuity Plans

There’s a sequel no one has any interest in seeing predicted to open this fall – COVID: The Second Wave. Despite lack of audience interest, we could face another coronavirus pandemic. For business, this means revisiting continuity plans.

Many countries are beginning to lift restrictions in an attempt to return to “normal.” Yet most experts predict things will get bad again later this year. At least business has time to recalibrate its business continuity planning (BCP).

Maybe your business had a plan in place. Decision-makers laid out actions to take in the event of fire, flood, or devastating data breach. The plan didn’t envision quarantine, but the planning worked well enough to keep your teams going.

Or you might have been scrambling to get up and running quickly in the midst of a global lockdown. Still, after initial business disruption, you were able to get back to business (if not quite as usual).

Now, looking ahead, we’re told to expect a second bout of sheltering in place. Take stock today to prepare for another bout of the virus disrupting business.

What Worked?

BCP predicts various types of crises and strategizes what to do when things go wrong. If you did BCP in advance, you weighed options and decided on the best attack without stress and urgency. Those reacting in the moment to mandates to shut down probably took more of a “this is the best we can do” approach.

Either way, let’s hope your business found some approaches and had positive results. Perhaps moving to cloud-based virtual desktop services smoothed the transition to remote work or installing a virtual private network (VPN) to secure off-site access paid off.

Identify all the strategies that were successful. If adopted as short-term solutions, you may want to explore their value long-term. Perhaps you contracted with a vendor for a temporary solution that worked well, this could cost less if you renegotiate for a longer duration. Perhaps something you tried with one team can roll out companywide to prepare for a second period of work from home.

What Needs Help?

Did you find any shortfalls that slowed work from home? What tech difficulties did your people face? Identify the problem areas, and look for solutions now.

Maybe you had employees working from home on corporate laptops or personal devices. They could be going back to the laundry room home office later this year. Is a laptop or home computer still the technology you want them using?

Were there issues with employees lacking bandwidth to get the job done? Was logging in difficult because your system only handles 25% of employees at a given time? You need a different level of service to support everybody at one time!

Maybe certain departments were able to adjust swiftly but others struggled. Identify tech challenges, and find solutions to remove friction if we do #WFH again.

Make Changes Now

Updating your continuity plan is prudent, so make the moves now to prepare. Do it while businesses are open and able to work freely. An IT partner can often work remotely, but many tasks are more efficient on-site.

The first wave of COVID-19 taught us valuable lessons; don’t be caught off guard twice.

Your people might have been more productive with remote tech, so set up the systems to secure and support a long-term solution.

Partner with a technology expert to review your needs and set you up for future success. Contact us today at (416) 645-2469 or (905) 667-0441 or email us today!

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Protecting Shared Computers for Work from Home

Protecting Shared Computers for Work from Home

Many families today have a shared home computer to help with day-to-day activities. A teen can search for a job and stream shows. A parent can check work emails, pay household bills, and shop online. A youngster can play an educational game to buy Mom or Dad a few minutes of peace. Yet with COVID-19 sending so many people home to work, the shared computer is getting a lot more use.

Not every employee was lucky enough to get sent home with a business laptop. Some employers ask you to use your own computer. At the same time, you may also be accommodating kids doing online learning, and those little ones still want to go online and point and click to help Elmo plan a birthday party.

But sharing the computer can now present a security risk. You may have important work documents on the home computer. You could log in to the business network unaware of malware downloaded onto your home device, and, of course, that malicious software isn’t doing your home computer any favors either.

With so many people using the computer, make sure to set up virus protection on your home device. Additionally, you may set security patching and software upgrades to happen automatically. One of your young users could be seeing the message requiring an update and ignoring it. That leaves you unaware the software is vulnerable to bugs or threats.

Setting Up Personal Profiles

With everyone sharing the desktop, your work is at risk. You could have downloaded a spreadsheet containing employee personal identification information. That represents a compliance risk if another user inadvertently accesses the document.

Or you could lose hours of work. Someone else might drag that project you’ve been working on to the trash with a school assignment rubric.

Our IT experts can set up different account profiles for each user. Doing this not only helps to secure your work from home, but can also add protection for your kids.

The immediate appeal is personalizing the desktop for the individual user. Your kids can pick their own home screen backdrops and menu bars. You might not need access to TikTok, but your teen is thrilled to have it right there on the desktop. For smaller children, you can make icons and text bigger. Set up narration to give yourself a break from the umpteenth reading of Goodnight Moon.

For parents, security advantages of the profiles include being able to set up the following:

  • Web filtering enables you to set rules to screen incoming Web pages. This can help avoid children seeing explicit content or accessing a malicious site. You might also limit Web browsing to particular sites.
  • App limitations can ban kids from buying and downloading certain apps or making in-app purchases. For older kids you could require parental permission first.
  • You can set up Screentime limits for particular sites (e.g. Netflix or YouTube) or allow young people to access online content only at certain hours of the day.
  • Age restrictions allow you to filter mature content from search results. These also filter what apps, games, and media the young user can view or buy.

Individual profiles also make it easier for parents to track online activity and computer use. We can even set it up for you to receive reports on Web browsing and application use.

Secure your work from home and protect your family of users. Get help setting up the right controls for your home computer needs. Contact us today at (416) 645-2469 or (905) 667-0441 or email us today!

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Adding Accountability to Remote Work

Adding Accountability to Remote Work

Today, businesses are embracing digital technology to enable productivity anywhere, any time. Yet ensuring accountability is a stumbling block to widespread acceptance of remote work.

Recently, COVID-19 has forced many businesses to transition quickly to working from home. Even bosses concerned about lack of control over absent employees had to make the change. Former opponents to remote work may have discovered the benefits of this approach. Employees certainly may have enjoyed the opportunity and want to keep doing it.

The good news is that technology and products are even better today for managing remote teams.

Top Tools for Remote Work Accountability

Overall, employers need to trust their people. This is true whether they’re working on-site or from home. Still, for some supervisors, trust is easier with remote monitoring abilities.

Joint calendars are a common starting point. Microsoft 365, Google’s G Suite, and other tools allow staff to share calendars. People can still schedule personal appointments and keep those private, but the joint professional calendar lets everyone on a team stay in the know. Managers can go online to track sales meetings, client presentations, or team sessions.

Project management software is another way to see what co-workers are doing. Teamwork, Basecamp, and Trello offer a central location to see a project come together. Employees can access secure software from any location to share files and interact. Individuals can set deadlines and create tasks to improve accountability and responsibility sharing.

Business-based internal messaging software also keeps everyone on the same page. These communication tools typically provide one-on-one messaging and group chat. It’s easy to send a quick note asking someone for a status update, or just check in. Some tools also allow individual and team audio calls as well as video conferencing. Top contenders are Teams, Slack, WhatsApp, Skype for Business, or the Facebook and Google Hangout work chat apps.

Go big enabling collaboration among employees with cloud-based office software. Microsoft 365 and G Suite enable many users to go online and work on the same things at the same time. This solution also lets managers easily view shared documents and verify progress. It’s even possible to invite clients or other external partners in to view folders. For security reasons, you may want to limit their access to “view only.”

Securing Remote Work

Security is another point of friction for businesses allowing remote work, but the technology is keeping pace there also. Even so, you’ll want to educate employees about cybersecurity best practices. Requiring antivirus and malware upgrades, limiting external sharing and enabling multifactor access will help make remote work viable, reliable, safe, and secure.

Need help installing or implementing remote work tools? CPI Networks can help. Let us provide the IT help you need. Contact us today at (416) 645-2469 or  (905) 667-0441 or email us today!

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Returning to Work: Prioritizing Safety with IT Too

Returning to Work: Prioritizing Safety with IT Too

Your business has the OK to go ahead and get back to work on-site. You want to return to your office, but you don’t want to risk people’s health by doing so. After all, some say it’s too soon to go back. Plus, others predict a second wave of COVID-19 is likely. These suggestions can help you return to work while prioritizing safety.

Not everyone will welcome the call back to the corporate environment. Some employees may still be in a population vulnerable to the virus. They may want to take leave instead of returning to the work environment. Others may simply not show up.

Have your HR team send out a written notice informing employees of the timeline for returning to the office. Educate them about precautions you’re taking to provide a safe work environment. Ask for a written response of people’s intentions. Then, IT can start establishing procedures for getting everyone back to work.

You may have had great success with remote working during the quarantine. This could position you to allow workers to stay home if they are at risk or oppose the idea of returning “too soon.”

For those coming back, support social distancing by phasing in people’s return. Your business could also use a hybrid IT solution to allow people to come in just three days a week, and they could continue to work two days at home. This allows staggered re-entry and reduces the numbers of people on-site at the same time.

Back-to-Work Technology

You may be thinking you already have all the tech you need to go back to the office. C’mon, you were already working from there before this whole thing started. Plus, now you have all the new tools you added to support remote-employee productivity.

Still, you may not have invested in a long-term remote-work solution that will now support a hybrid model. Or perhaps the on-site tech you’ve long relied on isn’t meant to handle remote working for the long haul.

To achieve a flexible hybrid model, go with cloud solutions or expand on-site IT. Do you need to add infrastructure to handle remote employees using virtual private networks (VPNs)? Both on-site staff and off-site workers might need to securely access systems at the same time.

Adopting cloud collaboration software allows co-workers to access network resources simultaneously, regardless of location. Or with virtual desktops, employees can access the same files and business applications on their work machine or on a personal device.

Bringing people back to the office, you’ll want to rethink the physical setup. Support social distancing by spreading employees’ seating arrangements out more. This will require moving around computer hardware, too.

If you were previously sharing technology, you’ll also need to add more desktops. Or you might invest instead in more laptops or portable devices. This could mean securing more software, too.

Added IT Precautions

Finally, cybercriminals are opportunistic. They’re already exploiting people with malware promising vaccines or cheap masks. These bad actors are also looking to exploit the tech demands on businesses. Many businesses adapted to a new way of doing things: they moved files to the cloud, and they allowed employee access from personal devices, but they did so quickly.

Explore any new vulnerabilities from your transitions. This is a good time to double-check permissions. Ensure that accountant Jane can access staff wage data but that receptionist Jenny can’t. Also, confirm that all virus protection and security patches are current.

Active planning is the answer to a smooth return to work. While offering protective coverings and ramping up cleaning in the office is important, make sure that you don’t overlook your technology needs.

Our IT experts can help you adapt nimbly. Contact us today at (416) 645-2469 or (905) 667-0441 or email us today!

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Help Wanted: Should You Be Hiring a Virtual CIO?

Help Wanted: Should You Be Hiring a Virtual CIO?

Help Wanted: Should You Be Hiring a Virtual CIO?

Help Wanted: Should You Be Hiring a Virtual CIO? How many seats are there at your C-suite table? A small business might have only a CEO. A mid-sized one may add another one or two C’s – COO? CFO? CMO? But you don’t have to be enterprise-sized to enjoy a Chief Information Officer’s (CIO) skillset. Virtual CIOs help any size business create a tech strategy to meet business goals.

Every business will shape the CIO role differently. Still, this individual typically has the following responsibilities:

  • planning information technology (IT) strategy
  • budgeting for technology to support business goals
  • keeping abreast of current technology trends
  • evaluating new technologies to improve productivity, enhance operational efficiency, and reduce costs
  • building and maintaining an effective, motivated IT team
  • inspiring and embracing technological innovation
  • developing security, business continuity, and disaster recovery policies

Notice how this role differs from a Technology Director or IT Director. The director is typically more of a hands-on operationally focused IT leader. The TD or IT Director is more likely to be buying IT and managing the technical solutions.

The vCIO is a strategic consultant. He or she needs to understand the day-to-day operations, of course, but this role is more about bigger-picture thinking. As more technology is moved to the cloud and outsourced to partnerships, the vCIO is the outward-facing lead.

A vCIO takes a broad view of business technology needs. They prioritize IT needs and provide methods to improve regulatory compliance. With an eye to ROI, the vCIO builds vendor relationships and reviews the IT teams’ strengths.

How Does a vCIO Help Business?

People may be the backbone of the business, yet you can bet they rely on networks, computer systems, and software applications to get the job done. Processing invoices, collaborating on documents, organizing meetings, video conferencing … business has gone digital.

Without the right technology in place, you could be wasting resources: time and money. Many companies get sold on particular IT solutions and stick with them out of loyalty. With so much else demanding attention, it’s easier to rely on legacy systems to get the job done.

But that’s not necessarily the best thing for the business. A virtual CIO can help identify areas of duplication and wasted resources. Maybe you are paying for more software licenses than you need? An outdated system is slowing you down. You could be under-utilizing your existing hardware. This tech expert explores process and makes recommendations for streamlining business practices.

As digital transformation leaders, CIOs are as critical to cultural change as chief human resources officers. – Gartner

A virtual CIO lets you keep up with the core challenges facing your business. Meanwhile, you’re leaving technology concerns to an expert. A virtual CIO, even a part-time one, comes to understand your business objectives. Then, they ensure your IT infrastructure is the best fit it can be.

Regardless of your industry, it’s safe to say that technology is complicated. Plus, IT is evolving rapidly. Don’t miss out on opportunities to leverage the best tools for your business. Take a strategic approach to IT with the aid of a virtual CIO.

Make sure your IT investment is a wise one with the input of a virtual CIO. We can help. Contact us today at (416) 645-2469, (905) 667-0441 or email us today!

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Make an MSP Your Technology Sherpa

Make an MSP Your Technology Sherpa

They don’t always get credit, but climbers reaching the summit of Mount Everest rely on a Sherpa to guide them. Making information technology decisions can feel like climbing a mountain, but there’s help for that, too. A managed services provider (MSP) can be your technology Sherpa.

With so many of us working off-site right now, digital transformation has moved from “wouldn’t it be nice?” to “we need to be there now.” Technology is as essential to business success as oxygen is to those scaling Everest. Going digital can be daunting, especially when under pressure to get your business back on track. Where does one even begin?

Working with an MSP, you partner with consultants to navigate the technology mountain. Even before COVID-19 sent so many people home to work, MSPs provided IT help:

  • researching new technologies to help customers collaborate better and work more efficiently;
  • finding cost savings and ways to streamline business processes;
  • offering cybersecurity and data backup strategies to suit business needs;
  • monitoring and maintaining IT networks, systems, software, and applications;
  • keeping systems up to date and secure;
  • migrating business applications to the cloud.

The current environment is challenging businesses to pivot quickly, yet it’s business as usual for the MSP. Our experts have prepared for decades to help business enable work from home and save money.

Taking the MSP Route

Working with an MSP, you gain the assistance of IT consultants to make the right tech decisions. This isn’t just deciding what online meeting platform works best for your needs (although an MSP can do that, too). A great MSP partner will take the time to learn:

  • how you do business now;
  • what technology is available;
  • how users engage with the technology (on-site, mobile, a hybrid?);
  • what your end users are looking for;
  • short- and long-term business goals.

With this information, they can provide IT help at the business-strategy level. The MSP will see what works and what doesn’t. Drawing on a depth of experience with other customers, an MSP can avoid expensive mistakes. With a wealth of contacts with technology vendors, the MSP can often find you better deals.

The MSP partner makes IT its sole focus. You can spend your time on other important areas of your business. For a consistent subscription fee that shows great ROI, the MPS will work to:

  • improve efficiency and flexibility;
  • enhance security and compliance;
  • monitor and maintain your business systems;
  • reduce costs and streamline processes;
  • identify new technologies that can boost your users’ productivity.

Technology Tailored to Your Needs

Up until now, you may have been taking the guided bus tour approach to technology. You pay for an IT service and expect it to take you from point A to point B without a hitch. Working with an MSP, you’ll get a tailored IT solution. After getting to know your technology, user practices, and strategy, the MSP develops a customized journey. Your digital transformation will follow a step-by-step approach that considers your particular characteristics.

Work with an MSP as your technology guide. Our experts can help you pivot if you need to. We can help you allow staff to work at home, securely and efficiently. We can help you save money. We can help downsize technology if that’s what the current situation requires and make smarter decisions as you scale Mount Technology with the help of our experts.

An MSP can even work virtually to provide the strategic support you need. Contact us today at (416) 645-2469, (905) 667-0441 or email us today!

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Improve Your IT Cashflow

Improve Your IT Cashflow

The economy is one more victim of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The global lockdown has many businesses feeling the pain. As finances grow tighter, business leaders are looking to improve cashflow. These key areas can help IT curtail spending.

First, take a look at the way you’re working now. Chances are it’s changed. If users are working from home, you may have migrated business applications to the cloud. This offers opportunities to reduce costs:

  • You may no longer need licenses that your on-site server isn’t using.
  • There may be overlap now with the new cloud-based solutions and your old software.

By auditing your software usage and revisiting your license fees, you can identify savings. You may also have had to let people go. That means the computer systems they used no longer need active software licenses.

Cloud-based Savings

If you haven’t already done so, moving business applications online offers benefits. You can offer users access to a Microsoft Office package in Microsoft 365, or a similar setup in Google’s G-Suite, all for a small monthly fee. Your employees get to use the most up-to-date software, wherever they are, and you save money.

You might also take voice calling online. With Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) communications, you add features and greater mobility. VoIP can offer call recording, voicemail to email transcription, and more. Plus, packaging communications and cloud collaboration tools can lead to big savings, quickly.

Additionally, cloud-based voice, storage, and software solutions eliminate infrastructure maintenance and monitoring costs, and you pay only for the capacity you need. It helps that it’s easy to scale up or down to keep control of costs while business continues uninterrupted.

Rethink Your Partnerships

A vendor audit can help you identify where you are overspending. You may have contracts for phone, internet, software, storage and backup, and IT Help. Reviewing these arrangements, you may be able to find a new deal.

Better yet, work with a managed service provider (MSP). An MSP will review existing relationships to determine where solutions could be streamlined. Or the MSP may be able to get you a deal due to pre-existing relationships with vendors.

A great MSP will help identify the best IT strategies for your business – it’s an investment that pays off. Technology failures are costly, and having managed services experts monitoring your business IT works to prevent problems. The MSP’s security and disaster recovery methods can protect your business from a devastating breach.

It sounds counter-intuitive to add another expense, but a small amount monthly can prevent expensive blowouts that you may not recover from. The MSP fee means ongoing access to IT experts recommending technologies to meet specific business needs.

Keeping cash flow under control requires smart spending. You’re also looking for return on your investment in technology maintenance and upkeep. Hiring an MSP can make a big difference. The MSP prompts IT modernizations based on your objectives to enhance work processes and improve productivity.

Do more than survive the current downturn. With an MSP in your corner, you can cut costs and emerge from the “Great Lockdown” a leaner, more agile business. Contact our experts to upgrade your technology and corral costs today! Call us at (416) 645-2469, (905) 667-0441 or email us today!

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Tips for Trouble-Free Online Meetings

Tips for Trouble-Free Online Meetings

Online meetings are the new norm for many, but that doesn’t mean people magically know how to enjoy a trouble-free online conference experience. These tips can power more successful meetings.

Many businesses today are working from home with a reliance on Skype, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Zoom, or GoToMeeting. But even with these platforms offering voice or video capabilities, there can be tech problems. These tips can minimize the trouble and enhance business collaboration.

1. Go Wired

Connecting to Wi-Fi offers flexibility and mobility. Yet when it comes to an online meeting, prefer a wired connection. Enjoy a more reliable meeting connection by plugging your laptop or desktop into the internet router using a network cable.

If you need to use a mobile device and can’t connect via cable, reduce Wi-Fi obstacles. Call in from as a close to the wireless access point as you can. Wi-Fi signals are a form of radio wave, which means they can be hindered by:

  • large metal objects near the router;
  • thick walls;
  • other electronics;
  • Wi-Fi congestion from your neighbors’ access points.

So, that important meeting is not the one you join from a cement-bricked basement, not when your Wi-Fi router is in an upstairs bedroom and your neighbors are all relying on Wi-Fi signals, too.

2. Prioritize Your Meeting

When you have a scheduled meeting, announce it to the rest of the household. Ask kids not to get on Xbox or stream movies at the same time as you connect to your meeting. See if you can’t persuade your partner, who is also working from home, not to download large files or new software at the same time as your meeting.

Program your devices to back up at times that won’t compete with your work hours. In the office, your IT team scheduled updates or security patches outside of business hours. Now that you’re doing it all at home, be smart about when you do upgrades. Depending on your home internet speed, trying to do too many things at once can cause trouble for everyone.

3. Test Connections Before the Meeting

You may feel that all you’re doing is meeting online right now. Why would you need to test audio and video each time? Well, every time you unplug a device such as a microphone or headset the settings will return to the default. That means the next time you connect you aren’t set up the way you want to be. You were expecting to listen in using your USB headphones, but the last time you unplugged them your computer switched back to the next available audio input (e.g. your monitor or built-in laptop speakers).

By checking the connection first, you also make sure you have the most up-to-date platform software. You don’t want to be late to a call because your device has decided it needs to re-install Skype right at that moment.

4. Use the Right Equipment

Headsets and external microphones limit the ambient noise. You’ll hear better. Plus, it will make your contributions easier to hear, too.

Muting your microphone when you’re not talking also helps – it reduces the noise pollution. Problems can arise when your mic picks up other people talking through your speakers. This precaution also saves you from apologizing when your dog barks ferociously at the FedEx delivery person.

5. Pick the Best Setting

Plan the best place to take that online meeting. The closer you are to your wireless access point, the better your connection.

Plus, you want to avoid high-traffic areas, as you’re more likely to be distracted. A child or furry colleague could make an unplanned appearance.

Select an area with a simple background, too. Sitting in front of a window may seem like a good idea, but it makes your face darker and more difficult to see on video. Ideally, you want to be in a well-lit room with a plain wall as your background.

6. Take Full Advantage of Online Meeting Features

You may have done conference calls in the past. Everyone called in, spoke when necessary, and that was that. But much of the top business collaboration software offers added features:

  • Call recording provides a record that can be checked later.
  • Call transcripts give you an efficient way to capture all that happened in a meeting.
  • Some platforms let you add virtual backgrounds to video calls.
  • You might also enable an interactive shared whiteboard, presentation slides, or co-browsing.

Online meetings are efficient and cost-effective. With the current health crisis forcing many of us to adapt to connecting virtually, implementing these ideas can help.

Need help setting up your online meeting platform or deciding on the solution that’s right for you? We can help. Contact us today at (416) 645-2469, (905) 667-0441 or email us today!

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Solving Your Work-from-Home Internet Woes

Solving Your Work-from-Home Internet Woes

Your internet used to meet your needs. You could check social media and stream a TV show whenever you wanted without trouble. Now, since working from home, you’re finding your internet service more frustrating: it’s too slow when you want to send and receive large work files, or erratic when you take part in video meetings. Here’s help.

Blame your service provider

Ah, the familiar pastime – blaming someone else. The problem could be with your provider.

Yes, it’s a good idea to keep your expenses low, and that budget internet provider may not have been a problem in the past. But internet service providers (ISPs) may save money by buying less bandwidth. Bandwidth impacts the data transfer rate, which makes a difference to downloads and connectivity. ISPs might also oversell their capabilities, betting that everyone won’t be online at the same time. Yet, now, everyone is!

Switching to a higher-quality ISP can help address your connectivity concerns. It’s a good idea to find out what kind of connectivity they’re offering, too.

Some people are fortunate to live in places with full-fiber connections. This new technology uses fiberoptic cable to send more data, more quickly. Other people have to rely on providers using copper cables. Copper cables are old school and designed to carry call data as electrical pulses. The further your internet signals travel, the more your signal strength falters.

If poor wired infrastructure to your home is the issue, swap instead to point-to-point Wi-fi, 4G, or 5G. For instance, for Wi-fi, you’d install a Wi-fi dish on your roof pointing to a nearby wireless provider. With a 4G connection, you’d be using cell phone towers. 5G is the same, but you’ll find it faster if its available.

Redundancy is another way to go. Your existing wired connection may be fine most of the time, but you’ll have a backup in place. You can roll over to the 4G option if the wired internet goes down.

Sorry, the problem’s at your end

It’s possible the root of your internet problems is right there in your home or neighborhood. You are no longer the only person using your internet connection. You could be trying to download something on one computer while your partner is taking a video call. Maybe you also have kids online in an online classroom or looking for a supply llama in Fortnite.

Even if you’re only trying to watch Netflix, just as you used to, you might notice you’re lagging more than before. There are probably more neighbors on their Wi-Fi, too, which can result in congestion in your area.

If you can switch to a 5 GHz connection, do so. The speed will improve. Plus, you’ll find you’re not in competition with as many others, as many home Wi-Fi setups are on the 2.4 GHz frequency.

There’s a solution out there

The solution to your work-from-home internet woes will vary. It depends on your location, what’s around, and the internet service options available.

You don’t have to troubleshoot your internet on your own. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but our tech experts can help find the right fit for your needs. Contact us today  (416) 645-2469, (905) 667-0441 or email us today!

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