Shop Safe on Cyber Monday

This Monday is set to be the busiest day of the year for online shopping as Brits spend their November pay cheques on Christmas presents for friends and family.  But, if you’re planning a shopping spree to stuff your stockings, make sure you practice safe shopping!

 

Last year, the Metropolitan Police shut down 2,000 fraudulent websites in an operation to protect people from Cyber Monday scams, which can include counterfeit goods, the spread of computer viruses and simple theft.

 

At the same time, worldwide, $1,25bn was spent online in a single day, meaning that the stakes are high with millions of us handing over personal details and uploading and downloading content.

 

With personalised gifts becoming more and more popular, many of us will be uploading photos and downloading templates to fill in with our information, often using sites that we’ve never encountered before.  But festive good cheer can quickly turn into misery if you find your credit card cloned, your fake gifts falling apart or a virus wiping all the information from your computer.

 

So, if you’re looking for bargain this Cyber Monday, help to protect yourself by following these simple tips:

 

  • Make sure that you know whom you’re dealing with – use trusted sites or research any new sites and vendors thoroughly
  • Don’t click the links in unsolicited emails offering great Christmas deals
  • Be suspicious if something is significantly cheaper than on other sites – if a deal is too good to be true, it probably isn’t
  • Check that the payment pages are secure – look for:
    • A padlock symbol in the browser window frame
    • A URL that starts https://
    • A green address bar
    • Paying by credit card can offer more protection than paying with a bank card if the site is fraudulent
  • Make sure you have effective anti-virus software running and that it’s up to date
  • Back up your computer before you go online to make sure your data is protected

 

 

If I could turn back time

We all turned back the clock at the weekend, which may mean that the nights are darker, but at least it got us all an extra hour in bed!

But don’t you sometimes wish you could turn back time more than once a year?  Usually when something’s gone very wrong and you wish you had the opportunity to see it coming  – or worse still not be the one who caused all the trouble.  As Cher once pined ‘if I could turn back time…’

Fortunately, the technology exists today for us to be able to wind back time in our digital lives, even if we can’t do it in real life.

The versioning feature of online backup solutions, like Mozy’s, means that you can literally turn back time on your computer and restore it to however it was in the last 30 days.

Accidentally saved over a really important file?  Deleted a whole folder instead of just one file?  Deleted your partners play list two hours before the party?  Saved the comedy photoshopped  picture over the original?  Accidentally wrecked a complex formula in a spreadsheet?

Never mind, just turn back to the last version before you messed up and your bacon is saved.

What about if you’ve just plain forgotten to do something?  Well, if it’s picking up the kids from school, Mozy can’t help.  But if you were meant to email a file before you left the office or you were meant to produce a report but a vital bit of information is still saved on your desktop at work, well, Stash can help.

Using Mozy’s file access and sync solutions, all your data is wherever you want it to be, whenever you want it.  You can even email it to your boss without downloading it first, right from your smartphone.

So, when you next want to turn back time – and it’s not the end of October – see if Mozy can help.

Not a morning person? Not a problem!

If you’ve ever hit the snooze button on your alarm clock and wished you could stay in bed rather than face the commute into work, then findings from Mozy’s recent survey will be music to your ears.

The average boss is happy for workers to spend a quarter of their time working from home and, guess what?  “Not being a morning person” features highly on the list of reasons for not being in the office.

Not being a morning person ranked 13th of the list of reasons bosses are given for their employees working from home.  That means more people work from home to avoid an early start than those homeworking whilst waiting for a delivery, observing a religious holiday or ensuring that they are closer to a business meeting taking place that day.

However, it doesn’t come higher in the league than ‘being better able to work from home’, which ranked tenth on the list.  With mobile access technologies allowing employees to get at the information that they need, regardless of where they are, homeworking often presents a great opportunity to complete tasks uninterrupted in a quiet environment.

Of course, an element of vanity crept into the homeworking chart too – though much lower than the reasons we’ve shared so far.  Haircut disasters, spray-tan incidents and wearing the wrong shoes all made the list.

So, if you’re a blotchy orange colour, having a bad hair day, hobbling and wishing you could just go back to bed, let’s hope your company has a cloud strategy so you can start your day again in an hour’s time.  The chances are, you’ll be more productive from home anyway!

Top reasons for remote working:

1)   Dealing with childcare

2)   Transportation issues

3)   Health emergencies

4)   Snow

5)   Waiting for a repair man

6)   Other parental responsibilities

7)   Dental appointment

8)   Flat tyre

9)   Dealing with pets

10)  Can work easier at home

11)   Broken appliances preventing getting ready

12)   Airport delay

13)   Not a morning person

14)   Forgot phone/wallet at home

15)   Piking up supplies for the office

16)   Waiting for a delivery

17)    Relationship issues

18)   Need peace and quiet

19)   Locked in

20)  Helping someone with a broken-down car

21)   Religious day

22)   Alarm ‘switched itself off’

23)   Easier to get to a meeting from home

24)   Parking ticket

25)   Neighbour/friend gone into labour

26)   More environmentally friendly to work from home

27)   Had to go home as worried about having left an appliance on

28)   Broadband is quicker at home

29)   Forgot travelcard/ticket

30)   Recovering from cosmetic surgery

31)    Wrong shoes

32)    Hair-cut disasters

33)    Spray-tan accidents

34)    Housemate’s relationship issues

Ready, steady, stop!

Online backup ticklistThis summer, the world is descending on the UK as athletes and spectators come to enjoy the greatest show on Earth.  But, with additional feet on the street, rubber on the roads and strains on the trains, we’re being warned that travel disruption is inevitable.

Many businesses have had plans in place for months to make sure that, if their employees can’t make it into work, their work can make it to them. However, if you don’t have a plan yet, it’s not too late to make sure that travel disruption doesn’t disrupt your business.  Here are our top tips to make sure your business keeps moving, even if your staff can’t.

1)   Be flexible – do your employees need to be in the office nine-to-five or can they work around the busy travel times?  If they’re in an assembly line or manning a till, obviously, they need to work set shifts but many office workers are able to fulfill responsibilities at any time.

2)   Trust your workers – Mozy research shows that workers put in much more work out of hours and out of sight than bosses realise

3)   Get Mobile – give employees the mobile apps and tools that will allow them to work wherever they are so that additional commuting time isn’t wasted

4)   Enable home working – only 15% of employees are able to access all of their work applications from anywhere. Embracing cloud file access and other online services make trips to the office unnecessary

5)   Virtualise your meetings – video conferencing and virtual meeting places are ubiquitous today and much cheaper and better than they were in the past

6)   Get free stuff – from file access, to mobile apps to collaboration tools, you can get a lot of the stuff you need to mobilise your workforce for free. But, if you’re relying on this technology to keep business alive, don’t scrimp, a small subscription cost will often get you premium services and support, which cn be invaluable.

7)   Have a backup plan – if you can foresee disruption ahead, have a Plan B to fall back on

8)   Keep control – make sure that you have a centralised plan for what tools you’re going to use and what information you’re going to make available.  Everyone needs to be using compatible solutions and you need to ensure that you’re not creating holes in your security

9)   Set clear rules – staff need to know what’s acceptable and what’s not.   For example, how many days of home working are allowed?  Everyone needs to be clear from the start to avoid confusion.

10)  Be prepared – It’s all very well giving people tools to access their files from the cloud but you need to make sure that the files they might need have been uploaded first.  Choose a service that will do this automatically and make sure you do this in advance.

There’s so much to look forward to this summer so get ahead with mobile working plans so that you can enjoy it without the worries of how it could impact your business.  We think that you’ll find new ways of working that you’ll want to continue even when the transport network is back to normal.

Desk Dating

File access enables remote working

Would you feel comfortable online dating from your desk?  What about flicking through the pages of a holiday brochure?

It turns out more of us are happy taking a bit of ‘me time’ in the daytime than you might think with 90 per cent of us saying that we let personal tasks creep onto our workday to-do lists according to new Mozy research.

So, are we all brazenly headed for the dole queue?  Perhaps not as employers also appear to accept that this is fine.

The world hasn’t gone crazy, it’s woken up to the notion that for businesses to get the best results, they need their workforce to be flexible about the hours that they put in and, therefore, need to offer flexible working themselves.

With the introduction of cloud services and mobile apps that allow users to access files anywhere, workers are no longer tied to the office to complete tasks and are spreading their work across an average of about 12 hours each day, giving both employees and employers more flexibility.

In return, employers no longer see breaks in the working schedule as avoiding work, but rather deferring work to make the best use of your time and ensure that you’re free to complete other work tasks later in the evening.

Here’s our list of the top personal tasks that workers feel justified doing during the day.

  1. Leaving early for the doctor or dentist
  2. Personal phone calls
  3. Regular tea/coffee/water-cooler breaks
  4. Chatting with colleagues
  5. Sending a few personal emails
  6. Taking a long lunch
  7. Online banking
  8. Leaving work early for a child’s performance at school
  9. Paying a few bills
  10. Listening to music
  11. Having breakfast
  12. Reading newspapers/magazines
  13. Using social media
  14. Calling customer complaints
  15. Researching things you want to buy online
  16. Brushing teeth
  17. Researching holidays
  18. Online shopping
  19. Food shopping online
  20. Showering after cycling/running/gym
  21. Looking up recipes
  22. Playing the lottery
  23. Reading online gossip
  24. Writing personal blogs
  25. Interviewing for new jobs
  26. Starting a business/side jobs
  27. Organising music playlists
  28. Watching sports
  29. Video conferencing
  30. Online dating

What are you happy doing at your desk?  Why not let us know in the comments section?

Cloud kills the drudge of 9 to 5 working

Mozy cloud backup changes working patterns

Rush-hour traffic jams and crowded commuter trains could soon be at thing of the past as employers across the globe announce that it’s OK to get to the office at a time that’s convenient for you.

That’s not to say that they’re fine for every day to be a duvet day but that they appreciate that most white-collar workers are busy on their smartphones and laptops away from the office and believe they should be cut some slack in return over when they arrive at their desks.

According to our new research, the average boss is happy for their employees to turn up as much as 32 minutes after their scheduled start time, safe in the knowledge that they’ll have been working long before they arrive.

And they’re right!  The average person has already put in 46 minutes of work before they walk through the office door.

However, employees have yet to realise the flexibility their bosses are willing to offer them, with 76 per cent of employers taking a relaxed attitude to timekeeping but less than half of workers believing this to be the case.

But employees are expecting a bit of give and take in return for the time they’re putting in out of hours, by carrying out some personal tasks during them.  The majority of employees in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany and the USA said they fitted in personal activities, such as online shopping, social networking or websurfing during the day.

But what’s driving this change?  The cloud!  Being able to access files remotely, use mobile apps and remote log in to get documents from the office mean that we’re now able to work when and where we choose.

So, if you want to go to your kid’s school play in the afternoon, you can still be in contact with the office for anything urgent and you can finish up any work when you get home in the evening.
Which means, it’s goodbye 9-to-5 and hello to spreading your work and personal life through out the day at times that suit you.

You can read all the findings from our research here: The New 9-to-5

What difference has mobile working made to your working patterns?  Tell us in the comments section.

Mozy Enhances Stash with Major Update to Web Access

As the saying (and the classic hit by Blood, Sweat and Tears) goes: what goes up, must come down. Or, in wonderful world of file access, what gets uploaded must get downloaded.  And vice versa.

So, we’re excited that, with this week’s update to our online portal for web access, you can now upload (and download!) files directly to (or from!) your Mozy Stash.

Let’s take a quick tour of some new features in Mozy Web Access:

Web Access

  1. A tab for your Stash, and a devices tab for your backups. Now you can easily access all of the files you protect with Mozy through a single web interface.
  2. A breadcrumb widget shows you where you are in the folder heirarchy, allowing you to jump back up to any parent folder.
  3. Switch from the default list view to a gallery view, and you can see thumbnails for each photo.
  4. The actions panel changes dynamically depending on what you have selected.
  5. You can select multiple files or folders
  6. Summary information about your selection shows in the footer.

This is just the first batch of Stash features we have added to Mozy Web Access, allowing you to create new folders and delete files, for example. We look forward to adding more capabilities, as we continue to build out Stash during its public beta.

In addition to the new features for Stash, much of the new functionality introduced through Web Access is available for files protected with classic online backup, too. Image thumbnails (as shown above), multi-file download, the actions panel, and many other new features work similarly when browsing files on your backed-up device.

Working from home, not shirking from home

Working From Home - File Acces

Today is National Work From Home Day, which, hopefully, means that you’re reading this from the comfort of your kitchen table or desk at home, rather than from your office.

But, aside from the opportunity to swap your drudge of a commute for an extra hour in bed and your suit for tracksuit bottoms and a T-shirt of dubious cleanliness, what else do you give up when working from home?

Times have certainly changed from the days where you basically gave up being able to accomplish much at all.  Remember dial-up connections to an office VPN?  Remember printing out everything you might need for the next day ‘just in case’? Remember telling people in the office which of the company mobile phones you were taking home with you?

The chances are, that you’re saying ‘no’.  Well, unless you’re a certain age and have gone through the therapy to stop you repressing how awful it all was.  Most of us have pushed the bad-old-days of working from home out of our minds because, today, it’s never been easier to replicate the office working experience from home (sans the annoying colleague who likes to eat mackerel at their desk).

Broadband, cloud services, conferencing solutions, mobile communications – and, most importantly, attitudes – have changed the home-working experience beyond recognition.  For many white-collar workers, it’s now an accepted norm to work from home when occasion suits.  And, critically, that comes without the accusations that you might be shirking responsibilities immediately that you’re out from under the eager eye of the boss.

But have we reached the glorious Utopia of home working yet?  Maybe we’re still only part of the way there.  After all, we’re still tied to some of our working tools; albeit that they have become a lot more portable.

Most people working from home today will have carried a company laptop home with them in order to access their files.  They’ll have set the phone on their desk to forward to their mobile and they’ll probably still have an incident during the day where they have to find a file on a USB stick or ask a colleague to email them something they need to complete a task.

Haven’t we just swapped printing out documents and saving them to floppy disks for copying them to thumb drives and emailing them to ourselves?  Haven’t we swapped carrying home reams of paper for carrying equally cumbersome computing devices?  I’m not sure our briefcases were any lighter last night than they were the evening before we worked from home ten years ago.

Working from home in the future should be simpler still.  Already, services from companies like Mozy allow people to access all of their files (whether they’ve remembered to drop them in a special folder for that purpose or not) from any web-connected computer – or from phones and tablets.  Which is one step closer to really being able to work from anywhere.

(It’s also one step closer to sanity when you’re not checking for the umpteenth time that the document you were working on yesterday really isn’t where you thought you’d saved it on that memory stick – but I digress).

With virtualisation technology from companies like VMware, you’re also able to access your processes and systems, exactly as if you were sitting at your work computer, but from a device that you haven’t had to lug back on the 7:13 from Paddington.

As these technologies become more broadly adopted, centrally by IT departments, it heralds a bright future for those who prefer not to venture beyond their own front doors in order to get their jobs done.

And, who knows, perhaps by 2022, we’ll need a National Work From The Office Day.

Security in the Cloud

Infosec

If you don’t think that the cloud is secure, think again.  Cloud providers, like Mozy, are implementing some of the most robust security features on the market so that consumers, SMBs and enterprises can see their benefits – without the cost or hassle of trying to build them themselves.

If you’re not sure if the cloud is secure enough to protect the data on your laptops, let’s see how the Mozy cloud stacks up against the protection applied to the laptops themselves.

A report last year from the Ponemon Institute surveyed 275 European organisations and discovered that, between them, they had lost more than 72,000 laptops in the previous 12 months.

42% were lost offsite and 32% were lost in transit.  Only 34% had encrypted any data and only 7% had any anti-theft features installed.

Let’s compare that with Mozy.

Encrypting data to ensure privacy

All data backed up with Mozy is encrypted to military standards using AES or Blowfish encryption before it leaves the computer.  For added security, users are able to choose their own personal encryption key.

Protecting data in transit

Mozy employs the same SSL-encrypted transport technology deployed in online banking to protect data on its journey to the cloud.

Protecting against data loss offsite

Data stored offsite with Mozy goes to Mozy’s ISO27001-certified, SAS16-audited local data centres.  Data blocks are split using Distributed Reed Solomon technology and spread across the server array to create redundancy.  The information remains encrypted behind the highest levels of digital and physical security.

The security measures applied by Mozy regularly far outstrip the level of protection that most people and organisations feel they need in the physical world.

You can find out more about Mozy and how you can ensure the security of your data by visiting us on Stand H65 at InfoSec at Earls Court, London, from the 24th to the 26th of April 2012.  Alternatively, why not check out this article from the Sunday Telegraph.

Mozy and Enterprise – Ready for Each Other

This week, Mozy launched MozyEnterprise, its online backup service for large businesses in the UK. With the  official UK launch following some years after the product became available in the USA, many people are asking, “Why now?”

MozyEnterprise

Over the past few years, the Mozy Enterprise Backup Solution has enjoyed many successes – but has also endured some bruises where the market and the product have not always been ready for each other.  Today we feel that the time has never been more right for us to bring MozyEnterprise to the UK market as Enterprise customers worldwide are finally ready to embrace the cloud.  Here are the main reasons:

  1. Mozy’s enterprise cloud backup solution has enjoyed years of hardening and testing.  Four years after first bringing MozyEnterprise to market, the product has really been put to the test and we feel its ready for what you have to throw at it.
  2. Businesses, even very large businesses, are accepting cloud solutions as enterprise-ready and great choices for their IT needs.  We no longer have to convince enterprises of the power of the cloud – the cloud has proved itself.
  3. Enterprises are seeing the complexity of their backup and file accessibility needs explode – from remote workforces to Bring Your Own Device policies, IT departments are no longer able to maintain strict control over the places and devices where people need access to their data, and enterprise cloud backup (specifically MozyEnterprise!) is well-suited to the needs of a diverse workforce.

We are very excited to introduce MozyEnterprise to large businesses in the UK and can’t wait to revolutionise the enterprise with the best backup and data access solution out there.

To learn more about MozyPro and MozyEnterprise and the difference between the two, make sure to watch Mozy Product Managers Jamie Morningstar and Todd Esplin discuss the differences between each offering.