Tag Archives: Tips

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

 

 

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.

Mozy’s Top Ten Tips for Surviving the Big Freeze

Stash file synching technolgoy helps avoid the big freezeWith temperatures set to dip to well below freezing today, and snow predicted by the end of the week, there’s a good chance that many of us will find our usual routes to work blocked as the Big Freeze sets in.

But, with more of us than ever being able to work from home, Snow Days for most people are a thing of the past.  To compound the misery, Mozy research shows that a quarter of us only work from home when we have to, leaving us rusty when it comes to making sure we’re still productive when forced to work from the spare bedroom.

For everyone who wants to minimise the frustration caused by an unavoidable day (or days) at home, here are Mozy’s top ten tips for surviving the Big Freeze.  And they’re all things you should do today before you go home!

1)   Make sure you know how to access your voicemail remotely.  You’ll normally need to set this up in advance and secure your access with a PIN.  If you can’t answer your desk phone, you’ll at least be able to listen to your messages and get back to people.

2)   Scan the stuff on your desk that you use all the time and copy it so that you can access it from home.  How many times a day do you look at the phone list on your pin board? Make sure you’ll be able to get at the info when you’re not there.  Make sure you include the sticky notes on your desk in this process too.

3)   Sync your smart phone with your computer.  If you usually only do this to update your playlist, take time to do it today to make sure your contacts and diary are up to date.

4)   Check you have the numbers you need.  Sure, you’ve copied your phone list but how many of those people are going to be at their desks if you need to contact them?  Double check you have the number for IT support – if you’ve lost VPN access, you won’t be able to look it up on the intranet.

5)   Take your charger home with you. Yes it’s heavy and, yes, most days it’s unlikely that your laptop will run out of juice overnight, even if you are checking emails into the wee small hours but there’s precious little use to be had from a flat thinkpad if you need it to run all of the following day.

6)   Check you know your passwords for everything.  If you’re not used to using the web interface for the apps you use in the office, it’s easy to forget your password or let it expire.  It can be infinitely easier to get it reset whilst you’re still on your office network.

7)   Pack your laptop carefully when take it home tonight.  It’s slippery out there and you don’t want to spend all day tomorrow squinting at a cracked screen.

8)   Find out what your suppliers/clients/partners are doing how you contact them if they’re not able to make it in either.

9)   Install a file syncing service on your computer and drop all your current work into it.  That way, whatever happens, you can get at the files you need.  You can get a free 2GB account for Mozy to use on our Stash file syncing service at www.mozy.co.uk/home/free

10)                  Lock away your chocolate digestives!  Anyone who does make it in through the snow is going to be looking for a carb and sugar hit to fend off the cold and you might not be there to defend them!

Hopefully, a little bit of preparation can help to make an unexpected day of working from home a little bit easier, so you can spend your lunch break creating snowmen rather than recreating all the work

Ten things you might not know about Mozy


Mozy has been around for over five years now – but we’ve not stood still.  So, if you signed up to Mozy some time ago, you may not know about all the features and functionality that exist in Mozy today.   Here’s our list of ten things you might not have known you can do with Mozy.

1)      Access your files anywhere

With Mozy’s web access portal, you can log into your Mozy account from any web-connected device and get the files you want, whenever you want them.

2)      Get your files on your phone

With the Mozy app, you can browse and download any of your backed-up files on your iPhone or Android mobile.

3)      Use Mozy to transfer files to your iPad or Android tablet

Don’t worry about whether you created your files on your laptop or desktop, access them all from your iPad or Android tablet using Mozy.

4)      Preview your files before you restore them

Don’t waste time and bandwidth guessing which files you want to download, use Mozy’s thumbnail previews to check them out first.

5)      Back up your NAS

If the primary copy of your data is on your NAS, make sure that’s what you’re backing up with MozyConnect.

6)      Back up to an external hard drive as well as the Cloud

Two backups are better than one!  Use Mozy 2xProtect for fast local backup and reliable offsite back up.

7)      Remotely email a file to someone else

If you don’t have your computer with you but you get an urgent request for a document, you can email it without even having to download it yourself with the Mozy App.

8)      Back up multiple devices on the same MozyHome account

As lots of us today have more than one device in our homes, you can now backup as many as five computers on a MozyHome account.

9)      Help track your laptop should it get stolen

As well as helping you get your data back in the event that your computer is stolen, we might also be able to help the police locate your device.  If your computer is taken, contact support at Mozy for help.

10)   Transfer an exact copy of your file tree to a new computer when you upgrade

Mozy makes transferring data to a new computer child’s play.  Simply log into your account from your new device to copy over all your files in exactly the same structure.

And one on the way!

11)   Sync your files between your phone, tablet and other computers with Mozy Stash

Mozy Stash is still in beta so didn’t quite make our list but soon users will be able to synchronise documents across their devices with this nifty new feature.

Backup more important than times tables say British teachers

Not so long ago, every school child in the country could expect a September trip to the stationers to stock up on coloured pencils, ink cartridges and bizarre geometry sets that did something complicated an mathematical.

However, kids today scoff (in a derisory rather than tuck-shop fashion) at these antiquated tools of the past, with 78 per cent of teachers demanding homework is done on a computer.

As a result, in a survey of 500 teachers, Mozy found that the three things that teachers thought would be least useful to kids in the next five years were:

• Access to a public library
• A fountain pen
• Times tables

For the school kids of the techno generation, the future involves a different type of back-to-school shopping, with teachers saying that, in the next five years, the top three tools that kids will need are:

• Internet access
• Software to protect their work – such as antivirus and online backup
• A dictionary

Other tools like calculators, encyclopaedias and protractors are also to be consigned to the rubbish bin with less than a fifth of teachers rating any of these as essential tools for homework in the coming years.

The best thing about this is that backup is free – or it is with Mozy if you click here. Which leaves us with just one problem: how do you carve your name on your ruler without a compass?

Calculators - consigned to history (but not history lessons)

Calculators - consigned to history (but not history lessons)

Baggage backup: online protection for when your suitcase goes on holiday without you

Coming back to work after a summer holiday can be a depressing business, what with having to exchange barefoot walks on the beach for cramping work shoes under the desk, and swapping tropical cocktails for a carton of 5Alive to accompany a limp sandwich at lunctime.

But it’s the backlog of emails many of us dread most. Perhaps this is why, according to the Institute of Leadership & Management, 80 per cent of us will have been regularly responding to emails whilst on holiday.

But those of us who are packing our laptops in with our suntan lotion and flip-flops might be least equipped when they return to the office as many will find that their computers don’t return with them.

According to SITA, 25 million bags going through airports were ‘mishandled’ last year (‘mishandled’ is a nice way of saying that they don’t turn up in the same place as you do rather than suggesting that those naughty baggage handlers have been lifting them by the extending trolley handle, which we all know causes long-term damage to our luggage).

And, if you’re flying back to Heathrow, your chances of arriving laptop-in-hand are even slimmer, given that research from the Ponemon Institute shows that it’s Europe’s black-spot airport for laptop loss with over 900 mislaid every week (‘mislaid’ is a nice way of saying nicked in most cases).

So, if you’re reading this as a distraction from sifting through a week’s worth of email, you’re actually one of the lucky ones. Feel better now?

Of course, those travellers who chose to back their computers up with Mozy could have the best of both worlds. They get to take their laptops on holiday with impunity, safe in the knowledge that, if it’s the laptop that ends up going walkabout on their walkabout adventure, all their emails and other files can just be downloaded to another computer.

So, if there’s someone sat near you looking smug with a tan and a new laptop, they’ve probably got Mozy (or a sugardaddy). Check out Mozy here for more information and to help make sure that feeling of holiday relaxation stays with you longer.

On-grime backup

Ever since we launched our report into the value people place on their digital data, we’ve been talking about the value of what’s inside your computer.

But, sometimes, what’s inside your computer isn’t valuable at all. Sometime’s it’s what’s inside your computer that puts your data at risk. And that’s why online backup is so important.

This picture comes from a story by our friends at Silicon.com on what lurks beneath the surface of our computers.

online backup

You can see more examples of the grime that’s festering underneath the sleek exteriors of some computers here.

It’s shocking stuff; especially when you consider what all that dust is doing to our hard drives. 13 per cent of all hard drives fail in the first year – that’s before they’ve even been subjected to this sort of abuse.

If the data that’s on your computer is important to you, we recommend that you back it up. It’s probably not a bad idea to give your computer a good clean now and then either. You can find a CNET guide on how to do that safely here.

Travel Insurance

Murphy’s law states that, “if anything can go wrong, it will.” In most cases, you can extend that to say, “…at the worst possible time.”

Or so it can seem when you’re getting ready to leave for your holiday and go to print out all of your travel documents. If you’ve gone online to get the best deals, there’s probably a lot of paper work for you take with you – an eTicket for the plane, an online reservation form for the hotel, a travel insurance policy, a car-hire agreement and any manner of other things that you might have arranged in advance.

So, having just checked in online, and scrolling through your documents to choose what to print out, this is quite possibly the worst time for your computer’s hard drive to fail. And that’s when Murphy’s law steps in and sends your computer into meltdown.

How are you going to get the documents you need in time to make your flight?

Shouting very loudly at the computer is usually the first thing to try, accompanied by banging the desk. Following that, begging the computer to start up again, questioning the legitimacy of its parenthood, and prayer seem like good options. Once these avenues have been fully explored, you’ll probably move on to more practical solutions.

If you’re lucky, your suppliers will have emailed some of the documents you’ve lost to an account you can access over the web. If you’re organised, you’ll have an online backup service that will allow you to get everything back that you need.

An automatic online backup service will quietly log all of your holiday documents as you received them, recognise they are new and copy them to a secure data centre in the Cloud. Without you even noticing, you’ll have saved your bacon.

A quick stop at the internet café at the airport and you can use your backup provider’s web portal to access all of your files and, though you may have to pay the coffee shop 10p a sheet to print out your documents, it feels like a small price to pay to get your hands on your stuff.

Recovering everything else you might have lost can be simply done when you return from your holiday. And, after a week in the sun, you might just have relaxed and calmed down enough to face your computer again.

Top Tech Tips For Your Summer Holidays

If you’re counting down to your holiday, why not pass the time by checking off one of our “tech to-dos” each day this week.

Monday

Spend your holiday in the sun and not a hospital bed by making sure you’ve had all the right jabs.  You can check out the NHS website to find out which injections you need or download an app to your iPhone, like Healix to work it out for you.

Tuesday

Just because you’re away, doesn’t mean you can’t keep an eye on your home. Whether you’re looking out for burglars or simply seeing what the neighbours are doing when they come round to water the plants, you can watch your home through your smartphone with apps from provdiers such as alarm.com, domus or Platinum.

Wednesday

Don’t lose track of your favourite shows whilst you’re away, even if you forgot to set the programmer before you leave.  Download an app like TV Plus or Tioti TV to simply schedule Sky+ recording remotely.

Thursday

Waste not, want not and visit LoveFoodHateWaste to download bespoke recipes to use up everything in your fridge before you go away.

Friday

Make sure you know whether to pack water wings or wellies by visiting the BBC weather site or downloading a free weather app like WeatherBug.

Saturday

Don’t forget your toothbrush, or anything else for that matter by getting organised and creating a spreadsheet of everything you need to take with you.  Failing that, let someone else get organised for you by downloading a packing app like PackingPro.

Sunday

Using your laptop as a DVD player on the plane may seem like a good idea when it keeps the kids quiet on your flight out but you won’t feel the same way if it gets stolen and you lose all the pictures, files and music on it.  Use an online backup service like Mozy to back up all your files before you go away and make sure you’re hardware is covered on your travel insurance, that way, whatever happens, you’re protected.

Footnote: Mozy has not tested, is not associated with, nor recommends any of the sites or services listed here, other than www.mozy.co.uk.  Readers should make their own assessment of any service before engaging with it.