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You might wonder if now is the right time for your small business to turn to cloud computing for all your data storage needs.

While you’ll find many benefits with cloud computing, you might also have concerns over potential security issues. Fortunately, you can embrace the advantages of cloud computing while still keeping your small business and your customers’ private information safe.

Look into ideas such as hybrid cloud computing, which costs less money and gives similar advantages to companies. You’ll still gain the safety net of a third-party provider, but for a fraction of the cost.

Here are some things to keep in mind when considering whether cloud computing is a secure option for your small business.

1. Train your workers to identify attacks.

Phishing usually starts with an email made to look as though it’s from an official source.

Teach your staff to go directly to a website and never click on links within an email. You can significantly reduce social engineering attacks by training your workers to recognize them.

Phishing can also look like an email from someone higher up in a company, but will actually be from someone trying to gain access to accounts. It’s always best to double-check requests for passwords or personal information by calling the other employee directly.

According to Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report, approximately 36% of breaches come from phishing attacks. Phishing is quite avoidable if you train your workers to recognize and avoid it.

2. Install virus and malware protection.

Make sure every device used by your company or its employees – even remote workers – has the latest virus and malware protection installed.

One of the biggest threats to the computing safety of your small business is workers not protecting their accounts. Hackers can do a lot of mischief if they get their hands on login credentials.

Make sure any device used to access accounts has protection installed. Remote workers may need to go through IT to ensure they add two-factor authentication and install all available software.

Companies should provide protection and follow up frequently to be sure it gets installed and updated properly.

3. Insist on strong passwords.

One way people allow hackers into their accounts is by reusing passwords, not changing them frequently, or using easy-to-guess combinations.

At a minimum, you should change all your business passwords every few months, including any passwords to cloud computing software.

Encourage employees to use passwords that aren’t easy to guess and contain lowercase letters, capitals, numbers, and characters.

Don’t forget to watch the passwords you use for software as a service (SaaS) applications. A company with under 500 employees uses as many as 123 different SaaS apps.

For example, if you use several different websites for various tasks, make sure you change passwords when an employee leaves or you terminate them. Not keeping up with passwords opens your business to vulnerabilities.

4. Set clear security policies.

Avoid confusion over security protocols by setting some policies.

What happens to customer data when you no longer need it? How often do you change passwords? Are there tiers to data access?

Figure out what works best for your organization and set the rules. This helps current and future employees know what’s expected of them.

5. Comply with all applicable laws.

Know the rules surrounding data protection.

For example, if some of your customers reside in the European Union (EU), you fall under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and must comply with the rules or face fines.

States such as California have similar standards. Your state and local governments may vary, so be sure to check any applicable laws.

You also must comply with laws in areas where your out-of-state customers reside.

6. Set a budget.

McKinsey & Company recently noted most companies plan to have $8 of every $10 in their IT hosting budget go toward cloud hosting by 2024.

The pandemic brought many companies online with cloud access for remote workers they weren’t planning to implement yet.

The increase in data means an increase in online criminal activity.

So, is cloud computing safe for your small business? The answer isn’t always the same, but most cloud hosting providers invest quite a bit of money into the most recent security measures possible.

It’s likely as safe as any other method of storing data, short of keeping information only on paper, which isn’t practical. Set a budget that meets your company’s goals. You can always increase it if you feel your data isn’t safe enough.

Is cloud computing safe or not?

Cloud computing is as safe as any other form of digital data storage.

You should ensure any companies you hire have the latest in safety standards and security. Take steps to protect your information, such as training employees and frequently changing passwords.

With some good security practices and awareness, it’s much less likely that you’ll face a data breach.

While the cloud offers a wide variety of benefits and solutions, choosing the service which is best for your company’s needs can be tedious. To ease this burden, we can help you find the best solutions for your business. by talking to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment. We’ll you find the best solution your business needs, ensure proper migration and implementation allowing you to focus on running your business.

Published with consideration from SmallBiz Technology SOURCE

Microsoft Outlook comes with a raft of features that make managing your busy schedule and boosting your productivity easier. If you find Outlook’s myriad capabilities a little overwhelming, don’t worry — these tips and tricks will have you using Outlook like a pro in no time.

Organize your inbox

Is your Outlook inbox getting a little too cluttered for your liking? Use the Clean Up feature to tidy up your inbox.

From your inbox, click the Home tab and choose from one of three Clean Up options:

  • Clean Up Conversation – reviews an email thread or a conversation and deletes redundant messages
  • Clean Up Folder – reviews conversations in a selected folder and deletes redundant messages
  • Clean Up Folder & Subfolders – reviews all messages in a selected folder and any subfolders, and deletes redundant messages in all of them

Ignore conversations

Besides redundant messages, group conversations that aren’t relevant to you can clutter up your inbox. The Ignore button helps you organize your inbox and focus on relevant emails.

To activate this feature, select a message, then click Home > Ignore > Ignore Conversation. Alternatively, you can open a message in a new window and click Ignore under the Delete function. You can easily revert this action by going to the Deleted Items folder and clicking Ignore > Stop Ignoring Conversation.

Send links to files

This function is especially useful when you need to send large files to your coworkers or clients. You can send a link to the file instead of the file itself as well as set permissions to allow recipients to edit and collaborate on linked files in real time.

To do this, upload the file you wish to send to OneDrive. Then from the message box, click Attach File > Browse web locations > OneDrive.

Tag contacts

To get the attention of a specific person in a group email or meeting invite, use the @Mention function. This works particularly well for emails sent to multiple recipients or if you want to convey the urgency of your message.

In the body of your email or invite message, type the @ symbol followed by the name of the person you want to tag (e.g., @johndoe). Doing so will highlight the name in the message and automatically add it to the To line of your message.

You can also search for messages you’re tagged in by selecting Filter Email from the Home tab, and then clicking Mentioned.

Add notes to emails

With Outlook, you can add sticky notes to specific parts of an email. To add a sticky note, simply drag your cursor to highlight your chosen text in the email, and then release the mouse button to trigger a pop-up object menu. On that object menu, select Add Note. This will open a OneNote feed within Outlook, where you can add text or images to your sticky note.

Schedule a Teams meeting

Teams is Microsoft’s unified communication and collaboration platform, and it includes the Outlook add-in. This feature allows you to set up Teams meetings directly from Outlook. It also lets you view, accept, or join meetings while in either app.

To schedule a Teams meeting on Outlook, follow these steps:

  1. Switch to the calendar view on Outlook. Click the New Teams Meeting tab.
  2. Add individual participants or entire contact groups to the Required or Optional fields.
  3. Type in the topic, start time, and end time of the meeting. There’s no need to add the dial-in phone numbers and conferencing IDs to the invite, as Outlook does this automatically for you.
  4. Create a message inviting the recipients to the meeting, then click Send.

Share emails to Teams

With Outlook, you can easily share an email from your inbox directly to a specific Teams channel. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Select the email you want to share.
  2. Click the Share to Teams button.
  3. On the Share to Microsoft Teams pop-up menu, type the name of the person or channel you want to share to. Check the “Include attachments” tickbox if you want to include the email’s attachments.

These are just some of the things you can do to improve your Outlook experience. For more on how to get the most out of Outlook and other Microsoft products, drop us a line today.

If you are looking for an expert to help you find the best solutions for your business talk to GCInfotech about a free technology assessment

Published with consideration from TechAdvisory.org SOURCE