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Why Your Office Needs an Access Control System

Installing an access control system proactively protects your business. ID key entry, fingerprint scanners and video monitoring can ensure only authorized individuals enter a space. WesTec’s access control systems are completely customizable, making it easy for companies with all budgets to protect its employees and assets.

Customizable Access

An access control system can be customized to fit the needs of a business. For example, you can restrict access to certain areas to specific employees. A company can also restrict the times employees enter the building, but give 24/7 access to necessary personnel. Systems can also track an employee’s hours by recording when he or she clocks in and out.

Protection From Intruders

Access control systems make it difficult for unauthorized individuals from entering a space. With the right hardware, including video monitoring, management can monitor a door when an intruder forces it open.

Data Security

If you store expensive equipment, sensitive data or financial information on-site, consider installing an access control system. WesTec employees can set up two-factor authentication for added security. With an additional authentication measure, such as a fingerprint scanner or pin code, there is no risk of an intruder entering with a keycard.

Employee Safety

Today’s society becomes more violent with each passing day. In a world where threats could be anywhere, it is important employees feel protected. Door access control guarantees the only individuals in a space are the ones meant to be there. WesTec offers a variety of access control systems from leading manufacturers. To find the perfect access control system for your business, contact WesTec Services’ highly trained personnel.

Let WesTec Conduct Your Network Installation

A slow or outdated computer network can be detrimental for your company. It can compromise worker efficiency, limit what you can do on your business’s network, and can even cost you money. Here are three tell-tale signs that you should upgrade your network.

Does your computer network consistently give you problems?

If you feel like your employees are spending more time resolving problems or waiting for files to load then they are actually working, you’re losing money. Don’t let your problematic network be the source of frustration in the office. A few simple upgrades or a new installation can make the difference between a struggling business and an efficient one.

Do you have issues accessing your computer network remotely?

An efficient computer network in your office space is crucial, but being able to access from home or on the move is important, too. Your network shouldn’t be inaccessible or slow just because you aren’t in the office. Make sure whatever upgrades you decide on let you work just as efficiently from home.

Do you have more problems with your computer network than your IT support company can handle?

If you answered “yes” to this last question, then not only should you update your network, but you should also consider letting WesTec Communications handle your next network installation. Whether it is sharing media, connecting to other devices on your network, or sharing files, we can make sure your computer network is running at top-speed for your company.   WesTec experts can recommend a high-speed computer network and handle all of the installation so you and your business can work efficiently. Our skilled professionals can update your network and take the headache out of installation. Contact us today!

Watch out for this persuasive phishing email

Watch out for this persuasive phishing email

 August 27th, 2018
Watch out for this persuasive phishing email

Anglers catch fish by dangling bait in front of their victims, and hackers use the same strategy to trick your employees. There’s a new phishing scam making the rounds and the digital bait is almost impossible to distinguish from the real thing. Here are the three things to watch out for in Office 365 scams.

Step 1 – Invitation to collaborate email

The first thing victims receive from hackers is a message that looks identical to an email from Microsoft’s file sharing platform SharePoint. It says, “John Doe has sent you a file, to view it click the link below…”

In most cases, the sender will be an unfamiliar name. However, some hackers research your organization to make the email more convincing.

Step 2 – Fake file sharing portal

Clicking the link opens a SharePoint file that looks like another trusted invitation from a Microsoft app, usually OneDrive. This is a big red flag since there’s no reason to send an email containing a link to a page with nothing but another link.

Step 2 allows hackers to evade Outlook’s security scans, which monitor links inside emails for possible phishing scams. But Outlook’s current features cannot scan the text within a file linked in the email. Once you’ve opened the file, SharePoint has almost no way to flag suspicious links.

Step 3 – Fake Office 365 login page

The malicious link in Step 2 leads to an almost perfect replica of an Office 365 login page, managed by whoever sent the email in Step 1. If you enter your username and password on this page, all your Office 365 documents will be compromised.

Microsoft has designed hundreds of cybersecurity features to prevent phishing scams and a solution to this problem is likely on the way. Until then, you can stay safe with these simple rules:

  • Check the sender’s address every time you receive an email. You might not notice the number one in this email at first glance: johndoe@gma1l.com.
  • Confirm with the sender that the links inside the shared document are safe.
  • Open cloud files by typing in the correct address and checking your sharing notifications to avoid fake collaboration invitations.
  • Double check a site’s URL before entering your password. A zero can look very similar to the letter ‘o’ (e.g. 0ffice.com/signin).

Third-party IT solutions exist to prevent these types of scams, but setting them up and keeping them running requires a lot of time and attention. Give us a call today for information about our unlimited support plans for Microsoft products.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

How to make the most of Microsoft Word

How to make the most of Microsoft Word

August 9th, 2018
How to make the most of Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word has become the go-to word processor for businesses big and small. It is used by every department and almost every type of personnel, but its constant updates and huge number of features mean there are lots of functions unknown to most users. Here, we uncover some of the most useful tricks with Word to help you get the most from it.

Edit simultaneously
You and your colleagues can now edit the same Word document at the same time. Just save yours in the cloud on OneDrive, click Share, then send the link to your colleagues. You’ll even be able to see them editing in real time.

Continue your work with Word Online
Don’t have the Word app on your computer, tablet, or smartphone? Go to word.office.com, sign in with your Microsoft account, and open Word Online, the browser version of Word. By clicking the blue Share button, your colleagues can access your document using Word Online or the Word app, which means anyone with the link and an internet connection can jump right in

Keep editorial control
With the Track Changes function, Word monitors all the edits that everyone makes to your document so you can go through the changes and accept or reject them accordingly.

To turn on Track Changes, click on the Review tab then select Track Changes. When reviewing a colleague’s edits, you have control to click on Accept or Reject as you see fit.

Format the easy way: Write first, format later
The Style Gallery in Word makes it easy to format your document, despite the huge number of font types, sizes, colors, and effects to choose from. After finishing writing and editing your document, click the Home tab and you will see the Style Galleryprominently on top. Select the appropriate Headings in the font, size, and color that you like, and change any other text in any way you like — just make sure you don’t make any changes to the actual content that’s already been edited!

Insert photos faster, more conveniently
No need to open your browser to look for photos for your document. Just place the cursor on the area where you intend to insert the photo, click on the Insert tab, select Online pictures (type “clip art” on the search box if that’s what you need), select a photo, then click Insert.

Edit a PDF file
Click on the File menu, select Open, and choose Browse. Highlight the PDF you want to edit, then click Open. Word will convert files to the new format using text recognition, so double-check if the conversion is correct. Make the appropriate changes, then click File, then Save As, then Browse. A “Save as type:” dropdown menu will appear at which point you will choose “PDF” then click Save.

These tips may seem straightforward, but over time they can make a big difference in helping you work faster. Want to learn more Word tricks and tips? Get in touch with our Microsoft Office experts today!

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Office 365 security considerations

Office 365 security considerations

July 25th, 2018
Office 365 security considerations

It’s easy to see why Office 365 is an attractive solution for small and medium-sized businesses already familiar with the Office interface. More and more companies are making the move to the cloud, but there are security issues to consider.

Identify your company’s sensitive data…
Most files housed within your servers contain sensitive commercial and personal data that must be properly identified and protected. Do this by conducting a security audit before you undertake your migration.

Your audit should identify the types of data stored in the various parts of your company network, including which specific information needs extra safeguarding. Be sure to consider everything from trade secrets and contract details to the personal information of your clients.

…and then restrict access to it
Once you’ve worked out where your most precious data lies, you can check who currently has access to it and whether their access is appropriate. After all, it’s not necessary for everyone to be able to get at all the data your company owns.

Ensure that each of your employees has access only to the data that’s necessary for them to perform their duties. The great thing about Office 365 is it lets you conveniently set different levels of permissions based on user roles.

Watch out for insider threats
It’s wise to consider everyone in your organization when it comes to auditing data access permissions – and that includes system administrators who may have master access to every element of your network infrastructure.

A rogue administrator is the stuff of nightmares, since their elevated position gives them much greater leeway to siphon off valuable data without being noticed – or even to allow others to conduct questionable business and bypass the usual built-in security precautions. You can mitigate this risk by monitoring your administrators’ data usage and activities.

Use machine learning to foresee security breaches
Every action performed by your staff within Office 365 is automatically logged, and with relative ease you can create detailed activity reports. But the sheer number of events taking place within Office 365 in the course of your business’s normal operations means that even attempting to identify questionable behavior will be akin to finding a needle in a haystack.

That’s not to say it’s unwise to be on the lookout for anomalies in normal usage – the export of unexplainably large volumes of data, for instance, could suggest that a member of your team is leaking intelligence to a competitor, or that they’re about to jump ship and take your trade secrets with them.

To make things easier, machine learning technologies can identify potential breaches before they happen by analyzing large swathes of data in seconds. Graph API is incorporated into Office 365, and allows for the integration of machine learning tools into your security environment to achieve just that. The same tools can also help you avoid being caught unawares by hackers, by identifying system login attempts from locations that are out of the ordinary.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy the powerful collaborative features of Office 365 while ensuring the robust security your business demands. To find out more about how we can help your Office 365 migration run smoothly, just give us a call.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Office 365’s design undergoes an overhaul

Office 365’s design undergoes an overhaul

July 10th, 2018
Office 365’s design undergoes an overhaul

Microsoft recently announced that Office 365 apps, including Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Word will be going through a design overhaul to boost productivity of their subscribers. They plan on releasing new features in the next few months. Check out what they have in store.

Simplified ribbon

The biggest update is with the ribbon, which is a command bar at the top of a window. The new design now has a simpler, cleaner look that gives users the chance to customize the tools they work with most, simply by pinning apps or files to your Windows taskbar. Even though this new ribbon is designed with simplicity in mind, if you don’t find it helpful you can still revert back to the regular three-line view.

Some users may already be using this new ribbon in the online version of Word, while Outlook for Windows will receive it sometime this month. However, Microsoft disclosed that they aren’t yet ready to roll it out to PowerPoint, Word, and Excel for Windows.

Improved search option

One of the major changes is with the search option in Microsoft Office apps. The developers improved the search experience by using Microsoft graph, so users can now see search recommendations when they move their cursor to the search box. Some have already seen this update take effect, but it won’t be available for Outlook on the web until August.

Better colors and icons

To make the overall design more aesthetically pleasing, the colors and icons of every app have been revamped, too. They wanted a more modern look crisp and clean no matter the size of the user’s screen, which is why they employed scalable graphics. It first debuted on Word before appearing on Excel, PowerPoint, and Works for Windows last month. As for Outlook for Windows and Mac, users can expect the update later this summer.

Office 365 is constantly evolving to benefit subscribers. And to make things even more interesting, users will be chosen at random over the next several months to receive the updates, and Microsoft will gather their reviews to make further improvements. Co-creating new features with customers is something Microsoft truly believes in, so this isn’t simply a social media tactic.

So as you hang tight for these coming changes, consider increasing office collaboration by migrating your files to the cloud. Call us today to get started!

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

7 Must-Have Office 365 Add-Ons

7 Must-Have Office 365 Add-Ons

June 22nd, 2018
7 Must-Have Office 365 Add-Ons

Microsoft Office 365 is one of the most successful and popular apps in the world, at 135 million commercial users and counting. To further boost user experience, it also offers a range of time-saving, productivity-boosting add-ons.

#1. StaffHub

You can now easily keep track of your employees’ work hours, allow employees to swap shifts, and make changes where appropriate with Microsoft’s StaffHub app. What’s more, employees can also communicate with team members through its internal community spaces, check out new company updates, and add important internal resources like employee handbooks or training manuals through the app. The app is available on any mobile device, making it a very convenient tool for employees who need to manage their schedule and stay up to date.

#2. Office Tabs

Office Tabs allow you to open multiple files in one window, which saves you time from having to go through each opened document until you find the right one. As such, you can close or save all or everything but the current active document in a single click. You can also directly rename files by clicking Rename, instead of going through the tedious process of clicking Save As and then changing its name.

#3. Grammarly

The last thing you want to send to your clients is a confusing, poorly written email or document. Grammarly solves this by having your text go through rigorous grammar, spelling, and plagiarism checks. It then provides vocabulary suggestions and recommends writing style changes to polish your writing. This add-on is available in Word and Outlook, and its Premium counterpart is priced at $11.66 per month (annual plan).

#4. Pexels

Professional documents and presentations require high-resolution, blemish-free images, and Pexels helps you get them easily. Its free stock images are under a Creative Commons Zero license, meaning you can search high-quality images and use them in all your documents for any purpose with no legal repercussions.

#5. DocuSign

DocuSign for Outlook and Word lets you or the recipient securely sign the document electronically and send it through email, save it in the app, or store it in your company’s server. DocuSign complies with eSignature legal standards and is secured with an end-to-end Digital Transaction Management, ensuring your files will never be leaked or breached.

#6. FindTime

Setting up a meeting time is tedious and difficult, especially if your employees have different schedules. FindTime automatically scours every attendee’s personal schedule to locate open slots, and creates possible meeting time options for everyone to vote on. A meeting will then be scheduled according to whichever slot gets the highest vote within a specified amount of time.

#7. Translator

Businesses that deal with foreign companies will find communication much easier with Translator. This add-on recognizes and translates more than 50 different languages, including English, French, Spanish, and Chinese. Not only will you now spend less time understanding foreign-language documents, but you’ll also be able to work with clients from various parts of the world.

Start improving work productivity and make the most out of your Office 365 with Microsoft productivity add-ons. To get started or learn more about Office 365, Microsoft add-ons, or anything Microsoft Office related, contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Microsoft Office 365 to block Flash

Microsoft Office 365 to block Flash

June 6th, 2018
Microsoft Office 365 to block Flash

A few weeks ago, Microsoft made an announcement to block future content that is embedded with Adobe Flash, Shockwave, and even their own Silverlight platform from Office 365. While the developers have their reasons for implementing this, they should have pulled this feature earlier to avoid many irate customers.

Microsoft recently announced plans to eventually stop the activation of Silverlight, Shockwave, and Flash content in Office 365. This is not just the developers disabling bugs with an option to click a link or button to look at content. Within a few months’ time, Flash will be gone from Office 365 for good.

What media will be affected once this is implemented?

Microsoft Silverlight and Adobe Flash or Shockwave content that uses Microsoft’s OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) platform and the “Insert Object” feature will be blocked. However, media that uses the “Insert Online Video” control via an Internet Explorer browser frame will not be affected by this change.

The following timeline shows the various changes that will take full effect by January 2019:

  • Controls in the Office 365 Monthly Channel will be blocked beginning June 2018.
  • Controls in the Office 365 Semi-Annual Targeted (SAT) Channel will be blocked beginning September 2018.
  • Controls in the Office 365 Semi-Annual Channel will be blocked beginning January 2019.

Why did the developers choose to take out the embedded content?

Microsoft pointed out various reasons for making their decision. It cited that malware authors have been exploiting systems through Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files with embedded content, and that most Office 365 users did not use or rarely use the controls anyway.

Aside from this, the developers at Microsoft decided to take action after Adobeannounced that Flash would reach its end-of-life cycle by 2020. Silverlight was discontinued in 2016, where enterprise customers would have support for the medium until 2021.

For businesses that still need to look at or embed Silverlight- or Flash-based content in an Office 365 document, Microsoft has provided a support page to guide users on re-activating the controls.

As more websites are transitioning away from Flash in favor of HTML5, Microsoft’s once-popular platform has experienced a steady decline over the years. According to Google, Chrome users who loaded a single web page per day that has Flash media had gone down from an estimated 80% during 2014 to below 8% in early 2018.

For more information about utilizing Office 365 features and other IT related concerns, feel free to get in touch with us today!

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Microsoft unveils new features for Outlook

Microsoft unveils new features for Outlook

May 22nd, 2018
Microsoft unveils new features for Outlook

Microsoft outlined a list of new features it will deliver to its various Outlook apps, including bill-pay reminders, better calendaring across time zones, and a way to see who has RSVP’d for a meeting. Here are five that could potentially be the most important.

#1 RSVP
Outlook makes it fairly simple to invite people to a meeting, but now it will also keep tabs on who’s coming. Just click the new “Tracking” option under “Meeting Occurrence” and see who has committed to the meeting and who hasn’t. RSVP isn’t just available for the meeting organizer, but the attendees, too.

#2 Multiple time zones
Traveling internationally and trying to sync appointments on different continents? Not fun. But now you can set up event start times and end times across different zones.

Outlook now allows you to show multiple time zones – three within Windows, and one within Outlook for Mac. In Outlook for Windows, add one by clicking File > Options > Calendar Time Zones and clicking “Show a second time zone”. In Mac, add one additional time zone under Outlook > Preferences > Calendar Time Zones. For Outlook on the web, click the “Time Zone” drop-down arrow in your Calendar meeting invite to add an additional time zone.

#3 BCC warning
If you’re on the receiving end of a blind carbon copy (bcc) email, that means the other recipients didn’t know you were copied on it. In Outlook for Windows, you’ll now get an alert if you attempt to reply to that message, such as “You were bcc’d, so perhaps you should reply only to the sender?” That way you’ll remain anonymous.

#4 Office Lens for Android
If you use Outlook for Android, the app will integrate the Microsoft Office Lens feature.
When that happens, you can tap the photo icon while composing a message, then take a snapshot of a whiteboard, document, photo or the like. Outlook will optimize it and then embed it into the email.

#5 Bill-pay reminders
What about your bills? Outlook will identify them in your inbox, show you a summary card at the top of your email each day, send an email to remind you two days before the due date, and automatically add an event to your calendar so you don’t forget to pay on the actual day.

If you want to learn more about these new and improved features, with more on the way, just call us today for a quick chat with one of our Microsoft Office experts.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

OneNote removed from Office 2019 and Office 365

OneNote removed from Office 2019 and Office 365

May 3rd, 2018
OneNote removed from Office 2019 and Office 365

People who use OneNote for Windows are in for a surprise. The desktop version of the app will be phased out in favor of the UWP (Universal Windows Platform) app included with Office 365 and Microsoft Office 2019.

Microsoft’s OneNote desktop application is nearing the end of its journey, as the software giant will stop developing the product line past the 2016 edition. But don’t panic just yet, OneNote 2016 will share the same lifecycle as Microsoft Office 2016. The desktop app will receive security patches and updates until October 14, 2025.

Developers are directing their efforts to the Windows 10 OneNote app, where the switchover will be formal once Microsoft releases Office 2019. The current plan is to have Office 2019 in store shelves by the second half of 2018, and most of the features in OneNote 2016 have been added to the Windows 10 version.

What requested features will eventually make it to OneNote for Windows 10?

  • All of the features that can be used in OneNote 2016 add-ons will be built into the Windows 10 app to make an improved Class Notebook.
  • Edit and view files which allow users to collaborate on attached documents together. OneNote for Windows 10 will allow users to look at live previews of Microsoft Office files, and cloud files will help save space in the notebooks.
  • “Search and insert tags” which lets users search for, create and insert custom tags. The tags created in OneNote for Windows 10 will also be synced across other OneNote devices, and tags that other users made can be accessed in a shared notebook so you don’t have to make them again.

Users who are new to Microsoft Office 2019 or Office 365 can still install the OneNote 2016 application. The Windows 10 version and the 2016 version are still compatible until further notice.

Don’t hesitate to call us today for more information on how to keep your software up to date while securing your private data at the same time!

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Mission: WesTec will be a “turn-key” solution for all of its clients’ business connectivity needs. It will offer efficient and effective solutions, directly and with strategic partners, that create tangible value for its clients at every point of contact. Westec will serve all people and entities with a servant’s heart.

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