7 Tips to Holding Effective Virtual Meetings

Posted by Kayla Knight on Jun 3, 2020 4:11:42 PM

How to Have Productive Virtual Meetings 

With many business moving to an online platform - read our latest blog post on how to transition your business online here - one of the biggest ways to be successful in doing so, is to continue to communicate and connect with your team. 

While meetings in person are less frequent, meetings do not need to cease altogether.  Rather, learning how to have productive meetings online can help your business succeed and excel in productivity. 

Here our our 7 tips on how to hold effective virtual meetings: 


1. Schedule the meeting ahead of time

Try not to hold impromptu meetings unless absolutely necessary.  Impromptu meetings without a plan or agenda can be extremely unproductive. 

The best time of day to schedule your meetings are first thing in the morning and late afternoon, as they set the tone for the day or for the next day. While mid-afternoon meetings are typically the least productive times for meetings. 

When scheduling meetings ahead of time ensure everyone is invited to the meeting and knows the overall agenda and objective. 

2. Put together an agenda for the meeting

Have a specific agenda for the meeting along with goals and objectives to be achieved to set the expectations for the meeting.  When these are broken down into tasks and goals to be achieved, everyone can better see what steps need to be taken next.  Don't forget to send out the agenda ahead of time, so everyone involved can come prepared and ask any potential meeting stopping questions before hand. 



3. Turn off distractions

All distractions that could destroy productivity during the meeting should be muted. Require phones to be turned off and email to be closed.  This will ensure that everyone is staying on task and not getting side tracked. 


4. Allow time For announcements and conversation at the beginning

Allow a 5-10 minute segment at the beginning of the meeting to be for conversations and announcements while everyone gets settled.  Especially with many of us working remote, this time allows employees to share random facts before the meeting takes place, preventing distractions. 


5. Work towards a solution

When discussing problems in the meeting, the goal should be to come to a solution on how to resolve that problem.  Rather than discussing the problem for a long period of time, the problem should be identified, and the remainder of the time should be put toward solving it.


6. Honor the purpose of the meeting

Don’t get side tracked by issues or other problems unrelated to the meeting.  Each meeting should have an overall goal and purposed defined before a meeting is scheduled. 

Hold each-other accountable to stay on track and redirect the conversation  back to the purpose of the meeting. If needed, schedule another meeting to discuss any unrelated issues that may be brought up. 


7. Use a reliable source for virtual meetings

Ensure you are using a reliable source for your virtual meetings.  Each platform has its own pros and cons, so evaluate each before making your decision, and ensure all employees know how to use the tool before starting the meeting.  This will ensure no distractions arise preventing the meeting from starting on time.

Some platforms have time restrictions allowed on their free version, so make sure you have the paid version of virtual meeting platforms, if you need extended time. 





Checkout our FREE webinar here to learn more about the importance of a business continuity plan and how to implement one for your business. 

If you have questions on how to setup proper backups or need more information contact us today.



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Topics: Working remote, Managed Security

Is Your Wordpress Site Secure?

Posted by Kayla Knight on May 27, 2020 5:03:12 PM

Is Your Wordpress Site Secure or is it a Target for Attack?

Wordpress sites are a great tool for many small business, as it allows them to create, manage, and update their own website without the overhead of a web developer.  However, Wordpress can be a prime target to many hackers, as there are several security loop holes that can lead to attack. 
Ensure that your Wordpress site is secure and up to date by following some of our tips!  


Have a secure password

Having a secure password that keeps hackers out in the first place is crucial to avoiding attacks on your Wordpress site. 

When choosing a password, it should not be one that you use commonly on other sites or easy to guess.  We recommend using the four word method by preshing.com.  

This method involves using 4 common radome words to make a password that is secure and easy to remember.  

Password management tools are also a great resource to store passwords in a secure format and also allow you to update passwords with a click of a button!


Ensure that plugins and updates are complete 

Plugin updates will ensure that bugs and patches are not leaving your site susceptible to threats or attacks. 
It is important to run updates and remove old plugins that you are no longer in use so that not back doors are left open for hackers. 


Security Plugin

Having a security plugin that monitors your sites over all health can lead to insights and potential threats before they are a problem. 

These are great plugins to have as they will email you as plugins need updates, potential issues, logins, and threats made against your account.  


Install and SSL Certificates

An SSL Certificates are an encrypted channel between user and server.  These sites are more secure as they create a secure link between the website and the visitor. 



Don’t Login on Public WI-FI

Public WiFi is a very un-secure space, especially for important data and information.  It is very easy for hackers to gain access to public WiFi and steel credentials or gain access to data. 



Backup site

The truth is mistakes, disasters, and attacks can happen even if you do everything perfect! Prevention is the first step in preventing loss of valuable data or information, but preparation and planning can make or break your business. 

Always have a secure and up to date backup, so in the event of disaster you can recover your data. 


For more information on how to secure your business and data, and setup employees to work from home, contact us today! 



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Topics: Working remote, Managed Security, Digital Transformation

Protect your Business from COVID-19 Scammers

Posted by Kayla Knight on Apr 28, 2020 11:50:27 PM

Scammers targeting COVID-19 

A new trend among many scammers is targeting the fears and concerns around the COVID-19 virus. 
These scams target individuals and businesses in several ways, and can have a major impact on small businesses resulting in data loss or stolen information. 
Individuals are being targeted via text, email, phone, and more services that many individuals are currently utilizing.  Especially with the increase in number of individuals working from home, security around your business and data has never been more important.  
Here are a few common methods hackers are utilizing to target individuals and businesses:

Streaming Services

Netflix, Hulu, etc. 

With many people stuck inside their homes, there has been a rise in streaming services.  Hackers are targeting the increase in usage to send phishing emails, texts, and offers to individuals that could get them to click on malicious links or send in personal information. 
This can lead users to malicious links and result in stolen credit card information and valuable data.  These include fake sites, website urls, and links within emails and texts that are targeting popular streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and more.  It is especially important when clicking on any link, that it is from a trusted and reliable source. 


Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware attacks are on the rise as many individuals and businesses are researching information on COVID-19, stay at home orders, and more surrounding the virus.  Not only can these malicious attacks be a result of phishing attacks, but they can come in many forms online, through un-secure websites and forms. 
Be sure to inform your users how to identify malicious links, and to be extra cautious of attacks during this time.  This can be extremely detrimental to businesses if users are logged in through a VPN or conducting business from home, infecting your entire network. 
Checkout our blog post on User Training here to learn more about preparing your users for potential risk and threats. 
To learn more about these attacks checkout our latest YouTube video!

For more information on how to secure your business and data, and setup employees to work from home, contact us today! 


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Topics: Business Continuity, Working remote, Managed Security

Software to use to increase productivity while working from home

Posted by Kayla Knight on Apr 21, 2020 11:25:38 AM

Working from home (WFH)

A majority of businesses, that are still operating, are having their employees working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, and for good reason.  
However, there are some common issues many employers are facing right now, as the WFH force is increasing: lack of productivity, resources, and organization. 
In this blog post we will discuss three free software tools that you can utilize to help increase productivity and help keep your data and information in one place to help with over all organization. 
By adding these tools to your organization and task management stack, you will be able to cut down on the clutter, overall email threads, and organize your content and data much more efficiently! 


file sync and share tool

Dropbox is a file sync and share tool that is useful for collaborating with team members and accessing files from just about anywhere. 

How Dropbox can help

Dropbox can help organize your thoughts and files all in one place; allowing you to collaborate with team members, organize your to do list, setup due date reminders, and access files from anywhere in the world from any device. 

Things you are already doing

  • Taking notes during meetings
  • Creating a tasks or to-do list
  • Brainstorming
  • Accessing files


Instant Messaging Software

Slack is an instant messaging software that can help organize conversations by topic and users involved in the project. 

Things you are already doing

  • messaging with your teammates/coworkers - emailing, texting, and instant messaging 
  • Organizing content


How slack can help

  • Slack can replace your text messages, emails, and instant messaging and bring it all together in one place.  
  • Stop losing emails 
  • Conversation & topic organization
  • Real-time collaboration
  • Ability to upload documents, pdf's, etc. 
  • Notifications when name is mentioned or conversation/topic needs your attention.


Kanban organization tool 

Trello is a kanban organizational tool that uses cards to organize tasks, to-dos, and project.  This tool allows you to create specific tasks, checklists, and to-dos, as well as the ability assign cards to specific users to complete the tasks. 

Things you are already doing 

  • Creating task lists
  • Creating to do lists
  • Managing your calendar 
  • Collaborating with teammates


How Trello can help 

  • Great for project and task management 
  • Can manage tasks and to dos within projects separately 
  • Can manage tasks (cards) on calendar
  • Assign tasks and to-dos as well as manage due dates
  • Upload content to cards


For more information on how to get your business setup to work from home, contact us today! 


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Topics: Working remote, Managed Security

How to Work Remote From Home

Posted by Kayla Knight on Apr 21, 2020 10:55:25 AM

How to Work Remote from Home in a Secure & Productive Manner

With the pandemic in the world growing, there is an increasing number of people working from home.  Fortunately, there are a lot of resources available to make working from home secure and productive. 
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Topics: Working remote, Managed Security

How Hackers are Using the Coronavirus to Steel Your Data

Posted by Kayla Knight on Mar 17, 2020 5:03:17 PM
As if the coronavirus pandemic was not bad enough, hackers are now using the outbreak to hit your business with ransomware. 
As the pandemic is becoming a bigger issue across the globe, hackers are creating malicious links embedded with ransomware to lock and encrypt your data and business. 
Here are a few ways you can ensure your business is protected against these malicious attacks:

1. User training

User training is crucial in protecting your business against malicious links and behaviors.  Training your users on how to identify when a link may be malicious and ensure that it is coming from a reliable source.  

2. Pay attention to spam and attachment emails

Educate your users to avoid clicking links, pdfs, and zip files from unknown sources. Ensure the emails are coming from a reliable source and confirming with the source, if there is any suspicion. 

3. Proper business continuity plan

Accidents happen and disaster can strike at any time, without warning.  Prepare your business for success with the proper backups and business continuity plan to get your business back up and running in minutes. 
For more information protecting your business from malicious behavior or getting the proper backups in place, please contact us at (719) 359-5995 or send us a message from the link below! 

Contact us!

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Topics: Ransomware, Working remote, Managed Security

How to Prepare and Prevent Against Ransomware

Posted by Kayla Knight on Mar 4, 2020 9:09:46 AM
Ransomware is becoming more common among all types and sizes of businesses.   The intelligence behind ransomware is not only increasing but also becoming more malicious as time goes on.  
The best way to avoid ransomware is to have a prevention plan in place and also a plan in place to restore data in the event of attack.  
Here are a few ways you can ensure your business is headed in the right direction toward ransomware prevention:

1. Have multiple layers of protection

the best way to protect against a ransomware attack is to have multiple layers or protection.  This can include but not limited to, end-point protection, user training to identify suspicious and malicious behavior, and the proper business continuity plan. 

2. Security awareness training

cybercriminals are constantly trying to find holes and weaknesses within cybersecurity software.  Even the most up to date software will not provide all the protection that your business needs to prevent attacks.  The best way to prevent attacks is having the knowledge to identify the suspicious and malicious type behavior.  Educating yourself and your users is extremely important in prevent attacks. 

3. Prepare, test, and re-evaluate

Because cybercriminals are constantly looking for weaknesses in software, systems, and even mainstream media to exploit for their next potential victim, it is important to constantly re-evaluate your plan for prevention and implementation against ransomware 
For more information on how to get SaaS backups setup for you data and business, contact us at (719) 359-5995 or send us a message from the link below! 

Contact us!

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Topics: Ransomware, Managed Security

Why You Should Backup Your SaaS Data

Posted by Kayla Knight on Feb 25, 2020 4:08:50 PM

Why SaaS is Not Backup

SaaS stands for Software as a Service, and one of its biggest benefits is the ability to use software without the purchase or installation of physical hardware.  While SaaS allows all of your data to be stored in the cloud, most softwares do not have backup solutions in place for the data.

Unless you are okay with losing all the valuable data, it is important to have a backup solution in place for your SaaS data.

Here are 4 reasons that you should consider a backup solution for your SaaS data:


1. How is Data Being Protected

While the cloud is generally safe, data loss happens everyday. So when data loss occurs who is to blame?

The single leading (and unpreventable) cause of data loss in the cloud is end user error. Instead, protect your business with backups to avoid data loss and downtime. 

2. How is Data Recovered

If data is lost due to human error, malicious attacks, or other reasons, there are some options to restore said data, but can also cost thousands of dollars.  Having a backup solution in place can prevent the headache associated with trying to recovery lost or deleted data.

3. Recovery limitations

Recovering data through the native apps is limiting – not only in how far back you can restore data from, but in what you have control over.  It may also be a very tedious process with a lot of manual workloads.

4. Recovery Time

The time it takes to recover data from the cloud varies app to app.  For Google Apps, O365 and Salesforce, it can take anywhere from minutes to weeks to longer (if at all).
For more information on how to get SaaS backups setup for you data and business, contact us at (719) 359-5995 or send us a message from the link below! 

Contact us!

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Topics: Managed Services, Business Continuity, Managed Security, Digital Transformation

The Value of SaaS Backups

Posted by Kayla Knight on Feb 18, 2020 3:51:34 PM

The Value of SaaS Backups

SaaS stands for Software as a Service, and one of its biggest benefits is the ability to use software without the purchase or installation of physical hardware.  Instead, the service is hosted through the cloud.

Many businesses believe because their data is hosted on the cloud, they do not need to backup that particular data.  However, this could not be farther from the truth.  Not backing up your data, from physical hardware or cloud databases could lead to data loss and downtime. 

Ensure your business against data loss across G Suite and Office 365, including Gmail, Google Drive, Shared Drives, Exchange Online, OneDrive, and SharePoint

Here are a list of the 5 different benefits of SaaS backups:


1. Gain Peace of Mind

Avoid losing data to inefficient native recovery features and protect your business no matter what.

2. Ensure Transferability

Easily move emails, files or sites from one user to another when employees leave your company.

3. Resolve Cloud Concerns

Restore critical emails or files lost due to user error, malicious activity, or SaaS application outages.

4. Recover From Ransomware

Quickly restore your user data to a moment before an attack occurred.

5. Cut Costs

Eliminate unnecessary license fees.


If you would like to learn more on how to get started and proactively managing your business and its technology today, you can reach out at the link below! 

Contact us!

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Topics: Managed Services, Business Continuity, Managed Security

The Value of RMM

Posted by Kayla Knight on Feb 11, 2020 4:50:25 PM

4 Ways Remote Monitoring and Management Ensures your Technology Assets are Protected

RMM stands for remote monitoring and management.  This allows your IT provider to deliver better and quicker service, while greatly reducing any potential for downtime or disruptions to your operations. 


Here are the top 4 ways that RMM ensures your technology assets are protected:


1. Proactive Support

With the right RMM,  you can address potential issues before they become a problem and have the ability to monitor your businesses’ devices, applications, and systems continuously.

RMM tools can resolve many common issues proactively before they actually affect your network.  This promotes for a more secure environment, and allows for automated software patching of devices and applications.

RMM allows for proactive solutions in your business and the ability to do real-time monitoring.  Allowing all of you technology assets (devices, networks) to run smoothly 24/7/365. 


2. Rapid Response 

It is important when a particular issue or scenario arises that your MSP provider is available to put out the fire.  With the right RMM tool, your focus can stay on what is important to your business while you provider gives it the focused attention necessary to minimize any disruption.

RMM that enables remote support any device, from any location, within moments is extremely important if you want to have peace of mind around the technology in your organization. Look into providers that don’t need to be onsite to fix issues or errors.

RMM gives the ability to run scripts and execute tasks, even after business hours if necessary to avoid disruption. Along  with automated remediation capabilities,  and the ability to program a system to automatically fix commonly encountered issues with zero interruption to anyone in your business.


3. Actionable Insight

RMM tools allow for actionable insights into your business. Technology isn’t only an asset, it’s a major investment for your organization. RMM tools arm your business with the insights you need on how these assets are performing and empowering you to make fact-based decisions to optimize your technology investments. 

The right RMM tool allows for visibility of your IT assets, and can capture everything from hardware to software to license information while tracking daily system changes.  A detailed report can then be generated to help identify what devices are having the most issues or aren’t up to date with security patches or are coming out of warranty. The goal is to give you the information you need to make informed business decisions supported by data. 


4. World Class Security 

It’s more important than ever to protect your IT infrastructure and the devices you use to run your business.  RMM has built-in comprehensive security measures at every point. 

RMM also has security controls and privacy mode that can be enabled to prevent unauthorized access to devices.  You can even install privacy mode, where the user must grant permission before their device is accessed by a technician for remote support. 



If you would like to learn more on how to get started and proactively managing your business and its technology today, you can reach out at the link below! 

Contact us!

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Topics: Managed Services, Managed Security

Tech Talk Blog

Welcome to the Tech Talk Blog by IT Specialists, where we focus on all things technology and business.  

Follow along for more information on:

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  • Security updates and potential threats 
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