Just how important is Email Security?

Cyberattacks are rapidly increasing every day with hackers becoming more and more sophisticated and the scams more elaborate than ever before.  It is reported that in 2019, around a third of businesses in the UK identified at least one breach or attack each month. The most common types are phishing attacks comprising 80% along with impersonating emails, viruses, spyware or malware including ransomware.

Let’s look at the jargon being used surrounding these attacks so we can really understand this threat.  Malware is a word used to describe any type of malicious software which usually piggybacks on an email or document containing links, Ransomware is typically spread through phishing emails and Phishing is the use of technology to lure victims into providing sensitive and personal information.

5 ways to identify a phishing email:

  1. If the email asks you to confirm personal information, such as banking details or login credentials, information that you would not usually provide.
  2. The web and email addresses do not look genuine – at a quick glance these might look correct but on closer inspection, they will be slightly varied but intended to look genuine. Hover over any links in the body of the email as these might be malicious.
  3. It is poorly written – if the email is full of spelling and grammatical errors, there is a strong possibility it is a phishing email. Legitimate emails from companies will be written professionally and checked for spelling and grammatical errors.
  4. There is a suspicious attachment – it is always good practice to scan attachments using antivirus software particularly if you receive an email out of the blue with an attachment that you weren’t expecting.
  5. The email is designed to make you panic – it is common that phishing emails will incite panic in the recipient as it will ask for immediate action to be taken on personal items such as bank accounts.

Office 365 has a solution to help protect your emails, files and online storage.  Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) protects your mailboxes, files, online storage, and applications against new, sophisticated attacks. It offers protection for all the major Microsoft apps such as Microsoft Teams, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, SharePoint Online, and OneDrive for Business.

Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) offers the following benefits:

  1. Safe Attachments: ATP protects you against unsafe attachments and provides you with a malware-free, cleaner inbox.
  2. Safe Links: ATP blocks users from clicking on malicious links.  If a link they click on is unsafe, the user will either be informed that the site’s been blocked or warned not to visit it.
  3. Spoof Intelligence: This detects when a sender appears to be sending an email on behalf of one or more user accounts within one of your organisation’s domains.  It enables you to review all senders who are spoofing your domain, and then choose to allow the sender to continue or block the sender.
  4. Quarantine: Messages identified by the Office 365 service as spam, phishing mail or potentially containing malware can be sent to quarantine.

The impact of a cyberattack is not only time consuming but costly. One accidental or careless click by an employee has the potential to compromise your entire network.  Office 365 Advance Threat Protection offers industry-leading, comprehensive protection, can your business really afford to be without it?

No one is safe from these attacks, all businesses are a potential target and need to remain vigilant, don’t wait until you have been the victim of a cybercrime to take action.    Ilkley IT Services can help you to get the protection you need so that you can have peace of mind and get on with running your business.  Contact us today to find out more.

Using Microsoft Teams in each Department

With many of us continuing to work from home, and the likelihood of this carrying on into the future, the use of video conferencing software such as Microsoft Teams has become a daily occurrence.  Also, for people who are going back to the office and having to follow social distancing regulations, using Teams really helps departments across companies to continue to successfully collaborate and continue working effectively.  If you have never used Teams before or have perhaps only used the chat facility, it can feel overwhelming to make the transition to using all the different parts of the software.

Let’s have a look at how Microsoft Teams can help each department individually and improve team collaboration:

Marketing

Marketing teams need to create and collaborate with many groups of people both within the company and outside of it.  Teams provides a shared workspace for all conversations, files and third-party services.  Teams makes it very easy to manage marketing campaigns, social channels, collaborate on content creation and plan events.

Top Tip: Add Adobe Creative Cloud Directly into Teams: https://appsource.microsoft.com/en-us/product/office/WA104381222?tab=Overview

Sales

Teams can help sales teams to deal with enquiries and quickly build quotations and proposals with input from different stakeholders.  Collaboration, reporting, and knowledge sharing can happen in one place, helping sales professionals everywhere – in the home office and the field – work together to meet sales objectives.

Top Tip: Use with PowerBI to create a dashboard for data relating to forecast and actual sales https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/

Finance

Finance teams need to collaborate on aggregating and reporting on data while conducting business reviews on a regular basis. Teams provides a central hub in which all files, data, conversations and meetings can happen in a single place, safely and securely.

Top Tip: Use file sharing to share monthly or quarterly reports with management or company owners.

Human Resources

Teams can help the HR team to manage recruitment and employee onboarding activities, including sharing CVs and interview notes, keeping track of candidate information, communicating employment decisions, and sharing new employee documents.

Top Tip: https://www.simpleinout.com/ and https://www.attendancebot.com/ are great addons to Teams that help keep track of your team.

IT

Teams provides the IT team with a single hub to collaborate, plan, execute, and manage all phases of infrastructure deployments and rollouts.  It is a very useful tool to help drive transformation and change management across the organisation.

Top Tip: Utilise the chat feature to answer questions your team may have about new systems.

Engineering

Engineers move quickly between ideas, development and deployment of a concept when delivering new features. Teams is integrated with developer tools, enabling continuous discussion across a distributed team to keep projects on track.

Top Tip: Utilise Planner to manage projects and OneNote to organised notes.

Project Management

Project managers often use a myriad of planning, meeting, and communication tools and services. Teams enables collaboration in one central hub with all the tools to organise and share project files, manage stakeholder meetings, and track progress for multiple projects.

Top Tip: Use Microsoft Planner to better manage projects within your team https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/microsoft-365/business/task-management-software

If you would like more information about how Teams can be used within your business, download this helpful guide.

It can all seem a bit overwhelming making sure Microsoft Teams is set up correctly, but Ilkley IT know all the tips and tricks to help you to set up Teams so that you can use it effectively.  They will take you through each step to ensure that everything is configured correctly so that you use Teams to its full potential.

Contact us today, we would love to have a chat about how we can help!

Why the Cloud is not a backup

There is a misconception that storing data in the cloud means it is backed up.  Unfortunately, people delete data, mostly accidentally, sometimes intentionally.  There are also threats from hackers and malware.  This means that even in the cloud, data can be lost.  Without a cloud backup solution for Office 365, you are missing a critical component of data protection that ensures your data can’t be lost.   

The statistics show that 1 in 3 businesses report losing data stored in cloud-based applications. In addition, out of all MSP reported SaaS ransomware attacks, 49% occurred in Office 365, up 17% from last year. Not only can the loss of the data itself be devastating to a company, but the time lost in attempting a recovery can be equally damaging. 

 

What does SaaS Protection Recover?

OneDrive:  

All files (including One Note) and folders with file structure intact. 

Contacts:  

All contact information (excludes photos). 

Calendar:  

Events (including recurrence, attendees, notes), attachments and any calendars owned by users. 

Mail:  

All emails, attachments, notes and folder structure. 

SharePoint: 

Primary, custom, group and team site collections 

Custom generic site lists  

Folder structure 

Document libraries and sets 

Site assets, templates, and pages 

 

Fast & Effortless Restore

One-click restore means companies easily avoid business downtime. Quickly identify and recover individual items or entire folders without overwriting existing files. 

We recommend using a 3rd party SaaS protection as a backup system to protect your data, reducing the risk of data loss and being vulnerable to hackers.  SaaS protection gives you the peace of mind that data loss can be recovered to the time of the last backup.    

Ilkley IT offer full cloud backup for Office 365 and can manage the entire process for you. Our support packages also offer unlimited restores so you know you will be back up and running quickly.  Download this useful article which provides more information.  Get in touch with us today to talk about cloud-to-cloud backup and how we can help with this. 

 

5 Top Tips for Working from Home

With the events of the last 3 months, it feels as if almost overnight everything changed.  Businesses have had to be flexible and adjust to the changing environment.  Many people found themselves, for the first time, having to adjust to working remotely and from home.  If it is the first time you are working from home or even if you have worked from home before, but now it is for an extended period, how can you make sure that your workspace is set up effectively to enable you to be the most productive, stay connected with your colleagues and to manage your time efficiently?

Here are our 5 top tips for working from home:

Set up your physical workspace:

This is the most important tip – choose a designated workspace specifically for where you will work, separate from personal space, this will minimise disruptions for you.  This space should have good ventilation and lighting and a proper desk and office chair.  It is important to sit at your desk correctly and have your screen as close to in line with eye level as possible and to have the correct posture.   You will need a secure, password-protected Wi-Fi network and when using a wireless connection, you will need to consider your distance from the router as this may affect the quality of your connection. If you do have the space in your workspace, extra monitors can really increase productivity and help you to get more work done.

Set up your virtual workspace:

Working in the cloud allows you to collaborate and stay productive online from wherever you are working.  Microsoft has products such as OneDrive, OneNote, PowerPoint, Excel and Word which make collaborating with colleagues and syncing documents very easy.  With these tools you can make your documents virtual and accessible on the web across all devices.  Always make sure you back up the documents you are working on in the cloud.

How to stay focused:

For many people it is the first time you are working from home and so it might feel very strange and take a while to get used to it.  It is important to create a routine, wake up at the same time every day and give yourself enough time to do everything you need to do before starting work.  Set an ‘end time’ and finish work at the same time every evening so that you can relax before going to sleep.  Tidy up after the day and create to-do lists for the next day.  Block off time for specific tasks.  If you find it difficult to concentrate, try working in 25-minute chunks.  There are many ways to do this, one such app is the Pomodoro Technique (https://bit.ly/2MW5vib) which you can use to manage your time.

Look after your wellbeing:

Have a lunch break and regular screen breaks.  Make time for exercise whether it is 10 minutes or 60 minutes.  Go for a walk and get some fresh air whilst making a call.  It is easy to keep snacking during the day but plan healthy and nutritious meals and stick to designated mealtimes.  Celebrate your achievements throughout the day, for example if you tick something off your to-do list, celebrate it, if you complete a difficult task that you have been putting off, congratulate yourself.  This will keep you motivated to keep powering through your to-do list!  Why not try meditation, this technique can really help to keep you calm, manage stress levels and sleep better.

Remote communication:

It is easier now more than ever to keep connected to your colleagues and clients using one of the many video conferencing platforms such a Microsoft Teams.  Make it a habit to connect frequently with your colleagues either daily or weekly.  Looking specifically at the platform Microsoft Teams, it allows you to record a presentation to a client or training with colleagues, which you can then share afterwards, it also gives you the facility to share your screen during meetings and facilitates  collaboration through the chat facility, making it easy to send a quick message or share a document, updates etc.  Using a camera on video calls helps you to connect with colleagues and clients, read our 5 Top Tips for Successful Video Conferencing for more about this topic.

If you need help with adjusting to working from home, setting up a secure workspace and solving Wi-Fi or printer issues, then the team at Ilkley IT can help you to make sure you are set up to work effectively and productively.  Ilkley IT can also offer advice and recommendations on the Microsoft Products mentioned and get you up and running and using them very quickly and easily.  Contact us today, we would love to have a chat about how we can help!

It is time to swap your physical server for cloud services?

Have you been using your servers for many years and finding that they are now getting old?  Are your systems and applications running slower because your servers have reached their limit?  Are you facing rising costs for the maintenance of your hardware?  It might be time for you to seriously consider swapping your physical servers for cloud services.  All elements of your server infrastructure can be moved to the cloud. The thought of this might fill you with anxiety and seem like an impossible mountain to climb but Ilkley IT can help you and make it a smooth process.

Migrate Files

Migrating your files from your server to the cloud is a straightforward process however the timeline for this needs to be considered.  A realistic timeline needs to be worked out and this can depend on several factors such as the number of files and folders, total amount of data being moved and the complexity of file and sharing permissions.  Ilkley IT will work with you to determine the best plan for this and recommend carrying out the migration during quieter times, such as the weekend to avoid work disruption.

Move to Cloud Software

More and more software companies have cloud-based software products, such as CRM and Accounting packages.  Some companies only have cloud-based software and are moving away from on-premise versions completely.  Cloud-based products can be accessed at any time from any location, whether you are working remotely or from the office.  Accessing tools in the cloud is very secure and provides a huge amount of flexibility.  It makes any product updates much quicker and easier as there is no need to manually install the updates on every single local machine.

Migrate users to Azure Active Directory (AD)

If you are worried that you will lose your log-in details for all the systems and programs you use, there is no need to.  The process to migrate cloud logins for all users can be done seamlessly. Using cloud logins also opens the door for single sign on for 3rd party web applications.

Cloud Printing 

It makes sense if you are moving your server infrastructure to the cloud to also move your on-premise print infrastructure.  Cloud printing is the technology that enables printers to be accessed over the network via the cloud, in simple terms, it is a service that connects your printers to the web.  You can print from anywhere using any internet connected device.

Transitioning Legacy Software to your Cloud Server

Once you have made the decision to migrate your business to the cloud, the second step is to decide which software programmes to take with you.  You might think, well all of them, but it is the perfect opportunity to evaluate the tools you are using and whether these are serving their purpose within your business or not.  Some legacy software might not be compatible with being used as a cloud product, depending on its age but others can be successfully migrated.  It is worth considering if there is a cloud solution offering the same functionality that can replace the legacy software.

The team at Ilkley IT have the expertise to help you to migrate your business to the cloud, so if this is something you are considering, contact us today to find out how we can work with you to do this with minimal disruption to you and your business.

5 Top Tips for Successful Video Conferencing

Conducting business meetings and team meetings online via one of the many platforms such as Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams and many other services has always been a part of our business lives but it has now become an everyday occurrence in the “new normal” with many people working from home and unable to visit clients.

With so many people now spending most of their day on video calls as part of their day-to-day activities, how can we make sure we follow the correct etiquette during these virtual interactions?

Here are our 5 top tips for successful video conferencing:

Test your technology:

Check that your technology is working properly, you don’t want to delay a meeting with a client or your team because you can’t get your video conferencing system to work or your audio/video settings are incorrect.

Test the video:

Ahead of signing in and joining an online meeting, test the video.  Use this opportunity to get the camera at exactly the right level – make sure it is slightly above eye level so that the height is at a flattering angle and you are looking directly into the lens.  Make any adjustments by raising your device up on some books or a box to get the correct height.  Also, check if you are sitting too close – arm’s length is the optimal distance from the camera for a video call.

Get the correct light on your face:

Front-facing natural light is always best so open your curtains and your blinds and make sure the light is hitting your face straight on.  Alternatively, if it is an overcast day, put a lamp behind your computer so that it shines on your face.  This will give you a “brighter” look and put you in a very flattering light!  Also check your screen brightness and adjust accordingly if necessary.

Minimise distractions:

Choose a designated area to sit when doing your video calls and make sure you always keep the background neat and tidy to minimise distractions. You will always be ready to do a video call and won’t need to worry about what is in the background.  Some of the video calling services are offering virtual backgrounds, make sure you choose an appropriate one for the call you are on as these can be distracting in themselves.  If you can, go for a neutral colour background.

Treat it like an actual meeting:

Treat it as if you were attending a face-to-face meeting. Make sure you are on time for the call.  Stay professional, wear work- appropriate clothing and make an effort with your appearance.  Mute yourself when you are not speaking, even though you may think you are being quiet, microphones pick up minor background noises and with platforms such as Zoom, the camera flicks to where the noise is coming from, which is distracting for all the participants.

Finally, be prepared and get settled as you would in an actual meeting, have everything you need close to hand as you will not be able to get up during the call!  And most of all, make sure you remember you are on camera, act as if you were together in person.  Pay attention, you can be seen if you get distracted, start doing other work or pick up your phone and look at it!

Get in touch with Ilkley IT if you need any advice on which video conferencing platform would be best for your business and if you need help with getting this set up to ensure a smooth video conferencing experience!

Why you should be using Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) for everything

In this digital age we live in, it seems that there is no end to the attacks that hackers are coming up with and using to target businesses and innocent people.  The malicious attacks and data breaches continue to be more sophisticated and elaborate than ever before and cybercrime shows no signs of slowing down!  Thankfully, there is action that businesses can take to protect themselves and add an additional level of security to protect their online accounts and systems and this is where Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) comes in.  

 What is 2FA? 

 2FA is a second layer of security to protect an account or system.  When you log on to an account or system, you will need to go through two layers of security before being granted access. This might be in the form of code generated via an app or sent as a text message.  

 Why should I use 2FA? 

In general, people tend to use passwords that are very easy to remember or use the same password for multiple accounts.   If a security question is requested during an account set up, usually this is also information that can easily be found out through all your interactions on social networks and other activities online.  This makes life very easy for hackers and leaves your accounts and systems very exposed to cyber-attacks.   Cyber attackers can also use software on their systems to try and crack your password.  The weaker the password, the easier it is for them to crack it.  

The first important thing to do is to use stronger passwords and this is where a password manager is very useful.  2FA then provides you with an extra layer of protection.  It might be easy for cyber criminals to try and guess your password, but it will be very hard for them to guess the second authentication factor as the code changes every 30 seconds.  This drastically reduces the chances of you being hacked.  In an article written by Microsoft, they report that users who enable 2FA for their accounts will end up blocking 99.9% of automated attacks.  

 How to get 2FA working 

There are a few different 2FA methods that can be used, it might be a code issued by your bank when you are using internet banking or a one-time password (OTP) which is sent to your mobile phone.  Authentication apps are a more secure option to use than text message codes as it is easier for a hacker to gain access to text messages than it is for them to gain physical access to your phone and generate a code without you knowing it.  

 Ilkley IT recommend using the Microsoft authenticator app for your Microsoft accounts and Authy for all your other accounts.  One of the advantages of using Authy is that you can use the app on your phone and your other devices such as desktops or laptops. 

 Which sites allow 2FA 

More and more sites are adding the additional level of protection and supporting 2FA when you log on to your accounts on their sites.  You can check which websites offer 2FA by visiting this site https://twofactorauth.org/. 

You can see if 2FA is enabled on your Office 365 account by logging in here: https://aka.ms/mfasetup. If it’s enabled you will be given options to setup 2FA.  

Don’t wait until you have been a victim of a hack or data breach, to introduce 2FA into your businesstake action today.  The team at Ilkley IT can help and can talk you through the steps to enable 2FA on all your Microsoft 365 accounts.  Contact us today to get this essential second layer of security setup, you will be so relieved you did 

 

How the Cloud can help your business

We have now been in lock-down for over 8 weeks and have had to adjust to working from home and working remotely.  Now, as we wait to find out how we are going to navigate returning to work and the likelihood of observing social distancing and a “new normal”, it might be a good time look at how the cloud can really help you with your business.

The word “cloud” is a word that is used all the time which can sometimes cause a lot of anxiety for business owners.  The cloud is a shortening for “cloud computing” which are servers, storage, databases etc which are on the internet making data accessible anytime, anywhere, from any connected device.  The cloud has many benefits, making it easier to work from anywhere rather than remoting into your local machine.  Let’s consider these:

Remote Access and Mobile working:

Cloud computing allows anyone to connect seamlessly at any time of the day from any location from any device.  This makes it easy and flexible for all your team to work at any place and time, being able to access the data whether they are in the office or working remotely.

Information sharing and collaboration:

Wherever your team is located, they will be able to collaborate on documents together in real time, rather than emailing documents back and forth and saving local copies on their machines.  This makes sharing of information and data simple and easy.

File Storage:

You probably store many files within your business, some of them large video or picture files.  These files can take up a significant amount of space on your hard drive which could cause problems with having enough space and is costly to keep upgrading the disc space.  The cloud allows you store these large files but still have access to them on a day-to-day basis.

Flexibility and Growth Planning:

The cloud can grow as your business needs grows giving you flexibility to be agile enough to adjust accordingly.  When software updates are required, these are usually done automatically which is much quicker and easier and saves time as there is no need to manually install the updates on every single local machine.

Data Security:

This is one of the most crucial things you can do in your business. The cloud is secure in many ways constantly backing up your data as you work. The cloud also gives more storage capacity and is more secure than keeping it on your own computer as there is less chance of losing information.   If a computer is stolen, for example, everything stored on it is stolen too. When those files are also stored on the cloud, downloading them to a new computer is simple.  There is a misconception that storing data in the cloud means it is backed up.  Unfortunately, people delete data, mostly accidentally, sometimes intentionally.  There are also threats from hackers and malware This means that even in the cloud, data can be lost.     We recommend using a 3rd party SaaS protection as a backup system.  We can manage the entire process for you and support you through the set up and with any issues after that.

Security:

Cloud storage is safe as the data is encrypted but Two Factor Authentication (2FA) provides an extra level of protection in the cloud.  If a hacker tries to sign into any of your accounts, it will be flagged up to you that there is a sign in from an unrecognised device and they won’t be able to go any further as they won’t be able to provide the second form of authentication.

Cloud-based computing is the future for small and medium sized businesses, Gartner forecasts that up to 60% of business owners will be relying on the cloud for hosting data by 2022, roughly doubling the numbers since 2018.  Considering the COVID-19 situation, this number is bound to be higher now.  On-prem servers can be very costly and time consuming with having to run software updates and manage email and file servers.  There are many cloud-based tools and applications that you can use within your business which can help you to consolidate separate applications into one multi-application and save a lot of time – the tools are out there and they work.

Our team at Ilkley IT can talk you through all the options available to you for your business.  We will take the time to understand your needs and make the best-fit recommendations to benefit your business to enable you to work from anywhere at any time.

Most common cyberthreats and how to avoid them

Most common cyberthreats and how to avoid them

As we know, there are many types of cyberthreats, all of which can be harmful to your business. Understanding the different types of threats and having the appropriate preventative and reactive measures in place is key for all businesses to mitigate risk.

Cyberthreats are caused by vulnerabilities. Most software will have a vulnerability – a security ‘fault’ or ‘hole’ – at some point in its life due to incompatibility with the operating system for example, or simply the way it’s built. It’s worth noting that the vulnerabilities themselves are not an issue, but it’s these that viruses take advantage of; vulnerabilities allow access to PCs and Servers.

Once cybercriminals have taken advantage of the vulnerabilities and gained access, the results can be wide ranging, from harvesting personal data, usernames, passwords and bank details, to encrypting data for blackmail purposes. Many viruses can run on a machine without the end user even knowing. Human error is typically the cause and starting point of the spread of the infection. Here’s what your end users can look out for to prevent the spread of infections.

Phishing emails

Phishing, or mass spamming, campaigns are emails that appear to be genuine that are sent to hundreds or thousands of different people. They’ll encourage you to click on an illegitimate link or download something that will then cause an infection. These emails are designed to look genuine so can be very difficult to spot. Users can click on the sender email address; if it doesn’t match the person signing the email, then you can safely delete the email.

Spear phishing

Spear phishing has the same aim as phishing – to get the user to open a link or download something which will cause a virus. In contrast to phishing, spear phishing uses personal information in order to create a targeted email. The information they use might be openly available on the web or social media accounts for example.

We’re increasingly sharing more and more of our lives publicly and on social media. Unfortunately, this makes it easier to find the information needed for spear phishing attacks. In a similar vein, each time there’s a data breach, personal information is leaked onto the web. For example, the information of every Yahoo account holder was leaked in 2016. Most of the accounts were dormant so many didn’t take much notice, however the information that was leaked included timeless security questions and their answers (where you were born, your mother’s maiden name etc.). Breaches like this make it easy to construct a convincing spear phishing message.

Ransomware

Last year, we witnessed many ransomware attacks including the WannaCry attack on the NHS. Ransomware encrypts users’ data and then demands a payment to decrypt it. The payment amount generally rises the longer the payment is left and if no ransom is paid, the data will be deleted. The payments are normally made using BitCoin, a virtual currency. When a payment is made, the data will typically be deleted and restored back to its original location, but there is no guarantee that that will be the case. The cybercriminals could demand further payments for example.

Solutions

There are many types of cyberthreats, but just a handful of protective measures can protect you against them all.

We offer IT Support Contracts. For one monthly charge we can provide and manage everything that you’ll need to keep your infrastructure safe. We proactively monitor your entire infrastructure for you, often dealing with issues before users even realise. As part of our IT Support Contracts, we use the following products:

ESET Endpoint Security – an antivirus solution that detects and eliminates all types of threats with low resource usage, and cross-platform protection.

Clunk Click Online Pro – backup your data to secure offsite datacentres. Data is encrypted at source, in transit, and at rest for complete security. Restore your data easily in the event of data loss.

Mako – a network router with a firewall controls the traffic that’s allowed in and out of your network. It allows you to access the internet safely with a low chance of spurious links and traffic.

Office 365 – Office 365 has inbuilt security features to keep your data safe, as well as additional products such as Advanced Threat Protection which detects and detonates any spurious links or attachments.

Why Ilkley IT Services?

We help small and medium-sized businesses who don’t have an in-house IT department maximise and maintain their business IT infrastructure.

We constantly monitor your PCs, network and other IT devices. We’ll often prevent problems from happening without users even knowing, meaning you and your staff continue to work uninterrupted.

On the rare occasions when things do go wrong, we’re ready to respond quickly and efficiently. With our vast experience and investment in the best tools, we are well equipped to get you back up and running in the quickest possible time.

Ilkley IT Services continue to provide us with excellent and prompt computer support. Knowing that any IT issues will be dealt with in a swift manner gives us peace of mind and keeps our busy office running smoothly.

Abbeyfield the Dales
Abbeyfield the DalesGwen

Cloud Nine Hair is very pleased with the way in which Ilkley IT Services conducted themselves throughout our entire move to new offices and warehouse...We continue to work with Ilkley IT Services who provide us with excellent computer support and strongly recommend them to any future customers.

Cloud Nine Hair
Cloud Nine HairMartin

Ilkley IT have offered great support and advice over the years... Friendly people and a good service. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Ilkley IT Services.

Room To Grow
Room To GrowAnne

Like many businesses, we rely heavily on our IT set up to function. From taking orders to running the warehouse, our computer and information resources are central to how we work.

Harrison Bathrooms
Harrison BathroomsJames

When our IT equipment recently needed refreshing, Ilkley IT Services did an excellent job in providing the necessary materials for our team to perform... I have no hesitation in recommending Ilkley IT Services to other companies requiring professional IT support and consultation.

KineholmeDarren

I would like to express our sincere thanks to Ilkley IT for their excellent technical support, that has on a number of occasions been lifesaving. Computers in our Dental Surgeries are critical, and the fast repairs carried out by Ilkley IT has been vital to our being able to continue to offer a high level of care for our patients.

Ilkley Dental
Ilkley DentalLiz

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What is Microsoft Teams?

What is Microsoft Teams?

Since Microsoft Teams was first released in 2017 it’s been adopted by over 200,000 users globally. With a host of functions and tools, Microsoft Teams aids collaboration and efficiency by acting as a central communications hub, pulling in information from other Office 365 products and resources.

A chat-centred workspace

Microsoft Teams is first and foremost a communication space. You’re able to chat easily to different groups of people (your ‘teams’) regardless of whether they are inside or outside your organisation. You might have a Marketing team for example, a Finance team, or a team with some of your external suppliers. The chat itself is an informal IM style with the availability of emojis, gifs, and stickers. This allows for easy communication to groups of your colleagues.

Easy team and channel creation

Creating and joining teams is easy. You can add both internal and external colleagues to your team with just an email address. You can add people after the conversation has started too with the ability to choose how much conversation history they can see – no history, the previous day, or all time.

In order to keep chat organised, users can create channels. These channels are usually topic based, but you can name them whatever you’d like. A new function in Teams is the ability to mute, hide or leave chats. This means that you can keep all your chats and teams relevant to you. If there’s a channel that you’re especially interested in, you can follow it to receive notifications about that chat.

App integration

Teams integrates with both Microsoft and third-party applications. These apps mean that you can present data to your colleagues, send them documents, and organise meetings etc. directly within the Teams space. Not only can you view data and documents, but you can edit them too. For example, if the team is sent an Excel document, you can open up and edit the document within the Teams workspace allowing for easy and efficient collaboration. Any documents shared within the team are automatically uploaded to SharePoint, so all your documents are stored in one, easy to find location.

A new feature within Teams is an app store. This will enable you to search for and integrate apps into your Teams sites quickly and easily. Microsoft are consistently increasing the number of apps that can integrate, so they’ll be something for everything you need!

Communication Hub

Teams is increasingly becoming a complete communication hub. It now has the functionality of Skype for Business integrated into its workspace, so you can make calls from within Teams to anyone regardless of whether they use Teams themselves. You can also receive calls to any Skype for Business enabled device. In addition to this, you can arrange, carry out, and record team meetings easily. Recordings of meetings are automatically uploaded and stored in Stream for future reference, or for those that missed the meeting for example. The integration of Skype for Business and other apps means that users are starting to carry out their entire work day within Teams.

Teams is available in most Office 365 plans for no extra cost. However, there is currently a 12-month free trial available to users that do not have access to Teams in their plan, and even for customers that don’t use Office 365 at all. If you’re interested in starting a free trial, or would like any more information on Teams, please feel free to give us a call.

 

Why Ilkley IT Services?

We help small and medium sized businesses who don’t have an in-house IT department maximise and maintain their business IT infrastructure.

We constantly monitor your PCs, network and other IT devices. We’ll often prevent problems from happening without users even knowing, meaning you and your staff continue to work uninterrupted.

On the rare occasions when things do go wrong we’re ready to respond quickly and efficiently. With our vast experience and investment in the best tools we are well equipped to get you back up and running in the quickest possible time.

How can we help?

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