WP Remix
10
May

What you need to successfully work remotely:

  1. Equipment, physical environment & tech support
  2. Access to the Internet is vital
  3. Communication Software, Collaboration Software and Productivity Measurement for helping teams stay in touch and work together productively while working remotely.

Equipment, physical environment & tech support

Equipment – a tablet, laptop or personal computer can give people the means of working at home, however, everyone will have different standards of equipment. If you are worried that this will affect an employee’s productivity or the security of the data being used, there are a number of measures that can help:

  1. A PC or laptop that is slow can benefit greatly from upgrading a standard SATA hard disk to SSD (solid state disk) enabling faster start up and file access. Also, installing additional memory (RAM) can give a device greater ability to handle files and programs at a faster rate.
  2. Operating Systems can be upgraded from Home to Business standard, for example, if a user has Windows 10 Home a digital licence can be purchased and the operating system upgraded to Windows 10 Professional to provide better security for business data being stored on the device as it can then be encrypted using Windows 10 Pro Bitlocker.
  3. Headsets with a mic for voice and video conferencing calls can help improve the quality of a video call and a person’s focus during a call. Many headphones are wireless and if they are Bluetooth 5.0 they have a wide indoor connectivity range and great audio. Headsets with noise cancelling technology can greatly reduce external background noise too.
  4. Docking stations, with full size monitors and keyboard/mouse devices, can improve the dynamics of working from home and increase the efficiency of getting work done.

Technical Support – companies should educate their employees on good password hygiene, use of password managers for managing multiple passwords, secure login options, like using Authenticator Apps for Multi-Factor Authentication, where you need more than one identifying piece of information to verify who you are when logging into company’s services.

Every device connecting to or containing company information should have up-to-date antivirus software, firewalls activated and operating system and applications have all necessary security patches applied.

Companies should highlight to their employees the importance of sensible internet and email practices, such as never clicking on links contained in emails from unverifiable sources, as this puts them at risk of installing malware, opening access on their device to malicious users and leaving their device and company data vulnerable to GDPR breaches. Everyone should be aware of who to contact in the company if they are concerned about suspicious emails, links or activity on their device.

Access to the Internet

Access to the internet is critical for working remotely. There are a number of different options available to people:

  1. DSL or phone connection gives internet service using your phoneline, available nationwide – speeds vary.
  2. Fibre/fixed broadband – packages are available from multiple providers whereby TV and internet can be provided over same lines. Speeds are good, fibre availability is presently greater in urban areas.
  3. WiFi/wireless access – uses radio frequency and a wireless access point can allow you to connect multiple devices in your home to the internet. Speeds vary according to coverage in the area you are in.
  4. Cellular/mobile broadband – access to the internet is wireless through a mobile phone signal. 4G is the most common speed available. Dongles can enable mobile broadband access on laptops and computers whereas SIM cards can be inserted into many tablets for internet access. Data allowances vary by provider and can be extremely expensive if you go above the limit allowed.

Companies can set up VPN’s (Virtual Private Networks) for key personnel to connect securely to a company’s network.

Communication Software, Collaboration Software and Productivity Measurement for teams working remotely.

There are applications available that enable users connect two computers, for example, a home computer to their computer in work or a connection between two colleagues to share files or troubleshoot an issue on a computer. Software applications like Splashtop remote desktop, MS Remote Desktop, TeamViewer and Logmein are all applications with a variety of features that allow access to remote desktops for viewing, transferring files or even updating a remote computer securely. Applications varies from built-in to free to subscription based. The ones with greater functionality are subscription based.

Communication Apps that allow people conduct audio, video calls and message others again range from ones that have free trial periods, to monthly or annual subscription plans. Companies may have options to purchase additional licenses enabling users to download apps to their computer and connect securely from home on software they are already familiar with e.g. MS 365 for business.

Slack – integrates with standard services like calendars, dropbox, google drive, zoom and has free plans as well as subscriptions.

Google Hangouts – allows users to participate in text, voice and video chats. The number of participants limited to 25.  Hangouts is built into Google and gmail and apps are available for IOS and Android devices. Google announced free video conferencing until July for users of its GSuite.

Zoom – Zoom is easy to use and popular for social use. For business use however it does not have end-to-end encryption and has experienced some issues with meetings being interrupted by third parties. It’s free app caps meeting times at 40 minutes.

Collaboration Applications, as well as enabling communication also enables teams to share ideas, documents and project information in a virtual environment.

Join.me – is a web-based whiteboard that enables users keep track of ideas on a share document.

Google GSuite – Google Hangouts provides meeting and chat options and is providing free video-conferencing until July. It also enables Google docs, sheets, slides and calendars to be shared easily. Free and monthly subscription pay per user plans available.

Microsoft Teams – is a cloud-based team collaboration software that works as a Hub to allow remote people chat, meet, call and collaborate in one virtual space. The power of MS Teams is leveraged by a company having SharePoint and MS Azure configured to safely store and share documents and provide secure access on a permission basis for all users. MS Teams can handle large numbers of users attending online meetings and events. It is fully integrated with Office 365. Access, editing and sharing of documents and presentations is easily done in real-time. Meetings can be recorded and the recordings easily shared. Data is encrypted in transit.

Project Management

It can be difficult to project manage in a virtual environment. The best practice is to use a good project management software that helps keep track of deadlines and progress on assigned tasks as well as have the ability to facilitate team communication and sharing of relevant documentation.

Trello – has strong organisational and task management features which helps with project management. Projects are represented by Bulletin Boards. Users can create lists of project components and cards (tasks) with deadlines highlighted, which can then be assigned to specific team members. Available free and on paid plans.

Asana – a group project management software application that mainly integrates online services such as, Adobe Creative Cloud, MS 365 and Google GSuite.

Basecamp – a web-based project management platform available on annual subscription basis that enables users manage tasks, messages, scheduling and collaboration. It has good reporting and search functions.

Having the right equipment and support, the ability to clearly communicate goals to people and inform them of the expected standard of work, while providing a platform for sharing ideas, work and feedback ensures projects can be successfully completed by people working remotely.  

If you need advice, please call 1890 219 219, our friendly staff will be delighted to help  you

Category : Uncategorized
7
Feb

Eir have taken the decision to postphone the proposed Eircom.net monthly charges due to have come into effect 31st March 2020 in light of the Covid-19 outbreak. “Their priority during these challenging times is the maintenance of essential communication services for all eir customers”

https://www.eir.ie/support/latest-updates/in-light-of-the-covid-19-outbreak-eir-has-decided-to-put-eircom.net-email-subscriptions-charges-on-hold/

Pay a €5.99 monthly fee or give up your Eircom email account and address! This charge was due to come into force on 31st March 2020.

Summary of the changes
From 31st March 2020 a monthly fee of €5.99 will be charged to all eircom.net email account holders.
Eir email users have to sign up to this new service specifically otherwise Eir will restrict and eventually delete the email account being used.
After March 31st 2020 – users who have not signed up will have no access to their eircom email.
60 days later the account containing all emails and the email address being used will be completely deleted.
Users who do not want to pay the monthly fee will have to choose an alternative webmail provider and migrate all their eircom emails and contacts to this new account. Then inform all their contacts of this change of email address.
There are alternate free webmail providers. Each provider offers different benefits and has different caveats. Some have more storage than others, some have less privacy than others (e.g.  share your profile with marketing companies). Free email services generally have little in the way of help/support and are usually part of the marketing and advertising strategy of the webmail providers so ads will appear on your main email screen, regardless of which provider you use.
Google’s Gmailsuite and Microsoft’s Outlook or Hotmail are 2 examples of free webmail providers.

If you choose to move to an alternate email provider we can help you with email migration and configuration of your new email account.

The proposed changes that customers need to be aware of:

Eir (formally Eircom) provided free email accounts to thousands of individual users, schools and small businesses since early 2000’s. However, it seems that this free service is costing Eir money as it uses up their customer service resource! The Eir support web page explains “In order to provide a better service we will charge €5.99 from 31st March 2020.”

Eir email users will be charged €5.99 a month, from the end of March, if they want to continue using their eircom email service. Customers must contact Eir and sign up to this service if they want to continue using their eircom.net account. Any customer who doesn’t sign up to this service will have their account restricted. After 60 days their emails and eircom.net email address will be completely deleted. Customers will not be able to retrieve email or access their email address ever again after the 60 days. The support page for Eir emphasises this “once your account is deleted your emails will be deleted. So please ensure you move all data you wish to continue to access before it is deleted.”

The €5.99 fee will be charged at the start of each calendar month. The fee must be paid by all customers of Eir, the users of their free service and the customers who are already subscribing to Eir broadband, phone, mobile or bundled products.

Nearer the deadline of 31st March – Customers will receive an email, from Eir, to their webmail account, containing a link that will take them to the payment option for their webmail. Customers can pay by credit card to begin with and eventually Eir hope to have a direct debit service running also.

If customers don’t wish to pay the charge they will have to open a new email account with a new email address with one of the other free webmail providers (Google gmail,, Microsoft Outlook or Hotmail, AOL.com mail) and migrate all their email and contacts that they want to keep to this new account. Then they must inform all of their contacts of the change to this new email address. On their webmail support FAQ page Eir have added the following clarification with regard to redirecting email – “Can I get my emails from Eir redirected to my new email address if I go to another provider? No, your email address will be deleted.”

We recommend that Eircom.net email users should have an alternate email account set up and all their email moved from Eir well before the March 31st deadline in order to give time to troubleshoot any migration issues.

If you choose to move to an alternate email provider we can help you with email migration and configuration of your new email account.

If you need advice, please call 1890 219 219, our friendly staff will be delighted to help  you. 

Category : Articles
5
Nov

Windows 7 Reaches End of Life in January 2020! Stay Protected – Move to Windows 10 today!

Posted by Comments Off on Windows 7 Reaches End of Life in January 2020! Stay Protected – Move to Windows 10 today!

Give us a call 1890 219 219 and we can advise you on upgrading to Windows 10.

By January 2020 Windows 7 will reach its end of life, which means, Microsoft will no longer release security patches and bug fix updates for the Windows 7 operating system. This leaves Windows 7 computers progressively more vulnerable to attacks and virus threats. We can help by changing your Windows 7 devices to Windows 10 if you wish to continue working safely in the Windows environment you like.

Windows 10 comes in Home, Pro and Enterprise editions. Home computers come with Windows 10 Home installed. For Small and Medium Businesses and Schools we recommend Windows 10 Pro. If you have Windows 10 Home this can be upgraded but at a cost. Windows 10 Pro provides greater security for your computer and your data as it has Bitlocker which enables encryption of both your computer and USB keys.

It is essential to move to Windows 10 to continue working in a Windows environment supported by Microsoft. On Windows 10 you are better protected because your computer will receive security updates and new feature improvements regularly. Give our helpful staff a call 1890 219 219 and we can advise you on upgrading to Windows 10.

Moving to Windows 10 operating system gives business users better functionality and security:

  • TPM chip support: If your computer has one of these microchips (giving greater security options) then Windows 10 will support it’s use.
  • BitLocker: on Windows 10 Pro only, has more complex security measures than Windows 10 Home or Windows 7, it gives users the ability to encrypt data stored on their fixed hard drives as well as external devices and USB keys by using a TPM chip in the machine and BitLocker from the Win 10 Pro operating system.  If you have sensitive data on your device you must protect it, Windows 10 Pro gives you that ability.
  • Windows 10 contains Windows Defender Exploit Guard which can prevent malware/ransomware writing to controlled folders containing your important business information.
  • New Start Menu: easy to navigate and where you can see a wide range of applications available to you.
  • Update Management: Microsoft provides you with security and feature updates regularly. Vital to protect your computer from vunerabilities and attacks. Microsoft is increasing the allocated space area for updates, so users have less issue with trying to find additional space on their hard disk themselves.
  • Windows 10 May 2019 Update gives users the ability to strip out built in operating system applications they won’t use so as to increase the amount of storage space available to them to use.
  • Battery Saver: a feature that makes your system more power efficient by limiting the background activity on the device.
  • Windows 10 Pro provides a wide range of VPN client compatibility. A Virtual Private Network enables a user to encrypt and route data traffic to a specialised server over a secure connection which enhances a user’s online security by hiding a users identity and data from others on the internet. For employees travelling or using public networks a VPN is a must.

If you want to stay with Microsoft Windows, then you need to change to Windows 10 which gives you greater flexibility and security with its many features. Call HomeHelpTech 1890 219 219 today we can help you upgrade to Windows 10.

Last updated: 25th October 2019

Category : Uncategorized
8
Jul

Windows 10, the full version will be available from July 29th 2015. Windows is one of the most popular OSs on the market today and we believe it will be as popular if not more so than the most widely used version of windows which is Windows 7. It offers a lot of improvements on previous versions and this is largely because Microsoft allowed people including technical folk like ourselves to try different test versions out as they were building it. Because of this it is much improved on the innovative step that was Windows 8 and much more advanced, capable than Windows 7. Examine the key features of Windows 10 here.

Some of the features that Windows 10 now has include Cortana, Microsoft Edge, Office on Windows, Xbox Live and integrated Xbox App, Windows Continuum, Windows Hello and Windows Store. There are also new apps for photos, videos, music, maps, people, mail and calendar. Some of these features are somewhat familiar but some are completely new.

Windows 10

Windows 10

Cortana is an intelligent digital personal assistant. It is voice controlled and can be tied to both your phone and your tablet or PC. Her (yes, her) intelligence comes from being linked with Microsoft’s cloud and hence you won’t be able to fully utilise Cortana without an internet connection. Microsoft Edge is Microsoft’s new internet browser. Internet Explorer is gone. Edge has a new front end look and a powerful new graphics and JavaScript engine in the back to boot. Office is now much more customised depending on what device you are using it on. It offers more integration with Edge allowing on the fly annotating of web pages. Circle, mark, doodle and take notes on web pages and save them in onenote or word for example. Watch Joe Belfiore explain Windows 10 here

For Xbox fans, stream games from your Xbox to your Windows 10 PC. Communicate with your friends on Windows 10 PCs and Xbox One – while playing any PC game. Capture, share and edit gaming moments more easily. Games developed for DirectX 12 will see improvements in speed, efficiency and graphics capability. Windows Continuum enables the best of laptops and 2 in 1 devices to smoothly transform from tablet to laptop and back. Windows Hello allows you to sign in to your PC by allowing it to recognise your face via the webcam. Biometric authentication is easy with your face, finger, or iris providing instant recognition. Windows Store is also much improved with better security measures and a broad range of global payment methods. There are also exciting developments in the area of augmented reality with Microsoft partnering with Intel to create the HoloLens, an augmented reality headset.

On July 29, you can get Windows 10 for PCs and tablets by taking advantage of the free upgrade offer, or on a new Windows 10 PC from your favourite retailer. If you purchase a new Windows 8.1 device between now and then, the Windows 10 upgrade will be available to you and many retail stores will upgrade your new device for you. Look for the windows 10 icon in the bottom right of your screen, in the system tray in order to reserve your free copy of Windows 10.

As you can see there are many benefits to Windows 10, much that will sway over business users that were not so enamoured with Windows 8. We have tried it out and we like it. The start menu is back. Opening apps in windows is an option. As always, if you have any problems with your Windows PC or you want to move your PC or PC system to Windows 8, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Extra! Extra!

If you liked this article then you may also be interested in reading our previous article on Windows 10 here.

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If you are suffering from this or any other problem please don’t hesitate to call one of our qualified engineers. We will be delighted to help.

021-4642096 

Business Hours: Monday – Friday 09:00 to 17:30

Category : Uncategorized
5
Jun

For those who don’t know, Bank of Ireland are currently introducing a new style website for their Business Online customers. It looks a lot different but it is a big improvement on the old site. It is easier to use, better looking and should fit easily in to your business’ banking routine. In today’s article we will discuss the new site and some general security issues surrounding banking online.

Money

Money

There are some steps that will ideally need to be completed before the closing down of the old site on the 16th of June 2015. The program Java should be updated to its latest version. You can do this here. Your browsers (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, FireFox, Safari, Opera, etc) for accessing websites on the internet should also be updated fully. As CUA (Administrator) on your banking online account, you will need to accept any changes made to users, groups or payment authorisation levels in the current BOL site in order for the changes to transfer to the new system. If you want to review the security of how you handle your business banking online then here is a good place to start. You may also find it useful to visit BOIs new training portal here.

The site is optimised for the latest versions of Safari, FireFox and Internet Explorer browsers. Some networking firewalls may prevent the BOL site from working. You may also face difficulties if you try to log on through Metro mode in Windows 8. The site is supported by Windows version XP SP2, Vista, 7, 8 and the Apple Mac OS.

A few things to remember on the security side of things. Don’t use obvious password. Review the audit log regularly to monitor activity on BOL. Don’t leave your device unattended if you are logged in to BOL. Do exit BOL before visiting other sites on the internet. There are a number of behaviours you can adopt in order to stay safe when banking online. The best one to have is a healthy dose of suspicion regarding emails and phone calls that you receive that you are not expecting. The bank will never email or phone asking you for your PIN details. Be wary of what links you click on to get to your banking website including BOL. Beware of any unexpected changes to the look of the website. If in doubt, you can always ring us at Eonvia.

Extra! Extra!

If you liked this article then you may also be interested in reading our article on Changes to the ROS website recently here

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If you need help in this or need any other help please don’t hesitate to call one of our qualified engineers. We will be delighted to help.

021-4642096 

Business Hours: Monday – Friday 09:00 to 17:30

Category : Uncategorized
25
May

The services available at the ROS website are widely used by all businesses and some people in Ireland. By allowing a program, Java, to run on your computer and by storing a certificate unique to you at the root of your PC you can easily access your vital Revenue business information.

Site Undergoing Change

Site Undergoing Change

Most businesses will use this site on a regular basis so it is important that it functions smoothly and that they can get things done on it quickly. Key to this has been the program Java on your computer that up to now, has been used to communicate with the site and authenticate you and your certificate amongst other things.

Changes are coming to this as of December 2015. As of this date it will no longer be possible to access the ROS service using Java. The only login method available for ROS will be JavaScript. This is in response to feedback that the revenue have gotten on the use of Java. This coupled with the performance and functionality enhancements in recent years and more seamless support in modern browsers will allow for a much easier, simpler experience for people using the site.

Some slight adjustments will need to be made in order to be able to log in to the site using JavaScript. The most up to date version of your browser is needed including IE10 and Safari 6.1 or higher. Until the 15th of June 2015 EVR Claims and the PAYE Tab  linking to the PAYE anytime service will not be available on the website. It is important to note that NPAPI (a plug-in that allows Java to run on your browser) has been disabled in version 42 of Chrome browser. To fix this issue you can find all the necessary instruction here .

We recommend that you make the move to using Javascript to log in to the site well before December 2015. You may want to hold off until June 2015 though if you need to use PAYE Anytime on the site or you need to make European VAT Return (EVR) Claims online. This change will undoubtedly appear to people when they go to use the revenue site in some way at some stage so if you do have any problems then please let us help you out.

Extra! Extra!

If you liked this article then you may also be interested in reading our article on Payroll Software in Ireland here

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If you need help in this or need any other help please don’t hesitate to call one of our qualified engineers. We will be delighted to help.

021-4642096 

Business Hours: Monday – Friday 09:00 to 17:30

Category : Uncategorized
19
Mar

PayrollPayroll software, like accounts software is a market cornered almost entirely by two big players, Sage and Thesaurus, at least in Ireland anyway. Sage are a big player here and they also make their own, very popular accounting software as well. In fact, we have written a previous article about it here . Because of this, you may well choose to go with Sage for both your accounting and payroll software solutions. Thesaurus Software Ltd also make a very popular, very good alternative and this option may well suit your business perfectly too.

Many of the Sage payroll options can be found here and a rough comparison can be made on that page as to which software package may suit your business. Sage also offer their TAS branch of payroll software specifically for small and medium sized businesses and that can be viewed here . With Sage Micropay (€171+VAT or €602+VAT for Pro version), you need to buy a constant supply of custom paper/stationery to go with the software. SageOne is for the small business, with up to 5 employees, although you can put the software on 10-15 machines, whichever suits best. Sage also provide this package for a business with up to 10 employees, double the amount of employees, naturally for double the price (€7.20 per month + VAT). You can also add this to 5-15 machines, whichever suits best. Sage Quickpay is no longer being sold.

Thesaurus, which we know is in place in as many of the businesses we deal with as Sage is, can be compared with here . The standard version of Thesaurus software costs €149+VAT, with unlimited employee numbers. Their “Additional Company” version allows for yes, an additional company to be added to the payroll system. That costs €74.50+VAT. The “Bureau” version costs €339+VAT and supports the managing of unlimited companies and employers with unlimited employees. You can buy custom stationery/paper with Thesaurus but the difference is that you don’t need it.

You can base your comparison on a variety of factors including whether or not you think you’ll need Tech Support, how many employees you have, need to submit revenue returns online, SEPA compliance, payroll year end processing, and price of course. That is just a short list of factors to compare.

Extra! Extra!

If you liked this article then you may also be interested in reading our article on how to create movies on your home computer here .

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If you need help in this or need any other help please don’t hesitate to call one of our qualified engineers. We will be delighted to help.

021-4642096 

Business Hours: Monday – Friday 09:00 to 17:30

Category : Uncategorized