How scammers launch phishing attacks via VoIP

In a vishing scam, scammers may pretend to be a bank representative, a government official, or any type of legitimate entity requesting confidential information via Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) platforms. With expanding avenues of cyberattacks, remaining vigilant is more important than ever. Learn why vishing campaigns are effective.

VoIP makes it easy to create fake numbers

More cybercriminals are launching vishing scams because it’s easy for them to hide their tracks and the risk of getting detected is minimal.

Using a fake number, scammers can contact your employees, pretend to be a representative of a bank or government agency, ask for sensitive information — such as salary information, account numbers, and company intellectual property — and get away with it. Scammers can also manipulate local numbers to emulate multinational banks, which they will then use for various VoIP scams.

VoIP is easy to set up and difficult to track

It isn’t difficult to configure a VoIP system, which makes it easy to make fraudulent phone calls or messages. Scammers only need to know the basics of a VoIP setup.

VoIP hardware such as IP-PBXs, IP phones, and routers are also inexpensive and quite easy to access. Hackers can conveniently connect these equipment to PCs to record phone calls and steal information from conversations.

Additionally, fake numbers are difficult to track because they can be ditched at any time. And with advanced voice-changing software widely available nowadays, a vishing scam is much easier to pull off.

Caller ID can be tampered with

In some vishing scams, attackers don’t even have to terminate a number to cover their tracks. Instead, they can trick users into thinking that they’re talking to a legitimate Microsoft technical support staff, a PayPal representative, or a fraud investigator simply by tampering with the caller ID.

VoIP scamming is cost-efficient

Traditional phones are still used for phishing scams, but they don’t compare to the efficiency that VoIP affords, which allows attackers to target victims all over the globe at a fraction of the cost. Cybercriminals resort to VoIP scamming because the price per call is much lower. Vishing scammers are sneaky and resourceful, and they will exhaust all possible means to attack your systems for profit — and that includes your VoIP channels.

Protecting yourself is simple

To protect against VoIP-based scams, set stringent policies on information sharing and impose strict security processes for all business communications. Informed and aware employees are key to making sure that scammers are held at bay. Protect your company against all types of scams by getting in touch with our experts today.

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What you need to know about VoIP phishing

Scammers have found a way to exploit vulnerabilities in VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) via a scam called vishing. This scam works much like any phishing attack: a scammer purports to be a legitimate entity and asks the potential victim to provide sensitive information. Learn how vishers operate.

VoIP makes it easy to create fake numbers

More cybercriminals are launching vishing scams because it’s easy for them to hide their tracks and the risk of getting detected is minimal.

Using a fake number, scammers can contact your employees, pretend to be a representative of a bank or government agency, ask for sensitive information — such as salary information, account numbers, and company intellectual property — and get away with it. Scammers can also manipulate local numbers to emulate multinational banks, which they will then use for various VoIP scams.

VoIP is easy to set up and difficult to track

It isn’t difficult to configure a VoIP system, which makes it easy to make fraudulent phone calls or messages. Scammers only need to know the basics of a VoIP setup.

VoIP hardware such as IP-PBXs, IP phones, and routers are also inexpensive and quite easy to access. Hackers can conveniently connect these equipment to PCs to record phone calls and steal information from conversations.

Additionally, fake numbers are difficult to track because they can be ditched at any time. And with advanced voice-changing software widely available nowadays, a vishing scam is much easier to pull off.

Caller ID can be tampered with

In some vishing scams, attackers don’t even have to terminate a number to cover their tracks. Instead, they can trick users into thinking that they’re talking to a legitimate Microsoft technical support staff, a PayPal representative, or a fraud investigator simply by tampering with the caller ID.

VoIP scamming is cost-efficient

Traditional phones are still used for phishing scams, but they don’t compare to the efficiency that VoIP affords, which allows attackers to target victims all over the globe at a fraction of the cost. Cybercriminals resort to VoIP scamming because the price per call is much lower. Vishing scammers are sneaky and resourceful, and they will exhaust all possible means to attack your systems for profit — and that includes your VoIP channels.

Protecting yourself is simple

To protect against VoIP-based scams, set stringent policies on information sharing and impose strict security processes for all business communications. Informed and aware employees are key to making sure that scammers are held at bay. Protect your company against all types of scams by getting in touch with our experts today.

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Using Workplace Analytics to boost productivity

Microsoft’s Workplace Analytics uses data gathered from email, documents, calendar, and other Office 365 applications to present a clear picture of both employee and manager productivity. It’s a clear upgrade from MyAnalytics, which allowed employees to view just their own data.

How does Workplace Analytics work?

A paid add-on to Office 365 enterprise plans, Workplace Analytics extracts behavioral insights from data gathered from Office 365 email, calendar, documents, and Skype. This means any data an employee types into their email and calendar — whether the information is in the subject line or in the body itself — can be used to determine their productivity.

The program has an overview dashboard that provides specific information:

  • Week in the Life provides an overall view of how the entire organization spends time and how members collaborate with one another
  • Meetings Overview shows the amount of time people spent in meetings
  • Management and Coaching gauges one-on-one meetings between your staff and their manager
  • Internal Networks shows how people within the company connect with one another
  • External Collaboration provides insights into how people from your company connect with those from third-party organizations
  • Teams Collaboration takes a look at how employees and managers communicate with their colleagues

What does Workplace Analytics aim to do?

According to Microsoft, Workplace Analytics addresses businesses’ most common challenges: complexity, productivity, and engagement.

Using Workplace Analytics data, managers and human resources departments can form productivity strategies for the entire company. If most of your employees spend 60% of their time attending meetings and not enough time doing creative work, managers can come up with a strategy to reduce meeting times and focus more on productive tasks.

Workplace Analytics also identifies how employees collaborate with internal and external parties. Suppose one of your sales staff frequently communicates with certain contacts. By using Workplace Analytics data, the manager would be able to determine whether this particular collaboration pattern is helping the employee hit sales targets or he or she is missing out on other more critical contacts. Based on this info, managers would also be able to determine which employees are most likely to meet or exceed their targets and set company-wide standards accordingly.

Workplace Analytics also allows managers to determine an employee’s level of engagement (i.e., whether the organization’s collaboration patterns are good for the company), and whether workloads are fairly distributed among workers and/or departments.

Is Workplace Analytics useful for small businesses?

Large corporations have been using Workplace Analytics, but small businesses can also benefit from it. The data used to provide insights are what employees generate themselves — how much time they spend on meetings, whom they frequently communicate with, and how much time they spend on productive tasks.

Aside from letting managers examine their staff’s work behavior, Workplace Analytics also provides an overall look at an organizational level. If you want your organization to further harness the capabilities of Workplace Analytics and other Office 365 tools, give us a call today.

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Workplace Analytics makes your team more productive

Microsoft’s Office 365 Workplace Analytics gives teams a better perspective and control over their members’ productivity. Using the data gathered by the tool, managers can create effective strategies to improve employee engagement and output.

How does Workplace Analytics work?

A paid add-on to Office 365 enterprise plans, Workplace Analytics extracts behavioral insights from data gathered from Office 365 email, calendar, documents, and Skype. This means any data an employee types into their email and calendar — whether the information is in the subject line or in the body itself — can be used to determine their productivity.

The program has an overview dashboard that provides specific information:

  • Week in the Life provides an overall view of how the entire organization spends time and how members collaborate with one another
  • Meetings Overview shows the amount of time people spent in meetings
  • Management and Coaching gauges one-on-one meetings between your staff and their manager
  • Internal Networks shows how people within the company connect with one another
  • External Collaboration provides insights into how people from your company connect with those from third-party organizations
  • Teams Collaboration takes a look at how employees and managers communicate with their colleagues

What does Workplace Analytics aim to do?

According to Microsoft, Workplace Analytics addresses businesses’ most common challenges: complexity, productivity, and engagement.

Using Workplace Analytics data, managers and human resources departments can form productivity strategies for the entire company. If most of your employees spend 60% of their time attending meetings and not enough time doing creative work, managers can come up with a strategy to reduce meeting times and focus more on productive tasks.

Workplace Analytics also identifies how employees collaborate with internal and external parties. Suppose one of your sales staff frequently communicates with certain contacts. By using Workplace Analytics data, the manager would be able to determine whether this particular collaboration pattern is helping the employee hit sales targets or he or she is missing out on other more critical contacts. Based on this info, managers would also be able to determine which employees are most likely to meet or exceed their targets and set company-wide standards accordingly.

Workplace Analytics also allows managers to determine an employee’s level of engagement (i.e., whether the organization’s collaboration patterns are good for the company), and whether workloads are fairly distributed among workers and/or departments.

Is Workplace Analytics useful for small businesses?

Large corporations have been using Workplace Analytics, but small businesses can also benefit from it. The data used to provide insights are what employees generate themselves — how much time they spend on meetings, whom they frequently communicate with, and how much time they spend on productive tasks.

Aside from letting managers examine their staff’s work behavior, Workplace Analytics also provides an overall look at an organizational level. If you want your organization to further harness the capabilities of Workplace Analytics and other Office 365 tools, give us a call today.

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Boosting productivity with Workplace Analytics

Workplace Analytics allows managers to assess their employees’ performance using the data gathered from Office 365. Unlike past Microsoft productivity tools that showed only the user’s own information, Workplace Analytics allows both employees and managers to view each others’ performance data.

How does Workplace Analytics work?

A paid add-on to Office 365 enterprise plans, Workplace Analytics extracts behavioral insights from data gathered from Office 365 email, calendar, documents, and Skype. This means any data an employee types into their email and calendar — whether the information is in the subject line or in the body itself — can be used to determine their productivity.

The program has an overview dashboard that provides specific information:

  • Week in the Life provides an overall view of how the entire organization spends time and how members collaborate with one another
  • Meetings Overview shows the amount of time people spent in meetings
  • Management and Coaching gauges one-on-one meetings between your staff and their manager
  • Internal Networks shows how people within the company connect with one another
  • External Collaboration provides insights into how people from your company connect with those from third-party organizations
  • Teams Collaboration takes a look at how employees and managers communicate with their colleagues

What does Workplace Analytics aim to do?

According to Microsoft, Workplace Analytics addresses businesses’ most common challenges: complexity, productivity, and engagement.

Using Workplace Analytics data, managers and human resources departments can form productivity strategies for the entire company. If most of your employees spend 60% of their time attending meetings and not enough time doing creative work, managers can come up with a strategy to reduce meeting times and focus more on productive tasks.

Workplace Analytics also identifies how employees collaborate with internal and external parties. Suppose one of your sales staff frequently communicates with certain contacts. By using Workplace Analytics data, the manager would be able to determine whether this particular collaboration pattern is helping the employee hit sales targets or he or she is missing out on other more critical contacts. Based on this info, managers would also be able to determine which employees are most likely to meet or exceed their targets and set company-wide standards accordingly.

Workplace Analytics also allows managers to determine an employee’s level of engagement (i.e., whether the organization’s collaboration patterns are good for the company), and whether workloads are fairly distributed among workers and/or departments.

Is Workplace Analytics useful for small businesses?

Large corporations have been using Workplace Analytics, but small businesses can also benefit from it. The data used to provide insights are what employees generate themselves — how much time they spend on meetings, whom they frequently communicate with, and how much time they spend on productive tasks.

Aside from letting managers examine their staff’s work behavior, Workplace Analytics also provides an overall look at an organizational level. If you want your organization to further harness the capabilities of Workplace Analytics and other Office 365 tools, give us a call today.

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Easy steps to make Google Chrome faster

Google Chrome is the most popular web browser in the world with over two billion installs, one billion users, and 53% share of the market. Its speed is one of its most notable advantages over other existing browsers, which is why it’s preferred by most users. But even the fastest browser can have issues from time to time. If your Chrome has slowed down, here’s how to get it back into tip-top shape in no time.

Clear your browsing data

Chrome stores cached copies of websites you visit so it can load the page faster when you visit them again. It also keeps a database of your browsing history and cookies for the same purpose. As you visit more and more websites, these pieces of data accumulate in Chrome and can slow the browser down.

Thankfully, the solution is easy: clear your cache. Simply access your browsing history by entering chrome://history in your address bar. From the left panel, select Clear browsing data. Choose which data to delete by clicking on the checkboxes of all items you want deleted, like cached images or cookies. You can also select the time range that will be affected by the deletion. You can delete your history for the past hour, the last 24 hours, the last seven days, and from the beginning of time. Once you’ve selected the files you want to delete and their corresponding time range, click Clear data.

Disable extensions

Extensions are downloadable programs from the Chrome Web Store that you can add to your browser to give it more functionality and a personalized touch. For example, you can add an extension that blocks ads, one that shortens URLs, or one that shows your most important tasks of the day. While these extensions are useful, they can slow Chrome down if there are too many installed at once.

Most extensions will show on Chrome’s address bar, and you can quickly uninstall them by right-clicking on their icons and selecting Remove from Chrome. You can also manage all extensions by typing chrome://extensions in your browser and hitting Enter. From there, you’ll find a list of all the extensions you have (even those you don’t remember installing). Simply scroll through the list and click Remove to delete the extensions you don’t need.

Remove ads and malware

Sometimes, Chrome slows down because of malware or adware extensions. Extra toolbars, recurring pop-up ads, and web pages redirecting to other addresses are clear indications of these. Google once had a downloadable app developed for Chrome that scans and removes unwanted programs called the Clean Up Tool. In 2018, Google discontinued that app and made malware scanning even easier. Just type chrome://settings/cleanup in your browser, and click on Find to detect and remove harmful software on your computer.

A top-performing web browser benefits your business in many ways, including enhancing your employees’ productivity and speeding up communication. If your web browser is performing poorly or takes forever to load a page, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us so we can identify and fix the problem right away.

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Here’s how to speed up Google Chrome

Google made its foray into web browsers with Chrome in 2008. With its remarkable speed and ease, Chrome was welcomed by many users. However, over time, the browser becomes a bit sluggish, especially if you’ve installed extras such as extensions. Follow these easy steps to ramp up your Chrome browser’s speed.

Clear your browsing data

Chrome stores cached copies of websites you visit so it can load the page faster when you visit them again. It also keeps a database of your browsing history and cookies for the same purpose. As you visit more and more websites, these pieces of data accumulate in Chrome and can slow the browser down.

Thankfully, the solution is easy: clear your cache. Simply access your browsing history by entering chrome://history in your address bar. From the left panel, select Clear browsing data. Choose which data to delete by clicking on the checkboxes of all items you want deleted, like cached images or cookies. You can also select the time range that will be affected by the deletion. You can delete your history for the past hour, the last 24 hours, the last seven days, and from the beginning of time. Once you’ve selected the files you want to delete and their corresponding time range, click Clear data.

Disable extensions

Extensions are downloadable programs from the Chrome Web Store that you can add to your browser to give it more functionality and a personalized touch. For example, you can add an extension that blocks ads, one that shortens URLs, or one that shows your most important tasks of the day. While these extensions are useful, they can slow Chrome down if there are too many installed at once.

Most extensions will show on Chrome’s address bar, and you can quickly uninstall them by right-clicking on their icons and selecting Remove from Chrome. You can also manage all extensions by typing chrome://extensions in your browser and hitting Enter. From there, you’ll find a list of all the extensions you have (even those you don’t remember installing). Simply scroll through the list and click Remove to delete the extensions you don’t need.

Remove ads and malware

Sometimes, Chrome slows down because of malware or adware extensions. Extra toolbars, recurring pop-up ads, and web pages redirecting to other addresses are clear indications of these. Google once had a downloadable app developed for Chrome that scans and removes unwanted programs called the Clean Up Tool. In 2018, Google discontinued that app and made malware scanning even easier. Just type chrome://settings/cleanup in your browser, and click on Find to detect and remove harmful software on your computer.

A top-performing web browser benefits your business in many ways, including enhancing your employees’ productivity and speeding up communication. If your web browser is performing poorly or takes forever to load a page, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us so we can identify and fix the problem right away.

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Speed hacks to make Google Chrome faster

Is your Google Chrome browser a little slower lately? While Chrome is widely known as the browser of choice, it does have a habit of consuming a lot of system RAM. Additionally, there are times when it feels slower than before. Fortunately, these problems are simple to fix. Here are some speed hacks that will make Chrome faster.

Clear your browsing data

Chrome stores cached copies of websites you visit so it can load the page faster when you visit them again. It also keeps a database of your browsing history and cookies for the same purpose. As you visit more and more websites, these pieces of data accumulate in Chrome and can slow the browser down.

Thankfully, the solution is easy: clear your cache. Simply access your browsing history by entering chrome://history in your address bar. From the left panel, select Clear browsing data. Choose which data to delete by clicking on the checkboxes of all items you want deleted, like cached images or cookies. You can also select the time range that will be affected by the deletion. You can delete your history for the past hour, the last 24 hours, the last seven days, and from the beginning of time. Once you’ve selected the files you want to delete and their corresponding time range, click Clear data.

Disable extensions

Extensions are downloadable programs from the Chrome Web Store that you can add to your browser to give it more functionality and a personalized touch. For example, you can add an extension that blocks ads, one that shortens URLs, or one that shows your most important tasks of the day. While these extensions are useful, they can slow Chrome down if there are too many installed at once.

Most extensions will show on Chrome’s address bar, and you can quickly uninstall them by right-clicking on their icons and selecting Remove from Chrome. You can also manage all extensions by typing chrome://extensions in your browser and hitting Enter. From there, you’ll find a list of all the extensions you have (even those you don’t remember installing). Simply scroll through the list and click Remove to delete the extensions you don’t need.

Remove ads and malware

Sometimes, Chrome slows down because of malware or adware extensions. Extra toolbars, recurring pop-up ads, and web pages redirecting to other addresses are clear indications of these. Google once had a downloadable app developed for Chrome that scans and removes unwanted programs called the Clean Up Tool. In 2018, Google discontinued that app and made malware scanning even easier. Just type chrome://settings/cleanup in your browser, and click on Find to detect and remove harmful software on your computer.

A top-performing web browser benefits your business in many ways, including enhancing your employees’ productivity and speeding up communication. If your web browser is performing poorly or takes forever to load a page, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us so we can identify and fix the problem right away.

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Why a technology business review is vital

Identifying opportunities in all areas of business is vital for growth. However, one area that’s often overlooked is technology. Although it’s tempting to adopt an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude with IT, conducting regular technology business reviews is necessary if you want to achieve your business goals.

A technology business review reveals the strengths and weaknesses of your company’s IT framework. It’s often performed by a third-party IT consultant who will give an objective assessment of your technology and provide recommendations to help you meet your goals. If done properly, technology business reviews allow you to:

Save money

Every review starts with a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether an implemented solution is worth the continued investment. If there are technologies costing you a fortune in management and maintenance fees, consultants will advise you to cut them from your budget. The best ones will recommend cost-effective alternatives so you can do more with less.

Increase productivity

System-wide reviews of your IT infrastructure show you what processes are hindering business operations. This allows you to formulate solutions to increase productivity. For example, if employees are mainly sharing files via email, consultants might suggest cloud collaboration platforms, like Office 365 or G Suite, that store data in a centralized location for seamless file sharing.

Enhance security and compliance

Technology business reviews can also uncover security risks within your business. Consultants look for missed patches, poorly configured networks, and other software vulnerabilities that can be easily exploited by cybercriminals.

They’ll then compile their findings to create a more robust cybersecurity strategy, usually one that involves implementing advanced solutions like intrusion prevention systems (IPS), file access restrictions, and patch management software.

If you operate a business that’s subjected to data regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), consultants will also pinpoint IT practices and solutions that are noncompliant and customize a strategy that ensures the privacy, integrity, and availability of your data.

Implement technologies that fit

Considering that new technologies are released at a breakneck pace, it’s important to pick those that will help you achieve your business goals. Technology business reviews keep you up to date on the latest technology trends and gauge the impact of implementing them so that you can make informed decisions.

Whether your goal is to increase profits, productivity, security, or all of the above, technology business reviews can put you on the right track. Our seasoned IT consultants can conduct these reviews for you and develop a strategy that gives you an edge over the competition. Just give us a call.

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Benefits of technology business reviews

Most small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) don’t possess the resources to run and maintain their IT infrastructure, let alone assess whether it’s still driving value for the company. However, if you want to ensure everything is running smoothly, it’s important to conduct technology business reviews whenever possible.

A technology business review reveals the strengths and weaknesses of your company’s IT framework. It’s often performed by a third-party IT consultant who will give an objective assessment of your technology and provide recommendations to help you meet your goals. If done properly, technology business reviews allow you to:

Save money

Every review starts with a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether an implemented solution is worth the continued investment. If there are technologies costing you a fortune in management and maintenance fees, consultants will advise you to cut them from your budget. The best ones will recommend cost-effective alternatives so you can do more with less.

Increase productivity

System-wide reviews of your IT infrastructure show you what processes are hindering business operations. This allows you to formulate solutions to increase productivity. For example, if employees are mainly sharing files via email, consultants might suggest cloud collaboration platforms, like Office 365 or G Suite, that store data in a centralized location for seamless file sharing.

Enhance security and compliance

Technology business reviews can also uncover security risks within your business. Consultants look for missed patches, poorly configured networks, and other software vulnerabilities that can be easily exploited by cybercriminals.

They’ll then compile their findings to create a more robust cybersecurity strategy, usually, one that involves implementing advanced solutions like intrusion prevention systems (IPS), file access restrictions, and patch management software.

If you operate a business that’s subjected to data regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), consultants will also pinpoint IT practices and solutions that are noncompliant and customize a strategy that ensures the privacy, integrity, and availability of your data.

Implement technologies that fit

Considering that new technologies are released at a breakneck pace, it’s important to pick those that will help you achieve your business goals. Technology business reviews keep you up to date on the latest technology trends and gauge the impact of implementing them so that you can make informed decisions.

Whether your goal is to increase profits, productivity, security, or all of the above, technology business reviews can put you on the right track. Our seasoned IT consultants can conduct these reviews for you and develop a strategy that gives you an edge over the competition. Just give us a call.

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