FocusTech Insider June 2024

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Introduction

Welcome to the FocusTech Insider!

Your go-to source for the latest in technology, this newsletter brings you a roundup of updates from the tech world. Dive deep into recent advancements, explore intriguing tech facts, and stay connected with employee news and celebratory highlights. In this edition, we also spotlight what’s new at Microsoft, giving you insider access to their latest innovations and projects. FocusTech Insider ensures you stay informed and ahead of the curve.

Enjoy your read!

Out of sight, out of mind?

Having your employees work from home or their local coffee shop is the norm now. And while there are loads of benefits to this new attitude to work, it’s easy to overlook a crucial aspect of keeping operations secure: The home setups of remote employees.

Here’s the thing – neglecting remote security can lead to some serious headaches down the line. And you already have enough business headaches, right?

Imagine this: Your employee’s laptop, which holds loads of sensitive company data, gets breached because their home Wi-Fi network wasn’t properly secured.

Or worse, a malware infection spreads from their kid’s device to their work laptop, putting your entire network at risk. That’s scary.

A little vigilance and regular checks can prevent these risks and make your business and its data much safer.

So, let’s talk about devices. Encourage your remote workers to treat their work devices like Fort Knox. That means regular updates and patches, robust protective software, and strong, unique passwords (password managers are your best friend for this). Remind them to avoid risky behaviours like downloading software from unofficial sources or clicking on suspicious links.

Next, address home networks. A weak Wi-Fi password is asking for trouble. Encourage your employees to set a strong password for their home network (again, a password manager can remove this hassle). And while they’re at it, remind them to enable encryption and hide their network’s SSID (Service Set Identifier) to add an extra layer of security.

And it’s not just about devices and networks – physical security matters too. Use biometrics to protect logins. Remind your team to keep their work devices secure when they’re not in use, whether that means locking them away in a drawer or simply keeping them out of sight from prying eyes. And if they’re working from a shared space like a coffee shop, remind them to be cautious of public Wi-Fi and to keep an eye on their belongings.

Regular checks are key to staying on top of security. Schedule routine audits of remote set-ups to ensure everything gets a thumbs up. This could include checking for software updates, reviewing network configurations, and providing refresher training on best security practices.

🌟 Celebrating International Women in Engineering Day! 🌟

We honour the incredible achievements of women engineers worldwide who break barriers and drive innovation. Their dedication and brilliance not only shape the future of engineering but also inspire the next generation of female leaders in STEM.

Let’s continue to support and empower women in engineering, creating a diverse and inclusive environment where everyone can thrive.

To all the women in STEM making a difference every day – thank you! Your work is essential, and your impact is immeasurable.

Did you know…

Microsoft have a new email send limit?

Microsoft Exchange is cracking down on spam. Hooray! But if your business sends bulk emails, it might affect you.

From January next year, Microsoft will allow no more than 2,000 external recipients of bulk emails. It’s to prevent people from abusing the service, which wasn’t designed for bulk mailing.

Meet Our New Team Member: Gill!

🎉 We are thrilled to introduce the newest addition to our Focus family, Gill, who joins us as our Communications and Operations Coordinator!

🤝 Connect with Gill: Feel free to contact Gill Brayshaw on LinkedIn to welcome them to our team or collaborate on future projects.

🌐 Stay tuned for the amazing work Gill will be doing in our organisation!

Join us in giving a warm welcome to Gill! 🎉

Tech Facts

The internet weighs as much as a strawberry. That’s according to physicist Russell Seitz. He says the combined weight of all the electrons in motion is about 50 grams.

The first computer bug was a real bug. In 1947, Grace Hopper and her team found a moth causing issues in their computer at Harvard University.

In 2015, the United Nations reported that a start-up in Kenya was converting human waste into clean, renewable energy. This energy, in turn, powered Wi-Fi routers in low-income areas.

Technology Update

Install any website or web tool as an app in Windows 11

In Windows 11, you can install ANY website or web tool as a traditional app. They’re known as Progressive Web Apps (or PWAs) and once installed, they’ll appear on your Start menu like a normal app would. You can even pin apps to the Taskbar.

Why bother? PWAs use less resources than traditional apps, and you’ll always get the latest version without having to run an update first.

All you do is visit the site, click on Settings, select Apps, and click “Install this site as an app.” Easy.

New to Microsoft

Microsoft Teams is becoming more inclusive

If you like to inject a little personality into your Teams chats, it’s likely you use reactions from time to time. But until now, they’ve been a little restrictive.

This month, a small tweak is due to rollout which will allow people to select a skin tone for their reactions. Microsoft says, “This preference will be applied to all emojis and reactions in chats, channels, and desktop/ web meetings, allowing users to express themselves more authentically in conversations.”

Think about recovery BEFORE the attack strikes

Let us set the scene. It’s an ordinary Wednesday. You’re minding your own business, getting things done, and making boss decisions, then BAM… you get hit with a cyber attack.

Cue panic mode.

But here’s the thing: These attacks happen more often than you’d think. And guess who the favourite targets are? No, not big multinational companies – small and medium-sized businesses like yours.

And the consequences? We’re talking financial losses, data loss, reputation damage, the whole nine yards.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you have a recovery plan in place you can turn a total nightmare into just “an annoying inconvenience”.

So, what should your recovery plan include? Well, first things first, prevention is key. Invest in solid cyber security measures like firewalls, antivirus software, and regular security check-ups. And don’t forget to educate your team about the importance of good cyber hygiene (things like using strong passwords and not clicking suspicious links) – because human error is often the weakest link.

Next, have a game plan for when the inevitable happens. This means having clear protocols in place for how to respond to an attack, who to call, and what steps will minimise the damage.

Let’s talk backups. Regularly backing up your data to a secure location can be a real lifesaver in the event of an attack. That way, even if your systems go kaput, you’ll still have a copy of your important files to fall back on.

Finally, practice makes perfect! Regularly test your recovery plan to make sure it’s up to the job. After all, you don’t want to wait until disaster strikes to realise your plan has more holes than a block of Swiss cheese.

Cyber attacks may be scary, but with a solid recovery plan in place, you can rest easy knowing your business is armed and ready. Remember what they say: Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

Key Takeaways

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Phillip Duffy

Technical Apprentice

I bring a unique blend of humour and a strong willingness to dive into tasks with enthusiasm. My personality shines through in everything I do, adding a vibrant dynamic to the team.

Outside of work, I have a passion for painting miniatures, playing board games, and indulging in video games. These activities not only fuel my creativity but also keep me engaged and refreshed.

Pursuing a career in IT has always been a dream of mine. I am excited about the prospect of working closely with IT and learning from this dynamic field.

Before joining the team, I honed my skills in the retail sector. This experience equipped me with valuable insights into customer service and teamwork.

One quirky aspect about me is my double-jointed thumbs, which always seem to intrigue people!

The opportunity to work with an incredible team and immerse myself in the IT world is what I love most about my role. The camaraderie and the chance to work in IT make every day enjoyable.

Superpower? 🦸‍♂️

Comedian

Sweet or Salty? 🍬🥨

Sweet