apps

Dropbox

Dropbox Security Issues: Should You Worry about Your Company’s Data?

Dropbox Security Issues: Should You Worry about Your Company’s Data? 800 1050 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

DropboxShould you be worried about data security? This is a very relevant question since news of the Heartbleed bug broke out. As a result, numerous businesses implemented preventive measures and assured their customers that their data are safe.

Dropbox is one of those.  But the problem, critics say, is that Dropbox failed to do it right. Instead of sending direct emails to its users, Dropbox published a post in its blog, which is buried deep in its website. In it, Dropbox offered assurance and advised customers to regularly update their passwords.

Is That Enough to Secure Private Information?

According to the company, its security team is working non-stop. It has patched all public-facing systems that run on OpenSSL and re-issued and re-keyed SSL certificates for all domains. It also advised using strong passwords and not sharing it with other services. That’s one step to ensuring your data is safe. The next step is to check your routers and firewalls for infection. These could have been infected as well and it’s advised to get it checked by the manufacturer.

Dropbox also regularly issues transparency reports to show customers which agencies request access to user data. But critics say the reports aren’t very clear when it comes to data requests for users from countries other than the United States. If that isn’t enough reason to be concerned, Dropbox was also listed by Edward Snowden as one of the cloud providers that will soon become part of the National Security Agency’s Prism spy network in leaked documents.

Some were so concerned that they are calling for people to stop using Dropbox on a site called Drop-Dropbox. This, however, didn’t deter the company in its continued efforts to provide great service. Ross Piper, vice-president of enterprise strategy, undermined concerns about compromised data by Australian companies.

Your Data Could Still Be at Risk

Even without the Heartbleed bug, user data could still be at risk. There’s a risk of losing important data every time you use Dropbox, according to a post from Business IT. Most of the time, simple habits can result to getting sensitive information to fall in the wrong hands. Things like using a personal Dropbox account and sharing folders with others can make you at risk of hacking. That’s why everyone should exercise caution when storing and sending files through Dropbox.

What Does This Mean for Australian Businesses?

Dropbox is opening its first Australian office. And that is a strong indication of the kind of relationship the company has with its Australian market. The company claims that 95 percent of the top 100 Australian listed companies are Dropbox users. It takes pride in the fact that Australia has one of the highest per capita usage rates in the world. Dropbox is also working to meet the requirements of the Australian privacy principles.

Should You Still Continue Using Dropbox?

Although there are several alternatives for cloud storage and a couple of glitches in the past couple of years, Dropbox is still best in show. It’s easy to use. It’s universal. Plus, there’s an option for individuals to use it for free.

You can find comfort in the company’s commitment to privacy and security. One of its tools, Perfect Forward technology, prevents any vulnerability from regaining past access. According to CNET, it doesn’t allow any previous access a key might have had to be used again. That basically means you don’t have to worry about Heartbleed again.

Despite all these, Dropbox allows fast and secure file-sharing between computers. But you need something stronger for your business. Contact Greenlight if you need help in building computer networks that will allow seamless — and hack-proof — file-sharing methods. We can help protect your company’s data so you don’t have to worry about encryption flaws again.

Using the Cloud for your Server Solutions

Using the Cloud for your Server Solutions 150 150 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

The use of cloud solutions is quickly setting the field of technology alight. With the quickly dropping prices of cloud services and technology, along with the increasing acceptance of cloud products in order to provide solutions, businesses are quickly getting on the cloud bandwagon. One of the areas that the cloud seeks to revolutionize business is in providing new server solutions. But what exactly is a cloud server, and how can it benefit your business?

What are cloud servers?

Cloud servers, otherwise known as virtual servers or virtual private servers, simply refer to servers that run on the cloud computing environment, using the cloud to build, host and deliver their services.

Benefits of using cloud servers

There are a range of benefits to using cloud servers. These include:

1. Faster service

With traditional servers, precious time is spent having to configure and modify the physical hardware to suit a business’s specific needs, which may take hours or even days to do. However, cloud servers come with software that make them ready to use almost instantly, meaning that you may have a server ready to use within seconds.

2. Security

Cloud servers are far more secure than traditional servers. With cloud servers, your account will be insulated from other’s accounts. As a result, if there is any issue with the security of another account on the same physical server, then your account will still be kept isolated and secure.

3. Stability/Performance

Because of the highly customizable nature of the cloud servers, performance can be kept to an optimal level. Unlike traditional servers, one user or account cannot take control of the majority of the server resources, and you won’t have to worry about other accounts affecting your performance. Not only that, but they don’t suffer from the server hardware problems that physical servers occasionally encounter.

4. Cost effectiveness

One of the biggest benefits of using cloud servers are their cost effectiveness. With traditional servers, you are forced to pay a set amount, often in months or years. Because of the lack of flexibility with their usage, businesses often pay for resources that they simply never use. In cases where they may need resources that temporarily exceed the planned amount, your entire site may end up being shut down or you may have to pay excessive usage fees. Because of the flexibility of cloud computing servers, you can pay for what you use on a far more flexible basis, with many providers offering plans by the hour, and also allowing you to pay only for the capacity that is required at any particular time.

5. Flexibility/Scalability

It’s easy to make any changes or addition to cloud server as opposed to physical servers. For example, upgrading your server and adding extra memory or disk space can be quickly and easily done. You can also modify your operating system or make any other changes that are necessary. And of course, you pay for resources as and when they are required, instead of paying for one set amount.

6. Ease of setup/use

Because there is no complicated hardware setup involved, and because much of the necessary software has been tailored for a wide range of uses, deploying cloud servers is far easier than using traditional servers. Not only that, but managing is easier as well, since the software comes automated to conduct activities such as system updates and backups.

With the recent advances in technology, there are obvious advantages to using cloud servers over traditional servers. With cloud servers being cheaper, more flexible and easier to use than traditional servers, many businesses are now making the switch to the cloud for their server solutions. If saving money, time and effort sounds good to you, contact Greenlight ITC for a free quote on how we can help in providing the perfect solution to suit your needs.

Office 365 Guide

A Quick Guide to Office 365

A Quick Guide to Office 365 1000 837 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

Office 365 allows you access to the usual suite of software that you may have come to expect with Microsoft Office. However, it also comes with a number of other features that you may not be as familiar with. Let’s take a look at the main components of Office 365 and explore how these services can be used for your business

SharePoint Online

SharePoint is a platform which aims to help users share and collaborate on documents more effectively. Some of the exciting aspects of SharePoint include:

Sites

SharePoint allows users to design and maintain simple yet professional websites with their own custom domain name.

Document Libraries

Information can be saved through SharePoint, which will allow others to be able to quickly access data from other employees.

Blogs

SharePoint allows users to easily and quickly set up their own blog

Discussion Boards

Another feature of SharePoint is the ability to set up discussion boards, which can help productivity by providing an avenue for discussion even in large businesses.

Lync Online

Lync Online is a meeting and communication tool that lets you share and collaborate using a number of different rich media, making internal and external communication more effective and efficient. Some of the main aspects of Lync include:

Meetings

Lync gives users the ability to better share information even when meeting remotely. For example, you can share your own computer screen or applications with others, enabling a shared field of view. There are also other useful meeting features, such as a virtual white board and surveys. Of course, there’s easy integration with Outlook, meaning that you can invite contacts to participate in meetings quickly and easily.

Messaging

Lync allows users easy integration with instant messaging services such as Yahoo and Windows Live.

Voice

Lync can be integrated within phone systems, allowing you to carry out functions such as one click calling or sending voicemails to your email and Outlook

Video

Office 365 users can also use the video tool in order to communicate.

Exchange Online

Exchange Online is an email solution that provides secure, reliable access to email from virtually any device. However, Exchange also contains a number of other functions. Here’s a rundown on what Exchange Online has to offer:

Email

Exchange Online works well as the primary email server and can be used with a number of different clients such as Outlook. Not only that, but you’ll get 25GB worth of space for your mailbox, along with the ability to send emails up to 25MB.

Contacts

Exchange allows for users to store their contacts and related information. The best feature of the contact management is the ability to access your contacts anywhere, whether while at work or on the go on your mobile.

Tasks

The tasks feature within Exchange helps you to manage your activities in order to reach maximum efficiency. Since Office 365 works in the cloud, you can get updated information on your tasks from anywhere with an internet connection.

Office Professional Plus

Office Professional Plus contains the core suite of software that you would be familiar with as the essential Microsoft Office Programs. This includes programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Access, and Outlook. Thanks to the cloud platform, you can edit and share these documents in real time with others, making collaboration easier than ever.

As far as productivity applications go, Office 365 is a great choice that combines familiarity of their traditional offerings with new features which can all be easily accessed and shared within the environment of the cloud. With experience in dealing with Office 365 and other related products, we’ll be happy to answer any questions that you may have on Office 365 and explain how it can best suit your business needs.

What is Bitcoin?

A Quick Guide to Bitcoin

A Quick Guide to Bitcoin 1000 667 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

If you’ve turned on your TV or gone online, it’s almost impossible to ignore the buzz about Bitcoin. Talk about the cryptocurrency has been cropping up everywhere – from major news portals to popular TV shows. Despite the rising popularity of bitcoins, many still do not understand what it is or how it works. Here’s a rundown on Bitcoin, and whether it’s a passing fad or genuine opportunity.

What Is Bitcoin?

First, it is important to make a distinction between Bitcoin and bitcoin. Bitcoin, with a capital B, refers to the technology and network of the peer-to-peer payment system and digital currency involved in processing bitcoins. The currency itself, bitcoin, is a cryptocurrency, which is a currency that uses cryptography for its creation and transfer. Bitcoin is unique because the entire system is powered by the peer-to-peer network of Bitcoin enthusiasts themselves, with no regulating central authority or government involved.

How Bitcoin Works

Bitcoin works by providing a personal wallet from which a user can send or receive bitcoins. This software generates and stores public and private keys, which act as both identifiers and safeguards for the bitcoins. The Bitcoin network is made up of a ledger called the “block chain,” which contains all the transactions ever processed.

Bitcoin’s Background

The first Bitcoin specification was published by someone named Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. Although Nakamoto left the project in 2010, other developers stayed on to continue working on the project. Bitcoin is open source, meaning that anyone can make changes to the Bitcoin protocol. However, the protocol will only work when users have the same compatible version, providing a strong incentive to keep a consensus on Bitcoin protocol.

How You Get Bitcoins

There are different methods of acquiring bitcoins. These include:

  • Bitcoin exchanges: You can buy bitcoins on various exchanges, which serve as a platform for persons to transfer bitcoins from one wallet to another.
  • Bitcoin mining: People can use their computers in order to perform complex mathematical tasks that verify the blockchain of transactions and ensure that it is correct. As a reward, these miners are rewarded with bitcoins.
  • Payment: You can receive bitcoins as payment for goods and services, just as you would with traditional currency.
  • Exchange: You can also have people give you bitcoins.

Advantages of Using Bitcoin

There are a number of reasons why people use Bitcoin. These include:

  • Anonymity/untraceability: The only identifying information used in bitcoin transactions is the wallet ID. This allows users to make transactions without ever releasing their identity.
  • Little to no fees: People who send and receive bitcoins don’t pay fees, unless one party decides to charge fees. This makes Bitcoin a great way to send and receive money without having to pay onerous transfer or transaction fees that may be charged with traditional currencies.
  • Increasing value: The value of bitcoins has shot up recently, with a 1000 per cent increase in value within the last year and a half. As a result, Bitcoin has become a profitable currency to hold for many investors.

Disadvantages of Using Bitcoin

  • Anonymous/untraceable: The anonymity and untraceable nature of Bitcoin has also proven to be a major disadvantage. If, for example, there is ever an issue regarding services or goods that haven’t been delivered as promised, it will be nearly impossible to trace the user and dispute the transaction.
  • Adoption rate: Even though bitcoins are gaining in popularity, they are still only accepted by a small number of online merchants. As a result, even if you have bitcoins, you may have problems finding vendors who accept them for items that you would like to purchase.
  • Volatility: Bitcoins are still a volatile currency. Because of the large fluctuations in value of a bitcoin, it’s very difficult for people who offer products or services that allow for payment with bitcoins to properly price their goods.
  • Bitcoin security: Despite the extensive measures taken to ensure Bitcoin security, there is still a major issue surrounding the security of bitcoins, with several major exchanges such as Mt. Gox being the subject of major security lapses, resulting in the loss of millions of dollars’ worth in bitcoins.
  • Government limitations: At the moment, many governments such as Iceland and China have either highly restricted or outright banned the use of bitcoins in their country. This is due in large part to the difficulty in regulating and taxing bitcoins.

All things considered, Bitcoin has a promising, if not totally predictable, future. However, with a number of factors working against Bitcoin, it’s probably advisable to hold off on major investment of bitcoins until the currency has stabilised and has achieved a larger following.

Meanwhile, Australians can now run to the Bitcoin ATM. Australian Bitcoin and Krypto Currency Solutions were among the entities that installed Bitcoin ATMs in late March, with one machine installed in Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall.

A Quick Guide to Google Apps

A Quick Guide to Google Apps 150 150 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

google-appsProductivity is an important part of any organization’s effective functioning. With people expecting information almost instantaneously, the importance of collaboration and sharing of information has come into view more sharply now than ever. Thanks to a number of technologies that harness the cloud, companies are finally able to reach their maximum efficiency. One of these technologies is Google Apps, a suite of software tailored to increasing productivity in organisations

Overview of Google Apps

Google Apps is a portfolio of different tools and applications that have been tailored for business use. Since Google Apps uses the cloud, there is no need to install any software on your computer, and you can access these applications wherever or on whatever device you have an internet connection.

Google Apps Main Features

Google Apps Gmail – Probably the most well-known of Google Apps offerings is Gmail. With 25 GB of space provided with a paid Apps account, there’s plenty of room to store all your information. Also, the conversations within your inbox come threaded, allowing for easier tracking of multi-party exchanges.

  • Google Presentations – This tool is allows you to create presentations, with the ability to use image and videos and add drawings or rich tables to your presentation. In addition, users can also collect and share team feedback quickly, and your presentation can instantly be published online.
  • Google Sites – This tool is used for website building, and allows you to create your own website. You can create a website that exists in your Google apps domain that can be easily edited by others, and of course has integration with other Google Apps such as Gmail and Google Docs.
  • Google Apps Calendar – Google Apps Calendar allows employees and businesses to share information on appointments, important events, dates, and other related information in real time. A useful tool for scheduling group events, it allows users to sync their information for easier management.
  • Google Voice – Google voice is Google’s VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) programme. In addition to basic calls, Google Voice also has transcription features to allow users to make voice to text recordings, and also allows you to share messages and can make personalised greetings.
  • Google Docs – Another well-known productivity app, Google Docs allows users to collaborate on their word processing tool in order to make real time changes to s single document. There’s no need for frequent refreshing or saving since Google Docs does this automatically.
  • Google Pack – The Google Pack is basically the basic starter kit of for business needs, comprising many from the Google family of products. It includes products such as the Google Chrome Browser, Google Apps, the Spyware Doctor and Anti-Virus, as well as other non-Google applications such as Adobe Reader and Skype
  • Google Spreadsheets – Google Spreadsheets is a great tool if you’re looking for basic spreadsheet function. For example, there’s easy compatibility with Excel

Other features of Google apps

Similar to other productivity suites such as Office 365, you can request your own personal domain name or use your own, through which you can manage your information such as email addresses. Of course, with many people already using some of the Google Apps suite of products such as Gmail, access to Google Apps is made even simpler.

With Google Apps being a popular and useful tool that can assist with increasing productivity within your business, this may be the solution for you in getting your workforce more effective and efficient. Contact us for a free quote on how we can help your team to move to Google Apps and leverage their powerful suite of products today.

The Top 10 Apps No Business Professional Should Live Without

The Top 10 Apps No Business Professional Should Live Without 150 150 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

ipad-mini-apple-official-photoAs a business professional, it’s almost impossible not to be inundated with new technology and apps that seem to arise almost daily. Although apps can greatly improve workplace communication and productivity – with literally millions of apps to choose from – it’s important to sort out the noise and to figure which apps are useful from those that aren’t. Here are the top 10 apps that every business manager and employee should have:

Evernote

While Evernote is best known as a note taking app, its wide range of features give users many options outside of making generic notes. For example, this useful app allows you to clip web pages, store images and take audio notes. In addition, Evernote’s extended family comes with a wide range of additional features, such as a handwriting app and an image mark-up tool. Evernote allows businesses to share notes and additions to work with other co-workers, creating a hive mind type of collaboration. There’s also a version specifically for business, which allows companies to centrally manage employee accounts and access data or notes.

LinkedIn

Linked in is a great tool for any business professional. It allows you to track other professionals in your industry, and also to participate in relevant groups that can increase your reach and assist with branding your business.

Lastpass

Password security is critical in keeping your important data safe. With many businesses requiring a multitude of different Internet-based accounts, it can be impossible to remember the complex passwords required to access each one. Lastpass is a password management app that offers a secure method of storing those passwords in one location, and has additional features such as two step verification to ensure password security. It’s no wonder that this programme was named PC Mag’s editor’s choice for password management.

Hootsuite

With the popularity of a social media, your business probably has to manage a number of different accounts. Hootsuite allows you to manage various social media platforms from one easy-to-use dashboard, saving you time and effort from having to manually update each one.

Tripit

This useful app is a one-stop-shop for all of your business travel organization needs, helping you to organize and share your travel information. For example, you can plan an itinerary simply by forwarding confirmation emails, get directions and maps for the destinations that you’re visiting, and even sync your trip plans with other apps such as Google Calendar or Outlook.

Skype

As the world’s most popular video calling app, Skype is a must-have for most businesses. With the ability to voice or video call for free with the more than 250 million people on Skype, this is a useful tool to communicate both locally and abroad. Of course, you can still use Skype traditionally and call landlines and cell phones, with far lower calling rates than traditional providers.

Asana

This useful app makes it easier for teams to organize and prioritize information, allowing for better time management. It allows users to create lists and organize tasks, and also to get updates straight from their inbox. It can also attach files and images to tasks and has Dropbox integration.

Wi-Fi Finder

Are you an on the go business traveller who’s always searching for an Internet connection? Wi-Fi finder may just be the answer to your prayers. Wi-Fi finder displays both paid and free Wi-Fi networks, even providing directions to nearby hotspots, which is great for the on the go employee.

Square Register

Especially useful for small businesses or entrepreneurs on the go, Square Register is an innovative app that lets users accept credit card and other payments straight from their mobile device, either through their credit card dongle or through entering card details manually. Not only that, but Square charges a small and simplified 2.75 percent per transaction, with no extra hidden fees, making it easier than ever to process cashless transactions.

Dropbox

Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud storage apps, and there’s a good reason why. Its ease of use in uploading files and almost near instantaneous syncing makes sharing documents with co-workers or other employees a cinch. It saves valuable time in having to manually share information through other methods such as email or hard copy transfer through USB.

Apps are a staple when it comes to raising productivity and streamlining day-to-day tasks. By focusing on just a few key apps, your company can quickly see a rise in profits thanks to an increase in employee output. As a leader in mobile management technology, Greenlight ITC can help your company with managing company mobile devices. Contact us today for a free quote on how we can put together a mobile device plan that works for you.

Designing a Marketing Strategy for Mobile Viewers

Designing a Marketing Strategy for Mobile Viewers 150 150 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

You’ve finally sensed the shifting tide. Everywhere you go, people are using their smartphones to access the Internet. Almost two out of three people in Australia have an Internet-enabled smartphone, and those numbers are set to rise steadily. As technology becomes cheaper and smartphone plans become more flexible worldwide, Gigaom estimates that 60 percent of the world will have smartphone subscription plans within the next five years.

Capitalizing on this smartphone boom, however, is not as easy as it sounds. Making the transition from PC and laptop-based websites to those that can be optimized for mobile can cause confusion for the uninitiated. Here are a few simple marketing tips for designing your mobile site.

Responsive Design is King

Using a responsive design for your website is probably the most important step that you can take to making your website mobile friendly. A responsive design is simply one that optimizes your website for the different sizes and shapes of mobile phones and tablets. With a responsive design, you don’t have to design and maintain an entirely separate site for your mobile customers, saving you time and money. In addition, Google has even put responsive design as an industry best practice, giving an extra incentive for you to implement this mobile friendly web design.

Study Your Market before Placing Content

When creating content for your website, ihub media says it’s important to consider the type of content your viewers prefer. For example, do they prefer longer or shorter lengths? How often should you switch the length of your content? What’s the right mix of written, picture, and video content? Checking out your analytics and other data will give you a good sense of what type of content your readers prefer. After you’ve implemented your mobile friendly site, you can again look at various forms of feedback to determine whether or not your customers are enjoying your content.

Get “Appy”

Designing a useful app is a great strategy for targeting mobile users. Having your own app can have direct financial benefits for your business. You may choose to sell your app as a product or use app advertisements to make money. You app may be able to provide other benefits to your customers that a website simply can’t provide, such as easy and quick user login and account management. Apps can also improve your profit margin. According to mashable.com, customers who visit retailers through iPhone apps have 30 percent higher conversion rates than those who go straight to the website. Whatever the case, it’s best to analyse your personal niche and platform and see whether developing an app may be a good choice for your business.

Social Media

With a whopping 71 percent of people using their mobiles just to access social media sites, according to an Adobe consumer survey, it’s clear that social media can have a big part to play in your mobile marketing strategy. Integrating your mobile friendly website with social media is critical in grabbing the attention of these mobile users. The most popular social media sites have flexible advertisement packages that will allow you to not only choose your own budget, but also to send specifically targeted ads to those who will be most likely to respond positively to it. In addition, your own social media sites can serve as a free platform for advertising your products, and they are a powerful way to engage in interaction with your potential customers.

For those who were on the fence, it’s clear that you should jump on the mobile bandwagon as soon as possible. With a frighteningly quick rate of adoption by Internet users worldwide, mobile usage is quickly becoming the avenue of first choice for people to find out information on products relevant to them. By using these important tips, you too can add value to your mobile business strategy.