Tag Archives: professional

Four Rules of Email Etiquette Can Save Your Reputation

25 Nov 15
lverbik
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You may not think of email as having such power, but just as a great email can bring in the business—so these email mistakes can drive customers away and ruin your reputation. And pretty quickly too, if they’re repeated on a consistent basis.  What business technology can do for you can be rapidly undone if you or your employees ignore these four simple rules of email etiquette:

  1. Always use proper spelling and grammar

You would be surprised at the amount of emails that get sent with misspellings, typos and poor grammar. Now, not everyone is a great writer, but there is a fundamental professional standard you should meet that involves using spell-check on every single business email you write. Send enough poorly written emails and the unspoken message you are sending your customers is that you are unprofessional, you don’t care about details, you’re not a quality company—or worse, you’re not even legit. Spelling matters!

  1. Be careful who you CC

We all use group email to keep the team looped in. But this practice can go horribly wrong when you hit the reply button carelessly. If you’re not alert, you may “reply all” when in fact you don’t want specific team members to receive the email. Or how about forwarding or replying and you’ve written something negative about someone on the email thread?  Get out of the habit of thoughtlessly hitting “reply all”—and make it your habit to select recipients one by one every time before you hit “send.” (And, p.s. it is a good practice to NEVER write a negative email. They never disappear and may end up being forwarded and causing harm.)

  1. Don’t be in a hurry when emailing

Emails written in a hurry are obvious to the recipient. Some of the things that can go wrong with them are: unfinished emails sent, typos, incorrect information.  Then you’re forced to send an awkward follow-up email where you have to explain your mistake. Very unprofessional! Moral: Slow down and give your full attention to each email you compose. People know when you’ve rushed through and it sends the message to them that they are unimportant to you. No matter how short the email or seemingly trivial, take your time to honor your recipient and get it right.

  1. Double-check the recipient before you hit “send”

This is another frequent blunder that happens when we get in a hurry and go on autopilot. The culprit is the autofill function. You think you’ve typed in someone’s name and unbeknownst to you, autofill has populated the “to” line with a different person of similar name or address from your contacts and you’ve hit send. This kind of error can be anywhere from embarrassing to downright dangerous, depending on the type of information you are sending out, e.g. confidential corporate info.

These rules of email etiquette are important enough to share with your employees as we all take on the role of representing our employers. Your reputation is at stake and no matter what you email or whom you email, take time, slow down, give it your best, and make sure it’s right before you hit send.  If you have any tips to add to this list, comment below! For more ideas, contact Techno Advantage today!

Protecting Against Ransomware Threats

16 Dec 14
lverbik
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In case you aren’t familiar with that term, ransomware refers to programs that hold your computer or hard drive hostage, demanding that you pay a ransom fee (hence the name) if you want to get your information back.

Once users become infected, they see an error screen that tells them they have a fixed amount of time, usually 100 hours, to send money to the virus developer before all information on the drive will be unavailable, deleted or encrypted.

Obviously, that can put anyone in a tough position. So, let’s look at what we know about one of the best known types of ransomware called a crypto virus, what you can do if it infects your computer, and the steps you can take to avoid it.

Like many other computer viruses, the crypto virus spreads through email attachments, infected programs and compromised websites.  Typically, these are disguised as PDF or Word files, hiding in official-looking emails.

Once you open the message, and the accompanying attachment, the virus hijacks your computer, and only the ransom screen will be shown.

Attackers may use one of several different approaches to extort money from their victims:

  • After a victim discovers he cannot open a file, he receives an email ransom note demanding a relatively small amount of money in exchange for a private key. The attacker warns that if the ransom is not paid by a certain date, the private key will be destroyed and the data will be lost forever.
  • The victim is duped into believing he is the subject of a police inquiry. After being informed that unlicensed software or illegal web content has been found on his computer, the victim is given instructions for how to pay an electronic fine.
  • The malware surreptitiously encrypts the victim’s data but does nothing else. In this approach, the data kidnapper anticipates that the victim will look on the Internet for how to fix the problem and makes money by selling anti-ransomware software on legitimate websites.

To protect against data kidnapping, Techno Advantage urges all users to backup data on a regular basis. If an attack occurs, do not pay a ransom. Instead, wipe the hard drive clean and restore data from the backup.

What To Do If Your Computer Becomes Infected With the Crypto Virus

The first thing to do, if you detect that one of your computers has become infected with the crypto virus, is to disconnect it from the network. Also, avoid connecting the computer to any external drives or storage devices. It is possible for connected computers, or entire networks, to become infected from a single workstation that’s sharing information.

Next, speak with a Techno Advantage IT professional immediately.

If you have a reliable backup and data recovery system in place, your IT professional can probably restore your files and computer back to a previous save point within an hour or two.

Here are 6 additional tips to help keep you, your business and your equipment safe.

  • Keep regular backups of your important files.
  • Use an anti-virus, and keep it up to date.
  • Keep your operating system and software up to date with patches.
  • Review the access control settings on any network drives you have.
  • Don’t give administrative privileges to your user accounts.

Don’t let the crypto virus keep you up at night…just be prepared with a solid backup solution and a trusted Techno Pro to guide you.  Contact us today for a consultation!