Make work easy with Microsoft’s new apps


Make work easy with Microsoft’s new apps

Connections, Listings, and Invoicing are the most recent additions to Microsoft’s software lineup and they’re finally out of the beta testing phase. These apps come with every Office 365 Business Premium subscription and are perfect for companies with fewer than 300 employees. Installing and using them is a breeze, see for yourself.


Microsoft Invoicing

Word and Excel have hundreds of templates for generating company invoices, but this new app does much more than just create documents. Invoicing allows you to store the names, descriptions, and prices of your products and services in a connected database. You can also store your tax information, company logo, and a click-to-pay PayPal badge, which means half of the necessary information is automatically filled out the moment you click Create.

In addition to clean and professional looking documents, Invoicing also makes it easy to organize, store, and search past invoices thanks to a built-in QuickBooks integration. Last but not least, all of this is easily accessible from Microsoft’s mobile app.


Microsoft Listings

With its centralized dashboard, Listings allows you to manage and update company details displayed by Google, Facebook, Bing, and Yelp. It also helps you monitor your company’s online reputation by tracking page-views, company reviews, and Likes.


Microsoft Connections

Connections are the perfect app for small business email marketing. Similar to the Invoicing platform, Connections stores your company information and uses it to create personalized email marketing campaigns with the click of a button.

For example, templates for newsletters, referrals, and promotions include customizable discounts and offers that trigger pre-written follow-up campaigns. Connections tracks and analyzes the performance of all your email-based campaigns to make refining and improving your content a breeze, whether it’s from your desktop or the mobile app.


How to enable Invoicing, Listings, and Connections

As long as you have an Office 365 Business Premium subscription, accessing these apps requires only a global admin login. From the Admin Center, click the Settings tab on the left-hand side of the screen, followed by Services & add-ins and then Business apps. In this menu, you can grant specific users permission to use Microsoft’s newest programs.

Setting up these apps is fairly easy. However, it’s even easier to have your Office 365 account managed by us. We could have remotely installed Invoicing, Listings, and Connections for you almost a month ago, and with our information security expertise and unlimited IT support requests, there’s no limit to the value we can add to your Office 365 subscription. Give us a call to get started!


Facial recognition technology in Windows 10


facial recognition Technology

Facial recognition technology has been around for some time, but its underdeveloped capabilities meant it could be fooled by masks, photographs, or even painted faces. However, the technology has come a long way since its inception and companies like Microsoft are including it in consumer products like Windows 10.


Say hello to fingerprint, iris, and facial scans

Windows Hello is an advanced biometric identity and access control feature in Windows 10. With it, there’s no need to enter a password; all it needs is your fingerprint, eye scan, or just your face.

For those who are worried about privacy, the feature stores your biometric data only on your device, never on Microsoft’s servers. Microsoft has also made it clear that third parties cannot access your biometric data, although, as with every new technology, it’s best to treat this with caution.


How to set up Windows Hello

All you need to get started is a laptop or desktop with Windows 10 and a compatible webcam (there is a full list here).

First, go to Settings > Account > Sign-in options. Then, under the Windows Hello section, you’ll see setup options for face, iris, or fingerprint scans. Select which method you want to set up and follow the prompts to create a login profile.

You can also save your biometric data or scan more than once to boost accuracy. Each time you scan, the system collects more data, so it’s worth completing a few scans before enabling the login feature.

However, passwords are still an option when using Windows Hello and should always be configured in case your camera isn’t operational. Once one account is set up, you can start adding family members who share the same device. Each of them can set up their own biometric profile in a separate account.


Chrome Cleanup tool’s enhanced features


Chrome Cleanup Tool's enhanced features

Even if you’re sure that the websites you visit are safe, the harmful software can still slip through, especially when you download and install free programs and applications. As the world’s most popular browser, Chrome is especially prone to infection. Fortunately, Google has improved Chrome’s Cleanup tool for Windows by integrating the following security features.


Detect hijacked settings

Many users prefer to enhance their browsing experience by installing extensions or plug-ins, some of which could be malicious. When these extensions are installed, they could inject harmful ads into web pages or allow access to third-party servers without the user’s consent.

Google’s new hijacked settings detection function prevents this from happening. Once it detects an attempt by a third party to change your browser’s settings, it will automatically revert to Chrome’s default settings. And in case you suspect any unauthorized change in your browser, you can manually reset settings in Chrome.


Simplify cleanup

You probably don’t remember downloading many of the files in your Downloads folder, but these are actually software and other attachments that were bundled with the software that you do use.

Chrome Cleanup’s newly simplified feature makes it easier for you to determine harmful files, easing the pain of sorting through and deleting tons of downloaded files. Whenever it detects a malicious software, users will get a pop-up message that offers them an easy way to remove the potential threat, get more details about it, or disregard it in case of false detection.


Maximize removal of non-essential software

Aside from the simplified interface, Google also made some much-needed improvements in Chrome Cleanup’s performance, so it’s now capable of eliminating more junkware.

Tricking users into installing a program without their consent is one of the many characteristics of unwanted software that Google lists under its Unwanted Software Policy. To help fight against this and other browser security risks, the company has partnered with an IT security team to strengthen Chrome’s ability to detect and remove unwelcome add-ons.

It’s important to note that these upgrades don’t affect Chrome’s performance and speed because they work in the background. In addition, these changes are now available in Windows devices but will soon roll out to other platforms. In the meantime, if you want to find out more about browser and application security, contact our security specialists today!


Firefox to alert users when they are about to open hacked websites


Firefox to alert users before they open hacked websites


Mozilla has teamed up with “Have I Been Pwned (HIBP),” the popular website that lets you check if your email ID or the password that you use has been hacked.

Mozilla’s Firefox browser will soon warn users when they are visiting a website that has been compromised in the past, according to a report.

The feature appears to be similar to “this site may be hacked” warning that Google search shows for a website that appears to be hacked.

According to The Register, Mozilla has teamed up with “Have I Been Pwned (HIBP),” a website that allows people to check if their email ID or passwords have been leaked by hackers. Mozilla will essentially source data from the HIPB, which tracks data dumps by hackers that are often sold on the dark web.

The feature will help “expose documentation/educational information about data breaches in the Firefox UI – for example, a “Learn more” link in the notification mentioned above leading to a support page,” Mozilla developer Nihanth Subramanya told The Register.

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It will “offer a way for interested users to learn about and opt for a service that notifies them (e.g. via email) when they may be affected by breaches in the future.”

Troy Hunt, the security expert behind HIBP, confirmed to another website, Engadget, that the feature was in development.

The company has for now rolled out a developer edition which can be downloaded from Github.


Google Maps is getting a new look soon

Google Maps is getting a new look soon

Google Maps is getting a new look soon

Google Maps is getting a new look soon that makes it easier to find venues around you. The new design will be rolling out “over the next few weeks” and will appear on Google Maps’ website and apps, as well as third-party services that use Google Maps.

With the update, Google Maps will subtly change based on what you’re doing. If you’re using navigation, for example, the app will highlight locations you’re more likely to need while driving, like gas stations. Likewise, if you’re looking at transit directions, Maps will point to bus stops and public transportation stops.

Google Maps is getting a new look soon.

Google is also updating the color scheme it uses to identify business locations on the map, to make it easier to find specific types of venues. With the update, the type of business will determine the color of its icon on the map.

Restaurants and other venues that fall into the “Food & Drink” category will be orange, while “shopping” will be blue, and “Entertainment/Leisure” will be teal.

It may sound like a small change, but Google says these visual cues will make it easier and faster to find places when you’re in an unfamiliar area. These changes to the Maps feature will also be rolled out to the other apps that incorporate Google Maps information, like Assistant, Search, Earth and Android Auto. The changes also will be incorporated into the apps, websites, and products that other companies have built using Google Maps APIs, the company said.


Chrome extension stops users from making ‘impulse purchase’


Chrome extension

Chrome extension called ‘Icebox’ prevents users from making ‘impulse purchase’ by replacing the ‘Buy’ tab on e-commerce websites with its own tab, ‘Put it on ice’. The extension also keeps a tally of the money save from items that were not purchased.

This Chrome plugin replaces the ‘Buy’ buttons found on over 400 e-commerce sites with one of its own design. When pressed, it holds the purchase for a pre-defined period of time, forcing you to ask yourself “do I really need this?

If you do, great. Once the time is up, it’ll let you place the order.

But if you don’t, you can just forget about it, in turn saving you some money that you’d have otherwise poured down the drain (figuratively speaking). Icebox will keep a tally of how much money you’ll save while using the tool.

You can set your cooling-off period to whatever you want, although it defaults to 30 days. You can also tell it to not block certain sites — which is useful if you do your grocery shopping online.

You can also place reminders on the sites that Icebox doesn’t support, urging you to exercise some self-restraint.

It’s a handy little plug-in, and although it’s not all that useful on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, where the deals are ephemeral and disappear in seconds, it could save you a decent whack of cash throughout the rest of the year.


Outlook on Mac and Windows gets redesigned


outlook on Mac and Windows gets redesigned


Microsoft is redesigning Outlook for Mac and Windows to reduce clutter and improve the user experience. The design changes will be patterned after the iOS version of the app, which is much easier to use and more modern-looking than its desktop counterpart. If you use Outlook on a desktop, check out these new changes.


How Outlook will be simplified

The most notable feature of the new Outlook will be a simplified navigation bar along the top of the screen, which means less of the screen will be reserved for formatting and organizational options. However, you can still add more buttons to accommodate your common tasks and preferences. With a smaller number of commands, you can benefit from an uncluttered interface that lets you use email more efficiently.

Changes will also be made to the left panel to provide users with quicker access to folders across multiple accounts. Moreover, a slide-to-delete function using Apple’s trackpad — like in the iOS version — will be integrated into the redesigned app.


Other design changes for Outlook in Mac

Mac users can also expect faster and more reliable search and calendar features in the enhanced Outlook. The search function will get a performance boost and will be moved to the top right corner of the app for easier access. The calendar function’s interface, on the other hand, will be reworked to eliminate tedious steps currently required to manage appointments.

These and other upcoming changes are aimed at increasing users’ satisfaction ‘by providing a cleaner, more modern way to email.’ The design changes will also benefit those who access their account on different devices because, in the updated desktop version, they will be able to enjoy the same uncluttered app that they use on their mobile devices.

Although the changes are for Windows and Mac, Microsoft is implementing most of the design changes primarily for Mac. Microsoft recognizes Outlook’s popularity among “key influencers and decision makers,” whom it wishes to win over before a wider release. The new version will most likely become available to Office 365 subscribers first and eventually roll out with Office 2019, which is expected to arrive in mid-2018.

An easy-to-use email interface is a boon to your business’s productivity. And with Outlook’s new look and improved functionality, you can read, send, and organize emails more conveniently and with minimal distraction. Our experts are on-hand to answer all your questions about Outlook and other Microsoft Office apps — get in touch with us today.



some precautions every computer user should implement

some precautions every computer user should implement



  • Make routine or schedule antivirus scans.

It’s very important to run a regular full virus scan of your windows computer system once a week, doing this will detect and pick up any PUP’s (potently unwanted programs) viruses, malware, worms, spyware, or any other threats that may have dropped onto the system.


  • Keep your virus definitions up-to-date.

This is a very important step, you want to make sure you have automatically installed the latest virus definitions and software updates. Another common mistake is letting your paid subscription run out on paid antivirus software, this means you can’t update to the latest virus definitions.


  • Keep Windows up-to-date.

Keeping your Windows operating system up to date with security patches and services packs is very important, this can block any security holes in your operating system. Never use the pirated cracked software. These can be packed with backdoor Trojans.


  • E-mail spam blocking or filtering.

A lot of junk or spam e-mail can be harmless most of the time. But there is a nasty type of e-mail that use a phishing tactics to try and convince you that you have won a prize or you’re entitled to a refund of money or you have a parcel waiting for delivery to you or your bank needs you to update your banking details. This, of course, is a scam and they are trying to con you out of your money, the e-mail messages can contain viruses or worms, which can install a backdoor in your computer system to exploit your network and steal your sensitive personal data and login information details to your bank. Using software like MailWasher can help stop email spam.


  • There are some simple tips to keep the computer secure:-

  1. Never click on hyperlinks in your e-mail
  2. Never open attachments from a stranger or unknown source.
  3. Look for Typos and Poor Grammar.
  4. Scam Email use greeting “Dear Customer”. This is a fake email, your bank would use your full name.
  5. Phishing emails will request personal information from you, such as your bank account information, mother’s maiden name, passwords, secret question, and answer etc. Your bank will never ask for this information in an email or ask you to perform security-related changes to your bank account details in an email.
  6. Never use the public computer like cyber café or wireless connection to do online banking. Because your personal information could be stored on the computer and retrieved at a later date by a cyber-criminal or hacker.
  7. Always use strong passwords and change them regularly. Use at least 10 to 15 characters with capital letters and lower-case letters, also use a mixture of numbers and special characters. (example 8oB_S@m#$xX-)
  8. Avoid password that contains birth dates, family names, pet names, football teams, these can be easily socially engineered from you.
  9. Never store sensitive information on your computer.
  10. Never let a stranger remote into your computer.
  11. Use password encryption software like LastPass
  12. Never use bad reputation file sharing websites or peer-to-peer (P2P) networks or torrent sites. If you are going to download freeware or any other type of content from the internet, make sure it’s from a reliable source. Pirated software and cracks contain Viruses, Malware, Trojans, Rootkit, Spyware, and Worms. These can lay hidden and undetected on the computer system to the average user.

That’s it, Hope this article helps you out. Please share with friends and family.


Malware-dropping Energy Australia scam hits inboxes

Malware-dropping Energy Australia scam hits inboxes

Malware-dropping Energy Australia scam hits inboxes

A fresh malware-dropping email scam has hit inboxes this week, just in time to catch our busy SME owners facing the Christmas-time frenzy.

Email security software company Mailguard discovered the scam this week, revealing in a blog post a “large number” of emails purporting to be from energy provider Energy Australia.

The email is well-crafted, appearing to be an invoice from the company asking recipients to pay a significant amount, around $700. However, instead of trying to nick users’ banking details or straight up scam funds from recipients, the cybercriminals attempted to drop malware onto users’ systems.

By clicking the “view bill” button, users are directed to a fake Energy Australia website which was reportedly registered especially for this scam and is relatively similar to the actual Energy Australia website. The fake website is ‘energyau[dot]com’, where the real website is energyaustralia[dot]

Once reaching the website, a fake bill is downloaded to recipients’ computers in a zip file, which Mailguard reports contain a malicious JavaScript file or malware. The exact intention of the malware is unknown, but it could be used for anything from logging users’ keystrokes or stealing and locking up data.

In a statement, Energy Australia warned its customers to be vigilant with email scams like this one, with a spokesperson saying such emails “can appear very convincing and customers should take care with any email that requests them to click a link”.

“One indicator of potential scam emails is the sender. EnergyAustralia’s electronic bills to residential customers are sent from If you receive an email from a different address that says it relates to your EnergyAustralia bill, please do not open it or click any links it contains,” the spokesperson said.

The company also advised users to report the fake email to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s ScamWatch, and then delete the email from their inbox.


November and December see heightened risk of scams

Busy periods such as Christmas and tax time are prime times for scammers.

Experts have told SmartCompany that SME owners should be wary about both email scams and ‘Business Email Compromise’ (BEC) attacks, which use social engineering to trick staff into paying fake invoices or bills.

While taking the approach of regular staff training and cybersecurity awareness can go a long way to preventing cyber compromise in a business, Combo founder and IT expert David Markus believes it’s time for business owners to install business-level antivirus and email filter software, saying “hope isn’t a solid strategy”.

“Business owners should be putting the right things in place, which means the right antivirus and the right mail filter. That keeps these things filtered out, and even if it gets to users, the payload will be stopped,” he told SmartCompany.

“You can avoid that cost in your business by doing staff training but the risk is huge – you’ll just be hoping the staff doesn’t inadvertently click on something after lunch.”

Markus believes scams similar to the recent Energy Australia impersonation are becoming more prevalent, and more professional by the day, claiming they can now fool anyone bar “the most cautious of observers”.

“They’re starting to look like genuine corporate emails when a few years ago the language in them was very poor,” he says.

“The people running these scams are getting more and more sophisticated because there are now millions of dollars involved – it’s a real legitimate organized crime event.”

A study from August into BEC scams revealed 749 cases were reported in 2015-16 in Australia, and 243 cases in just the first quarter of 2016-17. The attack most commonly involves “impersonating a high-level employee in order to change invoice details or request immediate funds transfers”, the report revealed.

A further report from Mailguard in June revealed a 400% increase in email scams in the two weeks leading up to tax time, with chief executive Craig McDonald warning business owners to stay extra vigilant around busy periods.

“Most businesses have heavier commitments around closing out the end of financial year, and if you’re going to try and trick someone, it’s best to do it when they’re the busiest,” he says.

The business security expert at Sophos, David Sykes, also told SmartCompany at the time that businesses should refrain from getting “click happy”, and should think critically about the email in their inbox.

“You click on something in your inbox that you were half expecting, and that’s it, you’re compromised,” he said.

“There’s a saying in the security industry: Assume you’re being compromised and work back from there. Unfortunately, businesses have got to assume they’re being targeted, so satisfy the email or invoice is legitimate before you process it.

“Don’t get click happy and jump on the hyperlink.”


Android introduces Fast Pair

Android introduces Fast Pair

Android introduces Fast Pair

As seen with Apple’s AirPods, people today are quickly growing accustomed to wireless pairing between their smartphones and headphones. Of course, Google has been working on a solution of its own, and it has just made it to the market.


What is Fast Pair?

Fast Pair is Android’s new connectivity solution which uses Bluetooth technology and the smartphone’s proximity to let you connect to Fast Pair-enabled Bluetooth devices with just a single tap.


How does it work?

When a Fast Pair-enabled device is nearby, your Android smartphone will automatically retrieve the device’s product image and name from Google’s servers and display it on the screen. After tapping the image, a confirmation message will appear to let you know a pairing has been made successfully.

Fast Pair also comes with useful companion apps. An example would be the equalizer app that comes with certain Bluetooth headphones. It lets users optimize their sound experience whenever using Fast Pair to connect to Bluetooth devices.

Note that Fast Pair only works with Google Play Services version 11.7. And while Google may not have introduced a completely new technology, you can expect a broader range of wireless coverage and faster connectivity as more wireless devices get Bluetooth 5 features.


Does it support all existing Bluetooth gadgets?

Not for the time being; Bluetooth device manufacturers will need to adopt Fast Pair by registering with Android first. Currently, the following headphones are Fast Pair compatible: Google’s Pixel Buds, Libratone’s Q Adapt On-Ear, and Plantronics Voyager 8200-series wireless headsets.

Support for Fast Pair extends back to Android Marshmallow. And as more Android phones are losing the headphone jack, Google has made the right move to support the change in demand.